Welcome to Wednesday, dear friends. A big thank you to Kat for hosting Unraveled Wednesday – a gathering place for stitchers and readers to share their works in progress. I’m trying to stagger my stitching escapades on my blog and am focusing on one discipline each week. But I have to be honest: I’ve mostly been knitting these last few days. And while I’m thrilled about that, I don’t want to let all of my other stitching pursuits fall to the back burner, so I’m going to share my quilting today just to make sure I stay caught up on my blog.
QUILTING IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS:
I quilted a tea cozy for a dear friend. I followed this tutorial and love how it turned out. I had some challenges with the binding; I typically bind by hand but was working on a deadline and didn’t want to risk running out of time, so I chose to bind it with my sewing machine. Because of that, I missed a bit of the lining and ended up with exposed batting on the inside. So I decided to make a label and sew it to the inside of the cozy to patch up the hole. Hopefully the entire things stays together!
I captured a little time for my Bloom Quilt since I last shared an update. In the last month I managed to sew on the fourth row and finish the 17th and 18th blocks… Just two more to go! I cannot believe I’m nearing the end of this project – it feels like I just started it. I remember how nervous I felt about it because I’d never appliquéd before. It’s certainly not perfect but it’s good enough for me.
ON MY BOOKSHELVES:
I’ve been feeling the itch to pick up books again. I went to the library on Monday afternoon all by myself and borrowed an armful, so I’m looking forward to diving into those as soon as I finish my current stack. Here are the books I’ve been dipping in/out of since last Wednesday:
I finished On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous last night. Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese-American poet and wrote this book as a letter to his mother. It was a beautiful grappling of his childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. It was painful and honest. I was interested in reading it because I heard his interview with Krista Tippett a while back ago and found his story compelling, but I’m not sure who I’d ever recommend this to. Trigger warnings: this book contains descriptions of childhood physical abuse, intimate partner violence, drug addiction and abuse, and scenes from the Vietnam War. It also includes graphic sex.
Bryce and I have been reading The Wild Robot Escapes before bed for the last few weeks and we finished it last night. This is the second in the series about Roz, a robot who develops the ability to talk to animals after her cargo ship sinks and she washes ashore an island. In the first book, The Wild Robot, we watch Roz as she learns how to survive in the wilderness and creates a family of her own. In this book, she is desperately trying to return to her family after being captured and “repaired.” My 8 year old and I loved both of these books!
I’d forgotten I started The Blue Castle until I picked up my Kindle last week and saw the book open. I had a difficult time getting into it in January, but I think it was a problem with my mood. When I started reading it again this week, I was literally laughing out loud. This book is so much fun and is moving quickly now that I’ve spent a little time with it. (and the Kindle edition is still $.30!!)
The Read-Aloud Handbook has long been on my homeschooling TBR list. In this book, Jim Trelease outlines many research-driven benefits of reading aloud with your kids, even after they’ve learned to read themselves. It has strengthened my resolve to continue the many read-alouds we juggle here at home. It’s also packed full of book lists, which I love!
And finally, I’m still reading Devotions by Mary Oliver most nights before bed. She’s the perfect voice to fall asleep to.
And how to end a post in a time like this? These pursuits all feel frivolous when compared to the current backdrop of Ukraine. Do you follow Ingrid Fetell Lee at The Aesthetics of Joy? She sent an email earlier this week with a link to this Instagram post. One of my friends pointed out her favorite sentence: Joy can’t stop bombs, but it helps remind us what’s at stake. And ain’t that the truth? It’s difficult to balance seeking and experiencing joy while knowing that there is tremendous suffering happening all around us – and not just the suffering we are repeatedly watching on our televisions right now. I have no wise words, only an acknowledgment of this pain. For now, I am thankful to be able to pick up my knitting needles in these moments of distress. I hope you also have something to help you through these difficult days.
I hope to be back on Friday with an update on our week. Until then – stay safe and cozy, dear friends. And drink an extra cup of tea in the next few days and know that I’m sitting with you in spirit.
I really like your quilt, can’t believe you’re new to appliqué. The chicken fabric is such fun.
So much beauty here! Love the cozy and quilt, love hearing about your reading, and your thoughts. I want to pick up the second Wild Robot soon, too. ♥️
Love your Bloom blocks! Such a lovely quilt!
Wonderful projects, Katie. The quilt is so cheerful. I’m so glad y’all are enjoying The Wild Robot. What a great series! My son is ten going on eleven and I still read aloud to him every night. I’m gonna do it as long as he lets me. It’s a great way to end the day.
Wow! Your quilt is amazing, Katie! I am enamored of the mix of fabrics… they are just so perfect! And I think your Chicken Tea Cozy is adorable! What a lovely gift!
I loved Ocean Vuong’s writing… and you are right… its not for everyone (or maybe it is… that is how I feel about those books that step right into reality)
Your Bloom quilt makes me smile every time I see it! I don’t know what you have planned for it after it’s done, but I can imagine it’s going to bring joy to anyone who spreads it on top of them.
I listened to Ocean Vuong read his book, which was hard to listen to but so beautiful. I thought I had The Read-aloud Handbook from my grad school days, but I can’t find it on my shelf. I wonder if it was in the box of books that got lost in the move. But I think it’s really important to keep hearing books read aloud, and even though I’m not actively doing it with my daughter, she’s listening to an audiobook right now and enjoying it.
That quilt is a joyous bloom! And how pleased your friend will be to receive that sweet tea cozy. Long ago, when my children were young, I read “The Read Aloud Handbook.” Worth reading! I think I just might put “The Wild Robot” on my TBR list.
Your quilt is gorgeous Katie. And so nice to see at this time of year! And the tea cozy is marvelous. Love the chicken fabric! I have The Blue Castle on my TBR list and Devotions is on my nightstand – you are right, Mary Oliver is the perfect thing to read at the end of the day. Especially in these troubled/anxious times.
P.S. Just requested “The Wild Robot” through interlibrary loan.
Beautiful quilt! I love the colors. It looks so pretty when laid out…can’t wait to see the finished project!
I enjoyed absolutely every word of this post! Chock full of inspiration and information. I am sharing the reviews of the children’s titles with my niece who has two young sons: 4 & 7+. Your quilt is delightful and so happy! Use it in the best of health.
oh my goodness, Katie – those flowers – wow! I’m passing along the Robot series to (my) Katie and Charlie and love that you’re connecting with The Blue Castle … I loved that book – the nature writing especially!
I love that Bloom Quilt. It shouts Spring. You offer some wise words in this post. Thank you.
I love your bloom quilt, it really is beautiful!