LDQ #60 Use Sunscreen

HI! look at me, posting right on time, two weeks in a row! BOOM!

I’m loving my Scrap In A Box blocks and I am excited to see how it all comes together.. I think a few of the Cherry Bomb fabrics made it into this quilt, and I love that.

However, I am still not happy with whats happening on the Grand Illusion.. ugh. I may take it apart and make it into two different quilts. I want to use up the units I have made, but I don’t like them together. At. All.

This week I talked about the pros and cons of my job..

And these are the books I mentioned:

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

The Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Here’s what Pam and I are reading.. Join us, and we can have a little Twilter Book Club!

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

Now, let’s quilt! (and read)

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LDQ #59 Triumphant Return!

>insert trumpet blasts here< I finally found time to get back to talking about quilting and books. I described a new to me method of making Half Square Triangles.. or HSTs.. and I have some pictures below to help illustrate the process.

Sew together two strips that are 2 1/4″ wide on both long edges. Use a 2 1/2″ square to trim the units, placing the diagonal marks ON the seam line.

If you want HSTs of a different size, for the strip width, add a quarter inch to the finished size, and then for trimming, use a square that is a half inch larger than the finished size.

Example: 4″ finished half square triangles ; use 4 1/4″ strips and a 4 1/2 square for trimming.

 

After replacing the cornerstones and center squares in the blocks for the Grand Illusion Mystery quilt, I am still not sure what to do next. I do like the spinning effect you get from the black sections overall, but I am afraid they are getting lost in my vibrant (maybe too dark) green. I will play around with this project this week and see what I can come up with. I’ll be tweeting my quilt angst each afternoon and I am open to suggestions.. Let’s have some cawfee and we’ll tawk. (hi Tina)

I’m LOVING the Scrap In A Box, and sending out good vibes and heart healing thoughts to Charlotte. Her family suffered a great loss recently.

One of our own Twilters is hurting also, after losing her daughter, and my whole self hurts for her. I hope the quilt we contributed helps to wrap Stephanie in love. Many thanks to Gretchen for herding cats on that project, and to Tina for quilting it! And to everyone who sent a block or three, donated batting or backing, sent money to cover postage, YOU GUYS RULE.  The Hearts for Stephanie quilt turned out amazing!

 

Here are links to the three books I talked about today.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (barf)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (loved)

A Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (my favourite this month)

Go Make Something!

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I’m alive!

Hey! Guess what…? I didn’t fall off the face of the planet. I have been very busy with life. It’s been getting in the way of my sewing time and I’ve been battered by allergies and sinus infections these past couple months. Yeah, I hate Spring.

I have a son who is graduating from high school this Friday and I find it bittersweet. I’m proud of the man he is becoming, but my heart misses the little boy he was. He makes me laugh every day and I’m so impressed by his musical talents. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, pretty much anything with strings.. And now drums. But mostly, I love when he sings.

So enough mushy stuff right?

I have been working on some “stunt sewing” for John Adams, aka Quilt Dad.. I’ve GOT to get that finished and mailed off today. I have just a couple seams left. I so wish I could show you a picture! This is a super cool design. I’ve fallen in love with it and plan to make one for myself too. I’m sure to love his upcoming book, which I think is sort of a sequel to Beyond Neutral.. Which I still love! I’ve made two quilts from that book so far. They are for my great nieces.

I made Triton Cove from a purple squiggle print for the background (my neutral) and used the Folklore line from Moda by Lily Ashbury. My niece Lindsay loves how it turned out and her room is purple and green. Perfect! She chose the purple fabric, and I wasn’t sure where to go from there. I took my friend, Angela’s advice (she is also my boss) and used Folklore. I never would have paired this line with purple, but as you can see, it works very well!  I love all these bonus triangles! See the quilt top HERE

For my niece Taylor, aka “Birdie” I made the Pacific Crest pattern with Kona Ash, a Blue Hawaiian Bali Pop, and a dark blue batik that Taylor picked herself. I made the blocks smaller than in the pattern, finishing instead at 8″ because I was working with 2.5″ strips. I laid out the blocks exactly like the pattern (Which is something different for me, lol)  then I realized I wanted the quilt bigger… Closer to a proper bed size. So I started adding more blocks with the batik scraps I had left and threw in some from my stash. I think it worked out very well, and I am now sewing them into rows.

I showed the girls their quilt tops while they were here visiting from Maryland, and I will finish them up and get them mailed out to them this month. They pretty much think I do magic and loved their quilts.

Also, I’ve not podfaded! I had a bout of serious website problems and thought my whole blog was lost to the ether. Luckily, it was restorable and I am planning to record again just as soon as I can spend five minutes straight without coughing, sneezing, or spewing something disgusting. Tmi? Yeah, sorry. Lol. ACHOO!

reminders: in the meantime, you may still follow me on Twitter or Instagram. @verylazydaisy. I’ve also got my Etsy shop back up! Very Lazy Daisy Quilts.

Things are looking up, Friends.

Talk to you soon.

A Book Challenge

I’m throwing out a book challenge! Now, nothing bad will happen if you don’t join in, but I’d sure like to hear feedback about the books you choose and what you think of them.

Challenge: Read two books with the same, or similar titles, by two different authors.

I’m reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, and Life After Life by Jill McCorkle.

Let me know what you’re reading?

How do you feel about hype?

When a book is super hyped, I guess my rebellious streak kicks in (it’s about a mile wide and it doesn’t take much, to be honest). So, confession time; I have no desire to read anything by Toni Morrison. I’m certain she is a fantastic writer, with stories about important things, but I frankly don’t care. Lately, every blog I read, almost every book related podcast I listen to seems to be talking about her work. There is such a thing as saturation hype and I’ve reached it with Toni Morrison.
Perhaps someday, I’ll suddenly realize that I’ve gone three days without hearing about one of her books and I’ll decide to read one, but right now, the titles make me run in the other direction.
I do this with movies too! I didn’t watch Forrest Gump until two years after it came out on video! I just can’t stomach over hyped books, movies, songs..
How do you feel about books that get a lot of hype? Does it turn you off? Does it make you want to read it even more because you want to be in on the excitement? Leave a comment, and let me know how you feel about it. I’m wondering if I’m just stubborn, or if there’s some other explanation for why hype turns me away from some books.

LDQ #58 From Beyond Neutral

I’m making quilts from this book, for my nieces… Pacific Crest, and Triton Cove

me with my complimentary copy

Pacific Crest is on the cover.. Fire Island is the one I pieced

Here is one of the quilts I’m working on

 

close up of the blue focus fabric

I’ve read a lot of books this month, I chatted briefly about some of them. I forgot to mention when I talked about The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, that I listened to the audiobook and love the narrator, Jim Dale. He is one of my favourites and I could listen to him read anything. He does an amazing read of the Harry Potter books, for which he has won  awards!

Here are a few books that you may like..When I can’t decide which new to me author to try, I can always go back to ones like Koontz and Brown, and although it likely won’t be a mind blowing book, it’s a satisfactory palate cleanser.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman if you’re looking for something strange and a little spooky. Explore your fears. book quote- “It’s better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.”

The Alibi by Sandra Brown if you’re in the mood for a murder mystery, peppered with a bit of romance.

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz if you’re ready for some suspense and hero stuff. This guy accidentally intervenes when a bar patron attempts to deliver information to a paid killer about a target. Now, he’s gotta try to save this unsuspecting victim right?

Thanks for listening!

Go do.. something

 

 

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books books books- spoiler free reviews

I guess all this reading has helped me get faster. I’ve always felt like a slow reader, but this little test says I read about 386 words per minute. I’m sure that fluctuates over the course of a book. See how many words per minute you can read, and comprehend. Yes, if you skim, you’ll be sorry. There are comprehension questions afterward. :-)

A really cool feature it has, after your results it will tell you how long it would take you to read certain book. War and Peace would take me about 35 hours.. Yeah, I don’t see that one in my near future. I tried to read it when I was 14 years old, I didn’t get very far.

What I’ve read lately.. I highly recommend The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. It’s set during WWII and tells the story of friendship between a young Chinese boy and a sweet Japanese girl. If you know anything about Asian cultures, (which I do because I married into one) you may guess that some of the parents have a major problem with this friendship. These young friends experience a lot of bullying and racism in school, as they both attend a white school on scholarships.. Which really just means they have to work in the kitchen. When Keiko is sent with her family to an internment camp, Henry goes to great lengths to see her again. As usual, Jamie Ford broke me to pieces and then put me back together again. This aptly titled book is one of my favourites so far this year. I read a library copy, but it’s going on my ‘must collect on my shelf’ list.

I finally read Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. I know, late to the party much? Hoo-weeee! Is what I had to say about that. I will be very careful about spoilers, as always here, but especially since this one is as hyped as it is. I’m not going to give a review and summary because if you’re like me, you’ve gone out of your way to stay spoiler free on this one. It was hard, with all the social media hype about this book. Chances are you already know there’s a big twist, right? Does that spoil a twisty book.. Knowing that something is coming? I don’t think it always does, especially in this case. All I will say is that this book switches back and forth between Nick and Amy, a married couple who thoroughly deserve each other… Well,one of them is worse than the other, but neither is very likable. I didn’t know it was possible to hate two characters so much, and still love their story. If you like twisty plots and twisted characters, give this a shot. Warning; there’s lots of foul language and some gritty sexual references.

Now, do you want to check your reading speed? It’s just for fun. No pressure, no judging.

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

LDQ #57 Show Me Your Quilt

Hey! I’ve got a little quilty talk… Applique, Dear Jane, and some thoughts about which quilts I should enter into a local show. Also, my round robin* came home to roost! I am thrilled with how this turned out

About the 40 minute mark, I stop talking about sewing and gab about some books I’ve read, including my favourite book of my January reads, Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford. I loved this book so much. I went to the google to find more info about this author, and when his picture came up, I thought, “well, he’s cute” Then I realized.. he sorta looks a little like my husband. Hey, we like what we like, eh?

*I will update this post as soon as I can get some pics of my Round Robin, and the finished Harry Potter quilt.

Go read and/or quilt something!

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LDQ #56 My New Year Resolution- Belated

A little bit of Dear Jane Quilty talk, where I am on the Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion Mystery, and why I’ve been so quiet.

I recorded this episode several weeks ago, and was unable to upload because of my jacked up blog situation. I still haven’t fixed it completely, but at least I got the ftp account working again, and can upload files again.

My posts may be a little more bookish and less quilty for a while, but I promise I will get back to quilting soon. Now I’m gonna go read something..

Daisy

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New Year Resolutions

I have a few things to say…

First of all, My blog has been hacked, so that’s why there are super annoying ads at the top. What is it today? viagra? penis enlargers? Whatever.

I have been unable to upload the episode I have recorded because apparently the way the hacker got in was through the ftp. Meaning my ftp password now doesn’t work, and I can’t get in to upload any files or delete the bullshit they’ve added. It’s very frustrating, and IPowerweb is not helpful at all with their canned responses. At this point I can’t afford to buy a domain with another, more reliable service and start over, because ya know.. crap is expensive, and that money has already gone to this useless space.

Since I can’t upload the episode about New Year Resolutions, but somehow I can still post text.. I will talk about it here.

My resolution is strange.. as a quilt blogger and podcaster, I should be talking about quilting, right? Well, while others are making lists of UFOs and committing to making more quilts in the coming year, my resolution is to make fewer quilts this year. *crickets*

I know, right? Sounds dumb coming from me? But, it’s not just to make fewer quilts. because the second part of my resolution is to read more books. I have been trying to do some mental housekeeping lately and I know that I was a much happier person when I read more books. Maybe that is silly and there is no connection whatsoever? But maybe, just maybe, there is something I have been missing in my life and it’s high time to get back to it. I used to read a lot. As a child I read very early, even before starting kindergarten. I always had a book in my hand. As a teen I slowed down a lot to do other, teenagery things, but as a young married adult, with no cable tv, and sharing a vehicle with my husband, I had hours and hours to fill with wonderful books.

I was shocked to realise that in the last several years, I have only read a small handful of books. Why is that? Have I been so obsessed with winning quilting that every spare moment has been spent at the machine, cranking out quilt after quilt, neglecting other areas of my life, to the detriment of my spirit? Am I being really overly dramatic? Maybe. Probably. But there is something to it.

I don’t know why or how, but I am not feeling the drive, or the joy at the moment for sewing and quilting. Perhaps, I am just a little burned out and need a break. Maybe next week I will be ready to quilt again? Maybe next month, maybe next year. I just don’t know. All I know is that I am not happy right now, and quilting is leaving me mentally exhausted. I still have to sew and quilt for work. Maybe that’s why I feel burned out? Maybe it took a year for the shine to wear off, and for the fun stuff to start feeling like a chore? Quilting five meander quilts in a row just does absolutely nothing for the creative spirit. Maybe I’m just tired.. Maybe being sick over Christmas just wore me out physically, emotionally, and mentally? I don’t know.

I know that I will come back to quilting, I just have no clue when it will be. I have to listen to my own needs, and right now all I hear is, “relax, read.” I will not entertain self-imposed quilt guilt over not cranking out umpteen quilts this year. I refuse to beat myself up.

When I do get some quilting mojo back, you’ll be the first to know. I will still be on twitter, instagram, and goodreads sharing my life and friendship with those of you who have come to mean so much to me over the past three years. I am NOT podfading, but at this time, I don’t know when the site will be fixed in order to upload more episodes. That hacking nonsense really hasn’t helped my holiday blues/quilt depression. I can’t even upload any pictures!!!! GRRRRR!!!! I AM SO FECKIN MAD!

Anyhoo.. I am considering starting another blog on blogger or another free service just so I can be able to post pics again. That doesn’t fix the podcast problem, but at least it is something. I’m just so fed up with Ipowerweb, I could spit!

In the meantime, here are two books I’ve enjoyed and I hope you will join me in a reading challenge this year. I’ve set a goal of 55 books for 2015, because I know I can read at least a book a week plus a few. My sister posted on her blog, The Dusty Bookshelves,a list of criteria for a book challenge, and I am using it to guide me this year, to expand my horizons. I hope some of you will find it fun and challenging, and join me. However, I do want to say.. NO BOOK GUILT. Just like my new motto is “No Quilt Guilt” I don’t want the reading challenge to become yet another thing I use to show myself how I don’t measure up. You do not have to use the whole list if you choose not to. You definitely do not have to challenge yourself to read 55 books this year either. Most avid readers average about 20-30 books per year. Don’t ask me for sources on that, because I totally made it up based upon what I have heard, read, and seen, there was no research involved. :-P

My point is, give yourself a break, in all areas of your life. No guilt trips. not about quantity, frequency.. or even quality! Who are _they_ so say your book choices are less important or valuable than anyone else’s?

So anyway.. now that I have been honest about how I have been feeling, I am feeling a little better. :-)

This week I read The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill, and I highly recommend it. Although written in 1983, it has a specific Old London feel. I don’t remember the setting year ever being strictly stated, but there are “motor cars” and “pony and trap” transportation both being utilized. It’s an uncomplicated ghost story, with a real atmosphere immersion. I sank right into this book. It is not at all gory, or shocking, but it is very well written and genuinely unsettling.. but in a great way. It’s like Charles Dickens’ and H.P. Lovecraft got together, and this book is their lovechild. Check it out.

And now, I am halfway through Garden Spells. by Sarah Addison Allen. This book is delightful. It is the story of two sisters, a family really, who have been apart for the past decade. The older has taken over the family business in a sense, and the younger is coming home, escaping an extremely abusive relationship, with her five year old daughter in tow. This is no ordinary family, and everyone knows they have gifts. Now, stick with me, this will sound cheesy, but it is very well written… There is an apple tree in their back garden that seems to hold the root of their abilities. They have a distant, elderly cousin with the gift of anticipation. She gives gifts that people don’t know why or how they’ll need them until days later, and the house itself even seems to have a personality, flinging its windows open wide when all its occupants laugh in unison. This is a charming book. These aren’t spoilers either, you get all this in the first chapter or so. I’m loving this book and I hope you will too.

I will talk to you all soon, in the meantime, follow me on goodreads, and

Go read something