Bicycle quilts go on the road

In 2015, right after retiring from the bicycle business, I made a series of quilts using vintage bicycle art. The advertising posters from the 1890’s had the sense of risk, adventure, and elegance that I thought were missing from the sportster mentality of 21st century cycling. They featured women riders, as well as an astonishing amount of innocent nudity that has been lost in the tides of pornography and prudery washing through today’s culture wars.

Two quilts will be in a multi-media show, ‘On the Road,’ at the 40 West gallery in Lakewood during June.

Two others are going to another multi-media show in Colorado Springs in August.

Most of them combine the images from vintage posters with traditional themes in quilting. This one is ‘Tour du Jour’ with ‘wild goose chase’ blocks.

Remembering Stephen Hogbin

I did a number of ‘split turnings’ for the 2023 Women in Turning Virtual Collaboration, working with Margaret Stiles in Ft. Collins, and Donna Rhindress on the island of Haida Gwaii in Brititsh Columbia. We used the split turnings to make spoons and bowls for a project about hunger relief.

At the conclusion of the project, I discovered more split turning projects from Richard Raffan, and this led me back to the master of cutting up woodturnings and recombining them –Canadian Stephen Hogbin. In 1980, Hogbin published photos of his experiments in Australia, pushing the limits of lathe-turned work. He was a kind of first-generation Derek Weidman, for those of you who are interested in the use of the lathe for sculpture.

One of my favorite Hogbin experiments were the walking bowls from the mid-1980’s. His recent book has instructions for making these (Stephen Hogbin on Woodturning), which I followed, I am working at a smaller scale because of the limits of the mid-lathe, but the steps and the challenges are the same.

mesquite walking bowl
ambrosia walking bowl
splines strengthen the center seam

Oh, oh, the Ammonite!

I’m hearing the Bob Marley song, ‘The Israelite,’ as I make fabric prints from this CNC-carved wood block made by Tony Bevis. There is a whole little ammonite sub-culture here in the Pikes Peak Region. Kim Lacy has been using the ammonite shape in her prize-winning art quilts for several years. Dennis saw these, and wanted to carve one on a huge maple burl disk he has turned. Our friend, Tony, is a neighbor of Kim’s, and started looking for an image to carve with his CNC router. He cut four different sizes of the image. I am lucky to have two much smaller ones for block printing experiments.

The easiest transfer to fabric is a simple rubbing to pick up a ‘white line’ print of the carved areas of the block. For this black quilt, I quilted the lines first, and then painted inside them. Some black-on-black texture comes from a stencil, and from hand embroidery.


I liked the stencil of the pebbles enough to add it to the wood block with spackling. Technically, the block became a colograph at this point, and it was perfect for a new step in the game – using a gelli plate as an inking surface. I applied the paint in a very wet condition, pressed the block into the ink, and lifted it off. The thickness of the paint created a ‘denditric’ texture. This print is from the block, not the gelli plate– black ink on white cotton sateen. I then painted over the dried print with transparent acrylics from CMYK colors – the base colors for inkjet printing. Perhaps we are unaware just how much this 4-color printing process has shaped our color sense!

Cyan/Magenta/Black Ammonite

Oh, Pompeii

I haven’t been to Pompeii, but I collect the evocative photos of the ruins of the civilization there. It seems like a hedonistic place, but that may only be the impression left by the wine jugs in the cellar that fell together like so many party animals. I have made a pair of quilts, and now, a high relief carving about that wine cellar. 8×10″, turned and carved elements, bas-relief texture.



The hotter version of secondary colors seemed just right for a bit of a tourist poster for Southern Europe. The white line block prints are from archeological illustrations in Marija Gimbutas’ book, The Civilization of the Goddess, about neolithic Europe. So, although I haven’t been there in 2022 (with various Boomer friends), I feel very entitled to interpret our shared heritage.

Airstreams rolling onto Etsy

Frosty Mornings are Best!

My sister has been camping in her Airstream, which inspired me to make some small quilts with original drawings, paints, some commercial fabrics, and machine quilting. They are for sale at

RV Summer

This one uses a hand-dyed silk fragment made by the late Johnnie Venezia with some fussy machine quilting.


This 9×9″ framed quilt is from the crowded campgrounds during the pandemic. I added a polymer RV and a tree for a little extra dimension. The quilts are in the ‘textiles’ section of

Photo uploads working again!

Troika of Candlesticks for the holidays

After almost a year, magically, WordPress fixed the photo upload problems I was having. In that time, the number of completed projects has stacked up, almost like the two candlestacks. Made of disparate elements, these stacks show some of the ways small turnings can be joined on an internal axis.

These 3 are going to the St Peter School’s holiday craft fair. This family-centered Saturday is a great reminder of the best things about the holiday season: homemade gifts and a bake sale!

Write like an Egyptian

quilted hieroglyphics

This composition began with block-painted silk. The three bird images are from a library of hieroglyphics, drawn onto the sillk, and then quilted. The small symbols are machine quilting. This kind of drawing with the sewing machine is possible with a dedicated free motion machine, like my mid-arm Sweet 16.

This quilt is finished with a facing; 9″ wide x 12″ tall

finding the center(s)

‘Proud Bird’ started with the powerful Egyptian hieroglyphic of a pelican.

The parallel lines in the tail were especially strong. I repeated them in the cowl of the bird’s head, giving a kind of Sphinx-like quality to the bird.

I also drew the figure so that the curve of the head echoed the curved color gradient in the painted silk background. The head, the lines, and the curve became the strong center of the little quilt.

Everything else I did after that was designed to echo or strengthen the impression of that center, by building on borders around each component. This process is natural for a quilter; we always start the quilting in the center and move outward toward the boundaries.

The quilt is almost monochromatic, with the yellow-orange-beige colorway predominating, and the turquoise accents limited to less that 25% of the area. The tiny bit of white is very important to the design.

New turnings – timeless design

Traditional darning mushroom to honor my Grandmother Franceska, who was a pioneer farmer in Utah–the source of this cottonwood burl cap.  The stem is mesquite – another wood that was unknown to my Slovenian grandparents.  They both brought needlework skills to their new life.  Grandfather Francis was trained as a tailor, but preferred to try farming.  They moved to Denver soon after my mother, their 8th child, was born in 1923.  Grandmother continued to sew, darn, make lace, and crochet in the city, passing her skills onto my aunts.