Author Archives: gladiporsche

March 18, 2019: A Quilt-related Travel Adventure coming soon!

Greetings!  I’m getting ready for a trip to Arizona, leaving tomorrow!  I and a few other quilting friends have been invited to visit a quilting buddy who moved to a Phoenix suburb last year.  She has enough space for us to quilt together every day and we’ll have time for some other adventures as well.  One of those is going to the annual Arizona quilt show in Mesa this coming weekend.  It’s going to be fun!  It’ll also be nice to get away from winter for a few days!

I’ve been prepping my take-along projects – 3 of them!  Wonder how much I’ll get done :):)  My primary goal is to finish the last 10 blocks for Winter Solstice – they need embroidery and circle appliqué embellishments:

Then I can finally sew the entire top together and get a backing ready.  My second priority is to make more string pieced blocks for the “unconventional and unexpected” quilt top I’m making.  I’ve cut enough fabric strips for another 27 blocks and would like to get enough cut for 35 by the time I leave tomorrow.  That would bring my total to just over 100 blocks, about 2/3 of what I think I need.

And, just in cast there’s enough time, I’m bringing my “long journey” star hexagon English Paper Pieced project – enough pieces to sew 3 more rows together – wonder if I’ll even get to it!

In the meantime, I finished my second “Hospital Sketches” block – the bird is on and it makes a huge difference in how the block looks!  See it without the bird in the last post and here it is with the bird:

And I have been working hard on hand quilting Star Trek, finishing the last of the stars and filling in the empty blue spaces around the edges before the borders.  I know it’s kind of like watching grass grow to show a hand quilted project over many months, but hope you enjoy the pictures anyway:

I won’t post again until I get back from Arizona on the 28th, but should have lots of great pictures to share!!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

March 12, 2019: “Hospital Sketches” Block 2 mostly done; final Houston pictures

Greetings!  I’ve been mostly neglecting projects I should be working on and doing appliqué for Block 2 of Barbara Brackman’s “Hospital Sketches” quilt along.  It’s addictive and I’m in an appliqué mood these days.

I’m still struggling to find the right settings on my phone camera to capture the gold background as well as the proper “cast” and “color” of the appliqué pieces.  Unfortunately I’m not quite there yet, but I think the colors are a little better than what I had for Block 1, especially for the background in the second and third closeups (click on pics to enlarge):

Background a little too yellow in the center, closer around the edges:


And back to a bit too yellow:

Here’s the original block:

You can see that I couldn’t stand to leave so much “empty” space and added extra leaves along the stem.  I’m also going to add a bird but it’s not appliquéd on yet – hope to have that done soon!  I also added extra hearts to the cockscombs to break up the expanse of red fabric there.  I’m really really happy with how the colors are looking so far and continue to be glad I went for the gold background.

I’m also loving being a part of the group that’s participating in this quilt along.  It is so much fun to follow on Facebook and see what others are doing – so many different color and fabric choices!  So much talent out there!

As promised in the last post, here are some final pictures from the Houston Festival – hard to believe this was over 4 months ago!!

This talented pair has won many top awards over the years.  This quilt was fabulous in its details, design, and workmanship:

Gorgeous art quilt:

Lovely work from Jane Sassaman:

I loved the oriental aesthetic of this one:

I’m closing today with a couple pictures I took at an antique shop earlier today – a lovely 1855 album style appliqué – apparently 16 blocks, just the top only.  (price tag $255.00)  I did NOT buy it!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

March 4, 2019: Stitching, stitching, stitching…..on 5 projects at once! Full length video available.

Greetings!  Before I forget, I want to mention that the full length video (about one hour) of me showing and talking about my quilts at the New England Quilt Museum exhibit and why I’m passionate about quilting is available now on You Tube via a password that I will provide you if you email me.  The trailer of the video (about 7 minutes long) is available via a link on the front page of my web site at  Go check out the trailer and if you like it and are interested email me for the password for the long version.  I know many folks couldn’t make it to my exhibit and this is a nice way to see it!!!

Many of us quilters enjoy winter because it’s a great time of year to work on our quilting projects.  When it’s like this outside:

It’s perfect weather for hand quilting!  I took a 3 week break on hand quilting Star Trek and got back to it a few days ago.  I think I’m still on track to get to the border by April and have it ready for the Vermont Quilt Festival in June.  I have 72 of 85 stars quilted and am working on filling in the blue spaces around the center edges (click on pics for enlargements):

I’m also making great progress in getting the center of Time of Plenty put together.  Each row involves appliqué, embroidery, and piecing (the sashing) and 2 more rows have been completed since I last posted – only 2 short rows in the lower right corner are left and then I’ll need to design a border!

I have about 80% of the border blocks for Winter Solstice completed and I sewed the left side row together top to bottom so it’s ready to attach to the center of the quilt.  It’s lying on my guest room bed as the design wall is occupied with the above quilt!

I made a major decision a couple days ago – I am going to have Winter Solstice machine quilted by a long arm quilter.  I wish I could hand quilt everything, but I’m too fond of making quilt tops and exploring design ideas to spend more time than I already do hand quilting.  I turn 70 this month and am keenly aware that time is limited.   I can see that I am making more quilt tops since I retired 2 1/2 years ago and I can’t hand quilt them all.  i already have a large quilt waiting for hand quilting when Star Trek is done, then Time of Plenty is after that and now the new appliqué project, Hospital Sketches, will be added to the list.  Something has to give – and it’s going to be Winter Solstice.  The indigo and batik fabrics would also be tough to hand quilt so I think this is a good decision!  I’ve already gotten this lined up to be done in May and will pay extra for custom quilting.  I’ll show it one more time when I get the borders on and then probably won’t show it again until after it’s quilted.

I continue to enjoy my “Unconventional and Unexpected” project!  I think I now have about half the blocks I need.  Here’s my process:

I pair a dark and a contrasting (usually lighter, but not always) fabric.  The darks are mostly the hand painted fabrics and the contrasting fabrics are mostly from my asian style fabric stash – which fills an entire cupboard!  I used to seriously collect these fabrics and now they are mostly out of favor with the quilting community.  However, I think they are still beautiful and they are great for cutting up into small pieces that feature color.  In fact, when they are cut up, sometimes they don’t even look asian.

For some of the blocks I’m using my own dark fabrics because I don’t think I’m going to have enough of the hand painted ones.   I’ll put several pairs together and then start cutting strips:

I’ll combine the strips for one block with the foundation – I’m using Carol Doak’s paper, which I like a lot, because I had it on hand, but I also like June Taylor’s foundations – clip them together and line up bunches of the blocks to be sewn.

I chain piece 3 blocks at a time.  Why three?  Because seeing a completed block is so much fun and fuels me to keep going, therefore doing more than that would delay that gratification!!!

Here are my latest blocks:

And project #5 is the Hospital Sketches quilt along that Barbara Brackman is leading.  You saw my first block in my last post.  I drew and cut out templates for the next block:

It looks simple, but it can be tricky with all those deep curves.

Next post, I will share the last of my Houston Quilt Festival pictures.  I’ve seen many pictures in various places on the internet of pictures from the show that I swear I never saw there – and maybe I didn’t!  There’s an overwhelming number of quilts to see and it’s almost impossible to take it all in.  Hope I get back there again soon, though am thinking probably not this year.

Speaking of quilt shows, I have been looking at pictures from Quilt Con.  All the winners can be seen on the Modern Quilt Guild’s web site; instagram has a ton of pictures from the show.  My impression is that the majority of quilts were made from solids.  Printed fabrics used largely “read” as solids or had subtle geometric designs, dots, stripes, or text.  I really did like a few of the quilts, but lots of them did not engage me emotionally – nothing new there.   Just not my thing, mostly.   I have such a love affair with print fabric that it’s hard for me to imagine making most of my quilts entirely of solids.  But the few modern quilts that do engage me make me want to consider experimenting a little with solids……we’ll see….

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi



February 25, 2019: A last second “swerve” – going for the gold!!

Greetings!  In my last post I seemed to make a commitment to using the cream colored background for Barbara Brackman’s “Hospital Sketches” appliqué quilt along.  The next morning – last Wednesday – as I started to pull fabrics for the project and just before I would have started some major cutting and stitching, I decided to take one last look at the gold fabric I’d been considering for the background.  I changed my mind – I “swerved” at the last second – and decided to go with the gold!  I decided I did not want to make a ” very traditional” quilt with a cream background.  I immediately felt relieved and knew I’d made the right choice – finally!

From that point on, I literally spent all my quilting hours on making this first block – temporarily dropping work on all other projects!  It’s hand appliquéd with the needle turn, paper on top method.   And I just finished the block this afternoon.

It was impossible to get my camera to take a picture of the whole block with accurate colors.  The gold and the other colors are very rich and look a bit too pale and dull in the pics, especially the one of the whole block.  The colors are better in the closeups.   I added a bit of blue embroidery around the center of the red flowers.  I love how it came out and am so glad I chose the gold background!

Click on pics to enlarge and see the details:

We will get a pattern per month for 9 months so the center of the quilt is 9 blocks.  An applique border is optional – I’m leaning toward doing it which will make this a “long journey” project.  Stay tuned!!

Not sleeping as much – eyes are open longer and she’s starting to really look at and see things now:

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

February 19, 2019: Projects slowly moving forward; Houston Festival pictures, Part 11

Greetings!  I’ve made progress on Time of Plenty this past week!  There are 7 diagonal rows to sew together and I have 3 of them completed.  For each row I have to appliqué and embellish the leaves in the setting triangles first and then I can proceed to add the sashing and sew the blocks and rows together – it’s not fast!  In the picture below of the “full” quilt center you can see the difference the sashing and appliqué make in the completed upper right section compared to the uncompleted lower left section (click on pics to enlarge):

A closer view of the completed section:

And a closer view of the incomplete section (the pink color is not as bright as it looks in the pic):

Some closeups of the appliquéd and embellished leaves:

I’m not in a rush; I have no deadline.  I’m just enjoying the process.  The quilt is a long way from complete as I’m planning an appliqué border next and I have to design it myself.

I continue to make blocks for the quilt using the hand painted fabrics I was given – I’m now up to 58.  I think I need almost 3 X that so this will take several more weeks (months???).  Here are some of the recent ones:

I’m having so much fun choosing the asian fabrics to go with the painted ones!  After another 30 or so blocks are made, I will need to put this on the design wall and analyze whether I have too few light value blocks, not enough of or too much of a specific color, etc.  Then I can focus on those elements of the design as I make the rest of the blocks.

I have received the paper pattern from Barbara Brackman for her “Hospital Sketches” quilt-along.  Can you believe I continued to struggle with what to use for a background until yesterday I finally decided to go with the cream colored fabric instead of the gold!  I’m still not 100 percent happy with this choice, but was unable to get the shade of gold I wanted.  Finally yesterday I drew the  pattern, made the templates and started pulling fabrics.

This is going to be a VERY TRADITIONAL album style quilt using very traditional colors.  Part of my struggle with starting this quilt is that this will be my third album style quilt and I don’t usually like to repeat myself and this will take away time from doing something of my own design.  Nevertheless, I like the idea of doing this with a group of others and I’ve been thinking that there are going to be some “open” spaces on the quilt and it might be a good opportunity for me to try some trapunto when I get to the quilting.  Anyway… goes!  I’ll be sharing pictures of the blocks over the next several months.  (Oh dear, I haven’t sewn anything onto the cream fabric yet which means I could still switch to the gold at the last second…….)

Still more pictures from Houston!!!!  Here are some quilts from the “abstract” category of the competition:

Love the colors in this one and she does a beautiful job of using different shapes!!!

I love the warm color palette in this quilt and her use of silk fabrics:

Once again, I think the use of color in this one, the mix of warm and cool tones, works really well and she does a great job with rectangular shapes:

The next 3 were in the Celebration of Color exhibit.  I love Betty Busby’s work!!

Wow!  I really admire anyone who has made one of these “millefiori” quilts.  I am making what seems to me a somewhat complicated hexagon star quilt, but it is simple compared to these!  This is a major undertaking and this one is gorgeous!

Another one:

Finally, I’m showing this Karen Stone quilt which was a prize winner  – I think in the piecing category.  I want to point out that the piecing on this one is not at all difficult, but what sets it apart and makes it a prize winner, I think, is her wonderful use of color and her arrangement of the blocks to bring out the star shapes in the center.  The quilting also really enhances the piece:

Our little valentine girl!!:

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi


February 11, 2019: Video “trailer” of “6 Reasons I’m Passionate About Making Quilts” available!

Greetings!  Last April during the last days of my exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum my good friend Craig Werth videotaped me talking about each of the quilts in the exhibit and  about why I’m passionate about making quilts.  We now finally have a DVD of this which goes for almost an hour.  Craig has created a “trailer” of the talk  which is up on You Tube and goes for about 7-8 minutes.  It highlights the 6 reasons I’m passionate about making quilts, fading in and out from parts of the talk.   If you would like to view it, there is a link to the video on the Home page of my web site.  You can get to the link by going to or clicking on the “About” button at the top of this blog.

There are some good closeups of my quilts and you can hear the reasons I’m passionate about quilting.  The trailer is a nice intro to the trunk show I give – there’s some overlap, but the trunk show includes a lot more.  If you like the trailer, you may want to consider having me do a trunk show for your guild.

As for the full hour DVD, I’ll be getting several copies and will have at least one (or a few) for posterity, will likely give one or two to the museum, and will lend them out to folks who didn’t make it to the exhibit but would like to see it and who I can trust to return them!

This video has been a project in the works for 10 months now and it feels great to finally have it completed!!!

I’ve devoted some significant attention to “Time of Plenty” this past week.  Several decisions had to be made.  I decided the red sashing would be 5/8 inch – 1/2 inch looked too narrow and 3/4 inch looked too wide:  (click on pics for enlargements)

I decided cornerstones where the blocks come together were needed and decided green was a good color choice:

For the setting triangles, I’d been planning on appliquéing oak leaves but they looked lost alone.  I thought about adding other leaves and when I experimented, I liked the following arrangement:

And I added embroidery embellishment to match what is on the appliquéd blocks in the center. I’m also alternating green and red leaves on the yellow backgrounds with blue and green leaves on the pink backgrounds:

The two rows in the upper right corner are sewn together; all the rest, including the appliqué and the embroidery for the setting triangles, cutting the appliqué blocks down to size, and sewing all the blocks and rows together, still needs to be done.

For the corner triangles I’m doing this:

I had to make a decision on the quilting for Star Trek.  The stars overlap in the overall design, but I did not continue that overlap right to the edge.  Instead, the outer stars are complete, leaving larger blue background areas:

I decided to continue the quilting from the rest of the center, creating partial stars and some circles:

This is still going to take a while!!!

I spent yesterday with my daughter and Ursula:

Trying to enjoy her as an infant while I can because it doesn’t last long!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi



February 5, 2019: New family member!; project updates; Houston Festival pictures, Part 10

Greetings!  I’m thrilled to report that my new granddaughter, Ursula Sylvia, entered the world on Friday with no problems and she and mom are doing fine.  Here is a picture of my two granddaughters, 11+ years apart in age:

Svetlana and Ursula.  Aren’t they both beautiful?!  They (along with my grandson!) only live an hour away so I’m looking forward to seeing them regularly.  So happy to have these children and a new baby in my life!!!!

Meanwhile, I have not yet started my “Hospital Sketches” quilt-along with Barbara Brackman because I’ve been having trouble finding a background fabric I like.  I want to use one background fabric and not piece the background.  And I want to do the border, so this meant I’d need at least 5 yards of fabric.  This meant I’d have to buy something as I don’t keep that much yardage around.  I had 2 yards of a light gold fabric that I thought would be great but was unable to find anything like it in 3 quilt shops!  I generally don’t trust choosing color in online shops.  In one of the shops I bought a Painter’s Palette Gold – definitely darker, almost cheddar, that I thought would work, but when I got it home the more I looked at it, the more I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted.  So I went shopping again and bought an American Made Cream color and am pretty sure I’m going to go very traditional with this album and use that and save the gold for another project.

The picture above shows my original choice (which I don’t have enough of) on the right with the Gold on the upper left and Cream I bought on lower left.  The colors aren’t perfect in the pic – the Gold is actually a bit darker and closer to a cheddar and the light gold on the right is somewhat lighter and warmer. I think I’m going with the cream!!!  Hopefully I’ll get the pattern printed and get started soon!

When I feel like being at the sewing machine, I am making more blocks for my string pieced “Unconventional and Unexpected” project.  Here are my newest blocks:

And when I’m looking for some portable hand work, I’m doing the embroidery and adding circles to the border blocks for Winter Solstice:

And I’m trying to get some hand quilting done every day on Star Trek:

By the way, I managed to get my submission of Star Trek in to the Vermont Quilt Festival during all the craziness of my granddaughter’s birth last Friday, but I mistakenly sent a picture of only part of the quilt instead of the whole thing so I hope that doesn’t disqualify me!

I recently put my “Time of Plenty” blocks back up on the design wall, intending to finish making the setting triangles, get the sashing made, sew the pieces together, and make a decision about what to do for a border.  Another border decision!!!!!  I spent quite a bit of time studying it, auditioning some fabrics, and decided I want to do a vine border with oak leaves on a red background. (click on pics to enlarge)

When I bought the cream fabric for the “Hospital Sketches” project, I found a good red for the border, but it wound up soaking in the sink before I could get a picture for the blog!

I still have quite a few pictures from the Houston Festival to share!!  Here are some more.  First a few from the Hands All Around exhibit:

And this was a spectacular quilt from the Tactile Architecture exhibit:

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi