Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Old Things

I like old things.  I won't lie and say that I haven't wished our house was furnished like a furniture store showroom with everything matching and coordinated, but I really think I'd miss our look.
Quilts are the same.  I have many that I've made and so,  new, but the old ones really draw my eye.  There's a story behind every quilt and it's the old ones that make you think.  Look at the colors, the patterns in the fabrics, was it machine or hand stitched?  Why is there just a top and why wasn't it finished? Why was it in a garage sale or estate sale, unwanted by the family?  How could someone's mother or aunt or grandmother or great-grandmother have made something that the family didn't want? 
Friend Marilyn found this quilt top in a garage sale and I loved it immediately. She wasn't so very enamored with it that she wanted to finish it herself so she brought it with her to events where quilting was being demonstrated and let the visitors at the event work in it to get the feel of quilting.
 Even the children

Eventually, Friend Marilyn's cats decided this was a good quilt for them.  She cut out the worst of it and gave the best of it to me since I've always loved it.  It's not a huge piece, but it's big enough for a lap or a baby's nap.  I'm not going to take out the stitches the children put in but I will go around their work to just make the stitching more solid. It's all part of the story.

On a spring note, the windows are open (and a few were even washed) and I made the cruschiki for Easter, the fryer out on the porch so the fry smell doesn't take over the whole house. 
Our Busia always made cruschiki for Easter and so I do, too.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Flower pots

This is about as close to flowers in pots we have this gray time of year. We can go to the store and buy primroses or daffodils and they do help but boy it will be nice when the real thing comes out of the ground. 
I'm SO glad I got this top finished.  I've been carrying this project around with me for years. When I get close to finishing a book, like two-thirds of the way through, I'll stay up all night to finish it.  That's how I felt with these squares. Once I started working on the third square I decided I was going to stick with it until I finished it and I love how it turned out!  And I used my stash for all of it.  Even the backing.  Even the batting, though that has to be pieced.  After it's pinned I will fold it and take it to retreat in March as an alternate to working on the crow quilt. It even fits the wall space that's waiting for it.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sunny Days

Lots of sunshine today. The snow is melting and making ice overnight but it's all good because it's melting and the sun is shining and the floors are washed and the doors are open and this light makes me think of my Friend Mary who always used to say a sunny day after a cloudy winter  makes the cobwebs in the corner show up better.  It's not THAT bad but it has happened.

 A bright sunny promising day like today just can't help but make you think spring is coming.  And it makes me itch for a new project.  I'm eyeing paintable surfaces and just itching for a new quilt project. I don't know what to do yet.  I wander through Pinterest looking at things people have done and find I've pinned a lot of orange peel quilts.  I leaf through my books and the Primitive Quilts and Projects magazines and everything looks good but nothing has tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear.
 In my corner I'm putting the last flowers into the four panel quilt-turned-wall-hanging.  I'm tired of carrying it around and with just a few evenings I've gotten this far. One more evening and I'll have all of the flowers on and can connect the squares.  The crow quilt in the corner is going to take time and will probably be what I take to spring retreat.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sadness is a White Bird

Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher

   Never more timely than now, Sadness is a White Bird will likely leave you with more questions than it answers. It will certainly make you think.
    Jonathan was born in Israel but spent many years in the United States.  He feels the strong pull to go back to Israel and do his part to defend his homeland, the homeland his grandfather helped to establish after the Nazi’s exterminated his community.  Jonathan doesn’t have any problem with this, it’s his duty as a member of his family and as a Jew.   But there was something he wasn’t counting on.
    Jonathan is introduced to Laith and Nimreen, the children of his mother’s Palestinian friend.  There is an immediate acceptance on the part of all of the young people. There are curiosities, the working out of language, but in the end these three are emotionally connected, braided together tightly.  They travel together, share hopes, discuss their futures, all the while knowing that Jonathan is there to defend his homeland against Palestinians, against Nimreen and Laith.  But it doesn’t matter.  Their love and friendship will keep them.
    And then, it’s time.  Under shameful pressure from his grandfather, Jonathan must report for service, he must face what he might have to do, he does think that the love of his friends will see them all through. Until the day of reckoning. 
    This story is told through Jonathan as he sits in jail trying to reconcile in a letter to Laith how things came to be.  It’s the story of friendship despite differences, despite politics, despite having to be true to yourself.  And in this day, in this time, it’s not a story you will soon forget.

Thursday, February 8, 2018


And when was the last time YOU opened a bottle of champagne with a sabre???

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

White Houses

White Houses by Amy Bloom
    Things I knew:  Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt had an estranged marriage, one where they lived together separately.  Eleanor was, as people said then, FDR’s legs. She could and did travel the country getting in touch with the people and reporting back. Eleanor was smart and FDR’s equal in that.  Eleanor was no beauty and Franklin kept several women who were, nearby.  The media was different in those days.  Behavior that was tolerated and kept hidden from the public then would not be now.
    Things I didn’t know:  The extent of Franklin’s dalliances openly accepted and not reported on by the media.  Eleanor openly had her own lover.
      Lorena Hickok, known as “Hick” was a self-made woman who came from nowhere and a past nothing life.  She became a renowned journalist and was assigned to FDR’s presidential campaign in 1932.  This is when she met Eleanor, who didn’t completely impress Hick at the time.  But over time Hick saw the intelligence and soul that was inside Eleanor’s less than beautiful body and a love became mutual between them.   It amazed me now to know that she lived openly in the White House, her relationship with Eleanor common knowledge even to FDR.  I read this thinking that by “allowing” that relationship his own dalliances with his entourage could be excused.
    This story is Eleanor’s and Hick’s and is told by Lorena Hickock. It is a quiet love story between two lost souls. In the telling we are given insight into Lorena’s upbringing and the treatment Eleanor received from her mother and FDR’s.  It’s no wonder two souls searched out for the beauty that lies beneath and found it.  No matter the ups and downs, the together times and separations, in the end Hick and Eleanor had a love that endured it all.
    I didn’t know that.