I also enjoyed going to my Prairie Women's Sewing Circle last Saturday. This was our final installment of the club since the shop that hosts our group has decided not to continue the program next year. Our guest speaker was local soapmaker Sue Denny, who shared some history on soap and showed us how to make soap (We all went home with our own soaps). Sue makes lots of heavenly-scented soaps. Pictured below are her Roasted Nuts and Citrus Blush soaps. Practically all of us indulged in a few bars for ourselves! I plan on putting mine in my linen closet and kitchen pantry to take advantage of their wonderful scents before I use them.
In between work deadlines, I even managed to complete a little quilt. I had made one in the same fabrics several years ago but had given it away as a gift, so now I have one to keep in my home. The quilt pattern is by Tara Darr of Sew Unique Creations. Speaking of Tara, we are at work on a follow-up book to her highly successful book, Simply Charming: Small Scrap Quilts of Yesteryear. If you love scrappy little quilts, you'll definitely want to get the book, which does not yet have a name! It won't be out until next spring.
The weekend before last, I managed to escape my office and my growing pile of work deadlines to see author Amy Tan speak in Des Moines. Earlier this year, my mahjong group had heard she was coming to town, and I definitely wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to see her. I loved her book, The Joy Luck Club, and the movie by the same name that came out in 1993. If you haven't seen it, you should!
While on a recent shopping trip, I spotted this antique quilt set in a zigzag pattern. I don't have a lot of purple quilts but this one spoke to me for some reason, and the price was right at $60! I'm no quilt dating expert but it seems like it might have been made in the late 1800s based on the fabrics. It has many of the same fabrics that are in one of my other quilts that was dated to the late 19th century and I didn't see any black fabrics in it. It's hand-quilted and hand-pieced. If you have any guesses as to when it might have been made, feel free to chime in. I was delighted to find that it was in excellent condition. I plan to make it in a smaller size for one of my doll beds.
She was an excellent speaker and was going to read from her new book, The Valley of Amazement, but ended up talking a lot about her childhood and her relationship with her mother. Did you know she's part of a rock-and-roll band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, which consists of published writers, including Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Mitch Albom (love his Tuesdays with Morrie book!)? You can see some videos of them on YouTube. I couldn't get a good photo of her but I did manage to quickly snap this one of her speaking with the moderator. I'm afraid the quality is quite poor due to my cheap camera!