Recently I made a quilt for a traveling exhibit “Living Colour” for the Association of Pacific Northwest Quilters, called “Joya de la Selva” (Jewel of the Jungle). It’s of a giant leaf hopper that I saw in my friend’s backyard in Quintana Roo, Mexico, near the Belize border.

The entire leaf hopper is beaded. It took forever! Then I sewed vertical lines with some slightly shiny silvery thread that made it look like rain, and then for the raindrops I sewed some clear faceted beads with an AB finish on the leaves and flowers, and along the top of the green vertical inner border. It looked so cool. Sort of like looking into a jungle through an open window.

I didn’t want to send it off, but I did. It will be auctioned off (along with 49 others) to benefit the guild’s operating budget. I hope it makes mucho mulah! It is beautiful.

Leafhopper in Quantana Roo

I am also making a quilt that I designed called “Tea is for the Birds” which I will be entering into their 2008 quilt show in Seattle. This quilt show has previously taken place biennially, but this year will be the first of the now annual event. It’s a great show. I’ve been to many of the large shows: Houston, Pacific International, Road to California, etc. and none can begin to compare with the class act that the APNQ
(Association of Pacific Northwest Quilters) manages to put together for the Northwest to enjoy.

Here is a picture of the quilt I hope to be entering:

Here is a detail of the center block:

It took me forever to piece the backgrounds for the applique and the borders. I must be crazy, because I HATE piecing! I’m trying really hard to embrace it. I’m even taking a class to make a quilt that is entirely pieced. We’ll see how long I last!


Understating the Exaggeration

I thought I was exaggerating about those polymer granules, and I was actually totally minimizing their ability to absorb water and swell. I said they would swell to 50x their original size, and it’s really 400x!! They actually get cooler as they evaporate, and will keep cool for 2 or 3 days! The neck coolers sound like a really good thing for the soldiers, so I’m going to make a BUNCH more.

Some Very Cool Stuff

Today we spent the day sewing up neckbands for the Marines who are currently sweltering in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bands are about 40″ long, with the back 16″ of the neckbands sewn into four-4″ compartments. About a half-teaspoon of those polymer granules (the ones that you can put in soil to retain moisture) are put into each 4″ compartment. When they are soaked in water, the granules swell to something like 50 times their size (I might be exaggerating here, but they do swell up a lot), and help the Marines to stay cool. The temperatures there are consistently over 100 F degrees, and have you seen all the gear they have to wear?? I can’t even imagine wearing all of that in ANY kind of weather.

We’re also making 7″ round-shaped thingies with the same stuff in them so that they can put those on top of their heads inside their helmets. Those should feel pretty nice, or at least give them a little relief. What a job they’ve got, huh?

That our soldiers (and soldiers from the “coalition of the willing”) should be dumped right in the center of harm’s way by a bunch of privileged cowards who never served in the military makes my blood boil. I hope they are all tried for war crimes in the Hague. Or for treason right here in the good ol’ USA. Assholes. And 4000+ of our brave soldiers have been killed for such a pathetic president’s legacy? I hope history is as brutal to him as he, his rich friends, Halliburton and all of the corrupt lobbyists have been to our country.

Uh… I think it may be time for another chill pill.

I Love Oregon

Every time I walk outside, I am amazed all over again how beautiful it is here. And it’s not because my memory is gone, either! When California and the southwest are in a drought, here it is green and lush and the Cascades are full of snow. I heard today that all of the ski area are going to be opening again! There just might be skiing until summer.

As much as I love seeing the mountains white again, I have to realize that it’s not quite normal, and I wonder if things ever will be again. Yes, and George Bush is still waiting for the science to come in on global warming. What a crock! The guy is an idiot. You know, a hundred years ago, someone with eyes that close together would in all probability be locked up. Back then they thought it was a sign of a psychopathic personality. Or maybe it was a sociopathic… Wow! They may have been right!

Some more of the patterns I ordered at Quilt Market in Portland came in today at the shop where I teach. I will be making several… one for a shop sample, and one for ME!! Of course this is another Sue Spargo pattern. I really like her designs. Lots of wool applique and antique/vintage-looking fabrics.
I also really like the fact that she uses BUTTONS on this tote.

It is made primarily of upholstery fabrics. My friend Peggy was given many discontinued samples from one of the local furniture stores, so I’m going to hit her up for a few. With most of the samples we made tote bags for the ladies that come into the local womens’ shelter to escape spousal abuse . That way they at least have something to carry the few items that they managed to escape with. Often they had to use garbage bags. 😦

From My Heart to Your Hands

Although the name of her company, From My Heart to Your Hands, is a mouthful, Lori Smith is my current favorite applique designer. I hadn’t seen her work until I went to Quilt Market in Portland a few weeks ago. Spent quite a bit of time in her booth, and there was A LOT to look at! She uses the same palette that I’m always drawn to, so maybe it was the familiarity of what I saw that made it so appealing. Needless to say, I bought lots of her patterns while there.

Here is one of her little applique patterns that I’m working on right now.

Lori’s was just one of the many booths I visited, as I was given a task to find applique patterns for the quilt shop that I teach at, Finally Together Quilts in Lebanon, OR. It was SUCH a chore! The owners gave me a big wad of money and let me loose! Fun, fun!

Market was great. My friend Penny flew up from San Jose, and we had a great time. Thought at some point someone would escort us out of the building for causing too much trouble, but we lucked out. I met lots of new people, saw lots of old friends from Santa Cruz, and saw so much neat stuff! It was quite an experience.

Some of the other booths I “discovered” were Sue Spargo’s Folk Art Quilts, The Laundry Basket, and Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop.


My passion is FABRIC and THREADS, BEADS and BUTTONS. I make lots of things with them: quilts, wall hangings, postcards and temari. I love KNITTING, and I especially love knitting SOCKS! There is nothing in the world like a pair of handknit socks. Yes, I suppose I’m easily amused, but then again, I could be watching daytime TV!