Sunday, December 18, 2011

Surgery, Teacher, Pattern Designer, Round Robin, a New Job and a Winner!

Since it’s been such a long time since I’ve posted, there is a lot to catch up on. 

DSC_0004My husband was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the large burn scar of his leg in September.  When he was four years old, his pajamas caught on fire and his lower right leg was severely burnt.  He has experienced many troubles with it over the years, but a biopsy in August revealed cancer.  On November 2nd, he underwent major surgery in Morgantown – the very talented surgeons removed the cancer and most of the scar tissue from his leg.  The cancer turned out to be about the diameter of a tennis ball and went a bit deeper than they had anticipated.  To cover the area, they harvested a long muscle from his abdomen and skin from his thigh.  He is doing very well and is anxious to get back to “normal.”  We go for another checkup this Friday and hope to get the ok for him to return to work.

DSC_0101Also, I was so excited to have a trial run at teaching my quilting design, “Linked Chains,” in Calhoun County on December 3rd.  It was a one-day event, but we had days worth of fun!  The “students” taught me so much and I was honored to have three of my very best quilting friends as part of the class.  Plus, I met and made many new friends, as well.

Shortly before this class took place, I was notified by Quilt Woman that my pattern designs had been accepted for publication!  I am tremendously excited and thrilled that my life is taking this turn!  If I had my wish, I would be quilting all the time Winking smile.  I so enjoyed teaching and hope that this will also be another avenue to meet and interact with many more quilting enthusiasts!

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The kids are finally finished with their Cross Country season – both Jessie and Alex did very well.  This picture is from the Fall Sports Banquet of November.  There are a few kids missing, but it’s been a great experience for all of us.  These kids are just terrific and Mrs. Evans did a fine job with her first season!  I personally had a great time and got plenty of exercise taking pictures at the meets!

Speaking of taking pictures, I was honored to take photos yesterday of a new and growing family.  Jayden Michael was born Nov. 25th and his proud parents and grandparents asked if I could come visit and take some family pictures for them.  Of course, I said yes – he’s absolutely adorable . . . well, see for yourself:

Please respect not only my rights, but also those of Jayden and his family – do NOT download or share any of the photos from my blog in any manner.

I’m participating in the Mountain State Round Robin – my center block is below.  The pattern, “Indian Summer Block,” was shown in “Quilt” magazine’s Dec/Jan 2012 issue on page 10.  It was designed by Beth Maddock and you find it on her website:  www.piecebynumber.com.

Round Robin

It looks so much better in person!  In picking the fabrics, I tried very hard to stay away from white and cream backgrounds and wanted to use that bright teal color.  I definitely used the color wheel, which is part of what I talked about in my class!

I’ve also been given the opportunity to become more involved with the WV Quilters organization.  I’ve accepted the position of Membership Secretary and am enjoying playing a part in the forward progress of our State Guild.

And now to announce the winner of my giveaway in celebration of the Quilting Gallery’s Blog Hop Party, would you give a round of applause for Gwen of “In My Own Little Corner!”  She is the winner of my bundle of goodies – Gwen, an email is coming your way!

Thanks to all who visited, followed and commented – I’m sorry I did not have time to answer you each personally, but I do appreciate you so much and I plan to visit your own blogs as soon as I can!

Happy Sewing,

Barbara

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What a Life It Has Become!

If I had known 20 years ago that I would be where I am right now, there might have been a few things along the way I would have not done or at least done differently.  Twenty years ago, I was a freshman in high school and my boyfriend of three years was in his senior year.  I was wavering between becoming a teacher or a nurse, and dreaming of a big house with a white picket fence.  The world was wide open and the options seemed endless.

If I had known then what I know now, I would have studied harder in Microbiology in college and stayed put instead of leaving Glenville when I missed the “C” by one point.  Then again, if I HAD become the nurse I wanted to be, I might not be where I am now.  I might not have my two loving, wonderful children, I probably would not have opened my fabric shop (www.heavenlyhillsfabrics.com), applied for the Judge Certification Program with the NQA and definitely would not have taught my first quilting class last Saturday.

Not only that, I would not have met and made so many terrific friends that I now enjoy.  Life is full of choices ~ each one a step on our life’s path.  Sometimes we jump forward, sometimes we fall back.  The trick is to always be moving, never be stagnant, never be content with just what IS ~ always be looking forward to what COULD be.

So in that regard, my giveaway for the Quilting Gallery’s Blog Hop Party is a group of products that can be used as building blocks for you to create – to express yourself through this glorious craft we call quilting.

  1. Fons & Porter Hand Quilting Needles – 20 count
  2. “Royal Crown” pattern by Marjorie Rhine of Quilt Design Northwest
  3. 4 1/2” Easy Angle ruler (same type of ruler used by Bonnie Hunter of www.quiltville.com)
  4. “The Quilting Answer Book” by Barbara Weiland Talbert
  5. Yardage Bundle of assorted neutrals – 4 one yard pieces

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This package is worth nearly $60 at retail and you can win it for free by doing the following:

  1. Become a new follower of my blog
  2. If you have a blog, post about the Blog Hop Party to help spread the word.
  3. Tell me about it – make ONE comment (just one!) and tell me that you’re a new follower and that you’ve blogged about the giveaway party.  Wrap up your post by telling me one, single, solitary thing you’ll do in 2012 to express yourself creatively – how will YOU move forward??

The giveaway will stay open until next Saturday, December 17th at midnight.  I will announce the winner of the random drawing on the morning of Sunday, December 18th.

I apologize for not getting this posted sooner in the day – comments on this post only will be considered for the drawing.  I will be sending emails to those who commented on yesterday’s post so that they may revisit and enter for a chance to win.

Have a wonderful day and a very productive 2012!  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hop Party Giveaway

Good Morning and Welcome to the Heavenly Hills of West Virginia!

Thank you for visiting my blog! I'm excited to be participating in the Blog Hop Party and would like to extend my warmest wishes for a safe and joyous Holiday season to all of you and your families!

And yes, I'll be having a giveaway in honor of the Quilting Gallery's 4th birthday - all items will be brand new from my online shop (which you can visit at http://www.heavenlyhillsfabrics.com/). I'll be posting a picture and full description of the prizes you can win tomorrow morning (Saturday, December 10th) right here on my blog. I guarantee that it will be worth your time!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Please visit the Quilting Gallery tomorrow for a full list of participating blogs - all with fantastic giveaways! And please come back to my blog for the giveaway post and a chance to win!!

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to post more . . . have you heard that before? ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Leftovers!

So, I sorted all my 2 1/2” strips into color groups in my storage drawers and realized I had quite a few of a couple blues, some of which were already sewn together.  I remember them from the green/blue/orange toddler quilt I made a few years ago (isn’t it funny how seeing a fabric triggers a memory?).

At any rate, I figured it was a good time to see if I could do something with them.  At first, I was just thinking four-patches as leaders/enders, but then a brainstorm hit.  Blew right in without any warning! ;)

So I sewed all the blues together – even the little partial strips – and got to digging through my ruler stash to see if I had something to play with.  I chose a triangle ruler and then realized that more options for these blocks were possible.  If I added white . . . found two full strips of a WOW print in my 4 1/2” drawer . . . It’s still too much blue – what about an accent color?  I found a whole bunch of a beautiful red solid, but hmmm. . . . how about this gorgeous gold print??

I knew that if I flipped the gold on either side of the blues, it would make the cut pieces more interesting.  And if I sewed the gold to the WOW, it would keep everything the same width and open up even more possibilities.

So, I’m just stripping along and got to thinking, “What about adding a thin red as another accent?”  I seriously considered it, but then realized once we started playing with the blocks, that I didn’t really need a red (at least, that’s what I think right now – I could change my mind yet!)

Anyhoo, here are pics of the eleven “leftovers” blocks – I held out one two-blue strip set to be sure I had enough of the right sequence of pieces and I have to finagle a few more pieces out of that to complete a few of these (see the post-its?)  But, it’s not bad for strips that were languishing in a drawer, doing nothing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Details from Columbus!

Yes, I’m running behind – as usual! 

I had a grand time in Columbus in June.  NQA puts on a great show, and it was incredibly interesting, exciting and enlightening to be able to help and then enjoy it.

I learned so, so much in the Judging Room and made some great new friends.  It was amazing to see the quilts up close and also to see three judges working together with such professionalism and cooperation.  And everything went off pretty smoothly – you can tell that the judging process has been well thought out and planned, even to the smallest details.

The last day of judging was a half-day and so I was able to help hang the quilts and met some terrific gals there as well – Bobbi was a blast to be around and one gal I’d be honored to work with again.

Wednesday, I became a student by taking Linda McCuean’s “Bit of Bella” class.  It was a hands-on class on Gammill long-arm machine and I realized quickly that I was a bit out of my element.  It will take a whole lot more practice before I feel comfortable with a long-arm.

Thursday, I was in Kathy McNeil’s design class – I took lots and lots of notes, because she shared tons of great information!  Plus, we shared some stalled projects of our own to get advice from Kathy and our classmates.  Thank you, ladies, for all your great ideas!

Friday, I took Karen Stone’s “Spinning Stars”.  She’s terrific to be around – very upbeat and laid back.  Here’s a picture of the blocks I came out of there with:

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I really like how they turned out and the paper piecing was mostly easy to accomplish.DSC_0148

Saturday, I had a great time in Esterita Austin’s “Pow-erful Portraits” – she’s amazingly talented and I pushed my boundaries quite a bit in this class.  It was the first ever portrait piece I’ve ever attempted, plus it included painting (which I’ve always wanted to try, but was afraid to!).  Actually, I still haven’t painted, as Esterita was the hand behind the brush on my piece, but I loved watching her work on it!

She still needs a hand, hair and a shirt, but she’s pretty cool even without all that, I think! Winking smile

I must admit, I was glad to be coming home, though.  Saturday night, my last night in Columbus, I awoke around 3 am to strange sounds and lights outside my lower level window.  When I peeked out, there were cop cars in the parking lot and a helicopter hovering overhead.  Cops were checking random rooms - looking for someone, I suppose.  They didn’t come to my side of the hotel and so didn’t knock on my door, but it still made me a bit anxious for a little while.

All in all, it was a grand experience and I’m looking forward to next year!

By the way, I came home to find that our dog, Duke, had been hit by a vehicle while I was gone.  He was a copper Beagle and a wonderful pet – we all miss him terribly!015_14

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Alex, our son, with Duke as a puppy and full grown.  Unfortunately, both of our kids saw Duke get hit and it was pretty traumatic for both of them.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hello, Columbus!

I’ve arrived, safe and sound and my quilt, “Salt, Pepper and a Dash of Spice,” has been delivered, albeit a day late.  Tomorrow starts bright and early with candidate orientation at 7:30 am.  I’m excited to be in the Judging Room at the NQA’s 42nd Show!  It will be a wonderful learning experience, I’m very sure.

The judging concludes on Tuesday and I’m set up for classes starting on Wednesday – four days of full day classes and I think they’ll be loads of fun!

Off to bed soon for some catching up on much needed sleep – have a wonderful evening, everyone!

Barbara Ann

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gaining perspective . . .

So, I’ve been terribly frazzled this past week with all of the banquets, state track meet and all that end-of-the-year fun ~ toss in my husband being gone on National Guard duty and add a very healthy sprinkling of stress from the slowing progress on the new website and my nerves are just shot all to heck!

Yesterday morning, my temper was extremely short as I tried unsuccessfully, yet again, to import my products and I’m very ashamed to say that I had more than one nasty little blow-ups ~ the worst one at the only person who was truly helping me!  Somewhere, somehow, I’d lost my perspective.

Last night, I had a dream about my sister, Sonja. She’s been gone for 11 years now, and sometimes it still feels like she left just yesterday.  In the dream, she looked so beautiful and natural, that I didn’t want it to end ~ I wanted to stay asleep and just be with her again.  There was a lot of symbolism and lessons in that dream.

When I woke up, I asked my husband if he’d like to go to church this morning.  We did and had a wonderfully, fulfilling time as a family.  It had been so long since we’d been there, but it still felt like home.

Between the dream and going to church, I feel like I’ve regained a sense of order, perspective and control.  It’s really not the end of the world if the website is not ready for the Web Shopper Appreciation Days sale that starts tomorrow morning.  All is well and right with my world ~ and what isn’t perfect is what makes it interesting. 

It is what it is and that’s all it can be. 

Take care and have a terrifically stress-less week, everyone!

Barbara Ann

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I’m so excited!

Yesterday, I spoke with Linda, whose hard work and attention to detail has made the Jackson Mill Quilt Retreat the success that is over the years.  She had an open spot for a teacher and asked if I’d like to teach a class!!!!

AND I SAID YES!!!  I have so many ideas flitting around in my head (think hummingbirds!) and I’m so very excited!

I’m thinking color, scraps, squares, strips . . . . now the real work begins!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What a busy, busy life it is!

DSC_0178 editThis is my daughter, Jessica, with her boyfriend, Dustin, on the left and her good friend, Skylar on the right.  We’re about to get this track season wrapped up this week and I must admit, I’m very, very glad.  I’ve been taking around 400 to 500 pictures at every meet (except for one!) to share with the kids on Facebook and give to the high school yearbook and local newspaper.  All that cropping, fixing and posting aside, there has been enough drama to choke an elephant this season and I, for one, have had my fill!

We also have three banquets this week – National Honor Society on Monday, Academic on Tuesday and Sports on Thursday.  Wednesday, I’ll be traveling to Buckhannon to judge the Strawberry Festival’s quilt show and Friday, we’re going to the State Track Meet in Charleston for Jessie and Dustin to compete in the girls and boys 4 x 800 meter relays.

In addition to all that, I’ve worked most of this weekend adding content and products to the new website.  We’re hoping to go live by the end of next weekend, as I have signed up for the FabShop’s Web Shopper Appreciation Days, May 23rd through the 27th.  Nothing like adding more pressure to myself!

Next month, we’re off to Columbus for the NQA’s show and then to Summersville for the WV Quilters’ show.

Lots to do and not enough hours in a day to do it all!

Have a terrific week, everyone!

Barbara Ann

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Paperwork!

I have been working on paperwork (ugh!) nearly all day today!  It’s been a beautiful sunny, breezy day (even if it was a bit cool) and I’ve been stuck in front of the computer!  But at least, I’ve got a lot accomplished today – sales typed up, purchases listed, contact lists ready.  Not to mention updated my judging resume and sending out a few important emails . . .

My 15 year old daughter, Jessica, is running track again this year.  She’s had two meets a week for the most of this month, so that means lots of running (i.e. driving) for me, too.  Friday night, we went to Ritchie County for their Invitational.  They do a great job with the organization and running of that meet, but it’s rained every time we’ve been there.  Plus, it’s a bigger meet so they have to make it a two session meet to accommodate all the athletes.  It was so dark, chilly and damp; both of my kids have coughs and congested sinuses now.  Plus it was after midnight when we finally got in our house.

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This picture is from last weekend’s meet at home – my son, Alex, is on the far left, my beautiful Mom is next, then my Jessica and her boyfriend, Dustin (who’s now like part of our family.  It was a cloudy day, but nice and warm for that meet.  Much better running weather!

 

Anyhoo, I’m very excited about my new website’s progress.  It looks like the design is coming along very nicely and hopefully, the programming will go quickly.  I’d like to be able to participate in the FabShop’s sale days at the end of May, but the Websites For Quilters project manager said it might depend on how quickly I can upload the products.  To that end, I’ve been working on the inventory listing today too.  I’ve got so many ideas for the different aspects of the website and its branches!  I’m anxious to see them manifested!

Also, I received word that Anne Simms has completed a top for me – I supplied the pattern and the fabrics (from my shop) and she made the top.  She keeps the pattern and the scraps and I pay her for the top!  I’m excited to see how it turned out!

At any rate, I must wrap this up and head off to bed!  Have a terrific week, everyone!

Barbara Ann

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello, everyone!

 

I just wanted everyone to know that I’m still alive and going strong.  Well, maybe more like going a little crazy, but isn’t that what life is anyway?  A little chaos, a little order – all stirred up together, just to keep it all interesting . . .

Wow, since January, life’s been pretty busy – huge, on-going project at work, oldest child in track (and now meets are starting), quilt retreat and trip to the AQS show in Lancaster, PA.  This week includes the dentist (yuck!) and my first judging experience of the year in Ripley, WV.

Here’s a few pictures from the Jackson’s Mill retreat in Weston:

And the pictures from Lancaster:

What great times I’ve had lately!  I’ll try to post more pictures from Lancaster later on!

Have a great evening, everyone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brrrrr!! It's cold out there!

Yesterday was my son's 12th birthday and his only request was to have some friends over. He had basketball practice in the morning then we went to Pizza Hut/Wingstreet for lunch. After we got home, he and his friends played video games and then went out into the snow to play. We all went to the elementary school tournament games last night and then three of the boys, including his cousin, Ethan, stayed overnight. I know that they were awake at 5:00 this morning, because so was I! But they've had fun - what a blessing it is to hear kids giggling!

Time to tie up a few loose ends today and this week. Got to finish prepping the top of the "Salt, Pepper and a Dash of Spice" for the longarm quilter; put labels on the retirement quilts and clean my sewing room - it's an awful mess!!

I got my registration materials back from the NQA, IQA and AQS shows and the Jackson's Mills retreat, so I'm all set for that. Plus I have my Judges Certification Program materials to work on and lots of new books to read for the program. Not to mention recleaning the house and doing laundry! Yep, lots to do today! Best get started, I suppose . . . .

Have a glorious Sunday, everyone!

Barbara Ann

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just a quick note to promote a terrific giveaway - check it out at:

Jaybird Quilts

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

Barbara Ann