Another great month of books! 14 books read in 26 days. This is what limiting news exposure does for you. You get to read more books and you are much happier too. All in all, it was a good month. There were a few disappointments (Eli's Promise, The Widow Clicquot and The Shoemaker's Promise) but none of those three were bad. There were more great surprises (The Last Garden in England, American Spy, The Venetian Bargain, The Dearly Beloved). One book I'd recommend for anyone willing to read a medical book is Chronic. I provided a link to an interview with the author that you can watch to see if it might be interesting to you. Most of the rest of the books were books that I knew that I'd enjoy.
What good books have you read this month? My wish list is a little slim and needs some seeding.
By Ronald H. Balsom, Read By Fred Berman
This is the story of the fictional Eli Rosen and his family before WWII, during Nazi occupied Poland and in Chicago during Vietnam. It's historical fiction based on some real events. Definitely more fiction than history. It's beautifully written and tells the story of three time periods moving back and forth across time. I think that was a tool to help make the horrid parts more palatable to the reader. This book (and this author) has amazing reviews but I didn't love it.
I felt that Eli was portrayed as incredibly naïve and gullible and that just didn't ring true to me. He was a smart man and would have realized better what was really going on around him and would have known how to handle Maxilillian Poleski better. The book was a little slow and a lot predictable. But I didn't want to give up on it. I think most people who like this genre will find the book beautiful. It just didn't move me to the 4.7 stars that it has on Audible.
The Widow Cliquot
By Tilar Mazzeo, Read By Susan Erickson
Barbe-Nicole Cliquot clearly led a unique and fantastic life and lived at a very interesting time in history (Napoleonic Wars). Her husband died young and she, at 27, took over the family champagne business. She broke barriers and created a monumental business. But there's so little true documentation about her life that the telling of it is pretty lackluster. If the author said one more time "we can only imagine...." I was going to scream. If we have to do so much imagining then write historical fiction. I recently read The Indigo Girl, which is historical fiction. It made me wonder what the difference is between the 2 genres. There was clearly more factual documentation about Eliza Lucas' life than for The Widow Cliquot. With some dialogue, this book would have been much more interesting as historical fiction. The actual facts from her life can really only be documented in a pamphlet. This was a lot of filler and history going on around her life. If you love champagne it might be interesting.
By Archer Mayor, Read By Tom Taylorson
In my ongoing search for new series I discovered an old series. This is the first in the Joe Gunther Mysteries. This book was first written in the late 80's so it's not filled with technology. It's an old fashioned detective series and I enjoyed it.
Joe is a lieutenant in Brattleboro, VT. A series of crimes around town are starting to be tied to a jury pool from a 3 year old murder case. In that case a black man was convicted of murdering a woman. One of the jurors believed that he was set up.
Many people will pass this book by because of some of the language. If you can accept that language that isn't acceptable today was acceptable 40 years ago, then you can enjoy this book. I like that the book is just a good solid mystery. It's OK to read older books and enjoy them in the time they were written.
If you are on Audible this one is in the free section. I'll read more in the series.
By Anne Perry, Read By Jenny Sterlin
This is #15 in the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. I think I accidentally skipped #14 in the series but these books do not need to be read in order.
The year is 1890, Thomas Pitt is the Police Superintendent and information about Britain's strategy for Africa is being given to the German Embassy. Within Britain, there are strong disagreements over the strategy to begin with and those disagreements.
The story opens with the suicide or accidental death of someone close to Thomas Pitt. The man's son thinks it has to be murder and asks Thomas to look into it.
I like this series because it's a reliable good read. I like the characters, especially the eccentric Aunt Vespasia.
The Venetian Bargain
By Marina Fiorato, Read By Pamela Garelick
This was another find from the Audible free section. I believe this book was originally published in 2014.
It's 1576 in Venice. Five years earlier the Venetians had defeated the Ottoman Empire. A ship arrives in Venice carrying cargo that will deliver the plague to the town. There's a woman on the ship who knows about it and tried to stop it. Her name is Feyra and she was the Harem doctor and she is trying to flee a future as the sultan's concubine. She needs all of her wits and her medical knowledge to survive in Venice.
Through the book we are introduced to some real people of the day. Probably the most famous is Andrea Palladio, one of the most famous architects of all time who gave us Palladian architecture.
If you like historical fiction you will enjoy this. This is the only book by this author that's available in Audible.
I Found You
By Lisa Jewell, Read By Helen Duff
Last month I reviewed my second book by Lucy Foley and complained about the strict formula of her books from the characters to the plot. I could possibly say the same about Lisa Jewell because she does absolutely have a formula. That's where the comparison ends. Jewell's books are so much more sophisticated in terms of character development and plot. I have loved all of them so far and once I start I can't put them down.
In a seaside town, Alice finds a man on the beach near her house. He doesn't know his name or where he came from. She's going to try to help him figure it out. The same week Lily Monrose is expecting her new husband home from work but he never arrives. Both women are trying to figure out what's going on with the mystery men in their lives.
By Lauren Wilkinson, Read By Bahni Turpin
If you read the reviews in the publisher's summary of this book, or even the one quote on the cover of the book, you will completely miss what this book is about. It is not an "espionage thriller" (Entertainment Weekly), it is not a "trenchant comment on race and gender in America" (Elliott Holt). In fact, I'm pretty sure that every reviewer of this book didn't actually read it. They saw the superficial qualities of the writer and character and made assumptions. That just shows how lazy we have become about judging everything. All of these reviewers are lazy and completely missed the beauty (and the point of) this book.
I honestly selected the book because I'd listen to Bahni Turpin read a medical text. She's brilliant. I'm so glad I picked this one. It's a very unique gem.
It's not really a spy novel but Marie Mitchell is spy and so was her sister. The espionage part of the book is set in the 1980's and Marie, as a black woman, has trouble being taken seriously in the New York field office (unlike her experience working in the Indianapolis office). She eventually leaves and contracts out to a private firm and becomes involved in operations in Burkina Faso (formerly Chad). It's the perfect place to center a novel because I'd bet none of us know anything about it. I didn't. Anyway, there are spy aspects and the opening is quite a thriller so it's a little misleading.
What this book really is, is a letter to Marie's sons written in 1993 (current period for the book). She's telling the story of her life in case she doesn't see them again. We learn about her upbringing, her relationships with her sister and parents, her career choices, her intelligence and her introspection. She recognizes that countries aren't all right or wrong, people aren't all bad or good and decisions have mixed results. We see Marie as a daughter, sister, mother AND spy and we recognize that all those parts are interconnected. It's a brilliant first novel....it's not dogmatic, it's thoughtful.
The Shoemaker's Wife
By Adriana Trigiani, Read By Lisa Flanagan
It's a multi-generational family drama as historical fiction so it should be right up my alley. It was OK. This is the third or fourth Trigiani book that I've read and, for me, they are all OK. The characters all fall a little flat for me and the writing is a little messy. There are events or conversations that should presage a future event but then nothing eve happens with them.
The story is based very loosely on her own family history of Italian immigrants to the US. Enza and Ciro meet in their hometown in the Italian Alps. Shortly after Ciro has to leave for the US where he will apprentice as a shoemaker. Enza follows later when her family falls on hard times. She and her father come to the US to work and send money home. Neither Ciro or Enza knows that the other is in New York.
In the end, I just didn't buy the story. But, saying that, she is a very popular author and people who like her work will like this book.
By Steven Phillips, MD and Dana Parish
Read By Thomas Allen, Teri Schnaubelt
Without question, one of the most important books I've ever read. Dr Phillips came to specialize in "autoimmune" diseases when, as a young medical intern, he saved his father from a heart transplant by discovering that his problem was an underlying Lyme infection. By treating that, his father was cured. He eventually had his own health crisis (bed ridden and near death) that was ultimately determined to be a bacterial infection from spider bites.
He share research and case studies to show that some cases of heart disease, neurological diseases and autoimmune diseases are actually caused by Lyme and other vector borne infections. He also discusses the types of treatments that are needed to truly cure these infections. He's had patients diagnosed with everything including: ALS, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, autism, MS, OCD and various other maladies and many turned out to be infection caused.
He does not propose that ALL people with these diagnoses are actually infections but a significant percentage are. He explains about the different tests and which work and then talks about various approaches to treatment.
If you want to check him out before buying this book, here's an interview on YouTube. It's a pretty heavy book. I did not read it all at one time. I had to break it up between a few other books but it was so worth the time invested.
By Archer Mayor, Read By Tom Taylorson
This is the second book in the Joe Gunther series. I read the first one a few weeks ago and enjoyed it.
This is a pretty old series and most of the books are in the free section of the Audible library. That's what drew me to the first one, Open Season. These early novels are set in the 1980's in Vermont. There are no cell phones or other modern forensic tools. These books are good old fashioned investigation and, for me, that's what makes them fun.
In this one Joe is in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to help investigate an embezzlement case. But then there's a house fire that turns out to be arson/murder. The house is owned by a secretive sect that has taken over half the town in recent years. There's lots of pent up animosity to add to the intrigue.
There are 30 books in the series so far and 29 of them are free. I like Joe Gunther so I'll keep reading them.
The Dearly Beloved
By Cara Wall, Read By Kathy Keane
I pick up book ideas from all over the place. Some come from reading blog book reviews, some from book newsletters and some from friends. I feel certain that this book came from one of those sources but I don't remember. I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own.
Two couples, Charles & Nan and James & Lily, meet in 1963 in Greenwich Village. James and Charles are the new pastors of the Third Presbyterian Church. The story starts earlier to tell the stories of how each couple met and the influences on their lives. Charles was supposed to succeed his father as a History professor at Harvard, Lily had serious childhood trauma and says that she will never believe in God, James had a tough childhood in Chicago and wants to right all of the wrongs of the world and Nan grew up a minister's daughter in Mississippi where he father taught her how to connect with people. The book is, simply, about their lives: decisions, challenges and growth all amid the social changes of the 60's and 70's.
I almost didn't read the book when I got started and saw that it might have strong religious overtones but I soon realized that it isn't about religion at all. It does use faith (or not) as a method to show how we can reconcile differences in our lives. If a minister and his atheist wife can make a happy life then there's hope for others. Oh, and the church secretary is awesome.
It's cleverly written because you find yourself hating and then not hating and then liking a character as they move through their own phases of self-discovery and relinquishing their past demons. It's not going to be one of my favorite books of the year but it's a good one.
The Mother's Promise
By Sally Hepworth, Read By Barrie Kreinik
This is another, like that last one, that came to me from a list somewhere.
Alice Stanhope is a single mother of 15 year old Zoe. Zoe has social anxiety disorder that I propose was caused by the mother absolutely smothering her from birth. The kid was never seriously socialized at a young age and Alice has always lived her life mostly alone. Now all that is about to come to a head.
Alice is diagnosed with cancer, a diagnose that she's pretty much decided to avoid. She gets treatment but had avoided truly understanding the seriousness of her situation. She is very lucky that her nurse (Kate) and social worker (Sonja) feel a personal need to help her. Kudos to all the social workers out there because I expect there are a lot of Alice's in this world.
It's a well written book with the unsurprising message that we can't survive alone. We need family and friends. I found Alice immature and wanted to slap her a few times but the story got where it needed to be at the end.
Again, it wasn't my favorite but if you like deep emotional stories this might be a book for you.
By William Kent Krueger, Read By David Chandler
After the heaviness of the last 2 books I needed something light. By light, I mean murder.
This is #12 in the Cork O'Connor series. It opens with Cork on a hunting trip with his high school friend-turned-politician, Jubal Little. During the trip Jubal is shot with an arrow that looks like one of Cork's homemade arrows. Cork has to find the real killer before he's charged with the murder.
There's not much for me to review about this series. So far I like all of them. I like Cork as a character and I like the mystical overtones from the Native community. I always read these quickly.
The Last Garden in England
By Julia Kelly, Read by a cast
If you like Kate Morton just go ahead and get this book. You will love it.
The story is told around the fictional Highbury House in the village of Highbury in England. There are 3 women who had close connections with the garden so the story move between 3 times to tell the story the garden and the connections between the women.
In 1907 Venetia Smith is a novelty. She's an up and coming female garden designer and is hired to design the gardens for Highbury House. In 1944, land girl Beth Pedley, cook Stella Adderton and Diana Symonds, the widowed mistress of the house, try to find some sort of normality as the house is requisitioned for war use. In 2021, Emma Lovett, is knows for breathing new life into neglected gardens. She's hired by the descendants of Diana Symonds to restore the gardens.
This book was a great way to end the month. I couldn't put it down. Damned if I didn't actually shed a tear at one point. That doesn't happen very often!
This project is officially done! Completing this project has a completion satisfaction rating right up there with The Great Wall. It was not easy, I had a ton of allergy issues with the Sharpie markers and it took a long time but it was worth all the pain and suffering in the end. Drawing the designs was great fun; it was the other elements that were kind of a drag.
There are 2 cloths that are about 7 feet long in front of the sink and stove and one that's less than 3 feet long in front of the fridge. In case you are wondering, yes, we still have white appliances. Black or stainless will replace them when they die. I expect that because we want to replace them that they will never die and I'm fine with that too.
These started with plain artist canvas bought on a large roll. They were primed on both sides with gesso and then I painted one side with satin wall paint in three shades of a brown to blend with the floor. If you look close you can see that I painted them with grain line directions to match the wood planks.
Here's the smaller one that's in front of the refrigerator. We had fabric covered floor clothes here before that had to be at least 10 years old. They did a great job of protecting the floor and they are still in fine shape. They will go into the guest house.
Click on a gallery image to see larger views
Here's a gallery with close ups of the designs. All of the designs were done with Wild Gears. Wild Gears are an ingenious upgrade of our childhood Spirograph. You know that Spirograph was brilliant because it's just as popular as ever. It was one of my favorite toys and Wild Gears is one of my favorite grown up toys. (I was going to say "adult toys" but it really doesn't fit in that general category.)
I used Super Sharpie markers to get a really bold line and I probably went through a dozen or more on this project. As soon as I noticed any fading in the mark I got out a new marker. The designs that appear to be "on top" were the first drawn. To draw a layered design I had to be careful to stop and start lines at the edge of the design on top. There were mistakes and I did have to do some "erasing" with paint.
Chris and I finished them by folding under a hem and using the glue gun to stick it in place. He coated the underside with one coat of polyurethane and 3 coats on top. The have rug pads under them to keep them from slipping on the floor. I hope these will last as long as the last ones or until we leave this house because making a 7 foot floor cloth is a pain.
If you are interested the Wild Gear Sets that I used in this project are:
3-Way Modular Connectors
How's this for cute? I'm making the doll outfits to go along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors. February is yellow month so I made this sun dress Monday night. I had just enough of that fabric to make the dress. It looks like it would be easy but the dress is fully lined and you have to turn it through the shoulder. It was a pain but I did it. I hope it fits Ella's doll.
Yesterday we finally had a beautiful sunny, warn day so I decided to get a start in trimming bushes and cleaning up beds. If the ground ever dries out I'll start bringing in and spreading 8 or so truckloads of mulch. My trimming method makes mulching easy! There are Barberry bushes. They don't mind this harsh treatment at all and I won't have to tend to them again for a few years.
Then I came in and started sewing my star blocks together. These are the blocks for the small stars. I thought I'd get all of the star blocks together yesterday but it turned into more work than I expected.
This quilt is made on foundations that you leave in. That's generally a great idea but it leaves way too much bulk in the seams so I'm spending a lot of time tearing out the material where seam allowances are pressed. It's a pain but it's necessary.
In the evenings I'm making progress on this blanket. One ball of yarn is done and I've started the second one. This pattern has a border and I will not have enough yarn for the border. I bought what the pattern called for but my gauge is different because I crochet pretty tight. As a result I think I'm using more yarn. I had to run an errand to Lowe's yesterday and Hobby Lobby is nearby. I thought I'd see if I could find something that might work for a border. Pretty much everything looks awful. White is too bright, ivory makes it look old and dirty and every pink clashed.
In the end I decided to go bold and see if this will work. It has the peach and pinks from the blanket plus every other color. It might look like crap but crochet is really easy to pull out. It's a low risk experiment. The blanket can always go without a border and I can make hats from this yarn if I don't use it on this blanket.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I thought I was dyeing On the Horizon? Instead I applied the dye in the wrong order and got NOT On The Horizon. There's still some of "Not" on sale but now I have the real On The Horizon back in the shop! You might have seen this quilt in the Customer Gallery. Patricia Caldwell used On The Horizon for her sashing and borders to great effect.
Also back in stock this week is Imperial Dragon. Patricia Caldwell sent us another of her beautiful quilts, this one using Imperial Dragon as the background. She added lots of thread work, fibers, painting and beadwork to make Rainbow Reflections.
Fabric of the Week
The Fabric of the Week is the Mulberry Shades Pack. This one seems to be most popular for monochromatic portrait quilts. Stephanie Wilds is the expert that I loot to for portrait quilts like this one of Lady, done in black. Mulberry would be a nice choice for some skin tones.
Mulberry is 20% off through Sunday.
I don't really feel like I accomplished a lot this weekend but I think I always feel that way after a trip. There's so much daily stuff to catch up on that I always feel a little disjointed for a few days. But the laundry is caught up, everything is put away and I'm ready to get back to my routine. I did work on a few things though....
We got all of the floor cloth detritus out of the guest house and cleaned it to be ready for our friend who will be staying a while. I can't put the floor cloths in the house yet. They are still off gassing. We put them outside on clear, sunny days. It's supposed to warm up tomorrow so we should be able to air them really well this week.
I started a new crochet baby blanket and this one will go fast. I ordered some single balls of yarn from Webs to test out for 2 projects (not blankets) that I have planned. I needed a little more yarn to get a discount so I found this bulky acrylic from Universal yarn. I haven't worked with bulky yarn yet so I thought I'd give it a try. It sure does crochet up quickly! The yarn is really soft and easy to work with. I don't know if it pills but but it makes a very squishy blanket.
Following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I cut 2 sets of yellow blocks (8 of each block) for my family quilts. I'm saving these to sew on vacation and suing the RSC to motivate myself to cut some each month so that I have a lot of blocks to sew by August.
Also, going along with the RSC, I'm making doll clothes for my little friend, Ella. Last month it was a pink nightgown and this month it's a yellow sundress. The purple pieces are to go along with a top that I made last month.
Here's the whole purple/pink outfit together. The t-shirt should have been dyed pink. It went together fast so maybe I can make her a pink one later.
The best part of the outfit is this sun hat. Too cute! I ran out of energy last night to make the sundress but I'll probably get it done today. I think Ella will like these. I hope the March color is one that I have some fancy fabric in so that I can make a dressy dress.
The storms at home weren't bad yesterday so I'm able to go home today. My last day at the beach was marked by heavy rain. Things cleared up in the afternoon and, instead of a beach walk, we checked out 2 fabric shops in the area. I found a collection of firefighter fabrics and decided that it was time that I make a quilt for my cleaner. Pretty much everyone in her family, including her, are firefighters. It was meant to be.
On the making side of my beach life, I've been working on some crochet hats. I want to find some projects that I make that will use up leftover yarn. I'm not quite ready to make a big scrapghan. I'm cool with scrap quilts but I haven't been very enamored with scrap afghans. Hats seem like a good option and I can donate them.
The one above was started a week or so ago and now it's finished. This one is probably best for a chemo center. The yarn is so soft that I think it would feel great on a bald head. This is the pattern I followed. I like the pattern and her instructions are good but making my first hat out of velvet yarn probably wasn't a great idea.
Then I decided to find a pattern for 3 weight yarn so that I could use the Mandala yarn that was leftover from the granny square blanket.I picked another pattern from Bag-O-Day on Youtube. This was much better pattern for a beginner. I made it complex by changing colors for the ribbed rows but it still only took a few hours to make.
This one is made large with the intention of donating it some place that serves men. It would fit a big head! You can see that it's pretty big on me but it turned out much better than I expected.
Then I made a smaller size from more of the leftover yarn. I'm please that these turned out at all but, now that they are done, I don't think 3 weight yarn is great for hats. I'll probably try to find another project for future leftover 3 weight yarns. These hats might or might not find homes. I'm not sure if they would be really useful but I'll ask a friend who would know. Either way, I now know the basics of how to make a hat and that was the original goal. Also, I actually enjoy making hats!
While Kim was out for an appointment I made 4 of the string blocks just to see how they will look. It would probably be more striking if the center string was bolder but I think it's going to work fine.
Lady might or might not approve. It's hard to tell.
It seems that the beach in February is defined by warm/high wind days and cool/low wind days. Yesterday was cool and today is expected to bet he same with rain.
The sun was shining bright yesterday morning when I snapped this photo but it was too cold for a walk (in my opinion, others on the beach disagreed). We waited until the afternoon. It was overcast but warmer. It wasn't warm enough for bare feet today but we have a lovely, long walk.
The weather for the East is looking dicey today and tomorrow. Chris is prepared at home for more power outages and there's a reasonable chance that I will have to stay here an extra night. That would be horrible, wouldn't it?
I'm not going home if there's no power. Chris said that Costco didn't have the snow crab for our anniversary dinner anyway. We'll just see how things look Friday morning.
Meanwhile today we are considering venturing out to check out a couple of quilt shops in Morehead City.
On the sewing front, I've been cutting out fabrics while Kim has been sewing. The first kit I made is for a string quilt that will be a veterans quilt. The blocks will finish at 8 x 10 so that they will be set 6 x 6 for a 48 x 60 quilt. The center string is the light blue. It's leftover fabric from a veterans quilt back. There was just enough for the blocks and binding. The strings are the leftover from the Club Noir quilt. I cut up a bunch of leftover neutrals and whites for the foundations.
I got all the scraps cut down into strings and bits so I might actually start sewing on these blocks while I'm here if Kim is done with the sewing machine.
The other quilt(s) I brought to cut are some star blocks in bright yellows and oranges on this great mottled background.
I actually brought enough of the oranges to cut star pieces for 2 quilts so I did that and cut the block backgrounds for 1 quilt. When I get home I'll search the stash (or dye) fabric for the second quilt. I know it's not exactly patriotic but they will be really happy quilts and very beachy. There are lots of beach people who live in our area so I expect these will find good homes with a couple of veterans.
Here's what Kim has been working on. First, I'll note that the lighting is this house is awful so the photos are not great. This one is really washed out. It started with these 2 napkins that I dyed with a gradient. She loves pink so I decided to give them to her. I pulled some fabrics from my stash to coordinate and brought the kit for her to make placemats. She finished sewing them together yesterday. They are very "Kim".
She's going to be working half day today so I'll spend the morning finally taking the first class on the Bethanne Nemesch feather class and then do some more crochet. Tomorrow I'll show you the hats that I'm working on to try to use up the extra yarn from the baby blanket. I've never made hats before but they are kind of fun to do.
and another day at the beach! It's hard to tell in this photo but it was windy as heck yesterday. The night before was worse. We had a storm come through after midnight that was wild. I could feel the house AND my bed shake. Yesterday morning I learned that there was a tornado in a county south of us so I've decided to consider us lucky. The wind did calm down a bit in the afternoon for another barefoot walk on the beach with jacket and hat. You can easily identify all the New Yorker's here because they are on the beach in shorts.
I remember ages ago when I graduated college in March. A group of us headed to Myrtle Beach to celebrate. It was freezing cold to us but the Canadians were all swimming in the ocean. We never took off our sweaters on the beach.
I did finally start doing some cutting for a veterans quilt last night but mostly I've been crocheting. When I get near the end of a project I like to get it done and this one was so close. I love how it turned out. Here are the details:
Granny Square about 32" square
Yarn is Lion Brand Mandala in color Mermaid, 3 balls
Hook size H
This will be doanted to a local charity
For this one I managed the color changes instead of just stitching the yarn continuous and letting the colors fall wherever. It meant that I rolled a lot of balls of the individual color but it was so worth it. I had a bit of yarn leftover because I didn't want any partial rounds but I have plans for that yarn.
I finished it off with 2 rows of single crochet. There wasn't enough of the light turquoise or white to do double crochet. I like the extra structure that it added to the blanket and I wanted the white as the final row. I think it worked out really nice.
I do still need to block this when I get home.
Here's the leftover yarn and I'm already working on beanie. I expect I can get 3 from this and I'll donate all of them somewhere.
Today will be more about sewing but I might get one of these done.
I made it to Emerald Isle, NC yesterday. It was a very easy drive even though it was raining most of the way. Everyone on the road was on good behavior. At least 10% of all the cars were from New York.
I am always loathe to have photos taken but this look was so funny that I had to share it as a contrast to the snow photos of yesterday. We left the house for our walk and I was wearing 2 jackets, a hat, gloves and shoes. On the way back I had shed the gloves, one jacket and the shoes. It was a little chilly at 46 but it was marvelous to feel the sand under my feet. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow but also pretty windy so we'll see how tomorrow's walk goes.
I really feel for everyone in Texas and all the central states. I hope you are finding ways to stay warm and I hope this horrid weather passes for you soon.
We haven't pulled out the sewing yet but I'm within a few rounds of having this baby blanket finished. It's been a little extra work to plan out the colors instead of letting them roll out however they fell in the Mandala yarn. I think it's been worth the little bit extra effort and I'm likely to do it again. I will have yarn leftover from this so I'm planning a hat or 2 to donate. The blanket will be a donation too and, yes, it will get blocked. It really needs blocking. It was a lot of work to get it to look this good!
I also got my baking and cooking done for the week today so tomorrow we will likely get the fabric and sewing machine out. But first a trip to Michael's for some knitting needles that Kim needs for her project.
I'm so grateful to be here. I know I'm not the only person who needs a break right now and I intend to take full advantage of this great opportunity!
This weekend was supposed to be quilt club weekend but this interfered just as I expected. I was really bummed to miss my friends but I did have this view outside my sewing room and I made the most of the weekend, including spending time packing for my little trip.
My first goal was to quilt 2 more veterans quilts. Both of these were made by Peg. Peg, Karen and my Mom are geniuses at scrap quilts. Just a few HST blocks sprinkled around makes this more than just jsut a scrap busting quilt.
Here's the big news form the weekend. All of my blocks for Summer Sunset are done! I had the arcs left to do and I wanted them done before I left. This will give you a little idea of how this quilt is going to look. If you need one of these for yourself you can get the pattern here.
Here are all the pieces and parts ready for me to start assembling when I get back. I am soooooooo excited about this quilt!
My goal is to post every day this week but I might not. It is a vacation after all. So don't worry if you don't hear from me. Have a great week!
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
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.