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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mad City Mama!

Part of the fun of traveling to teach is experiencing places that are "NOT" Chain type places that you would find anywhere. Madison Wisconsin has a TON....a PLETHORA (don't you love that word?) of unique places to discover!

The very first day I was there, I drove up from Mc Henry, IL...and picked up my friend Randy who had flown in the night before to join me at the retreat I was teaching at. We always have so much fun together. Randy is GREAT at finding places to eat by using "City Search" on her phone ;c)

One of the places she found was a Brewery Pub called Great Dane in Downtown Madison. It was the perfect place to experience things like deep fried cheese curds, bratwurst, and other yummies!

I love reading menus. Sometimes the names of things are just SO GREAT they would make fabulous quilt titles. Hense,the title of this post. There is a dish on the menu called "Mad City Mama's Meatloaf". Isn't that GREAT!?? So the name of this quilt, Mad City Mama was born. (Madison is referred to as Mad City)

The fact that this quilt was sewn on 3 different machines, made the piecing a bit of a challenge. I should have named this quilt "In search of a Galloping Horse" because the piecing is WAY less than perfect, but perfection was never my main goal to begin with. Just know this....start with one machine,and finish with that same machine, don't go machine hopping..it's just no good!

The main reason I wanted to do this quilt was to use up a mass of 1.5" squares and strips. My first design was so mushy that I had to revise it and revise it again. You see, I'm not a EQ designer. I just make a bunch of units and lay them out and play with them, letting things evolve as I go. And the 25 patch blocks and rail blocks were SO mushy.

Darlynn, bless her heart, had a BOLT of a black kona solid with her, so I bummed a yard! And the rail blocks became striped snowball blocks.

At Patsy's....we put everything up on the design wall and thought we'd like to have some plain blocks in there..but at this point everything was set block to block without sashing. Again. Too mushy.

Night before last I started separating things into BIG star blocks, and put the yellow sashing in there and it finally sang to me.

Yep. It's big. Yep. The sashing is WIDE. I'm really inspired by antique quilts that break conventional rules, and time and time again I fall back on those things that please me, whether it matches up with a preconceived idea of a Fibonacci Sequence or not.

The purple fabric (yes it is a periwinkle that is more purple than blue in reality) came from the Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc (I love spelling that word too!) Wisconsin. Fun memories of my trip there!

I'm not sure about borders yet. The last time I asked about borders on a quilt I couldn't decide on, I ended up putting on a border that I really didn't like.....and...I think that one is going to come OFF at some point!

Don't you really think the "home dec" industry plays too big a part in what we think a quilt has to have to be "RIGHT"? (Borders that go around all 4 sides, no rows of 1/2 blocks, etc) In the antiques I love, many of them do NOT have borders. They end where the sashing does, or sometimes the sashing doesn't even contain that last outer row...It's just done when the quilt is big enough.

The question is....is this one big enough? Right now it's 76" square, so I suppose there is room for something on the outside, if I want it to be bed sized..but do I? It may have to sit and stew a bit for me to decide.

I'm headed out in a bit to meet up with Mrs Goodneedle at the Charity Quilt Bee at her church. I haven't seen the ladies in over a month! I've got a top that Karen sent in from Heartstrings for the ladies to tie and donate to the Southwest Indian Project. I've got my FW and strips already cut for another Streak of Sunshine I hope to get pieced this morning. More than anything I want to catch up with Mrs G!

The Radio Broadcast from yesterday should be archived by sometime this evening according to Rosie. If you missed it, you can go back to the link from yesterday and check the archives. I'll post the url when I know what it is.

Do something quilty today, even if it is only for 15 minutes!

30 comments:

  1. I'm also one of those anywhere-but-a-chain diners when I travel. It's so much fun to experience new things! Love the new quilt too!

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  2. That quilt is simply stunning!

    You are making me want to play hookie and sew all day today.

    Off to work (boo!)

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  3. Bonnie,
    I LOVE the quilt. I was liking it on the design wall, but they you put the sashing in and it just became WOW! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. WOW!!!!!
    Thanks for posting the design wall photo. It gives me inspiration to drag out a UFO (or 2) and see what I can change to make them more interesting!

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  5. Great post full of fun stuff. Have a great day! I really liked this uplifting seed you planted...

    Do something quilty today, even if it is only for 15 minutes!

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  6. W O W!! That sashing sure did the trick. The quilt is wonderful. I could see it with or without a border. I do think you have to decide if you want it for a certain bed and then go for it!

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  7. I'll be binding today! I've got 8 HeartStrings quilts that were quilted last month and need their bindings. I can't stand to have quilts *almost* done so my goal is to finish those up.

    I love quilts without borders or that just have sashed borders like this one. I'll put a border on to a quilt that needs framing or needs to be a bit bigger but otherwise I'm happy without them. Plus it's not my favorite thing to do.

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  8. What a WONDERFUL quilt! It really came together in the end. The sashing really does it.

    I say, forget the border. I only put on a border when the quilt "needs" it! This one surely doesn't. Maybe a solid red or burgundy tonal binding?

    Cheers!
    Dionne

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  9. What a transformation from the first design wall effort. I like it. Really, it doesn't need borders unless you want it bigger. You just keep coming up with the neatest designs.

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  10. Your quilt is done when it says it is done to you.

    My last "quilt" (some would argue it's not a quilt because it's tied not quilted - whatever) has pom-poms on the four corners for Pete's sake.

    Anyway, it's about what makes you happy. Not the "rules".

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  11. I know you didn't ask for an opinion but for me I would just bind it - it is gorgeous.

    I love the stories that go with your quilts with each one you reveal something baout you or where you have been and the people whose lives you've touched or have touched yours. It is a beautiful thing to have a life chronicled in fabric

    daisymum

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  12. Hi Bonnie,
    My first quilt (not finished, long story) only has borders on three sides because I wanted the pretty part to lay perfectly on top of my bed. The borders drop over the sides but if it had a border on the top, the pieced part wouldn't fit perfectly on the bed anymore! I am totally inspired by your work and this quilt is beautiful! I can't wait to see how you decide to finish it!

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  13. This is a great design. I love the way you have teamed up the squares blocks with the striped snowball blocks with the blue centre to make a big ninepatch. It's great!

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  14. WOW! What a change that yellow sashing makes! Tomorrow is Sinterklaas and Lucy is opening her surprise I got at Quilters General Store!

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  15. I had to go back and look again to be sure these pics were all of the same quilt(blocks). I love what the sashing did for it. Also, I got my book a couple of weeks ago and LOVE IT!(Also got a big kick out of the Mtn Dew can Christmas tree from your last post!)

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  16. I love the quilt, thanks for sharing

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  17. came out beautifully.

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  18. I like the quilt now without any borders. Add some colorful binding--maybe from bits of leftovers--and call it DONE.

    ~Erin

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  19. what a difference that sahing made! I think it looks great as is.

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  20. Wow you really made a lot of those 25 patches. I have some postage stamps started. I am hoping to make 25 of them. I am only using squares not strips, so it is taking some time. I am trying to find a creative setting for my blocks as well.

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  21. I vote don't add another thing to Mad City Momma. Bind it in perwinkle or black and call it done! Thanks for showing us the design wall - it's a good lesson!
    Merry Christmas

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  22. I love the quilt as it is! Those sashings were a good idea. Nice to see the before picture too, that makes me feel part of the process and gives new ideas! I would suggest just to bind it with blues and other darks. If you want it bigger, I would make more of those blocks, are you very sure you used all?

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  23. Your quilt is a beauty, the sashing made it pop! Madison is one of my most favorite cities. It was fun to revisit it via your story.

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  24. That quilt is knock-down gorgeous!! Love, love, love it!! We had fun yesterday, didn't we? Oh, and where was I? I never saw the top for the SW Indian project... ah, too much to do and too little time... 2009 can NOT get here soon enough for me!

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  25. I'm liking the Mad City Momma! It's great to *see* fabric from the Ben Franklin/Oconomowoc in a Bonnie creation :)

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  26. Today your post will have to serve for my 15 minutes of something quilty, but it is sure a great 15 minutes. I LOVE the big blocks and sashing!

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  27. Glad you enjoyed the Great Dane! Saturday nights there are a blast, especially after UW Badger games. And another yay for the wonderful Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc--always worth the trip.

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  28. Love the quilt. You give me new ideas all the time...Bless You

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  29. Google Reader had me reading an earlier post....thought I recognized those rail fence made into snowball blocks! and now, of course I do!!!
    What a delight to see those rail fence blocks...ugh, turn into snowball blocks....ok, turn into this great quilt. You truly are amazing and an inspiration! So glad to have met in person. Enjoy your time w/Lucy and Tonya and of course, the very best to you....until we meet again....darlynn

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