Airport Layout Plan: Houston Hobby

I build airports for a living.  My day job, since the 1990s, has been in aviation construction management, working in the finance side for massive construction programs.  My first art quilt was the airport layout plan for Austin-Bergstrom.

Austin-Berstrom Airport

Airport Layout Plan: Austin-Bergstrom and what I think construction plans should look like

I’ve hung that piece in every office I’ve had.  I’m on my 3rd airport construction program (these things run for years!) and, when I re-embraced my inner artist, I knew I would make art quilts depicting the airports on which I’ve worked.  Houston Hobby was my second stop, where we built a new concourse for Southwest Airlines.  I’ve always thought the building looked like a stealth bomber.

This is my colorful, abstract take on Houston’s smaller airport.  It’s not my best composition, but it’s still fun!

Constructive criticism and comments are always welcome.  Please share your thoughts!

Airport Layout Plan: Houston Hobby (link to poem)

ALP: Houston Hobby (c)

ALP: Houston Hobby - Detail 01

ALP: Houston Hobby - Detail 02

ALP: Houston Hobby - Poetry Label

I owe you a post about the glorious fabric stash a co-worker brought me from India and pictures of my new studio.  I haven’t forgotten.  Promise.  I’ll get it up eventually.

One of these days, I’ll get around to creating my 3rd airport – O’Hare International but until then…

Next up: I’m on a mission to find my voice.  I’m going to make what I’m calling a cloud series.  Stay tuned.
















Sunshine Doodle

SAQA put out a call for art for the next traveling trunk show, with no jury or acceptance process.  The only requirement was the piece must measure 10″h x 7″w, no more, no less.  I thought it would be fun and quick to work on a small piece, one that would travel with the show for up to three years (what a great opportunity to get my work out there!).  While I was correct about the fun part, I was incorrect about the quick part.  Turns out, when one is working small, more detail (i.e. quilting) is needed to really make the piece pop, or at least that’s how it worked out for me.

When I was pondering design ideas, through both brainstorming and doodling, I kept coming back to a doodle I’ve been doodling since I was in about 2nd grade.  I’ve always called it my sunshine doodle.  The only thing different between the very first sunshine doodle and a more current version is the current version doesn’t include eyes and a smile on the sunshine.  Seriously, people, I’ve been drawing this thing for over 40 years.  You’d think I would have come up with a new idea in that time, but apparently not.

Sunshine Doodle - The Doodle

The doodle

So there really was no contest when deciding on my trunk show art piece.  After all these years, it was time for the doodle to become art.

Sunshine Doodle (link to poem)

Sunshine Doodle - Full

The art

Next up: Back to my cross series with Crisscross (Hot Cross Five).

Liquid Luck

I went small with this piece.  A month or two ago, I listened to a meditation called “Liquid Luck”, which I found interesting primarily because I finished the meditation with an idea for my next project.  I wanted to create my own bottle of liquid luck, reminiscent of Harry Potter and the little vial Harry won from Professor Slughorn in Potions class.

Originally, I thought to make this three-dimensional, but realized I needed to learn how to use my couching foot first.  I need further practice, but I’m pleased with my efforts, resulting in this 10-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ piece.

No poem for this piece, just ingredients:

Liquid Luck

  • Happiness
  • Gratitude
  • Abundance
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Luck
  • Praise
Luck - Couching

First time using my couching foot. It was lots of fun!

Luck - Finished 02

Quilting around the vial. Decorative stitching to create the “cork”.

Luck - Finished 01

This is Liquid Luck

Next up: A project for my almost 8-year-old niece, who loves the idea of Paris as much as I did at her age.  She’s been promised a trip when she turns 18 if she continues to excel in school.  I thought I’d make her something to keep her motivated.

(Big G…if you’re reading this, be patient.  Making art takes time.  Love you!)

Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Blue (for Gene), Part 2 (Finished!)

The last of the Any Color series for my grandparents is complete.

Red for Basil. Green for Lucille. Purple for Neska. And Blue for Gene.

Spending the last few months creating these has been both pleasant and poignant, a time of joy-filled memories of visits with beloved grandparents but also a time tinged with the sadness that never, ever quite leaves after loss.

The process to create Blue went more smoothly than those before it. Not all that surprising, I suppose. Practice makes perfect (or close to it), after all. However, the knowledge that Blue, the last in this series, was in memory of the first grandparent I lost made me a little weepy. There are tears stitched to, and soaked into, the fabric.

A piece of my heart went with each grandparent when he or she died. But in return, a piece of each of them lives on in me.

Blue is for Grandpa Gene, who lives large and bold in my heart.


Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Blue (for Gene) ~ link to poem

Any Color - Gene - Finished

The finished product

Any Color - Gene - 13

His favorite number was 13

Any Color - Gene - Green Giant

He gave me a Jolly Green Giant doll. I remember it with vivid clarity. There are days I wish I still had it.

Any Color - Gene - Photo

Wasn’t he handsome?
This seemed like the perfect place to save his fireman’s retirement badge.

Any Color - Gene - Poem

The poem


How do you honor those who live on in your heart?


Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska), Part 2 (Finished!)

June was a crazy month.  I had to travel for work three out of the four weeks, two days each week, which should have thrown off my whole schedule.  And, to a degree, it did.  But it also motivated me to work harder and longer in the available time I did have at home in my studio.  As a result, I not only started Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska) in June, I FINISHED it in the same month!  It’s the small things, people.  Those little accomplishments that make all the difference between continuing and giving up.  Celebrate all the tiny victories.

I love the colors in this art quilt.  Of course, my love of purple comes naturally.  I dug through my jewelry box for the embellishments.  Grandma Neska loved brooches; I was surprised to find I had a few that would have suited her.  Please let me know what you think.


Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska) ~ link to poem

Any Color - Neska - Finished

Look at all that purple!! A royal art quilt. 🙂

Any Color - Neska - Detail 01

Lots of hearts for lots of love

Any Color - Neska - Detail 02

And lots of kisses

Any Color - Neska - Detail 03

Found this sparkly heart in the bottom draw of my jewelry box. Art deserves to glitter.

Any Color - Neska - Photo

My paternal grandma, Neska.  Note the brooch on her dress.

Any Color - Neska - Poem

Poetry label

The next in the series: Blue (for Gene) is in the early stages.  This one may be tough — he was my favorite.  Stay tuned.
How do you motivate yourself when you feel overwhelmed?