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Tribute to Tolkien

Sue McCarty's quilt, Tribute to Tolkien has won Best of Show at the 2010 Ameican Quilter's Society Show and Contest. Sue's quilt is a whole cloth quilt, with some painting, but mostly, it is all stitching withe metallic threads. The entire quilt was created on her Gammill long-arm quilting machine.

Notice the scale of stitching. The assistant was not touching the quilt, but her hand is about 2 inches away. Such detail! Sue has been quilting for 6 years! Are you jealous? 

Way to go Sue.


oz photo

We're on route to the AQS quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky. That means we get to traverse through Oz. When I was a kid it was on TV each year and it was a really big deal to watch the movie. I remember when my aunt and uncle got a color TV we went to their house to watch it in color. 

Driving across Kansas you can't help but recall the movie because there are so many reminders. Some day I'll take one of the exits and see some of the sights, but most of the time when we're blowing through Kansas, we're on a mission - to get to Paducah. What do you remember most about the Wizard of Oz?


This summer will be my first opportunity to attend the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR. I'll be teaching and doing a concert as well. One of the things that is happening is a fabric postcard auction for the Wendy's Wish Foundation: named for a quilter who survived breast cancer but succumbed to colon cancer. This foundation helps make cancer screening and other services available to those who can't afford them.

See the cards in the video. Who will I see there?


dad DSC 6170

My dad, as many of you know, also quilts. He goes out to the dog house (the little room attached to the house I used to use as a kennel for my cocker spaniels) and sews every day. Dad enjoys using my hand-dyed fabrics because he doesn't have to worry about accidentally getting the fabrics flipped when stitching - because there is no right or wrong side. His design wall is big enough for half of his quilt - so it works in two parts and they are almost all king size. If dad is not quilting, he's watching John Wayne movies.

Recently my great niece (7 yrs) had a school assignment to write about someone she respects. Since she gets to see my mom and dad several times a week, she chose to write about my dad, her Papaw, her great-grandfather. After she proudly announced she had chosen Papaw for her subject, she assured the family that she didn't mention anything about the Civil War. We're so relieved. Kids!

buford march08

Buford was a good dog. He passed away on April 12. He was a loving companion to Miss Jeanette (Justin's mom) and he will be greatly missed. Buford was a rescue dog adopted by Jeanette when he was about 5 or 6 years old. For nine years he had the best life a dog could have. He chased the squirrels and kept the boogie man away. He was animated, clever, and smart. 

A friend sent this short essay. Dog lovers will understand.

Just A Dog

From time to time people tell me, "Lighten up, it's just a dog," or, "That's a lot of money for just a dog."  They don't understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for "Just a dog."  Some of my proudest moments have come about with "Just a dog."  Many hours have passed with my only company being "Just a dog." and not once have I felt slighted.  Some of my saddest moments were brought about by "Just a dog."  In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "Just a dog" provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day. 

If you, too, think its "Just a dog," you will probably understand phrases like "Just a friend," "Just a sunrise," or "Just a promise."  "Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.   "Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.  Because of "Just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. 

For me and folks like me, it's not "Just a dog."  It's an embodiment of all the hope and dreams of the future,  the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.  "Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. 

I hope that someday people can understand it's not "Just a dog".  It's the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "Just a man or woman."

So the next time you hear the phrase "Just a dog," smile, because they "Just Don't Understand."

buford in snow

The Quilt Show

One Nation Walking Together


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