Category Archives: photography


Life is much different from the days when there were lilies in my mother’s garden, and all my secrets fit into a paper cup.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither lily2It is really hot here in the Great Basin.  Three consecutive days of 105 degrees.  This is really unusual for June.  All the more excuse to head to the basement and sew!  The day lilies are out in full bloom all over the valley.

lily1This is a piece that I completed in 2005 and is my interpretation of day lilies.lily3The piece us machine appliqued and hand quilted.


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Summer in the Great Basin

“The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil’s fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.”
Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl


The Yucca have come into bloom in the high desert.  They defy the usual image of a dry, brown summer that one often thinks of in the desert.  The blooms are beautiful, white and lily-like.

yucca1The spiky  leaves become a beautiful and fresh green.

Here is my interpretation of the yucca.

yuccaSize: 30×30

machine appliqued, hand quilted

Completed 2002

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Our Creative Country

“Keep music and art alive in our schools because the greatness of a country is not measured by wars that are won, by territory annexed or even the size of a deficit. It is measured by the beauty of the art work by talented hands, the sounds of the music created from the heart and by the wonder of the eyes and ears beholding them in joy. Art and music are the windows of the soul of any country. The greater the art created, the greater the country.”
Clarrissa Lee Moon

I’ve had the privilege over the last month to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  We truly live in a great and beautiful country.  I was also reminded by all the beautiful people that I met that what we have and live is so much more than just the headlines were see everyday.  The musicians and artists I spend time with and the works of art all over are country are not to be trifled with.

atlantic 2 atlantic 1Atlantic Ocean at Virginia Beach,  Rullee Inlet

kiteI had the opportunity to visit “Thimble Pleasure Quilt Shop” in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  What a light infused beautiful open quilt shop.  It was a pleasure and thrill to spend a couple of hours wandering their shop.  I was introduced to a quilter that I was not familiar with but fell immediately in love with – Sue McLean or  What she does with modernistic design and color is amazing.  We were also able to visit the Weaver street Market which had wonderful natural food.

Then it was on across the country to the Pacific.  Sunset at La Jolla Cove

PacificLa Jolla Beachpacific 3During the Pacific trip, I got to visit the UCSD campus and see some of the great art that they have assembed on that campus.  This is the “Fallen Star” house that is built on top of one of the engineering buildings on campus.

Fallen StarThis shot taken from near the Theodore Geisel library, which is an artpiece in its own right.fallen star 2The house as viewed from the 12th floor.fallenstar3

We need to not forget the art  and artists all across this country that make our country so much richer to live in!

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Magical Realism and quilting

snow2The Wasatch mountains are shrouded in clouds this morning.  There are 8-10 inches of new show in the valley.  The sun shines through the clouds and makes the world look magical and clean and pure.  If only we could spread our magic fairy dust around the world today….snow1Yesterday I attended a performance of a relatively new opera “Florencia en el Amazonas” by Daniel Catan.  The theme of the story was described as “magical realism” and compared to the authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende.  In fact the plot of the story was loosely based on the Marquez work “Love in the Time of Cholera”.  Essentially it is the blending of the real and the spiritual into a common form.  It reminded me a a quilt that I completed earlier.

magical realismThe center wreath is comprised of 1 1/2 in.  pieces selectively pieced from a large floral print.  The large floral print is featured in machine applique in the corners of the piece.  Hence, the magical realism – – creating something else from a “real” image.

Size: 30×30

Finished 2007

machine pieced, machine appliqued, hand quilted

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Window Boxes

It’s snowing today – and snowing and snowing.  12 inches so far and its not supposed to stop until tomorrow.  We could accumulate several more inches.  The snow is wonderful for all the skiers, it’s not so good to try to get to the grocery store!

SnowThe snow is even accumulating on the fence which is waiting for the peas this spring.

How better to stay warm and  think of spring than to do some more quilting.  This was just finished, labeled and hung!

windowboxes1The flowers are from the book “A Celtic Garden” by Philomena Durcan.  The flowers are done is colorful batiks.   They are mounted on a print fabric that has architectural motif.

windowboxes2The solid box outline is hand quilted with King Tut variegated thread with turquoise, creams and browns.


Size: 40×64

Finished: 2013

machine pieced, hand appliqued, hand quilted,

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Healing: Like a kaleidoscope

My heart and soul have felt shattered by the loss of my sister.  After being at home for a week, with time with my quilts and with my family, I’m beginning to see all the shattered pieces come together into some kind of pattern.  This reminds me of a kaleidoscope that is made up of many disparate pieces that come together to create a beautiful pattern.

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

-Kahlil Gibran

Losing someone so dear, makes you look carefully around at what you have.  This week, spending time with family and especially the grandsons in the beautiful fall weather in the mountains, helps to unmask the sorrow.

Size: 48 x 48

Machine piecing, hand quilting

Finished: 2011

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Desert Solitaire

Trying to recover a sense of time and place after a loved one succumbs to the ravages of cancer is a long process. I think that I am beginning that portion of my journey.

This quilt was completed a few years ago but encompasses the colors that I love of the desert. I’ve returned to the desert to begin my rehabilitation.


It has been titled “Desert Solitaire” since the beginning.

“Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you — beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
― Edward Abbey

The wide open spaces, the beauty of the sky bring a kind of peace and sense of wonderment that help restore the soul after a terrible tear.


Goblin Valley, a part of the San Rafael Swell, Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah



Let the healing begin.

Size: 54×54
Machine pieced, hand quilted, variation on log cabin blocks

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I do not approve, I am not resigned

The ceremonies are complete. Condolences have been given and received. I knew Jean as wife, mother, daughter, aunt but mostly just Sis. I discovered another part of her in the last couple of days – scientist, professional, collaborator, coworker, friend. Although I’m terribly uncomfortable in social gatherings, it was wonderful to learn about and have people share the part of my sister of which I had not been a part. Still, we are left feeling empty and bereft.


“Dirge Without Music”

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay


Our hearts are broken and we are waiting for the seeds that you planted there to sprout and begin some new growth.


Size: approx 60×60
Finished: 2011
Machine piecing, hand appliqué, hand quilting


Filed under applique, cancer, dying with cancer, hand applique, hand quilting, original designs, photography, poetry, quilting