Tag Archives: quilt show

See Me on The Quilt Show

I recently taped an episode of TheQuiltShow.com with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  Subscribers to that website got to see that episode last week.  Many thanks to those of you that sent kind words through email and Facebook.

sitting talking

Photo by Gregory Case

Now, I can share a link to that show with the rest of you. Click on the link here and you can watch too.

Watch The Show

This link will work until May 11, so make a cup of tea and sit back to enjoy.

Let me know what you think Also, for those of you that subscribe to The Quilt Show, I have a new series of lessons in the “Classroom” section of the website.  This course is on “Contemporary Batik”  If you’ve ever wanted to try batik, but were afraid of the mess, check out this class.  It will be FUN, and EASY!! http://thequiltshow.com/learn/classrooms FTI: you have to be a subscriber to the website to access this class.


Lights, Camera, Action

This is the week that the crew from TheQuiltShow.com comes to Denver to tape their next season of shows.  I was the guest artist on their first show in the new studio.  I’ve been to several tapings before, but there is nothing like being on the other side of the camera.  My husband , parents and sister were able to come and support me and help calm my nerves.  Here are a few shots from behind the scenes.

family on the set

Family on the set.

Alex holds my book

Alex holds my book.

computer prep

Ernie gets the computer to work

hanging quilts

Hanging quilts with Adele.

how does this work

Sewing lesson from Alex.


Jim, my muse, my mentor



my guys

My guys.

prep talk


sitting talking

Speaking of quilts.


Quilts + People = Fun

At the Houston Quilt Festival I had the chance to talk with hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Everyone of them was warm, and friendly, and fabulous.  I was free to stand by my quilt and talk with anyone interested in my work.  For me, this was the best part of the festival experience.

Having fun talking to people.

Having fun talking to people.

When I’ve been at festivals in the past, I’ve always valued being able to speak with the artists and hear, in their own words, the stories behind the quilts.  So, when I won two awards at Houston, I seized the opportunity to give something back.  I tried to spend as much time as possible with my quilt to meet people and answer questions.









I have to give a special shout out to Superior Threads.  They not only sponsored one of my awards, but they also carried my new book in their booth.

My new book, on sale now.

My new book, on sale now.












I thought I was giving something back,but in reality, I was getting more, and more.  Connecting with people feeds the soul.  I now offer a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who stopped to talk with me.

It's like soaring!

It’s like soaring!


Festival in UK

LOOK! A quilt and a prize.

LOOK! A quilt and a prize.

I’ve just returned from the Festival of Quilts inBirmingham, England.  It was fabulous.  Some of you know that attended last year and arrived expecting to see my quilt, Turkish Bread Boys on display, only to discover that it never arrived.  Well, this year it did and the Boys took second place in the Pictorial Quilt category.

Once again, I traveled by myself and that enabled me to stumble into some great experiences.  The first night in my hotel I met two quilters from Ireland who knew me from The Quilt Show website.  Rita and Janet were warm and friendly and had a great enthusiasm for quilting and more than a few questions related to the topic “What is up with those Americans”.  They led me to other TQS people who invited me to dinner.  This was a group of people from 5-6 different countries who had only known each other through a

quilt chat room until they came together at the festival.  We spent the evening telling stories, laughing, and  sharing ideas.  I have to ask, “How often does something like that happen?”  Not often enough in my life.

The TQS gang

The TQS gang


Bike Boys Cross the Finish Line

Bike Boys

Finally, it’s done!  I finished the stitching and added a little extra to give context and a resting space.  I was a bit nervous about adding a neutral background around the Boys, but, in the end, felt that the panel was just too intense and needed some space for the eye to rest. I struggled with how much space to add.  If you add too much space, you lose  intensity.  However, I also know that if it isn’t enough, then the piece actually looks wimpy and weak.  I turned the original panel askew to keep the added space small but powerful.  I think that turning the boys uphill makes them stronger.  Imagine the same panel turned downhill–they would appear to be coasters.  This is better.

I shared the piece with some friends and colleagues.  What was most interesting to them was the historical context of the image.  The inspiration for this piece was a photo found in the archives of the History Colorado Museum in Denver.   The Fowler Sextuplet was the first bicycle built for 6.  It was brought to the Denver Cycle Show in 1896 to race against the Empire State Express.  I’ve spent a good bit of time researching, but can’t find any information as to who won the race.  I hope this doesn’t mean they all crashed and burned.

The Bike Boys paused for a photo that submits them to a fiber art competition in Houston.  Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed that they have a more notable finish in that competition.


Bike Boys and Road Trip

This has been a BIG week.  I traveled to Paducah this week with my parents, Willis and Dixie, for the AQS Quilt Week festivities.  I received a first prize in the Small Wall Quilt, Pictorial category for my “Panning for Gold,” and met lots of wonderful quilters.  We were actually in Paducah for just over 24 hours, but, thanks to Dixie on a motorized scooter, we barely stopped moving.

Lunch on the Curb

Lea with parents in Paducah

In spite of the out of town time, I still made progress on thread painting the Bike Boys.  I now have the first 2 guys stitched.  With a win at Paducah, I’m energized to get this piece done in time to submit to the show in Houston in November.

This is the front man.  I’m not totally satisfied with his face.  I’might give him a mustache.

Here is the second man.  I rather like him, but I will need to do some additional shaping of the hat after I stitch the background figure. Below, see the 2 guys together.


Bike Boys Going Nowhere

Lea @ Rd 2 CA

It has been an exciting couple of weeks, but I’ve made precious little progress on the bike boys.  Last week I made a quick 5-day trip to London to drop off a couple of quilts and to reconnect with 2 good friends that I met 20 years ago in Turkey.  Of course the days before a trip like that are full of preparation=no quilt work. The trip included high tea at the Goring Hotel, a musical, “From Here to Eternity” at the Shaftsbury Theatre, a new hairdo at the salon in Selfridges, and a bit of shopping on Oxford St. Then, the next couple of days are all about recovery and getting the sleep schedule back in place=no quilt work.

On Tuesday, I received the exciting news that my quilt “Panning for Gold” had won the prize for “Best of Show from a First Time Entrant” at the Road to California Quilt Show.  I’ve never actually been to this show, so I thought this was a great excuse to check in out in person.  Working out travel details and preparing for a substitute teacher at school took up the next couple of days=no quilt work.

With a flight delay, I found myself home with a day to work in the studio.  However, with a deadline looming for the SAQA trunk show, I sprung into action on a different piece: “A Horse of Course”

Me, I’ve been all over the map these last 2 weeks, but the Bike Boys are going nowhere.


Art Imitates LIfe Validates Art

peace and grace

Today I’m going to revisit the censorship of my artwork that occurred a few weeks ago.  My piece, The Thin Veneer, was on display at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival as part of a special exhibit.  It was meant to be approached from the back where one would see a group of Geishas involved in calligraphy, flower arranging, etc.  Boughs of cherry blossoms grace the shoulders of the kimono.  It is all meant to evoke a feeling of grace and calm, peace and beauty.


Then, when one walks to the other side of the piece, they view a panel tucked inside the kimono that display pictures of Japanese soldiers committing acts of brutality.  I will admit that some of the images are unpleasant to look at.  That’s why they were chosen.  I feel that, all too often, we simply choose to look away or ignore those things that make us uncomfortable.  It is that treatment of brutality that allows it to continue.  My message was about uncovering those acts of brutality.  Bring them into the light and see them for what they are.  If we don’t like seeing evidence of such violence, we should act to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,  not pretend it never happened in the past.

Being out of the country at the time of the exhibit, I received delayed information through email, but here is what, to the best of my knowledge happened:  Someone associated with the vendors at the show was offended and complained to the person in charge of the vendors.  That person took it upon themselves to pin closed the front of my kimono.  I received the piece back a few days ago and it still had safety pins and a post-it note attached.


Of course, I am a proponent of freedom of expression and I also recognize the rights of the festival promoters to control what is displayed at their show.  I am very offended that they felt they had the right to change my art and leave it on display with my name and title.      I’m mean really, if you are offended by the nakedness of Michealangelo’s David, would you display him wearing a bathing suit?  I think not.

If you object to an artist’s work, then choose not to display it, but to alter it to your own sensibilities and present it to the public is dishonest.  In this case, it proves the very point that I was trying to make with my art. I’m guessing that the irony of their actions never occurred to C.D. Judy.  Even today, does he, or she, understand how their attempts to diminish my work actually validated it?


A Tale of 2 Quilt Shows

The lovely facade

I’d like to start with something like, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,”  but in actuality, it was bad and then it got even worse.


I began last Saturday in the English countryside, where I was staying with a dear friend.  I did a quick check of email before loading into the car a driving to the Fetsival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.  I discovered that one of my art pieces, on display in the US, was being censored.  Really? My work??


The ugly truth.

I’m part of a group called Boundless Fiber Artists.  Our latest group challenge was to use a kimono as the base for our work.  We had created an exhibit called “Kimono Kakushin” which means:  the kimono repurposed or reinvented.  It was on display in Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival.  I created a piece titled “The Thin Veneer”  On the back were images of geishas being beautiful and graceful, and, inside the front was a panel with images of Japanese soldiers committing acts of violence against captives.  It was meant to be a statement about how cultures often present as one thing when they are really something very different at the  core of it.  It is human nature to want to show our best selves, but it is not necessarily who we truly are.  This piece was about bringing to light unpleasant truths. 

It seems that someone took exception to my work and had the front closed so that the unpleasantness could not be viewed.  Of course, the artwork now becomes pointless, or perhaps just a victim of the same mentality it was meant to expose.  I was very much displeased with being censored and did not want my artwork to be exhibited in the altered state, but, what can you do half a world away?  I requested that the kimono be removed and the empty stand left on exhibit to speak of the assault on freedom of expression. 


Lea without the Bread Boys, holding back tears

Meanwhile, back in the UK, we arrived to the Festival of Quilts.  Once inside the hall, I acquired a program and set off to find my “Turkish Bread Boys”.  It was entered in the pictorial competition and I had high hopes of winning a prize.  It was quilt # 919. Walking down the aisle, I saw 916, 917, 918, 920… What? It wasn’t there, A quick look around and there was no sign of it. We hurried to the information desk to seek and explanation.  A lovely woman led us back to the correct area, where we retraced our steps.  No, it still wasn’t there.  A panic was rising from my core. After checking with people in the admin office, it was revealed that my piece had never arrived.  They attempted to chase it down through the day, while we walked around and tried to enjoy the rest of the exhibits.  In the end, there was still no sign of the quilt.


Sweet Song from an Old Fiddle is a crowd pleaser

 Another of my works, “Sweet Song from and Old Fiddle,” was being shown as part of a special exhibit titled Metaphors on Aging.  This was well received and people were so complimentary about the piece that it did help take some of the sting out of  losing the Bread Boys.  Those boys, when they finally do get home, they will be in so much trouble.


This weekend that was to be the big finish to a great summer, has suddenly fallen flat.  I’d like to end with a cheerful note, but I can’t.  I write this at 2:00 AM sitting up in a strange hotel room, unable to sleep, wondering what fresh hell tomorrow will bring.