Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Sunshine, Stitch Mob & Quilts!

This is the kind of scene I will remember all winter long.

Just the right amount of afternoon sunshine, blue sky and puffy summer clouds.

But of course, the quilts are center stage!

"What if we have too many for the rails?" asks one quilter.

No problem!  We give you opportunity to switch them out and take more photos.


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Life Between The Seams!

I waved off the Stitch Mob yesterday morning - and suddenly the house was SO quiet!

I never know whether to enjoy it as I start to set things right, or fight the emotions that I won't see these ladies for another year.

What a fantastic group - and so many things to lock into my memory!

And I have to admit, I suffer a LOT from FOMO.  Fear Of Missing Out. Because I know the fun and shenanigans continue long after I head home to my own dinner and my own bed.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Driving Ruby Home!

Happy Monday, Quiltvillians!

I hope your weekend treated you well - 

And I hope you will indulge me as I post about some things that happened for us, knowing that your regular very quilty content will resume soon.

Sunday (Yesterday) was our 41st wedding anniversary, and we took a break from hanging out with the Stitch Mob at Quiltville Inn to drive over to Bristol, TN not only for dinner out to celebrate, but to check on a gently pre-owned Subaru while we were over there.

We'd been talking about this for some time, and it seemed to be the time.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Never Enough Plaid!

THIS is the mess I've been working with - the mess making me so over-the-top happy!

Who knows why the photo I *know* I took the other day didn't take - but this is what was waiting for me yesterday morning when I arrived at the QPO Studio.

Yes, all of the colored fabrics are reclaimed from 100% cotton shirts and other garments.

SOME of the neutrals are also shirts, but many are just from my neutral strip stash, things I thought would add some visual fun to the mix and break up the plaid-on-plaid-on-plaid.

Our eyes sometimes need breathing space!

Some of these neutrals (I'm looking at YOU, blue ticking stripe with little red apples!) date back to the 1990s.  There may even be some earlier pieces - and I love the happy mix this is.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Stitch Mob Shenanigans!

Say hi to the gals from the Stitch Mob of Missouri and beyond!

We are having a wonderful time visiting, stitching, creating, and EATING some really good meals!

Yesterday's lunch fair was a Frito bowl with all of the best toppings and a luscious bread pudding for dessert.

I don't know how it didn't put any one of us in a nap-needed food coma before we could go back and sew some more.

But sew they did!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Counting Small Joys -

These photos are right off the top of my camera roll from yesterday - 

Wednesday was a spruce-up-all-the-things type of morning - and with friend Martha to help get the beds made (And even most of the towel folding completed by the time I got there!) we had some time on our hands.

The offer of "Come ride to town with me, I need to pick up a prescription and we can have an early lunch at the diner" was just what I needed before the Stitch Mob arrived at 3pm.

This little diner is so reminiscent of the 1960s right down to the colors, the booth chairs, and the daisy printed Formica that tops the counter.

Check out those hanging lights!  I bet they are original too.

One half of the building is the pharmacy, the other half the diner - and they have the best milkshakes in town.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Mothers, Daughters, Quilters & Friends!

Would you just look at this wonderful display of gorgeous quilts over the rail at Quiltville Inn?

The Naughty Room Quilters had pulled out all of the stops for a wonderful airing of the quilts.

As the sun moves across the sky, the photo taking time also needs to adjust so we get the best natural light possible with the least amount of glare -

These photos were taken at 10am-ish on Sunday morning.

And that sky!  Isn't it lovely!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

In The QPO Studio!

Lola held court in the QPO Studio yesterday.

She is quite the celebrity!

And it tickles me that quilters ask "Can we come down and see Lola?!"  OF COURSE! 

I know so many worried that she wouldn't get enough love and attention if she lived alone at the studio - especially since Dresden passed a couple of years ago, but I assure you - she gets SO MUCH LOVE!

Even if it looks like she is more interested in her treat jar than she is in the quilters who came to love on her.  LOL!

Monday, August 22, 2022

Good Friends, Good Food, Good Fun!

No one goes hungry at retreat!  

Not ever!

Quilters have other super powers besides quilting  - I have had some of the most delicious dishes whipped up by retreaters while they are staying at Quiltville Inn.

And while there are MANY different love languages out there, to see retreaters baking cookies for each other or preparing two different kinds of chili (As happened with this meal) while watching out for everyone's various food allergies or restrictions, making sure no one is left out of any option -

That speaks LOVE to me!

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Woolie Quilters in the House!

Sometimes the Quilting Quarters are full with sounds of 12 machines humming at breakneck speeds to get everything done as quickly as possible.

I feel like we sometimes approach our quilting life the same way we approach our daily to-do list with deadlines - sew as fast as possible, get it done as quickly as possible and move onto the next thing without skipping a beat.

That used to thrill me - because all of the sewing I wanted to do was limited to times when I didn't have children and meal cooking and shopping and house cleaning and all of that around me and to have the opportunity to finally sew was a "Fit in as much as possible as fast as I can."

I remember retreats where I basically chained myself to my machine and only took time for meals and sleeping - count me out of the nature walks and the rocking chair time.  I was here to sew!

Friday, August 19, 2022

Porch Rockin' & More!

Summer seems to be making a retreat here in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia!

Some are even needing sweatshirts as they enjoy the porch for some late afternoon relaxation and rocking-talking.

I'll take it! When I hear of folks enduring 100+ temps and extreme drought situations - my heart goes out to them.

As you can tell, the Naughty Room Quilters are also enjoying every moment of porch time that they can fit in!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Rest and Restore, They Said!

Have I introduced you to my nap patrol?

They set a good example several times a day reminding me to get that leg elevated and "Take a Load Off!"

While Zoey loves to wiggle her way up into the pillows, Mabel prefers to be at the foot of the bed - SIDEWAYS.

I honestly don't know how I would have survived all of this without them.

And now that I am getting around better, it's wonderful to see their excited faces when I come through the door after welcoming new arrivals to Quiltville Inn!

The Naughty Room Quilters of Illinois are in the house, and we have a great week planned ahead!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Out at Grace Haven Farm!

Over the weekend I took a little 2 hour getaway -

I was kidnapped by friend Martha to Grace Haven Farm just a few miles up the road, known for their rows and rows and rows of beautiful flowers and more.

How often do we put little things on the way back burner because we think "Oh, some day, but not today?"

With the running of the inn, I've done that a lot over the past 3 retreat seasons, cramming everything I need to do or want to do for myself into the one day in-between a group leaving and the next one arriving.

Somehow Martha knew I needed some sunshine for my soul - so off we went.  The retreaters could handle themselves for just a couple of hours!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

TaDa Quilters & TaDa Moments!

This was Saturday evening - and oh, what a fun day Saturday was!

So much happened over the weekend (And then there was the PDF pattern release and gift-Away for Crazie Mazie YESTERDAY) that it will take me another couple of days to post it all!

The weather had been phenomenally cool - and I am so happy that quilters were able to get out and do either road hikes or take my park pass up to the park to see the ponies without me.

And the Hubster's plan to shoot in an archery tournament on Saturday freed me up to invite myself to dinner on the porch, and some early evening photo ops with the sun filtered behind the clouds - 

The quilts and ladies photographed so well!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Crazie Mazie PDF Pattern Gift-Away!

Happy Mid-August, Quiltvillians!

It's finally time - Crazie Mazie PDF Pattern release time, that is!

If you have followed along with me even part of the 17 years this blog has been active, you will know of my unabashed and never ending love of string quilts and all of the wonderful things you can do with small scraps many folks find too small to bother with.

I say - bring it on!  There are so many wonderful ways to stitch up your strings into beautiful one-of-a-kind creations.

And what better way to kick off some Crazie Mazie fun than with a pattern and fabric roll gift-away!

Saturday, August 13, 2022

What's Sewing On?

Hello, weekend!

Why is it that some weeks fly by in an instant, and others feel like they've lasted a month?

I swear the best medicine is the gift of being able to hang out with like-minded, like-aged makers who are all going through the same thing.

Forget needing a 12-step program or support group - I've got it daily, with a different group each week just for the variety of it all.

These are all things I never even considered when figuring out if we could really make having a retreat facility work.

There are so many side bonuses that I never considered!

And through it all, I get to sneak next door from time to time and lose myself in my own projects with Lola keeping me company and letting me know whether she likes this fabric combo, or that one, or an immediately no on the other option.

Doesn't she look like she has the wisdom of the world in her eyes? LOL

Either that, or she is giving the entire world the stink-eye.  I get it!

Friday, August 12, 2022

Embracing Some Shirt Plaid Love!

I spent some time at the cutting table yesterday afternoon!

These simple sawtooth star blocks have been calling my name since last week when they were re-discovered hanging out in a basket nested under another basket full of scraps.

You know how it goes! I'm sure you do!

After the August Quiltvillians headed out with their shirt hauls after shopping my creepy cellar shirt stash last week, all I can think about is getting back to these.

Now that there are six sets cut and ready to go, I am hoping I can spend some time at the machine later today while the TaDa girls head out to Wytheville for some quilt shop stash enhancement.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Where Is My Hoop Now?

I've received messages over the past week of  "MORE!" "Broader view please!" in regards to my current hexagon hand quilting project.

For anyone who has taken on the long term challenge of hand quilting a queen sized quilt, you know as well as I do that though the process is slow, it is also meditative and quite soul centering in the simple repetitive motion of needle pulling thread. 

"I can't make out how you are quilting it." says another.

So hopefully these broader photos will clue you in a bit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Airing of the Quilts!

We had a bright beautiful day for the Over the Porch Rail quilt hanging!

No, not ALL of these quilts were made on retreat, many were brought to be placed on beds and slept under, and then shared with everyone during the photo shoot.

Some were started at the last retreat, and brought back finished to be shared.

Some quilts were brought with the intention of "Just adding binding" while here for the past week.

Some were made in the past year at home and brought on retreat.

Whether they be fully quilted and bound, or just tops finished while here - the variety of the display over the rain was inspiring!

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Little Miss Mabel Mayhem & More!

Last evening we returned home from taking care of a few things at the inn after dinner to find that Mabel Mae has developed a new skill.


No lie - A few bills that were in my shorts pocket from the previous day were found on top of the bed, having been rooted out of the shorts pocket,  and a good portion of this twenty is likely to show up in her morning business.

What can you do but laugh, really?

And remind yourself that having a not-quite-two-year-old dog is like having a 3 year old child in the house at all times.

Whose fault is it in actuality?  Mine of course!

Let it be known that Mabel's new nick name is Mabel Mayhem.

Poor Andrew Jackson - if I take this to the bank will they exchange it for a new one? LOL!

Monday, August 08, 2022

All in a Quilty Weekend!

Guess who is back to fire pit time?

The last time I was present for this event was the night of the tree swing accident - 

This time - all was well and we really enjoyed our evening time outside around the fire pit as the last of the summer fire flies did their thing.

They are much fewer and further between now, but they are still there.  Summer is hanging on.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Quilting Up A Scrappy Storm!

Check out Christine's gorgeous Maymont blocks up on the design wall at Quiltville Inn!

There is another strip stash being sewn down in rapid fashion while in the company of good friends!

I just love seeing what everyone is working on.

And yes, there is a way to elevate the bad foot, and just enjoy some time visiting while others stitch around me.

What a fun visit!

Friday, August 05, 2022

Of Birthdays & Creepy Basements!

Meet our birthday girl, Rebecca!  

We sang Happy Birthday to her on the back porch at brunch yesterday morning - she is here for her second time spending her birthday week with like-minded quilters and we are all the merrier for the opportunity to spend her birthday week with her!

I was ecstatic when I saw her placing her Sister's Choice blocks made with recycled shirt fabrics up on the design wall behind her. (Pattern found under the Free Patterns Tab.)

This sparked a whole new discussion of "Didn't another Quiltvillians group get to shop your shirt stash in the cellar?"

Yes.  Yes, they did.  Would you like to, too?

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Everything is Better With Chocolate!

Those in the know will understand this photo and the gratitude it brings.

There are very few things I crave in this world - and Sharon understood the assignment.  LOL!

Not only does she know of my adoration for dark chocolate with chili (oh, it's a delicious grown-up slow burn!) but the card with the puppy butt is bound to make ANYONE smile.

It was just what I needed to kick me into gear, armed with everything I need to spend some time at the machine and continue my progress on "something simple."

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

New Sign Up - Blog By Email!

The past year or so things that we have counted on have been set to sunset mode -

One of the things that makes me really sad is that Blogger and Google are no longer hosting "receive blog by email" services that so many of my readers count on.

Months ago I was in a panic over your panic, and I was directed to Bloglovin by recommendation.

Over the past many months their service has been mostly non-functioning.  Links don't work, notifications don't come, and it always says their servers are overrun.

I am not one to go down without a fight, so - I've done a thing!

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

All The Quilty Pieces!

Isn't it wonderful to see long-term projects make such giant leaps thanks to extended retreat time?

If you've made Jamestown Landing from String Fling then you know EXACTLY how long it takes to piece all of those wonderful neutral string units, not to mention ALL of those blue and neutral half-square triangles (Okay, I just mentioned them.)

I've watched this grow over the past week -  

Monday, August 01, 2022

On The Mend, and On The Move!

Look who is in the kitchen and joining the July Quiltvillians!

Don't worry - I'm taking it slow and easy - 

I brought my scooter to get me from the van across the back walkway to the back steps.

There are 2 steps up to the back porch - manageable if I use a porch pillar for support and with a few easy shuffles I am in like Flynn!