Coloring Outside The Lines Quilt Retreat

“Coloring Outside The Lines” is my first retreat with Loving Stitches Quilt Shop.  The ‘escape’ was held September 15 -18, 2016 at the Doubletree at Cedar Creek in Fayetteville, NC.

We ate, sewed, laughed, shopped and were pampered, all at the hotel.  We slept a little too, also at the Doubletree at Cedar Creek.

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Cindy Munn, my good friend and former co-worker, attended.  This was her first retreat, ever.  I know she had a good time; it would be difficult not to.

These relaxing, no stress retreats become an exercise in full mobilization.  One must bring their own ‘special’ sewing chair, lamp, machines, fabrics, projects, plastic bins filled with thread, notions and sewing related ‘stuff,’ roll carts, cushions, ……

The most popular items at retreat were our Container Store bungee chairs.  Cindy and I could have sold a truckload.

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There was plenty to keep you busy.  A mystery quilt; a charity project for local law enforcement; demos; door prizes; a pop-up quilt shop and The Sanctuary at Cedar Creek, a day spa.

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Mystery Reveal

When I arrived in my room, there was a gift bag of treats on my pillow.  We also discovered swag bags filled with quilt treats at our work stations each morning.

Of all the quilt retreats I have attended, I did the least amount of work at “Coloring Outside The Lines.”  It doesn’t matter.  I met a lot of new quilting sisters; learned new techniques; talked and laughed a lot; ate too much and had a great time!

A Quilts of Valor Update

If ever there was a worthwhile organization, it is Quilts of Valor.  I am equally passionate about the TQPM Kennel Quilt project but the focus today is on Quilts of Valor.

Since retiring in January 2015, one of the top three best decisions ever in my life, I have spent my time making quilts for vets and pets.  If you know me, you have heard the story so much you can repeat it verbatim.

Sewing for these two groups has moved me up a few notches on Maslow’s pyramid.  Generally, I find myself at the top of the pyramid.

Last week I had the honor of speaking to the Fort Jackson Chapter of Military Officer’s Association of America (MOAA) about Quilts of Valor.  Thanks to Anne Mixon, the South Carolina Quilts of Valor coordinator, I was able to update and fine tune my speech.  I thought everybody knew about Quilts of Valor so it amazed me that so few members did.

Retired Army Chaplain Sam Boone opened the door.  Chaplain Boone is one of the volunteers conducting military honors for the 15 to 19 funerals every day at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery.  If this sounds familiar, it was another Chaplain, John Kallerson, who opened the door for Quilts of Valor with the first wrapping of a young soldier at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2003.

Chaplain Boone is coordinating a presentation later this year to the 12 caretakers who work at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery.  Along with help from sister quilters, I’m working to have 12 quilts ready to wrap these Veterans with.

The MOAA is supporting Quilts of Valor in several ways.  They are spreading the word; making a monetary donation and they will be at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery to help us wrap 12 Veterans.

This post is a wrap.

The Cemetery Project

If you remember my August 30th post, I am busy working on a Quilt of Valor project this month.  In October, 12 Caretakers at Fort Jackson National Cemetery will be recognized for their service to our Country and wrapped in a Quilt of Valor.

I received an email today from my friend and former co-worker, Cindy Munn, with a picture of a Quilt of Valor she just finished and is donating.

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THANK YOU so much for the contribution to this project.  I am familiar with your work so I know the workmanship is worthy of a ribbon.

Ready For Binding

This quilt top traveled around South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia the past year as part of a Trunk Show.  It was long overdue for quilting.  Donna Royson completed the top with an allover swirly sort of half of a Baptist fan design.  This finished quilt is back with me ready for binding.

I like to finish my bindings by hand.  This will be a great project to work on during an upcoming trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.

Looking at the scrap fabrics in this quilt brought back great memories of quilts made long ago.  Do you have a scrap quilt that gives you great memories?

House Hunting

No, I’m not moving!  A family member from New Jersey was in Columbia for a second interview with Providence Hospital.  I went along to share my knowledge of the area and provide opinions.  Because we know, quilters always have an opinion.

It was fun spending the day with family and my favorite Coldwell Banker real estate agent, Julia Tansey.

The Columbia real estate market must have “corrected.”  Small homes, big prices.

We visited Ashley Ridge, Lake Carolina and Rainsborough.  I liked the Ashley Ridge house the best.  Maybe because they had a cat.  Maybe because it is owner occupied and it has furniture.  Maybe because I could visualize quilts hanging on the walls with those 10 foot ceilings.

Nice homes but none work for me.  Too small.  No studio space.

Rain, Rain, Go Away…….

Appreciated all the weather warnings and relieved that Hermine did not cause the degree of damage we prepared for.  The emergency alert system linked to my cell phone sounded only once today to warn of flooding in low lying areas.

When the weather is yucky, quilters quilt.  Or do something quilt related.  I am no exception.

DSC_0084 I played with donated orphan blocks this morning.  This “Raining cats and dogs” fabric accurately describes the five inches of rain that has fallen so far.

 

 

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These two beautiful blocks were also in the stack of donations.  The stitching is exquisite which makes me wonder if these came from a Quilter’s Academy class.  If there had been more blocks, I would have made myself a quilt.

I’ve added a paw print fabric border to get the blocks to 12 1/2 inches square.  Now to get the length to 18 1/2 inches.  Any suggestions?

 

 

 

 

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Boo!  Kennel quilts made with Halloween fabrics are complete and ready for my senior inspector to give them the “Paw of Approval.”

 

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When the power blinked off and on, it was time to unplug the machine and put the rotary cutter in motion.  Yes, Christmas fabrics are in the queue.  Baring any disasters, these will be made for local shelters.

Stay dry.  Be safe.  Enjoy the holiday weekend.

 

What’s Under The Presser Foot Today?

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These four blocks make up the pattern Recess by Debbie Maddy.  Once the blocks are stitched together, I’ll add a border and another charity quilt done!

Made with half-square triangles, if it looks complicated, it’s not.  This is a fun and easy pattern.

I did plan to finish it tonight but weather warnings about Hermine – most schools are closed tomorrow in anticipation of up to 8 inches of rain – dictated that I unplug my sewing machine.  I lost satellite service a little before 11 PM so the wind and heavy rain is coming.

While we have power and my machine is unplugged, I pulled out a large cutting mat, put a fresh blade in my rotary cutter and started working on batting for the next batch of kennel quilts.

Anne Mixon, QOV State DSC_0079Coordinator for South Carolina and professional longarmer, dropped off three large bags of batting scraps.  I still have scraps that need to be stitched together but I already have a nice inventory ready to work with.

Barring any disasters, I am ready to start making kennel quilts with Halloween fabrics.  I want to put these in PetSmart and local shelters to encourage adoption.

Have a good evening and if you are in the path for Hermine, be safe.

 

Moon Flowers & Kennel Quilts

Nature has blessed me with another blooming of moon flowers.  I have seed pods from the initial bloom so I thought they were done for the year.  Someone must know how much I love these large, beautiful, fragrant flowers and they are allowing me to enjoy them one more time this season.

Moon flowers are a little mysterious, blooming only late at night.  Sadly, for only one night.  These blooms will be gone in the morning.  I’m not thrilled about going outside late at night; we have coyotes, who, due to urban sprawl, have lost their native habitat.  Taking precautions, lots of noise and lights on, I did venture out for pictures.  Too bad you can’t scratch your screen and smell the delicious fragrance these blooms emit.

DSC_0066Catmandu, my Senior Inspector, has checked and approved 25 kennel quilts for Rescutopia in Baton Rouge, LA.  This box will be mailed tomorrow. This cat has to be in to everything.  I don’t really mind it, he just makes me nervous when I’m sewing.

 

 

My day would not be complete with expressing my disgust with Time Warner.  I’m writing this while connected to my Sprint hotspot.  Why, because my network is down, again.  A daily occurrence, usually in the evening, calls to their help line ALWAYS end up with unplugging your modem and router, counting to 30, plugging everything back in and rebooting all of your devices.  ALWAYS.  And it’s not working.  And it’s NEVER a problem on their end.  NEVER.

I would change ISPs except when I queried my friends, they have the same issues with whomever they are doing business with.

Hope you had a happy August.

 

World’s Worst Blogger

It’s me.

I would really rather be sewing.  It is difficult for me not to do something sewing related every single day.  Writing is a bit of a challenge for me.  I have to be ‘in the mood’ to write.  I do a lot of writing in my head.  Then I get busy sewing and when it comes time to write, I can’t find that mental material.

With only a few hours remaining in August, I have stepped away from the rotary cutter and sewing machine and am trying to get blogging back in to my daily routine.  Trying.

If you have seen my personal Facebook postings or those on the TQPM Kennel Quilts page, you will see I’ve finished about 200 this month.  There being no immediate disasters, I was able to make quilts for Walter Crowe Animal Shelter, a local shelter in Camden, SC.  No sooner were they delivered when the rain and flooding hit Louisiana.  I’ve sent 50 to help them out and have another 28 finished, ready to mail.

I spent the last months taking care of my beloved kitten, Catseopeia.  She was not expected to live as long as she did; daily medical attention allowed her to finish her personal bucket list before she crossed The Rainbow Bridge on August 17th.

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In September I get to be the student and attend a quilt retreat.  In October I become the Teacher at Quilters of South Carolina Fall Retreat at White Oak.  Two events I am really looking forward to.

If you find me absent in September, there is another big project I am working on.  Quilts of Valor.  With help from my friends, I will wrap 12 Veterans at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery in early October.  All of the caretakers are Veterans.  With between 15 and 19 funerals a day, this is not an emotionally easy job.  So far seven quilts have been donated – I’m still five short.  The 12 Veterans do not know anything about this and we hope to surprise all of them.  Plans are also underway for an Honor Guard and, fingers crossed, local news coverage.  You might see me on the Nightly News!

Three of the donated Quilts of Valor

The Beauty of Nature

One of my moon flowers opened 12 blooms last night.

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This particular plant is amazing.  It started the year as a seedling, no larger than your pinkie finger, from the “mother” plant.  I wasn’t sure if the seedling would survive in this newly constructed plant bed.  The child has surpassed the parent, just as it should be.  The “mother” plant is full of buds but has yet to open its first bloom this season.

Each night I look forward to see how many more blooms will open.  The moon flower only blooms at night and only lasts one night.  In order to photograph them, be prepared for a possible encounter with lizards, toads and slugs, oh my!

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Hummingbirds amaze me.  One of my feeders attaches to the exterior of a window.  If my cats are watching when a hummingbird stops for nectar, (1 part sugar to 4 parts water) it offers them a small amount of entertainment.  I run for the camera.

This ruby-throated hummingbird stopped by today.  I wonder if the birds talk about the crazy sights they see through the glass.

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