Tuesday, November 29, 2016

En Provence Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter

Clue #1 is making 4 patches from neutrals cut at 2"  I dug into my 2" strip basket, but not too many neutrals were there. I had used many in a Leader and Ender project, Rick Rack Nines, also a Bonnie Hunter pattern.  But, never fear, I have oodles of neutral fat quarters. A quilting group, not really a guild because we have no bylaws, officers or many rules, exchanged birthday fat quarters for several years. I asked for neutrals 2 years in a row and now have lots and lots. I have used up the already cut strips, so now on the slice into the fat quarters. Twenty four patches are done. A couple of strip sets are in the wings and several twosies are awaiting being matched up. 

Are you joining the Mystery?  If you are interested, check out the Intro and the #1 clue  HERE. This is the first one I have actually started, although I followed along on Grand Illusion and Allietare.

We drove home from Colorado, yesterday in very strong winds. There was only 1 very short snow squall so the trip was OK.  Last night lots of wind and snow. Luckily not much accumulation, but it is still windy. My weather app on my phone says it 27 degrees, feels like 11 degrees. BRRRRR!!

So when I took a break from making four patches, I put up a little Christmas.

 This is a stitchery I did a couple of years ago. It hangs on the wall beside my chair in the living room.

And this is a 3 wick candle made by my sister sitting in an iron stand made by her husband. The small table topper I made lots of years ago, it is a quilt as you go, and reverses to orange, green and some jack-o-lantern fabric. Very versatile.

Here is the link to the link party:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2016/11/en-provence-mystery-monday-link-up-part.html

Till the next clue on Friday,
Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book in 1969 when I was a young mother. Reading it now changed how I viewed the book. I fell in love with Francie Nolan and I understood her mother in a whole new way. What a wonderful story of growing up in poor America in the early 1900's. Betty Smith touches our hearts with poignant examples of how boys were treated differently than girls, how wives struggled and went hungry so their children could have a better future. Some of this still is happening, but thankfully not as prevalent as in the past.

This has become one of my favorite books.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

The Life We BuryThe Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I chose this book after a passionate review from Sheila at The Book Journey. I was not disappointed.

Joe Talbert is a college student at the University of Minnesota with a writing assignment. He is to interview a stranger and write a short biography of the persons life. Joe decides to go to a nearby nursing home and find a old person who will tell his/her story. At the nursing home, Joe is referred to Carl Iverson. He is a Vietnam war veteran with a Purple Heart. Carl is also a convicted murderer spending his last days dying of cancer at the nursing home, because the prison could not provide final days care.

As Joe begins to hear Carl's story and researches the backgound on his own, he begins to believe that there is something missing. A neighbor, Lila Nash, is pulled into his life when he brings his autistic brother Jeremy home for a visit. He has been interested in Lila for some time, but she does not return his words in the hallway. She does however, respond to Jeremy and thus they find a way to spend time together.

As Joe and Lila start to piece Carl's story together they discover a huge mistake made by the defense 30 years ago. Their passion for "doing the right thing" leads them on a path of interesting discovery and danger.

This book is part criminal mystery, part feel good story. I recommend it to anyone who likes a really great story, told by a really great writer, and in my case, read by a really great narrator.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins - A Review

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is one of the summer reads for my face to face book club. It is well written, captivating and yet was hard for me to read.

Rachael rides the train into London each day. She is a people watcher, well maybe just a watcher of certain people. She goes by the house she and Tom once lived in. Now he is there with Anna and a baby daughter. She is obsessed with watching and looking and wondering what is going on in the house that was once her dream home. Five houses down at number 23, lives another young couple, Jason and Jess she has named them. She doesn't know them, but somehow feels connected. They are the couple she had hoped she and Tom would be. She watches, she looks, she imagines their life behind the sliding glass door to the house just like the one she lived in, number 15.

View all my reviews

I will link this review to Women's Fiction Reading Challenge
hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. 

Taking a Posting Break

I will be taking a break from posting. You may have noticed that I have been absent already.

I will still review as I complete titles that fit my challenges.

Read the Books You Buy
Women's Fiction Challenge
What's in a Name 2016
Cruisin' Thru the Cozies

But not much else. I've hit a wall. I feel empty and inadequate. So until I recharge this blog will be a bit vacant.

Stay Busy and Stay Happy

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Quilter's Homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Quilter's Homecoming is an Elm Creek Quilts story, #10 in the series. Elizabeth and Henry are newlyweds and are embarking on a wondrous adventure. Henry has invested his entire savings in a ranch in the Arboles Valley, north of Los Angeles. Elizabeth packs her precious wedding gifts in the Wedding Ring quilt her aunts and friends made for her. She dreams of sleeping under that special quilt for the rest of their married life in the house of Triumph Ranch.

Her dreams are broken as she and Henry learn that have been swindled out of their money and the deed they hold is worthless. With no resources to return home to Pennsylvania, their pride forces them to take jobs with the family that really does own the ranch they had hoped to own. Henry struggles, but Elizabeth, showing true Bergstrom family resilience, vows to make the best of the situation. As she deals with being a hired hand and living in less than meager surroundings, she takes a found quilt in hand and begins to sew her story into the worn bed covering.

As she becomes more and more familiar with the neighbors and the family they work for, Elizabeth befriends a young mother, Sophia Barclay. Henry is given more and more responsibility on the Lundstrom farm and their life in California becomes the life they had hoped for, just not in the way they had originally envisioned.

Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

If you read The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, then you have met Belle, the kitchen slave,  Sukey, a slave infant taken from her mother and left at Tall Oakes,  Lavinia, a white endentured servant working at Tall Oakes and  Jamie Pyke, the son of Belle and the master of Tall Oaks, Marshall Pyke.

Now we learn the rest of the story as Jamie is living in Philadelphia as a white silversmith. His story continues as he is adopted by a wealthy white family in Philadelphia and on their passing, inherits their fortune. All the while he is keeping his secret about his heritage. But secrets can't be kept forever and eventually James Burton must face his past.

This book is so well written, just like the first one and I recommend it to any one who likes historical fiction around the early 1800's. I listened to this story as an audio and the narrators were fabulous.

Although this story in mainly about Jamie Pyke's life, a good part of the story involves Sukey and a young woman named Addie, whose family comes to his rescue in a most important way. So I am going to link it to Women's Fiction Reading Challenge because both of these women shaped the future of black's in America at a time when the nation was struggling with the wrong of slavery.

Read or listen to this story and The Kitchen House. They do not have to be read together or in succession, but your experience will be enhanced if you read them that way.