Monday, May 17, 2010

Kansas Quilting....

I'm having a wonderful time visiting with QuiltGrannie Sharon on the first leg of my trip to Missouri/Kansas!

Sharon and I have known each other for at least 15 years and have spent time doing quilty things from time to time as our paths cross.

When I travel, it is so wonderful to get to spend time with people in their homes. I love seeing how they display their quilts, what their sewing space is like, and seeing what life is like where they live. Let's face it...the inside of one Days Inn is much like another, and even though it is fun to sit in the center of a hotel bed, eating Chinese food from a box with chopsticks and watching Girly TV to my hearts content, it is really much MORE fun when you hit it off with other quilters and can talk a blue streak, see their quilts, share stories, laugh, and have someone even cook you a home cooked meal!

So this is what has been going on since I arrived yesterday! We even had a lovely dinner, family style, as Sharon's son and his two teen aged daughters, and her daughter's also teenage daughter, and one of their cousins-from-the-other-side-of-the-family joined us. Family dynamics are fun to watch...and I loved the sense of tradition of "Sunday dinner at Oma's house" followed by a wild game of Mexican Train Dominoes on the dining room table after dinner....

I was blissfully relaxing, finishing up the binding on "Love, Thy Name Is Mud" (Do I need to change the name of this quilt? LOL) while Sharon worked on some red work embroidery and Kevin clipped coupons from the Sunday paper.


Here it is, laying out on the kitchen nook floor..the sun was coming in the window just right to show the quilting detail!

You know, even though I love machine quilting...there is just something so satisfying about the texture of hand quilting that even machine quilting can not duplicate. I think this is why I am such a schizophrenic quilter...I want it both ways...Sometimes this way, sometimes that way...love it all, want it all, can't get enough of either! So traveling with something I can hand quilt takes care of one side of my brain, while zooming through something with a big machine at home for something that will fit the bed satisfies the other!
Later in the evening, after everyone left, I celebrated the finishing of the binding by pulling out Creamsicles (The orange quilt from yesterday has a name!) and commencing on the hand quilting on it. This is as far as it went as we watched the finale for Survivor....

I just LOVE quilting with this Hobbs wool. It needles so easily, and I can really tell the difference between the Love quilt and this one, because I was quilting on them both in the same day. I LOVE THIS WOOL! Even though it is more lofty, my stitches are so much smaller and so much more even even with the same needle/thread....I'm a wool batting lover!

What a great day!

Today my chaos starts. I'm meeting with my editor from Kansas City Star for lunch. I have a lecture/trunkshow tonight....so we are going to head to Lawrence early enough that I can set up for that before meeting the other ladies-in-charge for dinner at 5:30.

I'm really excited to be here, to meet people I've been working with for the past 2 years from a distance....putting faces to voices and names and strengthening friendships new and old!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's a Quilt Emergency!

So, if you read my last post, you'll know that I've been scrambling trying to get another hand work project together, because *tada* My flight leaves for Kansas at 6:25am Eastern time...TOMORROW (Sunday) ACCCKK!

AND. I've been having fun since my son and his significant other showed up last night..around 11pm!

I looked through what tops I had....all too big....or boring. :c|

I was going to give it up and just take the hexagon thing, until I woke at precisely 4:15am this morning in a tangle of sweaty sheets and hot flashes...bleehhhh. My tummy was also hungry, I was thirsty, and in the midst of taking care of everything,I found that I was fully awake. So what's a girl to do...but go down to the basement studio!

Remember these blocks? You all sent them to me after we did Orange Crush mystery I think....all these 6" blocks with orange in them, do they ring a bell to you? Look closely! You just might find your block!

I had this all set aside as a PIG. Project In Grocery Sack! I was going to sash them, I was thinking of alternate blocks, put them on point, something..and nothing would jell!

This is an inspiration from sleep deprivation! A little voice told me to stitch them block to block to block as is....and put a border of strings around them from the bin of leftover 3.5" string blocks...because that would help unify the different shades, and pull in REASONING for why some of the blocks had other really-not-orange colors in them!

I had the whole top done by 9am...just in time to join the family for french toast!

It just seemed to come together SO QUICKLY. So this is maybe why some projects need to "percolate" a while before we know what to do with them.

After sewing the center together, I chose a yellow inner border fabric from my stash.

The little string blocks have anything and everything in them, and you know what? I have decided that there is NO COLOR ON EARTH that does NOT go with ORANGE!

I pieced together a backing, loaded it in the machine with a wool batting, and basted it all together, it is ready to travel!

Does anyone recognize the corners of the border as 9 patches from their Carolina Crossroads quilt? They fit perfect there too, and I was happy to have a place to use up goodies you've sent me over the past couple years!

I'm going to quilt it with red thread....it just seems like a good compliment, plus the red thread was already in my travel bag from the crumb sampler that I'm still finishing up....I'll finish that first, 1/2 of the inner border left to quilt...and sew the binding down (which I also put on today)and I'll have plenty of projects to keep my hands busy during the next week.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go *singing John Denver*....The alarm is going to go off stinking early at 4:00am, so I better get to bed.

Kansas, Here I come!

Friday, May 14, 2010

KIDS ARE COMING!!!

I'm an excited Mama!

This afternoon about 4:30pm I got a call that my Son and his girlfriend Kim are coming from Columbia, SC to spend the weekend!

Now, Columbia is not all that far, but it's just far enough that it makes it a bit difficult to get down there and back in the same day.

Quite often we will meet them half way and just have dinner somewhere around Rock Hill, SC....that way it's about 1.5 hours drive each way for each of us. Sometimes, if we need them to...this also involves passing off the dogs to them for a week while we go somewhere together.

This time..they are coming ALL THE WAY to spend the weekend and I am just tickled.

Of course, that means putting lots of things on the back burner, like uploading another little Sew and Tell post of quilt pics people have sent in. I wanted to do that before I head out for Kansas on Sunday, but it might not happen.

But even *I* find out time to time that there are instances in life where it is important to put first things first, and the kids are coming for the weekend...that is definitely a FIRST!

Jason and DH have plans to golf. Kim and I have plans for pedicures, maybe shopping, definitely lunch and whatever other girl trouble we can find ourselves in while the guys golf! LOL

At some point..I need to find another project to baste or prep to take with me on the plane to Kansas Sunday. I'm out of small tops waiting to be quilted..can you believe it? I don't think I have time to piece anything...so...I'm thinking..yep..it's time to complete the border applique on a top that has been hanging around for way too many years. and then, I can get THAT top basted for quilting while traveling.

OR....*thinking*....I have that hexagon medallion that I started umpteen years ago that has reached some stage of boredom and unfinished glory. Maybe that one? small hexagons are easy to travel with....

Anyway...that's what's going on here over this weekend! I hope yours is just as splendid!

Australian Homespun Shout Out!

When I'm gone on long trips....this is what tends to happen!

I come stumbling in after being picked up at the airport around 11pm and manage to dump my luggage on the floor of the master bedroom, if it makes it beyond the front hall at all. I peel off clothes, crawl into bed and sleep until after 9am the next morning!

It never fails, I feel like I've wasted half the day, if not the morning...until I realize that my body is still on California time and in California it is only 8am so it really isn't all that bad, is it? :cD

I wander into the kitchen, make a cup of tea...and start looking around for changes that might have occurred while I've been gone. Hey! Someone cleaned the kitchen! So far so good!

And then I see it....the PILE....over there on the desk. Yep. That's the mail that has stacked up over the past 12 days, and now it is my turn to go through it! Sort, sort, sort, shuffle....throw away the obvious ads and miscellaneous junk mail spam, sort into piles again (Usually by size of item..can't help it!)and START, putting bills in one stack, book orders in another, and other wise over sized WHAT IS THIS packages in a third pile.

I saw this one big envelope and had to rip into it right away! I wasn't sure when this was coming out, but I am so happy it is here!

Months back, Christine Cohrs had contacted me about submitting her quilt "Majestic Mountains" made from my tutorial "Scrappy Mountain Majesties" to the magazine. I was thrilled! Her quilt turned out beautifully and looks just great in the magazine photos.


I turned the page and found that they had also given me a huge shout out on Adventures With Leaders & Enders! I don't know if you can read the picture here, so this is what it says:
Bonnie Hunter has established a reputation for making wonderful scrap quilts that allow you to use up all the bits and pieces in your stash.

She writes in her latest book: "My favorite scrap recipe is of the 'kitchen sink' variety, which means anything and everything is thrown in!" What is fascinating is that her quilts are gorgeous, making their construction seem quite magical. Bonnie also prefers to make big quilts.

In this book you won't find any wall hangings, table runners, or baby quilts: the smallest project is 70 inches square. Bonnie shares her tips for getting your scrap stash under control and her "leaders and enders" method, which sees you making these quilts while working on other projects. A book that is bound to become a much-used favourite of all those who love scrap quilts.


Thank you AUSTRALIAN HOMESPUN! And thanks Christine, for submitting your gorgeous quilt for publication!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Mom Made This!




I had a lovely little visit from the postman this morning.

A BOX! For ME! And it was from my mom who lives in Idaho...which I was not expecting! I mean, I should be sending HER things for Mother's Day, not the other way around, right?

WRONG!

I think I've mentioned before that my mom is a new quilter. I've been so excited that she has finally succumbed to the bug and thrown herself right in! I mean, I've been addicted to this for nearly 30 years, and I finally wore her down? :cD

She lives in a VERY RURAL community, and there happens to be a darling quilt shop there. I've met the ladies, they are wonderful, and they love my mom, so that just makes me feel SO GREAT. I know when I can't be there, they are watching out for her and showing her all the ropes of this quilting thing.

She has joined a GUILD! She has even gone so far as been on an "away" retreat complete with overnight lodgings!!

Yep, I think she is well on the way to becoming fully one of us....A QUILTER. I couldn't be more proud!

So..you can imagine my tears this morning when I opened this box and found this wonderful wall hanging....made for me...by my mom.

Just look at this! This is a foldy log cabin, with such texture and intricacy...layers and layers and tiny (YES!) strips...and buttons and recycled fabrics and....I just bawled!

In fact, the full picture is probably blurry because I was still teary eyed as I hung this and took pics of it out on my front porch. Don't worry, it's not staying there...the light was better out there. I'll find a place to hang it inside.

I absolutely love how she adorned it with buttons. Some really fun ones!

The funny thing is...she said she has already given one to each of my sisters, and others have been made, but she saved MINE for last because she wanted it to be perfect. I mean, honestly? She should know me better than that! Now I feel like she has been holding out on me all along. I love things better if they are NOT perfect. It's perfect in its imperfection, as are we all.

Thanks Mom!! I love it! (And you..immensely!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hello, NC!

I got home last night! It is SO GOOD to be home....Hello house, I missed you! Oh, yard...your trees are so green and lovely! And oh....SUCH A HUGE PILE OF MAIL! 0_o

My last post was on Sunday..and here it is Wednesday! Can you tell that I was having just such a super time with my friend and her family that the blog took a back seat!?

I will need to back up even before my Sunday post. Saturday was such a fun full packed day, that I can't leave it out!

We started out nice and early with a drive to Napa for picnicing and wine tasting, the whole clan. There were 8 of us to start with, if you include Ryan, the cutest 5 month old you have ever seen.

AND...since it was a 2 hour drive in the car to Napa from Scotts Valley, I of course worked on THIS in the car...it's getting done! All I've got left to do is finish that inner cheddar border, and it is DONE! (I'll need to find another project to baste and take to Kansas with me on Sunday....adding that to the list of must-dos this week!)

Have you ever had Paella? If you haven't.....you've missed a treat. Our picnic sat languishing in the car because this amazing paella was being served at the wine tasting. Just LOOK at this! Of course, I am seeing things in vivid quilterchrome (Remember kodachrome? LOL) color!

There were succulent VERY LARGE shrimp...and mussels, cod, chicken, peppers, onions, rice..just simmering away in big huge wok type pans until it was ready. There was music...it was so lovely and festive out on the patio. YUM!!

Here is a pic of Gerard doing his THANG...and he does it so well!

Of course, Napa is all about the scenery. Growing up in California, I can honestly say that somehow I missed out on the wonders of Napa because I left when I was 19. But it was such a beautiful day for a gorgeous drive..these are all pics I took from the car as we were driving:


Napa California May 2010
If your browser or reader does not view the slide show, you can click to the link to my actual webshots album to view them.

It was SUCH a gorgeous day!! The hills were still green...and I love seeing them that way the most. In the summer they get dry grass brown, but it was so lush and lovely...oh California, I missed you! I hope it is not another 15 years until I get to go back.

And that wasn't IT for the day...we had HOCKEY TICKETS for the Stanley Cup Playoffs game...The San Jose Sharks vs Detroit Redwings! GO SHARKS! I was so excited to be there. My Minnesota relatives are very hot and heavy into Hockey...but honest to truth? The last hockey game I watched was when I still lived in Idaho, and my Oldest son Jason was about 12-14 and playing on a street hockey team! Still...Hockey, I can get into and understand a lot easier than football. And it was a fast paced exciting game...down to the last 5 minutes...can they pull it off? YES! And Sharks win!

It was so exciting, even leaving the stadium and hearing the crowds just cheer and cheer and pennants flying and cars beeping and it was just SO FUN! So needless to say, I am now a Sharks fan, got the tshirt :c) And I had no voice for the next couple of days!

There is so much to catch up on here....so I'll call this good enough for today and resume with you next time!


Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Drive Through The City....


Friday was an errand day! A very important errand...because Randy and I drove to San Francisco! We were on our way to pick her son Ben up at the airport, but we left extra early just so we could see the Amish quilt exhibit at the De Young Museum! What an AWESOME exhibit! I was especially excited because these were the quilts from the collection of Faith and Stephen Brown.

YES! The same quilts found in the book Amish Abstractions that I wrote a review for a while back! Having the book at home, and then seeing these quilts up close and personal was SO INSPIRING. First off...you can't really tell the size of a quilt by a picture in a book. Second off...there is no way a book can show you the depth and detail of the quilting stitches and the texture,the phenomenal color choices, and the artistry in these quilts. We were just SO thrilled to have gotten there early enough that we were nearly the only ones in the gallery at the time.

And yes, the docents DID have to tell us to "BACK AWAY FROM THE QUILTS!" I guess our noses were too close to the stitches as we marveled..lol!

Since I already had the Amish Abstractions book, I bought this one! And I can hardly wait to peruse through it and see what goodies lie within. Books on antique quilts feed my soul like no other!

From there we took a driving tour through the city, bypassing all the regular touristy spots, because Randy wanted to take me to an awesome bakery down in the Mission district. More on that to follow....


San Francisco Drive By
The weather was so lovely that we had the top down, enjoying the sun and the oldies music coming out of the car stereo.

As with all slide shows, if you are reading this in a reader, you might have to click to my actual blog to view the pictures. If you can't view them in slide show format, click the link under the photo box and it will take you to the actual album on webshots.

We left the city behind to head for the airport to pick up Ben. I just had to get a pic of the sign as a momento!

And what's not to like about sitting behind the wheel of a convertible in California in MAY!? Just call me "Goddess on a Highway!"

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Help for Nashville


Whenever there is a need, Quilters Unite! (unless of course, we are dyslexic, and then we Un-tie, but that's a different story! :cD)

I got a message from Jane regarding the situation in Nashville. If you've seen the news, you've seen some of the devastation, right here in our own country.

I am providing this information as a service announcement, if you would like to know more, please contact Janet at

Hi Bonnie,

First, I will totally understand if you can't do this. I'm sure you get requests all the time and can't help with everything.

Though I no longer live there, I consider Nashville home and it is heartbreaking seeing the devastation caused by last weekend's flood. National coverage has been comparatively slight. People are helping one another there and trying to clean up, but it will be a long, long time before things are back to normal. I'm sure you know that most homeowner policies don't cover flood and most people don't have flood policies. To my knowledge, you can't even buy flood insurance unless you live in a designated flood plain, and so much of the devastated area was not designated as such. Anyway, people are facing financial ruin as well as having their homes and possessions destroyed. Imagine how many people, due to the economy, were already under water (to use a bad pun) on their mortgages and now they have horribly expensive uncovered losses.

I'm wondering if you could maybe put something on your blog about assistance for those in need in Nashville. I'm not sure of the best places to make donations, but there is always the Red Cross http://www.middletennredcross.org/ . People can google for more info. My former church is being used as a disaster relief center, providing meals, clean-up supplies and whatever else is needed. If anyone wanted to donate to them they could be sure any donations designated for disaster relief would be used for that. The contact info is:

bellevuebaptist.com
7400 Highway 70 S
Nashville, TN 37221-1845
(615) 646-2711

Their phone service has not yet been restored, but hopefully will soon. We are headed to Nashville to help clean up as soon as hubby gets home. We had so many older people in our church who lived in a huge condo development that was just devastated. Breaks my heart!

Anyway, I understand if you can't mention this on the blog, but would appreciate it if you could. I'm a fan either way!

Jane


Janet, I hope that my posting this on my blog might inspire those who can, to help where they can. These are our neighbors, our family, and friends. Quilters CAN make a difference!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Life's A Beach!

Great day yesterday!

We started out by taking a long walk UP HILL BOTH WAYS with Randy's dogs, Jake and Max. A route of approximately 3 miles with severe climbs was invigorating! I love seeing all the flowers I can't grow on the east coast. My favorite? Agapanthus! Followed by Bottlebrush, Star jasmine...oh..the smell of the jasmine!

Seeing redwood trees also makes my heart pound, and the smell of the eucalyptus trees that grow along the coast. And succulents!! how I love their funky spongey-ness!


The weather was so nice that we drove down to Soquel and Capitola with the top down on Randy's car..This was the view from the windshield! Can you feel the sun and the gentle breeze? Temps around 70? BLISS!!

This is the lighthouse at Santa Cruz, a childhood beach haunt. My highscool prom was held at Santa Cruz one year...


Beach view at Capitola...a bit rockier than Santa Cruz, which has the nicest sand. Things get even rockier as you move down the coast to Monterey....

It was just a lovely lovely day!

We spent some time sewing last night. I am working on the blocks for next year's Quiltmaker Magazine columns...6 more issues of Addicted To Scraps fun!

Today we are on the way to San Francisco to go check out the Amish quilt exhibit at the De Young museum, and to pick up Randy's son who is coming in from Chicago for Mother's Day..busy busy happy happy!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thelma & Louise in Austin!

Lucy sent some pics of our evening in Austin!


We really did have lovely weather and a beautiful evening to enjoy. Austin is such a hopping place, and very tourist friendly.

Word has it that they are still jaunting around Texas for another day, seeing the coast, and heading back to the Netherlands on Friday. I'm sure it will take them a long time to readjust to life in a European time zone, after Gallivanting around Galveston!

As for me? I'm here in California to spend Mother's Day weekend OFF with my dear friend Randy!

I grew up in San Jose, and haven't been back since my 15 year high school reunion, 15 years ago. It's time!

We have lots of things planned, some sewing to do, some walking of the dogs, some visiting with her family,seeing other friends and mostly some BIG decompressing after a very heavy teaching/traveling schedule!

I need some mornings to sleep in without having to wake up to an alarm. I am going to enjoy some down time!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cool Quilt Stuff....

Isn't it fun how when quilters gather, we ooh and ahhh over the new notions, neat gadgets, fun patterns...organizer things, funky tools, cases, bags, totes, etc that we see?

I have to tell you something that I found that I had never thought of. I had a "LUGGAGE" scale that got lost. I needed to replace it...couldn't find one. Not sears, not Penny's, not Walmart, not Target..in other words, I exhausted every outlet that was local to me.

The original scale came to me from Target, and cost $10.00 in the luggage department.

I know where I left it! At a hotel...in the closet...inside my favorite pair of clogs..so it was a double RATZ when I discovered them missing and remembered where they were. Too bad.

After trying to replace the scale, my DH said..try a FISH SCALE! Why didn't I ask him sooner? The Walmart sporting goods department had one that went up to 50lbs...and it was.....$5.00. (Shaking head at the stupidity of marketing...or maybe...the brilliance?)

It looked identical to the "LUGGAGE" scale I bought in the luggage department....only this was sporting goods. Same thing. Literally.

Why is it when something is marketed specifically for some purpose..like quilting for instance...things double or triple in price?

Anyway....scale found, problem solved.

In this case, I want to show you this ingenious little trash catcher one of the quilters had at the Crumbs workshop!

It is simply made from a cut off leg of jeans....the bottom stitched, the corners boxed, and some top stitching added to make it look square instead of round...


Easy peasy! And oh so cute! I can see myself making some of these. They squish flat...perfect for catching threads and snips and dog ears....what a way to recycle!!

Have you seen anything extra cool lately?? I think some of the best ideas come when we gather together for a class, or a guild meeting and see what each other have discovered on our jaunts out and about!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

With Crumbs From Austin!

This has been such a FABULOUS trip!! It's been fast paced, run run run and go go go, but I have loved every minute of it!

I have some pictures of Saturday's Crumbs workshop to share with you! The students showed up raring to go, some even went so far as to bring crumbs they wanted to see GONE from their hoards..no wait....stash...to share with everyone to add to the variety. what we ended up with was a true mix of everything, and to me that is the best recipe for a great scrap quilt!


Austin TX Crumb Class 2010
Those of you on readers will probably have to click through to my actual blog to view the slide show. If you can't view them here, click the link below the window to be taken to the actual webshots photo album!

You have GOT to see the lovely BLUE featherweight! I am in love with it! Remember "Ugly Betty", the Singer 301 that was gifted to me in Altoona PA about 1.5 years ago? She spent the winter under a blue tarp out at a fair grounds/flea market place...her black finish is completely chipped down to the aluminum in more than one place...I'm thinking she needs a paint job like this, dont you? IN fact, every time I get a pedicure, I am looking at those little bottles wondering what color would look best on Betty :c)

At this point I'm leaning toward a hot iridescent fuscia! *LOL* I just might do that in the future...I've got 2 years to go til I'm 50, but I'm thinking I can get Betty painted in honor of the occassion. It's a mile stone!

On Sunday, my Star Struck workshop went from noon til 6pm because the church we were using for our class room space was occupied during the morning hours. I got an email from Lucy and Rene telling me they had arrived in Austin, and arrangements were made for them to pick me up after class!

HOW FUN TO SEE THEM!! Driving a hot red little rental car...complete with GPS so we could find our way around.

We went down to the South Congress area, very fun and eclectic, and walked and talked and laughed and visited, and hugged, and laughed some more. Lucy has become quite the shutter bug! And since I was only taking pics with my iphone this trip (yep, left the real camera at home? :c|)I let her be the photographer for the evening.

When they get home to Haarlem, She'll upload the pics and email some, and I'll get you caught up after the fact. She looked so WONDERFUL, they both did...and we discussed my possibility of a short stop over to see them if I can get this trip to visit with a Guild in Stuttgart together for next February.

No matter how many miles we are apart physically, friends are always close at heart!

Austin, you have been wonderful and welcoming, and I can't hardly wait to come back to visit you again!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Colors of Austin!

Things have been hopping since I've gotten here, and I'm going to need some "DOWN" time to really have the time to write all I want to blog about!

I'm staying at a La Quinta (I almost wrote La Quilta, fingers on auto pilot! *LOL*) in North Austin, walking distance from a shopping area known as The Domain. It's one of those monstrosities anchored by high end stores like Dillards and Neiman Marcuss, has lots of smaller boutique type shops, restuarants, and even a Tiffany. Nope. Won't find me buying anything here, but it's all built like a small city, complete with apartments and condos amongst everything so it's very trendy.

It's been a great place to walk, and I've found that my way to where the sidewalk ends and back is close to 3 miles. Nice trek.

I am LOVING the wildflowers that bloom, even in construction areas, and I wanted to post to you a few glimpses of what I've passed by on my walks...taking time to notice their colors, their texture, even behind chain link. This is Austin:


This is BLUE!


This is PINK!


This is GOLD!

What colors growing in your yards, or along your walks could influence you in a color plan for a quilt growing in your head?

I love nature's colors!

I'm in between a morning lecture and an evening one as I write this....I'll be back with you as soon as I can..in the mean time, keep on stitching on!