Finished Group Quilt

After I sewed the borders, I passed the top on and sat back to await the finished product.

(You last saw it here.)

Anne and Betty made the back.  I don’t have  photo–I’m hoping to get one from te photos from guild show ‘n tell. Anne snagged a nice backing fabric white with a BIG blue dot.  They sewed a strip from top to bottom using pieces from the front and pieced the dots with a small strip of the dot fabric offset.about half  Then Betty quilted it and Tam bound it.

What If?

The title now is What If?

We have entered it in QuiltCon. If it gets accepted I won’t have to blog about it; you will have already heard the squeals of joy. If it doesn’t, no matter.

Its final destination is to the charity projects of the guild; they are always needing more larger, boy friendly design quilts.



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Still Reading

The House of Broken AngelsThe House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The settings are San Diego, Tijuana, La Paz. The patriarch of the family is dying and throws one last birthday party that is combined with his mother’s funeral. I felt like I had attended the party, and the party felt like being at a family gathering as an outsider, trying to remember who belonged to whom and which generation they were. I was amused by a phrase at one point, “in the back room were children of unknown provenance.” To add to the confusion, characters are called by many names.

The first section (the mother’s funeral and the night before the party) and the third section (the party itself) are presented in time slots during which we are given a look into what various family members are doing–interspersed with memories, sometimes inner flashbacks and other times revelations in conversation. The middle section provides earlier family history.

As in any family, there are feuds and misunderstandings, members more and less likeable. All are presented sympathetically. Some of the drama is in the past, some in the present. The pace, never slow, quickens at the end when I couldn’t find a section where I could put it down.

Urrea is a new author to me. Thank goodness I heard him talk and read at Portland Book Festival. Now I have to go back and read earlier novels!

View all my reviews


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Autumn at the Chinese Garden

I’ve visited several times since renewing my Lan Su membership, but for one reason or another didn’t take many photos. Last week I was camera happy.

First some overviews–it has been so long that I’ve forgotten names of some of the building.

1land boat

I do remember the land boat (left), but not the pagoda’s name.

1zigzag bridge

And the zigzag bridge–shaped because evil spirits go in straight lines, thus they can’t get across.

I was amazed at how much green remains in the garden. It has been a mild fall. On my street there are bare trees that had been yellow, red leaves still hanging and a few green trees delaying the color thing.

The poetry wheel is either new, or I’ve managed to visit at times when it wasn’t displayed.

1 poetry wheel

Workshops were taught–I’m not sure how many styles of poem were among the lessons. The form the garden sports is the couplet: two lines with patterned opposites.  If the first word of one line is “many” the first line of the next is “one,” for example. The poems I read did not follow that pattern. Workshop attendees could opt to exhibit their poems. I took some close ups to share, but the words weren’t visible in the photos. You’ll have to use your imagination.

The sun was bright and beautiful, but it did wash out color on some of my photos. On the other hand, it made shadow designs.

1 shadows

There actually were quite a few people visiting that day–and they did photo bomb some of my shots. It seems amazing I got any without people.

Some bits of fall color:

And pomegranates in two places, a large tree and a potted tree.

The tour guide said the ones on the small tree were the largest he had seen it produce. It seems a plentiful year.  In the past there has been fruit still hanging late into winter, so I guess they don’t harvest them.

And in spite of it being fall, there are still flowers.

I hope you enjoyed your vicarious visit.




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My Last NW Quilt Expo Photos

If I remember correctly this one was Judges’ Choice.

A-Golden Days

Golden Days Inger Blood

The center motif was painted then thread painted. Doesn’t it look like a page in an old album? The quilting in the border was exquisite.

A-Golden Days detail 1

A-Golden days detail 2

I admire representational art quilts, but I doubt I’ll ever make any. But who knows? Maybe it depends on what classes are offered at guild. Or on my seeing something that I just have to create.

Once again my photo program scrambled quilt and tag photos, and I don’t have enough hint of the quilt in the tag photos. So I have one tag and two photos, and I am not sure which the tag goes with.  The tag says Gnome Forest by Barbara Triscari. I think it went with this one.

A-Gnome Forest?

Then there is this unlabeled one.

A-VW plus bugs

I once drove a bug, but I don’t think that was essential to enjoy this one.

Another quilt that I didn’t get a label for–it was made by one of the two featured artists. If I had saved my program I’d at least have the quilter’s name, but alas . . .

A-Blue white whole

I couldn’t get back far enough to get the whole. I’d say it was queen sized. And here it is with my friend’s finger to show how tiny the pieces.

blue white tiny pieces finger

No, she wasn’t touching the quilt. It was the first photo of the day and I forgot to turn the flash off. Here is another to show the hand quilting.

A-Blue white detail

Hand quilting keeps getting more rare except for the occasional accent stitches.

And last, but not least, another densely quilted piece.

A-Laurel Leaf

Laurel Leaf Cathy Erikson

I wish I could tell you what that ribbon is! But I did get two shots of the quilting.

A-Laurel Leaf detail

A-Laurel Leaf detail 2

I really like quilting that becomes part of the design, as this does. I hope to learn to do this kind of quilting.

Till next year’s show . . .



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Quilt Show Time–NW Quilt Expo

A great annual event almost in my back yard here in Portland, OR. I hadn’t entered any quilts this year, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying what was entered!

I focused on art quilts, prize winners, and dense quilting this year. Or at least those were the items that pulled my camera out of its case.

SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Association) had its Bridges exhibition hanging. I’d seen it before in Beaverton, but some that I remembered weren’t here and there were some I’d not remembered. So I’m guessing both exhibits were partial. (No possibility of memory failure, of course.) While I enjoyed them all, only one brought the camera out.

A-Linking Europe to Asia

Linking Europe to Asia Anne Doughaty

Some of the quilts were, like this one, bridges over water; other meanings were also represented: bridge, the card game, bridges supporting strings in musical instrument, and from the Beaverton show I remember one of the bridge of the nose.

I think I remember this one was in small quilts, but I thought it should have been in art quilts. (If that isn’t true of this one, there were several I thought could have been better placed, but I think the quilter makes that decision.)

A-Dashes and Dots

Dashes and Dots Tami Graeber

Besides the visual impact, this one sported dense quilting design.

A-Dashes and dots detail

This next one was among the Art, non-representational category.

A-The Value of Value

The Value of Value Sheila Staers

The above one interested me visually, but also because I think value doesn’t get enough attention, generally.

I carefully photographed ribbons so I’d remember which prize a quilt won; however, the print didn’t show up on the photo for most of them. I’ll try harder next year. I did remember a couple. This one took first place in Art, non-representational.

A-Klimt in Blue

Klimpt in Blue Penny Hanscom

I’ll have to go check out Klimpt paintings to understand the inspiration noted in the title.

Next, the best of show.

A-My Secret Garden

My Secret Garden Margaret Solomon Gunn

I don’t always agree with the judges, but this year I did. I liked the design, the color choice, the workmanship in the applique and the quilting. Here’s a sample.

A-My Secret Garden detail

This next first was, I think, in the large quilt category.

A-Colorful Colorado Medallion

Colorful Colorado Medallion Sharon Engel

Not only do I love medallion quilts, but the color progression appealed to me as did the tiny triangles. And the quilting.

A-Colorful Colorado Medallion detail

I think I’d better stop and eat lunch; I’ll post a few more photos in a couple days.

What is your focus when you go to quilt shows?  Is it always the same or does it vary with the show?


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Time passes. It hasn’t been a quilting slump, but a reading frenzy. Starting with last month’s book group book, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. I didn’t expect to like this one (don’t like football or war stories), but it ended up more about marketing war and personality interaction, so proved interesting. I don’t always make it, but I do try to finish books for a group.  This month’s book was Parts Per Million. The title sounds like there will be large focus on environmental activists, but it turns out mostly about protests to the second Iraq war.  Another book with interesting character interaction–and set in Portland.  It is always fun to recognize landmarks.

I had been sent a review copy of Aging: An Apprenticeship, a collection of essays grouped by the ages of the writers. I’ve learned that collections of essays are best read separately, so finishing this one took a while, but it has been read and reviewed now (here).

This is my stack of owned books that I intend to read “someday.”


They keep getting set aside for library books on hold that come available, some of which have other holds on them so that I cannot renew. So my book reading priorities keep shifting. Occasionally several holds come available at once in spite of my trying to pace them by how many holds ahead of me.  For example I am currently 600th in line for Woodward’s Fear, and I’m guessing that will be about 4 months (there are 100 copies). I have skipped the other “tell all” books, but Woodward is a different matter.

After hearing an interview with Yossi Klein Halevi, I had to read At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden.  I recommend it to anyone interested in interfaith dialogue. Of course as the author admits, it is about encounters with selected, not necessarily typical, members of Islam and Christian communities. All were those interested in dialogue.

I’ve read mostly fiction lately: Map of Salt and Stars, an interesting mix of ancient myth of a mapmaker and Syrian refugees who follow similar travel routes. I enjoy books that intersperse then relate stories of past and present. Lavinia. I had to read that one after learning that Ursula Le Guin took a character that Virgil had named, but left silent, in the Aeneid and created a whole life and story for her. Because I had liked The English Patient, I had to read Warlight when it came out. I was not as impressed.  On first reading, it seemed the 14-year-old section was too long. I was losing interest about halfway through it, but kept on because the blurb promised adult reflections on it for the second part, and it did seem better in the second half.  Of course that kind of book makes me want to go back and reread the first part for cues I’d missed on first reading. And I may do that, but not now. And I reread Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna.  On first reading, when it came out, I’d been so enthralled with the (then unknown to me) history of Rivera/Kahlo/Trotsky that that was all I had remembered. It was like a first reading for the rest of the novel. And that provided an amazing look at how facts could be distorted in the McCarthy era.

And tucked among the more serious books were mysteries by Louise Penny.  I am curently reading the next to the last, so I hope she has another coming out soon.

It’s been a good month and a half.


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Shaggy, Baggy Elephant Finished

The baby quilt started last week (here) is finished. I went to the post office confident of it getting to its destination in time, thinking of the old 2-day service. It is no more. Choice is 3-day or 1-day. Well, since 3-day would get it there a day after the shower, I took a deep breath and sprang for 1-day. It seemed important enough. Had I known the options, I would have tried harder to finish it by Wednesday. But this way I could pick up the books and add them to the package. It seemed the story should go along with it. There was an original Little Golden Book version and a board book. Seemed good to have both.

2 saggy bound

40 x 60 inches

Up close the peach blends better as there are peach strips on the tug boat and orange flowers. But from a distance, not so much. The border is more thematically related than color related.

And though I had enough fabric that I didn’t need to piece the back, what else would I do with the panels that were to be the covers had I made a book? I’d intended the panels to be less centered, but by the time I trimmed, they had edged middlewise.

2 saggy back

The back fabric had 17 color dots!  I think that is the most I have seen on a print, though there are usually more than colors I have noticed in a print.

I quilted it in a simple, big meander.

I’ll like with the Friday finish sites (buttons in sidebar).



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