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Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Last Caturday of 2022!


Lola on Friday's first real quilting job with the new IntelliQuilter.

I have made every mistake that a newbie could.
I picked a pattern that fit my design space, but I didn't advance the quilt back far enough at one point and I bottomed out when the machine got too close to the front roller.
I have had to unpick stitches, I have had a couple of out-of-bobbin restarts.
I have chosen the wrong row to align to in the wrong place, and have worked my way out of every pitfall knowing this is the way the learning curve works. ⁣
This is the wonky Log Cabin quilt that I had to unstitch after the machine blew a circuit board back in the fall.⁣

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Old Dogs & New IQ Tricks!


Here we are in all of our reflected glory -

IQ Guru Patty and I captured in the reflection of my IQ tablet as I try to take photos of settings and other things to remind myself of what to do when.

Yesterday was a GREAT learning experience - and it left me with more "What if?!" scenarios playing in my head - 

Last night while laying in bed I tried to focus on the things I learned and felt confident about, instead of the doubting nigglings on how to handle future error situations and things beyond my know-how.

I finally fell asleep realizing that no matter what happened, we'd deal with it one step at a time like everything else.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

When Santa Brings IntelliQuilter!


Somehow I ended up on the "Nice" list - because this is coming more than a week early!

IQ Guru Patty arrived yesterday afternoon - with a big Mary Poppins bag of tools and tricks and has been busy retrofitting the new IntelliQuilter to my "Old School" APQS  Millennium.

To hear this machine described as Old School cracks me up to no end - I remember selling my old Ultimate I machine purchased second-hand in 1995 for this new "All the bells and whistles" 2008 model.

All of the controls in the handles like joy sticks from popular video games of the day - even the sons and the hubs would come to check it out - Dave would bring his friends in to have a look, almost with a Tim "The Tool Man"  Allen "Ar ar ar ar" More Power chuckle in his voice, as if it were made by Binford, not APQS.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Getting It Together!


I posted the webbing demo on Saturday - and continued on with my day finishing up the cross-seaming on my current project.

After drafting this quilt up, I had no idea what to name it so I just called it "New Star" as not to be confused with any "Old Star" pattern, I suppose.

It's kind of stuck.  

It only needs one little addition to the name.

Wilson Creek runs behind Quiltville Inn...flowing just a bit more than 1/2 mile eastward where it empties into the New River.

And there I have the name for this quilt - New River Star.  It works for me!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Such A Happy Christmas -


This was the scene that greeted us as we arrived at Jeff & Ashlyn's yesterday afternoon.

Talk about a blast from the past!

ALL of these stockings are those I made over the years - The ones on the far right made when the boys were tiny - I made them for all of the nieces and nephews at that time, too.

I think the pattern may have been a Debbie Mumm - but I can't be sure.

The ones with names on the left - the ones with string piecing and embroidered names came later.

At some point I had sent Jason's to him so he has it  but these others?

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Two-Over-One Is How It's Done! (Block Webbing Tutorial)


Snow Day, Sew Day - Nowhere To Go Day! 

No place to be but cozy at home as temps continued to drop outside and the wind continued to howl.

It's the kind of slow-down-snow-down-show-down that we all dream about, right?

For the most part.  The dogs, however, are NOT a fan of temps in the minus range.

If I had to go out to take care of my own business, I would feel the same way!

While working on these blocks (It's been a UFO since before the summer foot and face break) it occurred to me that it is likely a good time to also do a quick "webbing" tutorial.

It's been a long while since the "old" one, and those photos don't even come up anymore.  Maybe Blogger has an expiration date on old posts. So here we go.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Winter Storm Elliott?


I'm starting this post with something warm and comforting - 

A view of my hand quilting project - nearly at the finish.

I've just got the final neutral setting corner to fill in, and finish quilting the rosette border and I can call the quilting part DONE.

I started in on the hand quilting in May - will I be finished by New Year's maybe?  That's what I'm hoping for.

There is still a lot left after that as I intend to do another Knife Edge finish on this one, just like the last hexie quilt finish.

When you near the end of a long term hand piecing/hand quilting project - Do you find yourself feeling a bit nostalgic and a bit lost for "What to do next?" as I do?

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Entering The Winter Slow Down!


Here she is.

In all of her non-computerized glory.

No more CompuQuilter.  The program, set up and robotics I have ran faithfully for over 14 years.

My Millennium now stands as naked as I feel!

In fact, we've got to do some new discovery - I haven't ran this machine on manual since I got it.  It was too difficult to unscrew the cables front and back any time I wanted to free hand anything - so I gave up and just did everything by CompuQuilter.

I even had to have the machine guy re-instruct me on the many colored buttons on the handles because I never used them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Little Bits of Progress Here And There -


Isn't it amazing how nice things look - and how different they look - when the seam allowance is taken up and you see things in their finished sizes?

And that giddy feeling that comes when "YES!  This is exactly what I envisioned and it is actually going to work!"

My progress has been slow - but I keep reminding myself of what I am always telling everyone during our Quiltville Winter Mystery season - "It's not a race!" "Progress is progress!" "Baby steps still move you forward!"

And so it goes.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Fits, Starts and Standstills -


I haven't touched this quilt since Thursday.

But at least the top is webbed together.  Things I love about chain piecing a top this way?  The chaining threads between the rows will keep all of these little seams from popping open during the assembly process. It's especially helpful since these cornerstones are so tiny.

Friday's to-do list included moving things from beneath the long arm and doing general cleaning in the studio to make ready for the machine maintenance guy to come. A snow storm across Indiana delayed that arrival, and hearing nothing through the weekend I kept checking my phone for texts or email updates.

I hung around and did the fabric stash self fixing on Saturday as well - just in case I needed to be there.  But no word.

There haven't been any - so I decided to spend yesterday at home.  I'll get to that in a minute.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Tale Of Too Much Pink!


Several months back, while dealing with the broken foot/broken face debacle and still trying to stay on track with designing and pulling fabrics for our Chilhowie quilt, I opened a stash cabinet door to pull oranges and found that the weight of the shelf containing all of these pinks had finally given way.

WHY do I have so much pink fabric?

I have no excuses.  I have no reasoning.  It was the early 2000s and I am blaming self-medicating with fabric stashing while raising teenage boys.  That's my story.  I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

In The Assembly Zone!


The last time I took over the Quilting Quarters at Quiltville Inn was in the months before we even opened for retreats.

I used this space for the laying out and assembly of Winter Blues a few winters ago.

I have to admit, it's nice to have a space large enough to lay out a big quilt - and it is kind of fun to indulge in a solo-retreat by myself (at least during the day time - I'm home by dinner!)

The upside this time, is that I can also move tables around to provide more support as the quilt top grows through the webbing together process.

I started this with this arrangement - and as the quilt top began to grow, I added one more table later on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

On To The Layout!


All the blocks are DONE!  Hooray!

Like all "so many blocks!" projects, this one got to feeling a bit like pulling teeth toward the end.

My brain felt like it was on autopilot, and I found myself with my eye on the finish line, instead of on the enjoyment of just simply sewing.

I've waited for this holiday hiatus where I could have some time to settle into the cold winter months ahead and have time to do just that - to sew without other plates spinning (such as a full retreat house) for a while.

Now that it is finally here, I still find my mind going a thousand different directions making it harder to settle in to just slowing down and enjoying the time that is before me.

Do you get that way too?

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Sew A Little - Rest A Lot.


The push to get these blocks complete so I can start laying them out is real.

There are less than 10 blocks left to make - I can do it, I can do it!

I've already decided to sash them with skinny sashings and cornerstones - there are too many points and thick places where seams cross seams that won't be nest-able if I were to join them side by side.

But there is also SO much more neutral than anything else - sashings that are too wide will only add to that "too much neutral" and so my brain goes round and round and round.

What about on point?  Oh man. No, I think I like them on the straight.

And so the conversation goes.  As I said.  Round and round and round.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Sleeping Through The Weekend.


I had great plans for Saturday and Sunday.

I had some binge-watching queued up on Netflix, fabrics at hand, cutting ready to go.

I was able to dig in just a bit before the feeling of "Oh, I need a nap" crept in.

Later in the evening we headed out to Jefferson to exchange a new van battery that had no charge (That's a whole different story - but yes, the NEW battery was dead as the proverbial door nail.) and thought we'd grab a bite out before returning home.

I made it through the salad, but just didn't feel like I could stomach the dinner and would just take it home in a to-go box for yesterday's lunch.

On the drive home I was feeling so punky that upon reaching home at 7:30pm I crawled into bed and stayed there until morning.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Quilts on Main, and More!


I was kidnapped Thursday.  And I welcomed it!

What else would I rather do on a drizzly December Thursday than head to nearby Galax, VA for a round of shop hopping and lunch out with a friend?

Martha pulled in the QPO drive at about 11am and off we went.

Oh, she had other things on her list too - like the feed store for more goat food, and Lowes for some electrical wire, and a run by the USPS to drop something off.

*I* was the one who posed we add the quilt shop opportunity into the mix.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Some Holiday Cheer All Around! (Gift-Away!)


Let's keep building up the holiday spirit with an IronEZ Gift-Away!

We haven't done this in a while, and when Scott, the CEO of IronEZ contacted me this past week - I replied with a resounding YES!

The adjustable clip can fit a multitude of thicknesses – this will even clamp to a table top, tray or big board.

It fits and corrals a multitude of favorite bottle sizes – and the free bottle that comes with it has even a finer mist than the traditional trigger spray on Best Press. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

2022 All The Way To The End!


I've been sitting at my keyboard for quite a while this morning, just trying to get my thoughts together.

The morning hustle and bustle of yesterday became instantly deafeningly quiet after the last of the December Quiltvillians backed out of the drive and made their way to their own homes.

That's it.  That's it for our 3rd season of so many wonderful retreats and awesome folks who made this all possible.

I usually don't get this introspective until the week between Christmas and New Years when there is no doubting that one year is ending and another is about to begin - 

But yesterday I was all wrapped up in feelings as the laundry spun and the dryers tumbled.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

And The Quilters Are Still Quilting!


Michelle has been one busy stitcher throughout the whole December Quiltvillians retreat!

I think it is safe to say that if Santa DOES indeed have elves, that Michelle is the leader of the pack in the "quilts made by Christmas" division!

I am posting this photo to remind me of the holiday explosion of fun that filled these walls over the past week.

And yes, those are Boxy Bow Ties blocks up on the wall being made by her table mate!

This morning everyone is heading out toward home and their own families and holiday traditions.

I'll finish the last loads of laundry, do some last rounds of winter prep, turn the thermostats down, and lock the doors on the 3rd season of retreats at Quiltville Inn.

What a wonderful year it's been!

Monday, December 05, 2022

Lovin' From the Oven!


If you walk through the front door and can't find a soul - chances are they are all in the kitchen!

And with good reason - the December Quiltvillians have been treating each other to all of their favorites as well as trying out new recipes before they spring them on their families on Christmas morning.

As much as I love to hear all of the quilty chatter to the hum of machines coming from the Quilting Quarters, the sounds of meal prep and all of the resulting yummy smells add such a hominess to this space!

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Gettin' Cozy With the December Quiltvillians!


After a two week break, it's so great to have the Quilting Quarters and Hen Den full of so much creative activity!

And I am so tickled that things are made even more festive with Christmas music playing throughout the halls.

It's such a happy place - full of quilty projects and good cheer.

That doesn't mean that the rip-it and swear jars aren't receiving deposits, however - usually to much laughter. Followed by the passing of the no-whining sign to the next recipient.

Goodness, this is fun!

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Hello, December!


It's December.  And I am doing the best I can to embrace the season and the cold long winter months ahead.

That's about as positive as I can get with the whole thing - I'm trying!

And then there are those days where even the best intentions create a complete cluster - I kid you not!

For instance, when housekeeper Susan arrived yesterday to finish prepping the house so we'd be ready for the December Quiltvillians' arrival yesterday afternoon she let me know by text message that "The house is 80 degrees!!  I can't get the Hen Den fireplace to turn off!"

Well shoot!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A Bit More Stitching!


I am obsessed with The Crown.

Now onto season five - It's even more riveting to me when things take place during my own adulthood - and in my mind I can't help comparing what was going on in my own life, to the things that are being portrayed on the screen.

Some fiction to fil in the blanks?  Absolutely.

Some facts making real life stranger than fiction?  Definitely.

This season also includes many sub-titles when the speaking is in Egyptian.  I don't do well with subtitles.

I can't read them from where I sit so I get up from my machine, scroll back a bit...and stand in front of the wall-mounted TV to read them as the replay begins.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Decking The Halls (And The Walls!)


Yes, We NEED a Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute....

December is 2 days away and the December Quiltvillians arrive tomorrow for our last retreat of the 2022 Quiltville Inn season!

There is only one December retreat - so I'm not pulling out ALL of the stops, but it is amazing what a few holiday quilts and a bit of table runner d├ęcor and more can accomplish.

Just needs a bit of sparkle!

But the real holiday cheer will come when guests arrive.  I can't wait!

Monday, November 28, 2022

What Is That Smell??


Yes, I did get some sewing done this weekend.

But this is all the machine work that happened.  

This was it.

one block of triangles. Pieced, webbed and assembled.

I need more variety.  I couldn't excite myself to get in there and dig out more strips and cut more triangle pairs and sew more.....

What was up with me?

Oh, and there is a funny story about this project...funny as in WHAT?  Not HAHA.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Quiet Mountain Weekend -


If you made it through Thanksgiving, and Black Friday - and you are still upright, it's a good day!

At least that is what I'm telling myself this morning!

I was even able to finish hand stitching down the binding on my Purple Jubilee last night -ready for a chilly photo-op this morning.  Yes, it required a heavy jacket as it's only 33, no matter what the sunshine says!

I LOVED putting this quilt together over the course of the past year.

It was the fact that I was working on this as new issues of Quiltmaker Came out with the next blocks - and that I kept my purple scraps close at hand for those next blocks - that had me deciding to throw purple into this year's Chilhowie mystery as well.

I've always liked purple - but I can honestly say I've never used up so much purple at one time.  LOL!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Warm Thanksgiving Wishes -


Thanksgiving morning, 2022.

Holy Moly, has this year flown by fast - is it that way for you too?

It just felt like we rushed on through it at break-neck speed.

Wasn't it just 4th of July last week?

I woke up this morning with the realization that it's not likely to slow down any time soon either.

Still, I want to enjoy this day, and the time with family arriving this afternoon and how we will fill up the way-too-few hours until they have to head back to their own home.

There is still baking to do and I'll get right on that as soon as this posts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Quilting Up Purple Jubilee!


THIS was a big part of why I went to Florida.

Remember when the whole long arm machine circuit board event happened - smoke and all?

My friend Terri reached out with offers to help, offers to quilt - along with many others I am so grateful for.

Terri and I have the same APQS Millennium machines, though hers is a few years newer than mine - there are some control differences.

A few years back when moving the quilting machine up to the QPO Studio I had thought about what I would do if my old CompuQuilter system went belly up.  After all, it is 14 years old and was running on a tower PC with Windows XP - It required a keyboard, monitor and mouse and was sitting on the side taking up table space.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

I'm Back! With A Gift-Away!


Two girls hit Ormond beach for a Saturday morning walk....the first time I had seen the ocean what feels like forever.

I know it's been at least 3 years.  But it's longer than that - probably the last time was November of 2019 when I went with a Craftours group to Germany.

But that wasn't even a walk on the beach - it was a fly over the ocean - so does that really count?

At any rate - I AM HOME!

And I had a most wonderful greatly needed little break with my friend.  More on that to come over the next little while!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Time Out!


I don't often do this, but perhaps I should.

Quiltville Inn is locked up tight until my last group of the year arrives on November 30th.

My next big thing is our Chilhowie Mystery kick off with part one going live Black Friday, November 25th.

I'm hitting the road and driving to Florida to spend the weekend with a friend - and this time I'm not taking my laptop with me!

You'll get all the good stuff when I get back next week. At this point I'm planning on driving home Monday, so you'll hear from me Tuesday!

Unless I change my mind....

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

And The Sun Came Out!


This doesn't look like a winter sky to me - does it to you?

Our weather ran the gamut this past week - Nola's Bonniacs arrived on Wednesday with temps hovering at a brilliant 70 which is fantastic for the second week of November.

But a mere couple of days later we were having rain, wind, and temps dropping to 22.  Brrrrr!

These gals came prepared though!

Hailing from the Bloomington, Indiana area they know how quickly weather can change late fall and brought quilts, jackets, sweaters, things for layering - just in case.

I even caught a couple of them braving the worst of the cold temperatures all bundled up and walking the yard just to "get some steps in."

They are more resilient than I am! LOL!

And when the clouds parted, and the sun was shining brightly on the side porch, we grabbed our opportunity and grabbed the quilts for over-the-porch-rail photos.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Look At Them Sew!


Isn't this just the best sight ever?

Don't you wish you could be part of a group like this? And maybe you are.  I hope you are!

It was wonderful to feel part of this retreat - right down to the shirts!

Yesterday was our wrap up on all of the blocks needed for everyone to keep working on their own version of Ditch Lilies and I am thrilled with how each project is coming along.

They worked tirelessly - and as you can tell by the design walls, there were other projects happening "Between the seams" as well.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Ditch Lilies Through The Weekend!


The Ditch Lilies retreat with Nola's Bonniacs continues!

I absolutely love how everything is coming together reflecting each quilter's own vision and color plans.

Some are going bigger to fit the bed and match the room.

Others are making baby versions for grand children soon arriving.

ALL are beautiful!

And it hasn't ALL been machine grunt time.  Much of the group took off on Saturday afternoon for lunch out and quilt shop wandering.

I'm glad they did - because yesterday's weather took a turn for the worse:

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Ditch Lilies With The Bonniacs, Day Two!


It was a day of celebration!

Betsy had a birthday - and how wonderful to spend it at retreat, surrounded by friends who could celebrate with her.

And is there anything better than a friend who will bring you a fizzy beverage over ice without you having to ask for it?

I snapped this photo as glasses were clinking - so much fun.

The tumblers are ones my grandma had.  She passed away when I was 5 - but I still have a photo of me and my brother Mark having root beer floats from them.  A set of 12 lives at the inn, and it is my goal here to use ALL the good things ALL the time.

Especially for birthdays!