Reading, Writing and Sewing, July 2020

Life continues to be very odd in the summer of 2020 as I am sure most would agree. I am not reading at my normal pace but I loved Deacon King Kong by James McBride and can’t recommend it more highly. I actually borrowed it right before lockdown and when our library reopened for curbside service, I knew I had to read it quickly because in the interim, it became Oprah’s book club pick. She was right as always.

I am now enjoying a book I learned about through an episode of Modern Mrs. Darcy. I tracked it down at the Yale University library. They tracked it down through inter-library loan from the Columbia University library. Some day all these institutions will reopen and they will want it back, but right now, with no prospect of a real trip, I am loving traveling through the towns of Italy. This book, published in the 1950’s,  is listed as THE BEST travel memoir in 1000 Books to Read Before You Die.  I highly recommend The Surprise of Cremona if you can get your hands on it and 1000 Books to Read Before You Die is very fun though a bit daunting. I don’t think I have even read 100 of them, but it is a great list.


I did a little writing this spring of tiny letters that I called Love Notes, inspired by The Isolation Journals project.  I posted them on instagram. They are illustrated using original drawings by by my talented husband.   He draws beautiful cards for special occasions and I have quite a collection of these lovely cards. They are the original Love Notes. I wrote about what inspired me to write them on my instagram post which you can find @nursebean82. Here is a collage of some of my favorites.

Not much garment sewing happening here, but I hope to get back to it soon. I have one piece of my planned trip capsule wardrobe sewn, # 3 of my original 9-piece plan drawn up on 2/20/20 as part of my new year’s resolutions that included a trip! and a trip wardrobe!! I break my own heart sometimes when I look back at my notebooks.


These resolutions seemed so modest at the time and so impossible now but I continue to stay hopeful and will sew on and hopefully finish this project by year end and be ready to travel when it is safe to do so. I love this high-necked sleeveless Nikko top, worn newly sewn Brumby skirt. It is such a classic look.


Other than my trip wardrobe top, I sewed some quilts:


Lap quilt for a friend



Baby quilt for a friend



Baby quilt for my grandson. Hand-quilted.

And a zillion versions of the Emerald top, a new pattern to be released soon by Made by Rae. My white double gauze version is worn with some swishy Rose pants, also a MBR pattern, in a rayon floral. It is the perfect social distance visiting in the back yards of friends with a glass of wine outfit which is my current summer plan.



I also continue to cook, cook, cook. It is my new therapy but it will require another whole post since I have cooked so many things but here is a highlight, cornmeal raspberry cake, recipe via Alison Roman who is my new best friend. I recommend subscribing to her newsletter.


What are you reading, sewing, dreaming of right now?


One thought on “Reading, Writing and Sewing, July 2020

  1. A lovely post…I subscribed to Alison Roman’s newsletter AND I found a copy of “the Surprise of Cremona”…Our eldest daughter lives in Rome and I thought she would enjoy this book…thank you for the tips…I enjoyed looking at Love Notes…I saw them on IG too…and as always I enjoy your sewing projects!
    Peace & Good,

    Liked by 1 person

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