Saturday, June 06, 2020

In Between the Lines -

Piecing on two things is much more fun than piecing on one!

I’ve been up since 4:15am.  I have no reasoning why, but it could have something to do with the call of nature in the week small hours, and once back into bed – no amount of coaxing myself back to dreamland did the trick, so instead of wasting the next couple of hours waiting for daylight I got up. Again.

Zoey was like ‘REALLY!?  It’s still dark!”  Regardless, I took her out to take care of her own business, and downstairs to the studio we came, hot mug in hand. 

It’s quiet down in the basement, nothing can be heard upstairs if I just quietly stitch -

I must say that I am loving that cute red polka dot tulip block with the text print background.  JUST TOO CUTE!

And the tulip stack continues to grow as gardens tend to do.  And the shoo fly blocks are getting sewn into rows as the leader & ender for the tulip project.

Juggle juggle juggle – and if you lose your place in rotation and what you were doing, you just take another sip of coffee and pick up where you think you left off!

Friday, June 05, 2020

And……..She’s Back!

I feel like I lave already lived a full day’s worth of activity – and it’s not quite 9:30am as I sit down to write this.

Anyone who has tried to get two stranger-cats, especially older ones at 11 and 19 years old know how hard this can be.

Lola, having lost Dresden -her life long companion – went through the upheaval of having us bodily remove her and all of her cat life items from the QPO, transplanting her into our cabin and finding she was now sharing her life in this strange place with not only Zoey Jo, but this OTHER ancient and persnickety cat, Emmy Lou.

And Lola became the aggressor.  After a week, we’ve had enough.  And so had Emmy Lou.  She was terrified.  She started peeing on everything, and thinking that Lola was around every corner, would even growl and hiss from behind a closed door even when Lola was nowhere around.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Layers -

The back hallway and stairwell at Quiltville Inn are getting a bit of a spruce up with new paint.  The hardest part?  The taping off of stair treads and banister rungs and window panes.

But sometimes we do the hard stuff first because it makes the next part, the main part, that much easier.

This bit of ship lap on the side of the stairs is original.  Or at least very very old, and I found myself wondering just how many times this ship lap has been repainted.

The grooves are still visible, but barely.  Coats and coats of paint by each generation that has lived in this house have happened.

We chose not to change the color.  Just upped it a bit brighter as the previous grey/white was a bit dingy in an area that doesn’t see a lot of light anyway.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Tales of Too Little Too Late.

There are times I wish I could just get a "Do Over."

You know - the "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" scenario?

I don't have internet at the cabin.  It's cell data only, and sometimes spotty at best.

And after spending all day at the QPO (Where internet is very slow, one step up from dial up basically - thank you CenturyFink!) I really don't spend much after-work time staring at my phone once I'm home.

I will fix dinner, play with the dog, do a load of laundry, watch some TV at night.  And if the TV is on, I'm not going to miss what's on while staring at my phone. I’d rather have real in-person conversations.

I've always allowed myself a bit of time before turning out the lights in bed to flip through my news feed to see what is up with others, but yesterday - oh, yesterday.

I feel like I stepped in dog doo and didn't know it all day long until after dinner time.

Evidently through social media, musicians and artists started posting just plain black squares in solidarity of George Flyod and Black Lives Matter.

And then it went through the quilting community (and others too) all joining in, and if you didn't post a black square, well you are evidently a racist.

Yesterday I posted this quote of the day - the first thing I do every morning as I get my day going.  My own way to deal with the turmoil in my immediate world.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Beautiful June -

Scooby Doo is Scooby Done!

On the agenda today is piecing a backing and getting it loaded into the quilting machine and get that quilting started.

This didn’t happen until nearly the end of my work day, they day was SO inviting that after dropping mail off at the USPS, Zoey and I drove right past Quiltville Inn and the QPO on our way back and headed down to Round House Road for a good long hike -

2 miles in – 2 miles out, more than 11,000 steps along our way.  It was perfect.

Monday, June 01, 2020

On Sunday -

Closer yet, but not quite done.

At least 40 cities have imposed curfews and National Guard members have been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC.

Greensboro, NC.  Charlotte NC.  All so very close to home.  How can we stop this?

Washington, DC is about a 6 hour drive from me – give or take depending on traffic, and it is just SO SCARY.

Rioters lit a fire in the basement of St John’s Church – right across from the White House.  It’s a beautiful historic church. One thing I have never thought productive was the destruction of places of worship.  

I try to make sense of it all – my mind can’t wrap around it.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Finding Harmony

These two.  Learning to get along.

As Lola usually stuck to the higher ground of her cat tree when Zoey visited the QPO – I am amazed at how close she allows herself to be next to Zoey at the cabin.

Perhaps the closeness of anyone familiar is a comfort to her while she adjusts to a new life in a new place without Dresden.

I know that animals have emotions.  Happy, joyful, surprised, comforted, fearful, angry –just like we do.

And they express their emotions in the only way they know how while we try to read the signs and signals and guess at what it is that is going on inside of them.

Yesterday was a HARD day.  Writing like I did in yesterday's post– waiting for the comments to come slamming me back into my place -

They were ALL so supportive, and that little comment community buoyed me up and carried me through my day.  Those who did comment shared their hearts.  We are on the same page and there is hope in that.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Life Blooms Anyway.

Beautiful Mountain Laurel in my yard.

It’s like a parade of sorts.  It first starts with the forsythia, and then the daffodils.

From there we move on to the dogwood and apple trees.  And just as their blossoms are falling, pushed out by the newness of emerging leaves, the rhododendrons burst into colorful action delighting our eyes.

And when the torrents of rain beat the rhododendrons and the lilacs into soggy fallen sadness – I walk out into the yard to play with Zoey and find that the Mountain Laurels have come to save the day.

This is just the first that has really started to bloom, but I bet with a bunch of sunshine and warmer temps – the woods will be full of the beautiful pink tinged blossoms.

Anyone who has read me for long knows that I find meaning in all kinds of life lessons and analogies are always spilling forth.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Furever, Dresden.

I did something extremely hard yesterday.

In the end, it was the kindest thing to do.  And it breaks my heart to write about it.

This photo was Dresden a mere 2 months ago as we were sewing away on the Elvira Quilt Along.

Over the past couple of weeks Dresden’s weight loss went from “watching closely” to extremely concerning.  of course all of this happens right at the onset of a long holiday weekend.  Yesterday was the first open spot to get him in to the vet.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

How About a Deux Studio Tour?

This is my working Quiltville Post Office Space.

It’s not that big – but as quilt room size goes, it’s not half-bad either!

I have been flipping through my facebook memories over the past few months gauging how far we’ve come in a year.

One year ago last week the replacement of the ceiling drywall was complete after fixing the leaky roof, and everything was painted, and LED ceiling lights were installed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Monday/Tuesday That Was…

I am still enjoying the bursting rhododendron on the front porch of Quiltville Inn – even though it has turned a corner and is on its way out after all of the rain we have had in the past couple of weeks.

It will live to bloom another year – I wonder what next year will look like as compared to this one?

Such interesting times we are living in!

I love “pink blooming anythings” but pink trees, rhodies and mountain laurels (Still yet to bloom!) make this deep shade of fuchsia pink the main color of heart happiness.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 2020 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

There is less than a week of May left!

My how time flies when -

You don’t know or care what day it is, what time it is, what month it is – and your week has just been short-sheeted by a 3 day holiday weekend!

My box arrived a few days ago and I have had time to unpack it, unbundle the gorgeous fabrics, and peruse the Bundles of Inspiration Magazine andn all of its wonderful projects and get to know a bit more about this month’s designer – Dale Allen-Rowse: The Quilting Cowboy!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend.

No where to go.

No place I’d rather be.

This is my neighbor-down-the-street’s exploding rhododendron bush.  Isn’t it glorious?

We’ve spent a very quiet Memorial Day weekend at home, which has been the best way to spend it – I’ve been longing for holiday weekends like this.

Even though the past few days haven’t been that “much “ different than the 2 months past, just knowing that the USPS won’t be running until Tuesday has given me the same reason to say “I’m unplugged until Tuesday.”

Now if I could only make folks sending emails late on a Sunday evening understand that I can’t send them their tracking number for their package that hasn’t shown up yet UNTIL TUESDAY because I, too – like the USPS am taking this weekend to remember the fallen ones.  Those who gave their ALL in service to our country.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

With Dogs, Flags and Much Quilting!

I reached the finish on binding my Unity Quilt Along last night!

I took my time at it as there wasn’t really a rush.  My average binding speed on a quilt this size tends to run about one side per night give or take some.

The label is still left to be sewn down, but that includes a change of thread color (which I didn’t have near my chair at the time) and we were dealing with other distractions that made sewing down labels a minor detail that could be handled later -

When my hands were cleaner!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Appalachian Green!

It’s green as green can be!

I took this photo in between bouts of rain – the sun TRYING its best to peek through …strains from the epic Eensy Weensy Spider song playing in the back of my head.

“Out came the sun and dried up all the rain….”

But the rain has kept coming at intervals.  When it started pouring again yesterday afternoon about 3:30pm I gave up on the project I was focusing on at the QPO and came home.


And yet I know that lack of rain would have me begging for rain – so it’s always the opposite end of the spectrum isn’t it?  One extreme to the other.

And we are water logged.

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Water is Wide–I Can’t Cross Over -

The New River has conquered Round House Road.

Whenever I see wide expenses of water this tune comes to mind - first written in the 1600s and still popular with various renditions today.  My favorite being that of James Taylor. Listen HERE.

The water is wide
I can't cross over
And neither have I wings to fly
Build me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

There is a ship
And she sails the sea
She's loaded deep
As deep can be
But not so deep
As the love I'm in
I know not how I sink or swim

Oh love is handsome
And love is fine
The sweetest flower
When first it's new
But love grows old
And waxes cold
And fades away like Summer dew

Build me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I
And both shall row, my love and I

Our explorations to ascertain the extent of the flooding in Grayson County, Virginia stayed mostly along Big Wilson Creek, and right here where the “Mouth of Wilson (creek)” empties into the New River -

We also drove along the New River to Independence and further on to Fries checking out how the dams were managing the extensive rainfall we have experienced this week. 

As stated before, it has been days upon days of heavy rain.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rain, Rain and More Rain!

Tulip block piles are growing!

I think I am somewhere near 80 by now.

More than half way, not quite 3/4 – and so I will continue!

Yesterday was a day to run to the dentist – all fine on that front. And while I was out I picked up some necessary groceries and made a stop at Dollar Tree for some organizing supplies.  Something has to be done to sort the scraps into sizes that I am using for the current Snail’s Trail project.  I’m tired of piles. SO MANY PILES!

It was one of those downpour days – that just kept coming as if someone had left the shower head running – just enough.

I headed back to the QPO to get the mail order processing, and on top of the dismal weather, I was unable to print labels due to whatever was going on with PayPal.  It wouldn’t pull up an order by name, email, purchase id number – just NOT.  So since mail couldn’t be processed, I headed home.

In the rain.  SO MUCH RAIN!  Really, you should see what the creeks and streams are doing over here – rushing rushing rushing.  Flood warnings all over.

Here we are at May 21st and it feels like March.  Temps in the 40s? For Memorial Day weekend coming?  (Not that we have anything to do or anywhere to go but still.  MAY!?)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Courthouse Square–NEW PDF Pattern!

It was a crisp January morning when I photographed my Courthouse Square top over the porch rail at the cabin.

January already feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?

I remember freezing my butt off tip-toeing out onto the porch, avoiding the slippery snowy areas in my “muffies” (What we call slippers in our family!) and just LOVING how that morning sunrise found its way to filter through the quilt top – giving the seams the appearance of leaded stained glass.

Oh, how green and lush things are now – such a difference a few months makes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

We Be Sew Gellin’! SewPad Gift-Away!

Say hello to my new favorite thing!

My friend Debbie first told me about the incredible gel pad she had received – raving about how she could sew for hours on end with no hip or back issues -

The only problem was – her hubby kept stealing it to put behind his back in his chair!  It has become a family favorite comfy thing, and I can just about guess that Mark is going to have his own (as in Keep your Paws of MY SewPad!) come Father’s Day!

What is a SewPad?

SewPad™ is filled with a thick cushion of proprietary viscoelastic polymer gel– the same stuff used in surgical mats and wheelchair pads.

Unlike foam (memory foam or otherwise) gel doesn’t bottom-out and it provides comfort and support by diffusing and distributing pressure.

Upholstered in a plush layer of AirFlex™ fabric, SewPad™ helps your backside stay cool while the no-slip bottom keeps it from sliding around in your chair. 

SewPad™ was designed for quilters and crafters, but we think you’ll find other uses as well.

Church. Stadium seats, in the car and anywhere else that you might expect to be sitting for a good while.

Being comfortable is a wonderful thing!

 Mine arrived!  YAY!

This thing is thick and heavy!

In fact, I plopped it right down on my postal scale because I was curious – and it weighs in at 4 1/2 lbs of ultimate seating comfort!

The back side is grippy for no slippy!

Right on top of my sewing chair it goes.

Job number one -

Getting the binding on my Unity Quilt Along!

And then I turned to piecing the rest of the afternoon on those Snails Trail blocks – no sore tailbone, no hamstring fatigue from sitting long hours. 

This thing is a miracle.  I can see why Debbie raved about it so much.  This is such a wonderful addition to my sewing studio and will cut down on my Chiropractic visits saving me money in the long run.
  • Gel Comfort Seating for Quilters!
  • 1/2” Thick Medical-Grade Gel Filled
  • Cushions & Supports Your Hips & Back
  • Sit Longer in Much Greater Comfort
  • AirMesh® Cover Keeps You Cooler
  • Feel Better at the End of the Day!
  • 100% Made in the USA
Gary and Laura, the owners of SewPad have graciously offered up a SewPad for Gift-Away here on my blog! (Feel free to visit the website and order one up if you don't want to wait.)

One lucky reader is going to find themselves in amazing seated comfort for hours of sewing pleasure - a value of $89.95!

This Gift-Away is open to anyone anywhere, but due to the weight it must be shipped to an address within the USA – Folks living outside of the US may have it shipped to a friend with a US address and they can ship it on to you.  Thank you for understanding.

We will draw for our lucky winner on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

A bit of baby surgery happened today -

Someone’s toy had lost its tail!

For those who were horrified that I would “Let that dog tear up a quilt!” in regards to yesterday’s Unity Quilt Reveal video. Zoey has had these flat babies since we first brought her home.  She is tender with them (as tender as a puppy can be with teeth!) and she was the same with the quilt. 

Still – this little fella needed some reattachment services and we were good to go again -

Thanks, mom!!

It started pouring last evening.  It has continued through the night with a huge deluge happening right around 5:30 am and I have been up since then – there was no going back to sleep.  Still, I love the sound of the rain against a metal roof.  So soothing!

In between rounds of heavy rain I will wander my way back to the QPO and plop myself back down on my SewPad and enjoy the day of stitching away.

Anything interesting happening for your Tuesday from where you are?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Rational fear exists to keep us safe. It is not inherently bad or good but a tool we can use to make better decisions.

Your fear can only control you if you let it.

2000 pyramids quilt made during the Y2K year 2000 charm quilt craze using 2000 fabrics. I gifted this quilt to my sister and her family. Tutorial found under the free patterns tab  at the top of the blog.

Have a great Tuesday – the best it can be!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Unity Quilt Along, Part 8!

It’s time for our big finish!

Which somehow doesn’t feel so big -

Because each week over the past 8+ weeks you’ve seen the quilt grow and come into being.  And this week we reach as tall as tall can be – At least for my “needs to fit a twin bed” purposes.  I’m excited to see what twists and turns your own vision takes as you decide to end where I do, or to go ahead and continue to add rounds, or complete full rounds figuring out the math for yourself to make it work.

This has been an adventurous experience for me.  I have spent the past two months feeling like there was a fire under my seat – and every week as the quilt grew in length and width it took more piecing and sewing time.  

I’m now looking forward to a bit of a breather as I stitch binding while watching you reach your own finish line.  I will be there at the end cheering you on, the way you have cheered me with each weeks clue release.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

There is Quilting Commencing!

This finally happened yesterday afternoon!

I have been trying to “get ahead of the game” for weeks – and every time I thought I could get far enough ahead to have a completed quilt by the time we get the final round on our Unity Quilt Along – something would happen.

The BIGGIE OOPS that happened a week ago really threw me for a “You’ve Got to be Kidding Me!” and I have learned a great lesson.

It’s not enough to have a computer diagram of what you think a project will be.

I HAVE to have a completed quilt top at least before I start presenting anything because there is no leeway for twists and turns and roller coaster “How did THAT happen?!” stuff to occur.

BUT – I have made it this far!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Basket Full of Thanks!

This is my basket of Leader & Ender Shoo Fly Shoo blocks.

It doesn’t look like there are many in here – but they are pinned in sets of 10 – There is 122 in this basket!

Once I decide on a setting, I want to turn these into another twin-sized quilt for one of the beds at Quiltville Inn.

How long ago was it that I finished the sashed and cornerstoned version?  

No one has slept under it yet – it’s waiting to be used when Quiltville Inn opens back up when we are given the go ahead.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Catching My Breath.

Mid May.

And the grass along the banks of the New River has grown taller than Zoey Jo herself.

Abundant rain and cooler temperatures have prevailed over the past month – but yesterday afternoon there was a break in the clouds and we headed out for another leg stretch.

I’ve had a lot on my mind.

I just needed to clear my head.  This post is a long one, so please bear with me and read to the end.

I needed to hear the crunch of feet (mine!) first on gravel roads, then turning to softer dirt roads as we wound our way up toward McMillan’s place.

I had worked all morning on Part 8 of our Unity Quilt Along.  The clock is ticking, things need to be ready – we are almost at the weekend.

I realized while sewing, sewing, sewing – the one thing that I keep telling everyone else – that “This is not a race!” needed to apply to me as well.

So what if the quilt wasn’t quilted and bound before the release of Part 8?  Wasn’t this supposed to be FUN??

Wasn’t that the main reason? FUN?? 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Big Out & About Day.

Rain had stopped – for the moment at least!

I took the “long way” on my drive home from Boone, NC yesterday.

I wanted to see how things were shaping up – I didn’t want to miss spring in these beautiful corners – the hills and the hollows.  Farms and fields.

This was a day I had been putting off for a good couple of months and it needed to happen.

My car inspection was due as well as my registration. My oil change and tire rotation is more than 2 months overdue. I’d been driving around with the maintenence light on – I had cancelled my appointment the week that lockdown started.

The two front tires needed to be replaced.

I know that we’ve been granted an extension on the car registration and tags thing – but since I was getting everything else done it just seemd like a no brainer to just do it all so I don’t have to make a second appointment, or deal with crowds later.

I dropped off the van and took a walk down the shopping plaza and ordered a gluten free pizza at the little corner joint - yes I was wearing my mask - and found this lovely huge rock upon which to sit and enjoy a bit of sunshine while still social distancing and waiting for my car to be done.

Table rock!  LOL!

This is the first time I've been in a real errand running phase other than groceries in months. It truly felt weird to be out and about this way.

I really am grateful for those deemed essential and grateful the rain dispersed so that I could enjoy sunshine on the rock instead of the close proximity of others in an automotive place waiting room.

In North Carolina, which is opening up – there are signs on doors to please wear a mask when entering.  I would say maybe 2 out of 3 people WERE wearing masks. 

All in all, it took a couple of hours and I was back on the road.  I didn’t go into anyplace else other than the pizza joint.  They are still running a pretty busy little take out and delivery business, but it is nowhere near what business usually is.  Everyone is doing what they can to just hang on.

And that’s how it feels for me to – like we are hanging on.

I had a weird dream about Quiltville Inn last night – I can’t even tell you what it was really because it wasn’t clear to me when I really woke up.  But somehow we were double booked and I didn’t have enough beds and couldn’t find where the clean sheets were.  LOL.

Some day we will get things open again, and oh how HAPPY that day will be!

Taking the slow road home through Todd, NC.

The world is still beautiful outside.  if you have been cooped up for too long – get in the car.  Take a drive.  Breathe deep when you hit the country roads with the windows down.

It was the long slow drive I needed.

The grocery store still didn’t have any toilet paper.  But there were paper towels, so there is some hope.

Everything else seemed to be in supply and I bought some shrimp and salmon for the hubster’s Blackstone grill.

Oh, you guys – this is SO amazing.  He has even joined a Blackstone Grill group on Facebook and is finding all kinds of things he wants to cook.  You better darn well bet that I will let him cook anything he wants!  More quilting time for me! LOL!

I came home to THIS!

Oh, Zoey Jo!!

We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and tried to determine if we had found all of the pieces she had chewed off (and hopefully not swallowed!)

She knew she was in trouble.  She had taken herself to her crate even before we had found the remote!

From digging in the dirt in the morning -

To chewing remotes in the afternoon.

Oh, the life of a puppy!

I attempted some binding stitching last night -

But I was falling asleep by 8pm??  I have just been SO worn out lately.  I think part of it is allergies and my eyes feel sticky and heavy and just want to close.  The other part?  just emotional stress.  I sleep long and hard at night – and I get exercise on days that are not rainy and cold.  Hopefully there will be more of that when things warm up.

Other than that I’m quilting – just like I always dreamed I would do had I the time – and yes, it’s all been “behind the scenes” trying to get this Unity Quilt Along to where it needs to be each week before the next post goes live.  That has been a bit of a scramble – but we are getting there.

I think I need another 2 months of this after the Unity Quilt Along is done – just to recuperate! LOL!

And it’s going to take me a while to get the binding on –at this rate! But what’s the hurry?

So here we are at Thursday – what is on your to do list today??

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Everyone is fighting emotional battles right now.

Make sure the ones you take on are worth your effort!

Some will just be fuel to the fire that you don't need.

Let them go.

And don’t forget to breathe!