Showing posts from 2017

Catching up on quilts

I can't believe it's been over 4 months since I last posted here. I've totally dropped the ball on the TBR challenge, and I've decided not to join for 2018. There's been a lot to occupy me this last year, and with luck I'll be starting a new job in February. Time will tell about that. Meanwhile, the quilting has continued. In fact I had several I needed to make on short deadlines. So here's what I finished from August-December this year.

First up is this baby quilt I made for some friends' baby girl. The dad is a huge Star Wars fan, so I was able to include a special fabric just for him. There are several patterns or tutorials for this out there. I used the Arithmetic Quilt pattern. Some people also call it a "Plus Quilt." This was made totally from my stash.

Next was another mini for an Instagram swap. I wasn't going to sign up for any more in 2017, but I couldn't help myself. This particular swap was based on a specific group of patt…

TBR Day. The Villa / Nora Roberts. 2001

I've been working my way through Nora Roberts' single-title back list. There are some real classics there that I have thoroughly enjoyed (especially Public Secrets). So for this month's theme of "Kickin' it Old School," The Villa seemed a good choice.

The Villa tells the story of the Giambelli family and their wine-making empire. Presiding over the family is Tereza, grandmother of the heroine, Sophia. Tereza's second husband is Eli MacMillan, a neighboring wine-maker. Together, the two of them decide to merge their empires, throwing Eli's grandson Tyler into closer contact with Sophia. Tyler is the farmer, nurturing the vines. Sophia is the business-woman and public face of the company. The merger brings all sorts of drama into their lives as an outsider is brought in to become the COO and Sophia's cousin Don resents being pushed aside. Naturally, because it's La Nora after all, this leads to murder and acts of sabotage. Sophia and Tyler have …

Three More Quilts

2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for sewing! I am enjoying the luxury of a great deal of spare time right now. Most of my evenings after work are spent quietly at home as are many of my weekends, giving me plenty of opportunities to sew. So here are three more quilts I've finished recently. I think that brings my total up to 11 for the year (granted many of them have been quite small).

First up is another mini, paper-pieced quilt. I bought the pattern several years ago and have wanted to make it sooner rather than later. The pattern is by Eileen Sullivan of Designers Workshop. Her patterns are easy to make if you're an experienced paper piecer, but there sure are a lot of little pieces in this!

 Next up is a quilt called Bonfire Sampler from AnneMarie Chany's book Sister Sampler Quilts. AnneMarie spoke at my guild last year and a friend and I were inspired to participate in her blog's 2016 quilt along. My friend and I made 2 of each block and swapped half our blo…

TBR Day. Magnolia Moon / JoAnn Ross. 2003

I know this is series catch-up month, but I decided to dig back into the big ol' basket of books for this month's read. Interestingly, this is the third in a trilogy, but I've read neither of the earlier books. In fact, I've read only a few books by JoAnn Ross, and none recently.

Here's the blurb:
L.A. homicide detective Regan Hart’s life is turned upside down with the discovery that she was adopted. Following a trail left in her birth mother’s journal, she lands in Louisiana’s Blue Bayou, where she’s determined not to let Nate Callahan, the town’s handsome, sweet-talking mayor, distract her from her search. Nate Callahan loves women – and they’ve always loved him right back. No-nonsense Regan couldn’t be more different from his usual type, but as they spend time together, unlocking the puzzles of Regan’s past, neither can deny the attraction sizzling between them – and both come to realize that family bonds are forged not through blood ties, but through choices of t…

Two Mini Quilts

My spring was busy with more two more Instagram mini quilt swaps. I've decided to lay off the swaps for a while. I have several larger projects to finish. If I make progress on those, maybe I'll join one again in the new year.
Hopefully you recognize the Millennium Falcon. This was for a Star Wars fandom swap, with a due date of late April, so it would be done in time for May the Force Be With You Day (May 4th). Check out #maythe4thmqs2 if you want to see some really amazing Death Stars, character quilts and more! 

This was due in early June for an animal quilt swap. My partner expressed a love of red pandas, so I made this for her. I love this little quilt, but it was a bear to put together. It had 20 different sections, while the Millennium Falcon only had 6 sections. You can see some of the remarkable animal quilts at #animalquiltswap2017. There's quite a variety.

TBR Day. The Baby Contract / Lynn Erickson. 1996

Please indulge me while I give you a little back story to this month's TBR choice. If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me post a picture of this basket of books on Sunday.
This collection of books as a history. Several years ago Friend T. gifted Friend L. with 50 romance books to celebrate Friend L.'s 50th birthday. A few years later Friend L. added 5 more books to the pile and re-gifted it to Friend T. for Friend T.'s 55th birthday. We were reminiscing about that back in February and I laughingly reminded them that I would be turning 60 later in the spring. And so I was delighted (although not really surprised) to find this basket of books on my front porch this past Sunday, the day after my birthday. My physical TBR doubled in size! (We won't talk about the size of my electronic TBR.) Interestingly most of the books are from the 1990s and early 2000s; I've previously read very few of them.

With TBR Day around the corner, I figured I needed to choose so…

TBR Day. Act Like It / Lucy Parker. 2015

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

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

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

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

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…