Monday, November 30, 2009

Last look at the Christmas bento box

I finished quilting Saturday night and began putting the binding on Sunday afternoon.

The edges get trimmed first.

The continuous bias binding was made earlier.

Turning the first mitred corner.

Beginning to sew down side two.

Once all the binding is on, the basting is removed.

And finally, here's the finished product all ready for Christmas wrapping.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

We've had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Jim took this photo of me, my brother Dan, my mom, and my dad when we went out for lunch on Wednesday. This is the first photo of the four of us together in years. I have much for which to give thanks and family is right at the top of the list. I hope you all enjoyed a great time with your families as well.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Black, white, and yellow bento box: Hand quilting

As promised, here are some photos of the black, white, and yellow bento box quilt that will be a Christmas present.

Hand quilted, it is the same simple pattern I do on the baby quilts. Each square is bisected on the diagonal to create a grid over the entire quilt.

I'm now using my little half hoop to finish the edges. I use quarter inch masking tape to keep the quilting lines straight because I hate marking.

This is the label on the back with the spoiler information removed. I love that giant fish stamp and use it whenever I can. The label is handwritten because my all-in-one printer does not like fabric with freezer paper ironed to the back.

Here's a close-up. I took these with my old camera because the new one just doesn't have a great depth of field and it was meant more for photographing people. It has a face-finder focus aspect.

This is a quarter of a block up close.

And finally, here's a shot of a bigger section of the entire quilt. The next time you see this one, it should have binding and be ready for wrapping paper. Quilted Librarian out for Thanksgiving food shopping and more house cleaning.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ramping up to Thanksgiving

It's been one of those weeks and I'm quilting on the black, white, and yellow bento box. (Pictures to come.) My parents are coming to us for Thanksgiving along with my brother and his wife, so I'm sharing an old picture of my mom, my Mama, and my aunts about 1925. From the left, it's Aunt Joan, Aunt Charlotte, my mom (Kathleen), and Aunt Betty. Mama is behind them. I'm sure Papa took the picture. He was one of those naturally great photographers.

All these old photographs are causing creative thoughts to percolate in my feverish little brain. After the wedding, I will have to do something more than just think! Hope the rest of your week is great. Quilted Librarian is off to be Coach Fisher of the Battle of the Books team.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy birthday, Anna!

The happiest of birthdays to you, my darling girl. I love you, I miss you, I kiss you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day, 2009

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Source for image:
Source for poem:

AASL in Charlotte

The American Association of School Librarians conference was held in Charlotte and it was a terrific place for a conference, especially in November. The weather was fabulous every day and we walked everywhere. Not only was our hotel conveniently located close to the convention center, it was also surrounded by a host of fantastic non-chain restaurants. We sampled the cuisine at Merts, Zink, Ratcliffe on the Green,and Coco Osteria among others.

Directly across from the convention center is this wonderful green. The entrance is flanked by these fantastic book tower sculptures. Needless to say, all the convention goers were photographing it like mad.

One of the seating areas in the green was home to these lovely fish sculptures. The green was a wonderful spot to spend a few relaxed minutes during lunch and many people took advantage of it.

As for the conference itself, it was dominated by sessions on Web 2.0 tools and the new Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. My half-day preconference on the new standards was with Dr. Carol Kuhlthau and her daughters. I also did a regular conference session with Dr. Gail Dickinson, one of the creators of the standards. Both were very helpful.

The keynote address at the opening session was given by danah boyd, an ethnographer who is often called "the high priestess of networked social media." It was not your momma's keynote speech, and was entertaining as well as information rich.

The Exploratorium that went on before the vendors' exhibit opened was a sort of science fair for media specialists. For my money, the best in show was this neat idea called a sticky note wiki.

Sticky notes can be color coded (pink for reference books, blue for books in the regular collection, yellow for what you think you know, etc.) The creator, Craig Coleman, even had a hands-on element asking viewers to contribute to his information gathering about genres. Many different applications come to mind using this great little idea!

The vendors' exhibits are always popular. Everyone was taking pictures of Baker and Taylor and collecting pins and bags with the pictures of the real cats. What is it about cats and librarians that seems to go so well together?

One of the highlights of the conference for me personally was getting to attend two in-person sessions with Dr. Annette Lamb. Annette and her husband, Larry Johnson are professors at Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, who teach only on-line classes. The most valuable class I had in library school was Annette's Information Inquiry for Teachers. When I first started blogging in 2004, it was for her class. Larry's classes on Electronic Materials and Information Architecture for the Web brought me to things I use every day. Meeting them both, in person, was a real treat.

Getting to spend time with authors is always inspiring at these gatherings and I had a wonderful time listening to great speeches by Laurie Halse Anderson, Linda Sue Park, and Richard Peck as well as Charles R. Smith, Jr. who was new to me. Above is Richard Peck signing books in the Penguin booth. I've been fortunate enough to meet him two other times and we chatted about DePauw and Wabash while he signed my copy of A Season of Gifts.

The closing party was at Imaginon, a fantastic library/childrens' museum/theatre complex in Charlotte. Don't let anyone tell you librarians don't know how to party!

This lovely little drawing by James Marshall is part of the collection at Imaginon. George and Martha were big favorites of my children.

In closing, I would love to see this conference go for fewer, non-concurrent sessions that blow one's socks off and really enlarge the idea of the Bloggers' Café. I was lucky in what I chose. Only one session I attended was underwhelming, but I heard several people complaining that their sessions were sort of mediocre, state convention level gatherings. When you spend $500.00 plus airfare, meals, and hotel, it should be dazzling.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Wonderful present from Caylan

When I came home from school tonight and checked the mailbox, there was a package for me from my niece, Caylan. She is a wonderful artist and recently started making little sewn objects. Most of them are cat toys, but she made me this beautiful little wrist pin cushion that looks like a watch. I just love it. Thanks, Cay and thanks to Jim for being the photographer.



Nerd alert for all you school librarians! Coming on President's Day 2010 is the first installment of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Lightning Thief. It is directed by Chris Columbus who brought you the first two Harry Potter films. This should jazz up those February doldrums!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Blue Bento Box Finished

My quilting friend, Linda got the blue bento box quilt machine quilted and I sewed the bias binding on before I left for Charlotte on Wednesday. During my free time in the hotel, I managed to get the binding sewn down. This Thursday at the Piedmont Quilters' Guild meeting, we will share the other quilts that were completed after Make a Difference Day.

Pictures are uploaded, but I'm still working on the post about the American Association of School Librarians meeting in Charlotte. More soon.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

School librarians, Start your engines!

I will be in Charlotte for the next few days for the American Association of School Librarians conference. It's lovely when the national is virtually in one's backyard. The theme this year, Rev up learning @ your library, was inspired by the NASCAR connections in the Charlotte area. Other than my iPhone, I won't be packing an Internet connection, but I will take lots of photos as I "hobnob with my fellow wizards," and post on my return. Jim always teases about my leaving him to fend for himself and finding him slumped over a pile of Little Debbie wrappers on my return. I do worry about him, but he can make scrambled eggs, so he won't starve. Quilted Librarian is out until Sunday unless they have a computer lab set up in the exhibit hall.