Category Archives: My Creative Process

Mastering & Innovating Patchwork Techniques

Innovation is something that happens when there is no instruction manual readily available. Improv Handbook giveaway on OkanArts.com. Continue reading

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2015 Focus ~ Listening

As the patchwork unfolds I will listen without agendas of planning, perfecting, or pleasing. I will allow the patchwork to show me what it wants to become. Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, My Creative Process, The Modern Quilt | Tagged , | 41 Comments

20th Century Comfort Room

It’s an interior space that speaks about the confinement of imagination. Installed at the Headlands Center for the Arts, 1998. Continue reading

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38,564 words and twelve new quilts!

It’s as if I’ve been on a boat for the last year and a half and I’ve just been dropped off on a new shore in my life. Everything is new. Everything is YES! Many thanks to all who’ve been on the journey with me. Continue reading

Posted in Art and Social Practice, Community, My Creative Process, Personal Heritage | Tagged | 29 Comments

Piñata Anchor of Hope ~ Happy Birthday Mom

Remembering a geo-psychic, temporary public art project for the city of Durham, NC, that marked the beginning of urban (and personal) renewal.
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improv from the heart ~ lessons learned in theater class

My improvisational patchwork process is getting a boost from taking an improv theater workshop. It also affirms my deepest values: discovery is the path to freedom, freedom is the path to connection, connection is the path to joy. Continue reading

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sorting scraps like the bionic woman… i wish

I always make a big mess when I’m piecing a quilt top. I mean a HUGE mess. It’s insanity. There’s fabric everywhere, underfoot and on every surface. If my studio was in a zero gravity zone scraps would be floating … Continue reading

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I Ching Modern Quilt

The pattern of this all linen quilt was created by chance through a random process of throwing coins as prescribed by the I Ching. Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Quilts, My Creative Process, Quilt Alongs | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Patchwork Scrap Doodling

Scrap Doodling is a playful improvisational patchwork process utilizing fabric scraps without concern over the outcome. It’s like drawing but better! Continue reading

Posted in Mantras for Creativity, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Tools, Tips, Tutorials | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Summer Schedule

This rainbow of fabric reminds me of the lengthening and shortening of days. Happy Summer Solstice and a season full of fun and creativity. Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Color Palettes, My Creative Process | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Extravagant Generosity

This one quilt “Manna” brought in $16,000. I wonder about the power, the extravagant generosity of art to move people and rain bread from heaven. Continue reading

Posted in Community, Mantras for Creativity, My Creative Process, Personal Heritage | Tagged , | 24 Comments

a lucky BLUE bottle face day

I spied a graffiti Easter egg hanging in a tree. A down and out bottle face waiting there for me. Continue reading

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My Blue Bike Ride

Riding along the bay in East Oakland on a sunny Sunday afternoon in winter restores my rhythm of attention. Continue reading

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RGB Modern, 2012

I considered the space between warp and weft when piecing these curves with bias cut strips to create this modern improvisational quilt. Continue reading

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a lecture on modern improv quilting at Stitch Modern

I will be presenting a new framework for improvisational quilting that breaks free from the design/pattern/copy paradigm of traditional quilting: on Feb 5 at “Stitch Modern” a quilt show with special events hosted by the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild. Continue reading

Posted in Events and Workshops, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, The Modern Quilt | Tagged | 5 Comments

choose happiness

Experiencing FLOW, being fully engaged in creativity, work or play, is one of the habits that increases happiness. Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, My Creative Process | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Rainbow Cloud Quilt

Free-cut continuous bias strips were machine pieced through an improvisational process to create the curved patchowork in this modern quilt. Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Quilts, My Creative Process | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

negative space ~ how the hole affects the whole

In a split second my split sections were on their way to becoming TWO modern quilts instead of one! Continue reading

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curve improv quilting and the uncertainty principle

Position and momentum can not be known simultaneously when you are dealing with modern improv curved piecing! Continue reading

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visual influence ~ east oakland graffiti

I can tell that the visual influence of east Oakland is already impacting my color sense, as well as the energy tone, and forms of my quilt patterns. Continue reading

Posted in Color Palettes, Community, My Creative Process, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

a bomb went off in my studio cave

I’m totally busy with my creative professional life right now! What happened? Continue reading

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bias and diamond improv patchwork evolution

Watch my most recent bias and diamond modern improv quilt evolve on the studio wall. Quilt in process! Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Sketchbook, The Modern Quilt, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged | 7 Comments

Color Channeling

My creative space becomes animated when work is flowing. So many subtle influences are at play. Continue reading

Posted in Color Palettes, Mantras for Creativity, My Creative Process | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

I Ching Modern Quilt-along: 10 ~ Continuing

It was uncomfortable sewing TEN unbroken dark lines in a row. I wanted to CHEAT and control the random process, but continued with integrity! Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, Modern Improv, My Creative Process, Quilt Alongs, Tools, Tips, Tutorials | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Scrapping

Jumping on the scrap quilting bandwagon – modern improv style! Continue reading

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Cutting Aftermath

I Ching scraps on my studio floor. Continue reading

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Good Friday Prayer

It’s Good Friday, the day of Christ’s death and burial, so I chanted a little prayer to Jesus while I was stitching today. Continue reading

Posted in Craft Therapy, Mantras for Creativity, My Creative Process, Passage Quilting, Stitching | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Improv Monday ~ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on Improv Monday but I received an email from a reader that prompted me to consider my relationship to expectation, satisfaction (or dissatisfaction), and improvisation. I was pleased to hear that someone reading … Continue reading

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Improv Monday ~ Pausing to See

Welcome to Improv Monday! View the archive and please join the conversation! After a bang of initial energy, the linen quilt on my wall has remained untouched for almost three weeks… but finally PROGRESS! Many hours of pausing to look … Continue reading

Posted in Color Palettes, Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Stuck!

I’ve been working on this quilt since mid June and the progress is SLOW… I’m really stuck. It takes me a week to sew on three strips! Where is my flow? What’s holding me back? I have no idea where … Continue reading

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I’m Back! Sort of…

Wow. I was doing so well at posting almost everyday from Penland the first week, but I lost my wind the second week. Penland was fantastic but by week two I only had enough stamina to teach the workshop. The … Continue reading

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A Quilt Maker’s Memoir of Rules

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. I began as a self-taught quilt maker after years of sewing clothes. I learned the techniques and internalized the proper rules of sewing sturdy and professional looking garments, … Continue reading

Posted in My Creative Process, Personal Heritage | Tagged | 6 Comments

THE RULES of Quilt Making

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. The topic of rules is HUGE. Traditional sewing epitomizes feminine obedience.  When I was growing up, home economic was required and there were rules that had to be … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged | 19 Comments

Is Improv Quilting for Beginners?

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. Your comments on improv and courage last week were out-of-this-world fantastic – thank you! Some of you are new to improv, and some more experienced, but all of … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged | 25 Comments

Improv Requires Courage

Welcome to Improv Mondays, a weekly series exploring improvisation in quilt making. This weekend I experienced improv comedy at the Pan Theater in Oakland, CA. The main show consisted of two actors doing a series of short sketches. Limits or … Continue reading

Posted in Modern Improv, My Creative Process | Tagged | 23 Comments

Linen Swatches

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ready for quilting

The Dolores Wolfe memorial quilt is basted and ready to be quilted. Ruth Anne, Dolores’s daughter, will be joining me in June to begin the hand quilting as part of her bereavement process. Ruth Anne also wants to explore adding … Continue reading

Posted in My Creative Process, Passage Quilting | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

the remains

Most of the time my studio is clean and in a state of readiness. But once I start on a project, look out. There’s no going back… to pick up the pieces. I like a messy work room when I’m … Continue reading

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details

Lots of hand piecing going on, because I completely ignored my rule of thumb to avoid insets… but it’s worth it. The Love is in the details. Follow the evolution of the Wolfe memorial quilt.

Posted in My Creative Process, Passage Quilting | Tagged | 3 Comments

working on the floor

Sometimes the nitty gritty happens on hands and knees. Working on the floor is a big part of my process. It’s where the difficult, the technical, the tedious happens… I like the shift in perspective.

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Can you see it now?

The trees, mountains, peaks, knolls and valleys… Emerging from bows, velvet, satin… wedding dress, t-shirts and burlap… Dolores Wolfe was a craftswoman and farmer who lived in Kentucky. She raised sheep, spun wool into yarn, and wove yarn into cloth.

Posted in My Creative Process, Passage Quilting | Tagged , | 4 Comments

a new quilt taking shape

I’ve been asked to create a memorial quilt for Ruth Anne from the clothing of her mother, Dolores Wolfe. Ruth Anne began this quilt herself in the Passage Quilting™ Workshop that I taught in Cincinnati last fall. She asked me … Continue reading

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Quilt Binding Marathon

Binding is my least favorite part of the quilt making process. Especially if it is a big, queen-sized mother like this wool [ ] quilt. FIRST there is the continuous, continuous, continuous bias strip, which can sometimes be fun to … Continue reading

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Plaid Wool Modern Quilt Improv

Finally, I’m making progress in patching together these re-purposed wool shirts into a modern improvised bed quilt. I was stuck for a while, so when I began working yesterday

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Improvisational Process Follows Its Own Course

When the improvised quilt pattern has taken on a life of it’s own, you must go with the flow. Continue reading

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Running Out of Wool ~ Repurposing Thrift Store Finds

The improvised [ ] quilt pattern is coming along. My favorite blocks are in the right column. My intention is to make a queen sized quilt, but I’m running out of wool. The star

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A Thanksgiving for Creative Practice

What does it mean to be an artist? It’s about the truth of who I am in relationship to my self, to others, to my craft and to my being in the world. Continue reading

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Quilt Pattern Sketches ~ [ ]

The quilt pattern inspiration for this week are [ ] parenthesis. See my interpretive sketch and it’s translation into an actual quilt block, made from re-purposed wool clothing. Continue reading

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The Vaguely Familiar Modern Quilt Guild Logo

The Modern Mood Quilt Logo has always seemed vaguely familiar but I couldn’t really put my finger on why until Latifah Saafir, aka The Quilt Engineer, posted a comment about her take on the Revolution vs Evolution of the Modern … Continue reading

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Beth El Piecework & Vivid Colors

Follow my process re-posts of the Beth El Synagogue Torah Mantels. October 20, 2009 Many hours spent cutting and piecing 1/2″ to 1″ strips from clothing donated by congregation. Also mixing prints with solid silk shantung that was purchased for … Continue reading

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