Archives for December 2015

Forging Ahead with a Smile

In 2016,
may your hand always be stretched out in friendship
and never in need.



As this year draws to a close, I continue to wind up assorted projects and plan for some new ones. This past week I finished the quilt for Quilts Beyond Borders that I had started last month.  Here is a view of finished piece:



I also have committed myself to two new classes for the start of the year. I mentioned Karen Ruanne’s Patched Pockets last week. I have added Elizabeth Barton’s Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers which also starts in January. I know from my last class with Elizabeth that her lessons are chock full of information. I am hoping that some will be review and that I will learn some new hints that will make dyeing seem less like a major project and something that I will be willing to play with on a more regular basis. It is only a five week course and two dear web friends will be in it, so I am really looking forward to it.

With two online classes planned, it remains to be seen how much additional fiber work I will get done. I have one stitching project relating to Paris that is in process. I also hope to tackle a new art quilt based upon this photo that I took from our front window.


The trees will be a challenge – I hope to create a layered abstract effect so you may see a lot of experimentation amidst my reports on my online studies.

I hope you will be joining me on my journey through 2016. It is bound to be an adventure and I appreciate your companionship!

Time flies….

The holiday season certainly makes the time fly by! I returned from my trip to the East Coast just over a week ago and immediately got into holiday preparations and a quick drive over to Seattle. The trip back East was extremely busy. I packed up about 10 boxes of household items to ship out to Spokane. They have all arrived safely and our second house feels more and more like a home. While I was in NYC, I did manage to visit a few places in the garment district and couldn’t resist picking up some additional fabrics.

These will work wonderfully in my hand stitching projects:

Elegant white cottons


And, this piece of cotton fabric from Japan may just show up in some of my art quilts as well!

Japanese cotton print

For now, it found its first application in a piece that I have been stitching for the past month for the end table by my bed in our new home.


Despite all the chaos of the past few weeks, I have been steadily working on projects and the piece for my nightstand is now complete:

bedside table cover

While home in Victor, I also stopped in my favorite antique mall to see if there were any new finds. I am taking another stitching class with Karen Ruane in January called Patched Pockets.  A theme in the class involves using vintage hankies. I think these will work nicely in the class:

Vintage hankies

Amidst all this activity, I have been gradually developing a plan for the new year but am not quite ready to commit it to print! Perhaps by next week!

Wishing the best for everyone in this holiday season!

Snow covered pines

View from my studio today



On the road again!

I am a pilgrim and a traveler
And I love the journey like I love my home.

Ellen Stapenhorst

I am heading back East this week. I have had the luxury of staying fairly put this fall as we settled into our new second home. But, life calls and it time to be back on the road again. It brought to mind a song by a dear friend of mine, Ellen Stapenhorst, called Traveler. If you would like to hear it, please visit Ellen’s website. She has an audio clip of the song on the front page. All of Ellen’s music is inspirational so I think you might find the trip over to her site worth your time.

As I head out, my studio and my head feel a bit at loose ends. Ever been there? Here is a sampling of the many directions I am being pulled in:

  • I have ideas for at least one new art quilt that I am exploring but finding the right fabrics, the right techniques is taking time. Great reminder that we can’t have everything NOW!
  • I also have another quilt in process for Quilts Beyond Borders using some cheery fabric that was sent to me. It is farther along than the photo below, actually ready for quilting, but unfortunately my Bernina 830 jammed and I had to bring it in for service.  I depend on my 830 for quilting so the pinned quilt is lying over in a corner in a roll waiting the return of my machine. A great lesson in letting go and being okay with leaving the studio with a goal not met.
  • Playing with techniques for the new art quilt took me back to playing with those Tsukineko inks again. It didn’t pan out for the art quilt, in fact I thought the results were pretty disappointing……until I heat set my samples. I now have some beautiful small pink silk squares that I know I can cut up and use in my hand stitching projects! A good lesson is just keep trying, just keep trying – what looks like a disappointment is actually just an opportunity to create material for a yet-to-be-designed project.
    pink silk
  • And then there is the whole realm of handstitching! A small project for our new home has been floating around in my studio too with progress slowly happening. In addition, I have been following Karen Ruanne‘s Sampling for Stitch class for the past two months. I haven’t been actually making any sample pages – the purpose of the class. Instead I have just been listening to the videos and taking in the information. I know I will use it in future works. That is what I love about Karen’s classes – it is fine to participate at any level that works for you at the moment.  Looking ahead a bit, I will start 2016 by enrolling and participating in Karen’s new class, Patched Pockets.  And, thinking of that new class, I decided it might be nice to complete some of the pockets from the previous class on pockets with Karen. So, I did spend some time this week completing one.

Which brings me to the end of this bit of a ramble post. If it sounds like I am dashing off in varied directions, it is because I am – both mentally and physically! If you would like to follow my adventures while I return to the East Coast with a stop in NYC, I will be posting on Instagram under the name judywar.

Finally, I would like to offer you one more source of inspiration for your own journey. I follow the blog of Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventures. This week she has a beautifully written post, Why I am Giving My Family Nothing for Christmas. Just like Ellen’s song, it is worth your time to check it out. I am not suggesting you return all those gifts you may have been collecting for the holidays, but her thoughts are a wonderful reminder of what really is important in our journeys.