Category Archives: purpose

More about the Carpathians (or One Method of Writing….)

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters & Papers From Prison; it’s an intense collection of correspondence exchanged between Bonhoeffer, his family, and his best friend Eberhard Bethge while Bonhoeffer was imprisoned during the last two years of his life.  It was perfect for Lent, and I’ll finish it as the Easter season winds down, leaving me not only with much food for thought, but ideas to explore when I’m finally able to work on The Earthen Chronicles.

Of course, that’s once I complete The Hawk, ahem.  But I can’t help ponder a very different tale, and the more I consider that draft, the more the Carpathians figure into the story.  When alone, I find myself speaking dialogue between Reid and Brook; he’s a hybrid, but she’s Dorlinian, although she was raised on Carpathia during the war, repatriated to that planet by her parents, who felt it was safer than keeping her at home.  Smart on their part; Dorlinia was blown apart, and Brook watched it happen, thousands of miles away while being cared for by Carpathian nuns.  But what I’m finding as I talk out the plot is that Carpathian society is wholly religious, if faith in God is considered religion.  There are no churches; no need, for every single Carpathian believes.  The nuns are actually rebels, eschewing the traditional call of marriage and family to devote themselves solely to prayer and meditation.

Cousins helping one another; The Burrito gives Little Miss a hand as she navigates unfamiliar landscape over the Easter weekend….

As I come to the end of Letters & Papers From Prison, I’m struck by a similar notion, which Bonhoeffer seems only to note to Bethge.  Now, perhaps he mentioned it to his parents, but few letters to them are included once Bonhoeffer and Bethge are able to write to one another, letters smuggled out of, then into, Tegal Prison.  The book reads in part like a novel, for once the illicit correspondence begins, the thoughts between these two friends become the meat of the story, Bonhoeffer stuck in jail while Bethge serves in the German military.  Yet their minds aren’t merely focused upon the war; God is always present, and how to live in a secular world, especially one so torn apart by violence and hatred, weighs heavily on Bonhoeffer’s mind.  Right after the failure of the plot to assassinate Hitler, Bonhoeffer writes a poem about the four stations of freedom: discipline, action, suffering, and death.  This coupled with his belief that by fully living in this world and participating in all its joys and sorrows is how one learns to have faith has altered not only how I consider my own spiritual life, but those Carpathians as well.  In the first draft, they are bit players, the Dorlinians and Taapsychs the main stars.  However, another purpose to this novel is brewing, and eventually (hopefully!) I’ll see how it comes together.

In the meantime, when I have a moment alone, I’ll continue to hash out the Carpathians’ backstory, conversations between Reid and Brook bubbling in my head, then murmured when no one is looking.  Sometimes I wish I was dictating those lines, a few of them quite clever.  But that’s not the only reason I talk to myself, ha ha.  In those snatches of dialogue, I’m laying the foundation of a story more than sci-fi, also not merely a take on organized religion.  I don’t quite know what The Earthen Chronicles is going to be, heck, at the rate I’m going with The Hawk, it might not be more than a rough draft.  It could simply be one way for me to explore my faith; how many finished drafts do I have on flash drives, their sole purpose mere practice for later novels.  Yet, I can’t seem to escape this storyline, not even in my Lenten readings.

If I can find fictional inspiration in Letters & Papers From Prison, there must be a good reason for it.  Now to work my way back to The Hawk, so another story can take flight, hehehe.

Time Marches On….

Changes have occurred, not as large as last year, but still on a scale to rock a few hills.  Our son moved out, so for the first time in six years, it’s simply the husband, me, quilts, sports, tunes….  Okay, it’s not a silent, empty residence, but it’s altered, in part that now the rooms shake with melodic reverberations from early in the morning.  There’s no one I need to be still for, once my hubby is out the door.  There’s no one here but me.

I haven’t been a stay at home mom for a long time; that ended when our youngest left for college.  But a year later, she and our son came home, and for five years that middle child lived with us, often in his own world, but sometimes engaged with ours.  He has Asperger’s, and while he’s on the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum, it’s taken a while for him to stretch those wings and fly on his own.

Now that he has….  Jeez, it’s like he sat down with us for dinner every night, like he plopped onto the sofa for whatever game was televised, like he chatted with me from morning till night.  He did none of those things, yet we saw him every day.  Every day he was here, in our lives, not in a manner we imagined when he was little, but in a way as unique as he is.

And now he’s living hours away.  My goodness, that’s hard to believe.  It’s like accepting my grandkids aren’t babies anymore; Little Miss just turned one, and like her cousin, she’s fast on her feet, not waiting for the world to catch up with her.  She has a soft voice, unlike The Burrito, well, most of the time.  Sometimes she gives it up for a crowd, but at just twelve months, there’s much for her to learn.

The Burrito and Little Miss at her party; LM's other gran Mimi made that gorgeous dress, and this photo is also courtesy of Mimi.

The Burrito and Little Miss at her party; LM’s paternal gran Mimi made that gorgeous dress, and this photo is also courtesy of Mimi.

My husband and I never compared our kids when they were little; they were three very different souls, and while they still are, they’re no longer our babies.  I’m now the family facilitator, what I said at Little Miss’s party when the question was asked of how I spent my time.  A writer, quilter, familial organizer, which prompted a laugh, but thankfully I didn’t have to explain what being the mom of an adult autistic son entailed.  Or what it brought out of me over the years, whereas now the stillness around me parallels the quiet that roared over the last five years, but for one notion.

I truly am alone.

Not that I’m complaining, please don’t misconstrue.  I am so blessed to have these hours, utilized in a variety of manners, from keeping house to plying my passion for prose to sewing.  Grateful doesn’t begin to describe how I feel when I consider my….  It’s a job, unpaid but well compensated, and not merely in the books, blankets, and time spent with grandkids, or the hours I had with my dad.  It’s about embracing the life I have been given, sometimes with rough edges, knowing they are smoothed out by grace.  Occasionally my husband joked that our son was going along with us wherever we retired.  But no, he has another path to follow.  And mine, for now, remains here in Silicon Valley within a new domicile, although we haven’t had to up sticks.

A big wall waiting for my imagination, well, that and some spare batting from which to display fabrics....

A big wall waiting for my imagination, well, that and some spare batting from which to display fabrics….

But his room will undergo a few changes; we’ll paint, and I’m thinking light blue.  A second quilt wall will decorate the west wall, probably after the painting, or maybe not, hehehe.  While I could have used that large of a wall for my Big Bright Quilt, other projects will benefit from the elbow room, as well as the afternoon light.  My writing/sewing grotto will remain right where I’m sitting in it now, but having a little more design space is a delight.  And a good way to use that room when visitors (mainly grandbabies) aren’t visiting.

They are still babies, even if both are nimble on their toes.  And while our son tried giving us back his house key, we refused.  It’s still your home, we said, totally unaware of how strongly his absence would affect us.  As we drove away, having made sure he was fairly settled in his new digs, we both kept feeling he was at home, like he always…was.  He used to live here, but now he doesn’t.  I don’t need to leave a note, don’t have to buy pretzels or pizza ingredients or the occasional bag of gummy worms.  Well, I did buy one bag, as we’re off to see him this weekend, taking with us what didn’t fit in my car when he moved.  But grocery lists are altered, as well as my heart.  And my occupation.  I’m not a stay at home mom anymore.  I’m a writer, quilter, and a….

Hmmm….  I guess I need to let the dust settle and ponder that some.  Because not even family facilitator works.  All my kids are managing their own routines.  In the interim, I’ll get back to the projects at hand; mulling over Part Eleven of The Hawk (which I hope to be begin writing in a couple of weeks) and producing some potholders for one of my other kids.  As those come to fruition, maybe too will emerge a sense of who I am now, what with it just me, (novels) myself, (quilts) and I to amuse….

Why do long books need to be so long?

Over a year ago, I started writing my WIP.  Not sure if I can honestly call it a WIP when I’m not actually writing; I’ve been reading it over since October, although the first week of this month was a wash.  But for a few days I’ve been on a roll, making me feel like I’m accomplishing something literary-related.  Lately it’s been fabric fabric fabric, which is fine.  But I’m hungry for words, aching to return back to a world that has captured me for more than a year.  Nothing about The Hawk is usual, compared to my previous writing realm.  But then, my life isn’t the same anymore.

New paths are being forged, altered rhythms have been introduced.  Quilts, oi!  I’ve got quilts coming out my ears, where before it was stories raining from heaven.  Since 2007, I’ve been cranking out first drafts like there was no tomorrow, turning some of them into published novels.  But during the last year my writing life has changed immensely, where not writing has become the norm.  And even when I do write, like in August, it’s more like drops in the bucket, for this particular tale has evolved into a behemoth upon which I know not the end.  Well, I know how it’s going to end.  I have no flippin’ clue as to when.

When I wrote the Alvin’s Farm series, novels emerged with definite endings, if not with cliffhangers attached.  Yet, they didn’t drag on and on.  But my life in 2009 and 2010 wasn’t like it is now in 2014; my goodness, that’s quite a number of years ago!  Perhaps it’s silly of me to be caterwauling like this; maybe I should just be satisfied that I’m still actively engaged in this project, via revisions.  But if you write, then hopefully you will understand some of my heartache; revising is necessary, indeed.  Yet there won’t be anything to edit if new material isn’t being written.

Recently my husband turned fifty.  He’s feeling pretty good about it, except when suddenly he says to me, “Hey, I’m in my fifties now!”  I look at him with a wary eye; “You’re what?” I exclaim, as if he’s suddenly lost his mind.  How in the world did so much time pass; he was in his forties just a few minutes ago, I know he was.  And honestly, weren’t we both just in our thirties, living in England, or what about our twenties, when we dwelled in Silicon Valley before the dot-com bubble was so coined.  What in the world is this man going on about, being in his fifties?

Ahem.  Reality is sometimes a cold slap along the face.  Reality in my writing world has been that cool hand tying mine up in family and fabrics and….  Well, so many things that words have been shoved into a dark, dusty corner.  For the last several weeks I’ve been easing them out, but only those already written.  New words hide in the closet, fully aware I don’t have the proper time of day to share with them.  They won’t be coaxed out for any reason.

Sometimes I wish words were like Buttercup; just rub her belly, and she’s putty in your hands.  But my muse isn’t like that beloved basset.  Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s my temperament, maybe it’s….  It could be anything, but what it is is a lack of time.  I don’t have the adequate uninterrupted time to sit and write.

And unlike years ago, now I require those precious minutes.  No longer can I just write on a dime.

This is my second year away from NaNoWriMo. If you’re thinking I should jump into that fray to alleviate my problem, it’s not that easy.  While I wouldn’t be here today if not for National Novel Writing Month, again, I’m not the same person who participated from 2006-2012.  And this story isn’t conducive to that kind of literary abandon.  This story wants all of my attention, which has been scattered from hell to breakfast, and that is in part due to age.  It’s also due to my dad’s illness, an impending grandchild, and various other issues, like the quilting bug which has bitten me hard since February.  Writers have lives outside the work, and in 2014, my world has seen an invasion not witnessed since we moved back to America in 2007.  In 2007, I finished my first novel, begun for NaNo 2006, then nothing was accumulated until NaNo 2007.  After that I never looked back, writing-wise.  I’ve been pounding a keyboard solid until March of this year, when suddenly….

Life took over, life not to do with fiction.  Fiction was relegated to the back burner, fiction was barely a consideration as reality was about all I could handle.  But the idea of fiction never left, it’s too deeply wound into my core.  Telling this story means too much, writing means too much to ignore it.  Writing means, oh goodness, this post is already too long to explain what writing means.  But this story is special; it’s especially long, ha ha.  It’s starting to take on epic proportions, not only for its size, but it’s unwieldy nature.  Does that make it more unique, how badly I desire its completion, and how ethereal that completion seems to be….

Time will tell.  And in the meantime, I have errands to run, precluding me from any more reading today.  Plus a Tropical Pop quilt is clamoring for my attention; dude, keep your shirt on!  More fish to fry than I can shake a skillet at.

Alternating Snow and Shades

Just moments ago I removed this quilt from my dryer.  Well, relative moments ago; I’ve since photographed it, and am now writing this post about it.  But as I write this post, the quilt in question sits on my sofa, recently finished.

Backed with Disney princess fabric, an adorable print that I know will be appreciated.

Backed with Disney princess fabric, an adorable print that I know will be appreciated.

To me, finished for a quilt is laundered.  Then a blanket is DONE.

But how much occurs before DONE is achieved; fabrics are purchased, cut, then sometimes they loiter, as other projects emerge.  This quilt was cut ages ago, Kona snow and a bunch of vibrant prints, then whiled away much of the latter part of summer in a Baggie, tucked out of sight.  I didn’t want the owner, my youngest daughter’s best friend and mum-to-be of Master Z, to find it when she came for her baby shower at our house.  The family of quilts kept this one stilled, but last week I put it together, alongside the baby quilts.  Finished hand-sewing the binding (light blue Kona that matches the blue on the back) a couple of days ago, then washed it this morning.  Stuck it in the dryer, ran some errands, then returned home to a completed quilt.

Son and mum quilts side by side.

Son and mum quilts side by side.

Oh, if only it were that easy.  Toss some squares of fabric into the washing machine, and voila!  But it’s far more work than that, steps that lend themselves to whatever fits in my life at that time.  For example; this morning I cut fabrics for one of my next projects, with another stack waiting in the wings.  After I get back from Dad’s appointment at the doc, I’ll go to town on those quilts, as hopefully I’ll have all (or most) of the fabrics cut.  Cutting fabrics is an essential part of the process, but it doesn’t involve the sewing machine.  It’s like the plotting stage of writing a novel.

Fabrics for the future...

Fabrics for the future…

And speaking of books…  I’m also hoping to get back into The Hawk when I return.  I want to write a post about how much I ache to continue that tale, but quilts get in the way.  But writing The Hawk is sort of like making a quilt; contemplating various ideas before I actually start typing.  I’ve been thinking about that story as I cut fabrics, wash quilts, heck, even while sewing those comforters.

But I truly don’t need more time in the day.  Twenty-four hours is plenty, believe me.  All things in their own (darn) good time, that’s my motto.

What Makes Me Feel Alive…

I was thinking about this during the weekend, as I cut fabrics, once I’d read Laura Bruno Lilly’s post from 16 May, which was a pretty fine day in my neck of the woods.  But one day leads to another, and now it’s Monday, the 19th.  I have a doctor’s appointment, to see if my new hypertension meds are doing the job.  I also have errands to run, but no quilting; I finished a quilt top last week, on Thursday, and it now lives on the quilt wall, until I get some flannel for the back.

This quilt top was made from birthday fabrics, and I call it The Birthday Quilt, or The Little House on an Island Quilt, which is explained here.  It’s also very autumnal in appearance, hence why I haven’t rushed out for fabric to back it with.  Plus as I was completing it, temps here in Silicon Valley were HOT!  Not even a birthday quilt is appealing when it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

But this week it’s much nicer, in the low 70s, very quilt-accommodating.  However, flannel fabric goes on sale at Joanns this weekend, and I have other tasks calling, so that birthday present will be quilted together next week.  And after that, I have a roomie quilt on tap, for my daughter’s soon to be former roommate.  They’re not separating due to a quarrel, only that it’s the end of the semester, and lives move in different directions.  But quilts are always welcome, brooking the distances, regardless of the weather.

Front stacks are for the roomie quilt, the back stack is for the rag quilt…

However, as often happens, I’m digressing.  Or maybe it’s totally apropos to be discussing quilts and feeling fulfilled.  For the last three months, I’ve found this pastime immensely satisfying, in a way never imagined.  I’ve been cutting fabrics the last few days, for the Former Roomie Quilt, also for a rag quilt that I want to make, once I have enough six-inch squares accumulated.  While slicing through cottons, I’ve listened to many tunes, always a soul-pleaser.  And I’ve contemplated Laura’s post, which I strongly recommend.  Especially touching to me were the quotes from others translated through Laura and her beloveds.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do: John Wooden via Bobby, Laura’s dear friend’s son.

Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why: Conductor Benjamin Zander via Laura.

But the one that really made me think was this…

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive: Walt Whitman via Laura.

So, while I cut fabrics, I considered how sewing and quilting have changed my little neck of the woods, but not just in an ironing board and stash of cottons sort of way, although that has been quite an alteration.  Because, as I’ve been quilting myself happy, I’ve been apart from something that until just recently, like say when I first bought fabrics back in February, was my comfort zone.

Writing used to be like quilting to me.

I could have titled this post I Used To Write Like I Quilt, but instead I’m trying to focus on the positive, wanting to keep my blood pressure as low as possible.  I’ll take a break in a few, to get over to the doc, but in the meantime, I wanted to start this post, so I wouldn’t lose this train of thought.  And I don’t want to lose the writing either.  For as I’ve been reading over the novel WIP, I’m finding myself slowly drawn back into that realm, far from fabrics and pins and rotary cutters.

Writing a novel is like living another life, like the quilt binding that I’ve already made for the Birthday Quilt, beautiful and colourful and…  Not quite time for it yet.  Although, it’s there, ready and waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting and waiting and…

Aching to be put to good use...

Aching to be put to good use…

Well, I’m back from the doc; blood pressure a fine 123/80, with a reminder to make an appointment for September, to make sure all remains well.  By September, how many quilts will have been fashioned?  By September, how many words might have been written…

Ahem.  Well, some, I hope.  I haven’t written in over two months, which for me is ages.  I wrote books like I now put together quilts, ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom!  But The Hawk sputtered out just as I truly got into the Chemo quilt, and other than reading over a chapter first thing after I wake, then another right before I fall asleep…

Nada, nyet, nunca, zip, zilch, nothing doing baby.  Instead, I’ve been piecing quilt tops.  And basting them to battings and backings and attaching bindings and…  You get the picture.  I’ve been dabbling in a craft that has tickled my fancy, making me feel alive in ways writing does not.  Or did not.  But will hopefully again stir my soul.

I still am a writer, but I’m also a quilter.  Maybe the quilting has helped with my blood pressure, who knows?  It sure has given me distinct pleasure in a very hands-on manner.  But my brain is screaming for its moment in the sun.  Okay, hands, sure.  Nice and busy.  Alive, oh most definitely.  Yet my heart beats for more than quilting, of course.  It adores loved ones, baseball, walks, the beach and…


There’s no photo to post for that, so instead I’ll share the latest picture of Buttercup. She makes me smile, not as how writing or quilting does.  But she certainly makes me feel alive, which at the end of the day (and the end of this post) is what matters most.  I have to take it on faith that the sabbatical from writing is not the end of the world, just another bend in the path.  Which seems as convoluted as that binding on my table.  However, it’s not important that I understand why or how, but to just smile, take a deep, low blood pressure breath, and say Ta love…

She always sits so lady-like.

She always sits so lady-like (but is eagerly awaiting belly rubs).

I Quilt Like I Write

So, while I don’t have room for a stash, what can one do when one’s spouse gives one a voucher for a quilt store?  But I have a plan for these fabrics; some will go into the birthday quilt, and some into a quilt to assuage an aching heart.

What better use for batiks, and whatever else I find?  I’ve been reading a quilt magazine, from my BFF, and while the article is three years old, the mantra I’m sure holds steady; use any fabrics that you love, according to Edyta Sitar, from American Patchwork & Quilting, April 2011.  Edyta is from Poland originally, learned quilting from her husband’s grandmother.  But she loved fabrics from childhood, and I agree with her sentiment.

Batiks can go with anything, just as a love story fits into any genre.

Lately I’ve been listening to playlists from novels gone by; love stories were, and still are, my milieu.  Every evening after I say goodnight to baseball, usually around the fourth inning, I’ve been reading a chapter of The Hawk, which I will get back to, one of these quilt-less weeks (or months).   The Hawk is about relationships, and lots of other issues, but love is the foundation.  Love, love, love…  I love quilting just about as much as I love writing, and I love choosing fabrics and letting them guide me into where a quilt is supposed to go.

And for whom…

When I found the boy and whale fabric, that began a quilt that will eventually (One of these days, I promise honey!) go to my youngest daughter.  With my dad’s quilt, again it was the bright hues that initiated that project (and the whole quilting saga…).  The Mijos quilt was all about using up the scraps from Dad’s blanket, plus batiks that caught my eye (Batiks!).  And now, the birthday quilt started with batiks and regular fabrics (see, I’m still so wet behind the ears I don’t even know what non-batik fabrics are called), and well, will finish with batiks, as that will be the binding.  How does this relate to noveling?

Love and characters, usually a couple, be they romantic or platonic, then spin out into plot and nuances, settings and heartbreak.  Yes, all good novels need a little heartbreak, because real life is full of that unpleasant but prevalent notion.

Yet, from heartbreak comes growth, which leads to a deepening of one’s understanding of another’s pain.  That’s why crap happens, so we’re better equipped to help someone else who comes along, either with a hug, compassionate words, a poem or novel, or a quilt.

My youngest is in the throes of heartbreak, but she’s not the only one, and while the whale quilt on the wall awaits her, someone else is in my thoughts, and in need of comfort that I can’t provide up close and personal, but certainly in the shape of a blanket that will be batik in nature, in addition to whatever else comes my way.

Stashes are good for sharing on the web.  They are even better for being broken into and given away, just how novels are wonderful to plot and write, then publish.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for a pre-binding apple fritter.  Then, back to the task at hand…

The summer duvet is nearly done, except for the binding.  That will be my baseball accompaniment for the next three games while the Giants play in Atlanta.

The summer duvet is nearly done, except for the binding. That will be my baseball accompaniment for the next three games while the Giants play in Atlanta.

Whales of Reasons

I believe that quilting, like writing, has to originate from deeply in one’s soul.  For over a month I’ve had the fabrics for my youngest daughter’s quilt, and slowly I’ve been cutting them into four and a half inch squares.  The cutting was delayed because my rotary cutter blade was toast after slicing through the fabrics still hanging on the quilt wall.  But I have amended that dull cutting blade, and over the last few days I’ve been getting the last of her fabrics sorted.

I like stacking them, makes for a pretty design as well as keeping the fabrics separate, for now.  The stack behind is my scrap stash, for the scrappy quilt I’m in the process of piecing together.  Then there’s the fabric I’ve purchased over the last couple of days, from a chain fabric store.  Cheap fat quarters were supplemented with some not that expensive half and quarter yards, which I wasn’t sure about, other than I loved the vintage look, enhanced by the somewhat lesser quality of the fabric.

I don’t always buy cheap fabrics, but there is a reason for everything.

Over the last seven years I wrote a lot of first drafts.  Some turned into the dozen indie novels I’ve published, most are quietly sleeping in my hard and flash drives and within email inboxes.  But there was a purpose behind all those stories; to turn me into a quilter.  Ha ha!  But seriously, all that I wrote was to sharpen skills, ease my mind, keep me out of trouble.  Quilting is similar, although I didn’t know my sewing habits required such an overhaul.  But the quilts themselves, each one has a distinct reason for being.  My first, of which I will describe in full one of these days, is helping my dad ease the chills chemotherapy stirs.  The second, well, so far it’s the scrappy quilt, although it might be like The Hawk, a project that comes and goes with the ebb and flow of life.  The third quilt…

Well, it was going to be the whale quilt for my daughter.  She’s not young, in relation to the fanciful nature of whales, but has a youthful soul.  But I did buy over five yards of fabric in the last two days, mostly of fat quarters, all in floral patterns, and in my eldest daughter’s words, truly those belonging to someone who grew up in the 70s.

As I chose those fabrics, I did ponder for whom they would be; youngest daughter has whales, eldest wants cream, brown and blue.  Others fill the quilt queue, but my sister will receive Hawaiian shirts in hers, my brother-in-law hunting motifs.  No one on the list needed vintage floral fabrics, and I didn’t need to make myself a quilt; I have the scrappy project, plus the quilt-on-the-wall.

So why did I buy those five yards of fabric?

I love it when the light goes off; I call it a Price Is Right Moment (PIRM), based upon when I realized that The Price Is Right is just one very long commercial for a variety of products.  Today’s PIRM was that very soon my husband and I will need a lightweight summer quilt, and what better use for those somewhat thin fabrics than a blanket for the next several months?  I’ll get some batting with a 1/16 loft, back it with a queen-sized sheet that my hubby likes for its cooling propensities, and there I go.

But unlike the plethora of banked novels, this quilt will get plenty of use.  Summer in California lasts from about mid-April through all of September, and much of October.  Even if it’s raining today, hovering just around 60F, by Sunday it’s supposed to be 76F.  Now, that’s more like California weather.

When the writing exploded, I didn’t think too much about the why.  I allowed the stories to go as they wanted, which at times was in a flurry of words.  Quilting seems to be progressing in a similar vein; I don’t think too hard about it, other than getting the measurements correct.  The whale blocks had to be eight and a half inches square (allowing for a quarter inch seam), while the rest of the blocks in my daughter’s quilt are four inch squares.  I am a little OCD about measuring, but I managed to secure five whale and boy scenes from two fat quarters.  I thought I was only going to get four, but that whale has a crafty look in his eye.  Perhaps he knew five blocks were possible all along…