Category Archives: inspired by other design

Crouching tiger, hidden dragon

“But I’ll always love you, and I’ll always miss you and I’ll never forget that It’s okay to put dragons in the jungle and tears on a tiger”
Sharon M. Draper, Tears of a Tiger

tigerdragonThis is a commissioned piece  for a friend.  The request was for a piece with their astrological signs and the yin and yang.

Machine applique, hand quilted,

Shiva paint stiks used to stencil the stripes on the tiger, chinese symbols and details on the dragon.

Size – 47″x35″

Finished 2013


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Filed under applique, art quilt, batiks, hand quilting, inspired by other design, machine applique, quilting, quilting design, shiva paint stiks, stencil, surface design, wall quilt

Window Boxes

It’s snowing today – and snowing and snowing.  12 inches so far and its not supposed to stop until tomorrow.  We could accumulate several more inches.  The snow is wonderful for all the skiers, it’s not so good to try to get to the grocery store!

SnowThe snow is even accumulating on the fence which is waiting for the peas this spring.

How better to stay warm and  think of spring than to do some more quilting.  This was just finished, labeled and hung!

windowboxes1The flowers are from the book “A Celtic Garden” by Philomena Durcan.  The flowers are done is colorful batiks.   They are mounted on a print fabric that has architectural motif.

windowboxes2The solid box outline is hand quilted with King Tut variegated thread with turquoise, creams and browns.


Size: 40×64

Finished: 2013

machine pieced, hand appliqued, hand quilted,

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Black and Tan

“A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare
to the jeweled vision of a life started anew.”
Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

As this year comes to a close and we look forward to the possibilities that the new year hold, I hope that we can all move forward to a creative, healthy and happy new year.

Black and tan1It has snowed here for several days and now has turned very cold.  Icicles are hanging everywhere.

This quilt was made in 2005.Black and tan3Detail of the squares and square extending into the border.

The back of the quilt is a black.  I treated the back as a whole cloth quilt, quilted it from the back in variegated thread.  Now that I think about it, I’m not sure which is the front and which is the back!

Black and tan2

black and tan 4Black and Tan

Completed 2005

Size: 60×60

Machine pieced, hand quilted

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Filed under hand quilting, inspired by other design, quilting, quilting design

Transformation of the Butterfly

The process of healing and trying to deal with my sister’s death continues her journey. My husband had a beautiful card for me when I returned home. “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.” Jean always referred to her experience as a journey or a process. Butterflies provide such a beautiful comparison for this part of our journey.

“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”
― Lao Tzu

About three years ago I finished a quilt with butterflies.


I used several of the specialty embroidery stitches on my sewing machine to enhance the butterflies.



I’m thinking today about my sister and how she could leave her cocoon /pain behind and achieve the freedom from pain for which she longed.

Size: 62×80
Machine appliqué, hand quilting, batiks, sulky nylon thread to enhance the designs
Completed: 2008


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Filed under applique, cancer, dying with cancer, hand quilting, healing, inspired by other design, machine applique, poetry, quilting

Surviving end of life with a loved one

My sister continues her journey with this vicious disease of cancer. I’m not sure right now which times are easier or harder—the times of lucidity and realizing where she is —or the times of drugged hallucinations. There is no better with this disease.

So I am left struggling with some thread of sanity in this journey. And that is my needle and thread.

I’m looking back today at some completed projects to try to find a thread of life free from pain and struggling.

This is a project completed a couple of years ago that I especially enjoyed. It started with a beautiful floral design in a Dover publication. I frequently try out a design in a small piece prior to starting a larger piece. I had these lovely, rich brown colors is my stash. One was a batik and one a paisley (which I am a thorough sucker for!). This is currently hanging in the hall in my sister’s house and I am passing it every day as I am trying to provide her some comfort.


I liked the way the original design worked. So I put the rich browns together with some creamy beiges and did a modified falling blocks design for a background, with the flower appliqué in the center. Then I added some corner appliqué. It was finished with a piping of deep purple paisley.


Sorry about the basting pins—the photo was taken before it was quilted.

Here is a close up of the central appliqué.


My final thoughts are —-Cancer sucks! And why does dying have to be so ——-hard!

Finished: 2010
Machine pieced, hand appliquéd, hand quilted

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Filed under applique, art quilt, cancer, dying with cancer, hand quilting, inspired by other design, quilting, traditional block

Dreaming of Spring

My sister continues her struggle with cancer, right now we’re working on trying to find the right balance for more effective pain control. This has meant giving up some decision making on her part because of the fuzziness caused by the pain control drugs. We did have a wonderful couple of day visit from her niece- my daughter and grandson. It was wonderful to see my sister light up and laugh and share good memories! This seemed to me like a little springtime in the midst of some ugly weather on our journey. Here is my interpretation of springtime.


If I am recalling correctly, I think the blocks are called railroad tracks. I love Jinny Beyer’s. Quilters album of Patchwork Patterns
and always turn to that resource for inspiration. I arranged the blocks to go from lighter to darker top corner to bottom corner. Then I stenciled a feathery plant with purple berries onto the upper left corner. Well actually, the berries weren’t stenciled but put on with a pencil eraser! On top of the feathery plant, I the appliquéd tulips.


Today, I needed a little spring in my life. So this was it!

Finished: 2000
Size: 60×72
Hand appliquéd, hand quilted, additional surface design


Filed under applique, art quilt, cancer, dying with cancer, inspired by other design, quilting, shiva paint stiks, stencil, surface design, traditional block

Study in Triangles

This quilt started out as a study in triangles. I had this beautiful polka dot fabric that had been hanging around the edges of my consciousness for awhile waiting for inspiration. Having been playing with French Braid patterns recently, I decided to fold 5 1/2 in squares in half when attaching the french braid together. That left one side of the triangle open, giving some texture to the braid.

I made four of these sections and put them together.

Then I added a plain black border to which I had added some prairie points, also free floating. Looking at the bright center, I was reminded of the story of the dryads. Druids taught that tree dryads were created when the first rays of the Sun reached the earth. With their help, it was taught that people were created. So I added dryads to the center of the quilts. These were inspired by the art of Courtney Davis. I put celtic symbols in the corners.

The borders are on, it is layered and the quilting is started. I am using a Superior King Tut thread ( Obsidian) the is variegated black, tan and blue which helps the quilting to stand out a bit from the plain black. Superior King Tut thread

Here’s close to the finished project! A little quilting left to be done. The basting pins are visible! Hand quilting is completed with Superior – King Tut – Ramses Red thread. Superior Threads Ramses red and Shekels, a variegated yellow shekels

So now I think it needs a different title. . .

Size: 56×56

Finished: 2012

Machine applique, hand quilted

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Filed under art quilt, batiks, Celtic, inspired by other design, original designs, quilting, Uncategorized