August 30, 2021: August Monthly Mini; Red and White progress!

Greetings dear readers! Here is my “mini” for August:

The title is “Trip To Japan.” I actually made it for my guild’s annual Challenge. This year’s theme was “I remember….” The quilt could have a perimeter of no more than 96 inches and had to have a noticeable amount of blue in it. I decided to use my indigo fabrics for the blue and I chose to “remember “ my wonderful trip to Japan in 2010 and the immersion in their textile culture as I went to the Tokyo International Quilt Festival and did other fabric related things on the tour.

I chose a fan design, which is, of course, very Japanese, and I used pieces of authentic kimonos (along with some other authentic Japanese fabrics)that I collected from that trip and over the years.

I added a line of embroidery embellishment across the top of each fan and hand quilted it with “regular” stitches on the fans and setting triangles.

Then I tried “big stitch” quilting for the first time in the area above the fans! It wasn’t too difficult and I’m pleased with it! It also seems similar, in this case, to sashiko stitching- very Japanese, of course.

You can see both types of stitching easily on the back:

The final dimensions are 22.5 inches square. The quilts were all displayed at last week’s guild meeting, but due to unforeseen circumstances I had to miss the meeting, though I had a friend take my quilt there for me. Apparently there were some great quilts shown! They will all be in our annual show in October and I’ll get pictures to share then.

Speaking of the show, I need not have stressed so much about being able to finish my Red and White entry. In the past week I finished the top:

Which means I finished all the leaf appliqué and embroidery:

And I prepped the backing, got it layered and basted and started the hand quilting!!!

What helped was a stretch of either rainy or very hot weather which kept me in the house and focused on the task at hand. I’m now feeling that if I do certain amount of hand quilting every day, I should have plenty of time to finish by the show.

I’ll finish this post with a few “earthly delights.” Continuing to see signs of autumn:

I’m always surrounded by pines – these needles looked so feathery:


The afternoon sun shining through the leaves on my coleus plant really highlighted the red and green!

One final view of the mini:

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

August 22, 2021: “Red and White” progress; updates, etc.

Greetings dear readers. I have started to focus almost exclusively on the red and white quilt I am making for the Cocheco guild show in mid October. There will be an exhibit of red and white quilts to celebrate the guild’s 40th anniversary. I have 50 days to get it done and there’s lots to do! I wavered for months before deciding to participate in the exhibit and that indecision has left me with some pressure to meet a deadline – a situation I try to avoid whenever possible!😐. Here’s where I am now (this is crib size – 35.5 X 45.5 inches):

Leaves are all made with edges turned and almost half are appliqued to the background. All the vines are appliqued. I am planning to add hand embroidered embellishments to all the leaves. I tried a practice one to see what it would look like:

The center line is #8 embroidery thread (DMC) and the veins are #12 Aurifil thread. I started a line of the latter thread along the leaf edge and I think I like the look – still deciding. It’s the quilting that has me nervous about finishing on time. I don’t think I trust myself to machine quilt it and it’s likely too late to find a long armer with time to fit it in before the show. Besides, I’d really like to try and hand quilt it. So….I may not get a lot else done over the next few weeks! However, I’m sure I have “QADD” – quilter’s attention deficit disorder – which means I’ll probably sneak in some work on my other projects too 🙂.

When I can’t stand looking at just red and white and need some COLOR, I’m continuing to work on Stormy Weather and have only 20 leaves left to make for the third border:

A couple months ago I purchased a fat eighth pack of the 20 newest Tilda fabrics and pieces from many of those have made it onto the third border:

I think I’m officially a Tilda addict and there’s another new line coming out this fall – oh no!

With all the rain we’ve had this summer, I’m seeing a lot of mushrooms, fungi, lichens, mosses, etc. on my walks. Really enjoying the shapes, forms, and subtle colors:

On a tree, from above:

And looking at the same from below:

I like the golden color of this fungus:

Closer, for the texture and the “stalagmite-like” or even coral-like shapes:

A couple more amazing trunks from Cape Cod; this tree was hugely spread out!

Closer:

The leaves on this look like rhododendrons, but I’ve not seen trunks quite like this – very sculptural!

The 2 anthurium plants on my screened porch are doing beautifully – love the bright red and green colors and the interesting patterns on some of the leaves:


This month marks a milestone for me – five years since I retired! It has gone by incredibly fast. I have no regrets. I worked very hard for 45 years and am very, very happy to currently be the master of my own time (mostly!) I love using my brain for creativity in different ways than I did in my work as a physician. I enjoy the freedom to read everything but medical information without guilt!🙂. I feel so lucky that I am getting to enjoy this time of relative freedom while I am still healthy.

Meanwhile, it is hard to be cheery and positive when there’s so much suffering in the world. Especially when there’s not much we individuals can do to help. Donate money (sometimes quilts!). Be kind, thoughtful, and helpful. Pressure our leaders and politicians to be empathetic and do the right things for people and communities, not corporations. Do what we can to mitigate our negative effects on the climate. Wear masks and get vaccinated!! Volunteer when we can. But much is out of our control.
I found this quote this morning and it really spoke to me about how to be at peace, day to day:

“I don’t ever crave extraordinary moments any more. Just small, gentle hums of beauty streaming from below, above, and beyond simply from paying attention. Sound. Light. Shadow. Art. Warmth. The night. The morning. Dreams that are not faraway but exist right here – already in my days, hands, and heart.”
Victoria Erickson, author of Rhythms and Roads

Wishing you as many peaceful, gentle days as possible.

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

August 15, 2021: Art and Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! Today I’m sharing a bit more from our Cape Cod vacation. We quilters are often inspired in our own making by nature and by many of the other arts. We enjoy spending time outdoors and in art galleries and museums. Ideas for use of color, patterns, shapes, lines, etc. abound. The Cape has numerous galleries; one of our favorites is The Blue Heron in Wellfleet. Over the years we’ve admired work there by John Standish. Even though we are mostly in a mode these days to not buy/accumulate more things, I like to support artists and we finally broke down and bought one of his beautiful prints:

Here are closeups of each side:

Here’s a bit about the artist and the egg tempera technique he uses to such great effect:

That word “solace” really speaks to me these days. If interested, you can see more of his work at standishart.com. Just as it is nice to change out quilts on display periodically, it’s nice to have a different painting on the wall!!

I’ve discovered a fondness for paintings using the encaustic technique – the textures that can be achieved are amazing! I loved this artist’s work at the Blue Heron and I love his description of “process” – such a major part of what makes artists passionate about their work:

Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of entire paintings, but look at these closeups of textures and colors:


And closer:

I suspect one reason I’m drawn to this is this because I love textures in quilting so much! If you want to see more, check out dalerobertsencaustic.com.
So, now to Nature’s inspirations, or, as I call them, “earthly delights.” The colors of the flowers on the Cape were glorious! I’ve already shown some hydrangeas. The place was loaded with Rose of Sharon in shades of violet and pink:

Sedum in bloom:

These coneflowers were spectacular!

More colors!:

There were some tree trunks with great textures!:

Look how I am displaying my beach stones – love the gold, yellow, and white colors and many are really smooth – I often hold one in my hand while I’m reading, turning it and exploring the surface – here I am loving textures again 😊!

Meanwhile, I finished my guild’s challenge which I’ll show at the end of the month – we have to keep them secret until they are shown at this month’s meeting. And I keep plugging away at the Stormy Weather borders – nearing the halfway point of the appliqué for the second border:

And I have made and basted to the background about 3/4 of the leaves for the third border. The fabric choices for each leaf and the color placements are different for each border. Doing a little each day adds up over time and gets it done! I’ve started to look at a possible border design for the Red and White quilt – need to get going on this as I only have just under 2 months to finish it in time for the show:

Like all of you, I am paying attention to what’s going on with the pandemic and hoping we are not headed down a path in which we must all isolate again. I am exceedingly frustrated with those refusing to get the vaccine- it’s selfish and makes no sense. I’m finding “solace” in my quilting, as always. I hope you are too!

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

August 9, 2021: Vacation #2 – Cape Cod

Greetings dear readers! Al and I just got back from our second one week vacation, this time on Cape Cod. When we were making vacation plans in January, we weren’t sure how the vaccine rollout would go, when we’d get ours, and what the overall situation would be with the pandemic, so we planned 2 separate trips relatively close to home that wouldn’t require flying. Both trips would allow us to be in our own spaces (not hotels), would allow us to cook our own meals if dining out wasn’t safe (we had 4 excellent dinners out on the Cape) and would be in beautiful locations where we could be outdoors much of the time. This all worked out splendidly!! We stayed in this lovely little cottage:

The back:

It was walking distance to the beach and there were several streets with lovely landscaped homes for interesting walks. It was fantastic to have a different new walk every day! We explored some beaches and, though there are many smooth sand beaches around, my favorites were the ones with stones to collect!

We walked along and through some salt water marsh areas:

At the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary there was a stark reminder of the rising seas:

Dotted throughout were fenced off areas to protect turtles:

We saw a turtle resting on a platform:

One field of grass at the Sanctuary looked like the waves of the sea:


The flowers on the Cape are always fabulous, especially the hydrangeas:

Beautiful lavender in front of this lovely home which looks out on the sea:

It’s the Cape so, of course, we occasionally saw this:

Luckily we didn’t see one for real!😊

During quiet times, I managed to stitch down a few leaves on Stormy Weather:

But I spent more of my stitching time hand quilting my guild Challenge/ August mini. I’m doing a combination of regular and “big” stitch and since I can’t show the front yet, I’ll tease you with a photo of the back:

I also managed to read the book on the left and part of the one on the right. Both are interesting and recommended!

Naturally I had to visit at least one of the quilt shops on the Cape! I sought the advice of a quilting friend who lives near the Cape and she recommended Tumbleweed:

My shopping had a focus! My stash has a dearth of low volume fabrics, especially lighter prints, and I wanted to get some lighter value florals to go with the medium to darker value florals that I recently bought in Maine. The shop was wonderful and I’d say I was successful!

There are many art galleries on the Cape and we poked around in several, but I’ll share that and more of the fabulous flowers next post.

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

July 30, 2021: July Monthly Mini

Greetings dear readers! For this month’s mini I decided to finish a table runner that I started in the fall of 2019. Actually, the top was done and all it needed was layering and quilting. I have no excuse for why I delayed so long in finishing it! Good thing I had something easy because I needed to spend time working on my guild’s annual “challenge” due in August and which I can’t share just yet. The table runner is for my dining room table- the room has an autumn theme:

All fabrics were from my stash and at the time I was really into making half square triangles. And I wanted to highlight that lovely brown bird and flower print.

I machine quilted it lightly, cross hatching the center and using a few long straight lines in the HST areas. That’s all it needed. After quilting a half dozen lines, I felt like something wasn’t right and realized I’d forgotten to put the walking foot on the machine! Duh! What a difference it makes!

I used a lovely fabric with fall leaves for the back:

Two more shots, one with and one without the pottery:

Speaking of fall, I couldn’t believe I saw these on a walk earlier this week:

WHAT?!!! Already!! Wasn’t it just last week that the leaves were turning their beautiful spring green and just yesterday that the azaleas were in bloom?! Now these harbingers of autumn are signaling how quickly the year is flying by. But – summer is still here, so I plan to enjoy it as long as I can. I haven’t gone to the pond much this past month because it’s been very wet and buggy but I did go this week and enjoyed the blooming thistles. I couldn’t pick a favorite photo so am showing all 4 – I love the pink and green and how the light varies on those those thistles:

I’ll finish with another wildflower at the pond in similar colors- don’t know the name, but it’s lovely:

Thanks to Wendy at The Constant Quilter for hosting the Monthly Mini. Go to her blog to see links to all the July monthly minis. Meanwhile, let’s stay in the moment, enjoy the rest of the summer, and not start to think about autumn too much just yet!😊

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

July 27, 2021: “Groundhog day”😊; final Japanese quilts; and a good book!

Greetings dear readers! Remember the movie “Groundhog Day” in which the main character wakes up to the same day over and over? I feel a little bit like that as I work on the borders for my “stars and sprigs” quilt, Stormy Weather!

I need 4 of these and they are a lot of work and very time consuming. Everything is being done by hand. Each border has over 25 feet of vines and 229 leaves. In the picture above, the border on the left is complete. The border in the middle has all the vines appliqued, all the leaves made, and all the leaves basted to the background and ready for them to be appliqued. This will be my hand project for our next vacation, next week. The border on the right has all the vines appliqued and now I’m preparing all the leaves.

And one of these days I’ll wake up and it will be on to the 4th border and the process will be repeated again! I can hardly believe I’ve committed myself to this but I think it will be worth it in the end. My husband joked that it’s too bad we can’t just print these borders out on a 3D printer!😊

I have the final few Japanese quilts to share with you today. Enjoy the details! (By the way, I don’t know what the Judges Encouragement award means – several quilts had that honor.)

I haven’t shown every single quilt in the exhibit, but I think I’ve shown the majority of them. I’m grateful to the NEQM for having this exhibit and I’m grateful the museum is only an hour drive away for me! Once again, I encourage you to go see these in person if you can.

I have one “earthly delight “ for you today – a lovely red day lily:

It’s been quite a while since I read a book that I can’t put down, but I’m almost finished with one now:

This is the story of a young woman who is diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 23. Reading about her 3 years of treatment are not for the faint of heart, but she writes exceedingly well and with incredible honesty about the experience. It’s an amazing story of perseverance and humanity and I’ve hardly been able to put it down. Highly recommended, obviously!

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

July 23, 2021: Japanese quilts, Part 4; Moving the goalposts 🙂

Greetings dear readers! Without further ado, here is another batch of Japanese quilts from the NEQM exhibit. This first one was one of my favorites. I love everything about the design – I’ve always been a big fan of circular designs and compasses – and the handwork is wonderful:

This next one was another favorite – absolutely wonderful use of silk kimono fabrics and great hand appliqué and quilting in a gorgeous “Baltimore Album” design:

The next one is a really unique interpretation of the Hawaiian style quilt. The card indicates machine stitching, but much of it looks hand done to me – hope I got the right card:

The last 2 I’m sharing today are contemporary/modern in style and were interesting to study for both the designs and the stitching:

And the last one:

I still have a few more of these quilts for one more post. They are really worthy of study for their designs and workmanship, especially their hand work, and I hope you are enjoying them as much as I am!

We are now well into July and the beginning of the second half of the year. I thought I should review my quilting “goals” for this year so I looked back at my early January posts. At the time I set my goals, I did not factor in any donation quilts and I’m already working on my third one and I had not made a decision to join the “Monthly Mini” group which I later did. My response? Move the goalposts!!😊 I love having the flexibility to do that and not experience any anxiety! The main effect of this is that I’m not making a mad dash to finish hand quilting and binding Golden Glow for my guild’s annual show in mid October.

I still have most of 2 borders to quilt as well as the background of one block and the sashings and I need to add some stitching in the larger appliqué pieces not to mention the binding and label. This would be doable if I drop everything else I’m doing, but I don’t want to do that. I admit that I’m dragging my feet on this project, but I just love the variety of things I’m working on too much to focus on just this. I’m confident it will eventually get done!😊

I’ll save the rest of my “yearly goals” update for my next post and finish this one with a few more “earthly delights” from our vacation:

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

July 16, 2021: Japanese quilts, part 3, and much more!

Greetings readers! I’m sharing 5 more Japanese quilts from the NEQM exhibit with you today. If you live anywhere near the museum in Lowell, MA, it’s well worth your time to go see these quilts in person for all the wonderful details. The hand stitched details on this first one are phenomenal!

I like the color, the radiating design, and the use of circles on this one:

I like the use of indigo fabrics and the variety of hand stitching on this one:

The hand piecing and quilting on this next one was excellent and I think she did a great job of using fabrics well and designing borders to make a classic pattern really interesting:

I adore the use of color and vintage kimono fabrics in this next one!

Hand pieced! And I like the use of the “Panama pyramid” blocks in the border!

Happily, I still have several more Japanese quilts to share in another post or two! That’s good because I don’t have much new work of my own to share. I finished all the appliqué for the first border for Stormy Weather- yay! The second border is all prepped and ready for appliqué and I’m putting the vines on the third border. I’m working on a small quilt for my guild’s annual challenge and it will double as my August mini so I can’t share it yet.
Totally unexpectedly, I found a one yard piece of fabric at the Fiddlehead shop in Belfast, ME for the border of my Red and White quilt; it’s perfect! I was going to use solid red, but am much happier with this:

Of course, I’m not done!🙂. I’m planning on adding vines and leaves to that border, but hope to speed it up with machine techniques. This needs to be done for the guild show in mid October.

When we vacation on Cape Rosier, Maine we always make it a point to visit Blue Hill Books, a wonderful independent book store with a great selection of books. When we were there last week, I bought this book:

My walks have very much made me want to learn how to better identify trees that I see. This book looks wonderful and makes the case that it is well worth learning to do this via tree bark rather than using leaves. Of, course, using a combination of both probably increases one’s chance of accuracy. I love the textures and patterns on tree bark so this should be really enjoyable! The book has lots of detailed information and great pictures too. Here’s an easy one, a tree in my neighborhood:

I knew by the leaves that it was an oak, but here’s the page on it in the book:

And the leaves match too:

I look forward to exploring!!

Now for some other “earthly delights” from my walks. I saw these adult turkeys with 10 chicks! They scurried away before I could get closer for a better picture:

I love the variety of colors of the day lilies that are out now:

The cattails are coming out around the pond:

There’s an old, falling down barn on one of my walks. I’ve been taking pictures of it intermittently for some time, but never captured an image I liked until this week when I walked in an early morning fog:

I like this quote from my new book on Bark: “The art of seeing, and the connection to place, grows exponentially when you learn to stop and observe….There are always new discoveries to be made.”


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

July 12, 2021: Back home!

Greetings dear readers! It’s good for the mind and for the soul to break from usual routines and experience the new and the different. We just had a lovely week at the Hiram Blake Camp on Cape Rosier, Maine. Our cabin was nestled in the trees at the edge of the water:

With beautiful views out to the Eggemogin Reach, the channel of water that connects Penobscot Bay to Blue Hill Bay:

Big sailing vessels often pass through here, going back and forth from the Bar Harbor area to and from Camden or Belfast or Castine. We saw this one while visiting the lovely town of Castine:

Our own water adventures were much more modest!!

The cabins are comfy, but have no wi-fi, TV, or central heat. We used the wood stove briefly most mornings. Here’s the kitchen/dining area:

And looking the other way, the door on the left leads to a screened porch and the one on the right to the bedroom:

I walked most days, really enjoying something different from home, especially the water views!!

I especially love it when the surface of the water sparkles from the sunlight:

I saw some different flora and unusual lichens. Late lupins:

Sea roses:

I collected a few stones on the rocky beach:

We had only one beautiful sunrise, but it was spectacular!

We ate the best, most sweet and tender lobsters three times! No pictures! On 2 rainy days I managed to appliqué around 150 leaves on one of my Stormy Weather borders, but who’s counting!😊

I went to one wonderful quilt shop in Belfast, both on the way to the camp and on the way home.

They specialize in more modern style fabrics and have a fabulous collection of florals; I couldn’t resist 🙂!

Yes, I do have – and have had for a while- a couple ideas rolling around in my head for what I’m going to use these for so it wasn’t totally an impulse purchase! I don’t, however, know when I’ll get to it with so much else to work on right now 😐.

I promise to post again soon with more of those fabulous Japanese quilts. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

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

July 3, 2021: More Japanese and “car” quilt pictures from NEQM

Greetings readers! This post is going to be a quick one because we are leaving later this morning for our one week vacation on east Penobscot Bay in Maine. We’ll be staying in a cabin at the camp we’ve been to many times over the years and it will be a joy to soak up a different environment with water views, new walks, kayaking, and more. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of photos to share 🙂! I’m taking plenty of appliqué to do in quieter moments 🙂. For today’s post I’m sharing pictures of several more quilts from my recent NE Quilt Museum visit. Take time to admire the beautiful designs, details, and workmanship:

Here’s the museum’s statement about the Japanese quilts:

Hope you all have an enjoyable holiday! I have to go finish packing!😊

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