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Thursday, October 31, 2019

Trick or Treat Blog Hop

Welcome to Jo's annual Halloween blog hop!  You are all here for a letter, and it is:

Image result for halloween letter A image

Now onto the stitchy goodness! I've already posted about Millicent, and since then I finished another #stitch9challenge project -- Prairie Schooler's witch from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue:
(I think I'll add a border to match similar ornaments, however.)

An Autumn cat for my mom, from Just Cross Stitch's September/October issue:

Satsuma Street's Cat-o-Lantern for me:

And another cat for me, not yet finished, by Durene Jones (from last year's Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue):
The stitches are supposed to be black, but when I opened one of my thread boxes and spied this thread (Valdani's Quiet Fall), I had to use it right away.

Hop on over to the next blog, A Patchwork of Crafts, for the next letter. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Pine Hollow Weeks 3 and 5

Medium trees:

Large tree:

Just have to sew them together! And make the backing, and quilt it, and bind it, and add hanging tabs ...

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Change of Pace

I've been doing lots of patchwork and cross stitching this year because of the SALs and QALs I joined, but my fingers were itching for some embroidery.  Last winter I had a vision of a charcoal sweater with dark purple and blue embroidery so that was the solution:

I used water soluble stabilizer, and had fun with the woven and whipped spider webs (and a few daisies and french knots for good measure).

I need to embellish more of my clothing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pine Hollow

I joined another quilt-along because apparently I wasn't busy enough. Amy of Diary of a Quilter is running the Patchwork Forest Quilt-Along based on her Pine Hollow pattern. The second week's task was making the small pine trees:
I'm making a wall-hanging (somehow, I don't have a Christmas-themed one), so I only needed 11. I'm using the green and aqua prints from a fat-quarter Christmas-themed collection I picked up ages ago, along with a white snowflake fabric. Part of me wishes the greens and aquas were brighter, but I like the low volume that results. Tomorrow there's no school because of Yom Kippur, so I'm looking forward to making the medium pine trees. That, and applesauce for the kids, and maybe a pie for me. Yum.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I've delayed writing about this book because I'm not sure what to say. Which is not a reflection on it -- The Goldfinch was an engaging, compelling read. It opens with an explosion at an art museum that kills 13-year-old Theo's mother; in the ensuing chaos, he witnesses the death of another patron, an elderly man who makes cryptic remarks about his work and life, gives Theo a signet ring, urges him to take a painting (the titular "Goldfinch") both had been captivated by, and tells him to find his business partner.

But this is not the start of some grand quest for Theo, involving centuries-old secrets and mysterious people; it's just the confusion and jumbled memories of a dying man. Instead the novel is about the power of art -- the way it captivates and transfigures people, the obsessions it can inspire, the greed and corruption is reveals. Theo's life is forever affected by the death of his mother, and the painting he effectively stole serves as the only thing connecting him to life. Tartt's depiction of his state of mind, the damage that can't ever be repaired, is thorough and heartbreaking. Her descriptions, too, of what art means to Theo, his mother, his mentor, even his criminally-minded best friend, are similarly affecting.

"A meditation on art and mortality" doesn't do it justice. I've been thinking about this novel for days after I finished it, a testament to Tartt's skills.