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Out of Gas

From left, Christian Cameli and a sample she prepare for QuiltCon class, "Alternative Grids for Free-Motion Quilting.

My final Quilt Con class was a three-hour evening class with Christina Cameli, Christina was among speakers and teachers I scheduled for Colorado Quilting Council in 2021 so I knew she was a good teacher but this was my first class with her. She was even better than I thought.

I've taken a number of free-motion quilting classes in which I've struggled mightily. I have some vision issues that get in my way but I'm determined to get better. This class had three lightbulb moments in three hours:

  • Breaking the surface into grids — even grids or random ones like above — creates manageable sections that don't overwhelm like larger areas can. And for me specifically, these sections are within my somewhat limited vision range.

  • I like to draw organic lines — see the to right corner of Christina's sample. I learned this extends to "drawing" such lines when I free-motion quilt.

  • I can eyeball spacing for echo quilting with far more ease than I would have suspected. This lets me create a lot of texture.

Huge shout out to Christina who provided me a focus for my upcoming work to learn to use my Bernina Q20. I may never stipple or make even circles but I can do motifs that parallel my drawing style.

About now, you may be asking, so why is this blog titled "Out of Gas"? Well I was totally exhausted from the three hours with Christina. I was out of gas. Read on to see how that theme continued today.

Mark Carter, the Gas Angel of Ozona, Texas

My second out-of-gas experience started out with panic. Pulling a camper means buying gas often. I'm try never to get much below a half tank. I-10 through western/central Texas challenges that goal. Some years ago at the height of the recession when a lot of gas stations had closed, I ran out of gas on this stretch, and I wasn't even towing the R-Pod.

Today, I began searching for a gas station even before that half-tank mark but I drove miles and miles without a single station. My low-fuel light came on. Ozona, Texas, was the next town but I had 20+ miles to go. I was relieved when I reached the first Ozona exit, which promised a Sunoco station. My heart sank when I turned off the highway. It was two miles to Ozona. Down the ramp, under the highway and about halfway to the gas station, I ran out of gas. I coasted to the side of the road.

I needed to drive 600 miles today. I didn't have time to be sidelined. Three deep breaths. I googled Sunoco in Ozona. There were three. I called one. The woman who answered was running the station solo but asked that I hold while she called her manager. We got disconnected. I sighed but then my phone rang. She had the name and number of a guy who is on call to help out those who run out of gas on I-10. It apparently happens often.

I called Mark Carter — aka the Gas Angel of Ozona. (My name for him.) He arrived in minutes, put enough gas in my tank to get me to the gas station and refused to take anything for his trouble.


I do have a question for the Texas Department of Transportation: Why don't you post a sign that says there is a more than 100-mile stretch with no services? I appreciate such a sign that's posted soon after you enter Utah from Colorado.

Two quilts exhibited at QuiltCon

"Meditating Loudly" by Emily Watts

"Radioactive Flying Donuts" by Emily Watts

I don't know Emily Watts but I was drawn to these two quilts she entered in the QuiltCon show. "Meditating Loudly" was in the Improvisation category and "Radioactive Flying Donuts" in the Appliqué category. Who can't appreciate radioactive donuts?

I'll share more quilts from QuiltCon in the next few days.

Tomorrow will be Day 3 of my drive from Phoenix to Daytona Beach. I'll see if I have any "gas" left at day's end for posting.

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