Poor California. It is a mess. Currently there are ten large fires burning up and down the state with approximately 400,000 acres are involved. It is horrible. Smoke fills the air and ash rains down everywhere. (If you want to see more details, here is a good source of information.) Yesterday and today have been horrible as far as air quality goes. It was a stay-inside-kind-of-weekend. The photo above shows the pasture next door to us and was taken by Julia this afternoon.
Doesn’t take much to guess what I did. Played with fabric, sewed, cooked, and read. It was only logical. What else is there?
Let’s take things in order, shall we? Saturday morning Julia had to be at a meeting at the library for an hour so I had a time to check out a few books. Here is the reading list for the next little while.
I am already half way through The Distinguished Guest, by Sue Miller. It is an excellent book. Sometimes Sue Miller’s books are a little dark for me but I am really enjoying this one. The two Kaffe Fassett books are solely to drool over. I have finished drooling over his Quilts in the Sun book and yet to begin salivating over Country Garden Quilts. The book by Lee Cleland, Quilting Makes the Quilt, is amazing. The quilting shown in this book is far beyond my skill level but the process she used in creating this (older) book is amazing. In order to show how much the quilting defines the quilt, Cleland, an Australian quilter, decided she would make five sets of twelve traditional quilts, each exactly the same. So, twelve quilts – five of each of them! Sixty quilts in a two year period. It exhausts me to even write about it. She took each of the quilts and quilted them, one different from the next. It is really helpful in seeing how the different choices of quilting motifs would set off the piecing and secondary patterns on each quilt. She is brilliant. While this book is a great one to thumb through, it is beyond me at this point. She does include the patterns for each of the twelve quilts in the book. The two cookbooks are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The French Laundry Cookbook, by Thomas Keller, is just for grins. I don’t cook like that and as a result, we don’t eat like that. But it makes a person hungry to thumb through it! However the Light & Healthy Cookbook (from America’s Test Kitchen) is how I cook and eat. Last night I made the Turkey, Lime and Tequila Chili and it was excellent. Finally, I grabbed the biography of Mary Cassatt because she is one of my favorite impressionist artists. I have seen a number of her paintings at different exhibits and there is a tiny print of one that hangs in my sewing space, making me happy each time I see it. I’m looking forward to reading more about her.
Ok, moving forward. Playing with fabric took some of my time yesterday. I recently ordered some Michael Miller solids to use in the Michael Miller Challenge, sponsored by Modern Quilt Guild. I have a few ideas brewing but luckily this project isn’t due until November so I have some time. At least I have the fabrics ready to go.
I ordered the solids from Hawthorne Threads and while I was on their site, I also ordered a scrap bag. I love these. It is an inexpensive way to add a few pieces to the scrap bin (because I really, really don’t have enough scrap.) Most of the pieces I received are wonderful. Here is a sampling of them (a few have already been cut into so aren’t included here.)
I did receive one piece that I know I will not use. I haven’t ever watched Downton Abbey so I have no affinity for this fabric.
Does it speak to any of you? It has a little Christmas holly on it. The piece measures out at 16″ wide, so just under 1/2 yard. If anyone thinks they would like to use it, leave me a comment and I will happily send it to you. If more than one person asks for it, I will just choose a name randomly. Hope someone can use this so it doesn’t just live sadly on my shelf. Claim it as yours!
Finally, I did accomplish some sewing. Check out these orange Dutchman’s Puzzle blocks. They will be the orange row for September on my Classic Stitches BOM project. These blocks are so bright – they will add a good splash of color to the quilt. Hoping to finish these up this week.
That is my weekend in a nutshell. A lot of nutshells actually. This post just got longer and longer! 🙂 Hoping for the air to clear and feeling eternally grateful for the nearly 10,000 firefighters that are battling active fires in California right now.