Friday, 27 June 2014


Size: Approx 12” x 12 ¾”

This piece has sold.

Materials: Hand dyed cottons, upholstery fabrics for tree trunk, 2 layers cotton batting, cotton threads, polyester embroidery threads for branches. Cheesecloth and fabric trimmings for lichens.

All the fabrics were hand dyed. Very soon after I spent time in Whistler and did the zipline tour between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. It was called the Bear Tour and made up 4 separate ziplines back and forth across the creek that runs between the two mountains. I did the trip with my highschool girlfriends and we had a blast, especially since this was a spur of the moment activity. Some of us needed a lot of encouragement! Part of the tour was a walk through the canopy among the old growth trees. The view and the feeling was incredible. It was a long way down, and yet you could reach out and touch the bark of these 700 year old trees. I was trying to capture the ruggedness, the closeness, and the airiness of the place.

And then, looking out over open space, you had to JUMP! That’s where the whirlwind comes in.

You would whoosh through the air, shouting, whirling, kicking your legs, until finally you came to other side and were saved and congratulated by everyone.

This little piece is about 5” x 9” and I made it to commemorate the occasion for one of the friends who overcame absolute terror to achieve this. The little woman dangles from a waxed black cord and can zip back and forth on her jewelry clasp. She is grasping a piece of twisted embroidery floss.

It was an exhilarating and emotional experience – a Whirlwind.


Size: 14 ½” x 23 ½”

This piece has sold.

This piece fits in my 2013 series of forest scenes. I like the way the light in a forest at twilight is subdued, reflecting the colours of the mosses and canopy, until the air is saturated with browns and greens. The trunks become the dark contrast. I worked from photos taken at Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island.

Materials and techniques: cotton fabric: dyed, silkscreen printed, and string bleached. Thread sketched in black cotton. Hand painted with fabric inks, oils and foil. Cotton batting. Quilted with invisible thread. Commercial batik binding.

Tuscany Turquoise

Approx size:  24" x 36"

Hand dyed, hand painted fabrics throughout. A wheat paste resist was etched, dried, crumpled, then painted to achieve the effects on the main panel. Free motion thread embroidery is used on the leaves of the tree.

Dragonfly's Monet

Size:  approx 12” x 18”

This piece has sold.

 Wool roving, bits of thread and yarn, fabric scraps, and cheesecloth are encrusted together building up an image that resembles Monet's waterlilies.  The Dragonfly's Domain.

Here is a close up:

Carrot Garden

Size:  approx 8" x 9"

This little whimsey uses encrusted fabric for the dirt.  The carrots and tops are fused with extra thread work for details.  I love my swirly skies!

Here is a close up of the encrusted soil.  You can see all the threads, yarns, and ribbons used to build the texture.

My Favourite Things. aka Flower Power

Size 12” x 12”

Materials: Hand dyed and commercial cottons, polyester embroidery threads, DMC cotton embroidery threads, cotton batting, polyester batting, cording.

Techniques: I retrieved a practice piece which had the central daisy appliqued onto a crazy block. I had been practicing cording by machine. I cut this block into a vase shape and machine appliqued it onto the green hand dyed. I then free-cut out flower petals and various shapes from my baggy full of “Scraps with Fusible”. I used only what was in the baggy. I then fused the bunch down and did some free motion machine embroidery on top using coloured threads. Then I did some cotton hand embroidery with DMC. Before quilting I machine basted around the edges, because it was so thick, and finally quilted the top using the double batting (cotton on bottom, poly on top).

This was a fun way to begin a project – with something already on hand! The subject was easy, because flowers are one of my favourite things, and because flowers are so forgiving when represented this way. Overall I’m pleased with the effect. The crazy block hides in the background giving some depth that wouldn’t otherwise be there. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll try this again…

Thin Green Line

Size: 12” x 12”

Materials: Commercial and hand-dyed cottons, cotton batting, polyester embroidery threads, glass beads, hand-made cording for binding.

Techniques: fused applique, free-motion machine embroidery and quilting. Hand sewn beads.

I really liked this theme, and had an idea for it early on. To me the thin green line is all that stands between this living earth and the vacuum of space. I chose to represent it as trees giving off life sustaining oxygen. So here you have my very weird earth hurtling through space, clinging to its ‘thin green line’.


Size: about 8.5 x 11”

This piece started with a piece of encrusted fabric that I cut into the shape of a butterfly. The edge is trimmed with handmade cording and the beading is added last.   It shimmers because of the angelina fibres and the quilting adds some dimension.

This is a usable piece to which a stick can be added, or a cord to wear it around my head for the next ball. Ahem. 

 It really looks scary on, because the eyes really stand out. 


 Maybe it would look cuter on my niece.

Self portrait

Size; 12" x 12"

I admire Greek and Roman mosaics and was wowed the first time I saw one interpreted in fabric. This was my first attempt to try mosaic work using fabric. I started by backing a selection of fabrics with fusible. I printed out an enlarged B/W photo and traced over the main features with a black felt pen. Using a window I traced the main lines of my image onto the background fabric. (I didn’t bother reversing the image, so my nose is bent to the right, instead of to the actual LEFT.) I started with the hair and worked downwards. I focused on paying the most attention to dark/light values of the fabric rather than the actual colour. So if you look closely, my eyebrows are different colours, but you don’t see that at first glance!

It was way more work than I thought it would be – now I have a great respect for those whose main craft is mosaic. The pieces were small and I had to use a needle and tweezers to shift each piece into position. I placed about 6 pieces at a time and then fused. Planning how the pieces would fit the contours was fun. I think I might like to try this again, but with a different subject and larger ‘tiles’. I hope the tiles stick in the long term because there was no way I was going to sew each one down.

Quilting is simple outline quilting, with a few swirls in the background.

This was my first attempt at a self portrait in any medium, and I’m glad I did the exercise. Thanks to whoever made this theme!

Here is a close up:

Seaweed Mandala

Size 12” x 12”

Materials: Batik cotton, cotton batting, polyester embroidery threads in black, cream and blue, Tsukineko ink pens in turquoise.

Techniques: Free motion embroidery, free motion quilting, hand colouring.

A doodle similar to this is in my sketchbook. I was thinking about seaweed mandalas at the the time, and some turquoise and black pottery of my Mom’s. I spent HOURS on this piece. First, doodling with the sewing machine, then picking out bits of stabilizer from the back. At that time I was pretty happy with the piece and decided to give it a press with the iron. What a ~~~~~MISTAKE~~~~.

Perhaps the iron was too hot, because the polyester embroidery thread SHRUNK! The piece lost an inch all around and puckered terribly. I couldn’t do anything about it. Wetting didn’t help. Thank goodness I had cut a generous starting square, and thank goodness the design is more or less symmetrical and the puckers were even all over.

I didn’t lose any sleep over it and quilted it up in fairly simple outline quilting.  I am pleased with the results and love the texture. 

Here’s a close-up picture of the embroidery design.

Inner Animal

Size:  approx 12" x 12"

The theme for this art quilt was "Inner Animal".

When I started thinking about my inner animal I thought of a timid mouse. My husband, however, cheered me up and said it wasn’t true. I used to be a synchronized swimmer (right through university) and I still have swimming dreams. They’re like flying dreams because I can breath under water.

So the dolphin idea was born. It started out as a boring purple dolphin on this piece of hand-dyed fabric that I was saving. It sat like that. Boring, boring, boring; not a very happy dolphin!

After a while I decided it was time to play. The swirls were born out of a variegated pink and blue rayon thread. Still boring. I opened up the latest issue of Quilters Newlsetter and there in the back “photo finish” was the most beautiful quilt with paisley appliques on it called “Open up Your Dream Flower”. So I filled in the spaces with paisley designs in lots of colours. I doodled with my Tsukineko ink pens as I went. More detail, and more colour.

Suddenly my dolphin was having fun again!


Size: approx: 8 ½ “ x 11”

This piece began its life as a sampler in an embellishment class. I was experimenting with various techniques like:

foiling on the fish scales,
angelina fibres on the dorsal fins and tail,
drawing and stitching on metal for the eye and lips,
and yarn embellishment on the belly.
Satin stitch outline,
And there is paint on the fish body and the denim background.

Pure whimsey, nothing more!


Size: 9 ¾” x 12 ¼”

Windows. What could be simpler than a picture I drew while looking out from a window at Refuge Cove while visiting my friend last summer? Looking southwest the very distant mountains on the left are Vancouver Island. That is Cortez Island in the middle distance. And some islets inside Refuge Cove are in the foreground.

I used Staedler watercolour pencil crayons. They seem to have a more intense pigment than other crayons that I’ve used. After drawing the image I painted over with Golden #900 fabric painting medium and a small paintbrush. It is a very liquid medium and dries with a soft hand. I also heat set the piece after a couple of days. I’ve used a single layer of cotton batting.

Next I stitched using a combination of polyester embroidery threads and cotton threads in different colours. I used the poly where I wanted the stitches to be shiny, like on the water and the tree tops. I used cotton thread on the rocks and tree trunks. The quilting is simple and sketchy.

I’ve left a narrow border of the white fabric showing although I could have cut the piece down to 8 ½ x 11. I think it looks like a mat border and with the brown binding frames the piece nicely.

Here is a close up: