Blog break

Unfortunately, I need to take a break from writing my weekly blog. I’ve been sick for the last four weeks since the beginning of June, and have been diagnosed with Stage III peritoneal cancer. The next 4-5 months will be spent in treatment. I’ll have 9 weeks of chemotherapy, surgery, and then another 9 weeks of chemotherapy. The prognosis for full recovery is good and I hope to be in remission by Christmas.

I have canceled all of my teaching engagements for the rest of the year and am hoping to reschedule these in 2020.

Unfortunately, I am unable to go to Mongolia next month for the Third International Mongolian Quilt Show celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the Mongolian Quilting Center. However, my two travel companions are still making the trip. They will assist at the show and distribute the baby quilts to newborn Mongolian babies.

I hope to be writing again by the end of the year once I’ve kicked this cancer. In the meantime, happy quilting. I’ve set up a Caring Bridge site so if you’d like to check on my progress, click here.

Kaleidoscopic Pinwheels Class

In April, I taught my Kaleidoscopic Pinwheels class for the West Sound Quilters in Port Orchard WA and also in March at the Emerald Valley Quilters’ Guild in Eugene, OR. My method is based upon Bethany Reynold’s Stack ‘N Whack technique which I modified so that the pinwheels float on the background rather than coming all the way to the edges of the blocks. This means that if there are inaccuracies around the outside of the blocks they may be trimmed to make all the blocks the same size without losing the pinwheel points. Everyone is successful and it’s easy for new quilters too. It’s a fun workshop in which students get instant gratification after cutting their eight identical squares into triangles and arranging the sets of eight triangles into pinwheels. You can’t predict how the pinwheels will turn out until you lay them out and it’s a delight to see what emerges. Here are some examples.


As you can see, the patterns created are beautiful and it’s hard to believe that each set comes from just one fabric. Here’s a selection of finished blocks made in the West Sound Quilters’ workshop. Note the float between the pinwheel points and the block edges, which makes the pinwheel pop even more. Aren’t they fun!

Bill Clinton Portrait

Some time ago I posted a portrait of Diego Rivera that I found inspiring. Here’s another which I was fortunate to see last October at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

This Presidential Portrait of Bill Clinton was painted in oils by Chuck Close in 2006.
Chuck Close begins all of his paintings with a photograph of his subject, in this case an image made during a photo session in August 2005 for a New York magazine cover. He then draws a grid on both the canvas and the photograph and uses the information contained in the photograph to create a series of abstract modules on the canvas. For me, this has quite a quilt-like quality. The photo really doesn’t do it justice so I recommend seeing it in person if you in Washington DC. The 3-D effect from a distance is fantastic. Below is a detailed shot showing more clearly the way it pixelated into the on-point grid.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show, May 2019 (4)

Our 33rd Kitsap Quilter’s Guild Annual Quilt Show at the beginning of May was a great success with over 200 quilts on display. Selecting a small number of my favorites to share from the wide selection is always difficult. Last week I shared three quilts and here are another two. These two are both multicolored on dark backgrounds using curved motifs, but they are so different.

Wild Rose was pieced by Cheryl McCurdy and quilted by Debi Snyder. Cheryl used the pattern Vintage Rose by Judy Niemeyer, but named hers Wild Rose because it didn’t look at all vintage. The piecing is all foundation paper pieced and was challenging. Here’s a detailed shot of the center. I love this burst of color and the combination of points and curves on this gorgeous piece.

The second quilt I’m featuring is Cartwheel made by Vicki Adams and quilted by Libie Peterson. Vicki was our featured artist at the show and her special exhibit was highlighted in an earlier blog. The Cartwheel pattern is from Kaffe Fassett’s book Quilt Granduer, but Vicki designed her own border.

The detailed shot shows the lovely array of colorful fabrics and rickrack added for embellishment. I love the whimsical cheerful nature of this quilt. Techniques include machine piecing and hand and machine applique.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show, May 2019 (3)

Our 33rd Kitsap Quilter’s Guild Annual Quilt Show at the beginning of May was a great success with over 200 quilts on display. Selecting a small number of my favorites to share from the wide selection is always difficult. Brilliant Beauties of Joy pieced and quilted by Debi Snyder was absolutely stunning and glowed. Debi made this from a Jacqueline de Jonge pattern. This quilt won first place in the Individual Large Pieced category.

Debbie Flood made Montana Stars from a pattern by Bette Faries, and beautifully quilted by Marybeth O’Halloran.

Debi purchased the pattern in a quilt shop in Bozeman, Montana and made most of the stars on yearly trips to Montana. There are 315 stars! The pink border with the delicate sawtooth triangles offset the center perfectly. The detailed shot shows Marybeth’s exquisite quilting.

While I tend to gravitate towards the more traditionally based pieced quilts, I loved this pictorial dog quilt, Ty’s a girl, made by Wanda Rains, using the photo pinned to the bottom right. Wanda so realistically captivated the spirit of her dog Ty. She did a five day class with instructor Susan Carlson in 2017 to learn collage and it took almost two years to complete the rendition. Everyone thinks Ty is a boy, hence the quilt title and pink nail polish.

Farewell, Retro-Radiation

I recently gave this bed quilt, Retro-Radiation, away to a friend who lost most of her belongings when her apartment caught fire a few weeks ago.

I gave her a choice of two quilts and I accurately predicted that this would be her pick. She loves the colors and since she is a piano tuner, the piano keys borders seemed most appropriate. Here you can see four of the 16 Op-Art Kaleidoscope blocks. These blocks are made using my template-free technique (see my video) which is very easy and fun. I have patterns available at my on-line store. Look closely to see the awesome long-arm quilting by Wanda Rains.

Below, the border is illustrated. The wavy line which looks like rickrack is a fussy-cut fabric. The piano keys border features all of the fabrics from the center field of the quilt. In the lower left corner, you can see the small Kaleidoscope block which is in the mid-point of the side. This looks like a radiation warning sign.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show, May 2019 (2)

Our rescheduled 33rd annual Kitsap Quilters’ Guild show the first weekend in May was a great success. We had a wonderful array of 200+ quilts and guild member, Vicki Adams was our featured artist. Here’s Vicki in her lovely display area.

Vicki’s immersion in fiber arts began at an early age. Her mother and grandmothers sewed, did embroidery and other handwork and Vicki took to it naturally completing her first embroidered piece at the age of five. She loves knitting, counted cross-stitch, clothing construction, and all kinds of embroidery. She began quilting in 1976 after she spotted a quilt at the local county fair and replicated her own version of it using all her fabric from her bottom dresser drawer. Since then her fabric stash has grown and she’s always finding new techniques to try.

Vicki writes, ” I love sharing my love of quilting and skills with others. One of my greatest joys is sewing baby and doll quilts for our guild’s charity projects.”

The two purses are knitted and then felted, including the large flower. Below is a gorgeous embroidered peacock, which was a project that Vicki inherited when is was barely begun. The detail is exquisite and her choice of frame is perfect for the piece.

Kitsap Quilters’ Guild Show, May 2019 (1)

Our rescheduled Kitsap Quilters’ Guild 33rd Annual Quilt Show was very successful with good attendance and all of the logistics running smoothly. My only entry, Lauret’s Stars, was awarded first place by our peer judges in the Large Pieced Group category. Group quilts are those made by more than one person. For my entry, I did the designing and piecing and the quilt was exquisitely long-arm quilted by Wanda Rains. This quilt was commissioned and I was fortunate that my client allowed me to borrow it from her for the show.

The quilt is king-sized, 105″ x 105″, which is very large. Our guild has a few extra tall quilt stands for the really big quilts and it was great to be able to see it in its entirety. I spent more than 200 hours piecing the quilt over a period of 18 months. My client was extremely patient when life got in the way and my time was eaten up helping to care for my twin grandchildren as well as traveling to teach. I had a push to finish it by February for the show, which was then rescheduled to May because of the snow. Here’s a detailed shot showing the lovely machine quilting and the blue ribbon.

Baby Quilts for Mongolian Newborns (2)

The response to my request for baby quilts for newborns in Mongolia has been fantastic and we have received over 100 quilts! I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the quilting and my church communities for this project. Thank you to you all. Quilts have come not just from my local area, but from as far afield as CA,IL and OR. We’ve also received some crocheted baby blankets. Special thanks goes to Wanda Rains, who long-arm machine quilted 50 of the quilts. On Sunday we covered the pews at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Bainbridge Island, WA with quilts for our 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services and the parishioners laid their hands on them for a special blessing. Everyone was delighted to see the quilts and the church looked especially beautiful.

These quilts will be packed in boxes this week to be shipped in a container leaving for Mongolia next week, (6th May, 2019). They should arrive in early July. We will display them at the 3rd International Mongolian Quilt Show at the State Department Store in Ulaanbaatar on 1st-3rd August. This quilt show will celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Mongolian Quilting Center. After the quilt show, we will travel in the Mongolian countryside and distribute the quilts to babies in rural hospitals.


Baby quilts arriving here after tomorrow and before the end of June, will be carried in our suitcases when we go to Mongolia in July.