Sunday, December 07, 2014

Mona’s Choice! ((Her First Quilting Experience!))

This is my good friend Mona.

Yesterday was her very first quilting experience EVER !!!
She said she “once had a sewing machine”  that was given to her…she said it lived in a cabinet but was stored and never came out and she doesn’t even know what happened to it or where it went.

Suffice it to say – Mona has had ZERO real sewing experience, which makes her the perfect student!

There were no bad habits to undo!

I taught her right off the bat that while you can use the lines on the mat to make sure something is parallel when you cut it, we don’t use the lines on the mat to measure and cut by…use the lines on the ruler.

Using the same lines to cut by on the mat again and again and again will kill not only your mat, but your blade.  QUICKLY.  Move your work around the mat, and use the lines on the ruler to measure by.

Your blades and your mat will last a lot longer!

I was able to show her how to include the width of the line ON her fabric cut, not cut with the line off of, but next to the fabric.  We want strips to come out the right width so the seam allowance works!


She sewed strip sets, reds and blues together!

A little featherweight is the perfect learning machine.  It doesn’t go TOO fast, it only has one stitch.  It has forward and backward ((if you need it)) and an adjustible stitch length.

Bobbins are easily wound.  Machine is easy to thread ---She was in sewing heaven!


And Sadie and Beanie watched on!


Both sewing!

I am working on some units out of Christmas fabrics and colors for a future book project!  Mona is chain piecing happily away on her strip sets.

I taught her about leaders & enders!  I think she gets it!


And Beanie and Sadie took naps --
This quilting thing is a LONG PROCESS!


We went from chaining 4 patches ---

I taught Mona to sew with the top seam allowance always pointing UP so the bottom one doesn’t flip with the feed dogs.  This helps with keeping seems nesting tightly!

Yes, she now knows about opposing seams to eliminate bulk and encourage seams meeting up instead of shifting!

We spun the seams on the back of the 4 patches so the centers were nice as flat.


Webbing her first block together!

She learned about webbing a block together so nothing gets turned the wrong way, and the rows are assembled in the process.

Here she is sewing the last seam of her first block!


Is she DONE yet?!



By 3:30pm She had chain pieced strip sets for nearly 60 4 patches and sub-cut them into already matched pairs by putting two strip sets right sides together, blue on red, red on blue and nesting that center seam so she could cut them into already matched pairs, ready to be fed through the machine.  Another time saver she is learning right off the bat!

Her first block measures 12.5” exactly.  Not bad for a first time girl who is being taught to measure her UNITS FIRST to see if the seam needs adjusting.

It’s a lot to take in for one day of quilting instruction and I think she did great.

She is going to make 20 blocks and set them with sashing and more 4 patch cornerstones.

We are naming this quilt Mona's Choice because she chose the design, she chose the fabrics and she chose to jump head first into this thing we call a Quilting Addiction!

She has done loads of scrap booking before this, so it's not THAT far of a leap from one to the other, is it?

Let me tell you, when I told her there would be 130 4 patches in this quilt, she didn’t give me NEAR as much whining as there has been for both Part 1 AND part 2 of Grand Illusion Mystery!

She will be back today, I need to watch her thread and unthread that featherweight a few times and wind some bobbins before I let her take it home to use while I’m back down the mountain.

I think we’ve hooked her, don’t you?

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  1. Kudos to Mona! Beanie and Sadie seem to have had a veeeeerrrrry relaxing day. I'm so glad that Sadie is back to her old self and not feeling ill. Mona's Choice is a beautiful block with all of its scrappiness! Can't wait to see the entire quilt when she is finished with it. Please show it to us when it is finished or at least show a photo of the top when Monda completes it. You are a super teacher, Bonnie! Mona is so lucky!

  2. Way to go Mona!!! You go girl!!!
    I just love it when we initiate another quilter into this wonderful addic....er...ummm....hobby! ;-)

  3. Anonymous9:21 AM EST

    It looks so fun. I noticed first she had her long white sleeves then they were pushed up and then NO sleeves at all. SNAP she is down to business!!! Looks like great fun and I know you taught her safety in using the cutter. I always get scared when teaching new ones and some do get cut.

  4. Hooray for Mona! What a beautiful job she's doing too (helps to have a great teacher, eh?)! And it looks like the pooches have their own version of "enders" and "leaders" going on their cushion! ;-)

  5. okay, I am not familiar with the term "webbing". What helpful technique am I missing?

  6. Great Job MOna! Thanks Bonnie for sharing a few of the tidbits you teach a new to quilting person... I look forward to teaching one day and hope other quilters can glean how fun it is to learn this fun craft.. Kathi
    P. S. I was a HUGE scrapbooker before becoming a quilter.. I have since sold much of that to afford more fabric!! lol

  7. Yeah Mona! But of course with one of the best teachers on the planet, how could you go wrong?

  8. So in all my years of quilting I have had several teachers tell me to use the lines on the ruler not the mat for all of the reasons that you shared but not the tip about the witdth of the line on the ruler resting on top of the fabric and not off the edge. I was wondering about this the other day when I was learning to use the Easy Angle ruler in step one of the mystery quilt as the blunt end of some of my triangles seemed too wide and the hst's were not square when sewn together. I sort of figured it out eventually but now I will make a conscious effort to place the ruler on my fabric correctly. Thank you Bonnie for being such a great teacher!

  9. Resistance is futile.... 😂

  10. Still jealous! hahahahaha!

  11. Mona did a great job!! Of course she had a great teacher.... how lucky she is to have you teaching her one on one!! I learned a few tricks of the trade, as well!! Thanks, Bonnie!

  12. Isn't it funny how Mona doesn't whine about anything. Bonnie says this is how you do this and Mona does it! What a novel approach. Mona doesn't try to re-invent the wheel. What a lovely inspiration you are, Mona.

  13. If she wants to learn quilting, no one better to teach her but the Queen!

  14. Mona---absolutely beautiful work. Thank you so much for taking us along on your adventure. I hope you have many, many more happy quilting days to come. Janet in WA (proud new owner of The Duchess, Innova 22 LS

  15. Looking good Mona ! I think your quilt will be beautiful.

  16. I learned a few things from this post as well! Great job Mona! I agree the winning gets to be too much. I am loving this mystery..my second year. This year enjoying the process and the fabric play.

  17. Go Mona! Lucky lady, you're off to a wonderful start. How most of us wish we could have such a great teacher like Bonnie when we first started sewing!
    I just love those pictures of the doggies! They look like best buddies. Too cute!
    Bonnie, you've hooked another one! LOL!!
    Vickie in Cleveland

  18. Looks like you have infected Mona with Quiltpox! Congratulations. Her first quilt looks beautiful so far. My guess is she has a running start and will make many more when this one is finished.

  19. Anonymous12:00 PM EST

    Hi Bonnie...Mona is so lucky to have the 'Queen of Quilting' teaching her the right way to sew perfect blocks. I have friends who want to learn and you've given me a perfect method to teach them. Thank you!
    Mary AA

  20. Sadie and Beanie even have smiles on their faces when they slept :-)
    Kudos to you and Mona! Great accomplishment for a sweet day!

  21. What a perfect day! Teaching and sewing with a friend and two dogs for company. Mona - Welcome to the Quilt side! You have a great teacher and a huge advantage by learning the right way from the start. Gorgeous FW - beautiful decals on that girl. Perfect machine to piece on. Hope Sadie Jane is feeling better and having some fun with Beanie.

  22. Good job, Mona! And Bonnie. :)

    Whining??? Mystery quilters know better than to whine! When your computer at work acts like it's infected with gremlins, THAT'S when you whine! I think even that is fixed now. :)

  23. I would say you have a convert, she looks very happy .

  24. "you are one of us now Mona !" hee hee hee

  25. Yay for Mona (and you, for teaching)! In my opinion, the Singer Featherweight is worth it's weight in gold. I have several sewing machines in my house, and if I was told I could ever have only ONE machine, it would be my featherweight. I absolutely love it! Wish I was Mona, with you as my teacher. But unfortunately, you WOULD have to unteach my bad habits :)

  26. What a kind Teacher you are to send your machine home with her. As for the complainers on FB, I just keep scrolling... I've missed most of the drama that way. I can hardly wait to see Mona's Choice! Have a safe trip back down the mountain.

  27. welcome to the club, Mona!

  28. Old quilter3:47 PM EST

    Old bad habits to unlearn - Hard to do and harder to teach. How great that you have a "newbie" to teach. You would not want me in one of your classes. Old dog, new tricks difficulties. lol But seriously, I've learned more than one new trick from your blogs. Thank you.

  29. Such fun! Lucky girl, Mona ... Bonnie is a GREAT teacher to start you on this wonderful addiction. Love, love, love the pooch pictures ... they are so adorable ... makes me miss my Sadie Anne all the more!! The one where they are sleeping butt to butt is adorable ;-) What a great weekend you had, Bonnie!

  30. Mona sure has the BEST quilting teacher ever!! She will be good.

    HAPPY to see Sadie Jane looking somewhat better (sleepy?). Hope she is recovering well. Let us know please.

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  31. if only you knew about the whine in this house. omg, i have set a new personal best on sighs, grrrs and #@%* *&@s. but i'm looking forward to the happy finished product. GO MONA!!, you have the best teacher in the universe.

  32. Lucky girl to have you as her teacher, nice work Mona! Glad to welcome you as a new quilter!

  33. LOVE HER BLOCK!!! We, Mr and Mrs Quilter here in NE OR are working on our quilts as we watch your archive of quiltville. He is making more 9-patches and getting ready to put sashing and cornerstones... so many words to learn meanings of for Mr Newbie. I'm his translator and draw sketches to help him understand terms. I've turned the corner on the first side of the gigantic feathered heart I'm hand quilting for the center of a future quilt. I'm working with a lap hoop, and about 40' square piece of fabric, with a stencil drawn on with mechanical pencil. Cat hair confuses me on occasion mixed in with the pale pencil marks. Really appreciate quiltcam!

  34. hooray! another convert...way to go bonnie!

  35. Mona has the best teacher!! And those dogs are absolutely sweet together. They probably wanted her to take longer to learn!

  36. Congrats Mona! You're first block looks great. Welcome to the world of quilting, I think you'll really enjoy it. Can't wait to hear more about your progress.

  37. Sounds like a great time at Quilt Villa was had by all. Mona's quilt is looking fabulous. Way to go. And as for the whinners, I can't believe that anyone would have a cause to whine. Shame on them. Don't they realize all that you do for us in putting these mysteries together. This is my fith mystery with you and have not found a reason to complain one time. Your instructions are so thorough and easy to follow, the quilts are always amazing when completed, and the friendships that are formed though the groups of quilters that get together to make the mysteries is awesome. Your generosity is second to none. Afterall, you give these to us through the goodness of your heart. Other teachers often charge a nominal fee for their mytery quilt series. So to those whiners out there, put on your big gil panties, cut your fabrics and sew your blocks together and get ready for an awesome quilt that you will fall in love with just as soon as it's put together. Life is too short to whine and be miserable. You are the only ones that are affected by your attitude. Show some respect for this wonderful, giving, caring, sharing, totally awesome woman named Bonnie Hunter. She rocks.

  38. Thank you Bonnie for the sale on your books! I bought one of each of your books for Mr Quilter and me. So we will have even more of you when we don't have you on you-tube to watch. Sometimes I just want to read something quilt related. Have a great day!

  39. Thanks for the info. I always wondered about where to set that cutting line on the ruler and now I know and that also explains why I am off a lot of the time. I have a couple of questions as I'm learning to piece and quilt. What are leaders and enders that you talked about and what do you mean by webbing? Thanks. kthurn@bektel.com

  40. What is webbing technique - delighted with your teaching Mona and I picked up some tips too! I think they will help me cut out better pieces.


  41. What a great lesson. Even us old quilters can learn from reading your post.

  42. My new and fixed computer arrived today (though I am still at work)I have missed out on blog posts and am catching up at work...I really like Mona's choice! VERY NICE and she is one lucky gal to learn things the right way off the bat. Love her block!


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