Saturday, October 25, 2014

Susan Carlson Workshop

Sometimes a day off from work is just the ticket to a fun day. Friday was just that for me and the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective (CTFAC). We had a hands-on workshop with the much admired Susan Carlson.

Susan Carlson lives in Maine but travels widely throughout the United States giving workshops and trunk shows on her unique techniques for art quilting. She has published two art quilt technique quilts, one of which is "Serendipty Quilts". Her website is worth a look.

We had a full day of design and creative inspiration! Here are some photos from the event.

Susan Carolso explaining her design process

Susan Carlson's son Sam
Susan Carlson's son Sam

Around the World Blog Hop - Round 2

Last week I posted in the Around the World Blog Hop thanks to an introduction by Carol R. Eaton Designs.

Today it is my turn to introduce Diane Cadrain.

Diane is a lawyer and freelance writer who specialized in employment law.  She is a clever and highly creative Connecticut woman. She learned embroidery from her grandmother, but has also made clothing. Diane exhibits throughout Connecticut. Her artwork includes hand-painted fabric, felted wool, embroidery and beading. Please visit her blog: Stitching-It-All-Together 

Diane with her dogs Java and Mocha

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mini Mittens

This morning I was knitting mini mittens. I am using the pattern "Argyle Mitten Garland" I found in a book from the library: 50 Knitted Gifts for Year-Round Giving: Designs for every season and occasion featuring universal yarn deluxe worsted.

I am using a dk weight wool and size 7 double points.  So far I have only completed these 3, but I think it would be fun to add more color and different designs. 

I have not taken too many liberties with the pattern yet, but I am finding I want to. Eventually I will crochet a chain to connect one mitten to the next for a cheery winter decoration for the door or tree. Of course they could be adapted into functional mittens for a child or used to decorate presents. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by fabric artisan Carol  of Carol R. Eaton Designs. Carol creates amazing hand-dyed, stamped, painted, and stenciled fabrics that she sells online and at regional events. Her blog is a source of inspiration and step-by-step instructions for many fabric techniques.  

I am thrilled to introduce two artists that I have invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop: Ruth Anne Olson and Michael Scaramuzzino.

Ruth Anne Olson a friend and member of SAQA-CT. Ruth Anne creates textile art, quilts and home accessories with an eye for subtle color change and fabric. She frequently uses hand-dyed cottons. And did I mention that she is a mathematician too? Visit her blog at

Michael Scaramuzzino is an amazing young professional illustrator and 3-d digital modeler who will stun you with his designs. Originally from Connecticut, he now lives in Massachusetts and has a B.F.A. from the Monstserrat College of Art. Michael is also the cover illustrator for my book, Moth at the Window! Visit his website and blog at

 1. What am I working on?
I am usually working on several projects at the same time and  play with fabric paint, Indigo dyeing, and knitting. 

Spiraling Out - Currently on Exhibit 

Aerial View - hand-dyed and batik fabrics

Nuno Felted Wool on Silk Base

Handknit Fingerless Glove

My other blog is dedicated to my book Moth at the Window: Poetry of Grover W. Clayton and Recollections of Indiana. The book is a multi-genre book of poetry and memoir. View the website at

These are some more photos of recent projects.
Sugar in the Morning - mixed media

Playing with Shiva Paintstiks on hand-dyed cotton

Experiments with Indigo Dyeing

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work is evolving. I consider it a bridge between traditional quilting and the art quilt movement even though I periodically create pieces that can fit into either of those categories.

I like bright colors and bold patterns. I like the idea of combining pattern upon pattern. I love Kaffe Fassett’s ideas and his nontraditional approach to design in embroidery, knitting and fabric.

I also do not limit my creativity to stitching fabric. I spin and knit wool. I make felted wool hats, mittens, and wearable accessories.  I look to my garden, a sketchbook and painting (oil, acrylic, and watercolor) for renewal when the energy for one project is declining.

CheckerBlue inspired by a Kaffe Fassett pattern
3. Why do I create what I do?

I create because the process of making things is deeply rooted in who I am as a person. I enjoy the process (sometimes more than the finished product). I like blending materials and seeing what will happen. I suppose that is the scientist in me. I am happy in the studio where I can lose myself in a project and silence the inner chaos in my mind.

4. How does my creating process work?

I try not to overthink my ideas.   Instead I work begin to pull materials together, stitching or knitting or spinning to see what happens. I like following my own muse. I enjoy looking at the works of others but have no desire to copy the other person’s art. I am always thinking what I would change.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Felted Wool Hats

As the wind and rain begin to blow, and the leaves change to those brilliant fall colors I begin making felted wool hats.

I handknit them. I have, what some might call. an addiction because I have made so many. Without too many outside committments I can usually finish one hat in a weekend.

When I finish knitting the hat is huge. This one looks like a portion of a clown's costume.

Then I throw it into the washing machine with a pair of old jeans and a little detergent and it shrinks by about one-third.

Sometimes it is very difficult to judge what a new type of yarn (or handspun) will do. Ask me sometime about my-wool-too-far-gone.

Several finished examples 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wondering Where-O-Where is Mary?

Perhaps you are wondering what I have been up to in September....

Well, I enjoyed one last sunset on Lake Erie

and did my first author talk and book signing in Woodbridge
(more pictures posted on the Moth blog,

I also signed my book at the Connecticut Authors and Publishers booth at the BigE,
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Meeting with my art quilt group in Seymour, and

still making art!