This series is an exploration of figure/ground relationship.  This series is totally pieced and it is my goal to make the ground shapes as interesting as the figures while juxtaposing and balancing both in a composition.


Between the lines


Between the lines-detail

Between the Lines (74 x 91)

This is a clear example of figure/ground relationship with the colored shapes lying on top of the black background. The title has a double meaning….as the black background that pokes though “between the lines” or for viewers who see this as rows of books in a library, perhaps they’ll think about reading “between the lines”. 


This large work is improvisationally pieced and has 532 colored shapes and about twice as many skinny black backgrounds pieced between them.  The background was densely quilted black on black in square and rectangular shapes and took over 3 full spools of black rayon thread to complete.  The colored “books” are not quilted so they will pop up, begging to be read.

Flower Drum Song

Flower Drum Song (28.5 x 71)
When creating this design, as I experimented with different shapes       petal forms kept appearing in the background and the piece took  on an Oriental flavor. Those petal shapes along with the rhythmic beat of the line work inspired me to name this piece “Flower Drum Song.”  I wanted to keep the very high contrast figure/ground, and graphic appeal this design had when I designed it in black and white.  So I decided to simplify the color scheme and juxtapose  the bright red, hot pink, red-orange pieced background against the saturated black sateen shapes for the maximum contrast to distinguish the figure from the ground and make them appear interchangeable.

Flower Drum Song Detail



Shards (31 x 74)

Using a simple color scheme to emphasize the figure/ground relationships, I chose triangular shapes in a warm brown sateen as the main design element. Then crazy pieced the background in many values of turquoise blue, again using many triangular shapes. I initially thought of it as a Southwest Indian design, but in the end it reminds me more of diamond shapes and broken shards of glass.



Shards - detail


Native Spirits Full View

Native Spirits (74 x 30.5)

I became enamored with the cave writing idea, and decided I wanted to reverse the darks and lights of the third quilt in this series to see what happened. What a difference! These 2 quilts are clearly related, but yet individual as well. The lights seem to glow and pop the figure out even more in this version. The graphic feel and vibrant colors are spirited and take me back to earlier times and make me hear tribal rhythms.

Native Spirits Detail View
Native Spirits Detail View
Primitive Echoes Full View

Primitive Echoes (62 x 29)

Starting by designing this piece in black and white, I loved the graphic quality and possibilities of it. It’s my version of primitive writing and drawing on cave walls. Halfway through, I decided to piece the background to add the texture and depth of a cave wall, and this time my effort was to integrate the sizes while going from large to small. I felt it just called out for some vibrant colors that contrasted well enough to stand on their own, but also to emphasize the figure/ground relationship.

Primitive Echoes  Detail View

Primitive Echoes
Detail View

21 x 56


This quilt came about by continuing on with the idea of a primitive motif made up of linear elements.  Each motif was cut individually without the use of rulers and this time I tried to emphasize the depth by combining different widths and values in my lines to create perspective. I also limited myself to 3 basic colors of hand dyed sateen.  The result looks rather like a maze, causing the viewer to detour many times.

cDetours21x56.jpg (195897 bytes)

Symbolic Remnants: 
53.5 x 77.5

Variations of a modified ancient Aztec spiral motif playing against my woven linear lines create a rhythmic pulse in this work. The six different sizes were cut individually and improvisationaly. The larger motifs amplify the smaller ones, creating the slight differences in pattern and proportion as each row is scanned. The palette takes one straight to Mexico and the Southwest using my own version of these symbols. 

SymbolicRemnants.jpg (60501 bytes)

Symbolic Remnants

SymbolicRemnantsdetail.jpg (72465 bytes)
Symbolic Remnants Detail


Decipher (42.5 x 55.5)

Continuing my cave writing theme, in this quilt I emphasize the smaller more worn-looking writing by piecing the background and quilting it extensively.  Meanwhile, the foreground consists of large shapes also found in cave writing to form the figures.


Decipher - detail view


Decipher - full view

Sun and Shadows (35 x 40.5)

Using the sunny yellows and oranges as light ground area, while the purple, rust and dark gray form the shapes, this composition took on the topography of a mountainous region with cracks and crevices making the darks and gold medium color shadowy in the glare of bright sunlit colors.

SunandShadowsdetail.jpg (182424 bytes)
Sun and Shadow Detail

SunandShadows.jpg (292895 bytes)
Sun and Shadow

Plain Geometry (46.5 x 85) sold

Available for RESALE by current owner!!

This quilt took me back to my high school days in plane geometry class. Cutting pieces for both the foreground and background in triangles, pentagons and other geometric shapes forms the basis for this quilt. The values separate the foreground made of dark blues, crimsons and rusts from the background which is composed of various shades of lime and avocado greens. Most of the shapes are quite large, but there are 3 areas of very small shapes pieced together and distributed to balance the design. Three styles of quilting are used to define the foreground, background and small pieced areas as well.


green detail green

Plain Geometry-detail views

Plain Geometry-full view


Sedona-Red Rocks & Blue Skies.jpg (228475 bytes)

Sedona-RR&BS Detail.jpg (359125 bytes)
Sedona detail

Sedona: Red Rocks & Blue Skies:  
44.5 x 78

Drawing an imaginary vertical line down the composition, I pieced smaller horizontal lines of darks and lights to the left of it, and larger shapes to the right of it.  Then by using color and value, and by extending some lines, and fine tuning the pieced connections, I merged the two sides into one composition.

To convey my impressions of the Sedona Arizona area, I used a palette of the two basic colors that make that area so striking.  Rusty orange tones for the red rocks that suddenly pop up when you drive into the region, and blue/turquoise tones of the sky that contrast so beautifully with the rocks, making them even more striking.  To complete the Southwestern feel, I quilted the rust areas with rock-like forms, and the blue areas with curvy connecting lines to show the vastness of the sky.