Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Put away the white shoes. Move the seersucker to the back of the closet. It's Labor Day -- the beginning of the fall season (even if it's still way too hot.)

And while you're busy shopping the sales or cooking out or whatever you do with this holiday, give a thought for all the hard-working folks who do the dirty work, for all the minimum wage workers who work long hours and still need welfare, indeed, for all the workers who DON'T get the day off. 

Tip big. Say thank you. Stop to consider, before you complain, just how little control the person you're annoyed with has over the situation.  

Take the time to think about how many people are working behind the scenes to support your lifestyle -- to bring utilities to your home, to keep your vehicle or public transport running, to manufacture the goods you consume and grow the food you eat.

Just at the moment I'm really grateful to the guys who made it up our narrow steep road to pump out our septic tank for the first time in thirty-something years. 

A good way to begin the fall season, since I have no white shoes . . . or seersucker. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quilt Stories . . .

This is the other side of all those squares of newspaper I showed you yesterday -- a string-pieced quilt top. I was amazed when one of my students passed on two antique quilt tops to me, saying she had no place to display them. Thank you so much, Dannie!

 This quilt, as a date on one of the newspapers tells us, was at least partially pieced in 1961 -- or after. Sometimes a quilt gets worked on over a long period of time and even by several generations.

Some of the newspaper squares are dated 1959 -- and looking at the quilt it seems as if two different tastes at work -- subdued and subtle in the upper left corner and then there's all that red in the center and orange on the right. Of course it could well be the same seamstress who got a sudden influx of bright colors in her scrap bag when the Sixties hit -- perhaps she was sewing for a teenage granddaughter. The essence of string quilts is economy -- use what you have.

Here's a LINK to a tutorial explaining how string piecing is done. Fun and easy -- and usually one tears the paper away before adding batting and a back. But I'm in love with the historical aspect -- the prices, for instance -- and will likely display the quilt newspaper side out.

Then there was the other quilt top -- beautiful pinks and greens that make me think of the Twenties, carefully handstitched together . . .

Lots of solids and some of what looks like feed sack material . . . Look at that sweet flowered pink , . . . swastika?

 As it happens, the swastika was a widely used good luck symbol in many cultures and there are many examples of swastika quilts made before ever the Nazis adopted the symbol. I can just imagine someone beginning this quilt in the Twenties or Thirties and then sadly laying it aside rather than finishing.

HERE is the story of a similar quilt.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Is It?

A puzzle . . . of which, more tomorrow . . .

Friday, August 29, 2014

Web Woes

Our internet is still down but thanks to Justin and Claui and the loan of a handy-dandy little WiFi gizmo, we are back on line, more or less.

Meanwhile, there are more tomatoes to can and cucumbers to deal with . . .

 And perhaps, if all goes pear-shaped, the kittehs will lend me their cardboard box. . .

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lily + Ali

When our great niece Lily visited a few weeks ago, she and Ali pretty much fell in love. He slept on the bed  with her and, now that she's gone, he comes up most days for a quick check of the upstairs guestroom, just to see if Lily might have come back.            

A few days ago we received a really  sweet thank you note from Lily -- and a  handmade placemat for Ali.

He loves it -- but what he really wants is for Lily to come back. . .