Creative Business Launched

I have big news! I retired from my marketing career last week and launched my creative business! This is something I have wanted to do for years and it is finally happening. I am working on my business plan and initiatives include teaching, pattern design, e-books, tutorials, art licensing, magazine articles, and other creative opportunities.

I will be teaching quilting at Middletown Adult Education starting this fall and I am preparing handouts and lesson plans to keep my class on track. This session I will be teaching a striking medallion quilt which uses a log cabin block variation set in the barn raising layout. I added a simple pieced border to enhance the design without overpowering the center. The quilt can be made in a one color scheme as shown here or a multicolor/scrappy version. This is an oversized lap quilt and can be made larger to fit a bed. The nice thing about quilting is you have choices and can make the quilt your own way.

I finished the top last week and now I need to reserve time on the long arm quilting machine at the Collaboratory at the Wallingford Public Library so that I can quilt it professionally.

Medallion quilt

To celebrate this big change in my life, I went to  Vermont Quilt Festival this week, my first time attending New England’s oldest and largest quilt event. The quilts were amazing, with a broad range of quilt styles including  modern, abstract, pictorial, art, traditional, and antique. They were all breathtakingly beautiful, every one a work of art by the hands of the maker. I walked into the entrance and was amazed! I have been to many local and regional shows over the years and this show was incredible.

VQF Entrance

The antique exhibit, Quilted Treasures of New York, was curated by Sharon Waddell and sponsored by Yankee Pride Quilts, Essex Junction, Vermont. The quilt hanging from the ceiling in the foreground of the above photo is Prince’s Feather 4-block, c1860, from southern Orange County. The quilt in the photo below is Albany Lily,  c1870. Typically the maker of an antique quilt is unknown, unless the quilt came with a provenance such as from an estate. The age of an antique quilt can be estimated based on the fabrics and the dye colors. I am partial to antique blue and white quilts and find them very soothing.

VQF NY quilt

I took a class with Karen Stone called Bloomers and learned some new techniques which could apply to other types of work. There were three interlocking shapes and I managed to get far enough along that I was able to put together the three basic units. This was more of a process class than a product class, so you needed to take what you learned and continue working at home. I really enjoyed the class as it was unique, I learned new things, and Karen was so gracious.

VQF Bloomers

I would like to share part of my process with you. I like to create mind maps as a way of seeing an overall picture of my life as a guide and have been doing this for about 10 years. This will be helpful in creating balance in my life with my creative business. I learned about mind maps when I was working  with researchers as a webmaster/website designer at The Institute for Community Research in Hartford, Connecticut.  Mind maps are a useful tool that can be applied to many things as a way to visually organize information and they are fun to create.

Mind Map

Poetry, Writing, and Finding my Voice

This poetry in my art journal came about as a lightning bolt of inspiration over the weekend. I have been reading poetry (Mary Oliver, Hafez, Rumi), and writing in my journal, and knitting a lot. But I have done very little art journaling over the past 3 months. It is not that I was blocked. Rather, I was afraid of what might come out and didn’t want to face that. My work is intuitive, comes from inside of me, and at times it can plumb the depths of my soul.


I went to East Hampton Writers Guild Wednesday night after a 4 month absence. I was not sure that the group was going in a direction that I wanted to follow. And I am tired all the time, especially at the end of the work day, due to some new health problems that are going to take a long time to resolve. But I was glad I went and reconnected with the group which meets at the Bevin House. I went to see my writer friend Megan there on Saturday as I had some questions about my writing and wanted to talk. Megan is the innkeeper there and she has a wonderful blog here. We shared a lot (it was great!) and I came away from our visit feeling much better about myself and my writing. I wrote 2 poems Saturday night and I created the art journal page on Sunday.


My son and his wife gave me a year long subscription to Storyworth last year for Mother’s Day. There were weekly email prompts in a memoir vein that they preselected for me, and there is an app that lets you edit your stories and add photos. At the end of the year your writing and photos get bound into a physical book. It was an incredible amount of work and some of the prompts were difficult to answer, but it was very rewarding to see the finished book and hold it in my hands. Some of the writing is extremely personal so I can only share it with family.


After creating the poetry art journal page, I was inspired to go back to Life Documented and pick up where I left off, at week 14. Life Documented is a year long art journal prompt blog site located here, with weekly prompts and monthly themes. The theme for July was butterflies and I did my own thing.


I had an empty space in my stairwell and I remembered that I had two art quilts that were mirror images of each other, still in a box from the move 2 years ago. So I found those and I got them hung alongside the other quilt. It makes me smile to see them when I go up and down the stairs.


Finding My Inner Compass

I have been going off in a lot of different directions over the past month and I feel a strong pull towards finding my inner compass. I want to do everything but I can’t do everything. I want to create art, I want to knit, I want to make quilts, I want to write, I want to read, I want to take classes, I want to socialize, I want to be a part of things, I want to pull back into myself, I want to center myself, I want to focus, I want to grow.

I am already taking three classes and am behind in all of them but today I decided to sign up for a one day Visual Journaling workshop with Kathryn Costa at True North Arts. Kathryn has been my friend for years and she shares her refreshing outlook on life on her blog and in her 100 Mandalas community. This will be a great way to recenter and find my compass.

ATC Georgia O’Keeffe quote

I have been thinking a lot about friendship and what it means to me. I have a lot of friends but I don’t usually get too close to people. I don’t feel comfortable sharing a lot of things about myself and that is just the way I am. At times I have found myself wishing I could be more open but I don’t want to be like everybody else. I want to be me. A few close friends is really all you need. One advantage of being an introvert is that I am both perceptive and a good listener, and those are qualities that make me a good friend.

GHQG quilt retreat 2018

I went to a four day quilt retreat at the Ivoryton Retreat and Conference Center at the end of April. There were old friends and new working on many colorful quilts. Everyone brought their own sewing machine and quilting projects to work on. I brought way too much stuff as I was not sure how long it would take me to complete each project.

Mom memorabilia 2nd

This memory quilt about my mom has been waiting to be finished for some time now. All that it needed was the binding but I needed to be sure that it didn’t need to have any more buttons sewn on before I could finish. I have mom’s button collection and she had sorted the buttons by color – they look lovely!

Lattice quilt mary

This lattice quilt took up most of my time at the retreat and more time when I got home. It is made from floral fabrics from mom’s sewing room and was started at the March quilt retreat at Camp Hazen. It was a lot of work to put this together – there are 196 blocks in all. The ones I made for my sisters had 120 blocks and were oversize lap/couch quilts. This quilt is going on my four poster double bed. My friend Laura is machine quilting it as she has a long arm machine.

Spring Quilt Show

It snowed again on Friday and everyone in Connecticut is wondering when spring will arrive as it is delayed this year. It is cold out and indoor activities involving art or quilts are perfect right now.

I went to a quilt show at the Haddam Neck Congregational Church today. It was so nice to see all of the colorful quilts draped over the pews and hanging from the rafters. I enjoyed some homemade soup and bread in the tea room and that was a wonderful treat.


This crazy quilt caught my eye with all of the embroidery stitches and embellishments. These quilts were popular at the turn of the 19th century and were found in many Victorian era homes, often displayed in the front parlor.


I enjoy embellishing quilts and small items. I am adding beads to two quilts right now but they are not far enough along for a photo. Here is a little embellished jewelry pouch that I made a while ago.

Jewelry pouch

I am slowly redecorating the sewing room/ art studio/ home office. I got this chair for the sewing table on clearance at Staples on the way home from work one day. I had been using folding chairs with not much padding and they were not very comfortable. This was a big improvement! I want my art space to feel good and be conducive to my creativity.


I got an armless swivel chair for the desk from Amazon. It’s a tight space and there was no room for a chair with arms. This is perfect for me. My next purchase is a 2’ x 3’ bulletin board which will arrive on Wednesday. I can use it as an ever changing vision board. It is going to hang vertically above the art table. I try to stick to a budget so I do a little research to find the best value and price for an item.