Isn't this a totally, incredibly, absolutely gorgeous quilt? It was designed and made by Jinni Turkelson of Grand Rapids MI--and then she sent it to ME, to keep me warm on cold evenings when I'm knitting by the fire. (That's Jinni, standing on a bench on her deck, holding the quilt.) Jinni, I love it, and I'm more grateful than I can say. You're a peach. And oh, BTW, I solved the mystery: Jinni said she practiced doing some alphabet work with her new sewing machine and told me to look for it. "It's a mystery," she said. This isn't the greatest photo, but maybe you can see that she's embroidered "Cottage Tales Series" at the top and my name at the bottom of this lovely panel from The Tale of Peter Rabbit--Peter watching Mr. McGregor weeding the lettuces.
UPDATE. 5/22/08. After I had a chance to study Jinni's quilt more closely and read everyone's comments, I've decided that I'm going to take it when I do book talks at libraries. The quilt will give me a chance to talk about the way one person's creativity (Beatrix's "little books") can inspire other people: can inspire the Cottage Tales, biographers like Linda Lear and Judy Taylor and many others who have written about Beatrix's life and work, as well as quiltmakers, artists, knitters, and embroiderers. Wouldn't Beatrix love the circle of friends her work has created?
Writing note. I have the feeling that Jinni's quilt will do more than just keep me warm--it will inspire me, as I settle back to work on the next Cottage Tale. I'm into the third chapter now, in a scene with Beatrix and Will Heelis. The trick is to bring them closer together, romantically, but still find believable ways to keep them apart. This is only Book 6, and they can't get married until Book 8! Today, I'm working on a scene with a new character, Fritz the Ferret, who lives under the bridge over Wilfin Beck.
Gardening note. I was a little late getting the squash in, but both the zucchini and the butternut are up and looking good. The madonna lilies are blooming. Photo tomorrow.
Reading note. From Linda Lear's biography, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, p. 234: [Beatrix] squeezed out every available moment at the farm, gardening and looking after the haying, but had little time or energy for books. "I cannot screw anything out of my head at present!" she told Millie [Warne, Norman's sister]."I have done a little sketching when it does not rain, and I spent a very wet hour inside the pig stye drawing the pig. It tries to nibble my boots, which is interrupting. I don't think it ever answers to try & finish a book in summer..."