Thursday, December 28, 2017

Trail Cam Adventures (And Quilting!)

It’s times like these…Most of December, Part of January when I’m home and basically chained to my machine for days on end – my form of Zen therapy – that I worry about things here on the blog being a bit dry.

There are no travel adventures to post. 

No aerial photos from the plane showing the fascinating landscape below, no ocean scenes, no happy quilters busily sewing, no show & share for inspiration.

It’s just me, using my time home to refuel.

And there is the mystery, that helps fill a couple of posts a week, but if I just show another round of photos showing that I’ve made another gazillion four-patch sets? 

Don’t get me wrong, I love that life is quieter and passing at a much slower pace at the end of the year.

And the trail cams provide endless excitement for us as we flip through each photo to see who has come by, what the winter activity is like here on the mountain. I loved this scene of the train of deer making their way along the snow covered trail.

Cameras are set way back on our acreage and we move them around occasionally, paying attention to the deer trails so we are sure to catch more than the noisy crows.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Days Before, During & After!

We took a little drive on Saturday, temps in the mid 50s!

(Oh, how I wish we could have those back NOW!)

The cabin is situated in amongst many Christmas tree farms, and it is a wonderful place to take simple drives down long and winding roads.

Did you know it takes 7 years to grow a tree to cutting height?

The trees are planted in sections, much like choirs, and while this year’s trees are gone and will be replanted with new growth, the 6 year old trees are standing tall, ready to become the 7 year old trees, and so forth.

It’s kind of like UFOS when it comes to quilting!  It sometimes takes 7 years or longer for them to actually become quilts, but I kind of like the Christmas tree farm analogy of how long it takes something to be ready.

Our destination on this day?  Grayson Highlands State Park – Mama and Sadie wanted needed a hike!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Mystery TUESDAY Link-Up, Part 5!

For some it’s “The Day After.”  For others, Christmas continues into “Boxing Day.”

Whatever you name it, and however you spend it, I hope this day is a happy one for you and that you get just a few minutes to pet the fabric and check in on what others are sharing in our Mystery Monday Tuesday Link-Up!

I’m so thrilled with all of the wonderful shares through social media, and the togetherness it brings! 

I love seeing your colors, your sewing areas, family photos when shared through your blog posts.  The holiday shenanigans when shared through your Instagram.

And the other shares that have come through my email have just touched my heart.

Quilting isn’t something we just do….it’s who we ARE and I can’t imagine a more wonderful community with which to be associated.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Very Happy Christmas, Indeed!

Merry Happy Christmas, from my family to yours!

Jeff arrived last night carrying armloads of boxes that had arrived via Amazon and wherever else presents come from.

He brought the Christmas cards and other mail.  We stacked them in the corner near our little Charlie Brown tree and declared it a “brown box” Christmas after realizing that there was no wrapping paper up on the mountain. 

But as we all know, the best gifts don’t come wrapped in pretty paper or tied up with festive ribbons and bows, the best gifts come from the heart.

And spending time together is the very best of all!

And yes, that includes father-son time in a cut-throat round of Super Mario.  Thanks for the earworm guys!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Gifting the Give-Aways!

Merry Merry, Happy Happy Christmas Eve morning!

An executive decision was made last night – why write TWO give-away posts back to back 12 hours apart from each other when they could be combined into one?

Especially since the offer to be taken out to a prime rib dinner was made and accepted?

And returning home to the cabin after 8:30pm found me face to face with the hand quilting beckoning from my comfy chair.

There was another episode of the Hatfield's and McCoy's to watch on Netflix…surely we can just make this morning’s post a triple gift-away?!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Stitching between the Moments

Between posts written ahead so I could make early morning dentist appointments, and pre-scheduled Mystery Friday releases, I feel like there is so much to catch up on.

And yet there isn’t.  Not really.

Because I’ve been enjoying exactly what I’ve longed for since 2017 spun out of control.  NOTHING on the agenda. Time is finally standing still.  or at least passing at a more leisurely pace, just the way I like the holidays to be.

Thursday morning after I returned from the dentist with flying colors – the crown for my implant is on its way and I should be able to start my 2018 teaching year with a full set of teeth – (HOORAY!) I asked Jason what he’d like to do for the couple of days that he was here.

We made plans to go on a long drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, traveling a portion of it we hadn’t been on before.  We would wind our way up to Boone, have lunch, toodle around with no real agenda or hard and fast time schedule and just see what unfolded.

We stopped for this photo along the New River just across the North Carolina state line.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Crowns & Quilt-Cam!


Hello from Quilt Villa!!

Sadie and I made it last evening just before dark, followed by the Hubster and sun Jason around 10:30pm.

I missed them both.  I was already sound asleep in a big comfy bed after a very busy day.

I did have a couple of evening hours all to myself to join lengths of binding, do some pressing, some stitching on – along with a label and a hanging sleeve – ready for hand stitching down while holiday movies play and yummy things cook in my little cabin kitchen.

And the biggest news of all is --

We stopped at the oral surgeon on the way up.  He gave the new bone-graft/implant post a good tap tap tap and declared it healed enough to wear a crown.  HOORAY!

I may not have my bicuspid back by Christmas morning, but I am on my way to the dentist who is doing the crown part this morning.

When they asked if I could be in at 7:30 am, and it’s 35 minutes away – I only hesitated for a minute about thinking it was too early.  I’m not looking THIS gift horse in the mouth, I’ll take it!  What other dentist could fit me in just a few days before Christmas on short notice?

And if I don’t have my crown on by New Years, or when I leave for California on January 8th, my hopes are that I’ll be smiling broadly with all of my teeth by my Birthday on the 23rd of January.  I can’t think of anything I’d want better.

I enjoyed yesterday’s Noon-time Quilt-Cam on Facebook Live.  Did you catch it?  If not, we are going to do a replay for you right here so we can archive it as well.

SO much sewing going on as we get closer to Christmas.  Many were working on various stages of On Ringo Lake:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wrong Way Round Gone Right!

This is finally in the machine!

Why am I saying finally when I just finished the top on Sunday?

Because I started the blocks last March/April.  I had sewn many of the blocks before I figured out that more than half of the required blocks were sewn inside-out and wouldn’t do what I had designed for this quilt.  They were the WRONG WAY ROUND!

By the time this was discovered, I didn’t have much of a chance to work on the RIGHT WAY ROUND blocks due to travel, teaching engagements and by summer I was deep into mystery making – On Ringo Lake!

I’ve been longing for my December time off to finally put this RIGHT.  And hopefully the quilting will be finished this morning.

Who knows!  By today's noon eastern Quilt-Cam time you may see me stitching binding on!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Bonnie, HollyAnne & the Daylight Holiday Bundle!

Up on the roof top – click, click, click! Down through the chimney with Old Saint Nick!

Can you tell I’m feeling festive?!

YES I am!

And today is one of the reasons why.

I have teamed up with HollyAnne of String & Story and The Daylight Company to present to you a gift away of truly EPIC proportions! 

I met HollyAnne through instagram when she was posting about how she was quilting her En Provence quilt.  I absolutely loved how she talked about the whole process encouraging newer quilters to get their feet wet with free motion quilting, because YOU CAN DO IT.

She is also offering webinars on machine quilting so you can learn to do it from home, but more on that later….

And she has two cute sons, some very cute cats, AND..she loves vintage sewing machines.  I love this girl!

I have loved my Daylight lamps for the past couple of years.  I first came upon them while teaching at a Craftours Cocoon in Illinois, and I bought two desktop lamps there.

Later on while teaching on a cruise, I purchased two floor models for my hand stitching chairs because I loved the desk models so much.

And that is where The Daylight Company comes in.

I said Epic.  And I mean EPIC!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 4!

I’m singing my inner Mamas & Papas!

“Monday, Monday – So good to me……” 

Ahhh, the sounds of my youth!

I’m extremely tickled to be poking around the hashtags on instagram and seeing what you have been up to!  Check these out: 

#onringolakequilt and #quiltvillemystery both have over 1,000 links each!

For those posting to instagram please remember that you also need to post the link to this post in your text - that hash tags are not enough to get people here to the link-up.

While #onringolakequilt is just for this project, #quiltvillemystery is a tag I use for ALL of our mysteries so it will include whichever mystery you are working on, no matter when you are working on it.

If you are using any other variation other than these two tags, it’s likely we won’t find you.  Remember to leave the year OFF of your tag as this mystery crosses the bridge between two years.  If you are using  2017 or 2018 it’s likely folks won’t find you.

For those who don’t instagram, you can still click the l inks above and see what our busy instagram is up to!

There has been some questioning about our Part 4 units and how to measure them.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

December Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Oh my goodness, does this month’s Quilty Box have something wonderful for you!

I opened the box just before heading to the cabin, snapping photos quickly with the intent of writing this post while in Virginia.

It never dawned on me as I told myself that this would be great for SUNDAY – that I should have done it yesterday, Saturday – because Saturday is known to cat lovers globally as CATURDAY!

Okay, I’m a bit old, worn out and slow!

But then, every day in my house is Caturday, ask Emmy Lou!

I am also tickled that Quilty Box is also offering the Quilty Box Mini (more details to follow) so I can choose not just one winner, but TWO each month.  Thank you, Quilty Box!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

From Cold and Wintery Virginia!

I stood on the end of the front porch – the bit that is over the garage, looking down at the hairpin turn of the laneway –the very steep part that I love to curse at when hiking up.

11% grade might not seem like much by numbers, but it is steep enough that most cars – unless they have all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive – will find themselves spinning wheels in an effort to gain purchase and make it up this last bit of hill before reaching the cabin.

It’s beautiful in winter.

When we first saw the place – just a year ago – the snow was already gone.

And though temps have gotten above the freezing mark in the past week, what is left here on the mountain side are simply places “where the sun don’t shine” and I love the iced ginger cookie appearance of the landscape.  There isn’t a lot of snow, but it’s enough to feel festive!

And enough to keep me inside and stitching.  I have no desire to hike a snow-covered 11% grade of a cabin road.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Doggies, Cutting Dies and Play Time!

Sadie and I got out for her first “real” walk post surgery for Mast Cell tumors yesterday.

It was a slow walk around the neighborhood with loads of “sniffing around” time.

Don’t you sometimes wonder what is going through a dog’s head as they sniff and sniff and sniff – whatever holds their interest, whatever could it be?  Sometimes I think it must be “text messages” from other dogs who have come by previously, and she is catching up on all of the news that happened while she was confined at home.

The t-shirt thing is working well at keeping her from getting at her side stitches, except for the hind-quarters area.

We can’t put a cone on her because of the incision on her neck. And we caught her trying to lick the stitches on her hind leg last evening.  I told Jeff that we could get a pair of “tighty-whities” and put them on her with her tail out of the fly.  He laughed and said “Now she’ll really be humiliated, what is she supposed to be, Captain Underpants?!”  I busted out laughing too.  Poor Sadie.  Right now we’ve taped gauze over the wound, whatever it takes, she needs to leave her stitches alone.

We were joined on our walk by neighbor dog Piper, who was especially gentle with Sadie.  It’s as if they KNOW something is not quite right.

Together we walked and sniffed our way over to our next door neighbor Chip’s house:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stitchin’ With Sadie Jane

I’m making progress on Jason’s hexie quilt.

I have quilted the center star, outlined by the row of white hexies..and am now up to the diamonds surrounding the star.

This quilt is being quilted from the center out.  It’s a lot of quilt wrangling as the sides of each hexie are only 3/4’’ and I can fit about 5 stitches per side an approximate 1/4’’ in from each edge.

I’m really enjoying stitching to some Amazon Prime, and am discovering series that I didn’t know about before.  Night before last I settled in and watched the whole mini-series of Doctor Thorne hosted by Julian Fellowes, the genius who brought us Downton Abbey.

Last night I started in on Cranford – I love Judy Dench!  This one started about 10 years ago, why I never heard of it I’ll never know.  It’s perfect for stitching to if you like period drama, and I do. Cranford has 2 seasons.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Quilted Memories from Oregon!

Marley and her G.G. are sharing the big red heart quilt that Marley made.

It was the highlight of our Show & Share in Roseburg, Oregon – the last day of my 2017 teaching year.

Marley is as proud as she could possibly be, and with every right to!  Fabulous quilt.  Fabulous team!

When I think of all the memories that are being made between grandmother and granddaughter my heart just sings.

And G.G. is the perfect person to teach her -

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 3!

Monday, December 11th!

December is flying.

I hope that as we swing deeper into the holiday hubbub you are able to carve out a few minutes each day for yourself – even if you are just pressing and cutting in anticipation of sewing AFTER January arrives and things go back to normal.

10 minutes here.

15 minutes there.

It all adds up to a whole lot of progress if you can grab those small moments of time in between other things and just do what you can do.

How are you coming along with Part 3?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Bit of Home Stitchin’!

Eventually – even though the task seems impossible – if we keep chipping away at it, we get there!

One. Hexie. At. A. Time!

I finished the second long side border, including the “turn-the-corner” units on my last flight.  HOORAY!

Someone asked how long I’ve been stitching the borders.  I can’t remember. Honestly I can’t.  Has it been a year yet?

There are 25 rosettes in the length not including the units that turn the corner, the red spacer hexies or the row of neutrals I am stitching above the rosettes.  The rosettes make up 175 of the hexies in the border. Let’s just say it is A LOT.

And in general, I never count pieces –or the time it takes me to stitch something because let’s face it – when we are doing something we love, time stands still.  And this was all sewn while sitting on planes or in hotel rooms or airports when no other stitching could happen and I just wanted to occupy my hands.

It’s getting there!

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Sister’s Choice and Homeward Bound!

Meet our fabulous nine-year-old Marley, the youngest quilter in my last quilting class of 2017!

She was stitching along next to her grandmother, whom she affectionately calls “G.G.”

When my own grandmother became a great-grandmother, she also became G.G. to my kids – it just warmed my heart to see these two stitching side by side!

As I talked to Marley about her quilting experience, I came to realize that she has been around quilting and making her own quilts for most of her little life.

At one point through my questions, she looked at me as if to say “This isn’t my FIRST rodeo, you know!”  LOL!!

Oh, Marley, we were so blessed to have you as part of our workshop!  You added so much to our day!

She even got the day off of school to take this class.  Bonus!

Thursday, December 07, 2017

A Pineapple Blossom Day to Play!

I arrived in Brookings, Oregon on Tuesday afternoon, just about lunch time.

“How about some lunch?” Betty, my driver said.

“I’ll never turn down lunch!” was my reply.

And when we pulled into the Tea Room parking lot, I knew it was a good place – it was busy and bustling and there was a whole set-up of tables full of quilters there to greet us as we came through the door.

It was a most welcome fun welcome!  And let me tell you, the ginger chicken salad is to die for and not to be missed.

But this view ---oh my goodness.  I severely needed a nap before my evening guild presentation, but THIS was right outside the sliding glass door to my room.

Walk first, nap second!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Showin’ & Sharin’ along the Rogue River!

I took this photo yesterday morning before my ride arrived to carry me from Rogue River to Brookings. 

Oregon is a land of many climates and terrains.

Mountains and rivers, oceans and rocky coastlines.  High desert and fertile farmland.

Oregon is the birthplace of both of my sons and the hubster as well.

It can be absolutely freezing and snow covered in the higher areas, and just above California on the coast – I actually drove through the upper part of California yesterday to get to Brookings – it can me 20 degrees warmer in just a 2 hour drive.  And that is exactly what happened yesterday.

The great Pacific Northwest!

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Playing with Jacks in Rogue River!

Small town love in Oregon!

I saw this mural on our way to class the first day, but it was raining.  So yesterday morning I was set up early, and walked around the block to get a photo.

It wasn’t raining!  The sky was clearing!  And there were no cars in front of the mural which in reality is a gas station parking lot.

After this photo, I walked around the corner to get a photo of the shenanigans that were going on at the town fountain in the square.

Someone had put soap in the fountain and it looked like it was snow….well, sort of….

More like, it reminded me of the episode where too much soap was put in the washing machine on the Brady Bunch.  LOL!

Monday, December 04, 2017

Sew, Sew, Sew & Ho, Ho Ho!

Hello from beautiful Rogue, River, Oregon!!

I arrived on Saturday evening, and I am so excited to finally be here.

Our workshop location is the beautiful grange hall in Rogue River, and since the last time I was here, it has seen a remodeling of epic proportions, including refinished original wood floors that were hiding under years of old linoleum…

They are fully decorated for Christmas functions and that added so much to our workshop spirit! 

I’ve never before given a workshop with lit garlands and Christmas trees.  It was a holiday party!

Especially when you took a look at the pot-luck table full of holiday yummies and all the fixin’s.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Mystery SUNDAY Link-Up, Part 2!

Good Morning from Rogue River, Oregon!

Welcome to our Mystery Monday Sunday Link-Up for part 2 of On Ringo Lake!

If you read yesterday’s post you will have already anticipated this switch to one day earlier due to my traveling and teaching schedule in Oregon this week.

We are adding an extra day for folks to be able to share their progress, and this switch helps me as well - my flight got into Medford, Oregon a bit late into the evening last night.

I'm now in Pacific time!

I’m headed out the door this morning for a Pineapple Blossom workshop with the Mountain Star Quilters of Rogue River.

The following photos and story came from Mary Coats of Kincardine Ontario, Canada!

Saturday, December 02, 2017

December in Arizona!

Sometimes the photos I take surprise me.

I know what I see before my eyes is beautiful, but then when I look at the screen and what it captured – it’s almost like looking at a quilt that turned out better than you anticipated!

I took this photo while walking around Sun Lakes, the area where my dad lives.  The community is built in rings around a central park area with walking paths that are golf cart friendly – in fact everyone goes EVERYWHERE (Even to the grocery store) on golf carts.

As for me – I walk. And I watch folks drive their golf carts while dogs trot along side.

I LOVE reflections on water, objects in mirror image above and below, still water reflecting like glass.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Taking Time to Smell the Roses!

Arizona in the winter. 


Of course I was up early yesterday – my body clock was still on East Coast time, and I took a moment to just walk around my brother’s yard admiring all that they have done with it.

The vegetable gardens are much at the “in-between” stage right now, but beds have been cleared, some winter veggies have been planted in little rows.

There is a lot of good produce that comes out of Sharolyn’s veggie beds all year long.  You don’t need a huge yard to receive huge bounty.  And she is a master at it.

Where I quilt, and get my joy from working with fabric and thread, she gets the same soul-fulfilling enjoyment in working with the earth and seeing what can spring forth with just a bit of encouragement from her evergreen thumbs.

Seeing things blooming in full force as we turn the page into December is just such a wonderful “time out” from winter-to-come for me.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

With Love from AZ!

The sky was just beginning to glow as we took off for Atlanta from Greensboro.

These early morning flights are the hardest to get up for – not to mention the hardest to fall asleep for the night before.

I haven’t hauled a trunk show to the airport since October!  I feel almost out of practice!

Did I pack everything I need?  Yes, and a big box of rulers went priority mail yesterday as well, and should beat me to Oregon before I get there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jan/Feb ‘18 Quiltmaker Gift-Away

Wait a hot dern minute!

January/February of 2018?!?!?!  Someone please slow down the publication process just a bit please!

I haven’t caught my breath through the end of 2017 yet, and we are already pushing February of 2018?!  OH my goodness!

Well, the one good thing about pushing January/February 2018 to the front of the line is that the magazines are full of gorgeous color, and spring can’t be far behind.  THAT I can go for!

This magazine issue arrived just before I was headed to the cabin for Thanksgiving, and I finally had a chance to sit down and enjoy it, thinking it would be the perfect post for today – a Gift-away ahead of the holidays with the hope of spring in mind.

Monday, November 27, 2017

On Ringo Lake Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 1!

Monday, Monday – So good to me! *Singing*

How’s everyone doing this morning?

It’s our first Mystery Monday Link-Up for On Ringo Lake And I am so excited to see what you’ve been working on over Thanksgiving weekend.

We have many new folks with us this year, so if you’ve never done a link-up before, we will include some info so you can add your photo of your progress to the mix.

You’ll need either a blog, an instagram account, a pinterest account, a flickr account or a google + account.  All of which are free, and a great way of journaling your progress on any project.  ALL of these must be set to PUBLIC.  Please, no private accounts as no one will be able to see what you are sharing, so what’s the point?

We will get to that in a minute!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Leader & Ender Addict!

How is your Leader & Ender project coming along?

Mine is slow and steady.

Generally I am fighting to finish any designated Leader & Ender project way past the July release of the NEXT one.

I do what I can through the year to legitimately work on these as “real” Leader & Ender projects until it just gets to the point where I have got to push it forward for a finish, and end up using a second Leader & Ender to finish the first!

That was the case with this year’s Checkerboard Rails release.  My Hourglass Leader & Ender Challenge was not complete yet, so I pushed it into hyper-drive and finished it using the 4-patches from this year’s challenge as Leaders & Enders for the process.

Now that some other irons are out of the fire, I’m moving ahead some other projects-in-progress to now get the Checkerboard Rails closer to a finish. ( I shared the Scrap Basket blocks in yesterday’s post.  Did you see it?)

We’ve got time.  It's not a race. This challenge doesn’t end until the first week of July.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Saturday After…

The Turkey Coma Aftermath!

Thanksgiving comes and goes – much preparation and anticipation.

The menu planning and yummy smells in the kitchen.

The greeting of friends as they arrive carrying side dishes and beverages and…..oh my goodness, how are we going to eat all of this food?

The calling to the men folk to CARVE THE TURKEY!

I swear, the hardest part is having it all done and ready and HOT at the same time -- with one oven, one microwave and a bevvy of crock pots.

The setting of the table, my great-grandmother’s crystal goblets ringing like bells as ice is added to each glass.

How long does it take to eat a Thanksgiving feast like this?

All of about 20 minutes. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Blessed Thanksgiving.

Good Morning.

As I sit here trying to find the words to express my gratitude for oh so many things that have happened this past year,

I am smelling a pumpkin custard baking in the oven (a crust-less pie for the gluten-free hubby who never liked crust anyway and always left it behind) bacon sizzling on the griddle, the sounds of my menfolk setting the table.

It’s a tradition here – with all of the cooking that goes into the main Thanksgiving meal, the men take care of breakfast giving me just a bit of reprieve to write and enjoy a bit of the morning with some relaxation before tying an apron on and getting down to the big meal of the day.

My biggest surprise came last night when Jason texted from South Carolina that he WAS coming up to Virginia for Thanksgiving.  He didn’t think he was going to be able to make it work because he flip-flopped his holiday days off so that he could come to Idaho/Oregon with us for his grandpa’s memorial service last weekend.

He walked in my door about 9pm last night.  I guess he hasn’t had enough of us over the past week! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November Quilty Box Drawing–Times TWO!

On the eve of Thanksgiving – There are two quilters who will have so much MORE to be thankful for!

I am drawing for the two winners of our November Quilty Box, and this gift-away has topped the charts as far as entries go – we’ve set a new record!

I've been busy (you guys know how busy!) today – and I just took a look at our total.

6, 072 happy quilty folks all vying for these prizes!  Whoooowhoooo!

It’s the eve of Thanksgiving and I’m here with family so I’m not going to dawdle.  In fact – there is one more person who is joining us at last minute.

My son Jason is on his way up from Columbia, South Carolina and is a half-hour away as I type!  He didn’t think he could get the time off of work as he was just in Idaho and Oregon with us over the past weekend, but he evidently pulled some strings, and still likes our company enough to drive 4 hours back up to Virginia after leaving our place in North Carolina yesterday morning.  We must be doing something right!

So without further ado:

On Ringo Lake: Two More Sleeps!

Good Morning from Quilt Villa, Mouth of Wilson, Virginia!

If you missed last night’s Quiltmaker - vol 16 gift-away posts, you likely also missed that the decision was made to come up late yesterday afternoon so that today could be a day of relaxing and enjoying instead of a day of driving and grocery shopping.

Not that grocery shopping won’t happen today anyone.

In my haste to get up here before dark I forgot a couple of important items.

Can you figure out what they are from the contents of my shopping cart?

*NOTE*  If you are in the south, this is also known as a BUGGY!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Quiltmaker vol 16 Drawing Time!

Hello from the cabin in VIRGINIA!!

Yes, I made an early escape today.  Son Jeff and I finished up getting the mail order out that had come in while we were gone to Idaho Thursday through Monday.  I am so happy to have hired my son on part time – not only does it get everything done in about half the time it normally would have taken me, but he is so much fun and a joy to be around.

We finished up the 70+ order around 1:30pm.  And the decision was made on the fly right then.  Get the groceries, and head straight on up.  Instead of Wednesday being a travel day for Thanksgiving – it can be a hang at the cabin day, and perhaps even get some FUN sewing in!

Jeff and The Hubster are also on their way up, having made a detour with the trailer to pick up lumber for the refurbishing of our deck.  Many hands make light work and if the weather holds, they’ll get that going this weekend as well.

Just about the time that clue 1 of our On Ringo Lake mystery goes live! (3 more sleeps – can’t wait!)

So, let’s get back to what this post is all about – it’s time to draw the two lucky winners of my day on Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 blocks by 100 designers Volume 16 Road Rally!

Bringing Lillian Home.

This was the view outside of my window as we descended toward the Salt Lake Valley.

Iced ginger crinkle cookies come to mind – my absolute favorite.

I was just here in August.  Seasons have changed, the summer heat turning everything a deep baked brown, and snow is beginning to fill in the higher elevations.

It was our first flight of three yesterday, a 4 airport day with run-run-run-run in between landing and the next taking off as connections were very close.

There is something to be said for that.  It gets the heart pounding and the feet moving, perhaps getting a head start on burning off all of that food we have eaten over the past 4 days.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Long Journey Home

We have a rather long journey home today, but our hearts are full -- not to mention our bellies, as when we get together as a family, there is always - I mean ALWAYS copious amounts of food involved, to the tune of something like every three hours!

Memorial services never leave anyone hungry as hot dishes and cold plates and desserts find their way from friends and relatives in an expression of love and support.

Sometimes when words can't be found to express our care and concern for one another, a hot loaf of bread, a plate of brownies, or a cheesecake seem to say what the heart simply can't.

I am happy to be leaving all of the left-overs at the home of my sister-in-law, and it will continue to share the message of love and concern from near-by friends and relatives for days to come.

This photo was taken of the eastern Oregon country-side as we left the home of our dear friends Joe & Sue.  There has been much visiting - as much as we could fit in, reaching out to re-connect with friends we haven't seen in many years.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

His Wings Were Ready….Our Hearts Were Not.


Please accept this photo post without words, as I just can’t find the words to express how much we loved this man, and how much we miss him already.

And yet I am so grateful for the joy and happiness of seeing so many people that we haven’t seen in 16 to 25 years. Relatives, close and distant, old family friends, friends my children knew when they were very young.  It’s been overwhelming.

I do believe one of the most important tasks we are given as humans is to bear one another’s burdens and lift each other up. 

Thank you for lifting me.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Trip of Remembrance.

I’m so grateful for my boys. 

Jeff who is willing to stay with Sadie and Emmy Lou while we go off to put his grandfather to rest.

And Jason, who is willing to fly with me all the way to Idaho (A 4 airport journey) to join with extended friends and family in the celebration of my father-in-law’s life.

Sacrifice comes at a cost to all.

Thanksgiving arrangements have been un-arranged and re-arranged so that Jason could have this time off of work to travel with me.  He has switched shifts with co-workers to make it work.  And he is here with me now because he will forfeited his coveted Thanksgiving holiday at the cabin in Virginia to do so.

It’s bitter-sweet, but priceless and heartfelt and there will indeed be other Thanksgivings, but this one will never be forgotten.

There were many travel mercies along our way.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Vol 16 Road Rally Blog Hop!

Happy Friday, everyone!

If this is your first time visiting me, welcome!

My name is Bonnie Hunter, and I write the Addicted to Scraps column for Quiltmaker.

In every issue you’ll find a block pattern destined to help you fall in love with your scraps all over again.  Many of these blocks come from my own Scrap User’s System, playing with sizes of strips, squares and rectangles that work easily together, mixing and matching fabric lines, print types, genres, designers and manufacturers and playing by color family.

Today is a day long awaited – my stop on Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 blocks by 100 designers – volume 16 – Road Rally Blog Hop!

I hope you have enjoyed the many stops along your way that have finally found you at my doorstep.  If you haven’t yet, be sure you check out the other designers participating in this tour on the Quiltmaker Blog Quilty Pleasures.  There is more fun and prizes to be had.

As you may have heard,  a new "The Quilting Company" website has just launched, rolling all of the quilting websites; Quiltmaker, McCall's Quilting and Fons & Porter, as well as the magazine's quilting stores into one giant website.  The address for the Quilty Pleasures blog has also changed, so you may want to update it in your bookmarks.

Fall is in full swing in north central North Carolina and the colors are glorious.

The change of the seasons always has an effect on the colors I choose to work with, and autumn colors are a favorite.

Would you join me for a walk around my neighborhood to see what inspires me? Click to play:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Quilty Box Times Two! {Gift-Away!}

Have I ever got something special for you while Jason and I are headed off to the Oregon/Idaho border!

Quilty Box has pulled out all the stops.  And due to popular demand, they are now offering a MINI BOX as well as the full sized Quilty Box we’ve all come to know, love and anticipate!

What is a Quilty Box?

Here are some highlights to keep in mind:
  • Quilty Box is a monthly subscription box of fun quilting supplies. We offer plans from $44-48/mo.
  • 5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions are donated to Quilts for Kids - a non-profit which donates quilts for children in need
  • Each month we have 4 or more products (fabric, patterns, thread, or notions)
  • Our retail value of the products in the box is always more than $60
  • December's Quilty Box Featured Artist will be Felice Regina  from iamlunasol.com
  • The next Quilty Box will ship around December 11th. Subscribers will need to purchase before December 10th to receive this shipment.
  • We will be using the hashtags #QuiltyBox and #GetQuilty
Your support is appreciated. If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to contact me.
Get Quilty!

Patrick Claytor, CEO
Quilty Box

Subscribe today at Quiltybox.com

I LOVE the fact that 5% of the profits go to Quilts for Kids!  It’s a win win all the way around!

Let’s look closer at this box:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Getting Serious With Scrap Reduction!

I have a confession to make.

Due to an extra busy life, there are parts of my fabric stash that are COMPLETELY out of control.

Oh, I’ve been very consistent with tackling scraps as *I* make them – from finishing up quilts and working on projects.  That is such a habit that my Scrap User’s System is FULL.  Drawers are burgeoning.  There is pre-cut fabric a plenty just waiting for projects.

But this?  This is the “holding pen” for things I haven’t had a chance to cut down.  Mostly because even if I DID cut it, I’d need more drawers to store it.  And sometimes you need bigger or different sizes of pieces than the 4 core sizes my Scrap User’s System provides.

BUT how did this get this way? Fabric gifts from friends and readers, or fat-quarters I wasn’t in love with any more and they hit the bins to be cut up so I could use them.

At least I HAVE sorted things by color family, but this isn’t good enough.  Something else has to happen, and I’m about ready to get busy with this.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Out and About with Mona!

I could also title this post “Slim Pickin’s in Greensboro!” 

We went to one of my favorite antique malls, and while there was plenty of glassware and repainted (ugh) furniture and vintage Christmas items (fun to see and I feel the season happily creeping up on me…) there was just NOTHING in the vintage sewing machine department. 

Not a treadle to be found.  No “free the machine!” opportunities at hand.

We did find one 1980s beat up Kenmore but it wasn’t what we were looking for.

Mona needs a machine that does a basic zig zag for making repairs and piecing batting.  I showed her how I did it by butting the edges and letting the zig zag stitches seam them together super flat and now she can see that she HAS to have one.  So we are on the look out.

Her fleet currently consists of 2 featherweights, a 301, a 66 treadle and an electric 15 in a cabinet.  What’s one more when all that she has is straight stitch only?

It was Slim Pickin’s on the quilt front as well.  There just wasn’t a whole lot, but wouldn’t this drunkard’s path comforter be cute wrapped around the base of a Christmas tree?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunsets & Foggy Mornings

I could title this photo Sunset and Lone Street Light.

But isn’t this color glorious??

I took this photo on Saturday evening after Mona and I had stopped quilting for the day.

Deciding we both deserved a break, we hopped into Moby and headed over to Greensboro for some antique mall wandering and a much desired Mexican dinner out.  Comfort food was needed.  Hot homemade tortilla chips and warm queso and salsa?  Yes, please!

I tend to laugh at our society and the plethora of folks taking pictures of their food – but it is true.  Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  We can’t live without it, and we may as well enjoy it.

And enjoy it we did.

How much?  This much:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sweet Mercies in the Night.

I got the call this morning that my sweet father-in-law, Carl Hunter passed away in his sleep. 

It was a mercy and a blessing we had been praying for.

It’s been a very tough road for everyone involved, but mostly for Carl who was so active all of his life, loving his hobbies of fishing and bowling, having done both on a regular and often basis every week (more than once a week!) up until the past couple of months.

The truth is, we are never ready for someone to leave us, even when it is the best for them and they are ready to go.

Shown in this photo from left to right: Eldest son Bruce, Middle son Myron, Dad, The Hubster Dave, and Bruce’s Grandson Mason. 3 generations of Hunter men and a whole mess of fish.

This reminds me of the video of old photos we went through in Minnesota in August, where all of the men were standing in front of their vehicles holding a mess of fish.  Funny.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

It’s a Mona Weekend!

We’ve had this planned for a long time.

But then it became “un-planned” due to rescheduling because I was thinking I’d be in Idaho by now.

But I’m not.  I’m here!

And it’s a weekend. 

So on yesterday’s walk around the neighborhood with Sadie, I called up Mona and asked if she still had time to come and get a couple of her quilts quilted.

She said yes!  And we were loading a quilt by early afternoon!

You might remember these tops as finishes, I shared them from the cabin at some point in the past couple of months (But search wouldn’t pull up that post for me this morning) and they are WONDEFUL!

Sadie thinks so too!

Friday, November 10, 2017

1999 to Now

Do you have a quilt top that has hung around since 1999?

I remember exactly where I was when I first was inspired to make this project.  I had picked up some hexie papers at a quilt shop in Texas – we had been down on a house hunting trip because we were moving there from Idaho.

It’s been top status for several years now, but life never slowed down enough for me to even consider getting it layered and basted, or to even think about hand quilting it.

Well things are changing around here.  I am switching up my priorities just a bit.  I NEED down time in the evenings to recharge my batteries, and it all started to become clearer to me when I instituted the “handwork only after supper” when we are at the cabin.

If I can do it at the cabin, I can do it here.  Even if it is just for an hour.  There has to be time to do some slow stitching to recharge the batteries.

So yesterday, Sadie helped me figure out just what I am going to do to quilt this – as that was part of the problem.  HOW was I going to quilt this?

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Life At Home…

I know many of us are going through life where things around us are just simply beyond our control.

There are times when I feel it so hard in the pit of my stomach and the unknown yet unfolding grips me so tightly I feel like I can’t breathe.

Tears may be close to the surface from time to time as emotions stop me in my tracks.  We’ve all been there.  I know I’m not alone here.

I have found comfort in the routine of doing normal things that I’ve been doing for 30+ years.  These are the things that are soothing for me.

Chopping and shredding veggies that will simmer in the crock pot along with the chicken stock I made the day before from the leftover rotisserie chicken.  Soup is always good for the soul.

So is folding laundry warm from the dryer.  Cleaning my kitchen. Straightening this, putting away that.  My hands know what to do to keep my heart and my mind occupied.

A fragrant candle burning.  Soft music playing.  The company of my son.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Peking Ducks & The Temple of Heaven!

Do we look like we are starving?

The one thing I can say about this trip to China is that the food was wonderful, plentiful and we were never hungry!

Before going, one of the many things I heard and heard again was that “Chinese food there is different than Chinese food here.”  But the kinds of things that I like meant that it wasn’t that different for me.  It was better!

Here in America the Chinese food most popular to folks seems to be of the breaded and deep fried and coated with sweet and sour sauce category.  Not my favorite here, and definitely not something I saw there.

Loads of vegetables of every variety, noodles, fish, chicken, pork, lamb, beef and seaweed –and don’t forget the rice!  The meals were utterly delicious.

The one thing we didn’t see a lot of were desserts.  Fresh fruit was often an option after a meal, and heavy desserts weren’t needed as bellies were full.  I don’t do a lot of sweets or desserts here at home either, nor do I eat them when going out, so it made no difference to me.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Stitching in the Evening…

A bit of binding happened!

I always look forward to binding time.

My bindings are generally phase 1 & phase 2.  Phase 1 is trimming the quilt, preparing the binding and stitching it on by machine.

I can be pretty speedy at that.  I have lost count of the number of quilts I have bound in my lifetime.  I do it without even thinking anymore, except when it gets down to that one corner where a binding seam just happens to fall just perfectly where you do NOT want it.

Even the trimming, repositioning to locate that seam further up the side of the quilt and away from the corner doesn’t phase me any more.  It’s part of the process.  A slight hiccup.  Get over it, and get on with it.

The part I long for the most?  Feet up in the recliner, quilt in my lap, snuggling in to watch something to relax to in the evenings as I slowly stitch that binding down around the quilt by hand.

Life is too fast as it is.  I love to have handwork handy in my evenings.  It gives me a reason to sit there, couch-bound for just a couple of hours without rush, rush, rush.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Quiltville & The Forbidden City!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and time to unwind before we tackle this next week ahead.

I’m still going through my China photos, so many experiences and memories!

Over the weekend I watched a documentary on the history of the Forbidden City, and seeing it again in that context after having experienced it with my group and guide, I can so much more appreciate the history of this place.  I am fascinated by the culture, many centuries old, and how things are today as well.  If you have a hankering to sit back and enjoy a 60 minute dramatized documentary, you can find it HERE.

The one thing you can’t get over while visiting China is the number of people – everywhere.  I had always heard that the population in China was incredible, but until you are in the midst of it you really don’t realize how little elbow room there is.  And that went right along with trying to take photos with so many heads in the way.

Tourism has also exploded, and the tourists were out in droves as well.  It made for an exciting experience.