This morning downy woodpeckers visit the suet feeder as a gentle snow falls. Flakes land on surfaces with their shapes visible. They remind me of Mary Azarian's woodcut illustrations in the nonfiction picture book, Snowflake Bentley. Jacqueline B. Martin tells the story of Wilson Bentley born in 1865 in Vermont. He was a curious boy with a passion for snow and photography. I hoped to post a photo of the book but in the time my computer takes to download one more image I could knit the rest of this sock.
When last I posted about Norah's Christmas Quilt, twenty embroidery and applique blocks were finished but set aside for the holidays. Recently I squared them up. Having learned a lesson from Jonah's quilt, I cut these blocks large enough to allow for trimming to a uniform size. My hand applique and embroidery sometimes skews the fabric a bit. In the last few days, I cut the pieces to frame the squares. Once upon a time I collected fabric to make a redwork quilt. I don't know if quilters make redwork quilts anymore but reds and whites seem to be just right for this little girl. Some fabrics are scraps from other projects, some are fat quarters, and I had two half-yard pieces so I knew the setting would be scrappy.
I made a practice square to decide on the width for border strips. Saturday I cut the narrower strips from fabrics with white backgrounds. During yesterday's bitter cold, I created a layout for the blocks, arranging the first borders around them. Next I played with red fabrics, moving them around until I was satisfied with their placement. Then I took a deep breath and started pressing and cutting. Wonder of wonders I had enough red fabric for the outer strips. Today or tomorrow I will start sewing strips to the blocks. I hope I didn't make too many mistakes because I have very little fabric leftover.
After I sew these pieces onto the blocks, I'll square them up again. The squaring up process reminds me of trimming bangs on Saturday evening - a little here and a little there - taking care not to do too much trimming. I plan to shop for some green fabric for binding and a large border around the outer edges. Hopefully one fabric will frame and tame the scrappy blocks. The reds are older fabrics so I don't think I could match them. I also need backing fabric but won't buy that until I know the final quilt dimensions. Other than motif patterns, I don't have a pattern. This is my fifth Christmas quilt and they are all set together differently.
I am listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama and it is a treat. The library must have purchased extra copies because I was #70 on the hold list and then a month later notified I could borrow it. I am enjoying learning about her early, less public years, growing up in a strong family and community. She is honest and forthright about all kinds of ideas including education, racism, sexism, marriage, and women's friendships. She nails the dilemmas of professional working mothers. She wrote her views with empathy, thoughtfulness, and a witty sense of humor. This autobiography would be an excellent gift for any older teen or young woman. I also read the hard copy of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson for our book group discussion this month. A few years ago, I listened to the audio version. I must have been quite engrossed in my knitting or cleaning or cooking because I don't recall subtle references and wording that makes it such a good novel.
If Google allows, I plan to link with Kat and the Unravelers. My unraveling today comes from an old computer and changes Google is making to their accounts. Although I've read the FAQ's, I'm not sure I understand the information. I believe the commenting feature, as well as some other widgets will be affected. I may have to enlist tech support and then find a new home for this blog. I'm sure my age is showing but I wonder why computer technology has to be constantly updated. Most often this occurs after I have finally figured it out. Ok, enough of a rant. Back to the quilt blocks on the floor near my sewing machine, technology I understand well.
May your technology be speedy while the snow falls gently on your shoulders.