Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Oldie but a GOODIE!

My grandmother was an amazing quilter.  She retired to a very small town in Arkansas and shopped at Walmart for fabric.  There wasn't anywhere else nearby and she was not interested in computers or internet purchases.  She also used her own vintage fabrics -- things she had saved.  She died several years ago and I still miss her a lot.  I was given three of her quilt tops to make into quilts.  The first one is done.  It's a bowtie quilt.

I just finished the binding on this big quilt and have a plan for it, which cannot be revealed in this place.  I do cherish it though.  She signed a corner block and had finished the quilt top in 1993.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Some good books

This post is definitely more positive.  These are some great books (in my humble opinion) and these are highly recommended.  I am still a big fan of getting them from the library.  I make a trip there weekly.

Product DetailsI really loved this book although it did take me awhile to read it.  It's about a little girl with Hansen's disease (leprosy) taken from her family to live on the island Moloka'i for most of her life.  It is so interesting,  heartbreaking, and uplifting.  I love her story and couldn't wait to get back to it when I had to put the book down.

 Burnt MountainThis book I also loved.  Anne River Siddons is a good author and I usually enjoy her stories.  This was not an exception.  There's love, romance, mystery, heartbreak, and laughter in the book.

Porch Lights: A NovelI listened to this book while finishing some quilts in my sewing room.  This was a great summer read (or listen).  It's a great story about a mother, her young recently widowed daughter, grandson, handsome doctor neighbor, estranged husband, best friend, and a hurricane.  You'll enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July UFO

I've also been busy sewing.  I am on a roll with it and loving it.  It seems I didn't have much enthusiasm the past few months and am making up for that now.  This is a really quick and easy quilt.  I bought the fabric in a sweet quilt shop in Texas last summer.  I tried to machine quilt it myself and had bobbin tension problems and just plain gave up!  I took out my awful stitching and took it over to a favorite longarm quilter.  She quilted just what I tried to quilt, wandering stars.

I just love these fun cowboy fabrics.  Here's a close up:

And don't you just LOVE this backing?  It's an Alexander Henry print.  He makes some fabulous big prints.

This will be a Christmas present for someone special this year.  Giddyup!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Books - You Decide!

I've been able to get quite a bit of reading and listening done lately.  I don't know why I'm on such a roll but I do love having time to read.  These are a few of my recent reads that I wouldn't rate highly.

Truth Like the Sun 

This novel is about the man behind the Seattle World Fair and construction of the Space Needle.  A journalist is covering a story about him and the fair and uncovers some unsettling information about Seattle's hero.  It moves back and forth in time.  It's well written but the main character just exhausted me.  I made it to the end of the book with a great deal of effort.

Skinnydipping: A Novel

This book was written by the popular Bethenny Frankel and is on the NY Times bestseller list.  Same as the last book, it's fairly well written.  But it's a little too trendy and hip for me.  It's hard for me to think women actually live like this.  And the protagonist is a little too frenetic for me, again I was exhausted by her escapades.  But it's a big seller so most people must like it.

The Next Best Thing

 I like this book a little better and have enjoyed this author.  Her stories are really deep and well developed, but they usually entertain the reader.  This was okay.  I liked the story line and small town, overweight girl making it big.  But there were some glaring problems in the book and I'm surprised the editing wasn't better. 

These are all fun summer beach type books.  I would get them from the library, none are really worth an investment in my humble opinion.  But you decide == you might love them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Making Applesauce

I went out into our back yard and picked some apples last week.  There were a LOT of apples, seems it was a great crop for us.  But the two of us could not eat all these apples before they went bad.  

These are from our tree.

Added some from the fridge that weren't the best flavor raw.
Here's the finished product, 8 pints and 4 half pints, no sugar added.  I use these for fat free baking and with pork chops and pork tenderloin.  It was lots of work but worth it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A New Book, sad though

The Dovekeepers: A Novel
I've tried to read this book twice, and just couldn't make it through.  It's so sad.  The women are powerful and withstand so many heartbreaks and tragedy.  It just didn't seem there was a glimmer of hope for any of them so I put it down again.  Maybe I'll come back to it someday.  It is highly rated and reviewed.  Of course, Alice Hoffman is a marvelous author.  Below is the Amazon Best book of the week review.  You can decide for yourself.

Yael was born of a dead mother and father who knows how to become invisible. Revka learned silence when her grandsons lost their voices after witnessing their mother’s brutal murder. Aziza became a boy to protect herself, and hates being forced to turn back into a woman. And Shirah will do anything to protect those she loves from the horrors of the world. The power and violence of these women is evident in every word of The Dovekeepers. Hoffman’s prose is vivid and unforgettable, scorching like the desert heat, and will stay with you long after you finish the last page. A story of sacrifice, endurance, and above all, survival, The Dovekeepers is homage to anyone who’s ever held fast to their beliefs in the face of nearly insurmountable adversity. --Malissa Kent

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

June UFOs

I was busy during June finishing lots of UFOs.  Most of them were smaller projects left hanging around my sewing room for years.  You already saw On the Line on June 23rd's post.  Here are several other projects I finished last month.  It feels great to have them done and my gift chest is replenished.  I just love giving a hand made present to someone special.

From the Smarty Pants pattern; cute baby gift; I've made 6 sets

Tiara pillow #1; those are lots of French knots with metallic thread, not fun!

Tiara #2

Sweet jacket but the little girl is too big for it now!

Jacket pattern, really fun and easy, just time consuming.

Thanksgiving coasters

Christmas card baskets, lots of tutorials if you Google it.  They are tedious to make, my yarn is messy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Book, fun author

Sonoma Rose 
I found this new book by a favorite author, Jennifer Chiaverini, at my local library. It was prominently displayed on their Claimjumper shelf.  That's a shelf for new releases that are available for a three week only check out.  Well, I've read many of Jennifer's quilting themed books and was disappointed by the last few of them, just seemed a lot of repeated plot from previous books.  Well, this one was a fun surprise.  It's all new material about a lady who must be very brave to protect herself and her children during Prohibition.  She has an abusive husband, old love, grandma's quilts, and a winery to contend with.  I recommend this, but check it out from the library.  You'll have it done in a couple of days and it will be time well spent.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Easter Baskets

Sweet Jelly Bean Basket

Here's one for one of the big guys

A couple of these for the baseball players

Vintage for my sister

Mod for my daughters

More jelly beans

The table is all set and looks lovely, I think!

So this post is pretty late being published.  I debated about it but decided these baskets were just too much fun.  I found the idea on another fabulous blog, Patches.typepad.com.  These were quick and easy to make with  minimal sewing.  I used brads to attach the handles.  My husband freaked out when I decided two days before Easter to make baskets for the 14 coming to brunch.  He thought they were full sized baskets.  These are small and were our table decorations and placecards.  We put Easter grass, a paper egg for names, a Peep, and a $5 giftcard in each baskets.  It was fun deciding on each person's gift card and was more work than I thought driving around to buy them all.  It was a fabulous day and everyone raved about everything.  Here's a Honey Bun I bought at the local bread shop for the table too, isn't he sweet?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Club Titles

The Art of Fielding This was our book club selection for May, so you can see I'm a little behind.  Anyway, it was a fabulous read, in my opinion.  I read it on my Ipad and I couldn't put it down.  It was on the New York Times list of best 2011 books.  It's about a star college baseball player.  But it is more than a book about baseball.  It's a campus novel and a romance.  It's also a book about life, searching for perfection, literature, and finding yourself.  I highly recommend it.  Most everyone in our book club loved it.  I have a bias towards baseball since both of my nephews are stand out players and I've been to lots of games in my lifetime.

Our June selection is this: 

Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting FulfillmentI'll be on vacation so I won't make the meeting.  I want to read it though, it's all tips on being "happier".  And who doesn't want that?

Our July read is a decadent beach read.  We chose Norah Roberts, Sacred Sins.Sacred SinsWe decided most of us take a beach vacation sometime during the summer and take a sexy romantic novel to read with us.  So we decided to pick one, spend a few hours at the beach, and get it done.  No stress, analyzing, looking up words in the dictionary, literary guides for us in July!