Curves on Top of Curves - Part 2

The Austin Modern Quilt Guild got so many contributions for the Drunkard's Path challenge that there were enough for two whole quilts. Thus we were able to double our donation to the Community First! Village. See pictures of the first quilt here.

First some links, then the pictures.

What is Modern Quilting? Join the Austin Modern Quilt Guild Learn more about Mobile Loaves & Fishes What is the Community First! Village? Contribute your quilting skills to the Community First! Quilters

circles 2 - layout 1

Even More Curves.

circles 2 - layout 2

Plus some stripes.

circles 2 - closeup 3

circles 2 - closeup 1

I just love the two zebra-striped yin-yang blocks we got. Can you spot the one in the other quilt?

circles 2 - block closeup 1

circles 2 - pool 1

By the pool. In November. Because Austin.

circles 2 - back

The back.

circles 2 - quilting detail

Quilting detail, and adorable chairs fabric from Stitch Lab.

by the pool

I want to thank the members of the Austin Modern Quilt Guild for trusting me with their quilt blocks - I had SO much fun assembling and quilting these guys! You rock.

Want to see more creations like these? Check out the Austin MQG on Instagram.

Curves on Top of Curves - Part 1

In 2015 the Austin Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge to its members - the Drunkard's Path. Many of us had never pieced curved seams before, so we leapt at the opportunity to learn. I learned with help from the excellent Amanda Hohnstreiter - a curved piecing expert! AMQG members were invited to construct these blocks using blacks and whites with a "pop of color." Here are some of my contributions:

drunkards path blocks 3

drunkards path blocks 2

drunkards path blocks 1 See the little ninjas? We have Lily Gonzales-Creed to thank.

After collecting the blocks, we pieced them together into two quilts (see part 2 here). The quilts were then donated to the Community First! Village, a wonderful project brought into being by Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

Interested in learning more about this project? Here are some helpful links:

What is Modern Quilting? Join the Austin Modern Quilt Guild Learn more about Mobile Loaves & Fishes What is the Community First! Village? Contribute your quilting skills to the Community First! Quilters

Now, on to the quilt pictures!

circles 1 - layout 1 Look at all those color pops. Pop-pop-pow!

circles 1 - layout 2 Just lounging.

circles 1 - closeup 1

circles 1 - back 1 The back.

circles 1 - quilting detail 1 Who says they all have to be circles? Nobody, that's who.

circles 1 - quilting detail 2 Close-up of my free-motion quilting, done at The Cotton Cupboard.

So that this post won't be absurdly long, I've put the second quilt over here.


A Mini Quilt for Refreshing the Palette

Well, I've finally done it. I worked up the courage to submit a quilt to an art show! Hendry Unoaked Chardonnay, machine-pieced quilt, 2015 by Sarah Atlee. Hendry Unoaked Chardonnay. Machine-pieced and hand-embroidered quilt, 10 x 10 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atlee. $275 (buy-it-now price)

What: Refreshing the Palette, an art show, silent auction and wine tasting event benefiting the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. (Facebook event page)

When: Sunday 8 November 2015, 4-6 pm

Where: Metro Wine Bar & Bistro, 6418 N. Western Ave, OKC OK  73116 (map link)

Tickets are $40 per person, including wine and hors d'oeuvres. For reservations contact The Metro at 405-840-9463.

Hendry chardonnay strips 72 500

A little bit of everything, strip-pieced.

Join The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro for a special wine tasting and art show event benefiting the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

How it works: Twenty artists are creating original works of art based on the wine labels. Each artwork will be auctioned during the event, with silent bidding beginning at $125. Guests who fear losing a piece in the auction can also trump the bidding process by purchasing an artwork at the “Buy It Now” price.

Hendry chardonnay pieces 72 500

The pieces are coming together.

This is one of my favorite annual shows, and I'm always excited when I get to participate. See my previous entries Titus and Veritable Quandary.

This year my wine label was Hendry Unoaked Chardonnay (Napa Valley 2013). From the winery's tasting notes:

"Aromatically delicate.  Peach and nectarine on the palate. Tangy, with a slight citrus-pith edge.  Rounded mid-palate and moderate acid. A tasty wine well-chilled on a hot summer day, best with lighter foods. This would be well-suited to a citrus-dressed cold chicken breast, pasta primavera, or a bay shrimp salad."

Doesn't that sound delightful?

Hendry chardonnay detail 72 500

Detail of machine stitching.

About OVAC

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) helps artists realize their potential through education, exposure and funding. Organized in 1988, OVAC is a non-profit organization that supports visual artists living and working in Oklahoma. OVAC promotes public interest in the arts and helps people of all ages understand the visual arts.

Sadly, I am not able to attend this year's event in person, so you'll have to go taste lots of wonderful things on my behalf. Cheers!

Departures and More

Departures. Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atl Departures. Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atlee. $1,080

To purchase Departures, contact me at

About Departures

I'm into Quilting. It influences my painting in a big way. I'm a member of the local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. What distinguishes "modern" from traditional quilting? There are no hard and fast rules, of course, but the MQG has a handy list of things to look for:

"...several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. 'Modern traditionalism' or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting."

Improvisation is the element here that really gets my juices flowing.

But the Juices Were Not Flowing

Earlier this year I was noodling away on an abstract series, finding myself stymied. I wanted to go in too many directions. I was being fussy. I was thinking too hard. I was stuck.

I asked myself, "What if I painted the way I quilt - without fear?"

Sherri Lynn Wood and Improv Patchwork

In February 2015, I was lucky enough to attend QuiltCon and take an improvisational patchwork class taught by Sherri Lynn Wood. She taught us to be present in our space, and to cut, cut, cut and sew, sew, sew - without worrying about the overall design. It was a revelation. We made quilt tops that seemed to grow organically in our hands. The patchwork pieces grew, and I grew. I went home and pre-ordered Wood's new book.

Order your own copy of the Improv Handbook here.

Then I had to wait for, like, six weeks before the book shipped. What on earth was I to do in the meantime?


I took a painting that wasn't working. I laid down a stroke of color with my brush. Then I put down another, next to that. Then another. It became a row of stripes. It curved here and there. Another row grew next to it. I had found a path, and I followed it. I was through.

departures in progress crop


What's Cooking Inside While it Cooks Outside

Yep, it's what we call the Dog Days. While the world outside bakes to a nice golden brown, I'm in the studio gearing up for Fall 2015 ...and beyond. underpainting 72 500

Ah, the pleasure of that first underpainting. Sometimes I don't want to cover it up.

CHAOS is on display at Ro2 Art in Dallas through September 12! Don't miss it.

black eye & violet 72 500

Black-Eye Susan and Shrinking Violet, acrylic on panel, 5x5 inches each (9x9 framed).

Save the Date!

Wyld Flowerz, an exhibition of new abstractions, will open at STASH in downtown Norman, OK on Friday 9 October 2015. More details to follow.

eggplants in prog 72 500

Here's a different view of that underpainting, a few layers later.

I'm pleased to share the news that my relationship with Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo, Texas will continue into 2016. More news as the situation develops.

flying bat blocks 72 500

I've been sewing quite a bit. I've begun volunteering with the Community First! Quilters, a connection made through the Austin chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. These are my variation on the traditional flying geese quilt block - I call them flying bats. We see those here from time to time.

tough cookie half-baked 72 500

This will be Tough Cookie. Right now she's only half-baked.

red room 72 500

I do get out sometimes, and go places like the Red Room Lounge.

caprese 72 500

I do make dinner sometimes, like this caprese salad with marinated zucchini.