Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Learning Opportunity

Hello Everyone,

I'll be in the classroom teaching Patchwork Math on June 24th at Cloth and Quilts in Hilmar, CA.  

I will be teaching how to make all of the components you see in the blocks in this post.  Not only will you be learning how to make the components, but you will also learn the math behind the components so you can make them any size you want.

One of my favorite components is double flying geese, which I use a lot in my designs.  Just that added spot of color in a block makes it pop.

Fabric placement is key when making this block.

I'm not in the classroom very often, so this is your chance to take a basic quilting math class from me.  I also call the class 'Finessing the Figures' which is less intimidating.  If you are interested, please sign up HERE at Cloth and Quilts.  I make the math painless, and you will learn so much during the class.

Cloth and Quilts is a great shop!  They have a wide variety of fabrics and notions.  It's a fun, destination quilt shop, and the owners and staff are good people!




Friday, May 26, 2023

Quilt Camp

Hello Everyone,

I've been away since Sunday at the Independence Hall Quilt Camp at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center at Lake Tahoe. I worked on Calico Cottages the entire time and accomplished a lot!

By Thursday I had a nice pile of blocks and sashing completed.

The conference center at Dobbins Halls is an expansive building that easily accommodated 34 quilters.

 Lake Tahoe is a stone's throw away from the balcony.

This is the dining hall.

This is Dobbins Hall.

We would eat in the dining hall, and this walk right over to our glorious Dobbins Hall.

The signs were very plentiful throughout the compound.

The first day at the retreat we were blessed to see an amazing sunset.

The changing colors were mesmerizing and very spiritual, after all, Zephyr Point is a Presbyterian center. 

This was our view of the lake each morning when we walked from our room at 7am to our sewing machines.

The snowpack is going to hang on for a while longer.  This was an added visual to our already overloaded senses.

I walked down the 142 stairs every morning.  Notice I said down.  I don't think my knees could have carried me up the hill.

By the end of the retreat, I'd added considerably more blocks and sashings to my Calico Cottages quilt.  This is just a small sampling of what I could fit on a table.  I'm making this into a queen-sized quilt using my Hearthstone fabric line.

There is a story behind this very joyful group of quilters.  I lined everyone up on the steps leading to the center.  I told them to say the word 'sex' on the count of three.  By the time I said one, it was time to snap the picture!  The funny this was, a man came out of his cabin at a brisk pace to see what all of the commotion and laughter was about.  I could just imagine his thoughts while alone in his cabin.  I'll bet he was saying, thank you Jesus, my prayers have been answered! Thirty-two women hollering sex, at the same time at the top of their lungs!  

I apologize if I offended any Presbyterians.  This story was just too funny not to share.

I met with management of the center to see about arranging a retreat in September/October of 2024.  I'm hopeful that I will be able to secure a reservation and host one of my Sew'n Wild Oaks retreats at this magical spot. 

I look forward to Quilt Camp next May with my guild. It was so much fun getting to know all of you in this beautiful area. You are a delightful, funny, caring and inspirational group of women.



Sunday, May 21, 2023


 Hello Everyone,

I spent my week preparing a few quilting projects for a retreat that I'm attending this week with my guild members at Zephyr Point at beautiful Lake Tahoe. 

I've had an idea circulating through my brain about making pumpkins with my Hearthstone fabric line.  The first two pumpkins came to fruition.  I decided to incorporate Marcus Fabric wools with my cottons.  There will be either 9 or 12 pumpkins.  Mr. Joe suggested I name the quilt Rodent Resort as there will be little mice scampering around the quilt.  This name made me laugh and I'm afraid it's going to stick.  It's catchy if nothing else.

My main goal for the next 5 days is working on a queen-sized Calico Cottages quilt.  I have 10 blocks finished with their frames.  I made 10 more foundation pieced houses, and they are waiting for their frames.  I will need to make at least another 20 houses.

I need about a billion half-square triangles for the sashings.  I have a stack of them all set to go.

I filled project bags with everything cut and marked and then I'm ready to do some serious power sewing.

The worktable in my quilting room was decorated with parts and pieces of the quilt all week.  It all looked so pretty.  I placed an order for my Hearthstone fabric line with Marcus Fabrics this week.  Bolts and bolts will arrive in July and Mr. Joe is trying to figure out where I'm going to store it before I cut it all up into kits and fat quarters.

It was a busy weekend here in the mountains of Calaveras County.  It is the celebrated Jumping Frog contest in Angels Camp made famous by Mark Twain.  It is so famous it made it to a question on Jeopardy.  When I think of frogs, I think of motorcycles.  I do believe every motorcycle west of the Mississippi invaded our county and in particular my neighborhood.  Talk about rolling thunder!  The motorcycles travel in packs, and you can hear them coming from miles away. A group of questionable characters rented the VRBO cabin across the street from us.  Luckily for us, they were very quiet once they put their bikes to bed, so I guess they weren't that questionable.

The other night, after we came inside the cabin from our leisurely dinner on the deck, Mazey went into her full throttled anxiety-ridden bear bark.  Sure enough, there was a bear in our back yard.  This healthy-looking bear was completely unconcerned about Mazey and us. Mazey smells the bears before she can see's pretty amazing and we take her warning seriously.

The beautiful creature was so relaxed it just sat down!  Maybe it was doing what bears do in the woods?  Time for us to start carrying the airhorn on our neighborhood walks.

I'm leaving my computer home this week so I can get away from work, work, work.  I will only be posting on FB on my Sew'n Wild Oaks page and on Instagram from my phone.  I'll post a lot of pictures here when I return at the end of the week.

Happy quilting,

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Bridle Path Photoshoot

 Hello Everyone,

We had a little mini photoshoot of Bridle Path yesterday.  This quilt is a new block of the month for Marcus Fabrics using my Hearthstone fabrics.

I'm mailing it off to Marcus Fabrics today and I won't see her for a while.

We have to wait for the sun to almost set before we can hang the quilt outside to get a picture without sunshine and shadows.

I was ecstatic with Dianne Schweickert's incredible machine quilting. Every aspect is so beautiful.

I like to get an image of the entire quilt head on, but yesterday it was hard to do.

A Stellar Jay has set up housekeeping in the outdoor umbrella.

This is the same umbrella that took a long nap under a blanket of snow this Winter.

We didn't want to disturb her and leave the nest.  She never moved while we were out and about.  She's going to be a great mom.

The bears are out and about and coming at us four at a time!  Our next-door neighbor's Ring camera captured a movie yesterday morning of this bear family.  Mazey was barking a lot and now we know why....she could bearly stand it!  Since the weather has been so pleasant and mild, we keep the front and back doors open with just the screen separating us from the wildlife.  We will be super vigilant on our neighborhood walks now that Spring has sprung, and the bears are out and about.  We wouldn't want us or Mazey to get between this mom and her tribe of triplets.  Between the birds and the bears, we have critters all around us.


Sunday, May 14, 2023

Happy Mother's Day

 Hello Everyone,

I've been working on another Calico Cottage quilt this week.  My goal is to make a queen-sized quilt using only my Hearthstone fabric.

I love the look of the plaid between the two black fabrics.  All of the 'frames' around the foundation pieced house block will have either a brown or blue stripe border.  All of the blocks will have the same black and plaid for continuity.  It's going to be a planned scrappy quilt.

Next Sunday I leave for a 5-day retreat at Zephyr Cove on beautiful Lake Tahoe.  I've been prepping for the retreat for several days and will continue to do so this week.  I want to get all of my cutting accomplished here at the cabin so that I can hit the ground running and sew, sew, sew.  I have 10 houses made and need to make another 40 or so.  I hope I don't get too distracted by the beauty of Lake Tahoe and spend too much time with walks around the complex and enjoying the incredible view of the lake.

We had a great day yesterday watching our grandson Jess, participate in his 2nd rodeo in Oakdale, CA.  He tied for 4th place with a 3.14 time. That's 3.14 seconds to bring the steer down. There will be a coin toss today to determine the 4th place winner at the end of the competition. We drove 1-1/2 hours to watch him for 3.14 seconds. The bonus is seeing family and being present in the moment. Those horns scare me!

I want to wish all moms a Happy Mother's Day.  I'm going to call it Happy Nurturing Day in honor of every woman.  Women are natural nurturers.  I see this at every single one of my retreats.  Quilters are natural helpers and teachers.  They not only teach quilting techniques, but they also teach compassion and reach out in a loving way.  In honor of Nurturing Day, I'm offering a 25% discount in my Etsy shop.  Click HERE and it will take you to my shop.  

No matter how you celebrate today, enjoy your day to its fullest.  


Friday, May 5, 2023

Bridle Path

 Hello Everyone,

We've had a very busy week since the retreat ended, and I haven't been good about posting.  The most exciting news is that except for the binding, Bridle Path is finished.

Dianne Schweickert, from Livermore, CA quilted magic into the quilt.  As I'm binding, I keep seeing Dianne's special little touches dancing around the quilt.

She turned the houses into log cabins consistent with the theme of the quilt. I love the three hearts over the door.

The entire quilt is quilted to perfection.  Everything Dianne did enhanced the quilt and made it spectacular!

My goal is to finish up the binding, hanging sleeve, and label then I'll ship this beauty off to New York to be photographed.  Then Bridle Path will start her travels to quilt shops around the United States.  To see my fabric line, Hearthstone come alive in my design, is a dream come true.  When I started on my pattern designing journey in 2008, I could only dream about having a fabric collection. With a lot of hard work, I'm a testament that dreams do come any age.

We had the best time on Saturday in Clements, CA at the Clements Junior Rodeo.  You know the phrase, 'It's not my first rodeo', well it was our grandson's first rodeo with his group of buddies from FFA, Future Farmers of America.  His event is called Chute Doggin.  When he originally started practicing for this, I thought he said Snoop Doggin, and that phrase stuck with me.

When we were visiting him in Livermore several months ago, one of his Snoop Doggin friends was over at the house and the boys were discussing a name for their group.  I suggested 'Horny Hookers' which brought a lot of laughs and snickers from the boys.  They ended up calling themselves 'Hookin' Horns'.

Day one.

Day two.

Over a 2-day period, Jess ranked #3 out of 28 contestants, and ended up in the money by the end of the weekend.  

Unfortunately, we missed his 3.5 second time on Sunday since we were at a winery in Livermore, CA to celebrate our DIL's 50th birthday.  The picture below is Jess' mom and dad.

Winter has returned to the mountains.  We had another dusting of snow earlier in the week and now rain showers are watering the May flowers that never made it up through the snow.  The woodburning stove has been going 24/7 to take the chill off of the cabin.  We were so lucky the weather was so pleasant last week during the retreat.  

I'll be binding today while listening to an audiobook.  It makes the time go faster and gives me a good excuse to sit and stitch and read at the same time.