Quilt selected for "1000 Quilt Inspirations"

"Blue Cogs" - detail
Designs around the edges of the quilt were drawn
and painted with fabric and permanent markers 

One of my quilts has been accepted into the upcoming book, "1000 Quilt Inspirations," to be published by Quarry Press in January, 2015. Titled "Blue Cogs," it reminds me of some kind of wacky bobbin-winding machine. Maybe I should have titled it "Blue Bobbins and Thread!" I feel so honored to have a quilt selected by author Sandra Sider, a well-known artist, author and curator in the art quilt world.
"Blue Cogs"
Made with 100 percent cotton commercial and hand dyed fabric, pieced, fused, and
free motion quilted; couching of thicker threads around "cogs"

Sunshiny day

During quilting
A friend of mine is very ill, and I wanted to make her a warm, cuddly lap quilt.

Quilt taking shape on the wall behind me
For inspiration, I asked for her favorite colors and without hesitation she said, "pink, purple and yellow!" I began cutting free form strips (no rulers!) and pieced the colors together in a pleasing gradation.
During the quilting stage I filled her quilt with hearts and words such as Love, Hope, Joy and the names of her husband, two children and faithful canine companion. I hope it brings some cheer to her days.

I filled the quilt with words of inspiration, love and hope.

Quilts for Friends

Hey, come back here! 
"Square Dance"
Private Collection

"Pilot Mike" 
Private Collection

"Batiks Are For Squares"
Private Collection

"Blue Star Kaleidoscope"
Private Collection

"Blue Seas"
Private Collection

Woof Woof!! Meet "Solly"

"Solly" in fabric, before quilting
(Note: the pink color is displaying much brighter than it actually is)

I've been watching the smiling image of "Solly," a sweet border collie owned by my friend Deanna, come to life on my quilt wall. It's always an adventure (kind of a scary one!) to start on a portrait quilt and wonder what the final product will look like. In this case, the guardian saint of doggie quilts has blessed us with this lovely image!
"Posterizing" the photo

How does something like this come together? I start with a photograph, and digitize it in Photoshop. It has to be "flattened" into a one-dimensional image that can be created in fabric. After many attempts and much angst, the likeness begins to appear.
Creating a pattern

I breathe a sigh of relief and start to make the pattern, by drawing the main lines onto wax paper. I won't bog us down with details here, but you can see it is a delicate process of tracing, drawing, comparing, re-drawing, re-drawing, second-guessing, and finally -- I have a pattern.

 Here are some of the pieces, showing how detailed this process can get!

Now it's time to choose fabrics... What is the right color for his fur? His eyes? Sometimes the color you think something is supposed to be is totally not the right color. Because Solly is black and white, I found that browns did not work in his fur. Black, white and grey were the dominant colors, with a touch of warm caramel for the eyes and three shades of peachy pink for his happy grin.

Choosing fabrics
Left eye

But wait -- we are far from finished! Now it gets even more intense, as I get out the threads and begin making choices, fill the bobbins, oil and clean my trusty Bernina, and contemplate quilting this puppy. (pun intended)

Check back soon as I post progress reports!

Over the moon with SAQA

Staircase to the Moon, May 2014
100 percent cotton fabric, hand-dyed, paper pieced, free motion quilted

TA-DAAA! I just sent off this lunar-themed abstract art quilt to SAQA - as my donation to the 2014 SAQA Benefit Auction.

WHAT IS SAQA? www.saqa.com
SAQA stands for Studio Art Quilt Associates, a nonprofit, worldwide organization to promote the art quilt and the artists who create them.

I joined SAQA just recently to immerse myself more fully in the art quilt world, to learn, grow, and advance as an artist.

Close-up of quilting

Starting September 15, art quilts donated by artists of all levels, from beginning artists to established, award-winning artists will be auctioned off. For information on how to bid on a quilt, go to:


From their website:
"SAQA creates professional development opportunities for the membership that continue to address the ever-changing needs of the artist. From basic studio management to mastering current technology for both business and artistic purposes, SAQA members have access to a treasure trove of support for taking their artwork and career to the next level."


I'm having so much fun working on "Jazz One" and "Jazz Two," the first in a series of small musical quilts.

This is how it looked after cutting and placing black strips for the "piano keys."

I started with some purple fabrics I liked and began sewing strips together, adding in the brown tones. The black and white areas reminded me of the keyboard of a piano, so I added the black keys...

So far I've quilted the purple areas but left the "keyboard" open...  I'm thinking of quilting the outline of the white keys ... and maybe adding a little sparkle in the area above the keys.... perhaps quilt some music notes...? hmmm  We will see in my next post! Stay tuned! (hah!)

This is how it looked when I first started putting strips up on the wall, before I started visualizing the piano keys. I showed this to my sister and she said "oh, jazz! It reminds me of jazz music!" That inspired me to explore further, and I'm glad I did! 


Take the Steps

Take the Steps - detail

Sarah with Guitar

Sarah with Guitar - detail

Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue - detail - Angel fish

The "Lake Series"

Starry Night Lake

Moonlit Lake

Magenta Lake

Feeling blue means feeling happy!

"Feeling Blue"
I love the color blue. It calms me and centers me. Instead of feeling blue as in feeling "down" -- I like to turn it around. When I feel those "blues" sneaking up on me I start getting out my favorite blue fabrics and diving in. I like to soak my eyes in all the hues of blue, from the deep purple-ish and violet blues to blue jean denim blues, teal blues, sky blues... I love them all...

"Feeling Blue" detail
"Feeling Blue" detail

"Feeling Blue" detail

"Feeling Blue" is my latest study in blue. I pieced some of my favorite blues together, centered around an abstract black and white strip (another favorite motif). Then I played with several quilting styles on this. You can see the variety in the detail shots. 

There is one panel with two angel fish in it -- see them swimming around?!

Angel Fish swimming on the quilt surface

How itty bitty bits come together

"I don't know how you girls take bits of fabric not big enough to blow my nose on and make beautiful quilts..."  -- quote from my brother

Yeah, I have a funny brother, but his observation isn't that far off.  How do those tiny squares, triangles, and other little pieces of fabric go together to make something beautiful and functional? I took photos along the way to show a peek at the process. . . .

Bits and pieces near the beginning...

The finished product!

Kind of like a zigsaw puzzle

Sewing it together

Ironing seams

More ironing (I actually like ironing now!)

The sides of the pouch, ready to sew together (The brown pieces are for the lining)

"Quilted Zips"

What are "quilted zips?"
They are original designs created, pieced, quilted and made into handy zippered pouches. Easy and fun to carry, with a detachable strap to suit your style. Made with 100% quality cotton fabric, fully lined.

In short - they are each like a "mini quilt" -- and I have become addicted to making them! 

Black & white quilted in free motion swirls
A surprise inside!

Here you can see part of the process of creating....

Butterfly painted purses

Whoever gets one of these purses 
will be carrying their very own piece of art!

First, I "painted" these butterfly wings for a new quilt -- with marking pens and rubbing alcohol!!!

Then I cut up the bottom wing (which hadn't turned out the way I wanted) to create these original hand-painted purses!

How it began ...

A couple of months ago I tried my hand at painting on fabric - using - surprise - marking pens! Yes! You can use Sharpie permanent markers to create beautiful effects on fabric - in this case, plain white 100% cotton. And shading can be done with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water! Who would have thought? 

After "drawing" in the color with marking pens, I used a paintbrush dipped in the alcohol solution to dilute and "spread" the color on the edges.

After I created the butterfly wings I decided I didn't like the bottom wing and cut it up to use some of the painted fabric to use in my purses! (I will paint another bottom wing to finish the butterfly quilt...)

Whoever gets one of these purses will be carrying their very own piece of art!

More photos here.

All creatures great and small ...

More animal pouches on their way to Cambria for the art show this weekend! 

Stop by my sister's studio - Patricia Griffin Ceramics - at The Old Schoolhouse on Main Street to check it out! She will be featuring functional art by four unique artists in her studio space! Things will be jumpin!

It's all part of the Cambria Art and Wine Festival this weekend, Jan. 24-26 - where you can stroll through town, dropping in to boutiques and art galleries while enjoying a cup of coffee or delicious beverage of your choice!

Circles circles circles

This little blue velvet clutch is off to Cambria, where it will be on sale during the Arts and Wine Festival next weekend, Jan 24-26.

Description: Colorful circles are individually cut from colorful cotton fabrics and quilted on to blue velvet. The result is fun, fun, fun!

100% cotton circles on deep blue velvet

Bright orange lining
Detachable handle
Where to purchase: 
patricia griffin studio
880 main st.
cambria, ca
(805) 924-1050

Woof Woof!! A different kind of doggie bag!

Handle is detachable

Not everyone gets to take home a doggie bag like this! I just can't resist putting our furry friends on these zippered pouches! 

I wanted to keep this one for myself, but I already have a stack of pouches and they keep growing! So this one is off to Cambria, where it will be on sale during the Arts and Wine Festival next weekend, Jan 24-26. 

Here you can see the front and the back, as well as the lining inside. They are priced at $38, higher than a manufactured pouch, but low for original, one-of-a-kind items made by hand.
Made with 100 % cotton, fully lined

Show your love for canine critters when you're out and about by carrying an original, quilted doggie bag! Woof woof!

Where to purchase: 
patricia griffin studio
880 main st.
cambria, ca
(805) 924-1050

Turtle Pouch

I couldn't make a frog purse without a turtle one too!!

Here's the two outside pieces along with the lining fabric I picked out. I had a green zipper ready too!

Preparing the outside fabric and the lining to sew onto the zipper...

One side sewn onto the zipper...

Making the handle... (I used the grey fabric, but added a piece of the lining for color)

Outside panels right sides together and lining fabric right sides together  - ready to sew!!!

Now it is turned inside out for the grand reveal!!!

VIOLA!!!  Here is the finished pouch!!!