6/15/18

Dark Tide Rising


Dark Tide Rising: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry. New York: Ballantine Books, 2018. 244 pages. ***** Published September 18th, 2018.

In this latest book in the William Monk series, Monk is asked to accompany Harry Exeter in paying the ransom for the return of his wife, Kate Exeter. When the ransom drop goes horribly wrong, Monk and his men are caught off guard and attacked, Monk begins to suspect that one of his own men has alerted the kidnappers. Monk realizes that he doesn't know about the personal lives of his men and he embarks on a mission to arrest the kidnappers and uncover the perpetrator who has corrupted his team. His investigation takes an ugly turn when the suspected kidnapper is found with his throat slashed and a bank teller is murdered.  Everyone has something to hide and it is up to Monk to uncover what it is and whether it is relevant to this case.

Set in Victorian England, Anne Perry has a gift for bringing the sights, sounds, and brutality of that era to her readers. I have always liked Jack the Ripper type books complete with the mystery of who he actually was and whether he has been identified. The William Monk series is well-written and has a plot complicated enough to hold my attention and always has a twist at the end. This one is no exception, it was engrossing from beginning to the end. Each of her books may be read as a stand-alone, but I would start at the beginning of this series and read them all!

I received an ecopy for a review.

From her website,  "Anne Perry's publishing career began with The Cater Street Hangman. Published in 1979, this was the first book in the series to feature the Victorian policeman Thomas Pitt and his well-born wife Charlotte. This is arguably the longest sustained crime series by a living writer.  She has now started a series featuring their son Daniel, beginning with 21 Days (2017). She began the Monk series in order to explore a different, darker character, and to raise questions about responsibility, particularly that of a person for acts he cannot remember. How much of a person's identity is bound up in memory? All our reactions, decisions, etc. spring from what we know, have experienced. We are in so many ways the sum of all we have been!" For more information on Anne Perry, visit her website.

#victorianenglandmystery #williammonkseries 

6/4/18

Summer Reading Suggested List 2018







If you are looking for book suggestions for this summer:

Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

I've Been Thinking by Maria Shriver

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Authors:
All of the above and...

Frederik Backman
Kate Morton
Michelle Cox
Jane Green

Some of the books I will be reviewing this summer :

The Other Woman - Sandie Jones
A Merciful Silence - Kendra Elliot
The Patchwork Bride - Sandra Dallas
Liar, Liar - Lisa Jackson
Dark Tide Rising - Anne Perry
A Measure of Darkness - Jonathon Kellerman
I see Life through Rose -Colored Glasses
A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat - Edward Kelsey Moore

Best Beach Reads: 50+ awesome summer book recommendations from PA Librarians

Banned and Challenged Books

I would love to know your thoughts if you read any of the above books!


6/3/18

When The Lights Go Out


When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica. Canada: Park Row Books, 2018. 316 pages. ***

For Jessie's whole life it has only been Mom and her. Mom is in the hospital dying and Jessie isn't sure what she is going to do. Unable to sleep and not wanting to leave her Mom's side, Jessie survives on hospital cafeteria coffee and the kindness of the nurses. When the college financial aid office calls Jessie and tells her that there is a problem with her college application and that the social security number that Jessie has provided belongs to a dead girl. Jessie soon feels like Alice falling down the rabbit hole and starts to question who her mother really is and what happened to her father. Told in the alternating voices of Jessie and her mother, Eden, a horrifying story unfolds.

I have loved Kubica's previous novels, see my links to their reviews, but this book did not keep my interest. I guessed early in the book where the plot was going and hoped I was wrong. Maybe it is where I am right now, but the characters of Jessie and her mother did not hold together for me. It will be interesting when it is published to see how it is received and what others think of it. You'll have to read this one to decide for your self.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Previous books by Kubica:

Don't You Cry

Pretty Baby 


Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels, including THE GOOD GIRL, PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY and EVERY LAST LIE. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children, where she enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

#psychologicalthriller #whenthelightsgoout

5/28/18

Heaven Adjacent


Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Lake Union Publishing, 2018. 319 pages. Publication Date June 19, 2018. *****

There are some days when everything is going wrong and we each question our purpose in life. Roseanna Chaldecott is a high-powered lawyer in Manhatten when Alice, her law partner, and best friend, drops dead in the middle of a meeting. Roseanna gets in her car one day and decides to keep driving, out of the city and out of her life. She runs out of gas and happens upon a neglected farm that seems perfect for her new life. Considering her current state of mind, perhaps Roseanna should have investigated the barn and the other building on the property. Unexpected developments threaten her peace of mind and solitude. Leaving behind all of her responsibilities in the law firm, Roseanna soon realizes that "heaven" comes with a price. 

Hyde writes books that always makes me hopeful about the inherent goodness in people. Her interest in "paying it forward" shines clearly in her novels. It is such a warm, thought-provoking story, that I didn't want it to end. Her relationship with her son is complicated as it often is in families, however, it rings true. There are many humorous situations and I especially enjoyed Ernest, the orphan horse. 

Add this novel to the top of your Summer Reading List, grab a glass of wine, and escape for awhile. 

I received an ARC ecopy from NetGalley for a review.

Other books by Catherine Ryan Hyde:

Ask Him Why

Worthy

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty-three published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts, as well as the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Hyde is the founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. An avid equestrian, photographer, and traveler, she lives in California.

5/20/18

Feared


Feared: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018. 394 pages. ***** Publication Date August 14, 2018. 

In this latest thriller, Nick Machiavelli returns to sue the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm for reverse sex discrimination—claiming that three applicants were not hired because they were men. Their lone male employee, john Foxman, makes matters worse when he admits that he is looking for another position because he doesn't believe he will make partner as a male in an all-woman firm. Bennie and Mary feel betrayed when John admits he may have expressed his feelings during job interviews with competing law firms. Machiavelli has always been out to get Mary and even though she is pregnant, she and her law firm are in his sights. He will stop at nothing to bring Rosato & DiNunzio down, but murder? Mary is determined to show him for what he is even if it means including Flavia, his mother, and the Rosary Society. 

I always enjoy a Scottoline book, but this is the best Rosato & DiNunzio book so far. No spoilers here, I won't divulge whether Mary and Anthony have a boy or girl. Scottoline has the Italian/South Philly experience at its best...I was laughing out loud at some of the dialogue between "Mare" and the ladies from the Rosary Society, practically smelling the chocolate chip cookies and baked ziti. I finished this book in two days because I couldn't wait to see what happens next. I worried right along with Mary when she couldn't feel the baby move and breathed a sigh of relief when all was well.
Add this one to your list to read this summer and in the meantime, read the previous five books in the series. 

I received an ecopy for a review. 

Other books in the Rosato & DiNunzio series:





Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-eight novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of bestselling memoirs, the first of which is entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog. Lisa lives on a Pennsylvania farm with an array of disobedient pets. Visit Lisa at www.Scottoline.com, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @LisaScottoline.

#feared #rosatoanddinunzio #Philadelphiamystery @LisaScottoline 


5/18/18

Bring Me Back


Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018.  240 pages. **** June 19th publication date.

Finn and Layla are returning from a ski vacation in Megeve when his girlfriend, Layla disappears. Finn stops for a restroom break about an hour and a half from Paris and leaves Layla sleeping in the car at the Rest Stop. After reporting her missing and an extensive search, Finn moves on with his life. As the boyfriend, Finn is suspected in her disappearance and repeats his story, claiming his innocence for the next 12 years. The one person who believes him is Ellen, Layla's sister. When Ellen and a former neighbor claim that they have recently seen Layla, Finn begins to question if Layla has been living in hiding and has returned. Is Layla alive or is someone determined to make Finn and Ellen believe that she is?

I loved the two previous books written by Paris. I couldn't wait to start this one...from the very beginning I was drawn into the story and questioned Finn's version of Layla's disappearance. However, there was something about the characterization of Finn that didn't seem realistic, I initially thought he was a "she." I enjoyed how the suspense built throughout the book, though slow and repetitive at times. Knowing her penchant for twists and turns, I was prepared for a surprise and unexpected ending. And it was complicated, convoluted, and satisfying! If you are a Paris or psychological thriller fan, you won't want to miss this one.


I received a copy for a review.

Other books by B.A. Paris

The Break Down

Behind Closed Doors

B.A. Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Break Down. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters.


#BringMeBack @BAParisAuthor #psychologicalthriller


5/14/18

The Dream Daughter


The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain. New York: St. Martin's Press, 384 pages. ***** October 2018. 

It's April 1965 and Carly Grant is a student intern at a private rehabilitation center when she agrees to work with a difficult patient who claims to have fallen accidentally from a three-story building. Hunter Poole is characterized as "unmotivated, a clinically depressed suicide risk", but for some reason, he wants to work with Carly. She agrees and sets in motion a series of events that neither one of them could have predicted. Fast forward to April 1970, Carly is twenty-four weeks pregnant and an ultrasound has shown that her baby has a heart condition that is fatal. Carly despairs until her physicist brother-in-law suggests a course of treatment that is unbelievable and dangerous. To what lengths will a mother go to save her baby? 

Chamberlain has written a story that will leave your head spinning and your heart in your mouth! Fast-paced, a remarkable plot that stretches credibility and at the same time had me hoping that it is possible. I don't want to give anything away, but I highly recommend this book. I love Chamberlain as an author and as someone who reads many books, it is difficult to come up with a plot that is fresh, new and exciting to me.  I recommend it as a Book Club choice, there are many discussion topics: in vitro heart surgery, health and infant intensive care advancements, faith, hope and a mother's love. 

I received an ecopy for a review.

Other books by Diane Chamberlain:



Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 25 novels published in more than twenty languages. Influenced by her former career as a social worker and psychotherapist, she writes suspenseful stories that touch both heart and mind.

#thedreamdaughter #motherslove #timetravel





4/22/18

Quilt Retreat April 2018

Quilt Retreat 2018

My sister and I love to go to our Quilt Guild's Retreat together. We pack up her car and head to Black Rock Retreat in Quarryville, PA. In order to remember everything we need, I've created a Checklist.

QUILT RETREAT CHECKLIST

I added a portable tabletop ironing board that I purchased at the Lancaster Quilt Show.





The view along the way is one of farms, open fields,  and Pennsylvania beauty.


The Quilt Retreat Chairs are very organized and each quilter shares her table with one other quilter. I decided this year that my sister and I needed some fun. We give each other a little gift bag and I went with a flamingo theme this year.

















My sister surprised me with a flamingo cup that lights up. Our solar flamingo dollar store finds and flamingo lights were a big hit.

Our quilt stations by the second day!

 

The view from my window...


Activities were posted on the whiteboard daily and participation was voluntary.



One of the demos was how to create quilt blocks using the "Cake Mix Recipe" sheets from Missouri Star Quilt Company using two layer cake pieces.







 


 We were challenged to choose from the layer cake pile and to create two blocks for a charity quilt.


 


These are so easy to sew, juts straight stitching and follow the lines!



Once the blocks were completed they were joined to create two charity quilt tops!


 


We also created Needles on the Go . For each ten that we made for the Quilt Sh,ow we were able to make one for ourselves.




Of course, we can work on our own projects and we did. My sister and I purchased a kit to make the Hatters Tea Party by Janet Wecker Frisch and she was determined that we would finish the top on one of our four days. Thankfully, one of the quilters was able to show us an easy (her words, not mine) way to make mitred borders.

 

Woohoo!

I also worked on a wall hanging, which will be finished on another day.



A new activity added this year was chair massages...a very welcomed addition. I wish I had selected two 15 minute massages rather than one 30 minute massage.


The most important thing to remember, "What happens at Retreat, stays at Retreat!" Unless, of course, I am taking pictures!

Have fun!



Past Retreats

Quilt Retreat March 2017

Quilt Retreat April 2016



#flamingo #quiltretreat #cakemixrecipequiltblocks #quiltretreatchecklist #hattersteaparty


3/17/18

The Magdalen Girls


The Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander. New York: Kensington Books, 2017. 294 pages. ***


A historical fiction novel based on the Magdalene Asylums in Ireland which were institutions from the 18th to the late 20th centuries to house women believed to be prostitutes, unwed mothers, indigent girls and girls believed to be immoral. The story of sixteen-year-old Teagan, set in Dublin in 1962, brings to light the cruel and inhumane conditions in which she and others like her lived and worked. Her alcoholic father in the middle of the night delivers Teagen to the gated community of The Sisters of the Holy Redemption because a parish priest has confessed that her presence causes impure thoughts in him. Her parents disown her and deny her very existence from this day forward. Teagen befriends Nora and they make plans to escape the drudgery of their work assignment in the laundry. Dressed in uniforms, shorn hair and with new names, Teagen and Nora are cut off from the outside world, families, and life, as they knew it. The other women who sleep in their dormitory like bedroom seems to have been beaten down and indifferent to their need to escape. Both girls befriend Lisa; an unassuming girl who prays constantly, whose job it is to copy The Book of Kells onto parchment as a gift to the convent. This unlikely trio forms a friendship, which helps them survive their day-to-day indignities, however, ends in tragedy.

I found the premise of the story fascinating and couldn't help researching the Magdalen girls (named after Mary Magdalene) to find out more about them. (See links below) Prior to this story, I knew nothing about this blight on the history of women in the Catholic Church. The fact that these asylums/prisons/laundries existed in other countries as well as the United States and that the last one closed in Ireland in 1996 is incomprehensible to me. Alexander has written a sympathetic story, one that reads as if it were highlighting a time in the dark ages. I suspect that as horrific as this story is, it doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what was done to these women in the name of love and redemption. While I was fascinated and appalled by the incidents in this book, I felt that it lacked depth of character and plot. As my family historian of Irish descent, it has made me want to read more books on this subject and investigate if there are records as to which women were institutionalized. I finished it and keep talking to myself about how women can be abused in the name of love by their families, nuns, and the Catholic Church.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction and like to read about women's issues in the Catholic Church.


For more information on the Magdalen girls:
Seeking Redress for a Mother's Life in a Workhouse
Magdalene Asylum
A Blot on Ireland's Past
Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries

V.S. Alexander is an ardent student of history with a strong interest in music and the visual arts. V. S. lives in Florida and is at work on a second historical novel for Kensington.
#magdalengirls #irelandfiction #womeninthecatholicchurch

3/12/18

The Great Alone


The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018. 440 pages. *****

Ernt Allbright returns from the Vietnam War a broken man. A prisoner of war, he is a volatile man who can't seem to hold a job. When he loses yet another job and inherits property in Alaska, Ernt decides that a fresh start is just what he and his family needs.

Ernt, his wife Cora and 13 year old, Leni are ill-prepared for the hardships of the Alaskan frontier. Moving to a remote part of the state in a cabin without running water surrounded by wildlife and darkness does not relieve Leni's anxiety about her father's stability. Their nearest neighbors are survivalists preparing for Armageddon and help fuel Ernt's paranoia and insecurity. He takes out his frustration by beating Cora for imagined offenses.  Leni's escape from the endless daily chores and her father's wrath is attending school. There she makes her first true friend, Matthew. When the darkness of winter descends, the Albright’s are soon at the mercy of the townspeople and their generosity.

Hannah builds the tension in this story page by page. The reader knows something bad is coming, but not quite sure where the threat is coming from, who is the enemy?  I love how she writes and unfolds the drama to the point where I didn't want to put the book down but didn't want to find out what Ernt would do next. I found myself holding my breath and disappointed when once again Cora takes him back and refuses to press charges. Hannah has crafted a plot that is complex and takes on the uncomfortable subjects of PTSD, family violence, and spousal abuse. This unforgettable tale is also an emotional story of forgiveness, first love, and friendship. A must read, but you will need tissues for this one.

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels. A former lawyer turned writer, she is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

#thegreatalone #Alaskafiction #survivalstory

2/6/18

Gnome for the Holidays - BOM

Gnome for the Holidays is a FREE, did I say FREE?  BOM offered by Fat Cat Patterns at http://www.fatcatpatterns.com/bom2.html.


The first block is available and is easy and fun to make! There's something about gnomes that makes me smile and they seemed to be big this past Christmas. 

I have some really nice black and white fabric that I thought will work, but soon realized I didn't have enough for the background in all of the blocks.  My LQS had it in the opposite print white on black and I decided why not? Picking out the green tree fabrics from my stash was easy, I knew I wanted to make it in bright tones. Blanket stitching around each tree was tedious.



While adding the stars to the top of the trees, I traced a heart for one tree. 

Is it distracting? Cute? 


I finally decided what it really needs is some bling and I will add it after the top is quilted. 



Even though there are many people making these blocks and gnomes (there's also a Fat Cat Friends FB Group) the gnomes seem to develop an individual personality. 


It's not too late to join...and if you go to the Fat Cat Patterns Website, you may have the patterns emailed to you for 5.00 (one time fee) if you sign up for the FatCat BoM Club. Otherwise,  the block is free each month during that particular month. 

Block #2 was relatively easy and I am having so much fun making these blocks. I've decided to add the white with black dots fabric as the sashing.


My text is a little wonky because I have had retina surgery and my vision is not what it should be. Gnomes are mischevious, aren't they? 

Members in the facebook page suggested that we needed a female gnome and Jen graciously provided one in two sizes. I had to make a Gnometta for my next block. 


Isn't she cute? The only problem is that I grabbed the wrong sized block for block three. Instead of 8.5 x 12.5, it is 12.5 x12.5...so Block #3 will now be Block #5. 




#gnomefortheholidys #fatcatpatterns #gnomequilt #gnometta 


1/28/18

After Anna


After Anna by Lisa Scottoline. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018. 400 pages. ***** Publication date April 10, 2018.

Noah Alderman has a thriving medical practice, is married to the lovely, Maggie Ippolitti, who has become a mother to his young son, Caleb. Living the suburban dream, all is close to perfect when Maggie receives a phone call from the daughter she hasn't seen since she was a baby. After Anna's birth, Maggie suffered from postpartum psychosis and her then-husband, highly successful Florian Desroches, took advantage of Maggie's illness to obtain physical custody of Anna. Maggie is overjoyed to hear from Anna that she is unhappy at her boarding school and is willing to come and live with Noah and Maggie. Discovering that Anna is an heiress and not used to rules and being part of a family, is an adjustment for all of them especially Noah. In a very short time, their lives are turned upside down, Noah is accused of murder and Maggie doesn't know who to believe. Maggie and her best friend Kathy are determined to learn the truth about Anna and what happened to Anna's missing friends.

Scottoline never disappoints! I enjoy her fast-paced writing style and in this case having heard her speak at Barneds and Noble, I can just imagine Lisa sitting down and breathlessly telling this story.  Reading one of her books is like seeing a friend that you haven't seen in awhile and picking up where you left off and time stands still. Told in the alternating voices of Maggie and Noah, I didn't want to stop reading until I discovered what really happened. I kept thinking, what??? There are many subplots within this story...prison violence, corruption, sex trafficking, mental illness, psychological manipulation, and abandonment. At times it seemed like too much was going on and yet that added to the tension within the story. As much as I enjoy the Rosato and Dinunzio series of books, I love her stand-alone novels best. I admit to being a huge fan and you will be too when you finish reading After Anna.

I received an ecopy for a review.


Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-eight novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of bestselling memoirs, the first of which is entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog. Lisa lives on a Pennsylvania farm with an array of disobedient pets. Visit Lisa at www.Scottoline.com, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @LisaScottoline.

Lisa dedicates this latest book to her daughter, "For Francesca, with love."

#afteranna #psychologcalthriller #humantrafficking @LisaScottoline

1/23/18

Girl Unknown


Girl Unknown by Karen Perry (Karen Gillece and Paul Perry) . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2018. 289 pages. ****

David and Caroline Connolly have the perfect family--one boy and one girl; David's career is taking off at the university; Caroline has returned to a job at an ad agency after years of staying home with the children. David and Caroline are rebuilding their marriage after some recent problems. None of what they have been through prepares them for a student in David's class claiming that he is her father.

Naively, David accepts Zoe's story of her childhood and current situation. Caroline believes she sees the real Zoe and has reason to mistrust everything Zoe says and does. A positive DNA match does not sway Caroline's opinion and places David in the middle between his wife and daughter. Is Zoe an innocent, misunderstood daughter? Or does she have a sinister plan to ingratiate herself in David's family?

Girl Unknown is a fast-paced psychological thriller with surprising twists and turns until the very end of the book. Just when I thought I had it figured out, I didn't! (which is rare for me) Fans of B. A. Paris will enjoy reading this writing duo. Loved it!

I received an Advanced Reading Copy for a review.

Karen Perry is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Karen Gillece and Paul Perry. Karen Gillece is the author of four critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland). Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A recipient of the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, he teaches creative writing at University College Dublin. They can be followed on Facebook.

#girlunknown #psychologicalthriller

1/14/18

Charity - Community Service Sewing Project


A Group of fellow quilters decided to get together on Martin Luther King's Birthday and do our part by sewing needed items.



1. Portacath Pillows - two friends have conquered colon cancer and thought these pillows for the car seatbelt are a great idea.

Here are links with detailed instructions:

The pillows are easy to make and use up those pesky scraps of fabric!


2. Surgical hats for children:

The Portacath Pillows were definitely easier than the Surgical caps. One recommendation for the caps is to make a basting stitch when sewing the 1/4 edge under. Pull slighlty to gather before ironing the 1/2 inch casing for the elastic. I found it easier to iron a 1/2 inch hem and zigzag along the edge to form the casing. We cut our circles 18 inches to cut some from a fat quarter or half yard of material. Since the material needed to be prewashed, some pieces of material were not big enough. The first hat we made, I cut the elastic 17inches....that made a really small hat. The second one I cut the elastic 18 inches and the whole process was easier.

 


A recommendation for the pillow is to iron the fabric down @1/4 inch and leave one end open to stuff the pillow. This makes it much easier to sew the opening closed.





#portacathpillow #portpillow #surgicalcapsforkids #communityserviceprojects

1/2/18

2018 Monthly Color Challenge Quilt

I love starting new BOM (Block of the Month) Quilts, finishing them, not so much. However, it is a new year and let's see what happens!

I saw a post on FB about a Monthly Color Challenge Quilt and that concept intrigued me. So, of course, I roped a few friends in and posted it on my Guild's FB page to see if anyone is interested in doing it with me.


The Challenge is being hosted by blogger, "Patterns by Jen, " and the blocks are available in two sizes, 6 inches and 12 inches. What makes this BOM interesting is that Jen is creating a block each month and she has invited other quilters/designers to create one too. There are two blocks to chose from each month. Jen has some sponsors and prizes as an incentive to complete each month's blocks. 


The color for January is RED and I chose to make Jen's block. I am going to use a black and white batik fabric as a background in each block.

I had a difficult time joining the sections together, some were noticeably smaller than others and my points are not as accurate as I would like. I may rework this block and be more careful in my sewing of the HST and the cutting process. Jen suggests a "scant" quarter inch seam and I moved my needle one space. I may wash my batik before continuing, it is puckering from being ironed and sprayed with Best Press. 



If I redo it, I will post an updated picture. 

February's color is BLUE! This block is so easy, I completed it in just one hour. All of the blocks are half square triangles and a scant 1/4inch seam. To get February's block, visit Jen's Blog.





January and February blocks!


March's color is Yellow...and all I can think of is sunshine.  


There is an error in the last picture on the instructions. Since I am a visual person, I usually look at the pictures/diagrams before reading instructions. in this case, I looked at both and it was an easy block. 


I didn't fussy cut this blocks, but I love that the center two blocks look like alien eyes, starbursts or sunshine. 


April - Orange

April is a bit of a challenge because it calls for 3 shades of orange. I bought a beautiful orange batik and it did not play well with the other oranges in my stash. And I still wanted to use the black and white batik as the background. I chose two other oranges and an orange and purple batik with hearts on it for my center block.




The color for May is Green!




June is PURPLE! 



In the next few months, the tertiary colors will be strutting their glory! 


I do like all of the blocks together!


#2018monthlycolorchallenge #BOMcolorchallenge #Januaryredblock #redblock #Februaryblueblock #blueblock #Marchyellowblock #yellowblock #orangeblock #Aprilorangeblock #Maygreenblock #greenblock #purpleblock #Junepurpleblock