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Turkey and Quilts

1 Oct

Happy October First!  The Morning Glories were glorious indeed this morning.  There were more than 45 blooms.  Perhaps they sense their time is just about up?

Jay went turkey hunting this first morning of the season and returned with a nice hen he met on the edge of the cornfield.

Hawthorne was very excited by the arrival of the bird.


Ellie and I went to the perennial county quilt show.  There were about 10 Civil War era quilts on display there from the county history museum which were made in this county.  Here are two:

This was made by a member of the Treman family of Trumansburg.  Lots pf striped fabrics. 

Incredibly beautiful.  And below, a silk quilt, perhaps made by Quakers since it is backed with the same drab brown cotton they used to line their silk dresses.

The docent from the museum who shared a bit about these quilts said that the silk in this quilt came from Paris and was of higher quality than Victorian era silks and thus had not shattered.  I asked what the difference in the silks was.

It seems that silk from China was sold on a weight per pound basis and to make the fabric weigh more the element lead was added during processing.  It also gave the silk the nice weight and rustle when used in dresses. The lead, though, also caused the premature decay (shatter) of the silk itself.

French silk, on the other hand, contains no lead.  It also does not rustle.  It shsh’s.

Snow and Sew

25 Mar

Since it has been snowing I have been sewing.  All the circles for the big quilt are done.  Now must cut out the interstitial pieces and join them together.  Pounce was too lazy to move and so is helping in a quick display:

Something starting with H found the carcass of the grouse that was not-too-successfully hidden under the tens of bushels large raked pile of chaff from the lawn and threw it around until finding some other smell more interesting.  It is up high in wild cherry tree branches now, like an Indian burial.  Except the crows may find it there.

This morning the gray-green background of hills covered with pines and cloud below, a bright mild face of spring sun peeping from her gray cloud scarves above served as backdrop and illumination for the dropping air dance of a host of shining snow sparkles.  A happy dog ran back and forth in the diamond shimmers; dead brown remains numerous small markers of last summer poked up from the white and crystal speckled snow.  How is it that such simple sights enlarge my heart to bursting for their beauty?

Piecing tips and flying squirrel

22 Feb

For those of you not busy with trigonometry or learning Chinese, those of you who like me are inside at 9AM on a sunny morning waiting for the temp to rise to the double digits before walking the dog, I found a quicker way to make the curved pieces for the new quilt squares that are like unto a double wedding ring.  The whole idea came from the lady who writes comfortstitching.  she calls this a pickle dish pattern.  But it is not, really.  More on that later.

Her directions have you piece widthwise cut trapezoids onto the curved paper.  I am not very good at it, as you can see.  This morning I discovered it is much easier for me to sew nine pieces together and then pin the pattern (I cut mine from newspaper ads that came to our home by mistake) on the pressed section and cut.

By 9AM I had cut trapezoids from several new colors and sewn and cut the next eight curves for the next block.  Without having to piece little bits here and there to make up for edges that did not meet.

Oh, and played with the visiting flying squirrel. Didn’t you know?  We offer some of the finest flying squirrel accommodations in town.  This is Rocky.  You remember him as a baby last fall, right?


Nova Mutum hectares and 20-inch square

21 Feb

In the area of Nova Mutum, Mato Grosso, Brazil it about 90 degrees F.  Relatives are on an agricultural tour down there now.  Here?  In the single digits.  There they are harvesting thousands of hectares of soybeans as fast as possible after the daily rains.  Corn planters come right behind.  Here?  I tied a piece of clothesline onto one of Hawthorne’s toys this morning so we wouldn’t have to walk so far in the six to eight inches of new snow we’ve had the past two days.  I threw it and we played tug-o-war.  He got exhausted by the time we had covered 1/10th of our usual round.

A neighbor’s home burned down yesterday.  No one has lived in the home for several months.  But still is quite sad.

And this is what I finished today, the first of quite a few, I hope:

Tracks, Bread, Squares, Sonnet

17 Feb

Yesterday Hawthorne and I both could walk a few feet on some areas of the snow crust.  Not this morning.  He could walk, gingerly, but attempts to run were quickly abandoned after his hind end dropped through up to his belly.  Me?  I mostly high-stepped it until we reached the snowmobile trail.  Which was at the end of the walk since I reversed yesterday’s course. A couple deer have followed that snowmobile track, too.  A coyote has crossed the alfalfa waste back and forth.  What was funny were the crow tracks that followed my mostly wind-blown snow hidden yesterday trail through the field; I think they were searching for evidence of rodent activity.  Yesterday there were small rodent, squirrel, and rabbit tracks coming out from the hedgerows into the fields or woods. Oh, and this from Monday:  Some small bird was harvested by a bigger bird.  An owl?  A hawk?  I picked up a wing feather (4.5 inches, gray with white edge) and two smaller breast feathers (gray with reddish brown edge) wondering if i could figure out what kind of bird was eaten.  It is already in the mid-40’sF now.  woo-hoo!

Photos for Kirsty of the bread that is similar, but still not as good as hers.  It crackles as it cools.  It has a wonderful crust.  But still a bit damp inside.

Finally: all caught up and on-time with the Civil War Quilt Squares:

Seven sisters and Log Cabin.

And lastly, but not least, this poem by CS Lewis that I have been thinking of with regard to events in my life and around the world:


Dieu a etabli la oriere pour communiquer a ses creatures la dignite de la causalite. –PASCAL

The Bible says Sennacherib’s campaign was spoiled

By angels: in Herodotus it says, by mice–

Innumerably nibbling all one night they toiled

To eat his bowstrings piecemeal as warm wind eats ice.


But muscular archangels, I suggest, employed

Seven little jaws at labour on each slender string,

And by their aid, weak masters though they be, destroyed

The smiling-lipped Assyrian, cruel-bearded king.


No stranger that onmipotence should choose to need

Small helps than great–no stranger if His action lingers

Till men have prayed, and suffers their weak prayers indeed

To move as very muscles His delaying fingers,


Who, in His longanimity and love for our

Small dignities, enfeebles, for a time, His power.

C.S. Lewis

Thirty Fewer, and Four More

15 Feb

It was more than thirty fewer degrees cooler this morning than yesterday. That made it about 10F when I went for a walk at 8AM.  Add a few new inches of powdery snow; pushing through powder is not bad at all, if one can stay on the packed trail. Sunny and bright.

The squares below are called, from upper left, clockwise: “Catch Me If You Can”, “Richmond”, “Texas Tears” and “North Star”.

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