“little gems of artworks”

Still stitching away on new Boundary Waters #61 – #66.  I know DETAIL photos are not all that useful, but the three photos below give you a very good idea of where I am going with these little gems of artworks.  Stitching simply, but completely and thinking of the beauty of water, rock, tree, and sky. Agnes Martin had it right when she said, “Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.”







08 2014

New Artwork – It’s For the Bees!

LiveWild500Live Wild!
Virginia A. Spiegel

Live Wild! will premier at the 2014 International Juried and Judged Show at the Quilt & Fiber Festival at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Musuem in La Conner, WA on October 3-5, 2014. Look for it in the Fiber Arts division.

More details about the artwork, what Live Wild! means in terms of ACTION, and more detail photos here.

I have long had an interest in bees and their amazing matriarchial society.  (See in Acquired Artwork these three series:  The Geometry of Bees; The Language of Bees; and bee, hive, honey.

This artwork was prompted by the thought that although the horrible and slow eradication of honey bees seems to be happening before our very eyes, there is always something that we can do as individuals in our own little patch of the world to help our friends.  Did you know that bees pollinate one-third of our food?


A few technical details:  The background is fabric heliographic (sun) printed with foliage from my yard.  It was ripped apart and then re-sewn to create the background.  I love the torn edges, loose threads, and texture this brought to the piece.  The surface is covered with hand-sewn honeycomb-shaped hexagons individually cut from painted Lutradur. A labor of love in both the cutting and the stitching, but one I did in tribute to the hardworking honeybees.


08 2014

New Artwork in Progress


I’m usually back in the studio in October after a summer hiatus for landscape and veggie gardening, traveling, and family events.  I’M BACK early this year after being fired up by my week of painting with Karen Stiehl Osborn and Von Biggs.

Top photo is a stack of five artworks with the top edges showing.  They are ready for backing and stitching. Below is a detail of one artwork.  They will be additions to the ongoing Boundary Waters series.




08 2014

Thanks for supporting the cause!


Just back from the Forest Lake Area Relay For Life.  OK, I’ve been home since Sunday, but in a zombie-like state :)  Relay = 24+ hours awake to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  As many of you know, my Fiberart For A Cause raises funds through and for this Relay in honor of my Dad, now a 20-year colon cancer survivor.


The good news:   With just 13 teams, the Relay raised over $110,000 for the American Cancer Society.  We can be proud that fiber artists and their supporters donated over $5500 of that total during our one-day Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer.

If you would like to participate in your own local Relay (so much fun, so moving, such a good cause), here is more info. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest grassroots fundraisers.



08 2014

A Week of Painting – FUN!

VBigPaintingPhoto by Karen Stiehl Osborn

The best part of any retreat is to do something NEW and FUN!  It was a very productive week at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City with Karen Stiehl Osborn and Von Biggs.  As you can see above, working bigger was definitely high on my “why not try it just for fun” list.

midwestdetail This is a detail of a big artwork I painted on a 10.5′ by 4.5′ piece of fabric I stitched together from some big chunks of Kona cotton, muslin, and offcuts from other work.  This is a piece that I’m probably going to take forward, but perhaps as two separate artworks. Definitely landscape on my mind.


I really tried to stay away from screen printing since that’s been my focus for the past two years.  But I just had to break out my fav screen to work on a big piece of Lutradur. Detail photo.

I hope to add new artwork to the Boundary Waters series.  I’m always inspired by my sister’s and my adventures in that great wilderness of water, tree, rock.  I painted a lot of similar sized pieces in very earthy tones and then threw caution to the wind and monoprinted on top to add that much needed element of emotion. Again, a detail photo above as I hope to finish some of the artworks in this grouping with stitching.

IN SUMMARY –  Much experimenting, much hard work, much laughter (the biggest moo-latte ever, really???).  You really can’t ask for more than that.  Thanks to the KHN Center for the Arts for the space to create and to Karen and Von for the sharing of materials and a most convivial atmosphere in which to work.

NOTE:  If you are curious about my paints, techniques, etc. for fabric painting, please visit this blog post for more technical info. And here are a series of three posts about painting 200 yards of fabric during an artist’s residency,


07 2014