Autumn Sunset

I love working with transparent overlays. This piece depicts the sun setting behind trees as the autumn leaves float through the air to the ground.


Silver Snowflakes

One day last winter I looked out of my window at mounds of snow. On a whim, I decided to snow dye some fabric. Since the snow created this fabric I thought it only fitting that the resulting piece reflect its beginning.



For this piece, I imagined I was standing on a bridge, looking down at the water’s surface. Lily pads, water lilies and critters live on the sparkling ripples while colorful stones are reflected through the water.


Along the Fence

When we think about our roots we think about the house we grew up in, our family members and the location of the family home. For me those thoughts take me back to a farm in central Iowa where pink, white and red hollyhocks grew along the fence.

Nelson- Johnson Fence.feat

The First Day

While driving through the upper Midwest in early winter I was stuck by the abundance of birch trees and the silent peace of the woods. (Mounted on felt.)



Hand painting and machine stitching on silk organza.


Water Study

The combination of horizontal lines with warm and cool colors brings to mind sun reflecting on the water’s surface.



This piece started as an experimentation with lamination.

NELSON-JOHNSON L Colors of Autumn Full

Autumn Colors

The color wheel of seasons turns to the warm side of the wheel in the autumn.  Rich reds, tangy oranges, golden yellows and soft browns flutter through the air.  As the colorful leaves float to the ground, tree branches are left barren, foretelling the cool colors of winter.

Winter Night.full

Winter Night

This piece is the second in a series exploring the representation of light.



This piece was created after researching Jackson Pollack’s work and reading art critics’ theories related to fractals seen in Pollack’s art.


The Promise

It was May in Iowa and snow was still piled up everywhere.  My sister looked out of her kitchen window and was surprised to see tree branches full of robins.  She snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook.  Even though we thought spring would never come, the robins promised it would.  My sister, LouAnn … Continue reading The Promise


This We’ll Defend: 3768 3081

WWII touched every family on every street.  Nothing would be the same again.  Stories told here are as they were reported.  Many others have never been spoken aloud – they exist in silence.  I was born on Memorial Day, 1925.  I rode in a Halftrack 25 in Germany, Combat Gunner, 50 Calvary 3rd Army 6th … Continue reading This We’ll Defend: 3768 3081


Clowning Around

This postcard was made for a show with the theme “Wish you were here.”  Contact me for photos of other postcards available.



It was April in Iowa and there were mounds of snow everywhere.  What else could I do but use the snow to dye some cotton and silk organza and add giant snowflakes.

NELSON-JOHNSON L Purple Was Her Color Full

Purple Was Her Color

Life’s puzzle begins simply as a child, each piece fitting together neatly and colored with the primary colors of mom, dad, and siblings.  Teenage relationships and marriage, symbolized by secondary colors, are added.  Tertiary colors represent family life with children, grandchildren and eventually great-grandchildren.  For those with Alzheimer’s, it is at this time in life … Continue reading Purple Was Her Color


Fishy Fishy….

This piece was inspired by a small piece of fish print flannel proudly handed to me by my grandson.


Spring Day

After a long cold winter, spring is heralded by tulips, bunnies, butterflies…….oh my!


Beyond the Kelp

This is my first experiment with transparency in combination with newly learned dyeing and mark making techniques.  The attempt is to give the viewer the impression of looking through water.

NELSON-JOHNSON L Autumn Sunset Full

Autumn Sunset

The inspiration for this piece was the view of the setting sun from the front porch of my townhouse in Washington state.

Pretty Van Gogh

Pretty Van Gogh

Nothing is prettier than fresh cut golden yellow sunflowers in a cobalt blue pitcher.



This piece was inspired by Pipper (AKA Pippy), a Springer Spaniel.  He was my son’s boyhood dog and was with him well into his college years.


The Shipley Corner

Many years ago, my brother and I celebrated our home by carving pumpkins to set on every fence post surrounding the yard. We used every candle we could find to light up the night. This quilt celebrates that memory, family and the warmth of a loving home.

Refections of Summers Past

Reflections of Summers Past

Every summer my father would take the family north to Minnesota for a week of fishing.  This piece reminds me of those family adventures.


Pears on the Palouse

When the rolling hills of the northern Idaho Palouse are blanketed with flowing golden wheat, ripening pears dangle from low hanging branches.  The sweet flavor of pears is the flavor of fall.


Iowa Made

I was born an Iowa farm girl and I learned the lessons of the land.  My strength comes from those whose values were molded by it. My paternal grandmother, Anna Nelson, an Iowa farm wife, made the worn Depression Era quilt. It represents the foundation of a value system that is sustained over time. Many … Continue reading Iowa Made


Christmas Fireworks

Life is like a box of Christmas fireworks, a celebration of the past and future.  As teens my brothers would drive across the state line to buy fireworks for a family Fourth of July celebration.  Through the years, fireworks have become a Christmas tradition.  On a cold, clear night we gaze at the brilliant colors … Continue reading Christmas Fireworks

Autumn Day

Autumn Day

On an autumn day, colorful leaves fall gently on the water and float down the stream glistening with droplets.


Bountiful Harvest

From its debut in 1941 as a premium in Proctor & Gamble’s Oxydol, Corn Ware was the best selling line made by Ohio’s Shawnee Pottery until the company closed in 1961. Representing the bountiful corn harvest of the American Midwest, the King Corn tea service rests on the rolling hills of the farmland. The Depression … Continue reading Bountiful Harvest