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!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Monday On My Own -

Halloween in July I can do!

Christmas can’t happen until October at least, but in the heat of July I start thinking about cooler temperatures, the first sign of leaves turning color towards golden, of pumpkin and spice flavored everything and chilly nights requiring TWO quilts on the bed instead of one in the summer.

It’s been 8 months of NO MACHINE QUILTING for me as we waited for the Quiltville Post Office to be finished.  And then POOF!  All of a sudden, faster than I could have imagined it, the stars aligned, I returned home from California and moved the machine and got it set up THE NEXT DAY.  And I’ve been pinching myself ever since.

I’ve tried to appreciate all of the small things along the way – and when looking back, I see that there have been some mighty big hunks and chunks that have fallen into place as well.

(However, contractors are NOT one of them!  They did a no-show yesterday. Sigh.)

Monday, July 15, 2019

An Orca Bay Day in Louisville!

Friday with Ohio Stars and Abundant String Piecing!

Orca Bay from String Fling!

Yes, I know this photo is a bit blurry – we were laughing so hard I couldn’t hold the camera still!

Or maybe it’s the fact that these quilters were so pedal to the metal that the entire day passed by quick as a wink in a scrappy quilty blur.

Orca Bay brings back ALL the feels!  And not just to me – so happy to hear from Theresa in Cordova Alaska who posted on Instagram that she we cheering us on, and could scarcely believe it’s been 8 years since I visited Cordova – the trip that gave me the inspiration for this quilt, standing on Theresa’s deck overlooking Orca Bay and watching that amazing Alaskan sunset.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Stunning Stitches Gift-Away!

Oh, be still my embroidery loving heart!

Believe it or not there are things you may not know about me.

I have a passion for and am drawn to the tactile beauty of Victorian era crazy quilts and all of their beautiful stitches and embellishments.

They fascinate me! 

I just know there are are stories behind every collected piece of velvet or satin, the meanings lost after so many decades. 

I am also happy to know that there are many out there still creating beautiful works embellished with embroidery, buttons, beads and silk ribbons.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Sew In with the Cozy Quilter, Day Two!

The Quilters are busy down in Louisville!

Location?  The Drury Inn , with a spacious conference room just right for 50 of your closest quilty friends to gather and get their scrappy on!

There is something extra rewarding about extended time with folks – retreats just have a more relaxed and festive atmosphere than a “normal” workshop time period where you are trying to cram everything in to a mere 6-hour time frame.

There is time to get to know your neighbor across, behind or beside you, if you did not know them already.

I like to say that “We are only strangers once!” And it is so true when it comes to quilters.  The exchange of information, conversation, cell numbers, email addresses and social media befriending is fierce as we make plans to do this again NEXT YEAR!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Sew In With Cozy Quilter, Day One!

Our thanks to Karen who brought cookies!

They are all so beautiful, And tasty to boot!

This is our second annual event here in Louisville, and our location at the Drury Inn has been PERFECT in every way. 

It’s not easy to put on an event like this – find the right location with conference rooms big enough to host 50 stitchers and all of the machines, irons and other items that draw electricity.

And of course it’s Louisville – hot and humid, so the A/C must ALSO work.

We’ve been sewing in style and in comfort and loving every minute of it!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Through Tennessee to Kentucky!

There are some travel days where you can stop and go as you please.

And then there are some where you don’t!

My travel day to Kentucky yesterday was uneventful – and the only times my schedule allowed me to stop were for rest areas or to refuel the van.  No antique malls, no historic areas or museums or beautiful courthouse buildings -

I DROVE like a  mother trucker – Just get me to Louisville with enough time to check in to my hotel, get dinner, set up for my lecture and get it done.

Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the drive.  I LOVE to drive.  And I had all of this gorgeous scenery around me to keep my eyes dazzled.  I had an audio book with an interesting plot line (Broken Harbor by Tana French!) to keep my mind trying to figure out “Who Done It?!”

No airports.  No “Must arrive 1 1/2 hours before departure.  Must fly to Atlanta and deal with a layover.  Then fly into Louisville requiring people to pick me and all of my luggage up.”  Not to mention – I would have had to ship all of these books and other class supplies ahead.

It is a 6 1/2 hour drive from the cabin in Virginia.  It would have taken me longer than that if I had flown from Greensboro.  So driving trip it is!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Short Post, and Out the Door!

This stuff is not fun.  But so necessary!

Especially if you are headed to Africa with me in October!

Our Kenya trip is just around the corner.  Those who are traveling with me through Craftours will be receiving a letter with information regarding suggested vaccinations in August, a couple of months before we travel.

As for me – my schedule is so crazy, I am taking care if it just a bit early while I was already in town for other appointments.

(I picked up my new glasses yesterday!  WOW!  What a difference an updated prescription makes!)

You can ask your regular doctor’s office if they do the vaccinations in house, or they may refer you to a travel clinic specializing in what is needed for far away places.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Navigating the Quilt Vault!

Untouched and no filters!

i am always receiving questions such as: "Just what do you DO with all of your quilts?”

I honestly think that most folks forget this is my job. And without all of these quilts I wouldn’t be able to do my job.

Because I teach and I lecture I need these quilts on hand. I will decide what to do with them after I retire. When people ask me questions like this I don't know whether to be cautious as if being judged, feel guilty, or turn it around and ask them what they do with theirs.

What are they exactly trying to say when they ask me questions like this?  Has anyone asked you this?  And how do you reply?

Is there such a thing as too many quilts?

And is it rude to ask someone what they are doing or intend to do with all of their quilts (Or fill in the blank….Shoes? Purses? Jewelry? Cats? Nick knacks?

Does the world outside these walls really need to know?

Monday, July 08, 2019

And Another New Week Begins!

This was my late Sunday afternoon pleasure -

Lisa trundled out the door on down the road 100 miles home to Winston Salem at the same time we headed just a mere 1/2 mile down the road to Jean & Gordon’s.

I had met Jean the first time I attended the Third-Thursday breakfast meet up, and after visiting just a bit we KNEW we had to get our menfolk to meet each other.  We’d planned for weeks, but either one of us or the guys were out of town – but yesterday afternoon – Jack Pot!

They talked of tractors and diggers and dump trucks while we talked of flowers, gardening, and our love of wandering second hand thrift places and where the good ones are to go.

We hiked up their mountain road – steeper than ours, or is it just longer?  And wiled away a good portion of the afternoon.  So great to know people so very close!

In between rounds of ever-present rainfall I headed on over to the Quiltville Post Office to trim up the Fireweed quilt, and prepare a binding.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

A Gentle Mountain Sunday

Martha and I stopped here a few weeks past.

I find life in Appalachia to be full of kind, hardworking folk – where roots to community go deep – so deep!

Some have lived here in this corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains going back generations – and then others, like me – have adopted this area and are happily creating our own space here. These people are welcoming, inclusive, helpful, and enjoy the best of the simple things in life.

Laurel Valley Community Church in Konnarock, Virginia touched all the heartstrings and we had to pull over to see what we could see.  Rough hewn logs, red painted door, simple wooden cross.

We meant only to peek in the windows – but the door was open, and we wandered inside.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Meeting Mary!

Meet my friend Mary!

I first met Mary a few years back when teaching in Cave City TN and have enjoyed her interactions through my Quiltville Facebook page – I can always count on Mary’s sense of humor and positive reinforcement when I need it.  She is a great friend and cheerleader, and yesterday she came visiting!

Her hubby Roger is a trooper – I told him he was a good guy for driving Mary 240 miles one way to come see me – and he quipped back with “It was easy, she did the driving!”

They’ve been married more than 50 years, so it is plain to see that he has learned to live the truth of “Happy Wife, Happy Life!”  Hahaha!

Why did they come all this way?

Friday, July 05, 2019

What a Wonderful 4th!

There is nothing like a small town 4th of July!  Being as it was my first in the Quiltville Post Office, the day felt extra festive -

And what better than to set out the lovely okay table that Melinda brought me last fall – and adorn it with the flag quilt that came from Donna for 4th of July last year – and bring a bit of Patriotic Happiness into my new space.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

2019 Leader & Ender Challenge–Shoo, Fly, Shoo!

Are you ready for a new challenge?

*Click HERE for Printer-Friendly Version*

We’ve been running a yearly Leader & Ender Challenge since July, 2011! 

And oh, how wonderfully varied the quilts that came from this year-long adventure have been.

We keep the rules loose – you can make as many (or as few) blocks as you like – you can turn them into whatever you want.

The whole idea is to use these pieces to keep your chain piecing of other things continuous, eliminating the need for a “sew between” or a “thread spider” made from a folded over piece of junk fabric that gets thrown away after use. 

If we cut pieces ahead of time – we can build more BLOCKS instead of covering throw away pieces of fabric with thread, or even worse – leave long thread tails on our work, or the floor, or wherever they land.

And they help us use scraps, giving us a FREE quilt over the course of the year.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Seven Sisters Quilt Show Recap!

Me and Lois -

Entering the big tent outside of the quilt show venue -

Oh yeah, throw me right into the vendor’s den.  Haha!

I have heard for years that this is a wonderful show, and I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly.  Several guilds join together to present this show, and folks from all over California travel in – to enjoy the quilts, visit the vendors, stay at the incredible Madonna Inn if over-nighting, and enjoy everything that the central coast has to offer – June in California.  WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Long Arm On The Move!

Through the windshield view -

My Millie is going down the road to her new location!

This all came together really fast – I contacted the Long Arm guy on my way to California thinking I’d have to plan months in advance for him to be able to move it as he currently lives part time in Michigan and part time in Arizona -

But the reply came – “Can you do it July 1st?”  “Why yes, yes I can!”

Even considering the fact that I got in at midnight the night before – I was so excited to get this new journey started, and get my machine cables adjusted so I could be back up and running, I didn’t even care that I was dealing with jet lag and lack of sleep.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Running on Empty -

“Running into the sun, but I’m running behind….”

As I am writing this post, Jackson Browne is singing “Running on Empty……”

I get it, dude! I really do!

Yesterday’s travel day home was drawn out from before dawn at 4am to midnight North Carolina time – beginning and ending in the dark on both ends.

I need a weekend to recuperate from my weekend!