Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Grimspace / Ann Aguirre. 2008

I won an ARC of this from Dear Author and Jane invited me to write a review to post as a guest review there. You can go here to read it. I feel all famous and stuff.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Retreat Project report

This is a picture of the 4 projects I worked on this weekend. The two hangings just need bindings now and they'll be done. It should be pretty quick to finish the tops that I got started that are just piles of blocks and strip sets so far.

Here are close ups of the quilting on the two hangings. I received some lovely compliments for the echo quilting on the larger piece. Good thing, because that puppy turned into a monster amount of work. But it was a good skill-builder, so it was worth it.

Machine Update. I talked to a machine repair expert in another state who is a friend of my sister. He gave me some excellent advice depending on the verdict from the local guy about my dead machine. He also has 3 used Pfaff 2048s for a very good price if I need to do the unthinkable.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Ballroom Full of Sewing Machines

I shot this picture while everyone was at breakfast. What a great time we all had. And some beautiful quilts were made. I finished quilting two wall hangings and started two lap quilts. One of my machines also seems to have bit the dust. I think its circuit board is fried, but a definitive diagnosis won't happen for a few days. Ouch. This is going to cost me. That's my now-dead machine in the foreground on the right. Good thing I have a back-up.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen. 13 Random Pieces of Fabric.

As a quilter, I LOVE fabric. I love to look at it. I love to touch it. I love to cut it into small pieces and sew it back together. I buy fabric as compulsively as some readers buy books. For fun, here are some random pieces from my fabric collection:

I love this sunflower batik. Someday I will use it. Really. I will.

I found this bear fabric in Montana last year while visiting Yellowstone. It seemed the perfect vacation souvenir.

Did you know that Jane Austen and her sisters made a quilt? I've downloaded the pattern. It's not an easy one. Anyhow, I've a small collection of floral fabrics that I want to use in my own version of the Jane Austen quilt. These two fabrics may end up in that quilt. Or not.

I love this fabric. I have no idea what to do with it. But I have 2 yards of it for the day I finally get an idea.

These two each remind me of water. I wouldn't use them together, but they would work in something where I want to suggest water. They're very different, but I love them both.

I am a sucker for green fabric. I love green fabric. I have way too much green fabric.

This will go in a baby quilt some day. Aren't the baby dinosaurs so cute?

On Friday I leave for a 48-hour quilting retreat with my guild buddies. I can't wait!

Monday, February 18, 2008

6 Things Meme

Jace tagged me for my first meme. Here goes!

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about you.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your blog entry.
5. Let the tagged people know by leaving a comment on their blog.

My 6 things:

1. I'm a good cook. But I really don't like to cook. I'd far rather go out to eat or eat someone else's cooking. But I end up making dinner around here anyhow and it tastes pretty darn good.

2. Since 1981 I've owned only 3 cars. All VWs with diesel engines. I get awesome gas mileage.

3. I regularly commit a fashion faux pas by wearing brown shoes with my black pants. I hate to buy shoes and cannot be bothered with getting a pair of black shoes to wear with my black pants.

4. I arrange my books by size. Not alphabetically by author or title, but by size. They look neater that way. I'm sure that says something weird about me, but I can't help myself.

5. I have been outside the US to only 2 other countries. Canada and Colombia. I took a tour to Colombia when I was in high school (30+ years ago) when it safe to visit cities like Medellin and Cali. And my husband and I drove the Trans Canada highway from St. Mary's to Vancouver 20 years ago. It was an incredibly beautiful trip.

6. I spent 10 years in a fantasy baseball league before the internet. I was league secretary and every Wednesday I copied stats from the USA Today into a spreadsheet and faxed the results to the other league members. Back then it was still called "Rotisserie Baseball."

I'd tag other people, but everywhere I look, the meme's been done. So I'm done.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen. My 13 Favorite reads of 2007.

I am preparing to vote for my favorite 2007 books in the annual AAR poll. I'm looking right now at everything I read in 2007. Naturally there's quite a bit published prior to 2007 that isn't eligible for the poll. But I can include them in MY list. Here they are in alphabetical order by author's last name:

1. A Man in a Million / Jessica Bird. 2007
Stylistically you can recognize JR Ward, but it's a category and well done with that economy of words required in this type of book.

2. Claiming the Courtesan / Anna Campbell. 2007
Controversial. But it worked for me. It was not an easy book to read. But every word was significant and it was worth it.

3. Lord of Scoundrels / Loretta Chase. 1994
A re-read. And still as wonderful as it was the first time around.

4. If His Kiss is Wicked / Jo Goodman. 2007
Ms. Goodman is one of the most overlooked authors in romance today.

5. The Outlaw and the Lady / Lorraine Heath. 2001
Everyone is right--Ms. Heath needs to go back to writing westerns!

6. The Rules of Seduction / Madeline Hunter. 2006
Rich and emotionally satisfying.

7. Bad Girl / Michele Jaffe. 2003
Like a really intense episode of CSI. A little on the gruesome side, but a terrific page-turner.

8. Beau Crusoe / Carla Kelly. 2007
She's back, she's back!! More, more!! With her very unique style she gave us a most unusual and compelling hero.

9. Behind Closed Doors / Shannon McKenna. 2002
I discovered this author in 2007 and read her back list. This was my favorite. She writes some tight (and hot!) suspense.

10. Blue Smoke / Nora Roberts. 2005
I read this when the NR movies were on Lifetime last year. Just outstanding from every angle.

11. Castle of the Wolf / Sandra Schwab. 2007
Unusual setting, interesting characters with just a tiny touch of the paranormal. Wonderful.

12. Ice Blue / Anne Stuart. 2007
I love this whole series. Can't wait for the next one.

13. Warlord / Elizabeth Vaughan. 2007
The conclusion to a remarkably well-crafted trilogy.