Archive for October, 2012

Three New Artworks in “Formerly Present” series

 Formerly Present 7
Photo by Deidre Adams

Three new Formerly Present artworks (#5, 6, and 7) are up on my website today with detail photos.

In my artist’s statement for all my artwork, I say, “The main theme of my artwork is that Nature is more powerful and more important than mere humans. Nature teaches us about the brevity of our human lives and the cycles of life and death. I embrace the beauty found in decay and decomposition.”  This artwork is that statement made visible.

Inspiration for the Formerly Present series comes from things such as old barns, metal scrap heaps, trees rotting back to the earth, and the pale leaves of hostas left behind in the melting winter snow.  Rust, decay, decomposition, and disintegration are all part of life.

Nothing is ever really gone, it’s just recycled into something else.

All three artworks were made by first screenprinting upholstery fabric, much of it samples.

I was happy, especially given my theme, to recycle something that is usually thrown away.

If you think about it, I was already working on this line of thought way back with Boundary Waters 19 which is the story of a fallen tree turning in to a “Mother Tree” that nurtures new tree seedlings.


10 2012

Quilting Arts: In Stitches, Volume 8 is ready for download!


I’m very excited to have my artwork featured in two articles in the latest volume of the eMag, Quilting Arts:  In Stitches.  Versions of In Stitches are available for only $4.99 for iPadMac, and PC.

The first article, Monoprinting:  An Invitation to Experiment, is a how-to about monoprinting on fabrics with some tips on stitching on painted fabric. You are able to flip through a stack of samples I printed showing many of my tricks-of-the-trade.  For each sample, I tell you how I applied the paint to the plate and also how I made the marks to print.  I also show the beauty of “ghost” prints.

The second article by Jane Davila is all about Renga, a collaborative surface design project.  I and five other artists each added a layer to a piece of art cloth before passing it along.  The  eMag makes it easy to click through the development of each piece of cloth.  Take a look also at the little notebooks in which we kept process notes and sent with each piece.  I couldn’t resist covering several of them with my own screenprinted fabric.

In addition, this volume offers in-depth articles on two of my fav artists:  Linda Colsh and Cynthia St. Charles.  Plus articles on faux snow dyeing, a way to add text that I hadn’t seen before, using texture gels and pastes, and much more.


10 2012

Pokey’s Pet Postcards – It’s Not Too Late!

We all know and love Pokey Bolton.  I imagine most of us have been touched in one way or another by her great creativity and kindness.  NOW is the time to help Pokey out with her latest good deed.

Pokey is collecting 4×6″ fabric Pet Project Postcards to sell at International Quilt Festival – Houston to benefit Friends For Life, a no-kill animal adoption and resuce organization. If you, like I and Pokey, have adopted pets from a no-kill shelter, you know first-hand the need is great.

The postcards DON’T necessarily need to be pet themed.  All themes are welcome, but you must have to postcards to Houston by Tuesday, October 23.  YOU CAN DO IT!

All the details are here.

BONUS:  This is my Sunshine, adopted from a no-kill shelter, enjoying her life outside of a cage.  In cat v. keyboard, she always wins.




10 2012

The Power of We: “A Year of Art” Fundraiser for the American Cancer Society

Today is Blog Action Day when bloggers around the world unite to make a difference.  This year’s theme is The Power of We.

WELL!  As fiber artists we have proven again and again that together we can raise significant amounts of money for causes dear to our hearts.

Our Fiberart For A Cause has already raised more than $220,000 for the American Cancer Society and we aren’t quite ready to call it quits yet.

Mark your calendars for February 12 and 13, 2013 for FFAC’s next big event.

Artwork from these eleven amazing and generous artists will arranged on a calendar grid and be up for bid:

Pamela Allen
Pokey Bolton
Linda Colsh
Jane Davila
Vivika DeNegre
Jane Dunnewold
Jamie Fingal
Karen Stiehl Osborn
Yvonne Porcella
Laura Wasilowski
Virginia A. Spiegel (that’s me, of course)

Will you choose your favorite artist, your favorite artwork, or your fav month?  The art may or may not be themed to the month, but you know it will be wonderful from this lineup of artists.  All artwork will be mailed directly to you after the event by the artist.

Previews of the artwork as well as how and where to bid will be coming soon.  As always, 100% of the donations go directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.

December in our Year of Art will be Inspiration Month with a collection of beautiful books, tools, and materials which will all go to ONE lucky person.  You are entered in the drawing for this prize package automatically by placing a bid (winning or not) or by making a donation to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause during A Year of Art.

Inspiration Month sponsors (more details of their donations coming soon) to date include:
Sue Bleiweiss – Sketchbook Challenge book ($21.99 value)
Shelly Stokes/Cedar Canyon Textiles – Paintstiks on Fabric ($16.95 value), Design Magic ($22.95 value), and Rubbing Plate Roundup ($22.95 value) books.
Cloth Paper Scissors
Dinner @8 ArtistsRituals catalog ($24.95 value)
Fiber Art Now magazine – One-year subscription ($40 value)
Generation Q magazine – 20 copies of the premier issue to the first 20 bidders
Laura Osbun – One-of-a-kind tote (To see a tote created by Laura and donated to an earlier FFAC fundraiser, go here.)
Sarah Ann SmithThreadWork Unraveled book ($33.95 value)
Martha SielmanArt Quilt Portfolio:  Natural World ($24.95 value) and Masters: Art Quilts, Volume 2 ($24.95 value) books
Mary Ann Van Soest/Cedar Ridge StudiosDreaming in Color (Kaffe Fassett’s autobiography – $40 value) in a messenger bag created with Fassett fabrics.
Twelve by Twelve:  The International Art Quilt Challenge book ($22.95 value) – Donated by Gerrie Congdon

Do you have something inspiring you would like to donate to our cause for the Inspiration Month drawing for A Year of Art?  Drop me a note at Virginia(at)

Thank you for supporting Fiberart For A Cause, demonstrating THE POWER OF WE.




10 2012

Trees, Pearlies, Weaving and More from London

Back from lovely London.  There are never enough hours in the day in London.  But, of course, I was on the lookout for fiber to share with you.  Some highlights below.

The green spaces of Kew Gardens are always the perfect antidote to jet lag.  Featured artist there was David Nash.  He is a sculptor who works with downed or diseased trees and makes land art as well.  I can’t recommend highly enough the book, David Nash at Kew Gardens (available for a special price from Kew or from sellers such as Amazon). The story of his Wooden Boulder floating out to sea is reason alone to have this book.

This is a detail from a large circular sculpture, Cork Dome.  I have a downed tree in my yard and will definitely be saving the bark.  Such lovely texture and color.

While I was kneeling down to take this photo of Black Sphere, made of charred oak, the man himself zipped by on a cart.  I felt like such a groupie.

I have long wanted to see a Pearlie costume in person.  Jackpot!  The Pearlie Harvest Festival complete with this parade.

Fiber turns up in the most unlikely places.  This is a weaving of plastic and net being used as a trellis in the Chelsea Physics Garden.   Again an idea I will probably re-interpret in my own yard next year.


Definitely not art related, but Borough Market near the London Bridge tube stop is a foodies’ market full of sights and smells PLUS a permanent gelato shop nearby.  Heaven!


10 2012