Thursday, December 30, 2021

Diving Into Strings!

String quilts -

Either you love the chaos, the humble jumble of mismatched seams and various widths of pieces with really no rhyme or reason  -

Or they throw you into a tizzy of "Too busy, can't deal with it, oh my word, it's chaos!"

I think if you have followed along with me over any length of time you will know without a doubt which camp I am in.

I love busy quilts and I cannot lie. The more there is going on in a scrap quilt, the more I like it.

The more it holds my interest while making it - and that is crucial for me.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

4,901 Hexies!

I took the last stitches in the knife edge binding finish on the hexie quilt last evening.

The momentous last stitch passed by without much fanfare, but I will admit to emitting a soft sigh with a smile across my face.

It's been quite the journey.  So very on again and off again with this one.

Making the top as a travel-only project spanning a decade and a half - wondering if this would ever really become a real quilt, or would it more likely end up as a passed along "vintage" quilt top, making its way through many hands over so many generations.

"Oh you remember, great great aunt Bonnie....this is a quilt top she never finished...."  And back into the acid free paper and acid free box it goes to end up in the darkness of a closet until passed on to the next generation.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Into the Home Stretch -

I am SO CLOSE (How close?  THIS CLOSE!) to finishing this knife edge binding on the 22 year old Hexie quilt, just before it turns 23!

And with as many different techniques as there are out there for finishing the uneven edge of a hexie quilt, I know I chose the right one for me.

I'm thrilled with how nice this looks!

I treated myself and brought home a new pair of  Karen Kay Buckley blue handled scissors (the medium size) from the Quiltville Store as my old pair was old enough that they weren't cutting clear to the tip anymore, and I needed a new pair to get clean snips into the backing fabric to turn those corners.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Happy Christmas Eve! (Pork Loin Roast Recipe)

This morning's sunrise.

Such a beautiful sight.

These days I am seeing orange in shades from yellow orange to rust everywhere I turn.

You know what they say? (Whomever THEY are?) that you will find more of what you focus on.

It's like thinking you are buying a unique car, and once you are behind the driver's seat - you start noticing that your car is not so unique - you see it everywhere.

What you seek, you will find.

If you are always looking to find fault, you will always find it.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Turning Corners!

The knife-edge binding project continues -

And I have to admit that while I felt quite fumble fingered at the start - I'm getting better as I go along.

Isn't that true with many things we apply ourselves to in life?

Things I am reminding myself of as I go:

  • Trim just a bit ahead of where you are working.
  • Carefully trim batting just under the edge of the hexies - batting has loft and it smooshes.
  • Only look 3/4'' ahead to the next corner.  Worry about the rest when you get there.
  • Do 2 stitches in each corner to hold them secure before moving to the next hexie side.
  • End thread at the half way point of any hexie side, NOT in the corner.  
  • It is not a race.  It is not a race. It is not a race!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

In A Studio Daze!

Blocks are done!

I've gone as far as I can with these - until I decide on how to set them.

I'm leaning toward on point - but does this quilt need a simple sashing?  Or a pieced one that makes secondary designs shine?

What about an alternate block?  How big do I want this quilt to be?

I found it hard to fall asleep last night - possibilities kept popping into my brain.  "Oooh! What about??"

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Out Of The Time Out Box!

How long have these been in hiding?

I've searched - I know I was stitching them while on a trip to San Antonio, and staying with my friend Irene when she lived there.

I thought it was about the same time that I went there for my episode recording with The Quilt Show, which I believe was 2014?  

I tried searching the archives for that trip to San Antonio, or anything after - got sucked down the memory hole, and nearly lost myself in reading old posts and revisiting days gone by that all at once feel SO long ago, and just like yesterday.

Monday, December 20, 2021

A Bit of Sand & Sunshine -

About that Sand & Sunshine - were you thinking BEACHY?

Not so, unfortunately.  

But there has been much progress on the pathway across the back yard at Quiltville Inn running from loading zone to back porch.

It's much more than just plopping concrete pavers on top of the grass and calling it done.

First - Things were marked so we've have nice even and strait runs.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Making My Way -

It's really slow progress, but oh - so worth it.

I'm about 3/4 the way down one side of the hexie quilt with the knife-edge binding finish.

And because I know there will be more questions on this, I have placed my original post with more photos and descriptions under the Tips & Techniques tab at the top of the blog for easy reference.

Everything there is alphabetical, so scroll down to K for Knife Edge.

And you just might find some of the other topics under that tab to be of interest, too.  

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Choosing A Knife Edge Finish -

Morning, Quiltvillians!

I have had many questions over how I was going to finish the edge of this project - even while I was piecing, and in to the quilting (which took years) folks were asking "How are you going to finish that?"

This has been my plan all along.

I used the same technique on my first hexie quilt finished in the 1990s.  (Take it from me - you do not want to hand quilt through Warm & Natural with a scrim in it.  Just trust me!) My hexies were much larger, and I wanted to keep the picot edge intact rather than lose some of the border effect by trimming edges even, or even appliqueing to a plain border.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Of Hexie Finishes & Thimble Holes!

I put in the last hand quilting stitches last night.


It's not like this quilt has been a rush or anything - I started it as a travel project in 1999 when traveling to visit and stay with my grandmother. 

It really was an on again, off again project that stayed in my busy bag at a time when I was really not traveling yet - it would come out a few times a year as just something to do.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Where Walkways are Welcome!

You'd think he was a young kid with a new Tonka toy!

Son Jeff came over to Quiltville Inn yesterday (He lives a mere hour away, so glad to have him close.) to help us with the next big project - putting in a paver pathway across the back lawn to keep feet dry and out of the wet grass.

We envisioned this from the first time we toured the property and considered purchasing it. 

Quilters unload cars in the drive to the east side of the garage, and pull their gear in provided wagons to the back porch.  It's the least amount of steps across the flattest ground as the front of the house is on a hill and there are two sets of steps to navigate.

The back porch is only 3 steps up.  

And it will be made so much better with a walkway!

Monday, December 13, 2021

Appalachian Blues & Communication Thoughts:

When people ask me why they are called the Blue Ridge Mountains - 

I don't even need to speak a word.

Just look.  SO many different shades of blue!

Ridge after ridge after ridge as far as the eyes can see -

We took this little drive yesterday - about 20 minutes from the cabin to the top of White Top Mountain to get this vantage point.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Borders, Backings & Quilt-Apathy!

What do you do to push encourage yourself through the tedium of piecing 100s of identical units?

Is there something you do to make this a fun aspect of your quilt building?

I get it.  I know the feeling of just wanting to slap something on there as far as borders go so I can call it done.

Ideas are merging on what I want to turn to next.  There is ALWAYS a next, right?

Such was the case of making the border for the brown/turquoise top.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Dog Ears & Dog Days -

Some days it is just all I can do to manage a simple task!

On the agenda - pressing and removing dog ears from this stack of brown half-square triangles destined to be the border of the as-of-yet-unnamed Ohio Star + Triplet block quilt.

It should be be that hard!

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

And Car Horns Honked!

We were trying to beat the rain on Monday to get this done!

Just look at those clouds!  

And the quick click of the camera in between gusts that set the quilts flapping - 

And of course, cars were drying by and honking - in approval is my guess!

Or maybe it was a honk to say "What the heck are these ladies doing hanging out laundry when it is about to rain?!"

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Winding Down 2021!

The December Quiltvillians took a little field trip next door to the QPO Studio to see what I have been working on!

Okay - they REALLY came to see Lola - Everyone wants to see Lola, and she put on the best treat-begging show of the year for them.  Silly girl!

It's fun to have folks come, and excuse the mess - and talk about things like stash management. (AKA: How Did We Get Here, and How Do We Sew This All Up!)  I know these are gals that understand!

The answer is simple - keep making more quilts.  Right?

Monday, December 06, 2021

Is It Really December?

The ponies are getting their wooly winter coats!

But it was warm enough this weekend to be hiking out on the Appalachian Trail without one, really - a sweater, a sweatshirt, something light - was really all that was needed.

Especially as we continued to climb, our exertions warming us up as we went.

Isn't this foal sleeping on the hay just the cutest thing?

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Where Rhododendrons Grow -

This was Thursday!

And when early December days get warmish - the quilters get out walking!

Okay, THREE of us got out walking and I'm glad we took just an hour to do this.

This is down Bear Branch, and yes those are giant rhododendron bushes growing along that stream - Rhododendrons keep their leaves through the winter, and though they may get a bit droopy with the incoming ice and cold, they are about the only other thing that stays green besides the pine trees.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Deck The.....Everything!

We were ready - Just in time!

Somehow it all came together!

The inn looking and feeling quite festive if I do say so myself!

It's amazing what a few runners, wall hangings, pillows and cute d├ęcor can do to cheer up a place, evecn when there isn't an official Christmas tree.

Here I've laid out two buffalo plaid table runners, and centered my Pine Tree Point runner in the middle.

I am happy that everything will be enjoyed by the December Quiltvillians, and when they head for home on December 7th, these things can come home to the cabin to spend Christmas with us.

It's quite festive if I do say so myself!

You can barely see the large Pine Tree Point quilt hanging in the Hen Den beyond.

As I look around I see other favorite pieces that I received as gifts from friends.

This topper was made by Karen and has lived on my kitchen island the last many Christmases - it's perfect here on the treat table right outside the Quilting Quarters -

The table top actually fits a featherweight, was made on top of vintage treadle irons.  It was a gift from Beth, made by her hubby.  It's close to the sewing room so if I want to pull it in and sew with a group, I can.

But I'd have to move all of the snacks first!

Cherry Crunch is hanging in the foyer!

I didn't finish this one in time to make the PDF pattern available before the holidays (plus we are running a mystery on top of everything else!) so be watching for this one to release in January 2022.

Yes, that neutral background is string pieced!

So many fun fabrics in here - and it will be perfect for Valentine's Day!

Remember this topper from June??

I made this from Pat Sloan's recent Holiday Celebrations book during her blog hop.  Those beavers crack me up!

The poinsettias were brought in by Quiltvillians!  They add just the right touch to the front foyer.

Crack up of the day!

Joann is the group mom for this group and she thought during the craziness of mystery season that i could use some helpful life-changing advice. LOL!

Yesterday's to-do focus was "mostly" finished.  I got graphics drawn and some step out photos taken, and photos edited before the Quiltvillians began to arrive.

I didn't get as far as I would have liked to, but there was decorating to finish (Will get a photo of the yo-yo garland on the bannister today!) and beds to be made, and once folks started arriving it began to feel like a party with the holiday music playing from the sound bar - and.....well, you know!

The plan is to finish everything today so it is ready for tomorrow's release by dinner time.

Are you ready for Rhododendron Trail Part Two??

AND - did you enter the IronEZ Holiday Gif-Away yet???  Enter to win ON THAT POST.  Drawing to happen on Monday, 12/6/21

Even more: Use coupon code BH15OFF to save 15%!

Get two or three while you are at it.  You are going to LOVE keeping those spray bottles in line and off of your ironing surface.

Need more bottles? They are now selling the new fine-mist bottles in a 2-pack so you can have one at your stand up ironing station, and one by your machine for work station pressing.

Click on over to the IronEZ website where you will find limited time FREE SHIPPING (within the USA) in addition to your 15% off should you also wish to gift yourself or a quilting friend.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

It's this time of year that I start thinking about my word of focus for the next year. ⁣
In difficult situations, I find it a bit hard to remain steadfast to see me through.⁣
With another Covid variant in the USA my family is reevaluating holiday plans. It's so easy to want to say "The heck with it!" And go anyway. ⁣
But when "WHO Recommends People 60 and Over to Reconsider Travel Amid Omicron Variant" and it hits me that I fall into that category because I'm turning 60 in a few weeks - I know I need to stay home. ⁣
I will wait for a better time to hug family I haven't been with in two years. ⁣
I think I found my word STEADFAST.⁣
This is where my thoughts are this morning. Boosters in line for next week. ⁣

Have a great Thursday, everyone -


Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Sew Many Stars!

I love Ohio Star blocks.

Over the years I've made them in so many different sizes with many different variations and colorings.

But these little cuties?  They are screaming YES YES YES at me with each one I make, and I am getting more and more excited about this project.