join us June 10, creative fun guaranteed! (trust me)

(In memory of a dear friend’s passing and time’s fleeting path. Sorry to see you leave so soon, Matt VE…)

Hello fine people,

Since we’ve all survived thus far, I’d like to invite you to join me in person on June 10, from 5-8 pm, at the “Dreaming in Quilts” show currently on display at West Seattle Grounds coffee shop, in Seattle. It is the June ArtWalk evening; you could make this one stop on a lovely evening promenade around scenic West Seattle. If you come, I promise to welcome you with a smile, answer any questions that may arise about my creations, and enjoy watching people play “Make a Quilt.” At 8pm, Joanie (the wonderful manager of this event) will draw someone’s paper out of the box, and announce who won the “WIN YOUR QUILT!” drawing, for a free quilt of their own design!

There are eight quilts on display: three “Respect” quilts in honor of #BLM and inspired by fascinating Black people I know; one each of the Frankenstein and Alice in Wonderland quilts, two one-of-a-kind Japanese Kimono Silk quilts*, and a subdued, blue/grey/green watery-looking quilt inspired by Seattle called “Western Pacific.”

They are perfectly imperfect, each in its own way (being a firm believer in Haruki Murakami’s adage, “a certain type of perfection can only be realized through the limitless accumulation of the imperfect”).

*The Japanese Kimono Silk quilts were made with tiny bits of silk from a long-lost catalogue for kimono makers, placed in a pretty rice cake tin that was found at Hosekibako, a Japanese resale shop. I miss browsing around that elegant store and finding such treasures, but I am happy to see they now sell online!

The Make a Quilt game is free, simple, and accessible to all, the youngest and oldest among us too (no pins, needles, or scissors involved). Participants will find a long table marked with blue tape outlining a 5×3 grid and a pile of 10” sewn quilt squares in various textures and colors and patterns. People will choose 15 squares, lay them out in their own designs, straighten ’em up, take a photo; voilà an e-quilt! With that, they can now join the drawing for a real quilt on the same design: “WIN YOUR QUILT!” (The winner will receive the very quilt they’ve designed, in 6-8 weeks.)

A creative, fun time guaranteed. Particularly recommended for people re-entering the world after a long moment of isolation and possible sadness, whose eyes look downwards and moments of joy seem few. In other words, all of us. Kids too.

If coming to West Seattle is too much of a challenge, not to worry. HGBG quilts are currently on sale via the Honey Girl Books & Gifts etsy site at a fabulous 50% discount (use code LUVWSEA) until June 30, 2021. And if you’d like to host a future “Dreaming in Quilts” show in your neighborhood, why not write to me? (use the contact page on this blog). Who knows what we might do, to spread loving kindness around this sad old world.

Thank you, for all that you do to support the Black Lives Matter movement, appreciation of Asian-Americans, and the rich contributions all make to American culture. Let us usher in trust as the post-pandemic concept of choice, right now, right where we live.

art creativity dogs friendship quilts

Holiday greetings to one and all!

I send cheerful wishes through the rain and fog of a dark Seattle afternoon. It’s 2:56pm; soon it will be pitch black. Gloomy ? not us. Why not? Easy. Q: What could be better than a nice big dog on a rainy day in a small house, to give you  a cozy feeling ?  Here’s Honey Girl with a clue.

Honey girl and Xmas tree Dec 2019.jpg

A: nothing.  Except maybe a nice big dog on a rainy day in a small house with an espresso machine. 🙂  Let’s crank up La Cimbali for an afternoon pick-me-up…


And what could be better than one Frankenstein wall-hanging? Two Frankenstein quilt/wall-hangings!  No. 2 and no. 3 are now for sale: grab one while you can, on the HGBG etsy store!


And put your feet up when you can. Take it easy on yourself this year.

Happy holidays to all!

art creativity design English literature humor quilts work

answer to the riddle / solution de la devinette : Frankenstein quilt/wall-hanging no. 2 !

Thanks for coming back!  The answer to yesterday’s riddle is today’s finished creation:  Frankenstein patchwork quilt / wall-hanging no. 2!  This original artwork is both useful and pretty, though it may bring on nightmares… It can hold your phone and keys in its pocket made of tuxedo pants, all the while thrilling the touch with lustrous satins, silks, and the beaded décor of an evening jacket. Meanwhile, your eyes will follow the story—told as if on the page of a book, from top left to bottom right–of Mary Shelley’s poignant creature in Frankenstein. (Details below.) Available now in a limited edition, this Frankenstein quilt no. 2 has a 100% cotton back made of “Stargazers” blue cotton with gold accents, and a sleeve allowing it to play double duty (as a bed cover or wall-hanging).

Merci d’être revenus pour la suite ! La solution de la devinette est: Le patchwork quilt / tenture « Frankenstein » no. 2!

Cette œuvre d’art originale est utile et agréable, quand elle ne te donne pas de cauchemars… Elle peut cacher discrètement le téléphone portable et les clés dans sa poche tout en caressant la main avec ses tissus (le satin, la soie, un morceau d’une veste perlée). Entretemps, laisse tes yeux plonger dans l’histoire—racontée comme un livre, du haut en bas, de gauche à droite—de la créature ô combien pathétique, du roman de Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.  (Les détails se trouvent ci-dessous.) Un sleeve attaché au haut permet de l’afficher sans l’abimer, quand il ne sert pas de couverture sur un lit. Ce patchwork quilt Frankenstein no. 2, disponible désormais en édition limitée, est doublé d’un dos 100% coton « Stargazers », bleu marine avec des accents dorés.

Frankenstein quilt / wall-hanging, no. 2

Captain Walton, a ship captain, initially promises a strange story about a person whose name starts with “F.” He is stuck in the ice and snow, and lonely for human contact, so he takes pen in hand. He writes of a scientist who works in secret laboring long into the night, and taking bodies from unhallowed graves, as he tries a fiendish experiment. A creature is born of his work! The creature loves the sights and sensations of being alive, delights in nature, and becomes fond of a peasant family living nearby. He watches their games.

Eventually, he develops jealousy. He demands a mate. The scientist refuses. When his hopes are dashed, the creature descends into despair, then anger. For the rest of his days, he pursues a vendetta against his creator and his kin. Finally, the scientist and this awful being face off on a ship in the Arctic, before the monster disappears into the fog.

The dramatic effects are enhanced by the following designer accents:

– the three-piece sepia hunt sequence (rabbit, leaves, and dog) is “On Point” by Brunschwig & Fils Inc.

– The watery looking brown and white silk in the top left is “Cawdor” by Nina Campbell

– The light green utopia of fox and fawn, is called “Woodland Gathering” by Betsy Olmsted

– The green Frankenstein head buttons are from Buttons Galore

– The original cartoon of Frankenstein’s creature was drawn by Seattle artist John Douthwaite

-The black serge tuxedo pants with pocket are from Louie’s Tux Shop

Machine quilted, finished by hand; With a sleeve for wall mounting; Polyester batting

Made in Seattle by Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC:

36″ x 45″

Available now on etsy:

Frankenstein, patchwork / tenture no. 2

Le Capitaine Walton, du bord de son navire, commence en évoquant un personnage étrange qu’il rencontra en route au Pôle Nord, dont le nom commence par « F ». Puisque son navire ne peut avancer dans la mer de glace, il prend la plume et décrit ce personnage, un scientifique qui travailla tard dans la nuit, seul dans son laboratoire. Il prend des cadavres des tombes impies, pour tenter une expérience interdite: la création d’un être humain.  Une créature est née de ses labeurs ! La créature prend du plaisir à vivre : il aime la nature et les paysans qui vivent près de sa cachette dans la forêt. Il les regarde dans leurs jeux. Il apprend à leur envier leur sort. Il voudrait les rejoindre.

Avec le temps, la jalousie le prend. Il désire avoir une femme et demande au scientifique de lui en fabriquer un partenaire. Celui-ci refuse. C’est alors que le désespoir, puis la rage envahissent la créature. Il passera le reste de ses jours à poursuivre son créateur—et sa famille—pour se venger de sa misère. Enfin les deux se rencontrent dans la mer arctique, ils se disputent, et le monstre disparaît pour jamais dans la brume.

Les effets dramatiques sont soulignés par les étoffes designer comme suit :

– la chasse en trois moments (le lapin, les feuilles, le chien de chasse) est « Sur le point » par Brunschwig & Fils Inc.

– La soie marron et blanc s’appelle « Cawdor » par Nina Campbell

– Le coton en vert clair où un renard et un daim demeurent en paix, s’appelle « Woodland Gathering » par Betsy Olmsted

– Le tissu serge noire, tiré d’un smoking, vient de Louie’s Tux Shop

– La caricature originale de la créature de Frankenstein vient de l’artiste John Douthwaite (Seattle, WA)

L’ouate est 100% polyester: léger mais cosy; Finition à la main; 91 cm. x 114cm

Fabriqué à Seattle, WA, USA par Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC:

Disponible maintenant sur etsy:

art creativity design English literature quilts

Frankenstein is … golden





Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus is…

a masterpiece

the first gothic novel

a rare feminist fable, by a long-suffering literary woman

an archetype that traverses every time and place

the king of myths

and so, “Frankenstein the quilt” featured here in its unfinished state, shall have a gold satin binding!

The back is of the softest velveteen, depicting a witchy garden with iridescent butterflies flying around.

The effect is:




Irresistibly soft and lustrous

…   just marvelous.

And available soon!!!


art design English literature quilts

Day four of Frankenstein quilt: tired out, but happy with the weirdness!

Frankenstein quilt front
The quilt-in progress is seen with a “Frankenstein patchwork pillow” (model 3, “Happy, happy creature!”), available only from Honey Girl Books and Gifts

Today was non-stop sewing from morning til night, and I got it all done: the top of “Frankenstein Quilt No. 1” is now finished!  All that remains is the tedious finishing work, but the back will be black velveteen: decadent and soft. So far, the finished product is bizarre beyond my wildest dreams!

That is one of the fun things about sewing quilts: the surprises revealed after the work is done, when unnoticed patterns emerge. What strikes me most about this one is:

  • Unlike most quilts, this one is not relaxing or soothing to the mind. It’s a chatty, tragic, symbol-rich story. If you read each line from left to right, you’ll feel like you’re in the midst of a group where each line must repeat what was just said and then add a new element. Little by little, the story comes to life … and the strange madness is known…
  • I love the sense of movement created by the two lines of black and white polka dots, which are on either side of the chase sequence in sepia (rabbit, leaves, dog, moving from bottom left to mid-right). When you stand in front of the quilt and follow the chase with your eyes, it feels like the rabbit is chasing the dog, then the dog is chasing the rabbit, back and forth and on and on.
  • From a distance, the black, orange and white patterns jump out, as does the fire engine red and those weird ropes. An arresting pattern can be seen in the bottom right, where the red satin prolongs what were oars in the blue canvas, making them look like ax handles and the satin like ax blades or red flags. An appropriate combo to the sharp hooks, don’t you think?  Nighty night!

Tomorrow, I’ll embark on the next project: a baby quilt built out of donations from a group.  The next two photos show the fabrics in question and how they are already shaping up to form a beautifully multicultural welcome to the baby!




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Frankenstein the quilt, day three


Day three and the Frankenstein story emerges!

I’ve been having a ball for the past 12 hours or so dreaming up a version of Shelley’s masterpiece in cloth.  Here’s a rough idea of what it will look like. Fun and scary!

I hope you can now see the progression of Frankenstein’s creature as told in this quilt: from the scientist’s initial invention in secret to the creature’s birth, in the first two rows. Then we see the naive creature delight in nature and love the countryside and its inhabitants. Eventually, he develops longings, then jealousy.  He realizes no human will love him, and demands a mate of his own kind. When thwarted, he goes nuts. In a murderous game of hide and seek, he pursues a vendetta against his creator and his kin. Finally, the creator and his awful being face off on a ship in the Arctic, before the monster disappears into the fog.

(I simplify!  For the detailed passages from Shelley’s work, describing the literary parallels to each block, see my entry for Frankenstein quilt, day two).

The dramatic effects in this quilt are enhanced by some unique designer fabrics that I collected by chance.*  Note these designer accents:

  • the anxious, three-piece sepia hunt sequence (rabbit, leaves, and dog) is “On Point” by Brunschwig & Fils Inc.
  • the eerily magnified ropes in the light blue canvas, bottom right, is by a Parisian designer (tba)
  • The sad and watery looking brown and white silk in the top left is “Cawdor” by Nina Campbell
  • The light green utopia of fox and faun, is organic cotton called “Woodland Gathering” by Betsy Olmsted
  • The folksy blue and white toile de Jouhy showing happy peasants dancing and working, is from Paris
  • The black serge tux pants are from Louie’s Tux Shop in Mishawaka, Indiana
  • The Frankenstein buttons are from Buttons Galore

* many bits are from my awesome sister-in-law, CEO of La Fabrique interior design, in Seattle


art creativity English literature quilts

Frankenstein the quilt: day two

The blocks pinned together here use strong colors and textures–lustrous satins in red, black, white and gold—alongside the cotton to create powerful emotional effects. It is fun to depart from the 100% cotton, washable quilts for kids I’ve been making lately, and to create something totally inefficient and impossible to replicate. Just for the heck of it.  Just because I can. And because I have an audience! I’m excited to share this at the September 8 reading at Third Place Books Ravenna, in Seattle!

Below you’ll find a list of the passages from the book and their relation to the blocks of fabric.  The last photo, of the black tuxedo pants with a black satin stripe, and the googly-eyed skeletons on an orange background, will be used to simulate the creature’s descent into madness and revenge.

If it’s too abstract to see the story emerge, come back tomorrow!

Frankenstein day two part three

From Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus, the 1818 Text. ed. James Rieger (U Chicago Press, 1974)

  1. Letters from Captain Walton to his sister: Block one (top left):  “There—for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators  … I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle; and may regulate a thousand celestial observations” p. 10.
  2. From Captain Walton: Block two: (white satin with black and scary words on beige): “I shall commit my thoughts to paper … I bitterly feel the want of a friend” p. 13. “We were nearly surrounded by ice … round by a very thick fog” p. 17.
  3. Frankenstein’s story: Block three: Dark blue city kept awake by lights: “These philosophers penetrate into the recesses of nature, and show how she works in her hiding places.” 42 “I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation” p. 48, Brown leaves: “Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave?”  “At the top of the house … I kept my workshop of filthy creation” p. 50.
  4. The Creature’s story begins: Block four:  “The leaves began to bud forth on the trees. Happy, happy earth! … My senses were gratified and refreshed by a thousand scents of delight, and a thousand sights of beauty” p. 111.
  5. Block five: The Creature’s story, cont.: Blue and white Toile de Jouhy evokes traditional village life:  “My thoughts now became more active, and I longed to discover the motives and feelings of these lovely creatures” p. 110; “It was on one of those days, when my cottagers periodically rested from labour—the old man played on his guitar, and the children listened to him… when some one tapped at the door… it was a lady” p. 111. Red satin evokes the creature’s love of Safie and the DeLacey family.
  6. Block five, alternate squares (black and red satin, with dressmaker dummy and Frankenstein head) The Creature’s story, cont. “No Eve soothed my sorrows, or shared my thoughts; I was alone” p. 127; “You must create a female for me, with whom I can live in the interchange of sympathies necessary for my being” p. 140. “I demand a creature of another sex, but as hideous as myself. Oh! My creator, make me happy; let me feel gratitude towards you for one benefit!” p. 142.
  7. Block seven (black and orange): The Creature’s warning: “Man, you may hate; but beware! Your hours will pass in dread and misery, and soon the bolt will fall” p. 165.
  8. Block eight (ships, sailing apparatus): “’Farewell.’ He sprung from the cabin-window, as he said this, upon the ice-raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance” p. 221.


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Frankenstein the quilt, day one (in preparation for cool Seattle author event Sept. 8)!

You have to make your own excitement in life, right?

So today when I was doing the computer check with the events manager at Third Place Books Ravenna, for a bilingual reading of The Frankenstein of the Apple Crate coming up on September 8, I blurted out that Honey Girl Books and Gifts produces not only a line of Frankenstein pillows and Alice in Wonderland quilts (which I do), but also has a Frankenstein quilt for sale (which I don’t.) Yet….

Since he said it would be ok to bring and display my goods at the event, this is opportunity knocking. I have about two weeks until September 8.

So here goes another whirlwind session of creativity!

Day one was fun, and I love the idea of using gold satin to simulate electricity, in the second blocks which are supposed to suggest windows of Frankenstein’s laboratory, set in a spooky castle.  I may put in more gold satin to mark the phenom. Frankenstein’s creature himself was easy, since I have the original model created by Seattle artist John Douthwaite, from the line of pillows produced by HGBG. And the voyeuristic love affair between the creature and the DeLaceys will be next, interspersed with blocks suggesting his request for a mate.

After that part in the book, however, all hell breaks loose, and I’m not quite sure how to represent that on a quilt!  So stay tuned and you will learn along with me…

Frankenstein quilt day one.jpg


Julia Douthwaite Viglione & Cécile Perruche present a bilingual reading of The Frankenstein of the Apple Crate


Sunday, September 8, 2019 – 7:00pm

Third Place Books Ravenna

The Frankenstein of the Apple Crate builds on a scholarly discovery to imagine how Mary Shelley found the idea for Frankenstein. With the help of a ghost called Mother, the girl recalls a French tale of a helpful robot published years earlier, and retells it as the first Gothic thriller. This is a bilingual author event, with Seattle native Julia Douthwaite Viglione, professor emerita of French, University of Notre Dame and Cécile Perruche (U of Nanterre) reading from the French version.

Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98115

Hope to see you there!