Category Archives: batiks

Tears for Jean

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I lost my only sister several years ago.  The hole is your heart just doesn’t go away.  She went through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation over 5 years.  Some of those times I went to sit with her during those treatments.  Being a quilter, I had to have something for my fingers to do during those periods of time.  I cut out a lot of blocks and sat and did hand piecing waiting for that drip to be complete.  Over the years of her treatment, that is the only time I worked on them.  Since she has passed away, the project has been buried deep in the quilting room.  I’ve brought it out a few time and just couldn’t bring myself to finish what I had started.  Last month, I finally pulled it out and put it together.


I couldn’t bring myself to put any more of the blocks together.  Then it struck me that making the pieces fall away from the central design was the process that I watched with my sister.  I watched the pieces of her fall away gradually during the years of her treatment. To me this piece represents the process that I watched play out in front of me.

It is hand pieced and hand quilted.  42″x approximately 5?”

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper



Filed under art quilt, batiks, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized


“Nana, I really like this design, do you think you could make me a quilt like this?”  grandson

1 - 1 (1)Is there a grandmother out there that could resist a request like that?  I certainly couldn’t.  He even went with me to the fabric store to select the colors.  It all started because the last quilt that I made for him wasn’t long enough to cover his feet anymore.

1 - 1 (2)Here, the blocks are laid out and ready to put together.  It was strip pieced, cut into triangles, sewn into long strips and then joined together.

1 - 1

Here’s what we came up with.  I think that it will cover him for at least a couple of years!

The quilt is about 72×84, machine pieced and machine quilted


Filed under batiks, quilting, quilts

Dancing with the Faeries

Watch for faeries that “kidnap good looking men and women, stealing them away to the Otherworld realm where pain and suffering are unknown, and music and feasting the perennial occupations.  On moonlit night in open spaces mortal captives may be seen dancing with faeries….”  Juliette Wood


I’m fascinated by ancient art, especially the designs used by the Celts.  This is adapted from a 4th century BC stone carving.  The central design is hand appliqued onto a single piece of multicolor commercial batik.  All the fabric is commercially made batiks.  The designs in the corners are adapted from 1st century BC spiral designs

This one is “Lakenheath”


This is “Brentford”


This is an unprovenanced spiral


And the last one is “Cornalaragh”

The quilting is done by outline quilting the designs and echo quilting around the patterns.

The quilt is about 58X58 inches.  I used an 80/20 Winline batting and used Superior King Tut variegated threads for quilting.


Filed under applique, batiks, celtic design, quilting, quilts

Qilin – Shanghai to Salt Lake

The qilin (Chinese: 麒麟; pinyin: qílín) is a mythical hooved chimerical creature known in Chinese and other East Asian cultures, said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler.[1] It is a good omen thought to occasion prosperity or serenity. Wikipedia

A couple of years ago friends brought me a beautiful length of batik that was purchased from and batik artisan in China. It sat on my table patiently waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I decided to surround it by pieced squares made of other indigo batiks. Purchased all the fabric, made the squares and I didn’t like the look of it at all. So decided instead to use two simple borders and leave it as a panel.

Shanghai to Salt Lake

Here is a closeup of the qilin.


I decided to use the other squares for the back.


Borders are hand quilted. Central portion is quilted by machine.
38X60 inches
completed 2015


Filed under batiks, quilting, quilts

Adding and Subtracting

“For life to be meaningful, add a little sacrifice, subtract anger and hatred, multiply friends and divide love for everyone to share.” unknown

This quilt started with the block “Shooting Star” first published in 1897  with the Ladies Art Co.



This block goes diagonally down the quilt.  On each side of this set of squares, a single element is added or subtracted from the original block.

adding160 x 60 inches

machine pieced, machine quilted

adding2Backed and bordered with striped shot cotton in coordinating colors.  This will be a birthday gift for a very special person!


Filed under batiks, historical quilt block, machine quilting, quilting, quilts


“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
― William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets

I’m feeling the changing of the seasons in my bones. The nights are cooler, the heat less intense, people are settling into routines again, leaves are starting to change on the side of the mountains.

I’m starting to think about new projects. This is one that is just completed.cornucopia1

Machine applique, hand quilted

cornucopia 3



50×70 inches
Completed – summer 2014
The square is “Lillian’s Favorite” by Clara Stone published in Practical Needlework, ca. 1906


Filed under applique, batiks, hand quilting, historical quilt block

My Twist on a Garden

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

While I have been churning out quilt tops for charity, I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on my “Flower Garden” a design/pattern by Kim McLean.  flowergarden

I had difficulty finding a place to photograph the whole thing – this almost worked!  It is 96×96 and fits nicely on my queen size bed.  This was a real challenge for me because it was using a very different palette than I’m used to using and very bright colors.  The fabrics are Kaffe Fassett’s with some hand dyed batiks and some purchased batiks.


I actually had my doubts about it as I was making it.  I took it to a retreat with a group of friends and they gave me encouragement to keep on.

flower2What really pulled it all together in the end was the 1″square borders around each block.

flower4It is all hand quilted and for each square I chose a slightly different pattern to use.

flower6I was not crazy about the border that was designed with the pattern, so I modified it abit.

borderdetailI liked the effect of some open space on the border.  In that open space, I used the flower, leaf and vine designs and hand quilted those motifs into the border.

cornerdetailI know this is much longer than my usual post, but I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed bringing it to completion!

Happy Spring!





Filed under applique, batiks, garden, hand applique, hand quilting