Monday, April 27, 2020

Book Review: Mornings in Jenin

Book: Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

This book of historical fiction is very well-written. It follows a family through four generations in Palestine. The first group is forced out of their homes and removed to a small, walled-in area. They maintain hope of getting back home. Four generations later, they are still in exile. Wars have occurred, children have grown and taken on causes, married, or moved away. Some of the events that take place are violent and graphic (after all, it's war). The story is based on true wars and true events, with fictional characters, therefore one can learn about the conflicts between Palestine and Israel and try to understand what has been at the root. An excellent book, full of the love and agony of humanity.

Friday, April 24, 2020

T for Terry

1) I think I changed my comments to "moderated." If it didn't work, I'll try again. I have been getting several comments in other languages and regarding goofy stuff not related to me or my interests. So, due to a few I have to make it more cumbersome for all. Sorry about that.

2) Here's some sewing I have done recently. One of the groups I donate to, Wrap-a-Smile (WAS), is coming up on its 20th anniversary. Also, its founder, Terry, is seriously ill. So to celebrate WAS and to honor Terry, some of us decided to make quilts out of T-blocks. (T for Terry.) Here is what I have done so far:

This first quilt is made of all Ts.

This quilt has one T block which is top row, center. Ts are slanted. See?

This quilt has a row of purple/yellow Ts in the middle.

The Ts below are the middle part that look like pistons:

Another volunteer is quilting these for me. Wrap-a-Smile gives quilts to kids who undergo cleft lip/cleft palate surgery all over the world. They get to keep the quilt, of course. If you are interested in donating to Wrap-a-Smile, I'll be glad to give you the information on how, where, and all the deets you need.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Book Review: An Only Child

An Only Child and Her Sister by Casey Maxwell Clair

my rating: 3 of 5 stars

This memoir is written by the older of two daughters. They are very close in age, but their lives are totally different. They are frequently in different places, and most often they are treated quite differently by the parents. Therefore the older one, who seems to be the preferred child, feels like an only child and only occasionally sees her sister.

It's a sad story of neglect and longing. Part of the longing was my own, to find someone to give the girls the love they craved. I seem to get drawn to memoirs, but I may be getting tired of them. So give my 3 star rating a bit of leeway. It could easily have warranted 4 stars by someone who's not tired of this genre.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

More A to Z Blocks

I am continuing to work through my book of blocks in alphabetical order. Here are more of what I have made:

This yellow one was accidentally made 14 inches rather than the standard 12-inch size I was aiming for. And the colors in this photo are off. It was prettier in person.

The last one I made is Contrary Wife (what a name!) There are several more C blocks to work through before I get into the Ds.

Happy sheltering at home, readers!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Solo Sewing

During the quarantine I am doing all my sewing alone at home. I enjoy it, but usually I have at least a once-a-month quilters' gathering which rejuvenates me, and I'm missing that now. Still, I do enjoy sewing when I feel like it and doing whatever I want. Even the quilt projects to which my friends and I donate are not currently in operation, so all the sewing we do is for later. Which means.. there are no deadlines prompting me to do X, Y and Z before the more fun things that I'd rather do. That's a benefit of quarantine sewing.

Here's what I have been making:

Those three tops will eventually be for Wrap a Smile which gives quilts to kids after cleft lip surgery. They are made from a combination of my own blocks, donated blocks, and some donated rows. Wrap a Smile is one of the programs currently on hiatus. But they'll need lots of quilts once they start back in operation.

Here is a collection of blocks I made from a tutorial at the blog, The Objects of Design. Post was on Aug. 20, 2014. The block has partial seams, but they're super easy and go together quickly. They make a small block, only 5.5 inches. I was going to try to be creative, but ended up deciding on a straight setting. They're already interesting enough so that it makes a creative quilt top as is.

To my own chagrin, I am not reading as much as I thought I would during this quarantine time. Since I'm doing so much sewing, maybe another audio book would be a good way to go.

Happy sheltering-in-place, everyone! I hope you are healthy and happy. Sending my hugs around the world.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Book Review: Grayson

Grayson by Lynne Cox

A true story. Lynne Cox swims in the ocean every day in early morning hours, training for various long-stretch swim endeavors such as swimming the English Channel. One day she feels that something is swimming underneath her, but she is not sure, and if it is something, she doesn't know what it is. Instinct tells her to keep swimming and not to fear. Eventually she discovers it is a baby gray whale. This is her story of swimming with the whale, hoping it can be reunited with its mother. As time passes she experiences close sightings of many other ocean and sky creatures. I can't imagine what an almost mystical experience that must have been.