Thursday, January 28, 2010

What type are you?

Sophie (Sophie Junction) posted a link to a typeface quiz on her blog -- The quiz asks four questions and then then tells you what typeface you are. I am Bifur and I like that.

The password to use is character


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Morning vista

It is very foggy this morning. This is our view from the back porch. We have to drive to Brentwood at 8:00 am. We will have to drive very slowly.

I'm working a cheerful, bright quilted piece inside.

Later --

This is what it looked like in Brentwood at 9:00 am.

Back home --

The sun was shining when we returned home to the island at 11:00. The photo below is the same scene as the early morning back porch view.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010


Our third “watch” cat, Aucuba, is gone as of yesterday. She was almost 18 years old.
She was born under an Aucuba bush in our friend’s back yard in 1992. Her mother was a feral cat.
We will miss her feisty ways.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday -- harvest

We are going to have beef stew on this rainy, cold day. Our stew will have fresh carrots. Robert just pulled them from our little garden box which was planted way back in April of 2009. I had no idea carrots would keep on growing through the winter.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Who do you think you are?

If you had asked me this question a week ago I would have said, “I am a woman, an artist, a quilter, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I live in a fine house that I designed and we built. I have my own car and can go anywhere I want. I have friends and a close family. My health is pretty good. I am a spiritual person but I am not a member of a church. I have an adequate income.”

But last Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti brought a new perspective. What if I was left standing all alone in the midst of total destruction with only the clothes on my back? Who would I be? Most of the “things” that I thought defined me would be gone.

UN Development Programme photo background (creative commons license)

My answer would be very different. I’d say, “I am a woman. I am a child of God. I can sew. I can write and type. I can spin wool into yarn with a drop spindle. I can weave cloth.”

Those are fundamental things. If I could find a needle and thread and some cloth I could help with clothing needs for others. If I could find a pencil and paper I could write up important messages to be sent to those who could help. If I could find some fiber I could make a crude spindle and start making yarn.

Think of yourself as standing alone in an area of utter chaos. How would you answer the question, “Who are you?”

Of course I’m not in Haiti. I am home and secure, working at my computer. We sent off a contribution to the Episcopal Relief & Development at And I’ve been praying for the people of Haiti.

I urge you to contribute Haiti relief funds to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, or any trusted organization. Think of yourself standing alone and frightened with only the clothes on your back.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

My faces

Joan Samuelson has been posting daily quilted faces on her Rosegarden Quilts blog. They are amazing little studies. She has been making one a day since the first of the year. Terry Grant saw them and was inspired to post some of her quilted faces on her blog – And Sew it Goes – on January 12 and January 16.

I was delighted to see the works of these two talented quilters.

I was inspired to put up some faces of my own. Four are faces I’ve made and one is a face quilt I bought through the Alzheimer’s auction run by Ami Simms. The last one is an unusual face I found on the web. You can click on the images to see them larger.

This is a portrait of our Aunt Ginnie which was auctioned to raise money for the Priority Alzheimer’s quilt auction.

This is a corn face I made for the We the People quilt in 2002.

This is a “face” quilt block without a face, but with a distinct hairdo that many people recognized as Gerrie.
This is not quite a face, but the underlying structure of one. I made this for the book cover of The Alpine Quilt by Mary Daheim. It was rejected, but I had fun doing it.

I won this quilt called “I Think My Brain is Leaking” by Marcia Middents of Tempe, Arizona through the Alzheimer’s Priority Quilt Auction.

This last one is Olympia Snowwoman of Maine. It was a giant snow woman made by the people of Bethel, Maine. To give you some idea of the size, note that the eyelashes are skis and the mouth is made from tires.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Up close and personal

Gerrie Congdon’s “Indigo Moons” postcard arrived in my mail box yesterday. She sent it along with a book I wanted. Isn’t it lovely? You can click on the picture to see it larger.

I love to look at quilts on the web, but seeing them in person is so much better. I can hold Gerrie’s card in my hand and absorb all the details – the special hand-dyed fabric, the machine and hand stitching. You can feel a real connection with the artist knowing that her hands touched the piece.

Gerrie has a website with a slide show of some of her quilts. It is called Go there and enjoy the slide show, and while you are there click on the left sidebar “Postcards” to see more of her little treasures.

I am going to pin “Indigo Moons” up on my wall so I can enjoy it every day.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Good enough

Here it is, the 11th of January, and I finally put my word for the year – GOOD -- up on the wall over my computer.

I hope it will remind me to think about what I am doing every day. The Quiltart list had a discussion about words to inspire you for a year. These are not New Year’s Resolutions, but themes for the year. I hope I will examine my actions and motivations this year and ask myself, “Is this good for you? Is this good for the community and the world?”

Gerrie Congdon and Terry Grant made very nice banners for their words and put them up on the second and third days of January. Terry’s word is “thrive” and Gerrie’s word is “bliss.” Click on the little images below and see their quilted banners on their blogs.

When I saw their pieces I wanted to make one for my wall. However, I found myself trying to copy their styles. I tried out all sorts of fabric and typefaces and nothing worked for me. I finally concluded that I’d just have to do something plain and simple.
I printed my word on plain white fabric and quilted around the letters. I used French knots in the background and I credit Terry for that idea. Last August she used French knots in one of her “doodly” pieces and I tucked the idea in the back of my mind (click on the red word and see it).
Now, I’m all set for this new year.

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Victorian pin holder

I was searching through some sewing tins this morning and came across this hand-stitched silk pin holder. The silk is beginning to shatter. I presume it was made in the late 1800s, perhaps by my grandmother.
I opened the holder and the ribbons frayed when I touched them. A cardboard folder with pin heads sticking up was inside.

Under the front fold I found this announcement:


By virtue of the authority to me given, I do hereby nominate and appoint Messrs D.F. Tayler and Company, to be patent solid headed pin manufacturers in ordinary to her Majesty. They are to have and enjoy all the rights profits privileges and advantages to the said place belonging, during my will and pleasure, and for the same this shall be sufficient warrant, given under my hand this twelfth day of August1837 in the first year of her Majesty’s reign. H. Sutherland, mistress of the robes.

It appears that the company continued manufacturing pins up through 1873. They won prize medals in 1851, 1862, 1869, and 1873 according to the backside of the cardboard folder.
This discovery sidetracked me from my project for today, but I’ll get busy soon. I am making a small quilted wall sign for my word for 2010.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Home blessing

I am on a quest to learn new things this year.

We attended the Epiphany service at St. Alban's last Sunday.

After the service, we had refreshments in the little hall and we were given “Home Blessing kits.” The kits were kraft bags decorated with stars, containing a candle, a fir tree sprig, a piece of chalk, Holy Water (in a zip lock plastic bag), and instructions.
The season of Epiphany is known as the season of light and is the traditional time for the blessing of a home. The lighted candle is carried from room to room with prayers being said for the activities that take place in that room and the people who spend time there. The fir sprig is used to sprinkle Holy Water in each room.

When we returned home, we went from room to room (kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, bedroom, etc.) and said the appropriate prayers. I thought the blessing for a Workroom or Workshop was very appropriate for a sewing room or quilting studio. It said “Many there are who rely upon their hands and are skillful in their own work…. Be present, we pray, with those who work in this place, that, laboring as workers together with you, they may share the joy of your creation…”

I have not attended church in years, but the Epiphany service and the home blessing ritual has sparked my interest.

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Saturday, January 02, 2010

I got the date right

I wrote my first check in 2010 and I put the right date on it.

The first orders for the new year were sent out this morning. That’s a good start.

I’ve chosen my word for the year. It is GOOD.
The Quiltart list has been having a discussion about words to inspire you for a year. These are not New Year’s Resolutions, but themes for the new year. I hope I will examine my actions and motivations this year and ask myself “is this good for you? Is this good for the community and the world?”

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Jump in, the water’s fine

Dominick Christiana, of Concord, jumps off the pier at the beginning of his run last year during the 29th Bun Run. Photo by Dean Coppola.

Fine if you like 50 degree F water. We’ve been living on our island for 30 years. When we had our weekly newspaper, the Bethel Island Beacon, we used to go to the annual Frozen Bun Run and take pictures of the water skiers on New Year’s Day. We never skied. Jackie, our intrepid reporter, did don an old fashioned bathing suit one year and participate.

Click HERE to read about the island tradition. We plan to stay home and drink hot coffee and tea this morning.

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