Saturday, March 30, 2013

Music & Memory

I'm sure you've had memories triggered by a song before. Maybe it was the song playing for your first slow-dance that takes you back to your freshman homecoming. ("In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, in case you wondered.) Or your first dance at your wedding. (We didn't have a reception, but I kept the playlist from our dinner.)

My dad is a fan of Little River Band. Consequently, I grew up on their music. Every time I hear them I'm suddenly 9 years old and riding in the car to Eastern Market on a Saturday morning. My dad says that every time he hears the song "Reminiscing" he's back on a particular stretch of I-75 in 1978.

This week, I heard a song on the radio that took me instantly back in time. Not 20+ years back, but the feeling was so intense that I'm pretty sure it will always do this.
What song was it? "1901" by Phoenix.
Really, I'm not a fan of them, but this one song rocketed me back 4 years, riding shotgun in a truck through the mountains in central California. It was just one of those times when the weather was great, the sun was out, we had some time and we were just having fun, chasing some friends down a dirt road, trailing my hand out the window to catch the wind.
Did I mention it took me another 3 years to even find out what the song was? It didn't matter. Every time it plays on the radio, that's where I am. It's possible that in 20 years, I'll hear it on the radio and tell my son where it takes me. And hopefully he'll have musical memories of his own.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Modern Quilt Patterns" E-book review

Not too long ago, I received an email soliciting a book review for a free modern quilts e-book.

I like when the words "free" and "book" come together in a sentence. Even more so when the book is about quilts...and I certainly trend towards modern styles. So I said "sure thing!"

The e-book is McCall's "Modern Quilt Patterns" and you can find it here. (Really. It is free. You do have to enter your email address...but you can opt out of receiving emails if you wish. That's what I did, and I have not seen a single email from them.)

There are 3 patterns in the book: "Baubles and Beads," "Rainbow Rhythm," and "Lemon Squeezy." As you might expect in one of the McCall's magazines, the patterns list fabric requirements, cutting instructions, piecing directions, and present a color assembly diagram. They also provide ideas on how to quilt, and include a tutorial (with photos!) for a quilt-as-you-go technique for "Lemon Squeezy."

The photographs are nicely done, showing each quilt in a "model" setting (across a couch, table, or chair) and also presenting a laid-flat, full-quilt picture-quite necessary, in my opinion. (How else would you know what it should look like?)

Overall, this is a nicely planned and presented e-book, and the patterns should be no problem to follow.

However, I doubt that I will make any of these patterns myself. Why? I guess they just aren't "modern" enough for me. To my eye, they look like more traditional designs using bright colors. The only quilt that I might concede as being a "modern" quilt is Lemon Squeezy, and that is more because it utilizes quilt-as-you-go construction than from a design standpoint. Maybe I'm being too nit-picky (it wouldn't be the first time), but I just didn't have that "WOW" factor that makes me want to dive into my stash and start quilting.