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Sunday, March 29, 2020

UNITY: The Quiltville Sew-in-Place Quilt Along!


It’s time for some UNITY!

Why UNITY?

Because we are all in this together – and keeping ourselves sequestered away from the world, to protect the world from further spread of Covid-19.

50 years from now this will be a time that kids will be studying in school, learning about what their grandparents and great grandparents did during this time.

I hope that the way that we pitched in to become part of the solution, not part of the problem will give them a sense of pride.

Above you see colors – the three that I have chosen!  I got a hold of my friends at The Cozy Quilter to pull me some bolts (And send me some fabric!) because there are some things I am dreadfully low on here at the cabin, and my main stash is still 100 miles away in Wallburg, NC.  I am not going to go get it.  I am going to work with what I have on hand, and added to by some on-line purchases.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 2020 Quilty Box Gift-Away!


March has only a few days left -

So let’s ride it out in STYLE!

The March 2020 showed up on my door step the day before yesterday – and it was such a happy diversion!

I couldn’t wait to open it up and see what is inside.  SUMMER COLORS!  Weeee!

This month’s box is curated by Sarah Elizabeth Sharp of No Hats in the House!

No Hats?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Who is up for a Sew-in-Place-Along?


Since March fell apart and will continue into April and most likely May and beyond into June – I’ve been thinking.

What if we did a mystery that really wasn’t a mystery– but a Sew in Place Quilt Along instead?

And we would break it down, with a different section being made each week.

And we could do how-to videos with my tools and techniques and more Quilt-Cams and sharing, etc?

So it would be like a mystery, but not really – but all of the fun of mystery time – and more.

Would you be in?

If you could sew from your stash – no paint chips involved.  

If we said something like “Choose 3 colors and a background” after seeing my graphic of the quilt center – would you be excited to dig in?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

From Quarantine Quilting to Binding -


I get by with a little help from my friends!

Much of yesterday was spent quilting “THE BEAST” Aka the Elvira Quilt. 

I admit, at first I worried about the ginormous size of the hunks in this quilt.  But as a queen-sized bed quilt, it turned out wonderfully masculine and fairly contemporary looking even with all of those very traditional Civil War type fabrics in it.

I didn’t want the quilting to be too close – I just wanted to add a lot of texture that needed to be somewhat to scale with the sizes of the pieces.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The View Outside From Within.


This is happening on the hillside across the street from Quiltville Inn.

The fields of baby Christmas trees are being groomed (You can barely see the dots of the seedlings) And this work group is 10 people – at least 6 feet apart from each other.

Life must go forward – and if all of the world could keep this kind of distance from each other, that would be great.

What would even be greater is if any and all unnecessary trips to the gas station, the grocery, the pharmacy – whatever were kept to a bare minimum.

I captioned a photo on Instagram and Facebook yesterday with “I wish the bulk of my stash weren’t 100 miles away when I am self-quarantining.”

I could not believe the comments that came back “Well, if you are in your car you are safe – just go get it.”

It would have been an unnecessary trip. It would cause me to go to the gas station.  And while I have gloves in the car, and can pump my own gas, pay at the pump and not go into the store, I would be adding to the mass of humanity that is still out there moving around and spreading this thing.

I am just so dumbfounded that people think this is “life as normal.”

Let’s say that I get in a wreck, because I am out – not sheltering at HOME. (Notice it doesn’t say "Shelter in public out in the world.")

That means I am pulling law enforcement, rescue and hospital staff away from what they SHOULD be doing – taking care of patients sick with Covid-19, and now they are taking care of ME, and likely the other guy that caused the accident (because it certainly wasn’t me!) and I have added to the problem.

In this case – I firmly believe that if you are not part of the solution (STAY HOME AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!) you are part of the problem (Carrying on life as normal going where/when you want as if this is no big deal.)

Please folks – STAY HOME if possible.  Make one trip to the grocery a week if possible.  Do all the errands in one trip if possible.  AND STAY HOME.


Bradford pears blooming in the parking lot at the USPS.

“HOME” for me means a short 7 mile drive between the cabin and the QPO. I am VERY rural and rarely even pass another car going the opposite way. I don’t get out of my car in between.  

My only side jaunt has been to take my daily bin of mail to the USPS  where we have this routine of me saying “Good morning!” at the side door, in which case the postmaster opens the door wide, I slide the bin in, she slides an empty bin out…we both step several feet back, talk for a few minutes to check in with each other, and then I am back on my way 3/4 of a mile down the road back to the QPO.

All of my April venues have been cancelled or rescheduled.  If necessary, I will start working on clearing May.

Quilting events are social events.  NONCRITICAL.  We can live to quilt another day.  We can live to retreat another time.

Please – be smart. Stay home.

This all came to a head for me yesterday when dealing with an April venue out of state who said that their state was still “no groups larger than 50” so we would be okay giving workshops. 

First off – stupid.  Second off – I am currently living under Virginia law which says no more than 10 in a group.  And no UNNECESSARY GROUPS.

My feeling? I don't want to leave a state where I am self-quarantining and sheltering at home where no more than 10 people are allowed to gather in any one place - to drive across the state line to subject myself to a gathering of 50 that have assembled from who knows where carrying who knows what.

I really don't want to travel 4 to 5 hours away and subject myself to all kinds of possible infectious situations. Nor do I want to pick up something unaware and bring it back to Virginia with me!

At this time I feel safer in the land of MORE RESTRICTIONS, than fewer. 

It's common sense. DO. NOT. GATHER.

Quilting workshops and retreats can wait.


Nathan Allen, M.D., Chair, Billings Clinic emergency department

The following was posted in the Billings Gazette:

We need your help. We need you to stay home.

We are the emergency medicine physicians working in your local hospitals. We are here for you now, and we will be here for you no matter how bad the novel coronavirus pandemic gets. We are working nonstop to keep you safe in our emergency rooms, clinics and hospitals.

But there is something you need to know and something you need to do.

The threat is real and the time for action is now. COVID-19 is the most serious threat to the health of our patients and our community that we have ever seen. We can still stop the spread of this virus.  If we do not, people in our community will die — people you know and love.

Social distancing is a fancy phrase. Here’s what it means and here is what it does:

It means staying home as much as possible. It means shopping for groceries once a week at most. It means not having parties, kids' play-dates, or social and family gatherings  even if everybody “doesn’t think they are sick.”

It’s an enormous economic and personal sacrifice, but as a community it buys us something priceless: It buys us time. Time to prepare. Time to expand testing capability so that anyone with symptoms can get tested and get a result in minutes, not days. Time to develop treatments and medications that can reduce the risk of death. Time to develop a vaccine that can prevent you from ever getting COVID-19.

Right now, health care workers are making plans to live apart from our families — in a separate house, hotel, or trailer, potentially for months — to keep them safe from bringing this virus home to them.

We are writing the last will and testament that we never found time to write, but really need now because we are worried we might die of COVID-19.

We are reusing personal protective equipment and making our own because there may not be enough.

We are confident in our ability to save lives and serve our community to the best of our ability. But, we need you to treat this situation seriously — because it is.

We want you to stay healthy. We want you to seek medical care and advice when you are sick. Our emergency rooms are open 24/7 for you. But whenever you can, we want you to stay home. When you stay home, you help stop the spread of infection. If we can stop the spread, we will find success as a community in fighting this disease. Success means having an ICU bed and ventilator available for your loved one who becomes critically ill. Success provides the best possible outcomes for our community.

We are all in this this together. Everyone, everywhere can do their part. Staying home and stopping the spread isn’t easy — it’s hard — but it’s what we all need to do. We need you to do it today. [source]

So is it worth driving 200 miles round trip just to pick up fabric?  NO.  (I hope you would have come to the same conclusion.)

So instead – this is what I found when I returned to the Quiltville Post Office yesterday morning after having sewn my Elvira quilt top into rows the evening before:


Click to Play:


Naughty kitties!


Dresden watching mama sew rows together!


One last seam to go!


This thing is a beast!

But miracle of miracles – I had a piece of yardage in my bin big enough to back the whole thing.  THE WHOE THING.  And yes, it has flowers on it – but not girly flowers, and it is what it is in this time of “use what you have on hand.”


In the machine it went!

And in the machine it still is -

This is going to take a while to quilt.


Quilting with swirls!


And yes – I kitty-proofed it before I went home for dinner.


Binding to Jamestown on Amazon Prime.

Sleepy puppy on my legs.

It’s much slower to bind this way – but I’ll take it.  Sweet girl has had no potty accidents now for 3 days! Hooray!


All that is left is to stitch the upper edge of the label down.

Tonight.


I think she’s claimed it!

But it will be washed up and placed on a bed at Quiltville Inn.  And then I will dig in to the remaining Shoo Fly Shoo leader & ender blocks (that are still on going) and see what it will take to make a second quilt in a different setting than this one so there will be 2 similar in a room.

Things to remember:  The Addicted to Scraps book is still at DEEP DISCOUNTS (at my cost plus shipping) in the Quiltville Store. It’s my effort in encouraging you to dig into your scraps and make something fun with them while we are under this Shelter at Home thing.

You’ll receive a free PDF download of my Wanderlust Table Runner pattern at purchase in your email. Just watch for the link to come when you purchase the book.

Of course there are loads of other goodies you may want to treat yourself to – check out the NEW category in the store and see what we’ve added!

Our IronEZ Gift-Away is still going on over on yesterday’s post.  Drawing to happen on SUNDAY – for three lucky winners!  So head on over and enter to win there.

And I think that catches us up for Wednesday.

What’s on your plan for today?



Quiltville Quote of the Day-

Do your soul a favor and just love yourself right now, as you are - because as you do, more love will come to you in ways you may have never imagined.

With things as uncertain as they are right now, now is a great time to make time for some self care.

Be kind to YOU today!


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Things in Bloom


There is a benefit to sheltering at home.

Over the past 3 years we have lived in Virginia, I have only seen the Dogwood Tree in front of Quiltville Inn bloom ONCE – and that was before the house was even ours.

Due to self-quarantining, I’m seeing changes on a daily basis.

The daffodils are in large clumps on the hillsides, banks of the creeks and roadsides – giving everything their best show!

And those weeks are sprouting up QUICKLY!  A week ago they weren’t here.  Now it looks like a lawn mower will be needed within the week – if it ever stops raining.

Forsythia (of which I have none here, but certainly wish I did as it is my favorite burst of spring color) is growing all along my 7 mile route from cabin to inn (safe within my van, not stopping or talking to anyone on my way in between.)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Another Rainy Monday -


No, I didn’t finish yesterday’s Quilt Along project.

I made good progress -

And so it will continue today!

Did you participate in yesterday’s Quarantine Quilt Along?  How is your progress?  I saw several finishes (of the smaller sizes) as far as tops go -

My day was interrupted by 4 legged family members who wanted to be in the middle of everything.  And you know what?  This quilt wasn’t meant to be a race.  I have several days ahead of me to get the top together and get it in the quilting machine.

It’s been a good one to use up various hunks and chunks of darker more masculine fabrics that have been sitting around without a purpose, and that makes me happy.

I did get about half of the blocks, both A & B made, and started to lay them out and….


Well, shoot! LOL!

I can report, however that we had ZERO pee-in-the-van accidents yesterday.  This is a WIN!

There have been no poop-on-the-rug moments either, and we’ve pretty much got it down to a science that if she sits to leash up before going out, she gets a treat.  As soon as she pees outside, she gets a treat.  (She is taking less and less time to decide where to go – just go and get the treat!) and if there is a poop outside she gets TWO treats, because that is a big deal.

Okay – so sorry about the potty talk but this is what my life is consumed with right now, good or bad or inappropriate for public consumption.  If we can’t keep it real during these times, then what is the point of doing this at all?

Better than that – she now knows that her name is Zoey Jo, and she comes when you call her.  It only took a bit over a week, but we are with the program now.

Other things being worked on are “go to your crate” when we are eating meals, and so far so good – we don’t even have to close the crate door.

Not that I can take any credit for this “training”  - SHE is the smart one. 


Binding is getting slowly sewn down -

Puppy work is exhausting!

I just don’t seem to have as much energy at the end of the day – but again, it’s not a race!

I’ve also been staying in contact with friends through text messages and phone calls.  Look what Mona just finished:


Shoo Fly Shoo ON POINT!!

Way to go, Mona!

I love the pink and the yellow in this – it feels so happy, just like spring.  We will get it quilted up when this whole Shelter at Home thing is lifted.

If you look closely you’ll see one block with a triangle gone awry – it stays.  It’s there making a statement about how things right now are just “out of whack” – but life is still beautiful as a whole.  

We can embrace uncertainty and move forward into it – or we can fret over why things aren’t perfect all of the time and get nowhere. 

Other things going on around here?  Getting inventive with the cooking!

If meals are made to be a bit more fun, a bit different, a little more yummy – it breaks up the doldrums.


Oven roasted Asparagus!

*hint* To remove woody ends of asparagus, grab stalk of asparagus at either end and bend until it snaps. It will naturally snap where it starts to get tough.

  • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed, woody ends removed.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • Add all ingredients to list

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.
  5. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.
This was SO good – And I had plenty of leftovers since it is just the two of us.  I will definitely do this again. 

I love that it took no time at all to roast – so when the pork chops went on the grill, the spears went into the oven and were done about the same time.

Today I am treating like a typical Monday.  Mail to go out, sewing to do, perhaps some pattern writing that I've been putting off simply because I couldn’t get my brain to settle down enough to sit and do all of the technical stuff.


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Tumbler quilt top shared by Diane in Michigan.

When I can't control the big things, I focus on the little things that make me happy!

What is bringing happiness to your heart on this Monday?


Sunday, March 22, 2020

International Quilting Weekend Doings!


Dresden is trying to keep the quilt from falling as I bind.

Or that is what his look said, but really he just wanted me to stop sewing, pay attention to him, give some belly tickles and let him settle right in, right where he was.

Oh Dresden!

I know the cats have felt a bit on the outs since I first walked Zoey through the Quiltville Post Office door.

Now when I come through they are wary – “Does she have that thing with her – or not?!”

And it’s been busy – so sometimes I have her (When the Hubster is working from the cabin he can keep Zoey so I can work at the QPO without extra puppy patrolling.)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

It’s International Quilting Weekend!


I mentioned that it was International Quilting Day today -

and that I intended to QUILT. ALL. DAY.

Oh, the eyes that rolled at me – “Why is this any different than any OTHER day?”

Because there is strength in numbers.  And it means we are recognized as a sub-culture!

Besides, I didn’t see anyone exclaiming “Happy Bows & Arrows Day!” As he went off to archery target practice.

So there!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Things We CAN Do!



Perhaps you have seen this floating around the media.

We are running out of face masks in the medical arena as we fight the Coronavirus.

There is a call from hospitals, clinics and other facilities for handmade masks – and who better to join in than the quilters who have stashes full of fun fabrics.

The only thing I would need to find is the elastic cording that makes the ear loops – but this is when mail order comes in to play.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Getting It Together!


Slow but steady gets the job done!

Yesterday turned out to be a frazzle of getting mail order out the door in time to be ready for an important Skype call with someone special!

Yes it was recorded, and when it plays, where it plays – I’ll let you know.

How incredibly unbelievable is it that International Quilting Day also happens during the time we are all on “Shelter at Home” status, and actually CAN participate in International Quilting Day?  And continue it into the week beyond?

As stated previously – Quilters have been preparing for this kind of quilting pandemic for decades – bring it on! (All said tongue in cheek – this is no laughing matter and we are doing what we can to stay safe, protect others while we protect ourselves, and quilt to keep our sanity in check and our spirits positive.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It’s a Global Quarantine Quilt-Along!


This happened last night!

After much technical difficulty stuff on my end.

There is nothing like making things look really unprofessional when trying to work through the many ups and downs of going live through new software and dual cameras!

In fact, we ended up crashing Facebook Live due to so many watching at once – and it happened when Gudrun was trying to share my video walk through of Quiltville inn – the one from November when we hosted our first beta-test retreat!  If you missed it, you can view it on my YouTube Channel HERE.

So what were we talking about? Our upcoming Quarantine Quilt Along – complete with FREE PATTERN for Gudrun’s new Elvira Quilt.

We are going to have a ball – and yes, I’ll be sewing along too and making the quilt, as well as doing a live check in during the day on Gudrun’s Facebook Page.

You’ll find ALL of the details here on Gudrun’s Blog.


From Gudrun:

I’m hosting a Quarantine Quilt Along #QQAL Sunday, March 22nd on my Facebook page GEQuiltDesigns and on YouTube.

I will go live multiple times throughout the day to demonstrate each steps of the brand new, exclusive Elvira quilt. I'll also have some special guests check in and will give out some awesome, quilty goodies to viewers.

LIVE broadcast schedule
(All times listed are Central Standard Time)
  • 9am Kickoff - Cutting out the pieces. First steps in block A.
  • 11am Cutting for Block B. First steps in block B.
  • 1pm Cutting the setting rectangles.
  • 3pm Laying the quilt out and sewing it together
  • 5pm Tada moments, checking on everyone's progress and Finale.
Live Broadcast is found on my Facebook page.

You can also watch on my YouTube channel. Please note there will be a 30 minute delay from the Live Facebook sessions. 

(It takes time to get the live feed saved and uploaded to YouTube after recording concludes.)



This Quarantine Quilt Along (#QQAL) is completely free with a brand new pattern that is also free but only for a limited time.

Check out the Supply list HERE.

And here’s how our session went (With many hiccups, but still so fun!)  Click to Play:


This is going to be awesome!


I’ve been busy pulling Fat Quarters for this!

Dresden is not impressed!

I really do have a “limited” stash here at the cabin and QPO – my big stash is still in Wallburg, NC – 100 miles away and I’m not going down the mountain to grab anything so I am going to work from what I have.

This is a collection of older civil war type fabrics that I think will make a great masculine looking quilt for my son and his gf as they move into a new house together.  That’s my plan anyway!

Because it is going to be for my son – I’m opting for the Queen Size version of Elvira.  it will use up more fabric – that’s a good thing, right?  And I think because I’m going masculine and want to minimize the “flowery” fabrics – I’ll likely be pulling some recycled shirt fabrics into this quilt as well.

What colors are you thinking?

the blocks are big! We are working with 7 1/2’’ rectangles so it will allow those big prints to really have a place to shine.

Fat Quarters, half-yards and larger yardage is the way to to go to get the pieces we will need.


Yeah mom – you are such a thrill seeker!

I am hoping through this process to also host our own Quilt-Cam.  It has been a while.  Many of you have sent in requests.  I am sorry that I haven’t been able to carve out time yet – with the new puppy things are just utter chaos. I can’t say it any other way.

I also have this going on:


I have placed my Addicted to Scraps Book at deep deep discounts in the Quiltville Store.

It's only $15.99!


  And it comes with a free PDF download for my Wanderlust Table Runner.  

A $10.00 value.

This impromptu sale is only good through March 31st.  Don’t delay!

And I have been busy printing invoices, signing books and getting these orders out.

You know – I have a 7 mile drive from the cabin to the Quiltville Post Office, and it is extremely eerie experiencing not much of anyone out on the roads.  That’s a good thing.

To tell you the truth, it’s not much different than any other day here in Southwestern Virginia. But I feel like I am in my safety-bubble as I drive down the road going from cabin to QPO, and walking next door to Quiltville Inn to drop things off, or fix this, check on that, back in my safety-bubble-van to go drop the mail at the USPS  (It’s nearly a ding-dong-ditch situation as I drop things at the door, they hand me empty tubs to replace what I just dropped off, and off I go in the safety bubble again back to the QPO or home to the cabin.

It just feels SO WEIRD!

We quilters are a resilient lot, though!  I am staying in contact with friends. Martha was busy canning baked beans as she always does this time of year.  Mona is putting together her own Shoo Fly Shoo quilt (Yes, I am still not done on those 9 remaining seams) and wanted some math help with figuring out what size of setting triangles to cut if she sets it on point with cornerstones.  (Way to go, Mona!!)

Thank HEAVENS for the internet and social media.  I can’t imagine this isolation without it.

Today I’m recording a Skype session with Alex Anderson – I will let you know when THAT posts so you can view it.  I will also be at the QPO for that. Hopefully without technical difficulties!

And let’s hope that after all of this is taken care of, there is still time to settle in to some Quilt-Cam of our own.

I guess all of this boils down to the realization that just because I am home, doesn't mean I have endless free time at my disposal.  In fact, it's become a necessity with all that is happening to work harder, work smarter, and use this time in inventive ways to keep this Quiltville ball rolling and stay afloat.  Thank you for understanding that.


Now THIS is progress!

Emmy Lou, at the far corner of the bed, deciding that “If I can’t see Zoey, she can’t see me.”  One day at a time – we have moved into the “barely tolerable” stage.

Zoey is so smart, you can see the wheels turning inside her head.  You take her out on the leash and she stays right by you – her job is to herd you, not to run to the end of her leash.  If you turn left, she turns left and stays right with you.  Which means – she isn’t giving herself the freedom to just be a dog and PEE!

This morning I was out in the yard with her for 30 minutes, and no pee.  Just standing at attention guarding and herding mom.  I need to figure out how to train her to pee on demand.

The second time out – she went. But it took 20 minutes of waiting. And then there is the ominous poop thing hanging over our heads because who knows when/if/where that will happen.


As I type this she is in her crate napping.  There will be another walk before I head to the QPO – and then The Hubster takes over puppy duty while he telecommutes from here.

And such is another day in the life of puppy parents!


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

These things still stand true - even in uncertain times like these.

Today I will do my best to cultivate calm.

Much love to you on this Wednesday -