Visiting Baltimore…

I will be teaching and giving a lecture Monday and Tuesday for the guild in Annapolis. Luckily for me Annapolis and Baltimore are very, very close to each other so I’ve come in early to visit my son, Jeff.

We went to Fells Point (near Johns Hopkins School of Public Health) for lunch. We walked and window shopped and had some wonderful gelato at Pitango. I’m telling myself that the walking burned LOTS of calories.

I liked the look of the tree trunk and took this photo. In fact, I took so many photos of so many things that Jeff threatened to quit waiting for me. I snapped quickly.
There’s water at Fells Point – and sail boats and water taxis and big ships and tug boats. It’s a working harbor and a nice place to walk.

We went back to Hopkins and I got to see where Jeff spends a lot of his time. He’s working on a PhD in biostatistics. He shares an office with 3 other grad students. Notice how tidy his shelf is! I’m sure if it was me I’d have that bottom shelf covered with colorful do-dads.

Bamboo batts…

It’s getting close to Halloween and that’s a good time to talk about batts! Not the black, flying kind, but the white fluffy kind ☺.

I have used cotton batts exclusively for many years. I prefer an organic cotton batt. I do my part where possible to cut down on pesticides in the environment. When Hobbs discontinued their organic cotton batt I was unhappy.

I tend to prefer unbleached batting. I’m not crazy about the bleaching agents used on the cotton being added to the environment. I also wonder what the bleaching process does to the fibers in the long term. For these reasons, and since I don’t usually need a snow-white batt, I buy unbleached batting.

Luckily, Fairfield came out with Bamboo Batting. This batting is 50% bamboo and 50% cotton. Bamboo is a more ecologically friendly fiber. It is my understanding that bamboo requires less water and fewer pesticides. This batting is naturally clean and white – and unbleached! That’s also good. 

I have used the bamboo batt in 3 quilts to date and I’m happy with the way it feels and behaves. This detail from Tree O’ Life gives you an idea of what it looks like in a quilt. Honestly, it looks a lot like cotton. (FYI – Tree O’ Life hung at Paducah earlier this year and will be out in a book next year.)

The Coffee Cup Quilt…

I thought you might be interested in the finished quilt that Steve was sewing the sleeve and binding on in my last post. Some of you may remember seeing this quilt when it was in progress. I made it last spring in a Ruth McDowell workshop at an Empty Spools seminar. I call it Coffee Cup.

I tried it all over the house, but it ended up on this wall in our breakfast room. The kitchen (with the blue above the cupboards) is to the left, the table and chairs are to the right (you can just see the edge of the area rug). The mosaic with the broken plates is on the wall to the right of where I’m standing taking this photo.
It’s really nice to finish – and hang – a new quilt!


My husband sews!

My husband, Steve, is a biologist. He’s a behavioral ecologist who studies long-horned beetles to be exact. He is on the faculty at Austin College and is currently dean of the sciences. He cooks (almost every meal since we’ve been married) and now he sews! Specifically he hand sews my bindings and sleeves. 

Steve has no interest in quilting or any other sorts of sewing. But he sews bindings and sleeves better, and with more care, than I do. I honestly don’t think it can get any better than this!


Update from OKC…

I want to say thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts for my sister. They must be working because she’s much better! I was able to come home today and she should be released from the hospital tomorrow!

It is important to remember that every day is a gift. Often it’s bad days that remind us of just how great an average day is. When I left my sister she was smiling, thankful for today, and looking forward to tomorrow. Life is good.

So – are you wondering about the truck? It is near my in-laws house (where Steve and I spent last night). This truck has been there for weeks and each time we’ve been in OKC I’d think “I should really get a picture of that…” So today I drove by it on my way out of town and this time I made myself stop, turn around, go back and take the photo. It’s my version of taking time to smell the roses. 

May you each find the time to enjoy your days as well.



That’s Oklahoma City for those of you who aren’t familiar with the abbreviation. 

I grew up in OKC and my mom and sister still live here. One of mom’s neighbors put these pumpkin stacks on the fountains by her front door. 

The water is flowing over the vase under the
 pumpkins – not over the pumpkins themselves. It looks cool from the road as you drive by!

The reason I’m here is not so great. My sister, Christy, who is 2 years younger than me, has polycystic kidney disease. That’s us in about 1978.

Christy’s kidneys were removed in August and she’s now on dialysis. Sometimes she’s OK, and then other times she not so OK. She’s currently not as OK as she could be. The doctors seem to think that they will get this current problem straightened out, but until they do it’s hard on her – and on my mom. 

I almost didn’t blog about this because Linda and I like to keep our posts upbeat. But my sister is an inspiration to me… she is dealing with a very difficult disease with grace and a will of steel. It’s important to me to acknowledge that. If you think of it, please say a little prayer for her.