The road ends, but the journey continues...

Weekend Notes 3/2-3/2024

“Mounted over canvas”

As per recent quilt-blogger discussions about how to mount certain fiber art pieces: Mary over at Zippy Quilts posted a callout for suggestions on how best to display a ‘map’ quilt she recently completed. The overriding consensus suggested mounting it over canvas.

About two years ago, I experimented with this technique.

During the Pandemic, while noodling around with the idea of floating a design utilizing negative space as part of the composition, my Homage à Ma’s Uncle Tran Mawicke came into being. Pleased with the result, I wanted an equally unique way of displaying it.

Ma’s Uncle Tran* was a prolific commercial & fine artist, illustrating numerous magazine articles, sci-fi books, fashion magazines & catalogues, calendars, advertisements, creating art by commission, for both private/personal and public purposes, etc.

My Homage features a common color palette used in many of his works, but does not reflect his style of art.

As a true ‘working artist’, I’ve no doubt he experimented with different modern techniques and emerging schools of art-thought during his lifelong career. I’d like to think he might have explored a sort of “abstract expressionism meets graphic art” approach to his own work. In that way, my Homage title makes sense.

That’s the cerebral narrative. Truth be told, at some point during my immersion in Homage, something about it ‘felt’ like the Great Uncle I never knew – connecting me to both him and my (he)artist Ma.

*Mini bio: Tran Mawicke was born in Chicago on September 20, 1911 and died November 28, 1988. He’s best known for his commercial illustration, landscapes, and portraits. A graduate of the American Academy of Fine Arts and Art Institute of Chicago, his work spanned from 1935-1988. A prolific storybook illustrator, he also has credits such as film posters, covers of magazines such as Collier’s, Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, and BusinessWeek. Tran served as president of the Society of Illustrators from 1959-1961. He traveled extensively and  called Bronxville, NY home-base for most of his life.

“Bonus Day”

Last Thursday was February 29th. A whole day inserted into 2024’s leap year to correct time discrepancies in our calendar related to Earth’s orbit around the sun. Think of it as an expanded version of the ‘extra’ hour received when we in most states of the US set clocks back in the Fall thus ending Daylight Saving Time.  

This added date – an extra day tacked onto February – felt like a Bonus Day to me, hence the name.  In fact, I planned for this Bonus Day in advance in order to take full advantage of my perceived ‘extra’ time!

Right before lunchtime, after a morning of unabashed glee pursuing indulgent (he)artistic endeavors, I got a text notice that my shingles shot was available & waiting for me at the CVS. Since this prescription had been ‘out of stock’ since December** I decided the unscheduled task took priority, so I got jabbed ASAP.

I am thinking you know what comes next…Yes, you’re correct in thinking my extra hours were then consumed by an overpowering fatigue – which for myself is a normal reaction to any vaccine.

And yes, you’d think I’d remember that – but no.

Overall I felt okay about that interruption, and I did indeed make up for that ‘lost extra’ time in the days that followed – gaining traction (and new insights) on a few music projects and progressing on a surprise gift I’m making for that new Papa cousin’s baby girl I mentioned in an earlier post. All of which I hope to reveal in the near future!

**What can I say? We live in an underserved area and that’s part of how life is for us. Case in point: a regular rhythmic cycle of empty shelves at stores has been a fact of life since moving here in 2012 – way before the Pandemic put that Reality front and center for many formerly unaccustomed to those sorts of issues. 

How did you spend your Bonus Day this Leap Year?


  1. navasolanature

    That is really a beautiful piece. And think re your Ma’s uncle that he too would love your experiment with space.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I never thought about how Ma’s Uncle Tran would react to my ‘Homage’. thank you for that!

  2. Khaya Ronkainen

    Love your exquisite Homage quilt, Laura. Reading your great uncle’s impressive bio, what a great talent he was! I see now that art is in your genes. Can’t wait to hear about the surprise gift you’re cooking up… 🙂

    As for the “bonus” day, I was hard at work. Only wrote a micro poem about how I wished it was a free day. Such is life. 😀

    Anyway, wishing you a wonderful Women’s Day, Month and Spring!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Good morning, Khaya. Please forgive the time lag between your comment and my response. I’ve been away from the computer for awhile…
      Thank you for such an enthusiastic response – and I think writing a micro poem during a hard day at work is tremendously nourishing to the soul. Poetry is like that, right?
      Keep seeing with those poet-eyes of yours, dear one.

  3. Annika Perry

    Laura, I love your Homage quilt, incorporating thoughts and emotions from your uncle and mother! It is a great idea to display it like this and for so many years the crafts have been ignored and not taken seriously as art in their own right – glad this is changing!

    Yeah! Someone else who sees Leap Year as a bonus day! Good idea to take an opportunity for the shingles shot and good no side effects! Take care, hugs, Annika xx

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m all in for Bonus Days!!! Have a great weekend, Annika.

  4. Laura

    You have a good eye, Laura! The Homage piece is a wonderful work of art and displayed quite well!
    Shingles? Oh yeah…I know about that! Nothing like having shingles on the left side of the face, including in the eye. That was a long time ago, and I don’t care to repeat the experience. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Laura. I value your input/thoughts on my Homage. 😎
      The visual of anyone with half a face, including the eye, filled with shingles is terrifying. How painful. I felt like I was pushing my luck with not getting it sooner, and then when I decided to go forward with getting it, discovering it’s ‘hard to get’ geez. I am blessed to have gotten jabbed before any incident, that’s for sure!

  5. Marie A Bailey

    What a lovely quilt. I love that you designed a quilt for show, for art’s sake. It’s beautiful.

    You know, I didn’t do anything special on our bonus day. Went to yoga as usual and did the usual shopping. Came home exhausted ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well, a bonus day is a bonus day – however one uses it! An extra day of yoga and shopping was certainly a ‘bonus’

  6. Andy

    Two of my primary school classmates (one a girl who was also became a high school friend, the other a girl who is my wife’s cousin) were born on that extra day. So they’ve just been celebrating their ‘13th’ birthday!

    • laura bruno lilly

      13…hence the use of the word ‘girl’ in discussing your friends! 😉
      Seriously, two friends with the same February 29th birthday is like finding two 2 $2.00 bills in one day! Yep, an Americanism using our ‘rare’ but still in circulation $2.00 bill as an analogy!

  7. Ally Bean

    I got my shingles shots and didn’t have any side effects, not even tiredness. I feel better knowing I’ve done what I can to avoid shingles. Your artwork is stunning. My Feb 29th involved ? which made it special.

    • laura bruno lilly

      There is a certain peace of mind that goes along with doing what **can** be done like you say. Glad you had a celebratory Bonus Day, Ms Bean!

  8. Sharon Van Zandt

    Beautiful piece of art, Laura! You are so talented!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for such an enthusiastic response, Sharon! I hope your leap into March is an adventurous one!

  9. Wakinguponthewrongsideof

    Hmmmm. I reorganized my fridge. Finished a chapter I was unsure about. Went for pizza and an off broadway show with the family

  10. zippyquilts

    Love your Uncle Tran piece! Is it hanging in your house? I was at Mid-Atlantic Quiltfest for my “bonus day”, which was good.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Zippy! Yes, it’s hanging on a makeshift pin-hook on my design wall, actually – until I find a better place for it!
      BTW: did you enjoy QuiltCon? For $15 and parking fees, I got alot of bang for my buck! Feeding my soul with artwork, eyecandy, casual encounters with the community of friendly quilters in attendance and even learned a few tips from the free demo I attended on FMQ by String & Story! I hope you came away from that and your bonus day Quiltfest filled to the brim with vision and delight.

  11. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    I love the quilt mounted on canvas, Laura. Beautiful work! ❤️ ? ❤️ Interesting story about your Artist Uncle.

    Have a great week!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Cheryl. I always appreciate your comments! (imagine heart emoji here)

  12. Jennie

    You are very talented, Laura. It must feel good when your (he)art brings you closer to your great uncle and your mother. Really nice! Leap day was a flurry of children planning and practicing for their big play performance for families. It was wonderful. Although you ‘lost’ your planned extra day, it was worth it to get the vaccine. Best to you, Laura.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, Jennie, I count the vaccine event as a bonus to my bonus day – even if unexpected! Oh I love kid performances (and the teachers who make such an effort to make it all happen)! Say hi to Gloria for me!

      • Jennie

        Will do! Best to you, Laura. I’m not sure who likes the play performances better, the kids or the parents…or me. ?

  13. Janis @

    I had a bad (is there any other?) case of shingles years ago when I was immunocompromised because of treatment for something else. It was horrible and I was thrilled when a vaccine was developed. Not a great way to spend your bonus day but, as you know, worth it. I think you are allowed a substitute bonus day when you miss the first one for reasons beyond your control.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh geeez shingles – poor lady! For the past few years, I’d cringe whenever I’d get an allergic reaction to some skin thing or another hoping it wasn’t an early stage of shingles…I’m now on the ‘safe side’ of all of that. Whew! I like your idea of taking a substitute bonus day and am planning it already! Just searching for the right time – thanks for the encouragement to do that – HA!

  14. piecefulwendy

    Your Homage piece works well on the canvas; I think that is a cool way to display a small piece. Way to roll with the jab, too, and make the most of your bonus day!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Wendy! I had a great time playing ‘catch up’ – so part of my Bonus in the Bonus Day actually involved getting that vaccine! HA!

  15. marissthequilter

    The work you made in homage to your uncle is moving. I suspect there is much thought and care behind those seemingly simple lines. And the framing is impressive. So neat!
    What bad timing that the vaccine and its short term effects coincided with your bonus day. Glad you made up for lost time.
    As to my bonus day — asked and answered

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Mariss for your kind words. Your assessment of my Homage means much to me, as you are a Master Fiber Artist! 🙂

      • marissthequilter

        Oh my heavens, what status you confer on me ?

        • laura bruno lilly

          Well…when something is true, it needs to be told. And sometimes it’s good to hear how others see/perceive you – even if you’re shy about hearing it!

  16. Jane Chesebrough

    While playing a decorating game online, I grew an appreciation for the neutral colours and how important they are in planning a design. I like this piece, with the angles, stitching and the mounting. Of course, you sent me on another artistic journey, searching for the artwork of Tran Mawiche. One caught my eye in relation to the treatment of negative space and diagonal lines, called, “Who’s the Blonde?” Talent runs in your family, and I enjoy seeing your projects.
    Leap day? Last night I went upstairs to watch a movie, and was told it was Friday, not Saturday. Oh boy! At least I remembered it was the first of March, and paid my bills.

    • laura bruno lilly

      HaHa about the leap day experience! Glad you got those bills paid in time! Jane, it means so much to me knowing that sometimes my posts send you on journeys of discovery! I, too, am amazed at the diversity within the neutral color palette and enjoyed using it as a base in the making of my Homage. Perhaps that was part of the reason I was so drawn by your photo taken through the screen as I mentioned on your post
      Take care.

  17. petespringerauthor

    As someone dealing with two weeks of COVID symptoms, I’d say the jab is worth the risk. My mom got shingles and for someone who never complained about anything, I remember how hard it was on her.

    I’m afraid I have 0% expertise with map quilts. ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh I surely hope you and your family recoup here soon. Two weeks? – that’s a tough haul.
      For the record, I never think of ‘fatigue’ as a **risk**, just par for the course and as you say – well worth the temporary reaction.
      Take care, Pete.

  18. L. Marie

    Laura, your “Homage à Ma’s Uncle Tran Mawicke” is beautiful and elegant! Your use of negative space shows a wonderful skill. I’m glad you’re please with the result!!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, L.Marie – I am pleased it pleases you as well!

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