Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thangle Thursdays

We've dropped the "third" - now it's just Thangle Thursdays, & our Amish Colors are increasing.

I've been doing more quilt reading lately, and in Masters: Art Quilts (which I Love) I learned that the 1971 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibit in New York that some cite as the beginning of the Art Quilt Movement actually featured an Amish Quilt Collection. (Admission: I just ordered the exhibition catalog on Amazon!) And I thought my love of Amish quilts was just due to my summers around them in the Ozarks growing up, go figure. . .
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And Thee. . .

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thee. . .

Now that Bob's sojourn in AZ has scaled back to every other week, we have a bit more time to explore this "empty nest with training wheels" thing. Last night that meant homemade bread from this book, wine and candlelight.

This morning my studio time was devoted to finishing up Christmas presents for us: new flannels. Funny how things always turn out better with unexpected problems - this time it was running out of flannel for the pillowcases and piecing as a result - much nicer!

The afternoon held a fun surprise. Since I'm the one (despite my California native status) who is more concerned about snow on the driveway, I went out to shovel our inch from last night. As I did, the patterns of Bob's tires where he drove out this morning remained, leaving a cool set of (I thought) abstract lines. Determined to capture them for a future quilt, I headed upstairs to the deck, and when I got there with the camera, here's what I captured:

An empty nest is full of love.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Plans & Magic

"Make no little plans;
they have no magic to stir men's blood. . ."
-Daniel Burnham

Chicago's lakefront is a beautiful testament to this quotation from a Chicago legend. (This pic from is an example of a gorgeous landscape paired with a great city - no small plan.)

In honor of my adopted city and the magic of large scale plans,
here are my quilting goals for 2010:

1. Join a quilting community for support & education (guild, swap, etc.)
2. Quilt 2 hours weekday a.m.'s minimum.
3. Get to the county fair and see quilts this summer.
4. Start a blog to follow my quilting & keep records.
5. Re-organize my studio - aka - basement.(B-day present to self, 1 full day organizing in studio)
6. Pick 1 new quilting challenge to stretch & risk with.
7. Find & use 1 more venue to sell my work.
8. Read the business books I have & devise a real business plan.
9. Shoot for 1 charity quilt per quarter - start with AQI, then baby quilt.
10. Finish "Birches" quilt for me.

As I reach my goals, I'll change the text to green. Look - 2 down already!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Third Thursday Thangles

Dear friend Cheryl & I are committing to actually creating
all the "Buck A Block" patterns we purchased in 2008 from
our LQS.
I'm not usually a traditional girl when quilts are involved,
but since we chose the "Amish" colorway
I can enjoy the abstract things that result
from those beautiful solids.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Hope - for Haiti & our Youth

My daughter & her intercession classmates at IMSA used their class time in an Illinois History course yesterday to gain perspective on the disaster in Haiti. Then they put together the following info and sent it out to as many people as they could, hoping to make a difference. My heart is full of hope and love, for both the suffering people in Haiti, and for youth in our country who buck the apathetic trend and work to be involved. Please read their work below:


What We Owe Haiti

On January 12, 2010, at 21:53 UTC, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, the Caribbean’s most severe earthquake in over 200 years. The conditions were perfect for ultimate destruction. The fault line lies a mere 10 miles from the Haitian capital, Port-Au-Prince, and is extremely shallow, resulting in greater surface damage. Unlike the United States, Haiti lacks the necessary building codes to prevent its cities from collapsing in earthquakes. Along with these buildings, political order in Haiti has been destroyed. Even the main prison in Port-Au-Prince has been destroyed, meaning dangerous criminals are on the loose. With its infrastructure devastated, water sources contaminated medicine inaccessible and food scarce, Haitians are in danger of being murdered for the most basic necessities. The Haitian senator, Youri Latortue, has stated that the death toll could reach 500,000—greater than those of the 2004 Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and the 2005 Pakistani Earthquake combined.

The histories of Haiti and the Illinois are intertwined. The French settlement of Illinois and Louisiana was partially to provide foodstuffs for the sugar plantations of Haiti. In the 1750’s, the French built Fort de Chartres, south of modern Saint Louis, as part of a plan to use the Illinois Country to block English expansion into the Mississippi Valley, Mexico, and the French Caribbean. After the French and Indian War, an Afro-French Haitian, Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable built a trading post on the Chicago River, considered the founding of the city. Thus, the father of Chicago was actually a Haitian. At the end of the eighteenth century, Haiti fought a bloody yet successful war of independence to free itself from French rule. The Emperor Napoleon had planned to use the Louisiana Territory to feed the plantations of Haiti, but with its independence he sold Louisiana Territory to the United States essentially as a going out of business sale as it had no value to him. The I&M Canal, the Trans-Continental railroads, the Chicago Stockyards all came about because of the lands obtained from France. Clearly, we owe a great deal to Haiti.

After hurricane Katrina, people all over the world (including people from the Caribbean and Mexico) came to our assistance. Natural disasters are possible at any given place in the world. Even in the Midwest where they aren’t widely publicized, there is still danger. For example, the New Madrid Fault (in the Saint Louis area) will trigger a quake. In 1811, a quake along the fault line was so strong that the Mississippi River ran north for three days and places as far as Boston felt tremors violent enough to literally ring church bells. This earthquake was an 8.3 on the Richter scale. Just imagine, this quake had more than ten times the force of the recent disaster in Haiti. We could be in a similar predicament at any given time. Being a leading nation means that helping people is essential–especially countries that have shaped our history and who we are today. Already charities like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are on the ground providing food, water, and medical assistance. Any and all donations are extremely important. Please donate using the links below and send this e-mail on!

The State Department has set up a cell phone donation link: Text "HAITI" to 90999 and you will be charged for a $10 donation to relief efforts.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (

Red Cross (

OXFAM America (

AmeriCares (

United Nations World Food Program (

To check the reputations of these charities or find more you can visit Charity Navigator. (

Thanks for all your support and remember to spread the word!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Process. . .

A New Year's goal was to organize my quilting books. (This is a treat of a resolution since I adore both books and quilting - it's like play time!) Since I tend to get lost "browsing" as I organize, I left this job until today, which in my newly alliterative quilting time schedule is "Teach Me Tuesday." Indeed, as I was stacking and browsing, I read all the way through the circle technique in this book. Now if I could just get myself to my machine. . . .
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Inpired Waterfall

This quilt was headed back to the dorm today, so I nabbed a quick pic. The design was done by my daughter as a 6th grade art project to portray something in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright. She is pictured with her painting of the quilt design below:

I made the quilt for her as her graduation present from that wonderful school, Quest Academy. I needed to finish it in a hurry (as always), so I tried to quilt as you go with a sew & flip technique, and it worked! I may publish a lazy ladies guide to quilting yet!

In my hurry, I put the seam in the backing wrong side out, but it was a mistake that worked, because I like the result when covered up with blue & a label:

I love the combination of geometric abstractions of nature and (almost) solids. Maybe I'll design my own next!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Beautiful Start

For my new year and new blog, new snow greeted me on my annual birthday pilgrimage to the Morton Arboretum to reflect on the past year and clarify goals for the one to come. Snowshoeing for the first time with Shelby was a special treat. Hope to capture the modern art quality of the snow on empty pine branches in the studio tomorrow.