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Monday, December 19, 2011

Free Paper Pieced Ornament --

I have a bee gathering tonight --- and I’m supposed to bring a gift.  I’ve known about this for months, and planned on a hand made gift, but things got away from me. 

The other day while driving down to Columbia, after having the car serviced…I was chewing a piece of gum, driving down I-85 merrily on my way, and CRUNCH!

All of a sudden the gum I had been chewing felt like it had rocks in it.  ROCKS are not a good thing – especially when it happens to be your tooth!

Long story short --- because I know this can get long --
Instead of making my bee gift, on the day of the bee gathering…pushing it to the last minute anyway --- I wound up sitting in a dentist chair. I’d lost part of an old filling.  That was the “Rocks” part.  Ewww.

So much for the best laid plans!  I did some shopping and I hope my not-so-homemade gift will still please its receiver!

I thought this paper pieced ornament was especially cute!  So I’m linking to it HERE for you. 
It finishes as a 4” square, and can be paper pieced in only 2 sections, which is pretty cool in my book!  It would make a great mug rug or do several of them for a small wall hanging or table runner...I love those geese in the center! FUN!


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I’ll be back at the dentist in the morning getting this filling replaced---maybe I’ll get to sit in the waiting room long enough to get that binding finished as well! I’ve got one side to go – and got one whole side done on it while waiting TODAY!


Mystery Monday Link Up! Part 5!

So here we are again.  I can’t believe how these posts are flying by one after another – you think a week is a long time and you have a chance to catch your breath before the next Monday post comes along but NOPE!

I’m really looking forward to seeing your Part 5 progress! And any progress on any step you have made over the past week.

There have been a couple of comments from people who say they are sick of this color, or that color --- All I can do is say, that’s the way it is!  You’ll be glad when you see it all together. It’s WORTH IT!!  And the yardage requirements should give anyone an idea on whether we are done with our black parts yet.

Hang in there a bit longer-- units will be taking shape by the next clue on Friday, and that’s all I’m going to say for now--

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As far as my best laid plans for my 4 patches from yesterday go ---I didn’t get very far!  It wasn’t but 10 minutes after I posted and got back to sewing that DH asked if I wanted to go to dinner.  I’m not one to turn down an evening out, so I turned off the machine, double checked that the iron was off…and out we went!

We hit the grocery store too, so by the time we got home it was around 9pm.  The desire to sew further was just not there, and instead I put groceries away, made a batch of rice pudding ((Love it hot off the stove with cinnamon and nutmeg!!)) and settled in to watch  some Law & Order SVU!

And then I remembered I needed to write this and get it set to go live tomorrow morning ---so here I am.

Let’s link up! If you’ve linked before, you don’t need the directions below, but because we have new people joining us every week, I still want to be sure they know what to do:

If you are a blogger, please link your post showing your Orca Bay Mystery progress on Part 5 ((Or any other part, no matter where you are in the mystery)) below!

Remember that we need the url of the specific POST, not just the address for your whole blog. To get the correct address in the linky –right click on the title/subject line of the post you wrote about your quilt progress. Chose “copy link address” and paste this url in the form when you link. You can also CLICK the title line of the post you want to link...and copy the url from the address bar at the top of your browser that way.

For instance, my blog address is http://quiltville.blogspot.com but that isn't enough. I can't link to the WHOLE blog, I need the address of the post. The address of THIS post is    http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2011/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-5.html See the difference?

If you link to just your whole blog, I’ll have to remove your link and have you try again because I can’t fix it FOR you.


We'll leave this open for a week to give you time to write your posts! I LOVED seeing what links came in last week! If you missed those, you can find them linked in the Orca Bay Mystery tab at the top of the blog ---just look at the bottom of that page below the step links for the Mystery Monday Link-Up Links!
Happy Monday!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bed-Time Edition! Free Kindle Book!

I just finished writing the Mystery Monday Link-Up post that’s going live tomorrow morning..and found myself wandering through Amazon ----

I’ve ordered the whole boxed set of Blue Ray Harry Potter for Christmas!  There will be TONS more binding opportunity once we get that octrilogy ((made up word! HA!!)) going! It should be here by Christmas Eve!

Anyway….how about a free Kindle CHILDREN’S BOOK!?  A Special Christmas type story??

Santa and the Little Teddy Bear by Peter John Lucking is free today from the Amazon  Kindle store, and has received a perfect 5 out of 5 stars based on 18 customer reviews. 
Category: Children
Book Description:
This version of the 2011 INDIE Holiday Book Winner is intended to brought out at Christmas, year after year; create a holiday tradition, sing carols, read as a bedtime story chapter by chapter, delight in the incredible artwork throughout the book.
The Author and Illustrator Peter John Lucking has personally experienced each place in the book.
In Santa & The Little Teddy Bear the Author leads us through each place, giving us insightful information, interweaving a story where Bilbo and Santa visit and revealing the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate.
It’s Christmas Eve. Free your spirit. Fly around the world with magic transportation on this epic action packed adventure roller coaster ride. Visit exotic places far beyond Woop Woop and the Black Stump.
Encounter strange creatures and exotic cultures. Do wacky crazy things. Scream, dance the Can-can and sing Day Oh in the steam swamps. Experience the Nativity, whisper in the wind to twinkling stars and sing carols with the reindeer.
Be dazzled by emerald isles and sapphire seas more astonishing than you can imagine. Soar with Bilbo The Little Teddy Bear, as he lives a wish, dreams of being a special Christmas gift, searches for his new home while embracing new friendships, lives life, gains self-esteem, and becomes more enlightened; culminating with a very surprising wish sure to bring a tear of joy.
A Christmas season holiday classic for all ages from 1-100.
Sounds like it might be fun if you have little ones in the house.  Kids LOVE to be read to. 

Enjoy!

Sewing My Brains Out!

How have you spent your Sunday?

I wound up having an empty house.  Jeff went over to a friend’s house, DH went with his buddies motorcycling out in the wilderness ---and SHEESH it was frosty cold this morning! I’m so glad that is not me.  It’s not that I don’t like outdoors and adventure, I’m just not crazy about my feet being cold.

I’m working on some sample quilts…you know that Quiltmaker Magazine is putting on a Quilt Along RETREAT in August—in Williamsburg, VA right?  Well --- Somehow I don’t think that my students would be very happy if I just showed up with a BLOCK for them to make…I need an actual QUILT for my workshops….all THREE of them.  And I have until about May to get them made, quilted, and bound…so I can send them off to Quiltmaker for publicity photos, etc….Exciting!  I get to actually turn these blocks into QUILTS!

I decided that instead of working on book stuff today --- I needed a break.  And with the house empty…weehhhaaa! I can sew!

See those strips at the top of the page?  Yup.  The red and neutral ones--  If you remember my Winston Ways block from the Vol 3 last May---  It’s a great star block, with little tiny 4 patches as the accents.  16 4 patches per block.  If I set this quilt 5 X 6 blocks..I need only…*cough*  480 4 patches.  I could get by with only 400 and set it 5 X 5…for a center that is 60” X 60”…but do I really want a square quilt, or do I want it rectangular?  I don't have a lot of use for 60" square quilts. I’m shooting for one row longer and figured for the extra 80 4 patches….if I end up not using them I can use them somewhere else.

I’ve been really making use of my Accuquilt Studio….and getting brave enough to try different things with it.

I pieced all my strip sets…and thought that I could match my strip sets with right sides together and feed them through to cut them into matched pairs….sounds good right?

Well…first I had to draw some perpendicular lines on the black foam of the die --- so I had guides to lay them and wouldn’t place them all crooked.  A silver quilting pencil and a ruler took care of that chore. Now my dies have line up lines!
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Here are my strips all laid out on the tray….I’ve played with this and played with this, and I can honestly say that I’ve got it down to the point where there is not any more waste than there would be with rotary cutting.  Only….this way? I cut about 100 pairs at ONE TIME that can easily be sewn into 100 4 patches, already matched together, in nothing flat!

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I know this looks funny----but I found that if I just put the plastic sheet on top of the fabric, it has enough static electricity in it that it pulls my sets apart into a big mess.  So…I lay a piece of junk newsprint on top.  When I pull the plastic sheet up after cutting…the paper sticks to the static of the plastic thing, but my fabric pieces are all nice and neat, and stay on the tray.  Happy me!

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The plastic sheet is on top of the paper, which is on top of the fabric, and this is ready to feed through!

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Here are my sets, all cut into their 4 patch pairs!  From here, I stacked them in sets of 10 and put them on a cookie sheet so I could tell how many I had and determine how many more sets to make. I ran 4 trays full through -- I ended up with 484, 4 more than I needed!

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Does this look like 484 4-patch pairs to you?  Well it is!  They are by my machine ready to start sewing….I love silverware trays and other divided things for carrying my pieces back and forth…..
Let’s see how many I can get sewn and pressed before our Mystery Monday Link-Up goes live tomorrow morning!  You’ll want to come back for that.  It’s been great fun to see what everyone else has been up to!
If you want to check previous Mystery Monday Link-Ups, you can find them at the top of the blog under the Orca Bay Mystery tab!

Back to the machine ----








What NOT to buy at the Antique Mall!


Whether I find something I have to have or not…one of the fun things in browsing an Antique Mall—ESPECIALLY with a Buddy-In-Crime --- is to try to find the weirdest item in there.

Sometimes things can turn out quite cool!  Not sure where *I* would put it, but I am sure that someone ELSE would love to have an old Chevy tail gate that’s been made into a lamp to hang over their sofa or their bed.  This is not the weirdest, no, not by the least.

Sometimes a display just catches my eye…and makes me smile.  Oh, if this wall of PHONES could talk!  Can you imagine the stories they’ve heard over the years?  And what if it was a party line --- My mom tells me stories of the party line they had when she was growing up.  Did you have a party line?

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I loved visiting Lucy’s house because she still has an old wall phone in use….I kind of miss the “ring” of a real phone.  I’ve set the ringer on my cell to sound like “old phone”.  It’s not quite cutting it! 

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How about THIS guy for your centerpiece?  Taxidermy in Antique Malls really cracks me up….

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Or what about a basket of tiny deer skulls and antlers?  Ewww!

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If one basket wasn’t enough….there was a whole wall of some of the tiniest deer antlers I’d ever seen.  You know, it has kind of an artistic ambiance when hung next to a framed art painting…you know…renaissance art…and deer antlers.  NICE! LOL!

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Do you know anyone who would want a concrete Elvis head…..on top of a faux chinese vase?  Ummm..no…I don’t think this is going to fit anywhere in my house!

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But THESE!!  Made me howl out loud!  Holy Ball Fringe, Batman!  Let’s take old lamp shades and cover them with trim!  I can’t see how any light will shine through these shades?  Hoochie Koochie shades!

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Oh. My.  LOL!

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And this is something that made me go HUMMM!?  I’ve loved my Birkenstocks.  I’ve loved Birkenstocks all the way back to High school, and that’s a long time….but when Birkenstocks try to keep up with fashion?  GLADIATOR Birks?  Come on folks…that’s way too many buckles to want to get into when my birks have always been slip on and go! Fashion be danged!

Maybe now that I’m reaching that half century mark I’m just set in the ways of what I like, what is decorative ((for me)) and what is comfortable!  What makes me laugh might not make you laugh.  The opinions expressed here are completely my own and I make NO apologies for what I find funny!



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just a Little Workshop Shout Out!

I know several of you had a great time doing the Mini Marathon that I did on Patchwork Posse! And it was so fun to be able to stop by and check on what you were doing with your little pieces, run to read the comments in the forum, etc….

My buddy Pat Sloan is presenting a really great online workshop with Patchwork Posse in January! Those of you who commented that the cruise quilts were SO GREAT?! Well, you too can make what Pat taught in her class!

Both the adorable wall quilt ((Perfect for Valentine’s Decorating coming up!)) and an adorable felt applique needle book. Two for One!

Click HERE for more info! The workshop starts right after the holidays, perfect timing! The Mystery will be ending, and THIS will be beginning! It runs until Jan 31st ---

Of course, I'm ignoring ALL of January --- I'm turning 50 ((GASP!!)) in January, and I"m not going there!

I’ve been working on writing all day. The border directions for this one quilt just stump me….I am NOT a graphic drawing type….I can count units and I can sew up a storm and do what I need to, but trying to get the diagrams right is killing me!

I think I’ll take a break --- we’ve got just a few hours until we go pick up Michael, Harriet, and Michelle – and head for DH’s holiday office party. I’m keeping my mouth shut unless I am specifically asked anything! And I will NOT tell anyone else how to raise their child, but I can talk about what I did that worked for me – and THAT’S THAT!!

More from the Antique Mall!

I honestly FORGOT I had more pictures to upload. How could I forget?! Well, it’s not hard to do when sticking a mystery part into the equation and everything else going on.

I get so much inspiration from finding old quilts – even the shabby ones. Maybe the shabby ones even MORE SO – because those are the ones that actually had a life in keeping someone warm and tucked in. The thread bare, worn out quilts are the ones that could tell the stories of living, couldn’t they?

Don’t you love this display of stockings made from antique quilts! OH! OH! OH! I wish I could see the whole quilt….the piecing and hand quilting on these stars is so beautifully done. And it ended up as STOCKINGS?! What was the story of this quilt?

Oh, and the one from the other day? I showed the pics to Pepper Cory, and she got back to me on them saying

About that antique quilt: I studied those pictures long and hard. I think it's a c1860s quilt. The wide border of faded older fabric (1850) and the style reminds me of VA or Maryland quilts of that era.

Thank God for ignorance--that's not a bad price.

The piece is intriguing and (spinning a yarn here-) I'd say the quiltmaker was older (high standard of workmanship and very competent), was referencing quiltmaking styles of a generation earlier (1830-1850) and worked with fabrics from two different time periods.

That makes sense to me! I’m still sewing with 1970s , 80s, 90s fabric…and here we are almost 2012. It makes sense that a quilter in her later years, would quilt in the style she loved from her earlier years --- the stars being out of newer fabric, and the border from a cherished piece of “vintage” to her fabric as well….wide print borders being a style from an earlier generation. Oh I wish these quilts COULD talk! “Maker Unknown” is such a sad thing when it comes to quilts, isn’t it?

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Here’s another one from an older era…..red and green hearts. VERY HEAVY fan quilting…these blocks are gi-normous! Very fun! This one had no history on the tag at all, just said “old red/green quilt”. Hmmmmm…..

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I love the texture of the fan quilting!! I just couldn’t keep my fingers from running over the stitches. That’s the other good thing about antique malls…you can HANDLE the quilts. I’m a touchy feely person, and when in museums, I just can’t get close enough. This was a treat!

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Ahhhh Blue/White!! Goose in the Pond! More fans! There is some pretty bad fading going on in the borders of this one, but I love it for its simplicity!

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I love the simple dot fabric in the sashings as well…..even the muslin, though so simple, shows the quilting stitches and texture so well. Busy background prints just do not ---but simple muslin is such the perfect blank canvas for showing off the quilting --

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THIS was my favorite of all! It’s a PA Dutch Sugar Loaf! I know it looks like it’s covering a casket – seriously! But it’s a jewelry case and it was the only flat surface I could find to spread stuff out on. The blue background of this just is SO WONDERFUL! I’m going to have to add this one on my to do list. The crazy thing about this one…all the sugar loaves are pointing side ways. The quilt is on the case side ways..what you see as a “bottom border” is really a “side border”.

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Love love love the chrome yellows with the red against that blue! Yeah Baby!

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Simple Pinwheels…Striped fabrics can give such motion and interest to a quilt! I like how the pinwheels look so masculine, but they are set against this terrific floral background fabric:

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But it is really the simple humble ones that get me…this one was really shredded in spots, which meant it was put to good use! Just look at the colors!

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Simple framed 9 patches set with sashings and cornerstones….I love the power of RED! It has no borders, and the sashings do not even go to the edge of the quilt. It was just done when it was done, and bound by bringing the backing around the edge to the front. SO CUTE!

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Who doesn’t love a simple double 4 patch? This one was also in tatters. It was a tied comforter, and it must have comforted quite a bit…..love how those deep reds pop amidst those other scraps on the creamy background. Quilts don’t always have to be rocket science projects to capture my heart!

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Loved to death as well….a 1930’s double wedding ring. Feed sack fabrics included! The rings on this one were large, and on the narrow scale. Someone put a LOT of work into this, and then a lot of use into it as well!

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Aren’t these fabrics great?! Love the double stitching inside of the melon shape.

The thing about antiquing is that you never know what you are going to find, if anything at all. Sometimes I don’t find a single thing – sometimes I hit the mother lode….But if you don’t look, you won’t find.

I love the connection to the past that finding these treasures bring. So --- 50 years or more from now…are MY quilts going to be found in some antique mall somewhere? Will someone be wondering why in the world I chose to put these fabrics together, and what the story of this quilt is? Maybe! I like the thought of leaving a bit of mystery behind! ;c)

The other thing I love to do at antique malls is take pics of really weird items that I can’t believe are THERE to begin with…maybe I’ll save THAT post for tomorrrow…LOL!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Best Laid Plans….

…….Are sometimes best with they are THROWN OUT!!

This afternoon I got a ping on my phone from Jason saying that he and Kim ((!!!)) were headed to Charlotte to go see a concert, and they wanted to come a bit early and would I meet them at Ikea for some shopping and visiting?

Why --- yes! Of course I would!

Charlotte is about half way between Winston Salem and Columbia, and I'll take whatever chance I can to spend time with my son.

We wandered and browsed and laughed at the idea of some of the decorative items as in No --- there is no way in HECK I would hang a 6 ft round ball of flowers mimicking itself as a lamp over my dining room table or my bed! And some of the lamps are made of little more than paper, and while they give off a nice ambiance as far as light goes…when you have playful cats…no….shredded is what they would become in no time at all!

But Ikea is always a great place to go for storage ideas….I took note of several things I’d like ----but when it came down to it, all I left with was a set of Queen sheets for the guest room --- they are PINK. Pink and on CLOSE OUT – so I got the set for $19.99, used a coupon/receipt that got me another $4.75 off….

Why can I never SPLURGE?! I grew up with a yard sale/thrift shop/don’t buy it unless it’s on sale mentality, and – I just can’t make myself just SPLURGE without a reason. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. Let's just say that most of the stuff I think I want, I let continue to live at the store until I find a reason I need it MORE than I think I do, and if I don't....well...it just never comes home.

Jason found some stuff for his apartment….and we had a snack at the snack bar. Did you know you can get a Swedish Smorgasbord at Ikea for EASTER DINNER?! Honestly. It’s not top of the list of places I want to go for Easter Dinner --- but….we sure enjoyed our afternoon treat and a visit at the comfy table by the big picture window looking out over the parking lot ;c)

On my drive home, it was raining, there was tons of traffic, and I had to go really slow ---it took an hour and a half to go 70 miles, but that was okay by me. I finished listening to “The Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah on my MP3 player --- I downloaded it from my library free, and it is a WONDERFUL story. It’s not an amazon freebie --- but check it out of your library in either digital format or in paper if you can. Go for the digital ---or CD ---the narrator does a WONDERFUL Russian accent that just would be lost without it being in audio….I cried all the way home ----a good cry!

The Whitson family is rocked by the sudden death of patriarch Evan, a warm, loving man who doted on his two adult daughters, Meredith and Nina, and his reserved Russian wife, Anya.

Meredith, who runs the family business, and Nina, a photojournalist whose job takes her to war zones around the world, have never been able to connect with their cold, forbidding mother.

When Anya begins to act strangely, Meredith thinks she belongs in a nursing home, but Nina decides to try to fulfill her father’s dying wish and get her mother to tell her and Meredith the elaborate fairy tales she used to share with them.

Anya is initially reluctant, but once she begins, Nina realizes these tales are actually the story of Anya’s life in Stalinist Leningrad. Meredith and Nina decide to attempt to uncover the truth about their mother’s tragic past in the hope of understanding her, and themselves.

Though the novel starts off fairly maudlin, it evolves into a gripping read, although it’s a tearjerker. Hannah’s previous books, including Firefly Lane (2008) and True Colors (2009), are tailor-made for book clubs, and her audience should find plenty to discuss in this equally enthralling entry. --Kristine Huntley

No affiliation with anything, just an avid reader/listener and wanting to share!

I got home at 6pm, it’s been dark since a bit after 5pm --- it feels like bed time and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself tonight. I still have binding waiting….but I’d love to sew…options options options!

Whatever you get up to, enjoy your Friday evening!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Evening Edition --- Free Kindle Book!

There are three places I have visited that have hit me more than any other --- those things that make History more REAL than “story” ---

The first time I went to the Netherlands, I went with Lucy to Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam. And I felt like I couldn’t breathe –seriously.

But even more than that, we visited the home of Corrie ten Boom in Haarlem…and saw “The Hiding Place”. And as we rode our bikes over the cobblestone streets I imagined all that happened there --- this was LIFE then. And Lucy’s parents, having lived through it, remembered it so well as if it were yesterday to them. It changed me in so many ways.

I’ve visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC twice ---and you almost have to give yourself a whole day there for it to sink in….just how much it encompassed---that whole couple of decades that some people think did not even happen! How could they say it didn’t happen? With all this documentation?

So when this book came up on the freebies over at Amazon, I had to get it, even though I do not really want to read it. It’s hard. It’s hard to read it and hard to realize just what happened, and that it could happen again ---could it ever happen again? To other peoples? I can’t think of it. My mind and heart don’t want to process it.

But through it all, I know it is imporant. These stories are important. Life changing. The few voices that were left are sharing and speaking, and I feel compelled to listen.

With Hanukkah beginning at sunset on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, and endings at sunset on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 I thought this might be a good time to read Rena’s Promise.

***Note*** This is free for Prime members..but remember, if you can't get it free, check it out of your library ---or buy it. With all the freebies we've posted, it's okay to BUY one once in a while, they can't all be free!

Rena’s Promise: Two Sisters in Auschwitz by Rena Kornreich Gelissen and Heather Dune Macadam is free today in the Amazon Kindle store, and has received an average user rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 14 customer reviews.

Category: Autobiography / History

Book’s description:

“I do not hate. To hate is to let Hitler win.” Rena Kornreich Gelissen

“The most important book of the modern age!” Neal Lavon, Voice of America

“The most historically accurate book ever written of the first transport of women into Auschwitz–the only book ever written by a survivor of that transport, who survived 3 years and 41 days in the camps.” Irena Strezlecka, Director of the Museum of Women at Auschwitz

On March 26, 1942, the first transport of women arrived in Auschwitz. Among the 999 young Jewish women was Rena Kornreich, the 716th woman numbered in camp. A few days later, her sister Danka arrives and so begins a trial of love and courage that will last 3 years and 41 days, from the beginning Auschwitz death camp to the end of the war.

Rena’s Promise stands out from other memoirs in mere length of time she spent in the camps. No other survivor from the first transport has ever written about her experience and what it meant to survive for so long as a peasant and a hard laborer who spent 10-12 hours a day making bricks, pushing lorries, sifting sand, performing cartwheels…. From her escape from Dr. Mengele’s experiment detail to her surreal meetings with SS woman Irma Grese, Rena tells a dynamic tale of courage and compassion that reminds us of the resiliency of the human spirit, and the power of people to help one another in unimaginable circumstances, be they Gentile or Jew, German or Pole, kapo or prisoner.

Used in secondary school Holocaust programs.

Recommended for Holocaust collections by the Library Journal.

Visit www.renaspromise.com to see photos and art.

Do I HAVE to?!

Last night DH and I were discussing an upcoming holiday co-worker dinner thing that we have to drive to Hickory for on Saturday night.

We’ve offered to take our friends with us, and that means that Baby Michelle will be coming along!

Being as Baby Michelle is the closest thing we’ve got to family in the baby department ((My siblings with small children all live on the West side of the country!)) We’ve adored watching these new parents raise this baby, seeing her grow, gain a personality, smile, laugh, and straighten herself out stiff as a board in rebellion and SCREAM!

We know that culturally, the way we raise children may be different. For instance, Harriet’s mom came over from Africa right after the baby was born, and has stayed 6 months ---spoiling baby Michelle completely rotten and just left last week to go back to Africa, leaving mom and dad with a 6 month old baby that won’t sleep through the night, screams to be picked up at all hours and has to be held all the time.

So, DH tells me last night…that he and Michael have plotted and planned, and that I need to take Harriet aside and tell her that the baby needs its own room, and time to scream and not be picked up all the time.

I laughed and said…. “But this is not MY responsibility! I don’t want to butt in here. I mean, if she ASKS for my advice, I’m happy to give it, but I’m not going to tell her how to raise her child or what she should do unless the opportunity to talk about possibilities comes up. I’m not going to START the conversation, and I’m not going to tell her what to do.”

I know they are frustrated with lack of sleep and Michelle screaming her head off several times a night to be picked up. Michael is about falling asleep on the job ----the other night he did put Michelle in her crib and let her cry, and she eventually fell asleep. Then Harriet came home and she woke up and Harriet picked her up immediately. This makes DAD the bad guy…LOL!

So my question is…..where would YOUR boundaries be, as a friend. I feel like I need to wait until she gives me a lead in and wants some advice. And I’d never say “You need to get that baby in her own bedroom and let her bawl herself to sleep” ---I’d have to preface it with “When my boys were little, we had the same kind of situation with the first one and we had to let him cry and get used to entertaining himself --- and it took some time, but it was worth it.”

I just can’t bring myself to tell ANY parent what they should or should not be doing with their children ---babies or grown up ones – of any age!

So help me out here……what would YOU do? How can I be a good supportive friend without coming across like a know-it-all? I want to help, but how much help is too much help?

Road Trip Side Trip!

On my way down to Columbia on Tuesday ---I had some time to kill! Jason was supposedly working until 4pm, and there I was driving through Charlotte around noonish----so I had a couple of hours to fill with ANYTHING my heart desired. What’s a girl on her own to do, when given the freedom to do what she WANTS?!

ANTIQUE MALL!!

Oh, I hadn’t been in a while..a long while...there just hasn’t been time. It’s usually something I do on my way to somewhere, or home from somewhere --- a treat for myself to stretch my legs on a long journey, but since I’ve been home ---other things have occupied my life to where I couldn’t just pick up and go and spend the time.

But TUESDAY I did!

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My favorite place in Charlotte is the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall! There are aisles and aisles of booths ---and you never know just what you are going to find! Of course, the first thing I look for are the quilts. Did I find quilts? YES!

And this is where I really wonder at some of these dealers --- do they know what they have? Do they really? We’ve all heard stories of the proverbial “MADE IN CHINA” quilt that gets listed as a hand quilted heirloom ((Look for the binding…if there is none, and if it has poly batting, chances are it is NOT an heirloom folks!)) But this one really caught my eye:

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This was what I saw draped over a chair as I walked past one booth. Red gingham lone stars….and look at that GLORIOUS border print!!

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Vintage quilt circa -----1930??? I don’t THINK SO!?? ((Siobhan, are you reading this? I need your opinion please!!)) I’m thinking she is about 100 years off! It looks mid 1800’s to me.

Quickly and carefully I unfold it----

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For its age, it is in BEAUTIFUL condition….can you see how the stars are PERFECTLY PIECED?? The points all match, the diamonds are all uniform in size ((Look ma, No volcanoes or D cups! LOL!)) ---this was fabric that was specifically purchased for this quilt at a time when fabric was an expensive item. Was that border print saved specifically for this quilt? It was a cotton, not a chintz ---but definitely a very early print as far as I could tell!

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Close up of the border print….isn’t this YUMMY!!?!

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The border is quilted in very close fans…..the stars are outlined within each diamond..and can you see the flower motif in the star corner? They didn’t quilt this heavily in the 1930s..and the batting in this is THIN…another way to judge an earlier quilt.

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There is a bit of wear at the edge…the quilt has no binding, but the edges are turned in toward the inside of the quilt and it is blind stitched closed, envelope style.

Don’t you wish you had the story of this quilt? I DO! Did it come home with me? No, it did not. I’m to the point where I know that not every quilt, just because I love it, can come live with me in my house. But I’m happy for the pictures!!

What DID come home with me?

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It’s an old pecan basket, or so the label said. The hinges are leather…it has carved wooden handles on the side….

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It was in a booth that was closing out with everything marked 1/2 off. It was under the table with some other stuff in it….the price? $29.95 so I got it for $15.00. I’m a happy camper! Now just to find a place to PUT it!

I have more pics from the Antique Mall too, but this is already getting long, so I’ll post more later!!

This morning we are up to 97 entries for this week’s Mystery Monday Link-Up! So many different colorways going on….and I love being able to read the stories behind each and everyone! Be sure to check them out.

And tomorrow…we go live with PART 5!! You will definitely want to come back for that….

I’ll be spending the day in the basement today, finishing up writing Part 5 – and then working on the rest of the pattern sections for the next book. I’m sticking pretty much to the timeline I set for myself this month. I’ve finished 9 out of 13 pattern sections and they are off to my editor, Jen! I’m breathing easier about it, but there is still so much more to do. I’d like to have the other 4 pattern sections done by the end of the weekend, and the rest of the month in putting all the other text sections together – the forward, the resources, all that stuff --- the part that makes me always feel like I’m writing a term paper ---

I’m leaving myself time for ME to play ----each day I get to reward myself with something after I get my designated section for the day written!

Have a great Thursday, Y’all!