Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Plethora of Postcards

During this past year most of my supplies have been in storage, and my working space has been limited, so I have done a bunch of fabric postcards to keep the creative juices flowing.  Most of these have been sent to friends for birthdays, etc, so they are no longer in my possession, but I will share the pictures of them now.  The one below is made from my rusted fabrics (a favorite theme this past year), some painted cheesecloth and hand stitching.  BTW, hand stitching on rusted fabric is challenging to say the least!
The postcard above was also done with rusted fabric, with reverse applique black fabric on top.  Again, the hand stitching! 

The postcard below was done with a weaving technique I have used on several quilts.  I love the curved lines, and of course, I used rusted fabric and black fabric. 

The next fabric postcard was inspired by a book I purchased, "Radiant Landscapes".  I used turquoise fabric in the background, with rusted fabric for the diagonal accent, and a palm tree in the foreground.
The postcard below was done using all commercial fabrics.  I added metallic gold paint for accent and hand stitching, including french knots.  Instead of satin stitching on the edge, I did a straight stitch about 1/4 inch from the edge and then pinked the outside edge to finish it. 

The next card was made with some marbled fabric in the background I made using shaving cream and metallic paint.  I then added a stenciled leaf and hand stitching, as well as some eyelash yarn for accent. 
And here's another card using my rusted fabrics.  This one has sheer fabric that was rusted on top of the black fabric, and a cotton rusted fabric under the black fabric on the opposite side, with a gold cord couched down the center.  The sheer fabric had a dot print on the original piece of fabric. 
The next one was made with all commercial fabrics, rough cut and free motion stitched.  I again used the pinking shears for the edge. 

I often try new techniques on postcards to see if I like the results.  This next card was an attempt to use a printed fabric as a 1/4 inch seamed accent on black fabric.  I found the size of the postcard difficult to vary the design enough to make it dramatic.  However, I think it is a technique I may try on a larger scale sometime. 
I have just completed another 8-9 more cards, 6 of which will go in the mail next month for birthdays.  I will post those cards after they have been sent. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Prayer Flags!

I was inspired by a recent article in Quilting Arts Magazine about prayer flags.  There was even a flag made by Martha Wolfe, who has made several fantastic flags.  So I set about creating my prayers.  The first one was for HOME:

We recently moved to a new home, closer to family, so my prayer is for family, security, protection, comfort, warmth and acceptance. 

The next prayer is for LOVE:

I added some sequins on this one, and they really sparkle in the sunlight.  The flags are a finished 5" x 8", and I used a single piece of fabric, without backing or batting so they would easily flutter in the wind.

Next comes PATIENCE!

This is something I can really use and as they say, I need it NOW!  All my supplies, except for a small handful of fabrics and paint, are being stored in boxes until my studio can be built.  It's frustrating to try to create, when everything you need is in a box, somewhere in the back of a cargo container!  The flag says from seed to sprout to fruit.  Nature has no trouble with patience, does she?

The next flag is DREAM:

What are your dreams about?  Is it for success, love, acceptance, better health, or do you dream of a far away place?  Whatever your pet dream, may it come true!  I included some hand stitching in several of the flags, always a meditative exercise for me. 

Flag number five is for HOPE:

This one holds special meaning for me, as I have several friends and relatives who are dealing with cancer.  I have real hope that they all go into complete remission, and never have to deal with this horrible disease ever again!  And that goes to all who might be dealing with ill health; hope is there for all.

After HOPE comes JOY!

JOY! JOY! JOY!  The joy of a beautiful day, of a walk in the woods, of a piece of special music, whatever or wherever you find your joy, may it be in your life daily!  I find joy everywhere, in creativity, in LIFE!  Find your joy, and hold it dear.

Next comes WISDOM:

Ah, WISDOM!  It comes from knowledge, common sense and experience.  And there is so little of it in the world!  As the prayer of serenity goes, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." 

After WISDOM, comes RESPECT:

RESPECT!  There is precious little respect nowadays.  Respect for oneself, for others, for property.  Respect for life itself.  Where did it go, and how did we lose it?  More importantly, how do we reclaim it?  Let's bring more respect into our lives.

The next flag is for HEALTH:

Good health is a rare commodity, and something everyone could use!  May good health fly to you on the wings of the dragonfly, to stay with you for all your days.


Learn to be kind to yourself, no one is perfect, forgive yourself and others.  Kindness goes hand in hand with respect, learn to foster both. 

 Prayer flags usually hang in sets of 10, and right after I finished my 10 flags, another one had to be completed as I found out a friend had a negative result from a breast biopsy.  That flag shouts GRATITUDE!

I am grateful for so many things, not only my friends' positive result, but also for my many supportive artist friends.  We all have so very much to be grateful for, and for all of us I exclaim, THANK YOU! 

I had a blast creating these prayer flags.  They are so quick to do, and I didn't need any of my stored supplies to do them!  I hope to make more flags, maybe using some sheer fabrics for the next group.  Here are the flags all together as they are hung between two of our large oak trees.  I love the way they add color to the landscape, and they carry these prayers in the wind, which is plentiful here in Oklahoma! 

Why not try your hand at making a prayer flag?  You needn't make a set number.  Every prayer is heard, and we could all use more prayers in our world, don't you think? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Postcards

I have moved to my new home but am unable to unpack all of my fiber supplies for lack of space, so they are still in boxes in the back of a cargo container.  I won't be able to unpack until my studio is built, probably some time next year.  So in the meantime, I have very few supplies and I am keeping busy making postcards, which I send to friends and family for birthdays.  Here are a few of the new ones:

The above postcard has some dyed cheesecloth to simulate water and several commercial cottons as background mountains. 

This postcard was inspired by a technique from Gloria Loughman's book, Radiant Landscapes.  I used a copy-write free image of a palm tree in the front, and my rusted fabrics as the background. 
I'll post some others, as I send them out; I don't want to share them here until I've sent them to the birthday people. 

SAQA Online Auction

I belong to SAQA, which is the Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc.  Each year members donate art quilts to be auctioned off to benefit the association's many endeavors.  I have entered quilts for the past two years and this year's auction pieces are wonderful. 

The auction begins on September 9th at 2 PM EST, and runs through September 29th at 2PM EST.  Check out the selection of art at  There are several pages of quilted art, each 12" x 12".  There is a page explaining the bidding process,  and if you click on a specific piece, it will take you to a page that gives some additional information by the artist.  Here is the piece I have in the auction this year:

The piece is titled Prairie Dawn and can be found on page 2a.  I hope you will visit the site and take part in the auction, the works are innovative and beautiful and a great addition to your art collection! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Leonardo daVinci Exhibit

We went to a wonderful exhibit at the new Elliott Museum in Stuart, FL last weekend.  It is a hands-on exhibit showing Leonardo daVinci's  "Machines in Motion".  The exhibit is interactive so you can experience the creativity and designs of Leonardo.  A team of scientists and artisans in Florence, Italy constructed the machines, which included a working robot, flying machines and all kinds of mechanical devices.  The machines were made of wood, and all of them moved and operated in fine fashion.  All the models were made from Leonardo's journal drawings.  Here is one of the flying machines.
Above is a machine gun type of contraption, which could shoot 9 shells at one time without reloading.  And below is the first "tank", which looked like a weird-looking Yurt, but which had wheels and cannons to shoot. 
There were seats inside for four men to operate the wheels and guns.  Not quite sure how they could see out of the tank to aim, but it certainly was innovative! There were all kinds of levers and pulleys and many of the machines were usable for peace-time applications, but Leonardo lived in northern Italy when he invented many of these machines and they were concerned with border incursions, so war was high on the list for new inventions.  The entire exhibit was fun and educational, a great activity for youngsters of all ages!

The exhibit is up through August 23rd, so if you get to Stuart, FL, check it out, it is well worth the time!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

SAQA Auction Piece

SAQA, which stands for Studio Art Quilt Associates, is a truly wonderful organization, dedicated to preserving and advancing the art quilt. (www,  Each year around September they hold an online auction consisting of fiber art made by its international members.  Last year was the first time I donated a piece to the auction, and was so pleased it sold.  I am donating a piece again this year.  Each piece has to be 12 inches square. 

I used commercial fabrics and some of my rusted fabric (shock!) as well as a piece from a napkin (the small square in the larger rectangle).
I tore most of the strips for a more organic look, fused them onto the batting and then heavily grid stitched them down.  I then used gel medium on the piece, let it dry and then added some gold acrylic paint.  I couched some gold cord around the small square as well.  I call the piece Prairie Dawn, as it evokes, in me at least, the colors of the prairie in the midwest.   Here is a close-up:
The piece didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned it, but I am fairly pleased with the finished product. 

Rusted fabric

I have been having fun working with my rusted fabrics, mainly because those are the fabrics I brought with me in my temporary quarters, waiting for our new house to be finished!  Everything else is in storage.  On this one, I used some turquoise with the black and I really like the contrast.  I placed some bronze mesh on the top and hand stitched it all together.  The black dots are french knots, not beads.

This postcard was inspired by a friend, Jill, who does a lot of fabric weaving.  I used only rusted fabric and black cut in half-inch strips.  I find it effective, and will be doing some more weaving in the future.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm Back with some Postcards

Wow, I can't believe I have been gone so long!  We sold our house and have moved to a townhouse temporarily while the new place is being built.  My studio is in storage in Tulsa and I don't know when I'll have the new studio up and running.  Bummer.  I have a few things in the townhouse to work with, like my sewing machine and a few fabrics, but almost all supplies are packed away, making it very difficult to do much work.  About all I have been able to work on are some small postcards.  Here are a few of them:

This one was done with some rusted fabric I did; the rused fabric is textured.  Hand stitching and some French knots finish the piece. 
This postcard is again made with rusted fabric, hand stitching, some beads and pieces of fabric with text.
As you can see, I've got some rusted fabrics with me, as well as black!  The top rusted fabric has been sprayed with black webbing spray (Krylon), and the black fabric sprayed with gold webbing spray.  The square in the corner is a piece of a napkin and the whole piece has been painted with gel medium so I could stitch on the paper without it tearing. 
This one is a whimsical piece I did with scraps of fabrics I had with me, and I added some machine quilting.  The grass spikes are hand stitching with embroidery floss.