Sunday, December 11, 2016

Panel Quilt

For the last year I have been trying not to buy fabric and using what I have in my studio.  I knew I had a dragon panel, had an idea for using it and thought I knew where it was.  I still haven't found that but did come across this panel that I bought a few years back while visiting a friend in Illinois.  This is one of those pieces that you find buried deep and say to yourself, "What was I thinking?"

So now I have to change my tune and ask, "What can I do with this?"

There is a pattern I've been wanting to use for some time, okay, years, and decided to get a feel for it by making up a few for a border.  I believe the pattern is called "French Roses" and if I could find it out in my studio I'd go check but I seem to have misplaced it for the moment and that was before I put a cat out there who likes to play and knock everything over.  Don't ask.

The instructions call for appliqueing each individual piece down. I did that for the leaves and first 'petal' then decided I wanted a 3-D effect and backed the two middle pieces with left-over batting. Ran a big 'X' thru the middle of these to tack them down and then took the center and appliqued that. I was happy with the results and it was fun to do.  I'll be making more of this block. 

I know the picture doesn't show it but the red material in real life matches beautifully so I used that.  Now what to do with the tree which looks pretty bare by itself.  Hmm, well, hexagons are big right now.  Backed those also with batting and tacked them down with an 'X'.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finding Time to Read

When I am out doing book signings the topic usually comes up about people not having the time to read.  Personally I read at night.  It is my night-time ritual.  Most people say, "Yes, I've tried that but I fall asleep."  Yes, I do too!  That's the relaxing part after a run-around-day.

Right now I am reading, and thoroughly enjoying, Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize winning book: All The Light We Cannot See.  

530 pages and I am 71% through it according to Goodreads where I keep track of all my books.  I started this on Oct. 4th -- three weeks ago.  I make a goal of reading at least 2 pages a night.  Sometimes, lots of times, I read more, 5 pages, 10 pages, sometimes over 25 pages.  I read until I fall asleep.

Other times I take a book with me when my husband and I are headed out.  He drives and I can read then unless I'm checking out the fall colors here in the Midwest.  Or he stops for something he needs.  Who knows how long he'll be in the store and I'm just sitting in the car.  I haul my book out.  Yesterday I only got a paragraph read before he was back but there have been times I've read several pages before he's reappeared. 

Most people feel they have to sit down and read the whole book or at least read through it in a few days.  But you can stay in that world for as long as you like.  Even re-reading it if the mood hits.

Just enjoy reading wherever you are, no matter the time limit. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

1998 - 1999 Quilt

My quilt is finally done!
The blocks were given to me by five gals when we did a block exchange all those years ago.  From talking to the others this is the first one done. 

On the back a little bit of back art. I did a machine embroidery piece and then using a Sharpie wrote their names on it. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Defining a Christian/Inspirational Book

Recently I did a book signing.  I took a break at one point leaving my husband to manage things.  When I came back he asked me, "Do you call your books Christian?"

"No!  You've read my books, you know they're not."

"Why can't they be called Christian?  You don't have any devil worship in them."

"No, but I have sex in them. Swearing."

 "Christians don't swear?  None of them?  How do they propagate?"

 "Well, I suppose you have a point there.  And I do have my main character telling her boyfriend 'no' all through high school."  I thought about this for a moment because since I've started this publishing odyssey I've been asked this question numerous times plus, "Do you have swear words in your books?"  (Oddly enough people are more upset by swear words than sex.  I know because I've asked).

I said to my husband, "What brought this question up?"

"I had a woman ask me if your books were Christian and I didn't know the answer."

"So, what did you say to her?"

"I asked her her definition of a Christian book."

"What'd she say?"

He shrugged.  "She said she didn't know."

Hmmm. So I have 3 award-winning romance/mystery books that may or may not be Christian books.

Click here
to go to my website and make your own decision.

Monday, February 15, 2016

1998 - 1999 Blocks

About 18 years ago six of us quilters got the bright idea to make blocks once a month for each of us in the group, meaning we would make five blocks each month or six if we wanted one for our self.  Let me just say that 18 years ago I did not feel like making myself one after repeating the same block five times.  Today, I wish I had.  I have no idea what I made and gave away. 

I'm sure we had some general rules.  I have to think that the main one would have been: all blocks have to be the same size.  But apparently the artistic rule of 'anything goes' prevailed.  Of the 33 blocks that were given to me I had eighteen different sizes. 

The largest one was 13".  So to make them all the same I used the Twist and Turn method which was a lot of fun. Not every one of them could be done this way because of their size and some had to be trimmed down.

Here's the one that every block was based on:

Of course being the chocoholic that I am I had 2 blocks given to me with a chocolate motif and I 'wrapped' them in chocolate fabric as well.
Now if you have a block that's already on the diagonal twisting it makes it straight.  Wizened up and did not do that for the second one that was similar.

The longest one I treated as two blocks:

Next up, what shape did I want my quilt?  I basically had 34 blocks which does not a quilt make.  Did I want a 5 x 7 block quilt (35) or square 6 x 6 (36).  I really did not want a square quilt so I only added one of my own.  Lindbergh's Night Flight has become my signature block so:

I then made cornerstones using the fabric I had twisted with:

This project was a lot of fun and certainly brought back the memories.  Now to make the backing and a quilt label.  I pray I remember everybody's name to list. 

A few tips if you decide to do this:

Have them all the same size
Make everyone put their name and date (at least month and year) inside each block so that it doesn't get sewn into the seam.  This way you also have the names of those who participated.
Make one for yourself
Don't let 18 years pass by before you do something with them.  As far as I know everybody else has their blocks still in a box.