I always forget how much math there is in quilting. I don't design very many quilts, but when I do, it takes me a long time to figure out how much fabric I need and how many cuts of a certain size I can get out of a selvage to selvage length of a certain width and how to best instruct quilters on the most efficient order of cutting the fabric. And so on. It sure feels good when I do figure it all out, but it is a slow process. For my friend, Barb , who has designed many, many quilts, the task is not nearly so time-consuming. With this new quilt, I'm starting with a design roll from Kaffe Fassett classics and a couple of yards of coordinating fabrics, so this makes the figuring out easier.
Every season the Canadian Children's Book Centre publishes a magazine called Canadian Children's Book News. The winter issue came out recently and in the "We Recommend" section there is a review of Reaching. The review was written by Senta Ross, a former elementary teacher and teacher-librarian in Kitchener, Ontario. Here it is:
Who knew that the word "reach" could mean so much? At a family gathering, Baby experiences several variations of the word. Mama reaches to hold Baby in the air. Daddy reaches to kiss Baby's nose and give him a tickle. Sister, Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle and Cousins all reach out to Baby in different ways, be it by hugging, rocking, playing or reading. Even the family dog wants in on the action! And then it is Baby's turn to "reach" as he takes his first tentative steps and explores his world with curiosity and a glimmer of independence. At bedtime, however, Baby is once again ensconced in the loving arms of his parents who wistfully reflect that it will only be a matter of time before he is reaching beyond them for the moon and stars. But for now, they are grateful that Baby is still theirs.
Judy Ann Sadler has written a touching tribute to the bonds of family love. Through lilting, rhyming verses, an assortment of affectionate "reaching" interactions between Baby and his relatives are described: "Grandma is reaching / Scoops Baby from Mum / She dips him, they dance / She rocks him, they hum. //Grandpa is reaching / His arms become reins / He plays horsey with Baby / They do it again!"
Susan Mitchell's watercolour illustrations depict the warmth and serenity of an idyllic summer afternoon, where family of different generations revel in the joy of being together with a much-loved toddler. There are many familiar items in the artwork that any young reader would love to look at, be it a balloon, a cake, a puppy or a stuffed toy.
Children and parents will want to reach for Reaching over and over again!
A few weeks ago I blogged about some fun fabric coordinates that I was going to use for a couple of sewing projects. I managed to make two small wallets so far, one for Carly and one for me. I've been using my wallet for a few weeks now and still delight in pulling it out to fetch my Chapters or Tim's card.
Soon everyone I know will have one of these handy little wallets and then I'll have to come up with something new to make and give as a gift! In the meantime, I will slowly, slowly work away at making a few more.
I've had the privilege and pleasure of presenting to and crafting with tens of thousands of elementary school children over the past many years. Author visits always make for busy, interesting and fun days! It was such a treat to walk into the library at Jean Vanier Catholic School last Friday and be greeted with this display, put together by librarian Joanne Hughes:
photo by Cathy Hird, acting VP, Jean Vanier
We had a wonderful day of talking, show and tell, and making my signature craft, Button Buddies:
I'm always delighted with how excited students are when they get to make a craft. I still get very excited too!