Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Day to Play!

Such a fun day in Statesville/Mooresville!

I’m so glad this worked out, and that I had a free day to drive to Statesville and come rescue Sherry from the boredom of waiting for an RV to be worked on so they could head west on their way home.

I’ve sat in car dealerships for hours on end. I’m sure that camper world is no different – boring waiting room, really bad coffee, and terrible daytime TV.

I even offered to have both Sherry and her hubby Ray come out for lunch while the RV was being worked on, but what a great guy! He told us to go enjoy ourselves --- and he took the bundled up laundry, put it in the truck and went off to play “Mr Fluff & Fold” at the laundromat while we endulged our lunch time hungers with chips, salsa, and yummy fajitas!

There was still time to kill --- we couldn’t get a hold of Ray to see if everything was done yet, so we headed out to find the nearest nail salon for girly pedicure time. It was at this time when we saw the Chick-fil-A cow doing his thing down the road in the back of a pickup truck, and a few minutes later when we turned around in the parking lot….playing the drums on the corner of the road. ((Wait a minute – do you think this was the SAME cow? Or are there multiple cows?!!))

Doesn’t Sherry look relaxed?! I love the massage chairs!

We talked and laughed and caught up --- it had been since January when I stayed with her in California while I was out there. It was fun having her on MY side of the country and hearing of her exploits of the past 6 weeks that she and Ray have been RV-ing it cross-country.


Yes, she caught me mid-texting! But my feet are feeling very happy!

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And on go the funky foamy faux-sandals. How does anyone walk in these things? I trip over them every time!


Dark Purple and Light Purple. That would be me on the right with ZERO suntan!

From there, we headed down to Mooresville to see what kind of Antiquing Trouble we could find ourselves in!

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Sherry, taking a pic of me, taking a pic of her! This was a very cool place, and I have lots of photos to share of this one, so those are going to have to wait until tomorrow. It’s nearly 7:30 and I better figure out what to do for dinner!

As for Sherry and Ray --- they are well on their way up toward Kentucky by now! Doesn’t this look like fun?

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I was right behind them at this stop sign ----then we were off on our separate ways. Be safe, friends!

iPhone-o-Gram! What's in YOUR truck??

Sherry and I just ate ourselves full of fajitas at Mi Pueblo in Statesville!

On our way to the car--we saw this pick-up truck with the Chick-fil-A cow dancing in the back.


On our way for pedicures---enjoying a fun girly-time day!

Ps---update! We had to turn around in a parking lot---lo and behold! The cow was now playing drums on the road side. Lol!

Gramma Manuel’s Machine---

I only ever recall my Great-grandma Manuel from way back in my early childhood memories.

I don’t remember how old I was when she passed away, but her sepia toned portrait hung in our house for as long as I could remember. She was simply refered amongst family as the “white haired” grandma.

I thought she must have lived to be ancient ---but I think she was only in her 70s when she passed away. Funny how a child’s brain determines what is old---and I’m sure to my 4 or 5 year old self, she was OLD.

My mom told me once that her grandmother Manuel’s hair started turning white in her 40s. She never dyed it, and it was long ----she just always twisted it up into a bun at the back of her neck. I can relate to that. I’ll probably end up doing the same thing. It’s sensible, easy, and leaves more money for buying fabric!

I’d be completely happy if I never have to have another PERM in my life ever ever again! ((It’s been around 15 years since I have had one ---what a nightmare those were, bad smells and all!))

Gramma Manuel wore simple rimless glasses. I guess I’m following her there too --- but my favorite pair of glasses ever? The blue cats eye pair with “diamond” studs I wore in 2nd grade. Now THOSE were cool!

Several years ago I took a trip up to Minnesota for a family reunion. My Mom’s Sister, Auntie Joy, took me down to her basement and pulled out this ratty dirty machine case. Joy is my mom’s youngest sister ---which puts Joy and myself only 5 years apart in age, so we were raised more like cousins than aunt/niece. ((Oh, did I idolize her growing up! She was SO sophisticated and beautiful and stylish ----oh I still idolize her!))

Back to the machine ---

She said she’d been hanging on to this for years, but just wanted it to go to someone who would love it,with the thought that it should be passed down to the women of our family. I hefted this machine home on the plane as my “carry-on”. It only weighs something like 43 lbs!

The fact that Joy still had this machine is a wonder. My Grandma ((Mom's & Joy's mother)) passed away when I was but 5 years old, and Joy was only 10. I really don't have anything else as a memory of my maternal grandmother, not to mention my great-grandmother -- so this was a real treasure to me.

The machine needed cleaning and oiling –and the case itself is in pretty bad shape. But after all this time, the machine, a class 15 Singer from 1942 RUNS like a champ.

I pulled her out yesterday to piece a backing:

**Side Note:**

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What was I saving 15 yards of THIS double pink for anyway?

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Do you see that? IN THE YEAR 2000!!! FIFTEEN YARDS?! Let’s just say that a good hunk of it is now used and what’s left I have determined to be the zig zag border on Nearly Insane – it’s insane I’ve hoarded hearded this fabric this long!

I did get the backing pieced and the quilt quilted --- can’t show it to you yet, it’s for a future project ---but I have to tell you that I was nearly weepy sewing on Great Gramma Manuel’s Singer.

When she got this machine, MY Grandma, her daughter --- was a teenage wife & mother. It was quite the bit of gossip too, in a small Minnesota town in the early 1940s, when her daughter, Verna Fern Manuel up and married Dr. Alvin K Mach ---the local dentist who was at least 10 years her senior. ((Maybe more)) Grandma was something like 16 years young and they eloped to Iowa. I’m not sure I have details right –but I’ll double check at the family reunion in Idaho over 4th of July ---Auntie Joy is coming from Minnesota too. Yay. Oh, I love family story time!

So Verna Fern and Alvin set up housekeeping --- and at some point Great Grandma Manuel’s machine came to live with Verna Fern --- where she sewed clothes and skating costumes for her daughter, my mother Anita. My mom says she remembers this machine in the house, but whether she sewed on it herself I am not sure. More info to find out ----

But can you see why I was so emotional while simply piecing a backing and putting on a binding yesterday?

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This machine has been touched by 4 generations of women in my family. I wish I knew what else it had sewn. Wouldn’t it be nice if machines came with diaries to list every article it ever made? Who’s hem’s it raised, who’s knees it patched, who’s curtains it crafted? I don’t get this machine out to play enough. Sometimes I pass it by for zippier, flashier models with fancy colors and sleeker body types, more features ---but this is the machine I have the most connection to.

I’m off today to run to Statesville to spend a bit of time with a California Friend, Sherry, who has been traveling the country with her hubby in their 5th wheel ---I need to catch her before they head back west, so today is it!

We’ll grab some lunch, and there may be some antiquing stops on the way --- or----wouldn’t it be fun to do some girly stuff and go get a pedicure? It all depends on how much time we have while they are having maintenance done on their 5th wheel before they hit the road --- we’ll play it by ear and it will be great to see each other again!

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Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, June 04, 2012

----And They All Fall Down!

LAST Monday, which happened to be Memorial Day, when Lisa was over to sew ---we had noticed that yes, even in the basement, SUMMER was radiating it’s lovely heat making my studio a bit on the stuffy side. Time to pull out the oscillating fan I use to kind of move some air around here to make it feel not so “close”.

I couldn’t find it anywhere. WHERE did I put it? Did I move it after the closet re-do?

I checked upstairs…I checked in the guest room closet. I checked the garage, the storage room off the sun-room, I checked everywhere.

I finally opted for a floor fan that would at least blow a bit of air on our ankles ……but it didn’t oscillate.

Fast forward to SATURDAY ---I spy this TURBO OSCILLATING COLUMN FAN at Sam’s and think --- this has GOT to be just what I want, what I need! And home it comes.


Remember THIS PHOTO of my Jubilee blocks on my design wall from THIS POST last week?

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After plugging in my fan, and spending time at the computer I looked up after printing out batches of invoices and labels to find THIS:

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Where did everything go?! LOL!!

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Everything else had been blown off the design wall that is semi-behind a door ---and landed in a heap on the floor.

I’m thinking maybe TURBO FAN is not such a great idea in a room with a design wall!

Oh, and the original oscillating fan that I could NOT find? Found it. As soon as I moved the roll of batting we needed for Lisa’s quilt yesterday --- THERE IT WAS.


In Search of Brigitte Sieber!


I hate blasting this out to the Blogiverse, but I tried responding via the email address you left on your order, and it bounced back to me as undeliverable!

I have no other way to email you. I hope you see this.

I need you to contact me regarding your Pre-Order of String Fling.

It’s in regards to the shipping ---

Please contact me at Quiltville@Gmail.com

Thank You!

Noon-Time Kindle Freebie!

This is about the time of day when I’d be posting pictures of a workshop in progress, or of some scenic site along a roadway, or pictures of antique mall visits or early morning walk jogs.

I’m home. I’m pressing and cutting and kitting up.

I’m printing invoices and mailing labels.


None of which is even slightly entertaining enough to show photos of ---

I just stopped my manic bouts of housekeeping for a bite of lunch and to do an email check, a bit of surfing ((As a reward to myself, because I can do that!!)) and found this book free on Amazon.

Love Unlisted: A Novel by Stephanie Haddad has received an average user rating of 4 out of 5 stars based on 18 customer reviews.

Book Description:

Grace Shields keeps her hectic life manageable one way and one way only: she makes lists, lots of them. Lists of her favorite Jackie Chan movies. Lists of her boyfriend’s Pros and Cons. Lists about her favorite places to get a pizza.

To Grace, each one is a very serious matter. And that’s why no one ever reads the lists. Well, no one except for a few people who got a hold of them by accident…

1. Her best friend Bernsie, who understands the lists might be the only thing keeping Grace out of an asylum;

2. A child psychologist she was forced to see after her father passed away and the listing become more than just a hobby;

3. A very-nearly-almost fiancé who left Grace because of the lists.

Now, as Grace struggles to deal with a career that’s getting away from her and the frustration of living with her brother George, the lists are all she can do to cope.

Enter Colin Kilbourne, a free-spirited musician with a knack for ruffling Grace’s pristine feathers. And spilling coffee on her favorite work clothes.

Immediately drawn to his carefree, stress-free attitude, Grace knows they’d be mismatched in every possible way. But that mischievous charm is hard to resist.

What’s a girl to do when the lists tell you to do one thing and your hearts tells you another?

Are you a list maker? I am! I have post it notes and papers stuck all around my desk. I have notes pinned to the quilts on the walls…half the stuff I can’t even remember what the note was for when I first wrote it ----THAT’s what pulled me in to wanting to read this book!

It’s a short one, only 228 pages, and should be a cute read!

And with that, the dryer beeps and more domesticity calls -----

Enjoy your afternoon!

The 12 Hour Chicken Marathon!

We sewed and we sewed ----or, Lisa sewed, and I helped occasionally, and mostly I chained myself to the computer to print out invoices and sheets of mailing labels!

But having her here made it all so much better than if I was doing all that paperwork by myself!

I want all these invoices and labels raring and ready to go when books arrive, and don’t want to take time THEN to do all the printing – because it does take time and I want the books on their way to their new owners as quickly as is humanly possible.

The chicken quilt is MASSIVE! We measured and it was 106” X 110”. It’s for someone in California who simply asked for a “King Sized Chicken Quilt” as if they were asking for a simply normal piece of everyday, ordinary chocolate cake!

I’m sure Lisa swallowed hard upon the request, but they’d never know. She’s just very professional that way --- while ME on the other hand, have nicknamed this quilt CHICKENZILLA because it is Ginormous! But adorable. How could you not smile at these guys?

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For those asking --- Lisa replied back in the comments section of yesterday’s post --- this is a Buggy Barn pattern, and can be found on their website. I think it is adorable! I can’t decide if I like the comb-crowns or the tails the best…they are just too cute! And life-size. These people are going to be dreaming of killer chickens in the night… :cD

The quilting was done by 4:30pm and we had plenty of energy and daylight to spare, so I rounded up a red plaid in the stash, cranked it through the accuquilt studio into binding strips, and while Lisa commenced sewing the binding on --- I went back to the computer and yes --- printed MORE invoices and MORE mailing labels…thinking all the while I’d rather be sewing too, but we had an add-on to the agenda---

If she could get the binding on – we could order pizza delivered and have a Sunday evening Binding Fest! She could bind the Godzilla Chickens, and I could finish up the binding on Florabunda --- win, win, win, right? I could get some needle time in, myself!

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Shelby, helping to keep the chickens from flying away while Lisa binds ---


Of course, Shelby is no respecter of persons ((or chickens!)) as long as a cozy quilt is involved, and she came and helped me out quite a bit too!

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This morning, I’m pleased to say – it’s done….well, except for the label and hanging sleeve, but I couldn’t wait to get that “FINISHED” photo!

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The panto I used is called “Harvest Winds” by Urban Elementz. I scaled it fairly small because I wanted the quilting to fill each square in the quilt. I’m more happy with this quilt than I really thought I would be when I started it. I have that confession to make!

I knew what I wanted, I wasn’t sure what I was doing was going to pull off the job though – and I’m happy to say it did, even though I know many of you would not have chosen to go the route I did with the varying solid yellows. Sometimes you gotta be brave even when others are stating plainly that they don’t like it, aren’t crazy about it, or wouldn’t do it that way. Follow your OWN muse!

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LOVE it on the guest bed upstairs!

So what’s up for your Monday? It’s a brand new week! I see more kitting up of future quilt projects in my future, for stitching on the road ---which doesn’t leave anything really interesting to post about. I’ve got ONE WEEK left until I head to Ohio. And then the travel adventures will begin again, but I gotta tell ya, it’s been so nice to live life on the “normal scale” the past couple of weeks!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

And The Winner of the Bloggy-versary Give-Away Is ----


348 entries for Friday’s post with a Give-Away of Quiltmaker Magazine’s most recent July/Aug 2012 issue!

I almost forgot to draw a winner – Lisa and I have been quilting our brains out today ---The chicken quilt is off the machine, the binding is sewn on, and now we plan on having girls chick-flick night complete with pizza delivery while we bind ourselves silly!

It’s been great having her here…she’s been working at the machine, and at getting a binding on, while I’ve been at the computer all day printing invoices for the book pre-orders and printing sheets of mailing labels to go with them. It’s a monotonous brain-numbing task, and having someone here to laugh with made it all go down with a spoon full of sugar!

So let’s get on to it shall we?

Our winner is SALLY of String Thing Along!

She writes:

I started reading your blog in 2006. As room mother for my daughter's 1st grade class, I wanted to work with the children to make a quilt for their teacher (who had been so special to our family, having taught my son twice for 1st grade). She is an artist, so appreciates special things.

I used google, looking for quilt ideas. That is how I found Bonnie's name. I emailed her and she answered promptly. Said she was on the road teaching at the moment, but suggested I visit the quiltville chat group and ask for suggestions there....that it was a lively, helpful group with lots of experience and ideas. I visited them and life hasn't been the same since. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

(Oh, the quilt for the teacher? It was an award winner at our very competitive quilt show! Had the kids draw pictures, I traced them onto muslin, had the kids color them with fabric ink, then I cut their figures out and appliqued them onto the pieced background. There was a soccer team playing a game, baby rabbits underground in burrow, petting zoo, kite flyers, blimp, airplane, flowers, birds sitting on nests in trees, girl in field of flowers, beach with cabana, etc...lots of details!Such fun.

I've enjoyed your blog. I've learned to really appreciate the old sewing machines. I enjoy reading your chatter about them! I teach children sewing on old machines because they are so sturdy. I have no desire for a new computerized one. (Well, maybe would like to try one....) Thanks for all the inspiration, Bonnie. If you endorse a vitamin pill, I bet all of us would dash out and buy it!!:) Am amazed at how much you get done!

Sally, I left you a comment on your blog trying to reach you. Please get back to me with your snail mail address and we’ll get this out to you right away!

Thanks to everyone for playing along!

iPhone-o-Gram! Just Us Chickens!

Ever have one of THOSE days!? Lisa remembered when she pulled into my drive way that the king sized batting was left at her house.

No problem! I have a roll, we will just have to piece some on to make it big enough.

Sophia zigzagged her way to get that job done---only to find that the backing was no quite long enough, so off the roller it came and we sewed the excess from the sides onto the length and we reloaded and commenced quilting!

We decided to quilt with baptist fans and it is perfect for this quilt!

Crumbs and Late Night Movies!

I finished the binding on my long-awaited finish ((More like, pushed aside, neglected and much looked over in favor of other projects!)) on a crumb quilt I finished piecing when we still lived in Columbia, SC.

That means it’s been waiting around 5 years or more for this finish to finally be complete!

The main reason is that I was “GOING” to hand quilt it. I really wanted to hand quilt spider webs in the alternate blocks ---but I’ve already got 2 large quilts in the “Neglecting the hand quilting” queue, and this just stayed as a top for some day.

And then I found a spider web design that looked really good as a panto called “Entangled” HERE. It’s available as both a digital pattern and a paper one for those interested.

And I set out to quilting this one ---LOVE IT!

I had wanted to include this quilt in the book that is coming out ---but two strikes were against me.

1.) It is more “Crumby” than “Stringy”.

2.) We were already at page limit.

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And that, friends, is why it sat – with the binding sewn on and waiting to be hand stitched down – but not touched – for over 6 months! The last time I remember actually putting stitches into this before yesterday was at the Christmas Movie Night for our Bee at Mrs Goodneedle’s house in DECEMBER.

Bad Bonnie. Once it was no longer a priority – it sat.

I finished the binding and the sleeve last night while watching a few episodes of Law & Order SVU, and then “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep came on, and I knew I would stay up and watch the entire thing because that movie just cracks me up to no end ---which explains why it was after 1am when I put my needle down, and got to bed. And why it is after 9am now as I write this --- Yes, I’m still on the Night Owl Train ---But look! It’s done!

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The solid blue is perfect for the busy scrappy crumb blocks…and I love this border! I did use ONE shirting print to frame the blocks, and to use as the border diamonds---I wanted something that would give everything a common element.

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The blocks were trimmed at 5” square and finish at 4.5” --- with the 1.5” cut sashings added (( yes, those cornerstones are all from the leader/ender 1.5” squares box!)) the finished size of each block is 6.5”. I know it’s an odd measurement, but that’s just what it turned out to be.

If you've never made crumb blocks before, beware -- the are addiciting! Check out my tutorial HERE.

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I’m just really happy to have this done! I haven’t done much crumb piecing lately – and I’ve got bins of crumbs just waiting to be sewn into some more scrappy wonders ---

I finished the quilt before the movie was done – and started right in on the binding on Florabunda –—One side done, three more to go ---maybe I’ll do late night movie night again this evening?!

I better get going, Lisa should be here shortly to get her chicken quilt loaded…..((Haahahahah, leaving her chicken wire panties at home I hope!!)))

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quilter’s Add-To-Phone Dictionary REQUIRED!

For those who commented --- the SMALL cone was mine! Yes, the nicely domed symmetrical one --- it’s DH’s that is all lopsided and weirdly shaped! LOL!

Errand running wears me out. I’m about 1/2 way done with that binding ----we did the dreaded Sam’s club run again, YES on a Saturday – because we had time to kill before the tennis racquet restringing was completed and we could swing by and pick those up. When you live 20 miles away, you do what you can not to have to drive it twice!

We came home. I napped….Oh, I swore I wouldn’t, but I did. And since then I’ve been printing invoices for all the book orders, and matching them with sheets of mailing labels all ready to go for when books arrive. It’s not glamorous behind the scenes!

Now for the funny part --- oh, I have a love/hate relationship with my phone!

It NEEDS an “ADD TO DICTIONARY” feature just for Quilters ---

I need it to add SEW as a real word, and not keep auto-correcting it to SEE every time I type SEW. I’m really tired of clicking that X to get SEE out of there when typing SEW, do you think that they can make a smart phone that is smart enough to know that I KNOW what I am typing?!

And this conversation just happened a few minutes ago…..Lisa is going to come quilt tomorrow, and I about wet myself over what my phone attempted to auto-correct:

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Okay, I still get juvenile giggles over underwear in sentences where it doesn’t belong –I admit it! And for those click-clicking their tongues at my abbreviations -- LMAO means LAUGHING MY ARMS OFF!!

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Yeah, I had to harp on it a bit more because it was so funny ----


So I’m surfing the net to find a source for a digital chicken wire PANTO pattern. Anyone know of one? I’ve got a girlfriend date tomorrow – whoowhooo! Quilting in the Basement ---WITHOUT Chicken Wire Panties!

The next time I imagine someone with their “panties in a bunch” I’m going to imagine them a bit differently too…LOL!

iPhone-o-gram! Yummy!

Still out running errands, but had to just had to---

Is there anything better than soft serve cones at the drive up window while driving on a gorgeous summer weekend afternoon??

This is what summer is to me, such.a simple thing, but at this moment, life is good!