Friday, May 17, 2024

Same, same

I delayed writing a blog post because I don't have much sewing room activity to share. It's been the same-same as I steadily, daily, work to bind all 42 blocks in the modern potholder quilt. 

My process has been to consider and work on only two or three blocks at a time.

As I look at units, I determine where a pewter-colored solid might be inserted in the striped binding, and how that insert connects or doesn't connect to an adjacent block. 
Sulphur-colored square quilted by Patty @elmstreetquilts
Adjacent block, on the right, made by Rosemary @franticquilter

When I'm looking at a square block - without any piecing - I also determine whether or not to add a pewter-colored hand-appliquéd curve. Sometimes it's appropriate, if I can make the appliqué fit in between big stitch hand quilting.
Banana-colored square quilted by Candi @candipursuits

Other times it's not appropriate to add appliqué because I don't want to cover up attractive big stitch quilting. 
Sulphur-colored square quilted by Maureen @maydecemberquilts

Only 12 more blocks remain to be bound. The quilt will be 48" X 48".

Next I'll determine whether or not to set the whole design on point, and add setting triangles. Will I introduce a new color? Improv piece? Big stitch quilt only? Do nothing more?

I've been listening to audiobooks as I work away. 

Book Recommendations
Expiration Dates
 by Rebecca Perle is a bit of improbable, light-hearted romance about Daphne. Since she was in her teens, she's received a piece of paper - a notecard, a postcard, a folded slip of paper - that gives her a name and length of time. She quickly deduces it's the name of the boy/man who will come into her life and with whom she will have a relationship, and how long that relationship will last. 

Now in her early 30s (20 years of dating and sleeping with different guys) she's yet to have a relationship that lasts more than a few years. The name Jake appears on a paper, but there's no other information. No length of time. Could it mean that Jake is her forever man? 

Though the end works out happily ever after, I think Daphne believing in the paper prediction, and that  sleeping around is part of the process, is a bit too much for me.

Linda's score: 3.7/5.0 

 by Simon Van Booy is about an 83 year-old woman, Helen, who lives a solitary lifestyle. She previously lived in Australia with her husband and son, but has returned, alone, to her hometown. 

In the middle of the night, she sees a man who's carried an old aquarium to the curb. Thinking she might find something of interest, she carries the heavy load back to her little house. From then on, Helen's uninteresting days find purpose with the discovery of a mouse in the aquarium. She determines to make the mouse comfortable and find a home for him. As she does so, she encounters new people who are open, friendly, and fill a void in Helen's life. 

I read this book on the recommendation of Ann Patchett of Parnassus Books who I follow on Instagram. Indeed, it's a charming story, but I became disenchanted as soon as the author used the story as a platform for a personal belief that he assumes everyone should agree with.
Linda's score: 4.0/5.0

The Lost Bookshop
 by Evie Woods is another improbable tale, but I very much enjoyed the characters, and the plot was interesting. 

Three main characters - Opaline, Martha, and Henry - relate their perspectives on a bookstore. Opaline's tale begins in the 1920s, when she's just run away from home after her older brother has demanded that she marry a man who will enhance their family's fortune and status. She escapes to France where she learns the book trade from a free-thinking, independent American woman.

In present day Dublin, Martha too has escaped. Running from an abusive husband, she finds employment as a housekeeper-cook for an aging actress. Just as Martha has moved into the grand house's basement apartment, she meets Henry. He's a literature researcher, looking for an old bookshop that was purportedly on a site near the house Martha now lives in. 

Moving from character to character, through several decades, Opaline's story comes to light, including the fact that she was forcibly taken to an asylum. As Martha and Henry dig into Opaline's story, they discover more about themselves.

I enjoyed the resolution of this story, and what I learned about dealing in old manuscripts and books. Fascinating literary histories can be uncovered.

Linda's score: 4.3/5.0


  1. Your pot holder quilt holds so much interest Linda! The colour palette, the meandering shapes and quilting, the movement from one block to the next! I think this one will be much admired and contemplated.

  2. This project is such a special one and laborious. But the result will be so considered and a design masterpiece. By the way, I followed the link to photos in your previous post- that guild does WONDERFUL work!

  3. I liked the bookshop novel as well!

  4. oh you're making great progress on the potholder quilt. The pewter solid bits are giving a nice movement to the quilt.

  5. Interesting on your potholder quilt project, Linda! I'm curious to see where it ends up!

  6. Love your pot holder quilt! It looks so effective. Can't wait to see how it comes together

    1. Thank you very much Rachel! The potholder has come along further since this post,. I am now about a third of the way finished hand-piecing blocks together. It's been relaxing to work on as I listen to audiobooks, and am on Zoom calls. I should have it finished in June, if I don't decide to add more to it!

  7. I like the way that potholder quilt is looking. I can't help thinking how heavy it will be, though--so how will it be used?


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