Tag Archives: flowers

No Sew Blue Ridge Getaway

It’s been hot – really hot! An overnight to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Village of Blowing Rock were definitely in order! It has become our “go to” get away destination. And, sometimes it’s a good thing to get away from the sewing studio!

We began at the Moses Cone park where there is quite a choice of hiking trails. We chose the Flat Top Trail which was just under five miles leading up to a fire tower and then back to the parking lot. The incline, thankfully, was gradual and having the fire tower as a destination made it just a bit more fun. The views along the way were spectacular! Coming back down was a breeze but I must admit, we were grateful to have a sit down in the car!

Just a few minutes away in downtown Blowing Rock we checked into our hotel, Meadowbrook Inn.  I love this place. It’s where I host the two Quilt & Sew-In retreats each year. I started out our stay with a swim in the indoor pool. The water temp was perfect and there wasn’t any harsh chemical smell. After a sinfully long hot shower we went to the outdoor terrace and enjoyed some bubbly before heading down the street for dinner.  There is quite an array of excellent restaurants to choose from all within walking distance and then more that you can drive to.

The rooms are all updated, lovely and very comfortable. Never have I experienced such a friendly and helpful staff. The complimentary breakfast is unlike I have ever experienced at a hotel before. And there’s a variety – the menu changes! Also, I attended an event there this spring and the chef is very talented. Outside there is a pond that is home to several ducks – duck food is available and they are fun to feed. (I am not paid for this revue – I just truly love this establishment!)

img_1422

The next morning we walked along downtown before the shops opened – it was a bit like having the place to ourselves! I do want to mention, however, that there are great shops in BR.  Flowers love the cooler temps and the rain the area gets. It’s all just so beautiful. I have always admired the Episcopal church and its garden. One of these days I’m going to get to see the inside!

img_1425.jpg

img_1424.jpg

We then headed to Bass Lake, about a three minute drive from Main Street, for a one mile walk around the lake before heading home. Ahhh. refreshed! We’ll need to stay two nights next time!

Back to home to quilt and sew now that I’m refreshed!

#MeadowbrookInn   #VillageofBlowingRock

Post Retreat + Enjoying my Passions

After being home a week, I’ve finally made it to the computer to do a wrap up of my somewhat productive sewing at a quilt retreat I attended in South Carolina.  I began the week full steam ahead by making string blocks for a border that I cut into fours. I then paired each with a white on white square and made half square triangles.  All of my notes were at home (why oh why??) so I just made bunches!  This is the quilt top I was preparing the border blocks for:

image-10.jpeg

These are the border blocks, not yet attached to the quilt:

image-8.jpeg

And these are the leftovers! They will make a sweet little quilt. I will either add a couple of border to make it a baby quilt or add to it to make a lap quilt. That is a decision to be made at a later date.

image-9.jpeg

Following my “string fling” I just piddled.  I did some pinning, some sewing, but didn’t really attack anything else with much vigor. Mostly I enjoyed my time away and being with an awesome group of quilters!

What’s really been keeping me busy is the great outdoors.  I am in the process of dividing my ferns. They are truly glorious this year! And tree work was done in our yard and this pile of mulch was the result. I can only load a few wheel barrels a day and do the spreading. Hubby cut this pile of wood and we’ll need to get a log splitter to finish the job. This is not fun yard work.

There is also much weeding to be done. I attack it a bucket at a time and have the wonderful ability to look past the weeds and enjoy the pretty plants and flowers. Fortunately, my one side bed manages to stay weed free!

 

The temperatures here have been glorious so I am enjoying the outdoors fully.  I will sew more when it becomes very hot – mid to high 80’s and gardening do not go well together for me!

Embrace ALL your Creative Passions!

Gifts!

Gifts are fun – especially when given by someone special.  A friend recently came to stay for an overnight play date (yes, quilting of course!).  She brought me her farm fresh eggs – no picture as they didn’t last very long! If you’ve never had farm fresh eggs, let me tell you that they are the best! The shells are fun because they’re not plain white, the yolks are a deep yellow and denser, and the sizes are big, big, big!

My friend has a farm in South Carolina – Fox Trot Farm in Lancaster. Touring the farm is fun and a great time to spend in the country. As their website states, they have:

Grass Fed Lamb, Fresh Eggs, Honey, Soap, Tours, & Farm Fun!

Honey, oh my! Not only is it fresh and yummy, I love the bottle and label!

thumbnail_img_12102-medium.jpg

Cord holders – I’ve been meaning to make these handy little things for some time now but somehow have never gotten around to it. I put them to use right away. Awesome!

IMG_1214 (Medium)

Knitted dishcloth – love these.  This one has now been used several times – didn’t even get a pic when it was brand new. Mine have a lot of wear and tear  so this is very welcomed.

thumbnail_IMG_1208[1] (Medium)

AND…I know, more – right?!  This beautiful embroidered towel. I do like dragonflies and have a few scattered about the house and she noticed!

IMG_1222 (Medium)

Thank you for these wonderful gifts that keep on giving!

Spring here in the NC Piedmont continues to delight. Temps have been perfect too! It’s also had me gardening and doing a bit less quilting.

A Touch of Elegance

Retreat info

Several years ago I made a pretty set of pillowcases for our bed and hubby loved them. How disappointing when one met its demise. He asked for another set! What a nice break to do some easy and quick sewing. I did them on my Jazz because it sews really fast – 1,000 stitches a minute!  The first set I did is rather bold  and fancy and goes with our burgundy set of sheets.

PC 4 (Medium)

Next I chose a print to go with our turquoise set. It seemed a bit plain until they were all together and on the bed – a great look!

PC 3

For the third set, I chose this feather print. It goes with our gray set of sheets and is really quite elegant. Pillowcases are also a great way to use up yardage that you may not necessarily use in a quilt.

PC 1 (Medium)PC 2 (Medium)

Funny how the little things can make a difference. Now I’d like to make a few sets for our guest beds (but after I finish another quilt or two!)  (NOTE:  All the fabrics used in these pillowcases were prewashed)

Spring has definitely sprung here in the Piedmont. Every day there is an explosion of growth and color – absolutely my favorite time of year. The pollen is the downside, but so overshadowed by the wonderful goodness. Here for 34 years, and have not yet taken it all for granted!

Spring (Medium)

 

Leaders/Enders Progress

It’s amazing how quickly a quilt top goes together when using leaders and enders.  I placed this L/E project at my sewing machine the beginning of the year and now I have the main section together! I set aside all my 1 1/2″ green strips and sewed them all around the outside.

C2388FFE-B34C-4648-9AAD-3D9BD0F147B1

Now I will continue to piece the L/E’s and make a border of two squares across and as many down as needed for the sides, top and bottom.

4cd01955-bdfd-4bbc-8114-15ef719fc476.jpeg

Unfortunately, I haven’t made much progress on those because I have been doing  string quilt piecing on a foundation which is not L/E friendly and at another machine I have been paper piecing which is also not L/E friendly.  But that’s okay – there are many more projects in the wings!

Although, this happened today (it was scheduled, not a surprise) so now there is much neglected yard work to get to. I had been putting it off until the tree work was all done. It has been a glorious spring bloom this year, so I know it’s all worth it!

February & Another Finish!

It’s such a joy when many hands come together to make and finish a Hospice quilt. This quilt top was donated by a reader. I love the pieced border pattern! I prepared the backing and batting and then Judy (Goneaway Quilting) beautifully did the machine quilting. To finish it off I bound this pretty and peaceful lap quilt. May the recipient enjoy many hours of warmth with this quilt which was put together with love and caring.

0e4e7989-48bf-4902-bd83-fed1e76f1b53.jpeg

Lesson Learned:  When donations come in, I must put the donor’s info on a piece of paper and attach it to the donation. This will now happen with ALL future donations!  This quilt top was donated but I do not know by whom.  If you are the talented and generous donor, please let me know!

Mystery Solved – This quilt top had been sent to Jo’s Country Junction and Jo then sent it on to me. I do now know who the original donor is but do not yet have her permission to post her name. Our Hospice group is SO very grateful for this beautiful quilt!

February was not one of my more productive months. I did attend a retreat where I got a fair amount of sewing done. All the rain has made me want to curl up near the fire and read – not a bad thing. A huge bonus has been all the beautiful spring flowers!

 I also did a lot of cleaning up and reorganizing in the studio which is very important to me. Now I’m ready to storm through March!

Feb WIPs

More Than Quilting #2

Not a lot of time spent in the garden, just every now and then I get inspired to go out and do some work. We had this cutie with us for a week so much of my time was concentrated on her. She is a Cock-a-Poo puppy. Sweet, playful, smart and obedient and cute, cute, cute! Don’t think, however, I have it in me to go the puppy route again.

 

Finally the rains came and gave the ground a good soaking. The hardy amaryllis loved it. The leaves come up in spring, die back and then stalks appear what seems like overnight and these beautiful flowers bloom in just a few days. I love surprise flowers in the garden!

 

Here’s an even bigger surprise – I had NO idea that Elephant Ears have a bloom! This year I had four bulbs that I wintered in the house and two were planted in a large pot. The one is gigantic! The second was a baby bulb and is being dwarfed by the bigger. The leaves are huge and it must be really, really happy because there it was – a bloom! And a second one a week later! Now I’ll be wanting one every year!

image

One by one the hostas are blooming and thankfully, the few I have planted in the ground are not being devoured by voles. Years ago I planted most of my hostas in pots after losing about 40 plants to voles. The last indoor/outdoor cat we had left us in the spring some years ago and was the greatest vole hunter of all time. We actually kept count and when she left us that spring, she had already gotten 60.  Yikes! What we really need are a couple of black snakes to reside in the garden.

Not a clue what these pretty red flowers are called.  I think they’re some kind of spider lily.  They too pop up overnight and have such an intense red bloom.  Fun to see one in bloom in the compost pile! I’ll be relocating that one as soon as the bloom is done.

 

The temps are beginning to cool and the acorns, still green, are hitting the ground. It will be leaf blowing season before I know it. I’ll try to embrace it!