Monday, February 27, 2012

Sonoma Rose giveaway WINNER!!!

I was initially going to choose the best entry based on the criteria I stated but it was clear early on that all the entries had merit so I thought the fairest way of choosing the winner in this giveaway was the 'name in the hat' method.  So that's what I did.

And the winner of Jennifer Chiaverini's newest novel, Sonoma Rose, is CAROL J.  I'm just waiting for an email back from Carol and the information will be sent to the publicist for forwarding the book on to her.

Thank you all for entering this giveaway.  I would encourage you to buy this book.  I'm half-way through and still have a hard time putting it down.  It's a great read!!

Until next time,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sonoma Rose - book review

I was asked by the publicist to do a review of Jennifer Chiaverini's newest novel, out yesterday, called "Sonoma Rose".  The book description seemed to be somewhat of a departure from her previous novels in the Elm Creek Quilt series.  But I was intrigued enough by the storyline that I delved in as soon as I could download it to my Kindle.

The story grabs you from the first pages.  At least it did me.  Her characters in this book are believable and I found myself drawn into Rosa's plight even to the point of feeling intense anger at her abusive husband.  To me that means I escaped into the story as it was believable.

In true Jennifer Chiaverini style, she interweaves history with current day, quilts into everyday life and enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.  I am not yet finished this book but you can rest assured that I will be forging ahead to finish it soon because it's THAT good.

If you haven't heard, I'm hosting a give-away for the book here.  The draw takes place this Saturday so please visit that page of my blog and leave me a comment to enter the draw.

Until next time,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Give-Away Week!

Are you a fan of Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilting Novels?  This week her newest novel, Sonoma Rose, is being released.  I am hosting a give-away of this novel.  In order to be entered to win, add a comment about your favourite Jennifer Chiaverini novel (and make sure your email is on your comment or in your blog so I can find you).  Tell me about why your choice is your favourite, how many you have read, your favourite character and how reading these novels has inspired your quilting life.  The draw will be made on Saturday, February 25th.

Here's a brief intro on Sonoma Rose.

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, a powerful and dramatic Prohibition-era story that follows the fortunes of Rosa Diaz Barclay, a woman who plunges into the unknown for the safety of her children and the love of a good but flawed man.
As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview.

Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa’s resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.

About Jennifer Chiaverini

JENNIFER CHIAVERINI is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilt series, as well as five collections of quilt projects inspired by the novels.  A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.
Connect with Jennifer at her website, Elm Creek Quilts Online.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shattered Angles Workshop

Here's what I'm up to next Saturday:

My friend Susan Purney Mark is teaching a Shattered Angles class at our Victoria Quilters' Guild workshop.  I'm pretty excited to learn this technique with a bunch of other quilters. Of course in advance of the class is the fun part of choosing fabrics.  I'm always a bit tentative about my choices.

I am thinking of these fabrics:

 with this black Kona as the 'grout':

but am wondering if it will be too bland with one colour in varied tones.  What do you think?

Are these ones better?

Choices, choices, decisions, decisions.  Help me out people.  What would you do?

Until next time,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sew-in

We quilted....and then we wilted!

Pam arrived just after 9:30 a.m. and after we got all of her bags and machine in place we headed for the kitchen to put together with brunch treat which my DH had heard about on the radio on a recent road trip.  Ever heard of a baked french toast with ham and bananas?  No?  Me either...until today.  I found a recipe from Paula Deen on the Internet and decided to try it despite the fact that it only had 2 stars.  The guy on the radio insisted it was worth trying so we thought 'what the heck'.  Let's give it a whirl!

Here's a picture of our brunch (we needed our strength for our playtime!):

bread on the bottom, then ham, then sliced banana, bacon, eggs,  mozza cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. 

We decided it was a fun adventure but the bananas were a bit weird.  Now pineapple would have been interesting.  hmmm.  Maybe next time.  But now to our sewing adventure!!

So here's my work space looking out to my back garden (LOVE this view!) which provides serenity and inspiration all at the same time.  And yes, those are Orca Bay pieces on my work table.  More on that later.  Mr. Sun joined us all day which was a wonderful addition.

And here is Pam's task for the day:  stitching in the ditch on her cat quilt (a UFO):

Notice her border.  It works great on this quilt and I must remember it for future use:

Leftovers put to good use don't you think??

And my mammoth task for this superbowl sewing day was to work on my triangle string units (to start with anyway) of my Orca Bay quilt from There are my first two Orca Bay units up on the design wall.  I'm doing my 'frames' differently than Bonnie Hunter's and I'm adding blue to the centre of the light block instead of red in every one....just cuz I can!

 Now the production line...

 They went together fairly well and most of my points were bang on and 
we'll just forgive the ones that were a tad off.

Me so happy !

Phew!  All done... next...

Now to work on the Ohio Stars.  I have to say that I love my little swirls on these hourglass blocks.  They all cooperated so well!!

...and she wilted!  But look at all I got done today!!  All the string triangle units + all the light Ohio stars + all the centres of the dark Ohio stars.  What I didn't photograph was all the border units that I also got done (minus 6 - I must have miscounted).  Next time I will finish the dark Ohio stars and then start constructing the rest of the blocks.

I am hoping to hang this quilt in our quilt show in May.  I may actually get it done in time and that would be awesome!

But for now...I need some rest cuz it's back to work in the morning.  Pam got her quilting done with her kitties and when she left at around 4:30 pm was looking forward to starting to hand quilt the rest of it tonight in front of a cozy fire with her DH.  It will be fun to see her quilt finished.

Hope your Superbowl Sunday was as fun as ours!

Until next time,


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quilt Marathon Weekend - Day one!

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and it will be day long quilting marathon for Pam and I.  Last year we did a Super Bowl Mystery Quilt (here) and tomorrow, while we won't be working on mystery quilts, we will be working on PIGS and UFOs (projects in grocery sacks and unfinished objects).  And no, we won't be watching the Super Bowl but it's a great excuse for a day long sewing marathon. 

But first...let me tell you about today's adventures.

My church quilting group met today for a day of quilting and crafting (crochet).  We are behind on our production of baby quilts for our newest members and we had some new talented ladies joining us today.  We sure know how to have fun.  Check it out:

Our dear Susannah is working on a gorgeous Teddy Bear quilt for a new little man in our congregation.  Too adorable for words don't you think?

Susannah working on quilting her quilt.

Denise's "tablecloth" quilt.  She shared a funny story about a near disaster with this quilt and told us that it almost ended up in the trash bin but managed to be salvaged.  Looks pretty good to me!

Nice warm fall colours.  Beautiful job Denise!

This block and others like it were originally destined for this quilt but will be finding another forever home.

Kara, one of our new members with Shirley working on Kara's first quilt.

Shirley and the fine art of hand applique.

The quilt that love built.  This is our group project/teaching project.  Many hands make light work and we almost had this done by the end of the day.  A true group project.  Susannah took the remaining applique blocks home to work on.  Then a nice border and it will be a quilt top.

Mary showing Trysta the fine art of crochet.

Denise busily working away on 9 patches for The Quilt that Love Built.

And me?  I'm behind the camera trying to capture all the fun and progress.  It was so great to have new friends added to our little sewing group.  After our last presentation to the babies at Church a few weeks ago, all of a sudden there was all this flurry of interest.

Until tomorrow!  (when the fun resumes and more pictures of progress on PIGS and UFOs are displayed here).