It was a dark and stormy night

I had the opportunity to have a mid-week mini vaca on Tuesday night. Ahead of an approaching snowstorm, I scrambled around and found bed and breakfast lodging so that I could be certain that I would be available to convene my class on Wednesday morning.

The B&B I selected for my nighttime lodging was a huge brick home. The proprietors greeted me kindly when I arrived at about 7:30 pm and they proceeded to give me a mini tour of their mid-1800s home which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The proprietress graciously showed me the magnificent, large and ornate downstairs rooms, each decorated lavishly in Eastlake style (part of the Victorian era). I was tired from the drive and needed to prepare for class, so I didn’t spend much time chatting before I excused myself and retired to my room for the evening.

That’s when it hit me – in my rush to find lodging ahead of the storm, I forgot something critical: I am sometimes a little afraid of the dark.

My room was at the far corner of the house and there were no other guests at the farm and the owners’ suite was tucked into a nook near the dining room on the opposite end and one floor down in this very large, unfamiliar, ancient home on a dark and stormy night. Uh. Oh.

Gathering my courage after the owners went back downstairs, I explored my room.  It contained a lot of lovely antique furniture and a divine, comfy queen-sized bed. The fireplace was no longer functional, but the painted wooden firebox surround boasted a sweet bird stencil.

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Sweet and delicate stencil, but only a distraction from the horror below (foreshadowing).

The mantel itself was cleverly decorated with a collection of antique baby shoes. I love it when people decorate with collections.

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I tried not to think of the babies who wore these as out for revenge in their shoe-less state.

About here is where things got really scary. In front of the mantel was a standing quilt rack. You won’t believe what I saw. It was truly horrifying. You might want to take a deep breath before reading further….

There was no quilt, only a woven comforter. Oh! The horror!

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Frightening.

After my heart stopped beating so hard from the shock, I explored further. The room had a dresser nicely stocked with bottled water and real glass glasses.

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Love this marble-topped dresser.

A lovely settee and floor lamp were placed in front of the windows, which created a cozy reading nook, but again, there was no quilt to be found. By the time I realized that another quilt was missing, there was nothing left to do but soldier on, with the bitter taste of fear, loss, and regret in my mouth.

To the left of the bed was a closet door. I opened it eagerly, just like an ingenue in a horror flick who you know is going to die soon — and this time I was really scared.

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I forced myself to open this door.

No cozy inviting stack of quilts greeted me, just a fairly odd picture randomly propped up on the closet shelf. No – I did not like this at all!

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I think the dog looks scared too.

Is it me, or does it look like someone photo-shopped some random lady’s head onto that little girl’s body? Who was this odd creature and why does the dog look nervous and scared? I shut the door and pulled a chair in front of it. Hey — there was no one around to hear the claw feet dragging across the floor.

The en suite was decorated in period style while affording all the modern amentiies and it provided a backdrop for the appropriately calming and non-threatening gratuitous cat art.

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One of a series.

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I love that little wind-up birdie!

Finally I settled down to rest. With the help of my Nook, my Iphone, the bedside lamp, and a little airplane-sized bottle of liquid courage, I made it safely through the night.

In the morning when I went down to breakfast I found the lone quilted piece in the entire manse. It was displayed on a small foyer table at the bottom of the spiral staircase.

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After a rough night, this soothed my troubled soul.

Breakfast was delicious, but lonely. It was just me and Button the cat in a giant dining room capable feeding 12+ persons.

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Button really didn’t want to talk.

There, in my quilt sadness, I discovered a new addiction: gingerbread made with fresh ginger. Yum!

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Delightful fresh gingerbread for breakfast and yet again with the woven, not quilted linens!

As I reflected on my fright night over eggs and toast, gingerbread and coffee, it occurred to me that on that dark and stormy night I did not hear one floorboard creak as older homes are wont to do. Hmmm. No quilts, no squeaks. Does this B&B really exist?

Back in my 1980’s home on Wednesday evening, I picked up my bright and cheery, non-threatening spring chicken table runner. I’ve made the quilt sandwich, changed to a new sewing needle, attached the free motion foot, and lowered the feed dogs without a quilting plan. Dear friends, do you have a suggestion on how to begin?

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Valentine’s Day Sweet Hearts

I am obsessed with making mini quilted Valentines this year.  The pattern for my mini Valentines is actually my free mug rug pattern.  You can click on this link to download the pattern:  Sweet Heart Mug Rug

I searched through my scraps for interesting color combinations that are “just perfect” for family and friends.  Here’s my stack of Valentines so far;  I’ve popped some of them in the mail already.

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I had some left over fabric from the Strawberry Fields Revisited fabric collection by Fig Tree & Co. These colors match the decor in my youngest sister’s house.

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Since Sandy likes “Frenchy” (is that a word?) things, she is the lucky recipient of this one.  Work with me on this…I am hopeful it looks like the writing came from Paris!

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My older sister lives in Florida and I couldn’t resist making a flamingo Valentine.  It is definitely one of a kind!

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Special note:  with the above three Valentines, I deviated from the pattern and combined the inner and outer borders of Step 11 and Step 12.  Each border piece around the heart  is 1.75 inches wide.

The Valentine below goes to my pre-teen neighbor (and dog sitter).  She picked out the blue fabric on a recent shopping trip and I know she will be very happy to see it in her Valentine!

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This is my favorite because it reminds me of an English garden.  I mailed it off to my dear friend (DF).  DF, I hope you like it!

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Chela from Chela’s Colchas y Mas blog post made a super cute Valentine using my pattern.  She used shades of lavender with a pretty floral.

You still have time to make a few Valentines!  Don’t be afraid to get started!

 

Foxes in the Man Cave

My husband’s birthday is coming up soon and I wanted to give him something unique.

He really liked the Fancy Forest Wall Hanging I made for my DF (dear friend) so I decided to make a “manly” pillow for him using the fox block from Elizabeth Hartman’s  Fancy Forest Pattern

This green batik makes an eye catching fox, don’t you think?

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I think the blue print resembles wet fur.  I’ll have fun quilting this blue boy…mistakes will be hidden by all this texture!

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Doesn’t everyone need an orange fox?  Hey, are those mosquitoes flying around his face?

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Since my husband wears reading glasses, I just had to add a pair to one fox.  I used an iron on fusible web to attach the glasses.  I’ll tack these down with a small zig-zag stitch before I do the quilting.

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Here’s his pillow ready for quilting!  It will be approximately 20 x 20 inches square.

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Now there will be 5 foxes in the man cave instead of just one!