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Quilts with Social Context

Earlier in 2017, SAQA placed a Call for Entry: “Guns – Loaded Conversations”. Everyone held their breath, what a theme!

Not that any artist would have needed more gruesome fodder to make the creative brain spin, but then it happened, – the Las Vegas Shooting on October 1, 2017.

A crowd of country music loving people was mowed down from a faraway perch. 58 people died, and 489 have been injured, many of them will carry a heavy burden of physical pain and wounds for the rest of their lives and all will deal with the psychological effects forever.
Still, just the mere notion of a limitation of gun ownership or restricting the ability to buy unlimited amounts ammunition splits this nation to a point of no discussion.


In this work, I poured all my love into the visualization of the number 58, – 58 people dead, a simple abstract, if just written on paper.
It was a thoroughly cathartic process for me to deal with my own feelings of these repeating shootings.
But just a little more than one month later, another gunman killed 26 people in a church in Texas.

My quilt has a under-layer of a fully finished quilt with hearts in patriotic coloration. Drive through the country side of this nation, this symbol of love for the land will wave and greet you from just about any house.

An overlay in silk organza, what I imagine as a death shroud, obscures the sweet love of the people for their land. It’s raw, burned edges, the ammunition shells, the holes and blood speak for the chaos, pain and death. (Toe)name tags tell the stories of each person.

This show is scheduled to travel globally, but the very first exhibit will be at the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum. Opening reception will be on April 22. Many of the artist’s will be present for Q&A.

SAQA Benefit Auction 2017

Make a mark in your calendar,
set an alarm,
put a note on the fridge…

2017 SAQA Benefit Auction will take place online from
September 15 through October 8

…and the best is, anyone can bid on my piece “GROWING SEASON”!http://www.saqa.com/media/image/Benefit%20Auction/2017/BA17-JenniL.jpg

It’s a lovely rendering of a late spring landscape, seen from the window of a small aircraft. You know, that look down to the earth, that’s so fascinating. At least, for me it’s truly a little wonder, every time I’m going up in a plane and the weather allows for views. I cannot hide behind a rock, in my heart, the former cartographer is still very much alive.

The making of this small 12 x 12 art quilt.

Dupioni Silk and hand-dyed beautiful spring greens make up this gorgeous color range.

Enjoy the close-up images

of this small 12 x 12 art quilt.


A golden circle, silk screen printed, reminds me of the crop circles created by the round irrigation systems.


Small French knots allover make up for the flocks of birds in the air, close to the ground, along the wetlands.

SAQA Trunk Show 2017


For a few years now, I’ve been a member of SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). However, the intensity of engagement really changed with my first yearly conference in Portland.

Keep Portland Weird

“Fiberlandia” 2015 was THE big event to get me involved.

FIBERLANDIA Conference 2015

In 2016, the big conference was in Philadelphia, which gave me a wonderful opportunity to travel to the East Coast. Walking the city and it’s historic places was quite an experience.

But whats happening at every conference is a Spotlight Auction.

2015 donation of Jenny Lyon (Quiltskipper)

2015 donation of Jenny Lyon (Quiltskipper)

Aution Tag

This year won’t be different. My piece is coming along just fine…
in my  mind…
good to have a deadline!

However, I did manage to finish my artwork for the 2017 Trunk Show,
which will have it’s debut at the SAQA Conference in
Lincoln, Nebraska (April 26-29, 2017).


My thoughts pulled me over and over into the current emotional political environment.
It became clear, no matter whats’s your language, religion, origin or color of your skin, we’re all intertwined.




Quick, quick — I’ll be talking at the PVQ quilt guild. The meeting will be 7pm at the Mt. View Community Center
3505 122nd Ave E, Edgewood, WA 98372

Upcoming Saturday, I’ll be giving a Powerpoint presentation at the Northwest Quilt Connection. I’ll also have many of my real quilts to see up close and, – yes- to touch!

Date:  Saturday, January 14

Time:  The meeting begins at 10:00

Place:  Westminster Presbyterian Church, 9th & “M” Streets in Anacortes (Note: the place has changed from the usual meeting place)  The entrance is on “M” -there is a single glass door that leads to the basement of the church.

Please, if you’re in the area of Anacortes, join us!

Tired of rain and November gray?
Need a jolt of color? – Come to Issaquah!

See real quilts, made by incredible talented and patient local quilt makers – 240+ beautiful quilts on display!

Hurry up! Come and see my work as the featured artist’s.

… and of course a great crosscut of vendors and find your treasure at our members’ Boutique.
Something for everyone and anyone!

Issaquah Community Center, November 11, 12, 13.
Friday, Saturday from 10 am- 5 pm, Sunday 10-4 pm


Below is just a small sample of my work:

Happy Daisy

Happy Daisy

Green Daisy

Green Daisy

Contemporary Amish Center Square

at the

Washington State Historical Museum
Tacoma WA

April 16 – August 21, 2016

What a great way to spend some time with your visiting family and friends in Tacoma. Three major museums in arms length: the Tacoma Art Museum, the Glass Museum and the Washington State History Museum.
The new exhibit at the WSHM just opened last weekend. The Seattle based Contemporary ArtQuilt Association (CQA) is celebrating it’s 30 years of existence: 37 juried Artists show 69 pieces of work, beautifully arranged, nicely lit and very accessible! You are in for more than a good piece of Washingtonian history in this  grand building.

Here is a review by the Tacoma newpaper thenewstribune.com

Plan ahead and park your car just off the freeway I-5 at the Park&Ride next to the Tacoma Dome. Hop on the FREE lightrail to access all of down town Tacoma. But wait, there is even more… if you walk a few more steps, there is a Children’s Museum at the corner of the next block, and on Broadway are many galleries. Of course, plenty of options for lunch or dinner are all in walking distance.

On the walls within the exhibit are 4 of my pieces.


Golden Ratio II and Golden Ratio (detail below) are a visual representations of the Fibonacci Principle: “In the arts and mathematics, the Golden Ratio is a geometrical proportion based on a specific ratio, whereby the whole (i.e. the sum of the two parts) is to the larger part as the larger part is to the smaller part. 1:1:2:3:5:8:13:21:34:55:89:144 . . .”

Golden Ratio: Detail of the 1" inner squares

Golden Ratio: Detail of the 1″ inner squares



April 16, 2007, I woke up to the news from shootings at a college. As the day unfolded, more dreadful news from Virginia Tech came in.
This is my visual of thirty-two completely innocent people who have lost their lives that day.

Detail of the hand stitiching.
Materials & Techniques: Silk frame in colors of VT.
The center is a piece of solid black Kona cotton, folded clamped discharged, hand embroidered and quilted with wool thread.

Detail of Moor :: Heather

Detail of  Moor :: Heather

Blooming heather in masses is one of the most intense experiences in a wetland or moor. Growing up in Germany, visiting the Lüneburger Heide left me with a deep memory of that color. Today, most of these landscapes are endangered, and will need much awareness and protection.

Materials & Technique: Hand-dyed cotton (by the artist), Dupioni silk, commercial cotton.
Pieced by machine, facing applied & quilted with domestic sewing machine.

At the 2015 International Quilt Festival in La Conner, WA, two of my quilts were honored with awards.

Way back in June, I entered “Moor :: Heather” in the in category “Original Abstract Wall Quilt”  and “South of the Border” in category “Original Nonrepresentational Wall”.

Moor :: Heather

I’m tickled pink, – looking at the first quilt, quite literally-, because it’s the second time I’m getting an award for one of my “quilts with holes”.
It made a 2nd Place.
Its all ruler-free, improv-curvy cutting (see “Teaching”), effectively slicing-in two different silks and Kaffe Fassett’s woven stripes (love those!).
And as several times before, when I thought its a really finely finished top, I made holes in it.

Now, how about the intense pink, or is it fuchsia, or just heather?


Detail of Moor :: Heather

A while ago, I took a workshop on hand-dying cottons…
…however, the class was meant to do graduated dye baths in series… but this didn’t appeal too much to me, so I started systematically crunching up my 1/2-yd. cuts and stuffing it into small tubs. (Note: I like the big lidded tubs you buy peanuts or such party snacks at Costco).

It’s important to carefully poor “layers” of the different colored dye solutions. I screw the lid back on as tight as possible (be prepared for minor spills…don’t ask how I know), and turn all so carefully once the closed tub, making sure some, but not all dyes are mingling. And YES, there is some good portion of luck involved.

When I opened the fabrics, the colors of this hand-dyed’ surprised me with a strong memory of a sea of blooming heather in the Lüneburger Heide in Northern Germany.

South of the Border


The other quilt, – not lesser in color impact, but mostly yellow-orange-red, did even better:

Award of Excellence Domestic Machine Quilting.

I named this quilt aptly “South of the Border“, because when I was quilting, pictures and music of Mexico kept swirling in my head.

south of the BorderThere is a so much movement, and patterns of zigzags like the woven edges of sombreros of lace-lined swinging skirts. The center is basically a small painted whole-cloth quilt, placed on the pieced quilt.

South of the Border, Detail







All the fabrics in the “tangy-orangy” pieced background are Judy Robertson’s hand-dyed’s
(available at Just Imagination).
I love her fabrics, she’s doing such good work, -always high quality-, and it gives me the freedom not to feel the need to dye yardage in my own house

Working with lots and lots of dye can be problematic if your house isn’t on the city sewer. The bacteria in your septic tank(s) do NOT like the amount of salt and other chemicals you must use for hand-dying. Small amounts are o.k., but never yardage.

For the past several years, every month, I received a beautiful yard of her hand-dyed fabric via mail. You can sign up for her “Yard of the Month Club”. It’s affordable, supports a small business owner and over time, will give you a substantial stash in all kind of colors to pick from. Once you’ve enough of this stuff, you’ll get fearless!
This might be just the perfect cure for the panic many quilters feel when it comes to actually CUTTING into this oh-so precious stuff.

…oh, and the newest tell about this quilt is, it’ll travel to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, to be exhibited within the most prestigious quilt show in Brazil: Rio Patchwork Design 2016.


New Experience: Teaching

I’m always ready to learn something new.
. . . but I’m usually in the seat behind the rows of desks, with a bunch of other students, watching the action up front.

Then, last year, after I was the featured artist at the quilt show, it felt kind of natural when the program chair at my local quilt guild (600+ members), asked me hold a workshop. I spontaneously said YES! – why not?
We set the date to April.
Not much later, the inner voice started talking back, – it sunk into my brain… What? Was I ready?
Sure, I previously did some 8-students small-class teaching of machine quilting, and that went well, but this is different. Most students are not from my circle of friends and it’s a paying job! No space for failure.

Never mind, I did’t have anything prepared or even worked out the topic.
A bloody beginner… But, with months to go, I started to plan the – to me – most frighting thing:
Standing in front of many and teaching!

However, planning seems a good thing, but so far in advance, everything felt very hypothetical.
So I did what I do very well, procrastinating. The clock ticked on, days and months came and went, my mind kept mulling for a solution, a “road map”. I knew I had to break it down into steps and make samples.
It got much easier when I pulled out all the quilts I’ve made, using this basic technique. I found, they all look very different, – that’s the key. I was happy to start sewing my samples.

The class filled up quickly, even got to a “wait list”.
Then, last Saturday, it happened for the first time. I was standing behind the front desk, facing a class of 20 eager students, teaching how I piece my “organic” looking art quilts, and how not to be frightened by “making a hole” (or more) into a perfectly fine quilt top!

All the planning didn’t commute anything close to the exhilarating atmosphere of students,
watching me and every move I made, taking notes of tiny details, asking questions and clicking cameras to memorize the samples for later. We had a very good vibe in the class, lot of laughter and Ah-Ha-moments.
By the end of the day, every single student made a substantial piece of work and each person truly understood the processes.

When I’m a student myself, I rarely have the feeling there will be finished work to show some day.
My students did not just make a sample destined to disappear in a dark drawer forever.
I’m looking forward to next year’s quilt show.

To sum it up in short:
I learned so much, – and I’m loving it!


It’s that time of the year, –  quilt show time! Come and visit the 500+ quilts on display for you.

Beautiful hand applique, the Piece'o Cake-way.

Beautiful hand applique, the Piece’o Cake-way.

Piece'o Cake design in modern fabrics

Piece’o Cake design in well chosen modern fabrics

You will enjoy all the color, the skills, the many techniques and styles. 2015 Quilters Anonymous Quilt Show

More beautiful applique.

More beautiful applique.

Quilters Anonymous clearly has some of the finest hand appliqueer. Don't miss the excellent choices of quilting in this quilt

Quilters Anonymous clearly has some of the finest hand appliqueer. Don’t miss the excellent choices of quilting in this quilt

Lets not forget all the great shopping possibilities at our 26 vendors.

My fascination for scrap quilts finds here a place to look around. So much to to see and take in what one can do with a few (or more, or many) fabric scraps. Color, value and shape play off nicely.

2015-03-12 19.54.262015-03-12 19.54.32

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