Posts tagged accomplishment

The Good with the Bad


At Golden Momentthe end of the day, we all have to measure the good with the bad. Life is just like that — sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose.

Exhibition opportunities are definitely like that. I entered the National Portrait Gallery Competition this year. I had entered a couple of years ago, and I didn’t really hold a lot of hope that this would be my year, but you never know if you don’t try. It was a stretch for me. I was even planning on putting that piece in another show whose entry deadline was a couple of days after the scheduled notification date from the NPG.

Well, what was I thinking? Silly me. I put notifications and other dates on a calendar so I can keep track of them, so I know quickly when something is late. The NPG notification did not come when expected — after a day of hand wringing. So the next day, I poked around their website and found that they had changed the notifiation date. They had added two weeks. Senseless. After waiting 2 weeks and missing another opportunity, they sent me a reject. That one hurt — not because it wasn’t expected, but because I committed it to their show using their schedule of dates as a time guideline for its consideration. For them to take more of that time and not take the piece is just unprofessional. The fact that it’s the NPG means that they feel entitled to do that, but maybe I’ll think again before entering that particular show next time.

WornI did, however, have two pieces accepted to Sacred Threads 2015 — both Golden Moment and Worn. Sacred Threads is a fabulous exhibit — it’s in DC, it’s largely attended, it’s run by two of the nicest people (Lisa Brehm and Vikki Pignatelli), and then afterwards, pieces are typically invited for touring to other exhibit opportunities. Two years ago, I had two pieces in the show, and the one that was for sale sold on its first exhibit after the main one. (The other one was NFS — and it’s currently sitting on a table in my studio, waiting for the day that it’ll be hung.)

I printed out the list of work that will be included in this exhibit, and it’s extensive. I thought I had printed out the list from a couple of years ago, but I couldn’t find it in my file. It feels as if the number of works has increased significantly. I’m in good company.

And then a local show, East Cobb Quilt Guild: Georgia Celebrates Quilts, has also accepted Worn. That show is at His Hands Church in Woodstock, GA, and will run June 11th-13th. It’s nice to be in this one since I can actually personally attend. I’m also scheduled to talk to the Guild later this month.

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around IQF-Houston. The only thing I have left that would be available to enter would be Irish Eyes. All of my remaining work is all ready promised to another exhibit or is considered too old. And maybe there is a little part of me that still stings from last year. So I haven’t decided whether to enter or not.

And then I would love to make a piece for the SAQA Benefit Auction. It’s due June 1. Can I get everything done in time?


2014 Accomplishments


At the end of the year, I look at my goals and see how close I came to achieving them. Here is it January 8th — I should have done this at the end of 2013 — but I got the flu after Christmas, and it took all of my energy for a couple of weeks. I’m just now beginning to recover and put together the pieces of everything I have to do in my life. Today was the first time I’ve had to look at my art goals.

2013 was the year that “I finally broke into the sunshine at the International Quilt Festival/Houston” — and 2014 was the year that I created controversy.  But just like I said last year — I’m still here and kicking — and I hope to continue to create in 2015.

Worry— My blog was viewed 21,00 times in 2014 which broke all of my previous records. The highest viewed post was The Use of Someone Else’s Photograph in Your Work, the subject of which was the controversy over my piece Worry at the International Quilt Festival/Houston this year.

Worry and Golden Moment were accepted into Georgia Artists at the Abernathy Arts Center here in Sandy Springs, GA, an exhibit highlighting the work of local Georgia artists from all mediums. Golden Moment won 1st place.

Worry was accepted into International Quilt Festival/Houston: World of Beauty and was awarded 3rd place in the Art-People, Portraits, and Figures category.

Dolce Far Niente was accepted into the special exhibit What’s for Dinner? at Quilt Festival/Houston.

The Cardinal was shown at the Square Foot Fiber Art Pin Up Show at the Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance here in Atlanta and then was donated and auctioned at the International Quilt Festival/Houston Silent Auction.

LincolnLincoln traveled from the 2013 International Quilt Festival/Houston and went to The Texas Quilt Museum, Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, International Quilt Festival/Chicago, and Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in Portland before being purchased.

Beach Guardians traveled from the 2013 Sacred Threads show and went to Sacred Threads West: Art of the Sacred in Seattle, WA.

— Rebecca Reasons-Edwards and myself co-curated another exhibit this year called Fierce Fibers at The Art Place in Marietta, GA. Beach Guardians, Golden Moment, A Walk in Twilight, and Worn were exhibited.

— Golden Moment was accepted into Art Quilts XIX: Permission to Play at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Chandler, AZ and was awarded Juror’s Choice & 3rd Place.

Firecracker was included in the article Pet Portraits Popular With Owners Who Quilt in the Daily Sentinel published in January.

— Heike Hellmann-Brown wrote an article about me and my work that was published in the local publication North Fulton Family Life in August.

— Sold Lincoln to a private collector.

— Sold I Am the Vine, You are the Branches to a private collector.

— Sold Worry to a private collector.

The Cardinal— Sold The Cardinal to a private collector.

— Met goal of selling at least 2 of my pieces.

— I completed 3 large portraits, 1 small animal portrait, 1 small abstract, and 3 large abstracts. (All of the abstract works were made in collaboration with Leisa Rich.) (Goal to make at least 6 large pieces met.)

— I started a collaboration with a local artist, Leisa Rich. We have been working on an abstract series based on car washes and are planning a two person show at the Abernathy Arts Center in October of 2015.

— I applied and was accepted into Studio Art Quilts Associates as a Juried Artist Member.

— I spoke at The Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild in Marietta, GA, The Alpha Arts Guild in Alpharetta, GA, and the Misty Mountain Quilter’s Guild in Blairsville, GA.

— This year I kept a massive spreadsheet and kept track of my hours. I have to find a simpler way to do this. Halfway through the year, I decided that I not only wanted to keep category totals but also totals by project — so I ended up keeping two separate spreadsheets.

— As of the end of the year, I have 115 FaceBook Page followers (increase from 2013 unknown but I think it’s around 50%) and 32 Twitter followers (52% increase but still small).

— I did fairly well on maintaining my social media goals. I posted at least 2 blog posts a week 80% of the time, I posted at least 4 FaceBook page updates 78% of the time, and I posted at least 6 Twitter updates 74% of the time.

— What I didn’t do well with this year was keeping myself to at least 15 hours per week in the studio. I only met that goal 59% of the time. I was on track until I started taking freelance scoping work on the side. The truth of the matter is that my family is a part time job, so freelancing work cut into my art time. I do think I will keep this goal in 2015 however. I just need to work on being smarter with the time that I do have available.

— I didn’t keep my sketching goal at all. I have no problem drafting out a pattern for a particular project, but I can’t seem to make myself stop and fill a page in a sketchbook.

— I easily increased web traffic 5%. Given the controversy over Worry at IQA/Houston, my traffic increased 55.4% over last year.

I am eternally grateful for the support and encouragement of my friends and other people that reached out to me during the controversy over Worn. I am reminded that my place is to hold up others to the light and forward their achievements in a positive way. I leave all the others that still have lessons to learn — behind.

Love me or hate me, I’m still here, and I hope that 2015 is a great year.

2014 Goals


The girls finally went back to school today & I’ve pulled together my goals for the year. I reserve the right to alter these as the year progresses — but hopefully I can get close to my goals.



– Make 2014 goals.

– Refine spreadsheet to monitor goals and progress (create one for 2014).

– Print blog books: 2009, 2010, 2011. One day I’ll catch up. I have all books through 2012 ready to print — it’s really just a matter of sending them to the printer.

– Change all icon references to eye on business card. Years ago, I made a small card with the blue eye of a pic I took — which I then used as my online icon — but last year I made business cards with a different eye. I need to change all of the online references.

– Update personal FB Page with new banner from business page.

– Increase web traffic 5%. Experience has shown me that this is a really hard stat to move. The biggest jump I’ve had in the site was from having my blog listed in the top 55 blogs by Quilter’s Home Magazine in 2011. Last year, I had work in two books and a magazine and traffic only increased just under 6%.

– Complete at least 6 large pieces.

– Participate in Journal52 with at least 40 journal entries. I have several journals lying around the studio but I’ve never participated in a regular one with a group so I thought I’d try it. My work is very different from the paper collage artists though — I may just show my pages on the Facebook Page or in blog posts.

– Enter at least 6 exhibitions. This is really a function of funding. I would love to enter everything under the sun but I can’t.

– Learn how to use the camera lucida. I bought one of these in a Kickstarter campaign and gave it to myself for Christmas. I haven’t had time to play with it yet though.

– Apply for SAQA Professional membership.

– Publish at least 2 blog posts per week. This is a big one for me. I think I may start another weekly concept post — maybe Wordless Wednesday. I think it would motivate me to work on my photography skills.

– Write at least 4 FaceBook posts per week (professional Page). Last year my goal was 3 per week — much easier than I thought it would be.

– Write at least 6 Twitter posts per week. My Twitter persona is about passing along information to other Creatives. In my reading, I find a lot of articles and encouragements that I think are helpful to others.

– Spend at least 15 hours per week in the studio. I thought about making this 20 — but the truth is that life gets in the way. Some weeks I can make 20 easy — some weeks I won’t come close to 15.

– Sell at least 2 of my pieces. I really debated whether or not to put this one on here — but I consider last year very successful in terms of making marketable work. I sold 3 of the 6 pieces I made — and I think that 2 of them will also be sold but just haven’t been exhibited enough yet. Time will tell. Concentrating on making work that I know is marketable subject matter is something I plan to continue.

I don’t have a goal to win anything or be published but I accept any of those opportunities fate throws my way. Maybe I should consider those more aspirations than goals. I also accept speaking engagements & lead workshops if they aren’t too far from home.

Here’s to a prosperous year! Let’s go forth with hope in our hearts and the wind of determination beneath our wings!

Jacks Are Wild

2013 Accomplishments


Last year, for the first time, I made a list of my accomplishments in 2012 — followed by a later posting of goals for 2013. I kept better track of my time than I had before — and both used my goals and, for some items, ignored them when they didn’t suit me. (I’m allowed.)

2013 was a big year for me — I sold three of the six pieces that I made — and I finally broke into the sunshine at the International Quilt Festival/Houston by winning a blue ribbon in my category. I made a lot of new friends — and lost one just before Christmas to breast cancer.

It was a year of highs and lows — but I’m still here — I’m still kicking — still creating — and I hope to share a lot more in 2014.

The BowlJudgments

The Bowl Judgments

– Made spreadsheet of goals with a timesheet.

– Printed two years of blog posts into books (1997 & 1998).

– Developed seminar on choosing fabrics creatively (delivered to my Fiber Art Fusion group in February).

– Accepted into Sacred Threads in Herndon, VA (The Bowl Judgments, Beach Guardians).

– Published in book Sacred Threads Exhibition 2013 (The Bowl Judgments, Beach Guardians).

– Piece published in Machine Quilting Unlimited article about Sacred Threads (Beach Guardians).

– Piece published in Martha Sielman’s book Art Quilt Portfolio: People & Portraits (Celtic Woman).

– Juried into invitational Sacred Threads-Omaha in Omaha, NE (The Bowl Judgments, Beach Guardians).

– Accepted into International Quilt Festival special exhibit It’s Raining Cats & Dogs (Firecracker).

– Accepted into Internal Quilt Festival/Houston World of Beauty (Lincoln, The White Raven).

– Won first place at IQF/Houston in the People, Portraits, & Figures category (Lincoln).

Firecracker sm


– Accepted into the La Conner International Quilt & Fiber Arts Show in La Conner, WA (Amelia Earhart).

– Won 1st place at the La Conner Quilt & Fiber Arts Show (Amelia Earhart).

– Sold The Bowl Judgments to a private collector.

– Sold Firecracker to a private collector.

– Sold The White Raven to the International Quilt Festival collection.

– Created 5 portraits and 1 abstract. Original goal 6 portraits. Currently halfway through a family portrait.

– Entered Art Quilts XIX (was not accepted).

– Exhibited at East Cobb Quilt Guild Show (Beach Guardians).

The White Raven

The White Raven

– Won 2nd Place in the Original Design category at the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show (Beach Guardians).

– Accepted into Georgia Artists show at the Abernathy Arts Center (Lincoln).

– Participated in SEFAA’s Fiber ARTlanta show (Bukonyan Elder).

– Accepted as an artist at and was featured on their website July 1st.

– Increased Facebook fans from 23 to 77 (goal was 46).

– Designed new labels to use on the Mac.

– Designed & printed new business cards.

– Designed thank you cards with Lincoln. These were used to thank all of the IQF/Houston sponsors.

– Updated FaceBook banner with new work.

– Updated the menus on my website by moving older work to the back and grouping portrait and abstract work into new galleries.

Jacks Are Wild

Jacks Are Wild

– Started tweeting articles of interest to fellow Creatives.

– Started a weekly blog post of my tweets called Tweek!

– Tweeted 183 times during the year (although 46 of them were made during my time in Houston).

– Made 254 posts on my FaceBook page and met my goal of posting 3 times per week 85% of the time.

– Made 42 blog posts on my website and met my goal of posting at least 1 blog post per week 65% of the time.

– Spent 455 hours in my studio, 55 hours on my website, and 53 hours doing other administrative things related to my work (like entering shows, shipping, shopping).

– Updated my website for each of my new pieces.

– Added Buy Now buttons (with links to PayPal) to all of the pages of pieces for sale.

– Updated my artist resume.

– Maintained a regular log to account for my time in the studio, on my website, & other administrative tasks related to my art.

It's All Relative

It’s All Relative

– Reached my pre-pregnancy goal weight (took me 17 years but I got there!)

– Continued to take hundreds of sports pictures and share them through DropBox.

– Curated the Fiber Art Fusion exhibit It’s All In The Cards with Rebecca Reasons-Edwards which showed at both The Art Place in Marietta and the SEFAA Center in Atlanta.

– Grappled with my hosting service to move the website from a legacy server to the grid. (I should get a medal for this one. GoDaddy just let my site crash and never notified me that I needed to move to newer technology. I now plan to call them annually to discuss the health of the server on which my site resides.)

– Played role of year round lacrosse and choir mom.

– As of 12/27/13, there were 13,483 views on my website, an increase of just under 6% from the previous year.

– I started my Twitter account with no followers and currently have 21 (small — but it’s growing every day!)

Golden Moment

Golden Moment

– From August through December, donated over 100 hours in a start-up company.

And then there were some things on my list that I just didn’t do. I saw them there — and I either didn’t enjoy what I had started — or I didn’t feel motivated to do it at all.

– Complete draft of book on textile portraits. I may still do this — it’s just not at the forefront of my mind right now. I’ve also been asked to teach classes. The truth of the matter is that these are big projects — and doing them would take away from studio time.

– Create email/snail mail list. I see this in practically every article I read about art marketing. Maybe I’m lazy but I struggle with keeping up with the blog and Twitter. I don’t have an interest in making a newsletter right now.

– Participate in SEFAA Square Foot Fiber Art Pin Up Show & the Abernathy Art Center Pin Up Show.  These are shows that ask for 12″ or smaller pieces — which is not what I typically do. It’s hard for me to pry myself from one of my larger projects to work on smaller ones. I tend to work on one project at a time and don’t start the next one until I’m finished with the one I’m working on.

– Visit at least 12 galleries in Roswell & write a blog review (only did this in January and February). This sounded like a great idea at the time. It was my desire to spread my wings and prepare material for my blog other than my own studio work — but the truth of the matter is that I work in a vacuum. Leaving the house changes the creative dynamic for me, and when I get wrapped up in a project, I like to concentrate on it to the exclusion of other things. I did find a different outlet by sharing articles about art on my Twitter account and then summarizing them each week on the blog in a Tweek!

– Make 2 small pieces a month & list small pieces for sale at or This was (and is) a great idea — but as I’ve said, I tend to work on a larger scale. There is something to be said for creating smaller pieces — they are infinitely more marketable and more likely to sell (particularly in the current economy). However, to be smaller, they also need to be simpler — most of the pieces that I find engaging and develop into fuller projects are complex — and I find that more interesting.

I did spend the year with a focus on marketable pieces. I stopped working on people (with the exception of The Bowl Judgments — although you could argue that the angel falls into a category of her own). Many people will see a portrait of a person and say something like “one day I’d like you to do a piece of my grand-children” — but moving that into an actual sale is extremely difficult. Animals have much broader appeal as subjects than people. Anyone that has had a bull-dog will see artwork of a bull-dog and want it.

And although I sold three pieces — which I think confirms my theory about the marketability of certain subject matter — I have to acknowledge that the blue ribbon of Lincoln tells me that there is still room to work on portraits of people — as long as the subject is carefully chosen.

I won’t say that my end goal is to sell all of my work — I think I make my work for me — but it is nice to have a way to cover your expenses and have something left over to contribute to your family.

Good-bye 2013 — it’s been a hell of ride!

Houston Festival part 2


After the Winner’s Circle, you can be certain that I hardly slept. I went to the hotel bar (perfect spot for a party of one), had some soup, and then went back to my room to try to sleep.

TWEET: Victoria Findlay Wolfe took this just before I walked on stage last night. #quiltfestival


I wish I had a pic of me on the stage. There was a photographer there but I have no idea who he was working for. Anyway, I’m very grateful to Victoria for taking this.

The next day I had a leisurely morning and basically waited for lunch time.

TWEET: Luncheon!


I was so pleased that my new friend Karen sent me a message asking if I wanted to join her for lunch. We met at the door and sat at a table with several of the winners from Japan. They didn’t speak very good English but they were incredibly kind and friendly.

TWEET: Takido Fusako on the left game me a hand sewn flower that is beautiful!

Japanese winners

The woman on the left, Takido Fusako (her piece Crest of Tulip won a Judge’s Choice award), gave me a hand sewn pin (which looked awesome on my black jacket). The woman on the right, Sachiko Chiba, gave me an autographed print of her beautiful quilt My Hope that won 3rd place in Hand Quilting.

TWEET: Flower that Takido Fusako gave me. #quiltfestival


On the stage, all of the top winners ate lunch and then spoke about their piece. The first speaker was Best of Show winner Melissa Sobotka.

TWEET: Melissa Sobotka winner of best of show Chihuly’s Gondola. It’s truly stunning.



TWEET: Melissa — “pay attention to the judge or blow them off” — love it!

She had shown this quilt at another venue and one of the judges told her that there was a problem with the binding. Melissa’s point is that you either take their opinion or don’t worry about it. She did ultimately choose to take off the binding and re-apply another one before sending it off to Houston for judging.

TWEET: Vicki Anderson owes 18 sewing machines! Her speech on Getting Published.


TWEET: #judimadsen mentioned in her speech – on how to make a beautifully quilted quilt.

I’m Facebook friends with Judi and I follow her beautiful machine quilting so I was excited that Vicki showed her work and gave it its proper praise.

After the luncheon, there were a couple — just a couple —  of vendor tables outside. I loved these fabric cakes. It reminded me of the felted teacup I made a few years ago.

TWEET: Too cute!


TWEET: I bought this year’ spin & they gave me freebies for 2004, 2007, & 2012. The one on the top left is this year’s pin.


It was strange walking back to my room, seeing quilters that are famous quilters.

TWEET: I feel like such a stalker. I know their names, I follow them on FB but I can’t bring myself to introduce myself.

I went back to my room and took pics of the Convention Center from there. It is such a large building, I couldn’t even get half of it in a frame.


With time to spare before Preview Night at 5pm, I spent some time in the gym. This is the view from the west tower of the Hilton.


TWEET: Technology is so cool. Delta emailed me a check-in, they txt’d a link to my boarding pass, & I saved it in Passbook for tomorrow.

This is my first time to be completely dependent on my smart phone to check in. I’ll never print another boarding pass.

I had planned on putting everything in one post from this one day in Houston — but this post is growing by the minute. I think I’m going to split the rest of it into another post. So look for a part 3 in a couple of days.

Houston Festival part 1


TWEET: While I’m in Houston, I’m sending my tweets to my personal FB & my FB Page. I apologize for double tweets but want everyone to see the pics!

This is how I started my exciting 48 hour adventure to the Houston Quilt Festival. I wanted to share it with as many as my friends as possible. I was so excited and nervous about going, I accomplished practically nothing in the last couple of weeks leading up to the show other than packing my suitcase.

I went alone. I haven’t traveled alone since I was much younger and I looked at it as a grand adventure.

TWEET: Checked into Hilton Americas — isn’t the Chihuly glass chandelier amazing?


It’s impossible to mistake a Chihuly. There are two of them like this at Hilton Americas. I was lucky to find a room in the Hilton — it’s connected by a walkway to the Convention Center — something greatly appreciated by me when it poured rain on Wednesday and Thursday.

TWEET: Walked down bad streets to find this amazing place — District 7 Grill.


But this Tuesday, the skies were clear. I checked into the Hilton. I was starving — it was so late — but I was determined to be more original than eating in the hotel. I turned on my iPhone & looked for a restaurant nearby with at least a 90% approval rating. The closest one was District 7 Grill. I crossed the street to the convention center and made a left — which unhappily took me in the wrong direction. I ended up walking completely around the convention center — which is huge and covers probably 4 or more city blocks. I had to be careful about the streets I walked down and stick to ones with cars on them. I eventually found this haven of wonderful food. I had someone tell me it was in China Town. It was certainly a place that the locals go.

TWEET: Did I mention — no calorie counting on this trip?


I know it’s cliche’ to have a picture of my plate — but I couldn’t help it. It was 2:30 my time & I hadn’t eaten since 6am. This is a grilled veggie pizza on naan bread with feta cheese & pecans. I ate the entire thing. No regrets.

TWEET: An hour until I get ready. Decided I can’t eat dinner before I go — too nervous. Next tweet — Winners Circle.

I ate so late though that I wasn’t hungry later. Mix that with the excitement of getting ready for the Winners Circle — and the most I could get down was a banana. At least I was able to find some fruit downstairs in the lobby.

TWEET: The infamous Paula Nadelstern carpet.


Many quilters know the story of Paula Nadelstern, a quilter famous for her kaleidoscopes, showing up one year, looking down, and seeing her designs on the rug leading from the hotel to the convention center in the walkway. She successfully sued them for copyright infringement.

TWEET: I’ve seen Charlotte Warr Andersen & Jamie Fingal in the halls — rock stars in the quilt world.

I kept passing people that I know — but I don’t know. It was very surreal. Although non-quilters won’t necessarily know these people, I’ve seen their work & followed them for years — some of them I’ve even spoken with on Facebook. And yet I couldn’t bring myself to say something to them. I suppose a part of me thinks that famous people should be allowed their privacy.

TWEET: I’m here!


I finally found the correct ballroom. There are signs every 100 feet for a ballroom down the length of the convention center — none of them marked anything other than “ballroom”.

Karey Bresenhan

This is Karey Bresenhan speaking at the beginning. She is the the nexus of the entire International Market and Festival. She is the founder and without her, none of us would be there.

TWEET: Ran into my friend Denny Webster & her friend Marilyn Wall! I took pic with my camera so I’ll blog those later in the week.

Marilyn Wall & Denny Webster

Me with Marilyn & Denny

I was standing by myself in line waiting to go in to the ballroom when I spotted my friend Denny Webster! She used to live here in Atlanta but moved a few months ago to North Carolina. She was there with Marilyn Wall who I was delighted to meet.

TWEET: I’m in my red Vera Wang — I’m overdressed.

I did feel overdressed — although later I was glad that I had chosen it. There was a full range of dress code — from jeans to full kimonos.

TWEET: I’m really close to Sharon Schamber — too strange!

She was sitting in the front row. I’ve followed her work for years. I follow her techniques for my bindings. I have my pressing board built like hers. Thank goodness for YouTube — I’ve never met her in person though. She’s petite like me.

TWEET: Bonnie McCaffrey is videoing at the front & Luana Rubin is sitting next to her.

Again, two people who I find interesting and follow. Bonnie was videoing the ceremony from the 2nd row and Luana was seated next to her.

TWEET: My heart just stopped! Did you hear it? 1st place in Art-People.

That was a moment to remember. They called 3rd place — so I thought — oh good! 2nd place! And then they called 2nd place — and I knew. I whispered “I think my heart just stopped.” I certainly stopped breathing.


I wish I had a picture of me on stage. I managed to get this picture from Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

TWEET: Fairfield Mastery Contemporary Artistry to Noriko Nozawa — gorgeous!


I took this pic the next day but it came out better than the ones I took the previous night. I found this quilt (Photographer Darling) worth studying. The background is quilted with a grid of black thread on white (mostly) — the postcards are black thread-work on white — and the image of the photographer is cross stitch! I did wonder how she managed to keep this piece flat — given the change in thread layers across the piece, it had to be challenging.

TWEET: Babylock master award for innovative artistry — Jane Sassaman!

International Quilt Festival 2013

This is also a pic from the next day (Illinois Album). It has a black border that is difficult to see because of the black hanging background. The design is phenomenal, but what struck me as surprising is that the white background is not a typical cotton fabric — it’s an embroidered white, probably not cotton. She also used a lot of embroidery stitches from her machine. These are not details that affect the overall design but they are interesting details for close inspection.

TWEET: Superior Award for Thread Artistry — Masanobu Miyama! (He’s a man!)


The majority of quilters are women so I’m always struck by a man that’s a quilter. He was the only man in the top winners. This piece (Wind) is very small. He painted the fabric with Tsukineko dyes, fused all the pieces down, and then heavily thread painted it. His wife was there and also had a piece in the show. They were from Japan. (30% or so of the winners were from Japan.)

TWEET: Pfaff Award for machine artistry — Shirley Gisi!

I didn’t get a great picture of this — but you can see it on the IQA Winners page here. It’s an abstract piece that effectively uses gradation fabrics to create 3D effects. Very clever.

TWEET: eQuilter award for WOB — Christine Alexiou — love this one!

Christine Alexiou

Christine Alexiou

This piece is called Septum Peccata Mortalia (Seven Deadly Sins). It opens like a book and has several pages.

That night, I was sitting next to Karen Ponischil (who won an Honorable Mention) and Christine on the other side. We shared our joy of the evening together and ended up meeting the next day to spend time together. My experience in Houston wouldn’t have been the same without them.


TWEET: Founder’s Award – Karen Seivert & a 2nd one to Margo Hardie!

I was confused here. Karen Seivert won a Founder’s Honorable Mention. Then Margo Hardie and Janet Stone both won Founder’s Awards.

TWEET: Another one to Janet Stone!

TWEET: Best Of Show — $10,000 award — wait for it ………

TWEET: Best of Show — Melissa Sobotka — stunning!!!


Melissa Sobotka

I don’t know that she could have found a better dress to stand beside her piece.

TWEET: Will get a better pic soon!


This, of course, is my better pic. It looks like a painting — or a photograph. It is raw edge  with commercially bought batiks. I was stunned that raw edge  has gained such acceptance. I hazard to guess that this is the 1st raw edge  that has won Best of Show in Houston. And when I saw raw edge — I mean that there is no appliqué stitch — only tight quilting. I saw this on many pieces at Houston — raw edge but tight quilting or thread painting. It’s making me wonder if I should continue to spend so many hours covering my edges with appliqué stitches.

TWEET: I stood by my quilt for an hour — wow!! Everyone was so nice!!


I’m so glad that my new friend Karen insisted on taking my pic as I didn’t get one with me later the next day when Lincoln had it’s blue ribbon next to it.

International Quilt Festival 2013: Winner's Circle

And the money shot. This is also Karen — I don’t know what I would have done without her.

TWEET: I took a bunch of pics that I’ll post on my blog when I get home.

And so I’ve incorporated them here — both my tweeted pictures and the ones on my phone.

And finally — I couldn’t ignore the coolest shoes in the room. These were Philappa Naylor’s boots. She won first place for Scarlett’s Crimson in the Wearable Art category. She does beautiful quilts usually around a medallion so I was surprised to see her in the Wearable Art category — but I understand that it can be thrilling to step outside your comfort zone. Even better to do it and succeed at such a high level.

coolest shoes

I had a blast. Although I didn’t get to stay very long, it was incredibly fun.

Part 2 will come tomorrow and I’ll show pics from my second day in Houston.

Happy Friday


Amelia Earhart

I just found out that Amelia Earhart has won 1st place in the open division, original design realistic pictorial wall category at the La Conner International Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival. Life has been full of blessings lately. I wish I could see the exhibit but it’s on the opposite coast from me. Hopefully some kind soul will take a pic and send me a copy.

It will hang in the extended exhibit through December at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum in La Conner, WA.

Entering Shows


This week I’ve been appliquéing my rabbit onto my background. It’s almost done. There isn’t a lot to show in that process. It’s been hard for me to concentrate as the routine of my girls is already starting to change. I fear I may be a victim of Spring fever.

I did think I would take a few minutes and talk about entering shows. Why do I enter shows? Well, why do I make art? I make art as a form of self expression. I enter shows so that people can see what I do. It is more satisfying for me to have my work in shows than for my work to collect dust in the closet. In fact, I have a growing collection in my closet — it makes me sad. Art is meant to be seen.

ChildhoodMy first show ever was back when I lived in Alabama. The fabric store advertised for the Alabama Quilt Symposium to be held (that year anyway) in Birmingham. I thought it would be fun to enter and take a few classes. It was my first time. When I walked into the hall, I was enthralled by all the pieces. I had been working with textiles for a couple of years. I turned a corner — and saw my piece Childhood hanging — with a blue ribbon beside it! Best of Show & 1st place in its division. (That was, by the way, the only time I’ve won a Best of Show.) It was shocking — and thrilling!

Dalmatian DownsI took that piece and Dalmatian Downs and entered them in the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah in 2004 — and what a surprise I had when they were both accepted. No ribbons, but I did visit the show and get to see them hanging. There was row after row after row of the most incredible quilts I had ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t process how a judge could pick a best in show.

I also entered one of the Mancuso shows — Pacific International (PIQF)– and the International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston. I had several quilts accepted over the years into PIQF — but I was not lucky enough to be accepted to IQF. I stopped entering AQS-Paducah as my work became artistic and fell outside of their size restrictions. (At one time, they wouldn’t accept a quilt whose width was between 24″ and 40″ — although I don’t know if they’ve since changed that rule or not.) I told myself year after year that if I didn’t enter IQF, I’d never get in — so I kept entering.

Faces in Cloth ISeveral years went by and I started to lose hope. We all do at one point or another — but then one year, I thought “one last time.” That was 2006, and my first monochromatic portrait Faces in Cloth I was accepted.

I have since entered Quilt National, Quilt Visions, and Quilts=Art=Quilts — but have not been accepted. I do admit that I haven’t been as diligent about entering as I had been with IQF. Sometimes it is because of the expense — and sometimes it’s easy to see from the other work accepted why mine was not.

I have also been accepted at some other wonderful shows — Art Quilts (at the Chandler), Sacred Threads, and the La Conner Quilt Festival — as well as some local Atlanta shows — Georgia Artists, Fiber Art Fusion (which I now co-curate with Rebecca Reasons-Edwards), SEFAA’s ARTlanta, and East Cobb Quilt Guild.

Right now, my desk is littered with folders — for quilts and for shows — as I try to decide shows to enter, how much it will cost, which quilts to send, how long they’ll be gone if they’re accepted, and how to enter pieces in such a way that I don’t enter a piece in more than one show at a time (because that’s just bad business). Decisions, decisions. I tend to enter & support the same shows that I have in previous years — but throw in a new one here and there to see if I get in — to expand my horizons.

Beach GuardiansI have had one piece juried into the East Cobb Quilt Guild Show this June — Beach Guardians. In July, both Beach Guardians and The Bowl Judgments will travel to Sacred Threads in DC. They have both also been chosen for an extended travel exhibit of Sacred Threads in Omaha, NE.

I also have been working on entries this week — but I think it’s bad luck to mention an entry before the jurying process is complete.

Sometimes I help Lyric Kinard with her list of Shows to Enter. At one point years ago, she thought about not keeping up the list and I offered to help. It was the only resource of its kind at the time and I wanted to see it continue. It’s a great way to look at the landscape and see what venues are available. Although many of the more local shows have not survived the current economy, there are still a lot of opportunities available.

New Exhibitions


I have been blessed with several exhibition opportunities lately that I wanted to share.

Bukonyan Elder


Bukonyan Elder was chosen as one of two pieces to represent my Fiber Art Fusion group in our sister organization Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance show Fiber ARTlanta. The opening reception will be May 3rd at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta 6:30 – 8:30pm. The show will run through May 27th.





Lincoln has been juried into the Georgia Artist exhibit opening at the Abernathy Arts Center in Sandy Springs, GA also on May 3rd 6:30 – 8:30pm. The show will run through June 14.




The BowlJudgments smbeachguardians_sm


Both The Bowl Judgments & Beach Guardians have been juried into Sacred Threads 2013. Show dates are July 10 – 28 at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, VA. The artists reception is July 13 1 – 4 pm.

2013 Goals



Now that the new year has begun, it is time to start looking forward. This year, I’m planning more than I have in the past. Maybe by sharing goals on my blog, I’ll feel more accountable.

I went back and forth on some of these. The truth of the matter is that as much as I would like gallery representation, I know from my mom, a very talented impressionist painter, that the galleries in Atlanta typically demand 20 of your newest pieces with a regular rotation. My current mode of working requires a month or two to complete one piece. Last year, I completed only six pieces. So it comes down to the desire to enter exhibitions versus gallery representation (even if I could produce enough work to satisfy the inventory demands of a gallery). I could put both on my goals list, but I know that realistically, only one will work. I chose exhibitions.

Reverse Round Back

I am, however, considering starting a different series of smaller pieces that I could complete more quickly and that I could then list on some online galleries. I’m going to experiment with that. You’ll notice I put it at the bottom of the list with asterisks as caveats. I’m uncertain about these goals for several reasons — we’ll see how it goes.

I’m also planning to start writing more on my Facebook Page and my blog — and I’ll be visiting my local galleries, getting to know them, and then I’ll share all of that local flavor with you. There are a LOT more galleries than I thought in my town — but I think that it’s important to get to know your local art scene as intimately as possible. I’ve been cooped up in my studio a bit too much. Time to get out and shake things up a bit. EVENTUALLY I hope to add some galleries in downtown Atlanta — but for now, I’m starting small.

  • Have at least 2 years of my blog printed into hardback books (plan to use
  • Design & print new business cards.
  • Take a photography class (probably
  • Develop a workshop on Choosing Fabrics Creatively.
  • Finish a piece to enter Sacred Threads 2013.
  • Develop new method for designing quilt labels on the Apple platform so that I can finally pitch my PC.
  • Complete the first draft of a book about Textile Portraits.
  • Join Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance.
  • Increase blog posts to once a week.
  • Create at least six portraits.
  • Create an Art Contact email and snail mail list.
  • Double the number of Facebook Page fans.
  • Enter at least 6 different exhibitions.
  • Update Facebook banner with newer work.
  • Post to Facebook Page 3x per week.
  • Visit at least 12 art galleries in Roswell and write a review of at least one exhibition per gallery.
  • Increase web traffic 20% from last year.
  • Make spreadsheet with goals and dates to monitor progress.
  • *** Make two small pieces per month.
  • *** List small work on or
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