Wednesday, June 9, 2021

 Three post pandemic stories from just yesterday although I am almost certainly jumping the gun on the "post" part:

We moved into our current house just before Thanksgiving in 2019. That means we never really got to know the neighbors but everyone is now making tentative forays into meeting new people again. Yesterday my immediate next door neighbor came over. She told me that she was so glad that we moved in because the previous owner was obnoxious. Apparently she told the neighbor that the only "colored" people allowed in her house were maids and service people. Having my husband and I, a mixed race couple, move in made her amused. It sort of makes me amused too. The same neighbor told me that one of the other people who live on our street asked her if my husband were the Japanese gardener. That's so offensive that it ends up being funny.

Another story involves one of the kids that I tutored years ago. This young man ended up going to Yale, majored in economics and worked as an analyst at the Fed immediately after graduation. After a couple of years of that experience he applied to graduate school and initially intended to go to business school but when Harvard Law School accepted him he jumped at the chance. That was immediately before the pandemic so his first year of law school that just ended was not in Cambridge but in his parents' house in Utah. He just got his first year "grades". As he reported, his overall scores were simply average and he was disappointed, but every first year student has to take writing courses. In those, he was designated a Dean's Scholar which means that he was either the #1 or #2 in the class of 70 students. Pretty darn cool. He told me it was because of my stern tutelage all those years ago when he was still a teenager. Smile.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

 Okay, so Trump thinks that he can simply be reinstalled in the White House because Mike Lindell told him so. Sort of reminds me of when my sister was small and she wanted a magic wand. My mother decorated a dowel and gave it to her at which point my sister pointed the wand at my mother and said, "Poof, disappear!" 

Why am I even writing about this? Well I have posted photos of flowers that we have produced in our yard but this week there was one that fits in with Lindell's and my sister's fantasy thinking.

This is an amaryllis that arrived from nowhere. Not only did we not plant this bulb, amaryllis don't typically get planted outdoors, primarily showing up at Christmas in a box, discarded after bloom. They are definitely not frost hardy and Pennsylvania can be quite cold in the winter.

Any thoughts on this strange phenomenon?

Sunday, May 30, 2021

 I don't think of myself as banal and insipid but I can't seem to force myself out of my banal and insipid quilting. Oh well, old dog/new tricks and all that. I finished the current project today. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

 This is our first peony of this spring. We brought this plant with us from Utah and it has acclimated very well. Each bud is about the size of a tennis ball so you can imagine how big this is open like this. If I remember correctly, which I probably don't, this one is called Bowl of Beauty and is a semi-double. Since we just had a new garden bed added to the yard we now have about two dozen peonies but the first one always stands out. We also have our first very small green tomato on a plant we started indoors back in February and planted out a little while ago. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

 Besides the transient and temporary brain fog caused by the vaccine shot for a few days, this top made several demands on me. While the background fabric is not the normal type, it is still quite neutral. However, it had all those nice rows of double dots against the pale grey and they were very straight, demanding very accurate sewing. That isn't a huge problem until you start adding borders since setting separate elements apart with a different fabric can prevent any bad matches. But the mitered corners did make a difference. 

On top of that, not all of the choices I made ended up in the finished top. I changed the color of the inner strip several times. I also changed it from a scalloped edge (the first iteration was wider) to a narrow straight strip. Then when I tried to add some pieced borders they didn't suit my fancy at all. So I sewed and I picked out stitches several times, ultimately coming up with this.

 Comparing this now layered, marked, ready to be quilted top to what it was, I already know that this nice black floral is the right choice even if not all of the colors of the flowers are repeated. I am considering scalloping that outside edge but that decision doesn't need to  happen until the whole top is quilted since that marking and cutting happens at the end. My only reservation has to do with using this as a wall hanging because scalloped edges can be a little floppy.

Monday, May 3, 2021

 My last student finally committed to Harvard. He visited the east coast this past weekend specifically to check out Brown and Harvard. Although Brown gave him the grandiose offer of being admitted to undergraduate level as well as two different graduate level degrees, he thought Harvard would end up being a better fit. At this point it is hard to say for sure but certainly he has scored a major coup in even getting in given the competition. Best wishes to him and to all entering freshmen. They have the freshness of youth and optimism in their favor.

Friday, April 30, 2021

 There is a storm coming closer to my house right now. Looking out my large kitchen window that faces sort of northwest, I see the grey clouds and the swirling winds. Yesterday was about 80F as a high and today won't get to 70F but that is pretty typical for southeastern Pennsylvania. Having lived in Utah for almost 30 years, we watch the rainfall amount more than we would if we were natives here since it is such a big issue there affecting potable water and even summer temperatures and fire hazards.

I have been working on the first border for the new project and that is complete. Now there are questions to be asked and answered. I certainly invite any readers to offer suggestions but I cannot guarantee that they will be used in the final version. Anyway, here is the flimsy so far:


There are numerous possibilities including simply leaving it as is, layering, and quilting without further ado. But my husband and I both think it needs something to "complete" the presentation. I am thinking about either a pieced checkerboard border but using green and blue or a pieced triangle border in the same colors. While the green and blue aren't major notes they are consistent notes so I am going to make some mock-up borders to check those options out. 

Any other ideas?