Friday, November 21, 2008


Lo and behold, the foot control on my trusty Bernina 910 went out two nights ago. My machine is now out of commission and as you can imagine, I am not happy.
The first quest was for another pedal that we could just change cords on with the help of our amazing electronics guy, Gilberto. Tom went to the local Singer dealer (the name of his shop is CASA CONTENTA) and bought a new pedal for 250 pesos (about $20). For 30 pesos, Gilberto changed the wires and Tom returned home with my new hope. Wrong! I plugged it in and nothing happened! (We hope Gilberto can replace the original wires and we can get our money back!)
Now my quest went to the internet. I first wrote to my friend Janice in Mount Vernon, WA, who manages the Humane Society Thrift Shop and she takes home every machine that comes in for her husband to refurbish, and along with that activity, she has shelves full of parts. Janice, can you help me?
Next I called the wonderful Bernina repair man, Kevin, at Huckleberry's Fabrics in Comox, B.C. His advice was to get some super glue and secure the broken part. He warned me that a new one would run about $300, and $5 in glue couldn't hurt. Unfortunately, I already knew that my foot pedal needed more than glue.
Then to google dealers etc., and with this I found out that I needed a specific model of foot pedal: 347 or 367. Onto e-bay and I found a dealer selling those for $249! Please Janice, I hope you have one.
Out of the blue, I googled "Bernina dealers in Mexico" and up came a site for the Ajijic (near Guadalajra) Quilt Guild. I wrote to the email address with questions etc. and was happily greeted this morning with a letter from Marianne telling me about 2 contacts in the country. Plus, I have become acquainted with a fellow quilter and now know that there also is a Guild in Mexico City! I also shared with Marianne that my friend Anne from Mazatlan just moved to Ajijic so of course I am planning to visit there AND connect with new quilting friends.
Sometimes problems have the most interesting outcomes!
Now a letter from Janice has arrived and she is in Minnesota, but she will check on her return. Be patient Maria!
In the meantime, I am doing all the other things I love to do that don't require a machine. I just bought a new 3 set DVD from Dharma titled "Learn How to Tie-Dye". I finished the video set last night and found Tom and Martine to be great teachers. I learned new tips for my own dyeing and now know how to make a beautiful mandala. This morning I prepped 4 pieces, soaked them in soda ash and now they are air drying to be dyed in a few days.
I'll dye up some linen napkins this afternoon, and move on to some hand sewing later, but my quest for my Bernina 910 foot pedal continues.
Anyone have a spare one hanging around?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Our southbound migration is now complete and we have arrived in our winter's nest.
Mazatlan. Beautiful Mazatlan.
The sparkling water greets us with each lap at the shoreline.
The doorways and arches of the resident architecture beckon us to enter.
The swaying palms wave us closer with a rhythm that says "slow down".
Our friends, neighbors and local vendors call out their welcoming words:
"hola", "bienvenidos", "great to see you", "estoy feliz a verte".
The banners and flags announce the pulse of the city: fiesta, dance, love, family, happiness despite adversity, music, food, celebration.
Mazatlan. Beautiful Mazatlan.
We are welcomed by your spirit.
We are welcomed by your beauty.
We are welcomed by your people.Add Image

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My blogging history has rusted over the fall - first up north with intermittent power for my computer, then with transitions and travel, and now with cleaning and organizing for another season here in Mazatlan. My studio is now up and running, thanks to Tom for the fresh paint job, and a bit of elbow grease to wash away a summer's worth of dust and grime. It feels great and I am planning new projects and fun classes. More later on that!
In Mexico, the Day of the Dead (Nov. 2nd) is a special day to remember those who have passed before us. I made the piece above for a "south of the border" theme in my quilt journal group. I love seeing the beautiful tile work here and often times it will change to an oddball color here and there. My stitched and discharged skeletons represent my sister, Ginny, my parents, Mary and Arturo, friends Patty, Larry, and Ernie.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


On the road...
Blogging and displaying and showing off my wares have not been on my priority list these days…these days of packing and lists and finishing up a pile of projects that I slowly but surely add to my red, wheeling, quilt travel bag. Now, all packed up and on the road, we are hanging out for a few days in Mount Vernon, Washington, before flying off for our winter in Mazatlan. There I have a full winter ahead, of displays and workshops and reconnecting with friends and fellow fabric nuts, and savoring the culture and people I have come to love so much. And of course there’s that language practice, an elementary practice on my part, but nevertheless, a significant part of my Mexican life that certainly does wonders for stretching my brain. Ouch!

For November’s Webwalk, it’s most fitting to highlight some of these projects I’ve been working so hard on this past month. After taking Pamela Allen’s class, I was moved to push my work into more of the compositional realm, and happily finished 2 of the 4 pieces I began at the workshop(below and above).
I am trying to stretch myself to try new free motion patterns, mostly in a closed shape which allows me to use discharging or dyeing within these shapes and patterns. I’ll still use stippling, but I’m trying to keep it as the last option on my list. Beyond Pamela’s inspiration, I have been on a discharge kick by creating totes which you’ll see below. Then to blend the two methods (discharging and composition), I began making fiber spirit masks which are a terrific combination of the skills I have been playing with.
Where am I heading now? My ideas flow toward more compositional work with a Mexican theme, hopes to find a project for my Mexican sewing ladies to embrace beyond their current lines (increasing those options), and being open to all that comes my way…
It’s exciting. Almost as exciting as the emotions I have on this election day in the U.S.. I believe we may be on the brink of mending our colorful quilt of tattered American hopes and dreams. At least I am hopeful.