Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snuggly and Warm

Hopefully this will be the last in my recent series of lousy photos:

This is where-I-go-it-goes quilt. The fabric is Pop Parade from P&B and I used Quilter's Dream wool batting. It's warm and snuggly and happy and bright and all mine. And I made matching pillowcases, too.
I'm working to finish more quilts and will make a serious effort to produce not only beautiful quilts, but maybe some halfway decent photographs.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And the award goes to........

Despite the record-breakingly long title, When You Need a Lift But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin by Joy Behar was a fun book to read in small chunks. I wondered, though, when wouldn't someone want to eat chocolate? I also thought about what I do when I need a lift.

My lift: pull out all my scraps of fabric, cut them into useable sizes, and start piecing a scrap quilt.

What do you do?

Friday, December 26, 2008

We Three Quilts, part three

My absolutely favorite Thimbleberries quilting pattern looks like this:

It's been published several times, but I know for sure it's in the Beginner's Luck book. I believe it was earlier published in a book featuring children's fabric, and I think it was re-published last year as a pattern.
The fabrics in my version are from an old line, Christmas in Paris. There are little Eiffel Towers on the binding fabric. I just had to buy this fabric.
I gave the quilt to my Music Pastor. She's French Canadian. Her mother in law is a wonderful quilter, so she definitely understand what all goes into making a quilt.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Three Quilts, part two

My first time working with subtle Christmas toile fabrics yielded this:

This one was for our youth pastor. I didn't get to give it to him in person, so I don't know how it was received.

And this photo is also terrible.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Three Quilts, part one

Resurrecting a working on post, I finished this:

I brought the top to my quilting club and asked their opinion on the quilting. They laughed at me, but when I let them knew I seriously wanted their input, they picked a great thread for me from Hemingworth. It's tan but the sheen makes it look slightly metallic. It worked great on the rich Christmas fabrics and made for a very elegant quilt.

My church hired a new senior pastor this year, and this one was for him. He received it wonderfully well. He didn't call it a blanket and even noticed the quilting.

Isn't it great that my son returned home from college in time to hold up my quilts for photography? And wouldn't it be great if the photo wasn't blurry?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Extreme Reading

I'll have to admit it..... I really enjoy Vince Flynn novels. Most of time when I read, I really want to escape and get caught up in a good tale. It helps to keep me working. Really deep and heavy books are definitely worth reading, but during a busy work season (almost done!!!), I need something much lighter.

Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn was something lighter. It was definitely a book with a (pointed?) point and dealt with a very serious subject matter (terrorism), but it didn't make the reader work too hard to find it.

Need something heavier? Read Dennis Lehane. I'm chugging through his latest now. He's always worth the effort, but for me effort is definitely required.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Could it be?

Have I actually finished all of my customer quilts and started working on presents? Why yes, yes I have!

I had a dinner with my quilting group and we exchanged handmade ornaments. This is mine:

Terrible photo, but a fun ornament to make. I received a gorgeous wool santa ornament in exhange. Thanks Sally!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Getting smarter as I'm getting older

I've been trying to read John LeCarre novels since I was in high school. I always get most of the way through and realize that I have absolutely no idea what is happening. I have a mental picture of him sitting at his typewriter/computer, typing away. There's a speech balloon over his head that reads "There, that was complicated. I am smart; people are sheep. They only wish they were bright enough to understand my very clever books." Every time a new book comes out, I dutifully get it out of the library. Hope springs eternal.

Drumroll, please.......

I actually finished a John LeCarre novel AND I understood what was happening. So maybe he writes for the over-40 crowd? I'm not 40 yet, but if you round.......

Notice I didn't say that I liked A Most Wanted Man. I'm mostly meh about the book, but terribly impressed that I was smart enough to finish it.

So how about you? Are you smarter than me? Than John LeCarre? Than a Fifth Grader?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Unexpected Grace

So there's this author named Richard Paul Evans and he's written a whole bunch of books that have sold really well. I somehow had the impression that they weren't my type of books.

Since I'm still in the Christmas Quilt Countdown, I have a stack of books on CD from the library. Grace by Richard Paul Evans was on the top of the stack. I expected light and fluffy. It had much more to it than I expected and I think I enjoyed the tale. I got over five hours of quilting done, too!

I will probably read more of his books, but are they all this deliberately emotional?

I'm in desperate need of another Sookie Stackhouse book or three. That would help the quilt stack go down, I'm certain.

Dear Ms. Harris,
Please write faster.
A desperate reader

Monday, December 01, 2008

By the time you read this post....

... you may already have seen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I haven't*. I have, however, read the book.

Due to the setting I didn't expect it to be exactly uplifting so the beauty of this book caught me off guard. I was riveted and had to read on and on, until the end when I asked my family to finish the book for me and give me the short version of what happened. They refused and I persevered.

It's difficult to love a book with such a harsh subject matter, but it was well-treated and beautifully written. If you get the chance to listen to the cd, there's a great interview with the author on the last disc. I highly recommend listening to it.

* I am unable to watch movies about this subject. War movies, yes; movies about the Holocaust, never.