Robin Ferrier – Art Quilts »

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One of the things I LOVED about this house was the walls in our son’s room.  I had originally painted the walls a most lovely color of sky blue, but I used a glossier paint than I should have so the walls really shined!  Wanting to keep that beautiful hue, I hired a guy to come in and airbrush wispy clouds all around.  This served us well for many years!  The solid blue below was added years later when we replaced the carpet with wood flooring, replacing the molding in the process.  I loved photographing my quilts in this room because it was the perfect backdrop to a peaceful child’s room!

  • robinMay 9, 2017 - 4:29 pm

    Lots of painters tape!

  • PaigeMay 9, 2017 - 9:01 am

    Yes, very lovely! How would you temporarily attach the quilt for photographing?

I’ve decided to start something new today… a photo essay about our family home.  This house is currently on the market and I’m so excited to share it with you!  While I admit there are some bittersweet feelings to see this chapter of my life come to a close, these feelings are overshadowed by the immense feelings of gratitude for a life well lived and the inspired feelings of hopefulness for the life yet to come!  Moving on is what people do!  It’s a cause for celebration!  With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you some of the fantastic photos I’ve taken over the years with this lovely house as a backdrop!  We are hoping to find a buyer soon and you can see the listing here!  Check back daily for more lovely shots of this beautiful place!

As we wandered through Japan, we found ourselves in Arimatsu, a small town on the edge of Nagoya which is famous for being the birthplace of Shibori.  This was not a planned situation; we simply woke up that day in Nagoya and flipped through our book to see what there was to do.  I was delighted beyond words to discover Arimatsu nearby, given that dyeing fabric in all it’s forms is something near and dear to my heart! As we walked the streets there, I could only imagine we were stepping back in time.  The architecture was different than other places we had been.  The buildings looked weathered yet still very much sturdy and strong.

We visited the Arimatsu Tie-dyeing Museum.  There on the second floor, were many beautiful examples of all the different varieties of Shibori one could imagine. The kimonos were breathtaking.  Two women there were actively demonstrating shibori techniques.  In my limited Japanese, and with the help from Google Translate, I was able to learn that one of them had been working like this for 60 years!  I asked about aching fingers or sore knees, but neither was bothered by anything of the type.  Instead they simply sat and wrapped small gathers of fabric with thread, with contented smiles on their faces.  I was humbled to be in such a place.

  • debbyApril 22, 2017 - 2:57 pm

    Wow! wow! wow! Thanks so much for sharing this. What a wonderful experience, especially since it was unplanned!

  • Betty GoodwinMarch 28, 2017 - 2:45 am

    Thank you so very much for sharing this shibori experience. I would have LOVED to have been with you. These artists have so much patience and are true artists.
    Isn’t Japan an interesting country?


  • Lisa White ReberMarch 28, 2017 - 2:37 am

    How delightful! What wonderful patterns – thank you so much for sharing these.

  • LeonnaMarch 25, 2017 - 6:54 am

    Absolutely stunning

Recently we went on a trip to Japan!  It was our fist time and it was amazing!  Growing up in Hawaii, I’ve always been exposed to the Japanese culture due to the large population of Japanese Americans living here, so much of this seemed somewhat familiar to me.  The crowds tho, oh boy those crowds, were massive; I had never seen so many people before!  I could not have imagined how immense these cities are and despite being warned, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of people we saw. I’ve been to crowded cities before, and there is usually chaos, but not here.  These throngs of people exist peacefully; everywhere we traveled the fruits of respect, consideration and tradition were apparent. We always felt completely safe.

There were several nights at traditional Ryokans and long leisurely baths in the onsens.  Everyday was a feast for our senses. One of the highlights was actually a matter of serendipity.  When we travel, we are good to only plan a day or two ahead. In the evenings we would open our book and ask ourselves where we wanted to go the next day.  One day we found ourselves in Nagoya and on that day we visited the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. To our surprise, the car manufacturing company we all know as Toyota, got it’s humble beginnings in the fiber industry!  Yes folks! They got their start manufacturing machines utilized in the spinning of thread, and weaving cloth.  If you ever have the chance to travel here, I cannot encourage you enough to see this place because we were mesmerized.  Many of these machines are fully functional and production of thread and cloth continue today. There were enough signs in english to make us feel informed and each station had a guide who in limited english explained to us how the machines functioned. I leave you with more pictures from this museum.  Tomorrow I’ll write about my trip to the birthplace of Shibori!

This piece falls in the category of “old work made new again” because I actually first finished it years ago but never really liked it because one of the hand-dyed fabrics I used had a stain on it.  At the time I willingly incorporated it into the quilt hoping the stain would not bother me over the long run. Well it did and the quilt just sat there.  Last week I decided enough waiting for this one to shine, so I lopped off the end of it and reworked the sleeve.  One would never know now this one used to be larger and honestly I think it looks much better this way!  It’s listed in my shop now and you can purchase it here!  Enjoy

Elements #26

37″ x 34.5″

I wanted to give you a brief update on that class quilt I posted about earlier because I had absolutely no idea it would go down like this!  My friend, the teacher contacted me last night super excited to tell me the news.  She met with the musher and was able to see some of the dogs as well as others in the community gathered for this event.  I don’t know exactly how it came out, but it turns out that at least two of the people there know of me and my work!  They read the blog and are collectors to boot!  I’ve always known that I have readers all over the world but to make a connection like this is amazing and without a doubt I am so grateful when it happens. I started this blog to make connections with people, to share a little about myself and to inspire people to work like I do.  I am so honored and touched that in a place as far away as Alaska (which couldn’t be more different than Hawaii, I might add), there are people there who appreciate what I do.  The musher I’m told is grateful for the quilt and my friend is thrilled to be on this magical trip.  I’m happy that I was able to play a role in helping her get there!  It just goes to show; you never know what will happen next! Cheers!  P.S. Good luck Mr. Musher! Don’t crash 😉

When you are the village quilter you become the go-to person when it comes to a quilting need.  Last week was no exception.  I have a friend who is a teacher and she won an opportunity to travel to Alaska to learn about the Iditarod.  As part of the deal, she needs to bring the musher a gift.  I couldn’t deny her when she asked.

I’ve made many classroom quilts before so this one was a snap.  Because it had to be finished quickly and we were working with kindergartners, we decided to have them draw on plain squares of fabric with these:Sharpie Permanent Markers.  To keep the fabric from moving while the kids drew on them, I ironed each piece onto Reynolds Freezer Paper .  Within days, I had twenty squares to work with!  The rest was easy peasy!  What I love about making this type of classroom quilt is each block is unique!  The kids all have such different styles and some of these blocks really caught my eye.  To quilt is I used Quilter’s Dream Batting and doubled the thickness.  I use this batting often because I love how the quilt crinkles up when washed.  It also breathes easy; doesn’t trap heat in.  This time I doubled the thickness to give it more weight.  It was still very easy to manage under my walking foot on my favorite home sewing machine, the Janome Memory Craft 6500P .  Needless to say she loved the quilt and is excited for her trip!  If you use this technique to make a classroom quilt, I’d love to see what you come up with!  Happy Quilting!

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″