Solo Art Exhibit

Late in 2018 I received an invitation from Gael, the owner of Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton, Wisconsin, to display my art quilts in a solo exhibit. My response, after overcoming the shock, was absolutely! September of this year was set aside for my event. Yesterday the two of us sorted through, organized and put on display 64 of my art pieces. The experience was exhilarating!

I am overjoyed to proudly announce the official opening of my solo art exhibit titled Transformation. The event will run from September 1, 2019, until September 30, 2019. A reception with refreshments will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Please stop by on the 14th to say hello and share in my excitement. I would love to see you. If you are able to stop by during the exhibit, please don’t forget to sign my guest book and leave a few comments.

Before departing I must say thank you to the individuals that have had an impact on my art. First on my list is Gael from Blue Bar Quilts. Thank you Gael for giving me this awesome opportunity! Your interest in my art has brought me so much joy! Next I would like to extend appreciation to the individuals that have had a profound impact on my journey. They are Rayna Gillman, Lisa Binkley, Judy Coates Perez, Pam Beal, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Susan Carlson, Cindy Grisdela, Heidi Parkes, and Maday Delgado. Your amazing talent has helped me to expand my horizons and become the artist I am today. The last and most important person is my husband Gary. Without his unconditional encouragement and financial backing I never would have had this opportunity.

Now, make plans to visit Blue Bar Quilts some time between September 1 – September 30, 2019, to observe my solo art show and of course do a little shopping.

X’s and O’s, AP # 75


Before heading to Woodland Ridge for Pam Beal’s class, I stopped in Menomonie at the cutest little fabric shop called Thread Lab. The art piece I will share today incorporates three of the fabrics purchased during my shopping spree.

Undivided Attention

This is the third post featuring art quilts resulting from my attendance at Pam Beal’s class Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact.

One of the concepts I learned there was

“L” Shape Balance.


Those that read and write the English language are familiar with the letter “L”. The “L” begins with a downward swipe of the pen, then continues on toward the right. These two lines form a ninety degree angle.

The English language is read from top to bottom and left to right. This top to bottom, left to right flow is replicated in the letter “L”. When viewing art our eye travels along the same path.

Lets Review

If you recall, I mentioned earlier one of the traits Pam said was important for a successful art piece. The term I am referring to is “L” Shape Balance. If my quilt were to achieve “L” Shape Balance then my eye would begin in the top left corner and proceed across and down the surface.

I believe my mini art piece achieves that balance. The blue fabric, situated to the left of the center, echoes the downward movement of a pen creating the first part of an “L”. The grey fabric directly below can be identified with the left to right swipe.

Did I loose you?

In other words, my eye first travels from top to bottom down the surface of the blue fabric. Next it makes a right angle and follows along the grey strip to the outer right edge.

Is that better?

X’s and O’s

X’s and O’s are often used to signify a hug and a kiss when writing sentiments in, say for instance—a card. I’ve titled today’s art piece X’s and O’s not because I’m sending you a kiss or a hug. Instead I’ve chosen this reference because of the fabrics I used to create it.

X's and O's
X’s and O’s, AP # 75

If you look closely in the body of my piece you will see skinny strips of fabric accentuated by the letter “X”. You will also notice a blue fabric decorated with black dots. The “X’s” and dots, or “O’s” were the inspiration for my quilt’s name.

What’s Left?

Let’s look at the remaining features of my art piece. This small art quilt was made using three different colors—black, grey and blue. The

  • blue fabric with the black dots;
  • the grey and black fabric with the x’s; and
  • the darker grey and black near the bottom

were purchased during my fabric shopping trip. The balance of the other fabrics were harvested from my stash.

Hand Quilted

Years and years ago I tried mastering the art of hand quilting. After several attempts I threw in the towel and turned to machine quilting. Hand quilting is Pam’s preferred method. After seeing Pam’s masterpieces and how lovely they looked with her stitching I decided to give it another try.

Thread Colors

I chose three thread colors for my stitching.

  • The grey fabrics were accented with grey thread.
  • Black thread was my obvious choice for the two black border pieces.
  • In the remaining sections I used a soft blue.

After achieving a workable rhythm I actually grew to appreciate hand quilting. The somewhat uneven appearance of my stitches gives my small project a more rustic texture.


Strategically placed stray stitches along with random beading are Pam’s go-to-method for adding elements of surprise. Using this for my inspiration I added a few stray stitches along with four French knots in the quilt’s right, grey panel. These two elements add a little sparkle.

The Little Things

Now that we have examined the obvious details let’s take one last look at the unmentioned features.

  • X’s and O’s measures 14” L x 8 5/8“ w.
  • Surrounding my quilt is a binding made from black fabric.
  • In between the quilt sandwich is a layer of Warm & Natural batting.
  • The back is protected by a layer of black fabric.
  • A hanging sleeve and label have been attached as well.

That’s A Wrap

With so much to share, this has been a very long post. I think you would agree though that it was well worth the read.

Thank you so much for sticking with me. Let’s do this again!


Exploring Minimalist Quilting

I’m at Woodland Ridge in northern Wisconsin. The reason for my visit is a four day study, taught by Pam Beal called Minimalist Design Maximum Impact. I signed up for the class nearly a year ago and have been looking forward to it ever since.

Our trip north would not be complete without an ever-so-slight detour to a fabric store located in Menomonie. The darling little shop is called Thread Lab. While there I just happened to stumble upon these wonderful, absolutely unavoidable fabrics. Who knows how I will use them this week. No matter what they are added to I’m certain the outcome will be wonderful!

Thread Lab Fabric & Other Goodies

I arrived late this afternoon with my traveling companion Barb. After exchanging hugs with familiar faces we unpacked our many belongings and quilting paraphernalia. After settling-in we enjoyed a carry out meal from the local coffee shop and filled the rest of our time relaxing and catching up on our reading.

Our class tomorrow begins at 9:00 a.m. and I can’t wait! If time permits I hope to share photos and updates along the way.

Talk with you soon!



Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 4

A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story, of our adventures, several weeks ago.  So far in the rendition there has been part onepart twopart three and now the final installment, part four. Without any further introduction let’s get this final chapter rolling.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Going On Vacation Is HARD Work!

You know it’s hard when you make plans to go on a vacation to anticipate just how successful it will be. So much time is invested in making the preparations to leave that it’s not unusual to be exhausted even before you lock the door behind you. Then there is the travel from your home to the destination; whether it be by car, train or plane, that adds even more stress. Let me tell you, this was a stressful 8+ hours of travel.

Lets Head Out

At the front of our caravan was a Suburban and trailer. That vehicle was loaded down with 3 adults, 2 children and a dog. Bringing up the rear was our truck carrying 2 adults and 2 dogs. Of course there was all the luggage, toys, food and beverages that also had to be loaded onboard.

Before leaving we had been keeping a close eye on the approaching weather. Not knowing exactly when we would make our acquaintance, with the looming winter storm, made us a bit uneasy. We were on the road and headed west pretty much within our projected time-frame. Our hope was that we might be able to skirt the storm and avoid potential delays.

The Winds Were A Blowin

Hopes and reality are two different things. We did not miss the storm. Nope! Instead we ended up adding an additional 2 hours to our travel time. While passing through the wintery mess we encountered almost everything you could imagine. There were strong, blowing winds, rain, sleet, snow, and ice to contend with. All of those conditions made for dicey driving conditions.

Along our route we passed by many, many vehicles stranded off the road and in the ditch. Some of them must have happened not long before we passed because we could see people inside with bewildered expressions on their faces. Thankfully we kept our vehicles on the road and safe. We were so thankful when we reached our destination and the long ordeal of travel was finally behind us.

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Over the course of the next six days we managed to sandwich in as much activity as possible; saving only enough free time to sleep. During our vacation we experienced the building of a swing set for our grandchildren, numerous celebratory meals, hikes, rides on four wheelers, a trip to Liberty and Hamilton, Missouri along with the wonderful companionship of our family and friends.

When I look back at the oodles of photos and videos and contemplate the many memories that surely will be with me for years to come, I simply must declare this vacation a complete success.

Before signing off I thought it would be fun to assemble a montage of the photos I have shared. Please enjoy!

A Wrap-Up

All-in-all we have very fond memories of our trip to the restored log cabin. The lack of pleasant weather didn’t keep us from having a wonderful time. By the time the last day arrived we were all exhausted and ready to head home. Who knows whether the opportunity to travel to MO will arise again? If it does, awesome! If not, we had a grand time!

Thank You!

Thank You so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by. Before I sign off I have one more thing to include. I just have to share this funny excerpt from the conversation between my husband and myself in Hamilton, MO:

and then there were these chairs…!

Talk with you soon!


Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 3

A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story of our adventures in two earlier posts part one and part two. With so much to share I decided to divide up the recount into multiple sections. As the title above states, this is part three.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Next Stop…Hamilton, MO

After leaving Liberty, the home of Angela Walter’s Quilting Is My Therapy Fabric Store, our next stop was Hamilton. Hamilton is the home of Missouri Star Quilt Company. I’ve mentioned them often in my blog posts as one of the vendors I purchase fabric from. MSQC has a major presence in Hamilton. Their complex includes numerous buildings; each containing a different grouping of fabrics. On the exterior of some of their buildings are gigantic murals depicting various quilting themes as well as the life in small towns. Here is a photo of two of them.

The first shop we visited was their main store.

MSQC Storefront
Missouri Star Quilt Company Main Building

Inside were samplings of the inventory stocked at each of their locations. Also available was a map identifying where each of the buildings were located.

MSQC Brochure
Missouri Star Quilt Company Brochure

After choosing which shops I would visit we decided to pause for a quick lunch. The restaurant we ate at was right outside MSQC’s main building. While there we enjoyed a delicious deli sandwich along with a scrumptious chocolate muffin brownie. As you can see by the bite taken from the brownie we couldn’t wait for our sandwiches to arrive. We just had to get a sample. Funny thing about the brownie was that the outer surface was so crunchy I couldn’t bite through it. Believe it or not I had to ask my husband to take the first bite. 😋

As you can see from the above photo of MSQC’s brochure, on my list of shops to visit were the:

  • Batik Boutique
  • Backing & Trims
  • Machine Shed
  • Modern and
  • Penny’s Quilt Shop

Of course leaving without a stop at Man’s Land (the shop specifically set aside for comfort) would be inexcusable. Somewhere along the way I got separated from my husband. I wasn’t too concerned because I knew we would eventually meet up in one of the shops. We were also in contact via text message so it wasn’t too hard to keep track of one another.  We also both use the Find Friends app on our phones so that made it even easier.

At one point I texted him to find out where he was at. This is his reply:

Man’s shop…thought you’d like pictures

I replied:

I’ll come when I’m done

meaning I would meet him there.

He replied:

and then there were these chairs…!

He was really thrilled to find the comfy chairs. LOL! These are the photos he sent me.

5 Shops

I had a great time browsing through my five designated shops. Of course I would have to also admit that I didn’t exactly stick to the plan. I strayed from the path ever so slightly. How could I pass up on peeking inside the adjoining buildings?

Did I Buy Fabric?

Now you are probably wondering if I left without purchasing fabric? I’d be lying if I said I did. I’m registered to take several classes during the summer and late fall of 2018. The first is taught by Pam Beal called Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact. Before leaving for our vacation I received the class supply list in the mail. Pam works only with solid colored fabrics. My inventory of solids is pretty dismal because I lean toward bright, bold prints. Penny’s Quilt Shop was filled with solids from several different manufacturers. I grabbed several solids to use in the class.

Solids from Penny's Quilt Shop at MSQC
Solids from Penny’s Quilt Shop at MSQC

The other two classes that I shopped for are the Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Double Wedding Ring Improv and Susan Carlson’s class Fabric Images. I’ve been trying to settle on a color theme for Victoria’s class. I figured MSQC would be an awesome place to start. Susan’s class supply list called for lots of BIG, bold prints. The prints that I currently have aren’t necessarily large. Once again why not look for candidates while in Hamilton. I came home with all sorts of new fabrics all ready for my classes.

Bold Prints from MSQC
Bold Prints from MSQC


A Little Tula Fun from MSQC
A Little Tula Fun from MSQC

For some reason I qualified for two free charms for purchasing fabric. Don’t know why, but I’ll take them. I think they are kinda cute.

MSQC Charms
MSQC Charms

Our time in Liberty and Hamilton, MO went so incredibly fast. I’m sure if we could have set aside more time we would have. As it was we left at 6:30 in the morning and didn’t return until almost 7:00 p.m. Not wanting to miss out on too many of the adventures at the cabin we chose to do it all in one day and not extend it by staying overnight in a hotel. If I had it to do all over again I would do it exactly the same.

Thank You!

I think it is time to call it quits for today. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by.

Talk with you soon!