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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!

Friday, December 02, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Two!


Happy first week of December, everyone!

I hope everyone survived our Chilhowie Part One from last week and is ready to move forward as we get closer to Chanukah, Christmas, and New Years!

I have loved seeing all of the Part One posts using hashtags #quiltvillemystery and #chilhowiequilt.

Please keep up the good work and keep tagging your photos so we can find them easily.  I love to see the different colors and all of the beautiful fabrics you are using.

This week is a fun one - we will be making some mirror image units!

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!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery Part One!


Welcome to our Chilhowie Mystery, Part One!

I've been so excited I could hardly sleep knowing this would release today.

Since we first started doing mysteries in 2007 (0r was it 2008?) this has been my absolute favorite time of the year.

I love how it brings us all together from across the globe. I love this community we have created through quilting - long may it lift and inspire us!

For our newbies - You'll find the Chilhowie Mystery Tab at the top of the blog.  I will link all posts relating to Chilhowie there.  Please cut me some slack in updating the tab.  When a post goes live, it takes me a few minutes to then edit the tab and add the new part's URL to the list. (It's not automatic.) If you don't see it, simply go sew something and come back and look later.  Thank you for your patience!

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!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Ditch Lilies With The Bonniacs - Day One!


The Front Foyer at Quiltville Inn has been turned into an extra cutting/demo area as Nola's Bonniacs are eager to take on a week long submersion into creating Ditch Lilies during their time here - in their own colors and making it their own!

Display room is one thing that is harder to come by in this house - there just isn't a lot of full out wall space for a 90'' X 90'' quilt, so I've folded it in half  and hung it over the  rod on top of Bristol so we can at least see how each of the 5 different blocks in  Ditch Lilies come together in this design.

Lighting isn't the greatest - but let's face it - the light in the foyer is original, and though we put LED bulbs in it, it isn't enough - so out comes the pole light to get more light where we need it.  It works!

Breaking things down into several days of focus, we dug right in on those tiny "Bear Paw Toes" (Half-square triangles) with a demo of my Essential Triangle Tool.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Just Keep Stitching!


Yes, I'm still stitching.  And stitching.  And stitching.

But I thought I'd share a bit of recognizable progress on my current (and eternal) hexagon progress.

So where is my quilting hoop now?

I've been working on the four fill-in neutral background triangles that take the medallion from hexagonal to rectangular.

Quilting through so many neutral hexagons can get a bit boring, so to divide up the chore, I'm also working the border rosettes as I go so once I've finished the background neutrals, the whole thing will be done.  

I won't have to move my hoop from section to section around the edge of the quilt just to do the border.

It's a win/win!

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Chilhowie! A Quiltville Winter Mystery (Introduction)


Happy Halloween, Quiltvillians and Friends!

It's that time of year we've all be anxiously waiting for -

No, not Halloween! (though I admit I have stashed a bit of Halloween Candy in the QPO studio for times when I need a sugar rush -) 

Our yearly Quiltville Winter Mystery begins in earnest with Part One going live on Black Friday, 11/25/22.

This post has all of the info you need to be ready.

If you’ve followed along with our many past Quiltville Mysteries, you’ll already have a good handle of what happens.  I’m glad to have you back sewing with me again!

If you are one of the many, many new ones who are joining in from the land of Instagram
Facebook and beyond, I want to welcome you.

Has 7 Years Really Gone By....


This morning I was downloading some photos from Google Photos to my laptop - 

There is this banner thing at the top of the page that has different memories and things.  I RARELY take time to look at those, but this morning this amazing photo was there right in front of my eyes, and it was a surreal moment first of "Who is that young person?" And "Was I really there?

Yes, I was really there!

So I hope you will indulge me a few memory photos -

Of all of the international trips I've taken, Peru was perhaps the most amazing.  We went from the Amazon river region, all the way to the heights of Cusco in the Andes, and on to Machu Picchu.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

It is really November?


Over the weekend I gave up.

I turned the A/C back on.  It was just too warm (And too humid!) to try to tough it out with open windows as our only relief.

Sunshine. Short sleeves.  But it won't last.  We know it won't.  In fact, colder temps are projected for this coming weekend so we were soaking up as much of this November sunshine as we possibly could!

Check out that green grass!  This is NOT normal.  But as I said, we were enjoying our last day together and getting in all of the "must do" photos to capture our time together.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Where Quiltvillians Gather!


Of course we always think of dining rooms for dining - but it's also a great place to gather for a vintage sewing machine maintenance workshop!

And you know how my heart goes pitter-patter whenever vintage sewing machines are involved.

Just take a look at all of these lovely beauties! (And yes, I'm talking about the ladies as much as I am their featherweights!)

Diana is our vintage machine aficionado, and these sweet babies were humming after their spa day in the dining room!

And these weren't the only machines getting a play day in the dining room:

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Porch Rockin' & Quilt Shop Hoppin'!


These lovely autumn days -

I know they won't last much longer, but it does my heart good to leave my QPO office and hear the sounds of conversation and laughter coming from the front porch.

Yep - the November Quiltvillians were enjoying the beautiful late afternoon after enjoying an outing to Quilts on Main in Galax - the newest quilt shop to our area.

I heard tales of plans for this fabric, and that one, and did you see the other?

I swear there are no happier faces than this:

Friday, November 04, 2022

Relax and Quilt!


There is a lot of quilty goodness happening at Quiltville Inn this week - so much creativity, and the November Quiltvillians only moved in on Wednesday evening!

The one thing I dearly love about returning groups - and I've likely said it before, and I'll definitely say it again - because it bears repeating: I love seeing reunions of folks who hadn't seen each other over the past year, and I get to feel like I'm part of their reunion too!

We get to catch up on things like what weddings happened, who had new grandbabies born, who has retired, who has a new quilting studio - all the things.  I love it!

Quilt in progress is Easy Street from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders.

I also love seeing projects that were started at an earlier retreat come back as a big finish for an over-the-porch-rail photo op!

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Playing Catch Up!


The past two nights this has been going on behind the scenes.

The only thing worse than picking out two intense passes of machine quilting on quilt that is 75'' wide?

Picking out two intense passes when the tension is PERFECT!  GAHH!

You all know that I've been having issues with my quilting machine.  It's an APQS Millennium circa 2008.  I was in shock when I pulled out the manual to double check the paperwork on her.  2008.

How many quilts has she quilted to this point?

I've only ever had a few problems with her over the past nearly 15 years.

But this circuit board blowing thing - it had more than an effect on just the machine.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Those Crazy Fun October Quiltvillians!


This is a cheers to the quilters in our lives that make every day so much more of a joy!

I waved goodbye to the October Quiltvillians yesterday morning - and I am sure they were glad to be home in their own beds, their heads still ringing from the laughter and all of the creative fun we had together!

While my yesterday was full of hurry-hurry and getting the house flipped and ready for the November Quiltvillians who arrive today, I did take a quick trip to town to replenish some needful things.  You know, the joy of errand running for toilet bowl cleaner, liquid hand soap and other refill type things.

And before I get to the good part of sharing the over-the-porch-rail photos and creative design wall efforts, I just have to share what happened to me yesterday.

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Quilt City: Panic In Paducah Book Gift-Away!


Calling all Cozy Mystery readers!

Those who crave a good who-done-it with a quilty theme woven through it!

Those who would dare to dive right in and fritter an afternoon away with interesting characters, a fantastic plot line that leaves you thinking "I never saw THAT coming!"

Have I got a new book in the Quilt City Series for you - written by my friend Bruce Leonard!

Monday, October 31, 2022

Chilhowie - A Quiltville Mystery! (Introduction!)


Happy Halloween, Quiltvillians and Friends!

It's that time of year we've all be anxiously waiting for -

No, not Halloween! (though I admit I have stashed a bit of Halloween Candy in the QPO studio for times when I need a sugar rush -) 

Our yearly Quiltville Winter Mystery begins in earnest with Part One going live on Black Friday, 11/25/22.

This post has all of the info you need to be ready.

If you’ve followed along with our many past Quiltville Mysteries, you’ll already have a good handle of what happens.  I’m glad to have you back sewing with me again!

If you are one of the many, many new ones who are joining in from the land of Instagram
Facebook and beyond, I want to welcome you.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

It Was Only Friday!


What was up with yesterday?

All day long I kept thinking it was Saturday, but nope.  Only Friday!

I think it's because I am crunching on getting everything ready for the introductory post for this year's Quiltville Winter Mystery to go love this coming Monday which also happens to be Halloween.

Maybe that's it?  That I am catching the Mystery Fever rampantly flowing through social media, especially my own Quiltville's Open Studio group on Facebook?

Oh - the fervor is mounting. And that brings on SO much pressure! (And excitement too.)

Also exciting - Open Studio now has over 95,000 members - so much boundless creativity flowing in that space.

At any rate - this was my view as I sat in the stand still of a morning Appalachian Traffic Jam with Quiltville Inn in plain sight - but couldn't get there because they were working on the road and down to one lane with pilot cars ahead.

So close and yet so far!

Friday, October 28, 2022

And When October Goes...


First Things First - 

This top is DONE DONE DONE!

I have had a blast making it, and I love the freedom we have as quilters to take elements and move them around to suit our own vision for any given project.

This has always been the case in any class I've taught, any of the many mysteries I've presented over the years.  

Take your parts and run with them - I LOVE to see what other folks do with my designs.

They are simply a recipe, a springboard and an idea to get you started.  You take it from there - and go where you want to go with it!

And this is where my vision lead me.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Nov/Dec '22 Quiltmaker Gift-Away!


Good Thursday Morning, Quiltvillians!

Did the power go out yesterday?  Yes, it did.

Did we have it all under control?  Well, yes!

And it's always good to have a test run to be sure that things are working the way they should.

The weird thing was that we were told it would be from 8am - 5pm. but the power didn't actually go out kicking on the Generac until 12:30pm.

Then the question became - will they finish before retreaters start arriving?  YES! 

So it was a good thing that I set up inside the Quilting Quarters at Quiltville Inn to work instead of trying to get a quilt machine quilted on the long arm next door when the power went out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

From Where Lola Sits Watching -


Lola knew my mood yesterday.

It changed in a heartbeat.

Not right off - but as soon as I set in to start machine quilting on that log cabin quilt - 

Oh, it takes so much longer to take OUT stitches than it does to put them in!

And I was in a quandary - do I STAND there and try to reach and unstitch, or unload the quilt from the machine and sit in my comfy chair with my feet up and something on the TV to distract me while I told myself to "Just Breathe!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

October Sunshine and Scrappy Sisters!


You'd never guess we'd even HAD temps below freezing earlier in the week with the jacket-less bliss in this photo!

We need to soak up these rays, baby - because it can't last for long!

It was a beautiful weekend and I'm so glad I got to spend it with Pam's Scrappy Sisters as they retreated away at Quiltville Inn.

The camaraderie just swooped me right in and as they talked about future stitching events in their own corner of Tennessee, I wished I could join in too!

I love it when a group makes me feel like one of the girls.