Hurray for the first finish of 2019!! My goal was to link this up as a finished quilt during the Fireburst celebration over the New Year’s weekend. Alas, that didn’t happen.
However I happened to have a bit of sewing time this week and I finished it up. I started the spiral quilting which is always a bit difficult and wonky for me at first. I was following along at the width of the walking foot but after several full spirals, it started to look a little too tight.
The beginning of the spiral quilting.
I decided to stop quilting and I set it aside. My main concern was whether the quilt would be stiff if I continued to quilt it with this density. I am not a huge fan of dense quilting unless it is a quilt hanging on a wall.
After waiting a bit and asking for input on Instagram and Facebook, I started working on it again. I did a somewhat gradual widening of the spirals such that by the outermost edge, the stitching lines were two full inches apart. I like this so much better. If I could have, I would have started to widen the spirals earlier but I think this looks really nice.
Sewing the binding on. Isn’t the plaid binding so cute?
The quilting took very little time. After the spirals were finished, I used a fun, decorative stitch on my machine for the orange border. I really like the way it looks. There are so many cute stitches available on the machine and I rarely remember to use them. Anyway, that was a lot of fun.
For the backing and binding, I shopped downstairs, where I keep the Needle & Foot bolts. It didn’t take long to choose Folk Fleur and Homespun from the Meriwether line by Amy Gibson. I think these fabrics are so sweet. Plus, a bias plaid binding??? Any sort of bias cut binding is the best. When a fabric is a plaid that is already on the bias, so much the better. What do you think? This quilt looks great from the front or the back.
I am really happy with this sweet baby quilt. I am unsure where it is destined to live as of yet. But I am sure it will go to the perfect place. That usually seems to just make itself known. Thank you to Tish for hosting the Fireburst mystery QAL. I enjoyed the whole thing!
Finally, want to see another cute finish from this week? You might remember I spent some time in Vermont over the holidays. One of my favorite ways to spend time was having a tea party with H. When I posted this picture on Facebook, my friend Karen, Kaholly.com, suggested I make some little tea bags for her to pretend with. What a great idea!!
Tiny teabags for a tiny tea party.
I came home and made these. Using little scraps, I stitched up these squares with a bit of batting inside. To make the strings, I braided three strands of Perle cotton thread. Aren’t these fun! Lemon team, strawberry tea, pineapple tea, and…… kitty cats??? I don’t know why I made that one – I think I will tell her it is so she can make kitty tea for Jenny and Polly (their two cats). Clearly I didn’t think this through but it should work out. Maybe her cats want a spot of tea? Those poor cats – I can just see H following them around with a cup and this tea bag hoping they will want a sip. These were so fun to make. I hope she has as much fun using them.
Wishing all of you a great weekend. I know there are some huge storms threatening the Northeast. Stay safe and warm in your sewing room. we are expecting a lot of rain here so I will be doing the same thing!
I have had a sale running in the shop all week. It ends tomorrow which means there is still time!! Save 25% off on all Michael Miller fabrics. So many pretty prints and cozy flannels to choose from! Come take a peek. Remember shipping anywhere in the US is always $6.99 no matter the size of the order. Quite a deal
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Remember the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Starring John Candy and Steve Martin, it was a comedy about their trials and tribulations during a trip home for the Thanksgiving Holidays. It was quite popular in the mid-1980’s. It turns out Julia and I had the opportunity to re-enact the movie on our last trip home from Vermont. Well, that might be an exaggeration but our day of travel certainly reminded me of the movie.
The day before we were scheduled to fly home, I was checking in for our flights from Vermont to California. A screen popped up explaining the flight was over-booked (a very common occurrence with many airlines) and asking whether we would like to volunteer to be bumped. United Airlines asked how much money we would bid to accept in return for taking a later flight. The choices were $800, $1,000, or $1,200. Hmmm….. the bargain hunter in me thought – this could mean an ‘almost’ free trip back to Vermont to see my adorable grand daughter. We were supposed to leave on a Friday – would it really make any difference to us if we left on Saturday???
I talked to Julia, my son and my daughter-in-law and we all decided it would be good to volunteer. The pop-up screen explained that the lowest bids would be accepted first. Not taking any chances, I selected the $800 bid. Thinking this would be split between Julia and me, that would basically cover another flight out to the East coast. Rules were, we still had to show up at the airport and check in for our flight. They would then determine whether the flight was indeed overbooked (in case people with tickets for the flight failed to show up). If it was indeed overbooked, they would start calling from the list of people who had volunteered to be bumped. Well we had quite the early flight scheduled but my wonderful son had us to the airport by 5:30 am.
OK, The airport has grown a bit since this vintage postcard was made
We had to check our bags – they were too big to be considered carry-ons. We got to the United area and we were shocked to see the line. Have you ever flown out of the airport in Burlington, Vermont? It is so tiny. Normally there are one or two people in front of us. When we got there early that morning there were people everywhere. Lots of skis and snowboards being checked in at United. Vermont has excellent skiing and clearly vacations were ending and travelers were returning home. We waited in line and checked our bags. The security area in this airport is very small with one line walking through a small room. After going through security we checked with the attendant at the gate and asked if we would be bumped. She said it was too early to tell. We were asked to wait until the plane had completely boarded so she could figure it out.
All the while, my patient son waited in the hallway outside the gate. In this airport that means he was on the other side of a window watching us. He and Julia played ‘rock, paper, scissors’ and we all texted back and forth as we waited. Finally there were about one or two people left in line to board. The gate attendant told us ‘it looks like you are flying out this morning’. So we waved to Andrew, he walked off and we waited to board. Seriously, within two minutes, she looks up with a little panic and says, ‘we are over by two.’ (Why she didn’t know that two minutes earlier, I have no idea.). I texted Andrew and said “waitttttt!!!!!” He came right back and was laughing – we were all laughing at this point. It was early, we hadn’t had coffee yet and this was a long process!
They try to retrieve our bags but the plane takes off with Julia’s bag and mine is waiting somewhere in an office. The gate attendants were so nice and thanked us for volunteering. I told her it was worth it for $800. She looks up and tells me, well I have been approved to give you $1,000′. I was surprised and said, ‘yikes, $500 each? That’s great.’ She looks sort of perplexed and said, ‘no, $1,000 for each of you.’ Julia and I look at each other with a big smile.
The attendant starts looking for a flight to book us on. She seems to be having trouble and keeps muttering under her breath. It appeared that there wasn’t a route available for both of us to fly home together. She could find a single seat here or there but not two seats. Remember now, this is a very small airport and doesn’t have a lot of traffic in and out. She looks for about 40 minutes – trying all combinations of Delta, United and American but doesn’t find anything. By now Andrew and I are desperate for coffee and Julia is practically falling asleep in a chair. The attendant, clearly frustrated and not knowing what to do with these two people who need to get to California, calls her supervisor for help. The supervisor comes up and starts looking. She is rather incredulous as she realizes there really isn’t anything for the next two days. Julia was supposed to go back to school that Monday so we weren’t willing to stay longer than a day or so. Finally, after about an hour of this, I asked if it made sense to get us to another airport to leave from. I asked if there wasn’t some bus or train we could take? The women both looked up in total disbelief and said, ‘you would do that’?? Well, if it means we can go home, yes – of course we would. The supervisor looks at me and says ‘we will bump you up to $1,500 each if you will do this’. I looked and Julia and we just grinned.
Two Happy Travelers
They decide to send us home out of the Logan airport in Boston. It is a three hour drive to Boston and they book a taxi. I thought this was nuts as the cost was $500 dollars for the round trip to take us out there. The United attendants felt awful for this hassle. She kept offering things to us. ‘Here is a voucher for breakfast while you wait for the cab.’ Then, ‘let me refund your bag check fees’. It was crazy.
An hour later we were off to Boston in a taxi. By this time, we were so tired both of us slept and the ride passed quickly. From Boston, we flew to Chicago. Had a bit of a wait there and finally, late that afternoon, we took off for California. The flights were great and all was relatively smooth but it was a long, 22 hour, day. We arrived in California at 11pm which of course felt like 2 am. We still had to go get the car and drive home which is just over an hour away.
Hmmm…. where should we go next??
What a long day but really, it was worth it. For one thing, neither Julia nor I are what would be described as spontaneous. We tend to follow schedules and get rattled at times if there is a lot of change. But we had a really fun day together. We spent our layovers looking on line (thank goodness for wifi everywhere we went) at places we might travel with our $3,000 jackpot. We took naps on the flight and listened to music. All in all, not a terrible experience. (This is saying a lot from someone who truly dislikes flying.)
After some family discussion, we bought three flights to Maui in July. What a fun way to celebrate Julia’s high school graduation and have a great vacation before she leaves for college! Even with this trip, there is still about $900 on these vouchers left to spend. Well worth a 22 hour travel day home. Hmmm…. I wonder if we can get bumped from our flight home from Hawaii??
Have a great day. I did manage to get some sewing done over the weekend. I will get my thoughts organized and post an update this week! Have a wonderful Monday everyone.
Just want to let you know of a sale over in the shop this week! All Michael Miller fabrics are 25% off through Saturday, January 19th!! Lots of gorgeous pieces to choose from – florals, feathers, stripes and bikes!! Also, there are some cozy flannels on sale too. Come take a look!!
This year I have decided to participate in the monthly goal setting link up hosted by Patty over at Elm Street Quilts. Each month Patty has a fun link up for quilters to share what they plan to finish during the month. Doing this should encourage me to actually look at what I want to get done and set some priorities. So, now that you are just dying to know….. here is the goal for this month!
I completed the Fireburst Mystery QAL top in October. But with holiday sewing I never got it finished up. However I am trying to stay on top of things. So, this one will be finished and bound in January. Of course there are another five billion things I want to finish or make this month but darn it, this one is at the top of the list.
If you are a planner/list maker like me, check out the link up at Elm Street Quilts. I think today is the last day to link up. Patty has great sponsors though – so if prizes motivate you, that is another good reason to think about what you need to finish up this month.
While we are chatting, I want to let you know (or maybe remind you?) about the quilt drive happening for the victims of the recent Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. I am sure you are aware of the devastation that resulted from this disaster. As always, quilters from all over are helping families by making quilts for them. Carole, of From My Carolina Home, is the organizer of this drive. She has been working diligently to collect bed size quilts for families as they rebuild their homes and replace belongings that were destroyed. Over 4500 quilts are needed but, not to worry – the drive will continue into summer of 2019. Carole is kindly facilitating long armers with quilters who want to donate quilt tops. As long as they are bed size, she would love to have them. For more information, read her posts here. She plans to keep updated information available for quilters wanting to help with this drive.
OK – that’s it for today. Hope all of you have a wonderful week!
I saw a funny graphic on Facebook the other day. It isn’t something I made up and I don’t know to whom I would credit this but it resonated with me.
Of course, it is even worse now. It isn’t a couple of years out. Next year is 2020 so, 30 years ago will be 1990. How can that be? Thirty years ago seems such a long while back. However 1990 doesn’t seem that long ago. Ah, I am such the philosopher. These are the deep thoughts I have been having as we move into 2019 – 😉
I have had the pleasure of spending the New Year’s holiday with my oldest son and DIL in Vermont. It has been a wonderful week of family time – my middle son and his wife drove here from Toronto for the holiday. My grand daughter has been charming – I gave her a little plastic tea set for Christmas and we have had a number of tea parties with her stuffed animals.. I am surprised to see how quickly she fell into this pretend routine of pouring tea (she calls it ‘pepper tea’ as she can’t quite say peppermint tea). She adds a spoonful of sugar, stirs the tea and then blows on it to cool it off for her hedge hog and her Elmo doll. I love it!
I also brought her a little dress that I made a couple of days before flying out. This is the first time I have sewn anything with a Burda pattern. The directions were clearly explained though so I didn’t have any issues. When I was making this, my DIL’s mother was visiting in Vermont so I was able to ask her to take a few measurements for me. I made a size 2 and, for the most part, it fits nicely
The fabric is a soft and cozy fleece from Jo-Ann Fabrics. It is a deep navy with little hearts outlined in silver. H called them stars, maybe because they are sort of sparkly?
The neckline is finished with a strip of the same fabric. I am STILL having issues with my serger so I finished the seams with a small zig zag stitch and then trimmed the seams. It worked just fine.
Here is a cute picture of H wearing her new dress. Is she not absolutley adorable??
Earlier that same day, she asked Grammy to put ‘pretty-pretties’ in her hair which means a pony tail. She has so little hair, but I did the best I could! She makes me smile.
This morning we woke to a little bit of snow. Perfect timing – we get to have just a bit of wintry weather before heading back to California tomorrow to the real world. School starts next week for Julia and I have orders to ship. We had such a great visit though – Vermont life is pretty wonderful!
Being the list maker I am, it is a strong part of my nature to plan. Of course plans don’t always go the way I hope but still, I try! Last year I set a list of a few goals I wanted to achieve with my business and I think it is helpful to take a look at those to see what was achieved before creating a plan for 2019. Here goes! I set five goals for 2018.
Continue to grow both of my shops.
Work on my free motion and long arm quilting skills.
I have three quilts in process right now and I want to finish them.
I want to set a goal to send birthday cards to my family and friends.
Most importantly, I need to work on acceptance of the limitations I experience due to my health.
Looking at these I think I did well for the most part. First one was so rewarding! I worked very hard to expand both my fabric and my pattern shops. I am very happy to see the growth that has happened this year. I achieved 33% growth in sales for the fabric shop. Also, the average order value increased from $21 to $27. Looking at the increase in average order value is pleasing – it doesn’t look like a huge increase but considering the number of $10-$12 orders I ship, it really is. There have been many more large orders which is great for the health of my shop. The pattern shop did well too. However I only have 6 months of numbers from 2017 to compare to 2018 so I didn’t get exact numbers. But I feel like I have a solid base of customers for that shop and the orders are quite steady.
The second goal was not achieved. Not even close!! I did almost no free motion quilting and didn’t get to the long arm shop more than a couple of times. So, that one still needs work!!
Goal number 3 – I finished two of the three quilts I had on the list. Both my Twisted and my Scrappy HST quilt are done. However, I didn’t touch the Ring Me project. I do love this pattern and hope to finish it this year.
Number 4 seemed so easy. But it fell off the radar by summer time. I have such a huge family and really hoped to stay in touch more by doing this. I will try again. I sent off a card just yesterday. Sending and receiving ‘real’ mail is becoming less and less common so I want to try this one again!
Number 5 – by far the most important goal of all. I think I knocked this one out of the park. I really tried to stay in the moment and not sink into that dark misery that chronic illness often causes. My neurologist and I worked diligently together and adjusted meds a few times. The migraines are still constant (2-3 each week) but they are far less intense and I am able to deal with them better. I am also much better about working within the limitations my health sets for me. I missed a quilt show that I was supposed to vend at (huge expense there but I just couldn’t do it). Also missed my sister’s 60th birthday party and was incredibly sad about that. However, this is life. And so many people out there have it much worse than I. Keeping things in perspective has been really helpful. So, yes – I rocked this one!
OK – Now to look forward!
Continue to grow my shops. I have a some fun things in store for you, my loyal customers and friends. I have some great giveaways coming your way, quilt kits that will be created and offered to you, and the occasional blogger bundle planned. I will give details to you soon but it will be such a fun year!!
Stay involved with charitable projects. These make me feel satisfied and provide the perspective I need to always appreciate the blessings I receive. Last year I loved working on my Spread the Love campaign with Amy at A Doll Like Me. Now I am working with Mercy Hospital on the #MercyfulQuilts project. Both of these are near and dear to my heart. Again, you will continue to hear about these wonderful organizations in 2019.
Finish UFO’s. I have four at the moment (hmm…. I had three at the end of last year and here I am again!). I need to quilt and bind my Postage Plus quilt top (remember the hop for the Modern Plus Quilts book? I have not yet finished my project!!). Also, I need to finish the Fireburst Mystery quilt. The top is done and basted, so just quilting and binding remain. Then I need to finish the Ring Me quilt. Finally I have a quilt top I had made for #MercyfulQuilts which I need to finish up. Also, since clearly this isn’t enough… I am adding two projects to the quilting list this year. I plan to make a whole cloth quilt for my bed and also want to make a Quilt of Valor for the #MercyfulQuilts project. I have never made a QOV so I am looking forward to that one!
Practice garment sewing. I made a number of things to wear this year. Some were successes and others, not so much!! But I have a couple of patterns lined up and will keep on sewing. I love making clothes so this is a fun one to plan!
Same as last year…. strive to accept my limitations caused by chronic illness. One big adjustment for this year is I will not be vending at quilt shows (with the exception of possibly our local quilt guild’s show in May.) I cannot reliably plan to feel well on any given day. In 2017 I had to forfeit my booth at one show and the same happened in 2018. Between the two shows there was a loss of $300. This is too much for a small shop like mine. The work involved in these shows is quite a lot. I have had to look hard at this and accept that it isn’t the right thing for me. Kind of disappointing because I enjoy the shows and talking with all the wonderful quilters but such is life. Making the decision has actually been a relief which tells me it is the right thing to do.
OK – that is it for this year. How about you? Do you have something you hope to work on or work toward? Tell me in the comments! Let’s encourage each other along the way. Happy New Year friends!
My newest daughter-in-law has a December birthday, just a few days before Christmas actually. This year I decided to make her a quilt. Some time back, I had given Ian a lap quilt for their couch but thought it would be fun to make a Christmasy quilt for Shar to use in winter months.
The cute white square is from the Pixie Noel line.
The plan was built around the need for a quick quilt and this cute package of Pixie Noel charms I won in a giveaway several years ago over at Silly Mama Quilts. It was not the complete set so I think I had about 20 or so charms.
I hunted through my holiday scraps and cut about 200 charms so I would have plenty to play with. (I have soooo many holiday scraps!). I wanted to make it a bit less traditional in color so I used a lot of blue and white.
Being a simple patchwork, the top came together quickly. Then it sat for a while because I had a flurry of holiday orders to sew for my shop.
I decided to back it with a soft flannel to make it really cozy. I think this is the first time I backed a quilt with flannel but I like how soft it is. Julia really liked it too and requested the next quilt I make for her be flannel backed too. The wintry blue color worked well with the front.
It has been a long while since I free motion quilted anything and jeez, I was so rusty. This simple stipple was so awkward. Definitely showed me the need to practice more – my hands were not at all cooperative!! Now that it is washed and crinkled, it looks better but still…. I intentionally used a very large stipple so it would stay very soft.
Given the choice, I will often opt for a bias stripe binding. I love this one!! It looks just like a candy peppermint stick.
At this point in the year, I suspect this will be my last quilt finish. There is a slim chance I will get my Fireburst quilt top finished but not for sure. We shall see! I am working on a few things for my grand daughter that I hope to bring her when we go to Vermont the last week of December. So it just depends on how much time there is…… December’s days require more than the 24 hours we are given. There is always so much to do!!
I have been so excited for this last Blogger Bundle event of 2018! Throughout the year it has been such fun to share specially curated bundles of fabric with you. This has allowed me to work closely with eleven different bloggers as they created a collection and then made something special with it. Many of you have bought them and enjoyed these unique bundles too. As the year progressed, I knew I wanted to do something special to wrap it all up at the end of the year. That is exactly what is going to happen today! Warning, this post is a bit on the long side. Sit back, have some tea and enjoy!
Each blogger’s collection was available for a limited time only so they are no longer listed in the shop. Now it is your turn to take another look good look at each of them. I would love for each of you to review the bundles that were curated and sold each month. Then I want to ask you to vote using the form at the end of this post and tell me which bundle is your favorite. This is only for fun. Although, really, just think of the amazing bragging rights it will provide the winning blogger with!! She will have this new feather in her cap – winning the incredibly prestigious honor of having been voted curator of the favorite Needle & Foot 2018 Blogger Bundle! Yikes, it will be life changing for her. Haha – not really. But it will be fun to see which bundle, of all of these gorgeous collections, is the most well received.
Wait – there is more!!! Each month as these bundles were promoted, I held one back, resulting in this lovely array of amazing fabric!
As a special way to wrap up the year, I will be giving away the full collection of eleven fat quarter bundles to one very lucky reader. There will be a random drawing from all who vote and one person will win the entire set of blogger bundles! What a great way to add some fantastic bundles to your stash. Think of all you could create in 2019 with these!
To vote, you will need to take a look at each bundle. (Please vote only one time!) International readers, I am happy to have you vote but you won’t be eligible for the giveaway. The package will be too heavy, and thus costly, for me to mail out of the country.
So here we go – 2018 Blogger Bundles on parade! You have seen these photos before but it may help you to see them all in one place to jog your memory.
January was the first bundle and it was designed by Sarah Goer of Sarah Goer Quilts. Did you know Sarah is now available to teach at your guild? Check out her info here if you are interested!
The second bundle (February) was created by Kitty of NightQuilter.com. Be sure to check out Kitty’s Craftsy site to see her selection of paper pieced patterns!
In March I worked with Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl for the monthly collection. You might enjoy taking a peek at the collection of modern patterns designed by Yvonne. They are stunning and many use her color transparency methods with excellent results.
Cheryl curated the April bundle. She blogs at Meadow Mist Designs. You may have heard Cheryl co-authored her first book, Modern Pus Sign Quilts, this year. It is a great book and you can take a look at it here.
The whimsical bundle for May was chosen by Jayne of Twiggy & Opal. Jayne is the queen of truly incredible improv and a constant inspiration to me. Check out her shop here. You will be happy you did!
Summer came along with this lovely bundle fo June, curated by Paige of Quilted Blooms. Paige is the other author of Modern Plus Sign Quilts book. It is available here (no affiliate link).
Working on the July Blogger Bundle was a delight and it gave me the opportunity to get to know Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios. She is an amazing artist and her curated bundle did not disappoint! Kim just finished the In Our Own Words quilt which is truly spectacular. Please take a look1
Carole, of From My Carolina Home, did an outstanding job with the bundle for September! She was just a pleasure to work with as well. Have you seen her series of Scrap Dance patterns? I just love each one of them!
September came along and there was a pretty bundle curated by Mari of Academic Quilter. Mari has been such a contributor to our quilting community with her wonderful block of the month events each year. Her tutorials are so well written and all are available other blog!
October brought a unique bundle created by Kim of Persimon Dreams. You probably know of Kim from her popular Project Quilting event that happens annually. Will you be participating this year? I love the event and happily sponsor a prize or two for it.
Last, but certainly not least, is the November bundle. This stunner was created by Sandra of MMM! Quilts. Most of you know Sandra and what a bundle of energy she is. It shows in this great collection. Sandra has been designing patterns for a bit (On the Plus Side is my favorite) and has them available here.
I hope this jogged your memory of the bundles we enjoyed this year. Now it is your turn. Please use the form below to cast just ONE vote for your favorite bundle!! Voting is open all week, through the end of the day on Saturday, December 15th. One vote per person please! I can’t wait to see the results!! Good luck everyone.
I have a quick, cute, feel-good finish to share today. I know I am a bit late to the party but I (finally) made a little dress to donate to the Dress a Girl Around the World program. I have read lots of posts over the years about others making these sweet dresses. I am happy to finally have joined in and made one too!
Dress a Girl Around the World is a campaign under the non-profit called Hope 4 Women International. They hope to bring dignity to girls and women throughout the world. It is such a simple thing – wanting a girl to have a dress to wear. They are sent to many different third world countries. While this organization has many goals they are trying to fulfill with the program, it is their basic mission to make girls and women of all ages feel worthy that moves me the most. In so many of these countries, females are undervalued or even not valued at all. While one dress isn’t going to correct the problem, it will bring a smile to the sweet face of a girl who has never had her own dress. Also, many of the people working in these countries and delivering the dresses have said that dressing a girl in a clean dress with the Dress a Girl label attached on the outside, shows this child is being cared for. Sometimes this is enough to ward of predators (criminals involved in human trafficking.) If these little dresses can have this sort of impact even a couple of times over, that is enough reason for me to make one.
Finished seams are a requirement for making these dresses.
There are lots of guidelines for making these dresses. While they originally began by making the dressed with pillow cases, this is no longer the method. Quality cotton fabric is longer lasting and this is what they ask be used in the dresses. If you are interested, you can read about this requirement and others here. The biggest thing is coordinating with an ambassador in your area. There are many available and their contact info can be found here.
This label is sewn to the outside of each dress.
As for me, our local Soroptomist club held a drive to have dresses made by locals who enjoy sewing. I was referred to them and happily made a dress. It was a very simple project and took maybe a couple of hours at most. The little dress looks to be about a size three so for a little one. I hope she loves the fun pink and purple colors and the little heart on the pocket. As you likely already know, I love these sorts of projects – they just have satisfaction and purpose written all over them.
Linking up for the last time with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts. Sniff, sniff. I will surely miss reading Amanda Jean’s blog posts and wish her well in her next adventure. Other links ups are found at the top of the page under Link Ups.
Did you happen to read about the series of Quilting Cozy mystery novels in yesterday’s post? If not, go and take a peek. You can enter to win the books in a giveaway too!
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It has been quite a while since I have done a book review. When I saw an email from C&T Pubs in my in-box a couple of months ago, I was delighted. I really enjoy working with them as they publish so many high quality books. This set of books is a bit different though.
When I read that these books, the Quilting Cozy series, were described by the author, Carol Dean Jones, as a Cozy series of books, I didn’t know what that referred to. Of course Wikipedia answered all my questions. Per Wikipedia, ‘Cozy mysteries, also referred to as “cozies”, are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.’ This is new to me. (I don’t generally read mysteries). C&T Pubs provided me with a copy of a book in the series. Titled Tie Died, it is the first book in the series. About a woman who has recently moved into a senior living village, she takes up quilting (among other hobbies) to meet other people. The story is sweet and short and of course there is both a love interest and a murder mystery to be solved. I will say the twist at the end took me by surprise.
Each book includes the full pattern for the quilt shown on the cover.
There is a reader’s guide available too. Ms. Jones put together a collection of discussion points and questions that go with the books. Some of the questions do contain spoilers so you may want to read the book before looking through the reader’s guide.
I found it interesting to learn that the author, Carol Dean Jones, wrote her first book at the age of 73. She was a geriatric social worker prior to retiring. This gives her a realistic perspective on the issues with aging and all that comes with this stage of life. This insight adds a very genuine touch to her books. Carol is also an experienced quilter which adds greatly to the stories. Having the stories built around the lives of several women in this retirement village, Carol brings up thought-provoking questions about friendship, crime, responsibility, aging, and marriage. The books would be fun to read and chat about at your next small group quilt club meeting. You can read more about this author on her website.
The release of the Quilting Cozy series is being celebrated this week with a blog hop. There is a very generous giveaway on each blog in the hop. C&T Pubs has given each of us one full e-book set to give to a lucky reader.
Check out these posts for more on this set of books as well as more chances to win.
To enter the giveaway for the series of Quilting cozy e-books, leave me a comment. Tell me if you are a reader and what genres do you enjoy? Do you like mysteries? Did you know what a cozy was?? Have you read any of the books in this series? I love to read and would love to chat with you about what you enjoy! Good luck everyone! Giveaway is open until Sunday. I will announce the winner Monday.
I have been thinking of all of you and keep thinking I should sit down and write a post. However, this week was spent entirely on making custom orders I received over the Thanksgiving weekend. This time of year always means lots of orders for Chemex and French Press cozies. I don’t mind making them but it certainly takes away from any time to quilt or make other fun items. Over the holiday weekend I had eight orders for these sorts of items and I finished up the last two yesterday. That means this weekend I get to work on other projects!
The other project I am currently working on is a Christmas gift and I don’t want to post it just in case the recipient should see the post (though the person is not a regular reader of my always-exciting blog posts!) Anyway, since I don’t have sewing to share, let’s just chat!
A big group but certainly not everyone.
How was Thanksgiving (for my US readers anyway)? Ours was pretty nice. Each year we alternate between what our family calls “Big Thanksgiving” and “Little Thanksgiving”. On the big years, my sisters and their children and grandchildren all come up here to have Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. The alternating years are quiet and each family celebrates at their own house with a smaller group. This year there were 38 people at mom and dad’s house. For us, that is a relatively ‘small’ crowd for Big Thanksgiving. The picture above was taken Friday morning with the people who came for breakfast. My parents are in the front row. Isn’t this a great picture – four generations amongst the people in the picture! I wasn’t there but it looks like it was a fun morning.
Me and my favorite guy.
As luck would have it, I was dealing with lots of migraine activity that weekend so I didn’t participate nearly as much as I would have liked. Ray and I made a second turkey at our house because my mother was nervous one turkey wouldn’t be enough. So we had a quiet afternoon and then met everyone up at Mom’s house for dinner, bringing the second turkey, stuffing and gravy. It was sort of an eat and run thing for us. When all those kids are there, it gets loud and I wasn’t really up for a lot of noise. Food was great and Mom needn’t have worried because there was enough for everyone and tons of leftovers!
Playing Sequence with Ian, Shar and Julia. Do you play that game??
My son and his new wife were at our house for the whole weekend which was so nice.
This guy can bake!
There were lazy mornings, lots of coffee and cinnamon rolls courtesy of my husband! They were so good and it was no time before they were all gone. I love this recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen because you make the rolls, refrigerate overnight and take them out for an hour in the morning before baking. Easy and so yummy.
His happy place.
My husband spent much of the weekend in his shop. He was on a tear, making rolling pins. Last year he made them for our kids and his mom for Christmas gifts. This year he made them because I asked him to! I had a lot of really nice comments on them last year when I posted about them. I thought it would be fun if he made a few pretty ones and we made them available for purchase as holiday gifts! So, he made four and they are stunning.
He collects wood like I stash fabric.
Ray has enough wood to make nine billion rolling pins but who am I to say anything? I could probably make as many quilts with what I have in my sewing room. So let’s just not go there, ok?
Rectangles of oak and walnut laminated and ready for the lathe.
Sort of like strip piecing, Ray glues strips of wood together in various widths and clamps it tight. Once it is dry, he puts it on the lathe and starts carving it. Chips fly and it is noisy but when all that is going on, my husband is one happy guy.
The very beginning, it is just starting to round.
It takes quite a bit of time to shape it, sand it and finish it. But the results are lovely. Take a look.
So smooth and glossy.
They look similar to each other but the subtle differences are there. Each one is solid, no bearings in the handles (meaning the handles don’t turn or swivel).
One of my favorites because of the light and dark contrast.
This one has some maple in it which gives great contrast with the walnut. Each one has a ‘work space’ of about ten inches.
Love the ovals of color on the handles.
So pretty! What do you think?
This morning I am posting these on Instagram for sale. If you are interested, hop over there and grab one. There are just the four. I think they make a lovely and unique homemade gift. Pricing is $75 plus shipping. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments.
Hopefully next week I will have a sewing project or two to share. Well, actually I am to entirely sure – it depends on if I am working on secret gift sewing or other projects. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. We plan to get our tree and hope to get the lights up outside. This is such a fun time of year.