Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Quilts on the Horizon

 My online group, Sunshine, had a sew-along day where we all made the same pattern: Horizon from this blog -- klein meisje quilts . It was designed by that blog creator, Lynn. We chose it because it is a quick and easy block and perfect for a big group project, requiring very few directions.

Here are the quilts we made on our sew-along day and a few days after (20 of them so far). They'll be wrapped around some cute kids some time in the relatively near future. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Too Hot for Outside

 We are having a very hot and dry summer. We are trying to establish a new lawn this year, which is virtually impossible during a raging drought. But at least we are not in a fire zone (knock on wood). We just see hazy skies from fires in Canada. I hope everyone near the fires will be safe.

I am tired of the heat and mostly stay inside. I have been working on this for the last couple of days:

Before that I put finishing touches on a few other quilt tops:

Made from fabrics my sister gave me,
and the pattern is from a member of my online group;
we named the pattern Doris. I bet you can guess why.

using some orphan blocks, Lotto blocks, and random stuff

an idea I copied from an unknown quilter; I added the HST borders

another one made from leftovers and extras

Still needs borders added.
This pattern is called Horizon and was found at this blog:
It is super fast and easy; I have made 3 of these so far.
My online group, Sunshine Quilts, had a QAL (quilt along) day
when a bunch of us talked on Zoom and spent the day
sewing Horizon quilts. We have made about 18 of them so far!
New ones keep popping up in our feed.
I will have to share this info with kleinmeisje.. I bet she has no idea
what a quilt avalanche she started!
Amazing accomplishment in the middle
of a drought! 😍

Here are my previous two Horizons. One has been finished so far.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

George Floyd Square

 I live in a St. Paul suburb and don't get to Minneapolis very often. Today while running errands I realized I was not far from George Floyd Square. I had never been there, so I decided to pay a visit. Cars can now drive through, but slowly, because there are still many tributes set up in the street along the sidewalk by Cup Foods and on the spot where George died. People still visit and mill about, so cars go carefully. Also, the famous raised fist and garden is in the center of the intersection of 38th and Chicago, which helps slow down the traffic. I did not feel in danger from traffic while there.

These (above) are about a block from the famous intersection.

A quilt was among the many tributes and memorials.

the spot where Mr. Floyd died

Being there is an emotional experience.
It still hurts.

Disappointment of the day: this shop I had heard of doesn't
open until 3:00 PM, and I was there at about 11:00 AM. I will be back.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Book Review: The Midnight Library

 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Read this one for my book club. We like to try to read different genres. This is of a type that I rarely read.. not sure how it is officially classified, but I would say maybe science fiction? It was based on an interesting idea: what happens when we die? Suppose there are parallel universes? What are those like?

I got tired of it after a while, but it was at least food for thought and entertaining.

photo in memory of our cat, Scotchie, 2002-2021

Monday, July 19, 2021

Book Review: Homesick Restaurant

 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

A family: Dad, Mom, three kids. The family life is strained; the kids grow. The kids as adults are not really close but stay connected. They also maintain their old rivalries. In other words, it's a somewhat typical family, but at the same time they are atypical to the point of being dysfunctional. It is overall sad but also has glimpses of uplifting moments and expressions of love. The writing is great. Characters are very well developed. I really like Anne Tyler but hadn't read anything by her in several years. Glad I read this one.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Book Review: Hum if You Don't Know the Words

 Hum if You Don't Know the Words  by Bianca Marais

I loved this book! The story is captivating, and the writing is superb. It takes place in South Africa in the mid-1970s when Soweto rises up to protest their oppression under apartheid. The story revolves around a white girl of 9 or 10, her Parents/Aunt, and the black woman who winds up as her caretaker. It's a story about apartheid atrocities and cultural upheaval and how the young girl begins to learn and see the complexities of life in South Africa.

My only disappointment  is that the voice of the 10-year-old girl is awfully mature, especially in the last few chapters.

Other than that, there are many beautiful moments in this wonderful book.

my most recent ice-dyed creation
(a baby receiving blanket)

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Book Review: Missoula

 Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer

Krakauer researches the responses made to rape and sexual assault reports in college towns, specifically in Missoula, Montana. These responses come from campus police, city police, county prosecutors, and college officials. I was hoping things were getting better. Read this book and see if women still suffer ostracism, bullying, and slut-shaming if they dare to report a rape. You can pretty much guess what the answer to that query is.

Some cases where I live (a Minnesota college town) were big news for some of the same reasons they were in Missoula... and the outcomes were the same. I should have been able to predict the trajectory of this book.

Hard to read due to the details of the events, but important to know what is (still) going on. This is a scourge in our culture. We need to raise our awareness of the true nature of what rape is, and to raise our children to not be rapists. We obviously have not yet figured it out.

The photo shows my resolve to get back into regular reading.
My reading funk has not let up.
I have barely read much at all during the last year and a half
of COVID lock-downs.
I keep hoping I will emerge from the funk.
Cross your fingers for me.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

A Boy With My Quilt!

 This quilt was made by me and quilted by my cousin, Beth, in 2020. About half the blocks were made by me, and half by my online group, Sunshine Quilts. It is now in the possession of this boy, a Syrian refugee. I'm not sure where he is at this moment. Probably a refugee camp in ... ? Not sure. The man who is helping has a vest which reads SCM. It stands for Syrian Cultural something or other. We (through Quilts Beyond Borders ) arrange with them to have our quilts sent in their large shipping containers with many other supplies.

It warms my heart and inspires me to keep sewing when I get this lucky opportunity to see where my quilts end up. Be warm and safe, young man!

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

H2H: This Year's Quilts

 Every year Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict organizes a charity quilt give-away. She encourages quilters to think of the world community or the local community and give quilts to those in need. She picks various programs we can choose to support, or even encourages us to donate to a program of our own choosing. I have participated every year since I found out about it (ten+ years?) and always enjoy it a lot.

This is what I created in 2021. This one went to Victoria's Quilts in Canada. She wants them to be 50" x 70" and tops only. That helps with the extra expense of postage to Canada. Victoria and her crew finish the quilts and then give them to people who have cancer. This was made from a huge pile of floral fabrics I received free from a friend. Florals don't seem particularly great for kid quilts, so I thought they might be suitable for some adults who are undergoing cancer treatments. Not a big fan of florals myself, I was still pretty happy with how this one turned out. It's even pretty!

The next one is photographed twice. It is also made from the floral fabrics, and went to Quilty Hugs which gives the quilts to people in the U.S. who have cancer. Again, it seemed appropriate for an adult. I assume that's who it will be given to. My cousin, Beth, quilted this for me on her long-arm.

At the last minute I also decided to participate in the Hometown Heroes quilt gifting. Because it was a last-minute decision, it has not yet been quilted and not yet been given away. But this is the top which I made from a kit and will be finished soon, I hope. Pattern is Magic Carpet by Vanilla Latte Quilts. (This quilt is high-lighted in my previous post from May 26.)

To see other gorgeous quilts given out by generous quilters, click here and be inspired.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

H2H: Front Line Workers

 I have a quilt I am going to give to the pastor at my church, but it has not yet been quilted. You get to see the uncompleted top. (And I hope she doesn't read this; I think I'm safe there. She won't see my secret plan.)

Hands2Help has encouraged us to give away a quilt to a front line worker, aka Hometown Heroes. They have all worked so hard and been so dedicated; they need some thanks for all they have done. My pastor has worked very hard and has met with some backlash. Surprisingly, some people complained to her about the fact that we were not having in-person worship during the pandemic! The staff all worked together to provide meaningful on-line worship. I know it was difficult for them to make the transition, but they made it great for the rest of us. Her job was made even harder by the fact that one of her staff members was on maternity leave, so the work load on her and the remaining staff had increased.

I found out that she gets criticized just for any old thing: the sermon topic, the hymns that were chosen, you name it. I didn't know people could be so.... petty. I know she has worked very hard and has put her heart and soul into doing the right thing. 

Anyway, I appreciate her hard work, her dedication, and her unflagging optimistic attitude, so she will be getting this quilt some time in the next couple of months. Pattern is "Magic Carpet" by I-can't-remember-who. This was a kit.

Click here to see other quilts gifted to front line workers.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Book Review: In An Instant

 In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

This one started out pretty good. A family goes on a mini-vacation into the mountains when an accident sends their car careening down a mountainside. One person dies, and the rest of the book is told through her spirit eyes, as she hangs around observing how the rest of the family copes with the tragedy and its aftermath.

An interesting point of view, but it got old really fast. It started to feel so hokey that I almost abandoned the book. I pushed through and finished it, but it's not one I can recommend. The dead-person-point of view just didn't work for me here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Two Books

 Leave Out the Tragic Parts: A Grandfather's Search for a Boy Lost to Addiction by Dave Kindred

The author is an award-winning, retired sports writer. This book is about his grandson who develops an addiction to alcohol. The grandson spends years traveling to nowhere and everywhere by hopping freight trains. The family waits to hear from him sporadically; grandfather yearns to help his grandson and guide him out of the addiction.

This book was very sad. I found it difficult reading due to the sad nature of the true story.

Like Wind Against Rock by Nancy Kim

This is a book about family secrets and about relationships -- a daughter in her late 30s, her mother, the father had recently died. Dynamics between mother and daughter change as they adjust. When they both begin dating, their understanding of each other changes as well.

There are a couple of twists and turns. The characters are all very interesting. I enjoyed reading this story and watching the characters change over time. Well written book.