Tuesday, August 21, 2012

iPhone-o-gram! Sitting in Hong Kong!

Here we are at the airport in Hong Kong!

We've arrived in one piece, and are mostly rested albeit a bit road weary!

Our next flight is in about 3 hours. A 4.5 hour flight should put us in Bali!

12 Days of Show and Share! Day 1

I tried to think of what I could do ahead of time to have posts show up on the blog while I’m gone. I won't be home in my own bed until late night on September 1st!

A few emails with photos attached provided the inspiration to go through the archives and turn this blogless ((It MAY be blogless, I don’t know if I’ll have wifi that will work for blog writing or not while I’m gone)) time into a quilt show!

I’ve set a few quilts every day to be shared by my readers.

Along with a random photo of Bali so you can put yourself in a Bali mood for the day as well!

I hope you enjoy seeing the quilts as much as I’ve enjoyed getting their photos in the mail!

Our first quilter is Barbara!


Barbara’s Hidden Spools top!

What she writes is short but sweet:

This was started at workshop in Portsmouth RI. Hope you have found some time for Bonnie.

Guess what, Barbara! I’m on my way to Bali, if I’m not there already! Somehow I lose a day going there, but gain a day getting back and the whole travel time is like 24 hours or something! I love your hidden spools in the lovely Bali batiks! It’s GORGEOUS!

Thanks for sharing it with us!

Next up is Donna T!


Donna’s Star Struck Quilt!

Donna writes:

This is my completed quilt from the workshop you did in Winfield, Ks., last fall. I just love it.

Donna, this turned out so pretty, it looks just like stained glass! Great job!

I also want to share with you these pics from Joan P!


Joan’s Scrappy Bargello in Shirts!

Joan writes:

Dear Bonnie,

Here's a scrappy bargello! I finished the top of this AM. The quilting will commence as soon as I piece a backing. It is the exact same dimensions as the one in your book. I used all recycled shirts (even saw a couple shirts at church last night that I asked for...did NOT get any takers).

I love the detail shot she sent too! What a great selection of shirts in this top…


With autumn on the way, doesn’t it just make you want to make one yourself? You can!

I hope you will enjoy the other posts through the week! I hope to leave you inspired and ready to pull out a UFO and work on it!

Maybe that can be YOUR goal to tell ME when I get back – just WHAT one project can you pull out and complete while I’m gone? Come on – you have 10 days. What can you do with it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

iPhone-o-gram! Let's Fly!

I'm boarded!

They were able to check my bag all the way through to Bali---I hope it makes it!

I'm ready to get some hexies going. Will I finish this section this trip??

I'm going to try my darnedest!

Here are a couple glimpses of my busy bag---for those who asked last night during quilt cam time. :-)

Next stop--Houston!

Bali Bound!

Not much left that I have to post about --- bags are packed, I’m ready to go!

As I head to the airport..I’m leaving you with a bit of a song to keep you going while I’m gone!

I just know, deep in my heart & being --- that life will never be the same after visiting this magical place!

Toodles, Everyone!

Spoolin’ Around Leader/Ender Challenge!

Click HERE for Printer Friendly Version!

Many of us have finished our bow-tie leader/ender challenge from 2011.

Here we are more than a month past the Sister’s Quilt Show and I didn’t post anything new for us to focus on for the coming Leader/Ender year!

Through the course of the past week, and fun times with QuiltCam several of us thought it would be fun to sew up scrappy little spool blocks as Leaders & Enders in between the lines of quilt piecing we are already doing.


Of course there is an ONLY, right?!

Only ---we want to do them the same size as the bow-tie blocks because, DANG IT! 3” Spool blocks are just a heck of a lot cuter than 4.5” Spool blocks, you know?!

Do you want to play along?

They are So So so easy, and so cute!

This will take some time to think ahead and kit up your block parts BEFORE You sit down to sew anything else. There's a bit more cutting than for the bow ties, but not by much. I suggest taking the time to cut out and kit up 8 bow-ties at a time ---and when you run out, kit up some more. I find I get REALLY LAZY if I don’t have something ready to use sitting by my machine. That’s when I’m likely to go back into the bad habit of just grabbing a folded-over-throw-away scrap to use that is going to be quickly just tossed away and wasted. Or worse. Find myself just pulling my work out of the machine leaving long thread tails everywhere. UGH! I’m SO ASHAMED!

So kitting up is my friend, and this is what you need for each little spool:

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(2) 1.5” X 3.5” rectangles from background fabrics.

(1) 1.5” X 3.5” rectangle from spool fabric

(4) 1.5” squares.

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I have this down to a system ---At the end of a line of piecing, place a square on the end of each of the background rectangles and sew across the diagonal. The left edge of the tape is there to help me guide the fabric straight. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! HA!

Then snip your work from behind the needle, leaving these two units there under the presser foot. Press your “other” work, and come sew some more. Remove these rectangles from the front of your line of chain piecing. Test to make sure your diagonal seams are where you want them to be, and that your corner flips up right and matches the edges of your base rectangles. Snip excess fabric 1/4” from seam. Press.

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At the end of your NEXT line of chain piecing, put the remaining two squares on top of the base rectangles with right sides together and stitch with the angle going in the opposite direction, corner to corner. Leave them there, under the needle. Remove your line of piecing from behind the presser foot. Go press, come sew some more --- remove these rectangles and test to make sure your diagonal seams are where you want them to be. Snip Excess fabric 1/4” from seam. Press.

You got this, right? All of this is done IN BETWEEN THE LINES OF CHAIN PIECING YOUR MAIN PROJECT!

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Here are the 3 block sections ready to be sewn together. Two more times under the presser foot and this baby will be together!

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Sew the center rectangle to one of the side units at the end of one line of chain piecing. Leave it under the presser foot, removing the work from behind this unit to go press…come sew some more! Next time around, add the last section to the block.

It takes FOUR times through the machine for each spool block to come together. You can DO THIS!

Who wants to join in?

You need at least a 1.5” X 7” strip to get the background rectangles needed from one 1.5” strip.

You need at least a 1.5” X 9.5” strip to get the spool pieces you need from one 1.5” strip.

We can clear out a whole mess of 1.5” strips this way……

Remember, it’s not a race. And this is meant to be a leader/ender project, so anyone who finishes it NEXT WEEK is disqualified…LOL!

Have a great time while I’m away, everyone! My flight to LAX leaves about 5:45pm this evening Eastern time.

I’m Bali Bound!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Evening QuiltCam!

Another evening spent working on those (*&@#$(*& Nearly Completely Insane Zig Zag border units!

Do you have something to work on too? A binding? Some cutting out? Some straightening up of the cutting table and clearing of the ironing board so you can find it?

Why not come and join me!

I'll stop and scan the comments below and answer your questions as I go along. I can't answer them all, or I wouldn't get ANY sewing done, but I'll read them randomly and we'll have a really good time!

I'm going to leave the QuiltCam up for about an hour or so----

*Note* If it says OFFLINE below -- you missed it! It's live streaming, not a recording, so you can't play it back like re-runs, you'll just have to join us next time!

Wanna join me?

Click Below!

Live Video app for Facebook by Ustream

Kitty in Camo!

I’ve noticed that Emmy Lou will often be seen coming UP from the basement, but I could never see where she was hiding when she was down here.

Her usual favorite spot, on top of a box in the corner – has been vacant for some time.

She loves dark secluded places.

She is a “Solo Cat” which means she doesn’t like to be around other cats AT ALL and she loves to be off somewhere by herself.

Before our other cat Oscar passed away, her favorite spot was upstairs underneath the guest room bed.

Since Oscar has been gone, she has really come into her own and is much more social in letting us pet her, and she meows back in conversation when you talk to her. She is just HAPPY to the one and only inside cat.

So that brings me to THIS picture…

This is a photo of part of my stash storage ---the wall of “What was I thinking” fabrics. The novelties, the juveniles, the Christmas, some batiks, and a lot of backings with potential. Sorry, it's kind of a mess, but I'd rather sew than straighten in my time home!

In this walk in closet-room are also my rolls of batting, my collection of baskets that aren’t being used, many of my sewing machines on shelves and other quilt paraphernalia.

Yesterday while sitting at my desktop computer, I looked over, and I saw her go into this room. And she didn’t come out.

Take a good look at the picture at the top of this post…do you see her?

Check Closer!

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My smart grey striped Tabby has picked the bottom Grey/Black cubbty as her new hiding spot. It’s Kitty in Camo! You can’t see her in here unless you get down on your hands and knees….and LOOK at that piece of black fabric she is on? Eeeeuuurrrghghg!

I’m fine with her nesting there, but I think I need to find a towel to put down over the fabric so she doesn’t make it any worse!

Pondering The Blocks!

In my antique wanderings the other day, I found some treasures that left me wondering about what will happen to MY UFOs 100 years from now.

I think quilters have always had UFOs…whether they be tops, or blocks that are not yet set together, or even blocks that are just basted and prepped, but the applique has not yet begun.

Why these projects get waylaid we all can guess, because it happens to ALL of us.

Sometimes we lose interest.

Sometimes something with a deadline ((A baby quilt, a marriage gift, a healing quilt, etc)) sneak in and things go onto the back burner never to see the light of day again!

I found the most awesome blocks….and I wondered about their makers!

This picture is of a prepped applique block that is completely cut out of VELVET and basted to a muslin foundation. No stitching has begun yet ---I’m not sure how they appliqued velvet, but in my mind I’m seeing this done with a close buttonhole stitch…it doesn’t look like she’s left room for needle-turning under a seam allowance to applique.

The velvet was still so soft to the touch!

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Here is the whole block!

I love those bright green velvet grapes or berries that are falling out the right side of the pot! WHY did she not finish this?

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This is the second velvet block.

Look at that awesome basket! It’s all basted and ready to go!

I do love the mystery, even if the mystery is never solved. Who was this quilter? We will never know because the price said “two unfinished quilt blocks” and that was IT.

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More Blocks!

Along with the velvet beauties was a stack of “Pennsylvania Dutch” applique blocks in a set. There were 10 of them in the set. I was awestruck as I turned the block over to look at the miniscule stitching of the applique. This was one skilled needlewoman!

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There were duplicates of blocks, not all 10 are different. The tan fabric is the same in all. I don’t know if it was once green, or if this is the original color. I couldn’t see any crocking or bleeding and these blocks have not been washed I don’t think.

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I loved this one! I loved the fact that I could see where her red from under the tulips shadows through the light pink on top of it…it makes it look shaded! Of course, the blue/cheddar ones scream at me too.

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OH! Be still my heart!!!

A heart wreath with berries! Is this not gorgeous? So the question arises again ---what happened in these quilter’s lives that their beautiful handwork never became a finished quilt?

We’ll never know ---but it makes me want to finish MORE of the ones I’ve started so someone doesn’t have to sit and speculate on MY UFOs!

It poured last night, and it’s still raining outside now. I don’t know if the drive to the mountains is on for today or not.

And for those asking about a heads up on QuiltCam, or doing it at a set time ---I’m sorry, but my life doesn’t work “on-demand” like that. I honestly don’t know when my day’s work will be done so I have time to sit at the machine, or do I know how long I’ll be able to sit at the machine.

I love doing it ---but it has to work on my schedule if it is going to happen at all. I can’t say that “QuiltCam will be on at 7pm eastern time zone” That just doesn’t work with my life at all. Thank you for understanding that!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday Evening QuiltCam Time!

I'm still working on those (*&@#$(*& Nearly Completely Insane Zig Zag border units!

Do you have something to work on too? A binding? Some cutting out? Some straightening up of the cutting table and clearing of the ironing board so you can find it?

Why not come and join me!

I'll stop and scan the comments below and answer your questions as I go along. I can't answer them all, or I wouldn't get ANY sewing done, but I'll read them randomly and we'll have a really good time!

I'm going to leave the QuiltCam up for about an hour or so----

*Note* If it says OFFLINE below -- you missed it! It's live streaming, not a recording, so you can't play it back like re-runs, you'll just have to join us next time!

Wanna join me?

Click Below!

Live Video app for Facebook by Ustream

iPhone-o-gram! One more for the road!

Just one more!

I am so not used to big chunky pieces but I am envisioning this set with the sold red sashings and cornerstones like the antique quilt that inspired it and quilt it up in big stitch with pearl cotton!

Big baptist fans, anyone!?

DH and I are headed out to dinner and some last minute errand running. Turns out what I thought was a travel converter for electric items is only an adapter--not the same thing!

It may be too late for QuiltCam by the time I get back, but we'll see!

Tomorrow may be busy too---he's talking about running up to the mountains for the day and since I'll be gone for 12 days I feel I should go too!

Off I go!

It’s a Guilford County block!

I got my errands done this morning, including two trips to the post office to make sure everyone’s books get out!

There is a notice on the website now, and on the book ordering pages that any book orders that come in between August 19th ((tomorrow)) and September 2nd will be sent out in the order that they were received upon my return from Bali.

That left me some play time this afternoon and I just…well..I just…..

I just had to MAKE ONE!

I really loved this quilt at the antique mall, but I don’t have room for it, and I bought Doris instead --- so I made a test block..sewing along with Doris!

I also think this block would look awesome in the more modern fabrics because it is so big and chunky!

When I first looked at this block I thought of it as an uneven 9 patch with a square in a square in the center.

But if you look at it closer…the center is actually a “King’s Crown” type of block on point in the middle with pieced corners sewn on.

I drafted it in a 12” finished size…which STILL seems huge to me, but it is in keeping with the feel of the original quilt--- so hey!

Maybe I’ll try it in an 8” Maybe I’ll go down to 6”?

The one thing I wanted to be sure I did was work it in a size that used as many “easy to cut” normal sized strips as possible.

And this is what I’ve come up with. I used a solid that was more gold than orange –I had maybe a yard of it, so we’ll see how far it will get me!

For printer friendly version, CLICK HERE!

For one block cut:

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From Cheddar cut:

(4) 3-1/2” squares

(4) half-square triangles from a 3-1/2” strip using the 3-1/2” line on the easy angle ruler. ((OR—(2) 3 7/8” squares cut once on the diagonal to yield 4 triangles))

(4) 2-5/8” squares

From Blue cut:

(8) half-square triangles from a 3-1/2” strip using the 3-1/2” line on the easy angle ruler. ((OR—(4) 3 7/8” squares cut once on the diagonal to yield 8 triangles))

(8) quarter square triangles cut from 2” strips using the companion angle ruler and the 2” line on the ruler. (( OR--- (2) 4-1/4” squares cut with an X to yield 8 quarter square triangles.

The photo above looks like there are 4 -- but there are 4 pairs totaling 8 triangles above!

(1) 4-3/4” square

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Inner Block!

Flying Geese units:

Use 4 of the cheddar half square triangles and the 8 quarter square triangles to make 4 flying geese units. Press seams toward the blue fabric.

These will be odd sized and measure 2 5/8” X 4 3/4”. Be careful in handling and pressing as there will be bias on ALL EDGES. Starching before cutting can help you here. They are cut this way so that the straight of grain will go with the edge of the block when the pieced corners are added.

Arrange units as shown in photo above and stitch the inner block. Press.

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Pieced Corners!

Following diagram above, make 4 pieced corners by sewing the blue half square triangles to two sides of the (4) 3-1/2” squares. Press seams toward the wing triangles.

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Block Assembly!

Add the 4 pieced corner triangles to the block. I like to add one triangle, and then add the triangle on the opposite side. ((Think 9 o’clock & 3 o’clock!)) and then press carefully. Trim dog ears and add the remaining two corners in the same manner. Press.

Block should measure 12-1/2” at this point and finish at 12” in the quilt.

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Guilford County! Tada!

More Cheddar—More Better!!

I found this AWESOME quilt in the same antique place that I found Doris. It was in “ehhhh” shape, there were some badly worn areas and some really badly stained places. It’s not the kind of quilt I would want to risk washing – but OH the fabrics in it!

It’s a very heavy quilt, made to be warm through the winters. Batting is either cotton or wool…..

The quilting is simple, but --- did I mention THE FABRICS?!

The blocks are rather large….and I love the pattern! Will this be the next Cheddar Quilt on my to-do list? It just might be! I love everything about it. The red sashings, the indigos and other dress prints used..and of course..that golden cheddar is just calling to me to beat the band!

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I see diamonds quilted in the sashings..the other patches are outlined not quite 1/4” from the edge of each patch, and large squares are then further anchored with an X of quilting stitches.

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I had to find a place to lay out out! Layout space is hard to come by in an antique mall with rows of cram packed booths. The corners are rounded, the outer sashing strip on the left narrower than the others.

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See my hand? That should give you an idea on the size of these blocks.

At least 16”

But Oh, Oh ---The INDIGO!!

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A couple more blocks. This quilt SINGS!!

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Bottom Left Corner.

You can see the bad staining going on…who knows how long this was stored ---it doesn’t necessarily look like it was used and washed a lot – I have a feeling it was packed away somewhere it got wet.

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The backing is a hand dyed cotton…and this could also be what migrated to the front…the dye from the brown backing. I do love how the quilting detail shows up on the back side, don’t you?

This was not a quilt that came home with me. The price was too high, and it was either the quilt, or Doris. And I chose to bring Doris home instead.

Still, it’s a wonderful quilt and I’d love to recreate this…maybe not in a 16” block…but my mind is working on it!