Inspiration From Atlanta, Georgia

Visiting my daughter for a week in Atlanta. She is attending Emory University, getting her RN, on her way to becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. She completed a year of midwifery training and working with mothers and families in El Paso, Texas at Maternidad La Luz Birth Center and School. An amazing experience, and she wants to work with a more inclusive body of people than might give birth at a center or at home. Black women and babies die at a much higher rate than other ethnicities, and she is learning how to make that discrepancy change. We experienced this with my son’s teacher’s wife and baby in “progressive” Berkeley California!! I was shocked that any mother dies in childbirth anymore, especially in a hospital!! And especially in the wealthiest country in the world! They gave her an experimental drug instead of the usual one.

I am inspired by my daughter’s determination!!!

On to the inspiration from the art at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. If I was as prolific a quilter as I know some of you are, I’d be showing you quilts! In the meantime, here are some patterns I saw, that might inspire you to make your own!!

First, here’s what I saw from the airplane. I often see quilts in all kinds of places!!

I think humans have learned all kinds of things from Nature!!!
On the way in to the gardens, metal sculptures up on the wall.
This is a permanent display of such breath taking beauty. Something like 29 tons, 17,000 individual plants. About 13 different plants. They trim it all once a week to keep the shape. The Garden Goddess.
I see a quilted smaller version of this magnificent dragon!!
Look at those patterns!!
Another stuffed, quilted young person’s delight? Here they are quilting with plants!!!

The following are the amazing plants I saw, all with such beautiful markings, colors….some day I hope to incorporate them into my quilts.!! You’ve seen some of these in houseplants. In the thankfully cooler greenhouses, it was exciting to see them growing naturally in their jungle-like displays.

Roots hanging from plants way up high.
I see a little person looking down at that amazing pattern spreading out!
Hearts with striking veins!!

And a couple outside in the gardens.

I love these delicate standing straight up flowers!
And these colors!! Pitcher plants.
The Phoenix rises!! As we all do from whatever life gives us.

I hope your summer is enjoyable, restful, exciting in good ways, and inspirational!!

Inspiring Speaker Denise Labadie With Her Stone Quilts

Wow! These quilts from a distance look just like a painting!! And up close they are quilts to get lost in. Denise spoke of the stones at these sacred sites (see her much more in-depth website speaking to her. I can relate to that! I love stones, rocks, formations, mountains. So I was deeply intrigued by her story of her journey through becoming a world renowned speaker, traveling to the places that inspired her to create these quilts. She also has archways, stone steps, many from monasteries, all in Ireland, but speaking and giving workshops all over the world.

Denise paints a lot of her fabric to get that variety of colors that many stones have. She’s also thankful for Stonehenge fabric!

Denise spoke about the way she “builds” the stone walls as though she is actually building them!
Close up of the arch. She does tiny quilting in between the stones to be the mortar, and highlighting the stones.
I was intrigued with how she got the edge of the shadowed arch to be so sharp, and contrasting.
Here’s a close-up of the floor in front of the arch. Check out her website for many different quilts!!
Look at the edges of those steps!! And the shadows that make them 3D! This quilt has a bottom edge that follows the steps (I couldn’t crop out the background behind this hanging quilt). She met the owner of this quilt when she picked it up to show at our meeting. She must have sold it over the internet.
Making stones look like stones!!
An early quilt with standing stones. Check out her many others at!

Denise also does workshops, one is coming up in Mendocino, CA in October. She lives in Colorado. Please go to her website to see other quilts, hear from her directly, perhaps get as inspired as I did with her very meaningful quilts!

The Finished Recycled Denim Social Justice Sewing Academy Quilt

Hi Folks! Sorry I have taken so long to grace you with a post! Been busy, my family has 3 birthdays in June, got very serious with a business program to bring my art out to the world more fully (and financially!).

Hope you all are having a great summer, keeping cool when the temps go up, finding water to get into if that’s your thing, and here in the Bay Area, sometimes for me it’s finding the sun! But this summer has mostly been sunny at some point during the day, not much cold fog.

Here’s the almost finished top, only the backing and binding to go. Quite the puzzle to put together with staggered angles!
And here it is hanging in the Panorama Framing shop at 3350 Grand Ave in Oakland, CA. They regularly have art on their gallery wall.
And here I am with my son!

There will be more Social Justice Sewing Academy art to come. Their quilts will be shown at the quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky in the spring. There are 2 now at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Students from Baltimore just completed a week here in Oakland in a summer program. Sara Trail who founded this program is a ball of energy, involved in so many things!!

I’m posting another inspiration in a separate post. On a different wave of creativity, yet still in a cultural realm.

Take care, stay cool, have fun, enjoy your summer!!

Another Social Justice Sewing Academy Community Creation

The Social Justice Sewing Academy is all about community! Students and adults create the quilts, then share them with the larger community. Often the quilts travel to shows and museums (see former Quilt Con post). One day not too far into the future they will be in the DeYoung Museum!!

I wish all students had the chance to voice their experiences, opinions, fears, anger, hurt and grief, desires, hope, knowledge and wisdom with the world. They have so much to say and share. The future will be theirs! I am grateful for all the adults listening to young people these days!

Here are photos of the quilts I and quite a few others were working on at the EBHQ community workshop on May 18, 2019. The students who work with SJSA made the squares, and us women cut strips, added borders, and created patterns from the pieces of fabric to surround the squares.

These are the 3 quilts we worked on that day:

A few of us worked on the denim pieces to be used in Quilt #3

Here’s a quilt to show us how we would be laying out the squares and working around them, an example of a quilt already made with Japanese fabric:

This one reminds me of a scene from a video on the protested meeting of the WTO, World Trade Organization in Seattle 1999 where it started out fairly peacefully. Young people were putting flowers in the rifles of the police. It turned extremely violent when the police in riot gear sprayed pepper spray into the protesters faces and eyes, arrested them, beat them, etc. But the meeting was shut down!! Hope in action. Creativity is so important these days when protests don’t have that same result necessarily. Gratitude to the young ones who through the ages have kept after justice!!!

Watch for an update as the quilt in denim becomes whole.

An Appreciation of a Compelling Talk by Roderick Kiracofe

I hadn’t heard of him before, and might not have gone to hear him if not for my role of running the raffle before East Bay Heritage Quilt Guild’s educational meetings which happen every last Monday of the month (except Memorial Day).

A delightful man, showing his collection of many southeastern rural quilts from the 1950’s to now. Not the usual primly perfectly (beautifully) points matching, patterns and quilting to admire with open mouths. But so interesting!! So humbly sewn together with what was available, including the double knit polyester from back in the 70’s, that looked like regular quilts from afar until you got up close to touch them. I was awestruck with these quilts and managed to get a few photos. But you can go to his website to see a few more. And I’m sorry for the less than accurate clear photos!!

The way he talked about the reds that he loves was endearing. He has a whole collection of quilts that depict red in them, so interesting how random it is!
Log cabin, courthouse steps, where they don’t match up necessarily but are compelling in the way they stand out and are mixed with plaids, stripes and other prints. He calls his collection unconventional and unexpected, sometimes ugly, edgy. I agree with all of it, but by the time he finished speaking with such affection and appreciation of the work of these women that he usually has to track down because there is no label on them, I was hooked and very appreciative of him!!
Again, so sorry for the lack of photo clarity! This was my favorite. The colors are so earthy and geological, it won my heart!
Here it is close up. A crazy quilt without the embellishments!
A pile of them together.
This was a quilt with only these boots in every square. Obviously very much loved by their owner or a gift to someone! Again I apologize for not having a photo of the whole queen or double size quilt!
Silk, corduroy, woven, knits, you name it, and it comes together!!
Up close.
All wool with a flannel back.
So fascinating how we can be creative!!!
Roderick told a story of two quilts that used this same pink, red and tan fabric so he thinks they were made by the same women. Or maybe in the same town or area?
This is the second quilt with same fabric. So cool that historians can name dates by what kind of fabric was used at what time in our history!
Close up of the cute penguin fabric!!!

So all in all, I have a new appreciation for my own work, for that of all aspects of the spectrum of human creativity!!!

May we not judge ourselves or each other for what we do or don’t do, as long as we are happy with creating that which we love!!!

More Quilts From the San Francisco Quilt Guild Show

Well, this has taken a long time to get back to you!! Sorry about that! How are all your projects going? I have been setting up an online store called Sewing Wishes at

I will be creating a page that we all can have our entrepreneur stores and websites on. This is the age of strutting out into the world of online experiences. Wow, what an experience it has been! I am not one to navigate technology. Right now I envy the young! And can’t wait to get back to the world of tactile fabric!!

Ok, here are some more of my favorite quilts:

Look below to see some close-ups of this quilt.
others liked this one also!!!
I apologize for cutting off the words. Not sure what they were, perhaps you can guess?
My son got various family members to go in with him on It’s a lot of fun to look at the history, where people came from and when. Even what accomplishments they had like writing “Jingle Bells” or being the sheriff of Nottingham before the age of Robin Hood!!
Another interpretation of the California fires in summer and fall 2018. A bit more hopeful with all the colors, than the other one with only red and gold (which is really what it felt like at the time, just burning, and I was only in the smoke for 2 weeks, not the fire!).
This photo doesn’t do justice to the experience of walking up towards this glowing quilt! It was so striking! The darker shades radiated! I didn’t even notice the olive until I saw the photo. Also, I didn’t take a close up photo (lots of people standing around discussing it and I was running late and out the door, grabbing photos as I went).
I was about to remark about what you can do with solid fabrics, when I looked up close and saw that some of the fabrics have very subtle patterns.
When they add on another sheet of paper for people to put their stickers on, you know it is well-liked!! And you can see a tiny bit of the patterned fabric.
Notice the small print in there at the end! You may have a chance at winning this gorgeous raffle quilt at the EBHQ quilt fair “Voices in Cloth” 2020!
I love recycling clothes into fabric or up-cycling into new clothes!

I love the stye of this jacket as much as the quilted embroidery on it!

Alright, that’s all folks!! Hope you enjoyed all these beautiful and creative quilts and clothes!! Back to work on bringing notions, embroidered patches, lace and feather collars, cute buttons, fabric to all who want and need them!!

Please let me know if you want me to add your store whether brick and mortar or online into the entrepreneur page on this blog!

San Francisco Quilt Guild quilt show March 2019

As usual, each quilt show I go to, I learn something, I get inspired, this time I spoke with a couple of artists who won honorable mention but I thought they should have gotten first prize! They were so proud of their jointly created and constructed quilt. They are artists in different ways, had rings on fingers so we deduced they are married. And they were so sweet talking with us, thanking us for the attention and appreciation. In the midst of hearing about their process, I didn’t get a close up of their AMAZING quilting patterns that changed in every small and large block. SOOOO beautiful! If anyone reading this has photos of that, please add them for this quilt.

Wish you could see the amazing quilting up close!
Robert and Stu
The back of their quilt!

These were also made collaboratively, by the guild members.

Made by 46 of the quilt guild members, this was their raffle quilt. Stunning illusionary weaving!!
8×8’s made by guild members since 2003! They just keep adding on with ties.

And then some of my favorites up close.

This one was way up high. I spoke with the woman who made it, about 10 years ago!!

This was the featured artist. I’ll let her write ups speak her stories.

Following my last post, I bring these images in because so many of us across this country, whether we speak out or not, have feelings about what’s been going on. I know that some of you may not agree with this. I’m sorry to step on anyone’s toes. But we all matter!! Our words matter. Our actions matter. Lives who are endangered every day just because of the color of their skin, the country they come from (as we each and everyone one of us has come at some point except the people who were here first, and those brought as slaves), the language they speak, the traditions they have brought, what gender or who they love. None of us should feel threatened as we go about our daily lives, going to school, to work, coming from ravaged countries to seek asylum, or speaking out (unless it’s threatening the lives of anyone, that isn’t free speech, it’s hate!).

After all, this is San Francisco!! And here’s a project that many people across this country and Mexico are joining in together.

So many words that truly matter!! America has not always been great for everyone!! And still isn’t for those threatened every day. And Immigrants have built this country since all of us come from immigrant ancestry except those whose shoulders this country was built on – people who were enslaved, and the Native peoples whose land we live on.

I love this thought! Can’t imagine not having stars, and I definitely have quilts on my bed!

As soon as I can, I will post more of the quilts. Here’s a last one today to bring us back to what I hope we all want!

So big love to all!!! Keep being inspired, speaking your truth, and quilt!! Or any type of art.

Grateful For Sun, Full Moon Spring Equinox, and More Rain

I hope that everyone who is reading this is safe, dry, warm or cool as it may be. SO much going on in our world!! May we all keep the best for EVERYONE in our minds and hearts, not just for some people. There are so many in struggle, pain, injustice, housing crisis, poor nutrition……

In trepidation of hurting anyone, I expose my heart and thoughts….

As we go towards 2020, let’s figure out how we can bring into being that which many of us aspire to in this country- freedom for all, basic needs met for each person, children kept with caring and loving adults, TRUE health care for prevention, medical care when necessary, people before profits. Guns in the hands of ONLY those who never plan to use them against anyone else, which means very strict laws which every other developed country has except ours, this includes police. Children to be safe in schools, people as they worship in temples, mosques and churches, and everywhere, as well as all people around the world. A president who treats women equally and respectfully, understands that everyone but Native and African Americans come from immigrant ancestors, that flooding, major hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires are directly as a result of Climate Chaos. That people who pick our food, build our houses, care for our children and elders must be particularly treated well in all areas of life.

These are my prayers and wishes, I know this doesn’t necessarily relate to quilting!! Sorry if you feel preached at. It’s just my heart is heavy, but hopeful for 2020!

So, in the meantime, while I do what has to be done in my own life, I love to walk in Nature, listen, smell, look at all the beauty around me, breathe that luscious air!! I wish that for everyone, to replenish with what has been given to those of us lucky to live close enough, and have access to this.

Here are some beautiful small quilts : 12 x 12’s they’re called. These are from a collection of Sue Arnold’s, shown at the EBHQ Quilt Show 2018. I don’t have the individual names of the quilters, I am very sorry for that. Also, I was taking photos around and in between people looking at them, so they are not all perfectly shown in their perfection! Will be doing much better in the future!!

And I add 2 of my 8 x 8’s that I put into library shows. All having to do with Nature in their own creative ways.

Most of these are obviously nature, I include this one as it was dyed (I’m pretty sure) with the plant indigo. I only learned about this amazing plant a few years ago, almost disease-free, drought tolerant, feeds the soil. A true asset in a garden.
I love the structure of this one, and could be one of this planet’s amazing and beautiful sunsets!!
After missing one of the blood lunar eclipses due to fog, I made this 8 x 8″ “quilt” for a library show.
A tribute to my late mother who loved nature and inspired this love in me! Some very meaningful items in here. Yellow ribbon from a slip from her aunt in Salem, Mass. Organza leftover from one of her bridesmaid’s dresses, growing out of the flowers that come up first each spring through the snow. Her time teaching in Hawaii hence the pineapple and plumeria, the birds she loved and taught us about.
A gift for my daughter welcoming her from the desert of El Paso Texas back to the Pacific Ocean that she loves.

I hope these art quilts have reminded you of your own, and/or inspired you to bring Nature into your art and into your life. Please share with us your own art that depicts your loves that keep you sane and happy through your lives!

Enjoy the rest of March and look for photos from the San Francisco Quilt Guild’s show.

Kits for Kids

I’m showing more quilts that might not be as exciting as some, but are in the tradition of using what we have to create something special. In this instance, for kids who need to feel special in their challenging lives. Children in hospitals who need to stay for a long time, or when they are going home after a long illness, children going to a new foster home, youth who are transitioning out of foster care at 18.

Here are kits that people pick up at a number of times and places, including at New Pieces store in Berkeley, as well as the EBHQ meetings last Monday evening of the month except July and December, drop-in sewing times at the Albany Methodist Church on Stannage at Marin Ave on 2nd Tuesdays and 3rd Saturdays. You do not have to be a member for any of this, but are asked to pay $5 for the meetings since we pay professional quilters for their time and travel.

People come to sort fabric into piles for others to design into quilts, or pick up a kit to piece everything together into a quilt top, or put all the layers together and make the whole quilt, or pick up a quilt that just needs to have the binding sewn on.

quilt and pillowcase kits serving children
A more modern style
The woman who quilted this one was so proud of herself, first time doing free motion, and still straight lines as well. She was able to practice on a quilt that doesn’t matter quite as much since this child will love getting it !
Fine to just put the squares together (with an exciting binding!) to get it done and to a child.
More traditional fabrics that create a soft feeling.
This one larger to go to the youth who is transitioning out of the foster care system, put out on their own to face a world without support unless they find the peers, the scarce support systems that are available, or maybe even further contact with a great family. Thank goodness for big hearts!!

Next will be reporting on the SF quilt show, or perhaps from my own library in between.

Have a great day all!!

Quiltcon happened!

Good Wednesday afternoon to you all.

Quiltcon is new to me, but many of you have followed it for years! I know you can go to the website to see some of the quilts, but thought I would highlight my favorites and the local to Bay Area quilters.

Local winners: in the Youth category, from Social Justice Sewing Academy

1st Place: Activist ABC’s
20” x 83”
By Bianca Mercado
Individual Member
Antioch, California
Quilted by Nancy Williams

The photo on the Quiltcon website doesn’t do it justice, and the measurements are for each panel, 20″ wide, and some longer than others as you can see in their photo.

I took videos of these panels and don’t yet know how to bring in videos. Sorry, still learning!! But please go to SJSAcademy website, the icon is the top one above Hello Stitch on the home page of the Portico, and you can click on that, go to their gallery. Activist ABC’s is at the top, you can see the whole thing and each block by clicking on the photos below the large photo. The volunteer embroiderers and quilters do an amazing job on the youth’s designs! It’s beautiful and inclusive of many people’s needs for justice.

The 2nd place youth winner is just as beautiful and meaningful, again by Social Justice Sewing Academy youth artist.

2nd Place: Exit Wound
55” x 60”
By Audrey Bernier
Individual Member
Antioch, California
Quilted by Nancy Williams

I’m sure it will come into their gallery soon, I don’t seem to be able to copy it, but you can go to quilt con’s website to see it. Since I can’t bring in the photo here, I trust that you’ll go looking for it!

Sherri Lynn Wood of Oakland, CA had a special exhibit. An artist who shares my values of recycle, upcycle, reuse of fabrics, etc. Check out her website

Next post will have photos I promise!!

Also, I’m working on bringing the pages back on this site. I want to highlight links to videos I have used in my sewing/quilting. Another page for entrepreneurs. Any requests?

Have a great day! Lisa