Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yoo Hoo, Pam!

I asked my personal random number generator/design wall/husband to choose a number from 1 to 41 and he chose 36.

Comment #36 would be Pam 1228 who said:



Blogger pam1228 said...




I love the baby quilt finish!!! How cute for a new baby!
I am celebrating the 4th birthday of my special granddaughter, Lilybeth. Lily has a heart condition and we are so thankful for every day she spends with us. Thanks for the giveaway!
Great news on fitting in a smaller pair of jeans!

Pam, honey, email me your snail mail address and your charm pack will go in the mail on Monday.  If I don't hear from you by Sunday night, I'll have himself pick a different number.

Lilybeth's 4th birthday is a wonderful thing to be celebrating.  If you remind me next year, I'll send you another charm pack to celebrate Lily's fifth, simply because my four grandchildren are perfectly healthy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebration

Rainbow Dots is finished.  This isn't the best photograph of it; far from it.  I think if you click on it you can see the quilting.  I thoroughly enjoyed hand-quilting this baby quilt.  The backing is the same yellow as the binding.

This is my fifth finish for this year.  It's not a UFO, but rather a quilt that a certain mom is going to need early this summer.

Yesterday I picked up Cinnamon Latte and Second Hand Clothes from the machine quilter and managed to get the bindings machined on both of them (not  my favorite part of making a quilt).  So now I'm ready for the hand-stitching of the binding, a task I enjoy.  The quilting on Cinnamon Latte is amazing -- kind of an Aztec sort of motif that is just perfect, I think, with the fabrics.  I'll try to get a close-up when it is finished.

Yesterday I retired my favorite blue jeans.  They had become too large!  Today I'm wearing a pair that looks just like them, but are a size smaller and have been hanging in the spare closet for many years.

And yesterday's post was number 1200.

Many things to celebrate!  A give-away seems to be in order.  How about a charm pack of French General La Petite Ecole?  Leave a comment telling me something that you are celebrating.  I'll draw a random winner on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Weekend in Richmond

Tom and Anastasia asked if we would come down for the weekend to take care of Nate.  Each of them had a good gig that would take up much of the weekend and they thought it would be best if Nate had consistent care rather than a series of sitters.

Not a problem!

We had a wonderful time with this marvelous fellow.  He's still got that winning smile, though you wouldn't know it from this photo.  He's highly mobile, getting around at high speed with a peculiar half-crawl where he uses two hands and one knee and sort of drags the other leg along.  Kind of resembles the way a crab walks, sort of sideways.

We had time at one point to go up to Quilting Adventures, the shop I like so much, even though I didn't have any specific needs at the moment.  Not even thread.  I saw the new Kaffe and Liza book that I'd heard so much about and began to leaf through it and before I knew it I'd seen a quilt that I knew I needed to make and went over to start picking out FQs of batiks to make it happen.  Don't know when I'll get to it; there are other things in the queue.  But I know the recipient.

The book is gorgeous.

After the fabric shop, Joe wanted to go to the chocolate store.  We got to Carytown and I told him I had no business going into a chocolate store, so he parked and I wandered into a very attractive shop that had wonderful clothes.  I ended up buying a dress that I liked a lot and not only because it was one size smaller than I have been wearing!

Then it was time to go back to playing with the baby . . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Joy in Leader-Endering

We'll need to take a better photograph, but this one will do for now.  The Sister's Choice quilt is finished!  I'd picked it up from the machine quilter a couple of weeks ago and didn't have time to get the binding on until now.

This quilt was a leader-ender all the way up until the border.  Impulsively, I chose to use very low contrast fabrics for the nine-patch centers of the blocks instead of the high contrast the block usually shows.  And I'm happy that I did that.  I do like the way they look.

I wonder why it is that CWs lend themselves so beautifully to leader-endering.  A couple of years ago I leader-endered a Log Cabin as well as a couple of Jewel Boxes (though the Jewel Boxes weren't pure CWs but had some other good stuff mixed in.  I've still got a good-sized tub of CW scraps.  And I've got a great idea involving HSTs!  Soon and very soon . . .

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick

Spring break has officially begun and while I'll be taking a few days off from work, I'll still be working about half of it.  The thing is, during winter and spring break and during the summer, we work shorter hours than the regular school-time hours.

As if I didn't have enough going on with my UFO challenges and the new project fixin's and ideas, lately I've had this peculiar urge to do some garment sewing.  Like tops or dresses or jumpers for myself.  I don't see a lot in the stores that is to my taste, and the prices of the clothes certainly aren't to my taste.

I used to sew quite a bit.  Back in the early 70s I bought into the Stretch and Sew mania and made lots of things for me and for the little ones.  I remember making a pair of zipper-front jackets for himself and me.  It's been a long time, though, since I've done anything but quilts and bags and the like.  This urge came over me a couple of years ago and I picked up some patterns on Ebay.  I'm thinking next week I just might get one of them out.

Or maybe I'll finish another UFO . . . .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just A Couple More Thoughts

. . . Somehow "dumbing down of quilting" and "marketing plan" have become linked.  That shouldn't be. Two different issues.

. . . I'm fascinated that so many readers inferred wrongdoing in connection with the possibility that a designer might be compensating people to blog about her patterns.  Quite the contrary, if a designer wanted to compensate popular bloggers to promote her products, this would be savvy marketing.  This is pretty much what the Accu-Cut people did, isn't it?

. . . Just because I'm unlikely to accept payment to promote a product doesn't mean I think no one else should do that.  I would, however, like the promoter to acknowledge what is going on.

. . . Consumers can be fiercely loyal.  So can designer groupies!  Again, no judgment implied!


. . . I do share pattern names and products from time to time on my blog.  I do mention specific pattern designers who have delighted or irritated me.  I haven't been compensated for such mentions.  Particularly from the irritants!

. . . No comment goes unread:  Somebody wrote that I should be writing about Japan instead of quilting controversy.  Huh?

. . . I don't condemn the use of precuts!  I bought a jelly roll this past Saturday.  A Moda jelly roll, to be specific.  And plan to use it soon to try a technique that someone graciously shared on her blog.  I think those who use precuts exclusively are missing out on something.  But that's just me.  Preference, friends, not judgment.

. . . I don't regret what has happened this week.  Sure, I made an erroneous assumption.  But the conversation on this blog and a few others has been stimulating and thought-provoking.  And that, as someone would say, is a good thing.

Moving on to Other News Near Philadelphia.  Here's a picture of tonight's dinner.  A nice change from the crow.  It's the fatted mouse*, of course, because the prodigal cat has come home.

Joe was out with Blackberry early this morning and heard some soft mewling sounds coming from the dog house, no less, and when he went over and called, out came Bodacious!  He was happy to let Joe pick him up, came inside, and let me pick him up for a bit of a snuggle, and then took residence on one of his favorite chairs.

No postcards all week.  No souvenirs.  No word on where he's been.  But he's back.  And we rejoice!



*Thanks for this mental image, Pat!

Learnings from Yesterday

. . . Don't ever write a blog post early in the morning of a difficult meeting I'm dreading.
. . . The "dumbing down" of quilting is a very, very hot topic.
. . . There are people who really do want to copy another quilt, fabric for fabric, piece for piece, and that is okay.  Just because that isn't what I choose, that doesn't make it a bad thing.
. . . A lot of people read my blog.
. . . I need to remember that not really all that long ago, I was a beginning quilter who was afraid of triangles.
. . . Apparently Crow is low in fat and high in protein because my Weight Watcher Weigh-In tonight showed a loss of 2.4 pounds.
. . . I don't want to turn into a quilt snob.  I really don't.
. . . Quilting style and preferences are very personal.
. . . Carrie Nelson is an amazing and gracious lady.  She has a standing invitation to a crow-free dinner any time she is anywhere Near Philadelphia.  Thank you, Carrie, for your thoughtful and generous post.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dinner Tonight*

I had a post that went up earlier today that was somewhat critical of people who are all making the same quilt.  I suggested that perhaps there were some bloggers who were on the payroll of a certain fabric company or a certain designer.  I named names.

I went too far.

I received a lot of comments in short order, some of which were supportive of my position, a couple who dared to disagree and one quite righteous individual who slammed me for slamming others after proclaiming, "I would never do that."

Then I heard from a blog friend who set me straight on one count, anyway.  I'd speculated about a particular designer's marketing plan.  My friend firmly but not unkindly explained my error.  I reread my post.

I'd gone too far.

I pulled it.

Thanks, friend, for being forthright.  You know who you are.



*Eating crow (archaically, eating boiled crow) is an English-language idiom meaning humiliation by admitting wrongness or having been proved wrong after taking a strong position.[1] Eating crow is presumably foul-tasting in the same way that being proved wrong might be emotionally hard to swallow.[1]  [Lifted directly from Wikipedia]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday's Tidings

My friend blogless Sharon has come to visit for a few days.  She's been serving a congregation in Vermont and recently was called to one in Massachusetts.  With two weeks off to be unaccounted for, she chose to spend a few days with us.  And it's been lovely.  Sharon is really the only person from seminary that I'm still in much touch with.  It's nice to talk theology, to gossip a bit about former classmates, catch up on family; you know, those kinds of things.  And besides, she's a quilter.  While she's been in our company these three days, she's completed the binding (a task she finds odious) on this amazing quilt she made for her daughter.  Without a pattern.  Click to make it bigger.  You won't be sorry!

I so appreciate the kind words and wishes vis-a-vis Bo.  There's been no sighting of him, but the cat food we set out continues to get eaten.  And a recently shredded bird was found in the back yard -- this has not happened before.

For someone who's chief occupation for six or so years has been sleeping on comfy chairs and quilts, he's not doing much of that right now.  Perhaps he's decided to become an outdoorsy sort of guy.  I keep telling myself that as long as we don't find him in the street, he's someplace doing what he wants to do.

And, yes, we have looked everywhere.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Among the Missing

I got up earlier than usual for a Saturday.  I had Big Plans.  It was National Quilting Day, remember, and my first event was a trip out to a fabric store.  I wanted to get a load of laundry done before leaving.

When I got downstairs, I saw that somehow, the back door had not closed all the way from the night before.  It was open about five inches.  I put the towels in the washer and put some cat food in Bo's dish.  And he didn't come running expectantly.  "Uh-oh," I thought.  I went out back and looked around and called, but no Bo.

It's been 48+ hours now, and not a trace of him.

Bodacious has never been the brightest bulb in the lamp.  He may have wandered outside, lost his way (since he's never been out before), and was unable to get home.  Perhaps some kind lady invited him in and he liked her style.

Or, he may have seen this as his opportunity to leave us.  His life hasn't been spectacular since Blackberry came to live with us.  Bo is a very private sort of a guy and not really one to come when called and unless he's really cold, not one to snuggle up with a person.  Blackberry has found him fascinating and it seemed as though they were coming to an understanding.  But, quite possibly, Bo had just been mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

We're hoping he'll return.  I put some cat food outside on Saturday afternoon and this morning it was gone.  Could have been a raccoon or a neighborhood cat.

Or it could have been Bo.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

NQD '11

So, today is National Quilting Day and I have observed and celebrated in many and various ways.

Started the day bright and early, picking Pat up at 8:15 for a run out to Sauders to get more white for Justin's quilt.  The one-hour trip in each direction flew by, thanks to Pat's conversation and, as she pointed out later on, we solved more than a few of the world's problems en route.  I was happy that there was still a little bit of the white that I needed and I bought all that was on the bolt:  1-2/3 yards, the cutting lady said.

I really wasn't going to buy anything else other that some popcorn from the bulk foods area, but last night, just before going to bed, I happened by Piecemeal's blog and read her most excellent rant and wandered off to the website that she suggested and got captivated by something I found there that called for a jellyroll or two and I said to Pat on the way out that it was a good thing that Sauders didn't carry jellyrolls, now, wasn't it?

Hah!  They had precisely seven.  And one was a French General.  Sheesh.  I'm blaming Piecemeal, wouldn't you?

Anyway, I spent a couple of hours later in the day between laundry loads working on the platypuses, a UFO that's been loitering around for about seven years or so.  I've got 29 of the pieced blocks in progress and 28 of the solid squares cut and can't for the life of me figure out precisely what the dimensions were for the layout that I had in mind.  Any insights on this would be much appreciated.   I'll prolly spend another hour piecing platypuses (yes, I really want to call them platypi, too, but if you Google platypus plural there are a whole lot of questions about this and one source strongly forbids tacking a Latin ending onto a Greek stem) and hope that some plan evolves.

After my afternoon nap (only thirty minutes, but felt so luxurious), I read Jennifer Chiaverini's An Elm Creek Quilts Collection that someone had given me for Christmas.  When I finish, I intend to pass it along, so do stay tuned.

Finally, we've a house guest coming sometime later tonight, and while I wait for her arrival, I'll continue hand quilting on Rainbow Dots.  A truly satisfying National Quilting Day for me!  How about you?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow Dots, Etc.

I've begun hand-quilting the rainbow dots baby quilt and am enjoying the process.  I don't know whether the quilting will show up if you click on the picture or not.  I'm putting a heart medallion in the plain blocks and criss-crossing the lights of the nine patches.  I enjoy hand quilting on smaller projects like this one.

I don't know the gender of this baby; Mom is old-fashioned and wants to be surprised.  I like that.  There are still a couple of months before s/he is born, but I do not like to be quilting against a deadline.  I'd much rather have this finished and waiting for the stork to show up.

I realized today that I have to make a fleeting trip back out to Sauders on Saturday to get more of the white fabric for Justin's quilt now that I've decided to make it bigger.  Pat's going to make the huge sacrifice of riding along with me.  It's an hour each way.  God knows what she'll pick up or whether she'll restrain me from getting more than just the white.

When I went into the living room to photograph the baby quilt, I noticed Bodacious on top of You've Got Mail, apparently trying to turn himself inside-out.

His life hasn't been easy since Blackberry moved in, and he's handling the disturbance with a minimum of grace.  Bless his heart.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Random

One

At one point during our White Oak weekend Helen and I noticed the tremendous disparity in selvedges.  She's holding a bit of fabric with a selvedge that is approximately a quarter of an inch.  The one on my fabric is about seven times that.

I don't imagine this is interesting to anyone other than Helen and me, but I'm posting it anyway.

Two


I've no idea why, but I've been thinking of restyling my blog and going back to two columns and going for a simpler look.

Three


The more I think about Justin's quilt, the more I think that a border is the wrong way to go.  I consulted with No Blog Emily this morning and she agreed that a border would be all wrong.  Her suggestion was to add two rows of blocks to the bottom and see how I like it.  That would make a square quilt, about 63 x 63, generous enough to use for a nap.  Or a tablecloth.  I think she's right.

Four


On Wednesday I'm taking Cinnamon Latte and Second Hand Clothes to the machine quilter.  Interestingly, they are two more quilts that are better without borders.

Five


It's one of those weeks.  When I looked at the calendar on Sunday evening, I thought, "Oh, good: I only have to be out two nights this week."  Make that four.  Sheesh.  All for good things.  But too many too close together.  Sheesh.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Quit Bothering Me!!!!


Most of the time I don't answer the telephone if I don't recognize the name or number of the caller.  There are times, however, when someone I know is in an unfamiliar place, or we're expecting results of something, you know, that kind of thing, where I pick up the phone without knowing who is calling.

Not once, not twice, but three times in the past month I've interrupted an important task to find a solicitor on the line, reading at high speed from a preprinted script.  Although we are on the no-call list, politicians and charities are exempt from the ban.  These three people have all had the same pitch:  They don't want any money from me.  What they want is to send me a bunch of envelopes for me to address and send to my neighbors to ask them to send money to their cause.  The hand-addressed envelope and personally signed pitch would lead the recipient to believe I am convinced of the worthiness of the cause and have probably donated heavily myself.

I don't listen to these callers for very long, although at the rate they read or recite their pitches, it is difficult to find a spot to politely interrupt; nonetheless, they all sound remarkably the same, leading me to think they are all employed by some outfit that is an umbrella organization over these charities.

And the charities themselves are suspect.  Some I've never heard of.  They are probably representative of the  type of cause where 94% of the money raised goes to "administrative costs" and a whopping 6% actually goes to the needy individuals they purport to represent.  Much of said administrative cost, I imagine, goes to cover the salaries of the callers.

And another thing:   In the nearly twelve years we've been in our home, I've not even one time received such an envelope from one of my neighbors either in the mail or in the door.  Our block just doesn't go in for mutual harassment.

Oh, Moooooo!  Go Away!


Cranky Old Woman, Near Philadelphia

Sunday, March 13, 2011

White Oak, March 2011

It doesn't get much better than this weekend, despite losing an hour.  Honna and I started out around two o'clock and ran into Marsha and Pat at Sauder's at three.  After supporting the economy of Muddy Creek, the two of us went to White Oak for a wee little nap before the rest of the entourage arrived.

Pat didn't make this Autumnal Splendor quilt this weekend, but for some reason she had it along and I thought we should have a picture of it.  Pat spent a lot of the weekend working with miniscule CW HSTs and prolly will be calling the Guide Dog Foundation tomorrow.

She had very generously brought along her new Accu-Cut Go! cutter and after a quick demonstration allowed us to play with it at will.  Judy and Bobbi were particularly taken with the tumbler dye, and each cut enough for a small quilt.  Bobbi got really focused on hers and is just about ready to donate it to the upcoming auction at her church.

Judy's is in soft pastels and will be a baby quilt.  She didn't get as far as Bobbi did because she had other things she was trying to get done.

All of our meals for the weekend except one are included in the cost of the getaway.  Saturday night we went out to Isaac's as a group and had some delicious fare, but it wasn't as good as what Carol had been cooking for us.

The Executive Committee had learned that Pat has a birthday this week and surprised her with a cake and a rendition of Happy Birthday To You, each in her own key, of course.


Marsha spent a lot of her time hanging out with William Morris.  The two of them were tessellating for simply hours.  And the result was gorgeous.  Unbelievably, she's going to give this beauty away!  And not to me!

This picture was taken before the final wider white border was applied.


I made a couple of blocks for a group project and also did a pair for the Guild's monthly lotto, learning a new block for each of these endeavors.  Most of my time, however, was spent on this quilt, a wedding gift for my friend Kathy's son Justin and his bride.  I'd had one idea for his quilt and then dreamed about a second idea, and finally made a third.

This is Emily Cier's Irish Chain, which I've been wanting to make ever since I spied it.  The blocks were supposed to finish at 8"; mine were a bit wonky and scraggly and I trimmed them to 7-1/2".  So the quilt is a little smaller than Emily's design.  Not to worry, when I ordered the fabric I planned a border and ordered enough for that.  Planning to get it on early this week.

We had a wonderful time.  Probably one of the best ever.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not a COW* Today

*Cranky Old Women aren't always cranky.  Every now and again somebody does right by them and makes them smile.

I speak today in praise of Gardener's Supply Company, a mail-order outfit in Essex Junction, Vermont.  In November, I purchased from them a stainless steel countertop compost bucket with biodegradable liner bags.  It was a Christmas gift for Himself.  Who was mightily pleased.  And who has composted with delight for not quite three months.  Who on Friday, when the knob separated itself from the lid, experienced real distress.

And so I phoned this most worthy establishment with the intent of telling them I was about to mail the whole thing, garbage included, back to them.  And possibly to publicly castigate them right here on this blog.  Not to be the case.

First of all, their answering device sports actually a cheerful-sounding person rather than a mechanical voice.  She promises to let the caller speak promptly to a "real, live person."  And she delivers.  With a very brief wait on hold (with happy bird sounds rather than horrible music to pass the time), I was handed over to Christian who checked my info first and reminded me that everything of theirs is 100% guaranteed (I hadn't really been aware of that).  He sympathized with my plight.  And promised to send me a brand new replacement lid.  Today.

Doing enough business with these kinds of companies could put a Cranky Old Woman right out of business!


Friday, March 11, 2011

O Happy Day!

Much happiness here Near Philadelphia today.

In the wee small hours of this morning I became a great-GREAT-aunt.  A four-and-a-half pound boy was delivered to my great-nephew and his wife after a rather scary two days of elevated blood pressure and worries about pre-eclampsia.  Mother and son are doing well, and everyone else is proud and excited.

In four hours and seven minutes Honna and I will be on the road to White Oak for our twice-a-year adventure in cutting and piecing, wining and dining, laughing and dancing.  Joe and Blackberry will hold down the fort here in our absence.

Second Hand Clothes has become a flimsy and will be off to the machine quilter later this month.

Oh, and the lass on the bed?  That's Magnolia.  I bought her impulsively from a crafts shop in Evanston, Illinois when I was about six months pregnant with Sherry.  I didn't know I was carrying a daughter, of course, but I was hopeful and optimistic, and this doll was about the most wonderful doll I'd ever seen, so I bought her.  Turned out that Sherry was not partial to her, and she has spent many years in the attic until just recently when Caroline took a shine to her.  She needed a bit of foot surgery -- Magnolia, not Caroline -- and now she's fully recovered.  I've never seen a broader smile than hers, so I thought she'd be a perfect illustration for this Happy Day!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trouble in the Kingdoms

It has been about two years or so, I believe, since the day my sister dropped in unannounced and in tears.  Her pastor, a Roman Catholic priest, had been accused.  She didn't need to finish the sentence.  The news came to the parish first hand -- at the end of Mass, he faced his congregation and told them of a single alleged wrongdoing some thirty years previous.  Though he was innocent, he said, he was voluntarily separating himself from any parish work that involved contact with young people.  He was not removed from his position.  He had no idea who his accuser was.


I was nearly as shocked and devastated as my sister.  I know this man.  He buried my mother and at the time showed tremendous sensitivity to my situation of being a student at a Lutheran seminary, coming to a Mass and being excluded from the Eucharist.  He found a way to have a funeral in his church without Communion, and to have my own parish pastor participate in the service.  Some years later he buried my brother-in-law and was a tremendous comfort and support to my grieving sister.  There was no way the accusation could be true.  My immediate response was to contact my own pastor and request that Monsignor be placed on our prayer list, a request that has been honored each Sunday for these two years.


What an eye-opener for me, a person who along with many others has scoffed at the Roman Catholic church's handling of the pedophile priest crisis.  It was fine to condemn that church for moving these men around and allowing them to continue in their roles, so long as the accused were strangers.  


Yesterday I learned that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has newly suspended 21 additional priests, my sister's pastor among them, and I was surprised at how sad, how shaken I was, on hearing this news.  Suspension, in my understanding, means that he may not celebrate Mass publicly and he may not wear his collar, among other restrictions.  Most likely his pastoral duties will be limited to things like visiting the sick and the elderly.  Important ministries, to be sure, and ones that are often neglected in any denomination, but perhaps not the ones that are most personally satisfying.


The question then arose:  What should our Lutheran church -- geographically located in the same block as Monsignor's church -- do about the prayer list now, in light of the action of the Archdiocese?  Should we keep his name on the list?  If so, what would people take that to mean?  Or should we remove his name from the public list and continue to pray privately for him?  And what would people take that to mean?


I pondered these questions and reached the following conclusions:


1.  Because of this long recent history of abuse, cover up, and denial, it seems that the Archdiocese has actually done the right thing in suspending someone in the case of a "credible accusation."  Our country's presumption of  "innocent until proven guilty" needs to be set aside when there are children involved.  The action of the Archdiocese is unfortunate and painful, but correct.  Additionally, the Church must be preserved, even if it means the tremendous inconvenience of an innocent man for the sake of the greater good. I think I am clear on that at this point.


2.  That being said, I think that "innocent until proven guilty" still is the law of our land, and as his neighbors, our position should be to support that premise by holding him in prayer.  I think this is an example of Luther's Two Kingdoms theology:  What the Archdiocese has done -- suspending this man while the legal process runs its course -- comes from God's Kingdom on the left, the secular, the law. And as we hold our neighbor in prayer, we are acting in accordance with God's Kingdom on the right, the spiritual or grace and gospel Kingdom.

I think I have sorted it out.  I'm still sad today, and I continue in my belief that the accusation is unjust.  But I understand the need for good order.  In both Kingdoms.



Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Thomas

They started their work three weeks ago and will continue for nearly forty days more, until Maundy Thursday.  A group of thirteen men plus our pastor have engaged in a lengthy  Bible study in preparation for what is to come.  This will be the second year that our congregation has presented a Living Last Supper.

This year's group is totally different from last year's group.  I was happy when my husband was asked to participate, and surprised when he accepted the invitation.  Even more surprised by the passion he is showing for the project.  He's a quiet sort of a man, a behind-the-scenes kind of guy for the most part.  But he's doing it, and seems to be loving it.

The parts were chosen or assigned at the get-go and they do their work together in character. And all they know is history prior to The Last Supper.  If there isn't a lot known about a particular disciple, that man creates a history for himself.  They interact in character, calling each other "Peter" or "Thaddeus."  Each man will develop, write, and present his own conversation at the table.

A woman with a skill for tailoring and dressmaking has made costumes and is altering them from last year's participants to fit this year's.  Another woman with a theater background will work with them as they rehearse.  Some people who know about such things designed and provided the set.

Last year our church was so full that we had to put side chairs in the aisles.  The presentation was spellbinding.  This year's will be even more so for me:  My husband is Thomas.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hey, Kathy B!

Kathy B, just look what you started!  You showed me the Second Hand Clothes pattern and you must have known I wouldn't be able not to start something!  We had a swap this past fall -- we shared 6" squares and 2" strips and I swapped them all out.  We each ended up with enough squares and a good head-start on the nine-patch blocks.  I wanted to limit my color palette so Honna and I traded some of the yield -- she was leaning towards blues and purples, so it all worked out just fine.  I made my 9-patches as a leader-ender for a month or two.  At a recent quilting day at our church, I got a lot of it assembled and tonight spent another hour sewing rows together.  Another long evening, perhaps later this week, and it should be done and ready for the quilter.  It is a queen size.

On a totally unrelated note, many fellow bloggers are posting wonderful spring photographs.  Daffodils, even.  We're prolly a good four weeks from daffodils here Near Philadelphia.  We have crocus shoots in our front yard and tips of daffs coming up here and there.  A friend in the next town over reports having seen a blooming crocus, but I'm suspicious that she's given to hallucinations.

Last week Joe snipped some forsythia stems and brought them in and over the weekend they burst forth.  We're enjoying them so much.

Tonight he snipped some more.  These are going to school with me tomorrow.  To sit on my desk.

These flowers always make me think of Andrew.  When he was in nursery school, one day he brought home a piece of construction paper on which there were brown stems drawn and wee bits of yellow tissue paper glued on them.  "This is for-this-i-a," he told me proudly and carefully.  Forthisia.  I still have trouble knowing which is actually correct . . . .

And that's what's new, Near Philadelphia.