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TBR Day. Act Like It / Lucy Parker. 2015

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A couple of weeks ago I noticed a tweet go by from Sandra Schwab to Lucy Parker saying how much she was enjoying this book. The tweet rang a bell, and sure enough-- it was buried on my Kindle. Perfect. I had my April TBR read.

Act Like It is Parker's debut book and the first in her "London Celebrities" series. Actor Richard Troy's bad-boy act is at the point of costing him his career. Lainie Graham, an actress with a secondary role in the same West End London play as Richard, agrees to fake a relationship with him in order to smooth over his public image. Despite sharing the same profession, Richard and Lainie are quite different. Richard comes from a wealthy background, was an only child of neglectful parents, and his father died while he was young. Lainie, though, comes from a close-knit middle class family. When she's not working, she's at work raising funds to combat cancer--a disease that recently took Lainie's teen-aged sister.

Neither Richard or La…

Three Recent Quilts

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Lots of sewing continues to happen in my world. I've finished a couple of small projects recently, and one big one. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this first one back in early March. I made it for an Instagram swap. The swap involved using one of several stylized alphabets by Kristy of QuietPlay. My partner for the swap requested the word feminist and I was delighted to make this for her. I love it so much, I may make another for myself, although another idea is also brewing. We'll see. I used the slant of the cursive letters to determine the angle of my matchstick quilting lines.
Next up is a little wall hanging I pieced back in 2015 and finally got around to quilting in March. It was a detailed little pattern. It looks nice and cheerful hanging near our back door. I just did simple, minimal quilting on this one.

This last one was made for some friends who just had a baby. While traveling last summer, I found the elephant fabric and bought it with no particul…

Stepping Stones

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Four and a half years ago when I was in Sisters, Oregon for the annual outdoor show, I picked up several yards of a colorful print fabric that I just fell in love with. The fabric was designed by Valori Wells, a native of Sisters and co-owner of the shop that sponsors the annual show. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it, but I was pretty obsessed by it. Some months later I was browsing through my copy of the book We Love Color, a compilation of quilts by designers using all solid-colored fabrics. Ironically, Valori Wells has a quilt in the book, but it wasn't her design that spoke to me, it was the one by Lisa Call. This link will take you to her blog and a picture of the quilt she made for the book. Her inspiration for the design is pretty cool. Anyhow, I was able to take her muted color palette and translate it into my bright, colorful version of "Stepping Stones."

I love this quilt. All of the colors in the focus fabric are used for the "stone…

TBR Day. Finding Comfort on the Keeper Shelf

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I know that TBR Day is all about tackling those unread books cluttering up our shelves and/or devices. Usually, it's not that hard for me to find something to read. But since the outside world has become an unstable and scary place, I find myself drawn to the tried and true, drawn to what I know I will like. And of course, I also find myself spending more time sewing and getting lost in creative spaces. These are good places for me to escape to when there is time to do so-- and I have become incredibly grateful that I have both the time and the means. I try not to take it for granted.
Concurrently, when Jo Beverley passed away last year, I promised myself I would re-read all of her books. I decided to start with the Rogues series and I picked up The Arranged Marriage back in November. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I moved on to book 2, An Unwilling Bride and then as soon as I finished that one I devoured Christmas Angel over the weekend. I first read these books …

First Finish of the Year

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In 2016 I did a lot of sewing, but didn't finish that many things. My goal this year is to catch up on all of those UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) that surround me. I'm going to have to start a few things from scratch, too. I've signed up for 2 more mini-quilt swaps on Instagram and our extended family is expecting two new babies later in the year. I'll be busy making quilts for them.

Meanwhile I can celebrate this little 18" quilt that I finished earlier this week. It's from the Black & White mini-quilt swap that I signed up for in November. This one will be going to Sweden next week. I can't wait to see what I'll get in return!


The original pattern is called "Christmas Lanterns" from the book 101 Fabulous Small Quilts. I reduced the size by 50% and left off the borders. There are 288 rectangles that measure .75" x 1.5" finished. The quilting is cross-hatched, following the seam lines with white Aurifil 50 wt. thread.
My Audible pl…

More Mini Quilts

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In my last quilting post I talked about some Instagram swaps I joined this fall. The second swap was a Christmas Tree mini quilt using the Geometric Christmas Tree pattern by Kristy Lea. My partner in this tree swap wanted a modern minimalist look and a glance at her Instagram feed gave me the idea to use a black constellation fabric I found last summer. I made a test quilt, didn't quite like the very light green that looked white, and made a second one for my partner. I finished them both, and kept the first for my own Christmas decorating.

So here's the first one:

I think the gray thread that I used for the quilting overshadows the constellation print just a little. Still, I really do like how this turned out.
But my second attempt was MUCH better:
I used black thread for the background and a wider cross-hatch for just the tree. The constellations are easier to see. I also got rid of the pale green fabric as I mentioned above.

Here's the lovely tree I received in return …

TBR Day. A Kind of Honor / Joan Wolf. 1980

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Wow. This book is nearly 40 years old. And no, it hasn't been in my TBR pile 36 years. I bought it used a number of years ago, so I have had it a while. The romance I read these days is written much differently than it was back in the 80's. It was kind of refreshing to read a book so noticeably different in style and tone from those published today.

A Kind of Honor is Joan Wolf's second published book. (And it's a vast improvement over her first book, which I reviewed for TBR Day 6-1/2 years ago.) This one takes place during the winter/spring of 1812-13. England is preparing for what it hopes will be a final and decisive blow against Napoleon's army in Spain. But there's a traitor leaking vital information to the French. Our hero, Adam, who is home after being wounded in Spain, is tasked with finding and stopping the leak.

It's made obvious right away that the traitor is a French émigré, the Duc de Gacé. Gacé is married to an Englishwoman, who is described …