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!


The Double Wedding Ring Quilt Went to a Good Home

Trina's Quilt

I’m so happy this antique hand pieced Double Wedding Ring Quilt is in just the right place…in the home of one of my friends.

P1080601 The above picture shows the top before it was marked and put into the quilt frame. This queen size+ quilt took me about two years to hand quilt.  I love the beautiful scalloped edges.

I’m really happy this quilt went to a good home!

In the past three months, I’ve sold the queen size Lewis & Clark quilt (posted on my blog about 2 years ago) and this Double Wedding Ring Quilt.  I’m so happy the sheer volume  of projects I have accumulated over the years has gone down.  It’s a great feeling to make progress on finishing quilts.  I am working on 4-5 large projects for friends and family members now.

I hope you have a great week~!



A Little Life Lesson

I’ve spent the week with my 3 year old grand daughter, Matilda.  I forgot how often a little one uses the restroom.


We visited the beach at Lincoln City, Oregon along route 101.


When using the restroom, Matilda went to go into the men’s room.  I redirected her not to go to the men’s room because the person on the door didn’t have a cape on and to go into this one instead.

She said, “Oh! Yeah.”

I gently informed her, “When you need to use the bathroom, you get to use the one with the cape!”


Sometimes a little shift in perspective makes all the difference!

Happy Friday!


On the Back Porch Swing


A Version of the Range Quilt Pattern

While working in my sewing cabin, I started moving fabric around when several fat quarters of colors started to come together in a pile all of their own.


I took the Range Pattern and reduced the template to under 5 inches.  Using a rotary cutter with a small cutting mat, I cut out the pieces while watching a few evening TV shows.  Several shows I like to watch are America’s Got Talent, The Tunnel on PBS, Married at First Sight on Lifetime, and any house renovation shows on HGTV & PBS.  I have a special place in my heart for house architecture…especially Craftsman and Mid Century Modern Homes…and interior design styles.

I’m going to mark the quilt top today to prepare it for the next road trip.

It’s been a busy summer so far.  I’ve been working on summer chores like cleaning and re-staining the back deck, mowing the grass, and preparing for a garage sale.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!



I’m Working on Another Pattern Today

Ruey's Fabric Trip

I was in Reno, Nevada with two people I really enjoy, my daughter, Hayley (left), and her friend since 5th grade, Ruey (pronounced as Ray, third from the left), and the math wizard in our home, Tim (on the right).  Ruey wants a hand made quilt for her bed, so we met and visited a few fabric shops together to help Ruey plan out a quilt to her liking.


 Ruey picked out the pattern above at Windy Moons Sewing Center in Sparks, Nevada. 


Hayley and Ruey are both very creative, brilliant with color shading, and gravitate towards solid colors.  They found some fabric at Windy Moon Sewing Center and some at the Mill End Fabric Store in Reno, Nevada.

Ruey's Quilt

They picked out the fabrics to turn the Coffee and Teal Quilt into a queen size quilt that looks more like the picture above.


With the help of Tim, the math wizard, I am enlarging the pattern to about a third size larger by increasing the width of the strips and enlarging the square for each block from 6 1/2″ to 9.”


And so the work on another quilt begins. I’m working on 6 or more projects right now. Keep following along to see where these projects take me!

Happy Friday!



A Souvenir from China


Just before I left China, I found this bag for sale in a porcelain tea shop. I love the square shape of the cloth bag, and its relative simplicity.  I have a thing for textile items!


This is what the inside of the bag looks like when it is open.  I brought four porcelain small teacups along with this bag and used it to carry the tea cups home to give as gifts to friends.

I love to find craft items from around the world, and I wanted to share this little treasure with you!

Happy Wednesday!