Friday, April 29, 2016

Some End of April Porch Treadling!

It was just a bit gusty on the porch yesterday, but I persevered!

Strips were held down with pin cushions and scissors and rotary cutters, anything with weight helping to keep them from taking flight with the next gust.

Those are storm clouds you see gathering, and I was bound and determined to get in as much porch treadling until the sky opened up.

It is very easy for me to roll the treadle out on the porch.  There is only one wall and a door way separating me from fresh air and beautiful views.  You wouldn’t think that a mere 8 feet would make that much of a difference, but it does!  I love being outside.  I love the sound of birds chirping and the feel of the breeze, and I better enjoy it now because HOT HOT HOT will be her before we know it.


Treadling  strip sets!

I’m stitching black and white sashings to frame the H blocks.  It’s my project for the weekend, and I want to get them all sashed because they’ve been down on the family room “design floor” for far too long!

I was just making good progress when THIS happened:


Now this is how we do spring in North Carolina!  But you know what? If you wait 5 minutes – you get this:


Blue skies and sunshine!

This rain came down so hard that it was blowing sideways and it did make a wet mess of the front porch.  I had just pulled the treadle back in the front door when it really let loose with rain and hail.  Fabric got a bit wet, but it will dry.

The remainder of the day was spent sewing inside!


Attaching a hanging sleeve!

I love to use the backing margins to make my hanging sleeves if possible.  It keeps extra fabric from re-entering the stash.  And it is even more fun if I can use parts of a pieced backing.

In this case I even went the extra mile and MATCHED the pieced stripe in the hanging sleeve to the stripe down the backing of the quilt.  Yeeehawwww.  Little things like this make me smile.

This quilt has now entered the binding queue, 3rd in line.  I did some stitching on the binding for the QOV auction quilt last night – made it half way around.  It needs to be completely finished and ready to go into the mail before I leave for Mackinac Island.

The GREEN quilt is partially bound, I’ll pick that one up as soon as the QOV is done, and then this grey string thing will have its turn.


Sneaky Peaky!

Remember those Plus Blocks from the American Patchwork & Quilting “It All Adds Up” challenge?  Yep.  They’re in here!  And at some point you’ll get to see what the whole thing urned out to be.  In the mean time you can marvel that I did indeed put really OLD Christmas fabric with a newer text print as well as some ancient reds mixed with newer ones in this block.  It all works!

Which brings me to another topic that I just have to get off my chest.  I got an email from another fabric company, this time NOT asking me to design fabric, I think they’ve caught on that I have no desire, because it limits what I can actually put into a quilt as a designer – you are required to make samples out of one line of fabric ONLY.  One manufacturer ONLY.  That is not fun in my book. It ties my hands and squashes my creativity.

This time XYZ fabric company wants to send me fabric to make in one of my designs and then to blog about it and to link to them and promote them through making my quilt.  I don’t think THEY understand that this is not the way I work.  I’d have to make the quilt out of just what they send me.  Free fabric is great, but I need to sew the WHOLE ZOO.  The old, the new, the vintage looking, the modern feeling, the whole ball of wax.  I just can’t sew from one line of fabric.  I just can’t.

It’s not that i don’t like those fabrics, I do! I like them all.  I just want to be free to mix and match things the way *I* want to ….I just can’t do a “paint by number” quilt.  Give me the fabric, fine…but let me add to it what I feel needs added to it to make the quilt MINE, not a walking talking billboard for a fabric designer or manufacturer.  I LOVE the fabric.  The designers are brilliant and the fabric is lovely.  This is no way a put-down to the manufacturer.  I just want the freedom to put what I like with what else I like.

I’m still thinking on how to reply in a way that doesn’t make them feel I am ungrateful.  I just need a bigger box than that to play in. 

Does that make sense to anyone?


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

To those who don't understand this passion called quilting, it must seem like a strange thing indeed. However, as I follow the pull of my inner voice I know I am on the right path. Just direct me to the fabric!

Vintage doll quilt found in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week.

Have a glorious Friday, everyone.  Sadie and I are headed out the door for a hike on the mountain, followed by some porch treadling to make up for what I lost yesterday.

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  1. I totally understand what you are saying about being and remaining "true to your inner voice" when it comes to fabric ... there are fabrics that just make my heart sing when I see and touch them. When I started out quilting I was a "matchy matchy" quilter because I was afraid to mix it up. Now ... I look at each piece as its own work of art ... some that play well with others, some that do not. THANK YOU for standing strong and continuing to be YOU ... that inspires all of us!! Linda H

  2. Sound right to me, Bonnie. A quilt with one line of fabric made by you just wouldn't seem right at all.

  3. Anonymous9:54 AM EDT

    Maybe they need a lecture on the principles of scrap quilting. I've caught the scrap bug and now I'm trying to influence my friends the same way. We all need to go with the flow. Best wishes on your trip to Mackinac Island, I've just had my Grand Illusion quilted and have now to bind it, I'll post a picture when it's complete. Ann from Australia. ann.payne89@ gmail.com

  4. Just copy /paste exactly what you just wrote in the blog. Totally makes sense and is not offensive in any way. :)

  5. Follow your heart. It is always the right way.

  6. Anonymous10:00 AM EDT

    Yes, I agree with you. Matchy matchy would not be a Bonnie quilt. It is also such a good feeling to use fabric that you have and make something beautiful from it. I did matchy matchy when I started to quilt and was taking classes and using fabric from the quilt store that was sponsoring the classes. I have tons of blocks that are pieced and not sewn together. Now that a friend turned me on to your blog, I have finished quilts that make me happy! Just stay true to yourself, we love you just the way you are!

  7. I totally understand! I have been quilting since the early 80s, mostly solo and self taught. Imagine my surprise when I went to a meeting - probably in the late 90s and someone asked me what my favorite fabric line/designer was.... I didn't even know what that meant! And I liked them all! I had struggled making a pattern quilt that called for 4/5/6 fabrics, to match them up was painful for me, and I am not fond of kits either. I found that I usually was happiest when choosing and making scrap quilts. THEN I found your blog and figure out why I struggled. Thank you!

  8. When I first started quilting I was told you had to be matchy or it would look odd. But the more I learned and read on the Web the more scrappy I went and when I found Bonnies blog I just went completely scrappy and have never looked back. It's just so liberating and inspiring to use it all when quilting.

  9. Anonymous10:39 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie,

    This brings to mind the phrase "To Thine Own Self Be True". Keep on being you and doing the things you do.
    I love the way the air smells all fresh and earthy after a Spring rain.


  10. Anonymous10:46 AM EDT

    Bonnie, The fabrics you use in your quilts are YOU! That's why we LOVE sewing your patterns - because we love the scrappy "Kitchen sink" feel of the quilts. I think what you wrote sounds perfectly fine as a reply to the fabric company. They should be happy that you weren't tempted to cave in just to get free fabrics. That just isn't you at all!. I used to make quilts from fabric lines and they were fine and beautiful. But now that I've discovered your method for scrappiness - I love what I've been sewing up! I love to look at the fabrics and have that memory of where a piece of fabric came from and what I might have used it for before I used it in the quilt. Keep on sewing the way you have. We all love it!! Anne Deedrick

  11. If it isn't your thing, just say so. Tell the company what you told us.

    Tell them that you love their designs, but being tied to one fabric line or company isn't the way you quilt. Besides you have way too many quilts already started, that need to be finished, to take on another project (if this is true). Thank you for the offer and good luck finding someone else to promote their fabric.

    There are other quilting bloggers that might be willing to do this sort of work. I know that Michele Foster is getting more into designing and that she has used a precut collection to make at least one of her quilts (I was just trying to think of someone else with a big blogging presence). Many quilters work with collections for a cohesive look. It is easier for beginners to get good results that way, too. Companies like to sell the collections of precuts and kits, I think.

    I have been getting into more scrappy quilts and less coordinated. I have never bought any sort collection from which to make quilts. Most of my fabric stash has been a gift of one sort or another.

    It must be uplifting that a company likes your design and recognizes the scope your online presence enough to offer. What you have built up seems to be working for you and there is no need to be pressured into changing the dynamics. It would change it.

  12. I smiled reading your post today! I agree send what you said to all of us. It isn't ungrateful at all!

    To me a beautiful quilt is exactly what you make. I am so drawn to everything you create and love seeing all those little pieces come together into a beautiful masterpiece. I just finished quilting for a new fabric designer. Her line is so fun! But after 7 quilts with all the same prints and colors, etc. I am so ready for something that is truly a quilt! Well not to offend, but in my mind is a true quilt! Bonnie you just keep being who you are, we all love your creations and love you for all you do and are! Enjoy sunny spring treadling today!

  13. Lu Anne S.11:32 AM EDT

    I can't imagine you making a quilt that didn't have at least 50-60 fabrics in it. Even the quilts that are only two colors. It's all the shades and textures that make them so gorgeous.

    It doesn't mean you don't appreciate their gesture, just that they would be better served if they offered the fabric to another quilter with a different style.

    I think you did a good job of explaining your reasons in your post.

    Life is too short to spend time making quilts that look like everyone else's.

  14. Even when I make a planned quilt featuring a single collection, I almost always include other fabrics for a pop, or to expand the palette. You have taught me so much about choosing and using fabrics. Carry on with your own path. It's great.

  15. I think you just wrote your reply to the fabric manufacturer in question. I understand perfectly. The quilts made from one line of fabric can be pretty, but they just seem a little bit "blah" to me. My Grandma's quilts were made with anything & everything and to me that's just what a quilt is and that's why I love all the scrappy type quilts that are so "in" today.

  16. Anonymous11:50 AM EDT

    I started scrappy quilting in the late 80's. My girlfriend that turned me on to scrappy always said "Once you go scrappy, you can never go back!". It is so true. Even my daughter that has a very hard time doing scrappy has been converted (slowly!). She will send me a picture of a project and say "Look! I even mixed up the fabrics and everything!" Julie in MS.

  17. Maybe you need to tell them that they, as well as every other fabric manufacturer, are already making Bonnie Hunter fabric. That every piece of fabric is Bonnie Hunter fabric! And you use it in your quilts every day.

  18. Completely understand, Bonnie. You shouldn't have to be dictated about using fabric. I was asked to make a baby quilt for a coworker -- in specific colors and design and I agreed but it was really hard. I didn't like the colors or design so I finished it up real fast so I could move on. I love scrappy quilting but some people don't. Too bad for them!!!

  19. When I started sewing (at age 10) my grandmother and great aunts all told me to save the scraps for quilting. Jump to the early 90's when I was going to take a class, up until then I just had did my own thing, they had rotory cutters and said to "buy" specific fabric for the quilt, in only 3 colors. I thought this is weird, for me quilts that are scrappy are still the best! Oh, that class quilt was a Bethany Reynolds Stack-N-Whack quilt, so it worked with only a couple of fabrics, but was expensive to do. So keep scrappy and true to yourself Bonnie! That is why we love you and your designs.

  20. A flower garden without snails could be nice, like one series of fabric. Flowers are very welcome, but within an hour I will long for additional caterpillars, butterflies, cabbage and fruit, because that's what I really love.

    Any quilt made should breath "me and you" to be meaningfull and fun. I will always try to incorporate some me, mostly fabric from donated shirts. Because I sign not only on the label, but with my choices of fabric as well.

    Same line fabric quilts somehow don't sizzle to me......

    love from Witmarsum

  21. Oh Oh…just the thought of it…..a matchy matchy fabric Bonnie Hunter quilt! NOOOOO! It hurts me just to think on it!
    Such sacrilege!!!!

    I think the quilting industry promotes w-a-y too much matchy matchy for the sake of sales sales sales. Wish you could find a company that would let you design a line and give you the freedom to use as a "suggestion" to mix, match and blend in with the other fabrics most of us already have in our stashes.
    I also feel it would stifle the creative process if one is forced to create a quilt strictly using certain fabrics. I know I would struggle with it.

    Just be happy and wait it out. There MUST be the perfect match for you out there, they just haven't come to the surface yet.

  22. Anonymous6:06 PM EDT

    Might I suggest(she said diffidently), by way of throwing them a bone, suggesting something like Jared Takes a Wife--three or four main fabrics and the rest scrappy. While the quilt wouldn't be all their fabric, the manufacturer might wind up selling more of their fabric to scrappy quilters who wanted to incorporate a focus fabric or two into the design. If they reject the bone, their loss.

    Pat Scully, pescully@law.gwu.edu

  23. I've never wanted to just use one fabric line, or, even all the fabrics in that line. I prefer finding a focus fabric, and then using fabrics I like, with it, from all different lines. I agree with you, totally.

  24. Sara -dragonfly_eeyore1210@hotmail.com
    I understand what your saying about your style of quilting, if you change that it would not be you. Your style is what makes you so interesting and your love of quilting. I buy a fabrics to go with what I have on hand at times. but then again each person has their own style. is just that, your style. Have a good day.

  25. I was really laughing out loud when I read about the fabric company. Thank you for keeping on being who YOU are.
    But... Bonnie, please understand, that for the fabric companies and notions manufacturers you must be kind of a nightmare. 😄 Why? OK.... You teach us to use our scraps and worn out shirts instead of buying jelly rolls at 15 $ per yard of fabric. You show us, that a vintage straight stitch machine at 40 $ (including the cabinet) is all we need to piece our quilts instead of teaching us a 3000 $ Baby Lock in a 2000 $ Koala Studio cabinet is indispensable for a quilter. And there is this seam guide thing.... Maybe one of the notions manufacturers could offer you to produce "Bonnie Hunter Hotel Room Key Seam Guides" as the ultimate quilter's gadget (19,99 $ each, optional poster strip available at 3,99$) 😄

    Thank you for being incorruptible. Thank you for being just Bonnie Hunter!

  26. OH, yes, you do make sense in explaining your 'method of operation.' I work the same way. I'm sure that many of us do. A little of this and a little of that, etc. Freedom to be creative. I'm sure the fab co will be disappointed --and I understand their point of view-- but hopefully they will respect yours, and many others,' perspective on that issue.

  27. Your explanation isn't rude at all...you just can't make a quilt in a straight jacket! Your wonderful scrappy quilts have sparkling gems in every block that would be lost if you used just one fabric line and the story of the quilt would be lost! They just know the value of having Bonnie create a quilt from their fabric!!

  28. Anonymous12:01 AM EDT

    Your view makes perfect sense. I agree that the way you put it here is exactly the right way to tell them you can't make quilts that way. It isn't you.
    On the other side is someone doing his or her job trying to promote the product of who they work for. Its the reality of the business world. Someone else may like the idea and take them up on the offer.

  29. I've made many quilts since the early 80's, and while many might have had a theme, say like a red, white and blue quilt of valor, the fabrics I use are never from one manufacturer. I use whatever mixes well together. How boring quilts would be otherwise!

  30. In reference to you hesitating to using one fabric, it makes absolute sense. I think back in the day they'd say "don't cramp my style." You have to be free with your fabrics and go with the flow to make the wonderful quilts that you do.

    No need to apologize.

    You're the best!

    Loretta McGinn

  31. Anonymous1:40 AM EDT

    Stay true to yourself, Bonnie! I am with you on "using what feels right to me" and not just one type of fabric line. Been that way my whole quilting life. I'd say copy and paste just what you said to us. If they don't get it, they never will. Keep on, keepin' on, GF! We're behind you 100%!

    Ginny A

  32. No,no don't do it or the unicorns will run away....
    Luv from England.

  33. Kathleen7:04 AM EDT

    Copy and paste this to them. Like you are talking to us. Very easy peasy

  34. Not only are your quilts original, they are definitely "art quilts" with a story being told with each different fabric that is included in it's creation. What fun for those who recieve your quilts to find a different surprise each time that they use the quilt to find Christmas holly next to a word of script or bulgy frog eyes. None of which is noticed when looking at the entire beautiful quilt. I hope they have as much fun in their discoveries as you have in the stitching of these whimsical pieces. No, Bonnie, using only one line of fabric just wouldn't do it!!

  35. I love jelly rolls and fat quarter bundles. Buy them all the time. Love the patterns that come with them and the cohesive look of a quilt made by one fabric company. At least that is what I start out thinking. Then I start cutting and sewing and remember that I have a small piece of fabric in the stash that would work well with the jelly roll. And instead of plain boarders it needs a scrappy boarder which of course I don't have enough fabric in the jelly roll to do that so back to the stash.....yes a scrappy girl at heart.

  36. Bonnie, What may work for you is to suggest they send you bits of all of their new fabric lines,then you can make a "Bonnie style" quilt with all they have to offer for their new season! What a win win win for everyone! (Fabric company, you, and all of us scrap quilt lovers ! )

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. I totally understand your insight of your what makes you happy! We all know you would create something beautiful from the fabric they would give you! But it wouldn't
    Be from you heart. And that would make you unhappy!

  39. I'm a new quilter and i enjoy it all matchy, scrappy, and repurposing. Maybe they should give the fabric to someone else for a matchy quilt and then give her scraps to you for a wonderful scrappy quilt.

  40. Kathy Volcourt said what I was thinking. One or three or four lines of fabric from XYZ Fabric Company would still be stifling for you. If they would send you a box car if all fabric lines they manufacture... That MIGHT give you an acceptable pallette! And, who knows? Maybe they will read these comments and get a clue of what makes a Bonnie Hunter quilt. I know a few designers who hooked up with a fabric company, and that totally changed the style of that designer. Could you do it? If course you could! But you and all of us would never be happy... You, then would be like all the numerous designers already out there!! You will know when the right opportunity presents itself to you. Stay dry, and be well!

  41. Good for you. Just about all my favorite bloggers have been turned into commercial fabric designers. They are not fun anymore. There bloggs have ended up being ads. There is not a day that they are not trumping their fabric or someone else fabric. Don't get me wrong. I love fabric and many of the companies that sell them. But I want the real person the blogger once was not a puppet. It seems to have warped the creativity.

  42. ADDING MY VOICE...it just proves what a "celebrity" you have become... this new manufacturer has tried a different approach to get you to be exclusively theirs!! HA, i say, and another HA... all of the above comments are so true and especially those that say it would change you and your approach... a true artist cannot be "owned" by the rich and famous (although I think the Vatican tried with Michelangelo and Da Vinci.) Do not apologize nor justify, your polite thanks and refusal would seem adequate to remaining true to yourownsweetself. Love your concept and your approach, Cats ...

  43. When you and your son were watching movies, were his hands idle? I think you should teach the men in your life to stitch down binding - lol! Good luck with that, and please report back. And if that doesn't work, surely Sadie has some sewing skills after all this time. As far as the fabric company, I think you explained it perfectly here. If they follow you at all, they should know that you need a bigger box!


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