9/25/12

CGM Podcast Episode 36: Wait For It...

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life Update:
  • Sam is happy in school and loves her teacher. I'm wondering what the heck they're going to teach her besides her colors (knows them all) and the number 2 (she can add already for Pete's sake!) Still being (somewhat) patient with our (supposedly) top-notch school district.....
  • Maddy is talking up a storm, and generally a "happy to be here, where's the snacks?" kind of gal...when she's not yelling at her sister or saying "No!"
  • I am doing just fine, extremely happy for my favorite season to be here.
 F.O.s/WIPs:
  • Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West: finished! See my blog post here for pictures.
  • Lovebirds art quilt: finished! See the previous blog post for pictures. I also mention Susan Brubaker Knapp's tutorial for facing a quilt. You can find the tutorial on her blog here.
  • Kaffe Fassett Quilt: working on this one to complete in next 2 weeks.
  • Spiderweb quilt: still going.....
  • Owl minis: more to come on these in October!
  • I also blathered on about a possible 2013 UFO-along at some point in the podcast. I have so many, and I'd like to commit to completing 1 per month all next year with the goal to complete it as early in the month as possible, prior to working on anything else. Care to join me? Let me know in your comments below!
What's Making Me Happy in Crafting:
  • My Ultra Fine Point Black Sharpie Marker




    Laura Wasilowski has a great blog post on Wonder Under, and has also started a video series on how she uses it to fuse fabric in her art pieces.


    Reminder! Set your DVR to record (or watch it live) Call the Midwife on PBS this Sunday, Sept. 30th. 


    Book Reviews:


     Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks


    .......and now that you waited for it: BOOK GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

    The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
    on sale 10/30/12
    You will be entering to win an ADVANCE COPY of this book!

    To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below answering the theme question of the book: WHY DO YOU GIVE? (i.e. if you give (time/money/quilts/other items) to a specific charity, why?) My answer would be: I give to St. Jude's Hospital because I never want to take for granted my 2 healthy children, and I respect their mission to help sick children no matter the cost.

    GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR ENTERING!

    Rules: One entry per person. Giveaway closes 11:59 pm EST Tues., 10/9/12. Winner will be announced by Wednesday Oct. 10th. PLEASE make sure you leave either a valid email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you via email within 3 days, another winner will be picked.

    Thanks for listening!!


    CGM

    9/22/12

    F.O.: Lovebirds Art Quilt



    Title: Lovebirds
    Fabric used: Hand dyed cotton by dyeartist.com, blue gradient colorway. (This was old stash fabric, not sure if dyeartist is still in business based on her website)
    Finished size: 15.5" x 18.5"
    Method used: I cut 1 inch squares from about 4 of the 7 shades of blue. Placed them on fusible quilter's grid by Pellon until I was happy with the layout of the background/gradient. Freehand drew two small birds facing each other and cut them out with fusible backing. Couched down a long piece of plain black yarn to act as their perch. Fused the birds in place. Added backing and batting, then free-motion swirl quilted the heck out of the whole thing, changing blue thread colors about 4 times.

    Close up view:

    (I'll probably pick out that little bit of dark blue thread against the pale blue background...eventually.)

    Finished off the quilt with a standard facing so it has no visible borders or binding, but instead hangs like a painting on the wall.






    This little quilt is now hanging in my bedroom....kind of fitting, huh?



    Have a lovely weekend!

    CGM


    9/20/12

    F.O.: Daybreak Shawl


    It's done! And I love it...a lot. This is the Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West. Brilliant pattern, I will definitely be making item from his collection. 

    This shawl is just in time for Fall too, the weather has taken a definite "fall-ish" turn with crisp mornings, and temps in the mid 70s. I can't wait to pair it with jeans on the weekend, and dress up my work outfits during the week.



    The yarns I used are Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Chocolate and Squoosh Fiberarts Merino Cashmere Lace in Brazen. (Both purchased at Eat.Sleep.Knit.com) They are both decadently soft, and feel wonderful against the skin. I blocked the shawl using Soak: Celebration scent for the first time - heavenly!



    And because I've recently promised myself to start getting in some of my crafty pictures, here it is on.


    Happy Fall!!


    CGM

    9/14/12

    Every Girl Should Read: Cynthia Voigt

    This is the start of a new series I'll be doing on great authors for girls. The only reason I'm focusing on girls (for now) is because I happen to have 2 of them. They're both young, so most of the authors I will be featuring are in a big pile of books I have saved for them, and continue to add to all the time.

    Most of you who are regular visitors here know that I have a deep, deep love of books that goes way back to my childhood. I of course have my parents to thank for that, but by the time I got to about 3rd or 4th grade, even they had to concede defeat in the face of my big (read: voracious) appetite for books. More, more, more. My Mom was convinced I was going to need inch-thick glasses by the time I was 12 because I perpetually went around red-eyed because of the eye strain I always had. Even my doctor had to give me a note telling my teachers that due to my eye strain, I could only read 3-5 minutes per class period, or up to 1 hour in total per day for several months. Needless to say, I dramatically thought that was the worst 3 months of my life at the time. My Mom had to pack every book up in my room - even the "hidden" stash under my bed....which is how she found out her 10 year old was reading bodice ripper romances....and the argument/book clean-out which ensued.....which is another story for another day I think.

    Anyways, this "series" as it is will be authors from my childhood that I loved so much and have stuck with me to this day. I cannot wait to go back and re-read them with my girls. I am focusing on the authors here, not just the book titles because their writing is often so good and prolific, I couldn't just list 1 or 2 titles from them that I love. Trust me, if I feature them here, I have probably read every single book they ever wrote at one point in my childhood.

    For those of you with school-age kids, many of these books are not just for girls. In fact, I know I could argue that boys should read these books too. But I will also say that a kid should be allowed to read what interests them (within age-appropriate reason of course, never mind my bodice-ripper books behind the velvet curtain) and if it isn't the themes or characters behind these particular authors' books, well that is OK. As long as they're reading and having fun with it, it's all good.

    First author up is: Cynthia Voigt.

    Oh my goodness, how I can count the ways as to how much I love Cynthia Voigt. Her most well-known and popular series is The Tillerman Cycle. These books, the first 3 of which were Newberry Honor or Medal winners, include: Homecoming, Dicey's Song, A Solitary Blue, and many more. I believe there are 7 or 8 in the series.



    I would say these books are best for girls age 11-12 and up, or 6th-12th grade. A younger reader may not be ready for some of the more mature content or themes in several of the books (child abandonment, verbal abuse, racism, coping with amputation). But they are so well-written and speak right to the heart of what every girl is thinking and facing in that age range: growing up, family issues, hormones, bullying, school dynamics, dreams of the future, questioning authority, family sticking together, wanting to know more about your family tree, etc... Cynthia Voigt deals with all of these issues in such a way that you feel you know each of the characters so well you will meet them someday or that you already know them.

    In a Twentieth-Century Children's Writers essay, Sylvia Patterson Iskander described the qualities that have made Voigt's writings appealing to readers: "Voigt's understanding of narrative techniques, power to create memorable characters, admirable but not goody-goody, knowledge of the problems of youth, and desire to teach by transporting readers into the characters' inner lives result in reversing unpromising, perhaps tragic, situations to positive, optimistic ones."

    I highly recommend giving Cynthia Voigt a try, both for young adults and adults who may never have read her or realize it's been years since you read Homecoming or Dicey's Song (her 2 most popular books in the series). And I would love to know your thoughts/memories about Cynthia Voigt in the comments below!

    CGM

    9/12/12

    WIP Wednesday

    Used some of my Kaffe Fassett stash to whip up this little quilt top for....me!


    And this is what happens when you get a 5 yr old and an almost 2 yr old to "help" you take pictures outside:


    Things start to fall apart fast.


    And then this happens when you try and explain the quilt isn't "ready" for jumping on just yet.


    Sigh. My helpers ran off to play on the swings, so I took a couple close-ups of the fabric eye candy.


    Kaffe Fasset's prints are a little "busy" for me, especially when pieced in a scrappy style like this. But there's just something about this red palette of his that's making my soul sing.

    Other WIPs are my King Spiderweb, lovebirds art quilt, and a few "other" projects I have rattling around in my head right now. More to come!

    What are you working on this week?

    CGM

    PS - I've linked this post up with some of my favorites around the webs. Check them out!



    Sew Chatty


    WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

    9/9/12

    CGM Podcast Episode 35.5: Fall Book Preview

    Listen to the episode HERE

    Please Note: This is an episode only about the books coming this Fall, not a "regular" chatty episode. Go backwards (or forwards depending on when you read this) for the crafty-talk!

    Show Notes:

    September

    The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom 9/4
    Zoo by James Patterson 9/3
    Low Pressure by Sandra Brown 9/18
    Delusion in Death by JD Robb 9/11
    Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin 9/4
    Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen 8/28
    Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs 8/28
    Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth 8/29 - PBS series starts 9/30 - DON'T MISS IT!!!
    The Rebel Wife by Taylor Polites 9/4
    The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis 9/11


    October

    The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling 9/27
    Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly 10/2
    Winter of the World by Ken Follett 9/18
    Total Recall by Arnold Schwarznegger 10/1
    Reflected in You by Sylvia Day 10/23
    Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young 10/2
    NYPD Red by James Patterson 10/8
    The Panther by Nelson Demille 10/16
    The Twelve by Justin Cronin 10/16
    Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson 9/24 
    Mad River by John Sanford 10/2
    America Again by Stephen Colbert 10/2
    Rapture by JR Ward 9/25
    Sleep No More by Iris Johansen 10/16
    The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton 10/16
    Dark Storn by Christine Feehan 10/2
    Love Anthony by Lisa Genova 9/25
    Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson 10/2
    The Woman Who Dies a Lot (Thursday Next series) by Jasper Fforde 10/2
    Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio 9/25
    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Finn 9/25


    November

    The Racketeer by John Grisham 10/23
    The Last Man by Vince Flynn 11/13
    Merry Christmas Alex Cross by James Patterson 11/12
    The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell 10/16
    The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts 11/6
    Rod by Rod Stewart 10/23
    Astray by Emma Donoghue 10/30
    Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver 11/6
    Bridge by Karen Kingsbury 10/23
    Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan 11/13
    The Chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes 11/13
    The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini 10/30


    December

    The Black Box by Michael Connelly 11/26
    Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich 11/20
    The Paris Wife by Paula McLain 11/27
    The Forgotten by David Baldacci 11/20
    Threat Vector by Tom Clancy 12/4
    Dream More by Dolly Parton 11/27
    Cold Days by Jim Butcher 11/27


    Children's Books

    Olivia and the Fairy Princesses 8/28The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan 10/2
    Dork Diaries 5 by Renee Russell 10/2
    Hidden by PC & Kristin Cast 10/16
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7: Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney 11/13
    Inheritance by Christopher Paolini 10/23
    Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket 10/23
    Reached by Ally Condie 11/13
    Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney - available now

    Thanks for listening!! 

    CGM





    9/5/12

    WIP Wednesday

    It's been awhile since I did a WIP Wednesday post, but I need to get back in the swing of things and start holding myself accountable for the ever-growing pile of projects.

    Here are my spiderweb string blocks for the "slow" quilt I'm working on:

    Fabric is Kona Ash and Good Fortune by Kate Spain

    I am also quilting some background swirls on my "untitled/love birds" art quilt:


    Add to that some knitting, sketching out some quilt ideas, and shooing children out of my sewing room, I am definitely keeping busy! 

    What are you working on this week?

    CGM

    I have linked up with:

    WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

    9/3/12

    What I'm Reading this Month

    Pulling out a few I have had on my nightstand pile for awhile now......


    Love Anthony by Lisa Genova
    (on sale 9/25/12, I am reading an advance copy)



    The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

     In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

    What are you reading this month?

    CGM

    9/1/12

    Blog Tour Giveaway Winner!

    Wow, what a wonderful turnout for the Best Christmas Quilts Blog Tour + Giveaway. Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by to see my projects in the special issue of Quilters Newsletter, and for the kind comments you left.

    The winner of the the fat quarter bundle is: #17 Eva

    WOW, both of your projects are awesome, I too will have to look for this magazine and start some of the projects as gifts.








     
    Congratulations Eva! I have sent your email address to QN, and they will be contacting you to receive your prize.

    CGM
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