February 12, 2016

I have been consumed with childhood memories as of late. There is no rhyme nor reason too it, just reaching back for some cherished moments.

As a kid, I remember spending long lazy summer days close to the edge of boredom. Then it was out with the blankets, I would build a fort. Clothes pins, blankets, lawn chairs and voila, a fort hideaway.

The most important part of this fort was one blanket inparticular. A quilt, made by my grandmother, hand quilted. I wonder now what I was thinking, using that special treasure. We used it all up. Seriously, there was nothing left of that quilt, it was very well loved to the end!

So when I was gifted some thirties prints, I was taken back to that quilt from my youth, from those hot summer days. Drinking orange crush and reading Archie comic books to pass the time, all under that well loved quilt.

This is my version.


I’m pretty happy with this. The blocks are traditional, the fabrics reminicient of my grandmother’s quilt, with a modern border.

I’m calling it “Memories of Mae” (that’s my grandma!). It even fits on the tree with clothes pins!

Organized under Memory, New Work. One comment.

Welcome 2016!

January 22, 2016

Well I must say I am not sad to say farewell to you, 2015. It felt like one of those tough years. I spent much of my creative time making pieces to enter juried shows.

This piece was created with beautiful embroidery purchased from Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in Jordan. You can learn more about their group here



As well, I created this piece from their stories about their life, which I found horrific!



Deadlines are gruelling! And rejection is disappointing.


So this year, I’m doing things a little different. I have returned to my roots! I began as a quilter. And for 2016 I have started out where I began.image

This pattern is from Lee at . It is called Morracan Lanterns. I loved it, because lanterns are such a part of the Middle East.  I felt it would be a great quilt to create given this will be my last full year in the Middle East. What surprised me the most was what I learned from this quilt. It is pieced together in a very different way from anything else I have ever made and it has me thinking I’m a different direction! I also learned that years ago I would not have ever attempted this quilt as I felt I was not a very percise quilter, but I feel like perhaps I am…see all those points?? Now for the quilting!!!

The most important thing I learned was that I enjoyed this and that was enough.

Yes, enough.

Enough is my word for the year. I have enough, I am enough and enjoying what I do is enough! I don’t always have to be working toward a big goal or deadline.

This does not mean I have abandoned my art, not at all. But I feel a shift. I find that getting out of that element for a moment while still being creative generates all kinds of ideas.  More to come!

And I’m ending this post with a photo I took at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice. It’s a great reminder about kindness…..personally 2015 was a little more cruel than kind for me…so farewell to you 2015!image


Organized under Refugees, Word of the year. 2 comments.

Part II – The Horror

August 14, 2015

The second part of this three part project I am currently working on is without a doubt the most difficult. It may well be the most difficult project I have ever done.

It starts here.


This is a Syrian table cloth. The embroidery is amazing. It was difficult to photograph, because it is black on black and it is stunning. These cloths were always abundantly available in the market place. Not so any more. They have been come increasingly difficult to find. And I needed this black cloth for my project. It took me a long time, I didn’t want to cut it, I didn’t want to part with it, but then I would think of the stories. The stories needed to be told, and I needed this cloth to tell them.


When preparing for this project, I had contacted  Collateral Repair Project   in search of some items to work with for my project. I was able to purchase what I needed for the project (more on that next time), but also included were biographies, horrifying stories of what these refugees had endured. It took me months to read them all, not because there were so many, but because of the stories themselves. The stories that needed to be told.


This was not a part of the original plan, or design. It became important to me. And as I worked with their words, to place their quotes on the quilt, it remained horrific, but it was their reality. I couldn’t turn away. Real experiences, this is their life.

I needed the quilt to look war torn. I burned it.


Then I filled parts of it with mixed media



But the words. The words are the most important part of this story.




I have cried, ached and been inspired by these stories. These amazing woman. Their status is refugee, but their persona is brave, courageous, and for me, they are inspiring. They carry on, they do what they have to do to protect and provide for their children. They are wives and mothers who have left everything behind to get their families to safety.  And everyday that I am honored to work with their stories, I am grateful to know of their unbelievable trials and their ability to overcome and I am humbled.


For more information about Collateral Repair Project, click here



Organized under Displacement, Inspiration, Refugees. One comment.

Thank You Mr. Disney

August 7, 2015

Yes Mr. Disney, how right you are!




I have been planning a project to submit for consideration to a juried show in Washington D.C. in the fall. The theme is diaspora – the dispersion of a people from an established ancestral homeland. I have been thinking and thinking about this project, for far too long. It was defiantly time to begin doing.


Of course the usual cast of characters showed up, fear, anxiety, self doubt. But, once I began doing, little by little, it got easier. As the weeks progress, I will share the process and the vision for this piece.


I have come to accept my original plans as only a starting point. The more time I spend creating, the more I find myself having bigger ideas and different plans. Which is why I whole heartedly believe in Mr. Disney. Begin doing, get started, things change, but you are on the right road if you have started.


This is where it began.


I was stitching on an embroidered table cloth. I have my way of quilting, tiny and intricate. In this case, it simply was not working for me.


Change of plan.


I changed fabrics and went with a much simpler pattern. This is working so much better for me.


The deeper I delve into this project, the less time I have for fear and self doubt. I am on a deadline. This story is an important one, even if at this point you only see lines on a tablecloth. Stay turned, more to come.




Organized under Beginning, Fear. 2 comments.


July 9, 2015

A few months back I submitted “vino divo” to be juried for entry to a show in Italy.

for blog

Acceptance comes in a few forms. When entering a juried show, of course the acceptance you want is from the jury! Their acceptance of your work into their show. The other side of the acceptance is accepting that your piece was not accepted.

I have been dealing with the latter kind of acceptance. And a friend of mine asked me how I managed to be ok with not being accepted.

I like my work. I am proud of my work. The fact that is was not accepted to a show doesn’t mean its no good. It means it was not a good fit.

For years, I have followed some of my favorite blogger/art quilters and they, like everybody else, win some and lose some. They are accepted to some shows and rejected by others. It has been helpful for me to know that everyone gets rejected sometime in the juried show arena!

On another note, I finally got my copy of 1000 Quilt Inspirations!


And on the topic of acceptance, I had THREE of my pieces accepted!!

The Hand of Fatima.8"x9"x1".

The Hand of Fatima.

Arabian Door II.6 1/2" x 9 1/2" x 3/4".

Arabian Door II.
6 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ x 3/4″.



Arabian Java.12"x12"x1".

Arabian Java.

Needless to say that acceptance was very exciting. It is fun to open a book and see your work there amongst other great artist! It was a little overwhelming!

I have been busy with more traditional quilting the last few months. It felt good to return to my quilting roots and do some traditiional piecing.

Next up, I’m going to try again to have my work accepted into another juried show. I am busy now with the plans for the three pieces that I will be creating! Truly getting started is the hardest part!


Organized under acceptance, Published, Show Entries. No comments.

I’m here and here and hope to be here!

March 10, 2015

Wow, its been a while!



Needless to say, I’ve been busy. I was on a fabulous vacation to the Antarctic. You can see more of my photos of this amazing place on my instagram  account

And right now, I am here being interviewed by my talented and creative illustrator friend Lone Aabrink. I was honored to be the first artist in her series.

Starting this weekend you can find me here


1000 Quilt Inspirations is due for release this Sunday! I’m very excited. It is available at Amazon.

And here is hoping that you will find me in Verona Italy.  I created “vino divino” to submit to Verona Tessile and hopefully be accepted for their show May 19-24. I will know this week! Fingers Crossed!


for blogIMG_7355


Organized under Interviews, Photography, Published, Show Entries, Travel. 5 comments.

The Yellow Brick Road

October 11, 2014

We all recognize the yellow brick road that took Dorothy and her pals to Oz. How often to we stop to reflect on our own journey?

I am preparing to teach a class next month. The class content is machine quilting. In preparation for this class, I have been reflecting on my own journey.


This is one of the very first pieces that I ever machine free motion quilted by myself.  The stitches are not the same length, my circle isn’t always round, I was only starting on my journey.  There have been many quilts in the seventeen years between this quilt and today.


lime reszie

Here is a close up of a small piece that I did. It was fun to see how far I had come.


And how I now fill the areas that I quilt!

It was really good for my soul to look back and see how years of  practice and experience had improved my work and I felt somehow accomplished!

And what about your own journey? It might be fun to dig out some of those first pieces and have a look how far you have moved down that yellow brick road in your own journey!

Organized under Beginning, Travel. 2 comments.

Great Ideas

October 3, 2014


Last week I was reading a blog about creating. I can’t find it now, or I would share it with you! The idea was that we get a great idea. We get excited about it and begin to act on it. Then, we stall, quit, stop, put the project on hold. Then we get a great idea. And so on and so on until life becomes one great big idea, but nothing is getting done.

I have experienced this phenomena!

Here is a once upon a time great idea!


This was a piece of fabric I had previously surface designed. The grid reminded me of trellis.


I had lots of fun adding sunflowers and color.

Then, it all stopped. I need to quilt this piece. The quilting completely changes the look of the piece. I am going to go back to working on this once great idea. I’m not really feeling like it is as great as I had originally envisioned, but I’m going to take it a little further.  Stay tuned for an update!

Do you have any great ideas hanging around?




Organized under Great Idea, Inspiration, New Work. 6 comments.

Celebratory Giveaway!

September 19, 2014

When I boarded a plane in 2001 headed for Saudi Arabia, I had no idea what the next number of years would bring my way.

And never did I dream that it would include the talented, VERY talented, Philippa Naylor.

If you don’t know who Philippa Naylor is, you can check out her website

In one of her classes, she taught us how to draft our own pattern with templates and curves. Here is my project from that class.



Philippa was so very kind and generous with her talent. She taught us her techniques methods and shared her invaluable advice.

But, oh the quilts!

One of my very favorite memories of my time spent in Saudi has to be Philippa’s award winning quilts. She would show us her quilts in progress. She shared how they came to be. And to have witnessed her incredible talent and then to share in the excitement as she won a number of times at the Paducah Quilt show was just so special.  Of all those beautiful quilts that Philippa has in her gallery, I am thrilled to say that I have seen four of them in real life. And they are exquisite!

I am excited that Philippa has just finished writing her second book Applique Mastery. Her books contain beautiful photos and detailed easy to follow directions.

To celebrate all things Philippa, I am giving away a copy of her latest book!



To enter, please leave a comment telling me which of Philippa’s quilts is your favorite from her gallery here

Contest closes Sunday, September 21 at Midnight, MST

I will use a random number generator to select the winner.

Good luck!

And the winner is Cheryl Fricker! Congratulations!



Organized under Celebrations, Giveaway, Philippa Naylor. 5 comments.


August 15, 2014

Today is my birthday.

As with every birthday, I take time to pause and to reflect.

Last year, I turned 50. It was an amazing birthday, my best ever! A surprise party in London with my family. All arranged in secret, it was so much fun.



But, 50 and I are not close. Every other decade has been fine with me. But 50, well, we can’t agree on what room temperature is and we just don’t sleep well together. I have struggled for a year now to find some comfort in being 50.

And I pondered gifts and presents over the years, and settled on my favorite gift ever! It was a letter my husband sent me about six years ago, on my birthday, listing all the amazing things that had happened in my life. Every single line brought back some incredible memory. It was like having your entire existence laid out on a table right before you! I was stunned at all the special moments, some big, some small, all so important.  Yes, this was my favorite gift, ever.

50 and I are coming to terms. What I think it is about for me is all the memories.  Taking time to cherish every single moment. Although I am far from home, when I spend special time with those that I love, those memories tide me over until we can do it all again!

Today when I blow out the candle on my cupcake I’ll make a wish!

Wishing you many, many, moments to enjoy and cherish!

Imagine THOSE possibilities!


Organized under Celebrations, Travel. 5 comments.