Thursday, October 29, 2020

October 2020 Book List


Everything Inside

I was so excited to listen to these short stories. I knew that if Reese recommended it for her book club I would love it because I have thoroughly enjoyed all of her selections. While the stories a captivating and well told, there is a realism to the plight of Haitian immigrants in south Florida that is probably very honest, but harsh and heartbreaking and lacking hope or promise. I was so completely depressed when I finished these stories as they were so sad and so depressing. I kept waiting for the triumph of the spirit or the love of family and friends to come to the rescue but it didn't. I was ready to give up and I almost didn't start to the last story. I wish I hadn't because it bordered on horror (not my cup of tea!) So if you are interested in the subject matter, this is extremely well written and probably very honest, but beware that it will leave you feeling sad. 


Home Going

The characters in this story captured my heart completely. Their abduction from Africa and journey as slaves to America is pretty much what you would expect. It's excruciatingly brutal and heart breaking at every turn. The characters show strength and perseverance that defies limits. I gave up on this book because it is so devastating, but the story is so important. I'm so glad I met these characters and I really felt like I experienced their journey with them, which is what the best writers do! I simply cannot imagine how people survived these experiences and lived through such evil. 


Bright As Heaven

This was a wonderfully told story of a family that lived through the Spanish flu pandemic of the last century. It was poignant to read given we find ourselves in another deadly pandemic. I fell in love with each of the characters and found myself hoping for the best for each of them. I felt like I was part of the family that moved to the big city to start a new life only to find themselves faced with unbelievable tragedy and how they loved each other through the most challenging of times. Their goodness and hope in spite of the dire circumstances was touching and uplifting while still being very realistic. I highly recommend this book.

The Evening and the Morning

This is the prequel to my favorite book of all time The Pillars of the Earth. I love visiting the middle ages through the life of this family and their business and government interactions. The relationships are what you would expect but there are many surprises along the way as well. I find myself so involved with the characters that I'm offended for them at times and always empathetic to their circumstances. The brutality of the human race is nothing short of astonishing. Then again, so is the resilience and perseverance. I am savoring this book to make it last longer. I'm only reading a hundred or so pages a day, and at 900+ pages, that could take a while. All the better!



South of the Buttonwood Tree

I don't know how I found this book to be honest. But the cover art and the title were very appealing to me. Then when I read "magical realism" I was sold! It came home with a stack of books on my birthday when I treated myself to a shopping spree at the local bookstore. But didn't get read right away because I had too many books to choose from. (One of my favorite problems!)

I'm only a couple of chapters in and I can tell I'm going to love it!

Enjoy every chapter!

Diane



THE FINE PRINT: as always, this post contains affiliate links which earn me a small reward from each purchase made through them. I appreciate your support and enjoy a free book or two each month thanks to your help! 


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Autumn-Halloween-Thanksgiving



How do you decorate this time of year? I start with general autumn in mid September and usually morph into Halloween on October first then get rid of the goblins and go into Thanksgiving in November. But I’ve decided to simplify this year. No kids currently in the house means it’s really just up to me. 


So I plopped some small pumpkins on the mantle.  


And there’s a few hiding around the room as well. 


Can you spy a pumpkin in this picture in the dining room?


And a couple more in the kitchen...


A whole bowl of them on the table!


And of course the real ones outside. I was super excited to find a yellow one for the first time this year. Who knew? 


And there’s even one on my work table trying to find its way into a collage. I’m enjoying my pumpkins so much that I don’t even miss the Halloween stuff this year. And hasn’t this year been creepy enough already? 😂

Since blogger has made posting so challenging from my computer, I thought I would try it from my phone. No telling what’ll happen but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I would love to hear your favorite autumn decor tips are. 

Happy everything y’all!
Diane




Monday, October 12, 2020

Pumpkin Spice Everything!

 


Friday night I had a fun time at the market with my daughter. We went a bit nuts on all the pumpkin spice options! Have you tried pumpkin spice almond butter? YUM. We also bought our pumpkins for the porch. I should probably check to see if they've washed away in all the pouring rain we've had!


In honor of all things pumpkin spice, I've discounted these two patterns for the remainder of October. You can check them out HERE and HERE


And if you aren't up to making a whole quilt, here's a free little pincushion project for you! I would love to see any of your projects or works in progress on social media! Just tag me at #dianedknott or #butterflythreadsquilting and I'll share them on my story. Find my daily updates at https://www.instagram.com/dianedknott/

What's your favorite pumpkin spice treat?

Enjoy!

Diane

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Autumn Bucket List for Quilters

Plaid Paws Pattern found HERE.

 I've been inspired by several "Bucket List" suggestions online recently and thought I would share my own "Quilter's" version here. 

  1.  Make a pumpkin block.
  2.  Enjoy a campfire/fire pit with family.
  3. Treat yourself to a pumpkin spice anything.
  4. Use a leaf print fabric in a project.
  5. Go for a hike.
  6. Display autumn quilts.
  7. Snuggle up with a good quilting book.
  8. Make a pot of chili.
  9. Enjoy a bowl cozy.
  10. Stitch a pumpkin pin cushion.
  11. Get lost in a corn maze.
  12. Visit a quilt shop (wearing a cute mask!)
  13. Pop a bit of plaid into a project.
  14. Light an autumn scented candle.
  15. Whip up a candy corn tea towel.
  16. Pin some autumn ideas on Pinterest.
  17. Visit a pumpkin patch.
  18. Change your rotary blade.
  19. Drink apple cider.
  20. Wind some neutral bobbins for piecing.
  21. Go for a long walk and enjoy the changing leaves.
  22. Free motion quilt some leaves!
  23. Fill a glass jar with buttons or threads as part of an autumn display.
  24. Make a leaf garland.
  25. Bake some yummy pumpkin bread.

What would you add to your Autumn Bucket List?

Enjoy every stitch, sip and color of autumn!

Diane

Monday, October 5, 2020

Diamond Star Quilts Blog Hop

GIVEAWAY CLOSED


 I'm so happy to be included in the Blog Hop celebrating the release of Barbara's new book Diamond Star Quilts. One of the things I love best about discovering a  new quilting book is obviously the gorgeous photos, the inspiration for new projects and the fun techniques to be learned, but what really catches my attention are the surprises. I love the unexpected bits of information, tips or added tutorials about something totally unexpected. And I found just that in this book.

Faceted Winter Star, page 82

Most of her quilts use strip piecing (we all know how much I love that!) and fun cutting techniques to simplify the process. But what really caught my attention was the fun border around this star! It's not at all what you think it is. Instead of piecing a million bits, she has an awesome technique for fusing and applique that allows you to make one long strip, then attach it to the quilt top.

I can't wait to try this technique! I never would have thought of the method she uses, which seems super fun and simple. I want to add it to a long table runner border for some pizzazz. I also think it would make a great technique for adding trim to a tote bag. It is a method that could be used on an project of any size really and I can't wait to try it!

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this book (and trust me you do) please leave a comment letting me know how many star quilts you've made (or plan to make). If you haven't made a star quilt, this book is perfect for you! I'll choose a winner on Friday.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Go here to see more information about the blog hop.

Go here to see more information about the book.

Thanks for hopping along!

Diane

Saturday, October 3, 2020

September 2020 Instagram Review

 


Refilling the kitchen with my favorite things, coffee is life, autumn quilts
friend's cozy home, books to be read, launch of the BOM
sewing in the kitchen, Mexican food!, Sew Along Updates
zzzzzz, Boomer, end of summer blooms


Manicure & pedicure, sewing in the kitchen, butterflies
snuggle time, heavy heart, Mulitiplicity Quilt
I'm in Quiltmania!!!, Zoom teaching, birthday fun
feeling the love, my kids and Boomer, my fan club


desk organization, dog naps, Danny's room
sparkle pumpkin, RIP RBG, quilts in the kitchen
cutting station, a dream come true, good read
porch protector, breakfast on the porch, zoom teaching


new Alegria shoes, more autumn quilts, Tricia's sew along
customer quilt on the longarm, sew together bags, yummy
Autumn quilts everywhere, show and tell, my office assistant
quilting with the doors open, zoom teaching, sew along fun

September was a busy month full of sewing and celebrating and zoom teaching. My kids are all back at college but the dogs keep me company ALL the time! I am feeling very blessed by the love and friendship and sewing together time September offered. I hope it was a good month for you too!

Diane







Thursday, October 1, 2020

Mystery Block of the Month STEP 1

 


Step 1

Cutting

Cut 2 matching strips 1 1/2'' x 5''

Cut 2 matching strips 1 1/2'' x 7'' from the same fabric

Repeat for each block you are making:

  • Queen Size-cut 36
  • Throw Size-cut 20
Sewing

Sew the 1 1/2'' x 5'' strips to opposite sides of each 5'' square. (selected last month)
Press the seams toward the strip added.
Sew the 1 1/2'' x 7'' strips to the remaining two sides of each block.
Press the seams toward the strip added.
The finished unit should be 7'' x 7''.

Repeat for each block you are making.
Each square will be bordered by four strips of the same fabric. 
The strips can be lighter or darker than the center square.


See the Introduction post for more options and details.
Go HERE to print the instructions.
If you are sharing your progress on social media be sure to use the following hashtags so we can find you!

#butterflythreadsquilting
#mysteryblockofthemonth2020

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane


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