Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A square of sunlight

I've been hunkering down through the halfways of a lot of projects. Here is the Dresden plate project at about 1/3 done (remember I have 19 of these blocks). These blocks are shown as if sewn for effect, but are not attached.

Some of you have asked, will I use different color backgrounds. The answer is:

For better or worse, I have only enough of the inky-black fabric to make 12 blocks. If I could have gotten away with 14-inch blocks, I would have several more. But I determined I needed 15-inch blocks, and we all know that 45"-wide fabric is really only 42" (and that a 2-by-4 is more like 1.5" x 3.5").

By "inky black" I mean indigo--"midnight blue" for you Crayola kids. Indigo--that fugitive shade of the rainbow--is a marvelous, plant-based dye originating in Africa that colored the first Levi's, the blue on the first American flag, and (I just learned) was used as currency long before that (see this review of a recent book about indigo, looks interesting). I'm 99% sure my blues are synthetic lookalikes, but nonetheless it seems appropriate to be working with these "midnight blue" fabrics as the dark season sets in.

(Barbara Brackman, quilt historian par excellence, has several posts on indigo: here, here, and here)

I know several people who experience SADD-ness at Earth's autumnal leanings, but for me there is a kind of excitement, the kind we got as kids huddling together under blankets in our indoor forts. The fact is that as fall fades into winter, sunlight becomes more precious. Over the weekend I had a wonderful moment. Usually, handwork is for multi-tasking: watching TV, attending a meeting. But midafternoon on a Saturday, buoyed by my dogs' giddy aggregations, I spotted a square of sunlight in a place I rarely sit, grabbed my Dresden handwork, sat and stitched.

I think this is what is meant by "living in the moment". Instead of "using my time wisely", I chose to enjoy some of what finitude has to offer.

Evidently, this idea is nothing new.


  1. Simply lovely! Have you published any books? You are a great writer Greta. Greta the Great! =)

    1. Zenia, you are such a good fan! I appreciate your applause! I do have a couple of books that were assigned to me to write. They were interesting but did not challenge me to come up with my own "material" ha ha (see "More than Petticoats")