Friday, November 30, 2018

Good Fortune, Part 2!


Good Fortune, Part 2!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly version.

How do you like THESE colors, folks? 

Much of the inspiration for our Good Fortune Mystery happened by looking UP, not down.


Ceiling beams from the courtyard  at the Temple of Heaven.

Remember this post from Beijing?


A feast for the quilter’s eye!

From what I remember, the temples are routinely re-painted so they always look fresh.  Look at the many  many different designs you see here!


This week’s goal – 252 Half Square Triangles!
Units will measure 2 1/2’’ unfinished and finish at 2’’ in the quilt.

There are any number of different ways to do half-square triangles and you are welcome to use whatever method you choose.  I’m going to present just a couple of my favorites!


How about that Millennium Y2K fabric?  Yeeeehaww! (in it goes!)

If you’ve never used my ruler before, there are videos to help you under the videos tab at the top of the blog.  You can watch again and again.

Place a blue 2 1/2’’ strip and a neutral 2 1/2’’ strip with right sides together.  Square off one end as shown.


Making the first cut.

Move the clean cut edge you just trimmed to the far left.  The ruler is marked in “FINISHED UNIT SIZE.” Place the 2’’ finished red line at the top of the strip set, ON the fabric, not above the fabric on the mat. The green triangle will be pointed at you.  Make the first cut as shown.


Pivot the ruler so the green triangle is up.

Make second cut.


Cutting down the strip set.

To build your variety, work from short strip sets without too many repeats of the same thing.  Cut 252 matched pairs ready to sew.


Chain sew pairs through the machine.

Sew a few, press and measure.  They should be 2 1/2’’.  Double check cutting and adjust your seam allowance if need be.  Press seams toward the blue triangles and remove dog ears.




The Simple Folded Corners method using 10’’ squares!


Place a blue and a neutral 10’’ square with right sides together.


Using EITHER ruler -

Place either the Simple Folded Corners Mini  with the edge of the ruler at the edge of the square, or the full sized Simple Folded Corners ruler with the 3 1/2’’ line at the side of the fabric squares.  Cut off upper corner. Save corner.


Cut 2’’ strips all the way up the pair of squares.

(You can do it sideways too!)


You will end up with at least one corner that is a bit too small – that’s okay!


Sew the pairs of bias strips along BOTH long sides of each strip set.

They will be a tube!


Cutting HST’s from the tubes!

Place the 2’’ finished line along the seam line on the tube.  Make a cut, and then pivot the ruler to make a cut from the upper edge.  I find that I need to leave room for “the turn of the cloth” so the 2’’ line is just ABOVE the seam line for me, into the triangle, not into the seam allowance.  It allows the fabric to turn up and over the thread for greater accuracy.


Cutting with the Mini is the same!

Place the 2’’ line just into the triangle above the seam.  The line should touch the top of the seam.


Opening the triangles.

There will be a few stitches into the upper tip of each triangle pair.  These easily lift apart, no seam ripper needed. 


Perfection!  Now remove those dog ears.

I love that I can use the increments to measure and cut strips, squares & rectangles as well as triangles!

If you are a compulsive sliver trimmer – and I know there are some lurking amongst us, and you want to use the Essential Triangle Tool method, but you MUST trim everything to be happy, try this!


Sew your triangle pairs just a hair scant.

And use the Simple Folded Corners ruler to trim before pressing!!

Place the 2’’ finished line just above the seam line (can you see it in the photo?!) and trim two sides  and then press. Only a hair had to come off of this one.  I love how the Essential Triangle tool and the Simple Folded Corners rulers work hand in hand with each other.

Let’s recap:

You are making 252 blue & neutral half-square triangle units.  Units will measure 2 1/2’’ and finish at 2’’ in the quilt.  Press seams toward the blue fabric. REMOVE ALL DOG EARS!!

Our first Mystery Monday Link-Up closed just last night.  Did you check it out and see what was shared? This is so much fun!

We will continue with our second Link-Up being posted on MONDAY.  Something ELSE to look forward to come Monday:


This happened yesterday!

This is what a load of 4,000 copies of String Frenzy looks like!  We pulled into the Yellow Freight Depot with the trailer, were loaded by forklift and brought them all home.  I’m starting to dig into Waves 1 & 2 of pre-orders over this weekend…that means that you should be looking for wave 3 of 500 more copies to hit the Quiltville Store on Monday morning! 

And yes, there are more Simple Folded Corner Mini rulers also arriving – they will go into the store at the same time the 500 copies of String Frenzy do, so those on the West Coast – you are going to need to set your alarms EARLY! Look for these to post between 8am and 9am on Monday. Remember that I am in North Carolina, and have to live life from within my own time zone.

All of my EARLIER titles are also on sale in the Quiltville Store at just $19.99 a copy.  Orders over $75.00 ship FREE within the USA using code FREE75 at purchase.

Deck the halls, Make Merry, Be Happy – and Get Stitching!


Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Isn’t this so true? 

And you know where to find me ---

Signing books and getting them out to you!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Women of Grace & Charm Finished!


2003 – 2018.  About time!

I rediscovered this quilt top while pulling fabrics to help Mona assemble a back while she was here a couple of weeks ago.

Was it only a couple of weeks?  It seems like last month at least!

I so enjoyed the three days that she was here – we quilted up SIX of her projects!  Two large quilts and 4 small projects were then trimmed and made ready for binding so she could do that part at home.

And because I was SO in the mood to continue hearing the hum of the machine, I pulled this one out.

I always knew it would be great for the queen bed at the cabin SOME DAY – but with so many of my own quilts around, and fearing this one needed “Custom” quilting (that I didn’t have the time or desire to do with deadlines toward my own designs looming..) it had sat.  And sat.  And sat.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

November QuiltyBox Gift-Away in a Hurry!

Hurry Hurry!  November is almost over!

I returned home last evening to find my November Quilty Box sitting on the table beckoning me to OPEN, OPEN, OPEN!

And I did!

Oh my goodness!!  It’s got Tula Pink, a fun Clam Up zipper tote pattern, the beautiful zipper included that perfectly matches the fabric in this bundle!

Even the liner fabric is included – and I’m sure this will be enough to make MULTIPLE bags as gifts for family and friends.  Whoowhoooo!

And since November is ticking quickly away – we better get on this!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Last Days of November -


Things have turned incredibly cold!

All of those plans for hikes and vistas turned into “Let’s go to the movies and sit in the dark and eat copious amounts of popcorn followed by sodas bigger than our heads and send our sodium levels soaring to new heights!”

I don’t know about you – but anything below 40-something is just NOT something I enjoy getting out into.  Best tolerated from the inside with some hand quilting in my lap and a fire in the stove.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mystery Monday Link-Up and a Cyber Monday Sale!


Good Cyber Monday Morning, my friends!

This post comes with a warning – it’s going to be a long one as we’ve got a lot going on today. Grab a cup of your favorite and pull up a seat!

First things first – I have put another 500 PRE-ORDER copies of String Frenzy in the Quiltville Store.  Books are on the truck – they should be delivered this week and I will get in to filling orders in the orders that they were received as quickly as possible.  

Orders from today's 500 will be filled and posted as wave TWO – and it is likely 10 days to 2 weeks before that order filling will happen. 

Please remember you are placing a PRE-ORDER!  Orders are filled in the order that they came in and it could be that there are several hundred orders in front of yours being filled by yours truly.(With some help from some friends and family!)  I will do everything I can to get orders out as quickly as possible.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A String Frenzy Trunk Show!


Happy Last Sunday of November!

I feel like we are doing this String Frenzy Trunk Show thing a little bit inside-out, but it was too much to post along with Friday’s mystery post – and Thanksgiving was in the mix, and let’s face it – the books are still on a truck and haven’t arrived here yet!

So once again I am flying by the seat of my britches and shoveling this in on Sunday, so we can do our first Mystery Monday Link-Up for our Good Fortune Mystery tomorrow!

I’ve loved writing this book.  I’ve loved even more – making the quilts for this book, and I know this isn’t the end of my own love affair with string quilts.  String quilts are just the most fun I have ever had in my quilting life, and there is no stopping this string piecing train.

To get the detail photos for this post, I had to go back to my google photo albums, back to September of 2017 when I was getting the quilts ready to send off to photography for my Quilter's Date Keeper.  This book writing thing takes a LONG TIME!

And so my friend - this is what you are going to find within the pages of String Frenzy.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

And What a Thanksgiving it Was!


Our Turkey Day Crew:
Rick, Mona, son Jeff, Dave, Me and Dad!

And yes – we were out in shirt sleeves – it was 50-something outside and sunny.

Last night as I went to bed there was ice falling from the sky – what a difference a couple of days makes. it has now warned UP to 35.  Oh boy!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Good Fortune, Part 1!


Click HERE for Printer-Friendly Version.

Happy November 23rd, everyone!

I hope that those of you who are stateside in the USA had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

For those who don’t celebrate our American Thanksgiving, I hope you can still feel a sense of gratitude and holiday festivity coming your way from those of us who do celebrate.

We all have so much to be grateful for, no matter what time of year it is and we don’t need a designated day to focus on that gratitude.

I am so very excited and very grateful to have the opportunity to once again share a terrifically fun mystery quilt with you and I want to thank you for making my holidays what they are.  My heart is full and I just can’t wait to get this ball rolling!

If you are just joining us, we’ve already released our introductory post including the colors of this year’s mystery and the yardage requirements.  You’ll find that post under the Good Fortune tab at the top of my blog.  Catch up there.  It’s not too late to join in!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Blessed Thanksgiving!


Found in West Jefferson, NC.

I took my dad on a little jaunt to Jefferson/West Jefferson North Carolina yesterday afternoon – there were a few odds and ends to pick up, and then we met with the rest of the family who were inbound from Winston Salem – deciding to have dinner at our favorite Mexican Place in Jefferson.

Only upon arrival we saw that they were CLOSED.  No worries – in the same plaza is The Winner’s Circle – and you can find just about everything you could ever wish for on their menu with portions so large you could feed a family of 4 on one platter.  No lie.  Half of it came home!

But before we ate – there was some time to kill.  We hit up an antique mall I love to frequent to just to see what holiday decorations may be out (not many) and with Dad in tow, I told him to just look around for anything that interested him.  “It’s like a museum where you can touch stuff!” I announced  as he headed over toward a display of vintage cameras, from old brownies to polaroids, and we talked about the technology of this long  out of date artifacts, the earlier versions of what is now found on our cell phones and live in our back pockets on a daily basis.  Can you imagine?

Some of them even had manuals still in their boxes – so much fun to look through.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

So Many Firsts! (And Gift-Away Drawing!)


Dad and I went out and about yesterday.

It was really too cold for any “real” hiking – and Grayson Highlands State Park was full of hunters for a controlled hunt so not a good time for us to be on trails, anyway.

But we did what we set out to do – what was on our agenda to do, and what I was so happy to do!  I showed my dad around the area and I think he gets it why Southwestern Virginia has just captured my heart and won’t let go.

“This is sure a world away from where you grew up!” he said, memories of growing up in the busy and bustling bay area of California. Life in San Jose in the 60s, 70s, and 80s definitely WAS a world away.  I never would have thought life would send me here, either!

To my young self – a life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia was just not even on the radar.  Yet here I am.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In search of Pearl Onions–and Dad!


Good morning from Quilt villa, VA!

It was one of those crazy pre-holiday shopping days that out of necessity had to happen yesterday -

Yes, the Monday before a major “meal” holiday – Thanksgiving.

I knew it would be a zoo – but I had company all weekend, and there was no room in the fridge at home to buy all of this a week or more ahead and then have to transfer it up here to the mountains.

I wanted items, especially produce to be somewhat fresh – and I’d be picking my Dad up at the airport anyway, so how simple it would be to just make a couple of early afternoon stops before swinging by the airport to pick him up?

A master of time management and organization, I thought I had this nailed!  And then…..

Monday, November 19, 2018

In a Constant State of Quilting!


I love my piecing machines VINTAGE!
But I want my longarm DIGITIZED!

We’ve been working this machine quite a bit lately – with quilting up this year’s winter mystery Good Fortune, and the basket quilt I’ve just finished binding on (to be shown at a later date) and the Hunter’s String Star (previewed in last Friday’s Gift-Away post – did you see it?  Did you enter to win??) Along with Mona’s 6 projects and then my loading of THIS old 2004 UFO -

I think we’ve done in my computer system.  I got all the way to the last border and the machine started going herky-jerky.  No longer were my feathers nice and round, but they looked like a 3 year old drew them on an etch-a-sketch.  AUUGHH!

Son Jeff and The Hubster came down to see about adjusting cables further (Though he still can’t see anything due to Thursday’s Lasik and the protective lenses that are still in place on his eyeballs.) and things ran BEAUTIFULLY for the rest of that one row…but when I advanced the quilt to the last row, the fill in at the edge of the border – Herky Jerky All Over Again.

I unplugged myself from the cables and finished up the edge of the quilt free-hand, going old school.  Boy, it has been a LONG TIME since I have done that, and moving that machine head is a skill that can be lost over time.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

And Miles of Binding to Go ---


It was a Bad Hair Saturday.

But it was a good quilting day!

Mona and I pushed it to the max as we quilted SIX projects – SIX!  And by the time she left, I had pulled out a seventh – something that had been hanging around since 2004.

We were on a roll, and there was no time like the present to do it, and no reason to stop this quilting train.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Whole Lotta Quilting and a Joint Quilt-Cam!


Mona’s quilting bunnies!

I’ve had a blast with my friend Mona here.  She’s getting to be a pro at using my computerized longarm quilting machine. 

My big fear is that she will find she has to have her own and she won’t come spend the night with me anymore on a joint quilt-fest!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday Fri-Yay Gift-Away!!


It’s a Friday FriYay Gift-Away day!

And have I ever got some goodies for not just one but TWO lucky winners!

You know that I’ve been sewing with Signature 60 wt 3-ply thread and loving it.  A&E threads out of Mt Holly, NC have been manufacturing fine thread for the sewing industry for more than 100 years.

Before sewing with the 60 wt for my hand and machine piecing, I have been using (and still do!) Signature 40 wt on my long arm machine for years.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

From One Day to the Next…


There was a bit of cleaning up in the studio last night.

The far side of the basement where the fabric lives – and where stuff in between trips is unceremoniously dumped to be taken care of when there is time for it.

This is the "late night" photo where I was too tired to care that there is still a pile of fabric to be dealt with front and center.

And there were PILES, much more than what you see on top of the cutting table covering my Accuquilt Studio.

There is fabric to put away, yardage for the cabinets, fat quarters for the bins you see on the wire shelving unit at the far side of the room – and copious amounts of scraps destined for “holding bins” until I can find the time to slice them down and enter them into my own Scrap User’s System.

What prompted this late night foray into the depths?  THIS BOX:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

And Around the Next Corner….


If you were to look up my life in the dictionary -

This would be the photo!

My yesterday caved in on itself.  Or got nowhere while I ran like the proverbial hamster on the wheel.

Somewhere, somehow – I got completely derailed.

The phone rings yesterday at 11am asking me if I am coming in for my dentist appointment.  I said “Yes, tomorrow.”  They said “No, today.”  I said………that’s not what’s on my phone calendar!

And I checked.  And somehow I got their Tuesday mixed up with what was on my calendar for MY Wednesday.  That appointment has been rescheduled for JANUARY as there are no openings in December.

The plan then, to go to Virginia for an overnight was scratched, and that gave me a bit more time to keep filling orders.

Later in the afternoon came another call from the chiropractor’s office “Are you coming in for your appointment?” They asked.  “Yes.  Tomorrow.” was my reply.  “We had you down for TODAY.” they said.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Indy Show & Share, and a String Frenzy Winner!


As seen in Houston!!
An On Ringo Lake Mini!

Made by Inna Rohrberg from Germany.

This has me so blown away, and I want to thank those who have sent photos from Houston while I was in Indiana!  It’s one thing to take the time to make a big quilt, but the painstaking business of redrafting that big quilt down to mini and piecing it?  WOW!  Inna, I love your quilt – it is perfect in every way!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Veterans Remembered, and Veterans Day Observed.


This is my lovely Grandmother -
Mary Margaret Malcolmson Wilkinson Buckbee.

While yesterday, November 11th, 2018 was the traditional day for Veterans Day, Veterans Day is observed as a state and federal holiday in 2018 TODAY Monday, Nov. 12th this year.

A federal holiday means that local, county, state and federal offices and agencies are closed.  Which includes the Post Office – but not Quiltville!

Yesterday was a busy travel day for me, on the way to the Indianapolis airport by 7am, making my connection in Atlanta and home by early afternoon.  It didn’t give me much chance to write a veteran’s memorial post the way I wanted to, so like the federal agencies mentioned above, I’m observing TODAY and keeping these folks in my thoughts.

While not a typical veteran herself, my grandmother was raising small children while her husband, my grandfather was in the US Navy.

This picture was taken in 1943 when grandpa was serving as a Naval Officer in the South Pacific.  She occasionally earned money working as a photographer’s model.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Midnight Flight, Indiana Style!


Cutting, Pressing, Stitching, Laughing!

All of these things were going on yesterday!

Midnight Flight from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders was the workshop yesterday – the last of my 2018 tour year – and energy levels were SO high.

You know, we went back in time to check out just WHEN these dates were planned – the letter I received (hand written invitation at that time!) was dated 2013.  We really DID wait 5 years for this date to arrive.  

And that sometimes happens when a guild only meets the second Thursday of the month, and there are only so many second Thursdays to go around within any given year.  FIVE YEARS!  And yet it flew by so very quickly.