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Turkey Tracks: First Snow

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Turkey Tracks:  November 26, 2013

First Snow

I woke this morning to our first snow.

I love the stillness that comes with the first flakes–and the white sky.

We didn’t get much–but I didn’t start off on my errands until the roads were plowed.  Linda McKinney was here early, and she said the roads were very slippery.

Together we got the house ready for Gina Caceci (Falls Church, VA, beloved neighbor) and Maryann Enright (beloved SIL), both of whom will arrive tomorrow–God willing and the creek don’t rise.  (We are expecting weather tomorrow, but also warmer temps.)

I bought a handmade Christmas wreath at Good Tern Coop in Rockland this morning.  The fresh-cut greenery made the car smell so lovely all the way home.

That’s a bow made from birch bark.

Christmas Wreath

But what drew me in addition was the Pretty Bush (purple) berries.  We had a Pretty Bush back in Virginia, and I have not seen one here in Maine.  But, they must grow here as these wreaths are made from local plants.

Christmas Wresth detail

I will tuck some Christmas Balls into the wreath when I get around to it.

I am a staunch defender of keeping Christmas confined to December.  But Thanksgiving is very late this year, so it’s gobbling up Thanksgiving in all kinds of ways–not to mention that Black Friday has now become Black Thursday and Friday.  But that’s what the market will do if you don’t beat it back into a place that’s good for all people–including the ones that have to work for stores to be open.

I finished the big Wheels of Mystery Block quilt–now named “Earth.”  It’s gorgeous.  I’ll put up pictures after it lands at its new home–which will be after our December Coastal Quilters’ meeting on the 14th.  But here’s a picture of part of the top–I made many of these blocks by hand and then discovered they sew quite well on the machine.  I love all the geometric shapes the block forms.

Earth block

I’ve gone quite mad in the quilt room and have five projects going–six if you count the little clam shell quilt I am hand quilting. Seven if you count the time I spent the other day making more of the fabric strips from small pieces of fabric in my discard bin.  Bonnie Hunter calls them “crumbs.”  I’m making 2 1/2 by 8 1/2 strips–and I showed some in an earlier post.  They will be a border to a quilt one of these days.

I’ve cut out the first kite-shaped fabrics for the first medallion–see earlier post on hand quilting projects.  It’s the quilt from Material Obsessions 2.  And, I’ve marked all the seam joins.  That took quite some time actually.

I am making myself sew together the quilt top of another Dancing Nine’s quilt top–as I’ve got a lot of really beautiful fabric left over from the Wheels of Mystery quilt.  Here’s one set of blocks:

Brown Dancing Nine

I nixed doing a border with half-square triangles–also from this batch of fabric.  It’s too busy and too narrow.  I’ll do the piano keys border again, with a narrow inner border to separate it from the quilt body.  (Bonnie Hunter has the best design eye it seems, and this is her pattern.  These blocks are a bit bigger than hers as I’d already cut 2 1/2 inch strips.)

Bonnie Hunter’s current leader/ender project is with 2 1/2-inch half-square triangles–so I seem to be doing that with these browns.  You can combine the light/dark blocks in at least 50 ways.  I’ve just put these four block together this way until I get more of them.  So stay tuned on this one as I have no idea what will happen with it.

Bonnie Hunter's LeaderEnder Project

I started a leader/ender project with leftover 3 1/2-inch light and dark green strips some time ago.  I now have at least 300 of those blocks.  So, here’s what’s happening–I chose a classic Contrary Wife traditional block with which to experiment–only I made the bigger block a four patch and am paying attention to the light/dark orientation of it so that the quilt will have long runs of light or dark little blocks–something I learned from Bonnie Hunter.

Red and Green 1

Here it is with two more blocks added yesterday:

Red and Green 2

It’s going to be gorgeous!  Everyone comes in says “wow!  I really like that red and green one.”

And I’m pulling from the 2-inch red and green strip bins from the cutting frenzy this summer.  It’s so EASY just to pull pre-cut strips from the bins and not have to wade through a ton of fabrics in the stash:

Red and Green bins

That purple stripe fabric is in the bin by mistake–from my pulling of fabrics for this “fish” project that seems also to be happening:

Fish

I bought a new coat from LLBean a few weeks ago–and none of my scarves go with it really.  I have a hat that’s the right blue, and it’s trimmed with a burnt orange yarn.  So I stopped by Over the Rainbow yarn shop in Rockland yesterday.  Here’s what I came home with–the coat color is the dark, smoky blue in the yarn:

Cowl Project 2

I’m going to make a cowl kind of scarf–and make it twice as long as this one, which has this very interesting textured pattern.  One uses a circular needle to make it, and it knits up REALLY fast–or so I was promised.

Cowl project

How fun is that???

So, now it’s time for me to leave for the monthly meeting of my Book Club.  We are discussing Steward O’Nan’s Wish You Were Here, which I enjoyed rather a lot as it is about a family where the father/grandfather/husband has died and where those left behind have to figure out how to move forward with their relationships–which have altered in the wake of the patriarch’s death.  Nothing will ever be the same again for those left behind, and they struggle in the short space of a week, to come to grips with the immensity of all that has changed.   The novel does not hit you over the head with this truth, though.  Rather, O’Nan patiently and calmly walks through each day and shows you with exquisite subtlety just how much everything has changed.

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Sisterland: A Novel: Curtis Sittenfeld

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  November 7, 2013

SISTERLAND

Curtis Sittenfeld

I  finished Wish You Were Here, Steward O’Nan, the other day.  And, moved on last night to Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland.

In the opening pages, I discovered that there was a great earthquake in the midwest in the early 1800s.

Sisterland takes place in St. Louis, Missouri.  The opening date is 2009.

Two identical twin sisters:  the narrator twin is married with two children; Vi is single.  They may have psychic powers.

The sisters have lunch together and argue.  That night there is an earthquake tremor.  The frightened parents gather their children and put them into their bed.

Here’s text from the opening chapter:

I felt them falling asleep one by one then, my son, my daughter, and my husband.  Awake alone, I experienced a gratitude for my life and our family, the four of us together, accounted for and okay.  In contrast to the agitation I’d been gripped by before the earthquake, I was filled with calmness, a sense that we’d passed safely through a minor scare–like when you speed up too fast in slow highway traffic and almost hit the car in front of you but then you don’t.  The argument with Vi, inflated prior to the quake, shrank to its true size; it was insignificant.  My sister and I had spent three decades bickering and making up.

But now that several years have passed, it pains me to remember this night because I was wrong.  Although we were safe in that moment, we hadn’t passed through anything.  Nothing was concluding, nothing was finished; everything was just beginning.  And though my powers weren’t what they once had been, though I no longer considered myself truly psychic, I still should have been able to anticipate what would happen next.

Ok, I’m hooked!

I’ve read Sittenfeld’s American Wife, so know her abilities.  This book is going to be gooooood!

 

Sisterland: A Novel: Curtis Sittenfeld: 9781400068319: Amazon.com: Books.

PS:  Wish You Were Here is a lovely read.  I especially enjoyed the exploration of how a family comes together–or doesn’t–with all their complicated relationships–after the death of the father/grandfather. 

Written by louisaenright

November 7, 2013 at 11:40 am