Sunday, February 26, 2012

Smith Mountain Morning in Naples!

Some workshops are a free-for-all, piece-until-you-drop day ---seam allowances aren’t crucial when you are string piecing as we were with Virginia Bound, and there are only a few steps that once learned, simply repeat to make the quilt as big or as small and as easy as you want it. The main objective? USE THE FABRIC!

Yesterday’s Smith Mountain Morning workshop was the complete opposite. A piecing challenge, and a skill builder in learning to use specialty rulers that work well not only in this particular quilt, but anywhere these traditional and oft repeated units are found.

We worked with half square triangles in 2 sizes using the Easy Angle Ruler.

We worked with quarter square triangles using the Companion Angle ruler.

We used Tri-Rec rulers to make long spikey star points with ease and precision, even if it felt like you were awkwardly rubbing your belly with one hand and patting your head with the other ---it feels odd sometimes to use new tools until you get used to them.

I was most encouraged when one quilter, who confessed to preferring to sew all of her half square triangles extra big, and sliver-trimming them all down to size ----was over the moon at the fact that her triangle units using the Easy Angle Ruler turned out “JUST RIGHT” and the only thing that needed trimming was to remove that one dog ear. That makes me feel so good!

I also had the privilege of meeting a long time email friend, Pati, and it was a big surprise to see her here! We met “back in the day” on Interquilt – a paid quilter’s email list serve that existed long before there were free “yahoo groups” and long before blogs ever existed. We figured it had to be about 1996 when we met via email, and this was the first time we saw each other face to face for real! Thanks for coming and sharing in the fun, Pati!

FtMyersFL2012 284

This was Pati’s big hint to share. She likes the Faultless MAXX spray starch. It’s got a non-clog spray bottle, gives a nice firm finish, and comes in vanilla lavender scent --- yummy!

Because this was such a skill builder class, we broke it down into chapters, and spent an hour or so working on each unit --- by the end of the day, several had one of each block done….and everyone had several units that were ready to piece into stars or alternate blocks, but they wanted to build up more variety in their fabrics within the units before they started sewing them together –take a look below and see what we got up to!

It’s a travel home day for me today ----can’t wait to get home and sleep in my own bed! I also finished up the Florabunda blocks….there wasn’t enough room to lay them out in the hotel room, so I’m looking forward to doing that at home!


  1. Thanks, Bonnie. Looking forward to taking this class at VCQ Celebration; thinking about color combos since I've done MANY blue/brown quilts, so getting some ideas from the slideshow. Have a great week!

  2. I can see I need that TriRec ruler set...

    Ever do workshops in NC?

  3. looks like a valuable class with a terrific pattern to boot!

  4. That looks like a great class! Love the pattern....

  5. Love those slide shows, with all the variety! Sure wish you could come out to the Washington state area (whine, whine) before 2015!

  6. Love how you just pick those fabrics up and use 'em!!

  7. That star block is such a beautiful star! This is the workshop I'm supposed to be doing with you this November and now you're scaring me! :/

  8. It is a beautiful day for travel with a hint of Spring in
    the air even up here where we have snow on the ground.

    The ladies will be buzzing for months about all they learned in your classes Bonnie, you are such a good teacher....time to nominate you again over at SewCalGal :0).

    Safe travels and welcome home

  9. Time to dig out those three rulers and give them a shot. We quilters are collectors of all the gadgets and forget to try them from time to time to see what we really have. Thanks for the push.....

  10. Love the quilt. What pattern are you using?

  11. Love the big star blocks!

  12. Anonymous2:17 PM EST

    love the pattern. I really like stars and log cabin. I'm just getting in to the scrappy quilts and love your boog

  13. The Smith Mountain Morning is on my bucket list! I'm putting together the components from Blue Ridge Beauty and when I started that one, I bought tons of blues just knowing that I wanted this one (I own the book)too. Thank you so very much for the slide show!


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