Category Archives: art quilt

flit, flit, flying, full landing

I should let Butterfly Brain happen more often, methinks……

TDBAP dec 15 c

Only the one top left circle is reverse appliqued with needle turn so far, but i figured a way to keep them more circular so that will be the next step. I take photos as documentation and so i can remember layouts too :)

Kept the stitching around the circle very simple–easy to go overboard but then why have the fme? Ya gotta know when to STOP too.

TDBAP dec15 detail c

The hardest part has been choosing thread colours so that they don’t over power or over shadow the previous work or the fabrics. To add to the confusion, i have to audition them through the day to get the true value or hue—with winter’s sun setting earlier every day, that’s getting a bit iffy!

I think if this all works, it will be an entry in a planned show next year.


Posted by on December 16, 2012 in art quilt, hand dyes and ecoprints, Jam Days, slow cloth


published again: Art Quilting Studio Winter 2013, and something else too

In June, i was contacted by Art Quilting Studio magazine asking me to submit work. I figured they would choose one piece for the readers showcase section, but nope, they wanted 5 pieces and an article for the Winter 2013 issue. ( That’s not next year by the way: it’s available Dec1/12–they just date it that way because of January). As my darling son used to say “WOOT”!! I just read the proofs last night and ooo is it pretty :)

They chose quite a span of work, dating from May 2009 to July of this year, so it’s quite representative of my style and the progression of my work. Sometimes we need to see our own from someone else’s eyes!

I’ve also been asked to teach a natural dye class next year in May, June or July in a place that is very dear to my heart, Bowen Island in beautiful BC. Info on that as it comes–the organizer and i are still in the “making lists” phase– and when it is finalized!


Posted by on October 16, 2012 in art quilt, embrilting and quilbroidery, published


snappy engaging title to make you read :)

Huh, how about that? It felt really fine to get things completely Finished!

Sea Change has her backing and sleeve now, and is on her way to FAN‘s Waterworks exhibit in August at the Chapel Gallery in North Battleford, Sask. I do wish i could see this particular show–there are 40 pieces that members are showing! I had originally planned on another piece but it made me really unhappy so it was set aside and will be reworked. I think Sea Change is perfect and needs her day in the sun! (I also need to take a better photograph!)

I had dawdled and dawdled with this one, thinking it needed “more”. This week made me realize that enough is enough and it’s complete also.

barr arlee_girl strength_full view

“Girl: Strength” 14×12½, naturally dyed silks and cottons, ecoprinted silk border, hand and machine embroidery

barr arlee_girl strength_detail view 1024

“Girl: Strength” detail

Now i can move on to working on my residency exhibition pieces, hoping that either or both will have enough work done on them to show, even if not finished! One of them is this piece, and has FrankenStitch stitching started (which i’m not showing yet, simply because there ain’t that much stitching!):

have big plans for this largish piece/ 28×42″

and the other is this, which has only notes so far!

needs boobs and some padding too!


embarrassment, or not? and res day 4

Ayn posted on her blog a quote by Chris Guillebeau  that said “If you’re not embarrassed by work you did years ago, you probably haven’t evolved or developed much.”  I have to take exception to this. While i  may be somewhat embarrassed by some really early pieces only because even then they were bad (but i was trying and learning at least) and i couldn’t accept it of myself that i could do bad art, most of my past work is a lesson in learning, progression and confidence, as it should be for (most) artists who stick with it.

How about this one from 2002?

yuk–this one IS embarrassing!

I bring this up, not only because i occasionally look through my old photos at Flickr, but because this year’s residency exhibition theme is to do with what was happening 5 years ago when the group first started doing said residencies. I wasn’t in the group then, having joined in 2009, so needed to see what was happening then in my “stoodio”. The idea is to work from something at that period, to either develop an idea from that time, derive new work from it or add to a series, or just riff off it.

We are usually our own worst critics. “I should have done this, done that, not done it, oh my gadz what was i thinking”: the whole shitshubola of insecurity rolls through our minds as we cringe inwards. BUT, i think sometimes too when you look back you can see freer expression and less inhibition about trying new media or subjects. I’ve started looking at previous work (done before the last 3 years) with older (semi) wiser eyes and see common threads that i have/had lost through preciousness and the search for acceptance. In that respect i mean being part of a current trend or on the bandwagon rather than acceptance of what i do because i do it, rather than “this is what is popular”. (This year has been one of going back to myself rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing, or what the current hoopla is about online, so i say “had lost”.) The origins of our own art can be a minefield or a mine of new motherlodes. Since the “word of the year” for me is “Origin”, i’m re-exploring some of that.

I found 2 pieces i’d like to re-invent. One is a mixed media, the other an experiment with layering, paint and texture that also told the story of an abused co-worker. (Lousy pics by the way, not as competent with the camera then :) )–shall have to reshoot!

“Sediment” 6×8

“Nobody’s Business” 13×15 (ish)

(The black bones of fear under skin that never heals.)

New work that evolves from these will neither be the same size, colourway or technique, a blessing for exploration :) That’s kind of the point though.

Though i am letting the rust and brazilwood cotton pieces from day 2 rest and cure, i washed the 2 silk pieces i had done in a similar manner. I figured if it washed out, wth, i still have to use the fabric so it might as well be “clean”. Well, the darn stuff stuck on a protein fabric (though the pieces are still crap to my eye), proving that cellulose is a trickier substrate for some materials.

The FAN (Fibre Arts Network) site has up the “Far Away” exhibit that is at the national CQA show in Halifax this week (or was, maybe done now…).

Now i must pack up the required day’s supplies and a thermos, walk DogFaced Girl (who snuck out last evening to see her boyfriend down the block !!) and be off for res day 4!


SO close to completion!

A 11tybajillion little tiny weeny weeny eeny backs stitches to hold all the walnut dyed lace done! Actually it went faster than i thought it would :)  Still have to add a few slips of colour under roses at edges, do a few more embroidered ones in the centre, and then do the edging and backing, so close, so close, so close.

And wait until you see the edging i have planned, ahh so sweet.


hitting the National! EDITED: MORE NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m still on my “sabbatical” but just have to share my news:

Above, my favourite photo of “Winter Prairie” in its last stage of completion.

And done:

And off now to the CQA National show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EDIT: 619PM Second show acceptance of the day!!!!!!!!! “Padded Cell” will be at the DaDe Gallery’s “FABRICation” show !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And Beautiful Bones is featured in the current issue of “A Needle Pulling Thread” magazine, in an article by Joe Lewis.


Sea Change—done

Started in Jude’s “Cloth to Cloth” class in Oct of 2010 (!), Sea Change is at finished! Last time (Dec ’10!) you saw the whole thing, it looked like this:

The heavily rusted areas were a pure hell to pull needles through–thank goodness for pliers–always a handy tool in the embroidery supply department :) Even though stitching on rust is a pain, i liken it to working on toast–all that mellow earth colour, a little crunchy, but adding so much flavour.


Sea Change


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