Monday, December 31, 2018

I've Done it Again

Two triangles short of a quilt!

When I got On Ringo Lake out of the box yesterday, I discovered that I had already finished 14 blocks!

Not only that, the 15th block was two seams away from being finished.  AND there were enough units made for another five blocks ... almost.

Two triangles shy of a block
Nevertheless, I proceeded to assemble the blocks I could; I just wasn't in the mood to cut more triangles.

A 4x5 setting would be 40" x 50", a little small.  I like the secondary pattern created by setting the blocks together, but I think I have an idea to use some of the other finished units in a sashing that will lighten up all the orange.  Stay tuned.

Day 31 of the 31-day challenge

Sunday, December 30, 2018

On Ringo Lake

a/k/a/ On Radnor Lake

Bonnie Hunter's 2017 mystery hit just about the time we were preparing to pack up and move east.  I did my best to keep up, but I ground to a halt the closer we got to the end of last year.  Everything went into a box and didn't see the light of day again until yesterday.

I noticed many people showing their ORL finish on their 2018 accomplishments, which got me to thinking about just how far I got with it before I gave up.

On Ringo Lake
Looks like I actually finished 14 blocks!  I reversed the orientation of the corner units and I really like the secondary pattern it forms.  I think I'll add this one to my list to finish in 2019.

Linking up with Oh Scrap! this last link-up Sunday of 2018.

Day 30 of the 31-day challenge

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Counting Down

As the New Year approaches we tend to take stock of what we have accomplished this year and plan for the next year.

For me, our biggest accomplishment in 2018 was making a move 125 miles east in February and selling the old house in September.  We are finally feeling settled, meeting more of the neighbors, and getting involved in the community.  For me, that means sewing with a group of quilters twice a month, joining a guild here in the Glade, getting active in the Community Church, and testing the greens on one of the many golf courses.

In the quilting arena, I think the only finish I had was the wedding quilt for GS-2 and his bride.

Loose Change for A and K
Oh, I just remembered the two wall hangings I made for SIL's cabin, two finishes but only one totally completed this year.  I wrote about them here.

Next year I plan to concentrate on finishing UFOs and making smaller projects like potholders, table runners, and bed runners from orphan blocks.  I will be starting new quilts in March and April. Plus I am looking forward to doing some hand piecing again with the hand-pieced QAL.

Modest goals. Perhaps in the next couple of days I will come up with something more specific.

Day 29 of the 31-day challenge

Day 28

OK, I did make it to the sewing room.  I decided to work on the guild nametag that was strategically placed next to the machine.  Not good ...

And now I'm a day late posting.

Day 28 of the 31-day challenge

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Catching My Breath

and making new lists

We had another family Christmas celebration with Son-2 and family yesterday.
This time at our house and it included Grandson-1 (the newly affianced).
Once again, no pictures to document.

But I was thrilled to get these two novels.

Books 1 and 2 of the series
I had heard about this series on a blog recently and immediately added them to my Amazon wishlist.
I don't read a lot; it's hard for me to find a comfortable reading distance with trifocals.
But these are light to hold and the print easy to see.

I had hoped to spend some time in the sewing room today;
instead I created a New Year's Day open house invitation
and stuffed 27 envelopes (that Mr. Lakeside had printed).

The HVAC guy came to reprogram our "learning" thermostat that would
crank the heat to candle-melting temperature whenever we were gone longer than a day.
So far, it seems to be working.

The rest of the day was devoted to planning the open house menu
and making the grocery list.

Please, let me sew tomorrow!

Day 27 in the 31-day challenge

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Morning After

No Time to Relax

Our trip to the Grove Park Inn was a very last-minute plan because of work that had been scheduled at the house as well as questionable weather.  But we managed to sandwich it in between two family Christmas celebrations.  So we are heading back to The Glade early this morning.

But not before sharing more of the GPI experience with you.

Southern exposure
First is the incredible elegance of this grand hotel.  It's the rare experience where you go DOWN to your room.  The modern wings were built to take advantage of the hillside and not compete with the historic entrance on the north side.

Every corridor is filled with theme Christmas trees and this one with a farm theme and lots of chicks and pigs made me think of Gayle/mangofeet.

Gayle is into yarn, as well!
GPI is also host to the National Gingerbread House Competition you may have heard about on The Food Network or GMA.  The absolutely incredible top 10 entries in each of four categories are on display in the corridors, as well.

Gingerbread "house"
A few perks are included in the 3-day Christmas package, like a unique ornament ...

2018 GPI Christmas ornament
... and this at your door Christmas morning ...

Santa stopped by
... filled with more goodies, including a loaf of stollen from their bakery.

My mother made stollen every Christmas to give to family friends.  I'm hoping this loaf is not as dry as The Mama's!

Open-air terraces
We have enjoyed cocktails in front of the fireplace in the Great Hall and on the heated open-air terraces, fabulous buffet breakfasts overlooking the golf course, and extravagant dinners.  Not something we would do every year, but definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Day 26 in the 31-day challenge

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

And the Stockings were hung

on the mirror with care

We do the best we can ...

A very Merry Christmas to all my virtual friends!

Day 25 in the 31-day challenge

Monday, December 24, 2018

Living Large

at the Grove Park Inn

Rather than spend the holiday at home alone,
we decided to join other strangers families celebrating
at Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.

Grove Park Inn Entrance
When we finally got checked in, I was greeted by this in the room.

Flowers from Mr. Lakeside
I love the craftsman/art deco style of this grand hotel built in 1913.

Bathroom wall paper
The hotel is decorated to the nines (whatever that means).

Giant tree in the Great Hall
And we avoided this ...
Snowing on the Blue Ridge
Life is good!

Day 24 of the 31-day challenge

Sunday, December 23, 2018

C is for ...


C is for Chicken
The first packages were opened yesterday at Son-1's house and I didn't take a single picture.  We were having too much fun!  So I was looking for something to post today and when I saw this I thought, "C is for Christmas."

Really, though, I made this little cutie to enter in the 2003 AQS Ultimate Guild Challenge.  Our theme was "Illustrated Alphabet."  Besides using chicken fabric and appliqued chickens, the pieced blocks all have chicken names, like hens and chicks (the only one I currently remember).

Day 23 of the 31-day challenge

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Missed a day

I even went on a search to find of photo of something to write about yesterday.  Then forgot to do it. 

Here's what's next in the alphabetical list.  Please don't think I am going to work on these in order!

Blue Toile
I started this as something to keep me occupied when we first started moving to The Glade.  I had brought one machine, minimal supplies, and this project box with me while the rest of the sewing room was waiting to get packed back in Nashville.  Then the Unfortunate Incident on the Slippery Rock occurred.  I never quite mastered sewing with my left foot ...

Anyway, my plan is to cut some more strips from the white Grunge so that I can get the remainder back on the fabric shelf.  Ultimately I'll make more 9Ps and pinwheels, then see if I need to enhance/expand the top into a usable size.

Today we head to Nashville to celebrate Christmas with family. The newlyweds (GS-2) are stopping through on their way to spend Christmas in California with her family. 

Day 21-22 of the 31-day challenge

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Caught Red-handed!

When did I get so many wrinkles?
No, I didn't get my hand caught in a meat grinder.  We had beets for dinner last night.  I heard recently that they have anti-inflamatory properties and since we both are aging aching and we both love beets ...  Just wish I could fall in love with the greens, too.

A quick visit to the sewing room today to quilt and bind a Christmas table runner as a last-minute gift needed for Saturday.  I'll get a photo as soon as the binding is finished.

Day 20 of the 31-day challenge

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Alphabetically Speaking

and the countdown begins ...

Packages that needed to be mailed are on their way.  Packages to be hand-delivered are wrapped and ready to go.

I still have a few things that I want to finish if I have time -- two picnic quilts that I promised last Christmas, and a table runner for a last-minute gift exchange.

Plus, we just found out that Grandson-1 got engaged over the weekend and now there's the fiance to add to my list.  I should have anticipated that ... as he was making noises about popping the question in August when GS-2 got married.

When nothing much exciting is happening in the sewing room, I will periodically work my way, alphabetically, down my UFO list.  Next up is Asian Pinwheels.

The blocks will finish at 10" and I have enough leftover fabric to make another 4 blocks for a 4x5 setting.  The main issue I have is the variety of fabrics I have used to make these blocks.

While the crane print is consistent, I have used a variety of BOBs, reds, and creams.  I have several options lined up for sashing, borders, and binding so this should be an easy finish at one of the next sew days.  Stay tuned!

Day 19 in the 31-day challenge

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


and Gone!

Or, as we say in the South, done gone!

Winter Woods

Autumn Woods
Both of these are from the Kaufman "Sound of the Woods" collection.

Day 18 of the 31-day challenge

Monday, December 17, 2018

One Lump or Two?

I need ideas!

Quite a few Christmases ago I had this crazy idea to make a Christmas quilt for each of the kids' families, as well as for SIL and us.  I chose "Peppermint Twist" as the pattern and the cutting commenced for ALL 4 quilts.

Peppermint Twist
Well, all those HSTs got my goat -- mostly due to an inaccurate quarter inch seam and the unpracticed pressing of a novice.  I managed to finish one top which went to yet another disaster collection and the rest of the pieces are waiting patiently in the box.

Looking through my books, I thought One Lump or Two might be a good choice for the 3" and 5" squares.

I even made a stab at making a few 4-patches to test the idea.

I am no longer enamored with that idea.  So, any ideas for what to do with a plethora of red, yellow, and green in both 3" and 5"?  Something that will quickly dispense with this pile of squares ...

And that's only the small squares!

Day 17 of the 31-day challenge

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Day 16

My planned post is somewhere in the Cloud,
so I'll just pop in with a bit about another project in the neverending UFO list.

A couple of Octobers ago I participated in a Halloween block exchange which netted me 16 blocks.  Over the years I have thought of various ways to use them, I even had a panel that I was going to put in the center.  But the math to make it all fit turned me off. 

So I've decided to put a length of the striped fabric in the center, whatever measurement it will require, and call it done.

Day 16 of the 31-day challenge

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Oh, and the Third Project

As long as I have leftover 9-patches and that box of Kim Diehl fabrics ...

I made this quilt several years ago to use up a toile fabric that I had been hoarding saving.  I was inspired by a picture in a magazine and modified the pattern to make it easier to construct.  I recently came across this photo, taken before it went to one of the recent disaster collections, and thought it would be fun and easy to make again with the leftovers from the other two projects I wrote about Thursday and Friday.

Day 15 of the 31-day challenge

Friday, December 14, 2018

So, About That Other Project

The yet-to-be-completed one

You know, the one I mentioned yesterday.  I first told the tale here.  In October 2014, I was on my way to Quilt Camp at Cedar Lakes in Ripley, WV.  My first time teaching there and I left home without my step-outs!  In my defense, I was recovering from a seriously terrifying bout of vertigo and was just relieved that I was even able to drive, much less be coherent enough to teach.

Wink & a Smile
All I needed was a couple of fat quarters to demo the various steps in the pattern so I stopped in at Whittle's in Bowling Green, KY.   I fell in TOTAL love with several collections by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass -- Vintage Farmhouse, Prairie Vine, Heritage Hollow, and Welcome Wagon -- and over time have bought more and more.  There is just something satisfyingly comforting about the colors and the prints in those collections.

Now I hope to teach this again in the fall and would really like to have Wink & a Smile a finished top, if not quilted.

Day 14 in the 31-day challenge

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I Have a Plan

Well, a vague plan, anyway ...

But a plan, nonetheless.

With retreats coming up in January (Rock Island) and February (Nuts and Bolts/Loucon), I have identified some things off my 100+ UFO list that I can easily move to completion.

This was a pleasant discovery when I went in search of fabrics for another project:

9-Patch Bonanza
This is the second (or third) project I've started with leftover 9-patches from a yet-to-be-completed quilt.  The plan is a narrow beige stop border, 2" scrappy squares for the next border, and 4"+ outer border using one of the fabrics in the patches.  It's all there in the box, ready to say, "DONE."

That original project needs to be finished for a class proposal for next Fall.  And as long as I'll have all the fabrics in the same place at the same time, I have plans for one more quilt to use up the excess 9-patches.

Three out of a hundred ... actually 101, because I had failed to put Bonanza on my spreadsheet!  PROGRESS

Day 13 of the 31-day challenge

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cake Failure

But not due to the earthquake

Yes, I was shaken out of bed at 3:15 a.m. by a 4.4 earthquake a little bit south of here.
Fearing aftershocks, I opted to stay up.
I had a cake to bake, anyway.

This was the first bakery baking I've done in this oven.

German Sweet Chocolate Tea Cake

It should have had the consistency of a pound cake instead of a box cake.
I may have over-sifted the cake flour.
I may have over-beat the batter.
The oven may not have been hot enough.
I may have rushed to release it from the pan.
But it tasted good, so ...

I just cut off the part that fell apart, iced it, and took it to the party, anyway.

Day 12 of the 31-day writing challenge

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

One Hundred

Yep, it's true

There are 100 items on my project inventory list!

And I just realized that I did not list my mother's Bicentennial quilt, the oldest UFO and the reason for my wanting to learn to quilt - so I could finish her quilt.

I wrote about it here, along with five other "dinosaurs" -- extremely old UFOs.  Of those six, only one has been completed to flimsy stage since then.  Strips and Curves is a flimsy waiting for quilting,  Irish Chain has been scrapped with the fabric reshelved.  Brian's Jeans may become a picnic quilt this year, the second of the nosegays needs to be assembled, and Weaver Fever has moved to high priority for 2019.

Day 11 of the 31-day writing challenge

Monday, December 10, 2018

Let it Snow


We dodged a bullet on Sunday.  While points east of us were getting slammed with sleet and snow, the cold northeast wind had not reached us so the Christmas program at church went on as planned.  Handbells finished and put away for the rest of the year!

When I woke to about an inch of heavy wet snow this Monday morning, I simply said,
 "Let it snow, I can sew!"

View from from door at 6:15 a.m.
This being our first full winter in The Glade, we were concerned about access in and out of our neighborhood.  We have a number of steep hills between us and roads to civilization.  That photo was taken just before the snow plow/salt truck came down our street.   Another example of our HOA fees at work!

I will add that the grinder pump light came on last Tuesday morning, before I was expecting 20 women who would be using the plumbing, and the Glade guys replaced the pump before anyone showed up.

Life is good!

Day 10 of the 31-day writing challenge

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Looking Ahead

I've spent the last couple days thinking about where I want my quilting adventure to go in 2019.

In the process, I've done some reorganizing of my closets in the sewing room.

AND updated my UFO list.  It's an embarrassment of riches or a heavy obligation, depending on ones point of view.  Almost 100 projects in various stages -- from nearly complete to a pattern with fabric in a box.  I could (and maybe I WILL) write about one a day for the next three months!

I've already identified about a dozen projects that I can scrap and reshelve the fabric without a moment of regret.  Several others have risen to the top as easy finishes.

Stay tuned and be ready to offer our suggestions.

Day 9 of the 31-day writing challenge

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Losing My Mind

You can laugh all you want about "Senior Moments" but it's downright frightening when it starts to happen to you!

I have made so many stupid blunders in the last few weeks that I worry it's happening to me.  So I am doing everything I can to give myself clues -- starting with a menu plan on the fridge.

The nice part of this is that DH knows what to get out of the fridge if I'm otherwise occupied.  We
still have to be flexible because with snow predicted for Saturday we had to make an unplanned run to the grocery late Friday afternoon which didn't leave time for turkey tetrazzini.  Burgers out of the freezer and everything else moved down a day!

I knew there were burgers in the freezer because of my freezer inventory.

I've even added some meal ideas and Santa is reminding me to:

What are those little frozen blobs in the freezer, anyway?  Time to make them go away!  Stay tuned.

Day 8 of the 31-day writing challenge

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Learning Experience

31-day Writing Challenge

What have I learned so far from this challenge to write something on my blog every day for the month of December?

  • Plan ahead so I know I have something to write about.
  • Plan to post at the same time every day so that I don't post twice on the same day.
  • Recognize photo ops to make a post more interesting.
  • Take photos early enough that they will get back from the cloud in  time to post.
  • Improve photography.
Today I want to show you a sweet pin cushion a friend gifted me.

Too pretty to poke a pin into, but I'm sure it will get called into duty soon!

Day 7 of the 31-day Writing Challenge

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sew Nice to See You!

Home sweet sewing room

Bell concerts are over.  Devo party, done.  So I spent a few minutes in the sewing room, prioritizing what needs to be finished by Christmas and also thinking about my direction for the new year.

Talk about an eclectic design wall!

I put these up for my friends to see yesterday when they toured the house.  Left side is Long Time Gone.  Upper right corner is Shadow of the Bear.  Center is Twisted Ribbon.  They will all be on my UFO list for 2019.  But Christmas gifts come first!

One more church bell practice before the Cantata on Sunday and four more Christmas parties.  I think I can make it, especially if I spend my evening time on binding ...

Day 6 of the 31-day writing challenge

The afterglow

My first party

... at the new house, that is.

I hosted the Devo and Sew group Christmas party yesterday.  

This is a group that meets twice a month at a church to sew on comfort quilts and/or personal projects.  After a salad bar lunch we have a devotional time before returning to our machines for a couple more hours.  One of the members, a blog reader, reached out to me within days of my arrival in the Glade, inviting me to come sew with them.  Everyone has made me feel so welcome and I wanted to return the favor by hosting the annual gathering.

Each person brought a cup (or a can) of vegetables to add to the "stone" in the soup pot.  As everyone gathered in the kitchen they were greeted by this mess on the kitchen table --

fixin's for a make-and-take project.  I was pleasantly surprised that everyone jumped into action.

The project was supposed to look something like this:

How do you think they did?

A rousing game of  Christmas charades finished off the day.  And best of all, Mr. Lakeside did the dishes because I had to run off to the LAST handbell practice for the Plateau Ringers.  Ring and Sing at the library today and my time of duty will be over!  (I'll still play with the church bells, tho.)

Day 5 of the 31-day writing challenge