Saturday, April 29, 2023

Hexies Found! Travel Ahead!

It's not "the big vintage jar" of paper hexies that I've been wracking my brain hoping to find - but this will do!

I knew I had started "something" hexie-ish - and the last time I remember traveling with anything like this was possibly our trip to Kenya in October of 2019.

Was it really that long ago?  My how time flies when you are living through a global pandemic.

But I digress -

I had a photo of a tile floor that would make a very interesting hexie quilt. I envisioned working it in brights in interesting color combos - and here is the evidence of my start, but where was the photo of the tile floor to give me more direction?

I found that too - and through I'm not even going to flirt with the idea that this will be another gazillion-piece queen-sized hexie project, I think it will be fun to play with bright and colorful pieces and whimsical little prints for a while.

There is a lot of travel happening for me in 2023, and SOMETHING has got to occupy my hands!

Friday, April 28, 2023

Kitting Up & Making Ready!

I cut up bolts of fabric yesterday!

This definitely took a new rotary blade, and something interesting to listen to while doing it because though not real exciting when the fabric is just Essex Linen (in natural - it may have been more fun if it were colors!)

What was all of this mundane cutting about?

All of the exciting kits that are headed to Egypt and Ireland with me on a quick turn around after my Vietnam trip.

I leave for NYC on May 31st! 

What you see here is 120 kits in the making.  Oh boy!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Spinning in Cirles!

I'm going to start right here with this slightly blurry photo of Tula Tallulah Lou (Yes, here name is growing into poetry!) as yesterday was completely swallowed up by chaos -

In the end it turned out better than it could have, and I'm grateful for things that were accomplished in spite of other things - but MAN.  I'm ready for a vacation! 

In 3 days!

Where to start - I arrived at the QPO after stopping by the inn to check on Housekeeper Susan and was greeted by Tula pawing at the back kitchen door in an "I know you fed me, but I need more treats!" kind of attention grab.

I mean - seriously.  Could you resist her?  She won.  She got more treats.  I think I'm feeling guilty because I'm going to be leaving them for 11 days -

And though I know that she'll get plenty of attention from friend Martha (on morning shift) and the Hubster (On evening shift) I'm having a hard time letting go of my control of routine.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

It May Be Gusty -

The wind may be whipping it up a bit, but we are doing our best to get those quilts photographed over the porch rail!

I kind of like photos where quilts are wafting on the breeze - we call those "Action Shots!"

This photo op took place Friday evening after our nature walk - week by week our photo times change as we follow the sun - it needs to be shining on this side of the house for photos that aren't dark in shade.

It's kind of like that old Beatles song "For tomorrow may rain so....I'll follow the sun!" And in this case, it DID rain the next day.  I'm so glad we got this activity in on Friday evening!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Walking For Quilters!

This was last Friday, walking down by the New River with the Joyful Quilters.

I'm so glad they had this nice day - it has been cold cold cold this week - temps right at freezing upon waking at 7am.

I'm ready for these warm days to come back!

I am always excited when quilters will take me up on an offer to do a little nature walk - it recharges our bodies, increases our oxygen intake, lets loose those fantastic endorphins and then we can go back and quilt all the more -

Creativity flourishes!

Monday, April 24, 2023

A Sew Joyful Weekend!

It's a "grab the camera quick!" kind of moment when all of the quilters are actually at their machines whenever I pop by from the QPO next door to see how things are going!

Usually there are some in the kitchen, some working on hand projects in the Hen Den, some enjoying the porch outside - but wonder of wonders - they were ALL at their machines on Saturday!

Could it be that we had a huge storm overnight? And the morning temps were just above freezing?  

(Side note - our plans to go see Casden's baseball game on Saturday was rained out once again.)

It could be - It's the season of "Turn on the heat!" in the morning - and "Turn on the A/C!" in the afternoon.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

From My Cutting Table -

While the quilters quilted, and the Hubster was busy making a dozen (Or so it seemed) traps for the big and buzzy bumbling carpenter bees that are partying it up and boring holes into every aspect of the inn and garage that they can -

I took to my ironing board to press strips of recycled shirt plaids, stripes and prints and set to pairing them with assorted neutrals to cut triangle pairs.

How many did I cut?

Not sure exactly - just enough to get me going for a while and then when I felt I was at a good stopping place I set in to sew them all up.

No counting needed until I get close enough to count the "How many more?!" I need after making what blocks I can get out of these.

Friday, April 21, 2023

For The Love of Wonky!

A box arrived on the front porch at Quiltville Inn the other day.

A rather unexpected LARGE box.

Usually it's things like commercial shipments of toilet paper for the inn that arrive in this size of box, so I was surprised to see that the box was not in fact shipped from Amazon or Costco, but from my friend Cathy.

"Just what is she up to now?!" I asked myself as I hauled the box down from the front porch and into the QPO studio next door to open it and see what was inside.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Yes, I've Been Quilting!

While the Quilt District retreat was in full swing I was able to get Starshine loaded into the long arm and start the quilting process.

What kind of design do you choose to quilt on something this busy - something this heavy with so many seams?

I decided to flip through my pre-loaded patterns that came with my Intelliquilter and see if there was something that would add a touch of whimsy, not be so formal, and get the job done without over-quilting everything heavily making the quilt weigh more than it already did.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

It Takes a Village!

They drove for two days - just to come quilt?

Yes! Yes, they did!

Isn't that what Besties do? Drive all the way from Connecticut to meet up with long time friends from Florida and Georgia to spend time doing what quilters do best - laugh, eat, sleep, and QUILT!

Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs and Sue Pelland of Sue Pelland Designs pose for a "Partners in Quilt Crime!" photo during our over the porch rail photo shoot at the end of their retreat with the Quilt District!

As much as I love group photos - it is wonderful to take a few special memory shots here and there as well!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Quilty Wishes!

Let me guess -

When you look at this photo you are either smiling, or also pursing your lips and ready to blow.

If I had to state my favorite photo of my time spent with the Quilt District gals over the past week - this would be it -

All of us letting our inner 3rd graders out to just play and be.

When was the last time you made a wish on a dandelion?  

My wish is for more days like this to stop and enjoy and just be in the moment - whoever I am with and wherever I am.

More of this please!

Monday, April 17, 2023

A Quilt District Quilt Turning!

This is what happens when you stuff 14 people (including me behind the camera!) into bedroom 5 with all of the quilts piled on the bed like princess and the pea -

And ooh and ahh over them one by one, layer after layer, discovery after discovery -

It's something I look forward to with this group - long may it continue!

Our earliest quilts contained fabrics from the 1820s - our newest quilts finished within the past year. 

That's quite a span of quilt love, don't you agree?

Saturday, April 15, 2023

This Is How We Do It!

Here they are!

The Quilt District Gals, enjoying life out on the porch - our first group of the 2023 season to actually have weather cooperative enough for us to eat meals without them blowing away.

What a difference this is from last year where it actually snowed while they were here.

Crazy times!  But we'll take this!

What's not to love about sunshine, quilty friends and...

Friday, April 14, 2023

Sugar Grove PDF Pattern Gift-Away!

Happy Friday, quilty friends!

Mid-month means new pattern releases and fun gift-aways!

And there have been so many questions as to when I would be releasing Sugar Grove

"I have to make this!" "Oh, I just love the motion!" "This would make such a great Leader & Ender project!

And I am delighted!  I'm also delighted that the folks at  Cotton to Quilts are also providing 2 fabric rolls for our gift-away - read on for more details!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Quilt Alliance B.0.M. & More!

I am so enthused to be included in a special Block of the Month program hosted by the Quilt Alliance!

If you've listened to my podcast episodes with the Quilt Alliance folks, you'll know that they provide a valuable resource when it comes to documenting our quilt stories.

This is the 30th anniversary of the Quilt Alliance - they've been doing this for 30 years! It's a momentous occasion!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Quilt Prep & A Backing!

Surprise!  More photos of my string star top as I get it ready for quilting.

Names have been swirling through my head - and I seem to be on a flower focus lately.

First with the Morning Glories finish - and this one, which is currently a toss up between Straw Flowers or Star Asters

No matter what it ends up being, I had a blast making this one.

It never ceases to amaze me that we can make a quilt with hundreds of different fabrics, and find a connection to each of those fabrics - remembering when it was that they came into our lives as yardage, fat-quarters, or donated scraps from friends.  They become a part of who we are.

There are so many fun ones in here!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Seeing Stars!

It seems like things come together all at once here.

And while it may appear to be a "Wow! You are so fast!" kind of thing - I assure you, this has been on  the "weekend project" burner for months now.

It was just a sit-and-sew-strings kind of thing when I had some evening or weekend time.

And whoosh - those last few rows came together rather quickly and the top was done!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Easter Binding!

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone had a grand weekend - Happy Easter, Passover, Ramadan - however you celebrate and welcome in the change of seasons.

Here in Appalachia spring is bursting forth and though our weekend was quiet, I reveled in it.

We were supposed to go to Casden's first baseball game on Saturday which ended up being rained out - temps never left the 30s here on Saturday, so I'm not all together sad that there was a delay, though I was sad not to be able to scoop him up and get my fill of red-headed hugs from this nearly 7 year old.

It did give me a chance to finish the binding, label and hanging sleeve on Morning Glories!

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Just Me & My Girls!

Thursday was haircut & errand day - but after that, when I found that I still had plenty of daylight and the evening was relatively warm, and checking the forecast ahead for Easter weekend which is incredibly cold and rainy, I gathered up the dogs and headed out to Grayson Highlands to squeeze in an evening hike before dinner.

With this fickle weather, it came to be the only time I'd be able to get some steps in through the weekend. 

The mantra? "Grab it while you can!" because rain can come tomorrow!

This view is from the top of Grassy Creek rd.  The surrounding hills will be even greener thanks to the rain that fell all yesterday and through the night and will continue this morning.

Those trees?  They still need leaves!  But that will come too.

Friday, April 07, 2023

Some Springtime Quilty Content!

It's spring!

And with spring comes some very springy quilting - 

You know I've been working on this now for several months - it only seems like it has come together quickly, but it really has been an ongoing project in between retreat comings and goings - any time I could grab some time to stitch the units.

Pink, yellow, orange, red, purple, turquoise - and a whole lot of green!

Thursday, April 06, 2023

In The Blooming!

With Tula Lou at the vet on Monday, with me waiting for the vet to give me a "Come pick her up!" call I had some time on my hands.

In all reality, I was more than an hour's drive from the Inn - I didn't want to head back there, because within 2 hours of arrival, I'd get that call and have to turn right around again.

The nearest Costco was 60 miles away in Winston Salem - I could go that way, but that felt more like work even though I do need to get some inn supplies.

Instead, I shot a quick text off to my friend Sally who was visiting her daughter in Roanoke.  "How about a visit and lunch out?" I said.

Once I received a resounding "YES!" reply, I was on my way.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Bye Bye, Bonniacs!

Another April Fools week gone  by - but the googly eyes remain!

Another super fun retreat with Nola's Bonniacs is in the books.

They did so much!  We had two fantastic nature walks.  They took a shop hop day - and were gone ALL DAY - and oh, the goodies they brought back.

They quilted like crazy from dawn past midnight.  (Yes, there were some naps - always welcome!)

And best of all - I got to share more time with them in our Winter Blues workshop.

I don't think we could have filled it any more fully.  

And we even had cat whisperer Nola on hand to help catch Tula for her big day - and others on hand to chase the possums away in the process.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

All in the Rearview Mirror!

There is a benefit to being on the road at 7am.

This was the sunrise as I headed east with Tula safely in the trap placed right behind  and between the front seats so she could see me, and I could comfort her by wiggling my fingers through the cage sides as we travelled to Hillsville for her spa day.

At 11pm the night before I was restless, unable to sleep - just HOPING we could get her to go in the cage far enough to trigger the trap.

She is such a little thing that even her feet didn't bring the door down.  And when we tried to encourage her further, she took off.

Just prior to 11pm came the text: " Almost caught a possum but we scared it off.  Tula is sleeping on the porch NEAR the trap.  I will check at 6am and let you know..."

Monday, April 03, 2023

It's a TulaLou Spay Day!

This post is being written Sunday morning - because Monday morning bright and early I am hitting the road before 7am to pick up miss Tula-Lou who HOPEFULLY will be contained back in the live trap and ready for her hour-plus drive over to Hillsville VA for a well thought out and agonized over spay procedure.

After talking with the folks at Carrolton/Grayson Humane Society - we believe this is best for all involved.  Especially Tula, who is VERY young and feral, though she has improved greatly with her acceptance of people - especially since there is a rotating population of quilters staying at Quiltville Inn.

She is still feral - and makes under the old general store her main "lair." Should she have kittens there, there is no way that we can get under there to help her. And I will be gone the entire month of June and can't leave her care to anyone else.

And then there would be MORE cats that would need to be neutered - good luck catching those.

No, this is best for everyone. Especially Tula.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Simple Does It!

Our focus on retreat with Nola's Bonniacs this week is SIMPLIFY!

They are living their best simple quilt week at Quiltville Inn - with time to grab a bit of sunshine (when there is some because right now it's pouring buckets!) to simply sew when they want to, or to simply load up the cars and escape for a day away shop hopping with lunch out as they did yesterday.

It's simple - all of life's cares can wait back at home for their return.

This week we are simply enjoying it all!