Monday, July 21, 2014

Please Don’t Feed the QUILTER!!

Yes, I know this says Don’t Feed the ANIMALS…but that’s just because someone hasn’t as of yet made a sign that says “Keep Calm and Don’t Feed the QUILTER!”

It’s nearly the same thing really ---

The way we ravenously gather up all the fabric during a fat-quarter sale, or in my case, squirrel away every spare morsel of scrap fabric just because it might be useful somewhere in some project some day.

And Quilters are such giving, helpful enablers!

Even when I put myself on a fabric diet, I end up with groups of women GIFTING me huge bags, bins and boxes of scraps….

And yes, they DO arrive on my doorstep with no return address!

And then after months of travel, and being unable to really spend time putting not only my purchases away, but finding places for things like the following:

**NOTE**  These images may be disturbing to young budding quilters.  Parental supervision is recommended.


Gifted bags of scraps, gladfully, gleefully accepted…waiting to be sorted and cut down.


Every horizontal surface piled high with fat quarters, yardage and scraps….DAUNTING!


Piles and totes, saved gift bags ((Too cute, must keep!)) and a white plastic bag of gifted strings.

This is all AWESOME STUFF!  We can’t get rid of it – oh no…there has to be a way to use this!  If I can just find a way to organize it, things will be better, and I will be able to breathe in the fresh air and creativity will fill the studio!


But when I turn around, I find MORE!!  *SIGH*

This is why I am saying….PLEASE DON’T FEED THE QUILTER!

This is ALL great stuff.  These gifted bits and pieces are every bit as good as the new yardage coming off the bolt.  I love to work with small pieces, and the more variety the better…there are going to be AWESOME quilts coming out of the studio….

But this Quilter is OVERLY BLESSED and overwhelmed.


Did you notice the stack of phone books on the chair?  Yes ---I bring home gifted phone books too, because I just can’t say no!  I had one lady disappointed that I only took two out of her burgeoning trunk of phone books…she said she had saved them ALL for me.  Didn't I want them all?  I took TWO.  TWO to add to the stack of 47 that are in the closet, because you know – they just might stop MAKING phone books some day.  And, if you have big ones that can give me an 8.5” square…I’ll still not turn it down! LOL!



My table is nearly clean!  Just some FQ’s remain.

((But all those scraps still need sorting and I leave for Illinois on Wednesday ---))


Basement view from other corner.

I showed photos of the OTHER side of the studio where the long arm, my computer, and my sewing machines are HERE and HERE.  

This not-often-seen side is where my fabric is, where my machine fleet resides, and where I do a lot of fabric cutting on the white table you see here..it’s up on bed risers to get it the right height for me.


Don’t Count the Machines!!  LOL!

I’ve reached saturation level on machines and am OUT of the acquisition business – that is unless something really mind blowing comes my way at a “nearly free” price.  I may start re-homing these at some point.  But right now…



Room from OTHER Corner.

You can see the design wall..and the place where the cat jumped at a block and gave D-Cups to my wall.  Silly cat!

On the other side of the stairwell that leads up to he kitchen is a little treadle vignette:


My Davis Machine in the cabinet, the Eatonia on top.

And through that door way you see there is the “OTHER SIDE” where I sew and have my computer.


This is how I store my most used rulers!

Originally, it was a little paper plate and napkin holder for picnics…my mom painted it up quilty for me, and I love it for my rulers – it sits on the end of my cutting table with the ones I use most close at hand.

I feel better now that I’ve gone through some of this stuff.  But there is still so much more to do:



Have a great evening, everyone!

Happy in the Studio ---

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

Click Here to join our sister group, Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook, a place to Sew, Share & Grow!!


  1. Bonnie and her feeders,

    If you ever need a place to send your scraps add me to your list. My husband and I make lap robes for the local nursing home and donations are always appreciated. I had to put myself on a no more fabric aquistion budget so I can buy batttings and backing.

    We love your patterns as they are so perfect for what we do.
    Upstate NY

  2. I feel your joy - and pain! As a Project Linus rep, I too am gifted with scraps and strings, fat quarters and even yardage! I'm so grateful for all of this, but like you, need to 'deal with it' straightaway, otherwise I'd be overwhelmed! Organisation is the key. Thank goodness for the scrap users system!

  3. Anonymous6:21 PM EDT

    Bonnie, I understand your dilemma.....while it is wonderful to be gifted the bounty, eventually it becomes overwhelming. I collect scraps from 2 guilds and other people and sort it ....giving some to a mission in Mexico and some go into pet beds for the local shelters and some ends up in my boxes that are getting difficult to sort and store. I am going to have some of the wealth at the guild boutique at our quilt show and persons can stuff a bag and buy it by the bag and they can pick and choose what they want....but I don't know how well that will go toward decreasing the accumulation!
    Rosalie rjoehnk@txwinet.com

  4. Oh Bonnie! I cant stop laughing!! What a great post! You are hilarious! I have always wanted to ask you about where you store your machines and now I know, so flipping AWESOME! I finished my Spider Web quilt (the one I wrote the Blast Bonnie Hunter Blog post about) this morning so it is ready to go to Sue Daurio for longarm quilting that I won in the Hands to Help Challenge. Glad you got your space put back together! Happy Monday!

  5. So I showed your pictures to my hubby. The only one he commented on was the sewing machines. He said: "good grief. She has over 50 on those shelves!" Lol.

  6. That cracks me up! While I too love free fabric and some is gifted to me here and there, it IS alot of work to go through and organize so I can see where the feeding needs to stop! LOL :)

  7. Dear Bonnie...I am a fairly new quilter and everybody gives me the material they have picked over. Gosh! I have some of the greatest stuff now! Should I give you my mailing address? LOL

  8. OMG! I have nothing else to say. Mary in Boston.
    p.s. I promise to keep my scraps to myself. :-)))

  9. I won't send you a thing! Promise!
    Thanks for showing your machine stash. I have about 15, all vintage but one. They are fun (and addictive!)

  10. Wow, Bonnie, just WOW! I love reading about your love for antique sewing machines, but have a tredle that was in the family for over 60 years and I have never even tried it out. I love my Brother 8500 sewing machine. I also have friends that have gifted me shopping bags full of fabric, but nothing that compares to yours. Who better should it go to! If you ever have too much, however, there are ladies guilds that quilt for World Relief and I am sure they would accept some of it! Last year I had a goal of making 1 quilt a month to donate to a cause. Didn't live up to the goal, but I did donate 3 quilts. Keep quilting...it's a Wonderful and worthwhile hobby and you make many of us very happy with your posts. Can't wait for the new mystery quilt this year, it will be my fourth one!!!

  11. just my opinion but I think people should ask you if you want all those scrap bags and totes before them send them - just because you do scrap quilts doesn't mean you want everyone's unwanted things.

  12. oh I wish we could just have a big ol party and use up all that scrap goodness to make a gigantic pile of charity quilts... a whole bunch of quilters like santa's elves... but somehow I know that even after that, you'd have more scrap than when we started!!!!

    hmmm - a serious thought - some companies have a "charity foundation" that affiliates with them... what if Quiltville had a "charity quilt wing"? Someone or some group who were your designates to use your excess for some noble purpose... just an idea, friend - at the end of the day, you just do with it whatever suits your fancy!

  13. You're giving my spirits a much needed lift tonight! Thank you! And Hey - they can feed THIS quilter for a while - my scraps are getting boring and I'm beginning to resort to *gasp* NEW fabric.

    Take care and I can't wait for quilt cam tomorrow night!


  14. Your space is so gorgeous Bonnie, even if it does sometimes require parental guidance, LOL. You are so funny that I laughed quite a few times reading this.
    Thank goodness you are such a well organized quilter!

  15. For those looking to get rid of their scraps and stash, remember your local thrift stores!! We have 2 arts and crafts thrift stores where I live in NC (Durham Scrap Exchange and Cary Creative Center) and I'm sure there are many such nonprofits around the country who could benefit from your cast-offs!!

  16. I know this is not a great idea, but when you do a class, could you take a bag (truck load!!?) or two or unsorted scraps and let your students take them home?? Win/win I would think!! You get to clear out some of your gifted fabric by re-gifting it, and who would not remember a class by you, and the fabric they got when they were there???

    Just a thought. ((hug)) ~Brenda!!

  17. Anonymous9:37 PM EDT

    If you decide you just can't cope with the overflow, email me and I'll be glad to help you out. We could meet for lunch and have a mini TOGA (I am in Denton so just name the place!) I am attempting to finish a king size yoyo quilt with every yoyo a different fabric. When you only need a 5 inch piece of fabric but you need 4500 of them, it takes a while. I am approximately half way there but it has taken me five years to get there and I surely hope the last half goes faster. Just got an iPad so now I can actually watch Quilt Cam and sew along with you. Thanks for sharing your time with us.

  18. I saw lots of turquoise scraps in all your piles of fabric-oooooh, gonna be something fantastic! You can always have blog sale!

  19. I promise I won't send you mine, I am trying to build a stash but your free patterns have me using even my tiny strings, so I make as many blocks as I can then have to wait until I can gather up some more, so you won't get any of mine.

  20. LOL! I have a few friends that drop off fabric boxes on my porch with out ringing the bell; but I don't have your problem. Maybe stuff some scraps in with every book order and see if that help tames the pile. I think your peeps will love to be able to say " Bonnie gave me that scrap".

  21. Anonymous9:56 PM EDT

    Keep the phone books for yourselves! Too cheap (or too clever?) to buy an extension bed for my machine, I stack phone books around it & cover them with vinyl to make them slippery. You need quite a few of the right sizes to make a good "table." But it works!

  22. Maybe stuff some scraps in with every book order and see if that help tames the pile. I think your peeps will love to be able to say " Bonnie gave me that scrap".

    That's a GREAT idea! :)

  23. Ok. Seriously? How many of actually stopped and counted the machines after reading DON'T COUNT THE MACHINES? Really?? ;)

  24. Oh my goodness,seeing all those scraps just makes your heart race. What fun it would be to dig through those boxes and bags. I just recently started quilting,so I could use up the scraps I have from making clothes for my children and grandchildren . I just love it. I wish I had started quilting earlier in life. I'm 56 , a beginner and loving it.

  25. I just loved your post! When I saw the title I thought it meant all the yummy food you have been eating on your travels and whilst you were holed up at the cabin with your quilty friends. However, I can see your dilemma! So many scraps, so much yardage and FQs, even a multitude of phone books and sewing machines. Now I understand how you can keep pulling out armfuls of strings and scraps for your string quilts on Quilt Cam. But, how tidy you have made your studio in such short order. You are a very fast worker! Looking forward to drooling over more of your scraps next Quilt Cam!

  26. Oh to have such generous people to send in scraps. I wish it would happen to me. I am so envious when I watch quilt cam because you always have such an array of colors. I do appreciate though that it can become too overwhelming. I would love to have such a wonderful area to store and sew that was purely dedicated to me. Thank you for all your tales, I look forward to your blog posts.

  27. Sandra Kerrod5:36 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie, thanks for showing us your studio. You've made me very jealous! I have to wait till middle son leaves home and pinch his bedroom!
    Take care
    Sandra K

  28. Anonymous6:00 AM EDT

    I understand what you mean! I just have my mom giving me scraps, and combined with my own I'm already having a hard time keeping up LOL. Each time I have made a decent dent in them, she brings along another box. I'd definately be overwhelmed if I kept receiving scraps at the rate you are ;-).

  29. Wow Bonnie! I think it would be great to see a video of you sorting all those scraps to help those of us who have ours all in one big bunch.

    I'm currently in the process of resorting all my fabrics (not scraps) and they are now in my living room waiting for me to sort through. I don't know where to start on how to decide exactly how to sort/store them as they're going into storage bins now. Watching how you sort those scraps with so many colors and designs may help.

    And the machines! I won't count them, but what I want to know is what the brand is of those shelves that are holding all those machines and the amount of weight without any bowing of those shelves at all.

  30. i see you have more than enough for 2 so i'll gladly and unselfishly volunteer to come and play!

  31. Oh I wish I would have had a few of those scraps. I'm just finishing up the blocks for a scrappy 4patch and tri recs. Good luck sorting and have fun playing with them all.

  32. I'd take some of those excess scraps. LOL Hey start another tab at the top of your blog and let folks list their addys or emails to accept scraps. That would lighten your load. LOL

  33. Anonymous7:53 AM EDT

    Thanks for the pics and they make me feel so much better! I am not alone. Judi


  34. Dearest Bonnie, admitting your problem is the first step towards recovery!!! LOL Seriously though...49 SEWING MACHINES?? By my count, and I'm sure there are more lurking in the corners of your wonderful home, and this doesn't include your getaway space. So if I'm figuring correctly, you have enough backup machines to use up all of the fabric you have and will ever have to make wonderful creations until the Lord decides He wants you to make Him one from discarded Angel's robes!


  35. I wouldn't feel like I had to use all those scraps. I would stuff old pillowcases full, sew the ends closed and donate to the local animal shelter. You know more scraps will come to you no matter what you say. There are too many out there that will think she didn't mean she didn't want my scraps. LOL

  36. Wonderful display Bonnie. I know a good home right down the road from you that would gladly rehome one of those featherweights (Wink, Wink). I have 2 vintage machines (a Singer 99 and a Standard brand) that I have picked up local but the featherweight has eluded me each time and now I think perhaps I know where they may all be going.

  37. Anonymous9:11 AM EDT

    Wow, what a wonderful "studio" to cave away in and sew! Um, you can box up any of those scraps and send to me - I will pay for postage!!! You are definitely blessed with gifts of scraps! Anne Marsaw famarsaw@aol.com

  38. I showed my husband the pictures of your room and sewing machines.... told him he could no longer complain about how much I have! LOL! Thanks Bonnie

  39. Our church quilt guild is always looking for donations! Oh the sorting that has to happen. We do get things but sometimes it is what should have been thrown in the trash, you know the stuff I mean. We DO sometimes get fabric that's usable in string quilts and scrap quilts. Think and ask before you donate. One girl's treasure can be another's nightmare! Your stuff looks good. I'll send you postage money... lol!

  40. Great post to read with my first cup of coffee
    (well, decaf as I am off caffeine )
    My long-arm quilter friend gave me three bags of scraps several years ago
    My adult daughter and I have spent three years using these treasures in quilts, wallhangings, placemats, and even mug rugs
    Just now
    As I am beginning your Spiderweb pattern
    I'm afraid of running low on variety
    And may even run out
    I may have to actually buy fabric to finish LOL. LOL

    My three Featherweights, one Model 15 and
    Contemporary Bernina living here in my sewing area ( previously known as the dining room.
    Love, love love you, Bonnie

  41. You are a riot!!!! Loved this post and I believe true blooded quilters know exactly what you're talking about. I had received 5 boxes (printer paper case size box)full of fabrics. Mind you I needed them since we have Comfort quilting for our church, but I sorted them and was washing them a little at a time. Well, I got my piles mixed up (that's what you get for not putting them away) So other day, I just threw them all back in the wash. I need more storage drawers!!!! See you at quilt cam!!!!!

  42. Anonymous11:36 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie! This is Gretchen K from Illinois, and I think sometimes you should make us come to you! LOL! We could have a retreat at your house or something and sew for a charity - I would make the drive for sure and we could help with the piles of scraps! I'm tempted to show the picture of the sewing machines to my husband - he will be afraid for his pocketbook because I am in awe and want a wall like that too!

  43. And I was just going to send you some, Bonnie

  44. Anonymous1:41 PM EDT

    Thanks for the chuckle! This is a fun post. You can always feed this quilter, I'm pretty new to quilting and don't have much of a stash. Keep up all the wonderful things you do.

  45. Oh Bonnie you are so lucky, wish I was near you I might be in the line for some cast-offs. I too love scraps and keep feeling "what will I do when I run out of scraps" Yikes!!! thanks for all you do for us.

  46. Bonnie and any of your donators I will gladly take any and all scraps that you are willing to share. Oh to have all those scraps!! Love the studio. I really do like those white cabinets you have fabric in, The antique dough or flour cabinet is great. Nancy J

  47. Too funny! Love the post.

  48. Liz Dale3:06 PM EST

    Funny post! If you already have a surplus of requests for all your extra scraps, I call dibs on the D cups your cat made. Mine are getting a little stretched out. ;-)


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)