Thursday, May 30, 2013

Need an Opinion!

Here's the deal. I'm working on this quilt that is very simple and modern. In the negative space (background) I've machine quilted parallel lines one inch apart. I wanted to add a touch of hand quilting as is becoming my norm. I seem to be doing perle cotton hand quilting on everything these days!

I decided to put a line of hand quilting between every other space in the machine quilting:

I completed a section like this and didn't love the look. After sleeping on it, yesterday I decided to add a cross to each stitch:

I ended up completing the section like this and I think I like it. Maybe it adds to the modern feel?

What do you think? Do you like the crosses or not? Need some honest input!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Friends and Quilts

I spent the afternoon with some dear friends yesterday. Talking and stitching...the best way to spend an afternoon.

They brought some beauties to share. Love the way the backing matches the top above.

Lovely periwinkles...

And fun flamingos.

What a talented group! And what did I work on? Go here to see.

I had to break down and buy another cell phone at (GASP!) full retail price. Yikes! I have an eye appointment on June 10, so hopefully I'll get new glasses soon after. Until then I continue to struggle with depth perception. I ran into a column in our family room 3 times on Monday. Oops!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Lake Mis-Adventure...

We had a spur-of-the-moment lake trip! Here's hubby and Mickey on the Sea Doo. That Mickey is just a bit spoiled....

And here I am, proving that yes, you CAN hexie on a boat ride! Made tons of hexies over the two days.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have heard about my accidental dunk in the lake. I was trying to help hubby dock the boat Friday afternoon.  It was VERY windy, making the docking process challenging. I hopped off onto the floating pier (which was rocking because of the wind and waves) and tried to pull the rope on the boat. The wind was blowing the boat away from me and as I leaned to grab it, I fell in the drink. I'm a good swimmer so I didn't freak out, but my visor and glasses came off as I went under the water.

Hubby and Daughter 2 successfully docked the boat while I swam to the stairs to get my soggy self out of the water. That's when we realized that my phone was in my pocket.  Oops. Daughter 2 and SIL came the next morning with my old glasses so I only spent one evening and early the next morning blind as the proverbial bat.

Here are the daughters and the doggies on a boat ride.

And the kids on the Sea Doo.

We had a great time and can't wait to get back there for a lengthened trip SOON! Meanwhile I need to schedule an eye appointment so I can get new glasses. My phone has spent two days packed in rice and is now on an air vent. I don't think it's going to survive.  Oh well...

By the hubby and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chicken and Pesto Orzo Skillet

I'm reposting the recipe from the previous post with a picture. This will make it easier for you to pin the recipe - gotta have a photo for Pinterest!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups dried orzo (pasta)
3 cups chicken broth
8 ounces jarred or fresh basil pesto
2 cups baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese OR 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken, salt and pepper; saute until evenly browned, about 3 minutes. 

Stir in orzo and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove lid; stir in pesto, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: I'll tell you a little secret. When I made this last night, I substituted a 12.5 ounce can of drained canned chicken (oh, the horror!) It was buy one, get one free yesterday at Publix. It was great in the recipe and a real time saver! Also, I chose to use feta cheese, but I used the entire 4 ounce package - love me some cheese!

COLOR! (And a Recipe...)

Are you tired of seeing Market photos yet? I love looking back through them and getting inspired all over again.

Even though I slept great while in Portland, my body still came home tired. I'm feeling more human today...and I'm having withdrawal symptoms from lack of sewing. Today I must find time to pick up a needle and thread and fabric! (After I vacuum....) I'm also missing Peggy - we were together 24/7 for four days straight - gotta call you today, Peggy!

Here's another shot of color from Portland. I was told these are Rhododendron. What huge, gorgeous blooms!

Okay. Now for the food part of this post. I found these at the grocery store yesterday. I can totally endorse them - they are heavenly!!!!

And now for the recipe! My mother gave me this recipe which appeared in the Augusta, GA, newspaper several weeks ago. Both she and my brother's girlfriend have been making it to rave reviews, so last night it was my turn. We had both our daughters here for dinner and I thought they might like to try it.

It was a HUGE hit and they both wanted the recipe. So I thought you might like it, too.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups dried orzo (pasta)
3 cups chicken broth
8 ounces jarred or fresh basil pesto
2 cups baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes (or halved cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese OR 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken, salt and pepper; saute until evenly browned, about 3 minutes. 

Stir in orzo and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove lid; stir in pesto, spinach, tomatoes, and cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: I'll tell you a little secret. When I made this last night, I substituted a 12.5 ounce can of drained canned chicken (oh, the horror!) It was buy one, get one free yesterday at Publix. It was great in the recipe and a real time saver! Also, I chose to use feta cheese, but I used the entire 4 ounce package - love me some cheese!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Quilt Market Trends

I'm settling in back home - still tired, but also still exuberant from our many adventures in Portland! Here's a shot of Peggy and me signing books on Saturday - we were FLOORED by the line of people waiting for our book/signatures! Wow!

This became my favorite breakfast to energize me for the day - we didn't always get a chance to eat lunch, so breakfast was very important. Nothing like Eggs Benedict!

Above is a photo I took of the table covering at the Accuquilt booth. How appropriate! We had an appointment to meet with them and we ended up sitting at a hexie table... serendipity, huh?

You know we love Accuquilt! Peggy and I both own their Studio cutter and LOTS of sizes of circle dies. We mention them throughout the book because we believe in their products and love them. But until now, Accuquilt didn't know about us. They do now!

We'll be working with Accuquilt in the future to help each other. They are going to carry Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts in their on-line store!  They also provided us with some goodies (can't wait for the FedEx guy to bring them) to help us continue to spread the wonders of the Quick and Easy Hexie technique.

So here are a few trends that were very obvious at Spring Market:

1. HEXIES! So many booths had hexie quilts, though none were made the Quick and Easy Hexie way! Even the Accuquilt representative told us that they've noticed that hexies are a trend, not a fad.

2. Beautiful bright clear colors! Almost every booth was a riot of color. Very few booths featured traditional, grayed colors. Not much civil war, etc.

3.  MODERN quilts! Modern quilts were EVERYWHERE! They definitely outnumbered the more traditional quilts.

4.  Modern Quilters! Yes, I saw many people the show that were young, hip, obviously ready to dive into the new modern quilting world. They had tattoos, pink or blue hair, and eye-catching clothing. (Maybe I'll take some hair chalk with me next time - what do you think - maybe a streak of temporary GREEN?)

The best story from our trip: Peggy getting bitten by a parrot on the Rail! How funny!  

Saturday, May 18, 2013


It's hard to express how overwhelming the last few days have been. I wasn't sure what to expect coming into the experience of Quilt Market. I think I tried to keep my expectations low, but hoped for the best. Almost everything has turned out phenomenal!

I've met so many amazing shop owners- they work so hard to provide wonderful products for their customers. They are a dedicated lot!

There have been people who have gone out of their way to answer my many questions - boy, I've had a lot of them!

I've had vendors GIVE me their products even though I don't have a shop and they know I won't make a bulk order with them.

I've had offers to send me free fabric to design and make quilts.

Alex Anderson came to our demo and made us feel so good! More about this soon.

Pokey Bolton made a special effort to come to our demo! More about this soon.

Wow, wow, wow....

When I return home I want to sleep for a few days, BUT I now have a list a mile long of things that need my attention SOON! 

I have two meetings Sunday, then home on Monday. Lots of photos when I get home, I promise!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Survived Sample Spree!

It seems like I've been in Portland for a week though we arrived today at noon. This is certainly a new experience for Peggy and me and I want to share it with you all. First we had to check in at the convention center to pick up our name tags. 

Then we spent the afternoon attending Schoolhouse events. (Peggy attended more than I did because a severe headache sent me to the hotel for a bit - all better now!)

Schoolhouse events are talks given by various quilt authors, magazines, bloggers, etc.  They target quilt shop owners, giving them ideas for their stores - how to draw in customers, how to use social media, and lots more. There was lots of show and tell - oh, the quilts we saw!!!!

Tonight was Sample Spree. An entire ballroom is filled with vendors selling their wares at wholesale prices! The Moda booth was the most crowded - the people were about 5 deep all around their tables - a feeding frenzy if there ever was one!

I'm back in the hotel now. Peggy is still shopping - can't wait to see her purchases! I bought some loot; I think my favorites are a couple of bundles of Art Gallery fabric.

Tomorrow morning Quilt Market really begins. We have a demo at 2 at the AQS booth. Big day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quilt Market Demos: Cutting Circles

All I can say is, thank goodness for Accuquilt!!! My Studio cutter makes quick work of cutting a PILE of circles to pack in my bag for the Portland Quilt Market for hexie demos. After I took this photo, I cut another 2 inch tall stack!

And the hexies made in the demos will not go to waste. I have plans for a wonderful scrappy quilt to make great use of them when I get back home.

My bags are packed. I just did my nails. Phone is charging. Camera is charged. Ipad is charged.
Portland, here I come!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fun in Birmingham

I left home at 5:45 am yesterday, bright eyed and bushy tailed! I met Peggy at the Birmingham Quilt Guild meeting an hour before it started so we could sit a sign lots of books! Many members had preordered Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts and yesterday was the day they picked them up!

It's always fun to go back to my first quilt guild and see all my buddies! In the back you can see some of the show and tell quilts from the meeting. A talented group!

Then it was on to lunch with a friend - look at her hexie purse!

I saw this truck in the parking lot at the guild meeting - I've never owned a pickup truck and really don't want one --BUT I love vintage trucks! One day I'll make a truck quilt.....

Today I have to hit the ground running (after I finish my coffee...)
I must:
Pack for Portland
Cut hundreds of circles for the trip (Thank goodness for my Accuquilt!)
Visit the Verizon store to get my iPad linked up to cyberspace
Get organized
Make about one million lists!

I hope you make it a great day!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Wonderful Mother's Day

Mother's Day treated me well! Daughter 2 brought me the beautiful potted plant and Daughter 1 made a candle for me - Citrus Basil! Happy, happy!

I have had a productive weekend, too. I finished a quilt yesterday. Yay! And this afternoon I finished machine quilting another one! I think it's whispering for a bit of hand quilting, too, so I'll oblige soon...

Hubby and I drove to the lake to pick up a pressure washer late this afternoon - it was a beautiful day for a drive. The water was lovely. Can't wait to get back there for more than a few minutes! We're planning an extended stay soon.

I've got to wake up early, early in the morning. I'm headed to Birmingham for a book signing in the morning. I'll get a chance to visit with all my Birmingham Quilt Guild buddies, and then have lunch with another good friend.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Housing and Baby Boom

We have been amazed this Spring at all the birds building nests around our house. We've had so much fun watching them flit and fly, build nests, lay eggs, and feed their babies. This is the strangest one. Can you see that blob on the side of our house under the eaves?

I've never seen a nest build on a vertical wall! We've seen the bird, but I'm not sure what it is. It's brownish gray - any ideas?

There's a nice bluebird family living in this house.

Here's a nest of baby cardinals just outside our bathroom window. We enjoy watching both mom and dad feeding them. They were sleeping when I took the picture. :)

Here's a tiny little nest of eggs tucked in a potted plant on the driveway. I think these are wrens.

And here is an odd one. We have this iron dog sculpture on the back patio. Today I noticed that one eye looked, well, a bit different.

A dirt dauber has a nest in one eye. Go figure - this is one I'd like to get rid of!

I'm feeling more rested today after my long drive yesterday. I hit the ground running with lots of calls, emails, and business-y stuff. Then a grocery shopping trip, followed by a nice nappy. I have baked spaghetti in the oven, brownies cooling on the counter, and we're settled in for the evening. Daughter 1 and SIL just came home from Disney World. Their apartment is still being repaired, so they'll be with us a few more weeks which is fine with us!

It's good to relax and put my feet up! I may even pick up a needle and thread after dinner.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What I'm Thinking About....

1. Loving yellow right now! I really want to make a yellow quilt.

2. Tired. Of. Driving. Mom is back home in Augusta. I'm back home in Auburn. 8+ hours of driving for me today. Early to bed tonight.

3. How did I not know that I had 16 unopened private messages on my Facebook page? They were labeled "Other."

4. I need to make a list. So many things are swirling in my head. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

5. I wish the doggies would stop pretending they need to do their "business" when they really only want to go outside to hunt lizards.

6. Wishing I could squelch the self doubt that is creeping into my mind... It's probably because I'm so darn tired at the moment... I just want to promote the heck out our new book and spread our hexie love everywhere!

7. So glad hubby is taking vacation on Friday and Monday!

8. Can't wait to see many of my Birmingham friends on Monday. Spreading the hexie love....

9. Is a piece of cornbread enough for my supper? It's really all I want.

10. This time next week I'll be in Portland with Peggy. Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Not Much Sewing....

No pictures today. Very little sewing. I'll work on a hand project tonight while Mom, hubby, and I watch TV.

Mom has really slowed down, so we mainly just sit together and watch TV. We've run a few errands while she's been here. She bought some shoes and clothing yesterday. But it's hard for her to get in and out of the car, and she can't walk far. What a change from the woman who just a few years ago walked two miles every day! But for (almost) 83, she's doing great.

I'm taking her home tomorrow, so I'll be in the car ALL DAY! Will be relieved to be back home late in the day...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Quick Little Repair...

I used to have some self adhesive velcro stuck on along the edge of my sewing table to hang a little curtain from it.  I hid all sorts of things under that curtain! When we were getting ready to move from Birmingham last year I pulled off the velcro. YIKES! It took some of the laminate veneer and paint with it! (Maybe you can see the damage if you click on the picture.) I've been looking for a quick fix.

I found some black and white tape at Hobby Lobby last week.  It was exactly the right size. I stuck it on the edge and I think it looks great!

Do you know what I'm doing tonight? SEWING! I haven't picked up a needle and thread or sat at my machine for a few days, and I was having withdrawal symptoms! Go over to the HEXIE blog to see what I'm working on....

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lots to Do....

The first iris of year bloomed this morning! Bits and blobs of color everywhere in our yard! Thank goodness I have a hubby who loves to plant and maintain. I like to go out and admire, but he does all the hard work.

Mom has been here since Friday. She ALWAYS has fun here - we try to "treat" her to fun experiences and food while she's here. We took her to an Auburn baseball game yesterday. She's a big baseball fan and loved every minute. She played baseball bingo and came very close to winning.

Saturday we watched the Kentucky Derby and hubby had us all pick horses to cheer for - Mom's horse won the race which thrilled her no end.

Daughter 1 and SIL are still staying with us, but not - they left for a vacation in Orlando for the week.  Hello Mickey and Harry Potter! They are hoping their apartment will be ready for them when they return at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, I haven't had much sewing time in several days. I got another shipment of books out today. And I'm working on important stuff like what clothes I'm taking to the Portland Quilt Market that is NEXT WEEK!!! It snuck up on me! I'm also doing lots of computer-y quilting stuff: planning the blog hop, emailing various contacts, and yes, writing the next book proposal.

I designed another quilt while lying in bed last night - ohhh, I can't wait to start working on it! But it may have to wait for a bit. I'm traveling up to Birmingham Monday for a book signing at the Birmingham Quilters Guild. And I've got to figure out the logistics of getting Mom back to Augusta at the end of this week. It's all good!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Prayers Needed for Libby Lehman

For those of you who haven't heard, quilting phenomenon Libby Lehman suffered a brain aneurism
Tuesday in Houston after returning home from Paducah. She had surgery Wednesday, followed by a massive stroke on Thursday. Her left side is paralyzed; she is left handed. She is in critical condition.

Let's start a prayer chain for Libby and her family. We're all pulling for you, Libby!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Straight Line Quilting

First and foremost, thanks for all the congratulatory wishes on the new book - Peggy and I are so excited. It's really fun to have a coauthor to share the fun. We are featured in the latest issue of AQS On Point - look for us!

Here's the backside of the quilt I'm machine quilting.  Lots of straight lines. Sometimes they overlap. Fun! I've gotten to a good stopping point on this project. I think I'm about halfway done with the quilting (after about 10 hours of machine time so far.) I probably won't resume work on it for a week or so since I'm picking up my mom in Atlanta tomorrow to bring her here for several days. Looking forward to her visit!

We've also been enjoying having Daughter 1 and our SIL staying with us this week. There is a leak in their apartment and they haven't been able to stay there (hard to exist with NO water!) It's been lots of fun to have them around. Daughter 1 got a promotion at work yesterday - proud Mama, I am! And Daughter 2 successfully finished her finals today, finishing up her first year of Pharmacy School - proud Mama, I am! Lots of celebratory meals around here....

I thought some of you might get a kick out of this. This guy was in the check out lane at Hobby Lobby a few days ago. I'd love to know what his Momma thinks about his tattoo!

Speaking of tattoos, would you ever get a quilting tattoo?  I read this interesting post about a group of women who decided to get tattoos while at the modern Quiltcon in Austin earlier this year. Interesting! But I think I'll keep my skin the way it is.

More flower shots from our garden.

Hope you are having a happy, quilty day!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I was beginning to think my shipment would never come in - but when we got back from dinner out the boxes were patiently waiting on the front porch! Happy Dance! I'll be shipping out copies to those who have preordered tomorrow....

Oh, Mickey, could you be just a little bit cuter? Please go to sleep so I can get back to quilting!

I spent HOURS today machine quilting - I'm really loving the process and the results.  I might just have another one ready for binding tomorrow.