Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dead Dog Creek Ravine, February

Not much change since the end of January.  Most of the snow from the February 2 blizzard has melted.

Postage Stamps (with design notes)

In quilters' lingo, "postage stamp" is a term often used to describe quilts made from many small squares. 

The box of 1.5" squares stayed out after I finished the Crabapples flimsy (see previous post).  These are not exactly leaders-and-enders because this was the only project I was working on.  I just cranked them out--sew a bunch of pairs (30 or so), press open. Sew the pairs  together, press open.  Sew the fours together, press open. Sew the eights together, press open. Repeat.

As to how I design:  the 1.5" squares pretty much alternate light and dark, but not exclusively.  I made a stack of 16-patches and put them up on the design wall.  There weren't enough so I made some more until I had 72.  I like on-point settings: the diagonal line has energy.  Also, on-point settings take up more space than straight settings. (The rule of thumb is 1.5 x the block measurement, so these 4" blocks are 6" on-point.)  For the setting squares and triangles I used a yellow print from my stash ("Van Gogh's Dream" by Northcott).  It has flecks of pink, red, and brown that keep it from reading as a solid.  I didn't have enough of it left for the border.  I auditioned several fabrics for and this cinnamon-brown complement the flecked yellow.  It was easy to keep sewing twos and fours of 1.5" squares for the checkerboard inner border.

The flimsy measures 58 x 65 and uses 1,460 "postage stamps." 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How do you like these apples?

I finished piecing "Crabapples" last evening. I was mildly surprised that the borders came out evenly!  It's 70 x 70.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The power of a library card

Lisa Scottoline writes terrific mystery novels.  They are set in her hometown of Philadelphia and feature a group of women attorneys who, in the course of the stories, find out that they are tougher and more resourceful than they thought they were.

Lisa also writes essays that are her observations on her life and her family. The essays are published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Fortunately for those of us who are not regular readers of the PI, the essays have been compiled in two books.

I've just finished the second, My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space.  Along with stories about her five dogs and two cats, and her 86-year-old mother, and with contributions by her 24-year-old daughter Francesca, Lisa writes about libraries.

She remembers her childhood visits to the library.  She recalls that she figured out what the "best" books were by looking at the checkout cards. Those that had been checked out the most must be the best to read.   What stuck with her -- and struck a chord with me -- was the library card itself:  

It was the first piece of grown-up ID that I got, and it felt like a veritable ticket to adulthood.....It was small, stiff, and orange, and it bore my name in full.   Next to my name was a metal plate embossed with four numbers. I used to go home and press my finger against the numbers on the metal plate, which were freshly inked from my library trip. 

Believe it or not, my numbers were 3937.  How do I remember that, when I can't remember where I put my car keys? Simple.

Any memory lasts when it's linked with an emotion, and the library card meant the world to me.  Its message was clear:  I read, therefore I matter.

It gave me a identity as a reader. It told me that others valued what I valued....It's a powerful message, one that I got loud and clear. And it's a message that librarians and libraries give every day, without knowing it, to children and to adults everywhere around the world.

Thank you, Lisa!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Work in progress

It feels so good to have a new quilt underway!  This pattern is "Crabapples" from Bonnie's second book, "Adventures with Leaders and Enders."
The 1.5" squares box

Paper pieced trees

Seven out of 25!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard: the next day

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Shows the snowfall totals.  About 21" here in the Harbor.

The driveway (from the open garage door), 8 a.m.

Roof drift!

Inside the garage (door is on the east side).
Our new mailbox!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Midwest storm

I'm glad I am not trying to fly (or drive) into or out of northeastern Illinois today.  The library closed at 5 p.m.  Tomorrow is a snow day, which means a sew day for me!