Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jamestown Landing at VCQ

Even though Jamestown Landing has recently appeared in Australian Homespun Magazine – I designed this one with the Virginia Consortium of Quilters Celebration 2012 in mind!

The theme this year is “Let’s Make History” and focuses on the various aspects of history within the state of Virginia --- so it’s been fun to have this quilt waiting on the back burner for this event.

It had to be shipped home early to me from Kansas City Star ---it will be in the next book due out in July for those wondering.

Today was the “maiden voyage” of this class--- and I learned many things. Most of all?

It can confuse students if you give them too many options and they can’t make a decision on how to proceed.

Knowing that if I say “We are only going to make triangles this way in class today” ---several will balk and say “But I don’t like that way, I only like to do it THIS way” --- I give lots of options, and after a while everyone settles into it, some feeling brave enough to try new things, some doing it the way they’ve always done it, or what works for them ----and all was well after we got going. It’s just giving them options at the get go leaves some befuddled on which way to start.

We started with string blocks…LOTS of string blocks! And here is where I gave options….of course, I’m telling people how my thought process works and it goes like this…

I was working with left over half page flyers that measured 5.5” X 8.5”, so I cut two 4” squares the finished size of the block from each paper, beccause it was the best use of the paper and I don’t care for paper in my seam allowance. I over piece my blocks and trim 1/4” beyond the paper.

BUT.... if you have a doodle pad that measures 9” X 12” You can either cut 4 4.5” squares ((They WILL have the seam allownace included)) or 4 4” squares --- ((Which will NOT have the seam allowance included)) or if you really want to speed piece……cut a 9” square, cover it with strings, trim it to 9” and then cut it into 4 4.5” units.

Some --- are now going "HUuuhhhhh?!"

OH, your phone book paper measures 8.5” X 11”? That’s no problem…you can get 4 4” squares out if each page without seam allowance added…..or….cut an 8.5” square and just remember to let your strings extend at least 1/2” beyond the edges of the paper so you can trim it to 9” and then into 4 4.5” squares.

Would you be confused? Or would options be helpful?

Anyway, I’m sure they all thought I was nuts, but everyone got the hang of what we were doing after a while!

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Sooooo--- the first half of the day we pieced strings --- however we decided to do them, and many “aha!” moments were had by all as they discovered that just using “tone on tone” fabrics in the shades of beige to oatmeal leaves one with a rather boring background!

Then the trading began, and varieties increased, and people were happier with the mix of what they had going on, and many are going back home to dig into the "DEEP" stash to include things that they thought would NOT be suitable, but are going to be the thing to put LIFE and EXCITEMENT back into the quilt. That’s a win for all!

After lunch we got down and dirty with the easy angle ruler --- and I am happy to say that we have CONVERTS! Many of them! Some who admit to formerly preferring to “Sew big and sliver trim down everything to size” now see how much better it is to cut right, sew right, BE DONE! I feel really good about that.

We sewed triangles….turned them into broken dishes units, turned those into positive and negative stars and had a great time!

Take a look at what we got up to:

One of our quilters WINS the prize for bringing the BIGGEST piece of millenium fabric to use up! I think she was trying to trade it out with other students, but so far there were no takers..LOL

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By the end of the day, I think they were waiting for class to be OVER, because they were sewing together 4 layers instead of 2 in an effort to move em out!

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Ooops! This just will NOT do! LOL!

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I tell ya what though --- I cleaned up on all the string block trimmings --- these neutrals are going to be perfect for the “Wild & Goosey” paper pieced blocks I’m working on! And no, I didn’t dig them out of the trash ---well, okay, maybe some!

Today is Smith Mountain Morning day. It’s another full class, and I know it’s going to be another whopping good time……

What’s up for your Saturday? Enjoy it, whatever you get up to!


  1. Anonymous7:22 AM EDT

    Absolutely glorious! And the blue and tan mix is perfect. What a treasure!

    Bonnie, awhile back, I was reading something from a quilt historian. Apparently the phrase 'Buff (Tans) and blue, and you too?" was how you could declare you were a Patriot in the Revolutionary War era! WHY on earth? Because the uniforms of the Americans, those that had uniforms, were exactly that: buff and blue!

    It seems that this combo is still an all time American favorite. It sure is around our house lol.

    THANK YOU for the preview -- I see yet another Bonnie Book coming to my shelves :)


  2. oh boy! you just gave me a great idea for how to use my buffs and blues! i love this quilt. It's sooo pretty and it looks so easy to make.

  3. Anonymous8:15 AM EDT


    I am a visual person, I would have been confused at just hearing the instructions.

    I love that quilt; your next book is on my wish list, only 3 months to wait...


  4. Love the quilt and the color combo, can't wait for the book. I am going to watch the grand kids play volleyball and then rush home to do some sewing on a quilt for one of them. I do my best work in the mornings, finish a project for one of my charities using red. Church and a lovely dinner with my DH.

  5. once again, it looks like you had a lot of fun! I hadn't yet seen that jamestown quilt and I love it! Will you have copies of your books with you at Williamsburg? I have the Leader-Ender book and would like to get the shirtails and your new one too!
    I'm heading over to Bell Buckle today with a group to go antiquing and some of us will stop at a quilt shop on the way back!

  6. I love this quilt...can't wait for the book to come out!! You are having WAY too much fun!

  7. I love all the color combos and the variety of containers. Snapware rules!

  8. Oh those are amazing! Now I'm concerned, I'm taking your class in June, "Jared takes a Wife" and I'm not sure what I should bring to class!

  9. I love the quilt-colors and pattern work beautifully. I will be buying the book. I love scrappy quilts and this will be a fabulous quilt to make from scraps. Thanks for all you inspiring designs.

  10. One day I too will learn that easy angle ruler...one day!! Love this quilt!!

  11. ...and I finally got all the blocks done for the Jubilee quilt...(both quilts) I posted pics today, soooo glad I decided to join you on that one!!! I am loving it!!

  12. Edie Gorzo4:30 PM EDT

    Your class looks like too much fun, Can that be possible???? I really enjoy reading your blogs. I do have a question for you, do you have a pattern for your Wild & Goosey Pattern, is it in one of your books? I would really be interested in the pattern to use up some of my crumbs.

    Thanks Edie

  13. I would have understood your directions just fine.

    Absolutely love this quilt - so glad it will be in your next book! :)


  14. I've been sorting through my stash the last few days and came across the cutest millenium fabric, Kitty Cucumber! I've got about a yard of it and need to use it up!

  15. Anonymous10:03 PM EDT

    Love your box of reclaimed (to be repurposed) scraps!! I have a quilt I make from the excessive trim offs of fellow class members from a class years ago. One of these days I am going to start sewing with crumbs and then my kids are going to have me committed! (as long as my machine and "junk" goes with me, I don't care! LOL)
    BEV (kwiltpharm@aol.com)

  16. That quilt is GORGEOUS Bonnie!! Less than 100 sleeps until the book comes out!!!

  17. Bonnie, your slideshows are always inspirational! This one really shows that adventuresome neutrals are better than boring, but I still find myself selecting "safe" neutrals that look like oatmeal. LOL! Some day I'll learn!

  18. Anonymous8:19 AM EDT

    LOVE this quilt! I will definitely be making it. Can you tell us if the string blocks are 4 1/2" unfinished as you mention in this post? I could start in on those and have fun waiting for the pattern to come out! Thank you - your quilts are so inspiring. Nancy njnielsen@comcast.net

  19. I was really hoping not to love the pictures so I wouldn't have to add it to my list. I love blue. Always. I must say that I was really loving the green too.
    Thanks for all the wonderful patterns.
    BTW, I teach beginners and I mostly can't give them choices or they really get that deer in the headlight look. So I usually just tell them that there are many ways to do things and to try new methods.

  20. I can't wait for the new book -- does it have a title yet?


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