Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bonnie & Tonya's Great Adventures!

Hi All!

I just returned yesterday afternoon after spending a retreat week in Florida with our Tonya! What could be better? Good friends together sans hubbies for New Years..spending a week SEWING and finding fun places to have lunch or dinner! (Let's face it..REAL men don't do tea rooms..*heheh*)

Tonya had thought ahead and we had two folding tables to set up for our retreat stations. At first, we used one as a cutting table by putting bed risers under it...great idea..it worked perfectly! And we set our machines up on the other one facing eachother while we sewed.

Now, this was no ORDINARY retreat...this was a retreat with a purpose! It was a stretching experience for both of us. Tonya told me to bring a bunch of my smallest bits, and we were going to crumb piece. Now those of you who know me know that most of my fabrics are on the traditional side, with a few others mixed in from people who have donated me their scraps (always fun!) And Tonya's fabrics are more towards the brights and batiks....the challenge? To mix them TOGETHER without thinking too hard and just go for it, not worrying about what goes with what, etc...NO RULES!

We crumb pieced using different methods. Some we just pieced without foundations...many log cabin style. Some we used 3.5" foundations cut from phone book pages for some others just for variety....We also did some wonky stars!

While I was a piecing fiend on the crumb blocks (we pieced a total of 339 blocks!) Tonya started doing some letters so I could incorporate words into my quilt. We both have each other's initials as well as our own in our quilts..because this was a joint project!

When we had enough blocks, we laid them out on the floor and did the "taking turns' of picking from the pile which ones we wanted in our quilts. That was fun....we both gravitated towards different blocks!

Tonya supplied me some red moda marble and a purple batik for my sashings and cornerstones....and I commenced webbing my top together into connected rows..before long it was off the floor so Tonya could use the floor space to lay hers out and start sewing hers together.

We have two nearly identical quilts, but each as different from each other as they are the same :c)

We sewed and sewed so much
we even wore out Pokey!

On the home front....my friend Mary Kay passed away on Friday evening. She was an amazing woman and I am glad that I spent the time that I did with her while she was in hospice. I felt bad not being able to be there for her funeral. Her funeral was Tuesday, and I got home from Florida on Wednesday. But I was there in spirit. I was really touched to learn that in lieu of flowers on her casket, they had used the quilt that she and I had made together as a pall. All those bright colors in that quilt! That is so representative of MK's life. She was bright and beautiful inside and out and I will miss her very much.



  1. I can't believe how much you got done in a week! Amazing! The results are fantastic. I think it's a great idea combining two different tastes to see what you come up with. It obviously worked in this case.

  2. This entire post is amazing and inspirational. You and Tonya give so very much to all of us, who come in with a cup of coffee to read about quilting and all of your adventures, and leave.......filled with so very much more. The thought of your beloved friend and all that you gave to her at the end with the making of the t-shirt quilt, and that her family would choose to cover her with its love in lieu of flowers....moved me deeply. Quilts hold so much more than fabric and thread. They are gifts of the heart in all ways! Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Your life is the very meaning of how you value and share with your friends...and that includes the many hundreds of thousands of us online.

  3. Oh Bonnie! I WANT that quilt! Well actually I want one like it! (unles you want to get rid of it!!!) :)

    That crumb piecing is so wonderful! I try to crumb piece but my blocks still look too uniform or something.

    It looks like you had a wonderful time!

    Sorry to hear about Mary Kay. I'm so glad you got to visit and spend time with her beforehand.

  4. This looks like fun! And to have something finished when you left would be a great accomplishment.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. The quilt on the casket is a great tribute to her and you. Very touching.

  5. What a great quilt and a fabulous momento of a wonderful week spent together :)

  6. Love this quilt. It's fantastic. What a great time you and Tonya had.

    Sorry to hear about your friend, Mary Kay. Life is a bummer sometimes.

  7. sounds like you had a fun retreat, though returning to "regular life" was a little abrupt...

  8. What a great quilt and sure sounds like you all had a wonderful time. I am so sorry to hear about Mary Kay...cancer is just an awful disease.

  9. Looking at both blogs, I can tell you girls had a wonderful time! Nothing like sewing with a girlfriend!

  10. Anonymous1:23 AM EST

    I'm still amazed at the phenomenon that an ikky block put together with heaps of other blocks makes beautiful quilts! I love both yours and Tonyas quilts - the bright red sashing is perfect. The letters and words really make it special. So many blocks in such a short time! You're both an inspiration :-) I'm sorry about your friend, but she is in a good place and I'm sure she treasured the time you both spent together.

  11. Your bag of tiny scraps is a great idea--I need to keep a separate pile of little pieces. The quilts are wonderful.

  12. Your retreat sound like so much fun! Wish I could get my act together and organize such an entertaining event.

    Your story of your friend brings tears to my eyes. You are so fortunate to have visited her, and what better gift of her quilt instead of flowers.

    Thank you for all you do, Bonnie, for this wonderful and lively quilt community.

  13. That's about the best travel souvenir I've ever seen!

    The use of a quilt instead of flowers is exquisite. See? You really were at her service.

  14. Bonnie, you and Tonya had such a great time, and created gorgeous quilts! Thanks for letting us in on the fun. So sorry about the loss of your friend. I know she felt your love at the end...
    now a question. When I follow the Mavericks ring through the little "map" and hit next, going all the way around, I never get to your blog. Only to your more generic web site. Why is that? I've been out of the loop at your blog because of it.

  15. what amazing work you and Tonya did.
    The result of all those tiny pieces are beautiful.
    Sorry to hear of your friend Mary Kay's passing. Cherish your memories of her

  16. Bonnie,
    First, I'm sorry to hear of your friend's passing, but uplifted to read of the love you had for each other.
    Next, you and Tonya had way too much fun!! The quilts are awesome!

  17. Sorry about your friend Bonnie, but I know she is happy and well now. The retreat looked fabulous and super fun!!

  18. Hi Bonnie,so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, but what a great tribute to you both to have the quilt in lieu of flowers.
    The Tonya/Bonnie quilt tops are looking great! And I have to say how astonished I am at how SMALL those scraps are!!!
    Just short(?) of insane...LOL But they sure turned into something beautiful! Hugs, Finn

  19. WOW! Were those scraps really as tiny as they appear in the picture? The ones I tossed out when I emptied my sewing room trash a few days ago were MUCH bigger than those! And what wonderful quilts ya'll ended up with.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. What a wonderful idea to use the quilt on her casket in lieu of flowers. I wish I'd thought about that for Mama. I think she would have liked that a lot.

  20. Bonnie, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your friend Mary Kay. The use of the quilt at her funeral was so heartwarming. You truly were there.
    Loved the crumb quilts you and Tonya worked on. Now I can see myself keeping all those itty bittys. My only question is would my blocks actually look good!

  21. It sounds like you both had a great time. I'll bet Pokey has a few crumbs of fabric hidden somewhere in the house too (she looks too innocent in that photo!)

    Sorry to hear about your friend.


  22. Wonderful quilt and time you had together.


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