Monday, July 14, 2014

A Busy Deb in Dallas!

I met Deb a couple of years ago when she came to take the classes I was teaching at Fabric Fanatics in Plano over New Years!

I just love her bubbly fun personality and of course her love of vintage machines and all things scrappy – she is a girl after my own heart.

And I envy her beautiful red hair!

She recently sent me some photos along with this mail to share with you.

She writes:
In April I was the lucky recipient of 4 tubs of fabric for the incredible price of $4.00.  A gentleman had brought 65 boxes of fabric into the local thrift store after his wife passed.  (Perhaps there is a lesson there in us using what we have but I digress and shop). 

Tubs of Scraps!
After sorting for laundering, I came across several bags of blocks that this lovely quilter had made.  Feeling as though I needed to give honor to her in some way and show my thankfulness, I decided to make a quilt centering on her blocks and using all items that were in the tubs.
I started with basic 9 patches using some of the brown that was in her stash and working the small units I found in.  I was able to make 28 blocks – 14 with 4 units, 14 with 5 units – and had 5 units left over of which I saved 4 for corners and one I used in making the label.
 It went together nice and then I decided to sash with some off-white and yellow/cheddar cornerstones.  Only 24 blocks fit well on the front so I saved 4 for the back.  I pulled more fabrics from the tub for borders and the quilt top was complete, including the 4 corner units. 

Fabulous backing!
It was time for the back and I put the 4 leftover blocks into a square complete with sashing.  Now what?  All large yardage that she had really blessed me with is in the form of plaids.  That is what I would have to use but didn’t want to try and match plaids on all four sides of the square so decided to turn my square into a full length strip. 
I went back to the box of orphan blocks and found 8 basket blocks – 4 blue and 4 brown.  Putting these together and adding some leftover border from the front was just what I needed and the back came together nicely.
I have never felt more guided in a project.  With each step, the ideas came out of nowhere and used only items from my beneficiary.    I quilted it on my 301a and bound with more from the tub.
Somewhere along the way I decided to name this quilt “Gratitude”.
Here is where you come in.  I would be so very remiss if I did not express my gratitude to you for the confidence and understanding of quilts that you have taught me.  I saw a post earlier from you about whether you felt as though we were learning anything.  Well, I am here to testify to you that I, for one, am. 
EVERYTHING in this quilt became a reality because of what you have taught me the last couple of years and I will forever be grateful to you  for that. 
I LOVE what I am doing each day of my life now and with each stitch I take and each new task I take on, I feel more and more confident.  You are an awesome teacher and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.

Deb in Dallas
This is AWESOME how this quilt came together from all of these bits and parts and pieces that came your way!
And I know you said there was a lesson in stopping the shopping and starting the sewing with what we already have, but look what you did for this quilter!

There are days when I feel guilty about the amount of fabric that is in my basement sewing studio.  Seriously.  And then I see how much joy it brought you to receive someone else’s stash after they have passed –and I feel guilty NO MORE!

I know that someone will be the recipient of my “stash scholarship”.  And maybe we can live on and piece on in the fabric through the hands of others who will in turn make quilts to comfort others and feel the joy of just what it is to live this life as a QUILTER.
I’ll never say NO to the fabric.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Thanks for sharing Deb!  I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
I am home from the mountain.  It was close to 100 degrees outside and about 150% humidity.  BLAHHHH!!  I wish I were back up on that mountain right now!
Sadie was happy to see me, and after the massage I had this afternoon ((New therapist, awesome gal and I will be seeing her again in a couple of weeks, my tired over hiked legs approve!)) Sadie and I curled up under the cool of the ceiling fan and the a/c and crashed for a couple of hours.
I’m now into “countdown mode”.  I need to get everything done tonight and tomorrow to be ready to leave on Wednesday.
I’d LOVE to do Quilt-Cam tomorrow night – and we can plan on it, but let’s keep fingers crossed that I get everything done so we can.
Love from the Basement!

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  1. Deb did a great job of using the scraps, including the back. Bonnie, you are an inspiration to many of us to use what we have. Thanks for sharing every day.

  2. I agree with Deb. You are an AWESOME teacher! I only took the one class from you last December in Plano, but not one day has gone by that something you commented on or taught us hasn't stuck with me. (It's also where I met Deb and now I get to see her again at a retreat she is hosting this fall). You can be sure I will be in line again when enrollment opens for future classes at Fabric Fanatics!

  3. Wouldn't it be cool if Deb could find the man that donated and fabric and gift that quilt back to him??

  4. I had the exact same sentiment as Sue's Stitchin'. Probably won't happen,but so cool if it did!

  5. I agree with all f Deb's comments! In anticipation of selling our house, I closed up my sewing room and gave away half of my stash, etc, 14 tote bags, boxes, etc! I gave them all away to a newbie quilter and she thought it was Christmas In July! Best thing I ever did!
    Now, I am working on my UFOs, having cleaned up at least 5 projects in the passed 6 months since moving,
    When I look at web sites and at new fabric, I think of my UFOs and my lingering stash...
    Take care, Leslie

  6. Dear Bonnie, thank you for sharing all you do. I feel like I know you and one day i hope to meet you. I rescue vintage sewing machines. I also love quilting and am learning a lot from you. I would like to learn how to post pictures of my work, and will soon. From Rowland, N.C.

  7. Anonymous11:31 PM EDT

    What a great post, it would be nice if the gentleman who donated could be found and given the quilt, we can hope. My friends and I have an agreement as to how to handle our stashes when our number comes up. They will be invited over to clean up and sort through my sewing room taking what they want and distributing the rest to a couple of charities I've chosen. My husband was relieved to know that he wouldn't have to deal with it. LOL Jean Farley

  8. Thank you for sharing Deb's project. It was a blessing to read.

  9. Anonymous3:19 AM EDT

    So...in otherwords, we don't need to feel guilty for maintaining a stash, as someday it will become a "gift" to someone who possibly truly needs it or will truly enjoy it, as Deb did her fabulous $4.00 purchase of another woman's stash! This has just lifted a weight off my shoulders as I have worried lately that it will be a burden to my children. Ha! But, I remember just a short couple years ago, when my mother passed away, miles away from my home. The hardest thing I had to deal with, in all of her belongings, was her unfinished sewing projects. An outfit that she had cut out and pinned together for my brother's wife and pieces cut out, meant for quilt. It is as if I was bringing a close to her dreams by taking some sort of action on those projects. I brought a few home to finish myself and then I gave some away to ladies who were delighted to have them and finally, I bagged up fabric to give to the church ladies who meet every Thursday morning to quilt. It was then that I knew my Mom was smiling.

  10. Anonymous6:51 AM EDT

    Deb, your quilt of gifted fabric is a beauty. Your creative work is a testament to good old Southern ingenuity. Bonnie inspires us all and I look forward to reading her interesting adventures. Thanks Bonnie!
    Jonnie in SC

  11. I agree with all the above comments...the lovely quilt expressing gratitude and love and the excellent example Bonnie extends to us...everyone said it so well and I have to just say it again - Bonnie you are the best and most inspiring. I have a friend who recently moved to assisted living and she shared her fabrics and projects and you are right!! someone else;s fabrics and projects are FUN, exciting, challenging and great to receive... jumped right in and made her a crazy quilt as a thank you for sharing with some of her purple fabrics..she was thrilled and I loved doing it. There is hope for the world we live in and it comes from our doing and sharing! Mary in HOT Texas

  12. I so much enjoyed the story from Deb about the fabric in the bins and how she used it to make the quilt. Sometimes I think limiting yourself to using what you have is just the ticket to making a wonderful quilt. If we went out and bought yardage, the quilt might not end up as nice as the one where we used leftovers. Thanks, Bonnie, for teaching us to use all of our scraps and thanks to Deb for making the wonderful quilt.

  13. Anonymous8:45 AM EDT

    Love reading your blog every morning and found Debs quilt very inspiring. I recently retired and was very embarassed when going through my sewing room to find so many unfinished projects and sooo many "fat quarters"! I feel better now knowing that i dont have to try to finish everything just "in case" my days are numbered!!!! Hopefully someone else will "love" the projects that i don't even know why i started.

  14. What a amazing story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  15. What an wonderful story. Looking forward to quilt cam tonight.

  16. Awesome. Maybe someone reading this post will know who this man is and at least let him know what a wonderful thing Deb did with his donation.

  17. What a neat story and what a cool quilt. I had the same thought as Sue's Stitching and Mary Ellen about gifting it back to the spouse.
    When we moved to my current home I donated several bags of fabric. Sometimes I wish I had it back. I'm sure my husband is hoping I donate again soon or else make progress on my UFO's.


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