Class Project: Water

Here is a class project update.  The fabric that I painted is the background.  I am learning to make waves and foamy water.  I have a LONG way to go.  Some of what I tried works.  Some doesnt.  I have tons of sewing left to do on it before it is ready to be quilted.

The point is, I have learned much.


And just for Jan…… here is a close up of the batik that I burned the edges of to get jagged rocks.  Some of my batik worked pretty well.  Others didnt work at all.   This whole class is an experiment!


This week:  FIRE!  (no, not because of burning batiks)


And this is the quilt I have been trying to get done for a client:


Those sashings would be easier to do if the quilt was in a straight set, rather than offset rows.  I think I got it figured out so it is passable.  Not great, but ok.  Pretty colors huh?  Wonderful batiks and metallics in this one.


St. Mary’s City, Maryland

We went to Southern Maryland on our vacation….. back home for me. I have always loved St. Mary’s City. It is where I attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland for 2 years, graduating in 1980. My late husband, Bobby, was born and raised there. His family is there. His roots are there. And so are his ashes.

Steve, Neil and I went to spend the day in St. Mary’s County. Neil and I had not been back since Bobby’s funeral just over 8 years ago. Steve had never been there.

As you round the bend, driving south on 5, it hits you. The water. The river. The view. It is just as moving to me now as the first time I saw it. I would drive that road daily for years and never get tired of it. It feels like home every time I hit the curve. The river beckons. The river and I are old friends.

I have waded in this river. Swam and frolicked when my son was only 2. I canoed on this river, picking up artifacts, sharks’ teeth and shells from the river’s edge. I have partied here, laughed myself silly….. and cried lonesome tears.

This is Church Point…… where I have done all these things and more. And where Neil and I had our private, most meaninguful committal of a handful of Bobby’s ashes.


St. Mary’s City was the first capital of Maryland. It was settled in 1634 by those that came in boats named the Ark and the Dove. There is a wonderful living history program here. The archeology program here (I was a member of the Archeology field school the summer of 78 or 79) has expanded. They have made some awesome discoveries. I was especially impressed to see one of the 3 lead coffins I had read about in National Geographic.

The picture below is the State House. I used to do lots of homework sitting outside this door, on a bench, facing the river.


This is a replica of the Dove. It is seaworthy, and sails several times a year. Steve and Neil went aboard, I did not. (I have been on it many times before) It is docked exactly where the dock was for the house Bobby was born in. It is no exaggeration to say he grew up on the water. He was a waterman (fishing, crabbing and oystering) during his teen years.


Bobby’s first home was on the land you see behind the Dove in this shot. And his ashes are here in this water.


This is the river that calls my name…..


The river that calls me home.



While we were in VA, we went to Fredericksburg to tour some Civil War sites.  Gary (my first husband, and Neil’s Dad) was so generous to pick us up and take us on a tour of several places.  First he took us to Chatham Manor, the beautiful home of the Lacy family which was used  by Union troops  during the Civil War.

As you approach the house, you actually come to the back door through the back yard.  This is true of most houses that are on a river in tidewater Virginia and Maryland.  Is that true elsewhere?  I don’t know.  The “back yard” was stunning.  Much prettier than the “front” in my opinion.




The picture below is of a part of the front yard.  It has been way too long since I took an architecture class in college.  Help me out here Cinda…. whats this dome thing called?


I have always liked dormers on houses….. had to get a shot of them.


All three of us were fascinated by these trees.


Gary took us to the Confederate Cemetary too.  I thought my quilting readers would enjoy this photo, since the gate looks like a quilt design.


The cemetary was a moving experience to me.  I never knew anyone buried there.  I didnt have to.  The spirits of so many souls surrounded me….. I felt them.  Their history is OUR history.  I know them.  We all should know them.  They are our brothers and uncles and fathers and grandfathers.  They are our sons.  They lived before us.  And for us.   They fought for their families and their country….. for their freedom and for their beliefs.  They died before us.  They died for us.  And they live on through us.



On a quilty note….. today I burned the edges of batiks, painted and melted cellophane and used angelina for my online class.  JudyL asked where I was taking a class.  At Quilt University of course!  I have taken quite a few classes there, and only disliked one.  I think that’s a pretty good track record.  The classes are reasonably priced and I get to take them in my jammies.

Little Man and New Class

Finally! Here are some pictures of that cute little man in VA. William is certainly a cutie! Here I am, holding him on the front porch.

Grandma Gayle and William

And here is Steve, holding him too.

Steve and William

Neil, Elizabeth, William and Yvonne. All are Steelers Fans.

Neil, Yvonne, Elizabeth and William

And this picture of Elizabeth is one of my favorites. She was at the table with her Mom, making one of her “craps”…. a “scary bat” made of foam and beads. The look on her face is the one she (and her Dad and I too) makes when saying or thinking “but I dont wanna” or “I dont understand”… at the earliest point of frustration. I KNOW this look. I DO this look. I get this. Which is why I love it so much.

Eliz face

As for the rest of the trip, it was great.  We got to spend time with the beautiful family you see here, as well as do some tourist things.  We saw several Civil War sites in VA, Lee’s home, Washington’s home, and the Berry Farm that had goats to feed.  We took a trip to St Mary’s City, MD to see places I lived, where I went to college and to do a tour of the historic sites there.  On the way home we spent most the day and a night in Gettysburg.  We stopped at a round barn too, which was impressive.   I took several hundred pictures and will share more in the next several days…. and maybe weeks!

On a quilting note, I started a new online class this week.

Today I started my homework.  It is the first time I ever painted fabric.  This is just the start.  Doesnt look like much huh?  And probably wont be either.  This class  teaches how to use all kinds of STUFF that I have wondered about.

Painted with Setacolor transparent, Jacquard, and Lumiere paints.  I had only ever played with Setacolors, so this was a fun experiment.  This will hopefully be the “base” for a class project.

Here it is still wet.


And now it is dry.  I wondered if it would dry lighter, like wall paint, and it did.


Hope everyone had a great week while I was gone.

Nostalgic Trip and “Animal Farm”

Want to take a trip with me? Sorry, not enough room for all of you to go to Gettysburg and to Virginia to see my family…..

How about a little nostalgic trip down memory lane instead?

Back to 1967-68, Viet Nam era, time of peace, love, war, rocknroll. I was in 9th grade, freshman in HS.

HS English…… the one class that year that I liked. Mr. C. looked like a lifeguard….. young, cute, tan. very tan. very very tan. very very blond. very smart. very demanding in a quiet way.

We read. alot. dandelion wine. (just bought it today to re-read). lord of the flies. zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. catcher in the rye. to kill a mockingbird. animal farm. and more. lots more. probably 15 books. he made us earn our good grades. he challenged us. made us think, examine, think some more. made us read and write and speak and read some more. made us express why we thought what we did. and then questioned us more. what great training ground. what a great trainer he was.

he was the judge. we had a trial. raymond wilson, fellow classmate, was on trial for wearing white socks in a black sock society. how dare he. the only thing ray was guilty of was being smarter than the rest the class. a nerd, but a nice nerd. and way smart.

i was ray’s attorney. i remember how shocked he was that i volunteered to be his attorney. and that i talked to him. and wanted his input on strategy. and he was most shocked that i continued to talk to him after we won.

i hope the others remember that we won. hell, i hope ray remembers that we won. i will never forget. it was right. it was just. it mattered. i wonder if it ever mattered to ray as much as it did and does to me? i wonder where he is and what kind of nuclear physicist he is? or what he became?

mr. c wrote to me this week……. the power of the internet. he found my blog. the power of words. the power of art and photos and experiences. and a shared moment in time. the school year of 67-68. the power of time. the power of memories that never fade.

make sure you visit Chet Chylinski’s site. His art is powerful too:

and because art quilts are what i do and how i express myself, here is one in honor of that english class with chet…..

“Animal Farm” is a quilt I made for a contest titled A Novel Idea. It had to represent a novel you had read that had an impact on your life.




A New Experience

I am enjoying a new experience…… participating in a Secret Quilter exchange on the MQResource Forum. I have never had, nor been, a secret quilter before.

Today I got my first gift from my secret quilter. THANKS! It is a gift certificate from How thoughtful. And appropriate. And timely.

I start a quilt art class online Saturday and some of the supplies I had not been able to find elsewhere are at joggles. Yippee! I don’t really NEED any of the things I am ordering. But I sure do WANT them! This feels almost criminal……

sure hope my other secret quilter…… the one I send to….. feels the same way.

How do I distinguish between the two? The one I receive from and the one I send to? Is one number 1 and the other number 2? One is R for receiver and on is S for sender? hmmm, words are so darn complicated.

But these words arent…. THANKS!

and I’m going SHOPPING!

September 11

If I ask you where you were on 9/11, you will know. It is an event that is seared in our collective minds and souls. I look to the anniversary of this day with a sense of sadness, and yet also with great pride and joy.

You see, 9/11 is also the day Steve’s business was born. It is the day the Gammill Classic Plus (our longarm quilting machine) was delivered and set up. We were also trained that day. Well…. we tried. Steve tried. Our dealer tried. I mostly stood in front of the tv in shock and profound sadness. I can’t honestly remember a lot that I was supposed to have learned that day. I should have been so excited…. but I was not. Our world as we knew it, had stopped. Changed. In ways we could not grasp. It was too big to comprehend. Too awful. Too much. Too many lives. GONE. Too many citizens. Gone. For what? How could I learn how to run a longarm on THIS day? I couldn’t.

So as I reflect on the anniversary of that day, I am pleased to report that Steve and I have fared better than our government…. better than the world. His business is thriving. We have learned a ton of things about business, quilting, people, quilt shows, and most importantly….. about ourselves…. in the past 6 years. We have grown personally, professionally and together. Neither of us has regretted buying the Gammill at all.

6 years ago, I did not know that I was an artist. I didnt know that my true talents would come through quilting and art. I did not know I would share with others how I feel and think about my world thru quilted art. I did not know I could.

On that note…. let me share with you my art quilt that was in a special exhibit called “The Culture of My Country” last year and traveled to France, Houston, and Chicago.

“The Price”

The Price

The Price Close

The Price Close2

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