Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sonata Continues

I have created several more small Sonata series pieces, looking towards the SAQA 2017 Trunk Show, which will premiere at the SAQA Conference, April 27 - 30, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Following the conference, the exhibit will travel to venues both in and out of the United States for up to three years.

My statement about the series:  A sonata is defined as a musical composition for one or two instruments, usually consisting of three or four movements.  For my visual sonatas, I paired ink painted line with fabrics in limited colors.  My intention is to translate the essence of brushwork to cloth with simplicity and movement

"Sonata 17" is the one going to the Trunk Show.

Sonata 17 by Linda A. Miller 2016
Sonata 17 by Linda A. Miller 2016,  10" x 7"

Sonata 17 by Linda A. Miller 2016
Sonata 16 by Linda A. Miller 2016, 10" x 7"

Felt good to be stitching again... finding some sanity in creativity and being present in the moment.

By the way, SAQA just extended the entry deadline to December 18th if you were considering participating.  Go here for more information.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On the Wind

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
  who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
~ Mary Oliver

I intended to finish this post last week but got distracted, enough said.  Meet my newly completed "On the Wind", which came into being due to various stash discoveries made while cleaning out my studio space over the summer. 

On the Wind by Linda A. Miller 2016

I pieced together the background with strips of blues, which were mostly leftover from other quilt projects.  Smaller strips were appliqued on.  Embroidery was added.

On the Wind by Linda A. Miller 2016

I re-purposed the three thread painted rectangles from an old quilt of mine.  (Felt liberating to cut up something that no longer worked for me!)  These elements were initially created using the same beginning process as my fiber bowls... by sandwiching threads, bits of fabric and yarn between sheets of soluble stabilizer and stitching them together.  The result is a new piece of fabric.

On the Wind by Linda A. Miller 2016

To complete the prayer flag imagery, I paired the three rectangles with another prayer flag weaving made several years ago.  The weaving consists of strips of decayed prayer flag from my yard, then woven together with other fabric strips, embellished and embroidered.  A side note... traditionally it is suggested old prayer flags not be thrown out but burned instead.  All of these elements were appliqued and stitched to the background. Finally, I couched a yarn strand across the flags.

I have long been inspired by the prayer flag tradition.  As you may know, I also created an ongoing group flag project, The Bhavana Project (please visit, new participants are welcome).  Prayer flags are called Lung Ta in Tibetan, which translates as "wind horse".  Thus the imprinted prayers and aspirations ride on the wind spreading benefit across the land.  Indeed inspiring, don't you agree?  And some uplifting energy is needed right now.

I am looking to enter this one in the next Sacred Threads exhibition.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Visit to see wonderful art!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


work in progress Linda A. Miller

I have been neglecting this blog.  I am still working on this piece.  With most embroidery complete, I finally adhered the back to the quilt (which I prefer to do after handwork).  I was so tired that I ironed the Wonder Under to front side of the backing fabric... that was a first!  Fortunately I had enough of both to redo it.  Will use the mistake somewhere else.  Stay tuned.

crochet owls

Sharing these crochet Amigurumi owls that I made as baby gifts early in the summer.  Free patterns here and here.  A fun project!

Now, I admit the garden has been taking much of my attention and energy these days.  The revitalized bed pictured below is now thriving.  I am enjoying fresh herbs, kale and beet greens.  The roses are about to bloom again.  Bulbs are coming up (covered by protective cages against digging-acorn-burying squirrels).  The recent heatwave may have confused the bulbs into thinking spring arrived.


Ah kale!


You may recall, this is how the bed looked last month when first planted....


More beets...


Today's squirrel holes...

Squirrel holes

The digging (by me and the squirrels), along with transitioning continues in other areas of the yard....

Meanwhile, Maya finds sun where she can....

Maya cat

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mark on the Body

Mark on the Body by G. Margaret Blank
Mark on the Body by G. Margaret Blank

Margaret Blank, my friend from SAQA's Visioning project, has created a unique exhibit opening October 20, 2016 in Lacombe, Canada.  Her late husband lived with Type 1 Diabetes.  After his death, Margaret got to thinking about the impact of the disease and how many injections would have been taken over a lifetime.  She "did the math", and decided to "express the impact of  T1D in stitch" to raise awareness about the disease and those affected by it.

The installation grew into three parts.  First is a foundation body piece created by Margaret with stitches representing all the pin pricks.  Margaret invited others to participate in a second adjunct by stitching on a small square of fabric that she provided.  (You may remember last year's post about participating.)  These squares were to be assembled into an additional figure for the exhibit.  For a third adjunct, Margaret invited knitters to knit stump socks.

Margaret chronicled the journey in her self published book that will accompany the installation.  View the book on Blurb.  Proceeds to benefit Type 1 Diabetes organizations.

The exhibit runs October 20 - November 17, 2016 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, Lacombe, Alberta. There will be an opening reception on Wednesday, October 26th.

Well done, Margaret!

I invite you to follow the links above to learn more about Margaret and the project.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Making Bowls...

fiber bowl workshop
Ready to go with samples...

Last week's fiber bowl workshop at the Embroiderers Guild of America meeting was a lot of fun to teach. This Long Beach EGA chapter is a very enthusiastic group of stitchers.  I began with a demo on the process from sewing to rinsing out the stabilizer and molding the shape.

molding thread bowls
A molded bowl...

  Students were interested and eager to begin for themselves.  They had a lot provided materials to choose from, ranging from threads, lint, yarn, ribbon.

fiber bowl workshop

Despite some machine issues, bowls were assembled at the numerous sewing stations.  This bowl making process is really very forgiving, and works well for all levels of experience.

 fiber bowl workshop

fiber bowl workshop

fiber bowl workshop
Stitching the bowl...

fiber bowl workshop

fiber bowl workshop

fiber bowl workshop


Several finished their pieces up to the molding stage.  It is always interesting to see how others take on their creative expression.

fiber bowl workshop

Most took their bowls home to complete, so we have to wait.  The bowls will be finished with sealer at a future meeting.  I look forward to seeing the results!

Thanks to Program Co-Chair, Monica Dami, for taking most of these photos... and for asking me to bring this workshop to her guild in the first place.  I was happy to share the process and to spend time with the group!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bowl Workshop

Fiber Bowls by Linda A. Miller

Tomorrow I will be teaching a fiber bowl workshop for members of the Embroidery Guild of America in Long Beach.  It will be interesting to see how hand embroiderers approach the task (machines are being provided, however).  I use heavy machine stitching on my bowls for texture and to keep the bits of thread, lint, or yarn together, then adding some hand embroidery (a new element in recent bowls).  I am looking forward to sharing the process with the EGA group, and seeing what develops! Stay tuned to find out more.

Fiber Bowl by Linda A. Miller
This happy bowl recently sold, but there are more on Etsy..

Interested in making thread bowls?  Check out my tutorial link here.

Linking to Off the Wall Fridays.  Visit the site to see more artists at work!


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