Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! A Weed Wacker Kind of Day!

We have gathered together in Plano with a classroom full of the wackiest quilters in North Texas!

Today's Weed Wacker Workshop is the perfect way to sew away an extra chilly New Years Eve Texas day.  

It may be cold outside but we are toasty and warm inside having a ball sewing up pairs of strips and working with sew and flip corners giving us loads of adorable bonus units in the process!

Check it out!   Don't we look like we are having fun?

Have a safe and happy New Years Eve,  Everyone!

Show & Share with the Plano Girls!

We had such a wonderful kick off to 2015 yesterday at Fabric Fanatics in Plano, Texas!

This year I am teaching 5 different workshops, one of them being repeated on the 5th day for a 6 day quilting-streak before moving on to McKinney for another couple of days! 

Being together with these gals to kick off the New Year has become a Texas Tradition, and we've made room on the calendar for at least the next couple of years to keep it going.

It’s like old home week!  And every year we miss some who are not able to join us due to family obligations out of the area during the holidays on some years, and we welcome in some others who make the pilgrimage to come South or East or West ((Or North, if you are coming from Corpus Christi!)) to fill in the gaps and become part of our group!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

When Presentation is Everything!

I have the dearest friends ever!

And it is always a treat to come here and see them over New Year’s – celebrating the end of one year, and the beginning of another here in Plano!

I’ve known Allison for a number of years now, and she has become such a dear friend.

Long Arm Quilting was our first connection, but our love of finding, repairing and using vintage machines is another link in the chain of friendship.

Add to the fact that she loves scrappy quilts, funny fabric combinations and using her stash until there is nothing left ---it makes for such a fun time when we see each other.

Taking out 2014! Hello, 2015!

I’ve been up since 4am Texas time.

DANG!  Who knows if it was the hot flash, the hotel heater going on and off, the intermittent buzz and clang of the hotel room refrigerator or the elevator around the corner.  Whatever it was, even all of the above, I’m UP!

And my mind has been wandering and putting things in order as we draw this year to a close.  Do you do that?

So good to see my brother and sister-in-law last night.  Family is at the top of my list on priorities.  And even short little visits are wonderful when you live so far away.

During Quilt-Cam on Sunday I coined my phrase for 2015, and it goes along with the Power Purging I’ve been doing every time I have a chance.

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Years in Texas!

Morning came too early….as it always does when morning means an early exit out of the house and off to the airport to catch a flight.

As I left the house this morning I knew that there was something I had forgotten, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of what it was.

However, I knew that eventually, that item would make itself known or unknown and I would deal with it.

That’s what credit cards are for, right?

Do you see this boarding pass?  I had rushed to my gate in Atlanta, not paying any attention, just happy to be there before the boarding started and I went up when my zone was called – out pops this little ticket!

UPGRADE!  Whoowhooo!  What a way to start a busy New Year!

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 5!

Here’s to hoping we all survived Christmas week and our lives are now returning to normal, whatever that is!

I know that I really enjoyed my week at the cabin.  I took long walks, I napped, I watched favorite movies and even got in hand stitching time working on bindings during the movies.

I enjoyed family and friends and I wish it could have been an extra week longer!

But life continues on and we get back to the swing of things on the brink of 2015!

This week’s clue was very very simple, and I chose to break down the quilt this way so that you would have the easiest time during our busiest time.  I don’t want anyone to feel like they are “BEHIND.”  NO ONE is behind! This is meant for you to take it at your own pace, with the time you have available, without having it create chaos in your life.  It is a thing to be enjoyed, not simply pushed through and endured.

So take a back seat if you need to.  It will be there waiting for you when you have time to work on it.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Quilt-Cam 12/28/2014

My fingers are crossed that we can get Quilt-Cam to be functional today!

I’ve tested…a different computer.  All systems seemed to be go.  Then Son Jeff said he could make it “work better” if he made my external camera DEFAULT on the newer laptop.

Okay.  Will it work? I don’t know!

I’m kind of one of those if it ain’t broken, don’t change it!

Like I said…we will try!  I’ve felt jinxed most of December, so…let’s hope THAT streak is over!

This lovely Singer 301 machine belongs to Kathy in Victoria, BC!

She writes:

“Hi from Kathy in Victoria, BC
String piecing along wth you tonight Bonnie on my 301A. Gosh I need practise on sewing a straight seam, yikes.”
It looks perfectly good to me, Kathy!

When Sons Ask, Moms Obey!

Last night Jeff came down to the studio where I was working and said:

“So, I see you brought home some really bad bananas from the cabin”.

And that twinkle in his eye let me know that he had a request soon to follow.

“Mom?  You haven’t made that Banana Bread in a long long time.”

“I know,” I replied.  “I am planning on freezing these and making some when I get back from this next trip.  We don’t have any shortening or self rising flour on hand.”

“How long will you be gone?” He asks.

“About two and a half weeks…..” is the reply.

“TWO AND A HALF WEEKS?!?” was his exclamation followed by a heavy sigh.

I had a million excuses to put it off.  A zillion valid reasons on why I could not possibly make banana bread before leaving for Texas.

This morning I was up before 7am.  The little local Food Lion grocery store about 3.5 miles up the road opens at 7am even on Sunday, so I showered, dressed, and headed out, all before Jeff woke up. I was on a mission.  Shortening.  Self-Rising Flour.  Walnuts.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Welome Home Mail Bomb!

“Welcome home!”  said all of the mail piled up on my kitchen counter!

“We’ve missed you”  said all of the bills, ads, circulars and credit card opportunities in waiting!

How much mail can pile up in a week?

Evidently ---


So I did what most folks would do…sorted out the junk and pitched it, pulled out stuff for other members of the family and put it in their piles, making mine look instantly smaller.

And then I called my mom and talked to her using my new bluetooth headset, a gift from my son Jeff, and tackled the rest because this was going to take a while to open!

((Loving the headset!  I talked more about it this morning HERE))

And by the time our phone conversation was over, I had read her each and every card and told her about all of the goodies I had been mail bombed with!  Or is it, all of the goodies where with I had been mail bombed?

Oh, BTW. I am searching for BARBARA RIMMER from Rockwall, TX.  She sent a check, it says 2 books…doesn’t say WHICH 2 books, and the phone number on her check is incorrect.  If anyone knows Barbara, could you have her email me at quiltville@gmail.com please?  THANK YOU!

Christmas 2014, Family and Friends

Christmas for us this year was so lovely and so laid back.

Only one of us was missing, but we understand he was well and happy and healthy and needed on the job late Christmas eve, and early on the day after Christmas, so we do what we can do and hope to catch up with him soon.

After days and days of rainy fog and yuckiness, a wonderful wind came along on Christmas  in the wee small hours, blowing all of the grey and dreary away and leaving us with sparkling blue skies and very chilly temperatures…but if the sun is shining I don’t care what the temperature is.  I’ll take it!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, with Piece and Love!

I’ve been up a while.  Not a long while, but long enough to greet the day with reflection.

Hubby and dog still sleeping upstairs.

Grown-up younger son sleeping downstairs.

I think he forgot to turn off his alarm on his phone, it went off precisely at 7am, which is the time he usually gets up for work.  The tune sounds like a music box, filtering up through the ceiling above where he was sleeping to me, pulling me out of my dreams.

Christmas is filled with such simple joys this year.

A cozy fireplace.

A scented candle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Very Merry Happy Holiday Linky Party!

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Happy Holidays, however you celebrate it.  This time at the close of the year is a great time for gathering with families, friends and loved ones.

It’s a terrific “Long winter’s nap” time for taking the opportunity to reflect on the year as it draws to a close and to be grateful for everything around us.

2014 was an awesome year, a hard one in many ways, an exciting, busy and long-hours journey on our way to where we will end up next year, which hasn't arrived yet. What is waiting around the corner?

Whatever it is, let’s not forget the lessons learned and the small blessings found in the life we have lead this year.  We can’t end up where we are going without appreciating what we have come through.

I thought a Linky Party today would be a great way to share some of the things we have been working on that are NOT Mystery related.  Though many of us are working on the Grand Illusion Mystery, there are probably many more that are not, and we want to see what you have to share too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yuletide Antiquing!

We headed out on a foggy rainy morning for provisions:  Today would be the last day I would be willing to “run into town” for the things we need for Christmas.

Running into town meant about a 40 minute drive to West Jefferson, NC. 

You can’t even see the mountains, the fog and clouds and one and the same.

But West Jefferson boasts one of my favorite places to wander…the Main Street Antique Mall!

I never know what I’m going to find there, but it is fun to see how the vendors have decorated their booths.  I love to see the vintage ornaments and hear the Christmas music playing as patrons wander around looking for that last perfect gift.

The Tuesday Before Christmas…and All Through the House!

The Tuesday before Christmas, and All Through the House…
The Quilts are getting finished, in spite of the spouse…Hahahah

Okay, I only chose that word because it rhymed, and in truth, it has been SO relaxing up here.  No big family Christmas dinner to plan for, it will be just three of us this year.

Jeff will be coming up tomorrow after he gets off of work in the evening.

Oh goodness!  I don’t have a stocking for him up here.  Just might have to take care of that today as today is our “Go to town” day.

I’ve been up here since Friday and I haven’t left to go anywhere, and it has been SUPERB!

So here we have our baby quilt all boiund and labeled, I just don’t have a pigma pen up here with me to sign it.  I’ll sign the label when I get back home on the 27th so it can be shipped out on Monday.

Monday, December 22, 2014

In Search of…CAROL CANDLISH! ((And Christmas Sewing!))

One week ago we announced the winner of Sujatah Shah’s Cultural Fusion Quilts.  Carol Candlish was our winner, only her only means of contact was via google+ because her profile didn’t link to her email address.

I thought this was going to be fine if I just messaged her through google+ asking her to email me with her snail mail address so we could get her prize book to her, but there has been no reply.

Either she really doesn’t use gmail or google+ as more than just a way to comment on blogger, or perhaps she is off for the holidays and unreachable.

At any rate, if anyone out there knows Carol Candlish, please pass on word that we are looking for her and would love to get this prize to her.

If we do not hear, we will be drawing again.

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 4

Have you made it this far?

Have you packed it all up in a tote for AFTER the holidays because company is arriving this week?

Don’t worry, it will keep until the holidays are over and you can get back to working on Grand Illusion after you finish putting all of that lovely Christmas décor away, setting the house back to normal.

I’m one of those who wants to sweep it up and out as soon as Christmas is done.  Dec 26th?  Pack it up!  Start a new year….

But I’m up here at the cabin and there isn’t an awful lot to put away, and I think I’ll leave the lights on the front porch until New Years.  And the hubby can take them down and put them away for yet another year!

This week’s clue was a repeat of Part 1, with a couple variations in fabric and color placement.  I hope that you caught that you are to make 40 of EACH of the color arrangements shown in this first photo.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunny December Sundays

Who can resist this girl when she wants to go out on a long Sunday morning hike?

Bundle up!  The sun may be streaming but jackets, hats and gloves are required attire.

But that morning air, it smells so good!

Let’s go mama!  There are smells to discover and squirrels to chase and I’m ready to go, so hurry! Hurry!  Hurry!

Okay.  Let’s go!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Getting Bindy With It!

I think I have finally let relaxation catch up with ME.

I slept in, took Sadie for a long 2.25 mile hike, had a late breakfast, and I sewed.

Potato soup was made for lunch.  Our favorite.  Recipe HERE.  Leaving enough for tomorrow’s lunch as well.  Like most things, it is best the next day.

I napped.

I woke up when it was dark.

And most of all I relaxed and sewed when I wanted.

If I am going to sit and hand stitch the binding down on  the Big Boise State Monstrosity  tonight while watching some TV, The binding has to be cut, sewn, pressed and attached before the netflixfest can begin.

Over the past few years my binding techniques have changed.  I’ve grown to like a narrower fuller binding, and went from cutting my strips at 2.5” to then 2.25” to now 2”.  And I’m happy with it.  I don’t lose my points if I am binding the edge of a pieced border, and lets face it, I’m saving 20% over the cost of binding with 2.5” binding strips.  I can bind a big quilt like this one with 1/2 yard of fabric instead of nearly 3/4 a yard of fabric.

But mostly, I like the look of the 1/4” finished binding.  Nice and full, nice and tight.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Quilt Some, Bind Some, Quilt Some Again!

Hello from Quilt Villa!

We made the great escape this afternoon as one of the doors we ordered for the cabin was IN at Lowes.  Those doors we ordered in October.  The doors that were supposed to be here before Thanksgiving…..well, maybe next Thanksgiving anyway!

But I am happy to say that I have made strides over the past couple of days in the studio, and I now have plenty to bind during Christmas Movie Fests in the basement by the warmth of the fireplace.

The baby quilt is quilted, trimmed, label on, and binding ready to sew down.

Didn’t it turn out cute?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Writing, writing, writing….QUILTING!

This is Sally, my Singer 328K.  She was made in 1963 in Kilbowie, Scotland – the same factory that made the 221K, or Featherweight.

She is a tank.

She feels nearly industrial and she has a mean, zig-zag, one of the few zig-zag machines that I own.

She fits in the same cabinet that the 400 and 500 series machines do….and I haven’t played with her much.  She does take decorative cams, but I haven’t had time to really play with them and find out what the stitches can do on this old girl.

But let me tell you, she is a battle axe, and you would fall in love with her from the moment that frog’s eye light bulb goes shining down onto your project!

I saved this project until this evening….I spent ALL DAY up until 7pm  writing writing writing.

We want to spend all next week up until the 27th at the cabin, and all the writing of the mystery parts for the next 3 clues needed to be ready to go before I head back up to the mountain. 

I also had to write out all the mystery steps to a quilt I’m teaching in Plano over New Year’s at Fabric Fanatics!.  A different mystery!

The Life and Times of Fabric…

This is the fabric I chose for the border of the baby quilt.

1995?!?  I wouldn’t think this was that old, but that is going on 20 years!

It’s the perfect blue.  It carries on the “plaid theme” with just a bit more punch and whimsy.

I had yards and yards of this at some point, and I’m down just to a bit of it.

There is no such thing as an expiration date on fabric, as long as it feels good to your hands, is the right color and pattern to do the job that you need it to do!

And it is working just great for the borders of the baby quilt for my soon-to-be-born nephew:


The fabric lives on!


Matched with backing fabric, binding strips and some batting scraps to piece!

I chose a red backing fabric that has planes and boats and trains on it..pefect for a little guy.  The binding is the same red that surrounds the 9-patches in the center.

Not sure if I’ll get it quilted today.

I had a restless night…not helped at all by some bug of some kind that worked his way up to my head and took a bite out of my ear.  I woke up with it swollen and red hot.  Cortisone 10 cream now at work, and I am watching it. I do NOT think it was a spider.

But it occurred to me, with Christmas looming that I have to write the entire rest of the mystery posts for the next few consecutive releases…because I’m going to be gone.  I won’t return from the cabin until the 27th, and I leave the 29th for Dallas.

I have to write the mystery quilt pattern that I am teaching twice while in Plano.  I had planned to do this over the past 2.5 weeks ---but book vortex 2014 took over and I haven’t touched any of that.

I need to take high-res photos for my classes at the Vermont Quilt Festival – they asked for them, I haven’t had time to take them.

I need a clone.

And Quiltvilla is going to have to wait until all of this is done so I can go enjoy Christmas in peace.

Instead of in PIECES!

This is not a whine…it’s just me putting my thoughts down on paper so I can work through how to best tackle this, with NO ERRORS if possible, and still enjoy what is left of my time home.

Soon as this posts…I’m working on tomorrow’s release, and I will take it one thing at a time.  And this is why I am putting off Quilt-Cam for now.  That is a luxury, and fun – but this other stuff has to happen!

And try to remember to BREATHE!

Remember the Mystery Monday Link-Up for Part 3 closes tonight at 11;55pm EST.

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Good Intentions of Border Stuff!

And then there are those days...

Where you thought you were going to get a lot of sewing in, but everything else that has been left undone for 2weeks suddenly takes precedence and sewing time is once again pushed toward the back burner.

It's not all bad!

Sometimes, it's really really good!

Like a late afternoon massage appointment, very much needed, and a light dinner after with a friend that you have missed repeatedly due to crazy schedules and cars with dead batteries.

Of course, there must be a run by the ATM on the way home, and text messages reminding you to stop and pick up milk and a few other things at the grocery store since you are driving right past it on your way.

Once the car is unloaded, you finally look at the clock on the stove to find it is after 8 p.m. And the day is gone, long gone!

And….I SEWED!!

I sewed last night!

I was talking to my mom, and this baby is due in something like 3 weeks…holy cow, were does the time go?

It’s time to get this little quilt together, get it quilted, bound, labeled and on its way to my Sis in Law in Idaho!

I had been using this as my Quilt-Cam project, but we all know that not much sewing goes on for me during Quilt-Cam, and with the crash of last week’s attempt, no sewing has happened on it at all for at least a couple of weeks now.

I’m not sure if I will be able to fit another Quilt-Cam in before Christmas, but I will let you know if something opens up.

Right now I just really NEED some production and solo-sewing time to make some headway on some deadlines.

But look!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ding, Dong the Mail’s All Done!!


This is what it looks like from my side of the monitor when I am printing invoices and labels for book orders…

NO. ORDERS!!  Oh happy dance!

2 weeks + 1 day from Cyber Monday and I am all caught up!

That is…until more copies of 200 Blocks arrive from Martingale (on their way) and more copies of Scraps & Shirttails II arrive from Kansas City Star after going to reprint on the 18th.

I tell you…it has been a day to bust my butt.

Modern Machine Quilting: Straight Lines, Spirals Serpentines and More! ((Give-Away!))

This is my friend Catherine Redford!

We met this past November on our Caribbean Cruise to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, and she is SUCH a talented and fun lady!

She kept us captivated with her projects and thread embellishing, and when I learned that she was putting out a video about machine quilting with a walking foot, I knew that my readers would want to know more about this so of course I said YES when she asked me to be part of her blog hop.

My first machine quilting was with a walking foot. Simple straight lines, both in and out of the ditch...only I wish I knew the kinds of things that walking foot would have allowed me to do if I could have had Catherine's course first!

Catherine’s video will take you all the way from starting with the right needle ((Did you know you should be using a SHARP, not a universal or a ball point for the best seam ever when piecing and quilting?)) and go through all the varieties of threads that are out there.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite segments of the video:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shake, Rattle and Roll Baby! ((And 5 Minute Power Purge!))

Growing up the the bay area, San Jose, California, I have felt earthquakes in my time…

It was something expected on the west coast, but it has been many many years since one has happened near me.

And so the rude awakening at 2pm with the cabin swaying and Sadie going bonkers was quite a shock!  With no after-shocks, thank goodness!

2am is a groggy time to be awakened by anything – and it took some time getting back to sleep after that.

The quake happened just north of Lenoir, which is directly SOUTH of the cabin about 25 miles.  3.0 is SMALL on the Richter schale, but still.

Earthquakes in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

We left for home about 7:30 am after making the decision to stay the night since everything we had hoped would be done by dark just wasn’t.  If we had come home last night, we probably wouldn’t even have felt this tremor, rumble and boom.

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 3!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Welcome to our 3rd Mystery Monday Link-Up for Grand Illusion.

I hope this part was an easier breezier one for you –and that you enjoyed whipping up 120 of our Two By Four units.

I just love the bright greens mixed with the neutrals and the scrappy blacks…it’s going to play such a fun part in our final quilt reveal!

I’ve had questions about the pressing….

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cultural Fusion Quilts WINNER!!

Final Cover

Every time I see the cover of this book I oooh and I ahhhh!

This is Sujata Shah's new book, Cultural Fusion Quilts, and we featured our Giveaway HERE.

I LOVE the colors..all of them!  Whoohoooo!

What is that saying?

Art Ddoesn'tHave to Match the Couch?!

I so feel that way about quilts.  I mean, decorating with quilts that fit your “color theme” of your house is one thing….but exploring color and letting color play a bit out of the box is another!  I’ve done both.  Sometimes I feel like playing with a certain set, and sometimes I just want to play and see where it leads me.  I LOVE the colors in the cover quilt of this fabulous book by Sujata Shah!

And obviously 613 of you liked it and wanted it enough to leave a copy on the Give-Away post and I’m about to pick one of you as the winner….

Are you ready?

Buck Mountain Off Road Adventure!

It was such a pretty day yesterday with temps around 60 degrees!

That’s pretty unheard of in the mountains of western North Carolina in December.

in fact, our son Jason was planning to bring a couple friends up this week to go snow boarding….ummm…hello?  No snow here!

Our friends Mona and Rick also have a two seater ATV and they wanted to show us some trails and places that I’d never been before, so out we went.

Though the hardwood trees are all completely bare, there is still quite a bit of green with the pines on the mountains.

The green of the pines, the shimmering sunshine, mountains all around – this is the stuff my bliss is made of!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Some Stitching on the Mountain!

I am just shooting up a few photos before we head out to a progressive dinner with neighbors tonight!

I started cutting out these hourglass pairs last weekend when I was up here, today I had some time to sew them together!

I've got a bunch to do in green and neutral too, it's fun to be working with Christmas fabrics and feeling festive during the holiday season!

Something’s Cooking on Buck Mountain!

It’s a cold and crisp clear day in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina!

According to the weather reports, it may even hit as high as 60 today!


That means that I’ll be spending some time out and about on the trails this afternoon, getting used to driving my NEW TOY!

BUT!  It’s going to have to do some serious warming up first!

We arrived last night after a stop for groceries, and then a run over to Lowes to pick up ONE of our doors…..remember we ordered doors for the cabin back in OCTOBER?!  Well, there has been a serious screw up, they drilled holes for knobs in the two side doors that were supposed to be solid….it’s two sets of double doors…one gets the hardware, the other one is solid – anyway, we’ve been delayed and delayed and now they say that it will be JANUARY before we get the two sets of front upper and lower doors.  They were supposed to be in before Thanksgiving.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Block Friday & Giveaway on Quiltmaker’s Quilty Pleasures!

Hey, everyone!
This is just a quick heads up of a wonderful opportunity going on over at Quiltmaker Magazine’s Blog, Quilty Pleasures!

They are featuring one of my  block designs that first appeared in a previous 100 bloicks issue, with the full quilt finding its way into my MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders book!

The short video below tells you how to make my block called Midnight Flight. It has a few hints for using scraps successfully, too.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

5 minute Power Purge and a Throw Back Thursday --

It went like this…

I’m sitting at my computer and I’m talking to a friend, and before I know it – I’ve opened this top desk drawer and I’m pulling stuff out, and organizing.

It’s amazing what you can do during a phone call on speaker phone.

It’s also amazing what you can find deep inside a humble desk drawer.

Have you ever wondered just what the contents of your drawer would tell a stranger about your life?

Well, besides the fact that I evidently have messy drawers…and I can’t seem to slow down enough to just take the time to KEEP them neat.

But if you dig deeper, what would you learn about me?

Power–Purge, the Bottom Drawer Kind!

Remember that drawer I told you about?

I never showed it to you – because it’s REALLY bad!

You can see it now….this is all left over alternate squares, setting triangles that didn’t work – ((What, did I think that eventually I would make a quilt that would USE these rejected setting triangles and they would magically find a home? I mean – who designs a quilt just to use up pre-cut setting tirangles?!))

Left over squares from pieced backings…

Left over borders or rejected borders that may find their way on to another quilt  ((What?  See above – same thing is the setting triangles!))

And otherwise huge pieces that I had the intention of slicing down into Scrap User’s System strips for easier use later.

I guess I didn’t get to that either!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quilt-Cam 12/10/2014 is CANCELLED!

Due to a non-functioning google hangouts, Quilt Cam is now CANCELLED for tonight.

I'm Sorry Everyone!!

It won't show my video..just my profile photo.

We will try another time!

Look at what Cherry sent in of her sweet featherweight!

Of course it is “Deep Cherry Red!”

She’s busy sewing Grand Illusion Part 1 units together….what a happy sight!

She writes:

Cultural Fusion Quilts Blog Tour! ((Give-Away!))

dec 2014
Hey everyone!

I am participating in  Sujata Shah’s Cultural Fusion Quilts Blog Tour!

This post is going out a bit late, because – well. I thought TOMORROW was my day, and I screwed up on Facebook by mentioning that the mystery clue goes live tomorrow, but it’s only Wednesday, and I am all kinds of screwed around!

SO…It’s all fun as long as we keep it fun, and I apologize to anyone who followed the link to the tour to not find my post live yet!

Let’s talk about things I love about this book.

COLOR!  And free form design!

As I just told Sujata this morning as our emails were flying back and forth:

"I love your book..it's exciting, and vibrant and makes me want to get in there and SEW!"

Let's look at these fabulous quilts!  You are in for a treat!

And it’s Only Wednesday?!

This was the look I got from Miss Emmy Lou as I crawled into bed last night --

It’s about time you paid some attention to me, mom!

Poor sweet thing, she likes to be where I am watching what I am doing.  In the sewing studio she comes and climbs up into my comfy chair and watches me while I sew or work at the computer. 

She is vocal and likes to let me know she is watching.  Meow meow meow she says.  And I must obey and come give her some ear scratches and chest rubs.

From the time we got her at just a couple months old her purr has been deep and touch activated.  You touch her, she purrs.  That’s how it works.

I love how they do that!  How do they do that?  It’s such a comforting sound.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Post Office Runs & Power Purges Continue!

This batch of somewhere around 100 orders went out TODAY!

On their way to you, wherever you are – and there are more to follow tomorrow, and the next day and the next until we get these all on their way.

I ask for your patience and understanding!  Things are going out in the order that they came in as quickly as possible.

Fed Ex brought me 16 cases of books today – there are more to be delivered at the end of the week if they make it in time.

My goal is to have EVERYTHING to you long before Christmas.

There has been ZERO sewing since I left the cabin Sunday.  So I am really looking forward to Wednesday evening’s Quilt-Cam at 9pm EST – and I’ve consoled myself with a bit of peeking at yesterday’s Mystery Monday Link-Up and smiling at all you have accomplished!

I also FORCED myself away from mail room duty to tackle TWO MORE DRAWERS in the studio drawer disaster.

I felt so good about last night’s purge HERE that I just had to continue.

Second and Third drawers down respectively !

Show & Share Tuesday!

Good Morning, Quilters!

I am calling today a Show & Share Tuesday – because some really great photo finishes have been sent in, and we all could use a break from Grand Illusion right about now!

Okay –that’s not the only reason.

I have done NOTHING since last evening’s Power Purge post but clean my kitchen, wash bedding, clean the cat box and fill book orders.

I’m filling book orders every spare minute, and that is where you will find me today –at the dining room table.

So let’s bring some color and beauty to this otherwise dreary  and rainy cold North Carolina day --

This is Debbie’s Bow-Dacious from Adventures with Leaders & Enders!

She writes:

Monday, December 08, 2014

From the Mail Room to the 5 minute Power-Purge!

This was my view today as I spent all day filling orders that had come in over the weekend.

Happy Day oh Happy Day – there were a couple titles that we sold out of that arrived today as well, so those are happily on their way to their new destinations.  We were out of Devoted to Scraps & Quiltmakers new title, Patch Pals.  Since those are now in, I can get those orders out to you.

There are still more books arriving from the warehouse – you guys bought me out of everything and then some, so I hope you will be patient with me as I am filling orders as fast as I can, and as new books arrive, I am doubling back to take care of those that were set aside while waiting for missing titles.

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 2!

This is the sitting area outside the elevator that leads up to the guest floors at the Grand Hotel.

Aren’t these colors just FABULOUS?!

Hopefully you can see why I needed to use the colors that I did for our Grand Illusion Mystery.

From the outside of the hotel, things look very stately and formal ---wide white porches with green floors, red carpets, pink geraniums, yellow awnings, and of course that lovely aqua ceiling that you see in all of the photos that have been posted so far.




Knock your socks off green and pink and black and white!

It was the pink of the sofa and the black and white of the floor in this area that inspired the colors for our units in Part 2.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Some Weekend R&R!

My beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Even with temps only in the 40s, it was a beautiful sunny, albeit chilly December day –with plenty of gusty winds to make you want to stay in and enjoy the view from INSIDE the cabin!

It’s one of those things where life says “You are out of cardboard mailers, and out of 3 books titles, and nothing will be in until Monday – so just put it out of your mind and go enjoy the outdoors.”

So we did.

My Christmas present to myself came just in time this year --

Mona’s Choice! ((Her First Quilting Experience!))

This is my good friend Mona.

Yesterday was her very first quilting experience EVER !!!
She said she “once had a sewing machine”  that was given to her…she said it lived in a cabinet but was stored and never came out and she doesn’t even know what happened to it or where it went.

Suffice it to say – Mona has had ZERO real sewing experience, which makes her the perfect student!

There were no bad habits to undo!

I taught her right off the bat that while you can use the lines on the mat to make sure something is parallel when you cut it, we don’t use the lines on the mat to measure and cut by…use the lines on the ruler.

Using the same lines to cut by on the mat again and again and again will kill not only your mat, but your blade.  QUICKLY.  Move your work around the mat, and use the lines on the ruler to measure by.

Your blades and your mat will last a lot longer!

I was able to show her how to include the width of the line ON her fabric cut, not cut with the line off of, but next to the fabric.  We want strips to come out the right width so the seam allowance works!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Fog on the Mountain!

Hello from Quilt Villa!

This was the view as I stepped out onto the front porch this morning.

Pea Soup weather!

At least the fog is as thick as Pea Soup ---I regretfully don’t have the makings for Pea Soup up here…or the time to make it.  There is a ham bone in the freezer, and I think I am going to work this in reverse order.  The ham bone will go back HOME with me tomorrow and I’ll cool\k my Pea Soup there.

As far as today goes ---

My “you will never see ME doing that quilting thing” friend Mona is on her way to spend the day with me….

For quilting lesson 101!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Galaxy-Gram Power-Purge of the Mail Kind!

Here it is 7pm and this is the first chance I've had to sit still enough to shoot up a post.

The only power-purging that happened today wasn't a purge at all,  but another consecutive day of getting as many book orders out the door as is humanly possible.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

5 Minute Power Purge vs the 5 Second Power SURGE!

**Note** This post was written this afternoon before we lost internet service. 

It’s been out for 4 hours and I was freaking out about not having the ability to post our Grand Illusion Part 2 clue if it didn’t come back on.


Now we carry on!

I tackled the demon closet today.

The linen closet in the upstairs bathroom.

And while I was pulling and culling old sheet sets, single pillow cases matching mates, fitted sheets with elastic corners that have lost their stretch due to decades of use and abuse by a growing family….

Our power blipped.

It bleeped.

It went POOF, and flickered and poofed again, and stayed off.

Galaxy-Gram! When power and wifi go out!

There was a huge power outage due to a tree this afternoon. The power surge killed my son Jeff's computer, and left us without internet access.

This couldn't come at a worse time, I need my internet access to be able to complete part 2 of the grand illusion mystery that is supposed to be released in the morning.

Box Kite & Bindings!

This is me, trying to take a photo of pressing a black 2” cut binding in half.

How do you take a photo of this when you are just one person? 

You can’t put the iron down on the fabric and hold the camera with two hands – I might scorch the fabric, that iron is hot!

So this is as much of an “action shot” as it’s going to be.

Yes, I’m using a 2” binding strip--- because I want a tight and full 1/4” binding on a quilt where the pieced border goes to the edge.

I am one of those who DOES press my binding in half.  I find if I don't that I get warping and twisting of the layers.  SHIFT happens!

If I press my binding in half first, it seems to hold together evenly when sewing it down with no creeping and crawling.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Vet, The Urge, and the Power-Purge!

Picture this: me and the vet tech walking Sadie around the grounds at the vet clinic, the vet tech following behind Sadie with a bowl in case she happens to have the urge to pee.

Me, the dog mom encouraging Sadie to please pee! Please pee!


But she sure did give us the look when we pushed a bowl under her bottom while she was in the midst of performing.

And then we waited.

And we waited.

Poor girl.

She is scared of other “BIG” dogs.  And when we were in our little exam room behind closed doors, she could hear all kinds of sounds of dogs howling, cats meowing, loud barking ---I have no idea what was going through her sweet little head, but I’ve never seen a dog shake so much.

Not sure it was because of how she was feeling, or if it was caused by the chaos outside of that little haven of an exam room.

Box Kite off the Long Arm!

Do you see this sweet little block with the bunnies?  It’s my favorite block in the whole quilt!

Well today it is.  The whole block came from gifted scraps and that center green square sparkles with glitter!

I NEVER buy fabric with shiny metallic bits and effects in it – it’s just not where my tastes roll, but there is so much freedom when making a scrap quilt, you can truly break ALL of the rules, even your own, and get a huge case of the giggles by putting a bright and sparkling piece of fabric next to something softer, more formal, more stately and subdued, or even with a novelty print or two.

When the light hits this block just right, the glitter just winks at me and reminds me that even quilters love their bling sometimes – and it shows even in our fabrics!

I’m up early this morning, so I came down to finish the last two rows of quilting on the Box Kite quilt.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Bigger They Are…the Harder They Almost Fall…

This was my view from the therapy table in the office of my Chiropractor, Dr Wright.

I needed Dr Wright to set me RIGHT because I did something really inane and stupid.

It really doesn’t take much to send things out of whack with my back.

Something as simple as a sneeze, or getting out of bed wrong, or something like….

Getting ready for a shower, disrobing, standing on one foot to pull off a sock…losing my balance, correcting myself automatically to retain my balance..and wrenching my lower back in the process.

What a dinglehead!

I thought it was muscular.  But it wasn’t getting any better.  After a couple of nights of not being able to roll over in bed without catching my breath –I made an appointment.