Sunday, March 19, 2023

Hearthstone Fabric Collection

 Hello Everyone,

I was so excited when I discovered my fabric collection in the 'Coming Soon' section on the Fat Quarter Shop website. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see this collection coming to fruition.

I am the face to this fabric, but there are many other faces behind the scenes that made this happen.  Yes, I came up with the concept, the colors, and the inspiration, but the talented graphic artists at Marcus Fabrics brought it to life.  I couldn't have done this without their guidance and help.

There were many zoom calls, emails back and forth changing this and that.  It has been so educational for me to learn about the ins and outs of fabric design.  Now I can't wait to start on my next fabric collection!

I've been very quiet lately on my blog, but very busy behind the scenes.  I had a very long to-do list when I returned from the Pieceful Gathering retreat in Illinois. I've been filling Etsy orders, pattern writing for my block of the month program, working on taxes (insert weary face here), and shoveling snow (insert a wearier face here).

I'm well on my way writing the pattern for Bridle Path.  I'm also finishing up the quilt.  I'm still on the fence as to whether or not to machine quilt it myself.  I have to decide pretty soon because Fat Quarter Shop wants to photograph the quilt for their BOM program.  After that, the quilt will travel around the country to other quilt shops.  It will most likely be hanging at Hancock's of Paducah as they will be offering kits. Since the story behind the quilt originated in Kentucky, I'm very excited to have it on display in their shop.

On the home front, the torrential rains melted about 2 feet of snow away.  More rain is in the forecast for today and the snow begins again on Tuesday.  Is there no end?  

We contacted several people to clear a path to our propane tank to no avail. The company delivering propane wouldn't deliver if we didn't clear a path down from the road.  One gentleman, and I use that term loosely, very quickly told me he would never shovel.  Our propane tank is on a hill and is not easily accessible.  I took this picture of my propane tank and posted it in January of 2018.  I did a parody of Erma Bombeck and said, "Life is greener under the propane tank."  I said that because it is located outside my sewing room.

One young man said he was willing to snowshoe over to the tank to find out the percentage of propane left in the tank.  Just that trek cost us $100.00.  He was a nice 20-something kid, but really?  Anyway, we were down to 30% on a Thursday.  Even with conservation and freezing our tail feathers off, we were down to 20% the following week.  We kept the woodburning stove going 24/7 and we were still cold since we turned the heater off.  My sewing room resembled working in a meat locker since it is the farthest room from the fire.  We were showering every other day and never used hot water when washing clothes.

We had to bite the bullet and tackle the path-clearing job ourselves.  Our plan of attack was Mr. Joe would use the snowblower on the 6' berm at the road, while I started digging from the propane tank up the hill.  For starters I should have attached stilts on my snowshoes to get to the tank!  The snow was crotch-high, which is a scientific term we have used multiple times this Winter.  Do you know how hard it is to walk in snow that deep on a hill?  I would have made better time if I had just rolled my body over to the tank, or I could have ridden the sled down the 6' berm directly to the tank.

To make a long story short, we finished the job and felt very proud of ourselves. That afternoon required a long nap by the fire.  I called the propane company and told them we were down to 20%, and there was a clear path to the tank. I was told we needed to conserve since she had no way on knowing when they could get a driver out to our area.  There were cabins in our neighborhood completely out of propane and we just had to wait our turn.  It was then that I played the 'elder card' but to no avail.  About three days later, the propane truck came by our cabin, and I could have kissed his feet!  The driver scrambled down our nicely shoveled path like a mountain goat and we were in business.  Hot showers and heater here we come!  Our propane bill is one bill I will not complain about paying this month.  I will have to be sitting down when I open the envelope, because the bill could top out at $1,000.  The joys of living in the mountains are never-ending.


Thursday, March 9, 2023

A Neighborhood of Calico Cottages

 Hello Everyone,

My post today is totally dedicated to my Calico Cottages pattern the quilters constructed at the Pieceful Gathering quilt retreat last week.  I'll warn you now the little cottages become addicting.

The little cottages with the scrappy frame started popping up all around the room.  Instead of hammers and nails, the girls were building their neighborhoods with sewing machines and thread. 

The dark background also makes an interesting cottage asleep in the night.

Cindy put a woman's face in the center of her window.  The possibilities are endless.

Here's Sandy with her precious block.  The pattern for Calico Cottages is available HERE in my Etsy shop.

I had an interesting and l-o-n-g trip back from Chicago.  Kristi, Debbie, Gail and I got an early start and arrived at the airport with hours to spare.  We had enough time to enjoy coffee, and then later on a Chicago hot dog complete with fluorescent green relish. I'm sure our insides were glowing in the dark after we devoured our hotdog.

United started to load our plane for the scheduled takeoff and immediately made all of the passengers deboard!  The first explanation was that the incoming plane was struck by lightning, and it had to be checked out by the mechanics.  "Thank you for your patience" blared out over the speaker.  Fast forward a half hour, and the announcement was made over the public address system that we could reschedule our flight to a different flight or a different day.......or wait.  So, wait we did for about 6 hours.  We had to wait for a flight to arrive from Florida so we could board.  One of my suitcases landed at our destination in San Francisco well before I did as it was aboard a different flight.  To make a long story short, we made it to San Francisco safe and sound with all baggage accounted for after an overnight stay in the Bay Area.

Now on the Homefront, the snow report.  Mr. Joe worked on the driveway again for the umpteenth time as more snow fell yesterday morning.  These are the steps going up alongside of the garage to our driveway.  Mr. Joe is almost 6' tall, give or take allowing for "shrinkage" over the years!

This morning our goal is to make a pathway through the 6' berm so the propane company can gain access to our propane tank.  We have no idea how empty or full the tank is since we can't see it.  The tank hasn't seen the light of day for a week or more.  Our woodburning stove has been working overtime since we've been lowering the heater as we try to conserve propane. I've thought about playing the 'elder card' and tell the propane company how difficult it is going to be for us to shovel a path to the tank.  We may have to hire someone to do it for us, if we can find someone to do it.

There's a car under there someplace.....guess which lump it is hiding under.

Now, Winter is going to rear its ugly head again as an atmospheric river is bearing down from the southwest with California directly in its path.  We are supposed to receive copious, ridiculous amounts of rain at our elevation.  The gutters along the roadway are totally buried, so where is all that water going to go?  We may have to go down to the public library where sandbags are going to be handed out.  We are thinking about putting the sandbags in front of the garage, so the rain doesn't cascade from the street, down the driveway, right into the garage. 

It is very calm this morning which is a bit scary as I listen to the weather forecast.  And then there's the issue of all of the snow on the roof, which is going to soak up the rain like a sponge.  There's no way we can clear off the roof without it becoming a death wish.  We have about 4' of snow over our heads.

I feel as though Old Man Winter is saying "take that" California!


A soggy Lynn

Monday, March 6, 2023

Pieceful Gathering Retreat Day 3

 Hello Everyone,

The neighborhood of Calico Cottages kept growing throughout the retreat.  The girls really seemed to enjoy making them.

Several of the girls in the room were working on A Ribbon Runs Through It.  Kim and Melanie were so much fun!

Last night we went out for dough nuggets and Chicago deep dish pizza.  I wish you could smell the garlic!

Now that Mr. Joe is safely back at the cabin, he's sending pictures. There is a patio table and umbrella under there!

The cozy cabin at night.  So much snow on the roof.  I've never seen it like this.

There are two cars parked in the driveway.  The snowblower can no longer through the snow up and over the top of the berm.

More snow, but not much is predicted for today and tomorrow.  We are flying out of Chicago to San Francisco today, and we'll head up to the mountains tomorrow.  It could be an interesting drive.

When I get home, I'll post more retreat pictures.  We had the time of our life.


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Pieceful Gathering Retreat Day 3

 Hello Everyone,

I only have time to post a few pictures of the amazing show and tell we saw last night at the retreat.  There were many, many exclamations of delight from the audience!

Off to breakfast then back to the quilting ballroom.  We will be saying our goodbyes today until we meet again.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Pieceful Gathering Retreat Day 2

 Hello Everyone,

Sixty quilters from all over the US gathered in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Hotel for the Pieceful Gathering retreat.  It was a bit intimidating when I first walked in and saw the size of the room and thought I'm going to be teaching to a lot of people!

When you go to the Chicago area, you have to have lunch or dinner at Portillos.  A few of us went for lunch yesterday to this eclectic and fun restaurant.  The wait staff thought we were having an adult birthday party.  Some of us split an Italian Beef sandwich and a Chicago hot dog.  I really splurged and had a chocolate cake milk shake and I wasn't about to share.

I spent the day teaching several sessions of Calico Cottages.

I delivered my trunk show last night.

Mr. Joe made a break for the mountains yesterday to get back to the cabin from the Bay Area.  Our son surprised him and made it up before him and cranked up the snowblower while his girlfriend manned the shovel.  They started sending me pictures during the afternoon.  This picture was taken inside the garage looking out to the driveway.  There is a car on the lefthand side which we may see sometime in the Spring.

The kids took this picture as they approached the cabin and saw the garage peeking out from under the snow.

Loni shoveled a path to get inside the cabin.  There's never been this much snow on the roof.

Two more feet of snow are in the weekend forecast.  I hope to be able to get home by Tuesday.