Friday, September 13, 2019

A Soft Quilt

I made this very easy quilt top, thinking I might donate it to one of the programs I support. The fabric is so cute that I decided I would like to give it to my Bonus Grandson. I had it quilted by a professional, using minky on the back.

Here is a close-up of the fabric.

Once it was quilted, it was so puffy and soft. Then, with minky on the back, it's even softer. It's a very comforting little quilt. I hope Bonus will like it. I'm not sure when I will give it to him; it's very warm, so I might wait until winter.

I finally got the binding attached yesterday. It's finally done!

Monday, September 09, 2019

RSC September Blocks

This month's color is purple. I had fun with these, because I don't play with purple very often. I should make a point of using more purple in my future.

Click here to see lots of other beautiful scrap blocks people have made.

In other project news, I found out about a shelter for men.. they need some large-ish quilts, and ugly is the specific request. I have heard that in the homeless world, ugly stuff has less chance of being stolen. So.. purposely making a couple ugly quilt tops was sort of fun, and used up some yardage of ugly fabrics. These run approximately 55" x 75". My cousin will quilt these for me on her new long arm machine.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Book Review: All the Living

All the Living by C.E. Morgan

The writing in this book is beautiful. This is funny to me, because the first time I tried reading it, I hated the writing! I thought the author was "trying too hard" with excessive use of metaphors and similes. I put it down for a couple of weeks, and the second time I tried, I loved it and got hooked right in. This time I felt the writing was wonderful. I love good writing such as this great verb choice: the sun raged through the windows.

The author has a deep understanding of human emotions and relationships, covering everything: loss, love, marriage, daily living, faith, death, communication. Superb. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because I was frustrated with the main characters' failed attempts at communicating and with truth being hidden/covered up. OTOH, this is what humanity does to ourselves and to each other, so I think I will change my rating from 4 to 5 stars of a possible 5.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Book Review: Sugarcane Academy

Sugarcane Academy: How a New Orleans Teacher and His Storm-Struck Students Created a School to Remember by Michael Tisserand

This is a story about a school that is created by parents and teachers, for kids who had been evacuated at the time of Hurricane Katrina. The perspective of the kids and their experiences was one of the best parts of the book. The poor children were so frightened, and this is the first book I've seen which features their stories. The other best part of the book was the great teachers who knew how to help the kids talk through their fears, express themselves through art, and respect their stories. They helped guide the kids back to safety by being a comforting, understanding presence at a time when they needed this stability.

Monday, August 26, 2019

August RSC Blocks

I finally got my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks made. The blues I used are not that different from the earlier blue month, so I made only three. Click here to see beautiful blocks made by others.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Podcast/Book Review: Nobody's Property

Nobody's Property, Living on the Remains of a Life in California by Emily Kathleen Cooke

When I started listening to this book, I thought it was a series on a podcast -- a story told consecutively as research is done. Turns out it was a book presented via podcast. It can also be purchased (free, I think?) as an e-book or an audio book from Scribl dot com.

The author's aunt died when the author was two. The author grew up living in the shadow of the deceased aunt. Who was she? How, exactly, did she die? How can I keep myself safe so that the same fate does not befall me?

The aunt, Jenny, age 18, had moved to Germany in the fall of 1971 to attend a small college. In November she decided to take a weekend break and hitch hike to other locations. She went missing; six months later her body was discovered in a wooded area. They were never able to determine a cause of death because of (a) decomposition of the body and (b) it was in 1972, so DNA and other technologies were not available to help solve mysteries.

I found the storyline interesting; the author comes to some interesting conclusions about how the family story of Aunt Jenny affected her own life. However, I am sorry to say that I found this book to be boring. Instead of reading her research verbatim, I felt that it would have been more interesting had she rewritten it in story form. It was interesting enough to keep me occupied while doing some sewing, but as a book it left me dissatisfied. To warrant more than two stars out of five, this book would need some major editing.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Do You Listen to Podcasts?

I am a newcomer to podcasts. I finally figured out how to easily access them. I got an app from the App Store (in my phone it is the Google Play Store). I installed Castbox, which was free, and I started listening. I love listening to them while I sew. It's much like listening to an audio book, but shorter episodes rather than chapters.

My daughter told me about Terrible, Thanks for Asking. I started with that one. It is produced here in Minnesota. It was started by a young woman whose husband got brain cancer, then they had a baby, then he died. All the stories are fascinating (and terrible). The people who suffered these crises have survived, often with drastically changed lives and scars, but also with healing and triumph. It helps other people understand their trauma and how we can help by listening and reacting more humanely.

From there I found more and more. My favorites are from CBC: Canadian Broadcasting Company. They do a great job on their podcasts, and there are no ads (except for maybe one just before the podcast begins). CBC has a long list of podcasts; these are my current CBC favorites:

Someone Knows Something (cold cases, or long-running open cases that remain unsolved)
This one led me to Uncover - another one dealing with unsolved or cold cases. And then I found Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo. Very fascinating part of history when both Canada and the USA were taking Indian kids from their homes and placing them in white families for adoption.

The Secret Life of Canada (The two hosts are wonderful; both are women of color and their perspectives on history include all of the real history, not just what started when white people arrived in North America.. it's so refreshing to hear the actual true history, and their rapport is great.)

Love Me (This is weird, but I have listened to many episodes and I currently can't remember any of them. I must have enjoyed them, because I listened to so many.)

Here is a list of the 25 Best Podcasts in 2018. I'm posting it here for your use and also so I can remember what to visit when I'm ready for new ones. Once you start listening to a few podcasts, you will be referred to many others, and they become endless! Also, podcasts, like TV shows, have seasons. Now that it's fall, many of them will be returning after a summer break and offering new material. I look forward to that!

I know I'm an old person and am a late arrival to podcasts. Are any of you late-comers like me? Mine all are non-music podcasts so far. I'm kind of into documentary/history/true crime/story-telling podcasts. They feed my soul much like books do.

So -- podcasts -- do you listen? Do you have some favorites? Please share what you listen to. One can never have too many podcasts.