Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Leader/Ender Nines...

I think this top was pieced at a sew-day at my friend Mary's house last year..or was it farther back than that?

I love traveling with little things that I can hand quilt. For one....they keep me warm on the plane! Second, small quilts are a faster finish than a big quilt is, and of course more portable and gives me that sense of accomplishment.

I also tease my students that having something in my hands to work on while sitting through a guild business meeting before I give my presentation helps calm my nerves. And you know what? It does. I also love how working on a hand quilting project can be a conversation starter as I sit in airports or on planes. So many people come to look and see what I'm working on, and tell me stories of quilters and quilts that have come through their lives.

I also tell the students that having a project in my hands keeps me from wrassling one of them out of their seats and hijacking their machine due to piecing envy! *LOL* It's just a good thing all around...

And really...I might get 15 minutes here or there, or maybe 1/2 hour or more...but it never comes in BIG long spurts of time, yet still..the stitches I put in STAY there, and eventually I have something to show for these little gathered bits of time.

I've quilted this little guy through the squares on the diagonal in one direction. It would be twice as much work to cross hatch it..and these are 1.5" leader/ender squares, so they finish at 1". Do I really want to do a 1" cross hatch? Only in some place that it is going to show and this is such a busy little ditty that I don't think it will be noticeable.

I've got just 2 sides left to do.....I wonder how long that will take? I'm already thinking of the next little "traveling size" top that I have on hand that is ripe for basting before I fly off to Grand Rapids Michigan on Sunday! Gotta have that on the "to do" list for this coming week.

I think with this shot you can see the diagonal quilting lines. I am using a chalk pencil to freehand mark the fans in the border...I'm using black thread on black fabric and I just can't see where I'm going without having a white line to give me some contrast, and helps me see where my stitches are.


  1. Hi Bonny,

    I'm worried that the airport people will take away some of my quilting tools.

    Do you have a problem taking needles on board?

    What do you use to cut your thread, or do you pre-cut them?


    PS: love the colours in this quilt! I just blogged about my inhibition of using border fabrics that aren't in the quilt center, and this is the perfect example of how well that can turn out!

  2. That pattern (or lack of) is GREAT, just grab scraps, cut and sew...enjoy the fabrics touching each other! LOVE it! I feel the same way about handquilting...it actually flies! I love my callous.

    Lucy (in IN)

  3. Bonnie,
    What can I say? I love your stuff...I only wish my scrappiness was as AWESOME as yours! I know practice...LOL! I too love having something to work on while traveling, especially if you are traveling alone, it does start conversations and you meet some very nice people....
    I have never had an issue taking my needle and thread with me...or a hoop. I take a round clover thread cutter, never had an issue with that either.
    My SIL takes her knitting, but they did take away one pair of her knitting needles when we flew back from Mexico....left the other 5 pair alone in her next carry on...

  4. I happened across your scrappy trees from the end of 2007. Have they bubbled to the top of your to be quilted list?

  5. Oh, how I wish I had the nerve to quilt on a plane, but as a guy, I'm worried that might get me some awfully funny looks and the last thing anybody wants is a controversy in an airport. But, I do take projects for the hotel room. Love your work but I'm glad I'm not in the seat next to you and that hoop! Lane

  6. what an adorable little quilt! love the red and dark brown or is it black? either way, it looks great!

    love from Texas! ~bonnie

  7. Love it, love it, love it!

  8. Looks great. I need to baste a quilt for hand quilting. You are right, it will get done even in little bits of time.

  9. Anonymous7:02 PM EDT

    You know how much I love little quilts...this one is a keeper!! How long you home for? Need a play date?

  10. great idea...next time I have an airplane ride. :)

  11. I've recently discovered masking tape! It helps with cross hatching and diagonal quilting. it doesn't stick to the fabric and I love using it. I can hand quilt in a straight line! ("Someone" told me they don't believe in "straight" but in some cases needs must!).

  12. I was instantly in love with the colors of this project! Beautiful!

  13. I'm loving the warm colors of this one... nice!

  14. I am going to visit NY next month and want also want to know what I can and can't take on the plane.


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