The wedding dress!!!

Avia sent me a link to her formal wedding pictures shortly after I arrived in New Zealand and I immediately foisted them upon every soul who sat still long enough for me to pull them up. I’ve been dying to share them with you but wanted to wait until she shared them publicly first.

Even though I have solemnly sworn to never sew with silk gauze again, ever. Ever. Never. The happiness I see in how beautiful it makes this funny, wickedly smart, and hard working young woman feel makes it worthwhile. And we adore Chase. They are a perfect couple.

Monika Ottehenning now lives in Los Angeles but grew up in North Carolina with my girls. She is a spectacularly able photographer and she has worked diligently to become so.

Its enough to make a mother cry. 

Portobello antiques at the tannery in christchurch

The tannery is an absolutely lovely shopping are repurposed from, what else, a tannery. Full of amazing shops such as a Marinello fabric store, hand spun wool shop, cafes, “op-shops” (thrift stores), and an amazing antique shop with thinks that made me laugh or wonder every time I turned around.

Around town in Christchurch

Christchurch cathedral

A memorial to the lives lost during the 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. It’s a beautiful and peaceful walk along the river.


Nowhere is he heartbreaking devastation resulting from the 2011 earthquakes more visible than the in looking through safety fencing around the Christchurch Cathedral.

But everywhere we look there are new buildings and new construction and beautiful architecture going up. People are resilient creatures, are they not!?


Akaroa New Zealand

This entire trip thus far has been breathtaking! Today – almost literally. The wind as our boat travelled through the harbor was quite brisk. But to have a large pod of Hector’s dolphins come play under my feet for a very long time was pure amazement and joy.

New Zealand is sheep country. And spectacularly gorgeous.

Jenny Gillies Wearable Art – Christchurch Botanical Garden

Kia ora from New Zealand airports

almost ready to go….

Class supplies sorted?


(We won’t mention the weeks of sourcing and ordering supplies overseas – thanks Kerry!)


Class suitcase organized, packed, and weighed?



Ten billion things that I also want to bring that will never fit?

Who needs to wear clothes anyway?


I keep having this idea of sewing up a quick tote bag. My American carry-on is too large and the limit is 15lbs anyway. I’m told they actually weigh it. I’ll tell you a secret. Because I’ve never had my carry-on weighed in the states it often weighs more than my checked bags. This is going to be a challenge!

Now the final scramble. Find my favorite swim top. Pick up my new glasses – it will be delightful to be able to see, won’t it? Finish up errands that will keep my children cared for while I’ve abandoned them. Deep tissue massage to undo a knot or two before I crunch down into a plane. Maybe i’ll get out a newsletter. (My apologies for not having time to update the calls for entry list.)

Lyric is away for a bit…

Meanwhile enjoy pictures of Lyric’s New Zealand adventure on her blog.

Lyric will be teaching at the New Zealand National Quilt Symposium in Christchurch – and exploring some of the islands. Much, much, much too little of the islands for her taste. She wishes she could stay for months as see it all. 


watching vs. doing

DOING wins!!!

I love glass as an art form. My first stop in Seattle was the Chihully museum. I’ve watched glass workers every chance I’ve had, one of my favorites of all time was at the Blenko Glass Factory in Milton, West Virginia. There was something fascinating about a team of big bearded dudes in overalls without shirts doing a complicated choreographed dance and creating something delicate and stunningly beautiful.

On a lovely day in Utah when we were to meet my sister and her family from Portland we ended up at Thanksgiving Point and parked in front of Holdman Studios and Glass Art Institute. We wandered in for a peek. My two youngest weren’t entirely thrilled although they thought it was fairly interesting. Mostly they wanted to go back to the donut shop we had just passed. Thanks to a chatty sales clerk I learned that they offer classes. Being from out of town I didn’t really pay attention until she went on to describe them as a one-time project. You only have to wait a day for the glass to anneal and we happened to have a couple of free days later in the week. I signed all three of us up!!!

So here we are. Little guy sits and rolls the first gather on the pipe. The artist pulled the gather out of the crucible… that furnace was so white hot inside that you almost couldn’t see where the fire and the crucible and the glass began and ended.

Next step – rolling out your glob into more of a cylinder.

The artist gathers another layer of glass, you roll it out again, then roll it into little shards of the coloring agents.

This then goes into a furnace and you turn it while the shards melt into the gather.

I’m telling you – even when the fan is on- they open that furnace door and it’s instant burn time! The wooden paddle he is holding will rest on the pipe and shield her from the heat just enough that she stops squawking.

After another layer from the crucible is added, more rolling, more shaping, a second layer of coloring shards and melting, it’s time to flatten out the cylinder. You roll and press it with a steel paddle. It’s fascinating how quickly and suddenly as the glass flattens that you get a hard edge on the molten glass.

Now, with a little help, giant pliers pull the edge. It’s a pretty thick and heavy glob of glass and the edges cool quickly but you keep pulling. Imagine a two pound hunk of cooled taffy. The red color is just the HOT glass.. it will be blue when it cools.

After pulling out the edges, the kids used what looked like a giant pair of tweezers to dent the back of their dish. The glass was placed on that pile of white stuff behind me in the video – a tap on the rod broke it off and they paddled the bottom flat. My project was a flower vase. I think it’s fascinating that as the edges cool the rest of the glass is still molten.

It’s not something I was purchase if I saw it in a shop, but all of us are inordinately in love with the glass we made. Little guy uses his for everything, from potato chips to legos. Little girl carries hers around or just looks at it. Me too.

Like I said – DOING wins hands down. Our second trip through the gallery the kids were fascinated by every little detail, trying to imagine how you spun out such a heavy gather of glass into a two foot wide platter. All of us now noticed every little detail and appreciated colors and shapes in a way we hadn’t before.

I wonder what other art forms and skills I could gain a huge appreciate for by giving them a try?

avia’s wedding

Avia was married in Utah in the Provo City Center Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The building has an amazing history – starting life as a tabernacle – burning horribly just a few years ago.

It was a beautiful day. Things turned out beautifully. I didn’t have time to make my own dress – I didn’t even care. It was a day about Avia. And about being with my family. My gorgeous son Ethan was such a lovely young man. My family took pictures – I was too busy. I’ll have to wait for the professional photographs to come.

I got to see family from Montana, Idaho, California, and Illinois! My Washington family was in Utah the week before but my sister is a teacher (my heroes – teachers) and had to be back before the wedding.

Nephews and sons and my mom.
So many of my favorite people in one place.

And now for the bride.

And the dress…



avia’s wedding

Hello Friends… I’ve been missing in action for several months. Maybe longer. The keyword here might be action. I’ve thought about many a topic for blog posts and have quite a few in que but want most to share this one with you first. 

My second daughter, Avia, was married last week. She is my picky girl. Or more precisely – the girl who knows exactly what she wants and is patient enough to wait for it. When she was a toddler she would work diligently for an hour on a drawing then have a sudden meltdown because of a minuscule error that we couldn’t fathom. She still is a perfectionist – an excellent quality for a talented graphic designer. The meltdowns are a thing of the past… or at least very quietly internal instead of external.

When she told me she was engaged I worried only the tiniest bit and only because I worried that she had let her cool, analytical self make the decision without enough of her heart involved. That’s only because I only got to see them together for a very short couple of days. She wasn’t feeling well, it was super hot here in NC when they came to introduce themselves as a couple. It just wasn’t enough time to get to know them together. But I TRUST my grown daughters. They are intelligent young women who are balanced and have made wonderful decisions so far.

Funny story – when my oldest, Haven, got married she came home to North Carolina for a few weeks and we made her wedding dress together. I patterned, we cut and sewed, we both made really stupid mistakes. I also called Avia at that time and had a conversation about making dresses. We both agreed that it would never work for me to make her dress. She’s too picky and I’m not patient enough to make the perfect dress.

Or so we thought. Avia searched and found the perfect dress – in a photo of another bride. Fortunately the photo was taken by a photographer she knew. The enterprising young lass contacted the other bride and asked if she could rent the dress. An arrangement was made and the dress was shipped but it didn’t fit and couldn’t be altered. Sigh. Enter me and my big mouth as I sat talking to her on the phone. I happened to have a bunch of patterns out at the time as I was getting rid of most of them. She had continued her search but couldn’t find anything close because the dress was too simple. I said it really wouldn’t be that hard to make.

The pattern WAS simple. The fabrics we chose were another story altogether. I layered silk habit in between two layers of silk crepe de chine for each pattern piece. She didn’t want shiny and this sandwiched silk was perfect, but needed body and stability – and a little less transparency. I cut out, layered, and serged the edge of each piece. She wanted a floaty sheer layer on the top of the skirt and we chose silk gauze. Here’s a little hint for you. Use chiffon. NOT gauze. It’s beautifully light. It floats in the air – enough that it took forever to lay out each piece and weight it down so that I could even cut it out.

Krista and Scott Lewis – the very best in-laws anyone could wish for!

Enter a miracle. I took the pieces with me so that I could fit them on and Krista, my new son-in-law’s mother, happens also to be a sewer. She invited my two youngest children and I to stay with her and use her sewing studio to work on the dress. I thought it would take a day. It took almost four. And those four days settled my heart with serenity as I got to know Krista and Scott and as I watched Chase and Avia in their element. They were happy. They were delightful. They were a perfect match. And they also happen to live in an extremely beautiful place.

Krista’s hospitality (and her steamer and serger and sewing machine – as well as a willingness to  keep my two youngest occupied) got the job done. It took most of a day to hand roll and hem the silk gauze layer, and all of 40 minutes to hem two layers of the crepe. The machine simply couldn’t handle the gauze and we never could get the serger to work for it.

I think Avia was 95% satisfied – especially after I agreed to cut down the sleeves into cap sleeves after she tried it on and thought about it for a day or two. Everyone is entitled to change their minds and it was the only thing really doable at that point. Her beautiful smile made it all worth while.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get a photo of the finished product.

sale – the quilting arts book by patricia bolton

The Quilting Arts Book
techniques and inspiration for creating one-of-a-king quilts
by Patricia Bolton
145 pages

$7 + 4 domestic shipping

Short Story: I have a box of books to unload. It is a collection of articles from Quilting Arts Magazine. Chapter two is entirely my article series on basic design. The very same articles that led the indomitable and persistent Miss Bolton to call me several years in a row and tell me I must write a book. 

The book includes articles from many of my favorite quilters including:

Melanie Testa

Linda and Laura Kemshall

Natalya Aikens

So help a girl out here – I don’t want to carry this box three flights of stairs up to the new studio when it eventually gets finished. You can get the book new for $15 on Amazon but only $7 here.

$7 + 4 domestic shipping



new work: still yearning

Still Yearning
21″w x 14”h
Printed cloth, batting, thread, embroidery, hope
Exhibit Schedule Here

From it’s very inception, the privilege of citizenship in the Unites States of America has been denied to group after group, based on race and religion. African Americans were not granted citizenship until 1868, four years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Native Americans were not granted citizenship until 1924. Chinese immigrants were not allowed citizenship until 1943. We have turned away people after people who have sought refuge and opportunity. Now our leaders have chosen to vilify Muslims fleeing massacre and Mexicans seeking a better life for their children. 

We as citizens can choose to better live highest of our American values; “that all men are created equal.” Through our individual actions and compassion we can stitch our country into a tapestry of great strength and beauty. Through our votes and data based civil dialogue we can mend the tears in the fabric of our society.

Flag photograph by Stuart Seager used by permission
Immigrant photos by Augustus Sherman
Manuscripts and Archives Devision
The New York Public Library: public domain

You can hear me speak more about this piece on the
Threads of Resistance website here

History of Racial Discrimination in US Immigration Policy

1790 Any free white person can apply for citizenship after two years of residency.

1798 Alien and Sedition Acts require 14 years of residency before citizenship and provides for deportation of “dangerous” aliens. Changed to five year residency in 1800.

1857 Dred Scott decision declares free Africans non-citizens

1868 The Fourteenth amendment to the constitution grants citizenship to African Americans, four years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act suspended Chinese immigration for 10 years and barred Chinese in the U.S. from citizenship.

1888 Provisions are again adopted for expulsion of aliens.

1891 Bureau of Immigration established. More classes of aliens restricted.

1892 Ellis Island opened on the east coast, Angel Island on the west. Women traveling alone must be met by a man, or they were immediately deported.

1902 Chinese Exclusion Act renewed indefinitely.

1906 Knowledge of English becomes a basic requirement for naturalization.

1907 Head tax on immigrants is raised. People with physical or mental defects and unaccompanied children added to the exclusion list. Japan agrees to limit emigrants to US.

1910 Congress assumed inferiority of “new immigrants” from southern and eastern Europe.

1917 Immigration Act established “Asiatic Barred Zone”

1921 Quota Act of 1921 limited immigrants to 3% of each nationality present in US in 1910.

1922 Japanese made ineligible for citizenship.

1924 Quotas changed to 2% of each nationality based on numbers in 1890. Jewish emigres limited. Border Patrol established. Native Americans made citizens.

1929 Annual quotas of the 1924 act made permanent.

1943 Chinese Exclusion Laws repealed, China’s quota set at token 105 immigrants annually.

1948 Displaced Persons Act allowed 205,000 refugees over two years, gave priority to Baltic States refugees. Technical provisions discriminated against Catholics and Jews.

1950 Grounds for exclusion and deportation are expanded. All aliens required to report their addresses annually.

1952 Immigration and Nationality Act eliminates race as a bar to immigration or citizenship. japans quota set at 185 annually, China’s at 105, the Axian countries 100 apeice. Restrictions placed on immigrants from British colonies in order to stem tide of black West Indians.

1965 Hart-Cellar Act abolished national origins quotas. Categories of preference based on familiy ties, critical skills, artistic excellence, and refugee status established.

1978 Separate celings for Western and Eastern hemispheric immigration combined into a worldwide limit of 290,000.

1980 Refugee Act removes refugees as a preference category.

1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provides amnesty for many legal aliens.

1990 Immigration Act of 1990 limited unskilled workers to 10,000 per year. 

2001 USA Patriot Act amended Immigration and Nationality Act to broaden scope of aliens ineligible for admission or deportable.

2017 President Trump attempts to ban muslims from entering the United States from seven so-called “terrorist” countries in spite of the fact that not one single American life has been lost by a domestic terrorist attack from an immigrant from those countries. There is no ban placed on travel from countries that HAVE attacked the United States. In fact, President Trump greatly admired the dictators in Saudi Arabia.


New Work: Dialect

40″ x 40″
hand dyed cloth, batting, acrylic, thread


Premiering at the International Quilt Festival in
Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Cloth
presented by Dinner@8
created by Leslie Tucker Jennison and Jamie Fingal


a lovely look at faces – it’s all about value

I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite quilt artists – Virginia Greaves. She recently created a piece for Personal Iconography: Graffiti on Fabric curated by Dinner@8. It will premier at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.

With some of the recent tutorials I’ve given you and using apps to make photo patterns I’d like to skip ahead and show you how important it is to work carefully with VALUE when working with faces. Remember, VALUE is how much light or dark is in the color you are using. In Ginny’s case, the scale and density of the VISUAL TEXTURE (pattern) in the cloth creates lighter and darker  value as much as the actual color does.

Click over and get an in-depth look at Ginny’s process. She has created a beautiful piece of work and I know you’ll enjoy it.


You can learn more about the elements of art in my book, Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises, available here.

online class: Picture It Framed

UPGRADE YOUR ART by learning a variety of professional presentation options for textiles. Award winning artists, Lyric Kinard shows you mounting and framing options. Learn which factors to consider to present your work in the best possible light.

All of these video based lessons will be yours to access permanently in this open-access course. Lesson one opens June 19th in this premier run of the course, with one lesson opening each week afterwards. After that – all lessons will be available immediately for new registrants.



Lesson 1: Basic Framing

  • When to use a mat – edges showing or covered
  • Mounted with gel medium, matted
  • Mounted but not matted – edges exposed
  • To glaze or not to glaze
  • Sewn to a mat board and framed – edges exposed
  • Flush mounted then framed – edges covered with no mat

Lesson 2: Gallery Wrapped

  • Wrap that thing!
  • Wrapped and fused
  • Sewn and stapled
  • Glued and wrapped
  • Glued with painted edges
  • Sewn with painted edges
  • Wrapped and stapled
  • Wrapped, stapled, staples covered
  • Gallery wrapped with a canvas floater frame

Lesson 3: Mounting Variations

  • Hidden mount on gallery wrapped canvas
  • Hidden mount on wrapped stretcher bars
  • Cradled wood board with velcro wafers
  • Sleeve for a standing tabletop frame
  • Plexiglass mount, sewn
  • Plexiglass mount, velcro wafers

Lesson 4: The Frame as Art

  • Painted gallery wrapped canvas
  • Design considerations
  • Integrating the frame into your artwork
  • Extending your design onto the canvas
  • Molding paste for texture
  • Screened canvas with molding paste





Q: Will you include links to suppliers?
A: Absolutely yes! If you are an international (outside of the US) student and have links to share, please do!

Q: What are the lessons like?
A: Each lesson includes several short video links as well as written supply lists.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be open to you permanently 

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will answer questions through August of 2017. After that this will be a stand-alone video course with FAQ sections included in each section.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: No, but you can access them anywhere you have wifi or a data connection.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to be able to save the URL and password for the Ruzuku site. That’s about it!

on-line course: abstract-a-licious august 16 – september 30

If you’ve looked with secret longing at the world of Abstract Art but have no idea where to begin, this is the class for you.  Lessons consist of  concrete design exercises that are clear and easily understood as well as ample encouragement from an award winning teacher. You don’t need to have drawing or design skills as this course is designed to inspire and teach  both the timid beginner and the confident creative. Lyric’s easily followed  instructions  lead you to create  your own unique and original abstract compositions.

registration is open now
$49.00 for 6 lessons

This course includes space for you to share your pictures and get feedback from your classmates. The more you contribute, the livelier class will be.  Lyric will pop in twice a week to give feedback on each picture posted. This platform provides a safe space for a lively and sharing creative community to explore without judgement and competition.

Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to a new lesson. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from. There are short videos to show how Lyric works each exercise and to explain the gist of things.

Just like in a live classroom, you’ll be able to see your fellow students work and discuss how things are going. You’ll get encouragement and instruction from Lyric on all the work you post.

Supplies consist of things you already have at hand so you won’t be time or money shopping for things you might not use again. The most important supply is an adventurous willingness to explore, grow, and play as you learn to see and create within the framework of abstract design. Doodles will be scribbled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had. Won’t you join us?

Lesson 1 will open on August 16th
Lyric’s last comment on student assignments will be September 30th but the class will not close. 
You will have continual access to these lessons.

The classroom opens as soon as you register.
You can introduce yourself and familiarize yourself with the online classroom.
Lessons will consist of short video introductions and PDFs.

registration is open now
$49.00 for 6 lessons

Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will use pen and paper but Lyric will show you exactly what to do.

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Us whatever your favorite medium is to create your studies. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into them if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your eye as an artist.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. The classroom is open two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is a little wiggle room.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on each posted assignment until September 30th.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the written content, available as PDF lessons. You can download them as soon as they are released or wait until the end of the course when they are available in one continuous file (great for e-readers). The videos are not downloadable but you can continue to access them after September 30th.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

tutorial: using the Snapseed app with appliqué in mind

Or – “how I use Snapseed to alter a photo I’ve already taken so that it is easier to turn that photo into a pattern for appliqué” but that was too long for the title bar.

When you are going to make a pattern from a photo, especially a simple appliquéd portrait, You need to figure out where the darks and lights in the face are. Faces aren’t usually dark and light delineated so running the photo through a filter makes it a lot easier to see.

You can take a photo through the Snapseed App but I find it much easier to take all the photos I want with my device’s regular camera then to import just the one I want to filter.

The very first time you open the app you will most likely need to give it permission to access your photos and your camera. Go ahead and do it.

Now you will be prompted to open a picture. You have options. You can click the camera button and take your own picture right in the app. If you don’t like it you can cancel and try again. I find it quicker and easier to just open a picture I’ve already taken so I choose the first option and “open from device.” Unless of course I see the photo I want on the slider there and then I just tap that.


If you tap “Open from Device” you will get the chance to choose which photo album you want. Click through until you find the photo you want and tap it.

Now you see the photo you want all big and pretty. Pretty silly in this case. My little guy has been called monkey boy for ages. He was scaling cabinets and climbing to the top of unreachable places by the time he was a year old. 

Now – we want to turn this silly face into something easily transferrable into a pattern. Click that big pencil icon on the lower right.

This will bring up your Tools. Feel free to crop the image if you’d like. I usually click on the very first tool, Tune Image.

Now you are in working mode. You can change all kinds of stuff here and if you like it you click the check box on the right. If you don’t you click the X on the left. If you want to compare your original to your changes hold the slider icon on the upper right.

Touch and hold anywhere in the photo and a tools screen will pop up. These are all the changes you can play with. Slide your finger up and down to choose what change you want to make, then slide your finger to the left and right to make the change. You will notice at the very top of your screen it will tell you which change you are making and give you a bar and number to let you know how far up or down from the original you have moved. I always start by punching up the brightness.

See up at the top? I’ve now also punched up the contrast by about 51%.

For pattern making it helps to see pure value (light/dark) instead of color so I slide the saturation all the way to the left. I usually head back up to brightness and contrast and sometimes play with shadows as well.

He looks scary now as well as goofy – but I can see dark blacks against bright lights. This is a good place to stop. See that checkmark on the bottom right? Now I click it and I’m back to the home screen with the tools pencil on the lower right that we saw before. If you made a mistake and didn’t want to keep these changes go up to the upper right and click the stack with the back arrow icon.

This will give you the chance to undo just the last change, start over (revert), or take a look at all the different edits you’ve made.

I’m fine with this edit and am done so I’ll click Save. Now I have a choice. I usually Export. This makes a plain copy that is easy to open in another app and doesn’t use up as much data as the second or first options. 

Open your photos and goofy boy is there, ready to print and take to my light box, or to play with in Paper Camera (see this tutorial) or a sketch program (tutorial coming soon.)

tutorial: using the paper camera app to make appliqué patterns

This is for my fabulous students who have been patiently waiting for me to write up a tutorial. 

Paper Camera by JFDP Labs is an app that I use to begin the journey from this:

to this!You go girl! We only work on construction of the portrait in the last hour of my Playful Portraiture class and she went home and finished this hunky boy all in one evening.

We had a fabulous time at the East Cobb Quilter’s Guild taking selfies and making faces using this app. Yes, the current reviews of the app are terrible. The last time it was updated was November of 2016. But – for what I use it for, I still love it. If you find another app that can do this, let me know and I’ll review it.

When you open the app – this is what you see. You might have to give permission for the app to access your camera. Click yes. Now -see those little arrows on the bottom right of your screen? Click through them until you see the….OLD PRINTER filter. Lots of dots. Kind of cool. If you are going to take a selfie next you need to look for the little camera icon with the circling arrows in the top right corner of the photo. See it? Click it and the camera will turn to the front of you device so you can see your own funny face.

Hello there! Just for practice take a picture. You do that by clicking the blue button with the picture of a camera on it on the far right of your screen. If you are right handed this is very convenient, no?

Now, the important thing to pay attention to when you take your picture is the dark and light – the shadows. Move yourself and your camera around until your face is mostly in the light. Tip yourself up towards the light and see what happens. Take as many pictures as you need to practice. Get up close and silly with your eyes. Look around in different places – especially right into that tiny little dot that is the camera lens. 

If by chance you have a different photo in your albums that you took somewhere, sometime, elsewhere you can use that in the app as well! Right above the little blue camera button on the far right is a bookish looking icon. 

Click it and it will turn green and open up your device’s photo album. Click the photo you want to open it in the app.

Now you can click the arrows through again until you find old printer. Slide the little slider-thingies (that’s an official word!) back and forth until you have an image mostly in black and white then click the green down arrow. (Up arrows in a box usually mean send, down arrows in a box usually mean save.)

Next, look at the bottom left of the screen. You should see the last picture you took in the thumbnail. Click on it and you will see the photo all big and silly.

If you click on the green set of three photos icon in the top left here you will then see ALL of the photos you’ve taken. If you want to email yourself a picture to print click the blue box in the upper middle with the send arrow.

If you want to back out to the camera setting you click the red arrow on the upper right. If you want to select certain photos to delete click the green box with the checkmarks in the upper left.

You can also double click the “home” button to go back to the home screen or to bring up all the apps you currently have open. I have my photos app open so I click on that. In my photo album I can see both the unfiltered original picture and the filtered version. I find it easier to send photos from the Photos app than from Paper Camera. 

And – like I said…. it’s buggy. Sometimes we mysteriously couldn’t find the photos in the app. Mine freezes when I’m trying to send from within the app. Ah well. When it works – it’s great!

Next up…. How to open this fabulous silly face in a different app and make a pattern from it.


Jamie Fingal’s Hopscotch Fabric Line

I have the BEST friends! The kind that say, “I’ve just created a fabric line. Will you help me make samples?” And then you get this gargantuan list of amazing fabrics to choose from and then they show up in the mail and then you get to play!

And play around I did… with no serious plan in mind

This was a “fun” project so I had no real interest in carefully planning ahead. The only requirement was for the finished quilt to be 18″ square.

A few squares and a few seams later I had a big stack of mostly good half-square triangles. Piecing is definitely not my forte´but every once in a while the mindless repetition is a nice way to meditate along to the hum of a machine.

Next a little fusible web…

And a little playful fusing. See how I added enough border that I didn’t need to measure until the very end? That takes all of the stress out of it for me.

And there you go. Some kisses and hugs to Jamie in appreciation of her creativity and to RJR for printing such a fabulous line. Look for it in your local shops soon!

Jamie was kind enough to let my fabulous quilt bee, the Material Girls, get in on the action.

Kathy Ackerman

Kathy Ackerman … again! Sew girl sew!

Becky Harbour

Cris Brookheart


If you want to take a peek at all the other fabulous little quilts made from this line click through this list of artists. With “blender” fabrics like these you can make pretty much any style of quilt, as you’ll see.

hop, skip, jump blog hop
4-24 Jamie Fingal
4-25 Cindy Cooksey
4-26 Sue Bleiweiss
4-27 Lyric Kinard
4-28 Susan Brubaker Knapp
5-1 Leslie Tucker Jenison
5-2 Deborah Boschert
5-3 Libby Williamson

On-Line Course – The Artist’s Eye

In this one-on-one basic design intensive, individualized coursework is designed to help YOU see your artwork in a whole new way.  As you learn to systematically analyze your work using the Elements and Principles of art as your foundation, you will begin to understand your own unique design process.  

Becoming fluent in the visual language lets you critique your composition in process and arrive more quickly at a successful design.

There are only 4 spots available – sign up now!
Lyric is taking on a very limited number of students to ensure that each has her full attention.

Introductory and evaluation materials for the class will be available beginning May 8th and the first lessons will open on May 15th.  A minimum of two weeks between each assignment gives you time to work deeply into your art, in the comfort of your own workspace. Coursework and calls will be completed by August 4th.

This course is for you if:

  • You are serious about advancing your work as an artist
  • You wish to grow past your current level
  • You wish to become confident in your ability to analyze your artwork 
  • You have a desire to seriously engage in your artistic practice for a sustained period of time

“Lyric  made the mystery of art  easy to understand. I’ve gained confidence in being able to describe and analyze what I’m seeing, whether it is my own work or the work of other artists. Now I better understand why something is or is not working in a composition and my own art has grown and improved as a result.”

As a part of the course curriculum each student (within the states) will be sent a copy of Lyric’s book to use as a study guide. International students will receive a link to a digital copy of the book.

Register HERE

What to expect from Lyric:

  • The course begins with a series of questionnaires that help Lyric understand what it is YOU need from this course
  • You will have six individualized lessons designed to help you develop your artist’s eye
  • Two of those lessons will be private video conference calls
  • You will have up to two weeks to complete each assignment
  • Lyric will work with your schedule to schedule assignments and calls (even internationally!)
  • Calls can be made through Skype, FaceTime, or GoogleHangouts
  • Lessons will include pre-recorded videos and PDF material
  • Lyric will check in once each week with comments on assignments you have completed
  • Students will have access to a private and moderated FB critique group
  • You will be expected to work through a series of design exercises

“This class is the equivalent of a college basic design course! I wanted to spend time truly working on my design skills and Lyric pushed me in a gentle and encouraging way to get really out of my safe little box. She pulled material from her writings and other classes that were exactly what I needed to learn. Her critiques were pointed and accurate but I never felt like I had done something wrong. She makes it easy to understand. I got a little frustrated that she wouldn’t tell me how to ‘fix’ things but she taught me the right questions to ask so that I could see and fix it myself.  It was an investment well worth making!”

Early Bird Pricing ends April 16th: $445.00

Full Price after April 16th: $485

Register HERE

The ability to take sharp, clear photos of your work and upload them to the classroom space.
You should have the  technical skills to create your assignments in whatever medium you choose (this class does NOT include technique instruction)

About Lyric:

Lyric Montgomery Kinard is an award winning artist with a passion for sparking the creativity that she knows each of her students posses. With playful support and gentle encouragement she will take you through your first steps on a new path, seeing the world through the eyes of an artist. As an artist, author, and educator she transforms cloth into art in her studio and timid spirits into confident creatives in the classroom.

Lyric was recognized for her talents as the 2011 International Association of Professional Quilters Teacher of the Year and is the author of the book Art + Quilt: design principles and creativity exercises. She has written extensively for Quilting Arts Magazine, appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has two DVD Workshops, Surface Design Sampler Platter, and Bead It Like You Mean It. She has studied with many well known textile artists around the country and continues to expand her skills in the area of surface design. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Utah and has also formally studied music and architecture. She currently lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband and some of their five children.

For Lyric’s complete Resume please click here.

Refund Policy: 
Class size is very small so that Lyric has time to pay full attention to each student’s individual needs. Because of this, once you have paid for your spot Lyric is counting on your participation and there will be no refunds. If there is a waiting list and Lyric is able to fill your spot you will receive a refund minus a $40 processing fee.

Register HERE

Got questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll answer right away.

a week long design intensive – i can’t wait!!!

Does your creative brain wake up with the rest of nature like mine does? The trees budding seems to pull the sap out of hibernation in my own spirit. When that happens I get all excited and start making plans! Some of those plans are for my own artwork but many of them include classes I want to share with my students!

Have I got something wonderful for you!!!! 

This summer I’ll be teaching a FIVE DAY workshop at one of the most venerated institutions among artists who work with textiles as a medium. ProChemical and Dye has been a primary resource for many of us working in the field of surface design. In fact, the very first class I took when I decided I wanted to DO THIS was with Don Weiner, the founder of the company. I am very excited and honored to have the opportunity to be part of this great company for a short while.

I’ll be giving you glimpses of what we will be learning in this class over the next couple of weeks but let me tell you this – it is going to be FUN – INTENSE – and very, very, EDUCATIONAL! In one week we will play with a great variety printing techniques such as 

  • stamp carving
  • stencil cutting
  • screen printing
  • photo transfer
  • foiling

Mixed all in with that we will play with design exercises that will teach us more about the Elements and Principles of art.

  • how to create pleasing and well integrated designs on our cloth
  • how to create whole cloth focal point art with printing
  • how to create art with the cloth we create

I know you would love this class! Won’t you join me?

You can REGISTER here!

When it gets quiet here…

It means life has ramped up behind the scenes. Sometimes good. Sometimes less so. A little bit of both this time. I’ve spent the past two months furiously working to meet each weeks deadline to get a lesson up in time for my online class. I’ve learned a LOT in the process! Nothing like a forced deadline to get my rear in gear!

One of the things I learned was that every once in a while my squirrel brain had to have break from the intense focus – just to play. I was setting up a photo shoot to illustrate one of the exercises for the online class (remember the scissors-to-abstract-art challenge a while ago?) and got a little carried away. I hope you enjoy the results.


Why I Resist

I have thought long and hard about what to say here about my involvement with the Threads of Resistance exhibit.

I have never posted about anything controversial here in this public forum, keeping my business and political life entirely separate. If you follow me on Facebook you know that I have been unable to stay quiet about my political opinions there. I strive to engage in civil dialogue. I strive to honor and listen to all points of view. I strive to promote kindness and love and light. So why would I help sponsor an exhibit that to some might be offensive? I hope you will do me the kindness of reading with an open heart and mind.


BECAUSE in my naive youth I wrote an essay that explored ideas of xenophobia and wondered if immigrants could be America’s best asset if we would embrace them. This was before I knew more than a handful of people that didn’t look and talk and worship just like me.

Since then I’ve gained experience, learned the story of the “other” in America, been privileged to be let into the hearts and lives of those who love this country but have not been fully embraced. I have been the privileged recipient of the kindness of immigrants and refugees in my life. I have witnessed the sacrifice of parents fleeing bombings and war or no way to support their children at home. Parents who give up everything they know to provide safety and hope for their children. Parents who believed America when she says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I was born in a city surrounded by a wall and a death strip erected by dictators and have lived to see that divisive wall come down.

I cannot support a man who uses words to promote fear of my fellow Americans, who demonizes the “other” if their skin is brown. A man who wants to build a wall that we cannot afford and that will not matter to the safety of this country.

I resist because I have HOPE.

Hope in seeing the crowd at the airport that welcomes the refugees fleeing terror and war. Hope in seeing the compassion of the American people. Hope in a new generation that does not believe the color of your skin should determine your educational opportunities or whether you will survive an encounter with a police officer.

BECAUSE I remember being a very young teenager, walking with my sister. A boy, bigger and older than me got out of a van, came up behind me and roughly grabbed me. There. Then walked away laughing. I was so shocked and frightened that my sister and I turned around and walked home. I changed out of my new pants and undid my new hairdo. I had worn both for the first time. I never wore those pants or did my hair that way again thinking somehow that I was at fault for looking like that. I never told anyone. My sister and I never talked about it.

I cannot support a man who through his actions and words thinks that sexual assault is acceptable.

I resist because I have HOPE

My daughters will have someone to tell who will not brush it off or blame what they wore. Men and women are standing up to say that sexual assault is NEVER acceptable.

BECAUSE I grew up spending hours in front of our family’s National Geographic collection, reading about all the wonders in the world. I longed to see the beauty of nature and her amazing creatures. As an adult that same magazine has been full of the heartbreaking disappearance and destruction of those resources.

I cannot support a man who values short term profit for the very few over preserving the finite natural resources that will not last another generation.

I resist because I have HOPE.

I see scientists coming out of their labs and onto the streets. They are sharing data and knowledge and trying to help us save our world. I see a young generation trying to salvage this mess that we have bequeathed to them. They value community and world citizenship.

I resist.

Because America is not meant to be ruled by a king or an oligarch.

Because I love the constitution of the United States. 

Because I value the checks and balances of the Judiciary branch.

Because I honor the sacrifices made by those who fight for our freedoms. 

Because I believe in the freedom of religion for all Americans.

Because I believe the press must be free to expose deception.

Because I believe educating ALL our children is vital to our future.

Because I seek truth and will not condone lies.

Because I feel I must speak for those who are denied a voice.

Because I value love and compassion and kindness.

Because I love America.

Because I am an American.



Because I HOPE.

If you would like to join us please look here for more information and an open call for entry.
Entry deadline is May 1, 2017
Juried artworks will travel from July 2017 through at least October of 2018


I welcome your respectful comments, whatever your view.
Aside from this post, this blog will remain, by and large, non-political.

making faces….

I’ve got a new class on the docket, Playful Portraiture. As is always the case with a new class I’ll work and tweak and refine the class material and process for at least the first couple of years. This morning I got a bit carried away making patterns for my students to use….


A day off…

I had one of those days yesterday. Not enough sleep and a headache. Heartache too. Then a wonderful friend reached out to me. Just a simple texted conversation but it helped me get off my duff and get moving. I knew I had deadlines to meet but I had just enough room to put them off for a day or two and work on something just for fun. I turned off the news and turned on some happy music.

I’ve had a bit of an impulsive buying spree lately. I really, really love linen clothing. The wrinkly loose and comfy kind, not the tailored starched, don’t-sit-down-or-you-will-wrinkle kind. I’ve gained enough weight in the past couple years that most of my clothes no longer fit. Along comes and I’m in trouble because their linen is luscious. Don’t sign up for their newsletter, whatever you do. Every day they will send you a new sale item and you sit there imagining the things you want to make and somehow you end up buying the stuff even though you know you have no time to actually sew.

I turned off the news and cleared off my work table and spent the day playing. My favorite shape to dress my current body (skinny legs, pot gut) in is a loose, swingy top and leggings with boots. I took two of my current favorite tops and sort of cut around them to create a pattern. Well, actually, I didn’t even make a pattern first. I just laid the sleeve or the body of the shirt onto the fabric and cut away. I figure if it’s loose and big enough it will work. I followed the hood from one top and the raglan sleeves from another and just improvised on the shape from the bust down.

Am I the only one who gets a little thrill from only having this much fabric left over? There is something supremely satisfying about puzzling out the most efficient way to cut the cloth so that pretty much every useable bit is used up. Have you seen Dorothy Turnham’s book, “Cut My Cote“? Published in 1973 but my mom had it (and it sort of came to live with me) and I was always fascinated by the detailed diagrams of historical clothing and how every bit of cloth was utilized. That makes perfect sense when it might have been your own hundreds of hours that picked and prepared and spun and wove the cloth you were using.It’s been a while since I’ve sewn something to wear. I took pleasure in going slow. Well – actually – I almost never sew slowly. Perhaps deliberately is a better word. You can do “deliberate” pedal to the metal, right? I sewed interior French seams beautifully finished and pressed even though I had a serger sitting right there next to me. Although honestly – I probably just didn’t want to mess with changing the thread from black to white. And here’s a tip – do you use an edge stitching foot when making hems or topstitching seams? It’s the BEST. I end up sewing almost the entire garment with that foot on.So after wearing it around for a while I think I’m OK with it. I had no expectations of perfection and knew I was taking a chance without making a muslin first. The V neck spread wide instead of down so the arms and the hood are shifted back farther than I’d like. I thing I have just enough left to make two ties so that I could attach them at the front of the hood and tie them if it bothers me. The pocket openings are cut on the bias so they are gapping as well. I sewed clear elastic inside the hem there but I might add a decorative tuck. I sewed the same elastic inside edge of the hood because I didn’t feel like making a long linen tie and threading it through. Deliberate and lazy at the same time. Or – I just know where I choose to intensify my efforts and where to take short cuts.

Can I encourage you to do something? Reach out to a friend. You never know how much that simple gesture can make a difference. Send a text. Pick up the phone. Write a letter. The world needs all the kindness it can get right now.

What I’ve been up to….

It’s long past Christmas and the world has moved on, but I  thought I’d share a few links anyway. In 2015 I got a little carried away with origami stars… something that I’ve been toying with for a number of years. Stars symbolize several things to me… light in the darkness, wishes and hopes, and guidance toward goals.When it is very dark outside I love to look up and see that the sky is still there. Sometimes I can see a familiar constellation – sometimes it is just a twinkling smattering of light. When I can see the stars I can see beauty.

Here is a link to the blog post showing this star (my fall time favorite) in process along with a link to the video tutorial I followed.

Children wish on stars. (Anyone else singing like Jiminy Cricket here?) I have wishes and hopes and dreams. I choose to hope, to believe in good triumphing over evil. Perhaps it’s childish but it helps me through the days.
Here is a video tutorial in case you want to make this 8 part Robin Star.

Stars symbolize guidance and hopelessly out-of-reach goals that get you to an amazing place anyway. You never actually expect to reach the North Star when you follow it do you? yet you walk in it’s path and reach a mountaintop right?

This year I didn’t have time to make another tutorial although I met with a group of local women and I showed them how to make the five pointed star as a tree ornament. Here is a video tutorial in case you’d like to make your own. 

I decided that making an origami star was a great way to use the maps and tour guides from various trips. I’m not sure if this picture shows the Paris Subway star or the Mesa Verde, CO map star. Then – one day while I really should have done something else…. I went entirely overboard.

Kusudama Electra sphere designed by David Mitchell
The link leads to a video tutorial that isn’t in english but is very clear and slow – thank you “Easy Origami” for sharing your work.

I made the units for the red sphere here much by cutting each origami square into quarters so the finished star is much smaller than my first one. I admit that my stars are still up. I took down the garland and the Christmas tree quilt, but the stars bring my a spot of hope when I walk by them.

I see them and I wish for peace, and hope, and kindness. Then I go out and see what I can do to make it happen. My own North Star…….

What do you wish?

what I’ve been up to…..

This blog has been sorely neglected for such a long time. Of course, sometimes I think it is just a narcissistic “oh look at me” kind of thing and nobody reads it anyway. I actually have no idea how to find out how many of you subscribe. I should find out. I’ll add it to my to-do list……

So this is what I’ve been up to for the past few months. My youngest daughter and I got a lot of work done on cleaning up a beautiful treadle singer and it’s cabinet. It’s not quite done yet.

One of my older daughters (both live out of state) was home for several weeks. She misses the beach so we went.
We all really, really love the beach.

Hubby and I were wearing jackets. I flew my stunt kite and looked at the water. One girl ends up digging and digging and digging every time we go. The boys end up upside down. You should see the flips they can do bouncing off that buried yoga ball! 

Lest you look at this and the upcoming posts and think I spend all my time in leisure and art-making, let me assure you; I don’t.

I live a very real and very full life. I am blessed. But my life is full of every day struggles as well. Keeping difficult relationships going. Lots of doctors. Torn tendons. Failing grades. One sunny for every six grey and drizzly cold weather days. I even spent quite a bit of time with a friend in a mental hospital last month. (A very good hospital with caring doctors, and she is finally stable. Don’t get me started on the lack of adequate mental health care in this country. Just don’t.)

So – even if it is only for my own benefit – I post the beautiful things here to remind me that they exist. I am grateful for them. 

on-line class!!!


If you’ve looked with secret longing at the world of Abstract Art but have no idea where to begin, this is the class for you.  Lessons consist of  concrete design exercises that are clear and easily understood as well as ample encouragement from an award winning teacher. You don’t need to have drawing or design skills as this course is designed to inspire and teach  both the timid beginner and the confident creative. Lyric’s easily followed  instructions  lead you to create  your own unique and original abstract compositions.

Lesson 1 will open on February 15
$45.00 for 6 lessons



This course includes space for you to share your pictures and get feedback from your classmates. The more you contribute, the livelier class will be.  Lyric will pop in twice a week to give feedback on each picture posted. This platform provides a safe space for a lively and sharing creative community to explore without judgement and competition.

Each week you’ll receive an email with a link to a new lesson. The lessons are available 24/7 and you’ll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from. There are short videos to show how Lyric works each exercise and to explain the gist of things.

Just like in a live classroom, you’ll be able to see your fellow students work and discuss how things are going. You’ll get encouragement and instruction from Lyric on all the work you post.

Supplies consist of things you already have at hand so you won’t be time or money shopping for things you might not use again. The most important supply is an adventurous willingness to explore, grow, and play as you learn to see and create within the framework of abstract design. Doodles will be scribbled, eyes and minds will be opened, and fun will be had. Won’t you join us?

Lesson 1 will open on February 15




Q: Do I need to know how to draw?
A: NO! We will use pen and paper but Lyric will show you exactly what to do.

Q: Do you require special supplies?
A: If you own a sketchbook, use it. If not, plain paper is great! Us whatever your favorite medium is to create your studies. Acrylic on board? Great! Cloth and thread? Wonderful! Collage paper and glue? Fabulous!

Q: How much time will the class take?
A: I would love it if you spent one hour each week on the exercises. You can delve much more deeply and really get into them if you’d like, repeating and refining your skill and strengthening your eye as an artist.

Q: I’m half-way across the world in a different time zone. Will I miss half of what is going on?
A: Not at all. The beauty of online classes is that you can come to them at your convenience. There is no “live” element to this class that you will miss.

Q: I’m out of town during a week of the class, what will I miss?
A: Nothing. You can catch up when you get back. All lessons will be there the rest of the class and you can post your work at any time while it is open. The classroom is open two weeks past the last exercise (a total of 8 weeks) so there is a little wiggle room.

Q: How much interaction is there from the teacher?
A: Lyric will comment on each posted assignment during the weeks the class is open.

Q: Is the content downloadable?
A: Only the PDF lessons. I suggest you download them as they are released. The videos are not downloadable.

Q: What do I need to know about using a computer?
A: You’ll need to photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson. There is a video when you start class, that explains how to use the online classroom. is very helpful and you can email them with any technical questions.

back in the swing of things

Hello Friends… it’s been a while! I’m trying my best as the freight train of my life rushes on to hop off now and then to be with YOU! I’m announcing my first online class offering of ABSTRACT-A-LICIOUS shortly! WOOT!!!!! (do people say that any more?) Stay tuned!

In the meantime I’d appreciate it if you’d fill out this VERY SHORT SURVEY to help me choose which class to focus on next. 

new work: sweet little things pt 3

8x8_boxersThe Boxing Sisters
8″ x 8″
$45.00 plus shipping


7″ x 8″
$45.00 plus shipping


7x9Feed the Birds
7″ x 9″
$45.00 plus shipping


7x7_pietrasThe Society Lady
7″ x 7″
$30.00 plus shipping


New Work: sweet little things pt2

5-5x7A Funny Little Guy
5.5″ x 7″

9x9_anna_pavlovaAnna Pavlova
9″ x 9″
$40.00 plus shipping

6x6_leapordgirlFierce Cheetah Girl
6″ x 6″
$30.00 plus shipping

8x8Sweet Little Girl with Hat
8″ x 8″


New Work: sweet little things

Though I would share some of the sweet little things I made before IQF.
5x7Dragonfly Beauty
7″ x 5″

8x8_boy_clownLittle Clown Boy
8″ x 8″

9″ x 9″

$45.00 plus shipping

I’ll be posting several more of these over the next two days.


Marian Anderson is one of my sheroes. 
I’m so pleased to say that she has found a new home.

Patterns at the International Quilt Festival

I thought I’d take a minute and share a few snapshots of my time in Houston, TX at the International Quilt Festival.img_9464

See that building on the right with red stacks? That is about half of the convention center. The exhibits and vendors seem to go on for miles. It’s truly a massive gathering space for my tribe!

I spent most of my time teaching but did spend some time taking in some of the beautiful artwork on display.

Here is the Dinner@8 special exhibit titled PATTERNS.

You can read more about all of the artists and the exhibit at the Dinner@8 website.

Why Even Try?

Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.
Wendell Berry

Do you ever feel like giving up? I have a teenaged son. If feel like giving up all the time. Nothing I say or do appears to make any difference in his behavior. I can see how the choices he makes now will affect his future. I can’t and won’t shield him from the consequences of his behavior. It’s really, really, really hard. I am positive that at some point he will figure out his life … but for now it’s painful.

Why keep trying? Because I love him. Because I keep a flame of hope tight in my heart that something will stick. Something that he can turn to and remember someday. I keep trying because of the regrets I know I’ll face if I don’t do everything I can to teach him to be a kind, responsible, contributing member of the human race. 

What is the Worst that Could Happen?

I kind of have a little obsession with lists. I constantly forget things so lists are my main coping mechanism. I made a list about giving up on my son. What are the best and worst things that could happen if I give up? Best? For now he might think he’s happier. I still don’t think I’d sleep any better at night. Worst? He might secretly think I’ve given up on him.

What would happen if you made a list every time you felt blocked by fear or doubt? Are you are afraid that you will get rejected from a show you’ve always wanted to enter? Are you afraid trying a new direction in your artwork will turn in to a big fat mess? Write down the very worst that could happen. For me, it’s just that I’m out a chunk of money and time for the entry. There really is no other negative consequence that I can think of to being rejected. Now think about the best things that could happen? Exposure? Sales? Awards? Recognition? Satisfaction? Your work might touch someone’s soul. You can make a difference. 

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
Soren Kierkegaard

Remember What You Love!

Remember who you are. (An Artist!) Remember what you love. Make choices so that you won’t live with regret. It might be a struggle. You might not see results immediately… it takes love and perseverance and an awful lot of work to see your efforts come to fruition. There will be setbacks. There will be struggles. There will be rejection.

There will also be results. There will be the satisfaction of knowing you didn’t give up. There will be growth and yes, perhaps, even success. Don’t. Give. Up.

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
Willa Cather

It’s that time of year again… getting ready for Houston!

More often than not October finds me in a mad scramble to get everything ready to teach at the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas. It really is an amazing event – I call it the biggest slumber party in the world!img_9322

Every other day the dining table is covered with a different mess of supplies and sundries. It’s always best to provide kits for your classes in Houston with students flying in from all over the world. Literally. All. Over. The. World! I’ve had students from South Africa, Brazil, Australia, all over Europe, and even Turkey!img_9397

At the same time that I’m supposed to be getting ready the Professional Art Quilters Alliance – South has a retreat at the beach. I packed everything up and off I go… to watch the sun rise over the water.


Then make hundreds of bead kits. Just F.Y.I. I do believe that working on the floor instead of at my table is the best way to go from now on. I did not knock over one single bowl of beads this time to go bouncing across my studio and hide in every nook and cranny and embed their tiny little selves in the bottom of my bare feet. It was downright miraculous.


So I spent several 12 hour days making kits and then making samples. And looking at the waves and the sky. This western girl loves the lush trees of the Southeastern US but still heaves a sigh of relief every time she gets a view.


And food. And friends.
Because that’s what quilters do and who we are.

(and boy do I need a haircut!!!!)


travel: paris – sacre-coeur

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is set on the highest point in Montmartre. As I visited it on the last day of our European adventure last year I thought it a beautiful end to a magical time. It’s contrast to the Palais Garnier was refreshing. That – and I just have a thing for being up high. If I were a bird I would definitely be one of those who perch at the highest point to watch the world below.
img_4938Wikipedia says “The inspiration for Sacré Cœur’s design originated on September 4, 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier attributing the defeat of French troops during the Franco-Prussian War to a divine punishment after “a century of moral decline” since the French Revolution, in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following that revolution.” Reading the rest of the history in that article reminds me of how closely tied religions and governments have been in many countries and how much I appreciate religious freedom and tolerance of diversity that are codified in the American constitution. (No matter how badly people and politicians might mangle the practice of the idea.)


It was quite the hike to just get to the base of the Basilica, but every view and every plateau was a reward.

img_4942“Sacré-Cœur is built of travertine stone quarried in Château-Landon(Seine-et-Marne), France. This stone constantly exudes calcite, which ensures that the basilica remains white even with weathering and pollution.”

img_4939“A mosaic in the apse, entitled Christ in Majesty, created by Luc-Olivier Merson, is among the largest in the world.”

img_4943“Though today the Basilica is asserted[5][when?] to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblée nationale, 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris by voting its construction, specifies that it is to “expiate the crimes of the Commune“.[6] Montmartre had been the site of the Commune’s first insurrection, and the Communards had executed Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who became a martyr for the resurgent Catholic Church”

img_4945The climb up to the top is long…

img_4946But there are surprises you would never be able to see from below.

img_4950Beautiful and rewarding glimpses all along the way.



making the world a better place: my Rare Bear story

kinard_rare_bear3The cloth for this bear is very subtly dyed then screen printed with an image of the handwritten notation of a fiddle tune collected by a folklorist in the Appalachian mountains. This cloth was also used as the background for Bach Suite I, my favorite quilt creation so far. It features a hand painted cello with the same wings as my bear… beautifully patterned but tattered and worn. 
There is something soaring and soulful about the imagery of tattered wings. Perhaps they still fly, perhaps not. If you are a musician you know that the appearance or age of the instrument does not determine the beauty of the music it produces. It is the soul and the struggle of the hand that touches it, joined with the skill of the craftsman who created the instrument that creates soaring beauty. It is the support of the teachers who taught the musician and the craftsman. It is all of these people coming together with their talent, their inordinate amounts of time and sacrifice, to share the music that uplifts us and soars.
Even a battered old instrument can produce soaring melodies with the touch of a master.
The children who suffer from rare diseases have bodies who might feel broken and tattered like the wings of this bear, but their souls are touched by dedicated masters. Their parents, their doctors, the researchers and also those who contribute funds so that research can take place – they are all masters that struggle and labor and sacrifice so that these souls, the precious souls can have a chance to live and perhaps have the chance to share the song of their futures with a world that needs their beauty.

I hope that you will participate in the


You can see all the bears posted thus far at the link above.
The auction will be held both on-line and in person at the
International Quilt Festival in Houston TX
November 2 – 6, 2016


If you will be in Houston you are invited to join us at the  Beary RARE Affair!  Stuff a RARE Bear for a RARE kid, Meet Celebrity Quilters and get a chance to win a Simply Red BERNINAand many other gifts!

making the world a better place: rare science

I’d like to introduce you to a little project I was invited to be a part of. RARE Science works directly with patient families and foundations to find more immediate therapeutic solutions for children with rare diseases. Sweet little Teddy Bears are sewn then donated to children with rare diseases. In this case, a number of artists have created some very special bears to raise funds for researchimg_7558
This year RARE Science is partnering with TQS (and a number of other great organizations) to bring you… the FIRST Ever Celebrity RARE Bear Auction!  This is your opportunity to own a signed bear made by the quilt world’s most talented artists while helping a great cause.img_7561_srgb

  • Bears will be on display at Houston in the RARE Science booth. Can’t make it to Houston, not a problem.  You can bid on your favorite bear via the online auction.img_7562_srgb
  • Not interested in the auction, that’s ok.  But, we would love for you to vote for your favorites when the time comes.  More about that later



  • But wait, there’s more…Have you heard about the Beary RARE Affair?  Stuff a RARE Bear for a RARE kid, Meet Celebrity Quilters and get a chance to win a Simply Red BERNINAand many other gifts!


I hope you will participate in the auction – either online or in person at the International Quilt Festival November 2 – 6 in Houston, TX.

travel: paris – palais garnier, tapestries

Last one I promise. My favorite part of the Palais Garnier (Paris Grand Opera) was a lobby that had exquisite tapestries on the walls. Busts of famous balerinas and singers and composers were also on display. Maybe I was drawn to the tapestries because they are textiles – but I also love that they had a little bit of empty space in the compositions. They felt a bit Art Nouveau to me.





paris_grande_opera_33One interesting bit of information. I think I remember listening to the audio tour and it mentioning that ballerinas had to have “patrons”. They were paid so little, regardless of their fame, that they had to find a “sponsor.” As a result of this, they were looked upon as little better than prostitutes because the sponsors were men (of course) that, well, you know… expected certain favors in return for their financial patronage. Of course, the famous men as composers needed patrons too but didn’t have the same reputation. I’m hoping that, at least, has changed in our world. 

travel: paris – palais garnier, opera

They were rehearsing when we visited the Opera so we only had a quick moment to view the auditorium and see the Chagal glass in the dome/skylight. And we couldn’t take pictures. But it was pretty cool to watch the ballet dancer, a guy, dance like a chicken with more and more intensity as driven by the director. I do believe now the Palais Garner is the home of the Paris Ballet and the Opera lives over in a much newer but also large-and-built-to-impress building.paris_grande_opera_34We couldn’t go in, but we did see famous door to box number 5 where the Phantom of the Opera played Mr. Creepy Stalker.

paris_grande_opera_27The library was heaven. I love this place and want it in my home. Those folks are looking in on models of sets from various famous productions.

paris_grande_opera_35If I knew my opera better I’d probably be able to tell you what opera this was.


Downstairs they had my favorites – costumes!!!paris_grande_opera_17

travel: paris – palais garnier, looking up, looking down

paris_grande_opera_23looking up

paris_grande_opera_25looking down






paris_grande_opera_30down (now this… I looooooove!)

paris_grande_opera_27UP… love this too. The guard didn’t love the way I took the picture though. 😀

travel: paris – palais garnier

I’m still going through pictures from last year’s trip to Paris and Greece. My daughter and I saw a lot of french architecture that I call Geschmukte. I think I might have made up that word. Baroque. Palaces that were soaring mirrored places for kings and queens and nobility as narcissistic as a certain current political candidate.paris_grande_opera_01

The Grande Opera in Paris was my favorite of the buildings in this category we toured. Perhaps because it was centered around the arts rather than a ruler made it more palatable. Or perhaps I actually found beauty here and there in the details. All together it was a little much (understatement for sure!). It’s like leaving some negative space in your artwork or in your quilting. Someplace for the eye to rest accentuates the details that you want to stand out.

paris_grande_opera_03The entire place is a stage. The grand staircase with balcony after balcony that allowed for society to present and to view itself is a stage. 

paris_grande_opera_06I love taking it in just a piece at a time. It is the same as good design in gardening – my favorite being creating paths for the eyes and rooms to experience. In a place like this that is overwhelming with detail I like to pull in and look at smaller views.

paris_grande_opera_12I love this beautiful statue, the Pythia of Delphi, sculpted by Adele d’Affray under the male pseudonym of Marcello. 

paris_grande_opera_13You can’t look up or down or sideways in this building without being bombarded by decoration. Sometimes a small bit of that decoration can be amazing! I’m glad I’m not in charge of cleaning this place.

paris_grande_opera_10One of the lobbies.

paris_grande_opera_09But if you zero in and look a little closer….. there are delights everywhere you look.


Creative Collaborative Collage

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana

I’m brave enough to call myself an artist, but I wonder sometimes. I don’t sell much of my art and most of what money I do make comes from teachingTeaching (and all of the development, preparation, marketing, contract negotiations, traveling, etc. etc. etc.) takes up a LOT of time I could be spending in the studio making art.

So why do I teach?

I’ve thought about that quite a bit. One of the main reasons I teach is because I love my students. I learn as much from my students as they teach me. I learn from my students every time I am in the room with them.

As an instructor, it’s imperative to stimulate people to think…
ask questions… the right questions…  
Bonnie Mandoe

When I read this quote it clarifies the way I love to teach. I want to empower my students with the ability to continue what they have learned in class without my presence. I want to make myself unnecessary. I want them to be able to think and play and to  analyze and explore.

Creative Collaborative Collage

…is one of my favorite classes that helps my students to think on their own. It is heavy on PLAY and EXPLORE, a perfect romp through a few of the elements and principles of art. It is a chance to goof off with friends you know and friends you haven’t met yet! It is a safe environment to make a mess and take chances. We will make a stack of small and unique collaborative art postcards following my whimsical and wild directions for you to take home and share with friends. It’s really more of a party with fabric than a class.

I’ll be teaching it on Friday afternoon November the 4th in Houston at the International Quilt Festival. It is the perfect time to take a break from walking the floor, sit down, and play with fabric. (The supply list is ridiculously easy – simply throw a bunch of your scraps and maybe a solid fat quarter into a quart sized zip-baggie and grab a pair of scissors!) You know you want to come don’t you!

sign up now for
(class #577)

There are still spots available but don’t wait too long – classes fill fast!

If you have a friend that will be attending IQF this year, I’d LOVE IT if you could forward this note to them. It really is a class where “the more the merrier” applies!

and the winner is…..


Congratulations to Lynne P. !!!!

You’ve won a copy of Deborah Boschert’s book!

If you didn’t win – I highly recommend this book. You can purchase it here on Amazon.

Or if you really love the artist – Deborah has signed copies available in her Etsy shop. As a thank you for buying the book directly from her, she is giving away pieces of original surface designed fabrics with the first 50 sales. Here’s the etsy link. (And did you know – when you order from Amazon the author gets pennies. If you have the option ALWAYS buy directly from the artist.) 


new work: dance 3


Dance III
5″ x 7″ 3/4″




new work: dance 2


Dance II
5″ x 7″ x 3/4″




tutorial: doodle to thermofax ready image

I love doodling in my sketchbook. This sketchbook is definitely not a work of art – it’s my WORK place. Most of what’s in there is an ugly mess and I don’t care. But some of the doodles have potential as thermofax screens.

This one for instance.


Picture taken with iPhone while doodle was still in sketchbook.

Now if I wanted to turn this into a great screen it would need some work. I need a stark black and white digital image so that I can print it out on my laser printer that uses the right carbon based toner that will burn through the emulsion on the fabric mesh when I run it through my thermofax machine.

See how the page is shadowed at one corner and brighter at another corner? That’s not going to work.

It is also hard to keep the image from key-stoning when you take a photo with your phone or camera. See how the image is distorted in the upper left corner? It leans in and isn’t square? The sketch itself isn’t that way – just the photo.

How to fix that?



Scan of doodle cut out of sketchbook so it will lay flat.

You can see the difference in this image where the lighting is perfectly even and the photo is square. When you scan your image please pay attention to the following.

RESOLUTION: scan at 300 dpi because you are concerned with print quality – not screen quality. 72 is standard for an image that you look at on your screen but is not high enough for a clear crisp print.

FILE TYPE: JPG will be the easiest to work with in a digital editing project. If your piece needs no cropping and is already in black and white a PDF might do as well.

COMPRESSION: when you scan your image, then save it, make sure that you do not compress the file further. At some point when you go to save you will see a quality slider similar to the one below. Make sure you drag the slider all the way to 12 – which is the maximum quality.


Now – make a copy or duplicate of your image and lets get busy. You always do that right? That way if you make a mess of things (I often do) you can start back with your original file.


No shades of grey. No creme paper. No shadows. When the thermofax machine burns through the emulsion coating the fabric screen the grey areas of the screen may or may not burn all the way through. The best way to have a clean image for your print is to have a clearly black and white image to send to me. If you are starting with a lower quality photo such as the first one in this post, I’ll show you how to clean it up.

These instructions will work with pretty much any digital editing program. I’ve used Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp as well as a few others. If you can’t find the tools I mention in exactly the same place just open your program and type the tool name in the HELP box at the top. Most of the programs will give you an arrow pointing to where that tool is located.


thermo_sizing_tute02_brightnessFind wherever your programs Brightness/Contrast controls are hiding and give it a click. Up will pop a window with two sliders.

thermo_sizing_tute04Play around with the sliders until you can see that the image is as bright white and dark black as you can get it without losing parts of your image.


thermo_sizing_tute02_levelsI also often play around with Levels instead of brightness/contrast.  This is the most complex of the three methods but it isn’t a big deal. Remember that  control+Z is your best friend. It is the UNDO button. 

thermo_sizing_tute05There are three sliders in the levels window to play with. I’m certainly not a photoshop expert so I’m not sure I can explain to you why these work or how – but they do. First I mess with the slider on the right under that funky mountain graph looking thingy. It usually makes the white background whiter as I move it to the left. Next I work with the middle slider. This one is more fiddly – I move it back and forth until I’m happy with how black my blacks are. Sometimes I mess with the far left slider but not often. 

Again – just play around as see what you get.


thermo_sizing_tute02_thresholdThe last and sometimes quickest tool to use is the Threshold filter. It’s also the tool that is hidden in different places in every digital editing program so you might need to type it into the Help bar to find it.

It’s quick and easy but it isn’t always the best at keeping all the details you want. Let me show you.

thermo_sizing_tute06There is only one slider to play with and you get ALL black and white immediately. You need to slide the little pointy button back and forth though. I really didn’t want all that shadowing on the upper right to show up.

thermo_sizing_tute07So slide that slidy slider around and see what happens. In this case – moving it around too far got rid of the shadows but lost some of the lighter circles in a different part of the doodle. Again – play until you are happy with what you have.

thermo_sizing_tute01Here is a middling image that doesn’t have any messy bits and has enough of the circles intact to make me happy. What do you think?

Now you have a stark black and white image.

Remember – there is no rule saying that you can’t try all three in conjunction. Sometimes I boost the Brightness/Contrast then go straight to the Threshold filter.

Now – it might be the case that you see some messy flecks and dots that are bugging you. Anything on that page (I recommend you print out your image so you can see what you are going to get in the finished screen) is going to show up.

We can fix that.

Hunt around for your eraser tool. Remember that HELP box up at the top of your control menu can find it for you.


You will need to size your eraser, and decide the “hardness” of the tool.thermo_sizing_tute14

I needed my eraser to be small enough not to erase any of my circles so it was set quite small on this file. Remember that if you accidentally erase something you wanted to keep you can click control (or command) Z – or Edit/Undo to, well, undo what you just did.

Hardness controls whether the edges of your eraser are hard or a little fuzzy. With a black and white image I like a hard edge.

Click and slide and work your image until you’ve erased all the flecks and specks and you like what you’ve got.



I strongly recommend you also check out my tutorial on SIZING so that when you send your image to me to be made into a thermofax screen you get exactly what you want.


tutorial: sizing images for thermofax screens

If you are unsure of how to size your image so that I can make a thermofax screen for you – here are some instructions. First the simple list. Then detailed instructions with pictures.

  1. SCAN your image (if you are working from a sketch.)
  2. CROP your image so there is no extra white space.
  3. SIZE your image so that it prints exactly the size you want.
  4. PRINT your image at 100% to test it out.
  5. NAME your image with your name, image name, the size YOU want the image printed at.
  6. SEND me your image via email after you have placed your order.

Now for detailed instructions.
With pictures and everything!



There are many ways to create imagery for thermofax screens – one of my favorite is simply doodling. This is an image from my sketchbook. In order to make this into a screen I first need to digitize it.


Scan of doodle cut out of sketchbook so it will lay flat.

You can see the difference in this image where the lighting is perfectly even and the photo is square. When you scan your image please pay attention to the following.

RESOLUTION: scan at 300 dpi because you are concerned with print quality – not screen quality. 72 is standard for an image that you look at on your screen but is not high enough for a clear crisp print.

FILE TYPE: JPG will be the easiest to work with in a digital editing project. If your piece needs no cropping and is already in black and white a PDF might do as well.

COMPRESSION: when you scan your image, then save it, make sure that you do not compress the file further. At some point when you go to save you will see a quality slider similar to the one below. Make sure you drag the slider all the way to 12 – which is the maximum quality.



If you don’t have a scanner you can work with a photo taken with whatever camera you have. In this case I took a photo with my iPhone.thermo_sizing_tute00

It is very difficult to get even lighting. It is also hard to keep the image from keystoning, see how the image is distorted as it is in the upper left corner you see here. See THIS TUTORIAL for working with the image to make it thermofax-ready. This image is NOT ready because it is not a stark black and white.

Once you get it stark black and white like this…thermo_sizing_tute01-1… you might need to further edit it. Say you drew your doodle on a 4″ x 6″ page but you actually want a 6″ x 8″ image? You will need to size it. These instructions will work with pretty much any digital editing program. I’ve used Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, and Gimp as well as a few others. If you can’t find the tools I mention in exactly the same place just open your program and type the tool name in the HELP box at the top. Most of the programs will give you an arrow pointing to where that tool is located.



See all that extra space around the image? In order for you to get exactly the size you want it will help you to get rid of all the extra. Look for the CROP tool… It usually looks like that little square I’ve pointed to on the left.

thermo_sizing_tute13The crop tool will probably open a box over your image that you can then pull or drag along each corner to get rid of all the extra white.

Sometimes you just click and drag over the part of the image you want to keep then you can move the sides around to tuck them in all snug up against your image.

Sometimes the box will only stay square, or only keep the original ratio of the image file. In that case there should be a bar somewhere up at the top of the window that will let you change the preset ratio to “free”. Or in this case to W x H.




With the extra cropped away you can size your image to exactly the size you would it to print. Find your program’s Image Size tool.


When you open the Image Size window you will see what width, height, and resolution your current image is. Make sure the number you are looking at is inches – not pixels or percent, or something else. There is a pull-down menu next to the number so you can change to inches if that is not what you see.


Notice that because I am using a photo from my iPhone rather than a scan my resolution is 72. That is how many tiny little squares of light the computer crams into an inch of the image you are seeing. Great for on-screen but if I am going to print this I want to change my number to 300 pixels per inch. thermo_sizing_tute18Now you can change the width and height to whichever size you prefer, so long as it fits within the guidelines for a small, medium, or large thermofax screen.

Small: max image size  3″ x 4″
Medium: max image size  4″ x 7″
Large: max image size  7″ x 9.5″

You can make your image smaller than 7″ x 9.5″ if you want it smaller on a large screen. You just can’t make it bigger than the maximum image size for each screen you order. 

Why? Because even though the screen fabric you get for each size will be larger than the maximum image size you’ve got to leave enough blank space around the image on the screen so you can tape the edges or fit the mesh into a plastic frame.



It’s always a good idea to print out your image to make sure it looks like you want it to. Make sure that however you print it – your print setting say your print size is 100%!


You might have to hunt – but make sure you are printing at 100%. In photoshop you have to scroll down quite a way to find the print scale.


Take a look at the printout. What you see in this printout (if it black and white with no gray) is what you are going to get on your screen. Is it fuzzy? Is it pixelated? Are there black splotches and specks? They will all show up on your screen. 

You can learn how to clean up your image in THIS TUTORIAL.

Now that your image is exactly the right size and as clean as you can get it (unless of course you want it speckled and splotched – I’ve seen lovely messy screens that work quite well!)


Label your file with your name, a description, and the exact size you want the image (not including the white area around it) to print at. It should be the same numbers you put into the image resize box up there!

example: Kinard_dotgrid_6.9×9.jpg



Go to my CUSTOM THERMOFAX SCREEN page and order the size and number of custom screens you want me to make for you then send me an email with your images attached.


Any questions? Feel free to ask. If anything is unclear please let me know and I can try to tweak this tutorial for you.

Book Review and Giveaway: Art Quilt Collage

I introduced you to Deborah Boschert yesterday.
Now I’d like to introduce you to her first book.

Art Quilt Collage


I saw this and had to giggle because I know exactly what she’s feeling…. CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S HERE!!
Writing a book is a ton of work. You write and organize and write and make artwork for months.
Then all kinds of things happen with the editors. Then things get quiet. Then – IT ARRIVES! Look at how tight her fingers are on that book – you just know she is standing still for the picture just bursting like a puppy dog ready to jump all over the place!!!!

And this book is a sweet thing of beauty. There are all the usual art quilt chapters on supplies, construction techniques, and finishing. But i also has intriguing chapters on personal symbols, inspiration, and my favorite:

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 6.55.29 AM

 Deborah and I had a little chat about my favorite chapter in her book that you can watch here.

 You can order her book on Amazon here

Or if you really love the artist – Deborah has signed copies available in her Etsy shop. As a thank you for buying the book directly from her, she is giving away pieces of original surface designed fabrics with the first 50 sales. Here’s the etsy link. (And did you know – when you order from Amazon the author gets pennies. If you have the option ALWAYS buy directly from the artist.)
I will also be giving away a copy of the book on Sept 30th!
In order to enter the giveaway contest you need to leave a comment here on this blog. Make sure I have a way to contact you! I’ll pull a name from a hat on the morning of the 30th.
Tell me:

What is your most difficult issue with design?

You can learn about other chapters of the book and enter a comment for a chance to win a copy of Deborah’s book on each of these blogs until September 30th.
Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch
Book Release Blog Hop with Video Chats!
September 19: C&T Publishing and Editor Lynn Koolish
September 20: Teri Lucas, Generation Q Magazine
September 21: Susan Brubaker Knapp
September 22: Sue Bleiweiss
September 23: Lyric Kinard
September 26: Lori Kennedy
September 27: Maria Shell
September 28: Jane LaFazio
September 29: Judy Coates Perez
September 30: Melanie Testa

New Work: dance 1


Dance I
5″ x 7″ x  3/4″





Artist Spotlight: Deborah Boschert

I’d like to introduce you to a friend and favorite artist of mine.DeborahBoschertwebsite

Deborah Boschert is a mixed media/quilt artist from Texas who is one of those people that you can’t help but like. She is sweet – in the REAL sort of way where you just know that she thinks and feels things deeply and cares about people. I love following her real life adventures on Facebook.

websiteWaning-Cresent-Meditation1Waning Crescent Meditation by Deborah Boschert
60 x 24 inches

I also love the way she layers commercial and hand printed cloth, machine and hand stitching. Her color combinations are usually quiet with just enough spark and contrast to draw me in. There is something peaceful and intriguing about her work and you can tell there is a personal symbolism being used.

greenbowlwebsiteGreen Bowl by Deborah Boschert
40 x 40 inches

This sweet little piece is part of my own personal collection.
IMG_7548Horizon Embraced by Deborah Boshchert8 x 8 inches

You can read more about Deborah at her website.

And stay tuned! On the 23rd I’ll introduce you to her new book and have a copy to give away!

Copyright Free Photos: The New York Public Library

I’ve posted articles before about sources for Copyright Free photos and thought I’d share the most recent rabbit hole I’ve disappeared into. 

The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Another amazing resource full of photos, manuscripts, books, maps…. be still my beating heart. And here is a wonderful feature… on the home page there is a magic little search box with another magic little click box beneath it. See that??? You can narrow down your search to public domain materials with one click.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.19.49 PM

I am a super softie for historic photos – especially those capturing traditional dress of the cultures of the world. Textiles, clothes, real people from parts of the world. Your ancestors. My ancestors. I love being reminded that America is an entire nation of immigrants. When we are honest about it Native Americans are the only people on this continent who didn’t arrive from somewhere else (in the last 550 years or so) looking for something better.


Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.08.44 PM

Pay close attention to the green box here. See that bar along the bottom? It says “free to use without restriction.” Magic words my friends.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 4.08.55 PM

These pieces are all from a collection titled Portrais of Immigrants at Ellis Island, New York.

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47da-dc99-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wGuadeloupe Woman by Augustus Sherman

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47da-dca0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wRussian Cossacks by Augustus Sherman

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47da-dc98-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wScottish Boys by Augustus Sherman

nypl.digitalcollections.510d47de-79d7-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99.001.wDutch Children by Augustus Sherman

Join me in at the international quilt festival!

Registration is open for Houston!

The International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX is what I call the biggest slumber party in the world! Want to come play with me?
Thu Nov 3
2-5 pm
471 Mixed Media Forum
Photos + Foil = Fun!
Fri Nov 4
541 Surface Design Samplerkinard_print_paint_play218
Fri Nov 4
577 Creative Collaborative Collage
Sat Nov 5
740 Saturday Sampler
Beautiful Beaded Blooms

Sat Nov 5
765 Bead It Like You Mean ItIMG_4652


Click HERE to register now.

save the dates! some very special opportunities to study with me

There are only a few spots left for
Craft Napa
January 12 – 15, 2017
Napa California
The newest adventure from Pokey bolton, the creator of Quilting Arts Magazine and TV. Spaces are filling fast – one of my classes is full but there is still space available in Abstract-A-Licious (a fabulous class that teaches easy design skills that help you to come up with your own unique abstract designs). Space is also available in Creative Collaborative Collage, a fast paced event where merriment and mayhem ensue with a little learning thrown in for good measure.
Save the Date
Pro Chemical and Dye
August 7 – 12, 2017
Fall River, MA
Join me for a very special 5 day class!
Five days of delving deeply into paint and learning some serious design skills along the way. A luxurious amount of time! You deserve this!

student spotlight: abstract-a-licious with the victoria quilt guild

These are from quite a while ago – but still some of my favorites. The designs that students come up with in my Abstract-A-Licious class are always unique, original, and intriguing.FullSizeRender-29



FullSizeRender-32 FullSizeRender-35

travels: marjorie park, greenwood colorado

In Marjorie Park, the same sculpture park as the Alice in Wonderland sculptures I enjoyed some quiet time inside of Weidenblume, a sculptural arbor made of living willows.
weidenblume_lgIn 2010 it was created by German atelier Sanfte Strukturen led by Marcel Kalberer. Five years on it looks a little different. Look for the metal birds roosting…

And a couple other sculptures I found interesting…

Winged Lion of St. Mark: maker unknown. “This winged lion holding a scroll symbolizes the Venetian Republic’s power on land and sea. In religious iconography, the lion is commonly composed next to St. Mark the Evangelist, and remains an evangelical symbol. St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice and his emblem is the winged lion, equipped with a sword and a scroll, which reads “Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus (Peace to You Oh Mark My Evangelist). This reproduction is inspired by the original (15th century), which sits on top of the clock tower in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy.”

by George Lundeen


Artist and date unknown. “A chimera is a beast with a lion’s head and body, a second head of a goat, and serpent’s tail. This horrific monster is present in mythological imagery dating back before Christ. This Etruscan Chimera is a replica of a 16th Century sculpture located in Florence, Italy. Chimera is focused, ready to pounce, its beautiful silhouette contrasting its strong musculature details. Its mane, horns, claws, and sharp teeth are finely crafted, and the whole presence enforces its intent to frighten away evil forces.”

I just look at the poor fellow and think he’s sayinging, “SUCH a pain in the neck!!!”

Scissors to – Abstract-a-licious

How fun is this!? A few of the audience members that watched the Quilt Show taping a couple weeks ago went home and did the scissors-to-abstract exercise!image imageLOVE IT!!!!

thanks for sharing with me!

new work: sisters – bubbling up (or help me find a better title!)


This piece was begun and set aside almost 10 years ago but it was time to take it out and put it together. It sprang from a trip where laughter bubbled continually and effortlessly. 

2005vsisters4Back then I had far fewer “natural highlights” in my hair. This past summer the entire family was together again. Again there was much laughter – but after ten years there were far more burdens than there were then. I want to remember that carefree time. These are some of the people in this world that I love and admire the most. Everyone in my family lives very far away from each other. We miss each other a lot.



Life is still good. There is still laughter and love.

(Bubbles is a terrible title.
Help me figure out a better one!)

an ode to summer

Summer is winding down. The kids have gone back to school and we’ve actually had a few days that weren’t unbearably hot and humid here in NC. I’m loving and appreciating what a wonderful summer it was. Preserving memories.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 3.58.34 PMSpending a week surrounded by ALL the people I love most in the world.

Painted in WaterlogueSeeing wide open skies and fields full of ripening crops.

The_PosseDriving and ATV for the first time.

Preset Style = Bold Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = None Format Border = Straight Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Heavy Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = High Contrast Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Blurry Water Bleed = Average Brush = Fine Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Medium Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Medium Options Faces = Enhance Faces

Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. Cherries. Cherries.
Cherries don’t grown in NC so I made batch after batch of compote while we were in ID.

IMG_5282Being surrounded my memories of childhood.
My siblings and I wrote a book full of memories of growing up Montgomery.
A gift for my parents 50th anniversary.
(Check out Storyworth if you want to do the same thing.)

IMG_5525More time with family – driving across OR with my sisters family.

IMG_5526A full weekend watching Drum and Bugle Corp Competitions.
This was spotted somewhere in Oregon, the competitions were in Pennsylvania.
The instruments on the barn are not Bugles. It’s OK.

IMG_6491Turning off the TV to find peace.

IMG_7410And finally back home. There is beauty here too.

for your inspiration: alice’s adventures in wonderland

On my recent jaunt through the Denver, Colorado area I spent most of my time in Centennial in a rather business-centric part of town. I had an hour or two to roam and perused Yelp, TripAdvisor, and RoadTrippers to see what was close by and discovered the Madden Museum of Art. Unfortunately as soon as I got into my car my week’s worth of sleepless nights caught up with me and I found myself at the hotel instead for a blissful nap.


Once awake I made my way to the museum but phone calls interrupted and time was short and in walking by I discovered a small outdoor sculpture park full of delightful sculptures by Harry Marinsky celebrating Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

IMG_7492“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

IMG_7493“”There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents, and only one for birthday presents, you know.”

IMG_7495“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”
(Why do I so strongly identify with this quote as a woman/mother/business owner?)

IMG_7498You are old, Father William, the young man said,
And your hair has become very white:
And yet you incessantly stand on your head – 
Do you think at your age that is right?

In my youth, Father William replied to his son,
I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why I do it again and again.

filming for The Quilt Show in denver, co


Last week I hopped a plane and several hours later walked into a gorgeous big beautiful sky and MY mountains over there in the distance. Denver isn’t quite the same as growing up in the Salt Lake Valley with the Rocky Mountains right there in your back yard. Denver feels like it is in Kansas and the mountains are waaaaaay over there. But they are beautiful all the same. And the dry air compared to the steamy sauna that passes for summer here in NC can’t be beat.

IMG_7450I had the serious honor (well – one can never be too serious when Alex and Ricky are in the room!) of being invited back to The Quilt Show; this time to their studio rather than out on location. For those of you who missed it the first time I filmed in Charleston and Asheville. I’ll stick in a links list at the bottom of this post… I had too much fun revisiting those travels and you might enjoy them as well.

IMG_7419This was my first time on set with a “LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE!!!” That was a hoot. Yes the audience is there – and it is alive and breathing. But they have to hold still and breathe quietly while actual filming is happening. And there are a bank of huge cameras between what is going on set and the people watching – so they actually only see what you are doing on the big screen TV’s that are on either side. I like to ham it up and play with people so I did a lot of pretending that I could see them.

IMG_7430It was funny that after the filming is all done, they turn the cameras around and film the audience having different responses to what happened previously on set. They would be directed to belly laugh or nod or chuckle or simply “look really attentively” at – something – usually something silly in Justin’s hand, like a marker.

IMG_7435What was just as fascinating to me was sitting in the control room for a few segments – watching various people do invisible jobs that make the show look great. There are sound and lighting engineers with ranks and ranks of buttons. A Camera engineer who watches the action and tries to keep up with which shot will best show what is going on. I’m told I move a little to quickly on camera and I tried, really I did, to slow down. Shelley, the producer watches closely to make sure everything makes sense and flows and a note taker writes as fast as she can so that they can shoot all the right pick-ups and put them in all the right places. It’s really cool to see what is going on behind the scenes to make those things all work out seamlessly as you watch the screen.

For those of you who wish to further procrastinate whatever it is you really should be doing right now….

Charleston, SC – The Angel Oak
Charleston, SC – Architecture
The Quilt Show – Magnolia Plantation History
The Quilt Show – behind the scenes at the Magnolia Plantation and Pt 2
The Quilt Show – on location at Magnolia Plantation
The Quilt Show – prep time and the art of slogging

travel: greece – the water in katakolo

Spring of 2015 was one of the most amazing times of my life. My daughter Avia and I traveled in Paris and Greece. I managed to blog about part of our time in Paris (you can peruse those photos here – lots of museums, lots of food, lots of cathedrals!) Then life got crazy again and hasn’t stopped. Today I’m practicing the ultimate in procrastination and avoidance of a serious deadline and am reminiscing about our time in Greece.Katakalo_beach07
It’s a billion degrees hot with humidity like a steam room here in North Carolina. I’m taking a morning to remember the glorious azure waters of the southern mainland of Greece… the cool crispness of the water and the dry heat of the air. Enjoy this little video while I get back to work.

We visited before the Syrian Refugee crisis took over. I wonder what it was like the rest of the summer. And I wonder where all of those people who have suffered so much are now. The Greek people have the biggest hearts. Even suffering their own economic straights they welcomed those who have and continue to suffer beyond belief. I love them.

I looked up some current facts through MercyCorps if you are interested… 

hey look! it’s a series!

Works in progress.IMG_6969

Kind of fun to pull out the stack of “quiltlets to go” from the back of the bin and see how many I’ve done. Most are bits I keep for when I want some hand stitching on a road trip. The plan is to mount them all on gallery wrapped canvases. Whad-ya-think? Ideas for a title?

for your inspiration: the america on wheels museum

Our family took a little trip a few weeks ago up to Allentown, PA to attend a two day Drum and Bugle Corps competition. Just because we are die hard band geeks. We also spent a morning at the America on Wheels Museum.IMG_6963

I had no idea electric cars were made this far back!


The restoration room, with works in progress, held visual treasures for a texture junkie like me.



Um. Why did this design never really catch on?



Luxury – and it was as big as my minivan. 


For reference – little guy comes to my shoulders – as does the hood on this beast.


Huge. I mean, HUGE! And sleek. And gorgeous.


The detailing on the oldest autos – simply beautiful. I want to paint amazing things on my minivan.

Viva la difference! (or – what is an art quilt?)

I was recently asked what makes a quilt ART.
Some people have made all kinds of quilts that they didn’t think were art (think Gee’s Bend) but then someone puts them on a museum wall and the art world goes crazy. Some people put their heart and soul into creating a thing of beauty but because it is utilitarian they say it can’t be art.
Lucy Mingo, 1979

Lucy Mingo, 1979

In 1971 The Whitney museum hung Abstract Design in American Quilts and broke their previous attendance record. These weren’t new quilts. They were simply in a new setting. Does this mean that these quilts weren’t art before they hung on a museum wall? Is it the location that turns an object into art?
Maker Unknown, Circa 1900 - 1920

Maker Unknown, Circa 1900 – 1920

Who, exactly, has the right to say a thing is or isn’t art? How many artists have been rejected by the establishment during their lifetimes only to be revered years after they are gone by that same establishment. Sure – a museum curator might have advanced degrees – but this is ART people. It is meant to speak to your heart. It is an individual thing, meaning that you have as much say as any PhD.
While there is much contemporary art that I truly love, sometimes I scratch my head and wonder if the “famous artist” who has sold a museum some thing that has almost no craftsmanship to it, is gleefully laughing all the way to the bank at the stunt he pulled. Or maybe he actually does deeply believe the artspeak on the statement. Who am I to judge? 
So my answer is:

I think that quilts are art.

But hey, I don’t think mine is the only valid answer out there. Your answer is just as valid as mine. My opinion doesn’t negate yours and your differing opinion doesn’t mean my opinion is wrong.
Quilts are art? They might be follow a pattern like a paint by number or Bob Ross copy. They might be completely unique and come entirely from the mind and imagination of the maker. The world is a very big pond to swim in and there should be room for all the kinds of fish who want to be there. Art is what you want it to be and that means different things to different people. That’s a very good thing. The world would be a very boring place to live in if we all liked the same things!

vive la différence! 

Hey – I just had an idea. Wouldn’t it be a cool contemporary art installation to gather the results of a particular Bob Ross episode and completely cover all four walls of a gallery? I’d play a looped recording of his voice saying “happy little trees” over and over and over. My grandma used to paint along with Bob Ross. It made her happy. I LOVED seeing her happy so I love Bob Ross too.
Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.39.47 PM

International Quilt Study Center article on Abstract Design in American Quilts

You can order the Catalog of the Abstract Design exhibit here:

to dye for: opening reception at visions art museum

Tah Dah!
It really happened!

imageMy work was in a real, live museum. A lovely, tiny, well respected museum that showcases textile arts. I have five works  (four new one older) included along with four other amazing artists in this exhibit. I admire all of them and their work.imageHere is the first thing you see as you walk to the reception desk and peek in the door to the exhibit.
imageThen this. The artists were invited to come early and take pictures before the reception officially started. Because of that “no taking pictures” thing right there on the sign, I suppose.imageTurn to the right and you see the rest of my works. It’s wonderful to see them all hanging together.
imageHere is a view – backed out just a bit. Sue Cavanaugh’s beautiful shibori forms captivated me.imageAnn Johnston’s work, as always, was richly layered and textured and yet elegantly simple. Did I tell you hers was the second book I bought when I chose to do this thing with cloth and art. What I wouldn’t have given to see her there as well. Through the door on the end was Jane’s exhibit. Please go HERE for a video walk through of her work, with Jane herself.

I have a confession. I know it’s irrational but I spent the weeks leading up to the opening reception of the To Dye For exhibit with my stomach in knots. No reason. Just that the last two solo show exhibits I’ve had just happened to fall on those miraculous and rare days in NC when it snowed. Nobody (except for artists who are super excited to have work in a show) ventures out of their house when it snows in NC. No snow tires, no road learning equipment, southern drivers with no experience on the road – really it IS smarter to stay inside when the roads get slick. So nobody came. Except for my husband. I had to take this picture of the entryway of the museum – just to prove to myself that people actually came.image

I know they didn’t come just to see me. One of my all-time favorite artists, Jane Dunewold had a solo show concurrent with this exhibit and she was there. Her book, Complex Cloth was my first purchase when I decided I wanted to make art from cloth. She is one of the kindest, most generous spirits I have encountered. It meant the world to me to be able to tell her so and her kind words (about me to another attendee) brought me to tears. I love her.


And I’m so very grateful to my good friend Jamie Fingal for spending the day with me. I didn’t tell her, but I was relieved knowing at least one person would for sure be at the opening and say something nice about my work. Jeannie Palmer Moore also had some amazingly fantastic works in the exhibit. It was so much fun to see her again!

imageThe no-nonsense side of my head was telling me the whole time how silly the anxiety was, and how it didn’t matter if anyone stopped to take a look at my art or not. The success was in the making of the work. The actually finishing it and the putting it out there. 98% of the time that is the only voice I ever hear and I really don’t worry about things. Getting in to shows or not, winning awards or not, they don’t really phase me much at all. But an opening reception? Whew. What a ride!

lyric’s lyricisms: imposter syndrome

This is a repost from last month’s newsletter. Tomorrow I’m putting up a post about  the opening reception at the Visions Art Museum.


It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
Denis Waitley

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 4.14.58 PM
Every once in a while I get this horrible feeling. The one that says… “someone’s going to find out that I don’t belong here, that I’m really not good enough for this”. According to psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, “it’s a feeling of phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable, or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” Highly accomplished people such as Maya Angelou and Seth Godin have voiced these insecurities in spite of their obvious talent. I guess I’m in great company.


Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
C.S. Lewis

It’s healthy to be humble. Nobody likes a narcissist. But imposter syndrome can lead to paralyzing fear.

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How do you overcome this fear? 

Recognize it and realize that pretty much everyone has felt this way at some point. 

Remember all the things you DID do to get to where you are. You have been doing the work, right? You said yes or no as needed. You are risking, striving, trying.

Focus on doing your best. It won’t be perfect and you will never know or do or be everything. Never. But you can do your best. And you should.

Stop comparing yourself to other people. Envy is unhealthy and most of the time, uninformed. You have no idea of what it took for that person to get where they are. Everyone has their own private trials and struggles and failures. It is what makes us who we are.

Fake it until you make it! Kyle Eschenroeder said, “Sometimes faking it doesn’t make you a fraud. If you smile your body will be more generous with happy chemicals and actually make you happier. Neuroplasticity means that you can shape your brain by pretending.” 

Imposter syndrome can be a friend if you are willing to learn from it. Sit down and welcome it in. Fake it until you make it. Just keep doing the work!

I truly believe in a philosophy of abundance. There is enough goodness, love, recognition, and beauty for everyone. All I need to do is think of one of my very favorite people. When someone she knows accomplishes something she is so exuberantly happy for them – not a single touch of jealousy. I want to be like her. A rising tide lifts all ships, right?

Think about the following quote. 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson

Have you ever felt Imposter Syndrome?
Send me a note and tell me about it!

celtic knots

Long days on airplanes, too tired to concentrate on a book, time to play with my sketchbook.





All of these were manipulated through the Maku Hanga app. The originals are plain pencil on creme color graph paper in a Moleskine notebook. They just look so much fancier this way, don’t you think?

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