Friday, November 08, 2013

Show and Share Across the Pond!

Some mornings there are things I dread seeing in my inbox first thing --- bills, invoices, SURVEYS! 

Don’t even get me started on surveys---

Yes, Staples, I bought a $10 pair of ear buds, and now you want me to take 20 minutes to complete your survey on how I liked my shopping experience?  Leave me ALONE!

Does ANYONE enjoy those surveys?

Sometimes when on hold with some automated voice mail re-directory system, they even have the nerve to ask if I want to stay on the line LONGER to answer a “Short survey” at the end. 

Ummmmmm. NO.

Some places circle the number to call on the bottom of your receipt so you can take a “quick survey” and be entered in a drawing to win $5,000.00.  Does anyone ever win those things?

But there are days ---when I wake up to an inbox full of pieced wonder in a delightful rainbow of colors ---like the email I got the other day from Stephen in London!

He writes:

You seem to be an early riser, and I am most certainly not, but I hope the time difference will allow me to get this into your Inbox before you awake! 
These are some tops I photographed yesterday, and I hope you enjoy looking at them - three are to your designs, slightly reduced in size, and the colours tweaked to suit my taste and my stash.
As for the other two, well, the Monkey Tails quilt I just saw online (in blues and whites) and could not resist, although I DID get very bored making all those spiral blocks the same, and the Walkabout block comes from a book by Nancy J Martin, turned into a rainbow to use up the myriad of patches I received some years ago through a postal swap.  Enjoy!
Very best wishes,
In my mind I’m trying to read this email with a very debonair accent, only I don’t recall whether it should be poshly  British because he is in London, or if it will be suavely South African, because I know his mum is down there.

Whatever it is, it beats my “can’t knock the Minnesota out of the girl no matter how long she has lived away from her birthplace” accent!

Let’s see these quilts!


Stephen’s Roll Roll Cotton Boll from String Fling.

I love the soft yellow greens he used.  Amazing how different it looks just by changing the color scheme!  But then – guys don’t have to sew pink.  They can choose their own color way!


Lazy Sunday!

Lazy Sunday ran through 4 issues of Quiltmaker Magazine in the past year as a Mystery.  You will also find Lazy Sunday featured in my new book being released this coming Spring 2014.  My colors were limes, purples, hot pink and orange and turquoise…but I am loving the rusty peaches and soft sage greens and golds in this rendition.  It’s truly lovely!

And did you notice that mitered inner border?  That's a touch that I didn't do on mine, but he went the extra step -- perfection!


I’m learning what colors Stephen likes to stash!

This is Orca Bay from String Fling.

The autumn tones are so reminiscent of the gorgeous fall leaves I saw in Colorado and around North Carolina over the past couple of weeks.  My colors for Orca Bay were Blue, Red, Black and Neutral.  But as with any of my mysteries you are not limited solely to the color choices I was working with.

I know I do mysteries a bit differently than other designers.  I love to play with color families.  I don’t really DO Light/Medium/Dark or choosing things from a focal fabric.  Just pick colors that YOU like together.  This quilt would have worked even if he had swapped the color positions because all the colors contrast with each other.  He could have used the rusty reds where the yellows are, and the yellows where the reds are ---as long as he is consistent, the design is going to work, so keep that in mind for Celtic Solstice coming up.

Most mysteries from other people also don’t tell you things like “make sure that your yellow and orange stand out against each other”.  I try to give you some clues so you have MORE to work with.  I hope that helps you make successful choices.  But please remember that this is STILL a mystery, so I can not tell you how many strips to cut of what size ahead of time, or exactly how many different oranges you should use.  It’s a mystery that will unfold one step at a time.

I have had many questions about the “smallest” strip you can use up in this project as that would help people when digging into stash what they could use.  So I will tell you.  JUST THIS ONE CLUE.

The smallest size strip you need for Celtic Solstice is 2”.  You will need some larger, and I’m not giving sizes yet – it’s a mystery for a reason, remember?  But I can tell you that we will not be sewing with anything less than 2” widths.

If you use the Scrap User’s System in your quilting area, and you have 2” strips on hand in the colors I gave you, you can include those in your yardage for the quilt.

More from Stephen:


I think this is a Shakespeare in the Park variation – isn't it lovely?

The golds are calling to me….such warmth!


A rainbow explosion!

I’ve never done a rainbow quilt like this but let your eyes follow over each diagonal row and see the subtle changes that occur as one color melds into the next ---brilliant!

Thanks for sharing your love of patchwork and color with all of us, Stephen!  I am gobsmacked to say the least!

This morning I am out the door for a Jamestown Landing workshop with the Rio Grande Valley Quilters!  It promises to be a fun day and I am ready to throw myself into it!

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  1. Stephen truly has talent and an eye for colors! Beautiful quilts...

    About surveys, I ask if the person is being paid who is taking the survey ... of course "Yes"...I explain MY FEE is $75.00 per hour, min. of 2 hours to respond to the survey... "Do you have the authorization to pay my fee" ... You should hear the silence...and/or mumbling. It is worth a few seconds on phone to zing them. Email survey ...no way!!! They won't pay my "FEE" either!


    1. now that is a super answer

    2. Julie, I LOVE your idea. Wish I had thought of it.

  2. Love those quilts Stephen. Great job! Even if you got bored with the "trails or tails" the quilt was worth ir.

  3. I am so loving these! Thank you for sharing!

  4. One time my employer, a big Federal department, called for a survey about the service I got dealing with a royal mess of a payroll issue. It was the wrong time to call me because I got really awful service and the problem was nowhere near fixed. I gave the caller a big piece of my mind and it was elevated to his supervisor and then elevated to a manager in the payroll department. I ended up skipping several levels of management. I still feel a little bad for the intern that had to make that original call.

    I remember issues like this when they talk about the Affordable Care Act. If my agency could not fix payroll issues, what can I expect?

  5. I love the color choices!! Beautiful job!!

  6. Wow, that is talent the quilts are lovely. Enjoy your day.

  7. WOW!! LOVE your quilts, Stephen!

  8. Bonnie, thank you so much for sharing these gorgeous quilts, and Stephen, for sending them for us to enjoy. It is always nice to see a different colorway, because sometimes it is hard to visualize it in any other way than seeing the actual quilt.

  9. Yes Bonnie thank you for sharing this with us. A lovely tour of color and delight.

  10. Thanks for sharing Stephen's quilts. Gorgeous.... Love his color choices!
    Have a good workshop today!

  11. Great answer, Julie! :-) Stephen's quilts are gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing! Have a wonderful day, Bonnie!

  12. Wow! I love seeing other guys that quilt! Those are beautiful renditions of your designs along with the other two. YIPPEE SKIPPEE! A BONUS CLUE! YAHOOOOOOO! I am sure this will make SEVERAL people happy! Enjoy your time in TX!

  13. I don't so surveys either.....Where are you from in MN? I am born, raised and have lived in MN all my life and LOVE it, except when it is so cold your breath freezes...Good time to stay indoors and quilt!!!!

  14. Don't like the phone surveys either but since many of the callers are disabled minimum wage workers I will take a few minutes. Sometimes they must have a minimum number of responses for the day. And even if I am declining I try to be polite about it. Not a job I want to do!!

  15. Wow, those quilts are all gorgeous!! Awesome work, Stephen!!

  16. Love his Orca Bay! Looks like a stained glass window.

  17. Bonnie and I have the same feelings about surveys. I especially dislike when they call at 9 pm or later. I'm not nice then. Stephen is an excellent quilter with a great eye for color. I hope I'm half as good as he is someday. And regarding accents, I'm a KY gal who will always sound country..it's just part of who I am.

  18. Thank you Bonnie and everyone else for all the compliments, so glad you liked them. My accent varies, as I also work as an actor, but I'm usually told that I sound like the BBC World Service, crisp and clear!

  19. Stephen's quilts are amazing! I love his color palette's in each quilt. They are all beautifully done.

  20. Stephen has a gift for color choices, you go! Loved seeing them. Happy patterns, they all just sparkle.

  21. I always say, "I NEVER answer ANY questions on the phone!" Please take me off your list."

  22. Beautiful quilts!! Thanks for sharing.

  23. This is just too too coincidental! I just now (Friday eat 6:45pm) dropped into Quiltville....and yet this morning when I went onto Pinterest there was Stephen's quilts! And I PINNED them! I like the colors - thanks!!!

  24. gorgeous !!! think i am going to make another easy street down the road sometime with different colors


  25. Love your work, Stephen! Thanks for sharing to you and Bonnie!

  26. Stephen - They are gorgeous! You did a fabulous job!

  27. I really enjoyed seeing Stephen's color choices for your quilts. It's always fun to see other's take on the same pattern. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Wow! Beautiful colors & wonderful piecing. Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed looking at Stephen's perfect quilts...

  29. What a wonderful blog post to start the day with. Thank you for sharing your beautiful quilts, Stephen.

    AndiRae in MN

  30. OH I did love those quilts! I Have to say that color choices for any quilt is a problem for me. I need to "see" the end result or it is hard for me.
    Mystery's I have only done one and I followed your color scheme, the person how received it loved it, but I didn't enjoy making it bc of the apprehension r/t my insecurity of color. I had to TRUST (always hard for me) you that it would be OK. That was good for me, but also hard.... I have to laugh at myself over that. BC no one has ever returned a quilt or refused one from me. just my insecuritys....

  31. Love those quilts from Stephen. Thank you for sharing. Wish I had his gift for using color.

  32. Bonnie!! Thank you for showing us Stephen's beautiful quilts! Your designs look terrific and he has a wonderful talent for using these great colours to create movement!! It is so nice to see a blending of talent from you both!!

  33. WOW! Stephen's quilts are absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing them Bonnie and Stephen


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