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FWQ Blocks 1, 2 and 3

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So far, I have almost 30 blocks sewn for my Farmers Wife Quilt, but not all of those are getting used.

Block 1 - Attic Windows

Block 1 – Attic Windows

This is actually the second attempt at this block. When I first started the quilt, I just started with Block #1 and planned I would do all the blocks in order. Well… the first block is actually more difficult than I thought just by looking at it. The top left and bottom right points of the center square are really tricky. Generally, I like how this turned out, I just wish I had a little more contrast between the two lighter colors.

Block 2 - Autumn Tints

Block 2 – Autumn Tints

The autumn tints block is one of the easiest blocks in the entire quilt. No diagonal cutting or sewing, and only two different shapes to cut out and piece.

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Block 3 – Basket

So this is one of the more “country” blocks I was trying to avoid. The actual pattern looks like this. I thought if I left the basket handle out of the block it would help. BUT, when I put all the blocks together, I really don’t like how this block fits in with the others. It isn’t going to be a part of the final quilt.

So there you go! First three blocks of many, many to come.

January Winter Book Challenge Update

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Since I last checked in, I have read several books. I also have most of the remainder of the categories figured out.

5 points: Read a book by an author that you have never read before. DONE

The Coincidence of Kallie & Cayden – Jessica Sorensen

Coincidence1

Image via Goodreads

5 points: Read a book you have at home but haven’t gotten around to yet.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

10 points: Read a book written in the decade you were born. IN PROGRESS

The Color of Magic – Terry Pratchett

Color of Magic

Image via Goodreads

10 points: Read a book that takes place in the state/province where you were born.

This one I cannot figure out. All the books that take place in Illinois that sound entertaining, I have already read. I have a couple possibilities, but any suggestions would be great!

15 points: Read a book titled The _______‘s Daughter or The _______’s Wife. DONE

The Bonesetter’s Daughter – Amy Tan

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a book other than English DONE

The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

20 points: Read a book with a number in the title. DONE

The Twelve – Justin Cronin

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

20 points: Read a book set during Christmas or another winter holiday. DONE

My Kind of Christmas – Robyn Carr

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

20 points: Read a book written by an author who shares your initials.

Amy and Isabelle – Elizabeth Strout

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

25 points: Read a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist for fiction

Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

25 points: Re-read a book.

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

30 points: Read three books from three different genres (e.g. romance, historical fiction, horror, biography, etc.). IN PROGRESS

Historical fiction/Romance: Song for Sophia – Moriah Densley

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

Post-Apocalyptic: WOOL Books 1-5 – Hugh Howey

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

POINT TOTALS

Completed: 75 points

In Progress: 40 points

Not Complete: 85 points

Farming…

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In order to do some skill building and practice intricate piecing, I set out to tackle the Farmer’s Wife Quilt.

Farmer's Wife Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird

Farmer’s Wife Quilt by Laurie Aaron Hird

Laurie Aaron Hird wrote a book The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt: Letters from 1920s Farm
Wives and the 111 Blocks They Inspired.

Amazon’s book description:

In 1922, The Farmer’s Wife magazine posed this question to their readers: “If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?” The magazine at that time had 750,000 subscribers, and received over 7,000 letters. The best answers to this question are included in this book, along with the traditional quilt blocks they inspired.

There is a Yahoo group and a Flickr group dedicated to this quilt.

I really am not a fan of the country look, which may surprise you considering I quilt. There are a lot of blocks in this quilt that are very country. Particularly the basket blocks. BUT, so many blocks are just geometry and playing around with different shapes. I LOVE that aspect of quilting.

In hopes to keep my quilt from being too “country” I am using a modern color palette. Primarily, there will be jewel tones offset by whites and grays. Fabric choices tend to be difficult: the scales need to be small, so I am using a combination of small-scale prints and solids. In addition, I am not making all the blocks. All 111 blocks make a queen size quilt. I am just going to make all the blocks that I like and then figure out what size that makes. This is a far more lackadaisical approach than what I normally take. There is also NO timeline. Based on the intricacies of these blocks it would not take much to get burned out quickly. I tend to work on this between other projects that do have hard deadlines. Like Christmas gifts (that are never usually late anyway).

Following are some beautiful completed quilts.

This is probably my favorite. Susan used various traditional blocks in several sizes. The finished product is gorgeous!

2 books down

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I just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. And I am incredibly conflicted. First I should say that I struggled through the entire book, however I think the blame lays entirely at my door. I don’t think I am smart enough to enjoy the book. The book is basically written as a series of essays written by either Renee, a middle-aged concierge or Paloma, a twelve-year-old girl. I was interested in the events of the book, however a majority of the essays had nothing to do with the actual storyline. These were often far above my head (and/or interest level). I don’t like to admit it, but I never would have finished the  whole thing if it weren’t for the reading challenge. And I am glad I finished it; there were portions that I thoroughly enjoyed. I actually laughed out loud at one point… On the train… In front of a lot of people.

One of my major complaints is the length of the sentences. I know, this sounds ridiculous, but look at the following sentence!

When we westerners walk, our culture dictates that we must, through the continuity of a movement we envision as smooth and seamless, try to restore what we take to be the very essence of life: efficiency without obstacles, a fluid performance that , being free of interruption, will represent the vital élan thanks to which all will be realized.

I had to read the above sentence several times before fully comprehending what the author was trying to express. Anyone else?

Also, not a complaint, but just a heads up: there is a lot of philosophy (and phenomonology) talk. Of which I have little to no interest in.

In short, I personally did not really enjoy the book. But I think that was merely because it was not what I was looking for. The fact that I didn’t enjoy the book does not mean that it wasn’t well written or that someone else wouldn’t enjoy it. I am going to rate it two stars. But don’t let that deter you! If you like philosophy and boring essays, then this might be a perfect book for you.

With the completion of The Elegance of the Hedgehog – I earn 5 points.

 

 

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Book # -1

So if I read a book in November and didn’t realize that the Winter Book Challenge had started, it still counts right?!?! So, according to Amazon, I bought The Twelve on November 19, so definitely within the time frame. It is the second book in Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy. It is a post-apocalyptic series, that reminded me of the style of Stephen King’s The Stand. I am not going to write a detailed review, however, I really enjoyed the book. It was the type of book that I read as quickly as I could so that I could find out what happens next ASAP! I am pretty sure I missed a lot of the intricacies. No worries though! I will re-read the first two books before the third one comes out. In the attempt to determine when the third book will be released (no luck, so apparently a long time from now) I discovered that they are planning on making movies based on the trilogy. I am not sure any movie will be able to do the books justice.

I am going to count The Twelve under the category “Read a book with a number in the title” 20 points!

So my running total is 25 points! Progress is slow…

Winter Book Challenge

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I am planning on reading along with Megan from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life on her Winter Book Challenge.

Rules:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2012, to January 31, 2013. (I know this should technically be the Semi-Charmed Winter 2012-2013 Book Challenge, but that is just too long and doesn’t make as nice of ahashtag.) No books that are started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on January 31 will count.
  • No re-reads (unless specifically stated)! I want you to experience new books with this challenge.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks are fine, as long as the print versions meet the page requirements.
  • A book can only be used for one category. If you want to switch the category later, that’s fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will win a featured/guest post on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life. Good luck!

The Challenge:

5 points: Read a book written by an author you have never read before.
5: Read a book you already have at home but haven’t gotten around to yet (from the library, from a bookstore, borrowed from a friend, on your e-reader, whatever).
10: Read a book written in the decade that you were born.
10: Read a book that takes place in the state/province where you were born. If you were born outside the U.S. and Canada, read a book that takes place in the country you were born.
15: Read a book titled The _______’s Daughter or The _______’s Wife.
15:  Read a book that was originally written in a language other than English.
20: Read a book with a number in the title. This could be an actual digit or a number like “hundred” or “thousand.” No arbitrary numbers are allowed (e.g. several, few, many, couple).
20:  Read a book set during Christmas or another winter holiday.
20: Read a book written by an author who shares your initials.
25: Read a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist for fiction.
25:  Re-read a book.
30: Read three books from three different genres (e.g. romance, historical fiction, horror, biography, etc.). Remember, the books used for this category cannot count for any other category.

I often have a lot of trouble deciding what to read next, so I thought this would work out great for me. I am starting a month late, so chances are I will not finish by January 31. The first category I chose was to read a book that you haven’t gotten to, and the first book is…

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barber

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I bought the book several years ago after one of my friends recommended it. I got a couple pages in and completely gave up. So I decided to make a second attempt. And… I understand why I gave up the first time around. I am really struggling to get through it. I am about 110 pages in (of just over 300). The first 50 pages or so were really difficult to get through, and it is slowly getting more interesting, but at this point I would have no trouble putting the book down and walking away. Forever. It got 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads, so it must get better right? I read a couple reviews, and apparently there is a main character that has not yet been introduced. Hopefully once “Ozu” joins the story line  it will really start picking up.

Has anyone read The Elegance of the Hedgehog? What did you think?

Any book suggestions for the other categories?

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