Monday, November 17, 2014

Meet my Guest Blogger - Renelda Peldunas-Harter

I am so pleased to introduce you to my 
Guest Blogger - Renelda Peldunas-Harter

          She is the author  of “From Ensign’s Bars to Colonel’s Stars” Honoring Those Who Serve which is being published this month. Her first  book offers a glimpse into military history and trivia, her experiences as an Army officer and quilts to honor her fellow service members. She is also a pattern designer for Cut Loose Patterns, a division of Checkers Distributors and the Quilt Challenge Exhibit Curator for the Mason Dixon Quilt Professional Network. When not quilting she is a docent at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origin Exhibit and is president of the Loudoun Breast Health Network, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit assisting women and families with breast cancer.

Please join me in welcoming Renelda. 

Thank you Nan for the opportunity to be your guest blogger!

          Just like quilts, quilt designers/pattern designers/fiber artists have their own story to tell. My story, like my quilts, is a simple one. I started quilting several years after being commissioned an Army officer. I started quilting because, to me, a quilt said ‘home’ and being in the military one was always far from ‘home’. I spent over 7 years on active duty and over 20 years as an army reservist. During the Cold War, the reserves was the place to be – it was a fantastic part time job, allowing me to stay home with the boys during the week, but still afforded me an ‘adult’ outlet on the weekends.

 As we moved around from assignment to assignment, I always found a quilt guild to join and expanded my quilting experience! I started out designing quilts for my family and friends and then started selling my patterns. It turns out pattern selling/self promotion and marketing was not for me, but I did find out I really enjoyed writing. I started to write stories about my military career and thought it would be fun to design quilts to accompany the stories. From Ensign’s Bars to Colonel’s Stars was born! 

The book is a hybrid creature – part bio and part classic quilt book. I designed 6 quilts (for the 6 ranks I held), incorporated the 5 sister-services into the quilts (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard), wrote a short story about where I was and what type of assignment I had at each rank, included the pattern for each quilt and have generous friends who took those patterns and made non-military themed quilts to show how versatile the patterns are.  The book is published by Schiffer Publishing, available on Amazon and will be out 27 Nov 2014! The quilts are for beginner and intermediate quilters.This quilt is Colonel's Stars. 
And this one is Colonel's Stars only done in Christmas Colors! 

 I could never have written a book with a house full of boys and their friends so I had to put it on hold until the boys were older and I was retired from the reserves! The boys have graduated college, moved out and left Bill and I alone to manage the busy social schedule of the Director of Creative and Excessive Recreation - The Smudge. She is an integral part of my creative process, a process she will not talk about (nor does she grant interviews). When I get the time, which isn’t often enough, The Smudge helps me blog at

I also spend about a fourth of my busy month as the president and treasurer of the Loudoun Breast Health Network ( which is an all volunteer, 501 (c) (3) non-profit. The LBHN assists women and families in our community with financial assistance while they are undergoing breast cancer. We are very proud of all we have accomplished, we have helped over 80 clients get over the ‘speed bump’ which is breast cancer and have recycled over $130, 000 of the community’s assistance into helping our clients. The LBHN has been recognized regionally and nationally for our efforts.


Just so you don’t get the impression I’m taking classes from The Smudge in excessive recreation, I design patterns for Cut Loose Press® which is a division of Checkers Distributors. One of the patterns, 2Cool4School, is a tribute to my son Kevin, a graduate of Virginia Tech and is in the school’s way too cool colors (not!) – orange and burgundy! It is a fun and easy pattern for beginners or anyone! Try it – it is addicting!!

Thanks again to Nan for letting me share part of my world with you!

Renelda, thank you for being a Guest Blogger. Your story is a very interesting one and I know we all look forward to your book which will be out on November 27, 2014. Thank you too for serving our country. And as you know I am a cat person, so I would be remiss if I didn't say thank you for sharing The Smudge with us. What an adorable kitty! Thank you again.

Well to my readers, I want to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

Until next time...


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