Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Books Books Books

Ready for another long list of book recommendations? I've been reading a TON this year! (Silver lining I suppose?)


Firefly Lane is a fun and complicated look at two childhood best friends as they grow up and apart and together again. I really enjoyed these women and the very real look at how our best friends enrich our lives. And this book has been made into a Netflix series - I can't wait to watch! 

The Pocket Complete Color Harmony I was gifted an e-copy of this book and it is so pretty! An in depth look at color, this book is beautiful on every page. If you are a designer, artist, educator, or just someone who loves color, you will want to put this book on display. It is gorgeous and inspiring! 

Where The Lost Wander is a heart wrenching look at what life was like for American settlers and travelers in the 1800s. This book was beautifully told and an eye opening look at how easy we have it in comparison! And it's under $2 if you read with Kindle or free with Kindle Unlimited. This was a 5-star book for me and I am finding I keep thinking about the story and characters, long after I've finished the book.

I shared this one before, but The Home Edit Life is published and it's even better in person. I love these organizing books and they've seriously transformed how I set-up our house and belongings. 


Happy & You Know It was so much fun! This is definitely the "lightest" book on my list. This is about a musician going through some struggles, who ends up being hired by a very wealthy group of mommy social media "influencers." It pokes fun at our modern life and is also an endearing look at friendships. 

I'm a little late to the party, but I finally read The Silent Patient and now I see what the fuss was all about! I read the summary and thought it sounded kind of boring, but it is definitely not that! I won't say anything else so you won't have any of the twists or turns spoiled. Enjoy! 

The Authenticity Project was clever book with some unexpected friendships. I loved the characters in this book and can totally see this becoming a TV series. 

Watching You was a good suspense novel. I think I've loved all of Lisa Jewell's books. She has some great twists that I rarely see coming, which I appreciate. This was a great book that I didn't want to put down!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird was a very interesting and unique book. This is a fictional story about Lydia, who loses a loved one and proceeds to live a double life - one in her reality and one in a dream where the death hasn't occurred. This double story was so interesting and I enjoyed the philosophical look at how we handle death and grief and moving on. 


The Book of Lost Friends was an excellent historical fiction book about how families re-connected after slavery was abolished. This was an eye opening, heartbreaking, hopeful, intense, amazing 5-star book for me this year.  

The Latte Factor was so good and I think this might be my go-to book to give high school or college graduates! It is such a simple idea - how saving just $5 a day (the price of a fancy latte) can change your whole life.

28 Summers is a recent book by Elin Hilderbrand. I think I have liked every book written by her! She has a great way of developing characters into very real people. This is a love story of sorts, but not how you expect it to be. 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fiery is an older book (2014) that someone recommended to me. I really, really liked it. This is another book with great characters. AJ is a bookstore owner that ends up with a little girl. His town and friends step up to help him overcome some big life struggles and prove that friends can become your chosen family. 

Last but *definitely* not least, Call Your Daughter Home was a 5-star read for me. I loved how powerful and emotional and inspiring this book was. So so so good. This was definitely one of my favorite books of the year, which is saying a lot because I have read A LOT of books this year! #quarantine

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Friday, October 9, 2020

Shine On Sampler Quilt - My 100th Quilt!

I am so excited, I want to shout from the rooftops - my 100th quilt is complete! 
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I used a variety of fabrics from Bonnie & Camille's fabric lines, but mostly Shine OnSmitten, Early Bird, and Little Snippets

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I LOVE these fabrics and colors. It makes for such a happy quilt. 

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The rainbow block in the pattern is blue and red and pink. Instead, I used the little rainbows from Shine On and the rainbow stripe from Early Bird

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As I was making the quilt, I sent my sister a picture from my design wall and she suggested I replace one of the blocks with a hot air balloon. If you've read this blog for a while, you know I have a deep and true love for hot air balloons. I have since I was a little girl. I am so glad I took her idea because it looks so cute in this quilt pattern.

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The quilting is a combination of swirls and circles.

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The binding is the rainbow stripe from the Early Bird line. I think this is my favorite binding... I've used it on several quilts now and it just does not get better! I also realllllly love these little triangles. 

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The backing is the cream floral from the Smitten fabric line. FIVE yards! 

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This is my 100th quilt and I am so proud of myself, because this one was a doozy! It is 6'8" tall! The day I finished the quilt top, I actually got a little emotional. And again when I sewed the last of the binding on. I love this quilt so much... happy tears!
 
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Front Porch

My husband grew an amazing crop of pumpkins this year. We counted at least 55! I am LOVING our Autumn porch, but we "needed" a bigger welcome sign. 

Our porch is so pretty! I hope the pumpkins will last through Thanksgiving. 


Our succulents are overflowing their bucket!


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

My Bookshelf Quilt

After being tempted for years, I finally made myself a bookshelf quilt! 

I recently sorted my scrap fabric by color, so I used those bins and made a variety of books. I didn't use a pattern, I just made each book 12 inches tall and just loosely placed them on a design wall until the quilt came together. I intentionally made the books on the edges easy to trim down so I had some flexibility in the width once it was time to piece the quilt together. 
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I varied the books - some have a horizontal strip or two, some have vertical "book plates," and some have nothing at all. 
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My favorites are the books that have colorful selvedges as their book plates. I've been saving (hoarding?) these for years, so it was fun to finally use them for a project.
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I also placed a camera on the bookshelf, because obviously photos have always been a big part of my life. This camera is cut from a cute vintage camera print from Hobby Lobby. 
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The backing and binding are both "gradients" by Moda. 
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I love how it turned out and I am so excited to hang it on the wall in my sewing room. This is definitely a happy quilt! 
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I CANNOT believe this is my 99th quilt! I have something really fun in mind for my 100th quilt! You can view all of my quilts here. 

Friday, September 4, 2020

Another Plus Quilt

Sweet little baby girl quilt done today. I used this tutorial, which I now realize is almost exactly the same as this quilt that I made, but uses a solid instead of all prints.  
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This quilt uses fabrics I have had for a LONG time. I originally made this quilt with these fabrics back in 2009! I love the soft colors and beautiful prints. 
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I free-motion stipple quilted this one and used a cute cat print flannel for the backing. It's so soft and cozy.
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This is my 98th quilt and now it's time to plan something fun for my 100th quilt! You can view all of my quilts here. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Adventures with Cricut & Beyond

I just realized I haven;t shared any of my Cricut projects! My mother-in-law gave me a Cricut Explore Air 2 for my birthday and so far it's been really great!

My very first project was a t-shirt that is one of my favorite sayings for this crazy year we've had!

The rest of these photos are out of order, but I'll share anyway. I have been attempting to propagate succulents and have a section on our patio devoted to our "nursery." So naturally I needed to make a sign! 
I have also been experimenting with the stencil product from Cricut. There's definitely a learning curve, but I like the look of painted signs over vinyl stickers. 

A few more t-shirts. We tease my son all the time by asking "do you know you're still talking?" He now has two of these shirts "am I still talking?" and he loves them.  

My first attempts at vinyl on canvas turned out cute! 

Another wood sign, this time with a vinyl sticker instead of the stencil
This bookshelf shirt is my favorite and I would wear it everyday if I could! I drew the design in PhotoShop and I am so proud of how it turned out.

These flowers and hot air balloons are all free downloads from Love SVG.

I also made some canvas toiletries bags. The bags themselves are from Hobby Lobby and I think they were $1.29 each. Can't beat that!

Second attempt at a barn quilt painting with Cricut stencil. Better, but definitely not perfect! It makes me happy to see by my rulers and cutting area.
I also made some cute little wooden labels for my fabric baskets. 

Not Cricut related, but I have found myself in a lovely Summer habit of a afternoon iced latte. It's one of my very favorite times of the day. Speaking of... my espresso machine is truly one of the best purchases I have ever made. I love it so much


I also loved this month's American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. The magazine was great, it was also a wonderful idea to read it while floating in the pool on a hot afternoon. 

We went up to Shaver & Huntington Lakes for the last weekend before school (distance learning) started. It was so beautiful (and just before all of the California wildfires started and smoke overtook these beautiful blue skies). 

Last but definitely not least, if you are a quilter or a puzzle lover, Camille Roskelley's new puzzle is SO good and SOOOOOO cute! I loved working on it while listening to an audiobook. 

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