Wanna join me?
I have enough books. But if they are free, and they stay forever on my Amazon bookshelf ---I’ll keep downloading them!
This one just came across my radar --- it’s free now, so grab it while it is!
I know I’m going to have a lot of time on a plane from Greensboro to Houston to LAX on the 20th. Then just after 1am on the 21st I’ll have about 15 hours to Hong Kong – much of which I hope to be SLEEPING! But you know how hard it is to sleep on planes – that’s where kindle comes in!
And then there is the nearly 5 hour flight to Bali from Hong Kong, and on the way home, we do it all over again in reverse. LOTS of hexie time. LOTS of reading time!
Carrots by Colleen Helme is free tonight in the Amazon Kindle Store.
Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children.
All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber’s mask, a shot is fired. And the next thing she knows, she’s lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head.
Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn’t suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly ‘hears’ what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she’s bossy and too old to understand them, but that’s nothing compared to what her husband thinks… As if that isn’t enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he’s out to silence her forever.
In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone’s thoughts can not only hurt your feelings, but get you killed.
Sounds like a fun one to me!
My massage was AMAZING. And I so needed it. I ran some other errands and found myself back at home in cleaning mode.
My friend Karen is going to borrow my Accuquilt while I’m out of the country --- so I quickly cut up what I needed for the nearly insane border. You know what’s holding me back on this one? The fact that all those units, all 200-and-something of them ---are all the SAME TWO FABRICS! This is what makes it feel like torture to me…I love variety! I love scrappy! I can’t do two fabric things forever-and-infinitum!
But they are cut…and I’ll get them done!
I want to finish that handful of 9 patches first…I’ve got the three-sies sewn into pairs – I got that far before my afternoon errands called me away, and I think I might do more strip piecing tonight so I can sub cut those before my Accuquilt machine goes to Lewisville to live for a couple weeks.
I may turn on the Quilt Cam if so --- be watching for that post, I’ll let you know!
I am being hosted by the Carolina Pines Quilters in Aiken, SC on September 8th for a Smith Mountain Morning workshop!
I received an email from the guild program contact, Sally King, that there are openings in the class and she wanted me to extend an invite to those who might want to come.
The cost is only $25.00 for outside-of-guild participants, so the price is very reasonable.
There is an option for a box lunch from “Somethin’s Cookin’” Which is supposed to be really yummy.
I’ve got some other South Carolina and Georgia dates on the calendar, but they are farther in the distance and many say they are already full up, so if you’ve wanted to come take a workshop, I’d love to have you join us!
Contact Sally at email@example.com and get yourself signed up!
This is a class where I demo the Easy Angle, Companion Angle and Tri Recs rulers. If you’ve always wanted to know how those work, this is a great one for you!
My book Scraps & Shirttails II is needed for this class. I’ll have copies with me if you don’t already have one, or you can order it from my website here.
Come play for the day!
How many 9 patch strip sets can one girl do in an HOUR?! THIS MANY!
You all motivate me so much, you really do!
Last night around 9pm I turned the Quilt Cam on while RE-DOING my 9 patch strip sets to see just what I could do in one hour.
227 of you showed up to cheer me on!
I’m working from an image in my memory because the photo of this quilt was lost in the damage of my laptop ----and I’m searching my memory to try to remember how these blocks were shaded. At first I thought they were the traditional 9 patch with darks in the corners, but that leaves way too much light showing when the blocks are joined and I don’t THINK it was that way in the antique top I fell in love with at the Vermont Quilt Festival.
That should teach me – next time….just BUY THE DANG TOP!
I was then left to wonder if each 9 patch block was made with 2 fabrics, both of them colors ((no neutrals)) and well, that’s just a lot more work because I have to actually PLAN for those to have enough fabric for each block. I don’t want to think that hard.
So I set last night determined to do this with completely scrappy 9 patches, leaving the neutrals out for how they are joined!
As I’m sewing I’m trying to think of ways to explain how I choose what --- I peeked at the comments from last night’s Quilt Cam hour, and it was Colorado Lady’s comment that made me think of going a bit further into detail. She said:
Bonnie....I think I see part of my problem....I am trying to match fabrics and never pick and sew...that might help with more progress!
When I’m going “scrappy everything” All I’m going for is variety, and that means I go for variety not only in color, but in the scale of what I’m putting next to what so that things catch my eye as “more interesting” rather than “more boring.”
I took some photos of some strip sets as I was ironing to show you what I mean.
We’ll start with the most ordinary one.
This is my least favorite of what came out of my machine last night. WHY? It isn’t because of the colors. It’s that the scale of the pattern on each strip of fabric is nearly the same. It will cut up okay, and I’ll have it scattered throughout, but to me it’s boring.
Let’s look at another:
The plaids are separated by a print. This strip set makes me smile because that is my grandpa’s shirt at the top, next to my shirt in the center ((From my 1990s line dancing days!)) and of course the orange at the bottom is a different scale than the other plaid, and well – it’s ORANGE!
This one is good too.
I’m not saying the print has to always go in the center, there are many that don’t have prints at all – but prints do add a lot of interest. What I’m talking about here is the scale of the pattern on each fabric. The larger plaid at the top is going to break up the monotony of the tiny “expected” look of small plaids. So in my strip sets I am trying to not only have the color combos interesting and unpredictable, I want the scale of the design in each fabric to vary.
And this is where things get fast and fun!
I do love my Accuquilt Studio for cutting strips. I pretty much use it ONLY for strips, but oh the strips I can power through! And then after sewing strip sets, I can lay them cross-wise on my die tray and cross cut them into three-sies! If you look carefully you will see I’ve drawn perpendicular lines across the die foam as a placement guide. This helps me to NOT cut parallelograms!
Load it up, put the plastic sheet on top and crank it through!
Here I’m sorted in to two main piles. The upper left has squares with seams pressed to the center square. The lower left corner has seams pressed out toward the corners away from the center square. That small pile? Those are 2” squares that were left over trimmings from short ends that are ready to be sewn back into three-sies.
As I’m joining sections I’m looking for the same kind of thing…I want variety in color and variety in the scale of what goes next to what. I want each square in the 9 patch to stand out against its neighbors. This becomes a bit more picky-choosey as I decide which three-sie goes next to what!
plaids in different scales, stripes going every which way, prints and polka dots!
Yep! This is what I’m shooting for!
I’ve got a few “to-do’s” on my plate today including a much needed massage this afternoon!
And I had the weirdest dream last night --- all about how I mistakenly brushed my teeth with the water in Bali and got sick. OH! NO! That is my one big fear! I’m praying it’s just a nervous dream with my brain working on things while I sleep. I had no problems in Mexico or the Caribbean. I had people emailing yesterday to avoid salads, avoid fresh fruit unless it has been peeled. Do not drink anything with ice in it because the ice could be made with tap water. OY!!! This could be interesting!
Wanna join me?
I haven’t sewn a stitch today.
Some days are like that --- and this is one of them!
There’s just a lot of running around to be done behind the scenes…..I filled a pile of book orders, ran those to the post office, and when I came back THIS is what was waiting on my driveway parked up against the garage door.
It’s a good thing it isn’t raining --- Though if it was, I know my UPS driver well enough to know that he’d put them all up on the front porch for me.
This is 10 more cases of String Fling!
And it’s a good thing ---there were TWO ORDERS that I couldn’t fill this morning because I was OUT of books!
They’ll go out tomorrow as the post office is already closed as I’m writing this.
Mail order done, I drove the back roads to High Point to knock a couple other things off my list.
I cancelled my gym membership. After nearly 4 years with this gym --- I’m not home enough to use it often enough. And with this bulging disc/sciatic nerve issue I’ve been told to just LAY OFF for a while. I’ve been paying my $39.95 a month for years and haven’t used it. BAD BAD BAD BAD. I’m just not home.
If I were back at home more and were not dealing with back issues I’d so get back into the swing of things, but for now, it’s best to cancel instead of paying that $39.95 a month.
I stopped by Walmart to pick up a couple things for the Bali trip….and look what I found!
I’ve yet to take them out of the package to see if they will cut a single strand of thread with no fuzzy ends for easy needle threading ---- but I figured they were worth a shot! Maybe – I bring the PACKAGING with me so I can show them in 3 different languages: English, French & Spanish ----that they are SAFE FOR AIR TRAVEL!!
Besides, they are lime green, how could I not like these?
PS ---they are way BIGGER than my usual traveling scissors. ((Which could make them HARDER for me to lose?)) Could they have made them just a BIT smaller??
For those emailing me that they can’t get the live QuiltCam to work….please note. If it says OFF LINE it is because no one is there.. ;c) It’s a live streaming cam, it’s not like youtube which is a recording that you can play over and over and over….so if it’s off line, there’s nothing you can do to make it work. I just need to be there!
And those 9 patch sets I made the other day? (*&@#$(*&(*&! I colored them WRONG! These 9 patches in my design weren’t dark/light/dark --- they were ALL COLORS..the 9 patches are completely scrappy with no lights involved, so now guess who’s going to use these as a checkerboard border option? :c/
I may be sewing more 9 patches tonight, in the RIGHT format. If so – I’ll turn the cam on and you can keep me company :c)
I don’t have each of your names or email addresses!
I’ve sent an email to Sew Many Places so that THEY can forward this note on to you, but as our flight leaves in a week, I wanted to get this out to you as soon as possible so you can plan!
Are you excited? You know that I am!
I have a pile growing by my suitcase of things I don’t want to forget to bring.
Some things were already listed in the info that was sent to you --- like a converter for your electric items.
There are other things I’ve thought of so I’m posting this open letter to you all here!
To my Travelers:
I'm so excited that our Bali trip is finally here, and I am looking forward to spending this fabulous once-in-lifetime trip with each of you!
As I pack, I'm thinking of things that might be of benefit to your suitcases as well! Pack to dress CASUALLY. Pack comfortable clothes that will work for our many excursion days. Plan on heat and humidity.
I spend a lot of time on the road, so there are things that always live in my suitcase. Antacids, headache relief, and sometimes over the counter medications for intestinal distress symptoms -- when traveling to places where I am unfamiliar with the food, it's just a good idea. You might want some of these, and any medications you regularly take in your carry on.
The flight is long --I pack my toothbrush, a travel toothpaste and deodorant in my carry on too. I also pack eye drops for dry eyes because of the canned air on long flights. (And hours spent reading my kindle!) Antibacterial wipes are a good thing too and don't take up a lot of space. EAR PLUGS! I sleep better on long flights if I have my ear plugs. Ever tried to sleep next to a loud snorer on a flight? You will be grateful for ear plugs.
Ladies especially -- think sports bra. It's easier to get through the xray machines with no hooks or under-wires. You will sleep more restfully on our red-eye flight to Hong Kong if you are comfortable.
Bali is hot, but planes are USUALLY cold when you are 31,000 ft in the air. There is a sweater in my carry-on and I travel in socks and running shoes. Cold feet make it hard for me to sleep on a plane, the flip flops can wait until we reach Bali! I fly in long pants for the same reason. I sleep better warm.
I'm planning on bringing a handwork project, not only for the plane, but for any down time we have in the evenings to enjoy a sunset together. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting and stitching and talking about the day's activities in a group! Since we don't have any particular "classes" going on for this land tour, something to keep your hands busy and stitching is a great idea. Just remember to bring things that are TSA approved in your carry on. A dental floss container can become a great bobbin thread holder, and the cutter works well. I also keep a needle threader for threading fuzzy ends when I can't get a good clean cut on the thread.
Bring some red work, some applique, some wool applique, knitting, crochet or anything that will travel light for you!
You can pack scissors for an "away from home" project in your checked luggage, just remember to pack them back into your checked luggage and not your carry on when we head back home. I find it is harder to get back IN to the USA with scissors in a carry on than it is to get OUT of the USA. TSA rules have been if the blades are blunt tipped and are not more than 1" long they are okay, but these rules can always change. I have a pair that have gone to the Netherlands twice, to France, to Germany, to Canada --- but I know that they may be taken away on the next trip without notice or reason. “Keep ‘em CHEAP” is my motto!
My hexagons are coming with me ---and if anyone wants a demo and to try their hand at doing some, I've got some sample kits so you can give it a try! I'm just going to ask you to bring some thread and your own needles (Don't forget your thimble if you are a thimble wearer!) so there is less stuff to bring in my OWN carry on.
I'll be meeting up with you all that the gate for our Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong at LAX!
See you soon!
I’m all caught up with Randy’s Sow-Along blocks! One more added to my Jubilee wall!
After fighting with the
Misery Missouri Star the day before, I looked at this block a bit differently and settled in for an hour or so of mindless paper-piecing. It was THAT kind of night!
And yes, I did turn on the Quilt Cam only to discover part the way through that if I am restarting after the laptop being in hibernation mode, that sound doesn’t like to work. SO I had to reboot the old laptop and get it started again, but then it worked!
What encouraged me most was the comments that people were learning hints that helped them in their own paper piecing, and that’s what this is all about! I’m not saying I know the “ONLY” or the “BEST” way to do anything, but if the way I do things helps you where you’ve been stuck before, then it’s a win!
Last night’s win comment was how I align my pieces. I put the piece I am adding ON to the unit right-side-up on the table top. And my block goes down on top of it with right-sides-together. I watch the seam line to be sure it is an approximate 1/4” down from the top edge of the fabric I’m placing it to.
And see? This is why Quilt Cam is valuable….wouldn’t you rather SEE it being done than try to figure out what my words above mean?
So this is what I got up to!
I printed my block out of EQ in 6” finished size.
I don’t bother printing units with seam allowance. I simply cut the block apart into workable sections and will ADD seam allowance when I go to trim my units. The center unit I worked from the center out ---the side bars went quickly because I was sewing edge to edge across each piece, it made it easy to chain piece those. I trimmed them up by placing the 1/4” line of my ruler on the outside line of each section, and removed my paper. Once the sections are sewn, there is no reason to have the paper still in there, the sections are joined just like regular patchwork.
Randy called this one Boxes & Baskets, but it is also known by other names.
Double X, Ladies Art Circle
Wild Ducks, Needlecraft Supply 1938
And here are things how they appear PINNED to my design wall. It’s still fan weather here in North Carolina, and I’m not risking any wayward fan blowing the blocks off my wall again!
I’m looking forward to the next batch of blocks!
I just drew for the winner of the Quilts from 100 blocks magazine by Quiltmaker, and the Summer Breeze charm pack!
The winner is:
I've learned so much since starting to come visit Quiltville! Perhaps the greatest nudge is that when I want to start a new project, I don't have to run to the fabric store to buy all new fabric - I just need to look at what I already have and use those scraps!
I love the idea of kitting and hadn't really thought of that before, but the other day I pulled out some strips and cut them into different width strings and they're ready to go in a kit together for a string quilt! And, I've learned that you don't need a whole day or week set aside to work on a project, you can get so much done by using snippets of time wherever they may be and all those snippets add up pretty quickly to getting a project done.
Plus, I've decided that when I grow up I want to be just like Bonnie Hunter! Thanks for all you do to inspire me everyday! really, you do!
Congrats, LauraJ! I’ve sent you an email letting you know you’ve won. Email me back with your snail mail address and I’ll get your goodies off to you in tomorrow’s mail!
And thank you to those who said they enjoyed a bit of fun with the QuiltCam.
I have no plans to do it “all the time” or on a set basis.
I have no plans to give you a heads up for a scheduled time. It’s as I feel like it, however it fits into my day.
I’m trying to overlook the hurtful comments of “friends” who said things like “I think the whole cam idea is weird” not to me personally, but in the form of a thoughtless public blog comment to my post.
It’s all just for fun. If it’s not fun, I won’t do it.
But if I’m mindlessly sewing and it encourages OTHERS to just sit and sew a while ---then I will.
I’ve spent the morning at the computer designing a mystery quilt I’m doing in Quiltmaker Magazine this coming Spring!
It will occur over 3 issues, and it’s not anything I can show on QuiltCam, but I’m ready for some mindless piecing!
I have BOXES of 2” strips, and I’m in the mood for some 9 patch strip set sewing.
I’m turning the camera on!
Wanna join me?
I hated sliver trimming. I really did!
In my busy life I don’t have time to stand around and trim one side after one side after one side after one side just to get one unit the way I want it to be so I can sew it into the block.
Multiply this by 500 or more units in a quilt and the task seems daunting!
But there are times when the only way to get the unit to be the way that I want it to be involves a bit of sliver trimming.
I try really hard to cut right, sew right, press right –so that pieces fall where they should fall, but we all know that sometimes when working with wibbly-wobbly fabric, as in home-spun type weaves that the fabric can take on a mind of its own.
Such was the case with the
Misery Missouri Star block I was working on yesterday afternoon.
No – I did NOT put my working on this block live on webcam ((Did you see my last night's post?! We did live webcam last night and it was fun! And Notice there is a new LIVE QuiltCam tab at the top of the blog!)) as there was much huffing and puffing and even some whispered dirty words under my breath as even pinned seams seemed to stretch and misbehave. The “wing triangles” on each geese unit is made of two stretchy misbehaving plaids. And this was not a usual Easy Angle measurement either…so I had to cut them from Squares with an X. Euurrghg.
This is where my new friend, Monique Dillard came to the rescue! And she didn’t even know she did!
I worked with Monique for the first time in Williamsburg, VA for the Quiltmaker Magazine Block Party. What a sweet lady! I wish she lived next door because I know the two of us could cause a lot of trouble together.
On our last night, we had a great walking-talking moment as we made our way back to the hotel from the restaurant and she invited a couple of us up to her room to show us how she works with Quiltpro instead of EQ ((Fascinating –I think I want to explore more into that too)) and she demo’d her rulers to us: Fit to be Square, Fit to be Quarter, Fit to be Quarter 6.5 and Companion ((OOOH! This one does the cut off snowball corner thing with less waste and better accuracy than just sewing snowballs with squares on the corners!)) and Fit to be Geese.
I love my Easy Angle Ruler and Companion Angle Ruler, but sometimes that fabric will bow and shift and give me a wonky unit, and I used the Fit to be Geese to square these up! I used the Fit to be Square to square up my center unit!
Thanks, Monique, you saved my wonky block!
I’ll still try to cut well, sew well and be done with it --- but this definitely gives me a way to salvage my less-than-behaving units into submission.
My new ruler-friends are going to be kept in close proximity with my other favorites!
If you’d like to give these rulers a try –visit Monique’s website, Open Gate Quilting!
Tell her Bonnie sent you!
I found this site called Ustream ---and I’ve become enamored with these kitties at “Friends of Feline’s Rescue Center 24/7” The camera is on 24/7!
This got me thinking….what if I were to set up a webcam for when I’m sewing at the machine? Would you watch? I wouldn’t run it all the time – because there are always things with deadlines that can’t be shown…but
Would you watch?
Watch the kitties and let me know if a QuiltCam could be fun? The only pain thing I can see is that there is an ad that lasts 27 seconds at the beginning...but watching the kitties is addicting!
See this envelope?
I don’t know if you can see by the mailing label who it is going to, but it holds very special contents!
This envelope contains:
Yes, I was supposed to GIVE the contract to Carolyn while we were in Williamsburg, but we got busy, and I put it off, and then her hubby showed up, and we all packed to go home and --- duh. There it was still in my suitcase! So she is getting it all in one large envelope that will be mailed off today.
This was one of the “MUST DO!” things on my list for this time that I’m home before Bali. My blocks for Quiltmaker are always due in August, because that’s when I’m home long enough to have the time to do them all in one big push.
And I am VERY excited about these blocks ---if you haven’t followed along with my column, be sure to click the “Addicted to Scraps” tab at the top of this blog. EVERY block I do for my column, whether I design it myself, or give an up-do on an old traditional favorite is a way to put my Scrap User’s System into good use.
For example….in the blocks I am sending in, I didn’t have to do ANY cutting of large pieces of fabric. I didn’t cut into Fat Quarters, I didn’t need Charm Squares!
I used the following strips from my pre-cut strip bins: 1.5” 2” 2.5”. I used 2” precut squares. I used 2.5” and 3.5” pre-cut squares. I used bonus triangles!
Making these blocks was a breeze---and because I tackle my scraps into uniform useable widths, they all combine together and made it really easy to pull the colors and fabrics I needed, getting me to sit and sew faster, and giving me the variety I need to give me blocks that I really love.
The hard part about designing and interpreting blocks for a whole year’s worth of magazine issues? I want to turn each and every one of them into a full size quilt!
To celebrate my completing this deadline, I want to do a little Give-Away.
Leave me a comment below, just give me ONE tip you’ve found here that has had a positive impact on your quilting, be it scrap management, or time management, or anything ----let me know how I’m doing!
One lucky winner will get Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks, signed by me --
AND! to sweeten the deal:
I’ll throw in a charm pack of Moda’s Summer Breeze!
Let’s do the drawing Sunday night after dinner time. That’s tomorrow. So get commenting!
Oh – the movie last night? We went and saw “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep & Tommy Lee Jones. IT WAS AWESOME! Definitely cheaper than therapy, and I wonder how many couples went that benefited from just seeing this movie? I laughed til I cried, and I cried til I laughed. It so hit home in so many ways, but it did it in such a humorous way ---GREAT MOVIE!
See it, and take your significant other with you. Don’t delay! Don’t wait until it comes out on DVD. Go to a matinee…take contraband snacks in your purse if you think the expensive concessions are holding you back. ((After seeing an ordinary bottle of water priced at $5.75 ---my big purse goes with me. Seriously. for WATER?!?)) BUT GO.
Today on the list? Randy’s posted some new Sow-Along blocks last week. I need to get caught up!
How nice is this? To be HOME on a SATURDAY!? I relish these, I really do!