Monday, October 29, 2007

Comment on Scribbling

Shelina made a comment on my post, Scribbles All Over (October 22, 2007). She said, “Oh about the stippling, a few years ago, my LQS sent their stuff to be done by a quilter, and everything was stippled. I like the look, because it keeps the attention on the quilt itself. Now the quilter is more experienced, and the quilts reflect that. I generally try to choose the quilting pattern based on the quilt, but I really do like the look of stippling.”

I was not denigrating stipple quilting. I was expressing my opinion about what I call “scribble” quilting. You can click on the picture below and get more information from about machine quilting patterns. They call this one “meandering.” It is an all-over pattern that looks like “scribbling" to me.
Stippling is something else, I believe. It is used to fill in background areas of a quilt and flatten them out so other parts of the quilting stand out. Click on the picture below of stippling by Diane Gaudynski and it will lead you to beautiful examples of her machine quilting and her workshops.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Seasons Greetings

If you have time to whip together 432 hexagons you can make this skull quilt. I’ve been meaning to do this for a couple of years. It appeals to me more than a conventional English paper pieced Grandmother’s Flower Garden.

Or, if you don’t have time to do a skull, you can whip up a few candy corn blocks by clicking on the candy corn drawing for a foundation paper piecing pattern.
Instead of making 432 hexagons for the skull quilt, you could make 158 white hexagons and 34 black hexagons. (My DH did the count, so it could be + or – a few.) Assemble these in the skull configuration and then appliqué that whole piece on an appropriate background.
If anyone does this, let me know and send me a photo. I will give you the pattern of your choice from my patterns page.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Scribbles All Over

I went to a quilt show yesterday. It was not an “art quilt” show, but a made-by-loving-hands-at-home quilt show.

It appeared to me that almost all of the quilts were scribble quilted. You know -- squiggly lines all over the quilt which ignored the piecing or appliqué. There were three beautifully done needle-turned appliqué quilts, but two of them had been scribbled all over by machine. The third was machine quilted fairly well and the stitches did not override the appliqués.

There were three quilts in the show that caught my eye. One was a 3-D Dragonfly piece.

Dimensional Dragonflies made by Devi Lanphere. She said “This was a perfect joining of a fabric that called to me and a new pattern. This is paper pieced.” Ms. Lanphere did not give the name of the pattern designer. The quilting was minimal. I took a close-up picture of the dragonflies. How did she do that?
A quilt called “Harper Family Tree” was very sweet. The maker, Marilyn Harper, noted, “My mother-in-law has dementia and I wanted her to remember her family. We gave this to her for Christmas.”
No scribbles on this quilt. A close-up of one of the family members doesn’t have any lines crossing through the picture, thank goodness.
I noticed clothespins clamped on lower corners of all the quilts. I wondered what they were for.
My dear husband, Robert, demonstrated the purpose of the clothespins when he used one to lift the corner of a quilt so we could read the label. There were no white-glove ladies anywhere (nor any white-glove men). Ahaaaaa.
I ran into a very familiar quilt called “‘Ex Libris’ Library Quilt” by Tracy Langford, and quilted with scribbles all over by Debra Canon. Tracy wrote, “This quilt was made for my daughter, Amy. It celebrated her graduation from Liberty High School and going off to college… The books reflect her special interests.” I couldn’t get a very good picture of the quilt because there were always people standing in front of it and examining it closely.
Tracy didn’t give credit to the pattern designer – ME.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Letter to Oprah

I wrote two snail-mail letters to Oprah Winfrey today. I learned she receives 20,000 e-mails per day, so I thought I'd try the two physical locations I found.

October 19, 2007

Harpo Productions, Inc.
110 N. Carpenter Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Oprah Winfrey Show
Harpo Studios
1058 W. Washington Street
PO Box 909715
Chicago, IL 60607

Attention: Show Ideas Department

I was overwhelmed with grief when I read the words in the background of Ami Simm’s quilt “Underlying Current.” The words tell the story (in short snippets) of her mother’s decline into the dark pit of Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the snippets are funny in a sad way.

“She told me her back was bothering her so she laid down on the floor of K-Mart.”

“Somebody took all my bras. I wouldn’t mind if they just asked me first, godamnit!”

Please give them a quick read-through.

Ami is a world famous quilter. She started Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. So far, she has raised $100, 000 by auctioning small quilts donated by quilters all over the country (and world).

Ami is a good speaker. She can infuse humor in even the most depressing subjects. She would be a poised, professional, and delightful guest on the Oprah Show.

She has a website:

Thank you,

Christine Thresh

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Monday, October 15, 2007

What are you doing for the world today?

The best decision we made 24 years ago was our on-demand water heater. Our heater is a Rinnai and it has been wonderful since the day it was installed. The little heater does not have a water storage tank; it heats up water when we need to use it. At the time we built our house these devices were very hard to find. We paid $500 for the Rinnai and it is one of the best investments we ever made.

Recently we replaced our incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving ones. They are all over the house and they do a fine job lighting our way.

Way back in 1983 when we built our house we wanted it to be energy efficient. It has thick insulation, south-facing windows, and skylights for air circulation and natural daylight. Our interior/exterior stairway has done its job circulating heat and air for all these years. Our electric bill runs, on average, $45 a month.
We built our house well before the “Not So Big” books were published. But I can go through the books today and say, “Yes, we did that, yes, check,” and feel so good.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Knit NOT

Knitting is not for me. Back to quilting.
I enjoy the whole process of quilting.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007


Life is just going along fine – walking, reading, designing patterns in my head and notebook. Nothing interesting. I did knit a pathetic little washcloth with some soft cotton chenille yarn. Knitting again after all these years is like jumping back on a bicycle. At first you are a little wobbly. When my T-shirt arrives I should get much better.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Lydia Van Gelder – her work is brightening someone’s life

The striking piece shown above is called “Mosaic Textile.” It was made by Lydia Van Gelder. There is a story behind its appearance here.

I received an e-mail from a man in Palo Alto with the subject line, “Lydia Van Gelder now brightens my every day.” I don’t know him. He said that Lydia’s work was on his office wall. He attached a photo he had taken.

He explained, “Recently our Art Center made available some art work that had been donated by individual artists that we could request for installation in our office space. I went over to the Art Center and after looking at quite a few pieces, ended up choosing a piece by Lydia Van Gelder.” He continued, “I’m not someone that knows a lot about art other than how it makes me feel or react and I’ve got to say that I just really enjoy this. The color is great, the design outstanding, and it brightens the room…. I’ve taken a couple photos and e-mailed them to friends and they all comment about how much they love the piece. One, a buddy of mine that works in Latvia [and] collects art, … just raved about it.”

I was surprised and delighted to receive his e-mail. He thought perhaps I could get in touch with Lydia to tell her how much he was enjoying her work. I had posted two items about Lydia on my blog and he found them when he was searching for information about her on the web. I am now trying to find a way to pass on his message.

Lydia was my first fiber art teacher way back in the early 1970s. She wrote two books on Ikat dyeing and weaving. Here are links to my posts about Lydia – how to buy a thermometer, and tempting fibers.

It is wonderful when art speaks to a person. So, quilt artists and fiber artists keep up your creative work, you never know where it might land and brighten someone’s life.

This is a picture of Lydia’s foot in a wild hand-knit sock that I saw in January.

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Knit Wit?

This was what inspired my craving to knit.
I found this vest on Melody Johnson’s Fibermania blog. She said she made it from the book Dazzling Knits: Building Blocks to Creative Knitting by Patricia Werner (Martingale & Company, 2004).
I liked the idea of modular knitting – putting together blocks would be sort of like quilting. I sent for the book (and the T-shirt). The book arrived and I learned that double pointed needles are required to do the work. Double pointed needles! I have lots of regular bamboo needles, but no double pointed needles. Oh dear. Perhaps I’ll just knit something in rainbow colors.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Just call me Spike

I was so tired of “helmet hair” (a term coined by Terry Grant) and yesterday I decided to try something different.

Now, I have a spike hairdo. My dear Robert does not really like it. My hair grows really, really fast so by next month I will be back to the old helmet style. Maybe I can try growing it long.

I’ve sent away for this T-shirt and my knitting needles are all sharpened and ready to go. What next?

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Quilter's tools are so handy

I love living on an island in the California Delta, but I understand that my paradise is not without danger. Flooding in a below sea-level area can be devastating (remember New Orleans). I’ve been serving on the island’s Emergency Preparedness Committee since mid-2005. Every year the island holds a safety fair to inform residents about what to do in case of a flood. To see a flood scenario, click here.
In case of a flood, no one will be allowed to cross our one bridge – it will be reserved for emergency personnel. Our plan calls for “Rally Points” around the edge of the island. Residents are supposed to go to their rally points if a flood emergency is declared. But, many people have no idea where their rally point is.

This year we decided to do an exercise to teach the populace where the rally points are. To make it fun we are holding a Poker Rally. No money is involved. We are handing out packets at the post office and Chamber of Commerce this week. The packets contain a numbered ticket, instructions, and a map showing the points. The game is to go to at least five rally points with your ticket to see if you have won a prize. While there, your map gets stamped. Sunday, at the Safety Fair participants are to bring their stamped maps and tickets and poker hands will be drawn. The prize winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

My quilting tools came in handy when I needed to cut the instructions and maps into half-sheets for the packets. (I think a donation of a rotary blade was worth it for this important cause.)

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