Zena Thorpe, special exhibit

A member of my quilt guild was honored to show a number of her amazing quilts. She herself was there, which was lovely to see.

Zena moved to California in the 70s, from Chatsworth to Chatsworth. She got involved with the local historical society and found herself making a quilt. That was it, since then she has been quilting like crazy. Her chosen medium is appliqué and hand quilting. Although I’m not sure if she still hand quilts today – she certainly still appliqués. As she said: what am I going to do? Mop floors? No, we need beautiful quilts, not clean floors

Many of her quilts are an homage to her country of birth. Oh and they are all hand made.

This one is a pure white silk whole cloth quilt….. she did all the quilting from the back side- so as not to get the front dirty…. the design is based on her bedroom wall paper…. Inspiration can come from everywhere. this kind one workmanship is one of a kind

I think this was called Ode to a Grecian Urn. the white area clearly has trapunto, the rest look like the decorations one would find in lovely books and manuscripts

A close up, just to give you a better idea. Oh, all those narrow stems? Quarter inch bias fabric – which allows it to be twisted and turned into all those incredible shapes

Oh my, look at this alphabet, I love how the background is that deep rich brown. Her choices of color are just as amazing as the workmanship.

Anyone who has worked creatively will be familiar with the book the Encyclopedia of Ornament, put out by Dover Publications, will immediately recognize all these band designs from there. Well, with an addition of some lovely flower.

Her interpretation of the Book of Kells, she took the best images from the book and created her own amazing design. Notice, I’m not the only one taking pictures

I didn’t have my good camera, so this is the close up you get from my phone – which is also rather old. Of course there were more of her quilts. I didn’t take pictures of all of them. She was there with friends selling basic patterns of some of her small motifs. She has written a book about appliqué. I am thrilled that she is still working away.

International Quilt Festival, Long Beach

It was six or seven years ago that Mancuso decided the cancel their annual quilt show. It took place every August in Long Beach. The Palm Springs quilt show wasn’t doing too well, all that was left was Road to California.

So two years ago, there was an announcement that the show was coming back. Needless to say, that didn’t happen until this year. Also, it’s not Mancuso anymore but Quilts Inc. This is the group that puts on the big Houston show every fall.

I went with a non quilter friend, and the show was not at all what I expected. Near the entrance was Eye contact. All of these ‘quilts’ are the same size and all Have eyes. well except that one grey strip, I’m not seeing eyes, but maybe it’s just the pupil. Interesting idea, interesting display

Then there is: reclaimed wood mosaic art by Troy Murrah. Working with reclaimed, recycled wood his is making quilts. I didn’t realize till later that the show has a new owner. Anyway, Troys mother, Judy Murrah, was a well known quilter and worked for Quilts Inc.

So he is using a new medium to create traditional ‘quilts’. As I continued through the show, I learned that Quilts Inc is 45 years old – so most of the quilts are from their extensive collection. They also have a quilt museum, and many of the quilts on display were from there. There weren’t a lot of individual entries. I actually liked it that way.

I missed hearing Troy talk about his quilts. He gave a talk, but I think my friend and I were in the middle of lunch. Convention center hamburger – not great food, but I didn’t want to go out and waste time at a better restaurant.

There were themes this year. To celebrate southern CA beaches there was a group challenge Life’ a beach, it was fun seeing the different interpretations of So Cal beaches. All of these were wall quilts

A celebration of color, this one is wool appliqué. The last show I went to was a small local on in the South Bay, I’m reminded of a wool appliqué quilt there. I am also very aware, that the caliber of quilts here was really the cream of the crop – the best of the best.

I’ve seen other people make this quilt, it is a pattern available for purchase. This is bright and colorful and happy.

From the SAQA group – Studio Art Quilt Association. Many of these quilts are owned by the makers and some of them are available to purchase.

This one speaks to me – The Passover seder – I love the perspective, a drone over the table, capturing the image from above. Fun colorful and relatable. I took a picture of the description, lets just say that artists always have to input all kinds of unnecessary information about their work. to me, it’s just about enjoying a lovely fun image.

Carol Breyer Fallert -Gentry. What a mouthful., She had at least 6 quilts in the show – this one won many ribbons. This is very recognizable as her work, the curves, the color. Others were from the museum collection, and it was fun to see her evolution through the years. The best one, which I didn’t capture on my camera was images of her female ancestors, all the way to her – from baby until now – at age 72. It was wonderful, but it demanded very close study – so I didn’t take a picture.

Anyway, this is be a whole series – of images from this show.

Dog days of summer

I actually love them, the days are long, the nights are balmy and here in LA I don’t have much of a mosquito problem. A bite here and there – that’s it.

The pictures of Aytan at camp are coming in, I have never seen him smile like this. Life hasn’t been easy on him and it showed in his non smiling face. So these pictures just make my heart sing!

Another picture with his favorite counselor. Simply being a normal 12 year old.

I went for a short hike with his mom. We found one of these treasure trees, so much better than all the graffiti out in nature, at least this doesn’t do permanent damage.

I guess its’ a wishing tree, people leave their hopes and wishes.

Sabras! I was tempted to come back with gloves and cut one. Then I remembered

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, although I have eaten those, I have never ever prepared them myself.

The artichoke that got away. It really is beautiful, I absolutely love the colors. perfect for a quilt. Oh, and a bee, there is a bee

Movie filming is back! I’m pretty sure this is a movie, not just a commercial because a few days later these same trucks were up by our local bar.

Once again

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, choosing a house and street that don’t look quite like LA, and yet filming here.

I pay attention to details. So did they fix this sidewalk in 2020? did they just replace one small area with this? We were in lockdown at the time, although I did walk everywhere.


This has nothing to do with my family, a neighbors yard, I sure do like it!

This little girl is 3! She is wearing the dress I made her


, it fits perfectly, boy does she love to dance among the bubbles.

Blowing out the candle on her birthday cupcake. My son made the cupcakes! they were good. Oh and that little boy in the dark shirt

, according to my SIL, that is her ‘boyfriend’.

Great party, a fun backyard, a bubble machine, a gal painting faces and arms. Junk food and cupcakes – all perfect for a 3 year old.

Aytan got to go to sleep away camp! Camp Ramah has a wonderful program for special needs kids. Here he is on the first day

, he looks happy! Also, I like how slowly he is getting the hairdresser to make his hair yellow – still his favorite color.

A few days later and he has found a cute girl! Don’t know if she is a councilor or another camper – all I Know is that I am thrilled that finally he gets to enjoy a wonderful healthy normal childhood experience.

Also seen out walking. I don’t know why people are already pushing fall

, let me enjoy the summer first!

two projects at a time…

I framed Spring Quaker myself. The frame isn’t the perfect size, but it is a lot less then paying a framer. I do like the gold with this piece of work.

A corner of cross-stitch. At some point I will either have to find new space or new ways to display my work, I don’t think I want the house to become a crosse-stitch museum. On the other hand, for all my work

, I don’t want them locked away.

This is a wonderful project. Because the border is made up of the same motif repeated over and over – it is getting much easier


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, also, I can now jump from side to side of the project and not have to put the thread down on the thread bed.

I love using the program Markup RXP, it has been updated and now there is an Info section. How fun is this that I hit exactly the 10% marker. Btw, I’m pretty sure that I’ve put in more than 26 hours at this point….

And now, I have moved into the center of the project. I am a monogamous stitcher, unlike people who simply start 50 projects and maybe finish one – I like working on one at a time. And then, I was watching Floss-tube and someone showed a wonder Halloween project. I have now made one for Thanksgiving, Chanukkah so why not Halloween.

There is something so whimsical and yet refined about this. I don’t like super cutesy

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, and I don’t like scary. So I went searching at Etsy and finally found this. You can see in the upland left corner that this was made in 2015. So finding this chart took some doing. I am no longer working on MFSE 2022 – so


, using the linen and silk thread I have started the project.

Since it is one thread only, it is very easy for me to sit outside in my lovely yard and work on this.

I tried to upload to both Markup and to Pattern Keeper, I had no problem doing so, but because of the nature of this old chart, it won’t recognize the symbol. So I am using Markup – because I like using the chart on my iPad. but I can’t mark off my progress.

Unlike the pattern, I’m not putting the full date of when I complete this

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, I’m just putting down the year. Yes, I am loving this as well.

The Tallit Bag

It is hard to believe that Aytan is turning 13 and will be having a Bar Mitzvah soon. That means

, my duty as a grandmother is to make him a Tallit Bag.

It is traditional here in America to needlepoint one. Well, at least since the 70s that became a tradition. I have made some patchwork ones for my husband and sons. so I had to think what I would do for Aytan.

I went to one of my books of Monograms and found a lovely A the color? Yellow

, his favorite.

I put my initials and the year in the corner. I know

, everyone talks about how one must sign the work so posterity will know who you are. Meh, Either I will be remembered or not.

I didn’t take a picture of the A before I started putting the bag together. Here it is, the linen has some lurex in it, so there is a shine. I love the A, it is beautiful.

On the front I used a basic grey, as I am putting in the zipper – you see it too is yellow. I used fusible batting, something I learned from all the project bags I’ve seen on You Tube. give it some heft.

Now you see why I chose the grey

, I have had this giraffe fabric for many years, not a lot left. Giraffes are his favorite animal, even more than the squirrel. Here is the layout of the bag, with the bright yellow as the lining inside.

The finished bag from the front


, I didn’t take a detail picture, but I did box the bottom. So it is not simply an envelope, it’s a little roomier.

he back, all giraffes. I do appreciate the hearts as well, everything about this fabric says Aytan loves giraffes.

I wasn’t quite done. I looked online for a Charm of the Torah

, since a man wears a Tallit when in services on Shabbat.

What I found is quite small. Nice quality, but small.

I pulled out my wire and tools and afixed it to the zipper pull. I know, the color is different, but I needed a thick wire, most of my wires are too thin. A pop of blue is nice.

Here it is, completely finished.

Aytan is away at sleep away camp which is a miracle. Camp Ramah in Ojai has a program for special needs kids, what a blessing for him to be there. I need to discuss with his parents when he actually gets the bag.

Day and Night

During the day I walk around and capture those mundane things that most people just walk by and never actually ‘see’.

Like the firey red yellow flower that pop up in the heat.

I think these two are the same plant, different color flowers. I was using my plant snap App to try and identify these plants – didn’t work well at all. So that app is removed from my phone, I may try another one.

So I don’t know their names




, but I do know that they are bright and colorful on these hot days.

Then I walked by this house with it’s beautiful garden, truly lovely, a lot of very healthy looking bushes and this fountain that has become a planter. Maybe they have drip irrigation going through it, because it is so healthy looking.

Same yard, another fountain, delightful.

Remember this guy? I shared him a few months ago. Anyway

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, we actually went into the restaurant with friends.

yes, it is a very dark kitschy place.

Got to appreciate their sense of humor!

Love all the kitsch. I had a Trader Vics’ Mai Tai, one of the original Tiki drinks. And yes, it was way too sweet, most sweet cocktails I enjoy these days aren’t that sugar laden. The food was ok, also on the sweet side, except for the garlic edamame that was spicy and garlicky.

The place was pretty empty. They have a burlesque show, which we didn’t stay for. Not my deal. We did have a lovely time with our friends. We both walked there, they from the north, us from the south. It was a lovely evening. Fun to be together, and a fun experience, even if neither of us will go there again. Who knows, we might try another tiki bar, there are a number of them in the valley.

sewing and of course, a new cross-stitch start

I picked up Einav from camp, she just woke up from nap in her kitty cat sleeping bag I made her. Love seeing it being used.

I’ve made her a new, dress, she hasn’t worn it yet, we are waiting for her birthday.

Sorry about how stretched it is on the hanger

, I was too lazy to go find a better one. Of course it’s pink, bright pink, her favorite color right now.

I ordered a whole new set of the plastic snaps, they work so much better for me to install than the sturdy metal ones.

In the summer, I don’t need a quilt on the bed. But where to put it? I went ahead and ordered this quilt rack from Etsy. It came from NY state, hand made in America. I did have some problems screwing the bars in

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, oh well, it holds the quilt nicely and no one will see where the bars don’t match well. Once the weather cools, another quilt will live on here.

Every few weeks I’ll probably refold the quilt differently, to highlight different parts of the quilt.

Here is my next project

, I bought the pattern at the Attic. I ended up ordering the actual called for threads. There are such subtle differences in the shading, why play with it. I have plenty of other patterns that I can pull threads at will

I started, I realize that the border is this one motif (I’ve already done three here), repeated and reversed. I started in the middle of the fabric, moving from side to side has it’s drawbacks.

I have realized that jumping around with one color leads to mistakes, so I pulled out this lovely thread hold I made, because the threads are so similar I had to make little labels for each color. As you can see, not to many colors now.

This is because

, once I had enough of the outer border, I could start on the inner border which means that often , that color that I have used is also in the small border and I can continue with it there. Or, since I’m working from both ends, I can use the color on one side or another.

I have also been working outside, I am loving the garden so much

, both Joel and I spend a lot more time outside.

American Volley Ball Pros

I think that is what AVP stands for, and this weekend was the Hermosa Beach open.

The strand is always busy on a Saturday in the summer. I just noticed, this guy has a special rack for his surfboard.

They built a grandstand, and it was full of people.

The guys.

The gals.

Two balls, yes I went there.

Quite a large crowd.

We walked up Pier street for dinner – it was amazingly yummy – no I didn’t take pictures

I love this sign, I know it’s been here for years, and yes, they sell a lot of beach junk – it’s still very cool.

There was a group on their way to have a birthday party

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, love the balloons.

Love the patriotic messages still up after the 4th.

I’d say the same thing to the city


, think of the residents, think of the pets, think of the veterans as you go about your business of taking large taxes and giving us nothing in return but homeless, crime and drugs all over the place.

Spring Quaker – DONE!

I’m on a roll, finishing all the things. A quilt, and now a pretty big cross stitch project. Its’ not fully finished, as in no frame yet, that will happen soon.

Done, this was interesting, I made some changes, because its’ my project.First of all, light blue linen. Which meant changing some of the thread colors

I absolutely loved stitching the little houses, I think this is what attracted me to the project, aside from the quaker blocks, there is something very southing about them.

Here are the two remaining rabbits as well as the goose. I had to frog most of this section and still had problems. They will remain, someone will need a magnifying glass to find the mishaps – and if they do, more power to them.

I am also very glad I went with blue letters.

As well as introducing the purple stars. In the original the stars were blue. Here is one quaker that isn’t symmetrical, I’m pretty sure all the rest are. And oh those bees, one doesn’t need four rabbits, but if you are putting in bees, you need quite a few to maintain the hive.

That pink bouquet of flowers feels very out of place, as if it were an after thought to fill in space. The pink is a new color and in the original pattern it was forgotten. Luckily Lilas’ studio corrected on their website

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, so that was easy to fix. But, it wasn’t the same pink as the dusty rose – I just went into my stash and pulled a pink, which I then repeated in a couple of other places – like the twin rabbits – just so it wouldn’t feel so starkly different

Sheep, butterfly and another bee!

Did I mention I love the houses?? There was an option to make the white border with half stitches, or with satin stitch. I opted for the satin stitch and I hated it. I was of course counting threads, and it didn’t go smoothly.

I may not have enjoyed the process

, I do however really like the end result. A different texture makes the otherwise un-noticable white – really pop.

And here are my initials.

Close up of houses!

Such cute house. Making the checkerboard basket was fun. The handle was a pain – a lot of frogging. I got to the point where I had to work both colors at the same time.

I know, my macro lens gets very fuzzy very quickly. Look at those stitches! I’ll never see them that magnified again.

Now for the back. I was taught that the back should be neat. In my opinion there is a difference between neat and identical to the front. To me this is completely acceptable.

I’m sure someone would disagree – they can make their own samplers.

At some point soon this will be framed and no one will see the back at all!