Spring Ahead, Fall Behind

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spring ahead4  The days may still be warm, but this time of year still signals the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Leaves have started to turn, and days are significantly shorter. Soon we’ll engage in the ritual of turning back the clock to try to capture more daylight in our waking hours.

The quilt block, Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, caught my attention a few months ago and almost immediately the idea of taking from one to give to another reminded me of our attempts to manage daylight through changing the clock each fall and spring. I assembled twelve blocks and pondered what to do next. I realized I had inadvertently created the twelve months of the year. I wanted to enhance the center circle in each, and thought about the variation in light throughout the day.

The result is Spring Ahead, Fall Behind. You can “read” the quilt (a smallish wall hanging, actually) a few different ways. The left-hand column is fall, followed by winter, then spring, with the right-hand column as summer. You can also “read” it by rows, with the top as day, the middle as noon, and the bottom as evening. Putting these two readings together and you may see the change of light throughout the days of each season. And of course you can just stand back and take in the entire piece, letting the world spin.

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Cloning a Cookbook

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Although I’ve never considered myself much of a cook, and I certainly never was attracted to kitchen work in my youth, my mother’s cookbook held some kind of spell over me. It was one of the large Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks with a red and white plaid cover. I viewed it as something of a relic; it was well-worn and falling apart, in spite of my rarely seeing my mother use it much. I suspect most of its wear occurred early on in her homemaker days. By the time I remember her cooking she seemed like a walking encyclopedia of kitchen skills.

I was so charmed by Mom’s cookbook I wanted to inherit it, which I told her from time to time. I don’t remember seeing it again after I moved away, had my own family, and learned sufficient cooking skills.

Shortly after I married I acquired my own comprehensive cookbook, purchased with green stamps (which were a gift from my mother who had diligently saved them to give to me). After years of use this cookbook now reminds me of that well-loved tome from my past.

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Dogs, and Cats, and Monkeys: Oh my!

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In addition to my love of quilting I am also quite fond of animals. This applies to all animals in general, but is especially true for dogs and cats. In fact, for a brief time, when I was around 10-12 years old, I aspired to be a veterinarian. Now from time to time I enjoy sewing or quilting with animal prints or patterns.

Here is a baby quilt I called Who Let the Dogs Out, made for a coworker who also likes dogs. I fussy-cut the fabric as much as possible, trying to be sure that one of each dog was prominently featured in each block. The rest of the quilt was built around the dog blocks, with the intention of framing (and fencing) the lively canines.

Baby quilt

Who Let the Dogs Out

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Dog with lace collar

This next quilt, simply called Doggies, was made for my granddaughter, also a dog lover. I used a store-bought pattern, but changed the color scheme to her favorites, and used scraps of lace and ribbons for the collars rather than the fabric originally called for.IMG_0663

And here are two pillowcases, one featuring cats, the other monkeys. Ghislaine, the most prolific member of my quilting group, taught me how to make these pillowcases that cleverly enclose the contrast strip into the end edge for a smooth inside finish.

Cat pillowcase

Cat pillowcase

monkey pc angle

Monkey pillowcase

Working with these prints and patterns puts a smile on my face; and maybe I’m caring for animals in some way after all!