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Free Quilt Pattern: A Companion Quilt for HOPE ON THE INSIDE

Creativity and Crafts
free quilt pattern
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If you’ve been around the blog for any amount time, you know that I L-O-V-E quilts and books. And quilting and reading.

These two favorite pastimes of mine have shaped my life in many different ways; they’ve built powerful bonds and friendships, they’ve offered a creative outlet, they’ve been my “therapy,” they’ve even paid the bills. (However, a lot of those earnings seem to migrate back into books and quilts. Weird how that happens.)

Quilting has inspired my books, and books have inspired my quilts. But what inspires me most is the sisterhood of life-long friends I have gained through it all: women who share my passion for reading, for happy endings, for stitching quilts with love. It’s for them that I write and it’s through them that my creative energy is renewed.

So when I get the chance to fuse together my two favorite things, I say YES and probably wave my hands in the air!

Quilting and Books Just Go Together

How do quilting and books go together? Well, for one thing, they both require a big investment of time from the artist who makes them. And they both tell a story, whether its in the lines of the book or the textures, patterns and stitching of a quilt. More importantly, both books and quilts can be enjoyed over and over and have an almost magical ability to bring people together.

As many of my readers know, the talented Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design creates a companion pattern that highlights a certain character or theme for many of my books.

Yes. You read that right. My books have actual quilt patterns designed just for the book. Pretty cool, right?

The quilts Deb has designed for my books have added an exciting dimension to the reading experience and her A-MAZING rules and tools have made me a better quilter than I am in real life.  Best of all, the friendship we developed over the years is something I treasure.

Here’s a picture of Deb and I standing in front of a gorgeous quilt. So much joy going on here!

A Companion Quilt for Hope On The Inside

For my most recent novel that came out last week, Deb really outdid herself.

Here’s a teaser on the right. How pretty is that? The colors! The lines! That fabric!

If you haven’t yet seen all the gorgeous collaborative patterns that Deb and I have created as companions to my books, you can check them out on her website by clicking here.  Deb creates two patterns to go with my books, a smaller project that is offered free on my website and a larger, full-sized quilt which is available for purchase at Studio 180 Design.

As part of our creative process, we go over the story line, the characters, possible quilt designs, and difficulty level for actual quilt makers. In the end, Deb is the one who does the heavy lifting (or should I say stitching?) and always creates something incredibly beautiful.

For HOPE ON THE INSIDE, we decided that a block titled “Dove in the Window” would be a perfect starting point. I love the imagery of a dove in the window felt very relevant as I think about the women serving time in my story, especially my character Mandy.  I envisioned her gazing out the window, dreaming of freedom and being reunited with her daughter Talia, the ultimate recipient of the quilt that Mandy stitches while behind bars.

The Dove in the Window block also represents the exciting moment when an inmate is set free. They take flight, return home, and begin to rebuild.

Design and Fabric

To spice things up – because it’s always fun to keep our quilts spicy – Deb nestled the traditional Dove in the Window blog inside a larger Dove in the Window block. It’s a lovely, fresh, and unique interpretation of this traditional block (and easier to make that it looks!)

The block size is large at 19½” finished, which by itself could make a nice wall quilt or throw pillow.  (The bed runner pattern is available as a free download from my website. The pattern to make a lap, twin, or king-sized version of the quilt is available for purchase at Studio 180 Design.)

In the instructions, you’ll see that the quilt is made with Deb Tucker’s second signature fabric collection with Island Batik titled “Steam Engine”. In the story, this is the fabric that Mandy chose when beginning her quilt for her young daughter. This gorgeous fabric will be in quilt shops late summer or early fall 2019.  I’m already dreaming up what I’ll be making with these gorgeous hues! A Doves of Hope quilt is at the top of the list!

Remember: we love to see your work! If you make this bed runner, please share on Instagram and make sure to include #DoveintheWindowBedRunnerPattern180 #sharehope so we will be sure to see it!

Download your Free Quilt Pattern!

To access the free quilt pattern, head on over to my author website here. All you have to do is enter your email and you can download all of the patterns for all of my books!

Happy stitching!

Adventures in Quilting: Using Stencils

Creativity and Crafts
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One of the really cool things about writing a blog is that, every now that then, you get free stuff. Some bloggers receive appliances, or furniture, or even fancy vacations from companies. They hope the blogger will enjoy that product and write a post about it.

Okay, sure. I guess those are pretty good items to get. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing. But what have I been offered?

Crafting supplies! Which, as we all know, is way cooler.

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Book Club Party Kit for ‘Hope On The Inside’

Books, Friends and Community
book club - hope on the inside
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My latest novel, Hope On The Inside, has all the elements of a quintessential book club book. The quickly paced plot. The strong themes of creativity and sisterhood. It has the surprises. The lovable characters. The tear-jerking moments. And did I mention the food?

Don’t even get me started on my passion for book clubs! Although I guess I already got started on my love of book clubs in this post from last year.

Suffice it to say book clubs = books, food and friends. Basically a perfect recipe in life.

But throwing the perfect book club party can be a little daunting! What should I cook? What music should I play? What wine should I serve? What thought-provoking questions should I throw out to the group? 

Don’t worry, that’s the fun part.

If you’ve been debating on your next book club book and have made the (obviously very smart) choice to read Hope on the Inside, I’m going to make your life very easy when it comes to prepping for your book club party.

How, you ask? I made a Hope on the Inside party kit just for the occasion!

So, grab your best gal pals, your latest quilting or crafting project, and cook the books with recipes inspired by Hope On The Inside. You won’t have to dig very deep into the book to find out about the husband with an affinity for baking! If you need some help getting started with the book discussion, there are helpful suggestions and questions in the back.

Choose savory muffins, a rosemary olive bread, or the very best oatmeal cookies and offer along with iced mint tea and fruit. Because they are the fuel you’ll need for a lovely book discussion, if you ask me.

And in this case, the rosemary won’t be a bad omen. (You’ll know what this means after you get through the first chapter or two).

Download Your Free Party Kit!

If you’d like to have the full Book Club Party Kit simply enter your email address below and the whole kit-n-caboodle will show up in your email a few minutes later! Oh, the magic of the internet!

A Little Teaser

Just to make you drool a little bit, here’s a picture of the wonderful Rosemary Olive Loaf that’s included with the party kit! Serve warm, spread a little butter, slice on the diagonal (because, pretty) and you’ll be in food heaven!

rosemary olive loaf - hope on the inside

Alright readers, that’s all I’ve got time for today! Book launch weeks are busy – in a good way!

Have a great weekend, Fierce Friends, and maybe bake some oatmeal cookies!

The Book Launch for Hope On The Inside (and a special surprise)

Books, Creativity and Crafts
print at home stationary
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My latest book, Hope on the Inside, is released today.

Though this is my fifteenth time at this particular rodeo, celebrating a book birthday is always exciting, the culmination of at least a year of work. It’s true. Back when I did that sort of thing, it took me less time to gestate a tiny human than it takes me to birth a book.

As with my real children, none of my literary offspring can claim the status of favorite child. Every novel I’ve penned holds a special place in my heart; they’re all my favorites.

But I feel like there’s something extra special about Hope on the Inside. Perhaps it has something to do with my particular stage of life. Perhaps it has something to do with the times we’re living in.

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Spring Cleaning: 15 Minutes To Freshen Each Room In Your House

Home Matters
spring cleaning
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I’m gearing up for my book tour, which is always a season of travel for me. (Side note: OH MY GOODNESS MY NEW BOOK COMES OUT IN LESS THAN A WEEK!).

Travel is many good things: fun, adventurous, new and an excuse to tote around my adorable carry-on. But it’s also some not fun things when you’re living a life that’s more disjointed than normal. There’s not a lot of routine to be had on the road.

It also means leaving my house for stretches of time. And I’m not alone when I say that I like to come home to a clean house. Especially after the celestial snow goddesses have wreaked havoc on my property for the last few months.

I like to come home to gleaming floors. And sparkling windows. And bright white grout. And Marie Kondo-worthy closet organization. The hard part is getting it all done!

All of this is to say that cleaning is on my mind.

(to judge whether this time of the year has the same effect on me, see my clean out post from last year.)

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Eight Biographies of Fierce Women That Changed the World

Books
biographies about women
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Susan B. Anthony labored her entire life planting a tree from which she never got to eat the fruit. She died years before women won the right to vote. How proud she would be decades later that women are not only voting in record numbers, but they are also running and winning Congressional seats in record numbers as well.

In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, I wanted to talk about a few fierce women that have paved the way for all of us. We owe them! They deserve major major kudos. At the very least, pick up their biography and read all about them. There is so much wisdom and inspiration and courage in these pages. Soak it all in. Harness that power.

Here are a few biographies that belong on everyone’s shelf. There are so many more inspirational women and incredible stories that this list just scrapes the surface.
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St. Patrick’s Day Crafting Roundup

Creativity and Crafts
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Let’s be honest, no one needs a reason to craft, but sometimes it’s fun to have an event or holiday in mind when getting those creative juices flowing. continue reading

Because I Love You: Read the First Chapter of HOPE ON THE INSIDE for Free!

Books

We are a little over a month away from the release of my latest book! I could not be more impatient/excited to share it with you!

Yes, in just a short time, you will get to meet Hope Carpenter and the friends she found in a place she never expected to be, a group of women who discover friendship, purpose, and the life-altering power of creativity, one stitch at a time.

(Pretty good tagline, right? Makes me want to read the book all over again.)

Because I am so impatient/excited for the March 26th release of Hope On The Inside (also because I love you guys)  I thought it would be fun to share the first chapter with my most dedicated readers. If it weren’t for your enthusiasm and support, I wouldn’t be able to do this thing I love so much.

Writing turns out to be a much tougher gig than I would ever have imagined. But when I receive a heartfelt letter from a reader about how a certain character or theme has truly touched her or helped in her healing journey, I know I chose the right profession. You know, as opposed to being a mathematician, or oceanographer, or cabaret singer. All professions I considered. (Okay, not mathematician. Just the other two.)

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Heartfelt DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For Everyone You Love

Creativity and Crafts
DIY Valentines Day Gifts

You don’t need to break the bank to show your love this Valentine’s Day. Aside from saving some money, DIY gifts also give a personal touch that is hard to get with a store-bought present. In that spirit, I’ve collected some cute and personable ideas for you. Plus, you know how I love a good crafting project.

Whether it’s for your significant other, friend, or family, they will love and appreciate the thought and time that went into these homemade presents. And as an added bonus, these are all fun to make! continue reading

Where to Eat in Kona

Adventure and Travel
where to eat in Kona

Have you ever noticed how much of those travel programs on television are devoted to eating? At first glance, it seems kind of strange. But it makes more sense when you think about the fact that whether we’re at home or on the road, most of us eat three times a day.    

Eating at home doesn’t require much more effort than opening the refrigerator. When you’re traveling, figuring out where to eat is tougher.  It forces you to make choices. It requires thought, and effort, and research.  Lots and lots of research. 

Fortunately, this type of research happens to be one of my favorite parts of travel. continue reading