Thursday, May 23, 2019

Quilters On The Town!

Isn’t this just adorable?


Irene and I needed a break from the machines – Cabin Fever was becoming a real thing – we’d been sewing since Sunday – Wednesday needed to be the break day.

We headed over to West Jefferson, North Carolina for a round of antique mall wandering and lunch out. 

I’m not usually a girly girl pink/yellow/blue “cutesy quilt” girl – but this one just spoke to me.  Look at the half blocks!  on two sides!  (I guess the bed was only that big….)

This quilt is so heavily quilted – I can only imagine the hours and hours that went into it -

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

July/August ‘19 Quiltmaker Gift-Away!

This bundle is coming straight from me to you!

While Irene and I are working day and night behind the scenes, I’ve got something REALLY GOOD to give away!

The July/August 2019 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine is just now hitting news stands near you, and subscribers are receiving this issue in their mail boxes.

the July/August issue is full of gorgeous summer quilts, patterns, ideas – perfect for page turning and inspiration while you travel, sit on your porch, lounge by the pool or wherever you catch you best summer relaxation.

There is nothing like turning pages full of color and possibilities!

Be looking for the bold red, white & blue cover!

Turn the pages and find a few of my favorites:

Syvia Schaefer’s Glow Tiles.

It does glow!

Kathryn Wagar Wright’s Remembrance

Ebony Love’s Zoot Suit!

Carl Hentsch’s Bright Stars.

Oh, I love a scrappy red & white quilt!

There is a whole Designer Spotlight article about Carl and his quilting – I love the Designer Spotlight series and getting to know a bit more of the person behind the quilt. There is a lot of life and living that goes on during the long-term making of any quilt and these articles put the humanity back into the art for me – instead of making us all feel like designing machines, you know?  Great article Carl!

Nancy Mahoney’s Park Avenue!

I love Nancy to pieces – we’ve taught together twice this Spring – in Tennessee and Louisiana, one right after the other.  It was great spending time with her – and as I read the title of her quilt the juke box inside my head was going through the lyrics to Green Acres…LOL!

New York is where I'd rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue!

Nancy’s designs are always full of color and movement, leaving you wondering where one block ends and the next one begins.  Is it a two block quilt? Or isn’t it?  Pick up this issue and see!

I love Ohio Stars, and this variation is a fun one – self framed!

You’ll find Tennessee Tango on Page 87!

Quiltmaker Bundle Gift-Away!

I’ll be drawing for one winner who will not only receive the July/Aug 2019 Quiltmaker issue, but also volume 9 of 100 Blocks by 100 designers, including my pattern for Hovering Stars! 

I’m adding to the the deal by including some great notions by Clover – flower head pins and wonder clips.  A spool of Aurifil thread, a Fabric Hoarder pin, a ruler grip by Eversewn, and one of the things I absolutely can NOT live without – my Quiltville Seam Guide to help you find that elusive 1/4’’ sweet spot with your seam.

Drawing to happen Monday, May 27!

Good luck everyone!

Irene behind the scenes!
(And behind the ironing board!)

Poor girl, I have this set up for MY height!  I really should take pity and lower it for her!

She’s finished her Pineapple Blossom quilt top (pattern from the free patterns tab.) and was getting ready to add borders at this point.  Well DONE!

Last evening,, a second one came to visit!


I love her spots and her fuzzy antennae!

Click to Play:

I just feel like it is a “LUCKY” thing to see not just one, but two different ones in the same day. I removed the screen from the slider, carried it over to the grass and gently encouraged her off the screen.  This morning – no moths.

Isn’t nature amazing?

My own “Can’t Show You” production continues – though today we may take a break and head out for lunch and a round of antiquing and sight seeing.  I’m feeling a bit “cabin fever-y” as we really HAVE been sewing from morning til past midnight to get these deadlines met.

Have you ever had the feeling like you just could not sew FAST ENOUGH?!  Yeah, that.

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Vintage 1950s nine-patch quilt.

The more I live, the more I learn that this is true on all levels. 

I love the simplicity of a scrappy nine-patch.

Yes, there will be some more nine-patches in my immediate future!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quilty Girls on a Mission!

When I said there were deadlines looming -

I wasn’t joking!

As I glanced at my calendar for what is coming ahead in just the next few months I nearly get a bit of panicky feeling deep down in my belly.

Time flies faster than we believe it ever will.  Days turn to weeks, weeks into months and months into – oh my gosh!  We are nearly half-way through 2019 already – how does that happen?

The big goal this week?  FINISH all of the blocks for my 2020 Addicted to Scraps column with Quiltmaker Magazine. 

I have some blog posts also scheduled with my publisher, C&T Publishing.  Those need step outs and projects.

And folks – as soon as June hits, it’s MYSTERY SEASON for me.  Yes, it’s that close!

There have been many irons in the fire going over here – and I am flip flopping Leader and Ender projects as needed to get at least two things done at once.

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Cabin Retreat for Two -

Tulips are growing in my scrap garden!

There are now 5 total.

I know I am a bit late for tulip season in North Carolina/Virginia – but as of last week in Michigan, the tulips on Mackinac Island were just beginning to open and show their color.

Tulips in fabric can bloom at ANY time!  And while I am working on these…the thoughts in my bind of “biggie sizing” them and making them out of STRING BLOCKS is floating around in my head and I’m having to tell myself “Down, girl!”  There are other things that HAVE to happen this week.

And Irene is here to keep me FOCUSED!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

On a Quilt-Cam Saturday in May -

The struggle was real!

And this had been neglected for far too long -

Nothing gets me motivated more than watching other people dig into their sewing room space and make order out of chaos.

I found myself home on Friday evening, with no energy to throw in a decent Quilt-Cam, plus – I had NOTHING with me to stitch.  That was all left 100 miles away at the cabin in Virginia. 

As I crawled into bed on Friday night – putting things in order for my Saturday ahead, I knew some things had to happen before I could do anything else.

All of the book orders that had come in while waiting for drywall guys to do their thing at the Quiltville Post Office, and the arrival of the counter top guys for the cabin – those were priority and by noon they were all waiting on the front porch for my mail lady to pick them up yesterday afternoon.

I saw an opportunity for Quilt-Cam ahead, but I needed something to sew!  And before I could cut anything to sew, well dang!  This mess had to GO!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Lay That Granite Down, Boys!

This happened yesterday!

And let me tell you, this is not the easiest feat getting this truck up around the cabin toward the back door! But they did it.

The beautiful counter tops I’ve dreamed of since we first saw this cabin, considering the possibility of moving farther out, obtaining acreage (And no HOA headaches!)

I loved the cabin and property from day one – but those blue Formica counter tops?  Not so much.

There are only a few things more stressful than renovation – childbearing comes a close second! LOL! 

And we’ve had so much going on over the past year – sometimes it feels like my life is at the crowning stage and we are getting ready to really PUSH.

I tell myself it’s just one thing at a time, and it will all get done.  And yesterday – it did!

Friday, May 17, 2019

May ‘19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

What a beautiful box we have to offer!

Don’t you just love the colors of summer seen in this photo?

Rich, saturated, bright, bold and most of all FUN!

This month’s Quilty Box contains all you need for some fun stitching ahead, including full size rotary templates to make the Sunrise quilt by Janine Vangool.

Janine writes:

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Quiltin’ with the Girls!

I headed out to Laurel Springs NC -

Day TWO of Quilting with the Ashe County Piecemakers!

From what I understand, Kathy (left) was the “Last Quilter Standing” the night before – but according to all accounts (She was the only one who really knew, so how are WE to know?) Lights out happened by 1am.  And there she was, bright and early back at it!

This is the 4th year that the guild has hosted their retreats at Laurel Springs Conference Center – a beautiful Moravian Church run facility complete with hotel-like rooms and pre-pared meals.  Such an awesome place!

Week day retreats also give them a bit of a price break.

And they can easily fit into the center’s busy calendar which is quite full on weekends with other events.

Getting my two halves together!

I was a girl on a mission.  this top had languished as “just a pile of blocks” for far too long. 

I rarely make “duplicate” quilts – but when I finished the previous version as a baby quilt for my nephew Henry, leaving me still with 25 blocks needing a home and liking the quilt so much, I knew I would do this one again.

Things I had to re-learn?  How to press the seams on the alternate block so they would work with what was going on with the main block!  Oh, how the brain forgets after 2 years.

And what a place to display a finish!

Click to play:

Whew!  Is it any wonder I love this place?

This was not the ONLY project worked on.  The second project?  I’d been using it as a Leader & Ender while assembling the quilt top above -

Playing “Cut the Corner!”

This stack of basket blocks is the next “Thing to Go Down!” on my list.  The large bottom triangles just did nothing for my layout, so a bit of a perk-up is needed. 

I’m using Doug Leko’s Simple Folded Corners ruler to trim the corner before sewing -

And using the blocks as Leaders & Enders!

It was a quick way to power through a boring job!

And I have a whole stack of blocks ready to set now.

Let’s hope this is the last I see of THIS fabric! LOL!

I’ve gotten a kick out of using this gifted piece of Strong Men & Acrobats.  This square was hiding in my pre-cut squares box – and while digging through them for basket block corners I unearthed this one.  Hysterical.  This is even better than Millennium Y2K fabric in my book!

This also happened!

Doesn’t it feel good to use up the last of a spool?

Especially good when you have enough to finish the seam.


Trimmed and edges stay-stitched.

Next up – BORDERS!

The fabric I think I want to use is at home in Wallburg so I can gather that up when I head home tomorrow.  I’m making a quick run – hopefully the new counters and sinks will be going in here.  While that is being done, I’ll run back to Wallburg and get the mail order out, pick up what is needed – and we are hoping to be PAINTING this weekend.

No more progress has been made on the Quiltville Post Office ceiling.  Perhaps the guys will come back today and finish that up?

This morning – it’s Third Thursday!  Which means I’m out the door early and heading down the road to Sarah Cox’s Fox Creek General Store for breakfast and chatter with the locals!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Along with all of the pushing, striving, reaching, and hoping for something better, there are days when you just have to appreciate who you are, where you are right now.

Today is that day! Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Drop Everything and GO!

Laurel Ridge Conference Center -

When a message came from Kathy on Monday about a local guild retreat happening over at Laurel Ridge in Laurel Springs, NC this week along with an invitation to join in – the stars aligned and I said YES!

Yesterday afternoon as we were setting up our stuff, she said – “I really didn’t think you’d be able to make it with all you’ve got going on, but you did!”

My reply?  “No sinks and no counters at home?  No brainer!”

As it turns out I was off by about 4 days on Irene’s arrival from Kentucky, making me free as a bird until Sunday.

Things are about to get very busy around here (more info on that in a bit) so I will grab the retreat time I can!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Life Without Sinks…

“Sink Still Life”

5 round and one rectangle!

The demolition on the kitchen and bath re-do started yesterday in earnest.  And let me tell you – next to a loss of electricity, where you flight the urge to flip on switches out of habit – it’s really kind of unsettling not to have a sink or running water where you are so used to having it!

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Mother’s Day Out & About.

Rhodies are blooming in front of Quiltville Inn!

Trees have leaves – and that grass?  It needs a hay baler!

This is what greeted us yesterday morning as we trundled the short 7 miles on over from the cabin, a big box of something exciting in the back of my van.

Once upon a time – I would have balked at an APPLIANCE being a great gift for Mother’s Day, birthday, Valentine's Day, anniversary or Christmas.

And I think the general rule is that it is never a great idea to gift a woman anything that represents “WORK” or “GET IN YOUR PLACE!” including vacuums, pressure cookers, a toaster, etc. 

The only EXCEPTION being – if she WANTS it and asks for it! (Remember this guys, always remember this!)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mother’s Day With Mackinac Memories

Isn’t this room lovely?

This is not my room – but Mother’s Day weekend is a HUGE event at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan and I am sure someone is waking up in it this morning – stretching and yawning and just about now sauntering themselves down to Salle ala Manger to treat themselves to a sumptuous Mother’s Day breakfast – or perhaps room service is knocking on the door with breakfast delivered – just to enjoy this lovely room a week bit longer.

This room was at the end of our h all, and all week long I kept trying to get a better glimpse inside, but dang it – there were always people in the way.

With our later departure on Friday morning, I was able to poke my head (and my speedy phone camera!) in through the door while housekeeping was busy in the bathrooms and take a quick shot.

Just take a look at how colors are combined in this photo!  The carpet is green with red. That floral wallpaper screams loudly!  The quilts are yellow/white, but the canopies are floral/peach.  The chairs are aqua. It’s a scrappy confection!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Waving Farewell to Mackinac -

Aren’t these big beauties just GORGEOUS?!

How often do you hear in your lifetime, by a footman dressed in red uniform ‘My lady, your carriage awaits…”

This is as close as it gets to that dream of placing myself somewhere in a Jane Austin novel!

Only this time – it was 3 of us climbing aboard -

Friday, May 10, 2019

2 Days to Play, the Straits of Mackinac Way!

It’s so hard to wave goodbye to these ladies!

We really did have an awesome time over the past week – Each and every day – Sunday through Friday things were hopping with excitement in the Brighton Pavilion room where my classes were held.

But THESE ladies were BRAVE!

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Straits of Mackinac on Mackinac!

Day one of our 2 day Straits of Mackinac Workshop happened yesterday!

(Pattern found in my book String Frenzy)

This is the day I’d been anticipating with glee – the place that inspired the making and naming of this quilt, the first time this quilt has been shown in this beautiful location – everything that brought it to fruition found right here at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and I got to share it with nearly 50 students eager to make their own rendition!

Busy bees!

And let’s face it – it’s just kismet when your quilt matches the walls and chairs and other accents in the room!

Since this is a two day workshop – we broke the units down into two easy parts -

String pieced triangles in two sides -

(yes –and the rotary cutter and the mat sense the theme too!)

I love that little bit of purple thrown in!

And Katy’s tan featherweight Annette is the star of the vintage machine fleet!

And on go the star points!

Big ones for the blocks -

Baby ones for the sashings!

When you wear flannel, your shirt becomes your design wall! LOL!

Or just go on and wear them on your head like cat ears! LOL!

Breaking this quilt up this way really helped the quilters relax and enjoy the day instead of stressing out over it. It’s the moments that make us laugh that are the most memorable!

Oooooh!  An Emerald City Block Share!

The Sit n Sew room is just down from where my classroom is and we loved the impromptu share of blocks from the Emerald City Class that waltz through on occasion – Great job!

So happy to have Patricia and Ann here at The Grand!

“The Parlor”

So iconic!

Melinda Bula’s presentation was last evening, only we couldn’t file in until 5:30 on the dot (they run a tight ship here!) and I took a moment to wander the parlor and soak up a bit of Grand Hotel that had NOTHING to do with quilting.  Just splendor.

There are ALWAYS amazing fresh flowers.

And completely over-the-top furniture.

Sofa arm detail in the trophy room.

Just beautiful!

Detail of sofa back.

What a gorgeous piece!

Section of vintage wall mural.

From where I sat -

Guests enjoying a leisurely card game.

It is truly the most remarkable place to hold a quilting and needle art event.  It’s just been fabulous being a part of this thing we all love.

My morning through the window screen -

It’s blustery and it’s raining. The current temp at 7:33am is 37.  With the wind chill, it feels like a brisk 28 according to my weather app. 

Yeah – those folks who thought they’d want a bike ride today?  A few more rounds of cards, or perhaps a few more hours of sewing may be a much better idea.

But even in rough weather – this place is vibrant and alive and full of so much history.  There’s magic in every moment.

Quiltville Quote of the Day

No sunrise today -

But even with the rain and wind outside my early morning window at The Grand Hotel, there is majesty in this place. Notice the magic!

Opportunities are like those small moments of magic, don't let them pass go by unnoticed!

Have a very happy Thursday, everyone!