Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened......

I posted this on the Quiltville Friend Page on facebook, and a reader sent me this HILARIOUS cartoon to go with the story. You probably need to click it to biggie-size it. It was too good not to do a re-cap here for those who are not on facebook!

Yesterday morning as I went through security on my first flight from Harlingen to Houston, I was one of the lucky ones to go through the xray machine....

"Ma'am, place your feet on the diagram feet...palms above your head, palms open and face forward please!"

((this felt like some weird version of twister with no way to twist!))

Then I had to step to the next station and get the "Pat Down" routine...evidently my underwires required further inspection!

The female officer was friendly and I had no problem with it as I really....really...had nothing better to do! I was plenty early to the airport, so hey, I'm always up for an adventure!

When the process was completed she double-checked my boarding pass and said "Wow! You really ARE Bonnie Hunter!"

I laughed and turned beet red. Turns out she is a quilter too! We chatted for a few minutes and I told her what I was doing in Harlingen....too funny!

It's nice to know that even TSA agents quilt! Still, it catches me off guard a bit!

Oh, she also said...."Wow! from your pictures, I thought you were a lot shorter..." Heheheh!

It was just all very cute, and it kept a smile on my face all the way home.

I crashed early last night...slept all the way til 7:30 this morning. It's a catch up day! I've got the next two parts of Roll Roll Cotton Boll to write and post-date. I'm going to be out of town the next two Fridays, so they've gotta be ready to release for you!

I've also had questions on various things like

* Why do you use phone book paper, can't you just sew strips and trim?

Well, yes, you can, but the paper adds a bit of stabilizer as I sew. Not all my strips have straight edges, and this helps me keep things flat so I don't get hills and valleys in my piecing.

The paper also gives me a BOUNDARY to shoot for. I can start with longer strips down the center diagonal, but I can use the shorter strips and even triangles in the corners. This makes everything usable. Remember, I'm not working from strictly FQ length strips, or yardage long strips.....The shape of that paper is my guide on the sizes of strips I can use AND where they will best fit.

*Someone wrote about their stitches coming undone as they pulled paper:

My stitching starts at least 1/4" before the paper....and my stitches are VERY SMALL. 1.5 on my bernina, 1.4 on my janome. if your stitches are pulling, your stitch is too long. Any loose stitches should be trimmed off by the time you square up the block.

*Someone wrote about having to crumple the block to remove the paper??

I have NEVER heard of this. I start in one corner, and rock the piece I'm removing. I'm right handed, so it rocks from left to right, just as if I were removing binder paper from a notebook. Remove the corner piece, tug on the corner a bit to loosen the top edge of the next strip, grasp it and rock it from left to right...loosen the top of the next strip of paper, and remove that one just like from a binder as well. No crumpling, no problem. Again...if you are having problems, you are not starting at an edge, and/or your stitches are STILL TOO BIG.

*Someone wrote about removing the paper first and then squaring...

To which I reply...do whatever works for you! There are really no rules, and if that works for you, fine. I just do what I do because I like to do it that way, it is not a "rule" that you have to do it this way.....find what works for you, try other ways...what matters is that you end up with the units you need in the right size they need to be. There is more than one way to skin a cat as they say!

*Someone asked why I use phone book paper, and not the kabnet wax paper.

I discovered phone books for string piecing after I had finished using up my kabet wax paper and was in a hurry and didn't want to go make a long drive to go buy more. I grabbed whatever was at hand. And you know, I really like the phone book paper better! I think it tears off easier than the kabnet wax paper. But you can use any kind of paper you want. I do a lot of paper piecing on just regular re-purposed printer paper. It's more about the recycling, and giving things a second opportunity to be used before they hit the landfill instead of having to go BUY SOMETHING that I'm going to just tear up and throw away.

My favorite comment so far? The gal that said she realized her phone book pages could get a 3rd life, by going from string piecing....and into her worm beds! Now that is frugal quilting at its best! :cD

*Someone asked about piecing a panel into a tube and then using a ruler to slice them that way.

Well..if it works for you, go for it. Again, I am using junk strips. These were many different lengths, widths, grain lines, and not all straight strips. Some tapered wide to narrow, some had even a gently curved edge. That would not work with a tube method. A tube method would also give you identical blocks. I'm not a fan of identical blocks. My goal in this step was to empty out a lot of stuff I had been saving for years. I was not working from new yardage. But if it works for you, go for it.

I think this is one of those steps that either people love it, or they hate it. I personally LOVE it...each and every scrap that gets used....

My printer is working over time this morning, printing out the pdf pages of Scraps & Shirttails II! Oh!! You guys!! It looks SO GOOD! As soon as I get a cover to show you I will. As soon as I get the go ahead, I'd like to do a weekly "preview" and show you one quilt a week or something like that so you know what is in the book. I just haven't been told that I can sneak-peek anything yet. If we go OVER on the page count we'll have to maybe pull a pattern and let it go in the NEXT book...so...we are working on it to get everything to fit!

December is crazy, so I'll be starting the pre-orders on January 1st and I'll keep you updated on that, however, I hope to hear this week when I'll get Tonya's Word Play Quilts book in stock, and you will know as soon as I do!


  1. LOL - that started my day off with a laugh - shared pat down x-ray story with hubby he had a laugh too.
    Glad to hear someone talk of it as if it as a laugh and not the horror stories some indicate - I figured it couldn't be that bad and what is in the news is only the worst stories.

  2. that cartoon is an absolute hoot. really is funny about the paper piecing - I LOVE doing it.

  3. That cartoon is really funny.
    I do my paperpiecing on some ancient patternpaper (I made my last garment about 15 years ago) I found. It is quite thin, and tears off really easy and you can see through it, which is handy when you are not doing string piecing but actually paperpiecing, that way you can see whether your fabric is alligned properly.

  4. I love that tip about the "third life". I'm using last year's phone book so I'm going to do that too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I gotta tell you, I am loving the string blocks and because I am making this quilt half sized, I only have 8 blocks left to piece. I am using Carol Doak's paper and it is an absolute dream. It is easy to remove and my blocks look fantastic!! Also, I am using my drawers full of strings, 1 1/2 and 2 inch neutrals, but I did cheat and cut 2 strips off of 4-5 Christmas fabrics in my stash that I absolutely love and haven't used in anything yet. Also, inherited some really ugly poinsettia fabric that I also cut some strips from. That plays next to the southwest fabric, the civil war and the bright children's stuff. I'm trusting you on this one...but sometimes, I wonder????

  6. Still enjoying it Bonnie. I piece and I think and I piece and I think. And, it's working out great, even though I am having to exert a little control over my color combinations. Take care and I enjoyed your airport security story. Quilters are everywhere. Lane

  7. Oh its all fun! Make em however you want just keep smiling :0). " stay calm keep sewing"
    Safe travels Bonnie, I don't like security but hey keep smiling and let them do their job it only takes a few minutes.....I try to follow the rules and be a good citizen.

    Happy sewing, thanks for the new mystery its really fun!

  8. You are too good to us, Bonnie. Thanks for all you do.

  9. I too had to go thru the security search when I traveled in August. It was my new Victoria's Secret bra that set it off. Because I had taken all my jewelry off and belt, shoes, etc. But they have to be certain. I'm glad they are careful and it was done very professionally.
    (Needless to say I wore a different bra on the way home.)

  10. Bonnie, I love the paper piecing blocks My Grandmother was a very frugal woman....she saved all her strings from making other quilts and made String blocks. I started helping her when I was around 5 years old....that was over 50 years ago. She not only used them in quilts...she made potholders, bags, and other items from them.

  11. Oooh! I can't wait for Scraps & Shirttails II. I hope I hope you get permission to give us just a teeny tiny little peek!

  12. Sounds like you have really enjoyed your time in Texas! Ropa Usada looks amazing. Nothing like that here in Oz. Charity shops here sell shirts for between $4 and $6 (about the same as a fat quarter) so to me it's not worth the trouble.

    Thanks for all the great tips on using paper foundations. It would take a long time, and a lot of fabric, to use up a yellow pages! And they are free...

    Looking forward to your new book...

    Thanks for all you do for the quilting community - it's good to know people recognize you! I wear a little badge with a quilt block on it in case someone wants to chat quilting!

    Hugs - Shari

  13. I use phone book paper quite a bit and have found that if I fold each piece over and give it a good crease before ripping, it helps. I give a good rip and usually most of the paper comes off...IF I've given it crease and decreased the stitch size like you said.

  14. LOL
    Admittingly so, I would ALSO be COMPLETELY star-struck if I were to come across you in my everyday doings as the TSA agent was :0) You have changed many of our quilting lives for the better and your carefree "giving" to us is extremely amazing.

  15. dear Bonnie, this caroon is too funny! glad you take it the easy way.
    I'm really excited to announce: I'm in one of your workshops in Germany, perhabs in two!!!!!!!!! Isn't that great? to meet you face to face? can't wait until February
    wishing a merry Christmas time

  16. Hilarious cartoon! The TSA story had me laughing too - thanks for sharing.

  17. Thanks for the laugh about airport security :-)
    I love to make strip block for donation quilts and I have been inspired by your blocks.
    I started using phone book paper, but since we have opted out on the phone book some years now I am using very thin worn bed sheets. Saves environement too, sort of and add both stability and some body to the blocks.
    I am looking forward to see the projects from your new book :-)


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)