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Showing posts from July, 2013

TBR Day. Dearly Beloved / Mary Jo Putney. 1990

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This month's theme is Classic Romance. I really don't have anything left in my TBR pile that meets that definition. Since Mary Jo Putney has written at least one romance that I do consider classic (Shattered Rainbows, how I love you), I picked up this one, which is one of her earlier books.

Gentle reader, I could not read this book. I didn't throw it against the wall. I threw it away.

The book opens when a semi-drunk Gervase, having made a tryst with a serving girl at the inn where he's staying, stumbles upstairs, goes to the wrong room and proceeds to rape 15-yo Diana. Despite the fact that she's screaming her head off, he assumes it's the serving girl just playing games. Her screams bring her father who then forces the two of them to marry. When Gervase sobers up, he refuses to consider that he might have gone to the wrong room. He believes he was entrapped. So he writes a letter to his lawyer instructing him to pay Diana an annual allowance under the condit…

Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. 2012

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For a long time I've wanted to add reviews of quilting books to this blog. And here we go with the first one. I hope to do 2-3 per year, to highlight how I use my library of quilting books.


When I was preparing to quilt my Asian-themed quilt, I had only the vaguest idea of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do a straight-line plaid stitch through the 2-inch blocks. I knew I would do a simple little curvy stitch through the first narrow border. Like this:


Next, I knew I wanted each panel to have its own all-over design that would in some way reflect the fabric. But I did NOT know how to achieve the results I wanted. That is, I knew I wanted something that looked like water in one panel, leaves in another, etc. But I had never actually stitched designs like that before and I was feeling rather adrift and panicky.

Then I stumbled across this book at my local quilt shop. I had no idea who Angela Walters is. I discovered she's quite well-known among modern quilters for her qu…

Quilts Finished June 2013

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My June UFO project was a big one. I had pieced the central portion of this quilt in February at my guild's retreat. And by the terms of the UFO contest at my local quilt shop, I only needed to finish piecing the top. Then I made the rather insane decision to enter it in the June NQA show. That meant it had to be fully finished by the 20th of June in order to have it to the show on time.
I didn't want to take the easy way out by doing an all-over (i.e. boring) quilting pattern. I wanted the quilting to reflect the themes of the Asian fabrics. So each large panel across the quilt is quilted differently. From top to bottom I quilted small flowers, water, leaves, chrysanthemums, and ginkgo leaves fallen among pebbles. The border fabric is printed bamboo, so I quilted long, skinny leaves--they kind of look like grass. Oh my, was that a ton of work. But I am so pleased with how it turned out:
This picture shows a little more detail of the quilting:

Here's a shot from the back:

Phyl's 5 Phaves from May

For a variety of reasons, June was a particularly busy and stressful month. I've spent this first week of July taking a few deep breaths and relaxing. Blogging has not been high on my list of things to do. I did finish 2 quilts. One had to be ready for the annual NQA show and another had to be ready for a goodbye party. I'll be posting pictures of those soon.

Meanwhile, here are 5 books I remember really enjoying back in May.

5. Shattered by Karen Robards. Years ago I read as many of Robards' historicals as I could find in my local library. At the time I wasn't too interested in RS, so I didn't continue to read her. A friend recommended Shattered to me and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. Lisa Scott grew up in privilege in a small Kentucky town. After working for a large law firm in the big city she's back home to care for her mother who is slowly dying of ALS. She goes to work for DA Scott Buchanan, former neighbor whose upbringing was as different from Lis…