Thursday, February 22, 2007

Quilt Guild Night

I feel like the amazing bionic woman with my new glasses, although my husband is, I'm afraid, getting very bored with me saying, "Hey, I can see those trees (cars, people, houses, etc.) perfectly now!" Anyway, I will quit boring the daylights out of everybody and just say that it is really, really nice to be able to see clearly once more. I have the deepest sympathy for anyone who has problems with their eyesight; my sight is my most precious sense.

Coincidentally, my Amazon order arrived the day after my glasses. I bought myself a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. I had ordered it for a reread after seeing part of the movie on television. This was one of those books that we all read in junior high school (another was Gone With the Wind). The library copy was always hard to obtain, maybe because the book was so long, maybe because once someone started to read it, everyone else just had to read it too. We had a bit of herd mentality in junior high.

It's always interesting to reread a book after so long. So many things in it went right over my head as a rather naive thirteen year old! How could I have missed that one of the aunts worked in a condom factory? Did I even know what condoms were at that age? I can't remember. What makes this book so fascinating is that it tells what it was like to grow up in a tenement in Brooklyn, New York during the early part of the century. For the most part it is matter-of-fact and unsentimental. People were hungry. Money was scarce. The streets were mean. People did what they had to do in order to survive, but once in a while life could be sweet. Rereading this reminded me of Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt) and also The Dollmaker (Harriette Arnow). And for some reason, the Little House on the Prairie books. It's definitely worthwhile reading.

Tonight I'm headed off to quilt guild. I'm passing out part two of the mystery quilt directions and we're having a program on quilted postcards. I've seen so many of the postcards on various blogs, but I'm not sure what they are or how to make them. One of the presenters does them quite extensively I'm told, so it's sure to be an interesting meeting.

We are also starting a round robin tonight. This is our first (we are only about a year and a half old). Everyone who wants to participate is supposed to make a square, and then the squares will be exchanged and borders added to them. We are also supposed to include a journal so that those who work on the quilts will be able to communicate with each other.

This little star is only 8 inches, but I wanted something small because I'm probably going to end up hand quilting whatever I get and I don't want to have to spend the rest of my life on it. My inspiration fabric is the floral on the right. It was part of the fabric collection for last summer's shop hop. I helped out at the LQS and cut hundreds of fat quarters of this and the other fabric for the block kits. I didn't buy any more than this fat quarter, but I love the combination of reds, blues, and yellows in this. I'm not sure if we're supposed to add our own fabrics to the boxes with the blocks, but I had little scrips and scraps that I thought might go with it, so I'm putting those in.

I'm kind of excited to see what happens with this. We have some really experienced quilters in our guild along with a couple of newbies. All the results are going to be interesting, I'm sure.


Libby said...

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was one of my favorites growing up -- I even tried to read my way through the library just like Francie. I was surprised about the condom bit when I reread as an adult - so many things just go over our youthful heads *s* I'll have to find The Dollmaker - I've not read it, but the others you mention are books I greatly enjoyed. Have fun at guild tonight - love your little block.

gwen said...

That sounds like an interesting guild meeting. Beware of textile postcards. They make you addicted when you start! The center block of your round robin looks great. I bet you are very impatient to see the final results.Guess how I know!

Forgetmenot said...

I hadn't heard of 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' but it sounds good and I am putting it on my reading list. So glad you have fabby new glasses now - it must make such a difference. I hear refraction is something of an art, but that is little excuse. Happy quilting!

Pam said...

That will make for a very nice centre to build from for a round robin quilt. I love those colours.

I have never read "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" - but I have heard of the book, never seen the movie either. I wasn't one I read in school -- I had to read "Lord of the Flies" Which I really did not enjoy. I think I would have rather read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Esteemarlu said...

I enjoyed your post.I love reading books and might look for that one. Love that little star block it's so perfect looking.I almost bought the Doll Maker some time ago and now will for sure.I know what you mean about being able to see better when you have new glasses, I'm due for some myself.

Molly said...

I was dubious about our round robin last year, but it was so much fun, and people were so creative. I had been afraid I wouldn't like what others did to my block[control freak tendencies]but i was delighted. Good luck with it. I have never read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn but it's on my list for one of these days. Angela's Ashes is one of my favourite books and not only because it's set in my hometown....

meggie said...

I loved Angela's Ashes.
I love that little block of yours, love the colours.
Have fun at your Guild meeting.

Shelina said...

That's a pretty square. I'm sure you are going to get some good results.
I think I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as a child, on my own. I didn't understand why anyone would read a book about hard times - just too depressing. I don't remember much about it.
I did read Angela's Ashes, which I cried through and just loved. I might just have to look up Tree again.
I know I need my prescription changed on my glasses, but I've been resisting.