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March 20, 2017
Polishing Edits from Nita Dances

Dear Vi,

It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned the manuscript. Were you wondering what’s up with it?

Well, at the end of February I sent it out to a few friends who volunteered to be beta readers. These are people who give the novel a test run and report back with any problems they find.

While they were reading, I put the manuscript away and moved on to other things. At the time, I felt so done with it, I really didn’t care if I never looked at it again. But time passed and comments started ...

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March 12, 2017
Fire! from Nita Dances

Dear Vi,

It’s foggy this morning. Outside my window, wisps of fog stream past like smoke from a chimney. Wait… maybe it really is smoke.  I get up to check. Nope, it’s fog. Relieved, I take another sip of coffee. And then I burst into tears.

A couple of months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of sirens.  The urgent wail came closer, then faded as it passed.  I got and wandered through the house toward the bathroom as one does in the wee hours. But something was wrong. It took ...

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February 21, 2017
Up at Dawn from Nita Dances

Dear Vi,

I woke up early this morning. I tried to go back to sleep, I really did. I arranged my pillow, rearranged my pillow, stuck my foot out, turned over, turned back. You know the routine. Finally, I got up.

It wasn’t really early anymore…not quite six. I turned on the bedside lamp and opened the blind in the bedroom. It was just starting to get light outside: that pearly dawn light. The big fir trees were in silhouette, a bit of a moon peeking out between them.

When I let Sam out, I stood for a ...

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February 10, 2017
I Need Words from Fleur de Lis Quilts and Accessories

A recent discovery: I need words in my life. Seriously. I need words. I must read everyday. Without thinking I mentioned that to a friend. She laughed. 

Image result for words

I was heartbroken. Then it occurred to me that perhaps not everyone needs words the way I do. Wait. What? How can that be? Do people go whole days without reading any words? 

Image result for words

Then I began to wonder what would happen to me if I had to go a whole day without words. I can't bear the thought...

Image result for words

What is something unusual that you need every day?

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January 5, 2017
Serene and Natural; Baker Park in North West Calgary and the Quilts of Nancy Basserman from Kim Hanson Quilts

I originally published this blog post on October 21, 2016. I wanted to republish the post – as Nancy Basserman has recently passed away. I only came to know Nancy several months before she passed….she was a lovely lady, very kind and very sweet and a wonderful quilter. May she rest in peace.


Earlier this week, I took to Baker Park to photograph some of Nancy Basserman’s lovely, scrappy quilts. When I arrived, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. Not fifteen minutes later, the skies clouded over and it was threatening to snow. With or without ...

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January 2, 2017
Bring On 2017! from Lisa H Calle's Blog


My wish for my blog this year is to reach new members and sustain those that have already joined my journey.  In my “perfect blog world” each viewer would walk away taking with them at least one of the following:

A Smile: Each day, you should smile and giggle at least one time.  Did you know that the average child laughs 3oo times per day? That is incredible! If I can provide a little comic relief to someone’s day through my entries then 2017 will mentally be a tremendous year for many of you!

A Piece of New Information ...

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January 1, 2017
Best of 2016 from Quilting & Learning

I love participating in these specials because they give me another reason to write a post and review what I've learned.

Best of 2016 Linky Party

Since my blog is about Quilting and Learning, I thought that I would focus on the lessons I've put into practice this year as well as some of the lessons I learned the hard way!

Lessons Put Into Practice

  • The lesson that I put most into practice was to use tape to mark off the edges of a quilt before doing FMQ. I did add to this lesson - place the tape very ...

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December 28, 2016
Taking Stock and Getting Ready for 2017. Do you practice the Five Good Pillars of Health? from Kim Hanson Quilts

Happy New Year everyone.  I’m so grateful that you have stopped by.

I’m doing my usual year end review – more a mental review than anything else….pondering what worked for me this past year, insofar as quilting and writing are concerned, and what did not work. What parts of quilting and writing were particularly enjoyable?  What was not so much fun? Can I find some time to learn more about photography? Taking better photos is a goal.

In addition to the mental part of this equation, I really like to do a reorganization of my sewing space, sort ...

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December 19, 2016
Feed Sacks for the Holidays from Pearl the Squirrel

Christmas and Chanukah are less than a week away, and like everyone else, I'm in the throes of preparation for family and guests to arrive. Menu-planning is at the top of the list, along with holiday decorating, because to be honest, I haven't done much more than plop our Christmas tree in its holder in the living room—no lights, no ornaments, not yet.

But it'll all come together, it always does. And however it turns out is fine, because both my daughters will be back in the nest soon (along with Maggie's fiancé EJ and ...

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December 10, 2016
Blog Posts: Letters to Vi from Nita Dances

Dear Vi,

Blogging has always felt a little bit awkward to me. From the beginning, I’ve wanted to address each post as though it were a letter. But it always felt awkward. A letter to whom? And yet it feels just as strange to open a new page and simply start talking. I’m old-school that way. Letters always begin with a salutation, and in my mind, my blog posts have always been letters.

And then I checked a book out of the library called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Have you read it? (I’ve read ...

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November 28, 2016
Knitting a Novel: on and off the needles from Nita Dances

Did I tell you that I finished my novel again? This isn’t the first time I’ve finished it, of course. The first finished draft was the equivalent of a scarf knitted up in open lace-work. Silky threads to hold everything together, but full of holes.


A lace infinity scarf: cast on, enjoyed and cast off to be gifted to someone whose name I can’t say here, lol. I bought this beautiful silky wool at the Itsy Bitsy Yarn Store in Whitehorse.

When it was as ready as I could get it, I sent it out to my ...

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October 22, 2016
Meanwhile, I knit from Nita Dances

Sometimes writing a novel feels an awful lot like waiting. And what does any sane person do while waiting?


I’m trying to figure out the last chapter of this novel I’m working on. I mean, I know how it ends, I just don’t know how to get there.


Sigh. I know.

It’s the words. I’m waiting for the words.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting.



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October 19, 2016
It’s NaNoWriMo Time and a WIP Update from Quilter's Hangout


Yes, it’s that time of year.  Writers all over the world spend the month of November gathered around their laptops, iPads, and notebooks, feverishly trying to accomplish what seems to me to be the impossible.  Writing 50,000 words.  Fifty Thousand Words!

This is my first official year participating and I’ve already changed my story idea three times but I think I’ve finally settled on one that excites me.  I thought I wanted to write a romance. In fact, I have a ton of ideas for a romance novel.  I love the characters.  I just can’t ...

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September 24, 2016
New Short Story Series from Quilter's Hangout

Great News!

I’ve recently started writing short stories.  You know, there are always ideas floating around in my head.  Some are so strong that they won’t go away until I write them down.  Sometimes they get filed away in my laptop or my writer’s notebook, but others get turned into actual stories.  I’ll publish some of them here on my blog.  I call this series Crossroads and I hope you enjoy them and let me know what you think.



Crossroads is a glimpse into people’s lives.  Just like life itself, they’re sometimes funny, sometimes ...

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September 18, 2016
Waxing Poetic. A Lost Art? from Quilter's Hangout

Last weekend my prince and I were going through the available movies on Amazon and Netflix.  We had our usual discussion about loud action versus romantic sigh worthy.  We came across a movie with Jude Law, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Linney.  Anything with a cast like that had to be halfway decent.

We weren’t disappointed. If you haven’t seen Genius yet, I highly recommend it.  The main story line is about editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth).  Although the story revolves around him, much of the movie shows the relationship between him and Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law ...

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August 27, 2016
pencil ✏ pens and quilt labels from Charm About You

I may have mentioned it before but I have big love for stationery! Depending on my mood it's a close call between stationery and fabric as my favourite thing. There is joy in using quality pens and pencils, especially in my sewing projects. Today I am sharing some of the uni-ball range and showing you how I have been using them.

The Shalaku mechanical pencil is the most comfortable pencil to use with a really cool button on the side to easily adjust the lead, a nice grip and a clear fine line.

I have been using it for ...

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August 13, 2016
“At that time of night, the only traffic consisted of trucks filled with bodies and detainees, and police cars that roamed the streets like lost wolves howling in the darkness of the curfew.” from Nita Dances

That sentence was written by Isabel Allende, and can be found at the bottom of page 442 in her 1985 novel, The House of the Spirits.

I honestly think this may be one of the most perfect sentences ever written.

You don’t need to know what the book is about to feel the fear and despair in these words.

I won’t do a book review on The House of the Spirits because there are so many on the internet already.  I will tell you, though, that I’ll probably read it again someday.

What’s on your nightstand?

p442 IsabelAllende

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August 11, 2016
Writing a First Draft from Quilter's Hangout

As you may know I’m writing my first book so I thought I’d share with you a list of what is and isn’t working for me so far.

1. I became an eavesdropper.  

I began listening to conversations around me.  This one was not easy for me.  I’m a private person and with that I also like to respect the personal space of others.  In public I mostly just tune out those around me.  Usually I find most public conversations to be annoying.  It seems like a contest to see;

a.  Who can talk the loudest ...

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July 24, 2016
Tools to Write from Quilter's Hangout

I have lists and notes everywhere.  One for grocery’s, reminders, vacation list, story ideas, quilt pattern names, quilting supplies list, pattern list, dates to remember lists, and on and on.

It can take me 5 minutes to locate the app I need just to jot down a quick note!  These note apps take up a full screen on my iPhone.

I discovered Simplenote last year when I got the writing bug and decided to get my story ideas down “on paper”.  My husband and I were at our favorite cabining spot (I don’t camp, I cabin) when an ...

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