You can tell that it's football season because I only read 8 books this month! I also had several days of down time as I replaced my phone and had to get the new one set up. But I'm mostly happy with my 8 choices. I was only unhappy with The Perfect Horse. The month was a little heavy on psychological thrillers but the month ended on a hilarious note with Campusland.
What have you read this month that you would recommend?
The Home Front
An Audible Original
As an Audible member I get access to a couple of free books each month. I rarely listen to one because they are generally only a few hours long and not on topics that I'm interested in. But this one caught my interest.
It is a compilation of interviews done during WWII of the people at home. You get a first hand view of rationing, women going to work, types of war time jobs and other aspects of living during war times. It was interesting to hear the thoughts and opinions of the people who were there.
The Perfect Horse
By Wlizabeth Letts, Read By Paul Boehmer
Letts wrote one of my favorite books, The Eighty Dollar Champion, so I was excited to read another of her books. Unfortunately this one didn't do it for me.
The story is a cool one. During WWII the Nazi's stole the famous Lipizzaner stallions. The plan was to build a master race of stallions but near the end of the war the horses were in danger of being killed for food. The US captured a Nazi spy and discovered photographs of the horses in his briefcase. That set of a chain of events that resulted in an effort to rescue the stallions.
I loved her first book because it was all about a relationship between one man and his horse. This one is more of a history story and just didn't hold my attention. I was also a bit disturbed by the focus on the horses when so much human suffering was going on all around. In defense of the decision to rescue the horses, the military group sent for the rescue was small. If you like horses and history you might enjoy this one.
The Kind Worth Killing
By Peter Swanson, Read By several narrators
On a flight from London to Boston Ted and Lily meeting in the concourse bar and start sharing intimate details about their lives. Ted reveals that his wife, Miranda, is cheating on him and that he would kill her if he could. Lily offers to help. As the story unfolds we are treated to flashbacks from both of their lives and we learn that Lily has a background in murder.
This is like Gone Girl but better. Don't read it before bed through.
A Noise Downstairs
By Linwood Barclay, Read By George Newbern
I'm not sure how I would up reading 2 psychological thriller back to back but that's how it works sometimes with library holds. You get them when you get them.
I've read several Barclay books before, my favorite being No Time For Goodbye. I didn't feel this one was quite as good but it wasn't awful.
Paul Davis is a boring college professor, a real "good guy". One night he happens upon a crime being committed by a coworker. The coworker attacks him but he is saved by an arriving police officer. After months of physical healing he is now seeing a therapist for emotional healing. Then a bunch of weird things start happening. There are several twists but, honestly, I figured most of it out early on in the book and I'm not usually good at that.
By Debbie Herbert, Read By various readers
This is the first in a new psychological thriller series set in Normal, AL.
Fourteen year old Violet's friend, Ainsley, is missing and presumed dead. Everyone in this small town suspects Violet but Violet remembers nothing. She ends up in psychiatric hospitals until she's 21. Once released she returns to Normal to help her evil sister care for her father with dementia.
The story is narrated by each of the characters and it turns out that each character is to varying degrees, despicable. The town is full of secrets and it's time they all come out in the open. Lots of twists, some of which are just a twist too far. If you like psychological thrillers you might enjoy this one.
By Timothy Winegard, Read By Mark Deakins
If you have read any history you know that there's almost always a disease angle. This book makes me think that someone created an elaborate Excel spreadsheet of historical events and then created a Pivot table of deaths caused by disease (vs injury) and had a "holy crap" moment of realization that the mosquito is our apex predator. According to this book, it's estimated that the mosquito is responsible for the deaths of 52 billion people out of a total of 108 billion in out history. That's a darned good success rate and makes me want to order gallons of DEET because mosquitoes absolutely adore me.
This is your basic world and American history course taught from the perspective of the mosquito's influence on historical events from the fall of Rome, Genghis Khan, fall of Scotland to England, Spanish conquests of America, American Revolution, etc. He also talks about current research into mosquito/mosquito disease eradication efforts like CRISPR. All in all, it's a pretty interesting read.
Contrast that with another history book that I've tried to read recently. How To Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr has outstanding reviews but is one of the most boring books I've tried to read. I've found it's perfect for bedtime listening. I turn it on with a timer and I'm asleep in no time.
By Belinda Bauer, Read by Andrew Wincott
Eleven year old Jack and his sisters are left in the car while their Mother goes to call for help. She says she will be right back and she leaves Jack in charge. Little does he know that he will be in charge forever now.
Three years later his father has disappeared and Jack is in charge of supporting himself and his two sisters. He's also just figured out what happened to his mother.
This isn't a standard mystery. There are instead some seemingly unrelated threads that cross over and come together throughout the book. Bauer writes truly unique stories. The start of this one was a little difficult for me to keep organized but everything came together and I was riveted until the end.
By Scott Johnston, Narrated By Casey Turner
What a breath of fresh air this book was for me. It's a laugh out loud satire of current campus absurdities.
Lulu Harris, a wealthy socialite wannabe has arrived at the elite Devon University and is not happy with her tiny closet and shared dorm room. She's much more interested in her social media followers than on education. Eph Russel is her 19th Century English class and Red Wheeler is a trust fund baby in his 7th year and fancies himself the most woke guy on campus. Rounding it all out is Mitlon Strauss, campus president who thinks that he expertly manages aggrieved student groups, billionaire donors, petty faculty and the high paid Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.
I'm honestly not sure that it's all satire but it's hilariously funny unless you are triggered by satire. The narrator is a little annoying, especially at first. She eventually grew on me but if you read and listen to books you might want to read this one.
This quilt was so much fun to make and I'm not even a cat person! But after making the puppy quilt I felt that the cats needed some representation. The only hard part about this one was deciding where to place the template on the fabric.
This is the second quilt that I made for Paula Nadelstern and this one is for her Where in the World fabric line. You can see more photos and get drafting information for the block in my gallery.
I like this quilt so much that I'm going to make a sofa size one for my sister-in-law, a full-fledged cat lady. I've already purchased the blue Marbella fabric for the background.
I've started working on my Christmas postcards so I've moved on from Autumn project ideas and I'm full on in Christmas mode. That brought to mind my favorite red, Ruby. It's got just a hint of purple in it so it falls between the candy apple red of Color Wheel Red and the deep rustic red of Claret.
Ruby is on sale 20% off through Sunday! Maybe it will inspire a holiday project for you.
Morning Glory is back in stock!
Morning Glory Gradient is back in stock this week. It's been used in several customer projects but I am particularly taken with the way that John Anderson used the gradient to great effect in this bargello. Of course it would work with any gradient and really simplifies the bargello process.
Quilt market has finally started and I can now share the quilts that I made for Benartex for Paula Nadelstern's new fabric lines. She has 2 lines this year and this quilt is from one called Artful Snowflake.
It's acutally a quite simple quilt made with 9 9-patch blocks. All of the work is done by the fabric. They have produced that border fabric in other colors in previous lines and it's so wonderful to work with because that's just a simple "slab" border made spectacular with her fabric.
If you want to see more details about this quilt you can check it out in my quilt gallery.
This week's inspiration comes from Cindy Piklington. She made this quilt in response to a challenge. This challenge had to include three particular fabrics (#1- orange in swimmers trunks, # 2- shell fabric, #3- light blue speckled fabric near the top), include curved piecing, and also include a bobbin in some manner. The theme was Bobbin on the Beach. She won a scrap back from one of my drawings and included some of those fabrics in this really clever quilt.
For sharing, Cindy received a 20% coupon for the shop that's good for 3 months! If you have made anything with my hand dyed fabric I hope you will consider sharing it in the Customer Gallery. The only rule is that projects have to be complete. It doesn't have to be made totally from hand dyed fabric, just include a recognizable amount.
"Groovy" is what I've decided to call these quilts. This one will be Groovy #2 and it went together really quickly yesterday. I'll work on Groovy #1 this weekend. I know I fought using a dark sashing but, of course, it was the right answer.
Next week I need to get a back dyed for this one. I'm thinking a tie dyed spiral because I've decided who is receiving this quilt and a tie dye spiral will be perfect.
More moons! I watched football all weekend so I got a bit of stitching done. If my math is right I have 57 finished and 15 left to do. I'm going to have to come up with a new hand stitching project soon. There's no way this project will last the rest of football season.
I think that with 72 blocks that this quilt, without borders would be 64 x 72. Maybe I need to think a bit about what I want this project to be. That size is too big for a wall quilt and too small for a bed quilt.
Time for some planning.
I've picked this one as my favorite. I like the very little bit of blue peeking through the gray. When I cut the moons I did fussy cut a lot of them and I expect that this was one that I fussy cut to get the blue jsut where I wanted it.
There still isn't a lot going on around here but I got my sashing fabrics dyed last week and started cutting them last night. The smaller quilt will have this deep green (Jungle).
The big quilt will have this blue. I'll use bright cornerstones on both quilts. These should go together pretty quickly so I will try to get a back dyed fror the green one this week. I already have the back for the blue one.
Fabric of the Week
The fabric of the week this week is the Thrive Gradient. It's 20% off through Sunday. Christine Cetrulo used the Thrive Gradient for her whole cloth art quilt, Mother Earth.
New Gradient - South Pacific
I'm trying to embrace lighter value gradients because you keep telling me that you prefer them for landscape backgrounds. One of the most popular is Southwest. I thought it was time for some soft greens and blue greens. I asked on social media for name ideas and PK Solberg suggested South Pacific. It was perfect! Click on the image to take a closer look or order a piece for your next project.
It's just a cold.
That's my mantra right now. Chris got it about 4 days ahead of me (because he gave it to me) so I just watch him to see when it's going to finally leave this house. We're both fine, just tired and annoyed.
But I had some energy to do some sewing and these were perfect to work on. I 21 cards ready for backs. Why 21? Well, that's how many symmetrical diamonds that I could cut from the scraps. I would have been happier with 25 or 30 but this is what I got. I'll get the backs on them this week. I'll probably save serging the edges until I have all the cards ready for edging.
I started to sweep all this in the trash but I was lethargic and just listening to my book so I thought some mindless piecing might be good therapy.
It was good therapy because ti kept me from snacking and didn't require much thinking. That's a pretty big chunk of fabric from nothing. I don't know what I'll do with it. It could be cut into crumb blocks, made into placemats or even postcard backgrounds. But that takes thinking so it's going to get folded up and put away for now. What would you do with it?
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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.