I have a growing fascination with quirky, odd-shaped quilts.  My first was Hulk Smash, my second, Jeep on the Grill.  I had such fun making both of these, I want to make many more in non-traditional shapes.

I love making not square and not rectangular art.  I enjoy creating my art in the shape of whatever the piece portrays.

My most recent piece plays with mouths.  Or more accurately, lips.  Fiber lips, not real lips.  I’m not Hannibal Lecter, people.  (You’re welcome for that reference, brother.)

SAQA has a Call for Entry out for an exhibition entitled “Layered Voices”.  When I think “layered voices”, I think of tons of people talking over each other.  And I think of the multitude of voices that clamor from the timelines on Facebook and Twitter and across the internet and out of the television screen, dissenting opinions dominating the feed.  All those voices drown out the voices of those who need assistance.  There are so many people crying for help on this planet, probably more than are on social media worldwide, yet that voice, that largest voice, is drowned out by the demands of all the people who think their opinion is the only correct one.

I usually keep my opinion to myself.  Because it is just that — an opinion.  But here’s what I believe: media has become pervasive, over-arching, and contaminating.  So much so that opinions are formed based on whatever Media tells us to believe.

And I’m over that.  How about we listen instead to that voice buried under the nonsense?


I created ten mini lip quilts, in varying sizes, to complete Cacophony.  Each “mouth” speaks.  All are basted to a felt background, purely for presentation.  If this piece doesn’t get into the “Layered Voices” exhibit, I may just dismantle it and hang all the lips together from extra-large puppet handles.

As always, constructive critiques are welcome.

Cacophony (link to poem)


Cacophony - Detail 02

Cacophony - Detail 02

Cacophony - Poetry Label

Next up: A small piece for the SAQA Trunk Show.  Then I’m going back to making art for me instead of making art to try to get into an exhibit.

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

This homage quilt to my paternal Grandfather could have been finished in a week if I didn’t have a day job. 🙂

However, because, like everyone, I have bills to pay and I prefer eating to starving, off to work I go.  I’ve mentioned I changed jobs in November; the requirements and obligations of taking on a new role are such that the time to balance my life with creativity has been diminished.  I’m working on getting that balance back.

In the meantime, I did finish Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Red (for Basil).  I think it’s my best art work yet (and that’s saying something because I’m pretty hard on myself).  Primarily pieced and fused, it’s the little extras like lettered beads to spell “transmugliforcandanbumshamity” and a scanned copy of the famous Basil that make this art quilt pop.  I kept the quilting to a minimum and think I’ve found a style that represents my voice.


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

Any Color - Basil - Finished 3
The first in four panels honoring my grandparents
Any Color - Basil - Finished 4
Minimal quilting. This piece didn’t need the density.
Any Color - Basil - Finished 2
The beads spell “transmugliforcandanbumshamity”, Grandpa’s invented word.
Any Color - Basil - Finished 5
The whales look 3D to me.
Any Color - Basil - Poem Label
Poem label
Any Color - Basil - Basil's Photo
Grandpa Clark


Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Green (for Lucille) is up next.

What inspires you?

Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Red (for Basil), Part 1

My paternal grandfather lived to be 91.  Born in Mississippi, he and his family moved to California when he was 2.  While he spent the 89 intervening years claiming a strong Southern heritage, epitomized by a deep love of fried catfish and hush puppies, he embraced the quirkiness that is California by inventing his own word, making up his own song, and spouting personal bon mots that became fact in our family.

“Any color’s all right as long as it’s red.”  This was his response to any inquiry regarding his favorite color.  In an era when men’s suits were limited to a few dark colors – black, navy, charcoal grey – Grandpa added a splash of color with his tie.  He sometimes wore a bolo tie when he wanted to shake things up a bit, but the cloth tie with those three-piece suits was red more often than not.

Grandpa Clark passed away my 17th Spring.  No one in our family ever recorded the words to his song, but bits and piece remain in our memories.  His word, “transmugliforcandanbumshamity”, was 29 letters of nonsense and serious fun to say.  I’ve always thought of it as an inventive curse word, but please feel free to create your own definition.

When I started making quilts in the 1990s, his saying about the color red popped into my head during a visit to a fabric store.  My immediate reaction was to think, “That would make a fantastic name for a quilt!”  And so I began to collect red fabrics.  Over the years, I built up a rather impressive stash of red. The time to make his quilt is now.

This quilt only uses a small sampling of that stash.  Either way, I think Grandpa would like it.

Any Color - Basil - Fabric
A small selection of reds.
Any Color - Basil - Background
A panel of red
Any Color - Basil - Background
Background close up

I will fuse items that represent Grandpa to this panel and add a bit of embellishment before making the sandwich and quilting it together.

This is the first in a series of four, one for each of my grandparents.

How do you remember your grandparents?