Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Book Review: Two Books

When I Was White by Sarah Valentine

In this memoir, Valentine describes growing up in her white, suburban family in the Pittsburgh area. It isn't until she is 27 that her mother tells her that the father who raised her is not her biological father and that her biological father was African-American. Valentine knew she had been viewed as "different" while growing up, but race was never discussed in her family. She has never put her "different-ness" into words for herself. It comes as a shock to her, though it explains her ponderings about herself, to realize that she is of mixed race.

In America where race has always been such a big thing, the fact that her family never discussed it was a huge disservice to Valentine, depriving her of the opportunity to fully understand herself and her heritage. In fact, the most they ever seem to say about race is to forbid her from dating anyone who is not white.

For many years, Valentine works on self-realization and searching for the identity of her biological father. Her family could have spared her so many years of angst.

Mr. g: A Novel About Creation by Alan Lightman

Mr.g lives in the Void with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva. He is bored, so decides to create a universe. First he makes times, then space, then matter. Then he makes a chair for his aunt. As solar systems and galaxies begin to form, he is delighted and intrigued with what he has created. It's a whimsical/scientific/philosophical look at creation. After some of the planets are populated, a satan-like being questions Mr. g about humans' free will and encourages Mr. g not to interfere. Mr. g is saddened by suffering so struggles a bit with that option.

The book includes a lot of scientific processes and philosophical questions that we have all pondered such as: what is life? Why are we here? Why is there suffering? What is space? How can we begin to imagine the great emptiness and void?

It could have been interesting and humorous and fun, but instead it plodded along and was not something I wanted to spend my time reading. I only finished it because it was for a book club. None of us particularly liked it, though we understood its presentation of our unanswerable questions.

This time you get a non-book-related photo. It's my great-niece in Nebraska, sporting her Minnesota Vikings shirt and resting on the quilt I made for her. Adorable, yes?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Children

When I make quilts for kids, I picture this in my mind:

two girls in Guatemala:

a boy in ? (I think Guatemala, but I'm not sure):

a boy in a Jordan refugee camp for Syrians:

This is why I continue to make quilts for kids.

Wrap a Smile

Quilts Beyond Borders

Sunshine Quilt Guild (online)

Join me?

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.