Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Excuses, Excuses





Where have I been and why has this little blog been more quiet than usual? Here are my excuses...


I've been getting this all negotiated and signed and the new book will be out Christmas of 2018!

(when pumpkins become apples!)

I've been planning and prepping the fun Pumpkins in the Patch Retreat for Tiny Stitches at the end of the month. I have all kinds of surprises up my sleeve for this one!

I've been packing and unpacking and repacking for trunk shows and teaching. Some local, some not quite local but looking forward to a fun road trip this weekend to Statesboro, GA.


I've been playing with loads of new goodies from Craftsy in hopes of getting a post ready for them soon. Thankfully, I have the sweetest editor ever and she is so patient with me.

I've been reading some good books into the wee hours of the night. I find it's better to keep my mind occupied than to think about how much I am missing my kiddos who are all off at college. Speaking of those kiddos...


I've been sewing secret projects for them to send in their care packages. I doubt they read this blog but I don't want to ruin it just in case. I have a goal of one small package per kid per month. So far, so good, and yes, I realize we are only on month one. LOL


The empty nest transition has not been so smooth I'm sad to admit. Hubby is gone more nights than he is home because of work, so it's me and all the fur babies. They do make me laugh daily, which I am so thankful for! The kids are awesome about texting, snapping and sending photos, which helps tremendously. But this house is so empty and quiet without them. I miss their friends too! So while it might seem like I am busy with my hands and my head, my heart is aching. Even the dogs miss them!

I know I am beyond blessed to have three happy, thriving college students who are going to be so successful, but like all mommas, I just wish I could have kept them longer. I'm trying so hard to embrace this new chapter in my life while they are embracing their new chapters. I'm trying to be brave, I really am. If I'm being honest though, it's hard.

(Danny went on a road trip to King's Dominion last weekend!)

We have a family weekend planned in October to look forward to! We are all meeting at Carowinds to have some awesome roller coaster riding and together time, just the 6 of us (Danny's girlfriend is joining us as well!) So I'm looking forward to that!

I hope to have some real quilts to show you soon!
Diane

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Quilt Connect Workshop with Linda Hrcka

(Martha, Cheryl, Linda, moi, Terry)

Last weekend I had the thrill and honor of taking a class with the amazing Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple. She is a kind and generous as she is talented. This woman has worked hard to become an amazing long arm quilter and I was so excited to just be in the same room with her!


For those of you familiar with her, you know that her long arm quilting has been recognized with many national ribbons and titles. She teaches her techniques and process in classes. I don't have a long arm and probably never will, but I do love to machine quilt on my Janome Horizon (often using her rulers) and I found her information super helpful.


Coin for scale, as this quilt was teeny tiny! I just loved those scrappy backgrounds and the scrappy baskets. Can you tell I was smitten?


She passed around lots of small samples and showed some amazing and enormous quilts as well. The particular class I took focused on 'negative space' and how to fill in those 'gaps' in the patchwork. Granted, there's not a whole lot of negative space in my quilts because you know I like to patchwork the heck out of my quilts, but I know I'm going to use what I learned.

Linda's process was fascinating to me. It made so much sense, yet I would never have thought of the things she shared. She showed us how to divide the spaces, how to sketch out ideas, and how to quilt entire sections without ever having to tie of threads. I'm telling you she's a genius! Okay, maybe she's just had enough practice that she's figured out a thing or two, but she did a wonderful job of sharing how she approaches her quilting decisions, which in turn, will help me ask better questions when I approach my next quilt.

For me, it's all about the process. I love seeing what steps other quilters take when they are thinking through their work. When folks ask me, "Why do you take classes, don't you know everything already?" After I stop laughing, I admit that while I've been quilting a long time, I will never know everything (will anyone?) and by learning about what process others use, I can improve my own process.

I think we all have skill sets that are collections of bits and pieces from everyone we have learned from or stitched beside. Using those bits of knowledge in a way that works for our own process is what makes each of us unique.

I hope I'm always fascinated by the stories and the work of folks who do things differently than I do. That's what makes quilting so much fun for me, it's a lifetime of learning and sharing.

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review

I had the pleasure of receiving a lovely book called Quilting an Elephant by Rosemary Allix recently. I am so excited to share with you this little treasure. It a travel journal/ quilt book/ collection of stories, and it couldn't be more delightful!

It's no secret I love to travel, and after spending a decade as an international flight attendant for American Airlines, I've had the pleasure of visiting many far off lands. This book, which journals an around-the-world sea voyage that included a quilting class, I found myself relating to so many aspects of the journey as well as the locations described.


This adorable story teller, turned quilter, turned world traveler has put together a gorgeous little book written as a travel diary. The dates, location, photos and stories bring you along her wonderful adventure. The blocks of the quilt represent stops along the way and her interesting photos and funny tales kept making me wish I had been on that ship as well!

With the author's permission, here is a tiny excerpt from one of the journal entries...

27th January
As we have been making our way up the Pacific coast of Central America passengers have been reporting constant sightings of sea inhabitants. But for all the hours I spend gazing out across miles and miles of empty ocean, that’s all I seem to see – empty ocean. It was beginning to feel like that Kit Kat ad with the pandas. I watch intently for hours but the moment I turned my back or go indoors the wildlife come out to play. By the time I get back on deck I am greeted by excited cries of ‘we saw dolphins’, or ‘you missed the turtles’. It was starting to get personal. But this morning, with the coast of Mexico in sight, all that suddenly changed....

She continues on to describe the wonderful see creatures she spots and the style in which she describes her adventures lets you know she had a great sense of humor about all the things she encountered.

There are lovely diagrams and templates for the blocks included with the locations they represent. The book is so well organized and fun to read.  I am so happy that I had the chance to enjoy it! If you would like to find out more information about the book and the author please click HERE and HERE.

Enjoy every story!
Diane

Please note that this is NOT an affiliate link, I simply wanted to share something fun that I enjoyed. Other than a free copy of the book, I have not been reimbursed for this information. As always, the opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

C&T Blog



Do you visit the C&T blog? If so then you've seen the post I shared over there yesterday. If not what are you waiting for? Click HERE and go see it.

Have a wonderful day and stay safe Florida friends!
Diane

Monday, September 4, 2017

3 Day Weekend


I love three day weekends. Granted, I will be confused about what day of the week it actually is for the rest of the week, but it's totally worth it! I worked at the shop all day Saturday, so it give me a chance to feel like I am waking up late on Sunday morning even though it's actually Monday morning. I've got you confused now too don't I? See how that works? LOL

video

I did get quite a bit of work done on Sunday from the dining room table (AKA: the shipping department) and the kitty decided she wanted to be inside rather than outside. For those of you that are tempted to feels sorry for this tiny beast...don't! Once I let her in, she promptly peed on the rug while staring at me as payback. She does revenge like you've never seen before. Sigh.


While I was folding and stuffing patterns,  filling orders and taking inventory, my sweet boy (who is now a UGA bulldog) was driving home to visit his momma!


Okay, so I bribed him with home made cookies and free laundry, but a mom's got to do what a mom's got to do. He said he was all good on laundry but was more than happy to bake cookies with me. I love that we share these moments. And the cookies were fabulous!


As a quick reminder, my BOOK IS ON SALE just click HERE and when you purchase the book, you will automatically get a free set of cute zip pouches with my quilt designs on them. You can see them HERE. Super big thanks to all of you who have already ordered. I'm happily signing and stuffing them for a trip to the post office first thing in the morning!

Happy 3 day weekend to you!
Diane

Friday, September 1, 2017

Birthday Gifts for Everyone!



September is my birthday month and I'm celebrating by giving all of you a gift! When you order my book (discounted for this month only) you will get a FREE set of zip pouches


No codes or coupons needed. They will ship automatically with your book. I'm sorry but this is for US orders only, as the shipping is just too cost prohibitive. Offer while supplies last!

Happy Birthday!
Diane

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Coping Strategies


I've decided that there are some coping strategies that do actually help when the house is silent and all the kids are gone. The after we came home from dropping the last kid at college my hubby left for a five day trip. Being an airline pilot, he is gone 18-20 days a month, so I'm accustomed to that. I always had the kids with me at home in past though. So I have found a few things that make me feel better. This supply of chocolate is coming in handy!


And when I've been sewing all day and there is no one else around, I can have cold cereal for dinner. No prep, no cleanup, quick and easy and back to sewing!


And I've always got this one glued to me. He seems to be taking this the hardest of all the animals. True, the cat has now decided that I'm her friend since she's run out of options, but the other two dogs seem to be enjoying uninterrupted time on the sofas. Boomer however, is another beast. He is a clingy dog, and I have always been his human of choice, but he literally doesn't leave my side. He rests his chin in my lap when I sew. He follows me to the bathroom, and he sits on my feet while I fold the laundry.

Speaking of laundry, wow. I have washed all of the linens and towels in the house and remade all of the beds. I have dusted, vacuumed and cleaned...and something bizarre happened....it all stayed that way! The hamper is still empty, the rooms are still clean. This is such a strange phenomenon around here. I'm not used to things remaining done. This might be a good thing!


And while I can't share most of what I've been sewing, I will show you this little row of blocks. They are bright and happy and make me smile. I hope to have quite a few more sneak peeks in the weeks to come.

I'll be sewing today, the rest of the cleaning can wait. My machine is calling to me.
Have a wonderful day!
Diane
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