Saturday, November 30, 2019

When Hearts are Full to Bursting!

Quiltville Inn Beta Test Retreat is in Full Swing!

Can I just tell you how much this means to me?  I know you’ve been hearing about the progress for the past year and a half – every little detail.  I talk about it and talk about it until you have likely heard ENOUGH ALREADY.  But did you ever have a dream you dreamed was impossible, but you went for it anyway?  And when it came to fruition, and you stepped from simply dreaming into reality – you couldn’t find the words to express your gratitude?

That’s me right now.  And I’m teary eyed as I’m typing this because these ladies mean so much to me!  They gave up a good chunk of a holiday weekend to come TEST. ALL. THE. THINGS.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving, 2019!

From my house to yours -

Wishing you health and happiness and time with those you love.  And soft gentle memories of the ones who are absent from us all.

Yesterday was a day of finishing touches. Each day the “to do” list gets shorter and shorter.  And I am learning that some things can just be put on another list to happen later.

There is a lot of truth to the saying “It is what it is.”  And I am standing back and smiling, focusing on all that has been accomplished in the past year, not on those things that have to wait a bit.

Things got hung on walls in the Hen Den!  These big barn quits and folk art paintings on wood are HEAVY and we really did need 3 people to do them.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Very Tree-Riffic Tuesday!

This is what was going on at Quiltville Inn yesterday!

More Asplundh tree removal.  By the time they are done, there won’t be any more shade trees left at all!

I know it’s important.  We don’t want trees taking down power lines in storms.  We don’t want trees falling onto the porch and damaging the house.  But I love the trees!

There was a time in my life where I lived where there were very FEW trees….open fields and farms for miles, but trees were few and far between.  I love being in wooded areas surrounded by trees in every direction.  So let’s hope that they leave us SOME to shade the side yard at the retreat.  They mentioned the chestnut trees on the other side of the garage/shop may also need to be topped.  Sigh.

And then there is THIS tree action:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Little Things and Big Things–and Memorable Things, Too!

Oh the cuteness of these little cream pitchers!

These arrived from Betty Price, and her box didn’t include an email address to get back to her, so I hope she sees this!  There was a simple post it note of “If you can’t use these, pass them on…” But Betty, they are TOO CUTE and YES!  I will find a place to display them – who knew they even made such things?

So thank you very very much.

Another early morning arrival to the QPO to get the day’s mail order out the door before dad wakes up.

Poor guy – we were binging The Crown last night, and just after 9pm he said “I’m feeling drowsy, is it time for bed?”  And I was feeling it too after our busy day, so off he went to the guest room upstairs, and I to the master right below him on the main floor.

Monday, November 25, 2019

When Multi Tasking Doesn’t Work!

I am singing “Let it Go!” to myself -

It’s not in my nature to let things go – to let things slide.  To say “You can’t do it all!” and not force myself to double down and get it done.

Sometimes no matter how you try to multi-task things, it’s just NOT going to fit.

I was up at 5:30am this morning to get a shower and head over to the QPO (Quiltville Post Office for our many new readers – welcome!) to get a couple of mystery clues written.

The placemats are pieced.  The bindings are made and ready.  It just wouldn’t take TOO much time if I could just get this loaded in the long arm?  It could be running while I fill mail order, and write two Frolic clues ahead of time, plus write this blog post -

I mean, It’s now 7:30 and I told Dad I would be back for breakfast at 9am.  That should be plenty of time, right?

And as I sat here with invoices printing, while piecing a backing – I hit the brakes.  NO.  No, I can’t do it all.  I am out of time.  It is what it is.

And the most important thing is to be with my dad.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Things We Do While Waiting -

These happened yesterday morning.

I had hoped to have some time while in Wallburg to not only get the Essex linen foundations cut for our upcoming Germany trip (ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!) but to also get the four remaining place mat tops pieced and ready for quilting.  Now let’s be serious – do I really think I can get these quilted and bound before the Ms Bee Haven Beta Test Retreat Group shows up?  Doubtful.  But it felt good to let everything else just take a back seat while I listened to some podcasts and just stitched in the comfort of my old home basement studio.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

November ‘19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Guess what I found waiting for me when I returned home to Wallburg last night?

The November Quilty Box and Quilty Box Mini! In the nick of time – because November is quietly slipping away into December.

They may have stuck Thanksgiving down as far as they can in November, but I still feel like I need a couple of November weeks left to get done all that needs to be done around here.  Are you with me?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Like a Flock of White Flamingoes!

The Hen Den is nearly ready!

There are a couple of barn quilts to hang on walls – but they are so heavy that I can’t do it myself.  I need to attach some hanger things to the back, and then with help put them over hooks on the walls.

The problem is – I’m out of time!  I head back to Winston Salem today as my dad’s flight gets into Greensboro tomorrow for Thanksgiving week.

We’ve ran the gauntlet and have gone as far as we can go.  The Hubster is on his way to Oregon – I’ve lost my man help!  But Thanksgiving Day may be filled with last minute touches while the turkey cooks.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Made for Cozy Dreaming!

Late afternoon photos bring interesting lighting!

This is the turret room, bedroom #3 complete with pea-soup-green walls.  The previous owners did a great job on choosing colors that were quite original to the dating of the house.  Colors a bit out of the ordinary that make my scrap quilts sparkle without being too matchy-matchy or blending in.

It’s like they knew me before we even knew the house existed!

Detailing these rooms has been such a joy – and my inner 10 year old wants 2 weeks to sleep in each and every bed to make sure they are comfy and just right!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Lion Sleeps Tonight -

In the Jungle, the mighty Jungle-
The Lion Sleeps Tonight!

Only it was early morning and the sun was just up and this was all before breakfast!

I always thought the Giraffes would be my favorite.  But there is something about the BIG cats – Leopards, Cheetahs and Lions that just make me catch my breath with their raw beauty.

And if it weren’t for that fabulous zoom on my camera, I wouldn’t have been able to see them clearly at all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Cleaning in the Dark --

I told The Hubster “It Feels Like 11pm!”

I had been washing windows, scrubbing appliances, doing detail work in the Quiltville Inn kitchen to get all things ready.

“It’s 7pm.” was his reply.  

GAH!  I just can not wait for the Winter Solstice to happen.  It’s dark when I wake up, it’s dark when I go home – and I am solar powered.  I am ready for jammies 2 hours past dark, and ready for sleeping 2 hours past that.  My eyes were closing during NCIS last night – it was only 9pm.  This morning?  Up at 4:15am.  THIS IS SO STUPID!

But the kitchen is looking great, isn’t it?

The gas stove grates are off the top.  I brought them home to try some more deep scrubbing on them.  I think I will have to resort to the “ammonia in a bag” soaking trick.  As much as I love this house, there were things that were just neglected over many years, and the stove was one of them.  I’ve never seen so much cooked on grease on gas stove grates in my life.  I even tried cooking them in the oven on CLEAN cycle.  All that did was turn on the smoke alarm! LOL!

Monday, November 18, 2019

So Much Monkey Business!

Look at the tiny little baby baboon!

Baboons were everywhere while we were on safari.  I loved seeing the family units – and seeing one this tiny was such a miracle.  I could have stayed there and watched this family for much longer – the mother was so caring of her newborn.  Petting, holding, suckling, just PRECIOUS.

Baboons are, however – extremely naughty and have opposable thumbs just like we do, so we were told again and again and again to keep our tents zipped up tight, and to not have food in our tents.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

When Things Come Together!

The disclaimer for this post is -
Wall colors are NOT TRUE!

I was taking these photos in the evening before leaving – and what looks like mustard here is really closer to squash orange.  It’s a hard color to describe, but suffice it to say that bedroom one is 99% DONE! Hopefully reading lamps can be attached by each bed today.  That’s the goal at least – as soon as the other 4 luggage stands are assembled.

Bedding is on beds.  Quilts are on walls.  The only thing that remains to be done is place the zippered pillow protectors and pillowcases on the new pillows that the retreaters are bringing on Black Friday for their “entrance fee” for our first 2-night Beta Test Retreat.

Other than that, this bedroom is READY TO ROLL!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hang and Decorate All. The. Things.

Things are shaping up at Quiltville Inn!

TWO WEEKS FROM YESTERDAY and counting!  My first group of Beta Testers arrive at 10am on Black Friday Morning.  Much better than standing in line at Target at 3am, right?

I am so excited these ladies are willing to walk away from family the day after Thanksgiving and come help test out the facilities.

These are the ladies from my own Bee in Winston Salem.  And over the past nearly 12 years that I’ve called that area home, I haven’t had as much time to spend with them as I’d like as usually the meetings were when I was out of town, or just returning from being out of town – and now they are coming for a 2 night beta test retreat.


Friday, November 15, 2019

Out and About in the Afternoon.

Oh how I love an old barn with a barn quilt!

I made a quick call to Martha yesterday, inviting her to ride with me to Sparta for lunch.  It had been a while since we sat down for a meal, the two of us.

And truth be told, there was more to this outing than just friendship.  I needed some moral support.  I needed to go by the vet to pick up Sadie’s remains and bring her ashes home.

I just didn’t want to do it by myself.  And if Martha came, we could go to lunch, fill the afternoon with news and catching up, and then the burden of picking up Sadie would be halved and shared.

I’m so grateful she said yes.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hug a Rhino Day!

Up close and personal with a blind rhino!

It’s been a few weeks now since we went to visit this fella at the rhino conservatory.  I can’t remember his name!

But I do know that he was born blind, and he lives here where folks can come learn about the rhinos.  He is cared for in a large area where he can roam and do what rhinos do – EAT. ALL. THE.  TIME!

Forget about goats being your lawn mower of choice.  If you really want to get the job done, hire a rhino!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Expedited Passports and Antique Mall Wanderings

LOL.  I am still laughing at this sign! LOL!

SO much of our lives can be filled with the good intentions of “helping” others – when really, unless they ask – DON’T OFFER! I really am working so hard to avoid the “You need to, you must, you really should, you ought to, or if it was me – or is it Or if it were I?” out of ANY conversation – unless that person is under 18 years old.

Anyone else who has made it to adult status can usually figure things out on their own, unless they ask.  We can’t jump in and save the world with our own opinions and ways of doing things.  Nor should we.

However – when it came to the point last evening where I saw that Hubster & Son had painted the Hen Den ceiling at Quiltville Inn with SATIN shiny paint instead of flat ceiling paint? I drew the line.  LOL.  But what can I say? I wasn’t here to take the control freak situation into my own control freak hands.  

Love them for their efforts, but shiny ceilings with shadows of ceiling fans whirring just make me dizzy.  Repainting will happen, likely this weekend. Flat paint is for ceilings.  Just so you know.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Showin’ & Sharin’ & Snowin’ in Shipshewana!

It was reaching white-out conditions as we made our way from Shipshewana back to South Bend for my flights home yesterday.  I snapped this photo as we crawled on by.  Such an inviting farmhouse in the snow.  So very Midwest.  Lovely!

My heart was so full with all of the experiences shared during our 4 days together.  Even the snow and blow couldn’t remove the smile from my face!

My wish is that everyone else who was traveling through this mess would make it safely to their destinations – because it was bound to be a doozer.

And that proved true in many ways – flights were delayed getting in or out of South Bend – some flights (To Detroit – so glad that wasn’t my hub yesterday!) were cancelled all together.

As for me – We did get out, I was late getting to Atlanta, and the worst of it is that I had another 3 hour wait to catch a later flight. That is a SMALL upheaval in the midst of something that could have been so much worse.  I’ll take it gratefully!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Smith Mountain Morning–Shipshewana Style!

Orange and BLUE!!!  Perfection!

Yesterday’s Smith Mountain Morning workshop in Shipshewana was full to the gills with happy, scrappy and more.  And I so love seeing what color plans each quilter brings to her table – SO MUCH VARIETY!

I have mentioned before that this is one of the biggest reasons that I choose not to provide kits for my classes.  We learn so much, and gain so much inspiration from seeing what other people put together that might be completely out of our own chosen boxes.

So many folks come happy with the original quilt colors, and go merrily into the project knowing just what it will look like when they are done. And that is great. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Building Sandcastles, Strengthening Friendships!

Aren’t these blocks just gorgeous?!

Simple four-patches framed by string block fun – it’s a match made in this scrap quilt lover’s heaven!

Sandcastles from my book String Frenzy was our day 3 workshop at Gay Bomer’s Sentimental Stitches retreat held at the Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana.

A MECCA for all things quilty and quaint, delicious and delightful – we’ve had just an awesome time.

Along with the workshops there are several conference rooms full of quilters “doing their own thing” as well – so around every corner there is something bright and colorful and beautiful to catch your eye, and start a conversation.  We are surrounded by friends with common interests here.  It’s like one big sorority house of fabric fun!

And yes, I’ll be BACK!  Mark your calendars for April of 2021.  It’s in the planning stages.  Even with the opening and running of Quiltville Inn, I have made a commitment to be on the road for one event per month SOMEWHERE.  April 2021 is HERE in Shipshewana Indiana.  I hope you’ll join me.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

A Narragansett Blues Day in Shipshewana!

What a day to play with the Quilters in Shipshe!

It was a no-empty-chairs kind of full up day at Gay Bomer’s Sentimental Stitches retreat at the Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana.

A Double Duty Day with a Narragansett Blues all day workshop, followed by a completely packed house for a lecture, followed by retreater show & share, and then - topped off with an ice-cream social – oh yum!  There wasn’t a spare moment when we weren’t cutting, sewing, pressing, oohing and ahhing over quilts, and stuffing our faces with yummy food.

Isn’t that what retreat is all about?

Friday, November 08, 2019

Jamestown Landing in Shipshewana, IN!

There is just no place like Shipshewana, Indiana!

And I must say that I also love how the name of this place just rolls off your tongue like fizzy bubbles.  It’s fun to say!  It’s fun to be here – the heart of Indiana Amish country, surrounded by quilters and all things quilty.  It’s a haven for quilters of all ages.

Along with our classroom for 40, there are several other open sew retreat rooms going full bore – it’s quilters everywhere you turn, and this is the balm my soul needs!  The fabrics are flying, the projects are varied, there is eye candy to be seen on every surface and the chatter and laughter draws you right in.

You should BE HERE!  You really should!

Thursday, November 07, 2019

When Elephants Go Walking -

Of course I adored the baby elephants the best -

What’s not to love about a baby elephant?

When we arrived at Sweetwaters Serena Camp ready for our safari adventures to begin, Elephants were the first thing we spotted on the horizon – just roaming.  And my heart soared!  Oh these gentle beasts – yes they can be fierce when they need to be, just watching them lumber along as elephants do just being elephants.

I seriously can never look at a zoo, a circus, in the same light as I previously had.  I used to console myself with thoughts of “Well zoos are educational, and how can the children learn about the animals if they can’t visit them in the zoo?”  It’s not the same.  I would free EVERYTHING if I could.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Looking Back and Moving Forward! (And Gift-Away!)

Sometimes all you DO need is LOVE!

I’ve been so grateful for the outpouring of love over the past few days.  Thank you all so very much -

You know, something happens when stress on the emotions as well as the body comes calling – and I have been forgetful of the stupidest of things.  I’ve set things down who knows where.  I forgot an appointment.  I couldn’t find a quilt that was supposed to come with me to Shipshewana Indiana this morning -

(Yes, I found it, after much digging!)

And the biggest thing of all – I can’t remember putting my hand on my passport after I went through customs and checked back in through security at JFK more than a week ago.

I think I left my brain in Kenya.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Leapin’ Leopards!

Would you just look at this big guy??

I am slowly going through the 3,000 photos and videos I took while in Kenya – I would love to thank those who said “Put the camera on SPORT mode and take burst shots!” because they were so right.  The animals are moving, the vehicles are moving – people are jostling around to get the best vantage point for their own photos, the safari vehicles were rocking.  There is no way in heck to use a tripod and special settings.  Just burst shot and go and hope you get something good.

Or wonderful – just look at his eyes! The tufts of fur in his ears – the individual hairs on his belly fur.  And that gorgeous grain of dead tree wood – magnificent.

I am so glad that I didn’t just go to Africa with only a cell phone.  I can hardly wait to take my Canon SX70HS to Germany in a few weeks.  With a bigger memory card.  Because I intend to take ALL the photos!

Monday, November 04, 2019

When Life Falls to Pieces–PIECE!

This was my yesterday.  But it isn’t my way to just handle the events of the weekend, but any time that my thoughts seem to be running in every direction.  Sleep patterns awry (No thanks to “fall back” time on top of international travel upheaval) sometimes the best way for me to deal with things is to just get up and get going.

The body clock wins, no matter what the actual time clock says.

When there is no sleep to be had, the best thing for me to do is get a bit creative.

Before I go any further – I do want to acknowledge all of the wonderful messages and heartfelt comments in regards to Sadie’s passing.  It hit us unbelievably hard, but in the end there really is no avoiding it, is there? 

I just wish we could have done more for her to ease her suffering in her last hour.  She is at peace now.  Our hearts are raw. We weren’t ready to say goodbye, we weren’t prepared for it. But can you ever be?

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Rest in Peace, Sweet Sadie Jane.

It is with unbelievable sadness I write this - our sweet Sadie Jane crossed the rainbow bridge at about 1:15 am this morning.

We believe she had a stroke just past midnight after we had gone to bed - we awoke to her having a seizure.

I called the emergency vet in Boone, an hour away.  We were on our way there when she passed away in my arms.

We are devastated.  We loved her so much.  She was the best rescue dog ever - in fact we didn't rescue her, in so very many ways she rescued us.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Stick Your Neck Out There! (New Pattern Release!)

Can you believe it’s November 1st?!

I’ve been asked when when WHEN I was going to share the animal photos here on the blog.  And in the back of my mind I’ve been wondering just HOW HOW HOW I was going to present such variety and amazing experience into just a few posts on animals.  I can’t.  I just can’t -

And then it hit me – do the by type!  Do them by category!  Stick your neck out there and break it down.  And there isn’t a need to do it all at once.  I can chose an animal of the week, or every couple of days in between the “real life stuff” I have thrown myself back into since returning from Kenya.

Isn’t this pair just gorgeous? I love the one looking at me as if to say “Hey! Can’t you see we are eating here?”  In fact Giraffe are ALWAYS eating.  It’s their main job in life.  To eat and eat and eat and eat.

But what about sleeping?

In the wild, giraffes almost never lie down because of vulnerability to predators. They usually sleep standing, sometimes sitting, and they give birth standing up. When giraffes sleep, they curl their necks and sleep for about five minutes at a time, sleeping no more than 30 minutes a day.  I can’t imagine!