Sunday, December 9, 2018

Fish Quilt--Beginnings

Hello Blog.  So sorry for the delay in writing, but life has been pretty up and down in the last year and a half.  We finished one step in a project so I can leave it be for a few weeks.  I'm starting a new quilt and I'm sharing the progress here. 

I've been thinking about it for months.  Sketched a bit.  Took photos.  Looked at images by others.  Picked out fabric!  I guess it's time to get it going. 

Above are some of the references that I'm studying for this quilt.  A fish illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri.  A photograph by Craig Springer, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  A map of the historic range of the subject.  My photographs of fish and a rocky stream. 

One sketch idea.  Probably not. 

Another sketch idea.  Also probably not. 

The ideas are gelling.  I won't be copying the map, Craig Springer's photos or Joseph Tomelleri's illustration, but I'll refer to them for shapes and colors.  I'm trying to figure out the layers.  What will be opaque and what will be transparent?  How will I make the background?  Will the transparent layers be transparent enough?  I have a feeling that this will require improvisation, winging it and ad-libbing. 

Off to sketch some more . . .

P.S.  It's good to back in touch with you, Blog. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Worldwide Quilting Day 2017!

White Dove quilt detail

Worldwide Quilting Day 2017 is tomorrow!  March 18, 2017. 

I will be working with fabric tomorrow morning!

I have a couple of projects that I will be working on.  One part will be finishing work on one quilt that won't show much, so it's not so exciting.  Well, finishing is exciting!  The other will be to quilt a small abstract quilt.  Of course, I have plenty of ideas for more.  I just can't sew fast enough!

I have some inspiration ideas to share with you!  Share your love of quilting with the world tomorrow!  It's OK if you start today and continue on through Sunday, too!  And beyond!

1.  Here is a tutorial for an improvisational quilt block by Vicki. 

2.  The traditional log cabin block with a couple of variations from Bernina's We All Sew.

3.  Here is a tutorial and inspiration for Wild Geese quilts from Temecula Quilt Company. 

Yes.  It's all my fault that you will now head off into the Internet ether to study these tutorials and follow the links from them to who knows where.  It will be like eating candy, but without the calories!  I'd love to see what you're working on.  Please post a photo in the comments below or on your favorite social media sites. 

Shared Heritage


Monday, March 6, 2017

Agua Caliente County Park on a Spring Day

Vermilion Flycatcher

On Saturday March 4, 2017 my husband and I visited Pima County (Arizona) Agua Caliente Park.  We went to see the gallery space.  We're deciding whether to apply for an exhibition in 2018.  The gallery is inside the historic ranch house which is a wonderful place.  We wandered around the park and when we got home, I realized that I took no photos of the buildings.  My only images from this morning are of nature scenes.  Which is a great thing.

I don't know ducks....
The bees loved the blossoms on this tree next to the pond.

Aren't these pink flowers cool?  They are next to the ranch house.  The hummingbirds enjoyed them, too.

Definitely a pleasant day to be outside. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dear Blog--I've Missed You

Farm house in Kansas Settlement, Arizona
Dear Blog:
I haven't written in a long time.  A lot goes on in life and this blog got set aside.  I want to come back here.  I want to write and share photos.  I don't want my photos to stay in their files.  I want to show what's going on in life--hiking, nature, outdoors stuff.  I want to show art and quilt art.

When my husband and I were honored with some art residencies in 2015, I started posting on Facebook.  It's easy, fast, and addictive.  It's also hard to find things again.  I'll keep using FB, but I'll try to write here once in a while.  More often than my history shows.  I'll try to make it interesting.  

The photo above shows a worn, weathered, and abandoned farm house that is surrounded by the fields of Kansas Settlement, near Willcox, Arizona.  My husband and I took a day trip to this area to look for sandhill cranes.  We didn't find those birds, but we saw plenty of others.  And this interesting house.  With its layers of paint colors. 

It's giving me ideas . . .  Someday it might become a quilt, I'm thinking.

Thanks for reading this far and I hope to keep in better touch. 


Monday, January 12, 2015

Art for the New Year--One-Liners

I'm taking an online art class called Year of the Spark!  It's taught by the wonderful Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple.  It's positive and encouraging and SPECIFIC.  Boy do I need that!  And adaptable to all kinds of art forms.  And I've just been working on the first lesson!

My classmates are fun, too.  Lots of energy.  

We started with some drawing exercises and here are some of the beginning one-liners.

Spaniel-eared elephants (my own creation!):

Houses . . .

Birds . . .  A couple look kind of angry.  Some are in a hurry.  

Flowers . . .

And for those of you who know me . . . yes I translated something into fabric!  I'll post it soon (I hope!). 

We'll have a vendor booth at the Tucson Quilt Fiesta from January 23-25, 2015 at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona.  If you're in the area, please stop by.  We'll have quilts to show the quilting we can do.  Also some little black sewing machines to tempt you!  You know, the kind that come in little black cases!! 

Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We hope you are enjoying Christmas Day with family and friends. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Charlie Pirtle Memorial Scholarship Quilt 2013--Honoring a Man of the Outdoors

Elusive Elk

I just finished this quilt.  I made it in honor of our friend Charlie Pirtle, who passed away in 2008. 

Charlie was a great man who was great fun.  He loved the outdoors and he loved to teach others about it.  He taught for many years at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop.  Charlie's students loved him.  His fellow instructors loved him and sought him out during "down" time to visit with him.  Charlie was an appreciative audience and a wonderful story teller.  Charlie always told me--with that glimmer in his eye--that he would  buy a nice rifle from me (a gift from my dad) with his "pocket change." 

This memorial captures the essence of Charlie Pirtle. 

About this quilt:  Charlie was an avid supporter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  He contributed  recipes to The New Elk Hunter's Cookbook.  (Even if you don't use elk meat, Charlie's Chili recipe on page 248 is one of our favorites with beef stew meat.  I think of Charlie every time I make it and I thank him for this recipe every time we eat it!)  Charlie loved elk.  He loved to hear them, look for them, see them, watch them, track them, and hunt them.  He supported the preservation of elk and their habitat.  Elk are plentiful at the NRA Whittington Center where BOW in NM is usually held.  Therefore, it was an easy decision for me to choose this elk quilt pattern, Elusive, by Montana artist Toni Whitney.  I enlarged the pattern by 50% to add drama to this already intense design. 

The quilt that I made will be raffled next weekend at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop in Raton, New Mexico.  Funds raised in the raffle go to pay for a scholarship for a student to attend the BOW workshop.  BOW is a program where women can go to learn basic outdoors skills in a non-competitive environment.  Raffle tickets are only $5.  If you would like to support this program and the raffle, please contact Leilani right away at  If you are interested in the BOW program, visit the New Mexico website here.

 In keeping with Charlie's old fashioned-ness, in order to win the Charlie Pirtle scholarship, applicants must write an essay about the outdoors.  It must be hand written (not typed or printed from a computer).

Just to give a tiny bit of insight to the quilt making process--a labor of love:

Eye, ears, and a nose

Head and chest (you need food cans to keep things from slipping!)

On the quilting machine

Quilting is done!
I think Charlie might be willing to pay pocket change for it . . .