Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday Finds - Reading and Watching Edition

I mentioned that Hurricane Isaias took out our power for a few days.  Besides cutting circles for Dot Dot Dot, I spent a lot of time reading so have a few recommendations for the readers among you, as well a Netflix show to watch.

This was a five-star read for me.  I've liked everything I've read by Beatriz Williams and think this is her best to date.  It is the moving story of Irene Foster, aviator, who disappeared in 1937, and photographer Janey Everett who is convinced Foster is still alive and is looking for her in 1947.  While the story was inspired by Amelia Earhart and her disappearance, it is not a biographical novel and the characters are fictional.

This is a debut mystery, set in Toronto, but concerned with the genocide in Bosnia in the 1990s.  Detectives looking into the death of Christopher Drayton (accident, suicide, murder?) begin to suspect he is a war criminal, living under an assumed identity.  Very moving, with lots of background woven in on the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.  

A big wedding on an island in Ireland, with all the action taking place in about a 36 hour time period (plus flashbacks).  From early on, you know someone is dead...but who and why?  It's a modern take on classic Agatha Christie tales.  

Once our power was back on, I had to finish a drama I'd been watching, The English Game, available on Netflix.  It takes place in England in the late 1870's.  "Football is in its infancy, an amateur game dominated by the upper class teams who invented its rules."  But the working class has taken up the sport and put together teams of players from factories and mill towns.  There is a quite a culture clash and it impacts the rules of the game.  It is a great drama, with very good actors, and is about football in the same way that Chariots of Fire is about running, so you don't need to know anything about the game.  (The football in question is the game Americans call soccer.)  The scripts are by Julian Fellowes, who wrote the Downton Abbey series.  If you like costume dramas, I think you will like this 6-episode show.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Starting Dot Dot Dot Quilt

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Isaias came near enough to us to take out our electrical power.  With no electricity from late Tuesday morning to early Friday evening, I had to abandon my machine sewing project and turned instead to cutting out circles for my future Dot Dot Dot quilt (from the pattern by Laundry Basket Quilts).

Earlier, I purchased a 2" circle template made out of acrylic from Paper Pieces.  It has a quarter inch seam allowance added and is handy for cutting out the fabric circles.  Thinking the cutting would be tedious and not in any hurry to complete this quilt, I planned to cut circles from fabric as I was using it for its original project.  However, being unable to use my favorite power tool, I began pulling bins of fabric from storage and cutting instead.  

The pattern requires 440 circles appliqued to the background; I have about 100 cut to date, mostly from my stash of purple (minimal), yellow (moderate) and blue (numerous) fabrics.  I want to do the rainbow arrangement like the original quilt shown on the pattern but am realizing my fabric stash is not ideal for this purpose.  First, many fabric prints don't lend themselves to this project.  Each dot needs to read as a single color so those that are multi-color prints, or two colors that aren't side-by-side on the color wheel (like red and blue), neutral colors like gray and brown, pastel or faded colors, and low volume prints won't work.  Second, I have very little purple and next to no orange in my stash.  

I'd like to participate in a fabric swap for making this quilt.  Are any of you interested?  My idea is to trade 75-100 2.5 inch squares of fabric suitable for the dots.  I have an abundant stash of blues and reds and quite a bit of yellow while I'm especially in need of orange and purple.  If three or four of us swapped together, it would increase our options for this quilt nicely, and I think this amount could be mailed conveniently in a regular business envelope.   If you'd like to participate, leave a comment here or email me.  

That brings me to another topic:  comments.  A few months ago, I was receiving so many spam comments that I switched to moderating comments so I could easily delete those that detract from the topic here.  Over the past few weeks, the spam has gotten worse.  For each legit comment from a quilting reader, I receive about 10 comments that are sexually explicit and two or three trying to sell bitcoin  or something else sure to be a scam.  Moderation allows me to delete these comments so blog readers never see them, but I'm wondering, do those of you with your own blogs have the same issue?  If yes, do you know of anything more to do about it? 

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