Quilts Make a Family

Quilts Make a Family
Book Ten

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Holidays

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! The quilters of Foggy Point are busy finishing up their last minute quilted gifts, and although their latest adventure kept me from making a lot of homemade gifts, I did finish my final project last night.
I'm anxiously waiting for Quilt by Association and looking forward to my upcoming events.
My first signing of the new year will be Jan 14 & 15 at the Pine Needle in Lake Oswego, OR. They always have great teachers and designers at their Winterfest so it's fun to join them - and I always find some new fabric or book I can't live without.
At the end of January I'll be going to the Oregon Garden Quilt Show in Silverton. It is always a great show and I hope to see everyone there!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Another Book - Almost Finished

 Where has the time gone? I had hoped to have my fourth quilting mystery novel in the bag before I left for the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October, but alas it was not to be. The nearly finished novel became a completely written one thanks to a lot of night writing at my desk at the Hilton Hotel. It is nearly finished with the editing process and should be fast tracked to come out in December! Hooray. . . 
 Festival was magnificent as usual. Market was productive - I met lots of nice quilt store owners and other quilting professionals and hope to develop ongoing relationships with all of them. 
I'll let you all know as soon as my new books is out - the title, by the way is Quilt By Association . . . .

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer's Here!

I've been away from blogging for a while, but I'm back!
I hope everyone has been quilting up a storm. . . I'm not getting much quilting done as I'm in the thick of writing on my fourth quilting novel, Quilt By Association and my second Harley Spring mystery, Widowmaker has recently been released. As if that weren't enough, Zumaya Publications and the stable of authors (that includes me) are guest hosting at www.coffeetimeromance.com for the month of July - this is not just for romance readers! If you want to meet and natter with Zumaya authors, check it out! Also - as a part of our celebration, we are posting a round robin story at wordpress.com . Yours truly is about to post her first entry into the story. If you want to see how cozy quilt ladies fit in with the more hard-boiled crowd - check us out!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Litigious World We Live In

Okay, this post has nothing to do with writing, quilts or knitting - but . . . when I came back to Portland (from Tillamook) today, I turned the television on and a commercial was telling me that I might qualify as a claimant in a class action suit that has been brought against a long list of lawn mower manufacturers for overstating the horsepower of their mowers. . . Honda for example had to pay $7.5 MILLION dollars while denying any wrongdoing. I could get either $35 or $75 depending on my mower. Now I ask you, is the average person mowing their lawn injured to the point of deserving a cash settlement just because their mower has slightly less HP than stated? Is this the best use of all these peoples time? Multi-millions of dollars because of lawn mowers? It is clearly stated all over the claim that this is in no way a safety issue. . . 
I'm thinking of how much more good that money would do if we applied it to health care, or hunger or jobs. . . but lawn mowers? ARGHHH. . . .
Here is the link to the settlement

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cats Cats Cats . . .

I learned last week of the passing of my friend Suby's cat Sampson. 
I know many people have had cats pass from their lives, but Sampson was special. He was so special, our vet sent Suby flowers and a hand written note of condolence. He noted that Sampson was the oldest cat he'd ever treated! This cat was 23 years old (I'm not sure when his birthday was, so he may have even reached 24!). I was amazed, so I looked up feline longevity on Google and discovered that cats can actually live into the low 30's! If they are mostly indoor cats. . . I had no idea.
On the home feline front, my own dear cat, Lydia, has decided that on the days my granddaughter comes to our house, she needs to be the nursemaid. She sits within a few feet of the toddler at all times, which means she gets patted and pulled on and has her tail run over by the toy stroller at least twice per day.She's generally exhausted by Tuesday nights. 
I just finished reading Mary Stanton's new Beaufort and Company book - Avenging Angels. It is the third in the series and a good read. If you like a mystery with an unusual premise, these are for you. The main character finds herself defending the souls of the dearly departed in the Celestial Court system and at the same time, running a normal law practice. 
As I said, a clever premise.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tillamook Times

It was nice to get back to Tillamook and the Cordelia's Knitters this week. The group has been busy knitting hats, socks, scarves etc. Latimer Quilt and Textile Center got more new yarn in while I was gone. The long awaited Malabrigo Yarn order arrived while I was in Texas. I can hardly wait to see what the knitters create with that. The group helped pick out some Mountain Colors yarn while I was gone also, so now we're waiting for that. 
On the book front, I sent in my galley corrections for the long awaited sequel to Chip and Die - The Widowmaker.  I'll let you all know when it's available to order. 
Lydia and I finished listening to The Collectors by David  Baldacci this trip. She gave it two claws up for being long and having a male reader with a deep voice. I enjoyed the fact that the crime solving quartet were older than thirty. . . and the fact that Lydia liked it enough to listen. . . 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Clark County Guild Show

It has been a fast and furious return to Portland for me. After one day of laundry, appointments etc,
I spent three days selling books at the Clark County Quilt Guild Show. It is a great show with very competitive quilts and a good selection of vendors. 
As promised, here is a small update on the residents of Foggy Point - I spotted about half of the Loose Threads quilt group at the Clark County Show. I thought I saw both Mavis and Jenny buying fat quarters of dog print fabrics. I'm not sure what they plan on doing with them, but I thought it was significant that both were buying the same type print. 
I hope everyone had a great Easter and I'll have more updates soon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

My Texas trip finished on a high note all the way around. My last stop in the Dallas area was at The Old Craft Store  in Carrollton, where I met with the store book club. The group was very enthusiastic and the store was very charming, housing not only the quilt store but also an old style post office. 
Beth and I then headed home to College Station where my four nephews were putting on a 60th birthday party for their dad. We got home just in time for the festivities and a good time was had by all. If you have read my latest book Quilt As You Go you will have met pastor Mike Hafer. What you probably don't know, is that he is a real person, a real pastor and my brother-in-law Hank's cousin. 
Well, Mike was at the party, and Beth spilled the beans and told Mike that not only was he in my book, but that I'd made him a Methodist. That would be great except for the fact that Mike is actually the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in College Station. Fortunately Mike was a good sport and reminded us that we are all God's children no matter if we are Methodist or Lutheran. 
Monday, Grandma Bohne surprised us with a lemon meringue pie for dinner - my personal favorite - which was a perfect end for my visit. 
Tuesday I had a late flight, so I went with Beth to her stitching group followed by lunch with the group and a quick stop at the local quilt store. I finished the near 80 degree and sunny day by flying for hours to 41 degrees and raining Portland - Home Sweet Home - once again. . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

Two More Down, One to Go

Yesterday we went a new quilt shop in Arlington Texas, which is owned by our old friends Pam Pape and Kelly Millett - formerly affiliated with a different shop we had visited in the past. Magnolia Quiltworks is a light and airy shop with lots of fabric, including some frog print fabric I couldn't live without. The shop also has a book club which was great! I talked to the group and signed books and had an all around good time. They also win the prize for having the most comfortable chair at my signing table of any place I've ever been. 
If you are ever in Arlington, Texas - check them out. 
Today we signed books at Common Threads Quilt store in Waxahachie. I took a picture I will post when I get home. All you Civil War reproduction fans who don't live within driving distance should be jealous - They have the biggest and best collection of Civil War fabrics I've ever encountered. If you use the link above to go to their website, you can check out their online store. I cannot tell a lie, I did buy more than one or two treasures there. 
Something I also saw at Common Threads were samples from a class taught by a lady who brings her own patterns and samples. They are adorable quilt blocks that are like paperdoll dresses come to life. Each block is a child's dress complete with smocking, embroidery, and other embellishments. You can see pictures and patterns at the teachers website Kreations by Karon . She has a cute pattern that is a combination of redwork and red little girl dresses. You might like it!
Tomorrow it is on to The Old Craft Store in Carrollton, Texas. I hear they have a book club that is going to read my books!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where is Joshua?

Today found Beth and I on the road again. We were headed for our bed and breakfast in Waxahachie which will be our home base for the next three days. We had planned a stop at Country Stitches Quilt Shop in Burleson, Texas but when we were still miles away from there,  Beth commented that there was a store with lots of batiks, so I got out my trusty iphone and said "Let's go find it." We determined that the shop was Batiks Galore and was located in Joshua, Texas. It didn't look too far off the beaten path so away we went. 
We couldn't help but notice that our highway became a two lane, which became a gravel road which became very rough. We drove (in Beth's Cadillac sedan) down a rutted lane, past a big wall in a field and then found that we were looping back into Joshua proper. Well, we decided we better try calling the shop. They assured us that we'd driven right past it and that we should have seen their sign which was right by the big wall (a sound barrier we later learned). We  back tracked, bouncing and jouncing as we went and turned by the big wall where there wasn't a sign, and finally found the shop. The owner explained that local hoodlums steal their sign on a regular basis. Once inside any difficulty finding the location was forgotten as we were confronted with over 2000 bolts of batik fabric as well as a wall of Bold Over Batiks and a lot of batiked panels. 
If you like batiks, I recommend going to the Batiks Galore website
After that delightful surprise we went on to Country Stitches Quilt Shop in Burleson, which is always a fun place to visit. This shop has lots of reproduction fabric as well as country prints and and an assortment of other quilting delights. From there we decided to find a quilt shop in Midlothian that we'd heard about. I once again got out my trusty iphone and we discovered it was  Quilts N More. I was shocked to find that they didn't carry any quilt fiction, so I left them with a review copy of my latest, Quilt As You Go and gave them some cards. Hopefully they will like it and choose to carry it in the future. 
We finally made it to our Bed and Breakfast - the Chaska House in Waxahachie where the proprietor Louis greeted us with "Welcome Home!"
More about that later . . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From Giddings Texas

Today found my sister-in-law Beth and I back out on the road again, this time bound for Giddings, Texas. As near as I can tell, it is most of the way to Austin from here (College Station). We met Gerline of Gerline's Quilt Shoppe at her store and then went with her to the LaGrange Quilt Guild meeting. The speaker was informative and we also got to hear how their recent quilt show had gone. Gerline announced that I'd be signing books back at her shop, so we grabbed a quick bite at Sonic drive-in and headed there. 
Gerline was having a 25% off sale on all fabric, so loads of people came to the sale and then bought books. Beth and I enjoyed chatting with one of the quilt angels, a group of women who quilt every Monday on charity quilts that are given out to the fire department and other worthy charities.  We got to see the Angel's next charity quilt in process. It was made completely of one and a half inch squares! The corners were great and the scrappy colors vibrant. It should bring in a lot of money when they raffle it.
When the action finally slowed, Gerline's granddaughter went back to Sonic and brought us all ice cream drinks which were greatly appreciated.
Beth helped me choose fabrics that will appear in Quilt 4, if everything goes well with my plan and if Harriet is able to make the quilt. 
I also found some bird fabric to use in the nature quilt Tresa (of Quilts by Nature) and Ruth will help me make for my new laundry room in Tillamook. 
Beth and I finished the day by visiting a yarn shop one of the quilters told us about called Yarnorama. You can google them and see their pretty yarn. They have lots of local fiber. 
They also are located on a little road that turns out to be a short cut to the highway we needed, so we saved a little time going home. . . . 
After a good nights rest, tomorrow we will go on to Waxahachie.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Houston? No Problem

Today was the second of two days of the Greater Houston Shop Hop and it couldn't have been better. 
Friday my sister-in-law Beth and I as well as her friends Kay and Sally went to the Quilt 'n Sew Studio in Katy, Texas. It is a great shop with about 6000 bolts of quilting fabric and lots of cute stuffed animals as well as patterns, tools and just about everything a quilter could want. They were doing a Hawaiian theme for the event and had me set up with a large table that had a grass-hut-like swag over it. Lots of quilters stopped in to get their passports stamped and shop and more than a few bought copies of my books. The owner Teri Burton and her staff treated me well, including feeding me banana pudding and presenting me with a cute present for my one year old granddaughter. 

Today we were in Friendswood, Texas at Quakertown Quilts original location (they have a second store in the Woodlands now). Again, after an early drive from College Station, we were greeted by a lovely shop and a friendly staff. 
Quakertown Quilts has beautiful fabric and are known nationally for their quilting patterns. What I didn't know is that they carry a line of metal sculpture and ornaments called the Round Top Collection. Let me tell you - Beth went a little nuts! I bought a few modest items, but I thought we were going to have to rent a u-haul to get our combined purchases home. 
Even though it was cold and rainy all day, the intrepid quilters came to Friendswood in droves. I sold lots of books and met a lot of nice people. 
Product of the day - some sort of material that you stitch  your fabric onto, then heat shrink - which puckers the fabric in interesting ways depending on how you stitch it! People were using the resulting material to make tote bags with very textured surfaces. 

So we are off and running. . . tomorrow and Monday are rest days then it is on to the LaGrange quilt guild followed by a signing at Gerline's Quilt Shoppe in Giddings. . .

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On The Road Again

And so my travels begin . . . 
It's tough making a six am flight out of PDX - I had to get up at 3:30 am which is pretty darn early!
For the first time ever I was awarded an exit row seat! If you don't know what that means, let me tell you - you get all the leg room you could ever want. It pretty well offset the effects of sitting in the middle seat between two giants. I'm pretty sure if our plane was going down in flames I could rip the door off as well as they could. Of course given the terrain between Oregon and Texas, I'm also pretty sure that it wouldn't matter what the giants and I did with door in any case.
In spite of the scare tactics on the news (Continental canceling food on flights of less than 6 hours), we did get our cereal as soon as we were at cruising altitude. I can see why they are canceling breakfast though. The three flakes of cereal they give you look pitiful swimming in the 1/8 cup of milk they provide. And no matter how they rationalize it - a bag of raisins is not an equal trade off for the mini-banana you used to get. It's probably less painful to just cancel the whole miniature thing.
The last time I visited Texas, Lydia pulled the hair out on her front legs. It has finally filled in after 5 months, so I'm hoping she'll refrain this trip. 
Tomorrow is a rest day and then Friday its on to my first event - Quilt N Sew Studio in Katy, Texas on the first day of the  Greater Houston Shop Hop!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Northwest Quilter's Show

It's always nice to see familiar faces at quilt shows, and today was no exception. Many nice people came by the booth at the Northwest Quilters guild show today in Portland and more than a few bought copies of Quilt As You Go.
I continue to be amazed by all the new fabrics and the creative ways quilters find to use them. 
I drove in from Tillamook this morning and Lydia (my feline employer) traveled well, as we listened to a book on tape of her choice. The cat prefers male readers, would like a British accent if possible and leans toward action stories. We found a used copy of a David Baldacci story at Rainy Day Books in Tillamook so she was happy.
And for those of you who don't know about Lydia, she has proven more than once that she is willing to yowl for 75 miles if she either doesn't have a book, or doesn't like the selection.
One last random thought - did anyone else notice that Mohammar Quadaffi declared a jihad against Switzerland!
Switzerland? Really?
I'm just saying . . . 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Psychopaths and Other Fun Stuff

I just have to report that I'm continuing to be amazed by the facts I'm learning about psychopaths in the book -The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain by James Blair, Derek Mitchell, and Karina Blair.
One amazing thing they told me is that among criminals they identified as psychopaths, the rate of re-offense is greater among those who receive treatment! That's right - they are worse if they get therapy. . . I found that to be a scary thought. . . 
I'm also looking forward to a new book on poison I've just learned about - The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum
My fascination with poison worries my dear husband even though I try to assure him that only my characters like poison, not me. . . . 
On a different note - tomorrow is the Yarn Crawl in Portland, and  I'm looking forward to hosting a number of my Cordelia's Knitters . . . .  
That's all I know for now . . . . 

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Strep Strikes But Events Are Still Coming

Just as I was getting re-energized about my blog and my upcoming trip to Texas and the upcoming yarn crawl in Portland, I was hit with a sore throat that turned out to be strep!
Thankfully, after a day and a half of antibiotics, things are getting better. 
Back to my trip to Texas - I will be signing my books at the following shops on the following dates:

Friday     March 19,            Quilt 'n Sew Studio in Katy, Texas
Saturday March 20,            Quakertown Quilts in Friendswood, Texas
Tuesday  March 23,            Gerline's Quilt Shoppe in Giddings, Texas
Thursday March 25             Magnolia Quiltworks,   in Arlington, Texas
Friday     March 26              Common Threads Quilting, Waxahachie, Texas
Saturday March 27              The Old Craft Store, Carrollton, Texas

The first two events will be during the first weekend of  the Greater Houston Shop Hop

The March 26 event in Waxahachie will be during the Texas Wildflower Trails Shop Hop
If you live in Texas, I hope you can stop by one of these events

In Oregon I will be at the Northwest Quilters Guild Show March 12-14 at the Portland Expo Center.  
I will also be at the Clark County Quilt Guild Show April 1-3 at the Vancouver Church of Christ

For the knitters among you, the Yarn Crawl will be March 5-7 in the Portland Metropolitan area and includes 16 shops. I've never been on a yarn crawl, but my friends are coming from Tillamook and we're going to try it out. 
Gotta Go - My Winterhawks are calling!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here We Go Again

Once again I'm going to attempt blogging. . . 
I am currently reading three mystery series, listening to a fourth author on CD and am writing my sixth book while editing number five and promoting number four. . . . I'm not willing to confess how many knitting and quilting projects I have going. . . . 
Here is my question of the day - why are the Olympics being tape delayed on the West Coast? And further - why are they showing marquee events like pairs figure skating finals at midnight? 
My important fact for the day I learned last night from former police chief Ron Louie. . . He told my sisters' in crime group that studies have now shown that in mass school type shootings - the shooter/shooters kill themselves within two minutes of uniformed officers showing up in the building. Up until now, the police have been trained to evacuate buildings and establish perimeters and stuff like that. Chief Louie says from this point on it will be recommended that a couple of people suit up and go inside quickly. 
That's it for now . . . .