Thursday, December 29, 2005

Gallery opening for my brother in law

I am so proud! My bother in law Pablo Perez has a new exhibit of his paintings in Venice CA. Check out his work and this great article about him. I married into a wonderful family of artists eighteen years ago when I married my incredibly talented husband Juan.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Felted balls

Since I can't work on any quilt projects right now I have been knitting a lot and now making felted beaded christmas ornaments. They are lots of fun to make, they feel so nice and are fun to stitch into. I would really like to start stitching with some embroidery floss on some but i don't know which of 20 boxes my floss is in.
Doesn't this iron plate make a great backdrop. It is on the wall of the entry way to the kitchen. The word kitchen is written on it with an arrow pointing to the kitchen. I am sure it was a note written on the metal during construction of the loft.
These are the balls left to be stitched.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Making felted balls

Jen asked how to make the felted balls. First you order some gorgeous wool roving from somewhere like Outback Fibers. Roll up little balls of roving adding thin layers of diffferent colors you like to the outside. Be sure to spread the fibers out into very thin layers crossing each at 90 degrees. Sometimes I use small balls of left over wool yarn for the centers under the roving. Put the ball into a section of pantyhose tying a knot on each side of the ball. Make a bunch and toss them in the washing machine with a little detergent and set the machine to the smallest load setting with hot water, and wash. Carefully peel back the pantyhose from the felted ball, the fibers migrate through the pantyhose pilling onto the outside during washing. If you have a front loading washer you can also do this by hand, see instructions here. I have heard front loading washers don't felt well.

Then embellish with all those beads you have been collecting over the years. Use good strong beading thread like Silamide.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A perfect evening!

I am loving Chicago. Tonight the kids went downstairs in our building and got themselves subway sandwiches for dinner and my husband and I went out for a date. We walked a few blocks to a taqueria called de cero. When we left Los Angeles we thought we were leaving good Mexican food behind. But not so! We had fabulous tacos with fresh tomatillo salsa, my husband had a couple shots of different tequilas and I had a chelada (a corona on ice with a twist of lime and salted rim) I am not a big fan of beer, but this was great. We finished with a warm brownie topped with ice cream. Yum! Then we walked home with snow falling. A perfect evening!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Loft

Here are a few pics from before we moved in, of course it now looks like a maze of boxes and unbuilt shelving.
This is a view of the kitchen that used to be one of the ovens in the factory. it has curved brick walls on two sides with an arched ceiling The panels in the wall above are in the wall of the master bedroom. The panels rotate so you can look down into the room below.

There are three levels with lots of stairs.
We painted the ceiling and all the duct work dark grey and all the walls white.
I love the fact that we now have a library for all our books. We painted the walls in here french grey. We will be using this room as a family room and the area that one might normally devote to the dining room and living room we will use as one large work space.

Living in a traditional house has never worked very well for us, it always ends up a big mess with projects going on everywhere. So now we are going to devote the most space to art/work space since that is what we spend the most time doing. It will probably still be a mess, but hopefully it will be more contained to one general area.

Monday, November 28, 2005


We have finally moved into our loft in the old Nabisco factory in the westloop of Chicago. We have the top floor unit on the other side of the tower. I have been unpacking for the last 5 days and have not even touched anything for the studio. We have so much to do before we are settled, I don't think my sewing machine is going to see the light of day for a long time. At least i have a computer and internet access again! I felt kind of guiltly trying to check my email from the Apple store computers while we were in the apartment.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

IQF Houston

Primordial Sea won 2nd place in the Painted Surface category at the International Quilt Festival!

I love going to Houston each year and seeing all my old quilt pals from Austin, as well as all the other friends I have met over the years. And I love meeting new people that I may have an aquaintance with online but have never met in person. It's pretty fun seeing all the quilts too.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Smokey skies

My daughter took these photos tonight at sunset. The fire in Burbank has spread across the hills unfortunately in this direction creating a lot of smoke. All the ash in the sky refracts the light and created a spectacular sunset.

Monday, September 26, 2005


We close on our house in 16 days. I am procrastinating. I realize I really should start packing stuff I don't want movers to pack. So saturday night I pulled out a box and started to pack it with jars of dye. Next thing I knew I was pulling jars back out of the box, mixing dyes, hanging soda ash soaked fabric on a peice of twine strung between my shelving and a cupboard, and pouring dye over it. This was much more fun than packing. I have now dyed about 12 yards of fabric this way. I guess I really do need to get serious and start packing the studio.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Michele's quilt

This week we had Laura Wasilowski as our guild speaker. What fun she is, I never saw our guild laugh so much with a speaker, people had tears rolling down their faces. She is absolutely delightful. My friend Michele Pusateri and I took the workshop. I enjoy taking a workshop once in a while to see how other people do things, and to have a play day with other quilt pals. But I never do the sample, I don't want to make a quilt like somebody elses. So I just had fun playing with Lauras beautiful hand dyed fabrics and started making leaves. Michele kept telling me she had just the spot in her house where this piece would look great and that I was making it for her right? I came home and quilted it. It was so nice to work on something. I have had to keep my studio clean for the last few months for showings while the house was on sale, and I havn't worked on anything quilt like. Plus stress is not real good for creativity, I have been knitting instead. So I figured I would give this to Michele, she has been a good friend the last two years. And a fellow rabel rouser in the quilt guild, you see we had a hidden agenda to bring in all art quilt speakers while we were in charge of programs. I am so bummed that I won't get to see the speakers I booked now that we are moving.

Laura took this picture of Michele and I in front of one of my favorite mexican restaraunts La Cabañita. I wish I had thought to take my camera and get a picture of the three of us. I don't carry my camera with me enough.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I am going to miss my view

This is the view from our upper balcony in the canyon where we live in Los Angeles, California. In the two years that we have lived here we have seen deer, lots of hawks, owls, lots of lizards, two bobcats and we hear coyotes yapping and howling at night. There are mountain lions too, but luckily we have not seen them. I feel hesitant to even say that I have sold our house for fear it will fall though again. I am crossing my fingers and my toes that it will go through, we are supposed to close on October 12th, just two weeks before Quilt festival in Houston.

Monday, September 05, 2005

The good and the bad

The good news is I have an 8 page artist profile in Quilting Arts magazine this month. I am thrilled to be featured in such a fabulous magazine.

The bad news is the day before I left for Chicago our house sale fell through. The people who bought it brought their teenage sons (17 and 19) to see the house and they didn't like it. So the couple removed their offer. If the kids held so much sway with the purchase, they should have shown it to them before making an offer! Ugh. So our house is back on the market. We did have a great time in Chicago though.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Off to Chicago

I have sold my house here in Los Angeles and am off to Chicago for 2 weeks to look for a house with a good studio space. I hope my husband stays with this ad agency for a LONG time, cause I can't imagine a better place for an art quilter to live these days. So many great art quilters in the area and an IQA show every spring, yipee.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

IQA Auction

This is my piece for the IQA silent auction in Houston this year. It is painted hand dyed silk. 17" x 17"

Monday, July 18, 2005

Quilters Newsletter Magazine

Wooo hooo! Tree of Life is going to be in the September issue of QNM, in the Readers Quilt Show section. "The human form gets interpretted in patchwork and applique." Technically this quilt is neither since it is painted, but I won't argue that point. I guess a naked Martian smoking a cigar wouldn't qualify for this theme, huh?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

New Work

The way I am organizing my blog is to post my work chronologically. My most recent piece is Primordial Sea so it is at the top of my blog. As I have time I am continuing to add other quilts that I have made over the years, by placing them between the quilts that I have posted so far. This way there is a logical progression of work, or regression as you go down the page. So if you happen to check back on my blog and the page looks exactly the same, it might not be. Just scroll down. This probably seems to be counter to how blogging is supposed to go, but I don't like to do things so traditionally. Just like quilting, I want to do it my way :-)

Friday, June 24, 2005


The air quality in Los Angeles, when I lived there, was less than desirable. But it did make for intensely colorful sunset walks. Surreal shades of crimson and ocher would wash over the trails and agave rosettes dotting the hillsides near my canyon residence. This quilt was inspired by one particular agave plant that seemed to capture the setting light in a way that made it glow with a regal luminance.

Hand dyed cotton, machine appliqued, machine quilted. 2006
56" x 47"

Stem Cells

Stem cell research is getting amazing results in a number of areas in the medical field. I am frustrated by the belief system of this administration when it comes to stem cell research. At the present time fertilization clinics dispose of unused eggs. Why is it more humane and Holy to throw away embryos than donate them to research that could potentially save lives?

Painted cotton batting, hand dyed cotton, machine quilted. 2006
18" x 15"

Primordial Sea

While living in Texas fossils fascinated my children, and we spent many happy days in the creek beds of Austin searching for evidence that North America was once under the sea. This quilt is what I like to imagine a Primordial Sea, abundant in jewel toned marine life would look like.

this quilt is whole cloth hand dyed silk painted with textile paints 89" x 62" 2005

This quilt won 1st place Innovative at Pacific International Quilt Festival 2006 and 2nd place Painted Surface at IQF World of Beauty 2005

If you would like to see how this quilt was made look in the May Archives.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


This is my strip for a group quilt that is being made with my art quilt group that formed when I lived in Austin. Now our members are in Austin, Dallas, Glendale (soon to be Chicago), Portland, Maine and Tokyo, Japan. This quilt is a follow up to two previous group quilts on a similar theme, a photo of Flora can be seen on the list of 2002 IQF Winning Quilts and Second Nature is going to be in this years IQF In Full Bloom exhibit. this piece is painted with Tsukineko Inks.

Bird of Paradise

This was my donation to the IQA auction last year. It is painted silk. The sky was painted with textile paints and the bird and tree were painted with Tsukineko inks, with gold metallic paint details. The edge is finished with couched colored and gold cording. I like to use other things besides traditional bindings to finish the edges of my work. I wish I knew who bought this. I like to know who my work is living with.
14” x 14” 2004

There's a Place Called Mars...

Looking at Mars mission photos, I was struck by the contrast between scenes of a rocky, lifeless planet and the rich, fanciful portrayals of Mars in popular culture. I prefer a fanciful Mars. A place, where flora and fauna from the pages of Ernst Haekel’s book, “Artforms in Nature”, fill a Ray Bradbury inspired world and a 50’s Sci-Fi alien femme fatal watches a song, sung by my sister in girlscout camp to the melody of “The Snake Charmers Tune”, weave it’s way though the landscape.

this quilt is whole cloth painted with textile paints 37" x 62" 2004
If you would like to see step by step how I made this quilt look in the May archives

This won Judges choice at IQF Houston, Judges Choice and Viewers Choice at the Glendale Quilt Guild Show

My sister, who's work you can see on my links, learned this song in Girl Scout camp when we were kids in Maine. the song goes like this.

There's a place called Mars,
where the ladies smoke cigars.
Every puff they take
is enough to kill a snake.
When the snake is dead,
they put roses on its head.
When the roses die,
they put diamonds in their eyes.
When the diamonds break,
it will be 1968.

I love to hear when some one else knows this song or a close variation (not the one about france and ladies under pants). When I was in Houston I had people from all over New England, upstate New York and Pennsylvania tell me they learned this song in the early 60's. Another woman from Tennesee jumped rope to it in the late 50's. It was also known by someone in Colorado and another from Southern California from the late 50's. A woman from New jersey said she knew it with tulips and I think it ended in 1969.


My son had a fascination with lichen when we lived in Texas. It was everywhere in so many different beautiful forms. Lichen is a class of organisms in which algae and fungi live in a symbiotic relationship as one. They are found throughout the world but are unable to survive where the atmosphere is polluted, so they are good indicators of clean air. The large lichen on this quilt was made by painting cotton batting and stitching the texture into it. The edge has a fine gauge wire sewn into it to give it form and dimension. The yellow lichen is painted cotton batting. The smaller thread lichen were made by stitching on Solvy. The other lichen is painted and melted Tyvec.
22” x 22” 2004

This won Best Machine Applique at the Glendale Quilt Guild Show

Painted Batting

Before I made Lichen I experimented with painting on Warm and natural cotton batting. I wanted to find out what the surface would look like, would it absorb the paint like a sponge or would it sit on the surface. It seemed also like it would make a nice soft surface for embellishing by hand. I have these two, I made a third but sold it at IQF’s silent auction a few years ago (without photographing it first, so I can’t show you it)

I was happy to find that the batting did not soak up the paint like a sponge, and they were easy to stitch and couch on by machine and bead by hand without falling apart.

Tree of Life

I was drawn to creating an image of the Tree of Life, which is a creation myth from many different cultures. The universality of this symbol was important to me as well as the idea that the location of the biblical Eden is in present day Iraq. I wanted my quilt to have the quality of a multicultural folktale using symbols from nature and various religious traditions. It is a whole cloth painted quilt, using Jaquard and Lumiere textile paints and Tsukineko inks for the faces, hands and feet.
53” x 61” 2003

This quilt won an Honorable mention at IQF Houston, and Road to California, Best of Show at the Glendale Quilt Guild Show and won Best Machine Workmanship at PIQF


This quilt is part of the national traveling invitational exhibit "Women of Biblical Proportion" curated by mother and daughter team, Ruth Harris and Chantelle Cory. "The exhibit portrays the rich diversity of female biblical characters through contemporary art quilts.

I chose Asenath, she was Josephs wife, as in the well known “Josephs Technicolor Dreamcoat” She was the daughter of an Egyptian priest. Asenath was also of interest to me because this is my sisters middle name.

This quilt was painted with Tsukineko inks and D’uva Chromacoal powders (for her skin) on raw silk. 22” x 22” 2003

Saint Michael Overcoming Evil

The central image on this quilt is from an engraving from the renaissance, called St Michael overcoming Evil. When I saw this image it brought to mind our present history; one that President Bush has drawn parallels to by referring to our fighting the axis of evil. Tsukineko inks were used to paint the main images and backgrounds. The wings are painted with Lumiere paint. And colored pencils were used to add subtle shading to the oval border.
18 1/2” x 29” 2003

Madonna and Child

This small quilt was the first piece I painted with the Tsukineko inks. It is whole cloth, machine quilted and embellished with beads and gold cording.
9” x 10” 2002

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nina’s Leopard

One day my daughter Nina mentioned that I had never done a quilt with a leopard on it. I decided to humor her and painted an image of a leopard on a moonlit walk through a dark and mysterious jungle. I realized I was trying to capture a quality I sometimes see in her, which makes it a very special quilt.

whole cloth black fabric painted with Lumiere paints. 36”x 21” 2002

Graven Images

I was inspired to make “Graven Images” while visiting cemeteries in New England, following up on some ancestral research. I found the symbols and images carved into the various stones fascinating in design, symbolism and historical context. Wanting to recreate the look of stone in cloth, I hand dyed fabric in shades of gray using various techniques to emulate stone. I enlarged my photos of the stones and traced the designs using tracing paper. I put my dyed fabric over the line drawings on a light box and traced the designs with pencil. The images were free motion quilted onto fabric and batting sandwiches creating dimensional images as though carving them into the fabric with needle and thread. Colored pencil was added to the recessed areas to create more depth. After the panels were quilted I trimmed them and arranged them filling in any holes with small strips of quilted carved stone details and pieced them together.

The most haunting aspect of making this quilt was that after working on it, on and off for two years quilting the various panels, I spent 3 straight days piecing it together and began putting the binding on it the morning of September 11, 2001. I found this to be so unsettling; I did not feel comfortable showing the quilt for a year.
50” x 79” 2001

This was the first quilt I entered into the IQF show in Houston in 2002, it won Judges Choice and 3rd place Art Quilt Large.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I started making a series of heads on 12” square pieces of fabric. The images were machine apliqued onto the background fabric. I used some commercial fabric but mostly hand dyed fabric. The butterfly wings have clear micro beads fused onto the pink areas, and the head in the bottom left has some painted and beaded Tyvek on the edges. Each block was quilted individually and then sewn together with a wide satin stitch that was covered by a fused sashing strip with the edges couched with gold cording.
37” x 37” 2001

Word Quilts


This quilt was the first in a series of word quilts. The definition from the dictionary of the word tea is written on the center panel. With a teacup drawn on fusible interfacing fused on top of the writing. The tea bag is made from sheer interfacing filled with snippets of fabric. 14” x 12” 2000


This quilt was the second in the series, this expanded on the idea of language and the different things one word can mean. The definitions of the word heart is in the center of the quilt. The illustrated heart is made from fusible interfacing, colored with Prisma brand colored pencils. Surrounding the central image are all the related idioms such as heart sick, heart throb, and whole hearted. I transferred the type onto the fabric using Citrasolve from toner based laser prints.

Hand dyed fabric and crochet cotton, citrasolve transfers, fusible
interfacing, raw edge appliqué 23”x 21” 2001

All Men Are Created Equal

This was the last in the series. The definitions of woman and man are printed on the quilt. With the related idioms in the rectangles around it. I thought it was interesting to see how much more extensive the definition of man is. I sold this quilt and Tea too quick and do not have good slides only these photos. Make sure you get slides etc. before you sell your work, later you will regret not having it documented. 31” x 29” 2001


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