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I quilt, therefore I am

Quilting is an odd hobby. You buy perfectly good fabric, chop it up into tiny triangles and squares and sew it back together again.

But I love it. In my view, quilts are works of art. If you’ve noticed, my videos have my quilts in the background, and there are references to quilts and other handicrafts in my books.

The Quilt Fairy — pretty obvious

The Baby Tree — heroine is a quilter

Her Ex Next Door — an Amish quilt provides a plot point

Hmm, this makes me think that I should have put more quilt comments in my other books.

Why do I love quilts?

Because my mother loved quilts. She had a Jacobs ladder quilt as a bedspread on her bed. It was one of her wedding gifts. I spent many hours of my childhood talking with her in her room, helping her fold laundry and looking at the pretty designs of the fabrics. It was mostly pastels, but there was one garish red square that drew the eye. Later, my mom collected magazine articles and quilt books as references and made a few quilts herself — but never as many as she had dreamed about. At one point, after I was in college, we visited a Amish quilt store together. That was a treat.

In my early adulthood, I had grandiose plans of creating the perfect quilt. I didn’t anticipate making more than one, so I wanted my final plan to be “just right.” But there were so many options of styles and color combinations that I hit quilter’s block (similar to writer’s block). I bought fabric, but never moved forward. Once I was married, I made a few baby quilts. I didn’t set up big projects because there never seemed to be enough room, and I didn’t want babies crawling around eating pins. Then about ten years ago I realized that my quilt didn’t have to be perfect and that I shouldn’t think of it as my magnum opus. Instead I would think of quilts like my novels. They just had to be “good enough.” That was emotionally liberating, and I began quilting.

The mathematician in me likes piecing, but my favorite part is the hand quilting at the end. I even like sewing the binding around the edges. Hand sewing is soothing and peaceful.

I love quilts — the way they look, the way they feel. My favorite morning is waking up on a cold winter day, feeling warm and toasty under a heavy layer of several quilts.

Down the road, I anticipate writing a series of romances that reference a quilt shop and quilting bee. But right now, I have to get back to my Love and Chocolate series.

Below is a video of me with my favorite quilt, my 100 nine-patch.

Principles of Love

My two cents. Maybe seven cents.

Here’s my review of Into the Storm, with SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

I thoroughly enjoyed Into the Storm – it was a lot of fun – but somewhere in the final editing, they lost two important lines:

At the end, when Gary is standing with his sons, talking about how important family is, and how glad they are to still be alive, Trey is supposed to say, “And Dad, what about you and that hot meteorologist?”

Then Gary is supposed to make an exasperated/embarrassed face and say roughly, “I’ll think about it.”

That’s it. Those are the two lines that in the excitement of making the tornados look fantastic didn’t survive. Two lines that would have changed a good movie into a much better movie.

Why? Because there is nothing more romantic than someone saving your life.

From RichardArmitageNet.com

From RichardArmitageNet.com

Now, I appreciate the fact that Todd Garner and Steven Quale didn’t turn Into the Storm into one of those cheesy films where a wise-cracking macho hero manages to save the world and make out with a woman he just met an hour before when in real life people would merely be trying to stay alive. (Not that I don’t watch those movies – I do, and I often like them, but I don’t consider them realistic) That’s one thing I liked about Into the Storm – the naturalness and normality of the characters. I’m married to a high school Calculus teacher and Richard Armitage got the overworked, exasperated dad just right. Sometimes he was painfully awkward, like a real person.

However, if they had added a hint of romance at the end, it would have made me much happier. Just as a pinch of salt can improve a meal. I think in real life, after the storm ended, and everyone was cleaning up the mess, both those single parents would think, “Wow, he/she was great” and at some point, they would think, “Hey, I wonder if . . .” Because as much as love for their children was their primary motivation, sometimes they are going to feel lonely and think about finding a life partner. And who better than someone brave and resourceful that you can count on in times of trouble?

Script-wise, it would have worked to have Trey bring it up, because he was already playing matchmaker for his brother.

And with a hint of romance, the film would have appealed to a broader audience – the teenagers got the young love hope with Donnie and Kaitlyn, and the older generation would have gotten a more mature love hope with Gary and Allison.

It would have increased the percentage of women who would watch the movie multiple times, trying to analyze if and when the characters were possibly attracted to each other. Fan sites would spend days arguing whether the relationship would work.

I’ve only seen the movie once so far, but I plan to watch it again to see if I missed any other lines – such as – Did Allison ever thank Gary for saving her life when they first met?

And at the end, was there any acknowledgement between the two of them that they survived and that they both helped each other, or did she just run off to talk to her daughter on the phone? It happened so fast, I don’t remember. I expected something, even if it was just a significant look of “Wow. Thank God.” I understand her desire to talk to her daughter, but her daughter was safe and it seemed a little rude that there wasn’t an acknowledgment of what they’ll all just gone through. I’ll admit, I felt a little emotionally cheated at the time, but then there were other interesting things on screen, so I didn’t think about it until later.

And if the producer/director didn’t want it to be in the film itself, those two lines could have been an extra scene put in the credits, like an outtake. Something that Trey was filming. Like a week later when Gary was eating breakfast or cleaning up debris. “Hey, Dad . . . .” And Gary could put his hand over the lens. Or even better, have Gary running the camera (a first), trying to interview Trey . . .

However, this is my editor-brain kicking into overdrive. Since I’m a writer, I often mentally rewrite and edit books I read and movies I watch. Sometime I’ll pontificate about my ideas for a fourth Mad Max film, what was wrong with Star Wars episode 6, and where I’d trim Avatar. And why the titanium wedding ring saved the Abyss. Ah, Ed Harris with a blue hand throughout the film. It worked.

Bottom line? I liked Into the Storm. I smiled and gasped and had a great time. It was definitely worth the cost of admission rather than waiting to see it on DVD or Netflix.

But I would have liked it more with a pinch of romance.

Sixth time is the charm.  I hope.

Actually, this book is doing well.  People like love stories about pregnant heroines.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage — but Hannah is doing it in the wrong order.

.BabyComesFirst (3)

What do you think of the new cover??

I’m looking forward to Into the Storm this week, and one thing lead to another in my YouTube viewing. I had forgotten some of my favorite parts of BBC Robin Hood. I have never been drawn to the bad boy. Thematically, I prefer geeky professors, guys next door and powerful business men. But Guy of Gisborne may be an exception.

Hey world.  I’m on YouTube now.

 

 

A Quilty Romance

One of my short stories A PERFECT MATCH is exclusively available in a new online newsletter.

Here’s the link (I’m on pages 25-28).

 

Lovely Things is a FREE online magazine full of lovely things.   It is a clean magazine  however not strictly Christian.
To get the first issue  click here     http://www.lovelychristianromance.com//bookfiles/lovelythings1.pdf
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If that’s not enough quilts and romance for you, here’s another free story:  The Quilt Fairy (links to Amazon):
QuiltFairy

 

 

 

 

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