Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Return of the Anvils

Now that makes it sound like a “made for TV chick-flick movie”. LOL. I have made it my goal this week to get the top of Merry Mayhem's Mystery #136 done, otherwise known to most of us simply as “Anvils”. I don't know why it has taken me so long to make this top. I'm sure if I went back into my quilt journals I bet I could find that I started cutting this one out sometime after the beginning of the New Year. Then it went to way side for one reason or another as project are prone to do. Well I can say that I have accomplished my goal.

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Anvils On My Mind
Tricia 020
Scraps Are FUN!
But on the other hand, it appears that I gave no thought on the layout as they are kind of willy-nilly. This is what happens when your mind is on other things. (insert shrug here with a puzzled look on my face). Oh well it's a “Make-Do” quilt anyways. I really was going for that vintage line of thinking on this quilt. I worked with a variety of scraps that I have received in swaps, gifts or from my own projects & fabric samples that I have. I have a twin size batting that I could use but I'm thinking more along the lines of recycling one of those polyester blankets that the Mister has. They are ummm - let's see how to say this...rough & ugly. LOL. I have some older sheets that I can contribute to the cause for backing. As I was playing with the rows last night, Ms. Honey Bee was sure to come over and supervised the whole matter like it was her job.

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Well I Think It Needs More Rows Mom.
Now that the top is done, I have to get to it if I want to have this one done by the year's end seeing that was the challenge. With everything coming up with Secret Santa's & the likes, I would love to have this completed and off the plate so that I can work on the needed pieces for those. 

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View From Back Porch
Since the chill of Fall has kicked in, I really wanted a bowl of Ramen soup to warn up the insides. I Love Ramen once I have Frankenstein-ed it. First thing I do is throw out the silver package of salt-laden season packet. I find that this great for cleaning out those bits & pieces of leftovers from the fridge and freezer. This time it was 2 packets of Ramen Noodles, buffalo chicken chunks, a half of a very small cabbage head, frozen spinach, green beans, chicken broth and seasoned with Simply Asian Sweet & Spicy Saigon seasoning.  Break out the bowl & chopsticks when all said and done. Pretty as a picture with it's green & white coloring.

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Green & White Ramen Noodles

This week in the mail box, I received my monthly "Quilting Broad Secret Package" from Happy Stitcher. She sent a wonderful box filled with all kinds of goodies.

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Oct. Secret Pal Package
As you can see there are several pieces to enable my many passions. Fabric, patterns, snack mat, leaf pot holder, the cutest little pumpkin pincushion, a big cone of black thread. Oh MY! That's 5500 yards of thread!!!! And my newest addiction ... cross-stitch magazine & Aida Cloth. Least we not forget the Chocolate flavor of the month -- mini York Peppermint Patties. Yum! 

You  might have noticed that I have a new addiction to cross-stitching.  I find it to be very peaceful and it makes be slow down when I really need it the most.  I would have never thought that I would become the kind of girl who would actually have the time to do such a thing.  But since I no longer can work, my children don't live with me anymore, I have become a lady of leisure to some point.  One of my visit sites to visit that has vintage style samplers is Victorian Motto Sampler   Nancy has the most beautiful pieces that she designs.  Anyone of this pieces would be right at home in old-fashion Ginger bread home rather it be in the city or on the family's 150 year old farm house.  She always have the greatest give-a-ways too.  Right now she has a couple going on her collections of over-dyed flosses that she does herself.Be sure to visit these two postings for a chance to leave her a comment ofr two for a chance to win these fabulous collections!!  Good Luck!!
Now you may have seen the buttons on the right hand side for "The Quilt Pattern Magazine".  This is an on line magazine that I received a gifted subscription from a close guilty friend last year as a "Not-So-Secret-Santa" that I was the hostess for. I just found out that she renewed it again for this year. Thank You Ms. C!!  They have many types of designs, their own on line community called "Pattern Pastiche" and so much more.  And the price is nice to boot.  And if you become a pattern tester you get 3 months free on your subscription.  And as we all know "FREE" is our favorite word in the quilty world. Anyways as I was saying, I took part in their 1st Virtual Retreat and last week I show you those pretty fall fabrics that I'm using in the Virtual Retreat Quilt. Well there was "door prizes" and I was lucky enough to win door prize #1.  This prize was a 24 page pattern book called "Tidbits & Twiglets"  is from Barbara Chojnacki of's got some great methods for making interesting scrappy quilts.  I'm looking forward to making "Twiglets 101" soon.  As in after all the Holiday sewing is complete for the year.  

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TQPM Door Prize
Lucky for me I didn't sign up for the normal 6 or 7 holiday swaps like I would normally do.  I'm doing a private pincushion swap in a small group of 7or 8 of us, but I only have to make one.  Then I'm doing a private swap with another friend here in Michigan.  That one isn't until just before Christmas and the last one is on my Quilting Board on line group which is due to be mailed Nov. 15th.   I did a running raid for Holiday fabric at the storage bin. this afternoon. Now that I've done that . The ideas are flowing through the brain. I'm know I'll be busy this weekend. Then it will be some time I'll be out of commission for a short while due to my thyroid surgery next Monday. Which brings me to an important announcement.

There will be NO blogs next week! 

Part of it is for the health reasons as I mentioned above, but also I have no new news on the TBS's.  I'm really need some volunteers to be willing to put a box together and send out into the world. Without some volunteers, I'm afraid that this will be the end of the Traveling Stash Boxes.  I would be very sad to have to be the one to make that announcement.  It doesn't have to a themed box.  Just some nice quality fabric that you might pull from your own stash or some nice fabrics that you picked up for a really great price.  Please don't be afraid to start one of these new fledglings go out into the world.
I've no books to review for you at the moment. But I do hope to have something soon.  I plan to check out some new books on audio to use for my reviews while I'm recouping.  
I want to say Thank You to all of you who left some great feedback in the comments on the "What's Going On" posting. I have enjoyed responding to them.  And I can't wait to have more things to show you in the future.  Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Books & More Books!

Yes! Book Worm Wednesday's are back.  Did you miss me? LOL.  It's been quiet here but worry not I have been reading some with a variety of themes. 

Now I have a mixed bag to reviews to share with you.  And I hope that you will find something to your liking.  Let us start with this little jewel.

For fans of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and A Discovery of Witches comes a brilliantly imagined debut novel brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic.

Revelation “Reve” Dyer grew up with her grandmother’s family stories, stretching back centuries to Reve’s ancestors, who founded the town of Hawley Five Corners, Massachusetts. Their history is steeped in secrets, for few outsiders know that an ancient magic runs in the Dyer women’s blood, and that Reve is a magician whose powers are all too real.

Reve and her husband are world-famous Las Vegas illusionists. They have three lovely young daughters, a beautiful home, and what seems like a charmed life. But Reve’s world is shattered when an intruder alters her trick pistol and she accidentally shoots and kills her beloved husband onstage.

Fearing for her daughters’ lives, Reve flees with them to the place she has always felt safest—an antiquated farmhouse in the forest of Hawley Five Corners, where the magic of her ancestors reigns, and her oldest friend—and first love—is the town’s chief of police. Here, in the forest, with its undeniable air of enchantment, Reve hopes she and her girls will be protected.

Delving into the past for answers, Reve is drawn deeper into her family’s legends. What she discovers is The Hawley Book of the Dead, an ancient leather-bound journal holding mysterious mythic power. As she pieces together the truth behind the book, Reve will have to shield herself and her daughters against an uncertain, increasingly dangerous fate. For soon it becomes clear that the stranger who upended Reve’s life in Las Vegas has followed her to Hawley—and that she has something he desperately wants.

Brimming with rich history, suspense, and magic, The Hawley Book of the Dead is a brilliantly imagined d├ębut novel from a riveting new voice.

Now I have to admit that this one does combine a lot of my favorite things.  Magic, Mystery and Mayhem are wonderful bed fellows in this heady new book has the makings of a thrilling series from author Chrysler Szanlan!!!  It grabs your hand, leading you in and keep you wanting for more from the first page to the end.

I have to tell ya that what you want to do is run don't walk to your favorite book store, library or other place that you can purchase your books. This book will be sure to have you guessing and making it difficult to put it down   may we be blessed with more books my this author in the future!!

I hereby give this book 4.75 stars out of 5 stars.

** I received the ARC through Net Gallery in exchange for my honest opinion. This means that you the reader should take in with a grain of salt & know that I give it in my own version of the good, the bad and indifference without being associated with the making of this book.**

Next in our little bag of books we have.

The Fourth of July delivers more than just the local display of fireworks for Samuel and Julia Wortham. They return from the festivities in Dearing, Illinois, to find Samuel's brother Edward, out of prison and on their doorstep. Surprise turns to shock and confusion as Edward introduces a young girl named Katie and declares that Samuel is her father.

Samuel maintains his innocence and cannot understand why his brother would make up such a story, Julia struggles to believe Samuel's declarations of faithfulness, and Edward delights in antagonizing his brother. Katie just dreams of finding a home.

This page-turner will keep Kelly fans and new readers alike on the edge ot their seats until the very end.

The hauntingly beautiful story of historical fiction had me engrossed right from the beginning.  I didn't actually realise that this was the 3rd book in the series.  So it could in theory - stand on it's own. It wasn't overly preachy and was easy to follow along. I look forward to reading more books from Leisha Kelly.

The story opens up in the Depression Era during a time when families are being broken up and farmed out to relatives has become a new “normal” reality.  In this story we find an example of one family coming together in strength in each other, and God, when little Katie's is dropped off at the door by her “uncle”. We are thrown into the turbulent and violent relationships of Samuel and Edward over the fathering of Katie.

Even in spite the rumours, the fighting and other hardships of the times; the truth is found in the end down long and winding road of human emotions.  Katie? Well ... Katie gets her dream in the end and beyond that you will have to read this wonderful story for yourself.

I give this book a 4.75 stars out of 5 and Highly recommended this book to others. I actually own this book but I'm giving my honest opinion without compensation from anyone involved with the writing or printing of this book.

Next is for the Horse lovers in all of us who were horse – crazy as little girls, and for the big girls who never out grew it.

Author Amber Massey grew up loving horses but never owning one. That finally changed the day she met Marquise. This horse was her gift from God. During those long trail rides, as horse and rider learned to work with each other, Amber felt God draw her close. Along the way, He revealed His truths to her and established a solid, lifelong relationship.
Her stories of that journey give light to the tender relationship between a horse and rider and will stir your heart to seek God’s presence—even in the tack room. As you share this trail with Amber, you will discover that a life of faith begins with the love of God—and sometimes God uses horses to show us the way.

There is nothing like a good horse story. As we all know that horse-crazied girls just to be adult horse owners some times in life. What the author has given us was a peek into her personal relationship between Her and her horse Marquise. We are able to see that even though beauty isn't always right there to see, it's what it can be if you look past it. We travelled with them in the up times and the bad times.

Amber shows us that there are many ways that God has in communicating with each of us if we take the time to listen to the lessons at hand. At times you want to cheer them on and the next it will have tears in your eyes.  It has you feeling empathy for both - Amber & Marquise - at times.

If you love the “Chicken Soup...” series, you'll love this heartfelt work of non-fiction.  I have to admit I did find it a bit more religious than those other books, but after a while; I didn't seem to mind as much as I thought I would.  Have a horse person in your life?  I highly recommend this book to them whatever their age. 4.5 stars out 5 is my rating for this delightful story.

** As always when I received an ARC from Net Gallery, I give my honest but personal opinion in return in the form of this review. So please take it with a grain of salt and know that it doesn't affect anyone who were apart of the making of this book.**

Next we have this historical romance:

The Pelican Bride (Gulf Coast Chronicles, #1) 

A feisty young Frenchwoman gets more than she bargained for when she flees to the New World as a mail-order bride.
This historical fiction story was an easy read and well put together by the author, Betty White. Once I read the book, I was able to do some research and found that the events that take place could be quite plausible. Which had me giving her to thumbs up for that point alone.

We are transported to a time when King Louie of France was colonizing the gulf coast's at Fort Louis in 1704. The main character, Frenchwoman Genevieve Gaillain and her sister; board the frigate Pelican with the promise to marry upon arrival
While the reality of the harsh conditions set in Genevieve looks for a way to maintain her independences while her younger sister is more interested in landing the most prominent man at the fort. The author did have a balanced plot line that portrays the situation that makes you feel the heat, the mud and the tensions build around you in the land of liberty, there is jealousy, intrigue, and betrayal to make things all the more interesting to the pull the reader in the story.

I would give this 4.5 stars out of 5. I did recommend this book to the local library. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and has be looking for more from this author.

** I received this ARC book through Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion rather it be good, bad or indifferent. So as always understand that this is my opinion and doesn't reflect on anyone associated with the printing of this book.**

To wrap up this weeks selections, we have: 

In Everyday Psychokillers violence is the subject of everyday life: a disturbing extravaganza in which all those around the narrator seem to become participants, willingly or not. And at its center are the interchangeable young girls, mostly thrilled to know themselves the object of so much desire and terror.

This one left me a little scattered, just like the bouncing around the storyline did. It was a bit problematic for me. I really did want to like this book, as I do like a lot of true crimes stories. But it was too disjointed and it changed points of view on a dime with each chapter. I really wished that the author had taken the time to smooth out the characters and combined some of the chapters together. I believe that it would have benefited the book greatly. I am going to be generous in give this book two stars out of five. I don't think it would be one that I would recommend to anyone.

** I received this ARC book through Net Gallery in exchange for my honest opinion rather it be good, bad or indifferent. So as always understand that this is my opinion and doesn't reflect on anyone associated with the printing of this book.**


Well folks that is what I have to offer up for this week.  I hope you will enjoy one or all them.  If you read any of them I would love to hear what you thought of them.  If there is a book that would like me to review be sure to post a comment below. 


Monday, October 13, 2014

Traveling Stash Boxes - Let them Come To Life!!

First thing is I want to say "Thank You" to Katie @ for this box of fabrics that she donated to start a new box in the new line up.  You might remember that Katie was the TSB Mod. before handing over the baton to me.  

I have taking your comments and replied to them.  I want to say thank you for your suggestions.  I would love to add them to the making of boxes as we start to get them rolling again.  If you wish to put a box together to send out in the quilting world, you find some of the ideas that was suggested here.  If you have an idea of one to start please feel free to suggest it in the comments below.  I am looking for volunteers to start a box or two and send them on their merrily way.  I will post the rules and other information that needs to be printed out & placed in to each box at the end of this posting. 

I have been in the process of tracking the boxes to their last stop where they took their vacations.  What I have is the following destination stops list below. I know there was a couple boxes that I was discussing with their last keeper.  I just listing the last places they landed and hope that they are still at that place.  If You have one of the boxes please let me know.

Box #1 was lost to us.  We would love it if some one would create a box to replace this one.

Box #2 was last seen at Lisa's place -

Box #3 was visiting Cathy at

Box #4 Jeifer of Secondhanddinosuar drew her winner on July 10.  Her winner was Suzette of .  I'm hoping that it arrived safe & sound.  Her last posting was June 22nd.

Box #5 went to visit Elli @ 

Box #6 was to make a stop at

Hopefully I heard from our little boxes soon.  Now if you want to thin out your massive stashes leaving yourself a great reason to go shopping for "Stash Replenishment".  Here's what you do:

You can pick a theme (but not necessary) if you like. Go to the Post Office and ask them for a medium size or two, fill then up with all those goodies. Take pictures of the treasures inside, make a copy of the rules below to enclose with each box(es).  Then contact me and I'll give the new box a name and number.  Then you Blog about it!! You draw a name and it's off to the next person.  Easy Pleasey!! You can even cut & paste the information below to save yourself the time to re-write all the necessary rules.

So here are the TBS Rules:
1.Be an ACTIVE blogger. Post about receiving and the when the give away is on your blog in a timely manner. Please be sure to add pictures of the contents, what you take & what you put into the box.
2.Please contact the Moderator --Tricia @ quercus0828 {at} yahoo {dot} com when you receive the box with box #.
3.There is a note in the box that logs where the box has been.  Please add your info and place the note back in the box.
4.This is a list of Rules and Guidelines in the box.  Please read and follow these and return the list back to the box.
5.You may take anything you like from the box, just replace every item with comparable quilt shop quality items equal to the amount taken.  See the Guidelines below.
6.Ship the box to the next person in a reasonable amount of time.
7.Contact the Mod. With a tracking number when you ship. 
8.Due to amount of the cost of Priority shipping, (med. box is $12.35) in only with the USA.  Sorry for that our International Friends.

The definition of a stash is a semi-secret store of quilty valuables that makes its way around the country from one quilter to another.  It is a fun way to for quilter’s to freshen their stash with the contents and to past something on in a Pay-It-Forward fashion. What it is -- is a collection of usable quality products that might be the thing that the quilter needs to finish that UFO or current project for the cost of a Medium Priority Flat Rate box that runs about $12.35 at this time.  The stash box should contain 70% or more in fabrics with a few patterns, books and/or magazines.  Notions, homemade items, journals or other things that might interest quilter’s are okay to add.  But it’s those lovely fabrics that get us drooling over boxes as they move about. So let them be the highlight of the box.
1.Fabric: Should be quilt shop quality in new condition.  Scraps should only be included if they are cut for adding to a collection and packaged accordingly {i/e/ “I Spy squares, postage stamp squares, etc.} There should be not anything under a Fat Quarter unless packaged like this.
2.Patterns/Books/Magazines: Should be in new or gently used condition.  They should be kept to a minimum {books and bulky & add weight}. 
3.Other Items: Should be in new or gently used condition.  Tools, notions, etc. – these items should be packaged if necessary.

Important Things to Remember:
1.If you receive a box with anything that is in “poor” condition, you shouldn’t feel guilty in removing the item from the box, but Please do NOT announce it.  Let’s keep the boxes neat but be discreet. These boxes have been going around for several years now.  If you have any doubts, contact the Moderator.
2.Only put items in the box that you, yourself; would be happy to receive and to own.  The box is NOT a dumping ground for all your unwanted & out-dated items.
3.Items should be clean, smoke and pet hair free due to allergies.
4.Your must replace items that you take with the same quantity of like-kind items.  Replacing more than you take is always welcome.  ;)  There is a guide to Pre-Cut amounts below for your reference.
5. If you feel that the box is busting out at the seams, splitting it into 2 boxes is okay, please just let the Moderator know so she can give it a number and add it to the list.
Guidelines to Pre-Cut Fabric Amounts:
1.Jelly Rolls strips are 2.5”wide, so every 10 strips is 2/3 yards {plus an inch}. 30 strips is 2 yards plus 3 inches, 40 strips is 2.75 yards, and 50 strips is 3.5 yards.
2.Honey Buns strips are 1.5” wide, so 10 strips is just slightly less than 1/3 yard.  40 strips are 1-2/3 yards. 
3. Desert Roll strips are Ten (5’x45”) strips and just slightly over 1-1/3 yard.
4. Turnovers are Eighty (6”) triangles and equals to slightly over 1 yard.
5.Charm Squares are 5” squares.  Forty (5”) squares is equal to 2/3‘s of a yard.
6.Layer Cakes are the 10” squares.  Forty (10”) squares are equal to 2-3/4 yards.

Thank You for reading this and helping to make the Traveling Stash Boxes a pleasurable experience!!  If you still have any questions or comments or concerns, please - please contact me @ quercus0828 {at} yahoo {dot} com. Until next time…

Tricia - TSB Mod.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What’s Going On?

As I type this up, the title reminds me of that Marvin Gaye song of the same name. It is kind of stuck in my head and that's all right by me.  I like having some Motown floating about up there. I'm a child of the 70's, spent 90% of my life in Michigan, and that is what I grew up on.  Me and my sisters use to do our own "shows" signing to Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, and all those wonderful groups found by Barry Gordon and others.  But I have digressed.

Since my return from the land of no computer, I'm trying to get back on schedule again.  Hopefully I haven't lost too many readers since things went dark. Now that I have my little "office" space that I talked about a couple weeks ago, it's time to catch my routine again. 

So the question is "What's Going On? in my quilty world. I'm currently fixing a glaring fubar that I made while pinning my Merry Mayhem Mystery #136 or simply know as Anvil Blocks.  I pinned 2/3's of them backwards. UGH!!! But I'm up to having 5 rows put together now.  And that stack is slowly getting smaller from what you see in this photo.

The Pile of Anvils

Yup - that pile is about 4" high.   But it is making a great a "scrappy make - do" quilt as it is one I'm doing just for what I have on hand.  I'm thinking that there is this blanket that make a great batting/backing for it.  And I'm going to be tying it.  Sometimes going back to the simplest approach brings back the old nostalgic feeling.  Look for more on this quilt as it morphs to the final project before the end of the year.

Another project that I have cut out comes from "The Quilt Pattern Magazine" 2014 Virtual Retreat from this past weekend.  I pulled out some fabric that I have had a short while now.  When I got them, there was no set plan for them as we all have been there when it comes to buying fabric.  We start with that focus fabric, grab some that seem to fit for a yard or two and then we take them home. They sit and wait for the quilting sirens tell us where they belong.

The fabrics that replied to the Fall Siren's Call

Well this collection was waiting for this. This was waiting for the Siren's of Fall to bring them out of their hiding place.  The project is a delightful pattern from designer: Isobel Meekins over there at  I have to admit that this was the prefect pairing.  I have the 4-patches all pinned together as well as the strips. But I'm going to leave you in suspense for a while.  LOL.  So no other peeks for your viewing pleasure right now. 

I have managed to make this wonderful wall hanging in 30 repro's too.  This one comes from Ms. P over at Scrapatches, who loaned me her Schnibbles book.  This one is called "Bennington" and is based on a bow-tie type pattern.  This showed me an easier way to make them without that dreaded y- seam. It now resides in the "Tops Only" box waiting for the day will come to be finished.

Introducing My Bennington

But quilting isn't the only taking up my time these days.  I have developed an obsession with cross-stitching of late. I have been making progress on an UFO that was given to me.  It's this stocking on the cover.  The magazine it's self would be considered to be vintage with a date of July/Aug. of 1986.  And that may have been when it got started for all the previous owner could state, but one woman's hoarding can equal another one's latest obsession!!

UFO Stocking

The owner who gave it me likes to start a number of projects and sometimes they fall to the roadside or in this case, passed along.  I was able to locate most of the flosses in my sparse collection. The missing ones have finally been located and placed with the others.

I spent several nights, when my back prevented from bending over the floor hoop; stitching contently as my back was supported, enjoying the bliss of medicine and the calming effect that I found in making those little x's.  I was really pleased with how the  little teddy bear came together for me.  He is just so Fluffy & Cute sitting there in the chair.

Stitching Merrily Along

So that catches us up a little from those missing weeks of darkness.  I do what I can when I can and have finally come to realize no matter how much I want to do, my body has other ideas at time.  Winter is coming and it's time to settle in for a long spell of quietness. With that I'm signing off for now but I don't look forward to your comments.