Friday, September 29, 2017

Hike a Little, Sew a Lot!

More end of summer loveliness from the North Carolina/Virginia border.

Isn’t this setting just idyllic?

I hope there has been a tire swing hung from a big tree somewhere in the back of your childhood memories begging to come to the surface.

And of course, the color and geometry of that beautiful barn block just takes my breath away.

Evening was falling.  It was past 6pm.  As much as I love fall, I don’t enjoy the early falling of darkness, and we were hurrying back to the cabin.  Dinner still needed to be taken care of.

Where had we been?


On a long hike in the woods with Sadie!


Autumn in the trees.

We are lucky here in this corner of the southeast to have state parks on the North Carolina side and on the Virginia side, not too far apart from each other.  We headed down to New River State Park in near by Laurel Springs NC to discover the hiking trails and stretch our legs.


Well worn paths make this a great spot for walking!


Our ultimate goal – make it down to the river.


Sadie, getting a drink!

There was NO ONE around. The place was deserted after 5pm, and it was a beautiful evening.



The only bad thing about hiking down the river?  You’ve got to hike back UP to where you parked the car.  There were 11,000 steps on my Garmin by the time we reached home!


This was my project this trip.

I needed a temporary design wall set up at the cabin for all of these small Sugar Bowl blocks that I am making. This is what I did at the North Carolina cabin when I didn’t want to deal with foam core and flannel.  Flannel backed tablecloths are great, and they fit my budget.


Installation in progress!

I used push-pins pushed into the cracks BETWEEN the pine planks to secure the tablecloths to my wall. When your walls are not drywall, but wood, you think twice about putting big permanent holes into anything. It’s not fancy, but it is doing a GREAT job!


Block parts kitted up and waiting.
(Love my never-been-cooked-on cookie sheets for corralling things!)


Stitching away to Finnian's Rainbow! (1968)

I don’t know if you can see it on top of the treadle in the background, but we set up my ANCIENT laptop there – the one I saved because it has a CD rom IN it. Add an HDMI cable, and I am now playing the DVDs from my laptop to the TV and not having to stream anything. It’s a wonderful way to revisit the hundred or so movies that my mom and stepdad have sent me for Christmas over the past many years.  I love old movies!

I followed this up in the late afternoon with “Who’s Watching the Mint?” Another funny comedy from 1967.  These old flicks just can’t be beat.

We started to watch a “modern day” comedian the other night, and the jokes were SO crass that I just did not find them funny at all.  I don’t care how popular the guy is, it would be JUST as funny or more appealing if he just cleaned it up a bit.  I must b e showing my age. Back to the old movies!


Leader & Ender Checkerboard Rails in progress in between!

I decided to just tackle the 4-patches for a while, and I am working from short strips to build my variety as I go.  When I have enough of THESE sewn as Leaders & Enders, I have paired them up and subcut, having the pairs already right sides together and ready for machine sewing:


Sitting next to the machine to keep my piecing continuous!


While THESE were going up on the new design wall -


This basket is filling!

I know there are more than 100 in this basket.  I need to do some math to figure out how many I need –and when I’ve reached that number, I’ll start cutting the rail sections and use THEM as Leaders & Enders.  This is how I divide & conquer.

From the trail cam:


We spied a Coyote!

It was the first one we’ve ever caught on trail cam, so this was kind of fun.  We’ve never heard them making any sort of coyote sounds – so are there more out there we don’t know about, or is this a lone one?


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Try this experiment. Where will it lead?

Have a wonderful Friday, Everyone!


  1. How blest you are with the places you can enjoy God's glory. Thank you for sharing with us so we can see sights we could not normally see. I spent the day yesterday making a Kansas Troubles Barn Raising Lap Quilt - a Christmas present for my sister. I ask my LAQ if she had a Baptist Fan pattern. She is ordering one to use for this quilt. I jokingly told her that I could do it by hand but my sister is 81 and I am 67 in poor health so one of us might not make it for it to get done by hand. LOL My next one is going to be for my brother who is 83. These will be for Christmas presents. I hope they love them.

  2. My design wall is a flannel backed tablecloth, too. Though it is not new; it was one that got too shabby for the table (grandchildren and cats are hard on them). I need a new one one the table now, but our cat is always grabbing it and has ripped the corners, so I hate to put on a new one for her to wreck. The cat has pulled the design wall down a few times, too.

  3. Love the pictures! Don't like the coyote! Watch Sadie when she is outside. Enjoy the changing of leaves and colors of Fall.

  4. I love my big cookie sheet, too. And I have two cafeteria trays and I have several smaller trays that I robbed from the kitchen. I also have more than one project going on and sometimes one project requires more than one tray of block parts. I love having non-quilting things in my quilting room!

  5. What a beautiful place to hike, the river and trees all so beautiful. Living on a small island it’s lovely to see the wonderful pics you share in your blog.
    I love your thrifty idea for your design wall I will need to make one that folds up like a room divider as we don’t have any empty walls and I sew at my dining room table. I love your sugar bowl blocks and will definitely have a go in the future.
    Enjoy your weekend at your cabin.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne, from Guernsey CI

  6. Beautiful scenery! So glad you were able to enjoy it all alone! Hope you bring your bear spray everywhere like we in the desert Southwest bring our water and sunglasses!!!

  7. I love fall and your hike photos! I couldn't agree with you more about the comedians today. It is unfortunate and very disgusting in my opinion. A little over a year ago, we heard one at a meeting as the so called entertainment and he was the worst I have EVER heard. It was horrible; so much so that I wrote a letter to the editor in our local newspaper. I can handle some "off colors" jokes but not filth. Also, love your thought for the day.........so true! Happy sewing,

  8. I couldn't agree with you more about how bad movies/TV have gotten! If you haven't watched it, there is a Canadian TV show called "Heartland" that is a joy to watch. I wish there were more shows like that, but they are few and far between. Thanks for blogging. I know it is frustrating for you sometimes, but I so appreciate your generosity with patterns and "life lessons."

  9. I have several tablecloths like that that I rotate with the seasons. Some are a little faded so I am going to go through them a pick out at least one to hang....I only have wall space for one, but it will be better than the floor (my kitties like to "help" when my blocks/quilt tops are on the floor).

    We live in NW AZ and coyotes are quite common here. One morning not long ago while we were having our morning coffee on the back patio, a coyote came right through our yard. He was just strolling along. I think he was looking for rabbits because we have a ton of them. They all took off and hid in the cactus's. We are very open range where we live (about 20 miles from town) so we hear them often. Gives me the creeps!

  10. Gorgeous place for a jaunt--love that time of evening.
    Loving the Sugar Bowl blocks--clever design wall solution.
    Got to agree with you about most comedian's today. Much rather watch an old movie. But mine are really old--like the 30s and 40s (don't tell my Mom I said that). :)

  11. My wonderful husband built me a swing for my birthday.You can come swing anytime!Love your lil' fox visiting ,mine likes to come by around 4-5 am.Nice temp. design wall...Have a fabulous day/night!No need to answer...Thank you for that new sugar bowl...so sweet.Gonna start it after these 2 quilts are done.Trying to have 1 hand project,1 on my mid arm and one in progress.(opps plus the leaders and enders that's a bonus!)
    Always Sewing,

  12. Beautiful scenery! So glad you were able to enjoy it all alone! Hope you bring your bear spray everywhere like we in the desert Southwest bring our water and sunglasses!!!


  13. Bonnie, I can't tell you how much joy you bring me everyday with your blog. It is the first thing I wake up to every morning. You almost always give me something positive to think of each day and something beautiful to look at. I feel so blessed to have been in one of your classes in Sioux City, Iowa. Your strength, tenacity, and undying love of humanity is a re-enforcement of my own upbringing. Thank you for all you accomplish every day that inspires us all to work harder and do more. You're simply amazing! Pam

  14. Beautiful scenery! So glad you were able to enjoy it all alone


  15. I'm always happy to see that you take time out for nature. You have such a demanding life - you need to breath regularly. Good for you!


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