Thursday, June 29, 2017

Patriotic Palette Blog Hop

I hope you've been following along on our fun week of the Painter's Palette Blog Hop sponsored by Paintbrush Studios.

Here's where we've been and what we've seen so far in this blog hop:  

Day 1: Fireworks Mini Quilt - Lisa, InspiredbyFabric This is the PaintbrushStudio blog. Visit often!
Day 2: Atomic Blooms - Jayne, TwiggyandOpal
Day 3: Red, White and Blue Star - Elizabeth, OccasionalPiece
Day 4: A Salute to Red, White and Blue - Stephanie, SpontaneousThreads
Day 5: The Pillow That Ate Cleveland - Shelley APigeoninPungo

Welcome to Day 6! 

Here are the others you'll want to visit too:

Day 7, June 30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life
Day 8, July 3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod

All eight of us received these fat quarters with which to design a project. I didn't use the color French Blue. I did use 5/8 yard of Painter's Palette Solid White! 

My design is "Patriotic Pinwheel." It's 24-1/2" X 24-1/2" and has a faced (rather than bound) finished edge.
24-1/2" X 24-1/2"
*Six pages of instructions do not include specific details for adding the last two borders (white with blue stripe, and dark blue). The 1"-wide (finished) white border is a little tricky to explain where to position, though it can be made similar to the red stripes. Feel free to copy mine on your own. 

Using EQ7, I came up with this block design. It started as a simple pinwheel block that I changed using the EQ7 "serendipity" feature.

For quilting, I first machine-sewed near the seams to stabilize the whole piece. Then I added big stitch hand-quilting because I like it.

And because we've been away from home for the past 11 days, it was the only way to get this done! 😄
I used size 8 perle cotton that I have on hand - some Presencia and some DMC - in these four colors.

For the dark blue (Patriot) pinwheel, I wanted the appearance of movement, so I turned to my often-used nested acrylic circles to trace curves. 

They're at 1-1/2" intervals.

Hand quilting was fast and fun!

For backing and facing, this old - like from 2008 - print works just fine. It's Robert Kaufman's Satinesque by Patrick Lose. 

I followed my friend Elizabeth's Faced Binding Tutorial to finish the piece, though instead of a double layer folded facing, I cut mine to make a 2"-wide single layer facing. Tip: Rather than hand sewing down the facing, for a quicker finish use Stitch Witchery to fuse the facing to the backing. Wa-la!

My hand quilting shows up a little.

Now, it's giveaway time! 

This giveaway is closed.


Paintbrush Studio is generously letting me give away the same seven-piece red, white, and blue fat quarter bundle that they sent me! (Each Patriotic Palette blogger is giving away a bundle!)

For a chance to win from FlourishingPalms, just comment.

Sorry, but this giveaway is for USA residents only. 

Be sure to include your email address if you're a no-reply commenter. If I can't contact you, you won't be the winner. 

And let me add that if you don't win, go buy some Painter's Palette Solids anyway! After my first yardage purchase of it at QuiltCon in Savannah, I've been completely sold.
  • The hand is fabulous. Not as heavy as some solids; nor as light as others.
  • The colors - all 168 of them! - are yummy.
  • The colors don't bleed. I'm a pre-washer, so it was wonderful to see a color catcher go into and come out of the washing machine still the same color.
  • Paintbrush Studio is in North Kansas City. I have a soft spot for that area because many family members live in KC. 
I'm definitely building my Painter's Palette Solids stash. I buy mine here. Linda

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Florida Sinkholes

Lately the local news has included daily reports of sinkholes opening in The Villages. Coming here from Iowa nearly five years ago, we didn't know anything about sinkholes other than hearing about the ones that swallow homes.

In Iowa the soil is mostly clay, so the water tends to lay on top of the ground. Here, where our homes are built on sand, the ground is porous. Water keeps falling and rinses away the rock below, like gypsum and limestone. That's when sinkholes open.

A sinkhole can be small...
At a Villages golf course
...right in front of your house...
This one is purportedly 30 feet deep!
... or at your favorite Ocala restaurant, where it takes your whole car!
 The couple got out safely.
(All sinkhole photos from

In April 2014 this 60-foot deep sinkhole appeared under the corner of a Villager's home, and part of the neighbor's driveway.

A mixture of sand and concrete was poured and poured and poured into the hole. 

I'm not sure I'd ever feel safe though.

Typically, sinkholes are what happens after a season of drought followed by several days of heavy rains. This is precisely how it's been around here. The recipe for perfect sinkholes.

The latest sinkhole was discovered yesterday. It's 20 feet deep.

This house is on the "historic" side of The Villages, the section that's the oldest, where The Villages first started. (I've also heard this area referred to as "Jurassic Park." 😂 )

I can't help but sometimes think about own house being swallowed-up. If it happens, I hope Dan is somewhere else, perhaps at yoga or teaching Tai Chi, and I'm somewhere quilting with quilty friends!

Speaking of quilt-y... there's a really cool Patriotic blog hop going on, sponsored by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics.  It started a few days ago, on the company's Inspired by Fabric blog.

Patriotic Palette Blog Hop: Day 1
Patriotic Palette Blog Hop: Day 2

Each day there's a free project tutorial and a giveaway!
6/26: Elizabeth of OPQuilt (@occasionalpiecequilt)
6/30: Cindy Wiens of Live a Colorful Life (@liveacolorfullife)
7/3: Stephanie of Peas in a Pod (@stephiepeterson)
You'll want to follow along to see what eight designers (including me!) have made with this Painter's Palette Solids fabric bundle, and get eight chances to win the bundle for yourself! (USA only.)

Painter's Palette Solids are those solid fabrics I've recently discovered, and really appreciate for their beautiful hand and vibrant, run-free colors!

So, please return here on Thursday for my tutorial and giveaway! Linda

Friday, June 23, 2017

Florida Home Anniversary

Today, June 23, marks five years of living in The Villages. We've all heard it said, have probably even said it ourselves, and I will say it again, "I can't believe it's been five years!"

Time is whizzing by.

I blogged here about move-in day which was a remarkable experience. We'd barely unloaded the U-Haul truck and closed the garage door before Tropical Storm Debby blew in, causing several days of non-stop rain. Being Florida newbies; and well-remembering the 1993 floods in Des Moines, when the Des Moines drinking water supply was contaminated, and floodwaters overflowed the rivers, also threatening West Des Moines' drinking water; we were sure we would again be sandbagging, and dealing with flooding in our new home!

Happily, we were wrong. We've become accustomed to the frequent rains, and that rainwater just flows down through the sand.

The Villages, now comprised of more than 80 villages, continues to be a beautiful place in which to appreciate the outdoors - the weather and the scenery. And the best way to enjoy it is traveling along at about 20 mph in a golf cart, in the golf cart lane or on a multi-modal path...

The approximately 150,000 residents do a pretty good job of sharing the road, though with us being seniors, often having visitors to The Villages, and with more than 100 miles of golf cart paths, there are occasionally unfortunate accidents.

This is one of my favorite stretches of the multi-modal path paralleling Buena Vista Boulevard (on the right).

Round-abouts for automobiles are common in The Villages so anyone who's new to the area almost certainly needs an education as to how to properly drive through, or make a turn on a round-about.

As far as I know, this multi-modal path golf cart round about on the south side of town is the only one in The Villages.

There are dozens of golf cart tunnels that allow carts to pass under state and county highways.

A favorite activity when grandchildren visit is to drive through a tunnel and hit the horn to hear the "beep-beep."

Everywhere you look, we see lush vegetation and flowers. Especially in the common areas, The Villages does a wonderful job of showing something blooming, year 'round. This bed is just outside one of the more than 70 recreation centers.

Big Cypress rec center is where I go each Tuesday afternoon to meet with quilters. There are now 20 chapters of Quilting Guild of The Villages, with more than 1,100 quilters in the guild.

May and June are months when the crape myrtle are in bloom. They're gorgeous, and make me think of Iowa's lilacs that I miss so much. But disappointingly, crape myrtle doesn't have a scent. 

We live in a golfer's paradise which is ironic because neither Dan nor I golf. But we appreciate the beauty of each one.

The wildlife love the golf courses too. This is a dance of sandhill cranes. They are so big! In this picture, Mother Crane is following three of her colts. (Yes, I looked up the proper terms for a group of cranes, and baby cranes.)

We have lots of wetland in the area too. Homes located on those are highly desirable, with lovely views of marsh and wildlife.

Twenty-four-hour staffed guard stations are throughout The Villages. The people working in them are always friendly, help when someone needs directions, and monitor resident and non-resident vehicles passing in and out of residential areas. 

We have to admire that the city planners who laid-out the area, left live oak trees intact. Roadways, multi-modal paths, and golf courses have been designed around live oaks so we can continue to appreciate the beauty of them with their dripping Spanish moss.

Fire stations look good too. We appreciate that a couple times we've been able to drop into a station with our grandchildren where they get to see and climb into the driver's seat of a fire engine. Around here though, it seems that the EMS vehicles are most often called into service.

Major automobile intersections are beautified with flowers...  and fountains.

Here's where we live. I snapped this picture at about 6:30 in the evening, just after a heavy rain. The sun came out and made the house seem to glow. 

Our Bismarck Palm has grown into a show-stopper. It's certainly taken over my front sewing room bay window view! I love hearing those huge fronds (they're at least 72" across!) clack in the wind.

It's been great to live here five years now. I love my home, and sewing room set-up. We're thoroughly engaged in activities, and keep ourselves happily occupied. We have good health - Dan more so than me, but I'm doing very well now - so we''re anticipating another five good years.

We are blessed! Linda

Monday, June 19, 2017

Florida Quilt

I'm happy to say that my Florida Quilt pattern is now available in both print and digital formats!

Thank you to neighbor-quilter-friend Becky who tested my pattern and made a quilt of her own. She also accompanied me to take photos of our quilts. The cover photo was taken along Lake Sumter, at Sumter Landing.

Becky's quilt photographed well and showed off her lovely walking-foot quilting using the #28 serpentine stitch on her Bernina.

I've been thrilled to use this backing on our quilts. It's just too-perfect!
State Cotton, The Sunshine State by Windham Fabrics.

My friend Lora is selling the Florida Quilt pattern in both print and digital formats, a fabric kit, and backing fabric (separately) though her Etsy shop: DragonflyQuiltworks.

Locally, the printed pattern can be purchased from me, or at Sharky's Vac 'n Sew in Wildwood.

With fair accuracy, I'm predicting that Florida will be of most interest to Floridians. 😉🌞🌴Linda


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