March 2, 2014: What I’m Up To and Random Thoughts!


I’ve been an avid reader of the New York Times since I was a teenager and my dad had a daily subscription.  Currently every Sunday on the second page of the “Sunday Review” they feature someone well known and have a paragraph each on what s/he is reading, listening to, watching and they occasionally include a couple other categories relevant to the person.  It’s so interesting to see what other folks are enjoying. I often get good ideas for books to read in particular.  For today’s post I thought I would follow that format just for something fun and different!

WHAT I’M SEWING:  I have quilted 12 of the Spring Sonata blocks.  I decided to time myself for one block to see how long it would take.  If I count threading my needles and marking quilting lines along with the stitching, it takes approximately one hour.  There are 98 full blocks, plus 14 half blocks up and down the sides plus another 12 half blocks which are the setting triangles on the top and bottom.  Those partial blocks essentially add up to another 13 so there’s a total of 111 blocks.   The center of this quilt should theoretically take me about 111 hours to quilt!  Then, of course, there are the borders after that.  In any case, my goal is to try to quilt an average of one block a day.  I should get to the borders by this summer and will hope to have the quilt ready for the quilt show in October.

3214 SS quilting



All the blocks of Spirit of Japan: The Wheel are sewn together and 7 of the 9 stars are sewn on. The center of this quilt is literally less than an hour away from being done.  The next challenge will be to figure out what I want to do for a border.  (Click on pics for nice close ups.)

3214 SOJ all together

3214 SOJ close

3214 SOJ close#2



WHAT I’M READING:  The last time I mentioned reading I was praising The Luminaries.  I finished it and was ultimately disappointed.  The story itself, the plot, was not worthy of the good writing.  I subsequently read:

3214 Heretics Daughter

This is an excellent, beautifully and poetically written book that takes place in Salem in 1691-92 during the witch trials.  It’s a searing look at how hard life was at that time and how irrational and inhumane some people can be.  Unfortunately this is still true today.  Highly recommended.  And now I am about a third of the way into another very excellent book:

3214 A Tale for the Time Being

The book goes back and forth between 2 different, but connected stories.  One is about a lonely, bullied Japanese teenager at the time of 2011 tsunami and the other is a writer, who also in her own way is unsettled, living on island in the Pacific Northwest.  Ozeki masterfully connects these two in what is so far a beautifully told, very interesting story!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:  Classical radio, whatever is on.  This past week there was a rebroadcast from Tanglewood of a program including the Sibelius Violin Concerto played exquisitely by Gil Shaham.  I had to stop and close my eyes for the entire Adagiio movement it was so gorgeous.  This was followed by a brilliant rendition of the Brahms Second Symphony.  And of course I am listening to and PLAYING waltzes on the accordian as my group, Quatro Formaggio, prepares to perform at the annual Salmon Fall River Friends of Music concert in May!

WHAT I’M WATCHING:  Not much!  I’m not much of a watcher; I rarely watch TV and don’t watch that many movies.  I do, however, belong to Netflix and the last movie I watched was “The Maltese Falcon” and I have “Ghandi” waiting for me (just because I remember it was good and couldn’t think of anything else!).  Sometimes I have movies for weeks before watching them!  It would probably make more sense to talk about WHAT I AM LOOKING AT.  I regularly check in on some art blogs (“lines and colors” is great new find) and like looking at fine art paintings.  And, of course, I look at quilts and textile art on Pinterest and blogs quite a bit, hoping for inspiration that I can translate into something original for myself.

WHAT I’M THINKING:  (Among many other things too numerous to go into!!!) I read something in the latest American Quilter magazine that I didn’t like!  It was in an article on quilt artist Sue Reno.  She said, “There’s a real advantage to being a quiltmaker.  I can exhibit in a quilt show, which I love, I can exhibit in fine craft shows where the craftsmanship is the focus, and in art shows where design and expression take precedence.”  I would very much like to think that in “quilt shows”, quilts (at least some!!!) are admired for and judged on craftsmanship, design, and expression.  If quilt shows have abandoned those things and they are to be found only in fine craft shows or art shows, then, in my opinion, this is a sad commentary on the status of quilt shows.  I don’t think she is right, but I hope this isn’t where “quilt shows” are headed.

Until next time – thanks for stopping by!






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