Friday, May 20, 2011

1600 2-inch squares

Last summer I saw this logo:

All I could see were those pretty colors and the modern, pixelated design. Color gone wild! I wrote to AALL and asked for permission to turn their logo into a quilt. They said Yes!

So I dug into my stash (see photo of said stash in sidebar to right) and started cutting squares. I cut and I cut and I cut.

Then I began sticking them up on my design wall. Only I did them in reverse (red on the left, blue on the right--hot to cold). And when I was happy I started sewing them together in pairs very carefully to keep them in the right order. The pairs would be sewn in to small sections and the small sections into large sections... well, you get the idea. It looked like this:

2-inch squares in a setting of 40 rows by 40 rows. That's 1600 squares. The seam allowances shrink the finished squares down to 1.5 inches. The final quilt will be 60" x 60". Here's the top all finished:

And here's that logo again:

My thanks to the American Association of Law Libraries for letting me use their design!

But I still have all these leftover squares (which means I cut well over 2000 squares). I wonder what I should make with them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TBR Day. His Wife for One Night / Molly O'Keefe. 2011

This month's TBR theme is marriage of convenience--which is a pretty common theme in my first love, historicals. And with all those historicals sitting in my TBR pile, you'd think I would have one that matches the theme. But before I could get around to finding out, I noticed this book on my Kindle as I was looking for something else. I had downloaded it just this past February on the strength of this very positive review by our own TBR Challenge coordinator, Super Wendy. So OK, it hasn't exactly been languishing in the TBR pile for very long, but it does meet the theme.

Molly O'Keefe's His Wife for One Night is the story of Mia and Jack and how their marriage of convenience becomes a real marriage in every sense. It's a well-told MOC story in a contemporary setting and, somewhat surprisingly, it really works. Mia and Jack had known one another most of their lives. Jack's father was a rancher and Mia's parents were employed on the ranch. Mia grew up in a loving home and fell in love, not only with Jack, but with ranching. Jack grew up in an abusive home. Mia was his best friend, but all Jack ever wanted to do was leave. Leave he does and he becomes a well-respected scientist who travels the world helping communities find safe sources of water. Mia stays behind, working on the ranch and loving Jack from afar. They stay in touch, though, and when Mia finds herself in danger of being thrown off the ranch by Jack's mother, Jack marries Mia so she can stay. Jack's parents end up divorcing and Mia not only assumes responsibility for the ranch, but she takes care of Jack's ailing father.

For 5 years they only see one another occasionally. Things come to a head when they finally become intimate and Mia realizes that she can't live half a life. She wants a divorce. Jack goes back to work, but is severely injured on the job. He comes back to the ranch to recuperate and find out what is going on with Mia. And Jack begins to discover what Mia has been doing for the ranch and for his father all of these years. He begins to see Mia in a whole new light. He's leery of Mia's love for him; his parents were far from a good example of a successful marriage. The bulk of the book takes place after Jack's injury and involves them working through their feelings and deciding whether they can make their marriage work. Not only does Jack need to change, but Mia needs to change as well--they've lived very different lives and making their marriage work means making accommodations for their differences.

This is a well-rounded novel. Jack's story also involves him coming to terms with his father and his father's neglect while his mother was busy being abusive. Jack's father, Walter, plays a significant part in the story as do Mia's mother and sister, Sandra and Lucy. Jack is challenged by all of them to deal with his past and fight for his future. I really liked both Jack and Mia. Neither were perfect; they seemed like normal people that I would want to know.

Meanwhile, is there a little sequel baiting in this book? Things with Walter could be seen as unresolved. If there is a sequel in the works, is Lucy the heroine? Is Jeremiah the hero? Well, whether the answers to my questions are yes or no, I think I'll be reading more by O'Keefe in the future. I definitely liked this book. Thanks, Wendy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Auction Time Again

For the third year in a row, I'm pleased to contribute to Brenda Novak's annual online auction to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. This one is personal for me as my son has the disease.

This year, I'm still auctioning off a quilt, but not one I've already made. T-shirt quilts have become popular and are great for keeping memories alive when the t-shirt has become too worn or you've collected more t-shirts than you can wear. So this year the winning bidder gets to send me a collection of their own used (or new!) t-shirts that I'll cut up and put into a custom-made quilt. I promise to finish it within 2 months of receiving the winner's t-shirts.

Are you interested? Click HERE and place a bid!

And I thank you for your support!