Sunday, February 05, 2017

Houston is a Madhouse!

Houston may be a madhouse with all of the Super Bowl activity, but it is hard not to get caught up in it!

Especially when your plane going from Altanta, home of the Falcons and Super Bowl contenders is FULL of Falcon supporters dressed in red gear, ready to descend on Houston and RISE UP against the Patriots.

The tension at the gate was palpable.

Seats on my flight were severely oversold, and gate agents were offering as much as $1000.00 vouchers for travelers, mostly Bowl-goers, to take a later flight.

Heck! If I didn’t have somewhere to be by a certain time and guild ladies waiting for my arrival, *I* would have given up my seat for a $1000.00 voucher.

The woman next to me said “NO WAY.  I have waited months for this bowl game, I’ve had my tickets for a long time, I am not giving up my seat for a voucher in any amount.”  And I could tell most of the other football fans felt the same way.

Then I thought – okay, Delta, you made this situation by overselling so many seats, why not offer those you can’t give seats to the $1000.00 vouchers and let THEM take the later flight where you DO have seats. 

As it was, I took my cramped seat back in the cattle section in row 20 and attempted to stitch.

This photo was taken when I deplaned in Houston, and we were descended upon my Falcons supporters cheering on Falcons Fans who had flown in for the game.  A welcoming and cheering committee as we left security -- AND in the baggage claim!  It was hard not to get caught up in it, so I succumbed to this photo op.


Greensboro to Atlanta.

I had two flights, and two very wonderfully intriguing seat mates on both flights and I admit, so much talking was going on that I didn’t make much progress.  Both flights were under 2 hours, and I love learning about people and their lives more than just about anything.

Of course quilting opens up a whole direction of conversation.  The woman I sat next to from Greensboro to Atlanta was on her way home to Los Angeles, her husband and son a row behind us.  They were in North Carolina because her son will be attending college in NC on a golf scholarship as well as academics. Turns out she is into scrap booking and understands my need to cut up fabric and put it back together.  Very fun conversation!


Atlanta to Houston

The gentleman that joined me from Atlanta to Houston was one of the lone Patriots fans on the plane.  He was interested in what I was doing, and then confessed that he was into stitching of another kind – he was a plastic surgeon from Florida on the way to Houston from Florida to spend Super Bowl weekend with his brother.  What an interesting round of discussion!

He came to the realization that quilting, like plastic surgery is much about keeping stitches as invisible as possible! 

I asked what brought him in to plastic surgery, and he says it is rewarding to give someone their life back through reconstruction after surgeries, either from trauma, accidents, (facial reconstruction) cancer (mastectomies in particular) or even the average person who just wants to feel happier about the skin they are living in.

Florida is perfect for this guy.

You know, even us classic cars can benefit from a new coat of paint.  I can see it.  And he said that sometimes reconstruction is also artistic in a way because things need to be in proportion and you are creating a new reality for someone who has lost something, or has never had something.  Very interesting.  Like working with clay, only it’s flesh and muscle and tissue, nerves and….very cool.

And I think he was taken aback that quilting could even be considered a successful business. He checked out my website.  I told him about the Quiltmaker column, and the book writing, tool designing, online workshops, global travel and the fact that I am the Joker on my own decks of Quiltville Playing Cards.

"We are a subculture to be reckoned with!" I said.  And he laughed.  And he was impressed,

I just love meeting people and learning what they do with their lives and where their paths have taken them.

As for the hexie star –well, let’s just say that points on diamonds are a bit tougher than “normal” hexies.  This unit is big, and it felt stiff.  And there is a lot of seam allowance and dog ears at those points to deal with, especially when the center is joined.  I’m wondering if it is better to work these stars in 3-diamond HALVES and then stitch the star together first before setting in the outside diamonds, or if it is best to work these “tumbling blocks” fashion and then just insert the 3 remaining background diamonds after those are together.

Any tips would be appreciated!

At this point I’m thinking “regular” hand piecing might even be preferable than all of this big paper bulk and dog ears.


Dinner!  Ole!

Picking up the luggage and getting to the curb was fairly easy.  I was quickly spotted by my “road crew” and off we went to dinner.  I was STARVING!  We knocked one of my “Must do’s” right off the list for any time I visit Texas.  TEX MEX! 

My friends, what you see here is an avocado stuffed with chicken fajita meat and veggies, rolled in corn meal and deep fried.  Oh. My. Word.  I know it went straight to my thighs but it was so wonderful!


Adding fill in corner #4 to the mothership.

I brought this with me.  THE BIG THING.  Instead of having a machine with me, I decided to take the evening time that I have free and attach fill in corner #4.  Besides, there was a Harry Potter marathon on TV, and a recliner in my room.  I wish the light were a bit better, but by removing the lap shade from the lamp over my right shoulder, I could do okay.


Half way done.

Tonight I’ll finish the remainder of that section, and I’ll be able to show this as part of my lecture with the Baytown Area Quilt Guild tomorrow night.


This happened!

I shared this photo this morning to social media after waking up to discover that my Facebook page had reached over 100,000 followers.  I am just blown away.

But what blows me away even MORE is that my son shared it.  To HIS “very cool” friends –letting them know that he is proud of his mother.  That is worth even more to me than that 100,000 followers.

It's great to be in the company of so many like-minded scrapaholics! Thank you for hanging with me, peeps!

I’m being picked up in just a bit for breakfast with the guild girls, and then we will be spending today in a Box Kite Workshop from the Addicted to Scraps book.  I’m excited to be sharing the ins and outs of the Essential Triangle Tool with the members of the Baytown Area Quilt Guild of Houston Texas.

Due to it being Sunday (And a Super Bowl Sunday at that) we are starting at 11am and going until 6pm.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage double wedding ring quilt found in North Carolina.

Take a good hard look at the things that are stopping you. Are there valid reasons? Or just excuses?

Remember even a little bit of progress is moving forward. (which is why I set in to attach that hexie section.  No more excuses!)

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

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  1. Congrats on 100k! I'm not on Facebook or you would be at 100,001, bc I would definitely follow! Awesome blog!

  2. So exciting!!! 100K love you and that includes me. Congratulations. Bonnie. I'm in Georgia so let me get in a GO FALCONS!!

  3. So exciting!!! 100K love you and that includes me. Congratulations. Bonnie. I'm in Georgia so let me get in a GO FALCONS!!

  4. What an interesting trip you had to Houston, with great seat mates. And, sounds like you and your students are spending Superbowl Sunday in the best way I could ever dream of. Just wish I was there to join you and try some Tex Mex (I've never had before, but sounds yummy).
    Congrats on 100k fans. Woo hoo, let there be fireworks.


  5. That hexy project just blows my mind. Oh patience though art a rare virtue.

  6. Sounds like a fun trip so far! Your dinner looked amazing. Every time I see your hexie quilt and I so amazed. And congrats on the 100K fans. Go Falcons!!

  7. Bonnie, I love the elongated hexies.... but dislike EPP... seems like far too much trouble. BUT decided to simply piece them without
    papers... hand stitching each. Softer to deal with,, less time consuming. If you are gentle with your work done is can take the handling.

    LOVE Texas ... name it about that state, and I love it. especially the food!!!!
    Have fun, eat TEX MEX...the real thing

  8. I'm familiar with Houston as we lived in Victoria, TX for several years and I hated going to the airport even on a non-Super Bowl day! YIKES! No offense to the guild girls, but couldn't your class have been scheduled at a better time??

  9. Just read some interesting articles on the millefiori quilts and I think many hand piecers would ditch the paper, mark a dot at the intersection points, and just running stitch sew the shapes, especially since you have the die cutter for precision. Also, I was taught to do these in halves as you mentioned. You have one long zigzag seam that seems easier then building from the center out like hexies.

  10. It's such a wonderful feeling when our children acknowledge who we are and express their pride and joy. Kudos to your son for sharing his feelings. ♡

  11. Please share where you found that delicious looking stuffed avocado?! I want to order one so badly! I don't live far from Houston.

  12. Love your star and "foot pedals"! The trick to piecing the diamonds is to make sure all the dog ears are spinning the same way when you are gluing the seams. I also use just the thinnest line of glue set back from the edge of the paper. Can't wait to see what you are going to do with them, I might have to do one too!

  13. ... and your stars are scrappy of course! As I mentioned in another post, I am fussy cutting. I sew halves and then stitch the halves together. And yes, ears going all the same direction. Stars are fun! Just not 10 pointed millifiori stars which I'm also hand stitching on! Have fun in Houston!

  14. Colleen, most likely when the guild scheduled Bonnie two to three years ago, Super Bowl hadn't yet been scheduled for Houston. The games are scheduled one year ahead, Bonnie scheduled two to three years ahead. So Bonnies visit was most likely on the calendar first! Hey, it is w What it is. No crystal balls around that I know of.

    Congrats Bonnie on your FB followers. And what a son! He's a special guy.

  15. Love today's quote, power in words

  16. Enjoy Houston! I'm a homebody so not jealous but I do enjoy being in Houston during the autumn quilt festival when I'm fortunate enough to attend. :)

  17. Oh, so we're "classic cars," are we, Bonnie? LOL. EPP points are definitely harder, but yours look good to me!

  18. Sounds like your flight was interesting! Go PATS!

  19. Congratulations on 100K followers, I love that page 😊. Good on your son for sharing your success with his friends, I'm sure they all are impressed with his cool mum.
    I love EPP but agree that the large diamonds can be bulky, no easy way though unfortunately. I do piece the stars in half then sew the long center seam. I also prefer the 1 inch diamond, less bulk and I love small pieces 🤗. Great hexi quilt, I have too many hand piecing projects on the go. Need a system to figure out which to work on. No deadlines so too much procrastination 😩. Have a great day

    Julie, Perth Aust.

  20. Just wondering what size your hexies are, I've been doing 1/2" ones, .... crazy , yes but they are sooo addicting.

  21. Did you know you would be in Houston on Super Bowl Sunday? I would have avoided it like the plague!
    Cannot wait to see the finish on your hexie quilt, it is just so amazing!
    I love how proud your son is of you and your Quiltville! I am proud to be on of the 100,000! Thank you for all your time and talent you put into all you do for us quilters. You are the best!

  22. Go Patriots! Hard not to get caught up in the fever! I bet that plane was a hoot!

  23. Hi, Bonnie -- I teach a machine piecing y-seam technique that involves chain-piecing (happily)and find that I get a better center when piecing 6-pointed stars by making three tumbling block units first, setting those together, and then inserting the remaining background diamonds. Plus my students get better results as well, so that's the proof in the pudding.

  24. Welcome to Texas Bonnie !!! Endulge at every opportunity to enjoy the Tex Mex !!! Breakfast Tacos are to die for !! They even ride in your purse quite nicely too.. Try "Chuy's" if you see one and the Grandma 'Rita's ..Enjoy our Great State, from a gal whose family is listed on Stephen F. Austin's "First 300 Families". Love all you do and many thanks for all the info and patterns.
    Oh, you need to come back to Houston during our Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, you ain't seen nothin' like it !!! Has a quilt contest and display..
    Happy Trails to you, pamj

  25. Bonnie, you wondered if "regular” hand piecing might even be preferable. Yes! Your friend Linda Franz would be happy to make your life easier where that is concerned with her Inklingo diamonds. So easy and much lighter to carry around as well. Loved hearing the plastic surgeon's perspective on stitching. And, of course, your enthusiasm about everything around you is a great example for us all.

  26. I once pieced a star quilt making baby blocks first and then setting them together, and on the machine no less - because I didn't know any better! It came out fine. Congrats on the 100,000!

  27. I meant to add - Congrats to the Patriots! Good job!

  28. Way to go Jason!!Gave me shivers to think you did that for your Mom. I can only imagine how she felt on reading it!

  29. WOW 100000 that's amazing! Thx for the online friendship

  30. Bonnie:
    CONGRATS on the 100,000 Peeps following you, of which I am one.

    Your hexies top is looking beautiful, and I just love your diamond star. I love the star and the outside background diamonds, too.

    I hope you had a Great Sunday with the Guild!

    Kasilof, AK

  31. Congratulations! I don't know what size paper pieces you are using for the star hexagon. I am making 2" 6 pointed stars that will be joined by sewing hexagons between the stars. I am sewing 2 sets of 3 diamond shapes and then joining the 2 sets to make the stars. I would think that might be a good way for you to make your block, and then sewing the diamonds around the outside of the star. However, I am the novice and you are the expert, so I will be anxious to hear how you finally decide to make the block. I don't have a pattern for what I am doing, but I saw a picture of an antique quilt and decided to just go for it. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

  32. You can find those fabulous stuffed avocados at Los Cucos. There are several locations throughout Houston and they are delicious!

    I'm lovin' the large hexie quilt, Bonnie. I've watched your progress on it for a while now.


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