Friday, February 29, 2008

Stash additions

It was a busy week, and a very chilly one. From Monday until today I've not been able to sit down at the sewing machine. I plan to make up for that tomorrow and Sunday and hope to finish the quilting on Cori's quilt. I'm having a mental argument with myself about whether to wash it when I'm done - there will be some marking that, even though I have a good eraser that works really well, there will be marks I hope to take out. But of course, washing changes the look -- I LIKE the look of a washed and dried quilt but it is less crisp and new looking. Well, I've got at least 48 hours in which to ponder that.

I stopped in at the Housing Works Thrift Store today with no agenda at all. Found a book about memoir writing that was 50 cents and I found a basket of fabrics! A lot of place mats were mixed in with some cuts of fabric. There were decorator fabrics, taffetas, linens BUT there were two cotton pieces,one a lovely multihued apricot/peach/melon colored piece and the other a great blueish red reads-as-crimson print -- total cost $4.00 and each is about 3-1/2 yards long. Well, I was a happy little lark when I left the store! My imagination was tracking over some ideas I've had for quilts ... the sense of POSSIBILITIES is exciting. I guess that's really why we stash junkies can't stop adding to our collection. I think stash building is different than collecting objects. Objects are to have -- because they're beautiful, because you are fascinaed with their history or making. But a stash is all about possibilities ... what we can make. Woo-hoo!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

new quilt challenge

I just read about a fascinating project to benefit breast cancer research. A group whose contact person is Jacqueline Jones is asking groups of quilters [or perhaps even individuals] to use used wedding dresses, which the organization will provide, to make a quilt which will then be auctioned with proceeds going to the national breast cancer organzization. Click here to go to their website. One can imagine beautiful white on white quilts or quilts with wonderful applique on white silk or satin ... and much else is possible.

My quilting of "The Wedding Quilt" is going right along. I feel fairly certain I can have it done in the two and a half weeks remaining. I've reached the easier big white spaces that are borders so I don't have to keep fighting with the bulk of a full sized quilt -- it's there but it's not a fight now, so I'm enjoying this part of it. And as I work at this relatively repetitive quilting my mind keep going to other quilts .. a couple that have been started, others I'd like to start. Patience ... it's an exercise in patience... good lesson to learn, one of the things quilting, like many kinds of handwork teach one.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Autumn Sonata

Since I haven't had a TV for nearly twenty years,I am not in the habit of watching the Oscars. I went to the nearby Thalia Theater and, at the great bargain price of $4, saw Ingmar Bergman's 1978 masterpiece, Autumn Sonata starring, Liv Ullmann as the most unhappy daughter ever put on film and her beautiful mother, Ingrid Bergman, who preferred her life as a concert pianist to motherhood. I saw it all those years ago and remembered it as painful -- well, it's now no less painful, possibly more so. The two actresses were amazing in their love/hate, need/repulsion.

I had quoted to Gary a couple nights ago a phrase I'd read, "good strong coffee and a good conversation both keep you awake." I'll add, so will a powerful movie [or play or book] A couple of weeks ago I wrote of going to a talk by a man who's written about the happiest placss on earth -- a designation based on some kind of computer program and it's data. Among the top three was Scandinavia. I'm sure there must be happy people in Scandinavia but I have yet to find a work of literature, including all Bergman's films, that show me happy people. I think I'll take the evidence of literatre above some computer program to tell me about the happiness quotient of a society.

Of course, what I didn't see on the Oscar show was that a very dour, definitely anything but happy movie was named best film ... well, I won't vote for the US to be among the happiest places but American literature and film can't begin to be as ultimately unhappy of most Scandinavian literature and film.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

quilting the quilt

Just what I needed! A Swap-bot swap for pink fat quarters arrived a couple days ago and contained these nice bright pinks. I had really depleted my bright pink stash with the red/bright pink ribbon on dark background quilt I made during the fall. So now I have replenished to a degree. Very satisfying!

Meanwhile I've spent several hours this weekend fussy quilting the stars on the blue and white quilt. I have so little work space, I spend almost as much time positioning the quilt for each part of the quilting as I do actually sewing. And still it is not quilting to be proud of, it's serviceable but not brag-able.
When the starry central section is finished I'll be able to quilt the borders in rows, probably a chain design and will not have to change and adjust the whole big quilt so frequently. I really don't enjoy this sort of quilting because of the sheer difficulty with bulk. I do enjoy quilting wall size quilts, with them I have easy control.

Actually I really enjoy hand quilting but I do almost none of it because reading is always a greater priority than almost anything else in the evening. Last evening longtime friend, playwright Gary Hill, brought me a couple of books he strongly recommends. I am very eager to start them and at this very moment a part of my mind is debating going to the near-by Thalia Theater to see Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata which I saw many years ago and have wanted to see again because it was Ingrid Bergman's last movie [I think] and there's a scene in it that I've remembered all these years, I think the movie is winning but the books are like Sirens singing an irresistable song.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Back to Quilting Tomorrow

Well thanks to the flu and a week of actual work to do, I've had a quilting hiatus. But tomorrow promises to be a good day -- almost every type of wetness is dripping, floating, drizzling, descending in one way or another from leaden skies today and more is promised tomorrow -- wonderful weather to stay in and quilt. I'll put the sandwich together, and decide how to mark the central motifs and set to work ... what a great excuse for not vacuuming or dusting or ironing the few pieces that were laundered earlier this week that need a touch of a hot iron.

Meanwhile I had a note from playwright friend, Geralyn, to tell me of a contest for ten minute plays that somehow feature quilts -- trouble the is deadline is in a week. Can I come up with a conflictual situation, perhaps with scraps flying .. or something. The imagination has been put in gear ... I can nearly always come up with something when given a challenge. That does not guarantee it might be stage worthy, of course. We shall see ... The above picture is Cori, for whom the quilt is about being made. This is to inspire me to get a move on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In the News

Does anybody else pay attention to the things going on in the world? I know having acces to the New York Times is not available to everyone without a little doing [like reading on the Internet] but there's other news sources, inferior though they may be. Yesterday's news is still resonnating in my head, front: Castro's resignation! After running a country, in peace although his big neighbor to the north refusd to make it easy, for 50 years. What other world leader has managed that?

Then there was an incredible note about Russians who dove to the seafloor under the North Pole and planted a Russian flag. Think about the weirdness of that! They can now claim, whether anyone takes them seriously or not, that the North Pole is part of Russia. It blows my brain, really!

And then there was the article about the increase in suicides among the 45-55 year old age group in the US -- a huge increase in the last few years. Why? The conjuecture is that not only are these people feeling lots of sress, they're on lots of medications and that may be unhinging them. This is far from implausible. We just had another horrible university shooting by a "nice guy with a sweet smile," said to have gone off his Prozac lately with the suggestion that made him flip out. Meanwhile, the FDA and other watchdog agencies admit that when they were watching the ingredients that went into heparin, a very widely used blood thinner, they got the names of two Chinese companies confused and didn't check up on the one making an ingredient of the heparin so at least three people died. The thinga bout heparin that gives me the willies is that it's trade name is Warfarin. A name I remember as that of the rat poison my used in the corn crib when I was a kid.

Is this a crazy world or what? What do we do with this kind of information? I find it far more intersting than the constant analysis of how many delegates are lined up for Hillary or Barak or McCain. I did my part and voted in the primary and now it's in the hands of a flawed system no one seems to want to fix. So I'll just hold my breath and watch the boys with the weapons prove their prowess to the watching world when they shoot down a faulty satelline, mainly to prove they can - that is if they actally CAN. So much for a small, small percentage of the world news so far this week.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Travels, real and fictional

This is the photo of the far Eastern Himalayas in Yunnan as I traveled from Li Jiang up toward Tiger Leaping Gorge on the day I finally arrived at Gyalthang, now Shangri-la [!!] and astonished myself with a broken hip. This is my screen saver for the time being. If you click the photo you can see some are snow capped, they are well over two miles high. I am thinking about this as a long thread of circumstance that started with an ad for a job. That is on my mind because one of the pleasures of an online site called Swap-bot is that there are writing "swaps" on topics that I would not write about and might not share with others if someone did not suggest it on that site In this case it was "how a job changed my life."

Of course the job was working for Dr. B. and getting fascinated by the travels of her long dead ex-husband in Tibet and my subsquent interest in that entire complex of places and ideas and history that's been part of my last 15 years. The trip to Yunnan was almost an aside. Undertaking these writing swaps pushes me in ways I wouldn't push myself without the goal of being able to share these shards of my life with strangers ... to some, perhaps many people, that sounds like a very peculiar thing to do. Not to a writer -- that is why a writer writes. The feeling of being a pebble dropped in the pond, sending out the ripples. I've always been moved and fascinated by those ripple made by other writers and wanted to do the same. Thus I am reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's largely reportial News of a Kidnapping. I have entered into a world about which I know only a little -- although much more in the last three days than I knew before. It's not pretty, it's not cheery but it's a picture of how life is [or was] lived not long ago that I find worth understanding told in the prose of a writer whose integrity I trust totally.
So that's where I am tonight. Partly at the base of the Himalayas,partly at the northern most part of the Andes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Live and Learn

So what on earth is this picture? Well, it's not relevant to anything else I'm going to write about, so we'll get around to it later -- I don't like a series of posts with photos.

I learned something today from an unlikely source. For many, many years I've been telling everyone urging me to get flu shots that I haven't had the flu in memory so no shot. I am still coughing, though less often and less violently than I did earlier the week. That's really the main symptom. So my ophthamologist convinced me that I have the same kind of flu that her children both have had - not a stomach flu, just this cough and, for me only a brief fever, resolved quickly with a couple aspirins [much more serious for her kids].

What an enlightening visit I had today! First of all disabused of my prideful feeling of being immune to flu. Then, happily, finding that a cataract first noticed by her two years ago is advancing with only a glacial speed so it's not time for surgery yet. And through the wonders of technology she showed me photos on a computer of the inside of my eye, the optic nerve and slight cloudiness of the cataract, the little blood vessels. I find it amazing that she can actually look into my eye and even more amazing that it can be photographed then and there for me to look at too. Of course I never leave her office without my credit card unscathed. My contacts are okay but the glasses I use about half the time need their prescription rebalanced. Ah, well ...

So the picture above is a stunted little pine tree full of pine cones, all liberally covered with a bluish growth that I am too ignorant of botanical matters to define as normal, fungal or whatever else it might me. You had that all figured out, right?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Aussie ethics

I have just read Brenda Gaell Smith who hadsa blog called Serendity Patchwork. She is a very talented Australia quilter, teacher and blogger. She is also a retired lawyer. Today she posted the declaration of the Australian government in apology to the aborigines for the horrible, inhuman and murderous treatment to which the settlers of Australia have subjected what is the oldest continuous culture on earth. The Aborigines may have been on the Australian continent for 60,0000 years and no one knows how they got there because it would have required navigational skills we believe no one had that long ago. Well, we still have a lot to discovered buried in the earth, or perhaps lost beyond all reclaiming.

Likewise the American settlers treated the native Americans with the same murderous prejudice and barbarity that was visited on the Australian aborigines and no one has apologized. We have apologized, in fits and starts for slavery -- largely because Black Americans have become a powerful entity -- pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps for the most part ... with a long way to go before equality truly arrives. We still treat Native Americans like nonbeings.

Go to Brenda's blog, click the above link and think about the many complex cultures that existed in the Americas when Europeans invaded. Think about the incedible hubris and ignorance that has made invading Europeans consider native peoples in may parts of the earth less than human. Ask yourself why superior technology and instruments of war made them think they they were inherently superior? There are a lot of hard questions to ask, with uncomfortable anwers. Why have we not thought of apologies?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One unhappy puppy

Did you ever cough so much and so hard that your ribs hurt? Not really your ribs but the muscles arond them. That's me the last two days. Various expectorants have not helped much. I've had enough fever to be cold in a perfectly comfortable room. I sound like I'm dying of consumption. And guess where I'm going in half an hour - to Symphony Space to watch Violetta of LA TRAVIATA die of consumption. I'll take water and cough drops and a thick scarf to cover my mouth and try not to drive the rest of the audience nuts

This is the third showing of a HDTV from La Scala of a live opera performance. I saw AIDA a couple months ago. I skipped TRISTAN AND ISOLDE [I'm not a Wagnerite] but I can't miss this even if I were actually dying of consumption. I adore every minute of this opera, I weep copiously at the end and I feel lifted "on wings of song" after seeing oe hearing a performance. I know it's a cliche to say it's my favorite opera, but it IS. So I'm going to fortify myself with all that is necessary and go -- happily, it's only two blocks away. Angela Georgieu [which may be misspelled] has the title role.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not a Caribbean vacation

February is the perfect time to escape from NYC, it's cold, gray, thoroughly uncomfortable -- today was 15 degrees with a wind chill that sent it down to, as the reporters like to say, single digits. BRRRR. Twice I've been truly smart and escaped to warm, wonderful places, once Costa Rica and once to Thailand. So I didn't expect a respite when I headed north to Cape Cod -- and it certainly wasn't as the bus went up Rte. 95, swishing it's windshield wipers against cold rain dripping from an iron gray sky. But after we turned east at Providence, passed New Bedford, the sky lightened and I glimpsed the sun, which shown off and on -- even in a wonderful blue sky for a few hours.

No, it wasn't balmy, but it wasn't as cold as expected. Saturday morning was really quite pleasant so that Rachel and I walked Molly, the dog, around Hathaway's Pond, picture above -- a nice walk that's at least half a mile, maybe more. The pond is really quite close to their house and a favorite because other dogs are few so Molly can be off leash which makes it a favorite of hers. No, it wasn't the Caribbean, but it was a very nice change for me. Then --just to be ironic, I got home and had an email from Leslie in California saying she was spending part of Saturday afternoon in shorts beside th backayard pool. If only that were a short bus ride away ...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


It was an interesting, and very nice, weekend. For reasons too personal and compound to go into here I realized that I have lived an independent and singular life that is different than most American women. The main reason I went to Cape Cod this weekend was because there was a surprise wedding shower for Cori. I have never been to a shower before, neither wedding nor baby shower [it occurs to me this might not be literally true]. Or not to a surprise shower for someone in my immediate circle. This is probably and oddity. It was a fun event. I think I may have almost OD=ed on sugar. But it was fun to see Cori truly "showered" with gifts for a new home, and delighted to receive them from a large circle of friends. She handled the event with grace and modesty that was, if a grandmother may brag -- and of course a grandmother WILL brag -- a picture of perfect poise.
As someone remarked, it looked as if she had a permanent smile attached to her face -- and she has a beautiful smile, as can be seen. The top picture is with Rachel, her mother, and the second speaks for itself.

I do not regret having lived a shower-less life; but it was good to be a part of this one, part of the pretext for getting her there - picking up bride's maid's dresses on which I would do a bit of seamstress work. In fact, Rachel and I did do some such work, also on Rachel's suit she will wear. It was pleasant work -- nice to realize that years of tailoring my wardrobe have not been forgotten. I got a preview of the wedding dress and was delighted by it's elegance and by little details that make it special. I also had an opportunity to go to a fabric store and buy backing for the blue star quilt -- batting too ... now I've got my work cut out for me. I am far from certain I will have it quilted in a month's time. But I'm going to try.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Medical intelligence

A brief break from quilt related matters. At last there's transcription work and it proved to be promo interviews for Web MD online site. I've gone to other medical online sites but not that one until a brief break between jobs. So much information is available -- and so much lopsided, even, in a sense, misinformation in the media which report every tiny study as if it were a major breakthrough while putting almost nothing in perspective. One of the interviewee said, in different words, when it comes to having a disease you are the person in charge and knowledge is power and knowledge is available to even those who are not computer wizards nor medically trained. He's so right. I am often appalled by the depths of ignorance many people wallow in with the entirely erroneous belief their GP will provide what they need to know -- in the 7 minutes he can give them once a year. Sure.

I actually had a call from a willfully ignorant neighbor the other evening who said, "How come I have these veins suddenly standing out on the back of my hands?" I said, aren't you nearly 60 years old? Did you ever look at your hands before? Did you ever look at the hands of other people your age? And I said, I promise you some day you'll look at your hands again and scattered among those blue veins wlll be brown spots on your skin. Why? asked he. Because pigmenation changes as we grow older, just when depends on how much you had in the first place. I remember my mother hating the spots on her hands; I rather like mine.

The people in the interviews were diabetics. Perhaps no chronic disease demands more of an individual -- one can live a "normal" life, if willing to understand how to manage the diseaee. This is true of many other diseases, of course, also. The medical system in the US if a very sick system and it doesn't work for most people. It's one of the last patriarchial systems that has to fall. Yes, the good MDs know a lot but they are few and mostly academic. We have the power of knoweldge available, to remain ignorant is to shirk our adult responsibility to ourselvs. Knowledge is power. Web MD looks pretty good. I'm sure there are other good sites as well. We have entered the information age; is any information more vitally important than the knowledge of how to stay healthy?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Quilt Top

This is the quilt pattern I've been looking at as I sewed for the past three weeks. Carol Doak published it in the magazine, $100,000 Quilting Challenge, the Premier Issue. It publishes articles on and by well known teachers and designers. She's long been a favorite designer. And I liked this quilt very much.

This is Carol Doak's book that I've been using for the past three years to make paper pieced stars. The nine stars in the quilt are from this book and are not all the same ones she used in her quilt. She did not restrict herself to one color as I did - she used red and green and something very light as the background of the stars. I kept trying to balance the blues and made quite a few quarter stars that proved I needed to make different choices, in fact, I made a few half stars before I realized a combination or a star wasn't going to work and there is one complete star that I thought was okay until I photographed it and realized it just wasn't visually clear. I will not claim that the final choices are the very best either. I used fabric from my stash and did not purchase new blues for this. There are quite a few fabrics -- I haven't counted them but 10 or 12 I think.

It's a very gray day and as I complain all the time, the light is terrible in my apartment so this looks gray and the color is really yucky. Perhaps you can go back to some of the individual stars for a better idea of the color. Anyway, the whole is here, ironed, paper removed, outside border not really visible, waiting to be quilted. Actually waiting for a backing fabric. There are two possible blues in my stash but neither seem right to me so I'll look for something I like better over the weekend. I like the top -- I really like blue and white. I wished it showed true color in the photo. I think the recipient will too.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Naked Trees

These are the pictures of naked trees that I took Sunday on my walk in the part. There were so many more I might have taken pictures of. They are grand, individual. There was one with many recent, unhealed scars from purnings that I didn't take for the same reason I wouldn't take pictures of a person's surgical incisions.

I sat for a while contemplating that here in the Northern Hemisphere durign the winter we humans cover out suddenly vulnerable bodies in layers of clothing and hide even our shapes, often using the wool of sheep or other animals, the leather of some, the fur of others, and down of birds, plus a variety of fleeces invented just for our comfort. But the trees, stand naked, showing us their shapes and individualities as they do not in the summer when the leaves get all tangled with leaves of their neighbors and hide from us the structures of the limbs. They have a heartiness we don't have and their own kind of vulnerability ... as do all living things in their own ways. Enough, basta!

I've been quilting most of the day and will have pictures tomorrow, making good progressa and very much appreciating the purity and tradition of a blue and white qjuilt, especialy those expanses of white. Lately I often get tired of looking at all the complex color in quilts even at the same time I have a wonderful time putting them together.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hey, this isn't like going to the mall

My granddaughter, Cori, is getting married, so, I've been shopping. In fact, I spent all of Saturday afternoon in a frustrating shopping mode. First I asked for the bridal registry list from Bed, Bath and Beyond. They couldn't find it. What go do? Not waste a trip of course. I checked out lots of things, including a lot of sheets on sale, but all seemed to be king size, and I know she needs queen. Prices were pretty amazing even on sale and I was glad she doesn't have a king size bed. Then I checked out sheets, towels and other stuff at T.J. Maxx, which in NYC if upstairs from BB&B - not a mall per se, but three stores [the third if Flenes Basement] in a big old building one store per floor. I saw some possibilities but knew I needed to consult her mother. Because I was flying blind without that registry list.

Then I went up to Macy's -- the BIG MAMA of all Macy's stores -- because I'd seen an ad for a weekend sale on cookware. Yes, there it was, a nice set at a nice price. BUT boxed up, as all but the display set was, I found it would be possible for me to carry it from the stack to the cashier but was so heavy I'd have a struggle to get it down and up and up and up the subway steps between there and my apartment. I would need a wheelie thingie -- this is the CITY, not a mall. I had no waiting car in a nearby lot. If I should go back with my wheelie, and get it, I'd then face, the same processes to go to the bus station the weekend [when there's a shower]. Too much to handle. So I went upstairs to check out white sales. Oh, my! More king size sets -- doesn't anybody sleep in a smallish bed these days? And the feather duvets were astronomial, not to mention bulky [though not requiring Rambo-ish muscles].

What go do? Call her mother, Rachel, for advice. Had a nice talk with Rachel while she walked the dog around a pond [I've done that walk often with her and love it -- the like does not exist here]. I explained my frustrating day. "There's a Macy's in our mall," she said. I thought there was only a Filene's and Sears. Hurray! "See if they have the sale there too," I suggested. "Sure, as soon as we get on around the pond." Half an hour later, "I'm standing here looking at a cookware set. Is this what you meant?" -- For the past couple years I've listened to people on their cell phones in stores explaining dresses or computers or whatever to someone back home and thought, why don't they just make a decision and buy the thing or not? Well, now I understood. Yes, that was the cookware set. And yes, she should buy it for me -- because it's actually 60% off -- a better bargain than at most off price stores. Thus the buying power of big chains and the wonder of the "loss leader" advertising.

So, being at a mall, having a car and availablity of a push cart to take the big, heavy box to th parking area, the purchase was accomplished in minutes. I can get on a bus with nothing more difficult than my smallest wheelie suitcase and a checkbook in my pocketbook. Oh ... if only various other problems could be solved so efficiently!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Buying a post card

I have to write something here to get my photos properly spaced -- I've just "fixed" sort of the picture of The Horse Fair -- which is to say a detail from the whole big thing. Now, to return to the blog as I wrote it yesterday.

Such a beatiful day -- the sun and blue sky promised yesterday finally arrived. So I decided to walk across the park to the Met. Museum to get a post card. Not just any p.c. but one of Rosa Bonheur's Horse Fair. I tried repeatedly to get a picture of it [my scanner doesn't scan yet] with out a light glare but failed. However, it's not as well known as one might expect so you can get the idea. The reason I wanted it was because when I had brunch with Beth a couple weeks ago we talked of paintings that entered our lives when we were young. She was not familiar with this painting so I'll send the card to her tomorrow.

The story is this. When I was a child in very rural Indiana I had not idea "Art" existed. We had some snapshots, in shoe boxes, and we had on our walls nothing but calendars from funeral homes or insurance companies. I remember Holsteins in a field and covered bridges. But I also remember a calendar with a picture of many big -- realy big! and very spirited horses. It was Rosa Bonheur's Horse Fair. I don't even know if I knew it wasn't a photograph but those horses were so big and unlike anything I had every seen that they stayed in my memory stamping and snorting long after the year was over and the calendar replaced. At some point, in reading about art in my college years I saw a reproduction and recognized it immdiately. Art -- with a capial A!! A few years more and I went to the Met for the first time, going to the Imperssionists first. After going up the grand staircase, turning left and walking up that sloping hallway, at the entrance to the Impressionists there -- first thing I saw. The Horse Fair, huge, powerful. I always stopped to look for a while at those memorable big asses on those horses. Now I know that Rosa Bonheur was a remarkable woman, not nearly as famous as her more docile successors, Mary Cassett, et al. She refused to stick to ladylike mother and child portraits; she, like George Sand, wore trousers when that was shocking and unlike Aurora, Rosa didn't hide behind a pseudonym.

So why a pitcure of a quilt book? Most Sunday walks are both longer and more expensie than one plans. How could I got to the Met's gift shop without looking around? There were some boxes of cards for sale and then, as always, I chcked the sale books and, as almost always, I found a most satisfying bargain. This big book, Quilted Planet, is goregously producted, wonderful pictures of quilts and best of all, if not truly comprehensive, it is a very informed survey of quilting around the world. Europe and North American, as expected, but they have not left out China and Japan, nor, Australia and New Zealand and -- surprise -- they include India, several traditions in Arica and also Central America. All for $14.95. Much more perusing later this evening. What a lovely day!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Two more stars and two to go

Moving right along -- I need a total of ten paper pieced stars. I've got eight done although I'm not sure if I showed them all. These are the two most recent, one of which replaces the one I showed a couple days ago that was visually muddled. I'll get another done tomorrow. I've got to wah and iron the a blue and white print that will make up borders and four largish triangles. I'm curious how it will all work in the mlarger design -- I'll show the pattern I'm aiming for tomorrow I think.

It was a disappointing day -- bright sun had been promised. It was sunny until about 10:30 and then turned cloudy ... nothing fell out of the sky, happily. In fact we had no snow in January at all -- which hasn't happened in 75 years of record keeping. But today was Groundhog Day and the fat little beast was tugged out of his cozy den early while the sun was shining -- meaning he saw his shadow which means, so they say, six more weeks of winter Well ... more of the same is fine, I guess. But this is a silly tradition, mainly a media event, a break from the continuous political jabber and the emphasis on Britany's psychoss. Yawn to all of it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Twelve by 12 - quilts about chocolate!

'The Internet is a wonderous system. I've often surfed quiters blogs and come across a few members of a dozen quilters from several countries who, I think, mostly have never met one another But someone had the idea of getting twelve of them together and doing challenge quilts. I came across references before their first challenge was complete which was before Christmas. Now the group has finished their second challenge which was to make quilts on the subject of CHOCOLATE. They have a blog just for this project, here. When you click this, it should open the site.

The wonderful thing is all are art quilters of very different personality so the twelve quilts are very different from one another. But even better, most of them write at some length explaining their mental process and then giving the technical process of creating the quilts. I spent nearly an hour reading this site a little while ago -- it may not take you so long since I'm both a slow reader and very handicapped reading on screen [I relate to paper pages and go a little brain dead after 10 or 15 minutes of reading stuff on a screen.] If you're fascinated by the group and their output, when you've finished the chocolate quilts -- assuming you're not dashing to a store for your own chocolate fix -- you can click at the bottom of the site and see their first group effort, the subject of which seems to have flitted away in a senior moment on this end.

Anyway, check them out. If for some reason the link doesn't work the website is Highly recommended - and there's a German drink of espresso and chocolate that has me ready to call up Lufthansa and see when the next flight to Germany leaves. yum!