Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Book

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is another favorite of mine, even enjoyed the movie.  I think it was on Lifetime a while ago.  Well, Kim Edwards has a new book, The Lake of Dreams.

It's another story full of secrets to be discovered.  This was not as good as the other book in my opinion.  It is a nice story and I'm glad I took the time to read it.  I am glad I checked it out from the library.  It doesn't need to be in my book collection.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Embroidery Books

These are a couple of great books I bought on a trip to Salt Lake City.  I found them at a fabulous store in West Jordan named Material Girls.  The quilt store is full of bright, hip, cheery fabric from the top designers.  They also have lots of embroidery patterns and project type patterns (aprons, bags, kids clothes, etc) as well as quilt patterns and books.  It's always a highlight to stop by and drop some dollars.  
I do seem to be on an embroidery kick lately.  I love to have a project to work on in the car on longer trips and to stitch while I watch TV.  I haven't prepped anything from these books yet but need to get going.  I highly recommend them both.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fabulous Book!

I really love the author, Lisa See.  Her books, Shanghai Girls and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan are a couple of my very favorite books.  Her mother was one of my book club members college mentor and she can remember Lisa as a young girl.  Snow Flower is out in a movie with a limited release so far, not in my neck of the woods yet.  Lisa's new book is Dreams of Joy.   I checked it out from the library and it was only available on CD's. 

I will give this book an A+ rating.  I just loved it.  It is almost a sequel to Shanghai Girls and follows Joy as she runs away to China during the reign of Mao.  Pearl follows her and tragedy and triumph follows.  I would rather to have the book in my hand for this story, did not love the CD format.  This is a lovely story but it filled with hardships and harsh realities.  I hope there is another story to follow.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Canning -- it's a hit!

My mom and I took some time last week to do some canning.  I had lots of apples (too many to be truthful) from our dwarf apple tree in our back yard.  We also bought some peaches to try.  I had to go in search of a water canning kit and was successful here at home.  I really didn't want to order on line.  We bought our canning jars and set sail on a new adventure.  Well, it was new for me anyway.  My mom used to help my grandma can the produce from a big garden we had when we were little.  But that was too many years ago for her.  So we learned it together.

Here are the fruits of our labors:

We made cinnamon applesauce, apple pie filling and peaches.  The peaches aren't as pretty as we wanted.  We didn't pack enough in the jars and learned a lesson on that one.  They'll still taste delicious.  We were happy all of our jars sealed.  We're ready to go again next week and found some fun recipes to try.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Embroidery Prep

I'm working on a big embroidery project.  It will eventually be a quilt.  The prep is very time consuming.  Above is a picture of my big "light box".  Actually, mine is very small so my kitchen window gets put to use when the piece is bigger.  First I tape up the pattern.

Then I add the fabric, centered over the pattern.  I trace it using a fine point blue washable marker.  I'm not brave enough to use a fine tip sharpie.  I like being able to wash out the leftovers safely.

Next I add some white muslin as backing to the piece.  I usually back my embroidery pieces with batting but the quilt will have battting.  So double batting will be too bulky.

I use my machine to baste it all together.  Since this piece is 21" X 32", I added center basting too.  This keeps the fabric secure and from shifting around while you work.

Here's the block I've been working on.  This hoop is kind of small for the piece and I do have a bigger hoop.  But I'm liking this one better, feel more of a sense of accomplishment as you can move the hoop more often. 

Above is the pattern cover, "Winter Wonderland".  The blue case is my favorite for carrying my work when traveling.  I'm about to have a lot of time in the car so that translates into stitching time for me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Coasters from Leftovers

I got busy with those leftovers from the table runner.  I had enough to make 7 coasters.  Here they are:

They are kind of big for coasters.  Maybe they're great for a big mug of your favorite beverage.  They're almost the size of a potholder.  But I'll use them for sure. You can never have too many coasters. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July UFO

Well, I am happy to say my July UFO is finished a little earlier this month.  I am working on a couple of new projects that I had to put down for many hours to get this done.  I bought the table runner pattern a couple of summers ago in Kansas City but dragged my feet to the finish line.  The instructions were difficult to follow and I had this up on my design wall for a few weeks before I could figure out the last couple of steps. 

I really think it's lovely and the colors are perfect in the room.  Here's a close up of the hexagons.

I have lots of pieces and parts leftover and I'm off to make some coasters now.