Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Day of Treadling & Cauliflower Soup ((Recipe))

The sewing nook at Quilt Villa has been returned back to normal.

The linens on the beds have been washed and changed, towels washed, dried, folded and put away.

I’ve spent the day puttering here and puttering there, dusting this, arranging that, enjoying the peaceful quiet of a Solo Saturday up in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

No, I’m not ignoring my family.  Son Jeff doesn’t have his days off until mid week.  The Hubster is busy with a weekend long tennis tournament and is unable to come up.

Besides…the last time I was fully alone for a day by myself was the day I drove to Georgia nearly 2 weeks ago.  My life has been packed with people since.

And sometimes a girl has just got to have a weekend of rest –without having to use her ears to listen, her mouth to speak, or her brain to think beyond the normal day to day things that fill the alloted 24 hours each day is given.

Besides, there is great satisfaction in commanding the remote and the TV ---rolling the treadle machine to its best vantage point and treadling away to endless streaming on Netflix.

Shown above:  The Making of a Lady.  Highly recommended for those who love period pieces with a bit of suspense!

Grand Illusion Mystery Link-Up!

Guess what I forgot to do yesterday?

Our Grand Illusion Mystery Link Up!  I suppose no one can blame me, I’ve been on retreat here at the cabin for a week, And Thursday and Friday included two back to back days of driving to Charlotte dropping off folks for their flights back home.

So, we may be a day late and a few scraps short, but lets do this!  I’m going to leave the Linky open until Sunday, February 8th at 11:55pm EST!

Check out these gorgeous units!  I love it when you break away from my color schemes, going out on a limb –truly!  Because it is a mystery I know how hard it is to decide to put what where when you don’t know how the final quilt is going to turn out!

PS -- Judy -- your camera still thinks it's 2007! LOL!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Return to the Airport, Day One!

Yesterday was bittersweet.

We had to get Randy to the airport by 1:30pm.  Our retreat time has gone so quickly!

There was a bit of an upside.

We got to take Mona on her FIRST EVER Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC.

Can you imagine being a brand-new quilter and being ushered into the Mecca of Quilty Fabric Selection by the likes of Lori, Randy and Bonnie?

Her head was reeling!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Craftsy Blogger Awards Voting Time!

I need your help and it will only take a couple of minutes!

I just found out that I have been nominated and am a finalist in Craftsy’s 2015 Blogger Awards!

I am up for Best Tutorials!

Could you please go HERE and vote for your favorite finalist from the 4 mentioned?

I would so appreciate it!  The category for Best Tutorials is the top segment, and feel free to vote for your other categories as well!

I’ll let you know how the voting goes!

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Charlotte Antique Run, Part 2!

The H quilt hanging over my railing!

I picked this quilt up in Belmont, NC on Saturday while waiting for Randy and Lori to arrive.

I love this quilt so much!

Especially that little chrome yellow number…it’s more gold, not quite cheddar – and it sticks out like a wonderful sore thumb just begging to be noticed.

“Here I am!!” it shouts…

I love unexpected elements like this, just a little bit loud, a little bit vibrant, a little bit stand-alone.

It gives the quilt so much life and joy.

Without this “shouting at you” yellow block this quilt would be subdued, predictable, ordinary.

A Life Lesson?  YES!  I don’t want my life to be subdued in any way!  Predictability is boring!  Ordinary?  Who has time for that…make your life Extraordinary!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Travel Day to Boone!

This is the statue of “The Mountaineer” at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC –the destination for our travel day out!

I had a plan to show the girls some gorgeous views, share some southern cooking for lunch, and experience this bit of Western North Carolina High Country I love to call my second home.

As you can tell from the photo there is still ice and a skiff of snow on the ground.

It’s about 35 degrees, but the sky is bright blue and that sun makes all the difference!

We originally wanted our photo with the Daniel Boone statue, but the mountaineer man made a much better photo op:

The Way We Sew!

It’s always fun to  sew with other folks and see how they do things.

No one way is better than another way – we just do things differently, and you can see so much of a person’s personality come through in how they choose to put the pieces together.

From the fabrics chosen, to the quilt design in mind, to how units are assembled, and even pressed ((I press first cut apart second, not so for others..it’s a personal preference)) to how many of each unit to make before moving on to the next step – we are all so DIFFERENT!  And it is such a wonderful way to work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day Three with Four!

It may have only been 35 degrees out this afternoon, but we bundled up and went for a hike in search of some long range views and photo ops!

We stopped at our friend Steve’s house –He’s about a mile up the road from us, at a place on the mountain where a moderate hike up the road begins to turn really steep.  Early on after moving here I designated Steve’s driveway as “Turn Around” point ---and for months I was walking up to his place and turning around at the end of his driveway before I ever knew who he was!

He’s become a good friend and we are always happy to see him and his dog Zeke also out for their morning walkabout.

This afternoon we noticed Steve home and asked if we could get some photos off of his back deck – he has amazing views!

Down to the Falls!

The rain cleared up yesterday, leaving us with some cold and crisp sunshine!

After you’ve been sewing for hours and hours, it’s a good idea to clear out the bobbin lint that had accumulated in our brains, shake off the remants of dog ears and thread tails and head outside for some fresh air.

Our Buck Mountain waterfall is one of my favorite places on the planet.

I don’t know if you remember – that is if you’ve been reading me for a couple of years –that we had a major flooding happen during a month of continual rain in the summer of 2013, and the waterfall ran rampant, the creek it feeds into flooding and washing out the road.  They had to do a major build up of the area to fix the road, prevent future issues like this, and reclaim our space around the waterfall because it had all washed away.

It’s now BETTER than ever!  There are Adirondack chairs for sitting and enjoying and contemplation.  There are a couple of picnic tables, and walking paths.  On the other side of the falls are more chairs for viewing, and a hiking trail that goes up to the top.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Utterly and Completely Addicted to Scraps!

Hooray for the scraps, the bonus triangles, the pre-cut squares!

They are making the sewing of my Twirl Around blocks from my Addicted to Scraps colum in the March/April 2015 issue of Quiltmaker Magaazine so simple!

I’m working on some quilts made using the blocks from the Addicted to Scraps series, and this one was just released in the latest Quiltmaker issue.

Have you seen it?

If you’ve got it you can sew right along with me!  Each issue also includes an optional layout, or you can go your own way as to what you want to do with these little gems.

Feel free to change the colors, the style of the fabrics, and make it your own!

While Bonnie Waited: Antiquing in Charlotte!

This was the view as I drove into Charlotte on Saturday around 11am.

I had HOURS to kill until it was time for me to meet up with both Randy and Lori, each with separate arrival times.

What is a girl to do when killing several hours in Charlotte?


Well, of course, antiquing – but on a sunny day like this after days of rain and road dirt and grime?  Shamu got a car wash!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quilt Villa’s Table For Four!

Girls being silly!

This is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

The last time we were all together was this past June when I was up in Central Oregon visiting Randy before heading to Portland to teach. 

And now seven months later we carry on where we left off!

Sitting around the table talking we figure that we  have known each other close to 20 years now. 

Where does the time go?

It went to raising kids, all of the joys, many of the upheavals, all of them held together with needle and thread and fabric.

And here we are now, mothers of grown children who have made their way as adults.

Life long friendships are so priceless!

Some Etowah Valley Show & Share!

Shhhh!  The girls are still sleeping!

I first met up with Randy, and we ran errands – picking up groceries and grabbing a chai tea latte at Panera before heading over to pick up Lori’s when her flight came in.

I had them BOTH in my newly washed Shamu by 7pm and we were OFF!

We drove part way, and stopped for Mexican food with lots of chatter, laughter and all manner of catching up before we hit the road again, finally arriving at Quilt Villa by 10pm.

They are still tucked in, sleeping and adjusting to Eastern time zones so I thought I’d post the show & share quilts from Friday’s class to give them a bit more sleep.

I’m tempted to fire up the sewing machine and getting humming – but I think I can wait a bit longer!

I just stepped out onto the front porch, and this is our mountain view this morning.  Wispy low clouds with a touch of pink.

Today should be our best weather day, so we’ll have to make the most of it!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Galaxy-Gram! While Bonnie Waits in Charlotte!

It was fairly rainy, drizzly and cold when I left Columbia, South Carolina for Charlotte, North Carolina this morning.

Midnigh Flight, All Day Long in Georgia!

What do you get when you mix 35 quilters, loads of fabric, a bunch of sewing machines and a pot luck lunch?

A very fun work day for making some beautiful blocks that will be even more beautiful quilts!

I spent yesterday with the Etowah Valley Quilters of Cartersville, Georgia, a cute little city town north of Atlanta where hills are rolling and the Georgia southern drawl runs as thick as the Georgia southern hospitality!

I was last with this group a couple of years ago, and it was wonderful to feel like I was spending my birthday with friends!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Galaxy-Gram! an Etowah Valley Birthday!

I had the most awesome day with the Etowah Valley quilters in Cartersville, Georgia!

Today's class was Midnight Flight , and we spent our day with two different colorways of four patches, half square triangles, and our beloved a diamond in a rectangle units in mirror image!

I love how different these basic units look when combined with each other in different ways to create so many different patchwork designs!
I was also very lucky to head out of class by 3:15 p.m. As bad rainy weather moved in.

Nothing is worse than rush hour traffic through Atlanta on a rainy Friday afternoon!

However, I made it south on I-75 and east on I -20 and have just under a hundred miles left to go before I reach Jason's house in Columbia South Carolina tonight.

Dinner with my son awaits! And yes, I am typing this on my phone while stopping for gas and taking a much needed rest break!

As soon as this sends I will be back on the road arriving around 8 p.m.
It's been an awesome birthday, and it isn't over yet!

Love from somewhere in Georgia,

Another Year older in Cartersville!

Thank you for the birthday wishes, Etowah Valley Quilters and Friends!

I left home on Monday at 52 years old.  I finish up my teaching trip this afternoon with a Midnight Flight workshop – leaving a year older, 53!

53 is going to be the best ever, I can just feel it.

And who better to spend a birthday with than a fun group of quilters who have gone out of their way to make sure that this IS a birthday to remember!

Before it was my turn to speak last night ((Get a load of this crowd!)) I was presented with the BEST CAKE EVER:



the cake was made and decorated by the daughter of one of our attendees….check out the patchwork!  Purples and reds and cheddars, oh my!  And yes….those ARE cheddars….as in cheddar cheese!  because it is hard to get fondant the right color and the right consistency with too intense of coloring added.  Don’t worry, the cheddar was pulled off before serving!  however the rotary cutter and the cutting mat were completely edible!

The cake matches today’s Midnight Flight workshop!


Audience at attention as announcements are being made!


Walls decorated with show & share!  Grand Illusion!


Another Grand Illusion!


Another Grand Illusion still!


Celtic Solstice!


Orca Bay!

The light was VERY yellow in this building, the ceiling has big globes ((seen in photo above)) that add a nice ambience to the space, but it is not great for complexions or quilt photography!  The quilt here is framed in shades of light blue, not dirty gray!


Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll!

I loved that they decorated the room with previous mystery quilts!  How fun!


Birthday Quilt and basket of fat quarters!


A plethora of NEUTRALS!!  Weeehaaa!

**Confession**  There was also a pecan praline patty in here, but I ate it right away.  LOL!  See the little treadle ornament? LOVE!!


Thank you for making my 53rd birthday so special!

It’s raining.  It started raining last evening during the lecture, and it rained all night.

And this was here to greet me in my hotel room bathroom:  HA!

Someone please fix this!!

Looks like winter is finally arriving to the Southeast – and after the workshop today I am driving from Cartersville, GA to Columbia SC to spend the night with my son, Jason.  Please send positive thoughts, prayers, karma, energy, whatever that temps do not reach freezing! 

Saturday I’m on my way up to Charlotte to pick up Randy and Lori and we’ll be on our way to Quilt VIlla to retreat for the week --  but winter storm warnings are including my mountain area, so we need to get THERE safe too!

Off to teach a class – have a great Friday, everyone!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Bit of Clarkesville Show & Share!

While there wasn’t any show & share time during our afternoon meeting on Tuesday, we had some great quilts brought to our workshop yesterday, and I wanted to share them with you!

I am always amazed at what a dark background does for a scrappy quilt! 

This is Lazy Sunday ---the colors in my quilt are the same as this one, the only thing that has changed is the black background, and look how dynamic!  I LOVE IT!

This top will soon be quilted.  Doesn’t it just shimmer?

This is on my bucket list ---I NEED to do some quilts with dark backgrounds just to break me out of my neutral rut ((Even though I love my neutrals!))

A Blue Heaven Day in Clarkesville, GA!

This is Marge!

Sweetest gal ever, at 84 she says she has been quilting for 60 years.  SIXTY YEARS!!!  And from what I hear, she has the stash to show for it.

Marge, you are my hero!

We had such a great day in our My Blue Heaven class.

You know, it’s not just about all of us making any certain quilt together.  It’s about everything else that goes on WHILE we are making this quilt together. 

I can stand back and tell when a group really meshes.  When folks have been together a good long time and actually love and respect and enjoy one another. 

When they know they can count on each other to be there through it all.  When groups go on retreat and what is said at retreat and what happens at retreat stays at retreat ---you can just TELL when a group has something really special.

This group is special!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And Then THIS Did Come Home!!

This wonderful old historic 1870s home houses the Nacoochee Village Antique Mall!

And I made it there BEFORE the 5pm closing time yesterday!

It’s right across the street from the Nora Mill & Granary, and there are several floors and loads of rooms to walk through just full of wonderful goodies.

When I got there, I found I only had 40 minutes to do what I could before closing time, so I put my wandering into hyper-drive and focused on anything sewing/quilting/fabric/linens/vintage machines related.

You know how it is when you have something in mind – you can’t find it!

There were NO vintage sewing machines whatsoever at the Nacoochee Village Antique Maill.  That doesn’t mean they have never had them, I was just told that when they get them, they don’t stick around long.  SO much for that elusive wonderful purchase I was hoping to find.

I did come across some wonderful old quilts:

An Afternoon Trek toward Helen, GA!

Have you heard about the Chattahoochee River?  Maybe in a country song or two?

This is Chattahoochee river country, an Appalachian area in North Georgia with stunning mountain views and winding roads.

My lecture was finished and packed up by 3pm yesterday afternoon and I had asked the ladies if there was anywhere I should wander and explore. 

“Head toward HELEN!!” was the reply!  It was only about 20 or so miles away from our meeting location, but most of the shops close up at 5pm in the winter months so I was a girl on a mission.

The first thing I see before entering Helen?  A HUGE mound with a gazebo on top of it in the middle of a field.

Of course there is a road marker, so I have to stop and read what it is all about.

The Nacoochee Indian mound was once the center of an an indian town.  This is the land of the “trail of tears.”

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Lavonia Pit-Stop!

You didn’t think I got by with just an IKEA and Mary Jo’s run while working my way down to Georgia, did you?

I hadn’t been to Cornelia or Clarkesville before, so I wasn’t quite sure what I would pass on my way, but I HAVE been at this exit a time or two, and this antique mall is always good for a walk through, a rest break and a look-see!

You just never know what you will find.

If it was great the last time, it could be disappointing this time.

There could have been oodles of vintage sewing machines last time, and nothing this time.

You just NEVER KNOW.  And that is part of the thrill of the treasure hunt!

Road trip to Georgia!

Where does one go when one’s car goes on autopilot down I-85 from Wallburg, NC to Georgia?



I was a girl on a mission. 

We love our IKEA lamps so ---both the clip on variety ((For travel)) and the weighted base variety ((for home use)) and I needed a couple more.  I have ONE at the house that I keep on having to move depending on which machine I’m sitting at.  So I picked up another for there, and one more for the cabin for next week’s retreat fun coming up, and one for Mona because she has been borrowing one of my others.

For $10.00 you just can’t beat these:

Monday, January 19, 2015

For Children without Names--

I pulled into the parking lot of the Hampton Inn in Cornelia, Georgia around 5pm.

It took me 8 hours to get here, when it should have taken me 5 simply because I like to stop and wander and break up the trip.  Stretch my legs.  Get something to eat.  Shop a bit, poke around an antique mall, stop at IKEA, and oh yes, Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, but that post will come later.  ((Big hello to the ladies who stopped me to let me know they follow the blog!  I now know some quilters from Ashe County, NC, not far from the cabin!))

I couldn’t believe my eyes when the temp climbed and climbed the further southwest I got. According to the digital readout on my dash board I hit 66 as the high!  Last year this time was when Atlanta came to a several day standstill due to treacherous ice and we had that snowy episode where we couldn’t get up the mountain road at the cabin it was that slick.

66 degrees.  Mid January.  Oh yes, thank you please, and keep it coming!

I also love that it is so much lighter now at 5pm than it has been, but evening was still coming on fast, and if I am going to keep to goal.  Okay—get BACK to goal, I just wanted to walk.  I wanted to reach my 10,000 steps.

I chose a country road around the corner from the hotel and just started walking.  There was no traffic on this road, the only businesses being a VFW hall, a crematorium, and a funeral home.

I walked up and down and back 3 times before I even noticed this sign:

Sew It Together, Mona!

Yesterday Mona and Beanie came over to lay out Mona’s first ever quilt.

Only she discovered how hard it is to lay out a quilt when Beanie purely wanted to be part of the action….oh, and the bone too!

This little dog brings so much joy, but sometimes that joy gets in the way of putting the quilt down the way we want it!

Still.  Take time out and love on the pups, they give us so much more than we give them!

Oh---and the story about the bone ---They were bought for Sadie.  Sadie has a very picky palette, which does NOT include raw hide chews, or evidently bones.  She turns her nose up at them and walks away.  So we saved this one for Beanie.

And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as Beanie left it alone, after getting all of the marrow out, Sadie decided it wasn’t so bad and decided she wanted it after all!  Funny dogs!

I’m so proud of Mona and the job she is doing on this quilt.  We started with simple rotary cutting of strips, sewing of strip sets, making 4 patches, assembling blocks and here we are laying it out for assembly!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Great Weekend, Great Friends!

The birthday dinner I shared with Mona at her cabin last night became very emotional as she presented ME with a gift bag.

I wasn’t expecting that.  I hadn’t even had a chance to think of getting her anything.

And as I opened the package containing pieces, parts and folded things – I suddenly knew what it was.

A Flag!

A QUILT flag!


And oh my goodness, that’s my Winston Ways block from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders in full color on the flag!

It has the year I purchased the cabin on it, 2013.  Who can forget that 4th of July weekend in 2013 when we weren’t sure if we would get to close or not?  And that first night we spent at the cabin,  finally ours.

All About Cutting and Blazing Trails!

Yesterday’s strip cutting adventure proved to be MUCH of a success, totally emptying one bin of scraps that had been held for cutting down.

I mentioned in a recent post that my trip drawers are dangerously low.  We have made MANY quilts from the pre-cut scraps, which is the whole intent and purpose of cutting them down into useable strips in the first place.  Scraps ready to sew when a few minutes of sewing time are available means that I can actually make loads of progress in little bursts of time – when I have it.

Neutrals ((Also called low-volume by those of modern-quilt-circles)) are a mainstay of my scrap happiness.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Galaxy-Gram! Time out for ATVs!

This is a quickie post!

After spending about 6 hours cutting down the scraps, I was enticed to go out trail riding with friends on our ATV's!

We went on our way through the mountains, ending up at a gorgeous waterfall.
We just got back, and are heading over to Mona's house for our birthday celebration dinner.

I just wanted to shoot up this collage photo to give you a little glimpse into what went on here this afternoon.

A Sunny Blue Ridge Mountain Saturday!

It may be cold cold cold out, but blue sky and sunshine prevail!

Every time I come up here I am once again reminded why I love it so much, and how this small corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains fills my soul.

I feel rejuvenated with the simple routine of waking up, stepping out onto the front porch and greeting the morning with a deep inhale and a smile.

I love this place!

And I am so excited to be sharing my love of this place with two dear friends who will be here ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!

There is lots to do to prepare.  I want everything to be just right!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Galaxy-Gram! Quilt Villa Bound!

All of the day's chores are done and we are headed up to the cabin for the weekend.

There is much on the agenda - my friend Mona had a birthday this past week, and my birthday is this coming Friday and we are celebrating with a birthday dinner at their cabin tomorrow night.

The van is loaded with all kinds of goodies in preparation for setting up for our weeklong retreat that starts Saturday, January 24th.

We've made a Sam's Club and a Costco run because they do carry different items.

I've stocked up on k cups for the Keurig, and picked up some comfy task chairs for hours of enjoyable sewing.