A Frigid Week

What a January so far! We’ve had two sub-zero mornings this week and it has been brisk. I’ve been surviving on warm drinks, settling in with homeschooling each morning, and dreaming about my garden this year. We’ve also been doing more cleaning out/rearranging the basement, which continues to confound me. We’ve only been in this house 8.5 years — where did everything come from? But the week has been full of progress that I can’t wait to share with you.

I’m delighted to share that Agnes is settling in perfectly. I still don’t know if “Agnes” is an appropriate name for the kitty, but I’m going for it either way. She’s been much more willing to come out of the basement and play in the house. And in the last few days, she’s even started jumping into bed with me at night! August has been exceedingly patient with the new kitten and only seems to get upset when she bothers him when he’s sleeping. I call that a win. I’m especially relieved that she’s safe inside given how cold it’s been and how much snow we’re predicted get next week.

STRINGS AND NEEDLES

I’ve sewn on the third row of my Bloom Quilt! I was practically giddy when I brought this upstairs to take a picture. I am in love with the flowers and the bright colors. It is so completely scrappy and that makes me very happy! I adore scrap quilts!

I wish I had my design wall up in the basement because I would have caught one little issue that keeps catching my eye (the repeat of the border print above the last block on the third row). I know I could still rip out the stitches and sew in a different strip, but I’m not sure I want to go through all of that trouble. And I just want to get my sewing space in order to avoid these types of things!!

I finished another quilt top that I don’t think I’ve even blogged about. This has been leader/ender quilt for the last few years and it finally got to the point where it made sense just to finish it. (Here’s a good explanation of Leaders and Enders quilts.) This is super scrappy 1.5″ strips pieced onto 5″ squares. There are 80 squares total that were pieced into pairs, then sets of four to create a diamond shape. Those sets of four were then paired together and then paired again to give me 5 rows. And once those 5 rows were sewn together, then ta-da! A lovely little lap quilt top. It’s now gone into the bin of death — I mean, the bin of to be quilted finished quilt tops. Oh dear. I don’t know how I’m ever going to actually finish anything.

I’m making some progress my cross stitching projects. The fill in on Winter Rose Manor is causing me some grief because I’m off in several places and am just trying to fudge it. Deep breaths. I love how the texture of the fabric changes when large pieces are filled in with stitches. Sometimes I just pet it! And I love that light pink house against the snow filled yard and that pair of cardinals. I cannot wait until I get to all of the roses!

Annie Bayliss is moving slowly but somewhat steadily. When I sit down to stitch in the evening, I pull out this project first, stitch until I finish one piece of thread, rethread the needle and get my next stitch set up, and then put it away. (I learned that method from Lori Holt. It’s how she makes progress on her red samplers by working on them just a little bit every day.) Annie Bayliss is deceptively difficult and includes a lot of over-one stitching, which has me moving along at a more snail-like pace. I think I need a smaller needle for those stitches. My only hope is that I’ll get this done before June, which is when Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebration will end. It would lovely to end that season with a framed “God Save The Queen.”

Last Sunday I got a small start on my Sunday Stitch, Consider the Lilies. No picture today because it’s truly just a handful of stitches in a sea of fabric. It requires a massive piece of linen that was difficult navigating around, but I know I’ll come up with tricks and get used to it no time. I’m working my way from the center of the design (the tree) down to the letters. Once I get there, I’ll get the letters stitched all the way across and then begin on the side borders. That will give me a good idea about how wide I need the fabric and then I’ll see if I can trim it down at all. Fingers crossed! I think I’ll give myself four Sundays of work before sharing anything here.

ON MY BOOKSHELF

I’m experimenting with different ways of sharing my reading here on the blog. I’ve been keeping track of all of my reading throughout the week and will simply share what I’ve been dipping into. Some entries will have a lot of thoughts, others just a check-in. Who knows if I’ll do this next week but it’s worth a shot right now!

I was excited when my hold finally came through for The Lincoln Highway. Amor Towles is a must read author for me and A Gentleman in Moscow is one of my all-time favorite books. This one feels more like his first publication, Rules of Civility, and seems to pay homage to Huck Finn, Of Mice and Men, and Ulysses. It’s engrossing and I’ve already copied down several passages in my book journal, which is no easy feat because I’m listening on audio. I think Amor Towles has the snappiest dialogue in town; it’s just fun! I have less than an hour of listening time left so I think I’ll find a few extra chores this evening and see how Towles ties up all of the threads. My husband is not a reader and I rarely buy him books, but this one is going on his birthday list from me. I think this book will suit the tastes of many types of readers.

Love Medicine is the first book in the Erdrich-Along hosted by Mary. I am captivated by the family in this novel and can’t wait to really dig into the story. So far I’m struck by how Erdrich has captured the tension in this family. I’m only about 40 pages into it because I’m reading it very slowly and with my reading journal at my side. I’m also considering tackling a family tree because this is a complicated group of people!

Amy at Hearth Ridge Reflections recommended Bandersnatch to me a while back ago and I’m finally getting started on it. It’s about CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien’s writing group – The Inklings. First of all, that name is enough to get me interested in the group, but knowing the work the authors produced adds to the lure. This book also includes how community makes a writer’s work grow stronger, which I find fascinating. I’m only a few pages into it and can’t wait to keep reading.

And I’m still working my way through Mary Oliver’s Devotions. I’m a little frustrated because many of these poems were included in other collections of hers that I’ve read, so I keep thinking that I’m rereading the same book over and again. And then I remind myself that rereading poetry is encouraged and I’m likely to find new nuggets if I stop the steady stream of complaints running through my head. Let’s see if I can follow my own advice!


And in slightly different book news, The Tournament of Books released the tourney bracket on Discord this week. I can’t find a link other than from Discord itself, so I’ll try to embed the pdf in this post, if you’re interested in printing it out and following along.

(The preview to the file didn’t show up on my end, but if you just click on the text (2022-tob-brackets), you’ll be able to preview the file before choosing to download, just in case you’re wary of what you’re actually downloading to your computer!!)

It is worth joining the Discord channel because they’re encouraging people to upload their completed brackets before the tournament starts and they’ll crown a winner on that platform. And there will be prizes!! I’ve never gotten caught up in the March basketball frenzy, but count me in for the book frenzy!


Okay – this post was much longer than I intended. I’m looking forward to this weekend; it’s going to another cold one and we’re expecting a massive amount of snow on Sunday night and into Monday morning. I’m here for it. There will also be a frigid football game on Saturday night between The Patriots and The Bills and I’m even excited about that. We’re planning to put Swedish Meatballs into the crockpot, cook up a giant pot of mashed potatoes, and drink lots of coffee. I cannot wait! I hope you are able to enjoy this weekend. Any plans? No matter what, please stay safe and cozy!

17 thoughts on “A Frigid Week

Add yours

  1. Love it when your posts arrive first thing in the morning! And I am so impressed with your week — awesome, steady accomplishments that have to feel super. Your quilts and stitching are just beautiful. And I always appreciate your book suggestions. But, wait — football, too?!? Enjoy your cozy weekend!

    Like

  2. Wonderful post Katie and I love all your projects, especially your bloom quilt. I have a small quilt I started, sewn by hand, and trying to decide how I want to finish it. Looks like Agnes has settled in nicely and has decided she’s got a good home. You’re making me want to start stitching. I have a couple of small projects I would like to start, and eventually hope too. Stay warm and have a wonderful day!

    Like

  3. Oh my so much loveliness going on. Good to hear the kitten has settled in. Love your quilts especially the flowers. Good advice on doing at least a thread a day on a big project. Even your book choices are great. Have a super weekend. Here in England it’s chilly but blue skies and sunshine. I am looking forward to seeing youngest son and Baby P for our covid postponed New Years lunch.

    Like

  4. I think your Bloom quilt is the perfect thing for these dark, frigid days of winter. We won’t be seeing any flowers in real life for a while yet, so seeing them in fabric is so encouraging!

    My edition of Love Medicine contains a family tree, and I kept flipping back to it and found it very helpful because it’s a very complicated family. I will be happy to snap a photo and email it to you if you’d like.

    We’re supposed to be getting the same snowstorm Sunday to Monday (5-9 inches, I’m hearing), and I’m glad that we’re all off on Monday and don’t have anywhere to go. Sounds like it’ll be a good day for something hearty and warm — a big pot of soup, meatloaf, etc.

    Like

  5. Your Boom quilt is absolutely beautiful! I love it! I’m so impressed you have time for counted cross stitch. I think they’re so lovely but I’ve never had the courage to start one. I’m afraid if I started counted cross stitch, I would go overboard selecting project for the future. I have enough fabric in my home, I don’t need to fill another room with cross stitching! The snow is going to miss us, it’s swinging south missing Indiana then going back north to dump on you guys. Your meal sounds delicious! Happy stitching or reading!

    Like

  6. What a wonderful post! Your Bloom Quilt is gorgeous!!! I love scrappy quilts and both that you shared today make my heart sing. I have two thoughts on the repeat fabric that you pointed out. My eye saw it right away and my first instinct would be to change it but then thought it could stay and just be a part of that quilts story 😊 we are under an extreme cold weather warning here as well. Enjoy your weekend!

    Like

  7. Your quilting and stitching… gah, so gorgeous Katie! What a stupendous week you had!

    (and I think there might be some football in my world too because those Steelers are in some game as well! Ha)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved everything about this post. Agnes and August are too cute! I made this “”aww!” Sound when I saw the picture and my husband said, “Kitties. That’s the kitty noise.” 😂

    Do you follow Care at Care’s Books and Pie blog? She’s a huge Tournament of Books fan and participant. Plus she makes the best looking pies.

    Love Medicine is on my Classics Club list. I’m glad you’re reading it. I don’t know when I’ll get to it. Still about halfway through Wives and Daughters! Have a great cozy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oooo….Bandersnatch sounds good! I’ve not heard of it. And I thought The Lincoln Highway was very good! A Gentleman in Moscow is still my favorite though. LOVE that book! I still need to read Rules of Civility which I hope to do this year some time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Okay. I’m going to hold myself to 3 replies here 🙂 #1 Bloom is gorgeous! I’m in love with your colors… #2 I have a hunch Agnes IS a girl, because August is having such a fine response to another kitty in his space. I suspect that he might not be so hospitable to a male (even a young one). Just a thought. #3 I LOVED Lincoln Hwy. Loved it. So much. My Dad, who’s not a big fiction reader, devoured it… I agree with the dialogue–the book flew by because of it, I think. (And it’s a book I didn’t to end! A fine conundrum.). Have a lovely weekend….stay cozy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What beauty you are creating, Katie! BOTH of our sewing machines need repair right as we started some projects 🙄😬, but you have me excited! Thanks for the shout out, you are so sweet, I hope you enjoy Bandersnatch, you’ve made me want to reread! 😂♥️📚🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the bloom quilt. It reminds me that spring is on the way!! I am also working on a couple of cross stitch projects. I love that you stay focused on all of yours and keep them moving. The kittens are precious and seem to be adjusting to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Fun post Katie! Love your Bloom Quilt – very, very pretty and so nice to see flowers in January. Good to hear that Agnes is settling in/fitting in. And your stitching – so lovely and oh wow! You sure have picked some rather large projects. Have fun!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: