Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cancer Changes Everything

First day of Chemo: August 31, 2015

I used to worry about the big earthquake that is due in our region at anytime.
Now, the days go by with a different focus.
I don't think about that anymore. . .

Thursday, March 12, 2015

More About Me . . .

A Midwest native, I grew up in St. Louis Park, a small suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. My mother was an accomplished seamstress, sewing clothes for my younger brother and me for as long as we would tolerate. One of my most favorite memories is that of a small cigar box where she kept her embroidery threads. I could sit for hours gently fingering all the colorful strands of thread.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved art and anything to do with fiber. I began as a weaver in college. After graduating with a degree in Commercial Art and Advertising, I married my High School Sweetheart and worked for many years as a Graphic Designer in Seattle, Washington.

My quilting journey began, when I took a hand-quilting class offered by the Seattle Art Museum, in October of 1985. Nancyann Twelker patiently guided the class through the basics of hand piecing. At that time, our templates were pieces of recycled x-ray film, cut to size and placed on a piece of fabric. We then traced around the edges with a pencil, and cut along these pencil lines with a pair of scissors. Rotary cutters and mat boards had not come into existence yet. Times certainly have changed, and so have my methods of quilting! During the earlier school years, while raising two wonderful boys here in the Pacific Northwest, I was able to enjoy five years of teaching an Art Literacy Program as a volunteer within our local school district. 

I work intuitively, constructing quilts and letting the design choose its own direction. This can lead to many new discoveries – things that would not reveal themselves thru ‘following lessons’ or by taking a class. I am fascinated with line, pattern, color and texture and how to create with these elements. I enjoy the constant ongoing process and exploration. 

Then, as an Instructor and Sales Associate for Viking Sewing Machines, I cycled back and forth between quilting, general sewing and garment construction. I’ve also had the pleasure of working and teaching for several years at a local Quilt Shop, and another three years as a Bernina Educator. These opportunities not only offered exposure to a number of different sewing, piecing and quilting techniques but thru teaching, an opportunity to share ideas with many people. I have been designing my patterns since 2000.

Currently, I am exploring quilt design more abstractly. I have started experimenting with some new techniques, working mostly with scraps of fabric, cutting them free hand – using a pair of scissors, and randomly piecing or appliqueing. This can be very liberating as well as introspective. 

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

True magic

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year."

-Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Winter winds are coming

 The news from across the country is showing us the start of our Winter weather.
Here in Oregon, we are to expect winds and freezing rain tomorrow.
Time to prepare, hunker down and snuggle in with a project.
I will be busy stitching up this sampler design from Blackbird Designs,
 appropriately titled
 Do stay warm . . .

Monday, October 13, 2014

I just had to . . .

If any of you follow Kathie at
you know that recently she has been exploring some color options for her little quilts using a Windmill block.

My momentum had been building each time I opened her blog and saw another wonderful set of blocks she had made. I was so inspired last week, that while I patiently waited for the inspector to come and take a look at our new furnace, I put together a few scrappy blocks of my own. 
I have never pieced this block before, and have to say that they are definitely addicting. 

Thank you Kathie for all of the inspiration!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


The month of October is upon us.
Last weekend we had our Garage Sale on Saturday. 
The temperature rose higher than expected, so we ended up closing an hour earlier than planned. Our driveway is on the west side of the house, which can heat up pretty fast when the sun makes it way around to that side in the afternoon.
My neighbor brought over a few things to add to the stash. 
My youngest Son stopped over to help and join in the fun.
We enjoyed the people, and all the stories that everyone is always so eager to share. We were very satisfied with all the items that were re-purposed. While what was left behind we quickly whisked off to our local Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity Rebuild centers.
All in all, I would call the day a success!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The air is getting cooler!

I have started the Fall cleaning of my sewing room and 
dug out a few kits and patterns to share with you
this month:

  26" x  29"

  28 1/4" x  45"
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of these applique patterns, 
 I am kindly offering them at $6.00 each -  free postage!
Kits available for 'Jack' quilt top only (includes pattern),

please email me:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Baby Lovies

 Toward the end of last year, three of my nieces were pregnant, all at the same time!
Two have delivered, and the third is on the way.

 Last week, I finished up the binding on the first one.
(Very girly, girl)
 And quickly finished quilting the second.
(For someone's lively little monkey)

 I had so much fun putting these together!

Hmmmmmm?. . .Now, what will I do for the third?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty . . .

We are in the middle of a remodel.
It's time to replace our old kitchen.
It has been used and abused for a number of years, before we became the new caretakers.

We have ripped out everything and are starting over from scratch.
No blog posts for awhile.
Ah, yes - I am looking forward to the change!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Just beautiful . . .

. . . this morning as I opened our front door.
Looks like an old black and white photo.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


'Piece To Your Heart'
 24 1/2" x  27 1/2"

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this applique pattern,
please contact me:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Made in Minnesota - Why not Oregon?

On Sunday, September 29, the New York Times 
 ran the second in a series of articles under the heading:  
   bringing to light a recent trend in manufacturing to take back jobs in the textile industry lost to overseas workers during the last 25 years.

The Times article goes on to explain; ‘The issue wasn’t poor demand for the curtains, pillows and other textiles being produced at the factory. Quite the opposite.’ ‘… Airtex Design Group had shifted an increasing amount of its production here from China because customers had been asking for more American-made goods.’

Minneapolis has pioneered a new movement: 
The Makers Coalition 
 in an ‘effort to create a skilled work force from scratch’. Businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and service providers have joined together to establish a nationally recognized apprentice program for sewing operations.

The Dunwoody College of Technology is now offering a full degree program to train and/or retrain workers of all ages, ethnicity or anyone transitioning from a previous career. - New hope for the large national population of workers who are still unemployed as a result of the recent economic slow down.

So why does the Portland area unemployment rate remain stubbornly at a high 7.3 percent, given the large number of sportswear and outdoor gear companies headquartered here?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sharing my reading . . .

Occasionally, I read the Minneapolis Star and Tribune online.
As this is where I grew up, I really enjoy checking back in often.
I just wanted to pass on this wonderful post written by Nancy Wurtzle.
A link to her blog is here:

Post image for Thinking of Moving? Don’t Choose Minnesota!

Are you looking to move?  Try your hand in a new city with fresh opportunities and fun adventures?  If so, please consider Florida, North Carolina, Texas, New Mexico or Colorado.  Any state but Minnesota.
Never mind the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding metro areas are often included on many of the “Best Places to Live” lists.  Or, that The Trust for Public Land recently named the Twin Cities the nation’s best big city for public parks, besting New York City and Boston.
Big Whoop.  Don’t be fooled.  You don’t want to live here.
Take it from me.  I returned to to my native Minnesota in 2011, after living in Southern California for more than three decades.  I never thought I’d return, but personal circumstances brought me back.  After living in my small, rural hometown for nine months (population 4,300), I was paroled for good behavior and bought a home just outside Minneapolis.
From personal experience, I know it isn’t that great to live here.  Honest.
Not convinced?  Consider these four reasons not to move to the twin cities.
1. Minnesota is Much Too Progressive.  We have two democratic senators and a governor who are doing good work, and citizens who really care about the future of their state.  Did I mention our unemployment rate is 5.3%?  Did you know there is a building boom going on here?  Did you know our state coffers are in good shape?  (The best for last) Did you hear Michelle Bachmann is retiring from Congress?  It won’t last.
2. The Natives Get in Your Face.  Your neighbors will snow blow your driveway and never expect anything in return.  If you mention you’re fond of cherry pie, someone will bring you one.  During the summer and the fall, there will be backyard gatherings and everyone in the neighborhood shows up to chat, laugh, and sip wine or beer.  When you walk or ride your bike people wave and smile (and usually comment about the weather).  The residents here take friendly to a new level.  Minnesota Nice? It’s downright annoying.
3. How Quaint: People Value Learning.  Oh sure, the schools are pretty good.  We have more than 200 colleges and universities in the state and 33 of them made the annual list of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News and World Report.  And, speaking of education, please just gloss over the fact that Minneapolis & St. Paul were both included on a list of the most literate cities in the U.S. (spots three and six, respectively).  Don’t even ask me to tell you about the libraries.  Learning? It’s overrated.
4. Dubious Quality of Life.  Forget that we have way more than 10,000 lakes, great air, loads of trees, and walking and bike trails that were named the best in the country.  Never mind that we have the Mall of America, the biggest mall ever, or that our world-class museums are awesome.  Or, that we have more theater seats per capita than any other metropolitan area.  Did I forget to mention Garrison Keillor?  Please do not come to the Twin Cities to enjoy our huge farmer’s markets and our great restaurants.  Do not come here to see the thousands upon thousands of wonderful old houses and buildings that have been preserved and restored.  And, while you are not here, you surely won’t see any deer or wild turkey in your backyard (like I have in mine).  Awesome on every level?  It’s all hype.
There you have it.
I could have easily listed five reasons not to move here, but Minnesotans are notoriously modest.  Five would have just been showing off.
Hopefully, my four reasons are enough to convince you to just stay where you are or choose some other place to relocate.
Really, we’ve got enough people in Minnesota and you really wouldn’t like it anyway.  Honest.  I hate it.  I hate it so much, I’m never leaving again.  You would, too.

 by Nancy Wurtzel on June 18, 2013