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Dublin Rippers Reception

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Reception

At least 40 people attended the opening reception for the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit on July 6th. I got so busy talking I forgot to take pictures, so imagine our 40 visitors (at least), a table full of nice cheeses, fruit, and crackers, and a white and purple cake with deliciously sweet icing.

Many thanks to Lori LaRue of Tarleton’s Fine Arts Center and Tarleton’s catering crew for their fine work in welcoming us all and cutting such large slices of cake.

The Dublin Rippers left with big smiles on our faces. We met some people for the first time, reconnected with others, and enjoyed time with family and friends.

In other Dublin Rippers news, Ashley Inge, managing editor of the student-run Texan News Service at Tarleton State University, interviewed me about our exhibit. Here’s her article or you can click on the image at left.

And if you missed the reception, here are some more photos from the show:

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Reception

Donna Timmons made a wall hanging-sized quilt with these cute appliqued horny toads, or horned lizards, if you want to be more correct about it. They are from a pattern called “Horned Toad” by designer Susan Cranshaw.

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Reception

Peggy DeLaVergne’s son Austin has loved to draw since he was just a little guy. Peggy preserved some of his drawings in embroidery and made a very cute quilt with them. Here are some animals he drew when he was around five years old. Now he’s in college, studying art.

My husband Charles knapped the spear points I used on the mini-quilt on the right-hand side of the photo below. Flint or chert tools are sharp, so I made a polymer clay surround for each one. Handmade spear points are a great conversation starter.

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Reception

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Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

The Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit is the work of a group of five friends who get together once a week for quilting and crafting. We’ve picked our favorite quilts to display at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Gallery, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, through August 3, 2018.

You might be tempted to say “This is not your grandmother’s quilting.” The Dublin Rippers might reply, “Oh, this is definitely your grandmother’s quilting, and she was a lot more amazing than you realized.”

The group has been together since the early 2000s, and has been through changes as some members moved or passed away, and new members joined. I started showing up every week in 2011 (I think), when the group included Peggy DeLaVergne, the founder of the Rippers, Donna Timmons, our host, Hazel Ashcraft, and Sonja Banister.

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

The Dublin Rippers’ work reflects the larger quilt community, not only in our range of styles, but in the purpose we put our quilts to. Members make quilts for home, family and friends, group exchanges and raffles, for everyday use, and for art exhibits.

If you can, come and see the work of my friends Hazel Ashcraft and Donna Timmons, who carefully select patterns and add their personal style and color choices to make quilts that comfort family and friends. Hazel’s quilts are in the photo at the beginning of this post, and a detail from Donna’s hexie garden quilt, is at left.

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

Enjoy Sonja Banister’s work, which she offers for sale in her shop, TwoOldeYoyos. I’m the very happy owner of two of Sonja’s flower basket quilts, at right. Tarleton featured her Texas-themed quilt in a press release for the exhibit.

When you visit the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit, you’ll see African-inspired quilts and more, by Peggy DeLaVergne, whose work has been honored with a solo exhibit at the annual International Quilt Festival in Houston. Peggy’s bulls-eye sunflower quilt, below, fills me with joy whenever I see it.

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

My own knitted, embellished quilts have been honored with a solo exhibit at International Quilt Festivals in Houston and Chicago. You’ll see them and the doily-inspired quilts from my Celebrate Doilies exhibit (below).

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

We are joined in this show by Elaine Fields Smith, author and ambassador for the 70273 Quilt Project. The double red xs on her quilt at left are meant to make people aware of the 70,273 people murdered by the Nazis in the 1940s, because they were mentally or physically disabled. From the website “The 70273 Project” we learn:

Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society,” the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed. Most were murdered within hours.

For information about how you can take part in the 70273 Project, visit the 70273 website.

Scenes from the Dublin Rippers Quilt Exhibit

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Colour Collective Fridays

Colour Collective Fridays—Cherry Blossom Pink

Fridays are fun on Twitter. The process actually starts the Saturday before, when Colour Collective (@Clr_Collective on Twitter) posts a color for the week. The idea is for artists to create a piece using that color, or to find a previous work that has the color in it.

On any given Friday, at 19:30 GMT (that would be early afternoon, here in Texas), everyone posts their work, including the tag #colour_collective, and the name of the color for the week. It’s a fun challenge, and my Friday afternoon Twitter feed is just beautiful!

Lots of illustrators join in, which I love, because I have been fascinated by illustration since childhood. However, artists in all media are welcome to take the Colour Collective challenge.

Making textile art takes me a while, so I had to go back to Puzzling Pinks, a piece from 2015, to find Cherry Blossom Pink for our May 11th challenge. (Read more about Puzzling Pinks here and here.) The pinks seem to match a lot better on my phone than they do here.

Colour Collective Fridays—Cherry Blossom Pink

Color Collective Fridays—Dioxazine Mauve

After working (and being distracted from working) on a large, complicated piece for quite a while, I needed a break. Usually, creating something small and relatively quick helps me feel like I’m accomplishing something, and I can go back to complex work with renewed enthusiasm.

So for the next two weeks, I made mini-quilts especially for the Colour Collective challenge. For May 18th, the color was Dioxazine Mauve, a dark violet. I put together previously-knitted purples with old and newly-crocheted stars in Stellar Perspective, a 10 x 14″ knitted, embellished quilt. (The star crochet patterns are in my book, Cute Crochet World.)

Colour Collective Fridays—Stellar Perspective

Doily and Fabric Match Made in Heaven

In February of this year, I posted about a wonderful discovery. A happy doily from my stash, with red, yellow, and green accents turned out to be the perfect match for some rainbow-striped fabric my friend Donna was giving away. On a whim, I had put the happy doily onto the rainbow fabric, and, as the young people would say…OMG! The happy doily and rainbow fabric were clearly made for each other!

I rolled together the doily and fabric and put them carefully away, to work on later.

Colour Collective Fridays—Gamboge

The time came in May, when the Colour Collective challenge was Gamboge. Of all the fabric I have accumulated, the rainbow fabric was the only one with any gamboge in it. Yay! I posted the mostly-finished Fiesta Flower in the Rainbow Jungle on May 25th.

Colour Collective Fridays—Fiesta Flower in the Rainbow Jungle

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Antelope Horns on Display at the Bastrop Library

Antelope Horns and Suzann at the Bastrop Public Library

We were back in Bastrop, Texas, last weekend for another Bastrop Art in Public Places event. This time my daughter came along, and our first stop was the Bastrop Public Library on Church Street.

For the next year, the library will be home to Antelope Horns and several of the sixteen 2-dimensional art pieces chosen from a field of about 60, back in April. We took photos to show to you and of course to my parents. They love that kind of stuff!

We also took the opportunity to change from our driving clothes to our party clothes, because our next stop was the Lost Pines Art Center, where we attended a reception for the artists represented in this year’s Bastrop Art in Public Places program. Delicious cheeses and chocolate mousse were on the menu, and we nibbled while the organizers talked about the program and showed us the various sculptures and 2-D pieces on display around town.

The most exciting part was the awards. Antelope Horns won an Honorable Mention and a cash prize. Hurray!

Texas artists, please consider entering your work in next year’s competition. Find links and more information here.

Antelope Horns wins a prize

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Celebrate Doilies on Red Heart Blog

Celebrate Doilies on Red Heart Yarns blog

Please enjoy a short, sweet blog post about the Celebrate Doilies exhibit on Coats & Clark’s Heart Strings, a blog by Red Heart Yarns, where you’ll get an insight into the secret power of doilies!

Here’s the link:

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Antelope Horns in Bastrop

By the time the sun came up on Saturday, April 21, my wall hanging Antelope Horns was in the back seat of the car, and we were on the way to pick up my friend Peggy. Our destination was Bastrop, Texas, and our mission was to deliver Antelope Horns for the second round of judging for the Bastrop Art in Public Places 2D program.

Antelope Horns waiting for judges in Bastrop

Nearly three and a half hours later, we arrived at the Bastrop City Hall, where friendly folks greeted artists and showed us where to drop off our work. Antelope Horns is second from the right in this photo.

Anne Beck, who organized the competition, explained why artists were asked to bring their works to town for judging for the first time this year. Previously, judging was accomplished by looking at photos of artwork online and ranking them according to a list of criteria. Once the chosen art was installed in Bastrop’s public buildings, judges took a closer look at the artwork, this time choosing five pieces for cash prizes. Judges were amazed how different the art looked online versus in person.

Things changed slightly this year, with one group of judges viewing the original group of entries online, and choosing 30 pieces for the next round. Artists brought their work so the next judging panel could see them in real life, and choose the sixteen works to be displayed in Bastrop for one year.

Lost Pines Art Center, Bastrop, Texas

While the judges worked, artists and their guests took a tour of the Lost Pines Art Center, a community-centered gallery with classrooms and a gift shop. Even on that cloudy, drizzly day, lots of natural light streamed in, illuminating paintings, photos, and sculptures by area artists. I loved the butterfly mosaic by Jim and Marlene Outlaw, in the floor just inside one of the building’s entries.

Butterfly Mosaic by the Outlaws, Lost Pines Art Center, Bastrop, Texas

Antelope Horns in Bastrop Art in Public Places

BAiPP provided a nice lunch for us, and Peggy and I talked with our table-mates until Anne came in to tell us whose works would be staying in Bastrop.

I’m very glad to tell you that Antelope Horns is one of the sixteen! It is on display in the Bastrop Public Library until mid-April 2019.

Artists, if you’re within driving distance of Bastrop, I hope you’ll consider entering your work next year. To get their news, which will include notification of next year’s competition, sign up for the Bastrop Art in Public Places newsletter at their website. Good luck!

If you’re wondering “How did she do that?” you can read about the process of making Antelope Horns in the first three posts on the list, when you click this link: Here’s the short version: it is knitted, quilted, and embellished with crochet and embroidery.

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Celebrate Doilies Podcast podcast about Celebrate Doilies

Installing Celebrate Doilies in Austin last week was an adventure, which became even more exciting when Casey of came by the German Free School to interview me for Episode 95 of the podcast.

In a testament to how well social media can work, Casey told about how she found me through Twitter. I had tweeted about a crochet sample book on loan to me from Gwen Blakley Kinsler, the Crochet Kween. Casey saw a retweet, read about Celebrate Doilies, and messaged me.

For the interview, we both wore clip-on microphones, even though her recorder had very cool directional microphones attached to it. I’ve learned a lot about recording voices in the last few months, and you definitely need a microphone close to the person who is speaking. Clip-ons are a pain, because their long cords tangle so easily and they limit your movement, but they are much less expensive than the fancier alternative.

We talked about how the idea of Celebrate Doilies came to me, back in 2015. Casey asked about some of the stories people have told me about their family heirloom doilies, and I was glad to tell them. After the interview, she photographed the exhibit, which we had just finished putting up.

You can listen to the podcast online at or wherever you get your podcasts.

Casey added some history about the German Free School in her own blog post about the podcast, which you can read at blog post about Celebrate Doilies

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Visit Celebrate Doilies in Austin

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

It’s May, so come and see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the German Free School, 507 East 10th Street, Austin, Texas! It is open for viewing on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all through the month of May 2018.

The German Free School was built by German immigrants in the 1800s (I think), using rammed earth. It’s a lovely, historical building, and the perfect backdrop for my doily-inspired art quilts, Sandi Horton’s poetry, and doily heritage stories about crocheters of the present and past, and their work.

The exhibit will also be on display during Maifest, May 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Read more at

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

There’s metered parking just outside the building on 10th Street, and you should be able to see the big, blue, baling twine doily from the sidewalk.

Sandi and I will present “What to Do with Oma’s Doilies” on Sunday, June 3, 2018, at 3 p.m. That will be your last chance for a while to see Celebrate Doilies in Austin.

Many thanks to the staff at the German Free School and to my sister-in-law Carolyn and my daughter Eva for their work installing the exhibit last week.

Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas
Celebrate Doilies in Austin, Texas

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Santa Train Finished on Time

All kinds of things happened last fall. I was going to add, “as usual,” but really, more than the usual stuff happened last fall. My final Christmas in July report got forgotten in the shuffle.

The good news is that the Santa Train was finished on time!

You can see reports on Weeks 1-12 if you go back in the blog posts to July, August, and September 2017. Here’s the final report of how starting early and pacing yourself works for finishing Christmas projects.

In Week 13, I finished the second candy cane and did the wreath and gift box for the train.

Candy canes, toys, gifts for Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

Week 14 was about putting a bow on the wreath and starting the teddy. Candy canes, toys, gifts for Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

The teddy and a Christmas ornament for the train’s roof were the jobs for Week 15. Candy canes, toys, gifts for Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

The teddy bear turned out so cute, you need to see him up close. the teddy bear on the Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla

And finally, we come to Week 16, when I made the green gift box with lots of little embroidered exes (xs?), sewed it and the second candy cane on the train roof, and attached the hanging loop. Yay! It’s finished! Candy canes, toys, gifts for the Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

Candy canes, toys, gifts for the Santa train kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, one week at a time

We hung the Santa Train inside our front door, where every time we went in or out, it sparkled thrillingly. Santa train felt kit, number 86365 by Bucilla, finished

Christmas in July project for 2018
I have two more Christmas felt and sequin kits somewhere. They are probably in a moving box from when we came back to Texas in 2003. There are a few of those still in my parents’ storage barn.

My job between now and July is to find all those old boxes and clean them out. If the kits show up, great! One will be my project for Christmas in July 2018. If they don’t show up, here’s a peek at my Plan B for 2018.

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Celebrate Doilies on the Move

All set up for What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

Make plans soon to see the Celebrate Doilies exhibit at the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History, in Mingus, Texas. The exhibit will be there through March 15, 2018. For hours and other details, please visit the Exhibition Schedule. The Gordon Center is on I-20, between Weatherford and Eastland.

Shae Adams, the Center’s curator, mounted the exhibit and organized our “What to Do with Grandmother’s Doilies” presentation on February 25th. She and I were talking about why a doily exhibit might be a good fit for the Gordon Center. Shae said, “Crocheting doilies is a home industry.” How true!

Sandi Horton playing flute at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The photos are from our presentation. I talked about how to take care of doilies, doily projects you can do, and more. Sandi read poetry about her family’s needlework, and played a short musical prayer on her Indian flute. We had a fun and interactive crowd from Mineral Wells, Gordon, and as far as Proctor, Texas.

Suzann at the What to Do with Grandmother's Doilies presentation

The Gordon Center has artifacts and displays about the company town of Thurber, Texas. In many a Texas town with red brick streets, the bricks were made in Thurber. When I was there with friends, we watched a film about the town. It seemed like a wonderful community, but it was difficult to move away from Thurber, since workers were paid in company scrip, which merchants outside the town wouldn’t accept as payment.

Plan to spend some time, if you go, to see the exhibit and the permanent displays and film about Thurber.

Suzann's Constant Comets wall hanging and Sandi Horton's family heirloom crochet at the Gordon Center

If you can’t make it to the Gordon Center, Celebrate Doilies will be at the 4 North Event Center in Comanche, Texas, from March 19th through the 25th. The hours will be Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I’ll be there the whole time, so come and see me!

Sandi Horton and I will give a short presentation in Comanche on Saturday, March 24th, at 2 p.m.

Celebrate Doilies is booked at the German Free School in Austin, Texas, in May. Many of the doily wall hangings will be in a special showing of quilts at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, in July. I’ll post more information about those venues in the months to come.

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