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I love my life! It’s an amazing adventure and I ‘m at my happiest exploring something new every day. I live to create and bring that creative spirit to all areas of my life. We all deserve to enjoy our creativity and the fun of making things. I love to help other women expand in their personal creative expression through teaching classes and by producing pattern designs and projects which are intentionally simple to create and easy to personalize.

After graduating from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) with a degree in Costume Design I spent a few years with Center Theater Group creating elaborate costumes for major Los Angeles theater productions. I followed that with 10 years with the Los Angeles Opera most of those years as the Assistant Costume Director which really fed my travel passion. My job required me to travel everywhere seeing exquisite productions in some of the most awesome theaters in the world.

Burnt out on late nights and long theater hours I trained as a massage therapist, tapping into skills for moving energy and healing. I left the Opera and began to let my new found passion for quilting take over my life, home and studio. Since moving on to quilting I divide my time between working on designing and teaching wonderful projects like bed quilts, table toppers and purses and doing  one of a kind Art quilts. I no longer make costumes (unless it’s Halloween or a theme retreat…) although some of my most recent art quilt pieces incorporate a  little costuming…

My art quilts are where I play. I try to approach each piece with a “what if …”  attitude and enjoy the process. Like a kid with a new box of crayons I’m becoming more successful with each new work in letting go of attachment  to outcome and just seeing what happens.

I hope you enjoy these photos.

 

"Winter Squash"

“Winter Squash”

“Winter Squash” 23 1/2″ x 20″

This Quilt began as a class project, or as my husband likes to say “just a study” I had  a tiny photo from a seed catalog and a week at Asilomar. Susan Carlson’s layering technique worked very well for the subject and I was totally jazzed by the outcome. The shadowing and depth that can be achieved using layers of tulle is something I adore and it worked so well with this quilt. Fortunately for me I had a guild show and nothing else close to completion or Winter Squash may have stayed yet another unfinished “practice” piece. Winter squash also employs another favorite design choice of mine. Breaking the wall… I like to have an element of the quilt that goes beyond the edge. Here it is the edge of the central pumpkin.

 

 

"Too Soon To Tell"

“Too Soon To Tell”

“Too Soon to Tell” 45″ x 37″

Too Soon To Tell was the result of a Guild Challenge. The theme was fantasy, we were required to use at least 1/2 of the fat quarter of fabric which became the inside of the “crystal ball” in the piece both the Teller and the Seeker are one and the same. I am playing with the idea that we create our own future that the answers to all of life’s questions lie within. We only need the courage to seek the answers.

I was treated to a cruise to the Netherlands and was able to tour the hometown of Vincent van Gogh the year I created this piece and his work “the potato eaters” was an influence as I tried to create a similar effect of a really strong light source which illuminates the figures.

The thing that nearly tripped me up on this quilt is that I used a wool batting for the first time, having been told that it doesn’t crease as much when folded for shipping. What I didn’t realize is that the wool was soooo lofty!! It was like quilting a down overcoat! I had never intended to do a ton of quilting on this piece so the hours raced away as I tried to beat the thing into submission. I tore my hair out trying to get it to finally lay flat, live and learn…. luckily I have plenty of hair to spare!

You will see the broken wall and layers of tulle again adding depth and dimension. Also, this quilt utilizes a number of non traditional quilting fabrics. I pulled silks, sari fabrics, taffeta and trim pieces from my collection of costume fabric scraps.

 

 

A Couple of Old Broads Abroad

 

“A Couple of Old Broads, Abroad…” 36 1/2″ x 36 1/2″

Another challenge piece… do you see a theme here. I love challenges because they give me a focus and a deadline. This challenge was a fortune cookie challenge in that we needed to interpret our “fortune” from the cookie into the quilt. The fortune read “a grand adventure awaits those who are willing to turn the corner”.  In my interpretation the “corner” I turned was my return to perfect health following breast cancer and the ‘grand adventure” is my new retail adventure with my great friend Cindy Myers, “A couple of old Broads” so I placed the two of us in japan a truly grand place for an adventure.

I used painted tyvek for the koi fish and the maple leaves, iridescent paint gives them a nice glow. I used “Dazzle” by Wonderfil to make the tassels. The metallic rayon has lovely flecks of shine which I thought looked nice and helped balance the other “glittery bits” which include swarovski crystal eyes on the fish and purple metallic thread to mimic the purple gleam Cindy sports in her hair.

I experimented with background fills on this piece. Following the water movements on one corner and repeating the leave shapes in the other blending the two with a traditional asian clamshell pattern. The design and detail of the quilting on this quilt make it the first one I’ve ever made that looks really cool from the back…. also it IS square…I’m a better quilter than photographer. 🙂

 

close encounter full view 206

 

“Close Encounters” 39′ x 51″

This may have been my first challenge entry. I know it was my 1st fully original art quilt. I laughingly called it 101 classes because it felt like I incorporated something from everything I had seen or learned in the previous year. I’d learned to use tsukineko inks for painting on cloth from a class with Lura Swartz Smith, the buttons as bubbles i saw used in a quilt that appeared in Quilting Arts magazine, Painting tyvek is something I’d picked up from a guild class. I used painted fusible webbing, layers of tulle, and thread painting.  The divers butt breaks the top edge as does his flippers.

The challenge fabric that year was the clown fish fabric which I used for the swim trunks. The quilt depicts a summer vacation in Hawaii where my son went snorkeling for the first time.

 

Fall's Fruit photo cropped

“Falls Fruit” 10 1/2″ x 11″

This is a small piece I made for the SAQA auction in 2011. Yes, I DO like pumpkins… you got a problem with that?! lol

Pretty sure this was applique with painted and stitched details.

jan thru april 09 209

“Harvest Scarecrow” 19′ x 21″

I make a lot of fall projects. Maybe it’s because here in Southern California we don’t actually have fall, things just get drab and brown. It’s the one time of year I have weather envy. We get little or none of the vibrant colored leaves of the east coast so I fake it indoors with lots of … yes you guessed it QUILTED PUMPKINS !!!

This quilt is raw edge applique with painted details and thread painted cornstalks.