Monday, October 21, 2013

The Season of Gratitude

This is the fabric I'm giving away tomorrow. It is six fat quarters from my super secret Autumn stash.
In order to be entered in the drawing please comment either here or on any other October post about your favorite part of this upcoming Season of Gratitude (my term for all things Thanksgiving). 
Thanks, This Quilting Mama.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Synchronicity and Bears!

"Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see."
Carl Jung (1875-1961)

“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don't bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous." 
(Quoted by Carol Lynn Pearson in Consider the Butterfly)

I don't know about the enlightenment part, but I do like it when things just come together. 

The "Bear's Paw" quilt pattern, which I featured in last week's post regarding my Christmas Bears, is "the traditional name for several patterns in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, where bear tracks were a common sight. The same basic pattern also goes by the names of Duck's Foot in the Mud, Hands of Friendship and Hands All Around." (Source: "America's Beautiful Quilts" by Zaro Weil)

Since my last post about all those little bear paws, my friend in film released the Seventh Movement  of his Ode to the Motorcycle at the website Opus Badass. (NOTE: There is also a Facebook page with the same name you can reference if you prefer.) Called "The Bear and the Motorcycle," it is (in the artist's own words), "the story is about a bear who is tired of being a circus act and just simply wants to be... a bear. The problem is, when he attempts to live like a bear in the woods, he becomes frightened of the elements and threats (i.e. the hunters), and he hauls ass out of there. When on the side of the road in despair, the little girl who saw him at the circus notices him again and observes how sad he is and gives him flowers to let him know he is loved and always has been."  Be sure to have your volume up as the music is the beautiful third character in the piece. Enjoy! 

The next day, while out to lunch with a girlfriend at a local tea house called  The Tailored Tea, I looked up and saw the most fun acrylic and oil paintings of bears camping, canoeing, eating S'Mores and WOW-- riding motorcycles! Here are some photos.

The art of Roger L. Dowse, local Schenectady contractor by day and artist by passion, fills the walls (and is for sale) of the tea house. "All I want to do is see people smile and laugh." That is how Mr. Dowse explained his art to me in a phone call to gain permission to share his work. Yes, laugh I did as my bear paws, my quilts of friendship, Opus Badass Mvt. 7 "The Bear and the Motorcycle," and finally Mr. Dowse's artist statement all collided in my brain. It seems that, like me, Mr. Dowse finds his art therapeutic. He writes, "Nineteen months ago my father passed away, and I needed to paint more. It became my healing therapy to soothe my intense grief and loss. My usual subject of work involves landscapes and wildlife. By happenstance one night I started to paint bears engaged in human activities. The result was whimsical, comical and seems to make everyone giggle. The laughter was healing and I finally felt that sense of fulfillment."

Thank you for the art, Mr. Dowse, and for sharing your story with us. For further information, Roger Dowse's e-mail is

 Meanwhile, if you are local to the Schenectady/ Albany area, check out this amazing lunch at The Tailored Tea.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Facebook Page, "Christmas Bears" & Autumn Stash Blasting Give-Away

Hello Faithful Followers,

You might be asking yourself, where has This Quilting Mama been?  I'd love to say stuck in my sewing space, lost in my fabrics and suffering terribly from the Quilt Pox, but that is just not the case. Instead, a little bug called "Facebook" has gotten me and I have a new page!!!!

Check out This Quilting Mama (Facebook Page) . That is the link or you can just search under "This Quilting Mama" and it should come right up. I would love more LIKERS there, but don't feel obligated. The purpose of the page is for fun and my daily quilt and life related musings. There are recipes, book suggestions and other beautiful things I attempt to share. Check it out!!!

Meanwhile, here is what has occupied my quilting time. "Christmas Bears" which is a new pattern by Coach House Designs. It uses a beautiful new line of fabrics from Moda called "Holiday in the Pines."

Here are my bears without their paws. The claws on the Bear's Paw each finished to 1inch square. There are a ton of them, but they were made quite doable with the Angler 2 Quilt Tool and chain piecing at every step.

Finally, the "Christmas Bears" fully in their woods, dressed in their holiday finest, enjoying a walk with the lightly falling snow. My top can be seen at The Joyful Quilter in Glenville, New York.

BUT-- alas it is still only October and the holidays are not yet upon us-- no matter what the commercial enterprises say. So, in preparation for the "Season of Gratitude" (my term for the month of and all that surrounds Thanksgiving), I am giving away six fat quarters from my immense Autumn stash. In order to enter, please comment here on this post regarding your favorite moments within the "Season of Gratitude". I can't wait to hear your stories!  I will draw the lucky winner on Tuesday, October 22nd and mail the package the next day.

Thank you all,
This Quilting Mama