Thursday, December 31, 2020

Good Things Come in Red!

Who else gets all excited about New Year's gravel? LOL!

This big red beast came rumbling up behind the Quiltville Post Office (QPO) yesterday - and just in the nick of time.

This is actually something that we've been wanting to do for months - (okay 2 1/2 years since we bough the place!) and we had FINALLY had enough of the mud with all of the snow melt to do something about it.

Yesterday became the 4th favorite holiday of December: Winter Solstice, Christmas, Gravel Day, and New Year's Eve!

Not a bad way to end the year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Chasing the Winter Blues!

This was supposed to wait for New Year's Eve.

But there has been SO MUCH put on hold this year! No more hold outs!

Besides - there are so many quilters out there twiddling thumbs waiting for Part 6 of our Grassy Creek Mystery having finished Part 5 in rapid fashion as excited quilters tend to do.

And then there are those who, like me, have finished up our Easy Breezy Leader & Ender blocks and need another Leader & Ender thing as we continue to sew on all of the other things!  Are you with me?

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Hindrances and Helpers!

Would you believe it took ALL DAY to get to this point?

I could have titled this post "best laid plans"  because we all know that as soon as you plan something - everything is going to go off the rails.

No, it wasn't as bad as finding a hole in the center of the quilt where seam allowances went from too narrow to wide open. I can't count the number of times that has happened - that gaping hole just swallows up the hopping foot and creates such a mess as the machine stitches itself into what I call "the black hole of death."

How come those seams are never discovered while pressing or even while LOADING the quilt into the machine so they can be fixed before hand?

There are a few other nightmares that befall long arm quilters - and we've all been there. (So don't tell me that you have NEVER done this, or that you ALWAYS check for these issues before hand!)

Monday, December 28, 2020

Snowy Days and Sewing Afternoons

Big old house in the snow -

Cloudless blue sky!

It all seems so wonderful - until I mention it was something like 18 degrees at this point!

We headed over to Quiltville Inn on the 26th (Always known as "the morning after") to double check that pipes hadn't frozen, check on things, drop off some stuff, and move the items that had been delivered to the front porch over to the QPO.

We may have been in "day after" mode, but the USPS, UPS and FedEx were back on duty!

Friday, December 25, 2020

A Very White and Silent Night -

Merry Christmas from our place to yours!

Of course there would be a very weird-weather Christmas to put the exclamation point at the end of this very weird year!

It was 47 degrees last evening, and raining when the pork chops went on the grill for dinner.

With a temp that "balmy" there was no way we were going to miss a deck cooking activity.

With dinner done, dishes running in the dishwasher - I was ready to settle in to some holiday dessert baking, only to realize that I had forgotten to grab the cool whip from the freezer at Quiltville Inn. (I had put it there after shopping, but forgot to bring it home later in the day.)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Yes to the Borders!

Three rounds of borders happened yesterday to complete my Easy Breezy quilt top.

Isn't it amazing what borders can do for a quilt?  I tend to want the borders to add something to the quilt, to tie what's going on in the inside together with what's at the outside.  To add a needed something to the whole, not just "slap something on there to make it bigger."  Are you the same way?

Some of you asked yesterday what I meant by "finishing the nine-patches at the edge of the quilt" so I took this photo just for you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Do You See What I See??

Do you see it now?

So many comments came in of "I didn't see the oops block either!" or "I would have just left it.

This is the block that was wrong in so many ways that I would have had to do more than just reverse a row to fix it.

It would have driven me nuts to leave it - Once seen I could not unsee it!

So yesterday's job was to replace the block I had removed the day before with one that made me happier.

Not only was that oops block an oops in color placement - but if you look just below the empty spot where the new block is going to go - you can see that this offending block also had a background that matched its neighbor - a double OOPS in my book.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Easy Breezy Rippy Stitchy!

I got this far with quilt top assembly yesterday afternoon.

I could have continued - if you really look close you can see that I am more than half way there.  That should be enough encouragement to keep ANYONE going, right?!

Well, sometimes it's a photo that clues us in to what is really going on - and those certain wrong things stick out like the proverbial sore thumb!

Monday, December 21, 2020

When Leaders & Enders Get Real!

This was my #mediafreesunday activity!

And believe me - it took all day!

I tallied up the  Easy Breezy  blocks last week, affirming that I had enough for the size of quilt I want with this one.

For most intents and purposes - quilts that are around 70'' x 90'' mean they will fit a twin bed at Quiltville Inn, but also be large enough for naps on the couch.  

I've made some smaller projects recently, and though they are quicker to make, and bring great happiness and satisfaction, there are only so many spaces for wall quilts, or table toppers in my life.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Stories from the Neutral Bin -

Lola in the midst of EVERYTHING!

Yesterday afternoon presented itself with wide open opportunities.

Do I sew on this project? Or that project?  Or maybe CLEAN the studio (Do you really want to waste a very chilly yet extremely sunny December Friday afternoon CLEANING? Nope. I thought not.) or perhaps do something I had put off for more than a year?

When I moved "most" of my studio stuff up to the Quiltville Post office in Virginia from North Carolina one of the things I promised myself I would do is tackle the bins of "as of yet untamed" fabrics and get them into the Scrap User’s System to add more volume and variety to my selections.

The thing I am MOST lacking?  Pre-cut neutrals.  I have plenty of pieces and parts, fat-quarters and yardage.  But I want the fun of knowing I need a variety of either 1 1/2'', 2'' or 2 1/2'' strips (And sometimes 3 1/2'') and can quick-grab them from the Scrap User’s System at my fingertips.

Having to cut all of that from yardage or fat quarters - well it takes FOREVER to cut enough variety before I can even start sewing.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Snow Day that Wasn't...

The white winter wonderland didn't really happen.

I had envisioned inches of white and fluffy wonderfulness - and what we got was freezing rain and a build up of treacherous ice that had tree limbs cracking under the weight.

I did make the right decision to stay home and not go anywhere - Rain on top of ice is nothing to take lightly when it comes to mountain road driving.  Or driving ANYWHERE for that matter.

No, it was best for everyone to just stay put at the cabin and work from home.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Quilting Before the Storm!

There was a flurry of activity at the QPO yesterday.

The big news has been looming for days - that Wednesday/Thursday could provide us with 3 to 5 inches of ice and snow and other "wintery mix" weather.

For the first time in years - with no travel ahead that weather could impede - I'm actually giddy about the first real dumping of the year.

Earlier in the month we had just a skiff - just enough to make things pretty around here. But it didn't stay long, no more than 24 hours, unless you were standing "where the sun don't shine."

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

That Little Road Trip - (And TWO Gift-Aways!)

On Friday I took a little getaway.

Sometimes you just have to!

Part Three of our Grassy Creek Mystery had just gone live -

All of the mail that I could get out was out.

(And yes, the Simple Folded Corners rulers arrived YESTERDAY so I'll be caught up on all outgoing orders by closing time today. Hooray!)

And I just needed a long drive in the abundant sunshine.

Monday, December 14, 2020

In the Finishing Line Up!

I spent my weekend doing this!

It didn't take long really - the main little string block centers are the "middle" cut-outs from behind my recent hexie star applique finished a couple of months back.

It was only September.  It feels much farther back than that.

Does your year feel twice as long, too?

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Quiltmaker Bundle Gift-Away!

I think it's time for another fun Gift-Away!

I hope to keep the fun rolling through the month of December - bring on the holiday quilting spirit!

And though the two fabulous magazines shown here are full of holiday cheer - it's all about Valentines Day and spring projects (OH YES, can we get there please?!) but this will give you time to MAKE those projects over the long winter months ahead.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Road Trippin' for Books!

This is Ivy giving me "The Look" as I hauled in heavy box after heavy box full of my personal book library.

I've been wanting to do this for quite a while, but it needed to wait - previous 200 mile round trip jaunts to Wallburg NC from here have dealt with the moving of the stash and studio items.

THERE IS STILL MUCH MORE TO GO! (Is there a stronger word than daunting?)

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

In a Pressing Conundrum.

Sometimes pressing doesn't go the way our brains think it should!

Things like "Always press to the dark."  "Always spin the centers of four-patches and hourglass units" may give a false sense of security that any project is going to fit together well - 

It's one of those things that sometimes stops me in my tracks as I go merrily along with a stack of blocks that I haven't yet decided how I'm going to set -

Such was the case this morning!

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Ring in the Red!

Oh, how I love red!

From pinky red to fire engine and tomato orangey red - all the way to burgundy.

I just love the punch that red brings to the table!  

Is there anything that doesn't go with just a bit of red?

My friend Saska swears that "Red is a Neutral!"  I think she may be right.

Monday, December 07, 2020

A Sew & Sew Weekend!

Pardon the slightly blurry photo-

I arrived back to the cabin at "evening dark time" on Saturday evening to find that SOMEONE had strung Christmas lights all over the place!

It made me as excited as a little kid - I swear.

The must wonderful thing is - we are remote on our side of the mountain ridge.  You can't see the cabin from the road below - 

This is for us. Just for us.  

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Well Dang, Skippy!

Sometimes days just get derailed!

I could jump right in with the problem - but that would make the problem take up the main focus for my day - and here I am one day later and looking back on it.

The problem that "ruined" my day - really wasn't as bad as it could have been, and as I look back - there was SO MUCH GOOD that this little minor set back does not need to be given that much credit for "ruining" my day.

Mountains out of molehills, as they say?

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Fun Finishes (& an IronEZ Gift-Away!)

Well, I COULD get the borders on, if Lola wasn't laying on them!

You know the whole "Her name was Lola, she was a Show Girl" lyric - and the show girl decided she had to be the center of attention yesterday while I was cramming my best to get these borders on before going home time.

It's not like she just lays on top of everything I am doing - it's that she rolls around in her own kind of "cat on quilt" lap dance.

It's hysterical!

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Open Minds and Changing Opinions

This morning, about 7:45am.

We opted for the "up and over" route to get me to the QPO this morning - adding a couple of extra miles, but the scenery is worth the time that it adds to the trip!

This is the "high spot" on Grassy Creek, and I love this view of the little valley below.  A community church is flanked by a well manicured cemetery.  Fields and farms and plots of Christmas trees are everywhere you look.  

And even in these cold temps of about 21f degrees it is idyllic.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

First Snow of Winter 2020

This was my world this morning!

I awoke to a world of winter white - the trees and ground looking like frosting on ginger cookies. (Which are my favorite for the holidays - and snow puts me in a baking mood!)

Snow for me is like Christmas music and Christmas decorations - it can all happen as soon as Thanksgiving is over!

In other words - you can't stop it so bring it on!