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!

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!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

All the Fabric (and Life!) Crazy!

OLDER fabrics with a Corona Vibe! LOL!

I have been working on Part 8 of our Unity Quilt Along – oh boy!  Just wait until you see it!

I have had a great time pulling fabrics – digging deep into the stash for things that haven’t seen the light of day in years, and incorporating some newer-to-me fabrics that while they not really be from current fabric lines, are adding punch from the stash of friends to this project.

How CRAZY CORONA is that far right fabric??  As it was just small pieces, there is no selvage to let me know who the designer is or when it was manufactured, but it is so perfect – even in the colors I have chosen for this quilt along.

And I didn’t find these pieces until I was working on Part 8 – go figure.

I’ve gathered some stuff together for the backing of this quilt and I can’t wait to share it with you – There are even some crazy block mishaps that I will reveal.  They are being sewn into the backing.  We are keeping it real here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

It Was a Very Quilty Weekend!

The Friendship Sampler Quilt – in the machine!

My weekend was full of SO MUCH quilty fun, and with yesterday being the release day for our Unity Quilt Along, Part 7 – I didn’t get a chance to share with you what has gone down. I was feeling the need for a “quicker finish” in the midst of this Unity Frenzy and I had spied a big baggie of blocks that had been waiting for “some day.”

Some day came QUICKLY! And with determination!  I posted more about this quilt in Saturday’s Post.

I spent much of Mother’s Day loading it in the machine and getting the quilting going, with Zoey Jo as side kick.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day, 2020!

One thing is for certain – this Mother’s Day will be remembered as being very different from any of the Mother’s Days past or present in our lives.

Last evening The Hubster came home with a little frown on his face after a grocery run stating “I wanted to bring you home flowers – but there weren’t any.”

He could have brought me home a pineapple and I would have been just as happy!

Yes, these are different times, and while I appreciated the sentiment, I didn’t need flowers or cards – I am happy in knowing that we are both well and healthy.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Never a Dull Puppy Moment!

It takes a long time to assemble a quilt when there is a puppy in the house!

But the laughter is sure good for the soul!

She seems to be very interested in this whole creativity thing – just sure that everything I am laying out is just for her playtime benefit.

Pick up a row, assemble the row, sew the row on – working from one corner toward the center.

Then start at the opposite corner, working THAT side of the quilt toward the center until you have two halves.

And PRAY that the dog stays busy enough watching beyond the sliding glass doors in search of chipmunks that you can get things assembled.

However – if you have to go upstairs to get a drink – all bets are off!

Friday, May 08, 2020

Block Arranging By Zoey!

“You should have a big design wall” they suggest.

But what do you do when there are no available walls and blocks are too heavy to stick there anyway?

While some have large houses with  10 foot ceilings and can “wall out” an entire quilt with ease – there are those of us who are grateful for partial walls, and available floor space.

I set in to sewing together the sampler block quilt top I shared in yesterday’s post. It was all going swimmingly well, and I was using units from our Unity Quilt Along part 7 as Leaders & Enders along the way, so it was all grand.

On-point quilts are one thing I can’t “web” continually as in straight set quilts, so I simply build each row, adding each row to the mother ship as I go until half the quilt is pieced.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Rainy Days are Meant for Scraps!

The rains came and came -

It’s only the 7th of May and we have had so much rain -

And it made for a cozy afternoon of sewing up the scraps at the Quiltville Post Office.

Total block count is now up to 44 with many more to go.

Stitching this really is the kind of mindless I need right now.  And let’s face it – it’s about time I tackled what was in these bins.  Everywhere I turn around me – here at the QPO, or back home at the cabin sewing room – bags, bins, boxes, totes – overflowing.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

The Roar of the Saw–the Call of Spring!

This has been going on here over the past several days -

In between days and nights of rainy deluge -

And I am so excited about this project!

Last summer when we went to Idaho for my brother Scott’s 50th birthday, wetook a side trip to Oregon to visit friends Debbie and Kent. I admired a corner bench they had built into the deck at their cabin and I had mentioned at the time (8 months ago now?) that I would like something like that for our deck – SOME DAY.

Well, this shelter at home thing due to Covid-19 restrictions and the desire to be outside doing SOMETHING has really kicked in around here.

The bench making has commenced!

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Cinco de Mayo and More!

This morning? Rain.  Temps back in the 50s. But yesterday?


As in, “Let’s take the dog to work day – and then take a long afternoon hike up Round House Road again.”

Things are changing by the day here.  Grass is taller – I no longer trust walking into the McMillan family cemetery because there just might be snakes sunning themselves on those warm granite stones soaking up the sun.

So we decided to walk a bit further to see if we could make it to the hunter’s cabin that was a bit more down the road toward the state park.

The cattle are evidently as interested in Zoey Jo as she is with them!

Sunday, May 03, 2020

First Weekend of May -

This is Lola -

Evidently she is trying to compact the triangles back into the box to keep them from overflowing.

It feels like they are overflowing anyway.  And my current project isn’t using up enough of the small ones so there may be another paper piecing idea to put those to work soon. 

Well, maybe not THAT soon – but I’m on the lookout for something that will use small precious and pretty triangles too sweet to just toss unceremoniously into the trash.

It’s the challenge that makes it fun, right?

This was yesterday at the QPO – which turned out to be much more of a pleasant day and frankly made up for Friday’s downward spiral of events.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Piecing in to May!

This is the kind of little stuff I want to use.

All of those cut off triangles – many of them gifted to me in baggies by well meaning students who wish to feed my addiction for small pieces and parts.

ALL of these wonderful fabrics and prints.  SO much color – a treasure trove – and oh, the variety!

I love paper piecing – and generally stick with a design where the seam goes edge to edge across the paper so that I can chain piece sections.

Makes sense, right?

Well, ,every once in a while a design comes along that doesn’t do that.  The design starts in the CENTER of the paper and you work your way out to the corners and edges.

My love of vintage machines only goes so far and I start to wonder with all of the stops and starts and short seams in the middle of a paper foundation if there has to be a better way to piece these.

There is.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Finally May.

This is the old Halsey place.

I took this photo on Wednesday’s walkabout – during that one nice hour we had before the weather turned upside down and the rains came.  And came. And came.

I really love seeing how even the opening of tree leaves and sprouting up of wildflowers happens in the matter of days.  Extended time home.

We are beginning to wonder if we ever WILL get warm, really warm here.  At this elevation we are easily a couple of weeks behind the spring spectrum as compared to those the folks down near Winston Salem.  Being a I’m not a huge fan of extreme heat and humidity, I don’t mind the slower crawl to summer – but it would be awfully nice just to reach 70 and stay there for a while.

I am itching to get Zoey back to the land of the wild ponies for more exploring but the weather has just not cooperated.