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Transparency Quilt

Transparency Quilt

I started this quilt for my great-nephew weeks and weeks ago.  But, of course, life gets in the way.  Thankfully, he won’t arrive until sometime early November.  But this week, I got it pin-basted and quilted.  I am really liking the look of this quilt as it is very simple, yet sophisticated.

The baby’s room is grey, and the parents are not really into “baby-cutesy”, so I think this will work.

The quilting is very simple , with an overall pattern of horizontal stippling.  While I really love some of the very intensive, complicated quilting that is really popular these days, I also think there’s a time and a place for simplicity….and this quilt needed simplicity.

Getting started with machine quilting.

Getting started with machine quilting.

Have to say, I love Machingers for machine quilting.  I’ll never go back to any other type of gloves for control and gripping.  They also keep my hands very cool, which can be a big deal.  No one wants to work up a sweat while machine quilting.

Bernina Stitch RegulatorAlso big on my list is the Bernina Stitch Regulator.  Whatever your quilting skill level, this adds an ease that I have just come to appreciate.  I can go at any speed and have the stitches be consistent every time.  Now, I have done enough machine quilting that I don’t necessarily need the stitch regulator, but I have found that it makes the job so much easier on me.  My shoulders don’t hunch quite as much. And I go way faster because the size of the stitch is not a struggle.

Quilting is finished. Pattern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr from their new book, "Transparency Quilts".

Quilting is finished.  Pattern by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr from their new book, “Transparency Quilts”.

Finally, I used a bias binding, as I want this quilt for my great-nephew to last a long time.  Bias binding has more fibers running along the edge of the quilt, so it will handle more washings, more rubbing, more overall use.  I always stitch the back of the binding by hand. I’m not one to use the machine for this final touch.  I’m not even sure why, except that I love the feel of hand-binding, I love the look, and I think it adds a touch of hand-sewn love to every quilt.



All that’s left at this point is a quilt label for my great-nephew.

Well that’s a lot of black and white for one blog post, even though I am a big fan of black and white.

So here’s a finished pic of the fall placemats.  They are colorful, completed and set up on the table.

Happy Stitching!

Happy Stitching!





Feeding at the Feeder

feeding2feeding1feeding3My favorite moments are when the parent birds bring their babies to our feeders and show them how to eat.  I don’t know why but it stops me in my tracks every time.  The natural and spontaneous affection between Mama Cardinal and Baby is both endearing and instructive.  The baby is trusting.  The parent is protective and gentle.

It scares me when I watch the animals for any length of time.  It scares me because they behave just like we do in so many ways.

They are us.   We are them.

And I wonder if, just because we can agonize over every move, (Am I at the right feeder?  Will this feeder always be there for my baby? Is the food here healthy?  Am I teaching my baby the right things?) does that make us any different than the birds?  When all is said and done, we may be a little more complex and wonder about a few more things.

But it’s all a matter of degree isn’t it.  I can question more, care about more, work more, worry about more, suffer more.  But do I enjoy more?

The animals in our yard seem blissfully content with their lives.

Every day they teach me something new.

World's Most Relaxed Squirrel

World’s Most Relaxed Squirrel

Singer Featherweight in the House

Oops I did it again.

I bought a sewing machine.

But this one is cute.

1934 Singer Featherweight

1934 Singer Featherweight

This one has a beautiful straight stitch, comes with its own case and accessories, and similar machines are owned by millions of people.

But this one is from 1934.  That’s one year after they started making them in 1933.  These crazy little reliable sewing machines were made in virtually the same design from 1933 to sometime in the sixties. They can be looked up by date by checking their serial number on the bottom.  Older Singer Featherweights are worth a little more, but a lot depends on the condition.    This one has some wear and tear from use, but I would guess that’s to be expected.  I have some wear and tear from use and I was not born in 1934.

Featherweights really still hold charm in the eyes of many sewists.  Without any gimmicks or heavy duty electronics, these little machines just keep going.  And going. Parts for them are readily available on the market.  Resale value still holds.  Collectors are all still interested.  Some things just never appear to lose their value.

More Paintings


high school

I painted both of these…probably 20 years apart.  One was from a place I had actually visited, and the other from a postcard.

Can you tell which is which?

Maybe it’s obvious to you.  It is to me.

I worked hard on both of them.  One is a study in nature, the other…a study in nature.  If you’ve ever painted, you know that when you are in the middle of a painting, you are in that location.  You have to be.  Whether it is coming from your imagination, or from a picture, or whether it was your experience in real life, at the moment that you are painting, you are there.

It would explain why I love to paint landscapes, scenes of tranquility or astounding beauty.  Whether I am in that location or not, I have most certainly traveled there in my mind.

But a painting done from life experience almost always has more courage.  It is more expressive, and usually more emotional.  It may not be the best at capturing details but it captures a moment.  And, on a good day, lets the viewer in on the wonder.

Ready for the answer?  I gave enough hints.  I’m sure you know by now.

The top one was from our honeymoon in Hawaii.  I dragged my not-a-morning-person newlywed husband out over a bluff along the shore in Kauai.  We sat together in the dark, listened to the relentless surge of the ocean and watched the sun come up.  It turned out to be a stunning display, becoming more brilliant with every passing moment.

The other is a painting I did a few years after high school, from a lovely postcard.  I don’t really even know the exact location.  Wyoming, maybe?  But I do love the mountains and so painting it was joyful.

Which is the better painting?

Well.  I leave that up to you.