Happy Wednesday, dear friends. Each week I join Kat as she hosts Unraveled Wednesday – a gathering of bloggers who share their reading and stitching each week. Please visit Kat and the others who are participating! This week I have three finished books and a stitching update.
The Searcher by Tana French
The Searcher pulled me in with the first sentence. Cal moved from Chicago into a fixer upper in rural Ireland. He was a detective in Chicago and tried to keep that a secret and leave it all behind, but somehow word got around and a persistent and desperate teenager asked for his help. Before he knew it, Cal was poking into dangerous corners of a gossipy small village that didn’t enjoy being investigated.
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I wasn’t planning to read this book, but was scrolling the Libby app for a historical fiction ebook that was available without a wait. Luckily, this was an amazing middle grade novel! I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. Ada was a young girl when WWII started and had never left her family’s apartment. She was born with a clubfoot and her mother never sought treatment for it. She and her brother, Jamie, were severely abused and neglected. When the war started, her mother planned to send Jamie to the country, but Ada was able to run away with him. They were placed in the care of Susan Smith, a woman who never wanted kids and was grieving her life partner. But life with Susan was incredibly cozy and so different than life with their mother. This book did a great job examining complex emotions – how these children could still want to be with their mother and “earn” her approval despite how they were treated by her.
The Witch Elm by Tana French
I started this book when it was first published in 2018 but found it slow and abandoned it. After enjoying The Searcher so much, I decided to give it a try on audio – and loved it! It took a very long time to get good, but things really picked up once the main character, Toby, arrived at his childhood haunt to help care for his ailing Uncle Hugo. The Ivy House is the kind of home I want: amazingly cozy, full of good food, and a gorgeous garden. I decided to embrace the fact that I disliked every single character other than Uncle Hugo – everyone else was just ghastly. And, hello? There’s a dead body in the hollow of the Witch Elm. Once all of these details fell into place, I was invested in the story.
Stitching This Week
I started a new quilt this week — probably shouldn’t have, given that I have so many others in different stages, but I really wanted to spend some time with my sewing machine. I’m working on a Scrappy Swoon (IG hashtag) and am delighted by it. This is the first time that I’ve used a jellyroll to sew a scrappy quilt – it’s so much easier! I started by separating the jellyroll into 9 groups of 4 and sewing those strips together. Then I simply cut those strips into 2.5″ strips – which gave me 144 smaller units. I’ve now rearranged those units and sewn them into pairs – and now I have 72 pressed pairs like you see in the picture on the right. I’ll just keep pairing up units until I have 9 big 64 patches. Sorry, that’s a lot of numbers but it’s mathematical magic.
I’ve also made progress on my Plump Farmer’s Wife cross stitch and the binding on my scrappy crossroads quilt, but nothing that’s picture worthy. I’ll try to share some more pictures next week!
Thanks for visiting! I can’t wait to see what all of you have been reading and stitching lately. I hope you all stay safe and warm this week!