Monday, May 12, 2014

Red, and a story

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I spent the weekend in the dappled shade of the crabapple tree, hand-stitching quilt blocks together.  That tree is just about to burst forth in beautiful blossoms.  It is trembling on the verge, I’m telling you.  My neighbor’s cherry orchard is already there, and it is a stunning fairyland of white cotton candy.  After dinner, when the low sunlight falls over the trees, we just stare, openmouthed, at it, just saying breathlessly, Whoa.  Look at that.  What a beautiful world.  There was iced coffee and shrub—peach, honey, and strawberry vinegar—and the hens puttering around underneath the table.  One of them has got the loudest cackle; I can’t help wondering what the heck she’s trying to accomplish with all that yelling.  She sounds like those horns you hear at World Cup soccer matches.  Good thing we live in the country. 

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You guys were right about the gray.  As soon as I got home with a length of this mad scarlet, I could hardly cut it up fast enough, and several happy days later, much progress has been made.  Hand-stitching these has been so much fun, I can’t even tell you.  I love my beautiful vintage Singer Slant-o-matic, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re asking whether I’d rather sit quietly stitching beneath a shady tree that hums with honeybees or huddle indoors, hunched over a machine that makes a big racket, I know you know which one I’d choose. 

Here’s a story for you:  one day in my 1970’s childhood, me and a bunch of other lummies were hanging around at the playground behind the school, throwing a half-deflated basketball at a rusty hoop.  Nobody was making any shots.  We were spending most of our time fishing the ball out of the weeds.  It was a typical display of ineptitude, because I don’t even know where we found a basketball—more than likely I also had a copy of Harriet the Spy somewhere on my person, and would rather have been reading that—but we were there, getting all sweaty and banging into each other and thinking we were really hot stuff when into the middle of all this flopping and scrambling walked Earvin “Magic” Johnson.  I am not kidding.  He was there for a charity game of some kind, ready with autographs and his girlfriend in tow—she had an extra toe—and there was suddenly no doubt at all which one among us was just about to become a giant superstar, and it wasn’t any of the fifth graders.  I tell this story to illustrate the following—look what the kids gave me for Mother’s Day:

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Now that’s an orchid.  It’s two feet tall.  There are thirty-four blossoms or buds on it.  It is Amazonian.  Look at it triumphing over the other orchid!  It is schooling the other orchid, totally.  It is showing the other orchid what’s what.  The other orchid is putting away its dumb basketball and going home to read a book. 

19 comments:

  1. that is a great story. Magic Johnson! wow! And your red is inspired. Of course it looks now as though it was obvious from the beginning, it is so right. I am enjoying the saga of this quilt so much.

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  2. Hi Kirsten!
    what a story! I like all the metaphors!
    Which one of the two orchids are you?

    I also recognize the feeling of staring , openmouthed, at nature just saying breathlessly, Whoa. Look at that.. Only in English it sounds so much better, In Dutch I'd say: "Wow! Kijk daar eens wat mooi!" I SO would have like to be English! (sigh)

    Brigitte
    http://homeiswherethedachshundis.blogspot.be/

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  3. That is a massive orchid!! It is very pretty though. Perhaps it will give advice and encouragement to the shorter one, or perhaps the shorter one is just happy where it is!! love the red for your quilt. xx

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  4. ...and forevermore your orchid shall be named 'Magic Johnson'! what a wonderful story and an incredibly beautiful quilt-in-the-making.

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  5. What a story. I shall name her Earvin.

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  6. love the red and the punch of color it gives to your squares!!

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  7. The red is just what the quilt needed - and that orchid - wow! x

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  8. oh your sweet kids! what an orchid! beautiful quilting kristen, LOVE the red (and i am not really a red person) it looks amazing. great story!

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  9. the red is completely awesome!


    (so is the orchid)

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  10. Loving the red!! Great story about Magic Johnson and the orchid is fabulous :D

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  11. Poor little orchid. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. The red is perfect. Love that orchid too.

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  13. I couldn't agree more about hand piecing and the peace and pleasure it brings. The quilt is going to be wonderful, I think--the red makes it come alive! And that's a very cool story about Magic Johnson!

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  14. Kristen, you really must be enjoying every minute spent in your apple orchard...it's the perfect time of the year to be outdoors with some hand sewing. The slant-o-matic will wait patiently indoors for a while, I'm sure.

    The red fabric is perfect!

    Your vintage basketball tale is fabulous, as is that splendid orchid given you by your children. Belated Happy Mother's Day to you. xo

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  15. I would love to sew under the shade a crab apple tree, it sounds heavenly. The red fabric looks smashing with your blocks, great choice as usual. Maybe your Slow Quilting will catch on, like the Slow Food movement. I'm in.
    The first time I saw a professional basketball player I gasped. Me being barely 5'2, I surely felt like the little orchid on your table. The new one is bloody amazing, your kids get you ; )

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  16. Oh I love love love the red. It's perfect! SO much better than the grey (and i didn't really object to the grey until you posted the red). The red is excellent. Cannot believe you've pieced and entire quilt by hand. That's brilliant. Can't wait to see it all finished. Your orchid is beautiful. The only time I've ever met a professional basketball player was when I was invited by a friend to use her Dad's court-side seats at a Raptor's game. Sounds good right? Couldn't see a THING! We were right behind the players bench so there was usually a GIANT person sitting immediately in front of us. Sweating. A lot of sweating. And, from our perspective, only the sound of basketball!

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  17. That looks fantastic with the red fabric! And thanks for sharing these beautiful impressions and nice stories :-). Have a wonderful weekend!
    Nata

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  18. ...and they thought; If she likes THAT orchid, she will love THIS orchid!

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  19. That orchid showed who's boss! your 70's childhood....I understand. I don't care what they say, it was great eh? =)

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