Friday, December 31, 2010

Embracing change!

"Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. 
Stop being who you were, and change into who you are."   ~ Paulo Coelho

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."  ~ Bertolt Brecht 

"Change before you have to." ~ Jack Welch

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Years

"If that's all there is, my friend, Then let's keep dancing" - Cabaret
It's the New Year... a time to reflect, but also, a time to project. The "has beens and done thats" and the "wanna bees and will dos" converge.  Sometimes this can be inspiring, but other times it can be incredibly daunting.

O.K.....  2011, what do you have in store for me?  Will it be an amazing year?  WIll the creativity just flow out of me?  or will I struggle with a bout of depression and self doubt....

  • Will I be able to create on a whim?
  • Will all art supplies be golden in my hands?
  • Can I enjoy freedom of expression without the censor of my own negative internal critic?  I hope so!

O.k.  The only way to know the answers to these questions is
to DO THE WORK......
and Tha-uh-e-uh, tha-uh-e-uh, that's the answer, Folks!

So, GO FOR IT, Move Ahead.... DO THE WORK!
and Keep on Dancing!

Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

How are you doing?  Are you feeling stressed yet?  Do you have your Christmas stress under control?  My list....

  • Christmas tree is up and decorated
  • Christmas cards are being written and sent out in increments..
  • Gifts are bought, but more to get....  The boys!
  • Favorite Christmas music CDs are out and being listened to in the evenings
  • Cookies?  Candies?  Meal planning....  Not yet!
  • But, there is snow on the ground finally.. and I hear jingle bells!
Now, what's up for sewing and my future projects! First,  I need to repossess my studio from craft show mess and Christmas gift wrap.  I need to confront myself and create a realistic time line.  I have high expectations for myself this new year. I will not say my resolutions out loud, but I will take myself more seriously and start "walking the walk" again.  Get in there and just do it!

"But seriously, I think overall in the scheme of things winning an Emmy is not important. Let's get our priorities straight. I think we all know what's really important in life - winning an Oscar." ~  Ellen DeGeneres

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Concern over criticism clogs creativity."  ~ Duane Alan Hahn

I love this quote.  Most people will read this thinking that it applies to outside criticism.  I know it applies to my own worst critic.... myself!   I have to stop thinking about what I should be doing and just do it.  I love it when I can turn off the inner voices and just go for it.  I'm hoping I will enter that zone again soon.  It's euphoric.  I'm ready.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lyme library group show

Photo taken by Sonja Hakala
The opening reception at the Lyme library was well atttended.
The show there is vibrant and alive!  Lots of bright colors and creative pieces!

My book coach, Sonja Hakala came to the reception and captured this nice photo of me!  She has written a little blurb on her inklings blog, too!

"I like to think that Henry James said his classic line, "A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost," while looking for his glasses, and that they were on top of his head" - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Opening Reception this Wednesday!

Detail of a dyed & mono printed scarf on view at this show
WOW Quilters 1st Group Show
Converse Free Library, Lyme, NH
November 2nd - December 29th, 2010
 Meet the Artists Opening Reception & Craft Sale
Wed. December 8, 2010
 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Featuring work from:
Jann Block
Dana Burrell
Sue Geno
Michelle Goldsmith
Nellie Pennington
Joanne Shapp
Margaret Sheehan

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thetford Academy Craft Fair

This is where I will be on Saturday November 20th
From the Valley News Calendar:
Craft Bazaar in Thetford: featuring 50 crafters: Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., horse-drawn rides with Earl Silloway from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; lunch available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., gymnasium attached to Anderson Hall, Thetford Academy, 304 Academy Road. Every 30 minutes door prizes drawn, tickets $1. Sponsored by Thetford Academy Alumni Association. 802-333-9491 or

I will be selling framed fabric collages, potpourri squares, funky coffee cuffs, quilts, and my art dolls!
Stop by for a chat.  It's a quaint low profile crafts fair and its a lot of fun!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back into the studio today

O.K. I'm back in the studio today.  My daughters play is over and the sinus cold I have been struggling with is starting to abate.
New craft shows are coming up and I have tight deadlines help to make me creative!
Gotta get out the supplies and just play.  Here I go!
"Sometimes imagination pounces; mostly it sleeps soundly in the corner, purring."  ~ Terri Guillemets

Friday, November 12, 2010

Procion Dyed and Monoprinted Scarf
on view at the Lyme Library
WOW Group show    Nov. 1 - Dec. 29th

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance 
in the rain"  ~ Anonymous

My friend Chris Maute sent this quote out today to all her friends and I just had to post it here.  It applies!  I've been learning to dance in the rain for awhile now.  I still don't quite have the hang of it, but I'm getting used to it.  Being soggy and vulnerable, while trying to appear glamorous and sure of oneself, that's the tricky part.

  • Take one step at a time and breathe.  
  • Be sure to notice things around you.  
  • Take advantage of the serendipity that life offers you.
  • Know that fear will always be there but you are safe anyway.
  • Life is constant change.  Stay open to it and you can grow old and create incredible art gracefully!
  • Yee Haw!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Writing a book

I am currently in the process of writing a book about the techniques I use to make my art quilts.  This is quite a challenge for me.

My book is called, "Art Quilts: Methods to the Madness".

It will cover Reverse Applique, Creative Zig zag, Satin stitch and couching, how and when to use fusible web and stabilizers, how to attach non-cotton materials and a brief overview of using metallic threads in the bobbin, (bobbin drawing!)  These are all the methods I use to make my quilts.
Look for it next year at this time, available through Amazon, and of course, myself!

I have entered the SAQA, No Holds Barred exhibit, too.  I hope I get in!

"Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not that one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act.”  ~ Andre Malraux

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3rd

I am currently participating in a group Art quilt show at the Lyme Library.  We hung it on Monday November 1st.  It is awesome!  The "Meet the Artists" reception is planned for December 8th, from 4:30 - 6:30 pm.  If you can stop by to see the show, it's bright, colorful, sophisticated, amazing and just plain worth the trip to see!  It's up until December 30th!

Artists participating in the show:
Joanne Shapp, Sue Geno, Nellie Pennington, Margaret Sheehan, Michelle Goldsmith, Jann Block, Dana Burrell, Judi Simon Boutin

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and materials assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preparing for a Quilt Show

Well, where has the month gone?  I have been crafting up a storm.  Hasn't anyone noticed the fog over my house?  I feel like I may be coming out of that fog now.

The Apples and Crafts fair in Woodstock, VT was a phenomenal experience.  It marked a year since I embarked on my adventure of being a crafts fair sales person.  It gave me a chance to reflect on the publics embrace of my artwork.  It feels good to have genuine acceptance of my creativity.

Now, I am preparing to jump another hurdle.  I am entering the realm of juried shows!  This takes more prep for me and an attention to detail beyond what I already do.  I am maturing as an artist.

It feels good, right, and the natural path for me.

Accepted into a show or not, I am enjoying the process of exploring the voice inside of me.  I'm allowing myself to be vulnerable and let my inner playful spirit emerge in color, line and form.  It's getting addictive... like pure sugar, I can't get enough.  Yee Haw!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apples N Crafts

"If you have ever come away from listening to a motivational speaker feeling charged up, only to find that energy dissipate into nothingness over time, you know that inspiration by itself isn’t enough. It won’t magically make your dreams come true. What it will do, though, is add fuel to your fire as you do the grit work of turning those dreams into reality. And sometimes that makes all the difference between success and failure."   ~ Curt Rosengren
Working, working, working toward craft fair season...  my "to do" list is way too long!

Gotta go!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.  ~ Eddie Robinson"

This week I am diligently working on my inventory for the Apples and Crafts Fair where I will share a booth with my neighbor, David Fall, a woodworker, Oct. 9th and 10th in Woodstock, VT.  It's a two day fair, outside, under a tent.  Yes, I freeze a little, but last year it was a rewarding two days of selling and getting "out there" in the public.  I held my quilts up under my chin and sold them! I talked about my work and process. The interactions were honest and my artwork went off to loving homes.  It was satisfying to get direct feedback.  I realized that what I love to do is greatly appreciated.

My booth will include:

  • Unique, one of a kind, hand made dolls... see Blog image of "the girls"
  • Balsam, lavender and eucalyptus art potpourri items
  • Unique artistic hot coffee cuffs and soft cuff bracelets
  • Magnets with my quilt images
  • and my own hand made quilt wall hangings

Stop by to see me there!  I will be at booth number 7, first tent near the drive in entrance, facing the parking area in the field.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creativity is contagious!

I have found an outlet for my creativity.  What fun!!  Check out the link.

I will have art magnets as well as dolls, pot pourri, coffee cuffs and fabric cuffs at my booth at the upcoming crafts fair, Apples and Crafts in Woodstock, VT October 9 & 10th.  Stop by and see me there!

"There's no retirement for an artist, it's your way of living so there's no end to it. ~Henry Moore"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beth Berman's photo
I love this picture...
Just looking at the supplies.
Knowing that creativity is ahead.
What fun.

Some people are addicted to candy...
I love fabric paint and what it does to me....

you go!  mono print....

"Every idea should be explored with variations, color size, emphasis, and composition. These should produce at least five variations. Of the five, one will be particularly good. Save it for the "artist's collection" (a natural retirement fund, or estate to leave your children) or it might be donated to a museum to show the best to the world and "make your name"  ~ Jon Rader"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


"It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block."   ~Paul Gauguin

I am still tingling from the weekend in Maine. It was amazing to be surrounded by the energy of such creative, artistic fiber artists! Open minds, open hearts make for a powerful experience. Teaching that type of group is incredible, too!  The energy and information is absorbed like a sponge and the output is awesome and inspiring!
I have found my family.  It is in SAQA.

Check out the website for the auction happening right now!  It is eye candy at it's finest.

SAQA Vermont next!  Yee Haw!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sculpturefest 2010

Tracy Penfield and dancers
Dancing at my Installation, "Phragmites"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fabulous SAQA Weekend!

Alexandra Nickerson (in green)  talks about her quilt
Mathea Daunheimer and I hold it for her.
Sue Geno (L) and Celeste Janey (R) are part of the audience

SAQA Maine Weekend

Mathea Daunheimer walking Sue Geno's quilt around show & tell

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SAQA Maine next week!

Thinking ahead to happier times!  Next week I will be in Searsport Maine meeting dynamic art quilters and having a great time! This should be an exciting weekend.I am teaching Creative Monoprinting.
Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Since your belief in yourself as an artist hinges on your ability to create, you must put your creative time and resources ahead of all other obligations in your life. If being an artist is central to who you are, you must put that first." - Li Gardiner

Phragmites, close up detail of mono-printed silk

Saturday, September 4, 2010

SculptureFest today!

I woke up excited this morning to the sun shining brightly in my bedroom window.  The forecast says some showers but mostly sunny and high in the comfortable 70's today.  There will be a gentle breeze to show off my phragmites to their best advantage!  How absolutely wonderful!  Now to get ready!  I've got to prepare my food and dress for the opening.

It's a lovely day!

"Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art" - Picasso

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sculpturefest opens this weekend!


My installation, Phragmites, at Sculpturefest 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Detail of Phragmites, my latest Sculpturefest Installation

Yesterday was an awesome day.  Bright sunshine and a great breeze helped me install my latest Sculpturefest art in Woodstock, VT.  The opening reception for this event is this Saturday, September 4th from
 4 - 7 pm.

My Installation is called "Phragmites".  Phragmites australis, the common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world.
"Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know." - Groucho Marx 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Almost September!

Luke, Me, Molly, Charles, Christina, Catherine, Margot, Josh
Wearing our newly tie dyed t-shirts on Nantucket
Where has the summer gone?  It has been a really good one, (warm & sunny!) but now looking back, it went by so fast. My daughter starts school this Wednesday.

I am currently preparing my fiber art for installation at the upcoming Sculpturefest 2010 in Woodstock, VT.

Sculpture Fest 2010 will open with a reception for the artists and community on Saturday September 4th, 4 - 7 pm.  BYO Picnic.  304 Prosper Road, Woodstock, VT.

Starting September 15th,  I will be teaching an after school workshop for kids called, "Let's build it with glue gun and paint".  I'm very excited about this one!  Using primarily cardboard, we will make art similar to Louise Nevelson and contraptions like Rube Goldberg!  It should be fun!

"The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there."   -- Monica Baldwin

Friday, August 27, 2010

"If you only do what you know you can do, you never do very much" ~  Tom Krause
Upcoming SAQA Event

Friday, July 16, 2010

Papier Mache Camp ends today!

I have been teaching a camp for 8 - 10 year olds at the League of NH Craftsmen this week.  It's called, "Masks and Sacred Vessels". So far it has been a really creative week!

I start out encouraging the kids to go with their inner creativity.  If they "see" something in the shapes they are creating, they should tell me about it and I will help them make whatever it is.  This week, I have gotten to see several amazing projects emerge and grow!

Wow.  The power of a person's creative energy is just mind boggling to watch.  I never get tired of it and I wish I could feed off of it more!

Needless to say, I am sad that my week long camp is over.  But I look ahead to getting back into my own work, hopefully with the same freeing abandon that the kids enjoy.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”  -  Mary Lou Cook

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Solstice!

Close up of
a silk scarf.

Procion Dyes
with thickener
mono printed

and dip dyed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Surface Design Blowout Weekend

Well, today is the final day of another Surface Design Blowout weekend. 88 degree weather and possibly 90 degrees today does not stop the creativity! In fact, "It's a great day for dye-ing!"

There is shibori, mono-printing and stamping occurring as well as silk painting and T-shirt design.
Lots of action!

Yee Haw

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's June!

My birthday! Yes! I had my birthday, and as you can see from the cake, my daughter insisted on putting all the candles on it! I said, "You don't have to do that!" but when she continued as if not hearing me, I asked, "Who taught you to be so honest?" We had a good laugh. The house did not catch on fire from that picturesque blaze, either!

The spring is flying by me. With the gardens and the lawn needing continuous mowing! I also have my art and lots of it! I just finished installing the prayer flags at the Aidron Duckworth Museum. Opening Reception, June 19th 3 - 6 pm. I still have my show up at the Lyme library until June 30th. This weekend I am teaching a two day Mono printing on fabric class at the Hanover League (and there is still room!) call Suzanne Jones at 643-5384.

I head to the studio today to set up for tomorrow and Friday to work privately on my next SculptureFest installation. Mono printing on pure silk... this should be a real pleasure!

I will be demonstrating Papier Mache at the Hanover Farmers Market today from 3 - 6 pm. Stop by to say hi!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Show's up, what's next?

What's next for Margaret?  O.K. I'll tell you!

I will be installing my sculpture "Forever Reverent" at the Aidron Duckworth Museum, Meriden, NH in early June!

May 22, 2010
Meandering and Drawing with a Sewing Machine
League of NH Craftsmen Fibers Studio
Call Suzanne Jones: 643-5384

June 12 - 13th, 2010
Mono-Printing on Fabrics
League of NH Craftsmen Fibers Studio
Call Suzanne Jones: 643-5384

June 19, 2010
Moving Art 
Opening reception 3 - 6 pm
Aidron Duckworth Museum,
21 Bean Road,  Meriden, NH
Call 603-469-3444 for more information

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day Weekend!

Today I take another road trip. I am going to Massachusetts to celebrate my mo-in-laws 80th birthday. How lovely is that? I want to bring her an armful of flowers! But simplicity remains the order for today... no gifts, just her family surrounding her with love.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say Happy Mothers Day to all the women out there who take the time to raise or nurture children! You don't have to biologically have your own kids to be a mother. Mothering is something that flows out of us naturally when we are around children.

So, celebrate the nurturing spirit of all women this weekend. Take a hot bath, relax, curl up, read a good book, and breathe.


"My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune." ~Graycie Harmon

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quilt Show! Next week!

Modern technology allows many options for advertising.

Today I will be mailing traditional paper cards as well as sending e-cards out for my show.

I will be curious to see how effective e-cards are on attendance.

I've been busy, busy, busy.
The time rearranging my studio was well worth it.
The space is working out perfectly for getting things done.  Also, It's interesting to notice that friends who come in here say, "Wow, it's so organized, everything in it's place!"  Like that is a surprise!  Ha Ha!
Yes, folks, I may be covered in white cat hair all the time, but I am organized....

Lots to do still.  Gotta go!

"Plan your progress carefully; hour-by hour, day-by-day, month-by-month. Organized activity and maintained enthusiasm are the wellsprings of your power." - Paul J. Meyer

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Starting to feel the pressure!

I am getting the work done.
But, I am feeling the pressure.
Time for distraction techniques....

This is my kitty Felix.
He is one of the quality control personnel in my studio.
All of my quilts are cat tested and approved.
I'm thinking I may give each of my cats a number.
For example, Felix could be number 3.
Then I can put a little piece of paper with my quilts that says, "Inspected  and approved by 3"
I should also say that all quilts after inspection are then cleaned with tape and a lint remover before being displayed!  My better pieces are kept away from these guys!  Can't afford to have a claw in the wrong place!

O.K. Back to work.

"When you allow yourself to begin to dream big dreams, creatively abandon the activities that are taking up too much of your time, and focus your inward energies on alleviating your main constraints, you start to feel an incredible sense of power and confidence. - Brian Tracy

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Body of work for Lyme Quilt Show!

Down a Meandering Path

Art Quilts by 
Margaret M. Sheehan

Lyme Library, Lyme NH

May 12 - June 30, 2010

Opening Reception
May 12, 2010
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First SAQA regional meeting as a Rep


 That's all I can say!

I am left speechless at the amazing talent that surrounds me! What a great and dynamic group of SAQA women who met yesterday! I found my jaw dropping at everything I beheld, even the pot-luck was beautiful. I do love the energy I get from attending a meeting like that one! I felt like singing all the way home!

We have some pretty amazing people who belong to SAQA and the tri-state reps and the MA/RI reps want to meet you and energize! We are a powerful source!

Let's keep the energy going!  Proposed meetings are already brewing in Vermont and Maine!  I'll keep you posted!

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." - Ray Bradbury

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where have I been?

I haven't written in awhile because I have been in New York!

My daughter sang in a chorus at Carnegie Hall!  So a week ago I went to New York and enjoyed exploring.  I had a fantastic time!

Now I am preparing for a quilt show at the Lyme Library.  My show runs from May 11th - June 30th.

I will also be teaching a beginner class May 22 at the League of NH Craftsmen Hanover Fibers Studio. Meandering and Drawing with a Sewing Machine Call Suzanne Jones at 603-643-5384 to enroll

"It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block. - Paul Gauguin

Monday, April 12, 2010

No words

I seem to have no words right now.
I'm finding it hard to express myself.
The words are not coming.
I am silent.

So, I place a picture.

I took this while walking
on the beach in Florida.
February, 2010.

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." - Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April, full steam ahead!

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am working full steam ahead on my show now. Serious work is emerging. I'm happy. Hopefully I can get it all done before the first of May. That's when my show goes up in early May, at the Lyme Library.

Upcoming events for me.
April 10th "Beginning Art Quilts" League of NH Craftsmen, Hanover Fibers Studio. contact Suzanne Jones, 643-5384 There are still openings!

April 24th "Methods to the Madness II" Northern Lights Quilt Guild, contact There are still openings!

May 8th "Celebrating an Ever Winding Path" Art Quilts at the Lyme Library

Life is full! Full Steam Ahead!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


"Decide to be the generous, change-making, scarifying, delighting, over-the-topping dreamer you’re capable of being. -Seth Godin

What is the answer to today's question:

(A) Today is the first day of the rest of my creative life.

(B) It's time to put the demon behind me and move forward with the dream.

(C) Maple Syrup.... Maple Syrup.... Maple Syrup.

(D) Spring is rapidly descending in full bloom and with all of its glorious distractions!

(E) Oh. No! Not again!

The answer:
All of the above

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Face the Demon

"Do not destroy yourself just because you are good at what you do. Eat well, exercise, and take care of you!" - Margaret M. Sheehan

Life is change. With the increasing pressure of upcoming deadlines, I am feeling the effects of my very own, personal saboteur. Yes, you may know what I'm talking about! That crafty demon in disguise! The one that suddenly makes junk food more appealing, and you gorge on it until you feel fat, worthless and disgusting. The one that subliminally seduces you to stay up late playing a computer game so that the next day you feel cranky, unfocussed and tired. The one that places silly mundane tasks in your path so you avoid getting right down to the meaty stuff until the deadline is tomorrow and you can't do anything about it. Well, welcome to my world.

O.K. Margaret. That's enough!

Snap out of it!

Face this demon head on and tell it to go jump in a lake.

It's time to move on.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Classes for April

"If you're going to have an event, better make it big. Or even bigger than that. It needs to be awe-inspiring, frightening, on deadline and worth losing sleep over." - Seth Godin, from his blog 2/19/10

Up coming class in April!

APRIL 10, 2010
Beginner Art Quilts: Simple Shapes to Create Abstract Images
League of NH Craftsmen, Hanover Fibers Studio
9:30 - 4 pm

In this class you'll begin piecing the art quilt that resides inside of you. Using simple shapes as a stepping stone, with fabrics that you have made or bought, you'll confront the sometimes daunting questions of, "Where do I begin?", "How do I know where to go next?" and "What happens if I do this?" Exploration within certain guidelines will allow you to maintain your voice while being exposed to standard techniques needed to create a base.

APRIL 24, 2010
Methods to the Madness II
Northern Lights Quilt Guild

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Friday!

"Those who are comfortable taking chances know that the best way to grow is to reach beyond their grasp. Their sense of direction comes from the heart. They don't shy away from surprise; they might even seek it out. And they seldom die with regrets. In the end we regret not what we have done but what we have not done."-from the book, Get out of your own way

I am organizing my fabrics, the final touch to completing the new look of my studio. It's a completely new look and it's taken forever, it seems, to get it to this stage. Now to dive in and work. I have the rest of the afternoon and weekend to fuss in here.

Gotta go, my sewing machine is calling me. Can you hear it? It's like a siren..... haunting me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible"

O.K. I need to take an assessment of all my unfinished quilt tops in preparation for my upcoming show. Which ones do I choose to make visible? Create a realistic timeline. Allow for hyperventilation. Good!

Today, I got randomly selected for jury duty. Not sure how I feel about this... mad because I am missing a couple days of personal time, but I'm also intrigued to see a court in action.
So, words to myself? Just stay open to new things because they are coming at you full speed. Stay focussed. Stay on track.

"If there wasn’t a penalty for laughing in court, the jury would never be able to hear the evidence."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ah, today I would give anything to jump at the sunset.

This is my daughter, on Valentine's Day, in Florida.  We were so happy to be there!  Even though it was cold.  I love this picture.

The storm supposedly coming to our area fizzled out, after I spent a long time deliberating over whether to hold my workshop on Saturday ! Ah well. Hopefully nothing will happen to cancel it the next time.

"And imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."
- William Shakespeare

Friday, February 26, 2010

Class Rescheduled due to weather

Hi Everyone,
I am sorry to report, that due to snow storm predictions with accumulation this evening I am rescheduling my Methods to the Madness II class for the Northern Lights Quilts Guild to April 24th. In the meantime, please review the initial methods, add to your piece or even make a new one to cut up in the class. Please let your friends know because there is still space in the class! The more the merrier! - Margaret

A Blustery Day

We've been having blustery weather which has me thinking about Winnie the Pooh! Oh! Remember the picture of Christopher Robin with the wind blown umbrella! The weather here is windy.
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. -- Winnie the Pooh

So, I'm getting there with my studio. It's happening, slowly. It's feeling good. Thank you fan club for your support.

"An Artist is merely someone with good listening skills who accesses the creative energy of the universe to bring forth something on the material plane that wasn't here before." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Here's to creative energy from the universe.... Yes!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Working on the Studio

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.... The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." - Agnes de Mille

Today, I am still working on getting my studio rearranged. It has taken me awhile because I am going for the feeling of it being finished. Right now, that feeling is not there.

Yes, I can set up my sewing machine. Yes, I can get work done, but not creative work. The manual automatic stuff can happen here but I want the gut feeling that goes behind a spontaneously creative quilt. Anyone who knows that feeling in their studio can understand what I'm after. I hope to achieve it today.

OK, back to business!

There is still room in my Methods to the Madness II class this Saturday.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moving forward, No looking back!

I am back from Florida and my Cape Cod sewing retreat, two vacations that merged together more closely because of the disruption in my travel plans.  This picture is of my sister Liz and me cutting out her project at the Cape retreat.

I feel rejuvinated. This is good!

So what has happened since I wrote last?

I started my book project, Art Quilts: Methods to the Madness I. It's in the infant stage, but my project has begun. I have a long haul ahead, but it feels like it's going to be a fun project.

I have been invited to move my SculptureFest prayer flag installation to a new location at the Adrian Duckworth Museum in Meridan, NH, for a new show this spring. I am one of eight artists!

I have accepted the position of Co-Rep for the ME/NH/VT region of SAQA, Studio Art Quilters Association.  Look for me pedaling the information of a dynamic and enthralling group of people!
Check it out!

I teach this Saturday, Art Quilts: Methods to the Madness II for the Northern Lights Quilts Guild. There is still room left in this class!  see description below and contact:

It's almost March.  I'm moving forward, no looking back.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowstorms and cancellations

Today I should have woken up in Florida.

I am trying to go with the flow, and relax with the fact that massive snowstorms are still occurring that could keep me from getting to my destination today. I am trying hard not to beat myself up in my mind. Oh! If I had just paid a little more and gotten a direct flight, I would be there now! I would be there now!

Reoccurring patterns, in my life, overlap with whatever I am doing. Whether its quilting, gardening, or just living my daily life, I find myself constantly beating myself up for the decisions I make (or don't make!).

O.K. Margaret, Stop over analyzing!

Today I will just be "in the moment", as I drive to the airport, check in my luggage, sheep herd through security, and sit in the waiting area for a flight that may be delayed and delayed and delayed and possibly cancelled.

I should enjoy the challenge. Look at it as a new adventure in patience. I can take in the view of interesting eclectic people I will be exposed to, I can reflect on my life in a new environment, I can envision that I will get there.

But, as long as my daughter and I are safe, that's really all that matters!

Yeah, that's really all that matters.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Art Quilts: Methods to the Madness II

My next class I'm teaching will be my Methods II class, for the Northern Lights Quilt Guild, Saturday February 27th from 9 - 4 pm.

Art Quilts: Methods to the Madness II; Where do I go from here?
In this class you will take the fabric you started in Methods I and transform it to a new level. Becoming aware of the dialog between you and your emerging piece, you will work with rulers, templates, curves and free form, to explore various ways to bring your continually changing piece in and out of, what you consider to be, a logical place. The techniques from Methods I will be re-emphasized and creativity and exploration will be the focus of the class. Plan on being a little out of control. The emphasis is on taking risks and emergence. Let's see what happens!

Contact for more information

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ground Hog Day!

"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify"-Henry David Thoreau

I am back in my studio, and yes, I'm tearing it apart. It's such a mess, I cannot work. I'm trying to get it right, and tidy! There is so much paperwork everywhere, I have taken it upon myself to try to organize it and Throw it Out!, too!

But from all this mess, clutter and reorganization, I woke this morning, feeling creative, and thinking creative thoughts!


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. ..And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." - Marianne Williamson, A Course in Miracles

Shine on, my friends, shine on!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Welcome to Thursday!

"We can tap into a powerful source of creative energy when we are willing to gradually cultivate a sense of order as to how we conduct our daily affairs" - Sarah Ban Breathnach

I've been sewing! Yes, sewing! And I am so happy.
My studio is not quite in proper order yet, but it's getting there! I'm close. I just have a few more things to tidy up. From this new arrangement of my space, I am receiving energy that has sparked my creativity. I am putting fabrics together, shifting them, moving them around and feeling the energy that comes from doing this. I am being propelled forward! My new pieces are currently hung on my display board, in full view and I'm loving them!
This is all good!

Teaching this Saturday will just bring on more creative energy!
Keep it going!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A trip to the New England Quilt Museum


Did I say, "WOW?"
"A full spectrum of saturated color"
Yeah, WOW. Look up Jenny Hearn from South Africa!

What a great show! So many quilts from people I have been following for years. Like Terrie Hancock Mangat, Nancy Erickson, Susan Shie. These are people whose work I saw back in the 80's and said, "This is the direction I want to head in!" And to see their work, today, up close and personal, like that! My cup runneth over with joy.

Now it's time to:
"learn and delight in your own style...."

Get busy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch." ~ Leo Dworken

Did I ever tell you that all my quilts are cat tested and approved?
I should make up little circle stickers (with ears!) that have different inspection numbers for my three babies, Felix, Milo and Bish. I think each cat has exceptionally good taste in preferring to sit on my quilts.

There is something about knowing that a cat loves to dream and twitch on a beautifully made, colorful, comfortable, homemade item.

Yes, I had a creative day today. Can you tell? Thanks for asking....!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm teaching at Northern Lights Quilt Guild, Lebanon, NH

If you want to take my class, Saturday, January 30, 9am-4pm, at
the Methodist church in Lebanon, NH, please email There are still a few spaces left.

Art Quilts: Methods to the Madness I
In this class you will learn simple methods and time saving techniques that will make the art quilt of your own design look more complex. You will learn reverse applique, couching, satin stitching, using fusibles and stabilizers, and touch briefly on bobbin drawing. Plan to work with a bit of reckless abandon and have fun! You will be gently cooerced into taking risks with design, color and craftsmenship. Definitely a hands on class!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17th

Currently, I am sitting idle in my sewing room, taking an assessment of all that I need to do. It's starting to look coherent. I've been putting together a new arrangement for better productivity. There are still things that need to find their places. Where can I put all these things?...that is logical AND that I will find later, easily! Hmmmmmmm
My hope is, that tomorrow, I enter a new creative space.
Today, I've also been going through photo albums and rearranging my shelves in the living room to accomodate new stuff. It's out with the old and the dust, too. Cough, sputter, gag!

Yes, I know what you are thinking....

Now her house is totally a mess.

And you are right!

"Out of clutter, find simplicity" - Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tra La!

Hey there! Good morning! I feel good today.
My talk last night about color went well. I am really happy. I had a great audience, with several people willing to play and have fun and we did. I learned so much from the event as well; about myself, presenting my work and pacing. I would really love the opportunity to offer this talk to other guilds so I shall fine tune my notes and add it as an offering to my resume.

Moving onto other things.....
I will be teaching my "Methods to the Madness" classes at the end of January and February for the NLQG.
Fun! : )
I will create/finish a whole new body of work for a show in May/June at the Lyme Library, Lyme, NH.
Introspective! : |
I will jury state wide for the League of NH Craftsmen this year, and add work to all the League galleries.
scarey! :o
I will start on my book.
ya, right! :?

Whew! I'd better stop there, so I don't overwhelm myself.

Now, I just have to move my tables to finish setting up my studio, then Look out list, here I come! I'm gonna start crossing off stuff.

Have a great Day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


All I've done this month so far is prepare for things. I have been preparing my sewing room, and preparing this talk, and preparing myself.
Oh yeah, did I mention that you should prepare yourself for me, whining?
I hope all the preparation will pay off and I actually start to do something.
"We want to know it all. To be creative means becoming more familiar with being a little lost."
O.K. I admit it. I'm lost.
Tomorrow night is the kick off to a great year. Then take it one day at a time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday, Monday...

"Now the eyes of my eyes are opened" - e.e. cummings

Yup, it's Monday. The first day of the week. The time to start afresh, feeling renewed from the weekend. My list of things to achieve is long, and I am optimistic. I'm still feeling the upsurge from a new year beginning and resolutions promised. Keep the momentum. Keep going.

Cross off number one....I'm on to two and so on.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Saturday Spent with Art Quilters

"Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I've got a beautiful feeling, everything's going my way!

Energy, Rejuvenation, Happiness, Empowerment, Renewed Creativity and Sense of Direction, ....what else....? My descriptive list could go on and on! Oh, the positive sense of well-being that comes from being with such a wonderful group of women. I LOVE it.

Now, to capture that moment, that energy, and keep it contained inside my studio while I am by myself. That is the key.

Let the creative juices flow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

" my view, fewer women than men are drawn to the self-limiting or even self-mutilating obsession that artistic careers often demand."

"In many ways, art is a beautiful delusion. One has to be willing to sacrifice everything to create an alternate universe."
- Camille Paglia

I was reading "edge" the magazine of the University of the Arts. The story was about what has held women artists back from ranking with Michelangelo or Picasso.

It made me think about something I never thought about before.

"...most women do seem, for whatever reason, to be more empathetic and less aggressively confrontational than most men. Attacking the establishment and trying to topple and destroy cultural idols is more a male than female style." - Camille Paglia

It's time to walk the walk.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Too many UFO's

While tearing apart my closet preparing for my talk on color, I unearthed my UFO bin.


I don't remember half of the work I found inside there.

No wonder a few years ago I overheard someone comment about how I never finish anything! Note: since hearing that, I have finished several large projects, just not these!

Well, now I have things draped everywhere and my studio is a mess!
But I did find myself making "Hmmmm" sounds.

I heard my inner voice say,
"Not bad!, maybe I'll finish this one!"

Progress is, finding an old piece that you thought was bad at the time (and stowed away out of sight), and thinking (now) that it is gold and you want to finish it.

I love that!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Random Use of Color

That is where my mind is at today...I'm thinking about the Random Use of Color.

Question: Is color generally random? or has "something" planned the colors we see in nature?

Question: Do human eyes see colors differently? There are people who are color blind, who can see color, but not the same color everyone else sees. I wonder, is everyone just a hint or maybe one or two degrees off from each other?

Question: Can random color work in a quilt without any thought as long as a neutral color is added? What if a neutral color is not added? What are the limits to random use?

I am giving a talk to the Northern Lights Quilt Guild on Wednesday January 13th about the Random Use of Color. Today I am preparing for it, reading books on color and traditional color theory, but mostly spending time thinking about how I go about using color. I want to present a non-technical approach to using color for those people, like me, who just dive into color. Also, I'm interested in appealing to people who are neutrals, or pre-set patterns to encourage them to try something different. I want to make it fun, too!

Ah, time now to paw over my past quilts, to tear open my fabric closet and look at and try several mock-ups. Who says preparing for a talk isn't fun?

See ya.
Ode to Color

Colors are electrons

Visible, they occupy one octave of the
electromagnetic spectrum

To reach you, their rainbow vibrations move
at the speed of light

Yet, they require no medium
for transmission

Learn from your colors, for they are part of you:
mind, eye, sensation

Use your colors, for they are your personal resource
from the universe.
- Dorothee L. Mella

Monday, January 4, 2010

O.K. it's time to start a new year! Just do it!

Today is the first working day of the new year. I've got my coffee, I'm tidying up my space, I'm getting ready to work. My mind is preparing for exploration. So, what's wrong? I'm a little worried that I may be in a forced mindset today because I am just a little too much aware of myself. I'd better do some warm-up exercises.

"People become really remarkable when they start thinking they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success." - Norman Vincent Poole

Well, I gotta go! I've got lots to rearrange and jump start today. I'm still organizing, but if that's what it takes to help me warm up into my project, that's good! There's nothing like a clean studio, inviting new messes and sparking creativity!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Team of Empowering Allies

"A goal without an action plan is a daydream" - Nathaniel Branden

This year, I have decided to create a door where there was a window. Where once I sat on a chair and looked out, I shall now stand and move through. What does this mean? Well, I have begun to realise that I need to move out of stagnation and start taking more risks. Yup.

How do I do this? I love this line;
"If what you are doing doesn't feel wierd to you, you haven't gone out of your comfort zone for change to happen" - M.J. Ryan

Yes! It's scary because I like my comforts! Eating un/healthy food, being cozy, safe, unruffled. I like that!

The term "just do it" is a phrase that both excites and repels me. I have had many people suggest it to me over the years. It's exciting because I want to just do it, but I find I'm really, really, scared to do it! Don't my friends know that? But, when I reflect on my path through life so far, I see that when I have been passionate about anything, I have tended to dive in and, yes, just do it! I think I must have a way of making it appear easy or something.

Well, I know now that for solid change to happen, it takes a village of people around me to get me to "just do it." So I hope to create a "Team of Empowering Allies" to help me through my discomfort. I already have several wonderful people around me, I just want to broaden my circle for better insight.

And, yes, to all who know that life does not have to be uncomfortable all the time for change, I have reached that point where some things come relatively easy because of all the growth, learning and discomfort I have experienced. That in itself is such a shock when it is first realised and a pleasure and comfort when it happens.

But life is continual change.

I'll end this on that thought.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 is here!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Yes! Of course! I have resolutions. How about you?

I actually have so many I could burst! But I will not force myself to keep any or all of them, or I'd be a wreck with myself as soon as I broke them.

This year I will be gentle on myself.

This will be the Year of trying to stay focussed on a specific goal. All my many resolutions are tiny missiles toward that one goal. If I slip up on one, the others will carry me. If I slip up on all of them, then there's always more time, or next year. I'll just keep heading toward the light at the end of the tunnel. Just gotta keep chugging away at it.

Coming back to my writing here is one resolution I hope to keep. So check back here often.

"You're good enough as you are to do what you want as well as you can" - M. J. Ryan