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!

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..


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

LDQ #55 To Market, To Market


Please forgive me for being absent for so long. I have been under the weather and extremely busy trying to get things done lately.

Also, I apologize if part of this episode have some background noise differences, and a disjointed feel at times. I had to record on two different days and splice it together in chunks. I hope it’s not too boring hearing about all the quilt celebs I ran into at market :-)

The pattern I mentioned for my dress is Simplicity 2147. Here I am in my blue one. So comfy.


Please visit, like, and share our Raffles for Roger page. Thank you for all the support and most of all, the kinds words and prayers.

I will see you twilters on friday! We’ll have a google hangout (if I can figure out how to start one) and an Aurifil sponsored giveaway here on the blog.

Go Quilt Something!

P.s. I wanted to clarify that when I said “I work in a quilt shop and need to use the good stuff in my quilts” I didn’t mean to imply that kona cotton isn’t good. I actually love the stuff, but we don’t stock it, and what I meant was that I need to use the solids we have so I can hang my samples in the shop. Hope that clarifies, I have no problem with the quality of kona.. Just don’t like that it’s also in big box chain stores.

LDQ #54 Yay! I don’t have herpes!

Headsup.. I got weepy around the 33 minute mark..

That title isn’t what you’re thinking.. so before you run away screaming, let me explain that it’s a reference to glitter.. ya know, glitter is the herpes of the crafting world. It is incredibly easy to spread, and you can never get rid of it.

In the re-recording of this episode I totally forgot to talk about repairing old quilts.. derp derp derp… I forgot last episode too!! so let me just explain here. This quilt came into the shop and looked as if it had been washed.. vigorously. The seam allowance were worn away to nothing in some areas. The sashing fabrics were very thin and fragile.  I couldn’t just sew up the holes and then quilt it. The puckering was beyond troublesome. I called the owner and gave her the option of having me take it apart and rebuild it. I found fabrics in the shop that were very close in colour and value to replace the sashing. Before sewing it all back together, I used French Fuse on the back of the applique blocks to stablize them. I then trimmed them all to the same size.. 15″ x 22″




I am also working on another repair that is a machine applique Overall Sam quilt. I don’t have a picture of it, but I do have some advice.. It has a zigzag stitch holding down the appliques and some of the pieces are completely missing. I am hand appliqueing replacement pieces right up to the line of the red zigzag stitching that is still in place. It’s a perfect blend and hardly noticeable. If you are replacing appliques pieces on an already finished quilt, I recommend taking it over to a lightbox and tracing pieces to fit right into those spaces.. Don’t use original templates that may have been used when the quilt was made. This quilt has the original ones in a bag, but most of them do not match up.. whether that’s from shrinking and washing or simply a novice quilter’s skills, I don’t know. But the best way to get a good match to is to trace the space you need to fill.



Here’s my battle wound… please remove straight pins before giving a quilt top to your longarmer.. !



Here’s a pic collage of the art collage quilting class!


Here is the quilt I donated to the kids’ art club fundraising. It is quilted with a gorgeous blue and yellow variegated thread.


I know I am forgetting something… but that is what they make the edit button for.

I will post pics of the first raffle quilt, along with more info on how to buy tickets very soon.

Thanks for listening!


LDQ #53 Sleepbiking


I had so much to talk about that I yammered on for over an hour, and never got around to talking about what today’s topic was going to be.. SO.. I will save that for next time, and rest assured.. it’s actually quilt related. HA!

Here’s what I’m working on today..

Here’s some of my son’s artwork..


The metallic paint in this is amazing, but isn’t captured very well by my eye-phone :-)


And here he is, as a Senior in high school… *sniffle*


He was interviewed by the local news at Chuckfest :-)

Fabric Friday

Let’s talk about fabric, baby!

I’m working on cutting some scraps for the Scrapitude 2015 mystery. I decided to go a little organized this time round. I was less than happy with one of my 2014 Scrapitude tops and want to avoid future disappointment, so I’m playing it safe this time and going with a colour scheme. CITRUS!
So, I’ve pulled a mix of reds, oranges, pinks, fuchsias, and deep gold-yellows. I threw in a handful of brighter yellows too, and I like how the pile of cuts looks, but tine will tell if those make it into the quilt. When we start sewing I will be better able to make a decision about those. I don’t want to lose the design due to poor value choices..

I have a decision to make about background fabric that is more imminent. I can’t decide if I’m going to try to cut that from scraps, which I most certainly could, or use one fabric for all my background. I should stick to scraps since I have an overflowing drawer of neutrals..

On another note, at work we are busy cutting precuts out of the new Pat Sloan line, “One for you.. One for me”
It’s flipping adorbs! I’ll post a pic in a wrap up post, along with the fabric giveaway winners.

Finishing Friday

I’m determind that my finish for today will be my batik Scrapitude~2014 quilt top. DETERMINED!!
I’ve been spending just a few minutes each evening putting the blocks into rows. Though that’s not the way I prefer to work on projects, I have to admit that a few minutes here and there really helps to make progress. I’d much prefer to go into my sewing room, marathon sew, and not come out until the quilt top is pieced. A few hours of time, chunked together, would do it. I have three long seams left. Alas, life is getting in my way lately and I can only find little chunklets of time to sew. Using a fast machine (Singer 301A) does help to maximize my sewing time. I’m planning for an afternoon of sewing after work, in between my chauffeuring duties. My son will be driving soon, his last part of driver’s ed, the actual driving sessions, is scheduled for October. We waited a little late, he’s 17, but he wasn’t in a hurry to start driving. Now that the kids are doing more social things, it will be nice to have him driving and I can spend most afternoons quilting again.

For now, go quilt something! (Even if only for fifteen minutes)