#11 is in the works…

During the spring, it became clear that Sarah and Sophie were both talking to me at once! They were demanding that they not be stuck away in the file cabinet nor allowed to collect dust on the bookshelf.  They still had crimes to solve and quilts to make.

So I started writing and now have 40,000 words towards Book #11 temporarily entitled “Untitled.”  A country singer (and local heartthrob) named Austin Bailey has appeared on the scene and, as usual, our leading ladies are in over their heads attempting to solve a crime.

I won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away. (That’s not the real reason I won’t say more. As many of you know, I’m as surprised as everyone else when I get to the end of a book. I never know where it’s going or who did it until the words flow onto the page.)

Oh, and there will be lots of quilting.

What have you been working on?

 

 

 

Summer Quilting

It’s been over a month since I stopped in to say hello. I hope you’re having a great summer.

It’s been a lazy summer with very little writing and just a smattering of quilting. My primary accomplishment this summer has been to reach the ripe old age of eighty. I celebrated with family from Virginia,  Maryland, California, and New York which made it well worth hitting this new decade.

I thought I’d share with you the project I’ve been working on. I’ve misplaced the name of the block, but I got it from a Missouri Star tutorial. I needed a blue throw for my living room, so I purchased two layer cake packets from http://www.missouriquiltco.com: Yuki by Debbie Maddy for Moda.

I then chose two contrasting 10″ squares and cut a 2.5″ strip from the top, bottom and sides of each. I then switched the centers to form two blocks which I stitched and trimmed to 8.5″.  I  repeated this process using most of the 10″ blocks until I had enough to make a throw.

I haven’t sewn them together yet, but you get the idea:

Earlier this year I used this pattern to make a somewhat scrappy quilt in blues and yellows as a gift for a friend in Italy. This is a great pattern when you need a quilt in a hurry. IMG_3280

So that’s been my summer so far. Family visiting, a bit of quilting, and eagerly awaiting C&T Publishing’s release of the second edition of my quilting cozy series. The first book, Tie Died, will be available on September 4th and the others will follow at the rate of two per month until all ten have been released. The new edition will include the pattern for the cover quilt which is also created by the characters as part of the storyline.

Meanwhile, Book #11, most likely entitled Beneath Missouri Skies, is awaiting its final chapter and lots of editing.

Thanks for following my blog and for your patience during this quiet period. Don’t forget I love hearing from you. Please comment below or drop me a line at quiltingcozy@gmail.com. How are you spending your summer?

My very best wishes.

C&T Publishing blogs about Sarah

In C&T Publishing’s blog of June 14th, Sarah and her cohorts from my Quilting Cozy Series were introduced, along with the new covers which will appear on the second edition of the series. Books 1-10 will be released beginning on September 4th, 2018, and will continue with two books being released per month through January 2019.

An exciting addition will be instructions for making the quilt featured in the story and on the cover of each book. The new covers are excellent, adding consistency to the series.

Many of you have already read this series, and I hope you’ll share the C&T blog with your friends and with other quilters who may not have discovered them.

Hope you have a fantastic summer.

To see the new covers, please click here:   Aging with Grace and Spunk

 

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!