Spotlight: Rhonda Cratty Visits to Talk About Family Life Novel, OUR FAMILY QUILT!

Today, fellow author Rhonda Cratty is stopping by to talk about her latest book!



Hello, Rhonda! Welcome to the MLB blog! :)







Hello! Thanks for having me.








My pleasure! Let me ask a few questions since you're here...




All right.




Can you tell us a little about your book? When did it come out and where can we get it?

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01N8WSCV7



Our Family Quilt is an experience of creativity and nostalgia through Grace, a master quilter, as she shares her creative gifts with her young granddaughter, Audrey. Together their lives unfold around their family quilt.  The love between grandmother and granddaughter keep a family’s generations turning despite minor setbacks, disappointments and celebrations of life. As friends and family of this charming mountain town in Colorado come together for life’s moments. Creating an inspirational, heartwarming story to share with those you love.


It came out December 1st, 2016. Visit Amazon.com or Next Page Books in Frisco, Colorado.
 
Wow! Congrats on your recent release! :)

So, what inspired you to write this book?






Writing a book never just happens. It takes a lifetime of encouragement and support from family and friends. 


My mom started me on my sewing journey. A box of scrap material was all it took to design doll clothes. 

 
A sewing basket with little scissors, thread, pins and buttons were an inspiration. My grandma gave me her sewing machine and box filled with pink-rose material with my first pattern. Then to my ultimate amazement, on my thirteenth birthday I opened a Sears Kenmore that went forward and reverse (which I took with me when I got married, sewed little-boy blankets, and used until it would sew no more). 

Then my husband became my creative sounding board, patiently listening as I created with words, pins and thread.

While I was raising children, teaching, and writing articles, an idea for a book started brewing.  I knew the prologue and the epilogue. I also knew the journey I wanted to take the characters on.  I knew how to sew but not quilt - which was critical in the story. 

One day I asked a friend, who quilted, to give me enough information so I could write my book.

Generously, she took me into my first quilting class and under her wing.  I went to quilting shows learning as I went, joined a Quilting Guild, listening to all their inspiring speakers and meeting encouraging quilters. As each friend talked to me, I became inspired to add a different dimension to both my quilting and my book.

I not only finished the book but fell in love with the art of quilting.  The needle became my pen and the thread my ink. As I wrote about Grace, a master quilter, sharing her creative gifts with her young granddaughter, Audrey, I was thinking about sewing with my mom.

As I wrote about their lives unfolding around their family quilt, the love between grandmother and granddaughter was a mirror of my love for my mother and grandmother. 




So heart-warming! 

How did you get into writing family life stories?



I can't remember not writing.  I wrote a lot of parenting articles when I was teaching for the local paper and online, which led to my first book, Learning at Home.


Our Family Quilt is my first non-fiction novel. 
 
Fascinating! When the writing bug catches you, it just won't let go, right? ;)

Tell us...what, do you feel, sets your book apart from other books in the genre?


  • Family Life Story that shows a family through time.  
  • Contemporary women - life, how we interact with friends, family, and fabric art.
  • Quilting ideas - you can learn many ideas for quilting, cooking even crocheting.
  • Creativity for everyday living. 
The secret world of Grandmothers and Granddaughters and the people they love--I wanted to create a story that could be read with generations.
 
Lovely!

 
Please give us a teaser or two of the book if you can.


Prologue



The quilt folded into the box with the ease of well-worn fabric, the fibers soft from years of use, embedded with memories and love. My hand brushed over this fabric of time as I tucked the tissue gently around it and placed the lid on the box.

Last summer I found the perfect Christmas paper to wrap the quilt in; the paper itself is red, green, and white in a log-cabin pattern. The artist must have been quite the quilter, as tiny stitches could even be seen. I used invisible tape to secure the ends and tied the package with strips of fabric.

Using a piece of red fabric and a piece of green fabric approximately eighteen by twenty-two inches, I began by folding it in half, noticing that my hands now looked like my grandmother’s had the summer we made our quilt. I wanted three red and green flowers for the package. I cut the material at six and a half inches, and then in half again at three and a quarter inches. I could hear her voice reminding me to measure twice before cutting. Now, I had two pieces of fabric, one red and one green, measuring three and a quarter by twenty-two inches.

I started to draw my flower templates, and my eyes blurred as I thought of the hours I’d spent making templates with my grandmother. “Be accurate,” she would say. “Templates are tools, and your work will only be as good as your tools.”

With my fabric folded and all three flower templates pinned into place, I cut out two of each size at once, for a total of six petals.

As I cut out thirty-six flower petals with her scissors, I had to smile. Her sewing scissors were sacred—the only time I ever saw her speechless was when she found my son using them to cut a toy car out of its cardboard package. Her face flushed from white to pink as he busted the car out of the package, running to her with a smile and a hug. He played with his much-loved car all afternoon while I took Grandma’s much-loved sewing scissors to be sharpened.

Getting a needle and thread from her sewing basket, I stacked up four petals for the base of the flower, then took four petals and folded them into a heart shape. I usually don’t use a thimble, but that day I slipped hers over my middle finger as I took one of her needles and thread and tacked down a heart-shaped petal to the petal shape underneath with a simple stitch. The thimble seemed warm as I took another petal and placed it on the opposite side from the first petal and tacked it down. I tacked down the third petal and then the fourth with an X stitch—perfected with handwork we did together while the summer days sped by. Digging into the bottom of the much-used sewing basket, I found the perfect button to stitch on top of the petals.

I stitched all three flowers onto the strips of fabric I had tied around the box. I patted the box. This would be the last time our family quilt traveled between my grandmother and me. A lifetime of memories, good and bad. Would the life of our family quilt continue?

I moved the gift to the table, embedded with three light grains followed by four dark grains on a diagonal, next to my great-grandmother’s framed recipe for apple crisp, with my quilted purse, and I went to get dressed for the hospital.
 


Interesting!



Let's try another question, okay? 
 

I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?


Within Our Family Quilt, two characters are the best friends of Grace and Audrey. Helen and Jana will be the center of my next book.
 
Great!


Well, thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about Our Family Quilt, Rhonda!


 
Thank you for having me here!
 


Of course! 


Readers, you'll just have to pick up a copy of this unique, family life novel.

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01N8WSCV7

Here is the blurb for Our Family Quilt. 
 

Join and experience creativity and nostalgia through Grace, a master quilter, as she shares her creative gifts with her young granddaughter, Audrey. Together their lives unfold around their family quilt. The love between grandmother and granddaughter keep a family’s generations turning despite minor setbacks, disappointments and celebrations of life. As friends and family of this charming mountain town in Colorado come together for life’s moments. Creating an inspirational, heartwarming story to share with those you love.

Our Family Quilt immerses readers in:
•Family Life
•Contemporary Women
•Quilting ideas
•Creativity for everyday living
•The secret world of Grandmothers and Granddaughters and the people they love…


Purchase Links:


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01N8WSCV7




About the Author:

 

Living in Colorado, Rhonda enjoys walking, hiking, and cross country skiing in the mountains. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, quilting, crocheting, cooking, reading and painting.

Find more information and work by Rhonda @ https://www.acreativespin.com
 

Author Links:


  


Rhonda's Books:
https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01N8WSCV7
 


https://www.amazon.com/Learning-at-Home-Rhonda-Cratty-ebook/dp/B00GMJY09K/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

     

Comments

  1. Our Family Quilt sounds lovely...and is set in Colorado, where I live. I have a friend who's a quilter; she does amazing work. I must share this book with her, as well as on social media.

    Thanks, Rhonda and Marie. :)

    ReplyDelete

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