Friday, July 31, 2020

Kitties and Quilting–What Else?

More Nearly Lemoyne blocks happened yesterday!

It’s all about how you start out doing one thing…..which segues into another, and then another and pretty soon you’ve lost track of why you started where you did and even more – wonder how you ended up here?

Let me back track a bit.

Was it only Monday when I went down to Wallburg to retrieve the Window A/C unit because the HVAC guys were coming on Tuesday and I knew it would be at least 3 weeks before they could install another unit for the QPO?

The same day that Ivy showed up.

And yesterday was only Thursday?  *head spinning*

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Great Lola and Ivy Standoff!

It’s never easy introducing cats to each other.

And it is especially hard on elder cats.  Lola, being all of 11 and having lost 13 year old Dresden in the past couple of months has had a lot of adjusting to go through as it is.

Her move to the Quiltville Post Office in December was a big upheaval, but she had Dresden to keep her company.  And I have been there every day since the relocation happened.

When Dresden crossed the rainbow bridge we worried about her being alone enough to try having her here at the cabin.

That was a no go.  Emmy Lou (who is 20 in just a few days!) has been Queen Bee long enough not to relinquish that position, and yet Lola the usurper is much larger and stronger and became the aggressor.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

An Afternoon of Porch Treadling!

How long has it been since I treadled on the porch?

At least a year!  If not more.

And this porch was meant for treadling – in the right kind of weather, which is what happened yesterday afternoon.

This is the wonderful Singer 27 that Charlotte Angotti presented as a gift to Quiltville Inn and those who stay here.  Anyone who wants to try their hand (and feet!) at treadling is welcome to sit down at it – either inside the dining room, or out on the porch.

And this peaceful spot just beckoned to me yesterday.

Yes, there could have been a dozen other things I could have should have been doing.

But sometimes you’ve just got to sit.  And set your feet to rocking.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

When Love Comes Calling -

Or in this case – Love comes mewing!

It all began yesterday – out of the blue.  I was talking to my dad on the phone – enjoying the morning on the front porch at Quiltville Inn where I still have a half-decent phone signal thanks to installing a Verizon booster tower.

I hear “Meow!  Meow!  Meow!”  And I look over and there is a kitty sitting on the concrete pad at the back door of the QPO.

I leave the porch, I start walking across the grass, and here comes little kitty to meet me in the middle.

“Oh, my love at last I found you…….”

Who are you, kitty?  Where did you come from?

Monday, July 27, 2020

Sundays with Sun and Rain -

Round House Road beckoned!

And I listened!

Summers up here usually follow a distinct pattern of beautiful mornings with crystal clear blue skies, with clouds starting to build and gather by early afternoon, and later in the day – whammo!  The storms come, and they can be fierce.

Which is all fine and dandy as long as I get out in the morning and am under cover safe at home when that sky lets loose!

It had been a few weeks since I was last up here – and the morning was cool enough to say Let’s Go!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Glorious Saturday!

What a beautiful day it was in the Blue Ridge!

I had been hankering for days to get a leg stretch out at Grayson Highlands State Park with Zoey in tow.

It doesn’t usually happen on a week day early enough to catch the cool of the morning now that we are nearing August – There is usually a plethora of weekday workday things that need to be done by the time the local USPS closes at 11:30am – and by then it’s really going to be too hot to hike where there isn’t tree cover for shade.

But yesterday – PERFECTION!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

I Call Squirrel! (Or Bear?)

You know those moments the moment they hit!

Something happens that completely derails your plans for the day – and you end up with extra time!

The plan to go to Wallburg was quashed as the A/C unit was unfrozen and working yesterday morning.

The determination to just baby it along until we have it checked out by the Blue Ridge Heating and Air guys on Tuesday prevailed.

The decision was to turn the unit off at night, so it couldn’t freeze up over night – and wait for the verdict to come in on what we need to do.

Which gave me extra time.

And the project I was working on (Blossom Time blocks shared yesterday) were at the cabin and not at the QPO.

HOWEVER _ there was a May/June 2020 issue of Quiltmaker sitting on my desk, and as I flipped back to see which Addicted to Scraps column block was there to play with – I found Nearly LeMoyne calling to me.

Have you tried this one yet?

Friday, July 24, 2020

Rainy Afternoon Sewing!

Blossom Time blocks are back under my needle!

I am sure I am not the only quilter who has an on-again-off-again love affair with a project they really like that keeps being shoved aside due to other things.

The quilty heart is a fickle heart!

Yesterday I found myself sewing back at the cabin – because – you guessed it – the old A/C unit at the QPO conked out again.

The soonest that Blue Ridge Heating & Air can get to us is TUESDAY.

The thermostat was set for 73, and when I walked in yesterday morning at 9:30am it was already 77 in there.  Air blowing hot.  Unit frozen again.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Was it Wednesday?

I had a shelf stocking helper!

I can’t imagine what life would be like during these isolating times without our furry family members to keep us entertained.

Lola really HAS become queen of her own castle now that Dresden is gone.

She is also much more affectionate, loving to be held and petted – any available lap is fair game.

I even moved her bed next to me while sewing yesterday – placing it on top of a bin to get her not-quite-up-to-sewing-machine-level.  She stayed there the whole time I was sewing.

And where was Zoey?  On her bed too – crashed out.  Because we had a busy morning!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

All in a Tuesday Afternoon

Sew many blocks to go!

Can I just say here how much I appreciate air-conditioning? Especially when it WORKS!

We had a freeze up of the old unit at the Quiltville Post Office over Sunday night.  When I arrived Monday morning it was 79 degrees in the post office at 9am. I turned the unit off to let it thaw -  and I watched that thermostat climb through the morning as I worked to get mail order out to the breeze of a floor fan.

It was at that point, hot and sweaty and only 11:30 am that I made the decision to let the unit just sit for the day and go to NC to start the moving of the stash.

But what to do with Lola? It was far too hot in there for her – 84 degrees and still climbing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Moving of the Stash!


One or two pieces at a time over the past 39 years.


Yes! When the Hubster and I tied the knot in August of 1981, and moved to Washington state to start our lives together, my meager fabric stash consisting mostly of garment fabrics filling 2 apple boxes were carefully placed in the back of our Uhaul trailer along with my mom’s old Kenmore in the cabinet. 

Off we went carrying all of our hopes and dreams with us.

That Kenmore took a beating those first few months of apartment life.  Couch covers, curtains, table cloths and placemats, and within a few months, moving on to maternity clothes and flannel PJs for my nieces.

It wasn’t but a few months into our life as a young married and expecting couple that I discovered quilting magazines at the grocery store and the rest they say – is history.

That “She who dies with the most fabric wins!” mantra danced in my head and set a course for what I am dealing with 39 years later.

This is yesterday, the beginnings of relocating my stash from North Carolina up to Virginia.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Studio in Chaos!

There is some moving going on in here.

It’s time to make the switch and bring the bulk of the stash and studio stuff up from North Carolina to its permanent place in Virginia.

The question is – what to do with SO MUCH STUFF?

Wall space for cabinets is at a premium.  So we are moving stuff around to see what will really work.

Some things are going to live at the QPO – that’s a given.

Trying to find the best location for my 5 yardage cabinets – wishing they could all be on one wall and not 2 here, 3 there -

And then there is my big corner desk, and the computer desk, and 5 treadle machines and SO MUCH STUFF!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Leaders & Enders Through the Day -

8 1/2 blocks.

And a stack ready to sew.

It might not look like much – but my production yesterday had me chain piecing LOOOOOONNNGGGG chains of pieces.  So it took a while just to build 8 1/2 blocks ( you can see what makes up the 1/2 block under the presser foot and the pieces off to the side.)

And the fabrics are not the most gorgeous or current if you look at them closely -

But when they are combined with all of the other blocks – the sum of the whole is going to be much more fun than each little humble block appears to be on its own.

And yes - I see the red/brown one is wrong and it is in queue to be unstitched and restitched later.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Droning It!

Say Hello to our new toy!

When we purchased our cabin property and the 42 acres surrounding it 3 years ago, we fell in love with the realtor’s drone photos really showing us just how the cabin was situated.

And oh, how technology has improved since then!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Stars, Swallows or Doves?

Miles were driven yesterday -

It was just a GET OUT OF DODGE (or Mouth of Wilson) kind of Thursday and instead of running errands close by, went further afield to break away.

Through Independence and Galax, through Hillsville and on to Floyd.

It was time to show my support of small business and get some different scenery for myself as well.

The day was beautiful – and provided the perfect opportunity for lunch on the patio at a small mom & pop restaurant (Hint – go EARLY there will be no one anywhere near you so you can safely eat.) and enjoy someone else’s cooking for a change.

I was happy to see nearly EVERYONE masked up and respectful of others, keeping their own cooties to themselves.

And – there was a 3 story antique mall in Floyd that really beckoned.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Scrappy Shenanigans!

So much of THIS!

Just tell me how a girl is supposed to get ANY kind of quilting done – or even take photos when Lola steals the show with “downward cat” right in the middle of what is going on?

This little girl has come into her own now that Dresden has crossed the rainbow bridge.

I never really realized what a back seat she had taken – and how much of the Alpha Cat he was.

Now she is all about the affection and the love – giving and receiving – and just has to be in the middle of everything, whether it is on the cutting table where I am trying to audition blocks – or the bin of strings, or the sorting piles on the floor that was also yesterday’s chore!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Studio Daze!

Lola’s antics crack me up!

And yesterday she did something she has never done before – evidently I didn’t shut the backdoor all the way until it clicked – and I turned around to find that she had used her paws to open it just enough to slip outside.

She was on the concrete pad (Not quite a patio, but at least there is something!) at the back of the QPO and was just sitting there sunning herself.

This scared me – because there IS a busy road, and I vow to be more diligent with that door in the future – but still.

She is a cat, and she is curious even after being an indoor cat all of her life.  If it weren’t for the busy road, things may be a bit different.

When and if she does come live up at the cabin after Emmy Lou crosses the rainbow bridge – I can see letting her explore her surroundings a bit.

Oh, and there was no fight getting her back in.  As soon as I opened the door wide, in she went as if to say “It’s way too big out here – let me in!”

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Dog Days of Summer, Yet?

The best part of yesterday afternoon.

Remember those days of just sitting on the grass in the shade of a tree when you were a kid?

And yes, the grass needs a good mowing, it seems to grow inches per day – we may need a hay baler by weeks end!

Yesterday was a busy Monday, though a quiet one, in the aftermath of putting all back in place following the busy retreat weekend.

Monday, July 13, 2020

And Off They Went -

So long, Farewell!

It’s always a bit sad when a group starts packing up -

Machines are put away, projects folded and stored, design walls left standing empty -

But SO MANY MEMORIES were made this weekend in the midst of all of this, and I am looking forward to having the folks from Yadkin Valley Quilts back again in April of 2021 which was to be their original slot this year, but was pushed forward due to lock downs.

I love that we have been able to use the porch so much – this porch was made for sitting and relaxing, morning noon and night.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Morning Hikes and Days of Retreating.

This was yesterday morning,  10:00 a.m.

It doesn’t get much better than this in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.

Blue skies and sunshine dotted with white clouds floating by and gentle breezes.  The sound of the river rolling north, the song of birds and bees and other things that fly.

I am so very aware that other areas of the country are currently scorching – my dad in Arizona reminding me that 114 degrees F is no cake walk, but a cake bake!

(Yes, but he doesn’t get our winters either, so I will enjoy this while I can!)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Quilting Fun on the Porch!

Scissors UP, everyone!

Let the shirt de-boning race begin!

Each group that has come to retreat at Quiltville Inn has definitely brought their own round of fun times – and a shirt de-boning race was one of many highlights happening this weekend with our retreat hosted by Yadkin Valley Quilts quilt shop of Elkin NC!

With a bit of explaining and demoing the process by shop owner Andrae, the quilters set in to see who could finish first, second and third!

Friday, July 10, 2020

A Day with the Yadkin Valley Quilters!

This is such a happy site!

One by one the quilters arrived -

Happy smiles and elbow “air bumps” and much offloading of quilty stuff!

This retreat was planned for April, and moved TWICE due to necessary lockdowns and all else we have been going through -

But all in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend – and it certainly beats the rainy weather we had in April.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Back Door Guests Are Always Best!

Does this view say “Come stay a while?”

This is the back porch entry at Quiltville Inn, the door straight ahead leads into the kitchen.

In this photo I can see through the glass of the door, and out the window that stands over sink to the green and sunshine outside.

I took this photo yesterday while housekeeper Susan was doing her finishing touches upstairs and I was making everything as inviting as possible for the Yadkin Valley Quilts retreat, starting today.

I know it’s a tough thing to ask – that folks self-quarantine for 14 days before coming, to make sure they are not bringing anything that could get their closest of quilty friends sick.

We do it because we care about each other.  And it’s worth it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

An Octagon House Drive By

I’ve posted about this place before.

But I think it’s been more than a year or more since I’ve driven past it – and yesterday’s errand run toward Marion, VA showed me that even in these times of slow down, things are happening at Abijah Thomas’s Octagon House!

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Road Trippin’ on a Monday -

The JC Fields’ Store!

I made 200 mile round trip drive to Wallburg, NC and back yesterday -

The main intent? To pick up a van load of vintage quilts and sewing machines from the Wallburg house.

It's time once again to thin the herd.

And it was a beautiful day for driving – crystal clear with just a few clouds.

It’s also the kind of trip where if you find yourself putzing along behind a slow moving diesel truck, it’s best to pull over and let that guy get WAY ahead of you while you take some photo ops of interesting local landmarks.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Over The Weekend -

This happened yesterday -

Quiltville Inn got a bath by power washer!

It wasn’t until after I uploaded the photos to edit them that I saw we had also created a double rainbow with the water and the sunlight.

How cool!

This week Yadkin Valley Quilts is hosting their shop retreat at Quiltville Inn, so we are scrubba-dubbing to get everything ready for the quilters to arrive on Thursday.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Independence Day, 2020!

Long may our flag wave -

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about “independence” and what it truly means to be an American.

Watching things unfold over the past few months – I have really felt more hurt, confusion, fear, disgust, anger, sadness, hopelessness over our current situation than I have ever felt in my entire life.

WHY?  Because that is all that the news channels promote. 

I believe the American spirit – the fearlessness, pride, happiness, hopefulness – all of the positive opposites of the things I first listed above are still present in this country.

But I also believe if we constantly seek out the worst stories amongst us – that is exactly what we will find.

We need to focus on the POSITIVES.  To celebrate all of those freedoms that we still enjoy.  To feel proud of our nation and our communities for things that ARE going right.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Foaling Around!

I played hooky yesterday.

We kicked off a long holiday weekend a bit early – there was no reason not to.

After what seems like months and months of rain, we were finally granted some beautiful weather and spent a good chunk of our afternoon and early evening hours hiking up at Grayson Highlands State Park to see what we could see.

I was last up here early June, and in a month’s time – so much has changed!

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Following My Muse!

A certain thing happened over the past 2 days.

It’s actually been brewing for years, but finally found direction on Tuesday.

Why? How?  Because as most quilting inspiration goes, it happens when you start cleaning and organizing! LOL!

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Easy Breezy Leader & Ender Challenge!

It’s July!

And you know what that means!

It’s time to kick off our next Leader & Ender challenge!

Our year-long challenge runs from July of 2020 to July of 2021.  It’s not a race – it’s a challenge.  The main purpose is to sew up your scraps into something cute without really thinking about it.  Cut some pieces ahead, leave them next to your machine.  And as you are chain-piecing away, use pairs of pieces as your “sew betweens” instead of that folded-over-thread-covered mess of scrap that always ends up in the trash anyway.

If you are new to Leaders & Enders, please click the Tips & Techniques tab at the top of the blog and scroll down to L for Leaders & Enders.

I also have two books on the subject, Adventures with Leaders & Enders, and MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders both available in the Quiltville Store at greatly discounted prices. All of the quilts made in these books were created in between the lines of sewing other things.

Quilters LOVE to multi task – and this is multitasking at its best!