Elaine Van Dusen of Vermont

“About a year ago a customer told me that quilters around the country were making “Quilts of Valor” for our wounded soldiers. I got all the info from their web site and started making them. My first went to a soldier in Landstudl, Germany. The hospital there treats the seriously wounded and when stabilized they are transport back to one of the 19 military hospitals throughout the USA.

I have made about 6 so far and try each day to spend a few min sewing on one. When it is finished and machined quilted a small note is attached to the back. Which ever hospital needs them at that time I send it there.
I received an email from one soldier who received one. He wrote that “”it not only keeps him warm it keeps his heart warm too and when he gets scared with memories of the war, he curls up in the quilt and they go away.” He told me, in a later email, that it is so great to know some cares.

Did you know that for every 1 soldier killed 10 are wounded. I have joined other quilters to keep a supply going. There is such a large number of quilts needed. When you send one you know your love goes with it and the one who receives it knows we are thinking of them. The quilts are given to the soldier in need by the Chaplain. As of Jan.11, there has been 16,400 wounded! The need remains great for our Quilts of Valor..”

Mary Myers of Virginia

“I feel that it is our purpose in life and our path is chosen for us before we are born. I get to make people happy and sometimes make them a nutcracker or carving they can’t find anywhere else…..their dogs, or children playing sports or their occupations…it is fun and its my way of meeting people over the phone or at shows and growing as a person….that’s my way of travel!”

Alice Cappa of Florida

“I’ve been collecting anecdotes about my sheep and stories about using their wool called “Yarn Talk”. The intention is to reach intermediate age kids who might have an interest in fiberarts. It’s full of tidbits on fibers and natural dyes.”

Deb May of Montana Country Quilts ‘n More.

Thank you for linking up to my web site; what a wonderful surprise! Your site is delightful to read through. I am a Nanna who is trying to make my quilting business work out of our home, as I get to care for one of my grandsons on a regular basis and now they are expecting another baby in Feb. 2006. When Kolin was born, they lived 500 miles away, but moved back to Montana so we could be involved with raising him. Our other grandson, Ben, lives only 6 miles away, so we are very fortunate grandparents to have our families so close. I was raised in a large extended family and know the importance of aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as grandparents in our lives. God has richly blessed us with family and friends!

I also have some health issues that make working a regular 9 to 5 job impossible for me, but designing quilts and patterns at home, allows me to work when I feel well, and to also be available for our kids. Designing quilts, and making them, is very therapeutic for chronic health problems. You forget your aches and pains when you get lost in the design process, as well as creating heirlooms for others to cherish.
My business has taken a little unplanned side track in the past year. When someone looses a loved one, and wishes to preserve memories of them, I have found it very satisfying to create individualized quilts with their clothing. When good quality photos are available, they can be transferred by computer, onto fabric and integrated into those quilts also. They end up being a very tactile and visual memory of the one who passed away, and are as individual as that person was.
Nancy, thank you for your caring attitude to Cottage Industries in America. I don’t know if anyone has found my site through yours yet or not, but I will let you know when I do!

I have started the ‘Virtual Feature Story Book’ . Each category page now contains a special story with personal photo, just as it would be in a book. These pages ,which contain many links to my friends in cottage industry, now have one of those link partners featured with the story and photo copied from their ‘about’ page. This is done on a rotating basis. I notify each one so they can advertise on their site or print it out, for use in brochures, etc…

I would love to feature all my partners.. please notify me if you want to be highlighted this way!

You will only need to have a photo of yourself and story on your site. This photo can include any others involved in your work. I usually take this from the bio or about page.

Prize Winning Recipe
(The prize is not necessarily money, it can be the pure looks of pleasure on the faces of those you serve

Did you know it was a Carrot Cake recipe that made a lady $1,000,000 richer?
Please pardon my bragging, but mine is better. At least my family says so and that’s good enough for me.
I’m going to share it with you a little bit at a time. Yeah, I know.. that’s not fair but I want you to keep looking forward to my newsletter each month.

This is the first part of the recipe and very important.
Use real butter
Use natural, brown and refined sugar
The steps and quantities are very important.


In the early 90’s, I started weaving with a group of friends who attended a monthly basket making workshop. I fell in love with the very first creation – a melon basket. However, the monthly workshops could not come soon enough so I purchased my own weaving materials and supplies and started teaching myself. Soon afterwards, I attended basket weaving conventions in Vermont, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania and participate in various art and craft shows in New York. In the late 90’s, I started dabbling in creating web sites. This site was created to see if I could do it – not expecting any recognition or sales out there from the world wide web. Soon after posting the site to the web, orders came in from all over the world. Requests came in from a cruse ship entertainment director, a hotel chain, an English sporting event host, a magician, a crafter in France, and many other requests from within the US and internationally. Due to the overwhelming response since putting up the site and my love for attending shows that need lots of inventory built up, when I’m not working full time, web orders are filled only as time permits. Each basket you see in this site and all colors added are handwoven, hand dyed, and hand stained by me. No hired help goes into creating these baskets and because it’s just one weaver, no wholesale orders are taken. Baskets by Susan is located in beautiful Upstate New York. If you are in the Upstate New York region, you can find Baskets by Susan in local arts and crafts shows and a few galleries and shops in the area.


As an elementary school counselor, I deal daily with youngsters who are struggling with division in their homes.  Family unity and growth doesn’t just happen automatically.  Cohesive family relationships require much forethought and sacrifice on the part of parents.

Everyone has heard the buzzword “quality” as compared to “quantity” regarding time spent with family members, especially when speaking of the rearing of children.  Could this be our rationalization for spending our time on less important activities that do not contribute to family unity?  Just a thought.  Maybe it should be our goal to provide BOTH quality and quantity time with our loved ones.  After 28 years of daily interaction with youngsters, I can assure you that children are sponges for attention from their loving caretakers.

Family unit for Homemadeinamerica.comAs parents and grandparents, we need to become proactively creative in planning family activities.  For instance, we could set aside one night of each week for family fun.  Rather than television or a movie, we could make pizza, go through photo albums, play games, or go for a walk.

The time spent together would bond the individuals, and thus, the family unit.  The verbal exchanges during the activity will help the individuals to feel capable, valuable, and supported.  More importantly, the time spent together will let family members know they are loved.

Whether you have an intact family, a blended family, or are a single parent, HomeMade in America wants to applaud you and recognize your actions and ideas that contribute to a positive home environment.  Please send a photo and/or short description of your bonding family activity(s) to  Without a doubt, your efforts will be an inspiration to others.

Recipes & Tips

If the truth be known, we all have a collection of cookbooks gathering dust and cobwebs somewhere in our home.  Does anyone really use cookbooks to prepare a family meal?  Most cooks rely on their own “tried and true” concoctions that were very likely handed down through grandma and mom.

When children are asked what their favorite dish is that mom prepares, most likely it will be an old family tradition.  Our readers want to sample these old American favorites.  HomeMade in America would love to publish your FAVORITE HOMEMADE RECIPES. 

If possible, send along a photograph of yourself and/or the prepared dish to  If you have an interesting story about how the recipe came to you, please let our readers know.  We need your help in producing this culinary collection of Americana!  Our mouths are watering!

We also want to create a list of FAVORITE COOKING TIPS that are the magic touch on your special dishes.  This may require a little extra thought since “real cooks” just seem to have an instinct about what a particular dish needs.