Thursday, November 30, 2023

When Quilts Don't Fit...

I got caught up in the webbing yesterday.

And yes, this is a continuation of where I left off in yesterday's post so if you are new or missed it, you might want to flip back and catch up HERE.

It's not that the webbing of this top was difficult - that went just as expected with no upsets other than the usual "ran out of bobbin at the beginning of that column and didn't find out until much later..." (Like you've never had that happen - right?!)

This is the first quilt I've set this way - with longer sashings and shorter sashings and cornerstones.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Design Floor Update!

Reach and bend, and stretch and place and pivot and rearrange -

I'm a bit stiff this morning - I'm not lying!

I'm catching you up with where we left off in yesterday's post on the progress of my current all-consuming string quilt project.

I know several folks were leaning toward darker colors for sashing - but I don't want a dark quilt.

I want something bright and happy to get me through the winter months.

I live in a log cabin - my walls are wood-colored.  Things can look a bit dark, and I need some sparkle.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Lost In The Strings...

What was I thinking?

I already had two other projects kicking off....the red/gray/neutral cardinal inspired star thing (That I'll jump right back into once the string thing is off the floor) and the Arizona sunset thing I couldn't wait to jump into after taking those gorgeous sunset photos from the top of South Mountain while visiting my dad.

I just really don't usually do this.  Get wheels spinning in too many directions - it makes me feel like I can't accomplish anything.

I admire folks who can have 97 project boxes with different things in progress, but my OCD/ADHD hyper-focusing brain just doesn't let me go that direction.  I need to see things completed at least on some fronts before I can move into another direction.

That all went out the window over Thanksgiving week with the NEED - I mean, really - A NEED to just mindlessly go to town on something.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Double Quilty Gift-Away!

Monday after Thanksgiving - and all weekend long I was a day or two off.

For the first time in what seems like forever, I had a full long holiday weekend of real relaxation and no worrying of what was to come next or things that had to be done, or people to be checked in on over that the inn.

It was truly wonderful and I hope you were able to do things like stay in your jammies a bit longer, enjoy that second leisurely cup of coffee, watch a bit of tv not worrying about deadlines - and of course stitch some on Part One of our Indigo Way Mystery.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Thanksgiving Weekend in the Strings!

Did yesterday feel like Sunday to anyone else but me?

Today feels like Monday, and it's only Saturday.

I think there was so much build up to Thanksgiving, and then yesterday's Part One release of our Indigo Way Mystery - I've just been all kinds of "What day is it anyway?!"

Not that more weekend is a bad thing.  It's great for sewing - only I must confess that my Arizona Sunset project and the Cardinal inspired other project have been set aside for a bit until I finish something up.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

On Thanksgiving Eve

Hi there!

I'm writing this on Wednesday evening so as to leave my own Thanksgiving Day pretty much media - free as I step away to enjoy our very small community Thanksgiving.

There are just the two of us here at home - Jason is in Oregon, Jeff and his family are sharing their holiday with Ashlyn's family this year.

My house is full of the delicious aroma of pies baking. Or should I just call it custard?

The Hubster is not only gluten free, but has never liked pie crust and tends to leave it sitting there filling-less on his plate.  So why bother?

We just skip the crust and get to the good stuff, with a big helping of  whipped cream on top.

Calm Before The Storm -

Thanksgiving week.

I think back to all of the big family gatherings we had while I was growing up.

All of the traditions - food, family, fun.

It's a nostalgic feeling. A warm feeling.

The arrival of Thanksgiving always somehow feels like the gateway to the holiday season, but it still gives me permission to slow down - just a bit. A Calm before the holiday storm.

My own feelings of the origins of Thanksgiving, as they came to light - the real story - (Time magazine article HERE.) and the things I think about during Thanksgiving have changed.  A bit.

That myth of a community of pilgrims and natives dining happily together? Nope.  And this is a hard thing as the Hubster's 9th great grandfather is William Bradford.  Yes, THE William Bradford of Mayflower fame. My sons are 10th great grandsons.

The focus of being grateful (The THANKS part) is still here. It's a day of gratitude, of family, food, movie binging with perhaps some hand quilting in progress, and pie.

But I think it is also important to focus on the second part of the word.  The GIVING part.

We can't change what happened 400 years ago. We can only change what we do today and forward.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Sparking Inspiration -

What sparks your inspiration when it comes to choosing colors for a quilt project?

For me the answer is simple - EVERYTHING.

Every little thing from the fresh veggies in the grocery store, to a field of flowers, to the colors of a magnificent Arizona sunset.

From the ocean to the mountains to...everything!

In this case it is this photo that struck me while cleaning up the remains from my current Kiwi project, also made with remains of our soon-to-start Indigo Way Mystery.

I seem to soon be sewing up all of the red - after just being on a blue jag throughout our Star of Hope (which also took care of the blue leftovers from my own Indigo Way Mystery.  

What goes round, comes round and is a great way to clean up the cutting table!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Drive-By Wreath Drop Off!

Yesterday's arrival at the QPO Studio, and subsequently Quiltville Inn was a bit delayed by my side trip to the USPS to drop off two bins of outgoing mail.

And when I did arrive to feed and check in with Tula (Who is right as rain and was wondering what took me so long to serve her breakfast!) I go in the back way - up the drive, and to the back door, not the front door.  It wasn't until FedEx had dropped off a package that I saw this beauty!

This gorgeous wreath is made by Judy Clayton - 

I love that they come all the way from Indiana to Mouth of Wilson VA to load their trailer and big panel van up with fresh Christmas trees to haul back to their Garden Center in North Webster, IN.
I'm just sad that I missed their sneaky delivery and missed out on hugs and catching up.

Friday, November 17, 2023

From There To Here.

Happy Friday!

It's not like Friday's are much different than any other day around here.

But I remember the feeling of "What a relief! It's Friday!" that the end of a school week would bring - or on those rare occasions when I worked a Monday to Friday job with the promise of a weekend off.

Come to think of it - that only happened for a short few months when I was working as a massage therapist at a Chiropractor's office.  

It seems I have worked weekends - at least part of them - through my entire life as being under the banner of "self employed."

I still use Fridays as a marker in a way - looking back at the things I've accomplished or made progress on in the past week.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Back Home.

Hi everyone!

This is the view outside my sliding glass door to my basement studio/office at home....and I am so happy to be greeted with sunshine this morning.

As we were driving home from Bristol TN last night I kept watching the thermometer on the car dash drop and drop and drop - at once point reaching below freezing.

It's quite the shock to a body who has been in the Arizona desert over the past week!

But no matter how much I loved warm temps and being with my dad - there really is truly no place like my own home to come home to.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

South Mountain Sunset

There is nothing prettier magnificent than an Arizona sunset.

The sky lights up with color in ways that I haven't seen on the East coast.

I had mentioned earlier about a set of circumstances we had dealt with over the time that I've been here, and I am happy to let everyone know that everything worked out, and we were able to actually get out and do some things for the remainder of my stay.

What happened? 

Monday, November 13, 2023

Keaton Quilts Gift-Away!

Good morning Quilty Friends!

I'm still in Arizona - heading home on Wednesday.  More to tell you on that -

But this morning I wanted to jump start your week with a fantastic gift-away!

"New York New York - It's a Wonderful Town..." (Can you hear me squawk-singing this morning?)

And now it is made even better by Justin Stafford's dream of bringing a full featured quilt shop experience to you right there in the Big Apple.

I love cheering folks on with their dreams, the bigger the better.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Gonna Need More Hexies!

Good morning, all -

It's Friday morning and 8:30am Phoenix time and all is still quiet here.

How is it that a body can still feel so tired after doing little more than watching TV all day?

This is just not my usual, and it throws me for a loop.

My ADHD is in hyper-drive and I'm doing all I can to just relax into the moment and go with the flow as the saying goes.

Dad is recovering from a bad cold that has laid him flat for a week.  I'm cutting him a great big break and he deserves it - he'll be 84 in February.  It takes longer to recover and aging is progressing as it will for all of us who are lucky enough to live long enough to experience it.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

Arizona Bound-

Good morning from Sun Lakes, Arizona!

I'm surprised I made it to 6:30am before rolling out of bed - but then my body clock decided it was really 8:30 at home time so here I am.

I'm just sitting here writing at my dad's little dinette table while he sleeps a while longer.

It's great being here - but it was also great getting here!

Everyone needs a friend like Martha who knows every back road and interesting piece of history.

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Threads that Bind, and Dice that Roll!

The house is quiet.

Everyone headed out yesterday morning to make their ways home.

Can you believe that even the fall decor was packed away, and holiday fare is taking its place?

There was no time like the present - and only one day to get started - on switching things over for the last retreat group of our 4th Quiltville Inn retreat season taking place the first weekend of December just a few weeks away.

But I'm getting ahead of myself - there was so much retreat fun to be had while we were still enjoying early November!

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Patchwork & Ponies!

Yes we did!  We broke away from the machines, projects, and a kitchen full of wonderful eats to drive on up to Grayson Highlands in search of wild ponies.

The November groups rarely get great weather like this.  It was meant to be enjoyed and savored!

We have some New Yorkers with us - and even a Montanan.  This kind of weather in the mid 60s is a rare November treat and we were up for some hiking, some talking and laughing, and soaking up as much vitamin D as we could.

Those endorphins released while we took our steps in the fresh air would carry us through many hours of late night sewing.

Monday, November 06, 2023

All Weekend Long -

Pardon the dirty windshield photography - I was returning from the USPS building 3/4 a mile up the road and found myself trying to catch up to this tree hauler before I had to turn into the drive -

Yes, you can see the turret to Quiltville Inn on the upper right of this photo.

TREES!  Every 3 minutes - all weekend long - Christmas Tree harvest is in full swing in beautiful downtown Mouth of Wilson, Virginia (Which is this intersection you see in front of you.  LOL!)

That also means we are on the lookout for *road kill* trees - those that roll off the back of trucks and just need to be rescued and given a home for the holiday season.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Glimpses -

Yesterday - 3pm on the back porch.

I'll never turn down an invitation when it includes sunshine and afternoon warmth (Well, it's November at about 60 degrees, but I'll take it!) and charcuterie!

When did we start using such a boujee term like charcuterie? (or boujee for that matter?!)

In my old age I would simply call this lovely spread "Veggie Tray with Cold Cuts & Cheese."  LOL

Friday, November 03, 2023

Let the November Games Begin!

The November Quiltvillians are my last Quiltville Inn retreat group before  my own Thanksgiving break which starts WEDNESDAY!

While I know loads of folks who take the entirety of Thanksgiving week off - or start at Thanksgiving and go into the first week of December, I have to adjust things a bit because let's face it - Mystery season starts the day after Thanksgiving and traveling to visit family during Thanksgiving week is a complete madhouse.

How often have we seen news stories of folks trapped in places like Chicago because flights are cancelled due to snow?  Mobs of people.  Too many people.

So I have claimed the time between the second weekend of November and Thanksgiving as family time, and I'll be back in time to kick off the mystery on the 24th.

So we are ALL celebrating - and it feels like the week before school lets out.

Thursday, November 02, 2023

It's Been A Week Of Crazy -

I took these photos a week ago - after needing to pull myself away from the Silk Path edits.

I needed some sunshine and to move my body - I'd been sitting at my computer for hours.

High of 74?  I wish I could have that now!  It never left the 20s yesterday and it was another 23 degree morning when I woke up this morning.

The kind of morning where you only want the coffee so you can hold the cup and warm up your hands.

But last week?  I knew it was going to likely be my last opportunity and I made a quick escape.

Just me and the cows, you know?  "Mooooove on along...." they said. So I did.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Bye-Bye October!

October blew out of here on a breeze that went from balmy to brutal overnight!

I woke up this morning to 23 degrees.  Can I please have a do-over?  Where do I make a return? Can I swap this one for a different one? Do not recommend.

As you can see from the above photo we've got a bit of an action shot going on.

While quilted and bound quilts have a bit more weight to them, the newly finished quilt tops were adjusting their sails and ready for take off.  LOL!

But what an array of beautiful quilts to behold!