26 Books for 2015

So this popped up in my IG feed (originating from Bringing Up Burns) the other day and it was perfect! The lists on Audible, Good Reads, and Wunderlist are growing, and that’s before we talk about the piles around the house. So I finished work early today, and the kids are (mostly) playing nicely, so I’ve made a list of all the books I want to read for this challenge. I’m not honestly saying that I won’t change my mind at any time this year, but at the moment, this is the plan:

(The links in this list are affiliate links to Book Depository. I find their prices great and they have reliable overseas delivery times. I would earn a small commission if you bought a book after clicking through from this blog. Thanks for considering using these links.)

1. A book you own but haven’t read
Once in a House on Fire – Andrea Ashworth

2: A book that was made into a movie
The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

3: A book you pick solely because of the cover
The Secret River – Kate Grenville

4: A book your friend loves
<Leaving this one free as I’m bound to spot something in my feed through the year!>

5. A book published this year
The Children Act – Ian McEwan (published a few months ago, but might add another later in 2015)

6. A book by an author you’ve never read before
The Extraordinary Life of Frank Derrick – J.B. Morrison

7. A book by an author you love
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

8. A book at the bottom of your “to be read” pile
Kinda ironic, but Life in Half a Second – Matthew Michalewicz

9. A book with a colour in the title
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

10. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert

11. A book you started but never finished
Daily Rituals – Mason Currey

12. A book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – Hilary Mantel

13. A book with a female heroine
Emma – Jane Austen

14. A book set in the summer
Instructions for a Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell

15. A book of poems
Ted Hughes – Collected Poems

16. A book you learned about in this challenge
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

17. A book that will make you smarter
Craft a Creative Business – Fiona Pullen

18. A book with a blue cover
Past the Shallows – Favel Parrett

19. A book you were supposed to read at school
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

20. A book “everyone” but you has read
Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

21. A book with a great first line
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

22. A book with pictures
How to Catch a Frog – Heather Ross

23. A book from the library
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

24. A book you loved… read it again
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

25. A book that is more than 10 years old
Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford

26. A book based on a true story
HHhH – Laurent Binet

Well, that should keep me busy. 🙂

Goals for Q4 2014

Well, only managed to finish three of my seven aims in quarter 3, but I still have high hopes to get a lot done by the end of the year. Just need to not start anything new!

Rainbow squares is still a WIP. I finished the top and have started quilting, but needs completing and binding.

Quilting Rainbow Squares

Quilting Rainbow Squares

Night Sky 1 (grungy print version) is a completed top that needs basting, quilting and binding in time for Christmas.

Night Sky version 1 - Quilt top complete

Night Sky version 1 – Quilt top complete

Night Sky 2 (original solids version) is still being pieced. Need to complete the top, baste, quilt and bind for Christmas.

Night Sky version 2: 3 colours down 3 to go

Night Sky 3 (white version) hasn’t been started, so need to complete this whole project by Christmas.

White Night Sky fabrics

White Night Sky fabrics

Instagram Swap Mini: again, haven’t started, but need to make and send a mini by the end of November. This is the plan:

IMG_3893.JPG

Little Quilts Mini: another I haven’t started, but this is the plan:

IMG_3892.JPG

Do Good Stitches charity quilt: this might need to be finished in January, but in an ideal world, the November blocks should be with me in time (and I can find time) to get this quilt off to the charity in time for Christmas. You never know…

Cross Block Tutorial - Ellison Lane

Rebel Quilt: I’m tagging this on the end as I know it’s unlikely that I’m going to be able to fit it all in, but I’m totally obsessed with this quilt and need to make it as soon as I can.

Rebel Quilt Planning

Rebel Quilt Planning

And I need to do 2 memory quilts this quarter too. OK, totally over-committed. Better stop talking about it and get on with it!

Virtual Quilting Bee Sampler

This is the longest-running project for me so far. I started making this as part of Amy’s QAL last year, and then when the top was completed, made the slightly ambitious decision to hand-quilt it. Living in Queensland, the thought of sitting under a quilt hand-quilting is really only possible in Winter, and so I have spent many evenings stitching away at this project. It has been really fun and lovely, but yes, totally over-ambitious and a learning curve. This quilt is far from perfect, but it taught me lots, it is finished and it is mine. And that’s exciting. 🙂

Finished VQB modern sampler

Finished VQB modern sampler

Hand Quilting

Hand Quilting

Hand quilting in progress

Hand quilting in progress

Minky-Backed New Wave Quilt

This quilt is my experiment with minky, and my kids love it! I’m not quite convinced about putting all of those man-made fibres next to beautiful cotton but I’m out-voted at our place (not for the first time!)

Aqua New Wave Quilt - finished

Aqua New Wave Quilt – finished

This quilt was made from the pattern by Elizabeth Hartman at the Oh Fransson blog. I love so many of her patterns, and this one was book-marked when I first started quilting. Nice to have an excuse to make a quilt for fun. 🙂 The fabrics are by Cinderberry Stitches from the Folk Tale range.

Minky backing

Minky backing

My daughter and I shared this quilt with the Brisbane MQG in September. It was so much fun to take her along and see her get so excited about making quilts! Here is a link to her in action: http://instagram.com/p/tNT46eGedY/

Science Fair Quilt

Loved making this quilt. It came together really easily and wonderfully. This was a gift for my husband for father’s day.

IMG_1096

Fussy hubby wanted bright colours not on white or grey background, so I even used my favourite basic – black sketch – as the background. That’s how much I love fussy hubby. 😉 The coloured fabrics are Mod Century from a Moda jelly roll.

A few in-progress shots:

Playing with layouts

Playing with layouts

Pieced Top

Pieced Top

Quilting

Quilting

Quilted

Quilted

Goals for Q3 2014

So here’s the shortlist. Things are getting too cray-cray as biggest DD would say. Heaps of BOMs, long-term projects and things on hold for a while, but I would love to finish these for the end of September:

VQB Lap Quilt: It was on the list last quarter, but I decided to hand-quilt, so it is taking longer to finish. Still, want this to be done for September.

IMG_3625

Rainbow squares quilt that I didn’t get finished in Q2. Current state:

IMG_3623

Science Fair Quilt: This is a pile of fabrics and a pattern at the moment. I’ve pulled apart the jelly roll but that’s it. It’s been on the list for a while but not been prioritised because it will be a Father’s Day gift. In the hope that it doesn’t end up months late like MIL’s mother’s day gift, it needs to be completed this quarter.

IMG_3626

Briar Rose Bricks: Really want to get some proper single-bed-sized quilts finished. The kids have ended up sleeping with their play quilts. These fabrics have been on my next-to-cutting table for a while and I just want to do something simple that will allow the fabrics to shine.

IMG_3628

Night Sky Rainbow Print on Black: Another single-bed size quilt that I would like to finish as a test before starting the commissioned-by-a-friend quilts for her kids Christmas presents.

IMG_3627

Baby Quilt x 2: for gifts. Will be using the New Wave pattern.

IMG_3624

Seven quilts in three months. I think that might be going a bit far, but it’s an aim and I’ve tried to keep the patterns simple where possible. At the end of the day, the baby quilts will be ok as Christmas presents if they don’t get done in time, and it’s ok for the kids to keep using their play quilts on their beds if needed, but the father’s day gift and the VQB need to be done!

A king-size finish: Tula’s modern sampler!

I started this project back in May 2013 with the Sew Sweetness sew-along and steadily made my way through all of the blocks, learning as I went. And then the blocks sat there for a long time.

The Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle was the nudge I needed to get this much-anticipated quilt finished. It was a daunting task for me as a newbie quilter to make sure that I had the colours just so, and (since I was very much a newbie when starting) sash all of those slightly differently-sized blocks making sure they were exactly in line.

So we went from this (including much swapping around and general fussing):

IMG_0739

To this:

image

 

To this:

IMG_0852

To this (at last) when the flimsy was finished (all. that. pinning.):

IMG_0912

 

The next big decision was quilting. This thing is huge. I thought it was 96″ square, but it actually turned out more like 102″ square(ish). I hadn’t really seen much long-armed work other than pictures on the web, but asked the lovely QuiltJane for some advice, and thanks to her, it became this:

IMG_3577

 

And a very long length of binding (eventually decided on black on white sketch, but was so tempted to use the raspberry architextures crosshatch instead) and a few evenings of hand stitching (I do love that bit) later, we have a finished quilt.

Tula Pink Sampler Finished Quilt

 

So pleased with it. Yey!