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 Sewing

I recently decided to take up quilting because I really wanted to make my son’s baby blanket myself.  While I have done some sewing, I never tried quilting since it always looked so intimidating!  It turns out that quilting really isn’t that difficult.  I was able to teach myself patchwork quilting and needle turn appliqué with a few books, online tutorials, and some advice from the wonderful ladies at the Cotton Shop.  My baby blanket turned out so well that I’ve decided to keep going, and I even made my husband a quilt for Christmas!  Here are some helpful books to begin quilting: 

3.6 Complete Guide to QuiltingCOMPLETE GUIDE TO QUILTING
By Better Homes and Gardens
(2002)

If you already have a project in mind and just need help figuring out how to get it done, this is a great comprehensive resource.  I really like using this book as a reference guide.  It contains easy to follow step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of techniques, making it easier for you to turn your vision into reality. 

 

3.6 All Things QuiltingALL THINGS QUILTING WITH ALEX ANDERSON: FROM FIRST STEP TO LAST STITCH
By Alex Anderson
(2015)

My favorite thing about this book is that all of the instructional pictures demonstrate the steps for both right-handed and left-handed people.  It even color codes the cutting material so that it’s easy to visually pick out which one is which.  This book is also a comprehensive guide; although it is structured to walk you through each stage of your quilt rather than serve as an index for techniques. 

 

3.6 Quilting BasicsQUILTING BASICS: A STEP-BY-STEP COURSE FOR FIRST-TIME QUILTERS
By Michael Caputo
(2016)

This book is set up a little differently.  It gives all the preparatory information first, and then skips to the end with binding and caring for your projects.  Then it uses twelve workshop projects to teach all of the in-between stuff.  The advantage here is that you’ll end up with lots of practice on small projects instead of practicing on an important quilt you have in mind. 

 

3.6 Visual Guide to Patchwork QuiltingVISUAL GUIDE TO PATCHWORK & QUILTING: FABRIC SELECTION TO FINISHING TECHNIQUES & BEYOND
By Stash Books
(2017)

Aspects that make this book especially helpful are the quilt block tables that explain what size to cut your shapes in order to make different sized blocks, and detailed photographic instructions for different appliqué techniques for both hand and machine sewing.  I especially appreciated that the hand-sewing instructions included pictures for both right and left-handed sewers. 

 

3.6 Quilt as DesiredQUILT AS DESIRED: YOUR GUIDE TO STRAIGHT-LINE AND FREE-MOTION QUILTING
By Carlene C. Frable
(2007)

Different than all the other books listed, the main focus here is the actual quilting part of the project.  It offers detailed instructions for quilting with straight lines, and quilting free-motion patterns on a regular domestic machine.  Each quilting design also has a benefits and drawbacks box, which will help you decide on a design that will work for your project.

 

 Boy Reading

One of the joys of being a Children’s Librarian is sharing both new and classic picture books with kids during our programs. Even in our Library Kids, Jr (ages 5-8) craft program and our Lego Crew (ages 5-8) program, we always start by reading a picture book aloud. 

Over the years I’ve gotten a lot of laughs, a lot of “awwws,” and a lot of funny or deep questions from my audience. I’ve had to learn which books appeal to adults but not necessarily to kids, and vice versa. I’ve been surprised by the children’s comprehension of subtle humor and their ability to recall specific details of stories we read weeks before. 

While each child, of course, has their own individual tastes in reading, and while both boys and girls enjoy the following books, I have found that the following five picture books have a special appeal for young boys. They feature epic battles, outrageous humor, over-the-top situations, exaggerated technical and imaginative details, and funny voices.  

3.2 If I Built a HouseIF I BUILT A HOUSE
By Chris Van Dusen
(2012) 

Jack describes the house of his dreams that he plans to build, complete with self-cooking kitchen, indoor racetrack, and a scuba diving room. 

 

3.2 Im a SharkI’M A SHARK!
By Bob Shea
(2011) 

This shark is not afraid of anything! Not the dark, not giant squids, not big mean bears. But the reader begins to suspect that there is one thing that Shark is scared of. 

 

3.2 Mustache BabyMUSTACHE BABY
By Bridget Heos
(2013) 

Baby Billy is born with a mustache. The doctor says that only time will tell if it’s a good-guy mustache or a bad-guy mustache. At first Billy’s cowboy mustache and cop mustache help him bring justice and order. But soon his mustache starts curling at the ends… 

 

3.2 The Legend of Rock Paper ScissorsTHE LEGEND OF ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS
By Drew Daywalt
(2017) 

Inspired by the childhood game of rock, paper, scissor, this is an outrageous and hilarious depiction of the original epic battle between the three mighty warriors. 

 

3.2 Shark vs. TrainSHARK VS. TRAIN
By Chris Barton
(2010) 

Shark and Train pit themselves against each other in one competition after another, including swimming, bowling, pie eating and more. Who will win?

 

Hamilton

Confession: after listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time, I sobbed in my car for ten minutes.

I had gone back and forth, listening first to the audiobook of the Ron Chernow biography that inspired the play and then to the soundtrack until I caught up chronologically with my reading. By the time I had finished the biography, I was deeply invested in the stories and personalities of early American history, but when the final song shifted focus to Eliza … I was a goner. It was quiet, unexpected, meaningful, and so incredibly moving. I think it’s the best final number in musical theater history, and I will fight you on that.

There was no going back for me. I was obsessed.

If you care about musical theater at all, you already know that Hamilton is coming to town. The national tour arrives in Salt Lake City in just a few short weeks, and the digital fight to get tickets was a bloodbath. Whether you were one of the lucky few to get tickets or you’re now considering selling a kidney in order to afford one on craigslist*, the library provides plenty of ways to become the ultimate Hamilton fan.

1) Read the biography

3.1 Alexander HamiltonALEXANDER HAMILTON
By Ron Chernow
(2004)

The book that started it all. Lin-Manuel Miranda read ALEXANDER HAMILTON while on vacation in 2008 and spent the next several years gradually crafting the music, lyrics, and book for his musical juggernaut. Even if you’re not a big history buff, rest assured that Pulitzer prize winner Chernow is a master biographer who makes history come alive in an accessible, compelling way. 

 

2) Listen to the soundtrack

3.1 SoundtrackHAMILTON: ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2015)

If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet, stop reading and place a hold on it now.

Seriously. Now.

 

3) Learn the backstory

3.1 Hamilton the RevolutionHAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION
By Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
(2016)

Now that you’re knee-deep in the world of HAMILTON, it’s time to dive a little deeper. HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, also affectionately known as the Hamiltome, gives an insider’s look into the making of the musical. Part of what makes HAMILTON so accessible to so many people is the way it blends hip hop with classic musical theater styling. It has so many subtle nods to rap and musical theater history, and the Hamiltome is the best way to catch them all. 

 

4) Sing (and play) along

3.1 MusicHAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2016)

Even if you don’t have the velvety voice of Leslie Odom Jr. or the lyrical speed of Renée Elise Goldsberry, you can take your best shot at the music. We have both the standard piano/vocal music and an easy piano version for you to try. 

 

5) Keep reading

3.1 I Eliza HamiltonThe popularity of the musical has led to an explosion of Hamilton-related fiction in the past couple of years. For adults, there’s I, ELIZA HAMILTON, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR, and (later this year) MY DEAR HAMILTON, and teens can read ALEX AND ELIZA, HAMILTON AND PEGGY! A REVOLUTIONARY FRIENDSHIP, or ALEXANDER HAMILTON: THE GRAPHIC HISTORY OF AN AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHER.

Everything you need if you're not quite ready to leave Hamilton behind.

 

*The Provo City Library does not endorse selling human organs, even for Hamilton tickets.

Movie Theater Chairs

At this point, it’s hardly a surprise that some of the Greatest Films of All Time have been based on books. The Oscars even gives an award to the Best Adapted Screenplay every year—because movies based on books are awesome. This year I was surprised that more of the Oscar nominations for Best Picture aren’t based on books. It’s easy to guess that as long as movies are being made and books are being written, we’ll see book adaptions winning Best Picture. As we approach the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4th, here is a look back at some of the great books that have gone on to become Oscars’ Best Picture winners. 

2.28 Oliver TwistOLIVER TWIST
Charles Dickens
(1837)

It’s not surprising that one of the greatest novels of all time would be adapted into a Best Picture winner, it’s more surprising that that film is OLIVER! – a larger than life, musical retelling of the classic Victorian novel featuring songs such as “Food, Glorious Food.” 

 

2.28 Out of AfricaOUT OF AFRICA
Isak Dinesen
(1937)

Often counted as one of the greatest nonfiction books of all time, OUT OF AFRICA tells the true story of Karen Chistentze Dinesen and her life on a Kenyan coffee plantation. The film adaptation, also called OUT OF AFRICA, stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in a sweeping romance filmed on location outside Nairobi. 

 

2.28 Million Dollar BabyMILLION DOLLAR BABY: STORIES FROM THE CORNER
F.X. Toole
(2005)

This collection of short stories, originally published as ROPE BURNS, is based on the real-life experiences of boxing trainer Jerry Boyd (using the pen name F.X. Toole), and was adapted into the Best Picture winner MILLION DOLLAR BABY. The film, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, is an emotional story about a female boxer and the bond she forms with her coach. 

 

2.28 The Return of the KingTHE RETURN OF THE KING: BEING THE THIRD PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS
J.R.R. Tolkein
(1965)

This beloved and larger-than-life epic fantasy series was given the Hollywood treatment in the early 2000s with films that have become legendary in their own right. Though the first and second installments in the series were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, only the third – LORD OF THE RINGS, THE RETURN OF THE KING clinched the win. 

 

2.28 Forrest GumpFORREST GUMP: THE NOVEL
Winston Groom
(1986)

Maybe this is more common knowledge than I thought, but I was surprised to learn that FORREST GUMP was a book before it became a Best Picture winner. The fictional story of a kind man with a low IQ who happens to be present for the most significant moments in 1960s, 70s, and 80s without realizing the significance of his actions. FORREST GUMP is a heartwarming look at modern American History. Oh, and the movie stars Tom Hanks.

 

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