Lori's Weblog

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

of mice and men (and quilters) often go awry. My current project has a deadline of December 18. I’ve been working really hard on it and looked forward to this long weekend for the sewing time. Friday I hauled my stuff up to TQW for a day of sewing. At about 4 p.m. this

was a completed quilt top about 60″ x 60″. However, when I put the last border on and then put the quilt up on the design wall, said borders were wavy. So, I spent the rest of the day removing the 2 outer borders. And, 2 hours on Saturday sewing 3 sides of the first border back on. It seemed like nothing was going right. I knew I’d forced the fit on the side panels of the quilt top, but I thought I would be able to “quilt it out”. The plan was to actually have the quilt sandwich done on Saturday. See, the best laid plans…

So, as they say, back to the drawing board….or the scene of the crime….or if at first you don’t succeed. Yeah, I’ve spent all morning taking the 3 border strips I sewed yesterday off. And, the skinny little inner borders. And taking the quilt blocks apart and remaking the problem blocks. I’ve done 2 of the 8 blocks and put them back together and sewed them to the center medallion…much better.

This is what something like 600 inches of borders looks like:

Now, my 9 a.m. allergy/congestion medicine seems to have failed me. At least the allergy part. I’m sneezing up a storm and have a raging headache. I’m off to take some Tylenol and spend the next 45 minutes or so writing Christmas cards. Tonight, bowling.

Last night, I saw “Tangled” with the girls. It was a cute movie. Of course, it made me cry. I’m going to blame PMS. It could just be that I’m a silly girl who cries easily. Anyway, I would definitely recommend the movie…we saw the 2D version and I don’t think we missed anything by not seeing the 3D. (What is it with all the 3D movies these days, anyway?)

I also finished the latest JD Robb book, “Indulgence in Death”. I enjoyed it. Now, I’m on to “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake (the author of “The Help”).

I hope, if you are an American reader, that you had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, got all of your Black Friday deals if you were brave enough to venture out, and are having a relaxing last day of holiday before going back to work tomorrow.

Is it just me, or has the year just zoomed by? It has been a lovely “autumn” in north Texas the past week. Temperatures hanging around the mid-70s to mid-80s. Cool at night. When I rolled out of bed at 10:30 this morning (don’t hate – there was a pounding sinus headache I was trying to sleep away), the little temperature feature on my laptop said it was 55 degrees. I may have to break out a jacket for work tomorrow.

Anyhow, I’ve been sewing up a small storm the past couple of weeks. Last Friday, it was “Quilt Girls Party” at TQW and Saturday was an open sew day in the classroom. I had really high hopes of getting my table topper all sewed on Friday. I talk too much. I worked hard on it on Saturday, though. I was all excited and took a picture of the “finished” top:

(Here’s a close-up. Isn’t this fabric (Layered Nature by Studio E) just yummy?)

Only to realize, as I packed up at the end of the day, that I hadn’t put the borders on. Well, crap. The borders still aren’t on, but I have several weeks until I need the top completed for my free-motion quilting demo.

While I was working away on the table topper, my friend, Cindy, was working on her 2nd Saturday project from September. How cute is this?

She fussy cut a martini glass and made her center look like an olive by adding a red “pimento”!

Last night, I got to work on the final step of my “Whole Lotta” quilt. I had originally top-stitched the circles down. With off-white thread. Don’t ask me what I was thinking. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started this quilt 150 years ago. Now, I’m unsewing that machine stitching and making things better with a hand needle and some silk thread.

That black arrow is where you can see the ugly…up top of the photo, making it better.

And, I’m doing a little quilting mystery reading…I picked up the first book in the Someday Quilts mysteries last November at Festival. The author, Clare O’Donohue, was in the Accuquilt booth signing books. One thing lead to another (or more like a ton of books later) and I finally got around to reading it a couple weeks ago. It was good! I finished the 2nd in the series last night and will start the 3rd sometime later today. Probably after bowling.

Another good book I read in September was “Dead to Writes” by Cathy Wiley…her debut novel. You should check it out. A good mystery, good characters. I’m looking forward to more from her.

Okay, it’s time to get back to unsewing circles…as soon as I switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Have a great rest of your weekend!

Yay for me! I actually have finished 3 quilts in July – and it’s not even 1/2 over yet. Granted, two were really small, but one was started and finished this month. That’s the one there is no photo of. Our guild’s 25th anniversary is tomorrow and we had a 25 x 25 challenge – basically a 25″ square art quilt. Mine is named “Nimue”. It is currently residing at the home of the lady who is leading the challenge. I’ll have a picture after guild tomorrow.

My first picture is one I owe you from my last post – my 9-patch pizzazz…which is still unnamed:

It’s the perfect size for keeping warm while lounging on the couch!

Then, I finished a couple more UFOs from my pile. I’ve decided that I’m not going to start any new quilting projects until I put a dent into my WIPs and UFOs (works in progress and unfinished objects). This is a little convergence quilt experiment. It’s about 24 inches square-ish and I’ll be donating it at guild tomorrow night.

Remember the blue and yellow sneak peak in my last post? Well, that is “Sunshine in the Garden” and here it is all finished:

The back is a lovely morning glory print from the Flower Show III line. It reminds me of my grandpa who would say “Morning, glory” to me…(Morning, Lori)

I read Janet Evanovich’s “Sizzling Sixteen” last week. I enjoyed it. I just wish Stephanie would make a choice – either Morelli or Ranger…”Cupcake” or “Babe”.

Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by! Look for my challenge quilt in a couple days.

I know this picture is blurry…you can read the temperature, though. Yes, it says 106…degrees Fahrenheit. June 27. Freaking hot.

This was the temperature at the bank at 4:15 this afternoon. My computer says it’s “only” 97. Whatever, it’s hot! (For those of you in other parts of the world, it’s about 41 degrees celsius.)

I spent all day yesterday sewing…10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Started the day with a t-shirt quilt class at TQW. I have had my t-shirts cut out and most of them backed with interfacing for something like 5 years. For the layout we were doing for the class, I needed 9 t-shirts. I chose to go with a travel theme. Here is what I had at the end of the day. I know 2 blocks doesn’t seem like much, but I also spent a little time helping the gal sitting at the next table. And, I had to wait for everyone else to get caught up to the point that I was. It was a good class, though, and I really like the wonky blocks.

Afterwards, I had a sew night with Diana T., Diana S., Stacey, and De. We all had different things to work on. My sister wanted a pincushion for her birthday (which was Friday). Diana T. had some “thumbles” that she had started, so she let me have one of those. Here is a tutorial for one. I don’t know if it’s the exact same one Diana used, but the finished product is the same. I know thumble isn’t a very accurate term, since it’s a pincushion, not a thimble, but I think it’s cute!

This one happens to be made out of Cuddle.

However, Kristie informed me last week that she wanted a wrist pincushion. So, even though she got her other birthday gifts on the day, she is getting the thumble and a wrist pincushion for a 4th of July present. Here is the tutorial for it. It’s cute, don’t you think?

So, that was 2 projects down. I have about 12 UFOs on my UFO challenge list for the guild. I finished one for last month – a 9-patch pizzazz. I don’t have a picture of it right now…I’ll have it in my next post. Another quilt top that I’ve been hanging on to for some 6 years or more is a blue and yellow log cabin. I’ve spent about 6 hours free motion quilting flowers and leaves and probably have about 2 hours of quilting left to do. I’m planning to finish it at a July 3 sew day. But, here’s a little yellow and blue sneak peak:

I’ve seen a couple of movies the past couple weeks, too. “Karate Kid” last Sunday and “Killers” today. I enjoyed both. Little Jaden Smith was excellent in “KK” and watching Jackie Chan do what he does best is awesome. Ashton Kutcher is hot.

Lots of books read, too. “Storm Prey” (the latest in the Lucas Davenport Prey series) by John Sanford, “The Aloha Quilt” (an Elm Creek Quilts novel) by Jennifer Chiaverini, the entire Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, “Cat of the Century” (the latest Mrs. Murphy mystery) by Rita Mae Brown, “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” by Stephenie Meyer, “The Necromancer” by Michael Scott (the latest in the Nicholas Flamel series), “Beside a Burning Sea” by John Shors, “The Last Child” by John Hart, and currently “Murder on Marble Row” a Gaslight Mystery by Victoria Thompson. All good. You still have a few days to read “Bree Tanner” for free.

Thanks for stopping by. Next weekend, planning to catch “Eclipse”, have another 8 hour day of sewing, and enjoying some fireworks.

It’s time for another Blogger’s Quilt Festival! Well, almost. Friday is the day and, again, it is sponsored by Amy (formerly Park City Amy). I’m headed to Market in MSP tomorrow night, but I’m going to be posting my entry on Friday. And, I hope to have some great pics and stories from my time at Market. It’s my first time, and I’m very excited!

In other news, me and 700 of my closest friends congregated at Border’s in Dallas last weekend to meet Charlaine Harris, of Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) fame. Now, the last book signing I was at was for an author not as well known as Ms. Harris, and was attended by fewer than 50 people. What was I thinking trying to park in the Border’s lot just 10 minutes prior to the start of the event? Luckily, I was able to park in a neighborhood just a block away from the store. I needed the exercise, anyway.

Had I known I needed a colored wristband to secure my spot in the signing line, I would have gone down to the store in the morning. Instead, I spent the entire time Ms. Harris spoke standing in line. In front of some rude women who talked almost the entire time the author was speaking. I even nicely asked them to be quiet so we could all hear her. Deaf ears, I tell ya. When I finally got my purple wristband, I found a spot to stand. Way in the back. I’m 5’2″. Couldn’t see much beyond the people standing in front of me. A lady standing on a chair behind me was kind enough to take this picture of the crowd for me.

If you look really close, you can see Charlaine in the middle of the red Border’s banner in the top center of the picture.

Around 4:30, the purple group was finally called to queue up. There were easily still 200 people in front of me and only about 20 or so behind me. The line wandered through the store. I learned more about the sex lives of the 2 girls behind me than I really cared to know. Seriously, I’m not a prude, but if you have to worry that your mom is going to take your car away, you are probably not old enough to be having sex. Or, offering advice to your friend on how her experience could be better. Should be better. And, really, this is a conversation best had in private. Not in public, surrounded by strangers, one of whom is a 12-year-old girl standing right behind you.

It was almost 1.5 hours later when I finally made it around the last corner. Here I am with Charlaine Harris as she signs my book (or maybe it was Sam’s book):

I’m quite impressed that we both could still smile! And, that her hand wasn’t cramped from all those signatures!

I know it’s been forever, but I didn’t really have anything quilt related to share with y’all. So, let me warn you that this post is going to be very picture heavy. Today I attended a workshop with Karen Stone. You know how sometimes you admire a person’s work, then find out they aren’t such a nice person…kind of a diva? Well, let me tell you, that does NOT describe Karen. She is funny, charming, and talented. She spoke at our guild meeting on Monday. I wasn’t sitting in the best spot for picture taking, because I got the back of Stacey’s head in a lot of the photos, but I hope you can enjoy the awesome-ness of these quilts.

Today, we got to look at a few of these quilts close-up…as in touching and petting and ooh-ing and aah-ing.

We talked about color and the process Karen uses to make her scrappy quilts. She came around to each of us and helped us apply that process to the fabrics we brought along; then, she demonstrated the creation of a New York Beauty block. Seriously, even with the time to explain what she was doing, it took her less than 30 minutes to complete the block. Here are some pictures from today.

Ann-Marie (that’s her on the left) showed us her version of Karen’s Lady Liberty pattern. She made it with her daughter and some of her daughter’s friends. I think it’s looks great!

Karen (standing in the center in the black outfit) explaining why certain fabrics work together.

Our little group gathered around and offered plenty of opinions.

Here we are passing around Karen’s New York Beauty block. See that cute little lady sitting across the table from Karen? The one with the big flower in her hair? We met at a retirement center and she is one of the residents who came and went during the day.

A close look at Cinco de Mayo.

More Cindo de Mayo.

And that’s all the quilt-y things I have to share tonight. I do need to get behind my own sewing machine and get a block done for Sisterhood by Wednesday. I’m very excited to be headed out of town later in the week to hang with my Trixie Peeps for the weekend. Good friends, bowling, Elvis, and 5Ws. What more could a girl want?

Lots of reading going on here, too. That’s partly why there hasn’t been much sewing happening. I read all of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I enjoyed it a lot…it was fun re-learning the mythology I’d forgotten.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay was sad, but so good…the story of a little Parisian girl and her family who were seized in a roundup of Jews during WWII. They have a connection to a family in modern day Paris. Heart-wrenching at times, but the story-telling was good, and worth the tears.

Fantasy in Death, the latest in the Death series by JD Robb. Enjoyable as always.

Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison is the latest in her Rachel Morgan series. It made me cry. I am really liking this series and will be sad when it ends. I like the characters and Kim Harrison’s writing style keeps me interested.

Deception: An Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan Kellerman. Again, a series I really like with characters I enjoy.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs. The latest in her Mercy Thompson series. Another fantasy series that I was introduced to in the past year and really have enjoyed. Finished it last night, so I’m on to something new now…The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy, Book 1) by Kathy Herman. This author is new to me. The book is a mystery and so far, so good.

Now, my faithful reader :-), I’m off to eat a Ho-Ho (who’m I kidding? I’m going to eat them both) and pick up that book (well, my Kindle…which I LOVE! I am currently carrying about 40 books around in my purse.) Maybe snuggle a cat. Wild Saturday night! (Obviously, I don’t often eat Ho-Hos…I’m more of a Little Debbie Swiss Rolls girl…There are THREE! Ho-Hos in a package. And, yes, I ate them all.)

Happy St. Urho’s Day to all my Finnish friends! Don’t know St. Urho? His day is celebrated on March 16…one day before the more famous St. Patrick’s Day. St. Urho cast the frogs out of Finland. See his story here . Scroll down to Nonhistorical traditions. And, don’t forget to wear your purple tomorrow!

This past weekend was the Dallas Quilt Guild’s quilt show. Here are pictures of some of the quilts I particularly liked or found interesting.

“How My Garden Grows” by Shelly Sutton

“Beach Budds” by Sandy Brawner

“Modern Coffee” by Barbara Lange

“Mariner’s Choice” by Jean Dobson

“Eat A Bug” by Cathy Bradley

“How Do You See the World” by Terri Krysan

“Fizzle Sticks” by Candy Mahaffey – one of the log cabin quilts that met the guild’s theme…

And, the completed guild raffle quilt (not the Dallas Guild, I’m holding off on naming as our guild has not seen it, yet):

I haven’t told you what I’m reading in a while. I just finished “The Titan’s Curse” by Rick Riordan, the third book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series. I read the first book before seeing “The Lightning Thief” movie, and really enjoyed it. So, currently, I’m reading “The Scarpetta Factor” by Patricia Cornwell, the lastest book in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Have a great week!

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A Lovely Year of Finishes
January 2020
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