Friday, March 31, 2023

Quilters - Start Your Engines!

Yesterday was Winter Blues workshop day 1 with Nola's Bonniacs - and I am so tickled to have them here for the week!

Workshops at Quiltville Inn are scheduled much like a quilt cruise - Class instruction happens in the morning up until lunch time, with free time in the afternoon for each participant to continue working on what was presented in the morning - or if they wish, choose something else when they are feeling unit-weary and ready to switch to another project they brought along for the ride.

Breaking a workshop into several segments over the course of the retreat is a great way to keep folks making progress without feeling overwhelmed.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Farmhouses, Barns & Green - Oh My!

Pastoral scenes.

That's what we were in the mood for yesterday -

We'd finished up making every corner of Quiltville Inn ready for Nola's Bonniacs who were arriving around 4pm.

It was only 11am - what should we do with the time in between?

Get in Martha's car and take some undiscovered backroads - that's what!

The intention was to eventually end up at a favorite little Mexican place in Jefferson, NC - but they were closed!  Still - check out this scene.

Little old farmhouse with a red roof.  Outbuildings. Nestled right up against hills of green.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The Quiet In Between -

This was where I sat yesterday - late March - the grass possibly a bit damper than I thought it would be, but it was okay - all dried in time.

It was early afternoon, and I had gone back and forth from QPO studio to the inn next door to flip another couple of loads of laundry from washer to dryer and start new loads - 

I love grabbing the loads of sheets fresh and warm from the dryer and taking them upstairs to just place on beds.  No making  of beds right away - I have friend Martha coming to help do that today -

So the sheets just rest in piles on each bed, waiting to be tended to while we chat.

But back to yesterday afternoon - the white daffies are now blooming on the edge of the yard closer to the old woolen mill. Soon the hillside will be covered with flowers beyond where they stand.

There is a rule around here - no mowing or weed-eating of wildflowers until they are DONE!

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Over The Rail, Take Two!

It's March!

What else can we say?  One minute it is bright blue and sunny, but the wind is crazy wild, and the next minute it is cloudy and gray with the wind moving those clouds across the sky with speed that seems only possible in movies with special effects.

Whatever the case - it took us two tries on two days to get decent photos of all of the gorgeous quilts displayed by Irene's Sewciologists -

Don't believe me? Here is what happened on the sunny warm, blustery day:

Monday, March 27, 2023

Afternoon Spring Sunshine!

Eight of us out and about!

That meant it took two cars to get us here - and that's really exciting for me to have so many willing and raring to go on a road hike up Roundhouse Road.

Some were new - first time Quiltville Inn retreaters and first tie walking up one of our favorite leg stretches in these parts.  

Some were happy to be back again, experiencing all of the emerging signs of spring, both sight and sound.

Here everyone is straddling the state line at the sign - one foot in Allegany County, NC and the other in Grayson County, VA.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Tula Adventures.

This little story would have been better portrayed by Lucy and Ethel - it's that comedic!

We got the live trap set up on the porch by the kitchen door at the inn after dinner was done and we were heading home.

Yes- that is a depression glass relish dish in the back - we needed something for water and the food bowl took up most of the space so I needed something skinny.

A towel on top to provide some privacy, a crate on top of that to keep the wind from blowing it away -

The rocking chair pulled close next to it to keep the towel in place on the trap side - so it wouldn't flip up during the wind gusts either.

It looks like it would work - it should work?

But what we didn't expect was who it would catch first!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Where Wild Ponies Roam -

It's that time of year!

The temperatures were up there toward 70 - but let me tell you, the wind was gusty and cold so you'd never guess it was "technically" that warm.

Still - a couple of adventurous retreaters and I headed up to Grayson Highlands for my first Appalachian Trail hike since June of 2022.

Could the foot/ankle handle it?

YES!  Although I'm a bit stiff this morning, there has been no pain/swelling.  Hooray!

As for the ponies - we weren't sure we would see any, and these two new retreaters had never been up here before so I was quite surprised when we spotted our first one, just off the trail!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

That String Star Project -

More time for blue string triangles!

String quilting makes a mess.  It just does.  There is a lot of digging and pulling and sorting - searching for the right fabric to go next to the one I've already sewn in place.

I want the fabrics to still contrast a bit with each other, to enhance each other when laid side-by-side.

Each fabric deserves a place to shine so I try to put a tone-on-tone next to a busy print so two busy prints next to each other don't just morph into a blob of busy-ness.

I'm sure you get my drift!

The job at hand? To do enough string piecing to get the triangle pieces I need to continue to build rows on this project that had reached just short of half-way done and then stalled.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Scatterbrained Quilter At Work!

I put off the trimming of these units for at least a week.

No, I take that back.

I trimmed some of them, and found myself wandering off to some other task - like spring cleaning the studio - before finally coming back to them yesterday and just digging in and getting the job done.

There are the most favorite parts of quilting - and then there are the least favorite.

Trimming fits that category.  I really dread the chore of squaring anything up, sliver-trimming, and even trimming up paper foundation pieced units -

But the results are SO WORTH IT.  But still.  Just so you know. It's my least favorite.

The upside?  Once I got this far, I could sew those units together and start progressing onto this:

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Blustery Days

What are we going to do when it's freezing out (even with sunshine and blue sky, it was in the 30s!) and it's time to take some group photos out in front of the house and attempt to do some "over the porch rail" quilt shots?

We bundle up and make it as quick as we can!

You can't see it here, but then wind was not cooperating with our efforts, and  there was much flapping in the breeze of those lovely quilts over the rail - but even quilts being fluffed by the breeze can be considered "action shots" right?

I love that the ladies from the Richmond Express group wanted to take their group photo wrapped up in colorful quilts on the front steps at Quiltville Inn.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Three Times Lucky!

What's the one common theme in this photo?

Besides the fact that miss Lola is front and center as always -

Baby, it's cold outside (15 degrees this morning as I made my way to the inn! Brrrr!) and jackets are required!

I love it when retreaters want to come see what's going on next door at the QPO studio, and of course - "We want to see Lola!"

And Lola was up to her usual antics of begging for pets and treats, and even rolling over onto her back to show the world her belly as I displayed the New River Star quilt over the long arm machine rail for folks to see up close.

It's as if she says "Forget the quilt - I know you are here to see ME!"

And of course we applauded.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Celebrating St Paddy's Day!

This is what I walked in to yesterday morning upon my arrival at the inn!

The Richmond Express quilters had pulled out all of the stops including (but not limited to) green bagels for a very St. Paddy's Day breakfast!

I just love the creativity that groups bring into this space - and it isn't limited to the quilting quarters -

It spreads from room to room and down each hallway.

Oh happy day!

And isn't this little guy just the cutest?

Friday, March 17, 2023

Hanging With The Richmond Express Gals!

Things are feeling festive with the Richmond Express group in residence at Quiltville Inn!

I love St. Paddy's day - fun décor, the feeling of spring within reach - wearing of a bit of green (or orange if that is your side of the family) 

It's fun times with no hassle - bring it on!

We have intermittently iffy weather going on all through the weekend so we took some time yesterday afternoon - our "nicest" forecast for their whole stay to take a long hike up Roundhouse Road.

I was so glad to have 4 others in tow, bringing our walking group up to 5 including me!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Spring Forward Fail!

From the looks of her, Lola feels the exact same way I do about this springing forward thing in the spring.

It's now Thursday - and I find I can't get to sleep at night, and getting up in the morning is a drag.  As in - Gotta drag myself out of bed and force myself into this day when all I want to do is throw the covers back over my head and snooze an extra hour or so.

It gets harder as we get older, doesn't it?

I LOVE having it lighter in the evenings.  That part is great.  It's the getting to sleep at a decent hour and being able to get a restful sleep and waking up refreshed that is just not happening.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

New River Star Gift-Away!

Good Morning, Quiltvillians!

March 15th has arrived - and with it, my latest pattern release New River Star is now available in both Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

Yes!  There is introductory pricing!  And yes, there is a Gift-Away!  We'll get to that in a minute -

Read along my friends -

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

In Search of Spring -

I woke to 23 degrees and more snow this morning.

I am posting this photo taken last Wednesday to remind me not to lose hope! LOL!

If there's one thing I know about daffodils - they are resilient and hearty.

I think there is much encouragement from that knowledge - 

Be like the daffodils and keep pushing up through all of the dirt (and snow!)

Monday, March 13, 2023

Well, It WAS Spring?

Saturday was chilly but things were still green - 

And we stood on the porch for a while just enjoying the cows as they grazed down below along the creek.

There were even some little baby ones - which is always sweet to see.

The wind was brisk, however, and it soon ushered us back into the warmth of the sewing room.

Evidently Mother Nature is letting it be known that Old Man Winter isn't quite done with us yet!

I awoke yesterday morning  to not only the clocks having spring forward an hour, but to this little reminder that ANYTHING can happen in March in this parts:

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Quilters Gone To Pieces!

"But it's not done yet!" they say as I come closer to get a photo of a beautiful quilt in the making -

"That's exactly what we want to see!" I reply - knowing that seeing the project in progress is more inspiring to get others to want to sew, than simply seeing the overwhelming finish as a whole.

Agree?  Disagree?  What stage of a project encourages you to want to dive in, chop up fabric, and sew it all back together?

Besides - Gail's lovely purple featherweight looks so GOOD next to her exploding heart quilt as it comes together.

It's like "Quilting still life" Where the machine, the pieces, the tools, notions, thread - everything - becomes a whole scene that we can also see ourselves part of.

Friday, March 10, 2023

True Confessions of a Scrapaholic -

It's March.  And when March rolls around, it's time for some Instagram fun with #IGQuiltFest put on by Amy of @Amyscreativeside.

Every day comes with a prompt.  Some of them fun, pulling instant entertaining responses from all participating.

Some thoughtful - asking things like "Why Do You Quilt?"  This you have to really think hard on, look deep inside to find what resonates.

The most fun is flipping through the hashtags at #igquiltfest2023 and meeting new folks, seeing different perspectives, and connecting with unknown people from around the globe.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

The Hanging of the Green! (And some Purple!)

Gail's Quilt Buddies are in the house!

But before their arrival I was running around like a crazy person trying to get all of the shamrocks in place - It's St. Paddy's season, and that means the bringing on of the GREEN!

I've hung my Emerald City quilt from String Frenzy in the front foyer.

Green is the one color I really miss during the winter months - and I'm not talking about Christmas tree green which is always there - but the green grass, green leaves on trees, lush green of the "kinder' months of the year.

Hooray! The green is coming back!

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

The Day In Between

Our very mild March takes a turn this week - and yes, there is even the dreaded S word in the future - SNOW?

I knew this was too good to last long!

And I know that anything can change between now and over-the-weekend, but I figured I better get out and enjoy this - gale force winds or not!

Just look at those daffies bloom on the hillside below the fence - so pretty!

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

The Merry March Quiltvillians!

What a fabulous week we've had!  

We even had the wonder of some extremely lovely March weather.

I've said through this whole past winter that it was the weirdest winter on record over the past 6 years that we have been in Virginia - it seems we had our "deep winter blast" the week of Christmas, and a bit through January, but with no real snow accumulation - and it has been mid otherwise.

I'm not complaining!  Look what we were able to do over the porch rail!

Monday, March 06, 2023

Oh, What a Weekend!

What's a girl going to do when it's Saturday, and a text comes from the inn next door saying "We're making a run for Quilts on Main in Galax - wanna come along?"

It's Saturday!

Take the time and go!

We had a marvelous time - and the new shop has nearly doubled in gorgeous fabrics, notions and fun stuff since I was there in December.

And it was so much fun just taking some time to be one of the girls with some of the March Quiltvillians!

Saturday, March 04, 2023

Quilty Shenanigans & Malarkey!

It's March!

St Paddy's Day is not far off - so we are bringing in the green, from the outside to the inside and all the way around!

I've started switching out the décor inside Quiltville Inn as well, with shamrocks and spring things and even if we aren't all just a wee bit Irish, we are still getting in on it all!

My sewing over the past few days has definitely been "in the green" and the festivities are carrying over to the shenanigans going on next door:

Friday, March 03, 2023

For The Sake of Nostalgia -

On the receiving of the "Sticker of Shame" day earlier this week I STILL had to do all of the things one does when one drives 40 minutes to town -

We don't waste gas out here - there were errands to run.  Groceries, Dollar Tree for cleaning supplies and holiday décor items for the inn, and of course a run through Goodwill to see if there were any more irons that could be put to good use at the pressing stations -

Goodwill had nothing.  But as I walked past the bedding aisle, a certain fabric caught my eye.

Back around 1976 my grandparents became snowbirds from Minnesota to Rio Verde, Arizona. The 1970s was an interesting era for home décor, and I knew this fabric instantly when I saw it.  It took me back in time to when I was 15 and visiting for the first time.

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Gone Wanderin' -

My friend Martha knows exactly what to do when she hears me say "Oooh! Stop!"

It happens quite often when we are rambling around the countryside - exploring this "never been on" road or that one - just to see what is there.

And this is what we came upon on Tuesday after making the great escape having completed the bed making at Quiltville Inn and just feeling a hankering for a "Get Out of Dodge" kind of day.

Kimberlin Lutheran Church & Cemetery, outside of Rural Retreat, Virginia - founded 1777.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Little Bits of String Star Progress -

Some projects just grow in fits and starts.

In fact, that might just be a good name for this one - Fits & Starts.

While I have made enough of the colored string triangles to finish the top, I once again ran out of the neutral and blue ones.

Sure - I could count and know just EXACTLY how many I need and make that many - but then the assembly stops and I get bogged down in the making of units and -

Well, I just can't wait to see how this one comes together!

So I've been in the circular motion of making units, sewing rows, making units, sewing rows.