Quilt-y questions & a graduation

Hey friends! This is one of those random catchup blog posts of quilting and family stuff. In my last newsletter, I mentioned that I’m starting a new Q&A blog series where you can ask me a quilt-y question and I’ll do my best to answer it. I’ve had some great responses (questions) so far!

This new series will start in early June. If you’d like, you can leave a comment here with a question that you’d like answered. I’ll keep a list of responses and eventually I’ll feature each question in a blog post. If I don’t know the answer, I might have to ask for guest contributors!

Quilt-y questions @ The Crafty Quilter

Law school grad

Last weekend, our son graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. We are so proud of him! Jon was happily cruising through life until the pandemic hit. He was one of the victims of a company closure, so he moved back home and decided to pursue a law degree. Not an easy choice, but after three years of grinding through law school, he has successfully accomplished his goal. Now he’s studying for the bar exam which takes place in July. I have no doubt he will succeed there, too.

Proud Mom of law school grad, Jon Cefalu.

The graduation ceremony was held indoors on campus and went smoothly for the most part. A bonus of graduation is the gathering of family and friends. Jon’s three sisters and our youngest granddaughter, Delaney, came to Portland to celebrate. We had five days of family time, and we did lots of walking in the beautiful neighborhood of Sellwood. I love the mix of old homes and neighborhood shops sprinkled throughout the town.

Cefalu family in Portland Oregon

The weather was cool with a mix of sunshine and clouds. We visited the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden which was in full bloom. Wow, was I in heaven! I think I took a picture of every species of rhododendron they had. Delaney, our little monkey, found rock walls to traverse and plenty of willing adults to hold her when she was tired.

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. Photos by Julie Cefalu.

I miss being with all my kids and the lush greenery of Oregon, but it’s always nice to come home. I’m trying to catch up on some quilting projects, blogging, emails, and finding time to read. I just picked up the book, The Other Valley, by Scott Alexander Howard. I’d call it somewhere between fantasy and science fiction. So far, it’s really good. It’s been a while since I’ve read for fun.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend here, in the states, and we have no big plans. I’m quite comfortable with that. Summer is here for many of us, and I hope you enjoy all that it brings!

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  1. Congratulations!!!!!!! So wonderful for him to have a family to help encourage him through this. Had my neice, her husband and son in from Boston and the whole family turned out for the day (week). Thanks for sharing the walk in the park as well! Enjoy every moment….. Thanks

  2. Your 2012 tutorial (updated in 2018) on quarter square triangles was so excellent! I wanted a 3-color qtr sq triangle block and when I found your tutorial, I was set! Excellent photos, instructions and tips. Thank you!

  3. Congratulations to Jon! What wonderful, joyful photos.
    I have essential tremor in my dominant hand. It’s quite common. I would love to know if there are techniques or tools that would make cutting and sewing a bit easier and less stressful.
    Thank you.

  4. Hey Julie,

    Congrats re the graduation!

    Here’s my question:
    For my first quilt, I had no clue what I was doing. I cut a cardboard square out and used that to pen the outline onto the old shirts I was using, and cut the pieces out with scissors (didn’t know rotary blades existed). I didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine at the time.
    The result was imperfect and nothing matched up perfectly. It was fun though, and generally stress free. And I was very proud of the fact that I made it at all. There was a freedom in that process and not knowing the ‘right’ way to do things meant not worrying about it.
    Now that I’ve learned more, the fun part seems to has gone and I expect everything to be perfect!
    Oh, and my thread breaks constantly (yes, it’s good quality, yes, I’ve re threaded the bobbin and replaced the needle and all the other steps… now I understand people who want to throw their machine out of the window!). And then I realise that I’ve cut my strips in the wrong direction grain wise, and not started with the other end when sewing strips together. That’s just a moan sorry.
    My real question is: how do I get the fun back into quilting now that it all feels like such a chore?
    Many thanks,

  5. Félicitations à Jon pour le travail accompli.
    Cela fait toujours chaud au cœur de voir une famille réunie aussi souriante et le bambin qui joue la vedette.

  6. Congrats on son graduating! That is awesome. Glad you are having questions and answer time on the blog. It has been one of my wishes for awhile.
    Question. What are your favorite brand and size of rulers you use for quilting?

  7. Love seeing pictures of your family! Congrats on your son’s GIGANTIC accomplishment. LAW School is not for the “faint of heart”…. it’s brutal. My daughter graduated from UCLA Law School w a focus on public policy & disability law. She’s visually impaired & works at American Foundation for the Blind in Arlington, VA. It’s her calling!
    I love the quilt in one if your pictures. Is the entire quilt shown on your website?

  8. Congratulation to Jon!
    I haven’t got any questions for you yet Julie but can’t wait to learn from your answers

  9. Julie,
    Congratulations to your son! I wish him all the best when he takes his bar exam. You must be so proud of him! And what a wonderful visit with family to celebrate.

  10. Congratulations to the new grad! Lovely to have wonderful family time…and a young one to keep everyone on their toes. Your new series should be fun an informative.

  11. Congratulations to your son Jon. Whichever thread of law that he pursues, I’m sure that he’ll do a fabulous job. So wonderful to have five day of family time. Beautiful and supportive family

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