Slices Of A Circle Hot Pads

the first potholder I made with the slices of circle

When I opened the bag of scraps that Karen sent and dumped out all the slices of circles, the first thing that came to mind was Kay Walkingstick’s early abstract paintings. She used similar shapes in many of those paintings, the meaning of them derived from her Cherokee heritage.

Then I thought of art in the book Tantra Song and the simple paintings from India that were meant for people to meditate on.

Inspired by both, I wanted to create the kind of complex simplicity I found in the details of them.

So I chose a piece of fabric that had been painted and was filled with subtle imperfections that would create unlikely shapes and textures.  I used a slice of circle for each and a scrap or two more.  This is what I came up with….




These are all potholder size, but I found I liked turning them around, making the bottom the top or the side the bottom.  I had trouble deciding which way to photograph them.  So I’m going to make them into hot pads, not potholders.  The difference is that they won’t have hangers.  They’ll sit on a surface instead of hanging on a wall.  Which also means they’ll be viewed flat from above.

I’m out of the yellow-painted fabric, but I may try to make more potholders or hot pads, using more of the slices of circles and different fabric.  Hopefully discovering something new as I do.

Finding Balance Off Center


I finished designing my quilt Off Center today. Now to back and tack it.

“Off Center”, those were the words that Tammy used to describe Jon and me.   She and Jon were having a Dog Support discussion and I came in at the end to say hello.

The words stuck because the description fit.

It’s taken me over fifty years to accept myself as someone who has stepped out of the norms of life that were expected of me.  I think the words gave me a visual that I could place myself into.

But that’s not what I was thinking when I began making this quilt.

After I first sewed those few scraps of fabric together and made that long crooked house, then continued to let the crooked lines be, I was thinking of how life so often throws us off and how we’re constantly shifting to regain our balance.

All those arrows pointing in different directions. So many choices that are best made from going inside of ourselves, instead of looking out.

As I worked on it the quilt the long crooked house at the center of the quilt gained purpose.  A place to go when everything around it was shifting.

Josie and Jenn left comments on my blog describing the sensation of “going down the rabbit hole”.  Several people used the word “fun.”

I liked their take on it and the quilt certainly was fun to make.

Those curved slices of circles, scraps that came in a baggie from Karen, created playful spaces and shapes.

Then Therese wrote to me and said that the quilt speaks to her during this unsettled, yet hopeful time in her life.  My first thought was that she was the person I made the quilt for.

This quilt is different than the last few  I’ve made.  Not what I intended when I started thinking about making a new quilt.  But there it was, asking to be made in a way I couldn’t ignore. It came quickly and easily.

Maybe that’s part of it, learning to embrace those chaotic, shifting times in life.

Writing this I keep thinking of the first time I rode the Cyclone Rollercoaster in Coney Island.  How I held my breath and grabbed the bar in front of me.  How I tightened the muscles in my body and squeezed my eyes shut. But once I survived that first drop, my body loosened and my fear turned to fun.

Being off-center works for me now that I know how to find my balance within it.

My quilt Off Center is sold.

Heron Feathers

heron feathers

“Get the sheep”, I yelled to Fate, motioning with my hand for her to keep running.

We were in the back pasture, the light already fading at 7:30 pm.  I walked backward, the sheep following me to the far fence, Fate circling round and round.

Even though the flowers are long gone I caught the scent of beebalm as I crushed the tall leafy plants under my feet.  I saw the green heron, which I’ve been watching all summer,  coming from a distance and looked up as he flew right over my head and landed in the marsh on the other side of the fence.

I took it as an affirmation to continue working on my Heron fabric painting.

I didn’t get much studio time today.  It was time for me to catch up on my bookkeeping again.  As usual, I put it off so that I was three months behind.

By the time I got to my studio, the sun was already on the west side of the house, the thick orange light streaming in my front window. I sat on my floor an emptied bag of fabric scraps from Nancy piled in front of me.  I picked through the slices of circles putting aside the blues and greens.

For some reason, there were a lot of them, just the colors I was looking for. Their shapes, close enough to create the illusion of feathers.

I also did a few drawings to get a feeling for what the eye and markings around the head will look like.  I’ll stitch the eye, but I’m not sure where the stitching will end and the fabric begin. I’ll figure that out as I work on it.

The heron eye I liked best was on a piece of paper with my list of things I’d like to get done this week.

Thursday Jon and I are going to Bishop Gibbons.  Sue Silverstein said the kids in her class are excited to make some dog and cat beds for a local shelter. It’s a good place to start then we can work our way up to the lap quilts.

I had a big bag of polyester batting that someone gave me a while ago. We’ll use that for the batting.  But I want to make a sample bed so the students will have something to work from.

I owe someone a Chicken Potholder so that’s on my list.

And I want to work on my Corona Kimono.  Now that Jon and I both got covid I know what I’ll be stitching on the collar, the last place to fill in with my drawings.

Tomorrow I hope to cross the “heron face” off my list. Because that’s what I plan on working on in the morning.

Tomorrow’s Potholders

I designed ten more “Little Hope Potholders” today.  I’ll finish these up next week and then will put them in my Esty Shop for sale.  The other ten that I made earlier in the week are just about sold.

Tomorrow I’ll finish off the potholders I started last week.

I made these using a lot of the scraps from my Moth quilt and some of those slices of circles that Karen sent me.  They got a little lost in my drive to make my “hope” potholders for people who asked for them.  I’ll also finish up the hot pads that I made with those same circle scraps.

These are the potholders I started last week and plan on finishing up tomorrow.
Full Moon Fiber Art