Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Filling April Full to Overflowing

It finally happened yesterday.

The day we had planned on for months and months, and even moved it from February to now.

I took a little road trip down to North Columbia, South Carolina for the pass-off of some precious cargo, and a fun lunch with my friend Charlotte Angotti and her co-pilot in quilt crime, her aunt!

In February there wasn’t enough room in Charlotte’s car as she drove from Mississippi to the Virginia coast to host her fabulous retreat week on the beach.  “It will have to wait until next time!” We both agreed.

This trip she was picking up her aunt after having spent some time with her mom, and a teaching gig in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  Dates overlapped where I would be in town and she would be arriving at the “Closest to me” spot on her route – a 2 1/2 hour drive south for me just off I-77 north of I-20.


We had a great visit, yummy food – and it gave them respite from road weariness as their destination last night was Montgomery, Alabama.

And when it was time to hit the road, we headed out to Charlotte’s car to do the big transfer:

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Quicky Monday Gift-Away Drawing!

It’s that Quilty Box Drawing Time!

I am out the door as quick as I can this morning – I thought I had more time to write this post than I do – A friend I am meeting up with “half-way between here and there” is already on her way – oh shoot!

So let’s get this done and I’ll catch you up with everything else in tomorrow’s post.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Overnighting in Dallas -

Sometimes life just throws a curve at you -

And it turns out to be a very good detour!

Making plans for out of town trips that involve friends picking you up here – and getting you back there when they also have their own whirlwinds of life swirling around them sometimes means that things take a turn – but it is ALWAYS an opportunity for an adventure!

When we examined Irene’s “Come on, let’s get real – what is better for your long journey home?” schedule (She drove 14 hours from Louisville, Kentucky!) it was determined that there was no reason that she should drive me all the way back from East Texas to Dallas – it would add MANY hours to her trip.  Dallas was WEST – in the wrong direction.

Instead, a better solution was hatched.  I would head to Dallas with Deb on Friday after the workshop was over.  The shop would save a whole night of hotel expenses. Irene would get a good night’s sleep in Mineola and head out at the break of dawn yesterday for Kentucky, and I could spend a relaxing day in Dallas as my flight wasn’t until 3:50pm!

A bonus day to play – instead of being dropped off at DFW at 6am so Irene could then drive all the way home to Louisville from Dallas which was further away.

Sometimes it takes a village and a brainstorm or two!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Dawn’s Early Light and ALL the Scraps!

It all starts with a huge sprinkling of very small Friendship Stars!

It was a full day of piecing with the Red White & Blue – that is unless you chose your own palette of pink and purple – it’s all a bunch of star studded fun!

Dawn’s Early Light from String Frenzy started out its life as a simple 12’’ block design idea that wound up in a 100 blocks by 100 designers issue – one that I couldn’t wait to bring to full quilt sized status.

And evidently these ladies think the same way I do!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Idaho Square Dance with The Besties!

Meet The Besties!

This group of gals from near San Antonio came up for our Mineola fun at Stitchin’ Heaven quilt shop this week – and made me an honorary member!

I nearly blew it though!

While signing a round of books, Blanca told me her name, and I said “Oh, like the Abba Song – and we all started singing “Una Paloma Blanca…….”

And I signed her book PALOMA.  Dag nabbit!  How do you fix that?  You write Blanca next to Paloma and you surround it with musical notes, hearts (always hearts!) and a big giant smiley face next to your signature. Hey, if you can’t be perfect, be MEMORABLE!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Emerald City at Stitchin’ Heaven!

An Emerald City Day Indeed!

How do you present a workshop that includes 1008 (Yes, that is ONE THOUSAND AND EIGHT!) small half-square triangles in a 6 hour workshop day? 

We divide and conquer!

Everything that the quilters need to know about the similar-but-different units in this bug 24” block can be handled easily if we break it  down and work on what is needed for ONE QUARTER of the big block.  Four quarters make a whole, right?  And after all, there are ONLY 9 big blocks in this quilt.

It’s not THAT overwhelming, is it?

Oh I love this quilt!  And I’m so excited that I had a chance to teach the ins and outs of it here!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Lovin’ the Scrappy Fun at Stitchin’ Heaven!

Quilt shop owner Deb cutting up in class with my students!

I am having a wonderful time in East Texas – home to Stitchin’ Heaven and all of the quilty fun found here!

I first walked through the doors of Stitchin’ Heaven quilt shop when they resided in nearby Quitman, Texas – it was June 1999 and I was so excited to be living in Texas, meeting all the quilters, starting out a new chapter at the turn of a new century.  little did I know that 20 years later I’d be coming back to teach here.  20 years of Quilty goodness that keeps me coming back!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

April ‘19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

A terrific box of Carolyn Friedlander Goodness!

Hello from Mineola Texas!

Irene swung by DFW yesterday afternoon to pick me up and haul me off toward East Texas – to the home of Stitchin’ Heaven quilt shop!

I’m teaching a 4 workshop series starting today, and I am looking forward to spending the next several days with everyone!

Before I share with you the fun we had romping amongst the Texas bluebonnets, I thought this would also be the perfect day to get this little give-away going.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Lovely Quiet Easter -

Pardon my yucky hard working ironing board cover!

It was put to good use yesterday -

Remember that Winter Blues quilt I said was going into “Time-Out?!”

Well.  It had other ideas!

As I was sorting through the remaining blue strips, contemplating yet another blue piano key border (Which I really didn’t want to do!) I took a time out of my own and unpacked the quilts from my Mountain Quiltfest lecture that happened in Pigeon Forge, TN  in March. 

While border ideas were put on the back shelf, I concentrated on refolding and storing the quilts that were not traveling with me for the next couple of upcoming events, and pulling the quilts I am going to need as I came across them.

And then.  There it was.  Right in front of me -

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter, 2019!

Nothing like a bit of Bunny Ear Time with Friends!

Lori of Humble Quilts screenshotted (yes, that is a word!) the two of us while we were video chatting with Kevin the Quilter from the sewing room at the cabin.  Oh my gosh, too much fun!

I’ve been saving this photo for my Easter post – and as I look back over the past couple of weeks and all we crammed into Lori’s short visit I can’t help but laugh at the antics.

For instance – after breaking a cork screw deep into the cork – we had to YouTube how to open a bottle of wine without a cork screw.  The best of all the methods?  Click to Play:

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Of Road Trips and Stormy Days -

Pink Dogwoods in Marion, Virginia!

After our little breakfast club meet and greet on Thursday morning  - and being as I was already “part way” to Marion and wanting to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, and the fact that I was OUT of some groceries and some store somewhere (which is always at least 1/2 hour drive away in any direction) was going to need to be my destination, I trundled on down the road to not-quite-near-by Marion.

I’d heard good things about Marion!  There is an antique mall in Marion!  But they don’t open until 11am, so the groceries were retrieved and while waiting for 11am to roll around I took a stroll around.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Thursday for Breakfast!

It all happens here!

There’s been a general store on this corner for eight decades. The building dates back to 1934 as Hoffman’s Store until 2008 when Sarah’s family bought it.

10 year’s later, Sarah’s store has become the place to get gas, pick up some homemade food and something to drink, and enjoy the good life on one of the prettiest backroads in Virginia.

I was invited to come meet the locals, and make some new acquaintances and soon to be friends!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

From Two Halves to Whole!

I’m trying to remember just when I started this top.

It had been an idea for YEARS – since I finished putting the piano key border on Idaho Square Dance from the Addicted to Scraps book and found I had leftover strip sets.

It took me THIS LONG to actually grab them and start doing something with them over the past winter.  Was it January?  Earlier?  At any rate – this top has seemingly taken for-freaking-ever to get together.

And yesterday I nearly let an upset in my emotions derail me from completing the top.

Has that ever happened to you?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

All on a Tuesday in April.

Sometimes you’ve just got to settle in and sew rows.

And rows.  And rows.  And more rows.

When blocks are small and there are close to 200 of them that means many many many sashing pieces.

As of yet, I haven’t mastered a way to “web” an on-point quilt.  I assemble in rows, and join each row to the “mother ship” as rows are completed so that things don’t get turned around and stay in order.

This means loads of up down up down – which I suppose is good for me, but this 57 year old body is feeling it just a bit.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Playing Hooky All the Way to Abingdon!

So much for staying in to sew!

Mona arrived at the cabin around 9am – the sun was shining, we wanted to be out!

She said she wanted to visit Quiltville Inn and see the new improvements and then she didn’t care WHAT we got up to as long as we were not cooped up inside.

And that is when I laid it out that I really wanted to get over to Abingdon and check out some antique malls, perhaps have lunch out and just explore what is out there.

“Let’s go!” was her reply.  And I’m so glad we did.

I could have stayed in and worked on more Winter Blues on-point assembly – but I was just feeling kind of SEWN OUT.  Do you ever get that way?

A day to play was just what the doctor ordered – for both of us!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Quilt Assembly–the Slow Sunday Way!

On the downhill slope now!

You don’t even want to know how many sashings and cornerstones it is taking to set this quilt together -

I myself have completely lost count.

Not that it matters at this point, but I WILL need to know specifically when it comes down to putting the instructions down into a pattern.

One of the conundrums of being a consummate scrap quilter?  Answering the ever-present question of “How many width of fabric strips does it take to get this many?”

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Saturday in the Rain, String Frenzy Bundle Drawing!

Beautiful white daffodils on the hillside!

It rained yesterday.  Quite a bit of the day.  A soft and gentle spring rain that left clouds and fog hugging the tops of the mountains and hills around Quiltville Inn.

I love rain like this.  It wasn’t cold – just cool.  I admit to taking a break or two just sitting in a rocking chair on the back porch while Sadie braved the wet of the yard to take care of her business.

It was while she was doing thus that I noticed new growth on the slope leading down to the creek beyond the Inn.

What ARE those white things?  I couldn’t really tell until I got upon them – my feet squelching through the grass, my socks instantly wet as water seeped through the mesh fabric of my running shoes.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

All Roads Lead to Virginia!

This happened yesterday!

I was on the road by 10am – arriving at Quiltville Inn just before noon.

I was expecting a drop-off of some “sewing room goodies” from Denise in Charlotte – but while I waited, I MADE THE BED!

This might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but to see this coming together – my heart does a little leap of joy with each little improvement.

While Lori and I were on our way from the Greensboro NC airport on our drive to Virginia when she arrived just a week ago (How can a week fly by so fast?!) the box spring and “bed in a box” mattress arrived from Amazon, and The Hubster set to work on assembly.

To tell you the truth, I think he just really wanted to see how fast that mattress would expand itself! LOL!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Gonna Win this Wild & Goosey!

Wild & Goosey, Upgraded!

Yesterday I received the following email from Karen with an exciting opportunity -  not only for me, but for you!

Last April you gave us permission to use your Wild and Goosey block for our raffle quilt. NSQG is celebrating it's 40th anniversary this year. The name of our quilt show "Time Flies" reflects how quickly those 40 years have gone by. The flying geese in your Wild and Goosey block from "Addicted to Scraps" certainly represents that movement of time. 
We thought you would enjoy seeing the quilt we created with your block. We would love for you to share the quilt with your quilting community via your blog or other media. If anyone would like to purchase tickets to win the quilt, they can be directed through this link https://nsqg.club/2019-raffle-quilt-wild-and-goosey/.
As a token of our appreciation for sharing your talent with us, we have filed out 13 raffle tickets in your name (check out the picture!) 
Thanks again for your generosity.  Personally I loved the opportunity to work with your block in creating this quilt. 

Karen Snell

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Quilters are EVERYWHERE!

Quilter Drive-By Hello!

How fun is it to post that you are going somewhere to do something – quite in the proverbial “middle of nowhere” (Or middle of heaven-on-earth as I prefer!) to find that two fabulous ladies that I have met before in previous workshops conspired to get in the car and come find me?  I LOVED THIS!

“We are quilters!” They said – as I glanced up from my phone, my meager signal still connected to the wifi beaming from Mojo’s coffee house next door while we waited for our shuttle van to take Lori and myself and our bikes up to White Top Station for our 17 mile biking adventure. (Heck that is a long run-on sentence if there ever was one!)

I was pulled out of my reverie and so surprised that they would take the time to come say hello!  SO NICE!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

String Frenzy Blog Tour and Gift-Away!

Welcome back, everyone!

For those who are new, and following along on my String Frenzy Blog Tour with C&T Publishing, I want to thank you for taking the time to stop by and find out more about my newest book release.

I am in love with ALL THINGS STRINGS.

If there is a place within any block or quilt that I can get away with throwing in some fun string piecing, I will do it.

I see many more string quilts in my future!

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Easy Grade Loop? I Think Not!

The sign may read “easy grade” but it was anything but!

But as in all things – the struggle is worth the result.

Lori and I made a return trip to Grayson Highlands State Park, this time going the OPPOSITE direction of the pony pastures, and up into the knobs, ridges, and pinnacles.

And when you lose sight of the trail, you blaze your own!

Lori is an experienced hiker and backpacker.  I am a wimp.  But we have done serious hiking for 3 days straight, and I must admit to feeling just a bit chuffed with what we have accomplished.  WE DID IT!  We have the sore muscles (And even some leg cramps at night on my part) to prove it.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Afternoon Sunday After Hike Sewing -

This morning’s view of yesterday’s activities!

Can you believe that we actually sat down to sew??  It was past 2pm – as we took off by 10am to find some hiking trails before the forecasted rain came in.

Spring is arriving truly in all of its springtime glory in these parts, and knowing I only have Lori (Check out her post on our time together on her blog, Humble Quilts) until Wednesday, and also knowing that there are many corners that I have yet to discover as well, we made good use of our morning.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Quiltmaker May/June ‘19 Gift-Away!

We are headed full on into Summer, my friends!

I grabbed up a bunch of goodies yesterday on my way to the airport to pick up my friend Lori who grabbed a red-eye overnight flight to come spend a few days with me during my Spring Break home!

There will be time for sewing when it rains – but we are counting on intermittent bursts of fair weather for hiking around these parts!  SPRING in the Blue Ridge!  More on what we saw yesterday further below – but first – THIS BIG Gift-AWAY!

Saturday, April 06, 2019

String Frenzy Blog Tour & A Quilt-Cam Evening!

Something GREAT is happening today

More than one thing.

Life gangs up on us that way from time to time!

My String FrenzBlog Tour is FINALLY happening this weekend and into next week.

String Frenzy was officially released in December, right smack dab in the middle of the holidays.  My January was busy with Japan, February had me in Arizona and Texas, and well, you know how my March has been!

I suggested SPRING BREAK for our little jaunt around blog land, as my feet are on the ground and I’m not juggling travel and workshops and lectures while participating.  WE CAN DO THIS!

Friday, April 05, 2019

The NEED to just SEW! (Quilt-Cam TONIGHT!)

I spent yesterday HERE!

In the Quilting Quarters at Quiltville Inn – where I could lay out a quilt in progress with no danger of Sadie the Wonder Dog block surfing across the floor and messing up a pretty intense lay-out of very small blocks.

The fire place flickered.  Breezes blew outside – but all was warm and cozy within.

This space is cavernous.  It needs design walls to absorb the echo.  But I smiled to myself imagining the hum of 12 machines, the  sounds of voices to come.  The walls ringing with laughter.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

And When There is Time to Sew!

Don’t you love beautiful quilt beginnings?

When you finally see units start falling into place?

And all you want to do is stay at the machine and put the pieces through and watch it grow?

I am sharing a bit of a non-zoomed-in view so you can feel the lovely ambiance of my gas log stove.  Mornings and evenings are still chilly here up on the mountain, but it is cozy and warm with that little fire going in my sewing space at the cabin.

This is the beginnings of the Winter Blues assembly – I’ve been working on the blocks off and on over the past few months.  Actually, it feels more OFF than On – but that will be remedied today!

And yes, the orange is there to remind me to eat healthy and keep my hand out of the bag of peanut M&Ms – so far that is a fail.

I am liking these little blocks so much that there may be a couple of table runners made for Quiltville Inn – heaven knows i have enough old blue fabric in the stash – and these are just super cute.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Overwhelmed in Every Good Way.

It was evening by the time I left Quiltville Inn.

My happy find?  The little oil lamp turned electric you see sitting on top of the old dresser in bedroom #1.  It’s got the wrong bulb for what I want in it – I envision something with a flame-like flicker, but at least I know the wiring works!

I spent the morning at the Inn arranging tables, shuffling stuff to and fro, and tackling the dreaded disgusting job of vacuuming up the flies that had found a sunny spot near a window to die.  It’s the grossest thing.  But when you aren’t there on a daily basis in the country, you will return to find dead flies on the floor.

I talked to Martha about what to do about them when she came by to pick me up and drive me to West Jefferson where we were meeting Toni for lunch at a cute little Cuban restaurant in the row of shops on the strip behind the main street.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

When Good Friends Come Calling -

Me, Melinda & Wendy!

Melinda is on the go and gone, her schedule rivaling mine!

Or maybe the complete opposite of mine – when I’m here, she’s gone, and visa versa.

Several weeks ago she sent me an email with photos and the message: “I’ve got a new patio set – do you want the old one for Quiltville Inn?!”

ABSOLUTELY!  But it needed to wait until she and I were both within the same state at the same time as she lives a about 1 1/2 hours drive from me.  In the WRONG direction – toward Charlotte.

Still – with all orders out the door by 2pm yesterday, and an email verifying that yes, she was home – I hit the road to go pick up load number one in “Operation Porch Furniture!”

Monday, April 01, 2019

And Home By Afternoon!

Yesterday’s #milehighhexieclub stitching!

6:15am hotel pick up time!  Our thanks to Gae for being so willing to pick us up at “Still Dark O'clock” to shuttle Nancy Mahoney and me back to New Orleans for our 9am flight.

There is something “easy feeling” about an early Sunday morning drive – Smart people are still in bed and no one is rushing to work as they would on a Monday morning. 

It was smooth sailing, and as we chatted about the events over the past 4 days and our time together, we crossed over Lake Pontchartrain and before we knew it we could see downtown New Orleans rising in the distance.