Monday, May 10, 2021

Extra! Extra! Read All About It

 Hello Everyone,

The latest edition of QUILTmania is out, and I feel so honored to have my Crossing the Pond quilt featured in their magazine.  

I love the way they choose to photograph my quilt.  The ship on the nightstand is a very special touch, adding so much interest. The fabric line is called Journey to America by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.  Click HERE, and you will go to Judie Rothermel's online shop.

I absolutely love the quilt on the cover of the magazine.  Click HERE for a link to QUILTmania.  This edition has many, many beautiful quilts included.  It is real eye candy, and is fun to read cover to cover.  The magazine also includes the directions for the featured quilts.

We treated ourselves to a picnic lunch at Lake Alpine yesterday.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, soaking up the sun, the beauty, and solitude of the lake.  We were quite alarmed at the low level of the lake.  Yes, there is still snow around, but we would be surprised if the snow melt is enough to raise the level of the lake a measurable amount.  The lake level is what we usually see in August.....not May.

Talk about tenacity, these trees are growing out of this huge boulder.  How do they get their nourishment?  How can their root system hold on for dear life during the hard winter up at this high elevation?  It's a mystery.

Where we go, Mazey goes.  She loved watching the ducks float by, and the birds flying overhead.  She's an outdoor girl like her mom.

It's back to work for me today on the BOM for Marcus Fabrics.  The borders are on, the backing is made, and I need to load it on my long arm.  I will do minimal marking on it today for my machine quilting.  I think I know what I'm going to do, but I may change my mind when it goes under the needle.


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day

Hello Everyone,

May you all have a wonderful day!

I think we are going to head up to the high country and go for a hike at Lake Alpine.  There's nothing like fresh mountain air, and beautiful vistas to make us appreciate where we live.

I hope you all have a wonderful day doing what you enjoy.



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Mini Quilt Show

 Hello Everyone,

I get a huge smile on my face when quilters send me pictures of what they've created from my patterns.  My friend Lynnette, sent me this picture of her gorgeous Grammy Squares quilt.

Lynette added her own special touches in each of the corners.  This also showcases the excellent quilting by Dianne Schweickert.

I love the little bird.

This is a picture of Lynnette with her award-winning bikini that she made and presented to me.  She said she was tired of making the blocks, and needed to do something fun, so she made me a Grammy Squares Bikini!  I love her sense of humor.  I also laughed at the fact that I would need about twenty of the blocks to go around me!  Mr. Joe visibly cringed when he thought about me wearing this.  It is going to stay on the dummy, and I don't mean me!

Yesterday, I received a question about a pattern order from Sherrie, the owner of  Painted Pony 'n Quilts in La Porte, TX.  She made Country Courthouse after she saw it in QuiltMania magazine.  The quilt is now on display in her shop, and I asked her if she could send me a picture.  Her quilt is gorgeous!

Both of the quilts that I'm showing you today are an excellent use of your scraps.  You can mix, match and throw just about everything in the mix.  I always tell my quilters not to stress when making a scrap quilt.  Use it all, and they work beautifully together. 

News on the BEAR front.  Another bear strolled by during breakfast the other day.  My sister and our friend Paula were here to see it. This bear was a little shy about having a picture taken, but let me tell you that it was big, it was golden, and it was in our yard.  Note to self:  Don't forget to take the airhorn when I go out for my walks. 

Now, news on the BOM front.  The blocks are almost all sew together and it is really starting to look like something.  I'll finish up the rows today, and start on the borders tomorrow.  Then I'll make the backing and get this quilt loaded on my longarm.  I've decided my least favorite part of quilting is stitching the rows together.  It takes me an eternity!   My second least favorite thing of quilting is loading the quilt on the longarm.  That takes me an eternity also.

Let's hum a few bars of....If you go down in the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise.  Sorry for the earworm, but it's what I will be humming today.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Crossing the Pond is Home

 Hello Everyone,

Just a quick post today.  I'm off to my sister's cabin for a mini-retreat with a couple of friends.  I just wanted to tell you that my Crossing the Pond quilt arrived back from France.  She was photographed for the May/June edition of QuiltMania magazine.  It is always such a relief when the quilts arrive safely to and from their destination.

The fabric is called Journey to America by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.  The fabric is available at Judie's online store Fabric Designer Judie Rothermel, Schoolhouse Quilt Shoppe  Judie also carries my pattern.  The patterns for all four of the quilts are available in my Etsy shop.

It was fun to hang some bright, Spring-looking quilts.

The quilt hanging over the bed is Country Romance.  The one on the wall is The House on Edgewood Lane.  The quilt on the bench is Spoken For.

It's heads down and full steam ahead with my secret sewing for Marcus Fabric BOM quilt.  There's a light at the end of the quilting tunnel.


Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Hodge Podge of Activity

Hello Everyone.

So much has been going on here at Wilder's Last Resort that I've not shared with you.  It's been a busy, fun, and hectic few weeks.  First off, let me introduce you to Yogi who decided to check out our deck this week, during daylight hours.

There have been many sightings of this bear in my neighborhood.  I think Yogi was looking for a pic-a-nic basket on the table.  

Yogi also likes to do a balance beam routine on the deck railing.  I guess he is smarter than the average bear.....even though he's not wearing his signature green hat, white collar and tie.

I was in the dining room at the computer with my back to the windows, when I heard a thump on the deck.  All pattern writing came to a screeching halt, and my heart rate elevated off the chart.  I grabbed the iPad and started taking pictures.  Mazey was completely oblivious to the bear.  Some watchdog she is!  I think my next quilt has to include a Bear Paw block.

Our grandsons spent their Spring Break with us.  We took them over to a skate park in Sonora, and took them to lunch at Covers Apple Farm and bought a mile high apple pie.  I LOVE this picture of the boys, and Mazey.  Let me tell you they made quick work of that pie!  

They spent a lot of time playing in the woods and constructed a fort.  If they had been here to see the bear, they probably wouldn't have stepped outside the cabin.

We kept them so busy all week, doing outside activities.  No video games, not much TV except to watch the new Godzilla vs. Kong movie. I was not a fan of that movie.  I kept waiting for Fay Wray to appear on the Empire State Building......didn't happen.

We took them to two skate parks so they could ride their scooters.  I'm now fluent in skate park lingo. I know what a vert wall is behind a quarter pipe. I always thought a "kickout" is what an irritated horse would do.

We went kayaking at White Pines lake which is just three miles down the road.  I love to kayak and be out on the open water.  The hardest part is getting in and out of the kayak.  I'm very pleased to report that my entrance and exit from the kayak did not involve any flatulence.  That would have been just too embarrassing in front of my grandsons.  

We went kayaking with our granddaughter and her new boyfriend a couple of summers ago.  I was mortified when I disembarked and, you guessed it! Once the laughter starts, forget about getting out of the kayak gracefully with any sense of decorum.

Yesterday, we drove to Plymouth for an antique truck show to see a friends trucks on display.  I love this picture of his truck.  The red truck is so striking next to the blue sky and clouds from the approaching storm.

This Politician's Wagon made me chuckle.

It's a manure spreader.  That says it all, and expresses my feelings about most politicians.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A Gorgeous Heritage Quilt

 Hello Everyone,

I love to receive emails and pictures from quilters around the country who've made my patterns.  When I opened this email from Dena in Wisconsin, my jaw dropped, and I uttered an audible gasp.  This is her gorgeous creation of my Heritage pattern.  

Here's Dena's email:
I just wanted to say thank you for this beautiful quilt pattern!  It was very easy to follow.  It is the first quilt I have finished and kept for myself!  I tend to make quilts and give them as gifts.  Some I have gotten very attached to, but I would never have been able to give this one away!  The colors were picked by my husband and I together.  I made it approximately 100" x 100", and hand quilted the entire top in between other projects.  It was on my frame for nearly 3 years!  I have received so many compliments!

Well, I couldn't give this quilt away....ever.  Take a close look at her incredible hand quilting.  This level of detailed quilting would be hard to do on a long arm.

I'm not a bit surprised that she has received many compliments on this show stopping heirloom quilt.

I love to see my patterns made in different colors.  The selection of batiks is just perfect for this design.

Thank you so much Dena for sending me the pictures.

On another note, I've been receiving emails asking if everything is okay since I've been so quiet over the past few weeks. I do appreciate your concern.  I've been doing a lot of secret sewing, pattern writing, and shop guide writing for the block of the month for Marcus Fabrics.  Just as soon as I can show you what I'm working on, I will.

I'm also trying to establish some balance in my life, and spend more quality time with Mr. Joe and Mazey.  We still go on our daily walks and stay out a bit longer than usual.  Sometimes the walls of my sewing room start to close in on me, and I need to step away from the machine.

While I've been doing so much sewing, I've been listening to Podcasts.  My favorite podcasts are American History Tellers and History That Doesn't Suck. I was always a good student, but I'm surprised at how much information I didn't retain.  The two podcasts refresh my failing memory...I do have a lot of tree rings at this age! The narrators make history interesting through their storytelling format. 

So I'm off to my sewing room for the day after I fill my Etsy orders.  The orders have top priority every single morning. 


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Happy Easter - Happy Spring

Hello Everyone,

I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and Happy Spring.  I do get out of the cabin occasionally, and one of those trips was a visit to Ironstone Winery in Murphys.  The grounds provided a great photo shoot for Mazey, as well as a wonderful area for us to take a walk through the flowers.

Thousands of daffodils, of many different varieties fill the area and line the walkways around the winery and through the trees.

I was playing around with the camera settings on my new phone, and snapped a picture of Mazey staring up at Joe.  She is the perfect model.

In honor of Spring, I'm having a Spring Fling sale on my Etsy site.  All patterns are 20% off for a limited time.  This is Party in the Garden, the perfect quilt to put on display Spring through Summer.  Click HERE to go to my Etsy shop.  I made this one several years ago, in fact I made it twice.

I've spent the last two weeks knee deep, literally knee deep in the 86 yards of fabric sent to me from Marcus Fabrics.  I'm working on all of the blocks for the upcoming Block of the Month.  I'm working my way through my directions, and shop cutting guide for quilt shops who decide to carry the BOM.  This is a big undertaking and a BIG deal for me.  It has to be 100% correct and it is extremely detailed.

I've made many, many components for the blocks.  I can't show them to you for a couple more months.  When I can, I'm going to flood the airwaves with pictures of the new design.  I can only tell you the name of the quilt is.....A Ribbon Runs Through It.  Now I'll leave it up to your imagination.

Next week we are going to have our two teenage grandsons with us for Spring Break.  We want to cherish this visit for a couple of reasons.  We know as soon as they get into High School, we will not be able to spend this much time together.  They will get all caught up in sports, FFA, cars, and girlfriends...not necessarily in that order.  We feel so honored they want to be with us.  Our young neighbor said we must be cool grandparents to have teenager grandsons who want to spend time with us.  To that I said YES, we are!


Friday, March 19, 2021

Lovey Dovey Progress

Hello Everyone,

I'd forgotten just how relaxing it is to work on an applique project.  I had so much fun going through my stash of Betsy Chutchian fabrics, and finding the perfect fabric for each petal and ribbon.

The paisley fabric for the birds' wing couldn't have been any better.

Today is going to be a red-letter day.  I looked up the meaning of a red-letter day and it is; a day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable.  Today is noteworthy because the FedEx truck is going to deliver my production samples from Marcus Fabrics. I will turn the production samples into the production of the new Block of the Month for the fabric company.  

The only problem is.....I can't show the fabrics to you yet.  Take my word for it, you will LOVE the new line from Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.

I'm going to clean up my quilting room this morning, and get ready to revel in the new fabrics.  I looked up the word revel and it is; to enjoy oneself in a lively and noisy way, especially with drinking and dancing.  So perhaps revel is not the appropriate word here.  How about I say that I am going to immensely enjoy working with the new fabrics, and make my new design come alive. Drinking and dancing will be optional.  Maybe I'll dance like no one is watching.  

The birthing process begins today.  It will be a labor of love.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Quilting Snow Day

Hello Everyone,

Mother Nature is keeping a tight grip on Winter in the Sierra Nevada range.  She doesn't want Spring to arrive just yet.  The best thing about snow, other than the fact that it fills our reservoirs, it makes the perfect day for quilting.

I made all of the first borders for Lovey Dovey. 

Remember all of the little 1-1/2" squares that I had on my butterfly board?  Well now they are all stitched together.  Mr. Joe calls this a butterfly board since I'm attaching all of the squares to cardboard with a pin, and have them on display like captured butterflies.  Ask you local quilt store if you can have an empty bolt, and then you can have a butterfly board too to wrangle all of the little squares.

I may work on the applique today.  I'll see what I feel like doing later on after breakfast.  I haven't appliqued in so long, I'm probably a bit rusty.

It was so snowy that I decided to move my sewing machine out of my sewing room, and set it up in the dining room.  Here I can have a 180 degree view of the snow.  An added benefit is that it is warmer too.

After a extremely snowy morning, the clouds parted in the afternoon, and treated us to beautiful, crystal blue sky.  All of the trees looked like collapsed umbrellas just waiting to deploy.  When they do decide to deploy, you have to be on the lookout or you'll get a load of snow dumped on you.  It's 23 degrees at this writing at 7:30am, so the umbrellas/trees will not be deploying into a full-blown trees until it warms up!

This is my favorite time after a storm.  It is so quiet, crisp, clear, and every branch and twig has been painted with snowflakes sparkling in the sun.

Now we can go for walks after dinner with the start of daylight savings.  This is the lake were we spend a lot of time during the summer with the grandkids.  Just the though of putting my big toe in that lake sends shivers up my spine.

Here is that same spot earlier in the day.  Mazey and I took a spin around the block before lunch during the height of the storm.  Mazey was doing her best impression of an Iditarod dog while she pulled me along the trail.  It was quite an exhilarating walk! 

I'm not quite ready for Winter to be over. I love a good storm as long as I don't have to drive in it.

I'll leave you this morning with a picture of a Dr. Zhivago sun and a landscape caught in the grip of ice and snow.  Of course there wouldn't be power, cable, or telephone lines in Dr. Zhivago!   


Friday, March 12, 2021

Mountain Musings

 Hello Everyone,

The calendar, and my daffodils are telling me Spring is right around the corner, but Mother Nature begs to differ.  We received another 6-8" of snow on Wednesday which makes for perfect quilting weather.  Mazey loves to frolic in the snow.  Her fur attracts powdery snow like a magnet, and she ends up with little snow dingleberries hanging from tummy to tail.

On Tuesday we headed out for a hike along the Arnold Rim Trail and watched the snowstorm roll up the spine of the Sierra Nevada mountains.   It's quite thrilling to watch the clouds, listen to the wind, and feel the temperatures plummet like a stone.  It makes all of your senses come addition to keeping a lookout for bears along the trail.  The closest we came to a bear was a large pile of recent scat.   Mazie's senses were on overload as she pulled at the leash while investigating every inch of the trail.  For every one mile that we hike, she travels at least three times more crisscrossing back and forth across the trail investigating under every fallen tree, and around every rock.

During the snowstorm, I spent time in my quilting room cutting 204, 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" squares for a project.  These little squares didn't make a noticeable dent in my Betsy bin.

I want to do a remake of my Lovey Dovey wallhanging.  This time I'm going to be using fabrics by Betsy Chutchian.  I also think this will be a good project for my three retreats later on this year.  That means I also have to write the pattern.

Speaking of pattern writing, that's what I've been working on for days/weeks now.  There is an elevated level of effort working on a pattern for a block of the month program.  The pattern is turning into a sizeable book.  I can't show you my design, but I can tell you about it.  The center of the quilt has 16 blocks, which are the same design, but the fabric placement is unique to each block.  So, each block requires its own page in the pattern.

I've been in constant contact with Marcus Fabrics while we develop this BOM together.  Seeing what goes on behind the scenes to bring a BOM to fruition, has been quite educational.  Marcus Fabrics pays great attention to every detail, and so do I.  I should be receiving the fabrics by the end of the month, and I can't wait to dig in and follow along with my directions.

This has been a busy time of year with the completion of the dreaded taxes.  We have to drive to the neighboring town to visit with our accountant and sign on the dotted line.  Pulling everything together was a huge job off of my plate, and I have a giant sense of relief that they are done!

I hope you have a great weekend.  Most likely between time spent at the computer writing directions, we will be taking a hike in the snow with Mazey and her dingleberries.