Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Two Very Cool Things!

I have made reservations for the Paducah show...and Lucy is coming!! We are staying at Big Bear Resort..it's a little bit out of Paducah, but we have rented a little 1 bedroom cottage, it has a living area and a little kitchen...FUN FUN FUN! So that fun is for April, 2007....

The second very cool thing...there is a BIG quilter's retreat here that goes all out. It's kind of spendy and I haven't gone before. I was contacted and asked if I would like to be the official massage therapist for the retreat..a personal invitation! I said I would, if I could be guaranteed enough clients to cover the cost of my lodgings.

I just heard back that several people have paid their registration, and my fee for the massage on the form, and so I get to go to the retreat EXPENSES PAID! A little massage work on the side, and the rest of the time I get to spend quilting with everyone else. How cool is that?! The massages I have reserved so far will cover the cost of a little cottage room all to myself. It is Feb 22nd to 25th. So I have that in the works.

The third cool thing, okay so I didn't mention that in the title...this past weekend was the MS-150 ride for Multiple Sclerosis. With your help we raised over $2060.00 to fight MS. I had a great time working on the cyclists saturday and sunday. I was SO BEAT by the time I was done, but it was so worth while. I mean, what's better than guys in spandex bike shorts? :cÞ No really, it was wonderful, uplifting, and most of all FUN.

I haven't had time to work on my blue/neutral quilt....and it's driving me crazy. I have so many customers to finish quilts for and the pressure is ON. So...That pile of 1/2 sq triangles are going to have to sit there at the machine table for just a while longer while I get caught up on stuff. Life gets in the way, you know?!


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday.....it's cool and the windows are open!

Oh, I am SO enjoying this cooler weather. You are probably tired of hearing it...but when you have been without it so long, you just embrace it like a lost friend!

Yesterday it poured and poured...that was NOT fun to drive in, but today, it is overcast, very green....nice gentle breeze..and I have the windows open letting some fresh air in here. It's nice when the a/c stops running 24/7 and I don't have to breathe processed air! This real stuff with lower humidity is great!

It's been a crazy week so far so I haven't gotten as far as I would have liked to with my power sewing. I spent some time this morning, and I have gone as far as I can. Now I have the job of 180 1/2 sq triangle squares ahead of me, so that needs some concetrated time before I see any more 'real' progress on this thing.

I have to laugh...you guys! I didn't show you my ironing board so you could say how much you like it, or don't like it! It's an IRONING BOARD! :cD Is it supposed to match every quilt I press on it? It was cheap, I needed a new one, and walmart had this one. I kind of liked the barn red plaid with the chickens :c) However, my ironing board is NOT part of my interior decorating and I don't think it has to match anything, and it is okay with me if it clashes with some things that I sew ;c)

Are you getting the idea of these blocks yet? Do they look like the beginnings of a star to you? :c)

And I couldn't resist taking a picture of Oscar as he auditioned the pile of blue strips. I think he approved!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tuesday, feeling almost like fall!

You can't believe what a break it is when it starts to be a bit cool and less humid in the mornings in South Carolina! It's been GORGEOUS the past few days...yes! Come on FALL!

With fall brings the desire to pull out the crockpot for some wonderful soups that simmer all day long, whole wheat bread dough rising in the bowl, and hot cereal for breakfast with brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and milk...comfort food!

I just can't cook like this in the summer...it's usually too hot to even want to drink hot tea in the mornings. Once school starts and things settle in, I hanker for my tea pot and the smell of tea steeping as well.

I have another little picture for you! Let's see..what have I done so far? 90 hour glass units....turning 1/2 of them into puss in the corner type blocks....and now..180 flying geese units! Some quilts just require building one block at a time so you can match colors and get things just so. Other quilts...like this one...just call for what I refer to as POWER SEWING! Figure out how many units you need, and just chain them through the machine in mile long strings of pieces. THIS is that kind of quilt!

Now that I've finished the fying geese units, I need to make 180 1/2 square triangle squares, blue and neutral. It's a daunting task, but with power sewing, books on CD, or music from XM radio 70's channel blaring, I can get it done in no time!

I finished the binding/hanging sleeve on Weed Whacker last night at guild meeting and showed it for show and tell. It was a hit :c)


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lazy Sunday

I worked Saturday (yesterday) doing massage, and after I got home I was just beat...I did finish a customer's quilt that has to be delivered to guild meeting in Aiken tomorrow, but no time to play with my own fabric!

Today I treated myself to a LONG Sunday nap. Sundays were meant for napping I think. I just need it to catch up and recharge myself for the next week coming, and if I don't get my Sunday afternoon nap, I'm just not a happy girl!

I've been playing a bit this afternoon with my pieces. Want another sneak preview? Here you go! Remember those two piles of 2.5" strips? (See below) The idea is that you can make this whole quilt from 2.5" strips. If you have also been cutting scraps down into bricks (2.5" X 4.5") and squares (2.5") you can use those too......but with the use of the companion angle ruler, and the easy angle ruler, both by EZ, and a regular rotory ruler, you can cut all the pieces for this quilt from 2.5" strips :c)

Some of the steps could be simplified if you were to speed piece with long strips and rotory cut across panels, but sometimes I like to just chain feed individual pieces and pairs through and get more variety in my piecing instead of having sections that all look the same because you used long strips to create them, you know what I mean?

Anyway....stay tuned...keep guessing...I'm back to sewing!


Saturday, September 09, 2006


Did you ever have a moment like this? Ive been chainpiecing scrappy blue hourglass blocks.....took my long chain to the ironing board....and lo, and behold..this block's seam had THREE layers instead of 2! I guess this is what happens when I'm still chain piecing past midnight :c)

As for what I'm making? I'm not tellin! :c) You'll have to wait and see! I pulled out all the blue and neutral 2.5" strips into two piles and I've got PLANS!!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Quilter, Quilter, Quite Contrary....

Quilter, Quilter, Quite Contrary,
How much does your fabric weigh?!?

I am spending the afternoon MOVING my fabric cabinets from one side of the
room to the other. :c|

My quilting room is above my garage, the size of a 2 car garage, and the
wall where my cabinets *WERE* was above the garage door below.

I noticed a week or so ago that my floor felt "slightly slanty" and moving
some stuff out of the way, saw that the floor had dipped down away from teh
wall. There is about a 1" gap BELOW the baseboard and where the floor now
resides. I don't know what it will take to fix this. I didn't think that
cabinets against an outside wall would be too much unsupported weight.

Up against a wall SHOULD be able to bear weight....but...this is above the
garage door area, so there are less beams in the middle going from ground up
to the second level, so maybe it can't support as much weight.

Moving all this fabric has been a CHORE, and it makes me realize more to
what extent my fabric obsession has taken. I can't sew it fast enough! Even
though I have been basically NO BUY for 2 1/2 years now....it doesn't
deplete fast enough for me to make a dent on any of the shelves..especially
since I love scrap quilts so much and tend to go to those bins and the FQ's

If there is anything that makes a quilter take stock and take notice and
pledge to SEW SEW SEW instead of "oh, a sale, let's go fabric shopping
because this coupon is burning a hole in my pocket" it's having to MOVE the
stash and the cabinets, even across the room.

Paralyzed by the stash?? You bet!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Weed Whacker Pattern Up!!

I have added the directions for "Weed Whacker!" to my website!

There are no pics of the finished quilt yet....I'm quilting the last border, and then will start the binding! I'll add more pics to the page when I have the quilt finished...but in the mean time, there is no reason why you can't get started on your blocks!

I also wanted to thank all who have pledged to the Multipe Sclerosis Society's MS-150 ride! Thanks to your pledges we have raised $1,685.00 to help find a cure for MS! We couldn't do it without you. You are terrific!

The ride is in 2 weeks, September 16th and 17th. DH is riding, and I'm doing massage on the riders for the 2 days of the ride. If you haven't pledged yet and would still like to contribute, all the information is on the Quiltville page.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

And Now She's Quilting!

I've got to head to the massage office in a bit, but I wanted to share some pics of the quilting on weedwhacker....I'm doing a whirlygig feather thing in the whacker blades....and since the border was inspired by an amish joseph's coat quilt...curling amish feathers are going in the border. If it was a solid border, I'd echo them or fill in the other spaces, but the stitching is mostly lost in the busy fabrics anyway..still I think you can see it since I took the pics with the flash off :c)

I'm using a fuscia thread in the dark areas...and a varigated pastel in the lights. It's a superior varigated and it is ANYTHINTG but superior. It breaks and breaks! :c( I've messed with tension and everything..changed needle....it quilts fine with the solid fuscia, but this superior is (*&@#$(*&$&!


And She Kept On Piecing......

I tried to do two plain borders...honest I did! I got the first one on, fine....I used a black on black check for the inner border...It really set off the center I thought, but nothing that I laid outside that black border had enough color for the rest of the quilt!

So..back to the sewing machine. I'm not crazy about piano key borders...but I always wanted to try an angled strip border, like the ones on an amish style "Joseph's Coat" quilt. I wanted to limit the bias as much as possible, so I cut mine with a 60 degree angle instead of a 45 degree angle....and I used up a gazillion more strips, though you wouldn't know it by looking in the bin.

I have come to realise that looking in my strip bins is like dealing with another night of "left over casserole" from the fridge. It's time to start slicing into some yardage to spice up the mix a bit. I have a lot of red/blue/purple/black..but bright colors like yellows and oranges and lime greens or hot pinks etc...I think I've used them all up!

After finishing the top I came to the same conclusion with the back. I didn't really WANT to piece a back! But...I didn't have anything that really went well enough, or that I had enough of to use as a whole backing..I would have had to piece anyway. I had remaining black and grey squares from piecing my ocean waves back, and I had left over pink/coral squares from piecing my spider web back, so I only had to cut a few more to have enough to piece this back...checkerboard fashion....grey/black/pink. :c)

This quilt really IS a scrapbuster!


Thursday, August 31, 2006


I finished the top to the Weed Whacker Quilt today! I like it SO MUCH! All my favorite ugly scraps are in here....as I'm sewing these, I'll pick up a piece and look at it and think "Aren't you out of my stash YET?!??" Some of this stuff has been around for as long as I've been quilting. There are little VIP print hearts..white on red that I know I've had since the early 80's. I know there isn't yardage left....but when you start digging through strip bins, you will find the tail ends of just about everything I've ever worked with. Kind of fun that way.

Just for fun, I also laid out the bocks "straight" in strippy fashion. Wouldn't this be fun with sashings between? I like it both ways! Lots of options.

I also find it a challenge to work with stuff that I would never buy again. I am SO sick of white-on-whites and white-on-creams UGH! I think we've been sewing with them for about 15 years, and it's time for them to go. I much prefer a light print of some sort that has more depth and interest. White-on-whites read so flat to me.....and I just don't like the "painty" feel of them. However, I paid good money for these once upon a time, and they are in my scrap stash, and some still in the yardage stash, so it is a challenge for me to work them into whatever I've got going along with fabrics that I really DO like. (like the shirtings and stripes!)

Now I'm down to borders. And I admit that I am border challenged. I can do pieced borders as much as the next person, but do I really want to spend time doing it? Especially with scrap quilts, the center is so busy, that maybe it just needs a couple plain-jane borders to frame it and tone it down a bit.

The other thought is to go ALL OUT and use the bonus triangle squares in the border...look at this pile! They all need to be trimmed down and squared up, and that is a bit daunting to me right now, but they will be fun to play with at some point. I don't think the border.....maybe the middle of a whole "nuther" quilt! These turn out the same as the bonus tri squares from the pineapple blossom quilt on my website, so you can combine the bonus tri squares from both projects and REALLY have a gazillion!

Foot is still swollen, but I can walk on it. I stayed home from work today just to stay off of it. tomorrow I've got two clients, so I've got to go in...besides...I have bills to pay!


Fun Picture!

Here is a pic of Lucy and I together! We were at one of the big turn-outs for visitors on the Smoky Mt Parkway. What a fun day we had! I love this picture so much :c)

I had a very *DUH* moment yesterday. I was at the gym...so gungho to get back into my routine of working out. I had my phone in one hand, my water bottle in the other. I put my foot on the eliptical trainer runner and when I went to hoist myself up, the machine started moving before I was ready for it to, and I went flailing.....twisting my left ankle and falling backwards over the back end of the machine, landing on my tailbone on the floor, and up against a stationary bike. My water bottle landed against the back wall of the cardio room...my phone went the other way...Oh boy.

Luckily there was no one there to witness my graceful moment! But...the ankle is very sore and swollen...I spent last night with ice on it. Today it is a bit better, but there is a huge bruise on my butt where I hit so hard! I'm still not quite sure how it all happened, I've been on that trainer 100 times! It just moved like greased lightning before I was ready for it to.....so much for working out!


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Servers, and the Wonder of the Internet...

Yesterday was a testimony builder for me on the GOODNESS of quilters. I had moved servers over the weekend...small hiccups here and there, but nothing too bad. Or so I thought!

I had already cancelled my other account after I assumed that EVERYTHING had transferred from one server to the other, only to receive an email from a lady stating that she could get to my Bricks & Stepping Stones page but there were no pictures, only text!

I quickly checked my FTP to see if all the files were there, and that whole folder of pics was MISSING! ACKKK! So, I sent out an email to the world...asking if anyone had saved the whole HTML file so they could access it offline, and could they please help me recover the pics, and the response was OVERWHELMING! I was able to recover ALL the pics and get the page back working. I tell you, after the trouble I have had with the lady stealing the pattern and selling it on her website, and then losing all MY pics for the pattern page..I thought this was a cursed quilt! But all is back again and my faith in the GOODNESS of most quilters is restored.

I am posting some pics too....I finished the binding/hanging sleeve on the crazy amish strippy. I took pics outside so I could get the quilting detail to show on the black sashings, so the colors aren't so true...but here it is.

I love how hand quiting looks on amish solids so much that I have started hand quilting another one...a top I finished a while ago, inspired by Gwen Marston's Liberated String Quilts. I've started quilting fans in the border....the sashings and inner border will have cables, and I think I'm going to just echo quilt inside the string diamond blocks. It feels good to have a "couch" project in my family room again.

And here is a preview of the next scrappy pattern I've been working on. I tell you, I got this part way and then it stopped FOREVER because I kept thinking I'd have this big amount of time to spend on it. I realized that might never happen, so I've been sewing 4 block quarters in the morning before the rest of my day gets going. I'm hoping to finish the blocks by the end of the week and start putting it together. I've decided to call this one WEED WHACKER! It uses 3.5" light squares and 2"X9.5" scrap strips. I started this one to use up all the shorter lengths of strips that are in my 2" scrap bin. What's fun too, is you can lay the blocks straight, and it makes a strippy zig zag quilt too....put long sashings in between the rows or not. I'll get some pics of different layouts as soon as I have enough blocks done.

And now I have to put the quilting aside and attend to the rest of my regularily scheduled day!


Friday, August 25, 2006

Web Server Change Over..

8-25-06 NOTICE!
I am in the process of changing web servers. During the switch over Quiltville.com and my email may be unavailable for 12 to 24 hours!

This will also affect Tonya's pages that are hosted on my server as well. I'm sorry for the inconvenience!

If you need to email me, you can also reach me at quiltville@yahoo.com


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gatlinburg Quilty Finds!

Friday evening I got a call from Lucy...she and her famiy were up in Gatlinburg, TN staying in a wonderful cabin in the mountains for a week. She invited me up! How could I say no? I had one client on monday, I moved her to another date and time and took off for a 3 day weekend to spend more time with the Kramers :c)

The cabin was SO gorgeous. Beautiful deck around 2 sides, hottub (which the kids especially loved!) Glorious views...and a bear who made an appearance on or around the deck every night! I didn't have my cam with me...I thought it was in my car when I left, but DH went to a triathlon saturday and HE had taken it out of my car to take it to his race...AUUUGHH!

And of course the whole UPS fiasco with Lucy's left behind camera was still going on. It went from here to Knoxville...then went to Florida because the printed UPS label had the zipcode typo'd! They assured us it was corrected and would make it to the rental office in Gatlinburg by the time they left...of course it did NOT. So now the camera is back here with me. If I had known I was going to go up there for the weekend, I would have held on to it and hand delivered it personally! At least I know all is safe.

Sunday, Lucy and I got some time to shop by ourselves in and around Gatlinburg. We found a couple wonderful shops that recycle cutter quilts (the ones that are falling apart too bad to be used for anything else) into wonderful things!

The first thing I fell in love wtih was this bunny rabbit! )Next to him is the kitty I found in an antique mall outside of Spartanburg SC on the way home from Gatlinburg.) The lady at Apple Annie's was so nice to talk to, she had a little shop, her sewing machine was set up,(a very old kenmore!) she let us look at the pieces of the cutter quilts and told us a bit about where she got them, and how much time she spends working the cutter quilts into all the critters, dolls, etc that she makes.

I also found this darling apple pincushion made from a cutter piece dating to the 1800's. You guys know that is "my" favorite era. I'm just not drawn to 30's fabrics as I am the 1800's ones. I also had to have this lady bug pincushion! I hung her right by my machine!

The next shop down the road had these wonderful pumpkins made from old cutter quilts overdyed orange. It makes me cringe a bit knowing all this quilt had to go through for this transformation from quilt to pumpkin, but it was a cutter....I'd rather see it crafted with than end up in the trash, right? I came right home, figure it is close enough to "after labor day" and whipped out my autumn table topper and plunked the pumpkins down on it.

I'll remember the fun times that Lucy and I had together every time I see these wonderful recycled quilt treasures!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What's in my entry!

It depends if you look left or right....if you look left..you get a shot of the dining room, and there are several quilts in there. One on the table, one over the keyboard, some hanging on the doors of the china hutch. However..my camera batteries are dead, and not only that, the software to add the camera to the new computer has ERRORS! Ugh. So...here is a shot looking the other direction...right as you enter! This is the EX living room, minus the furniture, all that is left besides the pool table is the 2 quilts on the walls, one of which is my dear jane.

Here you see Jeff playing pool with Lucy's kids! Jeff is standing on the left holding the pool cue. Pim, Lucy's son is poised over the table, and Lucy's daughters, Natasja and Purdy are looking on! I'm not sure where Isis is....she wasn't in the room!

Every room of my house holds quilts and more quilts. Some quilts get changed with the seasons, the kitchen table quilt is that way for sure!


End of Pity Party!

Okay. I had my rant. But to get myself out of my rant...I'm setting myself at my machine and I'm PIECING!! I want to finish this new scrap quilt soon so I can post the directions and share them. I think that will make me feel better...working on something positive instead of dwelling on the negative. I need to keep quilting because of my love of quilts...because of how I feel when I play with fabric, thread, pattern, texture, needles, pins, scissors, rotory cutter, rulers..the works!


Here We Go Again, and Where To Draw The Line?

There is a member on the Stashbuster list...Tara Lynn Darr who lives in Joliet IL and operates "Sew Unique Creations".

She has directly copied my bricks and stepping stones pattern from my website and is SELLING it on hers. This was just brought to my attention today. Hers is the brown one...mine is the blue. You've all seen it before...many of you have made it!

She has it packaged as NEW THIS SPRING, and mine has been on my website for 2 years....I first presented it to the stashbusters group before I showed it anywhere else. The pattern is so well known and referred to on stashbusters that she could not be unaware of it?

What is even more remarkable is her copyright on her page:
"Copyright 1999, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05 & 2006. All rights reserved. All images, patterns & designs herein are protected by the United States of America copyright laws. Please do not right click and save our images or wording, all of our designs which include but is not limited to our printed patterns, books and hand drawn patterns and drawings are protected under the law. Please do not save anything to your hard drive, print, scan, photograph or reproduce in anyway the images or wording seen on this website, this is stealing. To learn more about copyright laws, please visit http://www.copyright.gov/"

STEALING?!?? Just WHO is STEALING?!? I know that traditional patterns all have the same elements and units. You can't copyright a 4 patch or a 9 patch or an ohio star. But I think this goes a bit beyond that.

This one leaves bewildered. I have always given everything I have to this group for free....and this one blindsided me. Maybe I should be flattered? I am just frustrated and needed your ears. I'm telling myself to calm down after the close call with the quilting book that had my star struck quilt on the front cover. There is another website that has put up their own directions for THAT pattern as well...at least they aren't charging for it. :c( It's coming from all corners!

It makes me afraid to put anything "new" on my website for fear of where it might end up. I'm not in this for the money...I never have been.

BTW..you can contact Tara Lynn via email if you wish sewunique7@aol.com

Bonnie in SC