Friday, June 28, 2013

Festivus for the rest of us for December 2013

It really doesn't matter if you are a Seinfeld fan or not.  The festivus quilt block is actually kind of non-holiday generic, very simple & just a bit "off".  In short, no one will know it had anything to do with festivus if you don't tell them.  Making the whole thing very festuvitian.

You will need two fabrics & then you can begin:

Fabric One is a silver or gray or white or black or combo of same to represent the festivus pole (which is traditionally made of aluminum, but as you may know traditions don't mean a thing with festivus).  This fabric does not need to read-as-solid.  You will actually need only one strip of the pole fabric,  & it can be anywhere from .75" to 2" wide & roughly 9" long for each block (so one selvedge to selvedge cut just might do it for most if not all of your blocks if you chain-piece).  This strip should NOT be cut on the bias & should be a consistent width throughout, but again you should work with a width that is comfortable for you (narrower is generally more difficult).  In these examples, I worked with a strip that was 1.25" wide.

You will also need a square of a read-as-solid in any color EXCEPT silver or gray or white or black or any combo of same (although I suppose that wouldn't read-as-solid anyhow so never mind) for Fabric Two.  You want to end up with a 7.5" square so you probably want to begin with at least an 8" square because some of it is going to get eaten.  I started with an 8.5" square & could have started smaller, but better safe than sorry for the first one.  If you have a scrap (or scraps, even, once you get the hang of things) that is not  quite square, that is just fine, so long as you end up with a 7.5" block at the end of the process.  If you do use oddly shaped scraps, please be sure to square along the straight of grain & the cross grain; an open bias will get stretched all out of shape in this project. 

Put the square on your cutting board.  Note (to yourself or with a pin) 1.25" or more but not less from the left corner & the right corner on opposite sides.  The reason for this is you do not want the beginning of the festivus pole to get lost in the corner when you square everything up later.  After you make your first block, you will have a better sense of the overall proportion

Make a cut from one side to the opposite side.  You will be putting the festivus pole (the silver or gray or white or black or any combo thereof) fabric right there. 

Stitch up the pole, first one side, press & then stitch the other side to the other side of the pole piece.  I found that early on I had trouble lining up the two pieces on either side of the pole.  Don't make yourself crazy, so long as you have a 7.5" square when you are done, you're doing fine. 

I would also suggest pressing either to the pole, or away from the pole to give the block a little dimension.  It is subtle, but as there are only two seams in the whole thing, so it does make a difference.

Square it up (7.5" unfinished/7" finished) & you are done. That's right, two fabrics, three pieces & two seams.  If you cannot fit this block into your busy November/December schedule you really should consider cutting yourself some slack.

As always we swap in sets of FIVE (5).  Please send your five (5) blocks to arrive the last Saturday in December, December 28, 2013.  Because mail gets slower around the holidays (even if there are a lot fewer holiday cards being snail mailed, there are also a lot fewer postal employees & they take time off just like the rest of us!) I strongly suggest getting everything in the mail no later than the Friday before Christmas which will be Friday, December 20th. 

If you not currently part of the swap group, but you are interested in joining, you are welcome BUT it would make my life A LOT easier if you joined through Facebook.   Log into Facebook, search "quilt block swap" & find the Group.  Ask to join & you should be approved within a day or two.  If you are not on Facebook, but still interested, leave a comment here. 

It's a small world after all - no, really for October 2013

I have been looking at our October block for a long time.  I first saw it in the photo album of one of the Facebook Quilt Block Swap group members & as soon as I saw it I asked for the pattern.   As it happens, she did not have a pattern; she had seen a picture herself & had backed into it, reverse engineered it, however you want to put it.  So, looking at her picture, I did the same thing.  & now when I look at them side by side I can see some unintended differences.  The proportions are a little bit different & I am not sure how large her blocks were, but I suspect these are smaller.  There are also the intended changes, which I will go into below. 

This is as far as everything got for a year, while I looked every place I could think of for the original pattern, so I could communicate with the designer.  The closest I ever got was Linleys Designs African Girl which anyone going to the link can see it is not the same & as it happens, is foundation pieced, so it is really very different in construction as well as look.  All the other remotely similar blocks I found were applique, which is not even close. Given the changes I made & the possibility (probability) the photo I saw was of a quilt not-quite like the one she saw & the possibility that that one was not itself the first one, but a slightly different version of something else....  I am beginning to wonder if there is an actual pattern-pattern.

So, here it is the October 2013 Facebook Quilt Block Swap quilt block:  It's a small world after all-no really. 

You will need three (3) fabrics & you may choose to use more. 
  • Fabric 1 is the skin fabric.  It should be SOLID not read-as-solid but solid & can be any color any person might be.  I confess I made a green skinned martian lady but only for myself, not for swapping.  In my examples I choose mostly browns & tans, but that light skinned lady in the green dress has the exact same skin color as me (it isn't white, it is a color I like to call pasty yellow-pink).  What I am trying to say is any skin tone is fine, so long as it exists in nature.  You will not need much of this so an 1/8th of a yard or even a small scrap would be plenty.  Please cut one (1) 2" square for the face & two (2) 1.5" squares for the hands.
  • Fabric 2 is the back ground fabric.  This fabric should be light but does not need to be white.  Again, the green dress lady has a light blue background.  I made a white background version for her & she just sort of faded into it (the other two ladies are on white backgrounds).  The background does not need to be solid but please remember it is BACKGROUND, if you use a patterned fabric, please limit yourself to white-on-white or tan-on-tan or whatever, no pale pink with green polka dots or light blue with yellow flowers or whatever.  Please cut two (2) 4.5" x  2" & two (2)  3" x 1.5".
  • Fabric 3 is the headdress fabric.  This can also be the dress fabric but it does not have to be, so I am giving the measurements separately.  You will need to cut two pieces for the headdress one (1) 2" x 1.5" & one (1) 3" x 1.5".
  • Fabric 4 (which can be Fabric 3) is the sleeves fabric.  You will need two pieces, two (2) 2" x 1.5".
  • Lastly is the dress itself.  It can be pieced, or it can be a single 4.5" square.  At least part of the dress, if it is pieced, should be the same fabric as the sleeves.  If it is not pieced, it should all be the same as the sleeves.  When choosing this fabric or piecing the dress, please keep in mind the whole thing will ultimately be set on point.
I found that when it comes to assembling the block, the easiest thing was to think of it as an irregular 4-patch.  The dress is one part, the face with the headdress is another, & each arm with background make the last two parts. 

First make the 4.5" square that will be the dress (the lower corner of the block when it is on point).  Again, this can be pieced or not, as you wish. 

Next, make the headdress.  To do this, take the 2" square of skin fabric & border it on one side with the  2" x 1.5" of headdress fabric.  press to the headdress fabric & then add the second 3" x 1.5" headdress fabric & again, press to the headdress fabric. 

The other two parts of the 4-pach are the sleeves, hands & background.  You will be making mirror images of the same piece for these. 

To make the two sleeve pieces, you first need to make the hands.  Take the smaller background pieces & place the 1.5" squares of skin fabric over one end.  Stitch diagonally from one corner to another keeping in mind you want MIRROR IMAGES when you are done, so you have a left & a right hand. 

Press the triangles back, trim away the excess & then attach the sleeve fabric to the skin fabric, making one long piece.  Stitch the last two background pieces to the sleeve-hand-background piece.  It is very easy to get this part confused & end up with something that is not quite right so I would suggest you lay out the whole thing at this point & look at it.  The background piece should be attached to the sleeve-hand-background piece along the long edge of the hand piece.  In other words, when you are finished the hand fabric should form a right triangle with the long back ground piece on one straight edge & the sleeve fabric on the other straight edge.  I realize this is all very wordy, so the best ting to do is probably just match it to the picture until you get the hang of it.

In the end, you should have a lovely lady, in a lovely dress & headdress with a right & a left hand.  The final block should be 7" unfinished/6.5" finished

As always we swap in sets of FIVE (5).  Please send your five (5) blocks to arrive the last Saturday in October, October 26, 2013.  If you not currently part of the swap group, but you are interested in joining, you are welcome BUT it would make my life A LOT easier if you joined through Facebook.   Log into Facebook, search "quilt block swap" & find the Group.  Ask to join & you should be approved within a day or two.  If you are not on Facebook, but still interested, leave a comment here. 

Knot garden for August 2013

In 2011 we made a Garden Maze block that was so popular I was tempted to do nothing but garden blocks forever & ever.  It remains the most accessed quilting post on this blog & when I get requests to use one of the Facebook Quilt Block Swap block pattern chances are 3-to-1 this is the block being asked after (& the next runner up was Floral Sunny Lanes which puzzled me because there are other versions of that one out there, including on Quilters Cache).  Anyhow, it was a good one, but I resisted a repeat of anything even similar...until now.

The August 2013 Facebook Quilt Block Swap block is Knot Garden.  Like the Garden Maze, it is a pretty, mostly simple block that multiplies nicely. 

You will need three (3) different fabrics. fabric A & fabric B can be any color, but fabric A should be a large scale print & fabric B a small scale & both of them should have a garden-type theme (either leaves or birds or flowers or something).  Before you dismiss the idea, keep in mind that large & small scale are relative -the only comparison you need to worry about is your fabrics to each other; your large scale might be someone else's small scale & that is OKay.  Also, you in the event you cannot locate two different scale floral/garden/nature prints, it is OKay to use a solid or read-as-solid for your small scale.  Please cut fabrics A & B into 2" strips or squares & make two (2) four-patches for each Knot Garden block 3.5" x 3.5" square.

Fabric C should be green.  It doesn't have to be solid green or read-as-solid green or even green & nothing but gree, but you should look at each square you cut from it & be able to honesty say "that is a more green than any other color fabric".  For each Knot Garden block you will need two (2) 3.5" squares of fabric C.  You will also need two (2) additional 2" squares of either fabric A or fabric B.  Using a pencil, draw a line from one corner to the other the back of the 2" square; this will be your stitching line not your stitching guide, so please use something that will not bleed through. 

You will need two of each:  two four patches & two corner pieces.  Lay them out & check them twice & then check them again because it is crazy-easy to mess up.  You want to be sure the corners of either fabric A or B (whichever you used for the corner flip) are NOT right next to the same fabric in the four patch.  The completed block should be 6.5" unfinished & ultimately 6" finished.

As always we swap in sets of FIVE (5).  Please send your five (5) blocks to arrive the last Saturday in August, August 31, 2013.  We do have a 6th block volunteer for this one, so please if you are swapping five blocks (& getting five blocks back) think about tossing an extra (6th) block in there for this swap's 6th blocker.

Finally, if you not currently part of the swap group, but you are interested in joining our swap group, you are very very welcome BUT it would make my life A LOT easier if you joined through Facebook.   Log into Facebook, search "quilt block swap" & find the Group.  Ask to join & you should be approved within a day or two.  If you are not on Facebook, but still interested, leave a comment here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

52 Photos Project: Neon Color

It has been a long time since we had a dog interested in playing fetch.  We have had retrievers & retriever-like dogs.  & dogs that lived with retriever like dogs & got to thinking "if she thinks it's cool, it must be worth doing". 

These days, the balls are mostly stowed away in the dog toy basket (conveniently located next to the giant plush-y dog bed).  Every once in a while they get tipped out, though & as I am in the habit of walking through the house without turning on lights, I am kind of glad we went with the glow-in-the-dark variety.

This week over at 52 Photos Project the subject is Neon Color

Monday, June 24, 2013

Speaking of trees

I have ranted before (here, in person, on the phone, etc.) about how offensive I find this business of measuring everything by money, cost & savings. 

I am not sure the guy with the newest, latest & greatest tv/car/home experiences a better quality of life than the guy who lives in a small house without a tv & rides his bike to work but so much about our society emphasizes the guy doing the most expensive thing is the happiest.

Which brings me to Arbor Day, as last Friday was Arbor Cambodia.  In Alaska & Maine it was the week before, but I wasn't organized enough to get this posted in time.  For most of the UStates, Arbor Day is in April or March.  Here in Fladidah Arbor Day was in January, but you would not know it  Or maybe you would, we have a lot of trees.  Not in downtown Miami, but in general, throughout the state.  We probably have fewer than we used to, though, but maybe not.  new homes sales are still in the toilet here (which I am fine with, actually), so not so much clearing is going on.

So trees.  Who doesn't love trees?  Well, it turns out lots of bloggers have neighbors who hate trees (just go ahead & Bing it; I think my favorite was this one; it starts slow but that response along the lines of "worry about what your neighbor might do that isn't cutting down a few branches" has possibilities).  Mostly neighbors seem to hate the tree next door that sheds in their yard.  This is apparently the tree version of that guy who lets his German Shepherd crap at the top of our driveway.  If you saw where I lived, you would realize how ridiculous this is.  See that photo at the top of the blog...see that little opening in the trees, between "cockatiels" & "chickens".  That is the driveway this dog needs to hit.  & hit it he does, more than he misses anyhow.  Unless they walk by more than once a day. 

Where was I?  TREES.  Trees are good.  Trees are great!  But don't take my word for it, go ahead & road test this exciting Tree Benefits Calculator.  & if it turns out they actually improve the cash value of well, anything, then that's a win-win.  If you live nearby & are short of trees give me jingle because our cedars, loquats, redbud -even the magnolia no matter what the experts say- are prolific & it kills me to just mows over them. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bird trap quilt block quilt top (almost)

As promised, I dialed down the posts about the bird trap quilt block, but I did not stop making these blocks.  I am crazy addicted to these blocks.  I cannot see a time when I am not running these through the machine; I hoard every weird shaped scrap or left-over 1/2-square triangle & I look forward to the one (or two or three) days a month I let myself play with them. 

Yes, I am that sad.

So without further ado, here is the first, almost complete bird trap quilt block top.  Yesterday, A helped me measure the sides because they are waaaaay out of sinc.  Over an inch difference from the left to the right side; I usually go borderless with any out-of-my-head quilts because they just don't need them & when I am done I like to be DONE (no, I am not OCD when it comes to measuring, it's just that the same ruler, the same machine, the same presser foot usually add up to the same size edges...but not this time).  & while the not-square shape would make it even more like the original bird trap quilt block quilt, I decided I would be happier if it was squarer.  Or at least rectangler.

& now the quilt:

There is a lot going on here (just the way I like it!).  There are seven (7) blocks that actually meet the criteria for the Facebook Bird Trap Quilt Block swap & two that don't (mostly because they are too big).  There are others that could have met the requirements if I had kept going (they were undersized & missing a few rounds) but I already had the nine (9) to swap & plenty of extras (yes, another quilt top worth if you must know). 

Also in here are many birds from the April 2013 Block Lotto pattern, sort of.  As with some of the bird trap blocks, these also did not meet the criteria (& FYI that little legless one at the bottom there will get legs, I need to embroider them in as she is too small for the pieced-stick legs) so I kept them.  Okay, I made them to keep, they were never going to the Block Lotto.

I should be clear, the bird trap quilt block does not actually require birds, but I saw that birdcage fabric & well.  Then as I was wrapping those up, the Block Lotto birds got posted & well.  So. 

There are still plenty of spaces in the swap if you are interested.  Your quilt top won't look like this ( my next quilt top made from blocks made from these same fabrics won't look like this), but do you really care?  Wouldn't you rather have one of your own one of a kind?  & lastly, if you came over from Block Lotto - Weekend Update: Welcome!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

52 Photos Project: Chopped

A couple years ago we were putting up a greenhouse & we decided the best place to catch winter sun but semi-shade in summer, be sheltered from storms but not in danger from any large falling trees & have access to plumbing & potential electric hook-up was just exactly where there was already a tree.

Let me be clear, we would not have killed a healthy tree (more on this in a future rant), but this tree was on its way out.  It had been struck by lightning & left off balance & a bit loose-in-the-roots (this actually took years to notice, but in the end even I could rock the tree bumping it with the riding mower, the horses scratching their rumps made it look like a major wind was whipping through the branches).  Then during hurricanes Charley-Frances-Jeanne the wind really did tilt it further.  So we had been carving pieces off as they began to interfere with the fence, the side of the house, the path between the fence & the side of the house for a while & the greenhouse was just the push we need to take it down.

The removal was more or less a one-man job.  Even pulling the stump was only a 1 & 1/2 man + truck with chains job.  Once that stump was out of the ground, it was a different story.  It ripped the chain off the chainsaw more than once & in the end we just sort of rolled it a few feet to the north, replaced the pasture fence we had taken down to take down the tree & now on sunny mornings the birds gather on the old stump, pecking at the varieties of bird seed I toss over it every few days.  It is quite a bit smaller these days, having collapsed in the center but still a bear to move around.

Finally for this week at 52 Photos Project, I give you Chopped.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Loving Day, because late is better than never

I completely missed Loving Day this year (it is June 12th, FYI).  Marriage rights aside (& that is hard to do what with the right to get married -or not- all over the news), the Loving case & decision  has always kind of interested me.  First of all, there is their great name:  Loving.

But more than that is Mr. & Mrs. Loving's overwhelming, indisputable ordinariness.  Aside from overturning an outdated, racist law & making big time history, these people are downright boring.  Mr. Loving was a garden variety small town boy grown to man, he liked tinkering with cars.  Mrs. Loving took care of the house & children.  In one of my favorite Hollywood commentaries when Mrs. Loving saw the movie made about her life she said most of it was wrong, the only part they got right was she had three children.  Anyone reading this blog or anything else ever written about the Lovings would realize the other fact the movie got right was there was a landmark civil rights case surrounding their marriage.  That Mrs. Loving clearly does not view this as the centerpiece of her own life makes me like her more.

There is not much else to say really.  You can watch the documentary which is more about the case than the people.  & I kind of get the impression Mr. & Mrs. Loving would have preferred it that way (the documentary was made after they had both died, the fictionalized film is the one Mildred Loving found inaccurate).  Loving v The State of Virginia comes up a lot in the gay marriage debate, on both sides believe it or not.  But that is a conversation for another post; today I just want to notice the Lovings, that they walked out of small town USA, made their argument & then went back home, happy to leave the spotlight.  Whenever people start grandstanding about "real americans", it is the Lovings I think of. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables

When it comes to saints, patronages run the gamut: places, professions, illness (usually against, unlike professions & places), but today's man has a new one on me:  alliteration

For everyone who went "wait, what?", let me clarify:  Benno, an eleventh century politically savvy bishop...or canon, there is some confusion, is patron saint of
  • anglers (there is a whole story about locking up his church & throwing away the key & then the key being recovered from a fish & if that all sounds like something we have covered before that is because we HAVE, but that was a different guy),
  • weavers (he was big in Meissen & once upon a time weaving was big in Meissen -it was big everywhere- & I am guessing that is the connection although I accept there may not be one, especially since Meissen was really famous for porcelain & Benno is not the patron of porcelain workers who don't seem to have one, although patrons of potters abound),
  • & alliteration.

Benno famously played both sides against the middle in a pre-Martin Luther era church reformation (Martin Luther reviled him.  Specifically.  By name).  The only thing Benno seems to have not flip-flopped on was simony.  Don't feel bad, I had to look it up too:  the sacrilegious vice of purchasing ecclesiastical offices and benefices to which spiritual jurisdiction is attached.  What it isn't is the selling of those offices, for which I could not find a word-no emigration/immigration symmetry here.  

Benno took vows & broke them, pledged to support a pope, then the anti-pope & then back to another not-anti-pope.  This guy was first & foremost a politician & probably lucky not to be living in an age where your old speeches have been recorded & can be played back against you.

Benno pretty much only comes up when someone is in a reform the reformers kind of mood (which is more often tan you might think OR less often than it should be, depending a upon
 your perspective.  That's the thing about reform: there is never enough until there is too much.

But who cares about reform, I want to know about the whole alliteration thing!  He must have been quite the public speaker, maybe his speeches were full of catchy phrases & jingles, you know (or maybe you don't), politicians' stump speeches aren't want they used to be).  It seems to me thought that is ought to be fairly easy (& harmless) to pay homage to Benno on today his day: just stare into the mirror & go at it.  May I suggest "she sells seashells by the seashore". 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

52 Photos Project: Stripes

Several years ago, we were at a museum exhibit about the Calusa, who used to live where we live now.  All through the exhibit were masks & headdress & all sorts of objects that had familiar patterns.  Familiar as in we would see them around the yard.  One of my favorites was the masks with the stripes just so across the cheek & brow & even up over the chin. 

On another topic, I have eschewed garden gnomes in favor of tiki heads (if I could find garden gnomes WITH tiki heads I would be in heaven).  This particular head is in the low hedge along our driveway made up of Zamia integrifolia

Did I mention that this week's 52 Photos Project is Stripes

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rabbit factory

I should start by saying we put Janie to sleep just after noon yesterday.  She had gone steadily downhill since Wednesday, had stopped eating & early Saturday morning could no longer drink water. 

Four days beforehand, the two of us, me & Janie, were walking around the front yard at not-quite dusk.  A wild rabbit sat not five feet away from me, clearly aware I was there.  It hopped around I circles but made no move to leave.  Janie was so out of it she didn't even see it.  At first. 

When she did see the rabbit, she began to tremble all over.  Instead of bouncing over to & then after it, she began to slowly follow while the rabbit continued to make lazy circles.  They did this for maybe 20 minutes, maybe more.  The whole time Janie's body was tense & her nose was wrinkled & sniffing.  Eventually, the rabbit lost interest & hopped away home; Janie stood & watched it go & then we went inside. 

There is a particularly fecund rabbit population within our borders.  I mean fecund reproductively, not intellectually; these are quite the laziest most foolish rabbits I have ever even heard of.  I have a few theories & right at the top is that damn donkey.  People keep donkeys for a lot of reasons, but the most common is they will protect what they perceive as theirs.  Other equines range over large area & will probably return to particular places but they don't really care about those places.  Donkeys care. Many years ago there was a very high strung mare here temporarily & two dogs from up the road had a good time chasing her away from the fence, snapping at her nose & hooves.  Until. 

Until one day they crossed under the fence to run that mare around the pasture until she dropped.  It didn't work out that way; what horses run from, donkeys run towards & while I suspect the donkey did not give a shit about the mare, she was in his pasture & fell under his protection. There have been other dogs since then, but none that got so distracted they forgot whose yard they were in.  Donkeys are those mean old men who hold your kickball hostage...& try to kill you when you sneak in to retrieve it. 

As far as our donkey is concerned, those ridiculous rabbits are his & woe betide the fox, coyote, raccoon who thought he might have a quick snack.  As a result we are breeding a particular not-safety conscious leporidae.

Janie did catch a rabbit once, many years ago.  She reached over its back & grabbed it by the scruff of the neck.  Unfortunately (OKay, fortunately) her front legs did not reach the ground so every time the rabbit hopped, it levered her whole front end off the ground & up on her spindly hind legs.  Eventually Janie let go & that rabbit also just hopped away. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

One of those days

Lots of stuff happening today in history.  In 1893 we mark Gandhi's first documented act of civil disobedience.  The short version is he does a Rosa Parks before Rosa Parks & on a train in South Africa no less.  Go Gandhi!  In 1899 Carrie Nation starts vandalizing private property in the name of temperance.  Uhm, Okaaaaaay.  Flash forward to 1965 when the Supreme Court upholds the right of married couples to use birth control in Griswold v. Connecticut.  GO GRISWOLD!  When right-to-privacy advocates talk about the constitutional right to privacy, they are actually referring to the argument made by Griswold's team which claimed that while not explicitly set out in the Constitution, it can be inferred.  This gives us that unusual circus today where people manage to adhere to specifics as doctrine & still claim the right to privacy as Constitutionally protected.  Good Times.

Some interesting birthdays as well:  Georgiana Cavendish better known as the Duchess of Devonshire was born in 1757.  If her name doesn't ring a bell, pick up one of her biographies; the most recent is film starring Keira Knightley.  I understand that it was based on the biography by Amanda Foreman which is just under 500pp & makes the Clintons look like stay-at-home dullards.

1837 gives us Alois Hitler, another parent of a famous political leader (did I mention G. Cavendish's son went on to be Prime  Minister?  Well, he did).  1848 has Paul Gauguin who, if you don't think was important enough in his own right, was pivotal in the emergence of Vincent van Gogh.  1909 brings us to Virginia Apgar of Apgar Test fame, & if you don't know what that is & why it is important, ask a pregnant lady.   In Fladidah history, we have the birth of Harry Crews in 1935.

Little sidebar about Harry Crews: for me all his accomplishments, failings & well everything about him are best summed up by the fact he had a quote from e.e. cummings tattoed on his right arm,  moving me one step closer to getting "Jenny is a mind worm" on my left wrist.

A few more birthdays:  1952 gives us the Nobel prize winning author Orhan Pamuk, a frontline advocate for free speech in Turkey, putting yet another face on the Turkish protests our liberal media is still barely covering (but Michelle Bachman makes a Youtube video that they don't have to pay to play & they cannot play it enough).    Who else....1958 is the artist formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson (apparently Prince is his real name, who knew?  Lots of people, I'm sure, just not me) was born. 

& a few death days:  Betty Neels the queen of early Harlequin Romances died today in 2001.  Anyone who has been unlucky enough to be trapped with me on a long car ride or whatever sooner or later hears my rant about the value of Harlequin Romances in tracking the changing mores of our society.  Yep, I'm a fun drunk, too.  In 1980 we lost Henry Miller -yes Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller. There's a death-day companion for our Betty.  & lets round this one out with Dorothy Parker dies today in 1967; sometimes my mother answers her phone with Ms. Parker's moniker "what fresh hell is this".

It is tempting to wonder "what is up about June 7th?", but the reality is I could cherry pick any day of the year & give you a handful of similar compare&contrasts.  & if this blog hangs around long enough, I probably will. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

52 Photos Project: Crimson

Way back when (in March 2011), Block Lotto had an all red & white block swap.  I participated but donated all my chances; red & white does not rock my world.  But efficiency does, so I made PLENTY.  I made nine (9) unique blocks enough to send to the Block Lotto winners & duplicates, enough to send to another quilter's project & still had a few left over.  Okay, more than a few.  One of every fabric & two of most.

I fantasized about making a quilt for C****** out of them, with maybe a few black&white & gold&white thrown in & maybe I still will (she did just move into her own house.  Well hers & F*******'s own house).  In the meantime though, this pile is still lurking in my sewing room.  Just waiting for 52 Photos Project Crimson week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How I got Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking brand new & free to me

Have I ever told you about Paperback Swap?  I feel like I must have but maybe I didn't.  So here it is:  Paperback Swap is another one of those niche on-line .....communities seem unnecessarily broad.   It's a swap meet that specializes in books (yes, yes, it says paperback but really they will swap any book, paperback hardcover, audio, not e-books I don't think but when they figure out a way they probably will swap those, too).

It has a deliciously egalitarian quality: a book for a book.  Unless it is an audio book, then I think it might be two books for an audio book.  I don't know, I don't swap audio books.  The truth is I don't much swap any books, I just drain them from the system. 

Like all on-line communities (I'm sorry, I don't have a better word), there are users, abusers, good citizens & parasites.  Guess which one I am.  The system works when you add a book to your shelf, another swapper requests one of your books, you mail it to them (postage is on you, the sender) & once it arrives, a credit transfers from their account to yours.  You can use these credits to get books sent to you OR if you are my mom you can periodically refresh my account so I can get stuff without posting anything much. 

Now that I think of it, I owe mom A TON of postage reimbursement. 

In addition to the shelf of books you have to swap, you can also create shelf of books you want.  This means that when someone else adds the book to the system, you will get a notice (if you are number one on the list or if #1 declines & you are next & so forth).  You are limited in the number of books you can put on your wish list as there used to be a problem with people putting thousands of books effectively on hold & then declining them when they became available (to what end I am really not sure) leaving the good citizens who cruise old library sales holding tons of unswappable books.  As in most successful societies rules come into play when a few people make it hard on the majority...or whomever is doing the majority of the work.  Or sitting on the majority of money.  You know what, never mind about that.

I put Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking on my wish list more than a year ago.  It might have been more than four years ago, I don't keep track.  My local library district has one copy that I check out frequently & while I knew if I "lost" it I would only have to pay it's original cover cost less depreciation & not what it goes for on Amazon (just under $85 as of this typing) still it would be wrong to keep it.  Wrong.  I have to keep saying "it would be wrong". 

Library books that I cannot buy & no one else seems to check out are the very definition of temptation for me.  Lately Tintin in the Land of the Soviets has been burning a hole in my library card (those little pictures would make ideal redwork patterns & they are so...dated?odd?), especially since C****** told me they might be purging it even though it is checked out every couple months (guess how I know this), but I digress.

I started to list other books I have gotten through Paperback Swap that I never would have been able to put my hands on even with interlibrary loan, but then this post got way too long, so I will stop now.  Except to say that if you want me to e-mail you the Recommend a Friend link let me know.  You will start out with two extra credits & I will get one which I am happy to transfer to you.

& lastly:  M****** remember that stack of books you purged?  Well, somehow I ended up with a  Laurel Burch one which is odd because as you know I find the Laurel Burch figures creepy & not in a good way.  I am going to Paperback Swap it unless you would like it back, maybe to Paperback Swap it yourself (six people have it wish listed so it should go ASAP) or you would rather I gave it to the Friends of the Library which was our original conversation.  I think.  Oh & on another note, Paperback Swap is where I found that life on the Farming Today Yesterday's Way book B liked so much (would you believe Amazon is asking >$100 for an unused, brand new copy of that book? I swear some of those sellers are high).  Soooo, I will just give Laurel Burch back to you at bookclub next week, yes?

Monday, June 3, 2013

52 Photos Project: Uncommon Shapes

Over at 52 Photos Project this week it is "uncommon shapes".  The first shape I thought of was an exclamation point.  You know! 

Whenever anyone talks about not-often-perceived shapes I do usually think punctuation.  They are not quite letters&numbers, but meaningful just the same.  & I have a slew of photos of things that look like commas, semi-colons etc., but in the end I decided to spare you.  Instead of going with a shape that has a meaning I decided on a shape that doesn't get much press:  the sexagon.

Yes, yes you can call it a hexagon or a six sided polygon, but it will be "sexagon" to me for as long as I have a sense of humor.  & here it is, the reason I like sexagons:  they just fit together so nicely.

I had many many scraps left over from the rolling stone rainbow blocks & I thought, wouldn't it be fun to amass a pile of rainbow flowers?  So I have begun; I may never finish.  Let me revise that, I will probably finish, just unlikely it will be a whole quilt of just this shape