Circling the Wagons

True friendships are truly tested in times of need. This truth has never proven so real to me than a few weeks ago, when my family experienced an event that could have been catastrophic.

It was a day like any other when I decided to accompany my husband to get a stress test ordered by his doctor during a routine checkup the day before. Little did I know then than I’d spend the following two days at the hospital, where the doctors removed extensive blockage from a major artery and introduced a stent in his heart.

But far from going into all the gory details of this event (about which I wrote in a previous post), I wanted to talk about how fortunate and blessed I feel for having such a wonderful network of friends. Friends who brought food, who sent cards, who started prayer circles, who stood by me and my family every step of the way, friends who put their skills at our disposal when the need arose, etc., etc., etc. This realization is humbling as well as gratifying. It is the best birthday gift I could ever have received (it just so happened that the event took place on the day of my birthday!).

In the words of a wise and saintly woman, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods, I’m convinced that we owe our deliverance to Divine Providence, but I owe my sanity to the kindness of family and friends.

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Health Scare and Finished Quilt Studio

I wanted to show pictures of my lovely Quilt Palace!!!!

Finally, after months of plotting, purchasing, cleaning, fixing, my wonderful palace became reality.

A few weeks ago I finally began moving in my sewing machines, cutting tables, everything that I had been using all along. I finally had a living room back! And of course there’s something to be said for having a special place to go off to, so as to focus on the task at hand. Going off to a special corner of the world where only your quilting exists, and nothing more, really helps cut down on the time wasting putter that one is often subject to when seeking to make art.

My newfound enjoyment was soon marred, however, by a worrisome development: after a routine checkup, my husband found out his heart was depleted of oxygen and new blood, thanks to a villainous blockage in his left anterior artery (a.k.a., “the widow maker”). There were no symptoms other than a bit of ‘heartburn’, and if he had not had the checkup scheduled when he did, he may have suffered an actual heart attack, extended damage, and who knows what else, since he had a 99% blockage.

He had a stent put in, and is now on his way to recovery, thank God!


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Brainiac Quilt

Hello from sunny California! 

Just wanted to share some photos from my recent trip to Los Angeles to visit my good friend and former host sister, Brenda. Here we are at the San Juan Bautista Mission, a place with beautiful Spanish architecture and a cool spiritual vibe.

For those who may not know, I spent a wonderful senior year at Bishop Alemany High School in the San Fernando Valley as an exchange student from Santiago, Chile. Even though I only spent one year there, the experience most definitely altered the rest of my life. I doubt I would’ve ever ended up living in the U.S. had I not had that early formative experience. As well, I have remained good friends with my old host family (particularly Brenda) and of course I am now there for my 50th high school class reunion.
Somewhere along I-5

But on to quilt things:

Brainiac Quilt

I am calling this a ‘brainiac quilt’ because it has required a lot of interesting calculations in order to bring it about. I was going for a 3D look, so I hope I achieved it.

I used simple graph paper to figure out the pattern. I was trying to come up with an original design, not based on anything I’ve already seen or tried. My challenge was to actually create something out of nothing. The main motivation for this was to be able to submit it to the upcoming Quiltcon East, where the emphasis is on original work utilizing the modern style of piecing.

I have discussed before, in regards to my Rear Window quilt, my fondness for what could be termed ‘modern’, or mid-century aesthetics, patterns, or motifs. I have always liked that look, even in furnishings, and I have always enjoyed how this aesthetic transferred to quilting. In my quest to come up with a personal style that transcends the beautiful but traditional quilt patterns and motifs – many of which I have discussed in this blog – I prefer to go after something that has never been seen before.

I draw inspiration from publications, other quilters, and the world around me. The Modern Quilt Guild‘s website, which I have referred to in the past, provides immense examples of geometric, unusual, and striking designs. They describe the style as follows:

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

The finished product

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