Tag Archives: book share

Fabric and Fiction, Round 5

Time just buzzes by.  It is one year since I began hosting the Fabric & Fiction book group. Last June, while on vacation in Maine, I thought it would be fun to share a book and see what others thought of it. About five or six readers joined in and we mailed the book from one member to the next, including three fat quarters of fabric that were somehow relevant to the book. Since then we have read Vinegar Girl, Double Bind, and Open House. Currently The Book of Bright Ideas is in route to various readers. It has really been a fun way to build community, enjoy a fun book, and give and receive fabric. As the book is received and read by the members of the group, each person writes a short note about their opinion of the book and then sends it to the next person along with three new fat quarters.

Today marks the beginning of the next book share.  This summer we will share The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty. Ms. Moriarty is a prolific auther who has written a number of really good books.  Last summer I read What Alice Forgot and it was excellent.  Liane also wrote Big Little Lies which I haven’t read yet. I am on the waiting list for it at the library though.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story is about a woman who is a professional hypnotherapist who, until now, has not had many successful relationships with men. She meets Patrick, a widower with a young son, and feels like this might be ‘the one’ until she learns of a woman who stalks him constantly. I won’t tell you anymore but to say this is a really good book. I loved the characters, the setting, and the bits of information about hypnotherapy the author tucks into the story. The plot has a suspenseful element to it, making it quite hard to put down. It is a fun summer read and I hope you will enjoy it!

The first six readers to sign up via the comments are in.  As much as I hate to do this, I am limiting this round to readers in the US. We have been sharing within Canada and the UK but it is expensive and shipping out of the country really slows the book down. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone.

Before I close, I want to share the fat quarters I have received through the Fabric and Fiction groups.  I think this photo shows the fabric received from the first two books. The second two books have not completed the rotation completely so I don’t  have the books back yet.  I love this mix and I hope to add to it as we go.  When I have enough I will make a quilt just for me and it will contain fabric from all sorts of quilty friends!!

This group of fabric, sent to me by Rhonda of Rhonda’s Ramblings was a total surprise. She sent it as a thank you for organizing these reading circles. What a sweet gesture and a wonderful treat to open!!

I added the two gray and pink fat quarters to the collection for my quilt. The other two, the ducks and the vintage kitchen piece, will be used for other projects. I love all of them!

If you are interested in joining the summer group, please let me know in the comments!  Also, there is still plenty of time to join in the Summer Sewalong. We will be making a cute shirt with a very simple pattern.  Click here to read the details.

Winter Bookshare

Who is ready for another book share? The summer book, Vinegar Girl, has made it’s way home to me. The Fall book, The Double Bind, has reached the last reader in the group and should be on it’s way home to me soon. I think that means it is time for the third round!

If you aren’t familiar with this activity, I select a book that I have read and think people will enjoy. If interested, you sign up by leaving a comment (first come, first served) and we share the book. I mail it off to the first person on the list with three fat quarters that I relate back to the book in some fashion. Once that person is done reading it, a note is written in the front cover of the book for others to read. We usually just share a couple of sentences describing our thoughts about the book and then forward it on with a new set of fat quarters for the next person to enjoy. This has been a lot of fun and I enjoy hearing other’s opinions of the book.

For this round, I selected a book by Elizabeth Berg. She is one of my very favorite authors. A prolific author, Ms. Berg has never disappointed me. I believe I have read all of her books except for the  most recent one. (Only because it hasn’t been available at the library when I have checked!)  The book I selected, Open House, is wonderful. So much so, that this is the second time I read it. This novel is about a woman dealing with divorce. It is a heartwarming story of the process that the main character, Samantha, goes through as she grieves the dissolution of her marriage and figures out how to heal and become whole again. One thing she does is open her home to boarders so that she can afford to stay in her house.

Elizabeth Berg has the ability to develop characters that the reader easily relates to. I usually come to love the protagonist and almost always feel just a little sad when the book comes to an end. Berg writes about real people dealing with real life situations. Her stories are not deep or complicated but they are genuine. In this book, she does a good job of developing the secondary characters (the boarders and Samantha’s friends) and I enjoyed each of them. My only criticism is that the happy ending for Sam might have been better served if it hadn’t involved a man. She got to the other side of her divorce a much stronger person and not just because of her new relationship. This is a quick read and one that I am happy to share. This book is not a long one which will be good for the group. It takes a while to get the book to each reader so I thought it might be nice to choose a book that was on the shorter side.

Ope House  is an older book which was published in 2000.   I find it interesting that this was actually Berg’s first novel. After writing it, she decided she didn’t like it and went on to write another one. Later she pulled it out and worked it over, publishing it as Open House. It is often the case that we make something and feel disappointed in it, only to shove it back in the closet somewhere. Then we bring it back out another time, change it up a bit, and give it new life.  There is usually value in our work – it just doesn’t always become apparent at the very beginning.

Books are such a great escape for me. Ray and I both read quite a bit and I am pleased that our children enjoy reading as well. Here is a picture of Julia a few years back.  I found her in her room, looking over her stash of books and somehow she ended up balancing a stack of them on her legs. It made me smile to see this! (Granted, the photo isn’t the greatest quality – I snapped it with my phone.)


I will be out of touch for a week or so. My son is getting married next weekend. We are traveling to Toronto,Ontario for the wedding. Things will be back to normal in a week or ten days. Until then, be creative and make something you love. 🙂

Post Update: sign ups for this book share are closed- Sorry to disappoint anyone. Let me know if you wanted in and I will give you a heads up when I post the book for the Spring Book Share.

Fall Book Share!

Hi Everyone! I want to introduce the book that will be used for the book share this fall. If you are unfamiliar this is how it works. Last July I wrote a quick review of a book titled Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler. Several readers signed up to then share this book. I sent it to the first person along with three fat quarters that were somehow reminiscent of something in the plot. That person then reads the book, jots a note or some thoughts in the front cover of the book and sends it on to the next person with three fat quarters of their choice, again somehow tying the fabric to the plot. It has been a lot of fun. The book has traveled from California to Wisconsin to Idaho and is currently on its way to the UK.

For the next book I am really excited to share The Double Bind, by Chris Bohjalian. I just finished the book and it was a gripping, suspenseful read. I have read a number of books by Bohjalian and loved each one of them. He really gets into the subject matter, becoming very knowledgable before spinning the story for us. This particular book is based on the true story of Bob (Soupy) Campbell, a talented photograper who became homeless late in life. He died, leaving behind a collection of amazing photographs and negatives, many of people quite famous. He lived out the end of his life in subsidized housing which was found for him by COTS, a homeless shelter in Vermont.  Bohjalian is from Vermont, and wrote the story with a Vermont setting. He tells an excellent story of Laurel, a young woman who works at a shelter in Vermont called BEDS. Laurel was the victim of a horrid crime which has caused her to withdraw into herself and her work as a photographer and social worker at the shelter. The way that Bohjalian ties Laurel’s situation to Bobbie Crocker (the homeless man in the story) is genius.  Laurel’s and Bobbie’s stories are also entwined with the story of the Buchanan’s and Jay Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous tale, The Great Gatsby. The author uses a number of the photographs taken by real life photographer, Bob Campbell, in the book. This story is an excellent illustration of how little it takes for a ‘regular’ person to end up on the streets as well as a compelling look at mental illness. I highly recommend the book which was first published in 2007 and then spent a considerable bit of time on the New York Times bestseller list.

This book is all set to go. If you want to join in, share some fabric and my copy of this book, leave a comment.  The first five people to express their interest are in. When you comment, please leave me your email address and tell me if you are willing to ship internationally. That will help me create the route the book will take. When you receive the book, you have four weeks to finish it, jot down a little note and send it to the next reader with three fat quarters of your choice. I hope you will join in and share in this book and fabric adventure!

craftsy sept sale

Are you wondering what is going on over at Craftsy this weekend?  Sale on ALL classes – yep, all of them.  $19.99 each.  Check it out!

Note:  I am a Craftsy affiliate!  🙂

Guest Host – To Do Tuesday Link Up

This week I am helping out by hosting the To Do Tuesday Link Up.  This is a weekly link up that many quilters use to organize their time and better accomplish projects (both quilty and otherwise) during the week. Sometimes it is a matter of organizing and planning all of the other things life requires in order to carve out a bit of time in the sewing room. This link up is usually hosted by Christine over at Stitch ALL the Things.  She is a bit overwhelmed as she works on one house in Oregon and plans her transition back to another house in Arizona. Somehow I don’t think time in the sewing room is in the cards for her right now. In fact, I don’t know that a sewing room exists yet in her Oregon house!

Let’s see. There is always plenty to be done each week but here is the short list.

  1. Work on quilting and binding the vintage sheet patchwork quilt that I showed you on Sunday. I really want to get this one on the bed in my sewing room. It has such a summery feel to it and I don’t want to set it aside, finish quilting it on October and then not use it until next season. So, this is numero uno.
  2. Cut out another Washi dress.  In June I finished my first Washi dress and I love it. It is such a comfortable dress. I want to try making it with a piece of deep goldenrod yellow knit fabric that I have. I am almost certain that when finished, it will be akin to wearing jammies all day. The pattern is that comfy and made in a knit, it will be even more so.  At the very least, I hope to get it cut out. If I spend any time sewing it, so much the better.
  3. Pick out the book for the Fall Book Share here at Needle & Foot.  I recently wrote a review of Vinegar Girl and invited any interested readers to sign up to share the book this summer. There are six of us sharing Vinegar Girl. This is how it works – I sent off the book to the first person after writing a tiny blurb on the inside front cover of the book. I included three fat quarters of fabrics chosen because they are somehow related to the story. The person that received it has four weeks to read and then send it on with their opinion written in the book and three more fat quarters that they feel are related to the story. On and on it goes until the last person has it and returns it back to me.  I am happy with the response to this idea and will host it again beginning in September. I haven’t yet picked out the book but I better get going so I can read it first and then gather a group of readers for the next round. If anyone has a suggestion for a good (fiction) book I would love to hear about it. Leave ideas in the comments.

OK – that is it for this week. The quilting is a big one (literally, queen size) which will take most of my sewing time. How about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Need to get organized? Let us know what you have on your plate this week.




  1. Link up to this To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky below. Don’t forget: you can link up Instagram photos! The link up is open all week, and you can link any post for the week even if it’s written on the prior Sunday or Monday. It simply needs to be related to setting, working on, and/or completing your weekly goal(s).
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment.