Monday, July 19, 2010

Update on Baskets!

Some several someones have stated that Alex Anderson has a book with these kinds of baskets that finish at 4.5"

Hapsew Writes:
Hi Bonnie:
Your border looks great! It is perfect! How clever to use half square triangle blocks in the corners!

I started making baskets like those a number of years ago and the pattern was called Postage Stamp from Alex Anderson's book "Quilts for Fabric Lovers". The baskets are 4 1/2".
So there ya go folks! I think if you want to make some, there is a source for you. Oh, the lunch hours I spent in massage school appliqueing all those basket handles. Oh, the funny looks I got from other "much younger than me" students who thought I was fit for the looney bin!

Great memories, each and every one.

I just finished writing the LAST pattern for the book. I'm breathing a sigh of relief here! I'm packing and getting ready to leave for Hershey..I'm still unsure if I'm leaving tomorrow morning to give myself an extra day up around Lancaster...(oh, I am so sorely tempted!!!) or if I'm going to get up at the bum-crack of dawn on Wednesday and do it all in one shot. It's so nice to be home, I'm a bit reluctant to leave!

Basket Border DONE!

I did end up keeping the inner border. It did reflect the gold baskets in the center, and there was not a whole awful lot of gold in the pieced piano key border....I didn't want something that stood out too much on its own, but was distinct enough from the brown to float the center a bit.

In the mornings, the best place for a photo shoot is off the 2nd story deck at the back of the house! Shade trees prevent too much light from coming in, and colors just look really great when I take pics out there. I ended up cutting half square triangles from the left over lengths of border, sewing them into 1/2 square triangle corners, and inserting them as a mitred border. It took less border length to do it this way than the traditional way which can leave a lot of waste. I didn't want to have to piece MORE border just to get those corners mitered the other way, you know?

Several have asked for the pattern for this quilt. I don't have it. What I had from lucy was a piece of paper with the size of pieces to cut and a little plastic template thing to use as a guide for drawing the line on the background for handle placement. Oct 2004? That's about 6 years ago folks. I have moved since then, I don't know where it is, but I know there are lots of mini basket patterns out there.

If you know someone that has EQ..you can easily print a basket block or draw one..in any size you like.

I set these baskets 12 X 15...so there are 180 baskets in this little ditty that turned out not so little! I think it is going to be too big to fly with, but it could go on driving trips with me....just need to get it backed and basted!

Right now I'm typing on my knees because someone has stolen my chair and won't give it back! Oscar has never been one to play with cat toys...you try to get him to play and he just looks at you like "WHHATTT!?" But a length of ribbon..he goes nuts!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

More from Sisters!

This is your usual disclaimer! When at a show, I take pics of what catches my eye. It might not be what catches YOUR eye! And it might not be the whole quilt..just bits and parts of a border, an alternate block, a color combo, some quilting detail...it might not make a lot of sense to ANYONE but me on why I have these photos! *LOL*

(Kind of like trying to explain why you have that "ONE SONG" on your ipod that needs explaining.. :c| For me that would be a song from the "Wedding Singer" soundtrack..LOL!)

Sisters Oregon 2010-2

There were LOVELY quilts at the show, and I really enjoy walking through the teachers tent area and seeing that up close and personal.

As usual too..I think I have more photos in the album than you can do in one slide show, so the slide show is incomplete..you need to click through to the actual album to see them all..and it's worth it :c)

The best thing for me....one of the reasons I truly love going to Sisters, besides the absolutely most obvious reason, the fabulous women I quilt with, who ARE like Sisters to me...is that the Sisters show is completely and totally UN-JUDGED. There are no prizes. It's just quilts for the love of quilting..plain and simple. And you do see quilts from plain and simple all the way up to fantabulously outrageous...and everything in between. It's a breath of fresh air with no pretension.

Okay, and it's the smell of kettle corn in the air and all the other goodies too!

So I hope you enjoy the pics, get a feel for what it's all about, and make a promise to yourself that you will make it to Sisters, Oregon...always the 2nd Saturday in July. It's never rained on that day, you know? Not EVER! Not in the 30 years they've been having this show. That is the wonder of central Oregon in mid July. Hot and dry and wonderful.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back in October...

There was THIS POST!


And I think it's time to put it on the machine. It's ripe! :cD I've pulled some batiks and funkies from the stash to piece a back...

But wait! What about the piano keys? Well...once I get the "Welcome Home" quilt stitching away, I can multi task and put on the piano key borders on the basket quilt, and then write some pattern instructions....followed by binding....

You see, I've got it all planned out, and if I'm not doing at least 4 things at once, I'm not happy. LOL!!!

I'm toying with either fuscia or orange thread for the houses...hmmm!

Oh yes, and webshots (isn't it funny how when I type that, it typos into websh!ts? AUUGH!)is busily uploading the rest of the pics from Sisters...it's taking its own sweet time, so that is probably another post for another day.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Lots of responses! I didn't think I'd wake up to so many!

I guess when it comes to things like this, everyone has an opinion. Most loved the piano keys, some did not.

Some thought the border was too scrappy for the baskets which were more formal (that never bothered me! *LOL* Lots of the baskets are from recycled shirt fabrics!)

The baskets finish at 3.5". SO using these baskets in the corners would cause a drafting issue...I don't have extra baskets, and I don't want to make more.

Some thought the border was too wide? I don't do skinny borders unless the quilt is very small. I tend to go with a border that finishes between 4" & 6" Which is neither too narrow or too wide for "most" quilts..occasionally I will go wider if the quilt is really big and I have something I am doing with the corners. This border is cut 5". Remember, the border has not been sewn to the quilt yet. I'm going to lose 1/4" in that seam, and another 3/8" hidden under the binding...and it will shrink up a bit in quilting. It will finish at a bit under 4.5" wide. I don't think that is too wide at all.

I'm not crazy with the baskets in the corners idea. I think it is far too "designed" for the look I'm going for...

4.5" finished blocks brings my mind instantly to all those Dear Jane blocks...that's the size they finish. But I don't know if I WANT blocks in the corners. Again...very symmetrical, very planned.

Some liked the inner border, some did not! Again, It's a personal preference thing. I've laid lots of things over that inner border, and there is NOTHING that sings against that brown...NOTHING! I thought of a light shirting because the block backgrounds are light..but it disappeared into the piano keys.

And it is to the point of "how much work" do I want to put into this thing......I may as well de-construct the whole thing and get rid of that BROWN at this point! That is probably the only thing that would make me totally happy, but I'm not willing to do that.

SO....My mind goes back to all those wonderful antiques I saw at the Sisters show. How many people would have said "too brown" or "too blue" or "too red" to those wonderful quilts?

That is probably why that wonderful quilt with the bright solid cheddar background was STILL THERE this year....is there such a thing as too much cheddar?! (No, i think it had to do with the price!)

How many of us would have said "oh, I would remove that border, not crazy about it, it's the wrong width"..or instead, like me...would we just enjoy them for the quirky vintage quilts they were, intrigued at the choices the unknown maker used in putting her quilt together?

These are the things going through my mind. I'm not looking for something that is perfect for someone else....I'm looking for something that is perfect for me :c)

And I DO love these mini baskets. I DO love the memories from when Lucy and I were trading the little cut out pieces....stuffed envelopes in the mail! I loved how when she came to visit me that first time, we sat at my kitchen table and sewed and sewed.

Up Late....

But only by East Coast standards? If I'm still on Pacific time it's only 9:22pm! Yeah..I'm still struggling with this time zone thing!

So......how many of you have been hanging around with me since the "EARLY" days? Do you remember when I started massage therapy school?

Do you remember when Lucy and I exchanged cut out pieces for these baskets for THIS quilt?!?

I spent tonight taking off the outer brown border. It never sat right with me. I'm not crazy about the inner gold border...but I think it can stay. It was just WAYYYYYY too brown for me, and I still feel that way. Don't get me wrong. I like brown. But it was Brown Over Kill. I'm a color girl! I like things quirky and colorful, and too much brown was just too much.

I toyed with the idea of what to do...do I want to do half square triangles? No, that actually means CUTTING and SEWING something.

Did I want to do just a different color border? Nope...still too blah for all the scrappiness going on with these adorable baskets.

Then it hit me.....there is a rather LARGE suitcase still sitting in my living room, as of yet unpacked. :c/ I ran up there and dug out the extra long length of piano key border that was left over from the Sister's Oregon quilt top I finished last week....

TADA!! What do you think? Does it add enough spark, enough color to the outside edge of this boring brown thing?! Please say yes, but please MEAN IT!

Because right now I'm too tired to think of anything else. I just want this to be right. Maybe I can do some kind of corner block? Something Something?

I'm going to leave it lay here over night and go dream on it some more. I'd love to start the hand quilting on this....Maybe it will look better by morning light!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Feel Like THIS!

LOL! This is the little guy that was passed out next to me on one of my flights home. I know just how he felt! Red eye flights home always make me feel weird for a couple of days, but I'm doing better today.

I arrived in Charlotte around 6:45 am, and then had to drive home from there, about 100 miles. I was listening to a book on MP3 to keep me awake, but you know what? I can't remember what was going on in the story! I even left the bags in the car, and just came in, kicked off my shoes, peeled off my clothes, slid between the sheets with two kitties purring, one on either side, and slept for another 5 hours.

Needless to say, no uploading or editing got done between the show and yesterday's early morning arrival home. So I spent some time today uploading the shots from my favorite part of the Sister's show...the antique vendors area!

sisters oregon antiques 2010

There are a ton more pics than would fit in the slide show, so be sure to click through to the album and view them there. SO MUCH INSPIRATION! As much as I love the show, and I do...nothing compares to the viewing and handling of the antique quilts. NOTHING. It's just where my heart is at.

This quilt top just had to come home with me:

It is wonderfully wonky, and the fabrics in it are just terrific!

And THIS little goodie!

He was just too cute to pass up....just jumped right into my shopping bag (after paying for him of course!) What's one more vintage toy machine? It's a vice...I know..we all have them...but I like these guys! He needs a little mini quilt, don't you think?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Days 3 & 4! (and maybe 5!)

Well, this is the way it is. I have been at the sewing machine pretty much straight for the past two days, so there isn't much time for writing lengthy posts, nor was there a lot that I could show you...but....

This is my workstation.....you can see much strippy-ness is going on! Remember those umpteen million gazillion 3" 9 patches that were OVERKILL!? Let's just say that a piano key border has become mandatory to this quilt to use up the pre-sewn strip sets.

Of course...THIS BAG couldn't possibly be enough to go all the way around the outside of a quilt could it? NO INDEEDY! We must sew..MORE!! (Yes, echoes of Karen and Lisa saying "Sew Bonnie Sew!!" Are still floating through my head)

I dug into my big ole bag of oldies and oddities...1.5" strips are sewn to pairs....recycled fabrics mixed with scraps, no attention paid to color, just including as much variety as possible, and doing my best to annihilate all the shorter pieces...

Twosies were sewn into foursies....

I'm cutting the foursies into 5" subsections....but what do you do when you can't get another 5" section and there are leftovers? Cut them 1.5" of course!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these little stacks of 4-squares, but I could do 16 patches and use them as the center of stars or something...for now they are baggied up!

Sewing sewing more sewing..do I have enough yet? I'm not sure, I better sew some more, there are still strips left in the bag, keep going...get rid of the uglies...

By the time I finally stopped, and went to iron this lovely piano key border...there was more than enough to encircle TWO quilts...LOL!!!! SO..I see a Chinese Coins quilt in my future, or some strippy thing somewhere...

And there are still old ugly 1.5" strips in the bag I would like to see go away!

SO....tomorrow! (Saturday) is the BIG SHOW in Sisters. We are leaving here at 7:15 to get there early enough to be able to get decent parking for the car, and hit the antique booth first FIRST! It's a tradition. And we love to watch the quilts going up on the side of the buildings. The mornings are the best!

I'm meeting up with a bus full of Ladies from the HGTV message boards at the park at 1pm...I can't wait, it will be so fun!

After that, we'll finish seeing anything we somehow missed, and we are usually out of town by the time the heat of the day has hit it's peak.

The week is flying by..We've been taking long walks every morning..I've finished writing the directions to 4 quilts so far...it's been a good good place to be!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Sisters, Day #2!

I'm being a hard task master on myself, but having a great time doing it. I should do this EVERY year! No, not really that hard, but I've got the quilts here with me that I need to write directions for, so we've got a bit of show and tell going on.

And my goal first thing in the morning, is to write ONE PATTERN per day...however long it takes....before I am "ALLOWED" to sew at the machine on the current project! LOL!

Jen, are you listening to me? This is patterned off of seeing your kids earn "screen time" and having to pay for it with marbles. Same thing here! LOL! No machine time for Bonnie until she finishes her homework! (Aren't you proud!?!) :cD

Before heading to the airport in Redmond to go pick up Claire, we took Max for a long walk..about 3 miles I think. Yep, even the walk had to wait for me to finish my homework! But it worked. And it is so fun to see everyone biking or running or walking dogs here. It's great to be around Max. He is a HUGE golden, still in his adolescent phase...hard to believe when I came up a year ago march, he was barely 2 months old. Now? He still hasn't grown into his head or his paws!! And he is huge! (Did I tell you how big he is?!?) Sorry the pic is a bit blurry, but this dog is all about action!!

So here we are at the airport to get Claire, and I am still astounded EVERY YEAR at how beautiful it is to see snow covered mountains in JULY. Living in Idaho for more than 20 years, you'd think I'd be used to it. I never am. It sucks the breath right out of me..just look at those peaks!

Even on the drive from Redmond to Sisters..I just could not keep my eyes off the mountains....(It was a good thing I was not the one driving! *LOL*)

First up on the list of things to do in Sisters? Get lunch! We had decided to go here:

But when we arrived, we were met with THIS SIGN!?? (*@#($*&(*&!

This is the funny of the day. How can a BBQ place be out of BBQ by 1:30 in a town so small that you can spit from one end to the other? The town was not busy (YET) but maybe they are cooking cooking cooking to save it all up for Saturday, when it IS going to be a zoo? We didn't find out...we just found another little bar & grill place and sat out on a grassy back area at a picnic table, enjoyed their special of the day, the sunshine, each other, and it was great.

From there on we of course had to make our way up to the Stitchin Post.....and completed our shop hop on the way back through Bend.

Did I buy anything?? Well..yes I did! I found these yard long pre-cuts, $5.00 each! Love the red/orange piece...and the yellow blue stripe? Yes, I know it looks like a men's shirt fabric! And that's why I bought it. I thought I might want it for sashing or an inner border for a recycled shirt project, and sometimes you just have to have "ENOUGH" of something....and maybe a shirt isn't going to give you what you need, but fabric that looks like one will.. :c)

Do the two spools of YLI LIME GREEN quilting thread need an explanation?? I know I'm not the only one who buys thread just because they like the color! *LOL* I don't have a project for it yet, but I know I will. It will be just the right color, and YLI is my fave. I was hoping they'd have it on those BIG mega wooden spools, but they didn't...so two smaller ones will have to do.

What's on the docket for today? Since we road tripped all day yesterday, it's a stay in and sew day! There will be much of THIS kind of thing going on!!!

This is me and my long chain of 9 patches....yes they are ALL DONE...and for Karen and Lisa who told me to "Just keep sewing" strip sets last FRIDAY, that I possibly couldn't have enough strip sets to make these 9 patches....does the word OVER KILL mean anything to you guys? LOL Oh well, you can never have too many 3" 9 patches on hand! :cD

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Hello Oregon, Day 1!

I have to tell you, there is NOTHING in this world as nice as July in Central Oregon. I am always blown away by the smell of the nature and the trees out here. The way that the sun is up and shining before 6am. The way the night is so SILENT after dark, so unlike how things are in North Carolina, where the cicadas, crickets, tree peepers and other wildlife kick up a cacaphony of sound all night long.

It is when I am here in Sun River that I sleep like I'm comatose..deep sleep where I'm sure I don't even bother to roll over in my dreaming. Would YOU bother to roll over in a bed like this?!?

You might think one would not need a bed thick with duvet in July, but it was 35 degrees at 6 am yesterday. It warms up nicely, but simply the fact that it gets so chilly at night makes it BLISSFUL for sleeping with the window open....just enough....just enough to require deep snuggling. I do think the best sleep comes when the tip of your nose is a bit cold :c)

Isn't this a great quilt? It's ALL double pinks and shirtings!

My friend Randy acquired this at the Sisters Show some years back, and I love to come revisit it! Some of the baskets are "normal" just made out of two or three fabrics, but my favorites are the ones where she ran out of one thing and had to substitute another. And please notice how SMALL these cake stand blocks are!

I just love these fabrics in this quilt...some of these are the originals to which many reproductions have been made. It's always neat to see these in their "original" printed form...we are guessing somewhere between 1890 and 1900 for this quilt.

This one was quilted as a summer spread, the edges turned to the inside in what is known as a "knife edge" finish. It's simply quilted in a VERY LARGE grid with big stitch quilting....the backing is a solid cinnamon pink.

So what happened on Day One? Well, I arrived about 9pm on Sunday night, sans luggage :c( I had my carry on with my clothes, and my laptop bag...but the IMPORTANT STUFF, the suitcase with the project makings in it, and the one body bag of quilts I have to write patterns for (yes, I'm doing my writing here since I was such a slacker last week...deadlines don't move!)got left behind at one of my quick connections.

Never fear! Randy to the rescue....one of my projects involved a massive amount of blue half square triangles. Randy is NEVER short on blue, had plenty of neutrals to go with them, and so I set about working on making those until my bags got here.

We took a break to take Max the dog for a long walk on the bike paths....I love seeing everyone so active here! Riding bikes, walking, running.....what a great place, so we went a did a little power walk to for a couple miles, and came back and sewed some more.

Kat and Lori showed up a bit before lunch time, and we got all the sewing spaces arranged and set right in to working on projects!

My wandering luggage showed up about 2:30 in the afternoon and I breathed a sigh of relief! All was well!

Dinner was enjoyed out on the patio! Is there anything better than Central Oregon, when the heat of the day ebbs down, and the evening shadows grow long and cool? Sitting outside, enjoying the nature, good food good friends, lots of laughter and great conversation? I don't think so. I look forward to this all year long, and filling each other in on the happenings with our families and things that have gone on since we saw each other last.

We sewed til after 11...until I could no longer keep my eyes open!

Today, Claire comes up from California, and our 5-some will be complete! We are running into Sisters for lunch, and to check out the Stitchin Post and do some shop hopping before the crowds get crazy at the end of the week. And then we will come back here and sew and sew and sew some more!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th!!

There is a phrase that has stuck with me since I was little. I usually think of it in times like Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Independence Day...


And it's true. It's not a right, it's a privilege. I mean, it SHOULD be a right yes, but it comes with a price, it isn't free. And I'm thinking a lot on this today.

My bags are packed, they are in the car waiting. I'm just sitting here downloading a couple books on my mp3 player for listening on the plane (Yes, while I hand quilt!) and then I'll be off to Charlotte to catch my flight to Oregon!

I get in to Redmond about 9pm tonight...Bend time. Which is MIDNIGHT NC time..urrgh. Still, I wonder if I'll be there in time to see any fireworks as we drive from the airport back through Bend and to Randy's house in Sun River!? That would be nice. I think I'm flying in to early to see any from the air. My flight goes from Charlotte to Phoenix to San Francisco to Redmond..and I'm lucky, no long layovers at all..just off one plane and on to the next...I like it that way.

Whatever you and your family and loved ones get up to this holiday weekend, please stay safe, enjoy the small things, take time out to appreciate all that we have!

I'll check in from Oregon when I can!

Friday, July 02, 2010

New Phrase...

I have the quilting machine humming away with Compu Quilter while I am working in the studio this morning! (that is for about the next 1/2 hour...cuz I've got to get out of here by 11 am!)

I posted THIS pic on the Quiltville friend page on facebook:

To show the quilting I am doing on this quilt. This is the one where I used one of Grandpa's shirts in the border, and the other shirt will be part of the binding.

This is the piece of Grandpa's shirt...this nice soft sage green:

Someone asked about the pattern, and I mentioned that yes, it is a pantograph by Urban Elementz called Holly's Hearts. I have unabashedly become the Princess of Pantos...which is kind of a weird thing for someone who quilted for the public for 15 years to call herself. And in a funny moment I said:

Life is just to short to spend it micro stippling!!

I think this is significant in my life.....because I've been "Sweating the Small Stuff" and really, it's all small stuff! I need to relax, I need to not be so uptight...and all that small stuff is reminiscent of too much "micro stippling" going on in my life. Right? RIGHT?!? Good analogy I think! Unless you really enjoy that nit-picky stuff. Then have at it.

So what's on tap for today? I have a chiropractor appt at 11:30....and THEN...after a run to Fed Ex, I'm headed to my friend Karen's house to do some visiting and sewing! That's Me, Karen & Lisa!

See this bag of 9 patches?

I thought I had enough of them, but I need *COUGH* 240 to do what I need to do...so the bin of 1.5" scrap strips is going to come along with me and I'm going to 9 patch the afternoon away. I'm not sure how late we'll sew, but I tell ya..I'm in the mood to stay until they kick me out!!

What's on tap for you today?

Thursday, July 01, 2010


Have YOU ever wanted to QUILT CRUISE?!!!!!

Now is your chance!

I will be teaching aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's "Enchantment of the Seas" (wasn't that the name of the dance in "back to the future?!?") Along with Pat Sloan!

Set your Calendar for November 2011. It's far enough away that you can do this! You can make your reservation now with "Sew Many Places", the best quilting travel agent in the world, by calling 877-887-1188 or you can reserve your spot online HERE.

The cruise leaves out of Baltimore...and is a NINE NIGHT CRUISE! Think of how much quilting (And sight seeing!) You can get done in that amount of time! We will head toward San Juan, Puerto Rico, and SEW on the first two days days at sea....Then on to St Thomas, The Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

On the way back, we have TWO MORE DAYS of class time to sew and enjoy each other!

You are going to be hearing about this a lot over the next 17 months or so, I really hope you can join us!

Pat's last cruise went from Boston up into Canada.....they had a LOVELY time..if you want to check it out, go to Pat's Blog HERE!

I already so can not wait!!