slideshowGarnet.jpgslideshowSapphire AndGold.jpgslideshowAmethyst.jpgslideshowCarnelian.jpgslideshowPearl.jpgslideshowEmerald.jpg

Paper and Wire and Syncopation

Syncopation, noun. Music: a shifting of the normal accents, usually by stressing the normally unaccented beats.PaperWireSyncopations_2_blog

I usually work with fabric, but I'm working on something a little different this week.

Kind of different, yet kind of the same when you look at it.

These are small paper collages that I made several years ago. I had an idea for assembling them and it has been on my "list of things to do" ever since. But my quilts took over and the collage packets languished on the shelf and on that "to do" list.

Seriously, I have a white board in my studio and the words "collage packets" have been on it for 3 years!

A show listing appeared in my inbox last week. The criteria . . . . . . . "Women only" - check . . . . . . . "Music theme" - check . . . . . . .  "drop off at the Arts Council next weekend" - ummmm, not so ready to check that one off yet.

I rarely seem to have any artwork that fits in at my local Arts Council. It is often the fabric thing, but more often the monthly 'themes' that I don't fit into.

This was my sign though, to get my paper collages assembled. I'm stitching them together with wire, which was the original idea/plan for them.




Maybe you know that I've been loving wire for awhile now and really want to use it more and more in my art. I could also happily change my medium to paper.

So I think I'm 'syncopating' - shifting my normal accent and stressing the normally unaccented.

Yet look how very quilt-like this is - squares/patches stitched together to form a larger piece. I guess I'll never get completely away from my quilt roots!


This piece is titled "Syncopation". And now I must go finish 'stitching' it together so I can check off the last thing on the list - deliver to Arts Council next weekend.

Until next time -


Aprons Again

It seems the apron theme in my life has come around again.

Almost exactly one year ago I was hanging a two-woman show with an apron theme at the TraillWorks Gallery, with owner and fine painter Jennie Traill Schaeffer. We called it “Two Sides to Every Story” and we both used the iconography of the apron to express our individual perceptions of “Women’s Work”.

That was a very exciting time for me – not quite a solo show, but close! It was a wonderful opportunity.

As it happens, my large quilt from that show, “Laundry Day”, will get another airing this Fall. I shipped it out this week for the “New Legacies: Contemporary Art Quilts” show in Fort Collins, Colorado. This year the show will take place in their newly built gallery. Along with the new gallery they have updated the name of the exhibit. It was formerly known as “Fabric of Legacies”. I like the new name – more modern. I wish I lived close enough to see the new gallery space and the quilt exhibit.

Here is the post that I wrote last year about the process of making “Laundry Day”.




So what should appear in my email inbox this week but a picture of a memorable apron? My brother found it as he was cleaning out some drawers at the old family summerhouse. A little worse for wear, for sure! But all of us ‘kids’ remember it well. It was (one of) my Dad’s aprons. My brother has been known to throw out old stuff like that, unlike some of us others in the family who hold onto just about anything (hence, having a nearly 50-year-old, moth eaten apron still in the drawer!) But since my family is all on board with my apron obsession, he knew that he had better hold onto it. Thanks Chas!




Here is a picture of my Dad wearing the red apron while carving the Christmas turkey in 1967.

At some point Dad’s carving apron got upgraded to what we fondly call the “Dead Duck” apron. That must be why the red apron got downgraded to the summer house. One of my other brothers has the “Dead Duck” apron and sent it to me, on loan, for last year’s ‘Apron Sharing Event’ at TraillWorks. It makes me ridiculously happy that these aprons still exist!


I find it interesting that I and my sibs have more vivid apron memories of my Dad than of my Mom. He was ahead of his time!




Here’s a picture of my Mom in an apron I do remember, but haven’t found again. Maybe it will turn up too! Who knows?

Clearly I’m not over my fascination with aprons. I still have a box full of tiny aprons that I made last year for my quilts. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the apron theme . . . . . . . . .

In any case, it was fun this week to recall many fond apron memories.

Until next time -


Cheerily, Cheeriup, Cheerio

It all started last spring when a pair of cardinals built their nest by our back door. I became fascinated with watching the activity of our backyard birds.

Then I noticed a robin nesting in a holly tree around the corner in the alcove. I think the robins raised at least two broods there, possibly three.

As I observed the birds I started to really notice their behaviors and to learn their songs.

I looked things up online as well. Cornell University Lab of Ornithology has a wonderful website where I learned a lot about bird habits and behavior, and was able to listen to recordings of the various bird songs.

I learned that the American Robin is thought to be saying Cheerily, Cheeriup, Cheerio. I also learned that Robins were the birds waking us up each morning! However early it was, how can you not love waking to such cheer!  (Side note: I learned when I had my first child that being “up with the birds” is A LOT earlier than being “up at the crack of dawn”!)

Along with my fascination with birds came a desire to create little pictures of them in fabric. It was a fun interlude to my usual larger work.

When it came time to make a 12” x 12” quilt for the SAQA 2011 Benefit Auction I decided to stay with the bird theme and created a cheery robin watching over the nest. The leaves are all created separately and are tacked onto the branches. They stand out a bit from the surface and create some dimension.

Cheerily, Cheeriup, Cheerio", 12" x 12"    ©2011 Martha C. Hall

SAQA is the Studio Art Quilt Associates, of which I am a member. The Benefit Auction is the biggest fundraiser of the year and helps support SAQA programs. There are 309 small quilts (all 12” x 12”) up for auction this year.

The auction starts today, September 12, starting with the quilts in Section 1.

Section 2 auction starts the week of September 19.

My quilt is in Section 3 and goes up for auction the week of September 26.

Click here to get all the fine details of how the auction and bidding works. It’s a reverse auction so the bidding starts high - $750. – and prices decrease each day, ending at $75.

The “big name” quilts will go quickly for $750. I’m not a big name so my quilt will not garner top dollar, though my sincere hope is that it does not end up in the bargain bin!

Until next time –

Copyright © 2017 Martha Hall Textile Art Login