Thursday, May 28, 2009


There's Happy Dancing here in my CT studio today! Yesterday I received an acceptance to

"Quiltscapes at the Whistler"

Whistler House Museum of Art
243 Worthen Street
Lowell, MA 01852

August 5-29
Reception: Sat., August 8, 2-4pm

The photo posted here is a detail of a work done several years ago. The image was given by Charlotte Agnotti in a workshop even more years ago....but he/she/it pretty much says it all! Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm really doggone happy....just entering The Whistler was a New Year's Resolution!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Our Photo Challenge is UP!

Sisters in Cloth has been working (for longer than I'd like to think about) on a cohesive grouping of our work that we could package for a traveling exhibition. We decided on a "photograph challenge", inspired in part from an art quilt project that we'd seen photos of from a group that includes Sara Ann Smith (The Frayed Edges).

We have three groups of five photographs that are interpreted by fourteen members. (Actually, twelve current members and two relocated former members who were enticed to participate.)

The first image posted is a shot of part of one of the groups, which includes three interpretations of this photograph. The second is a close-up of a blooming cactus and the third is a seascape with a boy sitting on a rock.

The artists represented here are (L-R) Yvette Howard, me and Gail Kotowski.

Imagine 15 photographs and 75 interpretations!

Half of them are in landscape format (11" x 14") and the other half in portrait format (81/2" x 11").

Our first (of 3-4, we hope) venue is the Guilford Art Center's small gallery, 411 Church St. Guilford, CT. Interestingly, the brightly painted walls worked for us...we did have our doubts! Our opening reception is this Friday, May 29, 5-7pm. We are all very excited and hope to see many of our friends and family that night.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The two faces of green

My art quilt group, Sisters in Cloth, was invited by a former member and her new group in Raleigh, NC to a "challenge".

Challenges are a regular and valued part of quilt making, particularly art quilt making. (The distinction of the two types of quilt making is fodder for more than one future post.)

Her challenge was "GREEN"...whatever that means to you. Due date: June 21, the first day of summer.

Pictured above is my first go at the challenge. I call it "Primordial Green". It is lushly colored and very textural with several different fibers (felted wool, silk roving, rayon yarns and threads, sashiko thread, hand dyed and commercial cotton and a metallic pipe cleaner) Remember that you can click on the image to enlarge it.

The second piece reflects another take on green: "Old and Worn?/Recycled and Repurposed!" began life with me when I discovered the background, a tone-on-tone linen damask remnant. I have painted, inked, crayoned , dyed, thread-painted and beaded the whole, backed it with yet another thrift store find and, finally, bordered it all with vintage rick-rack.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our cultural exchange from Bogota

This wonderful creature (actually a family of six and each with about a 14" wingspan) was made by our guest we are hosting from Bogota, Colombia. Her name is Haydee and, I'm sure, we were paired because of her interest in creating things with thread. She is a great crocheter!

We belong to The Friendship Force (, an organization begun by Jimmy Carter in the 1970's. It's a cultural, people-to-people international exchange group. Our group hosts a similar sized group from another country annually and we travel to another group annually. The motto is "Faces not places".

So far, my husband and I have hosted individuals twice from Australia, twice from Russia, twice from Germany and once from New Caledonia. Each has been a wonderful experience! As my husband is still fully employed, we have only managed one visit abroad with the group and that was to Australia.

We are so looking forward to our "outgoing exchange" this October...we are going to Ghana! On this trip we will stay three weeks in country, one with each of three participating families.

During a typical week-long exchange the host shows his guest this local community. It's a bit like hosting your favorite aunt or uncle or cousin who hasn't visited in a long time. You visit the markets, the local museums, the parks, the beach, a local soccer game...and in Haydee's case, we will also visit a bead shop and a yarn shop. But the best times are the meals together! We always have a couple of potlucks with friends, neighbors and some of their fellow travelers. I can't say enough about it....check out the website and see if there isn't a club in your area.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 12, 2008: The day the classroom walls came tumbling down

As the anniversary of the horrific earthquake in Sichuan Province, China nears, the media carry stories about the unbelievable grief and anguish survivors bear as they try to face a future without their loved ones.  

Two of my grandchildren come from China.  I'm working at being the best Chinese grandmother that I can...and my heart breaks for the parents and grandparents of those thousands of children who were in their schools with their teachers on the day that their classroom walls came tumbling down around them.