My Country 'Tis of Thee

Hope all you U.S.ers are having a safe and happy Memorial Day.


BB CW #22

Here is Barbara Brackman's latest block (that has to do with General Winfield Scott's blockade plan...metaphor-ed by the alarmingly large snake) in her amazing Civil War quilt block series:

We are nearing the halfway mark on this series. Here is my quilt so far. Maybe.

Incredibly, through the generosity of quilter/blog friends, I believe 2 out of the 3 fabrics are located and will soon be mine, and maybe all 3 of them; more on that when I have my hot little hands on them. Thank you, thank you, for your help! I am delirious to think that I will have enough fabric for those two projects. Moral of the Story: Buy lots and often :-).

So tomorrow is Memorial Day; make it a good one and remember our armed forces.


A Plea for Fabric(s)

Oh, horrors, I had enough of this to make the 24 blocks I thought I was going to make for a quilt, but now I want to make it larger. This is a brown and black stripe from English Pathways by Kaye England. Does anybody have some they would like to sell me?? Any sales most appreciated :-) .

A similar dilemma here, but I know that the light background print (so cute) is Harper's Ferry, Windham; does anybody have any of this they would like to sell? I cannot find it anywhere online despite my most frantic googling. Also am desperate for more of the stripe (Jan Patek woven?):

Posted by a Quilter in Distress (Rembrandt is snickering).


Childhood is Fleeting and BB CW #21

Latest BB CW block, Railroad Crossing:

You can imagine how I shrieked when I opened a package from my college friend, Mary, to find this exquisite pastel portrait of Timmy, done from a school photo of him with a little military jacket on that I just loved.
Isn't it remarkable? I would say, "thank you, Mary!!" only I think that Mary still does not ever sit down at a computer. I remember when Timmy came home on Photo Day and said, "You were right, Mom, they told me to take off the jacket, and I told them that my Mom said to keep the jacket on" lol. I knew they would think I would want to see the shirt. I just loved that little leather jacket.

Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan...
For the first time since, well, it was probably when I drove Timmy home from boot camp, we talked for an hour and a half, this time via phone. Excerpt:

Mom: "Timmy, come home."

Tim: "It isn't so bad, Mom. Only one thing has happened. The government throws million-dollar equipment at us all the time. I was on guard duty overnight and I was playing with this incredible infrared detector [thing...whatever he called it]. This cat dropped down right in front of me. Mom, he looked like a saber-toothed tiger through the infrared detector. I wildly flung up my arm, got my hand caught in some barbed wire, and had to use my first aid kit on myself. That's all there's been."

Mom: "Timmy, come home."


Jury Duty, BB CWs, and More

Had jury duty from Monday through Thursday. They took a day and a half to select the jury, so you know what meant. Lots of time for doodling:

There are lots of interesting lunch places in downtown Decatur now. I never get a chance to go out at lunch with Day Job, so it was the most intense pleasure to stroll around the square and leisurely select the next lunch spot. There was even an outdoor concert on Wednesday, where some 60s guys were beautifully singing 60s style folk songs. I felt like a completely different person and moved far away from Day Job miseries in my mind. There was also time to pop into the public library and write some very fast letters to Timothy that I sent via motomail.

However, I was once again chosen for the jury, so even though the delightful breaks continued and the subset of the jury panel was every bit as jolly as the original pool of 54, the subject was sordid and the whole thing was draining and rather upsetting. I was going to blog about it (and heaven knows, it suddenly gave me all kinds of good material to write Timothy about after months of not seeing any humor anywhere), but there were eight guys all the same age keeping a vigil at the verdict and sentencing, and there were no less than nine police officers keeping a vigil over them, so I think I will prudently just keep my mouth shut.

Timothy called last night! He is fine. So far, so good. We were just beginning to have a pretty interesting conversation about irrigation methods in Afghanistan (which he seemed to suddenly have an encyclopedic understanding of and which began when he said they were told to dunk themselves in the irrigation canals because several of them were fainting from the heat), when he suddenly had to hang up again. Sigh.

Here is Wanda C.'s Holmes County quilt from the Study in Amish class! I just love it.

Prairie Women Sewing Circle took place sometime before jury duty; that was my first time there and it was very enjoyable. Muriel was in period costume, talked about prairie life, displayed a lovely antique quilt that Linda R. had just found in a relative's Maine attic:

and also baked us some vinegar pies, which as you know, is an old pioneer recipe. It was very good and tasted like there was lemon in it, which there wasn't:

Muriel made this quilt from the Prairie Women book:

Last week's BB CW block:

This week's BB CW block. I am very taken with the fabrics in this one! Except that after I scanned it, I wondered if it would look better with a black background. I worked four hours on this one, though, with a hundred other things to do, so there is no do over on this one. I am going to keep the fabrics together and perhaps make more blocks to be in a quilt by themselves, although I have no time to do that. I'd like to make the block bigger (these are 6"), but then the fussy cut flowers wouldn't work. Also the stripe is quite a vintage fabric, I believe, and I do not have very much of it. So we shall see:


Pennsylvania Traveler

First, BB CW #18:

Then, I began this little wall quilt last Sunday and just finished it earlier today. It was inspired by a regular-size antique quilt I saw in an antique mall last week-end. I liked it because the blocks were pieced with Pennsylvania German fabrics (chrome yellow, poison green, cheddar do we love it!). The blocks seem to have made a journey South and gotten sashed (in light brown and darker brown prints), backed, and quilted in the South. I resisted the temptation to quilt it on the machine and did Baptist Fans by hand and oh my goodness, I worked on it for hours and hours this week. It is done. Also used the same blue plaid binding that is on the original. The pattern is called Pennsylvania Traveler and is composed of Y-seams, which I get a kick out of doing on the machine.

I answered Taryn's question below, but in case you are wondering as well, I am a beginner at hand quilting and have not done Baptist Fan before (if indeed I have done any hand quilting; my stitches are so large, they look like the broken white lines on highways sigh), but I drew the lines freehand with chalkboard chalk on the dark fabrics and blue water erasable pen on the light fabrics. It's true what Tonya says in her tutorial (which I studied beforehand): it doesn't look so bad when it's all piled together.

This coming Thursday, I am attending yet another quilting class (I am purposely attending lots of classes this year in the hope that it will occupy my mind while Timmy is in Afghanistan), the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle! I do not know if there will be a photo op, but if there is, you may be sure I will post a Show and Tell :-).