Quilts for Sale

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Using a mottled rayon background, I embellished this purple postcard using Angelina fibers, various threads and beads. Purple is my favorite color, but I don't often use it in my work.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Matthew

My heart is full on this very special day, for it is the birthday of our only child. Matthew was a gift from God, a miracle born eight years into our marriage. He is a smart, generous, funny, loving, handsome, wonderfully gifted artist and photographer who plays a mean set of drums and can cook like Mario Batali.

Our son has taught us much - about courage, strength, endurance and faith. We are better people because of him.

Matthew celebrates his 28th birthday today, the 15th since his life-saving heart transplant at age 13. We have been truly, truly blessed.

Matthew and his bride Suzie at the gorgeous Bog Garden in Greensboro NC.

Click on image for a closer view.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Angel's Trumpet

The huge, fragrant, salmon-colored Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia) is one of the most beautiful sights in our garden. Grown from a cutting by my husband Bill, the almost tree-like plant towers over my head. I stepped underneath it to photograph some of the amazing blossoms. Be sure to click on the images for a closer view.

Water Bug

Beginning with a piece of my hand-painted fabric, I created a beach scene using hand-dyed cheesecloth, thread trimmings, Shiva iridescent paintstik, micropearl powder, colored pencils and Caran D'ache watercolor crayons. I thought the giant bug from my stash was the perfect whimsical touch for my latest fiber postcard. Click on image for a closer view.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back Yard Sanctuary

As more of their natural habitat is destroyed, birds and animals are having to find sanctuary where they can. We have always fed our birds, and enjoy planting beneficial shrubs and flowers. Our small efforts have been rewarded with more bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, and visits from creatures one would not expect to see in the inner city.

Pictured are just a few of our backyard guests and flowers.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fabric Postcards

Nearly every day brings a new fabric postcard from my Art2Mail exchange group. Each one is so different; all are great. With each arrival, I'm inspired to go to the studio to work on my own designs. This is proving to be a great adventure.

Below are pix of the last two postcards I've created.

Beginning with my painted fabric, I sketched a little mountain range with Caran D'Ache Neocolor II watercolor crayons, watercolor pencils, Fabrico markers, Sakura jelly roll pens and crayons. For snow I used a Shiva Artist's Paintstik in iridescent white. Kokopeli and friends are rubber stamped. Although the card is finished, I may add more intensity to the grass in the foreground, either with the Caran D'Ache or chalk pastels.

Having spent a lot of time in Tokyo, my husband thinks this card looks very Japanese.

Click on image for a closer view.

Discharging: A faux fern was placed on black cotton fabric and then spritzed with a mixture of 50/50 Clorox and water. The fabric was rinsed in clear water, neutralized and then washed. Note: Anti-chlor, available from Pro Chem (prochemical.com) should be used for neutralizing. My thanks to all who made this recommendation.

A Memorial Tribute to My Father On His Birthday

I still miss my father every day, even though he has been gone for nearly 25 years. Today I plan to spend time with him through precious memories, remembering the man and his humor, generosity, gentle spirit and his fragile, easily broken heart.

The man I called Daddy would have been 94 today.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My father, Kermit vonOhlen, as a young man.

My father as a boy - about 1919.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Loss of a Native Son

North Carolina is mourning the death of political cartoonist Doug Marlette, a native son killed in an automobile accident in Mississippi this morning. To view the cartoons for which he won the Pulitzer prize, go to: http://dougmarlette.com/pages/pulitzTOONS.html

Doug was also well known for his syndicated comic strip Kudzu.

We are fortunate to have a Doug Marlette original, a gift from Doug to my husband many years ago. Doug was a fabulous, brilliant and funny guy who will be greatly missed.

Friday, July 6, 2007


In a previous post I wrote about joining the internet fabric postcard group Art2Mail (art2mail.com), having learned about it from the amazing Liz Nutter. (See the May archives about Cedar Lakes WV to see photos of Liz's work.) What fun to find a bit of art in my mailbox!

Working in a 4"x6" format is new to me. Creating these postcards gets me into the studio and gives me an oportunity to experiment with ideas and techniques. Below are my first two completed cards.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bits of hand-dyed and commerical fabrics were arranged on hand-painted fabric in my first postcard. Rubber stamping, glitter and metallic threads complete the composition.

I created a whimsical little house from commercial fabrics and my hand-dyes for card #2. The background fabric was airbrushed using Deka Silk paint a while back.

A Real Slice of Americana

My husband and I are fortunate to live near uptown Charlotte in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Yesterday many of its residents came together to celebrate our nation's independence. Moms, Dads, kids and dogs - all dressed in red, white and blue - decorated bikes and wagons, cars and pick-up trucks to stroll and ride down the expansive avenue which is Queens Road West. A canopy of century-old oaks formed a great archway over them as they laughed, smiled and giggled their way through the neighborhood.

It was what I call a pure, golden day, reminiscent of the 1950's when I was a kid. There was nothing artificial, just the fun of getting together with one's neighbor to enjoy the day. Just look at the faces of the participants to see what I mean.

These great photos were all taken by my husband, Bill Guerrant. Click on any image for a closer view.

These girls anxiously wait for the parade to begin.

The parade heads down Queens Road West, one of the prettiest streets in Charlotte. Trees along the way were decked out in flags.

Many of our four-footed friends played a huge role in the parade. The two pooches in the front belong to a couple from South Africa. I've never seen such elegant doggie finery!

Patriotically decked out, this Jack Russel couldn't wait to get into the action.

This adorable Lab, sporting a flag in his collar, rode in style! Isn't he a love?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Groovin' With the Blue and Orange

If you're a regular reader, you know I've struggled with the idea of creating a blue and orange wedding quilt for my son and his bride. Having worked on a New York Beauty quilt (in blue, orange, yellow and acid green) for over 18 months (see June 9 entry) and knowing how much work remains, I impulsively decided to "knock something out." I saw a very cool quilt in Carol Britt's fabulous booth (Batiks Etc. and Sew What Fabrics, Wytheville Va.) www.batiks.com at our quilt show this spring. It had been made using Tricia Cribbs' Turning Twenty book. The hook was the line on the book's cover: "Make this quilt in as little as 5 hours!" With only twenty fat quarters of wild and funky blue and orange fabrics, I could stitch the quilt in a day!

Although making the quilt top took much, much longer than I'd anticipated, probably because I don't make full-size quilts, Tricia's quite clever technique made the actual sewing a fun and simple process.

Thankfully, I knew of a wonderfully talented long-arm quilter (Rebecca Verrier-Watt) who not only was a member of my home guild but whose work I'd seen and admired. She was hired to quilt my top and did an excellent job. Thanks, Rebecca!

Binding the 97" x 117" quilt was actually quite simple. I stitched the double bias binding to the back of the quilt and brought it to the front where it was sewn by machine with a decorative stitch. Voila! I had a blue and orange "knock around" quilt to present to the kids. They can curl up in it with their puppy dogs and not have to worry about harming an heirloom quilt. Now when I get the New York Beauty done, that will be a different matter.

Click on any of the images for a closer look.

I chose fabrics I felt were happy and fun.

A very appropriate heart motif was chosen for the machine quilting, done beautifully by Harrisburg NC's Rebecca Verrier-Watt. I couldn't be more pleased. Rebecca's website: www.thequiltersstation.com