Monday, July 27, 2009

Mary Jo's Run...

Last Friday, Four of us took a run down to Gastonia for a Mary Jo's Cloth World Fix.

We Came, We Shopped, We Conquered!

I really didn't "NEED" anything. Not in the way of fabric or anything, but I will tell you what I did need! The laughter and companionship of girlfriends out on a road trip.

The other day I read a quote from "Sex in the city" that has just given me the giggles and rang so true in many ways at the same time. It goes:

"Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with" --sex and the city

The longer I live..the more I see so much sense in this! My girl friends are there with support and laughter and understand every quilty need.The guys? Well, in this house, I'll give them the benefit of TRYING to get me, but mostly, they have just learned to raise one eyebrow, but keep their mouths shut! *LOL*

So what did I come home with? Not a lot (unless you count the sore belly muscles from multitudinous and copious amounts of genuine belly laughter!

I hit the remnant bins on the cotton solids. I always hit those, never know when you are going to find some AWESOME solids that will be just the right accent to whatever project. Solids to me are a legitimate purchase, just the same as the B words..backgrounds, borders, bindings, backings.. I love this darkest darkest dark chocolate. There are two pieces of it. It's yumtious! I'm thinking of using it in place of a black background on a solids project.

Two Green FQs.
Two fun fabrics for possible borders. 2 yards each.

That's it. That's all the fabric that said "TAKE ME HOME" and I was able to say no to everything else.

One EZ Rule 6.5X13 inch ruler. I love these rulers. What can I say, yes, I also like the creative grid, but this is just a smidge longer. I like that it has the 1/4" dashed markings all along the outside edge of the ruler, around all 4 sides. Makes it great for squaring things up and trimming. The numbers are HUGE...and it has no green or yellow so it is easy for me to read. And unlike the creative grids, you don't have to flip the ruler around to use the stuff on the half inch. And it was cheap. About $10.00.

Yesterday I got to the point where I actually had to turn the computer off and walk AWAY. The pattern writing is stressing me out to no end. I've got 8 of 12 done. # 12 is still in the piecing stage. #9 and #10 are just not easy for me to diagram even in EQ because I am so EQ challenged. Even today..I'm putting off writing?! That's why I'm writing this instead :c|

My fears? My quilts are too big for what people will want. I make bed sized quilts. All the beds in my house are queen or king. I have no lap size projects in this book. No foo foo book covers or table toppers or cutesy hand bags for this book. None of the novelty "make it quick" type projects. It's BIG QUILTS. Is there a market for that? I hope so. I have some small wall hangings made with leaders/enders but I'm not sure if there will be room for them in the book at this point, maybe just a gallery section with small enticements, but no patterns for them. Then people will want patterns for them. So yes, I am stressing to the max here.

One thing I've always told myself is to make what *I* want to make...just for the enjoyment of it. It might not be the best marketing strategy, but it keeps me anchored to what I love.


  1. To be honest Bonnie when I read quilting magazines and the latest crop of books it strikes me that, while there is a definite place for them in the overall scheme of things, there are just a smidgen too many book covers, bags and nonsense items in print and precious few bed quilts - and as there are so many little itty bitty items then you're probably about to perfectly fill that gaping hole in the current print schedules. If people want lap quilts they can always scale down your patterns by reducing the number of blocks and if your instructions give quantities for bed quilts then hey! they'll have fabric left over - treasure! Don't doubt yourself, you are a talented quilter and designer - if you had a dollar for each quilt around quiltdom that's been made to any of your patterns you'd be a millionaire :o)

  2. small projects are available in abundance these days... if I love a full sized bed quilt I figure out how to scale it down (generally by doing fewer blocks, though occassionaly I'll scale the block size down...)

  3. I "hate" having to figure out how to make most quilts big enough for a real bed. I have way too many small ones that people look at them and say what's that for?

  4. Bonnie -
    I often don't pay too close attention to the size the quilt designer had in mind. It may just be that I'm a math person and obsess over numbers, but if I see a pattern I love, I can scale it to just about any size I want, whether by adding/subtracting blocks/borders or by changing measurements. So the project sizes would not influence my purchase. For the most part, I'm not a pattern-follower, but an "inspired-by-pattern" girl. Which means I can use pattern you throw at me :-D

  5. I love "big quilts", have not made a ton of them yet, but Bonnie its "your fault" that I actually got a bed quilt made in less than 2 weeks. Thanks for your "Trip Around the World instructions. I love "BIG" quilts.

  6. I LOVE all three of my EZ Rulers... I use two of the 6 1/2 x 13 to cut almost everything....

  7. I honestly have to say that I think marketing a book with only bed-sized quilts is genius!

  8. Bring on the bed quilts! I'm quite tired of all the books that figure out uses for all those pre-cut fabrics (what came first, the jellyroll or the book of jellyroll patterns?) and I think it will make a refreshing change to see bed quilts made from scraps and solids and the stash. too bad you have to work at it all summer -- sounds like you need a break from the deadlines!

  9. I agree with Anne, there are way too many itty bitty projects for frou frou nonsense these days, not everyone has the attention span of a gnat and needs instant gratification.

    After 15 years or more of quilting I now refuse to make another wall-hanging. I have zillions of the damn things and what use are they? They sit in our guest room taking up cupboard space and serve no useful purpose. I now only make bed quilts, sure I may now only finish 6 or 8 projects a year instead of 20 but at least everything I make now gets used.

  10. I love bed size quilts,nothing stinks more then seeing a quilt I like and it is "lap" size.I think you should be true to "YOURSELF".that's what makes YOU,You! glad you had a great day shopping and paling with girlfriends.Amy

  11. My DH now insists I only make bedquilts...which I now do most of the time to make him happy. He will be glad to hear of your new book!

  12. I make bed size quilts with an occasional purse pattern thrown in. I much prefer bed size quilts (queen in my home)and I feel they will last much longer than table toppers, bags, wall hangings, etc.

    Keep with what you want to do.

  13. I don't know much about the market out there, but for me - I miss the books on bed-sized quilts. They just aren't being published much right now. It seems like everyone jumped on the purse/book cover/pincushion/itty bitty thing bandwagon and forgot about the quilters that enjoy making the bed-sized quilts. I don't think I own a single itty bitty project book in my house - which is why my book purchasing has been scaled back considerably in the last 3-4 years....There just isn't much selection right now. So keep up what you're doing - just because it seems as though nobody is buying those books, might just be because they aren't around and you'll be filling that gap.

  14. I thought quilts were originally always for beds. And that they were made with scraps. And to me, that's what your patterns embody. So just let me know when it will be ready, and how much it will cost, and how I can get it autographed, and I'll start waiting for my copy!

  15. Just let me know when I can order the new book - directly from you, of course :) For me, it runs from double to queen to king and I, too, am tired of trying to figure out how to expand a lap quilt pattern. Don't stress so much, honey, we'll all love what you do - and make more than one or two of your patterns. Maybe some of us will even make a matchine wall hanging!

  16. I reckon the magazines are for the cute finish in a few days projects books is where you go for real quilts something to cover a bed, throw over a sofa, or give as a gift to someone oh so special. You have come this far doign what you do because that is what you do - why stop now?

    And besides some of your patterns (thinking hidden spools here) make fantastic table runners or smaller things, your colonial braid patter I used for a cot quilt it is much easioer to make somehting smaller than make it bigger.


  17. Keep going Bonnie, you can do it! And yes, there is a market for large quilts. There are plenty of other patterns for tablerunners and bags, but large quilts is what I love. I'm an experienced Quilter, and these days I do make large quilts, yes they require more time, but that's OK by me. I might commit to one large quilt a year and several smaller things. Please please please, keep up the inspiring work. I'm addicted to your blogs and your quilts. Thanks. Vicki, Australia

  18. I think Ann sums it up beautifully! Enough said, keep on doing what makes YOU happy Bonnie!

  19. The trip to MJ's was loads of fun. I'm glad you could go. We'll have to do it again... or maybe just a day in town to sew.

    I agree with Mrs. G. I think a book of bed-sized quilts is genius.

  20. Bonnie I'm really looking forward to your new book. Most of the current books have way too many small projects and quilts that won't cover a bed! I have a queen size bed and like to make bed-size quilts so that's what I look for in books. It's hard to find right now so your book will definitely fill a void.

  21. What can I say....we live in a world of 'instant' gratification. I feel you should remain true to yourself...that is what has set you
    apart from others and has made your
    first book a success. I have made one baby size quilt and the rest have been at least double bed size.
    I think you'll find there are more
    wanting 'normal' size quilt patterns than the small. Please don't give in to becoming one of those 'dime a dozen' pattern writers...I like you just the way you are....when I think of you...I say to myself..."now she is a real
    quilters quilter". I appreciate all that I have learned from you and for what you share so freely with all the masses....hang in there....'the masses' are cheering you on and anxiously waiting for the new book!!!

  22. Anonymous7:22 PM EDT

    I'm like just about everyone else that replied ahead of me. I love the bigger quilts. I make very few wallhangings. You only have so many walls to display these things.
    I hate finding just the perfect pattern and then find out it is for a small lap or child's quilt. I will admit...I'm math challenged (always call my brother the HS math teacher for the really hard stuff! :-) ).
    Thanks for the great patterns and keep them coming!!

  23. Somewhere I have some great instructions on how to take a block or quilt in EQ and explode it out so that you have bits and pieces for writing directions. I've used it in the past when I had to write very explicit instructions for some of the quilters who were helping me make quilts for the graduating seniors from church. I'll go hunt for it and send it along.

  24. Go, Bonnie, Go! For me it's all about BIG QUILTS! In my house they're all queen or king. I make the occasional twin for the grandkids or charity. Have no use for the wall hangings, tried one and it's not finished yet. If I want a table runner they're easy to figure from most any few quilt blocks. I've made enough bags! I want Big Bed Quilts! Sign me up for the first printing, a signed copy if you please!

  25. I can't say it any better than Anne ( your first comment)
    You know we are your fans and will buy your book....I still love the first one and have it out daily.

    Hey, you just had a week with girlfriends on the west coast!:0)

    Happy sewing

  26. There you go, do what YOU love. It seems to have worked so far. Besides, if someone wants one of your quilts in a smaller size they'll figure out how to do it...and the brain strain will be good for them.

    Would love to see Mary Jo's someday....I'm about 1500 miles away...what do you think of my chances?

    Quilt on, Bonnie. We love your quilts.

  27. 20 some odd years quilting and I have never made a wall hanging. Have no clue what those are for other than dustcollectors. Keep making snuggling sized quilts! I know you do this for a living, but I know you started this for the love of it. You are a success at this because we can tell you are doing what you love. Keep doing it that way, and we'll keep supporting you!

  28. My opinion - and my opinion only...- I like BIG QUILTS. Usabel bed size quilts. I have been making quilts a long time 7 with the exception of baby quilts, I have made ONE twin size/lap size. Everything else is a BIG QUILT.

    You do what you do best. make 'em big!

    Sam in Middle TN

  29. I just finished my first quilt top. EVER. You can see it on my blog. It was supposed to be a full...I made mine a king...it is HUGE. I had to add to the over all finished project to get it that big. Now, I have not quilted it yet, or don't even know if I am brave enough to try..I have a old machine...we will see.

    So I guess what I am saying...I would love a book like that, after all my first quilt ever is a monster!!

  30. Bonnie, I agree with the other comments. I don't have any walls to hang small quilts on. I think a quilt is for a bed!! I have made 12 in 2 years--queens. I too want an autgraphed book.

  31. As my dad always said "go big or go home". Everytime I make a quilt my mom asks "what size?" generally mine are for a single bed, but like the others I look forward to your patterns for big beds. Way to go!

  32. Doing what you love is always the right choice. I, like other commenters, never really worry about what size the author suggests. I am perfectly capable of sewing four blocks together and calling it a table runner. It is more helpful for me to have the quantities for a big quilt worked out- then I can start collecting my fabrics.

    Sign me up for a copy! I have your other book on my nightstand!

  33. I have a hard time not making quilts for beds...even if I start out thinking lap quilt it turns into at least a twin normally a double.
    I don't need patterns for fo fo stuff!
    I want quilt patterns
    go for it!
    , remember you have to stay true to your self otherwise your not going to enjoy this and that won't be good. Making little quilts once in a while is fun
    can be used to try out a block or fabric combinations you love and then you can hand quilt them...maybe if they want you to add something small to the book try this?
    knowing in the back of your mind you will make it into a queen size quilt!
    good luck!!!! take a long walk when you get tired of pattern writing, maybe that will renew you!

  34. Almost all my quilts are big quilts for the bed. I like to USE my quilts - mine even go to the beach and get used as picnic blankets, so they have to be big. I often refer to OLD quilt magazines for bigger sized quilt patterns. So - keep at it! The quilting world can use a book full of bed sized quilts! Glad to hear you had fun on your recent trip!

  35. oh no, sorry to hear you're feeling so stressed out right now. eek. you're more than halfway there tho! glad you got a chance to get out with some quilty friends.

  36. Bonnie - I'm soooo tired of having to make quilt for my beds bigger (we have queens and kings). It'll be a welcome relief to have a book with big quilts. Relax, take a walk then return to writing. Can't wait for the book :)
    Quilty friends are the best - make all our troubles take a rest.

  37. I make bed quilts, I don't do wallhangings or table toppers. I'd love a book on queen and king sized beds (maybe a few single sized ones for the kidlet).

    I hope the pattern writing gets easier for you.

  38. Yup, please yourself and it will show in your work. Write it and they will come! All of the quiltville groupies like me, love your work and I'm sure it will be a wonderful book, just like all your patterns are (and your first book too!) Have a great day friend!

  39. Lapsize options would be nice - but I seem to only make big quilts!!
    I think a book that is bedsize quilts is a good book. Anyone who is a quilter could figure out, on their own how to make it smaller or the size they want - anone who is 'new' to this addiction, will always find help to do the same.
    This is YOUR book - please, make a book that pleases you. We enjoy all that you show us, have already done and the joy you share - that way, not only do you get the book you want to make, we get to see more of who you are - and that is a great thing!!!!
    This book is already on list of ones to get - and knowing they are quilts and not pretty little things that I don't do, makes me want it even more!!!
    I am glad you took a break. Remember to do that went the screen starts to blurr or your fingers find keys that make nonsense words - it's time to go outside and take a deep breathe of fesh air and have long break.

    Just keep telling youself, "I have all the time I need", and you will!!

    I am glad you spent some quality time busting up with your GF's!!! that makes it all worth while. Loved your quote... I think it's a fair assesntment of the situation!!
    here is to love and laughter - not necessarily in that order!!;-)

  40. What Anne said :)

    I love bed quilts

  41. FWIW, I also make BIG quilts almost exclusively. I often have to add more blocks and estimate more yardage to make a quilt bigger than a lap size in the pattern. There is a need and a place for big quilts.

  42. Bonnie,
    I am with the rest of your commenters- I have made very few wall hangings- I don't know what to do with them as I have very limited wall space- On the other hand can you ever have too many bed quilts?
    Even when you have made for all your loved ones there is always someone in need of a quilt.
    I like that they can be beautiful and still serve a functional purpose.
    Keep doing what you do so well - I am sure your new book will be a great success too.

  43. Calm down! I love bed quilts! Though I generally make them for Single beds, thus enabling the use as cuddle on the sofa quilts. Mine are usually around 140cm by 210 cm, but I want to make one for my double bed, that will need to be at least 200cm by 220 cm. I am sure there are people who will be happy with queen and king.

  44. I only make bed sized quilts and sometimes find that I have to make every quilt I like bigger than the pattern so it will fit on a bed! I'm old school, thinking that quilts are for a bed. When I see a quilt on a wall, I wish I could snuggle with it. It's like making an heirloom recipe for brownies, and then displaying them. When I need a quick fix for quilting, I make a quilt block for a larger quilt. Maybe it's just me. I'm so excited to see your new book!

  45. I like large bed quilts - when I look at smaller patterns I am figuring out what it will take to make it bigger. One thing I love is patterns with options.
    So if they want smaller - they can make less blocks and do smaller.
    You do what is your style and what is right for you - you will not enjoy it if you don't and them it will become a chore/work and not something you have you heart in.

  46. There's a market, no worries. I like instant gratification projects, but I usually choose something other than quilting for those. I make things to be used and I don't want quilted items on every surface of our home. Its just not our style and it would look odd in our modern home. And I don't want to give quilts to friends that they don't know how to use. So, a few of my friends or family will appreciate a table runner, maybe, but for the most part its quilts they can sleep under.

  47. I'm constantly adapting patterns that I see to fit queen size beds. I don't do many lap quilts or wall hangings these days and really appreciate books that cater to my needs.

  48. First....love the quilt you purchased in Sisters. Still haven't gotten together with Pat and Cathy to see the pictures, but hope to next week.

    Secondly, if bed sized quilts make your heart sing, then design and make bed size quilts. Trust me, there are many of us out here that like to make big quilts. Yes, we all may make a table runner or a small wallhanging to use as just the right accent, but overall, bed size quilts rock and so do you.

    So crank up the Ipod and design away.


    ps....oh yeah, the writing....sorry, but we all want to follow along on your quilting journey.....so write away, and good luck!

  49. I love the fabric with the flowers!! I am working on a quilt right now with that and all its friends.

    I too have wondered what a wallhanging is good for? I just hang a bed quilt on my quilt hanger and ohhohhhh its a wallhanging! heehee

  50. Bonnie - keep up the Big Quilts, if that's what you enjoy! I for one still have to expand your patterns for my Cal. King bed, but that's okay. Thank you for your dedication in keeping us quilters using what we have!


  51. Can't wait to pre-order it!!!


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