Thought Patterns exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

I’m excited to be one of the 15 artists featured in the current group exhibition, “Thought Patterns”, at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). “Thought Patterns” is a group exhibition featuring artists working in diverse media. The common thread is how these regional artists construct their ideas in patterned and repetitive ways. The show includes more traditional forms of fiber art (textiles, quilts and baskets) and expands on the notion of “woven constructions” – combining diverse ideas and materials through drawing, painting, artist’s books, metalsmithing, woodworking, construction, digital prints, and video. Whether tightly loomed or more loosely arranged, each artist weaves their own personal narrative.

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The show opened in mid-October with a patrons preview party attended by 390 people and the next day an afternoon for meeting the artists and an evening party for guests of the artists. About 35 of my friends came to the evening party and we had a wonderful celebration. I’m thrilled to have four of my quilts in this exhibit and to see them hung in a museum setting in combination with the amazing work of the other artists. I really enjoyed meeting some of the other artists and was surprised how similar we are in drawing inspiration from naturally occurring and man-made patterns. Here is a sampling of their artistic works.

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I loved these colorful quilt-like pieces by Julie Haack made from latex paint on salvaged wood. The box is open at the far end and is actually entitled, Quilt Cave. Julie writes, “This is what happens: the geometric patterns distort and invade neighboring planes, the tidy constraints of static rectangles become convex curving forms suggestive of movement. The academic rules that dictate which materials are acceptable in conventional art-making practices are disregarded, instead of canvas, small pieces of wood are assembled in a mosaic and presented formally as a highly crafted object balancing between painting and sculpture.”

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Artist Aaron Levine, makes incredible tessellated patterns from hundreds of tiny sixteenth of an inch thick tiles of wood. These are displayed as table tops. The one on the left is entitled I AM the Center. My picture doesn’t do this beautiful table justice. The I is in the center and is then tessellated into gradually changing patterns that are different on each of the four sides of the table. The right picture shows the detail from another table. These are mind blowing.

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These exquisite, delicate works are made by Aaron McKnight using tiny pieces of birch bark, papyrus, and acrylic paint and sealant. Aaron uses scissors to cut the patterns of dots from the bark. Without any magnification, (he’s young and has good eye-sight), he creates these beautiful sculptures with wonderful radiant symmetry and detail.

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Waterfall, by June Sekiguchi is made from enameled scroll cut engineered wood. This piece is about eight feet tall. The elements are layered and placed on a rod at the top. The order may be reconfigured each time the piece is installed. June is inspired by natural and anthropological sources. She explores by processing, deconstructing, and re-structuring a form and focusing on metaphorical rather than literal interpretation of the source material. The woven piece, from wool and linen, looks very quilt-like to me and I love the bands of gradually changing colors. Suzanne Hubbard wove this and named it Transcendence.

I was delighted how the work of all these artists and others not shown here were displayed in a coherent and attractive exhibit based on repeating elements and patterns. I feel honored to have my work as a part of this. The exhibit runs until mid-February. Do visit if you can!

Quilt Works, Houston, TX

When I taught at the West Houston Quilt Guild in September, my class was held at a large quilt shop, Quilt Works located at 9431 Jones Road and West Road in West Houston. In this store you can choose from over 4,000 bolts of fabric. They sell Pfaff sewing and embroidery machines and a huge selection of thread for both machine and hand embroidery. The space is large and well lit and there are beautiful class samples adorning the walls. They also have a large section of Accu-quilt cutting tools. Here’s the visual tour.

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With this amazing selection of quilting supplies, I know that this is a store that I would frequent if I lived in the Houston area.

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Ladybug sewing caddy

I’m always learning from my students and enjoy the new gadgets they bring to class. I love this ladybug pin cushion and bobbin holder which includes a pouch at the head for scissors or seam rippers. It is attached to the sewing machine by a suction cup.


These ladybugs are made by Smartneedle. I looked at the reviews on Amazon and they are mixed. Everyone loves the ladybug and many gave the product rave reviews, but some people have had problems with the suction cup not adhering properly. One lady bought two and one worked but the other didn’t. She was able to get the suction cup part replaced. It is possible that some of the suction cups may be defective or perhaps they just don’t work well on certain types of surfaces. Apparently the black spots are the easiest areas in which to put pins and the red rubber is a little tougher.

Pink Castle Fabrics, Ann Arbor, MI

During my teaching trip to Michigan in May, I visited a couple of quilt stores in the Ann Arbor area. Pink Castle Fabrics does much of its business on-line but has a brick and mortar store at 1915 Federal Boulevard, Ann Arbor. The outside of the building looks rather industrial, but the light and airy room is decorated with quilts and there are plenty of fabrics on the shelves.

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The store has a modern quilts flavor with bold designs and solid colors. They stock over 250 different colors of solids, the latest designs from modern designers and imported fabrics from Japan. In addition to quilting fabrics, they have linen blends, lawn, voile and knits. There are also plenty of notions. Stop by if you are in the area. Here’s a pictorial tour.

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Ann Arbor Sewing Center, MI

During my teaching trip to Michigan in May, I visited a couple of quilt stores in the Ann Arbor area. The Ann Arbor Sewing Center located at 5235 Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor is the biggest store, (quite possibly in the state), boasting over 7,000 bolts of fabrics. If you are in area and only have time for one quilting store, this is it! They are are family owned and operated, running the business since 1968. The mural is painted above the lower entrance to the store around the back of the building where there is additional parking.

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The entrance is welcoming and the store is extremely well stocked with notions, embroidery supplies, patterns and quilting books. They sell and service Bernina, Pfaff, Viking and Singer sewing machines and also carry Horn and Koala sewing cabinets and furniture.

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They are well known for their wide selection of batiks and have a large area of the store devoted to this collection.

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There’s a spacious area for classes with plenty of inspiring quilts decorating the walls. Another section of the store is devoted to Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

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Then there are the novelty prints which are always fun!

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