16 June 2015

Truly a work of art

I don't remember where or when I picked up this book, but it is very likely that I'd gotten it from the freebie table at our local public library a few years back.  Since I have stacks of books which are piled in various areas, along with overflowing bookshelves in just about every room in the house; I am never caught up on my reading.  There are many books that I have intentions of having had read, but have not yet done so.  Any bibliophile can not only understand this, but is most definitely in the same tub, along with the proverbial butcher, baker, and candlestickmaker...because we all make odd bedfellows.

The point is tho that this particular book called to me in cheerful tones of beckoning loveliness because storytelling and quilts.  I love storytelling, both to listen/read and to actually tell {or ya know, write}.  And I admire quilts, quilting, especially handmade quilts.  So I started to read this and quickly determined that this is the adult equivalent of "Little House on the Prairie", soddies, buckboards, midwest, and all.  I say "adult" not because it is pornographic, but because Laura Ingalls Wilder's series tends to be written for and read by children.

Both Wilder and Grace Snyder rely on their daughters to tell their stories, to tell them accurately, and from the perspective of the mothers not the daughters {Rose and Nellie, respectively}.  Both focus on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and what life was like for them personally, for their neighbors in general, and also how the world's events influenced their lives as well.  There are many similarities, of course, and many differences as well.

It's taking me an unusually long time to read this book, in part because I am having problems focusing for long on any one thing.  This is reminiscent to me of when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and so forth.  The main difference between now and then is that at that point, I was having problems functioning at all; while I am comparatively in a much better frame of mind now.

In part though, another more importantly positive reason that it is a longer than usual process for me to read this book is because I have been thinking a lot while I read.  So two or three paragraphs will find me an hour later no further along in the text, but in my mind, I've covered miles and miles of dry sandhills and dusty plains.  Earlier today, I told my husband that I am sure that I would not have survived the brutal workload and harsh conditions of childhood had I been born during that time period.  I am in awe of the fortitude these people had to deal with life, let alone to make that life beautiful in creative and functional ways.

The quilt featured on the cover of the aptly named No Time on My Hands is the Flower Basket Petit Point.  Grace Snyder received permission, and a full set of china dishes, from the Salem, Ohio company which inspired this pattern and design, complete with the flowers' colors.  This quilt is now part of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  How many pieces are in this king~sized quilt?

Just under 86 thousand.

No Time on My Hands.

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