The Green Apricot Getaway- Fall 2017

When: October 1-5, 2017

Where: Crossville, TN

What:  BYOP Retreat

How Much:  $375 per person (Limit 12)


Crossville, TN is located on the Cumberland Plateau in the Appalachian Mountains. We’ll be there at the beginning of October, and the temps should be mild and the leaves beginning to change color.  This retreat is literally about getting away- away from the noise and busyness of everyday life and slowing down for a bit of selfish sewing.  We will be staying at a 12,700 acre resort that boasts of golf courses, riding stables, indoor and outdoor pools, multiple lakes and other activities including massage services (swoon).  There are restaurants on site, and several more to choose from just a couple of miles away. But who cares about all that?!?  We are here for the sewing…

BYOP– This is a Bring Your Own Project style of retreat.  Plan on starting something new and dedicating a solid several days to working on it.  I will be working on the Stag Nation quilt by Sewn Into the Fabric, and I will gladly teach it to whomever wants to join me.  Or, bring a project from home that you want to finish up.  We’ll have access to one large common sewing area for three days, and there is also plenty of room for cutting, sewing and relaxing in the units where we will be staying.  There will be enough room in the common area for all attendes to have their own sewing space. Please do not bring personal irons or cutting mats to the common sewing area, although you are welcome to have them in your unit.  


Shown above: Stag Nation by Sewn Into the Fabric

Accomodations– Mulitiple 2-bedroom units with full kitchens, washers and dryers, dining and living room space.  Units are located close to one another.  No housekeeping will be provided during the retreat.  

Food– The Green Apricot will provide lunch and dinner while in the common sewing area Monday through Wednesday.  Some staples will be provided in each unit, but all other meals will be the responsibility of the attendees.  Grocery stores and restaurants are all just a couple miles away.

Travel– Travel is not included.  The closest international airport to Crossville is 110 miles away in Nashville.  Please keep this in mind while planning.  

Check In/Check Out– Check-in begins at 5pm on Sunday, Oct 1, and check-out is at 10am on Thursday, Oct 5.

Fees, Deposits and Canellation Policies– 

  • Fees include accomodations for 4 nights, sewing space, lunch and dinner for three days for each person.  Payment in full without incurring a $100 fee is due August 15, 2017.  Final payment is due September 15, 2017.  If the reservation is not paid in full on September 15, the reservation and all fees are forfeited.
  • Registration requires a $200 deposit per person that is nonrefundable, but is transferable with approval by The Green Apricot. 
  • Cancellations before September 15, 2017 are fully refundable, less the deposit. Cancellations after September 15, 2017 are not refundable.  Remember, you can transfer your reservation to someone else.


Click Register Now to reserve your choice with the appropriate deposit.  (Please note that you are not registered if the deposit is not paid.)  Because of system limitations, it is possible to overbook.  If that happens, and I am not able to honor your request, I will refund your deposit promptly.  Reservations are limited to a total of 12 people (including myself).  After the reservations have been confirmed, I will send a link for the remaining balance due.

Please let me know if you have any questions before you register.  You can email me at, or text or call 770-584-3498.

#FQS1930FarmersWife, Week 4

1.  This Old Maid went to Quilt Market…  Haha… Block#78 that is. ‘Cause I may have gone to Market, but I ain’t no old maid.

2.  Finding a taxi on a late rainy night in Houston for 6 worn out women and their loot pile from Sample Spree, aka Trample Spree, is one thing, sorting it all out and getting it packed to go on a plane is another.

3.  Katherine is my sisters name, and I haven’t seen her in a very long time. She actually lives in Texas, along with other friends and family. I may not have been able to see her, but I remembered her as I walked the Market floor this time around. Block #49.

4.  No re-entry means NO RE-ENTRY. Ask me how I know. And about how many different scenarios my brain ran through when I couldn’t get out of this stairwell.

5.  Oh, Susannah…  Hurricane?!?  Seriously?!?  And is there any part of Houston not under construction?  #dontfloataway Block #94

#FQS1930FarmersWife, Week 3

This is the first time I’m using the WordPress mobile app to write a post, so we’ll see how it goes!  Haha…  Nothing like taking a technology risk with your website while sitting at the airport in Houston after an inspiring, exhausting, and flat out fun trip to Quilt Market. I’m a little behind on posts, so let’s see if I can catch up…

1.  You should totally take pics of these guys whenever they are together. At least one of them, in this case Jeff’s brother Murray, will make it a memorable photo.

2.  Taking a couple of the grands to visit the gravesite of their great grandparents is a wonderful thing to do when the skies clear a bit on a trip to Utah.  Also, it’s a good time to throw in a pic of block #13, Belle.

3.  Some mom and kid pics are super cute. And some are super cute and photo bombed.

4.    It’s just a piece of dirt to some, but to us it’s our future- a place for our kids, our grand kids and our loved ones. And block #24, Coral.

5.  Corn mazes just might not be my thing. #iwasdone

Hmmmmm. Green Apricots. And Sarah. Who knew?


Well, as the story goes, my husband loves green apricots.  With salt.  In late spring he would climb the trees that grew on his family’s property and eat his fill.  He looked forward to it every year as a boy, but he hasn’t eaten any green apricots in a very long time.

This year we happened to have the opportunity to be in southern Utah in late spring.  We were visiting family and taking care of some business, and while we were in town we looked for some green apricots.  And we found them.

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I have actually never eaten an apricot.  Except dried.  And maybe canned.  So this was going to be a new thing for me.  I was surprised at how small they were.  And by how much Jeff enjoyed eating the really, really green ones.


So I tried them.  A green one.  A not-so-green one.  A ripe one.  I was starting to feel like Goldilocks.  Turns out that when it comes to apricots, I’m a Momma Bear kind of girl.  The green ones were way too firm and tart for me, and the ripe ones seemed to be lacking in flavor a bit.  The right kind were a pretty shade of orange, with just tinges of green.  Right texture.  Right flavor.  Just right.  Like a banana with just a bit of green still left on the skin.

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But all of that is only part of the story.  The trees that Jeff used to climb are no longer in the family, so his brother hooked us up with a sweet friend named Sarah who owns these trees.  Sarah is a character.  Sarah is 92.  Sarah is a smart cookie.

As we were taking pictures, eating apricots, and other such shenanigans in the orchard, Sarah came out and asked why we were so very interested in her apricot trees.  My sister-in-law explained a bit about The Green Apricot, and Sarah wanted to talk to me.  So we chatted for a minute.  Turns out Sarah’s a retired quilter, if you will.  She asked if I had one of those big quilting machines.  I told her I did not yet.  Then she looked at me earnestly with those clear, blue eyes and said, “Well, you should get one.”

Then she said “I want to show you something.  Come on in the house.”

I dutifully followed her inside, where I met her pup and descended into the coolness of a sitting room.  We were surrounded by plants and paintings.  She began to dig through piles of pictures, looking for just the right one.  As she dug, she told of a flood relief effort she had been involved in in the 1990’s.  A phone call here, a smile there, a good natured push in the right direction and this woman had gathered materials and man power to make enough quilts to cover the floor of the Dixie College sports arena.  Six times over.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, found a way to have them all delivered to the correct distribution spot with the Red Cross.  She carefully controlled the slight curl in her nose as she expressed her gratitude for the yards and yards of cotton-poly blend fabric donated for the backing of the quilts.  She told of logistics miracles, and then the pictures started to emerge.  Photos of a woman 22 years younger, with a grin almost as large as the stack of quilts she was standing with.  Who knew?

A few minutes later we said our good-byes, and she looked at me with those eyes and said “Get you one of those machines.”



What I learned at Spring Quilt Market 2015- Minneapolis, MN

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I’m just a fool for a retreat.

It’s pretty bad actually.  People talk about going away to creative retreats to take a break from everyday life and all the challenges involved.  I go to retreats because I am a brat.  I love my life.  I don’t need a break or to get away or any of that.  I do it because I love it, and I get so much sewing done!  The only thing it gets me away from is this stinking computer.

I wrote a while back about the F.A.R.T. some cohorts and I went on to east Tennessee, which was a great time.  Just a handful of us with all of our sewing gear, and brains buzzing from projects continued and started.  Notice I didn’t say finished.  That would be taking it too far.

Then just a few weeks after that I headed to the Grand Oak Retreat in Alabama for an annual trip with another group of fun friends.  Kris Caddy, who you will get to know more later, organized the trip.  We rode to and from Alabama together, and in his words, it was a quick couple of hours in the car.  Not only is he a very talented quilter, but we also have a great time laughing and chatting.


The Grand Oak Retreat is just plain awesome.  Cindy and her husband built the home specifically for this- creative retreats.  The three-story house is built on the side of a mountain in Scottsboro, AL that looks out over a beautiful lake. The family lives on the main floor, while there are two retreat areas, a smaller unit on the top floor, and a larger one on the bottom.  Each retreat area includes comfortable lodging and a kitchen spot as well as space for sewing and creating.  The top floor hosts 3-5, while the bottom floor hosts 10-14.  Cindy cooks all of the meals during the retreats, and she is a great cook.  Not to mention a wonderful hostess.  I don’t think she has much time for quilting anymore with all of the work that she does, but she knows just what to do to make all of us very comfortable.  Last year we got to hypnotize her chickens, but the chickens met an unfriendly end, so we had to settle for Left Right Center and runs into town to do a little shopping.  We suffered terribly.

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I may not be very disciplined at home, but I usually am while I am at retreat. Surprisingly, even with all of the shenanigans.  I’ve been known to take one project and work on it the whole time, but that was not so this time.  I had a list of deadlines to meet, and I knew this was the time to mark them off of the list.

My first goal was to finish my project for the #RainbowMiniSwap hosted on Instagram by Kate Basti of Stitch’N’Kitsch on Etsy. My partner has received her happy mail package way down under in Australia, so I can tell you a little about it now!  She is Marni Franks of Frankenstein’s Fabrics.  She loves dragons and skulls and all things magical and Halloween- all very different from what I love, but I had a feeling I could find something that would please her, and be a little expression of me at the same time.  I used the Creative Grids Pineapple ruler to make the background, and borrowed a graphic from my IG friend @cricketharris1.  As a note regarding construction, when it comes to projects like these, I find it easier to quilt the background before adding the applique.  The applique process then becomes part of the quilting and there is an outline of the applique on the back of the project.  I also use a 2″ cut binding, which makes for a tight, full and crisp binding.

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I also needed to work on my bee blocks for Stash Bee.  I am in Hive 9, which has been a great group so far.  I really enjoyed this particular pattern, and hope to use it again sometime.  Fellow hive mate Maureen chose “Linked Squares” by Christina of  The link to the info about the block is here, just in case you want to do it too…

FullSizeRenderThe third project I worked on was a center medallion for a Round Robin that I am a part of.  I feel very fortunate to be a part of this lovely group of makers, and I am really excited to see what will come back to me in a year.  If you aren’t familiar with Round Robins, they generally begin with a center block that is then passed to other members of the group and each member adds a new border, or round, to the original center.  There are pros and cons to these groups- you never know what the quality will be, and fabric selection can be scary.  In this case, I am not the least worried about the skill level of my fellow quilters, and we each contributed a fair amount of fabric with our blocks with instructions not to add any more fabric from our own stash.  So, I have now turned in my center block and picked up my first block to work on.  It’s due at the end of April, and I am excited to work on it.  I won’t be posing pics of progress because it’s a surprise for the recipient, but I will write a blog post about it when it’s all done.  In the meantime, here’s my center block.  It is from a pattern by Frecklemama called Fifteen Degrees and uses a 15 degree ruler by Creative Grids.

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So, what’s next?  Well, I’m sure it won’t surprise you too badly that I have another retreat to go to.  The Stash Bash is just around the corner, and this fall I’m headed to the Plantation Quilter’s retreat as well as Glamp Stitchalot.  I’m sure there will be another before the year is out…

Out on a F.A.R.T.

You heard me.  A Fabric Acquisition Road Trip.  A FART.

Sometimes A lot of times I feel like a spoiled brat quilter.  This last week was one of those times.  I got to go to Gatlinburg, TN with a couple of friends with the sole purpose of fabric shopping and condo quilting.  The trip wasn’t without a dose of guilt.  The friend that originated the idea and plan wasn’t able to go at the last minute.  My husband was home still recovering from being sick the week before.  I just went to QuiltCon the week before that.  The studio was waiting for me to fill it with creative goodness.  A friend had to teach my early morning seminary class for me. For four days.

All so I could go out on a FART.

FYI & BTW- it was a lot of fun.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, which is unusual for me.  Perhaps a subconscious manifestation of quilt guilt.

Anyway, we did visit quite a few shops while we were there.  We generally followed the East Tennessee Shop Hop list, and visited 9 of the 12 shops listed on their flyer.  The dates for the shop hop are June 4 – 14, 2015, and you can click here to go to their Facebook page.  I enjoyed all of the shops that we visited, but there were 4 shops that stood out to me enough to justify a whole post dedicated to them.  If I didn’t learn anything else from this little FART, I learned never to judge a quilt shop by it’s exterior.

Gina’s Bernina Sewing Center


This was by far my favorite of the shops that we went to during our road trip.  And honestly, I was shocked.  When we drove up to the property, I was expecting a sewing machine shop more than a fabric shop.  You know what I mean- mostly machines with just enough fabric to support demonstrating said machines, particularly with machine embroidery.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a monogram as much as the next southern girl, but when I’m out on a FART, machines just don’t do   it for me.  I want fabric.  I want color.  I want inspiration.  Well.  Let me tell you, this place delivered.  They have an amazing balance of traditional and modern. Everything from batiks to Tula, from Kaffe to HR.  A little machine embroidery.  A little smocking.  Quilting cottons.  Kids knits.  Seersucker.  Corduroy.  Batiste.  A little bit of everything.  Even fabric with little piles of dog pooh on it, some of which I totally bought.  All I can say is “I’ll be back.”

10816 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37934 ~ 865-966-5941 ~

Machine Quiltin’ By Iva


This was the very first shop we stopped in, and one of only two shops that we visited twice.  It appears unassuming, and maybe even small from the outside.  But once inside I found treasures in just about every corner. This place was packed tight full of fabric, and while it definitely had a more traditional feel to it, it had a surprising smattering of modern designers thrown in here and there.  Also, if you’re a Moda collector, this place is a little bit of heaven with both current and out of print lines tucked in here and there.  I had difficulty deciding, and while I made off with a bag of goodies, I also had to exercise some self control and leave some behind for the next poor fool to walk in those doors.

1020 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN 37862 ~ 865-428-8008 ~ No website, but click here for Luann’s Loose Threads blog- she wrote about this shop in 2011 and took lots of interior photos.  Some of it looks the same, some of it not, but still a good representation.

The Cherry Pit


I have been hearing about this shop for so many years it’s just straight up ridiculous.  People love this place, and I have to say, I do too now.  It does, as one might  guess, have a pretty heavy bias towards traditional quilting, but I have to give props  to these ladies for being open to innovation.  I got the feeling that if I walked in the  store with a Luke Haynes style portrait quilt, or a Denyse Schmidt improv, they  would have fallen over with glorious revelry in the smartness of it.  And the staff  couldn’t have been better.  Accommodating, but knew when to butt out and let me  work through my own process of choosing fabric.  And witty.  And funny.  I love a  funny quilter.  They are twice as smart as everyone else, if you ask me.  However, I  have to say that my dear strictly modern friends would have a hard time at this  shop- I literally couldn’t find a single bolt of solid fabric.  It was kind of odd, but gave  me a challenge for the project I was shopping for.  And I actually really like a  challenge.
115 Bruce Street, Sevierville, TN 37862 ~ 865-453-4062 ~

Pappy’s Quilting Place


Don’t judge an LQS by it’s exterior.  Or it’s name.  Or that it is located in an old gas station.  I think the funniest thing about this shop was that there was a sweet man working there- cutting fabric and running the register.  Pappy, right?  I’m not sure.  I heard him say his sister was the owner.  So is she Pappy?  Or maybe she inherited it from Pappy?  It’s still a mystery because I was too busy shopping to ask.  This shop was definitely the most traditional of the four that I am talking about in this post, but I have to tell you that for this crossover quilter, it was totally worth the drive.  If for no other reason than to try to figure out who exactly Pappy is…

3426 Sevierville Road, Maryville, TN  37804 ~ 865-980-0950 ~

What a fun quilt guilt trip.  Wonder when I can go again…