Monday 1 November 2021



Headlines: Fire

 For a number of years there have been numerous wildfires on the west coast: Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada, to name a few states that have been affected. There have been others in other countries.

 For me, they have affected my family:

In 2016 my cousin, Judy, lost her home near Feather Falls, California, so she bought a house in Paradise, California. Her brother also bought a home in Paradise.

In 2018 Paradise burned to the ground in a very fast burning fire that began when a power line coming in contact with dry trees caused a spark. They both lost their homes.


In 2020 the CZU fire, started by lightning, spread across the San Mateo and Santa Cruz mountains, burning more than 86,000 acres of redwood trees. This was near my hometown of San Jose, California. I spent many wonderful summers in those trees and one of my memories is of the smell of redwoods in the early mornings when it was foggy. We had breakfast under a tarp that covered the outdoor kitchen listening to the dripping of the water from the fog.


That same year we, on the Oregon coast, had several days where the sky was red orange.


In 2021 Oregon had the Bootleg fire that covered more than 400,000 acres while California had the Dixie fire that burned almost 1 million acres. There was also another fire in the ancient large Sequoia National Park where they covered some of the oldest trees with foil so they would not burn.

Most of these large fires burn for months while thousands of firefighters battle the flames day and night. And those are just the major fires, there are dozens of other, smaller wildfires that are little reported. My heart goes out to the firefighters and all those who lost their homes, family and friends.


Every year I hope there are fewer fires, and every year there seem to be more and larger ones thanks to global warming, lightning and the carelessness of humans.


                                           General Sherman giant sequoia – KNP fire 2021

This tree is the world's largest tree - 31 meters in diameter, 83 meters tall, weighs 6167 tons and is about 2000 years old. It would be a terrible shame to lose it to fire.

                                                                  Bootleg fire 2021



  1. Your quilt is so evocative and a lovely testament to the bravery of the firefighters battling against such overwhelming odds. I cannot imagine the devastation that losing your home to a fire must bring and to have that happen twice to your cousin must have been soul-destroying. We are certainly living in difficult times when floods and fires seem to stalk the land. Your quilt is a great way to bring these climate issues to everyone's attention too.

  2. Wow! I think you've made a really attention grabbing quilt! I'm so sorry that this issue affected your family members so badly. The way you've used the fabrics and colours really captures the feeling of danger and destruction and the sense that we must act now.

  3. We normally have over 40 inches of rain every year where I live, but in the summer of 2011 we had a drought, and there were fires about 10 miles from my house. That one summer was such an anxious time; I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to live with those conditions year after year. You have captured that sense of ongoing threat.
    I don't want to say I *like* the theme, but technically, I like the way you chose varying sizes of the columns, and the flames stitched in the quilting.

  4. Oh my. Your quilt is so evocative. We had to evacuate for wildfires last summer, and it was just a terrible experience. I’m sorry your family has been affected in this way. Ours had a better outcome, but having evacuated once feels like a loss of innocence (or maybe a dose of reality). Nice work on the theme.

  5. As the others have said, this is such an evocative piece. You've captured the colors in the flames so well, along with the gray, smokey background. I cannot imagine losing a home to a fire once, much less twice. It must be a frightening experience to have those fearsome fires so close to one's home!

  6. You captured the movement of fire so well and the quilting is just right. The three dark lines remind me of the poor, burned trees or four separate fires. Well done!

  7. I'm very sorry for your family and everyone affected by those fires. I actually can't imagine anything more frightening and it's really concerning that they are happening with such regularity lately. I'm amazed that it is possible to capture such a clear impression of those images in a quilt as you have done. I think it really is masterfully done :)

  8. That's really powerful. It's frightening to see the devastation and the power of wild fires like that. You've really captured those feelings for me in your piece.