Free audiobook

I’m a long-time listener of Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast. One of the commentators – David Plotz (Slate’s Editor)- recently published a book…Good Book. Well, Audible is a sponsor of the Gabfest, and they give new subscribers a free audiobook if you go to http://www.audiblepodcast.com/gabfest. Since I’m a long-time Audible subscriber, this never benefited me. But, the Gabfest must have gotten enough complaints about this, because David Plotz is giving his book away for one week.

So, until Friday, May 29, 2009, you can download Good Book from Audible for free. Here’s the link: http://www.audible.com/goodbook.

I’m halfway through it and have been totally entertained, all while feeling only slightly blasphemous. But I recommend it. And you can’t beat FREE. Here’s the NY Times review of Good Book. I’m normally NOT a fan of the author reading his/her own work for audiobooks, but this one is so far, so good.

big sewing weekend

My sweet husband let me sew all weekend. It was awesome. I made a whole quilt – start to finish. Well, I still have to hand-stitch the binding, but still. I used a pack of 12 fat quarters (fabric is Medetai by Hoodie for Blank Quilting), trimmed them down to 17.5″ square and sewed them together. Super simple and easy. And nice for showing off cool fabric. I think the finished size is about 60″ x 80″.

fat quarter quilt

fat quarter quilt

Then, from the scraps, I made a little purselette from a pattern I had from Fig Tree quilts. The finished product is much bigger than I expected, but it was a pretty easy pattern, and I love how it came out.

scrappy purslette

Surprise, Stephanie, these are for you. But I couldn’t wait to post the pictures. :)

One major drawback – I free-motion quilted the whole thing, and after one of the bobbin changes, the tension was off. I didn’t realize this until the NEXT bobbin change, so the back of the quilt was a huge mess. Even I, the sloppiest quilter ever, couldn’t leave those awful stitches, so I ripped them all out. SO much wasted thread. But no biggie. It looked much better after I redid the quilting. Here are some pictures.

awful

seam-ripped

eye candy

My mother’s day gift was a big fat gift certificate for Fat Quarter Shop. I got lots of booty, and found a little more on Etsy. Jealous?

mothersday-2

mothersday-1

mother's day treasure

mother's day treasure

Field Trip!

wedding wheel quilt by jen hoverson
wedding wheel quilt by jen hoverson

I love PurlSoho. I dream of taking a class there. I am a frequent reader of their blog, the purl bee, and often find inspiration there in the beautifully photographed and carefully described projects. So, I’m reading this blog post where Purl owner Jennifer Hoverson has taken her lovely hand-sewn wedding napkins and turned them into a wedding quilt. The whole thing is a fab idea…the backing fabric for the quilt is the personalized cake table cloth they had ordered from spoonflower.com. I LOVE these ideas.

Anyway, so I’m drinking in the pictures, and I see that the wedding (which was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings!) happened at Dana Point, which is not far from here. And I’m thinking, “why would a New York city fabric shop owner have a wedding in Southern California?” Well, turns out, the warehouse for Purl is in Costa Mesa…also not far from here. Warehouse. That’s not that exciting, right? WRONG! You can shop there!

After a little googling, I found out that you can shop there from Tue-Fri from 9-4. So, you can figure out what you want by looking around the website, and then go buy direct at the warehouse!!! I can’t tell you how exciting this is.

Now, if they’d just offer a west coast Heather Ross workshop every now and then, I’d be in heaven.

Free Embroidery BOM

Super cute and FREE Shabby Roses embroidery BOM project over at Jenny of ELEFANTZ…first three blocks are posted now (May ’09), and she’ll take them down as she adds new ones. Check it out. Thanks, Jenny!

entertainment overload

Awesome season finales: Fringe, Dollhouse, The Office

Okay finales: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, CSI Vegas, Survivor (Coach got robbed! ha ha ha, just kidding)

I haven’t seen NCIS, Mentalist, Unit, Lie to Me or Ghost Whisperer finales yet…so the jury is out. I did hear that CBS didn’t renew The Unit though, that’s a bummer. Although I always found the writing on that show kind of irritating – like they all took themselves too seriously, or the spoke in ways that normal people just don’t speak. Especially Army families – who I’ve been around my whole life. Still, it was a show my husband would watch with me, and they usually had pretty cool missions. I’ll be sorry to see it go.

I’m excited about Glee – I loved the season premiere or preview or whatever that was. Did anyone else see Lauren from So You Think You Can Dance (season 3) in that show choir from the other school? A few episodes in to In Plain Sight;s second season and I’m loving it just as much as last year. And there are some good things starting up…So You Think You Can Dance tonight, The Closer starting next month. Good stuff.

I also caught up on the last three seasons of Smallville. Awesome! I just loved it. I can’t wait for season 9. *spoiler alert* Although, the lack of detail on Clark and Doomsday’s final battle was annoying. I mean, they disappear and then there’s a distant fiery explosion and then Clark is okay? Clearly, Doomsday must still be alive…somewhere. And when are Clark and Lois going to finally hook up??? That tension is worse than Scully and Mulder! But I just love their relationship. Also looking forward to Ollie and the Black Canary hooking up – at least, I hope so. They’ve got to get rid of that crazy Tess person.

That’s it for the TV rundown. Oh, is One Tree Hill ending? They sure tied that finale up with a pretty little bow. Happy ending for everyone but Dan – and no one expects one for him anyway…but it sure seemed like a series finale.

As for movies, I’ve been making the most of my Netflix membership. I even got to the theater for Mother’s Day to see Star Trek. Loved it. Saw Benjamin Button the other day – didn’t love it. I liked it. I think I just couldn’t escape into it enough to stop questioning how other people were able to accept the wierdness of him, and how “the man” didn’t step in to run a million tests on him. Maybe that’s my love of sci fi talking, but it sure seems like someone would want to know how to reverse aging if it was a possibility. I’m not a particularly logical person, so my inability to just accept the premise of that movie really bothered me. I did love that in the scene where Daisy is performing in New York, and Benjamin comes to see her, the song she’s dancing to is “I Have Dreamed” from The King and I – one of my all time favorite songs in the whole world.

I just finished reading The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini – the latest of the Elm Creek Quilters books. I have to say, it’s one of the best ones in a while. I was glued to it. I just had to see what would happen to Joanna. Highly recommended.

I think that’s it – we’ve got The Reader and Valkyrie on deck, with lots of good movies in the queue. Just got The First Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld from the library, and again, SYTYCD starts tonight! My cup overfloweth!

Finales

Anyone else sad to see the TV seasons ending? I’m going to have to start getting creative if I hope to find TV to fill the empty hours left by the lack of prime time. I especially enjoyed Fringe and Dollhouse this season…I hope hope hope they come back! I also loved watching the craziness of Coach on Survivor. What a kook. Very entertaining. I think we’ve still got some finales to go, right? Private Practice? Brothers and Sisters? We’ll see what they come up with. I’m happy that the cable networks offset their seasons…In Plain Sight is back, and I love it. Looking forward to The Closer next month. And of course, SYTYCD starts soon!!! Woo hoo!!!

I’ve been getting more comments from people who have downloaded my hex templates. (Thanks, Ida and Susan!) I hope they’re helpful! I love to hear that people found just what they were searching for at my little home on the web :) I need to add something new to the free download page, don’t I? Maybe an embroidery pattern…I’ll work on it.

I got a little sewing done last weekend. I finished up my contribution of pinwheels that will make the border around our little dresses quilt. I forgot to take a picture of my second little dress, my friend Pauline posted this photo on facebook, and I “borrowed” it. Thanks, Pauline! My blocks are the plaid dress (2nd row, 3rd dress) and the lavender dress (3rd row, 4th dress).

little dresses!

And here are my pinwheels…everyone is making six using scraps from our dresses.

pinwheels-3

I won’t lie…I did not find making pinwheels very fun. My centers are really bumpy…Lynn, our fab group member and long-armer will probably be cursing me when she goes to quilt these.

I also finished up my first draft of the flier for our quilt show. I drew the little applique flowers in Illustrator…my first attempt at creating new images, rather than using stock images. I am happy with the outcome. BUT, I haven’t gotten any feedback yet, so it might not fly. Last year’s flier was a lot more elaborate, but I never liked it. I thought it was way to busy. We’ll see if this one makes the grade…

Old Town Temecula Outdoor Quilt Show

In other news, William got a light saber…that was fun for five minutes. And we redid the train table yesterday…almost two hours of assembling and reassembling what must be yards of track pieces and buildings. But he’s playing quietly in there now, so it was well worth all the trouble. Have a great week, everyone!

lightsaber-43

Sew little time

I finished a baby quilt and a few of those little everything cloths, made with a cloth diaper and cute fabric. I’m going to mail of the package tomorrow.

Now I’ve just got to finish my little applique dresses for our sewing group’s quilt.


In the middle of doing my first real attempt at free-motion on the baby quilt, my Singer Confidence machine grownd to a halt. I took it right into my guy (after I tried to pry the casing off, with no luck) and he fixed it up. But when I picked it up, he said, “how long has the computer screen been out?” I was like, “what?!” That dumb screen is totally necessary…you need it to know what stitch you’re using, length, width…if you want to sew letters, you have to program them in on the screen. Ugh. Not cool. So my machine is basically worthless unless I want to sew an auto-width and length straight stitch.

Then, he says, “well, I have another Singer…it’s missing the power cord and pedal, and the bobbin plate – but it works fine…you can just have it.”

Wait, what?

Here I was, all distraught over no more sewing machine, and he hands me a perfectly good one for nothing. He wouldn’t take any money – he said he wouldn’t be able to sell it anyway.

So, happy ending! I finished up the baby quilt on the new machine, and it’s great. Here’s a photo.

Oh! And I got a bunch of awesome new books!