Thursday, December 31, 2009


Another year,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The year is coming to an end with new opportunities floating on the waves. I am embracing them with a whole and open heart. These coincide with the natural tendency of this time of year to reflect and look forward. I usually begin this process by chastising myself for what I haven't done. Instead I am employing some wisdom that has come my way via my friend Lydia (see Lydia's work at & Byron Katie--'Love what is.'

I have approached these past months with balance in mind. Working on the artwork and writing that I want to nourish both my being and my checkbook. Tending to my home, my family, my friends and my community. I can honestly say I have done all of the above. Could I have done more? Probably, but at what cost?

So I am loving what is at this moment. Sincerely hoping you are loving as well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let's Play

I have had a few teaching opportunities come my way. I really like teaching-energizing a group, watching people solve problems, imparting information and waiting for the AHA moment that inevitably comes. I am working on the workshop(s) contents, making a package......tentative title to the workshop experience.....The Surface is Your Playground. It is exactly how I feel when I begin working. Remember running to the playground at recess----you just couldn't wait to run, jump, fly down the slide, play in the brook(we had a brook).

Now, what if you approached a quilt like that?

What would THAT look like?

A thought for this gorgeous, pink sky day in December.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another step forward
The Chirps are at North Quabbin Woods. Shop online or at the store, 1 East Main St. Orange, MA.

The store is chock full of locally made goods. Love this bench by Ron Jacobs of Rustic Wood Creations. If you are looking for gifts from the hand please peruse the site. You are buying as close to the source as you can.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Open Studio Event-Dec. 5 & 6.

Busy getting ready for this weekend's Open Studio Event. Dec. 5 & 6, 10-6, 10-5pm at the studio. Send me an email, linda.ruelflynn@gmail and I will send you directions.

New work to share....I am loving the colored background of these new pieces.

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Process

This is the latest in the New England Birch series. Three feet wide by one foot tall. I am using large pieces of hand-dyed fabrics from Margaret Stancer of Pelham. I love her fabric. I don't know how she does what she does but I am so happy she does it. The placement of the blue in the midst of the green is the perfect suggestion of water running through the stand of trees. A pleasure to work with such yumminess. That is a fiber technical term....yumminess. Enjoy!
-click on the image above to see a larger version-

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daily Inspiration

When I was teaching I would tell my students - cherubic first and second graders - to look at their world. Not just glance around, but to really look. Looking takes time. Time well spent. I have been taking the time to look. To really see what is around me. More importantly, I am taking the time to stop, see and absorb what I am experiencing. This picture was taken Friday morning about 8:20am in S. Hadley along the Connecticut River. The fog wafting from the water pulled me to the river bank. It was magic. I watched for about 15 minutes as it twirled and swirled over the water. A piece of me went over the river. I will savor this quite a long time. Who knows where it will pop up in my work in the future.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The Chirps- Sweet little bird quilts with hand-dyed fabric, hand-dyed embroidery cotton and a whole lot of fun. Having a great time divining the personalities of these little darlings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


New work here. I love love love making the circle giggles, like the green/orange one to the left. I have always had an affinity for enso circles, and circles in general (maybe that's why I love cookies). But when I started doing the bird scenes people had such a positive response to them. I didn't expect that. I love making those too. It feeds my secret desire to do illustration. So now I am going to feed my secret desire some more and watch what happens.

Can I just be cranky for a second. My favorite fabric in Northampton closed this past summer. Every contemporary quilter in the area cried. So as I am getting all this work done I am watching my stash dwindle. Where am I going to buy this fabulous fabric? I resist buying online. I want to feel the fabric. What looks pretty is not always made well. Gee, maybe I have to go to NYC on a little buying trip!!!!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm Working Here

What a great day. Much accomplished. This is what it looks like when I am done. The fruits are above the mess. I was feeling daunted by the deadline of the Garlic Fest. Now I am invigorated. Just give me a deadline and away I go. Take heart, this isn't the only space on which to create. The studio is bigger than this. More pics some other time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Case for Not Pushing It

Not Pushing It

This piece is 18 x 18, stretched around canvas stretchers-just like the giggles. I didn't think I was going to like this larger size. But this piece works.

The central part was made last week. I wanted it to be part of 12" x 36" piece. It just wasn't working. Spent hours...hours...hours forcing it into the space, attaching printed fabric to the sides, attaching painted fabric to the sides, tear it out...try something else....NOTHING was working. AARRGGHH. I tacked it to the wall and left. Four days go by. I walk into the studio this morning, lay it on the 18 x 18 and eureka, it worked. Pulled the dark blue fabric to the sides and I was a happy camper. Added a few more yellow hand stitches, stretched it, signed it and voila! 1 down, 22 go.

The moral to the story..see above...Not Pushing It. Just because you want something to be a certain way doesn't mean you can bully it to fit. There was no convincing that fabric to work.

The more I quilt the more I find metaphors for dealing with people. Just because you want someone to behave a way you think they should....doesn't mean they will. My Dr. Phil moment is over.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Artist Statement

Please indulge me just a little longer. I want to share my artist statement. This is written to go with the Giggles. I find it necessary to make a statement about each series. To write one statement to encompass all seems daunting and not quite relevant to the moment. Striving to be in the moment.

My work is born out of sheer play with fabric. I call this series Giggles. Giggles started as an exercise of letting loose and getting back into creating artwork. The exercise grew into a thoughtful process of merging color and pattern to create tangible joy in a pleasing design.

I work in cotton fabric, batting and thread. I alter commercial and hand-dyed fabrics with paint, bleach and thread to create a fabric that is more of my statement rather than the fabric designer’s statement. I also seek to recycle as much fabric from other projects as possible. I employ traditional and non-traditional quilting techniques with contemporary designs to create these quilts of fun. The more I made, the more I laughed. The laughing was infectious and people started purchasing Giggles to have a colorful, fiber laugh to take home.

This work is all about sharing the laughter.

The great thing about this, I didn't set it in concrete. It can change. I am sure it will. I grow, the work changes, so must the statement that goes along with it. If you are having issues writing a statement ( I told Alicia I would rather have a root canal) she said something perfect...start with small thoughts and then link them together into larger thoughts. Perfect. Small is a great place to start. Now that I think of it, the Giggles started out at 3" x 3". Now they up to 12" square.

Perfect for the moment.

Out in the World, Part 2

The Giggles are out in the world again. This time at the Gardner Ale House,

Giggles are on display from May 11 through June 22 with a reception on Sunday, May 17 from 3-5pm.

This picture has three new pieces. I am loving them, especially the middle piece. It is called 'Your Turn'. Reminds me of a game board. The piece on the right, 'Escaping' is employing some of the techniques of the larger pieces I am working on. Bleaching, attaching other fibers etc. What fun.

As I venture to put this work out into the world more and more I searched for a way to really connect to the community they are displayed in. To that end I have decided wherever the Giggles go I will be donating ten percent of the sales to that community's food pantry. Recipient of ten percent of Gardner Ale House sales is the Gardner CAC, .

More on the larger pieces next time. Also, getting ready to submit an exhibition proposal to a gallery, been a long time since I was on the submitting end. Thankful I have had the opportunities to be on the reading end of things. I should ace it, right? Pressssssure.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Out Into the World

Giggles are getting out of the studio and going to Greenfield. I will be there as Laughing Fibers-Linda Ruel Flynn. I am happy to be re-connecting with old friends. Extremely talented potter Lydia Grey, see her work at, invited me to participate in the Greenfield Green Fair, www.greenfieldgreenfair. com with other artisans to promote their work as well as buying local when needing a gift, home decor, clothing etc. If you are in the Pioneer Valley this weekend, come check it out. Lets see how it goes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Process

I really like sharing pieces that are in process. Glimpsing the unfinished, the unresolved. Here are couple of pictures of my most recent piece. I am continuing with the mapping series. I am enjoying the whole cloth approach to these pieces. Painting on the fabric, cutting, applying stitching, inserting imagery. Creating a map of our everchanging landscapes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We Can Use This Map

We Can Use This Map, copyright Linda Ruel Flynn, 2009.
(Please do not use this image without permission. It is not nice. Just ask.)

This is the piece I sent off to the Surface Design Members' Exhibit in Kansas City, MO. I began a series of 'whole cloth' quilts that are grounded in daily news reports of loss of land mass, polluted water, displaced species etc. I began to think about the need for our own maps. What would we use to guide ourselves when the cartographers can't keep up with the ever changing landscape? This piece is a glimpse of what the other quilts look and feel like. A map made by an amateur cartographer, used by a community, folded, torn, changed on a whim. It is a tool. I take great inspiration from the American slave quilts used as maps and communications during the underground railroad.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The argument to just keep going

I am going to channel asparagus energy from now on. I bought asparagus about five days ago. Recut the ends, like you are supposed to, put the bunch in a couple inches of water until we were ready to eat it. Well, it is growing. Check out the asparagus sprouts. Now I feel like I can't eat it. It is growing. Now, I don't have any trouble going out to the garden and cutting whatever I want for dinner. Somehow this is different. It just doesn't want to go gently into that good night of sauteed leeks and garlic. At the same time, those new shoots are probably going to be mighty tender.

So the next time you think-that is it, I give up, think of the asparagus.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Going Bigger

New Work
The last pieces were small, 3 and 4 inches square. This piece is 12" square. This piece incorporates a new technique I have been using. Painting on fusible webbing. It has rocked my world. As always photography is a stumbling block for me (so thanks to Jim dear for taking pics) Just wanted to show some new work. Some topics I will be talking about soon...oblique strategies and the surface-not necessarily at the same time. Absolutely Fabulous.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting Back in the Studio

...or at least the frame of mind to be back in the studio. Transitions are sometimes hard to navigate. I never seem to have trouble going from working to being home, cooking, throwing myself into family life. It is taking myself from home, and all its coziness, to go back to work. Even though I love the work. It is taking the step to the unknown. Maybe I should look into cultural rituals that mark transition. Like the African American tradition of jumping over the broomstick at the wedding. The Jewish wedding tradition of stepping on a glass wrapped in fabric. What's my ritual?

So to get back I am looking the last thing I finished (finished is relative here) before the holidays. I resolved the design from a previous post.
I did a lot of moving around, serious editing and minimal "quilting". I am starting to not even think of these as quilts so much as fabric assemblages. Now that I type that let's not go down the label path. ick. As my good friend Kathleen says, "It is what it is." How true.

I like it. I am fascinated with the bits and pieces falling about. Patterning and what happens between the elements.


I had to stop on my way home this morning. Waiting for my turn while the chipper took care of the many fallen trees around here from previous ice storm. I looked out the window and couldn't resist the lines in the road, the cracking and patterning. Took out my camera and here it is. I will be playing with this later. We see what we are drawn to.

Happy New Year.