Crow and Trumpet

This monoprint was used for promotional
materials for a musical event in Rockford, Illinois.
I cropped the little crow out for my profile photo, as you can see.

I use a material called Mastercarve for most of my prints. Various size blocks are available and it's very dense and rubbery. It carves easily with little Speeball lineoleum tools like they had in high school art class. Watch those fingers though, or you'll get a nasty cut! Then I either roll on printing ink with a brayer, or if my print is small, use a dye ink pad like they use for rubber stamping.

Making rubber stamps is fun and easy too. Lineoleum cutters are available at places like Michael's and Hobby Lobby at very low cost. Flat, white erasers are small, easy to carve, and also low in price. My personal favorite is Magic Rub, which comes in a three-pack for under $2. It's a great way to add personalization for folks who make cards and do scrapbooking too.



Okay, so I admit, I'm not very good with written directions. Not all written directions, just ones that include numbers or any kind of math or measurements. Not good for a quilter. That's probably why I like to make up my own projects...if there's no pattern, then I can't make a mistake.

This was supposed to be a quilt from Karla Alexander's book "Stack a New Deck"...well, I guess it still kind of is. The directions were to cut a certain number of squares, stack them in a certain number of "decks", and cut each deck randomly into three pieces. The pieces are then shuffled and reassembled into blocks.

When I got the quilt top done it didn't look like the photo in the book. I reread the instructions only to realize I had done each of the two instructions incorrectly. Wow, was that a weird moment. But the good news is that I actually like my quilt better. So I figured out what I had done wrong, wrote it down, and have made a couple of these, one of which I have yet to quilt.


8 1/4"x10 3/4"

This little piece was just for fun. It's a single piece of fabric, and the jellyfish, bubbles, etc., are "drawn" on with machine free-motion quilting. To free-motion quilt, the fabric is moved around under the needle as it stitches.

Dinwoody and Dinwoody Too

Ink-jet printing on fabric is a great way to add unusual imagery to a quilt-art piece. It takes a little practice, but basically, any image that can be put into digital form on your PC can be printed on fabric. I don't like the iron-on transfer method, so I use a product called "Bubble Jet Set 2000". Cotton fabric is soaked for 5 minutes in the solution, dried, and then cut to a size that will fit an ink-jet printer (8 1/2" x11" or smaller). Iron the fabric onto the shiny side of a same-size piece of freezer paper and then just run it through the printer. Getting it to feed through smoothly is probably the trickiest part, but it's really pretty easy.

The title Dinwoody refers to a Plains Indian rock art tradition found in a very small region of northwest Wyoming. Dinwoody figures are generally very fantastic looking...human-like, but with strange spirit or animal-like features, and very, very lively looking.

My friend Robin, also a quilter, works in the Anthropology Department at the University of Iowa. I made these two pieces as a birthday gift for her. A couple months later I was at her house and beaded them together. Her husband found a nice, small branch, and we hung the whole piece from that.

Churn Dash

For me, this quilt was an experiment with color and pattern. I took about 18 different fabrics and alternately mixed ones that really looked nice together with ones that didn't match well. Some of the blocks I just didn't like, but when the whole thing got put together, it ended up looking very lively. It's also a king-size quilt.

Autumn Rectangles

I love making small quilt projects and used to wonder if I actually had the patience to make a bed-sized quilt. This is the first one I ever made, and as you can see, I stuck to a pretty easy pattern. It's king-size and I really like the way the fabrics work together. It looks nice on the bed in fall and winter too.

Stars and Shadows Pattern

Here are a few samples from my original pattern, Stars and Shadows, or in the case of the tree, Pines and Shadows. The pattern was created for a small project at Barb Raisbeck's annual quilt retreat last fall ( I've been selling the patterns at a couple of local shops and will teach it as a class for three days at the 2009 Wisconsin Quilt Expo in September.

It's been fun seeing how many different looks everyone has given to the finished piece, and a great learning experience for me too.