Art Quilt Gallery

Henrietta’s Hands

Hand-dyed and commercial silk, cotton, and polyester fabrics; beads, crystals, lace, buttons, zipper.  Hand and machine pieced, appliqued, and quilted.  Hand and machine embroidered and embellished.

My grandmother, Henrietta Roegge Fricke, had short, squat, potato-pickin’ hands.  They were small and wrinkled, and had a touch of arthritis, but they planted the rhubarb that she used to bake her pies; they ripped the seams that I had stitched wrong; they touched the hot iron to see if it was hot enough; they rolled the cookie dough; they stitched the quilt blocks; and they tucked me in when I slept over at her house.  I always wanted long, slender, delicate, piano-playing hands, but I ended up with my grandmother’s.  When I’m digging in the garden, or decorating cookies, or working in the sewing room, I see a bit of my grandmother in the way my fingers move and curl and grasp and hold and touch, and it brings me joy. 2020

The following quilts include real entomological specimens. They were featured in an article I wrote for Quilting Arts Magazine, Fall, 2021. My use of actual insects was inspired by a visit to one of my favorite old shops, now closed, in the Garment District in New York, which had on display a trim from the 1930s that included actual Brazilian beetles.

Sacred Scarab

Chrysina woodii | Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle

The Victorian fascination with preserving and cataloging nature, while also using it as adornment, is what inspired this piece.  Cotton, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester fabrics, bone, cellulose, glass and crystal beads, beetle carcasses.

Pieced Pinchers

Cyclomattus metallifer finae | Giant Stag Beetle

Cotton, silk, rayon, polyester, bone, wood, glass and crystal beads, cellulose, shell, and metal vintage buttons, beetle carcass.

Black, White, and Red All Over

Brachycerus ornatus | Red Spotted Lily Weevil

Cotton, silk, glass and crystal beads, wood.

Whirling Weevils

Eupholus linnei | Blue Weevil Beetle

Using the kaleidescope piecing technique, and cotton fabric, glass and crystal beads, and beetle carcass.

Great Eggs-Pectations

Based on Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, from the 2008 Quilting Arts Magazine Calendar, the theme of which was “A Novel Idea.”  My quilt is a tongue-in-cheek look at the novel, illustrating how much I thoroughly enjoy Dickens’ uncanny ability to inject wit and humor into even the most dismal situations.  Commercial cotton, silk, lace, and bridal tulle; fabric paints, Friendly Plastic, beads, silk ribbon, silk flowers, found objects; machine and hand applique, thread sketching, machine quilting, over-dying, fabric painting, hand beading, and embellishing.

Home is Where the Heart Can Hang

I try to stay on top of everything, and I’ve fooled a lot of people into thinking that my life is really quite neat and tidy.  But not my family.  They know me too well and see right through the carefully stitched and meticulously embellished exterior to the heart of the matter, which is not always a pretty sight. There is comfort in knowing that my heart is safe, even in its truest, most honest form, when I am with my family at home.  Now that is worth celebrating!  Machine and hand piecing, quilting, embroidery, beading and embellishment. Hand-dyed and commercial cotton, silk, linen, and polyester fabrics; Tsukineko and Lumiere fabric paints; Swarovski crystals; glass and pearl beads; silk ribbon; vintage lace and antique buttons; cotton and silk perle threads; zipper. Machine and hand piecing, quilting, and embroidery.  

Brood X

Thread-sketched image of a periodical cicada. Hand-dyed, commercial, and batik cotton fabrics; Beads, buttons, wood and fiber. Private Collection.

Scrappy Color Wheel

This is the sample I made for a class on color theory. The students liked the quilt so much that I created a pattern, which I now teach in a two-part class.

Sunset Over Mount Rose

I made this quilt for my dad’s new house, which had an amazing view of Mount Rose, Nevada.

Following My Needle through the Doorway to Imagination

Type A—that’s me.  I like things sorted and organized, listed and color-coded.  But when I’m creating a quilt, that part of my brain turns off and I just follow my needle wherever it wanders.  This quilt is a reminder to my bossy self that the only way through the doorway to imagination is to get out of my own way and allow my needle to lead.  The hand is from a photo of my own that I embroidered using my “Thread Sketching” technique; the background is from a photo of a stone wall taken on a trip to Italy, and transferred onto a silk organza overlay.  Machine and hand applique, machine quilting, fabric painting, hand beading and embellishment.  Published in Dec/Jan issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.

The Fruits of My Labors

Entry for Quilting Arts Magazine 2010 Calendar Competition, “Fresh Picked.”

Michael is quirky, interesting, unique, and unforgettable.  So is the chirimoya fruit from Chile.  Megan is delightfully tart without being sour, refreshing, dependable, and versatile.  So is the Granny Smith apple. Sarah is reserved on the outside, but on the inside she’s vibrant, delicious, and unusual.  So is the kiwi. Katie is bursting with flavor, vivacious, bright, and sweet.  So is the peach.  My children: the fruits of my labors.

Cotton, silk, and polyester fabrics; cotton threads; fabric ink; beads.  Machine pieced, embroidered, and quilted.

Conference Nametag Bag

I got tired of those black plastic name tag holders they issue at sewing conferences, so I made this one.  Cotton fabric, Netsuke bead, glass, crystal, stone and pearl beads.

Greyhound Zen

I adapted the design for his quilt from a painting by Elle J. Wilson to celebrate my mother’s birthday. The names of her rescue greyhounds were stitched into the background.

Just Hoppin’ By

Batik and commercial cotton fabrics; cotton, rayon, and metallic threads. Machine pieced, free-motion embroidered, and quilted. 1999. Made for my son, Michael, who liked tree frogs when he was 10.


Hand-dyed and commercial cotton fabrics; polyester, metallic, and cotton threads; wool batting; crystal embellishment. Machine piecing; free-motion machine quilting; free-motion machine reverse bobbin embroidery. Inspired by the elements of a turquoise and coral bracelet, which is, in Spanish, pulsera.

Tadpoles in the Gutter

Hand-dyed and commercial cotton fabrics; cotton thread; wool batting. Machine pieced, appliquéd, and free-motion quilted.A spring deluge that lasted four days filled the streets with rushing water from the nearby creek, and left tadpoles stranded in the gutters. Displayed at at Touchstone Gallery, Washington DC. Private Collection.

Words Are My Creative Force

Machine pieced and quilted, and free-motion machine embroidered using my thread sketching technique. Hand-dyed and commercial cotton fabrics, batting, and thread. Hand-embellished with glass and metal beads, silk ribbon, and found objects.

Family Extremities

Hand-dyed and commercial cotton fabrics, threads, and batting. Machine pieced and quilted, free-motion machine embroidered using my new technique, thread sketching.

Queen Mother – I Don’t Wear Hats, But I’m Fine With My Tiara

The design for my quilt was taken from a photo I took of myself, but I adore the flexibility of fabric I was easily able to remove a double chin and wrinkles, along with adding a brilliant smile. The fuschia hair shows no sign of grey, and my love of color is reflected in my complexion. My earrings dangle my passions, sewing and gardening, but the true jewels of my life are my cute-as-buttons children, Michael, Megan, Sarah, and Katie. My Judaism is represented in the Star of David charm, and is connected to my name to who I am. I used Procion dyes on pima cotton, as well as commercial cotton fabrics, with some lamé thrown in around the kids. The children’s photos are printed on treated fabric and stretched onto covered buttons. Cotton and nylon monofilament threads; cotton batting; glass and metal beads. Free-motion machine appliquéd with fusible web, and free-motion machine quilted; hand embellished. Published December 2005 Quilting Arts Magazine Creative Self-Portrait Challenge; toured with Quilting Arts exhibit through 2006; published in Mixed Media Self-Portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato in 2008.

A Ribbon at a Time

Machine pieced and appliquéd; free motion machine embroidered and quilted. Hand-dyed and commercial cotton fabrics; cotton batting; cotton and nylon monofilament threads and cotton perle embroidery thread. 2005 AWARD: Selected to travel with the Hoffman Challenge Quilt Show 2005 to 2006.

Frame Bender

Cotton batiks and commercial fabrics; cotton and nylon monofilament threads; cotton batting. Machine appliquéd and quilted. 2004 The pattern is an original by Jane Clark, a remarkable local artist and machine quilter, who taught this quilt in a truly exciting class.

Red One, Two and Three

Hand-dyed and commercial cotton and silk fabrics; polyester thread; flame retardant batting. Machine pieced and hand-guided machine quilted. This triptych was commissioned by the Glenwood Community Center, Glenwood, Maryland.

The following thread-sketched insect quilts were featured in a segment I did on Threadsketching in the 600 series of Quilting Arts TV.

Worker Bee

Threadsketching, fabric painting, machine embroidery, piecing and quilting.

Queen Bee

Threadsketching, machine embroidery, piecing, and quilting. Cotton, metallic, and hand-painted fabrics.

Brood X

Threadsketching, machine embroidery, piecing, and quilting. Hand painted fabrics.


Threadsketching, machine embroidery, piecing, and quilting. Shell, nut, and beaded embellishment.

I Get Crabby When I’m Not at Home

My husband travels for a living, and he always invites me along. I could go with him to Europe, Asia, Africa; but my favorite vacation spot is my back porch with a glass of wine, watching the birds at the feeders. Pathetic, I know. My friends think I’m nuts. But I get crabby when I’m not at home.

Cotton silk, polyester fabrics and threads; glass and crystal beads, buttons, found objects. Machine appliqued, embroidered, and quilted; hand-embellished.

The following are from a series I made in 2008 called “12 x 12 x 12.” I made a 12″ x 12″ quilt for each of the twelve months of the year, inspired by something I saw on my morning walk with our dog.


Cotton fabrics and threads; Swarovski crystals, found objects. Machine appliqued, embroidered, and quilted; hand-embellished.


Cotton, silk, polyester fabrics and threads; glass and crystal beads, hand-made ceramic cabochon, found objects. Machine appliqued, embroidered, and quilted; hand-embellished.


Cotton, silk, vintage wool sweaters, vintage sewing notions and closings, crystal beads, polymer clay bead, wool roving.  Machine quilted, hand embellished.


Cotton fabrics and threads; Swarovski crystals, found objects. Machine appliqued, embroidered, and quilted; hand-embellished.

Boro Vest

Boro stitching is derived from the Japanese practice of reworking and repairing textiles through piecing, patching, and stitching. I slightly altered the Peony Vest pattern from The Sewing Workshop to add darts. In addition to a lightweight indigo linen I had in my stash, I purchased the Moda Boro charm packs in both the textured and woven cottons to use as patches. I lined the vest with silk charmeuse. I used DMC & Valdani perle cottons in sizes 8 and 12, as well as YLI pearl crown rayon for the boro stitching. I lined the linen with pre-washed cotton flannel, and did the boro stitching through the two layers. I also added two sets of snaps to keep it from bunching open when I sit down. I covered the snaps in the linen fabric, which turned out really great, and adds a couture look, I think. I used a really cool vintage button from my stash, with a silk charmeuse-covered cord loop as a buttonhole.