New Technology

For Christmas my husband got me a IPad Pro. I tried to use it to create posts. I soon discovered the keyboard was too small for me. For my birthday I got a keyboard to use with the IPad. There were multiple selections. I got a ZAGG Slim Book Pro. The keyboard is not as large as a traditional keyboard but better than the IPad screen keyboard.


I haven’t figured out how to resize the photos. When I click on the photo, it’s like it’s text and not a photo. I changed the size in the HTML tab, but that’s very cumbersome. That’s the thing with new technology, it takes time to learn and it’s frustrating. I won’t give up though.

Cheers to learning something new,


Making Plans

I see all the posts about plans for 2017. I’m feeling pressured to get my act together. I’m pretty good at keeping track of appointments and reminders for things I’m supposed to do, but I don’t have a list of possible blog posts or ideas for what I think I should explore in 2017.

That’s why I like taking classes and why I loved the Savor Each Stitch Book Bee.  They make plans easier when there is a deadline.

I have two quilts to finish from the Book Bee so that’s where I’m going to start. I’m hand quilting the quilt from the Emphasis chapter; it’s about a quarter done. The Texture quilt has been deconstructed. That is more than enough for 2017.

It might be nice to take a break from designing and concentrate on these two projects from 2016.


Tiny house search, Huge house buy

CHANGE is inevitable, it seems. Three summers ago, my husband and I sold our three-bedroom home on a two acre lot in rural Dinwiddie County and moved to Short Pump, Virginia. We rented a two-bedroom apartment and a one-car garage for all our stuff.

We downsized and decided on what we really wanted in our physical space. It was a difficult experience. It’s a work in progress.

We are making another change this summer. We no longer want to live in this community. In February we started looking for a new home in the Petersburg, Virginia area. This was close to where we lived three years ago. It’s about 20 miles south of Short Pump.


I wanted a tiny house. I began my search on Zillow. I saw a cute Craftsman, built in 1918, in Petersburg. I contacted the real estate agent and we saw the house that night. We liked the neighborhood but the layout of the house wasn’t right. The utility room had been situated in between the kitchen and the dining room which meant you would have to walk through the utility room every time you wanted to go to the kitchen. There was no direct kitchen entrance. Fixing this layout would cost a lot of money so we moved on.

We made a list of our priorities after that visit. We wanted a small house with great entertaining space. We were up for renovations– within reason.

Our next house tour took us to the city of Colonial Heights. We had three houses on our list. They were early 20th century homes which were recently renovated. The houses were great but the neighborhoods were bleak — lots of chain link fences and garbage in the neighbors’ yards. We just didn’t feel the love.

My husband, David, suggested we look at townhouses which turned out to be just as unlovable. The lack of light in those places was depressing — just like our apartment in Short Pump.

We liked one of the neighborhoods where the townhouses were located. We expanded our square footage options and saw some houses in a neighborhood built in the mid-century.


AND, this is the moment when I realized my husband and I were not looking for the same thing. I loved this home which had not been renovated since it was built in the 1960s. It had kitschy laminate kitchen counters and pink bathroom tile. We wouldn’t have to change a thing. It was really big, though, about 2500 square feet. My husband said, “I’m not living in grandma’s house.”

Our agent had sent us a listing of a new construction home in the Colonial Heights area. That day we drove by just to see. It was under roof but bare bone. It didn’t seem like the small home with great entertaining space I wanted. Dave and I ate dinner then came back to the house.


Dave said he wanted a low maintenance home and this was it. best-wordpress-templates-2014

Plus, it had a barn! Yes, that’s right, it had a barn.

The area was subdivided in the early 20th century and the farmhouses were left and new homes were built around them. But here was a new home, built on the same lot as this barn. I loved it. We made an offer — the barn had to stay and we wanted the living room area opened up to the kitchen for a great entertaining space. We also wanted a large deck.

On Sunday, we drove by. The painters were working and you can see they were taking a break just inside the front door. They are almost finished and the hardwood flooring will be installed beginning Wednesday. By the way, the hardwood was grown in Galax, Virginia and milled and prepped at The Turman Group.


The house is 1400 square feet, much larger than I wanted. It’s a huge house with great space for entertaining. Luckily, we will have a lot less stuff to move.

We hope to close on it by June 5.

Eastern Shore: a New Block Blog Hop pattern

Introducing “Eastern Shore”, a 12.5″ by 12.5″ unfinished block, created for the New Block Blog Hop, sponsored by Paintbrush Studio, and hosted today by my quilty friend, Cheryl Brickey, of Meadow Mist Designs.

Paintbrush Studio (formerly Fabri-Quilt) has a new line of solids, called Painter’s Palette. And each blog hopper received six fat quarters of these colors: White, Peach, Coral, Bordeaux, Midnight and Daydream, to create a New Block for the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop. The hosts chose these colors, called Ocean Sunrise Palette.

They’re about 40 quilt bloggers who are participating. Today, these quilt bloggers are introducing their blocks. They’re all free patterns.

I live in Virginia, and one part of the coast is called the “Eastern Shore.” Do you see the sun rising over the east coast of Virginia, USA?

Eastern Shore

This is a traditional block. It’s usually in two colors such as red and white. I created this Eastern Shore block pattern (click on link to get the pdf) to show you how to make it, using four of the colors: Peach, White, Bordeaux and Coral, from the Ocean Sunrise palette. Let’s get started with the cutting instructions.

But first, two important tips.


Why? The selvage side doesn’t stretch as much as fabric cut crosswise. As you sew the selvage-side strips, they will continue to be straight. The crosswise strips tend to bow and you’ll get curves instead of straight strips.


Why? It’s more efficient. Once you finish cutting the longer strips, you can go back and cut the smaller ones, then the 1.5″ squares.

You’ll notice from the diagram that each strip is 1″ longer as you move up the block. In the diagram, I made the “White” strips in a light gray to make them easier to see.

Eastern Shore cutting instructions

The color key and exact cutting instructions should help:

Eastern Shore Assembly color key cutting start here



That means the 1.5″ Bordeaux square is sewn to the 3.5″ by 1.5″ White strip. The 1.5″ Coral square is sewn to the 4.5″ by 1.5″ Bordeaux strip and so on. Follow the diagram. The 1.5″ square is sewn to the strip to its right.

Eastern Shore chaing piecing


This will help you get nice straight seams.


The 3.5″ square is first. Sew the 3.5″ White strip to the left side of the 3.5″ Peach square. Use a scant 1/4 inch seam.


You should match the seams. You should now have a 4.5″ block.


The next strip is the 4.5″ by 1.5″ Bordeaux strip. Then sew the Coral/Bordeaux strip on top.

Eastern Shore Assembly second row


There are nine single strips and nine pieced strips. Keep sewing the single strips to the left then add the pieced strip to the top until you have a 12.5″ inch block.

Some photos of the process:

This block is versatile just like a Log Cabin block.

Eastern Shore block

I made some additional blocks, using the Midnight and Daydream colors. It’s fun to experiment with the layout.

Let me know which one you like the most.

(Or I could make 30 more blocks and put them together as shown. That would be fantastic).