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Friday, January 30, 2015

Return to the Airport, Day One!

Maryjos
Yesterday was bittersweet.

We had to get Randy to the airport by 1:30pm.  Our retreat time has gone so quickly!

There was a bit of an upside.

We got to take Mona on her FIRST EVER Fabric Acquisition Road Trip to Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC.

Can you imagine being a brand-new quilter and being ushered into the Mecca of Quilty Fabric Selection by the likes of Lori, Randy and Bonnie?

Her head was reeling!


“You need neutrals!” 

“Buy what you like, but also be thinking of a way to use it!” 

“This is what GOOD fabric feels like, let your hands do the discerning!” 

“Oh, what the heck, just buy it all!”

We had a lot of fun and she did go home with a few pieces!

It made me remember what it was like to be a brand new quilter just starting out with no fabric stash to speak of.

When I was just really getting going in my very early 20s, I would go to the fabric store and scrounge the remnant bins.  When we were first married, we lived up in Eastern Washington, out near Prosser and the Tri Cities area.  There were NOT a lot of fabric choices available in 1981-1983.  I was mostly making home-dec items at first, curtains, slip covers, pillows to brighten a drab second hand sofa, and clothing for myself.  But that remnant bin held so many possibilities.

Fat Quarters had yet to be invented!

When we moved from Eastern Washington down to the Ontario, Oregon/Fruitland, Idaho area that meager stash came with me, filling part of one closet in my tiny little single wide mobile home.

Jason was born while we lived in that little mobile home park in Fruitland, Idaho while Dave was going to school-- first part time, and then full time.  At this time of my life I sewed at the little kitchen table on a $99.00 Kenmore machine.  The machine would come up in the morning after breakfast, and be put away before dinner time.

As I look back now, those were some mighty good times in that small little space.  Happiness doesn’t require a huge house, a fancy studio, or even a designated sewing area.

When I was pregnant with Jason, a neighbor lady gifted me boxes of her scraps.  That was the variety I needed for my first very scrappy quilt, a log cabin I made by drawing lines on the back of the fabric the width of a yard stick with a pencil.  I cut on the lines with scissors.  I still have that quilt, still love the fabrics in it after 30 years.

And now Mona starts her fabric journey with gifts of scraps and pieces from the 3 of us!  Every time she has come over to sew, the pile at her borrowed featherweight grows.  It is so fun and so rewarding to see the grin on her face as she dreams of how she is going to incorporate it and sew it into this project – or the NEXT project? 

Because yes, Mona, there will ALWAYS be a next project!

I also had a finish this week:

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Box Kites – the Finale!

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Binding and Sleeve are DONE!

This has sat here since Christmas – or was it Thanksgiving?  Just waiting for some hand stitching time to get the job done.  On Wednesday night we watched the CNN Special, Voices of Auschwitz—in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp.  So moving!  So inspiring!  So heartbreaking ---and I put in the last stitches on the binding and sleeve during that show.

If I can find a pen around here I’ll sign the label!

The pattern for the Box Kite block is found in my Addicted to Scraps column in Quiltmaker Magazine.  Full Quilt Pattern is slated for my next book ---so stay tuned!

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Today it is just Lori and I.  Mona may come sew a bit later.  I’ll be driving Lori down to Charlotte this evening for her flight home.  The mountains are cold, windy and beautifully somber this morning.  I love this changing view so much.

And it is a great day to stay in and sew just a bit more.

My heart will be full of memories after the week we've spent, but my cabin will feel so empty!


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23 comments:

Heather Plaggemars said...

The fun part of being a new quilter and getting scraps from your fellow quilters is you get to play with a variety of pallets that you most likely never buy for yourself. It is a fun way to explore colour and try new patterns.

Rhonda Kennedy said...

Questions... Do you put a hanging sleeve on ALL your quilts or just the ones you think you might display? I have been pondering this for some time.
Love the box kite quilt. I can't wait for the next book.

Lakegaldonna said...

Love your box kite quilt, it really sparkles!

Donna Fisher said...

Love the box kite quilt. Glad to see it done, although the picture with Sadie Jane was prettier. lol. Thanks for the long view. Now I can figure out the borders for myself.

Karen said...

The box kite quilt is so fun!
It is so very cheerful.

Cathy said...

What a fun memerable time. You are blessed! I spy the block that was featured in the magazine! Great quilt! How am I suppose to get all these great quilts done?! My list keeps growing!

Cathy said...

Oops...that's suppose to be memorable!

Cathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pollyanna said...

“Oh, what the heck, just buy it all!”

I love this! Of course buy it all :) Such a great story of your start. I too sewed on a little Singer and later a small Kenmore when the Singer broke down. I also set up in the mornings and put away at evenings. I am so glad good fabric--it feels so delicious--is readily available these days :)

Mary said...

A visit to MAry Jo's sounds like the best way to Show Mona what's out there. She's HOOKED for sure now. Glad you 3 shared the Retreat with Mona too. What a great time you have had and we got to peek in just a bit... Thanks for always sharing. The Box Kite looks wonderful over the fence railing. Waving HI from Washington State. I lived up the road in Mesa back in the early 80's we were almost Neighbors. I could have met you at the Hancock store. My 1st place to learn to quilt.

Shari Z said...

Just saw that you won your blogger category! Congratulations!

Lilac Joan said...

At the same time you were buying remnants I was too. I used them to make one piece rompers for my son Jeff. Most of the remnants were bought at T G & Y. And I sewed on my mother-in-law's featherweight that I put on the organ bench and used a my child's chair. Like you I had to put it away when Jeff awoke from his nap. As a two year old he fascinated by and wanted to sew on that little machine.

Lori said...

We started quilting much in the same way! It was great sewing with a new quilter this week. :) and you, of course!

Lara B. said...

What a wonderful time with your friends Bonnie! You all will treasure those days. Just Love your Box Kites quilt! Definitely adding that to my bucket list!
My daughter will be graduating from Wake Forest this year and I'm going to have to tell her to visit Mary Jo's before she moves to Albany for her new job. Maybe we can even squeeze in a trip around all the graduation festivities. Oh that Mountain view... so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This made me remember my first Mary Jo's trip. I was so overwhelmed that I bought very little. I've never gone again without a buying plan because let's face it, no matter how much you want to, you can't buy it all.

Susan Paulson said...

Ooooo want to make the Box Kite Quilt... I just got my first Featherweight I bought online...she is sweet! So fun to hear about your time with friends, special memories!

Susan Paulson said...

Ooooo want to make the Box Kite Quilt... I just got my first Featherweight I bought online...she is sweet! So fun to hear about your time with friends, special memories!

CathyQuilts said...

Ahh Bonnie, your early quilting adventure sounds like mine in the beginning. While I'd been saving fabric to make my first quilt, I didn't actually make it until 1985. Because I'd been making most of my own clothing for years, that first quilt was a hot mess, denim from he jeans I cut off into shorts every spring. Leftovers from all the shirts I made. White fabrics from the uniforms I made for my waitress job. Some kind of polyester type fabric that I made into a suit for my first job interviews. I still have that quilt, but I stopped using it about 5 years ago. I look at it now and then to remember each of the fabrics and who I was at the time.

Margs Primitive Quilts said...

I see you are driving down to Charlotte. Have you been to the Hen House Auilt Shop " there? My friend took me the when we were on a day trip last year. Nancy Conn was the owner then and she had a beautiful little prim shop with so many samples. Beautiful town too.
I LoVe the finish on your scrappy quilt.i will be going to the site to have a look at the pattern. You see....I have a stash too :) hood for you to " help" out your friend and build up her " stash" :) what are friends for ? :). Yep! You're right!
Have a great week end! Hugs. Marg.

Margs Primitive Quilts said...

I see you are driving down to Charlotte. Have you been to the Hen House Quilt Shop " there? My friend took me the when we were on a day trip last year. Nancy Conn was the owner then and she had a beautiful little prim shop with so many samples. Beautiful town too.
I LoVe the finish on your scrappy quilt. I will be going to the site to have a look at the pattern. You see....I have a stash too :) good for you to " help" out your friend and build up her " stash" :) what are friends for ? :). Yep! You're right!
Have a great week end! Hugs. Marg.

Celia Gibson said...

Love the quilt you have just finished...
I am thinking that Mona is going to miss you when you go to the other home or on your travels.

Ruth said...

Love the quilt! And I too remember early days of quilting. The fabric I picked out - Ugh! Live and learn - no matter your age!

jam said...

Thanks Bonnie for the wonderful link to your Quiltmaker blocks. I don't believe there is a more generous quilt designer/teacher on the planet.
I'm doing Wild & Goosey right now and may start on Box Kites next. Just beautiful.