the colored leaves; the cooler temperatures; the delicious stews, soups and desserts associated with Fall. Apples, pumpkins and nuts of all kind are with us again. There is no reason to wonder why Fall remains my favorite time of year. 

Fall colors near Hillsborough Town Hall

So much has happened since I last posted a blog – hardly anything worth repeating here. 2020 has not been the most positive of years. At least we are closer to the election -4 more sleeps – enough said about that. The hot temperatures have been blown away by the numerous hurricanes winding down as they have passed over and around us here in central North Carolina. We send concern to those more directly impacted. I have about 2 dozen green tomatoes still clinging to the vines. My fault, as I didn’t buy the plants until mid-June. Yesterday, I moved them closer to my window so I could watch them, thinking they might ripen if they knew I was watching. Hmmm… as with boiling water, I don’t think this will do the trick. They also needed protection from the swirling tail winds of Hurricane Zeta and possible frosty nights that might creep in unaware to me.

AND, most importantly, our tiny family bubble of 4 has managed to stay healthy and isolated from the hideous virus that is threatening the world.

To take my mind off of the world around me, hesitating to wander into it, I challenged myself to make some hangings for my sheltered entrance and the narrow space under the light by the garage where I usually hang a seasonal wreath. My September piece features coneflowers which I have used in previous works. I credit Jan Soules, a well-known quilt artist, for the composition layout. I usually work from original ideas, but fell in love with her use of piecing for the background. Starting from that, I worked my own end of summer design. My piece is made from mostly patio grade fabrics – canvas and jute cord, with regular weight quilting threads so that I could hang it in the sheltered weather elements by my front door. There are some fabrics in the sky that are prints from my sky paintings.

Summer’s End 2020

For October, I created a small hanging featuring a front yard scene of appropriate items. Again, I used patio canvas, but used a rusting process to add textures to the pumpkins.

October Blessings 2020

For October Bounty, I wanted muted values to reflect the general colors of the season with pops of color to feature the bounty of the month. The sky is strips of duck fabric interwoven to create a textured sky, but still remaining in the muted tones. The strips were raw edge, but secured with lots of stitching in due process. A few of the woven strips were previously printed and some have sequins attached to the purchased fabric. The fields are duck fabric which has been rusted to various degrees. Texture was added with colored jute cord to separate the fields. The binding  is jute as well. Most fabrics are either canvas, burlap, or duck. 

There was no pattern. I drew the tree in a simple line drawing while looking at a sample and then widened and enhanced the branches with paint. The tree was then enlarged in my printer and the sections were taped together to serve as a pattern. The hanging was completed in sections and then assembled with fleece as batting, just because I had fleece on hand (covid variations). The backing is a nylon/polyester fabric that was in my stash.  Some of the fabrics melt when heat is applied – a lesson learned. Luckily, I am finding that the rusted fabric does not seem to fade, even after being displayed for a month through wind and rain. It has been in a north-facing location, so no direct sunlight. The piece was submitted for SAQA’s challenge, Land Art-from the Forest to your Balcony, but did not make the cut this time. I have created two additional pieces for outdoor display, and am working on Maple Leaves and Gobble for display in November – SOON.

October Bounty 2020

Stay well. Be safe. Wear a mask. Self-distance. Wash your hands, and most of all… VOTE! We’ll get through this world-wide challenge as best we can.

Posted in Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission., Fiber Arts | Tagged | 11 Comments

Sacred Threads Quilts Exhibit comes to Raleigh, NC

The West Raleigh Presbyterian Church is hosting the Sacred Threads Quilts Exhibit in November, December and January. I was happy to recruit two local art quilters to join me in helping the church volunteers hang the show in mid-November and to also get a close up view of each of these beautiful art quilts. A special “thank you” goes out to Barb and Jane. The church has issued a poster, shown below, so visitors can plan their viewing times. Below the poster are photos from groups that have joined me in celebrating the exhibit which features art quilts and their stories based on six themes: Joy, Peace/Brotherhood, Healing, Guilt, Inspiration, and Spirituality.

My art quilt is entitled Le Chêne Chapelle, (the Oak Chapel). You can read more about it here:




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My journal for our recent trip to France (Provence-Burgundy-Paris) is ready for your eyes to see. I could not present it as a daily blog because the ship blocked uploading of this sort of genre. So I took notes and spent time this first week home putting it all together. The main audience for it is “me” – it is my record of what we experienced. It all becomes a blur rather quickly unless documented. You can find it at this link: Provence-Burgundy-Paris. I tested it on my laptop and on my iPhone. It takes a few seconds to load the first time, but after that it runs smoothly on both platforms. Once again, merci beaucoup to Michel Etienne, our GCCL guide who worked so diligently to make everything wonderful, and to all the local guides, Robin (French Riviera), Anna (Paris), Gilles (Covered Passages) and more, who made it so enjoyable. Read and enjoy!

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The STUDIO ART QUILT ASSOCIATES (SAQA) is currently auctioning off donated quilts to raise the funds to support their promulgation of the quilting/fiber arts. I am honored to participate by donating my 12×12″ piece to this effort. It is up for bidding this week. Check it out, along with the other quilts available for bidding/purchase this week. Week Two Auction Quilts

“A BETTER WORLD” is currently on display online. This originated as an invitational exhibit, and again, I was honored to be invited to participate. Forty of the pieces will travel to the International Quilt Show in Houston. If you want to be inspired, read all of the entries into this show of heroes. They are listed in alphabetical order by artists’ last name – mine is in the R category, of course.

Posted in Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission., Fiber Arts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Quilt and Surface Design Symposium (QSDS)

A group of 120+- gathered at the Columbus (Ohio) College of Art and Design (CCAD) for QSDS last week to study and play under the direction of a variety of art instructors , concentrating on a wide variety of topics. In my class, eight of us were fortunate to work under the guidance, wisdom and frivolity of Deborah Fell. Here are a few photos of the location and people with whom I was directly involved. This experience was so rich with information and quality examples that I could have attended a second week and more. Check it out for 2020 – you will not regret attending QSDS!

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SAQA Benefit Auction Quilt….

Bidding on SAQA art quilt Benefit Auction donations will be September 13 through October 6 at http://www.saqa.com/auction-quilts.php

Sweet Nectar – 12″ x 12″
© Mary A Ritter 2019
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PAQA-South ART QUILT dreams

The 2019 International Juried ARTQUILTSdreams is open and will be available for viewing at Page-Walker Gallery and History Center from March 27-May 18. Be sure to call prior to planning to be sure other activities do not prevent viewing (119 Ambassador Loop, Cary, NC * 919-460-4963) Enjoy viewing Page-Walker Gallery shots, individual photos and statements at the link below. The exhibit is stunning, so if you can see it in person, it is well worth it!


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Sacred Threads Exhibit

So pleased…. Le Chêne Chapelle (The Oak Chapel) was accepted into the Sacred Threads show under the category of “Spirituality”. (39″x56″) http://www.sacredthreadsquilts.com

The CHÉNE CHAPPELLE, France: (39”w x 56”h) The Oak Chapel still holds its ground as the priests and worshipers attend to its needs.

SACRED THREADS is exhibited in Herndon, VA (near Washington DC) from July 11-25. Subsequently, I have been notified that it will travel to a variety of venues for two years. So far these venues have been enlisted; more will be added through time. View a slideshow of the traveling exhibit here:http://sacredthreadsquilts.com/html/2019travelexhibit.html

The 2019 travel exhibit is currently committed to these locations:

HeART Gallery, Toledo, OH
September 2019

Flint Festival of Quilts, Flint, MI
October 2019 

West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC
November 2019 – January 2020 

First Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC
February 2020 

Ogallala Quilters’ Society Spring Festival, Dimmitt, TX, April 2020 

Southeastern Quilt and Textile Musuem
May – June 2020 

American Quilter’s Society Shows:
Lancaster The Nook, August 5 – 7, 2020
Grand Rapids, August 19 – 22, 2020
Charleston, SC, September 30 – October 2, 2020

Best of the Valley Quilt Show:
Lindsay, CA – April, 2021

Click Here to View a Slideshow of our Tentative 2019 Travel Exhibit.

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Having just completed “El Tajo Gorge, Ronda, Spain”, it was exciting to have it juried into the “FISSURES!” show at the Emerald Art Center in Springfield, Oregon. I will have to ship it mid-February, so I need to enjoy it for the next few days. The exhibit will run from March 5 to March 30.

Artist Statement: The views of the El Tajo gorge, once a fortification in its own natural right, and the surrounding countryside are spectacular and captured my imagination on a visit in 2015. The full colors of sunset were spectacular, as was the view during the full hot sun of daylight. Ronda, an impregnable town created in Neolithic times in Malaga, Spain, sits above the El Tajo gorge that guides the Guadalevín River through town center. Ronda was first declared a city by Julius Caesar in 1AD with the Moorish culture and religion dominating Ronda until Christians first forced entry in 1485. The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is the third and newest of bridges built to promote the flow of residents and world-wide visitors through town. It was built in 1793 and took forty-two years for construction. There are two older bridges and all three bridges now unite the culturally diverse societies. Puente Nuevo provides not only a physical path between the two cliffs above the El Tajo gorge, but also conjoins the old culture and architecture set apart by the gorge in ancient times with more modern society and structures on the other end. When in Spain, do not miss a visit to Ronda!Puente Nueve-Ronda, Spainel tajo gorgedet


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This December finds us with 10″ of snow. Might as well spend some time snow dyeing some fabric!!

Pre dye fabrics

Fabrics and snow- ready to begin.

Dye colors

Procion Dyes-yellow, turquoise, red, orange, turquoise, red, black, fuchsia

Snow added

Snow packed on top of fabrics which are bleeding a bit.

Layers of dye-blue,yellow

Layer of yellow then blue or turquoise dye sprinkled. I’m looking to create shades of greens and browns.

Layers of dye-black, orange

More layers, black and a splash of orange.

Snow Melted first time.

Snow melted – new colors

First Snow Dye results

Kept these and put the others back in for another snow-dye bath. I like the muted soft colors. Dark one is purple. First one started out solid yellow.

Spools to settle

I used spools in bottoms of the containers to allow the melted snow to stay below the fabric so the fabric doesn’t soak in the mixed dyes. Marbles, ping pong balls, a grid -anything that would hold the fabric up away from the liquid would do the trick. This time I soaked the fabric in a bath of soda ash and water first. The soda ash will help the dye adhere to the fabric for more intense colors.

9Dye added-reduced

Snow and dye added again – dyes should soak through the fabric and meld as they soak into neighboring areas, but retain some of their own color in other areas.. Melt, melt, melt! That’s always the plea throughout the winter, right? Notice, I remembered to put down a protective plastic cover this time. I always work inside of a large plastic crate so that my spills and overflows are contained there – except for the sleeves of my shirt which seem to drag through the dye and then drip down my arms. I wear a mask when working with the soda ash and dyes so that I don’t breathe in the fine powders.


These are the results of the overdyeing. I love the cloudy sky, but it may work for something else too. The other subdued colors are just what I was hoping for. Now…. let’s get to work!

Posted in Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission., Fiber Arts, Tutorials | 6 Comments