Monday, September 17, 2018


We went to Alexandria for the weekend. Andrew was throwing a "I've Turned 40/Come See My New House" party and all of the family went to participate.

Andrew's house was going to be full of siblings and cousins; Joe and I opted to stay at the nearby Holiday Inn.

The social event was on Saturday night and we decided to spend much of Saturday visiting the National Gallery of Art.

Joe especially loved the Calder mobile at the entrance.

We wandered around and saw many different exhibits and had lunch at the delightful cafeteria by the waterfall wall.

Here are some of the pictures I liked.

This was the ladies room:

This was the very best picture of all, but it wasn't at the museum!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Oaks Show 2018

As is our custom, Marsha and I went to the Mancuso show at Oaks today.

Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild had a dedicated section for our exhibited quilts which were juried by a Guild committee.

I submitted three quilts and two were chosen to be in the show.

This is Nine Patch. I simply fell in love with the colors and the fabrics and wanted to show them off. I couldn't think of a better way than a good old Nine Patch.

My local machinist, Mary Ellen Ruhling, did a wonderful job of quilting Nine Patch.

This is Prime Time, a fun quilt. I used a pattern by Colorwerks, but instead of the solid color screens on these televisions, I chose to feature programs that I have loved over the years.

Of course I had to include a test pattern (wonder if my kids have any idea what that might be!) and some "snow" that we used to get when those rabbit ear antennae weren't aligned properly.

Again, quilting by Mary Ellen Ruhling.

Our Guild banner.

This year we had a fun challenge. Each of us was given 5 F8s of bright fabric and a FQ of a pale gray. We were required to make something using all of those fabrics and nothing more.

I think there were perhaps 20 or 24 of these and all were on display at the show.

These are just a half dozen of them.

Which one do you think is mine?
I didn't do a lot of shopping. I picked up a yard of fabric I needed for a border on a quilt that just came home from the machinist, and I found three irresistible FQs, and that was all.

I took pictures of a few quilts that I especially liked. I didn't copy down the names of the artists.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

It's A Girl -- Times Two!

Two ladies.

Both work at the little school for children with autism.

Both named Stephanie.

Both expecting babies.

Both Girls.

Both due on October 5.

I've had such a good time this summer getting ready for these babies.

Steph T's baby gets dresses.

Steph G's baby gets embroideries.

I think my favorite quilts to make are for babies. It's fun to try out something new.

I make a baby quilt for each teacher's first baby. If she's having a second baby and the first one was before I worked here, she gets one, too.

As I've alluded, its a fertile place to work.
Here's a close up of my favorite among the embroideries.

Monday, September 03, 2018


My buddy Julie had this picture on her blog this morning. I got to thinking about my estrangement from a certain color.  I almost never put any orange in my quilts and on the rare occasion that I feel like I need a bit, I have to dig and dig or -- heavens! -- go to the LQS. There's no orange anywhere in my home, and none in my closet. The closest I can find is a seldom worn rust sweater. 

I guess an experience from many, many years ago had a greater impact than I realized!

When Joe and I were dating, way back in the winter of 1965 I do believe, I saw this ORANGE dress in a shop window and was smitten with it. It was BRIGHT orange, solid color, nubby texture fabric. Very plain A-line with long sleeves; they belled at the ends. The edges of the sleeves and the neckline were trimmed with velvet that exactly matched the orange of the dress. I was a gray and navy and cranberry sort of person back then (though in the summer I fancied Villager blouses in tiny distinctive Liberty-like floral prints with solid skirts), and the color of this dress was so not me. But I bought it anyway. 

The first time I wore it, Himself was astounded! He blurted out, “Never show orange in public!” And that phrase has become classic in our extended family, usually abbreviated to NSOIP.

I remained a gray and navy and cranberry person, though I wore that orange dress in public just enough to jeopardize our relationship. Then I discovered black. And black with brown or camel, a combination I still fancy. And I’ve never shown orange in public again.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

A Saturday Morning Outing

There's a new LQS in the area. Called Stitch Central, it is owned by two of our Guild members and it opened yesterday. It's not exactly in my part of Near Philadelphia, but the drive to get to it is only about fifteen minutes.  They don't seem to have a website yet, but here's a link to the FB page. 

Bonnie and I drove over yesterday morning to check it out.

Oh, my! It's just wonderful! There are three levels; the bottom one is a nice well-lit classroom. The main level has yarn and knitting needles and even some embroidery supplies. Upstairs is where most of the fabric is, and it's nice, well-curated fabric, all good brands, but definitely not the kind of thing you find in all the other shops. 

I needed the fixings to start a baby quilt. My daughter needs a special one for a gift and we decided on the type pictured here. It has to be gender-neutral. The baby is due in February.

Stitch Central yielded the perfect mix for me. The light solid is where I'll do the embroideries and the rest of the fabrics will be the other bricks. The binding, of course, will be the last thing and once the baby comes, we'll know which color (pink or blue) to use. I'm just delighted!

Saturday, September 01, 2018

John McCain, Good Bye

A long time ago, when I was in the midst of my training to become a hospital chaplain, I was called to be with a family that had decided to remove life support from their too-young daughter/sister/wife. The woman was in her late thirties, and when I arrived, her husband said to me, "We want you to help us give her back to God." I spent time with this family and listened as they told me about their beloved. We prayed together in thanksgiving for her life and for what she had meant to each of them. We asked God to comfort the family. We asked God to open his arms and welcome his daughter into his presence. We gave her back to God.

I thought that was a beautiful concept. We often hear the words "going home" used at the time of death for African-Americans. "Going home." "Give back to God."

For many years, I served my home church as an assisting minister. This often involved participating in funerals, either reading lessons or prayers. At the end of each service, the pastor and I would go to the pall-draped casket, put our hands on the top and read the commendation. I came to think of this as giving him or her back to God.

Today I was able to watch most of John McCain's funeral. It was a moving tribute to an extraordinary  man. I loved the eulogies, the music, and the pageantry of the National Cathedral. And at the very end, when it was time for the commendation, I watched with tears in my eyes as the Bishop and the Canon and the pastor put their hands on the casket and gave him back to God.