Saturday, June 10, 2017

Making Quilts Ready!

I spent yesterday getting 18 quilts ready for Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA next month.

It’s approaching faster than fast – and I needed to get this done and ready so that I have time to head up to the cabin when I get back from California.

I was asked a few weeks ago if I would consider being the guest artist and having my quilts on exhibit during the show, and let me tell you that is a daunting proposition for me.

I’m feeling very humbled over mismatched seams, points that have gone missing, wayward threads that keep popping up here and there no matter how much time I’ve spent gleaning over each one trying to tame them.

My quilts are hanging in an exhibit!

And I’m someone who never enters a show for “judging” because I don’t quilt for perfection.  I quilt for the love of scraps and of piecing and of color and because it makes me happy.

Maybe that’s the best reason to be making quilts after all, but to know they are going to be hanging there with all of the magnificent quilts really WORTHY of judging and being shown, well – the closer this date comes the more my heart flutters and I’m feeling like the new girl on the first day of school.

“Will they like me?  Or will they be critical?”


I’m excited to send quilts that haven’t been seen in public before!

That includes the H is for Happy quilt above, and Garlic Knots shown here.

The quilts that are available by digital pattern don’t usually travel with me as the space in my bags is taken up by classroom quilts and those found in books so folks can readily pick up the book or pattern during my visit.  It doesn’t often work to say “This is my Garlic Knots Quit.  Go to my website, click on shop, navigate to digital patterns, and it will show up in your email after purchase….”  It’s a complicated thing if you aren’t used to navigating a computer web store and using pay-pal to check out.  So these usually stay home.  

But they are going to be SEEN!


Orca Bay from String Fling is going!

As are several of our favorite Quiltville Mysteries.  I’m hoping that they are recognized by others who made these quilts along with us during mystery time.  Celtic Solstice is not going due to it’s humongous King size, and it is on the master bed up at the cabin being used.  But I’m happy that Orca Bay, Allietare, Roll Roll -Cotton Boll, Easy Street, Grand Illusion and En Provence are to be part of our exhibit.

Since the last 4 years of mysteries are also available as digital patterns, not in print, they don’t often fly with me just because of the nature of the pattern.  I’m excited that they will be on display in the flesh fabric so to speak!


Daylilies from String Fling

I added a couple of favorites that also are not seen much because I don’t teach them as workshops.  This is one of my favorite quilts from String Fling and it rarely sees the open air.  I made the Carolina Lily blocks back “in the 90s” while still living in Idaho.  All of the blocks used ONE background fabric, a very boring tone on tone cream.  They languished because I had no way to set them that made me happy.

While working on the quilts for String Fling I decided to use string blocks as the setting, and bonus triangles for the outside border and I fell in love with these blocks all over again.  I’m happy it is coming up and out for air!

NINE of the quilts from my next upcoming book will also be on display.  The first time they are being seen in the open air by anyone.  I hope this breathes some excitement into those who are eager for more string quilting, because that’s been my focus over the past year while working on these. 

9 down, 3 to go –I’m working fast on deadlines to have all of the quilts ready and done so I can start tackling manuscript stuff.


So here they are.

Some you might recognize and be able to name.

Some you’ve likely seen me working on, but never saw the finish.

This is me.

All of the info that goes on the placards next to the quilts in the exhibit has been written, and digitally submitted along with a photo of each one so they can be matched up.  I also printed out a copy of each description/photo and pinned it to each quilt.

Sleeves are on!  Labels are on!  We are ready to pack them up!

I will be driving these to Pennsylvania with me when I go up to Mary’s Quilt Shop in Bedford, PA to teach in July.  I’ll be there for TWO weekends (with play time in the middle!) for workshops!!  Are you coming?  There may still be space! 

We are doing Garden Party and Box Kite from the Addicted to Scraps book  and Wonky Wishes over both weekends! The dates are July 8, 9 & 10th with a lecture also on the evening of the 9th, and the following weekend: July 14, 15, 16 with a repeat of the lecture on the night of the 15th.

Contact the folks at Mary’s Quilt Shop at (814)310-2278.  I’d love to see you there!

So yes, July is going to be very very busy and I’ll be spending much of it in Pennsylvania.

Will any vintage machines be going with me?  Likely a couple!  It’s getting to be slimmer pickings here and I do believe that what I’ve got I want to keep.  But maybe a couple.  We shall see!


This one’s a keeper!


Stitching more string snowball blocks to Outlander!

This machine is just sewing at top notch!  1913!  I’m still blown away.  She was originally a treadle, you can tell by the hand wheel.  Later, an after-market motor and light were added.  Who knows when.  When it was given to me it was covered in decades worth of dirt and grime and the motor didn’t work.  I scavenged some parts from a donor machine (a broken 99 with knee control that didn’t work either.) and let me tell you, it is so rewarding to have this old beauty brought back to life.


Lots of stitching of string blocks – I was up trimming early this morning!

I am loving the Simple Folded Corners ruler for squaring my blocks AND removing corners enabling me to use triangles cut from strips with the Essential Triangle Tool so there is no stitch-and-flip waste.  Just perfect placement!  

I love how the right tools for the right job make the process perfectly easy breezy. And the ruler stickers are the bomb.

We are currently out of the Simple Folded Corners ruler in the Quiltville Store, but another shipment is already on the way.

Today is a day for re-packing the trunk show and getting everything ready to fly to Los Angeles bright and early tomorrow morning.  Camarillo and Orange Grove Quilters, I’m coming your way and I can’t wait to meet you!

Hopefully there will be time for more string block sewing this evening before an early bed time arrives.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Wild Goose Chase quilt found in Kentucky.

Simple doesn't mean insignificant!

Have a lovely Saturday, everyone!

Follow me on Instagram!

Follow my Quiltville Page on Facebook for more fun!

Join our sister group, Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook, a place to Sew, Share & Grow!!


  1. Ms Bonnie: you might think the Carolina Lily is a boring block, but I found it one of the loveliest of your quilts. The "boring" background is restful to the eyes and soul, and the strings give it the pizzazz one expects from you. Thanks for sharing. I hope you will have photos to share from the exhibit. You are excited/scared which is normal, but after following you for only a few years, I know you are so worthy of this honor. YOU are the ONLY quilt teacher/designer I follow. I design my own quilts. I might take inspiration from someone else, but when my quilt is done, you can't tell. But you have a few quilts I will make just like they are. I can't say the same thing about Grand Illusion, I changed ONE block and the layout. Hubby said when he saw that, that you were in a tormented frame of mind when you designed it, as it wasn't like your others. When you revealed the issue with your publishing house that explained it and the next 2 mysteries were much calmer in design. You are soooo cool, wish I could meet you in person, but will continue to follow you in Quiltville as long as you continue to post.

  2. Perfection doesn't inspire people to try new things. Seeing imperfections makes a person realize she too can be less-than-perfect and still produce beauty. I speak from experience! Your quilts will light a fire under more people than you can possibly imagine, so hang them with pride and without apologies!

  3. Bonnie, I am so proud of you!! I know people who have never seen your work will be amazed that out of the tiny things so many of us used to waste something beautiful can emerge!!

    BTW, I think having the same background for the lily blocks is what lets the string block sing!

  4. you inspire so many - I quilt like you - for me - perfection is not needed. I'm sure everyone will love your quilts.

  5. Great choices for the Exhibit. Lots of work to get them show-ready. You're flying back into my Timezone. Safely I hope. Have a Great Weekend.

  6. Beautiful quilts for the exhibit. The joy of matching fabrics, colours, shapes is the thrill of quilting, not the perfect seams!!

  7. Really love that you said you're enjoying quilting w/o being inhibited by perfection (my interpretation) - it gives us newbies hope. My sister will buy a vintage quilt where points and seams are not perfect and then scrutinize all my blocks being sure she points out every "mis-step" or imperfection...If that's supposed to teach me to "get better" at those things - it hasn't worked that way in fact it has retarded my growth. (now I just don't show them to her)

  8. There are different types of quilters and you are the type that makes quilts for the joy of making. It makes your heart to sing to combine all the colors that make the quilts alive and full of love. I don't mind showing off my quilts in photos and that is the way most of us see your quilts. Any little flaws don't show in a photo, unless it is a close up. The good thing about being an exhibit, instead of an entry, is that there is no official judging. These quilts are all going to knock people's socks off from a distance. When viewed close some may notice the little flaws, but it will just confirm to them (if they are quilters) that those don't affect the the beauty of the quilt. As always there will be a few people who don't like the business of scrap quilts and likely will not even give them a closer look. But then again you may win over some new converts. Those that make heirloom quilts, don't make the number of quilts you do in a year; they are a different type of quilter.

    To show some quilts that aren't published yet should create some interest. Selling more books should allow you to cut back on teaching, if you want to do so.

  9. hoping to get to quilt odyssey and see them all...doubt there will be any quilt police but even so, no need to worry....and wish i could go to mary's but would have to knock over a convenience store, so that's out...lol...safe travel!

  10. Your ability to juggle so many tasks, and organize so much information just blows my mind!
    Sure wish I could see the exhibit.
    Judges are gonna judge, cause that's what they love to do.
    But your tribe will be in quilty heaven and be thankful for the opportunity to see these amazing quilts,
    and will absolutely love every single quilt, cause that's what we do!

  11. I only wish all of us who follow you would be able to go to Quilt Odyssey and see your exhibit in person!

    I'll just have to "settle" for meeting and taking a workshop from you with the Orange Grove Quilters this Friday. :) I'm so excited - this will be my first workshop, and my first quilting class since (literally) 1993!

  12. Your Carolina Lily quilt is absolutely beautiful. I would love to make that myself. What a plethora of beauties you are exhibiting in the show, they will be a site for sore eyes. If only I could get over from the UK, I would definitely go to the show. Keep up the good work and safe travels to sunny California.

  13. Bonnie, Please realize that your "imperfect" quilts are encouraging the imperfect quilters to keep on quilting. You're a "Quiltworld Personality" - a designer, lecturer, teacher, sharer, blogger, business woman, etc and because you don't expect all seams to match and all surfaces to be without a stray thread or blemish, we have the permission that we unfortunately think we need to have the same in our quilts. I have ripped out and re-sewn so many seams in my time and have to force myself to quit expecting too much from myself and to continue sewing - usually because the seam was getting weak or the clock was ticking.
    So, please, Bonnie. Hang your imperfect quilts high! Show them to the world! The joy and beauty shines through. Who cares about the rest?

  14. Years ago I went to an AQS show in Paducah, KY and saw many perfectly made quilts. It was intimidating. How could I call myself a quilter in comparison? Instead of being inspired, I thought I should hide my humble quilts. Then I saw the first quilt my local teacher made and I realized we all get better with practice and time, and perfection is not the goal; joy in creating is what matters. Your quilts sing with joy and enthusiasm. They're made to be used and loved. Who cares if the seams all match and the points are sharp? Close is good enough. I see your quilts and think, "I can do that! I want to do that!" You inspire!

  15. Bonnie, I'm very much like you: I do not put my quilts up for judging no matter how many times I have been asked. I make them for my loved ones and myself and as long as they think they are perfect that's good enough for me. I think it would take all the joy out of making them if I had to submit them to someone else's critical eye. No, I will keep making them & keep them close to my heart.

  16. I have been to Quilt Odyssey a couple of times and had about decided not to attend again. Now that I know your quilts will be on display, I may have to change my mind! I would love to see them all in person after having followed your blog for a number of years. My first Bonnie Hunter quilt, En Provence, is just about ready to go to the long-armer. So excited!

  17. I believe that you will inspire quilters to keep quilting just because you don't answer to the "quilt Police". Miss matched seams and missing points are all part of the love you put into quilting. Perfection is for the "judged" quilts not the "loved" ones.

  18. Quilts are for sleeping under, looking pretty, enjoying... Perfect quilts usually can't be slept under, touched, or enjoyed. Perfect quilts are almost useless, while your quilts are useful (and pretty). I'd take useful (and pretty) any day! Those are the quilts that are inspiring to me.

  19. I LOVE your quilt style. Scrappy, fun and Happy! That to me is what quilting is all about. I see the beautiful show quilts for judging and although they are very beautiful they lack the LOVE that I want in a quilt. I grew up watching grandma and her sisters, second cousins, my wonderful mom and many others quilt. To me the quilts made with love for others are the most beautiful. I recently started quilting and no, they are not perfect, but I so enjoy making them and giving them to someone that will enjoy them. I think your quilts will steal the show. 😊

  20. So pretty quilts!!!

  21. Wow would live to see your quilts from the new book.

  22. As far as I can tell by the online pics, 99.9999% of you corners match and 99.9999% of your threads are trimmed. Therefore, if you are REALLY worried about posdible Quilt Police, I have come up with a wonderful solution. Just add an extra line to the end of the particular patterns that states, "while quilting as desired, be sure to leave 1 or 2 tiny threads untrimmed for entertainment purposes. " That way everyone can just say it is part of the pattern 😉

  23. Congratulations, Bonnie, on being the selected artist for the show. You should feel nothing, but proud, because you've earned the honor. As far as being worried--why would you be? You have shared your quilts to all of us here on your blog every day and there are thousands of people that see them. Why would this show be any different. Just go and enjoy basking in the beauty of your quilts.

  24. You are up with the best, don't doubt yourself, people will be more inspired by your quilts than the ordinary run of the mill ones. Until I found your website I thought quilts were too difficult, and the show quilts were lovely but I wouldn't have contemplated making one.Your string piecing inspired me to have a go, small pieces as and when to get great shapes and patterns and within 6 months had made 5 single and 2 double quilts, admittedly life was put on hold for a bit as wanted to finish them for Christmas presents for family, so thank you whole heartedly, go and inspire you are the best, regards, Sylvia

  25. Yes the Carolina Lily quilt is a beautiful quilt and lovely to look at. Just makes you happy looking at it. Bet your show will be amazing.

  26. Anonymous1:03 PM EDT

    H is for Happy , Bonnie I thought it was for Holly.
    Have fun in California, I hear the weather is great, still lots of snow in the mountains.


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)