YearofHandmade

An eclectic mix of handmade gifts, sewing inspiration, reviews, books, needlework, crafts, homeschooling, baking, and recipes

Make Way May 24, 2010

Filed under: Books,May 2010,Quilting — The Threaded Nest @ 4:38 pm

I couldn’t help myself from smiling this morning thinking

Make way for the ducklings!

as I began to tackle some of the WIPs in my sewing room.

Isn’t it lovely how your mind wonders to HAPPY thoughts when you are in the thick of sewing?

Make Way for the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey is a book I read many MANY times to R. when she was younger.

It makes me think of warm summer nights (it is wicked hot here right now!) and new beginnings.

I am definitely ready to be finished with my current projects and to begin some new ones!

Nothing bothers me more in my sewing room than a stack of half finished projects.

My goal this week is to clear out my sewing room to “make way” for some FRESH new quilts

inspired by this AMAZING book The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket ;0)

I have to say that this book has taken the spot as my MOST favorite quilting book in my sewing library!

I’ve never taken much notice to the Kaffe Fassett or Martha Negley fabrics,

but after seeing the “vintagey” looking quilts in this book I am TOTALLY in love with them!

I’ve ordered some Kaffe Fassett and Martha Negley samples (just add .063 of a yard to your cart) from Alewives Fabrics

in an attempt to select a “color story” (she actually guides you how to do this)

to make a quilt similar to the Purple Rain one in the book.

REALLY, I can’t wait to get started on it!

Happy sewing,

Colette



 

Jane Austen Challenge Update May 11, 2010

Filed under: Books,Jane Austen Challenge — The Threaded Nest @ 8:18 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Back in February I signed up for the Jane Austen Challenge (original post here) at the fanatic level.

My original list with the books I read crossed out is as follows:

  1. (J.A) Pride and Prejudice
  2. (J.A) Mansfield Park
  3. (J.A) Emma
  4. (J.A) Northanger Abbey
  5. (J.A) Persuasion
  6. (J.A) Sense and Sensibility
  7. Re-write: Lady Vernon and her Daughter
  8. Contemporary:  My BFF
  9. Contemporary:  Jane Austen Ruined My Life
  10. Contemporary:  Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart
  11. Sequel:  The Other Mr. Darcy

BUT I’m a bit willy nilly and have since updated my list:

  1. Pride and Prejudice (even better the second time around!)
  2. Sandition (fantastic, but sadly unfinished)
  3. Emma (still need to read again)
  4. Sense and Sensibilty (still need to read again)
  5. The Other Mr. Darcy: Did you know Mr. Darcy had an American cous... by Monica Fairview The Other Mr. Darcy: Did you know Mr. Darcy had an American cousin? (probably the BEST JA sequel ever written!)
  6. The Darcy Cousins (Paperback) by Monica Fairview The Darcy Cousins (sequel to The Other MR. Darcy and just as SUPERB!)
  7. A Noteworthy Courtship (Paperback) by Laura Sanchez A Noteworthy Courtship (another of my most favorites!)
  8. Captain Wentworth's Persuasion: Jane Austen's Classic Retold Thr... by Regina Jeffers Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Classic Retold Through His Eyes (just finished this highly enjoyable Persuasion sequel)
  9. Austenland (Hardcover) by Shannon Hale Austenland (a unique premise and a fun read)
  10. Jane Austen Ruined My Life (Paperback) by Beth Pattillo Jane Austen Ruined My Life (I did not care for the ending)
  11. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Paperback) by Beth Pattillo Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Much better than her first book Jane Austen Ruined My Life)
  12. The Man Who Loved Jane Austen (Paperback) by Sally Smith O'Rourke The Man Who Loved Jane Austen (super cute)
  13. Me and Mr. Darcy (Paperback) by Alexandra Potter Me and Mr. Darcy (fun light read)
  14. The Last Man in the World: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (Paperb... by Abigail Reynolds The Last Man in the World: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (just OK)
  15. Jane Bites Back (Paperback) by Michael Thomas Ford Jane Bites Back (didn’t care for it at all)

So I guess other than rereading Emma and Sense and Sensibilty, I have surpassed my goal for the year ;0)

My next book TBR (and it is on its way!) is

The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice: A modern love story with ... by Abigail Reynolds The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice: A modern love story with a Jane Austen twist

As Jane Austen wrote in Pride and Prejudice

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!

Happy reading,

Colette

 

Lucky Day May 10, 2010

Filed under: Books,May 2010 — The Threaded Nest @ 8:08 am
Tags: , ,

I think I had the best Mama’s day EVER!

R. started nagging D. at 6:30am yesterday to “get up and make Mama breakfast in bed” (isn’t she thoughtful, he he).

I should have suspected something when D. asked how I make MY tea…it is a very involved process involving precise measurements of loose tea, honey, and milk and a TIMER, ha ha…needless to say he has never attempted to make it before!

“Close your eyes Mama” R.’s sweet little voice instructed me.

And wouldn’t you know it, along with my breakfast, my tea was served in this special Emma quote mug (have I mentioned how much of a Jane Austen fanatic I am???) that reads:
There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

Wink, wink, thanks Molly for pointing D. in the PERFECT present direction on Etsy!

And AS IF that special morning wasn’t enough…I won a giveaway over at Fat Quarterly…no foolin’!

I am soon to be the proud owner of a copy of”Whip Up Mini Quilts” by Kathreen Ricketson!

Thank you Fat Quarterly =0)

If you haven’t checked out Fat Quarterly’s FANTASTIC premier issue make sure you do (here).

Wishing you all a lucky day too!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Fairy Tale Fridays! February 26, 2010

Princess complete!, originally uploaded by sew’nquilt.

Fridays around here are also known as homeschooling “Fairy Tale Fridays”. While perusing the classics section at our favorite local bookstore, I came across the Calla Editions of “Stories from Hans Christian Andersen” with illustrations by Edmund Dulac (here) and “East of the Sun and West of the Moon Old Tales from the North” illustrated by Kay Neilsen (here) and just had to own them!

I can’t describe in words how enchanting they are to pick up and read with R…we really do get lost in fairy tale land.

The illustrations are so beautiful that I would love to buy another set and frame some of them up in her reading nook.

I also came across these beautiful embroidery patterns (The Princess and the Pea pictured above) over at the Follow the White Bunny blog (here) and instantly fell in love!  Nicole Vos van Avezathe designs are available here in her Etsy shop Kloin (although it is closed until next week) or on Magpie Patterns here. As soon as I finish my Mother’s cross stitch I am going to start on this to go with R.’s Far Far Away Charm School quilt from Alewives Fabrics (here)…I am thinking it would make a beautiful pillow if I do some patchwork around it.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Happy sewing,
Colette

 

Join the 2010 Jane Austen Challenge (Quest) February 14, 2010

What more appropriate way to celebrate being a hopeless romantic on Valentine’s Day than by joining a Jane Austen reading challenge (I am sorry, but I can’t in good conscience call this a challenge…how about a quest?)!  You can join me on this year’s reading quest over at The Life (and lies) of an Inanimate Flying Object blog.  If you need help selecting some books (her reviews rock!) or for more of everything JA visit Laurel Ann over at Austenprose (and see what she’ll be reading this year).

Here is my reading list…and of course I’m going for the Fanatic level:

  1. (J.A) Pride and Prejudice
  2. (J.A) Mansfield Park
  3. (J.A) Emma
  4. (J.A) Northanger Abbey
  5. (J.A) Persuasion
  6. (J.A) Sense and Sensibility
  7. Re-write: Lady Vernon and her Daughter
  8. Contemporary:  My BFF
  9. Contemporary:  Jane Austen Ruined My Life
  10. Contemporary:  Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart
  11. Sequel:  The Other Mr. Darcy

Also, for you Jane Austen fanatics, have you seen the Penguin Classics cloth-bound (with lovely satin bookmarks) editions of Pride and Prejudice, (pictured above) Sense and Sensibility, and available for pre-order to ship in March, Emma???  The P&P, S&S, and Emma covers have been illustrated by well known artist Coralie Bickford-Smith (check out this great interview with her at Design*Sponge).  P&P is out-of-stock on Amazon (I ordered it last week and it said it would ship when it was available) and to my good fortune my copy is scheduled to arrive next week (what more could I ask for on Valentine’s Day???)  Doing the happy dance!

I have been searching for years for just the right hardcover editions to add to my personal library (I read all of JA’s books by lending them out from the local library, with the exception of Lady Susan which I purchased at my local bookstore last summer to take on a trip) and I feel I have finally found them.  I know R. will also enjoy these when she is a bit older.

Definitely worth the mention…I also have my eye on Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre (both library loans too so I don’t own them) and who am I kidding??? I basically want all of the Coralie Bickford-Smith edition books, ha ha.  Penguin Classics rocks (I know I’ve already used that word, sorry but I love it) and is bringing out more novels with cover-designs by Coralie Bickford-Smith as well…crossing my fingers and toes that they will publish all of JA’s novels this way too!

You can never have too many good books or luscious fabrics!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Colette

 

Books Books Books February 8, 2010

Ok I admit it, I am totally obsessed with books…always have and always will!  There’s just something magical about picking up a good book and being transported to a far away land or time (I am a Jane Austen freak!) and I can’t see myself ever jumping on the digital book bandwagon (aka Kindle) it just feels so…sterile?  There is something special about the weight of a book in your hand, turning the crisp (or not so crisp in the case of a favorite book) pages, and that distinct smell of papery goodness.  Sometimes I love just turning the pages and looking at the illustrations or photography.  I definitely do not get the same sensation or pleasure from reading a digital book.

I really am trying to simplify my life and in particular my home, but it is a bit difficult because our biggest clutter culprits are books!  Books books books of every kind, big books, little books, story books, science books, art books, and my new growing collection…sewing books!  Rather than purge my home of our most beloved treasures, we really need to organize our collections.  This spring I plan on visiting quite a few tag-sales in hopes of purchasing a few good bookcases (I think we need one in every room!) and with a little TLC and a fresh coat of paint they will be better than new!

Here are a few of my favorite sewing books with my favorite recipe/memoir book thrown in just because (I find it so inspiring).  From top to bottom: Alabama Studio Style, Sew Liberated, Linen Wool Cotton, A Homemade Life (recipes), Weekend Sewing, and Alabama Stitch Book.  R. and I love to snuggle up together and peruse through sewing books and oodle over all of the things we would love to make and all of the lovely fabrics that we would like to use.

I typically try to preview the sewing books by lending it out from my local library (there have been several I have been very disappointed with and am glad that I didn’t buy them) but I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on Natalie Chanin’s new book “Alabama Studio Style”.  I absolutely loved her first book “Alabama Stitch Book” and love this second book just as much (she even included some yummy recipes!)  I can’t wait to make her tank dress and tank top this summer.

I previewed (from my Library) this Amy Butler “In Stitches” and decided that it looks fabulous with my other books and MUST be added to my collection very soon.  I also really want to add both Amanda Soule books “The Creative Family” and “Handmade Home”, Denyse Schmidt Quilts, and I Love Patchwork.

What are your favorite sewing books or on your wish list…I’d love to hear!

Happy reading,

Colette