Thursday, October 31, 2019

Butterflies is (are?) a flimsy/top

With the weather deteriorating by the minute here on the Plateau, I spent a good portion of the day in the sewing room.

Butterflies a/k/a Purple Haze by Villa Rosa Designs
I don't know what it is about this top that makes me smile.  The bright colors?  The quarter triangle squares that look like clown bowties?

This one is not going anywhere.  I have a couple of GSs who could be producing greats in a few years and this one is for them!

The remnants from this one will appear in another quilt that I will work on at the next retreat.

Nowhere to Go

... and am I glad!

We just had a 20-minute spell of big wind with leaves and acorns along with a little rain pelting the window next to my desk.  It could freeze on the Plateau tonight.  Quite a change from the 70s earlier in the week.

All was calm two days ago when this mama and two younguns wandered through the yard.

Every time they heard the camera click they would stop and pose for me.  Very thoughtful of them!

Hoping to get Butterflies finished today and make some progress on the remains.  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Good Day

The guild I belong to has an open-sew day on the 4th Friday of the month.  Sometimes we have a technique workshop, sometimes comfort quilts or QoV volunteers work together on special projects, and sometimes, like this Friday, we have a full-day class.

My S'mores friends, Nancy and Donna, came to The Glade to teach Two-Fabric Bargello, a pattern by Suzy Weaver Quilts.

Nancy on the left, sharing helpful hints with a student
Nancy constantly circled the room, giving encouragement and helpful hints.  Meanwhile, Donna and I were helping to hold double-length rulers steady in the strip cutting process.

Donna on the right, helps Kathy keep her rulers steady
Staying organized, labeling each strip, and proceeding methodically are essentials to success in this project.

By the end of the day, everyone had cut all their strips and had enough assembled to be able to proceed on their own at home.

Suzy and Kathy
It was a GOOD DAY!

Sunday, October 20, 2019


Missing in Action

No sewing, no blogging, because I was prepping for this:

I'm happy to report my trunk show went very well, members oohed and ahhed over my mother's quilts from the 70s, and everyone laughed on cue at my self-deprecating jokes.  Friday night I was finally able to sleep through a night without rehearsing my script in my head.

Saturday morning I woke to another gorgeous sunrise.

Sunrise 10/20/19
With several consecutive nights with very cool/cold temps, we finally have some fall color. 

View from our deck
DH and I had several errands to run in Knoxville yesterday so we enjoyed the changing colors along the Interstate as we drove east off the plateau and down into the valley.  Unfortunately it was overcast and misting so we didn't have distant views into the Smokies.

Today will be a typical Sunday -- early choir practice followed by worship service.  Then I hope to get back into the sewing room. 

Butterflies (a/k/a Purple Haze by Villa Rosa Designs

Those butterflies have been patiently waiting on the design wall and they need to get stitched together before they fly away!

Have a happy Sunday, Y'all!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Today was Devo and Sew day.  We work on our own projects as well as spending time on encouragement quilts for friends and members of the congregation that need a quilty lift.  Several of my recent projects were destined to be encouragement quilts so I delivered them today. 

Baubles and Beads
My Rainbow Scrap Challenge project, Chandelier Beads, still needs a border.  It will be an easy project for someone to finish on our "Encouragement Day" in November.  Since the lighting is better there, I took a closeup of the background fabric which has been so much fun to work with this year.

You may be able to see the WOW I used for the setting triangles.  It has Asian cranes printed on it.

Another recent project, Manly 4-Patch (please don't yell at me for being sexist), went to the cause today.

Manly 4-Patch
This quilt was originally intended for the homeless Vets home, but when the guild I belong to decided to use only patriotic colors, I decided to pass this on to Devo.  Here's a closeup of the fabric I chose for the alternate squares.

Since green is one color in nature that goes with everything, I fall back on green when I need a "neutralizing" agent.

I also took Bonnie Hunter's Strip Twist for someone to add the borders on our Encouragement Day.  Forgot to get a picture, though.  And there was an unfinished kit I added to the pile; it basically needs horizontal sashing and two or three borders.  Another unfinished project, Contrary Mary, needs at least one more block to make it a usable size; hopefully we can get that one ready to finish on our work day.

I took advantage of our large flat cutting area (kitchen cabinets) to trim Double Shot.

Double Shot
This was another RSC project this year.  I will be looking for an appropriate border fabric and will probably keep this one.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Weekend in the Mountains

A travelogue and quilt show

The drive over the mountain on Thursday involved stops at the sewing machine spa in Harriman followed by lunch and a gas fill-up in Sevierville.  Because of the warm dry weather we have been experiencing, there was very little evidence of fall.

Temps were still near 80 when we arrived at our destination high above Maggie Valley.  The views from SIL's cabin are always spectacular, regardless of the season.

In a couple of weeks those far hills should be a riot of color.  Cooler air and clear skies greeted us Friday morning as we headed out to the local quilt show.

It was sew nice of High Country Quilters to schedule their show to coincide with our visit!  My favorite quilt was this African animal panel One-Block Wonder.  The maker cleverly appliqued animals in a couple of the cubes as well as around the edge. 

African OBW by Patti Webb
Alex cast his viewer's choice ballot for this stained glass beauty.

Stained Glass by Susan and John Ballentine
I have a feeling that one may be in my future.  At least I have some rainbow string blocks already made as a starting point (assuming they are big enough).  I think the black sashing really makes the strings sparkle.

Two more quilts that caught my eye:

Cranberry Chutney by Jeneen Conway
Quilt Show and Tell by Cyndi Hildreth
All those little quilts were pieced!  From the show we headed to one of our favorite restaurants in the area for lunch and enjoyed a nice drive through the valley, even if there wasn't much fall color.

Saturday found us on the golf course where the only evidence of color was in the pin flags and dogwoods.

I had to stop after 5 holes as I was getting tired and my old shoes were making blisters on my little toes.  Also, my grips are deteriorating to the point my clubs slip in my hands.  So a stop at Edwin Watts Golf is scheduled on our trip home today.

It's been a pretty sedentary vacation overall, but sometimes we all need that respite from household demands.  I have been stitching binding on a Christmas quilt ...

... and admiring the wall hanging I made for the cabin when it was new.

SIL and her co-owner friends consider this the "Summer" hanging as it has golfers in one of the lower fabrics.  While they enjoyed "Winter" early this year ...

Winter Trees

... they have not yet hung the "Fall" one I gave them for Christmas.

Fall Trees

Needless to say, "Spring" has been requested.

Once the laundry is done and the dishes back on the shelf we will be headed home.  This morning it was 52 in the valley and 37 back home in the Glade.  I think Fall has finally fell.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Question for my readers

DH and I went to a local guild's quilt show today.  The smaller quilts and wall hangings were suspended from drapery with these clips.

A double pin on the back of the clip went through the drapery.

Does anybody know what these are called and where one can get them?  Silly me forgot to ask someone at the show before we left ....

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Those Little Postcards Patterns

They are so darn cute

And easy! 

Purple Haze by Villa Rosa Designs
I don't remember where I picked this one up, probably Susan's in Gatlinburg.  That was way back in March.  Or it could have been Tennessee Quilts in Jonesborough in July ... Anyway, I came right home and pulled some fabric.  Where it sat until Sunday.

In my resolve to move stuff out or put it away, I found that pile calling my name.  The colors so bright, the pattern so simple.  Really!  Quarter squares, squares, and rectangles -- couldn't be simpler.  At least I could cut everything and stage it as leaders and enders.

Well, you've heard me say before how easily a L/E task will take over my life ...

I made a few mistakes, first of which was not reading the pattern thoroughly before beginning.  I anticipated how the quarter squares would be made and therefore mine ended up 4" instead of the intended 5".  Fortunately, I had not cut any of the background strips for the blocks and, even though I cut one strip too narrow, I had enough background to eek out a 4x14 setting.

All that's left is to finish the rows and put it all together.  And I never even made a project box for it!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lots to Celebrate


After being so pleased with myself for getting the third Mosaic Mystery clue done early ...

Seven Square-in-a-square with Fabric A in the center
... I was able to finish the rest of the story (remember Paul Harvey?) as well today.

Eight Square-in-a-Square with Fabric C on the corners
Over the weekend I finished assembling this 4-patch which was originally intended for the homeless vets home -- until the guild decided to make the quilts more patriotic.

It is big enough for a long twin and will now go to the Devo and Sew Encouragement Quilts.

And this morning I stitched the final seam on Double Shot, one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects for 2019.  I'm not sure if I'll add a border or pass it on to someone else to finish.

Double Shot (Double X)
I have emptied THREE project boxes by either passing on to others or recycling the contents.  And I started a new project (more on that tomorrow).

And it RAINED this morning!!!  We are in for a couple of days in the 70s before we go up to the 80s again this weekend.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


... or not ...

I am participating in the Mosaic Mystery hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist.  I like that the clues are spaced out to one per month.  Plenty of time to accomplish each step!  Maybe too much time?

 Meadow Mist Designs

I also like that the number of fabrics is limited and Cheryl advised us in advance which fabrics would/would not touch.  I quickly chose a very neutral palette for the first clue in July.

My fabric choices revolved around the large floral on the bottom.   I'm hoping it will work as a border because it has been in my stash for while and needs a home.  Also critical was a background that I had at least 3 yards of.

Clue 2, easy cutting, was finished within days of the clue being published in August.

Then I began to fall behind.  September's clue was easy enough -- 32 six-inch house blocks.  But my September was full of travel and guild obligations.  Before I knew it, the end of the month was looming and I had no houses built.  So I took the pieces with me to NC and got the 32 house blocks done as leaders/enders, as well as 64 bonus HSTs!


What, no photo?  I couldn't find them!  I searched in every piece of luggage that went to retreat with me.  I started cleaning the sewing room, uncovering every surface to see if that baggie was lurking somewhere.  I had the distinct memory of lifting it off the top of my machine when unpacking so I returned to the machine case -- empty.  The time to link up my progress expired and I still couldn't find the houses.  Confident they would show up, I proceeded with October's clue -- 7 square-in-a-square (economy) blocks.  Then it came to me in a dream (truly!); I had trimmed the houses and HSTs at Devo and Sew on Tuesday.  And even though I had looked in that bag before, I took a second look and there. they. were!

Ahh, 7 SiaSs, 32 houses, 64 HSTs accounted for ... but wait ...  Why is everyone else making two quilts?  A review of this month's clue revealed that I should have made TWO sets of SiaSs, one with Fabric A in the center, and one with Fabric C on the corners.

Big Sigh.

You know what I'll be working on this afternoon ...

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Flimsy

... of sorts ...

RSC19 - Chandelier Beads
I say "of sorts" because I am considering adding a border to stabilize the edges.  I will wait till the next Devo day so I can spread it out to trim and audition borders then.

I have lost track of where this block pattern originated.  If one of my readers can remind me, I'll give credit where it is due when I show it with borders.

There was discussion on a blog I was reading recently about the use of the term "flimsy" to describe an unquilted top.  The objectors thought that flimsy implies low quality.  What say you?

Linking with Angela at soscrappy. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Feathered Star

So here it is ...

Feathered Star
This was my third attempt at making a feathered star, the first I've ever finished!  Cindy Williams (the Math Whisperer) makes it SO easy.

We arrived at Lake Junaluska, NC on Thursday afternoon.  The evening assignment was to make the HSTs using Triangulations paper (same concept as Thangles and some other brands).  Not my favorite way to make them.  After the long drive, trying to keep 3 cars in caravan, and making wrong turns, I decided to wait till the morning to sew anything.

First up Friday morning were the HSTs.  Then we learned how to cut the diamond tips and added those to the HSTs in strips.  Next we learned how to cut the kite shapes.  We learned partial seams in assembling the star points.  Saturday had us truncating quarter squares to make the center and by Saturday afternoon, all I had left to do was the mitered border which I was able to finish Sunday morning.

There was not an ugly star in the bunch!  Other people were doing more complex borders, but I was determined to leave with a finished project so I took the simpler road.  The fancier star in the front row is for a different quilt.  And the bargello on the left was her first quilt!

Check out Life's a Bear Facebook page to learn about next year's retreat at a new location.