Category Archives: Devoted to Quilting

A to Z Blog Challenge

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Thanks to Nancy Doyle, I realized the other day that the A to Z challenge was almost here. For some silly reason I thought it came later in the year, don’t know why.

Sew, I got busy and started thinking what I could do for a theme. Had one too, almost had enough ideas for the month even. For a pantzer like me (a pantzer is someone who does things by the seat of her pants rather than planning) that was amazing. True, the posts weren’t written, but the ideas were there for most of the letters.

Then, the idea changed. No problem, still plenty of time. Next I realized it was time to reveal the theme. Goodness, I hadn’t even signed up yet, and here it is time to post the theme. Good thing the ladies on the quilting page over on Facebook are such troopers.

Thanks to them I now have a theme, Quilty Destinations, and a quilty place for almost every letter. Goodness, I may become a planner yet. Naw, not going to happen.

Stay tuned though. Coming April 1,  there will be a blog post here. Every.Single.Day. Well, except Sundays, we take Sundays off. Which is fair, I don’t sew on Sunday, so I guess no traveling on Sunday either. At least  on the blog.

Come along in April and Travel with me to different Quilty destinations.

Reading Break for Quilters

Song of the Storm book cover Calling all quilters. The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, it’s too hot for sewing. If you’re ready to take a sewing break and read I have the perfect book for you. SONG OF THE STORM is book three in the Stone Trilogy by Mariam Kobras.

With another captivating episode in the Jon and Naomi Stone saga, author Mariam Kobras has quilted her magic. SONG OF THE STORM,  the last (maybe) book in the Stone Trilogy continues with the real-life characters, conflict,  love and tragedy.

Life with a rock star isn’t easy, but hotel empire heiress, Naomi is determined to build a life together with her soul mate, rock star Jon Stone. Jon is just as determined. However, just as in our lives, their road to happiness is often rocky and the baggage both carry from the past, too many times,  gets in their way. Good news, that another child is on the way leads to more insecurities for both of them.

The book isn’t just about Naomi and Jon though. Their lives are intertwined with family and friends who also have issues. A subplot of the book revolves around one of those close friends, Jon’s manager Stan.

Stan has long-held a one-sided love for Naomi. When he meets Maya, he believes he’s found Naomi’s replacement. Except, happiness isn’t always easily achieved. Maya has a maturity well beyond her young age. She realizes long before Sal does that their love is not made to last. Will Stan find a lasting love? Only readers of SONG OF THE STORM, and the author of course, will know.

The reappearance of Naomi’s parents adds more tension to the story. They have little belief in their son-in-law, and often display concern for their only daughter’s safety, both physical and emotional. Given their background, and knowledge of the past, it’s easy to understand. Yet, this reader, wanted them to just love their daughter and accept her marriage. However, since that rarely happens in real life, it felt right that they continue to suspect their son-in-law and the marriage.

In the middle of all of the tension, and emotional confusion we are reminded that family, friends, and love are what is truly important when the characters are forced to deal with the real-life tragedy and drama of the September 11 attack.

Wherever you were, the emotions you felt that day will return as you are taken back to that unforgettable experience. However, Jon, Naomi, their family and friends remind us that hope and love are eternal.

SONG OF THE STORM  is a perfect read while you take a break from sewing and quilting. You can curl up on the couch under the air conditioning and continue the journey with Naomi and Jon. If you haven’t read book 1, THE DISTANT SHORE, and  book 2,  UNDER THE SAME SUN, no worries, this book stands alone. Although you WILL want to get book one and two, because you won’t be ready to let them go and you’ll want more time with them.

WARNING!! Do not read this by the pool if you are also watching young children. You will be pulled into the story and forget where you are. Leaving children unsupervised around water is not recommended. However, if  there are no children present, read and allow yourself to be whisked away.

For more reviews, or to meet Mariam herself, check out her blog at  where all the links for the blog hop can be found.

Mariam

Stars and Quilts

She slipped out of the house, closing the door with a soft click. No need to wake the rest of the family. She skirted around the toys of her younger siblings and headed for a clearing in the front yard.

She tossed the quilt on the sandy desert ground and sat down. For several minutes she just sat and stared at the stars above and soaked in the cool night air. Finally, she said aloud the words that were in her heart.

“Please send me somebody to love me for me. Someone who will accept me the way I am and not want me to be someone else.”

She began to trace her fingers around the well-known outline of the hexagon shaped pieces of the quilt. So many different contrasting, and competing fabrics sewn together to create a beautiful quilt.

As she traced the shapes the words filled her heart. “I love you the way you are. I don’t want you to be someone else. I love you for you, I created you that way.”

She smiled softly, “I know. But, could you also send someone real? Someone who will allow me to feel safe and love in his embrace.”

There was no immediate answer. Still, the girl felt better being she was okay just the way she was, she didn’t need to be a genius, or a fabulous typist, or a social butterfly, she was okay as her.

Six months later. Attending the college of their choice, in a state far from her friends, she met a man whose arms sheltered her when she hurt. A man who loved her not for who she was, but because she was her. They were together thirty four years before he went Home.

Joining up is Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday. Check out the other bloggers playing along and why not come join us? The rules are simple:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back at Lisa Jo’s site, here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-belong/#sthash.45Mgtorx.dpuf
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-belong/#sthash.45Mgtorx.dpuf

Best Present, Worst Present

The worst present I ever received was also the best present.

the house shortly after moving day.

the house shortly after moving day.

In 2006 he signed the paperwork for our very first house. The first house we (along with the bank) would own. The first house we couldn’t lose because someone else decided they wanted to sell it, or some family member needed a house. The first house where he could build his pig barn just the way it wanted, and it would add value.

It was an anniversary gift of sorts. Since he was a teacher, and in the early years we moved during July, our anniversary month, our private joke was he got me a house for our anniversary. Of course, we’d lived in Stuart for 28 years, so there hadn’t been any “house presents” in recent years.

It was a fabulous present to ourselves, our own home.

Except, we never lived in it. WE never lived in it, I do. Oh, we both moved. Just to different “homes.” He actually moved home, to live with God. I on the other hand, moved to our new house, the place that was to be a home.

Now, after seven years, it almost feels like a home. Every day I’m thankful for his worst, and best present to me.

The side yard of our house, a view to love.

What was the best present you ever received?

What was the worst present you ever received?

What is the best present you ever gave?

Hooking up ( a couple of days late) with Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday.

Three Considerations when Looking for Quilt Show Venues

Location is the first consideration when planning a quilt show. You can read all five important ingredients for a quilt show here.

Your location will depend on where you live, and what is available to you. You can make almost any location work. Some may take a little more creativity, ingenuity, and even elbow grease.  However, before you can begin scouting for the appropriate location there are three factors  consider.

1.Indoors or out? Is your show going to be a one day outdoor event, or do you prefer an indoor venue?  This will affect where you locate.  An outdoor quilt show can be fun and successful, although you do need to have a contingency plan in the event of inclement weather.

There are several successful outdoor quilt shows held each year including: Eureka Montana Quilt Show, August 3, in Eureka Montana. Winters California Quilt Show, June 22, in Winters California, and of course,The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, held the second Saturday in July in Sisters Oregon.

2. Finances. How much can you afford to pay for the use of the facilities?  For small groups a free location is best,  as they don’t usually have a lot of money in their treasury. Some locations to consider for a free, or low-cost use are: school auditoriums if  the students are on a break. Churches, often have a dining hall or activity center they are willing to have used for a quilt show. Town halls, or community centers often have a large open space perfect for a quilt show. Some farmers and ranchers have large barns or shop buildings that are empty, or can easily be emptied, during certain parts of the year, they may consider allowing a quilt show in their barn. The Clarita Amish Auction held the second Saturday in September includes a quilt display (before the auction) in one of the barns. Once your finances are established, it’s easier to narrow the location search.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

3. Accessibility. You want people to be able to get to your quilts to view them. Adequate parking is one consideration, if you use a farmer’s shop building, your customers need to be able to drive and park on his pasture, unless of course, the shop is located right next to the road. You want to avoid the need for people to park in the road, it’s not safe, and will deter some possible attendees from stopping.  A nearby parking lot is your best option, if available. You also want your venue to be accessible to those in wheelchairs, with walker or pushing strollers. If stairs must be climbed, you’ll need to install a ramp, a temporary one if necessary, for those needing one. Most public venues will be wheelchair accessible, it’s just something to keep in mind. You want your beautiful quilts accessible to everyone who wishes to see them.

Questions:

1. What is the most unusual location you’ve visited for a quilt show?

2. What is the most difficult obstacle your group has had to overcome to have a quilt show?

3. How far will you drive to attend a quilt show?

Beauty Surrounds Us

According to the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ” But it is so much more. As I drank my tea on the porch this morning, soaking in the beauty pf God’s handiwork, I thought about what was beautiful to me.

The birds chirping and singing, add a beautiful sound to my world. The flowers blooming are beautiful to look at. The Honeysuckle growing on the pasture fence add a beautiful scent. The smell of fresh cut grass is almost intoxicating.

All of that is beautiful, but the most beautiful gift is time.

Time to help someone, time spent with another. Today, I watched my son sitting on the tractor as he cut the grass in the pasture surrounding my house. The little pastures aren’t big enough to bother trying to get a baler in them, and I don’t have any cattle to eat the grass down, so the tractor it is.

The gift of his time using the brush hog on my pasture was made more beautiful by the time spend driving to my house. My son lives over an hour away, yet he gave his time, on a holiday weekend to come and help me out.

Time. A beautiful gift.

Today I’m linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Fridays. Rules are simple:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-beautiful/#sthash.shEOgHzf.dpuf

Should Quilts Look Like the US Flag?

I used to believe about quilts the way Will Rogers believed about men. He never met a man he didn’t like and I thought I’d never seen a quilt I didn’t like, at least to some degree. I was wrong.

“We should make a quilt that looks like a flag.” A member of our guild mentioned one afternoon as several of us were visiting.

“Um, I’d rather we didn’t.” I tried to be diplomatic, after all if that’s what everyone else wanted to do, they’d do it, majority rules and all that. Of course, that didn’t mean I’d have to participate. Someone always sat out a group project for one reason or another.

“Why, not for goodness sake?” She asked.

“It feels disrespectful to me.” I gave her the short answer. ”

“Well, I think it’s showing respect.” She crossed her arms and sat back as though I should immediately agree with her.

I didn’t.

If the subject comes up again, and it will. After all that was just a few of us tossing ideas around, I’m sure the subject will come up at a meeting. I’ll still opt out. But this time, when they ask me why, I’ll send them to this blog.

Today,  the United States of America celebrates not only our independence from King George, but our establishment as a country..

We celebrate as a country united, a country of mixed ethnic groups, cultures, ideas and ideals. We are one country and we defend each other, even as we disagree.

Today, as we celebrate our unitedness (yes, spell check, that is a word, it’s my word) is a good time to explain why I don’t like quilts that look like flags. Why I feel it’s disrespectful.

First, you need to understand what our flag represents to me. The flag represents every US citizen, from the native-born to the immigrants, recent and past, the flag represents all of us. The flag belongs to everyone, high-ranking executives, to minimum wage hamburger slingers, and every economic, and intellectual group in-between.

The flag represents our rights.

It represents mine and my friend’s right to disagree with each other, and have a discussion about it, in public.

It represents my right to own, have ammunition for, and shoot a gun. Your right to not have a gun in your possession. It does NOT represent my right to shoot you because I disagree with you.

It represents the right of the Jews to worship in their synagogue, the Christians in their church of choice (and we have several), the atheists to not worship at all. It even represents the westboro group the right to believe the way they believe. It does NOT represent anyone’s right to disrupt another person’s life because they believe differently.

It represents my (and your) right to visit relatives and friends, or just sight-see in another state without getting anyone’s permission.

It represents my (and your) right to vote for those who will serve us in our state and federal legislature, it even represents our right to vote them out of office when their personal agenda takes precedence over our wishes.

The flag represents our Heroes. Those who serve us at home, and abroad, our police, firefighters, and military. Sometimes at the cost of their lives. The flag represents their choice to serve us, even knowing the possible cost.

The flag represents all of our rights, not just the few I listed, and those who fought, and sometimes died to protect our rights. I do not want it disrespected.

To disrespect the flag disrespects our rights and more importantly all of those who serve and served to protect those rights.

A quilt  placed on a bed, gets tangled with other covers and kicked on the floor. It is not respected and does not show respect for the original flag or those it represents.

A quilt, folded and placed on the floor for a baby to crawl on, spit-up on, and even have diaper accidents on, is not showing respect to the flag.

A quilt,  thrown over a picnic table, used as a tablecloth, and has food spilled on it, is not being showing respect.

A wall quilt made to look like a flag could be considered showing respect, except I seldom make wall quilts, and if I want to hang a flag on my wall, I’ll put the real thing.

No, I do not like flag quilts. I do not find them a sign of respect.

You, of course, are free to disagree. That’s one of the rights the flag represents. How do you feel about flag quilts? Do you enjoy making them? Share your thoughts.