Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Rainbow of My Blue Heavens!

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What is better than spending Valentine’s day with a gaggle of quilters?

Spending it in ARIZONA where the weather reaches 80 degrees on Valentine’s day can’t be all that bad either!

My Blue Heaven has been one of my  most popular workshops over the past 8 years that I have been traveling and teaching.  What’s not to like?  The entire quilt comes from 2.5” strips –we’ve got squares, rectangles, flying geese, half square triangles, and hour glass units.

We get to learn the ins and outs of two specialty rulers that I can’t live without – the Easy Angle and the Companion Angle rulers – and by the time day was done these ladies were pros!

I had an interesting experience on the night of my first lecture upon my arrival – the program chair, Kathy who was introducing me asked me a question that I was not quite sure how to answer: “You have been the most popular speaker and teacher I’ve ever seen here --- what makes YOU so popular?”

I wasn’t sure if I should be honored or taken aback.  I never really thought about it.  It wasn’t ever anything I set out to be or to do –it just isn’t something I ever asked myself.  I felt extremely humbled and flustered, but I thought about it a minute, and the only answer I could come up with was “Because it isn’t about ME – it’s about the quilters.  I have more stash and scraps than I will ever use up, and I know we are all in the same boat.  I just want to be one of the girls, helping them to use what they already have.”  And it's true.

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Wednesday’s Morning Crowd!

And being one of the girls is the best place to be.  I have met some of the most wonderful people while walking the room, talking to each person, watching how they are doing, offering help if I see that some is needed ---and sometimes it’s not easy in a huge gym-sized class room of 26 students to get around to everyone as quickly as they might want me to.

Sometimes I worry that a more “advanced” student may feel a bit neglected while I struggle with a new quilter who needs help with cutting, or help with her seams….that newbie might get a bit more of my attention than someone who comes with their project already half finished, but I do try to connect with each and every person in that class.

And the ladies got SO MUCH DONE!

You will find the free pattern for My Blue Heaven under the Free Patterns Tab at the top of the blog.

Click the image below if you can’t view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

My Blue Heaven, Tucson AZ 2014

I'm writing this morning from the kitchen table at my brother Mark's house.  It's still quiet, everyone one is asleep.  We'll spend the day together doing WHATEVER -- there is really no agenda, and I like it that way.

This afternoon dad will pick me back up, and we have plans for dinner and a movie.

Tomorrow morning I'm on my way to HOUSTON!!

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

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  1. Bonnie - you are a "relator" - you relate well to everyone! You have the unique gift of being someone that we all feel close to, and we all feel like we are your very best friend. That is a very special gift, and not at all common. Plus you have a personality that won't quit, and you're so cute, and you indeed are One Of Us. So happy that you came to Tucson; I look forward to seeing you again. And again. And again!

    all the best, Maria Call

  2. Love reading your blog but some days I just don't have time. An odd way to comment I know but I've been wondering why you have the shortened posts with the link to click to read the entire post now? When I have several posts to catch up on it takes forever to click back and forth and I hate to admit it but I do skip reading some posts and probably missed some of the good stuff. Please don't take this as a criticism just an observation and curious as to why you changed.

  3. Lynn, you just have to click to the post once, then once you are on the post, just click "older post" at the bottom of that post, you don't have to go back to the home page every time. Try it.

  4. Maria says it best...I had such a fabulous time...I learned things, made lots of new friends, and who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks was WRONG!!! THANKS SO VERY MUCH *~*CAROLE*~*

  5. You are a fabulous teacher Bonnie! I learned a lot more than I expected to and already see results in my quilting! You are very gracious and are one of the gals. My three days in Tuscon exceeded my expectations. Thank you for making each one of us feel special! :) Now enjoy a few days off!

  6. I am so glad I spent the $$$ to come and be taught by you in Portland last year. You make Scrappy Fun!! Did you already do the Quilt show segment, or is that happening in Houston?

  7. Well said, favorite Bonnie. Adding to my stash sale today, but promise to use it soon--right after mountain majesties, leaders/enders challenge, (hand over mouth mumbling names of many other ufo's). Best to Mark. The "mountain" quilt was started as you were finshing yours for him. I think about him and send good vibes his way every time I stitch a new seam on it. Stay away from home till the weather clears! Janet in WA

  8. Bonnie, being "one of the girls" as well as a great teacher is what everyone loves about you. I see you in jeans, tee shirts, and hiking shoes and I can so relate! In your blog posts, you write as though you're sitting across the table from someone you've known forever and you've taken thousands of us across the country and around the world with you to places we'd never get to see otherwise. Thanks for all you do!

  9. It was soooooo much fun to finally meet you in person!! I am not usually a "follower" but you are my exception... I confess to feeling a little "star struck" at first but I have never met a more incredibly warm and down-to-earth and friendly famous person... Bonnie you amaze me even more now that I have had the privilege of spending time with you in person. I learned an amazing amount in a way too short period of time, and even better, I know it will STICK and be used over and over again...
    THAN YOU for all that you do!!!
    -Maria in Tucson (the short one...)

  10. I think the comments say it all. Everyone, I am sure, is so very grateful for all you give to our wonderful hobby in such a friendly and down to earth way.
    Linda Hodges.

  11. Anonymous1:55 PM EST

    Hi Bonnie
    you have me hooked. Hook Line and sinker. I can't get enough of your blog. I took out six bins of fabric and went through and organized them from one yard of fabric or more to sorting strings and squares.
    I am now with my friend Rena, going to start cutting up all that fabric into strips of different sizes. What a scrappy way to go.
    I have a tub full of scrapes that is like throw away fabric in all sorts of sizes, so am going to cut those up into strips squares or bricks or what every I can make them. They were given to me a while
    back because even the quilters I know didnt want them because they were looking for certain sizes. Lucky me. I crave fabric and when I buy, I buy strips and fat quarters all the time.
    One they are just right for my budget and to buy any thing bigger I have too save for yardages.
    I hope to see you in Portland some day.
    Mary Ann

  12. So excited to see a multicolor Blue Heaven underway. I hope that quilter shares her finish with you so we'll get to see it again.

  13. Bonnie,

    Here's something else for you to consider as to why you are such a draw. You aren't out to sell us "your" tool, or fabric line. Your patterns work with what we already HAVE! Many quilters are not "art" quilters - we just want to make quilts that will be USED by those we love. And you encourage using your patterns like a recipe - adapt them to meet what WE want to do. I'm making a "Nine in the Middle" quilt right now with blocks from a swap at my guild. My nine patches are a little bigger than the pattern calls for but I can ADAPT your pattern - I don't have to ADOPT it! That plus we get to eat vicariously through you all over the country without consuming a single calorie! :)

  14. One thing I have noticed about you is that you always have something positive and uplifting to say about everyone's projects. I'm sure that carries over into your classes and just that verbal pat on the back is sometimes all a person needs to not feel neglected when the newbies get more attention.

  15. I absolutely loved spending the last two days with you and learning so much. My husband - my partner in choosing fabric - said I have not stopped talking about what I learned since I got home last night. I was up at 5 this morning to find some half-square triangle squares left over from a quilt I made for my great nephew. I now know how I can use them in another quilt for his mother, my niece. You have helped me to open my eyes to new ways of looking at and using fabric, in addition to how to organize it. Of course, we not only learned so much from Bonnie, but there was tons on helping and sharing of ideas among the table mates. One of the best classes I have taken from the guild. Sharon said it best in why you were such a big draw at our guild meeting - something I have felt for a long time. Many people are not art quilters and just want to make quilts that will be used and loved. Thank you again for the great time.

  16. Not everyone likes mustard... or pickles.... but Bonnie, I was at both the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings AND both workshops. They were packed because they like YOU. Why do they like you? Because you are real. Reachable. Human. Helpful. Caring. Compassionate. and best of all: FUN. It was a wonderful time. Come back SOON!!!

  17. I read all your posts and enjoy every outing because you do! And it comes through in your words and smiles. Because of your wonderful take along tour of Ireland last year my husband and I are headed off with Jim in April, I can't wait but I chose that tour and company because you had so much fun and shared it all. I hope to get to take a class with you someday but for now I love the blog.

  18. Thank you Bonnie for your reply, had not thought of that for individual posts. Guess we all need reminding of some obvious things once in a while ;-)


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