Quilters are notorious for finding charity projects. Many individual quilters, quilt clubs and guilds provide hours creating incredible quilts for infants, shelters, children in foster care, veterans, and families in need to mention just a few. I would like to add animal shelters to the list. (more…)
I participate in a quilt retreat which meets yearly in the spring at a peaceful, wooded camp in the West Virginia foothills. In addition to our incredible weekend together, we often choose to do a special project during the intervening year. This year we were randomly given a quilt type and two colors and told to make a small quilt (no larger than 36″ square) but something that is ‘outside the box’ for each of us.(more…)
In my last blog, I told you about the raffle quilt I’m making for a local animal shelter as a fundraiser. I promised to show you the finished product, but I’m having so much fun with these blocks that I really wanted to share them with you along the way. So, here are the first few blocks that I’ve made.(more…)
Another book, The Rescue Quilt, Book #7 in The Quilting Cozy series by Carol Dean Jones will be released by C&T Publishing on December 5th. The Rescue Quilt, currently available for pre-order, will be available at C&T Publishing, on Amazon (print and Kindle format), and in bookstores and fabric shops nationwide. This second edition includes (more…)
Well, my dear readers, we now have most of a cover quilt completed.
We have a title: Beneath Missouri Stars
We have a country music singer named Austin Bailey (Sophie’s heartthrob)
And we have a song that he wrote while strumming his guitar in the pasture behind his grandmother’s farmhouse
Do you suppose Book #11 is moving right along?
In the meantime, if you haven’t read the quilting cozy series, it’s time to get started so you’ll be ready when #11 comes out.
Begin with Tie Died: a quilting cozy available at C&T Publishing
And follow with Running Stitches, Book #2 in a quilting cozy series, also available from C&T Publishing
Both are available in print and ebook formats. Both can also be found on Amazon.
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.
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.
If 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.
You 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
My very best wishes,
I’ve been playing with border prints, 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!
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!
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.
I’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!
1,100 free copies of Tie Died: A Quilting Cozy were downloaded this weekend during Amazon’s two-day special! How exciting! Lots of new readers are getting to know Sarah and her cohorts in the retirement community while following their many escapades as they solve mysteries and quilt together.
Each book explores another aspect of quilting through the eyes of Sarah and her friends. In the first book, Tie Died, Sarah (hoping to preserve her husband’s ties) learns to quilt at the local fabric shop. In later books, she explores the historical aspect of quilts during the civil war, particularly those quilts designed to identify safe houses along the underground trail. At a quilt show, she learns how batiks are made, and on a quilting cruise, she explores paper piecing. Her fun-loving, boisterous friend Sophie resists quilting until she stumbles upon the art of piecing hexagons and then she’s hooked!
Those of you who are new to the series, welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. And to my loyal readers, thank you for spending time in Cunningham Village following the antics of this group of endearing friends.