Ma soeur française

“Great wine requires a mad man to grow the vine, a wise man to watch over it, a lucid poet to make it, and a lover to drink it.”Salvador Dali

When I was in high school (many moons ago!) our family hosted a French student for the school year.  I didn’t know much about the world beyond Iowa at that time and this was an incredible opportunity for my family to widen our horizons.  Jocy had lived many places in France, but her heart always remained in the regions of Beaujolais where her family had deep roots.  As we became young women, and our families grew, and we were both deeply involved in family and careers, we lost touch.  Many attempts were made to reconnect, without much success, until I opened up Facebook about a year and a half ago and had a “friend request” from my long lost friend.  What an incredible surprise!  Correspondence ensued and I just returned from spending 10 days in France with Jocy experiencing the part of France that she loves most.  Fall is an absolutely beautiful time to visit Lyon and the Beaujolais wine region of France.  Of course,  I’m a quilter and I spent days and days pondering what I could take to France that wouldn’t take up all of my luggage.  I found a wonderful fabric print of a world map and overlaid the map with a traditional celtic design.  Along the edges, I added four designs in seminole strip piecing to represent America.  The piece is hand appliqued and hand quilted. It measure approximately 28 x 46 inches.

2-1-1These show the seminole pieced border in more detail.

One of the most beautiful places that we visited was the medieval village of Pérouges.  Pérouges is a commune in the Ain department in eastern France. It is a medieval walled town that is perched on a small hill that overlooks the plain of the Ain River.  The town was was inhabited by craftsmen; mainly farmers and linen weavers. It was probably founded by a Gallic colony.  In 1167, the Seigneur d’Anthon famously shut the commune’s walls against the troops of the Archbishop of Lyon, and as early as 1236 the inhabitants earned communal freedom. In 1601 the town officially became French. Until the end of the 18th century, the textile industry in Pérouges boomed. (wikipedia)

The visit to France and the renewal of an old friendship was beautiful!



Filed under Celtic, hand applique, hand quilting, quilting, quilts, Seminole pieceing

Seminole Strip Piecing

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. Albert Camus

A good friend of mine, from my local quilt guild, taught a class in seminole strip piecing in the spring.  I have finally put it together and finished it.
The center panel is American Indian floral designs that are machine appliqued with a blanket stitch to enhance the colors and design.


The quilt is 68×94 inches.  It is machine appliqued and machine quilted.



Filed under quilting, quilts, seminole strip piecing

The Children of Lir

Many years ago in ancient Ireland lived a King and ruler of sea called Lir. He had a beautiful wife, called Eva, who gave him four children – eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. When children were young, their mother Eva died. Lir and children were very sad, and King wanted a new mother for his young sons and daughter, so he married Eva’s sister Aoife who, it was said, possessed magical powers.

Aoife loved children and Lir at first, but soon she became very jealous of time that King spent with Aodh, Fionnula, Fiachra and Conn. She wanted to have all of his attention for herself. One day, she took children to swim in a lake while sun was hot in sky. When they got there and children took to water, Aoife used her powers to cast a spell over children, which would turn them all into beautiful swans.


This quilt represent the story of the “Children of Lir”.  The fabric in the center of the quilt is hand dyed.  The orange and yellow fabric in the border represents the burning jealousy of the step mother.


The knotwork represent the children that were turned into swans.


The illusion of the step mother is painted on the fabric with Paint Stik.

The quilt is machine and hand quilted and is approximately 56in x56 in.



Filed under applique, celtic design, hand quilting, machine quilting, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

Infinity and Beyond

Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven’t pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system. Alexandra Adornetto
Circles are such a universal symbol of timelessness, eternity, cycles of life, completion, unity, regeneration and on and on.  The Celts used spiral and circles in so many of their decorations and I am intrigued by the never ending variety of them.

I found the background fabric for the spirals on a sale table in a shop in Virginia.  I couldn’t bear to cut it up, so decided to put the spirals on the top of each so the wonderful marbling on the fabric could still show.  The quilt is then outlined with random length blocks to show off the designs.  Aiden Meehan has done a series of books that are extremely helpful in drafting celtic designs and he also does a wonderful job of historical and developmental aspects of the designs.

Here are close ups of two of the spirals.

The quilts is 50×64 inches.  Designs are hand appliqued and the quilt is hand quilted in black thread.  Here’s a peek at the back.

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Filed under applique, celtic design, quilting, quilts

Dreaming of Spring Again

dreaming 2The sky is gray, the atmosphere is very gloomy and it is so cold outside.  But I got some great news today.  My quilt that has been on loan to the “500 Traditional Quilts” tour is going to make it’s final appearance in the International Quilt Festival in Chicago from April 4 through April 7, 2016.  It was really exciting to get this news.


Filed under applique, hand applique, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

More Celtic Dreams

Am fear nach cuir a shnaidhm, caillidh e chiad ghrèim.
The man who puts not a knot on his thread loses the first stitch.

I love the intricacies of celtic design.  Aidan Meehan has published a series of books on Celtic design that are an excellent help when it comes to drafting the designs.  He is also very informative about the origins of the designs.  In this quilt I used a lot of his drafting techniques and design elements.

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Knot work is, of course a large part of celtic designs.  Zoomorphic design is also a key element.

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The design in the four corners of the quilt is after a Commaccio Flagon Mount, Italy, about 325 BC.  In the outline, you can see the mask, with the drop shaped eyes and bulbous nose.   In the corners are dragon shapes and in the triangles, griffin shapes.

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This is a close of of the knot work.

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This is a closeup of the central spiral.

The quilt is approximately 58×58 inches.  It is hand appliqued, and hand quilted.  It is finished with a corded edging.

Finished 2015







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

Winter has come!

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass


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This morning I woke up to this scene in my backyard!

My quilt guild has an annual quilt challenge and show in December.  This year the challenge was to take a picture from nature and use the colors in the picture to create a quilt.  It didn’t have to be a copy of the picture by just the colors from the picture.  I had taken a picture last winter of a leaf desperately hanging on to a branch after the first snow.IMG_0281

The quilt is approximately 40 inches by 26 inches.  It is hand appliqued and hand quilted.  The picture frame border is  finished with a piping edge and the center design is outlined with double piping.

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