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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Surrounded by Scraps

Finding Rhythm

Linda Nussbaum

One of our local treasures here in Portland is a phenomenal jazz radio station, KMHD. They are not technically public radio, in that I don't believe they receive any municipal or governmental funds, though they are an affiliate of OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting). They call themselves a "listener-supported" station - which means semi-annual pledge drives. I don't recall when I discovered this station, though I became a regular listener several years ago due to a now defunct Wed. evening program called Divaville (actually, it was their Friday night Blues broadcast live from Holman's Bar & Grill that really drew me in initially, now that I think of it...)

Digressions. A few weeks ago KMHD held their spring pledge drive. For a few years I would wait until these pledge drives to make contributions to the station, receive my thank-you swag and search for the receipts 'round about tax time. But when I realized that this really is my go-to radio station, more than any other, I decided to sign up for their regular giving program, referred to as their Rhythm Section. This way it's something I don't have to think about constantly, an amount I don't miss each month but if I were pledging all at once would feel substantial, and a way to know that I am contributing to something from which I take daily. 

Me wearing some of said swag. I wear this cap regularly and it suits me so well that I stopped opting for gifts from them once I got this!

Me wearing some of said swag. I wear this cap regularly and it suits me so well that I stopped opting for gifts from them once I got this!

Now to tie in with my work in the sewing studio. I feel like my rhythm comes and goes there, the only constant flow is my work with my charity quilting bee, do.Good Stitches, and even that has its stops and starts. So far this year I have probably been less prolific than I have in recent years past, but I can honestly say that the work I am doing in the studio is making me happy. I might go so far as to say uplifting. I have 2-3 active sketchbooks going for quilt designs and have made a small fraction of the quilts that get pencilled in, but this year I am trying to change that.

Not EVERY project I work on is a design that I have been kicking around, in fact one of my most satisfying quilts so far this year is a simple, large-scale half square triangle quilt, made for a friend who is showing no mercy in the face of cancer. The feeling I had while making this quilt couldn't be half as kick-ass as her attitude and spirit!

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My goal for this year is NOT to attempt to grow my business, but to grow my art. It's a much-needed perspective change for me that I truly hope will keep both robust. If I look at my creative inspiration as I do my contributions to my favorite radio station, pursuing a little bit on a regular basis ultimately sustains the process rather than going full-steam just a couple of times a year.

Finally got around to quilting a pair of pillow covers I pieced some time last year. Steamrolling ahead!

Finally got around to quilting a pair of pillow covers I pieced some time last year. Steamrolling ahead!

Starting to work on one of those afore-mentioned designs that's been hanging out on a sketchbook page for too long. Soooo satisfying!

Starting to work on one of those afore-mentioned designs that's been hanging out on a sketchbook page for too long. Soooo satisfying!