Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This quilt demonstrates components of the brain involved in Lewy Body Dementia.  It often is related to Parkinson's and hallucinations.  The person affected often realizes they are having hallucinations which occur in most cases of Lewy Body Dementia.  The abstract picture was printed on cotton and then metallic thread and glass beads were added.  A frame of was constructed using Peltex to give the quilt depth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

These are my latest quilts for Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.

Esp'erer (hope) is a map of Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake I was looking at the map and thought where Haiti attaches to the Dominican Republic looked like a young girl of African descent. I put the map through a digital filter, made her face a warm brown and then printed the photo on cotton fabric. I then used oil pastels and thread to highlight the picture.

A Girl Justs Gotta Have Fun was a picture from Lizzie who resides in Australia and allowed me to use the picture. The Indian elephant had her foot forward and since my g-daughter is into nail polish, I put nail polish and a large brush on this adorable elephant. Not sure why since I usually don't do whimsy.

Laura let me use a picture of Avonlea in Queen Cavalier. I painted the printed cotton photo with oil pastels, acryllic paint and thread. I also used a little clear nail polish on the eyes and nose to make them glossy.

These quilts are numbers #7969, 7970 and 7971 at Alzquilts.org.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

I was misdiagnosed that I had AMD (see Amsler grid which is used to determine Macular Degeneration of the Retina (AMD).    If AMD is present the lines appeared wavy or absent, the center appears blurry.  When I stared at it the lines they were double or triple and it appeared almost like a plaid where some lines were more prominent.  See a retinal specialist if you get a diagnosis of AMD.  If you suddenly lose your central vision see an opthamoloist right away. My vision problems are cataracts.  Who thought I would be happy to have cataracts. For your eyes- keep a healthy weight, don't eat a lot of fatty foods, take a one a day vitamin, wear sunglasses and avoid smoking and drinking.  At least - do as many as you can which I will do.  Take the time to enjoy the view.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sassy the Giraffe

Sassy is a nine foot at the shoulder giraffe.  Her core is PVC pipe and her skin painted twill fabric.  She has long eyelashes and a long black tongue.  The mural of an African waterhole is 9 x 15 feet.

School Bus

The bus has a double walled PVC frame with material inside and out.  The twill fabric was painted yellow and a mural painted on the back wall.  The bus driver is the teacher. 


I am sorry I don't usually have set plans when I build but hopefully I can help you somewhat. I used double walled PVC for the cabana but I think I would try 1 inch single walled. You can get the corner pieces on-line (they were not available locally). I made it the uprights 6 foot high, wide and deep. I put 45 degree corner pieces to prevent scissoring. I just had to do trial and error since I didn't remember solid geometry.
The corner pieces are three-way, a right angle and and one going up at the corner. These are used for the base.


These are used for the top along with a 45 degree connector (turn so straight portion is vertical).
Putting these at the corners prevented it from scissoring and collapsing i.e. scissoring is when the square collapses and becomes more like a diamond.

I have seen cabana's online at WalMart and they were about $100. By the time you get all the supplies this ends up about the same.
The chairs are easy. I just copied a picture from the internet. Just remember to keep the parallel sides the same length. It helps to clean the pipe and then glue them. We glued the left side together and the right side together and the cross pieces. We then put the sewed seat on and screwed the left and right sides together by placing a tiny screw underneath the bars. The seat is a heavy cotton that I doubled. I prewashed it to make it shrink. That way we could wash it again. They lasted through a year with kindergarten class and we still have them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I made and extension table for less than $25. The Simplicity extension table allows you to adjust the legs. Since the opening didn't fit my machine I used foam board which was taped to the table. Granted since I am short it would be better to have it down in a table but it helps with the weight of a quilt when I free motion quilt.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Avonlea is a friend's King Charles Cavalier. She was printed on cotton fabric and then painted with acrylic paint and thread. The frame has pictures of Avonlea and friends. I learned it is better to adjust the color of the print then try to alter it after. Avonlea's ears were brighter in the original photo then when I printed it. I was unable to brighten them but next time I will try more extreme colors i.e. maybe yellow instead of rust. Also, for a more dimensional look I will use some type of support like cardboard, foamboard or an artist canvas. I printed another picture of Avonlea which I will put in an oval frame. Avonlea is from Sikeleli King Charles Cavalier's.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Maggie meets Foxy

This is a quilt for Maggie who died last week at age seven. I printed the picture, thread painted it and then touched up the color with acrylic paint. I thought Foxy needed a bandana. I learned that it is harder to thread paint a smooth hair dog then a curly one. I think thread lighter or close to the color of the dog probably works best. I used three layers of trapunto for this quilt. RIP Mags.....
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Slipping Away

I took a Rubik's cube and superimposed pictures of mom on it. I used invisible thread over the pictures and then thread painted the plate and background. The background is a picture of the spread my grandmother made using a hairpin and butcher's twine. The machine did not stitch cleanly and to smooth out the invisible thread I covered the plate with clear nail polish. The ring is representative of the $10 mom's gold wedding ring. The baby is mom and her older brother Ralph. Ralph died in a car accident at age 21.
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Monday, December 27, 2010


Three pictures of rescued dogs were printed on cotton fabric, layered with batting and thread painted. A background was printed of poems about dogs. A Peltex frame was placed over the background. The back of the quilt gives information about the nine dogs that have been rescued by very special people. The dogs are Jackie, Ruthie and Josie. Although I allowed extra room for squaring finished quilt I should have allowed more. The trapunto takes up more fabric in heavily layered areas and it is hard to predict the shrinkage.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Most quilters have orphan blocks that were left over from making a quilt. Cutting them down and making a Priority Mail Quilt is a great way to use the blocks but another way is to donate the unquilted block to the Global Quilt Project which takes the individual blocks and stitches them together and makes a large quilt that is auctioned off. The money raised is used to provide a "hippo" which is a large blue barrel that can hold 24 gallons of water. This single item can reduce the number of trips that women and girls are required to make each day. This often gives the girls time to go to school.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010


My sister-in-law's dog Koda is a Cockapoo. They make great subjects because their fur has a natural glow. I learned two layers of trapunto (batting) is sufficient for a picture that is taken straight at the face. More layers make the face seem unnatural and larger than normal - unless that is what it is trying to achieve. Extra layers may be good for a dachsund. It also appears that the saturation should be increased because the overall color seems to be diminished when it is printed on fabric. Also, the eyes should be isolated and the contrast increased to enhance the white and shadows in the eye. Thread painting using various colors similar to the picture help in achieving a painterly effect. A fabric frame was made with cardboard in the frame and backing although plastic mesh or thick batting may be used instead.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two in a Bush

This quilt made $35 for Alzheimer's research. It was a leftover block from one of my first quilts that was in a kaleidoscope pattern. The birds were also on the original fabric so they and some branches were appliqued on the quilt. I learned that you can take a block that wasn't quite perfect in the center and applique something over it. This quilt sold for $35. I received a great thank you from the buyer. With this quilt I have raised $572 for Alzheimer's research and education.
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Ami's Daisy

Ami (ah mee) Sims founded Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. This a sevice dog she trained as a puppy. I printed the picture on fabric but the glasses were unclear. I painted them black which didn't look right either so I printed her picture after distorting it and framing it on the glasses. I glammed Daisy up a bit with a collar and glitter nail polish on the glasses. I gave this quilt to Ami to enjoy, regift or sell as she sees fit. I learned to plan ahead. This quilt has five of trapunto and if you sketch or trace the immage and then plan which layers should have the most batting.
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Missing Pieces

This is a picture of my mom, around 30 years old, with my dad. I made appear to be a puzzle with missing pieces because that is what happens overtime with Alzheimer's. This quilt is currently on the AAQI website for sale. I learned that the color in the picture doesn't always translate on fabric. Fabric markers work better to correct the picture than fabric crayons.  Mama's quilt raised $33 toward Alzheimer's for a total of $994.69. One more quilt and I will reach $1000.
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The Rose

I put the picture of The Rose through a digital filter. I printed it and used trapunto (extra layer of batting) to make the rose stand out. I learned that just because the dewdrop was on one leaf maybe it would be better to move it to another.
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Mosquito In My Bed

This quilt was in response to the quote on the AAQI website "if you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito". The giant mosquito is about to bite the sleeping women. This quilt is up for auction at the AAQI website alzquilts. I learned that less is more when hinting at a figure in the bed. I used trapunto for the bed to make it stand out. The shade is made from taffeta and the fan has chinese letters which says - mosquito quilt effective. This quilt raised $150 for Alzheimer's in the December, 2010 auction.
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Plagues & Tangles

Although this quilt only made $45 for AAQI it took the longest to make and research. I printed pink and purple fabric which represented the plagues and tangles that infect the patient with Alzheimer's. I cut them in irregular strips and the sewed them together. I accented the plagues and tangles with thread. The black nerve has died because it was infected with tangles. The plagues are outside of the cells each are proteins. The silver and gold thread represents cells which are trying to fight the proteins. The healthy looking nerve cell on the left has been infected. I learned the power of thread color and the use of metallics. This quilt ended up with an organization that creates quilts based on microscopic photos - so it has a great home.
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Elegant Oriole

The Oriole made $94.74 for AAQI. I used trapunto to make the oriole stand out and extra layer in the head and beak. This lovely bird was stunned when it flew into the window and I was able to get some great pictures before he flew off. I learned that quilting can help define background.
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Toad Story

This frog was on the leg of a chair. I quilted the frog and background with color specific thread. It made $$35 for AAQI. I learned that a little fabric marker on the frog brighted and darkened it.
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In God We Trust

This quilt is dedicated to Bob. It is from the local church and raised $94.84 for AAQI. I discovered adding metallic thread to the quilt changed it enourmously.
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Church Window.

This quilt was dedicated to mom, Marquerite Johanna Frieda Selma Lange Johnson. It raised $75.84 for AAQI. The window is from the church where Ryan and Kinsey were married in August of 2010. Unaware when I took it, the tree across from the church was perfectly placed in the window. I learned that printing a mostly white with gray texture will be lighted or brighted using white thread.
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Lighthouse Beacon

The beacon was from a lighthouse in Florida. I printed a close-up picture and then quilted along the joint lines. This quilt raised $35 for Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I learned that some fabric prints have inherent shine and reflection.
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Caleb's Street

Caleb drew this picture and I printed it on 100 percent cotton. I then quilted it. I learned quilts can be brighted with colorful thread.
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Caleb's Stain Glass Quilt

Caleb drew this picture and I printed it on fabric. I quilted it using Leah Day's designs. I learned that fabric paint can be used if there is an area that didn't print e.g. if a thread was on the fabric when prined.
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Mysti's Quilt

My sister Kay's dog Mysti. A lovable cockapoo. I made this quilt using several layers of trapunto. I mounted the quilt using a flexible binding system over an artists canvas. I learned that photo's that are shiny will print shiny on fabric. The next thing is to learn how to create this on flat pictures. The photo shows the original picture I took, the alterred picture and the finished quilt.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Aiden's Fire Fighter Lamp

I found a replica of a firemen's bugle online which was a dark copper color.  I used rub n buff paint and changed it to silver.  I purchased a silver lamp kit with a weighted base from Lampstuff.com.  I used family fire fighter pictures (his dad is a fireman) and printed them on my Epson 1900 at the Ultra Premium Matte Presentation Paper setting.  The fabric was from C J Jenkins and treated with Bubble Jet.  It was then ironed on freezer paper and cut to 11 x 14 inches.  Each picture wedge was about 4 x 9.5 x 11.5.  The wedges were sewed together and then the top and bottom edge was rolled and sealed using modge podge on the lampshade.  I was happy to find the printer setting because it makes all the difference on how clear the pictures turn out.