The evacuees have reached our town. The ones who have come into the store to buy workbooks for their kids are the fortunate ones — they have vehicles, they are wearing their own clothes, they intend to return to their homes and believe they have homes to which they can return.

Even so, the moms are tense and the kids are solemn.

One of the local shelters has been disappointed not to have more people. The man in charge said in frustration that he had jobs lined up. I can understand his frustration, though it is also a little funny.

We are happy that things are going smoothly in our state. It is fair to say that we had more time to prepare, and that we are not seeing the worst of the situation. But the evacuees need a sense of order, and the feeling that the people helping them know what they are doing.

On the other side of the country, Son in Law bought #1 daughter a sewing machine. It is called a Shark, and has 60 buttons to push.

My husband bought our vacuum cleaner. It is called The Boss, and is black and noisy.

I have no comment to make on this. Some of us will find it amusing.

But #1 daughter intends to begin quilting. I think she will be good at this, as she has an excellent sense of color and design, and is good with details. She might actually have pointy triangles, unlike me.

Her foray into quilting moves me to suggest a few books for those who are considering taking it up. Not all quilt books are good for beginners. In fact, my favorite quilt books — the Thimbleberries books, and Debbie Mumm’s — tend to have directions like “quilt as desired,” which isn’t much use for beginners at all.

Better Homes and Gardens is a better bet for beginners. Their American Patchwork and Quilting is an excellent starting point, with a nice historical overview, lots of photographs, and explicit instructions.

505 Quilt Blocks is another of theirs. It has a wide variety of blocks, with a lot of pictorial ones, and suggestions for projects that can be made with just a few blocks, as well as full-sized quilts.

Ruby McKim’s 101 Patchwork Patterns is my favorite book on traditional quilting. It was written in the 1930s, so you cannot expect anything that considers new technologies, time-saving modern methods, or anything of that nature. The illustrations feature maids making up beds. But it gives good clear instructions, plenty of patterns, and color suggestions that will give you an authentically retro quilt.

My own quilt is languishing in its hoop, waiting for slightly cooler weather. While it does that, I am looking for a good quilting motif for the center squares. All the ones in my collection are too large. Hmm.