Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spring Break 2019



By some stroke of luck, all three kids had spring break the same week this year! When you are trying to plan around three different university schedules, things can get tricky, but we got very lucky this year and wanted to make the most of it.

So we flew to San Francisco for the week! We had so much fun doing all of the typical, and some not-so-typical things while we were in California.


Thanks to an Airbnb mix up, we stayed in a 'painted lady' house and while I'm pretty sure it was haunted, we managed to avoid any mysterious visitors. It was huge and we had plenty of room to spread out. Although, we soon discovered that there wasn't a single comfortable chair in the house, we didn't spend many waking hours here so it was okay.


We spent a lot of time north of San Francisco in Marin County and loved every minute of it. The hiking and exploring along the coast was amazing.


The Muir Woods walk through the Giant Redwoods was breathtaking as well.


We spent a little time exploring Sausalito as well. Yum!


And no trip to the bay area would be complete without a visit to Alcatraz! We had a gorgeous day to enjoy the boat ride, the tour and the gardens. It was simply fascinating to learn about the history and the stories of this infamous place. The kids were really impressed with the entire experience.


My favorite time was spent horseback riding along the dunes and on the beach. The weather was gorgeous and the horses were so sweet! The six of us (we brought a friend) got a little sunburned because it was cool and breezy and we didn't realize we were getting so much sun!


Of course, we visited some the the typical tourist attractions in San Francisco as well. Pier 1 shops, walking the Embarcadero, Pier 39 and the awesome sea lions didn't disappoint. We actually went back to spend more time with the sea lions on our last day as well.


Speaking of the last day, we climbed the steps from the harbor to the base of Coit Tower. I'm pretty sure my fitbit was convinced it had been kidnapped by some crazy athlete-in-training. I achieved all of my fitness goals for the entire month before we even got on the plan to come home (with 2 weeks left in the month!)


And there was quilt inspiration EVERYWHERE! I have over 400 photos to prove it, but don't worry, I'm not going to share them ALL. LOL


The food was incredible at every single place we ate, the weather was gorgeous, and the people were so friendly. We made some memories to last a lifetime and I'm pretty sure I left a little piece of my heart in California. What an amazing experience!

I hope you had fun wherever you spent Spring Break!
Diane



Thursday, March 14, 2019

4 Patches Plus Half Square Triangles (hst)


Playing with four patches was so much fun when I combined double and triple 4 patch blocks HERE. that I thought I would play with some double four patches and add some half square triangles, also known as 'hst' in quilt lingo. So I used the block above to make these layouts...


1

2

3

4

5

6


 And then I turned the hst units around so that the red was in the corner, instead of the white. I had fun playing with them this way...

7

8

9




And then I decided to combine the two blocks (which are the same pieces, just sewn together differently) and came up with some really fun options...


10

11

12

13

I actually came up with about 20 but these were my favorites. Which one is your favorite? This whole EQ thing is addictive. LOL

Diane

Monday, March 11, 2019

Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild Show

Oh look! It's the BHQG raffle quilt made from the Crazy Daisy pattern found in my first book 


Bulloch Hall's 37th Annual
Great American 
Cover-Up Quilt Show
March 8-17, 2019
The Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild is pleased to announce it will host its 37th Annual Quilt Show at historic Bulloch Hall, March 8-17, 2019 in Roswell, GA. This exciting 2019 show will feature over 150 unique, antique, traditional, and art quilts made by local artists and displayed throughout this beautiful antebellum home.
Quilt show hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is: adults, $8.00 seniors, $7.00 children ages 6-18 $6.00, and children under age 6 free. Bulloch Hall is located at 180 Bulloch Avenue in historic Roswell, Georgia.  This unique and beautiful mansion is the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, mother of President Teddy Roosevelt. 
  

I hope you will find time to visit this week. It's an amazing show!
Enjoy every stitch,
Diane

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sew Your Stash Along Step 7


70 1/2'' x 70 1/2''

This step is not scary I promise! I'm making these blocks using the curved piecing method because that is what goes most quickly and easily for me. Please feel free to applique these using needle turn or fusible. If that still scares you (and no one is judging!) simply make this a border of pretty fabric or just a large sashing. The idea is to use up fabric though, so maybe take a peek in your stash and see what jumps out at you!

Making the blocks:
 Make 52.
Templates included in the download at the end of the post.

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Fusible Option: If you would prefer to fuse or machine applique these blocks. Simply cut background squares 5 1/2" and remove the seam allowance from the curved piece. Make templates from freezer paper for the curved piece and press them onto the fabric for perfect cutting. A small zig zag or blanket stitch may be used for machine applique.

Hand Applique Option: If you prefer to hand applique the blocks. Cut the background squares at 6" and cut the curved pieces as shown. Hand applique the curved pieces and trim the background square to 5 1/2" when finished. 

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Adding the blocks to the Quilt:

  1. Arrange the blocks as shown in the diagram above.
  2. Sew two rows of 12 blocks and sew them to the top and bottom sides of the quilt.
  3. Press toward the previous row.
  4. Sew two rows of 14 blocks and sew them to the left and right sides of the quilt.
  5. Press toward the previous row.
  6. The quilt will now be 70 1/2'' x 70 1/2''.
Looking ahead to some options:

The original quilt plan looks like this:


I am considering modifying my quilt to this King Size version:


Just like you, I am sewing along month by month. I am sewing 'in real time' so to speak. I haven't made my final decisions yet. I will be giving the instructions for the original plan for sure. I would never abandon you now! But I may be adding some extra rows to my quilt so that it will fit my bed. I'm still undecided about this. I'll probably just wait and see how I feel when the time comes. LOL



Like I've admitted many times in the past... ALL of my quilts are MYSTERY QUILTS because I never know how they are going to turn out. It keeps life exciting! 

If you missed a step or would like to join us now, the previous steps are found here:

Step 5
Step 6
Step 7 
Step 7 templates

As we progress toward the final steps of our sew along, I realized that each step 'because of the size' gets more time consuming. I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to see each of you working so hard on these amazing quilts! Each and every quilt I've seen has been so special and so unique. I'm honored to be a part of this process. Each and every photo you send me makes me so happy! Thank you for sewing along with me. 

Enjoy every stitch!
Diane

Monday, March 4, 2019

Currently...

Reading

Lots of great books. Really enjoying the 'reading season' here now. All the cold and damp and fog and rain are perfect for curling up with a good book. Go HERE to see my recent reads.

Eating

Winter is perfect soup weather. I am enjoying making a pot of soup or chili every week and then having ready made meals all week long. It gets a little boring by the end of the week (since it's usually just me around here) but I mix it up with grilled cheese or quesadilla or toast for sides. My favorite chili recipe is HERE

Watching

While we don't watch any network TV around here, hubby and I enjoy watching series together that we record and then can watch several episodes at a time. Some of our favorites include Outlander, Handmaid's Tale, The Crown, Victoria, Poldark, and This Is Us.

Sewing
Sleeves on quilts for the upcoming quilt show. Go HERE to see the details. Sadly, I'm going to miss it this year because of travel. Too many quilts, never enough time!
And working on the next step for the Sew Along. Always working on the next step!!

Packing

Packing and prepping for lots of travel and teaching in the next few months. Spring and fall seam to be the busiest time for me and I enjoy meeting all of the amazing quilters along the way. Check out my calendar HERE to see if I'll be in a town near you soon. Or let your guild program person know and maybe we can add a visit to your group!

Missing

These three kiddos. Dang it's quiet around here without them. We don't hear from them much and that's a good thing I suppose. They are all doing well and working hard. As parents, how could we ask for more?

Feeling

Really thankful that I get to see those kiddos soon and spend a whole week with them!

What are you doing currently?
Diane

Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Reading List


Get the book HERE.

I listened to this book on CD and absolutely loved it. I love all books by Joshilyn Jackson and I especially love the ones on CD because they are read by the author in her smart sassy southern accent. Her accent really makes the reading of the book exactly how I imagine her voice in my head. If you aren't a fan of deep southern drawl, you might want to read this for yourself. The story is filled with strong (somewhat unique) southern women who get themselves into and out of situations that are both heart breaking and inspiring at the same time. She is one of my favorite all time authors. 


Get the book HERE.

I believe that as women we have so much more in common that our political views. I am a fan of Michelle Obama but I also have enjoyed every book by every first lady (of both political parties) that I've read. It's such a unique experience to live as First Lady, that I find the stories and situations very interesting. This book I found particularly intriguing because it read more like a novel in my opinion. I could totally imagine her childhood the way it was described. I found her perspective warm and encouraging and not bitter or accusative. I truly felt like it was her experience and her story from her perspective. I would highly recommend this book. 


Get the book HERE.

Another WWII historical fiction that I found so interesting and compelling. This is the story of a young woman in Germany who finds a soldier in the snow, nearly frozen, and she needs to discover who he really is before it's too late. I felt the fear and the urgency as the story unfolded. It was sad and hard to take in but the spirit of survival and trust kept the book from becoming hopeless. I loved the writing and the characters and will definitely read this author again!


Get the book HERE.

This is a young adult book that I listened to on CD from the library. It was only four discs long but entirely captivating. I especially liked that the reader had a wonderful accent and could read and say all of the Spanish words so beautifully. The characters are so well written that you feel like you are sitting next to them. I also love the culture and family dynamics in the story. I highly recommend this book!


Get the book HERE.

I listened to this book on CD on the way home from teaching in Kentucky following Quiltcon. It was a fun story of quirky family dynamics that Anne Tyler is so fabulous at creating. Her style flows so effortlessly that I just felt like I was listening to a friend telling me stories of her family. The humor and sarcasm woven between the characters is also really charming. If you like Anne Tyler, you'll like this book, I did!

This month was another 'all over the place' kind of reading month for me. It included fiction, memoir, historical fiction, southern fiction, and young adult books. Kind of like with quilting, I love it all! I hope you find something to read that you love.

Enjoy every book!

Diane

The fine print: the links in this post are affiliate. I will earn a tiny reward for each purchase made through these links. As always, your support is greatly appreciated. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Quiltcon Recap



I was thrilled to attend my first Quiltcon in Nashville last week. I taught a workshop at a local guild in Nashville on Thursday, then had a fun time at Quiltcon along with a book signing for my new book Strip Quilt Secrets, before heading to Kentucky on Saturday for another guild visit with a workshop!

I was a whirlwind trip but I was lucky enough to have a friend tag along and share the hotel with me. This photo of our hotel room went a tiny bit viral after it was reposted by several others including Handiquilter and Hilton Hotels. My quilts are famous! LOL


Quiltcon Quilts
Below are just some of the quilts that I was impressed by, followed by the information cards.

















 Book Signing
I would like to thank my friends who traveled from near and far to say hello at my book signing! Each and every one of you made my day! So many hugs and laughter and fun. I am beyond blessed to call so many amazing folks my friends.


Also thank you to each of you who have been in my workshops or met me at guild visits, it was so much fun to reconnect with each of you. I love seeing your finished quilts from my books and hearing the stories of where they are now. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic support!

Crazy Weather
The trip was not without it's insane weather. The storms with intense rain and lightening along with flooding was not fun to drive through on the way to Tennessee, or on the way to Kentucky and then home again. It was awful! I hope I never have to drive through that kind of crazy weather again.


I'm happy to be home safe and sound! I'm looking forward to teaching at a local guild this week. But I'm going to have great memories from my first trip to Quiltcon for a long time!

Did you go to Quiltcon?

Diane


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