Sunday, September 23, 2018

My Messy Stash

I have seen some quilters' stash photos and am puzzled at how they keep it so neat. (Diva? Can you explain?) Maybe they only take pictures after a huge cleaning episode.

Well, here is my stash on a normal day. This is most of it; I also have some big pieces and WIPs in bins and some piled disrespectfully on my cutting board.

In fact, I will bare it all here and show you the current state of my cutting mat, too.

This is the look of creativity!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Book Review: Reckoning

Reckoning by Magda Szubanski

I stumbled upon this book in an odd way, by watching something on Netflix in which this author had a bit part, and somehow I ended up reading about her and her life and work and thereby discovered this book.

She is a well-known comedian and actor in Australia. She describes her growing up years, struggling to understand her family and her life. Her father is from Poland and lived quite a violent life through the ghetto wars in Warsaw during WWII. That legacy leaves Magda with questions that she works through over many years.

Honestly, I found the first part of this book a little boring, but it vastly improved in the last third or so and became quite moving.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Quilts to Syrian Refugees

More of my quilts that went to refugees in need:

I made this top in memory of my mom after she died in 2016. Kathleen R. quilted it for me, and it has recently been delivered to a refugee from Syria. Mom would like that. (Log cabin was my mom's favorite block pattern.)

Moira sent me fabric, and I made as many blocks as I could; returned them to her, and she made this quilt which was then quilted by Kathleen R. It takes a village!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Book Review: Norwegian by Night

Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller

An American octogenarian and recent widower moves to Norway to live with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. They think he has dementia, and it does appear that he's a little odd, but the reader will never know for sure if it's dementia or just lack of understanding between generations. He has a lot of clear (and muddled) thoughts which didn't seem consistent with dementia, but... I admit an ignorance about what inner life is like for a person with dementia.

There's a murder, an escape, a police chase all of which are quite interesting and not too thriller-ish, for which I was thankful. I don't usually enjoy mysteries and murders, but I loved this book. The old gentleman is pondering his years, especially the time he spent fighting in the Korean war. And he mourns his son who died in Vietnam. There are so many family and life issues in this book, adjustment to a new home, relationships and unknowns, plus it is quite captivating just to follow all that happens. I can give this book a strong recommendation.

This quilt of mine has recently arrived in Guatemala and was donated to a child there.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Review: Captured

The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch

This book, "The Captured" by Scott Zesch, was listed in the bibliography of "News of the World" by Paulette Jiles. Jiles cites it as a well-researched book which greatly influenced her own writing of "News of the World." I was intrigued, so I decided to read "The Captured" as well. The author himself is a descendant of a "weird great-uncle" in the family who was abducted and held for almost three years. The great-uncle was never able to readjust to white culture and remained aloof and unhappy for the rest of his life. Wanting to learn more about a little-known family story, Zesch is inspired to write the book.

Zesch follows the lives of nine children in Texas (including his great-uncle) who were abducted by Comanche and Apache Indians in the 1800s. The children stayed with the tribes for varying lengths of time, from six months to 12 years, before being reunited with their families of origin.

Zesch does an excellent job of telling the story from as many perspectives as he can reliably research and document. Almost to a person, the former captives (called white Indians) cherished their times with the Indians and kept some of the culture with them until their death. This was true even of children who were held captive for less than one year. Their re-insertion back into white culture was difficult; for some it was impossible.

The book is a fascinating read and a well-told true story of a unique chapter in American history.

Monday, August 27, 2018

More of My Quilts Sent Out to Serve

Wheeee! It's so exciting to see my quilts actually being sent away to help people. This latest batch was sent from QBB (Quilts Beyond Borders) to a place in Texas called The Door. It's for women and children who are recovering from abusive situations. I am happy to have my quilts help in these sad yet hopeful situations.

Here's one of mine that was sent. It took about a year from when I made this quilt to now, seeing it in the "these were sent to TX" display.

Here is a full picture of it:

Here are two more made and quilted by me. The blocks in these two were made by several members of Sunshine, and I assembled and quilted.
Here are full pictures of these two quilts:

Go, quilts, go! I hope whoever received each quilt loves cuddling up and feeling a little more secure.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Book Review: The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

Next week Hubby and I will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary. So it is not a surprise that at first, while reading this book, I felt it was rather basic and that I wasn't learning anything new. We have made our marriage work and are very happy. I guess we figured out the Love Languages thing over the years. In fact, the years keep getting better. We are doing something right.

When I neared the end of the book, I realized I was learning some new ideas and ways we could improve our marriage. Even a good marriage can be improved. So I read all the way to the end, and I took the little quiz for wives that indicated which love languages are my primary and secondary. I had already correctly guessed them. I am currently waiting for my husband to take the husband quiz and to see what his languages are. We both think we know how his answers will be revealed as well. It will be fun to see if we are correct.

While this book was not a big eye-opener for us, I think it is quite a helpful approach to all kinds of relationships and has the potential of being very eye-opening for those who need the help. One can learn something new about how to get along with one's spouse, children, friends, and neighbors. It's a common sense and very helpful approach to every day but potentially traumatic relationships. (Since writing this book Chapman also wrote The Five Love Languages for Children, Love Languages for Singles, and there is a special "for men" edition as well as a military edition.)