Sunday, July 31, 2011

All Work & No Play--

First off, a special notice. When we ran Roll Roll Cotton Boll last November, I said I would keep it available until June 1st. It's now almost August, and I've still left it there. However, it's time for it to come down, so if you need to make copies, do it now! It's coming down tomorrow, August 1st, and will be unvailable until it is featured in my next book due out in 2012. Print it now, folks!

I’ve been working pretty steady on some projects that have big deadlines coming up. And I’m making GOOD progress.

See this picture above? This is over 800 half square triangles, cut, sewn, pressed, de-dog-earred! I would have sworn they would have taken up more space than this, looked a bit more significant effort wise…..but no, here they unobtrusively sit in a shoe box.

Do you recognize any of these older blue fabrics? I was being ruthless as usual, just going for color, not worrying about the age of the fabric or the print that is on it, there is even a blue fabric with green Christmas trees on it in here, but it's blue...so in it goes!

And so my brain went numb from sewing pressing trimming, to sewing these together, and when I went to press again….I had sewn 80 of them together pointing the WRONG direction! OY!

Never fear, a chick flick movie ((Usually set in the 1800s, with lots of British accents and fabulous costumes…..places where they actually break for TEA and have SCONES in the middle of the afternoon!)) became my oasis as I put my feet up and started unpicking seams.

My #1 rule?! NO WHINING!! My #2 rule?! My stitch length MUST be large enough to allow the tip of my seam ripper to fit easily under the stitches! And keep a good SHARP seam ripper. Those things wear out and go dead too. If you are having to fight with the blade inside the curved edge of the ripper, chances are it’s time for a new one.

In no time, the triangles were once again individual units, and I could commence to sewing them pointing the RIGHT direction.

But I was tired of triangles. I wanted something a bit more to shake things up. I needed more than TWO COLOR MONOTONY!

All work and No play makes Bonnie a grumpy quilter! It was Play time!

And this is when I KNEW I had gone over the edge…

stash 023

Remember I said I had even thrown stuff AWAY!??


I remembered THIS POST from July 2007. That’s 4 years ago folks! ((Oh Yes, we’ve passed our anniversary of 6 years of blogging this June! Whooot!)) and THIS quilt that used to be the header pic for my blog:


Oh I love this quilt!! See those fun rows of coins?! And look at the sashing and cornerstones..I LOVE that chrome yellow! And I also love how all the cornerstones are green, except for the last row on the left. Okay, and one more odd one on the bottom right. FUN!


And these fabrics are all late 1800s to early 1900s, and I love them…..but I didn’t want to use specific fabrics for my blocks. I just wanted to see what I could get out of….ummm…yeah. That trash can! Tonya always said I did take the trash can approach to quilting, and I guess I am proving her right!

stash 024

I’ve got 5 blocks in wild funky scraps that came back OUT of that trash can! ((Is there a name for this quilt there? OUT of the TRASH CAN!??))

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When I looked at the top of that can, you would think there would be NOTHING salvageable in it…but…well, lets just say that I’m going to have to force myself back to those half square triangles, because I have a desire to keep sewing these little guys!

Strip size? 2” X 8” finished. Block size? 8” finished.

I know the "inspiration" quilt used much smaller pieces and narrower strips, but I have no idea what size THEIR blocks finished at. I'm taking these as they come..I'm not cutting them down, I'm just sewing them into rows and trimming at 2.5" wide. Triangles are being sewn into squares, other smaller units are added to make it measure at least 2.5" wide. They are sewn on as they are sewn on.

Dh & I finally got away last evening to see the last Harry Potter movie. I liked it, but I wished that I had seen part 1 again before going to see part 2. I was a little lost in parts, and couldn’t remember what had happened in the last episode. That probably has more to do with my age than anything else I expect, but still. I did like seeing how grown up those kids have become. I've enjoyed watching them grow over the past 10 years! I loved the last scene in the train station!

Enjoy your Sunday! Stitch something beautiful today!


  1. I had to go and get ROLL ROLL---all I had to see to convince me was the color scheme :-) -- then I printed the first 7 steps and then the finale..YIPES--I should have been there in the beginning! LOL IT IS GORGEOUS!! I wont start it just yet (too many other projects on my plates) but I intend to...thanks for sharing. *~*CAROLE*~*

  2. I just went back and read your blog after printing stopped! I love that you watch TV and do the frog stitch (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it)..I do all my hand work in front of the tv after Hubby goes to bed--then I can watch what he isnt interested in. LOL I am streaming a *soap opera* out of Australia--it works !! I LOVE your header quilt! are they snippets sewn together to form a *fabric* and then cut into squares? if so--why have I never thought of that? I give my snippets away!... *~*CAROLE*~*

  3. All of my friends can't believe the scraps I keep..just can't throw them away and now i know what to do with them! The blue batik in the third row and the bottom is one I am finally putting in a quilt, after keeping it in my stash since 1993.

  4. Okay I'm sitting her trying to figure out how the HST can be wrong. So you need mirror images?
    This is a good lesson that I never thought about.

    Happy sewing

  5. Wow! you were throwing away some big pieces! jk I just used up all of my 1.5" strips and pieces into three quilts but, of course, they have started accumulating again!

    I made a point of getting HP p1 from Netflix and watching it a few days before we went to see p2. It was much better that way. I figure when p2 comes out on DVD I will make sure I have all of them here and then do a marathon weekend and get some hand quilting and other hand work done too!

  6. Name: How about....De Trash Quilt....

  7. My Quilt Buddy calls those 'Garbage" quilts. I thought you could just turn the HST's to make them the "right" way. Unless you were sewing them just on the short side together, to add to another HST as QST's. DH and I went to see "Cowboys and Aliens". It was pretty exciting and nothing like the "Indiana Jones" trilogy.

  8. Thanks so much for posting RRCB. I've done almost all your mystery quilts so far and have never been disappointed. Can't wait to see what the HST units turn into. It's always fun to see the little bits and pieces you are working on show up in books and magazines later on.

  9. Being new to your blog, I had to see what all the talk was about with your leaders and enders. Went to a huge quilt shop hop yesterday and low and behold there was your book "Leaders & Enders". Of course I had to buy it. WOW, now I see what I have been missing. Great book!!
    Went and saw Harry Potter last weekend. Had to watch part 1 first so it all made sense. Going to miss that series.

  10. You have a real talent in putting fabric together. Whenever I sew leftovers together, they just look "blah" or, even worse, "scary". Maybe I need a bigger collection of leftovers. :)

    We went to see the last HP movie yesterday and it was awesome. We'd never seen a HP movie or read the books until last week when we rented all of the movies (what I did on my summer vacation) and had a HP marathon. Now we want to watch them all again.

  11. Call me a geek but over the past month I watched all of the Harry Potter DVD's again (done while stitching so no time "lost") so I was up-to-date when we went to see the final episode on Friday.

    I am 80% finished my RRCB...better make sure I have the last step printed!

  12. Garbage can gorgeous! Trash can terrific! Wastebasket wonderful! OK, I'll stop. But really, your inventiveness is a sight to behold!

  13. Anonymous11:57 AM EDT

    I just cannot believe it. I was trying to figure out a new arrangement of scrappy strips sewn on 4.5 inch paper lengths and you provided it.

    Woo hoo. Now i am going to retreat this weekend and sewing all those pieces onto paper and then 3 of them into blocks for my charity quilts.

    I have a tote box of plaid scraps that should make at least a hundred or much more strips and maybe even blocks.

  14. Anonymous12:21 PM EDT

    I am still trying to figure out how you can sew a HST wrong. Must be old age that I am not seeing it. SIGH!

    I have been saving some rolls of adding machine paper that someone gave me. I said thank you very much immediately thinking Chinese Coins quilt. I like this one even better. WOO HOO. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Love those little blocks! How about "From Trash to Treasure" as a quilt name? Can't wait to see what the top looks like once completed. Love all your quilts! Can't wait to meet you on the cruise at the end of August! :o)


  16. I am getting near the end of RRCB, Finally!!!! Hopefully by the middle of August ( my Bday) I will have it done!!! I have had my seam ripper for more than 25 years now. I have 2 new ones that I hate, and the old one rips very easy when I need it, so I guess that is a good thing, it must mean I haven't had to rip it enough to wear it out yet. :D I am beginning to think that not only are you the scrap genius Queen, but you are the Queen of HST's too! Can't wait to see what you are doing with all of them, because blue is my color.

  17. I really like the coin quilt. Thanks for sharing. I ran a copy of the roll roll cotton boll. One day!! So many quilts I want to make. --sigh-- Have a great day. --hugs --- Sandie

  18. I saw Harry Potter last night, too! It was fantastic!

    Your trash can blocks are fabulous! I'm inspired to make my own.

  19. Right on--after all fabric is fabric--lets sew!

  20. Oh Bonnie - LOVE rule #1. But then I always love your blog - I feel like I'm sitting visiting with you when I read your posts! BTW - at what stage do scrap/crumb pieces become so small that there is more THREAD than FABRIC in a block? Just askin'...lol
    Oh yes - remember that old computer term GIGO - Garbage In Garbage Out? How about Garbage In Gorgeous Out??? That's how your crumby blocks end up - gorgeous!!!

  21. oh, dear, your rules are my rules! i can frog stitch with the best of them, and pretty darn quickly, too! am making progress on my scrap collection, just over two cubic feet, not enough yet to make a real scrappy like your eight-inch blocks. soon!

  22. Let us just call that Trash Can a Sorting Container. Those little pieces looked too precious to throw away.
    Today I am working on a quick quilt from your free patterns: Bricks & Stepping Stones.
    I used up the last of Grandma Iole's cotton shirts. Daughter #1 loved her BD quilt called Grandma's Mountains (Scrappy Mountains Majesty).
    Daughter #2 needs to have a piece of Grandma Iole too. This quilt will be a "Just Because" quilt. No event just giving with love. As you do. Thanks for all the free patterns!!!
    XOXOXOXO Subee

  23. I like your take on unpicking - just how you seem to live your life: Just do it! It's wonderfully positive, BUT and here's the BUT: those garbage blocks are insane!!!! Now what does that say about you LOL. And I mean it in the nicest way...

  24. The French word for trashcan is "poubelle," names after Eugene Poubelle, the man who introduced "dustbins" in France. (I didn't just know that; I looked it up.) You could call your quilt "Ooh La La Poubelle."

  25. *sigh* Just when I had convinced myself that saving crumbs just wasn't going to happen for me, you have to go and show me a fun a wonderful way to use them. OK, OK, I give....I'll be saving those darn crumbs, too! Seriously, those little coin blocks are just adorable. I can see how they would go together quickly and be lots of fun. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I think the name of that quilt has to be Oscar, both in honor of your dear Oscar and also in honor of Oscar, the grouch, who lives in the garbage can from Sesame Street.

  27. Great little 'garbage blocks'. I have to try those.
    I have had the Harry Potter part 1 DVD since the day it came out, but I haven't watched it. I am going to watch it now and then go see the movie. I watch those movies whenever they have Harry Potter week ends on the family chaannel.
    I thought I was the only one who loved period films, and British accents are a must.:)

  28. I love the scrappy blocks. What about "Waste Management" for a name?
    The blue & yellow HSTs are so pretty. I'm sure eventually we'll see your plan for them!

  29. "(Usually set in the 1800s, with lots of British accents and fabulous costumes…..places where they actually break for TEA and have SCONES in the middle of the afternoon!)" My favorite kind of chick flick!
    After 800 HST, I think you have a right to be tired of triangles!!
    About this new version of your old quilt--I don't want to feel guilty about throwing away pieces that small--did you have to start this? (I know, I'm whining and that violates rule #1. I'm a bad girl and I'm going to go sit with my face to the wall.) Great looking quilt blocks. : )

  30. We still have tea and scones in the afternoon here in the depths of rural Shropshire!

  31. I love your "trash" quilt. So thankful I am not the only who saves little pieces like that though YOU are the one that's using them! Mine still sit! :-)
    Saw HP Part 2 with dh two weeks ago at the local Fork and Screen. Got weepy realizing there were no more. My kids grew up with those books.

  32. hee hee hee - I KNEW it! I've been having fun playing with all sorts of ugly old dated fabric too.

  33. how about "dumpster diva" quilt? just came to mind immediately!

  34. Shelley B11:34 AM EDT

    I think I should start on those blue and yellow SHT's now! Don't know what they're gonna be but I know I'll want to do it! 2 more borders and RRCB will be done!

  35. Shelley B.11:36 AM EDT

    OK, OK, it should have read HST's!!

  36. Yep.... DH, and SIL and I all went to see the last of Harry Potter on Saturday... it was good! They did a really good job on that last seen at the train.
    As for the quilt... really??? Not too surprising, now if you had taken it out to the garbage... it wouldn't have been calling your name! But it's hard to waste it when you know it can be used for a quilt somewhere! Good for you.
    The old adage; Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do with out! I didn't grow up with that... but my kids have!
    Good job.... hang in there... those pieces will be done b/4 you know it!


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