Tag Archives: writing

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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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

Brave Enough

Once again linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and others for Five Minute Friday.

I promised myself I’d start back up with the Five Minute Friday in May. Here is it Saturday, and the Five Minute Friday post for yesterday is just now going up. But, better late than not at all.

Brave

We often think and even say someone is brave, much braver than we’d be in the same circumstances.

But, here’s the thing, we’re as brave as we need to be at any given moment if we just allow ourselves to be.

When God called my husband home, several of my friends said, “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know what I’d do if it was me.” And then later when I’d do something different, “You are so brave.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

First no one knows what we’d do in someone else’s shoes. We haven’t been there yet so how can we know? I certainly didn’t know what I’d do when left alone. Not completely alone of course, God was always with me, and my husband’s memory stays. But, physically, alone.

I just took one step at a time. Sometimes not even whole steps. Sometimes not even steps, I just stood still and let God hold me up. But, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, I muddle through.

It’s the same for everyone. Whatever their challenge, we all bravely face it a piece at a time.

The same way we make a quilt, even a difficult one. We do one row, one block, one patch at a time.

There are quilts I haven’t gotten brave enough to tackle yet, maybe I never will. Yet, there are others that I do with relish. Brave as I need to be for the project at hand.

We are as brave as we need to be at the moment. Don’t worry that you don’t have the bravery of someone else, you don’t need it yet. What are you bravely facing today?

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker

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..

and Boost your Blog.

Sewing and Speaking

It’s Show and Tell Monday! Ok, it’s not, it’s just Monday. But, today is letter S for the A to Z challenge.

Okay, it’s not even Monday, it’s Wednesday. The post was ready, except for a picture on Monday. Still no picture, but a post of words is better than nothing. Right?

I’ve been a little (sometimes I am a master at understatement) behind on the blog challenges.  Last week I almost forgot I had a blog, much less a couple of challenges.

What in the world could make me forget something like my blog?

A speech contest. Speech contest begins with “S”, so I’m good. Right?

Sure, speech contest begins with “S,” but what does it have to do with quilts?

Well, the speech was about a quilt. Sort of. In the speech I compared our lives to quilts. To further illustrate the point I made a “quilt” to use as a prop.

I spent last week sewing, and speaking, giving practice speeches wherever and whenever possible including speaking to the dog. Poor baby. This week though, I’m back on track trying to accomplish too many things in too short of time. It was a fun week though. Too bad it didn’t end with a win.

Oh well, there’s always the next contest.

That was Monday. This is Wednesday. Shortly after writing that post and before I could take the picture of the quilt the stomach flu bug found and attacked me. No pictures, no posting, no writing. Just sick.

Better now, and future posts will, with luck, appear on schedule. 🙂 Hope the “bugs” haven’t attacked anyone else.

A is for Applique

For our ancestors an applique quilt represented wealth because of all the fabric used. They are not traditionally patchwork. At least not small patches.Not only were scraps not used in making the blocks, but these quilts had extra fabric on them!

Applique represents a wealth of time. Actually, appliquers don’t have any more time than other quilters. They just enjoy applique and are willing to spend their time stitching them. Of course, there are several methods of applique, some more time intensive than others

Maybe it’s a wealth of love that the quilter was willing to take the extra time to stitch down the applique pattern. An entire quilt can be made using applique blocks.

There are several methods of applying fabric to fabric to create an applique.

There is the needle turn, which almost makes the design look as if it’s floating on the background. This needle-turn Sunbonnet Sue was made over thirty years ago. Thank goodness my sewing skills have improved!

Sunbonnet Sue 2 - needle turn

The quilt with these little girls has long since bit the dust. However, since it was made for my daughter (she loved it to pieces) and the “dresses” are all feed sack fabric from her grandma, I saved the “girls” to be reused in another quilt at some point.

When I use applique now, I prefer to use a zig-zag stitch. It can hide a raw edge and makes using applique go much faster. When making quilts for six grandkids, fast is sometimes important. Another advantage of zig-zag applique is the sturdiness, which makes it the perfect method of children’s quilts.

Overall SamAnother hand sewing method is to do the blanket stitch by hand. It’s a pretty look, but much too labor intensive for me. Not to mention I wouldn’t keep my stitches even, and it looks best with even stitches. Heather Nelson, a young lady in our quilt guild used thirties reproduction fabric for her girls. Don’t you agree, her even stitches makes the applique?

Heather's Sunbonnet Sue

There are other methods of applique, do you use one of them? While I do my appliques by machine, I love the look of the hand work. How about you, do you use one method and enjoy the look of another?

Challenges

A blog challenge has been delivered and I have accepted it. Two, in fact.

First, is the blogging A to Z. Bloggers are challenged to post on their blogs every day in April and those post must follow the alphabet. Every post will be about something that starts with that day’s letter.

Which means Monday, April 1, this blog will be about applique. A is for applique. So it will go, every day, for the entire month. Well, every day except Sundays. With Sundays out of the lineup there are 26 days in April. Coincidentally, there are 26 letters in the American alphabet. Pretty handy.

That’s challenge one, to blog every Monday through Saturday following the alphabet.

Challenge two is from The Ultimate Blog Challenge.

That goal is to simply post every day. This time every day includes Sundays. The goal for April is to post every day. Every. Single. Day.

Stay tuned for Monday, the day of Applique, and the first day of a month of daily posts.

Have you taken any blog or life challenges lately? Did you succeed? Did they help you reach your goal?

Life Unedited

It’s been much too long since I’ve played with the little kids over at Gypsy Mama. I say “little kids” because Lisa Jo, my hero and the hostess of Five Minute Friday, is young enough to be my daughter. Most of the bloggers who join up are too. Oh sure, some of us grannies play, but mostly it’s the young’uns.

I love the Five Minute Fridays. I love reading the posts of those who play, and I love the idea of writing for five minutes with no editing. The prose might be broken, mispellings, horrible punctuation, or just random sentences that don’t belong. I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because that’s life. Life is unedited.

We patch the holes of pain, put on makeup to hide our blemishes, comb and style our hair just right, and choose our dress carefully before going out. We attempt to hide the holes of our mistakes, the cracks of pain. Life is unedited, and unplanned. At least by us.

Now, my five minutes are up.  I’ll go back to Gypsy Mama, and play with the others (read some of their posts.) Come and join us. You can write or just read. It’s fun.