Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Return of the Challenge.

This week I was reminded that Summer Solstice has come with it’s high temps, even higher humidity and little rain.  It’s all but kept me in the house or places that I might find a reprieve from the heat. Including a friend’s vehicle, since our van is on it’s last legs and no air; but we must keep it limping along the best we can as there is no way to replace it.  We will be in BIG BIG trouble when it finally gives up the ghost as it is the only mode of transportation we have. But for now, I am trying to ease this heat the best that I can. 

Since I finished the tee shirt for my client, I have been taking a sewing machine break.  With all the fans going throughout the house, the Other Half’s oxygen compressor going along with my sewing machine; all the noise has caused a never-ending drone of noise. Which is causing me to grind my teeth to no end and has me feeling agitated with frayed nerves. So the only thing I can truly control is my sewing machine, which was put on a “time-out” for now.  Does it make a bit of difference? No – not really, but I had to try something.  So I bet you wonder - what pray tell have I been working on since I’m taking something of a mechanical break? Well I pulled out my Q&N Challenge top out from last year and added part of the additional border onto it.  I have some pics to show you of course so here ya go! 


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Yuppers … you are seeing that right!  Those little stitches are approximately an eighth of an inch apart and about as tall.  Yes I know doing it that tiny will take forever but this quilt will be all Mine when I finish it and I’m actually considering have this a fair entry.  Scary isn't it … that I might think about entering a county fair…I shudder to think what the judges would think of such a thing…lol. Bur it has a few more years of work before I even think about entering it, since this will be hand quilting once I get the top done; so I’m not sweating it.

My partner and I are still sharing/trading fabrics with each other, thus continuing the “Make Do” theory we have enacted when we started this challenge last year.  I know that I have a nice mixture of fabrics from myself, my challenge partner, my ex-mother-in-law, my “angel “friend, some my homesteader friends, some of my Q & N friends, and I got some fabrics from one of my Wednesday mornings quilting group that I’ll be adding to more of the borders to come.  I’m always looking to exchange fabrics with people and it has enabled me to grow my 1800’s Reproduction fabrics for this wonderful quilt.  I think that I might have the backing for this that was sent to me from another friend in Louisiana a couple years ago. About the only concussion that I have made with this is the thread that I bought for it.  I want to use 100% cotton as they may have used back in the day before polyester so I’m using  Gutermann’s 100% Cotton Col.5201 that is made in Greece and on the dark mustard-colored spool.  It’s kind of a “flat” black and I really like the way it looks against the appliqué pieces.

Well the 4th of July is coming up next week and we will have a houseful for a couple of days, so that meant I spent the afternoon re-hide all the sewing stuff into a variety of new hiding places so that the quest room was presentable.  I’m just thankful that the heat wave had broken as it was sweating enough with out the 80/90*F. temps for a day or two. I’m looking forward to grilling out, making a big batch of my potato salad.  Even my son is getting into the cooking spirit as he will be making two dishes of his own for the cook out too. It’s nice that he is showing some interest in something other making easy prepackaged food that he does down at his dads.  He even went as far as to check out a Kids cookbook from the library last week.

Since the sewing machine is on a “time out” right now, I took the time to clear most of the dining room table of all the “extras” with the exception of my laptop.  I don’t mind at all  since I’m enjoying my hand appliqué at the moment.   When I get the chance and the weather is co-operating with me, I take a cup of sweet tea, along with my appliqué and head outside the river side of the house.  I can watch & hear the birds, feel the breeze gently pull at my wisp of hair that doesn’t quite stay in the ponytail holder and hairclips.  I have discovered that a female hummingbird seems to have taken up housekeeping in a local tree and visits my feeder on a regular bases.  Occasional there is an Oriole who also likes to visit the hummingbird feeder. We also have had Swallowtail butterflies hanging around the feeder lately too. I apologize for the grayness of the 1st 3 pics as I took them through the window.

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 oriole            Show Stuff for 23th of June 015

So when I sitting down at meals, you are most likely to find a book open.  This past week I finished the recently release of “Roses Have Thrones” by Sandra Byrd.  This book I checked out of the library as I enjoy Historical Romance and the Elizabethan Era. This synopsis was provided by



In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiancé has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth's circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen's downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she's not sure she can trust--a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences. A rich, tautly woven tale of love, deception, and grace, Roses Have Thorns vividly conjures the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

So here is my opinion for all that it’s worth so just know that they are mine and mine alone without any influence from the author, publishing house or anyone one else associated with the book.  I could tell right off the bat that Sandra took the time to do her research in the matters of Queen Elizabeth 1, the people known within her court and the happenings not only within the realm itself, but those that influenced the Queen’s life from other countries.  Sandra takes us inside the private life of not only the Queen, but also the ladies that she surrounded herself.  I was very pleased to see the author proper use of the Old English and the how the Queen would have used “We” when dealing with the official state of affairs and her court in public. But she also shows us the vulnerable, motherly, womanly personal side that isn’t often portrayed in many another books that I have read.  The accuracies of the historical side of the book made it pleasure to read. I felt drawn into the story enough that I almost hear the whispering of voices and swishing of dresses as court members walk past me.  I myself could understand the different feelings of the not only the Queen but that of the main character; Elin von Snakenborg. I have have been in Elin’s shoes as I have experienced many moves in my life, how to try & learn the art of fitting it, the acts of betrayal from someone close, and lose of a child. Although the eras are vastly different, those feelings that women have are consistent throughout any time period. I would Highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good and accurate piece of historical fiction.  I plan to request my local library to bring in more of Sandra Byrd’s books if they don’t have them already. I would give this book 5 stars with 5 being excellent.

Well it has taken me 3 days of writing this weeks entry in between all the extra chores as we get ready for the 4th but I do want Thank all the Veterans' from all the Wars that have given all of us the Right to Freedom at all cost.  Thank You for all our Military for keeping us safe in the Past, the Present and the Future.  I Salute You!!!!

As always comments are welcomed and I look forward to hearing my readers.



  1. Thank you for the book recommendation. I love historical fiction and will be looking for this book in my public library.

  2. love your post this week. the quilt looks great....have a few more pieces coming your way. have a great cookout glad your son is cooking up a stormmmm.way to go.....I am cheering him on..

    hugs and stitches