Downtown Salem, Oregon


Out and about in downtown Salem, Oregon outside the Ike Box.

Happy Monday!



Bloom No Matter What

I’ve been watching this sunflower, because I wasn’t sure if it was going to bloom.


With all of the tall Mammoth sunflowers growing in the garden,


this particular flower took a hit early in the growing process.


The stem of the flower is lying on the ground like a garden hose.


Even with this nasty cut and the poor connection to the main sunflower plant,


this sunflower slowly opened.


Trauma, wounds, being wounded, letting others down…these things happen in life.


Bloom no matter what the circumstances are!


The ‘Nothing is Wasted’ Collection

The antique quilt blocks used in this collection of quilts are from Western Pennsylvania. For over 20 years, I’ve been moving them around from the East Coast to the West Coast, from room to room.  Recently, I moved them from a closet to my cabin.   It was time for these blocks to be turned into quilt tops.

P1150743 Taking a step back, I want to share the inspiration for these quilts.  In the Gospel of John in Chapter 6, the story of the young boy and the loaves and the fish can be found.  Taking 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, Jesus performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 people. Afterwards, in John 6:13, Jesus says to the disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”  I remember one pastor saying, in his hands 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish would be fish sandwiches.


I grouped the blocks by a common shade of color. I put the largest block in the middle and built the top around it.


I like how this black and white little top looks.


The fourth top is in progress on the felt wall.  I will be sewing it together soon.

P.S. There is this passage in 1 Peter 3:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”  Likewise, when it comes to making quilts, the quilting of the blanket covers a multitude of sewing sins.

Happy Wednesday!


The Eclipse from Salem, Oregon


This is a picture of the crescent shape reflections of the sun just after the total eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017.  The crescent reflections are shining onto the floor of the trunk of a car with the trunk open.

There was a lot of hype in our area about the solar eclipse, much of which I was brushing off like it was just another event happening that comes and goes.  Now that I’ve experienced a full eclipse, I feel like I’ve had a change of heart.  I can understand why there are eclipse chasers all around the world now.

  Our yard was completely dark for the total eclipse.  It was just over 2 minutes long, and the temperature dropped 4 degrees.  It felt colder.  The birds in our yard were chirping differently, almost as if to say…”Is it dawn?”  Is it dusk?”  “I don’t know what is going on.”   It was a remarkable experience sitting in the dark…waiting to see the sun (with my protective glasses) move around the moon…waiting for everything to become light again.

The next eclipse in the US will be in 2024.  Maybe by then, I will have my little RV, and I will travel to the middle of the country to view the 4 minute long expected eclipse!  I think it would be a great experience to see the next full eclipse in the US. It’s definately  something to look forward to doing.

Hope your week goes well!


The Sunflowers are Starting to Open

I’m loving how the sunflowers are looking this year!





  I used a step ladder to take these pictures today.  This picture is at the top of the sunflower posted below! I don’t know what is going on, but these sunflowers are really tall this year…and have a real “Jack and the Beanstalk” feel to them.


The leaves on these sunflowers are 18′-19′ wide!

I have more sunflower pictures to come!

Happy Monday!


Free Form Quilting


Around my house, it’s always a summer triumph to freshen the deck by clearing all of the furniture off of it, washing it, and staining it.


 While all of the furniture is off of the deck and most of the staining is complete, I wanted to try something I’ve never done before and hand quilt with a blank piece of fabric. With no quilt pattern or design in mind, I’m going to quilt whatever pattern that comes to mind with whatever colors that inspire me each day.

P1150295 I have no idea what this quilt is going to look like when it’s finished.   It may look really cool…just plain interesting…or in the end really weird.   I’m using quilting thread, wool thread, and embroidery thread.  I might pull out my fabric markers and color in some of the spaces…we’ll see!


This is what I have done so far.

  I came up with this idea from watching a PBS Special Crafts Series a few years ago.  The Gee Bends Quilters were interviewed in a quilting segment and one woman described her free form quilting on a special top.  I’m also feeling a bit rebellious; I don’t want to feel hemmed in with a programmed quilt pattern, with a set goal in mind of when it has to be done, or make something for a client.  I’m taking my fabric and different thread colors and doing it my way!

I’ll let you know what this quilt looks like!