Saturday, July 30, 2011

What now?

I know some of you were looking forward to my travel blog. I have received some feedback that, although happy for me to have a roof over my head, they were wondering what will become of QuiltingGypsy.

let me tell you what I have in mind.

I will hopefully still travel and still come to visit you in those travels. It will just be a little different, no camper, just me.

In addition, and most primarily, I will be documenting my over 100 antique quilts here, and hoping for your feedback and comments. 

I am also going to continue to draft patterns for FREE download, concentrating on the Ladies Art Co. patterns and a few hundred others that are in the public domain.  I will include any history that I can find about each one too.

I will continue to do Long Arm quilting for you all.

I will continue to design and publish my own original patterns for sale.

I will still continue the story of the Memories of Baltimore quilts and try to host them at various cancer research fund raising events.

And lastly, I will be redrafting Mrs. Danners Patterns to sell at a modest price in keeping with the prices she charged for them in the 1930s.

So do come back and see me from time to time.  I will try to post at least twice a week.

This is one of Mrs. Danners Patterns that I am currently working on. It will be the first one for sale

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh Happy Day

If you have been reading from the beginning, you will know that I have lost all that I have spent the past 40 years working to acquire. It is a result of 6 years of hardship and ended with the recent foreclosure of my home.

I was prepared to take what little money I have left and buy a camper and truck and travel about the country, making quilts and writing this blog.

Then, yesterday, while I was looking on craigslist for a storage place for my household goods, an ad popped up at the top of the page. It was for a house for sale...$60k. Now, even in this economy, there are not many houses for sale in that price range and if they are, they are practically a dump. So, I didn't have a lot of hope when I called the Real Estate Agent. I asked him about the place and then verified the price, " And the asking price is $60k?" "Yes" he said that was the asking priced.. So, I made an appt. to see it at noon. By three O'clock, I had called my sister to help ask for a loan from my Mom, got the answer from her and made an offer. There was another offer just an hour after mine. The sellers accepted mine and we had a deal. All in less than 10 hours.

Now, I have a new loan on a little house in a town of 200 people.
I have never in my life made that big of a decision in that short of a time frame.

What made me do it? How did I know it was meant for me?
Well Ill tell you. I am a believer in signs. And when I walked into this house, there was a long room just off the kitchen. It is exactly the size needed for my Long Arm Quilting Machine. Even enough room, I think for the sewing machine.. I mean it is a nice studio. Just behind that is a little tiny room that is perfect for my quilting library and a tiny desk for the computer.

I am still going to travel, meet other quilters and blog about my experiences. But I will at least have a real roof over my head. We close on August 10, and I will take you on a tour of my new little spot of the world as soon as I have the keys. Oh and, there is a fenced yard. So, the dogs will get to come along too. I had thought that I would have to farm two of them out, but now can keep all but one.

So, very soon, I will once again have time to start posting the quilt patterns on a regular basis. I will have room for a visitor to stay and I will have room to keep quilting.

I'm a happy camper.....

Monday, July 25, 2011


Im so exhausted that I don't have the energy to update you all today with quilting stories.  Seems at every turn I find a little hope to save a piece of my world and it is quickly dashed. 

But I have made some new aquaitances lately as well as reconnecting with some old friends.  I am amazed at the support of some of these people.  One wonderful woman today offered me a place to live in her home.  I find that to be extremely generous as she doesn't know me really.  Just from online interaction on a mesage board.  We have a common interest, quilting.  But it seems we also have a common bond in our compasion for the fate of others and a desire to help.  I cannot express in words how I felt at her offer.

Now, I have another friend who has a great talent that I would like to share with you today.  He is a talented poet and musician.  I would like to share with you a piece of his soul and hope you enjoy it.  If you feel a connection or even an appreciation for his skill, please follow this link to more.  He is sharing his creativity at no cost to anyone but himself.  He is Gus and he is my friend.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My First Art Quilt, Ancient Pots

As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't have new creations to share right now. And most of my previous projects were lost in a house fire in 2004.

But, Im going to share with you one that survived the fire. Well, it didnt really survive the fire, it wasnt there. It survived because it was a gift to a dear friend of my daughter and was hanging at Arizona Research Insitute (ARI) at the time and still hangs there today.

My daughter is a recent graduate of Arizona State, accomplishing a PHd in Archealogy. She has worked at ARI for a number of years. The quilt was a gift for her friend and boss. She sent me pictures of some of the ancient pottery housed there. I chose two for the composition of this quilt. This is what I started with:

And here is the completed quilt: With the exception of the swirls on the bowl, it is all machine pieced. It is hand quilted. In size it is about 36 x 50 inches.

If you are in the area, feel free to visit ARI and see the quilt. You will have to ask as the desk as it is hanging outside the directors office, but they will be happy to show it to you. I have asked them to enter it in the local quilt show, but they are archealogist and their world does not consist of quilt shows. It is ok though, as it is well loved where it is.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Memories of Baltimore

I have spent the entire day trying to understand and act on my rights under the rules of loan modification and tying to gain information from the mortgage company concerning what took place and how to execute upon those rights.  This company continues to lie.  I learned that there is already a violation logged on the application and process for consideration for HAMP.  This violation was logged on the day before they sold my house.  I am totally spent, as I have been most every day for the past 60 - 90 days.  The goal, I am convinced, is to just wear the home owner out.  To send them off the scent long enough for them to loose those very precious rights.  Act one day too late and you have lost your rights.  They even told me that I didnt have any rights.  Geeze.

So, I am happy to just post more pictures of the Memories of Baltimore blocks:  
There are a total of almost 150 blocks, I will eventually post them all...
Each one is a little work of art, In total it is an amazing magical, emotion wrenching experience.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Memories of Baltimore

As I plan for my new life on the road I am beginning to let go of the stresses that I have been under for the past six years. When I think about all  I have been struggling with, it is so overwhelming that I wonder how I have been able to survive it.  I know that sounds dramatic, but seriously, it is true.

Stress is measured by the severity of life changing events.  All of the events I have experienced have been in the upper levels of the charts and I have been fighting them.  I have put away all of my projects that I wanted to do.  The Quilt Study Center and Research Library has been put on hold and may never get off the ground. I gave up the Maple Leaf Festival Quilt Show, which is the oldest quilt show in the State of Kansas. I gave up my quilt pattern documentation project and I gave up my participation in MOKA, the four state quilt study group.  I gave up my work to develop an online quilt study group.  And lastly, I gave up sharing the Memories of Baltimore quilts, giving them life beyond their inspired inception.

So now that I have no more choice to fight for my homestead, I am slowly letting go of that herculean effort and beginning to resurrect some of those old projects. 

While packing my quilts for storage, I came across the Memories of Baltimore quilts.  I reflected on them; what they represent. And I began to realize that I could have room for them in my camper.  I could take them with me.  I could have the time to spend on the documentation and  posting of their story.  I could even show them as I move around the country.  I could offer them up for viewing at fund raising efforts in the areas that I travel.

So, dear friends, I am putting this project at the top of the list.  I will be writing their story, posting pictures on my web site, and offering them (with me included) to events, quilt groups and shows for display. 

Stay tuned, as this is a story you wont want to miss.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A new friend shares her quilt pattern

Well, even though I am just starting to pack my household for vacating my home and I am still a couple of months at a minimum from physically leaving on my journey, new friends have already been found.

Isn't it great when you meet new people, and those new people are caring and sharing individuals.

So it is with the new friends that I am becoming aquainted with at .

This new place was opened up on the internet just as a number of us were losing our old place.  Due to the ...umm controling nature and evil spirit of a nameless internet terrorist, many of us nice quilting folk found ourselves without our daily interaction with other like minded people.  And, just in the nick of time, I was offered an invitation to join this new place.  So, day by day, we see our old friends finding our new home and joining us in the migration to a new soft place to land.

But thats not all.  We are finding new friends joining us too.  In just four weeks our membership has grown to almost 300.  The chat room is starting to fill up, especially in the morning while we all have our first cup of coffee and get ready for the day.   Except for the occasional new member that suffers a similar fate as we did,  it seems almost like the old place never existed at all.

And in this morning coffee chat is where I met the very kind person who shared todays FREE quilt pattern.

This is an old pattern, the Tumbling Block.  But Rebecca has prepared instructions for a new and inovative piecing technique to create it without the dreaded Y seam.  You will need a ruler with  markings for cutting a 60 degree angle, but that is about the hardest part of this pattern.. And, well, picking out the fabrics. 

Todays picture is a snipet from Rebecca's own quilt. 

A big "Thank You" goes out to Rebecca.  I hope you try this one and send me pictures of your blocks and quilts.  I will post them here on the blog.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Today I'm moving in a more positive direction--

It is so very hard to accept that everything I have worked 40 years to acquire is gone, for the second time in five years..

The first time, in 2004, my new house and all belongings burned to the ground.  All was lost, nothing much recoverable.  That was so devastating.  But,  it was an act of nature.  No one to blame, just one of those things.  We picked ourselves up and after two years of wrangling with mortgage companies and insurance companies we rebuilt and refurnished our home.  We moved back in and thought "the worst has happened, everything else should be easy". 

That started a downward spiral of bad events in my life.  I lost my job and my company somehow has branded me as unemployable.  So, in five years I have been unable to pass a background check.  Not the criminal part, that is fine.  It is something in the proprietary databases that companies use to run employment checks.  I can't have access to it, so cant fix it. 

My builder tried to charge me $60k in fraudulent charges at the end of the rebuilding project.  And 2 years of litigation depleted any savings I had left.

Then my Dad got sick and passed away and more recently my Mom got sick. 

During this time, I was able to eek out a very small living, but was unable to keep it up when I went to care for my Mom for 8 months.  This is when the mortgage company decided to fast track the foreclosure and sale of my home; the home that I designed and built not once, but twice.

Now, I have lost everything once again, but this time it is not due to anything natural.  It is due to the greed that is so prevalent in this country right now.  This makes it almost unbearable.

BUT TODAY, I am taking steps to move on and I am slowly able to let go of the pain.

Today, I helped a dear friend from long ago build a place to store and share his poetry with the world.  I helped him build a blog and taught him to add posts.. Please visit him here :

And I am helping a fellow quilter with a design for a wedding quilt.  This project will result in a quilt pattern that she and I are willing to make available to you for FREE. You can read about it here:

I finished quilting a commission quilt and mailed it to her today.  I hope she likes the work I did.

And I had a nice fabric order, which I will process and mail on Monday.

Today, my Son and Daughter-In-Law brought over their little dog to visit. I just love her and was so happy to see her.

The tears are still coming, my face is constantly leaking,

But, all in all, it was a good day.

As I move through this adventure, you may read about more down days.  But I hope you will read more and more happy posts.  I hope to meet and share with you some of the wonderful people of our country.  I hope to find that I still believe in the human race and that there are more good, caring, moral and ethical people in our nation than the opposite.  Maybe I can find a counter to track them.  Ill go looking for that.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Hello all my friends. This is the first post of my new and improved home, literally and figuratively.

Literally, I have lost my home to foreclosure by a process that equates to the legalised stealing by the banks of our wonderful country. For anyone currently in the midst of this process, I have no advice. I thought that I was doing all the right things to save my home. I was only one month away from starting a much needed business of assisted care for our aging generation of parents and grand parents as an alternative to the highly expensive nursing care solution that was once the only option.

Figuratively, I have abandoned my previous blog as it was a test site that quickly became out of date with little ability to provide the functionality that I wanted for my quilting friends and family.

So what is in store here? Let me tell you.

I am planning a year long sojourn about the country in a camper. In my camper I plan to mount my Long Arm quilting machine and my sewing machine. I will have Internet access as long as I have cell service available. I will write about the places and people that I meet and share pictures and experiences with you all through this blog.

I have advance invitations for places to park my camper in exchange for shared services in the way of quilting classes and advice (and maybe a little entertainment too). I will continue to entertain invitations throughout the year as well as spontaneous stops along the way. This will be an adventure that I hope will result in a renewed interest in our country and its people. I hope to be relieved of my cynicism and bad attitude. Who knows what my life will be like at the end of the year. You will be able to follow along and find out right along with me.

While traveling I plan on working on my creative endeavors which I have had no time for as a hard working M - F career person. This includes publishing free pdf downloads of  traditional quilt patterns and original designs for a modest fee to help with travel expenses. It also includes the production of many art type quilts that are spinning around in my head.

I will be traveling with one of my three dogs and three birds.

So, share your links with me, follow me, and stay tuned as I embark on this new adventure.