Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Reviews Plus a Tutorial!

For some reason I love to read excessively in the summer. Maybe it is the slower pace.We have a wonderful screened-in porch that lends itself to a lazy afternoon or evening of reading.
I had a few people email me wanting to know what I was reading. In some ways it feels so personal but at the same time I am always on the hunt for a new read too! Please know these are my own opinions and not necessarily the end word. My mood greatly influences what I like and don't like at any given time. I am also a huge fan of the library, I could be in there for days....
So here we go!

The picture above:

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich---- I read this book halfway through and stopped. I just lost interest.

Prayers and Lies by Sherri Wood Emmons----Childhood in a small southern town in the 1970's. I liked her writing and the fact that you get hooked in the first or second page. The characters are rich and complex. I give it an A and liked it so much I also read her other book called.....

The Sometimes Daughter by Sherri Wood Emmons----This could have fallen into the "hippie" themed books but it was fiction so I seperated them. Again good characters and a good story. It also get an A.

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton----This was a good beach book and you could probably read it in a day. I was interested in the twin sister part of the story. Different as night and day (to quote Patty Duke!) I give it a B.

My Infatuation With Hippies Reading Picks

Arcadia by Lauren Groff--- I wanted to love this book but give it a B-. It was interesting but I wanted more....

Naked In The Woods by Margaret Grundstein---I did enjoy this book and felt for the woman who wrote it (it's a biography). A common theme in this genre is that Free Love came at a huge price! I gave it a B+

Notes From Nethers by Sandra Lee Eugster biography ---This followed the difficult relationship of a mother and daughter living in a commune. The mother was finding herself and the daughter just wanted to go to school and be a normal kid. She was torn between her father who lived a normal life and her mother who did not. I enjoyed her writing and give it an A.

Flower Children by Maxine Swann---It was way over my head and I missed a lot of the symbolism and had no idea what happened! It gets a C-

North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person biography---I LOVED this book. The common theme in all the "hippie" books is that the kids did not like it, felt adrift and just wanted to be normal kids doing normal things.
My overall take away is, as much as the adults thought they would be ok with multiple partners, they weren't. Hurt feelings and jealousy was the norm, for both the men and women.
The parents were very absent and very into themselves, as much as they were looking for a forward, free thinking, equal world they were very selfish and there was a hierarchy, even though they didn't want to admit it. All the adults were parents to all the children, in reality no one was paying much attention to them. Insecurity was a common feeling for the children and all of them had difficult relationship issues as adults. Sometimes it made my want to cry! Again this is just my opinion!
I think I am done reading about Hippies for now, unless you know of a good one for me!

Now for a tutorial.....

Some of you may remember this quilt, Winter Moon that I made last winter. A guild contacted me and asked me if they could make it as their raffle quilt. The guild is called Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild.

Cut a square about an inch bigger than your finished size, this is 6". Size is something you may have to experiment with because depending on how you sew will determine the unfinished size.

Use your rotary cutter and slice it down the middle. Change it up, put it on an angle or make it straight etc.

Next cut your branches. Again make them different every time to make it more interesting. This part is important-----once you cut your square, keep it together on your mat or table. It is easy to mix up the pieces.

Cut some contrasting fabric for your branches. Depending on the size of your starting square this can be any size. For this one they are about 1 1/4".

Cut them longer so you don't have to worry about matching anything.

Next sew the bottom background fabric to the branch followed by the top background fabric. Don't worry if they don't match exactly, we are squaring it up at the end. Now do the other side. Press all branches toward the branch fabric, not the background. You may have to trim the seam allowance up so it is not bulky.

Take your ruler and clean up the inside edges, take the smallest amount you can, keeping the same angle (or not) the choice is yours!

Cut out a piece for the trunk, this one is larger than the branches but you can do whatever makes you happy!

I decided I wanted this one to be a little more pointy at the top, so I trimmed off some on the side.

Sew it to the one side pressing towards the trunk.

Next sew the other side again pressing towards the trunk. On this one as I was sewing I wanted it to be more pointy at the top so I just made my seam allowance a bit larger rather than stopping to change it. Press towards the trunk and trim the seam allowance as needed.

Next take your ruler (or not) and square it up. I was able to get 5 3/4" from mine. In the Winter Moon quilt, each tree block is a different size.

So there you go, one tree that was easy as can be to make! If you have questions for me please email and I will try to answer them. I may just need to revisit this block maybe in autumn colors????



  1. Oh love love love this tutorial--thank you for sharing it so generously...i like your method a lot--have done some crosses and had trouble matching--your way--no probs!! ;)) hugs, Julierose

  2. Kelly, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! We will have so much fun making these trees. ~Deb BIMQG

  3. Thank you for this great tutorial !
    I'm reading Outlander (book number 5) I love them !

  4. I'm always inspired when I read your blog. Thanks for all of your sharing!

  5. I read an interesting memoir a couple years ago titled "This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone."

    Author Melissa Coleman was born in 1969 to parents who shunned the expectations of American mainstream society - opting instead for an alternative lifestyle. They embraced the values of homesteading, self-sufficiency and a back-to-the-land movement prevalent among many ‘hippies’ of this time. Her young parents bought 60 acres of land on a peninsula in Maine next to Helen and Scott Nearing (who were already well-known as authors of the popular homesteading bible “Living the Good Life”) and proceeded to carve out their own idealistic home in the remote woods.

    It was a fascinating read you might enjoy.

  6. Thanks for the book reviews, I have added a few of them to my list. LOVE the cute little trees. I think I might need to try those just for fun.

  7. Thanks so much for the tutorial! And mentioning our Bainbridge Guild. Check out our website to read about pur annual outdoor quilt Festival. Next year we will be featuring your trees!!

  8. Easy sounding tutorial with such great results. I can't wait to try it! Thank you!

  9. I love that quilt! It's so Kelly! I'm a little nervous to read the hippy books but so interested as it was my era. I've been reading about how the opioid epidemic is effecting children and families. Horrible. On a happy note, The Storied Life of AJ Fikrey is uplifting, witty and a great porch read!

  10. interesting reading about your recent books. I'm finishing Girl Unbroken after reading Etched in Sand so I might be done with sad kids for the moment. But I do like to bear witness with memoirs.
    Great tutorial - I am going to make this next time I need a little quilt!

  11. You made that tree look super easy! It is adorable!! An ex boyfriend of my daughters was the son of a hippie mom and dad- he didn't like it and was also insecure about relationships.

  12. Wow... that's a lot of reading! May I suggest a book for you? Actually, an author. If you haven't yet picked up anything by Liane Moriarty, an Australian author, I highly recommend her. I first read "The Husband's Secret," and recently found (the titles are not easy to come by in the US) "Truly Madly Guilty," which I liked better than the first book. Still, she's really good. Your tree tutorial looks great! You always make such lovely things.

  13. You have such a gift for color, you never miss. That is just about the sweetest quilt ever! I wish I was a fast reader, I love hearing your book reviews and I love to read but I'm so slow!


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