Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Brand New Year, All Ready for Living

Oh I am as excited as a kid in a candy store;  

Today, on the Eve of a brand new year (2017 Oh My Gosh), I have brought out an old friend to play:

Aged Beauty (2014)
She is a lovely girl, isn't she?  This is one of the first wholecloth quilts I made using vintage linen, and I love her very much.  But she is , well, as they say, "distressed".  She has some wrinkled, some love handles, some frayed edges, just like the rest of us.  She doesn't go out much, to shows or other events.  But she is just a lovely lovely lady.  Would you like to see a couple of closeups?  Well, here you go..

I have had the most marvelous year in quilting that I have ever had, without a doubt.  My two loves, linen quilting and charity quilting, kept me more than busy.  I was so pleased to send over 30 quilts to Quilts Beyond Borders;  and to make a special Christmas quilt for my nice, Kelly.  My quilt 'Annabelle's Wedding Feast" won a big prize at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza and is already scheduled to be judged at the Road to California, and the Daytona AQS Show.  And a newbie piece, in shadow trapunto, is , I hope, going to a national show for the first time... 
I joined the board of the Northern California Quilt Council, a great group - I look forward to working with them. And I joined SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Association, or something similar to that title -  a fabulous organization that is going to open new doors. 
But most of all, I will create.  I have several very nice linen quilts in progress;  and I have ideas for moving linen into some more contemporary artistic treatments.
So - a GREAT year -  and 2017 is only going to be more fun...
I will close with what has become an annual NYE tradition:  a photo of the Empty Spools from the past year:
Empty Spools, 2016


Happy New Year to You all.  I'll be ordering more thread tomorrow.


Monday, December 12, 2016

New Experiences

Hello everyone -  I've had two really fun new experiences lately...

On Saturday last week I went to Featherweight maintenance class.....  fun, fun.  A whole room full of adorable little cuties - mostly black, one white, and one painted red.....

We learned a little bit of history, a little bit of maintenance, learned where to grease and where to oil -  and then I got a NEW foot pedal - no more little button to push with your toe or the side of your foot - a regular, "clamshell" pedal...... hooray.

And I meant to get an LED light, and then forgot - boohoo, another day.

My Featherweight came to me about 6 years ago, and has sat ever since, so it was very happy to have some attention !  

then today - I had some of my quilts appraised... four of my show quilts, that travel so much.  It was time and overdue to get them appraised.

My appraiser was Nancy Bavor, of  She was terrific - did a fabulous, professional appraisal, and then gave me a printed form for each quilt.

I was very humbled at the values she put on my quilts - I told DH to drive home very carefully !

Seriously, it reminded me to value the artistry in my quilts - and not to sell myself short...


Go , right now, and look at one of your quilts, and repeat after me:  THIS IS A VALUABLE PIECE OF ART AND QUILTING !   Then do it again.  Then pat yourself on the back !

hooray for us quilters..........


Thursday, November 24, 2016


After -  we didn't even eat turkey today, and I still think the tryptophan mellowed me out............

Kitty Bit is having her Thanksgiving Day nap, too.  She does wish her human holder would put his feet up and make a proper lap for her to sleep on - good grief....
A bit of quilting got done today, too, as this top was pin-basted

I hope it is finished in time to be a Christmas present  for my niece, Kelly!
And, last week, a BIG box of quilts from me and some friends went to the "Quilts Beyond Borders" organization... they will go to the Bennett Freeze Navajo...  a deeply poverty-stricken group of individuals in Arizona. 
:So now I have three more days that are all mine..........  before going back to work on Monday - wonder how much I can get done before then?  

ready, set, go ....



Friday, November 11, 2016

"My" Veterans

Greetings - 

Recently I have been doing some work on my geneology, and this had led me to reflect on the men in my family, and how often their lives were marked by war...  and their service in military during these great times of conflict becomes a singular identifying moment in their lives............. 

My husband fought in the Vietnam War, in a war he did not believe in;

My father fought in WW II,  and took part in the liberation of one of the concentration camps, a moment he said he would always be haunted by;

My mother's father, my grandfather, also fought in WW II;

My 2nd great-grandfather was a Civil War soldier;

My 4th great grandfather fought in the War of 1812;

and My 5tth great-grandfather fought in the US Revolutionary War.

It humbles me to see so many of my ancestors called into battle;  I am proud of their bravery and fortitude, but simultaneously am deeply saddened by the relentless use of physical conflict to solve problems in our world. 

I watched President Obama lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier today, and I prayed that our incoming president will not lead us into a situation that will result in another great conflict.
Please, let us no more send our sons and daughters into battle. 


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Now it's REALLY finished !

Well - I probably showed you this one before - but now it's REALLY finished - and ready to be entered into a juried show.

I named it "Marie Laveau's Garden Gate", because it reminds me of the fabulous ironwork on the houses and yards in New Orleans. 

Here's a closeup - the black 'stuff' is black quilt binding, sewn to a piece of organza, then the excess cut away, and quilted on top of a traditional three-layer quilt.  The creative possibilities are nearly endless - I will be doing more in this technique... 

"Marie" is entered in a couple of quilt shows for January - my fingers are crossed!  She wants to travel. 

Everyone enjoy Veteran's Day tomorrow !


Monday, October 17, 2016


Hi - here are just a few teasers of the new piece I am working on............ 

This is a pillowcase - quilted and  partly beaded.

can you see the small spot I forgot to quilt?  just to the right of the beads...  amazing how it shows up in a photo - I'll get right on that !

This piece has incredible lacework - so I'm not sewing it down, just holding it in place with one gazillion beads !
 And just to make sure this takes as long as possible, I decided to hand-embroider all the stitch lines on the flower trim - to make it show more.............  oh heavens, this is going to take forever !
Next week I will be traveling - and this is going with me - planes, trains, surely I can put some beads on and do some embroidery during those hours !!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

wow, mid-October !!!

I don't know how the fall can be flying by so fast !!!!

I apologize for not blogging much recently, but there's just a lot of "stuff" going on.  You know - a busy job, a busy life - and some extended family illnesses that have demanded trips to the east coast to try to work through care issues and legal issues.......... 

But - let's focus on quilts - that is much more fun !!!!

I have been making a Christmas quilt for my neice, Kelly, who has a lovely new house.  I want it finished by December 1, so she can use it as part of her holiday decorating.......

 (sorry for the glimpse into my messy sewing area - I need a bigger design wall - and a bigger room !!!)

This is kind of a kit - I just needed a design and fabric FAST - so ordered a kit from Missouri Star, and then did some swapping out to suit my own taste - added a few solids to calm down all the prints, and to make some areas for nice quilting......  I'm hoping to get the center all sewn together this weekend, or close - then just some nice borders... it's a good size for a couch quilt... near the Christmas tree, don't you think?

I've also got TWO new linen quilts in progress - I'll be back soon with photos... they are going to be gorgeous, gorgeous !

happy weekend,



Friday, September 16, 2016


OH MY GOODNESS...........

ANNABELLE'S WEDDING FEAST won a prize.........

"Best Sewing Machine Workmanship", Wall Quilt Division

and it's hanging there with a ribbon on it , at the Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza !!!!

no photo yet....

BUT - you can see all the winning quilts by going to, then click on Upcoming Shows, then Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza,  then 2016 Winners...... they are fabulous..... wow it is amazing how many great quilters there are out there.......

I am so tickled, and so excited.......

and I even get a check, too !!

Can't wait till it ships home to see the ribbon...

.....  Kate

Monday, September 12, 2016

From Sea to Shining Pennsylvania

Hi !!!

My quilt is traveling !!!

 I named it "Annabelle's Wedding Feast"...  Wedding Feast, because it was, after all, originally a tablecloth... Annabelle?  I don't know.  I seem to be in a pattern of naming my linen quilts after a woman, with an old-fashioned, three-syllable name.  Like Victoria, or Elizabeth -  or Annabelle.  somehow it seems to fit.  Here's the photo - which I should crop, but it's a long story about three different computers, and none of them wanting to crop tonight, so here it is, as is.

It will be in the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, which opens on Thursday.  And today I just learned that it has also been accepted to the Pacific International Quilt Festival in October - yippee !!!! 

oh it's fun to see my pieces journeying around and sharing their beauty with everyone... to be honest, its a little nerve-wracking, too..............  (ok just get over it).

Oh it's just inspiring - I need to go sew another one !!!

take care,  Kate

Monday, August 29, 2016

Guests and Good News !

Greetings !

Good news on several quilty fronts :

1.  My linen quilt just got juried  into the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza !!!  hooray.  Now I must put on a hanging sleeve....  (somehow it seems like jinxing a quilt to sew on the hanging sleeve until it is accepted in a show to hang , so I wait, and then do it at the last minute - lol !)

2.  I just got home from a four-day quilt retreat - got soooooo much done, ate too much, slept some, and for four wonderful days did not hear the names Hillary or Donald............. 

3.  I've been selected as a Board member of the Northern California Quilt Council.  I am very excited.  NCQC works to support and elevate quilters across Northern California, and to support local quilt guilds.  I think this is going to be a lot of fun. 

on the non-quilty side:  we have COMPANY:

Her name is Evie.  She was rescued by firemen in a drain pipe under a 10-lane freeway.  Now she is in the hands of are her "intake fosters".  We are giving her the first safe, comfortable place to be.  She had a choice between sleeping in her carrying cage or a cardboard box - she chose the box (works every time)... and has a couple of friends to keep her company.  She weighs 1.1 pound ! 

Even with the trauma she experienced, she is gentle and likes to be held.  She is very tired now, and just wants to sleep, especially with a full little belly.  She will likely perk up and play once she has slept and eaten her fill of both.  And tomorrow another kitten, a friend of hers, will join her so she will have real company. 

We will keep her a week, then she will be up for adoption.  Oh she will make a super-wonderful pet for some family. 


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Long-Awaited Finishes

Hello hello - I do hope you are all having wonderful summers... I've been just wrapped up with mostly happy stuff.... travels, special projects, and, of course, some quilting..............

and we had COMPANY....................... look at these faces !!!!  ten weeks old... we kept them for a week while their foster mom went away... we tried to teach them some "manners" - basics like "don't climb up the human's leg !!!!"...............  that one is really important.

They have since been adopted, and gone to their forever home.  Hopefully, they are not climbing up any legs !!!

I tore into a stack of unfinished quilts...........  I'm just not very good at actually finishing quilts - I get close, and then lay them down...  so

this is a Bonnie Hunter mystery from a couple of years ago - called "Easy Street" I think.  I remember I picked these colors and thought "oh this might be a disaster" - and I love it.
We will actually sleep under this one !

and another finish:

this is a kit from Connecting Threads that will go to a sick friend.   Hope it snuggles her well.

Today I submitted my white linen quilt to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Show... wish me luck - I will find out if I am accepted by August 24.... 

enjoy August -   oh I love summer.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Released From the Bone Pile Yippee !

Well.... Hallelujah !

Remember this piece ???  I found this photo on my Blog from September........ SEPTEMBER ??? OH MY...surely it wasn't that long ago.

there was lots left to do at this point................
I loved these corner feathers..............

But I really wasn't happy with the center...............that mess in the middle just doesn't look right at all........ way too formless for the rest of the center medallion.  oh yuck.  That stitching is way too dense to rip out..................
So it went in the Bone Pile.
The Bone Pile is where stuff goes that isn't working.
It was sad to put this in the Bone Pile...................
But NOW - an idea.................when something doesn't work - well, cover it up with something else !!!!
So, this is three doilies.  the bottom is the biggest, the second one is the pale yellow/orange color, and then the smallest one on top.  I love how the pale orange peeks through !


And there will be BEADS, too ! They hold the lace down.
Oh I am so happy this piece is released from the Bone Pile .
Now to get it finished up.  Mostly that means finishing up this center medallion, and then finishing the binding, hanging sleeve, and label...
Deadline for the New Quilts of California Competition is August 1...  I'm just gonna make it, I think.
Stay tuned for finished photos.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Well -

Today I celebrate my ancestor Caleb Savage........  I just recently learned of my connection to Mr. Savage.  He is an ancestor on my Grandmother's side of the family.

Caleb was a Patriot in the Revolutionary War.

I grew up in Eastern Virginia,  so the chances are good that one is kin to someone who fought in that War...  but it feels really good to make the connection.

How did I find that out?  Quilting, naturally...... online in a Yahoo room, someone mentioned the Daughters of the American Revolution, and I wrote about my family history...  and that I couldn't get far enough back to know if I was kin to a War Patriot or not.......

So, that person took my information, and did some research , and found the connection to Caleb Savage.

Now I have to find the documentation to prove each step of the lineage before it becomes official.  We'll see how that goes.

But, today , I look at the little flag in my yard a bit differently.....  and wonder how Caleb imagined the future of America....... and somehow, the first Independence Day seems more real now......

And, I reflect a bit, just a bit, on the fact that we must never think, as Americans, that we have the "best" government, that we are "special" over others...  we must work to respect people of various heritages and religions, and to have better relationships with other countries.  And to respect our planet.  We must acknowledge the mistakes our country has made in the past so as not to make similar ones in the future.  And that will require us all to be involved - in lots of ways.........

So, Happy Independence Day  !


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Visitors !!

Look who's visiting at our house.....  KITTENS !


That's Channing and Cammi.  They will be here for a week.  They are ten weeks old, and are up for adoption by the Maine Coon Adoption rescue organization in Oakland, CA.  We work with them.

These two are with us because the regular 'kitten mama"  who fosters all the babies, is away for a week.  And they are too active to stay in a cage.  So they came to visit, otherwise known as 'trash out our house'.  !!  Actually, they have been fine - sweet, snuggly  - - with a whole lot of energy and play all added in.

Channing and Cammi will be adopted only together, as they are deeply bonded with each other.  They go to the Adoption Fair next Saturday - so we are trying to teach them a few "manners ' and survival skills... yesterday they learned to climb steps - they were great with going up - going down was just a massive tumble and 'thump'....... but they did better the second time.......


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Judging - and Quilting

Hi there, and Happy Fourth of July weekend...

I had a wonderful opportunity last week to observe the judging of the quilts for the Seven Sisters Quilt Show in San Louis Obispo, California........

Oh I wish that every quilter who has apprehensions about having their quilts judged could watch a generous, professional judge work...  it was such a wonderful day.  Perhaps I can summarize my reactions to the day:

1.  Good judges respect every quilter's work.  They know that some are beginners;  some are professionals;  most are somewhere in between.

2.  Every quilt has strengths and weaknesses;  the good judge appreciates the strengths, while noting things the quilter could do to improve.

If you have never been bold enough to have your quilts judged, I encourage you to do so - BE BRAVE.  If you don't want to read the 'constructive' criticisms, then just don't...  just fold up the page and throw it away........

But if you do - you'll learn a way to make your quilts better - and isn't that what we all want anyway !!!!

I was inspired by the quilts for the Seven Sisters Show,  and the excellent judging they received.  And the dedication of all the volunteers !  Wow, quilting sisters - We Rock !!!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Hands2Help - Just Under the Wire !

Phew - I made it !

Tomorrow is the deadline for Hands2Help photos -  now mind you, this is really ONLY the deadline to be in the drawing for prizes - one can always donate a quilt to any of the good causes supported by H2H this year.

But - heck, -  sure, I want a prize !

So, these two will go out in the mail soon to Happy Chemo...

and, of course, there's a story.............
there was ANOTHER quilt destined for H2H .....
it was all quilted, bound, and ready to go...
and them SOMEONE (that would be meeeee) accidentally touched it after touching some dry-erase markers, and on the white, there was hot-pink dry-erase smudge............ owwwweeee...
So - that one became MY quilt, and another one was made for H2H...
which is why I am coming in just under the wire... and the white/sherbet one is a top made by someone else - thank you, my friend, - and quilted by me.
Now to pack them up !,, and the link to the amazing panorama of quilts made by this year's Hands2Help initiative - thanks Sarah, for your work in organizing this again this year !!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bits and Bits

What am I getting done these days ???

I am sewing like a fiend................

lots of charity sewing.............

and one special project.............

and progress on this;;

This is the ongoing progress on Sue Garman's design called "ohmygosh !"   and that is an apt title !

here's a closeup

yes, those pieces are every bit as tiny as they look !!!

but they sure are fun............................ back later................


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hands 2 Help Quilts Moving Forward !

Hands 2 Help Update !

I'm so tickled to post this update on my Hands 2 Help quilts for this year... I'm linking to Confessions of a fabric addict - - you can go there and see updates on many quilters who are participating.

Life has been busy, and I was getting a little worried, but all of a sudden a couple of quilts came to a finish, or to a flimsy - so I'm gonna make the deadline !

 This first quilt is just finished -  I never make BROWN quilts  - - but I ended up loving this - it almost got stolen by my DH...  The star blocks started out two years ago as parts for the Bonnie Hunter mystery "Celtic Solstice" - somehow they didn't work there, so I put them aside, changed the centers and the corners, and put lots of white around them, and they were much better... Then add a little chain block, and boom!  there it is................... 

Next is a bright one

I do love yellow, although this does sort of scream at you !  But its a happy scream...

Just a flimsy - so better get moving on quilting this up !

In 'more serious ' quilting, I am very close to having a photo of my show quilt that will be entered in the Houston show...........  I'm working on the last parts - doing and re-doing, to get things just right... 

happy weekend to all,


Friday, April 15, 2016

Scribing for the Judge

my friends - last week I went to a wonderful quilt show............

but there were no quilts hanging;
no vendors vending;
no people paying to enter - well, not yet - they came a couple of days later;

cause it was Judging the "Best of the Valley"  quilt show in Lindsay, CA.

Let me introduce you to the ladies who run the quilt show... they do not belong to a single guild, rather the show is produced as a non-profit organization, with a very hard-working steering committee..

and here is the judging.... hard at work.  That is Jody Ohrt, a California judge.  She is very positive, finding good things to note about every single quilt.  She judged around 100 quilts, while another judge judged the other 100.  Then they worked together to award Best of Show, Best Quilting, and the other big awards...

I worked as a scribe... if you look at the table, I am the only person dressed in red - you can see me in the reflection in the mirror on the wall........... I learned a lot, and it was fabulous seeing all the quilts... there are some terrific quilters around Lindsay, CA

THANK YOU LADIES of the Best of the Valley Quilt Show !!  Well done.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Just Gorgeous

No words today, just photos of the camellias in my yard...

and one tiny, out-of-focus plum  :)


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Monterey Bay !!!!

Well - you'll just have to excuse me if I go on a bit about the lovely town of Monterey, CA.  DH and I spent a few days there this week - it's one of our favorite places, and only about 90 minutes drive -  far enough but not too far...........

On the way, we always stop here - GARLIC WORLD.  It's in Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world.  They grow most of the country's Garlic in Gilroy... smells fabulous !  Garlic World is a trip - lots of garlic, plus veggies and stuff...

STRAWBERRIES - that will soon be on their way across the US.  The area north of Monterey is known for huge vegetable farms...  feeds the entire country the produce you eat.........

and then - - Monterey Bay.................  a fabulous Bay, home of the world-famous Monterey Bay Acquarium..............................  just too gorgeous...


and down by the water, the famous Cannery Row, memorialized by John Steinbeck, who lived here before it became rebuilt.  When it was just a row of Sardine factories, going out of business...  a slum.
 Now it's all too trendy - perfect little restaurants, inns, and shops.

A shop for everything........ a whole store for olive oil - - lots of different flavors of olive oil........ all to be tasted, like wine-tastings.............this whole wall is just balsamic vinegars............

   We saw a very fancy car -  a McLaren P1...............  a british supercar...........  only 350 of them made looks like something  a British Batman would drive....... quite spectacular - 12 cylinders...  it can almost fly...........  I read in a book it has a "ticket window" for the driver...........  yikes !!!  I guess one doesn't have to lower the entire window just to get that pesky speeding ticket.
I also read the average cost for a P1 is $1.5 Million...............  yikes........ drive carefully honey, we don't have enough insurance to run into that !  Can you hear the insurance man now - YOU HIT WHAT?????????????? 
It was a great little adventure - time to walk and hold hands, to play Miniature Golf, to listen to seagulls...............   a little treasure...............



Sewing Charity Quilts

Well, my wonderful spring break will soon be over - but I feel so productive... lots of finishes, either finished quilts or finished tops................many of these were already under way or finished just before the break............ but here they are...

A little ISpy, top made by a friend:

A crumby block top - I love using up those crumbs !!!
2.5 inch squares - all cut by my DH:

A top, made from leftover pieces from a group retreat last summer:
Orphan blocks ! - Made for a boy:
and more crumbs........ this top made at last summer's retreat - I love this color combination.
surely I did some more - - let me think - perhaps there's at least one more finish that can be made this weekend during watching basketball games  (go goo Carolina)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...