Book Review, 2-22-21

The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah

If you’re a fan of Kristen Hannah’s books, you already know she is the queen of exploring social issues pertaining to women and this new book is yet another great example of superb writing. Her subject matter is migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, more specifically a woman and her two children. I will not lie – this was a difficult read and I was glad it was finished but I really did learn so much!

It snowed all afternoon yesterday so Rick is on snow removal duty this morning.

For those of you asking about Colton, here he is! He must weigh 20-25 pounds and is NOT a dainty “stepper” – he bulldozes himself across my sewing table several times a day. I wish he’d move back to the barn!

Here’s my progress on Jill’s quilt.

Here are the Dirty Dozen projects.

Here are the designers in Scrap School.

Tomorrow is our Instagram post.

Monday morning – I need to clean – I’m so tired of being confined in this house and yet we probably have 6 more weeks of it. Ugh. I would so much rather sew than clean!

55 thoughts on “Book Review, 2-22-21

  1. Kathy Hanson

    I’m with you, I would rather sew than clean!
    I love your quilt!! The DD’s are wonderful today too! Just took my DD quilt to the quilter. Colton is a big fellow for sure but I’m sure he prefers being in the house with you!! Smart boy!

  2. Debby

    I’m in the process of reading the Four Winds also. Very interesting read. I want to stop reading, but want to know what happens on the next page.

  3. Diana in Des Moines

    I am a huge fan of Kristin Hannah, and bought the book when it came out. Have not found time to read it, though. My son and dil were scheduled for a c-section today, but granddaughter Leah Grace decided Friday it was her birthday. Everything went well, and they came home yesterday. But before this, my 87 year old mom fell taking out her trash (she’s been told not to do this!) and broke her arm. Yesterday her arm and hand were swollen, so back to the ER. All is well, natural swelling.
    Did find time today to make up 4 car seat fleece blankets and will take those and dinner for my son’s family this afternoon. They have an 18 month old who I watch every day, and he is not here this week, so may get to start on that book. But my sewing room is calling; we’ll see.
    So glad to see temps in the 40’s here in Des Moines this week. Maybe some of this snow will disappear!

  4. Susan Moore

    Kristin Hannah’s Firefly Lane is a series on netflix. I have not watched all of it, but it is very good so far.

  5. Betty Klosterman

    The Farmer’s Daughter is absolutely beautiful. And the row quilt has the most perfect border between the rows. I love all the colors.
    The weather report: It is 55 above today and the wind is gusting to 60 mph, but it is WARM. The snow has melted quickly on the flat, but will take awhile for the big piles. It is moisture which we really need. Supposed to have more snow tomorrow, but not bad. It’s winter.
    I found a picture of a tossed 4 patch lay out that I’m just having to try. Very interesting. Worked at picking up and putting away completed parts of projects. I was given a couple boxes of scraps and have been sorting. Also iron a few and cut for scrap quilts. It will give my scraps some new company. I wish my hands could work faster to keep up with my mind. And clean???????! Friday I get the 2nd COVID shot.
    Take care and be patient. It even feels good to shovel snow. Betty in Rapid City

  6. Brenda in Iowa

    Carla in MI – what is the interesting Dirty Dozen you made from lace and denim? I love the embellishments.

    I purchased Kristen’s book, Four Winds but have not had time to read it. Hopefully soon – before I have to get outside (which I dislike – a lot).

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Carla

      Brenda, That is a not so little needlebook based off a pattern by Ann Wood Handmade. I read her blog. It’s quite creative. I used scraps from pillowcases made by my great grandmother on her treadle machine. The biggest piece is a crochet edge and an embroidered flower with some kind of openwork embroidery. The pages inside have some favorite fabrics, a jeans watch pocket, a shashiko stitched magnet, and just lots of different places to organize my needles! I needed something calming to work on and this fit the bill. Thanks for commenting!

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Carla – thank you for explaining your needle book. I know you told me but I just can’t manage all the stories that accompany the pictures and your book is great!

  7. Marsha from Kansas

    I’ve already received my Scrap School book from Amazon. Trying to figure out which quilt to make first. I think Scrappy Dots and Dashes would make a dent in my Scrap Saver 2-inch strips.

  8. Jo in Wyoming

    I have a book titled “I’d rather quilt than cook” …great recipes. Published in 1982.
    The wind is blowing 75+ mph, all hi-ways are closed.
    I’m about half done with my taxes👏
    Loretta has a spa day next week, she will look like a puppy instead if a polar bear!
    My second Covid vaccine is on Wednesday 👏👏👏

    I wish I were sewing.

  9. Ann in Virginia

    I’m about half way through Kristin’s book and I agree it is a hard read, but I think about all
    those women and what they had to go through at that time and I want to continue on to learn
    more. Her detail is amazing.

  10. Lois Ann Johnson

    I just finished reading one of Kristin Hannah’s novels: “Firefly Lane.” I enjoyed it. I am a fan of her writing. I also read “The Nightingale” years ago. I have my name of a waiting list at the library for her newest one that everyone is talking about. Our snowstorm yesterday dumped at least 4 more inches on the ground. As someone in church said yesterday: “I am SO over snow this year.” Me, too. Bailey doesn’t seem to mind it. She runs and jumps into snowdrifts and enjoys herself no matter what is going on. I wish more people could have her sunny attitude–myself included!

  11. Mary Lund

    Hi. I just finished the book too. I think she did a great job with description of the dirty thirties. Many generations have had trouble like ours, but the American way is, we get thru. Wish I could sew as fast as you! I love the Farmets daughter and Coniies. Looks so cute next to the birds nest! Thanks for helping us all thru the winter with your blog!! Xo

  12. Kathy in western NY

    Feeling good as we got our second covid vaccines today. Chicken soup simmering in crockpot for later on. Love hearing what everyone is doing and Betty’s comment about new to her scraps keeping the others company cracked me up! Colton is like my big guy too and wants to be all over the sewing table when I am in there, but he can’t jump anymore so lift him up to spread out. I take it while I still have him as not sure if I will get another cat when he’s gone.
    Love all the quilts shown for they are so neat. It was recommended to me to start the Louise Penny series of books so I am going to read those next.

  13. Cheryl

    Colton loves his perch in the sewing room. He even has his own kitty-Kat size cutting mat he’s laying claim for his next project. He really is a handsome dude! Love Jill’s Quilt. I am always afraid of working with reds. Either I have to wash all the fabrics I’m using in the quilt including background to keep things even or I risk the dreaded bleeding red. How do you solve that problem? Also you’ve said you don’t like binding. Do you have a method that makes it not so tedious? Our foot of snow is melting quickly. It is 61 degrees. A few nights ago it was nine. The daffodils are coming up !

    1. Betty Klosterman

      Get a box of Dye Magnets or Color Catchers. They are in the section withB detergents, etc. for washing clothes. If I wash fabric, I wash it all in one load with a Color Catcher. They are going to have to learn to get along as they are going to be with each other for a long time. They truly are a God Send. Try one of them. You will be amazed. Betty

    2. Amy

      I recently read a tip, if you suspect a fabric will run take a wet q tip and dab it onto the fabric. If the dye is that “loose” (I can’t remember the term they used) it will show up on the q tip. Then you can prewash it but you have to still put in a color catcher as Betty suggests and keep washing until a clean color catcher ( or a scrap of muslin or white solid) comes out of the wash clean. There are some products sold to help set the dye but why take that chance if you can just keep washing until you know it is all out. I used to also have a formula of vinegar and baking soda but recently read that is not good to use (for some reason). I think fabrics that are primarily solid red or black are the biggest culprits of dye bleeding and if it is a newer fabric, fabric bleeding really isn’t like it used to be. I do wash my quilts after they are all done with a color catcher (or two) just in case and they usually do come out gray not white like they started but the fabrics have not bled. To me prewashing makes for so much ironing, and I like how the fabric shrinks up after quilting.

      1. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

        Amy and Betty, I totally agree. I also rip my color catchers in thirds so they swish around in the washer. And, I enclose a color catcher with the quilt ( after I have washed it with a color catcher) with washing instructions. My kids call me the “ just in case Mom”, I wonder why—lol.

  14. Diane in TN

    The book sounds interesting, but I’d like to know why it is a hard read. Is it just the subject content? Or is it hard to follow along with the various characters? Thanks.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane in TN – the woman is alone during the depression and can’t even feed her two kids. I call that a difficult read.

      1. Diane in TN

        Thank you…I thought it must be based on subject matter. I wouldn’t have wanted to experience the Great Depression as it has been a very difficult time in our history. I can understand why my grandmothers never threw anything away that had more “life” in it. I remember them darning socks and mending clothes. Although money was scarce when I was growing up, my mom knew how to stretch everything. She never shared her financial difficulties, we always had “just enough”.

    2. Ann in Va.

      Hard for me because it is so overwhelmingly sad because of all the hardships they have to endure to survive.

  15. Marian Stever

    Hi from MN! It’s 40 degrees and I just can’t believe it. Should finally be a good week. Lots of snow but it should melt some with these temperatures. Colton is a gem. Love him. Beautiful quilts along with the memento piece. Oh, Kristin Hannah, I just received her book from Book of the Month Club and I will dive into it soon. I know it is a difficult read but she is such a good writer. Where’s Hazel?!!!!

    1. Chris H. in Washington state

      Love The Farmers Daughter quilt! Is the pattern available on the website? Jill’s quilt has turned out wonderfully.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Mary, I looked in your “shop” for the Farmer’s Daughter pattern and didn’t see it. Did I miss it?

        And I reuse the Color Catchers until they are really dark gray. Betty

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          BettyKlosterman – page 2, last quilt – in alphabetical order, Farmers Daughter

  16. Susan

    Hi Mary,
    A couple of months ago, you showed some hoya plants that you were starting. I was trying to propagate some then, too. Now they have great roots, but I’ve never grown anything I’ve propagated, so I don’t know the best way to transfer them to dirt. Can you give me any suggestions? Do I use potting soil? Should I fertilize the soil? I’d appreciate any and all ideas you could share. Thanks for the info about the Kristin Hannah book. It sounds really interesting. I haven’t read many of hers. Maybe I’ll try it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – I just planted those cuttings last night – coffee filter in bottom of clay pot so it drains good and use regular potting soil. Good luck!

  17. Linda baker

    Colton is my favorite cat of yours, after Ernie J Mauer, of course. Your yard looks like ours, about the same amount of snow. I read Kristen Hannah’s Nightengale and thought that was a hard read, but I liked it. Will have to put the Winds on my reading list. Beautiful projects in the pictures again today.

  18. Lynne from NJ

    How about an update on Ernie Joe Maurer? He’s my favorite – reminds me of my orange polydactyl cat, Oliver (named by my children after the Disney movie).

  19. Linda

    Love your snow photos. I know it must get tiresome but very pretty to look at when you have been away from it for over 30 years! I have the Hannah book (audio) on hold through the library. Thanks for your review. I can hardly sew anymore without a book playing on my phone! Although I do have to pause it when I’m reading instructions and calculating measurements!!

  20. Carolyn Boutilier

    Hello Mary, We had snow this morning, then rain and in the afternoon the sun came out and melted all the new snow. I love Sally J’s quilt. Love your red & white quilt.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley Virginia

  21. Debbie grisanti

    Love Jill’s quilt!!! I’m sure you posted the name, but I guess I didn’t pay attention. Will you mention it again. Thank you, stay warm!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debbie Grisanti – it’s called Farmers Daughter and is in the online shop, page 2

  22. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    Hey Mary, I love your color choices especially your reds in Jill’s quilt. Do you rent yourself out for color help? I’d love to live next door to you😃. We still have snow, but it was 36 here and will be in the 40’s this week. Colton is a long haired Squeak and so cute. We had Robins here when it was 6/degrees so we put mealy worms out for them and Bluebirds came, too. Bonus! I love it when people post where they live so we can compare weather. Betty, your comment about your scraps was priceless. Love it.😃

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane and Squeak – what color scheme are you wanting help with? I can certainly try via email.

      1. Diane and Squeak

        Thanks, Mary. I have the Country Threads book with the pattern and I am going to pull reds this weekend. My husband is a retired teacher and summertime house painter. He has good color sense so he said he’d help, but if get stuck I will reach out to you😃. Thank you so much!!

  23. Diane Deibler

    Mary,are you going to share this book at book club. If so, I would love to read it. It is on my list of books to read. I,too,need to get in the mood to clean. Maybe when the weather starts getting warmer and I know I’m on a time crunch it will give me some motivation.

  24. Donna O

    Mary your red quilt is so pretty but then red is my favorite color. And Colton is so cute and a big kitty, like my Henry who was 23 pounds at one time but he’s now gone as you know. ) ;
    I always enjoy your posts Mary and am always stunned at how fast you whip up quilts not to mention taking care of all your farm animals.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna O – I wish I could give Colton to you! He is huge and would remind you of Henry. I’m going to post Ernie’s picture tomorrow because several readers asked about him. Red is my favorite color, too!

  25. Joyce from NY

    Just finished listening to Kristin Hanna’s book “The Home Front”, it’s one I hadn’t read, very good! Now I am going to read her new one “Four Winds” sounds very good too! It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday & it snowed & wind blew all day today, how can that be!!

  26. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Colton is so beautiful. I can just see him cutting a wide swath across your sewing area, as he settles in to keep you company.
    Our Monday started out quite windy; the high was 41 and sunny. 🌞The former owner had two large vinyl geese by our garden shed. When it is sunny, the neighborhood cats use them for lounges—love it. 🤗

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie S – take a picture of those cats sleeping on the geese and send it to me!

  27. Lorraine McGeough

    Colton is a big fluffy cat and he looks like he is really relaxing in your sewing area. Love Jill’s quilt and love the other projects you shared a photo with us.
    I am with you–I would rather sew than clean any day of the week.

  28. Danna Saeugling

    I just finished reading this book, too. I learned a lot about the struggles to just stay alive. I really hated the ending – I wanted them to live happily ever after.

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