Monday, April 1, 2024

End of March

With Easter on the last day of the month, this end of March review sort of snuck up on me.

This month was moderately productive, with no new fabric purchases. Outgoing yardage was 7.14 yards  (yay!) and that number includes a completely finished, albeit small, quilt I have yet to share. I'll do so after it's gifted.

Other than the finished quilt, all other outgoing fabrics were used to make blocks. Some people who fabric track don't count yardage as "out" until a quilt top is finished. But that's not me. I consider the fabric "out"  or used when it's cut and pieced into its intended purpose, even if that's just a block. For example, my Glitter quilt blocks (not yet pieced into a quilt top) are in my March count.

However, the exception is if I'm making an improv quilt. I do not count ANY yardage until an improv quilt top is assembled. That's because with improv, it's all about making changes as you go. My friend Debbie at A Quilter's Table has been fabric-tracking for several years, and she suggested how to calculate yardage used in an improv quilt: Multiply the quilt top dimensions by 25 percent (to allow fabric for seams). So that's what I've been doing. 

As I've been anxiously waiting for a few remaining blocks to arrive from quilters who are participating in my Modern Potholder Group quilt project (due date is April 12), I've passed time by working on a project begun in a QuiltCon workshop: Large Scale Minimal Improv. I've simply been cutting and piecing more components, and arranging - rearranging and rearranging - them on my design wall. None of this fabric has yet been counted as outgoing. By the way, components are made not only with quilting cotton, but denim (from hub's blue jeans), and linen.

Being the circle/round-shape-lover that I am, I used my Classic Curves ruler to make several inset circle blocks. The light blue fabric at the bottom left, and beige fabric top left, are both linen. 
As is the nature of improv, I find it brain-taxing to work out what to do next. But I will persevere! 

Book Recommendations
Somehow or another, I managed to listen to 11 audiobooks in March. More surprising was that only two of them had a score of less than 4.0. So, what follows are two more book reviews, and a recap of the best of March. 
The River We Remember
 by William Kent Krueger is his newest book, released last fall. Mr. Krueger has a penchant for setting his stories in Minnesota and Iowa, which I appreciate. It's very easy to envision the fictional places - rural countryside and small towns - his characters inhabit.

This story begins on Decoration Day (Memorial Day) weekend. A body has been found, snagged on driftwood in the Alabaster River. At first, it seems like a suicide. But when the victim is identified as a landholding bully who most people despised, Sheriff Brody Dern and his deputies have to investigate further. 

As the plot unfolds, prejudices against the Japanese (WWII is fresh in everyone's minds), and native Americans who once owned the land become apparent. Townspeople are divided, and while laws are meant to bring justice, there are always those who want to take justice and retribution into their own hands. 

This thought-provoking book is about coming of age, and recalling old-fashioned beliefs and attitudes.
Linda's score: 4.4/5.0

Everyone is Watching
 by Heather Gudenkauf is a new book (released in March) I've been anticipating. I was on a wait list for it's release, and was the first person to check it out though my Boundless library app. Heather is an Iowa author I follow on Instagram @heathergudenkauf (and she follows me back!) because I've enjoyed every book she has ever written. If you haven't read any of her books, I highly recommend The Overnight Guest.

The premise of Everyone is Watching is that five contestants (one is from Calico, Iowa) are flown to California to live for two weeks in a posh, wine country home and appear on the program "One Lucky Winner." During a series of live-streamed challenges, participants find clues, and win/lose competitions, with the viewing public voting people out, until the last person wins $10 million. 

Behind the scenes, Cat is orchestrating the show, deciding what and when the challenges will be. Fern, Cat's assistant is the show's host, keeping everyone on schedule and monitoring social media attention. "One Lucky Winner" doesn't happen quite as planned, and becomes reality-viewing when contestants get hurt. Yet when Fern learns that 16 million people have been watching, the show has to go on. 

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

March Reading Recap - I gave these nine titles a score of 4.0 or better.
  1. The Irish Boarding House, Sandy Taylor - 4.5
  2. The River We Remember, William Kent Krueger - 4.4
  3. The Secret Book of Flora Lea, Patti Callahan Henry - 4.3
  4. The Teacher, Frieda McFadden - 4.2
  5. Only the Beautiful, Susan Meissner - 4.2
  6. The Fury, Alex Michaelides - 4.2
  7. Everyone is Watching, Heather Gudenkauf - 4.2
  8. The House Keeper, Valerie Keogh - 4.0
  9. Kookaburra Cottage, Maya Linnell - 4.0
Happy book-listening!

And I hope your Easter was lovely. I celebrated the Holy day with worship, and time spent in devotional reflections about Jesus' sacrifice for us. Often, it seems more easy to abide in the heaviness of Good Friday, feeling sad and unworthy. So it washes over me anew on Easter, when I am reminded that Jesus conquered death, for us all. For me! My otherwise eternal condemnation now has the promise of a new life and eternity with Him. Amen. Linda


  1. I'm intrigued by your new improv piece. Love the bits of red you are including.

  2. I also like the improv project. And again, thanks for the book recommendations. I rely on them.

  3. I loved reading this post, and added two more books to my reading list. I can't keep up with you! Love your new piece, and agree with Debbie about the red bits. Yes, to your thoughts about Easter. Yesterday was especially moving, in thinking about the deaths of both my mother and father this past 13 months. The talk in church about Gesthemane was just what I needed to hear. I'm so glad you mentioned this day!

  4. Stitching and audio books--sounds good to me!!! I'm looking through your book list for potentials. Happy Easter, Linda!!!

  5. How do you calculate how much you use if the block is scrappy

  6. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas 😻April 2, 2024 at 8:17 AM

    Yes on the red bits, it needs that zing! 😻 did you get any spicy gumdrops from the Easter 🐰 bunny?

    1. Hi Pamela! Actually those "red bits" are Painter's Palette Kumquat which is actually an orange color. But I understand seeing red. Those pieces are tiny! No Easter treats here at our house. But, one of my friends who made quilt blocks for the Modern Potholder group quilt, mailed me two sets of blocks she'd made, along with two bags of spice drops! I sure do have good friends!

  7. I love the blue improv piece Linda- such an unusual colour palette for you! The little touches of red/orange are fabulous!

  8. Yowza, that is a TON of books, can't wait to dive in to some of them. We definitely have the same taste. Did you see Karen Brown on YouTube bravely counting up her "stash"? How does yours compare? I just started piecing a Mountains quilt (free pattern by Art Gallery Fabrics) for my niece's grad gift.

  9. Amen to your Easter reflection. I daren't count fabric in and out as it seems the more UFOs and scrap quilts I work on the more fabric I need to buy to finish them - so ironic! But the making progress and finishing are very satisfying :-)

  10. So glad you got to celebrate your dad's birthday with your family. How nice it must have made you all feel. I am glad you got to stop at Hancock's in Paducah. It's been years since I've been there, and I can tell you that, without a doubt, I would not have come home with less than a huge amount of fabric. Glad you can resist. I have found that they are still the best place to buy rotary cutter blades. Have not seen them elsewhere at such a good price.


I reply to comments! If you are a no-reply commenter, or your profile appears as anonymous, I will reply to you directly on this blog post. Please check back!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin