Traveling Mercies

I quit my long-time job last week. You know, the one that pays the bills? Yep, I quit a job I have loved. Today I’m running off to sunshine and bright skies (I hope) so I can gain some perspective and a view of brighter days. The flight south leaves Rochester NY at dusk – I’m looking forward to watching the lights twinkle as we follow the Appalachian Mountains south.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly our lives can change? I think this is why I like quilts – they represent an elusive moment in time – the celebration of a new baby, the marking of a retirement, the exuberance for spring, the reverence for a special holiday, and the everyday pleasure of a certain season of our lives.

In the midst of all this change, I’m searching for quilting inspiration. I need a goal. I need an anchor. I need motivation/inspiration/gumption to get inside my studio and create. Advice on moving on would be welcome!

Before I go, here are a few quick pictures from Easter weekend

That’s not fog — its the rain evaporating after the sun finally broke through the clouds
Mom and I watched a cardinal in my backyard on Friday night. She bought this for me on Saturday.

Spring Inspiration

Earlier this week, Sharon from Ms P Designs USA, shared some spring photos of the Houston area with her readers.  Sharon, you’ve inspired me to share a bit of Ohio spring with our Gray Barn Designs readers!

I have to start with my tulips.  These beauties survived the “hunting and gathering” activities of squirrels and chipmunks.  This is a major accomplishment and all the credit goes to Norma and Sadie (my two dogs) who happily run after these tulip munching mammals.
Tulip Side view

Looking closely inside the tulip flower reveals a masterpiece!  I think tulips are a favorite of mine because the flowers are so delicate and short lived.

Tulip Crop 04 18 19

We are really enjoying the colors of these pansies!


While walking with Norma and Sadie, I had the privilege to gaze upon a field of violets…ahh… I am centered once again!


Is any spring garden complete without dandelions?  Their flowers are quite beautiful, even if my neighbors disagree!


Quilting inspiration is everywhere in nature and these color combinations have me dreaming of future quilt possibilities!

Summer Camp Quilt – A FREE Pattern

Summer Camp days are filled with the unexpected and this scrappy quilt is designed to bring a cheerful surprise to any overnighter. Quickly sew together 2 ½ inch squares to create colorful 10 inch (finished) blocks.

The green and navy cornerstone squares and borders unify the quilt and remind us of night skies and northern lights. Your little camper or your porch swing will glow with this quilt.

S Camp Corner with logo

If you are like Sandy and me, you’ve vowed to reduce your stash but are never quite sure how to do it.  We decided to cut out a TON of 2 1/2 inch squares from any scraps, stray jelly roll strips, fat quarters and even fabrics we were not very fond of!

“Summer Camp” is the result of our stash reduction quest.

Summer Camp Full Pic With Logo

We hope you like this new pattern!  We will also be posting the pattern to the FaveQuilts website.  If you are looking for lots of FREE quilt inspiration, check out their website.  It’s a great resource and you won’t be disappointed.


Click on the link for this new beginner friendly pattern: Summer Camp 04 11 19

Be sure to share photos of your “Summer Camp” quilt with us, we’d love to see them!





Sometimes sewing a wavy line is the best I can do

Spring just doesn’t want to arrive in western New York. We’ve had so many cool, cold and drab days, it’s difficult to remember that sunshine and better days are ahead.

My friend invited me to her home yesterday for a walk in the woods. I needed that walk very much. She’s a nurse in training. She knows these things. And her property—oh my—it has so many hidden surprises! It was exactly the kind of tonic I needed.

Isn’t this the sweetest little gnome house?

I’ve been sewing a bit too, although, since the loss of our father, I have to say that my ability to stay on task has been severely tested. In an attempt to be productive, I’ve working slowly on a Memorial day/4th of July pillow cover from an up-cycled textile.

I’m almost ready to quilt the top of the cover.

Now for some better news — My son’s Academic All-stars team won their small/medium school Championship tonight. Another “last” in this senior year of lasts. #happysad

He anchored a 48-point round. It’s been fun to watch his leadership skills develop.