Happy Quilting Day

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May I introduce “Grumpy Penguin?”  We’re on the road for Spring Break but I wanted to wish everyone happy quilting day!  I hope you had some quality sewing time and that your penguins were all happy!
Beth

“The Bracelet” Evokes Gothic Romance

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Celia Browning has it all. She’s a wealthy, beautiful Savannah-ite with a handsome beau and lovely prospects and a family secret that may threaten to cost her everything…including her life. A series of threatening letters begin to arrive and a scandal-hunting newspaperman threatens to divulge details that will derail Celia’s happiness and possible destroy her family.

I’m going to be quite frank here. I enjoyed this book but wasn’t that impressed by it. There’s a lot of melodrama and a few cases where you just had to wonder how much research was done into the customs of the times. Personally, I thought the writing was well-done and would be interested to read something by this author in another genre. While part of the story was inspired by actual events in Savannah, the fictionalized account requires quite a few leaps of intellectual faith. However, if you want a light read with a nice mystery and a light romance, you could definitely do worse. So, while it doesn’t make my “must read” book, it’s not bad and pretty enjoyable.

This book was provided to me by the publisher. The opinions, however, are my own!

Looking to Spice Up Your Paleo Diet? Look No Further than “The Paleo Chef.”

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I’ll admit it, I was wondering how good a cookbook could be if the only thing on the cover was a very handsome chef. After all, I wondered, what exactly are they selling here? Well, it turns out that Chef Pete Evans is not just easy on the eyes but his fresh, flavorful approach to Paleo cooking may be just what your doctor ordered! “The Paleo Chef” is packed with fun, fresh and flavorful recipes that will delight almost any eater. There are more than 100 recipes accompanied by gorgeous photos. From Kale Hummus to Mum’s Burgers (which have a clever paleo trick for a bun!) to Japanese Crispy Chicken with Miso Mayonnaise this book is packed with “must try” recipes.

I particularly like the Brussel sprouts with bacon and garlic and the roasted winter veggies. If you’re exploring the Paleo diet or your thinking about it, pick up a copy of “The Paleo Chef.” You’ll find a wonderful array of recipes and, let’s face it; the cover art is pretty nice, too!

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

March Goal Setting (and a near miss)

It’s March!  Yesterday, the first, was what we call “rabbit, rabbit” day.  There’s an old, British superstition that saying “rabbit, rabbit” first thing on the first day of the new month is supposed to bring good luck.  I think it’s a fun game and it always makes me smile thinking of the lovely lady who taught me about it.

So, new month, new goals.  My goal for this month is to quilt this lovely.  I’ve had a request for some charity quilts and the Heartstring Project was kind enough to share some blocks.  My cousin put them together and my youngest daughter and I will be quilting and binding them.  (I’m going to do a whole post about this later this week…stay tuned.)

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There’s another project that needs doing that is to do something with this lovely pile of inspiration I picked up at guild.

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I made a start this evening by pressing and cutting into 2″ and 3.5″ strips.  I’m envisioning another Sawtooth variation but in a 3×3 set to go as a lap robe.  (I did the same thing as a baby quilt earlier this year.)
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Today, I had an unexpected block of time to my “own self” and after going to get a routine blood draw which led to being in a lock-down situation (everyone was ok…it was a “better safe than sorry” thing), I took a side trip to my favorite thrift store where I found these lovely pillow cases in a Moda print.  I apologize in advance if the maker ever reads this but I removed the stitching and wound up with about 2.5 yards of fabric for $3.  I do love a pretty fabric bargain!
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The near miss today wasn’t the lock down, it was my batting!  I used a lovely gift from one of my daycare families to help buy a new roll of batting.  I finally got around to using it only to find that it is the wrong kind!  I almost always use Hobb’s Heirloom (no advertising here, just my preference) and this was Hobb’s Polydown.  Luckily, the ladies at Fabric Depot have no problem exchanging it even though I bought it months ago.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to pick the roll up until Wednesday morning so my basting plans for today were a bust.  I was, however, so thankful that I was busy admiring the clean, lovely look of the sealed roll that I noticed the label before I tore the roll open!

Today was the first day I felt well enough to work out despite a little lingering cough.  This is the time of year when Winnie (the cat) and I both struggle with our allergies so it’s hard to decide if it’s the allergies or the cold.  This is also the time of year when Winnie gets her long-acting steroid shot for her asthma.  Thank goodness the shots work for her because the next step is an inhaler…and this is the shy cat we can’t even pick up.  Can you imagine trying to mask her and get an inhaler in her twice a day? Me neither.

Well, tomorrow is a baby day although my sweet little friend is now a busy toddler, she’ll always be a baby to us.  That means a 5 am wake up so I’m linking this up to A Lovely Year of Finishes and then going to bed!

Happy quilting!

Beth99

February Blocks, Flimsy and Winner

So my month wasn’t nearly as productive as I’d have liked but I’m not going to bore you with tales of illness and 80-hour work weeks.  I am,  however,  going to celebrate what I did get done!
In part because of my fun star blocks,  I had a block total of 43 for February.

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I also finished this little guy this morning…isn’t he cute?

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He’s from the block of the month over at Quiet Play.
My finish goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes only made it to the flimsy stage but I’m taking that as a win after all those nights up coughing. This is Sarah’s graduation quilt. 

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The top row contains her initials,  the next two are qualifications “RN” for registered nurse and “BSN” for Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the final row is her graduation date 12-13-14…isn’t that a great date? I believe it’s the last sequential date of the decade and so easy to remember!    I did get to do a little shopping this week. Here are the fat quarters for Dorian, who won my giveaway.  

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I also picked up some pieces from the “Have a Latte” line for the next blog hop project.

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I’m really looking forward to playing with these!
So,  tonight I’m off to work but this afternoon I’m playing with fabric and enjoying the company of my sewing buddies.

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I hope your Saturday is just as wonderful! I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes and Quiet Play.

“We Support You” Blog Hop and a Giveaway!

I love, love, love the heart of Madam Samm at Sew We Quilt!  She created a lovely applique pattern to help show our support for members of our community who may be facing one of life’s biggest challenges.  Now, personally, I had an aunt who faced not one but two bouts of breast cancer in the late 60’s and  early 70’s.  Later, the cancer went on a wander around and turned up on her spinal column.  Through it all, she was the most kind and lovely person you would ever want to meet!  So, this quilt is dedicated to my Aunt June, a many decades survivor of breast cancer and a generally wonder example of grace under pressure as well as to a couple of dear friends who are survivors.

Now, before I show it to you, a word about the pattern.  Madam Samm’s pattern is available for purchase for $ 12.00 by emailing Madame Samm directly at:
madamesamm@me.com (and it’s much more elegant than my project!)

However, sometimes a pattern is not so much a pattern as an inspiration and I hope she’s not too disappointed with where I went with her inspiration.  You see, every time I looked at the pattern, my mind kept superimposing piecing for embroidery and applique.  So, here’s my “homage” to Madam Samm’s pattern with all free-hand piecing (except for the border and paper-pieced ribbon.)

Who knew my car made a good quilt rack?  Kudos to my youngest for the photo!

Who knew my car made a good quilt rack? Kudos to my youngest for the photo!

Honestly, free piecing the bra was pretty fun and I’m excited with how it turned out.  I have no idea where this one will end up.  I was thinking of offering it to the mammography clinic in my women’s health group.  One of the OB docs is a quilter and has filled the clinic and lobby with quilts which gives it a wonderfully warm feel but the mammography area could use a little cheer.  So, there’s my entry…I’ve wandered a bit far afield but I’ve enjoyed the journey and hope you like the outcome!  My heartfelt thanks to Madam Samm and  to Pat at Life in the Scrap Patch for putting this all together and for their wonderful, caring hearts!

To see what the pattern really looks like, please hop on over to these talented quilters

Feb  4th 

Kris Loves Fabric

Words & Stitches You’re Here!

Jane’s Quilting

Tea Time Creations

Now, I like to do a little giveaway with my blog hops, just to give a little something back and so I’m giving away a trio of fat quarters…but there’s a catch.  You’ll have to tell me what color you’d like if you win, because I haven’t even shopped for them yet!  So, tell me in the comments what color you’d like and, yes, I will ship internationally!  I’ll have Mr. Random draw a comment number when the hop is done.

Happy quilting and, for those of you in the fight right now, stay strong…all playing aside, we really do support you!

Beth

February Goal Setting

I couldn’t really be more excited about my January progress… it’s been a long time since I had four finishes!  Now, with a new month ahead I have one firm goal and two “wanna do” quilts.  The first is finishing Sarah’s graduation quilt.  Here’s a peek at it now, just a partial top.

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Next on my list is a charity quilt for our donor program.  Sue sent us some heart string blocks to help us get started and I’m excited to start putting these beauties together!

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Of course, there’s also my “We support you” project which I hope won’t get me banned from blog hops… lol! 
Ok, so that’s three and the Superbowl is nearly over so let the quilting games begin!
Happy quilting,
Beth
I’m linking this up to a Lovely Year of Finishes.

“Love Without End” is a Solid, Satisfying Romance

51va5+qEE9LKimberly Welch lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. In the aftermath, she lost everything else when the secrets of her husband’s finances were revealed. Now, she and her daughter are living with her old friend in the small town of Kings Meadow and her once delightful daughter is becoming a sullen teen.
Chet Leonard’s wife left him with two sons and a ranch to run after their oldest son died in an accident. He’s still stinging from the double loss but that doesn’t keep him from agreeing to help when someone offers to give Kimberly’s teen a horse of her own. Now that Nana Anna has returned to Kings Meadow to bring some feminine wisdom back to his home and a grandmother to his sons will Chet find by her example that love can come at the most unexpected times?
Robin Lee Hatcher delivers a solid, warm and loving romance that reminds readers that life can go badly awry and still come out with a satisfying conclusion. If you love a good romance with realistic characters (including sometimes grumpy teens) go ahead and grab a copy of “Love Without End.” It may not be life-changing “Literature” but it’s a nice, heartwarming read.
This book was provided for my by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

“Furry Logic” is a Sure-Fire Smile Maker!

furry logicNeed a little lift to brighten your day? Do you have an animal-loving friend who needs a little extra smile power? Then pick up a copy of Jane Seabrook’s “Furry Logic.” Jane Seabrook has been delighting people for years with her adorable animals paired with fun, funny or thought-provoking captions. Each entry in the 10th Anniversary Edition of “Furry Logic” is sure to bring a smile. The book starts with an irritable-looking owl peeking out with the caption, “Smile first thing in the morning. Get it over with.” It is filled with lovely watercolors of animals ranging from chameleons to penguins (including my favorite…cats!)
If you know someone who needs their day brightened, or your own day needs a pick-me-up, pick up a copy of “Furry Logic.” I guarantee there are smiles waiting in it for you!
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own!

A January Re-cap…blocks and finishes

Oh what an exciting month this January has been! So exciting that I’ve been awfully quiet on here. So, let me tell you what’s been happening…
First, the news! My older daughter who just graduated nursing school in December took her national nursing boards and she passed on the first go! The very next day, she flew to Colorado to interview for a program that takes new grads right into critical care. She had an early interview because she was flying to Copenhagen that afternoon for a trip to Europe (that’s a whole other story) and they called offered her the job before she even got back to the airport! Now, the bad news is that she’s moving to Colorado….but’s that’s yet another story! I’m just so excited for her to have this amazing opportunity to do the kind of nursing she really wants to do!

Now, finishes and blocks.  I found a way to keep track of both by putting little white boards by both my upstairs and downstairs sewing areas.  For January, I made…drumroll, please….

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wpid-ncm_0134.jpgFour finishes (not 1,111…lol!)  and between both boards a total of 128 blocks!  Woo hoo!

My first two finishes of the year were charity quilts and so were the second two.  I showed these two in a prior post.  I took this pile of fabric

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to this make this quilt.

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Then I finished the quilting and binding on the top charity quilt in this pile.

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I had stumbled on this lovely bag of pastel scraps on our guild’s free scrap  table.

I didn't think to photograph the bag until I'd already started so it was fuller than this at first!

I didn’t think to photograph the bag until I’d already started so it was fuller than this at first!

Someone had thrown their project leftovers into a bag and, well, sometimes a bag of cute scraps needs to get used right now!  There were already some sewn strip sets for nine-patches and four-patches so I put them together into a doll quilt and a baby quilt for our guild’s charity outreach.  The batting and backings were scrap and free pieces, too so the only investment in these two quilts was the $2 piece of thrift store purple that I used for borders and bindings.

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I even got my hand-me-down Handi Quilter (original system that you put your own machine in) up and working and quilted the baby quilt on it.  (There’s a reason that there is no close-up of the quilting!)  I absolutely hated it at first but I’m committing to quilting six charity quilts on it before I give up.  By the end of the first quilt, I was starting to like it.    In between things, I’ve been working hard at cutting scraps into usable strips and squares, etc.  My pile of scraps doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller but it’s hard to tell when you add a scrappy kitty to the mix!

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I’m working away on my entry for the We Support You Blog Hop…but I’m a little worried.  You know how sometimes a pattern is just a “jumping off spot?”  Well, I sure hope Madam Samm is going to like where I landed with this one!  In the meantime, here’s the rest of the schedule so you can see what this talented group is up to!  I’m linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes and checking back in with my block total at Prairie Moon.

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

We Support You Blog Hop Full Schedule Jan 29th 

Life in The Scrapatch

Living With Purpose

What About Rheema?

Kwilt Krazy

Jan 30th 

Just Let Me Quilt

Stitch and Quilt

how arT you

Living My Dream

Feb 2nd 

Quiltscapes

Made By Me In Red

Ga’s House

Sew Incredible Crazy

Feb 3rd 

My Quilting Journey

Creativity Amongst Chaos

Peanut’s Patchwork

KaHolly

Feb  4th 

Kris Loves Fabric

Words & Stitches – That’s me!

Jane’s Quilting

Tea Time Creations

Feb 5th  

Selina Quilts

Dutchess Crazy & Sane Quilting World

Moose Stash Quilting

Lovelli Quilts

Feb 6th  

I Piece 2 – Mary

Baa’s Amazing Adventure

Quilted Delights The Blended Blog

Feb 9th 

Stitchin By The Lake

 Tea Leaf Quilts

Books, Hooks, Sticks, etc

Seams To Be Sew

Stitchen’ My Life Away

Feb 10th  

 Creatin’ In the Sticks

The Quilting Queen Online

Everyone Deserves A Quilt

The Quilted Cat

Hill Valley Quilter

Feb 11th  

Buzzing and Bumbling

In Stitches and Seams

All thingz sewn

The Slow Quilter

Quilts From my Crayon Box

Sew We Quilt