Category Archives: Butterfly Days

Entering Shows



This beautiful painting is by my friend Barbara.  It plus two other paintings of hers are hanging in the Manlius library as a part of the Associated Artist Of Central New York show that is open now until Oct 15.   I have two works in the show too.Image fro AA show blue  It is always exciting to see ones work on the  wall among other pieces.      In Aug I talked about rejection, so I felt I should talk a bit about entering shows too.    It is worth the effort to put ones work out in public.   There are all sorts of shows, some judged and some not.  If you are entering be sure to read all the rules and follow them.  I am in the process of hurrying  toward a dead line and when I re read the rules I find that my images are not the correct pixel size to be a part of this one.   I will see if I can resize them, but if  that does not work I will not waste the judges time by putting work before  them that that dose not qualify.    One needs to work toward being successful and I feel showing ones work is a part of that process.

ButterflyProgress Report:  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly      This work is 22” l X 15” w.   It is one of the quieter pieces I have done.  I did enjoy doing the thread painting on this the butterfly and I  now have a new IMG_6511.jpgrespect for all the shading work folks who do that  thread painting work as it takes a lot of effort and skill to do that work well.  It is very slow and difficult work.  This little butterfly took me four and a half hours and it is small and  far from perfect.  IMG_6512 Adding the commercial  ivy leaves was a lot simpler.     I do love the texture though.




IMG_6520.jpgHand work  This pieces has been at the bottom of the pile for a while.   I did work on the Queen Ann’s lace section this week and only have a few  more blossoms to finish that step.



Ethel’s Nine Patch IMG_6508  I finished assembling the rows of this piece this week and the pile in the photographic is of the fabrics I am going to use for the back of this piece.   Most of them are from Ethel’s collection too.

Felting- rust  IMG_6516  This piece is only about an hour old.   I draw out the areas I want in different colors with Taylor’s chalk.   Then felt  roving, silk paper  and yarn   are placed  over the wool  and felted into place.

IMG_6519.jpgFelting-gray    This piece is much further along  then the first one.  I am just about ready to start applying the fabric bits and doing some  tread drawing on the surface of this piece.




IMG_6506.jpgNew work   This project has been on the wall for several weeks.  I finally buckled down and created all the units for the bird cutaways  so I can get going on this piece.



IMG_6513.jpgLabel Block # 82  I am just a bit beyond the half way point in this project.     Down hill from here.

Keep Creating


Leaf Dance




As this photos shows the crows are populating the trees now.  A few trees still have leaves and watching them fall is still something I do was I walk.   The wind is the biggest factor in that process and over the course of a week I see all types of winds resulting in sorts of fall patterns.   Some leaves zip and race away from there  high homes to the ground. While others flutter, twirl and drift down.   The wind can effect the leaves on the ground too.  Some tumble across my path and others skitter, bounce and jump, while there fellows cart wheel or roll away to be caught in hedges or  cluster at the base of trees .  Some times they stack against walls  or sail across pools.      Until we get a rain the dance will fill my walks.

IMG_4660For three days this week I was a part of the Open Studio work at the Schweinfurt Art Center.


There were six of us in the wet studio.  Cris and Liz were at the tables near me.   Liz Patand  I learned a lot as  we had never mixed dyes for our  own use before.      The really fortunate thing was two very experienced dyers were also in the wet studio, so we had great IMG_4677brains to pick.    Pat  the woman who I had as class instructor was there doing her own thing.   And Maureen was also there dyeing.   She was making yardage. Barbara



My buddy, Barbara  was also in the wet studio   dye painting silk scarves.   She only got three done – but considering she had never IMG_4680done this before I am proud of her.   I am also in love with the rich colors she achieved.    This is my wall of work for the first day. IMG_4664.jpg    Barbara, Liz and I really got the bug and will all do more on our own.



IMG_4678.jpgFolks were working in the sewing studio up stairs in the Schweinfurth too.    Donna came down and showed us her newest paper piecing project.   Looks like new garland for her tree this year.    They were all working just as hard up stairs as we were in the basement.   It was great fun.    There was also a trunk show by my good friend Ruth at the Schweinfurth this week end.     I saw some of her work I had never seen before.  It was great.












Liz and I spent Thursday  making more dye colors to use.  We worked in her garage  and mixed up six more colors to play with.  IMG_4684 I have fabric setting in buckets of water in my shower washing out the dye now.     Good thing I vowed I would make a piece using some hand dyed fabric I had altered every In up workmonth, and  even that many not be enough to use all of this great stuff up.  Even Liz  looked at all the wonderful dye Ethel gave me and said “ you will  go a lift time and not need to purchase any more dye.”  This is some of the new fabric that I altered.





Progress Report:  Taffy Pull

Taffy Pull 44" X 29"
Taffy Pull
44″ X 29″

After the quilt meetings last week I did a little rework of this piece.  I IMG_4706also changed it’s orientation.   Maureen suggested I pull some of the colors out into other areas and I like what happened when I added the IMG_4707thread work to the surface.  I also intensified the blue lines.   It is a stronger piece for the additions.

Butterflies for EthelButterflies for Ethel   I am so very happy about this piece.  It is the third and last in this series  of Butterfly pieces.   I used only fabric IMG_4693from Ethel’s stash  that her children so generously gave to me.   The title is part of my tribute.    The butterflies are form the ground cloth as before.  I also added several machine drawn butterflies to represent Ethel’s being gone from my life but still strong in my memories.   No one can see memories- but they are still a strong part of me. IMG_4692

Breaking Up 16" X 30"
Breaking Up
16″ X 30″

Breaking Up     This quilt got started at QBL last summer.  I was working on the thin line thing.   IMG_4697I am feeling much more confident about controlling the width of those lines now.

IMG_4687.jpgCurvy Cut Project  I did not really get any work done on this project.  But I did  make the eight leaf stamps to use  on the surface.  Hopefully I will get to that step this week.




New  Work IMG_4685 This is the start of my newest rock piece.  I am going to try to work on and 18” X 24” scale for four pieces.   So far I would say it is proving to be more of a challenge then I expected.

IMG_4649.jpgLabel Block  # 26  One more done.

Keep Creating


Indian Summer


We are enjoying a wonderful bit of Indian Summer with mild temperatures and sunny days.   Fall is here and some of the trees are striped of leaves.   But many still are dressed in colors.  I noticed as   I was swishing through the leaves on the ground that trees tend to lose there leaves from the far ends of the branches first.  That makes sense, just I had not paid  attention to that detail before.   I have managed to play a little of my favorite fall game of catch the falling leaves while walking.  I also realized I get a lot of joy out of having an acorn or two in my pocket.

The week has been a full one.   IMG_4628I visited Nancy at her home to see her newest lay out for her next quilt.   She uses bold patterns and colors  in a way that I so admire.  I know it will go through many changes before she is done.    Watching her process is great.

IMG_4629.jpgLast Friday I went to the opening of Quilt=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth.  I was delighted by the fact that I knew so many of the quilters who were accepted into this show-  seven to be exact.  This shot shows Cheri with her work at the opening.     I love these wonderful silhouetted works she is doing now.

At the QuIGs meeting Liz was full of news IMG_4653_thumb.jpgabout her trip to The Barn a few weeks ago.  She had a notebook that she had covered with her own treatment of Cantha.  I like what she did.  Sue Ellen brought us some raw cotton and cotton pods from her trip south.IMG_4654  I really love the shapes of the pods.

The Diva’s meant on Tue too and folks  had lots great things to share.  I got a lot of help with my works in progress.  That is one of the best things about the group.

Progress Report:  Taffy Pull IMG_4658.jpg At one point last week I thought I was done with this work.  But when I took my second look the day after in the low light of early morning- I realized it was not very strong.   So I took to my meetings.    That is the best part of showing my stuff to new eyes.  I am now working on adding more color to this surface in the form of thread painting.  It is helping.

Butterflies for Ethel IMG_4656  I am to the quilting stage of this work too.  It also went to my meetings without being completed.   I had the butterflies attached with the IMG_4655sliver thread as I did the first two in this series but did  not have what I felt was a strong enough ideas for the quilting that it needed to be complete.  Again my fellow artists came through with lots of suggestions.    Now I need to get going on the machine process.

Breaking UpIMG_4640.jpg   I am to the quilting stage of this work that I started last summer at QBL.   I was challenging myself to add slender lines to the surface and I think I was successful with that part of the idea.

IMG_4641New Curvy  Cut Work  I picked up lots of leaves on my walks this week too.  So I decided I needed a place to print there images and this is what I built to do so.  I will paint the leaves and hand stamp them on this surface.

New Work/Challenge   I am off this week end to do some more fabric dyeing and IMG_4659so I looked through the stack of older dyed stuff.  I decided I would challenge myself to do at least a quilt a month using some of the hand dyed fabric.  In this photo my  hand dyed/printed fabric in the center.   I am not sure about the next step- but I am sure going to try.



Label Block     TV news goes on every night and so does my work on these blocks.    IMG_4649  Keep Creating


More ways to study ones composition


The fall colors are still fascinating  me.  I just can’t seem to look enough.  And every day the view changes.

I have a few  other ways of looking at a work to see if the balance is good and the composition on is as strong as it can be.    One is to squint.  I do this a lot with out even thinking about it.  But is is good to pay attention.  The second is to use a reducing glass or if you do not have one – to use binoculars in a backward fashion.  By making the work smaller the eye can see all of the composition at once.    You can also take a digital photo to reduce the size for viewing too.      I  do anything that helps the brain to make a good composition.  Because who wants to waste their time working on something that is not the best one can do?


IMG_4613.jpgProgress Report:   Earthly Fissures    I am pleased with this work.  I took it along with four other works to my photographer,  John Dowling yesterday.  Having the proper lighting and such really does make a difference.    I feel that I achieved my goal of IMG_4617_thumb.jpg creating a dark crack without using black. To do so I used  the  dark green to create the darkest area. This rock had lots of cracks in it.  I used a lot of yarn and thread to convey this feeling.IMG_4615


15    This work is my entry for theIMG_4609.jpg  Diva’s 15 anniversary show.  The rule we all have to follow is : fifteen  must be some were in the work and the quilt must be 15” X 15” .  I made a block using the roman numeral for fifteen- XV and then built the quilt.  The only block were you can read it is in the lower right hand corner. IMG_4611  My personal challenge was to assemble it all by hand and quilt it that way too.  I have not done either of those things  in a long  time.  I also wanted to get a little practice in doing hand quilting before I started quilting  Ethel’s quilt.  Now I am ready- if I can only decide now what pattern I want the quilting to follow.



IMG_4605.jpgScarp Happy  I finished another one of these fun quilts.  I did make it to the Ronald McDonald House this week were I left off the previous one.  I looked at the shoe box that holds the extra blocks and it is still too full so I will make another soon using old blocks.

Taffy Pull  This close upIMG_4604_thumb.jpg shows the machine work I am almost finished with on this project.    Again I let the fabric tell me what to stitch.




IMG_4607.jpgButterflies for Ethel     This will be the third in the Butterfly Series.   The title of this work comes from the fact that I have used only Ethel’s fabric for the background  of this project.    She had a good eye for color and pattern.    I am now ready to cut the Butterflies themselves out of the ground cloth.    After I add paint I will apply them to this surface.



Swoop    IMG_4603.jpgI lost my last curvier cut piece when I was at Pat Pauly’s work shop.   After trying to find it I have finally accepted  the fact that it is gone.  So I thought I better get going on a new piece.  And I think I was doing a bit of avoidance too as I did not feel confident about starting the quilting on Ethel quilt.

IMG_4619New Rock      This is another avoidance start.   Judy is pushing me to stretch /frame my rock pieces.    So I decided to find a little section in the photo I used for  Earthly Fissures( it is framed in white near the top).     I cut a piece of wool big enough to stretch around a 18” X  24” canvas that I have and I will begin to try to create the area in blue.


New Work    IMG_4606.jpgThis work is really not very new.  I started it at QBL last summer.But it had become buried. When I unearthed it this week I decided to move forward on the completion.  It is small and I think it will go quickly.


 IMG_4608Label Block #24    And a another one  down when it come to this project.

Keep Creating


Fall Feeling

Susan's GrapesHello,

This is the time of year when we are reminded of Natures Bounty.   This picture is of the grapes on Susan’s front walk.  I love the light filtering through.

From my point of view it seems like I have not set down to take stock in a long time.   I have been very active.  The Friday after the last post I went and visited my friend Susan and we  had a  day that was mostly organization.  That is a task that needs to be taken on more frequently than I do it.  Susan with her eye always on the dates of her migrations to and from Florida, has a thing to teach me in that area.IMG_4405Even her desk – pictured here- is far more structured than mine.

Next on the list for me was a Creative Play Day at Varna.  I spent the IMG_4519_thumb.jpgmorning making silk paper in preparation for my workshop and after lunch I played with the 3-D pen the grand kids had given me.  I have come to the conclusion that one could make nice light weight ear rings.  I wish I could wear them.   IMG_4422  My next event was the teaching of the Silk Paper Workshop.   Alice did some IMG_4423wonderful dye painting on here silk.   Cris worked away capturing different objects in her silk.   She put in paper, leaves and flower petals to some fine results.    I experimented with using leaves as “molds” for thin layers of silk.( see photo above)

Then on Thursday Cris and I did someIMG_4510 silk screen printing.  I have two wonderful new pieces of fabric to use as a IMG_4487result.    I drove home on that afternoon.  Mother Nature was just starting her fall display  and I had to stop more than once to take pictures.

The Friday after that adventure I went south to help again with the clean out of Ethel’s house. IMG_4504.jpg Elise has been so generous with her Mother’s quilting materials- that I feel surrounded by Ethel’s love.   I have also been charged with the completion of her last quilt.   I put all the pieces together this week and will now create a back form some of her fabrics.  The hand quilting will begin some time soon.

IMG_4500The last event was this week and it was a FAB meeting.   Judy had completed the top of a new wool quilt.  She plans to tie it.  Sally got some feed back from all of us about how she could finish up a project from a old QBL class and Nancy wanted help with a new top she is considering making.  We had fun.

Progress Report: Blossoms and Butterflies IMG_4513.jpg  This is the second in the butterfly series.  I sure enjoyed doing all the  free motion work that this one entailed.  The flowers IMG_4517are all drawn in with pebble quilting for their centers.     I think with this quilt I made the Butterflies too strong.  I will try for a better light dark balance on the next one.IMG_4515


IncisionsIMG_4512  I am almost done with the free motion work on this quilt.  I did the pebble quilting in the white areas and let the designs on the printed fabric tell me how to quilt the darker areas.

IMG_4506.jpgSilk Paper Still Life    At the creative play day I made some silk flowers.  They are pinned now and I am ready to begin hand work on them.   I do have about four other hand work projects going now so they will not get any attention for a while.

15 Challenge    I now have the 15” block assembled.  I plan to handIMG_4505_thumb.jpg quilt this project too.







Label Block 21IMG_4507   I did some thinking and realized I will need at least 80 blocks of this size to create a bed quilt.  I guess I will be at this process awhile.

Keep Creating


PS: One last shot from the trip.  I enjoy how the stream bottom and the sky is reflected in this clear brook. IMG_4475.jpg


Ethel Whittamore's work
Ethel Whittamore’s work


We all have losses in our lives.  Some are small like losing a thimble and other are bigger like a death.  I suffered a big one with the death of my quilting buddy Ethel.  I am so very fortunate that her daughter, Elise,  has included me in her end of life events and in  doing  so, the loss, although deep, is becoming one of bitter sweetness.    I have been tasked with the completion of Ethel’s last top to become a quilt for the Quilting by the Lake raffle for the Scholarship fund.   What a gracious honor.    I plan to finish the assemblage and then hand quilt it in the style Ehtel her self would have done.    IMG_4383Elise has included me in the dismantling of Ethel’s studio and in the distribution of her many quilting treasures too.  We spent a lovely day last  Friday sorting and  boxing up her fabrics.   My studio is bursting with the boxes and I feel very comfortedIMG_4385 by there presents.   I will not keep most of the material, but pass a lot onto her many other quilting friends with the hope that it makes IMG_4388them feel her spirit around them as I do.     I did most of my dyeing with Ethel’s guidance and now I have all of her materials to continueIMG_4403_thumb.jpg the process.  I am thankful.     Ethel was also the person who got me interested in silk paper making.  That is something that I continue to explore and I even teach the process.    This week I did two sheets in preparation for  a work shop on that topic that I will be teaching next week.   There will be no post because I will be at the Pink House Art Gallery in Saranac Lake presenting at that time.

Nancy's workThere was a FAB meeting here this week too.   With lots of thought and with great care I am posting a quilt by one of the group members Okay.  Nancy is quit proud of this quilt and I think she should be.    She has a design sense that I so admire.  I have been a big part of this quilt too as the IMG_4391 thin dark  blue line near the outside boarder is one she and I  over dyed  earlier this summer.    She now has to decide how she wants to quilt this colorful work.

Progress Report: BlossomsBlossom and Butterflies and Butterflies    This work is moving along nicely now.  It is the second in the butterfly series.  The background is completed now and I will now build the butterflies to add on top.


















  Incisions   This work now has a title and  I feel good about it.    I have started the free motion quilting on this piece and think it will be finished soon.    The red is the felt/batting so this part of the image will not be part of the final work.

  IMG_4399Scrap Happy      I finished the second twin Scrap Happy quilt on Tuesday and it went with the first to its new home.  I can’t seem to leave well enough alone – so I made the rows from the left overs from this project and several others.  The shoe box that I keep leftover squares in, is still overflowing so there will be at least two more quilts of this style in the near future.  

Creative Assistants    Creative AssistantsAll these guys got arms, hair and backs this week.  Now they only need there final paint embellishments  and they will be done.   I am ready to switch back to making more faces on the next batch.    That is what I do during TV   football games.

Fifteen Challenge    The Diva group is fifteen years old  and we are IMG_4397having a big show next summer.    The group  challenge is to create a 15” square quit  that has fifteen in the work in some way.  I have designed a square that  has a  roman numeral –XV  in it.   I made the block and because there is lots of bias in the shapes it got greatly distorted when I assembled it on the machine.   So I am re doing it and making the blocks by hand.     This is one fourth of the final piece.

IMG_4395Label Blocks  This is # 20 in the label block line up.  I can see this process still has weeks to go as there are still lots of labels in my box.  I am glad to take contributions from any source for this project too.

Keep Creating


Active Summer


Sharon workHello,

Summer seems to bring lots of movement for me.  I went to a studio sale on Friday last week.  What a bargain for me- fabric at $3.00 a yard- how could I go wrong?  I helped empty the tables.   Then stopped at Sharon’s studio before I went home.  These are two of her River Grasses series.  They are bot sold.   I am happy for her.     I also spent a day this week packing up four quilts to ship off to the opening show at the Pink House Gallery in Saranack Lake.     My friend Cris Winter kindly asked me to participate.   There will be a second opening in Aug and I will be sure to attend that one.

Then I Blue Notesmade a trip down to see my friend Ethel and pick up two of her quilts for the Quilting By the Lake show.  This quilt is titled ”Blue Notes”.      I always love the way Ethel builds such a complex surface with such a limited pallet.011  Fun too to have it in my studio for a few days for close and repeated study.   I will be helping hang the Quilting  By the Lake show tomorrow.

Something BigProgress Report:  Something Big     This work in nearly finished.   I used the felted jelly roll cuts from one of our play days at Blue Moon Studio  on this one.   I have put so much time into the hand work on this project that I did not finish a Label Block this week.


IrisesVan Goth’s Iris’s    This is the full finished panel that I purchased in Maine.     I know who will get this work in the fall.

015  This close up shows how my practice with the free motion work paid off.

Butterfly Days  This work has been pieced for a long time.  It has spent most of that time under other works.  Then one night last week just as I was falling asleep- I realized that I could add Butterfly Dayssomething on top to make the quilt work.  I had noticed several butterflies on my walk that day and so that is what I added.  They are cut from ground cloth( the  stuff one puts down under stones so weeds will not grow up from below).   I think now I will add some paint to the surface of the ground cloth before I stitch it down.

I am off to Quilting By the Lake for the next two weeks so there will not be any posts until  Aug 6th.

Enjoy the summer

Keep Crating