FREE BOOKS – Books #1-2 of A Quilting Cozy by Carol Dean Jones

FREE TO THREE WINNERS

Books #1 (Tie Died) and #2 (Running Stitches) of the 12-book Quilting Cozy series will be signed by the author and sent to the three winners. The drawing will be held on May 18, 2022 using a random number generator.

To enter the drawing, you must be a follower of the blog and leave a comment below. (If you are not already a follower of this blog, be sure you sign up.) Your comment need only state that you want to be included in the drawing, but I love to hear from you and what you’ve been doing.

I want to welcome all our new followers. If you are new to A Quilting Cozy series, this is a 12-book series that takes place in an active retirement community in the mid-West. Sarah and her retired cohorts enjoy quilting, friendship, and the occasional murder!

Amazon is now offering the first 11 books in the series on Kindle Unlimited where they are free to members but they are also offered by Amazon for purchase in ebook or print formats. These books are published by C&T Publishing.

Please don’t forget there is a 12th book, Frayed Edges, released last summer. (You will find places on Amazon where this is referred to as an 11-book series and that is not correct. Hopefully, they will correct that mistake soon.)

For those of you who have read the series, you might like to enter the drawing anyway. These signed books make great gifts for your friends.

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m leaving for a quilt retreat tomorrow, so am making this brief.

My very best to everyone. I look forward to reading your comments.

Carol

A Quilting Cozy Series – Now Available on Kindle Unlimited

The first eleven books of this series are now available on Kindle Unlimited which means if you sign up for Kindle Unlimited on Amazon, you will get the ebooks at no cost beyond the membership fee! This has not yet been extended to the last book in the series (Frayed Edges, A Quilting Cozy, Book 12) but the publisher is working on that.

Also, Amazon is erroneously listing the first eleven books as part of an “11-book series” and this is not correct. There are 12 books in the series and Book #12, Frayed Edges, is on Amazon just not included in the count. I have heard from many readers saying they have just read Book 11 and they hope I’m writing more so I’m hoping to reach those people so they will know there is a Book 12, Frayed Edges.

Okay, with that out of the way – It’s finally springtime at least here in the United States. I’m in West Virginia and the leaves are beginning to come out and my Red Bud is in full bloom. The blossoms took a beating in a surprise snowstorm a couple of days ago. Red Buds are very common in West Virginia and can be seen in the early spring along every winding country road. Story goes that early settlers used the presence of Red Buds as an indication that the area had excellent soil.

And it’s time to begin spring cleanup in the yard and the house. I’m planning to do Spring House Cleaning next week. Yes, I know that’s out of date, but I’m in my 80s and we older (and more traditional) folks still do things like that. I believe, at least in my family, it was necessary during the thirties and forties because of the coal-burning furnaces. Spring was spent clearing away the soot that had accumulated in hidden corners and particular on the wallpaper (yes, wallpaper! remember, I’m old). My grandmother and I would clean the walls with this rubbery stuff which was like silly putty. I was responsible for the bottom two feet! (I was young then!).

I have been making baby quilts for an outreach program in our county. It’s called YoungLives and is directed toward pregnant teenagers and young mothers. One focus is for trained mentors to encourage and help them stay in school and also to provide training in parenting skills and help these ‘children’ transition into parenthood. So far, I’ve made a couple dozen baby quilts and will include more pictures in my next blog.

I want to welcome all our new followers! Pat Sloan has very kindly shared my books with her followers and I have heard from many of you that they are enjoying the series. Thank you, Pat! And welcome newcomers.

I also want to encourage my new followers (and everyone else) to continue leaving a message under ‘Comments’ below or writing to me at QuiltingCozy@gmail.com. I’d love to see pictures of your quilts or other crafts, or simply hear what you’ve been doing. I hope the addition of my series to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited makes it possible for more people to read the books.

My very best wishes to everyone,

Carol Dean

Baby Quilt with Nautical Theme…

A few months ago, a friend asked me to make a quilt for a baby shower she would be attending. The parents, she explained, were water enthusiasts and she knew they would like a baby quilt with a nautical theme. She left the design up to me but gave me a few parameters. She wanted it to be blue, red, and white and she wanted whales included. At one point she said ‘I’m picturing red and white strips somewhere in it.’

What I decided to do was design sailboats for the front and put flannel whales on the back. I found this great piece of flannel which I cleared with her before ordering it and she loved it:

Soft flannel…found it on Etsy

Then for the quilt. I decided to have 12 sailboats, 6 blue boats with red sails and 6 red boats with blue sails. After sketching my simple layout (4 rows of sailboats, 3 in each row, with sashing and a border), I went through my stash and to my favorite online fabric stores and settled on these fabrics:

I searched the web for a free sailboat pattern and ended up designing one using parts of several patterns and making up the rest! I then began cutting fabric and assembled 12 small and 12 large sails, backgrounds (white), 6 boats, and 6 masts.

Once I attached the boats and completed 12 blocks, I laid them out and tried out borders for the blocks. Fortunately, I had a piece of blue that gave the impression of water. I obviously needed something between the blocks so I added a narrow navy blue sashing.

I tried out a red outer border but it demanded too much attention so I changed to a navy fabric with lighter blue dots to compliment the ‘water.’

And here is the finished quilt (approx 38″x48″) with flannel whales on the back:

I had forgotten about the ‘red and white stripe’ my friend had mentioned so you can see where it ended up! She loved the quilt and the new parents were delighted!

The Quilting Cozy series

Book sales have continued to be good despite my long absence from blogging and otherwise spreading the word. But C&T Publishing has continued to plug away with marketing and keeping the word out there for all of its authors.

Do you have all the books in The Quilting Cozy series?

It looks like this will remain a 12-book series. I stopped writing during the pandemic and just haven’t been inspired to write more. For those who have read the whole series including the most recent book, Frayed Edges, you know that all our characters (who have become friends to most of us) were left in good places.

For those of you who have not read the series, I encourage you to start with #1 (Tie Died) so you will be able to follow the relationships as they develop. The mystery is always there but sometimes what goes on between these delightful characters is even better. The series offers great winter reading if you live where the snow falls and my friends in Australia will be enjoying them as relaxing summer reading.

Purchase books from Amazon here

My very best wishes to all my followers. I would love to hear from you. Please leave a message under COMMENTS below or go to my CONTACT ME page and leave me a note. You can also email me directly at QuiltingCozy@gmail.com. Please excuse my long absence from blogging. I’m sure you understand. It’s been an unusual year. Prayers for 2022.

I value all my followers, readers, and friends.

Blessings,

Carol

A Project Outside the Box

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.

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AND THE FUN CONTINUES FOR SARAH AND SOPHIE…

The Rescue Quilt.jpgAnother 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…)

Another book?

IMG_3579

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.

#1-2

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.

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!

 

 

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!