Monday, July 29, 2019

More Sewing

It has been a low-key summer so far, with minimal travel and excitement. So I have been spending long hours in the sewing room, and reading.

Here's a bit more sewing I have completed:

Oops, this one isn't actually completed. I was testing setting options, so this is just the blocks up on my design wall. If you look back at this post, you see the same pattern done in all blues, in a straight setting. This time I experimented with color placement, with the reds emphasizing those triangle shapes, and an alternating direction of the blocks. Which way do you like better?

Did I post these earlier? These are the June blocks from the Gudrun Erla "Stroll in Paris" mystery. I have not yet completed the July blocks. I better get on that. August arrives in just a few days, and with it another block pattern.

I quilted these and packed them up for shipping to Quilts Beyond Borders.

A friend quilted this one, I finished it off and sent it to Quilts Beyond Borders.

I guess that's all for now. Time to go back to sewing and complete more projects. Today is a gorgeous day, so I have turned off the a.c. and opened the windows. The lovely breeze will be pleasant through my window as I sew.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Book Review: Hole in My Life

Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

A young adult book, this was a quick and interesting read. In this memoir Gantos tells of his foolish mistakes made as a young man, leading to time spent in prison. I felt sad for him, as I can remember making decisions just as impulsively and with lack of forethought at the same young age. Executive reasoning just is not yet well enough developed. Gantos seems almost oblivious to the fact that using (experimenting with?) drugs could lead him down a bad road. It's too bad he didn't snap out of that stage in time. He grows and learns about himself while in prison, and his life eventually leads him to becoming a writer of children's books (and this young adult memoir). His intelligence and interest in books came to his rescue, to the literary world's benefit.

pictures of a few Little Free Libraries

Monday, July 22, 2019

Home Body

I am turning into a hermit. I like to stay home. I don't like to go out much. I like to stay in my sewing room and sew.

Lately I have been listening to a lot of podcasts while I sew. I discovered a few that I really like. I think the best one I have listened to is from CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Company. It's about a whole family of kids who were removed from their home and adopted out separately. As adults they all get back together except for one, Cleo. This story is about their search for her.

CBC does a really nice job, and there are no ads. I mostly listen through the one called "Someone Knows Something." It focuses on cold cases. I didn't realize this about myself, but I guess I'm kind of a cold case/crime stories junkie. I especially like them when they come to some sort of resolution. It's odd, because I don't like to read crime stories and books. But I'm liking the podcasts, and I like to watch TV shows such as Dateline and 20/20 (putting up with their dragged out, repetitious style).

While I listen to podcasts I make quilt tops and blocks:

This one was made by someone (not sure who) at our recent Sunshine retreat. I quilted it.

Today I'm going out to meet with my book club. That will be fun. When I come home, guess what I will do?!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Join Us at Sunshine Quilt Guild

Being helpful to others makes one happy. If you want to get in on the happiness, join us at Sunshine Online Quilt Guild and help us make quilts for kids and teens. We support two programs: Wrap a Smile (make quilts for kids having cleft lip/palate surgery) and Quilts Beyond Borders (quilts for kids in underserved areas, often in orphanages in hard-to-reach places). We have a lot of fun, and the service is rewarding. Join us at our group at MeWe (similar to Facebook but no ads and no privacy invasions). Here is the link:

Examples of some of the fun we have:

Round Robin quilts

Block Lotto challenges

Quilts made from the Lotto blocks

Just for fun quilts

Occasional Retreats

Best of all, the kids who receive our quilts are comforted at a scary or unpredictable time in their lives. We are happy we can help them in this small but beautiful way.
(This quilt was made at our 2017 retreat in Omaha.)
(This quilt is the one shown above at Quilts made from Lotto blocks.)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge, June and July

I finished two blocks in June (blue), but forgot I had made them. I found them when I finished my July blocks (pink).

While I was at it, I made a few other random pinks.

Check out other Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Book Review: Before the Fall (Audio Book)

An audio book -- Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, narrated by Robert Petkoff

This is not a book I would have liked if I had been reading a hard copy. Thanks to a great narrator, I enjoyed listening to it. Petkoff sounds like a friendly, trustworthy reader. I'm not sure how he accomplishes this just with his voice, but it's what made me listen to the entire book and sort of enjoy it. I would happily listen to other books narrated by Petkoff.

It was an interesting story about 11 people who were in a plane crash. Only two people survived. What exactly happened and why is the quest of everyone in the story

Had I been reading this book, I would have bogged down in the possible-money-laundering focus (a theme along with mafia stuff that I hate to read about). Also I may have bogged down in the relationships-as-described-by-male-authors thing that I find just a tad offensive. It's not every male author, of course, but too often they are still unconsciously stuck in the "males run the world" mindset. It gives them a perspective that just doesn't sit right... and a perspective that most female authors would never take.

Another thing: why (in this book) is a person's race only mentioned when they are African-American? Why is it mentioned at all? It was never necessary. Is white the "standard" and anything other than that has to be called out? Were there no Asian people? American Indian? A gifted author will make the race known by other means, when it is necessary, or will not mention it at all when it is not.

So, thanks to Petkoff I liked this book for the most part, but if it were just dependent on Hawley's writing, I would not have finished reading it.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Book Review: Camp Chemo

Camp Chemo: Postcards Home from Metastatic Breast Cancer by Camille Scheel

This author is from Minnesota. At the age of 38 in 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and began writing posts at Caring Bridge. This book is a compilation of those posts. She goes through difficult treatments and side effects, then as she is beginning to hope for an improved life, her cancer metastasizes. She agonizes over treatments, continuing to work as she is able, and attempting to carry her weight as a partner in marriage and raising young children.

Throughout her ordeal she tries to learn from the struggles and keep a positive outlook. I am sure this was a great help to her children. They seemed to be keen on fundraising for cancer research.

The book ends in about 2014. It's a sad story, and when I Googled her name, I found her obituary from 2017, which made it sadder. When she died her children were about 16 and 10.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mini Vacay, One Quilt

Husband and I went on a 4-day vacation to southern Wisconsin. We picked that area because my friend from Georgia would be there visiting her parents; it was a good time to see each other.

We stayed at a resort. These pictures show the area. It was quite pretty.

I enjoyed the quilt theme on some of the doors.

Weather was perfect! Sitting on the balcony was restful and pleasant. We read, napped, and also took walks along the lakeshore.

My friend from Georgia is on the left. The friend on the right lives nearby, so we got to increase the fun and see her, too.

We are back home now, so I was able to finish this quilt. Some of these string blocks are at least 15 years old! I made more last week to finish this and quilt it. Then after vacation, today, I finished it off. I will donate this quilt locally.