Friday, August 31, 2018

Pinwheel Fancy All Day Long!

Meet Alicia!

She came to our Pinwheel Fancy workshop – class number 5 in our Summer Series hosted by Mary’s Quilt Shop owned by Mary Koval in Bedford, Pennsylvania!

This workshop day is a birthday present from daughter Marie, and I was so happy to spend the day with them both.

It’s been a week of mother/daughter teams and it does my heart so good to see the quilt love being shared between generations.

There have also been sister teams, and what a force we are when we gather together.

So glad you could come join us and share your birthday with us, Alicia!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Midweek Weekend, Day Two!

I love finding subject matter for photos as much as I love early morning walks and sunrises over a lake.

Isn’t this an interesting one?  “still life” of canoes upside down, misty water reflections of trees in the distance.

I really would have loved to have been a photographer had I done anything else with my life.  I love to capture moments that make people stop and search the photo for more than what is obvious to the eye.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Middle of the Week Weekend!

My weekend fell on Tuesday/Wednesday this week, which is just perfect – leaving class days on either side of two consecutive weekends as convenience for traveling quilters!

This also left me two days in the middle to learn all I can from Mary and her staff on how she runs her retreat center above her quilt shop.  That’s right.  Mary’s Quilt Shop has a retreat center above the store!

She can host up to 16 quilters, so I was curious as to things like – What kind of washing machines do all of the linens and towels.  How many sheet sets per load?  What kind of soap?  (Yes, it’s a very entertaining load of information I am gathering!)

Her retreat has 6 bedrooms with 3 bedrooms having 2 beds, 2 bedrooms with 3 beds, and 1 extra large loft bedroom with 4 beds.  4 1/2 baths!  Whew!

How many crock pots? How many coffee makers, tea pots, spatulas does a retreat that hosts 16 people require? 

I am on a fact finding mission, and you know what I discovered?  All situations are different, and it is basically learn as you go.

And it is also easiest if sheets are washed/dried and put right back on the beds avoiding a lot of folding.  That’s a win for me – I really hate folding fitted sheets.


Spa day at Bedford Springs!

This is something that happens every time I come to teach here.  We take an off day and make massage appointments and come stay at the spa at Bedford Springs resort.  I love historic hotels, and this one is right up there with the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.  Check out the history HERE.


Can you feel yourself relax immediately?


Upstairs ballroom….can you imagine a wedding here?


Looking out at the garden from the relaxation room.

(The window needs washing, but I'm too relaxed to care!)


I could stay here all day!

(But 5 hours was just right.)


Relaxing in the gardens after massages.

The flowers are so glorious in August!


Fountains burble as we rest in lounge chairs – sipping tea or water, snacking on berries and fruit/nut mix – soft music wafting from the inside of the relaxation room.

I love to watch the bees flit from flower to flower – they don’t bother me as long as I don’t bother them.  We can share this last bit of summer here.


The Bedford Baths!

The waters at Bedford Springs are historically known to be good for health.  Whether true or not, I know that the large jacuzzi and invigorating showers and steam room ARE! 

And no worries, girls – the ladie’s bath is separate from the men’s side of the spa – no boys allowed.  And yes, bathing suits are required.  We had some fun conversations with other spa visitors while soaking away our stresses in the Bedford bath before stepping into the “cool plunge” at the far back corner to cool off…you enter the relaxation area through a door from the bath area. 

I love this part just as much if not more than the massage part.  You can stay here all day.

You can relax from opening time to closing time - a day in robe and slippers.  

Can you feel the stress leaving?

Believe me, it works!


Clematis from the pool area.

We had lunch by the pool outside, came back in, took one more jacuzzi soak, showered, shampooed, dressed and headed back to town to run some other errands that needed to happen before we start round two of classes tomorrow. 

I think it is fair to say that we were noddle-y the rest of the day!

And now for the Quilty Box drawing you’ve all been waiting for – our entries closed last night.  I’m drawing our winners this morning.  TWO winners from 4449 entries for our August Quilty Box Gift-Away.

Wonderful grouping of fabrics and notions!


Sue Smith!

I’ve drawn your name as winner for the full-size Quilty Box!  This box will be coming your way!

And our Quilty Box Mini is going to:


Shannon Miller!

Congrats, ladies!  I’ve sent you both emails.  Reply with your mailing addresses and I’ll have the Quilty Box folks get your goodies on their way to you.

My thanks to Quilty Box for continuing to supply these great prizes for my readers. Our September gift-away is right around the corner so be watching for it.

TODAY:  I’m having a sew day.  I’ve got that machine.  I’ve got a project.  I just need to be putting pieces through.  I hope you get some time to do the same.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

After feeling for months that my life is out of control, I realize that I am just where I am supposed to be right where I am right now.

Messy or not!

Have a wild & wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Idaho Square Dance, Pennsylvania Style!


Yesterday we filled our time with the two blocks from Idaho Square Dance from the Addicted to Scraps book OH the fun fun fun!

I love this photo from the end of our class room day.  You can see the blur of busy hands laying down blocks, turning them to make the design.

It took a village!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Irish Courthouse–A Surprise Workshop Day!

It’s been coming – for a long time!

A “Surprise” workshop during this week’s Summer Series hosted by Mary Koval and Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, PA.

Students came prepared with fabric for block kits cut, not knowing what they would be making.  BRAVE SOULS!

Do you remember me working on these blocks during the winter & spring months?

Did you wonder why I stopped posting about them?  Bait & switch, baby, bait and switch!

These blocks are easy and fun, and made for a great workshop day with all of the demos and how-to’s happening in the morning, and the afternoon hours were free sew with everyone working at their own pace.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Another Round of Jared!

Is it possible to have too much fun during a class day?

I certainly hope not because this day was full of wonderful folks – both those I knew, and had yet to meet and this is the way our circle of life increases!

The story goes that a group from Utah met some other gals who had been here last year, and they decided to join in on the fun.

Not only that – but could you even guess that I am standing here with two mother/daughter teams?

I LOVE THIS!  Mothers and daughters as friends sewing together!

Thank you ladies for coming all the way to Pennsylvania, dealing with jet lag and strange surroundings and coming to spend a few days playing in the scraps.  I hope you enjoy our cooler temps, and the green green of summer in these parts!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Tropical Twisting Away in Bedford PA!

There is nothing that will lift a body up more than quilty friends who come from near and far to greet you with hugs and smiles and fun tee shirts!

The Kansas Contingency put a lot of planning into having their shirts made, wearing them proudly to let everyone know in our busy class of 53 quilters just who they were, where they were from, and WHY they were here!

Evidently I’ve displaced the wizard in lieu of scrap sewing!  Works for me!  (That wizard always kind of creeped me out, anyway!)

No girls, you are NOT in Kansas anymore – it’s the land of Pennsylvania and our Summer Workshop Series hosted by Mary Koval and Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Esther Matthews & the Virginia Quilt Museum!

There were no antique mall stops yesterday.

Not a one.

There was an exhibit I’d been longing to see at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, Virginia – and every time I’d been up or down I-81 the timing just wasn’t right.

But yesterday was the day.

The only stops I made were for gas and lunch, and I pulled into Harrisonburg about 3pm with plenty of time to spare.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

August Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Yes – I’m hitting the road again!

I’m on my way to Bedford Pennsylvania where I’ll be teaching a round of 6 workshops in conjunction with Mary’s Quilt Shop, owned by Mary Koval!

This has become a nearly annual event (We missed one year due to no room in the schedule) and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again.

Bedford is just shy of 400 miles from my house – an easy drive to arrive by dinner time.

And before we get into the Quilty Box details, I want to remind you that ALL digital patterns in the Quiltville Store are STILL 50% off through Labor Day using code AUG2018 at purchase.  Code must be used at time of purchase, no refunds if you forget, okay?

ALSO!  Thanks to your participation I have moved past the nomination phase into the voting phase of National Quilter’s Circle blogger awards as a finalist for “Best Quilting Patterns Blog” and “Best Overall Quilting Blog”. 

You can lend me a hand by voting for me and also sharing the voting page to your friends and social media HERE.  Thank you so much!

Now on to the good stuff:

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Leaving Phoenix

I’ve been thinking since yesterday morning how I was going to write this post.

Flipping through the random photos I’ve taken by phone, and deciding that each photo has it’s own story, and that if I just let the photos do the talking for me, to give me the prompt, the words will come.

This leaving is the hardest leaving I’ve ever had to do in my life to date.

We are trying so hard to concentrate on the joys, the positives, the wondrous, the silly, the good times.

“When life gets tough, and you feel like you have reached the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on…”

And we’ve found that if we tie our ropes together, we can also help each other hold on, and catch those that seem to be slipping due to grief and sadness, and help hold on for them.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

When Body Clocks and Thoughts Collide -


Basting in the wee small hours....dang jet lag. I fell asleep just past 7 PM, have been awake since 2- something.

Doing my best to keep quiet while family sleeps around me, I'm set up in the living room at the front of the house with barely any light while a movie on Netflix and my Bluetooth earbuds keep me company. 

Even with bad light I can baste so I am amassing quite a stock pile for joining later.

Words are also hard to find while staying with my brother and his family through the starting of his in home hospice care.

And then when I start to write, like the proverbial flood gates opening, I can't seem to stop the words.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Where to Begin to Start ---

This was the view from my 6th floor suite window in the Canary Warf/ India Quay region of London – just shortly after my 2:45am wake up call jolted me out of peaceful deep slumber and started me moving.

The London skyline in the wee small hours – sleep on, London people, sleep on! 

But as for US, we had a bus to catch within the hour, and it was time to get a move on.

The Marriott was awesome – brown bag breakfasts were handed out, and consumed – some in the lobby, some on the bus, some remnants snuck into backpacks and travel bags for long hours of airport waiting.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Quiltmaker Sept/Winner–Last Hours of London!

As I type this, 186 photos from today are backing up to my google photos!

I'm enjoying the last of the gorgeous view from my suite on the 6 floor as I pack my bags -

Our wake up call comes at 2:45 am - a mere 5 hours from now, so I'm headed for some shut eye.

But before I do – I wanted to take a moment and draw for our winner of the Quiltmaker Bundle I put up for giveaway when we left on this adventure. 

 We had 3605 entries – and I’m going to draw ONE WINNER!

From Bath to London!

One more Hexie Star as we drive down the English Countryside, across the Salisbury plain on our way from Bath, past Stonehenge, and on to London!

Even our guide, Agnes mentioned that she is finding herself readdicted after our hexie workshop in the bar at our hotel the other evening!

One hexie at a time – we’ll convert them all!

There have been several pairs of busy hands on our bus as we make our way from place to place.  Some knitting, some crocheting, some applique or embroidery – wool applique is another great carry-along project.

You just never know when the opportunity to be one with needle and thread will arise!

But all needles down as we approached closer to Stonehenge:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

An Evening in South Stoke

How about a little jaunt into the country, not far from the city center of Bath?

My friend Julia lives in this area, and she had contacted me about getting me out and away, perhaps for a meal –and we did!

This lovely old mansion house you see here has been many things in its day, and the story is fascinating.  The Packhorse store can be found HERE and is worth a read!

Who wouldn’t want a lovely meal on a golden evening in a place built in the 1600s?

Before we headed in to dinner, Julia took Irene and I on a nice little hike to get some beautiful long range views of the area.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water!

Yesterday was our drive through the Cotswolds, past farmhouses and fields – stopping in Bourton-on-the-Water (Oh, how I love the names of these places!) for some exploring and lunch on our way to Bath from Stratford-upon-Avon.

Charming, charming, charming!

As this is my second time here, I was happy to explore corners I didn’t see last time, and also watch those who are with me see it for their first time – so fun to see.

When you spend 10 days in close proximity with a group of people (especially quilters!) you do get to know them!  And each person brings something wonderful to the group adding to the dynamic.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Day in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Tudor buildings, old roads, canals, the land of William Shakespeare!

We arrived yesterday morning, a short bus jaunt from Solihull near Birminghum to enjoy our “stepping back in time” day.

SO many things to choose from -

Some went to the butterfly farm, others to ride the narrow boat tour, and some just wanting to walk through the park, enjoying the swans along the river Avon, taking in the sights and sounds of a Saturday with sunshine.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Festival of Quilts, Day 2!

I had one destination – a MUST DO, MUST SEE quilt that has taken the historic quilt loving world by storm -

The 1718 coverlet!

Disclaimer disclaimer – my photos can never do this quilt justice.

In order to prevent strain on the fragile fibers (THERE IS NO HANGING SLEEVE, FOLKS! – This is 300 years old!) the quilt was displayed flat with protective plastic on top to keep it from air, and curious fingers.

You can read more about the 1718 coverlet in the book of the same name by Susan Briscoe HERE.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Festival of Quilts–Friends, Fabric and Fun!

This is a section of the array of 1716 Silk Coverlet interpretations.

Each one so unique – I could spend hours here just looking at the block variations and subtle changes that makes each quilt as individual as its maker - A bit different than its neighbor.

And the truth is, I only had 4 hours at the festival yesterday and my quilt viewing time was cut short – but no worries – today I am back for the whole duration and will catch it all!

Irene had never been to the festival before, or to England for that matter, so seeing things through her eyes is really fun.

We hit the vendor’s mall hard and heavy, each looking for things that NEEDED to come home -

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Day One in Birmingham!

Our international flight landed in Dublin, Ireland at 4:50am.

That didn’t feel so bad as it was just reaching midnight at home – but when you’ve been up since 4am, things can be a bit wobbly.

I’m not much of a plane sleeper.  Being a tall girl, there is just no comfortable place to rest my knees or stretch them out.

So it’s movie time --

And I have a confession – because folks around me were trying to sleep, and the overhead lights on this plane were so FAR overheard and made such a bright light, I didn’t want to disturb my friends around me.  This flight was EPP-FREE!

A quick run to our next gate, and we were boarding for Birmingham -

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Quiltmaker September/October Gift-Away!


Hello, everyone!

This post is being written ahead during our layover at JFK before departing for Dublin!

Quiltvillians are arriving one by one, two by two and pretty soon we will be boarding so I am tapping furiously to get this out here to you!

In fact, I’ve heard from some of the Quiltmaker subscribers that they have their issue in their hot little hands already and are digging in to make my quilt Right Way Round found in this issue!

Do you remember my quilt and the story behind it?

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Birmingham Bound!

As this posts my Quiltville travelers and I are flying in from all directions to meet up at JFK airport in New York to board our overnight flight to Birmingham, via Dublin!

I LOVE Ireland, and can’t wait to go back in 2020 (Such a long way off!) and I wish there was a long enough layover that we could go out of the airport and explore a bit, but there isn’t.

It will make me just long for June 2020 all the more.  

Anyone want to go with me?  Click the Ireland tab at the top of the blog for more info.

We are doing our England itinerary just a bit backwards from last time – where we first landed in London (Find it on the map in the southeast…) This time we are going straight to birmingham, somewhere toward the middle and closer to Wales.  The Festival of Quilts awaits!

I’ll be joining up with Irene in Atlanta – we have the same flight to JFK from there.  It’s going to be a freaking long day.

I just wanted to give a heads up on a couple of things as I head out of town.  I haven’t had time to really schedule blog posts ahead of time. 

Posts may be sporadic and at weird times due to the time change I’ll be in.

I also don’t know about hotel wifi and if it will be any good, so if we miss a few days, we will just play catch up when I get home.

Monday, August 06, 2018

400 Miles & A Nap!

What a difference a few sunny days makes!

When I drove from Quiltville Inn to Louisville on Wednesday, it was pouring, foggy and pretty much awful the whole way.

I left our hotel in Louisville yesterday morning around 9am – and THIS is what I saw.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Day Three at Sew-In with the Cozy Quilter!

I got to visit with some old friends over the past 3 days -

Most of these friends are older than I am – but they love to stitch as much as I do, and they do it so well!

No, I’m not talking about the quilters themselves, but the machines they brought to class to sew with!

This is Hot Lips Hoolahan, the green Elna Grasshopper that was adopted right here in the great state of Kentucky LAST year when I was here and rehoming machines!

Nothing makes me happier than to see a machine being loved and used, and used often as is the case with this sweet little Elna.

From what I hear she is the belle of the ball wherever she goes, and I’m so happy that her new owner is so happy with her!

Saturday, August 04, 2018

A Day of Wonderful Wanderlust!

This sweet gal gets the award for BEST RETREAT-WEAR!!

Buy me fabric, and tell me I’m pretty!  Perfect ---(This is on my must find list ASAP!)

I love the way that the quilter’s retreat uniform of choice has turned to a wide variety of slogans and sayings on fun t-shirts that let the world know just what our passion is, and that we are a force to be reckoned with.

It makes showing up at quilting events SO MUCH FUN!

We gathered together for day number 2 of Sew-In with the Cozy Quilter in Louisville, Kentucky – group just shy of 50 participants for our Wanderlust workshop from the Addicted to Scraps book!

I was raring to go since we just did this one for another large group at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey a couple of weeks ago.  Some things we tried in Hershey worked really well with large groups, and I was ready to give it a go with this batch of quilty folk, too.  I am always learning, trying new ways to teach things, and it keeps things interesting to say the least!


From tiny center stars….


to the outer ring that surrounds the center star --


The best thing about our day is the time we spend with each other!


Well, okay.  And the vintage machines.

Always the vintage machines!!


Thank you for the Signature 60 wt 3-ply door prizes, A&E Threads!

I don’t think that Kelly is happy with this prize at all, do you?

The kind folks at American & Efird, home based in Mt Holly, NC  (not far from me at all!) Have generously donated thread for each student at this event, as well as THREE of these neutral gift-packs as door prizes.  AWESOME thread, made in the USA – ask your local shop to get it in so you can try it yourself.  My students are loving it!  And so do I.


Laying out our blocks.

Wonderful job, everyone!

You’ll find the rest of our fun and scrappy day in the video below.  Click to play:

We aren't the only colorful shindig in Louisville this weekend.

The National Street Rod Association has their annual car show here as well, and the parking lot at our hotel and surrounding hotel lots as well  have been  full of wonderful vintage cars.  We spotted this one on our way back from dinner last night and I had to stop and take a photo as the evening light was perfect, and that color…wow!


Come to mama you lovely cheddar beauty!

And then of course…..there is my poor dirty van:



Yes, it’s dirty.  I drove through pounding rain to get here.  No time to wash it.  But look at it this way – if that winder were clean, I’d never have received this lovely hello from someone who knew this van was mine!  Without the dirt, there would be no message.

Today is our last day – another big group coming in for Tumelo Trail from Scraps & Shirttails II, still a favorite!

August 04, 2018 at 06_47AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage pinwheel quilt shared by Kevin the Quilter!

(Love that he is always on the lookout for great quote background quilts for me!)

Shift happens.

It's how we adapt through that shifting to our new normal that ultimately makes our ride a happy one!

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!