Saturday, March 07, 2020

Blue Ridge Beauty in the Blue Ridge!

Blue Ridge Beauty was my first-ever Leader & Ender Adventure.

Pattern found in my book Adventures with Leaders & Enders!

This is the quilt that spawned it all – and it all started while on a quilt retreat.  So funny how things have a tendency to come full circle?

I had been working on a project – you know how it goes – miles and miles of triangle pairs sewn in a chain, and the folded-over-thread-covered-throw-away piece of junk fabric I had been sewing on and off of in between my lines of chain piecing was where?  Way down on the floor at the top end of the chain piecing, and I would have to get out of my chair, crawl under the table and snip it from the beginning of the chain to use it once again at the end.

Instead, I was about to grab ONE square from my pre-cut squares that I was working with and fold it over to start a new one.  And that’s when the light bulb went off.

Why not take two squares, a light and a dark, and instead of folding a piece in half to stitch over it eventually throwing it away, simply sew my regular 1/4’’ seam and save it.  When I had two pairs I could stitch them into a four-patch in the same manner and let the little stacks build instead of adding more thread and fabric to my trash.

And that’s how it all began.

We hung the Blue Ridge Beauty quilt over the front porch rail as it is so large there is no where to hang it as a workshop sample in the house.  Seriously big.

And then the wind came and blew it off the rail as the weather turned SNOW GLOBE CRAZY!  I caught a bit of it and posted it to Instagram and Facebook.  Click to Play:

We watched it blow – one person had to go chase down a cooler that had blown off the back porch – it was like a wind tunnel back there!

The snow came in shifts – sometimes fine crystals blowing around, and then hard and heavy blowing in the opposite directions – flakes SO HUGE!

Luckily the ground and the roads were too warm and nothing stuck really – until I got up the mountain to the cabin where there is just a skiff this morning.

While the snow swirled, we cut, sewed, pressed and sewed some more!

Extra cutting space in the front foyer!

I moved the round entry table into the dining room, and we set up a tall cutting station here for more space to cut.

I’ve got 3 resident Stripology rulers for guest use!

They got a workout yesterday with all of the strip cutting and sub-cutting.

I love the idea of making this quilt from recycled shirts!

Keep all of the four patches going through the machine the same direction – dark square hitting the needle first so the top seam allowance is pointing UP toward the needle.  This will help nestle the seams tighter together eliminating the need for pinning that intersection.

It also enables us to spin the seams on all of the four-patches in the same direction so they will automatically nest when blocks are put together – no matter which way you rotate the blocks in the quilt.  It’s the best trick!

Chaining those triangle pairs!

Remember to use more pairs of four-patches as Leaders & Enders while you sew!

Nawwww – not having a good time at all! LOL!

Building blocks – making progress!

The Shoo Fly Shoo blocks are also a Leader & Ender Project!

These are adorable! I love them.

This is our Wasilla, Alaska Quiltvillian!

Nancy has enjoyed the ability to take a nap when ever the time zone difference has her feeling a bit out of sorts – just about the time her body clock resets, she will be on her way home! LOL!

And did you notice the shirts?  (Yes they gave me one too!)

The ORIGINAL Quiltvillians -

Quiltville Inn, 2020!

We have our fearless group leader Rebecca to thank for these – but each and every person has gone beyond the mark with commemorative gift items for new found friendships.  Remember, these gals didn’t know each other at all before meeting here yesterday, other than through my Quiltville’s Open Studio Group !

They are already making plans for a reunion on their weekend next year.  This is just what I wanted to see happen.

All of those folks who say “I guess I’ll never get there because I don’t have a group.”  FORM A GROUP!  It’s possible.  It’s happening.  This is proof.

And oh, the laughing over all of the mayo in yesterday’s post?

This makes it a bit more understandable!

Miracle Whip users don’t like Mayo.  Mayo users won’t touch Miracle Whip! (That would be me!) and horseradish sauce is yummy, and the Olive Oil May is a whole other thing – so there you have it! Now it makes sense! LOL!

And we definitely need a bigger treat table.

This is hell on my diet – LOL!

I was home by 5:30 p.m.  I was asleep by 8:30 p.m.  I figure that I’m just getting the jump on the time change, because that 8:30 will be 9:30 and closer to normal by the time the time change hits.

I’m heading back over to the inn this morning, not to work, but to visit and play.  The ladies are still working on their Blue Ridge Beauty quilts – when they have enough blocks we’ll move the table in the foyer and play with some layouts this afternoon.

A workshop for 12 that can continue at its own pace over the span of 3 days?  PERFECT.  So much better than a workshop for 40 to 50 that has to wind up in a mere 6 hours.

I’m bringing some binding to stitch in the Hen Den.  Martha may be bringing her knitting!  We will sip tea and chat and soak up the joy the Original Quiltvillians have brought to this house.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Vintage Seven Sisters quilt found in West Jefferson, North Carolina.

Where there is a will, there is a way!
Never give up, and don't forget to look at things from all other directions.


  1. I wonder where in Alaska Nancy lives? My son and his family are in Anchorage (lots of great quilt shops in Anchorage).

    1. The caption says Wasilla, Alaska.

    2. Right under the picture it says she is from Wasilla, AK.

    3. Nancy lives in Wasilla. This is north of Anchorage.

  2. Oh, Bonnie. I can just hear the excitement and contentment in your voice. I think with each retreat you are becoming more at ease. I am so happy that your dreams are coming true. With the retreat center and with making new and unforgettable friends. pam

  3. I totally get the mayo vs Miracle Whip argument! I like Miracle Whip for ham sandwiches only and mayo for everything else. Looking forward to my weekend with Rebecca in October.

  4. I am coming on April 2nd. Wasilla is where I am from also now living in NC. Wasilla is about 45 miles from Anchorage.

  5. Cheryl, Wasilla is about 45 minutes from Anchorage heading towards Denali. Our friends are visiting us in Bandon OR from Wasilla. Small world. I'm wondering is my girlfriend knows Nancy!

  6. Joy,joy,joy! You are in a great place!

  7. Small world! Until recently I lived in Eagle River (between Anchorage and Wasilla).
    My favorite quilt shop in Anchorage is "Raven". They have great fabrics designed in Alaska.

  8. Nancy from Wasilla: You are missing the Iditarod start! I know, you have to have your priorities straight. I to, was in a quilt class all day, but here on the Kenai. Tomorrow I have a Long Arm class, so I miss the official start, too. But, Paul Gebhardt isn't racing any more, Jeff King had emergency surgery, so they are out. But the Berringer girls are in it (See double). I will catch up w/it on the internet.

    Bonnie- I will have to make the Blue Ridge Beauty some day, also. I need to hook up w/ a group on the Facebook page too. Maybe that will happen in the next couple years. I thought I was going to be able to go w/ you to Ireland, but won't be able to get passport paperwork done. I will spend the money on Gardening stuff this year, and hopefully go to Tuscany w/ you next year!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where we are getting hit w/ out 4th round of snow storms in a month. But, this one, we are to only get 1-2 inches and not 8-12 at a time, like the last three!

  9. Greetings from Anchorage! Wish that I could be there in Mouth of Wilson quilting with this group.

  10. And Hellmann's is known as Best Foods here on the west side of the country. Exactly the same mayo. just different name and who knows why? Took me a while to believe that but it is true ! And for sure NO Miracle Whip in my life LOL

  11. ooooo… I have retreat at Quiltville envy. Such fun times and dreams coming true. And someone has a wonderful tray of blue plaids and stripies that I'm wishing I could share. Isn't it interesting how those directionals can add both excitement and calmness to a project??

  12. Today I was on the bus tour at Mountain Quilt Fest in Pigeon Forge. As we were visiting Inns, we were pelted with snow too. I didn’t realize you taught at this conference!

  13. Funny about the mayo, LOL! We also have the 'only mayo never miracle whip' crowd here too, with the added dimension of the 'only Dukes' and 'never Dukes, only Hellmans or Kraft' (me)!

  14. I'm a fan of Miracle Whip in my potato salad but others in my family like mayo so that's what I use. I will check out the FB group. I'd love a stay at the Inn and this may be a way to get there. It sounds like so much fun. I'm happy to have been in your class in Phoenix. I'm about half way through my quilt and look forward to finishing it so I can bring it back to show you next year. I'm also still working on Frolic. Happy Spring, Bonnie.

  15. I don't understand the concept behind the Leaders and Enders- I use a "spider" to start stitching on- that way the "thread goober" doesn't end up on my good fabric- how do you handle that if you put patches through that you are going to use in a quilt?

  16. Those Shoo Fly Shoo blocks are exquisite! Just the inspiration I need. Her fabric/color selections are just gorgeous!

  17. What!!! NO DUKES mayo????? Love the Shoo Fly blocks too! Thanks for sharing this weekend with us - we are there is spirit!

  18. Recently finished this quilt and just love the pattern! I did it in blues also in a lap size. Now one of my friends is also doing the same one.
    Love it!


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