Friday, May 26, 2023

My Website is Online

After much planning and help from the amazing Holly Knott, my website is ready to view. I have enjoyed writing my blog since 2007, partly to help me remember events and partly to share my love of art, nature, and my cats with friends and others who are interested. The blog will become part of the website, under the Blog tab. But it is good to gather my story and many pictures in one place. I have categorized the artwork and added some informtion about techniques and inspiration behind some of the pieces. Find the site here or

FestivalSouth 2023 kicks off next week with performances of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, five nights in a row, with packed houses each night.

My FestivalFibers exhibit will open June 3 with a reception from 10-noon at the Downey Gallery at University Baptist Church, 3200 Arlington Loop in Hattiesburg. 

Rehearsals are well underway for The Meistersingers performance of James Mulholland's Missa Romantica on Sunday, June 11 at 3:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church. 

This burlap-looking linen was interesting fabric for this new stitched wall quilt.
Burlap Linen Flower, 21 x 18

For a little nature, here is my front porch with a cane begonia sporting its first and only bloom during its lifetime with me of about five years. Linda gave me this sassy metal rooster for the porch, and the cats have welcomed him to the family.


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Trip to Texas for Mother's Day

I enjoyed a trip to Texas to visit my son and his wife and five granddaughters and their families--all on one plane ticket. They live close enough that we could visit several homes, schools, events, and a large Mother's Day get-together. I got to read The Quiltmaker's Gift to Kelsey's third-grade class, visit Kiesha and Robert's homestead to see chickens, goats, and gardens, spend Mother's Day with the everyone at Kaley and Dustin's home, where there was room for all the age groups from two years to great-grandparents. Brody starred in his school's play High School Musical, and Knox showed me how to catch roly-polies. Brittney did three haircuts on her visit, and Christy was busy with her foster kittens.  Mark and Melody and two of the others were growing very impressive gardens and raising chickens. 

Back at home Linda surprised me with a chicken of my own--this beautiful metal rooster to live on my front porch.


Sunday, April 30, 2023

April Ends With Blessings

The arrival of the Quiltfolk #26 Mississippi and the announcing of my quilt Prelude as the art for FestivalSouth 2023 has been exciting. Mike Lopinto, artistic director, makes me sound better than I am, but the kind words are music to my ears. Pun intended. The Hattiesburg Concert Association does an incredible job of planning this annual celebration, making June my favorite month of the year. 

The posters and program brochures carry images of the quilt, and the quilt will be auctioned online through the end of the festival on June 24.


Front cover of program brochure

Inside program brochure
Getting to hear my dear friends in their senior recitals was a special privilege, and I wish much success for them. My church also hosted the string honors competition--always a treat. 
Ameni Zouehid

Franco Galetto and collaborative pianist Alison Post
After all the attention and excitement, it seemed a good idea to do some very ordinary activities, so I got busy making a simple quilt for our guild's community projects. Then there was some walking about the yard to enjoy a few growing things, and a trip with OLLI friends to New Orleans for the VanGogh Immersive Exhibit.
Elizabeth supervising

Rahrah giving approval

Two blooms on my amaryllis this year

Hostas coming up

At the VanGogh Immersive Experience

At the VanGogh Immersive Experience

Saturday, April 15, 2023

FestivalSouth 2023

The FestivalSouth 2023 Prelude Party was held last night with the reveal of my art quilt "Prelude" at SoPro in Downtown Hattiesburg. Now I can finally show the quilt. The image will be used for publicity, on programs, and as a poster. The quilt will be auctioned online throughout festival and given at the last concert, June 24. Events will begin with Disney's Beauty and the Beast on May 30 and conclude with Iconic, a cirque rock symphonic extravaganza, on June 24. This is the 14th season for Hattiesburg's annual multi-disciplinary arts celebration.

Prelude, 32 x 40

Prelude, detail

Prelude, detail

Prelude, detail

Prelude, detail

Prelude, detail

At the Prelude Party with Mike Lopinto

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Quiltfolk #26 Mississippi

Quiltfolk #26 Mississippi has arrived in my mailbox! What a beautiful magazine celebrating quilting and our unique state. The writers and photographers did an excellent job of pointing out the lovable Southern hospitality they experienced during their travels about the state.

The photo shoot was a fun day and the interview painless. You can read about the process in this January blog post here.

The issue can be purchased through Quiltfolk (with a 20% discount using the Coupon Code MarthaQF26). 

The Cover of #26

Ghost-Quilted Leaves, 12 x 12
This Is My Story, This Is My Song, 84 x 100

Rise and Shine, Inner City, 76 x 96

Star Flower photographed over a limb on USM campus

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Simple Things, Simple Beauty

A landscape architect pointed out an interesting little plant in my yard called Partridgeberry. This caused me to notice other wildflowers and the amazing differences among them. Since nothing is blooming right now, I enjoyed focusing on these little gems.
Commonly called blue-eyed grass

Called false garlic

Maybe wood sorrel?


Mississippi's gardening guru Felder Rushing advises us to wait until late April to plant flowering annuals, but the nurseries are getting stocked up to tempt us. Every year I say I won't waste my time on planting tomatoes.

I thread-painted a large caladium leaf and also sewed March and April exercises in Brenda Gael Smith's Dreamlines project, Fine Line Bars and Diamonds. I love these. 

Thread-painted caladium leaf and March and April Dreamlines exercises

Brenda Gael Smith's Fine Line Bars and Diamonds

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

More March Happenings

 A few amaryllis are blooming to add some color after the azaleas made their brief but spectacular showing. Saddened by the devastating tornados that hit north Mississippi, I am grateful to be on my porch in the sun with Rahrah. 

Rahrah in the sunshine on porch steps
Some University Baptist Church friends and I enjoyed a tour of the African American Military History Museum in the Sixth Street Museum District in Downtown Hattiesburg led by Colonels Sheila and Fred Varnado, retired. They shared their personal experiences in the service and told the rich history of some of Hattiesburg's residents. Col. Sheila began her military career as a WAC and rose to the rank of colonel, serving in Washington and the Middle East. Col. Fred taught at USM after retiring to Hattiesburg. They both are active as civic leaders in our community. The museum is housed in the former USO building, built in 1942 for African American soldiers training at Camp Shelby, the only surviving USO building of its kind in the US.

Hattiesburg Hall of Honor

Col. Sheila Varnado describing an exhibit

Map showing where local personnel served

Colonels Sheila and Fred Varnado
While eagerly awaiting the publication of Quiltfolk Issue 26 Mississippi, I spent an afternoon in a Logs and Ladders Zoom class with Brenda Gael Smith of NSW, Australia. Her colorful work has always fascinated me. It was a fun afternoon's play.

Quiltfolk #26 Mississippi, due April 2023

I'm looking forward to teaching a Pine Belt Quilters Postcard Workshop next week. Here are a couple of examples.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth keeps me company at the computer.