Saturday, September 23, 2023

Autumn in Southern California 09-23-23

The first  day  of autumn and there are quite a few plants blooming.  No autumn leaves here for at least another month or so. 

Mexican Bird of Paradise.

Crepe  Myrtle

Rose of Sharon  (a hibiscus)  with  a little caterpillar damage.


Kangaroo flower

Plumeria  (Frangipani)

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Friday, September 22, 2023

Friday Food 09-22-23

I rarely cook from scratch any more  and I frequently eat just one thing for dinner - broccoli, a baked  potato, watermelon, salad, chicken  thigh.  Sometimes frozen meals - mac & cheese, meatballs (I like TJoe's cocktail meatballs).  Occasionally I  go out to dinner, alone or with friends, when  I usually  choose a fish meal. Infrequently I will cook fish at home - salmon, scallops, shrimp - but I don't do it well, so I leave it to the professionals!   These are all  at restaurants EXCEPT the sushi was made by  Nancy Ota and the Indian meal came  from the parents of the boys I drive to school once a week.

Seared Ahi with veggies.


Salmon Salad

Shrimp on a skewer


Poke Bowl

India - Tilapia, rice, green beans, vegetable stew

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Monday, September 18, 2023

Strange Sky 09-18-23

I don't know how many people live in areas where  missile  launches  can  be seen.  Here in  SCalifornia  we are treated to views of launches from  Vandenberg  Air Force base up the coast near Lompoc, CA.   This one was Thursday, Sep 14th, at about  7:15pm,  just as  the  sun set.   KoKo  and I  were  on  our evening walk so we had a good view.  I have  seen a number of launches over the years,  the  first was sometime in  the late 1970s and, like many first timers I  couldn't figure out what was happening.   It is like a crack in the sky.  This is  the first time I  have seen the missile continuing after it  has left the contrail behind.  

See it at the top left - it was visible for an amazing  amount of  time.

Up and up with a sort of cone shaped "mist" following it. 

Meanwhile the contrail lingers and twists.  I suppose the wind moves it.  
It is so high in the air that the sun has completely disappeared around the planet. 

The longer it lingers the more distortion happens. 

And it finally starts to disperse, leaving wisps in the  night  sky. 

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More 12X12 quilts in the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection 8 09-17-23

The SAQA auction continues with the quilts in section one on offer at $750 starting on Monday 09-18-23.  The price goes down each day.

Here are four more 12X12 quilts that I added to the Collection in years past.  I think the first two are so interesting in their similarity since they were made by two different artists in different years, on opposite sides of the world and using different techniques.They have nice balance and values.  They hang nicely together.

"Breaking Through"  Polly Bech - Pennsylvania    2008
Cotton fabrics and threads.
Bleaching with leaves and grasses, machine applique and piecing, hand stitching. 

"Cloncurry Flinders Grass" - Sue Dennis  - Australia   2007
Cotton fabrics, thread.  Stamping  with leaves and grasses, machine applique, machine quilting.  Bleaching with leaves and grasses, machine applique and piecing, hand stitching. 

"Blue Bird of Happiness"   Deb MacKay- California   2014  12X12
Commercial cotton fabric and thread.
Fusing, machine applique, machine quilting, overcast binding. faced back.
In the corners Deb has used Sue Benner's technique of knotting all the threads from the machine overcast binding.

"Possibilities"  Deborah Boschert - Texas  2009  12X12
Cotton fabrics, paper, beads, sequins, cotton embroidery floss.
Fusing, machine and hand stitching, stamping.

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Friday, September 15, 2023

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

12X12 Quilts in Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection 7 09-13-23

The annual Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) annual fund raiser starts tomorrow, September 4, 2023.  There are almost 400 12"X12" quilts in  a reverse auction where the price drops every day.  Go to to find out how the auction works.  Go to  to view  all the quilts, they are listed by maker's last name.  

For the last month of so I have been posting on my blog, images of the pieces I have successfully bid on in years past.  Go to , look in the right sidebar and click on12X12.  The TCQC has over a hundred 12X12s from SAQA and other auctions, but I have just posted about 30 or so in this series.  This last post below are all bird quilts, which are my favorite subject.  
"Two Geese"  Els Vereycken  - Belgium  2011  12X12
The background appears to be a hand dye.  The geese are different white fabrics - bottom one is satin, the middle one is a sheer and the top goose is fine twill.   They are all machine appliqued using both straight stitch  and machine buttonhole,   Machine quilted.

 "In the Thicket"  Sonia Grasvik - Seattle, WA  2012  11.75" x 11.75"    Hand dyed and commercial cottons, silk thread, fabric ink pens.  Machine pieced, FMQ.
The lines on the left are narrow strips of fabric, fold and stitched into the seam.   The twigs on the right are satin stitch.   The bird is machine applique.

"From Above  - Crows"  K. Velis Turan - 2007   12X12

Cotton fabrics, cotton and rayon threads.  Dyed/painted, beads, metal embellishments.  Pieced border.
I especially admire the border - two similar sides and two wildly different sides.  The crows are applied by machine stitches.  

"Tillamook Rooster"  Terry Grant - Oregon  2009  12X12
Commercial cottons, Machine applique, Machine quilting. 

"Fish Dinner"   Sheila Gaquin - Washington   2018  12X12 

Commercial cottons.  Machine applique, Machine quilted. 

And a great back!

Although I usually choose realistic images, sometimes there are a few 
"original" birds that appeal.  Here are a couple "Wild Birds".

" Nite Song"  Nanette Fleischman   2009  12X12

An offset log cabin with a fantasy bird,
Commercial cottons, machine piecing and applique, machine  quilting.

"Taking a Break"  Lynn Welsch - New Mexico   2012  12X12
Such a happy, colorful quilt. Commercial cotton fabrics.  Machine appliqued and quilted.  I met Lynn in a Sue Benner workshop.  Such a nice person with a whimsical sense and good technical skills.

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