Thursday, October 6, 2022

Pony Prep, Improv Cabins, Books

Back in February I made two ponies in a sew-along with Jo Avery, the Patchwork Pony pattern designer. With Jo's generous permission, this Sunday I'm leading a group of Big Cypress Quilters to make ponies that we will donate to Children's Home Society of Florida

It took a few sewing sessions and lots of leaders-and-enders to put together 479 1½" X 1½" squares to make fabric for a Patchwork Pony. Two pony sides and a 61"-long gusset have been pieced, quilted onto batting, and edge-stitched, and are ready to be sewn together.

The Children's Home Society has become dear to me as well as Quilting Guild of The Villages (QGOTV). Several of our 27 quilting chapters have hosted a baby shower for the Children's Home. So far this year, $23,000 worth of items and money have been collected! 

Then, this week we learned that their needs are even greater with many of the Children's Home's clients - mothers and children - in the Hurricane Ian-devastated Fort Myers area. This morning QGOTV members contributed and collected gift cards, children's clothing, diapers, and formula, among other needed basics such as drinking water, that will be delivered on Friday into affected areas. 

In between teaching prep - I'll be sharing No Tails Binding: Mitered Corners by Machine on October 22 - I've continued to work on my improv log cabin. It isn't going well... or at least I am having a very hard time making myself work on it. The "liking" I felt when I began hasn't continued into a finished quilt top. 

I'm having a difficult time working out how to arrange log cabin triangles to fill-in corners of the on-point log cabin squares. It will take numerous futzy (a favorite word to describe challenging piecing) efforts to address each spot that has a space or hole along the edge. With no end in sight, and a dried-up heart for the project, it's difficult to keep going.

Tuesday evening, Quilting Guild of The Villages (QGOTV) invited two modern guest speakers to the monthly guild meeting. What a surprise! Most of the guild's 1,216 members are traditional quilt makers, so it doesn't often happen that a modern presenter is scheduled. 

I hopped on my golf cart and went to Laurel Manor Rec Center to hear and see Lee Monroe @maychappell from North Carolina, and Carolyn Friedlander @carolynfriedlander from Florida, give a trunk show of their quilts. 
L: Lee; R: Carolyn

They shared that they'd met about ten years ago and became fast friends. This was their first-ever team presentation that they planned over the phone, choosing commonalities between their quilts to share how each of them approaches designing quilts with different themes - trees; houses; color study; gray scale; and "wild" which was anything goes. Lee and Carolyn made us laugh, and we enjoyed seeing their makes. 

Personally, it was good to chat with Lee again, as I'd met her when I took her "Understanding the Rainbow" workshop in 2017 at QuiltCon Savannah. This is what I made in that workshop.

In the past few months, Cape Canaveral has seen so many space launches that fewer people in our neighborhood are stepping outside to watch them. This was our view of another launch Tuesday afternoon. 

Book Recommendations
All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle centers on Hubert, a man from Jamaica who has gone to England to find employment. Being dark-skinned, he encounters many who shun him. Yet Joyce doesn't act as others do. Though her relationship with Hubert causes her family to break tied with their daughter, Hubert and Joyce are happy. 

Then, Hubert's heart is broken. He's lonely, but doesn't want to be around people. When a new neighbor pushes her way into a tentative friendship with him, he begins to come alive again. Now he has a new problem... his daughter is coming to visit. He's made up stories about his many non-existent friends, and he needs to hurry to make some real friends! 

This is a charming story about the importance of friendships, even with those you might not necessarily consider friends, yet who stick beside you when times are difficult. 

Linda's score: 4.1/5.0

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeny takes place in a remote ocean-side house called Sea Glass that's accessible only when the tide is out, and walking across the sand is possible... with your belongings trundled in a wheel barrow. 

The entire Darker family is meeting at Sea Glass to celebrate the 80th birthday of Nana, and Daisy is the first to arrive followed by her divorced parents, her single sisters, a niece, and one unexpected visitor. 

Years ago, a fortune teller told Nana she would die when she was 80 years old, so when Nana's body is found on the kitchen floor, it's not a big surprise. She has a gash on her head. But who could have killed her? The tide is in, so no one can get to the house. 

The same night another family member dies, and another... with a gruesome poem appearing on Nana's chalkboard wall. Who is killing everyone? And more importantly, why?!

I'll have to say that I figured out some of this story before the final "reveal," but it was definitely an engaging story that I couldn't stop listening to. 

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford, was the most thought-provoking book I've listened to in a long time. As Mr. Ford explains in the beginning, his premise for writing this work of fiction was to explore epigenetics - the significance of inherited remembrances, and how past experiences are carried forward to direct and impact each generation.

Afong Moy was the first Chinese woman in the United States. She met President Andrew Jackson, and performed in front of many audiences - not because she wanted to, but because she was sold, and her bound feet were an oddity. 

Dorothy lives in Seattle in 2045, and a typhoon is on the way. She has been seeing therapists for years, trying to resolve her psychological and emotional issues. When she's referred to Epigenises, an office that guides patients to explore brain synapses that lead them to better understanding of inherited knowledge, Dorothy discovers and begins to understand the actions of the generations of mothers before her. 

What happens to these Cantonese women, and their Buddhist beliefs in karma and enlightenment are all very interesting to a Christian, like me. 

Linda's score: 4.3/5.0



Susie Q said...

your impro log cabin is bright, fun and almost done! just plug in some solids and square it up!!! I have found my library card and have been taking pictures of your books so the day I get to the library I will have the names etc. thinking I am SOOO clever.

Susie Q said...

forgot to mention I read Carolyn Friedlander's blog.....

candi said...

Linda, I stopped by to check to see how your log cabin in coming along, and I am thrilled to see an update! I LOVE it! I hear you that you are frustrated/bored with it. And I understand that feeling! It’s not uncommon for me to have it as I get towards the end/hard part of putting the improv quilt together. But it’s looking so so good! I hope to see a finished top photo soon!

Mystic Quilter said...

Futzy - what a great word!! I do hope you can find renewed feeling for improv log cabin, the colour in this is amazing, I can see the placing of the improv triangular pieces would be tricky to deal with, but so effective.

Nancy said...

The pony stuffies will be welcome I'm sure and much loved. You are at "that point" with your Log Cabin and I can see how it looks overwhelming right now. I think that happens in the middle of a sewing room clean up or a quilt project- when we ask why we ever started this! Hopefully a fresh breeze of creativity will kick in. It's sure worth finishing. Always fun to see a quilting trunk show- inspiring.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Keep going with your log cabin improv. It's looking fantastic!

Mary said...

Glad you got to see Lee Monroe. She lives fairly near me, but when I featured her on my blog I interviewed her by email--still haven't met in person! As for your log cabin quilt, I have two ideas and you should feel entirely free to reject both. First, when I get to that point I sometimes cut the piece up and make place mats! Amazing how much more artful some things look in smaller form. Second, although I don't use them, Sherry Lynn Wood suggests techniques for pieces that just-don't-fit, including taking tucks and cutting to make darts. Just sayin'--if she can do it, you can if you want to!


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