Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Quilt-Cam Surprise & More!

Binding happened late yesterday afternoon.

And yes, this is NOT the binding I was thinking of earlier.

When you cut something narrow, and place just what is going to show under the border – step back 6 to 8 feet and look, that gold binding (though it looked good with the aqua border print) just disappeared.

Before Carrie left yesterday, we spent some time digging in my black stash for some alternatives.  I ended up with this black/grey stripe.

Striped bindings are ALWAYS the bomb in my book.  The question was – do I cut it on the diagonal? Or do it straight?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Last Stitches!

I put the last stitches into Jeff’s hexagon quilt top last night.

There wasn’t left to do – just a couple hours of attaching that last border section, and I was done.

I haven’t counted the pieces in this one.  I’m not sure I really want to know at this point.

But when I think of the 6 or more years that went into making this top – all of the changes it has seen in our family, in my own life – in Jeff’s….I marvel at all of those beautiful vintage quilts that also hold a story that no one knows.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Lola, Dresden & Diamond Tiles!

There are times you have to give up on the New Kitty Chaos, and just lock yourself in the basement and load a quilt.

That’s my theory anyway.

My backing together and ready to load (Commemorating the great kitty acquisition of 2018 - click HERE for more.) and wool batting at hand, I stepped away from begging the cats to like me, and down into my familiar surroundings.  Just to hear a machine running.  Just to see lines of beautiful light turquoise thread laid out in a lovely pattern upon this quilt top.

I’m going simple.  I have been trying to use up the last of a big roll of Hobbs wool batting, and I really like wool when it is allowed to poof a bit – the quilting not so close.

I want to see the TEXTURE between the quilted and un-quilted areas, not have the whole thing mashed flat with too much filler stitching.

Wool is also much more comfortable to sleep under when it is not quilted to the consistency of cardboard.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

And the Rest of the Orange Quilt Story!

I shared this lovely Album block quilt in yesterday’s post – on one of the hand-crafted (I have a hard time with the term HAND MADE) bed that Jerry’s great-grandfather made for he and his sister.

That orange caught many an eye, as well as mine!  (My inner cheddar loving child lit up with glee when Lisa and I unpacked these boxes of quilts over 4th of July.)

I have obtained not just these two quilts, but TEN from the collection of Pepper Cory, and I’m excited to have them folded and loved at the end of every bed.  Likely not to be slept under often, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if someone felt like it was a “2-quilt-night” and added that quilt on top of everything else.

I’ll be sharing the other quilts over time.

But this one!  Remember the inscription?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Drop Off’s and Drop In’s!

I spent about 45 minutes at Quiltville Inn yesterday.

I wish I could have spent MORE time, but the truth of the matter was – I had a quick drop off to do of the wonderful hand crafted cherry beds from Jean and Jerry – and then hit the road toward home.

Jason was already on his way up from Columbia, South Carolina with his cats Dresden and Lola meowing up a storm in the background.

I know some folks who travel with their cats all of the time – but my cats have always been home-bodies who didn’t like the car, and could care less what was going on outside in the world around them.

These beds are SO wonderful – and the story that goes with the beds is the icing on the cake.

Made by Jerry’s great-grandfather for he and his sister in the 1950s, I got the story of who has slept in these beds over the decades, and things Jerry remembers from his childhood surrounding this furniture.

I also saw many other pieces that are in use in their home, also made by this great-grandfather.  Just beautiful.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Blue Ridge Over-Night.

You know of that juggler who has all of his pins flying around in motion, yet manages to throw in ONE more thing?

I mean, after all – what’s just ONE more thing?

After I went as far as I could on yesterday’s orders and getting things out the door and made my chiropractor appointment at 11:30 – my overly full van Moby and I continued west to Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and up highway 16 toward Jefferson and the Virginia state line.

 (Heads up folks!  For those waiting for the Triangle Booty Rulers to arrive, I finally got the tracking number yesterday and they should be on my door step TODAY!  There were a flurry of things that delayed this shipment longer than expected.  So sorry!)

And because I wasn’t in a hurry – and because I wasn’t meeting up with anyone at any particular time, I did something I’ve wanted to do since we bought our Virginia place more than a year ago.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Detour to James Madison’s Montpelier!

I took a side trip yesterday I really hadn’t planned on.

I received a call from Pepper Cory to reschedule our quilt reference book drop off for the Quiltville Inn library – it was POURING at the coast and driving was just not safe for her, nor did I want her to make the trip to Durham in that weather.  We’ll do that NEXT Monday instead.

Which meant I could get a bit earlier start on my day – and I headed out to take the back roads home to North Carolina.

Those brown historic site highway signs ALWAYS catch my eye – and when I saw one for Montpelier, home of James and Dolly Madison, I pulled over – put it in my GPS to see how far off it was, and set my direction toward Orange, Virginia.

My inner history nut was doing a happy dance all the way --

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Quilt Top Finish and a Quilty Box Drawing!

Small machine, small desk, big quilt top!

But it’s done!

It’s been fun having a driving trip with my own machine and STUFF with me – and I know that taking ONE DAY as an interim day between the bustle of Hershey, and all that awaits at home was worth it.

Uninterrupted progress time.

There wasn’t much room for layout, and no outside photo ops happened either as the rain kept everything waterlogged --

But here we have it on carpeted floor:

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Sunday Journey South!

We made some VERY sweet memories over the past several days during Quilt Odyssey 2018!

And I am really looking forward to NEXT year’s Quilt Odyssey show – I’ll be teaching again, and I’m hoping that we’ll be working on quilts from String Frenzy and string piecing up a storm.

Speaking of storm – I was in and out of it yesterday on my way from Pennsylvania, down through a corner of Maryland and into Virginia where I was stopping for a visit with Jean and Jerry and loading up the van with the bedroom set that Jerry’s grandfather made for him and his sister back in the 1950s.

There was only one small problem…..

That small problem being that the VAN was too small to hold it all!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Whirlwind of Wanderlust!

I’m saying good bye to all of these wonderful ladies and headed south today – braving the I-95 corridor on my way to Burke and Manassas, Virginia!

The past 4 days have flown by so quickly – it always does.  And yet we always remark about the fact that it does so.

Three whirlwind classes on 3 separate days, full to capacity with machines running, fabric flying, lines of threads joining pieces, and joining memories as well!

I really have had the best time and I’m looking forward to being back next year.

If you missed this year, and you are within traveling distance of Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, Pennsylvania – I’ll also be teaching this same Wanderlust workshop the last weekend of August.  Click my Calendar of Events tab the top of the blog and scroll to the August section, and click the August 30th & 31st dates for information – the link to contact the shop for more info is there.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A Garden Party of Scrappy Fun!

And the youngest most productive student award goes to………


When it comes to sewing – we’ve gotta “hook ‘em young!”

And just the smile on this sweet face should tell you that not only does she want to be a quilter when she “grows up….” but she already is one, having made a quilt for her baby cousin when he was born.

Gabby is headed into the big world of third grade in just a few weeks, and we were so happy to have her in class supervising her mama!

She also took on such chores as pressing, and overseeing the “purple cutting thing!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Busy as a Moth in a Window!

We started off yesterday morning with a bang and a flurry of activity!

Students were anxiously waiting for doors to open outside of my classroom --- 8am, and we were ready for all of the rolling in and setting up of machines, unpacking of project boxes, ready to set needle to fabric and SEW!

It’s always fun to meet up again with folks that I haven’t seen in a while – perhaps we have met somewhere else before and reunions were many.

I let the students get all of their stuff in gear while the show helpers and I ran my trunk show and book signing stuff up to the luncheon location to set up for my noon-time lecture to come.

And back to class I went – heart pounding, ,ready to get this day off to a great start.  And we did!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

All the Way to Hershey!

I headed out yesterday morning – a van full of boxes and quilts – ready for a road trip up from North Carolina, up through Virginia, across a tiny corner of West Virginia and barely part of Maryland – and finally – Pennsylvania!

It’s a drive I know well – but it’s been a few years sine I’ve taught in Hershey and I was looking forward to reconnecting with those I haven’t seen in a few years.

And – of course, I had further motives – I-81 takes me right past Verona, and my favorite antique mall of all time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 2018 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

It’s a heading off to Hershey, Pennsylvania day!

Quilt Odyssey awaits – and I firmly believe that Quilting and Chocolate go together, so I am ready for lamp posts shaped like Hershey Kisses, and shampoo, soap, conditioner and lotion with a chocolate-y aroma as well!  BRING IT!

And as always – a day that I leave town is the perfect day to throw a fun Gift-Away up on the blog.

Quilty Box has done a great job of providing a VARIETY of projects that will get even the most “set in their ways” quilter a push to expand their horizons with something new, and this month’s box curated by none other than Yoko Saito of Japan is no exception!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What a Wowzer of a Monday!

This is your one quilty photo of what has been going on here – both behind the scenes and in front of them!

I’m packing up for my big trip to Hershey, and I also used my Sunday home to prepare for what is going on in AUGUST in Pennsylvania as well!

There is a Surprise class on the horizon, and handouts needed to be written.

I’m excited about this one – so excited that I have a surprise for those who are unable to attend this class as well – just wait – it’s coming!

As I unpack the rest of my gear from last week’s Michigan adventure – washing the clothes and basically putting them back in my suitcase with a few other additional items (Three workshop days plus a lecture in Hershey!) I came across some of the fun items from this trip:

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fine Finishes From The Mitten!

It was another crazy travel day on Saturday – the kind that you just shake your head, and go with the flow because everything is out of your control.

And if there is nothing you can do about it, just look at it as another “sit and stitch” activity.

And I did!

The binding was sewn down, the hanging sleeve sewn down, the label – sewn down.

I think I like this finishing of small projects thing – It felt like I was sewing with the wind as I turned corner after corner in rapid succession, because those sides were not so long.

And the project fit in my lap, didn’t drape on the floor.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Out and About: How Now, Brown Trout!


As Jean and I walked around the Brown Trout Festival area, I noticed this tailgating party of “Good Ol’ Boys” And had to get a photo of their team shirts.

Uff Da Fishing Team!  Oh, my – you are NOT in North Carolina Anymore!

My inner Minnesotan was smiling.

I was thinking of “Grumpy Old Men” movies and throwing myself right in to small town festival life.

How fun this was to feel a PART of things while I was in Alpena, Michigan.

Uff Da, indeed!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Wonky Wishes & The Brown Trout Festival!

While we were fishing for JUST the right scraps to go together in our Wonky Wishes blocks, there is another kind of fishing going down in Alpena, Michigan – and this is SERIOUS stuff, folks!

From what I understand, the Brown Trout Festival is in its 44th year, and I got to wear the commemorative tee shirt!  Thanks, Jean!

Gosh, I love this – small town festivals and all that goes with it from music and dancing under the big tent, to people watching, the anticipation of the fishing that starts TODAY -

While all of this is going on in town around us, there was NOTHING  fishy about our quilty fun held in the big meeting room at the Holiday Inn Express in Alpena.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Where in the Mitten?

My early morning flight to Detroit -

The sky was just a mix of magic and clouds.

There is something special about greeting the day just before dawn, and watching the sky reveal itself to the day.

And I was excited – going somewhere I’d never been before, to a town I’d never heard of and really wasn’t sure of its exact location.

I’ve been many places in Michigan before, but in a state that is a peninsula, with water  all around,  it’s easy to get a bit confused.

So I asked my friend Tim – just where IS Alpena.

Asking a Michigander where something is, always resorts in a flurry of hand signals.  Up comes the hand, and the other hand points to where on the hand this place is.

I’ve never seen any other state do it.  Maybe someday I’ll have the Michigan hand-jive down too!

Tim said “It’s close to the tip of the index finger!”

And I found this photo:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Last Minute Road Trippin’!

Facebook marketplace is proving to be dangerous – in a very good way!

It’s even easier than Craigslist, less dodgy, and allows you to peek at the profile of the person whose items are up for sale.

And it’s right at my fingertips.

TWIN BEDS has been my search item for the past few months, and on Monday, I found an ad that I’d been hoping to find -

Not just one, but TWO vintage white metal beds – HOORAY for room number FIVE!

The only problem?  They were in Lenoir, NC – which is not far from Wilkesboro, NC, but quite a haul from where I am in Wallburg.

Still.  What was the chance that I was going to find two beds in one location, just what I needed at an absolutely fabulous price?

I started up a conversation with the seller, and a plan was hatched.

I would meet with her realtor at the home of her parent's empty-and-up-for-sale house at 6pm last night after my last 4pm post office run.

What I didn't count on was that it would rain and storm from the time I hit Wilkesboro!

Of COURSE it would rain.  That's just the way things are.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Some Days Are For Pinning!

There is a reason I usually choose to use cornerstones with sashing in a quilt. 

The cornerstones are a way to keep everything aligned from row to row – a check point of where things need to meet, nest, and match up keeping the rows above and the rows below in line with each other.

But with some designs – as in the attic window setting I’m using for my Diamond Tile blocks – sashing without cornerstones must happen.

And for the effect to be right – intersections need to be just right.

This is my little trick for making sure that the process is mostly painless, if not exactly pin-less.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

When All Goes Awry, SEW!

Sometimes you just gotta say “It is what it is!” and let it be what it is.

Such was the case yesterday – because things happen.

When the Quilter’s Date Keepers and Quilty Pencil Sets were arriving, I  took inventory of what I had in the shipping supplies department, and quickly placed a reorder for my usual Amazon Prime bubble mailers.  They are usually here in two days, the shipping is free with prime, and we’d be good to go – they would arrive after our 4th of July holiday.

Only problem was – ONE out of the 8 cases arrived, and following tracking numbers showed that the other 7 got waylaid along their route somehow, and did not arrive yesterday.

It was one of those days where I was also racing the clock – would the remaining cases arrive by the time I ran out of the ones I already had on hand?

Monday, July 09, 2018

A Bit of This, Some of That, and a Lot of the Other!

This is a bed with a story.

It has lived many places during my lifetime, and many more before that.

It belonged, as half of a pair, to my Grannie’s parents – their bedroom set back when folks slept separately in twin beds.

I’ve often wondered about this scenario, pre-Victorian times and forward to the Dick Van Dyke show reruns we watched as kids.

Why were people in TV shows in 2 beds?  I think it was all the way until the Brady Bunch came round before I realized that Carol and what's-his-name (*edited to add: MIKE! it was MIKE! It just came to me) were in the same bed together.  Scandalous, just scandalous!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

A “Small Quilt” Quick Fix!

Let’s face it – after spending 10 hours at the dining room table, it is time to say “Enough is enough for today!” and do something else.

If for nothing more than to get my eyes off of the computer screen and give them a break.  And standing while doing it is even better after sitting all day.

My rule is “Done By Dinner.”  As far as order fulfillment goes, though I will admit to working past 10pm on Friday just to play catch up.  We are getting there!

Last evening however – this begged to be loaded into the machine.

And that was all I was intending to do – just load it.

Yeah right.

Just run one row of quilting stitches across the top to see how I like it.

And then…

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Yesterday–At Quiltville Inn!

This little beauty arrived home from Quiltmaker Magazine just in time for 4th of July - -

But I didn’t get it photographed until YESTERDAY with all that was going on over the holiday.

And now that I look at it, I think I’ve got it over the rail side ways – those neutral squares are supposed to go up and down top to bottom. But, oh well!

This is Right Way Round, and will be featured in a quickly up-coming issue so stay tuned!

Remember those WRONG WAY blocks I made that ended up in my nephew Henry Joseph’s quilt? (can it really be a year ago I gifted that quilt to my sister in law, Anna?)

Friday, July 06, 2018

Of Patchwork and Rivers….

There was much of this happening yesterday. 

A full uninterrupted day of sewing in the cabin studio – making progress.

Isn’t it amazing how having a friend also sewing along can keep you on task?  You think it would be the other way around, but Lisa and I were pedal to the metal, and she finished several projects while I putzed around on this one.

Okay – my pieces are smaller – and I’m making a big quilt.

Or am I?

After I went as far as I could go with these (I need to choose the last sashing from home stash) I had 4 blocks left over that just didn’t go with the others.

I would love to have a “small quilt” wall going up the stairs at Quiltville Inn – for color and charm, certainly – but also as a way to keep people’s suitcases from banging and marking the walls as they haul them upstairs. (That’s right – no bell hop here!)  What better way to pad the walls than with hanging quilts?

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A Blue Ridge Mountain 4th -

Is there anything more welcoming to a quilter than an old barn with a quilt block on it?

It’s as if even the barns and old buildings recognize who we are, and what we love – Not just in the now, but standing as a testament to quilters past, present AND future.

There is peace in the patchwork.  There is love in every stitch.

Lisa and I passed this barn on our round about motor tour of the area, having just left Quiltville Inn where we were helping with the assembly of many work space tables – attaching mirrors to antique dressers (A definite two-person job.) and the un-boxing of dining room chairs so their assembly can begin.

As each room receives a piece of furniture – pieces of a puzzle of how this is really going to work fall into place.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Quilting Over the Fourth!

My Leader & Ender  project has been growing on the side while working on other projects (Soon to be seen, read on!)

The large triangles in my Jewel Box Stars blocks are from the scraps of Tie One On fabric by Banyan Batiks that Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios sent in the mail!

Check out the grumpy cats (upside down!) as neutral to the batik print.  SO MUCH FUN.  That was also a gifted piece while in Mississippi.

I spy an Alabama ROLL TIDE in that same block in the upper four-patch.  Keep going up to the top block and you’ll spy a four-patch square of millennium as a neutral.  (Will this stuff ever be used up!?)  And there is also a Sloth fabric – far bottom right corner, given to me by my friend Jamie after my visit to Napa, California this past April.

I love the memories being sewn in with every patch!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Fun in the Mail!

I guess you could say I’m “Tying One On!”  In a batik way, of course!

My friend Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios has a new fabric line out, Tie One On by Banyan Batiks and he asked me if I wanted to play with some scraps.

Catch Scott’s story behind his fabric line on his website HERE.

Did he even NEED to ask?!  What a silly question!

The small squishy envelope arrived yesterday – as I was handing off tubs and tubs of outgoing Quilter’s Date Keeper and Quilty Pencil Set packages to my postal person, she handed me this envelope and I ran inside with much anticipation.

I LOVE batik fabrics – since returning from Bali a few years back after learning the painstaking artistry that goes into each and every one of a kind piece, I’ll never look at a batik without examining the pattern, and going through the process in my head – for instance:

Monday, July 02, 2018

2018 Leader & Ender Challenge: Jewel Box Stars!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF!

Did you think I forgot?

No, No No!  NEVER!  But with the arrival of the Quiltville Quilter’s Date Keepers and Quilty Pencils, and the fact that I had a planned trip to Raleigh yesterday, not to mention that what is on my design wall at the Cabin is at the CABIN, and I didn’t have photos of it on my phone (Horrors!) I needed to shift the release of this fun fun project a day or so.

Or in other words…June was short-sheeted and July crept up on me while I was busy!

Guess what we are making this go-round as our Leader & Ender project?

Sunday, July 01, 2018

A Lovely Vintage Gift!

I met up with Virginia yesterday, pulling into the Costco parking lot – and she must have seen me pull in as she pulled up right next to me.

Right on time, right where I told her I’d meet her!

She had brought a special gift destined for Quiltville Inn, and I am just thrilled to bits to have it.

When she said “thread cabinet” in her email description I was having a hard time figuring just what this was in my mind as there was no photo attached to her email.

Being a girl who loves mystery and intrigue –I was giddy when she pulled this out of her car, set it in her open hatch-back so that we could examine things.

OH!!  This is hand made!  And it belonged to her great aunt Josephine!

Check this out: