Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Aunt Jane of Kentucky "Mary Andrews' Dinner-Party" and Steps to the Altar Quilt Block


In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can get it from Amazon.com here.  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

This book consists of nine short stories.  Each story is told by Aunt Jane in a humorous way that is full of wisdom.  The eighth story in the book is called "Mary Andrews' Dinner-Party" and is fifty-four pages long.  It's about not truly knowing what a person is like until after you marry them.  Sometimes the person is who you think they are, but sometimes they are not.  Mary Andrews' husband Harvey turns out to be very stingy and miserly to his wife and family but does a good job of hiding that fact from the neighbors (and from Mary before their marriage).

If you'd like to make the Steps to the Altar quilt block shown above to represent this story, I found the pattern in Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt by Laurie Aaron Herd.  Very similar patterns can be found free online here and here.

In December, the book selection for the Quilters' Book Club is The Christmas Quilt: an Elm Creek Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It's realistic fiction set in Pennsylvania and perfect for this time of year!  Get it now from your library or local bookstore and join us in reading and discussing this book.

After reading about what was in Harvey's old cabin, I was reminded of the show on TV about hoarders!  When it comes to material possessions, are you more of a "saver" or more of a "tosser"?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please reply in the comments sections below for a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's just-released book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, courtesy of Plume Books.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. 


You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here    

Thanksgiving and Presidential Proclamations and Pardons

Home Circle Quilt Block
A portion of Abraham Lincoln's proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863:

"The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. . .

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.  They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.  It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. VI, Roy P. Basler, ed., Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1953

And an unusual Presidential pardon!



As is customary, the President of the United States is expected to pardon a turkey on the eve of Thanksgiving at a White House ceremony.  The tradition dates back to Harry Truman, but George H. W. Bush made the tradition permanent in 1989.  The turkeys are raised in the same way as other turkeys but are selected at birth for pardoning and are trained to handle loud noises, flash photography and large crowds.  This year’s turkey and its back-up, Caramel and Popcorn, were raised by John Burkel near Badger, Minnesota.  If you hurry, you can still vote for which one of them becomes the “official” pardoned turkey.  Click here for more information:  http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/26/one-of-these-turkeys-is-going-to-die-and-you-get-to-choose/

Who would you vote for, Caramel or Popcorn?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comment section below.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Sawtooth Quilt Block and What's on Your Nightstand? 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sawtooth Quilt Block and What's on Your Nightstand?


I'm participating in the monthly feature, What's on Your Nightstand?  Participants post what they've been reading the past month as well as what they're planning to read in the future.

Baby Board Books:

 
Can you see my sweet 6-month-old grandson's hands holding the book with his mama?  It's best to start reading to children EARLY ON, and I'm so happy that my son and daughter-in-law are doing just that!

Picture Books:

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head by Kathryn Lasky
Historical fiction set in Massachusetts (1896)

Historical fiction about the beginning of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.  Feathers on ladies' hats were becoming more and more popular. Harriet Hemenway and her cousin Minna Hall believed something had to be done. Fashion was killing birds as well as women's chances to have the right to vote and be listened to. For who would listen to a woman with a dead bird on her head? And if the senseless slaughter for a silly fashion was not stopped, in a few years the birds with the prettiest feathers would all be dead, gone forever, extinct.  "Why not form a bird club?" suggested Harriet.

"What a wonderful idea," said Minna. "Let's do it. Let's start a club for the birds!"

Middle Grade Novels:

Al Capone Does My Shirts: a Tale from Alcatraz by Gennifer Choldenko, 2004
A Newbery Honor book - Historical Fiction set in 1935 on Alcatraz Island


I really enjoyed this book, the first in a series of three.  A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there.  The island was home to such notorious criminals as Machine Gun Kelly and Al Capone.  Moose has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister, Natalie.
The author volunteered at Alcatraz for a year to gain background for writing the book.  She also has a sister with autism.  It's good to pair it with Rules, also about a sibling with autism.    

There's a fun cookbook called the Alcatraz Women's Club Cookbook which can be read free online here.   The author has a wonderful website here


Rules by Cynthia Lord
Realistic Fiction, Newbery Honor Medal 2007
 
“Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules — from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public" — in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?” - scholastic.com  My 5th graders are really enjoying this, and I would highly recommend this book.  It was the author's first novel and won a Newbery Honor Medal.  She has a son with autism, so she truly understands what Catherine is feeling.

A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home by Henry Cole
A mix of Fantasy and Historical Fiction set near New Orleans, Louisiana in 1821

This story is told through the eyes of Celeste, a mouse who spends her days weaving baskets.  She becomes friends with Joseph, the young apprentice of ornithologist and bird painter, John James Audubon.  A mix of fantasy and historical fiction, the book is illustrated with lovely brown pencil drawings.  It takes place at Oakley Plantation, not far from New Orleans, Louisiana.  In 1821, Audubon actually lived for about four months at Oakley Plantation.  More information about Audubon is provided at the end of the book.  I would read this with the picture book, She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head! by Kathryn Lasky above.

Book Club Books:

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood for the NRP Backseat Book Club.  This selection was for July before I discovered this book club. 
Historical Fiction set in Hanging Moss, Mississippi in June, 1964


Matilda by Roald Dahl, also for NPR's Backseat Book Club.
Fantasy set in England

I'm not a huge Roald Dahl fan, but I do enjoy his book, The BFG.  I'm listening to this book, though, and am enjoying parts of it.   


The Light Between Oceans by H. L. Stedman for my local book club.  You can read about it here.
Historical Fiction set in a remote island off the coast of Australia from 1918-1950

I really enjoyed this book.  There is lots here for discussion, so I highly recommend it to book clubs.  Much moral dilemma with no easy answers.   








 
Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall for the on-line Quilters' Book Club. 

In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  This book consists of nine short stories.  Each story is told by Aunt Jane in a humorous way that is full of wisdom.  If you are interested in checking it out, get it from Amazon.com here if you have a Kindle or a Kindle app.  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

This has been a different sort of book for our club, but each story is short so is a good read for this busy time of year.

Cookbooks:
 
If you're a Mitford fan, this is a wonderful accompaniment to the series!

Audio Books:
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908
I think everyone should read this book at least once.  I've read it several times!
Fiction set in Prince Edward Island, Canada

"Elderly bachelor Matthew Cuthbert and his spinster sister, Marilla Cuthbert, are in need of a nice, sturdy boy to help Matthew on the farm. So they decide to adopt an orphan. But the orphanage mistakenly sends a girl instead – a mischievous, talkative redhead who would be of no use at all. She would simply have to go back. But the longer Anne Shirley stays at Green Gables, the more no one can imagine living without her."
 

What's on your nightstand?  Inquiring minds want to know! 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Country Path Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday

Country Path Quilt Block
 
We Gather Together
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to His name:
He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side,
All glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation:
Thy name be ever praised!
O Lord, make us free!

by Adrianus Valerius, 1597

Our views on the way to church this morning:
 



 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November Redwork Birdie Stitches

 
This block is part of the Birdie Stitches Block of the Month by Little Miss Shabby available free online here.  When I saw it, I knew it was the perfect project for me.  Instead of using several colors of embroidery thread, I chose to use just No. 8 perle cotton in red.  I have done redwork on a single layer of fabric, and the knots show through from the back. I've tried backing the fabric with very lightweight iron-on interfacing, but the interfacing wrinkled. This time I used a double layer of the Kona cotton. I ironed the layers together and used an embroidery hoop. I didn't baste the two layers together, but it has not been a problem. I've been very pleased with the results so far.
 
T for time to be together,
     turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
H for harvest stored away,
     home, and hearth, and holiday.
A for autumn’s frosty art,
     and abundance in the heart.
N for neighbors, and November,
     nice things, new things to remember.
K for kitchen, kettles’ croon,
     kith and kin expected soon.
S for sizzles, sights, and
     and something special that abounds.
 
That spells THANKS - for joy in living
     and a jolly good Thanksgiving.
 
by Aileen Fisher
 
Who will you be spending Thanksgiving with?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comment section below. 
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Aunt Jane of Kentucky "How Sam Amos Rode in the Tournament" and Grape Basket Quilt Block


In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can get it from Amazon.com here.  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

This book consists of nine short stories.  Each story is told by Aunt Jane in a humorous way that is full of wisdom.  The seventh story in the book is called "How Sam Amos Rode in the Tournament" and is only twenty-four pages long.
It's about Aunt Jane's memories of going to the Warren County fair and is an enjoyable, quick read.  If you'd like to make the Grape Basket quilt block to represent this short story, you can find the pattern here.

 
This Corn and Beans quilt block would be another fun one to make to represent this story about the county fair.  You can find the pattern here.

I looked up more about Goshen in Warren County:  "The Goshen District of Warren County in 1880 ran from the southern edge of Bowling Green all the way to the Allen County line. It was on the southern side of Barren River. Today that area is the Alvaton and Green Hill communities." source

I also found out some information about the author, Eliza Calvert Hall.  She used a pen name, a combination of her own maiden name and her grandmother's maiden name.  Her real name was Eliza Caroline Calvert Obenchain, but she went by the nickname of "Lida" all her life.  She was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1856 and died in Texas in 1935.  In addition to being a writer, she was also a women's rights advocate and suffragist.  She attended Western Female Seminary in Oxford, Ohio and later married the president of Ogden College, Major William Alexander Obenchain.  They had four children. 

In December, the book selection for the Quilters' Book Club is The Christmas Quilt: an Elm Creek Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It's realistic fiction set in Pennsylvania and perfect for this time of year!  Get it now from your library or local bookstore and join us in reading and discussing this book. 

If you wrote a book, would you use your own name or a pen name.  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please reply in the comments sections below for a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's just-released book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, courtesy of Plume Books.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. 


You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Storm Signal Quilt Block and a Snow Day


 
At 5:40 A.M., I received a phone call, letting me know that we're having a Snow Day today!  It's really more of an Ice Day.  We don't have so much snow, but there is a lot of ice on the roads, making traveling treacherous.  This was the poem my students read yesterday!   
 
Snow Day
Snow day,
Ten-below day,
Bundle-up-and-go day.
Pile three deep
On the old wooden sled,
Snow-crusted jackets,
Cheeks frozen red.
Scrunch, crunch, scrunch,
Boots punch holes in snow.
From three small balls,
Watch a snowman grow.
Cocoa sipping,
Cookie dipping,
One free night
Of homework skipping.
A friend’s toboggan
Is ours to borrow –
Please let there be
No school tomorrow!

by Carol H. Stewart
 
So instead of my morning being spent here:
 
 
I am spending it here binding a quilt,
 

making Cheese Soup,


seeing snowy views out the window,
 
 
 
 
and remembering this:
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snowball Quilt Block and Snow Icing!

 

 
 
Winter Linens

Just water
solid water
just water frozen white

clinging to every leaf and chunk of gravel
lying along every twig and wire
mounding over every stump and silent ball

and in the dawning light
this water frozen white
glows cold and comfort both

as if to step out and lie down in it
to sink into the layer that lines the slope of the slide
would be a copy coming home to bed.
                                     
Heidi Mordhorst

Does it snow where you live?  Inquiring minds want to know! Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comment section below.
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Aunt Jane of Kentucky "The Baptising at Kittle Creek" and Honey's Choice Quilt Block


In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can get it from Amazon.com here.  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

This book consists of nine short stories.  Each story is told by Aunt Jane in a humorous way that is full of wisdom.  The sixth short story is called "The Baptising at Kittle Creek" and is only 28 pages long.  This story is about conflict over religion in marriage and how a husband and wife resolve the differences between them.  You'll have to read the story to see if a staunch Presbyterian accidently got baptisted as a Baptist!

If you'd like to make a quilt block to represent this portion of Aunt Jane of Kentucky, why not make the Honey's Choice block shown above?  You can find the pattern here.

******We have three more winners for the give-away of the book Secret Santa, which includes a short story called "The Yellow Rose of Christmas" by Marie Bostwick - a favorite author of our book club.  The winners are: Candy Soehren, Farm Quilter, and starandme.  Congratulations to all of you!  Please send your mailing address to starwoodquilter@gmail.com, and I will get your free book right out to you!  Many thanks to Kensington Books for this wonderful give-away!****** 

In December, the book selection for the Quilters' Book Club is The Christmas Quilt: an Elm Creek Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It's realistic fiction set in Pennsylvania and perfect for this time of year!  Get it now from your library or local bookstore and join us in reading and discussing this book. 

Aunt Jane is always knitting as she tells her stories.  Do you enjoy knitting or some other craft besides quilting?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please reply in the comments sections below for a chance to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's just-released book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, courtesy of Plume Books.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Starry Pines Quilt Block and Walking Wednesdays

 
 

Welcome to Walking Wednesdays and my walks taken during the past two weeks around my neighborhood.  Even though we've had some beautiful fall weather, you can tell we're heading towards winter.

Naughtumn
The trees are bare.
The birds have flown.
What’s going to grow
This year has grown.
The leaves fall down
And then get burned,

As autumn slowly gets winturned.
    
by Douglas Florian


 
The rose hips are still on the wild rose bushes, but the branches are bare.
 
 
The aspen trees have lost their leaves.
 

The leaves of the Scrub Oak trees have all turned brown,
 
 and many of the leaves have fallen off the trees.
 
 
This Scrub Oak leaf clings tenaciously to its branch!
 
 It's wonderful to see the evergreens amid all the brown!
 
 
Berries of the Rocky Mountain Juniper 
 
 
with its reddish-brown, shreddy bark
 
Ponderosa Pine needles
 
Douglas Fir with pinecones
 
Are you heading towards winter where you live or are you still in the middle of autumn?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comment section below. 
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.