Tag Archives: EC

Quilting without guilt in Cuenca


I have not been sleeping too well recently.  I feel well but I just have a ton of energy and wake up early. Usually around 6.  Today it was 4 am.  But I am NOT going to complain at all about having tons of energy.  It is a good problem to have. So I get up and go into my sewing studio, closing the door so that Len can sleep later.

I put some music on very soft and get all the lights turned on, turn on the iron and the sewing machine and I’m all set to enjoy myself.  Have I said before that I am really glad I paid to ship my sewing machine with me as extra baggage when we moved here?  Every time I turn on my Pfaff, I feel happy.  I waiting a LONG time for a good sewing machine so I really appreciate all that it does.  And how smoothly it runs.  And how easy it makes things like hemming slacks or piecing a quilt.

I have been making Ohio star blocks for a few things: a table runner for us, a wall hanging for our bedroom, a couple of gifts for friends.  Here are a couple of examples:




Here below is a “Tequila Sunrise” quilt I began 2 years ago.  Now I would select different colors but I guess I will finish it.  Jill M, you said you like it.  Come visit me and its yours!  It is wall hanging size.


Have a terrific new week.  Let me know what your projects are and what your hopes are for 2013.  Sharon



The quilts are delivered!

new grandson's crib quilt

new grandson’s crib quilt

Blake's Dino quilt 11/12My 4th grandchild arrived October 30.  Welcome to life, Logan, my daughter’s second son. He was a full term little guy, nearly 8 pounds and a real snuggler. Logan’s crib quilt is the top photo

He was welcomed by his 4 yr old brother Blake and his dad Todd as well as momma. My son’s family arrived from San Diego – we all shared Thanksgiving.  The young cousins seemed to enjoy each other immensely.  I had SUCH a great time with my children, their spouses, my grandchildren, friends that whole week we were ALL together.  And a brief trip to see extended family in Idaho was cut short by the baby’s arrival back in Oregon. – a short but sweet visit with some of my family of origin.

My husband and I arrived in Oregon just hours after Logan’s birth.  Logan is a handsome little fellow with lots of black hair like his mom had as an infant.

2 grandsons

2 grandsons

I gave Blake the Dino quilt I had made for him.top picture above

Logan got his zoo animal  crib quilt.

Blake immediately clutched the dino quilt to his chest and roared like T-Rex.  It was a very satisfying response for me as a quilter  and a grandmother!

It brings up something I often find myself reflecting on: when you make something, it is part of you and yet to give it away causes  it to feel more expansive.  Like your heart is enlarged -in a  good way – by giving/selling/donating this object you spent many hours creating. And knowing that someone will really enjoy the warmth and pattern of your creation.

There are some quilts I  want to keep in my home.  I do not want to “let it go” to someone else. And that is ok, I enjoy those in a different way. But other quilts I make become larger in life by the fact that the quilt goes on to a new home.  It is a cool paradox/outcome. – letting something go expands the heart of the maker.  There is the early stage: the challenge of designing and creating a quilt , usually this includes for me a stage, however short, of frustration that something is not turning out as I had hoped . It often needs to be redesigned. Another stage entails completing all parts and then deciding it is “good enough”, the stage of letting the product go on to have a life of its own.

These thoughts have been gathered over the past 2 months.  Logan is 2 mo old,  with a 4 yr old brother, BLake.  My San Diego grancdhilren are having birthdays: my granddaughterEmma is now 10 years old!  Her brother Andrew will be 7 in a few weeks.  What a blessing these young ones are in my life!  I am very fortunate.

Just a word about the Nov Presidential election in the US.  We elected to vote while we were there but will vote online next time.  Need to get that all set up. As someone who lives overseas, a US citizen still has a right and responsibility to vote.  It is a privilege to do so.

It is an ongoing adjustment to visit the US and then return to lovely Cuenca where my husband Lenny and I now make my own home, away from family.  As I have said elsewhere, my heart is divided in loyalty – my life in Cuenca, EC is calm, interesting, affordable and simply a big adventure nearly every day.  My life when I visit the US is made up of visits with friends and family, old haunts, the beauty of Portland, OR and surrounding areas, and many, many tearful goodbyes.

My heart resides in two places, expanded in love and adventure yet always longing for more time with those I love.

It took a bit of time for these thoughts to gel into cohesion enough to post this blog.  Thanks for reading.  Have a fantastic day, wherever you are.

Gluten Free User’s Group is launched


A favorite building near Parque Calderon in El Centro

The first meeting of the Gluten Free User’s Group was on Tuesday, Aug 21, and was a great success.  8 people attended with varying degrees of needs.  Some are pondering switching to a gf (gluten free) lifestyle which means eating with no wheat, barley or rye and for some no oats.  Plans were made for future meetings to have guest speakers or to be a focus group.  It was a wonderful gathering of people who normally keep a low profile about food and health issues.  The next meeting will be the last Tuesday of next month, Sept 26. Please contact Sharon  nature93@gmail.com if you would like to attend. You are welcome to come.

Other future plans for the group may include a field trip to shops where gluten-free grains and products may be found.  Some people have celiac disease which is treated by eating a gluten free diet. Some have a sensitivity to wheat.  Some simply want to try living without wheat/barley/rye to see if their general well being improves.  Finding ready made gluten free products is difficult, such as pasta made from quinoa/corn/etc, , bread made from brown rice flour/garbanzo bean flour/teff flour, things of this nature.  One thing the group is seeking is to locate amaranth(either ground flour or whole) and to find if anyone carries xanthan gum which is used in gluten free baking to add elasticity similar to what the gluten in wheat does. Xanthan gum is necessary in tiny quantities to keep bread from collapsing and to add elasticity to gluten free flours.

Feisty, la gata

Now about another topic: my 17 year old cat is at the hospital today with kidney problems – perhaps kidney failure.  I was referred by another ex-pat, Karen, to a wonderful, compassionate vet who speaks English and explained everything as he did various tests – she is staying for at least one night to rehydrate and see if her kidneys will rev up in response to treatment.

Feisty has had a wonderful life – for the first 11 years she lived on a farm with us in Oregon where there were horses and alpacas and plenty of mice to hunt.  For the past 7 years she has been an inside cat.  She moved from the suburbs near Portland to Cuenca, Ec 15 months ago.  She adapted to life here like a champ.  I know that she may not live much longer but, wow, do I love that cat.  She is the best cat with the most personality – and I’ve had a lot of cats- ever since I was old enough to walk.  I’m hoping she will recover for at least a few more life experiences but will accept whatever seems best for her.  Thanks for listening on that.

A bright quilt that is very close to being all completed

And now a word about quilting, since this is primarily a  blog about Cuenca life, quilting and other issues, like gluten free life.    After we moved 3 wks ago, I organized my quilt studio up to a point and then got busy on the rest of the house.  Today, I got my sewing maching set up again on the cabinet HOORAYso I can now organize the cabinet drawers and start sewing again.  I have several quilts to complete.  A couple just need binding, a couple of quilt tops need to be layered and quilted.  And the king size bed quilt needs to be quilted and bound.  Of course what I want to do is start a new project.  I’ll get up there and get to work…and see what happens.

I hope all of your quilting goes smoothly.
I hope you who are animal lovers give your pets an extra hug tonight.

And I hope each of you readers has a marvelous day.

Thank you for reading my blog.


Just some thoughts about my hobby – Quilting


First of all, oops, I did not get that photo in the end of last post.  Will take the photo today.

But second, I intend this to be a fresh place about quilting, my own journal thoughts but I hope others will share about what quilting means to them. If you click follow or join, you can share your thoughts as we move along in this new blog about quilting.


This is the second quilt I made.  I still LOVE this pattern and use it often.

Quilting has become my active meditation.  It is a wonderful way to spend time  – except when I have to rip something out and I’m even getting more patient with that! It calms me when something is moderately upsetting, it rewards me when I need something to absorb my lively mind, it pleases me to see a good outcome – things like that.  What about for you?

Right now, I am making a couple of wall hangings.  The walls of our apartment are secure and relatively quiet from neighbor noise but I believe some quilts on selected walls will muffle sound we make as we live our daily lives.

What draws you to quilting? What goals do you have with your quilting hobby?