Monthly Archives: June 2015

Mount Vernon on a summer evening

Recently, I traveled with my DH and a group of his co-workers to an evening program at Mount Vernon.  We had a lovely time.  The sky turned dark.  There was some thunder and lightning. Thank goodness it was only a small rain storm that rolled through the area quickly.

George Washington’s daddy sure picked a fantastic spot along the river to build the original part of this estate.  George’s step brother, Lawrence, built the second addition.  When he passed away, George inherited the land, etc.  (He had gone into the military because he was not likely to inherit anything.)  George needed some money.  Martha’s money made her a sugar mama.  (Short disclaimer:  I am not a social studies teacher…this is my interpretation of history…sorry if it is inaccurate!)

This is the back side of the house.  The front side faces the river.  The dock would have been more important than the bad roads in the area during the time when George Washington lived here.

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These are the English gardens.  Lots of things were blooming.  The magnolia trees smelled heavenly.

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There were dancers performing traditional dances.  It was very hot and humid.  At least, none of the dancers suffered from a heat stroke while we were watching.100_5512

This is the front of the house.  It had an interesting cooling system.  The front and back doors are opposite one another.  In the summer they would have been opened to catch a breeze from the river.  The windows in the cupola, which is directly above the doors and the massive staircase in the middle of the house, pulled the hot air out of the house.  (The cupola is the size of a small room in actuality.)

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To the left: 100_5518

To the front:

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To the right: 100_5520

Here’s the crew I was traveling with for the evening.  I know that I am a notoriously bad photographer, but this picture is off center on purpose.  All of the house is in the picture, too!100_5522


There was a very nice educational museum that was open also.  There were places that were open that are usually closed, like the third floor and some of the cellars.  Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed in these areas.  Thank you, Diane, for finding this wonderful opportunity for some educational, but relaxing fun!



Row by Row North American shop hop

Check this out:

I have decided that during my travels this summer that I am going to participate in this swap hop.  Even if my chauffeur is not a willing party!  (A little nagging goes a long way in our household.  I hope he doesn’t drive off into the sunset and let me behind at some distant quilt shop!)

On Monday, June 22, I stopped at the first three shops that I could find near me!  (I was in Williamsburg, VA on a short vacation last week.)

First Stop in my Row by Row adventure

First, I stopped at Sarah’s Thimble in Virginia Beach, VA.  What a cute little store!

Their row for this year is called QLTR’s Paradise.  Here are the fabrics from the kit:

row by row block 1 fabric 100_5531

When I saw this year’s block on the wall, I thought that the background water was pieced.  I was relieved to see that it is a solid piece of striped fabric.100_5532

There are several elements that need to be appliqued.  The pattern suggests using heat ‘n’ bond.  I am not too sure about that…hmmm.

Second Stop of my Row by Row

Second, we stopped at Sew E-Z that is also located in Virginia Beach.  They were very friendly.  They also had a cute little helper dog dressed in a dress behind the sewing machine repair counter.

Their row is call King Neptune.  It also has a lot of applique.  Here is the fabric from the kit:

King Neptune fabric for Row by Row block 2   100_5537

I also found this half yard of related fabric:


And some green thread and a new screw driver for my machine repair kit:


The third stop was at Bella Fabrics in Suffolk, VA. I was glad to see that this block is pieced.  They have their pattern available as paper piece or rotary cutting.  After looking at the complexity of the paper piecing, I know that is the best way to assemble the block.  It will be beautiful, but (groan and moan) it is paper pieced…mostly.  There are also a few elements that will need to be appliqued.


I also found a yard of this100_5538 100_5539 100_5540

I am up for these three challenges….mwhahaha!  Only 8 rows to make and 5 more to find!  Half of the fun is in the hunting!

More on the hunt later this week!





More Jamestown, VA…apparently I really like this place!

Now that I am home again, I can publish my vacation posts!  This is post number 50.  It may not be a big deal to anyone else, but it is to me!  When I get to post 1,000, I will look back and laugh that I was so happy about making it to post # 50.

Jamestown, VA

I am drawn to this area.  I don’t really understand why.  In the summer the deer flies bite.  Mosquitoes suck…big time.  The flora and fauna grab my attention.  Again, I don’t know why.  I live in the woods.

We saw this baby along the Jamestown Loop Drive.  She was right beside the road.  She blended into the grass, dead leaves, and pine needles along the edge of the road.SAM_0695

I hope these are a nesting pair of eagles, but they could be ospreys.  There are many along the James River.  This might be a big part of the draw to this area.  We don’t have many of either of these magestic birds at home.


This was a first.  We saw a muskrat having a bite of breakfast.  It took a few minutes to decide what this animal is.  When he went back into the rushes, he had a rat tail….muskrat.SAM_0697

Flowers in the swamp…a pretty color purple with the green.  Also another light purple/ white flower in the swampy area.  I love flowers and/or weeds with flowers.SAM_0698SAM_0699 Th

Yorktown, VA

This is one of the ponds at Yorktown Battlefield.  If you look closely, you can see the turtles sunning themselves on the log.  (They look like bumps in this picture.)100_5524

This picture was taken of the pond at the earthen dam.  It is a very interesting and old earthen works.


I love this shaded part of the road.  It is always quiet and shady, even when the leaves are not on the trees.


Let me say it again….Ahhhhhh, summer!


Finally a finish!

I first posted pictures of this quilt, Flowers around the Cabin, on March 21, 2013.

That is only 2 1/4 years.  Yes, I am adding the word “only” to minimize the long period of time that it took to add those nine appliqued flowers.

Here it is….TA DA! (Sorry about the picture…DH was embarrassed to hold the quilt up for photographing on the stairs at the hotel. Gee-sh!)

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The hardest flower to applique on was the one towards the middle.  It covers an ugly spot on one of the blocks.  The blocks were from a block exchange.  The ugly spot was on some brown calico.  It looked like a tape mark that did not come off in the wash.  It was very hard to see.  It was more of a texture thing.

Up close, I don’t notice the contrast of the light and dark as much.  The blocks are super scrappy.  Eventually, I will get better at taking pictures.

Normally, we are on the go most of the time on vacation.  This year we are taking our first vacation on the easy side…swimming in the pool….reading books….appliqueing flowers onto a quilt.  Relaxing is very hard when you are not used to it.  It is also hard to relax outside when it is as hot as hell, then you add in the humidity….which technically makes it hotter than hell.

That brings me to the row by row post later this week.  I have already visited 3 shops.  Two more are on tap for today.  Now that I have finished this quilt, I will need to wash some of the fabrics from the kits so I can get those started.

I hope you are having a great day….maybe getting a little sewing done to soothe your soul.




Round Robin Challenge…from Quilt Camp 2015

Every year there is a challenge of some sort that stems from quilt camp.  This year we are making round robin quilts.

Here is the challenge.  We start with a center “block” (See the pictures below for all of the starter blocks.)  For each round we pull a “technique” from the hat.  This month the technique or challenge is to use a green floral.

Also as part of the challenge you can add borders that total in widths of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 inches.  We get to decide on this step.  You can only use each number once for this project. There is also one free filler border, in case your block starts to be some odd number that just won’t work with these lovely even numbers.

Here are the starter blocks:

Some are in panel form:

SAM_0668 - Copy

Some are red work:

SAM_0669 - Copy

Some are pieced blocks:

SAM_0670 - Copy SAM_0671 - Copy SAM_0677 - Copy  SAM_0675 - Copy

SAM_0683 - Copy  SAM_0687


Mine has lots of pieces.  It is a small lap size quilt that I want to grow bigger.  I call it the Celebration of Summer block.

SAM_0678 - Copy

Some are applique blocks:

 SAM_0682 - Copy SAM_0684 - Copy  SAM_0672 - Copy

Jan won’t have to worry about having more than one edge!  She is a sly one!

Some ladies were trying to decide between a couple of options:

SAM_0673 - Copy SAM_0674 - Copy SAM_0676 - Copy

Some were going to work on several at one time to see which they liked best:SAM_0680 - Copy  SAM_0681 - Copy

This is not Mary’s center.  This is her feathered star block from quilt camp.  Thanks again to Honey and Jan for teaching us this paper pieced star!  Nice work, Mary!     SAM_0667 - Copy


Our next meeting is in September.  Round 1 is to be completed to show and share with everyone…more to come.

Hope you enjoyed the show!