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….

The Cottage Journal 06.30.2022

It’s official – Longsmith Cottage has moved and is now up and running in White House, TN!

Honestly, the move (or the planning of the move) began last fall. Weeding out and packing up the house we called home for 23 years was about as challenging as paring down a fabric stash – some kind of traumatic! And then I made the decision to temporarily close the studio in March, in order to devote my time and energy to the cause. So I haven’t touched a needle and thread, let alone a sewing machine or my long arm, for almost 4 months – another kind of traumatic!

But just this week, I’ve spent time in the new Longsmith Cottage studio and it has felt wonderful. Next week I’ll let you in on the first project I will be working on, but for now, I’ll end with this “selfie” of us, looking quite worn out but alive and well, in front of the new Longsmith Cottage!

The Cottage Journal 11.05.2021

The sampler quilts are finished! I didn’t name them until I chose the background and sashing fabrics for each – then everything seemed to fall into place. They are my Jesus and Mary quilts.

My father-in-law was a devout Catholic – he didn’t talk about his faith much – but he lived it every day. When he passed, we found two ceramic busts of Jesus and Mary in his belongings. He made them in 1960 while in the Air Force and stationed in Guam on temporary duty. They now grace our bedroom dresser. As these quilts began to “reveal” themselves to me, I kept seeing Jesus in the rich and deep reds, and Mary in the blues and creams, and I thought of Don Smith and of Jesus and Mary who watch over us.

click on the quilt titles to see more!

The Cottage Journal 10.20.2021

So I guess this is the continuing saga of the sampler quilts… there is light at the end of the tunnel! Finished the quilting on the first sampler yesterday and am binding it today. Next is piecing the quilt top together on the second sampler quilt. I can’t wait to start on it – it will have a very different fabric for the sashing and background, even though the quilt blocks are the same. More to come!

thanks to my dear hubby for the impromptu video!

The Cottage Journal 10.04.2021

I’ve finished 104 blocks (out of 111) on my sampler quilt. Only 7 more to go. (Of course, there will be a lot more work to do even when the blocks are done. And did I mention that I am making 2 of each block, in order to make two sampler quilts?!) But I had to take a break from the project to begin work on a queen-size T-shirt quilt for a client – her Christmas gift to her son!

The Cottage Journal 09.21.2021

I’m working with templates on this sampler quilt. There are a lot of them and most of them are pretty small. Accuracy has been a challenge – one that I’ve met – until I came to quilt block #38. It’s called Four Winds. I had to make it twice before I got it right. All because of template #13. I had to sew these 56 teeny triangles together to make 1″ squares (called half-square triangles). The first time, my squares came out too wonky to use – they were not square! So I gave up for a few days and tried to talk myself into just not using this Four Winds block in the quilt. But ultimately that did not seem to be the thing to do, so I started over by reprinting a new template #13 (the old one was worse for wear at this point). With careful cutting and careful seam allowances and careful pressing, the Four Winds block is done!

The Cottage Journal 09.13.2021

When I first began this sampler quilt a couple of weeks ago, I envisioned working on it along and along – maybe making just one block a week or whenever I had a few spare moments. It was going to be one of those long-lasting, ongoing projects that, once complete, I would refer to as the quilt that took me a year to make… but even when I was a child, my dad used to describe me as having a “one-track” mind… and so I have found myself working exclusively on these little 6-inch quilt blocks during my studio time each day.

All of the quilt blocks date to the 1920’s or earlier, and although I’m familiar with some of them, there are quite a few that I’m meeting for the first time. Some of their names are interesting…like “Contrary Wife”, and “Buzzard’s Roost”!