Seen in Santa Fe…

Actually, I saw a lot more than I can show you here, but here are some designs that I saw that could absolutely inspire applique…


There was more tile than this, but it's hard to take a photo from a moving car. I like the simplicity of this design and I like the way the yellow negative space comes together to form a secondary design. I also like the way the pattern changed at the window…


It flattened. And look at the corner… nice!

Anna and Marian took me to the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi. It felt a lot like the church I grew up attending, familiar. The cathedral has been undergoing restoration and was lovely…


I like this design that was carved into the ends of the pews. But when I looked up, the ceiling was even better!

CathedralStFrancis-02 copy

The block designs are similar to the tile I showed earlier, but in richer colors. 

CathedralStFrancis-03 copy

I like the way the pattern above meets in the center.

I'm about to board my flight for home so I suppose I'd better sign off. I hope you are warm and dry, wherever you are. I have missed most of the news about the weather but I understand that there a lot of snow and ice out there…



My Life In Quilts, so far…

I know I wrote about the fact that many of my ‘famous’ and not-so-famous-but-I-love-them quilts are hanging in a show at Austin College (in the gallery in the art building). I thought I’d share some photos of the exhibit (you can see more here).



Last week I took mom and her friend Cora Lee to see the quilts. It was fun to watch them looking at the quilts – made me see them with fresh eyes:

MyLifeInQuiltsShow-03 copy

See that pieced quilt to the right of mom? That’s the Delectable Mountains and she may finally have convinced me that she needs to hang it at her house.

The show is up until mid-March if you happen to be in Sherman. I hope you enjoy it!

Even more ugly fabric…

I think I have enough ugly fabric to work from – which is either a happy thought or one that makes you wonder just how this fabric made it to the bolt. I don't think all of it is ugly – only 97% of it.

UglyFabric-06 copy

The monkey clowns are just scary…

UglyFabric-MonkeyClown-01 copy

Oh my:

UglyFabric-Chucky-01 copy

And, yes, my first thought was of Chucky (and here)!



This is one I like but just do not understand. It seems 'scientific' but Steve couldn't figure it out either. The printed stripe part is really nice…

UglyFabric-Science-01 copy

I have more than this that I haven't taken pictures of. When I get home and get to work on it – eventually – I'll post more.

PS – I suppose if you still have something ugly to share, it's not too late… you can send it to me at 919 Starlight Dr., Sherman, TX 75090. Little pieces – not yardage :-).

Holy quilt show (Batman)!

I was just in San Antonio with the UUMCQG, University United Methodist Church Quilt Guild. Such a nice group! They meet at the church which is huge, beautiful and very well-run. I was the featured teacher and speaker.

I gave my lecture Friday morning in the sanctuary. I got to preach about color and quilting! After my talk the ladies finished putting together the show – in the sanctuary. This is a most interesting 1-day-only show – most of the quilts are draped over the pews and it is very pretty indeed:



Now I'm in Albuquerque – which, in our family, we call 'apple cookie' thanks to Christopher (when he was 3). That always makes me smile.

Fabric has a mind of its own…

I’ve been buying fabric lately – more than I normally do –
to use in the quilts for the Color book. I’ve shopped at quilt shops and online
without much thought about how these fabrics will be used together. I’m really
enjoying the quirky relationships that are happening between these different

For example, I bought this cute little floral print:


I bought it knowing that it was more gray than clear. I use clearer colors often, but not exclusively. That said, when I bought it I
thought this would be more of a filler fabric. But darned if the little floral didn’t want to
buddy-up with a variety of other fabrics in the stacks on my table.

It thas a great texture that plays well with a variety of prints. I love it with this puff-ball fabric…


Because the puff-ball fabric is soft and gray, the little floral feels cleaner next to it.

I didn't particularly love the next print, but I bought because it was interesting. I like it a lot better when it is with the little floral print.


When I put the little floral with this blue and white print, it both look brighter.


You might be wondering where I will go from here. I'm not sure. I like each fabric pair, but I'm not sure that I have a quilt in mind in which I would use all of these together. It is more likely that I'll leave these pieces all together in a stack and watch them. In time I'll figure out which fabrics together make me smile more.

I only bought 1/2 yard of that little floral print… I wonder if that will be enough? I am resisting the urge to buy more. I know that if it turns out that I need more and can't get it, I will find something else and that choice will be more interesting in the long run. There. I decided – I'm not going to buy more!

I’m going to…

…San Antonio, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe over the next 8 days. Teresa, in a comment last week asked what I travel with. Here you go:

I travel with 2 suitcases and I do my best to keep them under 30 lbs. each. I know that a lot of professional quilters travel with huge, heavy suitcases. I do not. I have enough problems with my arm/shoulder joints and I'm not going to push my luck by hefting huge suitcases. That means that I must pack carefully.

Clothes take up 1/3 of the space in my bags. Toiletries, my tripod, granola, neti pot, shoes, make-up bag, etc., take up some space. Quilts easily take up 1/2 the space in my checked bags. I use Eagle Creek packing cubes for my clothes and quilts and this is something you might like to have yourself:


I always fold my quilts on the bias. Always. Above, the packing cube is mostly open. Below, it is closed.


And because I have watched suitcases being soaked by rain, I always put my packing cubes into those big ziplock bags, one cube per bag:


They fit perfectly into my orange Eagle Creek suitcases:


I can fit two packing cubes per bag, with other stuff. I split the quilts and clothes between bags. Yes, I have had bags go missing, but they have turned up later. Yes, theft can happen from bags but honestly I think that my quilts look like clothes when they are packed this way. Electonics in a suitcase are more likely to be stolen. This system works for me.

I do have a small but heavy carry-on with my electronics. It makes my head hurt to think about the value of the stuff in this little bag. The equipment is insured which is the only thing that makes me a little calm on the rare occasions that I have to gate-check this bag. It and my big purse I carry on.

I always travel with stitching. You can carry scissors with blades 4" long, but I always travel with a smaller scissor. You can travel with needles. BUT if you are traveling internationally that can vary. From the US to wherever, this is mostly true. From overseas to home, you can lose all scissors and needles. It has happened to me.

In my stitching bag tomorrow:


…pencils (the Sewline Trio is on the left, the General's charcoal in white on the right, always go with me), the glue pen because I'm working on a paper pieced project this trip, some bobbins with bikinis, my small Perfect scissors. The needle nanny is good on a plane because it gives me a place to park my small scissors as I sew. The pin cushion for pins. (The pattern for that needle caddy will be available to you soon… it has pockets. You will want to make one :-).)

I found a nice plastic box to carry the paper piecing project I am working on:


I think everything I need will fit in this sandwich-sized box, in my purse. Yay!


Now here's the thing: I don't stitch on planes. The light is bad, the space is close. I read or I work on my laptop when I fly. I've even started buying access to wifi. BUT I cannot travel without something that I can stitch on in case of calamity.

Trust me, if I am stuck on the tarmac for hours, I will need stitching or I could turn into one of those crazy people you see on the news. Stitching keeps me calm and just knowing I have it, makes traveling OK. Plane delayed, if I'm stuck somewhere… fine. I'll just sew. And I'm a happier traveler because of it.