The Cottage Journal 08.10.2022

It has always been my intent to do a “Christmas in July” but I’ve never been able to pull it off. Although I am a planner and list-maker by nature, somehow I can’t wrap my head around Christmas while in the throes of long days with temps in the 90’s and grandkids complaining that there’s nothing to do… lol!

But this summer is just a wee bit better. So it’s not July, but August. And the kids are FINALLY back in school. And there’s a quilt show planned for October, where I hope to not only exhibit but also be a vendor (for my long-arm quilting services and custom quilts). And to have a few goodies for the show, I have this idea to make some embroidered Christmas ornaments with pockets on the back to double as gift card holders. I’ve got the embroidery done – now to figure out the rest. More to come…

The Cottage Journal 08.02.2022

To get to our house, from the main road off the interstate, you make a turn onto Pleasant Grove Rd., then another turn onto Pinson, and another one onto Owens Lane. My favorite turn is the first one. There are two farms with pasture lands on either side of the road and we have come to recognize and look for the cows (and one donkey) who graze there every day. Four-year-old Keanu exclaimed one day – “Look, it’s Donkey Hodie!” (check out PBS Kids for the talking donkey…) Well, the name stuck – although in my mind, I see it as Don Quixote and somehow it is very fitting.

So no surprise then, to find myself standing in the roadside ditches to stay out of the way of traffic, with camera in hand, trying to capture the essence of this new place we call home. These two photographs now grace our hallway.

The Cottage Journal 08.01.2022

When I was in elementary school many moons ago, our first day was always after Labor Day. I think it is still this way in some areas of the country, but not here! First day of school is fast approaching – next Monday, August 8th. We’ve amassed large quantities of school supplies for both grandsons and stashed them in the office – Damien is going into 4th grade and his pile is on the right of the credenza – Keanu is our PreK-4 student and his stuff is on the left! I just finished sewing a fitted sheet for his nap pad with a small matching nap quilt – although he has not taken a nap all summer long so I’m not sure how nap time is gonna go, this year! Wish us luck!!!

The Cottage Journal 07.28.2022

My flannel project is done. for now. I still have some yardage of different flannels in my stash, but the flannel scraps are gone. And I am tired of working with flannel – granted it is warm and fuzzy, but after six flannel quilts, I’ve got some sewing machine cleaning to do – lots of that “fuzzy” is left behind!

The Cottage Journal 07.26.2022

The fifth flannel scrap quilt! One more to go, and then I’ll have some drawer space for more fabric – LOL!

The Cottage Journal 07.22.2022

I just finished the binding on this 4th “flannel scrap” quilt! This one took care of burgundy, gray, and pink flannel scraps in my stash.

On to my browns/dark greens/golds… the drawer is almost empty!

The Cottage Journal 07.17.2022

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting with a quilting client/friend who came to drop off two quilt tops for long-arm quilting. Our chat was filled with quilty talk as we discussed fabrics, threads, and quilting designs. We also caught up with each other’s life – a lot can happen in the space of 5 months – caregiving, whether it’s for grandkids or elderly parents, is full-time work even if you are officially retired. But we both agreed that our commitments (covenants, really) are with the Lord and we would have it no other way. We spoke the word “grateful” at the same time. Yes, I am grateful – for my life, for my family, for all that God has done and continues to do out of His Love for me – AND for my quilting friends and needle and thread.

Ok, so here’s the third little quilt I’ve made from my flannel stash!

The Cottage Journal 07.13.2022

Nothing makes me feel so at home as watching our hummingbirds from the front porch. Believe it or not, I made this little video in Slo-Mo!

I’ve finished another throw quilt, using flannel scraps and squares from my stash – I started this one with greens but quickly realized I didn’t have enough – so I added some pinks and oranges in a modern, random way, and ended up with this! It makes me think of sherbet on a hot summer day!

The Cottage Journal 07.11.2022

I thought my new studio was complete – and then I tried sewing in it at night. Oh dear – I didn’t realize how inadequate the lighting was, nor how “old” my eyes had gotten. Just so happens that my nephew by marriage is an electrician. And just so happens that he had replaced three lights with ceiling fans in his daughter’s new house. And just so happens that I voiced my need for more light at the same time that he found himself with three spare lights… catch my drift? There was no luck or coincidence here – God is so good.

and after!

The Cottage Journal 07.05.2022

Our first July 4th in White House was fun! Our neighbors up and down our street graciously provided us with some great firework displays! One thing that I am loving in our new digs is the wide expanse of sky we have – it is somehow bigger than what we could see from our little cottage on the edge of the city. Here, even though our view at eye level is houses, houses, and more houses, just looking up makes my heart sing. This was our view a couple of days ago, right after sunset.

So I’ve actually completed a couple of quilts in the studio! For this first one, I took a sheet that matches our bedding, backed it with a nice gray, and quilted it in some big loops (design called Filigree). I found a quilt rack that matches our mission style bedroom furniture, and that’s where this quilt will live – when not in use for a cozy afternoon nap, of course!

And then, my eye caught the pretty colors of some flannel scraps that I’ve had forever.

I decided to make some improv charity quilts – here’s what I did with all of my blue flannel scraps!

Next I think I’ll work with all of those greens….