Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Log Cabin Love....

What's not to love about this 1800's beauty??

This is a quilt that we found in the antique mall in MD. What I love about it...is that the "light" side of each courthouse steps block isn't really light at all...it's striped, with a medium or dark, and a muslin alternating...usually we think of log cabins as being light on one side and dark on the other...but this one is so striking the way the light sides are striped.

And aren't the fabrics just fabulous?? The price on this baby? over $900.00..so all I could do was pet it and drool and take pictures. Maybe someday I'll be inspired enough to recreate this quilt.

I'd really like to! It had the double print black/greens, and madders...purples...double pinks, it is just awesome!

Things are plugging along here. I've got 3 quilts to bind...a couple more samples to make. Instructions to finish writing, my nose is to the grindstone! I'm home until the 28th when I head off to St Petersburg, Florida!

Monday, April 21, 2008

24 Hours of Booty!

Raising Booty for Cancer, that is!

Each year my husband Dave participates in cycling events to raise money for MS, Diabetes, or cancer research. Since moving to North Carolina a couple months ago, he has accepted the challenge of participating in "24 Hours of Booty". 24 Hours of Booty conducts annual 24 hour cycling events , which increase public awareness for cancer support and programs while raising funds to support the LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION and local cancer organizations.

I am asking you to help by supporting our fundraising efforts with a donation. Your tax deductible gift will make a real difference in the cancer community. It is faster and easier than ever to support us as a 24 Hours of Booty participant- you can make your donation online by simply clicking this link!

Click here to visit team Bootylicious! Here's to wishing Steve, Gene, Dave, Stephanie & Will a successful ride in 2008!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Market, MD

Nothing going on here noteworthy the past couple of days. It's been raining....but not too hard, and not too cold. I love hearing the rain through an open window. Mmmmm Bliss!

I'm still working my way through the photos of last week's trip to Maryland! New Market has a wonderful stretch of old buildings that are largely antique and tourist type shops now, perfect for browsing. The first little shop we hit was a little pottery shop. CUTE CUTE stuff in there! I love stuff with sayings, and of course anything quilting or sewing related has to come home with me...I loved this Stitch & Bitch club sign! *LOL* How true, there is NOTHING that a little needling won't fix!

My partner in crime, Kay, and I had a great time wandering through and seeing everything this little shop had to offer. I also bought a hand painted ceramic switch plate cover for the light switch in my studio down here. It's got a cat with moon and stars on it. Very folky, very fun! I look for things like this in lieu of bringing home MORE fabric, but even then, some fabric finds it's way coming home. One of the guilds was helping a gentleman who's wife has taken ill with Alzheimer's clear out her stash. They kitted up her fabrics and paired it with books and notions and it was going for about $1 a yard. Yep. Did some damage there.

Down the road from the pottery shop was an old drug store that had been converted into a candy shop/gift shop/deli! Remember all those old candies you loved as a kid but couldn't stomach them now if you tried? Wax lips? wax pop bottles? all that funny stuff? They had it ALL! It was fun to wander around and remember all the things we used to buy for a nickle. I bought some teaberry gum. Somehow it was not what I remembered either! But it was a fun trip through memory lane.

The sun even came out that day, but it was still not very warm. Sweater weather is fine by me, I'd rather have that than scorching hot any day. Up the road was a stained glass shop, and a little restaurant where we had a delicious lunch. It was a perfect wandering around day before I had to appear at another guild that evening, the calm before the storm!

The antique shops weren't open that day,but I'd love to go back again and check it out.

For those telling me to slow down and take time to catch up? I finally did today. Sunday afternoon naps are balm for the soul. Did you get yours?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Taylor Noel is home!

My darling new niece is home from the hospital! My nephew Mikey wrote the cutest school essay about her arrival. Poor Mikey. He is the oldest child, the only boy of 4! I know he was hoping for a brother, but he seems to have gotten over the disappointment quickly, if there ever was any.

Can you see that quilt in the background? That was pre-long arm! I loved that quilt...I totally forgot about it. It is fun for me to see my quilts all over my sibling's houses. And yes yes...poor Taylor..she is still waiting for her baby quilt..hmmm...bad busy Auntie Bonnie!

Friday AM...pre-gym update!

It's a gorgeous morning here in NC....

I remember a song from my childhood "In the leafy tree tops the birds sing good morning...." I have leafy tree tops!

Yesterday DH took the day off, stayed home to fix some things, and we grilled out. Instead of grumbling about carrying all the picnic stuff down to the grove by the creek where we put the picnic table, DS Jeff thought he was quite ingenious loading up the little trailer that pulls behind the riding lawn mower, and rode it down to the creek to deliver the picnic goods..*LOL* It was a lovely supper! We ate surrounded by dogwoods and the burble of the brook next to us.

Here's a couple pics from my MD trip last week! The pic of me in the house quilt was taken by quilting pirate at our Sunday workshop. FUN! Her house pics are in a previous post, and she was using wild Halloween prints. I thought of Tonya when she was making these, I know she would have loved these houses!

The bathroom pic?!?!? It's at a Taco Bell somewhere on the way between Richmond VA and MD! *LOL* Quilting ideas abound everywhere you look. The toilet of course, is optional :c) Wouldn't this be an amazing border for quilt?

I also heard from my editor that the book has an official title now! How exciting is that? The title is:

Scraps & Shirt Tails!
(reuse, repurpose, recycle..the art of quilting

I am just so tickled and how this is coming together. The recycle hints everyone sent will be put in little individual boxes on each page and spread throughout the book.

I've got the photography shoot under works....I was asked what kind of setting I wanted, and I said RUSTIC RUSTIC! Old barns, old fences, old furniture,and I'm not even opposed to an old outhouse! *LOL* I think it will fit the feel of the old plaids and recycled fabrics perfectly. I'm anxious to see what they come up with for the photos.

I've also got an illustrator who is going to do the drawings of all my steps. It won't be the same as having photos for each step as on the website...but hopefully he can draw examples FROM my photos because I am not a drawing artist. That's what got me to use the photos for steps in the first place....can't draw a stick person!

Today's special set-apart time? Taking the laptop down to the picnic table in the grove and writing some more book instructions while enjoying the out of doors. The world is my office....it doesn't get much better than this!

It's 9am...gym time. I hope everyone has a lovely day, and on into the weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Countdown.

I know I know..I usually post in the mornings, but I have had to put myself on a streamlined schedule here in Quiltville, NC. The first thing I did this morning was take time for ME!! I know I have to do this. I can't put going to the gym at the end of the day. It just doesn't work. Something will always take that spot and I won't go at all, something else ALWAYS makes it easy for me to NOT go.

So I went to the gym! It was a gorgeous walk, again, be gone for a week and really see how things have changed when you get back! Those beautiful bradford pears on my walk ARE all gone to leaf. Not a blossom in sight..but the dogwoods and the azaleas and the redbuds..wow. It was good for my SOUL to be out today. I walked to the lady's circuit gym, did my 30 minute work out,and walked back.

Being the ADHD type that I am I have to WRITE a schedule, and tackle things one thing at a time. Sometimes that is hard for me to do. I find myself spinning in circles (and yes, it's documented and diagnosed!) If you always wondered where my energy comes from, believe me, it has it's benefits. I think of it as an extra-ability, rather than a dis-ability. I just have to work to reign it in!

I have a list....but only put ONE thing on the list at a time! *LOL* When that one thing is crossed off, I can add another! I tell you, it's the only way I get anything done here, or I'm flighty flighty.

Today's job is quilting my "Swing Your Partner" for the book. In an earth conscious way, I'm trying this batting! It's a bamboo blend! Has anyone used it? I hope it works..cuz I love this quilt,and I don't want it to be...ehhh...you know? When I find something I like I have a hard time trying something new. In other words, if it ain't broken, don't fix it?? So. I'm quilting with bamboo today. I just unrolled it, and it feels a lot like warm and natural. It has that "scrim" to it....I wonder how it will wash up, or if it will be like quilting through cardboard, the way warm and natural is. Time will tell!

A couple weeks ago I finished my class sample for the next boxy stars workshop. I've got two of these coming up, and wanted to play with my pinks and browns...so here it is! Just needs borders, and that's on hold. It might go to the workshop as just a TOP because there are too many things on the quilting list.

I got the borders added to my "Hand-Me-Downs" Stars last night. Got the back pieced. This is the next one to be quilted.

One thing at a time....uhhuh...I can do it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Orange Crush, Part Deux!

A day late, a few hours sleep short..but here it is gang, I know you've been waiting for it. All that talking of recycling ideas, etc didn't deter you from the knowledge that I PROMISED I would post part 2 as soon as I got back from MD...well here it is...sew your hearts out! :cD

I think of these little gems as a "split four patch"! You can do all kinds of things with them. They play nicely with other units of the same size! There are all kinds of different ways to sew these,but I find the simplest is also the best and most accurate for me. For this step we will be using the easy angle ruler. I love this ruler, and you've heard me say it a million times. If your tools give you accurate cutting, and you and your machine have mastered your accurate piecing skills, there is nothing better! Cutting with this ruler to sew these units saves me the time it would take to cut rectangles from a size of strip that I don't usually keep on hand. I'd have to make a template guide, and stop and draw lines on the rectangles. I just want to SEW!! Since I can cut all the pieces from strips I keep on hand, and use the ruler to give me the pieces I need with accurate results, I can simply sew!

If you don't have the easy angle ruler, you can click HERE for the regular rotary cutting directions for this unit. Pieces are given to make a single block unit, you will need 142 units just like everyone else!

The next step is a couple weeks away yet, so you have time to jump into the mystery if you haven't started yet.

I'm off to run Buddy to the vet for his post-op check up :c) After that, it's a couple errands, and try to figure out what to do for dinner. You know? Mom's home now...they expect me to COOK!?? :c}

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nifty Thrifty's Quilting is Done!

I had three goals to meet today. I needed to get my NC driver's license..Yes, the SS# card arrived in the mail while I was gone last week....and I had some bank/tax stuff that HAD to be done today. I got those errands done,and spent the rest of the day quilting on Nifty Thrifty!

I love how it turned out. I was going to do a panto on it to call it done....a lot of heavy quilting just doesn't suit utility quilts like I am striving for,but this just begged for more. And it shows up, quite well in spite of what I was thinking!

There is an interesting story to the back. In SC I had Merry Maids come every 2 weeks to help me keep on top of things while I was doing massage full time and quilting on the side. Oh how I miss them! *LOL* My two little Hispanic house cleaners loved my quilts,always curious to see what was on the machine. One lady didn't speak much english. One day she came with two huge trash bags of FABRIC for me to use. SHE was decluttering...and I was the recipient!

There were two pieces of madras plaid in the bags. I don't know the age, I just know that they feel terrific and they are cotton. I used them both up in the back of this quilt. Fabric gifts come from surprising places!

It's midnight. I'm off to bed. Orange Crush step #2 is CLOSE to being ready to upload..I just need a couple more hours, but my eyes are too blurry to continue on...*yawn*

Recycle Concious Quilters!

Hey Gang...I've been working back and forth with my editor on how to best get the recycling theme through the book with applying to every day life,not just to quilts from recycled clothing.

I have this idea of with every quilt page having a little "pop up message" (message in a box) with a different earth-friendly tip from quilters.

Some things I have come up with, besides the obvious....are the fact that I'm not going to buy bottled water anymore. I'll keep some bottles on hand to refill, but I don't like these bottles filling up the landfill.

I have ideas for hints using batting scraps in cleaning, dusting etc. Can anyone add their ideas and what they personally do?

I have a little page about ways to piece batting scraps and use them in quilts.

Does anyone make dog/cat beds with their smallest strips and scraps and donate them to animal shelters? Would you write me about what you do? How big,how full, what goes into it, etc?

I would love to know what anyone is doing with selveges other than quilts. After being shown really cute baskets at a couple of classes...oh my. Here *IS* something I've been throwing away. 1/2" strips! Who would have thought. (No, I'm not going there...at least....well, maybe!)

Are there items you have made that are NOT quilts that could be considered earth and recycle friendly?

(Please,no beer can crocheted hats...remember those?! *LOL* or crocheted bread bag stories..those are just...hmmmmm...*LOL*)

We are not only quilters, but we are home makers and wives and daughters and sisters and friends....as an earth concious quilter, what are you implementing in your daily life?

My book is also going to include some simple patterns and ideas for cloth grocery sacks. I'm using the top part of a pair of recycled jeans for this project..it's cute!

I know you are waiting for step 2 of OC...I have tonight dedicated to finishing up the pdf file and getting it out to you.

For instance, I wash zip loc bags again and again. I buy ONLY the freezer bags because they are heavier, more washable and a better value than the flimsy ones that get thrown out "too soon". I use zip locs a lot in my quilting as well...

What do you do??

What do you guys think?

I'll submit them to my editor with your name, city and state, so please include that info in your email/comment!


Dogwoods Still Bloom!

I got home last night...and found that while the Bradford Pears had all gone to leaf, and the blossoms on all the bright yellow forsythia are gone, I have DOGWOODS in bloom!

We have put a picnic table down by the creek in the grove of trees there. I think it's going to be a great spot for gathering, when I get it done. I envision a wooden swing with an arbor over it in the trees there somewhere too..maybe a hammock...and some adirondack chairs. With the leaves already emerging, I already can't see neighbors. Is this a good thing? I think so!

That table looks awful "plastic" sitting there, I want a bright oilcloth table cloth, a big pot of geraniums or something to anchor it down...but it's a start.

Spring is just one of those things that can come and go so quickly, we really need to take time out and notice. I think there is a life lesson in this for me. Somewhere.

I want to introduce you to the newest member of my family! My sister Joy gave birth to her fourth child, a daughter, last night!

Taylor Noel was born at 7:30 pm on Monday evening, April 14th. She was born at an even 9 lbs. and 19 inches long. She has a ton of dark hair and is beautifully chubby! Joy and Taylor are doing great. Except that Auntie Bonnie has NOT finished the baby quilt! The top is done. And guess what...it's scrappy trips! It's been done for quite a while, but hasn't been quilted yet. Soon Joy, I promise SOON! I suppose the baby won't worry if I can't get to it for 6 weeks, but I do!

This is what I've learned since yesterday:

Basically, through my talks with Billie and Easy Made I have reinforced my discoveries on the following:

If someone uses your same block pattern, same size, same method,same number of strips per block but makes their quilt bigger...it is theirs.

My instructions were for the BLOCK, not the finished quilt. Ie...my instructions don't go all the way to the borders, they let you "border as desired" so that alone makes it "different enough."

If someone makes their own illustrations instead of using pics to show the steps....it's theirs.

If someone takes your directions and puts them in their own words, it's theirs.

If someone alters anything in the border, the whole quilt is theirs.

If someone gives the quilt a different title than yours, it's theirs.

If a designer says they never ever heard of you or your website, that makes the design theirs.

The ONLY thing you can protect yourself from as a designer is someone publishing your EXACT words. Basically when it comes to quilting....that's about it folks.

Maybe this will free me up in my own worries in the future.

Oh...I was also told that it is my own fault, and basically I shot myself in the foot for putting my ideas out there in the quilting world for "free" to begin with, because they ARE great ideas. (No Kidding.) In my heart of hearts....this is what quilting has always BEEN for me. Something shouldn't be more protected simply because it was sold for profit.

I have fretted left and right worrying if I was stepping on anyone's toes over a design. I think this is going to loosen me up a lot as far as what is protect-able or not. But then, there is this thing called ethics.

I have 90 pics from my trip to MD!! I had the best time, great hostesses and wonderful guilds for lectures and trunkshows and workshops. Thursday...this is crazy...just to give you an idea of how it goes, I left my hostess's house at 8am to go to Glen Burnie for a morning guild meeting and luncheon. I got lost even with Tom Tom because the address I was given didn't say 1st Ave SW..just 1st Ave. AUUGHH! So I learned to always double check addresses before going anywhere.

I got to the guild meeting in time, but everyone was already there while I was setting up....in comes these 5 "body bags" of quilts....but after my program, we had a fabulous luncheon! We got out of there after 1:30pm, and I was taken quilt shop hopping, and even better...an antique mall (BINGO! I found a lovely book on Indiana Amish quilts!) and a couple thrift stores where I hit the jackpot in the clothing department!

From there I was dropped straight off at ANOTHER restaurant to meet up with another guild....at 5pm!! I still wasn't hungry from lunch, and there I was being fed again. Then we went to the guild meeting from there....I did my evening presentation (yes, unload the car and the 5 body bags, and set up, take down, etc) and got to bed LATE LATE only to have to get up early to do the first Friday workshop.

Friday's worskhop: My blue Heaven!

Happy Scrappy Houses was held on Sunday at Patches, a wonderful quilt shop in an old house in Mt Airy, MD:

I think the most fun class of all was the Happy Scrappy Houses. A couple of CULPRITS, after hearing my lecture and trunk show, stopped at a yard sale on the way to the class, and picked up a bunch of shirts! They were WEARING THEM!! and as I said...ooooohhh...nice COTTON! They took them off and gave them to me. I was floored, little did I know it was PLANNED. So...I took a sleeve off of each of the shirts, and cut it into house units and gave everyone part. I then went and took some not-so-desireable fabrics and cut those up and spread them around telling everyone they HAD to use it in their houses. What a riot. We had so much fun. I have to thank Janie and Susie for the whole yardsale shirt hilarity. Talk about giving me the shirts off their backs! *LOL*

I'm feeling like half of a zombie at this point. The car is not unloaded...I have so much to write about, but first things first.....the directions for step 2 of Orange Crush have to be written and uploaded!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

To Maryland!! Away!!

Hey everyone! I'm in MD this week doing lectures and trunkshows for 4 different guilds! I'm being hosted by the Four County Quilters in Mt Airy, The Southern Comforters in Bowie, The Eternal Quilters in Glen Burnie, and the Friendship Quilters in Linthicum!

These are all places I've never been to before, so I am really looking forward to this trip, we've had it planned almost a year!

I won't be home til Monday or Tuesday, so don't worry if you don't hear from me. If I can get computer access I might be able to send an update, but I'm not promising anything! :cD

Quilt on, gals, quilt on!