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.