Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What A Load Of…

This is the view from my back deck at home.

We have an acre and a half – bordered by woods with a creek that you see in the drop-off area in the back.

The creek is the dividing property line between us, and our neighbors behind us.

I LOVE that there are no fences.

It reminds me of when I was little, living in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and there were no fences in the neighborhood I grew up in.  I still remember the name of the street – The Strand, near Groveland Elementary where I attended kindergarten, 1st and part way through 2nd grades.

In my neighborhood of “no fences” the kids were able to run free from yard to yard to yard, kicking balls, playing on each other’s swing sets or digging in sandboxes, even so much as picking rhubarb straight from the garden, dipping the ends into the sugar bowl offered by my mom from the kitchen, and we’d munch away, dipping and chewing the sour goodness in a world without fences.

I never knew a fence until I moved to California when my dad was transferred in his job.  Luckily there was a park across the street where we could run and play, and there was an open, undeveloped field behind us, ringed with walnut trees that we could climb and build forts in.  The world was still our playground.

When we found this place, I knew it was the right one.  NO FENCES.  Please don’t fence me in!


My house from the top of the driveway.

Even though I love to travel and appreciate the beauty of where others live –and nature’s wonder takes all different shapes and forms, this is home for me.  Tall trees, 4 seasons, room to breathe, and by all means – NO FENCES!

Are there things I don’t like about this house?  Sure.  It’s always a compromise.  It’s actually in the WINTER that the house is lighter and airier because all of the leaves are gone, the shade is gone, the sun can shine through.  While I love my little front porch with its porch swing, the overhanging roof makes the front room very dark.  Did I think of that when I bought this place? No.  Because it was November and the leaves were gone, like right about now. 

The front door opens right up to the staircase that goes to the two upstairs bedrooms.  Does it bother me?  Well, sometimes moving things in or out of the house make that staircase just a bit of a pain.  It’s RIGHT THERE as soon as you open the door, with barely clearance to open the door.  But its a small inconvenience for everything else this house has that I have grown to love over the past nearly 9 years.

It hit me this morning that this is the LONGEST I have ever lived anywhere –MY ENTIRE LIFE.  I’ve put down roots.  Even with weird things about this house, I have become attached.

And I smiled to myself as I did a quickie “Christmas switcheroo” to celebrate that I am home for the next month.


Kitchen Cupboard, MOST of the year.

Everyday plates on the bottom.
Everyday bowls, second shelf.
Christmasware – TOP SHELF!



Christmasware on bottom
Everyday dishes moved to top.


My Christmas tree! LOL!

My mom made me this hanging Christmas tree several years ago, mostly recycled fabric from things like shirt cuffs.  This is all I need for a Christmas tree because we spend our time between two places, and I don’t want to have my time home taken up by copious amounts of over-decorating, only to have to take more time to put it away again before I travel right after New Years.

I have a few fun things that will come out in the next few days – stockings can hang on the mantle.  Floral arrangements and poinsettias can bring color and add a festive touch.  Candles.  Potpourri simmering, and the smell of yummy things baking.  This is all I need to bring Christmas into my home.  Oh, and music.  Don’t forget the music.

Quilts with a holiday feel will be placed on beds and on sofas and chairs.

I’ve learned to love SIMPLE.  And simply being together.  This is what Christmas is for me, and I feel like I can’t breathe in a space that looks like Hobby Lobby exploded the whole holiday department into a small space.  Less is more for me.  This leaves me more time to sew, to bake, to spend time with those I love.

I have something exciting to share:


These are in the manufacturing process!

I have a shipment of Quiltville personalized 2 1/2’’ x 6 1/2’’ creative grid rulers coming soon!  I love this size for cutting 4 patch and 9 patch strip sets, for trimming paper piecing units and other small jobs.  It’s the right size tool for the right small job.  I’m not sure when they will get here, likely NOT in time for Christmas, but we’ll be ready by the first of the year for these.  I’m not ordering huge batches, I’ll put what comes in into the Quiltville Store and when inventory gets low, we’ll order more and they will be in stock when they are in stock.


Last night’s shipment pick up!

It rained most of the day yesterday.  And I am grateful for the rain with the forest fires we’ve had close to the cabin, and all of the other fire devastation in this corner of the country.  My prayers and thoughts go to those in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN.  Please, we need MORE RAIN. 

But the rain stopped long enough last night for us to run down to the Yellow Freight Depot and retrive 4,000 copies of the Addicted to Scraps Book! This is 3,000 lbs of books!


One pallet in the back of the pickup!


The second one on the trailer, and away we go.


Sadie supervising!

There would have been no way to transport this if it were raining.  And we made it home dry.  My thanks to son Jeff who helped me unload all of the boxes into the house while the Hubster ran off to make his tennis match in time.  We moved 3,000 lbs of books into my stockroom!  Who needs a GYM!?

The next big shipment should happen in the next couple of weeks.  My fingers are crossed that the 4,000 Essential Triangle Tools  also show up on time so I can get them out to you.  The manufacturing process is out of my hands, and I know you are as anxious as I am.  Hang in there.  They will come.  We will get them out!

I have “cherry picked” through all of the remaining orders, and everything that does NOT include an Essential Triangle Tool was either shipped by post office closing time yesterday, or will go today on the way to the dentist.

After the dentist, I’m heading to the cabin for the weekend, and HOPEFULLY some sewing time!  The cabin is now listed on Realtor.com and you can check it out HERE  Please share the link with someone you think might be interested!  Part of our weekend will be adding the trim and baseboards to complete the re-do of the basement family room.

But there NEEDS to be sewing time.  I am in serious withdrawals!

Oh, and before I forget!  TODAY is the LAST DAY of 25% off of all Digital Patterns in the Quiltville Store.  If you haven't gotten yours yet, remember to use code DIGITAL25 in the coupon box at purchase.  Coupon must be used for discount.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage double wedding ring quilt shared by Kevin H.

Our relationships are worth far more than any object that we desire. Who remembers the song 'One Tin Soldier'?

The best gifts in life are people, not things.

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  1. I can't wait for that ruler. I need 2 one for each of my places. It will be the perfect size. Anyway that tree your mother made is wonderful. I don't have room for much and don't put up a tree. I am definitely making one or two or three of those. Can you five a few more details about it. It looks like it is triangle sewn together and then turned inside out and just tacked together with buttons for accents?

  2. I love your home. We also have 1 3/4 acres and, after growing up in San Francisco and raising our kids in San Jose, we love our space! The cabin is beautiful Bonnie. But the listing states 2 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. Pictures show 3 bedrooms.

  3. I remember the song, One Tin Soldier! You are right. With Christmas on a Sunday, my focus is not so much on the gifts. I make my family gifts. Something that can't be purchased. Just like the Love, you give it away and your heart gets bigger. It's time for the holiday goodie baking. In between the Clues of course.

  4. Good luck with the sale of your cabin, and enjoy the time you have at home. I love reading your blog. Thank you for everything you do!

  5. Your new ruler is going to sell out! I have a 4x8 omingrid that i use for those small jobs. I have grown to love the creative grid brands and want one of yours. Especially since it reminds us that no fabric is ugly!!
    Merry Christmas.

  6. I love your simple Christmas. I do less every year...but still love to put up a Christmas tree...almost all the ornaments are handmade, or otherwise gifts from friends, a few that were my mom's, reminders of special days. I do love your Christmas tree though and may have to copy it to hang on a wall somewhere! I do remember the song One Tin Soldier...and the Billy Jack movie it was in. I know I will have to get a ruler of yours. Still undecided about doing the mystery and for now collecting the patterns and possible fabrics. Have to finish Allietare first!

  7. Our homes are such a reflection of who we are and what we love! We left a home in NC that was surrounded by nature and lovely oak trees to move into a subdivision just outside of Nashville when my husband was transferred. While we loved the house, we just couldn't get used to all the fences and NO trees! We lasted 4 years before we moved further out into the country where we have more trees and space. I haven't begun the Christmas decorating yet, but this weekend will be a whirlwind I'm sure :*). You are smart to put your energy into enjoying the season while you have this window of time at home.

  8. This is the ruler I have been waiting for. It's kind of like Christmas...you have to wait and wait and wait and then wait some more and then all of a sudden it's here! only in our case we are in the "wait some more" stage. We are patiently waiting with great anxiety for it's arrival.
    Have a wonderful time at the cabin this weekend.

  9. Great size ruler and I'm glad you are the one who is getting it made! Coming back from overseas it is hard for me to get carried away with Christmas decor and gifts because I am reminded of what little some people have every day of their life. Love to you.

  10. Yes, I remember One Tin Soldier very well. My first job was at our local movie theatre. I worked the week Billy Jack was showing and heard that song over and over. I was 16 yrs. old and was paid $1 an hour. Your cabin is lovely and you have my wishes for a quick sale. I know you will find your forever place soon.

  11. Now there's a song I haven't heard in a LONG time.....very appropriate for the current times..... :-(

    I have that ruler -- it is probably my most favorite and most used ruler. I love the size! I find myself reaching for that one over and over. Mine's personalized too but I'm not even sure where I got it -- just know I can't live without it and will be waiting for yours to arrive so I can have a spare.

    I don't do much decorating and not sure I will do a tree this year -- a certain fluffy puppy is in a chew everything stage -- you'd think at 8 months that would have stopped or slowed down by now.....do you have any idea how much thread comes off a new spool of Aurifil?

  12. I spy one lone strippy pumpkin on that design wall in your cabin. LOL! I hoped you would add that little ruler to your store. After you told us how handy it was on Quiltcam, I went on a search. Mine is also Creative Grids but has another store's logo. It is so great that you can stock items you love to use and recommend to us.

  13. Yes, I remember "One Tin Soldier" and the great treasure under the rock..."PEACE ON EARTH ... is all it said".

    If we could all just live with great love there would be peace.

  14. I'm old. I live on almost 4 acres in the summertime and I get desperately lonely. Beautiful house, park like surrounds, no people in sight. Lonely. In the winter I have fences and neighbors who knock to see how I'm doing and what I'm quilting. With age comes different needs. People bring out the best of me. I was born in a log cabin in Tn...I grew up in those mountains. Never would I live there although in the hectic career days I longed for the peace and quiet and my sewing machine. Now I long for friends and neighbors and medical services and shopping centers and sewing machines. I have about 20 machines. Bonnie, your generosity is awesome. God bless and help you find your peaceful place.

  15. Sadie Jane sent me a personal ESP message to share with her Mommy. She now realizes for sure this where those nasty boxes nest and breed. Being a good beastie girl, she choose not to make a scene (true Southern lady) and attack these terrible things. She has admitted being a tad confused that her very own Mommy not only tolerates them, but she seems to like them.
    HUmans are confusing at times. End of message.
    ENjoy your time at home, and please give Sadie special hugs as she puts up with terrible ghings living in her own home now.

  16. I love living in the country too all my life without fences and just playing all over the places, in the woods, in the neighbors yards. Of course, country was just 10 minutes from town, but to those classmates living in town acted like we were living in the "sticks". Now later in life after 30 years of marriage, we live closer to town for the last 15 years, but it is still on the outskirts where it still feels like we are living in the country. AND I love that ruler - it's the perfect size!! Why did anyone think of this sooner? and if they had, I guess I just never noticed - lol.

  17. I love the new ruler. I'll be excited to order a few when they become available. Thanks for the cool things you add to your store. Have a great weekend of rejuvenation as you "sew your brains out"; you need and deserve it. Do you happen to know the pattern name for the tree wall hanging? It's so cute and I so want to use all those cuffs I have in my stash.

    Karen in SD

  18. "One Tin Soldier"!!! One of favorite songs when it came out and I still like it. Oh that brings up memories.
    And speaking of relationships; we have a big creative event (for shopping) here were you meet the creative souls who have made these beautiful items up for purchase (it is called "The Butterdome Craft Sale" - and I love going!!) Well, was not sure I could go this year and my niece kept bugging my sister (her mom) to make me come because, I am the one who introduced this place to them and made them go and now, it's a 'family tradition' - did I not know this??? Made me laugh because, uh, no I did not 'know' that!!!
    So here it keeping love alive and well in all our lives and if I could, your retreat house would be sitting there with a SOLD sign in front!!!! Love your Christmas tree too!!!! Like you, I like a little decorating but not like some people - my neighbor - is good example. She has had her yard done up since the middle of November!!!

    Make today wonderful and love the pics of all the books. What is this?? Your 12 or 15th order of them?? Kidding!! But that is a whole lot of books - but now that you have shown your up and coming newest ruler - I know what I want when it's ready!!!! now to go get more 4 patches sewn today!!!!!! Only 171 to go.........

  19. Thank you for sharing the photo of your home and property. I am reading your blog in bed and looked out the window to see a large eastern grey kangaroo sitting and then bounding across our lawn. I had to share this Aussie scene with you. I like the others can't wait to buy the ruler and adore the fabric Christmas tree.

  20. holy cow, I don't realize the quantity of things you're dealing with until you show photos like those with all the books.

  21. You mentioned the rhubarb and no fences. I grew up on the shores of Lake Mendota at Middleton Beach, WI. No fences and we ran from yard to yard. We also picked and ate rhubarb, but we put salt on it and not sugar. Don't know why, but I remember it fondly. We would fish and play all summer and skate and play all winter. At night we would play "Kick the Can" using the neighbors backyard stump as "home/all in free." We were also blessed to see the Northern lights over the lake most nights. Wish I could see them again. That was over 60 years ago.

  22. Bonnie, Your blogs always make me feel so good. This one, though, was so heartwarming as you talked of running through the yards as a kid. It brought back such happy memories for me. I don't live in the past, but I sure do love remembering it.

    Looking forward to your new ruler tool.

    Thank you so so much for the good feelings you bring. Who needs valium or blood pressure medicine when we can have your delifghtful thoughts and insights.

    You really are the best...

    Loretta McGinn

  23. I have lived in Minnetonka MN for 31 years. My 3 children went to Groveland School and I know they have enjoyed growing up in all our open spaces. We have many wonderful quilt shops and designers in our area. I hope you will plan a trip here soon. I am volunteering now to pick you up at the airport and give you a tour of our shops, I'm sure you would enjoy them. 😀 GO TONKA!!

  24. I was shocked to read that you have put your cabin on the market! I thought that you and your family were so happy with the time you spent there. I guess I must have missed a previous blog post about why you are selling it. I looked at all the pictures, and it looks awesome!!

  25. hi Bonnie,
    i remember growing up in a neighborhood that had about 10-15 kids more of less the same age. each day we got together on some corner or other and rode bikes, who cared who's was who's, the old beat up blue one was our favorite, and played until our mothers started calling us in for the night, it must have been hours and hours of just being, the best training for "just living" there is. bringing up my own family, i tried very hard to include that type of time, "empty", just being time in their lives and you know what, they're all great non- bored adults!!! hurrah!
    how can i order that new ruler, pre order maybe?
    thanks, shoshana

  26. You have made a beautiful home! I hope it sells at the right time for the right price so you can choose a new location for you, your husband, and family. Then you'll make another beautiful home filled with love and quilts.

  27. Hi Bonnie! I Love the song, One Tin Soldier!

    I also will be waiting for you to get the little rulers!
    I Got one from Nancy Call (Kuna, ID); Nancy's Quilts during the Treasure Valley Shop Hop two Years Ago, Now I can get yours to go with it!

    Will love to check out your cabin pictures also.

    I grew up on a farm in MN, NO fences, My kids grew up on a farm in OR, no fences, and we have no fences between our places here in Alaska, either. There are only four people that live on our road, and no fences! The moose and people move freely, when walking.

    Have a great, relaxing weekend! I get to sew on the mystery the next few days, except for a funeral on Saturday.

    in Snowy Kasilof, AK
    MY Prayers also go out to those in Gatlinburg and throughout the SE part of the US Struck by tornados and fires!

  28. I'll be watching for the little ruler to be listed in the store. I never thought about it before, but when I was small I don't remember a fence in our neighbor hood either. (I'm 65). We never had a fence until be got a Black Lab (who I called a runaway dog. Ever think about why there are so many labs listed in the lost section of the newspaper?) Anyway we have 3/4 acre fenced yard that has gone from chain link to privacy. (Privacy when up when my MIL moved in two blocks away, lol) It looks to me that the trade-offs you made when you bought the house were worth it.

    One thought after reading your post is that you work really hard to make a living doing what you love. Good for you!!
    xx, Carol

  29. Love your home. Crazy about your Christmas dishes! Where'd you find them?
    Looking forward to your book.

  30. Wow...similarities. I lived in NW PA until I was nearly seven. No fences. Kids still run across yards in my small hometown. Family moved to southern California then...six foot fences surrounding every yard in the subdivision. No fences in the SW FL neighborhood my husband and I and two kids lived in for twelve years (but maybe their should have been. Now we have 11 1/2 acres in our beloved NC mountains, with a house whose front door opens onto the staircase leading to two bedrooms. No covered front porch, but a cover on one side of the deck is on our wish list for sunny summer days. And here is where we have lived the longest, 27 years and counting.

  31. One of my quilting buddies and I were discussing at a quilt retreat in Texas, how you get all done that you do. That is a whole lot of books to store and mail. WOW!!!! Especially the shipping of your books and rulers. We were both working on our 1st step on En Provence and have challenged ourselves to do this mystery quilt. It will be Brenda in Texas and Brenda in Arkansas working on it and so much fun to keep each other accountable. Happy Quilting.

  32. I know how you feel about over decorating when you are going to be gone part of the time. I thought we would be here for Christmas, but it looks like we may be going to our daughter's in Virginia. Her husband is a Navy SeaBee and is stationed in Greece right now. Her latest FB post made us think we need to rethink our plans. We have the outside decorated, but I want to rethink the inside. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  33. I love your new book and am looking forward to starting a quilt from it. I do have a problem. I was looking forward to using your Essential Triangle Tool, but it arrived broken. Is there I way that I can get it replaced? Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  34. I love that you picked rhubarb straight from the garden and dipped the ends into the sugar bowl. We were raised in a small town in SD and did the exact same thing!


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