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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Did You Sew Much?

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Yesterday dawned into a blustery scene of snow blowing sideways.

Big flakes, just coming on down.

It didn’t last long, but it was enough to make me as giddy as a school girl, making plans to stay inside and sew all day while the weather did whatever its agenda entailed.

Soon, big flakes turned to small ones, then just to little ice crystals coming down, and then all together it stopped.

By afternoon what white frosting our world had was gone, and I was so glad I got this photo.

The first Snow Day Sew Day of this winter for me.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nichole Quilts Across America!

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Good morning, Quilters!

Over the past couple of days I have had an amazing experience reconnecting with someone from our quilting community and I am so inspired by her story that I want to share a bit of her incredible mobile studio with you!

Imagine a time, many moons ago, and long before social media and blogging - when I was a fairly newbie longarm quilter. (I purchased my first APQS machine in 1995, I can’t believe that is nearly 22 years ago!)

Email list-serves were the thing back then, and for comradery and support I joined an email list for longarmers like myself for networking, problem solving, idea inspiring and fun and laughter and making friends.

This was the first time I became aware of a fabulous longarm artist by the name of Nichole, who’s last name was Webb at the time.  But is no longer!

Fast forward to October 2015, and I am teaching at a retreat in Washington State, where a Nichole Wilde is a student, with a broken leg and a head injury (Wilde is aparently a very appropriate name for this daredevil of a quilter!) and ME, without a head injury, just didn’t put two and two together that THIS Nichole and THAT Nichole were one and the same until I came across a video that she shared on our Quiltville’s Open Studio page on Facebook.

Nichole is now living in a 40 foot diesel motor coach called the Art Bus, complete with a LONGARM in it!  Her “Art Bus” is taking her wherever she wants to go, she is quilting up a storm along the way, and having quite the adventure.
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This is Nichole with a beautiful smile and a gorgeous quilt behind her!

I asked Nichole if I could share her story with you, and with a resounding yes and some more pictures shared between us this morning, here we are.

Nichole's observation is Making Things Matters!  And I agree. We are always doing, making, creating --it's in our nature.  It's our way of life, and at the core of who we are as quilters.

From Nichole’s website,  http://www.nicholewilde.com/
QUILTING ACROSS AMERICA!  TOUR 2016/2017:
I am thrilled to announce that I am embarking upon a North American road tour to launch my Random Acts of Artwork movement, my Making Things Matters! Podcast and my new book into the world in an even BIGGER WAY than this summer!  
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After the last two and a half years of the honestly devastating losses of my family in the 2014 Oso Mudslide in Washington state, my divorce, then my foolish horse accident that left me without two of my senses (there really is a joke in there, it's okay! It cracks me up too!), I have had a lot of time to think and feel and get perspective on life.
This has led me to the knowledge that my energy is contributing to building the world I live in. The status quo world that we are fed by culture and media is, quite frankly, completely insane to me.

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Reality is that we are all a part of a larger whole. We are like cells in the body of Earth, everyone a vital part of the whole. Being the most sentient of cells, it's rather up to us to be good stewards of that which we are entrusted. It's clear that the vast majority of us are not thinking that way. 
There are a lot of good reasons to excuse ourselves from actually being the change we want to see in the world. It's uncomfortable to put yourself "out there." People might not like you. You might starve! Blah blah blah. 
The one thing that I know about life is that is does not matter what your opinion or actions are, you can find someone to say you are wrong and disagree with you. That knowledge has inspired me to do it anyway.

During my Summer road trip I jumped in a big way and purchased a diesel pusher motor-home. I did a lot of research because my intention was to find one that I could fit a longarm quilting machine into. 
Introducing: Artie The Art Bus! I now live full-time on the road, living a life of sharing, community and beauty. 
I am so excited about what Nicole is doing with her life that I want to jump right into the video where she shows us how it all fits:

Where there is a will, there is a way!  I am Quilter, hear me ROAR!

I have to admit at this moment I am feeling a tiny bit jealous, and a bit way over-loaded with stuff.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my machines, and stash and everything, but I think in 2017 I want to start doing MORE with LESS!  I’ve even thought about taking some vintage machines on the road with me when I have road trips and finding them new homes.  It’s time to start thinking about that.

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Is there room for stash?  YES!

And you can see Nichole’s bedroom with beautiful quilt just beyond.  Could you make plenty of quilts with the stash in this one cupboard?  Yes.  So why do we think we need MORE?  Just SEW IT UP.  When you need more, get more.

Snoopie

Everyone needs a companion in quilt-crime!

Nichole travels with Snoopie by her side.  Snoopie was rescued in Texas back in July. She was emaciated and sick and showed up at a friend’s house and was quickly adopted into her new fur-ever rolling residence.
Snoopie the Art Bus Road Warrior Dog!  Oh, those ears are slaying me.

I am looking forward to seeing what adventures Nichole takes us on this next year.  She is teaching courses, still quilting for others, and hosting video chats on her YouTube Channel after taking a much needed 3 year hiatus.

I am inspired by the resilience of quilters who have overcome amazing obstacles, hardships, and unfathomable loss.  I gain the courage to go forward by watching them rise above.  I am in awe.

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of your story, Nichole --

I am cheering you on and sending you every positive wish for a fabulous 2017 ahead.

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This happened for me last night, after all was done.

Do you see something different here?  Do you see what I am sewing on?  This poor baby that I bought back in 2009 has come out to play after years in isolation.  Last used to piece “Pineapple Crazy” from my book String Fling, I just haven’t needed a machine with a thread cutter.  But let me tell you, when you are paper-piecing small stuff, and you have to end or begin in the center of the paper template, a thread cutter sure beats all of those long thread tails everywhere.

And let’s face it.  Even the more “modern” machines in my fleet need to come out for some attention every now and then.  It wouldn’t fit IN the cabinet, so I put a pressing board over the machine hole and set the machine on top.  A bit too tall, but hey – I raised my sewing chair a bit, and LOVED that thread cutter to bits.

Does this make me a traitor?  Probably so.  So be it!

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Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Quilt shared by @photokevin74.

There are only a couple days of 2016 left.

I love to end the year on a high note and think of all of the positive things that have happened this past year. I am so grateful for all of the experiences that 2016 has brought and look forward to the next adventure!

I love this interesting quilt that looks like spinning tops, not quite dreidels but this is for my Jewish friends still celebrating Hanukkah. While Christmas only lasted one day growing up I was always a tiny bit jealous of those who got to celebrate for a full week!

I’m off to remedy that.  As soon as today’s orders are ready to drop off at the post office, Sadie and I are on the road and up to the cabin.  That property we liked near Mouth of Wilson, VA?  We are going back to look at it on Saturday.  Fingers crossed, everyone!


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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Breathing Room!

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Sadie is here to let you know that as of yesterday afternoon, we became completely CURRENT with the Addicted to Scraps book and Essential Triangle Tool orders!

The “Pre-order” status notification has been removed from the Quiltville Store and we are now working in REAL TIME for the first time since September! 

Hooray!

Several months of go go go go go and hurry up and wait.

I want to thank you all for bearing with us while we dealt with the manufacturing and printing schedules, and you really helped keep my spirits up even though your orders were waiting.

We are ending 2016 on a high note!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Memories, 2016

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We had a simply warm and lovely Christmas.

In fact, it is was so simple, that even the Christmas decor was quickly packed up and put away yesterday afternoon, just in case there is a cabin showing this week in between Christmas and New Years.

You never know.

It could happen.

In fact –we may be going to look for a second time at a property this coming Saturday, so if we are doing it, while we are off work, someone else might be too.

And though the Christmas decorations have been put away, my “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree in its sweet vintage lard bucket tucked to the back of the guest room closet until it perhaps comes out for our next Christmas, perhaps in a new place making new memories and traditions – I hope that those “maybe” visitors will feel a bit of the love and happiness we have shared in this space over the past 3 1/2 years.

I took this photo yesterday out on a 2 1/2 mile hike.  Jason has been dating Jenny for over 2 years now and she has become like family.  We loved having her with us!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 5!

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The day after.

Also known as Boxing Day, or Second Christmas, or this year ---3rd day of Hanukkah!

It’s also our  En Provence Mystery Monday Link-Up number FIVE!

I hope this last clue was easier for you.  And you were able to use your favorite methods for cranking out the units needed in part 5.

Maybe you tried some NEW methods as well.

I hope you had a WONDERFUL Christmas with those you love close in your heart, if not under the same roof.

If you are celebrating the Festival of Lights, I hope the voices of children around you bring back memories of Hanukkah’s past.

And through it all, I hope you were able to squeeze in a bit of pieceful stitching for yourself!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

From My Home to Yours!

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I’m sneaking in a quick post just to wish you a very merry happy Christmas!

Every year I am in complete denial about Christmas arriving.  I fight it, I almost dread it. 

Sometimes it seems like so much work, especially for the mothers and wives that seem to be the ones that cause Christmas to “happen” in our homes.

Life gets crazy, and we start to feel that if everything isn’t just right, isn’t just 100% perfect, isn’t completely done it is somehow our fault.

You know what?  Done or not, Christmas comes anyway – no matter if we wish we had more time.

Year after year, we have done less and less to prepare for this holiday, focusing more on each other than on decorations, weeks worth of baking, and stuff.

And I have found Christmas is much sweeter the more simple we make it.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Eve Quilty Box Drawing!



The cabin is quiet.

Our Christmas eve fare of steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, veggies, garlic bread and all the fixin’s have filled us to bursting.

It’s been a day of respite.  Movies have been watched complete with lazy lounging.

4 wheelers have gone for long mountain adventures, the beauty of a North Carolina Christmas all around.

4 kinds of cookies were baked – and many eaten.

I am cherishing the conversation happening between my sons as I do up the dishes, they are completely unaware that I am listening.

It’s been a wonderful day all the way around.

And now it’s about to become more wonderful for someone else!  Let’s draw for the winner of the December Quilty Box!

The Road to North Wilkesboro!

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The sky was absolutely beautiful as we made our way toward the mountains I love so dearly.  Evening was on its way, the sun was reaching its lowest point before dipping over those blue ridge mountains, and the clouds were reflecting the rays.

So hard to capture with a phone camera through the windshield where I was riding shotgun, Sadie already snoozing and snoring in her very Sadie way in the back seat behind me.

We had just dropped off everything that could be filled and shipped before post office closing time.  We had stopped at our little Food Lion grocery store in Wallburg believing that the crowds would be more manageable at 4pm there, than at 5:30pm in Wilkesboro.

Everything we need for our Christmas weekend at Quilt Villa has been obtained.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Santa By Yellow Freight!

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They are HERE!!  Whoowhoooo!

A pallet of Essential Triangle Tools arrived at the Yellow Freight Depot in Kernersville, North Carolina at approximately 3 a.m. this morning! The Hubster  is already on his way to go pick them up with the truck. All of the remaining pre-orders will start going out today!

The Wells Fargo Wagon song from yesterday did the trick!

We will start with the invoices from November 19th and work our way until current.

I’ve got Christmas music playing.  A good breakfast for our bellies, and we are starting in.

We will get out as many as we can up until post office closing time tomorrow and then make a beeline for the cabin where we will spend a relaxing Christmas with our two sons, plus one – Jason is bringing his girlfriend Jenny, which means I won’t be the only girl-person in the house.  HOORAY!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In the Land of Design Floor Sashing.

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It was an afternoon/evening of helpers.

It was a job reminiscent of “Twister” on the floor with friends in my teens.

It was not so funny in my 50s! LOL!

I have a design wall.  It is full of other stuff.

If I don’t pin to the design wall, stuff can fall off with the opening and shutting of a nearby door –so pins and a bazillion pieces is just not so fun, and I thought this would be an easy floor job, laid out, picked up in order and sewn.  THINK AGAIN!

Today my thighs ache – my hind-end hurts!  And I’m attributing this as ALL GOOD, using muscles that haven’t been used in a while.

“Use it or lose it!” They say ---and as long as I can get down and get up, I’ll keep getting down and getting up so I don’t lose it before my time.

However, my knees are betraying me, and that’s something I didn’t think would happen as I’ve always remembered Newton's first law of motion - sometimes referred to as the law of inertia.

"An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."  My knees are my unbalanced force!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Always Room For Quilts -

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Sometimes you find them, sometimes you don’t.

It’s always a treasure hunt, and often times there isn’t any treasure!

But this time there was.

It’s been a while since I was able to visit this antique mall, and this time with Mona in tow, we were extremely hopeful that we would find something to share.

Vintage quilts have a lifetime worth of lessons.  What was available at the time?  The fabrics of the period tell a story all their own.  Here in the south the quilts post civil war through the 1950s are often quite humble, made quickly with thick batting from whatever the scrap bag had to offer, and quilted quickly in all over fan patterns to keep families warm through cold winters.

I know I have shared this one before – it’s still there.  But I still love it.  A hodge podge of blocks, and that one giant 4 patch on point!

Some may desire museum quality finds, but as for me –these are the ones I love!

Monday, December 19, 2016

December Quilty Box Gift-Away!

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Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way!

Oh what fun is is to know Quilty Box  can make your day!

Fabric fun, patterns too, notions by the score -

Quilty Box will make you smile and you’ll be bored no more!

HA! 

Okay, so I’m not much of a poet or a lyricist, but this month’s Quilty Box had me drooling from the moment I opened the lid.  What is a Quilty Box?

  • Quilty Box is a monthly subscription box of fun quilting supplies. We offer plans from $44-48/mo.
  • 5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions are donated to Quilts for Kids - a non-profit which donates quilts for children in need
  • Each month we have 4 or more products (Fabric, patterns, thread, or notions)
  • Our retail value of the products in the box is always more than $60
  • January's Quilty Box Featured Artist will be Stephanie Palmer from latenightquilter.com.
  • The next Quilty Box will ship around January 11th. Subscribers will need to purchase before January 10th to receive this shipment.
  • We will be using the hashtags #QuiltyBox and #GetQuilty

Mystery Monday Link-Up! Part 4!

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Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you’ve had a great weekend, a BIT slower pace, finding some time to sew up our deep purples and neutrals into more Tri-Recs units for Part 4 of our En Provence Mystery!

I’ve kept my eye on social media this weekend, using the hashtags #quiltvillemystery and #enprovencequilt to see what you are doing – It’s been fun playing the voyeur into your sewing space and watching what you post!

I must say that I love how artisticly you are arranging your pieces, your sewing area – and any time I see a vintage machine doing the work I give three cheers for the beautiful old ladies (The machines, not you!) that continue to do such a great job after decades, and in some cases centuries!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Quilt-Cam 12-18-2016

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We just finished a round of Quilt-Cam on Facebook Live just a bit ago!

What a fun way to take some time out in the middle of a Sunday afternoon.  Just loved it!

I would have loved it even more if I had remembered to charge the tablet up all the way so the battery wouldn’t run out so soon! LOL!

For those who didn’t understand why I couldn’t just charge it while filming, I’ve got an external webcam/mic attached and I’m using that to record so that the entire video is NOT in mirror image, which is what happens if I use the tablet camera to record.  It’s technology, but there you have it.  The mic is plugged into the charging jack, and therefore I can’t charge while recording.

What running Quilt-Cam on Facebook Live offers is the opportunity to interact with more folks via a very easy to use format, and to save the video and embed it here in the blog after the fact for those who don’t use facebook for whatever reason.  The picture has been clear, and the audio in sync, and those who miss it are still able to catch it here on the blog where it will continue to be archived under the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of my blog.

Writing this post AFTER the fact means I can share some of the posts that came to me while we WERE live, such as this photo you see here!

Grammy Dwynn says that these are her LAST 40 of Clue #4 for our En Provence mystery – not that she is counting or anything!

Another Virginia Cabin Hunting Day

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Before I even get started, I want to let everyone know there will be an Impromptu Quilt-Cam at 2pm Eastern this afternoon! 

I wasn’t sure how I would feel after yesterday’s road trip, (we were gone almost 12 hours) but I’m game if you are.

It will start in Facebook Live, and after the fact will be embedded into a blog post and uploaded and archived under the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of the blog. 

Southwest Virginia is just simply gorgeous.

I want to call this “Walton’s Mountain” country, but I really have no idea WHERE in Virginia Walton’s Mountain was supposed to be.  Maybe closer to Charlottesville?

This is a land of fields, farms and Christmas tree plantations.  It’s a land of streams and hollars, gulleys, gulches, and gaps.

We spent a long day exploring many corners from Grayson to Carroll County and everywhere in between.

Would the next “PERFECT” Quilt Villa be around the corner?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Antiquing We Will Go!

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When Mona came to sew on Tuesday, we made a plan for Thursday to meet up at our favorite Mexican place for lunch, and then to wander into
North Wilkesboro for some antique mall browsing and putzing around before my drive home.

I haven’t been to this place in quite a while, and we were happily poking about when all of a sudden Mona exclaimed “Pink machine!  On the floor!  Pink Sewing Machine!”

I swear, the girl was close to having a heart attack!

Did I train her well or what?!

Turns out the machine is a late 1950s, early 1960s Atlas!

We moved it out from under the pile of stuff where it was partially hidden and here I am checking it out making sure that the handwheel turns, the bobbin case and foot pedal are there, and that the wiring doesn’t look completely scary.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Quilting Cozy Drawing Time!



Hello from a very chilly Wallburg, North Carolina!

I arrived home a few hours ago after a WEEK up at the cabin, and I must say it’s good to be back. 

There is a stack of Christmas cards to be opened on the dining room table.

I haven’t checked what food is available in the fridge – we’ll make do tonight, and I can hit the grocery store in the morning.

There is En Provence Mystery clue #4 to put the finishing touches on tonight, but before I do – it’s time to draw for our one lucky winner of the Quilting Cozy BUNDLE!

I’m so tickled that Carol Dean Jones gifted novels 1, 2 and 3 to one of our readers, and I’m happy to be adding to the box that will soon be on its way.

Will it be you?

Let’s see!  We had 4904 entries, that’s nearly 5,000.  SO exciting for the one person who’s name is drawn!

Oh Sew Many Stars!

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11 piles pinned in 10 stars each.

I’ve been sewing stars for 2 days, and this is as far as I’ve gotten.

You know, once the triangles are all made, these are as simple as putting together a 9-patch, and if I sew 2 stars at the same time, using each as the Leader & Ender for the other, I can play the game of no wasted thread, no thread tails, no starting and stopping, and go go go go until the bobbin runs out.

I need close to 150 of these, so I’m getting there.  But for now I’ve stopped sewing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Squeezing In One More Day!

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This is Sadie’s impression of The Flying Nun when I asked her if she wanted to stay on the mountain “Just One More Day!?”

YES!

It cracks me up when she does this with her ears.  Her ears will tell you every little thing she is thinking and when they are flying like this, you know you’ve got her attention.

Oh, and this look? It really came when I asked her "Do you want a treat?"

Why am I staying?  Because I got an answer on the delivery of the Essential Triangle Tools.  They now say December 21st.  Which in the manufacturing industry is about as close to the targeted time frame of “Mid December” as we could get. Will they actually arrive at my location on the 21st? Who knows.

This is how pre-orders go.  This is how LIFE goes.  I remember a few years back when we had our kitchen remodeled and we were supposed to be all set to go by mid-December, but on Christmas day we found ourselves eating out at the local Chinese Buffet (Yes, very similar to The Christmas Story movie) because we had no countertops and no running water in the kitchen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cabin Hunting Saturday, Part 2

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Beautiful views, wide open and weathered DECK – but it isn’t a porch.

Cabin number 3 was lovely, don’t get me wrong.

It will be perfect for someone, and someone is going to love it.

Very close to West Jefferson, North Carolina, this cabin sits near the top of a steep mountain face.  And though it comes with acreage, it is all VERTICAL and there is no yard to speak of really.  Just a drive that goes to the house, and the rest of the property is either straight up or straight down.

I am keeping in consideration that I like to hike and walk, but I perfer there to be some “across” spaces in between the steep up and very steep down.

The road going up to the cabin is barely one car width wide, and I’d hate to meet another car going up or down when I was trying to go down or up, there wasn’t really anywhere to pull off, and I’m not a good backer-upper.  It was just one of those roads that makes you go “WOAH.”

But that view!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 3!

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“Monday Monday, so good to me!”

I’m humming my inner “Mamas & Papas” as we get this day going!

Units are adding up!  The colors you’ve chosen for your own version of the En Provence Mystery are shining through!

The thing I love about our mysteries?  Even if we are using similar colors, each and every quilt will be SO DIFFERENT because it will reflect you and your tastes.  Your fabric choices.

In a world full of cookie-cutter “one fabric line/one designer/one manufacturer” quilts, you are standing out and SHINING!

And we are growing through the choices we make and the techniques we are learning.

I’ve heard from many that Part 3 came together much more quickly because you had already perfected your technique with part 1, and this batch came even easier.

And I am happy to say that there will be NO MORE 4 PATCHES in this quilt.  LOL!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Quilting Cozy Gift-Away!

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Hello, my friends!

It’s a chilly nearly-mid-December evening up here at Quilt Villa where I’ve been sewing all day long!

Boy does it feel good to admit that.

The only thing not happy about that fact is my poor fit-bit.  I am a fair weather walker, and I’m not happy if temps are below 40. LOL.  Tomorrow.  I’ll get out and do a longer walk tomorrow.  But for now, I’ve been longing for extended stitching time and I’ve got it!

I’m taking a little after-dinner break to introduce you to a very special author, Carol Dean Jones.

The Road to Virginia!

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We went on a cabin hunting excursion yesterday.

It’s time to spend some time and get out and see what possibilities are out here.

With a list of things we are looking for, as well as a list of things we definitely DO NOT want (NO HOA!) we set out to meet up with a realtor just over the North Carolina State line into Virginia.

It’s really not that far from here –we are that far north into the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As we wound our way through hills and valleys and climbed a bit higher I definitely felt like I was climbing Walton’s Mountain!

The area we are looking at boasts Virginia’s tallest mountain peak of Mount Rogers, at 5700 feet above sea level.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

In Search Of --

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It felt like a treadling day yesterday.

I was feeling a bit restless.  You know how it is when your mind goes a hundred different directions and you can’t seem to quiet your thoughts?

Around and around and around they go, from one thing to another until the circle begins again.

I’m making a good ditch effort at this relaxation thing, but for a girl that’s always thrived on hyper-drive, and deadlines and go go go, sometimes relaxation feels like the equivalent of SLACKING and slacking is just something I do not do.

And I start over, telling myself – you need to relax, you need to do less, you need to enjoy life and not just pound through it.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

We’ve got Quiltmaker Bundle Winner!

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Hello from Quilt Villa for things have dipped into the 30s leaving us with nothing better to do than stitch away with home fires burning!

I know some of you are getting snow, but I’m hoping it holds off here just a bit longer, I’m not quite ready for that yet.

I am laughing to myself over this Gift-Away there are so many anxious peeps that I hate to leave the masses disappointed, but there can only be ONE winner drawn!

There are some really great goodies in this bundle and I hope to see some wonderful quilts being made from the patterns between these pages.

LOADS of inspiration!

Would you believe it if I told you that we had 4313 entries all vying to own this package??

What’s a girl to do but set the Random Number Generator in Motion and see what it comes up with.

Are you ready?

Hand Quilting and a Home Grown Video Demo!

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This makes me smile!

Yesterday afternoon I took a little trip to the post office with a load of out-going orders and from the depths of the post office I hear Sherry saying “Did you give it to her yet?!” to Aspen who was working the front counter.  “No, but I will!” says Aspen and I am laughing to myself.  “What did I leave here?”  “Did I miss something last time?”  “Do I owe you money?”

And it feels so good that not only do I know these gals by sight and we are on a first name  very friendly basis, but they also know ME by my definitely “Not from around here” Minnesota accent that still clings on, even though I left Minnesota at the age of 7 and grew up in California.

Wherever you learn to speak your vowels, they just stick with you, don’t they?  “Oh Jah, Youbetcha!”

It seems this little letter was sent to me with no street address, and not to my own zip code of 27107.

You see, even though I reside in Wallburg, my address is really a Winston-Salem address and the post office that delivers is from miles away as my little one window post office doesn’t do home delivery, they are postal box only. 

I counted yet one more reason why I love small town living.  The PO gals KNEW I’d be back in eventually.  They even knew I was up at the cabin for a long weekend.  And they just held this little card for me until the next time they heard me walk in the door with a “Hi girls! How’s your day?”

Small town, Big Heart!

And a bigger thanks for the lovely note that was found inside the envelope.  I read every word as I sat in my car with the engine running, seat warmers on.  This made my day!

I love the beautiful handwriting.  Such a lost art. Makes me sad they are not teaching cursive writing in school anymore.  It really IS an art.

Today I have a special HOME GROWN treat for you.

Some of you may remember that Jeff and I tried to do a home video tutorial for the Essential Triangle Tool but were not happy with the quality, and opted to film demos in Houston instead. 

I went back and watched this video, and while there are places I wish I could clip out, there is loads of valuable info I want to share with you. So you are getting it, un-edited, un-enhanced, as is.

While some folks can do everything, there are things I haven’t had a chance to learn yet, so you are getting this good try but very shaky experience!  But I think it has valuable information.



So!  See how cool this is?

Nothing fancy down here in the basement.  Not a studio set up.  No great lighting, no fancy camera, just my son who I love dearly for his willingness to try doing a video tutorial and a few close ups of the outside of my arm near the elbow.  LOL!  STRICTLY AMATEUR!  I do better at sewing.

This video will be linked under the videos tab at the top of the blog for future reference should you need to come back to it.

If you want the pro-view, you can still get my Wanderlust Course  with Craft U!  Use the code Wander15 for 15% off of the purchase price.  More info by clicking the Wanderlust Course link in the upper left hand side bar of the blog (from a real computer where side bars are visible, not a mobile device.)

In OTHER news:

I heard back from Quiltmaker and the String Pumpkins will be on its way to Golden Colorado as soon as I get the binding, sleeve and label on!  That is on the docket for this weekend.  Be looking for that pattern in the September/October 2017 issue.  HOORAY!  That’s the fastest way to get this pattern to you and I’m so excited that they have accepted it.

Our drawing for the Quiltmaker bundle is TONIGHT!!  Did you enter ON THAT POST?

Our Mystery Monday Link-Up has new additions coming in at a good clip!  View those HERE.  Those entries close tonight at midnight, Eastern time, so keep them coming!  If you miss it, no worries, just join in next Monday.

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I’ve been HAND QUILTING!

This 2007 UFO needs to be finished.

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Just loving the hand quilting texture!

I have my Craftoptics Telescopes to thank for much of this.  I wrote about them HERE.  Seriously.  I am able to do things with the help of these that I haven’t been able to do in years.  No affiliation, just a very happy satisfied customer.  Craftoptics also has a sale going on through December.  Check them out.  It could be the best gift you give to yourself.

I’m headed back up to the cabin this afternoon.  I want to spend as much time up there as I can during my time off which is quickly flying by, you know how it goes.

And you know what TOMORROW is?  Part 3 of En Provence

Are you ready?

12_8_2016

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

My mama used to quote "To know and not to do is not to know." And "When you know better, do better!"

Isn't this quilt fun? I'm not sure if it's fish or birds in a circle, but it's got me captivated!

Shared by Kevin H –and I’m so grateful he keeps sending more photos to keep me in quote backgrounds!

Have a great Thursday, everyone!


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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

When You Just Gotta Quilt!

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I was a good girl yesterday.

I got home BEFORE my estimated time of arrival.

This is what happens when the GPS says it will take 80 minutes from Quilt Villa to Home, and you do all in your power to beat the time given.  HA!

No more than 5mph over the speed limit though, and just keeping up with traffic.  I know I have a lead foot!

I tackled the stack of mail.

I opened boxes of things that had been ordered.

I got laundry going.

I printed all of the invoices that had been waiting in the system since I left for the cabin last Wednesday afternoon, they are all now marked PROCESSING meaning invoices are printed, labels made ready, and placed in line so when  the Essential Triangle Tools arrive I’ll have everything in order and can crank these out the door and get them to YOU.

And before I knew it, darkness had fallen and it was evening time.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Stringing Together!

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While I was deep into the neutral zone on my side of the table, Mona was digging into a new project with a rainbow of strings from my ever flowing blue bin.

EVERYTHING goes into that blue bin, it lives at the end of the cutting table, and as I am trimming up fabrics I will toss anything that is at least 3/4’’ up to about 2’’ that I don’t want to cut into Scrap User’s System measurements into the bin as I go.

The bin holds a wonderful array of EVERYTHING.

While at home I tend to separate strings by color family for ease of use, I’ve done the opposite here – mixed it all together and I have more ideas in my head for wonderful string quilt possibilities than I have time to sew them.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Quiltmaker Jan/Feb 2017 Gift-Away!

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I can’t believe I just wrote 2017 in a subject line!

Oh, goodness.  It is coming up so soon!

And with magazines, it’s a month ahead of where we currently are and do I have some happy surprises for you!

It may only be December, but 2017 is already hitting news stands near you.

Does it drive you nuts?  It does me a bit, but this one is packed with all things WONDERFULLY QUILTY!

My own copy of the January/February 2017 issue of Quiltmaker was waiting for me when I returned from Thanksgiving in Key Largo, Florida.

I tucked myself into bed and thumbed through the pages, one by one by one – SO much great stuff inside!

En Provence Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 2!

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There is so much magenta loveliness in all of its variety happening out there in Quiltville!!

Just doing a quick flip of our #quiltvillemystery and #enprovencequilt hash tags in instagram provided me with SO much happy browsing!

Magenta is a color that I love – and oh my quilters!  You wear it well!

At this point I can tell you that there is no worry on not having enough magenta.  We are done with it.  You’ve done all with the magenta that you were meant to do for this quilt, and there are other colors that demand some attention so we will be focusing on those over the next several weeks.

The only other thing you might decide, and I never decide this until the quilt is DONE – is if you want to use magenta as your binding.  And in that case, you might want to grab more while you can because binding is something I don’t figure into yardage requirements because everyone has a personal choice to make there.

We had an IMPROMPTU Quilt-Cam via Facebook Live yesterday, and it was so much fun!  A lot of mystery info was also shared during Quilt-Cam, so check it out if you haven’t yet.  It’s linked under the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of the blog.

How is your progress on the En Provence Mystery coming along?

Sunday, December 04, 2016

**NOTICE!!** Impromptu Quilt-Cam Opportunity!

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Mona isn’t feeling well.  She is staying tucked in at home where she should be, and that leaves Sadie and me up at the cabin ALONE!

I’m stitching a plethora of neutral string blocks, and it occurred to me this could be a good time to throw in an impromptu Quilt-Cam via Facebook Live on my Quiltville Facebook Page and I want to invite those who see this message in time to join me in facebook at 3pm Eastern, which is just a bit more than an hour from now.

If you have liked my main Quiltville Page and have clicked FOLLOW and have notifications enabled, and popups enabled, you should be getting a notification from within facebook when I go live – you click the notification and voila – you are there.

If you are ON my page before I go live, know that you will HAVE to refresh the page so you have the latest view and the post in front of you.  If you don’t refresh, it will not show.

Our Quilt Villa Sew Day Saturday!

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One of my favorite photos from yesterday.

Beanie and Sadie together are a doggie-friend force to be reckoned with.  And you have never seen so much tail wagging and running around in circles in excitement as there were from these two when they got to see each other after months apart.

This happy dog cacopohony was equally echoed by the squeals and hugs and laughter of Beanie’s mom Mona and I as we carried her sewing stuff into the cabin and down to the sewing nook for a Sew Day Saturday we have long been waiting for.

MONA TIME!

Life has been crazy, and our schedules more so.  But we are making up for lost time.

I even got some Mona show & Share!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Peace and Piece on the Mountain!

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Blue skies, gentle breezes, crisp late-autumn air.  Sunlight through bare branches.

This place is balm for my soul.

Sadie and I have taken some long walks over the past couple of days, and I’ve asked myself again and again – WHY am I selling my piece of this place?

Could I continue to live here and ignore the nigglings that tell me that something better is around the corner?

Is fear of NOT finding a “better fit” holding me back and making me accept compromises that also make me uncomfortable if I were to stay?

I’m struggling with the decision to leave.

Hence, long walks and loads of thinking.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Time to QUILT!

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Upon leaving the dentist yesterday, I phoned my mom, giving her the same line we were so proud of as kids after visiting the dentist: “Look, mama!  NO CAVITIES!”

We giggled together, and she said that her dad, my grandpa, and also the first dentist I ever knew would have been “So proud of his granddaughter!”.

Grandpa is the one that taught me to never fear the dentist, they only want to help.  And that numb is my friend – when needed!

My semi-annual checkup and cleaning always brings my grandpa close to my heart.  Oh, how I miss him!

I passed this barn on my way and had to stop and take a photo!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What A Load Of…

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This is the view from my back deck at home.

We have an acre and a half – bordered by woods with a creek that you see in the drop-off area in the back.

The creek is the dividing property line between us, and our neighbors behind us.

I LOVE that there are no fences.

It reminds me of when I was little, living in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and there were no fences in the neighborhood I grew up in.  I still remember the name of the street – The Strand, near Groveland Elementary where I attended kindergarten, 1st and part way through 2nd grades.

In my neighborhood of “no fences” the kids were able to run free from yard to yard to yard, kicking balls, playing on each other’s swing sets or digging in sandboxes, even so much as picking rhubarb straight from the garden, dipping the ends into the sugar bowl offered by my mom from the kitchen, and we’d munch away, dipping and chewing the sour goodness in a world without fences.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From Key Largo to Home!

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Here we are heading out on Sunday for a glass-bottomed boat tour outside of Key Largo.

And I have to admit that I was relaxed and enjoying this so much that I didn’t even remember to take photos.

Sometimes you just have to see life in real time, and get out from behind the camera lens.

I did end up taking photos of a couple of things that took my breath away, besides the sea and the sun and puffy white clouds.

Who can resist a gorgeous green iguana?

Monday, November 28, 2016

En Provence Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 1!

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Happy Monday After, everyone!

As I’m packing up my bags in Key Largo and getting ready to head home, I have some fun to share with you from a group of quilters in Chandler Arizona.

This is the 4th annual Quiltville Mystery they’ve kicked off with a party, door prizes, and CAKE as they sew together on clue one.

This is the kind of party I would love to be invited to, wouldn’t you?

The power and driving force of this event is none other than our Quiltville’s Open Studio moderator, Angela Neff.

Would you look at this cake?  HOW FUN is this??  And I love how the icing pulls in our magenta just perfectly.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Road to Key West!

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Water, water water in ALL directions! 

And something like 42 bridges connecting one key to another key to another until you finally (FINALLY!) end up in Key West, our destination location for yesterday’s plan of attack.

As we crossed each span of bridge on the Overseas Highway my mind was trying to absorb the sheer feat of BUILDING this highway…over the water…for miles and miles and miles.

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile (181.9 km) highway carrying U.S. Route 1 (US 1) through the Florida Keys. Large parts of it were built on the former right-of-way of the Overseas Railroad, the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway. 
Completed in 1912, the Overseas Railroad was heavily damaged and partially destroyed in the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. The Florida East Coast Railway was financially unable to rebuild the destroyed sections, so the roadbed and remaining bridges were sold to the state of Florida for $640,000.
 
Since the 1950s the Overseas Highway has been refurbished into a main coastal highway between the cities of Miami and Key West, offering travelers an exotic roadway through a tropical savanna environment and access to the largest area of coral reefs on the U.S. mainland. Many exotic animals such as the American Crocodile and Key Deer inhabit the tropical islands of the Florida Keys. [source]

This was my third trip to Key West, once by car in the 1990s after vending at a show in Orlando, and then by cruise ship several years ago.
 
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Miles of turquoise water!
 
We broke up the trip by stopping when and where we wanted – this time at Bass Pro shops –”Heck, it has to be different than the one at home, it couldn’t be the same could it??” Seems to me I’ve used a similar rationalization when having to stop at quilt shops along the way, because surely – they HAD to be different!
 
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the parking lines are different! HA!
 
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I stocked up!
 
Key lime season salt?  Yummy.  I like to bring “consumables” home because we CAN consume them and have them gone.  This will be great for the grill.
 
We wandered the piers behind!
 
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Here fishy, fishy!

And the road went on and on!  Sorry for the wind sound, I had the windows down trying to minimize reflection.  What a gorgeous day!

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First stop!

Seam Shoppe!

And they were closed for the long Thanksgiving holiday – and I should have called ahead, but it didn’t matter, this was just ONE thing I wanted to do in Key West.

Key west is VERY busy.  And parking is a nightmare.  Truly.  But the best deal by far is to park in the Old Town Garage, because with your garage parking stub your whole party gets to ride the hop on/off trolley all day.

Another fun thing is the 90 minute tour on the Conch Train, and your pass is good for TWO DAYS of hop on/off at certain designated areas.

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At the pier!

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A giant statue depicting Renoir's Dancing in the City adorns the entrance to the Key West Art and History Museum, commonly known as the Old Post Office and Customs House.

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The old Coast Guard building

Of everything to love about Key West from the beautiful ocean to the food and anything else that could capture your imagination, I would have to say that I love the old houses the best.  I try to imagine what it would have been like to live here in the late 1800s to early 1900s, when the more gingerbread you could display on the outside of your house, the better!

Getting photos from the confines of the Conch Train was not easy, but these are just a few of the ones I fell in love with:

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Harry S Truman’s  Little White House!

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Say yes to purple shutters and palms!

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Gorgeous gingerbread!

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Could you stitch on this veranda?

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Or this one?

Love the bike against the fence.

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White picket fences and purple/magenta blooms!

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The southernmost point marker

The LINE was huge.  I’m not a big fan of long lines just to get my photo taken….so as we drove by – I waited, I waited, and when the opportunity was right, I snapped!

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And I cropped!

GOOD ENOUGH!  HA!

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This little pink “eye brow” bungalo!

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Front porches meant for rocking!

I just loved the houses so much, from small shotgun cottages to rambling victorians –it is all so KEY WEST.

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Our one excursion stop!

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

I tried to choose something that would be of interest to The Hubster, and as a scuba diver, I knew he’d like to see recovered ship-wreck bounty, and I found it interesting too.  Found artifacts are like clues into people’s lives from a much earlier time. 

NEXT TIME I'll see the Hemminway House.  Sometimes you just gotta compromise!

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Scissors and sewing supplies!

Did I care about the jewelry, gold or silver bars and coins?  No.  Just sewing stuff!

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Recovered thimbles.

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Back to the depot as the sun gets lower in the sky.

No key lime pie happened in Key West, but let me tell you that Key Lime sherbet is every bit just as good!

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And the sun sets on Key West

I took this photo from the top level of the parking garage, likely the highest point in  all of Key West!

Was there time enough to do everything?  NO.  There never is.  And I’ve learned to be happy with whatever we get to do, whatever there is time for – there will always be something left undone for the NEXT time we come back to this magical place.

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Dinner at Mrs. Mac’s!

Back in Key Largo, we stopped at Mrs Mac’s for a delicious meal – I loved the shadow box tables and all of the artifacts under glass.  FUN!

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This morning in our cove.

This morning is a “take it easy” start, with plans for a glass bottom boat tour this afternoon.

Another sunny day in paradise!

11_27_2016

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Today is the LAST SUNDAY of November, 2016. Phone a friend today. Not an email, not a text.

Nothing can compare to the sound of their voice and your laughter together. Make real contact!

54-40 or fight quilt shared by Kevin H.


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