needle & thREAD

Please forgive me for the tardiness of this post. I was up all night binge reading! I finished three books this week. I had to tear myself away from books to squeak in a little sewing. I managed to put the border on this quilt, begun all those many moons ago for the Whipstitch Quilting Class (I highly recommend those classes, by the way. Deborah Moebes is an amazing teacher. I'm so, so tempted to take the fall wardrobe class. But then again, there's a good bit of wedding sewing to do this fall). I put the quilt away after finishing the mian body of it because my life was intensely busy right around Christmas and into early January. Then, I think I was afraid to work on it. I love this quilt and I have a fear that I'm going to get this far into the process and mess it up. So. Yesterday. The Border. All finished. Now I have to decide how to quilt it. Every square is different and I can't really imagine traipsing color or design over some of those blocks. Honestly, this is one I might take to the experts. I don't know. And yes, I noticed it's nearly Christmas again.


Now, about those books. I discovered Kindle on my iPhone. Oh the joy! I've got my nose in a book instead of mindlessly clicking through social media. And, I might be a little obsessed. Three books, people. And a good way into a fourth.

I read iDisorder on Kim's recommendation. I read Talking Back to Facebook (it was a needle &thREAD read of someone else's a few weeks ago). And I read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  I'm still listening to The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. To say that--together--these books are life-changing is not an overstatement. Just focusing on the Internet aspect, I'm blown away. In a good way, I think.

iDisorder is the most technical of them all (with The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains a close second). I read it all out of order, skipping from one chapter to another, trying to diagnose myself and everyone I love;-). I learned a lot. I highlighted a lot. I'd already put some practices in place before reading. The book affirmed for me the necessity for them. I was particularly interested in some passages about how we can read one negative comment and fixate on it, despite 20 others that contradict it. I've been living that lately. Heck, I've been living that since the first time I got online. Maybe I'll tell you about that some time. 


Talking Back to Facebook is going to be required reading for everyone in this house. I learned a whole lot there! It's a very readable book, easily grasped by a 13-year-old. I'm still tweaking how it will change behaviors and online presence, but I promise you it's made an impact. This one will be required teenage reading. ASAP.

I'm crawling through the The Shallows. I think it's a great book. I read it because my friend Linda told me that it's required reading this summer for every single student at UNC Chapel Hill. That's how important this book is. I think I might cave and buy the hard copy. It's just not a great audio choice. 

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. I finished this one at 2:00 this morning. I wish I could put this book in the hands of every person in this country (and in Canada, too). The chapter on media dovetails nicely with my other reading. I'm going to force this family to read that one chapter, at least. But this book? This whole book? This book poses some very, very good questions. Jen Hatmaker is not Catholic. You might even find a post or two on her blog that sound a little anti-Catholic, which is kind of jarring because she's not the anti-anything type. I just get the sense she's not so much into liturgy or beautiful churches. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, read the book. She took seven areas of excess and focused on one a month, whittling away at--no, actually, taking a chainsaw to--ingrained habits of gluttony in our culture. I'm trying to figure a way to pour this book into everyone in this house. I don't think they'll read it; it will be one of mom's crazy ideas. But I'm starving to discuss it. The last chapter is on creating rest. Her take? Praying the Hours. (Yes, I know. That's liturgy. We are a very complex creation, aren't we?) I've talked a lot about praying the hours around these parts. I've never thought of it as rest. Verrrrry interesting. Especially at 2AM.

I have the sense that the conversations I will have about these books with people close to me in the next few weeks will be as life-changing as the conversations I had about this novel idea called "home education" all those many years ago.

I'm going to take a little break next week. There will still be posts here every day. If my mail and history are any indication, there are a lot of people searching schooly things. So, next week, I'll make it easy and put those things front and center. And I've got a guest hostess to come share books and sewing with you in this space on Thursday. I'm so exicted about that! Honestly, there have been some brutal internet moments in the last few weeks. Let me hasten to say that I am so very grateful for all your kindnesses. (It's that 20:1 thing). And I'm tired. The negatives? They just crush. The two people who commented around midnight last night? You are gifts. So I'm going to step away, rest, and pray. Think about all this reading. Read some more. And sew. Ah, yes. I'm quite sure I'll sew.

What about you? Sewing? Reading? A little of both?  Or are you embroidering? Pulling a needle with thread through lovely fabric to make life more beautiful somehow? Would you share with us just a single photo (or more) and a brief description of what you're up to? Will you tell us about what you're reading, also? Would you talk sewing and books with us? I'd love that so much.

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