One of These is Not Like the Other


Turning Diamonds, a class taught by Donna Royson at the Quilts of Valor retreat, offers two different results from the same fabric and layout.  It’s all in how you cut it apart.

Would you like to get this pattern for free?  The pattern is included in the kit of a Quilt of Valor.  If you make the quilt top, you get to keep the pattern!  It’s such a deal.


It’s a QOV Extravaganza!

DSC_0130We started early this morning at Richland County Sheriff’s Office HQs, wrapping Lieutenant Danny Brown and Sergeant Barry Brown in Quilts of Valor, thanking them for their military service and sacrifices and for their continued service with the Sheriff’s Office.

If Lieutenant Danny Brown looks familiar, he is one of the “stars” of PD Live.

I pieced both tops and Donna Royson quilted them.  Courtney Royson put the binding on the QOV for Lieutenant Brown.  Small world.  Courtney used to babysit his son.  Gary used to work with Lieutenant Brown in the Army Reserves.  And I’m friends with Sergeant Brown.  Long story but a good one.  Not something like befriending him after an arrest.

After hugs and another thank you, it was time to get on I-77 and head to the QOV Retreat at White Oak.

Windows 10, You Are NOT My Friend!

It started last week.  The updates.  My Surface Pro tablet would be downloading and updating and since I am inpatient, I pulled out my Toshiba laptop.  Except the laptop was doing the same thing.

And like the “Junk Mail” episode of Seinfeld, you can’t stop the windows updates.  Geek Squad explained it to me; I’m unable to repeat the technical explanation; but, bottom line, updates are going to happen and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

All week, every time I went to my tablet or laptop it was running or restarting updates.  Fortunately I have a few devices referred to as “Old technology” that don’t have Windows 10 and I was able to stay connected with the iPad and Surface 3.

Friday arrived and it appeared the updates and restarts had stopped.  Hooray, we are back in business.  Except both devices were frozen in some nether world.  I spent the weekend googling everything I could about this issue – oddly, there are thousands of us in this same situation – and nothing worked.

Yesterday I went to my friends, The Geek Squad.  They have performed miracles before and surely they could again.

About an hour after leaving my Surface, Troy called with the good news/bad news scenario.  Good news, they could refund my money because there was absolutely NOTHING on my tablet.  Nothing to troubleshoot because every document, video, picture, song, album, every memory was gone.  It had less on it than when it was purchased new out of the box.

I couldn’t stop crying and left my guild meeting.  I went home, collected myself and the Toshiba and drove over to Geek Squad.

In between the tears I set up my email and started adding back the programs, printers and deleting /uninstalling the ones Windows wants me to have that I do not want.

On the good side.  Years ago my son had me set up a Dropbox account.  I never use it but my pictures were saving a copy there.  As soon as I added Dropbox, all these photos started to populate.  Then there was a cloud based program that I think we used for Stephen and Lyn’s wedding photos that popped up – more pictures.  Then my Samsung phone was ‘refreshing’ photos to my tablet.  I was so happy!

I still have to add the Microsoft Office products and I’m optimistic that all of my documents saved somewhere and will come back to me too.

If I am ever in a position to purchase another electronic device, it will NOT be Windows OS.

Crinums aka Hot Country Lilies


The original bulb was purchased from Riverbanks Botanical Garden during their plant sale.  Sometimes it is difficult to “see” what the plant will look like when you are holding the bulb in your hand.  I picked some beauties simply based on the verbal description.

Horticulturalists at Riverbanks tell us original crinums were originally brought here by slaves.  You find crinums growing wild in unkempt cemeteries, vacant lots and in poorer sections of town.  In my opinion, they get bad publicity, “I’ve sprayed ’em with Roundup, cut them down with my mower, you just can’t kill them.”. Why would you want to?

I suspect this crinum is blooming earlier than normal because of our mild winter and the protected location in the garden.  The other varieties planted in the ground have a lot of green; but, no flowers yet.  I’m anxious to see them bloom again.  And they are invited to grow wild in my garden.

It’s All About The Aby

WIN_20170414_14_53_23_ProDid you accept the challenge?  I’m referring to the challenge to use pre-cuts, one type per quarter, announced by Aby Dolinger earlier this year.  ( 2017/04/03/second-quarter-challenge-introduction/) The second quarter is Jelly Rolls.  Two weeks in and this is where I am on Spiral Strips (Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott)  My quarter squares are sewn together.  It’s time to press except temperatures are in the 80’s and that is the last thing I want to do.  I’m realistic, summer is on the way, it’s not going to get any cooler.  Time to lower the thermostat, accept the inevitable high bills and iron away.


McCall’s Quick Quilts published Table Tiles, a design by Aby Dolinger, in their October/November 2014 edition.  This is fun and easy.  I finished procrastinating and dialed in a decorative stitch on my Janome and quilted this black, gray and white table runner.  One fabric has red ladybugs on it.  Just enough to make you wonder, “Did she intend to do that or is it a mistake?”

The magazine includes two photographs, one made with colorful scraps and the black/white/gray I used in mine.


WIN_20170414_14_50_53_ProThis, still under construction, top is called Prest-O, Change-O!  Designed by Aby Dolinger, you sew your 5 inch squares in a straight set, cut it apart and stitch it back together for an on-point quilt top.  You have to buy the pattern ( if you want to learn how to make those special cuts.

This will be a Quilt of Valor when finished.  I cut a bin of patriotic scraps with my Accuquilt, so there will be several tops made with Prest-O, Change-O! before a dent appears.  An even better idea – share those 5 inch squares at the QOV Retreat next week!


Aby is an inspiration in many ways.  I love how she breaks down something that looks so complicated in to easy to follow instructions.


A Hug and a Quilt of Valor for Tim

This morning I had the honor of wrapping retired Navy Veteran Timothy Williams in his Quilt of Valor and thanking him for his service.  After the Navy, Tim attended Seminary.  He now serves as Pastor at an upstate SC church.  He also works during the week for Terminix in Columbia.

This presentation was extra special because I know Tim.  He’s my “Bug Man.”  You know, the folks who come to your home every quarter to spray for bugs and check those green Termite stations that surround your property.

What he anticipated to be a complaint – why else would a client be in the office at 7:30 standing with management and the office staff? – turned out to be the best part of his day.  Tim is proud he served and would serve again if asked.

If anyone believes that war hardened Sailors don’t get emotional, they’re wrong.

Quilt of Valor Top Pieced

WIN_20170412_12_09_12_ProWhen I saw this panel, the names of two Veterans who I know to be Harley aficionados came to mind.

The problem was “what” to do with the rather large panel that would also say “I’m a Quilt of Valor made especially for you.  Thank you for your selfless service.”

Anne Mixon to the rescue.  Anne is our SC State Coordinator for Quilts of Valor.  Lanette Edens, one of the teachers for the April 2017 retreat designed a pattern especially for panels.  I can’t wait to see Lanette next week and show her this top.

Spaces are still available for the Quilts of Valor Retreat next weekend at White Oak Conference Center in Winnsboro, SC.  Donna Royson will teach Turning Diamonds and Lanette will teach a Lone Star pattern.  Both classes are at no additional charge and kits and patterns are provided.   Email for more information.