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Sunday, May 8, 2011

This is for Heather...

Heather is my best friend. We live a country apart, and we never speak, but she is still my best friend and has been for... well, let's just say a jillion years. She knows me SO well. And I miss her SO much. When the big kids were little, she was their Auntie Foofy. They are now too sophisticated for that and call her Heather, except when a gift or card arrives, then it's Auntie Foofy all over again.

Once, when my son was about 2, we spent the whole day with Auntie Foofy, and all the way home in his little car seat, he chanted over and over again, "Auntie Foofy....Auntie Foofy.... Auntie Foofy."

So Heather emailed me, "Why do you have that stupid blog if you never write anything?"

So this is for Heather.

I attended a Jo Diggs workshop a week ago. It was FanTasTic! Her specialty is the layered landscape, but we made underwater scenes instead. The only requirement was a piece of background fabric, about 12x18 (although this was very fungible), and tons of fabric scraps. Everything was free-hand cut, no patterns, and if something didn't work, it was put aside.

Here's what I made. Jo Diggs said it was the best turtle she'd ever seen, by the way. I may put that on my business card! (This is still a work-in-progress, hence the little pins...)

Here is the work of some of the other participants. I just took photos so have no attributions, except for this one by the great Paula Tuano:

I told her it looked like Las Vegas under the sea, and she said, "That's my title!" We worked at the same table and laughed all day. I love her!

Here's one more:

And here's a layered landscape, based on a photo of the Cape Cod National Seashore, by Nancy McConnell:

It will be part of the quilt exhibition for the 50th birthday celebration of the National Seashore, established by President John F. Kennedy. I'm making one also - I'll post a photo when it's presentable.

So you see how this could be a really fun and easy way to spend a few hours, just cutting shapes, laying them down and see what makes your heart go "WOW." HINT: add a seam allowance. Paula and I were so busy having fun that we forgot that, so we are painstakingly going to fuse everything instead. (You could also use 505 spray after the fact.)

By Cindie, maker of the The Best Turtle Ever according to artist extraordinaire, Jo Diggs.

Heather, I love you, and I hope you liked this post.  Auntie Foofy!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do you have a pet? Any kind of animal you love in your everyday life? I have 5 guinea pigs, a rabbit, and two dogs. But I also have wildlife that I love - a flock of six turkeys who have established my yard as their territory, numerous birds that come to my feeders for sustenance during this awful winter, the requisite squirrels, occasional coyote loping through the trees, bees and butterflies who come to the garden I have planted for them.

I also put out hay for the deer in the woods. They may not be finding a lot to eat this winter.

All of this explains why I am vegan. I know that my pets have emotional lives of their own. I see their mood changes, their interactions, their cravings, their hiding places, their favorite toys.

I know that wild animals have the exact same lives, without the pampering provided by me. I have seen the turkeys squabble, fight over seed, then all together move back into the trees.

I have seen the coyote skirt the yard, look at the house and see me watching him. He stops for a moment, then starts moving again. He knows humans are not his friends (except this one).

So I don't eat animals, or the byproducts of animals like milk or eggs, because their lives are as worthy as mine. They deserve to live to a ripe old age, just as I do and just as we all do.

Go vegan, be kind, and save the world.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Inspires...

I absolutely love this pattern. It's a summer dress I bought at H&M several years ago, and now that it's too big for me, I may cut it up for a quilt. The color is delectable too.

This beautiful pink lily grew in my garden this year, and backed by the lavender tall phlox, it's a great color study. The dotting in the pink petals is a great inspiration as well. Looks like an applique piece for me to do!

This bird lives at the Central Park Zoo birdhouse. His feathers are irridescent and so colorful. I like his shades of gray that contrast, like a very sophisticated New Yorker dressed all in gray-and-white but carrying some crazy Judith Leiber clutch.

This is one of the displays in the Hall of Diversity at the American Museum of Natural History in NY, probably the greatest museum in America to my mind. As a vegan, I do mourn the deaths of all these creatures, but as a quilter, I find so much inspiration in the organization of the display. And the shapes of the shells, the colors of the fishes, the curves of the snakes... it's fabulous and sad. Maybe a quilted homage to animals is in my future.

And just because I have never posted it before, here is a quilt I made from a silly apron my mother, Gwynne White, owned. I grew up in California and my mother's house was party central. She was a loving and happy woman, a great mom, and a pretty good cook considering how much stuff came out of a can or the freezer! On the yellow pot is a transfer of one of her recipes, in her very unusual handwriting that is precious to me. She's been gone for 16 years now, and believe me when I say that I think about her every single day.

She taught me to sew. Thanks Mom! Love you always!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar in Hyannis this past weekend. We were prepared for Hurricane (no hurricane) Earl but it didn't make a difference to the 350 quilters who showed up.

My expectations were sort of medium. I knew Ricky, Libby Lehman and Alex Anderson would be great speakers and their quilts would be gorgeous. I didn't know that I would come away with a lot of new techniques and a TON of inspiration. I am already designing my Rhapsody quilt and thinking hard about something Libby said: You Have to Enter to Win. Meaning, if I want to compete in quilt shows, I have to actually submit a quilt or two. That automatically raises the bar in terms of design and technique. It's a challenge I am ready to work on.

Here are some photos:
Libby Lehman, thread artist extraordinaire and a hilarious lady on top of that.
Here's a detail from one of her quilts:
Here's Ricky & Libby teaching!
Here's Ricky & Libby & me in a slightly awkward pose:

Here are a few of his quilts:
I had the best time and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I didn't get a picture with Alex but had a really great conversation with her at the end about The Quilt Show - the online quilting program she and Ricky do. It's phenomenal to watch major award-winning quilters show their work, their techniques, their inspiration, all on the computer while I sip some tea and do some applique.
Now off to the sewing room!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Still Quilting....

Hello world. Or as I call it, Kate.
Here are some photos from the August 2010 Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod quilt show. Also, I am the new editor of the Quilt Fun newsletter that covers the New England region with almost 1400 subscribers. So if you want to subscribe to this nifty monthly compilation of shows, workshops, retreats, things for sale, etc., send an email to

These are two of the quilts I made with the children of my church's religious education program for their annual play which was The Seed of Creativity this year. The tree represents a large copper beech memorial tree outside our church where the kids climb and play every Sunday. The flowers were created by members of the play's audience - they placed the petals and I sewed it all together. The tree's leaves were placed by the children and there are photo transfers of the kids at the base of the tree.

The chalice quilt on the left is the symbol of Unitarian Universalism. The border of this quilt has the kids' hand written "wishes for the world." The rainbow quilt on the right includes my hand-appliqued rendition of our historic church building. The rainbow represents the fact that we are a welcoming congregation for LGBT folks as well as everyone else.

This is Cecilia Macia's prize-winning quilt. She loves to work with the kaleidoscope block. This is her original design and her workmanship is absolutely perfect.
This is my beloved friend Marjorie Lydecker, talking about one of Audrey Germer's showcase quilts. All hand-done and lots of little touches of Audrey. Marge taught me how to hand-applique and she is a marvelous quilter. She is generous, kind and loving and I am very lucky to know her.

That's it for now. I love quilting!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Antique Quilts at 2009 Vermont Quilt Festival

Here are some photos I took of antique quilts on display at this past summer's VQF. The sophistication of the graphic images always takes me by surprise. We think our quilting foremothers were just pitifully hobbling together clothing scraps for bed covers, when in actuality they were making real, and real gorgeous, art. These are a few of my favorites.

And I am happy to announce that by cleaning my daughter's room yesterday, I finally found my beloved Fiskars scissors. Now back to quilting...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thanks, Martha!

The fantabulous Martha Stewart explained on Facebook why this year's autumn foliage in New England is not so fantabulous. Tar Spot! Caused by all the stupid rain we had this spring, our maple leaves are tepidly colored and covered with black spots caused by this fungus. Everyone is affected so at least I don't feel like it was my own personal failure.

Here's something that has cheered me up no end: the best soap ever made (and best soap name ever): get yours at the Body Lounge in Stowe, VT, or online (address is on the label). Wouldn't this be a fun little Christmas gift for all the women in your life??