Monday, July 31, 2023

Quilty Brunches and Back Porch Games!

Saturday morning brunch - and still so much fun to be had!

There is never a shortage of food, fabric or good times - just take a look at the faces of the July Quiltvillians enjoying their weekend.

It does my heart good to walk in and see this kind of camaraderie happening.

And because everyone is busy in the dining room - it gives me ample opportunity to wander through the Quilting Quarters and see just what is what and see who has finished something, started something new, or is continuing to push the pieces through on whatever project they've set their minds to.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

And When There's No Internet

There was a power blip Thursday evening - kind of late, nearly toward bedtime.

It had blipped at home enough to kick the generator on for a few minutes, but things went back to normal rather quickly and I didn't think much of it.

The cabin is 7 miles from Quiltville Inn.  I never even stopped to think that they would be affected as well.

Besides - they also have a generator that will automatically kick on if needed.

No problem.  I went to bed.

But in the morning when I arrived I discovered that they'd been without internet since the power blip the night before.

Friday, July 28, 2023

A Show & Share of Beds!

It all started when Jeanette wanted to show me her completed Spider & The Fly quilt on her bed in Bedroom 2 - SO SO SO CUTE!

And then, it became a quilt show of beds, just oohing and ahhing and enjoying what everyone brought to sleep under this week.

The July Quiltvillians do not disappoint with a quilt show of What's-On-The-Beds!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

The Crazy Road to Dingle!

Yes, this is a two-way road.  You wouldn't think it was possible, or passable - but hang on to your seats folks, and suck it in because traffic is going both ways whether we liked it or not!

We made two trips out to Dingle with both group 1 and group 2 and I was so happy to spend this time driving through the Irish country side along coastal roads - the view changes daily!

The Dingle peninsula is one of the most iconic and beautiful parts of Ireland.  

You haven't really experienced Ireland unless you've made the trek to Dingle!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

From Cairo to Dublin!

There are still a mess of photos from adventures in Ireland - two back to back tours of about 40 people each - a wonderful time to really enjoy the Emerald Isle and wonderful cool temperatures and so much green after the intense heat and ever present sand color of Cairo.

This is a crazy year for make up travel - all of those tours that were delayed due to Covid are getting caught up! And that means that sometimes the best way to do them is with as few flights crossing back and forth over the Atlantic as possible.

So, Cairo to Dublin I went - half way home!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Bye Bye, Christmas in July!

Can a Christmas in July retreat be this much fun?

Yes it can!

Even with rainy forecasts through the week, that rain happened either middle of the night while sleeping, or in short bursts either in the morning or in the afternoon/evening for the span of about 15 minutes of downpour, and then cool and clear.

There was plenty of opportunity for hiking either down by the New River or up at Grayson Highlands - there was porch enjoyment at mealtimes and early morning coffee drinking while conversing with the cattle on the hill. (Mooooo!)

As far as rainy weeks go - this is just the way we like it!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Weekend Quilt Warriors!

Some of Chris's Christmas in July group made it up to Grayson Highlands to hike with the ponies!

This makes me so happy - even though I'm a bit jealous while I wait out the healing of my knee.

They got out and about, beat a thunderstorm, and saw at least 7 ponies wandering along the sides of the Appalachian Trail.

Great job ladies!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Sew All The Scraps!

Last evening I had some time to sew - and not only that, I found I had the energy to do it, which is another bonus I don't take for granted.

I had also uncovered a bag of 1 1/2'' strips I had trimmed from random leftover charm pack squares.

Short and stubby, something needed to happen with these and So I decided that making some strip units as prep for our current Oopsie Daisie Leader & Ender challenge was the way to go.

Stitch and press and stitch some more.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Time For Slow Stitching -

Slowly, ever slowly, the hoop makes its way toward the center of the quilt -

My Amishy Baskets project hasn't been getting as much stitching time with the long daylight hours of the summer months, but it is still progressing.

I had some questions about it - so here she is.

I might sit in front of the TV for one episode of "something" per night - usually settling in around 8:30 pm or so.  And depending on the course of the day, I may be feeling too obliterated to put on a thimble and stitch. 

But last night - I turned a corner!

I went all the way from where you see the hoop to the far left where I am now beginning to move up the next side.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

The Tentmakers of Cairo!

One of the best highlights of my trip to Egypt was of course spending the afternoon with the fabulous tentmakers of Cairo - a dream come true and a complete immersion in color, design and applique - Cairo style!

The word Khayamiya comes from the Arabic word for tent: khayma, as these appliqu├ęd panels were originally used to decorate and line the walls of tents. Astonishingly intricate designs featuring geometric, arabesque and calligraphic motifs grace the walls of the Tentmakers’ shops, and as one of the shopkeepers says “This isn’t just sewing. It’s art.”  [source]

We felt an instant commeraderie as we were welcomed into this workspace - chairs were set up for us to sit and view as we were presented just how it's all done - Egyptian style!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

When Phone Batteries Die -

We took our opportunity to hang quilts over the porch rail on the last day of retreat with the Pieceful Hearts quilters.

And right as we were going out - I couldn't get my phone to turn on.  What the heck?

My phone battery - totally dead.  Ladies waiting with quilts over the rail.

I asked Siobhan to step in as photographer - but since she didn't have much of a cell connection where we are, this is the only photo I've received of that over the porch rail event so far.

It is what it is folks!

Note to self - keep an eye on the phone battery levels!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

On Porches, Walls, Tables, and Floors - Oh My!

Now this is what I love to see when I take a break from what is underway at the QPO Studio next door and come up the back steps to the sound of chatter and laughter coming from the back porch at the inn!

It's a great place for relaxing and stitching - who says we have to be chained to sewing machines in the Quilting Quarters all day long?

Bring out a beverage.  Some snacks even.  Bring a hand project and get to stitching with the company of good friends and great stories and boundless conversation.

Summer months are meant for porch stitching in these parts!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Jacob's Chain PDF Pattern Gift-Away!

Happy Monday, Quiltvillians!

By this photo I am guessing you know what day it is, and I know several of my readers have been waiting for this one - It's Jacob's Cbain PDF Pattern release day!

And yes, that means there is also a gift-away - keep reading and we'll get to that part when we get to that part!

For me, "Patriotic Season" begins with Memorial Day and goes all the way through Labor Day so even though we are mid-July, there is still plenty of red-white-blue to go around.

I have always loved this color combo and I'm happy to keep working with it, no matter the season.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Weekend of Quilting Ahead!

Patty got her Jack's Chain with her beautiful machine embroidered birds all together!

At least as far as it could go - there may be more rows added at home - but she's put together all that she brought with her to accomplish.

I have always loved the Jack's Chain pattern, and her addition of embroidery in the hexagon center is just.....chef's kiss!

Her response...it was all fun and games until it came to the Y seams.  LOL!

It was the perfect project to sew at retreat however, because you could engage yourself with your best group of friends, laughing, talking - and the pain of Y seams was almost bearable.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Meanwhile, In Cairo -

Mosques, Citadels and Minarets, Oh My!

As I've been going though photos - trying to get everything in order, there were several excursions within Cairo that I haven't posted yet.

One of the most fabulous was our early morning visit to the Citadel of Cairo and the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha also know as the Alabaster Mosque.

The mosque was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali's eldest son, who died in 1816.

The beautiful mosque is situated in the Citadel of Cairo and was commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848.

Our group is already trying to beat the heat and gathering in the shade!

Thursday, July 13, 2023

My feet in Ancient Thebes!

We flew from Cairo to Luxor.  LUXOR!  

The city Luxor that now stands where the ancient settlement of Thebes was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras.

My inner history nut was soaking in every minute of standing in ancient spaces.  

Luxor.  Thebes. Karnak Temple.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Nile Cruisin'!

Doesn't a phrase like "Cruising the Nile' just bring to mind all kinds of Agatha Christie mystery novel possibilities? 

For me, this was the most enchanting part of our trip to Egypt.

We loaded onto our river ship, settled in and set sail.

We awoke each morning to the sound of the call of prayer coming from the banks of the Nile, the morning sun not having risen yet.

Early mornings were the best time of the day - and the only time I wanted to be up on top deck - the cool of the morning was wonderful and we enjoyed that sunrise signaling it was time to go down for breakfast and get our day started.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

All The Mississippi Gals!

Time flies way too quickly -

Whatever happened to those slow sweet days when summer seemed endless growing up?

Can we please make it last just a little bit longer?

Judy's Stitchers arrived on Thursday bringing their boundless energy and limitless creativity with them - filling the walls with creativity and the halls with friendship and laughter.

And I love that they brought both the hubster and me (And the doggos!) into their midst making us feel like we are all part of one enormous and boisterous quilty family.

And even though the forecast was for days of rain - that rain only happened in small amounts which cleared to beautiful weather and left the days fresh and cool.

All of this wonderful weather was much appreciated by those who had escaped the sweltering heat of those who had left the Mississippi Delta behind for a week away.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Sew Much Sewing Going On!

To be in the presence of so much creativity - it's bound to jump start even the most stalled out of us who have maybe lost our own sew-jo!

It's infectious in all of the good ways!

I spent the weekend coming and going between the QPO studio where I am catching up on things that were set aside during my month away, and visiting with Judy's Stitchers next door retreating away at the inn, making all o the pretty things and having a grand old time.

I love walking in to find the music playing and everyone singing along - just the best!

I zeroed right into these Cabin Corners blocks! Sew much scrappy fun!

Saturday, July 08, 2023

A Shiny New Paint Job!

I know I mentioned this - and you'll have to forgive the indulgence of this post but this is the best thing ever to happen to Quiltville Inn this year.

While visiting with friend Martha in May - I checked out the progress of the new paint job on her fabulous old farmhouse.  Lavender!  She had that beauty painted lavender!  And as the trim and railings were being painted - this sweet old farmhouse rivaled any of the gorgeous Victorian "Painted Ladies" of San Francisco.

If you've been to San Fran, you know what I mean. That is where my love affair with old houses first began. I grew up in San Jose.  I had dreams of one day owning the Winchester Mystery House, and all of those weekend trips up to San Francisco (only a 45 minute drive but when I was a kid it felt like HOURS away.)

But I digress.

Friday, July 07, 2023

2023 Leader & Ender Challenge: Oopsie Daisie!

Happy Friday, Quiltvillians!

Today is the day you've been waiting for - and so have I.

This is something that has been playing in my head for nearly a year - well at least since last Fall when one of my Quiltville Inn retreaters had an "Oopsie!" moment and we turned that lemon into lemonade!

Do you remember my Ditch Lilies quilt? It was such a fun one to make.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

Her Name Was Hatshepsut

If you thought that the title of Pharoah was only bestowed upon men, you would be wrong.

That said, the name Cleopatra may come to mind easily - but have you heard of Hatshepsut?

I hadn't!  Until my friend Terri who was coming along to Egypt with my tour told me about a podcast she listened to and found herself fascinated by the life of Hatshepsut who ruled over Egypt for the span of 18 years.

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

An Appalachian Parade!

We had a blast yesterday afternoon, hauling our lawn chairs down to a shady turn-out spot down highway 58 - the 2 mile stretch known as "Rugby."
Operation Independence Day Parade was about to begin!

We've been here for 6 years now. (How can that be?!) and truth be told, we don't know an awful lot of folks in our community.

And I know why.  We are so busy with our day to day lives - the hubster's telecommuting job from his  office-loft at home and our running of Quiltville Inn - Not to mention my quilting business and little mail order operation of the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

They keep us so busy that we don't give ourselves the opportunity to really meet the people in our area.

That is about to change!

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

It's a Quiet 4th!

Friend Martha came by yesterday - it was machine quilting day!

I hadn't ran the Intelliquilter system in something like 6 weeks or so - so there was once again, a bit of a learning curve when it came to advancing and getting the next patterns aligned and ready to go.

It is likely much more easy than I made it out to be for myself, but if you forget to click the right thing, it goes on to the next thing and I find myself backing out to go back at it again - talking myself through each step.

There is only one thing to do to remedy this situation -

Quilt More Quilts!

Monday, July 03, 2023

Valley of the Kings Day!

Hot air balloons were ascending into the sky - much bluer now that the remains of the sandstorm the day before our arrival was continuing to clear.

This was a magnificent sight - and I did my best to capture the balloons as they rose from beyond the window of our moving bus.

The time was barely 7am - we had left extra early to try to beat the heat of the day.

And it didn't seem to make much difference.  The sun rose anyway, and beat down on the parched earth.

"Drink more water!" said our Egyptologist guide, Yusef. 

Saturday, July 01, 2023

Gone To Giza!

"Pyramids Day" was a long awaited and looked forward to day for my Egypt group - me included!

I mean, when someone thinks EGYPT - what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Can you really grasp the concept of 2550 - 2490 BC?

And they made these incredible structures that have withstood nearly 5,000 years?

I felt like I was touching the ancients.

And once again the timeline of my own life is such a narrow blip on the history of this planet.