Robin Ferrier – Art Quilts »

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Hana is a place where time seems to move slowly.  That’s one of the things I love about it; it’s like stepping back to another time.  Sometimes things do change quickly tho.  Imagine our surprise when what was once this:

…turned into this:

The neighbor is preparing his property to sell so he cut down a few trees.  Well, more than a few trees if I’m honest.  It takes some getting used to and we are adjusting to the sudden loss in privacy.  The man who helps us with our landscaping has already made a special trip to the nursery on our behalf.  He plans on planting native shrubs and a two Ohia trees, one red and one yellow, to help us with the view.  The good news is I had a nice talk with the neighbor who did this and he plans of clearing those fallen trees.  I understand why he did it and know just like he does that it’s a tiresome job keeping the jungle in check.  It’s going to be a long process because like us, he doesn’t live in Hana.  Like I said earlier, time moves slowly here.

Back at our house, Jamey and I have been working on the screened lanai.  We started by inserting the screens into the upper portions of the walls.  These “balinese” screens don’t just pop in like western screens do.  They are framed in wood.  Wood swells.  We discovered with some of them it took a bit of pounding and sanding to make them fit.  Once we inserted one screen, we found it sometimes affected how it’s neighbor fit, and so forth.  I have a whole new appreciation for our builders and can only imagine how much pounding and tweaking it took to get this wooden house together!  If you look closely, you can see they didn’t use a staple gun to attach the screen to the frame; instead each side has screws set 2″ apart holding the screen tight and even.  There is a level of craftsmanship here not seen in the U.S.

Next came the wire on the bottom half of the walls.  This is done to comply with code. 

While Jamey put the wire in I inserted the screens on the lower half.  We stopped when we ran out of hardware.

What we have so far looks stunning!  We had hoped to lightly sand this deck and give it a coat of Cetol, but that will have to be a project for another day.

Meanwhile, in Bali, finishing touches are being done on the kitchen cabinetry and countertops, and things like sinks and tubs are being chosen.  It will be months before all this arrives in Hana.  People who are curious about the project have a tendency to ask me when it’s all going to be finished.  The simple answer is I don’t know.  There are many variables at play, most of which are entirely out of my control.  All I can say is I’ve become comfortable with uncertainty. At one time we both felt this project was too much to handle and we nearly scrapped it, but somewhere along the way we found the grit and grace to stick with it.  I’m glad we did because in those moments when we are pounding on screens and drilling holes I don’t think much about how hard this has all been.  Instead I’m happy to be working with my hands in a beautiful setting… my mind miles away from things I cannot control.  

In my shop today Elements #24!

This was a quilt that I finished a while ago, but I never liked the original quilt because it had a large stain in one of the hand-dyed fabrics that I used.  This was the only picture I could find of it. I didn’t realize it would bother me as much as it did; I thought over time this imperfection would grow on me.  Ordinarily, I like my quilts to have slight imperfections; to me, that’s what gives a quilt it’s soul! Not this one.  That darn spot really bothered me.  So I took the quilt back to the studio and cut it off!  I must have chopped off a good ten inches off the thing!  I’m thrilled to say I’m really happy that I did so!  Sometimes in order to make something better, you have to cut something out.  This quilt is full of energy!  It has wonderfully saturated colors all in a triangle motif!  I love how the shapes and colors give it strength and vibrancy, yet this quilt, as a soft textured wall hanging, is able to stand silent and strong on the wall.  Enjoy!

Elements #24 measures 38″ wide by 33″ tall

  • VivienFebruary 20, 2017 - 4:13 pm

    Looks great! You can’t tell at all where the change happened. The quilt looks like it is how it’s always meant to be.

  • JulieAnnFebruary 4, 2017 - 5:42 am

    Robin, very strong and definitely stands on its own. I love it!

Today I attempted to go to Hana.  I should have known better because the weather was stormy and this area is particularly subject to landslides.  Just before mile marker 12 (given its about a 36 mile drive), I suddenly found myself at a standstill.  If only I had left 10 minutes earlier!  Argh!  Here’s a picture I lifted from FB.  It shows where people have basically cut the branches that were hanging over the road.  When I was there, the branches were covering the road thus making it essentially impassable.  If you ask me, I think cars have no business passing under a fallen tree anyway; what if the tree were to fall further?!  So I turned around and went home.Hours later, Jamey came home and we checked the road conditions.  The tree was cleared!  Call us crazy, but we had a task to do so we headed back out to Hana!  Before I show you the progress on our place, here is a photo that was taken last August. Now you see them:Now you don’t!  Yes, as you can tell, we had some more trees chopped down!  I know it looks a little sparse now, but if there is one thing you can count on in Hana, it’s the fact that the jungle always grows back.  We had to do it.  We are in the process of evaluating which site would be best to put our solar panels for electricity.  We were going to build a separate stand-alone structure, but that option is now “plan B” because adding another building would add cost and headache when you take into consideration the structure and two permits we would have to deal with.  “Plan A” would be to put it on the screened lanai (porch) located in the rear of the house.  We’re still not entirely sure that’s what we want to do, but for now at least we can see how the sunlight hits the various parts of our property.  Notice the leaf litter?  Thankfully, this too will be gone before long.I never thought I’d be so thrilled to see a set of stairs, but I am!  Just look at them!  They sure are beautiful and ooh so sturdy!  No more climbing on overturned buckets or ladders to get in!  What a difference a simple set of stairs can make!On the way home Jamey and I joked about how long this project has taken, how fancy the house is, and how we never would have done this if we knew what we were signing up for.  I’m glad things seem to be turning out ok.  Not only that, at least we have something that keeps us busy!

We are still in the process of installing that wire rail on the decks on the front of the house.  This type of coconut wood is not only an extremely dense wood, but it was also pressure treated and kiln dried which makes it an extremely strong wood.  Drilling into it has been a bit of an issue.  We learned early on not to use the cheap drill bits.  Only titanium bits will do here.  We also learned not to let the bit get too hot, otherwise the metal is quick to snap.  The drilling must be done slowly and methodically, and when drilling long holes its important to keep the angle constant… ahem… that was the lesson today.  Within five minutes our longest drill bit snapped!  Ugh!  When you are two hours away from the nearest hardware store, situations like this tend to be inconvenient, to say the least and I was really hoping to finish this project today.  Oh well.So we changed tasks. We were told that after the house is completed we have to put one last coat of finish on the exposed wood.  As it is, we simply can’t wait; this house faces due east and is very close to the ocean, the front is exposed not only to the rising sun, but also salty air blown in by the wind.  With that in mind we started the process of lightly sanding the front decks and applying a coat of Cetol Dek Finish.

Inside another layer of finish was being applied to the bedrooms.  That makes four coats!  That’s a lot of work! It’s simply stunning how beautiful these floors are turning out and I’m hoping all this work done now will save us work in years to come. 

On another deck, work was being done on a set of stairs which were installed after we left.  The wood is Ipe.  We chose it because these stairs will be exposed to sun and rain and Ipe has a good reputation for standing against the elements.  Our builder is doing such a nice job on the finish, I like to think we have the most beautiful set of stairs in Hana!  I’ll show you a completed pic when I get one. 

Someone, I don’t know who, left this pretty set of furniture on our front deck when we weren’t around.  If you are that person, I’d like to thank you!  Hana is like that sometimes… the kindness of people is real here.  There is a genuine sweetness to the community  and I think it comes with living in such a beautiful place.  

Even today, when the wind was gusty and the ocean was turbulent there was beauty all around.  It was a day where we could hear the waves crashing against the shore from inside the house.  The power of nature was on my mind. I was afraid those thick grey clouds would open up and dump all over our newly painted wood, but at least for today, the weather cooperated.  On our way home we were treated to raging waterfalls and churning streams of water.  I’m going to bed tonight thankful for such amazing builders who work tirelessly on our Hana home, and for a thoughtful neighbor who gave me a place to enjoy my tea. I’m thrilled to have accomplished a long planned task with Jamey, my partner in all this nonsense.  Finally, I’m reminded we live in a sometimes thunderous planet which if anything, keeps things exciting! 

  • jennyJanuary 27, 2017 - 9:29 am

    such a gorgeous place to call home

In my shop today, Elements #23!

This quilt is bright, whimsical and colorful!  I remember when I made it my goal was to utilize half-square triangles in block format.  It was an exciting exploration into colors, value and design.  I think the browns really make those colors sing!  This quilt would look fabulous in any room; it has the whimsy fitting for a child’s room and the sophistication fitting for a study.  This is one of the quilts that really speak to me as jazz in visual form.  If you are interested in this quilt, please visit my shop!  Tata!

Elements #23 measures 35″ x 47″



In my shop today is Elements #13!

What a cutie this one is!  Elements #13 is one of those quilts that seems almost timeless.  The colors range from deep greens and blues, peppered with buttery yellows and neutrals.  I’ve always imagined this quilt to be the perfect cover to a jazz album; it’s jazzy, and mod!  I’ve priced this one lower than the others simply because it’s not as large and it’s one of my earlier works, but the quality is still the same!  I’ve quilted it with fine thread in an overall quilting motif.  The person who buys this one will be very pleased!

Elements #13 measures 35″ x 40″img_7405img_7164

In my shop today, Elements #9.

It’s fair to say I really like this quilt.  In fact, I like it so much, I currently have it displayed in my living room!  This was one of the first assignments that Gail and I gave each other: make a 12-patch quilt utilizing hand-dyed fabrics and hand cut lines.  I really like that I chose to use mostly toned and tinted fabrics… they really make the pure hues sing!  The fact that there are so many neutrals, makes this quilt appear more sophisticated, thus more appropriate for adult rooms of the house (as opposed to a child’s room… unless you are from Restoration Hardware). Well anyway, it is a lovely quilt and one I hope you enjoy too!  If you are interested in purchasing this quilt, please visit my shop today!

Elements #6 measures 35.5″ x 47″


  • PaigeDecember 1, 2016 - 3:30 pm

    It’s lovely on your wall!

In my shop today, Elements #9!

Ever since I could remember, I wanted to make a quilt using buttery yellows and creamy neutrals.  At one point I had an embarrassing large collection of commercial fabrics all in golden tones.  My dyeing was no exception. To make this quilt, I dyed yards and yards of fabric.  You wouldn’t know it by looking at this one, but I wanted to capture that mellow yellow feeling that one gets with sitting in a hammock on a warm summer afternoon.  I was making this because it was early February, the warmth and excitement of the holidays had passed and the rainy season brought a damp chill to our house.  I wanted to insert something sunny and refreshing into my life.  I remember feeling stuck and it was something that Gail and I talked about as we created quilts side-by-side that year.  I wasn’t liking the colors and I admitted to feeling a little drab. I sent her a quote on tenacity that I sometime refer to when I’m feeling creatively clogged, and she told me sometimes you have to just finish a piece before you can decide if it’s right or not.  After posting teaser pictures of this quilt, I got a lot of very nice comments!  Over the years the association of that cold damp rainy season has faded and this quilt now reminds me of my original inspiration… sunshine.  If you are interested, please come check it out at my Etsy Shop!

Elements #9 measures  34.5″ x 43″

In my shop today…

This was a fun one!  Back in 2009, I partnered with Gail Baar to create a year’s worth of quilts, exploring different motifs.  Our birthdays are the same day in early January.  That year I found myself ready to start something new and exciting!  I stumbled upon her blog and saw that she was working in a style similar to mine, so I contacted her and made the pitch to come along with me to create a few quilts!  Our arrangement lasted a whole year and as you can see that work served as a springboard for subsequent work!

The quilt inspired by this assignment was to create a quilt utilizing a strip format.  It was exciting to see what we each came up with as her quilts were similar yet very different from mine.  This was #11 in my Element’s series and it helped me get to #14 which I posted about yesterday.

This quilt measures 35″ x 46″ and can be found here!  Cheers!



img_7226In my shop today is a cheerful quilt that is likely to brighten up any day!  Made as part of a series, Elements #14 contains many of my beautiful hand-dyed fabrics cut and pieced improv style!  This one was very popular on flickr and still today it is one of my highest liked quilts!  The breakthrough for me in this piece is the ability to join many different blocks of differing sizes. I really like how this piece brightens up a room and every time I look at it I appreciate something new.  As I say in my description on Etsy, this quilt would be perfect for a playroom or a child’s room, however if you appreciate color like I do, this quilt has the sophistication for any room in the house!img_7419

I’m having so much fun posting about these quilts!  I’ve got many more planned to sell and will likely stick to my goal of posting one a day!  If there is a quilt that you would like to see for sale, please let me know!  I’d love to hear from you!

In my shop today!

I realized that given the date that I made some of these quilts, they’ve never been seen here on this blog before!  What a kick! Today’s quilt is no exception; it’s a stunning take on the old block “courthouse steps.”  I created it in a similar fashion I make many of my quilts.  Strips of my own hand-dyed fabric is sewn together to form panels, then these new fabrics are cut up and sewn strip-by-strip into a square-within-a-square motif.  Finished in May, this quilt was really born in the winter months when cool blues are contrasted with warm yellows and golden browns.  It’s quilted with an overall grid quilt utilizing thick low-loft batting which makes it stand well against a wall.  Of course the binding is hidden and there is also a generous sleeve on the back for hanging.  It was number 15 in my Elements series and can be purchased here in my Etsy shop.

Elements #15 measures 33″ x 43″ img_7374I’ve been having fun going down memory lane looking at these quilts again!  I am remembering what it was like to be in such a creative stage in my life and I’m thrilled to be finally making these public!  Stay tuned for more offerings in my shop!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything remotely personal here.  Back in the day, I used this blog as a venue to process my antics as a working artist. You were with me during those years of creating, you were often there to cheer me on and celebrate my minor accomplishments.  With my various blogs, you watched me evolve from a common quilt maker to an artist and before your eyes I was able to produce 46 quilts in my Elements series, several in my “Mostly White” series, and countless uncounted baby quilts, quilts for commission, and small quiltlets.  Those days are behind me now as most of my time is consumed with my work as an intensive care nurse and the general work of tending house.  Oh where does the time go?  I can admit that I’ve been through what I like to think of as an accelerated journey of life lessons, and thankfully I feel myself emerging out the other side.  Maybe it was a mid-life crises, maybe one of life’s transitions… maybe, just maybe it was the perfect storm of influences that all converged at once so as to turn my life so completely upside down that at times I failed to recognize myself.  Without getting to personal I can tell you I am stronger now, my love for my partner and my family is greater than ever and that I think I’m going to be just fine.

All this I tell you because in my heart of hearts I believe this one thing; quilts, like love are meant to be shared.  I’ve done a lot of sharing here on this website and today I’m happy to announce I’m ready to share even more!  I’ve reopened my Etsy shop and over the next few weeks I hope to fill it day-by-day with all those treasures I’ve spent years making!  Today I listed these two gems:

Elements #25  which measures 33″ x 49″

img_1705Elements #28 (Featured in Art Maui 2011) measures 59.5″ x 47″


My days as quilt maker are not over, I’m simply changing directions.  As a creative person, I will always be compelled to create and there will be more quilts!  I hope you stay tuned over the next few days… weeks and see what exciting things I have to share.  Come visit me in my Etsy shop and tell me what you think!  At the very least I hope you are enjoying this holiday season like I am and basking in the warmth and cheer that this time of year brings!

  • Kay SorensenNovember 26, 2016 - 7:17 pm

    Sorry I missed the link…found it.

  • Kay SorensenNovember 26, 2016 - 7:13 pm

    You didn’t include a link to your etsy shop did you?
    Both of those quilts are wonderful.

I went last week to check on progress on the Hana house.  Upon turning down our little road, I immediately noticed that someone has been busy cleaning up the church next door.  Thank goodness!  During the past year or so the jungle did as what jungles always do and overtook the parcel nearly swallowing the church in a twisted vine-ridden mess!  I remember thinking what a shame because this church is a landmark in Hana.  I used to give people directions to our place by saying “You know that little mission-style house on Waikoloa? Yeah, we’re right next to that.” There is a sign out front which used to read “Good Samaritan Church” and I’m thinking there was also something about the fact that this church was established in 1949. The words have long fallen off and the sign, as you can see is barely readable.  It’s a bit of a mystery to me the fact that when you google “church Hana Maui” there is no mention of this church.  I try to do a little research on this place and nothing shows up.  Not that something must be “google-able” in order to exist; it’s just that usually you can find something on the internet when you go to look things up.  I talked with the guy working on the property and he told me he is a pastor on Oahu, and he’s been coming out for weeks now working slowly to clean the place up.  He seemed sweet and earnest. He also seemed a little tired.  When I asked him why he is working so hard to do this, all he could do was shake his head and tell me “no church should ever be forgotten like this.” It’s a sad story.  This church belonged to his family and now he’s all it’s got.

I’ve only known this church long after it’s heyday.  I’ve only known it to be neglected and abandoned.  I wish I knew what it was like when it was fully functioning, but I’ve got nothing to draw from, my feelings for it are empty.   I wish this man had others helping him love this property.  Buildings are meant to be cared for, not forgotten.   I offered him help when it came time to clearing trees from the rear of his property.  Turns out we both want some of these trees removed; not only does it decrease leaf litter on our property, it also helps keep the jungle from taking his over.  This is perhaps the best it will look for a long time again.  He told me that this is the busy season at his church back on Oahu, so he won’t be coming as often.  Deep inside me I know that there has to be a light in the future of this church.  At least I can hope there will be. There has to be a reason why this man is working like he is. img_8158

As for our house, work is being done these past few weeks on the caulking part of this project.  As it is with single-wall construction, there are gaps here and there that need to be closed up to eliminate unwanted water from rain seeping in, or tiny creatures from the jungle making themselves at home.  It’s a tedious job.  The walls must be scrubbed and dusted, any debris needs to be removed before the caulking is applied.  Every joint gets attention.  The work must be done methodically.  img_8170For this type of work, our guy is using two shades of brown for the caulking.  He explained to me that the color of the wood calls for differing colors. Here you can see how he is working from right to left: img_8172

As I looked around I started to see places where this type of work needed to be done.  From inside, you can see little streams of light pouring in and in areas that have been patched up, you see darkness: img_8169

All I can think is “we’re going to need more putty!”img_8168I leave you with a 180 shot of this place taken mid-September.  The building you see on either side of this photo is actually the same structure; it’s the panorama effect that breaks it in two.  It’s not hard to see that water has flooded the area, covering the road that snakes around our property.  Thankfully, our structure is solid and built well off the ground.  I continue to be humbled by nature and it’s destructive forces. There is a part of me that wonders if this is all worth it.  When I get overwhelmed with the jungle, the elements, the cost and the amount of work that this place requires I start to loose faith.  Like my neighbor next-door, I’m not giving up. There is magic here, I just know it.  After all we’ve been through, all the set-backs, all the uncertainty, I simply must keep on forging ahead.  There is value in something hard-earned and this place and the life we had imagined for ourselves in it is worth the best of what we have to give.img_8113

  • Levi DeckerNovember 1, 2016 - 12:55 am

    Love you Robin!

First, I’d like to start with the result of a project I worked on in august; my cheese platter arrived in the mail the other day and it looks fabulous!  You may remember it from my post on “My Little Trip to Cambria.”  Anyway, I’d like to thank Patricia Griffin once again for putting on such a nice class and teaching me the art of Sgraffito and Mishima!  If you ever have a chance to take a class from Patty or learn these techniques, take it!  You will be happy you did!


Last Sunday was the big day here on Maui for printing our Big Ink projects!  I talked about it here and here. It was a huge community event and it lasted for most of the day.  The process started with inking the panels…img_8051

… these panels were laid down face-first onto sheets that were stretched over plywood.img_8058

Carpet padding was laid onto of the pile and a steamroller rolled over it.  When asked, the steamroller operator admitted that he had never done anything like this before!img_8037

Finally, the big reveal!  img_8059

The sheets were lifted and carried back to an area where they were rolled up with sheets of newsprint so as to protect them from smudging.  We were told the drying process would take a couple of days.  I still have yet to pick my piece up but will soon!img_8867

It was a labor-intensive day but oh so worth it!  I feel like I participated in something very special.  It was an added treat that on the next day, this event was featured on the front page of the newspaper!  Yes people, I made the front page!  I’m so happy I made the last-minute decision to take this class and I’m thrilled with my first block print!  I have no idea what I’m going to do with this piece, however I’m fairly sure this will not be my last!  Cheers!

  • robinOctober 13, 2016 - 7:35 pm

    He drove over them and then backed up over them. It was really neat to watch! We were told that we could have used one of those hand-driven lawn rollers but that would not have been as much fun.

  • pattyOctober 13, 2016 - 3:46 am

    That is so freakin’ cool! Did the steamroller have to make more than one pass over the panels?

  • Robin F.October 13, 2016 - 3:03 am

    Your cheese platter is gorgeous. Your panel for the big ink is impressive. The panel by the students is inspiring. What a fun day for all.

It’s been an exhausting week, however I’m happy to say I’m finally finished!  My FIRST block for block printing!  Looking at it here there are a couple of tweaks I’d like to make, but sometimes you just simply have to stop.  It’s early in the morning now and I can’t sleep.  Later today we will print these blocks with a steamroller!  It’s a community event!  There are blocks from schools as well as other artists to print.  It all happens from 10:00 to 2:00 at the Hui No’eau Visual arts center.  It’s been such a wonderful experience making this block along side other artists.  Come join us and see the magic unfold for yourself!  Cheers!