Thursday, September 30, 2010

Would You Like a Baby Climbing out of an Ice Skate?

Down in the Lower School (PreK-5th grade) of the Quaker school where I spend my days, the kids get stickers from their teachers pretty regularly.  By Middle School, though, they're far too sophisticated for stickers.

One of my jobs is to arrange for the diplomas.  I start in the fall because I like to get my order in early.  Do you know how hard it is to get 60 to 80 18-year-olds to drop by the office to tell me their middle names?  And then to come back and confirm that what is printed on the order form is accurate?

I thought you might.

But it turns out that by the age of eighteen, kids are pretty much sticker-deprived.  They haven't received any for ever, or so it seems. And their faces light up when one is offered!   So I keep a little box of assorted stickers on my desk.  It's fun.  I'll find out that some great big soccer player's middle name is "Patrick" and then I'll peer into my sticker box and say to him, "Would you like a googly monster with blue arms OR would you like a baby sitting on a watermelon?"  Oh!  The indecision!  And it turns out he can't resist the baby sitting on the watermelon.  Other kids will notice the sticker (some put it on their shirt, others on their hands) and inquire and then in they come.  And that pretty girl whose middle name is Rose will walk away smiling over the frog wearing a waistcoat.  I've been at it a week, now and am about two-thirds done.

I once had to offer a sticker to a faculty member who just had the worst time remembering to bring back his signed contract (talk about the absent-minded professor) and now it's become required.  Faculty and staff get them, also, for turning in their emergency forms.  Or for making me laugh.  I love it.  And they love it.

Who knew?

Tomorrow I just might offer the calculus teacher a pug dog sitting in a teacup.  And he'll be utterly delighted.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thanks, Karla!

My friend blogless Karla had the most wonderful Facebook status this morning. I decided to grab and illustrate it. Thanks, Karla!

BRING ON THE RAIN 4 Pictures, Images and Photos

Life is not about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ho Hum

It isn't the prettiest day ever, here Near Philadelphia today.  It's the kind of day that used to make my brother-in-law say, "I wish it would either rain or not rain."  We used to tease him about that, but it's how I feel today.

Besides that, I've been dealing with a headache ever since church.  Too much Boomsburg Fair yesterday, I wonder?  Or perhaps I'm fighting off some sort of a bug.

I did get some things done, though:  A couple of loads of laundry, a batch of bills paid, a dessert made for tomorrow night's Circle meeting and my new piece of furniture loaded with some of my quilts!  I'm very pleased with how it looks. 

If the headache doesn't get any worse, perhaps this evening I'll resume stitching on the Festival of Trees in front of the television.  Last night we watched a Netflix, "The Squid and the Whale."  One of the ten worst and most depressing films ever, IMNSHO.

Time for a Tylenol.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Which We Visit the Bloomsburg Fair for the First Time in Twenty Years

I hadn't known Joe for very long when he invited me to go "up home."  His parents had both grown up in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and had very strong ties to the area.  Not many members of their families had moved away from Bloom, and there was a pull to return to the area.

I'd grown up in a suburb of Philadelphia.  One grandfather had died when I was an infant or before I was born; the grandmother on that side lived in Philadelphia with my aunt.  My other set of grandparents died when I was in elementary school.  I didn't feel any close connection to any of them.

So on that first trip upstate, I had no idea I was about to enter a world totally different from my own.  One of Joe's grandmothers lived in a little house on a hill with a vegetable garden in the back and an apricot tree out front.  We could sit on the porch and pick fruit and eat it right there.  There was no indoor bathroom; instead, there was a two-seater a little ways from the house.  Inside, there were two upstairs bedrooms, and both of the beds had quilts on them.  I'd never seen a quilt before.

His other grandmother lived in town, not far from her grown daughter and family, and the cousins ran in and out of the house as easily as their own home.  This grandmother always had freshly baked bread on the kitchen table.  And sometimes a couple of pies.  We ate well here. When we stayed with this grandma, I got to sleep in the front bedroom, under a red and yellow quilt.  I slept soundly.  Downstairs, in the cellar, were shelves with canned fruits and vegetables and innumerable jars of jam.  I'd never seen anything like it.

In the autumn, Joe invited me to go back up to Bloomsburg to attend "the fair." I didn't know what to expect, but there was no reason to hesitate.  We stayed at the in-town grandma's house, and early in the morning walked to the fairgrounds.  The vastness of the place was boggling.  We went into a barn that was full of gorgeous cows; another chock-full of sheep and yet another had pigs.  Even a mother pig with little babies.  We walked into another barn and there were chickens, each in its own cage, with something to say.  They were designer chickens of gorgeous colors, some with intricate feathered headpieces.

We ate our meals at stands sponsored by the various churches from the area.   Breakfast was buckwheat pancakes, nothing like what my mother occasionally served at home.  All you could eat.  And we could eat pretty many.  After walking and walking, at lunchtime I was glad to sit down when Joe took me to another church stand.  This one had an enormous man out front calling out, "Pierogies!  Pigs in a blanket!"  Was I in for a treat -- never having heard of either of these wonderful things.  The pigs turned out to be ground meat and rice, wrapped in a cabbage leaf, and simmered in a tomato sauce.  Back then, the term "comfort food" hadn't been invented.  But that's what we ate for lunch.

He knew me well enough by then not to tell me about the big barn in the agricultural area.  When we walked in, there were tables with jewel-colored canned vegetables, all in jars.  There were pumpkins of brobdingnagian proportions and glorious specimens of all kinds of vegetables, some I'd never heard of.  And then I looked up.  And saw the quilts. 

Reader, I married him!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Extraordinary Time

Here is our entry hanging place as it appears today.  I've put the picture of the little girl I mentioned earlier there as well as a piece of fabric from my friend's quilt to remind me to pray for these two in the weeks ahead.  After taking the picture, I added a prayer card from a viewing we attended last evening.  I can see that other things will come and go from this place: obituaries, photographs, fabric scraps, and other kinds of reminders.  This is going to be a good, good thing.

The hangings change with the liturgical season; I've shared others on this blog at various times during one year.  As I've explained, they were a project for a graduate course I took for my S.T.M.

This particular hanging is one for the long "green season" of Ordinary Time -- those weeks between Pentecost and Advent, and also during Epiphany.  It is the only one that I did not applique.  But there is a wonderful story connected to it, and I will share it with you now:

Many years ago, I was involved in an internet block swap that was about angels.  Each month participants designed and appliqued angels in a specific color or for a specific theme.  Oh, did I accumulate angels, as I just couldn't resist participating, month after month.  A newcomer to the group, about halfway through the project, wrote to ask if it was okay to include boy angels.  She had lost a son and wondered about that, because all we'd exchanged were angels in dresses.  I wasn't in charge of the swap, but I boldly responded immediately that of course we could have boy angels and, in fact, I was doing a boy angel for that very month.  I quickly got Joe busy designing a boy angel with a baseball cap, ball, and bat.  When I received Darlene's angel, I was struck by the theological implications of her design -- the scarecrow looking for all the world like a crucifix, and the sunflower bringing new life by its side.  I wrote and told her my thoughts, and the scarecrow block was put into the box with the many, many other angel blocks.

Several years later, when I was working on my liturgical hangings project, I got to the point of Ordinary Time and was stuck.  I'd had no trouble with the crown of thorns for Lent, the manger scene for Christmas, the candles for Advent, the birth of the church for Pentecost.  I'd even figured out how to do Epiphany.  I was at my computer, working on the paper that I would submit to accompany my fabric hangings, hoping and praying that somehow, before the paper was due, I'd have a design for the green season, even if I didn't have that particular hanging complete.

The paper was a long one.  It had to include a background study of the various symbols used for each season as well as the methodology and rationale for the hangings I designed.  While I was writing, that familiar voice "You've got mail!" caused me to pause.  The incoming email had an unfamiliar name.  It turned out to be from Darlene, the mother of the angel boy, who had been thinking about me and the old angel swap that very morning.

Reminding me that in God, there really is no ordinary time.  It is all extraordinary time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


You may recall this piece with the dancing ladies; you may remember the frame and the shelf.  In case you don't, when I was in seminary and taking a class on liturgy and time, my project was to design and make a series of wall hangings that reflect the liturgical season.  This one is my favorite, the Easter one, not the one that is hanging now (although I like that one quite a bit, too).  Joe built the frame and shelf out of wood that his father had given him.  It has been up in the entryway of our home for several years, the hanging changing with each liturgical season change.  Sometimes there are things on the shelf; right now there is a seashell and a small pottery bird.

Yesterday's mail brought a lovely thank-you note from friends of our family.  I had made a quilt for them when they learned that the baby they were expecting was a little girl. Their daughter was born pretty close to her anticipated date, but experienced serious complications during the birth process.  A fractured skull caused bleeding into her brain, and she spent the first week or so of her life in the ICU Nursery.  She is at home now, doing well, and only time will reveal any consequences of this early trauma.  A photograph of their sweet daughter was enclosed with the note.

We had the thought last evening that we'd begin to use the liturgical center in a new way.  As a place to keep reminders of those people and things we hold in prayer.  That picture is there now, and tonight I will add a small piece of batik fabric, a bit left from a recent quilt for a friend undergoing a complicated medical treatment.

I always say yes when someone asks me to pray for her.  But sometimes I forget.  This frame is in a high-traffic area of our home.  Now I will have frequent reminders.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holy Cow

There's an interesting phenomenon going on in the Lutheran world in the Philadelphia vicinity.  The parent body of most of the Lutheran churches in the area, the ELCA, adopted -- after considerable struggle and soul searching -- a policy wherein individual congregations would have the option -- the right and privilege -- to call a gay or lesbian pastor to serve them.  No congregation would be required to even interview or consider a candidate who self-identifies as lesbian or gay.  For many of us, this ruling was met with a great, collective sigh of relief.

For one congregation that I know of, however, the reaction was quite the opposite.  This particular congregation has decided that they cannot live with this decision, and they have decided to withdraw from their association with the ELCA and join with other congregations of similar mind in a newly formed denominational body, the NALC (North American Lutheran Church).  This church is within a very few miles of my own church home.

The pastors of the church near us have been preaching what I perceive to be a homophobic agenda for at least ten years.  They have reportedly behaved in a domineering way at Synod conventions. 

I find myself in an interesting place over this situation.  While I deplore what these pastors preach, and their relentless hammering of a position so vastly different from my own, at the same time I am impressed by their tireless, stalwart delivery of their message.  One of the important things that I learned in seminary was the importance of acknowledging when another person is acting according to his or her conscience.  I'm choosing to believe that their mission comes from their consciences rather than a desperate need for self aggrandizement.

Meanwhile, my church has had an influx of visitors lately.  Hmmmmm . . . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Working on WISPs

Longer ago that I'm able (or willing) to admit, Juliann posted a picture of this amazing quilt she'd made: Festival of Trees.  This picture isn't Juliann's quilt (it was on her previous blog which has since been taken down); it is from the internet.  The point is, I saw that quilt and I was a goner.  I was heavily into buttonhole stitch and heavily into wool at the time.  So I ordered the whole kit and kaboodle and plunged into it.  Got eight of the big blocks and two of the five smaller blocks finished and then

Well, I don't know what then.

Absolutely determined to finish my WISPS, and with Sister's Choice the current machine project, I looked last night for some handwork to prep -- it is getting into the seasons of year where Joe and I watch Netflix at night and occasionally even the real television.  Digging around, I uncovered Festival of Trees and was surprised to find out how far along I was!  I prepped the red block with the white tree in the upper right hand corner, and then while we watched part of Ken Burns' "Civil War" I stitched happily away.  Hoping tonight to get the rest of the blocks prepped and into the basket in the living room.

On other potential finishes, there is Sister's Choice, rows waiting to be sewn together and then a decision about borders; Caramel and Indigo Baskets, awaiting border; Bill's Baskets, awaiting border; Cinnamon Latte, awaiting border.  There seems to be a pattern here.  Fortunately, Festival of Trees is borderless!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


A week or so ago, The Farmer's Wife was looking for a new home.  And she's found one, leaving the farmer to pursue other interests.  I mean, golly, the guy's got a harvest to get in and cows to milk and the fair to get ready for.  Anyway, she's gone off to live with another Nancy and just look at the wonderful CW F8s she traded me!  Oooh!  Oooh!  Delectable.  I've had a hankering to make a Dresden Plate -- never have, y'know. I even picked up the tool summer before last.  A CW Dresden Plate?  A CWDP?  On muslin?  Using these lovelies and others from my considerable stash?  I think as soon as the Sister's Choice quilt is together, and the borders on Caramel and Indigo Baskets and Bill's Baskets, I just might indulge in starting a new project.  I've been pretty good about dealing with these UFOs and it seems time for a wee reward.

And here's Blackberry.  Looking pensive.  Which he does awfully well.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the broken flowerpot?

It's just gorgeous, weatherwise, here Near Philadelphia.  And it's about time, I think.  After that brutal summer.  The farm stands have mums and punkins and cornshocks and other autumnal offerings.  And I'm loving it. 

Joe's pretty well settled in downstairs, and my corner of the lower level has been untouched.  (He's a very smart man.)  I kind of like having him down there drawing and computing while I'm sewing and pressing.  And Blackberry kind of meanders back and forth between us.  It's good.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sister's Choice

Here's as far as I got last night during the Friday Night Sew-In.  When I began, I had all of the nine-patch centers done, eight or so of the blocks complete, and I had some of the lattice strips and all of the cornerstones cut.

I moved along at a nice comfortable pace until about nine o'clock or so and then Blackberry decided he couldn't take it any more.  He demanded some serious attention.  So I called it a night.

Diana, darling, this is what scrappy is.  And these are Civil War fabrics.  Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see them.  And I hope you visited Bonnie's site to find out about leaders and enders.  I love the way you've jumped so fearlessly into quilting.  Next thing we know, you'll be a blogger!

Today my sister and I went to the Mancuso show in Oaks.  I know we'll always call it the Fort Washington Quilt Show because for many years that's where it was held.  It was a good show!  I was pleased with the number of traditional quilts they had.  I loved the Liza and Kaffe exhibit.  The aisles were nice and wide.  The quilts were hung well.  The buffet lunch was decent.  There was ample seating.  I'm glad we went!

I bought no fabric!  I did buy a tape measure.  And a brown pigma pen.  And some other notion; I forget what it was.  I also bought a maple and glass table/quilt storage container, something I've needed for a long time.  Right now we have it in the morning room empty.  Tomorrow I'll try to get my finished quilts and my flimsies loaded into it.

But now I'm going to go downstairs and get the rest of those blocks done!

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm In

How 'bout you? 

Joe's been away on business for much of this week and will return home late tonight. So it's just Blackberry and me. We've had a fine time together, and I filled my Wednesday and Thursday evenings with a meeting and a dinner out with a friend, respectively.  Time to stay home, I think.

Earlier in the week I pulled out one of my former leader-ender projects.  One that had become too impressed with itself to remain a leader-ender (why does this always happen to me?).  It's a Sister's Choice block quilt.  For the nine-patch centers, instead of using high contrast fabrics, I'm using two fabrics that look much alike in color and intensity.  I don't know what made me think of this.  Each block is different fabrics for the nine-patch.  For the "wings," all of them are brown.  And the project is very scrappy, all made from Civil War fabrics.  I have about 9 of the 20 blocks finished, and tonight I'm going to see how many more I can complete.  If it is okay with Blackberry.

Will post results sometime tomorrow, but don't know when.  Am off to the Mancuso show in the morning and have dinner plans for the evening.

Oh, yes.  Here's where you go to sign up.

Let the sewing begin!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Story

This is a story about when I finally knew I’d been a good mother.

Early in his freshman year of college, our son Andrew made friends with a group that would stick together throughout their four years at GW. One of the guys in the crowd was Chris, a terrific kid with a great sense of humor and a gentle manner. The next year the two of them became roommates, and we saw more and more of Chris. He was a laid-back kind of individual, a good influence on our somewhat hyper son.

In September of senior year, Chris came out to the group. Their reaction surprised him in two ways: First, they said, “Like DUH, Chris.” They’d already known. And second, nothing changed. It wasn’t a factor in their friendship. In fact, a couple of them went along on his first visit to a gay bar, so he wouldn’t be nervous.

Chris’s plan was to tell his parents over Thanksgiving. He was nervous. His friends boosted his courage, promising to be there for him. The week after Thanksgiving break, I asked Andrew, “How’d it go with Chris? How’d his parents take the news?” Andrew hesitated only a second before replying, “Not as well as you would have, Mom.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We the Purple is Finished

When I was up at Chautauqua this summer, I met up with Kat who had machine-quilted two of my most special projects: Going Rouge and We The Purple. 

I got the binding on Going Rouge a couple of weeks ago, and finally finished binding We the Purple this week.

I just love the quilting that Kat did on it, especially in the black border.  I hope that if you click on the picture it will enlarge so that you can see how terrific it is.

Oh, and who's that great big black and white springer spaniel posing so innocently?   ;-)


Well, no, this picture is not me.  And my progress isn't that impressive.  But I do have a situation now, having lost 24.8 pounds (that 25th pound is apparently a big one since I've been struggling with it for quite some time and I plan to put a permanent end to it tomorrow night), in that my clothes aren't fitting.  My summer wardrobe consists of a couple pair of capris and a handful of knit tops and six or eight Fresh Produce dresses.  The capris are loose as are some of the tops.  And the dresses are down from six or eight to three or four that fit.  Even some of my jumpers have really reached the point of being too baggy.  Someone at the upcoming church rummage sale is going to be very happy.  The summer clothes season will be completely at an end sometime in the next three weeks or so, and I'll be just fine.  Until next spring.

When I get out my fall and winter clothes, I imagine there will be pretty many things that will be too big.  And so again the rummage sale will benefit.  In the back of the closet I have some things that were too snug last winter, and I'm thinking it will be nice to wear them again. 

At some point this winter, though, I hope to have everything too big, but not yet be at the size I ultimately hope to be.  At that point, I suppose, I'll hit the rummage sale myself, and pick out some very basic mixables.  As my daughter would say, "It's a good problem to have."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Farmer's Wife Seeks Good Home

Some of you have been following my cranky journey with The Farmer's Wife.  Well, friends, this afternoon I cut the border strips and just might get some of them sewn on this evening.  In any event, I don't need the book anymore.  Actually, I haven't needed it for quite some time, ever since I decided to go my own way with this project.

I've noticed on some blogs some rising excitement about The Farmer's Wife.  People are signing up for classes, eager to learn to use templates, wanting to discuss farm life, that kind of thing.

So if there is anyone out there who wants to embark on this journey, I'm offering the book (complete with pencil marks but that is about all), the CD, and the printed out templates.  Would happily trade all of this for some of your CW scraps -- I've got an urge to try a Dresden Plate.  Or if you've something else to trade, lemme know.  I'd love to get this out and in the mail during the coming week.  Monday Morning Update:  A trade has been negotiated and will take place this week.

And, friends, if you really want to know about farm life, I direct you to the Pulitzer prize-winning novel our book club will be discussing later this month:  A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley.  Warning:  Not a happy book.  But exquisitely written, and frankly, I had a lot of trouble putting it down.  Should make for an excellent discussion.

And now back to the border.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just a Quickie

For what is -- I believe -- my last commitment to a monthly block swap, Moira sent out leopard and asked for a creamy background and anything that goes with leopard.  Not having any tiger or giraffe on hand, I went with panther.  I've enjoyed the process, over the past ten years, of sending out fabric for other quilters to make blocks for me and of receiving their fabric to make blocks for them.  It has been fun and interesting to work with fabrics that do not fall into the range I generally would choose (leopard is an excellent example).  Yet the stash of sets of blocks is mighty deep, and the post office has become quite persnickety about their idea of how much postage needs to go on the envelopes.  So it is time to retire from these swaps.  For a while, anyway.

It has been a while since there was any kind of an update on The Farmer's Wife Mistress Internet Date, so I thought I'd let y'all know I've not forgotten her for even a minute.  One of my least favorite quilting tasks is setting blocks on point with lattice and cornerstones.  I do it for a bit and then have to stop.  And I don't return promptly.  Obviously she's in a state of great disarray at present, but she is pulling herself together and I imagine she'll be a flimsy (still doesn't sound quite decent in her case) by the end of the month.  She's evolved from a mistress to an internet date because, despite the trouble I've had with her, once she got up on the wall, I found her to be very sweet and not at all, Honna, a skanky ho.  I'm hoping to send her off to Branky on October 1 for machine quilting.  She prolly should be hand quilted, but the queue for that is formidable.

And that's what I know, Near Philadelphia.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Two More Books

I read Shadow Tag because I read everything Louise Erdrich writes.  Through her, I've learned a good bit about American Indian culture.  I've laughed and cried with her characters.  "Master Butcher" was spectacular, "Last Account" amazing, and so on.

So I reserved Shadow Tag when I heard it was published without reading any reviews.  And when the library notified me it was ready, I plunged right in.

This book is very different from anything else I've read of hers.  There is no funny.  Rather, there is a lot of sad, a lot of pain.  Reading reviews after finishing it, I learn that it is a fictional account of her relationship with her ex-husband, now deceased.

The book is disturbing.  It is suspenseful.  I don't know whether I'm glad I read it or not.  And I don't know whether to recommend it or not.

The Typist, on the other hand (when the first hand has not been mentioned), is a fine little book.  I picked it up impulsively from the new fiction section when I went to the library to retrieve Shadow Tag.  Picked it up because I identified with the title.

Van joins the US Army in 1944, near the end of the war.  His skill as a typist (95 words per minute) land him a post on General MacArthur's staff in occupied Japan, out of harm's way.  He turns out to be the calm at the center of a storm as his life intertwines with those of his disturbed roommate/black marketer, the General and his difficult wife and engaging young son, and a couple of  panpan girls.  Jolted by news from his war bride, he sees out his tour of duty and tries to make sense of things around him and things back home.

It's a good book.  Not great, but solid, good writing.  It would be an excellent selection for a book club.  And I'll look to read what other books Michael Knight has written.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The End of the Story

For a good many years, I made my living typing dissertations for Ph.D. candidates at the university in the town where we lived.  I was a good typist -- a fast and accurate one -- and enjoyed my work.  My standards were high and I took pains to make my work as accurate and precise as possible.  Also, because I knew that I was in a mostly-word-of-mouth line of work, I chose to give the customer/students the benefit of any doubt and retyped without charge any pages that they found problematic.

Our inclination is to share our experiences with our friends, our positive experiences as well as our unpleasant ones.  Over the past couple of years I have been happy to share with other quilters in the area Mrs. X's name as a good and dependable long-armer.  A few days ago I posted about a less pleasant experience with Mrs. X.

There have been a couple of additional developments.  I believed the right thing was to contact this lady and share my disgruntlement, thus allowing her the opportunity to make it right and let the unpleasantness pass.  So I sent her an email, and she replied.  So I'll reprint the exchange, and then my local friends can decide for themselves whether or not to use Mrs. X's services again.  I've made my decision.

I wrote:

Dear Mrs. X,

I finished putting the binding on my red quilt using fabric that matches the outer border. The front of the quilt looks so pretty -- the design that you picked for machine quilting is just perfect.

On the back, I'll need to applique a patch over the hole you made in the backing fabric. The area in the corner where the backing is pleated into the quilting is more of a challenge. I suppose I can try to cover it with an oversized label.

I am surprised at your choice not to mention these things to me.


She responded:

My apology... The hole was from a snag in the fabric which I thought I repaired and honestly forgot about. The pleats I am not aware of as I took the quilt off of the machine rather quickly to get it to you on time and just didn't see. I can take out the stitching and restitch it if that will solve the problem.

I always tell you if there is an issue with a quilt. I did not choose not to tell you, it was simply an oversight that came from working long hours trying to get your quilt to you when you wanted it. Let me know if you want me to pick up the quilt and rework the area.

Mrs. X

New Year

I firmly believe that my Jewish sisters and brothers know something the rest of us don't.  Like when a new year begins, for instance.

For the first 18-25 years of our lives, a new year begins in September.  Close to Labor Day.  A new school year, a new year, a new chance to begin afresh.

But the calendar indicates that a new year begins in the middle of winter.  In January.  How unnatural is that.

I was reading a European quilter's blog the other day.  It was written in Hungarian and she had thoughtfully provided a translator.  So some of the phrasology was quaint or just a tad awkward.  Then I came to this magical phrase that I thought of this morning when I noticed that the dogwood leaves, right on schedule, have begun to turn.  Read it.  Read it slowly.  And aloud.  And you'll see how lovely it is:

Slowly it is autumn already knocking at the gate.

Come on in, autumn.  We're ready.  And Happy New Year.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Nancy, Near Philadelphia's Red Period

In the past month, three projects have come home from the machine quilters.

Going Rouge:  This quilt was inspired by something I saw on Nicole's blog back during a snow day this past winter.  She was following a pattern and I looked at it and thought, "I think I can do that."  And I set out to do it. 

My quilt has six different baskety blocks and is made from a FQ pack of the ever-present Rouenneries by French General.  It was meticulously quilted by my friend Kat who has done beautiful work for me for several years.  I imagine that I will keep this quilt for a long time rather than give it away any time soon.  It turned out pretty much as I had envisioned it and I like it very, very much.

Congratulations, Herb and Elaine:  Here we have a second quilt made from French General fabrics.  I bought two charm packs of Luminiere de Noel and two charm packs of Maison de Garance and selected pairs that looked nice together.  I then used some French General solid to make window frames around the foursomes and the prettiest floral from one of the two lines for the lattice and nice wide border.  The same fabric was also used for the binding.

Herb and Elaine had one of those "no gifts please" weddings earlier this year, and several months later moved into a new home.  I've never been particularly obedient about "no gifts please" situations, and this quilt is to "cover" both occasions -- the marriage and the new home.  It was machine quilted by someone who up until now has always done very nice work, but has disappointed me mightily this week.

Is this the end of my Red Period?  I suspect it is, although I still have some scraps from Going Rouge.  I've had a very good time making both of these quilts.