Circle of Nine

I am so ready to break out some fabric and start a new quilt but I’m holding off … at least for a couple days. Today, we did some cleaning downstairs and we’ll do the final bit tomorrow. For Keith that means bathrooms! For me, vacuuming, dusting, and clearing the last of the surfaces so we’ll be ready Monday for the photographer. I’ve decided getting ready for the photographer is worse than getting ready for potential buyers coming through. I’m thinking that after the photographer leaves on Monday, I can squeeze in a quick project but it will have to be quick and easy!

I’ve vowed to decrease my yarn and fabric buying after sorting through the sewing room and you’d think that would apply to books too wouldn’t you? I thinned out my book collection by about half but the Circle of Nine quilts caught my eye this week and after doing some research, I decided this is just the kind of thing that appeals to me – it’s a process rather than a specific pattern although the books do have patterns too. From the website …

Learning the fundamentals of the Circle of Nine setting allows you to easily design a multitude of original, unique, and beautiful quilts using your favorite blocks. One simple setting with variations, sample spacers, and sample blocks helps you get started on the path to creating your own original quilts. No two quilts will ever look alike with this one simple 9-block setting!

There are 3 books and I bought the first two. I can see having lots of fun drafting new quilts using this setting. As far as I can tell, most of the quilts seem to be square and while square quilts are not my favorite, I’m sure that I can figure out top and bottom borders to make them rectangular.


The sewing room is done! I’ll move some things off the desk and put a couple trash cans in the closet Monday morning but it’s as neat and clean as it’s going to get. After getting that done, I decided to finish up the little 4th of July mat. That’s two big things checked off my list today.

I sewed!

I actually turned on the sewing machine tonight. I have to make a small project for our family gift exchange and I needed to get it started. I modified a candle mat pattern found free on Connecting Threads’ website to meet the size I needed. That firecracker looks a little random there but hopefully when I do the embroidery and put a blue binding on it won’t look so odd. The lighting is terrible too but you get the idea. I’m debating whether to quilt it by machine or hand quilt it but I haven’t decided yet. I’m leaning toward machine quilting it because it would go fast but I haven’t used this machine for quilting before and I don’t need any problems right now. I just need to get it done.

My work today involved more straightening and cleaning. I thought I was in good shape after all the decluttering but then the realtor started talking about the photographs and sent me a link to these tips. So of course, I have more “work” to do than expected. I decided to leave the fabric on the shelves for a couple weeks feeling that it would look better with the fabric rather than empty so I spent the last hour of my day trying to make it look a bit neater. Not perfect but better!

And here’s the other one … I wish I could say I was done but I’ll spend tomorrow finishing up in the sewing room and then Saturday and Sunday cleaning downstairs.

I owe them!

The weather in Big Canoe almost didn’t cooperate but there was a break in the rain long enough for Keith and Chris to unload the UHaul. I owe them big time! This is just 30 or so seconds of video but this went on for over an hour! Plus they had some furniture to move out of the nook before they could start stacking the bins up in there.

And while they were hard at work, I was out on the bike here at home. Boy was it hot – 90 degrees and it’s just the 3rd of May! Just reinforces one of the reasons we’re not staying here in Tampa.

I spent the rest of the afternoon dealing with paperwork from the realtor and then Keith sent me a few photos of the bins in the nook. There are some more bins going in June but some of these will go in the longarm room too and I’m happy to see that there will still be room to move around. I’m not sure how many more shelving units I’ll add. I’m going to keep the stash in bins there and I’m just going to have to figure out what works as I go. You can see the older bins are green – all the newer ones are clear which will be easier too. They do have labels and I’ll sort them in areas by color and type – scrap, yardage, strings … I can make this work for me!

Safe and sound!

I’m not sure what time Keith actually got out of here this morning (he kissed me goodbye but I didn’t look at the clock) but 10+ hours later he arrived safe and sound. Confirmed both by text and by an alert from the cameras!

Chris will help him unload tomorrow but today he’s been tied up … first a hike with Mo

And now they’re getting ready for Rae’s First Communion. I can’t wait to see my girls in person!


I think the opossums have moved in! I’d seen several sightings on the wildlife cameras over the last few months but now I’m seeing them several times a day. I’ve asked Keith to take a good look around while he’s up there to make sure they haven’t gotten too close to the house or caused any damage but they’ve also inspired me to learn more about them. This is one of several articles I’ve read. Keith mentioned a few weeks ago that one of them looked pregnant but I’d forgotten that they are marsupials so maybe she’s carrying those babies in her pouch?! Can you tell the difference between Mom and Dad?

My bench

Kevin took Mom to visit her sister in NC for the first time since COVID now that they’re all fully vaccinated and they stopped by the cemetery in Newport News (VA) to visit my Dad’s and sister-in-law’s graves. Mom got to see my bench and they sent me a photo.

You might remember back in August 2019, Mom and I did a road trip and one of the reasons for the trip was so I could make cemetery arrangements for me and Keith. We had debated for a long time where we wanted our ashes buried. We’ve moved so much in our 32 years together and had no strong feelings about being buried in any of those locations. When I suggested the same cemetery my Dad was buried in, Keith thought it was a great idea. I was very happy to be able to have the bench where our ashes will be interred placed in the same section of the cemetery my Dad is in.

The bench is along the edge of this graveyard and Dad is more in the center and off to the right but you can sit here and see his grave. Here’s a photo from our trip in 2019 – I’m standing at the place the bench will be and Mom is standing in front of Dad’s grave. It makes me happy to know we’ll be close by!

Bins and batting

Keith went to pick up the UHaul this morning and it took us about 2 hours to carry the bins down and load it up. I think there are about 40 bins of various sizes … and all but one roll of my batting. Luckily, he’s still smiling! We’ll put a few smaller bins in the back seat of his truck and I’ll cross my fingers that everything else will fit on the moving truck in June.

Those bins filled 2 and a half closets and I haven’t even packed the fabric on the IKEA shelves yet. I’m definitely going on a fabric and yarn diet!

I am going to miss the closet space in this house. There are 5 closets in the sewing room alone. Having all of this done is great progress and a huge relief.


I love books that take me to other places and times … and its always fun to read about a place I’ve actually been. I started a book tonight set in Venice which made me think about our trip to Italy in 2012. We started and ended in Venice.

I’m usually the planner but this trip we went with Keith’s brother and sister-in-law and his brother planned out our itinerary. I was a little worried about the amount of travel from place to place. Usually we travel at a more leisurely pace but I think they felt they might not ever go back and they wanted to see it all. It turned out great and because we traveled by train from city to city, it seemed more relaxed. I do love a train journey! Believe it or not after all these years, I even found my spreadsheet with all the details of our itinerary. I tend to be very organized and I like my lists!

Now that I’ve looked at my photos and shared my memories, it’s time to get back to my book!

Step by step

I’m feeling good about my progress today … each time we organize another step in the process, I feel better. Today it was meeting with the realtors. Keith has a local business acquaintance/friend who referred us to this realtor and I was very happy with our meeting today. He brought a partner and the two of them were very positive about the house and the market and I just liked them. We’ll have a call on Monday to discuss pricing and next steps but I think we’re on our way to listing in about a week or so. I worked like crazy to get the house in good shape, decluttered and clean although you can certainly tell we’re in the process of prepping for a move. They didn’t stroke out about my sewing room which is great. It’s in the master bedroom and I don’t have any intention of trying to move things out of there until mid June so I admit I was happy to not get negative feedback about how the room would show as it is currently.

Tomorrow Keith will pick up a UHaul trailer and we’ll stuff it as full of bins of fabric and yarn as we can and he’ll drive to GA to unload it. I’ve already got plans to make some time for sewing next week. I have a project I need to work on for our family gift exchange that is due the end of May and I need to get cracking on it.

While I’m not sewing yet, I took a little time tonight to draft out an idea I have for a quilt. I want to remake some of my favorites from my website or in this case, combine a couple different ideas from two rail fence quilts. I’ve had this one in the back of my mind for a while and maybe I will actually get around to making it some time later this year or next year. These are the two quilts I’ve already made ….

I would probably go ahead and make it the same size as the RWB rail fence but this slightly smaller size would work for donation too. I haven’t decided whether I’d go scrappy like the autumn quilt above using many greens, golds, reds, and oranges or stick to fewer fabrics like the RWB quilt.