Friday, January 22, 2021

Disturbing Week

For several reasons, the past six days have been disturbing. Happenings beyond my control relentlessly continue. COVID-19 is still rampant.

Friends here in Florida who received their first vaccination (for ages 65 and older) are learning that second doses aren’t available. They're justifiably very upset. 

News from overseas is that doctors are concerned about COVID-19 mutations that may potentially be more deadly than current vaccines can prevent.

And in my own community, on Tuesday a friend’s spouse died from COVID-19.

In a week of these and other discouraging happenings, it’s been difficult to be upbeat.

I’ve searched for refuge in the Word and unexpectedly found the word to adopt in 2021.
Late last spring I spent several weeks memorizing Psalm 91. It has repeatedly proven its relevance to these challenging times.

Verse 2: I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge, my God in whom I trust.” 

Also, Psalm 46:2 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

The Life Application Bible explains: God is our refuge in the face of total destruction. He is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstance.

"Total destruction." That's what this week has felt like. 

Refuge not only reminds me of who is most important, but also tangibly relates to my where - the physical refuge space of my sewing room.

As cluttered as my sewing room has lately been - more so because of sewing with scraps - this is where I read the Bible, pray, create, and escape into an audiobook or a movie. It's my refuge.  

This week's making felt plodding. I cut more pieces for Glitter blocks.

I hand-stitched the Kawandi that's nearing a finish.

And made progress on the scrappy inset circles quilt top. I forced myself to work on it, really not knowing how to proceed. 
All the scrappy circles and rings are now joined in one section. Next I'll add white scraps along both sides, asymmetrically, to fulfill the challenge requirement of "negative space." Then, I will figure out how to make the whole thing look cohesive, possibly by applying scrappy stripes. 

Whatever I do, the top must be off the design wall by next Thursday when I start my second virtual workshop with Maria Shell. It’s an in-depth, 12-hour course called “Asymmetyrical Symmetry.” I am very much looking forward to it. Openings are available, if you're interested. 

To add to my overall disappointing week, my Whist card-playing losses with hubs continue. He’s now 6:0. Sigh.

Book Recommendations
Two books I’ve listened to have been a welcome escape, especially since both of them took me back to Australia. I have visited Australia four times, and though I never made it to the Outback, it was pure pleasure to listen to stories about that region. Both books are narrated with Australian accents. 

The first book to recommend is The Lost Man, by Jane Harper, a story that opens with the hot sun on the body of a dead man, Cam. He's brother to the two men, Nathan and Bub, who find him lying near the grave stone of the stockman. It's incomprehensible that a man would leave his vehicle, loaded with water and provisions, to die in this lonely place. The story unfolds from Nathan's viewpoint, and through revelations about their shared backgrounds, a picture of life on a cattle station becomes clear.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and hope you’ll give it a listen.

Linda's score: 4.4/5.0

The second book to recommend is A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute. It was written in 1950, and adapted for a TV series in 1981. The story is timeless... about Jean Padget, a young British woman who finds herself in Malaysia during Japanese occupation. Jean, and 30 women and children, are taken prisoner and forced to walk across the country, towards a non-existent women's camp. After the war Jean returns to England to work as a shorthand typist, where she is contacted by a solicitor who informs her of an inheritance. This allows her visit Malaysia again, and go to Queensland, Australia to find Joe Harman, a prisoner she met during the war. This was an extremely engaging story about a woman's fortitude, independence and vision of what life can be. I couldn't stop listening!

Linda's score: 4.7/5.0

As far as I know, my (with Karen Foster and Jo Avery) MQG webinar about making a "Temperature Quilt" is still on for next Tuesday afternoon, January 26, though the MQG hasn't yet publicized it.
🤷 Linda


  1. I agree with you on the book recommendations, I enjoyed both of these. I find myself really attracted to historical fiction as my escape lately. If you aren't already taking immune boosting supplements, checkout EVMS Math+ protocol. It's really excellent.

  2. I really love the circles and the colors you used. It's looking wonderful! The Kwandi quilt looks great with the vintage fabrics. Such a wonderful use of them!
    I wasn't aware that the second dosage of the vaccine isn't available. Strange how we are left in such a void in Sumter County.
    I'll have to learn Whist so you will have someone to defeat!

  3. So sorry about your husband has lost three friends to Covid and it's so hard to deal with. We're still waiting (here in Michigan) for our vaccine shot...hubby is 81 and I'm 74 but we're "on the list"...just hard to get the appointment and have the supply of vaccines that are needed. Just takes patience...for everyone. Good we have our artwork...but at times it's quite hard to get motivated.

  4. Really sorry to read about the loss of your friend due to Covid. It's such a scary virus especially with all of these new strains appearing.
    Your rainbowy circle quilt is divine and I look forward to seeing how you finish it. Enjoy your workshops xx

  5. I'm SEW glad that you have been able to find refuge in your sewing room, Linda. My condolences to your friend who lost her husband to Covid. A member of my Quilt Bee suffered the same loss a few weeks ago and ended up in Intensive Care herself, only days later.

  6. I loved the book, A Town Like Alice, and purchased mine to take while traveling on the Ghan train a four day trip from Sydney to Darwin, stopping at Alice Springs. A memorable trip indeed.
    So sorry to read of the loss of your friend, how upsetting.

  7. I am so sorry Linda that you have had a terrible week. Life is stormy all around us. We just need to keep each other in prayers. Hiding in your sewing room is so nice. I am still running my legs off here. too busy but trying to stay healthy.
    No vaccines around Norhtern Virginia I think they are holding off so Biden can be the emperor of America

  8. We are certainly living in uncertain and troubling times. I am sorry to hear of the passing of your dear friend's husband. I hope you can find solace and refuge in your reading and sewing. How wonderful that you were able to experience both a classic of Australian literature in Neville Shute, and a new star of the literary horizon, Jane Harper. I read A Town Like Alice when I was at school nearly fifty years ago, and The Lost Man when it came out last year. Or was it the year before. If we were real life neighbours I could have lent you her latest one The Survivors! I hope the Temperature Quilts workshop goes ahead. S xx

  9. I too like the circles...... thinking I may try some but without the other requirements you have....... perhaps next week will be better.

  10. Very sorry to hear about your friend's loss, it must be scary possibly having Covid in your own community. I love how your Kawandi is looking, I'm hoping that Sujata will run another workshop sometime this year. I haven't received any emails from the MQG about the webinar, hopefully it will still go ahead. I've read and enjoyed both those books, like Susan I read A Town Like Alice at school, I think I need to read it again. I'm sure you will get a win at Whist sometime, I always say that winning goes in cycles, although sometimes it can take a long time before the cycle comes round to you.

  11. I love your Kawandi quilt and your circles look great! I have just borrowed The Lost Man on your recommendation. I too very much enjoy Australian stories and have been on a Quilters Tour of the Outback.(2005) It was so much fun!! I have just finished listening to The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. A story about the Horseback Librarians of Kentucky. I would give it a 4.9 out of 5! haha! What pattern did you use to make your little container with the Zips.

  12. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's husband plus your frustrations of the week. Happy that you have the refuge of your studio and the solace of the Lord. I am grateful for my own studio refuge and stash of beautiful, colorful fabrics to play with. Going into Christmas, we hadn't known of anyone who had Covid. That has changed . . . a niece, most likely hubs older bro and our own son plus friends. Thankfully all have recovered. I read that Jane Harper book along with two others by her and enjoyed them all. Hoping you have a good weekend and better week to come. Hugs.

  13. I'm so sorry about your week, so very sorry about the death of your friend. I'm glad you have a refuge in the Lord and His Word, along with the delight of making things from fabric. Just playing a little bit each day is good, it will give you rest while you process and pray.

  14. Refuge is a perfect word to guide your year. And clearly you recognize and value that you have one both spiritually and physically. I'm so sorry about the loss of your neighbor. And you're right, the news is disheartening. I have found myself feeling the heaviness of all this from time to time, and like you, have turned to feeding my faith in The Word. We got our vaccines yesterday in Marion County. Their systems for accomplishing this could be a model for all the counties. They were flawless along with pleasant and professional. They get an A+. Second dose is scheduled, so hoping it's available then. I do love your circles quilt- it's very playful. Enjoy your online workshop. It, too, is a refuge!

  15. I feel quite the same and I'm sorry to hear about your friend's husband.
    I take refuge in quilting and other simple comforts.
    Thank you for sharing Bible verse with us today.
    Keep quilting and keep the faith. This will get better.

  16. I hope the coming week and your next seminar will lift your spirit. The vaccine is nearly nonexistent in our county so we haven't even tried to sign up. We're thinking of waiting until the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available- one and done. Refuge is a perfect word for the year and we know where our refuge lies.

  17. Knowing God as our Refuge is a great source of peace and strength in these turbulent and emotion-sapping times. I'm so sorry your friend has lost her husband to Covid. It is a deadly disease that seems set to leave us all grieving for someone or comforting a friend who is grieving.
    It can be hard to be creative when we are coming to terms with great sadness but creativity helps keep us in tune with our God who is the supreme Creator.

  18. I'm glad you had some good books to help you through a difficult week.


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