Sunday, August 31, 2014

A New Wanda Brunstetter...

I recently got the opportunity to read Wanda Brunstetter's latest book in the Half-Stitch Amish Quilt Club series, The Healing Quilt.  I enjoy this series and have even seen book one in a musical form at Bird-In-Hand.  Mrs. Brunstetter writes a lot of Amish fiction.  A couple weeks ago I told you about another book I read which was very different from many of her Amish fiction.

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilt Club books are also slightly different because the Amish woman featured in the books as the quilt teacher is really a secondary character to the class members who attend her quilting class.  The "english" class-members are where the story lies.  You follow them in between classes.  As their relationship unfolds, you learn more about each class member's life and problems.  While the class continues, the plot thickens, the characters intermingle and you get attached to these people.

I enjoy these books very much.  They are not super-heavy reading, but they are full of spiritual truths. I want to be Emma, the quilt teacher.  She has endless amounts of patience and just wants to do God's will.  She is charming and sweet.  The characters in the book are interesting and their problems are challenging.  As with the first two books, there is an interesting plot twist when you learn how some of the class-mates connect to each other.  There are also visitors from past classes, but you really don't have to read the first two books to follow the plot of the third.

Give The Healing Quilt a try.  It's well-written and enjoyable to read.  As I do with most Christian fiction, this book prompted me to think about different character traits I want to see developed in myself.  You can find the book at most bookstores and online.  If you give it a read, come back and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And some slippers...

I have been a crocheting-fool today!  I told you earlier about making a hat on a whim.  So I just scrapped the whole day and made these booties too!

This was a pattern that my friend Brenda kept in her hook case.  When she passed her husband gave me her yarn and her hooks.  Those hooks are my treasures.  I also have a case of thread hooks from my husband's grandmother.  If the house catches fire, I'm saving those hooks.

Anyway, I dug out that pattern and some old acrylic worsted I had sitting around the house.  In a couple hours I had a slipper.  After dinner with the family, I stitched up the second.  They're pretty retro, but they are very warm.

Saw a Pattern...Made a Hat

When I should have been working this morning, I made a hat!

I just couldn't pass up this hat.  I dug through my worsted stash and found a partially used skein of Loops and Thread Ombre.  I didn't know that the yarn would stripe, I thought it was variegated.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the yarn made diagonal stripes with this crochet pattern:

It took a few hours, but I stitched away on this hat, with an I hook and this worsted acryllic.  The band is single crochet.  Sometimes I will knit a ribbed band on a crocheted hat because I like the stretchy-ness of ribbing.  But this band really pulls the hat in to make it more slouchy.

The pattern is an alternate V-stitch.  The size of the hook and the weight of the yarn makes a really squishy fabric.  When I saw the pattern here, I thought it was a chunky weight.  But it is indeed worsted and so worth a few hours in a morning!  I named the hat on Ravelry, "Saw a Pattern Made a Hat."  If we're not friends on Rav...we should be!  Find me on Ravelry as Crochetlu.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Woman of Courage

It's been a long time since I've reviewed anything around here.  When I got the opportunity to review A Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter, I just couldn't res
ist.  Even though the to-be-read pile beside my bad is tall, I dropped everything to read this novel.  I'm a Wanda Brunstetter fan.  My mom got me started reading her books after we had gone through all the Beverly Lewis Amish books that were available.  I have enjoyed Wanda's style of writing and her stories immensely!

A Woman of Courage was a bit different, though.  This is historical fiction.  Although the lead character is Mennonite, the book doesn't really focus on the annabaptist culture like some of the other Amish Fiction books would.  So if you shy away from Amish Fiction, don't think that A Woman of Courage can be lumped into that genre.

This book does not quit.  The action starts at the very beginning when our heroine, Amanda, is left by her fiancee the night before she is to be married.  It is this pivotal moment in her life that causes her to examine her calling.  She and her father sell everything, leave New York, and head west to join a missionary couple already ministering to the Nez Perce Indians.  I don't want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, you will not believe what happens to Amanda on the trail west!  And after she connects with a couple trappers and one trapper's wife, the action does not stop there.  As a matter of fact, the twists and turns in the story don't really stop until the very end.

If I offered one criticism it is that the way the Indians are portrayed seems a little stereotypical.  Maybe Indians of the time period really did talk in the stilted, "Me not know about that..." way of speaking, but it did sometimes seem a little trite.  But that is easily overlooked with the story line.

I enjoyed A Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter very much.  It is very good historical fiction.  I learned about myself and how I want to be the type of woman who does not give up when she knows God is with her like Amanda did.  I learned that I give up too easily.  And Amanda is an inspiration to me.

Give it a try!

disclaimer:  This is my honest opinion of A Woman of Courage by Wanda Brunstetter.  I was given my copy by Handlebar for the purpose of posting this review this week.  But I was never told to give an only positive review.  This is my true opinion.