Tuesday, August 07, 2012


I want to sew.

I want to sew badly!! But if you think back to when I left for Vermont ---I left on the 28th of June. 2 days before that, Spring Fling was released and I spent those 2 days frantically filling book orders.

I returned home from Vermont on July 2nd, arriving home about dinner time – and spending the remaining hours of the 2nd, and as many hours as I could the 3rd ---packing up book orders and washing the contents of my suitcase so that I could head out on July 4th for a family reunion in Idaho, and then on to Sisters Oregon for the quilt show. I returned home, however briefly, after a long red-eye flight from San Francisco to Dulles, only to find myself stuck there with no plane, and arriving home around dinner time on July 16th.

I washed my clothes, filled book orders for the entirety of the 17th and 18th, repacking the van and leaving July 19th for Pennsylvania. I then moved straight on to Williamsburg after the Hershey Show, and got home Sunday afternoon.

Between June 28th and August 5 I was home for a total of 3 days.

You KNOW what I’ve spent doing the last two days since I got home Sunday ---and I’m NEARLY THERE!! By this time tomorrow I will be all caught up on existing book orders, inluding the ones that came through today ---

The one thing it doesn’t leave me time to do is do what I want to do….


But I have a dream project for as soon as this is all done…and it’s all good, really! I KNEW it was going to be this way, but my time is here…I have TWO WEEKS just about before I leave with 16 fabulous and excited quilters for our dream trip to BALI!

((Yeah, when I was first asked to head up this special trip, I had to look for where exactly BALI is on the map. INDONESIA!))

To find Bali—look for the top of Australia where it says Indonesia…you will find the little arrow pointing to it to the left of the word Indonesia.



There we are again, not so many words on this one…

See Bali?


Here is Bali itself, with a bunch of words I can’t pronounce, and even if I could they wouldn’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t been there ---but we are GOING HERE!


But the way my mind is working is like this ----but I have two weeks. And I want to sew. I want to stay in my house and put some things together. I want to load at least one top that I’ve finished on the machine, I want to do normal household things..and I’ll deal with Bali about 3 days before it’s time to go, and you will see me freaking out trying to get ready.

BALI! Oh My Freaking Goodness!

I’m told I’ll have wifi in my room. Great. I may or may not be able to post. Great. This blog may become one big empty hole while I’m gone, or maybe the most I can manage is to do one wordless picture per day when I do have wifi to connect, if I do have wifi.


So in the next two weeks this is my plan. Finish the book orders until that plate is clean. ((TOMORROW! YAY!))



Oh you guys, in the past several months my basement has become the dumping grounds for tote bags of this, that, the other thing – there hasn’t been time to put anything away, and when I first walked in here on Sunday evening I thought…..ohhhhhhhh my.

I want to sew, but I can’t sew like this. Tomorrow after dropping off everything at the post office, I’m having a digging out party. There will be music booming from my stereo. I will be ruthless with what I keep, with what I pitch, with what I put away and care in how and where I put it away.

When I return from Bali – there will be a CLEAN studio waiting for me, not the frantic mess of not enough time to put stuff away before I leave.

Goodness, this is a rambling post. I think I’m just back to nesting in my own space ---

Quiltmaker’s Block Party Goodie Bag Give-Away!

I just got a message from June, the Editor-in-Chief at Quiltmaker Magazine ----She’s written a really cute blog post HERE with some photos of our time at Williamsburg this past week!

There are lots of photos and highlights to share, and she’ll be uploading those over several posts, so be sure to check back to see those! Just go to Quiltmaker.com and search for the tab marked BLOGS!

In the mean time, if you did not get to go to Williamsburg with us, June is hosting a little giveaway!

**NOTE!** Do not leave your reply HERE on my blog -- you must leave it for June on her blog!

Go to the post and leave your comment by Thursday, August 9th at midnight ((I am assuming that’s Central USA time since Quiltmaker’s offices are in Golden Colorado!)) stating WHERE you’d like to see a Quiltmaker Block Party happen…..and she will draw a winner for a totebag full of goodies!


These are some of the variety of goodies we found in our bags!

Your bag contents may vary.

Sincere thanks to our generous partners for this event:
Handi Quilter
Quilting Treasures
RJR Fabrics
Red Rooster Fabrics
Robert Kaufman
Rowan Fabric
Timeless Treasures
Troy Fabric

Good Luck Everyone!

Smith’s Fort Plantation, circa 1765!

After exiting the ferry on the “Surry Side” I headed down a lovely green country road, fields and fields of peanuts growing on each side.

Virginia IS Peanut Country ---there are often little country shops and stands along the road side where you can buy not only Virginia peanuts, but Virginia hams as well!

Taking the road-less-traveled, I wasn’t sure what I would cross paths with, but when I came to a sign telling me that Smith’s Fort Plantation was ahead, I had to take the turn ---only --- I missed it!

I had to go up the road a bit to find a place to turn around and double back ---

And it was so worth it!

I found myself traveling up a tree covered drive that seemed to go on for miles:

PA_VA_JulAug2012 993

I sure felt like I was going to wind up at some place like “Twelve Oaks” from Gone With the Wind!

PA_VA_JulAug2012 991

To my dismay, even through I was there at 10am ---it was a Sunday, and the house wasn’t open. But I was free to wander around the grounds, and it was just what I needed for a leg stretch at this time.

PA_VA_JulAug2012 992

I did a little more research and this is what I found:

The plantation received its name because it was the location of Captain John Smith's "New Fort," built in 1609, located directly across the James River from the Jamestown colony. The fort was quickly abandoned due to dry rot and a rat infestation.

The same land was later given by Chief Powhatan to John Rolfe as a dowry for the hand of Pocahontas when Rolfe and Pocahontas married. Archaeological surveys of the property have revealed that a number of structures have existed on the property and the present, restored main house was built by Jacob Faulcon in 1751.

Is that cool or what? Having heard of Pocahontas all my life, this really was like walking through history! Not to mention that Shamu and I rode over on the Pocahontas Ferry ;c)

PA_VA_JulAug2012 988

We get the idea that because the word “PLANTATION” is used, that the house is going to be a huge structure of Georgian architecture. Not always. Many plantation houses were modest “normal” sized homes ----and I sure wished I could have had a chance to tour the inside of this one. But I was happy to walk the grounds…that crepe myrtle tree is in full bloom and is gorgeous! Up closer to the house is an ancient magnolia. The size of the trees alone make the house look that much smaller, dwarfing it in comparison.

PA_VA_JulAug2012 989


Imagine the lady of the manor stepping out of that front door dressed for a journey to town, or maybe to church or to visit. Imagine the lives, the births, the deaths, the every day occurrence of waking up to greet a new day of plantation life ---in the Virginia summer heat and humidity without the benefits of electricity, air-conditioning or other modern conveniences.

Yes. I’m a modern girl! I love revisiting the past, but I’m so happy to be living where I live now!

Next trip? I *AM* going to be there when it is open to see inside!

Monday, August 06, 2012

iPhone-o-Gram! The Mail Run!

It's been a productive day so far!

I just dropped the following off at the post office and these book orders will be on their way to their global destinations.

I use the little folding cart all the time---gotta protect the back, you know, and bins of books are heavy.

A couple more days like this and we will be all caught up! I'll lift the pre-order status on new orders coming in as soon as we are caught up and life can get back to normal, whatever that is!

Now---on to the chiropractor.

Also in search of Mrs. Lorraine Valmai Hughes

Lorraine in One Tree Hill, South Australia --- please contact me at Quiltville@gmail.com .


I can’t ship your order without more information, and emails to you have gone unanswered.


If anyone knows Lorraine please have her contact me!

Still In Search of Brigitte Sieber!


I have been trying to ship your order of String Fling since they first arrived!

Your information is incomplete, and I can’t ship it until I get this information from you!

Please contact me at Quiltville@gmail.com!!

***NOTE*** If anyone knows Brigitte Sieber from Switzerland, please let her know I need to talk to her. I have tried her email address, and it bounces back to me, so I am at a loss at what to do ----


Shamu & The Jamestown Ferry!

In Saturday’s class, several of us were discussing alternate routes I could take home rather than the usual “trek back over to Richmond and fight your way back down I-95 with all the semi trucks and weekend traffic” madness.

When Randee suggested that I take the Jamestown-to-Surry Ferry, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do!

Now, those of you who live near water and where ferrying yourself from one side to the other is a daily occurrence, this won’t seem like a big deal to you, but I have a confession to make:

In all my world travels, I had yet to drive my car up on to a ferry to ride across the water, and drive off on the other side. This was exciting for me!

And even more exciting that it was “free.”

I wasn’t sure just what to do, so when I got to the ferry bridge, I just waited in line behind a few other cars – I must have been there relatively early, the ferry runs every 30 minutes or some such thing and there were only a couple cars in line ahead of me.

But as we sat there, soon there were many more cars behind me!

PA_VA_JulAug2012 968

Here I am in line as the ferry pulls up to the dock after bringing people over from the “Surry Side” of the James River. Yes, that s my Williamsburg Hospitality House parking garage pass still on my dashboard!

PA_VA_JulAug2012 977

Somehow I ended up lucky enough to h have a front row “seat”!

Can you see my license place? QLTVLLE!

PA_VA_JulAug2012 972

Or maybe it’s the birds that have the best vantage point – and a free ride too!

PA_VA_JulAug2012 982

I went up to the top observation deck to enjoy the beautiful view, and to wave at another ferry passing ---they are headed to the dock that we just left!

**Side Note!** This is how you know who the tourists are:

They are the ones OUT OF THEIR CARS milling around and going up to the observation deck to take pictures.

Those who ride the ferry regularly are on their cell phones, or eating their drive through breakfast and reading the paper, or reading their kindles. They stay in their cars. It’s an every day occurrence for them – but for me…it was SO COOL!

PA_VA_JulAug2012 985

It takes about 15 minutes to make our way to the Surry Side.

PA_VA_JulAug2012 987

As our gate keeper made his way to start letting the chains down and opening the gates so we could drive off on our way, I slid back behind Shamu’s wheel and made myself ready to exit my first drive-on ferry ride ever.

I don’t quite remember how much time all this would have saved me mileage wise, but I know it is considerable. If you can’t cross on the ferry, the only alernative is to drive way out of your way to cross a bridge further down the river.

One more thing crossed off my bucket list --- what’s next?

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Evening Edition! Free Kindle Book!

And the long road home….I drove and drove, getting home about 3pm.

I unloaded the car….stuff is in piles everywhere and totes and luggage need to be unpacked and laundry attended to.

I left it all ---and took a nap in my own bed that beckoned --- the ceiling fan whirling silently on medium speed, creating just enough of a house-bound breeze to require sleeping with just the sheet in this summer heat.

I woke up about 5:30, finding my afternoon gone!

A simple supper of grilled cheese and tomato soup was decided upon, and here I sit – trying to make my way through snail mail that has piled up over the past 18 days I’ve been gone.

It’s going to take a lot of digging to get out from under!

I only made a couple of stops on my way home – could you guess that I was just wanting to GET HERE? Those photos will come tomorrow. Right now, my phone is dumping over 900 photos taken on this past 18 day jaunt onto my external harddrive so I can edit today’s pics down tomorrow.

Let’s face it. It’s been a LONG trip, even as great as it was – and I don’t feel like editing photos tonight. I want to park my butt on the couch and watch the olympics and do NOTHING ---all the busy stuff can happen TOMORROW!

But for those who would rather read than watch, I did find something to download that you might like:

Keeping the Peace by Hannah Hooton is free tonight in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Genre: Drama/Romance

Book Description:

London waitress, Pippa Taylor has no interest in horses or country-living. But when she inherits Peace Offering, a hopeless racehorse, she embarks on a career change in order to see her late uncle’s wish to run him in the Grand National come true.

But having talked her way into a job as racing secretary to champion National Hunt trainer, Jack Carmichael and moved to the West Country, Pippa finds herself faced with more daunting obstacles than even the Grand National can throw at her.

The most challenging of them all is her relationship with her new boss.

Jack, although easy on the eye, is moody and fiery-tempered and certainly not easy on the ear. After a Christmas they would both rather forget, danger and deception threaten Pippa’s life in the country and as her time at Aspen Valley Racing Stables draws to its conclusion she discovers Peace Offering is not the only thing she must fight to keep.

Check to be sure it’s still free before you download…..and have a great evening!

Midnight Flight Fun!

This picture comes with a special hello to our friend-in-common, Darlynn!

One of the marvelous things about being a quilter is that whole 6 degrees of separation thing. Have you heard of that?

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.

Or in other words, I know someone who knows someone else who knows another person, etc ---who knows you, and through them, we know each other!

I met Darlynn when I taught for their guild retreat up in Madison, Wisconsin a few years ago. But it turns out we’ve got other quilters in other places in common too – because Darlynn used to live in Georgia, and that is where I originally met this sweet lady, who also knows Darlynn!

You might remember me mentioning Darlynn because she joined us in Sun River Oregon for the Sisters Quilt Show a few weeks ago ((Has it only been that long? It feels longer!))

So from Wisconsin to Oregon to Georgia to Williamsburg --- there was a whole lot of connection going on!

This is another block that can boggle the mind, and it is so easy to turn triangles the wrong way!

Midnight Flight was found in Volume 5 of 100 blocks – copies are still available from the Quiltmaker.com website.

Spirits were high as we sewed our brains out ----and since it was our last day, we were treated to a cheesecake table at 2:30pm for treats – just what we need to keep our energy up---CHEESECAKE! LOL!

williamsburg2012 260

Lucky for us, the cheese cake table was right outside our classroom door! Really, the Hospitality House Hotel and Conference Center here in Williamsburg has done a fantabulous job behind the scenes for us. The staff is friendly and helpful, the rooms are spacious, the food was really good…..I’d come back here to stay in a heartbeat!

Here’s our photos from yesterday’s class:

So --- I did what I said I’d do. I slept with no alarm clock. I wanted to sleep a bit longer and wake up by myself and get this day going. Guess what? I slept in maybe only 15 minutes longer than if I had set my alarm? I guess you just can’t fool a body clock!

Several local ladies told me that I should go home via the Jamestown Ferry – that it is a cool thing to do, good photo op, so I may head out that way. It’s about a 6 hour drive home for me – who knows how long it will take! There are some neat historic areas to drive through, but many of the places I’d usually stop may be closed on Sunday.

Time to pack it all up, load it all into Shamu and point this girl homeward!