Honoring a Friend

Like many of you, I belong to a community of fun loving quilters. A member of my quilt community was my friend Roberta Horton (left) who passed away in February of 2021. In Roberta’s honor, her twin sister, Mary Mashuta (right), requested that several artisans make quilts using fabric designed by Roberta for a special exhibit debuting at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA, this fall.

Roberta designed these fabrics for Clothworks of Seattle several years ago. They are yarn-dyed handwoven fabrics featuring a variety of plaid and stripe patterns. Mary sent me a stack of Roberta’s beautiful fabrics to use with my own fabrics to create the quilt. I was instantly smitten by the feel of the cloth and the colors!

Roberta’s Garden by Laura Wasilowski

I have fond memories of visiting Roberta and Mary at their home in Berkley, CA. Their warm Craftsman-style home not only housed their colorful studios but a lush garden in the backyard. Mary called it Roberta’s garden. Roberta populated the garden with repurposed chairs and potted plants along stone paths. It was a peaceful respite, a haven in a big city.

As I created Roberta’s Garden, I thought of all the quiltmakers she taught and encouraged over the years, including me. It was always a delight to see her and Mary at quilt shows and chat with them about quilting and our quilt community. I am honored to be part of this exhibit and this vast quilt community that embraces us all. Thank you, Roberta. Thank you, Mary.

What Can You Design with Embroidery Stencils?

My friend, Christen Brown, gave me a challenge recently. She sent me a set of her latest embroidery stencils from the Darling Motif Collection and asked to give them a test drive. Challenge accepted!

I’ve never used embroidery stencils before. My usual method of creating hand embroidery designs is to improvise without marking the fabric. But these stencils are so sweet! It wasn’t difficult to come up with a design and mark a piece of my hand-dyed silk fabric using a fine chalk pencil.

This scene from my garden depicts actual events. Our bird friend is thinking, “How am I going to ever fit into that tiny door on the birdhouse?”

After tracing the stencil shapes. The silk fabric is fused to a wool batting using Misty Fuse, a lightweight fusible web.

The hand embroidery follows the stencil lines. I’m using my hand-dyed size 12 pearl cotton threads in a variety of colorways. To outline the shapes, I used chain stitches and stem stitches. The handy French knot makes dots.

Should I stop here? I think not! More stitching to come.

Thank You and the Winners


Frieda’s House by Laura Wasilowski

My friend Frieda (who lives in the above house) likes to remind me that I may have “over-bought” when I placed my order for stacks of colorful Commonwealth Felt years ago. Frequently she asks, “What are you doing with all of that felt?” And for years (yes, years) I have tried to come up with a snappy response. But alas, I have no snap.

So I’ve decided to give my stacks of felt cut-aways away.


Thank you so much for not mentioning that I may have “over-bought” in your kind comments on the previous blog post. (Frieda, please take note.) And thank you to the lucky winners of the latest bundles who are helping me get rid of my felt cut-aways: Gail W, Rebecca B, and Michelle W.