Iron (Hot Cross Eight)

I took a short break from the studio over the Christmas holidays, but as soon as we rolled into 2017, I was right back at my Hot Cross series with Iron Cross.

For Iron Cross, I wanted layers.  Not just the traditional top, batting, back layers.  I wanted more.  I wanted depth.  So I created mini quilts to stack on mini quilts to stack on the primary cross, using felt for batting.  Each of the minis was stitched to the next largest after quilting until the full piece was completed.

This piece rounds out the Hot Cross series and is meant to represent inclusion through use of all the colors in the spectrum.

To see all of the pieces in the series, please go to my Gallery page.  The first four in the series were a standard 18″ h x 12″ w.  The second four were completed in the cross shape with full pillowcase facings to finish and run a bit larger in size.

I really enjoyed working with shapes; I intend to fully incorporate “non-traditional” shapes into my art practice, which could be interesting as some things won’t lend themselves to a non-rectangular or non-square shape.  However, I always have to rebel against something, so I’ll rebel against “square”.  🙂

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

Iron Cross (link to poem)

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8)

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8) - Detail 01

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8) - Detail 02

Iron Cross (Hot Cross 8) - Poem


In other exciting news, a co-worker made his bi-annual trip home to India to visit family and he brought back a TON of fabric for me.  Silks and cottons, prints and solids.  It’s a glorious stash of art making material.  I’ll share photos in a future blog post.

In other even more exciting news, I’m getting a dedicated studio!  I’ve been using our dining room table, with supplies stored in the basement and both boys’ bedrooms.  In essence, the whole house has been my studio but we’re finally consolidating.  I can’t wait!!  Once I’m all set up, I’ll post about that too.

Next up: Airport Layout – Houston Hobby










Coptic (Hot Cross Seven)

When I was out visiting my parents last February, I took some of my art with me so they could see the pieces in real life, including several of the crosses from my Hot Cross series.  My Dad suggested I include a Coptic cross, based on a small collection of Coptic crosses they have had hanging on the wall of their home for 50 years.

Coptic Crosses

These were a gift sent from Ethiopia and the inspiration for this piece.

So I took the photo above and added it to my design file.

While planning my art piece, I knew I wanted to incorporate all of the crosses mounted to that piece of green velvet but I also knew I wanted to include them as part of a larger piece.  I did a quick image search for Coptic Crosses on the internet to find the traditional shape – as soon as I saw it, I knew how this piece would come together.  There was a lot of fine cutting to create the smaller crosses and their design elements before fusing them all to the larger cross background.  One color component from each of the small crosses was also used in a second smaller cross, integrating the colors throughout.  To pull in the brass from the original metal pieces and the gold from the frame, I used gold and copper metallic threads in the quilting.

In hindsight, I do wish I had finished this piece with zig zag stitches to bind the top, batting, and back.  Instead, I used my usual pillowcase facing.  It took some effort to turn the piece right side out through the narrow leg of the cross; however, that effort does not outweigh my satisfaction with the overall piece.

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

Coptic (link to poem)

Coptic Cross

Coptic No. 1

Coptic No. 2

Coptic No. 3

Coptic No. 4

Coptic - Poem

Next up: Hot Cross 8 – Iron







Celtic (Hot Cross Six)

The Hot Cross series continues with Celtic, the sixth in the group.  I’m not going to present any false modesty with this piece — I’m in love with it.  While the colors are much more subdued than my usual choices, I find them soothing.  They work in just the way I’d intended when I designed it.

I’ve carried a fondness for celtic knots and spirals for years.  It’s hard to believe it’s taken so long for them to appear in my work.  I enjoyed making this piece so much, I expect to include knots and spirals in a lot of future art work.

As always, constructive criticism and comments are welcome.  Let me know what you think.

Celtic (link to poem)

Celtic - Hot Cross 6

Celtic - Detail 01

Celtic - Detail 02

Celtic - Poetry Label

Next up: Hot Cross 7 – Coptic






Criss Cross (Hot Cross Five)

I finally returned to my Hot Cross series!  It was so pleasant to create art for myself rather than with the intention of creating for a specific exhibit.

Criss Cross is the fifth in the series and, frankly, I’m not satisfied with it.  I tried something a little different — no fusing, just strips woven together against a background.  As a result, the fabric, doing what fabric does, shifted.  I have this on my list of things to try again in different colors and with strips prepped with fusible backing to eliminate the shift.

Whether I’m satisfied or not, Criss Cross was worth making.  All experiments are worth undertaking.  Sometimes the lesson leads to a discovery of what you do not want to do.

Let me know what you think.  As always, constructive criticism and comments are welcome.

Criss Cross (link to poem)

Criss Cross (Hot Cross 5)

Criss Cross (Hot Cross 5) - Detail

Criss Cross (Hot Cross 5) - Poetry Label

Next up: Hot Cross 6 – a Celtic design



Rustic (Hot Cross Four)

When I posted the first art piece in the Hot Cross series, Crossroads, I requested input and constructive criticism.  I’m grateful for what I received.  My brother, in addition to his comments, also presented me with a challenge:

He wrote: “I’m hoping one uses mixed media of some sort to look like a rustic cross made from the wood in an old barn… Consider that a challenge put forth.”

To my mind and my eye, Rustic doesn’t look like wood or an old barn, but the colors are indicative of those weathered structures one sees when traveling down a lonely rural road.

Rustic (Hot Cross Four) 01

Quilting away

Rustic (Hot Cross Four) 02


Rustic (Hot Cross Four) 03


Rustic (Hot Cross Four) 04

Closeup and texture

Rustic (Hot Cross Four) 05

Rustic: The completed piece

Rustic (Hot Cross Four) 06

Poetry label

This piece incorporates burlap, with burnt edges, and hand dyed cheesecloth (not mine…created by Frieda Anderson – ).  The burlap and cheesecloth were anchored with single cross stitches using hand dyed embroidery thread (also not mine…created by Laura Wasilowski – ).  My Sweets suggested I extend the strip piecing beyond the edge of the quilt at the top and bottom of the cross to imply rough and rugged edges.

I’m not quite sure I like the final impact of those extensions, however, since this art piece began as a challenge from my brother, I incorporated Sweets’ suggestion as an additional out-of-the-box effort.

Please let me know what you think.  All input and constructive criticism is appreciated.

Rustic (link to poem)

Next up: A break from the Hot Cross series, but I’ll back to it soon.