May was definitely the month of placemats. I made 18 of them and they were well received at this year's beach gifts. It was my primary goal for the month and I met it. I want to make one more set for my other brother so that will be on the June list.
My other goals for May were:
- quilt Mom's baby quilt - done
- quilt and finish the firefighter quilt - quilted, not yet bound
- start the Goldfinch quilt - started pulling fabrics
- Mother's Day and birthday postcards - done
I also made a ton of soap. It will be ready sometime in late June.
In between I worked on some crochet projects but only finished 5 hats for donation. I used up 5 balls of yarn this month. that's not a lot but it's enough. I've been really good about no adding to my stash so any amount out is a positive.
My YTD stats:
Veterans quilts made - 8
Donation lap quilts - 12
Veterans quilts quilted - 19
Fabric Postcards - 11
Quilted for others - 3
Crochet blankets - 3
Crochet shawls - 1
Crochet/loom knit hats and scarves - 24
Doll outfits - 2
Placemats - 24
Other Donated items - 74
Garments (sewn and cochet) - 1
Balls of yarn used - 32
Other items - 3
My goals for June are pretty ambitious but, at a minimum, I want to stick to this list of projects:
- another set of birthday postcards
- make pet beds with all the batting scraps I've accumulated
- quilt 6 veterans quilts
- finish quilting Mom's floral quilt
- bind and label the firefighter quilt
- get the Goldfinch quilt top made
- placemats for my brother
I finished 9 books in May and it was a month heavy on non-fiction with a strong dose of chick lit. Admittedly, it was a strange mix. I gave up on 2 books and should have given up on a third. The Conviction was straight up awful. Everything else was good!
DNF Books: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives - AKA The secret pettiness of a polygamist's wives. I think there might be a good story there but you have to wade through a lot of unnecessary tedious narrative about things like bodily functions.
Raising Lazarus - There are better books about the plight of the drug addicted that have less politics. I'd recommend Dreamland and The Least of Us, both by Sam Quinnones. I don't think this book will age well.
What have you been reading that you would recommend? Please leave your thoughts on any of these books as well. I think it's good for people to get different opinions when looking for a new book to read.
By William Kent Krueger, Read By David Chandler
This is #18 in the Cork O'Connor series and it's a deviation from the other books in the series. This one is set in 1963 when Cork is a 12 year old boy and his father, Liam, is the newly elected sheriff.
Cork and his friends find the body of a respected Ojibwe man. It appears that it was suicide but Lima must prove it one way or another.
I still love these books and I enjoyed this look back at a young Cork and his family.
By Chris Blackwell, Read By Bill Nighy
If you like music history you will love this book. Chris Blackwell grew up a rich kid between London and Jamaica. While living in Jamaica he fell in love with the island music and, after meeting Bob Marley, decided to produce his record. What followed is a fascinating music recording career for artists such as Cat Stevens, Steve Winwood, U2, Grace Jones and others. It was a fascinating read.
By graham Hancock, Read By Graham Hancock
If you check out his Wiki page, you will see that the Graham hancock is labeled a "pseudoscientist". Of course, that's code for anyone that the establishment in any field doesn't like. We saw a lot of that the past 3 years in the medical arena. I don't pay attention to any of that any more and I try to read and research on my own and develop my own opinions.
I ready Hancock's earlier book, Magician of the Gods, which proposes that the lost civilization that Plato referred to as Atlantis, absolutely could have existed and been destroyed 11,600 years ago. I found the book fascinating and compelling. I was excited to read this new one (published in 2019). It focuses on the history of the Americas, specifically the Amazon, Inca culture and North America.
There are parts of this book that are speculative but there's a lot that's been proven and accepted as fact. For one, when I was in school we were taught that the Clovis people were the first society to inhabit North America about 13,000 years ago. In the last 15 years there have been huge discoveries of other cultures and it's been proven that the Clovis people were not the first to settle in North America and it has been confirmed that there were other, unrelated, people as far back as 25,000 years ago.
The writing style of the book is accessible for us "non-sciency" types and the subject matter is really interesting. He puts forth some interesting possibilities but is careful to present them as theories. The book seems fairly carefully compiled and, I expect, the criticisms are coming from people who have based their careers on facts that probably aren't facts. The truth is that we have explored so little of our history that no one really knows anything.
Honky Tonk Samurai
By Joe R. Lansdale, Read By Christopher Ryan Grant
If you like Larry McMurtry I think you will like Joe R. Lansdale. Honky Tonk Samurai is #9 in the Hal and Leonard series but it's the first book in the series that I've read. it worked just fine as stand-alone novel.
Hap and Leonard have been best friends since high school and consider each other brothers. Hap considers himself a white trash rebel and Leonard is a black, gay, Republican, Vietnam Vet with an addiction to vanilla cookies. They are working surveillance for a Private Eye when they see a man abusing a dog. Leonard decides to enact a little justice to save the dog.
A week later, Lilly Buckner, shows up at the PI office with video showing the beating that Leonard exacted and using it as a down payment to get them to take on the job of looking for her granddaughter. The first thing they discover is that the car dealership where she worked was a front for prostitution with much deeper roots into the criminal underworld.
It's a fast and fun read/listen. The dialogue is sometimes laugh out loud funny. The is the 4th Lansdale book I've read and I've enjoyed all of them.
Bottle of Lies
By Katherine Eban
This book was recommended to me by Kristen F. and I'm so glad she did. This is about the rise of the generic drug industry overseas and is a real eye-opener. If you have any belief that the generic drugs that we take are truly equivalent to the name brand ones, this book will dispel that quickly. The part that will really disgust you is that the bureaucracy of the FDA basically works to protect the bad manufacturers. Of course, we saw much of that in action during the last few years with the expedited approvals of drugs and therapies without sufficient safety data to support those recommendations. This book is a real eye-opener and I'm glad I read it. It supports my almost-pathological avoidance of prescription medicines.
I had read years ago about the FDA's inability/unwillingness to do their job related to certifying organic foods and, as a result, I don't trust the organic labeling on food at all and refuse to pay a premium for it. The FDA outsources that compliance and it's rife with corruption. There have also been several cases of employees from various "health food" grocers sharing stories about organic mislabeling. With this book, it seems that the, more vital, drug oversight is just as bad.
I read this book with my eyes, not my ears, and I recommend that. It would have been to much to track in audio format.
The Science and Art of Longevity
By Peter Attia, Read By Peter Attia
My doctor turned me on to Peter Attia's podcast as she runs her practice with many of the same principles. I'm very lucky to have her as my physician. I've listened to his podcast for a couple of years so I've hear a lot of this information before but it was very beneficial to hear it in a logical order. I'll just say here that this is probably the best/most important health focused book that I've ever read.
He approaches the history of medicine as 3 basic phases. Medicine 1.0 is that period of time before antibiotics when we didn't really know how infections spread and worked. Medicine 2.0 is now, where we treat disease in a reactive way. We treat heart disease after it's discovered and cancer after it's diagnosed. Medicine 3.0 is the future, where we will know the early signals that there might be an issue in the future and we address it early. That is what he tries to practice with his patients and what this book is all about.
It has a long intro with background to the history of medicine and the objectives of the book. Just be patient through that part. He then methodically addresses heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, exercise and stability, nutrition, sleep and mental/emotional health. The chapter on mental/emotional health was particularly profound in that he shared his own story to illustrate the importance of dealing with it as part of our overall health.
Each section has some good basic action items that allows us to be able to positively impact our own health. It's not specific diet things or even specific exercise things. it's more like categories of things. For example, the importance of getting enough protein and the importance of focusing on balance.
I listened to this in audio but I ordered the hardback because I want to read parts of it again and take some notes.
By Robert Dugoni, Read By Dan John Miller
This is the 5th (and last) book in the David Sloan series and I wish I had skipped it. If I had been in the mood to look for another book I would have DNFed this one.
David Sloan is (supposedly) a brilliant lawyer and the plot of this book is the sum of him making some really stupid decisions. I'm not even going to go into the plot. It's just terrible with the added downer of reading about boys being tortured in a military-style camp. It's awful.
By Kathleen Tessaro
Looking for a good summer beach read? This is a good candidate. Hughie Venables-Smythe is an out of work actor and applies for an interesting job as a professional flirt. As a professional he must remain single and he can't get involved in any physical way with his targets.
The book follows the lives of several people as the navigate their strained or non-existent love lives. I've read a couple of her books before and I liked them a lot. This one was a fun, light read. It's not available in audio format.
Reminders of Him
By Colleen Hoover, Read By Brittany Pressley and Ryan West
This was my second light beach read. Colleen Hoover keeps popping up in my Audible recommended list so I figured I better give her a try. I think I read that one of her books is being made into a movie or TV show.
Kenna Rowan has served 5 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter after a tragic accident that resulted in the death of her boyfriend. After she went to prison she discovered she was pregnant and gave up full custody to her boyfriend's parents. The parents and everyone in that town still hates her. But she is desperate to have some connection to her daughter, who she has never seen.
She's penniless when she moves back to the town and starts job hunting. The first person she meets is Ledger Ward. Ledger is her boyfriend's former best friend and is very close to the family and Kenna's daughter. Can he bridge the gap between Kenna and her daughter?
I can see why Hoover is so popular. She's a very good writer. This book isn't my normal genre but I could see reading one now and then, like when I'm on vacation.
Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway drawings last week. The winners below have been notified.
If you weren't a winner, don't worry, there are more drawings planned!
This week I'm back with some new Stars fabrics. Stars are one yard cuts that are perfect for binding for quilt projects or just when you need a larger piece of hand dyed fabric. This particular batch focused on browns, grays, greens and blues because those are the most popular colors. If there's a particular color in a Shades Pack that you need in larger cuts, I can always custom dye that for you.
There are 12 new Stars fabrics for you this week, including the 9 shown here.
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week this week is the Succulents Gradient. It was inspired by a photo if succulent plants that I found on the web. I just love the mix of green and purple together. This fabric is 20% off through Sunday.
Our annual family beach vacation is, sadly, over. We had (almost) all of the family there with some of my best friends and got some great news. I'm going to be a Great Aunt of a little girl to be born in November. It will be Mom's first Great-Grandchild and everyone is beyond excited! What wasn't exciting was the weather. We had one beautiful beach day and one nice pool day. Otherwise it was gray and windy. I did get a daily walk on the beach for a free dermabrasion and a session of grounding.
I also got to binge watch the last season of Mrs. Maisel, ate some fresh Mahi that Chris and James caught, read some books and played games.
On the way home Saturday we got in a fun visit to the Outer Banks Aquarium before heading home to unpack and do laundry. Beach week is always a great kick off to the summer.
I wasn't really in a maker mood last week. I was feeling more social. But I did get 3 chemo hats made. These could be "regular" hats but I use a super soft polyester yarn and, for that reason, donate them to specifically be chemo hats. Most of the yarn is Hobby Lobby yarn that I got on clearance for $1 a skein. I work with whatever colors I can get.
I started a 4th hat in the Divine Hat pattern. I ran out of the pale color and thought I had more at home. I didn't, so I'm finishing it off with the darker color. I hope it will look OK. I know that, at least, it will feel good on a sensitive scalp.
Yesterday, after Chris and I ran some errands and laundry was finished, I loaded 2 veterans quilts to get myself back in the groove.
This week I want to get the binding on the firefighter quilt and table runner and get started on the goldfinch quilt. Both need to be done before August 1.
Depending on when you read this, there may still be time to enter all of the giveaways from last week. The winners will be announced Wednesday!
Vacation giveaway - Day 6
It's the last day of my vacation and the last giveaway of the week. I hope you have found some prize packs that you are interested in. Be sure to enter all of them by May 29!
If you've been around my blog for a while you know that the last day of the giveaway is always a collection of my "waste fabrics". The shibori are probably my most precious fabrics but these are my favorite fabrics. I call then waste fabrics because they are a byproduct of dyeing gradients. They are muslin strips that are about 7" wide and are dyed with the gradients to help keep the dyes from running from one selvege edge to another. The result are fun fabrics with great texture. I used them in my Catena quilt. I have only sold these once and don't plan to sell more so the only way to get them is to win them.
The prize will be a flat rate envelope stuffed with waste fabric so it will be even more than the ones shown in the photo. Enter to win on the box below. Enter by May 29. The winner will be announced May 31.
Vacation Giveaway - Day 5
Today is the day that I promised you last week!
It's shibori day! These are all pieces from my personal stash and most are fat eighth size. They are probably my most special fabrics and I only have one bin of them. It takes a while to build a good collection but maybe these will be a great starter collection for one of you.
Enter in the box below by May 29 for a chance to win. The winner will be announced May 31.
Vacation giveaway - Day 4
It's the fourth day of giveaway week and I think I have a really nice one for you today!
Today is Shades pack day! Normally my giveaways will include one or two of these but this week I have 3! The yellow one is a fat quarter pack. The other two are just shy of being fat quarters. These were sample colors and I cut off about a 2 inch strip for my records. You still get good sized chunks of fabric to work with.
Enter in the box below before May 29 for a chance to win. The winner will be announced May 31.
Vacation Giveaway - Day 3
The third giveaway day marks the halfway point through vacation week. I think today's prize might surprise you a little.
For the first time ever, I decided to share a little of my stash of sun prints. I even added a few more after I took this photo. Of course, I mostly use these for postcards but I have made a queen size quilt from sun prints. To have a chance to win this prize, enter in the box below. The winner will be announced May 31.
Vacation Giveaway- Day 2
It's time for the second prize opportunity for vacation week.
Today's prize is the Cool Scrap Pak, teh sister to yesterday's prize. I've pulled a wide variety of cool blues and greens for you. If you like this one, enter in the box below by May 30. Winners will be announced May 31.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.