A Little Sew-Jo

Oh,  I do love sewing time and I’ve been in a slump these last couple of weeks but the skies opened up and I was blessed with a couple pockets of time! I decided to tackle the scrap basket (ok, one of many) that currently looks like this.

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Scary,  right?  Well,  the first thing out of it were a whole bunch of cloth napkins (18) in need of hems.

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These are little lunch-sized napkins that are just right for little hands and quick snacks.
I also finished a few stray blocks including my first “Wild and Goosey” unit.

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“Wild and Goosey” is another wonderful Bonnie Hunter patten which can be found on Quiltmaker  Magazine’s website

23 blocks in all. ..that feels really good!
I

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also got the final borders on a charity quilt but,  if course,  when you lay a quilt out somewhere. ..cuteness happens!

This is Gizmo giving it a “cat scan.”
I’m hoping to finish my goal project,  a shirt for my husband, this weekend and baste a couple small projects.  It’s our anniversary on Saturday,  too,  so I guess I can’t spend the whole day in the sewing room,  can I?
Happy quilting!
Beth

“Until the Harvest” is Sweetly Predictable

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Ok, honestly, “Until the Harvest” is pretty much your standard “girl meets boy, boy doesn’t see girl, boy skirts trouble, starts to appreciate girl, etc.” However, the novel has a lot going for it. It is set in the 70’s which, for me, is pretty funny to see as an “era” piece since I already lived them. The characters are pretty well defined and there is an “other worldly” quality to one of the plot points. The interplay between the characters is, if predictable, certainly entertaining and while the love story is rocky there is a certain inevitability to the ending.

If you’re looking for gripping fiction, this isn’t the book for you. If you’re looking for a sweet, Christian love story that will make you remember your “bell-bottom” days, then give it a go. There’s a lot worse fiction out there. I wouldn’t call this an amazing book but it’s a good, solid afternoon’s read by the pool.

I’d give “Until the Harvest” a 3.5 for being a nice little read. It may not be the most exciting thing you read this summer, but I’ll bet you enjoy it and it leaves you with a nice “warm fuzzy” feeling.

This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own.

A Little Stitching is Better Than None!

Ok, so my world is crazy busy…I think I worked four evenings last week on top of having kids all day for all five days. Plus, there was a situation of massive unfairness towards my daughter (can’t share details right now) which threw me for an emotional loop. However, Friday and Saturday I got some fun stitching time in. I started by looking at the full-sized laundry basket hiding under my kitchen sewing station.

wpid-20150613_113237.jpg As I was staring at it planning my attack, several unhemmed napkins caught my eye. So, without baby on Friday, I hemmed four of them before the day was out (that’s working a bit here and there while the kids have snack, etc.) These are made from the left over Daisy Kingdom yardage that I used for the first curtains in this house.  My goal is to make enough of them for the kids to use them at snack time on a daily basis.   A small move towards a more environmentally friendly house. wpid-20150613_113212.jpg I spent Saturday doing the quilting on a friend’s quilt she made for her grandson.  I love what she did with the fabrics…each one relates to something he loves. wpid-20150613_194836.jpg Do you remember this fabric?  It was one of my thrift store finds and I decided to make the hubs a new shirt as my June goal.  Well, last night I got it all cut out and this morning I was going to spend some time getting to know my new (to me) serger but, alas, life had other plans.  This little lady stayed out all night and didn’t come home in the morning so hubs and I had to mount a rescue effort at the local bio swale. wpid-20150614_124008.jpg She was hungry but no worse for wear.  The stray cat, Spooky, that we’ve fed for over a year has gone missing and I wonder if she’s pining for him. After all, what girl can resist a man in a tuxedo? And, finally, last week my mom and I made a visit to our favorite thrift store where I added these pretties to my stash… wpid-20150604_124913.jpg The blue and red have over 10 yards each and I averages $1 – $2 per yard.  I’m already planning a quilt back from one and a shirt from the basketball fabric. It’s another busy week ahead but I’m planning to draft my “dog days” mini this week. The idea has been percolating and I hope my partner will be pleased!  It’s my first swap so I’m pretty nervous.  You can read more about it over at “The Quilted Cat.” Look for some more book reviews this week….I’m a bit behind and I have a fabulous audiobook I’m listening to, “The Final Silence” by Stuart Neville. Happy quilting and reading! Beth

June Goals and a May/June Finish

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It’s done, it’s done!  Labeled and bound and already at home in another state.  It was a perfect morning for photos but, by the time I went to take this photo, Oregon had adopted a “torrential downpour” kind of attitude which made photos outdoors an impossible option.  I finished it two days late for my May finish but I really enjoyed my time with my daughter and mom so it was worth it!

Now, on to June.  My dear husband is in need of a few shirts with the summer heating up so I’ve got a different kind of finish on my list for June.  (Actually, I’m hoping for more than one but let’s be real here.)  I’ve been known to occasionally (cough, cough) buy three yards of fabric with the “it will make a great shirt” justification.  The result is that there are about six or seven large pieces waiting to be sewn into shirts.  Oregon is already heating up and I need to get this man into some more short sleeve shirts pretty quick so my goal is to start with this print

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and work my way from there.  Now, lest you think this is a small goal (in my sewing days a shirt was about a two-to-three hour project) I need to confess that this will require the mastery of a new-to-me serger as well.

I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes over at Fiber of All Sorts.

Happy sewing and quilting!

Oh, and I wanted to show you a picture of my graduate with her quilt…I think she’s pretty pleased!

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“The Berenstain Bears God Made You Special”

bearsI’ve been a huge fan of the Berenstain Bears books since I discovered them when my oldest was little.  I loved the way they addressed real-life challenges kids face like bullying, lying, team sports, and moving with fun, good humor and common sense.  The illustrations were fun and the humor made them a joy to read with my children.  Over the years, I’ve shared many a Berenstain Bears book with my daycare kids, as well, so I jumped at the chance to review “The Bernenstain Bears God Made You Special.”

Personally, I think there’s a little something lacking without Jan and Stan.  Mike has the illustrations down but the storytelling reads more like Sunday School than Berenstain Bears.  I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed reading it even though the message was good because it lacked the humor and witty edge of the earlier books.  However, the proof is in the reading.  The preschooler that I “test read” this with enjoyed it and maybe that’s all there needs to be.  I do believe, however, that the same great message of tolerance and kindness could have been preached with a bit more humor in the “classic bear style.”

This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions are entirely my own.

Twins!

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This isn’t the greatest photo but these two are going home tomorrow and I couldn’t help sharing them before they go!   My friend, Donna,  recently welcomed twin grandsons and asked if I would quilt these two adorable quilts for her.   The pattern is from the book “Fat Quarter Style” edited by Kimberly Jolly and published by the Fat Quarter Shop.
I have to admit that I couldn’t return the book without giving it a quick look. ..lots of yummy quilts, if only I had more hours in a day!
Happy quilting,
Beth

Memorial Day Greetings

This morning,  my husband and I attended the annual Memorial Day service held at the historic Mountainview Cemetery.  This annual event is a moving tribute to the fallen servicemen and women of our armed forces.  This is just one of the many things I love about my small town life.

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I pray that the families of the fallen take some comfort in knowing that they are not forgotten.

May your day be blessed,
Beth

“The Girl in the Road” Should Stay There

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Ok, first let me emphatically state that I am not a prude. I’m not offended by sex in novels (although I’d prefer it to be less graphic than more graphic) and I’m not particularly picky about the gender mix of the adults in said novels. I mean, I may not be inclined the same way but it’s not my place to judge. I draw the line, however, at sex with children being portrayed as anything but abuse. There are not one but two scenes in this book where an adult has a sexual encounter with a younger person and one is portrayed as an 8 year-old initiating a sexual encounter with a 20 year-old. For that reason alone, I feel this book is a total waste but that’s not really all that’s wrong with it.
In addition to this obvious flaw, the setting is murky and unclear. I mean, sure, it a post-apocalyptic setting but initially you struggle to figure out where on the space/time continuum you are. While the language is pretty good, there is no sense of clear plot or resolution and I finished it with a sense of “Well, that was a waste of my time,” and a strong desire to wash my hands.
All in all, I’d suggest that “The Girl in the Road” be left there to be run over by a truck.
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, obviously, are my own!

Happy Victoria Day

What’s the best way to explore Victoria, BC?  Well, in my opinion,  taking about 100 terrific high school band members with you can’t be beat!   (No pun intended.
Seriously,  though,  I’m chaperoning my younger daughter on a band trip to Canada and we are having a great time

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This is the two if us on the ferry.
And,  of course I had to find a quilt shop.

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I showed admirable restraint and kept my purchases to one fat quarter even though the shop was having a sale on batiks.
We spent yesterday morning at the gardens which were lovely

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and today we march in the parade.  If you happen to be here,  we’re the band in the red,  black and gold uniforms. 

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I’ll write more later when I’m not posting from my phone.
Happy quilting!

“Finding Me” is an Interesting Read with a Good Premise

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Imagine you grew up in the wake of great loss.  Your mother and siblings died in a house fire when you were an infant and your father raised you after remarrying.  This is Kelli Huddleston’s story until her father dies and she discovers news clippings about the disappearance of a man and his infant daughter in a small boat.  Except the man in the picture is her father and the baby is Kelli.

Now, the premise of “My whole life has been a lie, who am I really?” isn’t a particularly new or fresh one but  Kathryn Cushman does a nice job of fleshing it out into an interesting and enjoyable story.  Since it is in the Christian Fiction genre, there is the inevitable conversion but it is well managed and fits into the story line.  This is a “stuff in your beach bag for a relaxing afternoon read” kind of book.   It’s not going to set the pond on fire but it’s good, solid, enjoyable fiction.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House for this review.  The opinions, however, are entirely my own!