Monday, September 27, 2010


Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Home

           I made it to Virginia a couple of days ago, but not quite up to Chantilly! I have stopped in Charlottesville to visit my daughter who is a graduate student here at the University of Virginia. We are having a great visit! Saturday, we drove out to Monticello. As you can see in the picture above the weather was perfect.  It was a little warmer than I had expected. They say that they are having a heat wave right now that is not typical. Gee, I hope that I did not bring this hot air with me from Texas! We toured the home as well as the gardens and the family graveyard. I have always wanted to see this and it did not disappoint me in the least. It is remarkable that every aspect of the house and gardens are so well maintained. The most surprising thing that I learned was that when Jefferson died, he was bankrupt. His family had to sell all of his belongings as well as the family home to pay off the debts he incurred while serving our country. Since then, curators have been working to return the house to its original state by locating and purchasing back the original furniture, art, books, etc. Simply amazing! 

              Above is a shot of the beautiful terraced gardens of Monticello and below are the vineyards. All of the vegetable grown here are what was originally grown in Jefferson's day and they are all labelled. The produce is shared among the staff that run Monticello. Wonderful, isn't it!

        Here is a picture of my daughter looking out over the mountain, Monticello, from one of the porticos.  We had a memorable time. Time spent with family is always so special, but when you get "one one one" time with one of your children it is extra special! We have shopped, gone out to eat, stayed up late laughing and crying ~ it's been wonderful. 

      Today, she and I have spent the day studying together. Yes, that is what I said! Of course, she is doing her course work while I am readying for all of my classes that I will teach while at the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo. I will be driving up to Chantilly tomorrow. That is to the Dulles Convention Center near the airport. Janice, from the shop, will be joining me later in the day. My daughter Anna will join us by Friday to help out at the sewing convention on Saturday. Then, she and I will head back to Charlottesville for a little more time together before I drive all the way back home to Texas!

After our visit to Monticello on Saturday, we wandered up the highway a little until we came upon the exit for the Blue Ridge Parkway, a very well known scenic drive. The views were breathtaking. I certainly understand where they got their name ~ see how blue they appear!

So, I will keep you all posted on the Originally Sewing & Quilt Expo that starts this week on Thursday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Retreat Weekend!

        I spent this past weekend in Mineola, Texas hosting our Fall Sewing Retreat at the Southern Comfort Retreat House. It is always a blast and an absolute sewing extravaganza! This retreat's focus was on the  construction of children's clothing; specifically knits. However, our first project for this retreat with a little fall twirly skirt. It was not made out of knits ~ after all, we had to have the evening to prewash the knits for Saturday! The project that I chose for our first garment was "Boo" which is one of our newest kits! It is also pictured in the upper left of this blog.

Hey, Mona . . . looking good!
Mollie & Bettie, "real" sewing sisters!
Are you having fun yet, Denise!
Yes, Tracy, this is Heaven!

Below are some of the "Boos" that the attendees made on Friday night. 

I love the addition of multi-colored tulle under the lower ruffle!

Nancy's favorite colors!
This ain't no "prairie chicken" look"!

Some chose to use different fabrics (same pattern as "Boo"). 
And, then others, chose to test out a new pattern. On the right is the Girly Gore Skirt by Indygo Junction.

Of course, we do eat well at these retreats. Here are the dining rooms (see Linda in the kitchen! ~ she is our hostess extraordinaire ~the chef!) and part of our Friday night feast.

             On Saturday, we sewed with knits! Many of the ladies had never "touched" a knit before. Well, you know what I mean. They had never dared sew with them. We had lots of beautiful garments by the end of the day!

Here is Tracy with her first knit project finished!
       I do not know where everyone gets so much energy, but no one went to bed before midnight. For several it was much much later! By Sunday afternoon everyone had sewn up several little outfits and proud of their accomplishments as well as just a little tired. Memories were made, new sewing buddies were found and I think that many of us put a pound or two over the weekend! Ugh, that means back to the daily diet plan ~ eating healthy can be a little boring!

Just a little Hippie Chick!
Great fabric combination!

A new twist on "Maya"!
A cute little "Bubble" skirt.

Above  are a just a few more pictures of the incredible little outfits that were sewn at our retreat this past weekend. Wow, what a bunch of creative women! I am so blessed to be able to share with them!