Category Archives: Quilting: Expressions in Fabric

For Tyler

I’ve been busy working on a very special quilt block dedicated to the memory of our son, Tyler Grant Utley. It is to be included in the 16th Annual Washington Regional Transplant Community’s Donor Family Remembrance Quilt. Each quilt honors those who have so generously donated the gift of life. Tyler’s square was pinned on April 11, 2011 at the annual family gathering.

Our dear son Tyler was born December 1st, 1981 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He passed away on January 22nd, 2010 at Stafford Hospital Center in Stafford, Virginia at the age of 28.

Tyler was happiest when he was among friends and family. His smile was contagious and when he laughed he did so without restraint. He always enjoyed a good game of pool or a round of golf. Whether he was camping, fishing or just walking the dogs along the river, Tyler loved the outdoors. If you watched Tyler while he gazed upon a sunset, a starry sky or a tree filled landscape, you knew he appreciated the beauty of our earth.

Tyler loved hard work. If it didn’t make him sweat it wasn’t worth doing. He could swing a hammer as well as he swung an ax. A concrete walkway to our front door bears the signs of his labor. You knew he had put in a hard day’s work when you saw the pride in his eyes as he showed you the blisters upon his hands.

Everyone who knew Tyler, knew that if he could have had one wish come true, it would have been to serve his country as a soldier. Although his dream was not realized, Tyler was a true patriot who loved God and his country and the ideas and principals on which it was founded.

On Friday, January 22nd, 2010, shortly before 5:00 p.m., we said our final goodbyes as Tyler was taken to surgery to carry out his wishes to be an organ donor. Although we mourn the loss of our beloved son, brother, grandson, husband, and father, it is of great consolation to us that through his passing he has given the gifts of life, future, and hope to the recipients and their families.

My son, how proud I am to be your father. One day I will meet you in heaven at the cabin you will build alongside a river and we will cut wood together and compare the blisters upon our hands. Until then, oh how I will miss you. I love you. Love, Dad

A short story for my sister

Once upon time in an alternate universe not unlike our own lived a novice quilter who believed herself to be in possession of a magical seam ripper.

She was convinced that the seam ripper had the power to transport her back in time.

You see, every time she used the seam ripper she always ended up right back where she started with two pieces of fabric needing to be sewn back together again.

One day the novice quilter looked at the calendar and realized that she was seven days into the new year and she had failed to mail her December fat quarter and recipe to her beloved sister. (It was a thing that they did. No one knows how it started or why but that is another story for another day.)

Immediately she retreated to her studio and pulled out her magical seam ripper and began ripping seams apart.

She labored and toiled the whole morning through and when she ran out of quilting projects to undo she ripped out the seams from her clothes and her husband’s too.

When finally she was satisfied that she had ripped enough seams to turn the clock back a full seven days she headed out to the post office with package in hand.


When her sister, (who was by the way quite understanding by nature) finally received her package in the mail she noted the postmark date of January 7th, 2011 but knew in heart that somewhere in an alternate universe it was dated December 31st, 2010.

The end.

For my sister

squared to perfection somewhat obsessed
ironed never always pressed
seams that bond straight and true
threads of every shade and hue
each fiber selected with love and care
rotary cut perfect pair

Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Creating my Writing Space

Writing Studio & Creative Procrastination Station

NaNoWriMo provides me with so much more than thirty days of intense writing.  Pre-planning for NaNo is great becuase I get to do things that I put off throughout the year.  This year I am focused on creating my own personal writing space. For some reason I have always put it off. For years I was just too busy to even think about it and it was always one of those “one day” projects. Later when I had the time, I created guilt thinking claiming my own space would take something away from someone else. But circumstances have changed and I realize that not only do I have the space, I deserve to claim it.

So here is the Writing Studio/Creative Procrastination Station as a work in progress. I have an entire room devoted to what I love to do and what I want to learn how to do. Not only do I have a desk devoted strictly to creating fiction but I have a place for all my art and quilting supplies.  I plan to create zones within the room for each task and project. My plan for the walls will include a giant cork board, white board, and a felt board for quilt planning.
Writing Space 1

Note the blank manuscript page on the screen! Formatted and ready for November!

Writing Space 2

A room with a view.

Writing Space 3

My grandfather's typewriter will provide inspiration.

Writing Space 4

I do need to go chair shopping, but this one will keep me awake!

A Must Read Post for all Quilters

If you are a quilter who is afraid to step outside your comfort zone then you really need to read Leah Day’s post Quilting Without Fear. Very inspirational and well written, it is an article that gives me hope. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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