I dream in quiltish · Rheumatoid arthritis, my constant companion

In which Chaos Quilter rides the train…

Let me start by welcoming everyone from the 2018 New Quiltbloggers Bloghop.  This is my second tour with the group, and it’s really an honor to be in such good company with such fine quilters and bloggers.  I’ve been a lousy blogger this year, but I won’t make excuses.  I just hope you’ll accept that my best intentions sometimes fall to pieces.  I do tend to post to Instagram quite frequently, so don’t be afraid to stalk me by internet.  I’m @cate.sans.eraser


While you’re here at my blog, you should also go visit the fabulous Clever Chameleon, who is also on today’s blog hop schedule and is a truly talented and amazing quilter.  Honestly, some of the people in this blog hop make me feel like a rank amateur, they’re so talented!  If you want to see all of this week’s quilters in the hop, there will be a schedule of them posted here.  You won’t be sorry you went!

My name is Cate, and I’m a divorced mother of two adults, one of whom currently lives with me, his cat, my longarm, my cat and dog, and his sister’s four (yes four for a total of six) cats.  His sister moved out six months ago but seems to have forgotten something…so I am officially a crazy cat lady, not that it was ever in doubt.

Why Chaos Theory Quilt Co.?  Because chaos theory is a mathematical concept that loosely defines what happens when a very predictable situation has an unpredictable outcome, and life (particularly mine) has been full of those circumstances.  Two divorces and a random chronic disease are just a small portion of that chaos.  Try living in a house with a German Shepherd riding herd on six cats.  It’s very chaotic, quilters.  Very.  I also work full time and am trying hard to learn longarming skills that are worthy of my ambitions while test sewing for friends and occasionally piecing a few of my millions of projects that are constantly in process.

Speaking of longarm skills, I spent the last week at UQSM.  I now have blog fodder for months, so maybe I’ll get my poop in a group and post more!  I took three classes from Natalia Bonner, three from Laurie Tigner, and one from Kelly Cline.  All three teachers were fabulous and life-changing in different ways.  I now want to spend the rest of my life going from quilt show to quilt show, like some Grateful Dead fan with an Olfa cutter and a bunch of thread.

train pano

That, quilters, is an iPhone pano picture taken the inside of a tiny sleeper room aboard the Amtrak California Zephyr, which is how I got from Denver to Salt Lake City for the show.  The scenery was beyond gorgeous, and I’m pretty inured to spectacular views from living my life in Colorado.


If you get a chance, take that ride!  The train is relaxing, the service aboard is wonderful, and the food is even good, but views are stunning.  People rafting down the Colorado River do tend to moon the train as it goes by, just in case you’re offended by that kind of thing.  Who doesn’t love the random butt cheeks of complete strangers as they’re navigating Class 5 rapids?

This was my personal favorite from amongst the many intensely beautiful entries in the show.  It wasn’t the 1st place winner, but did get an honorable mention.  It was a piecer’s nightmare and a longarm quilter’s daydream, and it was all done by the same talented woman.  I’ve googled her but come up with nothing.  I’d like to ask her some questions!  For example:

How long did the entire thing take?  Did she use EQ7 for design? Does she have the desire for an apprentice?  Will I ever be anywhere near this good, or should I give up now?

More photos of quilts and teachers to come in my follow-up posts.  Thank you so much for visiting.  I’d love to read any comments you feel like making.  Well, almost any.  Be polite.

98 thoughts on “In which Chaos Quilter rides the train…

  1. I loved your post from beginning to end. So many chuckles and so much nodding of head. 6 cats and a german shepherd…. RA…..and a full time job! How do you find time to quilt at all?! You are amazing! I have 2 cats, but one has a serious screw loose, so he is only a peripheral part of the family. Sometimes rescue cats aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Lovely to meet you, I’ll be back to read more of your blog and fun writing style. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Cate, love your story. The trials of life sometimes takes us places where we sometimes don’t want to go. Wow the scenery to the UQSM was great. When I travelled to the US, my flight had stopped at Salt Lake city. I’d love to travel through US some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello!!! That train journey looks awesome! DH & I took the Amtrak to Seattle last October….leaving from LaCrosse, WI. We had a “bedroom” and all meals. Still trying to drop some of the weight I acquired!!! The quilting experience would definitely be one I would swoon for, also (Kelly has been a friend for several years and met her ‘really’ last Spring on our way home from Texas). The “vintage thing” has taken on the form of a wonderful obsession….er, passion….for the last 7 years (since my retirement). Juggling life schedules definitely puts quilting time in the ‘challenged’ category! BUT….even 15 minutes on a regular schedule (daily) produces wonderful muscle memory and a skill level that will surprise you. Sending warm hugs from an at-the-moment stormy Houston,MN…………………..

    Liked by 1 person

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