Saturday, May 23, 2015

My Favorite Things

One of my favorite things to do when I'm not writing is embroidery. Another is quilting. I’ve found a way to combine the two. 

First, I made baby quilts for two of my nieces. White on white, I machine embroidered them with the darning stitch so I had control. They turned out really nice, but I really love to hand embroider. That’s when I discovered red-work. During a quilting shop-hop, one of the stores highlighted red-work. For those of you who don’t know what red-work is – it’s embroidery done in all red floss. Just the outline of the picture, not filled in like other embroidery patterns.

Anyway, I fell in love with it. Every year I make something for Christmas (often a Santa) for my six children and give it to them on Thanksgiving. I found a Santa pattern and did it all in red-work, framed it and gave it to them.

That's when I decided to make a queen-size quilt for our bed, using various flowers. I found a book with different flower transfers and proceeded to iron them onto fabric and embroider them. It took the better part of a year to finish the quilt and many times I wondered why I started it and was tempted to quit. I’m glad I persevered. The quilt turned out beautiful and I use it every spring/summer.

Once I finished that, I decided to make a baby quilt for each of my
grandchildren – for their first born. I started out looking in coloring books for designs. I traced the images onto 12x12 squares of muslin. After I finished embroidering the squares I cut sashing and sewed them together. For the backing I used various fabrics, not nursery print. None of the quilts have nursery fabric in them at all. I've used patterns from animals to Winnie the Pooh to Sunbonnet Sue. 

Eventually, I found transfer books and started using them for designs. I looked everywhere for baby designs. I finally finished my
14th and last quilt. That’s a lot of baby quilts. Most of them are done in red work, but I varied some with other colors, too. 

It took a couple of years to do all the squares. Four years ago, I made quilts for my niece’s twins using kitten and bunny patterns. They’re done in many colors. Since then she had another child, another boy, so I made one for him using baby animals.

Four years ago, I also gave my first grandchild’s quilt to my oldest granddaughter, whose baby boy was born in June – my first great grandchild. That same year, my fourteenth grandchild was born, another boy and I did puppies for him.

April 12th, I gave my second quilt at another granddaughter’s shower. She’s having a baby girl in May. It’s exciting to see the look on their faces when they open the quilt. I hope they cherish them and love them as much as I loved making them.

I've marked each quilt with the name of which grandchild they're supposed to go to in case I’m not around to give it to them. My daughters have been instructed to pass them out. I hope I'm around to give them all away.

This last quilt I made for another niece's baby. I'd say it's one of my favorites, but honestly I say that about all of them. It's impossible to choose one. They were all fun to work on. Now I have to find something else to keep me busy. I think I've found it, chip carving but that's a topic for another blog.

Check out my books at Amazon   Here's one of my favorites.

Forced to stay in a nursing home while undergoing therapy, seventy-two year old, Mike Powell refuses to get out of bed, won't cooperate with the nurses, and won’t take his medicine. At least not until he meets Elsa. The tiny, spunky little Elsa sparks new life into him. 

Seventy year old, Elsa -left in the home while her son takes a family vacation - joins forces with Mike, setting the home on its heels, and later discovers deception and fraud. Can they find happiness together? 

Who says life begins at 40? Life is wonderful at any age, as long you're willing to live it. Elsa Logan and Mike Powell prove it. And I want to be just like them when I grow up! One of Roseanne Dowell's best, and my personal favorite! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blog Swap with J.Q. Rose

Swapping blogs with Roseanne is always fun. I remember we did it one year on our birthdays because we have the same day in May.  After reading my post here, be sure to hop over to the J.Q. Rose blog at to learn about Roseanne’s excellent book, Show, Don’t Tell, where you can learn “to put pizzazz in your writing.”

Thanks so much for getting together again, Roseanne. I brought Texas cake with me. I know that’s a lot of cake, but we need a lot in case your big family shows up too!

Writers Helping Writers by J.Q. Rose

I invited romance and mystery authors to send me writing tips to share on my blog during October through February. I compiled tips from the fifteen participating authors with new material to make up the eBook, Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing. Yes, when I sent them the letter of invitation in August, they knew their tips would be included in a book that would reach out to help writers.

I enjoyed meeting new authors and working again with author friends (including our host) on the project. And oh my, what great tips and information are included in the eBook. 

The tips are organized into the main topics of Writing, Publishing, and Marketing. Within the topic, Writing, authors offer quick tips and advice on dialogue, creating characters, story structure, settings
and editing.
Being a curious person, I had to ask a few questions and dig deeper to learn more about the writers and their experiences in the industry, so I asked them to reveal the “light bulb moments” in their writing journey, questions they are asked most often, and the best advice on writing they have received.
By offering their expertise, the authors hope to smooth the sometimes rocky road for new writers toward a rewarding career in writing.
# # # #
Authors who graciously contributed to this project are:

Conda Douglas
C. Hope Clark
Gail Roughton
Heather Fraser Brainerd
Heather Haven
Helena Fairfax
J.Q. Rose
Joan Curtis
Joselyn Vaughn
Kathy MacIntosh
Marsha West
Melissa Maygrove
Miss Mae
Roseanne Dowell
Sara-Jayne Townsend

All royalties will be donated to public libraries.

About J.Q.
BIO- After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Sunshine Boulevard, and Coda to Murder released by Muse It Up Publishing. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She spends winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page

J.Q. Rose is offering a free E-book to one lucky commentor. Be sure to leave your email so she can send you the book. Winner will be announced Thursday, May 21st.