Sunday, October 19, 2014

"The Lansdale Local"?

Why yes, thank you, I do still sew. Every day [almost] this past week, in fact, I've put in time "making tracks."

This is The R5, hinted at in a previous post, inspired by Julie's current WIP.

I think that if you are so inclined, you can click on the photo and make it bigger. I tried that initially, but it took up the whole top of the page, so I settled for this size.

Most of the fabrics are Kaffe/Brandon/Phillip. There are some others, designers unknown, but not many.

It's called The R5 after my dear son-in-law's rant about a name change on the regional rails, he not being anywhere old enough to know that long before the route was known as The R5, it was called The Lansdale Local. But I'm not going to burst his bubble. I'm just going to make the quilt.

To my way of thinking, the large square-in-a-square blocks represent the stations, the small bordered squares are considered the junctions, and the ties and rails speak for themselves. Making the ties took a long time; they were pieced from strata and some strata yielded three sections while one actually provided six. Next up will be putting the rails on the ties and trimming those units to 6-1/4", the size of the stations. The junctions, before bordering, are 2-1/2" inches. Haven't begun to cut the setting triangles yet.

I'm having so much fun with this project. No idea when it will be completed, but for sure there's no way it can come off the wall until it is!

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Time

When I was fifteen years old, my 49-year-old father died very suddenly of a massive heart attack. His father before him had also died suddenly of a heart attack, and for years I believed that he, too, had been forty-nine.

Furthermore, I came to believe that I, as well, would die suddenly at forty-nine.

Living for years with this belief was one of the things that made me different from other people.

Of course all of us know, deep down, that our lives will end someday. But unless we are confronted with a huge loss or near loss, we don't dwell on it. We don't tend to live each day as though it could be our last.

For thirty-four years, I lived an impatient life. I was so often conscious of time ticking away, of feeling as though my supply was on the verge of running out. I was famous for incomplete projects, for sometimes being too slap-dash. "Take your time!" my mother frequently admonished me, having no idea that I wanted to choose which things actually took my time. I wanted to try everything, believing I would not have a second chance. (Of course this led to some very poor choices!)

On the eve of my fiftieth birthday, I sat for a while, alone, taking stock of what I had accomplished, not entirely convinced that I would not die during that night.

The past two-sevenths of my life have been different. Gradually I began to live without that panicky feeling, and to do things with more intentionality. I've learned to take pleasure in "taking my time" to make a dinner menu just right, to begin a quilt that I may not live long enough to complete. This has come about slowly, and there are still times when I lapse back into that "time is too short" desperation feeling.

I've become a different kind of possessive about my time, too. There was a time when I needed to try everything that came along because I might not have another opportunity. In the past six years, I've been more conscious of choosing among things that come along, knowing full well I might not have another opportunity, but confident I have made the right choice for me.

The impetus for this post came during an email with a friend where I was thinking about the complexity of R5, my current quilt-in-progress. It's not my best-written post, and it could use some editing. But it obviously comes from my core, and I'm afraid if I look at it another minute, I'll never post it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Early Autumn Reading

I need to begin by saying I did not make this wonderful little quiltlet to the left. I found the picture on a tutorial at Don't Call Me Betsy and thought it would be the perfect illustration for a book report post. I think it might be fun to make a little bookshelf quiltlet, but can't imagine when I'd get to it!

Autumn usually sparks an interest in reading books that are somewhat more substantial than "summer reading" or "beach books" (not that I ever sit on the beach and read). This year has not been an exception, and I'd like to share two wonderful reads.

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas came to me as an Amazon recommendation. I read the little blurbs about it and promptly put it on the reserve list at the local library. Two or three months later, when we were getting ready for a weekend in Cape May, I was still approximately forty-first on the library list so I went out and bought it. In hardback. I've not regretted it. It's a wonderful novel about Eileen, who grows up with hopes and dreams about a better life for herself and her family. She's achievement oriented, but not in a bad way at all. She falls in love with a man who is easily satisfied, prefers the status quo, and has no grand ambitions. The story is about how they mediate what is important to each, and they honor their "in sickness and in health" vows. I loved this book and was glad I had bought it so I could share it with my sister and my husband.

The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison came to me through Bookbub, and I read it on the Kindle. A true page turner, it is the story of Neil, a teacher and coach, whose wife  is in a persistent vegetative state as the result of a tragic accident. Neil raises their son on his own, supports his chronically ill mother-in-law, and eventually moves on to a relationship with another woman. Early in the book while out for a run, he breaks up a fight between students, and this leads to an untenable situation for this nice man. I read this book way too fast because the various plot strands were all compelling and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.