Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Out of the Murky!

These are the blocks I was working on during Quilt-Cam last night!  If you missed it, remember you can always catch the re-runs – I’ve linked them all under the Quilt-Cam at the top of the blog!

The story goes that I started these blocks a few years ago, thinking they would be an Addicted to Scraps column, but they were too labor intensive and the crumb piecing would force the column to take up more than one page - -it would be better as a full project.   So on to the back burner it went.

And stayed there.

I uncovered a couple of blocks yesterday while looking for something DIFFERENT that I could work on for Quilt-Cams because let’s face it, neutral string sashings are just BORING after a while.  There are not many more of those to do and I was just wanting something ELSE.

Ahah.  Maybe it’s time for these to come forward?


Gifted Crumb blocks.

A whole BOX of these little sort-of-log-cabn-ish blocks was gifted to me several years ago.  And I’m sorry to say they have sat.  Maybe it is because they are too predictable, too straight?  To murky? They are predominantly 1980s and 1990s “country” style prints. 

I love all of the colors in them, don’t get me wrong there, but there is just something needed to punch these up. More color.  More variety.  And ANGLES.  They are all very straight…but what to do?  So much work went into these, hours and hours, and I want to do something with them.


What if I did this?

Cut the blocks off center on the diagonal –sort of.  And build around them?? Can I bring in more color, change up the angles, make something more interesting while still using the gifted blocks?


I think I can!

While I’m doing this, I have a confession to make.  I have BINS of crumbs.  I have the hardest time letting any usable piece go.  And when I think I am just to the point where I want to just stuff it all into pillow cases to make dog beds, an idea like this comes along and I just can’t bear to throw good fabric away.  I’d rather sew it up.  Like this.


Can you even point out the murky bits now?


How about now?

Fabric DOES get dated.  It does get predictable, especially if you are sewing from one designer, one manufacturer, one line of fabric.  It’s still usable, but something I have come to firmly believe –you have to continually update older fabrics by sticking them next to something newer, something less matchy, something fun – a bit out of the ordinary.

Just say NO to boring!

So that’s my plan.  I’m slicing up these gifted blocks and using them in my own creations.  Look at it this way – it’s the chocolaty center at the middle of a tootsie pop.  Brown is good.  But it’s better next to other colors!


Kitting up block parts for retreat!

I head out tomorrow for Pennsylvania.  I’m teaching Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Mary Koval’s Quilt Shop in Bedford PA! 

I’ll be staying with her for a few days afterward, and then move on to another Pennsylvania retreat – Quilt Odyssey Retreat at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, PA!

This retreat ends the day before Labor Day, and I'll have time to sew after workshop time in the evenings, so these star parts and a bucket of crumbs are coming with me to play.  I’m not sure how many of the neutral background ones I want versus the color ones, so this will evolve as I go.

Perhaps a quilt for the NEXT book down the line?  We shall see!

It’s going to be a full day of packing and getting ready today for these two back to back events.  Remember, the drawing for the two Quilts from 100 blocks issues by Quiltmaker Magazine (AND the 5 fat quarter bundle for one lucky winner!) is TONIGHT!  If you haven’t entered yet, go leave your comment on THAT POST.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

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  1. Great idea. I had made some chunky blocks I was less than impressed with and now I think they could have new life!

  2. Nice Bonnie! Love the updated crumb stars. Have a fun time with Mary Koval and the teaching. Safe travels.

  3. You brightened up those squares for sure. The quilter who gifted them to you wouldn't recognize what they became. Thanks for Quilt Cam last night when I had no one to interrupt my fiddling. I got my HST's Trimmed and stitched a Hanging Sleeve on my Row by Row that is headed to Portland, Oregon. They requested our Row by Row Quilts for a special showing at the Northwest Quilting Expo.

  4. I've been watching and reading about Bonnie Hunter for about 2 months, now. I am hooked! Reading people's comments and also watching quilt cam is soooo satisfying. I'm a fairly new quilter. Now I'm learning why my Mother enjoyed it soooo much!

  5. This is a test to see if I can actually post a comment! My I phone and I are not on good terms!!croyviall@gmail.com love the blog!

  6. Wow, so clever Bonnie, and the final blocks are wonderful :)

  7. thank you for the give away.

  8. Watched your quilt cam this morning, great idea for crumb blocks, started making them this morning as leaders and enders while working on a scrappy log cabin. You are full of wonderful ideas, thanks for sharing with all of us.
    Diane in N. Florida

  9. Had to leave QuiltCam about half way through; maybe I can catch the rest this afternoon! I realized that I need to start making my tumblers into rows - I don't have nearly as many as Bonnie, but enough for at least one row. And I love the idea of a self border, so I'll make some all dark blocks.

  10. Very clever Gal you are! Love that idea...We are both non-conformists, I have been all my life..you learn & experience more that way I believe...You are such an inspiration for me Bonnie, and motivator I should add..Thank you, you are the Best..Oh, and I enjoyed Quiltcam last night. While listening in I made 15 yo-yo's for a coverlet..I sew 7 of them together to make a flower as I'm sure you know makes a Grandmother's garden..

    Hugs for Sadie Girl
    Debra in Ma.

  11. Anonymous4:29 PM EDT

    Hope I am actually commenting in the correct place! Please enter me in tonights drawing. Enjoyed watching last nights quilt cam this afternoon and always learn somehing new. Thanks for all the tips and encouragement.

  12. I love these stars using Crumb blocks. I am addicted to tiny scraps and, like you, can't bear to throw away even the tiniest crumb! Into my "Crumb box' they go, and I make Crumb blocks as Leaders and Enders. Always have a tin of 4" completed Crumb blocks ready for a project! I have though of using them as a centre of a star but never actually done so. Love the bright yellow surrounds - I guess you would call it Cheddar, Bonnie! I will be watching last night's QuiltCam onCatch up tonight. I live in the UK, part of the year in NZ and at the moment of holiday with the family at Disney World in Florida but busy in Downtown Disney last night!

  13. Hope I am not too late. Just received your BLOG notice. quiltnrobin@nwi.net

  14. I'm eager to see the quilt that comes from these unique blocks! Angelia

  15. Love the idea, I am going to borrow it for my charity doll quilts I will be e working on at our next day retreat in a few weeks. I am always looking for new ideas that look complicated but are easy and this technique fits the bill. Thank you for all your great ideas and inspiration.

  16. Earlier in my career of making quilts, (I'm mathematically challenged) I would make a bunch of blocks, weed out the ones that didn't have enough contrast... or whatever... (scrappy even then). Then I would make the main quilt, for the gift usually queen size. I would have left over blocks, and they went into a lap quilt, and usually there were even more, for a baby or wall quilt. The first two would be gifted, the last one was mine, to remember the making and the quilt that "got away". These small ones I would occasionally change out on the walls, or draped over furniture. I finally got the last of a rail fence quilt that I'd gifted to granddaughter #3, the lap one to sis in love, and being tired of the blocks had put them into my scrap bin. Recently got into it, and found these rail fence blocks, made a few more scrappy ones, and it goes to charity. AT LAST, off the bucket list.

  17. I love the punch of color in newer fabrics that you added to those blocks. I was amazed how much just a little strip of color added to each made the blocks usable especially as centers! Wow!

  18. NOw those were some ugly blocks until you brightened them up. Trying to figure out how you added the stars and squares! Thank you!

  19. That was an awesome turnout for your giveaway and very nice things.

    I would have done the same things with the gifted blocks and they have turned out amazing, great going on that one. Have a special time teaching for the three days, as I know you do. You are so much inspiration to me, and how you keep going at your pace boggles the mind!


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