Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Little Quilt

A couple of years ago I took a class from Teri Henderson Tope on reverse applique. This is a method where the top layer is cut away to reveal the fabric underneath. (Regular applique involves sewing pieces of fabric down to a background.) The class involved making a small floral piece and the applique work was done totally by hand. I only managed to sew a few of the petals of one flower in the class that day, so every now and then I would pick it up and work on it for a little while. When the block was finished I sewed the corner pieces on and decided to hand quilt it. That, too, was something I did little by little. And low and behold, last week I finally finished it.

This first picture is a close-up. Hopefully you can see some of the applique stitching.
 And this second picture is the finished quilt. It measures just 17" x 17".
When I first began quilting I hand pieced and hand quilted everything I made. Slowly I transitioned to using my machines for all of my piecing and quilting. In doing this project I realized how much I still enjoy hand quilting and I've taken steps to make sure I do more of it this year. I'll tell you about it next time out.

Meanwhile the tally stands at one finished quilt for 2015.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TBR Day. Love for Lucinda / Gayle Buck. 1996

Last month while I was out in California to spend Christmas with my in-laws, I had the great pleasure of meeting up with our TBR coordinator, SuperWendy. She took me to an awesome used bookstore with a whole room full of romance. As I write this I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of the Room of Awesome. Anyhow, while I now buy pretty much only in digital, there were some titles I was anxious to buy to fill in my print keeper collection. I scored about a dozen of those. There was also a little section of old Signet Regencies. As I browsed through, I picked out this book by Gayle Buck (no website found), an author I had enjoyed reading before. This was one I had not read.

So even though it had only been in the TBR pile 4 weeks, I picked it out because it was short (this month's theme) and in honor of my visit with Wendy.
Love for Lucinda is the story of our heroine, a recent widow who had a brief, unhappy marriage to a libertine. Lucinda's late husband kept her exiled in the country and now that her period of mourning is over, she is determined to return to London to resume the social life that was interrupted when her husband banished her. As a young widow with a modest fortune, she attracts a lot of attention. There's her wastrel cousin who wants her money, a match-making mama who wants Lucinda for her son, an acquaintance from the country who is courting her, and her husband's cousin who is her friend-- to name a few. I think this book would probably be called a "Regency Romp" because of the humorous situation of all of these men after Lucinda.

This book is all Lucinda and her return to society. With the exception of some odd sentences here and there, the POV is Lucinda's. The rigid structure of polite society is a major part of the story. Lucinda is careful to have a companion so that all of the proprieties are observed. She also ends up helping her late husband's sister come out into society. There are so many parties and balls as well as all of the men in her orbit that somehow the romance is left until the 9th page from the end. It was kind of obvious who the hero was going to be, but just to be sure I cheated and read the last page when I was only about 15-20% into the book. By the time I was 75% in, I was frustrated because Lucinda and her hero spent so little time on the page together. It is hard to consider this at all a romance just because two people end up together at the end. Actually, 3 couples end up together as both the companion and the sister-in-law find true love as well. All neatly wrapped up and mostly off the page. Lots of telling, little showing.

So sadly, this book was a bust. Still, it's a nifty souvenir of a wonderful morning spent with a kind friend who knows all the best places to go. Thanks, Wendy!