Category Archives: Quilting



ChatterboxBeach has found a home not only on Etsy, but also in an adorable shop called The Orange Blossom Resale in Hampstead, NC. Our handmade crafts fit right at home among the many vendor booths that feature an eclectic array of home décor, jewelry and fashion items. Located in a strip mall on Highway 17, the store is a convenient drive from Jacksonville, Wilmington and the Crystal Coast and Southern beaches. We love to browse each time we add more items to our booth.
The chef hats, scarves, pillows and dishcloths that we sell on Etsy also are featured in the store. Additional items are also available at The Orange Blossom, include paintings, aprons, pocket books, cup cozies, knitted necklaces, wine bags and mini quilts. ChatterboxBeach hopes to add new products each week.
Let the store owner know your favorite ChatterboxBeach items so we can keep them in stock. Let us know what you are looking for, too. We enjoy tackling new projects together.
Contact us anytime at and stop by The Orange Blossom Resale at 14884 Highway 17, Hampstead NC 28443, (910) 821-1544.
Store hours are:
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 4 p.m.
Monday: Closed



fall ball, band, etc 153

My son turned 13 years old yesterday, and I thought he would like my present best.

The gift was a snack quilt that I had been working on for about six months. I sewed for hours while he was in school or late at night after he had gone to bed so he wouldn’t see the fabric, which featured gum drops, cheese crackers, pretzels, fruit and other snacks.

“I see hamburgers,” he said slyly as he ripped away the silver wrapping paper to reveal the quilt, which was bordered in hamburger fabric. He draped the blanket around himself, said “Thanks Mom,” and then set the cover aside to open more gifts.

I felt slightly disappointed by his reaction. No jumping up and down with joy? No declarations of the blanket being the best present ever? It was like he had opened a pair of socks.

Other gifts got more of a reaction.

He sang with excitement when he opened a drink cup, hot chocolate and handmade hand-warmers from his friend; his friend’s little sister colored him a picture, which he posted on the refrigerator; he played for hours with a remote-controlled helicopter from my mother.

“This is just so cool,” he kept saying.

Close to bedtime, we talked about his birthday and how much fun he had getting phone calls, how much he liked his cake and how thoughtful people were to send presents and gift cards. He was still playing with his helicopter when I headed toward the stairs. I mentioned that the house was cold, and it was getting late.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a warm quilt to sleep under tonight,” he said.

I stopped and smiled.

“Yes, you do,” I said, watching his flying toy whirl above the sofa. “But I have to tell you, I thought you’d be more excited when you opened the blanket.”

“Mom, I love the quilt,” he said and landed his toy helicopter. “Besides, I’m sure it’s going to be here a lot longer than any of the other presents.”

Touched by his insight, I gave him a big hug.

I like the way this hamburger-and-snack-eating teen-ager thinks. And I’m especially happy that he liked his quilt.


quilts and miranda sings 002

Last year, my quilting friend and I talked about getting together each month to sew, which rarely happened. But 2015 is a new year, and yesterday we met at her home resolved to sew.

She worked diligently with her rotary cutter to make pieces for a placemat. Her daughter, who was home from college on break, joined us needle in hand to sew a cross stitch picture. And I stared blankly at three unfinished quilt projects that I had sprawled out on their dining room table.

Each of my pieces had promise, but my creativity was stumped. I was ready to stick each project in a drawer never to be seen again, much less to be completed, when my friend rearranged some of the squares of the first project, offered her suggestions on the second and admired the third.

Seeing my work through her eyes breathed new life into the dormant quilts. I wrote down her suggestions and some of the ideas that they sparked within me. Now the projects are moving forward again.

Needle arts are more than the mechanics of stitching. They also involve the sharing and communicating of ideas.


soccer ball for sisterchatter

My favorite part of crafting is the creative mystery.

My quilting projects begin with pieces of material that come together like the view in a kaleidoscope, and I never know what beauty the shapes are going to create.

Recently, I participated in a fun quilt challenge. Quilters were asked to turn strips of fabric into a wall-hanging. When my material arrived in the mail, I was frazzled and on my way out the door to take my son to soccer practice. But I couldn’t resist stopping to take a peek at the fabric.

I was disappointed. Inside the manila envelope were strips of black and white fabric. I had expected something much more bright and colorful to work with over the next few weeks.

“What on Earth is black and white?” I asked my son, who was standing at the door with the answer in his hands.

A soccer ball is black and white.

So while he was kicking around different moves at practice, I began kicking around ideas in my head.

The result was a wall hanging that featured his red jersey and a black-and-white soccer ball bordered with strips of the black-and-white fabric.

My favorite part of the quilt is the soccer ball, mostly because my son and I collaborated on the pattern. I drew the circle, and he filled in the details. When fabric was added, we gave each other high fives over the results. The red jersey in the back ground gave the ball an extra visual pop.

I didn’t win the contest, but my son now has a great soccer keepsake to hang in his room, and another creative mystery is solved.


SWEEPING AWAY THE SEWING DUST BUNNIES My children are entertaining themselves this week, so I’m having my own stitching retreat at home. The first day, I finished putting the binding on a table runner that I began about three Halloweens … Continue reading


QUILTS AND MOVIES When my kids were younger, they would invite me to sit on the sofa with them to watch animated movies such as “Finding Nemo” or “Cars.” “Let me get my sewing,” I would say, and we would … Continue reading


Betsy Ross and Mrs. Dail

BETSY ROSS AND MRS. DAIL Many people I sew for have great dreams. One has graduated law school. Another wants to be a writer. Someone else is headed to West Point. I’m proud to say, “I made a quilt for … Continue reading


Stitching and talking My quilting friend has become my honorary sister. As we piece and stitch fabric, we talk. We talk about soap operas, the price of milk, meals to prepare, sales on appliances, where to take a broken vacuum … Continue reading


PROGRESS COMES WITH DOING NOT WATCHING I was feeling down yesterday when my my kids suggested we watch the movie Secretariat together. “Let me get something to sew while we watch,” I said. But I didn’t move out of the … Continue reading


PREVENTING UFOs One of the advantages of crafting with family is that we can help each other save projects from the UFO (unfinished objects) pile. When one person gets stuck in the middle of making a craft, someone else can … Continue reading