Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Happy Blocks! These are from a Debbie Mumm border print. I'm saving the border to add to these blocks done in two tones of brown. Nice way to use up the fabric I wasn't sure about.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HAPPY BLOCKS! I started cutting the blocks for some happy blocks yesterday and this morning I sewed a few. There are only 15 centers for this batch of cute zoo animals and I'm not sure yet, how I'll set them as this isn't enough for a quilt, but maybe would be enough for a baby quilt. We'll see. I've been sorting my fabrics and I don't have many I can use for centers for these. I finally cut some Laurel Burch butterflies that I've had for about 9 years. I wasn't sure how to use it. So I cut some 4 1/2 inch squares of which, I can use the centers for happy blocks and could even use the other centers for an Ohio Star pattern. Cutting is hard work for me because I have to stand and my knee starts to hurt and then before I really notice, it seems to lock up on me and then I spend some time on the couch with an ice pack. I get so into what I'm doing that sometimes I don't take care of my "old" body. *sigh*

I spent the better part of yesterday cutting fabric for my sister for her birthday. She just realized that she wants to start making quilts. She remembered that she had a sewing machine that a dear friend gave her and found out that it is a Singer Featherweight! JOY! JOY! So, since her birthday is coming up, I cut the pieces she would need to start a quilt that I think will be easy enough to start on! i surely hope so. The hours of piecing and visualizing is very therapeutic and hopefully she find the joy in having a bit of a hobby!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ready for Christmas! Note to self: make new placements for Christmas next year--maybe with matching napkins and a matching runner.

Quite a change from the Christmas Card Chaos from yesterday!

Ohio Star for Joanie, a girl who is a senior in high school. Her family just had a house fire, and because of the location of the fire, she is the one who lost everything. This is being done through the Sunshine Quilt Yahoo Group to go into a quilt for her. Thanks Carol for the opportunity, I enjoyed doing the block. I've been doing so many strings that this was a pleasant change. See also http://giraffedream s.blogspot. com

Monday, December 22, 2008


Ignorance and Want- The Children of Manunkind

Symbolically representative of social injustice and poverty Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" successfully published on December 19, 1843 deals extensively with the miserable relationship between the two children, Ignorance and Want, introduced by the Spirit of Christmas Present, their cause and effect.

Written in the aftermath of the British governments change to its welfare system known as the `Poor Laws' which required welfare applicants work on treadmills (prison grind wheels) and workhouses (precursors of modern sweat shops) the `carol' is as stirringly relevant today as it was in the 19th Century.

From the foldings of its robe, the Spirit of Christmas Present brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment. These wretched looking children; a boy Ignorance & girl Want, frighten Scrooge. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. He inquires "Spirit! Are they yours?" "They are Man's" is the answer, the product of society's / Scrooge's greed, selfishness and callous attitude; that if the poor prefer to die than go to prisons & workhouses "they had better do it and decrease the surplus population." The ballad warns "Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!' cried the Spirit", underscoring the book's social message and society's "especially harmful" general ignorance still allows the rich to become richer while the poor starve, leading to "two alternatives: rebellion or poor relief."

Scrooge offends the Ghost of Christmas Present by suggesting that the Spirit's name is linked to a recent attempt to close bakers' shops on Sundays and Christmas Day. Poor people like the Cratchits, who had no oven at home, took their Sunday and Christmas meals to the bakers' to be roasted just as Dickens describes in the book, because the law forbade bread to be baked on that day.. Closing the shops would deprive them of what might be their only hot meat meal of the week. The Spirit of Christmas Present angrily retorts:

"There are some upon this earth of yours....who lay claim to know us, and who do their deed of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and to all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us." (The Ghost of Christmas Present, A Christmas Carol, Stave Three)

This is in part, a reference to the repeated attempts during the 1830s of Sir Andrew Agnew, Member of Parliament for Wigtownshire, to introduce a Sunday Observance Bill in Parliament which would have closed the bakeries and restricted many other Sunday pleasures of the poorer classes. Dickens was vociferously opposed to Agnew's plans and had attacked them in a pamphlet published under a pseudonym.

Scrooges / financiers / prosperous money changers devoted to the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others continue with modern business, resulting in the ongoing downtrodden indifference towards the world's symbolic Cratchits.

It seems no different today - Failure to do so, the writer implies through the personification of Ignorance and Want as these ghastly children, will result in an unnamed "Doom" for those who, like Scrooge, believe their wealth, education and status qualifies them to sit in judgment on the poor rather than to assist them.

Each year the story renews its timely importance- unfortunately, it is only remembered at a time of year when the mans name is given as part of the title whose story is fainly remembered for a holiday even as people brazenly continue to hide their doings and charge not themselves.. . The message the author sought to impart has been missed in ignorance and want just as easily as the man whose name the title represents- `Do to another as you would have them do to you' even if you were in their robes…

It is a purpose of the WUF for all the children of mankind to "Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."

May Ignorance and Want be put to bed where visions of Food, Clothing Shelter, Education and Good health all dance in their head and can live on in their heart.

As the sickly Tiny Tim Cratchit said, God bless us, everyone… which includes those who sign and those who don't sign the WUF Declaration… It is important to remember, Scrooge did Not die in the end nor did Tiny Tim. After all, are we not all in the caring robes of Christmas Present? (thanks to John Roh for this information)

I don't know how I do it, but I seem to thrive in chaos! This is a picture of my dining table filled with Christmas cards ready to mail and some yet to mail. Our trip last week to Phoenix really put a crimp in our Christmas preparations. I'm not one to save the cards I purchased and mail them next year. No, not me, I'll mail out a Merry Christmas greeting a little late and just keep smilin'. That way people wonder what I'm up to. And, maybe, just maybe my mess will be cleaned up. ....Then to some baking--one can only hope.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

66 Years ago my mother and father were wed in an army post in Glendale, AZ. Hardly a year goes by that I don't remember that anniversary as it brought the bonds that allowed me to enter this world. As I've grown and moved far away from the teachings I received as a youth, I've caused much turmoil to my dear mom. (My father passed in 1993). The picture at the right was taken several years ago at Mom's 80th birthday. My brother Steven is not included in the picture because of his passing in 1991. December has lots of dates of remembrance for me. I contemplate a lot during this month. I'm so glad for the experiences that have led me to be where I am now.

My only desire was to find the Truth and as I did that, I had to move away from the teachings that I was always taught were the truth. Each human being has within the ability to common sense and with that common sense find the balance that leads to true happiness. I've found mine and only hope that my dear mom, can some day find within herself to find the peace about my search.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hooray! The split nine patch is now ready for binding. Quilter Bridget did one set of four and I did the rest. It looks so bright. I have one set of brights in the split now and I'm saving it until I get more brights to work with it. I couldn't wait to try our new camera and take some pictures of this and get them up.

Bright Blue Strings and such a bright backing. I'm always so excited when Judy comes with the quilts she's quilted. I had even forgotten I'd sent this one. I just love it. You can click on it and see the quilting that is done in blue. I'm going to bind it in red. Hopefully tomorrow.

What a bargain! I got some border fabric for 2.99 a yard and I bought 2 yards. I made enough strings for two quilts like this. This is the first one finished and ready to go to the quilter. The other still needs the border. I love the jewel tone colors and can hardly wait to get it completed.

Yellow Brick Road in Turquoise and Purple is ready to go to the Family Connections Center.