Friday, November 27, 2009

One Block Wonder

This is my favorite quilt so far. This is the orignal fabric, which is "stacked and whacked" to make the quilt. I also used this for the quilt backing.Here is a close up of the finished quilt.And here it is hanging in the stairwell.This one goes in the quilt show in the spring.
The hardest parts of making a quilt like this are 1) finding a fabric that works (I think I did a marvelous job of that if I do say so myself; I was surprised how difficult it was), and 2) deciding on the layout of the blocks. Thanks to W for his help with that over a period of many days.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Civic Duty

I just returned from 5 days, spread over 2 weeks, of serving on a criminal jury. It is something I don't want to have to do again. We ended up with 11 jurors in agreement and 1 who we basically browbeat for 1 1/2 days until he agreed to a guilty charge, but on a lesser count than most of the rest of us would have liked. For quite a while I was sure we were going to end up with a hung jury. Others in the room who were more familiar with the process said there was no way the judge would allow us to declare that after just two days of deliberation. Which could have meant we would go into yet another week. Perhaps that is the reason the one juror decided to relent. It didn't help that the statutes were very poorly written with the possibility of more than one interpretation, though again, the vast majority of us agreed on one interpretation. Fortunately, I won't be called to serve again for at least 3 years. While I agree in principle with the American justice system and the ability to be tried by a jury of one's peers, in practice it is not pretty.

Monday, November 16, 2009


One thing we get a better view of in NJ is sunsets over the water.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tote Bags

The reason I have not been posting much recently is that I've spent all my spare time sewing tote bags to sell at Poricy Park's annual Holiday Shop. One quarter of the proceeds go to support the park which in turn supports Rebecca's Reels Quilt Guild by providing space for us to meet, exhibit, etc. And the rest of the proceeds go to me, which is great but probably doesn't even cover my material costs. But that is fine. I mostly did it to support the guild and to experiment with colors and designs. I probably won't do something for the holiday shop again though. I ended up under a lot of pressure to finish in time. I'm on jury duty this week and next (more on that later) which really cut into my available time. Of course I didn't need to make so many bags, but once I had the fabric I wanted to do as many as I could. Here is the result.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Paddling at Brigantine

For the second half of our "weekend for the birds" we took our kayak to Brigantine NWR. We put in at Scots Landing and did an over 8-mile paddle through the marsh grasses. We were hoping to see snow geese and did see a few at a distance, but no great numbers. Either they were elsewhere, or we were too early in the season. But it was a beautiful day and a great paddle. We timed our arrival to coincide with high tide out at the ocean. The tide was still coming into the boat launch when we arrived back there about 2.5 hours later. So that worked out well. While we paddled against the tide a good part of the time, we were assured a good view over the grasses and didn't get stuck in any low spots. At low tide there are many fewer places to paddle and you are so low you cannot see much. Here is a typical view, with Atlantic City in the background.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Weekend for the Birds

Today we joined AA&J at Hawk Mountain in PA. The migration is slowing down, so we did not see many birds. But they had this golden eagle on displayand we did some rock scrambling and hiking. This is the view from the north lookout.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trip to Oregon

I just got back (in the wee hours of the morning) from my annual trip to Oregon with Linda. This time the most cost-effective way to travel was for me to buy two round-trip tickets - one from Newark to Denver and back on Continental, and then another from Denver to Portland on Frontier. That meant I could join Linda on her usual Frontier flights. The problem with this arrangement is that I "rolled my own" connecting flights, meaning if a delay in the Continental flight meant I missed the Frontier flight I was on my own. And that almost happened. A low ceiling in Newark meant they were spacing planes out more than usual and I got into Denver over an hour late; so I just barely made the Frontier flight. And then it was snowing in Denver, which delayed our departure as we sat on the runway waiting to be de-iced. So lessons learned this time around: 1) it is too nerve-racking to do my own connections; 2) we should probably leave even earlier in October due to the crazy Denver weather. Plus, I thought I was being smart to return on the day that daylight savings time ended. That meant we had an extra hour (body time) in the morning to catch our flight. But it also meant I got into Newark an extra hour later at night, which was definitely not good.