Category Archives: Purple Trees

March 14, 2013 Day Light Savings Time


As I set here at the computer I feel like I am running behind.  The clock has been set forward for Day Light Savings Time, but my body is not making the adjustment.  I wake up, and can not believe that it is so late.   And that in turn makes me feel like I am behind all day long.   I am sure that the fact that my husband is on spring break and we are not setting the alarm also adds  to my slow adjustment.  Mother Nature is not helping either.  I am rearing to go when  it is sunny and nice-  It got up to60 degrees one day, but days like today when the snow is flying again make me want to stay in the winter cocoon -I call bed.  I the fact that I forgot  my camera,  and left projects behind twice this week also add to my feeling of out of balance.   Hopefully I will adjust soon and get into “normal” rhythm with the universe and myself.

Progress Report: Speculations on Value  I have spent most of my efforts this week working on this piece.  It is nearly complete and the two long light blue strips are facings that need to be flipped to the back and stitched down.  The fabrics in this quilt have been piled up together for a long time and it felt good to finally assemble them.   I tried a new quilting pattern on this work too.   Sue Ellen introduced the QuEGs group to a pattern  she called Mac Tavishim quilting  at the February meeting.  In looking over my notes I saw the drawing and thought this would be a good time to try it.    The stitching pattern means one starts and curves out to a comfortable point and then returns in a somewhat reflective pattern to the starting point, to then one  swings out again to the opposite end again.   This process is repeated as many times as you feel comfortable or until the space is full, then you start a second.   As this example shows I need to keep practicing, but I do like the process and think I can really use it in the future.

Far  Horizons   This very simple at this point.  I cut the original curved horizontal piece into three sections, shuffled and flipped one unit, then re- assembled the group.  Now I will begin to add lines and stitches as well as small objects on to the surface as embellishment.   It will be a textural play surface for ” add-ons ” and more hand  stitch explorations.

Purple Trees:  This work continues to move along very slowly.  I like how the trees are shaping up.  The new problem is how to bring the three units plus their grounds together into a final grouping.  I am inching forward as I do not know  what I am doing when it comes to how to assemble this work.

  South West Voices:  This work got buried in the fall in one of my cleaning frenzies.  It just surfaced again this week and I am now quilting away on it.  The quilting here is zig-zag and  some what reflective of the patterns in the multi colored fabric.

Stump Men:  I just keep working on the felting of this project.  This shot is of one of the roots.  I think I am nearing the completion of this project and now need to do lots of looking and thinking about what touches it needs to be complete.

I am looking forward to true spring and not needing gloves and boots when I go for my walks.   Those types of walks are always inspiring to me.

Keep Creating


March 7, 2013 Meetings

Hello Friends,

This week has been a very busy one for me.  I  have had an event of some sort every day this last week.   That started out with QuEG’s play day were we all worked with Gelli plates.. ( From Gelli Arts)The smiles should indicate how much we all enjoyed the process.     We worked and printed only on paper  because we did not know what we were doing.  The paint was flying onto the surfaces as we all explored the mixing and mark making fun of working this way.   Linda explored with Saren Wrap and got some wonderful results that I want to try.I really liked working with the styrofoam plates and printing on top of collaged papers.   I can see the potential for use on fabric  as well.  We all went home with stacks of paper with a wide variety of images on them.  There is lots more exploitation necessary I think.   Then I went off to Ethel’s and we did more discharge work and wax painting with her new jaunting tool.( at the bottom of the photo)   On Friday I went off to the Turquoise Street Studio again and did even  more stamping.     My goal is to print with all the stamps I have created.  I worked all day and I still have a bag full.  I am sorting and tossing out some that are weak as I go along.   I will need to spend another day at that at least- but I think I will not work on that when I go the next time.   I want to do more Gelli play first.

Progress Report : Tropical Day Dreaming 

Tropical Day Dreaming
19″ X 27.5″


I had a lot of fun laying out and assembling this bright quilt.    This project uses the gessoed fabric like  Gearing Up, except this time I made it all.  The gesso is painted on turquoise felt with  two different  stencil patterns.  I used the textured gesso on plain white fabric- again with a stencil and then painted the fabric with turquoise and blue paint.  The textured gesso can be seen in the close up.  I free motion quilted a tile pattern all over this quilt.    I do not recommend the texture gesso however as the machine does not like stitching through it.  I even tried a leather needle, but the thread kept breaking .

Another Choice  

I challenged myself to use paper applique on this top.    I had done some wax resist on paper and then dyed  it. ( the white lines in loops were the wax and the blue is the dye.)  I found I could not use the paper as I intended   because it would not stick to any thing with the wax finish so it was shuffled around for at least four years.

Another Choice
24″ X 37″

When I was looking for paper to use with the Gelli printing  it came to the top again.  So I decided to use it.  First I cut the wax covered  paper into triangles.  Then I zig-zagged them down to blue felt.  I played with several  layout  locations, never really finding anything I was happy with.   Finally  on Sat I saw the cut away triangles from my last paper quilt and  added them to the mix.  I was satisfied.   The size if the quilt holds the many parts and I am very pleased with the results.

Purple Trees This project continues to move forward ever so slowly.    I would enjoy a row of days without any commitments- then I think it would come thought.  But I do not see that in the near future so I will just have to limp along on this project.

 Experiment: Far Horizons. This is an experiment as the heading suggests.  I am still working with the wiggle cutting and trying to get it to lie flat.   Now that I am at this point I want to make several vertical cuts and then rearrange the parts.   I am not at all sure how this will work, but  I saw a quilt that I think was created this way and I wanted to play with the idea.

  Scrap  Happy .   I am still working away on the scrap happy quilt.  This first shot show two rows that are ready to be sewn.  The second show shows the same area open up.I only have three more ten block rows to add and the top will be assembled.  After that point it usually takes me about four more hours to complete the quilt.

New Top  This top is my newest beginning.  No name yet but I am working on it.  The commercial fabric with the strong strip pattern is the unifying part of this one.  I silk screened the pale blue pattern on the white fabric with dye.  I like the pattern but was disappointed by how pale  the color turned out to be.  I will screen some more fabric in a darker color in the future.

 Color Challenge   These fabrics will be the start of a new piece this week.  I was reading an old article on color and one of the things the author was pushing was using analogous colors and then adding the compliment for punch.  I realized that I had never  consciously tried this color combination.   I may still add some neutral to this mix, but for the most part this will be the color combo I think.

I  am happily playing in the studio as much as I can  and  I hope the same for you.

Keep Creating



Feb 28, 2013 Time is flying


I can not believe that this is the end of February already.  It seems like we just celebrated New Years a day or two ago.  I am busy as everyone else seems to be.   This week  has been one with lots of  travel in it.     I went off to the Turquoise Street studio on Friday last week and spent my time playing with decolorant.  It was especially cool as the stuff I used not only took the color out of the fabric, but added a new color in its place.  This first shot is Barbara applying the decolorant to a foam block.   I enjoyed the exploration of the process and did it again with Ethel on Wed.   One of the nice benefits is I am using lots of foam stamps that I had created but never touched before.  There is also the fringe benefit of when someone else uses the stamps they sometimes put things together in a fashion that I had not considered.  Its a great learning experience for me too.   Beth and Pat were there too all working at pastels.  We all seem to benefit from working in parallel.  It was a fun day.

Growing Up
26″ X 33″

Progress Report   Growing Up
  I really enjoyed working on this project.  There was  lots of shifting of the horizontal lines as I went along and I think that I will try to change that in the furture by doing more basting.    It was so much fun doing the pod shapes of the plants that I really did not notice the shifting until I looked at the work again at the end.  So that too is something I need to work on- more looking!

Gearing Up  

Gearing Up
24.5″ X 28″

  When ever someone gives me an interesting object or thing I usually hold it for a while and then most times it becomes a part of a work of my art.  This quilt is an exception.  Barbara used the gear stencil on felt on one of the first play days.  She then painted the gesso red.    She did use some of the stuff that she painted, but this red felt did not get used and she passed it on to me- that become the jumping off point for this quilt.  These little adventures often lead me in directions that I might not have gone under my own direction.  After Barbara’s gift   I made some gear gesso fabric on canvas so I added it to this quilt as well.   







Blue Fuse    This project is nearly completed.  This is another  project that I would not have started except for the influence of a friend.  Ethel and I painted fusible web in January and I started this project because of that event.  My friends sure help me explore- and I am grateful.    I decided to add different sized boarders on it to help with the balance of the piece.  I added a solid back and the quilting that is only on that boarder area is all the work that will go all the way through the piece.   I enjoyed the  process even though I do not think this is what most folks do with painted fusible web.

Tropical Day Dreaming
This quilt has some gesso stencil work on it too.  The white on the turquoise is gesso and  the multi colored areas are as well.  It has been so very cold and snowy that I have wanted to be in a warm place- so playing with these colors helps.   I have started quilting this in a pebble type of pattern with nylon threads.



Purple Trees        I am still struggling with this project.  I do feel like I am getting better at the control of the work however.    The learning curve on this one is real slow for me.  I am glad I have the time to work through this problem.



Blue, Blue, Blue

This top went together rather quickly in two days.  I wanted to feature the square that is pinned to the top and I have an idea of how to do just that.  It is dyed paper with a wax resits on top.  That makes it very stiff and I can not add to the surface with additional drawing and it will not stick to other  papers.     Sewing is the only answer.   Now I need to find the time to work at  it.

Stump Men felt project.   I am still working away on this project.  The faces are becoming more distinct with the continued felting I think.   I may need a bit of feed from my peers as I am reaching the point where I can not really see what to do next.   

Hand Bag   Anne gave me two hand woven belts from Pure at the last DIVA meeting.  I decided to use one as a handle for a bag and this project is the result.   I seem to always need a new bag and this will do the trick for a while.


I hope that spring will soon be greeting us with flowers and showers.

Keep Creating


Feb. 21, 2013 Longer Days


I really fell we are moving out of the depths of winter as the days grow longer.  I was awakened this morning and the golden pink light of dawn was spreading across the quilt.  I


wear glasses and so when I looked at the window to see the sky I not only saw the beautiful color, but also the fuzzy dark  lines of the maple branches against that sky.   It is oh so wonderful to wake up in light again.  I watched the color of the sky change from that golden pink to pure gold and then lighten to a lemon hue to pale blue before I moved from the soft warmth of the bed clothes.  The sky has changed over the course of the day and now is a velvet gray with snow falling again.  I still feel pleasantly pleased when I think of the color of the dawn of today and know there will be more coming.

Pat,with Barbara in the background

This week I went to the Turquoise Street Studio on Friday and played with my pals.  The others all worked in pastels, but they include me any way.  I really like the atmosphere and I do get work done.   I am still playing with gesso on fabric, felt and cardboard this time.   I was  thinking that I could add the felt or cardboard on top of the Gear shift quilt in a fashion similar to what Barbara was doing with her paintings- but that did not work.    I will use them on cards or something else.   I never feel anything is a loss when one is exploring and playing with ideas.     I also put in a little time creating some small works for the Six By Six project.  That is a show where you make small works that are all six inches square and sell for $20.00 each.     I did a little fusing for this project- something that I have not been doing much of lately.  It is a great way to explore and use little bits of fabric as well as  little bits of time.

Progress Report: Gear Shift
I am in the middle of quilting this piece now.  I left the circles that I am using as templates pinned to the surface to show how I do them.   For smaller circles and little shapes I cut the shape into a old photo- that way I can see exactly where the stitches are going.  For the bigger shapes I cut the circle and pin it so I can see the area around the out side of the shape.  I use this same method for any irregular shape I am quilting.

Growing Up
I was feeling the gray snowy effects of winter the day I started this work.  I am quilting it using the growth lines as my starting points and filling the surface with the nobs of new growth at the end of the lines.  I am sure I will finish this quilt this week.

Blue Fuse
This is a detail of more of the hand work I am doing on this top.  I am trying new stitches and keeping the color limited on this one.

Purple Trees 

I am still struggling with this work.   This shot is what I greeted me on the pin wall this morning.  The last work or yesterday.  I really only like the tree on the far right and feel that I may abandon the other two and start for that point.     I think it is important to show my failures as well as my successes because they happen to everyone.

The Tide Is In
This is a top that  I came out of my frustration with the tree  work. I often play when things are not going well.   I also wanted to use some of the felt gessoed fabric and the some that I had painted on Friday at the studio.  

Scrap Happy  Project

This is the sot of the blocks for the Scrap Happy Quilt I am working on for the TV Auction our local Public station does every spring.   The big colored areas show the center of the roman strip of the block.  There will be two different row patterns using an alternating lay out.   So there is not top of bottom to this quilt I will turn the second row in the opposite direction when I put them together.  I do enjoy making these quilts.

Keep Creating



PS –  sorry- I though I pushed the publish button on Thur and only when I checked today did I catch my mistake.   I will try to stay on top of things.


Feb 14, 2013 Valentines’s Day

Hello Friends,

Happy Valentines Day to you.   I  hope the day brings you joy.   In elementary school the day was always full of tension.   I always love the decorating the shoe box with red and white.  I liked punching out the cards and- my favorite part of inserting the heart shaped suckers, but I  did not enjoy  the actual party at school because it always seemed to bring disappointment of a sorts-  Anti climatic I guess.   Now days I indulge myself and make cards to send to my girl friends and I am getting to do the part I always liked the most any way.    I made about 30 of these hand drawn and painted hearts in various colors from orange to turquoise.   This is  the only one I did not mail.   I enjoyed the process the part that is most important to me anyway.

This week has been full and enjoyable.   I went off last Friday to play in the Turquoise Street Studio again.  Beth played with pastels and paint in this work.  She also flattered me a bit by using the graffiti stencil of her name at the bottom.    Barb played with paint and is working away on her project  the recycle show in two mouths.  I continues to work with paint on fabric.  This shot shows my Pomegranate  stencil work.  I still do not have a clue as to how or what this will become- but I like to have lots of raw material about so when an idea strike I am ready.   I think this play day has become a weekly event for a while as I am already set to go again tomorrow.    It is good to work with folks around you even if we are not all working on the same thing. Barbara and I went to Rome along with another artist friend on Monday with work for the figures show.   She did really well in that show last year and I did too.  It is important to have your work out in the world  I think.

Stamping Out
27″ X 28″

Progress Report-  Stamping Out
This quilt is complete now.  I had fun with the quilting as I tried to keep the stitch pattern in irregular square like shapes like the actual area around the stamps.  The cream silk is a bit  wavy and I think the next time I use silk I will back it to avoid this problem.


Blue Fuse          I am glad to have this little bit of hand work to play with  as I just got a new book-” Free-Form Embroidery ”    by Judith Baker Montano.   Her work is directed toward landscape.  I just love how she uses the stitches and I am playing with learning them on this piece.  The chance bits of colored fuse makes the process less intimidating too. I know a few but even the simple blanket stitch can be treated with irregularity according to Ms Montano and  I am loving it.


  Evening   Trees   This is the DMC Challenge project so far.   This is only a working title as calling it DMC sounds silly even to me.  I am still struggling with the slender inserts.  I like the process and feel I will get the hang of it the more I do it.  I am not happy with this composition so you can be sure that will change before it is done.

   Summer Festival     This is my newest play quilt.  It all started with the big print  fabric.  I have carried it around for about a year.    I needed a shot of sun shine during those snowy gray dark  days last week.    This fabric did the job- I find it so light and cheerful.    I still have quite a large chunk of the print so I think there will be a couple of more quilts that start with the fabric too.

Keep Creating





Feb 7, 2013 Winter Work

Hello Readers,

It is full winter here in up state New York.  Lots of snow all around and cold to keep one inside and working in the studio.  We are set to get a big snow storm tomorrow so I look forward to even more  Occupassion- Linda Twichell’s new word for the work and play approach that I feel when I am in the studio. (One cans see she put occupation and passion together to get this new word)

I went to my creative quilting meetings on Tuesday this week.  I enjoyed talking and seeing what my peers have been doing too.  Alice has been working with some fantastic Zebra fabric that a friend had passed to her.  I enjoy her playful style.  Cheri had some wonderful canvas work that she has been doing too.  I am only sorry that I shot this image from the side and not strait on.  This quilt was created after her trip to Ireland and is of a  area where Fairies gather.    I enjoy this group as much for there support as for their diversity.  One gal is making a fabric book for her grand daughter.  She does an excellent job printing on fabric I think.  Then my camera battery died so I do not have any more photos of the many other exciting projects shown.   I should know to carry the spare battery  with me, I guess that this is the lesson.



Progress  Report:  Rusty Words 

Rusty Words
22.5 “X 44”

This piece was to be one of my two allowed entries for the Text Message contest- but it is too slender.    I though I had allowed enough for trimming- but I guess not.  I stamped letters on interfacing ( the white)in three colors so the words are really lost.  I like the final effect even though it will not fit the show.



Madam Peli
21″ X 30″

Madam Peli     is the volcano fire goddess of the Hawaiian Islands.   I really had fun doing this quilt even though I did not get it finished in time for the goddess show.  I am still playing with the wavy edges on my work.   That plus the color really made me think of magna flowing up from the earths core- therefore I just pushed the idea to get my goddess feel by adding the organza arms and  hands.   I used a bit of the painted wonder under on this work as well to show how it looks and to give a feeling of the transparency of fire sometimes. The organza hands and arms sort of give the feel of spirits or steam in the volcano itself.   I used copper metallic thread here  to promote the fire feel.

Soy Wax Project          Last week I had not washed the water solvable thread out of this fabric.  Now that step is done and the soy wax was washed out with hot water and them ironed.  I really like how this looks.  Although I am eager to use it I will wait to start until I have shown it to my friend Ethel before I cut it up.   Mean while I have done a few sketches in the sketch book of   ideas for the sewing step for  a second or third project using this technique.

  DMC Challenge- Purple Tree         After finishing up Twilight Trees last week I was ready to begin the DMC challenge.  I started with the three fabrics I had selected because if it turns out too disastrous I could always pitch it and start again.  I have a full yard of my own colors  and only  a half of the other two gals stuff.      Shifting to this more complex tree has proven to be more difficult than I expected.  Getting the slender strips is not the problem- it is getting the cuts to fit together in the way I think they should that is proving to be the problem.  I feel I am really growing from this project.   I m glad I have not put off starting and that I have a long time before the final is due.


Tsunami Wash Up
18″ X 24″

Tsunami Wash Up      This  project got framed yesterday.  I wanted  to finish this because I was having a little show for one my friends who had had given me many little plastic items that  I used in this project.   The red is from one of the plastic bags that our news paper comes in.  The big yellow  pieces are cut from a plastic bottle.

New  Project – Stamped Out    I started this project because I trying to add paper into my tops for additional texture.  I captured stamps between two sheets of nylon net.  Then I added additional stamps on top of the captured ones and put all of them on a blue fabric.     I put it all together in my usual manner and I am ready to assemble the units.  They may get shuffled before I do the final.  It has proven to be a fun bit of assembly for me.


  Wonder Under- second application.  I am still still fascinated by the wonder under that I painted last week.  So when I realized that I had finished with the Tsunami Wash Up work and that was the only hand work I had going- I though I would  use this.  I will just embellish with stitches on the fabric that had the Wonder Under ironed to it.  In looking at the fabric I think I will add beads to the surface as well.


 Auction Piece   SAQA has a 12″ square block auction every year to raise funds for on going projects.  When I read about the call for entries I decided to start my work  for this year.    I spent some time looking through my stash and found some small printed fabrics  and decided to use them as my starting off place.  By the end of the afternoon I had a piece I was happy with and so I put the little top together.  I know it is not due until April- but I always liek to have things done ahead of time.

I am really into Occupassion at the moment.  I hope winter is doing that for you as well.

Keep Creating