Something to Celebrate

Yesterday I received an email informing me that both of the quilts I submitted to Sacred Threads have been juried into their exhibition! I was more excited than I thought I would be. It is a good affirmation, and will offset those moments where I have thoughts like “what are you doing? making more quilts to stick in your closet?”

And now I want to go to Washington D.C. this summer! The exhibit will be held at Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA (outside Washington, D.C.) from July 10-July 26.

The quilts I submitted are Hope in Uncertain Times:


And Sing for Joy:


Cleaning Up and Switching Gears

I’ve been telling myself I needed to get back to rug hooking for quite a while. A couple of mornings ago, I went into the studio, determined to switch gears. I was still mid-stream with the “what they said” series. So I decided to finish putting together the sandwiches that day, and at least that part of the project would be complete. I was afraid that if I didn’t do that, I might never finish. Eighteen little quilt sandwiches complete! The embroidery on the wording is coming along quite well. I work on those in the evening.

And so the NEXT morning, I put away the sandwiches and the remainder of the bolt of Kona Snow, and I got out my rug hooking. I need to have enough room to spread out my wool “worms. My cutting desk is just right.


The NEXT MORNING, I walked in the room and thought, wouldn’t it be nice to work in a clean studio? And really, ten minutes later, it was clean enough. And so much nicer to work in.


Some parts of rug hooking are similar to quilting. Value is very important, and auditioning colors and fabrics for projects looks much the same.



Different hooking techniques are tried out.



Pictures are taken and shared with my one rug hooking friend to get input and advice.

And then, finally, I am ready to get to work! Sometimes I have to gently tell myself that all this pondering and experimenting are an important part of the artistic process.

Starting a New Series

I am finally starting the “what they said” series. I had chosen about 20 phrases that people uttered when they encountered Jesus. The different reactions people had were quite outstanding, and I don’t think I have ever seen them addressed. So I feel very firmly that this is something I am meant to do. But the HOW was not exactly established. I knew I wanted them to be somewhat simple, so that the words would take the pre-eminent place in the work. As the time approached, I got out all the little squares that I had pieced at my Lake Tahoe retreat (that retreat turned out to be a VERY GOOD THING!) and decided that I would use them in this series. I thought a LOT about whether or not I wanted the quilts to be the same size. I usually don’t work that way. Then I saw how Melody Johnson mounts her small works on a cradled wood panel, and I thought that might be another way to add interest to this series. I haven’t decided for sure whether I will mount these quilts like that, but it helped me to make the decision to make them all the same size, and to choose a size that will fit on wood panels that are available. Almost all of them will be 15″ X 15″.

Then, finally, it was time to start. I didn’t plan this, and I have never done this, but since they were so simple, I put together multiple sandwiches. I am using my favorite Kona Snow as the background color on all of these. Fortunately, I had a bolt of it in the closet 🙂


One of the reasons that I continued making sandwiches was because I knew how to piece these simple tops. But, as usual, I got a little stuck at the quilting. I finally followed my BF’s advice, and did a little quilt-sketching. That broke the barrier. Yesterday, I sat down and put the words on the first quilt with my blue pen and started embroidering. I have my starting sketch all ready to go so I can quilt it as soon as I finish the words.


I am happy.

Another Psalm Quilt Finished


This quilt is a good lesson in “just continue on.” I actually had decided I didn’t like this quilt, in the stage where I just had the circles pinned in place. I was going to put it in the thrift store pile, but I do find it hard to do that, so I just threw it in the closet. A few months later, I was looking for something to do some handwork on, and I brought it back out. Well, maybe just for fun…


The more I stitched on it, the more I liked it. And then it ended up being the one that I completely stitched over the whole surface! In my defense, one of the reasons I disliked it was because I didn’t do such a good job making the quilt sandwich. This was one of the projects I worked on in my little self-retreat up in Lake Tahoe last fall, and I only had my Featherweight with me. Anyway, I decided to let that go and just stitch away. I’m glad I did.


The Psalm that I chose for it is one of the passages that Wendy and I loved when we started working with the kids in the village in Haiti.




Endless Stitching

Whose smart idea was it to do kantha stitching over the ENTIRE BACKGROUND of my latest quilt? Its not a very big quilt, but it seems like I will NEVER finish. Its all straight-line stitching, of course, and I am only stitching through the top and the batting, so it is fairly easy stitching. But it is a LOT. Its not nearly as fun and interesting as the circles 🙂

Here’s a couple of views of it resting on the ottoman in front of me. Note to self: when it is resting there, its not being stitched…



And here is another little quilt that I did for some dear friends. The wife asked if I would be willing to make a small quilt for their 60th anniversary! Of course I would. I admire both of them. Both are strong and intelligent people, who have worked at having a good committed marriage, something I admire very much. My friend showed me a plate with the colors that they liked, and that is where the simple color scheme came from. I used more than the usual amount of lazy daisy/leaf type stitches, as that was reminiscent of the pattern on the plate.