I've been working on a quilt project here at our S.V. quilting group for a few years. It's a red, white and blue quilt that I started maybe two or three years ago. Making the blocks was a breeze, but when I went to put them together I discovered that all the blue/white blocks needed to be repressed in different directions in order for the seams to "nest" with the red/white blocks. It's a HUGE PAIN!!! I now have 6 our of 9 rows repressed and sewed together, but I am sick of it.
So I picked up a quilt that had been 505'd together last year but never quilted. 505 is a temporary adhesive that many quilters use (and love) to hold the three layers together -- without wrinkles -- when doing the machine quilting. This fabric was in the sewing room, one of many, many pieces of fabric that are donated from time to time. It was printed to look as if it had been pieced in the Wedding Ring pattern. This is called a "cheater" quilt.
Last weekend in about 3 hours I machined quilted along the pretend piecing and then bound the quilt with prefolded binding. On Monday I washed it because the fabric had been sitting in the cupboard so long. It will make a nice lap quilt for some child.
This week I'm reading an interesting book, Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. My cousin Joan had mentioned it to me and I bought it at the nearby Barnes and Nobles. The subtitle is "The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste." And it certainly is the ultimate Guide. Bea discusses step by step, room by room, how to achieve a Zero Waste home and lifestyle. Her suggestions are well taken, but probably go beyond what most of us are willing to do. Her wardrobe is extremely limited. And although I will follow some of her suggestions I will retain a lot of clothing in my closet that is not worn often, just because I like to have a fair bit of variety to choose from. Some days a plain, even severe "costume" seems appropriate and other days I like to dress colourfully to express my joy in life.
Still, this is a good book to buy, read, and keep on hand for suggestions. Recommended.
I read another very interesting and encouraging book recently, Our Towns, by James and Deborah Fallows. We saw an interview with this couple on t.v. awhile ago and that made me interested in buying their book. I highly recommend this perceptive and hopeful book.
They spent four years travelling around the U.S. investigating the health of towns and small cities (43 in all) some not so small. They looked into several areas of interest: local government, business, education, sports and arts, the whole panoply of what makes up our social environment, to see what was working well and what strategies towns and small cities were employing to better their possibilities for a well-working present and a hopeful future. At the local level there is an entirely different discourse from the aggressive, divisive national conversation which is more like "verbal war."
About Erie, Pennsylvania they write on page 384: "The point that comes back to us is the starkness of the contrast: on the one hand the flattened terms -- "angry," resentful," "hopeless" -- the language the media and politicians use to describe America in general; on the other hand, the engaged, changing realities people understand about the places where they actually live. The point may sound banal, but it has consequences. In the very same terrain that was just described as Rust Belt loser land in a big presidential-campaign rally, and whose urban landscape clearly shows the structural and human makes of traumatic change, people are trying to anticipate and adapt to those changes, to improve their individual and collective futures, and generally to behave as if they are actors in their own dramas, rather than just being acted upon. Being active, rather than passive, is one working definition of today's American idea."
The following sentence is remarkable in explaining Erie's source of hope: "Erie finds a hyper charged boost of optimism and energy from another sizeable portion of its population: refugees and immigrants." Their explorations in Dodge City, Kansas, also reveals a remarkable story of how refugees and immigrants are essential to recovery in a depressed area. Such a different insight from the coverage of Dodge City's troubles during the recent Mid Term elections!
If you'd like to be encouraged and cheered about the possibilities ahead for the US. this is the book to read!