Monday, October 26, 2020

Hello, Monday!

It happened!

The last few passes on Nearly Lemoyne finished, I was able to unload the quilt from the machine -

There is nothing like the feeling of "unfurling" the quilt as it comes off the rollers - and I see the whole thing, where previously for days I had only been seeing it advance in sections.

It is such a feel good!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

October 2020 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

I think it's high time we had some fun around here!  And the October Quilty Box is a great way to do it!

Our October box is curated by none other than Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quiltworks!

If you are a batik lover, this box is for you.

I am in love with the vibrant colors - and that yellow combined with magenta?  BRILLIANT!

This collection is bound to keep you thinking of summer all the way through winter.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

When Quilting Can Wait -

If I get just a couple passes of quilting in the Nearly Lemoyne quilt, could it count as job done for the day?

The weather was just too perfect for late October to stay indoors.  There is rain on the horizon - but yesterday - oh, yesterday!

The day just BEGGED for me to leave the QPO behind and head up to Grayson Highlands for some hiking and pony seeking.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Quilting in the Fog!

It finally happened.

I FINALLY found the time to finish loading the Nearly Lemoyne quilt, and start the quilting process.

You know, I really did have a ball making these blocks.  

My concentration was on matching up unlikely pairs in each block.  Some of the strips had come from Jelly Rolls, and we all know that narrow strips don't always work well with sideways directional and large prints.  

So I stopped focusing on the print itself, and instead played with the colors, just finding two colors that I liked together, no matter if there were chopped up butterflies in my block or not! 

(The top left block with the teal was matched to a hard to use jelly roll strip of not-whole butterflies.)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Parkway Views!

This is autumn on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If I drive south on highway 16, following it past Jefferson on my way to Wilkesboro, I can pull off onto the parkway, and not far down is a great little rest stop/turn out with a picnic table or two, a trail head (I need more time to actually hike that trail to see where it goes!) and gorgeous views - just like this.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wednesday on the Run!

I took a good long time out for some of this yesterday.

Dare I say that I needed it as much as Lola did.

She has this uncanny ability of knowing just what I'm talking about.  She listens.  She purrs.  She looks at me with the wisdom of the ages. She reads my thoughts.

She doesn't stick her nose into my business and tell me how to run things, what I should or shouldn't be doing.  She allows me to talk it through and make the best decision for myself and for my business.

And then she lets me live with the consequences.

I wish the world was more like that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Autumn Days of No Sewing!

Sometimes sewing opportunities are minimal - and daily life of taking care of things takes over.

I'm sure that's the same for everyone.  Projects get shifted to the back burner as available time is used to do a multitude of different things from cooking to cleaning to shopping and appointments.

That's the funny thing about this pandemic.  I've gotten so used to "social distancing" that when there are several days in a row where errands have popped up, I get cranky.  I just want to be home!

I grabbed this shot of the cabin from the front end of the yard, wanting to capture SOME of the remaining leaves before they are all on the ground.

It really has been the most amazing fall, and I am so grateful to be here to experience it in its fullness.

Can you believe that one year ago I was saying hello from Kenya?

Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Morning Round Here!

This morning's autumn view off the cabin porch.

I watched the sunrise through the trees, knowing that in a few weeks the leaves will be gone, distant mountain ridges will be in view, and that sun will be unobscured!  Sunrise season!

Right now they are visibly thinning, and the morning light that filters through the remaining leaves is just beautiful.

Another sunny morning is at hand!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Frost is on the Pumpkins!

It's like flipping a switch.

We had our first frost on Friday night - this photo was taken over the cabin by drone yesterday morning.

We've passed our peak of color.  There are still beautiful leaves to see, but more and more, the trees are becoming bare.

It's time for spiced cider, for warm bowls of soup and other comfort foods.

Time to don the wool socks, the warmer boots, that extra layer of denim shirt, or sweat shirt or sweater.

It's time for cold noses and red cheeks.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Sewing All Day!

How many different greens can one use in string piecing?


And let's face it - the contents of my string bins are overflowing as anything that is "still wide enough to be useful" but not really Scrap User’s System width-worthy usually ends up in my string bins either by color family.

I need to make more string quilts to keep up with the string production!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Friendly Friday Ahead!

Weekend Project! Full Steam Ahead!

And yes, this is my set up at Quiltville Inn this weekend.  

I have a group visiting, and I am jumping right in and retreating with them as heaven knows I've been working my butt off behind the scenes with mystery preparations - This girl needs some FUN!

I posted a tiny sneak preview of what I am working on in Monday's Post.  Did you catch it?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Best Kind of Wednesday -

Don't you just love it when things fall into place and you find you have TIME to put something together?

My Nearly Lemoyne quilt was at the forefront of my day yesterday.

Morning chores done - the day was warm and sun-filled.  The windows were open at the QPO with barely the gentlest of breezes stirring the air.

I lit an autumn scented candle.  I made a cup of coffee, drinking it from a new mug received as a gift from a visiting friend a couple of weeks ago.  I think of her every time I use it!

I put my Pandora on shuffle - and oh, what an eclectic mix of music became my backdrop as I laid out all of the border units where they needed to go.  I stitched pieced borders.  I added the inset border to the inside edge of the pieced borders, and finally, it all came together.  

Just like that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Right On Time, One Week Early!

Let me premise this post by saying that EVERYTHING can be made better by ice cream.  Well mostly.  And no matter what happened yesterday, it all turned out good.  The ice cream was the bonus!

The Tuesday after a 3 day holiday weekend that didn't feel like a 3 day holiday weekend except for the fact that the USPS was closed on Monday - those kinds of Tuesdays always throw me a little bit backward.  And then shove my week off running on Tuesday trying to make up for the stuff that didn't get done on the Monday.  Make sense?

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Breathing Calm into Anxiety.

 I stopped dead center on the bridge crossing the New River yesterday morning, rolled my window down and took this photo - there was no one behind me.

It's hard to see from the photo - and as they say "Pictures don't do it justice!" But the clouds and mist and fog hanging on to the tops of the trees was just ethereal.

And the colors - OH, the colors!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sunday, With Stitches!

"Do we need to go anywhere?" I asked as the rain pounded outside - forcing more leaves to the ground along with the persistent downpour.

"Nope.  We don't need to go anywhere, to do anything, Let's just be home." was the answer.

Oh goodness.  What is a person to do with a free Sunday?

I set an audio book to playing through my sound bar, and began to press and cut.

My Nearly Lemoyne blocks required strips of certain length to be able to cut out enough pieces for each block.

But guess what?  My border units need only half that length, so I was able to dig back into my mess of a 2 1/2'' strip drawer to see what short strips I could clear out.

I found one more strip of the Boo Crew monster neutral! Oh, happy day!

I'm looking at a few more days before I have enough of these units done and can add them to the quilt center, but I'm getting there.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Baking While it Rains -

It's raining.  It's pouring.  It continued through the night pounding on the metal roof above the cabin -

Which has to be just about my favorite sound in the world.

Also a favorite - Iced pumpkin drop cookies - a perfect way to warm the cabin with the yummy fragrant aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

I will always go for a spice cookie before I grab anything chocolate and these moist little morsels do not disappoint .

I posted this recipe originally last May - during that first episode of Google Photos messing with the embedded URLs that posted my photos to the blog.

After the second episode last month - I am now resorting to needing to be online using only the blogger software, also a Google product - but I swear my photos will NEVER go missing again.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Life Between the Seams!

This happened yesterday late afternoon. Just a couple of hours of sewing time in between all of the run around errands after lunch, and before heading out again in the evening.

Sometimes productivity just happens in small bursts like that.  But if we add all the small bits of time together, it really adds up!

One final press on this Nearly Lemoyne center and into the waiting game it goes while I decide on what to do for borders.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Falling Leaves & Sewing Time!

Things are looking very autumnal in the Virginia Highlands!

This was my view coming up Grassy Creek yesterday late afternoon.  Wisps of clouds, pale blue sky and sunshine.  Leaves gaining the courage to turn from green to gold, orange, rusty reds and browns.

It was that strip of grey asphalt that encouraged me to use grey along with cream as backgrounds for my Appalachian Autumn quilt.  

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Wednesday in the Scraps!

For all of those times I wished I could just let the world pass me by while I cut and sewed the day away -

Wednesday, you were the bomb!

So much so, that I didn't really stop to take photos.

Well, except for Lola.  Because there is ALWAYS Lola!

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Must Pet Quilts!

It had been months and months – my favorite antiquing spot in all of Ashe County, NC.

The last time I had been in was early March, just before lock down started, and though I didn’t “NEED” anything, I had a bit of time to fritter as I was running early for my chiropractic appointment not far up the road, down and around.

I spied the “antiqued in green” circa 1960s paint job right on the vintage Hoosier cabinet right away.  I remember being a little girl in that time frame – and my mom was busy “antiquing” everything she could set her brush to.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Meanwhile, in a World Away -

Jason has been exploring South Dakota over the past few days and has sent us the most amazing photos – including a live video chat while watching the sunrise over the Badlands yesterday.

He is seeing so many amazing aspects to this beautiful country, and I know that even though this is a tough time for him in so many ways – it is also a time of self-discovery and reconnecting with family on a deeper level.  Simply because there IS TIME.

He sent this photo of a buffalo just grazing out next to his vehicle as he drove on by.  How amazing is this?

Monday, October 05, 2020

Autumn From a Different Angle!

We have really loved getting a birds eye view through the lens of our drone camera!

It is amazing what these things can do.

It also makes me nervous having an expensive piece of photography equipment go so high up above us that I can’t hear it or see it.

This photo was taken over Quiltville Inn yesterday afternoon -

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Leaf Peeper Season Kick Off!

Autumn color in the Blue Ridge mountains dazzles the eyes, captures the senses, and submerges one in beauty impossible to capture with words.

Even the camera can’t do it justice – and I count myself so blessed to live right in the midst of it.

With the onset of cooler temperatures we chose the warmest part of the day, around 2pm, to head up to Grayson Highlands for a little hike along the Rhododendron and Appalachian trials.

The sky was the kind of blue I wish I could capture in fabric.  It was magical.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

All on a Friday!

Do you remember this long time languishing project?

The FIRST of two hexie quilt tops I made – one for each son?

The English Paper Piecing was an easy travel project – and traveled with me in my busy bag any time I went anywhere at any time.

My plan was to have two completely hand sewn quilts to leave the boys as their legacy.

When we were still mostly residing in North Carolina, this quilt was always at hand-quilting ready for evening stitching there, and then when we would come up to the cabin “just for the weekend” there would be another hand stitching project in a hoop waiting for me here.

Now we are not much ever THERE, but mostly full time HERE.  Which is about as accurate as I can get at this point.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Squirreling Around!

What do you call those days where you flit from one thing to another with no real place to land?

Some days I really wish I could clone myself and set that clone at doing all of the must-do-and-mundane tasks while the real me got to just focus on the creating thing.

And I sometimes wish there was a warp-speed button so that the often slow process part of creativity good get a kick in the keester and see some ideas come to fruition just that much faster.

“It’s not a race!” the small voice keeps telling me.

“Yes, but when you are on the downhill side of life the time it takes to do something matters!”

And so the argument goes.

I did finish the binding on the Yellow Brick Road table topper, and it is now brightening our dining table at the cabin.

The beautiful fall colors mixed with that bit of purple just speak to me.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Hello, October!

And Suddenly (or ever so slowly) the calendar turns from September to October.

October’s arrival always has me a bit wistful, accepting the fact that we are indeed saying good bye to the long days of summer, and ready for warm socks, hoodie sweatshirts, favorite fur-lined slippers, hot beverages, and darkness arriving much earlier in the day than we’d like it to.

Though that dark-before-dinner change of things also leaves much more time for hand stitching away while tucked into my cozy chair.

Last night I was sharing this chair with Zoey, who has this adoring behavior of plopping her head right on top of whatever I’m stitching, usually pinning my leg to the ottoman at the same time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

All On A Rainy Tuesday!

 You know those days where the rain pours endlessly with no sign of stopping?

The kind of cool autumn morning where you want to just putter around in a comfy pair of old socks, sipping a warm, yummy beverage, listening to an audiobook while you sew the day away?

Aren’t those days just the BEST EVER?! 

And don’t let Lola’s stinky-eye gaze fool you.  She loved this day as much as I did.

Well, what she experienced of it, as she seemed to sleep her way through most of it.  In my bin.  Where the fabric I needed was held down by her dead weight sleeping self.

How does that saying go?  No scrap quilt is complete without a bit of cat hair?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Quilt Finishes! Hooray!

Some bindings are sewn – not in a hurry, but slowly while enjoying family time of TV watching, popcorn or root beer floats, and loads of laughter in between.

That is the story of the Traveling Star quilt – it’s taken me THIS long, so what’s the rush?

This photo shoot happened yesterday afternoon and of course, Zoey Jo thought it was all about her!

This quilt is destined for one of the beds at Quiltville Inn, and I will be celebrating when that day finally comes where I can put my own quilts back on the beds again.

For now, we will deal with coverlets, and the quilts that retreaters bring to make their bed their own during their stay. And that has its own benefits too. 

I love seeing what other folks have made, and they get to share them with each other, like a mini quilt show field trip, everyone going room to room to see what is on everyone’s beds.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Pumpkins & Sunday Driving!

Yesterday was a day of hard goodbyes and half-way drives.

Son Jason left early afternoon – destination Kentucky and the Daniel Boone State Park. 

His desire to see as much of America and record it through the lenses of his cameras is his goal.  In his own words and feelings, there is no time like the present, and he isn’t in that great of a hurry to get back to Portland, Oregon.  He does, however, want to make the best use of the weather before things get too cold and rainy – and dare we even say SNOWY – before he reaches his destination.

I am hoping he will share his photos with me so I can share them with you.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

When You Can't Find the Sunrise -


Just because you can’t see the sunrise, doesn’t mean it isn’t there shining brightly!

Yesterday morning I went upstairs to find both Jason and the Hubster on the back deck – sending their drones up in various directions.

What was the point?  To get above the fog that had settled in all around us.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

And The Stash Bash Continues...

And the fabric rehoming continues. 

And it likely will for a good long time – but there is no better time than NOW, is there?

What I’ve set aside here are half-yard cuts of neutrals that may need a different system than sticking them in with the yardage due to limited shelf space.  The jury is still out on whether they should be relocated and kept in with the neutral fat-quarter boxes.

Neutrals are my favorites – they always have been!  And I need a great variety, so if I find myself purchasing anything…..this girl always gravitates toward the neutrals.

And then there are those “not quite neutral, not quite a color….” kinds of fabrics that I am finding myself pulling into a subcategory of their own.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The QPO Stash Bash!

Yesterday was the day.

The day to begin to move the huge bins of fabric from the garage/shop at Quiltville Inn over to my little Quiltville Post Office studio.

I couldn’t leave those cabinets standing empty forever, could I?

It was a drizzly, rainy kind of a Thursday as it was – not really pouring, just drippy.  The kind of day I like to refer to as simply “soft.”

Info on the cabinets?  I got them 20 years ago from Home Depot when we lived in Waxahachie, Texas.  From there they moved to Irmo, South Carolina, and then up to Wallburg, North Carolina - and now they are residing here in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Bindings, Labels and Sleeves, Oh My!

There are days when time is abundant and loads of sewing can happen.

And then there are days when the only thing I can muster in the quilting department is 45 minutes of hand quilting during my lunch break, then back to work, and before heading home time arrives manage to attach a hanging sleeve to a quilt.

It was that kind of day!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

A Day to Play Down Mayberry Way!

What a bright and clear Tuesday for getting out and about!

Last week I was bemoaning to my friend Martha that I was in desperate need of a haircut, and I didn’t have anyone local. 

In the past (Well, only January – the only time in a long time I’d had a real in salon hair cut) I had taken care of it while in Winston-Salem on a run around trip of other things.  You know – get it all done at once kind of day.

In July my friend Gail took pity on me and cut my hair at the QPO while here on retreat with her group.  That felt safe.

But at a real salon? I was in such need because Gail lives 2 1/2 hours away.

Where am I leading with this?  Martha said she had an appointment with Shawna in Mt Airy on Tuesday and would I like her to check if Shawna could work me in at the same time?


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Moving It On Up!

It took a big trailer.

And a whole pickup bed -

Sunday was a beautiful sunny clear day and a 100 mile pilgrimage was made to North Carolina to retrieve my 5 stash cabinets, and 3 metal shelving units, and whatever else “quilt wise” that we could fit in the back of the truck.

I told the Hubster as we were loading things that I just felt overwhelmingly emotional about emptying out this house.  He asked why. (As men tend to do!)

We spent nearly 13 years of our lives in that house, even though much of it i was on the road and not really “living” there.  It’s true.  I never felt like a resident, just a visitor. It was just a space the held my stuff so I could do what I do.

But at the same time – a lot of living had happened there.  A lot of creativity – and it was a safe and comfortable space to come home to, even though it never truly felt like it would be our forever home.

Monday, September 21, 2020

What a Weekend It Was!

Three of us tackled the Virginia Creeper Trail on Saturday!

Things are still lush and green, but starting to turn a bit yellow – early fallen leaves are starting to cover the trail – and oh, the smell of nature, the richness of it – it just fills all of your senses as you pedal and coast your way from White Top down to Damascus.

When I am riding like this – I feel 12 years old.  It’s just wonderful, and I am grateful for a body that still functions well enough to be able to ride like a child.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

September 2020 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Autumn is here! Winter is around the corner -

Let Quilting Season begin in earnest!

(My family jokes – what season is NOT quilting season?  And I roll my eyes! LOL!)

Just as things were beginning to really feel like fall around here, the September Quilty Box arrived on my doorstep and I couldn’t wait to dig in and see just what was inside.

I have become more familiar with artists and designers that I hadn’t had a chance to know before – that’s one of the BEST things about Quilty Box.  They are always expanding my horizons and bringing something new right to my fingertips.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

New PDF Pattern: Appalachian Autumn!

Let the leaves turn and fall!

Let the temperatures drop!  We will be inside cozy and warm, stitching up armfuls of autumn-colored string maple leaves, ready for the season ahead!

I absolutely adore autumn. The only problem is that it doesn’t really last long enough.

Here in the southeast we tend to go from summer’s heat and humidity to – all the leaves are down and now it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors anymore.

I wish there was a way to make autumn last – and this is a great way to keep the BEST parts of our beautiful fall season and enjoy them all the way through Thanksgiving.

Appalachian Autumn finishes at 56 1/2’’ x 56 1/2’’

Perfect as a table topper, couch throw, or a large wall hanging!

I pulled out all of my strips and strings in beautiful fall shades of orange, gold, rust, red with a bit of brown – and allowed the leaves to swirl on a background of stormy, cloudy grey and warm vanilla custard cream.  YES!  You can let grey and cream play together – this is the perfect place to bring in those sandy neutrals you thought were “not white enough” for other projects. 

They are beautiful here!

Purchase and Print Appalachian Autumn!

You could be stitching within a few minutes!

Appalachian Autumn is a 10 page PDF pattern booklet bursting with full color photos and graphics, showing you in detail how to make this quilt from units to blocks to sashings and borders.

The regular price of $12.00  has dropped 25% to the introductory sale price of just $9.00 – for 48 hours only!  The price will revert back to $12.00 with the release of Monday’s blog post.  So get in on it right now!

As PDF patterns do not require shipping, this sale price is open to everyone, everywhere! No coupon code required.

You can click Appalachian Autumn to go directly to the pattern, but you’ll also find it in the NEW and PDF PATTERNS categories if you feel the urge to poke around and see just what the Quiltville Store has to offer.

And there was more I was going to talk about – but son Jason walked through our door at about 7:30pm last night -

I’m spending the weekend with my son!  Our plan today is for another go biking Virginia Creeper Trail – let’s hope the weather holds out.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Our world has forever changed. RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You made a difference.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Little Gratitudes!

Things I am simply grateful for!

This was my TV from the basement studio/office in Wallburg.  Jason and I brought it up to the Quiltville Post Office when he was visiting at the end of August.

We got it hooked up, all but the sound bar (Which was already here and housed on top of my shelving units) last week, but had to wait for the wall mounts for the soundbar to arrive..  They did! 

This is nearly the “last thing” that needed completion in my working space to make it just right.

Most often you’ll find me with music on – my various favorite channels on Pandora are often set on shuffle.  It’s a weird mix, but it fits my bill.  What can I say?

What you might also notice is missing – the other “nearly the last thing” is in progress, next door to the inn in the garage/shop.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Things Under My Needle -

The quilting is happening on my Traveling Star quilt!

I chose a really cute pantograph called Orange Blossom Special bringing a more contemporary texture to the quilt. I know the stars and the strings are more traditional by definition, but these fabrics are anything but!  They are EVERYTHING.

What I also find fun for the eyes is that the stars are 60 degree angles, appliqued on top of 45 degree angle (roughly) string blocks.  It’s a juxtaposition of the unexpected.