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?
Click to Play:

I declared the day an Ice Day Sew Day and headed straight for my studio in the cabin basement.

A SEW DAY!  I haven’t had a REAL sew day in I don’t know how many months – probably since September when I was dying of “The Plague” and spent my time stitching up this year’s Frolic Mystery quilt.  Yep.  Now you know.  That’s how it got done!

It all started simply enough.

I already had a couple of blocks on hand.

I wanted SOMETHING to bring some holiday cheer into my ice covered December.

Star blocks are a favorite, but could I get something just out of what meager stash I had on hand here at the cabin?  The bulk of my strip stash is at the Quiltville Post Office.  My YARDAGE stash is 100 miles away in North Carolina. (Something will be done about that in the coming year!) and I just had to work with what was available.

My favorite holiday quilts include more than just holiday fabrics.  I think a few good holiday-appropriate fabrics are wonderful, but if EVERYTHING screams CHRISTMAS (!!!) it’s like walking into Lowe’s in September when they first put everything out and it is just sensory overload.  A few good holiday fabrics sprinkled here and there, and then everything else under the sun just falls into line as I stick with the color families of red, green and neutral. 

Before I knew it there were 8 blocks – before lunch time!

And 8 little Shoo Fly Shoo Leader & Ender blocks made along side!

And temps stayed just above freezing -

That ice was NOT going away any time soon.

By dinner time there were 12!

Can I just state here again – just for the record – just how badly I NEEDED this Ice Day Sew Day, even though my brain kept worrying about those orders that needed to be filled and made ready to ship?  But once again, I couldn’t make it down my steep drive, conditions were awful, and now there was freezing fog to deal with as well.

The Universe must have known that only an act of God would keep me home and give me the Sew Day that I really needed.  The weekend would be upon us soon enough. There is time to catch up before the post office opens up again on Monday.

Contemplating simple borders -

Not enough red or green yardage on hand to do the job -

So what’s a girl to do?

I was in bed by 9pm last night. And I worried that I’d be back up between 3am and 4 am – but I was so exhilarated and happy with my machine piecing time that I slept all the way until 6am this morning.  HOORAY!  (Getting back to normal after being out the country is the worst part of international travel. Trust me.)

And there we have it.

Borders on – and ready for quilting.  This feels like a rush job, but as the song goes – “Because we need a little Christmas, right this very minute.”  And this is doing it for me.

How about you?  Are there things you do to bring a bit of holiday cheer into your life when you just aren’t feeling it?  There are only 10 days left until Christmas Eve.  December is flying by.

Do you sometimes lose the holiday in the midst of all of that that must be done?

Final tally of Shoo Fly Shoo blocks made during this foray?


Who says that sewing with Leaders & Enders is a complete waste of time?  These are the icing on the cake, and it felt so good to have these coming together from simple scraps as well.

This morning it’s about 45 degrees.  The ice is gone.  The roads are clear.  I’m headed over to the Quiltville Post Office to dig into those book orders while holiday music keeps me company and lifts my spirits.  And by afternoon I hope to be machine quilting.  My fingers need something to bind at night.

A Heads Up for my ARIZONA FOLKS!

I will be teaching at 35th Ave Sew & Vac at the end of January.  There is limited space still available in my workshops, but there is plenty of space left for my Scrap Quilts lecture and Show & Share (Yes – you can bring your OWN Quiltville quilts to share with everyone at this event!)  For more information CLICK HERE.

Phoenix is a WONDERFUL place to spend some time in January away from the cold and dreary, so even those a bit further away – we welcome you as well!  Just contact the shop and they will fill you in.

The workshop with the most availability is Idaho Square Dance.  Bring a friend!  I will be celebrating my 58th birthday while teaching, so come celebrate with me!

Class supply lists for the workshops are found under the Lectures & Workshops tab at the top of the blog. 

Other things going down in Quiltville: Other things going down in Quiltville: 

There is so much going on that instead of overrunning this already long post with individual photos, I have put all of the stuff in one little slide show! I hope this is quick and painless for you! LOL!

If you are still searching for that right gift for a quilty someone special, my perpetual Quilter’s Date Keeper is on sale in the book section of the Quiltville Store for the low low price of just $9.99 (Regularly priced $16.95!) through the month of December.  

It has a beautiful hard cover, and measures 7.5'' x 9.5'' and includes more than 70 of my scrap quilts along with my favorite quotes, tips, tricks and more.

Our half-price PDF pattern for the month of December is my Hunter’s String Star! The  pattern is only $4.00.  No coupon code needed. Don’t miss out!

Our Quiltville Goes to Bavaria project pattern for Warm Hands, Warm Heart is now available for everyone! You'll find the easy to follow PDF pattern full of full-color photos and helpful hints in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store where all of the other Digital Goodies live!

Did you also see that we’ve got a Jan/Feb 2020 Quiltmaker Gift-Away happening here on the blog?  Click to Wednesday’s post to enter to win! Drawing to happen on Monday morning, December 15th.

Quiltville Quote of the Day

This quote made me start humming my inner Rolling Stones:

"You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well you just might find. You get what you need!"

I needed yesterday!  Now let’s see what today brings!

Have a wonderful Saturday, everyone!


  1. What a blessing of a Ice Day Sew Day. So glad you got that day that you really needed, not just wanted. Really like your border and So many shoo fly blocks done to boot.

  2. A-ha... GOT your sewing in, congratulations, and happy you manifested the day!!! Crisp, sunny and cold here in Carlsbad, CA

  3. I went to bed too early so I was up before the sun. Got part 3 sewn and almost squared down. Frolicing no matter the weather. Grateful for a sew morning. 10 days? EEKKKK! Don't remind me.

  4. Perfect border for a perfect table runner. I love it!!

  5. Your Christmas runner is so pretty! I recently cut a Christmas-y throw and have been thinking about how to use the leftovers. Your little star block might be just the thing! Like you, I prefer a few holiday prints mixed w plenty of 'regular' fabrics. I may mix in some shirts with the leftovers, as well.

    Glad you got a sew day! I can easily believe how much you needed it.

  6. Yesterday there were 2 parties that I chose to miss. I stayed home and made candy for gifts and put binding on 2 quilts. One I did totally on the machine - a QOV and the other scrap quilt I will hand bind. I felt so good last night for what I had accomplished.

  7. Testimonial on the 35th Ave classes -- GO! We went last year and had a ball. Locals are friendly, classroom space is great, shop is AMAZING, and the weather is so awesome. Lots of great local restaurants in the area and plenty of sunshine. Charlotte K (for some reason this wants to post under my husband's name).

  8. Have been registered for Idaho Square Dance with my best quilting buddy since early November. We cannot wait. And I always remember to wish you happy birthday because yours is the same day as my dad's birthday. So glad Mother Nature gave you the gift of an ice day sew day!

  9. I don't know how you just created something so beautiful out of scraps and found time!! Amazing!

  10. Sew happy for you that God intervened and you got a day of sewing

  11. Love your table runner. I read through twice but couldn't find the pattern's name. Is it new?

  12. Beautiful table runner! Is that one of your patterns?

  13. Would love a day like that! No quilting here, have 5 Great Granddaughters dresses to finish.

  14. Whoopee! I made it into the Garden Party Class. Can't wait. So cool Since we are in Apache Junction for 3 months

  15. That Christmas runner is gorgeous and so are your bonus shortly blocks. As Christmas looms ever closer I’m starting to panic I’ve not got all the gifts I need and don’t see how I’m going to achieve anything this year. But I do have the grandchildren sorted out, so that a bonus they are after all what Christmas is about.
    Take care and keep warm love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx


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