These are just four of the quilts I have made for graduation presents.  I don’t have photos of them all posted on finishedfibers.com yet, but I will when all clients have had the chance to give them to their graduates!  I am starting work on what I am calling my summer projects now, and I will try to post process pictures of those.  Some of the projects are even continuations of personal work, too!


Graduation quilts for clients of Finished Fibers, LLC, my custom quilting business.


Asian fabrics and solids neatly folded…I used my ruler to fold them uniformally.


More fabric!


The white fabrics are begging for a project!


My shelf of synthetic fabric, which is lovely and bright.


My fat quarters have a great new home in this “drawer” my husband made for me!

During the Holidays and into the New Year, I spent quite a lot of time organizing my work space, and I have pictures to prove it.  I moved furniture and folded fabric.  I also created bins for loose scraps and tried to create a much more productive, fluid space.  I have worked a lot in the space over the last month or so, and I am pleased!  I still have snippets of cloth on my sewing table that need to find their way into some sort of vessel…I need to be able to see them, though, for inspiration.  I’m working on that problem!  Today, I provide pictures of the fabric!  The folding took me a day or so, but I love how neat and visible it all is.  I’m still contemplating lips, too…my sketchbook is helping my thinking.



I have been working on my quilt made from my block party blocks I won last month at guild!  I decided to square up each block and sew them together instead of using sashing.  I like how the applique/embroidery blocks seem to float in a sea of flowers this way.  I have chosen a soft purple for the inner border and a deep blue for the outer border.  I found a lovely floral flannel for the back!  I’ll post more pictures as I get further along in the process.

I worked on my ledger/sketchbook…I think it is really both since it catalogues my samples and has art ideas in it!  I created a few pages, and I have more to do, but I am hoping by going through this process I will maintain the evidence of my work, spark ideas, and organize myself.

I also have fun definitions for madness, genius, and hysteria…I spent time with my OED…I should post pictures of it, too!  More on definitions in a few days.


FME (Free Machine Embroidery) page from ledger…sample from Simply Stitch 4 with Karen Ruane.


Ledger pages with samples from Simply Stitch 4 with Karen Ruane.


Block party blocks becoming a quilt!


I took a week off for Spring Break, but I have, by no means, been fallow!  I have been thinking and writing more about madness and genius, most specifically related to Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath.  I read Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith last year, and I continue to be drawn back to it.  The text is thorough and beautifully written, and Van Gogh himself is a lovely study because he, too, loves words.  This text also encourages my questions about genius and madness and their odd, often sad, symbiotic nature.  Naifeh and Smith argue that Van Gogh suffers from a form of epilepsy, but they also highlight his generally odd nature.  From a very early age he retreats from society mostly because people pick up on his lack of social grace.  He would love nothing more than to be accepted by others, but too often he finds himself ridiculed instead.  So his loneliness and isolation shape him as a person, while his illness grows to the point where he is hospitalized.  Throughout his life he encounters terrible spells in which he eats paint and behaves like a lunatic.  Famously he even cuts off part of his ear, but the treatment of that incident in the biography is more a spell of melancholy and desperation rather than all out madness.  Pondering all of this information and what I know about Virginia Woolf–a brilliant mind that heard voices,which are finally silenced by suicidal drowning–I wonder about the relationship between the artistic, superior mind and the supposed madness. (I always recall Emily Dickenson’s admonishment that “Much madness is divinest sense to a discerning eye.”)  I do not think either Woolf or Van Gogh would be the artist they are without the consternation of their brains and hearts, however sad that may seem.  I read more about Woolf and, of course, found the woman question…did she suffer because she wanted children?  Is she ahead of her time and ultimately constrained by society?  I need to read more, and I have several biographies along with her own diaries and essays in mind to read.  Sylvia Plath, too, is fascinating, though I know the least about her.  I plan to read The Bell Jar and more of her poetry…I’m sure a biography will creep in too…but I am well on my way in thinking about the cohesion of genius and madness.


Free machine embroidery sample…I am going to have to make more. I will embroider this one and share that with you. Won’t they look lovely drawing together parts of the madness piece? Too, I think FME will help with the texture I am seeking in the panel!


The black center and the surrounding cloth of the madness piece.


A nearly full view of my madness panel awaiting embroidery.


Another view of the sample piece of free machine embroidery for my madness piece. I am enamored with it!


A view of the crazy quilt part of my madness panel…I am ready to start the embriodery!

I have finished piecing the madness panel, so I am ready to titivate it, and I realized today that I have a desire to make it pretty in addition to evoking confusion, melancholy, and crisis.  I believe the art that I love of Woolf and Van Gogh is a result of that perfidious relationship between genius and madness.  The art makes me appreciate the madness, which I think they both despised.

By the way, I have not allowed comments so far because I’m not sure I can keep up with them, but if you are reading and looking, and you want to comment on anything here, then please feel free to email me!  Just click on the contact button at the top right of the page!



Embroidery for my block party challenge quilt!

My two block party challenge blocks!  You can see the fabric I was trying to mimic!
My two block party challenge blocks! You can see the fabric I was trying to mimic!

Here is the original block party assignment block.  I was given the blue flowered fabric.  I will take it back to the guild and see if I will win  blocks enough to make a quilt!

Here is the original block party assignment block. I was given the blue flowered fabric. I will take it back to the guild and see if I will win blocks enough to make a quilt!

Well I have been busy this week.  I finished my block party block for my quilt guild (Capital Quilters Guild), which asked that we mimic, using embroidery or applique, some aspect of the fabric we were given.  The block party fabric will then be used to border the white embroidery or applique block.  I always make two extra blocks for myself with my own fabric for the block party challenge and my own quilt in the end–which is what the first picture is  here!   I am also continuing to work on my madness/genius project…at least in my head!  I will get back to stitching it this week.  I’m very excited!  I also checked out a Harold Bloom book called Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds from the library.  Virginia Woolf is on his list, and he defines genius in very interesting ways.  I am looking forward to reading and exploring more!  I also found two beautiful books for use as ledgers for my work samples and ideas…one at the North Carolina Museum of Art and one at my favorite used book store, Reader’s Corner!  They both contain beautiful art, and I am pleased that my work will live along side those masters.  More about my ledger projects and madness/genius soon…





“Mermaid” is a recently completed project in which I experimented with fabric paint, organza ribbon, and machine quilting!  I really enjoyed this tiny project, and I love the effect of the ribbon.  I painted her first, and then I placed the ribbon and quilted over it to make her scales.