Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sparky Says...


(Photo borrowed from Lisa)

No, that's not my machine. Though it could be...poor Bernie, I've neglected getting him in for his yearly tune up. My friend  Lisa  is a Bernina technician. She gets to see our machines all nakey and linty and everything. She has a great post here that is a must read about what not to do when you think you're cleaning out the fuzz. Read could save your machine!

I need to listen to Sparky too, before Bernie coughs up a hairball....


Friday, January 27, 2012

Featured Artist Friday - Phyllis Hinton Haile, Roaring Gap, NC

This weeks featured artist is Phyllis Haile of Roaring Gap, NC. Phyllis creates works in clay as well as oil paintings and we met during a recent salon at the Yadkin Arts Cultural Center. I'm always fascinated by clay pieces. Clay is one of those media that requires great skill and vision to bring out its full potential and Phyllis has both of those things. Her work is very organic, featuring the things of nature that inspire her.

She explains:
"Whether I am working on functional ware, a decorative vase or a carved sculpture, I am inspired by nature. I look out of my studio windows and enjoy the birds darting in and out of the trees, blooming plants, and at the end of the day, a summer sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nature gives me peace and I want to transfer this in my work"

Garden Lady
 available at Little River Gallery in Sparta, NC

Garden Lady
available at Little River Gallery, Sparta, NC

Originally from Missouri, Phyllis studied Commercial Art at University Central Missouri, as well as oil portraiture at Minnesota River School of Art. Phyllis lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota before moving to Roaring Gap in 1996. Widely exhibited since 1989, Phyllis' beautiful works have won numerous Purchase, Best of Show, and First Place awards. She is a member of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild in Elkin, NC, Associated Artists Winston-Salem, Yadkin Arts Council, and is a founding member of the Little River Gallery in Sparta, NC.

You can find her work at:

Little River Gallery of Sparta
33-A North Main Street; Sparta, NC 28675;
12-4PM Thursday, Friday, Saturday 336-372-3007

Yadkin Arts Cultural Center YARD
226 East Main Street
Yadkinville, NC

Yadkin Valley Craft Guild
126 Main Street
Elkin, NC

Associated Artists Winston-Salem
301 West Fourth Street

Phyllis can be reached at
P.O. Box 436
Roaring Gap, NC 28668

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How Divine

I'm excited to announce that I am now one of the fiber artists contracted to create clergy stoles for C and M Designs! This opportunity to combine faith and fabric to enhance worship experiences is so awesome... I hope that as these unique pieces make their way out into the world that many people will be as blessed by them as I am in creating them!

My first piece: The Burning Bush

A combination of hand dyed, ice dyed, and commercial fabrics. The reverse features hand painted and hand embroidered gold crosses set in a royal purple batik.

God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush...on fire but not consumed, standing on Holy ground. I chose a fabric for the bush that represents to me the ancient, never changing presence. The ground as it progresses down the design is broken, just as humankind lives in a broken state in need of God. Present in every level of the ground are slivers of intense blue, representing the living water of God's grace.

The Burning Bush

Detail (front)

Reverse side

This piece (and future ones) is available exclusively through C and M Designs. Please visit their website for purchase inquiries and to see other works available.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Featured Artist Friday - Jody Pounds, Yadkinville, NC

This week's featured artist is Jody Pounds of Yadkinville, NC. Jody is a glass artist working in mosaics, which I find to be so very beautiful! I have a special love of glass work. My past experience with stained glass was in the Tiffany style - cut, copper wrapped, and soldered - which I did for about 7 years several many years ago before art and fabric collided in my world. But what Jody does with glass is quite different and very intricate. I've seen her at work and the process is just fascinating. She explains:

"I create art by taking hundreds of tiny pieces of stained glass and fitting them together into a mosaic. The variety of colors and textures in the glass provide me with an endless palette and I find that I am most often inspired by the glass itself as each piece of glass is different. The colors can be both vibrant and delicate and I find that the glass speaks to me - until I can’t resist picking it up and smashing it and then putting it back together, my way.

"In Flight" by Jody Pounds

She continues:
I have been creating mosaics since 2001 when my loving husband gifted me with an antique stained glass window. I fell in LOVE with stained glass and knew that I would find a way to create with it. At that time in my life there was no chance of taking any formal stained glass classes so I did a lot of research and basically taught myself the art of mosaics. In 2010 I opened my professional studio, A Mosaic Moment, on the campus of the gorgeous new Yadkin Cultural Arts Center in downtown Yadkinville, NC. My studio is located in the YARD (Yadkin Artists Residing Downtown) and from there I create and teach. I also work part-time for the Yadkin Arts Council so my days are overflowing and wonderful."

Jody is a dynamic person full of energy and great ideas! She creates everything from windows to wall pieces, functional pieces to public art. Please visit her website to see more of her beautiful works in mosaic glass!

(Pictures provided by the artist. All rights reserved)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wherever the Four Winds Blow - A Commissioned Memorial Quilt

I recently had the honor of creating an original art quilt as a memorial tribute to Harold Myers, commissioned by his daughter Lauren. It was such a wonderful process. I first met with Lauren last summer to look over the materials, which were her father's silk shirts and ties, and to talk to her about who he was and the things that inspired him in his lifetime. He loved mandalas, and she had several that he had sketched. He had collected some beautiful silver pieces with lovely engravings. Paisleys were a common motif in his ties. The number 33 was significant to him. He was also an extraordinary musician, a concert pianist, and what was especially inspiring to me was the CD of his performances that Lauren gave me to listen to as I worked on the quilt. That is a CD which I treasure and will listen to often!

After pondering all of the things Lauren shared with me about his life and her memories of him, I created Wherever the Four Winds Blow, named (with permission) after one of his original musical compositions.

I created the design on my computer using my AutoCAD program, largely to simplify the process of repetition and spacing of the various motifs. A unique feature of the design is that every measurement within the quilt ties back to the number 33 or some division of it, and the overall size is 33" x 33". Another nice thing about using my CAD program was the ability to copy elements and offset them to get the seam allowances. (I would guess that EQ does that too, but my background is architectural design so I use what I have and know :) 

The ties were deconstructed and backed with fusible stabilizer and the elements of the quilt pattern were printed onto card stock to use as templates:

I also used printouts without the seam allowance as templates for pressing under the edges of each piece. Oh yes, the entire portion of the quilt within the circle is hand appliqued with silk thread. That was a lot of little stitches!

Once I got to the background and borders I was able to machine piece, still using silk thread.

One of the other unique features of the quilt is the inner border, which is a custom fabric printed with a musical score composed and handwritten by Mr. Myers. I'm not showing any close ups of that to protect it from any would be copyright infringement out there in cyber land, but it turned out really great!

I tried to keep the quilting fairly simple to show off all of the beautiful fabrics and make the paisley motifs stand out. In the background I used a metallic silk thread to quilt a filigree-like stipple, to honor his silver collection.

In the many hours that I worked on this project I feel like I got to know a remarkable man and someone who was quite a kindred spirit. I was very pleased to present the finished quilt to Lauren when she was in town for the holidays!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sawtooth in the News

This morning I headed out bright and early to do a Surface Design segment on Fox8 News as part of their feature story on Sawtooth School for Visual Art. It was so much fun!!

I'm glad I couldn't hear what the anchors were saying, because I would have busted out laughing at the prospect of printing someone's face this way!  :)

The Surface Design class is just one of many that I teach there; there is also Soy Wax Resist, Shibori Dyeing, and Silk Scarf Taste of Art classes. Dates and times are in my side bar and also online at Sawtooth. Enrollment for winter classes is going on now, so I hope you'll call them and sign up soon! Sawtooth School 336-723-7395

Friday, January 13, 2012

Featured Artist Friday - Kathy Brusnighan, Greensboro, NC

This week's featured artist is Kathy Brusnighan from Greensboro, NC. Kathy is a remarkable painter whose work evokes emotion and a sense of the Divine. Working in oils, acrylics and mixed media, Kathy creates pieces that blend light and imagery in a captivating way. She says, "I love color and emotion...I love trying to capture and convey an emotion in a painting...more than just a pretty scene." Currently she is working on new pieces that are abstracts and mixed media exploring mystery and spirituality. "I want to glorify God and my paintings encourage and bless the heart...bring peace, comfort, joy...all of the wonderful emotions we were given to explore", Kathy explained.

Widely exhibited with her works in private collections all over the world, in 2010 Kathy was asked to display her work at an area hospital during December. She was overwhelmed with the response from patients, staff, and visitors who were moved by her work. Seeing that art could be a factor in bringing comfort and healing, she founded Art with Purpose and gathered 16 artists to present a traveling group exhibit "Courage." Debuting last fall at Circa Gallery in Asheboro, NC  "Courage" will be seen in many hospitals and galleries across the Piedmont for 2011-12. Future exhibits are already being planned.

I am blessed to have Kathy as a friend and fellow Cosmic Cow Society member! I hope you enjoy her can find more about Kathy and see more of her work on her website.

(photos provided by Kathy Brusnighan. All rights reserved)

Monday, January 9, 2012


Last week was a particularly stressful one. Among other things my schedule got all flip-flopped about and the Friday that was overbooked ended up open. That turned out to be the best part of the week! When Bonnie called and said she was making a last minute decision to go to our bee's quilt retreat, and said "come with me!" I JUMPED on the chance! I hadn't planned on going...just too much going on and trying to watch the budget. But things have a way of working out so off we went!

See the little brown bag at the far right? That's my clothes. The rest of it? That's the important stuff! :) Projects packed...I'm ready!!

We had to make a stop at the Super Target in Moorseville before we hit camp, and that turned into a gigglefest that is probably recorded on the store's security system. On the way to finding what we were there for we stumbled onto some sock monkeys...these danced and sang, so of course we had to push all the buttons....

and more sock monkeys...

and more... (I adopted these)

Oh what fun!! We did actually get what we went for, then headed on to Camp Dogwood for our sew-fest. Our bee has been going there for several years now, thanks to bee member Carolyn. She always coordinates our visits there. (Thanks Carolyn!!)

Once there we set up and went to work. For three glorious days 11 of us sewed and laughed ourselves silly. We all got lots accomplished and our sisterhood bonds were strengthened.

Martha Claire and Muriel        Laura P, Lisa, and Mrs. Goodneedle

The view from our workroom (awesome!)

Sock monkeys approve of Lisa's quilt (left)...........and mine too (hexis)!

This is my Christmas quilt. I started it here, oh, a few years ago, and now it's FINALLY a top! Just needs borders and it's ready to quilt.

Bernie, Sparky, and a funky chicken. What more could you want?

This is my Storm at Sea, started at a FPQ workshop with John Flynn, now ready to quilt!


Another of Lisa's gorgeous quilt tops. I lost count of how many things she got done! She sort of blew my mind when she started her Storm at Sea...

Can you believe this????

I sure am glad I went!! Thanks a million Bonnie for getting me there!! You're the best! :D

There are more great pictures on Mrs. Goodneedle's blog, Bonnie's blog, and Lisa's blog ...hop over there and have a visit. I'm truly blessed to have such amazing quilt sisters!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Featured Artist Friday - Thomas Rice

Welcome to a new feature of my blog: Featured Artist Friday! I'm beginning this series with Atlanta artist Thomas Rice. He's incredibly talented - oils, watercolors, sculpture, and is a much sought after landscape designer. He's also the husband of my husband's cousin. :)

In December at the Fridy family reunion we were treated to a viewing of two of his works en route to their new owners. One was this really cool copper wire sculpture portrait. My photo doesn't begin to do it's three dimensional and that doesn't show well here against the white wall, but trust me, it is an incredible piece!

The other piece was this fabulous oil portrait:

Thomas has many photographs of his work on his webite. Hop over there and enjoy!