Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hello, Gracie :c)



I think my internet connection is a bit faster here, so I'm going to upload some photos!

This is Gracie! She is 12 weeks old and already a Quilt Terrorist! She is enamored with cone thread coming off the spool and through the holder....she loves to nestle herself into any project that lays on the machine table!

Anything that moves, she will attack it full force. I'm sorry to say we had to take cute little Gracie and put her in "TIME OUT" outside the sewing room! Poor thing. She really acted pitiful when we'd let her in again, and she'd be good for about 5 minutes until all mayhem let loose all over again. I forgot how fun it is to have baby kittens around!

After my lecture last night, I drove a bit over an hour west toward Akron where I will be for the next few days. This morning I've got a lecture/trunkshow followed by a half day Boxy Stars workshop which is always fun. It's such a great pattern for using up 2.5" strips, and the fun for me is seeing what fabrics the ladies decide to pull together. Always always I am encouraged by quilters who pulled everything they need from their stashes without having to buy a single thing to make this quilt.

After cleaning out a closet last week, I've recommitted myself to NO BUY if at all possible. That goes for the recycled shirt department too!

I better run and go get ready, I have to head out in about 20 minutes.

Have a super day!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh! Hi! OH!!!!

Well here I am in Ohio, with a very slow connection on my wireless card, so I hope that I have enough juice to upload a couple pics!

I'm happy to say that I am now "weight bearing" on my gimpy leg, and you wouldn't believe the colors my foot and ankle have turned! The whole episode of the fall was so stupid, but it has taught me to really appreciate being active. And also to appreciate (not fight) the time to slow down when you have to.

I was met in Hermitage, PA by a group of ladies who took charge at unloading my car, and helping me set up and tear down for my lecture and trunkshow on Thursday night. We had a great time!

Friday, we had a Star Struck workshop, and there were ladies in charge of making sure I iced my foot/ankle down and kept it elevated as much as possible..of course, I still did what I could to disobey them. What a fun time we had!

Saturday morning I drove to Ashtabula, OH where I was met by a long time email friend, Holly, whom I had never met in person before. Boy is that fun. I try to think of what my life was like before internet, and I really LOVE how connections have blossomed thanks to this medium, enriching all of our lives so abundantly. I don't think I could ever go back to being "unconnected". Could you?

Holly lead the way to where the Boxy Stars workshop was being held for the Ashtabula guild, and we had a great time....Kat brought me lunch, and set me down with an ice pack too! I've been staying with Kat since. Yesterday (Sunday) Was a day off, and we spent that sewing....same with today. There is a lecture/trunkshow tonight, but we can sew all day long up until that point. Weeeee!

I am finally able to get a shoe on my foot, and that has helped with some stability (and arch support) as well.

Kathy has a new member of her family...a 12 week old kitten named Gracie. She is quite the spitfire!! In fact as I type this I am sitting on the couch, and Gracie is up behind me playing with my hair...anything not nailed down is a cat toy, and I think they should rename her KILLER!

We even had to ban her from the sewing room because she kept attacking my thread as it came off the cone and up the thread holder...*LOL* She is just too cute to want to put in time out, but we did!

I took some really cute pics, but blogger is not cooperating with my connection to upload them, so I'll have to do that at another time. Right now....I'm off to go sew!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ouch!!


I had an accident this morning.

Or more like...I was extremely ungraceful and uncoordinated this morning, and turned my ankle while doing boot-camp type drills over a row of bosu balls during my training session at the gym. I rolled that right ankle, and went down to the floor.

The first thought to my mind was.....How am I going to drive to PA tomorrow with an un-useable right foot??

I sat at the minor emergency place for quite a while...foot elevated, ice pack on...x rays taken, doctor consult. Diagonsis? Not broke, but severely sprained and I am to be non-weight bearing on it for 4 days. I've got a lace up ankle support brace and crutches!

I'm still headed to PA in the morning. I emailed ahead and let everyone on this 5 guild route know that I'm still coming, the show will go on, I'm just going to need extra help bringing everything in and packing it back into my car when I'm done.

And I have to laugh...I was emailing Lucy from my phone, and just like a QUILTER she said "Oh NO, Bonnie!" That's your SEWING foot!" *LOL* And here I was worried about it being my DRIVING foot! :cD

I think the sewing foot will be okay...and I've got hand work to do if it gets sore driving the machine. :c) And thank heavens for cars with cruise control!!

My car is packed thanks to the help of DS Jeff. All that's left is my suitcase, and I'll be ready to head out in the morning. I might be walking slow, but they can't stop me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heading Out....

Hello Quilters!

I haven't posted anything for a few days, been crazy crazy over here. I'm heading out again on Thursday, hitting Clark, PA for a couple days, and moving back into Ohio where I'll be visiting Ashtabula, Copley, Canton, and Warren!

I've got good friends in Ashtabula, and in the Akron Area, so it's going to be a reunion of sorts! FUN!

I've spent the last few days kitting up quilts from recycled fabrics for the next Scraps & Shirttails book...and I swear. I have GOT to be done buying clothing for quilts! Even after kitting these up, I feel like I haven't made a dent. It's a good thing I'm mad for plaid and the feel of utility scrap quilts. I'm going to be making them for a long long time!

Projects coming with me: In this bag...20 blocks inspired by the fun ironing board cover I picked up earlier this summer at the antique mall between Indiana and Ohio! I've even pieced the sashings and the pinwheel cornerstones. This just needs to be set together. I'll deal with borders once I get the top done. I'm thinking a sawtooth border thing to take the triangles to the outside edge of the quilt. I can never tell ahead of time what I want to do. And I'll probably deal with the borders when I get back home.

In this bag: Would you believe it is 156 blocks in shades of green/red/raspberry?! I spent many hours kitting this, but that's what Lifetime Movie Network is good for! Now I can just sit and sew these...it's going to be great.

In this bag: 252 2.5" X 19" strips for another quilt...all colors and values. I really DO like the "kitchen sink" variety of scrap quilt the best...it gives me so much to look at when putting colors together!

My ever bursting bag of recycled fabric strings! I'm working on some string blocks to go with some other blocks that I'm doing with 1.5" leader/ender squares also out of recycled fabrics and muslin. Of course, kitting up the other two quilts gave me even MORE strings to shove into this bag. A project for every bit of every fabric!

I really have learned that when sewing on the road....I get MORE sewing time in if I can kit up my projects ahead of time. With all the hours it took to cut these up, I have given myself that many more hours of real sewing time while on the road! It's like doubling the retreat time if you can do all the cutting ahead.

When I leave Ohio, I'll be heading up to Michigan to meet up with Lucy, Isabeau and Joes who are coming over from The Netherlands for Gwen Marston's retreat with me!! WHoowohoooo! We've had this planned for about a year, and I can't believe it is finally here. My car will be packed with not only my trunkshow stuff, but FOUR sewing machines so they each have something to sew with while at the retreat! My car has 3 feather weights, and I'm not sure if I am bringing Shotgun the Bernina or the Singer 301 I bought in June as my own machine. I'm thinking about it! What's a girl to do with too many machines? :cD


The theme for the retreat this year is applique combined with piecing. Not wanting to start a new UFO, I think it's time I do something with an old one. This is an Oak Leaf and Reel I started when I lived in IDAHO believe it or not...so that is what...10 years ago? Too much muslin, too many of the same fabrics. All the blocks are THE SAME. Yes, this is NOT a scrap quilt. I think I wanted muslin because I wanted the hand quilting to show...and it will when I get to it, but right now...BORING SNORING is more how I feel about it. So here is my applique part.

The question is....do I want to do some really amazing pieced border on it?(I've got my pieced borders book with me for design inspiration) or do I want to take the blocks apart, insert a really cool pieced sashing, put it back together and THEN border it? I need some life added to this thing. Feel free to send me suggestions! I've even got 3 extra blocks that didn't make it into this on-point layout. I think I was originally going to set them straight. So...I could add pieced sashing and reset them straight again! PS. The blocks finish at 16". I've got plenty of the red/chedder/muslin fabrics. I don't have any more of that same green, but I've pulled lots similar to it. We'll see what I come home with, aye?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Machines...IN THE MAIL!!!


It's one thing when boxes of fabric show up on my doorstep and I do the happy dance of joy either finding ways to use it in charity quilts, or donate it to organizations in need!

But today....a box with fabric, cotton shirts, thread....and a VINTAGE SINGER arrived on my doorstep!!

Thank you so much Ila! You didn't include your email address, so I'm hoping you see my post here.

This machine is amazing. It looks like it was either a treadle that was motorized, or a very early motorized machine...it still has the shuttle bobbin! The shuttle is still there!

I did some research on the singer website. Her serial number is G8916262. This makes her a model #128 Singer, born on Aug 1, 1921. She was manufactured at the Elizabethport factory, in Elizabeth, NJ.

I can tell her decal work was gorgeous at one time! The fact that most of it is worn off is a sign of a good long life of hard use to me, and I love this about old machines. I would rather see a machine with pin scratches and scraped off decals, than one in mint condition any day because they have had a LIFE! They meant something to someone, just as my machines mean something to me. The more we use them, the more they have a place in our lives. Some machine that sat in a closet un-used just does not have a story, does it?

Thank you so much for trusting me with her, Ila! I am naming her after you :cD

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Questions....Conversion of Sizes

I get some really thought provoking questions in my email, and sometimes I think posting them here will help other people who might be wondering the same thing.

For instance, today I found this email:
Hello,
I want to know if there is a way to change a queen size pattern if you only want a twin size quilt? And how do I know how much fabric I will need. If you can help it will greatly appreicated. I also make a lot of baby quilts.


First off, being a scrap quilter, I typically don't have to worry about things like yardage amounts, unless it is something specific...borders, sashing, binding.

Usually when I want to make a smaller quilt from a larger pattern, I just make fewer blocks.

Figuring the fabric is a bit more difficult..I prefer to have more
than I need, than to fall short.

If you can figure how much fabric you will need to BACK the size of
quilt you want, that is a guide line on how much fabric you might need
for the front. I usually add a bit extra, because some fabric is lost
in the piecing and cutting of the top.

There are no hard and fast rules here. The more pieces in the top,
the more is taken up in the seams, and the more fabric you will need
for the top, but it is a good guideline to start with....how much it
will take to back the size you want, plus some.

I think this is why I like being a scrap quilter. It's easier on all levels! You don't have to worry about running out of something, if you do, you substitute something else similar, and it adds more interest to the quilt. I don't have to worry if I have enough, and if I have more than enough, the left overs are always welcome!

Sometimes, when taking a larger quilt down to a smaller size, I will also make the block smaller, because I like the repeat of blocks across the quilt. Let's face it..a quilt set 4 X 5 is going to be a lot more interesting than a quilt set 2 X 3. There is just more to go on with the secondary designs that way.

So this is where my mind takes me...and it's the easiest way for me to guestimate how much I am going to need for the top of any quilt. Hope it helps someone!

I've hand quilted this morning..for about 1.5 hours! Now I'm off to tackle some drawers, and then get myself to the gym for a session with Charlee. I hope she doesn't whoop my butt too badly today! :cD

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Answers to Questions....

Several people asking the same questions have prompted this reply so I don't have to write more than one reply!

I am doing the fans all over the quilt, filling the whole surface with them. My favorite way of doing fans is to start in one corner, and go all the way around the outside edge, and then do another round inside that one, and inside that one..ending up somewhere in the center. It's like a spiral of fans. It works great when you are quilting by hoop, (or without as Tonya does)

On little things, I don't mark them anymore, just eyeball...thanks to Tonya for that one too. But for this one, I AM using a stencil...the quilt is so regimented, it just isn't one that I want random fans on...and I want the fans to be larger than my usual 5 arc little ones. It's hard for me to keep them even when I do them bigger,so I am using a stencil, and using regular chalk board chalk to mark the arcs. They are mostly brushed off by the time I finish quilting them.

I'm happy that I got done what little I did this morning, made me feel energized for the rest of the day! Now I need to get myself in gear and run some errands and get on with the day. It's a beautiful mid September day out there!

Tuesday Morning...



This is my trainer, Charlee! Isn't she gorgeous? She reminds me of Whitney Houston, and she is the most generous, loving, spiritually minded lady I know. I am honored to call her my friend. We had the best time at her party the other night (There is NO WAY this buff woman looks anything like 50!) and we all decided that we have to do this again, not just wait for another birthday to roll around, but to get together just for fun..all of us.

I put a movie on early this morning. Some lame thing on Lifetime Movie Network, otherwise known as the man-hater channel. But it was background noise while I tackled my closet.

I stood there with my door shut, in my undies, trying on EVERYTHING in my closet and getting rid of things I didn't like anymore, or things that just didn't fit right. My legs are too long..a lot of my pants are just too short unless I'm wearing them with flats, and then only barely passable. So..out.

I went through all the skirts, got rid of over half of them. What do I do with all this stuff? I mean, I love feeling feminine in skirts, but I don't have the kind of job where I can wear a skirt every day, or even every other day.

I love flowing skirts, mid calf to ankle length, when it is hot in the summer,but it is turning fall now..

At any rate, I couldn't let EVERYTHING go, so I kept what fit, what I liked, and maybe I'll try to give them one more shot and wear them more. If I don't....this time next year...they are gone. At least I am down by half.

Tomorrow I'll start on the dresser drawers. As it is I only have time to give this about an hour a day....and bit by bit things are getting gone through, and it is true what they say about less is more. I'm reaquainting myself with what I have...and getting rid of what I don't want. Reminding myself of things that I forgot I had (!!! A sure sign there is too much!) and matching things with other things in my mind to switch up my wardrobe a bit without having to go buy anything.

Oh. I went through shoes too. How many pairs of black flats, loafers and pumps does one girl need? And I always seem to fall for the same cute style anyway, so they all resemble each other? Just because they are on sale doesn't mean I need to keep buying the same thing, does it?

Now I am just trying to get the rest of my day going...I keep peeking back into my closet and seeing how nice it looks in there, and I want to do the same thing to the rest of this house closet by closet by drawer by drawer by cabinet by cabinet. I can do this an hour at a time!

And on a quilty note....

I'm taking my own organizing advice, and now that it is cool enough, I am going to sit at my hand quilting for an hour (or maybe a bit less, depends) in the morning. It's time to get the "In The Pink" Dear Jane at sea quilting going. You can tell by the pic I've only done a couple of baptist fans so far. It's been in storage! And you know what? When I unfolded it I found a stain on it. Whhhaaaa. I know this is the life of a quilt....especially one that is a UFO for so long, but I am hoping that after I quilt it and bind it and wash it, that I can do some oxyclean stuff..it looks like something brown...not blood, maybe dr pepper? chocolate? Got on one small space. I tried cleaning it with a dish towel and some soap, but then the pink started to bleed..whhaaaaa..(and yes, it is pre washed) SO. I'm going to wait. Going to quilt, bind, wash, dye catcher, oxy clean, whatever.

If I wait til night time I'm too tired to hand quilt. My eye sight isn't what it was. Even reading, my eyes are so dry at night. So...if I do just even ONE FAN in the mornings when I am here at home, before everything else, it will get there.



Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall Fever....?

Today I started something….

I hate my closet. I hate my dresser drawers. I mean, I am one person…how many pairs of jeans, tshirts, shorts, underwear, bras, socks, shoes does one person need? More than half this stuff I don’t even wear!

It would take me more than all day to go through it all, so today….I just tackled the jeans/shorts/capris/sweats stuff. And over 1/2 of it is now gone, and that looks better

This meant trying on all the jeans to determine which ones fit and which ones could GO…

Of course this means recycling the denim from the jeans, the ones that don't have spandex at least ;c) Some of the capris were regular cotton fabric, hawaiian print or something similar..recyle those into quilts too I think!

Tomorrow I’ll tackle another part of the closet, because it’s the same thing. How many skirts and blouses and tops does one girl need? This is stupid because I don’t wear skirts or dresses all that much. I like them. To be honest, I LOVE THEM. I just never wear them. So why do I buy them? I don’t know. They need to go live somewhere else too. If I don’t wear it now, why do I think that some day I will actually want to?

At least, it is putting my thoughts into some place positive…I think it comes from being gone so much, that when I'm home, I want THIS in order too.

I'm off for a yoga class, and then I have a quilt to load on the machine...yes..machine quilting is in order for today! Whoooopie!! :cD

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just for Chuckles..


This came in my email today!! I thought it was too funny not to share....

Weekend has been good so far. I'm back to working on my pineapple blocks. I know it's not much of an update, it's the same pictures as last time.

But it feels good to have the TV on and me piecing away, not making much of a dent in the small scraps even if each pineapple block takes 45 pieces fer cryin out loud!!

I've got a party to go to in just a bit. My personal trainer has turned 50! It's an all girls party, all of her clients are getting together to throw her this bash. I'm taking a broccoli salad and a beverage....there will be BBQ and pool games, no boys allowed! (and that is why this pic goes so well with this post!)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11

I am remembering where I was when the planes crashed into the towers and the world came crashing down. I was at home in our house in Waxahachie. I was on aim with my friend Cassie who lives in Brooklyn, NY…and she told me to turn on CNN….and the world went crazy.

I saw the second plane hit the tower there live on TV. I didn’t understand it, it looked like a movie, it was so surreal.

I remember how quiet the sky was for days because no planes flew anywhere. We always had planes going over head because we were south of Dallas.

I was glued to CNN for days and nothing got done…..until I finally told myself to turn it OFF, that life had to go on, and there wasn’t anything I could do about the pain and suffering of other people. I couldn’t let myself get swallowed up in their grief. I couldn’t lie down and die with them.

I can’t believe it’s been 8 years. I was in NYC a couple months ago, and I walked around where the towers were. There is some construction going on there now. But it’s still a big huge hole in the ground, and it is amazing to me that more damage wasn’t done to the buildings and areas surrounding where the towers stood.

Planes still fly over my house….and sometimes it still freaks me out.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Got my Feet back in NC!


Hey everyone!

I'm back home as of 6pm last night. It's a 10 hour drive from where I was in Indiana to my front door. I had Ken Follett's "World without End" Keeping me company the whole way and I still have a long way to go on it. I like this narrator better than the guy who read "Pillars of the Earth...." Sometimes the narrator just makes it for me!

The show in Auburn was wonderful! It was the weekend that Auburn does their classic car show as well, so we saw refurbished antique cars going up and down streets every which way we went.

This morning when I came down to my studio to turn on the desktop computer (Yes, the one I got on Memorial Day...) It wouldn't turn on!!! I think the power supply went pffftt on it :c( It IS under warranty, and I have all my paperwork together for it, so it is going to mean a side trip to Best Buy to drop it off and have it looked at. I'm really thankful for the terabyte "my book" back up that I got over Christmas. I just had to plug my laptop into it, and I've got all my data, everything I need.

I still have to unload my car. URGH. It definitely looks like I've been living in it for two weeks. Shotgun the Bernina is ready to come out of the front passenger seat and take up her rightful place here in my studio where I hope to do some serious sewing over the next two weeks off!

I saw leaves starting to turn across southern Ohio as I got closer to West Virginia yesterday. WAIT!! SLOW DOWN!! I'm not ready for this yet. Summer went too fast! But I do admit to liking the feeling of a comfy pair of jeans and a soft well worn sweater over my tshirts :c)

I'm anxious to find places for my purchases, and I tell you what, I'll have more JAM than I need to get me through the winter. When traveling places, I love to pick up edibles, because let's face it....if I brought home clutter from every trip, I'd be buried! And that goes for quilty items too. Why is it if we have three of something, we suddenly think 12 of them is better? I ought to take my own word for it when it comes to vintage sewing machines! I think I have enough now.....

(But don't hold your breath!!)

So Edibles are a great thing to bring home from various places. The baked goodies from Shipshewana? ALL GONE of course! But here you will see some jellys, jams, butters that I picked up, as well as some homemade peach jam from Teri, and some salsa and cold packed beef from Carol. YUM! Thanks Ladies! Every time I indulge myself with these, I'll think of you and the great time we had!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fleas!!

Or Finds from the Flea Market, Rather!



This was such a fun experience. Mind you, much of it is like any other large flea market, full of lots of unneccessary plastic items, kettle corn, gadgets....

Shamwows seemed to be selling hot and heavy, and I bought some myself. I remember using them when I was in the Netherlands at Lucy's house and they really are very absorbent and last a long time.

Knock off handbags were everywhere, and I found one I liked for $15....I love leather handbags and how durable they are. They really take a beating. I figure for $15 I couldn't even buy the zippers this thing has, and I'm not one of those who wants to spend my quilting time making handbags.

2 iphone cases at 3 bucks a piece...

2 super duper veggie peelers (I got to be the demo girl for this one, step right up here ma'am and let me show you how it's done!....) and I could hardly NOT buy them after that, besides that, they really DO a great job and I hate my peeler at home. $7 each or 2 for $12. Considering she said that they will last 10 to 15 years, why did I buy the second one? Because it saved me 2 bucks. (or cost me 5 extra, depending on how you look at it!)



I admit it...I fell victim to the dreaded whoopie pies. :c( BUT! I got the ones made with whole wheat flour and oatmeal! *LOL* As if that helps with the lard and sugar content...still. It's Shipshewana for cryin out loud!

The produce/baked goods/jams/pickles aisles were my favorite. The colors..the smells! Oh MY! The potted flowers, mums, etc...were just GLORIOUS. I don't think these pics will do it justice, but you just HAD to be there.

The BBQ booth..oh yummy. I wish I could package up that aroma and do a scratch n sniff right here on my blog page for you. Too fun.



My big purchase was yesterday, and I didn't post about it..but I found THIS QUILT...it's a 19th century applique, and it's got those wonky borders I love that just end where they end and run off the edge of the quilt. The cross hatching is SO close together, and the stitches are miniscule. I think the reason it survived thus far is that it IS quilted so heavily, even in the applique...or that would all be gone by now. The green is actually a print that is very faded. I'm thinking it was a yellow that was overdyed with blue to get the green color, and as that fades it is left with this very very yellowy green color. This color reminds me of the sweetpotato or yam vine plant...I love that vibrant color!

The reds are pretty shredded, but it didn't stop me from wanting to take this baby home. I paid $55 which I thought was an absolute steal! I want to fold it and display it from the rack in my front entry.


This afternoon I drove to LaGrange, Indiana, 10 miles up the road from my hotel, and lo and behold, there was a farmer's market going on at the courthouse square from 3 to 7! OH goodie! Look at the black raspberries that are going to be tomorrow's breakfast! And I just had to succomb to a loaf of pumpkin nut bread, and a loaf of bacon cheese bread.

Tomorrow I'm off to Carol's house in Ossian for a couple days, and from there I'm on to Teri's and the Home of the Classics Quilt Show in Auburn!