Saturday, March 08, 2008

Crumbs Class -----A Whole Lotta Love!!

It's saturday evening and I am finally getting around to uploading pics from last week's crumbs class! This was BY FAR the most fun class of all. There just is something that happens when a group of quilters let loose, and mess abounds. You should have seen the PILES of crumbs and scraps everywhere...it was a quilter's bomb zone! Weeeee!

We started out with basic crumb block construction, and then I let them go to town for an hour playing with their pieces and creating basic crumb blocks.

From there we went to maverick stars,and we worked on those until lunch time! By the time lunch was over, we were really "Feelin' The Love"! (of our scraps!) and so we did L & O & V & E!

Of course, you can't limit quilters, and once they caught on, many were off and running and doing their own thing! One gal did VOTE instead of LOVE, changing her L to a T, and she was going to use it on her patriotic quilt. GREAT IDEA! And then we had people doing their names, or initials....even one who wanted to spell out SCRAPS! I said, if she didn't get the hang of the S's...she could just leave it as Crap...*hehehe*

From here we worked on some wonky pieced hearts, and then spent the rest of the time using any time left on whatever they wanted to work on. It was so fun to see everyone just let loose!

I also let MYSELF loose....After the daytime guild meeting the day before, we had lunch, visited the Gone with the Wind museum, and hit an antique store, but then the rest of the day and evening was mine. Would you believe I passed up on the Atlanta area quilt shop hop....to stay in my ROOM with my featherweight and sew until midnight?! Well..believe it! Cuz I did!

I took the sample blocks for the crumbs class, and decided to sew them into this little quilt as a demo, instead of just having individual blocks to pass around. Once I got started it just grew and grew...fun, huh?

I'm teaching the crumbs class again in Asheboro NC in a couple weeks, I hope it will get even better!

Jeff is feeling much better too with the wisdom teeth thing. He is swollen, but the bleeding stopped last night. He is good on his meds, good on his rinsinge and hygiene, and hopefully won't get the dreaded dry socket.

Jason and Kim arrived about 3am (ACKKKK!!!) With their half grown kittens. My cats threw a hissy fit...Emmy Lou went under my bed, and who knows where Oscar went because he hasn't shown himself back out publicly yet. There is attic eave space through a little door in the closet wall, and I think he's in there. He's hidden in there before and I figure he'll come out when he gets hungry.

Other than that, we are just enjoying each other here. It's cold and windy out..what a great day to be in and with family and watch old movies and just be together!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Misery Loves Company!!

Can you see Buddy with his broken leg up on the couch? He won't leave Jeff's side! Sadie does her part watching out for Jeff too.

This morning was Jeff's goodbye-to-the-wisdom-teeth day! I am so impressed with how smoothly this went. You know how it is when you move somewhere new, and you don't have a doc, a dentist, a hair stylist, etc? And if you get someone, they are backlogged for weeks and weeks?

Although I hate the fact that we were forced to find a vet, a dentist, and an oral surgeon so soon after moving, I am so relieved with the help and concern we have been shown with these issues.

DH took Jeff to the dentist the same day I left for Atlanta, and they set him up an appt with the oral surgeon for Wednesday, the morning after my return from Atlanta. his wisdom tooth removal was set for 11:30 this morning, and yesterday they called with a cancellation and said we could get him in at 8:30am today!

This is better...since Jeff couldn't have anything to eat or drink past midnight. We got there, the surgery took 1/2 hour...and we were home! I've been to the pharmacy for his meds. I've been to the grocery store for an assortment of jello cups, rice pudding cups, yogurt, popsicles (Ice lollies for those of you down unda!) and ice cream. I hate the fact that all soft/cold foods seem to be SWEET...so I got some macaroni salad and potato salad too.

So right now, he is in the recliner on the sofa..ice pack up to one cheek, alternating every 15 minutes or so to the other cheek, gauze pads in place, looking like a chipmunk! POOR GUY! I remember my wisdom teeth surgery so vividly that I can imagine how he's feeling, though right now he assures me he is feeling NOTHING. I tried to get him to take a pain pill, but he says his tongue is too numb to swallow, and we tried and the pill wouldn't go down, and though I hate to wait before getting pain meds in him, I don't know what else to do?

It also says not to take the meds without some kind of food, and he doesn't feel like having anything on his stomach yet, so I guess I'll wait a bit and see.

****UPDATE**** as of 12:12 pm we have SUCCESS at getting Jeff to get pain meds down!

I'm playing nurse-mom today, and getting ready for Jason and Kim to come tonight. The guestroom is ALMOST ready, at least the bed is sleepable and they have TV access in there. What more do they expect from Mom's B&B?! I'm excited to have them here. Jason came a few weeks ago, but Kim was still in school so she couldn't get time off.

It's going to be a busy weekend, and then I head off again. This time back to Aiken SC for a trunkshow/lecture on monday, Lake Marion Quilters in Elloree, SC on Wednesday, and then a workshop in Augusta GA on Saturday! In between I'll be able to crash at Kim & Jason's new place. Here we go again!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Poor Poor Pitiful Puppy!!

Buddy spent time yesterday at the vets getting his new permanent cast on. Just like human patients, we had to wait for swelling to go down before we could really wrap it up good.

We are lucky in that the bone wasn't displaced and surgery wasn't required. And silly boy, he loves going to the vet for all the petting, ear scratches and tickles he gets! What a sucker! *LOL*

We go back in 2 weeks to get it checked again. The funniest part is that because the cast goes so far up his leg, he has a hard time lying down because the leg won't bend. You nearly need to push him over onto his side to get the leg out from under him.

I'm just glad that it wasn't any worse than it is. Our pets are such a huge part of our family. We worry about them just as much as we do our children!

Here are some pics of the second class I gave in the Atlanta area....Scrappy Bargello! We had so much fun with this class! I love hearing the grunts and groans as people are encouraged to sew something "uuuuugggglyyyy" next to something they normally wouldn't pair it with! So many comments of "I swear I never bought this!" or "I can't belive I still HAVE this...it's at least 20 years old!" or "I'll trade you THIS ugly one....for THAT ugly one!" Too much fun. The pictures tell it all...we had so much variety, it was really fun to walk around the room and see how different they all were, and the variety of fabrics that were being used. Since this was a scrap class, I encouraged everyone to use fabric they already had on hand. To clear out some old stuff, to not buy anything..and to just have a power-sewing day of fun!

Several of the ladies had these tables by "sew ezi" and as I talked to them about the tables, I got nothing but raves! I had seen them at quilt shows, but didn't want to lug one around, and who knows when I'll get to another BIG show where I'll have a vehicle to drive it home with me, so I went online and ordered one! They fold up, they have wheels, a cover....and an insert that makes your sewing machine flush with the top of the table. Perfect for retreats!

Today I'm going to a charity quilt day with Mrs Goodneedle! I'm really looking forward to meeting the ladies there at her church who do this every Thursday. It's just for a couple hours, but is just what the doctor ordered. Some sewing time for me with ladies from my own location! I need to start meeting people here. I've been here a month now. Boy, does time fly!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

She's Back!!

What a great time I had around the Atlanta area this past week! Talk about a whirlwind trip! Three guilds, Three workshops, 2 1/2 trunk shows, a luncheon & bee meeting, antique shopping, antique auction attending, even a visit to the "Gone with the Wind" Museum!

This trip includes lots of pictures so I'm going to do this in installments..besides that, I have to leave in 15 minutes to get the dog to the vet. He decided the fast way down from the deck was to jump off. This was while I was gone...so DH and son took him to the vet and found he broke his leg. He's in a cast with a splint. Poor Buddy. I'll get a pic of him later.

Jeff also has an appt with the oral surgeon this morning to have his wisdom teeth removed on friday. Is there any rest for me after all this time away? NO!!

My first class was the Star Struck class hosted by the Piecemaker's Quilt Guild of Cumming, GA. I got to stay in Shanon's guest room in her beautiful home. She even ran errands with me, dropping off printing at Kinko's for the classes I had coming up (Thank heaven for 24/7!!) and we went to a yummy mexican place.

The weather...unlike the company...was FRIGID! Can you believe it was SNOWING when we woke on Wednesday morning? No kidding! The poor pansies were shivering in their beds. And so were we!

Never the less, what can be better than 20 quilters holed up in a wonderful quilting space, machines humming, fabric flying, laughter bubbling? Look at these beautiful blocks! I think everyone had a wonderful time and really got a lot done.

This was a terrific group, and I was blessed to be able to spend the time with them that I did.

Off to the vet and dentist....I'll post more later!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Cutest Cake Ever!

My little sister is a great mom! Sometimes I think she is a better mom than I ever was, but that's all hindsight and nostalgia talking I think!

But I have to show you this darling castle cake she made for my neice Kelli's 6th birthday! She wrote:

Kelli just had her 6th birthday on Sunday. We had a party with Mark's family right after church. She wanted a unicorn party, complete with castle cake--so guess what I was doing up until the last 30 minutes before we left for church...it wasn't showering!!!--though I did eventually get there. :o) I think the cake turned out pretty well! I'm including a picture so you can see--by the way, that's supposed to be a misty moat of blue cotton candy all around the back of the castle--this is apparently what happens to cotton candy if left out for three hours on a kitchen counter. Who would have thought!!! It was completely melted down by the time we came home. I was so excited by the epiphany I had on Saturday night, trying to figure out how to stabilize the castle towers--it was late & I really didn't want to whip up a batch of royal icing/glue, and decided to melt some of that almond bark (left over from Christmas)--the white candy coating. It worked wonders! I was so excited about it, I decided to keep it in mind when gingerbread houses start popping up & the kids start saying it's time to make one--or at least one of the graham cracker kind! :o)

I'm so proud of Joy...what a wonderful woman she has grown to become, and I am so lucky to be her big sister. And that's my brother in law Mark holding the camera :c)

I can't believe Kelli is 6 already....seems yesterday she was just a baby! I do have to tell you this, looking at this pic makes me realize just how much my niece looks like my sister!! They are the spitting image of each other. My sister Joy and I are 16 years apart. I was in high school when she was born. And here she is a mother of 3 with #4 due in about 6 weeks..I better get working on her baby quilt (it's another girl!!)time is running out to get it done before the baby's arrival! :c)

I'm having a great time in the Atlanta area. The star struck class went great today! We had 20 stitchers, lots of good food and laughter and conversation and the hum of machines and lots of progress!

Tomorrow is the Scrappy Bargello class....I'm working hard to get the binding finished on that tonight! *LOL* They may just have to deal with it 3/4 bound in the morning....but hey, at least it is off the quilting machine!

Would you believe it was SNOWING here in Georgia this morning? And it never got out of the 30s all day? This is SO nuts. And I am so ready for spring. The poor pansies were shivering in their flower beds....nuts!

Okay...off to do some more stitching! If I don't fall asleep first. More updates later!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Maverick Stars!!

I am on my way to the Atlanta Georgia area to teach workshops and give lectures and trunk shows to 3 Atlanta area guilds! As I was writing instructions for a crumb block workshop, I decided to upload these instructions for all! Maverick Stars are made from the meagerest of scraps, but pop with personality! Make yourself some Maverick Stars today!

Fabric Folding, etc..

Since I started posting pics of how I'm organizing my stash, I've had requests for more explanations on how I do this, so I thought this is a good place for me to go deeper into talking about how I organize my yardage!

Paige wrote:
Hey Bonnie,

Looks like you’re getting settled in to your new home. Your studio looks fantastic with lots of room.

I’m still working on organizing my fabric…yours is folded so nice and neat. If I may ask, how are you folding your fabric? It’s all the same size and so organized. Did you say ½ yd or more cuts go in one place and fats or less go in another?


I take the fabric just as it is off the bolt..it already has one fold down the length...so instead of being 44", it is approx 22" wide folded. Take that fold, and bring it to the selvage edges so it now measures about 11". fold it once again...so it measures about 5.5". You've got 8 layers at this point!

Measure the depth of your shelves. Subtract an inch or two to decide where you are going to fold over the length of the fabric roll. My shelves are 15" deep, so I fold over at about 14".

I lay my fabric down on my rotary mat, so I can use the ruler along the edge to measure. At 14" I fold over one end to start the process, and then fold the fabric over and over and over until I reach the end. No matter how many yards are in a piece, they are all going to be the same width, same length. It might be a deeper roll if there are more yards, but it will still fit in the same place.

Folding this way makes it easy to see the fabric you have if you place the raw edges towards the back of the shelf, the thickest part of the folded roll towards the front.

Since I just redid my fabric, I just altered it a bit. I pulled out all the 1/2 yards and kept them separately to go in their own stacks. Anything smaller than a 1/2 goes in with the FQ's. My thinking is this..sometimes you NEED just 1/2 yard for an inner border or binding, or an accent or something, and 1/2 yards kind of do get lost amongst the bigger cuts.

I fold the 1/2 yards the same way....but when it comes to folding lengthwise I just fold them in half. It makes for a shorter "roll" but I know they are 1/2 yards because they are in their own short stack. I placed them in between where one color ends and the next color begins. Here in this pic you can see my 1/2 yards of shirtings/neutrals in the same stack as my 1/2 yards of pinks..I didn't have enough shelf space to give each their own spot, but it is still easy to see what is what there :c)

I finished quilting the plaid bargello yesterday! YEAH! And once I got it off the machine, the stitches I"thought" looked too big, really aren't THAT bad unless someone gets really close. In which case...I'll tell the story...but I think once it is bound and washed, everything is going to "sink in" just fine.

I hope to get the machine part of the binding done today, and will work on the hand part during my time in Georgia this week!

Handouts for classes need to be finished today, and I also have to go register our cars in NC...and get my new NC drivers license! They only give you 3 weeks to get that done after moving in, and by the time I get back from GA, that time will be UP..man. Time flies. So it will be a run around day for me today. Best get a move on!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


SO...put new brushes in the motor, and the motor still has the slows...Guess I need a new motor! Didn't really want to go through this. Don't have time to go through this...whhaaaa.

Here I am editing this...because the wahhhhh has turned into WEEEEE!!

Something told me to just keep running the machine. I cleaned it, I oiled it, and even tho the new brushes weren't kicking up the speed...I just kept running it. Little by little, I heard the speed increasing!

My blonde conclusion is this...the motor brushes form the end of themselves to the motor shaft or whatever it is they brush up against. They get "concave" to make good contact.

The new brushes were squared off at the end, and maybe not getting enough contact to get good power...but as I ran the machine and ran the machine, they started to form themselves to what they needed to. Miraculously...blonde reasoning or not...I am back up and running!

I was going to pick out the "too big" stitches, but decided to leave them. it represents something significant in my life right now...that sometimes, even if we are slower than we we feel should be, we gotta keep plugging away at it, until we can fly :c)

Squishie Blessings!

I think the best part of my day over the past two weeks has been mailbox time! You guys are awesome! So many squishie blessings and house warmings showing up from all of you!

I had to take some time to play with the blocks on the floor yesterday, and I am tickled with what I see! I can hardly wait to start putting these together into memory quilts!

The houses are all fabulous! SO FUN! And I love the red...This is going to be a fun quilt, filled in with crumb blocks and strings....

And look at this huge pile of cornerstone 9 patches! All of the Carolina Crossroads gals have been sending me 9 patches using their own fabrics from their CC quilts...and I am toying with block designs in my mind for this..and all the siggie squares! Oh, you guys are going to keep me busy!

Mail also brought the MOTOR BRUSHES that I am needing for the quilting machine motor. I am hoping to be up and running at regular speed today...vrooom vrooom....

And the quilting life goes on and on and on...

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Life In the Basement!

I'm still digging out of boxes. Life is endless with boxes! I'm getting there though.

Would you believe that I haven't really SEWN yet? It's been weeks! And I can't seem to allow myself to sit and sew while there is still so much to be done to get this house together. I guess I'm one of those who can't let big stuff slide...little things...like whether the laundry is folded or not...doesn't bother me (at least it's clean?) But all these boxes and stuff not where it belongs is driving me batty.

And I'm tired! And I don't know what to do with myself! I took a nap yesterday in the middle of the afternoon, and then felt guilty. I think everything is a bit of an adjustment, and I know I need to give it time.

The contents of the fridge are back to normal. I'm cooking meals. That is progress, right?

The fabric folding is finally done. I have ONE BIG BOX of culled FQ's and smaller hunks and chunks to be cut up as time allows..maybe not. Maybe I'll sew them into funky backings. The fabric you see here in the wire cubes is the "charity" or "use it up for backings" fabric.

There is this little unfinished room/closet/storage thing in the basement that is very handy space, even if it is an eye sore. Good thing it has a door on it! It will be great for storing battings, bins of stuff I don't use all the time like denim, extra sewing machines, etc. I plan on putting a rug on the concrete floor at least to make things a bit more cozy under foot. Dontcha just love the aesthetics of gray cinderblock walls complete with water pipe? Worked really hard to get this effect..*LOL*

The other pics you see are just various sites around my studio down here. I've installed book cases on either side of the wood stove. I love yummy candles, and I have one burning there right now on top of the stove:c)

The computer armoir also holds my TV which I am using as a super-duper puter monitor! It's 26"!! *LOL* Believe me,it is pushed as far back into the armoir as it can go and I'm typing at arms length because it is so big...but no sense having a tv AND a computer when I can use just one monitor for both. Messy desktop shows you that I'm still sorting through stuff and finding places for things.

I finally have room to display my treadle machine unfolded! It's a rough room, but great space, and little by little I'm making it mine.

Bad Sadie has been at it again. She ate out the center of Jeff's CrissCross quilt...whhhaaa.. BAD SADIE! I told Jeff no more quilts on his bed. I went to Walmart and bought him a "bed in a bag" which is much easier for me to replace than my quilts! Even tho this one has been worn and used and washed and loved until it is faded, it makes me sick that she ate it. Not just tore at it, but ate it. Dumb dog :c(

I did load my Bargello on to the quilting machine, only to find that my motor brushes decided to be a factor and the machine was running SO SLOW...at first I thought it was something we did in transport..but closer inspection upon removal of the brushes shows that they are worn down, and that might be why they are slow mode. You can't quilt nice smooth curves and feathers when in slow mode. They get squarish and hurky-jerky..so...it sits. I did find a place to order the parts, and they should be here in the next couple of days.

I'm getting stuff ready for leaving on Tuesday. I've got a dentist appt in Columbia SC Tuesday afternoon. It's the final crown on my implant, no sense in changing docs this late in the game. After that I head straight to Cumming GA for a Star Struck class. Then on to Marrietta where I am doing two workshops and a trunkshow/lecture for the Cobb Quilter's Guild...and after that on to Alpharetta GA for a lecture/trunkshow. I'll be gone from Tuesday to Tuesday! The guys here will just have to fend for themselves ;c) (After getting used to having me around!)

I'll have my laptop with me,but if you don't hear from me next week..you'll know why! :cD