Sunday, January 14, 2018

Climate Change

Hand embroidered, hand quilted. Completed January 14, 2018.  Size 10" x 10" 

This quilt was made for the week 1 challenge in Project Quilting season 9 - Hometown Proud.  

We live in New York City now, but I spent most of my life in California.  Although the current federal administration won't acknowledge climate change,   I'm proud that the state of California has a whole portal devoted to information about the various strategies in place to deal with implementation of their vision. 

This image is used as the logo,

and is based on a dire drought map from 2014.

I've been exploring this raw edge applique technique, so I traced the logo, then pinned down color shapes in the approximate locations. 

I embroidered the outlines of the state and the drought section lines.  Next I embroidered small symbols of the various sorts of policies in place, regarding electricity, solar energy, water conservation, recycling, rain reclamation, wind turbines, and other actions. 

Then I decided to hand quilt a radiating spiral, first to echo the curve of the major element, that red half-circle, but also to acknowledge the dangerous earthquakes that rock the state, and one of the things I do not miss about California.

I'm proud that the great state of California continues to work towards a better planet, with a mindful Climate Change vision, policies and legislation.  I hope the federal government soon regains its senses, readopts the Paris Accord and takes a leadership position in this movement. 



Sunday, October 1, 2017


Hand embroidered, raw edge block applique, metal findings,  mounted on a canvas frame.  Iconic image of Stalin, with Trump hair, and an American flag in distress.

Completed September 30, 2017 

Size 12" x 12"

This piece was created for an exhibit with the Textile Study Group of New York, RED  (at the Noho M55 Gallery in December 2017) 

After embroidering the basic outline and adding the ridiculous Trump hair,

I shopped for ribbons that looked 'military style', and some metal findings I could use as 'awards' and other decorations on the jacket. 

The awards represent some of his hateful policies and characteristics:  From left to right:  The elephant for GOP support, the butterfly for climate change denial, the baby for his tweet tantrums, the skull and cross bones for his elimination of EPA protections and poisoning of the environment, and a bra for his misogynistic treatment of women.   

The epaulets of his jacket are decorated with little hands
Finally, the background is quilted with an upside down American flag, indicating the distress of our nation.  So much so, that stars are actually falling off the flag  (representing states making policy to directly contradict policies of this administration)  

I hope this nightmare ends soon.  In the meantime, I will continue to make protest art. 


Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Sam, our son, is studying for his PhD in Applied Mathematics at UC Davis.  The "math" part has to do with creating mathematical models for the "applied" part, which has to do with the life-cycle of a parasitic worm called: Schistocephalus Solidus.   I created this small quilt to hang in his university office, which illustrates the life-cycle through three hosts.  The quilting is text from a definitive article on this parasite  (Barber and Scharsack, 2010).

This is the text from the research,  not all of it made it into the quilting: 
  • Schistocephalus solidus is a trophically transmitted pseudophyllidean cestode with a three-host life cycle. The definitive host can be any warm-blooded vertebrate; most typically these are fish-eating birds though other endotherms can harbour adult worms, including otters (Hoberg et al. 1997) and, though presumably only rarely, humans (Coombs and Crompton, 1991). Schistocephalus solidus does not grow in the gut of the definitive host but undergoes the final stages of sexual maturation there, reproducing sexually either by selfing (if singly infected) or by cross-fertilization (in multiple infections). Eggs released into the water with the bird’s faeces hatch to produce free-swimming coracidia that are transmitted trophically to a wide range of cyclopoid copepods, the 1st intermediate hosts. Here the parasites develop in the copepod haemocoel into procercoids, becoming infective to three-spined sticklebacks, the obligatory specific 2nd intermediate hosts (Bra ̊ten, 1966), with the formation of a hooked cercomer. Sticklebacks acquire infections when they feed on parasitized copepods, and in the stickleback digestive tract infective procercoids shed their outer layer, together with the cercomer, and penetrate the wall of the intestine. The parasite then develops into a plerocercoid, which grows to a large size in the fish host’s body cavity. The life cycle is completed when sticklebacks harbouring infective plerocercoids are ingested by a definitive host (Clarke, 1954).

 Here is Sam, the PhD-to-be 

And here we are together when I gave him this quilt:

And with his lovely wife, Kelly! 

Sam and Kelly have a couple larger quilts at home, but I knew Sam's head was full of this topic, so I wanted to honor his work. 

Good luck with your studies, Sam! 


Monday, May 15, 2017

Thread and challenges

While I appreciate not being rushed to complete projects, I also realize that deadlines help me complete projects.  I've got to get motivated to work on SOMETHING!  I'll have to find some challenges this summer...

Here's some thread, to remind me:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Deep Breath

Deep Breath for Christie

Embroidered flower lungs, with machine quilted background "breathe" - for my friend Christie

Approx size 10" x 10" - January 2017

I met Christie Logan when I started my graduate level work in Performance Studies / Communication Studies at CSUN in 2007.  I took a few classes with her, and quickly grew to respect her knowledge and experience, to love her energy.  Recently she had a lung transplant, and I thought she could use some good healing vibes. 

So on my trip to Punta Cana, I started working on these embroidered lungs, hoping it would absorb some of the beach/ocean energy, that I know Christie loves so much.

Here I am working on this piece with the rolling waves in the near distance.

Here is the piece with the hand embroidery complete:

This is Christie absorbing the ocean magic she loves so well  -  and here we are together, at a final lunch together before my move to New York in January 2015:

Christie brought Performance and Pedagogy to my life;  I really would never have taken those big leaps without her.   She taught me to look at issues on a continuum, in multi-dimensions.  She says "Its not either/or, its both/and."  She introduced me to the writings of Dwight Conquergood, bell hooks, and Anna Deveare Smith, and many, many others, and so much more.  I am a changed person.

I can only hope this small gift brings her a deep breath of ocean air.
Be well my teacher, mentor and friend.  I'm thinking about you from across the miles, breathing in the air of another ocean.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

If not now, when?

Hand embroidered Hebrew letters that spell out the phrase, "If not now, when" arranged in a circle.  The background is machine quilted translation to English. 

Completed March 19, 2017
Size 13" x 13"

This quilt was made for the final challenge in Project Quilting season 8 - Time is up!  and is my response to the urgency I feel for participating in our political processes.  We are seeing some deplorable policies and words by the current administration, and I believe the time to act is NOW.

The full quote, by Hillel, a 1st century C.E Jewish sage, is  “If I am not for myself, who is? And when I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”   

The first part, I understand to mean that we each have the right and responsibility to stand up for ourselves.  The second part, however, reminds us that we should not be selfish in our responsibilities;  we exist in communities.  And finally,  the time imperative.  Now.  Act now.

Using an arrangement I found online (by a company called Hebrew-Tattoos)  I drew the letters of the last phrase in a circle, which I felt also responded to the theme of time, in that its like a clock face.  Luckily, we had a snow day, so I had a full day mid-week to work on this project!  Here is my window/light box I use for tracing. 

Notice the snowy weather outside
I selected a course weave fabric, in a parchment color, to give a sense of the ancient text.  Then, after tracing the letters to fabric (adjusting some spacing I didn't like in my drawing) I selected 4 different dark reds that looked good on the parchment background.

Each letter is small chain stitch outlined then filled with decorative stitching.  The letters are about 2.5" tall.

Finally, I machine quilted closely around each letter, then background quilted the translation "if not now, when?" multiple times across the back  (this step nearly made me miss the deadline, as my machine stalled multiple times, reminding me that NOW is the time to get this baby serviced!)

Because the machine was being so balky, I hand bound this quilt.  Yes, I sewed the binding onto the front AND the back, by hand. 

Act NOW.  If you feel you need to stand up for yourself, do it.  If you feel you need to stand up for your neighbors, community, fellow citizens; do it.  And do it NOW.  The "time is up" for assuming that we are in the status quo, that things will progress more or less as they have in the past.  The administration inaugurated in January 2017 is showing their true and selfish colors.  They don't care about you or your neighbors.  Stand up.  now.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Well-dressed Man is a Feminist

A Well-dressed Man is a Feminist - This quilt is in response to this season of misogyny in the White House.  There were many men walking in the Womens Marches all over the world on January 21, 2017, including my son in California. My husband proudly declares himself a feminist, because he understands he is not emasculated by supporting women's rights. 

completed on March 5, 2017 

I focused on the pink pussy hat, that became the symbol of the Women's March.  The overview images of those marches all over the world, is a sea of pink dots - captured in this drawing and this typical photo:  

There are many images on the internet of strong men wearing the hat - including this one of a police officer.  Since the marches were peaceful, the police presence was relaxed and supportive.

This is specifically in response to the Project Quilting Season 8 - week 5 challenge theme: Well Dressed Man,  but I also want to create for Threads of Resistance project, which has a minimum size requirement of 20x20.  So I created the pieced background, using some textured grey linen, some soft shirting type plaids, and other grey fabric. 

I decided to create a minimalist face with just a mustache to indicate male, and then added the glasses, to represent a sort of 'hipster' male, looking much like my son, Sam, who marched in Oakland with his wife, Kelly.

The hat is hand embroidered in a tight chain stitch, meant to mimic knitting.  I embroidered it on a pink background fabric,  with a variegated embroidery floss, using the entire 6 strands, then I appliqued it onto the pre-quilted background. 

Likewise, the mustache was embroidered on another piece of fabric, and then added to this piece.  The result is they add some dimensionality to a flat work.

I'm so proud of the men in my life who support women's rights, and fight against the repressive, hateful words and policies of the current US Administration.