Posts Tagged ‘Evelyn Judson’

Object Lesson

November 11, 2010

There are times when I realize my life isn’t about me, it’s about being a valuable object lesson for others. Today is one of those times.

My friend Evelyn Judson is visiting. Some of you may remember her quilt Storm at Sea in Quilters Newsletter Magazine (Aug-Sept 2009). Evelyn is a fabulous quilter, and an organized one. She actually finishes quilts in a timely fashion, and her studio is usually tidy. I told her that I had been writing about cleaning my sewing room for a year now, and she admitted to me that when her studio gets out of sorts she motivates herself to clean by telling herself that her space is starting to look like my space. She knew I would take the revelation in the proper spirit – and she also reassured me that I am making good progress in my quest to organize my work area.

However, even after a year of hard work there is still a long way to go, so instead of showing you my stuff I’m going to show you Evelyn’s. In case you missed that issue of QNM, here is her Storm at Sea:

This quilt was seven years in the piecing (by machine) and two years in the quilting (by hand). It is amazingly complex and subtle. Here is a detail:

The quilt is also huge – king-size at least. Here is Evelyn with something not-so-huge:

This is a journal quilt from her trip to the Virgin Islands. It is a detail of a turpentine tree, a beautiful coppery plant that she will revisit in a larger work in the future. The piece was created so she could experiment with blending colors of paint sticks.

Evelyn’s work is always stunning, both her traditional pieces and her art pieces (if you get a chance, visit her website at She has great technique and color sense, and she is a very good teacher.

She is also a good friend. I value her advice, and treasure her compliments, about my quilting. So I don’t mind being an object lesson – better pick up now or your sewing room will get as messy as Lani’s – because she was truly impressed with the progress I’ve made. It’s enough to keep me going for another year battling clutter.

A Schedule Derailed

September 29, 2010

This wasn’t going to be my most productive week in the sewing room. I pulled out boxes of fabric and knew they would take more time to organize than I had. Deadlines for other projects sat on the calendar, glaring at me. My to-do list ran to three pages.

You’re waiting for the punchline, I know you are. There isn’t one.

There is, however, good news to share which has nothing to do with my sewing room. My friend Ann Anastasio is co-producing a quilt retreat next May. It is called Art Quilt Santa Fe, and will be held at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino (near Santa Fe, New Mexico), May 1-6, 2011. The featured teachers will be Michelle Jackson and Linda Schmidt.

Ann Anastasio was my first quilt teacher, my first friend when I moved across country for my husband’s job, and still a good friend even though she moved half-way across the country for her husband’s job. Organizing a quilt retreat has been a dream of hers for years, and I couldn’t be happier that she and another friend have finally achieved their goal.

The website for the retreat is There are links to the teachers’ websites, as well as to Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre (, which will be performing at a gala banquet during the retreat. Broken Dishes is Ann and me.

Broken Dishes was my dream come true. When I’m not quiltiing I write stories, and I had always wanted to perform as well. Ann suggested we entertain at guilds, and with another quilter friend, Evelyn Judson, we started singing, dancing and telling stories about quilts. Evelyn then moved (also for her husband’s job), but Ann and I kept performing.

Many of my finished quilts were created for Broken Dishes programs or workshops. The chances of my finishing anything skyrocket if I have a deadline, and there’s nothing like planning to show off your work in front of other talented quilters to keep you moving forward! Here are some of my favorites:

The Birthday Button Cake

The Guilt Quilt

Plate Tectonics

So, my cleaning schedule got derailed, but life is still good. Next week, I hope to make more progress in the sewing room. Who knows, someday I might even get that room organized – then I can start on my writing area.

In my writing cave

When you can’t let go

July 28, 2010

My projects were coming along, so in between cutting fabric for one quilt and clearing off the remains of another, I looked around again at things in the sewing room that I can live without. This turned out to be less of a good idea than you might think.

When the kids went off to college, my husband made them clean their rooms. Not that I hadn’t tried for many years to get them to clean their rooms. My best year was when they were addicted to Power Rangers and they had to make sure beds were made and floors were tidy before they could watch TV. We lost ground after they developed taste. In any event, while cleaning their rooms they discovered all sorts of things they could live without.

I discovered that I couldn’t, so I rescued them. First on the list was Godzilla.

I used this little guy as a model when I put a fire-breathing Godzilla on a quilt for Evelyn Judson’s Progressive Party project. She had a tame little cityscape quilt that she wanted spiced up. By the time I got it, it already had King Kong, so of course Godzilla was the next logical step. Evelyn loved the quilt, so how could I let go of the toy that has such wonderful memories? I snatched it from the give-away box and now it lives on my shelf.

The kids’ stuffed toys also pulled at my heartstrings. I did end up letting them give away most of their Beanie Babies. I saved a couple of the cute ones, but those are in boxes, waiting for the kids to have homes of their own (as opposed to apartments for which we cosign). The bigger toys, however, practically begged me to reconsider. This shark, for instance.

How could I say no to that face? So, it’s on the shelf, too, next to the stuffed toys my husband bought me when the kids were born so I wouldn’t appropriate the ones people gave them.

The last toy I found belonged to my husband.

It’s one of those perpetual motion things. I bought it for his desk, but now there’s no room for it. He was ready to give it away, or even throw it away, but I was not. I might be able to give it away now if I knew it was going to a good home, but so far I haven’t found one, so there it sits, on the shelf with all the rest of the stuff I can’t let go.

As for me, I gave up trying to clean and went back to the fabric. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be less sentimental.