What I did on my Christmas vacation

moth detailSince I didn’t have any teaching gigs in December, it turned out to be a very productive month.

I wrote an article for the upcoming March issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited.

I completed another big project that I’m not quite ready to reveal, I’ll tell you about that after Craft Napa.

I used some of the thermofax screens I designed to print napkins I bought at World Market for Christmas gifts.



An article I wrote over the summer, ‘My Life in a Tailspin’, was published in the wonderful online magazine Through Our Hands Magazine | Issue 7 – Winter 2015. It’s about how I created some of my best work while going through the worst time of my life. If you don’t know about this incredible textile arts magazine from the UK, you really need to check it out. It’s also free.

I worked right up until Christmas, ordering and organizing supplies and printing handouts for Craft Napa. Since both my kids went down to Los Angeles to spend the holiday with their dad this year, my time opened up significantly, and I was able to make several small pieces to sell at Craft Napa’s Artist Market Friday night.


All the central images are painted with textile paint and I used my hand dyed fabric for the frames, except for the bee painting, which has a frame made from an acrylic inks workshop sample.bee


The green caterpillar piece will be donated to the artist auction at Craft Napa.caterpillar

Just as I was putting the binding on my last one, my 20 year old Bernina 1630 blew her motherboard. So the 29 year old Pfaff 1475 had to come out to finish up and stitch signatures. Now I really need to sell some work because it’s going to cost $500 to rebuild the circuit boards. 🙁

yellow flowers


After I finished with the little quilts, I was able to finally get back to a project I started last July, when I fell in love with the large stained coffee filters that come from my Chemex drip coffee pot.


I often leave the folded filter filled with coffee sitting in the pot for a couple hours while I’m working, and the paper filter absorbs the brown color of the coffee. After I dispose of the coffee grounds and rinse the filter, I stick it in a cup and as it dries the edges get lovely dark stains.

I glued 3 filters to 12″ square canvases, then mixed some brown paint with colorless extender to stain the exposed canvas to match the color of the filters. Then I collaged images of vintage botanicals and drawings from my sketchbook printed in brown on translucent abaca paper with my Epson Ink jet printer, onto the filters.

coffee prep
I painted my drawings of the moth and succulents with acrylic inks.

In the first painting of the moth and succulents, I painted the imagery opaquely.
moth succulents

moth succulent detail


The second moth I painted in a more transparent way to look like watercolors.

moth detail


I painted the bird in a more stylized way with opaque coverage of acrylic ink.
coffee bird

coffee bird det
I’m thrilled with how the finished paintings came out and wish I had time to do more, but now I need to get ready for Craft Napa later this week. I pick up my daughter Indigo at the train station tonight, she will be working as staff photographer for the event.

I’m so excited about this first Craft Napa retreat, to see so many friends who I know are booked to be there, friends that are teaching, and all the new friends I’m going to meet. It’s going to be extra fun for me, since it will be a 3 generation event, my mom is booked to take classes at Craft Napa too! 🙂

Stay tuned!

9 Responses to “What I did on my Christmas vacation”

  1. dyemaven says:

    thank you for sharing your work. love it!! great post – I know you’ll have a great experience at Craft Napa!

  2. Mary t salmon says:

    You are so talented! Thanks for the eye candy!

  3. Martha says:

    Hi Judy, you created some beautiful pieces! Love the butterflie on coffee filter, and the bird. Have fun in Napa, such a historical event for fiber artist! Wish I could be there!

  4. Cindy Howe says:

    AWESOME AWESOME work Judy, as usual. I love looking at your creations!!!

  5. Annie says:

    Your work is stunning! You are truly gifted!

  6. debi kibbee says:

    you better have some of those canvas’s for April at Smiling Turtle cuz I want one!!!!

  7. Kathleen says:

    OH, the translucent moth looks so much like the Cecropia moths I used to find when I lived in New York as a child! I loved them then, but have never seen many of them since. They are beautiful, Judy!

  8. Wow you have been so busy, creative & yes clever. I now know what Houston Quilt show is all about I will be back. What other shows are worth seeing. I hear there is a town that really puts on a show. HAPPY NEW YEAR ???? so pleased your life is going so well. xo

  9. Joanie Wallrich says:

    Your work is absolutely gorgeous, Judy. You are so inspiring to so many. I know you will have a blast at Napa, I wish I could join the fun!

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