Saturday, August 24, 2019

Final Retreat Preparations

Hello Everyone,
Well it's now down to the wire.  The 35 retreaters will start arriving tomorrow to the small mountain community of Arnold.  My new Piney Woods pillow pattern is going to be a great reminder of our time spent together in the mountains.
We will all enjoy four days of non-stop quilting, laughing, chatting, and eating.  Some of the girls may decide to make a Piney Woods Pillow from one of the kits.

The kits for the retreat projects are packed and ready to be opened just like a shiny package on Christmas morning.

I may just have to keep one of these fat 1/8th bundles for myself!  I have a lot of these squirreled away.

My printer has been working non-stop making assorted boxes of note cards.  This is my shameless self promotion on my quilts designs.

We will hit the ground running at 9am Monday morning.  The sewing machines will start churning away, and the making of new friendships will begin. 

UPDATES On life:

Thank you for your concerns for Mr. Joe.  He is now puttering around the cabin and he thinks he will survive.  All threats for my placing him in a full body cast have now been cancelled.

I've had to let go of the idea of stacking the fire wood.  When it comes down to just doesn't matter.

A bear cub was outside the other night calling to mama.  It sounded just like a little baby crying wait for me mom!

My sister Gail had another surgery for her breast cancer on Thursday.  This time the surgeon didn't let her off of the operating table until they made sure the margins were clear. Our cousin is with her since I couldn't be there.  Gail is doing great, and plans on arriving at the cabin tomorrow. She will be at the retreat with bear bells on!


P.S. I will place all of the leftover kits and bundles from my retreats and my show in my Etsy shop the beginning of November. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Saga Continues

Hello Everyone,
In my last post I mentioned that two cords of firewood were scheduled to be delivered.....and it arrived Wednesday.  We started stacking as soon as it cooled down outside.  We barely made a dent in the pile that appears to be as high as Mt. Everest.

Well then yesterday, my dear Mr. Joe tripped over the cord to his sander and did the splits.  He limped, crawled is more like it, down to the cabin covered in man-glitter (sawdust).  He was a mess!  No broken bones, or at least nothing was protruding through the skin (my professional diagnosis), but he threw his back out.  Boy howdy did he throw his back out! 

So guess who is stacking wood now? In addition to finishing up everything for the retreat! Last night after dinner, I got him all settled in his chair with his ice bag and pills and proceeded to attack the woodpile like any good wife.  Ha!  I just want it out of the driveway before the retreaters show up!

Well, that lasted just one small load of eight logs when Mazie alerted me to an intruder...or two.  She took off like a shot across the street and I saw something big and brown move through the trees and brush toward her.  For the first time in her life, she obeyed the command to COME!  Could it have been the extreme urgency in my voice?  I started to back up while keeping my eye on the bear, then the two of us hightailed it back to the safety of the cabin.  I grabbed my iPad and snapped these pictures as the mama and baby bear calmly walked away in front of the neighbor's house. 

Mr. Joe suggested I was manufacturing the incident to get out of stacking wood.  Then I showed him the pictures. After about a half hour he said he thought it was safe for me to go back outside. His full body cast should come off by Christmas.

At this rate, we won't be sitting by a cozy fire this winter during a snowstorm.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Sew'n Wild Oaks Retreat Preparations

Hello Everyone,
So here's what I've been doing over the past few days......kits, kits, and more kits for my retreats, and next show.  I have kits ready for my Country Bumpkin table topper.

Lot's of kits.  This is something I will be teaching at the retreat next week.

I have over 150 little kits for Lucy Boston blocks for the class next week at the retreat and my next show.

Here are just some of the blocks I have ready.

150 kits to be exact!

Along with all of the retreat preparations, my dear husband (and I use that term loosely) decided to re-surface the island in the kitchen.  Keep in mind he's been talking about doing this for YEARS!  Since 2004 to be exact.

Off came the old tiles.  What a mess!

On with the slab-o-tree.  He has been sanding, sanding, and sanding some more on this giant of a tree.  You should have seen the circus of us getting this 250-300 pound tree down the hill from the garage into the cabin.  I'm sure the squirrels and bears were laughing at us.

This is blue pine which matches all of the doors in the cabin. It does look gorgeous and really makes a statement in the great room.  Now I'm afraid to use it.  Be assured I will not be using this island as a cutting table ever again.

What is it with men????  A few years ago we almost became stars on Divorce Court.  I was in the middle of preparations for a wedding shower at the city house when Mr. Joe hired a contractor to remove ALL of the popcorn ceilings in the entire house.  All of the plastic was removed from the walls the DAY BEFORE THE SHOWER!!!  No stress, not one little bit.
We've survived the latest home improvement.....barely.  Now yesterday, he decided to order two cords of wood because he wants to be prepared for winter. The acorns are falling and the squirrels are making mincemeat of the pinecones. Early winter maybe?  BUT, the wood is being delivered today! Do you know how long that is going to take us to stack???  So, my dear quilt retreaters, Mr. Joe thinks it will be a great idea to go on a field trip to the cabin next week, and stack wood.  If everyone carried five pieces of wood down the hill, we would be way ahead of the game.  MEN!
Soon.....maybe.....if I'm not in jail for murder,

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Sew'n Wild Oaks Was In Session

Hello Everyone,
Last Monday and Tuesday we had a great time in the classroom at In Between Stitches in Livermore, CA.  We had two fun-filled days of laughter, camaraderie, and quilting......let's put a heavy emphasis on the laughter part.
I'll start of the parade of pictures with colorful Lil' Orphan Scrappy blocks.  They are so pretty in bright fabrics...... well as reproduction fabrics.

Here's one completely finished Row-Mancing Alaska.  Look at the baby bear paws in the second row from the bottom.  The babies are following the mama's.  So cute!

This top just needs borders.  I love the way the girls each put their own spin on my pattern. 

Here are some midnight sun blocks.

More Row-Mancing blocks strategically worn.

Laurie finished her Country Sunshine quilt using Jo Morton fabrics.  A beautiful finish.

Irene is fussy cutting the design in the middle of her 9-patch blocks for Cute as a Button.

Here's Jodie's Country Sampler quilt coming together.

She has all of her components placed on her block layout sheets ready for stitching.

Kathy took a class and learned how to make this adorable scissor holder.  This is heirloom quality.

There is always so much sharing of ideas in the classroom.


Now we have the quilt parade.  Wendy hand embroidered her Halloween quilt.  We've been watching this one grow block by block and now she's almost done.

Suzanne's stitches are gorgeous.

 Melody was traveling in their trailer this summer and had a lot of finishes to share.  This one is called Beach Bum.

Marti and Jodie finished a T-shirt quilt to the amazement of Jodie's husband!

Thanks to this trio, we really got the giggles. Nancie's blocks were beautiful as well as these three goofballs!

Then came the "strippers" humming a bump and grind song.  The giggles, turned to belly laughter.

What happens at the quilt shop, stays at the quilt shop.  Well not really.  It is just too good not to share it with everyone.
My Sew'n Wild Oaks girls are so much fun.  I look forward to seeing them every month because I know a good time will be had by all.  There is so much love in the room you can feel it, embrace it, and carry it in your heart for the rest of the month.  I love my girls.
I've been knee-deep in retreat preparations.  Thirty-five quilters start rolling into town beginning this Sunday.  They flock to the mountains every year at this time just like migrating geese.  I will post what I've been working on.  My dining room is filled with boxes and bolts of fabric waiting to be cut into kits.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
P.S.  All of my patterns that are in the first part of this post are available for purchase in my Etsy shop by clicking HERE.  Orders over $35 are eligible for free shipping.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Heritage Kits

Hello Everyone,
Heritage kits are almost sold out!

Click HERE if you are interested in the last two Heritage kits using Cassandra fabric by Robert Kaufmann.  The kits are available at Hancock's online.

I think I makes up beautifully in this fabric line.  If you miss out on the kits, you can always put your own kit together with this wonderful line of fabric.

I'm off to Livermore today to teach for the next three days.  I'm teaching Patchwork Math tomorrow, then I get to meet with my Sew'n Wild Oaks girls on Monday and Tuesday.  It is always a fun time.

I'm still making kits for my retreats and quilt show.  It seems as though it is never ending. We haven't been able to eat at the dining room table for weeks.

We spent a wonderful three days with four of our grand kids.  Keeping up with two 11 year old boys and two 16 year old girls can be exhausting!  I've never played so many hands of cards and Apples to Apples. They all have hollow legs and ate us out of house and home.   We had a great time together.  The house sure got quiet when they went back home.  Mazey is totally depressed since her "kids" aren't here.  She was busy with them every minute of the day, and had a slumber party with them every night.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Finessing the Figures

Hello Everyone,
I'm teaching Finessing the Figures A.K.A. Patchwork Math at In Between Stitches this Sunday in Livermore, CA.  I have three openings available for the class.  Click HERE to sign up for the class.  Never be afraid of quilting math again!

You will learn the math behind the components and then be able to make them any size you want.

This is such an interesting sashing and it is so easy to make.

 Doesn't it look great as a frame around this block?

This block looks more complex than it really is.  The block is comprised of the components above.  You will learn how to works with stripes and get them all going in the same direction.

Click HERE for blocks and tutorials for Country Corners.  This will give you more ideas for blocks and different layouts. 

This class will give you more tools in your quilting toolbox, and you will be able to expand your skill as a quilter.  My Patchwork Math book is available by clicking HERE.

Come on down to the shop for a fun, and painless way to learn quilting math.



Monday, August 5, 2019

Know When to Hold'em

Hello Everyone,
Know when to fold'em.  If you've been wondering what I've been up to......well here you go.  I'm thigh high in preparations for my Sew'n Wild Oaks retreat the end of this month.  After that I have the Mountain Heirloom Quilt Faire, then my second retreat.  All three of these major events call for a ton of product.  I had to call in the troops to help with all of the cutting, folding and packaging. 

Here are the fat 1/8th fans.  Thirty six different fat 1/8th's per fan.  Over 100 yards of fabric needed to be cut and folded into these attractive fans.

Here are just some of the fans on display.

I couldn't have done this without the help of my sister Gail, and my other "sisters" Paula, and Karen.  They worked so hard for three days to turn yardage into kits, bundles, and fabric fans.  They worked tirelessly with smiles and laughter.  There was a bit of food too!

It takes a long time to cut 108 yards of fabric into fat 1/8th's.  The day before, we cut another 100 yards of fabric into 2-1/2" strips for the Cute as a Button kits. Our rotary cutters were smoking hot!

We worked into the evening.  As you can see, Paula has collapsed onto the piles. 

We all worked so well together.  I showed them what needed to be done and they did it.  We were a well orchestrated group. The girls boxed 640 note cards into boxes.  The printer was running constantly until I ran out of note card paper.

Here are some of the Cute as a Button kits, boxes of note cards, and kits for Lucy Boston blocks.  My great room turned into the great packing, cutting and folding room.  We had tables all over and we had to wind our way through the stacks of stuff.  One of us even tripped and fell over the piles.  I'm not mentioning any names, but we cut her off from the Margarita machine!

It wasn't work, work, work all the time.  We started our weekend off with a drive up the mountain to attend a concert at the Bear Valley Music Festival.  We saw Joel the Band, a Billy Joel tribute band that captivated us from the first note to the last.  I would definitely go back to see them again.  The concert set the tone for our weekend as we listened to the Billy Joel channel on Pandora for three days.  We are fans of the band, and I guess we could be considered a groupie.

I still have more to do to get ready for the first group of 36 quilters for my retreat at Snowflake Lodge the last week of August.  I feel so much more prepared now thanks to the help of my quilting sisters.  Their hard work is going to make it easier for me to sleep at night.

The fun continues today as four of the six grandchildren will be here for the next three days.  Some of them are too young to use a rotary cutter.....darn.  We will be spending our time outside at the lake and in the pool.  They love to shoot the air rifle at targets and cans.  We will play games until the cows come home into the wee hours.  We will take them home exhausted and filled with memories of time spent at the cabin with Grammy and Poppy.  We will be napping for most of Thursday.