Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Join Us at Sunshine Quilt Guild

Being helpful to others makes one happy. If you want to get in on the happiness, join us at Sunshine Online Quilt Guild and help us make quilts for kids and teens. We support two programs: Wrap a Smile (make quilts for kids having cleft lip/palate surgery) and Quilts Beyond Borders (quilts for kids in underserved areas, often in orphanages in hard-to-reach places). We have a lot of fun, and the service is rewarding. Join us at our group at MeWe (similar to Facebook but no ads and no privacy invasions). Here is the link:

Examples of some of the fun we have:

Round Robin quilts

Block Lotto challenges

Quilts made from the Lotto blocks

Just for fun quilts

Occasional Retreats

Best of all, the kids who receive our quilts are comforted at a scary or unpredictable time in their lives. We are happy we can help them in this small but beautiful way.
(This quilt was made at our 2017 retreat in Omaha.)
(This quilt is the one shown above at Quilts made from Lotto blocks.)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge, June and July

I finished two blocks in June (blue), but forgot I had made them. I found them when I finished my July blocks (pink).

While I was at it, I made a few other random pinks.

Check out other Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Book Review: Before the Fall (Audio Book)

An audio book -- Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, narrated by Robert Petkoff

This is not a book I would have liked if I had been reading a hard copy. Thanks to a great narrator, I enjoyed listening to it. Petkoff sounds like a friendly, trustworthy reader. I'm not sure how he accomplishes this just with his voice, but it's what made me listen to the entire book and sort of enjoy it. I would happily listen to other books narrated by Petkoff.

It was an interesting story about 11 people who were in a plane crash. Only two people survived. What exactly happened and why is the quest of everyone in the story

Had I been reading this book, I would have bogged down in the possible-money-laundering focus (a theme along with mafia stuff that I hate to read about). Also I may have bogged down in the relationships-as-described-by-male-authors thing that I find just a tad offensive. It's not every male author, of course, but too often they are still unconsciously stuck in the "males run the world" mindset. It gives them a perspective that just doesn't sit right... and a perspective that most female authors would never take.

Another thing: why (in this book) is a person's race only mentioned when they are African-American? Why is it mentioned at all? It was never necessary. Is white the "standard" and anything other than that has to be called out? Were there no Asian people? American Indian? A gifted author will make the race known by other means, when it is necessary, or will not mention it at all when it is not.

So, thanks to Petkoff I liked this book for the most part, but if it were just dependent on Hawley's writing, I would not have finished reading it.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Book Review: Camp Chemo

Camp Chemo: Postcards Home from Metastatic Breast Cancer by Camille Scheel

This author is from Minnesota. At the age of 38 in 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and began writing posts at Caring Bridge. This book is a compilation of those posts. She goes through difficult treatments and side effects, then as she is beginning to hope for an improved life, her cancer metastasizes. She agonizes over treatments, continuing to work as she is able, and attempting to carry her weight as a partner in marriage and raising young children.

Throughout her ordeal she tries to learn from the struggles and keep a positive outlook. I am sure this was a great help to her children. They seemed to be keen on fundraising for cancer research.

The book ends in about 2014. It's a sad story, and when I Googled her name, I found her obituary from 2017, which made it sadder. When she died her children were about 16 and 10.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mini Vacay, One Quilt

Husband and I went on a 4-day vacation to southern Wisconsin. We picked that area because my friend from Georgia would be there visiting her parents; it was a good time to see each other.

We stayed at a resort. These pictures show the area. It was quite pretty.

I enjoyed the quilt theme on some of the doors.

Weather was perfect! Sitting on the balcony was restful and pleasant. We read, napped, and also took walks along the lakeshore.

My friend from Georgia is on the left. The friend on the right lives nearby, so we got to increase the fun and see her, too.

We are back home now, so I was able to finish this quilt. Some of these string blocks are at least 15 years old! I made more last week to finish this and quilt it. Then after vacation, today, I finished it off. I will donate this quilt locally.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Two Art Quilts

I finally finished these two small quilts that have been waiting in my to-be-quilted pile for quite some time. First one is the result of a class I took taught by Cindy Grisdela. I named this one "Playing My Ukelele." Don't ask me why. I don't own a ukelele. I played one for ten minutes when I was about ten years old. But.. the name just came to me as something happy and light-hearted. So there you go. I kind of ruined it by not either facing it or using normal binding on it. I just turned the back to the front and sewed it down. I like this as a quick, easy way to bind quilts that I give away. But for this one.. it doesn't hang well so it looks frumpy. Some day when inspired I shall un-sew this version and will sew on a real binding (probably blue or black).

Second finish is called "A World of Friends." I used to be in a small group called Loose Threads. We had a challenge to make improv blocks using mostly solids. Then we exchanged them and each made something with them. I left the group shortly after the exchange, so, even though I got my top made rather quickly, I dawdled on getting it quilted. It feels good to have it finally done. The gel print in the middle is by Lucy Senstad, a local artist from whom I purchased that piece. And there is a hand-dyed (by me) piece in it along with the prints with the blue blobs which I did in a class at Houston. I like this quilt a lot. It reminds me of my friends who are still keeping Loose Threads going. It was just time for me to take a break from groups. I quit a couple of guilds and that small group all at once, and I've been happy I did.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Book Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

This is a very interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes upsetting, story of Trevor Noah growing up in South Africa, first under apartheid and later in its fledgling freedom. I learned a bit more about what apartheid really meant. His story is a universal one of family love, angst, struggles, intertwined with the imposed struggles brought on by an arbitrary and punishing political system of apartheid. He was a spirited, complex and intelligent boy and young man. Very well-told, and after reading other reviews, I'm sorry I didn't listen to the audio version which Noah himself narrates.