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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Good Fortune–A Quiltville Mystery (Introduction)

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It’s Mystery Introductory Time!



Click HERE for printer-friendly PDF.



I hope you are ready for a bit of Good Fortune as we make our way through the holiday season.  This year’s mystery was drawn from my experiences in China just a year ago.



I am so excited about this quilt, and I know you will be too.



But before I go any further – let me get something off my chest.  This is NOT an “Asian” looking quilt. You can use any style of fabrics you wish!



I didn’t make it all with Asian fabrics – I simply played with a selection of colors that showed themselves again and again and again as we traveled around from Beijing to Xian and beyond.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Stumbling Upon St John’s, Wytheville!

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Hallowed Spaces on Halloween Eve!

It was still early October when after picking up a set of maple twin beds from Jeanette and meeting her for lunch in Staunton (See THAT POST for a refresher!) I took the backroads down past Wytheville, VA to get me to Mouth of Wilson where I would be dropping off my cargo at Quiltville Inn.

You know how it goes – audio book playing, deeply engrossed in the story line – and all of a sudden “PING!”  Uhoh.  Low fuel light.  I needed to pull off at the next exit for gas.

As I’m pumping gas, I look just there – just across the slightly busy country road, and there on a hillside is an OLD cemetery, complete with old church to go with it.

I finished pumping.  I moved the van into a regular parking space away from the pumps, and I watched both ways until it was safe to cross.  I had to explore.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Continuing Saga of the Traveling Catfish!


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Remember this fish from my trip to Bedford, VA last week?

More in THIS POST.

As all good fish stories go, it gets larger with each telling.  

It just goes to show you – NEVER EVER second guess just WHY something
is in an antique mall when it makes no sense to you – Read on, friends – read on!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Where Leaf Peepers Roam -

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Riding “shotgun” on the way back from town -
35 mph in a 55!

If the sky had been blue and the sun had been shining instead of this constant drizzle of rain we’ve had for days on end – you’d see the yellows, golds and some oranges in a more brilliant light.

This is “Leaf Peeper Season”, where all the city folk from Charlotte, Greensboro, and beyond wind their way up toward the mountains for a glimpse of autumn splendor.

And if I didn’t have frozen goods in the truck needing to make it to the freezer ASAP I wouldn’t have minded! 

It’s an Autumn Appalachian Traffic Jam!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

When Friends Come Calling!

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I met my friend Elizabeth several years ago, and along with our shared love of vintage machines and emails going back and forth sharing finds and treasures, she also joined me on a trip to Italy on one of my Craftours ventures -

One of my favorite memories of that trip being a lazy afternoon lounging on the pool deck (fully clothed, too cool in May for the swimming pool yet!) sipping beverages and working on handwork projects – “This is the LIFE!” we said, and it has stayed in my memories, filed under “Amazing pinch me moments never to forget.”

She came and saw me when I taught outside of Erie, PA – and made new friends from her home state there.

And yesterday, she and her hubby (Lovingly nicknamed Mouse after 33 years of marriage) rolled on up to Quiltville Inn for an invited visit!

Friday, October 26, 2018

October ‘18 Quilty Box Gift-Away!


Guess what time it is?!

I awoke to rain falling heavily on the cabin’s tin roof overhead – “Can’t I just snuggle in a while longer?” I asked my sleepy self – and then I remembered!

We have a Quilty Box and Quilty Box Mini to gift away, and this post needs to go up fairly early this morning as I have invited company coming to meet me at Quiltville Inn.  In the rain. In the dreary cold, dismal – no wait – change that.  In the warm and cozy surroundings inside the inn, now that we got the gas fireplaces in the Quilting Quarters working and warming the space! 

So let’s get on with this – because this month’s Quilty Box includes a fat quarter pack of fabric that has me over the moon – and stars!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Antiquing for the Greatest Catch!

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And the “Weird Thing of the Day” award during yesterday’s antique mall hop goes to ---- The huge tin catfish in the cradle found in Bedford, VA!  (Thinking of rewriting the famous Harry Chapin song to be "Catfish in the Cradle...")

It even comes sporting a bit of rustic Americana with the wooden flag behind it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Down on Martha’s Farm!

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Isn’t this Studebaker truck just so cool?!

**Note** This post was written yesterday, but I was unable to upload it due to something weird going on with Blogger and a 503 server error. Errors like this usually work themselves out over time - and voila - this morning things work just fine!

I’m off to Bedford, VA to pick up the remaining bed parts from Carol, and since this was already written – it means I can get out of here sooner rather than later.

Sometimes we just have to let things undo themselves on their own time so they work again the next day!

I spent some time Monday on the North Carolina side of the near-by state line, meeting up with my friend Martha and becoming acquainted with her farm, which was part of an original land grant back in the colony days. That’s before revolutionary war, folks!  Can you imagine?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blogger Difficulties -



I have been trying for hours to get a post to upload to blogger - 

Even the blogger interface itself will not upload photos - so this one photo is from a URL.  After more than 3 hours of trying I'm amazed this works.

The problem?  The dreaded 503 error.

It usually sorts itself out with some time - so in the mean time I'm going to spend this lovely October day at the sewing machine.  You do the same!

And we will catch up when things are back to "normal!"



Monday, October 22, 2018

Cozier By the Day!

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With the power out from 11:30pm on Saturday night until mid-afternoon yesterday – (So glad it came on then – they were projecting 10pm!) we decidced to make the best use of the day running errands (Lowes is just about an every-other-day trek lately!) and spend the day out and about.


The long range views of beautiful Blue Ridge mountains with leaves turning golden in the sunlight was just what I wanted to see.  We even crossed paths with a friend we hadn’t seen in some while and spent a good amount of time just talking and catching up.  No timeline.  No agenda.

Funny how when the power is out at home, anything that would require the use of power (computer, iron, kitchen stove  - electric sewing machine, though I could treadle…) becomes a free pass to do SOMETHING ELSE. Spontaneity ruled the day as all power-related-deadline-issues sat at the wayside waiting for “later.”

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Little Bit of ACME Fabric & Quilt Co!

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With Tuesday morning’s guild presentation behind us, Stacey, Marguerite and I headed out toward Blair, NE for a bit of a small town lunch adventure and a stop at ACME fabric & Quilt Co.!

It was a beautiful day (after many cold and wet and even snowy ones) and I enjoyed the drive through the Nebraska countryside.

The corn was still ever present – farmers struggling to get it out of the fields after so much rain – but since the day was perfect – it was nice to see combine and trucks in the fields to get the job done.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Quilt-Cam 10/19/2018!

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There are days when you just HAVE to sew for the holiday at hand!

I’ve never been one to be able to sew Christmas in July, or Halloween in March – the season has to land on me for me to feel like sewing with it.

Maybe you are like this too? 

That said, I’ve got several “holiday” things that only come out to be worked on when that holiday is in close range.  And that’s okay.  They will get done eventually.

This is my Chain & Hourglass block from the July/Aug ‘18 Addicted to Scraps column in Quiltmaker.  Though it may not be on news stands any longer – if you can’t find a paper copy online, I know for a fact you can get a DIGITAL COPY and sew along with me!

I’m not sure how I’m going to set my blocks yet – I’m just going to make a bunch and play with them.  Perhaps a table runner is all that I need to tickle my Halloween fancy?

I was so tickled by the number of folks who joined me in last night’s Quilt-Cam via Facebook live!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Getting Spooky Around Town!

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Read on!  There is a Quilt-Cam announcement below!

This is the mantle in the old house turned chiropractic office-

For the many years I’ve been treated in Dr. Wright’s office, I’ve looked forward to the changes of décor that happen with every season, every holiday -

But HALLOWEEN is the best of all – it’s an absolute hoot to make a visit the couple of weeks before Halloween.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Nebraska Mega Show & Share!

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With a series of 6 workshops and 4 guild presentation events there is BOUND to be a plethora of wonderful eye candy urging you to get in there and FINISH YOUR PROJECTS!  Or start a new one! HA!

I was so impressed by the productivity of these fabulous quilters, willing to take on everything from large mystery quilts to even larger leader & ender projects – bringing blocks, tops in progress, quilts waiting for binding, all the way to bound and labeled.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Just Horsing Around–and a Winner!

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Look, Ma – NO SNOW!

With yesterday morning’s guild presentation given and packed up – we boxed up what remained of my measly merchandise and book signing table (half a box worth!) and headed out in Stacey’s big ole’ dodge truck to roam the Nebraska countryside.

I got to see HER stomping grounds!  A 7 acre hobby farm complete with 100 year old farm house.

COUNTRY LIFE!  And I was feeling the need for it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

That Jared Gets Around!

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Jared may get around (Can’t count the number of times we’ve had fun with this workshop!) but so do these Iowa girls!

So glad to have them come visit and stay with Jill, who lives near Ohama so we could all have several days of playing crazy in the scraps together.

It’s been a wonderful whirlwind trip to “The Good Life” state, and yesterday was workshop number 6 of this long run!

And we haven’t run out of gas yet!

Monday, October 15, 2018

The First Snow Day Sew Day of Autumn!

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If you had told me day before yesterday that yesterday would be full of fluffy white stuff, i would have replied “Oh certainly – CERTAINLY NOT!”

But you can’t fool mother nature!

However, we can point out that she is a bit confused at the moment!

And evidently, I am too – because I’m out it in short sleeves (but just for a moment – just for this photo!)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

In Search of the Lovely, and the Strange!

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Adventures in Treasure Hunting!

I’ve had a couple of opportunities to hit some area Antiquing hubs while on this whirlwind 10 days in Nebraska tour – One in Grand Island on my way in from Lincoln, and yesterday afternoon after being passed off from the Grand Island group into the hands of the Elkhorn group.

The changing of the guard.

The passing of the package.

Much like the pigskin being passed during yesterday’s Husker’s game that we listened to on our way to Elkhorn.

I LOVE college spirit.  I LOVE seeing folks behind their teams and wearing colors and athletic wear even on an “away-game” day.

I went from one car full of red wearing quilting fans into another big truck of red wearing quilting fans!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Virginia Bounding in Grand Island!

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Workshop day number 2 in Grand Island, and workshop number 4 of my 6 workshop, 4 lecture tour in Nebraska is in the books! As LEGENDARY!

What is also fun this time around is that NONE of the workshops have been duplicates of any others this trip – 6 workshops, all different!  There is always something new to look forward to each day.

Yesterday we dove into boxes and bags of strings, stitching up Virginia Bound from my very first book, Scraps & Shirttails – and it dawned on me.  This book just celebrated its 10th anniversary in print – released in September of 2008!  OH. MY. WORD!  I never gave that any thought until yesterday.

TEN YEARS IN PRINT!  That’s a huge mile stone.

And watch – now I’ve jinxed it and it will go out of print.  LOL!  It’s been a good run, and I’m thrilled.  And if it does go out of print – maybe we need a Scraps & Shirttails III down the pipeline?  Heaven knows I have enough recycled shirts on hand to do many many more quilts with these fabrics that are so fun to work with.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Cathedral Stars Day to Play!

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Grand Island has been Grand in every sense of the word!

Where else can you get the whole QUILT ROOM at the state fair grounds to host a workshop for 46?

And then have your evening presentation held to maximum capacity at the beautifully renovated Grand Theater downtown??

They’ve pulled out ALL the stops, and there is no stopping!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

From Omaha to Lincoln!

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Three of us loaded up into Gerry’s SUV and drove 45 minutes past fields of corn, and rambling pumpkin patches to meet up with Kay and pass me off for the next leg of this wild wild Nebraska quilt tour!

What a better place to move luggage from one vehicle to another!  The International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska!

Have you ever been?  It’s been several years since my last visit, and this time they had not only a display of Cheddar quilts from the Joanna S Rose collection (mu passion!) but a terrific gallery exhibit by Marti Michell, but a special exhibit on wood quilts by Wood Quilts by Laura Petrovich Cheney.  Another exhibit featured the eclectic collection of Mark Dunn of Moda fabrics, among others!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Box Kite Nebraska Style!

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It was a Box Kite Workshop Day of ultimate scrappiness with the Omaha Quilters Guild!

When the weather is just nasty drippy drizzly and otherwise messy outside, where is the best place to be?  Pressing, cutting out, sewing up, and having a wonderful time with quilty friends from all over!

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Tropical Twisting Away in the Rain!

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Check out what we did yesterday!

I met with the Omaha Quilters Guild in Papillion, Nebraska for a Tropical Twist workshop from my book Addicted to Scraps!

Of course, this rainy wet Monday in October was anything BUT tropical, but we could imagine that it was rain on palm trees in some place far away with sand and sea.

And I was just bursting with happiness to be back doing what I love so much – teaching and getting to know these quilters one by one.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Nebraska! The Good Life!

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Singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain!

I was met by Gerry and Helen right on time at the Omaha airport and whisked off for a round of sight seeing in the rain.

Now, a little bit of rain doesn’t bother me at all – I rather like it!  Especially with colorful umbrellas and no wind or extremely cold temps – it just feels like someone has turned the tap on AUTUMN and it is doing its best to turn from the 90 degree heat wave from last week, to mid October this week.

Aren’t these the cutest gals ever?  We became fast friends as we headed toward downtown Omaha where this was my view:

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Nebraska Bound!

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Guess what I found last night?

Hidden in NEARLY plain sight?

My missing *put away for safe keeping* Hexie Star blocks.

Where were they?  On my vanity table with a quilt on top.  Oh, brother!

And if I hadn’t been searching for something else during my round of packing for Nebraska – I never would have found them.  Isn’t that the way it always goes?

I’m packed and ready for the Nebraska quilters – I hope THEY are ready for ME!

On my way home from “the great bed run of 2018” on Friday, I was able to stop at a couple of places I had passed before – and with enough advance warning knowing I was coming this way – was on the look out for!

This is Sarah’s Fox Creek General Store.  The building has been here since 1934!

When I had driven past before, it was either after hours or I didn’t have time to stop, or was in the car with other folks – but Friday was MINE an I stopped in.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

A Day Full to Overflowing!

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It all started with crappy internet.  Doesn’t it always?

It’s one of those “things” when staying in random hotels.  Ground floor room, way back corner – it said I was “connected” but that “No internet” statement next to the word connected pretty much stopped me in my tracks and got my morning rolling at the same time. It was that much of a dead zone that not even my phone hotspot could connect me.

If I left the hotel, and headed west to Charlottesville I’d be THAT much closer to my meet up place with Jeanette, and I could find a place that has wifi and I’d be good.

I am a routine follower.  I need to let go of that.  Anyone who has stayed with me, or had me stay with them know that I do certain things on schedule at certain times of the day – and blog is usually second after getting up and getting going.

Well yesterday, I got up and got OUT instead!

Friday, October 05, 2018

Across the Lake and Over the Mountain!

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I love a less traveled road!

I will take that road every chance I get – because you will never know just what might be around the the next bend, over the next rise, just ahead -

And such was my journey to Bedford yesterday to meet up with Carol’s hubby who would help me load 2 vintage mahogany sleigh beds into the van, chatting up a storm along the way.

Not my usual route – Bedford is about 30 minutes drive WEST of Lynchburg, and the GPS sent me up toward Roanoke, and then East at Rocky mount, through the mountains.  At once point I crossed the vast expanse of Smith Mountain Lake – the location that so named our Smith Mountain Morning quilt from my book Scraps & Shirttails II and I was reminded all over again of just how soul centering this place is.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Nov/Dec ‘18 Quiltmaker Gift-Away!

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It’s a Gift-Away kind of day!

I am headed out the door early this morning on a whirlwind trip around Virginia to pick up not just one matching pair of twin bedframes for Quiltville Inn, but TWO!  One set is coming from Carol in Bedford VIRGINIA (Not Pennsylvania, though I taught in both places this year!) and then Jeanette happens to have driven a separate matching pair of bed frames down on a visit to family and I’ll be meeting up with her in the Shenandoah Valley area on Friday morning.

There will likely be loads of antiquing happening in the hours in between – the van is empty and I’m ready to roll on out the door.

But first – a bit of this!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

New Found Antique Malls and Friends -

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I got out to do something I’ve wanted to do with my friend Prudence for a long time – a lunch date at a fabulous Greek place, and a round of antiquing fun in a new to me antique mall, not far from me at all!

How could I not know about this place?

You might remember Prudence from when I sneakily crashed her quilt retreat during the winter snows of 2018 – Click HERE if you’ve forgotten or missed it!

She lives maybe 8 miles from me?  Not far at all.  But I am always on the go, she is always on the go, and our home spots have missed each other.  Every time we’ve tried to plan a get together one or the other if not both of us are gone.  How does that happen?

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

If it Fits, it Ships!

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It seems I’ve been doing a lot of “over the rail” photos lately!

This is the favorite spot in my neighborhood for photos – a short walk around the corner from my house. 

Why am I taking a picture of Pineapple Crazy from String Fling?? 

Because I boxed it up yesterday and sent it off to the Iowa Quilt Museum in Winterset, IA!  It’s being shown in an upcoming exhibit called “Waste Not, Want Not” and it starts here in a few weeks!

Monday, October 01, 2018

Irish Courthouse–NEW Digital Pattern!

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New in the Quiltville Store!

Irish Courthouse Pattern available as a digital download!

I know you’ve been waiting for it – And I said it would happen in September, but you know how my September went.

I taught this pattern in August during our Quiltville Summer Series hosted by Mary Koval and Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, PA – and it was a hit!

This was our “Surprise” class, and the quilters had no idea what they were making – they had cut “VAGUE” rectangles ahead of time in a semblance of “kits” but no real clue what they were going to be creating.

And it was a WONDERFUL easy way to make many blocks without having to deal with triangles or specialty rulers of any kind.