I'mmm Back!!

 I'm testing this to see if Id like to return to it - if you're a subscriber: " hi there" I'm still quilting and am getting back to it. I'm kinda excited about what I'm doing,  plans for the future,  reconnecting building new community. 
When I was a kid my Mother used to ask me "What did you do for Sharing and Caring?" this was shorthand for "How did you share your blessings Today? What did you do to impact another in a positive way TODAY?" I was raised to be a blessing to others everyday,  and seek to provide comfort to those who suffered. every. single. day. Still today, I find my greatest joy in Acts of Service. For the last couple of decades I have given freely, without much thought of to who or how I was giving.
Caring and Sharing is something I work at and review everyday. It was also some sort of insurance my mom was building into me, a resume of Good Deeds and Happy Outcomes that I could look at when I was low or when I was being attacked.  A place to ground myself.

My Mother did it as well, I remember her buying a new tire for someone who had just got a new job.  He took the bus the first few days,  hoping with his first paycheck he could buy a tire and drive his motorcycle.  He was going to every one he knew asking for help, he barely had money for bus fare and the stress of it all was eating him alive. so much anxiety.  Resources were scarce back then, we lived in a 700sqft apt and it would have been generous to call us Poor. But my mom went down to local service station, struck a deal, and paid for a tire.  She helped him get over the hump and it made a real difference in his life.  Only 3 other people knew what she did, her partner at the Service Station, the person who got the tire, and me. Now,  I tell people about it all the time, its my "tell", its what I tell people to distract them when asking me questions about what I just did. I tell them she's my motivation, my example.  Then I tell them how important partners are and I carefully shift focus to the recipient. Isn't it great? Now he'll be able to get to work and he is such a hard worker, any employer would be lucky to have him. He's great!  Mom was great at it, I'm not as good. 

A few years ago, I became very ill and will most likely not recover completely. Ever. Its taken some getting used to.   My husband was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that was manageable in midlife, but has deepened and changed with age. We needed better management tools.  He also retired. And my Mother has moved to Memory Care. and the Election happened. Seriously, I have never felt so alone as I have these last couple of years.
 I have also felt "Unknown".  Because I don't toot my own horn, people don't see what I'm doing and some of my "partners" are motivated to keep credit for themselves or minimize my contributions.  Not only have people assumed I'm an idiot who doesn't understand what shes doing but some find joy in making fun of me to my face. I have retreated and ceded space to them as a response. Spaces I helped build.  I'm in the process of fixing this.

I have new goals. Quilting is still my creative outlet and I'll be working to create an inclusive, sustainable, non consumer model for building quilts and community. It will based on creative expression, skills practice and networking.  Hopefully,  it will feed into a non-profit that sends/supports women in completing higher education or wealth building.  All the deets aren't clear yet but I'm confident in my skills, my resume is rich with positive outcomes and I've already been budget building for a couple years.

So, if that's not of interest to you  unsubscribe and move along. bubye.  I hope you'll choose to stay but only, if you can show me compassion and empathy about my chronic condition. If you want to join with me or merely watch, stay. tell your friends.  be nice.
 I won't be asking for money, I might sell stuff but I wont be trying to sell it to you. I want support and encouragement. I want good ideas and good humor. caring and sharing.  "show and tells" instead of "show and sells"
So this test blog post is done. I'll be changing the name of the blog and I'm sure I'll update the look.
stay tuned! love you

Hello How you doin?

I haven't blogged in a long time.  I didn't feel like I had anything to say or I may have had things to say, I mean who doesn't? But I may not have felt like writing it down.  I've continued to quilt and be busy with fiber, and think I may have something to write about next year.
 Let's overview the last year shall we? In the last part of 2014 I spent 11 days in the Hospital and    spent most of 2015 recovering my energy and stamina.  Everybody has their own "Box of Rocks" and  I kinda feel like I've spent this last year trying to beat my Rocks into gravel, trying to my make my troubles smaller and more manageable.
Don't get me wrong, its been pretty awesome. Many of my friends really stepped up and provided so much support. I was kinda forced to take time for me,  the last few years I've been helping my elderly mother, and I liked it. I took classes, taught classes, took sewing trips, and even went to Quilt Con 2015.  I even took my Trunk Show on the road and spoke at a couple Guilds.
I taught a bunch of classes and made a bunch of quilts. I dined, I danced, I laughed out loud. I even bought a swim suit. Details aren't that relevant, I feel somewhat renewed and although I have a ton of work still left to do to get my health back where it should be, I'm up for the challenge.
Lots of people blog for profit, from the topics, to the links and even the fabric used, all are set up to make money, or were gifted or sponsored.  Most people who blog for fun or as an open sort of diary have pretty much quit, Instagram is so much easier. Lately, I have found IG  limiting in some ways and decided I may start blogging again.
I'm not in marketing or trying to generate buzz to sell product or patterns, I'm not judging those who do, its just not what I'm doing.  What I do is leverage my artistic skills to make Utility Quilts. I'll be writing about me and what I'm making.  I expect this next year to be productive.  So mostly it will be about the finishes and maybe a bit of Process thrown in but I would expect the majority of that to be over on Instagram.  Join me over there to comment and watch the day to day action.

Above is  my quilt The Dishes Can Wait, it won 2nd in the Applique Category at Quilt Con 2015. The photo above is from the Premier issue of Simply Modern, I was pretty excited. It was one of 4 quilts accepted into the show.


Check this Out!

I didn't make this quilt, but I quilted it, but I don't think it qualifies me as a cover girl. yet. But it's as close as I'm likely to get this month. My friend Michelle over at DesignCampPDX  designed this row along for Gen Q.  And she asked me to quilt it. Find directions and links on her site.
photo 4.JPG 
I free hand quilt on a frame and do not use digital tools. I mark very little and rarely use rulers.
 I usually make a very simple written plan and then just "go for it".   In this case,  each color was assigned a "theme" or "stitch concept" and then I just kinda winged it.

photo 2.JPG

I love Feathers. Love them! They aren't right for every quilt, I wish they were, but I felt with the Carnival theme I was "working" they were just right.
photo 3.JPG 

I love quilting! I'm super grateful to my quilty friends. 
If your interested in getting my posts delivered to your mail box, there is a subscription button up at the top, and if you want to peek at my "goings on" follow me on Instagram.
Quilters Rock!

Where I've been, What I've been doing

 I've been away from the blog for a long time. 

I quilted some quilts
For the guild, some charity quilts
For my friend Michelle, her quilt for Gen Q
For myself,  this one for Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show


and this one for me
here is a detail of the quilting.  This quilt is 4 years in the making, spawned 3 or 4 quilts in its wake and im thrilled its finished and it may get its own post. because I love it so. 

I taught some classes

I sewed some pretty together in an effort to get some more "pretty" in proper focus.
 So. Now your all caught up (mostly) I need to write some "Finish" posts,  update the the pages and add a section on doing longarming but I'm really working like crazy getting caught up and now just isnt the time for posting. Its Summer. 

 Quilters Rock!

If you really want to see what's happening in my studio follow me on instagram

Modern Butterfly A Goal Realized

I'm published in  Generation Q! Squee!  
Long ago I made samples for Connecting Threads. I was thrilled.  I was being paid to make. How awesome is that I ask you?  I was a professional with the W-2 to prove it. woot!
 It was a great experience and I will always be grateful for all I learned. really and truly. 
they picked the fabric, the design and I just followed a pattern.  
Many magazines do the same thing, ask you to make something with a certain fabric or change elements. etc. 

After a while, my skills grew and my interest in  creating my own work became more of a priority.  
So I set a new GOAL: Make my own work and get it published.  
 This is quilt is kinda the start of a whole Mid Century Modern Series that I'm probably about mid way thru. I'm making with these Mid Century shapes that speak to a different cooler age. Its kind of like a quilty art history intensive for one. 
How its made:  Pieced.  This could made in about 2 hours if you just cut shapes out and fused them on whole cloth.  ( I could do a whole a monologue about how much I hate fusing, don"t get me started. I hate it. I've done it. still hate it.)  If that's your thing: go for it.

If you want to see what is happening in my studio and see sneak peeks of what I'm working on check out my Instagram feed.  OR Subscribe to my blog and my finishes will come straight to your mailbox.
If you live Local in Portland, Oregon  I'll be doing a trunk show and talking about my process at the next Modern Club Meeting at The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego on March 26th.  Social time starts at 5:30 and the meeting 6:00 - 8:00.  

Tonight I went to Hand Sew Happy Hour, 2 hours to sit and hang with friends I rarely see. I got to see Ale for her birthday and meet her sweet daughter (the inspiration for her online name GoldWillow) and sit with Michelle and catch up. An afternoon well spent.  
Today is Pi day.  Hope you get to have a slice. 
Quilters Rock, 

I'm a Hexin' Beast!!

Well, here it is my first finish for 2014. Its been about 4 years in the making. It's been waiting for me to grow my skills and decide how I wanted to communicate.

  About 4 years ago I started Hexing.The woman who taught me, her work looked terrible so I needed to figure it out. I didn't want the stitches to show in the front and I wanted to be able to take the papers out, but leave the basting in for more shape while in the "being made" stage.  I got a hole punch and punched all my papers, then I basted on the back side only. In the "Joining" stage I ladder stitched with the WRONG sides together. When I open them up, the stitches are covered and I've sewn the back edges together not the front edges.

I opted to make "Lumps". When I think about my Grandmother, I don't think of a silver haired Granny, baking cookies and wearing an apron. In the 30's, she was a pants wearing, art school attending, super athletic dynamo.  She was so cool! She traveled everywhere, she was in Cuba in 1969. She had a bright red floating fireplace in her living room. She made jewelery. She worked at a job, with her own office.  I used to look thru her phone book when I was young, looking to see who was in there.  I'm not sure why, but one day I discovered the home number of Bob Hope. 
So when I look at Grandmother Flower Garden quilts, with their sweet wholesome girlish charm, I don't see my Maxine. I mean, how cool a name is that? After I made a bunch of lumps, I kinda knew I wanted to make a quilt that spoke to those GMFG quilts. Something about my own Grandmother.
 It's always been sitting back in my mind. "Maxine's Quilt" Maxine's Quilt" 
This last summer I figured it out. I made a hex top. A low volume, whole and pieced , hex by machine top.

 Then I just machine appliqued the lumps on the top before quilting the background.

Above you can see I used a kind of flower pattern that also looks very topographical. You can also see that I've sewn around the edge of the lump but not in the middle around each hex. Are you thinking this is a problem? I am and I don't have a solve for it at this point in the process.  So....

After it comes off the quilter, I really have to come to grips with the the fact that this won't wash well.
I don't like the puff of the hexes, its uneven and where the lumps are 3 rows thick, I don't think it will wear well.
Having a Bernina is kinda awesome. I have a 440QE and I love it.  I have a Binder that I bind all my quilts with and a ruffler for making clothes. Nothing - but NOTHING- buttonholes like a Bernina. There is a sweet foot that will hold a button and then a stitch that sews a button to the garment.  Below you can see the "in progress" shot.


I put 1, 2, or 3 button stitches in each hex. I really like how it turned out. I feel like it will wash well, I like the "cracker" quality to the hexes that the tacking provides and the tactile quality to the different quilting treatments meets my goal.  The back is a solid pale yellow flannel I had in my stash. the very last piece.  It may have taken 4 years but I'm in no hurry.  It's a WIP off my list and a finish worthy of being this years first.

Quilters Rock!

Twizzle your Buds on the Insta Face

Well, I've been living life and before I know it, time gets away from me. I can't believe how long it's been since I posted, but here I am.
I've been curating the Monthly Quilt Show at Modern Domestic as well as teaching. I still check in on My Elder daily and keep my hubs clean and fed. the rest of the time I'm free to sew. 
 When I looked at the blog, I thought it needed a bit of housekeeping so ....
I  created a Blog Page for Some of my Quilts, the most recent ones from the last couple of years.

I  added an InstaGram Button, if you want to see my charming dog, fabrics,  studio shots, and work in progress that's the place to find me these days.  Please follow me there.
 I'm a pretty boy #deiterdiaz 

 I also added a Subscribe by Email button. I post mostly major finishes, so if you want to stay informed please think about subscribing.  I've signed at least one release lately, so there will be exciting ( to me at least) news coming.

84 x 104 super huge #DSQuilts #denyseschmidt scrap quilt top completed. I'm not a completist so I don't own a complete line of anything - I used a lots of different lines. This is for my bed.

A set on fickr HERE of my quilts up to 2012 will let you see my past work all in one handy location.
I'm having a grand time sewing with friends and creating work I'm proud of.  How's your new year going?
as always- Quilters Rock!