Monday, August 15, 2022

August 2022 Book Review

Oops! It's been 6 months since I've shared a reading list and I do apologize. I've been rather busy and haven't made as much time for reading as I normally do. I do have a few goodies to share and always, LOVE to hear about what you are reading in the comments!



Margaret Atwood never disappoints in my opinion. Her writing is as masterful as the stories she creates. I am so glad I found her through the college freshman reading assignment of The Handmaid's Tale. I've watched the series with fascination and had been looking forward to this follow up for quite some time. I finally read it on Kindle and flew through it! It was every bit as interesting and compelling and unpredictable as all of her books. If you liked the Handmaid's Tale, I would love to hear your opinion of this one. I truly enjoyed the characters, the conflict and the continued saga.



Kristen Harmel has quickly become a favorite author of mine in the historical fiction genre. She writes characters that feel really true to their time period and this one skips from current day to WWII and she masterfully captures the emotions and expectations of both generations. The story is one that is both fascinating from the war story to the love story as well as the intergenerational relations. I highly recommend this book and any other she has written.



I'll admit I had this in my Audible list for probably a year before I actually listened to it. I am glad I finally gave it a shot. It was a wonderful story of a therapist who goes into therapy and then discovers more about herself and her relationship to her patients and her therapist. It's interesting and not overly analytical as one might assume. It is about her life choices and her choices as a therapist that really reflect who she wants to be how she wants to help/serve her clients. I would highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in the dynamic of these relationships or just curious about therapy in general.


This is the origin story of my favorite bookshop in Paris and so I felt compelled to read it after having visited the shop Shakespeare & Co last year. It's a fascinating tale of the literary culture of Paris the early 1900's. It features many famous authors and performers of the time. The story feels true to itself and is well told, but as is often the case, reality is not as romantic as fiction. I loved the grit and determination and perseverance but if you are looking for the happy ending, it is not what you would expect. Obviously, the bookstore survives in another form still today, but this story proves that history once gone, cannot be remade.



Anne Tyler writes the most wonderful quirky characters and unexpected relationships in all of her novels, this one included. I had mixed feelings about this one though. The family featured in this book didn't seem to care for each other very much. Not that they were antagonistic as much as just apathetic. I did enjoy some of the relationships later in the book, that took place during the pandemic, but overall it wasn't my favorite of hers.



Isabel Allende was also an author I found in college and love to devour her gorgeous stories that are rich with detail, intrigue and passion. The family sagas almost always include some political drama as well (as does her real life) and I appreciate those connections. The perspective is always both intimate and encompassing. This is a story that has all the aspects you would expect from her, such a strong female family matriarch, lots of extended family members with their unique qualities, coming of age struggles, political strife, and love and loss and love refound. I would recommend all of her books!



I honestly only picked this one up on Audible because Stephanie Howell (most prolific reader and book reviewer on the internet! xo) recommended this one recently. It is as beautifully written as she described and the pages are filled with gorgeous quotes and observations of life and love and I honestly can't put it down. I do wish I had a paper copy and I would be highlighting the heck out of this one!



Full disclosure, I'm on my second attempt at this one. I tried to read it earlier this summer and it just stalled for me at about 100 pages in. It did leave me curious enough to pick it up again and I'm enjoying it this time around. It was probably just me. I love the strong characters that are intertwined with their spiritual selves and each other in surprising and unique ways. It is very magical and mystical, both things I enjoy, but it's also very realistic in some ways. It's just a fun convergence of real life and 'what the heck!' I would recommend it if you like that sort of surprise in a story.



This book was recommended by Cathe Holden on her Instagram video as she toured her creative library. I would highly recommend the video as well as the book. I do love all things Paris and collections and creations, and this book comprised all those loves. It is beautifully written and will be referenced many times, most especially before my next visit to Paris!
 


If you like to entertain and eat and visit with family and friends and eat or just chat and eat. This is a book for you! I love the gorgeous photos and the fun ideas and simple recipes in this book. Mostly I love the inspiration we get from it. This summer we have done lots of boards for both family and small gatherings here at home and this is perfect for when everyone is standing around in the kitchen with a drink and we all pitch in to make it pretty before we devour the yumminess! I highly recommend this and her previous book below...



This is the book that started us on our 'board' obsession! It's the reason I now collect beautiful cutting boards and wooden trays and cute bowls with an excuse! It a fun way to inspire not just eating but connecting! If you haven't tried this with your family or friends, you will be amazed!

Yes, I realize that this list is ALL OVER THE PLACE, but so has my summer! I've had a wonderful time just being with family and relaxing at home between house projects, work stuff and life. We have had our ups and downs but sharing the laughs and tears with those who offer the best hugs is really what makes life sweet, don't you agree?

XOXO 

Diane


The fine print: as always these reviews are linked with affiliate links which means I make a few cents off each purchase when you buy using them. Thank you so much for your support! Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Winging It

 

When I designed Daisy Talk I knew I wanted to create fabrics with fussy cut possibilities. I wanted fabrics that would be fun to use for patchwork but also fun to cut up and rearrange and collage or applique with. I had a blast doing just that making this butterfly quilt. 


 I wanted a patchwork background and that was easy. I laid out scraps and chunks and just started sewing them together. I also added some selvages and some smaller patchwork just for fun. 

I then sketched a butterfly on freezer paper and cut out the pieces along with the reverse pieces for the other wing. 


Freezer paper is great because it's cheap and sticks to the fabric when ironed on. And it is easily removed with no marks left behind.


The stitch fabrics were fun to fuse then cut into smaller segments.


The flowers were cut in groups and individual shapes as well as just parts of the flower for leaves or smaller bits. I also cut motifs and leaf shapes from the green fabrics as well.


I fused the fabric pieces to the stabilizer and then started filling in all the gaps between the pieces with the fussy cut bits from the large floral, the grey emoji and some of the green prints. I chose to leave some of the outside edges 'uncollaged' to create a crisp shape of the wings. 

Then all had to do was add lots and lots and lots of flowers and leaves and shapes to the background. I kind of imagined what it would look like if the flowers were blown in the wind. I might have gone slightly overboard but too much is never enough. Didn't someone once say that?


Speaking of too much, I created this layout in an app and think its fun a repeat of the design. I plan to make a smaller version of the butterfly because this one is HUGE. I also plan to create a pattern and a kit and offer it as a class if you are interested. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

I think it turned out really fun even if I was just "Winging It"

XOXO

Diane


Monday, July 18, 2022

Summer Fun


I've been putting the finishing touches on the pattern for this quilt and will finally have the templates for sale (that I've had made for over 2 years). The template is for 3 sizes of braids and the pattern includes 4 sizes of quilts, so there are lots of options!! Be on the lookout for it very soon!

We are also still recovering from an amazing July 4th weekend. This kids were all here with their partners and friends and the final cookout count came to 15! It is always so good to welcome their friends home and catch up with all of the fun things they have going on in their lives. Chris was the grill master with the most amazing ribs and chicken and salmon. I made too many sides and desserts but there wasn't much left after the adult kids were finished! I'm so thankful for family times and the love and joy and laughter shared around the table, playing card games, goofing off, watching movies and hiking Sawnee. I loved every minute of it!


Still beyond thankful that this man walked into my life 8 months ago and changed my ideas about so many things! He opened my heart to trust and joy and love in ways I had never expected or experienced. He brings 2 beautiful daughters and their partners and a precious grandbaby into my life for which I am immensely grateful. I cannot even count the ways that he makes my life better, but every month that passes makes me more aware of how lucky I am to be loved by him. 

I hope you are enjoying your summer and savoring the sweet moments shared with those you love most. 

XOXO

Diane

Monday, June 27, 2022

Teaching Schedule 2023

I'm so excited to be booking Quilt Programs and Quilt Workshops for my travel schedule in 2023. Please let me know if your group would like to add on to one of these dates to save travel expenses or if your quilt guild needs to book an event. I would love to come share all my new quilts and designs, new workshops or cater an event to your needs.

Find my programs here.

Find my workshops here. (scroll down just a bit)

Find my contract information here. (click the word CONTRACT to open)

2023 Calendar of Events:

Jan 19- Common Threads QG, Newnan GA (program)
Feb 8- Prickly Fingers Quilt Guild, Anderson, SC (1/2 day workshop and program)
Feb 22-25 QuiltCon Atlanta
Mar 21- Gwinnett QG, Snellville, GA (program)
April 26-29 Paducah, KY
June 26 Calico Cut Ups, Bella Vista AR (1/2 day workshop and program)
June 26-27 Belle Pointe Quilters, Ft. Smith AR (program and workshop)
Oct 17-18 Scrapbasket QG, Borwnsburg IN (program and workshop)

I also have some dates available for the remainder of this year and can book 2024 if needed.
If you know of a group or guild that is looking for awesome, entertaining education and inspiration, please send them this post! Or feel free to share this to your group's social media as well.

My heartfelt appreciation for all of your support! I'm looking forward to seeing you soon!

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Friday, June 17, 2022

Instagram Review May 2022


This month's instagram features lots of blocks from the sew along 
that was such a fun experience. Click HERE to see more.


Finished the Mosaic Story Sew Along!, binding, sew along block
the bathroom flooded and fell into the kitchen, sew along block, family fun!
sew along block, memories of sweet Buddy, sew along block
Rumi is growing so fast, sew along block, basement reno underway


sew along block, brunch at Revielle, sew along block
back porch sitting, sew along block, a quick climb up Sawnee with the kids
sew along block, Daisy Talk version of UTM, sew along block
crazy dogs, sew along block, Kelly and baby Koda


Sew along block, walking the lake trail, sew along block
flowers from my love, sew along block, Rumi and Barb bonding
sew along block, Barb's visit was amazing, sew along block
porch season is in full swing, sew along block, happy 6 months to us!

Sorry this post was a little late, but as you can see, it's been busy around here.

XOXO
Diane

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

10 Years Ago...

 


It's been 10 years since I started this blog! Oh my what an adventure it's been! I have gotten an updated logo to better reflect my current mood and style and as soon as I figure out how, I'll be updating the blog as well. In other words, I will be hiring someone since Blogger has changed so much that I no longer can figure it out on my own. And now they CHARGE me monthly to be confused!!!! 

I would so much rather be quilting! Speaking of quilting, thank you so much for your amazing support of my longarm business. It truly pays the bills around here and keeps this venture afloat for the meantime. My fingers are crossed that guilds will start hiring teachers again and I'll be on the road once more. I have three teaching trips planned for the next year but before Covid, I was teaching that many times a month! 

If you follow me on social media (I'm most frequently on Instagram) you've seen some sneak peeks but I'll be sharing some of the following here soon:

  • New sewing room
  • New longarm space
  • Projects and kits from my fabric line Daisy Talk
  • New teaching and workshop options
  • Travel adventures
  • Book reviews
  • Rebranding and updates
  • And always more giveaways
Thanks for being here! I truly love this little space we share here. 

Love and stitches,
Diane

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Travel Teaching



Are you anywhere between Georgia and New York? 

If so, would your quilt guild like a visit from me in October just prior to or following October 11-12, 2022? I'm planning a road trip to teach in Buffalo on those dates and would be happy to add your group with deeply discounted travel costs. We will be stopping along the way to visit family and friends, so we would love to add another teaching stop or two!

If you are looking for a great program for your guild I have several to choose from and a whole lot of workshops that guarantee a fun day with lots of tips and tricks and information to make your quilting experience more accurate and exciting!

Click HERE for all the details!

Please comment or contact me if you have any questions,

Diane

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Fun with Barb!

If you don't follow Fun with Barb you need to! I was lucky enough to invite her to teach at my guild here in Georgia and I had the honor of hosting her in my home. Barb really is fun! 

She shared her wonderful trunk show and gorgeous quilts. I am so inspired by her workmanship and skill and her can-do attitude. She very openly admits that she learns by trying and doing things wrong the first time. What a great attitude!



She taught her workshop on 'liberated houses' that was inspired by Gwen Marston. It was lovely to spend time listening to her thoughts on the process, so many tips and tricks, and then watch her choose fabrics and build a house.We had a wonderful time building our own houses and I know I will be building many more in the future!

Thanks for being such a delightful house guest, and don't feel bad, but Rumi continues to check the guest room every day to see if you are there! He misses you!

If you are in a guild, please send this post to the program chair and make sure Barb gets an invitation to your guild, you will have so much FUN WITH BARB!

Diane

Monday, May 2, 2022

April 2022 Instagram Review

 April was all about the MosaicStorySAL with @duringquiettime on Instagram and my friends and I are having so much fun collecting and swapping sewing themed fabrics! There was also the usual dog antics and food photos along with some pretty spring blooms!


And there was the Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild challenge and fun sew day with Marcy who made a cute hat out of Daisy Talk!


There was a fun visit to the flea market and DaVinci donuts are always a treat!


Softball season and visit to see Mimi as well as a trip to TN and the Lost Sea! It was a great month filled with adventures and lots of time with family and friends. Perfect in my opinion!

XOXO

Diane

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Longarm Quilting Update...


As most of you are aware, the prices of thread and batting have recently risen. The good news is that I was able to stock up on my inventory of both before prices increased. I will continue to offer the same pricing as long as my supplies last. (Probably through the summer.) But once I must purchase batting and thread at the new higher prices, I will calculate what I need to cover those costs and will adjust my pricing accordingly. I promise to keep prices minimal so that my increases cover cost of supplies only.

Postage for those of you who ship to me already reflects the increased costs of USPS priority mail.

I am so thankful to each of you who trust me to quilt for you and I truly enjoy spending time with your beautiful quilts. I want you to be happy with the results and feel as though you are getting a good value for the service provided. Please know that I am more than happy to collect quilts at my home, meet you locally (Thread Bear Fabrics) or ship quilts. 

Click HERE for the information and quilting form. I continue to offer 2 week or less turn around on all orders. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below or email me. I look forward to quilting for you very soon!

Diane

Friday, April 8, 2022

Savannah 2022

 

Chris and I have been making travel plans almost since the day we met back in November 2021. We both love to go on adventures and we discovered that we really enjoy long road trips during our first two trips together for my teaching. He insists on driving and his truck is great for hauling fabric and books and quilts! He also makes quite the wonderful salesman and has picked up on the quilting 'lingo' really well. He has even offered to write some guest posts here on the blog if anyone would like to hear his perspective on this crazy quilting life! He really is an amazing support and willing to help with almost anything. And me makes me laugh every single day, gosh knows that's important!

We stayed at the Olde Harbour Inn on River Street in Savannah. We had perfect weather and wonderful meals along with lots of sightseeing and history exploring. Our favorite restaurants included: The Shrimp Factory, Vic's on the River, The Pirate House and Pier 16 on Tybee Island


Wormsloe Plantation was an amazing place to walk the trails and see the ruins of the original home. The location is stunning and history is fascinating. I would highly recommend a visit to this gorgeous place. It was here that Chris got the brilliant idea to buy a t-shirt at our favorite places to make a memory quilt from our travels! I had never thought of buying t-shirts for the purpose of cutting them up just for a quilt (with no intention of ever wearing them) but it's brilliant! I don't really wear t-shirts but I love making quilts from them. We came home with 5 shirts to start and I'm so excited.


We did the walking tour of Bonaventure Cemetery and loved the 2.5 hours of history that we learned along the way. If you are a history nut (like us) contact Bonaventure Don. If you just want the fun stories or ghost tales, there are plenty of golf cart tours available as well.


Ft. Pulaski is a wonderfully preserved original fort built to protect the river from the Spanish in Florida and as a buffer for Charleston. The engineering and architecture is fascinating and the stories of life there were truly inspiring. We had a wonderful time not only exploring the fort but the walking trails around it along the river.


We also drove out to Tybee Island and visited the lighthouse. We climbed all 178 steps and enjoyed the view from the top. It was super windy and I loved walking the outside walkway at the top but Chris chose to stay inside. The lightkeepers home was also open to explore and we picked up a t-shirt here for our quilt as well.

We then drove around the island and walked out on the pier but it was super windy with misting rain at some points so no great photos.


The haunted walking tour was a beautiful way to enjoy the city at night. It was not very scary but it was super interesting and fun to learn where the stories originated how much truth there may or may not be in them. I especially liked seeing the squares lit at night. On another night we did a haunted pub crawl that was also fun. Since Savannah is the most haunted city in the world supposedly, there was no shortage of stories and no lack of imagination!


We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset river cruise one night and sipped drinks and even did a little dancing on the top deck. I'm pretty sure I could not have had a better time or a better travel companion for the week of exploring and experiencing such an amazing place. 

And yes, we are already planning our next two trips. Stay tuned...

Happy travels,
Diane

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

March 2022 Instagram Review

 


Celebrating Chris's Birthday, his daughter's wedding, and wedding joy!
Noah's baseball game, a finished customer quilt, and a family dinner
goofy Rumi, walking in DeSoto Nat. Monument, Sarasota
Dinner on the gulf, another teaching trip to FL, lunch with friends


Savannah breakfast in bed, Riverboat cruise, our hotel
Tybee Island lighthouse, Ft. Pulaski, cocktails at Vic's
walking Savannah with Chris, Wormsloe, haunted tour
so much Spanish moss, new fabric closet set up!

March was a busy month filled with lots of good things! We started the month with another teaching trip to Florida and Chris perfected his charming quilt sherpa skills. He's quite the salesman and an excellent travel companion. 
At home again we enjoyed some family dinners with the kids (and cried a little bit when Danny and Grey moved back to Virginia...but knowing they are happy and doing well is all that matters!) 
Noah started men's softball season and we love watching the games! 
And there were quite a few customer quilts to finish and the final touches have been put on the new quilt room. More info on that to come soon! Anyone interested in a new sewing room video tour?
Rumi has grown by leaps and bounds and still loves to amuse us with his crazy puppy antics.
Chris's beautiful daughter Stephanie got married in a beautiful spot in Tennessee. We enjoyed meeting lots of new family and dinner and dancing and loving on baby Ivy (Chris's granddaughter.)

Then we took a vacation just for fun! No work or weddings, just Chris and I. I'll be sharing a whole post with tons of photos on that soon. 

I hope your month was filled with special moments as well.

XOXO
Diane





Monday, March 21, 2022

Sunflowers for Ukraine

Free pattern HERE

Eight years ago I shared an online sew along that was a mystery quilt. It turned out to be sunflowers or a flower block that could be changed to any color. Recently, as many folks are looking for blocks to make  related to the crisis in the Ukraine, I've been getting dozens of requests each day. So here is a link to the instructions. It is written in 2 size options and is presented as a mystery, so it's not your 'typical' pattern. 

I do hope you enjoy it and as always, I love to see photos of blocks and quilts in progress or finished. Tag me on social media #butterflythreadsquilting so I can be sure to find it!

Diane