Saturday, April 26, 2008


What a time I had at Empty Spools Seminars! I'm afraid I couldn't decide what class to take this year, so in a fit of something, I took two!

Sally Collins, the master of precision was fantastic. Such a gracious teacher and so many techniques that will help any piecer, even if you don't want to do the tiny stuff.

We started with drafting and making perfect little templates. Then we made a mock up of one arm of the feathered star we wanted to make. With the mirror, we could then see the finished product, which was great incentive to forge ahead.

I always love a challenge, and I also love tiny little things.

So, of course I wanted to know how big the finished 1/2 square triangles were in Sally's block you see above. they finish at 1/4 inch. OK, i'm going to try it.

Here is my mock up. And guess what.. I'm i the middle of moving and i can't find the one I made in class! I know it's here somewhere... But it's smaller than a potholder!

The feathers do finish at 1/4 inch and the center is a fussy-cut octagon,the tips of the feathers are fussy cut, too. I just loved sewing the tiny pieces. It was a great challenge. I'l have to get back in the right zone to finish it. I don't think that will happen til after my move.'s 1 Am and I am officially tired. Ta-ta for now

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

But first, a message from our sponsors

This is the inspiration for the Nike Swoosh. Just under her right hand and wing is the infamous symbol. This is a piece of stone frieze in Ephesus, Turkey. A lot of work and excavation have happened since I was in high school and here with my family.

Now this is funny. Ancient advertising on the main road. If you look closely, (Click on it to make it larger)you can see a lovely lady in the lower right, a left foot and just up and to the left of the foot, a small heart (in small 'dots") This is telling visitors that up ahead and to the left, one can find a little company should one be in a lonely mood. Reminds me of that old musical "Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum".

Nothing like a real Greek salad, Spanikopita, and a Mythos beer while sitting in the middle of the Plaka in Athens. This is my mom. Her mom was born in Greece, and came to California as a young child. We were lucky enough to go back to Greece with Grandma and 2 of her sibs, to the village they came from in 1973. It was a real National Geographic experience, and sometime when I can scan some old pics, would be a great post.

Cool Border, huh? I'd like to try this one. This was very near the tomb of St John near Ephesus.

That's it from Turkey and Greece.

Next up, quilting!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm Baaack......

Well, what was meant to be a two-three week hiatus turned into months! There was a trip to Europe, a long weekend at Alex Anderson's quilt retreat in California, and in the last month, two sessions at Asilomar. Believe me, this is about all the vacation I'll be having for a long while! In between and since there has been a whole lot of busy at work!

For starters, I went with my mom and four other couples (the oldest family friends) on a two week cruise in and out of Rome, through Greece, Istanbul, Yalta, and Odessa. It was a great trip with a rocky start. Mom and I flew Seattle to London and there we stood....all day and into the evening. Flight was cancelled to Rome, slept overnight on a bench at Heathrow, and eventually got to Rome with no luggage. Had to go shopping for on the boat with a shopping bag and the clothes we'd put on 3 days earlier in Seattle.

This is Mykonos. I was in this same spot with my Greek grandmother 34 years ago.

Hey! A Quilt Motif!

Pretty kitty on Rhodes

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

In Yalta, Ukraine

The Summer palace of the Tsar

I read Nicholas and Alexandra in Jr High. It was so amazing to be in the palace that they loved so much.

Such history in this very place. The famous meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin also happened here. This is the courtyard where the picture was taken.

Check out the suit!! There were wedding parties all over.

Back in Turkey...Check out the fine print...

This is a carpet. I loved the colors and pattern.

Anyway, it was a fabulous trip. The travelogue is over now. I promise to share my quilting adventures tomorrow.

Ciao for now


Thursday, September 27, 2007

About Those Shoes....

The shoes on my header are about 4-5 years old and I wear them "sparingly"...I don't think I could ever find another pair. When my oldest daughter was in Italy for her junior year (Gonzaga in Florence)she told me she had found me the perfect pair of shoes. The shoe store was across the street from the Spanish Steps in Rome. There was one pair of the aforementioned perfect shoes. My size. Red. It doesn't get any better than that! The pic is our train leaving Florence to come back home, leaving Carolyn to finish the rest of her glorious adventure in Italy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Well, I got started again last night on Lazy Gal Tonya's class assignment. Decided to start on the middle and be inspired by it for some more words. Looked all over the house for the fusible stuff, knew I had it somewhere. It was a lot of fun building the little picture and adding some details. I love doing wonky stars and this one was done with freezer paper. I do want to try some asterisk spiders next. The moon is a yo-yo with fused eyes and mouth. The house/ chimney hasn't been sewn to background or sewn together, it's all just pinned up.

"Did you knock?"

I guess I can say that I've been a needle-turn applique snob. I've always enjoyed the process of all the work, and the fusing just seemed like cheating. Maybe that all goes back, too, to the old cheesy fusible stuff, including those old patches that used to go on the holey knees of our pants when we were kids. But I had a blast last night. This stuff is really fun.

The Babel fish (Hitch-hiker's guide reference, anybody?) by Hedgehog reminded me of a project I wanted to start years ago and now I know how I can do it! thanks! Now don't get grossed out, but as an everyday pediatrician I wallow in booger-talk. I had been collecting the translation for booger from any of my patients who spoke another tongue...Greek, Norwegian, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, French. This would be a great wall hanging for my office but I wouldn't put the English in. They could assume it said something like welcome, or some such thing and if they asked.....well... Now I just have to find that old list. I think it might have gotten lost when we did the office remodel. So, if anyone knows how to say Booger in their native tongue, let me know, I'll start a new list and a new class project! How about Finnish, Jen?

Today's my day off. I think there will be a lot of sewing going on.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My name is Kathy and I've lived in Seattle most of my 52 years. I'm a pediatrician, violinist, quilter and big baseball fan (go Mariners!). I was in California for college at Stanford, a total blast. Then back home to the U of Washington for medical school and residency. It was close..The rest of my family are professional musicians, but I didn't have the guts for the I went into a 'low-stress' profession.....and play string quartets on the side with my Seattle Symphony cellist sister and her symphony friends.

Anyway, I've got three great kids. Carolyn is 25, budding Kindergarten teacher at her old grade school. She was born during my third year in medical school. Emily and Chris just turned 22, finishing up school. They were born at the end of my second year of residency. Too busy to actually go to the doctor, I didn't find out there were two of them until I was 7 months pregnant...oops! Carolyn had been telling us that she wanted two babies...Really!!!...what did she know that we didn't?

I volunteer at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Seattle has one of the big five ballet companies in the country. My son danced in the school well into high school. One thing led to another and I wound up as a gopher in wardrobe/costume department. Just being able to fondle that glorious fabric, see the attention to detail and construction, and help with the repairs, alterations etc. is so much fun and a real contrast to my"day job". I've also gotten to be an extra in Swan Lake and in the cool to play dress-up like that!

So, about the quilting thing. I've been sewing as long as I can remember. Lots of time in casts, or after operations growing up, with really bad club feet, I developed a patience for handwork. I think my first little quilt was made when I was about 8. I started a Cathedral Windows with my grandma when I was in 9th grade. Boy, are there ever some great old vintage fabrics in that one!! My high school graduation present from my parents was a Singer Featherweight my mom found in a thrift store for $35. It's a little workhorse...right here next to me.

I love precision piecing...(there's a pretty good triple feathered star {not finished, of course}), but the trifecta of discovering Tonya's blog last year, the Freddy Moran/Gwen Marston book, and seeing MaryLou Wiedeman and her whimsical stuff had me wanting to stretch outside my box... I have been sewing almost everyday this summer. Thanks to crappy Seattle summer weather, and the fact that I really hate to garden and cook... so what's left? The kids are gone, and it's me, the dogs, and my sewing machine...

P.S. This is Annie.....

Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Inspirations...KathyDB in Seattle

Pokey me...I know what I love, but verbalizing it it another thing. The first quilt I thought of was 'Little Cities' by Kathy York. I stumbled upon it when I first found these things called quilting blogs. I think this is my all time favorite.
I like whimsical, and quilts that suprise me but not cutsey, and definitely not country. I like symmetry and the contrast of black with brights. I love the simplicity of a double or triple Irish chain, and currently my favorite block is the off-set pinwheel around the small central square.
I'm learning to love scrappy... I get too obsessive with where each scrap should go which kind of defeats the purpose, I guess. I'm much happier if there is a constant in the scrappy ones. For example, in the pineapple blossoms that I made my son, there was one tone-on tone cream for all the squares/triangles and scrappy for the bars. If I had to put everything in a bag, and sew what I pulled out, it would probably make me very unsettled.

Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston's quilts were here at the La Conner Quilt Museum last spring. It was so fabulous to see these things up close, and boy, did I recognize a lot of the fabrics in my stash. So I guess you could say that I have a lot of brights and polka-dots. There are also plenty of French-ish fabrics, stripes/florals and Provence-type, too.

I love the wonky stuff, Tonya's houses and I'm a big fan of the Halloween stuff. too.

Oh, Yeah..and Cinco de Mayo by Karen Stone. I want to do one of those some day.
Also love tiny little stuff...See my finger next to the star on the Moran Marston? That's for me! These are all off the web, or pictures I took at the local quilt show.. The only one of mine up here is the little house (part of a quilt that will hang in one of my exam of the perks of being a office is definitely not stuffy!)

Well, what do you know, when I make a quilt they are usually symmetric traditional patterns, and when I pick out my favorites they are all crazy. I must be repressed, or something. Or, come to think of it, most everything I have ever made was a gift, I have kept very few things. Maybe that's the difference....