Monday, July 30, 2012

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club - Wanda E. Brunstetter

Summary from GoodReads: Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot. But as their problems begin to bind them together like the scraps of fabric stitched together in a quilt, they learn to open up and lend a helping hand. Is this what God had in mind to heal hurting hearts and create beauty from fragments?

Emma Yoder began teaching quilting classes as a way to earn some extra money after her husband Ivan passed away.  She was very nervous before her first class, not knowing what to expect.  When she discovered the diverse group that sat in her sewing room, she did not know what would happen over the next six weeks.  As the class continues, Emma learns about each person's troubles and is determined to help the with their lives as well.

This was a very touching story about learning to get to know people before passing judgement on them.  I would have to say that my favorite characters in this book were Emma and Jan Sweet.  I loved Emma because she is so caring, patient and understanding.  Jan is the burly biker dude who is anything but rough and tough.  He is very caring and is just a big teddy bear.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I have every other book that I have read from Wanda E. Brunstetter.  As a quilter myself, I found it very interesting listening to men wanting and knowing how to quilt.  I'd never get my husband to make a quilt, but he does love requesting a new one for the house every year!  LOL!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jaden's Hosta Crocheted Items

I made these items for my friend's son, Jaden, in his favorite color, green.

Here's the water bottle cover:

Here's the washcloth:

I started these for him while I was camping last weekend and I told him they would be done before next weekend.
Patterns: Water Bottle Cover by Terry Heese
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn #W275736 - Hosta
Hook: US G (4.0 mm)

Patterns: A Simple Single Crochet Cloth by Theresa L. Jones
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn #W275736 - Hosta
Hook: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kyla's Hot Purple Crocheted Items

I made these items for my friend's daughter, Kyla, in her favorite color, purple.

Here's the water bottle cover:

Here's the washcloth:

I started these for her while I was camping last weekend and I told her they would be done before next weekend.

Patterns: Water Bottle Cover by Terry Heese
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Creme #01317 - Hot Purple
Hook: US G (4.0 mm)

Patterns: A Simple Single Crochet Cloth by Theresa L. Jones
Yarn: Lily's Sugar N' Creme #01317 - Hot Purple
Hook: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Abby Finds Her Calling - Naomi King

Summary from GoodReads: The Lambright family’s eldest daughter, Abby, runs her own sewing shop. There, she mends the town’s clothes and their torn relationships. But the town maidel has sworn off any suitors of her own because of her unrequited love for James Graber, who is about to marry her younger sister, Zanna…

On the wedding day, Zanna is nowhere to be found, breaking James’ heart. Zanna has brought shame to her family, but there’s more in store for them when they discover how far she has fallen. Long-buried secrets come to light, and they test the bonds of the Cedar Creek community. Abby is at the center of it all, trying to maintain everyone’s happiness. But will she ever find her own?
Zanna Lambright is about to get married.  She is the youngest Lambright child with a wild streak that no one thought could be tamed.  On her wedding day, she is no where to be found.  She left her fiance, James Graber, alone with tons of questions and suspicions.  Abby finds her sister the next day and helps her deal with the secrets and her punishment for them.  What will become of Zanna?  Will Abby be able to help Zanna find love?  Will Abby find love for herself?

I thought this books was really good!  It was a different type of story for an Amish fiction book.  I like how the community got involved in both a positive and negative way to the secrets revealed by Zanna.  It showed that the Amish are not perfect and can become taken by idle gossip and rumors.  Although the story mainly focused on Zanna, inthe end, the relevance of the title becomes evident.  I would love to read more of this series to see what becomes of Abby!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

Summary from GoodReads: Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it.

I loved this book!  I am a dog lover who has owned dog for over 15 years and I have no kids.  My dogs have been my children and are treated as such.  I loved Enzo's thoughts, actions, emotions and philosophy!  He made me laugh out loud!  The story of his family made me happy, sad, angry and frustrated all at the same time.  It makes me wonder what happens to a dog's soul when they are no longer with us.  I know that I will met Brandy, Rusty and Simba again during my lifetime.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hope Springs - Kim Cash Tate

Summary from Book Sneeze: In a small Southern community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go.

Hope Springs, North Carolina, is the epitome of small town life—a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where there’s not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season.

Janelle Evans hasn’t gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn’t long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened. And when Janelle proposes a Bible study a the local diner--and invites both African American and Caucasian women she has met--the group quickly forms a spiritual bond . . . and inadvertently adds to underlying tension in the community.

Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she’s longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she’s been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women’s conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father’s church in Hope Springs. Will small town living affect her big ministry dreams?

And Stephanie London has the ideal life—married to a doctor in St. Louis with absolutely nothing she has to do. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels strangely compelled to do the same. It’s a decision that will forever change her.

As these women come together, facing disappointments both public and private, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God's plan for them in Hope Springs—and for Hope Springs itself—is bigger than they ever imagined.

It's Christmas in Hope Springs, NC, and the Sanders clan is getting together, but just before Christmas, Pastor Jim Dillon, dies. The Sanders family and Pastor Dillon's family are next door neighboors, and all the children grew up next to each other. So while both families are dealing with the funeral plans and very supportive of each other, there is one uniqueness. The Dillons are white, and the Sanders are black. There are two churches in Hope Springs, the church that Pastor Dillon pastored, and the church that the Sanders go to, and they are the white church and the black church. While they are not segregated, it is what it always has been and traditions die hard.

The book focuses specifically on 3 women, Janelle, Becca, and Stephanie. For Janelle, this is her first visit back to Hope Springs after her husbands death a couple years earlier. Becca, is so focused on her own ministry, but her husband feels called back to Hope Springs, permanently. Stephanie finds herself at a crossroads, wondering what is coming next. Her husband is about leave for a mission trip, leaving her home alone for a month. But when Janelle volunteers to stay and help care for their grandmother, Stephanie agrees to help while her husband is away, a decision that will change the course of her life. As these women share their lives and struggles, they begin to find hope and healing with God and each other. After this season in their lives, Hope Springs will never be the same again!

I really enjoyed this book. The characters all were very real to me, and I could see much of the story playing out in real life. I received this book free from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hershey's Scrap Quilt

My hubby requested a quilt to lay on the back seat of his truck for when Hershey goes for a ride.  This way he can protect his seats from Hershey's nails.  Here it is:

This quilt is 26" x 71" which is about 3" longer and wider than the back seat.  I had these 9 patch squares already made up and put away in a box to someday make a scrap quilt.  All I had to do was sew then together, so it was not a time consuming as it looks.  I really like how this came out!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter - Katie Ganshert

Summary from GoodReads: A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park. An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?
Bethany Quinn had it all; an job as an architect, a steady boyfriend who is a lawyer and a new life in Chicago.  Then rather quickly, her life changes and so goes back to her hometown in Iowa, a place that she worked so hard to forget.  She promises herself that she would only stay until things are resolved when she realizes that she has nothing to go back to Chicago for.  What will Bethany chose to do?  Will she stay in Iowa?  Can she live in a town with so many bad memories and move forward?  Find out the answers to these questions by reading Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, click here to download the first chapter to read for yourself.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bath Puff for Hubby

Here's another bath puff:

My hubby liked mine so much that he asked me to make one for him.  I have found that if we both use shower gels with bath puffs since we found out that by using bar soap is causes more soap scum in the shower than if we used shower gel.  So I switched because I hate cleaning the bath tub!!!

BTW, I used one of these for the first time and they don't suds up at all!  That's too bad because they were fun to make!  :(

Pattern: Bath Puff by Pia Lindén
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn #W275736 Hosta
Hook: G (4.0 mm)