Monday, September 19, 2016

By the Light of the Silvery Moon

By the Light of the Silvery Moon, 18 x 30, 2015

What might you find in a moonlit Louisiana swamp?  Alligators and Luna Moths, among other nocturnal creatures.  Spanish moss, swaying in the nighttime breeze, as it hangs from Bald Cypress trees.  Lots of stars in the night sky.  Crickets chirping and cicadas trilling, along with a chorus of frogs.  Orb Weaver  and Banana spiders spinning their magical webs.  And the annoying whine of mosquitoes, no doubt, as they are sometimes nicknamed the Louisiana State Bird. Swirling air currents inspired by the sky in Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Much of my fiber art references nature, particularly the natural environs of my adopted home state.  While not a native to the area, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the plants and animals, some of them endangered or threatened species, in the swamps, forests and bayous.  I selected By the Light of the Silvery Moon to interpret for the whimsical possibilities. 

The song, originally published in 1909, was written by Gus Edwards & Edward Madden.   A cartoon version with ink illustrations by Myron Waldman was produced in 1931 as part of Fleischer Studios Screen Songs theatrical cartoons.  They ran on television 30 years later, and I remember “follow[ing] the bouncing ball” to read the lyrics along the bottom of the screen.   Popular for years, the tune was used in/by numerous performers, recordings & films.  My challenge in making this quilt was depicting nature in a low-light situation, rather than my usual bold and bright colors.  


You can see all 175 quilts in the Fly Me to the Moon exhibit at the locations listed on Coordinator Susanne Jones's Website


Moonlight Serenade

Moonlight Serenade, 18 x 30, 2015

2015 was a year of challenges and changes.  My father was hospitalized in April, and unfortunately did not recover.  One of the many things he loved was music, especially classical, jazz, Broadway musicals, and Big Band hits, such as Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade.  I chose the topic for this quilt just after my dad died, as a tribute to him and his love of music, which was passed on to his children and grandchildren.

 Moonlight Serenade captures a universal moment in parenthood, holding a small baby and singing softly until sleep comes at last.  Sewing the shadows onto the soles of the feet after quilting the floor reminded me of Peter Pan, one of Dad’s favorite stage shows (and how I got my name). 

We lost Boris, our 15-year-old black cat, to old age in late September. He became part of the quilt as well, his third appearance in my fiber art.  I chose to work with a limited matte color palette, mostly grays, to keep things serious and quiet.  The angled perspective was challenging, but made for a more interesting composition.

You can see all 175 quilts in the Fly Me to the Moon exhibit at the locations listed on Coordinator Susanne Jones's Website


Saturday, September 17, 2016

TEXTiles, parts 4 and 5

Red-dy to sew!

finished earlier this week

Number five.  Six is also completed.  I overdyed some of the fabric for seven and eight, and it is ready to cut.  Also found what I need to finish each section.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

TEXTiles part 3

Green with envy?

I switched to a newer interfacing, since there was not enough left of the stuff I was using, which was pretty old--at least 2 packaging changes ago.  This one is a bit crisper, making for neater folding on the edges, and the glue adheres a good bit better.  A bit harder to iron flat.  Red should be ready to sew in the morning.  The background change is intentional.

Monday, September 5, 2016

TEXTiles part 2

Am I Blue?  Nope! 2 down, 6 to go!  I do have to dye fabric for the last 2, though.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


I'm working on a challenge involving text on textiles.  I wanted to do something a bit pixelated, so I found a font called Minecraftia on daFont and printed my letters out to size.  My original plan was to paper piece each word, which proved to be near-impossible.  Next idea was to use a fusible product with a printed grid, but it was not to be found in this small town.  So I taped a sheet of grid paper to my drawing board and used lightweight fusible interfacing.  the trick is to keep everything lined up with the grid.  Interfacing tears if you tape it. You can see the grid in the photo below.  I am using 1 inch squares, 36 across, 14 down.

grid paper, layered with interfacing and one inch fabric squares

Next, each row was folded along the edge lines and sewn together with a 1/8" seam.  I found it easier to stay lined up if I pinned about every 2".

Laid out, ironed to interfacing, not yet stitched

Vertical seams stitched, and everything pressed.  Note how the squares have become rectangles.

Vertical and horizontal seams stitched & pressed relatively flat.

 I apparently needed either a hotter iron or to iron on the reverse side, or both, as some of the squares did not stay adhered before sewing.  I then pinned and sewed all the horizontal seams, again lining up & pinning each row.  One word done, 7 to go.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

29th September Competition at Alexandria Museum of Art

L'Homme Vert du Cyprie're was juried into the 29th September Competition at Alexandria Museum of Art.  The exhibit opens September 2, 2016, and runs through November 19.  Juror Francis Pavy selected 50 works from approximately 300 submissions.  The piece is composed of layered sheer fabrics and cast fiber, and is approximately 36 x 72.  It is shown here on exhibit at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge.

Free admission to the Museum on September 10, which is also Art Market day from 10-2.
My work was also included in the 25th, 26th & 28th competitions.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fly Me to the Moon!

Three of my quilts will be traveling as part of the Fly Me to the Moon collection, celebrating the 50th (yes, really) anniversary of the moon landing in 2019.  Here is the current exhibit schedule:

November 3-6, 2016: Houston International Quilt Festival (54 quilts will be shown), including my "Moonlight Sonata"
Houston IQF sponsor
January 19-22, 2017: Road to California in Ontario, CA (all FMTTM quilts will be shown)
April 6-8, 2017: Chicago International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, Illinois (54 quilts will be shown), including my "Moonlight Sonata"
May 4-6, 2017: 14th Annual HMQS Home Machine Quilting and Sewing in Salt Lake City, Utah (all FMTTM quilts will be shown)
June 2-4, 2017: Quilters Unlimited Quilt Show in Chantilly, VA (all FMTTM quilts will be shown)
June 15-17, 2017: Sew Original Quilt and Creative Expos in Reno, NV (all FMTTM quilts will be shown)
August 17-20, 2017: World Quilt New England in Manchester, NH (quilts TBD)
September 14-17, 2017: Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, Oaks, PA (quilts TBD)
January, 2018 Dates to be announced: Oklahoma City Winter Quilt Show (all FMTTM quilts will be shown)
May 11 – 22, 2018    Bad Lauterberg im Harz, Germany (90 quilts will be exhibited)

Here are my quilts:

 By the Light of the Silvery Moon
  By the Light of the Silvery Moon, detail

By the Light of the Silvery Moon, detail
Moonlight Serenade
Moonlight Serenade, detail

Moonlight Serenade, detail
Moonlight Sonata
Moonlight Sonata, detail

Moonlight Sonata, detail

More information can be found at project coordinator Susanne M Jones's website