Dillon writer Rhonda Cratty talks about her first novel, ‘Our Family Quilt: The Fabric of Life’ 

Christina Holbrook
Special to the Daily

Rhonda Cratty had a full career teaching elementary school. “I enjoyed it, loved it, loved even the last day,” she said. But when the time came for her to retire, she knew, “it was time for me, now, to go into my creative life.”

She and her husband had a home in Dillon, and began coming up to the mountains from Arvada more regularly. A book had been brewing in her head, a novel that would stitch together a lifetime of experiences spent with family and friends, and a growing up that included a mother who loved to sew and a grandmother who created quilts.

Hiking, poking around the small shops in downtown Frisco, gazing out at the beautiful view across Lake Dillon provided the inspiration for Cratty’s first novel, “Our Family Quilt: The Fabric of Life,” which takes place in the fictional Colorado town of Summit. “Our Family Quilt” was just released on Dec. 1 and is available at Next Page Books & Nosh in Frisco, and on Amazon.com.

Keep Reading  at Summit Daily.

Family Inspiration

 Baking cookies, riding bikes, even sewing together.  You never know what activities you do with your children, today, will nurture a future creative endeavor.

 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, -as she shared 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 grandmother.

 Each memory you create today with your family becomes a springboard for future creativity. 

 As you, dear reader, read about Grandma Grace, her granddaughter, Audrey, may you, too, be surrounded by your own family quilt.




To read:

Our Family Quilt: The Fabric of Life visit Amazon.com.

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