Monday, December 30, 2019

Oh, THAT Old Thing?!

Perhaps the first quilt top of 2020?

I thought I had this top nailed down. 

I mean, I had it sashed and everything – but it was “barely” couch sized.  What good would that do for anything?  My sons are 6’ 3’’ and 6’ 4’’ respectively, and The Hubster is also 6’ 3’’. A wall hanging or table topper can be fairly small and still serve a purpose.  But a quilt that is too small to cover a person, but too big to hang on the wall – what’s the point?

I had planned to add another row in width, and another in length to make it “THAT” much bigger – but as I laid it out on the floor, all bets were off.

It’s twin to full sized or NOTHING.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Race to the End of the Decade!

The countdown is ON!

And maybe I’m not really racing – but recognizing that this is likely my last top finish of 2019.  Of the Twenty-Teens decade.

How many quilts made this year?  This decade?  i don’t want to count them. Their number means nothing to me, other than the fact that I loved the moments that I was able to spend time with needle and thread in amongst everything else that life has thrown at me over the past year – or 10 years.

When we turned the calendar forward from 1969 to 1970, I was turning 8 being born in 1962.  We had just had just witnessed the first moon landing in July 1969, and all around me it felt like we were moving forward into an exciting new world.  That things would be different somehow.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Five Golden Gift-Away Winners!

THIS is THE DAY!  The Biggest Gift-Away of 2019 -

SO much good stuff!  Not only am I drawing a winner for the December Quilty Box,  but thanks to the folks at IronEZ I am drawing four more winners – 2 to each win an IronEZ ironing board spray bottle holder, and 2 to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card!

This is an EXCITING  day, and I”m so grateful to the sponsors who enable me to offer these goodies up to you.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

When You Forget the Night Before -

When you forget the night before, you post it the day after!

I had saved a special something for Christmas Eve.  Only I FORGOT!

How could I forget?  Well, it becomes more of a regular occurrence around here as there is just too much going on to keep it all straight in my brain.

On our way to Salzburg, we made a very special visit to the tiny little town of Obendorf to visit the Stille-Nacht-Kapelle or Silent Night Chapel where on December 24, 1818, the Christmas carol was performed for the first time.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Eve with the Ponies!

I remember a couple of years back when the car thermometer read 70 degrees a few days before Christmas.  We didn’t reach that high yesterday, but temps in the low 60s with brilliant abundant sunshine and not a cloud in the sky made me antsy to get outdoors and see how nature was faring in this first week of winter past the winter solstice.

MOVE!  I needed to move my body.  I needed to stretch my legs – Since returning from Germany I have done not much more than standing at the mail order fulfillment counter signing books, filling packages, affixing postage.  And it’s GREAT.  But that is now done for the year.  I needed to ROAM.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

December ‘19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Just in the nick of time!

My December Quilty Box showed up at the QPO yesterday – perfect for a Christmas Eve post and gift-away, right here, right now!

I’m so grateful to the folks at Quilty Box for allowing me to continue offering these beautiful boxes to my readers.  Each one has included so much inspiration – both in the patterns included in the Bundles of Inspiration magazine, and the fabrics, tools, notions and other goodies that come inside.

What’s in the December box?  Just wait until you see!

Monday, December 23, 2019

A Frolicking Grand Kick-Off!

Oh my goodness!  Our Folic logo is on a CAKE!

Each year a special group of Quiltvillians hosts a Quiltville Mystery Kick-Off Party in the beautiful town of Chandler, Arizona.  So close to where my dad lives!

One of these years I AM going to crash this party by surprise, just wait and see!

My fabulous Quiltville’s Open Studio moderator Andee and her cohort in Quilt Crime Kathy pull together a wonderful event where the group not only dives into the current newly released clue ONE together (This happens Black Friday weekend just as clue 1 is going live – ) and they not only share the excitement of starting in on the first clue together, but enjoy the laughter and chatter and comradery that comes with sewing with a group.  Oh the mounting expectation of what is to come!

The highlight of the day? (Besides the cake!) is sharing the completed mystery finishes from the previous year.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Helping Paws at the QPO?!

Oh, Lola!!

I fired up the 1961 Rocketeer to quickly zig-zag some batting scraps together.  Franken-batting is the name, and using up batting scraps is the game!

And Lola wanted to get right in on it.  Are you helping, Lola?  Or hindering?

There are very few times that I need a machine with zig-zag capability in my quilting life.  And this is the main reason besides mending tasks, which rarely happen in my world.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Welcome, Winter Solstice!

December 21st may be the shortest day of the year -

But from here on out it gets lighter and brighter – and we are nearly ready to turn the page into a brand new decade.  I don’t know about you, but it is all pretty exciting to me!

I finished my holiday table runner.  In the nick of time, as the saying goes.  And I am really quite pleased with how it turned out, considering no yardage was harmed in the making of this quilt.  LOL!

That is unless you count the backing and the binding – but not much was needed of each, really!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Surprise Quilt-Cam in the Morning!

And just like that – we gave Quilt-Cam a try from the QPO!

In the MORNING – without fanfare or announcement.  Just a trial run to see if the improved internet at the Quiltville Post Office would allow me to stream a video live through Facebook, without being blurry, without cutting out, without having my mouth move out of sync with my words.

All of those things that had proven to be a disaster the last couple of times we tried (Before summer – remember?) and failed.

To tell you the truth, I had been reluctant to try again because that fear of failure, of losing face – is real.

It has been a tough year and a half – could I get back in this saddle again?

Well, yes – if the saddle WORKED!  And we gave it a shorter time span because I had somewhere to be at 12:30pm!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In a Christmas Bind!

When the right green speaks to you, listen!

I have, over the past several years, learned to make decisions based solely on what I have on hand.  My “abundant” fabric stash lives 100 miles away in North Carolina (But this coming year is the year we deal with changing that!) and I am left to fend with bits and pieces that I have on hand.

It’s usually PLENTY to work with when I am making things in a rainbow of scrappiness where all I need are a multitude of colors and a plethora of neutrals, my favorite and most needed staple.

But once you start creating with a color theme in mind – things can get a bit dicey!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells–Meowing All the Way!

I made an executive decision yesterday morning.

It was unavoidable. There was no other choice. These two are being moved from the house in North Carolina up to the Quiltville Post Office in Virginia.

Son Jeff always said that he would stay and care for Jason’s cats until Sadie crossed the rainbow bridge. That was 6 weeks ago. And life moves on in the realm of adult children, just as it should. With a new job, a committed relationship, and his whole life ahead of him, he is spreading his wings and soaring into his future unable to really care for these 2 cats that weren’t really his to begin with.  I get it. I do.  I thank him for his extreme efforts, but it is time to move on.

Son Jason is in Portland, Oregon and unable to care for Dresden, 13 and Lola 11. Emmy Lou turns 20 this coming year and doesn't deserve the stress that these two additional cats give her either. Therefore, they are to become Post Office cats and keep me company until Emmy Lou crosses in due time. At that point these two will be moved to the cabin to live out the rest of their days together.

I loaded up the van with everything that we needed, including more shipping supplies and more cases of books and headed out on a very loud 100 mile drive with cats meowing all the way!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Patchwork, Quilting & Power Outages!

Well, that quilting spurt was short lived!

Throughout my life I have always tried to look on the brighter side of things.  It may sound trite to some, but it was instilled in me as a youngster, perhaps about the time I was turning double digits (10 or 11) that no matter what I was going through, all I had to do was look around to find that there were others struggling with difficulties far greater than my own.

No, what I experienced yesterday was not a difficulty at all – just a mere inconvenience.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Pieces, Parts, Fragments and More!

We found a couple of OLD periodicals in the Quiltville Inn attic!

Two publications were unearthed – a Chicago Ledger from 1917 – so brittle with age that it was literally falling apart in our hands, and a Saturday Evening Post – fairly munched and in pieces.

Seeing the dates on these covers just made me think – the Chicago Ledger found yesterday, dated December 15th (today) 1917. 102 years have passed since printing.  Could those who originally read this volume have even THOUGHT as to what would be happening in this same house 102 years later?

I didn’t have time to read the articles – but I want to.  I’m curious.  If I find anything interesting I’ll let you know!

Why Chicago? Did the people who built this place have ties to Chicago? Or was that just their way of keeping up with what was going on in the big city when there wasn’t internet, TV, radio? (Was there radio in 1917?? And if there was, were there even stations that reached this far into the bottom southwest corner of Virginia?)

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Finding the Merry Amidst the Ice!

The rain came in the middle of the night on Thursday – or perhaps it was the wee small hours of Friday morning, but it came none-the-less.

It isn’t the rain around here that is the problem.  But it’s the time of year, and the temperature which turned it from a welcome rain into freezing rain, coating the trees, the roads, EVERYTHING in crystalline fashion.

I had no idea how badly until daylight arrived and revealed an ice coated rain chain, and no way to get the van safely down my 1/4 mile steep dirt driveway to the road.  And even if I could – those roads were also ice skater worthy.  the only thing that could handle those was a hockey Zamboni, and let’s face it – this corner of Virginia doesn’t possess one!

So what’s a girl to do?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Living in the Upside Down.

When the tough can’t sleep -

The tough get cooking!

I fell asleep at 8:30, which means I was up by 2:30.  2:30 am is NOT my favorite time of day, but what is a girl supposed to do?

It’s at that hour that the brain kicks in and no matter how hard you try to coax it to SHUT UP, it just won’t.

Book orders still need to go out. (I’m about half-way done with what came in while I was in Europe.) Tomorrow’s Part 3 clue for our Frolic Mystery has to be written.  The printer friendly PDF  has to be written, uploaded and linked within the post after writing it.

The Quiltville Inn web page needed to be worked on.

And I was HUNGRY!  At 2:30 am? What’s with that?  Oh yeah, ,that’s 8:30 am in Germany – right on schedule for breakfast.

Well dang.  Let’s get up and do something about it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Jan/Feb 2020 Quiltmaker Gift-Away!

Can you believe it’s this time already!?

I hate to rush through what time we have left of 2019, but I returned home to some goodies that are too good not to pass on to you!

I have been writing for Quiltmaker Magazine  sharing articles, patterns, tips & tricks for more than a dozen years now.  As we get ready to turn the calendar to another year, there are MORE Addicted to Scraps column blocks just waiting for you to dig in and play with your scraps.

Right away, I was captivated by the fun cover quilt as we turn to our next upcoming Valentine’s Day -

Check this out:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread --- (Pattern Release!)

Yes!  There was even time for stitching!

Hi Folks! I returned home from Germany/Austria somewhere around midnight last night, and even considering it took more than 24 hours to get me home from the time my alarm went off in Salzburg at 2am to have the bags out the door by 2:15 am, and on the bus by 3:15am – and on and on and on through 5 airports and many layovers – I am feeling quite chipper today after a night in my own bed!

I love that in amidst all of the touring, the sightseeing, the eating of marvelous cuisine, there was time for stitching with our new found friends and travel companions.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Schloss Nymphenburg!

This place doesn’t fit all in one photo frame.

Schloss Nymphenburg is on the outsikrts of Munich – and construction was started in 1664 for Bavarian Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife, Henriette Adelaide of Savoy.

The the long-awaited heir to the throne, Max Emanuel, was born in 1662 – the palace was planned as “a summer home” away from the family Residenz in the center of Munich. By 1679 the palace complex, in its first incarnation, had nearly been finished.  This place is enormous, and hard to fathom!

Saturday, December 07, 2019

The Sights, Scenes and Sounds of Munich!

The Christkindlmarkts are AMAZING in Munich!

Every stall is full to the brim with goodies just begging to be brought home.  I am already looking for another carryon sized suitcase because I just KNOW my luggage has surpassed weight limits. 

The Liebkuchenherzen are amongst my favorite sights – the simple phrases are ones I can “usually” figure out with 2 years of high school German behind me decades ago.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Innsbruck in the Sunshine!

Don’t let the Austrian sunlight fool you!

It’s frigid cold out here!

But with a lot of walking, some long-johns and wool socks, warm boots, hats, scarves, gloves and glühwein, all is well!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

To Rattenberg We Went!

The view from my hotel room is magnificent!

Yesterday I posted a little video with the sound of church bells ringing at 7am – things were still dark.  This was my view after breakfast before we loaded up onto the bus and made our way to Rattenberg Austria for our glass blowing expedition.

The cutest hotel!

No wonder we heard the church bells so clearly!

All Aboard!

The fresco touches on the buildings is so classically Bavarian!

This guy looks a little bit cold!


With just over 400 inhabitants and a surface area of 10 ha Rattenberg is Austria´s smallest historical town. And it is adorable!  We were here for our glass blowing workshop.

The Easter egg colors of the buildings – so fun!

Quiltvillians lining up to go in!

We are such a large group – 42 of us total – that we had to do this in shifts, or it would be line a herd of bulls in a glass shop!


There are blown glass ornaments and decorations everywhere.

Our translator giving us the run down of what we see going on here.

Beautiful menagerie of color!

Blow, Joyce, blow!

We each had an opportunity to make a blown glass Christmas ornament to bring home.

Mary’s turn!


And this is how it turned out!

I love it!  What a great souvenir!

There was loads of time for shopping in the wee town!

Cute little glass angels and bels!

And above it all, those Alps!

The river Inn runs right along side.

The shop displays area so festive!

Shapes, colors, textures – SO lovely!

These little touches – so whimsical!

More Frescoes.

And always a beautiful steeple.

Rattenberg, Austria, you captivated us!

And the Apfel Struedel was to die for!

And this was only the FIRST half of our day!  Our next stop was Innsbruck for more Christmas Market wandering, and that deserves a whole NUTHER post as there are just to many photos to share.

My beautiful room back at the Residenz Heinz Winkler!

Blissful slumber under down duvets.

Really – they are sometimes too hot!

(Where is a quilt when you need one?)

It’s time to throw on the boots, grab the stuff, meet the gang for breakfast and head out for today’s adventures!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Kindness costs nothing, yet the rewards are so great!

Scatter it around! EVERYWHERE!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Willkommen in Nürnberg!

We made it!

I met up with my Quiltville Goes to Bavaria travelers at JFK airport, New York – and other than the flight being extremely bumpy, it was uneventful and I slept through at LEAST half of it (missing the breakfast portion!) which was something that never happens on a flight – I was THAT tired.

But that enabled me to hit the ground running the moment we landed in Munich and started the process of gathering luggage (There are 42 of us total!) and making our way to the bus for our first excursion of the day – A leisurely time strolling the streets of Nürnberg and enjoying not only the Christmas markets, but the all around street scenes and shops and restaurants – Oh, this is so wonderful!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Those Busy Sew & Sews!

Look at them go!

One side benefit of running a retreat and checking on the retreaters in the morning?  They FED ME BREAKFAST!  And oh, it was so yummy!  You haven’t lived until you’ve had a sausage and cheese grits casserole -

And just so you don’t have to go without it, it has been suggested that we start a “Quiltville Inn Favorites” to help with other groups’ meal planning.  Things that work great in large batches for 12.  Things that can be made ahead and frozen for those who are driving in.  Things that are easy to prepare from grocery store pick up items purchased on their way into town for those who are flying from further a field.  Just favorites.  in BIG BATCHES.  

So be watching for that to happen in the future….like down the line when life slows down type of future.  But the ideas are flowing and it is taking on a life of its own!

Pardon the overhead-light-itis!

The dining room is a great gathering place!

And I love that everyone can sit at ONE LARGE TABLE so everyone can talk to everyone else and not miss any of the great conversations.

It has also been determined that we need APRONS!

Martha Claire is busy making lasagna, and protecting her shirt with a dish towel.  Hey, whatever works!  But I will definitely be bringing some aprons over.

And can I just say that the smell of meals cooking in this kitchen – all those delicious aromas -  really makes this place feel like a HOME!

And I just may have to watch my diet if they keep feeding me!

There has been much stitching by the comfort of the wood stove!

Holly is bound and determined to finish all the blocks!

And the design walls are being put to good use!

It is so fun to see what everyone is working on!

Something Christmassy!

ZERO problems with running irons and machines at the same time!


Hurry up and shoot the photo already, Dad!

That is so much better…LOL!

it was extremely hard to pull away and leave!

But my heart is full – that they are making themselves at home!

From here Dad and I left Virginia for North Carolina and turned the car toward Greensboro.  We stopped at the mall in Winston Salem to visit Jeff for lunch on his lunch break.  We made it to the airport in plenty of good time.  I dropped Dad off and headed home to pack for Germany.

Only 4 hours later his flight still hadn’t left and he was calling me with updates. 

The dilemma of him stay8ing the night in Greensboro at an airport hotel and trying to fly out in the morning, or to fly to Chicago tonight and stay there and catch a flight to Phoenix tomorrow was decided by the gate agent telling him that there is no seat availability on ANY flights leaving Greensboro tomorrow.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving is a mad house of holiday travel.  He would have better luck trying to catch a flight out of Chicago.

So as I write this my nearly 80 year old dad is now on a plane bound for Chicago and I don’t even know if he will be able to find a hotel room on a busy holiday weekend. I hate the idea that he will have to sleep in the airport.

And he, in true Wilkinson fashion said “It’s an adventure! Let’s see what happens!”

And now you know where I get it.

I hope by the time I wake up at 3am to post this (Yes, I am writing this before going to bed because it is the only time I can. I will post it from the airport) there is a text telling me that all is well and that he is tucked in safe and warm for the night and his flights for Phoenix are all arranged and all is well.


Luckily, dad’s connecting flight to Phoenix was ALSO delayed and he was able to make it.  He landed in Phoenix about the time I woke up to hit send on this post.

All I keep thinking is the lyrics “By the time I get to Phoenix, she’ll be rising…..” Remember the Glenn Campbell song?

Whew!  So glad you made it, Papa – have a good sleep.  I’m off to catch a flight!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Too many people get lost listening to the noise of the world, instead of to their inner self. Listening, really listening is one of those things I am focusing on right now.

3:40 a.m. and I am headed to the airport! Greensboro to Atlanta to JFK and I will meet up with our Quiltville goes to Bavaria group and off we will go!

Stay tuned for the continuing saga!