Sunday, September 15, 2019

Two Months In–Leader & Ender Check!

While I can’t share much of what has also been going on behind the scenes (It’s that time of year!) I can show you just what was accomplished as Leaders & Enders in just YESTERDAY’s round of sewing mayhem.

These little cuties have just stolen my heart.  Have you jumped in on this year’s Shoo Fly Shoo Leader & Ender Challenge?  We just started in July.  It runs all year long.  There is no specific completed project, no particular block size to shoot for – the objective is to use your scraps.  To cut block sets out ahead of time, and keep them by your machine and to build the blocks using the pairs and pieces as “sew-betweens” during the making of your main focus projects.

The basic directions are found under the Free Patterns Tab at the top of the blog, and I’ve given cutting directions for two sizes – the small ones finish at 4’’ and the larger one at 6’’.  Pick your favorite size – or choose some of both.  It’s up to you.

If you follow along, you’ll also get very good at “webbing” the block – instructions are included for that too.  Just wait until you see how it improves your quilting productivity.  It’s a game changer!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

When the Binding Queue is Empty -

Three big quilts – hundreds of inches of hand stitched binding!

I know that there are folks out there who have STACKS of quilts to bind and they say that it is their LEAST favorite part of quilting to do.

It’s my FAVORITE.  It’s my reason for feet up and relaxation and much binge watching.

It puts me in the same room as the rest of my family, and right in the middle of conversations (if binge watching is not going on) where making plans for the week ahead, the weekend, the next month, can happen.

Machine work – we all know I am a frantic machine piecer, but that puts me in my own zone.  With hand work I am a participant.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Blaming It All on the Meds -

My burgeoning string bucket.

I know it sends some into heart attack mode, but I see endless possibilities and wonderful creativity packed to capacity within its confines – or even exploding over its sides in crazy rainbow volcano fashion.

It’s like an archaeological dig. 

As I work at kitting up projects for future rounds of piecing mayhem, anything deemed too narrow (or too unloved) gets dropped off the side of the cutting table, landing in this bin in layers – you can pretty much tell what I’ve been working on by layer upon layer of off cuts. 

There are YEARS worth of strips and strings in here – all destined for something wonderful to come.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Are You A Quilting Rockstar?!

Good morning, quilting peeps -

This morning’s post is a little bit different.  I want to talk about something that is out of my own realm of expertise, and turn the topic of Free Motion Quilting over to my friend HollyAnne Knight of String & Story. Did you know that her Free Motion Quilting Academy is in registration right now for the next 8 week session?

Enrollment runs September 12th (today) through September 18th, with graduation happening November 16th.

If you have always wanted to learn how to Free Motion quilt, and to do it from the comfort of your own home – here are more reasons why you should register now for the Free Motion Quilting Academy:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Quilting Friends and Show & Share!

This kind of fun was held in Pennsylvania at retreat!

I adore teaching at retreats for the simple reason that when workshop day is done, the quilters keep sewing and there is time for me to unwind, hang around, and just be one of the girls.  It’s the best of both worlds!

As our retreat focus was ONE quilt workshop spread out from Thursday evening to Sunday morning – we even threw in some evening gear switchers for good measure. It worked so well!

We also saved our Show & Share event until Saturday evening – which gave us a bit of a break from our sewing machines which many of us needed.  Out came the crochet – because quilters must have busy hands – while quilt after quilt was shown!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

What Quilters Do While Waiting -

It seems we spend a lot of our daylight hours just WAITING.

Waiting for the morning coffee or tea.  Waiting for the washer to finish spinning so we can put the laundry in the dryer.  Waiting for the microwave to finish heating whatever we are zapping because it can’t zap fast enough.

I spent a LOT of yesterday waiting.

Monday, September 09, 2019

The EXTRA Long Way Home.

Well, THIS was NOT on my agenda!

I had planned on heading south from Pennsylvania to the IKEA at Woodbridge, Virginia – though it wasn’t directly on my way home to Mouth of Wilson, it was a much shorter detour than a trip to the IKEA in Charlotte, North Carolina.

With the fuel light letting me know that I needed a fill up, and soon – I turned off the interstate and in to the gas station entry – only in avoiding a car that was taking up too much space coming OUT of the drive,  I found myself much too close to the curb. 

Yep.  I ran that tire up against the curb and promptly gave myself a flat tire.  Well RATS!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

“It Must Be Daybreak!” *Singing*

Two full days, Three evenings, and a morning – all dedicated to working on Daybreak from my book String Frenzy at the Quilt Odyssey Fall Retreat in Orrstown, Pennsylvania.

These ladies got so much done!  And it wasn’t just about the quilting – but the quiltershipping (Think fellowshipping, only with quilters!) that happened here.

The Byers Conference Center in Orrstown, Pennsylvania is just a wonderful facility where our every need was met.

And the food was FABULOUS!

Missing from this photo is our head honcho – Missy Molino, the head, heart and hands behind the wonderful yearly Quilt Odyssey quilt show that happens in Hershey, Pennsylvania every July.

This is the second time I’ve been able to teach for the yearly fall retreat, and I will always say yes to coming back, because it is such a wonderful relaxing time – When we’ve spent this many days on this project at a much more leisurely pace, I am wondering to myself how we ever crammed it in to a 6-hour workshop day.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Quilting Friends, Amish Wash, and Homemade Root Beer!

Things are busy in Roxbury, Pennsylvania!

An evening, a day, another evening, a day, another evening, and a morning – the entirety of our Quilt Odyssey retreat is giving the quilters concentrated time at really getting their Daybreak quilts from my String Frenzy book to come alive, each quilt reflecting its own personality of each maker.

And though it is the sewing that brings us together – being here also brings so much more to the table!

Friday, September 06, 2019

Antiquing my Way to PA!

A road trip day of travel and antique mall wandering!  Bliss!

Destination?  Orrsville, Pennsylvania and the Quilt Odyssey Fall Retreat!

It’s amazing how a day of driving – even a LONG day can feel a bit more restful and recharging than sitting on a plane across country.  The same amount of travel time – a world of difference.  I left Mouth of Wilson bright and early -

If I was going to have time to explore, I needed to keep my eye on my retreat arrival time and adjust accordingly.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

This is ONE Short-Sheeted Week!

I don’t know how to NOT multi-task.

It’s a well known thing – if I can do two or three things at once, then all the better.

Sometimes that means that NONE of the two or three things turn out quite the way I expected – but hey – it’s worth a try, right?

Such was my day yesterday.

The things on my list:
  • Get mail order out (Done by 11:30am. Hooray!)
  • Drive to the cabin and take care of some things there – (Spa chemicals are not my thing – it involved a phone conversation with the hubster telling me which one and how much.)
  • Be back in time for a 1pm Podcast recording!
  • Pack the van for today’s trip to Pennsylvania – did I miss anything? Did I forget anything?  It feels very weird because there is no lecture so I’m driving with ONE quilt in the car!

My highlight of the day – meeting up with a van full of 4 wild and crazy Canadians!  And we had so much fun.  I’ll send some photos when I get some back from them.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

From Grandma Lucy With Love -

My step-grandma Lucy ignited my passion for needlework.

I was 14 when I became Lucy’s first (and eldest!) grandchild.  Blending families can be such a challenging and scary time – I bet for her also, as one day she didn’t have ANY grandchildren, and then BOOM! Just like that – she had three.  And me, a teenager at that!

She was a kindly woman whom I loved dearly.  I remember heading out to the dime store with her to choose coloring books – we washed the utility muslin until it was soft, cut it to size (with scissors! This was the early 1970s!) and traced the coloring book images with a pencil to stitch.

I LOVED choosing all of the colors of embroidery floss we would use.  Stem stitch and French knots, and sometimes satin stitch, though I could never get it as perfect as Grandma Lucy’s.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Remembering Granite

Exploring old gold mining towns?  Yes please!

My inner history buff was in full satisfaction mode when our friend Kent asked us if we’d like to take a drive up past Sumpter to Granite, Oregon.

First established by miners after the discovery of gold along Granite Creek on July 4, 1862, the area was originally called Granite Creek Mines. During the following year, a settlement called Granite City was established about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) downstream of where Granite City is now.

Monday, September 02, 2019

The Long Journey Home (And Finally: that Gift-Away!)

South Fork of the Payette River, Garden Valley Idaho.

Hello, everyone!

My feet are back in North Carolina after a crazy week away with limited to no wifi  - but this enabled me for the first time in a long long time to step away from the blog for several days and not worry about it.

This daily writing has been a huge part of my life over the past 15 years that this blog has been running (Yes we turned 15 in June!) and it was interesting to do a check in now and again on how I was feeling – Anxious? Worried? Relaxed? Out of sorts? BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE.

Actually, I think it was very good for me.  The world marches on. They don’t need me here – and so we went with the flow.

We can always catch up.  Or not.  We can simply move forward from here -