Friday, August 23, 2019

A Two-Fer-One Day!

How about we just keep adding MORE things to the binding queue?

I was only planning on figuring out borders on the giraffe stitchery (still yet unnamed – I’m waiting for it to speak to me.) and before I knew it, fabric was flying, and things were coming together -

The challenge?  It is much easier to get pieced borders to fit if the quilt is square.  Sometimes rectangular quilts can pose a real dilemma and I’ll find myself either doing an “extension” unit in the center of the border sides, or as in the case of our giraffe friend here, add an extra row of checkerboard squares top and bottom to make the repeat of the border triangles work out right.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Adding One More to the Binding Queue -

This one!

This one is coming out SO much better than I initially envisioned, at least to my own preferences. The Fancy Baskets block was a previous Addicted to Scraps Column block in Quiltmaker Magazine, and begged to be turned into a full quilt.

Pattern to appear in my next book, so stay tuned.

Can you guess how excited I was to advance the quilt to the point where the blocks i had pieced into the backing became visible on the take up roller as I got closer to the end?

When I am piecing any kind of “racing stripe” into a quilt back as an accent – I purposely try to have it OFF CENTER.  Because if having something centered is that important to me – it will definitely end up NOT being centered.  That’s just the way it goes with any system that has backing on one roller, and top on a separate roller – it’s a crap shoot. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

August in Virginia -

This was my view yesterday!

The plan was to get a backing pieced for the Fancy Baskets quilt you see over the rail on the long arm – and I wanted to incorporate leftover basket blocks from the quilt in the backing because, well who needs a bunch more of these hanging around??  Frankly I wanted them gone – they’ve been holding on for far too long as it is!

When I came up from Wallburg on Monday I brought with me the art deco cabinet to fit the 301.  Now when Mona (or anyone else) comes to sew, there can be two of us face to face sewing.

As for miss Sadie – she couldn’t be bothered to care either way!

All baskets used! (yes, an odd number!)

I got THIS far by last evening – just a few rows in.

I’m liking it so far!

Tall yellow wild flowers – it’s definitely August!

It’s been fun watching the change of the scenery month by month through the year.  There are cows in there somewhere, but you can’t see them unless you go up onto the porch.  Which we did – for lunch:

Best cafe in town – Quiltville Inn!

Thank you Debby and Sue for the awesome shirt!

The "I don't do negative space!" on the shirt was in regards to my busy scrappy quilts having no negative space for fancy quilting - but I also don't do negative space in my life. Thank you Sue and Debby for the reminder - in the nick of time.  Yesterday was a bit of a rough one with really crazy unhelpful and very unkind snail mail – three of them!  I won’t post it here, but you can check my instagram post if you are curious. 

It was just a rough day, which we all have.  But today – we are starting new.

Last evening’s round of binding!
I’m now on the 3rd side – it’s getting there, but slowly.

If you have tried to reach my website, I have another update happening, and it will be down for maintenance while we get it done.  Thank you for your patience! It will be back up and running soon.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -
Vintage Lemoyne star quilt top found in Texas.

Today's page is clean and brand-new.

How will you fill it?

What will it say about who you are today?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Things Lost, Things Found, Things Repurposed!

Well, hello there!

My giraffe!  I found my giraffe!

I’ve been searching for it high and low since moving fully into the Quiltville Post Office.

I thought it must be still in the basement studio in Wallburg when it couldn’t be located in the basement studio at the cabin.  It was neither.

But I hadn’t been able to locate it at the QPO either – and then last night as I was drifting off to sleep after a very busy day of appointments, and a 100 mile drive to Virginia I let my mind wander back.

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Short Stop Home! And a Gift-Away Drawing!

I am home from Mississippi!

And we are drawing for the winner of the Sept/Oct Quiltmaker bundle!

We walked in the door at home in Wallburg, NC just after 11pm last night, and I have scheduled some appointments around my “home arrival” date so I can take care of those kinds of things – it seems everything is either scheduled the day before I fly out, or the morning after I fly back in – because as soon as that is done it’s back up to Virginia for me!

So right off the top of the bat – we are going to draw for that winner. Will I draw you?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Old Man River Quiltfest, Day 4!

This was last evening when day was DONE.

Hot hot, Mississippi Hot – humid, and gorgeously green.  That’s the price you pay – and it’s good for your skin, don’t you know?

I was told that I couldn’t leave Vicksburg without a trip to see the iconic bridges – one for the railway, one for cars, crossing the mighty Mississippi to Louisiana.

And we did it.  We drove across the bridge to put my toes on the Louisiana side, took the first exit and came back to Mississippi.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Emerald City–Vicksburg Style!

Old Man River Quiltfest – Day 3!

Do you see how gorgeous this Emerald City block is in PURPLE?! (Pattern from my book String Frenzy)

That is the one thing that thrills me the most – when folks take my quilt designs and interpret them in their own color and fabric choices, making their project more of a reflection of THEM, than of me.

Besides, there is no way that I could possibly make this quilt in all of the wonderful color plans I’ve seen it in as finishes have started cropping up over the past few months.

It’s a two color quilt – so choose your favorites!  Or, as Connie and I talked about last night – do your “Dark” areas in Scrappy Everything, keeping the neutrals (or grey, or yellow, or whatever you envision) as your background.  It would be FABULOUS!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Old Man River Quiltfest, Day 2!

Cutting it up with the Quilt Girls in Vicksburg!

Serpentine Web quilt from my book String Frenzy-

The hours fly by so fast and furious – and we are filling them to the brim with fun and laughter -

At the beginning of the class day I love to ask who my newbies are.  Who is a first timer to one of my workshops – and then, who has NEVER made a string quilt before.  And the hands come waving – these brave souls about to throw themselves into a scrappy adventure destined to open their eyes to new experiences when it comes to quilting.

This is the part of their quilting journey that can change the direction of EVERYTHING – as the saying goes – Once you go scrappy, there’s no turning back!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Old Man River Quiltfest, Day 1!

Illinois Central, Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railway Depot
Built in 1907.

As excited as I am about the quilting going on in Vicksburg (and believe me, there is LOTS of quilting going on!) I am thrilled to also be experiencing a glimpse into the amazing history of this town.

You can’t miss the old railroad depot right along the mighty Mississippi River.  It’s now a museum, and while we won’t have time to visit inside due to our workshop hours, I can just imagine what this was like in the early 20th century – the coming and going of trails connecting the rest of the country to this corner of Mississippi.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Just Get Me to Vicksburg!

Three girls on a road trip from Jackson to Vicksburg!
(This photo comes later in the story – so hang on!)

It was an easy day of travel – the only moment of panic being waiting for a gate at the farthest corner of the A terminal to open in Atlanta so our Greensboro plane had a place to pull into – all the while my flight to Jackson was getting ready to board clear at the far end of the C terminal.

Run, Bonnie run!  See Bonnie run…It ain’t pretty!  But I got there, no thanks to those meandering folks with their faces clearly not on where they are going, but down into their cell phones instead. Text walkers.  GAH!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Quiltmaker Sept/Oct ‘19 Gift-Away!

Autumn is right around the corner!

And since I am on my way to Mississippi today, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you just what is found in the September/October 2019 issue of Quiltmaker, and throw in a little give-away at the same time!

i can feel it on the horizon, that imminent change of seasons.  Can you?

Are you getting a feel for things that turn from green to gold to orange and rust?  Beautiful shades of red and brown?

Cooler temperatures also bring on the desire to dig in to projects, getting things ready for the holidays that come on the heels of the first nod to fall.

Below are a few of my favorites from this issue:

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sunday Quilt Display, and a Crazy Cattle Call!

Mona’s finishes – over the porch rail!

Good Monday morning, everyone!

Let me just say that I am happy that I am getting this far this morning.  Living this remotely and having our internet for Quiltville Inn and the Quiltville Post Office sometimes presents interesting moments of “Oh, seriously?  You’ve got to be kidding!  How slow can it go?!”  And those visions of waiting for dial-up to make it’s molasses connection circa 1990 something comes screaming back.

Oh yeah.  That’s what it was like back then.  And it is now.  And then you kick yourself in the keester, be grateful that you have any kind of connection at all, and just go do something else while photos are taking their own sweet time uploading – and that YouTube video you want to process?  Just come back 2 hours later because it says it’s going to take 80 minutes to process.

So let’s distract ourselves with how GORGEOUS Mona’s quilts are!  This is one happy girl, and we had the best time!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Saturday Quilting–Still Going Strong!

It’s been a long arm marathon of a week!

Not only have I been able to quilt a couple of my own quilts since returning from Hershey (And get borders on another!) and help get Kim’s sampler quilted and trimmed, ready for binding – but we have completed THREE of Mona’s!

I love hearing the stories of her plans for her quilts.  Her Texas Tumbleweed was up for quilting yesterday, and is destined for her cousin and her cousin’s hubby.  Quilts are such a labor of love and to see and feel everything that goes into them, and the plans to quilt it, bind it, and gift it away to folks that are important in Mona’s life lets me know that she has not only developed skills as a quilter – but the HEART of a quilter as well!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

A Girl’s Day Sewin’!

Oh, Beanie!

You are the cutest photo bomber!

I am having SUCH a great time with the placemats for Quiltville Inn made from license plates so lovingly gifted to me over the past many years.

Mixing these cute plates with my love of string piecing – I can hardly wait until I have enough of these made that I can load them ALL up into the long arm in one fell swoop and quilt them all.

Can you see that I’ve already prepped the binding for each one as well? 

I’ve got some fun gifted florals that Nancy gave me in Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago, and I think I’m going to use those as backings.  So much fun.

While I’ve been working on these – Mona has been busy at the long arm, and Martha even stopped by with her knitting so we had a very full and fun Friday – this Quiltville Post office has been full  this week with all of the laughter, conversation and busy activity that I dreamed it would have.

Dreams DO come true!

Friday, August 09, 2019

Mona, Quilting, and a Little Bitty Side Trip!

It’s going to be a big time quilting weekend!

Mona (And Beanie and Max) arrived yesterday – I haven’t seen her for MONTHS as our paths have just been going opposite directions – but the stars aligned and she is mine all mine for the long weekend ahead – objective?  Operation Long Arm: On Ringo Lake, Good Fortune, and Texas Tumbleweed from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders are soon to be graduating to quilted quilt status.

We got On Ringo Lake locked and loaded, and before we knew it it was lunch time, I hadn’t packed a lunch – we needed groceries for the cabin as well, so we hopped in the van and trundled off to Independence.

Low and behold – the Independence 1908 courthouse was OPEN and after more than 2 years of living here finally made it inside – to a real treasure trove!

Thursday, August 08, 2019

And Then There Was Quilting …

Go-Go Kim’s lovely sampler quilt on a bed at Quiltville Inn!

“Do you have any quilts you’d like to throw on the long arm?” I said.

Never in my wildest dreams did I envision this beautiful and unique sampler quilt finding its quilting finish in the Quiltville Post Office!

I watched on Instagram as @gogokim worked her magic on blocks inspired by Tula Pink’s 100 blocks in 100 days, jumping from the given block into a creation all her own, all of them made with upcycled garments including cottons, crepes, silk ties - and set with denim.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

A Bit of Old Time Fiddlin’!

Our Monday Evening – Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax!

How do you top off a very full long weekend?

You take the quilt off the long arm machine, throw yourselves in the van when you see there is still time – and drive over to Galax to watch the children’s competition at the 48th annual Old Fiddlers Convention

After all, what better way is there to spend a lovely evening in the mountains than finding yourself surrounded by incredibly talented young musicians and more food trucks than one can count?

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Well, Hello, Ponies!

Sadie, a baby pony and Kim!

This post is coming a bit late today – I just waved Kim off up the road toward Spotsylvania, VA after such a fun filled-to-the-brim long weekend.

Yesterday was so full I am breaking it down into 3 parts because we just can’t fit it all in.  Seriously.

It was a day of hiking to see some long range views and see if we could locate the ponies near the Appalachian Trail up at Grayson Highlands State Park, bringing Sadie along for the ride.  This was followed up by heading over to the Quiltville Post Office to finish up the quilting of Kim’s fabulous sampler quilt that we had left on the machine from the previous evening.  We followed up yesterday with a drive over to Galax to take in some bluegrass music at the 48th annual Old Fiddlers Convention where the children’s competition was going on – and these little 8 to 15-year-olds just knocked our socks off on fiddle, mandolin and banjo! You just can’t pack a day more full that that!

We are both moving a bit slowly today – but oh, it was so worth it!

Monday, August 05, 2019

Two Girls on the Virginia Creeper Trail!

We Came. We Biked. We Conquered!

Yesterday was our open opportunity for a 17 mile bike ride down the Virginia Creeper Trail from White Top down to Damascus – NO RAIN!  Beautiful sunshine and cool summer shade through the woods – it was beyond perfect!

The last time I had seen the trail was in April when Lori came to visit, but then all of the trees were still without leaves – it’s amazing how different the trail looks just a few months later.  Green, lush, gorgeous – this activity has to be at the top of the “What to do in Southwestern Virginia” lists.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

With Friendship & Rainbows -

This little sign is at the edge of the Quiltville Inn property.

So much information here -

How many miles between here and there -

And that rainbow?  Definitely a sign that a beautiful weekend is ahead – no matter whether there be rain or shine – my friend Kim had just arrived from the other side of Virginia – about a 7 hour drive.  (Virginia is bigger than you think!)

Saturday, August 03, 2019

On Trimmings, Backings, Bindings and More!

Quilt number 4 off the Long Arm at the Quiltville PO!

When Lisa came to visit over 4th of July (was it only a month ago? It feels like forever already!) she brought some rulers, notions and tools she thought I could use either here at the Quiltville Post Office, or perhaps for the cutting tables in the Quilting Quarters at Quiltville Inn.

I did NOT have possession of a ruler this large before, so claimed it right away – it’s perfect for trimming up a quilt after quilting and before adding binding.

This thing is 20 1/2’’ square!

As I’ve posted before, I do like to square up the edges and especially the corners of my quilt before adding binding so I am sure I am getting a good straight binding edge, and those corners will definitely be square for a nice binding miter.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Remember those Runners? (And More!)

Are you wondering where the Garden Party runner post went? It is up on the C&T Blog!

I've included my modifications to turn the quilt pattern into a cute runner. You'll need my Addicted to Scraps book to complete the project - on sale in the Quiltville Store for the low low price of $19.99!

(And you get a free bonus Wanderlust PDF pattern at purchase!)

Such a fun project – and ZERO TRIANGLES!!  Visit my post with instructions HERE.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Virginia is for FRIENDS!

Don’t let the sunshine in this photo fool you!

You may have heard that "Virginia is for Lovers." and I have no idea how that whole slogan got started, but I am here to tell you that Virginia is for Quilters, and for Friends!

A bike ride plan from White Top down to Damascus had to be delayed for Maryethel and her hubby due to impending rain.

Rain. Rain. Rain. Every day there has been rain!  I’m not complaining – just stating the facts, Jack.

And the rains DID come not long after my visitors had left – so it was a good call not to get caught on bikes out on a muddy trail somewhere where shelter would be hard to find.

So instead – they rescheduled their trip and made a little jaunt from Damascus to Mouth of Wilson for a visit!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sharing Some Antique Quilt Love -

Cathy brought this wonderful quilt to Bedford PA -

Found in Marion, Indiana!

I am so glad we share a passion for old, antique and vintage quilts as well as new and fun projects.  We have so much in common - and Cathy's collection of signature quilts is always a joy to explore.

Who were these women and men who left behind their names in ink on fabric?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July ‘19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Only two days left in July, so LET’S DO THIS!

All of these goodies arrived while I was on the road in Pennsylvania, and I opened the box with squeals of delight yesterday.

Oh. My. Goodness!


This is my first introduction to the artistry of Sarah Golden and her wonderful fabrics – I can’t wait to include them in future projects!

(Perhaps they will go right into this year’s Shoo Fly Shoo Leader & Ender Challenge?)

Monday, July 29, 2019

A Bearly Moving Monday!

Oh goodness.

This was 2 days ago at abut midnight -

The Hubster thought “Since the deer love the fallen apples from the apple tree at Quiltville Inn, wouldn’t it be nice if I put some by the salt lick at the cabin for the deer there?”

The deer never stood a chance.

My response? “Don’t FEED the BEARS!”

Now they will come back and search for more apples, so this little kindness is OVER, buster!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Winston Ways the Hershey Way!

A whole table of nothing but featherweights!

Such a joy to see!

And a lovely sound to hear as well.

We spent our last day of workshops at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, Pennsylvania in a Winston Ways workshop from my book MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders – a fun way to slow down the frantic piecing and pace of the bustling quilt show weekend.

Ah, the simplicity and joy of four-patches!  Teaching newbies the ins and outs of the Essential Triangle Tool for all of those half-square triangles needed in this block.

Much encouragement was given – 104 pieces in each 12’’ block could scare people off, but if you break it down, it’s a pleasurable way to sew!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Sand Castles and Growing So Fast!

Remember that “Old Home Week” feeling I was talking about?

It continues!  Tiffany and her daughter Gabby brought their entire crew back to sew in our Sand Castles workshop at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey PA!  While we grownups haven’t changed nearly so much – this little sprout is growing like a weed and is now NINE.

And she is still sewing up a storm.

While last year she helped in cutting apart chain piecing, errand running for more chocolate from the basket that miraculously re-fills at night while we are sleeping, to all around gopher-girl at the ready activity, this year she was a fully registered student complete with her own machine!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Xing-ing Along in Hershey, PA!

Day one of Quilt Odyssey – XING from String Frenzy!

Familiar faces in friendly places – it was a day to dig into the crumbs and strings in a riot of fabric and color!

I’ve been trying to count how many times I’ve taught here at Quilt Odyssey.  I’d have to go back, but it could be four now?  Or is it five?  Still, it’s like coming home – the buildings and grounds are beautiful, the town just so cute. 

Restaurants we like, places to grab a lunch here or a dinner there. And the designated 2 hour lunch break is WONDERFUL, giving everyone a chance to visit the vendors and the show in between class sessions.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

All the Way to Hershey!

I can smell the chocolate from here! 

Can you?

Yesterday’s drive to Hershey was completely uneventful.  No antique mall stops.  Just a drive from here to there.  2 1/2 hours, not bad!

All I really wanted to do was check into my room, set up my sewing machine and spend the day just sewing solo.  Me and the pieces and the machine, and a couple of podcasts to fill my head.

It has been such a cram packed more-than-a-week, and while I felt quite rested after a day at Bedford Springs, I just needed a quiet day to not have to do much of anything but make progress on some projects I brought with me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Rest, Relax, Restore….and Remodel!

Following Mary on down the road!

I get the same peaceful feeling here in the Bedford, Pennsylvania area as I do in Virginia – Mountains everywhere I look.  Farms, fields, cattle.  Long stretches of highway with that double yellow ribbon laid out before me.

Yesterday was the Day-in-between.  The day to breathe, relax, let go, restore – before I hit the road again today.

We also had Mary’s dogs in her car – my van was packed to the gills with no back seats, some errands had to happen.  We headed out to drop her two dogs off with her hubby and son who are currently remodeling an old school house into a home, and there would be picking up of merchandise boxes that I had shipped to Mary’s shop to arrive while I was here so I could just take them on to Hershey.  A two vehicle day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sand Castles in Bedford!

Workshop Day 5 -

Sand Castles from String Frenzy!

I so love teaching this class!  What better quilting fix is there than happy scrappy four-patches, setting triangles and squares cut from strips with my Essential Triangle Tool, topped off with string triangles?  It’s got my favorite everything, served up with a cherry on top!

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Moth in the Window Kind of Day -

My favorite place in Bedford – Mary’s Quilt Shop!

Bedford Pennsylvania has become a home away from home after the many summers of teaching here.  And seeing those who come and come again is such a treat!

I love catching up with what has happened over the past year in the lives of these folks who have become much more than students – but friends.

Grand babies are either being expected for the first time – or have been born over the past year.  Graduations, marriages, retirements, moving house (down-sizing or up-sizing or moving to the lake location of their dreams) sewing room renovations, new long arm machine acquisitions or vintage machine finds – it’s like old home week!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Narragansett Blues, Bedford Style!

So many great beginnings going on!

Every year that I teach in Bedford for Mary’s Quilt Shop, I look forward to meeting the newbies – the ones who haven’t been here before, the ones who are just starting on their quilting journey.

Perhaps this is their first ever quilt class – and there they are, sitting somewhere in the middle of 52 quilters, nervous that they won’t do things right, or that their colors are all wrong, or that their quilt finish won’t turn out as nice as the quilt in their dreams.

My goal – for EVERYONE to feel that sense of success – when pieces measure what they should and things fit together.

And this was the perfect day for a newbie day.  No triangles!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Stringing Up the Serpentine Web!

And the girls came over to play the day away!

We met at the spacious and greatly air conditioned (thank heavens!) American Legion Hall in Bedford, Pennsylvania – our day’s mission? digging into the strings for some Serpentine Web from String Frenzy fun!

Temperatures came with a heat warning, and we were ever so happy to be inside stitching away the day.

Friday, July 19, 2019

July in the Punkin’ Patch–Bedford Style!

It may be hot outside -

But we are thinking of the cooler temps of fall, just around the corner.

Yesterday’s Punkin’ Patch workshop from my book String Frenzy was our kick-off for our 5 day Summer Workshop Series hosted by Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, Pennsylvania!

I LOVE sharing my passion for string piecing in these cute pumpkins just right for a glorious fall ahead.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

All the Way to Pennsylvania!

Rain, rain go away!

The rain is better than the full on sunny heat of summer, but it sure makes for a long miserable drive!

Still through the rain, I can appreciate the verdant green and rolling hills as I traveled up through the I-81 corridor of Virginia, across a tiny parcel of West Virginia and Maryland into the Southwest corner of Pennsylvania.  It’s LOVELY.

And it just reconfirms to me that I MUST MUST MUST live in the mountains.  I just love feeling surrounded by their strength.

I had a plan to meet up with Joyce in Berkeley Springs WV for the great pass off of some goodies she had saved for Quiltville Inn – Berkeley Springs is a cute little town directly on my route, so it was a greatly needed stop as well.  325 miles from The QPO to the bank parking lot where we were meeting up, but it was worth every mile for the hugs and smiles and catching up on our short little meet and greet.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

On a Backroads Road Trip!

This girl knows ALL of the cool places and must see old things!

Just get in the car with Martha – you know you are going to see wonderful old things – and she will even stop and let you take photos along the way!

Try to do this ride with menfolk?  No juice.  But Martha?  She loves to stop and wander -

And even pick up fallen apples from an ages old tree.  Heirloom apples – yummy!
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