Friday, January 31, 2020

Oh, Dear.... If You Use UPS...

I have a Post Office Box address that I give to the world so they can send quilts to me for the QBB Fat Quarter Challenge. I recently got a message from UPS saying they had a box for me, addressed to my PO Box. UPS is not allowed to deliver to PO Box addresses, so they wanted me to provide my street address. I tried my hardest, but I couldn't get the web site or the 800 phone number to cooperate; next best thing was going in person to the UPS location nearby and try to get this problem nipped in the bud. Unfortunately, they couldn't find the package until... oh! Boom! There it is! It had already been returned to the sender. Shucks!

So if you are a quilter who uses UPS to ship quilts, please don't send them to a PO Box. You can always send me an e-mail, or leave a note here, and ask for my street address. I'll be happy to provide it!

Hoping the package eventually gets sent back to me. I'm bummed that I was just a little too late in my dealings with UPS.

FQC Coordinator for QBB

feeling bummed that I didn't manage to rescue that package in time

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Book Review: The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

A Chinese-American boy, abandoned by his mother at age 11, is ultimately adopted by a white couple in upstate New York. He spends his years wondering why his mother left and learning to adapt to his new surroundings. However, adoption and abandonment being such complicated experiences, his adaptation is never easy. Essentially the rest of his life constitutes a search for his "real self." He is never quite sure which culture is his: the Chinese culture of his first 11 years spent in New York City, or the white-American-suburban culture of his second half of life. The ramifications of abandonment and adoption are immense. This book is so well written! I loved the language. The nuances of emotions in the various characters, and inter-play between characters, were masterfully done. This is author Lisa Ko's first novel. I hope she keeps writing.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Update on Fat Quarter Challenge Quilts

This year (starting in November) I became the coordinator of the Fat Quarter Challenge (FQC) at Quilts Beyond Border (QBB). It has been fun to get so many pretty quilts in the mail!

Here are some examples. So far we have received 21 FQC quilts, so I won't show them all to you - just a sampling. Just imagine how much fun it is to receive these quilts and see them up close. That's the fun I'm having! And everyone who sends in a quilt gets their name in the drawing for prizes. Send five quilts? Your name goes in five times!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Book Review: The Sound of Gravel

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

The author grew up in a polygamist Mormon family, the 39th of her father's 42 children. She grew up in a colony in Mexico with occasional forays into California and Texas. Her family was large and poor. The story is similar to "Educated" which I also read recently. This family did send their children to school, but it isn't valued for very long. Many of them only finished up to about sixth grade.

Wariner endured a lot of deprivation and some abuse before finally finding happiness in her late teen and adult years. A captivating story, but too similar to "Educated" to have read so soon afterwards.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Book Review: Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Greater minds than mine have dubbed this book one of Waugh's finest achievements. Waugh himself was very proud of it and stated that only about six Americans will understand it. In that case, I believe I am in good company. I am not part of the six.

If you asked me, I would tell you this book is about friendship, love, family, religion, and lost people searching for meaning. Waugh himself says it is about religion. It's a story of a family and a few of their friends at the end of WWI in England, continuing up until the beginning of WWII. Brideshead is their family mansion.

Parts of it made for a good story; parts I had to slog through. I was happy when I reached the end.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Giving Away Quilted Hearts

Have you heard of this little project: "I Found a Quilted Heart"? You can read about it here:

In a nutshell, you make a small, quilted heart and post it somewhere out in public for a random person to find. If you're lucky, the finder will go to that website and tell about finding the heart. I like doing this simple kind of random thing... sometimes I feel a little embarrassed, like it's just a silly thing. But some of the finders' stories are really poignant. They might find the heart on the anniversary of their child's death, or they find it right after getting engaged, or they find it after getting good (or bad) news regarding surgery, or they find it where they enjoyed their last walk with their grandma. Those stories make me keep making the hearts, even though I may never hear about "my" finders' reactions.

I will admit, I would love to hear more reports from finders than I do. I tell myself "Self, these hearts are out there just to give someone a little bright spot in their day, not for you to get a pat on the back" and I do believe that. would be fun to get another report now and then.

Since I'm getting very little feedback from finders, I decided to show you pictures of a few of the hearts I have dropped around Minnesota. (I try to hide some every time I am in a different town or suburb from my own, and have left several in my own town as well.) And I'm excitedly looking forward to dropping these in an exotic place that I will be some time in the relatively near future (details will show up here, eventually).

If you decide to join in the fun, be sure to go to the IFAQH site and read the rules. There are some places we are not allowed to leave the hearts, and they want only certain wording on the little tags.

Here are the finders' photos (of hearts I made) from the site:

Monday, January 13, 2020

Giving a Quilt to Two People

Today I met Bonus grandson and his mom at a McDonald's that has a playland. I had a quilt to give him, but he was more interested in playing on the climbing things. His mom loved it! It's a very simple pattern, but she was overwhelmed with the soft minky backing. It was fun to see her loving it so much. We could only get Bonus' attention long enough to touch it for a split second. Couldn't get more than his hand in the picture. (I have a feeling he and his mom will be sharing this quilt.) He does love to climb and play! It was a fun Bonus day. He always makes me happy.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Book Review: The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity of Hope; Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

I listened to the audio version of this book, read by Barack Obama. It was so nice to hear his voice and listen to his eloquent sentences. He examines what makes government work and how decisions affect things such as economy and the welfare of our citizens. I love his intelligence. He likes to fully understand issues and maintains high confidence in the goodness of people. He wants government to be more intent on working for the good of everyone. After all, he says, "we have a stake in each other."

I read some reviews by Republicans who said they also appreciated his overall look at government and his understanding of the issues while providing an evaluation of politics in America (i.e., not trying to persuade toward a particular side). I agree; I think readers of any persuasion could appreciate the wisdom that he offers in this book. A tiny bit of it is outdated as he wrote this while he was a senator, but that really is negligible.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Book Review: Educated

Educated by Tara Westover
I had heard so much about this book, I was afraid all the hype would affect my enjoyment of it. However, it wasn't long before I was hooked in and could hardly put it down. I read it all day on New Year's Eve and finished it at 3:00 AM on New Year's Day.

The author grew up in a survivalist, Mormon, very strict and conservative family in the mountains of Idaho. They did not believe in participating in any government or public services, and avoided the Medical Establishment at all costs. Consequently none of their seven children ever attended any school. Unbelievable were the ramifications of never allowing medical intervention even in the face of serious accidents and illnesses. At times the details were hard to read!

She eventually does go to college and has some seriously eye-opening experiences due to her complete ignorance of many commonly understood historical and cultural events. She struggles to establish herself as a separate person, on her own and unencumbered by strict family teachings. As she learns to think for herself, her turmoil grows more over-powering. Adjusting to what most of us would call the "real world" was incredibly difficult. This struggle between her own yearnings and the psychological/spiritual/moral background she grew up with was captivating. It brought to mind some of my own thoughts on family, culture, and independent thinking (though to a much smaller degree than she dealt with). It can take a lifetime to sort out how much is one's own choices and how much is family indoctrination, good or bad as it may be.

unrelated photo which I found at Facebook... Wow!