Sunday, August 22, 2010

a string quilt and and a nerd-out

It's late August, and I'm still on a knitting-hiatus quilting jag. I think it's the novelty, the fact that it's not a lapful of hot wool, and the fact that I'm not inspired by any particular knitting projects that have combined to make this the summer of quilting. I'm working on a string quilt right now. It's a really cool technique that involves paper piecing and lots of scraps. In a typical move for me, I am fanatically working on a project that will be finished just as the season for using it has passed: in this case, a picnic blanket. But I don't care -- the colors are just so beautiful together! I love how improvisational it is, too -- the color combinations and the width of the stripes are all pretty much random. I had a lot of scraps of Heather Ross Mendocino and Lightning Bugs fabric left over from various projects, plus quite a bit of Amy Butler fabric left over from sewing my sister a bunch of scrub caps and a little bit of Joel Dewberry Deer Valley left over from that recent wedding present project, but I did have to supplement with some fat quarters I bought, so it's not totally comprised of scraps. But I'd say it's about 60% scraps -- so not exactly free, but significantly cheaper than a quilt you bought all the materials for new.

My other obsession of late has been watching "The Pillars of the Earth," the miniseries of a Ken Follett book about the Middle Ages. I had to watch this one -- not only is it about the period I study (well, actually I'm a late medievalist, but let's not split hairs), but it also stars Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen)!

(Starz publicity photo)

It's really more of a "Medieval Times"-ish soap opera treatment than a historical movie, but it's pretty fun to watch. But it reminded me of a beef I have with "historical" movies: why do these movies always include someone inventing something modern? In this miniseries so far, they have invented Gothic ribbed vaults and the concept of buying on credit. In the recent "Robin Hood" movie, Robin invented the Magna Carta, for pete's sake!

Another thing that irritates me about "medieval" fictions: why does everything set in medieval England have to include some sort of goddess-worshipping witch woman?

(Starz publicity photo)

The one in this movie actually has dreadlocks, and in one memorable bit of dialogue, when the prior asks her why she doesn't worship god, she says, "I just worship her a different way." Ugh.*

Anyway, if you're a nerd like me, you should watch it! It's all on Netflix, if you subscribe.

The next time I post, perhaps there will be some actual knitting to talk about!

*by which I mean, not, "ugh, she thinks god is a woman," but, "ugh, why does every empowered woman have to be a witch?"