Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Little Free Library Love

You probably know what Little Free Libraries are... little boxes or containers which contain free books. People can take a book, read it, return it if they want, or return another one, or put a book in another Little Free Library in another location. I love stopping at other LFLs. Now that I'm a steward of one at our church (I take care of loading and organizing it), I notice other LFLs all over the place. I love to stop at them and see what they have. Sometimes I share our overflow with those other libraries.

I decided that the month of May will be "Minnesota Authors Month." I filled it (already, even though it's still April) with a bunch of really good books by really good Minnesota authors. I have overflow of these, too, which will be placed in the library as time goes by this month.

Today after work I took a "scenic route" home, and noticed three or four other LFLs! It was a beautiful day, a perfect day to stop spontaneously at other LFLs. I even found a couple of books I want, and I gave them some of my overflow books. Fun, fun, fun. This one was cute. It matches the house it stands in front of, and I loved the cute little bench. I am hoping we can some time soon have a bench installed near our LFL at church.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Party Animal

I'm a party animal!! No, I'm not. Last week three of us got together to celebrate HH's birthday. We ate and talked. That's about as partyish as I get.

Then I went to a bell choir "party" (concert) at my cousin's church. Her son is in the bell choir there. I was amazed at how many bell groups they have, and the amazing array of bells, both large and small. It was a good concert.

I loved this woman's hat. She was wearing an outfit from Chile.

Next party, a trip out of town to visit my mom. We took her out for lunch. My two cousins and I got a tour of the new high school in town. It's beautiful. FAR better than the "cardboard box" I went to in that town, a hundred years ago. I made a small contribution to the building fund and got my name on the contributors' wall!

Spring has sprung, and so have my allergies. I'll be fine soon enough.

P.S. My mom is doing well. My mother-in-law had to stay in the hospital many days longer than she wanted to, until they were satisfied with some number they were measuring in her blood. She's home now, finally. Yay!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Little Bit of Knitting

Here is a knit panel that I completed. A member of our yarn group at church has cancer, so we each quickly made her panels which we will sew together to make a prayer shawl for her. When it gets completed I will show you a photo of the whole shawl.

Today I worked at the little store that we run during the quilt show. One of our display units had collapsed yesterday. No one saw it happen, and the viewers claim they didn't touch anything, but ... how else would it have fallen? Never mind, though. I sent out an e-mail distress call and a few people showed up. We had to be the Tool Gals for the day. Luckily one person there knew what she was doing. I would have been lost without her. It must have taken a good hour to get that back up. I'm happy to say our show is once again complete. Just don't breathe too hard on some of those displays, please! *smile*

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Books: Good People

Good People from an Author's Life by Jon Hassler -- I was prepared to feel bored with this book.. anticipating Hassler's list of good people in his life: parents, friends, priests, colleagues. It was going to be something to read lazily to knock off some boring down time, with something sweet and not too thought-provoking.

I should have known better. Hassler is a better writer than that. (I've read and enjoyed some of his fiction in the past.) Yes, he starts first by describing his parents and his happy childhood. From there he branches out into a wide variety of good people: a childhood friend with a terminal illness, a colleague who talks endlessly and loudly yet teaches one of the most creative classes ever created at the college, a couple - both writers - who are glum and almost angry at the world yet produce admirable and artistically-created literature. The list of good people could not be more diverse and surprising. He even analyzes some of the fictional characters he himself created.

Hassler describes them all in a humorous and intelligent fashion, and delves into what gave birth to their goodness. The goodness may not even have been apparent to other observers.

This makes for a thought-provoking look at goodness itself and at how we accept, judge, or learn from those around us. There is probably some un-tapped goodness out there that we could all learn from if we open our hearts to it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gorgee-osity (Gorgeousness) !!

There wasn't a good word to describe this beautiful quilt, so I made up a couple for my post title. I ran across this at another person's blog and had to follow the link. Isn't it FABULOUS!? I am in love with it.

Here's a link, if you want to read about this wonderful quilt. She crawled around basting this and then quilted it while 8 months pregnant! Way to go, Dana! Amazing.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Random Sewing

I have managed to make some May blocks for Sunshine. I made them early, because I know I'll be busy during the month of May. Theme is florals.

I also made this twin-size quilt top. It is a little bit ugly, but it was very inexpensive. I bought the square blocks already cut at our guild's show where we have a little store with donations from other members. These were someone's rejects. I had to find pieces in my stash that would work for the smaller-squares border. These fabrics are what I think of as "man" fabrics - ducks always make me think of hunters. And there are trees, leaves, and some animal renderings such as bears and deer. I'm not sure what I'll do with this quilt, but I'm sure I'll find a good place for it some day.

My mother-in-law is in the hospital with gallstones, which they removed, and they're keeping her for observation and will wait for her to become "stable." She has some complicating conditions that make surgery (removal of gall bladder) a touchier thing than it is for other people. She is doing well and is in good spirits but is bored. That's life in a hospital: boring.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Books: High Divide

The High Divide by Lin Enger -- A man leaves home without telling his wife and sons. The story switches between characters as we follow the adventures and the family's quest to understand each other, seek forgiveness and consider reconciliation. It takes place in the late 1800s, beginning in Minnesota and extending into Montana, including some of the historical events of the time. Engaging story and well-researched historical aspects. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

Enger is a Minnesota author. I met him at my sister's bookstore earlier this year, so I read an autographed copy of the book.

(haha.. this didn't happen in Enger's book, but it has happened to me in the past!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Harumph. Yesterday's post didn't even work correctly. I was attempting to post both a close-up and a far-away shot of Sunny's pretty quilt. It's called Dazzling Orchids and has shiny beads in it and nice quilting... in fact, I voted for that quilt to receive Viewers' Choice Award. My photos of it do NOT do it justice and are even worse when they don't print properly.

Well.. on to other quilts. There are more gorgeous quilts to gaze upon, too. Here you go!

The last photo is part of the challenge which was to use specific fabrics and make something to go with your dining table. It's our 20th anniversary show, and 20 years is "china" gift, so we were told to make something to go with our China. (I didn't participate in the challenge this year.)

P.S. I just double checked yesterday's post and it IS showing correctly. You probably think I'm crazy. I think you're right!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Here are some of the photos of our local guild's quilt show. Feast your eyes!

In the first photo you can see that there is another quilt hanging to the left which is the same pattern as the one I am photographing. The maker of these quilts participated in a swap, and got so many blocks that she chose to separate the more "country" colors from the brights and make two quilts. I preferred the bright one, so that is the one I photographed.

The four pictures below are of three quilts made by Sunny K. She is new to our guild and talented!

Guess what... that's all you get to see for now. I'll show you more in a few days. If you can't wait, come on up to Minnesota and attend our show in person! :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Quilt Show is Up!

Today my local guild hung our quilt show. I was slow to get moving this morning and only got there in time for lunch, and they were already done! So I got to eat lunch and enjoy strolling through the display of lovely quilts. Here are pictures of my quilts (I only entered four small quilts this year) along with five community service quilts that are on display to "advertise" our community service work.

Photo one, below: my table runner made from fabrics that a friend purchased for me in Paris, France.
Photo two, below: my three other small quilts, plus a nativity quilt made by a friend. We purchased the nativity buttons at the same time and challenged each other to create a nativity scene quilt.
The rest are community service quilts.

Here is Jeannette who helped register the quilts as they arrived. I thought I'd show you the piles to tantalize you.. you'll see some of these other beautiful quilts in a future post.

Go here to get information about our show dates, place, and times.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Books: The Secret River

The Secret River by Kate Grenville is a great book, from the first word to the last. It is well written with beautiful language. The story is a grabber, too. It's historical fiction about the early days in Australia, when the first white people were arriving, many of them convicts, and begin settling in an already-occupied land. You know there is inevitable conflict with the native people in this story, and some conflict also within the daily lives of the settlers themselves. (Inevitable only because we already know it happened. It didn't have to happen the way it did, but our hindsight makes it inevitable.)

I learned a lot about how convicts fared in those early days, something I had given surprisingly little thought to until I read this book. I'm very happy I found and read this book. It's an excellent one.