Monday, May 28, 2012


Gardening, boating, hiking, and general mucking around are the definers for what I wear each day in Refuge Cove. It all boils down to my favorite pair of jeans, those well-worn, easy fit, perfectly frayed jeans. And what should happen during an on-my-knees weeding fest last week? That’s right, a blow out, a left knee blow out. Coincidentally it also happened that Tom’s jeans had a similar problem, so I set to work patching. My first step was to open up the legs to get a nice flat surface to work on, then apply a piece of jean fabric to the back, securing it with a wide zig-zag. On the front side, I free-motioned over the rip and continued with loops and swirls to bond the fabrics together. With mine I got fancy, also securing the other knee which hadn’t given way yet, but was showing sure signs of splitting. They truly are my favorite jeans now!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


The loose threads in my life get tangled this time of the year, and the older I get, it seems the more snarly they are. The last six weeks were spent leaving Mexico, resting (not for long) in Oregon, and immersing ourselves in preparations and shopping for our summer in Refuge Cove. We make our lists and check them twice (my list includes food, fabric and fishing gear!), and try to rein in all those loose ends so we appear together and organized for the next stage of our life.

So what’s been happening in my gypsy quilter life? A highlight in our last few weeks in Mazatlan came at a spontaneous moment with our “sewing ladies”. As a season good-by, my good friend Bev and I decided to take the ladies out for a “shop” tour and luncheon. The focus was to check out a local gift shop (Casa Etnika) that features wonderful and unique items, many handmade or hand-sewn throughout various parts of Mexico. We would check out the hand-sewn products that might give them creative ideas of their own.

But prior to our touring of Casa Etnika, we took an impromptu tour of the Angela Peralta Theater, Mazatlan’s premier performing arts center that frequently features opera, tango, orchestra, modern dance, etc. We walked into the empty theater (except for a few members of the local modern dance company up near the stage), and wondrously wandered toward the front. Suddenly someone had the brilliant idea of sending our two illustrious sewers AND singers up on the empty stage where they could sing to us. And so they did. It was a breathtaking event – seeing and hearing Ceci and Lola send their voices through the magnificent concert hall. Timid at first, they soon filled with confidence and power. They were on cloud 9 and so were we. I’ll never forget the experience of witnessing these simple women performing in the spotlight.

I continued with my twice a week dyeing groups right up to the end of my Mazatlan season. What a great group of dyers joined me this year!

My friend Linda is writing a book about a young woman who is "the queen of the elephant riders". She faithfully came to my studio every week to produce fabric for her cover piece. This is just in the rough stages, and I can't wait to see the finished product...and read her book!

Who should knock on my door one evening but a face out of the past...Shannon came to work in my studio about three years ago and wanted to show me what she'd been doing. She and her husband live on their sailboat and travel the waters between here and there, and now she is an amazing, free-spirited quilter. She had four art quilts, carefully rolled and carried in her backback, to show me. I was thrilled to see her and her work!
Just last night I received an email from my friend Rosemary who frequents my dye sessions in Mazatlan. She wanted to show me the quilts she made from her dyed creations. Aren’t these colors fantastic?!

Midst our full and busy five weeks in Jacksonville, Oregon, I taught three classes within the local ASG (American Sewing Guild) membership: two in dyeing and one in discharging. These came as a natural continuation of my weekly groups in Mazatlan, and all I had to do was borrow a tubful of dyeing paraphernalia from Christine (gracias, amiga!). In preparation for my BC summer, I finished two quilts to be displayed at Quadra Island’s Quilt and Garden Tour (June 23-24) which will also include a site that will host my quilt journal group (Cyber Fibres). I have 13 little quilts to add to this collaborative display.  
Our last week in Oregon was spent in driving to Redding, California for a family birthday party for Tom, and a rescue-mission to put a decrepit 13’ 1962 Mobile Scout travel trailer back on the road and in our possession. It now lives in the “back 40” of our mobile home park and awaits renovation. I can’t wait to dye up a few curtains and cushions for this “tin can” wonder.

It was a lovely ferry ride back to BC for our summer at Refuge Cove. Along the way we were able to spend some time with friends in Anacortes, Now back in our half-time Canadian home, I instantly feel my loose ends dissolving.