Thursday, December 13, 2018

Deliveries, And the 12th of NEVER! (And a Winner!)


See this package?

It was dropped ON THE DOORSTEP last night by the USPS.

See that stamp in the corner?  This is when I was using up the last of my Net-Stamps for first class postage a year ago.

Evidently – Yours Truly, in a mail-order-induced-zombie-state-of-automation, stuck a US stamp on a package needing to arrive in South Africa which evidently wouldn't, couldn't and didn’t get there with first class domestic postage.

Well, DUH!  Hanlie Van Zyl, if you are reading this – do you remember this lost shipment?  We thought her package was gone-forever-never-to-be-found and I sent a second one – and it turns out that this one never left the good ole USA.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mona’s Odd Angles!


Mona doesn’t have odd angles – but her runner does!

This is the valentine runner that Mona quilted a few weeks ago. She had no idea when she was designing this that it was going to require a tiny bit of an adjustment when applying binding since the corners were roughly 60 degree instead of 45 degree.

And since I was teaching HER how to do it, I thought this might be a good way to share a couple of hints with you just in case you want to bind something with odd corners.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Chasing My Tail!


Silly Out and About Lunch Selfie!
Celebrating with Rick and Mona!

And I am wearing the lampshade on my head! LOL!

These are the faces of three very happy friends who met up for a round of antique mall wandering and lunch out to celebrate the closing of the North Carolina cabin ---happily in the hands of new owners who will love it as much as we did.  In fact, I’m wondering if they were up there for the snowpocalypse that befell this corner of North Carolina, Virginia and beyond and how they fared.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 3!


Hello, Monday! How are ya??

There is a whole lot of showing and sharing of completed part 3 units for our on-going Good Fortune Mystery happening all over social media, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

If you follow along with our hashtags #quiltvillemystery and #goodfortune quilt on Instagram, you are going to see a wondrous array of colors and fabrics  -- it gets the juices flowing! 

I can’t say enough about how much I love this time of year and how quilters are running with it!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Snow–And Starting Over.


Snow! We’ve got snow!

A big snow dumping this early in December is not a usual occurrence in North Carolina. Sometimes we get a light dusting in January, or perhaps some freezing rain (that always takes the power out)  in February – but this is a solid several inches, and it is still coming down.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

A Quick There and Back!


Quiltville Inn in December!

How did I end up here?  Well let me tell you, it wasn’t intended! Not exactly.

We finally sold the North Carolina Cabin (1 1/2 years after moving out!) and our closing was yesterday morning in Jefferson, North Carolina.

Mona and I finished up as many book orders as we could and headed out at 3pm on Thursday afternoon – she to her home in Boomer, and me – planning on spending the night at the Virginia cabin, so I would only be a short 30 minute drive from Jefferson for the closing, instead of fighting Friday morning traffic through Winston Salem, and have a 2 hour morning drive on a morning that also needed Part 3 of Good Fortune released, and another 500 copies of String Frenzy as wave 4 entered the Quiltville Store.

No, that would be too much to do in one morning and expect to be in Jefferson by 10am, not to mention that I’d sign for the closing and turn right around and drive another 2 hours home?  There had to be a better way.

Well, the way I ended up was not the way I intended!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Good Fortune, Part 3!


Happy Friday, everyone!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly version.

It’s time for Part 3 of our Good Fortune Mystery.  Doesn’t it seem like the Fridays are coming faster and faster each week?

I took this photo of a HUGE flower basket while in Beijing.  There was a celebration of something that I can’t quite remember but it may have something to do with all of the diplomats from the different areas all meeting in Beijing  - I remember that security was tight and we were told it was a BIG to-do.

This was the day we visited Tiananmen Square.  I shared a bit about it HERE.  And much more about it HERE after returning home.

I had fun re-reading through those posts – I can’t believe it was more than a year ago already!

So what are we up to this week?  How about a bit of half-chevron action?

Thursday, December 06, 2018

A Sneaky Santa Quiltville Delivery!


I’ve got Mona helping me process book orders!

She arrived mid-afternoon to spell Jeff who had his other job to go to – she set right in and got busy with learning the ropes of order pulling, invoice matching, packing and postage sticking while I did the job of signing and printing postage from my end.  We are making a great team –

And that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any opportunities for laughter and a few “Oooopss – this postage label doesn’t match the name on THIS PACKAGE!” moments!

Getting closer toward 5pm, after the post office was closed and there was a bit of daylight left, Mona spied a package just as I was printing the label -

“Hey!” She said – “Isn’t Kernersville, North Carolina close to here?!”  “Yes!” was my answer ---

And I looked at the label.

And right then and there Mona said “We should get in the car, and deliver this order to this lady and surprise her!”

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Ground Hog Day, The Movie–(Book Signing Version!)


I have a small house.

It is overrun by boxes at the moment!

This is a shot from the little front room toward the dining room where “Quiltville Mail Order Central” is happening – oh, my goodness is it ever happening!

And it isn’t just from within these walls.  I’ve got my postal person bringing me more tubs as they pick up more outgoing mail from my doorstep – she is intrigued and amazed that we are doing all of this from wihin a seemingly unremarkable little 1970s bungalow. 

Remember the movie "Ground Hog Day" where the main character wakes up to find he is in the same day again?  Yep!  That's pretty much it over here! LOL!

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Quilt-Cam and a Quilting Cozy Gift-Away!


Big Things are happening today!

I am celebrating with my friend Carol Dean Jones about her re-release of her wonderful Cozy Quilting Series of novels, now published by my own publisher C&T!

I first met Carol Dean Jones when she approached me asking if she could use the background photo from one of my Quiltville Quotes as the cover of her book.

I replied that I took the photo with my phone, and I wasn’t sure if the resolution would be high enough.  She said she could doctor it a bit, and before I knew it, This lovely shredded hexagon quilt became a cover.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 2!


It’s MONDAY!!  Let’s Link- Up!

There is so much sharing going on using our hash tags #quiltvillemystery and #goodfortunequilt!  I have loved flipping through and seeing what you are doing.  I’ve found new folks to follow, I love exploring our quilter’s world and seeing what is going on in your lives – not just with the quilts, but with family, kids, pets, house remodelings and life in general.

You keep me grounded!

Sunday, December 02, 2018

November Quilty Box Winners, Shipping and Sewing!

Just sewing strip sets!

I’ve made a rule for myself.  I don’t care what is left in the queue to get out – by 8pm I am DONE.

Let’s face it, no one is any good after staring at a screen for more than 13 hours.  Mistakes happen, and I’d rather make mistakes of the kind I can pick out with a bit of seam ripper action, not postal problems by signing a book to the wrong person, and mailing it to someone else, or shipping the wrong book or item – oh boy!

So 8pm to bedtime belongs to me!

This Friday night strip sewing turned into this:

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Getting My Fix–at Studio Stitch!


Sometimes you have to leave the mail order, and hit a quilt shop!

Here I am with the staff of Studio Stitch in Greensboro, NC – a short 1/2 hour drive from me, but in a side of town that I rarely wander to because Winston Salem is closer to home.

It took months and months of planning to find a time when Elizabeth (on the far left) was at the shop, and I was in town with free time to head over to pick up something that she had been saving for me for months – read on to see!

It’s been a while since my feet have wandered through a quilt shop door – I’m thinking of the day I had in Nebraska and wandered around with Stacey in her big ole pick up truck.

Did I visit a shop while in Indiana for my last foray of teaching in 2018??  I don’t think so.  (And it’s really bad that I can’t remember…LOL!)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Good Fortune, Part 2!


Good Fortune, Part 2!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly version.

How do you like THESE colors, folks? 

Much of the inspiration for our Good Fortune Mystery happened by looking UP, not down.


Ceiling beams from the courtyard  at the Temple of Heaven.

Remember this post from Beijing?


A feast for the quilter’s eye!

From what I remember, the temples are routinely re-painted so they always look fresh.  Look at the many  many different designs you see here!


This week’s goal – 252 Half Square Triangles!
Units will measure 2 1/2’’ unfinished and finish at 2’’ in the quilt.

There are any number of different ways to do half-square triangles and you are welcome to use whatever method you choose.  I’m going to present just a couple of my favorites!


How about that Millennium Y2K fabric?  Yeeeehaww! (in it goes!)

If you’ve never used my ruler before, there are videos to help you under the videos tab at the top of the blog.  You can watch again and again.

Place a blue 2 1/2’’ strip and a neutral 2 1/2’’ strip with right sides together.  Square off one end as shown.


Making the first cut.

Move the clean cut edge you just trimmed to the far left.  The ruler is marked in “FINISHED UNIT SIZE.” Place the 2’’ finished red line at the top of the strip set, ON the fabric, not above the fabric on the mat. The green triangle will be pointed at you.  Make the first cut as shown.


Pivot the ruler so the green triangle is up.

Make second cut.


Cutting down the strip set.

To build your variety, work from short strip sets without too many repeats of the same thing.  Cut 252 matched pairs ready to sew.


Chain sew pairs through the machine.

Sew a few, press and measure.  They should be 2 1/2’’.  Double check cutting and adjust your seam allowance if need be.  Press seams toward the blue triangles and remove dog ears.




The Simple Folded Corners method using 10’’ squares!


Place a blue and a neutral 10’’ square with right sides together.


Using EITHER ruler -

Place either the Simple Folded Corners Mini  with the edge of the ruler at the edge of the square, or the full sized Simple Folded Corners ruler with the 3 1/2’’ line at the side of the fabric squares.  Cut off upper corner. Save corner.


Cut 2’’ strips all the way up the pair of squares.

(You can do it sideways too!)


You will end up with at least one corner that is a bit too small – that’s okay!


Sew the pairs of bias strips along BOTH long sides of each strip set.

They will be a tube!


Cutting HST’s from the tubes!

Place the 2’’ finished line along the seam line on the tube.  Make a cut, and then pivot the ruler to make a cut from the upper edge.  I find that I need to leave room for “the turn of the cloth” so the 2’’ line is just ABOVE the seam line for me, into the triangle, not into the seam allowance.  It allows the fabric to turn up and over the thread for greater accuracy.


Cutting with the Mini is the same!

Place the 2’’ line just into the triangle above the seam.  The line should touch the top of the seam.


Opening the triangles.

There will be a few stitches into the upper tip of each triangle pair.  These easily lift apart, no seam ripper needed. 


Perfection!  Now remove those dog ears.

I love that I can use the increments to measure and cut strips, squares & rectangles as well as triangles!

If you are a compulsive sliver trimmer – and I know there are some lurking amongst us, and you want to use the Essential Triangle Tool method, but you MUST trim everything to be happy, try this!


Sew your triangle pairs just a hair scant.

And use the Simple Folded Corners ruler to trim before pressing!!

Place the 2’’ finished line just above the seam line (can you see it in the photo?!) and trim two sides  and then press. Only a hair had to come off of this one.  I love how the Essential Triangle tool and the Simple Folded Corners rulers work hand in hand with each other.

Let’s recap:

You are making 252 blue & neutral half-square triangle units.  Units will measure 2 1/2’’ and finish at 2’’ in the quilt.  Press seams toward the blue fabric. REMOVE ALL DOG EARS!!

Our first Mystery Monday Link-Up closed just last night.  Did you check it out and see what was shared? This is so much fun!

We will continue with our second Link-Up being posted on MONDAY.  Something ELSE to look forward to come Monday:


This happened yesterday!

This is what a load of 4,000 copies of String Frenzy looks like!  We pulled into the Yellow Freight Depot with the trailer, were loaded by forklift and brought them all home.  I’m starting to dig into Waves 1 & 2 of pre-orders over this weekend…that means that you should be looking for wave 3 of 500 more copies to hit the Quiltville Store on Monday morning! 

And yes, there are more Simple Folded Corner Mini rulers also arriving – they will go into the store at the same time the 500 copies of String Frenzy do, so those on the West Coast – you are going to need to set your alarms EARLY! Look for these to post between 8am and 9am on Monday. Remember that I am in North Carolina, and have to live life from within my own time zone.

All of my EARLIER titles are also on sale in the Quiltville Store at just $19.99 a copy.  Orders over $75.00 ship FREE within the USA using code FREE75 at purchase.

Deck the halls, Make Merry, Be Happy – and Get Stitching!


Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Isn’t this so true? 

And you know where to find me ---

Signing books and getting them out to you!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Women of Grace & Charm Finished!


2003 – 2018.  About time!

I rediscovered this quilt top while pulling fabrics to help Mona assemble a back while she was here a couple of weeks ago.

Was it only a couple of weeks?  It seems like last month at least!

I so enjoyed the three days that she was here – we quilted up SIX of her projects!  Two large quilts and 4 small projects were then trimmed and made ready for binding so she could do that part at home.

And because I was SO in the mood to continue hearing the hum of the machine, I pulled this one out.

I always knew it would be great for the queen bed at the cabin SOME DAY – but with so many of my own quilts around, and fearing this one needed “Custom” quilting (that I didn’t have the time or desire to do with deadlines toward my own designs looming..) it had sat.  And sat.  And sat.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

November QuiltyBox Gift-Away in a Hurry!

Hurry Hurry!  November is almost over!

I returned home last evening to find my November Quilty Box sitting on the table beckoning me to OPEN, OPEN, OPEN!

And I did!

Oh my goodness!!  It’s got Tula Pink, a fun Clam Up zipper tote pattern, the beautiful zipper included that perfectly matches the fabric in this bundle!

Even the liner fabric is included – and I’m sure this will be enough to make MULTIPLE bags as gifts for family and friends.  Whoowhoooo!

And since November is ticking quickly away – we better get on this!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Last Days of November -


Things have turned incredibly cold!

All of those plans for hikes and vistas turned into “Let’s go to the movies and sit in the dark and eat copious amounts of popcorn followed by sodas bigger than our heads and send our sodium levels soaring to new heights!”

I don’t know about you – but anything below 40-something is just NOT something I enjoy getting out into.  Best tolerated from the inside with some hand quilting in my lap and a fire in the stove.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Mystery Monday Link-Up and a Cyber Monday Sale!


Good Cyber Monday Morning, my friends!

This post comes with a warning – it’s going to be a long one as we’ve got a lot going on today. Grab a cup of your favorite and pull up a seat!

First things first – I have put another 500 PRE-ORDER copies of String Frenzy in the Quiltville Store.  Books are on the truck – they should be delivered this week and I will get in to filling orders in the orders that they were received as quickly as possible.  

Orders from today's 500 will be filled and posted as wave TWO – and it is likely 10 days to 2 weeks before that order filling will happen. 

Please remember you are placing a PRE-ORDER!  Orders are filled in the order that they came in and it could be that there are several hundred orders in front of yours being filled by yours truly.(With some help from some friends and family!)  I will do everything I can to get orders out as quickly as possible.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A String Frenzy Trunk Show!


Happy Last Sunday of November!

I feel like we are doing this String Frenzy Trunk Show thing a little bit inside-out, but it was too much to post along with Friday’s mystery post – and Thanksgiving was in the mix, and let’s face it – the books are still on a truck and haven’t arrived here yet!

So once again I am flying by the seat of my britches and shoveling this in on Sunday, so we can do our first Mystery Monday Link-Up for our Good Fortune Mystery tomorrow!

I’ve loved writing this book.  I’ve loved even more – making the quilts for this book, and I know this isn’t the end of my own love affair with string quilts.  String quilts are just the most fun I have ever had in my quilting life, and there is no stopping this string piecing train.

To get the detail photos for this post, I had to go back to my google photo albums, back to September of 2017 when I was getting the quilts ready to send off to photography for my Quilter's Date Keeper.  This book writing thing takes a LONG TIME!

And so my friend - this is what you are going to find within the pages of String Frenzy.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

And What a Thanksgiving it Was!


Our Turkey Day Crew:
Rick, Mona, son Jeff, Dave, Me and Dad!

And yes – we were out in shirt sleeves – it was 50-something outside and sunny.

Last night as I went to bed there was ice falling from the sky – what a difference a couple of days makes. it has now warned UP to 35.  Oh boy!