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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.⁣

Friday, December 30, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Six!


If there is one thing I've learned as a quilter - it's to be FLEXIBLE.  Always!

Sometimes things happen even with our well planned months in advance calendars that can cause us to throw our hands up in the air and yell "Plot Twist!"

And we rearrange a few things, make a different decision and plow forward.

The new Intelliquilter system on my longarm was set to be installed next weekend - January 7th.

My installer lives in the North Georgia corner of the Blue Ridge, and I'm up here on the Southwestern Virginia side.

Last week's weather was record-breakingly abysmal, and next week looks pretty bad for her driving up here as well, so Monday morning we made a call that she should come up Tuesday and I've spent the last few days being trained in learning my new system.

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.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Five!


FIVE!

How many of you are singing "FIVE Quilty Clues!" To the tune of "Five Golden Rings!" ?

I am so thrilled that we've made it this far.

I am beyond ecstatic that so many of you are hanging in with me and ready to move on to this next part.

Yes, we are in the middle of Hanukkah.  Christmas Eve is tomorrow with Christmas arriving Sunday - there is SO MUCH going on with New Year's Eve & Day right around the corner a bit more than a week away.

I wanted to do something to keep you excited and help you not lose your momentum on this project so guess what we are going to do?

We will call Part Five "Some Assembly Required!"

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.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Four!


Happy Friday, everyone!  Who is ready for some Chilhowie Part Four fun?

I know I am!

I also know that the holidays are drawing closer and closer. 

For our friends who celebrate Hanukkah, The festival of lights begins this Sunday evening December 17th and goes all the way through Monday, December 26th.  

Our friends who celebrate Christmas will be overlapping the end of Hanukkah, and then New Year's Eve and Day arrives in a blink.

I want to emphasize again that this is NOT a time to stress out.  It is okay to set this project aside and focus on the joy of the season.

Family and friends first - always.  

There should be no guilt in quilt - so if you need to just save your clues and table them for a couple of weeks - by all means, do it!

Focus on the things that bring us together.  Good food included!  The quilting will wait for the right time.

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.

Friday, December 09, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Three!


Welcome back, Chilhowie Mystery Quilters!

I have had so many messages, emails and comments about things you learned during our Part Two units and I'm so excited that you've also learned to use some new rulers in your quiltmaking.

While there are some rulers and tools that do a great job at ONE thing - I'm happy to say that Both the Essential Triangle Tool, and the Simple Folded Corners (Or Simple Folded Corners Mini) rulers are things I keep on hand at my cutting table at ALL times – they get quite the work out and I love that they work hand-in-hand with one another.

While we got comfy with the Simple Folded Corners method last week - this week we are all about quarter-square triangles and my own Essential Triangle Tool.

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!

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!