Tag Archives: Stephanie Michels

The Calico Heart – Guest Post by Bestselling Author Patricia Kiyono

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

~Author Unknown

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I’ve always loved to sew, and once I retired from full-time teaching I was able to join the quilting group at my church. We meet twice a month, on the first and third Tuesday, and make lap quilts to distribute to the chaplain at the hospital, the veterans’ home, and other charities. It’s been a wonderful way to make new friends, provide a creative outlet, and to my husband’s delight, a way to use up some of my fabric stash!

I love the challenge of taking a pile of fabric in coordinating colors and creating a new and different design. The group’s rules are that the quilts are 40 inches by 40 inches and be made of cotton fabric. The tops can be made using any pattern we like – so that opens us up to a lot of creativity.

It should be no surprise that when I decided to start writing a series, my thought went directly to my quilt group. Here is a diverse group of women, coming from various walks of life, at different ages, bound together by a love of sewing. I thought about the various patterns used in quilting – Log Cabin, Around the World, Sunlight and Shadows, Amish Heart – and immediately a myriad of stories popped in my head! I shared the idea with Stephanie Michels, my critique partner and friend, and she came on board with the idea. Since she’s my plotting guru, she’s great at taking my mishmash of ideas and putting them into a coherent set of storylines. And so the first book in our Stitching Post series, The Calico Heart, was accepted by and recently released at Astraea Press. ~ Patricia Kiyono

Here’s the blurb:

On the surface, Sylvia Miller has a perfect life. She’s married to her college sweetheart, has three great kids, a rewarding career, and wonderful friends. But beneath the appearances, Sylvia is restless. She loves her husband, but wants to see more of the world than their peaceful Michigan town. For years, she’s dreamed of the interesting places she wants to visit. Now, their youngest child is grown, and Sylvia is ready for adventure.

Left a penniless orphan, David Miller promised himself his family would never know the same humiliation. For twenty-six years, he and Sylvia have lived frugally, saving for the future. Now, Dave is on the brink of a promotion that will ensure their financial security, but Sylvia wants him to retire and travel with her.


The Calico Heart is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook outlets.


Patricia Kiyono can be found at her blog, on facebook, and twitter (@PatriciaKiyono)



Stephanie Michels can be found at her blog, on Facebook, and her website