It’s a Girl?

A group within our Bee Modern San Francisco quilt group are exploring the creation of social issue quilts. Not knowing where to begin for our first attempt, we agreed to use “women” as a first theme for us each to explore. The only parameter was to make it 36″ square.

I discussed the concept with my daughter who came up with the idea of creating a quilt using the female chromosome kareotype. We wanted it to be scientifically correct and searched on the web and found this image for the pattern.


The result was this quilt which I titled “Its a Girl!”


This was posted on Facebook by a member of our group. Two sharp eyed people noted something was wrong – there are 24 pairs here and humans only have 23. I couldn’t figure out how we got it so wrong! This week one friend researched it and said he thinks our image was of a female – CHIMPANZEE. Oh well…Haven’t decided whether to redo it. Here are what the other creations our group made.

Joan- on human trafficking and sexual slavery

Joan- on human trafficking and sexual slavery

Holly's-on abortion rights and safe access to women's health

Holly’s-on abortion rights and safe access to women’s health

Diane's -supporting girls in math and science

Diane’s -supporting girls in math and science







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Green Scrappy Quilts



This is from my wall of green scrappy “made fabric” from a few months ago. This was the ongoing -and apparently unending- task of trying to use up all my scraps for a useful purpose. I got pretty far on using a large portion of green tiny bits and came up with the idea to make a traditional Double Wedding Ring pattern as a companion piece to the star below, which I made last year. I like the contrast of the orderly traditional block pattern with the chaos of the green scrappy made-fabric. Both are around 36-42″ square.



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Filed under Half Square Triangles, HST, made fabric, modern quilting, Quilt, quilting, Scrap Quilts

Julian’s Jeans

Quilt in progress made from the outgrown jeans of my son.

Quilt in progress made from the outgrown jeans and pants of my son.

Inspired by the tiny log cabin strip piecing of Completely Cauchy, I woke up a few weeks ago to start on this. While not the beautiful silk fabrics she uses, I challenged myself to make this from the vast cache of old denim I have on hand. Each of the strips in the center are cut at 1″, and finish at 1/2″.  This is about 40″+ square so far and I hope to grow it to a twin sized quilt. I’m not sure how I will quilt it – It’s very heavy so far!

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Waltz Across Texas

I just came back from a whirlwind business trip waltzing across Texas. It involved driving over 600 miles from Dallas, Austin, San Antonio to Houston in just 5 days. Having grown up in Houston and being a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, I always love getting back to visit my state, family and friends, even when it’s well over 100 degrees in each location!

A very special treat was the chance for a quick side visit to the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas (home of the infamous Chicken Ranch which was the inspiration for the Broadway musical, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and also the ZZ Top song, but I digress…)

It was definitely worth the side trip – I’m so glad I went! The Texas Quilt Museum is in a beautifully renovated 1890’s building with three lovely gallery spaces.  The entry gallery features 21 of the Ruby Jubilee red-and-white quilts that were previously on display in 2014 to celebrate the 40th – or “ruby”- anniversary of the International Quilt Festival.  Another gallery featured “Animal Instincts” by Annie Helmericks-Louder.

But I was especially excited to see the third exhibit: On the Fringe: Innovative Art Quilts from California and Nevada that features 20 art quilts by members of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). Even better, that my Bee Modern San Francisco quilting buddy, Cathy Miranker‘s quilt “Sorta Sonia” was on display at the exhibit!  The docent let me take a few photos because I told her I knew Cathy and was pointing it out to everyone there (photos are not allowed by the TQM – but the willing docent took the photos for me – I was legal, promise!)


Me with Sorta Sonia by Cathy Miranker

Me with “Sorta Sonia” by Cathy Miranker


Gallery space of SAQA exhibit


Next door there is also a fabulous quilt and knitting store, The Quilted Skein, with a very large selection of gorgeous fabrics – things I have only seen together online. I was told that those who are both knitters and quilters have a hard time deciding where to focus!  Knitting on the right hand side of the store, quilting on the left. Both look great!

Make a trip to visit the Texas Quilt Museum if you are between Austin and Houston – worth the trip!




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Using up my pile of green scraps!

Using up my pile of green scraps!

And pink and white and yellow scraps, too!

And pink and white and yellow scraps, too.

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Filed under made fabric, modern quilting, Scrap Quilts


As a young college grad, I traveled around Europe with two girlfriends and we made the trek to West Berlin.  The Cold War was still in in full throttle and the Berlin Wall divided the city. I remember our Berlin visit vividly: climbing the perches alongside the Wall and viewing the coiled barbed wire and no-mans-land; seeing an East German officer on the other side simultaneously looking back at us through raised binoculars; walking by the famous Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate on the other side of the wall; and the nighttime return train trip through darkened East Germany –  floodlights flashing underneath the train to watch for possible escapees trying to ride the underbelly of the train to the West. Watching “The Wall” come down in 1989 was a joy to behold.  I’ve always wanted to return.

Two years ago our family had the opportunity to visit Prague and were able to make a side trip to Berlin.  I was spellbound by what has happened since reunification – such a vibrant city, in touch with its past and building towards the future.  One of the places to which I returned was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.  The original church was damaged in a 1943 bombing, and the spire has been left unfinished as a WWII memorial.  The church has a beautiful stained glass window that captivated me with the large expanse of cobalt blue contemporary stained glass. The glass, designed by Gabriel Loire, was inspired by the colors of the glass in Chartres Cathedral.

Since that trip I’ve wanted to create a stained glass quilt inspired by Berlin.  I started by creating this pillow using stack and slash techniques while piecing it together with sashing that was just under 3/4″. While I had always intended on making a bed sized quilt, this was a more time consuming process that I’d planned!  I think I’ll stop at this creation for now.  I’m very pleased at how it came out and love that both sides retain a modern feel.

Berlin Stained Glass Pillow -Front

Berlin Stained Glass Pillow -back


Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Berlin

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Filed under Berlin, modern quilting, Pillows, Quilt, quilting, Uncategorized