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Fall Themed Napkin Rings, New Quilt in Progress, Trust the Process and Teaching at Houston

Typically in New England, we go right from last remaining warm days of summer straight into the cool days of fall. The sudden change of seasons welcomes things like family gatherings, apple picking, festivals, leaf peeping, wearing cozy sweaters, comfort cooking and baking, more time quilting or sewing and especially fall decorating. One of my favorite fall decorating items is to set a festive table. Linen napkins rolled up in these pretty handmade fall napkin rings will add the perfect seasonal touch to your table. You can find the full Instructions and .pdf templates on my website here or hop over to view it on Janome's website here.

Fall is also a great time to get outside and take some stunning photos. From the robust colors of the foliage to some of the iconic symbols of autumn like pumpkin patches, apple orchards, mums, ornamental grasses, wreaths, and corn stalks, it’s definitely a picturesque time of year. Here are a few early fall photos that made my creative heart leap.

If you following along my Facebook and Instagram pages, then you know that I have been busy preparing for my upcoming classes for IQA in Houston. I am teaching 2 fabulous and informative classes this year. Both classes will be held on Monday, October 28th. This is an incredible opportunity and I am excited for those of you who have already signed up. “Mini Mosaic Wall Quilt” (is sold out) gives attendees, courtesy of Janome, 6 full hours to work hands on using the Janome Artistic Edge Digital Cutter and Simple Cut software to create just like I do, a smaller version of a mosaic quilt. If you weren’t able to register for this class, then try signing up for my other class "Stylish Mosaic Art for Your Table" here.

This is a 3 hour class (there’s still room) and it’s the perfect introductory class if your not quite ready to dive into using a digital cutter. In this class you'll learn about my process, see some quilts up close and then using a pre-cut kit, make and free motion quilt your own 3 piece set of mosaic table art.

And speaking of classes, over the past month I’ve dedicated time each day in my studio preparing for them and it is amazing how many good and bad things have resulted as I’ve practiced my process on a smaller scale over and over again. The good things, such as refining a few steps of my process, happy accidents, the discovery of trying new products that are terrific alternatives and flurry of new ideas that have randomly popped into my head. The bad things, such as experimenting with new products that absolutely won’t work with my process and an idea that I had for a spin-off class that probably won't make it to the next stage.

Furthermore, I had to occasionally remind myself that I should be enjoying what I am doing. Sometimes this is easier said than done. There's been a few times over the past month where my mind has focused too heavily on how much time I had left to finish preparations. This not only made me feel anxious but things on those days didn’t go smoothly in the studio. I made mistakes, wasted time and money, and was frustrated.

The main thing that I have realized over the past few weeks is that dedicating devoted time to your process is important and that all the good and bad things that happen to you while you are working in your process are equally as important. This is significant because it means that through this type of daily dedication you learn to trust the process, grow as an artist and reap the rewards. I think this is good advice to pass along.

Back in August, I really had it in my head that I had wanted to create a landscape mosaic. As most of you know, my art work typically focuses on people and the emotions captured in my photos and this is what mostly compels me to create a mosaic quilt. But I am also very much inspired by nature. Things like how the sunlight dabbles on objects, the endless horizon of the ocean and it's varying shades of blue, green or gray. Sometimes it’s the charm of a coastal house or the gifts collected from our gardens, the ingenuity and complexity of honey bees, the fresh colors of springtime or the warm, saturated colors of autumn. It can also be the beauty of flowers, ornamental grasses or the mosaic tapestry of stone work. Given how nature inspires me, it is easy to see where my next mosaic design came from.

I took this photo in late summer, during the golden hour when the sunlight turns magical.

The next step was to make minor adjustments to the photo such as cropping it for interest and then to begin rendering it into a mosaic design. Due to the detail in this design, it took me almost 6 weeks (working on and off) to complete a mosaic drawing of it and then to make a digitized version of it. The reason that I create a digitized tracing of my hand drawing is so that I can cut each of the intricate mosaic fabric pieces using a digital cutter.

Once I had the mosaic design finalized, it took me roughly about 9 hours of carefully referencing my original photo and applying shades of color to each of the almost 3,000 shapes that will make up my final quilt.

The next step in my process is to choose the appropriate shades of batiks and hand dyed fabrics. I will be looking for the perfect assortment of light, medium and dark fabrics to achieve my end vision for this mosaic quilt. I will post a few more updates as I continue to make progress.



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