Images, Thoughts, and Updates February 2016

February was a good month. It has felt strange weather wise—we haven’t gotten any snow! Our neighborhood roads are sheets of ice.

Maria Shell Image Journal February 2016You really do need glacier style cleats for walking on this stuff. These are Kahtoola MICROspikes, and they are worth every penny.

Images, Thoughts, and Updates February 2016
Or you can just slide.

thumb_IMG_2384_1024I remember returning to Kansas in the winter and thinking how ugly everything looked—dead, dormant, and exposed. Up here, we get nice blankets of white fluffy stuff to cover up that all sleeping vegetation. Like this. My favorite winter photo of the year.

Images, Thoughts, and Updates  January 2016Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case the last few winters. On NPR the other day, they said this year’s winter temperatures were a full seven degrees higher than normal.

I finished my 4th knitting project ever. It is called a Churchmouse Yarns and Teas Welted Cowl. I used Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight in the color 522 Blue. In hindsight, I wish I had made the longer infinity loop version, but I do like the color.

thumb_IMG_0773_1024I turned my first heel and I am on the verge of the second one. I am predicting a pair of socks by the end of the spring break.

thumb_IMG_1018_1024Our AK SAQA meeting was entertaining and informative as usual. You can get the full story on the AK SAQA Blog. As a little teaser, here is great totally up-cycled piece made by SAQAS member Gail Ramsay.

thumb_IMG_0920_1024I got this sweet piece of art for birthday from my friend Tamara. Thank you Tamara! You can see more of Geninne’s work here.

thumb_IMG_0985_1024I spent a week in California which was fabulous. The weather was balmy and the adventures were special. First stop was QuiltCon. I spent four action packed days meeting with other quilters, seeing amazing quilts, and being truly inspired by lectures. I learned a lot. Here are a few of my favorite Modern Quilt Guild Charity Quilts.

I hope to write a bit more about QuiltCon West in a separate post, but I promise not to take as far as last year….

And of course Molly Upton’s work and the lecture about her art by Pamela Weeks were worth the price of admission. I wrote about this experience here.

IMG_1577 (1)From there I traveled to the Campbell, California to lecture and teach for the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association. I am new to being a traveling teacher, and if all the guilds are like SCVQA I think I am really going to love my job. They were kind, smart,generous, and best of all, fantastic students.

thumb_IMG_2036_1024On Monday evening, I gave a lecture called 15 Years of Patchwork. Right before the trip, I found a long missing notebook filled with discs of old photos. This was such good timing as I could then use the images in the talk! It was a trip down memory lane—especially the snow of Valdez.

114-1442_IMGAnd the raffle quilts I made. I think I will have to share all those images in an other post, but here is a favorite. I self-drafted these feathered stars and created the alternative grid lay out for them. If you have sighted this quilt, please let me know. I would love to know where it is.

thumb_119-2000_IMG_1024I taught a two day version of Abstraction of Place and the first thing I  learned is that I need a new name for this class! It is now called Abstraction through Color, Pattern, and Repetition. My students were amazing,  and the pieces they generated during our time together was awe inspiring. They really worked it.


On the way home my connecting flight out of Los Angeles was cancelled, and I spent the night in LAX. I have spent the night in many an airport over the years, but never one that was under construction! This was my sleeping quarters for the night. As you can imagine, it was NOISY.

But I made it home in time to see son number one perform in his school’s Mr. Congeniality contest. It is a spoof on beauty pageants and was totally worth sleeping on the floor for. He is second from the left standing with glasses and a thoughtful pose.

IMG_0878 (00000002)

I am still wearing only clothing I have made, and I doing an OKAY job of documenting things. That is really the hardest part. I had to do some hotel selfies while traveling.

thumb_IMG_2200_1024I have been posting daily on Instagram. If you are into that sort of thing, you can find me here. And if you want the full scoop on the clothing I am wearing including the patterns and fabrics used you can mosey on over to my website where I am trying to document that. I’ve got two weeks fully documented and, well, I’m working on it. The best part is that I really like wearing my own clothes. The worst part is that I have to prep myself everyday for a photo.

I signed a contract to teach at the Valdez Quilt Festival September 8-11, 2016. For those of you in the lower 48, this is a great opportunity to see a bit of Alaska  AND study with me. Your husband can even go fishing while you quilt!


February was good. Now, I am ready for some spring break knitting. What are your March plans and don’t tell you are going to watch basketball.

This entry was published on March 2, 2016 at 5:03 PM. It’s filed under Image Journal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Images, Thoughts, and Updates February 2016

  1. on said:

    I have enjoyed all your comments and especially appreciate the mitt pattern you sent me some time ago. Now I find out that you make your own clothes. I must say that I like everything that you suggested. I did a Craftsy Class with Katherine and Marcy Tilton on sewing with knits. It was a great class, and their suggestions for making alterations to the patterns very worthwhile. Making the adjustments suggested resulted in a perfect fit top. I notice that you mentioned BareKnits. I was tempted to try the fabric. Do you find that it holds up well and sews well? Does it come in a variety of weights? I was looking for knits for tops as well as pants.

    I had to forward your message to my friends. Those who like to walk on ice and use cleats. I live in Michigan. This winter has been mild, but we know a lot about ice and snow. Actually I prefer it to the hot sun. I must have adapted to my environment.

    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Wow! You have not been idle! I have some ice add ons a bit like yours (Yak Trax) but not quite as serious. Here in Dunedin NZ we do get ice but the main problem is that we are set on hills and so it can get very tricky to walk
    Love the clothes- impressive!

  3. Thank you for linking back to your earlier post on Molly Upton. A well deserved tribute!

  4. debby on said:

    I love these newsy posts. Your feathered star quilt is amazing. I have made ONE feathered star block in my life, and I think that was enough!

    Walking on ice? I’m not so sure about that, even with the special cleats. But I do love your beautiful snow picture!

  5. We enjoyed your lecture and workshop at SCVQA. Thanks for sharing your insight and skills so generously.

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