New Beginnings

Quilt Royal Maze Full
Royal Maze (Full)

Greeting one and all.  This is the re-start to my blog.  The past 2 years has given me the opportunity to refocus and gain clarity of purpose.  Previously I was never sure if the blog and website were a platform to be myself or promote my work (Fiber Art and Tarot/energy balancing).  This confusion had paralyzed me.  Now, I have come to terms of what I want to do in this forum -which is to show my work, my feelings, thoughts and my full authentic self.  It is time to allow my whole self to be seen.

This first new entry is about the project I have worked on for this past year: “Emergence: from Concept to Stitch”.  I submitted a proposal and portfolio to SAQA (Studio Art Quilt associates) Oregon to create a piece and document my process (from concept to stitch).  I was honored to be accepted along with 20 other artists.  AND the book of all of our work, process notes and final pieces has just been published.

I hope you will check it out!

Holy Crap!

Holy Crap! It is 2 months since my last entry!  I swore last time I was going to post once a week. It’s not that I just haven’t written  – but I have been busy!.  I finished my very experimental piece.  It has 2 titles.  1) “Firmament”  – the space between heaven and earth where there is no focus. It is the place “between being and becoming”, where nothing is solid – all is in motion . This piece also represents “My Winter” – This the stage of my life that I am entering now – I am no longer as vibrant as I once was. However, I have much more texture, depth and dimension. And a few more wrinkles too.  What I love about this piece (which photographs quite differently depending on the light) is how it honors fabric.  It is composed of layers – commercial batik, hand dyed silk and organza, cheesecloth and hand stitched.  The texture of  fabric is the focus!

Next I took a Fabric dye class with Bonnie Bucknam and in one day I hand dyed 20 yards of fabric! It was experimental experience to say the least.  (This is my favorite result –as well as all 20 yds).  And it took 2 days to do rinse them –“until the water ran clear” and another day to recover.  I love color so this was a real treat for me.

And week ago I took Betty Busby’s 3 day workshop through Columbia Fiber Guild. The photo shows what I made in 3 days— We painted silk, and cotton, made sun prints with leaves and funky textures, used one on my favorite supplies- Shiva paint sticks in a totally new way for me, Betty cut out my original design in her silhouette printer on a non-woven surface; we colored the fabrics with more paint, ink tense pencils and all sorts of markers. AND THE LIST GOES ON!  It was a whirlwind experience and so much fun.

Finally I am making a ‘beta test’ of  stitching a whole cloth graphic piece…. I need to find out about heavier thread…

Now I have all these new tools and fabric – I think I will have to continue to experiment for a while longer—so I can get a clearer vision of what I want to make.

Hopefully I will write more frequently –  and I am always thrilled to be making art!

Begin Again!!!!

It has been ages since my last entry…I’ll chalk it up to a winter hibernation.  SO I will begin where I am at.  My piece “Shifting Tides- Turbulence” was rejected from a show – After getting over it, I re-entered it in another show “The Edge” which will be at the Oregon historical society May 3 through-August 15, 2019.  This piece is now entitled  “Ocean’s Edge- Turbulence”. Needless to say, I am thrilled.  

However the piece I created for this show- “My Feminine Edge” ( a self portrait / illustration of how living in Oregon’s masculine Paul Bunyunesque culture of “bros and beers” has brought out my girlie soft side.  This one was rejected… Oh well… I‘ll just have to enter it in another show….

So now it is time to begin a new project.. something that is always so hard for me – to begin!  (and when it gets to the middle – I’ll tell you how hard that is too).  Anyway- I now have at least 4 ideas up on my wall.  I don’t know what feels right; what I want to spend about the next 3- 6 months working on everyday- looking at everyday, being involved with everyday. 

Hopefully there will be a next posting up soon with one thing up on the wall -my new beginning will have started.

Happy spring!  May we all move forward in joy!

Sewing Blind

July 4 -2018 Independence Day

I have not written in forever – well I have written but not published it – I was going through a funk.  In my last entry I was writing about my sewing block (as in creative block as opposed to quilt block) that lasted months(!).. and  happy to say that I am NOW back on track and finished  a piece and starting working on a new one .

The piece I finished I may be enter into the “EDGE” show and before I post a picture – I need to read the requirements- because sometime the “quilt Police” specify no pre-posting of photos.  Luckily since I am only in the concepting phase for my next piece- and I know it will change a million times- I am posting pictures of my ”components”. I am working on this to perhaps enter it in SAQA’s “Shifting Tides” show.  Here is my starting sketch – which is already history with regards to my component pieces.  And, as usual, I have no idea where this piece is going and have decided to just trust myself and keep making pieces.  Once done with making these pieces,  I’ll figure out how they all (or most of the components) will fit together.   The voice in my head said “Just Sew!  … it doesn’t matter if you don’t know where you are going!  Enjoy sewing blind with no definite end in sight”.  SO I will continue and sew and liberate myself.



And in the other aspects of my life –   I turned 65 in May. James and I visited my best pal Linda in Florida and had fun.  The realization that I turned 65 is totally blowing my mind. I am officially a SENIOR citizen!  How did this happen to me?  I was even given a discount at the weed store!  (I live in Portland OR- what can I say?) What else am I up to?Enjoyed the rose parade.  And the Car exhibit at the Portland Art Museum is a treat.


Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July and liberates their hearts and souls.  May we all be blessed with freedom love and our families!


This piece, “Nonlinear Dreamtime”, I created for the SAQA show “From Dusk to Dawn”.  I will have to wait until March to find out if it will be juried in… I am keeping my fingers crossed.  Regardless of acceptance I am very happy with this piece that is a visual representation of the kaleidoscopic movement in my dreams.  Images move back and forth and up and down simultaneously.

Since submitting this piece at the end of January, I have been unable to begin a new project… the first week of February I gave myself time to clean up my studio (also known as ½ of our living room) and go to the movies. And I enjoyed seeing most of the Academy award nominations.  The 2nd week of February, I began thinking what did I want to do next? And nothing came to me!  Perhaps a special piece for James? (I have never created a piece for my dear sweet husband – a definite case of the cobbler’s children not having shoes) or perhaps a “cloth portal” for my dear friend Blaise (when I was in SF in January for the Women’s March I did a tarot card for her- the reading was amazing and I will be creating a small meditation piece as a focus for her). Still nothing!! Now we are up to week 3 of February- I have been reading lists of “Calls for Entry” for shows; going through my inspiration notebooks (this is what people did before pinterest boards); going to the Portland Art Museum; looking at everything intently; pulling out fabric from my stash and refolding my fabric– and still nothing- not one “oh that could be interesting” or anything!

Today is a snow day… white and crisp and clear from yesterday’s snow.  So after I finish this posting and gathering all the info for taxes (yuck – but got to do it) I am going to just sit down and sew. Wish me luck!  If I go into week 4 without a direction for a project I will make not only myself crazy, but everyone else!

Also I have been watching the Olympics … so inspired by these young and dedicated athletes!  (and also inspired by the teens in Florida who are fighting for change)


It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I am grateful for family, friends, my art/passion, well being, and all that I have. I am a very lucky person indeed.

Where am I with my art?  Well- my “Heatwave NYC” quilt got rejected for the High Fiber Diet show.  So I re-entered it in the 2017 Excellence in Fibers show (along with my “Rio Verde” quilt)- sponsored by Fiber Arts Magazine .  They were not chosen for the live show in San Jose.  This of course put me in a bit of a funk.  However I was just notified that I have been accepted in their on-line gallery! Note this site is still under construction.


Another exciting development for me is my clarity about my “Cloth Portals”.  Cloth Portals is the name I have given to the smaller pieces I am creating to be used as meditation focus pieces –like one would use a mandala.  Making these pieces is my heart work… and I especially like to make them after doing Tarot readings for clients.  Then these custom pieces can help the person  be reminded of/focus on whatever clarity arose from their reading (Non-custom pieces can be used to help any meditator connect to whatever is up for them –peace; strength; purity; self love etc.)  Earlier this month I did a reading that focused on balancing feelings and intuition  —  this Cloth Portal-“Fire and Water” was what I was inspired to make.  I felt such joy making this Portal!  I gained so much from this experience.  I now know that I need to focus on creating more pieces- both customized and archetypal.  Please watch this section of my website grow – and please get in touch if you would like a reading or want a Cloth Portal designed for where you are at – right now in the moment.

Wishing all a much joy and light for this coming season!

Love  Toni

New Beginnings

They say start where you are – so I will.  It is a new year for me – Fall and change in weather; beginning of the school year; the Jewish new year- all make me feel  like a new cycle is beginning –so I will begin here and now.

I just got back from a workshop in Sisters Oregon with Jeannette DeNicolis Meyers that was fabulous.  It was working with sheer fabrics- organza and other translucent materials.  I took the opportunity to just play and experiment because these materials are completely different than any other fabric with which I have worked.  It was an incredible experience as this was the first time in a workshop- instead of trying to create a “masterpiece” (LOL)- I would just play.  Ideas came to me and I actually brought them into manifestation.  Some were meh, some were crappy AND some are the seeds of future projects!  I felt like, for the first time, I was actually honoring my ideas.  Photos are of my design wall with all my little thumb nail projects posted above.

On another note- my piece I entered into the High Fiber Diet Challenge, “HeatWave : NYC” was rejected… boo hoo.  SO I entered it and one of my older pieces “Rio Verde” into the Excellence in Fibers call for entry.

I hope to post more (and they may have less words and more pictures like this one).  So stay tuned!!!   I feel like I am beginning a new chapter of my work and looking forward to expanding and growing.  Happy Fall to all and happy new beginnings as well.

Summer Fun! (and some quilting)

 Well – I haven’t posted in  weeks – However I have been out in nature AND sewing.  James and I have been to the Oregon coast, Old Growth Forest by the Clackamas river and also a few days down by the McKenzie river.

The McKenzie River was gorgeous and we mindfully hiked over

Lava fields up to the Blue Pools (Tamolitch Pool) and other water falls.  The forest was beautiful and soft and velvety – and looked like Cezanne’s Landscape paintings.

Also I completed and entered my piece in the High Fiber Diet “Heat Wave ” Challenge.  Whereas I think most people conjured up visions of tropical heat waves with  turquoise blues and flowers, for me HEAT WAVE brought to mind those hazy hot humid days of the east coast.

Enjoy August!

Going with the Gut!

Going with the gut

A rainy, dreary, cold, PDX afternoon…. Back from errands, haircut, picking up this and that, etc.

Back home and ready to begin the back side of my “resist” quilt ….

Hearing the inner voice and following it

When I look at something, I sometimes hear a voice that says yes or no. Sometimes it isn’t clear and other times it is VERY loud & clear- as it was in this case (with this back side of my “resist quilt”). Sooo my next step is to go  forward without 2nd guessing myself or re-thinking what I have just heard or “auditioning” another fabric, or trying a different design line or whatever else I can think up to distract myself from what I have felt with my gut.

This is why I like piecing the backs of my quilts- it’s a free space, something that is just for me without the pressure of knowing it will be seen by others.  The back side is a surprise when the quilt is turned over – but it can not be seen when the piece is hanging on a wall.  This gives me a freedom that makes me feel like I can follow the voice I hear without all the worrying thoughts of “Is this good enough?”  or “what if I make a mistake?” (This is the negative voice I hear when working on the front side of a piece that makes me doubt myself.)  My next step is to allow myself to distill this inner voice of knowing and go with what I hear, freely, on the front sides- the visible sides of my quilts. This is my next growth challenge.  And this is another instance of the process of quilting as a metaphor for my life process.


Conscious quilt Threads of resistance

It’s Saturday morning and I am propped up in bed like a princess (and I certainly like “princess” better than “Crone”)…it is the first day in eons that I feel I  deserve to give myself a day off .. that I have done enough so that I can give myself just 3-4 hours to lounge in my bed with a cup of coffee (James is  at work so I have the house to myself), just sit here and be myself and sink into my life; myself; my core.  The exhale; the letting go.  And as I sit here, exhaling- I think of what I have done … a zillion tax papers and forms and the “accountant Worksheet” ready to be copied and sent to tax guy (why this task feels as yucky it does – who knows and who cares –I just put my head down and get it done).


And in the Conscious Quilting corner of my life –Just finished my “resist” letters (photo) – the main element of the piece I have started to work on for the “Threads of Resistance Challenge”—I am not sure what I am doing next with these elements – These pink and very pink and chartreuse yellow green letters just popped into my head and I had to make them.  (note – if you read last entry you see that this has superseded last entry about “the orange challenge” – all orange fabric back in stash.)  {I digress—I guess it is easy to see why I love James Joyce – anyway}

In addition to finishing my “resist” letters had a healing session with a client yesterday. And EVERYTIME I work with someone, it turns out it is as much for me as it is for them.  The “seed” of her session was- in order to achieve aligned movement (or flow) in the right direction, one must learn to relax from the (our) clenching and  pushing energies (Which are moving in opposite directions). This is a necessary first step.  Let your entire body relax and let out a very deep and long exhale.  And when the next inhale begins, stand –plant your feet solidly and feel the pull upward from above the crown of your head, while you are sending your energy upward from every cell in your body. Then the pushing and pulling energies are aligned and moving in the same direction.

SO, I am following my own advice and staying in bed and exhaling. And taking my time to greet this day…Knowing once I leave this bed I will go to my design wall and stare at my “resist” letters  and try and figure out what  I’ll do next.