Archives for the month of: May, 2015
Niyama with her quilt

Nyima (Andrea) with a baby quilt she hand stitched in India. A quilter will know how complicated it would be to set this many small blocks in a quilt like this.

sewing label

She stitches a label in a quilt

When I asked my friend Nyima for some words of wisdom for living a good life, she replied:

Have courage.

See the humor

Be useful.

Be kind.

Nyima Lhamo  is a Buddhist nun living simple life in Mongoo, a village high in the Himalayan mountains near Darjeeling in India. Until 12 years ago she was Andrea Balosky, quilter and good friend living at Camp Sherman near Sisters, Oregon. While there she made the decision to begin to learn about Tibetan Buddhism and she needed to be closer to those who practiced it to do that, she sold everything and moved to India. She says she has never looked back. Recently she was in the U.S. to attend to her visa and she stayed with our family last week. We spent the time talking about life in the remote mountains, and about our kids, and about quilting.

andrea with anna

Andrea plays with our little foster daughter

Andrea Balosky was a well-known quilter, and is the author of the book “Transitions.”   This is my “go to” book I need an inspiration for a new quilt. I met her when I was looking for someone to hand quilt a Hawaiian quilt top I had purchased. Andrea was born in Hawaii and her first quilt was in the Hawaiian style, done for her mother. She said she loved to hand quilt while watching sports on TV on the long snowy evenings in Camp Sherman. She estimated would take her until Christmas to finish, and actually it took her a couple of years but the result is spectacular.

andrea with hawaiian quilt

Andres stands behind the Hawaiian quilt she hand quilted for Ted and me.

hand quilting

An example of Andrea’s fine quilting.

She is famous for her small quilts, which she calls “doll quilts” and an exhibit of 100 of them was displayed at the Latimer Quilt Museum in Tillamook Oregon.

quilt show

Latimer Quilt Museum display

dolls and  quilts

The museum displayed my dolls with Andrea’s quilts

doll quilt

One of the Small Wonders collection

When she left the U.S. she sold her collection of small quilts and Ted and I purchased this charming collection. They can be seen in this book, “Small Wonders.”   We don’t receive income from the sale of the book, only have satisfaction of sharing them. She doesn’t quilt much now, she doesn’t have access to good fabric or batting in India, but in preparation for her trip, she made 50 small potholders which will be sold by the Pine Needler quilt group in Camp Sherman to raise money to purchase a defibulator. And she made one for me! pot holder

And her additional words of wisdom, for me were:
Learn what is enough.
Learn what is essential

Oh my. What am I doing with all of the “stuff” in this house?

And her final word—

“Do the difficult while it is easy.” — Lao Tzu

Andrea with Merrily

Friends

jerry's garden

“Cross Currents #2” by Andrea and now belonging to Bill Volkening

salute to the Sun
“Salute to the Sun” a small quilt done by hand in India for the Alzheimer’s Quilt Project.[/caption]

Some of the photos in this blog are by  William Volkening

This and that, I have a few different things I’d like to say.

I am taking a class on blogging this week and expect to be able to do new and wonderful things with blogging very soon. So stay with me.

I have finished some quilts recently, and am sharing the photos. In the class next week I hope to learn about lining up photos, but meanwhile, just keep  scrolling down.

asia close

Asian Circles up close, I hand quilted this one.

asian circles - Copy

strip stripe (2)

Strippy Stripes

stripes

strpes close

tiffany's quilt

apples - Copy

apples full - Copy

Apples to Apples

pinwheels

Pinwheels

My younger brother Jack is visiting from Thailand this week. He has lived on Phuket Island for 12 years and considers Thailand his home. He comes to visit once a year and it is always fun to visit with him and my sister who lives South of Seattle. Jack especially enjoys bring up obscure memories about things that happened in our neighborhood when we were growing up.   I am beginning to think he makes  some of them up. In two years he will turn 70 and he is planning a party and we are invited. We are planning to go, Ted Seneca Raven and me. I have been there three or four times and it is a wonderful place to visit.

My brother Jack

My brother Jack

We have been promised our renewed foster home license. We completed the 36 hours of required training, plus an all-day first aid class. We got the currently required immunizations for us and the kids AND the pets. We put a fence across the lake in front of the house to meet current safety standards.

gate

Gate to our new foster kid fence

fence

Ted and rolls of fencing

However we were told that the bedroom Raven uses was not suitable for foster children.

This room is on the second floor, is large with a vaulted ceiling and has lots of windows and is a great room for kids. However we were told it couldn’t be used because it contained a washer and dryer. A check of the Washington Administrative Code revealed nothing that would prohibit the use of a bedroom with a washer and dryer in it, and so the battle began.   For seven months we went back and forth, until Ted finally contacted our State Legislator, Steve Tharinger and his office made some calls. This week Ted got a call saying that we have been approved to have children in that room, since doing laundry there does not pose a health or safety hazard and we have been using it for the past six years. Dealing with challenging children is nothing compared to dealing with the government.

The thing that is so puzzling is that they are crying for foster homes.   This weekend we are caring for an extra teen age girl on an emergency basis and since Friday I have gotten three calls asking us to take another child, (yesterday a two year old girl) yet they make it so difficult to become foster home licensed—doesn’t make sense.

We have recently lost two good friends. Husband and wife, both deaths unexpected and sudden. It makes us appreciate all we have.