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,
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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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.
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.
TheTimes 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.’
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
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?
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
From personal experience, I know it isn’t that great to live here. Honest.
Not convinced? Consider thesefour 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
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.