Monday, December 13, 2010

Now for Something Entirely Different . . .

I stitched lots of fabric bits onto a colorful cloth ground and then painted like a woman obsessed. Canvas textile? Canvas textile!

Sirocco DONE!

Though I have not yet put the backing and thin black border on the piece, it is done. There is now stitching throughout which unifies it visually and provides a slightly 3D effect especially visible in the small colorful circles. The Hot Wind Series now has five pieces which are all very colorful and have lively surfaces.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day Three of the Follow Along

The piece now has a name - Sirocco, one of the winds that blows north out of the Sahara into Southern Europe, so this is another art quilt in my Hot Winds Series (who knew?). I have done a lot more to make the elements cohere: printed more circles and other forms from the original shapes in different sizes, added a fine layer of Angelina, then colored in and emphasized the fabric circles. I used a variety of media including Aquarelle crayons, markers and of course a lot of paint. It is beginning to look more refined but still high energy and playful. Now I'm off to layer and stitch.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Additions to the Follow Along

As you can see, there is a bit more connection between the collaged elements now. This is because of the addition of webs of Angelina and then some screen printing to repeat the circular and starburst motifs. It is a little over-blended for my taste so the next step will be to find some focus in the piece.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Calendar Pix!

Here are several more of the featured works from the 2011 Calendar to whet your appetite. Just use the PayPal button in the right hand column or email me directly at to order. Make every month of the New Year an art experience!

New Follow Along

I started a new textile piece that I think will make an interesting one to watch develop. It has no title yet, but I have begun to layer fabric - many pieces of which I have already printed - onto a black ground cloth. My goal is to print, paint and then stitch until I get an appealing pattern. I seem to return to the black/gold combination about once/year; this seems to be that moment.

Monday, November 29, 2010


My nephew Alex Shirwo, an art student in Santa Cruz, California, was here for the Thanksgiving holiday, and we collaborated on this piece. It is textile and paint on board. Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


At least until a more creative name comes to mind this will be called Shroud. I wove the white piece then buried it in the garden for a few weeks. Once dug up I ripped it up, rusted it, then added heirloom lace from my family's 19th century stash which I also rusted. I put some interesting old bits of metal into it and embroidered it all onto a hessian ground fabric. I'm waiting for my tussah silk to arrive from Thai Silks which I'll stitch the piece to, then off to Kathy's (the best frame shop anywhere!) where Colleen will stretch it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More 2011 Calendar Images

Here are three more Calendar images. The first is the art quilt Green, Not Green; I figured the opposite of a "green" quilt is an orange one. Below that is a detail of Slag Heap II. It is a heavily collaged mixed media textile which has been dyed, printed and embellished with an array of detritus including rusty metal objects. Last is a bowl made from recycled plastic bags and bubble wrap. Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Harmattan 2

I wasn't planning to make this a follow along project but I am so taken with these colors that I just had to post these photos. I shibori dyed all these (and many more) fabrics in the intense red-oranges. I also dyed the green/blue ground fabric - it's bamboo. I'd done another, cotton, blue/green at the same time in the same dyes and preferred the way the bamboo takes the dye - it has a hand like a cross between really fine German rayon and pima cotton. These photos show the auditioning process during which I decide which to use and in what order. I am pleased with the sequence, after much fussing about, so labeled them in order. As you may notice, my design wall is OUTDOORS. Lucky me, I live in Southern California not far from the ocean, so there are very few days of the year when this is not the perfect place to have it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Four images from the 2011 Calendar

These are Fractal #1, Red Embroidery, Blue Art Cloth and Big Sur Rusty Bus. I will post a few more in the next week or two.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Harmattan is the name of a hot wind that originates in the Sahara. It is the fourth piece in my Hot Winds series. I dyed all the fabrics then cut and pieced them together and added some stitching in a few places to tie it all together. Because the colors are complementaries, they pulsate suggesting heat rising from the desert floor. This piece is about two feet long and I have already got the new fabrics dyed for a second one about two and a half times the size. I don't usually work over about 40 inches, but I thought this would be stunning LARGE so I'm going to give it a try.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rag Mama Rag

This is the piece of art cloth I did to meet the regional (Southern California/Hawaii) Surface Design Association Challenge which entailed making anything using one piano damper and one piano hammer. I took the photo after VERY carefully aligning the two items, tweaked like crazy in Photoshop to create three different patterns, and then sent it off to Spoonflower where the fabric was printed. I then dyed the gauzy one and pieced it all together.

Monday, October 25, 2010

BLOG Design

Well, you can see that I've been playing around with the design of the blog. I now have a piece of my art cloth as the border. Wish it could be loaded large enough not to have to tile, but Blogger limits the size of background images to pretty darned small. Oh well! Here's a photo of the whole piece (a couple of yards long).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Done at last! Here is the finished piece. I decided to go with the black border as it just seemed to make the piece pop. It is called Foehn - part of my Hot Winds series; Santa Anas and Mistral are already finished. The Foehn is a hot southerly wind that blows through the Alps.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New WORKSHOP Contemporary Embroidery

Double click to enlarge.

Step Six

Now that the top itself is finished (the batting is already there because I quilted it in place when I did all that hand stitching), it is time to think about the back and border. I prefer to make all that in one piece bringing the fabric from the back around to create a border on the front. I need to decide what fabric to use. I tried various possibilities from my stash and have included four of the best ones here. My favorite fabric store, The Cotton Shop in Redondo Beach, is going out of business after over 30 years - the mother of the current owner started it ages ago in Hermosa and Haley took it over when she passed away), so I will purchase more of the chosen fabric during their liquidation sale - a very minor tribute to the years of pleasure I have had shopping there. The photos show the ones I'm considering; blog viewers are free to comment about their choice, so let me know what you think. Keep in mind that in these photos the fabric is just folded over two edges of the piece so it is much sloppier than it will be when it is all stitched in place.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Today I'm posting something entirely different. These are bowls I've made from repurposed plastic bags and bubble wrap. I will be putting together a lesson on how to do them in the next few weeks but for now here are a few for you to enjoy. They are going off to a "new age" gift shop early next week in time for the holiday season. They measure between 5"-8".

I will get to Step Six on the quilt early next week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Step Five - opinion, please

I did some outline stitching yesterday and here are the results. Because the background is white I like the way the running stitch makes the forms "pop" so I think I'll keep going. But please leave comments with your opinion. Isn't it interesting how a piece of art evolves and begins to assert its own aesthetic without a lot of forethought by the (presumed) puppeteer/artist . . .