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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Of Coffee Bars and String Borders -

This finally was finished last evening -

We decided to remove the second shelf from the baker’s rack we acquired in Marion, VA last week – there just needed to be more space for the drip coffee maker, the keurig to open up, and the electric tea kettle.

You can also see where the door was removed to make room for the whole thing.  The old door opened inward against the wall that the coffee bar is now occupying – a totally wasted wall as far as putting anything here went.

This is also the only wall in the back hallway that has an outlet, and as the walls are lathe and plaster, we were avoiding hiring an electrician to come add more outlets here.

I have a couple of brita pitchers for water that we can keep here as well, and those can be refilled as needed from the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Quilters Just Wanna SEW!

It was a very Sew-y Monday!

Remember these Nearly Lemoyne blocks?

Yes.  These.

They sort of got pushed to the back burner when some other deadline items took precedence.   Autumn things.  Soon to be released things.

And yesterday during a turn of events (Meaning I was missing a block from the project I was currently assembling behind the scenes – and it was bound to be 7 miles away at the cabin.) I grabbed my little set of cut and kitted up blocks and began to just sew..

Monday, September 14, 2020

Weekend Maker!

This was my quick weekend project -

No pattern, I just went for it.  I emptied the rest of Zoey’s dog food into her covered storage tub, and was about to toss out the bag, and then thought better of it.

I decided to turn it into a grocery tote – and before The Hubster had even left for his archery competition shoot I had this bag on the cutting table, large ruler and rotary cutter in hand.

I should have taken photos of the whole process.  Because it was easy.  At the same time – you know how it is when you feel so driven to just do something that taking photos is the LAST thing on your mind?  Yes.  That was me.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Home Stretch -

This is where things stand right now.

The Traveling Star quilt is nearly to the point of having the last 3 added in blocks done with the applique.  And that means that SOON I’ll be doing some unstitching of the quilt top to reconfigure how these will fit in the bottom row.

once that is done, string half-blocks also added in to place and the seams re-stitched to make room for these blocks – I’ll finally be ready for borders!

It’s been a process frought with delays – delays of my own making as I threw the “other” Appalachian Autumn quilt into play because let’s face it – it needs to be done NOW, Not in December.

So yes, I’ve been quilt juggling, so much of it behind the scenes.

In the above photo one block has been appliqued, and the center of the background block trimmed out.  I’ll square it later and use it in another project.  The next block has the applique about 3/4 finished, and the 3rd one is waiting in line.

There is another project that has been worked into the time slot of “just one hour a day!”

Saturday, September 12, 2020

A Bit of Friday Funday!

Take a guess what is in this truck!

I have been watching flatbeds and bigger trucks alike, all pulling beautiful pumpkins, squash and gourds from field and farm off to wherever pumpkins, squash and gourds go!

“But it’s too early!” You say.  Not so!  A lot of these go for processing into all of those frozen and bakery made pies – pumpkin season is here!  It can’t say Libby Libby Libby on the Label Label Label (how many of you are singing the jingle now?) until the pumpkin is processed and canned.

This is a definite “Change of the Seasons” moment for me – and I rarely can catch them with my camera fast enough as they rumble down the winding highway, but at this point we were already in the Chevy truck, ready to pull out and head in the opposite direction – I had arranged a special pick up, and caught this truck through the open window as it passed us by.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Quilter’s Project Planner Social Media Tour (And Gift-Away!)

Something fun is going on!

I always tend to think of Labor Day as the kick off of Official Quilting Season. (Not that every season isn’t quilty – but holiday projects are now entering the forefront of our quilty lives!)

How do we keep it all organized?

So many projects i progress, so much in formation on yardage needed, How can we keep track of it all and make better use of our time?

The Quilter’s Project Planner is a must have!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thursday - Blursday!

The excitement continues!

Binding is going on, and I can’t wait to really SHOW you what this scrappy autumn fun is all about.

At 56’’ square, it’s not so big that it will drag out forever.  It can likely be made with fabrics you already have on hand.

You can make it in whatever colors you wish – but oh, these autumn oranges, reds, golds and browns are really calling to me!

After all of the mail order was packed, labeled and on its way to the USPS I finally had time to sit down and decide what I wanted to do with the binding.

I decided to go with random lengths of scrappy greys, and just letting those seams fall wherever they may around the quilt.

It must have been a kismet day as no seams ended up in any corners on my way around.

I should have bought a lottery ticket!

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Sneak Peeks–Gather Your Favorite Fall Colors!

There is something extra scrappy coming to the Quiltville Store!

A little bit stringy, a whole lot scrappy – the perfect project to kick off your “Pumpkin Flavored Everything” season ahead!

And, oh you guys – I wish I could catch this by camera, but by the time I see them, I can’t grab the camera fast enough.

I have been watching big pumpkin truck after big pumpkin truck rumble past my QPO to wherever pumpkins go to be processed.

A lot of pumpkins are grown in this corner of the Blue Ridge mountains.  The hillsides are fertile, and due to our abundance of rain – fields are rarely irrigated.  Vines grow just fine uphill, downhill, over and around. 

It’s here!  It’s time!  Pumpkin harvest is in full swing in these parts.

Leaves on trees are starting to turn and some leaves are already giving up their hold on tree limbs and fluttering to the ground.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Labor Day, Our Way!

Our two kayaks on the banks of the New River.

The last few hours of Father & Son time was spent paddling – or mostly floating – from one section of the New River on the North Carolina side, down to the “under the bridge” landing spot on the Virginia side.

My job?  Just be on hand to recieve the call when they had reached the bridge and come pick them up.

When it’s a river, not a lake  - it’s a 2 vehicle operation.  One rig to get you to the starting point, and another to meet you at the end so you can go back up to the starting point and pick up the other vehicle.

At least they only floated an hour or so – it was not that far to go back to the start.

Monday, September 07, 2020

Quilt Journey Ahead!

I finally managed to get a photo WITHOUT Zoey Jo photobombing the whole shot!

Several of you asked to see the whole thing after I shared the Zoey Bomb photo to social media channels last evening – and here it is.

Broken star log cabin made in 1995. This was the 1st quilt I free motion quilted on my new to me long arm in 1996.

It is so worn in places that the batting is showing through. The binding also needed to be re-stitched along one side.

Son Jason has asked if he could take it back home to Oregon with him. I offered him a much nicer quilt, but he prefers this one as it is the one that has all the memories in it.

He was 12 when I pieced the top. He is now 36. He is right. This quilt has known a lot of living and I am happy that it will be adding more memories in its next chapter.

That quilt that you think of as "just that old thing" just might mean the world to someone else.

It’s also a testament to my 30+ years of scrap reduction – and it does not EVER work.  LOL!

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Hike a Little, Quilt a Lot!

Mornings are getting cooler -

The air is crisper!

Humidity is lower – and I nearly NEARLY slept with the window open a crack last night.  Good thing I didn’t – it was only 53 degrees when I woke up this morning.  Brrr!

And YAY!  Because that means we are back to “turn the fire pit on” season for morning coffee on the porch.

The change of seasons is a marvelous thing, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want summer to go away just yet – but if we can ease off on the extremes a bit, I’ll be fine with it!

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Simply Foaling Around!

I know these last days of Summer are going to pass us quickly by!

And yesterday proved to be an absolutely beautiful Friday with radiant blue skies and gentle breezes.  Even the morning temperatures let us know that seasons will be changing soon.  This morning it was 56 on the front porch for coffee time with Jason.


But at the same time – make the nice days still last.  The kind of Friday where a hike in the highlands in the morning, home by noon is still possible.

Why Friday?  Because it is a long holiday weekend and EVERYONE is trying to get in some out and about before we really dig into September.

This little foal is a new one to me!  There are a couple of others I’ve become familiar with over the past couple of months but this one – hello, sweetheart!

Friday, September 04, 2020

Quilters! Take a Moment!

There is something very cool to happen during national sewing month!

The observance of September as National Sewing Month began with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan. In 1982, he declared this special month-long celebration “In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.”

Subsequent Proclamations declared that “Tens of millions of Americans sew at home. Their efforts demonstrate the industry, the skill and the self-reliance which are so characteristic of this Nation.”

National Sewing Month is the recognition of a creative form of self-expression that we celebrate in September, but enjoy all year.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Things Grown Sons Do -

Some BIG JOBS were tackled at Quiltville Inn yesterday.

The porch roof is very flat.  And it is covered in the metal roofing so prevalent in homes in this area – with good reason.  Metal roofs will last a life time.  And in this case, MANY life times.

The current porch roof in this section was installed around 1905.  That’s when the house addition was made.  It has also seen many coats of paint over the years, but it hasn’t had one in a while.

(No, metal roofs were not ALWAYS zero maintenance like they are now. They were subject to rust just like any tin can.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Traveling Star

Yesterday was an assembly day -

A day much planned on and waited for – Nearly 2 years ago I was just finishing up our Rishi quilt that became our Traveling project when my Craftours group went to China.

2 years next month I had my feet on that Great Wall.

I’m glad I went then.  And who knew then what we would be facing today – and more as we look toward our future.

Rishi is the Chinese word for Star. I fell so in love with the making of the hexagon stars that long after Rishi was done, I kept making more stars, not knowing how I would set them together.

Until June came and my friend Jessica dug into my string box leaving me beautiful blocks to play with – and that’s when it hit, the idea on how to set the blocks with the hexie stars appliqued on top of the strings.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Emmy Lou and the Rainbow Bridge…

We knew the day would come.

We had hoped that by some miracle, Emmy Lou would find herself in the Guinness Book of World Records for “longest living cat ever!”

But it was not to be.

Emmy Lou crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday at the ripe old age of 20 1/2.  Because in cat years, that 1/2 is important.

That 1/2 made her nearly 100 in cat years.

And each of those cat years was full of unconditional love and acceptance.   She knew who her people were.  She was always there.  Like a couch ornament.  Meowing at you in hello and acknowledgement as you walked by.

Always ready to be let out.  Let in. Let out. Let in. Until at the end even SHE didn’t know if she was coming or going.  And we opened the door for her anyway – about 79 times a day because that’s what you do when you love someone as much as we loved her.