May 4, 2018

Watch Dog

I'm making another Penny as Watchdog to help raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood.  A clear path to control is limiting access to good health.  When you are sick or uncared for, you're vulnerable. 

I was recently saddened to have someone close to me parroting the Slanderous video made to paint Planned Parenthood as murderers.  The filmmaker was arrested for the blatant lies.  The lies degrade those who offer women power over their bodies and therefore degrades the women themselves.  It's about control over our own damn lives.

Healthcare is Power. 

This is a First Draft of my own T Shirt Quilt.  The colors are becoming a rainbow. The oldest piece is Grandma Baker's doily.  I have enough to begin.

I see this past screenshot and I'm back in Austin with two daughters in college.  I blinked again.  These are amazing young women and keep me anchored.  Matt and I are forever grateful. 

Mar 17, 2018

Untangled Threads: March 2018

First Existential Congregation of Atlanta
470 Candler Park DR
Atlanta, GA. 30307

The Art Committee took my pile of quilts and canvases and created an impressive gallery.   I am more than pleased with what Patton, Nancy and Edi arranged here, as they balanced the colors and textures of my accumulation of work.  They made magic happen.

Here Edi Kelman is fulfilling her vision of hanging the Lakeside High School banners.  These were made with the help of Laurie Walton and daughter Mariel's Class of 2006.  These filled the atrium of Fernbank Museum of Natural History for Prom 2005.  Flipping them horizontally filled the church with color to conjure spring. 

Edi headed up the platform ladder (again)

This Heart Labyrinth quilt I created according to guidelines provided by the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild.  This quilt will be donated to honor and remember the victims and first responders of the 10/1/17 massacre of 58 people.  The guns used, essentially weapons of mass destruction, shoot nine bullets per second.

The resistance to any gun control is surreal until you follow the money.  You find who is bought and sold to protect the gun manufacturers.  Their lobby group, the National Rifle Association, provides millions in donations to purchase our leaders.  Follow the Money to see why meaningful legislation hasn't seen the light of day. Post massacre conversations from those owned by the NRA are maddening and chillingly pro gun, full of thoughts and prayers.

The Heart on this quilt is left over from a donation I made to the survivors of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre.  With the recent Parkland, FL massacre, I haven't kept up with these comfort quilts.  The carnage continues with NRA backed propaganda.  The tale that 2nd Amendment rights are under attack is pure BS. These aren't protective guns, they are weapons of war. #FEARLIES #ENOUGH

These three below include Grandma Baker's framed doily.  She taught me to quilt and I'm thrilled to include her handwork in this show.  The quilt 'Lucky You' celebrates community involvement. It was made with help from my friend Michelle Hiskey.  I'm lucky to have good friends and family both in and outside my quilter world.

The Red and White mandala quilt was made using Grandma's doilies.  This donation is part of a worldwide project to remember 70,273 disabled people murdered by the Nazis in 1940-41.  Each condemned person was marked with two red XXs on their white medical file and then killed. Thanks to Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, project originator, for attending Untangled Threads opening night reception.

Two small quilts, 'Arrow West' and 'Decatur Arts Festival Roses'  fill the gallery corner with colors.  I like using this smaller format to try new ideas.   A T-Shirt from An Marshall says "To Quilt is human, to finish Divine."

'Here Comes the Sun' (Ten suns) is Color Play using joyous warm suns on a green garden.  This quilt, along with many shown, are hung using Ten Thousand Villages's  bamboo hanger, imported from Vietnam.

The three 12" Embroidery hoops allow a circle in which to create quilts.  The Turtle, Poppy and Liberty Moon return to themes I enjoy in my quilts. I carved the turtle stamp decades ago.

These four quilts include Two Full Moons, a Poppy and the original dude Bill Murray.  The Kennedy Space Center and Bill Murray quilts are created using iconic T-shirt logos.
The Tree of Life with full moon I made with brightly colored flower leaves.

The past year has been maddening for us who scream at injustice.  I'm fearful that the Lies being told incite more violence than we've seen.  Fear is being used to separate us and make us afraid of those not the same as us. We are less powerful when we are divided. 

The ultimate lie is that we should be afraid of those different from us.  There are good and bad people in all races, beliefs and socioeconomic levels.  To declare someone as "other" makes them easier to hate. We are all the same race, Human.

'Fruitful Justice is Color Blind' is also a collaboration with Michelle Hiskey.

Poppies II  is made to remember those who have gone before us.  It's important to acknowledge and express gratitude for the sacrifices of ancestral Patriots.

The Haitian Fisherman batik below was gifted by Martha Cook and Anne O'Sullivan.  I added several fabrics to frame him.  The batik is one of the best I've seen.

The gold framed color study is a loose interpretation of the Deschutes River in Oregon.  I spent enough time here to absorb the colors.  I used a scale sized map and included the Columbia River into which it flows. The quilt is stretched around acid free foam board before mounting in the frame.

The Indigo Tree is my most recent Tree of Life.  I've made many of these through the years and enjoy this theme, always to include a bird.  The Red Framed House started as a color study, then the house appeared.

My most recent of these "quilts" is a color study I did for husband Matt's PA Factory floor plan. I first saw his drawing in 2015 and immediately saw a quilt design.   I applied dress patterns using ModPodge to the canvas, then transferred the scaled down architectural drawing.  Playing with colors, I applied fabrics and paints for the individual enclosed blasting or painting rooms.

Indigo Tree of Life, Red framed House and Matt's Factory Floor plan

Picasso's Quilted Musicians is one of three completed quilts we called The Picasso Project.  Each quilter made the three musicians on individual panels and then traded two.  These three guys were made by Mary Williams, Debra Steinmann and Melinda Rushing.  

The Atlanta Arts Festival kite flyer continues my obsession with T-Shirt logos as art.

The Yellow Poppies were made both in remembrance and the urge to say THINK.  Fear Lies.

IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH by Missionary Mary Proctor joins these quilts in the corner.

And a reminder from the Queen

Feb 11, 2018

Subversive Poppies

THINK... Post Truth = Bull Shit (Subversive Poppies)

I was the little kid enraptured by my Grandma Eva Avans Baker's circle of women around the quilt frame. The frame was put away as her circle got smaller and she learned "quilt as you go" techniques.  She always had a basket of hand stitching, as do I.

I made my first quilt as a teenager, sitting on the floor of Grandma's house and I've quilted my way though most life events since.  The stitches and colors create a language and flow as fast as my fingers can travel across the fibers. Technique and precision become secondary to the creation.  I leave lots of loose threads. The loose threads allow the prayers to pass through.

Why is THIS the time we have landed in this arc of history? 
Where do I fit in?  Quilts are my chosen canvas... 

Delores and I with RR, Washington, D.C., 1984

I know it's self indulgent that I'm drawn to make this blog. Some would say I waste time here.  I say it helps save me. The ideas come faster than I can execute and I have a need for solitude as a balance. The time always leads to my studio and the stories there. The exploration of what I want to say continues.
I am saddened when I see FEAR being used to divide us against each other.  We've seen entire groups of people labeled as "other" to demean and therefore make them easy to fear, then hate. The constant fueling of fear and encouragement of violence is terrifying.   

Grandma made the crochet lace under this cage.  "Fear Cages" you into a smaller world.  

"Fear is the path to the dark side...fear leads to anger...
anger leads to hate...hate leads to suffering."  Yoda

Grandma Baker's Great Great Grandfather Westley Avans made it home after the Civil War.

With Michelle at Women's March, January 2017

Jul 10, 2017

Tree of Life

 Bare Tree

Already I have shed the leaves of youth,
stripped by the wind of time down to the truth
of winter branches. Linear and alone
I stand, a lens for lives beyond my own,
a frame through which another’s fire may glow,
a harp on which another’s passion, blow.

The pattern of my boughs, an open chart
spread on the sky, to others may impart
its leafless mysteries that I once prized,
before bare roots and branches equalized,
tendrils that tap the rain or twigs the sun
are all the same, shadow and substance one.
Now that my vulnerable leaves are cast aside,
there’s nothing left to shield, nothing to hide.

Blow through me, Life, pared down at last to bone,
so fragile and so fearless have I grown!

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
from The Unicorn and Other Poems 

To remember this Tree, the Phoenix finally complete
Olympic Peachtree II:   Donated to Trees Atlanta 2016

 I look to these days, and what is true.  
The love of those I cherish, the grateful stitching of my story

The whole world in a peach tree.

This is a favorite bird I love to include.

Cate's Roses at Intown Quilters.

Cate is a dear friend and Callan's godmother.  She waited decades for me to finish this wedding quilt. I try not to overthink, but I'm not always successful.

These baby quilts come together fast.

Sea and Sky was sold at Kudzu

 Story Quilt for Luna Mae Wright, 2016

  I put as many story prints as possible in the mix.  
I love that babies will discover new things as they grow. And the stories are told.  
The next colors and stories are always waiting in the back of my head.


A wedding quilt for Elissa and Erick Olney, married 2016
Mariel collaborated on this one, with her love and wishes for a lifetime of happiness.  

Nov 18, 2015


Poppy I

Thanks Lindsay for the batik petal and Deb Lacativa for the vintage linen.

These poppies are made with 6.5" X 8.5" rectangles.  The curved poppy petals are as random and free as possible.  All kinds of stitches make them move,  I think. 

This was taken on St Simon's Island.  Sea breezes make conjuring poppies a dream.
Jennilee and Mariel in Corrosion Specialties File Room,  Jennilee, being our youngest Dorothy of Oz, inspired the poppies.  I inserted this photo much later, to finish this Poppy story. 

I always need stitching for our travels and a Britex visit when we get to San Francisco.

My ongoing Satellite Stitching...

I spend quite a bit of time commuting to my accounting job in Duluth, GA.  It's 12 miles on I-85 North, then three miles on Satellite Boulevard.  The good news is Satellite is an interesting road. Countless Red Lights, this Aviation Maintenance facility and right up the road, a 30' tall replica of the Eiffel tower.  This sight will be different the next time I drive by, considering the way of this world.  Stitching through it is for my own sanity.

This beauty had paint cans inside the blue vents so it wouldn't fly away unattended. 

My old faithful 6.5" x 8.5" ruler also makes T-Shirt quilts much easier.  I use the blocks to balance both the colors and ultimate size.   
Design Fun:  Nine Blocks wide X Ten Blocks long = 54" X 80", practically perfect golden ratio = 54/80 = .675 Cozy and still fits under my Janome work horse.

Leah Kuma's quilt below is ten blocks tall (80") so I can spend time with towers of color and not technique.  A couple of vertical strips help anchor the quilt.

Grace Clark's collection also used vertical columns of blocks to make it work.  This one is framed on all sides by the KFC purple and brown print, somewhat roping in the red and blue shirts.  Yee Haw!
Leah Kuma

Grace Clark 

 Jenni's Field of Poppies

Sep 13, 2015

Roses with Rosie

These Roses grow up a garden trellis.  Rosie doesn't care for my quilts, but is a good walking companion.  

Inspired and made for Kay's garden.  

  Rosie:  Lakeside High School, Class of 2015

These yellow Roses are for AnnElise's baby daughter Jane.  

Cal helped with these softer colors.

Paul and Mariel DeYonker,  Callan, Matt and me,  July 8, 2015
My family had the joy of traveling together this summer.  Here we are at Hofbrau House in Munich. Cal's partner Johnny was missed here so I made a toast to him being with us for the next trip. 

I'm always looking for fabrics and inspiration.  These bundles below were found in Hallstatt, Austria in a shop filled with locally made products.  These remnants from dirndls will always bring me back to this place.  I'm very grateful.

Our hotel room deck.  Dreamy view.

In Vienna, we saw many of Gustav Klimt's paintings.  "The Kiss,"among many masterpieces,  is part of the permanent collection of Winter Palace Belvedere.  
I've seen my future quilts in his work.

No photography was allowed here. This is my photo of a gift shop postcard. 

Callan leads tours and creates artistic opportunities at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia.  I was happy to help with a Traveling Art Museum suitcase for Kindergarten students.  She filled my drawstring bags with Art prints and creative activities to allow each child a unique experience. 

Meanwhile, here is Winky #7.  He was made for Mariel's mother-in-law Ann DeYonker, commissioned by Rod, for their anniversary. 
Three houses for Jimmy, Paul and Reilly. 

It's difficult for me to make blog posts.  Where is the stopping point? Where's my camera?
Who looks at this?  This journal page, made years ago, has become the focus of my next project.  Organza printed photo is from a trip to Colorado, with hand dyed fabric stones.  I'm putting this same quote in another quilt.

Here's my mom, Paula Pyle Baker, with her sister Suzanne Enzfelder.  She's getting dressed for the rehearsal dinner for Mariel and Paul's wedding, June, 2013.  I love this smile...  Suzanne's love and care for my mom will forever warm my soul.  

Gran beamed throughout the festivities.  Joy abounds.