Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20, 2012

One hundred twelve Peanut Blossoms!
These are my favorite cookies.
A perfect way to spend the day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Honoring the pause

This morning we received a light dusting of snow. 
Not too uncommon for the Portland area at this time of year.
I was so happy to see it! 
Yesterday, I had felt a little agitated throughout the day. I didn't sleep well the night before. My cat was restless too. 
Then this morning when I looked out, I saw that  the snow had started.
A feeling of peacefulness has returned.
I love the snow for the very reason that it causes us to give pause to our day, and forces us to rearrange our lists of priorities. I believe that everyone needs this from time to time.
Enjoy your day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Another year passes

Last night my small quilt group of friends once again celebrated the season with a dinner and quilt reveal.

Dortha graciously hosted our Pot Luck dinner - something that I think she looks forward to every year.

This years' gift exchange was a quilt top for the person whose name we had drawn, 
traditionally pieced in two colors of their choice.
This red and white beauty is what Jeni made for me.
Isn't it wonderful? I just love the color red!

All of the quilts were equally impressive.
 We all had so much fun!
Thank you everyone -
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Inspirational Beauty

Last weekend, my husband and I went out to Montgomery Park, to attend an Art Show and fundraiser for The Audubon Society of Portland.
Afterward we took a walk in the rain, down a path near the parking area,
which turned out to be as awe-inspiring as the inside artwork and displays.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Therapy

This morning my husband and I were out of the house early to sign the papers for refinancing our home, yet one more time. Interest rates are so low right now, we just couldn't let that opportunity pass.

After we got home, I received a much appreciated text from my oldest son. He and his girlfriend decided to give their relationship another go, after a bit of turmoil this weekend.
I was so sad about the whole ordeal that I spent the greater part of Saturday night crying, as I tried to put our Christmas tree up. I know it's a bit early, but I was so upset that I was acting irrationally.

Today was dark and dreary, and after I ate way too many pieces of  left-over Halloween candy,  I sat down at my sewing machine and did some 'therapy' sewing . .
I feel better now.
Have a good evening!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

HQ Adventures-What I just learned

Here are the results from my latest adventures using my HQ Avante longarm quilting machine.
Let me share with you what I learned!
As you can see here, there is alot going on in this quilt!
Small pieces with lots of small patterns. 
(My quilting group had just finished making these as a gift to another group member who just gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl!)
As I was quilting it, I kept loosing my place. 
I couldn't tell how far away from the last pass of quilting stitches I was with my needle.
After several periods of crossing over previous stitches, ripping out and restarting, I finally figured something out.  By turning OFF my machine lights, the visibility improved immensely!
Then, I went so far as to turn off all the room lights, except for a lamp placed at the far right end of my machine. This created wonderful shadows over the entire top - allowing all of the stitching to be seen easily.

I finished quilting both of these tops, and never lost my place in the design again!

This is one of those things that you look back on, wishing someone had told you earlier.

These aren't the best pictures, but you can see that the shadowing makes quick work of the whole task.

Now, on to the next adventure. . .

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Pi

. . . from my husband's infinite optimism at this time of year.

(Also the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, used in Mathematics as the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.)
 Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What A Surprise!

Apparently, my 'Summer Solstice' quilt and pattern
are appearing in a new Martingale publication!
Although this quilt is constructed using a basic String block method, Prairie Points with buttons and machine applique have been added.
I chose a darker navy fabric for the sashing and border, to quench the overuse of black as a background color in quilts.
(This quilt and it's instructions have been previously published in the September/October 2010 issue of 'Quiltmaker' magazine.) It is also available for purchase from my website.

Imagine my surprise, when I sat down to my computer yesterday and found the image of my work pinned on 'Pinterest'!
As I moved my mouse over the quilt, I was redirected to the Martingale website, viewing a copy of a new book:   Easy Quilts For Beginners and Beyond

Martingale - Easy Quilts for Beginners and Beyond (Print version + eBook bundle)
Here is a link to the page of their website:
I'm very excited to have my work featured along with many other wonderful design artists.
 Many thanks to Quiltmaker magazine and Martingale Publishing!

Monday, October 15, 2012

For a special Grandmother and Mother-in-law

Dunder, Betty Jane Irene (Lindquist) age 84, of Plymouth, Minnesota passed away 9/28/12. Born 7/15/28 in Isanti County (Wyanette) to Alvin & Irene Lindquist. Married 4/10/48 to Reuben Dunder. Preceded in death by parents, and infant sister, Jackie. Survived by her husband, Rueben; sons, Keith (Katie), Kevin (Diane) and Kent Dunder; daughter, Karen (Mark) Westermann; 7 grandsons and 1 great-grandson; brothers, Richard and Reynold. Service at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Hwy 7 & Texas Ave., St. Louis Park, 10/3/12 at 4:30 PM with visitation 3:30 PM. Private interment. Memorials preferred to American Cancer Society or Prince of Peace Church.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Summer travels

Currently, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles is celebrating it's 35th Anniversary.
We visited this summer and enjoyed a large scale exhibit of textile art by Mark Adams.
(Sorry, no pictures with respect to the artist.)
To read more about this exhibit as well as the prolific body of work Mark Adam's produced in his more than sixty year career in painting, tapestry, and stained glass go to:

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles also houses a permanent collection of Quilts & Textiles comprised of 850 items, including historic quilts, contemporary art quilts, and textile-based art forms, as well as costumes and garments from world cultures. Formed in 1977, the Museum’s collection has gained distinction for its’ unique art and material culture collection both locally and nationally.

 This quilt greeted us at the entrance,
with it's detail and history gracefully documented:


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Iris Skies

Again, working further with the fabric that I previously parfait dyed using RIT dyes,
I've created a series that I plan to mount separately on 1 1/2" deep canvases for hanging.

 The RIT dyes produced  fabric that was almost ethereal in appearance. This was fun to work with in contrast with a Denyse Schmidt print, alongside a Kona cotton, a commercial solid and a batik.
By simplifying my color pallet, I found that this piecing technique created framing that looked like portals, gates or entrances to the skies.
I used a few directional lines of stitching to help guide the viewer's eye. 

Hmmm? They still need something more. Maybe another layer. Some paint? Distressing? . . .
Not really done yet. 
 Iris Skies
3 - 12" x 12" x 1/12"

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Bee on the window

Yesterday we had one of those rare but miserable three digit temperature days here in Portland.
I was so grateful that we have air conditioning. But, my sewing machine is upstairs in the dormer.
It can stay pretty warm in there, once the sun comes around to heat up that part of the house.
So, I spent my sewing time in the dark. Sewing only by the light of my machine, with a fan blowing at my feet.

I was pretty comfortable for a few hours, then had to call its quits for the day.
I managed to get some lines quilted on this piece from this week's 'Parfait dyed' fabric, which I gave instructions for in a previous blog. It ended up being the one piece of fabric that received the least amount of dye. Always going for the challenge of using the ugliest piece of fabric, I had to see what I could come up with. When I first opened it out, it reminded me of a pane of glass - or a window.
I added a bee to it that I had previously inked, enlarged and painted. 
It reproduced well on a piece of fusible fabric. 
Here it is ready to mount on a canvas.

Bee On The Window
16" x 20"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Creative process

Yesterday I squeezed in some time to finish up the beading on my most recent quilt.

When I first began this project, little did I know that it's inspiration would come from our trip last week to Crater Lake. My husband and I had taken a side trip to that area on our way back from visiting our son in California.

After we got home, I was feeling some pressure to create new work in order to have a few pieces to hang at the co-op gallery I have joined.
I started with a pile of fabric that I had previously stacked and put to the side in my studio.

 Given a size requirement by the gallery, I began with my usual. Cutting and assembling of three major units that would form the base of my design. As I worked, things just weren't coming together as easily as they should. I left the first three units on my cutting board until the next day. Nope, still not what I wanted. But, I felt I was running out of time in order to meet the hanging deadline for next month's show. So, I pushed on.

My goal was to fit this onto a 16" x 16" canvas for ease in hanging. The gallery has a 'one nail' rule, so most traditional ways to hang up fiber art can't be considered. 
When I couldn't sew together any more pieces - already getting too big for what I had planned - I stopped. 
I took my work over to the ironing board for a good pressing, staring with the back side.

As you probably already figured out, as I flipped the piece over on my ironing board, a new perspective came to light. What started as "over extending to the right side" became "longer than it should be". . .
Hmmm?  . . . And of course, I just love the irregular edges. Can't cut that off!
So, I abandoned the 16" x 16" idea completely. This had already become a different quilt. 
And, guess what? . . it reminded me of Crater Lake.
Da - Hadn't we just been there?  Guess this one was just in there waiting to come out. . .
The mysteries of the human mind at work.

Crater Lake
 18" x 30"


Thursday, August 2, 2012

On Hiatus

I am on hiatus, enjoying summer travel.
Collecting ideas, friends and good times spent with loved ones.

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Venture

This week, I joined our local Art Cooperative: The Village Gallery of Arts. 
Here is a quick link to their website: 

I have been thinking about making this commitment for quite some time. 
Membership will provide several different venues to exhibit and sell my work. Participation in gallery responsibilities will bring an opportunity to create in a supportive environment, meet new people and make new friends.
How great is that? 
. . . Something we all need and cherish. 
You can see more of my new work at the gallery beginning in August.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Color Play

Last week, here in Portland, we actually had a string of days when our temperatures climbed to the upper 80's in the afternoons. They were glorious.

I spent a few of the cooler mornings at my sewing machine,
playing with a different color combination than what I had previously worked with.
This bright blue had been calling to me, so I made a few blocks and pieced units to see what would happen.
A predictable combination of the colors blue and yellow was not what I was after.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Half empty? or Half full?

 A few years ago, I fashioned this 6 1/2" bowl 
from a cluster of old telephone wire that my husband gave me.
The wire itself is coated with a thin plastic, in some fun colors:
Orange, light blue, green and white.
The coating made the wire easy to manipulate. I got to use some of my rough basket making skills.
Half empty? or Half full?

What do you see?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


While on retreat with the girls in my sewing group, I had casually pieced together another quilt top to continue a series of art quilts I was attempting. It all began this Spring, when it was time to plant a vegetable garden.
This is the first year that we finished the framework for the garden space. As the plants began to emerge, oh! what lovely colors they reflected back - especially after a little rain.

The series is titled, 'Grown Wild ' capturing the notion of what happens as time passes, and there is more than enough food, water and other nourishment for plants to grow. Unattended for a few days can result in a beautiful chaos of form and color!

When I got home from the retreat, I still wasn't completely satisfied with the piece I ended up with.
Some deconstruction - of what looked like 'panels' was in order.

I don't know about you, but I can piece randomly for hours while chatting it up with others, yet when it comes down to the actual construction of the final project, I have found that I need to do that alone, by myself and in silence. This is so I can 'listen' to the quilt and let it tell me what it wants to do.

After a bit of rearranging, I stitched things back up and flipped it over to get ready for quilting.

For these type of pieces, I like to use what my friend Jere calls; the pillowcase method.
You begin by layering the batting, bottom or backing, and then the quilt top.
Jere's simple reminder, "They face each other". . .has kept me focused when I'm trying to remember what 
order will produce the result I am after.
I trim it up and turn it outside in. Then, I complete the quilting.

I tried to create a bit of a jog at the bottom and I had left the area open. This required some creative binding in a direction that I wasn't really comfortable with. I'm still reviewing the final result. Yesterday, by the end of the day, I was ready to cut it all off, level the bottom and start over with the finishing.
I thought I would just sleep on it and give it a fresh look in the morning.