Friday, July 29, 2016

Machines, Cruises and Cabin Time...

This was a fun introductory photo to a group I’m with – avid vintage sewing machine collectors and users. 

There are more than just quilters in the group, which is fun because I love hearing what ELSE  people make – from clothing to awnings to boat seat covers and even sails.

When it comes to the heavy duty sewing, there is nothing that can beat the vintage machine.

In preparation for Quilt-Cam last night (That went bust because the sound cut out after 8 minutes…but you can catch those 8 minutes and then try to read my lips for the NEXT 8 minutes after it died HERE)

I had pulled out my green Electro-Hygiene machine with the caption of “always wash your hands before you sew!” 

The words on my photo?

My name is Bonnie Hunter
And I am a
Can’t Be Denied

Okay, so I’m not sure really WHY I am a Hooligan or what it means, but this is a very fun bunch of people I’m happy to know who are NOT quilters.  Diversity, you know?  But still with vintage machines in the mix.

And at this point, one eye was still very much dilated and I really was feeling a bit on the unbalanced side!

IF you missed the Quilt-Cam-that-wasn’t post last night you also may have missed that there is a big Quiltmaker Giveaway going on!


Someone is winning this bundle!

And do you notice that little red box?


Someone’s getting a deck of these!

Head HERE to enter to win!


This is going to be so much fun!

You can just bet what MY family is getting for Christmas.  The card backs feature my Wonky Wishes quilt and all of the face cards have close up shots of quilts from my new book Addicted to Scraps!  Of course, I’m the joker, and that is more fun than anything.  At just $5.00 a pack, they are bound to be a great gift for your quilty friends too, if you can bear to give them away!  How fun would this be at quilt retreat?

You’ll find the cards along with some other new items under the NEW!! section of the Quiltville Store.  I’ve also added them to the rulers, notions and tools section – only because I don’t know what other section to add them to!


Update on the eye thing.  I have a doctor with ZERO sense of humor, and my looking on the bright side doesn’t seem to make one lick of difference to him. “Holding stable is good.  There IS no getting better, there is just hope for not getting worse.”

Great.  Facing facts is one thing, but I think there is a lot to be said in how we deal with these facts.

The right eye is not good.  There is no fixing it.  I get it.  MacTel 2 is NOT macular degeneration, and there are no shots or surgeries that help, but the left eye is my strong one and I might have to take breaks from anything with back lighting, like computers, phones, tablets…The bright light makes it so that I can’t even read the text on the screen, it starts to become a total white out, or leaves words with parts missing.  Hard to describe, I know.

I had a tough time reading anything in the machine that you put your face into – even big letters, not because I couldn’t see the letters really, but the light was too bright around them and washed them out.  I did better reading the chart on the wall, no light behind it.  Okay.  So we know that now.

Lots of advice coming from those who have other conditions but not this one.  Herbs may not help, but they won’t hurt.  Occuvite is a daily occurrence here, and it might not help or prevent, but it can’t hurt. Essential oils? Well okay. They might lull me into a sense of well-being, and that is good, but it isn’t going to fix the MacTel2. Prayers?  For my acceptance. No one has ever had this reversed.  It’s like an amputee growing back a limb.  No matter of praying has ever fixed that.  But prayers for acceptance and learning to make changes and find joy in spite of changes are in my heart.

The best thing I can do is not overwork my eyes at the computer or the phone….which means….I can go sew instead.  I’m limiting my news feed time in reading up on everyone else’s doings, but let’s face it, you can’t read them all, all the time.

The doc suggested “less screen time” and I’m doing my best to do that in small doses so I am staring at screens for shorter amounts of time.

And now that I’ve explained all that….I’m off to the cabin for the weekend!  I’m taking up the things I need to assemble 100 kits for the Mediterranean cruise coming up shortly!


In just a few weeks!  Brilliance of the Seas!

There has been a big change for this cruise, and it has left some folks a bit unhappy, and I’m sorry for that.  With all that is going on in Europe right now, France and Turkey and surrounding areas, there is not a machine distributor or dealer willing to put 50 machines on ANY ship for ANY reason for ANY ONE. Everyone backed out.  And when you look at security, and port fees, and taxes, I can understand why.

And this happened at very last minute, and just like that, our Quiltville Mediterranean Cruise becomes a handwork cruise!

And I’m excited about it! In this 12 day cruise there are only 3 full days at sea where we have full day workshops.  The rest of the time we are in port during the day and back on the ship in the evening, so handwork is perfect for relaxing at the end of a busy busy day.

We will have one day of A little Bit Hexie…my apologies to those who have had this with me before, it’s unavoidable as when in heck have I had the time to pull MORE DIFFERENT projects out of my back pocket with the schedule I’ve been on? LOL!  I really wish I were Mary Poppins, or Bewitched and could just twinkle my nose and pull out something brilliant.  But this is the PERFECT stitching at sea project while we get our sea legs and get to know each other.

The second project is applique and our sample is being worked behind the scenes, so stay tuned for that as it will become an offered workshop for guilds who want to focus on handwork WITH some piecing included (To be added after cruisers get home.) You may have gotten a glimpse of my project in a previous post:

Sneaky Peeky!

And this is where I have to thank my friend Irene for all of her help.  When I was in a panic about pulling together a beautiful project that didn’t look thrown together, but was a REAL Quiltville project, as scrappy as it could be, but still doable with the least amount of stuff needed for kits, we brainstormed up a back-basted applique project.  We were on the same wavelength.

While we were here together in Tennessee before 4th of July we made lists, we talked things through, and over 4th of July before the Alaska cruise we drew out our sample block, easy shapes, back-basting method and bright colors to represent Barcelona, Spain where we will begin our adventure.

The plan was for ME to applique 2 blocks on the plane and on the cruise, and Irene would do the other 2 for a 4 block applique.  I was so stinking busy with 49 quilters, my mom and her two sisters that I only ended up finishing this one, and Irene did the other 3.  I owe her big time!

And then –she was flying home from Seattle on Southwest this past week when her luggage including her 3 finished blocks got lost in the downed computer confusion (still has not received it) and she is remaking ALL FOUR BLOCKS for me to put together out of her own fabrics so they match –and should have them to me by next week.  The girl is a trooper, and I am totally indebted to her friendship and support and willingness to do it AGAIN.

There was more important stuff in her luggage than just these 3 applique blocks, and I so feel for her.  It’s been more than a week.  Still no luggage.

And I say this just so that folks know what goes on behind the scenes for any instructor anywhere.

Kits are being provided for both projects at NO cost to the cruisers.  I am making 100 kits in what little time I have home.

All they have to bring are small, sharp, cut to the point scissors for trimming fabric and threads, and a thimble and a battery operated LED light just in case they want to sew into the evening and the overhead light isn’t bright enough to see by.

For those who can’t do applique, or don’t like handwork, I am bringing fusible so that they may fuse their applique project and stitch it by machine at home.

It’s going to be beautiful!

I am sorry that they have purchased fabric for Razzle Dazzle and are unable to sew it on the cruise due to the no-machines decision (which is understandable with what is going on in Europe right now.  Security is an issue!) All cruisers have been refunded $50.00 to cover the cost of fabric they may have already bought.  Each cruiser has already received the digital pattern from me for Razzle Dazzle at no cost to them, how I would have taught it so they can STILL make their quilts at home.  I am doing cutting demos for Razzle Dazzle during our on ship time so they can get practice with cutting. AND they each get 2 free kits.  They are coming out ahead.

We are doing everything we can to make this the best cruise ever, and all we ask is that the cruisers come with an understanding heart and recognize that some things DO change to no fault of anyone and we go with the best of it and allow ourselves to switch gears and have a great time.

And now that I’ve gotten THAT off of my chest, I AM off to the cabin.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

This made me giggle, but it's a great visual! If you are not happy with yourself or your situation, make a change. Don't wait for changes to happen on their own.


Old Tobacco Road quilt shared by a student in last weekend's workshops in Helena, Montana! Free pattern found under the free patterns tab at the top of the blog where the old Mysteries live - down at the bottom of the page!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Wow Bonnie what a crazy time you have had. Everyone on the cruise should just be tickled to spend time with you doing any project. It is so great that your friend Irene and your family came running to help you. That is just awesome. I am looking forward to the new appliqué project. Enjoy the cabin!

  2. Goodness! Shaking my head at the whirlwind of a life you have and how well you seem to cope; GOOD friends are invaluable during all this. Kudos to Irene for pitching in big time. I'm sure all will go well, and I remember that when something changes, many times it is for the BETTER. When situations change we have to change our response to them rather than reacting. Here is hope all the cruisers will choose to respond with kindness and understanding to changes beyond anyones control. On to the cabin to somewhat decompress and work on your deadlines. Thank you for all the work you do behind the scenes Bonnie, all is greatly appreciated for the love, sweat and tears you expend to make it happen. Hugs of support, Allison in Plano, Texas USA

  3. My watchword for this year has been Adapt.The view from the inside of our Mac Tel eyes constantly amazes me. My depth perception is at the top of the weird list now. I limit my screen time to 2 hours a day. Power on Bonnie. Sharyn in Kalama

  4. Holding thumbs for Irene's luggage!! There's still hope - I used to come home from Africa regularly with no luggage. After the SAA strike my daughter & I were caught in (an extra 4 days in Jo'burg) it took our 5 pieces of luggage 13 days to reach us. All were intact and nothing was missing. I think the airlines really do try to get it right - especially Delta! Sounds like the cruise will be wonderful even without machines. Maybe you'll have some applique converts by the end of it. Enjoy the cabin and rest those eyes!

  5. Love you Bonnie! Your attitude towards life is infectious ... thanks for sharing as much as you do and for just BEING you!! Linda H

  6. What!?! You mean it's not all fun & games? Lol! I think it's great that you post these things. So sorry about your eyes, but you're right - you have to make the best of it, and if anyone can do that, it's you! I would probably sit around and feel sorry for myself - haha. Hope you have a great weekend at the cabin!

  7. Bonnie, my mother in law has macular degeneration and uses amber colored glasses over her glasses when at a computer screen or watching TV. These help tremendously. You are probably eligible for help from your states visually impaired agency. They have great tools and suggestions for people with visual problems.

  8. Both my father and my husband had/ have only one eye. Dad lost his as a young teen in a sports accident; my husband was born with a cataract which could not be removed with the technology available in the 1940s. In his later years Dad also had macular generation. I have always been acutely aware of the precious nature of good eyesight. As a diabetic the care of my eyesight is paramount in keeping me compliant. Like you I love this great thing called quilting and we need eyesight to do it. You are 100% correct - attitude is all!

    Despite everything, you are dealing with making up 100 kits on the fly. Hooligan? Not sure about that. But "trooper"? Big time. Hugs, my friend. Wish I could be there to help out. Glad you have Irene.

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  10. I love your "roll with it" attitude whether it's vision problems, machine problems or lost luggage! You make great lemonade! Your positive attitude is one of the things that makes you such a popular person. You are a great role model for your fans because we all have problems. If you need to restrict your blogging or FB we will all understand. Do what you need to do for yourself.
    Ellie Lively

  11. Bonnie, I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Is your computer equiped with a "talk-to-text" feature? If so, you could just dictate your posts. Or, perhaps, you could use a tape recorder and have someone do the actual posts for you? Just a couple of suggestions. Either way, I'll continue to follow whatever you can post. Much love!

  12. Bonnie, I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Is your computer equiped with a "talk-to-text" feature? If so, you could just dictate your posts. Or, perhaps, you could use a tape recorder and have someone do the actual posts for you? Just a couple of suggestions. Either way, I'll continue to follow whatever you can post. Much love!

  13. I love your attitude. It's not always easy to do. The other thing I tell myself is keep fighting and never give up, something I've learned being a single parent for many years. And of course accepting what you must and making lots of lemonade. And loving life in spite of it. Hope you get a chance to read this, but if not, good thoughts and wishes coming your way, Donna in Tallahassee.

  14. Is there a Caribbean cruise with you this October? Still shown on Crafttours website, but not on your blog calendar?

  15. Sorry about the eyes. You might have to blog less (I know, it's your job, but, you can't do the job very well if you are blind). Sorry about the cruise stuff. You and Irene seem to have come up with some great, workable solutions. Hope Irene gets her luggage soon. I've been blanket stitching on fusible applique lately. Another alternative. It's relaxing. I'm going to do that while flying to Anchorage next week.

  16. Life happens, and we all need to understand how things can change in a flash. Just a thought? Does wearing a hat to shade your eyes, or the one good eye help at all? Or maybe not even a full hat, just a shade like croupiers wear!!! I'm sure everyone on your cruise will so understand, and join in whatever goes on wholeheartedly. Take care, have little rests, let that one good eye know how important it is. Hugs from NZ.

  17. I love your quote today.
    Please slow down. Take care of your vision.
    Do fewer events and charge more.
    With computers, would a black background and white letters be easier for you?

  18. Bonnie, Sorry for all the problems with the cruise machines, at least you are making the best of it, and the people will learn something new, and still have a nice time. So sorry about your eye trouble. Just do less computer, we will live, really we will. You need to take care of you, do what's best for you. We will adjust and be just fine with a little less of your computer time. Hope you have time to relax and just do nothing but be with family for a little while.
    I saw 4 of your mystery quilts and one other of your designs at the Maine State show today. It was really great.

  19. God Bless you and Irene! I hope they find her luggage! Prayers for you and I pray it does not get worse. In my own health, I was told 20 years ago, that it takes 2 years to get used to the change in your body. It is pretty much true, and your body accepts and sometimes compensates for that issue going on. You do so much for others, just listen to your eyes and rest them when they are telling you to rest! God Bless and will keep you in my prayers. ❤

  20. God Bless you and Irene! I hope they find her luggage! Prayers for you and I pray it does not get worse. In my own health, I was told 20 years ago, that it takes 2 years to get used to the change in your body. It is pretty much true, and your body accepts and sometimes compensates for that issue going on. You do so much for others, just listen to your eyes and rest them when they are telling you to rest! God Bless and will keep you in my prayers. ❤

  21. Thank you for explaining your eye issues and the cruise issues I am not directly effected by either. I just like to know the how and why of things. You must just laugh at all the things people tell you to try to help you because you know they really do want to help in anyway they can but lack the most complete information about what ever the current problem is. I confess to being one of those people.
    I also wanted to say your husband must be so glad to know what was causing his hives so he can change his diet and be less itchy and painful. It's also nice for him that you know a bit about avioding gluten I am hoping he can tolerate some gluten so his diet can include those trace foods like soy sauce and a treat that he used to be able to eat once in a while

  22. Having met you in Alaska its more painful for me to hear about your eyes. I know you will adjust to whatever you have too as you really have no choice. You are one of the most giving people I've have ever met. Maybe now is the time for us to give back to you. I will take another cruise with you when I can participate more. I was the one with the scooter and the knee. Much love to you and your Mom.

  23. Google vision hygiene. Just like dental, but for eyes. There are "things" to do to support vision. I learned about it when my son was diagnosed with visual perception problems years ago. and, rest your eyes...when you do a lot of close work...every 15-30min (set a timer cause this is important)....stop and focus/look distance. Move just your eyes back and forth (not your head) and find a line (can be where walls meet or wall and ceiling meet) and look left and right/up and down a few times, focusing on the distance.
    color overlays do help some people with reading print. Might google vitamin C--it's a magical ingredient. Wishing the best for you always...you are a light for many people.

  24. I know you're an android gal so you might want to try an app I recently downloaded. It's called Bluelight Blocker. It dims the screen on your device, making it less bright and glaring. It might help. I hope so, I know how important your computer is to your business and fun!


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