National Quilting Day

Here is a quilt I just finished today for my sister.  The pattern is called Northwind.  She pieced it for a friend’s birthday.  That strange stuff on the edge is the binding, which I stitched on, but it has not as yet been turned to the back and tacked down.  I’m hoping she’ll have that done by Thursday, so I can take it to guild for show and tell.

The batting is my favorite, Hobb’s Wool, and the thread is also my favorite, Glide by Fil-Tec.  The color is Khaki.  Magna Glide bobbins in cream on the back, of which I failed to get a photo.  Trust me — it’s awesome!  ;D


Northwind 2

Northwind 3

Northwind detail

Northwind border detail

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately.  There just hasn’t really been all that much to write home about.  New ventures coming up, though, so stay tuned.

Out of the deep freeze

I nearly froze to death.  That sounds really silly, doesn’t it?  At least for someone like me, living in a snug little house.  However, I was thoroughly miserable over the past week.  I don’t know if it’s just that I’m getting old, my metabolic issues, or what, but I really had a hard time regulating my body temperature and spent most of the time with very painful hands and feet.  I am so glad it’s over, and I hope it doesn’t come back.  My circumstances, however, got me thinking about those who are much less fortunate than I am, so I am in the process of clearing out drawers, chests, and wardrobes of warm clothes that I no longer wear and that I probably won’t want in the future.  Those items need to go to the warming centers in town, so the homeless folks can stay warm.  If I’m freezing in the house in this weather, I can only imagine what they do with nowhere to go.  Technically, they do have the Egan Warming Centers here in town, but often they don’t go — no drugs, alcohol, etc., allowed.  However, many do go, and the centers save lives.  On Thursday night, I became a trained volunteer for the warming centers, and I’m looking forward to helping out.

I did get quite a bit of quilting done over the last week and a half.  I took pictures of several of the quilts, but I’m still trying to get myself back in the groove, so it may be a day or two until I upload them.  I did have a near breakdown, caused I think by cabin fever and the pressure of too many wonky quilts to do right before the holidays.  I remember that when I started quilting, I was not so careful in my piecing — largely because I was not properly educated in quilt making.  Now I probably know far too much about how to put things together and I am sometimes appalled when others don’t use good techniques.  I also worry that, when I quilt something for someone, and it doesn’t come out quite right, someone will see it, ask who quilted it, and the overall effect of the quilt will be associated with my name rather than the piecer’s name.  Maybe that’s a little silly, but it does stress me out.  I think in the coming year, I need to be much more careful about quilt intake, make sure that the quilts I accept are without major problems, and give my clients the chance to repair big errors before I quilt them.  Now, this is not to say that I will demand every quilt I take in will be perfect, it just means that I’m not doing two-sided tshirt quilts, quilts with un-sewn seams, or quilts with embellishments or folded items that will catch my hopping foot and possibly break my machine.  I do enjoy taking a wonky quilt and turning it into a thing of beauty, but there are some quilts that just make me cry.

That said, one of the quilts I did over the past few weeks was huge, had some wonky piecing in places, had embellishments on it, and it was pure magic.  I have photos which do not do it justice, but I will share it with you over the next few days.  It was a very special experience.

So, I’ve thawed a bit, I’m nearly done with the Christmas quilts, and I may actually get the tree up before Christmas!  More soon.


Are you freakin’ kidding me?

-7° here this morning.  This does not happen here.  I am so grateful for my snuggly little house, which most of the time I think of as a drafty little icebox.  I have to admit that it’s pretty cozy in here, but I dread seeing next month’s heating bill.  I suppose we’re all in the same boat, not just here in Eugene, but it looks like most of the country is in the freezer these last few days.  They say it will begin to warm up tomorrow and we may actually get above freezing by Tuesday!  Yeah!  In the meanwhile, I’m so glad I’m a quilter.  Nothing like having warm blankies on hand when it’s cold outside.

Back to work

Well, I think my Fitbit stats will suffer a bit this weekend.  I have a lot of quilts backed up here and really need to get them cranked out.  My ankle is screaming at me (sinus tarsi) but usually shuts up by the time I’m into the first mile of a walk.  However, I really had a hard time getting warm after yesterday’s walk.  It was 50° out there, which isn’t horribly cold, but when I got home, I ended up going into my room, fully clothed in my jeans and sweatshirt, with hand warmers in my pockets and toe warmers stuck to my socks, and got into my bed under two quilts to try and get warm.  I turn into a brick of ice after exercising. We’ll probably get a much shorter walk in today, but if I get that cold, I think I’ll try a hot bath this time.  I was just miserable!  Anyway, the sun is actually out today, so it will be difficult to totally dis a walk, but I do have a lot of work to do!

Livin’ for the buzz

I think I’m becoming an addict.  I really have to have that buzz.  No – no brain-altering (well, maybe) chemicals here, but the buzz of the Fitbit on my wrist.  I went two days without this little bracelet throwing a dance party celebration on my wrist while I attended to very mundane things here at home.  It felt very good to get out for a nice walk with the dog yesterday and feel that little buzz when I got to my 10,000 steps.  I just wish I had had a bit more sleep the night before.  I was really tired after yesterday’s walk.  Also, even though it was about 52 degrees out, it was a bit foggy and damp and I could barely get warm when I got back home.  Good thing I have several quilts here to warm me up.  Plus, once you snuggle up on the couch with a quilt in this house, you get the bonus of three extra heating pads.  Their names are Ozzie, Vince, and Sadie.  I’m sure we were quite the sight, but I did eventually get warm!

In my spare time . . .

I have been organizing the USA portion of an art quilt challenge, based on world painters.  We were given a list of 30 painters and the idea was to make a 50 cm (approx. 19.7″) square piece that was either a reproduction or representation of their work.  You have seen mine (Mucha) albeit sans bling.  I did add a little bling to her hair and the lights in the arc behind the dancer.  I will share the quilts here with the artist’s name.  I ask that you not start pinning them around without attribution because, as we know, I get really honked off when people do that.  I do my best always to attribute work when I share it here and I ask that you do the same.  I find it frustrating when I try to find the source of a photo and am unable to do it.  Anyway, here are the wonderful quilts produced by the USA quilters.  There are also 30 produced by quilters in Japan and 30 from quilters in France.  I have not seen those yet.  Their first public showing will be at Yokohama on November 14th.

Van Gogh by Nancy Kibbey

1 Van Gogh Nancy Kibbey


Picasso by Jan Potter


2 Picasso Jan Potter


Rousseau by Ruth M. Bass


3 Rousseau Ruth Bass


Gauguin by Jeanne Wong


4 Gauguin Jeanne Wong


Toulouse-Lautrec by Jean Shute

5 Toulouse-Lautrec Jean ShuteMonet by Molly Summerlight

6 Monet SummerlightDalí by Barbara Steller

7 Dali Barb StellerDufy by Laura Jaskowski

8 Dufy Laura JaskowskiDa Vinci by Amy Vetter

9 da Vinci Amy Vetter


Matisse by Bethanne Nemesh

10 Matisse Bethanne Nemesh


Klimt by Jae McDonald




11 Klimt Jae McDonald


Renoir by Sheila Steers


12 Renoir Sheila Steers


Mucha by Linda Steller


13 Mucha Linda Steller


Degas by Bethanne Enmesh


14 Degas Bethanne Nemesh


Cezanne by Sylvia Killeby


15 Cezanne Sylvia Killeby


Chagall by Daphne John


16 Chagall Daphne John


Miró by Ginny Steller


17 Miro Ginny Steller


Klee by Diana Cleland Boyle

18 Klee Diana Cleland Boyle


Vasarely by Janet Hiller


19 Vasarely Janet Hiller


Modigliani by Nancy Hill


20 Modigliani Nancy Hill


Foujita by Georgia French


21 Foujita Georgia French


Taikan by Barbara Roselip


22 Taikan Barbara Roselip


Eitoku by Mary Goodson


23 Eitoku Mary Goodson


Hokusai by Susan Johnson


24 Hokusai Susan Johnson


Hiroshige by Cecilia Hosford


25 Hiroshige Cecilia Hosford


Warhol by Christine Brown


26 Warhol Christine Brown


Grandma Moses by Ellen Childs


27 Moses Ellen Childs



Wyeth by Margot Lovinger28 Wyeth Margot Lovinger


Parrish by Sally Zehrung


29 Parrish Sally ZehrungO’Keeffe by Marlene Singer

30 OKeeffe Marlene Singer






Did you miss me?

I’m home from a wonderful trip to Portland and other points in northwest Oregon.  On Wednesday, October 9th, I drove Ozzie out to stay with his cousin Kalli in Walterville and then I headed north.  My friend Bethanne was flying in from Allentown, Pennsylvania, so I picked her up at PDX and we headed into town to room with our friend Cecilia from southern California.  We met up, had a quick lunch, and Bethanne unpacked while Cecilia and I headed for a class.  We learned how to do a little impromptu art quilt design and execution right on the long arm, as opposed to making the quilt top and then loading it on for quilting.  It was a unique and fun class with Gina Perkes, a multiple-award-winning quilter.

When class was over, we headed into the show floor for the awards ceremony.  Bethanne had a quilt entered and had been advised that she won a prize, but we didn’t know what. She was in the Solo Artist category and, when they had announced third through first place and not called her name, we knew that she had won a really big prize.  Her name was not called for best machine workmanship either, so that left one very big prize, Best of Show!

Award winner

BOS BethanneI was so excited for her that I started crying when they called her name!  I know – silly, but who doesn’t want the best for their friends, especially when you know they really deserve the recognition?

Here are a few more detail shots of this absolutely gorgeous silk quilt, called The Shell Collector, piecing and quilting (hand guided) done by Bethanne Nemesh.  Also note the beaded binding and inner border treatment.  All done by stuffing pearls into a flange and tying them off, one at a time, by hand.  That takes dedication!

BOS Shell

BOS Close up

After the awards, we cruised the show preview and then headed back to the hotel for dinner and a little rest.  Here’s our view from the hotel restaurant.  The moon was out between the spires of the Convention Center.  Nothing like trying to take a photo through a glass window at night.

Dinner view with moon

The next morning, we took a good run through the quilt show.  I’ll include a few photos here of some of my favorite quilts in the show.

This is Sequoia Duckpond by Pat Durbin:

Pat Durbin Sequoia Duckpond

I don’t think I’ve ever met Pat, but this was a really cool quilt, especially the threadplay in the trees and other plants.  I almost felt as though I could reach out and touch cedar, or moss, or the actual plants.

This lovely triptych in gold, silver, and bronze is by Linzi Upton from Scotland:

Linzi's Triptych

Of course, with a name like Steller, you have to be a fan of stars, and there was a lovely feathered star in shades of my favorite color – green!  This is Green Miles by Peggy Kragnes.Peggy Kragnes Green Miles

Peggy Kragnes Green Miles detail

The detail on the quilt was gorgeous.

This quilt was embroidered and pieced by Helen Stubbings and then quilted by her sister Tracey Browning.  It is called Cornelian.

Browning Stubbings

After viewing all the quilts, doing a little shopping, and wearing our feet out, we decided to do a little sight seeing, as Bethanne had not been to Oregon before.  I took her to nearby Multnomah Falls.  This is the full falls, second highest year-round waterfall in the US:


And this is just the upper cascade, as viewed from the bridge in the photo above:

Multnomah upper

On the way back, we stopped at the Vista House, perched high on the south edge of the Columbia Gorge.  The views were all pretty muted and misty, as it wasn’t a very nice day.  But hey, it’s Oregon!

View house

The Vista House was a really cool place and I plan to return there again some day when I have more time to do some exploring.  The link above will take you to a Wikipedia page that tells a bit about its history and provides a few more lovely photos.

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about our Friday adventures to the coast!

Old age ain’t fer sissies

Well, I know I really shouldn’t consider myself old.  I’m 53 — that’s the new 30, right?  So why do I feel like I’m 83?  I just got back to the office from the chiropractor.  He’s adjusted me about as far as he can go — says the rest is nerve pain, which means it is that disc, now pressing on the left side instead of the right or, I guess, pressing on both simultaneously.  So I guess I’ll wait to hear from the neurosurgeon.  In the meanwhile, I need to get back in to see my regular doc because I’m just about out of pain pills.  I can’t take any NSAIDs due to the bypass.  I do have my little EMS device with me, so I’ll be wandering around the office with a wire sticking out of my pants all day.  Do I care?  Heck no — I need some relief!

I did manage to load a quilt this weekend.  I went slow and did my best not to hurt myself.  Did pretty well actually.  I do so much better when I’m standing, and there’s something about having quilting fabric between my fingers that seems to soothe me.  If only I didn’t need this dang day job to pay the bills.  Yes, I know if wishes were horses — ouch!  No riding for me today!