Sunday, February 26, 2017



Well this battle has been won against all odds!  Assembled, squared, and only a little wafflely which I think I can ease in if I carefully baste down each row when making the quilt sandwich.  I have abandoned making triangles for the border.  The pattern did not have the dimensions of the quilt body so I do not know if the above quilt body will coincide with the size of the triangles-I could end up with and inch hanging over or an inch under and why give myself this sort of headache?

After some re-thinking, the border will be made of the background material with the lines going all in the same direction.  The best quilt shop in Kansas City, Quilter's Station, the orginal source of this fabric, has more and has set it aside for me.  We will be in KC this week and I can pick it up.  Once this decision was made, I began constructing the stems and 1/2 edging around the quilt body.  About 10 yards of stems-maybe I overdid it.

The stems are the same colors as the stems on the appliqued diamonds and I will add some leaves and maybe some flowers.


Have you made a contribution to The National Quilt Museum in Paducah?  This is more important than ever as Congress is about to eliminate the funding for the National Endowment for the Arts which will reduce income for all museums as well as other forms of the arts.  Here is the link for Info on how to donate:

I am donating 2 quilts and some quilt patterns.  Here is my package ready to go:

And here are the quilts I donated:

The left one is made of Kansas Troubles fabric and the second was made about 8 years ago as a BOM.  I hope they have lots of donations and raise some funding.

I read a funny thing the other day:  

We are having such a nice spring this winter!

That is certainly the case here.  All the optimistic flora and fauna abound.  We have had robins in January.  The squirrels are frolicking about in a suspicious manner. AND daffidols, forsythia, and japonica are all budding and even blooming as well as all the buds on the trees.

 This has been going on since mid-February!  It is pretty eerie!  In the past, the daffodils poked their heads up about the end of March at the earliest and did not bloom until April.  I received some blow-back last week indicating that I did not take climate change seriously. That is not the case!  Probably climate change is the most serious long term problem facing us (there may be more dire ones in the short term).

AND NOW......

 There are little gardens all around us.  This particular garden grows on a large tree stump in my front yard.  The stump is about 3 feet in diameter and is covered with a
pretty gray "rose" garden.

Only the first photo is from my tree stump garden.  The other photos I googled under "tree stump fungus".  The beauty of fungus.

When we lived on our farm we collected and ate some varieties of fungus-puffballs, morels, oysters and coral.  I believe the above is edible.  But then we lived without electricity, phones, or running water for 5 years also.  Off the grid as they say now.


I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Our area is experiencing several days of record breaking above 75 deg days.  This is so different from the Missouri I moved to in 1973.  Winters then were very cold and snowy.  Nights fell to 20 below F at night and the earth was always covered in snow.  We are slightly dryer now but the corn and wheat seems to grown very well. Summers are cooler also now.  
Maybe we are some of the lucky ones-for certain others are no so.  Mexico City is sinking as the water table diminishes.  Australia is dry, dry, dry, and hot with wild fires.  California is either feast or famine-either torrential rains and floods or extreme droughts.

Is this state of affairs to late to adjust?  Don't know!  But the days here are nice!


This is my graduation project for Christina Cameli's Wild Quilting class on Craftsy.  I incorporated all the lessons and techniques she demonstrated but in my own style.  I love movement and I think this piece captures ebb and flow.  I know now I will always have a wild, graffiti piece at my side to think about and work on.  I began this blog 9 months ago expressing my terror at FMQ and, by practicing, doing some on-line samplers, and taking a couple Craftsy classes, now have  what my be my true love. The wilder and freer the better!

But let us not forget our nemesis:  Sweet Surrender which is slowly becoming the "undread".  Four rows assembled on schedule (this is one time when goal setting is useful: for getting something done which would rather be ignored).  These rows are reasonably flat tho not perfect-that is okay.  This will come our in the wash-that is in the quilting process as these waffles are small.  I think it is looking really pretty and I am pleased with it.

This week, I will assemble the final row and then all five rows together in one piece.  I have a nice idea for the border (which again involves triangles-will I ever learn!??!) and some pretty applique.  Maybe I will be able to begin that.  I will be very happy to applique again as this is my true love (whoops, I guess I have 2 true loves, no make that three as my best true love is my sweet husband-we live in each others pockets).


The Village wall hanging will be next in line.  I began this about 4 years ago and got irretrievably lost in the making of it.  The pattern was from my favorite Quiltmania and is by Yoko Saito.  Here is a photo of her pattern:

I began with this format and soon diverged as my idea was to made a coherent village.  The fabric is subdued Japanese taupes in a variety of colors.  In this photo you can see the various houses, bridges, rockwall, etc that are ideas for the wall hanging.
The upper right hand section is Yoko's block which is just delightful to me.  I kept that in place and will use it except I have to remove the houses from this fabric as I need to dye the background.   Info on how to do this is from another craftsy class from several years ago Linear Landscape Quilts by Gloria Loughman. This class is mostly about using Setacolor paints for hand dyeing fabrics to use for landscapes.  

I was never happy with the layout.  I played with it some always keeping that one block of Yoko's which I felt would define how the village would work.  I gradually realized that I want sky, stream, grassy areas, flagstones, and rock walls.   Gloria's method for painting fabric to use as landscapes will be perfect for this.  You lay the fabric out and use plenty of water to create a wash effect.
More progress on the layout but still not what I want.  And still the background needs to be painted.

This is where I ended.  Progress made but still no cigar!

I am going to start with the background dyeing.  Blue sky with some sunny clouds, a stream for some goldfish and lily pods.  Gray with speckles of dye for the paving stones and flecked ecru, tan, gold etc for the rock walls and bridge.  My idea is to take the paving stone and rock wall fabric and embroider the stones with sashiko embroidery.  

Anyway that is next after the undread sweet surrender.  Its good to have the next project in your mind for your unconscious to work on for you and come up with some neat ideas.

AND NOW.....

This endless, continuously spiraling whirl pool is the creation of artist Anish Kapoor.  Named Descension, it is located on pier 1 of Brooklyn.  It is 26 feet in diameter made with black dye and invites the viewer to loose themselves in another world.  Kapoor's artistic leaning is to destabilize the physical world so we can see the world from another view. For more info and other photos, see......   
That's all for this week-so long and happy quilting!

I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I have put together two rows of the dreaded Sweet Surrender! 

They went together pretty well.  There is some floppiness in play  especially on the left hand edge but all and all-pretty good!  Here was my method:

For the first row I cut templates for all the triangles both appliqued and pieced.  However, I found that I had cut the appliqued triangles most accurately (!) so decided no paper template would be required for them.  The templates where cut allowing 1/4 seam allowance.  So I pressed the pieced triangles well, got out my trusty elmers glue, and pasted the template to the back of the pieced triangle. (I tried pinning but too slippery).  I trimmed off any excess of which there rarely was any-mostly the pieced blocks were short on the seams.  Okay!  Since I knew my appliqued triangles were good, I  matched the two ends of the triangles together and eased in any excess.  The paper template was exact and was the standard.  Lots of the pieced triangles have skinny seams.

So there you have it!  I will do the next 2 rows this week-slow but steady progress!
Usually I work on one project at a time but currently I am working on three different aspects of my craft: assembling the dreaded Sweet Surrender, completing my Wild quilting craftsy class, and painting Arabesque.

The block below represents the synthesis of all the lessons Christina Camelli has taught us.  This has been a wonderful class and I am sorry it is ending.  The block is only partially quilted.  I find I love dense quilting and I also want to make this the most interesting quilting job I am capable of.  So I quilt as the ideas as to what to quilt next occur to me.  I started with quilting the big swoop across the quilt and am building on that.  I know I am supposed to just flow from one area to the other utilizing what I have learned but I guess that is not me.  Flowing will come in time.  Here is where we stand now:

  Here is the reason for the cat fur:  Helper Kitten! She is all over "our" work with furry suggestions.

It is so hard to photograph black.I am using varigated thread but it does not really show up and the black does not look really black.  The big circle drawn in is a thought to maybe do a Krista Withers sort of thing which would emphasize the geometric. Who knows what my fingers will think up.

 When this is finished, i will move on the quilting Chuck Susan and Me-each little square will be different. I have half the body of the quilt assembled in quilt sandwiches ready to go and have purchased my thread.

My paints arrived the other day-so many pretty colors!  I am not sure how I want to use them so I made little samples of the colors with labels so I can move them around and see what is what.

I was not sure where to start so I painted the stems.  i used a jade/spruce green.  I feel so meditative when I do this like a medieval monk at Lindesfarne painting illuminated manuscripts.


I told you last week how funding for the National Endowment for the Arts maybe eliminated and how this will affect quilt museums.  Our biggest and best quilt museum- National Quilt Museum in Paducah-is asking for donations to sell as a fund raiser-kind of a quilter's bake sale.  Info is below if you want to donate-go to their webpage.  I am going to donate 2 quilts.

AND NOW......
Your moment of Zen!

When we think of beekeeping we think of white wooden boxes or maybe one of those adorable basket skeps.  Here is one even more unique from the Cevenne region of France.  Here, for centuries, they have been keeping bees in hollowed logs:

These hollowed logs like like a forest of giant toadstools. The beekeeper gets at the honey by turning over log as you can see below.  Apparently the bees love these homes as they are close to its natural habitat in an old dead hollow tree or fallen log.
We keep bees when we lived on our farm.  Here is the only photo I have of the beehives.  This was our first one-it was early spring-the big jar is filled with honey water to help the bees make it until the flowers started to bloom.  We added two more layers to the hive and as these bees outgrew the hive and began to swarm, we captured the swarms and eventually had 3 hives.  This photo was taken about 1976 before digital camera when we just used film and you never knew what kind of photo you were going to get.  I wish I had taken more.

You can just make out the bees on the landing.  They are stretching their spring legs.


I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Above are the 6 remaining diamonds for SS-completed as you can see!  I almost packed the whole thing away as it feels so un-sympatico to me right now.  But I persevered and have begun the assembling process.  

This process is also fraught with potential disasters as each piece is sewn on the diagonal and, given my piecing skills, is likely to end up a some bizarre trapezoid.  I have given this some thought over the last several months and decided on using a foundation piecing method.  ie:

This method was working pretty but things got out of kilter very quickly.You can see the appliqued diamonds are placed higher than the pieced triangles.  Also, though you cannot see it in the photo, the edge of the last appliqued diamond rests against the drawn line so there is no seam allowance.  AAAARRRGGHH!  Back to the drawing board.

My next idea:  since I have nice template the exact size without seams of the triangles, I am going to draw a pattern with seam allowances for each diamond, carefully pin the diamond to the pattern piece, and stitch at 1/4 inch.  This should prevent stretching on the bias and size up nicely.  Who knows???  We will find out-more next week.


Below is a photo of our yellow lab, Rommy.  You can see his relationship to the squirrels-they are not exactly terrified of him.

Here they are sharing the downfall of sunflower seeds from the bird feeder.  

I visited a quilt museum a while back.  We are within driving range of several good ones: Paducah, Des Moines, Lincoln NE, Omaha, and The Poos in Kansas city.  I got to chatting with the management of one the quilt museum we visited about the importance of National Endowment of the Arts funding for quilt museums.  The NEA provides the majority of the funding and now Congress is talking seriously about completely ending the funding for the NEA.  This generally means these museums will close.  Our taxes and our government at work does so much and many good things that we don't even notice until they are gone.  Please write your congressman about this funding before quilt museums disappear.

I had a busy with business week-a visit to KC for stuff and a visit to the eye surgeon.  I have developed cataracts and will have lens replacement in a few weeks.  I asked the Dr exactly what a cataract was and he described as clouding and distortion of the lens.  I asked him if cataracts result in vision which is like looking thru old glass and he said that was a good analogy.  One's vision becomes is as if one is looking out this window.
This is a different process from lasix which improves vision by shaving the cornea.  UHG!

And Now....
Your moment of Zen

Isn't this the crosswalk you always wanted?  Turns a mundane walk across the road into a high wire, twisty foot bridge over a school of fishes.  Are they piranhas?  Maybe it is a clear jungle stream below and it might be nice to fall thru the foot pieces and swim with the fish below.

This urban art is the work of Canadian Peter Gibson who also did the painting below.  I believe these two are in Montreal.

This one Peter created in sympathy with refugees in holding pens in different parts of the world.  You can really see the imagination, scale, and detail in this photo.  

So long and happy quilting!
I am linking up with:

Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

PS-don't forget the GBBW on Feb 17!