Thursday, November 15, 2012

Structure series

Here is the latest quilt in the Structure series: this one is about 50" square. I have had the urge to work in shades of red, and have one more red quilt that is big, waiting to be quilted. Here also is a picture of some of my dye-discharged pieces. It is interesting to see what color it ends up to be. I like the straight lines the best, and used some pieces in two quilts I have done recently.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

2 more quilts

I have been busy sewing bindings, hanging sleeves and labels on some quilts I made recently. Both of these are about 35"-the top one has some fabric that has been dye dispersed using a bleach pen, and the second quilt has more of a swirly quilting, to contrast with the straight sewing lines.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ColorForm 27

This ColorForm quilt was completed at the beginning of November- I am getting behind in showing my work. It is about 50". I wanted to show big shapes, and I like the way some of them are not solid colors. I have been enjoying these newly dyed fabrics that are not quite solid colors, probably thanks to the fabric dyeing class I took earlier this year. (thanks Candy!) Shapes and colors are what my quilts are about, and I think using fewer colors lets the shapes get noticed.

I have been trying some new things, and will get pictures of them up soon. I have some bindings to finish up, and more pictures to take-a goal for the week!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quilt Visions

My sister Diane and I had a wonderful long weekend in sunny California last week! We drove up the coast from San Diego to see the Oceanside Museum of Art, and some of the quilts from Quilt National 2011. Then we drove back along the ocean, stopping to see the beaches-the waves, surfers, and sea lions. Saturday night we went to the opening of Quilt Visions: Brainstorms. It was fun to see the other quilts, and meet other quilt artists. It was the first time the show was at the Quilt Visions Museum. I was thrilled to have my quilt included, and to be at the opening reception. In between, we saw lots of art: The Contemporary Museum of Art, The Museum of Art and the San Diego Watercolor Society international exhibit.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I made a pile of quilt tops I have made recently as I experiment with shape and colors. Now I am trying different ideas with machine quilting, as I go through the pile, and finish off each one! This one is 23" H x 20  "W.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ColorForm 25

I know you are thinking-I've seen that one before! I had made a quilt-ColorForm 7 which later was sold, but I have always loved the colors. So I decided to see if I had any colors that matched. This quilt is slightly different, and measures 20"H x 22"W. Now I realize I have been having fun with some ideas I have had, and have a pile of quilts that need machine quilting.Sometimes I hate to stop and finish the whole quilt, but the downside is that they need to get done eventually.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two at once

A group of quilts traveling in the Quilt National exhibit will be at the Oceanside Museum of Art. My quilt, Lost and Found: Blue will be in this exhibit, with a reception October 13, 2012, from 5-7pm. I would love to be there, but I will be able to see it the next weekend, when I travel to San Diego for the opening reception of Quilt Visions 2012: Brainstorms.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

End of summer

I spent a lot of time this summer at our family cabin in Minnesota, on the shore of Lake Superior. I have gone there all my life, and one of my favorite things to do is look at rocks. There are some great beaches where the rocks are smooth, from years of crashing waves from the big lake. One year I collected rocks for our pond at home, another year we used some to make lamps. Some of my favorite ones are just sitting on a shelf! This year we looked for small, flat ones,and my husband drilled holes in them so I could make necklaces; here is my first one! Lately I have applied to several quilt shows, but I have finished with that now, I have cleaned up my studio. Today I am thinking of those waves, and they are translating into something new on my design wall. I am back to repeating patterns, but not in any rush-no deadlines, no shows to think about. Maybe it will work out, maybe not, but I am going to take time to see how shapes and colors fit together.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ColorForm 21

I have been working on more of these smaller ColorForm quilts lately. As you can see, I love orange! Using just a few colors and shapes can be challenging, but interesting in these quilts. As the summer continues to be busy, it is nice to work on something challenging, yet small enough to handle in a short amount of time. One more quilt waits for machine quilting before summer ends.

Friday, July 13, 2012


These two quilts are almost done-they need bindings. The top is ColorForm 20-16"H x 24"W, and the other is ColorForm 19-15"H x 21 "W. In all the activities of summer, I have been working on bigger quilts to enter in shows with deadlines coming up in the fall, and took time to make more of these ColorForm quilts. I have sold quite a few of these over the last year, and wanted to use some fabric I have recently dyed. I have 2 more to machine quilt,and 2 other quilts a little bigger to finish. It is not so agonizing to machine quilt these little ones!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I was excited to hear of a quilt show that encouraged entries that are big! This quilt was made at the beginning of my Structure series, and is 75" wide, and 45" long. I do enjoy working on a large quilt, but it is not easy! Just working on it is hard: visualizing how big the shapes need to be, machine quilting, finding a place to lay it out to put together the layers, finding a place to photograph it. Then getting it all in a box and ready to ship, making a wooden hanger that can fit in the box too, adding a hanging sleeve at the bottom to help it lie flat-it was a relief to finally get it mailed! The quilt show BIG! is hosted by Red Rocks Community College, in Lakewood, Colorado, and will be on display from July 5 through mid August, 2012.

Friday, June 1, 2012


The machine stitching seems endless! So I find myself taking a break and work on the process of framing some of my Dad's paintings.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Textiles in a Tube 2

This is a new show for me: it looks interesting as you must send your work in a 3" x 36" tube, so you can be pretty creative! My quilt is 18-1/2" H x 27" W, so will fit easily in a tube!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lost & Found: orange

I love the orange in the middle of this quilt, and also the intense blue. I quilted this new Lost and Found quilt using different colors of thread. This series has to do with losing a sense of self, then stripping away all non-essentials, including anything outside oneself. Once you find what you believe, you feel strong, and know who you are. I have moved away from the darker colors of the previous quilts in this series.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Failure...or not?

Wow, at the end of the week I realized I had spent 2 weeks doing things that did not work. New ideas I had thought of that didn't go anywhere-I had to put them aside to think more about them. Another quilt where I had tried an idea, but maybe should have worked with it a little more. And a new idea for quilting a big quilt, that I hated, and didn't turn out at all very well on a quilt so big. New ideas are hard-and you really have to spend as much time working through them as you did on your ideas that worked. There are some quotes about success and failure; having to try and fail a lot to get to success.

But at least I am finding what works on quilting a big quilt-and my new idea for a smaller quilt is sitting in the back of my mind for awhile. In the meantime, I had other ideas I was itching to get to work on, and that can start next week. I didn't really have a sense of failure-just relief that it was over. And now I can get to that wonderful orange fabric I dyed and make something out of it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fantastic Fibers 2012

Last week, after a short vacation on spring break in Tennessee, we drove home to Chicago through Paducah, KY. Paducah is a nice river town; we sat along the river and watched the barges go by, ate ice cream, and of course visited the National Quilt Museum. The quilts there were amazing! There were so many traditional quilts,so much beautiful stitching and attention to detail. There was an exhibit of quilts from the UK, as well as some more contemporary quilts. On Saturday we went to the opening reception for Fantastic Fibers 2012 at the Yeiser Art Center. The Yeiser, an older building from 1905 was a great venue for this fiber art exhibit. My quilt was along the back wall of the room, surrounded by some pretty great quilts: Jennifer Day, Marcia deCamp, Kathy Loomis, Judith Plotner, Deborah Bein all had quilts there, and there were others. You can see the list of works as well as the prize winners at the website. I also enjoyed seeing the art that weren't quilts, involving paper and weaving-so many innovative ideas. I was so glad to be able to attend this show, you really can see what other people are doing in the fiber arts, and you come away feeling it is an exciting time to be making quilts.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This week

I am working with these shapes this week. I started with that beautiful blue-and went on from there. I have an idea to use some curved lines for the machine quilting on this one. It is another big one; I haven't measured it yet, but at least 5 feet now.

I found out that one of my quilts was accepted into Quilt Visions 2012: Brainstorms! Lost and Found: Blocked. I have been busy putting a new hanging sleeve on the back of that one, and thinking of going to the opening reception, in October.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fantastic Fibers 2012

This quilt was accepted into the Fantastic Fibers 2012 Exhibition. It will be at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky from March 31 - May 5, 2012. For more information, see the web site:

I am looking forward to going to the opening reception, March 31st~

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I am feeling a little behind in terms of showing pictures, recording photos in my sketchbook, and generally keeping track of what I am doing. But I guess it works out OK since I can show a red quilt on Valentine's Day. I have made several quilts like this in many colors; I like seeing one color too: the shapes you can get are so interesting. I tried something different with the quilting, which took forever, but I was just not sure the best way to quilt it. This quilt is 34 "H x 41"W.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


As February begins, I finally finished something! I had made several quilt tops recently, but ran out of batting, and backing fabric. The store was out of the batting, so it had to be ordered. This quilt started as something simple, but I did not like the way it turned out. I cut it up, inserted more fabric and sewed it back together. My camera was not working, so I do not have pictures of the process. Then I cut it up again, and sewed different sections together. This is not a way I usually like to work! but I like some of the shapes here. This quilt is long-64 inches wide, by 35 inches high. The colors were inspired by some small pottery bowls my mom gave me once, that are hanging in my studio.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last week

I started the week with the squares of yellow, then went on to work on quilting another quilt. I kept my eyes on this quilt, trying to decide what would come next, and how far I should go, and how it should end. By Thursday I was ready to come back to it. I liked ending it with blue. I think I am done! At least I am done with little pieces of fabric, and look forward to starting something with bigger shapes. This quilt is about 5-1/2 feet square.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year

Everyone seems to be posting about accomplishments and goals for the new year, so I thought I would join in on that. Especially since as I began making a list, I realized how the things I had done last year affected me and my work.

Just before last year began, I moved my studio space upstairs, to a spare bedroom. Even though the space was not really bigger, it allowed me to have a big design wall, and a better work space. It really changed my quilts, and allowed me to make bigger ones.

At the beginning of the year I made a book online of my best quilts. I found it was good for me to choose what I wanted to be in the book; I had to decide what I thought was best, and what quilts were not. Now I have a record of my quilts and plan to do that again this year.

I attended Quilt National this year, and getting into that show and going to the opening was almost unreal. Again, making a decision on what work I wanted to enter in the show, and then have it get in was really a validation of what I have been doing. I will definitely try again in the future, because I found it pushed me to really think about what I am doing.

I began a process of creating a new logo, and postcards, which I handed out at the One of a Kind Show this December. One of my sons and his family gave me a bag with my new logo as a Christmas present! Next I would like to get new business cards, and possibly a web site.

There were shows I didn't get into, and shows I did, but with quilts I was not expecting would get in. That gave me a lot to think about in terms of shows: what are they looking for, are there trends going on that I am not a part of? I think you can't get too caught up in getting into shows. It makes you feel good, but in reality you have to be yourself and do what you are passionate about, and find ways to get your work seen by other people.

This quilt is something I have been working on over Christmas, when I was interrupted by Christmas preparations, and company. I could do a few blocks at a time, and make strips. It is not finished, this is just the top. But it reminds me I want to learn more about color, and be able to dye more and more wonderful colors!
All images and works are property of Gail Baar, and cannot be used without her permission. ©