Monday, October 10, 2011

More Quilting in Maryland!

Back to Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy for another day of quilting with the Pax River Quilt Guild Gals!

I remembered to take pictures of the “Honor Code” that was found on walls in the hallways, on chalk boards ((Yes, it was an old black chalk board, not a white marker board!! Chalk boards bring back so many memories, I like them best!

And even in the cafeteria area.

What an important thing for kids to learn and learn young!

We had a smaller class, Sundays are sometimes like that, and because we were smaller we could have group discussions on things like

“If you could tell a new quilter what the most important tool is, what would it be?”

“If you could learn one thing early on, what would it be?”

“How often do you change your rotary blade?”

“How often do you oil your machine?”

“If you were new to quilting and just starting to accumulate fabrics, what would you look for?”

“If you are shopping just for stashing, what sizes of cuts of fabric would you buy?”

The answers were varied and helpful! And on the last question it was “Anything from fat quarters to 1/2 yards, to full yards, to 3 to 6 yard cuts to..just buy the whole bolt!” LOL!!

Of course, all these discussion topics were directed to benefit our brand new quilter, Jennifer --- this was HER first class EVER!

And it was so funny…..Jennifer hates to iron, and every time I’d say “Okay, now go press these units like this….” She’d roll her eyes and say “But I don’t like ironing!!”

So we re-instituted my number one rule of NO WHINING!! We just about put THAT on the chalk board too! LOL! It was all in good fun.

Here’s a glance at the chalkboard in our room:

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Another important message that kids need to learn early, and that we need to be reminded of every day. I remember being told also that our lives are also shaped by the choices we DON’T MAKE. If you don’t choose, the choice is often made by your not chosing –and you might miss an opportunity.

lexingtonparkmd_2011 043

I wish all of our schools could focus on things like this! That goes for work places and other places too.

Another thing you can do when a class is small is take off on other hot topics like…

“Can you believe that Bank of America is going to charge $5 a month for you to use your debit card??” (((OH, this has us ALL up in arms and I’m thinking of changing my bank after 20 years…*SIGH*))

lexingtonparkmd_2011 029

And when topics get TOO HOT TO HANDLE we get back to QUILTING! ((I’m still mad as a hatter over this bank thing and need to look more into it. Sheesh.))

We had a great time! And I really love teaching the beginners. I had an opportunity to take it all the way back to demos on how to cut fabric. We talked about grain line, and the importance of seam allowance.

I remember being a new quilter, and feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by those who knew more and had been quilting forever.

Back in my early years --- as a new guild member ((I joined my first guild when I was 26)) I so vividly remember working SO HARD on a block for the president’s quilt…only to bring it to guild, turn it in, and have it rejected because it measured 1/2” too small. I was crushed! I had worked so hard on this thing, but no one had told me that the side of the presser foot on that machine was NOT 1/4'”. I honestly didn’t know.

I hope Jennifer will keep at it! We need to love those newbies and encourage them all we can. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?


  1. Donna Weeks8:43 AM EDT

    I remember when I was a beginner quilter, August 2009, my first challenge after deciding to retire from teaching. The feeling was both exciting and overwhelming at the thought of making a quilt. I made the same mistake with the presser foot, 1/2 inch seams, not 1/4 inch seams. After showing my blocks to the instructor/friend, I took them all apart and resewed them correctly. My first quilt is my most treasured quilt. Footnote..... since that first quilt, I have mastered 1/4 in seams and even scant 1/3 inch seams. Now I have the "Quilting Bug" and am constantly quilting. Just LOVE the creativeness, relaxation and joy that quilting brings.

  2. I'm completely with you on the Bank of America thing! I don't have the energy to change banks, though - so instead I have decided to stop using the debit card for anything other than ATM withdrawals, and write checks for EVERYTHING. I wrote several for under $5 this weekend. My checks are free, so I can play this game for as long as it takes for them to remember that debit cards actually save them money!!!

  3. Donna Weeks8:46 AM EDT

    That should be scant 1/4 inch. Sorry for the typo

  4. Anonymous8:53 AM EDT

    I belong to a church quilt ministry. One of our newbies was sewing blocks together to put in a quilt with other quilters. We had neglected to tell her about the 1/4" seam, and all her strips were shorter than the others. So as not to discourage her, I told her we would go to Plan B. I cut strips to put in between her block rows and she put her own quilt together. We DID teach her about the size of the seams. A good lesson for her to show how important the seams are. Easy to get in the habit and then everything fits. I go to Plan B a lot. Most of my quilts are Plan B. That's why I love all your scrappy things. I have SO many scraps. Blessings. Betty H

  5. I was so lucky to have my aunt as my teacher when I first began to quilt. She knew just what was most important to teach, and covered the basics well. Now, I just need to move a little more beyond the basics! Life keeps getting in the way of my quilting :-)

    I love the honor code....thinking of making some slight modifications and bringing it to my staff....and I DO still have real blackboards in my room, along with the white board and SMART board! All my bases are covered :-)

  6. The first thing I did when I heard of BOA's new fee was call the bank. Due to the type of checking account I have, supposedly I won't be charged the fee. But you bet your bottom dollar that if that turns out to be wrong, I WILL find a way to live w/o my debit card.

  7. I used to teach my beginning students that the most important part of quilting is #1 - Accurate cutting followed by #2 - Accurate 1/4" or scant 1/4" seams! It all fits so well when you do these two steps correctly. Of course, for the poor gal who hates to iron, a correctly "pressed" seam is a must also. Seeing the look of accomplishment on a beginning quilters face when it all comes together is priceless. Thank you Bonnie for being such a great teacher!

  8. Yep time to turn to credit unions that benefit our local communities and leave these big banks to wither and die off. They have made too much money from all of us already!

    Her very first class and she got to have it with you!..she'll always love quilting now.....your style is just fun fun fun and don't be uptight about putting fabrics together. I wish I had learned that 30 years ago! You have made quilting so much more fun for me Bonnie, I'll always to grateful to you for that. I am starting to get excited about the new mystery too!

    Happy Sewing :0)

  9. I didn't take a quilting class until I had been quilting over 15 years--just learned from my Mom (who never took a class) and books. I do love classes now and wish you were ever doing one in my neck of the woods.
    I had never really looked at the Hidden Spools pattern, but I'm liking what I see here! One more for the bucket list!

  10. Understand the debit card frustration, but you should be angry at congress not the banks. Congress responded to the lobbying of the merchants who demanded that they not be charged for accepting debit cards (there is a cost). And Congress (with it's all-seeing knowledge) didn't foresee that the banks would have to get the money elsewhere? Just think we should know this stuff. Knowledge is power.

  11. OK, now I'm pretending I got to take a class with you!I never worry about 1/4 inch seams. I only make liberated quilts. I oil my machine every other day ( it's a vintage Singer and deserves babying- I can hear when it needs oil), I change the rotary blade when I have to press to cut, and I wish as a beginner, I had know about liberated quilting! Before that, I hated to sew! I usually buy 1 yard cuts, I buy mostly solids and I have bought full priced fabric (other than solids) four times in the last 6 months. I have more fun with more fabric! I also use you scrap users system, and when I have less than a 1/3 yard, I cut it down to 3.5 and 2.5 inches, or 5 inch squares. I guess all of the above is why I'm too chicken to join a guild or go to a meeting! They'd just laugh at me!

  12. Penny Jones2:38 PM EDT

    BOA is not the only one - Suntrust is going to start doing the same thing! Love all your quilts and really do enjoy your workshops as well...

  13. Anonymous6:24 PM EDT

    Welcome to our world of banking, we have been making our banks richer for many years.....


  14. Sounds like you had a great class! I took my first quilting class about 4 years ago. After finishing the class, I had a period of about 6 weeks in between jobs. My husband challenged me to make a quilt for him during that time. I finally found just the right pattern for him - Crayon Box! It went so quickly and easily that I was hooked. Most of the quilts I have made are your patterns...your instructions are easy to follow and they look beautiful! (I did learn a lot about bias edges from Hidden Spools!) I love listening to other quilters tell stories. I always learn something useful. You can never know it all!!!

  15. Bonnie, this might be a great question for you to answer "publicly", as I am sure there are others who would like your take on this... I notice you have several featherweights as well as other machines you travel with. Do you believe that one should start and finish a quilt on ONE machine, or if you are accurate enough with your quarter inch, can you swap back and forth.. What do you do??? Cathy in TN

  16. Bonnie, sounds like that class was a lot of fun. Like even more fun than your usual classes. I was teaching beginners on Sunday. It is so much fun to help someone make their first quilt.


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