Tag Archives: garden

Floating Stars

Stars

My quilt guild makes patriotic quilts for returning vets. Much like Quilts of Valor, they are done in red, white and blue and many feature star blocks. With what fabric I had left of those colors, I made 15 floating star blocks that will be given to the guild member in charge of the patriotic quilts. At some point, at a workshop, these blocks will be incorporated into a quilt for a vet.

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When making these blocks, there are leftover cuts. After some playing, I put them together to make this cute mini.  I don’t have a red, white and blue quilt of my own, so I decided a mini would be perfect to put out on a table in July. And here it is – my little mini. Pieced, quilted and bound in one day – Woo Hoo!!  I love the blocks and how they went together!

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It has been a beautiful spring here in the Piedmont of NC – sun, rain, and not too hot. Much of my time is being spent in the garden, so….I will be taking a break for a couple of weeks and am looking forward to returning with lots of quilting excitement!

Lots Going On

Like everyone else, I have extra time at home because we are truly isolating.  This has led to accomplishments! First, I cut ALL my scraps.  Yowza! It was a lot!! Below are just the 1 1/2″ strips.

strips

Then, I completed ten face masks. There’s a thread out there that we may be required to wear them out soon, so I made one for each of my family.  I plan to make more for family, friends and neighbors. Honestly, I found these somewhat tedious to make, but also important to do. I did have a couple of 1,000 thread count pillow cases that we never used that I cut as the layer on the face.

Quilting and batik fabrics were used for the other two layers. Not only did I not have any elastic, but I understand that health professionals have said that the elastic is taking a toll on surface skin, so I used t-shirt material, cut one inch by 18 inches and pulled to make a cord.

face mask cords

At the November 2019 retreat, blocks were pieced by the retreaters.  I put those together for a Hospice quilt. Would really like to get this quilted in the next week.

Hospice 3

Social media has been wonderful during this time.  As the Quilt & Sew-In had to be cancelled, we have been doing an “on-line retreat.” It’s also so easy to text or face time with family and friends. Imagine isolation before internet – Yikes!

I truly pray that all of you are staying safe and happy. So glad it’s spring!

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!)

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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!

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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:

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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!