Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Hello Quilters!

As many of you know I am a participant in the Alzheimer's Forgetting Piece by Piece exhibit, a nationally touring quilt exhibit of heartbreak and hope.

Just wanted to let you know that the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative has now funded it’s first $10,000 direct research grant as a "quilter" nonprofit. Details are here: (Previous to AAQI becoming a nonprofit in January 2008, donations were funneled through the Alzheimer's Association as donations restricted for research.) Since becoming our own nonprofit we have raised almost $133,000 and direct funding for research is the goal.

Also, there is a wonderful opportunity for those of you currently taking care of a family member with Alzheimer's, to help raise money that doesn't require threading a needle. You must be involved in the caring process now, and would be willing to take some surveys. The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative can earn $25 per completed survey. Sisters, brothers, and other family members involved can also sign up to complete these on-line surveys and also help snag $25 for research.

Please learn how here:


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you label your quilts?
I think as a minimum labels should consist of the name of the maker, the date and city and state. Because my quilts often travel, I include my full address, email and phone number. I also add the name of the quilt.

When did you start quilting?
My mother taught me to sew doll clothes when I was five. I've sewn, my clothes, kids clothes curtains, that kind of stuff. The first baby important to me was born in 1978. I made her a quilt! That was it for me, I was hooked!

What batting do you use?
Generally speaking, it needs to be 80% or more cotton, the right size and in my house. I am not using some wool for the larger quilts because the wool is lighter in weight and easier for me to maneuver when I machine quilt.

Do you use the new basting sprays in your quilts?
No, I like to have the ability to scoot the quilt around to make the straight lines straight BEFORE I safety pin baste.

Do you block your quilts?
Generally, yes. The exceptions are to be used family quilts and heavily embellished ones. My work walls are made of Celutex ( a building material) covered with Warm and White. I pin the quilt to the wall, making sure everything is straight and square. I dampen a piece of muslin and pin it to cover part of the quilt, then with my iron, using an up and down motion, I press, re-wetting and moving the muslin as necessary.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Parisienne Rose

Parisienne Rose, captures the romance and excitement you would expect to see at a glittering ball in one of Europe’s capital cities, or perhaps gracing a shop window along the Champs d’Elise, enticing delighted passers-by to take a closer look.

Constructed of heavy silk taffeta hand-selected and imported directly from China, the brilliant red woven jacquard fabric is a delightful panorama of delicate roses in red and black. The fabric itself served as inspiration for the ultimate design. The close-fitting strapless gown has a darted dropped waist bodice and a double gathered skirt trimmed in lace I created using software, 15,000 yards of fuchsia-colored Isacord thread and Aqua Mesh Stabilizer. My Bernina Artista 200 worked furiously for over 100 hours on just the lace motifs, alone.

The long evening shawl, my own original design, is made of shocking pink polyester lined with red Chinese silk taffeta to match the gown. The beautiful dimension you see is achieved with pin tucks stitched with a 2.5 double needle and red thread just a few shades darker than the fabric. Each of the 86 small lace motif along the shawl’s edges took 30 minutes to stitch, and the 14 larger ones each required over an hour.

Both gown and shawl are embellished with 5,000 Swarovski crystals, ranging in size from 3 to 5 mm. Their brilliant colors – fuchsia, ruby, rose, Siam, light Siam, and light Siam Aurora Borealis – twinkle and flash, just like the eyes of the beautiful woman fortunate enough to wear this chic and stunning ensemble.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quilts of Valor

Quilts of Valor is in desperate need of 600 - 700 quilts to be donated to the Warrior in Transition Battalion at Ft. Bragg, NC. Quilts of Valor is a volunteer organization which provides quilts to wounded warriors to help in their recovery.

Here are the details about the quilt(s) needed for donation:

* Finished quilts can be of any piecing pattern.
* Red, white and blue fabrics would be their first choice, but any kind of fabrics are fine, but please, no children's fabric.
* The recommended size of a donated quilts is 54 x 67 inches.
* The quilts can be a maximum of 72 x 87 inches and a minimum of 50 x 60 inches.
* Please, no quilts that look like flags. Flag quilts are used to cover coffins.
* Because this is a request for quilts to be donated to a specific program, the Warriors in Transition Battalion, the finished quilts need to be mailed directly to Sue Wolf, a point of contact for the Warrior in Transition Battalion. Her group, The North Carolina Stars of Hope Quilters present the quilts to the wounded soldiers in person. Please contact Sue Wolf at for information on how to send your quilt to her.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

“The Wonderful World of Quilts & Textiles”

I'm home from Italy and finally over my jet lag I hope. I have good news!

The Good Earth

I have been invited to participate in the Jupiter Arts Center & Gallery Inaugural Exhibition Invitation “The Wonderful World of Quilts & Textiles”.

The Grand Opening of a new Arts Center & Gallery in the Historic Downtown of Centralia with a survey exhibition features the works of 19 Pacific NW Quilters and two Fiber sculptors. Plus a wine tasting & live music!

Dates of Exhibition: May 29 – June 25, 2009
Date of Reception: May 30th, 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: 325 N. Tower Avenue, Centralia, WA 98531
Hours: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Wed. – Sat.
Contact person: Robert Tomlinson, Executive Director

Monday, May 4, 2009


Venice is Europe's best preserved city. Car-free it survives on tourists! Bought a vaporetto (bus by boat) pass to cover all the days we are here.

We rented a two bedroom apartment a few vaporetto stops past Saint Mark's Square. Loved riding along the Grand Canal to see all the sights!
Rialto Bridge

San Giorgio Maggiore

The view from San Giorgio Maggiore's bell tower

Ca'd'Oro the best example of Venetian Gothic architecture on the canal.

My favorite house with garden.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome to the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is a remote chunk of the Italian Riviera. No museums, just sun, sea, sand, wine and stairs! We spent 3 nights in Vernazza.

I took a boat ride from Monterossa al Mare;

to Vernazza;

to Corniglia;

to Manarola;

and Riomaggiore;

Great views of all five of the towns!