Saturday, March 30, 2013

that explains everything

By sorting my fabric, left over flannels were introduced to each other for the first time.
They seemed friendly.
The two muted greens, both polka dotted, have somehow created a background upon which the darker fabrics float.
I love that. but it doesn't explain why I have developed a strong affection for this quilt, nor does the fact that it has such a modern, graphic vibe.
Being entirely flannel makes it feels like a hug, but I don't think that's why I love it either.
It is made with left overs from my grandchildren's baby quilts.
Ahhh, that explains everything.

golden bright

Light all around, warm and golden bright.

Friday, March 29, 2013

lily of the valley

A black and white photo will often tell a story that is quite different from a colored photo.
It is as though the mind, freed from the distraction of color, is better able to visualize the abstract, to see the negative space as a part of the whole.
We have photos of our garden that appear for a fleeting moment or two on our computer screen when it is parked and running, and one of those photos is of a lily against the weathered lattice.
 It has always seemed such a symbol of Easter to me; a cross and a flower like a golden star. It makes me think of an old hymn....." He's the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star, the fairest of ten thousand to my soul."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

off course

I drive the wrong direction to work and I'm not alone.
Each morning, people who live east, clamber into their cars and head west, and at the very same time, doors in the west are flung open as commuters leap into their cars and head east.
I am a part of this strange migration.
This cross current commute is not why I admit that I drive the wrong direction to work though.
I've read that birds use the sun and stars to orient themselves as they migrate. I realized yesterday morning for the first time that although I'm in a flock, flapping madly up the freeway, my heart is longing to orient itself by the sun and stars.
Instead, in the early morning as the eastern sky melts into the yellows and golds of the rising sun, I turn my back resolutely and head west towards a leaden sky.
In the late afternoon, as the setting sun casts a flush of coral and mauve upon the western sky , I point my car towards the fading light of the east and hurtle homeward.
No wonder I feel at times like a bird off course.

Friday, March 22, 2013


There was just something about this needlepoint picture that made me wander past it twice at the thrift shop. It had been duct taped into a very ugly, cheap frame, but the picture itself seemed so peaceful. It made me feel happy to look at it. Giving it a second chance seemed merciful.
You can't go wrong with black and so I framed it rather generously with a Kona solid.
Next, I quilted it with reckless abandon including the needlepoint picture itself.
Another time, I would make sure that my stitches were smaller on the picture itself, and perhaps match the thread color, or add contrasting colors here and there for emphasis. I still may.
I would love to be standing on that shore.
Or gliding around the point in a silent canoe.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


When I was a teenager, Hanes made a line of pantyhose called l'eggs. How clever of them. They were able to take a play on words, l'egg and leg and throw in an allusion to French finery, all in one fell swoop. To then package them in plastic egg containers was sheer brilliance.(pardon the pun)
Behold, an eggshell blue enamelware bowl heaped with vintage l'eggs containers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

on with your life

I found bunnies to be as elusive in art as they are in life.
I finally gave up and now think of the gray bunny as a previously unknown species.
The quilting design was a mystery too. I didn't figure out what to do until after I had done something else.
I think next time, I will match the quilting thread to the background and quilt very heavily for texture. 
Small projects are wonderful because you can make your mistakes quickly and get on with your life.

a kind of confirmation

 from Orthodoxy by G.K.Chesterton
“And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.”


from Now and Then by Frederick Buechner
"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." 


Voices on the wind cause me to gaze heavenward.
Geese are on the move.
A wavering line ride the afternoon air currents.
"Isn't it kind of early to be heading north?" I wonder aloud.
Spring hasn't arrived yet with its magic melt.
Perhaps the warming rays of the sun will spill onto those northern meadows at exactly the same time as the geese.
Like the timing of a perfect dance.
Natures choreography.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

welcoming committee

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,"
With apologies to Robert Frost,
We found ourselves today in a wood.
Two roads diverged just like the poem said.
We took the one less traveled........
And it wound on and on
and up a cardiac arrest sort of hill
past a Parks Building that was closed until the May Long Weekend.
And of course we then traveled in reverse,
down the steep hill as a blister formed on my husbands outraged toe.
It sounds like an outing gone wrong but we actually had a wonderful time.
Moss and fern were everywhere.
The air was full of bird song.
Sparrows buzzed.
Squirrels chirped.
Mallards muttered and squabbled.
It was such a refreshing feeling to be completely surrounded by woods, wild and deep.
Our eyes couldn't take in the green of it all;
the thick velvet green moss.
Creeks and ponds reflected the gray sky,
bringing light to the forest floor.
And the birds dressed in little scraps of chestnut brown and gray flannel
were all around;
A welcoming committee.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


I finally found a button for my linen purse
It is a wonderful grass green. There were plenty of lovely neutrals to pick from, creams and burnished browns but I was seized with a fit of desire for this one.


Simplicity isn't always simply accomplished. This was my discovery yesterday afternoon. After making a very simple rendition of chicks on a mini quilt, I was buoyed with a false optimism to whip up a similarly simple bunny version. I'm not sure why I had so much trouble with rabbits. I kept sticking more and more fabric bits down until simplicity faded and completely disappeared. Oh well, a quilters journey isn't without its detours.

Friday, March 8, 2013

happy spring

I heard the siren call of spring and my thoughts turned to symbols of new life. A little quilt with tiny chicks seemed just the thing.
I will stitch everything in place and then sandwich and quilt.
Happy Spring.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

time will tell

While scrounging about in a closet, I came upon a cache of long unseen treasures.
They hark back to the 80's; a tiny Mr. and Mrs. Noah with a few of their favourite animals.

 Draft horses
 Milk cows
 Pigs from Pennsylvania
 Sheep, sorry about the bows; it was the 80's
 Geese-there were always geese
Chicks; which came first, the chicken or the chick?I remember making the judgement call and painting them yellow.
A group shot. There was an ark but it has floated off into the unknown. These are quite small, an inch or two but I faintly recall having an even smaller set with jungle animals. I wonder if it will turn up on some future forage. Time will tell.

edging ahead

I have a soft spot for vintage things. What is rare now, was common everyday once upon a time. Even though almost all of these egg cups are older than I, they look like childhood friends to me.
I bought the first one for twenty-five cents a couple years ago, and the rest have accumulated like moss in the lawn. My goal was to have one for each family member for Easter celebrations, but the family keeps edging ahead.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I'm glad I made this little quilt last winter. It's the closest I'm getting to snow this year.