Sand, Sea, Schnibbles and Y-seams

Joyce Carol Oates, the very prolific American novelist and writer was asked what she did when she finished a novel.  Did she go on vacation?  Did she stare into space? “I read poetry,” she said. “I find it is good to let the mind rest a bit from the ardors of a novel.” Well, at least that’s how I remember it, when I attended her lecture as a graduate student at our local University of California.

Sea and Sand Quilt Top Schnibbles

After last week’s wrestling of the difficult quilt (coming up), this is my poetry after a novel, say, The Brothers Karamasov, or something.  I missed last month’s Schnibbles outing–too busy with the beginning of the school year, but I was pretty determined to do one this month.  It was a squeeze play, especially after I started reading the directions.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of them, as it was a pattern geared strictly to pre-cuts, which I don’t generally buy.

Back Sea and Sand

(I like the back with its little open four-patches seam allowances.)

I stormed downstairs all lathered up about my frustration, but luckily my sister Susan had given me a treat to assuage the raging quilter within: some delicious cookies from Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles.  It rescued me, and I went back upstairs, figured out how to cut strips from my fabric and get going.  If you are not a pre-cut user, you have been warned.  However, there is a nifty method for making those pieced triangles/checkerboards in the corner, so Miss Rosie’s pattern company was redeemed again.  (Still think there should be directions for those of us who use fabric-by-the-yard!)


The original pattern’s name is Mercerie, and they do it in many different fabrics, hence, the need for charm pack directions.

And the Y-seams?

FAL Tutorial Header

On Tuesday, I’ll be doing a guest-blog post about how to sew the Dreaded Y-seam.  Stop by Leanne’s, of http://shecanquilt.blogspot.com to see the secrets.

In the meantime, read some poetry.  Here’s one from the Poetry Daily website:

On My Seventieth Birthday I Try to Skinny-dip in Boston Harbor
by Sandra Kohler

I cover my nakedness this morning
with an outsize purple tee, “Outrageous
older woman” scrawled in pink across
the chest. A gift from my son, daughter-
in-law. Beneath it, the only part of
my body where my skin fits me still,
unmarred by time—my shoulders.

Sunrise, ebb tide, half an inch of water
covering Tennean Beach’s pebbles, mud
I sink into as soon as I step out toward
dawning sun. Planning this baptism I
forgot to check tide charts: I’d have to
wade through seventy feet of muck to get
my feet wet: no quick strip and dip here.

Turning seventy: I never imagined this.
Years ago, when I’m visiting my eighty-
something mother-in-law, she’s gossiping
about a neighbor, calls her “an old lady”
—stops herself, says, “I know I’m old
too, but not inside.” Inside, what age
am I? Thirty, eighty, fourteen?

Will sinking into this muck renew me?
On the drive home, passing a shallow
wetland between abandoned factories,
I see a flash of white: two egrets gingerly
wading, stepping, spreading their wings
in the risen light over a brood of hatched
fledglings, as new as aging is to me.

10 thoughts on “Sand, Sea, Schnibbles and Y-seams

  1. Lovely post Elizabeth! I haven’t read poetry in longer than I can remember. Great Schnibbles top. Love the color choices. I look forward to the y-seam tutorial. Thanks in advance.

  2. Really pretty quilt. I like the pattern a lot. I have a stack of Schnibbles patterns. Somewhere….

    The poem is fabulous. I used to have a little slip of paper on my computer to remind me that “age is just a number, not a definition.” I try to remember that.

    Looking forward to the tutorial. Y-seams and I are not friends…yet.

  3. I love this poem. Perhaps you should adopt this activity for your next birthday. Why wait until you are 70? I’d like to see a skinny-dipping themed quilt.

  4. Touching poem. I’m going to be thinking about how old I am inside today. Beautiful quilt. I love that you used only two fabrics! It’s the differences in the quilts that make the parade wonderful and I love that you went your own way 🙂

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