Saturday, May 31, 2014

Family on the Mountain

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This is a photo of last night’s sunset as our day drew to a close and night took off.

It had rained earlier in the day and the air was fresh, clean and crisp –and oh, it is sooo good to be home!

Our plans for the weekend are simple.  Spend time together.

Of course, I brought a couple of projects to work on, but I think machine time is going to be hard to come by because Jason brought his girl friend Jenny up to meet us!

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Jason and Jenny

I have really enjoyed meeting her and look forward to a couple more days of fun on the mountain. 

There will be more four-wheeler riding, a drive out to the blue ridge parkway in search of water falls, maybe head over to Grandfather Mountain, and we will finish it off with dinner in Boone tonight.

See what I mean about “doubtful sewing time” today?  That’s okay.  I still may get in an hour or so if I hurry and send this, the kids are still sleeping.

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Home style dinner!

Salad, steaks from the grill, baked potatoes, fresh corn --- yummy in our tummies!  I don’t know what it is, but I love to cook and eat up here.  Not so much when I’m home, but up here…it’s about the  food!

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Thanks for coming up and spending the weekend with us old folks, you two!

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Sadie is happy Jason is here too!

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View this morning!  Where is my Blue Ridge??

It rained more during the night --- my mountain now sits covered in fog.  Eerily peaceful, I love mornings like this!

And while the kids are still sleeping, I’m headed to the sewing nook in the basement!

Oh yeah – still have a giveaway going on and you still have a chance to register by leaving me a comment on THAT POST OVER THERE!  Drawing is Tomorrow night.

Love from Buck Mountain --

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Friday, May 30, 2014

On The Fence ---I’ve Gone Digital!

More Adventures with Leaders & Enders is now available in digital for Kindle in the Amazon Store!

I am excited that it will be so much more readily accessible to my overseas customers and that it will be so very portable for those going on retreats and traveling!

We were on the fence as whether to do it or not, and I’m still on the fence as to whether this is a good idea or not, but I’m trying to be positive.  I am the official Kansas City Star guinea pig.  We will see how it goes.

One thing I am hoping, of course, is that folks will buy it and decide that they really NEED a paper copy of this book  so they can have BOTH.  I LOVE REAL BOOKS!  I’ve never bought a digital magazine or a digital quilt book, so I don’t have that experience with it.  I love real pages and real page turning ---and the smell of the ink on the pages.  I don’t think anything is going to replace that, but just as I have some music as MP3, and some music as CD –I think there is room for both!

The other exciting thing is…I’m already ranked #30 in the top 100 for quilt books.  That’s something to be happy about!

I also think digital is a GREAT thing to have for books that have gone Out-Of-Print.  How often have we been disheartened that a certain title was no longer available?  Digital is definitely the way to go there.

If you’ve been on the fence about ordering More Adventures with Leaders & Enders, click HERE to see all the quilts included, and maybe you’ll decide you want to try a digital copy!

And if you LIKE the digital copy and decide you’d like a personally signed copy from me, you can get those at my online store HERE as well!

**Disclaimer**  Did you know that your author-friends make as little as 75 cents per paper-book sold on Amazon, and the digital royalties are much less than that?  And if you purchase a used copy on Amazon, your author-friend gets nothing. 
We buy books at wholesale to sell at our lectures and workshops because we can not live by royalties alone.  We have to sell the books as merchandise, just to stay afloat. 
If you really want to support your author-friends, buy from them directly. 
It may cost a bit more, but in the long run  you are really helping them to keep designing, to keep writing books, to keep providing you with the inspiration you want them to for your enjoyment.
We are headed up to Quilt Villa this afternoon.  This is the day I get to meet Jenny, Jason’s girlfriend!  I’m excited!

AND!  I was a busy girl yesterday ---can't show you pictures, no hints yet -- but I have designed our November Mystery!  Whoowhoooo!

Which reminds me:  Sunday is June 1st, and Celtic Solstice is being retired, so print what you need now, it will be gone Sunday and I will be unable to provide you with any missing parts after June 1st!

Welcome to the weekend, everyone!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Remember those MAIL SLIPS? ((And Surprise Give-Away!))

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This morning I bemoaned having to make a trip to the “far away” post office because there was a package that needed signing for.

You should have seen me when the postal guy asked me: “Well, are you going to share?!?”

And I thought…SHARE? WHAT?!?

The customs form said the box containted “chocolates and biscuits”  All the way from AUSTRALIA!!

I could hardly wait to get the box home and get into it ---

I tore into it with reckless amusement and spilled the contents out onto the dining room table, aka Shipping Station:

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Holy Tim Tams!!

Thank you thank you thank you goes to Vonnie who was so kind to think of us!  We’ll have fun parceling these out this weekend at the cabin.  Jason is bringing up his new girl friend ((This is serious stuff if he actually wants to introduce us to someone special!)) and we will have a great weekend.

A couple other goodies showed up with no message at all and I’m not sure WHY they came to my door, but we are going to share the love:

NOTE:  THIS DRAWING ENDED June 1, 2014! Congrats to our lucky winners!

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Two copies of the latest McCall’s Quilting!

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Featuring my friend John Kubiniec’s pattern, Independence!

((He’s got the scrappy neutrals thing going on, y’all!))

There are loads of great quilts included for summer ---and we are going to draw for two lucky winners!

Just leave me a comment below FROM A REAL COMPUTER and if you are on a mobile device, you have got to know by now that you can’t comment via a link in Facebook ---you have to open the link in a new safari or browser window to be able to comment.  Same thing if you are on some blog reader services.  Open it up in it’s OWN PAGE and you should be fine.

Do not leave your entry in the side-bar guestbook.  Do not leave your entry in Facebook or instagram.  It has to be HERE in the comments section of THIS POST only so I can use the random number generator to draw our two winners.

Please leave your name and email address if commenting as anonymous.  If I can’t reach you after drawing your entry, we’ll have to choose someone else.

We will draw Sunday Night after I return home from the cabin ---

Ready, Set? Good luck everyone!

Oh, and PS – plan on Quilt Cam Monday night as Tuesday morning I am off to Oregon! Whoowhooo!

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Home At Last!

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This is the view on my dining room table this morning.

Holy cow! How can so much stuff pile up after only 10 days gone?  But pile up it did.

And two of those things…ugh..the things I hate worse….notifications that there is something waiting for me at the “Main” post office about a 25 minute drive away.  I live very rural, and if something needs a signature and I’m not here to sign for it, I have to go get it.  There are a gazillion things that need to be done today, but I will find a way to get down there during post office hours to pick it up and see what it is.

What amazed me the most?

This load of scrap!

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Two priority mail boxes worth!  Holy Scrap Enhancement, Batman!

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And a hand knit scarf!  I could have used this on Mackinac Island!

These two priority mail boxes stuffed to the gills are from my friend Frieda who is moving ---and I know what havoc that causes when you come face to face with the fact you are going to have to MOVE that stash and resettle it in a new place.  I’m happy to be the recipient of her gifted goodies.  The boxes were filled with strings, strips, hunks and chunks and even fat quarters.  If only I had time to sew today!

I did do one thing that has been waiting since just before I left for Los Angles:

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New June Taylor Press N Cut mat.

I never use these for cutting – the pebbly surface on the back side is bad for rotary blades.  I just don’t think they last as long if I cut on this plastic. 

I needed a second one because I am forever leaving the ONE I have up at the cabin, and then I don’t have one here in the studio when I need one ---if I am paper piecing or string piecing, I like a small mat next to me for pressing between seams --

The  pressing side of this mat I love – HOWEVER ---I have had the canvas cover rot out after a while due to heavy iron use, and it just crumbles and rips away.  My solution?  Make it a “pillow case” style cover out of an old bath towel.

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Old bath towel with the hems and shrinked up decorative bands removed…

And yes, OLD bath towel, as in why spend money for a new one to do this?  This is a towel that was relegated to the car wash supplies in the garage.

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Fold it in half and sew up two sides!

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Turn it right side out, and slip in the press and cut mat!

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Things I like about pressing on a terry covered surface:
  • Fabric does not slip around, it stays put while I press.
  • Threads stick to the terry cloth.
  • My mat does not get all gross and rotted.
  • Terry cloth cover is easily washable
And best of all – because it came from an old towel, it’s a repurposing thing!  And I can slip extra rulers and stuff into the cover when taking it to retreat, etc.

It may not be pretty ---but it works for me!

Speaking of work, there is a ton of stuff to be taken care of today, starting with the mail order that has popped up over the past week+ that I’ve been gone. 

If you ordered Pat Speth’s Nickel Quilts and Borders book from me, and were one of the ones who reached me after it was already sold out on my site, I have more in stock and those are going out today!  If you didn’t order it..click HERE to see what it’s all about!

You will WANT this book!

I better get down to it!  ((And yes, it feels so good to be home!))

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quilts of Valor, Bravery and Honor!

Hello from Chicago, OHare!

I’ve got a bit of a layover until my last leg to Greensboro, NC – so I thought I’d share some goodies with you!

Alycia over at http://alyciaquilts.blogspot.com/ recently had a block drive of Scrappy Trips blocks in Red, White & Blue and she sent along a couple of photos that touched my heart.

She writes:

This is one of the Scrappy Trips quilts we made from our block drive -
being presented to a Veteran – thought you might like it
Like it? I LOVE it!
The only thing better than knowing a quilt is going to a veteran, is SEEING a quilt going to a veteran, and this was so special to find these in my inbox over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Another Scrappy Trip Drive Quilt!
About this one she writes: 
Here is another one – this was at a therapy place called Combat Veterans Cowboy Up  -
I am beyond tickled that such gorgeous quilts are going to such deserving young men and women.
Thanks for sharing, Alycia!
I’ve also got some news from Kevin the Quilter on his QOV Block Drive.  Remember when I showed photos of a local news crew taping him?  Well guess what, you can view his segment HERE! Or click the image above….I’ve linked both.
Just look at those stacks of blocks!  How AWESOME! 
I enjoyed the news clip – great job, Kevin!
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And with that I’m of to wander O’Hare and grab myself some dinner.  This girl has hexied herself into a hungry state!  And for once – I had leg room to spare ---right behind 1st class in row 7A ---and no one sitting NEXT to me either…this is about as close to first class as you can get without being IN first class.
And it’s a good thing too…I needed that leg room:
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Mom sent me home with a sign for Quilt Villa!
My quilt bags were already at weight limits.  It was longer than my checked suitcase with my clothes so it wouldn’t fit there…I had no choice but to be the crazy passenger trying to shove odd sized items into the overhead bin……but since I had this leg room…I was A-O-K!
Planning on hanging this over the front door on the inside of the cabin so I can look at it often….Thanks, Mom!

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Quiltmaker, July/Aug 2014


I tried to find a larger digital image, but this was the only one I found….

But still – it’s my FIRST Quiltmaker Cover!

This past New Years, I taught this quilt, Wanderlust, as a mystery at Fabric Fanatics in Plano, Texas.

My students had to pinkie-swear that they would keep their quilts to themselves until the quilt appeared in the magazine –

Guess what, girls? You can now blog and twitter and facebook and instagram and flickr about your Wanderlust quilts all you want!  Whoowhooo!



Oh, by the way, you may recognize this block as “Jelly Bean Blast” from 100 blocks by 100 designers, volume 7.  I loved this block and couldn't wait to get it into a real quilt! 

I had a great time playing with this layout.  I originally thought I would set the blocks straight, block to block --- but then Sadie laid on everything shifted some blocks and I saw that if I did a half-block drop every other row I got a fun zig-zag lay out.

I used batiks, recycled neutrals, print neutrals and a whole bunch of a black tone on tone to make those colors sing.

As soon as the issues show up on my doorstep, I’ll be having a giveaway for this issue!  In the mean time, be watching for it at a news stand near you within the next couple of weeks--

I’m on my way home this morning, flying from Boise to Chicago to Greensboro ---my own bed will be waiting for me tonight.

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Bye bye, Idaho – it’s been a great holiday weekend!

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Time making memories at mom’s little house in the mountains – priceless!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Families that Play Together, Stay Together!

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This is Miss Elizabeth, the cutest 3 year old niece on the planet!

I was so excited to come see her today ---my brother Mike and his wife Nicole moved from Meridian, Idaho to Eagle, Idaho just over a year ago and this was the first time I was able to see the new place that they have worked on so hard.

It’s a wonderful house, and what a yard – it’s like a garden!  Which is no surprise since Mike takes after my mom and step-dad, and he has turned this overgrown jungle of an acre and a half into a haven of fruit trees, rolling lawn and garden plots.  I am so proud of them both!

It’s been a couple of years since I have seen them…so little Elizabeth was only 1 year old at the last time I saw her –today she took me by the hand and introduced me to her dog, Boomer and glued herself to my hip.  I was enchanted!

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My brother Mike and Elizabeth, Daddy/Daughter love!

We enjoyed a great BBQ on the deck and were also joined by my brother Scott and his wife Alicia.  Family is so important and it is when I am here that I realize just how far away I am in North Carolina.  I am vowing to make it home more often – if I have to add a leg onto a trip to spend a couple days with family, it will be worth it.

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Here’s some flowers, Miss Aunt!

Elizabeth had a hard time remembering my name and she came up with “Miss Aunt” all on her own.  I’ll take it!

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I got loads of kisses from Boomer too!

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Peek a boo, I see you!

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I know my ABCs, my 123s, AND my colors!

Tomorrow morning I’ll be packing it up and heading home.  My heart is full, and my battery feels recharged, you know what I mean?

I’m also ready to hit the sewing machine!

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Memorial Day, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

No matter what you have planned today, I hope you spend some time reflecting on the reason for this holiday.

I did some research ((oh how our lives have changed since GOOGLE!!)) and this is what I found regarding the birth of our Memorial Day tradition.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.
Local Observances Claim To Be First:
Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.
Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.
Official Birthplace Declared:
In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.
By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.
It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.
n 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
--From the US Department of Veteran Affairs
I just love history, and am grateful for holidays like this that make me think.  This day is so much more than BBQs and picnics.
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Flowers on yesterday’s hike
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Close up.   So pretty!
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I love this barn and have to take a photo every time I’m up here!
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There has even been some string piecing going on!
This is mom’s featherweight ---she was string piecing some borders for a scrap quilt for one of my neices, but she was doing it in narrow strips.  I showed her how I cover the entire phone book page, and then cut TWO border widths from each page!  SEW MUCH FASTER!
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Isn’t this going to be cute?
This morning we are headed down to Eagle for a lunchtime BBQ at my brother Mike’s house –excited to see my brother and his family! They have a new place since I was here last and I know he wants to show it off.  He is as much into gardening and yardwork and fruit trees as my mom is ---so I know it will be beautiful.  Photos to come!
Then we’ll stop by my other brother Scott’s in Meridian on the way back – for a “make your own banana split” dessert gathering….yippee!
Both families had other things going on so it was impossible to get us all in one place at the same time today – this way we get TWO gatherings.
Whatever you do, and however you spend this day ---make some memories with those you love!
Love from Idaho ---

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