Lovely Littles Exhibit

I am pleased to say that my work will be among a group of artists showing small works of art, all for sale, at Creative Framing & Gallery in Oakland, CA. All works will be 12″ or less on any side. All media will be represented.

My works will include 14  fabric postcards, each mounted on 8″ x 10″ archival, museum-quality matt, ready to frame. Here are a few of the postcards that will be there:

In addition, I will have several 12″ x 12″ art quilts there including 3 of my newest pieces — Sumac, Oakleaf Hydrangea and Maples — created using botanical prints.  Here is Maples

Here are the details:

Lovely Littles
Holiday Group Art Exhibit
November 1 – December 23, 2017

Creative Framing & Gallery
Art Receptions:
November 3rd, 6 – 9 pm
December 1st, 6 – 9 pm
2700 Park Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94606

Check the website (above) for regular gallery hours. If you are in the area, I hope that you will plan to stop by to see the wonderful art that will be there.

Fabric Postcards

I’ve just completed fabric postcards for the 20th round of trading with Postmark’d Art. The theme for the group I am trading with is handwork. I used Carol Ann Waugh‘s method for combining decorative and utility stitches on the sewing machine with simple hand stitches. You can see my first work using her techniques here.

I used a fat quarter of some yummy batik fabric I had in my stash and started pulling out thread. Here is a portion of the fabric after stitching by machine.

Portion of stitched fabricNext came another layer of fun, the hand stitching. I prepared the fabric by cutting it into 4″ x 6″ pieces and fusing them to fast2fuse, my favorite sturdy Pellon interfacing for postcards. Next I pulled out my hand stitching threads, some beads and a chenille needle and let the fun begin. And here are the postcards (click on an image for a larger view):

I finished the blue-grey postcards  and postcard 8 by stitching as close to the edge of the postcard as I could, then sealing the edge with Jacquard Lumiere paint. On postcards 9 and 10 I zigzagged some Oliver Twists hand-dyed thread. I like both of these finishing techniques.

These little treasures have been a personal obsession of mine since 2004 when Postmark’d Art was established and I became moderator of the group. My participation in the group has been a key ingredient in my artistic development, the motivation for writing fast, fun & easy Fabric Postcards, an incredible amount of Fun, and the reason for many new friendships that I enjoy today.   This will be my final trade with Postmark’d Art but it won’t be the last time I create fabric postcards.

If you haven’t created a fabric postcard yet, I ask why not? Click on the BOOK tab above to learn more about my book on the subject, contact me about scheduling a class for your group of fabric enthusiasts (see the CONTACT tab above),  visit the Postmark’d Art website by clicking on the link above and then click on the JOIN A NEW GROUP tab, and/or check out one of my projects here. Now is the time to learn something new and have fun at the same time. Consider this your personal invitation!


Notebook Cover and Postcards Embellished

I headed for Blue Door Beads — I just love the name and, yes, they have a blue door — this morning to find something special for the closure on the notebook cover just completed. I think I found just the right thing (click on image for larger view):

Notebook front

Notebook front

I had fun choosing the fabric for inside flaps

Notebook open

Notebook open

and the photo image on the inside cover of the notebook is from an old issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Notebook back

Full notebook cover

Here are 3 of the postcards that are embellished and ready to address and finish edges.

While I was completing the above project I decided to make use of a Mola that my sister gave me recently. (If you aren’t familiar with the origins of the Mola, be sure to visit the link above!) This one is particularly lovely and deserves to be useful.

Mola Notebook cover

Mola Notebook cover

Mola Notebook cover 2

Full Mola Notebook cover

I think Christy will be pleased that this lovely Mola is not going to languish in my stash.

To see the Genesis of all this, click here.

This post has been shared with Off the Wall Fridays.

Fabric Postcards – White on White

The new round of trading has not yet begun for Postmark’d Art but the theme ideas that are being voted on are inspirational — particularly White on White. The trade (our 19th round!) will officially begin February 1 so I have time to play with some ideas that are bubbling up.

I couldn’t resist pulling out some ribbons to create a new fabric. Here I have used cream grosgrain and cotton ribbons along with a very white ribbon that decorated a box of chocolates. The gold lettering says Coco Délice and, I think, lends a little touch of sophistication.

Franki Kohler, White on WhiteI used 12-weight variegated cotton thread on the body of the ginkgo and outlined it with variegated metallic thread. I really like the pattern created by the textures of the woven ribbons and I think I’ll be forgiven for including cream colors — they provide contrast and punch.

I’m trying to decide if this needs more thread work or other embellishments before I cut it apart for two postcards. Meanwhile, I have a start on another idea.

This is an Off The Wall Friday posting.

Studio Tour with PIQF

The annual Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Convention Center was held October 17-20. One of their events this year was to provide a tour of local artist studios. I was honored to be asked to participate this year along with fellow artist Alice Beasley.

I thoroughly enjoyed having 45 visitors in my studio. It was a great opportunity to explain how I actually create my art. So my primary focus during the studio tour was education. The more visitors understand the techniques and materials I use to create my art, the more they will appreciate my work.

Small works using my favorite techniques — cyanotype and sunprints — opened the opportunity for discussion.

10-18-aSeveral examples of both types of printing were available for close inspection.

10-18-bThe possibility of creating fabric and using it as gift wrap intrigued visitors (see Furoshiki Fabric Wraps).

And the possibility of mailing fabric art in the form of postcards always creates a stir. Here they are displayed mounted on archival mat, ready to frame.

10-18-eVisitors had just 45 minutes to take in my studio. The conversation was lively and the time allotted sped by like a blink. Everyone seemed to learn something and share a laugh.

Artist in Residence Wrap Up

My experience at Asilomar Conference Grounds has been exciting for so many reasons. Just being at this jewel-in-the-crown California state park is a wonderful experience. Here are just a few reasons why.

This is the sunset view from my room. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

Walking on the boardwalk. . .

Interesting stumps!

Notice the three new plantings that will replace the decaying tree.

Since my last visit to Asilomar in 2010 the kitchen has been remodeled. Can you see that the sign is hanging by wire whisks?

So, back to the primary reason I was there. Because my work area was the first spot with quilts people saw as they entered Merrill Hall, my brother-in-law Marshall commented that I was like a store greeter. Well, not a bad observation. As Artist in Residence I was the only art quilter who wasn’t taking a class, so I had the opportunity to interact with everyone who entered Merrill Hall and there were plenty. Empty Spools Seminars was just one of many conferences scheduled for the same week. (Their 2013 schedule of classes is available now.) And we had many day-tripping folks wandering in to see the Julia Morgan building we were in as well.  I was working on two different projects during my stay so I could demonstrate a variety of techniques that I use often during my creative process. I did not finish the broken ginkgo piece I took, but I got a very good start.

The fact that I used dryer lint as a background for this project always drew a smile. I needle felted the lint directly to a fast2fuse backing, hand-stitched sea grass cotton thread for the outline of the leaf shape and beaded like crazy.

You can see other projects that used dryer lint for needle felting projects here, here, here, here, and here.

My friend Heather Piazza came by to share lunch and the excitement of my week.

And exciting it was! Many of my fabric postcards have found new homes, my book will inspire new projects for others and Precious Metals went home with Carol to Naperville, Illinois.

My experience as an artist in residence for Empty Spools Seminars has been a dream come true. Owners Gayle Wells and Suzanne Cox went out of their to make me feel welcome and comfortable. The warm reception I felt by everyone — students, teachers and general public alike — was truly heart warming. And the genuine interest in my work was, at times, overwhelming.  I felt acceptance as an artist and energized to jump back into work as soon as I unpack. It doesn’t get any better than that in my book.  Unless it is to say that . . . of course . . . Christy finished the socks for Oliver!

At Asilomar — Artist in Residence

I was invited in 2010 to be the Artist in Residence during one of the five sessions that Empty Spools Seminars holds classes at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA. I was thrilled to sign the contract and here I am today.

Arrival day was Sunday, June 17. My sister Christy met me here (she is taking class) and was invaluable in helping me to hang my work and set up my work space in Merrill Hall, a stunning Julia Morgan designed building.  The size of the hall allows for ample space.  The free-standing wall behind my space holds Princess Bliss who came along to keep me company and display more postcards for sale.

And here is the opposite side of that free-standing wall. This also captures a portion of the balcony where we hung my Christmas quilt. It is so fun to see the work together in this large, important space!

Across from my work space Carolie Hensley, owner of Cotton Patch in Lafayette, sets up a pop-up quilt shop. Carolie has been doing this for over 12 years now. What a job! But what a necessary luxury it is for the attendees to have those supplies just steps away from the class room.

I wasn’t kidding — it really is a pop-up quilt shop!

The first evening during the conference involves a gathering in Merrill Hall to introduce all of the instructors and the resident artist. A bit of anxiety here, of course.  I spoke about the events that took me from being one who makes bed quilts to becoming a fiber artist, complete with Power Point images. The first minute or so of speaking the tension was high, then I settled down and began to enjoy it. Whew! It seemed to go well — no one walked out of the hall while I was talking.

Here’s the stage, taken from the balcony.

Following the introductions there was a buzz at my work space with lots of questions about the fabric postcards, my book, how I work. Lots of fun! Janine bought a postcard for herself and her friend who wasn’t able to attend this session.

And Thera took away a couple of things for herself.

What a day this was! Time for a glass of wine with friends. Never idle, Christy finished the first of a pair of socks for her 10-month-old grandson, Oliver.

Life is more than good.

A Clean Slate

This is the time when so many make resolutions, only to set themselves up for disappointment. My friend Suzanne Kistler makes two lists at the beginning of a new year: the first list is of the quilts she completed in the previous year; the second is a list of goals for the new year. I think this is an incredibly healthy approach to the clean slate we’re all given on January 1st.

I’ve come to understand that my one-sentence journaling, and even this blog, are my attempts at living my primary goal: Staying in the moment.

“This — this was what made life: a moment of quiet, the water falling in the fountain, the girl’s voice. . . a moment of captured beauty. He who is truly wise will never permit such moments to escape.”  Louis L’Amour

Here are a couple of my recent moments. The Buddha Hand, almost ready to pick.

Some French ribbons turned into a fabric postcard.

What are your goals for 2012?

“Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.”  — Corita Kent

To success!

Postmark’d Art Has a New Face

Postmark’d Art, the on-line community of artists creating and trading fabric postcards through the mail, has a new face! The new site, which now includes a blog, went public  Sunday, October 16th. Karen Musgrave of Illinois and Lynn Chinnis of Virginia, both charter members, are working with me to fine tune the information and ease of navigation on the site.  I’ve moderated this group since its inception in July 2004 (when we became a group and first appeared in cyberspace) and I can tell you that the group is as lively and fun as when we first formed. As fiber artists who are sharing our art and skills with each other, we continue to learn and grow. And we’re all very jazzed about the potential for sharing this infectious form of art making with everyone who clicks on by.

Part of the appeal of making fabric postcards is the opportunity to experiment with new techniques and/or materials in a small format, and to know that these “experiments” will go to an appreciative audience.  A second plus is seeing the techniques and materials used on the postcards we receive.  Many of our members have graciously shared their techniques and those articles can be found on the FEATURED TECHNIQUE page.

I signed up for a trade called “alphabet” this round: Six members, six letters (A-F), each person creates a postcard using their letter as inspiration.  Place your cursor over each image to see the title and name of the artist:

Will the new face for Postmark’d Art launch a thousand ships? I don’t know. But I’m going to continue focusing on the #1 rule we’ve held dear from day one:  Have FUN!

Inspiration Leads to Precious Metals

Remember those postcards I created using the themes of gold, silver and copper? Making those little gems inspired my putting the three together into a larger format. Thinking about all that glitz naturally led to beads. It sounded like such a good idea and then I started beading — that’s 39″ of beading on a 12″ square. This could fall into the “What was she thinking?” category, though, now that it’s done, I’m very happy with it. Here is Precious Metals, hot off the needle.

I literally just finished stitching the label and sleeve on, photographed it and took it to the gallery to hang in Borrowed From Nature, my solo exhibit at Creative Framing & Gallery. It finishes the wall nicely.

Fabric Postcard

Anyone who knows me understands that I am possessed with the ginkgo leaf. After years of using the image on postcards and quilts, I even planted a ginkgo tree last year. My own tree! My own leaves! And it’s autumn! But I digress….

Having just completed the second of two large quilts that will hang in my solo show Borrowed From Nature October 1 – 31 at Creative Framing & Gallery, I made an immediate switch to the tiny format of fabric postcards. I have been thinking copper, silver and gold lately and I find the fabric postcard to be thoroughly satisfying.

Here is the periodic table symbol for silver. I’ve used cotton fabric as background for the leaf and the symbol, pale grey fabric with silver threads woven (a subtle glitz) and silver metallic thread for thread painting the leaf.

I have a small quilt in progress…yes, more ginkgos. I can’t help myself and, frankly, I don’t want to. I’m not done with this inspiration.

Fabric Postcards

I’m yearning to work in a small format. I have a stack of 5″ x 7″ and 16″ x 16″ fabrics sitting on my cutting board and I’ll be turning those into postcards and 12-inch-square quilts over the next 7 – 10 days. While I’ve been pondering these stacks and the possibilities, my mind has wandered back to a project I did in 2009 for a trade with  Postmark’d Art, the fabric postcard trading group that I moderate.  It was one of the first projects that I completed using my then-new felting machine.

Using the felting machine to complete one 4″ x 6″ fabric postcard would be most difficult. For this project I thought of a larger image that I could then cut into many postcards. I called it my “Van Gogh Project” and it was very fun to use fabric in an impressionistic way.

I layered small fabric chunks on top of white felt then placed a layer of tulle over the whole surface, pinned it here and there and took it to the felting machine. In the center-most section of the piece I tucked in a tulle that had flecks of white sparkle — voila, some real sizzle for the center of the sun.

Hover your cursor over the image for more details. (And if you see the fern quilt as a header at the top, or no header at all, click on the title of this posting for a header which will reveal a closer view of the center portion.) The project is complete here — already cut into 4″ x 6″ pieces, edges stitched and sealed with gold paint, yielding 21 fabric postcards. Each postcard was numbered —  1/21, 2/21, etc. I traded many and sold many of them (I mount them on 8-ply museum-quality rag mat) and I have just one left, the very center. It’s actually the one I like the most so I’ve been happy to have it hang out with me in my studio. It will be mounted and ready to sell during my solo show, “Borrowed From Nature,” in October.

If it sells I’ll be a bit sad. Then I’ll just have to get busy with the felting machine.

Art in the Mail

The theme I joined for this rounds’ exchange of fabric postcards with Postmark’d Art is Alphabet. It will take several rounds of trading to get through the whole alphabet. This round involves the first 6 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F. There are 6 fiber artists in a group and each person chooses one letter as inspiration for making 6 postcards. I chose the letter C. I just put “C is for Copper” in the mail today. I hope everyone receiving them enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Since my husband is a chemist the periodic table connection was fun. I think there may be some gold and silver in my future.

Fabric Postcard Auction a Success!

Seven members of Postmark’d Art  donated 20 fabric postcards for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative auction which took place on line in early July and brought in $916.00.  To view all the postcards click here

The AAQI is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer’s. The AAQI has raised more thatn $570,000 since January 2006.  Ami Simms, founder of the AAQI, works tirelessly for this cause, and I was proud to support the effort.

Here is another version of the fabric postcard I donated for the auction.  The fabric is hand painted; all thread work is free motion. Contact me  if you’d like to purchase it.  I sell my postcards mounted on 8-ply archival cotton rag mat, signed and ready to frame.

Fabric Postcards

Lest you think that I am a one-note samba endlessly printing fern fronds for art quilts, let me share another of my obsessions with you: fabric postcards. These little treasures have been around since the 1970s at least, but my first introduction to them was in 2004 when I read an article in the summer issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. It is not an exaggeration to say that my life was changed from that moment. The potential from creating fabric postcards was clear immediately: they are ideal for experimenting with new techniques and products on the quilting market, the format requires a minimum of time and material investment and they are truly fun to send and receive.  I joined with an on-line group of artists to form Postmark’d Art  in July 2004 and we’ve been creating and trading fabric postcards ever since. C&T Publishing Inc., released my book fast, fun & easy Fabric Postcards, Keepsakes You Can Make and Mail and I have enjoyed teaching.

Need a card to celebrate a special occasion or just say “you’re special?” Why not create a unique piece of art that will be treasured for years to come?

Here is a project to whet your appetite for 4″ x 6″ art:

Quaking Aspen Bark

We’re all thinking “green” these days. With a few supplies in your studio and a bit of laundry lint, you can create “bark” that resembles one of nature’s wonders, the Quaking aspen tree.  This project will yield 6 fabric postcards.

13″ x 13″ white felt and 3″ x 13″ white felt
12″ x 12″ white fabric for address side
12″ x 12″ fast2fuse double-sided fusible stiff interfacing
Dryer lint from 1-2 loads of wash, especially dark loads of clothes
Black wool roving
Pewter Lumiere paint by Jacquard
Small paint brush
Embellishing machine, such as Janome FM-725
Sewing machine
White thread
Rotary cutter, ruler and self-healing matt
Fine-tip permanent marker (I prefer Micron pigma 01)

Optional: Image of quaking aspen trees. For the image I used click here.

Creating Quaking Aspen Bark

Step 1. Place chunks of the dryer lint on the felt background fabric and punch.

Note: Some areas may be too sparse. Place another layer of the lint and punch it in.

A good first layer of lint is punched.

Step 2. Snip small pieces of black roving and place randomly. Punch.

Roving placed randomly.

Step 3. Cut wavy strips no wider than ¼″ from the 3″ x 13″ piece of white felt. Place one strip at the edge of the background felt and punch to secure.

Felt strip punched at the edge of background felt.

Twist the strip and punch 1″ – 2″ at a time.  Continue adding strips of twisted felt until you are happy with the look.

Note: If the strip breaks, place the end of the broken strip at the end of the line already punched and continue punching.


Completed piece.

Step 4. Trim completed bark to a 12″ x 12″ square. Fuse to the 12″ x 12″ fast2fuse.

Step 5. Fuse the 12″ x 12″ white fabric to the opposite side of the fast2fuse.

Step 6. Cut the 12″ x 12″ finished bark into 6 sections, each measuring 4″ x 6″.

Step 7. Use white thread to stitch about 1/8″ from the edge around each postcard.

Step 8. Using a small brush, paint the pewter Lumiere paint to seal the edge of each postcard.

Step 9. Complete the message and address using a fine-tip permanent marker. I prefer Micron pigma 01.  Use a self-adhesive postage stamp to mail.

Need more of a jump start? Check out the Postmark’d Art site and my book.

Warning: making fabric postcards is like nibbling a finger treat; once you start, it’s hard to stop!