Opening Day

Opening Day
December 2018

This is a memory quilt I made for my brother-in-law Ryan as a remembrance of his Dad who passed away in early September. Hide (pronounced ‘hee-day’) loved fishing, and it was a hobby that he and Ryan shared. Each Spring, they would travel from Southern California to the eastern Sierra Nevada to participate in the opening of fishing season on the last Saturday in April.

Hide was a Japanese American citizen. In June of 1942 at the age of 16, he was incarcerated in the Manzanar War Relocation Center, a remote, military-style camp located in California’s Owens Valley, in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. At night, Hide would sneak out of the guarded encampment to fish in the pristine mountain lakes, rivers and streams just outside the camp’s boundaries. Being interned, he didn’t have access to a fishing pole and reel. He had to make due with a stick and string with hand-made lures and hooks. In late 1944, Hide left Manzanar to join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an Army unit comprised of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland United States.

Hide’s love of fishing in the pristine lakes, rivers and streams of the Eastern Sierra called him back to the Owens Valley each year. From the late 1940’s, Hide never missed an Opening Day. Ryan joined his Dad on these yearly trips, and he himself has not missed an Opening Day with his Dad for the past 42 years.

I chose to do this as a medallion quilt. The center fish design was from a tee-shirt, while most of the remaining fabrics were from three of Hide’s casual dress shirts. The fish in the four corners of the fourth border were from his pillowcase. I purchased the cream, dark blue and grey fabric to provide contrast to all the printed fabrics, and I also purchased the fishing lure fabric (in beige) to complement the fishing lure fabric taken from one of the shirts. In my final border, I wound these two fishing lure fabrics to represent Hide and Ryan: it is meant to be symbolic of how a parent and child’s life travel along separate paths, but always intersect, staying connected throughout life’s journey.


Desert Twilight


Desert Twilight
August 2017

The Grand Canyon-like center for this medallion quilt was fabric I had gotten from my Granny. My guess is it is circa 1970’s. It has sat in my stash for years, challenging me to do something with it. Its colors are so intense that every time I went past it, I just kept on going!

Well, it was finally time to do something with it. Since learning about medallion quilts from Melanie’s Catbird Quilt Studio blog, I have done a couple (here and here), and really enjoy the process. It seems to give a bit more freedom to the artistic aspect of designing a quilt, since not only do you choose colors and layout, but you can also use a variety of different quilt block elements as you build each border.


I had not done Flying Geese blocks before (the first border surrounding the center), and used the tutorial here which made quick work of them! The next border was from the same fabric as the center block, as well as the tip of each of the matchstick blocks in the fourth border. So while intimidating at first, I ended-up using quite a bit of this unusual fabric to create this quanket.

I had started this project in March, and had finished it in June, mentioning my excitement about this one in my Silver Lining post in June. Part of my holding off on posting it was because I had entered it for display in the 2017 Ventura County Fair’s Home Arts pavilion. And while the County Fair was in early August, I had other priorities in life over the summer that delayed my posting this blog. This was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in October 2017.

Lagartija Mola


Lagartija Mola
February 2017

Two years ago, we helped our friends navigate their sail boat through the Panama Canal. During the trip, I had the opportunity to be exposed to Molas, a colorful textile art form made by the native Kuna peoples. Molas are brightly colored panels that use the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. The panels are then used in the women’s blouses/dresses.

Unfortunately at the time, I didn’t have the opportunity to purchase a Mola, as our time was dedicated to enjoying time with friends, and sailing. However, given our global economy, I was able to source a Mola from ebay. I thought a Mola would be a perfect center block for a medallion quilt, and I loved the bright colors of this lizard-motif Mola.

The fabrics used for the borders were mostly pulled from my ‘Pieces of the Past’ stash, but I did have to buy a little more of the aqua-teal color to complete that particular border. While I liked how setting this border on point looked, it created a challenge in keeping my sizing consistent since the bias cut edge lends more stretch to the fabric. I used the black with aqua-teal hourglass blocks to mimic the lizard’s cuisine – flies!

I have only done one other medallion quilt, my Marigolds quilt. I wasn’t sure if there were certain rules to be followed for a medallion quilt, so I checked in over at Catbird Quilt Studio since Melanie does a lot of medallion quilts. Here is what I found:

A medallion quilt is simply a quilt made with a central motif, which is surrounded by a number of borders. That is the ONLY rule, If you can follow that, you can make a medallion.

So, I guess I can log this one as my ‘second’ medallion quilt! 🙂

This quanket was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in April, 2017.


medallion quilt

November 2015

In October, during a road trip around Oregon, I had the opportunity of visiting the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook. If you are a quilter, and are visiting this area, this is certainly a “must see” for the itinerary. The museum includes beautiful quilts on display, as well as numerous other textile arts. They also have a gift shop where I acquired the centerpiece for this quilt.

The cross-stitched sampler centerpiece had an identical twin, each measuring about 12″x12″, and while the orange and brown stitching was complete on both, the background had not been finished. Like my Lovely Flower Baskets in the Window quanket, I was amazed at the time someone must have spent on these, and wondered at their plan for them. As a fan of re-purposing, I knew that these were destined to make their way into my Love Hugs (Pieces of the Past) quilt project. So, I scooped up these beautiful little treasures, and figured I would finish cross-stitching the background.

I chose to do this as a medallion quilt, as I wanted the cross-stitched center block to be the main attraction. The Fall-colored leaves material used in the last large border and throughout, was a leftover from my sister Lynn’s donation for my Country Fair quilt, and the large gold triangles was material I had received for participating in the 2015 Hands2Help Challenge.

This quanket was donated to the County of Ventura, Children & Family Services, for a foster child in December 2015.