Missouri Stars

Sarah and Sophie (the main characters in my Quilting Cozy series) have totally ignored my reluctance to write another book in the series. They continued to niggle at me about allowing them to participate in a new story:  a country singer, a murder, a nursing home in turmoil, a night sky filled with glittering stars, and all their friends.

I stopped fighting it, and now Book #11 is in the works!  It will be many months before it hits the shelves and the e-readers, so this is just an early notice to my faithful readers. It will probably be entitled Missouri Stars, and that will be the quilt block featured in the quilt on the cover.

“It looks like we could touch the stars from here, but some seem so far away they couldn’t be reached for eternities.”… Sophie moved toward the bench without taking her eyes off the sky…“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a magnificent night sky,” she muttered…”It’s magical. Do you think the night skies in Missouri are always this spectacular?

Their overnight trip to Missouri left Sarah determined to design a quilt featuring the Missouri Star block.  As always, the characters in the book will be creating the quilt which is featured on the cover. And the directions for the quilt will be included at the end of the story!

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Thank you, my dear readers, for all your encouragement. As you know, the entire series (Books 1-10) is being published by C&T Publishing and will be re-issued beginning in September (two per month), and each will include the directions for the cover quilt. This will be an exciting year!

My very best wishes to all.

Cover Quilts – Tie Died

One of the first decisions I made regarding the first book in my quilting cozy series was to design a quilt for the cover and have my characters create the same quilt in the story.

Sarah, a widow and the main character of my book, having recently moved to a retirement village, decided she wanted to learn to quilt in order to preserve her husband’s ties. No problem for the story quilt, but what about the cover? I didn’t own any ties.

16452_frontcover_low (2)Okay, so I started with the family, and they agreed to share what they could. Then I hit the consignment shops and Goodwill. (I was surprised at the prices for used ties. New ties must have increased dramatically in price since I last bought new ones some twenty-five years ago!)

While shopping at Goodwill, I was noticing the many food stains on the ties and muttered to myself, “Are men using these things as bibs?” A male shopper nearby frowned and walked away. I guess he felt personally insulted. My mistake.

I ultimately collected enough ties to make my first cover quilt.

When one of my relatives, a retired policeman, saw the quilt he exclaimed, “My Department Ties! How did they get in your quilt?” I guess he wasn’t consulted. To make up for it, he is now the proud owner of that quilt. (He got his ties back!)

I had no idea that TIE DIED would be the beginning of a series, but within a few months of finishing it and getting it up on Amazon (I was self-publishing at that point), I found Sarah and Sophie nudging me to write one more – and then another. We now have ten books and ten cover quilts.

Will they keep nudging?

NOTE: The series is now being published by C&T Publishing and are due for re-release (Second Edition) on September 5, 2018 beginning with Tie Died. The new edition will include the pattern for the cover quilt in each book.

A few words about the series

booksIf you’ve read any of the books in my Quilting Cozy series, you already know that each book centers around a group of friends living in a retirement community in the Midwest. The stories focus on their friendships, their shared hobby (quilting), and each book includes a mystery to be solved.

These books are cozies – light mysteries without explicit sex or violence. Crimes occur ‘off stage’ and are ultimately solved by the group of friends, usually to the chagrin of the local police department.

What makes this series unique is that I, as a retired geriatric social worker, have subtly intertwined issues of aging into each book so that the reader will see the characters facing these issues in a variety of ways. My goal is to show the characters making choices which enable them to make the most of their retirement years. I show the importance of friendship, an active lifestyle, exposure to new experiences, and being open to learning new things.

As I said earlier, I keep it subtle – no preaching.  I just allow my characters to teach by example. You’ll get to know Sophie whose sense of humor camouflages her struggles, Sarah’s hesitancy to become romantically involved after years as a widow, and you’ll get to know Charles, the reluctantly retired police detective struggling to accept his changed role in life.

rescue3000SMALLYou can’t miss the fact that I’ve woven a few social issues close to my heart such as homelessness, dementia, and animal rescue.  But, at the same time, these books are intended to be fun. There are grandchildren and pets, family and adventures. In Moon over the Mountain, Sarah attends a quilt retreat in the mountains of Tennessee, and in Sea Bound her retreat takes place on an island cruise. Sophie volunteers to transport rescued dogs to their forever homes and ends up rescuing one herself.

So whatever your age, I hope you find something about this series that touches your life. I’d love to hear from you either by leaving a message below under ‘comments,’ using the CONTACT ME page, or simply by sending me an email at quiltingcozy@gmail.com. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

My very best wishes,

Carol

 

A Swirling Frenzy

I’ve been playing with border prints,IMG_3066 (1) my 60-degree equilateral triangle ruler, and Bunnie Cleland’s Triangle Frenzy Swirl pattern.

These table toppers have been fun to make and are extremely easy.  Once the tops were done, I simply stacked them with batting and backing, stitched and turned them, and followed the lines in the pattern as a quilting guide. The bottom two were done with just six of the triangles without the connecting piece.

Okay friends, now you know what you’re getting for Christmas in 2018!

 

 

Free Book – Tie Died: A Quilting Cozy

1-Tie DiedThe Kindle edition of the first book in the quilting cozy series is being offered by Amazon FREE this Saturday, March 31.

In this book, you will meet Sarah and her feisty friend Sophie as Sarah reluctantly moves into Cunningham Village retirement community.  Sarah’s life takes an unexpected turn as she immediately finds herself being swept up into the many social activities, new relationships, the quilting community, and (much to her surprise) the investigation of a murder!

Mark your calendars to download this book at no charge anytime between 12:00 a.m. and midnight on Saturday, March 31st.  If you enjoy the first one, you’ll have nine more to read in the Quilting Cozy series — all filed with growing relationships, quilting projects, mysteries, and folks getting the most out of their retirement years.

1st birthdayRemember, that’s this Saturday, March 31, 2018:

Go to Amazon:   TIE DIED: a quilting cozy

 

 

Where to from here?

Readers of my Quilting Cozy series continue to ask if there will be a #11, and I never know what to say. As you probably know, Books 1-10 have been picked up by a publisher and will be reissued during 2018 with new covers, a fun addition, and a whole new distribution plan.

But what about a Book #11? I’ve made a number of attempts and have written  (and rewritten) five or six chapters, making numerous changes and generally struggling with it. I’m beginning to think that perhaps the story of Sarah and her retirement community friends just might have reached its conclusion. Perhaps it’s time to say goodbye.

How about something new? Simultaneously,  I’ve been playing with another idea, and have five or six chapters of that one in draft form as well. It’s tentatively entitled Glimpses and you’ll see why in a moment.

The setting is current day, and the main character is a forty-year-old single mother in the process of closing down the estate of her reclusive grandmother. There are quilts, of course, a nutty neighbor, an annoying yet persistent ex-husband, and a fourteen-year-old girl whom you will recognize if you ever had a teenage daughter.

Oh, and also there’s a delightful, fun-loving young flapper from the 1920s who keeps everyone on their toes (an ethereal being, of course). I promise that we are not talking about a scary ghost — just a young apparition with a reason to stick around.

What do you think? Would you object to a change of pace?

I’d love to hear what my current readers, potential readers, followers, and friends think of these ramblings. Please comment below.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Floating Blocks

I don’t have my borders on yet, but I’m so eager to share this project that I’m going to go ahead and post a preview. This has been such fun to make!

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I’m not sure where this design originated. I saw a picture of a similar one and worked out the pattern. And, needless to say, I’m using my Kaffe Fassett collection again. I love the way this quilt appears to be three dimensional.

borderI’ve ordered Kaffe Fassett’s Lotus Leaf Purple for the border and am considering a plain inner border of turquoise.

It’s long and thin so I’ll use it on my guest bed (twin) and will post a picture once it’s complete and quilted.

Just wanted to show it off. It’s a fun quilt and I’m obviously totally addicted to Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Please share and see if you can get me a few more followers. Have an incredible 2018!

Carol