Quilts for Sale

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Bill and Matthew

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dh with Matthew, our only child. Solid as a rock, he has remained strong through many crises our family has faced. He is our anchor - the man Matthew fondly calls "Pops."

Father's Day

Kermit vonOhlen

I'll never stop missing my father, gone now for 26 years. Just before he died, seeing my anguish at his suffering, he said, "My journey's almost over. Yours is just beginning." After all this time, I understand more completely than ever what he meant. I'll never stop missing him.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Surprise Visit

My DH Bill and Matthew
Matthew with me.

Our son Matthew was off today so decided to spend it with us in Charlotte for an early Father's Day visit. As always, we had a great time eating Vietnamese food at Lang Van and then looking at old photos.

We'll be going to The Outer Banks with Matthew and Suzie, other family members and friends later this summer for Matthew's 30th birthday. I can't wait!

Our Garden

I've developed a condition known as trigger finger in both thumbs and the index finger on my left hand. It is aggravating and painful and keeps me from working on my art. So for now, I'm getting inspiration from the perennials in our garden. Here are a few of my favorites:

Raspberry Bee Balm
I love the red leaves just under the blossoms.

High Mallow
I had a hard time finding this plant which looks like a miniature hollyhock.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia - very airy and delicate

Chartreuse Sweet Potato Vine
I bought the little bug adornment several years ago.

Our hydrangea blossoms begin like this.....
before turning a beautiful blue.
We're hoping our coneflowers attract lots of honeybees.

All photos are clickable.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I've been away from art for nearly two months and it doesn't feel good. I'm distracted. Not the kind of distraction we get by beginning to do one task and then finding ourselves doing another. I am in the midst of planned distraction - things I just have to get off my plate before I can move on. I liken it to doing prep work on a room before it can be painted. Unfortunately, I've had to give these things a higher priority than making art.

But all is not lost. As I work, I'm planning art in my mind. My work will go in a new direction, employing much more of my own hand-dyed and surface designed fabrics as well as digital imagery. I know what I want to do next but absolutely must get things in order before I begin.

In the meantime, I'll share a quilt or two you may not have seen.

Hurricane Warning
40" x 60" 2003
Permanent Collection of The Concourse Gallery, Upper Arlington OH

Hurricane Warning was created for the juried show Vantage Point-South, The Art Quilt at the Page-Walker in Cary NC, where it was chosen as the publicity quilt for the poster and postcard. It was also in The Art of the Quilt, an invitational exhibition in Martinsville VA. It was purchased for the permanent collection of The Concourse Gallery while on exhibit with other members' work from The Art Quilt Network.

Very unlike my other work, Hurricane Warning is one of those quilts which just happened. It came together very quickly - just one week from conception to completion. The graphic beauty of hurricane warning flags really struck me the first time I saw them. The image stayed in my head for a long time and finally appeared in this piece.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Love of Birds

This nest contains tiny strips from a torn blue tarp. It was found on the lawn at my sister's IL home.

It's a little thing to some, but I love birds. I love watching them, listening to them and especially finding a nest. When we were in IL last month, I desperately searched for red-winged blackbirds - most often seen sitting on metal fence posts along the fields. My dh saw several, but I couldn't see that far!

There were other sweet rewards tho. Like barn swallows seen swooping and flying all around my sister's porch. I managed to get one clear shot, but the beautiful swallowtail is barely visible.

This lovely barn swallow - seen here gathering nesting materials.

My sister and brother-in-law are blessed with five grandchildren who love coming out to the farm. On an afternoon of exploring, we discovered birds nesting in very unusual places!

The engine compartment of an old Ford tractor held five little black birds with bright yellow beaks. We had to climb up on the tire in order to see them snuggled together.

Photo credit: Olivia Powell, age 6

Lisa holds Addison for a quick look.

After my sister commented about finding a nest on top of their propane tank one year, we all had to investigate. And sure enough, the birds had chosen the same location once more.

I never realized robins nests were so big. This one is at least 12" across, filling the cover of the gas tank when closed. The robins have a safe, dry refuge.

Five robin's eggs.

On the homefront, we're really excited. Our bluebirds are back, having built a new nest in the bluebird box. They have been very, very busy. If we can get pictures this time, I'll be sure to post them. No eggs yet, but we're watching.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The 65th Anniversary of D Day

My Uncle Ed - WWII

My Mother had three brothers who served in World War II. My father-in-law did too. All were in my heart this morning as we watched President Obama in France.

Always eloquent, Mr. Obama's words today were especially so. "Friends and veterans, what we cannot forget — what we must not forget — is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century," he said.

During the ceremony at Omaha Beach, under an American flag flying high, he spoke from a platform and colonnade engraved with these words: "This embattled shore, portal of freedom, is forever hallowed by the ideals, the valor and the sacrifice."

I cannot imagine the emotion of standing in that place.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago today my husband was standing in Tiananmen Square when the tanks rolled in. He, the mayor pro-tem of Charlotte and another - all veterans, first felt the vibration in the concrete and then recognized the unmistakable sound. Thankfully, they were able to get to the safety of their hotel.

All were in China for a Sister Cities trip to Baoding when caught up in the Revolution. Referring to themselves later as "the gang of forty" the group witnessed history being made for the next eight days.

My DH shot many rolls of film which he was able to get out of the country by dividing it amongst a dozen others in the group. They were evacuated by the State Department on the American Ambassador's plane and flown to Tokyo. Theirs was the last tour group to escape China.

Note: An article in the June 5 Charlotte Observer (page 12A Nation/World) quotes my DH and the former mayor about the event. charlotteobserver.com