Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ready to Fly! England, are you READY!?

The LAST thing on my to-do list for the trip to England has been handled.

I needed more brown hexies.

I’m nearly sick of brown hexies.

Who’s big idea was it to make a quilt with all these brown hexies anyway??!?

Oh yeah, ME.

I’m loving the quilt, but my variety was low, which meant I was getting tired of seeing the same thing after the same thing after the same thing all over again.  I don’t want the quilt to be so boring, so I dug into my 2.5” strips and cut some more.

More Quilt Show & Share from Champaign!

Show & share at guild meeting with the Illini County Stitchers, show & share during the classes, oodles and gobs of gorgeous quilts everywhere we turn!

The turn out for my lecture was awesome….and the quilts came and kept coming.  What a wonderful experience!

I started to consider the number of scraps that found homes, of the number of pieces, and number of yards of fabric given purpose –of miles of binding sewn!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quilt-Cam 7/30/2014

Welcome to Quilt-Cam night!  I’m really excited to sew..I’ve been cutting all day after waking up and feeling kind of punky.

It was a good day to stay in and just pet the fabric, press the fabric, cut the fabric, nothing with too much concentration.

I love hearing your real life stories, and this one is no different.  It come from Sharyn in Kalama.

She writes:

Argh Computer Issues!

I’ve spent more time on the website than I wanted to this morning.

Last week while I was in Illinois I had a thing with my paypal account that required me changing some info ---

And while I got that all to work right, I forgot that the info that I was updating also played a role in making my shopping cart on my website work.


FIVE Winners for The Sewing Party!


It’s drawing time!

FIVE lucky winners are being pulled via random number generator and each will receive a ticket to attend the first ever online all-day DIY event in history!

On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY’ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts.
Connecting. Crafting. And Creating.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some Outdoors, some Indoors…

First off..for those looking for Quilt-Cam...I said WEDNESDAY, it's only Tuesday!  Yesterday and Today are officially my "Weekend".  SO come back tomorrow at 9pm EST and we'll sew together!

This morning was amazingly cool and crisp for North Carolina at the end of July.

Usually at this time of year – if you were to go out in the morning you would SEE the humidity hovering over the ground like mist.

When it rains in the summer here, we do actually see steam rising from the pavement….wisps rising to meet the low hanging clouds, meeting somewhere in the middle.

Urgent!! Nancy Rink’s Stolen Quilts!!

As someone who travels with quilts for a living, this just makes me sick and livid.

I received word yesterday that Nancy Rink’s studio was broken into for the second time in approximately 10 days ---and this time the perpetrators made off with 16 or more quilts.

WHAT is with this?

Are they selling them for drug money? Are they giving them to others as Christmas gifts?

Come to Tuscany with Me!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quiltmaker Drawing Time! Whoooot!


Happy Monday Eve, everyone!

It’s time to draw for our winner of the TWO Quiltmaker issues!

The July/Aug issue has my Wanderlust Quilt on the front cover – my first EVER cover with Quiltmaker!  And the newest issue, Sept/Oct with the cute cute  Houses by Lori Holt on the cover.

And if you weren’t drawn, don’t fret, don’t despair --

The fun continues!

The Quilts from Adventures with Leaders & Enders!

Something happened in the crazy life of this quilter ---
There WAS an archive page at one point showing all the quilts from Adventures with Leaders & Enders, but through blog template re-dos and changing of old computer to new computers, that file was lost.

Over the past little while I have been posting, one at a time, a Quiltville of the Day photo on instagram and facebook ---and I have re-photographed these quilts ((Not always in the best quality of photo)) in an effort to have all 13 quilts captured so I have a gallery link for the Book Tab at the top of the blog so folks can see just what is in this book.

Carolyn & Lisa, Mother and Daughter!

Meet Carolyn on the left and her daughter, Lisa on the right!

A couple of years ago they came to another workshop week in another town and we had such a great time, I was so happy to see them make the trek to Champaign, IL for another round of quilt quilt quilt til you wilt wilt wilt!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

While the Quilter is Away….

The Menfolk will Play!

Or is that WORK!??

There has been some “Home Improvement” going on up at Quilt Villa this weekend while I’ve been in Illinois.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when we were up there with family, and dealing with rain and a muddy driveway that could really use some more gravel.

On Marking Lines, Piecing Blocks, and Making Friends!

I’m heading home from Illinois this morning after spending several days with the Illini County Stitchers in Champaign.

I’m not the only one traveling home ---we had several ladies come from far away places this week.

They road-tripped from Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin and from all over the state of Illinois.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Sister's Choice All Day Long!

Day three of classes in Champaign, Illinois is full and fabulous!

What's not to like about a quilt full of scrappy nine-patches?

Our morning is spent playing with 2.5" strips, getting the units to measure the correct 6.5" for our block centers, and after lunch we will be making star points  surround them.

Playing in the Crumbs in Champaign, Illinois!

Say Hello to Miss Lilliana, or Lilly for short!

And short she is!  She should be.  She is only 7 years old, and was our youngest student in yesterday’s crumbs class. 

Here she is so proud of her trimmed up Maverick Star!  Good going, Lilly!

A model student, I think all of us wished for a granddaughter just like Lilly who was here with her grandma to spend the day with us.

She is so cute and smart -- she is going to take the 2nd grade by storm this fall!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Crumbs Day in Champaign!

Hi everyone!

Just taking a moment to shoot up some photos from today's crumb piecing class with the Illini County stitchers in Champaign, Illinois!

We are having a great time inside sewing like crazy while rain is starting to fall outside.

I love summer days like this, don't you?

Illini County Stitchers and My Blue Heaven!

This is Joyce!

Joyce is a kick to be around and we had such a great day! 

Joyce was also voted “The Best Dressed to Match her Project!” in class---she was sewing with smoky toned batiks, and her blocks totally blend into her shirt as invisible against her.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Blue Heavens in Champaign!

My Blue Heaven class is in full swing today in champagne, Illinios!

The Illini County stitchers and traveling quilters from all over have joined with us today to sew up the scraps.

There are red heavens, purple heavens, Green heavens, and even batik heavens in the works!

From Greensboro to Champaign!

Good morning from the beautiful little town of Champaign, Illinois!

Yesterday was a pretty hectic travel day.

It started out as normal, but quickly got crazy as we pulled onto I-40 heading East toward Greensboro and the airport only to find that the traffic was at a dead standstill for what looked like miles---this is not good when you are trying to get to the airport on time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Galaxy-Gram! Time Out for Custard Cup!

I have arrived in Illinois!

All bags are present and accounted for, dinner has been taken care of, and nothing finishes off a busy travel day like some local ice cream flavor.
Jarling's custard cup is a standard affair in Champaign,  Illinois, home of the Fighting Illini!

Quiltmaker in the Mailbox! GIVEAWAY!

The September/October 2014 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine is IN THE HOUSE!


Holy COW!  No wonder I can’t catch up no matter how I try!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quilt-Cam 7/22/2014


I love this photo that was sent in by Kathleen in San Juan, Texas --

Working on Hexies
Kindle hooked into tv.
Kathleen in San Juan Texas

I just love seeing your work spaces, keep the photos coming!  And if you are quilting along with me during Quilt-Cam, include a photo of your set up showing your Quilt-Cam view.  We just might feature you here on another Quilt-Cam post!

20 years in the Life of a Well Loved Quilt!

In 1994 we moved from Payette, Idaho to Burley, Idaho.

Eldest son Jason was 10, his brother Jeff was 4. I was 32.

I was SO excited about this house –it was built in 1914, we had photographs of it when it was just a new house on a new street in a little Idaho town.

As with previous moves, my stash came WITH me – and in an effort to start organizing and using scraps I started a quilt that was going to fit our bed.

It took me about a year to piece the blocks for this quilt, every scrap I could get my hands on was cut into 1.5” widths and in early Bonnie Hunter fashion, was sorted into one of two categories….Color or Neutral.  Very light or dark.  Foreground or background.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Please Don’t Feed the QUILTER!!

Yes, I know this says Don’t Feed the ANIMALS…but that’s just because someone hasn’t as of yet made a sign that says “Keep Calm and Don’t Feed the QUILTER!”

It’s nearly the same thing really ---

The way we ravenously gather up all the fabric during a fat-quarter sale, or in my case, squirrel away every spare morsel of scrap fabric just because it might be useful somewhere in some project some day.

Happy Birthday Olfa! And the Winner is ----


We had 994 entries for our Olfa 35th anniversary giveaway!

I LOVED reading the stories that came in through the comments on how you first encountered the wonder of the rotary cutter.

I can’t live without my rotary cutter, I use it every day.

This morning when I went to use the random number generator --- can you believe it took me FIVE tries to find someone who had left their contact info??

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ruth Kay, Star Struck & the Singer 227M!

vintagemachines 108

This is a picture of my Singer 227 M, a basic little wonder machine made in Italy in the 1960s.

It came off of an ad on Craigslist for $50.00 ---I removed the motor, and popped her into a treadle cabinet.  She sews great!

We don’t see a lot of 227 M’s out there…and when a question comes along, I try to answer as best as I can.

Carol and her Quilts

A couple of weeks ago I shared the story of Susan, and how she quilted a last quilt that was pieced by her friend Carol.

The story has touched so many hearts, that another of Carol’s friends has put together a slide show of Carol’s quilts to share as a tribute, and I am honored to share them with you today.

You should have seen the emails flying!  This is what friends do!

If you missed the original post and story, you can find it HERE.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Clean the Fridge Night!

The last day at the cabin is reserved for  leftover clean up and clean out!

Do you do that?

My mom was always very good about having one night a week where ALL the leftovers came out of the fridge and meals were made from what was left behind.

There may have only been a couple of servings of leftover baked beans, or some left over potato salad --- maybe one ear of corn on the cob, some leftover meat loaf.

Rainy Morning Edition: Free Kindle Book!

It’s still raining.

61 degrees outside  mid-July and it’s still raining.  Not a raging thunderstorm with heavy, pelting rains and wind and the worries that brings, but a gentle refreshing rain that was bliss to sleep to with windows open, the fresh mountain air caressing everything it touches.

We stayed up late sewing and talking last night…..I can’t believe I slept til past 7:30am.  I just don’t usually do this!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rainy Day Sewing!

It started to rain this morning.

It has not let up yet!

While no hiking or fitbit-step counting happened today due to the rather wet stuff falling from the sky, we also realized it gave us a legitimate excuse to just hunker down and sew!

Chigger Bait on the Blue Ridge!

It has been the joke over the past month or so that as we were gearing up for this Quilt-Villa-a-thon, we were going to do EVERYTHING we could this year to keep those chiggers at bay.

Chiggers are the bane of our summer existence up here on the mountain – a nearly unavoidable curse, and we are always trying to out-smart them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mickey Goes to Mary Jos!

We have been so busy sewing, and it’s been such a great day temperature wise, and production wise, that I was shocked when I was informed that it was already 7pm ---

And the little voice in my head says  “Did you write your evening blog blast yet??”


I guess that means that things are really good!

So I’m shooting up a few pictures just so you can share in what’s been going on in here.

Mickey, who has been back and forth to North Carolina over the past many years as a quilting educator, had never been to the infamous Mary Jo’s Cloth Store.

Happy Birthday, Olfa! GIVEAWAY!

Do you remember life before rotary cutters?

I do! 

The first bed sized quilt that I pieced and quilted in the early 1980s was a log cabin.  I received a gifted box of scraps from a neighbor.  I used an old yard stick and a pencil to draw parallel lines on my fabric, cut them out with an 8” pair of old dress making shears.  I still have this log cabin quilt, but what a CHORE that was!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pixelation Elation!

If you missed Quilt-Cam last night, you  missed a fun one!

I have loved getting to know many of the quilters who sew along with me through their comments and emails, through photos and stories shared.

Some stories are bright and funny and make me laugh.

Some catch me off guard and we are faced with life’s difficult realities.

I have seen both women and men who have been blind-sided for lack of a better term by things we all wish we could avoid, things that no parent should ever have to go through – like the loss of a beloved child.

Whether that child is lost as a stillborn, or in infancy, or fully grown – the pain is insurmountable, or so it seems – but as quilters…we keep on quilting on.  It provides a healing outlet and gives us a place to focus our thoughts.


What you see here is a very special quilt made from a photograph, blown up and pixelated by computer ---a photograph of the son of one such quilter, a son who left this life far too early.

Jo has been working on this quilt for quite some time, with over 4,500 1/2 inch squares in a variety of neutral tones….

As a mother who has also buried a child, I can only imagine how her heart felt, and perhaps healed just a bit, while working on this  piece.


Squint.  Can you see the eyes, brows and nose taking shape?


Can you see him now?


Jo’s son, just a few months before his passing.

If you wish to read more about Jo’s process of making this quilt…visit her blog post HERE.  Be sure to follow the text – there are many other “before and during” links at the bottom of the post that will show you her process from start to finish…maybe even follow them in backwards order so you can see it come together from the beginning.

Thank you Jo!  Thank you for sharing your time with me on Quilt-Cam, and for sharing your story of your son and the making of this special quilt with me through email, and allowing me to share your story with my readers.

Heartfelt hugs of understanding ---

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quilt Cam 7/15/2014

This is April’s kitty, Lily!

Doesn’t she seem to be saying “Quilt-Cam AGAIN!????”

Yes, it’s AGAIN.  And I am working on the same project AGAIN.  Because it’s going to take me a long time to get this project to be where I want it to be and this is a designated time for it!

I’m back to working on the Yellow, or I should say rather the NOW Yellow block quarters that have taken over the whole thing.

I may save an additional color for the very last row around the center, but for now – yellow it is.

My reasoning?  The scraps I am sewing as the string part were just too dark against an already dark background –I needed something lighter.

I’ve had some questions on how I cut out the kite shapes.

Believe me, it’s nothing rocket science, in fact it’s rather “Old School.”  TEMPLATE TRACING!


My kite template and a sharpie.

I fold the fabric in fourths, trace the template so the units share a common side with as little waste as possible, and then I cut out on the lines with a rotary cutter through all four layers.


Quick, Easy and Accurate enough for a wonky string quilt!


I’m sewing tonight on JOE COOL!

Everyone needs a Wizard in their life, and Joe Cool is one of 3 Wizard machines that I own.  He was made in Japan by the brother sewing machine company and sold in the USA through Western Auto stores and catalogues in the 1950s, early 1960s.  All metal construction, powerful motor, straight stitch only – he hadn’t come out to play for a while so I’ve been sewing on him today.

Ready to sew with me?  Click the arrow on the screen below to start the feed, it’s Quilt-Cam time!

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For the Love of Yellow!

Preamble to this post:  Who is up for Quilt-Cam tonight?? 9pm Eastern!  Let’s do it!

I seem to be on a very yellow bend lately.  Or at least over the past few years!

This is Kiss in the Corner, found under the Free Patterns tab and made with chrome yellows and recycled fabrics and scraps.  Originally slated to be included in Scraps & Shirttails II, there was not enough room in the book so I offered it up as a free one.  Yep, I love yellow!

I was able to stop yesterday on my way home from Buck Mountain and match the yellow I needed for the String Spider Web.

Yellow Yellow Yellow, oh so many shades of yellow!

Did you know that the Kona Cottons sold at Joann are no different than Kona Cottons sold anywhere?  There is no such thing as different greige goods with them.  I had heard this discussion before, but I went searching for the reply that had been posted:

Found on the Missouri Quilt Co Forum:
We hope you don’t find this to be an intrusion on your privacy, but we saw this discussion, and thought we could help clear up some confusion on several issues pertaining to our Kona® Cotton Solids brand.
What is presented here is an official response from Robert Kaufman Co., Inc., to be posted and hopefully correct the inaccuracies brought to our attention, as well as answer some of the questions you might have had.
To begin with, Kona® Cotton is a brand that has been around for almost three decades. In that time, the brand has become synonymous with quality in the fabric and textile world.
Kona® Cotton Construction

Kona® Cotton is based on a standard cotton sheeting construction of 20 x 20 (20 singles) yarns and 60 x 60 thread count. However, this standard construction doesn’t provide the weight or bulk that Kona® is known for. To achieve this, we add extra yarn for a custom construction, which creates a higher thread count and adds to the overall bulk of the finished product. Our Kona® Cotton will therefore weigh more than standard cotton sheeting.

All Kona® cotton is dyed using reactive dyes and is processed and tested according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, satisfying the requirements of its product class. Click here to learn more about this testing
Country of Origin
Country of origin does not reflect upon quality whatsoever. We seek the highest quality for our Kona® Cotton brand, using only FIRST QUALITY goods, regardless of country. All of the countries we deal with are capable of producing the highest quality that we demand for our Kona® Cotton brand.
Not to be confused with Kona Cotton, Kona Premium Muslin is a high thread count muslin exclusively produced in Pakistan. Kona Cotton Solids, on the other hand, have never been produced in Pakistan, and are currently being woven and dyed in Indonesia and Thailand at mills that are capable of achieving the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. While we have discontinued production in China and Korea, some bolts may still bare those Countries of Origin on the label.
Greige Goods and the Production Process
“Greige” (pronounced “grey”) or “Greige goods” are simply terms to refer to fabric in the raw state, before bleaching, dyeing or finishing processes.
First quality goods can have variations in look and weaving pattern due to the different types of weaving machines that are used in weaving the greige goods. This difference in weave look in no way suggests a lesser quality, but only a difference in weaving style.
The first step in the dyeing process is called lab dipping. Lab dipping entails dipping a small swatch of fabric in dye to match a specific color standard. Sometimes many dips are necessary before a color is approved. Once approved, a bulk dye formulation is made. Bulk dyeing is done in lots. Lot sizes can be 2000 yards or more. This lab dipping process uses “prepared for dye” greige of the same quality that will ultimately be used for bulk production.
Robert Kaufman uses the same quality greige and dyes for all customers purchasing Kona Cotton Solids - all customers receive the same product. We have never produced a lesser grade of Kona for any customer. All seconds are rejected prior to leaving the mill.
Here are some examples of defects that would result in rejected goods:
Excessive slubs, knots, zippers, mis-weaves, contamination, holes, and color shading.
Millions of yards of Kona Cotton are produced and shipped throughout the U.S. and internationally. We are always striving to maintain the highest level of quality and provide the best product. We therefore ask you to bring to our attention any Kona Cotton that you feel does not live up to your expectations.
Please send in a 3” square swatch of the quality you feel does not meet Kona® standards. We will provide you with a detailed analysis report – the results of our testing process.
Please send your swatch to:Robert Kaufman Co., Inc.Attn: Quality Control (re: Kona test)129 W. 132nd St.Los Angeles, CA 90061Robert Kaufman Certification Badge
Did you catch that line??  I know it was long, I highlighted the important bit!

“Robert Kaufman uses the same quality greige and dyes for all customers purchasing Kona Cotton Solids - all customers receive the same product. We have never produced a lesser grade of Kona for any customer. All seconds are rejected prior to leaving the mill.” 

The Kona at Joann is the same as the Kona anywhere. But the only thing that makes it any more affordable is there is a coupon!

I bought the last 3.5 yards on the bolt, and remembered to take a photo of the bolt end so I could remember the name/color if I need more:


See that 7.99??  They actually scanned it as 8.99!!

I pointed out to the clerk at the cutting table that the bolt SAID 7.99 and that was the price I was willing to pay.  I also have a 50% off text coupon – so that brought the price down to $4.00 for me.  Still, I am shocked at how high the prices for solids have gone since they have become “popular” again.  I’ve been sewing with solids all along and was happy with the $5.00 range..boy am I grateful for my burgeoning stash!

Back to the yellow.  Several months back I misplaced a project.  An EXTREME piecing project that has taken me a couple of years to get this far.  I was just getting ready to get things to top status for inclusion in my next book ---but I could NOT find this project anywhere.  I could see it in my mind, I knew what was in the box, it was a clear project box, it should be readily visible in the studio.  NO!  I checked everywhere.  I thought it was at the cabin, HAD to be at the cabin, and I checked this week.  NO.

I panicked, wrote about it on facebook….started thinking about the last place I had worked on it – it had to be on a road trip, just had to be because the box is too big to travel in my luggage….

And then it hit me…


Would you have seen it in here?  I really can’t!

The top center bin is recycled strings.  I was working on making the string sashing for my cheddar sampler the last time I had those blocks with me…..


TADA!!  They were buried in the strings! I never would have found them!

And this is a round about way to say..yes…MORE yellow!

Florabunda also used a lot of solid yellow!  OH, I love this quilt!
Free pattern found under the Free Patterns tab above.


4 patch X from my new book MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders also uses yellow!


Lots of yellow in Blue Skies from String Fling too!

On the list today ---HAIR CUT!  The first one I’ve had since I first chopped my hair off.  I should have done it 2 weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy on my gal was booked up.  Bye bye again, hair!

The van REALLY needs a washing.  Big time.  DIRTY SHAMU.  And I may or may not have time for a pedicure.  Tomorrow morning early – I’m off to Charlotte to go get Mickey Depre!  YAY!!

See you tonight..9pm..be here!

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