Christmas In Manhattan

Many towns have fireworks to commemorate our nations independence, on the Fourth of July.  In my hometown, Manhattan Beach, California, we have fireworks shot from the pier, on the second Sunday in December every year.  It has become a tradition to host or attend fireworks parties with friends and family.  Anyone can go to the beach in the daylight hours, but how many people go down to the beach at night?  This pier is our well-known landmark.

Never throw a quilt block away

Have you ever worked your butt off on a new concept, maybe making block after block, only to hate them at the end of the day?  This, as you can tell, happens to me more frequently than I’d like.  Case in point: last spring I fished out some Hawaiian fabric that I’d had from a previous fetish (and a few old quilt projects.)  This lushly printed, tropical themed stuff brings back vacation memories, and calms and slows me to a better pace & mindset.  I had also been working on that large, school art project, steeped in traditional quilting.  My husband is an attorney, and...

Art Sisters

Last month I told you about my teaching legacy (see previous post Fun In The Classroom.)  This month I had the pleasure to visit the old town where both my parents taught, in central California.  The small town is called Winton, and the demographics are 72% Hispanic, with emphasis on agriculture.  We grew up right next door, in Atwater, a town of 12,000, adjacent to Castle Air Force Base.  My sister, Celine, now teaches first-grade, at the newer school, Winfield Elementary.

Me & my...

The Titas, Little Aunts

I made this quilt while taking my first Mary Lou Weidman Creative Memories class at Asilomar, California, with Empty Spools seminars, in 2005.  Her classes evoke wonderful and sometimes hidden memories from the past.  While growing up, three special older women were often seen at holiday gatherings.  At first I was confused, thinking maybe we had three grandparents on my dad’s side?  The three blue-haired ladies are my father’s older sisters, Juana Zaballos, Anita Hernandez, and Virginia Castillos.  They immigrated to the United States as young girls, in 1919, with their mother, Anna Maria Bautista-Bueno.  Their...

Ding Dong, Trick or Treat

Who can resist Halloween fabric?  Not me!  It began innocently enough, by collecting Halloween-themed fabric here and there.  But every fabric designer has new collections each year, plus it’s a fabulous holiday chock-full of memories to inspire a quilt top.  Of course, I am the brown-haired girl.  But then, the cowgirl, robot, and mummy are all me, too.  Growing up in a small community, holiday events were very important.  My mother would collect old dress up clothes that we could put together with a mask for instant costuming.  The year I was a mummy, my wrappings came off half way through the evening.  I just walked home and...

Lucky to be in London for the Olympics

What joy to be in London for the Olympics this summer… our third time, compliments to my in-laws, the McFarlands!
Royal bite fit for a jubilee queen, in her backyard of Buckingham Palace!
So we’re here for the Olympics, right?  We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a few sights, though.  No picture taking inside Buckingham Palace, but outside the gardens were extraordinarily lush and green and flowering.  This cake was called a chocolate “bombe” and I just had to have it.  It appeared so regal (and the taste was RICH!!)

Mollie and Mo outside Queen Elizabeth's music room.
Spencer’s girlfriend, Mollie, joined...

Sewing Hell

Sewing Hell… have you ever been there?  Oh, this is not my first visit!  I’m talking about being involved in a sewing project that gave you anxiety, maybe from an impossible deadline?  Or the person who wants the end product is a nightmare personality to work with?  Or just the sheer magnitude of the yardage running through your sewing machine?  Or a new technique that must be mastered in a short window of time?  Or all of the above and then some….
The joy of finishing! A stack of three completed engineer vests.
Tis the season, yes?  I always try to leave a bit of wiggle room in my sewing schedule, to do fun...

How To Thread A Vintage Sewing Machine

Sewing has existed for thousands of years. Because of this, you might want to find a vintage device. This is a great way to celebrate the history of sewing. However, while they might look pretty, these devices can be quite confusing if you’re new to sewing. When you’re just starting, you should try to get a simpler machine, which will be easier for you to operate. This excellent resource has plenty of tips, and reviews, to help you find your first sewing machine.

Today,...

Working Small

As a challenge to myself, I decided to enter a quilt into the Studio Art Quilt Associates 2012 Benefit Auction.  The donated quilts are restricted to a 12″ square format.  The tiny quilts are used as the primary fundraiser for the non-profit that promotes art quilts, through it’s exhibitions, website, and publications.  My idea was to take an existing pattern from my book & website, (yes, shameless self promotion!) and remake it in miniature.
Mini letters are only 2" tall!
Now, if you know me, you would know I like to work BIG.  I generally make a small drawing, no more than 8 1/2 x 11″, then bring it to my local copy source,...

Upcoming Events

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October – November, 2012
Fall Quilt Market, Trade only.
Saturday, October 27th – Monday, October 29th: 10am – 6pm
Fall Quilt Festival, open to the public.
Preview night: Wednesday, October 31st: 7-10pm, Thursday, November 1st – Saturday, Nov 3rd: 10am – 7pm – Sunday, Nov. 4th: 10am – 4pm.
IQF-Houston Benefit Auction Quilts: featuring “SWEET” by Melanie B. McFarland
IQF-Houston Auction Quilts
George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de Las Americas, Houston, TX, 77010...