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Artwork in my studio

20 Mar 2008

It’s here, it’s here! The Studios issue has just arrived in our offices and oh my… I think it came out rather nicely. I hope you think so, too. In my extreme makeover article, I mention that I will share some of the artwork in my studio on our website, so here goes.


“Beach Walk” by Rosalie Dace

This is one of my absolute favorite quilts that also made an appearance in our Quilting Arts Fall 2006 issue. It pays tribute to Rosalie’s favorite, restorative activity of walking along the beach to collect sandy treasures. I love how she layered torn bits of billowy blue sheers to depict water and added beige burlap, illustrative of gritty sand. Combining buttons, beads, and ephemera with thousands of hand stitches, this makes for a very joyful piece.


Nudes are a popular subject for art quilter Melanie Testa and looking at this piece is like taking a deep, cleansing breath—it makes me feel calm. I particularly love the way Melanie layers sheer fabrics on top of one another to achieve such an ethereal effect.


I went Etsy shopping one morning and was thrilled to learn that my UK friend Lucie Summers had an Etsy storefront. A talented mixed-media and quilt artist, Lucie has been featured a few times in our magazines and I am pleased to have these two little pieces as part of my collection.


If you look on the top shelf, you may recognize the yellow assemblage from the first issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. It’s by Lesley Riley and is from her “Windows to the Soul” article. The expression of the little girl as she peers through the window reminds me of how I often feel when I embark on a new art project: shy yet curious.

The quilt on the bottom shelf was hand pieced and hand quilted by my great grandmother many, many years ago. All throughout her life she painted, made dolls, numerous quilts, her own clothes, you name it. She lived until she was 99, and the last time I saw her was when I paid her a visit to her nursing home. She had just received a letter from a friend in a neighboring nursing facility and the envelope sported bright, glittery stickers of ladybugs and frogs all over it. “Isn’t this envelope the prettiest thing?” she asked me. All her life my great grandmother strived to make this world just a little more beautiful and she appreciated other’s attempts at doing so, too. An important lesson.


This quartet of small quilts is made by yours truly. I dub these my whimsical pop art pet portraits, and although I don’t usually like to hang my own artwork in my house, I do love looking at my beloved animal children depicted in fabric. 

What about you? Do you have any special pieces of art in your studio or home that you enjoy?

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Lisa wrote
on 21 Mar 2008 2:11 PM
How I love your pet quilts! Especially the items in the "thought balloons" - which are probably pretty accurate. :) Are the photos printed on fabric directly, or did you do a transfer technique?
waterrose wrote
on 21 Mar 2008 5:21 PM
I love all of the quilts and they story about your grandmother...made me think of my own and how special she was. Thanks for sharing!
Sandy wrote
on 22 Mar 2008 11:50 PM
Love your dog quilts. Are there instructions posted somewhere? I have 3 quilts from the 1930's that belonged to my MIL. I treasure each and every one.
Pokey wrote
on 23 Mar 2008 6:43 AM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments! Regarding the animal quilts, I made those for an upcoming segment for Season Two of Quilting Arts TV. The instructions will be made available on the website when that series begins to air in June. I manipulated the photos in Photoshop, then transferred them to fabric.
Elin wrote
on 23 Mar 2008 11:33 PM
Hey Pokey! Love all the art work/inspiration in your studio. I have lots of stuff in mine that keeps me inspired too. Click the link below to see some of my favorites.
Dreaming Bear wrote
on 25 Mar 2008 11:37 AM
Hi there! Just got my Studios issue in the mail today (I've been stalking the P.O. box in anticipation), and it is just wonderful! Full of inspiring photos and stories! There's work for me to do today, but I look forward to cuddling up with some tea and my issue later tonight! Thanks for all your hard work!
Whitney wrote
on 25 Mar 2008 10:53 PM
Is that a min pin I see? My 2 little baby boy children are min pins as well! And they are commonly represented in my quilts along with photo transfer complaints from my neighbors about my pups' bad behavior!
Zoe wrote
on 26 Mar 2008 8:18 AM
Hi Pokey, Here in the UK we have just had a long Easter weekend break (4 days)and mine was brighten as my copy of the Quilting Arts TV DVD arrived on the Thursday .... I am on DVD 3 and looking forward to more free time this weekend to watch more. BUT great to hear that the Studios is out too, shall be watching the post for my copy to arrive =)
Nicole Melanie wrote
on 31 Mar 2008 5:02 AM
Great art....
Vicki wrote
on 2 Apr 2008 4:14 AM
I also love the 4 pieces you have on your design wall - I would love to see more of those.
Chloe wrote
on 2 Apr 2008 11:57 AM
I have a large (1 yard square) embroidered wall hanging of Lady Godiva that my mother created when she was about my age. It's all done in fine hand-stitched satin stitch and took her a couple of years to complete. It's such a treasure to have artwork from family!
Sharon L. Neth wrote
on 2 Apr 2008 9:37 PM
I have to tell you that after reading the article from Kelly Rae Roberts I just had to begin to try painting again. My biggest hurdle was that I am not as good as I should be with the drawing of faces.... the eyes lining up with the nose or having just the right pouty lip.... oh my? But in he article her work broke it down for me so that I could paint without fear. I LOVE THAT! One thing that I did take the painting a step farther, I scanned my painting into Photoshop and then printed it out on non-fusible interfacing (cut to standard size) and there you go, you have a instant ORIGINAL art quilt that you can embellish. Since I printed my piece out this morning, I didn't have a chance to quilt it but now with this method the experiments are endless! All I have to say is, "thanks Kelly Rae Roberts for making all of this creativity possible with your article!" To Cloth Paper Scissors you are THE best magazine out there on the stands for all of the Textile Artists out there all over the world!
Cindy Courtney wrote
on 20 Jun 2008 5:40 PM
My favorite fiber art tool is the Clover seam binding tool, of which I now have several. Once you cut strips of fabric, you feed it through the tool, which folds the sides into the middle, and iron the tape that comes out the other end of the tool. Very useful. It is somewhat pricey but saves a lot of time.
Elaine Hines wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:05 AM
i'd love some fabric. my fav is proably thermofax as well - don't have one but its on my dream list. at the moment i'm taking silk-screen classes because i love the thermofax so much. how lucky you are - enjoy
dee wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 1:48 PM
I love my machine felter... my husband surprised me with it as a gift! He does pay attention :) I've had a lot of fun with it... I have lots of "experiments" that hopefully one day will make their way into a bag or something else. Right now they are pinned up on my board and serve as inspiration for future projects. Thanks for such a great magazine!
Mary Chidlow wrote
on 21 Jun 2008 2:02 PM
My favourite notion is the discharge paste as used by the Kenshalls. It enables me to use home dyed fabrics,machine quilt the designs, and the discharge paste with a little paint just enhances the texture. Each piece is "my own design"
linda mckittrick wrote
on 22 Jun 2008 10:14 PM
My needle felting machine is my favorite new tool! I had been contemplating buying one, but after watching you use it on Quilting Arts TV DVD's I went out and bought it the next day ! I have been using to make small quilts as well as to embellish jean jackets! Thank you so much for being SO GENEROUS with this fabric offer, but more, THANK YOU for all your QUALITY WORK! It has changed the quilting world !
Melanie wrote
on 7 Sep 2008 11:49 PM
I recently ran across Jackie Morris' blog (she illustrates children's books) with some pics of her very vibrant studio. I love that it looks like someone actually works there (as opposed to "I'm expecting the folks from House Beautiful at any moment"). She says in the text that there's an expansion/renovation underway involving architects. If you'd like to take a look: