Friday, June 10, 2016

Appointments, Planners, Scraps & Quilt-Cam!

This little goodie arrived from Karen yesterday!

Or more like, I was home so I could OPEN it yesterday. 

She had emailed me quite a while ago asking me if she could submit her Celtic Solstice quilt for inclusion in the 2017 Quilt Art engagement calendar published by AQS.

Of course I said YES!

I am always thrilled with your finishes and please feel free to display them at your shows, enter them here and there, you did the hard work in putting it together, PLEASE share your quilts!

With something like this there is a release form that has to be signed and permission given by the designer which I am happy to do.

And I got a big smile when opening the calendar and searching for Karen’s page:


She signed it for me!  YAY!


Didn’t she do a beautiful job?

Yesterday felt much like I was spinning my wheels.  Eye doctor and hair cut took up my whole morning.

Book orders and computer work to get me back on track were taken care of post-hair-cut.

I have submitted my contract for teaching at the Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California in March of 2018!  It’s 5 days of one project and we are going to have a great time with that one.  I’m limited to 24 students, so save your pennies.  Our project is Wanderlust and it’s going to be a great week.  Visit the website to learn more HERE.


Evening stitching yielded this!

But certain things happen the moment you want to isolate a certain shade of something from the herd of strings in the string stash.  I found myself dumping out the burgeoning neutrals string bin. (Imagine a mountain of strings burying me on the floor!) and pulled all the toasty shades from the lighter ones.

Now there were two piles.  And one container.

I was soon climbing into Moby and on my way to Walmart to buy another tub.  LOL!  I joke and joke about this….why is it that more containers DO NOT make me any more organized?  But still..this is much easier than trying to dig for dark neutrals from the confines of the light neutral bin.  Make sense?

And this is how another category in the string stash is born.  Dark Neutrals. Separated from the Light Neutrals.

Of course…on the way out of Walmart you have to duck into Chick-Fil-A for an ice cream ---it’s SUMMER!  i enjoyed that sweet treat all the way home and got down to business.


Same sample as yesterday.

Questions have arisen after yesterday's post asking things like “Do you always cut across the strings?” No.  Sometimes I cut up the center of the middle string, as in Tulip Fields:

Tulip Fields from String Fling.

Or as in Zuckerwatte:

Also from String Fling!

If you look at the pink and neutral string triangles in the center you’ll see that they are cut WITH the center string, not across the strings.  It changes the look of how the blocks come together.

This one used BOTH directions, cuting some across the strings, and some up the center:

Blue Skies from String Fling.

The blue strings are cut across the strings, the yellow ones are sliced up the center string and this puts the strings going in two different directions which is fun.

So it just depends on how I want them to look in the quilt.  

I LOVE string blocks.  I have a gazillion ideas for how they are going to come together. Often times I’m looking at quilt blocks wondering just where I can incorporate strings into the piecing.  So it should come as no surprise that there will be a lot of string quilts happening in my near future as I get ready for the next book down the pipeline coming after Addicted to Scraps is released.  I’m working on the sequel to String Fling!

One thing I am often asked when I show stuff like the blocks above ...”Where can I get the pattern.”

And my answer is “In the future!”  Quilts come first, then patterns are written and like several other recent finishes, be it the H quilt, the pinwheel version of the H quilt (that is going in the machine tomorrow to be quilted!) and the Wanderlust table runner that I just finished…there is no pattern until I write one.  I’m not working from a pattern myself, just from my head.

Most of the time when I show stuff, things are still on the drawing board and when the quilt is done, then comes the pattern.  How boring life would be if I only showed stuff that was already available as a pattern? I wouldn't be able to share what I am working on behind the scenes at all.

The writing of the pattern is the "not so fun" part! I would much rather be at the machine sewing than facing a computer, but I am planning some pattern writing days for when I have more time in between trips.

I need about 40 more of those toasty string blocks to do what I want to do with them.  Hopefully there will be more time to do those before I fly off to Kentucky on Sunday.

About the eye doc appointment.  The left eye has held stable, but the right eye has marked change, not for the good.  I stayed for extra testing.  I need to go back in 6 weeks.

I don’t know what all of this means, but close detail work is getting harder and harder to do.  Magnifying things does not help, it just makes things more pixelated.  Look at it this way…if there is a black hole in the middle of something you are reading, and you make it bigger, it is just a bigger black hole. It doesn’t get rid of the hole. I even notice it when I’m stitching hexies.  It will be fine for a while, and then all of a sudden I can’t see what I’m stitching.  I close my eyes, put my head back, rest for about 30 seconds and try again.  Sometimes my vision clears, sometimes it doesn’t.  I am on a tear to finish this hexagon top for my son before I can’t see to do it anymore.

It also is effecting my writing.  Sometimes when I come back to a blog post I notice that there are so many typos I swore were not there before.  And don't even get me started on auto-correct on my phone.  I'm missing quite a bit of those lately, because it is CORRECT until the phone decides to change it to something else just about the time I hit send.

I am staying positive.  Rarely does MacTel 2 progress to legal blindness.  I just want to be able to see well enough that I can still piece and quilt and teach and enjoy doing what I do.


Emmy Lou last night.

She always looks miffed when I take a photo of her.  but she was a great comfort last night when I crawled into bed.  She is always there plastered up against my right side, purring so loudly.  A cat purring is very soothing at the end of a busy day when you’ve had not so great news.  I am not going to let this news dictate how I feel about my life.  I will work with this, in spite of this.

I just may segue into more and more improvisational piecing where accuracy is not required!

So.  Let’s have an up beat good thing happen:


Let’s do some Quilt-Cam!

The Hubster has a tennis tourney in Raleigh this weekend.  I’m going to be home alone tomorrow!  Let’s do an AFTERNOON Quilt-Cam, 2pm Eastern time, so that those in Europe can join in on their evening time!  It’s been a while since we have done this and I’m feeling the need!

The question is….do I work on strings? Or keep going on the Garlic Knots blocks?

I’ll see you HERE on the blog, tomorrow, Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 2pm Eastern.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Don't let the opinions of others consume you!

Vintage hexagon quilt top shared during our workshops in Illinois last weekend.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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  1. Anonymous9:39 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie

    stick with the garlic knots - I love em!

    Mandy Adams

  2. Sometimes you just need to give your eyes a day off...it is hard but it happens. I usually iron fabric and play in the garden those days! Hope to "see" you at 2!

  3. wow a saturday afternoon quilt cam! terrific! the 365 blocks are calling me...i'll be there!

  4. Bonnie I'm so sorry to hear your news about your eye, but I love your attitude! As we age we all have thing that interfere with doing things the way we have always done them. The important thing is not to surrender but find ways around the problem! Your positive thinking will help you adapt and you fans will continue to cheer you on!
    Ellie Lively

  5. Sorry about the eyes. Hopefully it can and will get better, not worse. Losing my sight is one of the scariest things to me. I have a hard time reading the computer (can't get the screen at a good distance to get the fuzzy out).

  6. I saw the word Quilt Cam and thought I missed it! See you Saturday. Your "eyes" are on my prayer list.
    Thanks for all you do!

  7. I'm very sorry to hear about your eye problems. Your attitude inspires me to keep quilting against the age-related problems that discourage me when I try to quilt.

  8. Anonymous10:08 AM EDT

    Hi Bonnie,
    I absolutely love your new quilt block with the coffee strings. Looks like another quilt will be on my must make list.
    I am sorry to here about your eyes. I find it hard, when I realize that my body isn't up to doing what I want. You will find new ways to do what you enjoy.
    You are a rock star and we love you!
    Cathy Odle in Kansas

  9. Hi Bonnie. So happy you are home and so sorry to hear about your latest vision struggles. In the long ago past, I worked at an agency for folks with low vision so have great compassion and admiration for those who struggle and live with diminished vision. So very disappointed I will miss quilt cam tomorrow but after a long arm club meeting in the morning we are headed to have dinner with Jim's cousin who we don't see very often. So happy you have your Emmy Lou for comfort as our Blossom went over the rainbow bridge yesterday. She was my sleeping companion most nights and I will miss her. Your eyes are on my prayer list. Blessings. Sandal

  10. You know I am literally walking this path with you...adapt is my watch word this year. I've made some serious changes and some funny ones as I'm sure you have also.

  11. Anonymous10:18 AM EDT

    Bonnie, you can come up with all of the string quilts you want. I'm sure I have enough strings to keep up with you! Can't wait for the sequel.
    Jill in Michigan

  12. Looking forward to quilt cam tomorrow. Time may come when you will have to find a compromise in your hectic schedule. Rest is,no doubt,important! One day at a time, my mama always said, and she was right!

  13. Alice Kane10:25 AM EDT

    My husband is also fighting macular degeneration. I keep hoping that someone will come up with a way to cure this. Thank you for your bravery in dealing with the condition and in sharing it. You are an inspiration, because of your wonderful quilting ideas and productivity, but also because of the wonderful way that you face life.

  14. Bonnie, you may not be aware how much good you do being so open and sharing your journey -- good parts and bad. Yesterday my little sister (57 years old ;^ ) received a diagnosis of Mac Tel. It was a comfort to me having read about this condition on your blog and knowing at least a bit about it. I hope I can help her come to terms with the adjustments she will need to make along the way. Perhaps knowing about someone like you, whose livelihood and passion will be so affected, who is still keeping on keeping on will be a help to her. My prayer list continues to grow.

  15. I'm so sorry that your eye appointment was not more positive. Hopefully it won't get worse quickly.

    I have been waiting for quilt cam, but can't watch live tomorrow, at least I can look forward to watching it on Sunday!

  16. Stay strong Bonnie! There are tons of people wishing you all the best and praying for you. You continue to be an inspiration to us all!

  17. You are upbeat about every thing but this eye thing is different then sewing. I often marvel at all the travel you do.... and the associated stress to make connections to best use your time and the guilds dollars. I know you shut off new appointments for a while.... and I would encourage you to take six months off of the heavy travel you have done in recent years when it is time to open those slots again. Stress is hard on our bodies with out any scabs or red bumps to show us STOP. Will be praying that this stops!

  18. I too am having eye issues and it scares me to think one day I cannot quilt - but faith that it will happen or not, with or without my permission! Strings...ugh! I just started my first string quilt....because YOU said they were so much fun. As The Monkeys sang: I'M a BELIEVER!!!! I cannot stop, they have captured my attention for the last 7 days...all other WIPs will be on stand-by! Happy Friday Hunter's ( people and pets).

  19. I too am having eye issues and it scares me to think one day I cannot quilt - but faith that it will happen or not, with or without my permission! Strings...ugh! I just started my first string quilt....because YOU said they were so much fun. As The Monkeys sang: I'M a BELIEVER!!!! I cannot stop, they have captured my attention for the last 7 days...all other WIPs will be on stand-by! Happy Friday Hunter's ( people and pets).

  20. Anonymous12:30 PM EDT

    there was a lady with eye issues at my aunt's nursing home
    she did needlepoint with worsted weight yarn on 7 mesh canvas, and it was as beautiful as her fancy work!

  21. Bonnie HUGS --- I admire how you are handling the eye situation. I believe in not jumping to conclusions also. You are in my prayers though :).

    I love having many many strings to play with...one of those quiltie things that you absolutely never can have enough of... this new quilt is looking like I will have to have it on my GONNA-MAKE IT list.

    Smiles, JulieinTN

  22. Anonymous12:51 PM EDT

    I have read your blog for many years and love all of your quilts and patterns and books and have attended two years of your workshops with Mary's Quilt Shop in Pennsylvania. However, my favorite thing is your attitude on life. It is very uplifting. Your are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Gwendolyn Minshall

  23. Warm hugs and good thought being sent your way. Your positive attitude and sharing this with your readers is an inspiration to others. You are such a giver! Take care...

  24. I love the rich warm neutral strings
    They remind me of granite countertops
    Can't wait to make this one!!!!

  25. 7pm UK time. I can watch live. Do the strings please, I would like to see what neutral colours you use.

  26. Whee, i'm a UK watcher this week! Been here a week and go home Sunday. Hope to be in my hotel watching at 7 here. Just back from spending the day with Sandra (Allessandra) - had so much fun, reminising about Mackinac and even visited a quilt store! Sorry to hrpear the news about your eyes, but I love your attitude. Hugs.


  27. YIPPEE a Quilt Cam when I am home alone and No way to go anywhere. Prayers for your eyes to see what you need to see as long as possible! Would putting a patch on the bad eye help to see while doing Hexies? No fun! Thanks for always looking on the bright side!

  28. Anonymous6:29 PM EDT

    Prayers for you Bonnie! Pam M. Wisconsin

  29. I'm sorry about the vision news, but trust you'll make the most of what you can. Clever thinking about that improv option.

  30. Yeah! Can't wait. I am working on garlic knots & they are so fun.

  31. Emmy Lou looks frightful but I know the purring love she has gives you comfort. I will keep you on my prayer list and can't wait for Quilt cam tomorrow!!

  32. I will be on the road tomorrow at 2 and will miss Quiltcam (dang it all!). But I will be thinking good thoughts for you and your vision. Hang in there!

  33. I was sorting through my 2.5 inch strips yesterday, getting things organized and packed up for my big move later this month (Korea back to the US! YAY!) and in sorting things out I had to separate my neutrals too! Even with pulling out all of the 'cream' colors from my browns/tans and giving them their own bag my browns/tans had to go up a size in their bag. That's what happens when my grandparents-in-law buy me a quilt kit with a bunch of yellow/tan/brown/cream 2.5" strips and I'm not interested in making the giraffe quilt in the pattern!

  34. That's my girl! Keep up the positive attitude. You can get though anything that way. Hugs.

  35. Glad you got the calendar. Enjoy it. Good luck with the eye problem. I do hope to be in one of your classes at some point and/or on one of the trips!!!

  36. So sorry about your eye issues, but I love your attitude! And speaking of attitude, or should I say...catitude...Emmy Lou always makes me laugh! She always has this look of...STOP TAKING MY PICTURE! She's so adorable, and I agree about the purr - I love a good, loud purr! When I go vend at shows and take my niece with me, I always tell her to purr me to sleep - lol!

  37. Ahhh, dear heart, I've been dx w/Age Related Mac and the opthalomolgist recommended AREDS (I get mine at Costco). Seems to be about the only thing (that and some really interesting kale smoothies) that may or may not help.... sigh... so far it seems to be working for me, i'm sure you've had every therapy on the planet recommended, including something weirder than kale smoothies... rest and taking care, doing what you love and snuggling with those who love you! xo from the MomCats =^^=

  38. I can understand what you are going through with your eye problem. I had a detached retina in my left eye a few years ago and after surgery I was left with a black spot right in the middle of my vision and I lost my peripheral vision as well. But after a few weeks my right eye had learned how to refocus for both eyes. Reading can be a problem as my left eye 'wanders' and I have to refocus. BUT, I can still see well enough to sew and hopefully things work out well for you in the end. Hugs from England :)

  39. Remember that doctors always give you a 'worst case' scenario, but prayer can change everything!

    What a cute picture of EmmyLou, in which she looks just like an owl. A miffed owl. Maybe it's the angle....

    Take care of yourself. Perhaps more time off is the answer.

  40. Sorry to hear about your eye. I'm been watching my retina too. Hope it gets better

  41. Oh, Dear Bonnie....I'm so sorry about your eye condition. I will say so so many prayers that it all gets resolved.

    Be strong, keep the Faith and it will keep you.

    Loretta McGinn

  42. Praying for you Bonnie. I've been diagnosed with a possible retina problem. My doctor also put me on Areds2 vitamins. Going back for check up in August. Hopefully no change for worst. Prayer does change things.

  43. Bonnie sending you many positive thoughts as you get this eye thing figured out. It has to be so frustrating especially since when you sew you are reminded of the issue.

    Keep up with you good mental attitude. You are one amazing woman. You will make lemonade out of this situation.

    There are a lot of us thinking and praying for you!


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