winners all!

A pattern is now emerging. Making quilts designed by people who live nearby is creating a sense of roots sprouting under my feet! We are winners all in this game of life, when we share the joy of creating.

  1. Winner of “Win YOUR Quilt” drawing, West Seattle Grounds coffee shop, June 10, 2021:

2. Winning quilt from November 20, 2021 Holiday Bazaar in the Alki Masonic Hall, West Seattle, WA:

Take your chance at designing–and winning–your own handmade art quilt, this Saturday, December 4 from 1-4pm, at the Holiday Makers Market at West Seattle Grounds coffee shop! The drawing will be held at 3:45pm, so don’t delay…


raindrops are falling on my head (more thoughts on form and the formless)

A true Seattlelite, I love everything (well, almost) about rain. The sound, the smell, the sensation of moisture on your skin. The fog, the moss, the infinity of greens. (Wet feet, not so much.) Embrace it! It will soon change. It may rain less for a while, for instance, before a new cloud bursts. The sun may even poke through!

“People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness, that is to say, dependent on form. They don’t realize that what happens is the most unstable thing in the universe. It changes constantly.

The joy of Being, which is truly the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event–through anything that happens. The joy cannot come to you–ever. It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and this is one with who you are.”

–Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, p. 213-214.

The photos below relay my voyage yesterday, down the hill to the dock at Seacrest Park, then across Elliott Bay to the waterfront. From there I walked up through Pioneer Square and Chinatown to the Seattle Kung Fu Club for class. (It was amazing, as always. T’ai chi is sublime!) The last photo, of the Port of Seattle cranes and harbor, was taken later in the day on the return journey–see how much “sunnier” it got, between 10am and 1:30pm?!

Happy Sunday to all!

(p.s. It’s ok to be happy, even in the rain.)


morning thoughts on form, and The Form (art and T’ai chi) and the WSEA Water taxi!

This misty grey morning, as I peer out at Elliott Bay and think about the voyage ahead–down the hill in the rain, onto the water taxi and across the bay, up through Pioneer Square to Chinatown where I’ll do T’ai chi at the Seattle Kung Fu Club studio, I feel energized and serene. Reading Peter Ralston lately has been inspiring, and to practice T’ai chi and make quilts at the same time seems somehow philosophically coherent.

As Ralston writes in Principles of Effortless Power, “Only the ‘form’ survives of anything created and then passed on in time, since creativity resides within what is formless and this formlessness cannot survive, having never existed. Therefore, only when the form is being consciously created in this moment is it truly useful and representative of its origin” (xx).

The form, message, and feel of a quilt become visible over time, as seen in the photos below, dated 11/20/21 and 11/26/21. Once created, it is. You can feel it with your hands and face, snuggle under its warmth, enjoy its bright colors and patterns. It may fade if left in the sun, or be stained by some accident, yet a quilt will usually survive a pretty long time.

The Form we practice in T’ai chi comes to life in time as well. Yet once created, it is gone, until next time.

So far, I’ve learned about 20 minutes of the Wu Form. When I practice, I feel like I’m inhabiting a timeless realm where themes and refrains repeat through space, spiraling and stepping to some unknown beat. Can’t wait for class!

P.S. These photos of the water taxi and Chinatown are from July 2018, when we had just moved here. They do not represent the world as it looks today, on 11/27/2021. the fog hangs heavy over the water this morning… making the world just a little more quiet.


Trivia Quiz for “A Double Life” by Karolina Pavlova

Trivia Quiz for A Double Life by Karolina Pavlova (1848)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 11/21/21

1. Maxims. Like many nineteenth-century authors, Karolina Pavlova tucks numerous precepts or words of wisdom into the narration. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. “Of all the soul’s impressions, shame is the most conventional and the one most capable of being falsely applied.”

b. “It befits a prudent mother to act with severity only with impoverished suitors.”

c. “The old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.”

d. “A child needs an English nurse more than a mother.”

2. The banality of Moscow’s high society. Pavlova underlines the banality of aristocratic life in Moscow in many ways. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. “She wanted, suddenly, to shock people, to hurt them, to make them notice her, to be aware of her suffering.”        

b. In the summer, society people leave their homes not to travel abroad or visit the country, but rather to live in the “Park”, an open, landscaped area within city limits.

c. It is easy for society women to traverse Moscow in making social visits, due to the “topographical knowledge of ladies.”

d. A much-anticipated, highly expensive birthday dinner is described as: “like all dinners of this sort, long and boring.”

3. The flawed suitor. Dimitry Ivachinsky is a problematic suitor who possesses some disappointing attributes, including all but one of the following. Which is not in the book?

a. He expresses disgust about the “raw sheepskin coats” worn by ordinary folk.

b. He’s known to be “secret and self-contained.”

c. He scoffs at one lady’s fortune: “Not a very large fortune, six hundred souls”.

d. On the night before his wedding, he “feels ashamed” that his friends suggest he’s settling down, and so declares, “In a week from today, I’ll invite you all to a heroic drinking bout with the gypsies.”

4. Psychological awareness. The heroine, Cecily, suffers from a number of oppressive symptoms and vague confusions which leave her mind troubled. Which of the following is not mentioned?

a. “dreams about horrible things”                  

b. “senseless fear and mysterious grief”

c. “a series of pinpricks”                               

d. “incoherent thoughts”

5. Pavlova: the Russian Dorothy Parker? The characters in A Double Life voice a number of droll comments that recall the American writer Dorothy Parker (née Rothschild; 1893-1967). Which of the following quotes is not found in A Double Life?

a. “She was obliged to make fun of people because she had the reputation of being very witty.”

b. “She dreamed by day of never again putting on tight shoes, of never having to laugh and listen and admire, of never more being a good sport. Never.”

c. “Literature is extremely respected, and ladies especially have been devoting such attention to it for some time that only by hardly noticeable signs is it possible to guess that, in fact, they play no active part in it.”

d. “’I think,’ she said, ‘that that blue dress will soon get a medal, it’s done such long service.’”

6. Female complaints. Which of the physical conditions is not mentioned in A Double Life ?

a. dizziness    

b. menstruation          

c. headaches   

d. the “most pitiable, abnormal condition” of writing poetry

7. Female rivalry: a warning?  Women are a force to be reckoned with in this novel and a motivating element in the final climax. Which of the following is not in the book?

a. One character declares, “I always say a woman cannot have too many resources—And I feel very thankful that I have so many myself.”

b. A mother takes pride in her daughter’s upbringing, because “It took time and skill to destroy in her soul its innate thirst for delight and enthusiasm.”

c. A woman is condemned by another because: “For all the husband’s faults, the wife is guilty.”

d. A woman maintains her place in society by “skillfully and artfully” hiding the machinations which pushed her friend to marry off her daughter to a dubious suitor, so as to nudge a wealthier suitor toward her own daughter.

8. Cecily’s character. For all her vagueness, the heroine does possess some strengths. Which of the following does not apply to her character?

a. She listens “with that strange aptitude that we sometimes possess, or more precisely, that possesses us at times when our hearts are sleepwalking.”

b. The narrator comments: “There was something furious about her, even when she laughed, which she did a great deal.”

c. She senses “a gleam of heavenly truth, a sincere feeling, a revelation of the soul” for a minute.

d. She “felt within herself that it was somehow nobler and better to prefer poverty to wealth. … She sincerely rejoiced in her choice.”

9. Poetic images. The author weaves poetry into prose so as to create an alternative reality. Cecily’s nocturnal reveries repeat certain motifs. Which words are not found in these poems?

a. “dreams despondent and tense”     

b. a “stern and powerful visitor”       

c. “Listen to them, the children of the night!”           

d. “mute tears and obscure struggles”

10. Historical context. Which element from nineteenth-century actuality appears in this novel?

a. The “country” novels of French woman writer George Sand       

b. The Communist Manifesto, pub. 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

c. the pan-European workers’ revolts of 1848, aka “the Springtime of the Peoples”   

d. The overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy in France (February 1848)


1. c. (That quote is from Stoker, Dracula.)

2. a. (That quote is from Larsen, Passing.)

3. b. (That quote describes the early Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.)

4. c. (That quote is from Mitford, The Pursuit of Love.)

5. b. (That quote is from Dorothy Parker.)

6. b.

7. a. (That quote is from Austen, Emma; it describes Mrs. Elton.)

8. b. (That quote is from Mitford, The Pursuit of Love.)

9. c. (That quote is from Stoker, Dracula.)

10. a.


creativity blooms at the Alki Masonic Hall! & “Quilt Maker Kits” for parties!

Today’s Holiday Bazaar in West Seattle was a little, well, bizarre, but the silver lining was to see several people, little kids and older folks (my age, that is) who were all enjoying the “Win YOUR Quilt” game. They were moving squares around, eye-balling the effects, seeing line and color like artists for a few minutes, and discussing it with their family and friends. It is a deeply pleasurable experience, that was visible on their faces.

For me, it was really a delight to see that.

Sorry I didn’t take pictures — it seems pushy and rude, so I don’t.

Eight people played the game, and the winning design is shown here. I’ll be back in touch when the whole thing is done, but for now, here is the formula which I’ve decided to start marketing. People love it!


Purchase a “Quilt Maker’s Kit” of 30 artsy squares by HGBG

Invite your friends and family over for a Quilt Making Party and Drawing!

Part One: MAKE A QUILT! game
Public: Who can play?


  1. Ensure hands are clean, with wipes provided.
  2. Browse through the quilt squares, choose 15 that you like. Put the other ones into a neat pile to the side.
  3. Choose your layout: horizontal or vertical.
    (“Frankenstein” is vertical; “Respect wall-hanging” is horizontal)
  4. Lay out your quilt squares in lines according to the blue taped areas on the table. It will create a design that is 3 squares x 5 squares (vertical), or 5 squares x 3 squares (horizontal).
  5. Straighten it all up.
  6. Take a photo with your cell phone.
    Congratulations! You are now a quilt designer and that is your first e-quilt!

Part Two: WIN YOUR QUILT! drawing

  1. Each person makes a quilt and photographs it in the Make a Quilt game (above).
  2. Each person writes name and contact information (email and/or phone) on a slip of paper.
  3. Fold it and put the paper in a shoebox.
  4. At a precise time, hold a drawing!
  5. Notify the winner.
  6. Contact HGBG. Details of the design and choice of fabric for the back will be discussed with Ms. Julia who will put the order on her to-do list!
  7. The finished quilt will be ready in 3-4 weeks and delivered (in Seattle) or shipped.

NEWS! Now available!

QUILT MAKER KITS: Love the “Make a Quilt” and “WIN YOUR Quilt” games? Want to bring them to a family get-together or child’s birthday party? Get a Quilt Maker Kit (30 squares) & custom-made follow-up quilt for only $399.99 (plus tax)!
Contact me! juliawsea@juliawsea


a visit to NYC!

Hello again,

We just got back from our semi-annual trip to NJ and NYC, to see family and friends. In NYC, we stayed at the Washington Square Hotel, on Waverly Place: highly recommend! The staff were super nice and helpful, and it was fun to learn from them about the hotel’s art nouveau decor and the many people who’ve been its neighbors in New York history (including the Roosevelts). The hotel is worth a peek even if you don’t stay there.

Art nouveau chandelier, Washington Square Hotel, NYC

On our last morning, we walked up to one of my favorite places in the world. Come along!

Another day, we took in the Surrealism exhibit currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum which was Fantastic, as was the Afrofuturist Room. The labels displayed alongside those exhibits are particularly noteworthy–kudos to the curators, for telling stories and giving life histories as well as providing provenance etc., as you’ll see below:

Fabiola Jean-Louis, Haitian, b. 1978, Justice of Ezili (2021).

Arshile Gorky, Turkish, 1904-1948, Water of the Flowery Mill (1944).

Tarsila do Amaral, Brazilian, 1886-1973, City (The Street) (1929).

Also delightful were passing sights, like these:

— an Audre Lord poem in the subway,

–and a sexy unicorn !

(Big Gay Ice Cream shop, 61 Grove Street, NYC)

Last but not least, my art shot, taken from our room at the hotel, which I may call Keeping Things in Hand

or Still Life with Boots. Either way, that room was sooooo comfortable and quiet.

Great to have photos like these to imagine it again, now that we’re back under the cold wet drenching rain here in Seattle. (Note the sunny weather in NYC?? It was Amazing!)


T-shirt Models join forces with HGBG!

On September 26, I announced the search for ten people willing to model a T-shirt for my small business, Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC, in return for a donation of $100 on their behalf to Fusion Kung-Fu and Movements Arts: a martial arts school that we all love in central Seattle. (That’s our teacher in the cover photo, with a Kung Fu student. The student may be taller than Sifu Michelle Pleasant, but I doubt she is mightier than our teacher.)

Today I’m delighted to announce that we did it!

We made an alternative economy happen.

We invested in this school, our community, because we are aware of the joy and convenience it gives us to learn martial arts, without travelling too far from home. (And we are aware of the high cost of Seattle real estate.) If you’d like to join the effort, please do!

Great thanks to all of those who contributed–I’m sure readers will agree that everyone looks marvelous!

Seattle really is that kind of place. Proud to be born here, to work here, and to have HGBG become a new member of SEATTLE MADE, a network of local artisans and creators who sell products all over town, even at SeaTac Airport. (Wow, what a thrill that would be; maybe one day!)

P.S. Get your own HGBG T-shirt for only $19.95 while supplies last…


Trivia Quiz for “Dracula” by Bram Stoker

Trivia Quiz for Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 10/17/21

1. The authority as author. Published during the heyday of positivism, Dracula is composed of textual material taken from numerous sources that appear authoritative. The preface describes it as “simple fact”. Which is not a source?

a. personal diaries of eye-witnesses

b. business correspondence between shipping agents and lawyers

c. an omniscient narrator, uninvolved in the action

d. telegrams and newspaper articles

e. a ship captain’s log of a journey

2. Maxims. Like many nineteenth-century authors, Bram Stoker tucks numerous precepts or words of wisdom into the narration. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. “A stranger in a strange land, he is no one.”

b. “As blood-suckers go, you can trust leeches and bats more than wimmin.”

c. “The old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.”

d. “For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin, and death be all that we can rightly depend on.”

3. The weird place. Stoker underlines the strangeness of Transylvania in many ways. Which of the following is not in the novel?

a. The local people make a gesture by raising both arms in a cross, and put a lot of cumin in their food, to ward off what they call “the evil eye”.

b. This is where “the whirlpool of European races” fought for dominance.

c. The national dish, a chicken done up with paprika, is said to be “very good but thirsty”.

d. The land is inhabited by people described as “Czseks and Slovaks, all in picturesque attire, but … goitre was painfully prevalent.”

4. The strange host. Count Dracula is also described as possessing odd attributes, including all but one of the following. Which is not in the book?

a. He is seen to “crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings… just as a lizard moves along a wall.”

b. One witness declares: “There was no reflection of him in the mirror!”

c. In telling the history of his family, Count Dracula speaks as if he had been present at all the battles, using the pronoun “we,” like a king.

d. Although old-fashioned in many respects, he promotes the idea, shared with the “New Women” writers, that “men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting marriage.”

5. Psychological tools. Inspired by the rise of psychology and psychopharmacology, Stoker makes use of numerous phenomena prized by Freud and his colleagues, to eke out meaning from the strange occurrences. Which of the following are not mentioned?

a. dreams        

b. hypnosis     

c. drugs such as morphia, given through hypodermic injection 

d. electroshock therapy          

e. the study of idées fixes or obsessions

6. High-Tech Potentials. Stoker’s characters marvel over the improved technology which makes their work possible. Which of the following inventions is not mentioned in the book?

a. the X-ray    

b. the typewriter         

c. the steam engine    

d. the blood transfusion       

7. Dracula and his quotable quotes. For the modern reader, Dracula seems to be full of clichés, but that may simply be because so many later authors, film-makers, and artists have borrowed from Stoker’s work. Which of the following quotes is not spoken by the Vampire?

a. [Upon hearing the howling of wolves]: “Listen to them, the children of the night!”

b. [After warning someone against opening locked doors]: “Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.”

c. [On seeing a man shaving]: “Take care how you cut yourself. It is more dangerous than you think in this country.”

d. [After a brutal episode in his nation’s history]: “What good are peasants without a leader?”   

8. Local color. Which of the following products are not discovered and discussed by the English characters in their exploration of Transylvanian culture?

a. licorice       

b. garlic          

c. “slivovitz” (plum brandy)  

d. “impletata” (stuffed eggplant)

9. Female power: a warning?  Women are a force to be reckoned with in this novel and a motivating element in the final climax. Which of the following is not in the book?

a. At one time, a white-clad woman known as the “bloofer lady” was abducting children from Hampstead Heath at night; they were found with wounds on their throats.

b. Upon opening a door in Dracula Castle, a visitor finds “three terrible women licking their lips.”

c. “Alas! I am unclean,” notes one character with bite marks on her throat. But she lives on…

d. The women characters, as demure as they appear, all have the “extraordinary habit” of playing with knives.

10. Dracula’s strength and weakness. Count Dracula has superhuman powers, but certain limitations contain him too.  Which one of the following statements is untrue?

a. Despite his Satanic leanings, Dracula can be repulsed by people bearing Judeo-Christian ornaments, such as a crucifix or Star of David.

b. He can summon fog and storm and snow and wolves, but only at night.

c. He can travel abroad, but only in a box of earth and with the help of accomplices.

d. Despite his ability to crawl up the side of buildings and transform into a bat, Dracula can only do so after sunset and before dawn.


1. c.

2. b. (This one’s my own invention!–jdv)

3. a.

4. d.

5. d.

6. a.

7. b. (This is from Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)

8. a.

9. d.

10. a.


Next week: NAACP event features “Respect” wall-hangings!

I’m thrilled that my work will be included in the items auctioned by the King County NAACP during the Live Virtual Event next week! Two “Respect” wall-hangings–“For Him” (left) and “For Her” (right) will be featured. Details below!

Here’s to the great work done by the NAACP in Washington state and nation-wide!

1. “Respect” wall-hanging “For Him” (left, above)

2. “Respect” wall-hanging “For Her” (right, above)

The “Respect” wall-hangings: civil rights artwork for the home!

There are many symbols stitched in these wall hangings, such as the three little birds which conjure up Bob Marley’s song, the state names, and the two pockets which represent resourcefulness, grit, and homegrown American sweetness. The artworks represent an effort to honor Black culture in the USA, so that the history of struggles, the ongoing connection to Africa, and hopes for the future live on.

Both feature fabric from today’s leading designers—the historical vignettes of dignified African Americans are made of “Harlem Toile de Jouy” by Sheila Bridges and the silhouettes of Afro-wearing women by Aphrochic—both of Brooklyn, NY.

– Three patches declare our political statement: 1) a portrait in yellow and black of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, 2) a cheery reminder of Bob Marley’s song “One Love,” and 3) the slogan “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”

– The back of “For Him” is made of plain red cotton; “For Her” is made of a blue and green African print resembling a palm tree or long-necked woman. Both are bordered with Japanese block prints from Hosekibako, an elegant resale shop in Seattle’s Int’l District; “For Him” features white cotton with brown bamboo and flowers; “For Her” features a dark blue cotton with large black lilies.

– Materials: cotton, satin, denim, flannel

– Size:  Height: 37”; Width: 57”; Depth: 1/3:

– Polyester batting (1/3” thick) assures lightweight warmth and a cozy feel.

– Quilted the old-fashioned way, with tiny knots of embroidery floss, tied on the back.

– The final binding is stitched on by hand, with tiny stitches to keep it safe and sound.

– Each wall-hanging has a cloth “sleeve” at the top, for easy mounting (with a stick or dowel and a couple nails).

Made in Seattle by Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC: a woman-owned business, estab. 2018, by Seattle native Julia Douthwaite Viglione (daughter of G.K. “Jeff” Douthwaite, former WA state legislator and civil rights advocate).

Respect wall-hangings, backs, “For Him” (left) and “For Her” (right)


a quilt is born today!

I’m feeling a spring in my step today, as I wrap up the work on “Respect” quilt no. 12!

It will be available for sale soon, via the “Great Futures Gala and Auction” of the King County Boys and Girls Club, to be held online October 23, 2021.

Here’s to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America!