My piece, Round and Round It Goes is part of the Quilt National 2013 exhibit. It was recognized with the Award of Excellence. To learn more about this quilt and the artists who are part of that show, go to


A new SAQA book, Portfolio 20, The Art Quilt Sourcebook, is now available from the SAQA website. The portfolio of professional quilt artists includes a pic of my Round and Round It Goes quilt. A wonderful opportunity to review many beautiful works of art.


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cigar box # 2 finished

cigar box invitational exhibit, Paula Kovarik, 2014

Here is the final result of the cigar box piece I have been working on. This one uses a stitched, folded and tied cover for the box (see flat version of the fabric piece here). The box is quite beautiful in it's own right so I didn't want to disturb it too much. The only thing I added to it was a sheet of painted paper with cutouts for the thumb and the two characters: XO on the top.

love letters

The concept behind this one started with those two characters, representative of love and the way we use cigar boxes to store precious memories. Inside the box I added a series of copied love letters from my mom and dad's correspondence in the 1950s. She was studying to be a nurse, he had enlisted in the army. They were terribly in love, young, hopeful and had no idea what life and love would bring them. The wrap that I created is an old stained dinner napkin, the stitching is chaotic and wild, representative of their ride through life.

I've lost both of my parents in recent years. Their strength, determination and love sustained our family. Reading these hopeful ecstatic letters reminded me of that.

cigar box invitational exhibit, Paula Kovarik, 2014


Memory's Playground accepted

Memory's Playground, ©2014, Paula Kovarik

Happy to say that my piece, Memory's Playground, has been accepted into the Quilts=Art=Quilts show at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York. It is a lovely gallery in a beautiful setting. I am honored to be part of the show. Opening weekend is November 1 if you are in the area.

It's a hard one to show online because of all the detail. Here is a close up view of the right section. I used a scalloped edge tablecloth as the base. You can see some of my work in progress shots of it here, here, and here

Memory's Playground, detail, Paula Kovarik


cigar box #2

toy box wrap, Paula Kovarik

Morning light in the studio focused on the napkin I have been stitching this week. It is a piece I am preparing as a wrap for the second cigar box entry into our local show. This piece is focusing on how we use cigar boxes to store memories, collections and toys. 

More later.

cigar box wrap, Paula Kovarik


Playing around

Oh, say can you see? ©2014, Paula Kovarik

I am a lucky participant in an invitational art show in which each artist was provided a wooden cigar box. The show will be in alternative art gallery in October. This past week I looked around the studio for raw ingredients that might find a route into this creative gate. 

I am a collector of scraps. twigs. thread. snippets of fabric. rocks. dried weeds. you name it I got it. The pile of colorful threads next to my sewing machine started to look like it might have a heartbeat so I decided to take a stab at weaving it all together. Crosswise, lengthwise, in a circle, over a ball, into a nest, around a heart shaped rock and just plain balled up. The texture was emotive, chaotic, and intriguing.

The box I have is from Mexico. I have vivid memories of the colors and thread work I saw when visiting there a number of years ago. The art, the people, the history and the countryside are rich with inspiration and passion. Frankly, I was surprised. I was a victim of bad media coverage: fear of getting sick, attacked or kidnapped are all potently exploited by news reports here in the States. Fact is, it can be dangerous wherever you are and if you let fear rule your decisions you can miss out on a lot. It's a lesson that Congress could benefit from.

So that was the seed for this assemblage. The fact that we are a polyglot society dependent on and richly endowed by our immigrant population seems to be missing from our politicians mindsets. Woven together we are stronger, more creative and richer by far. At times it may look like chaos, but underneath there is a tapestry of truth.



We grew beets in our front yard this year. They grew vigorously, provided great meals and were delicious. We had two large harvests, leaving the rest in the ground for later meals.

That's when the rabbits found them. One day I was out watering and found all of the tops nibbled to the ground. The beets were still there so I piled up a little mulch around them and hoped for a resurgence.

And lo and behold! little green leaves poked up above the hay...a veritable miracle.

So, I'm gonna take this as inspiration. When projects go dead, my head gets nibbled away with doubt and worry. I will press on.


another perspective

I ruined two rotary blades yesterday in the frenzy to cut and manipulate fabric. It started as an exercise in composition. What if I tilted this piece and reassembled it with an underlying grid? What happens when I requilt an already quilted surface? What if the fabric joinery is hidden behind ragged edges...sort of like my mood? Does the assemblage of parts becomes more than the original whole?

Sometimes you have to look at things sideways and forget the main road. Casualties happen. Blades can be sharpened.




triangle refuge

No juice for more than geometrics. This is what I work on when the brain goes to fuzz. The precision puzzling releases the angst of concepting.

Disappearing squares on point.