Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sunset! ->->-> Sunrise!

On the Columbia River
From Maryhill State Park--that is Mt. Hood in the far distance (in Oregon), the Biggs Bridge in the near distance. The Biggs Bridge crosses the Columbia between Washington and Oregon, but is currently closed for maintenance and upgrading necessitating a detour or altenate route for those traveling north and south in the central parts of both states.
That is Oregon on the other side--and that is a Great Blue Heron on the post in the river.
Visit Skywatch here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Quilter's ABC--O is for OLD Quilts

The ABCs week by week! What fun!
Mrs. Nesbitt started it.
It now continues with an anthology version and Mr. Linky.

O is for Old Quilt Tops.

You've already seen the quilt my Grandmother made me here in G is for Grandmother. Here are some other older pieces.


Clues in the Calico is the title of a book about fabric history. Longtime quilters can give a pretty good estimate of the age of a quilt from the fabrics as well as the block pattern, the quilting style, and the kind of batting used.


The fabrics in this quilt top peg it as probably from the 1930s or maybe early in the 1940s. Of course, a quilter might have saved bits and pieces from a number of years--from the good parts of worn clothing or from feed and flour sacks. Yes, feed sacks were very important sources in depression times. When it was time to stock up on flour again, a good wife might be very selective about which sack to purchase. She would want to gather several of the same design to make a dress.

The hexagon shapes were also popular in those times. They are less so now because they are nearly impossible to construct by machine, though many modern quilt addicts like to have one in the process to have along to work on while waiting for appointments or watching the kids' soccer game. This quilt top I purchased in an E-bay auction a few years ago is not the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden arrangement--one reason that I think it would have been made in the 40s.
This OLD quilt top may have been made by my grandmother or else one of my aunts. Why was it never finished? Good question. The block design is Shoo Fly--(A shoofly was a child's rocking chair.) but look how different it looks with a different contrast in that upper right hand block.
Shirtings were commonly used in the later part of the 19th century, but I don't think this top is that old.
Did Grandma make it? Or Aunt Betty? Or Aunt Bessy? This top was given to me by my cousin Patsy. As a child she had the privilege of watching Grandma at the quilting frame. She didn't know who had done this one--it probably was passed down to her from her parents.
My guess is one of the aunts. Can you see this lady not finishing something?

There are other clues that can help to date old quilts. I thought this one was done by my Grandmother, but I found a clue in the picture that makes me think it was Aunt Betty's work. Grandma did one for each son's wedding and for each of the grandchildren. This one was shared with me by my cousin Ruth and Betty was her mother.
Besides the late 40s fabrics, the embroidered autographs of family members help me date it as too late for Grandma to have made. Perhaps Aunt Betty made it for Ruth's wedding. The clue? Ruthie's autograph has her married name.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Odd Shots--Did I tell you about harvest?

This is the home of Odd Shots on Monday. Comment here to let others know you are in the game this week. I will add you to our blogroll. All the details can be found by clicking the Odd Shots Camera in my sidebar.

Harvest season is winding down in the Valley. There are still some grapes being picked and some apples, but most will be finished within the next couple of weeks. I may have mentioned here that some harvests run day and night. That is the case with the hops, and it made for an eerie image across the road from us.

We do have our view back--well, sort of. It is crossed over with the poles and wires of the hop trellis, but there is a mountain over there.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday in Monochrome

I scanned two photos from my Dad's album for Monochrome Monday. Originals--naturally--in the late 1920s monochrome was all there was. Since Dad is in these, they were obviously taken by his friend Ron. (Almost identical shots on the same page in the same setting are identified as Ron.)

These were taken in 1928 as Dad and Ron explored the construction of St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Pasadena, California. This was later my grandmother's (mother's mother) local parish. Dad had not yet met Mother.
The second of these is the one I like best. The shadowed lines of the bricks and the very graphic look frame his gaze out into the world just right.
Dad was a so-so photographer all his life. He did not take spectacular shots, but very serviceable ones. He didn't cut off people's heads by accident. Most are pretty nicely composed. Some are overexposed and others are underexposed. He saved the ones that were fuzzy. Nearly all are clearly labeled. I have a trunkful of slides he took in later years. I think that in my retirement, I need to go through them.
My offering is from Dad's album today since my desktop is in the shop. It looks like it may well be the motherboard, so decisions are in the offing. We'll know more tomorrow. My laptop has different software, and converting a photo to black and white with it is problematical. I may well set the camera for black and white at some time this week.
Aileni set up Monochrome Monday with a Mr. Linky site. You can see other contributions to the art by checking there.

Sunday's Psalm--30th Sunday of Ordinary Time

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

I love you, O LORD, my strength,

O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,

my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!

Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD lives and blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.

You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your annointed.

R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
Psalm 18: 2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
-rock climber, Zion National Park, Utah
-rock climber, Peshastin Pinnacles, Wenatchee Valley, Wa
-cliff plant, First Burrows Mountain, Mt. Rainier National Park
-rock climbing, Столбы, The Stolby National Park, Siberia
-on the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail, Mt. Raineir National Park
-cliff, Zion National Park, Utah
-kayaker on Green Lake, Seattle

Friday, October 24, 2008

PhotoHunt--Theme Scary

TnChick is where to find other PhotoHunters.

I don't know which is scarier--the economy? or the fact that you can watch it minute by minute on cable TV?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Line up for this sunset

Now that the hops are harvested across the road we have at least some of our view back. The lines of the hop trellis make an interesting counterpoint to the streaks of colors in the sunset.
The con-trail looks like it is pointing directly at the evening star, but it passed it by.
Find other Sky Watchers around the world at the dedicated site here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Quilter's ABC--N is for Nine Patch

Other Ns for ABC Wednesday can be found at the ABC Wednesday Anthology blog or by following the links at the ABC Mr. Linky.
Thank you to Mrs. Nesbitt, whose idea brought this ABC into the blogosphere. She needs help to continue it. If you can help her with the meme, let her know.

N is for Nine Patch

It is, perhaps, the simplest of blocks, but can make an striking or elegant quilt. This one is on our bed--black and bold nine patch blocks set with a bright funky flower between. The blocks are from the first nine-patch swap that I did with my online quilt guild Washington State Internet Quilters.
Color and setting make a difference. These floral and off-white nine patch blocks--from another swap--are actually set in almost the same way as the black ones. Instead of the alternating applique flowers the nine patch blocks are side by side with sashings of a contrasting color. Amazing how different they look!

I have made many very different quilts with nine patch blocks, but the photos are on computer that is being repaired and the quilts are in the hands of others.

Monday, October 20, 2008


We had this visitor today, but we made him stay outside.

Odd Shot--so I know it was Homecoming...

This is the home of Odd Shots on Monday.
Post a comment on this post to let others know you are participating. Details can be had by clicking on the Odd Shot Camera in the sidebar.
So, as I mentioned above, it was Homecoming Weekend and all sorts of crazy stuff goes on during Homecoming Weekend.
And yes, this is the home of a local high school kid and I believe he is a football player.
And yes the trees in the yard were tp'd. (For those who don't already think that Americans are crazy, for as long as I can remember, teenagers have celebrated Homecoming by tp'ing their friends' trees and houses. Yes, it is what it sounds like: draping them with a roll of toilet paper.)
But what in the world is this?

Plastic forks in the lawn?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh, Dear!

I sat down after church to a blinking stand-by light on the power button which would not respond. It would not turn on or off. Cut power at the surge protector. Restored power after a bit and tried the on button (same button). No response. The fan runs.
I have hooked up the laptop, and will later take apart the tower and check for dust-bunnies. I last did a full CD photo back-up one year ago. I was just thinking about doing that the other day. I've also been thinking about getting an external hard drive like the one my brother has. he stores all his photos on it and it connects by USB cable. I think that now is the time.
My psalms and Odd Shots are set up for the next couple of weeks. I should be able to find some more pictures in that time.
How often do you back things up and how?

Sunday's Psalm--29th Sunday of Ordinary Time

R. Give the Lord glory and honor.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD , all you lands.

choir practice--St. Joseph Boys' Village, Tamil Nadu, India

Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

storyteller doll from South America

Give the Lord glory and honor.
For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
sunrise at Rimrock Lake in the autumn when the water is low.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.

Give the Lord glory and honor.
Give to the LORD, you family of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise; Sunday congregation in the village of Krasny Pochara in Siberia
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts.
potlatch gifts, museum, Prince Rupert, B.C.
Give the Lord glory and honor.
Worship the LORD, in holy attire;
tremble before him, all the earth;
chief's dance, Prince Rupert, B.C.
say among the nations: The LORD is king,
he governs the peoples with equity.
sculpture along I-5 in southwestern Washington
Give the Lord glory and honor.
Psalm 96: 1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10

Friday, October 17, 2008

PhotoHunt--Theme: Family

Other Photo Hunters can be found at TnChick's place.
We saw this family just over the California state line when we left Goose Lake State Park in Oregon this last summer. (It will enlarge if you click so you can better see the three fawns.) According to Wikipedia, triplet fawns are rather uncommon, so this would be a rare sight in its own right. but there was one more fawn in the group that was out of the frame of this picture. Were they quadruplets? Did this doe take over care and tutelage of some orphaned fawns? Was she babysitting for a friend? I don't know but it was certainly a rare sight.

You might wonder why I post an animal family for this theme. I really am a family person--mom of six with 15 grandchildren, but the family theme was difficult for me for a reason. I do not often post people pictures--and almost never children. When I do post children, they are in some way unidentifiable--either by distance, angle, or elapsed years. Children's safety--family safety--are a high priority.
Perhaps I am paranoid, but Internet safety is one of the topics I monitored and taught in my school library position. We caution our young people about what is or is not appropriate to post on their My Space or Facebook accounts, about not giving out too much information online, but do we always keep this in mind when we are posting on our own blogs?
I'd like to think that everyone out in cyberspace is perfectly innocent and good and friendly, but we know it is not so. Otherwise we wouldn't get so many opportunities to help out a distresssed Nigerian banker's widow, or clear up our non-existent PayPal account by sending all our financial and personal information to some pseudo website. In the real world at school we kept constant updates on sex offenders released into our community--how do we keep updated on the ones who might be wandering around our websites.
I do truly believe that blog friendships can be real friendships--and take this from someone who has made real time meetings with dozens of online friends--even half around the world. But I will continue to proceed with caution, especially when it comes to the children.

Changeable Skies

A chill breeze blew away some of the gray at Fr. Simcoe State Park the other day.

Did you ever wonder how they made tall flagpoles 150 years ago?
Now you've seen.

Find other Skywatchers here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Clearing up the quilting math

Now, this is just here for anyone who actually was interested in the math for cutting quilt blocks. If you aren't interested, go read the funnies or something.
Here is the block I will use to explain the math in regards to cutting different quilt shapes for a block. I would never make this block, but you can see each element in it easily.
Since this block is a form of nine patch--based on nine squares--I would make it in a finished size that would be easily divisible by three. Either 12, 9, or 6 inches. Now that would be the finished size--what it would measure once it is sewn into a quilt. Before it is sewn into the quilt, it is half an inch larger, allowing for a quarter inch seam allowance all around.
The red square would be cut 4½ inches for a 12 inch block If the block were going to be a simple nine patch--nine plain squares, all the blocks would be the same.
Those small squares--the brown and cream ones-- are ¼ of size of the red one. Finished size in the 12 inch block would be two inches, so they would be cut 2½ inches. (I'll just go on with the 12 inch size.)
When I said yesterday that you have to take the fact that a rectangle would have one less seam, it was a bit confusing. (Probably not as confusing as this is.) That blue rectangle--finished--is twice the size of the red square, and the tan one is twice the size of the brown square. But when you cut them, you do not cut them 4½ by 9. You add half an inch to the 4 by 8 finished size and cut 4½ by 8½ (2½ by 4½ for the small ones). The purple rectangle is not 3 x 4½ but 3 x 4 plus the half inch.
The orange triangles are half square triangles. You see--the are a square cut in half. To get those right, add 7/8 inches to the size of the finished square. So, our orange triangles are cut from squares that are 4-7/8 inches.
The green triangles are quarter square triangles. You see--they are a square cut into quarters. Although they are the same shape as the half square triangles, you cut them differently so that you do not have a stretchy bias edge on the square. To cut quarter square triangles you start with a square that is 1¼ inches larger than the finished size of your final square--in this case, 5¼ inches.

Don't get me started on odd shapes. I can demonstrate them, but I can't explain them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

M is for--A Quilters' Alphabet for Blog Action Day

We interrupt this quilters' alphabet to bring you:

M is for MATH!

Today is Blog Action Day with a focus on POVERTY.

So how does this all tie together?

Here are some sites that will, much better than I can, highlight the math of poverty. Go on. Take a minute and look at the statistics.

Global Issues

Bread for the World

You didn't click on them, did you?

Okay, here are a couple of bits of math you would have found if you had--one fact from each:
Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds. In essence, hunger is the most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.
Now since it is the Quilter's ABC, here is some quilt math:

Because of seam allowances, there is a bit of math needed to put together a quilt and have it come out accurately.


The math of seams: Quilters generally use a ¼ inch seam allowance. The most important thing about it is that the seam allowance is consistent. If it is varying, then no matter how much you measure, things won't fit.

The math of squares: A square will be cut ½ inch larger than the finished size to allow for the seam allowance.

The math of rectangles: When cutting a rectangle, consider that there is at least one fewer seam.

The math of triangles: Triangles are cut from squares that are larger than those cut for a square piece. For half square triangles, add 7/8 inch to the finished size of the square that they will end up in. For quarter square triangles, add 1 ¼ inch to the finished square size. Some quilters choose to add more and cut the square to size afterwards.

Since this is a quilters' ABC each Wednesday, how about an M quilt block?

Here it is, the Maple Leaf. This is a collection of blocks I won in a Block of the Month a few years ago. They have been hiding among other fabrics and materials.

Once again, how does this all tie together?

I will be putting the Maple Leaf blocks together into a quilt to donate to Habitat for Humanity, along another from these house blocks sent to me by Sally for this purpose.

Habitat for Humanity strives to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness. The quilts can be given to families as they take possession of their own home, or used by the organization for fundraising.
Each of us has a talent that can be used or left to wither. Using a talent for the benefit of others has overwhelming benefits to you, too. What is your talent? and how do you use it? Can you use it in some way to alleviate poverty?

There is a discussion on poverty going on at Sr. Julie's blog today. I've only read about half of the book that is the springboard for the discussion, but I expect that it will not matter.

One idea I have picked up from one of the essays is the idea that we make poverty invisible by not giving it a name. That reminds me of so many of us, if we pass by a homeless person or someone begging, we avert our eyes. Poverty can't be eliminated if we do not look it in the eye. Look at it, identify it, acknowledge it.

Stop by the discussion and see what others are thinking.

And how can you use your talent to help alleviate poverty in your corner of the world?