Tag Archives: family

Visiting over Coffee

 

Can you meet me for coffee today? A couple of my friends and I enjoy getting together for “coffee” on occasion. Except, none of us drink coffee. That’s okay though, our favorite coffee shop makes marvelous drink, Italian Soda. I have no idea what’s in it, it is topped with whipped cream, I just know it’s good, and full of calories. But that’s okay, it’s also a cold drink, which is fine for summer, but not for winter. In the winter, I have tea. They have a wonderful selection.

Of course, we generally have a biscotti while we’re there. Would you like one?

biscottis

When you and I have coffee, the first thing I will do is breathe deep and inhale the intoxicating aroma of your coffee. I may not drink it but I love the smell. Go figure.

What can I tell you? I’m not planning any travels in the near future. Although I would love to hear about your trips, either those planned, or your recent experience. Laurel over at Alphabet Soup, who gave me the idea for this little coffee meet is planning a trip to Italy. It will be so fun to hear about it when she returns.

I take it back. I have traveled recently. The drive was only forty-five minutes, but we traveled back in time to see the dinosaurs.

jurassic-quest-sign-cropped

We, are me and my cousins Jared and Teresa. Jared is my second cousin,(I think) and his mother Teresa, is my cousin by marriage and my friend by choice.

jared-looking-at-a-dinosaur

Jared has special needs and we had a wonderful time “visiting” with the dinosaurs. He got to pet a baby dinosaur and bought a dinosaur shirt.

jared-and-baby-dinosaur

 My favorite picture of the day is one I don’t have a copy of. It is a picture of Jared sitting on a dinosaur, yes it is photo shopped. The best part though, they also took out his wheelchair. Jared has often made comments about something he’d do, or would like to do if he could. However, it’s something well out of his reach. To have a picture of him “doing” something he enjoys with no wheelchair in sight is fantastic to me.

After visiting the dinosaurs we went to one of the three Italian restaurants in Krebs, a nearby town. Krebs is known, at least in Oklahoma, as Little Italy. Anyone who visits wants to eat at one of those three places. I think the food is more Italian/American than authentic Italian, but it’s still unique and tasty.

Thanks to Laurel Regan at Alphabet Soup, for having coffee with her readers this morning and giving me this idea. This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

What would you tell me if we had coffee?

What is your favorite hot beverage?

Have you traveled recently?

Please let me know in the comments. I love visiting with you.

Quilt Artist to Word Artist

What happens when your brain has “quilt overload?”

Stone-Series-WEB

Sometimes a quilter just needs to take a break from quilting. A break from planning, cutting, and stitching. We need to get away from the sewing room, for just a bit. Completely away, no quilt meetings, no quilt magazines. What do we do when we need that break?

Read?

Now there are several authors who write books with quilts in them. They are good books, in fact I will be reviewing some of them later this summer. However, for something completely different, a book that is pure enjoyment, allow me to introduce Mariam Kobras, former quilt artist turned word artist.

I told someone the other day that  my review could be short, sweet and simple, “It’s a good book, buy it and read it.”

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Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for much of a blog post, or tell you anything about the book.  Naomi Carlsson is a “poor little rich girl” in one sense, but she is so much more. Her parents own the world-famous Carlsson Hotels and she is expected to take over the running of them.

Yeah, right. Remember when you were eighteen? Did you have dreams? Did they coincide with what your parents, or society thought you should do? What did you do? WAITING FOR A SONG is Naomi’s story of growth, and independence.

Everyone expected her to become engaged today. After all, it is her eighteenth birthday and her soon-to-be fiance has been waiting years for her to be old enough. Except, she’s not sure she wants to marry him, and there is not a crown prince available for her. Which is a good thing, since she doesn’t want to marry a prince either.

Naomi isn’t the demure little thing her parents and future husband, Seth want to make her into. When Seth, knowing she loves to ride, gives her the gift of a horse, a pedigree Arabian, it reinforces Naomi’s idea that he isn’t the man for her. Especially since her favorite mount is a stallion Apollo. She thinks the Arabian looks like a puppy and has no interest in it. Shouldn’t the man she marries know her and understand her love of Apollo, and how she would view the difference between the two horses?

The horse issue is one more piece of evidence that those who profess to love her don’t know her and only view her as possession, something valuable and needing to be safe guarded at all costs. She feels as though she’s bound with golden shackles, and smothered in loving protection Naomi is her own person and knows her own mind. From riding Apollo and feeling the wind in her hair to following her dream of song writing Naomi begins to find her way out of the maze of concern and protection her parents have hidden her in.

WAITNG FOR A SONG, is Naomi’s story. It’s more than a romance, it’s more than a coming of life story. It is a story we are all know and have experienced to some degree. It is also a bit of a fantasy, imagine running away from  home in style, aboard a jet plane and having the opportunity to see some of your fantasies come true.

Would you take that chance? Would you leave behind all that is familiar to you for the adventure of the unknown?

Unlike most books that are part of a series, WAITING FOR A SONG, which is Mariam’s fourth book (I think, I’ve lost track,) stands on its own and does not need the previous books to be understood, or enjoyed. Although, if you haven’t read the earlier books, now you will want to.

Photo on 5-2-14 at 4.37 PM #3

 

For a change of pace, take a break from quilting and read the entertaining works of quilt artist turned word artist, Mariam Kobras.

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M is for Museums of Quilts

Antique quilt

Antique quilt

Quilts often give us a chance to travel back in time. Imagine wrapping a quilt made by your mother, grandmother, aunt, or even great-grandmother. My friend and fellow author, Deborah has a quilt made by her mother-in-law, just for Deborah.

The quilt is across the bottom of her bed, for looks. However, on bad days, or when Deborah is ill she wants that quilt to wrap around her. It gives her the feeling of having her mother-in-law’s arms wrap around her. A feeling she enjoys since her mother-in-law died several years ago.

We don’t have to wrap a quilt around us to visit the past and feel the emotions of those long ago quilters. We can visit quilt museums. No, we can’t wrap up in those quilts, but just seeing them touches our hearts.

On my list of quilty places to visit is the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden Colorado. As a bonus, until the end of April that museum has a special exhibit by male (another “m” word) quilters.  While I won’t make it to the Colorado museum this month, it is on my list of places to see.

Quilt museums are like a permanent quilt show, giving guests the opportunity to see a variety of quilts over a longer period of time. The museums also offer visitors a chance to see special displays, such as the  round-up of men’s quilts available at the Rocky Mountain Quilt museum.

You don’t have to go to a quilt museum though. Other museums often offer a peek into the past with quilt displays. The quilt show above was made in 1850 and is on display in a museum in  Dodge City Kansas.

Do you have a quilt museum in your state?

Have you ever visited a quilt museum?

Do you own a quilt made by a relative, or loved one no longer with us?

The complete story of Deborah’s quilt is in Devoted to Quilting 2. Join us on Facebook at, A Patchwork Life.

Joining the fun bloggers at the A to Z challenge. Check them out for more great blogs.

Quilting In Jackson – A to Z Challenge

                                 J – Jackson

The wonderful bloggers over at the A to Z challenge are responsible for today’s post about the letter J.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash weren’t talking about Jackson Wyoming when they sang the song, “Jackson.” At least I don’t thing so. If they were, they sure weren’t singing about the quilts available there.

However, for the J portion of my quilty travels, Jackson Hole Wyoming and the quilt festival is where I hope to be headed in October.

According to the website there will be classes, vendors and quilts, I’m hoping lots and lots of quilts. On the way too and from Jackson Hole I can stop off in Colorado, probably have to go through there anyway. And enjoy some of this scenery:

Lake in the hills of Colorado.

Lake in the hills of Colorado.


Once I get to Jackson Hole, I can soak  up the beauty of the quilts on display and learn from some of the talented instructors available:

Natalia Bonner, author and free-motion quilter. Oh yeah, I hope to learn something from her. My free motion quilting is questionable to say the least.

Barbara Olson, fiber artist. Check out her work on her website. While I’m not an artistic quilter, she may change my mind.

Charlotte Warr-Anderson, quiltist. Her word. She is known for her portraits in fabric in which she uses intricate applique.  She has also been featured on been The Quilt Show.

Carole Liebzeit is a local quilter and will be sharing her varied talents with those attending the festival. Susan Garrity designs floral, abstract, wildlife, and landscape art quilt often using fabric she dyed.

When I’m all filled up with gorgeous quilts and my brain is stuffed with new lessons another stop in Colorado to visit with a few of my grandsons will top off the trip.

justin, hotshot and me 2013

 Have you ever taken a class at a quilt show?

What would be your dream location to attend a quilt show?

Have you ever combined a quilt show visit with another fun activity?

 

 

Quilts From the American Homefront – A Review

Last month I added another fabric swatch to my “quilt of life.” I’ve joined the Quilts of Valor quilters. For those of you who don’t know about this organization, they provide quilts to veterans, and those currently serving who have been in combat situations. It is a perfect way to show our gratitude to those who served for us.

When I met up with Barbara Nessle, the Oklahoma state coordinator she loaned me the book, QUILTS FROM THE AMERICAN HOMEFRONT, by Rosemary Youngs.

The book is a compilation of letters from or too those serving in World War II. Some of the letters are from loved ones here at home, while others were from, or to, girls they’d met before leaving the US.

Each set of stories and quilt blocks has a short introduction to the letter writers. There are 121 letters, with accompanying original quilt blocks designed by Rosemary.

It is easy to become absorbed in the letters and forget about the quilt blocks. Each letter gives us a glimpse into what life was like during those days. Once all the letters have been read, it’s time to look at the blocks.

The book doesn’t contain any patterns or templates, however the author does give good instructions for making templates. However, using the templates limits the size of the blocks. If you want larger or smaller (why?) blocks you’re on your own.

Except, can be made using traditional patterns. such as the one titled, Simply Beautiful.  This block was designed for a letter that jumps from subject to subject. The block appears to be a variation of the Drunkard’s Path block. Except, instead of using just two fabrics, it’s designed to use four. Of course, the placement of the blocks is also different, giving it a completely new look.

There are a few other blocks that look like they could be constructed using patterns from traditional blocks.

In addition there are over 25 blocks that are simply squares, rectangles, and half-square triangles.

I’m looking forward to making a few of these blocks once I get a few of my back-logged projects finished. And, of course, finish the Christmas sewing. Which means these blocks probably won’t be being made until after the new year. But, it does give me something to look forward to.

How about you? Have you read any quilt related books recently?

Do you prefer books have templates you can use, or do you prefer to make your own?

Wax Paper in the Sewing Room

 

Save time and money. Shop at home.

The time you save can be used working on a project. The money will go towards your next fabric purchase.

Shopping at home allows us to finish our projects without making a trip to the store. Today we’re shopping in the kitchen for emergency sewing supplies.

There it is. In your cabinets with other kitchen papers.

The roll of wax paper.

What can you do with wax paper.

Allow me to wax on about the benefits of wax paper in the sewing room.

1. The paper can be used for quilting over tee-shirt quilts. Often the presser foot will stick to the design of the shirt, making quilting difficult. Placing the wax paper over the design allows the presser foot to glide.

2. Draw the quilting design on the wax paper and place the paper over the quilt. Since you can see the quilt pattern through the paper, you will be able to tell if this pattern works for this quilt.

3. If you don’t have fusible handy when making a tee-shirt quilt, wax paper will help stabilize the stretching tee-shirt fabric for sewing.

4. Use the paper as a quilting template. Draw your quilting design on the paper then pin it to your quilt top. Stitch through the wax paper following your design. The wax paper will tear away when you’re finished, tweezers will help get the tiny pieces.

5. In a pinch wax paper can be used in place of a silicone sheet when pressing fusibles. The sandwich your fabrics between two pieces of wax paper. The paper will protect both your ironing board and your iron.

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