I began using free-motion embroidery early on in my career as a fiber artist, enjoying the spontaneity of drawing with thread. By lowering the feed dogs on the machine, the fabric moves freely below the needle, and I use the sewing machine like a drawing tool. This fast-paced method of mark making can be seen in some of the backgrounds of my appliqué portraits, in a few of my costumes, and in these colorful quilt blocks shown below. For the quilt blocks, the thread is being stitched through solvy—a thin transparent material that dissolves in water. I intentionally leave portions unstitched, but as long as enough stitches are intertwined, the quilt block will not unravel when dipped in water. When the quilt blocks are hung a few inches off the wall, their threadbare nature casts wonderful shadows.