Monday, August 18, 2014

The Healing Quilt

The Healing Quilt is Wanda Brunstetter's latest book in her Amish quilting series.  In this book, Emma is now married to Lamar and the two have moved to Florida.  Emma decides to teach another quilting class.  Once again, she has a diverse group of students who learn much about quilting and life.  Characters from The Half-Stitched Quilting Club and The Tattered Quilt are part of this new book, but the story also makes sense without having read them.

Friday, August 8, 2014


I went on a two week vacation with my dad.  We drove a lot of miles (over 5500) and saw more than I expected.  Some places we saw include Mount Rushmore, eight different national parks, a couple of quilt/sewing shops, the ocean, Bakersfield, and lots of cattle and farms.  We visited some family and a couple of my friends, too.
Here are pictures of a few highlights...
Rocky Mountain National Park
Mesa Verde National Park

Grand Canyon

beach at Morro Bay
mission in San Luis Obispo

Zion National Park

Rainbow Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park
Morro Bay, California is where we stayed for two days.  My aunt and uncle were there so we spent our time with them.  It was good to see them, and I got to give them quilts (see pictures here and here.  It was also nice to stay in the same place for a bit to catch up/slow down.  I also loved being near the ocean and walking on the beach.  When we left on vacation, I had no idea we would see so many national parks.  Some day I hope to return to both Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.  Both were impressive and worth visiting again.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

green and blue quilt

I finished this green and blue quilt in July.  It is a lap sized quilt inspired by a quilt from Amy Smart's book Fabulously Fast Quilts.  I was flipping through my sister's copy of the book.  It is a simple and traditional looking pattern, which made it easy to put together.  I made it for a gift, but wouldn't mind keeping it.  It was one of two quilts that I delivered on my vacation, this one was for my uncle. (You can see the other quilt here, which I made for my aunt.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hope Runs

Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua is a book I finished reading this week.  The book is about two very different lives intersecting-one of a twenty something American woman, the other of a teenage Kenyan boy who lives at an orphanage.  Their lives intersect and are soon woven together in a story that changes both of their lives.  It is humbling to read the story of Sammy and it made me think about how being born in a certain place and time truly affects a person's life.  Chapters are written alternately by Claire and Sammy, and tell things from their perspective.  This is worth reading if you want a better understanding of the challenges orphans face.  It is an inspiring book because it shows how an individual can choose to make a difference in other people's lives.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Child of Mine

Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis is a novel I finished reading last week.  It is two stories-one of Kelly Maines, the other of Jack Livingston.  Kelly has been looking for her only  daughter, Emily, for eight years-she had been kidnapped as an infant.  Jack is raising his brother's daughter Natalie because his brother and his brother's wife died in an accident.  Soon Kelly and Jack's stories become intertwined.  This is a longer book (over 400 pages) that had plenty of twists in the plot that I did not expect.  It would be a good book for a book club to discuss.  It would also likely make a good movie. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

tie dye

Tie dyed shirts is a craft project I tried this week.  I haven't made anything tie dyed before, but I needed eight shirts for Camp Clair  (see posts here and here for more about that).  They didn't end up the way I expected, but I am happy with the results.  If you never have tie dyed shirts before, there are a few things that you may want to know.  One, if you are dyeing a bunch of shirts, buy more dye than you think you may need.  As soon as I began dyeing the shirts, I knew I was going to run out of dye.  So I made an extra trip to the store that was over thirty minutes away to get more.  Second, get the rubber bands really, really tight.  It seemed like the bands were tight.  Apparently not, as I don't have any white lines on the shirts.  It would have likely been better to use less dye, too.  Third, buy the dye kits from a craft store.  The ones I used were Tulip Tie-Dye supplies which are available at Joann's.  They were easy to use and came with decent instructions.