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…)
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 email@example.com. 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!
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!