Good News

While I was at Empty Spools, I got an email that two of my quilts had been accepted into the Sacred Threads exhibit! I was very excited. But when I read which two had been accepted (I entered four,) I was surprised, and then a little sad. My Hallelujah! quilt, that I worked on for so long last year, was not one of the two accepted. And then, of course, I started to doubt myself. Its just a stupid quilt with a lot of words on it. It has no artistic merit.

Fortunately, I had the quilt with me, and so I rolled it out on the bed, and thought, I still like it! Who knows why some quilts are accepted, and others are not. I am glad about the two that were accepted, as they have rather limited possibilities, as fas as exhibition goes.

The Fire Quilt was accepted:


“On a Wednesday in September 2015, the Butte Fire roared through our mountain community. Homes were destroyed, and many, including myself, were evacuated. Extremely dry conditions made it difficult to contain. After a few days, I came home to ash-filled air. The fire was still not contained, but my house was safe. On Sunday, I made my way to church. The church was closer to the fire, and the building was smoky. But the church was filled, and several families whose houses had burned to the ground were there. We worshipped together, culminating with the Doxology. It was such a moving experience, I wanted to commemorate it with a quilt.”



And “His Kingdom Will Never End” was accepted:


“The inspiration for this quilt came out of my frustration with some of my fellow Christians, who seem to forget that His kingdom will never end, and think that its up to them to “fight” to keep it going. Other people choose to ignore God and His kingdom. It does not matter. All around the world, His kingdom continues to appear and grow. HIS KINGDOM WILL NEVER END.”



Some more good news! Do you remember when I entered a few of my quilts in Quilting in the Garden, held in September at one of my favorite nurseries?


Well, when I picked up the quilts, the woman that coordinates the show told me how much she enjoyed my embroidered quilt, and asked if I ever taught. Now, I don’t want to teach all the time, but Alden Lane Nursery is one of my favorite places to visit, and I also have really enjoyed taking classes there. They do a quality job of coordinating the class, and it is a beautiful location, of course.


So, long story short, I am going to teach there in September, on the Friday before the quilt show. And, I am to be a guest artist, and will have a display of my quilts in their greenhouse. I am so excited about this. Its hard to think about anything besides embroidery on quilts…. which is one reason why I don’t want to teach all the time. There’s not enough time left for artistic endeavor. I was glad to read Judy Martin‘s thoughts on this. I felt validated in my thinking. But teaching once or twice a year is energizing. It challenges me to go one step further, thinking “what if?”

If you have been thinking about trying quilted embroidery, I hope you will join me at Alden Lane Nursery on Friday, September 22!


The Fire Quilt

Our community is still reeling from the aftermaths of the Butte Fire. The final report was just released last night–the fire is 100% contained. The fire started on Wednesday, September 9, and I evacuated the following day. I came home tentatively on Saturday, the 12th, and the following morning, I somewhat reluctantly made my way to church, which was still close enough to the fire that it was smoky in the building. Our church was filled, and several families were there whose houses had burned to the ground! It was such a moving service of worship and sharing. I had an idea for a quilt and drew a little sketch in my journal.

In the next couple of days, I started working on my idea. I had the thought that I would finish it in a week and share it at church the next Sunday. Hahaha. Anyway, I got out all my landscape fabrics (I didn’t have nearly as many as I have had in the past,) and my fire fabrics (surprisingly, I had quite a few fabrics that were fire-like, since red is not one of my favorite colors.)

And then I sat and stared at the pile of fabrics for a day. I don’t know how to do this. So the next morning, I just took the fabrics and placed them on the design wall in the approximate area I thought each should be. And that’s when I had the beginning of an idea. Instead of making it a realistic landscape, I would just make a representational simple patchwork of the colors and fabrics I had chosen. A start!

I think it was googling “fire images” that gave me the next idea. I knew I wanted to include pine and oak trees, but in the fire pictures, many of them were just in outline. That’s what I would do–I would make silhouettes of the trees. Again the thought, I don’t know how to do this. But I googled “oak tree drawing,” and sure enough, there was the inspiration I needed. I was able to draw a rough outline of an oak tree pretty easily. The pine tree was even easier. So there it was.

It took a whole day to zig zag the trees in place, because I don’t like using fusible. But, these were huge pieces, and I had the idea to just use little pieces of fusible to make sure they stayed in place. I found my package of Soft Fuse, recommended by Sue Nickels, and it worked fantastic. In fact, I liked it so well, I might use it a little more in the future.


I took a picture, and sent it to BF, and that made me think it looked a little empty. So the next morning, I got out a few more “fire fabrics,” and added some flames.


Now this is the part that I was very sure of. I planned to have the doxology written in large block letters across the middle of the quilt. I thought about making block letters with black fabric and fusible web. But that will take so long, I told myself. I’ll just embroider them. Hahahaha. Two weeks later, the lettering was finished 🙂

Two days of quilting, and an afternoon of adding a facing, and the quilt is finished. Its always so fun to finish a project and really like what you have done. Its the reward at the end of a long, sometimes boring, sometimes worrisome journey. I’m excited to share it with my church this Sunday.

Here’s some close-ups of the quilting:




And here’s the finished quilt: