Monday, September 26, 2016

a day with Melissa

I spent the day with Melissa Averinos on Wednesday. She was in Portland to lecture and teach for Portland Modern Quilt Guild, and stayed a few extra days to soak in our amazing city.

First order of business was donuts. We went to Blue Star, got half a dozen donuts and ate them all! I got chocolate ganache all over my face, but was able to get reasonably cleaned up before going to the quilt show.

The annual Northwest Quilting Expo at the Portland Expo Center was another great show. There was something for everyone!

Best of Show winner, "Extraneous Female EscapementMechanism"
by Rebecca "Becky" Price, Henderson, TX
1830s chintz star quilt, collection of Latimer Quilt & Textile Center
"Keep Portland Weird" by Barbara Sanders
After the show we went to my place to have one last donut, see some old quilts and meet Lulu, my crazy, talking feral rescue cat. Lulu often hides under the bed when new people come to visit, but she came right out to greet Melissa. Cat whisperers, we are.

Melissa brought gifts. One of my favorites was a fabric swatch printed through Spoonflower, with one of her amusing drawings.

Being around Melissa inspired me. She's written a pile of books and works in a wide variety of media, including music. She teaches a "Making Cat Faces" class, and I thought it would be fun to make a Lulu cat face.

I was just returning from a week-long visit to Maine and New Jersey, and sadly missed her class, but asked a couple simple questions about how the cat faces were made. It was something like this:


"No, glue stick."

"Quilt it down?"


There were a few other details, such as possible methods of quilting, but the technical information was only a small part of what I needed. It's been a dry year, creatively. I haven't made a thing, except maybe dinner. Being around Melissa made me want to make more things.

Of course, I'm always a little unsure about making a quilt since I'm highly unqualified in sewing. Melissa even asked if I wanted her to make me one. I would love that, but also thought I could do it. She helped me believe I could do it.

I went straight home after dropping her off, pulled out some of my Spoonflower fabrics and made a Lulu cat face quilt. Finally, I'd thought of something fun to do with my Green Alien Space Baby fabric!

The quilt is inspired by Lulu, and a photo I took of her when she sniffed something funny. Cats make this funny face when they sniff something interesting. Poor Lulu, such an unflattering pose! She really is a beautiful kitty. Many thanks to Melissa for the inspiration!



  1. I think that is the face Lulu would make if she saw/sniffed any baby...alien or not! (love the quilt and glad you are back in your creative space!)

  2. The LuLu block is hysterical! It looks just like her smelling something funny! Good job! Now you need to make a series of these and then make a quilt with them.

  3. You nailed it! Nice work, Bill!

  4. Great quilt! Glad to know you're back to making again.

  5. Great story--it has it all donuts, quilts, crazy cats, and fun.

  6. I think you nailed it. You need to give yourself more credit for your unique style of quilting.

  7. i love it! i wish i were as free as you are. keep on making quilts!

  8. Good to see your mojo is back!

  9. I love your awesome cat quilt!! The expression on her face is priceless and you couldn't have used a more perfect background fabric.

  10. Gosh, don't all black cats have a similar personality!? Great job.