Monday, July 18, 2011

Top to Bottom, Front to Back!

Yesterday in a round of silliness, we had a very funny discussion on our facebook Quiltville Friends Page!

My Question was--- If a Quilt TOP is called a TOP, why is the backing not called the BOTTOM? And the silliness got more hilarious from there…but my most favorite response of all came from Laura V who said:

“Is that like --Why do they call them control TOP panty hose when that's not what's in them?????”


Oh, how I love these Quilters! hehehehe!

And all of this came about because I went back and forth about really wanting to piece a backing from a stack of orphan blocks for the quilt for the German magazine, instead of just slapping some ole thing on there and calling it good. I mean --- Why use 6 yards of ONE THING --- When you can clear out a bunch of old stuff, have a great time doing it, and really make something one-of-a-kind wonderful, right?

In the end, the orphan block digging won out!

And I found myself on the floor, with a bin of stuff around me, digging for anything that would fit the color scheme of the quilt ---Mostly looking for Pinks & Purples, but those all seemed to come with Lime green attached…Which is okay by me. And it is also okay to throw in some blue and a bit of yellow, and well, you know how color just takes over in my world…so Here we go!

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Here I’ve got the blocks assembled into rows down the length of the quilt. The rows aren't sewn together yet...I was just measuring to see how things would look. Was I big enough? I like to group “like things” together…for one thing, it helps that they are usually the same size as each other….so separating by style and size works for me.

Row 1….not quite enough blocks in that size to finish the row, but if I added fabric at each end it would work, and that excess fabric was the “over hang” that the backing needed anyway.

Row 2…started with that big tie-dye looking star…16.5”! So that set the size width for that column, and I set about making all the other odd blocks fit that 16” width.

Row 3….Well THIS was easy breezy beautiful! A whole row of orphan Scrappy Trips blocks! I thought I was setting them zig-zag fashion, but I screwed that up with the top two blocks…they are chaining the same direction. Did I want to pick it out? Nope! It stays!

Row 4….Someone had gifted me these batik star and 9 patch hour glass blocks, and the stars were not the same size as the hour glass blocks and needed trimming down, and I lost some points in the process, but it is a happy pink & purple mess --- and I like it!

Row 5…..a bit more of everything….and we sew it all together!

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I needed to add a bit more to the sides to give me the excess backing width I needed….so here we are! Doesn’t this look fun?

And I turned it around so you could see the Top ((Or the Bottom, or the End of the Back, or the Bottom…you get the picture!)) Here:

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I’m really happy with how it turned out and what I was able to use in here…and just because I was in a “Gotta get this stuff out of here” mode….I pieced the batting too! ((Though I don’t know which end is the Top, The Bottom, The Front, or The Back!))

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Yeah, it’s a wrinkly mess, but it hung out over night to relax a bit more. That box of batting scraps is pretty much empty of everything bigger than placemat size! Maybe I SHOULD get into doing small quilts to use them up? ;c)

I can’t show the top just yet for this one --- When the Magazine is released I will. In the mean time, I’ve been having a lot of fun with a gently scalloped binding on it. LOVE this soft and subtle curved edge!

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pictures, Pictures!~

As things from the trip to Oregon settle in, there are more pictures that are exchanged via email with messages like “Love this one of you two!” “Thought you all looked so cute in this one!” “Sending these to you as well!”

And I’m happy to share them here, because they DID turn out so cute, and we had such a great time ((Are you tired of hearing all about it yet?))

I love this picture of Tonya and me in front of one of the Gees Bend quilts at the Stitchin’ Post! It’s just such a Tonya quilt to begin with…..it makes a great backdrop don’t you think?

I'm so proud of Tonya! Her book and quilts made with its inspiration are hanging all over the inside of the Stitchin Post! Way to go, Ton!

And this one….what is a Sisters Photo Op, without the wonderful old style buildings in the background? ((I'm already missing that blue blue Oregon blue sky!))

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Yeah, and that’s my dorky hip bag! ((Thanks to Brit friends, I learned long ago NOT to call it a fanny pack!! LOL!)) I know it looks like I’m wearing a seat belt…but..I travel light! All it holds is my wallet, a chapstick, and an extra crystal light packet for my water--Fashion stops below the NECK as far as I am concerned ;c)

We only had a couple of hours to wander together and catch up because Ton’s caravan was headed back toward Seattle in short order---but we made the most of the time we had together and it was great seeing her in person again!

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I also love this one of Lori, Randy and I in front of Randy’s “Sisters 9 patch” quilt! She was with me that first year that I saw the antique red and yellow top that sparked the desire to make that quilt as a leader/ender project in the first place. And it was SO FUNNY – I didn’t recognize it as HER quilt…I said “Oh look, SOMEONE made a Sisters 9 patch like the one in my book” LOL. It wasn’t until I read this label…..that…well…DUH!!

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It was a very DUH moment, and I have to admit --- the older I get, the more frequent they become. You just have to laugh at yourself to get through it you know? A LOT!


Don’t we look blissfully quilted-out? This is one that Randy took….I don’t remember which day, but we were definitely high on quilt overload! And Lori, I’m still laughing at that bunch of lavender just hanging by the thread…it looks like it is floating in mid air…goofy!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Amazon Deal of the Day–More Than Just Books!

When it comes to holidays and such, I like to give my kids and my dad Amazon gift cards. That way they can always choose what they want, and there is lots more than just books or music on Amazon.

One thing I order all the time is my Good Earth Original tea---I can’t get it here in NC, but if I order it on Amazon ((Using the Christmas gift card that usually comes from some member of my family, most thankfully!))and I order $25.00 worth…it ships free! This usually means that I am ordering 6 boxes at a time, and that’s fine with me. I hate to run out! I can usually add the tea to my order to get my BOOK order to reach that $25.00 free shipping amount --- or visa versa!

Today while looking on Amazon’s Deal of the Day I saw that the Lipton ice tea mixes are 44% off. That’s quite a bit!

When I travel, I always keep an empty water bottle, and I like to add the ice tea mix, or crystal light packs to my water.

One of my faves is on sale! it’s the Energize blueberry pomegranate in the individual serving packs!


You get 6 boxes of 10 individual servings…for $11.00 That’s $1.83 per box, or 18.3 cents for each serving. Way cheaper than the price of bottled water! And if I get $25.00 worth, it will ship free. Win/win!

The mandarin mango at the top of the page comes in a 12 box package....so you get 120 servings for 18.3 cents each. Yep, that's a lot of tea! But it helps keep me hydrated because I am not much of a "plain water" drinker...I like my life with flavor!

There is a thing where you can sign up for monthly delivery, and save an additional 15%, but I don’t know if I need that much tea on hand.

There are lots of flavors – you can check it out here!

These are just things that I like, and I thought I’d pass the info on to you…no affiliation, yada yada yada, the regular disclaimers apply!

Feet On The Ground!

So here I am, Saturday afternoon --- and I’m HOME ALONE!

I almost don’t know what to do with myself! ((Please note that I said ALMOST!))

Actually it’s more of……there are so many things that I could do, would want to do, that I have a hard time choosing.

Yesterday’s flights were hectic, but I made ALL of my connections, and my luggage made it too. Yep! the pic you see to the left is my poor road weary luggage! It sure felt strange traveling without the quilt bags--- I kept thinking I was leaving something behind!

Yesterday was full of close calls. I had 20 minutes until boarding time when I landed in Denver….run run run run run! When I got to Washington Dulles, it was the same thing…30 minutes til boarding…run run run up an escalator, down an escalator, over another passageway, down another escalator, wait for the train ((HURRY HURRY, TRAIN!!)) and MORE escalators. Is there an airport that has MORE escalators and run arounds than Dulles? I don’t think I’ve experienced one!

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When I got home……I put a little plan in motion that I’d been thinking of since I left Greensboro a week ago Thursday. Do you remember me telling you about Horace, the shoe shine guy at the Greensboro airport? And how nice it is to know him by name, and he always has a smile on his face, and loves to chat when I am waiting for my flights out? ((And it's not just ME --- he knows EVERYONE by name!))

Well, this time as I was waiting to board my flight for Greensboro ((That left over 2 hours late, so I had lots of time on my hands!)) Horace saw me walking by and said “Well, Miss Bonnie --- where are you off to THIS time? I haven’t seen you in a while!” Isn’t it nice when someone knows you by name? I explained that my last few flights had gone out around 6am, before the time he opens his booth…..and my return flights had also been late. And I’d had a few flights that brought me into the other terminal side, so I didn’t go past where his stand is.

I told him that on occasions where I had passed by late, that I’d thought of dropping him a note just to say hi! He got a big kick out of that, and this week, I put a plan in motion. I told him next time I passed his booth I would leave him a hello from me.

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I picked up a fun postcard in Sisters -----wrote a message on the back, and tucked it into his work box! I know it is the weekend, and he won’t find it til Monday, but he said that no one ever “bothers” his stuff --- so I’m hoping it is still there when he starts work on Monday. He has been shining shoes at the Greensboro airport for over 20 years. Can you imagine?

I had a huge smile on my face as I left that note --- I wonder how many people he has a positive influence on, and doesn’t even know it? It makes a HUGE difference when people take the time to know your name. I know because of this that I really REALLY try memorizing who is who in my classes…at least while I’m there. I want to know people by their names. I’m pretty good at faces --- so I’m always working at putting the names to the faces and keeping them there.

Today DH is off taking Jeff’s car back to him in Columbia, and bringing my old Saturn back up. I just did NOT feel like going on a 6 hour round trip drive today. Do you blame me? I just want to be home! It was chore enough to go out to the grocery store so there was FOOD in this house. That’s enough errands for one day!

I’m working on a pieced back for the quilt for the German magazine….pics to follow! Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Midnight Edition–Free Kindle Book!

Hello! I’m home! And the house is quiet because everyone is sleeping but ME. The ole body clock, dontcha know --- it says it’s only 9:30pm, not 12:30 am..so what’s a girl to do?

Catch up on her browsing, and her emails and everything else….while trying to get sleepy!

I just found this little mystery that I think will be a good edition to my kindle…

County Line by Bill Cameron

Book Description:

When the steadfast Ruby Jane Whittaker drops out of sight, dogged ex-cop Skin Kadash sets out to discover what drove the woman he loves to leave her life behind so suddenly and without explanation. The discovery of a dead man in her apartment followed by an attack from a mysterious stalker leads Skin first to California, then across the country on a desperate journey deep into Ruby Jane’s haunted past—and toward an explosive confrontation which will determine if either has a future.

I just downloaded it, and it was still free for me, but be sure to check the price before you click purchase, just in case it is NOT free anymore!

I plan on sleeping in a bit, unpacking a bit, catching up a bit ---enjoy your weekend everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fly Away Home ---

This morning I am on my way back to North Carolina. It’s been a wonderful trip to Oregon--- relaxing and productive at the same time!

But as they say, Home is where the Heart is --- and I can only be away from home so long until home is the only place that I want to be.

I saw this little picture of North Carolina with a heart smack dab in the middle, and I had to save it….that heart is awful close to where Winston Salem is on the map! North Carolina, I'm coming home to you! ((Yes, this is where you can cue in James Taylor singing "In my mind, I'm going to Carolina....."

We spent our last day sewing in the morning --- running errands in the afternoon, ending the day with a drive back out to Sisters to pick up Randy and Claire’s quilts from the show. We attended a “volunteer appreciation soiree” out at Black Butte, a thanks for all those who volunteered their time for the show. Randy had put in some hours opening boxes and getting quilts ready to be hung --- and I got to go as her guest!

We stopped and took some pics on the way ---the mountains were magnificently surrounded by clouds today, so very surreal looking!

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Can you see them coming up through the car windshield??

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The clouds appeared to be lit from above. It was really a beautiful evening. However, the clouds make it hard to tell what IS clouds, and what is snow capped mountains.

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Can you see them now?? It was like the clouds were coming in like a slow motion wave, ready to just cover everything…

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Until next year, beautiful Oregon! There is something really special about this place.

So what got done today?

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I trimmed up a whole bunch of these……

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And only have THIS to show for it! Someone once asked me ((OK, lots of someones….and OFTEN!)) what is the smallest size I keep. THESE are NOT THEM!! I even know there is a selvage craze going on out there, but I haven’t convinced myself that I need to save those either. I mean, some of them are neat ----but I must be a crazy woman to want to start to save something else too! This pile of “shavings” from squaring up was the last of my mess. After this was done, it was clean up time. ((Oh sad face!! ))

As I write this post, everything is packed and ready to go ----we are off to the airport early, and the next time you hear from me I’ll be home!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That --

I hate to even think that my time in Sunriver is winding down. In retrospect, I’ve accomplished a lot while I’ve been here, but still wish I could have done more!

A bit of a stomach bug has slowed me down a bit, but maybe I needed some slowing down? We were going to go to a music in the park thing last night, but I begged out. I just didn’t feel up to it. And the temps haven’t been exactly WARM either! After 5pm temps quickly drop to quite chilly. It would have been cold in the park, and we still had sewing to do!

As it was, we enjoyed sitting around the gas fire pit on the patio --- YES, it was TURNED ON! ((Is it REALLY July?!))--- and soaking up some of the peaceful nature from where we sat.

These pics of the Deschutes River are from our walk yesterday. Isn’t it peaceful? But even though I feel faraway – All it takes is a phone call to pull me back to reality! Takin’ care of business happens --- Even on a power walk along the river! Randy snapped this pic while we stopped so I could talk!

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In the center of the pic, there IS a snow capped mountain hiding – but it looks like a cloud in the picture! I love seeing mountains covered with snow in freaking JULY!! We are headed back to Sisters this afternoon and I’ll see if I can get Randy to stop and let me take some better pics. :c)

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Up the river, down the river, the view is vast and awe striking.

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I just love this place!

So what have I been working on while I’ve been here? Well MYSTERY stuff for one! And I can’t show you that, can I? But there has been some of this:

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and there has been a lot of this:

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And copious amounts of THIS:

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ENDLESS CHAIN PRESSING! :cD I’m an assembly line girl. I will work one step until all of that unit for the quilt is done, and then I move to the next. We talked a bit about it while we were all here. Randy is a “do a bit of this, do a bit of that, see how it will look together, and go back and do some more” kind of girl….I guess I already know what it’s going to be in my mind, and I Just keep going. It takes a long time before I have enough to show progress, but when it comes together, it comes together fast! ((FINALLY!)) It’s just me pushing it through until done.

And NO --- these three things are NOT from the same project!

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But ONE of the projects just gifted me 600 bonus triangles! NOW what am I going to do with THESE?!

I’m sure I’ll think of something!

But until it is time to pack it up and go home – I plan on doing some more of THIS:

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Just stretching out like a cat in the sunny spot on the floor….admiring Randy’s great newly finished quilt top! BLISS!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cheddar Bow-Ties!! 2011 Leader/Ender Challenge!

Every year there is at least ONE quilt that we ALL fall in love with.

This year it was a bowtie using a cheddar solid as a background. Do I have to remind you of how much I love solid cheddar? When I look at antique quilts, those with solid cheddar in them are the ones that jump out at me and straight into my heart.

We decided that this year we would use this quilt as a Leader/Ender project --- not to be completed by this time next year necessarily,but to at least show how far we could get in a year if we used these pieces strictly as leaders and enders in between the seams of other lines of chain piecing on current projects.

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This was my first glimpse of this lovely quilt hanging over one of the racks in the antique quilt booth. Did you spy it in the slide show the other day on my post of the antique quilts?

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Here it is spread out a bit better….I love that there are no borders, it is just bound with a terrific old indigo blue!

Would you like to join us in the 2011 Bow Tie Challenge? There are no rules, no deadlines, no finished size, no muss no fuss. Basically, all you have to do is cut the pieces ahead of time, keep them by your machine, and when you are in the need of a leader/ender, you’ll use the bow tie pieces and watch them grow in number until this time next year!

Click HERE for printer friendly version!

To get started:

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Directions make 3" finished bow tie blocks!

From cheddar background cut: (2) 2” squares.

From bow tie fabric cut: (2) 2” squares and (2) 1-1/4” squares!

((I know 1-1/4” is a strange size,and not one that I keep on hand, so I am cutting all my “sets” for the bow ties from my drawer of 2” strips. I can get the pieces for one bow tie block out of a 2" X 7” strip with 1/2” left over for squaring/trimming!))

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Lay the (2) 1-1/4” squares on top of the (2) 2” cheddar background squares as shown….You are going to sew those on the diagonal as for snowball corners!

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You don’t have to trim the excess, but I do. These bow ties are going to finish at 3” square, and you don’t want a lot of bulk where these seams are going to come together. I just aim for an approximate 1/4” with my scissors and snip!

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The sew the connector units to the bow tie squares in four patch fashion! Press the seams toward the unpieced bow tie squares. Sew the two halves together, and you have ONE bow tie completed!

It takes FIVE seams to complete each bow tie block. So every time you need a leader/ender --- just know that you ARE building something and these ties will add up in no time!

While Lori was working on her Triple Irish Chain quilt this weekend…she was able to complete THESE in no time at all:

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Isn’t this going to be fun! I can hardly wait to get home and into my 2” scrap bin to start kitting some of these up. I want to use up a lot of recycled plaids and stripes too.

Out comes the 5 yard piece of solid cheddar I’ve been hoarding!

Lori wants to continue to do hers with cheddar prints, and I’m a solid cheddar girl, so we’ll see how different these look as they take shape!

Randy, getting in on some camera action too! Oh we have had just the BEST time this year!! And this crazy woman is already making 2" finished ((YES FINISHED at 2"!!)) bow ties as HER leader/ender project. Be watching her blog for updates!

Are you game? Let’s do it!