Monday, July 31, 2017

Showin’ & Sharin’ some Utah Quilt Love!

You just can’t have a quilt workshop without some inspiring show & share to kick us back into gear after lunch time!

And the quilters who came for my 5 days of workshops in Utah sponsored by the Utah State Quilters Guild must have got the memo because the quilts, quilt tops and blocks in progress came out of the woodwork!  SO EXCITING!

We gathered from all over – some from as far away as Arizona, Nevada, California, Idaho, as well as from all over the great state of Utah, so EVERYONE was sitting next to someone they never met before.  This is everyone’s opportunity to say who they are, tell us a bit about themselves, and share their love of quilts with everyone else.

It’s my favorite time of the day because I get to know YOU!  So if you are attending a Quiltville event in the future, remember that you don’t need an invitation to bring Show & Share, just do.  It’s always welcome!

Here the “Idaho Contingency” is sharing a beautiful Garlic Knots finish!  Oh, the colors!  So exciting to see!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tumelo Trail, the Riverton Way!

This is what happens when a favorite aunt and 3 cousins get together to sew up a storm!

And this isn’t the first time.  What started out as a few “quilt gatherings” with a limited number of people started to grow into an annual event where even the Boys/Men got into the act and are now making quilts along with everyone else!

Quilting is Contagious!  And it’s much more fun when we are quarantined together.

Tumelo Trail from Scraps & Shirttails II was an easy and fun way to end our 5 consecutive days of back-to-back workshops in Utah.  Speedy piecing and even better- streamlining of matched sets of 9 patch sets ready to sew, and easy accurate triangles from strips using the Essential Triangle Tool

Add block webbing and Leader & Ender piecing strategies to  juggle the blocks where as one block finishes, another starts, using each block to complete the next, and we have happy quilters with stacks of fun blocks in the DONE pile by the end of the day.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July Quilty Box Drawing Time!

Hello from Tooele, Utah!

Our final workshop sponsored by the Utah State Quilters Guild wound down at 4pm today – and I am sad to see everyone go their separate ways.

We have had such a great time together over the past 5 days of back to back workshop fun from Brigham City to Riverton.

I have loved meeting everyone and reconnecting with those I knew from previous events!

My sister Mary picked me up when all was said and done, and drove me back out to Tooele for dinner and to spend the night with family ONE MORE TIME before dropping me off at the airport for my flight home tomorrow.

Scrap Crystals and Generations!

I am the “odd one out” here, but I was so excited to have these three generations of women in my Scrap Crystals workshop yesterday in Riverton, Utah.

It’s not often that we have Mother, Daughter and Granddaughter all sitting side by side happily stitching away in class.

Karalynn on the right is the one who has passed the love of quilting on down to her daughter and granddaughter – not only that, there are several generations of quilters who handed their love of the craft down to Karalynn as she was growing up.  “We always quilted from the time we were little.” She said.

I loved talking to her and listening to her stories of how even the boys got into the act of piecing crazy patch blocks out of heavier pant weight material because “The seams didn’t matter and everything was trimmed to size after piecing. Utah winters are cold and they kept us warm!”

Thank you for coming ladies!  It was so great meeting you three!

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Moth in the Window Day!

These gals were ready for a day of stitching up Moth in the Window blocks and waiting for doors to Open, Open, Open!

A bright and blue skied morning – Everything smelled so good due to the rain storms the night before that washed the desert clean.  I wished we could have just stayed outside a bit longer, but it was time to get in and set up and get going.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Midnight Flight Day in Brigham City!

Our second day in Brigham City, Utah flew by so fast I could hardly catch my breath by the end of it all.

Midnight Flight!  A quilt with many pieces, many technique's, and sew much fun!
88 pieces in each 12 inch block?  30 blocks total?  No problem!

We had so much going on, from  speedy slicing and dicing so that matched pairs of 4 patches were already nested right sides together in the cutting process and ready to sew.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Garden Party, Brigham City Style!

I may have taught this class 100 times already.  And I wouldn’t mind teaching it 100 times more!

Workshops are much more than just the quilt we are making.  It’s the skills we learn – cutting just a bit better, sewing for unit size, pressing for easy nesting of seams and fine-tuning how we assemble blocks to streamline the whole process and make us more productive.

Students who have taken my classes will know exactly what I mean by “turn the page, don’t close the book!”  and “It’s bicycle pedals, baby!”

And if you don’t know what those terms refer to, you need to come take a workshop!

Our venue, hands down, was the most BEAUTIFUL workshop location of 2017 to date!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

While the Quilter’s Away --

While the Quilter’s away, Her quilts were on DISPLAY!

My exhibit in Hershey happened at the same time as my family reunion here in Utah.

And while I wasn’t able to be there, so many of you sent me photos so that I could share them here.

This was my first exhibit experience and I was sad to not be there to experience it, but I wouldn’t have traded family time for anything.

So thank you for keeping me in the loop!

I loved all of the comments that came with your photos, what you loved, what you couldn’t wait to make – and HOW LONG would it be before the next book is available?

Patience, my friends – there are enough UFOs to keep you busy for a while, including our new Checkerboard Rails Leader & Ender Challenge as well as our next Quiltville Mystery (which is only 4 months away!)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Quiltmaker Bundle Drawing Time!

Hello from beautiful and HOT HOT HOT Brigham City, Utah!

I was picked up at my sister’s house by Josephine, and she chauffeured me all the way up to Brigham City, talking about quilts and teaching and fabric and all other things quilty along the way.  We were here before I knew it!

I’m even lucky enough to have Josephine’s featherweight in my room and as soon as this posts I’m setting up for some stitching tonight.  Oh, I can’t wait!

I have promised myself not to stay up at it too late though, that 6am alarm is going to ring and I’ll be up and at it and ready for our Garden Party workshop tomorrow.

Last Sister Standing!

Is there anything that brings back more memories than seeing cousins camp in the backyard – tent, sleeping bags and all??

I snuck up on these three early morning ---tiptoeing barefoot across the cool dew-wet grass, the cooler over-night temperatures making sleeping outside a highlight o f family reunion fun.

Yes, the girls gave up their beds for all of the old fogies like us!

When my boys were little they loved to sleep under the stars in sleeping bags thrown on top of the trampoline.

This brought back so many memories while in the process of making so many more.

Departures started after breakfast. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

It’s Cooler in the Mountains!

It’s hot in Utah.  I can’t say that with enough emphasis.

It’s July.  It’s hot.  Desert hot.  But a plan was hatched for packing up something like 40 sandwiches and all of the fixings, chips, fruit, salads and anything we could shove into coolers and head off to the mountains where it is cooler for an easy family hike, a picnic in the shade, some family togetherness and gorgeous surroundings!

With this many folks, we tried to condense the number of cars for transport, and we ended up with a car load of 4 nieces and 1 nephew, the odd man out. 

Traveling with pre-teen and teenage girls is an adventure in itself.

Being a mother of boys, this is always so entertaining to me to see what I missed out on.

Oh, the giggling, the whispering, the mimicking – and the SINGING!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Big & Boisterous Family!

Everything is put a bit of delay as I take time to enjoy this big wonderful family of mine.

We ended up short only ONE sibling as my brother Rick had to work last night, but he will be joining us later to complete our crowd.

Friday, July 21, 2017

July Quilty Box Gift-Away!


As this posts I’m likely sleeping!

You see, we left North Carolina last evening, with a planned time of arrival in Salt Lake about midnight local time, which made it about 2am North Carolina time.

This post has been written ahead, and during the writing it hit me that I had no idea what the itinerary would actually do, so I am grateful for the time I had to write this ahead.

As it was, I got a 2 hour reprieve.  I misunderstood.  I thought that the 5pm time was the time the flight left Greensboro.  But 5pm was actually the planned time of house-departure, so 2 hours EXTRA was a bonus!  And that contributed to the excitement and good feeling about this trip.  Let’s hope that I arrived in Salt Lake with all luggage intact and on time.

This month’s Quilty Box is full of color and fun stuff!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Quilt-Cam 7/19/2017

Last night was a Quilt-Cam night via Facebook Live!

Did you sew along?

If you missed it, don’t worry.  I’m embedding it in this post, as well as sharing some of the photos sent in by those who were watching and stitching with me.

I love that we get to spend this time doing what we love TOGETHER, and that you share your projects with me.

This photo is from April who was with me in Bedford.

She writes:
I'm working on Wonky Wishes blocks. I have about 64 done since Bedford, PA. 

I'm making the most of what is left of summer before I have to go back to school to teach. 

I am sewing on my sun porch with the fan on high.
Doesn’t that just sound blissful?  Enjoy your summer stitching, April!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Some WV to NC Antiquing Fun!

in a little corner of West Virginia, snuggled in between Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, lies the little sleepy town of Berkeley Springs.

As most places in New England and surrounding areas, its many claims to fame seem to echo those of others – “George Washington Slept Here!”

But this time, it’s true, documented, and celebrated!

A fountainhead of warm mineral waters frequented by Native Americans long before Europeans arrived in the New World, are at the heart of the mountain spa community of Berkeley Springs in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It’s Punkin’ Patch Gift-Away Time!


Guess what was waiting in an EPIC pile-o-mail when I returned home last night?

I’ve been waiting!  Since JANUARY for this issue to arrive, and here it is!

The Sept/Oct 2017 issue of Quiltmaker is on its way to you, or will soon be at a news stand near you, if it hasn’t arrived already.

Yes, after 11 days on the road this girl is feeling a bit behind, but I’ll soon catch up!

As I’m home for just 2 days – leaving for a Family Reunion in Utah on Thursday afternoon –and teaching across Utah next Tuesday through Saturday, my planned post of all of the antique shops I hit on this trip will be postponed while I deal with incoming mail, outgoing mail orders, a suitcase full of laundry and an empty fridge.

(Okay, family – those two bananas that were on the counter when I left 11 days ago were STILL SITTING there when I arrived home last night.  What’s that about?!  Ewww.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Wonderful Wonky Wishes Sunday!

We filled our days full until the end!

Yesterday was my last workshop day in Bedford, Pennsylvania hosted by Mary Koval of Mary’s Quilt Shop.

I love this event!  We’ve been doing this for several years now – the only year I didn’t make it was last year as we forgot to schedule it in and there was no wiggle room in the calendar.

I don’t think there is anything more fun and more freeing than improv piecing, leaving our need for perfection way behind.

“Pull out your inner 4th grader” I told everyone – The objective here is to PLAY!

And play we did.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Box Kite in Bedford, Group 2!

Take a look, take a close look!

These sweet quilters from Group 2 came wheeling their stuff in to set up for class and I stopped them in their tracks – LOOK at these chairs!

It’s a “regular” folding chair, but the seats and the backs are cushioned and covered with sevlages.  Oh, oh, oh, I was drawn in right away!

But don’t just look at the chairs, look at the little wooden platforms they are sitting on.  There are holes for the legs to rest down into so they are sturdy.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Garden Party Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Friends!

The bonds we share as women are so important to our lives.

We are each other’s support and cheerleaders. We are the arms of comfort, ears of listening, hearts of understanding. 

We are the voices of shared laughter, the tellers of stories, the smiles of acceptance of one to another.

Quilting is great by itself, but really – it’s simply the activity that brings us together.  The REAL important things that happen in class are the relationships.

And you know how I love it when Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Nieces, and always FRIENDS come together.  They add so much to our day.


Mothers & Daughters!


Sisters & Friends!

It was a Garden Party Day from the Addicted to Scraps Book for group 2!  They came with  machines, boxes and bags and totes of fabric, everything you could need and MORE for a fun workshop day and we set right in.


I love this Kenmore!!

The Kenmore machines, right through the 1980s were hard to beat.  I know.  I had one that saw miles and miles of sewing before it finally gave up and I moved on to my first Bernina.  But these Kenmores are so dear, and such workhorses.  And easy to maintain.

I had been married less than a year when all I wanted for Christmas was that Kenmore sewing machine…I think it was $99.00 on sale, and it felt as expensive as buying a new car on our very young and newly married budget.  But that machine saw me through all of the designing and sewing for my “Needle in a Haystack!!” doll pattern business back in the 1990s, all of the patterns I had published by Butterick as well as my own – those dolls and their clothes were all sewn on my humble little Kenmore.  Sweet memories!


Blocks being sewn in so many color varieties!


Who doesn’t love a red 9-patch?


Laying out all of our blocks from our workshop day!


Thanks for a wonderful day, everyone!

You’ll find our workshop fun and ALL of our show & share photos from yesterday’s class in the slide show below:

There will be so many beautiful Garden Party quilts finished by these folks from all over!


Check out these beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes!

Or is it a Hibiscus?  I’ve been told both.


I got close enough to see someone VERY busy!

How this bee even can FLY with this much pollen on it is amazing!

We enjoyed a lovely dinner back at Mary’s house and talked until bed time.  Great food, great friends, great conversation.  And a full 8 hours of sleep.  I’m ready to tackle this day.

Box Kite, Round 2 is up on deck!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage quilt found in Pennsylvania

It's going to be a great day!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Spa Day, Much Needed!

Just outside of the beautiful downtown area of Bedford, Pennsylvania – not much more than a stone’s throw – is the gorgeous 1880s hotel known as “Bedford Springs.”

It’s now owned by Omni, and its beauty rivals that of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The history is interesting and it goes back to the 1700s and includes MUCH presidential activity as well.

In reverse order:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wednesday in Bedford

It started out as a day of computer work.

A day to catch up on emails and put some effort toward some future projects.

A morning requiring some brain power.

I had Mary working across from me on one side of the table, doing  some edits on her future book project and we made good use of the quiet morning just being busy together.

But afternoon eventually arrives all too quickly and we headed back to Bedford so Mary could meet up with an appointment at her shop, enabling me some time to wander around this corner, and around that one.

“You should go into this Vintique Shop!” says Mary as we drop her car at the cute little Gulf service station to have her tire pressure checked. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

All the Way to State College!

I see this sweet gas station every time I come to Bedford.

I’ve been coming here quite regularly over the past 9 or so years, and it doesn’t matter how often I do, I have to stop and take a photo.  Or two.  Or three.

It’s just the cutest little art deco Gulf station from days gone by.

It is family owned, and full service.  They will pump your gas, clean your windshields, check your tire pressure, check your oil, just like stations used to do back-in-the-day.

In fact, This isn’t a GAS station.  It’s a SERVICE station, and that is what you get.  SERVICE.

I love that places like this still exist.

Mary was gassing up for our jaunt up to State College, Pennsylvania where she was giving a presentation on antique quilts and fabric design to the Centre Piece Quilters for their July meeting.

I got to go and be “The Helper!” And it was so fun to be on the other foot. 

But we had a stop to make on our way ----

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Very Wonky Wishes Monday!

We had a Wonderfully Wonky Monday with group one in Bedford, Pennsylvania!

Don’t you love this sign?  There is no way to miss the turn-in to the American Legion Hall, but I giggle when I wonder what passers-by who are NOT quilters think.  “Who the heck is Bonnie Hunter?!”

The boxes of scraps came out to play, and the variety of colors, prints, and genres in fabric were WONDERFUL!

Not enough variety in your box? Make a trade with new friends sitting across the table.

Take a stroll around the room, introduce yourself and swap out some squares!

The more fabrics, the more variety, the LESS things match, the better!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Box Kite Group 1!

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters but best of all, FRIENDS!

I always love to see the groups of folks that will travel in to an event, and yesterday was no exception.

We had FIVE Mother/Daughter pairs, from as far away as Texas!

I do believe this was a record, and it set such a wonderful tone for our day together.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Garden Party, Group One!

It was a Big Bunch of Fun in yesterday’s Garden Party Workshop with folks who traveled in from as far as Michigan, Texas and even Colorado!

This event gets bigger and bigger every time we do it, and that is why we have extended it to two back to back weekends instead of trying to fit it all into one. 

We were at max capacity yesterday  as stitchers got busy making the blocks for their own Garden Party quilts.

It was a hustle and a bustle of activity!

Saturday, July 08, 2017

All the Way to PA!


It was a beautiful drive from home in North Carolina up through Virginia, across a tiny corner of Maryland and West Virginia into Pennsylvania.

Do you see that perfectly blue sky with gorgeous clouds?

Roanoke, Virginia, you are a special place!  And only a 2 hour drive from home.

I had one stop on my mind, and I only get to hit it once a year if I’m lucky.

It’s a 7 hour drive to Bedford, PA – and if I hit it just right, I can pull over in Verona and hit the world’s largest antique mall AND get lunch and a rest stop at the same time.


This is NEVER a quickie stop, though!

I was here for 2 hours and only made it half way through.  A person could get lost for days in here – happily so!  And I have made a mental note to stop on my way home and catch the other half.  A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do!

There were some beautiful machines, but not too many.  And prices on machines are sky rocketing.


I’ve never seen this one before!
It’s missing both slide plates and et they want $145.00 for it.  Is it worth that?  I don’t know.  I don’t know the history of this machine, if it is really are or not, I just took the photo – catch and release – and moved on!

**NOTE**  You would be very proud of me this trip.  I found no machines trapped and hiding from within cabinets, so there was no “Free the Machines!” going on!

There were some really interesting quilts –some that made me wonder, and some downright giggle, and some BOTH.


What shape is this??

I guess at some point you say “That’s all the pieces I have and I’m just going to quilt it and bind it this way!”.  The interesting thing is that all of the hexagons have signatures, cities and states and they are from ALL over.


Isn’t this interesting?

I wondered if the maker knew all of these women, or if it was some kind of collecting signatures thing so that you would have one person from each state.  The big clue for me is the one hexie that says Virginia 1940.  There was so much going on in the country at that time.  Americans were just pulling out of the depression.  War was on the horizon, but we didn’t know it yet.  And still, women made quilts and hoped for a better future, collecting signature blocks and stitching them together in remembrance.


Whatever shape the edges might take!


I found the irons really interesting.

Heavy and heavily rusted.  Whose hands employed these every day items in their every day work of keeping house?  At this moment in time I’m thinking “Thank you for electricity and the fact that this is not my job!”


And the weirdest?

Booths of tupperware crack me up.  And really?  Who buys and keeps ham this way?  Tell me why I need a ham shaped tupper thing?  Besides, the only hams I know that are really this shape come from a can.

The 1970s and 1980s must have been "BIG HAM" decades, right along with "BIG HAIR."

It gave me a good chuckle!

You can find all of the other things I loved in the slide show below:

I finally made it to Mary's Quilt Shop just about closing time!


Hooray!  I’m here!

The ladies who are staying at Mary’s retreat were already upstairs settling in.  More are arriving and staying in nearby hotels.  We’ve got folks from as far as Michigan and I’m so excited for this event to begin.

We kick it off today with 50 quilters in a Garden Party workshop ---let’s get those scraps flying!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage nine patch quilt top found in Virginia.

What you do today will have a direct effect on your tomorrow.

Which direction are you going?

Have a great Saturday, everyone!

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

Friday, July 07, 2017

An Auntie Kind of Day!

While the drywall was coming down and things were being dealt with in the leaky pipe department,

I kept a close watch by loading a certain baby quilt in the machine and getting some quilting done.

My deadline is closing in on this one.

The baby isn’t due until October, but I have plans to bring this to the family reunion in Utah at the end of the month, and that means quilting and binding!

And a label.  But I don’t know the baby’s name yet!  I’ve just added “Find out baby’s name” to the to do list.

I can’t hardly deliver a baby quilt with a “fill in the blank” on the label – what kind of auntie would that make me?  Must find out.

There are so many things I love about baby quilts.  Trying new patterns – picking out fun prints a colors, and the fact that they are the perfect candidate for using up some batting scraps that have accumulated.


Thursday, July 06, 2017

Pennsylvania Prep!

I’m doing some tuning and testing, and some decision making on what I really want to rehome so other quilters can enjoy the machines in my collection.

I’ve whittled down the herd, driving trip by driving trip, and my shelves are looking just a bit bare!

My passion really is the “unsung heros” of the 1950s era.

I love the Japanese imports and all of their crazy paint colors and atomic body shapes and stylings.

This 1950s Household was found in Georgia, and its paint is a delightfully unusual copper, with the upper part being a cross between a dark charcoal and forest green – sparkly metallic of the day, of course!

And the chrome.  Don’t forget the chrome.

These “Badged” machines came with all different sorts of names, but in this case the name that meant the most to me is the name of the original owner, still found on the paperwork inside.

You can read the story of this machine HERE.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Summer 2017 Leader & Ender Challenge : Rail Fence!

Click HERE for printer-friendly PDF.

Today is a dentist day!

A big time dentist day and I have no clue how I will feel tomorrow and I leave for Pennsylvania on Thursday so it was planned that this would be written a bit ahead and be ready to roll as i leave the cabin – dentist bound!

We’ve been talking about possible Leader & Ender projects for months.  I have an idea board that is added to, and subtracted from, and notebooks galore of ideas and photos and sketches and possibilities.

I’ve been in love with simple rail fence quilts for as long as I have been quilting.  How many of you made your first quilt using the rail fence pattern?

I learned right off when making a simple 3 rail fence quilt that if that seam allowance isn’t where it is supposed to be, my blocks would be wider than they are tall, or visa-versa, and things wouldn’t fit nicely when turning the blocks to make the stair-step design we all love.

Because these rectangles are easy to cut ahead and store in baggies or baskets, this is going to be a VERY EASY year for our Leader & Ender project.  And better yet, you can choose how many rails you want your blocks to have, what colors you are going to use, how you are going to place your values and what size your project is going to be.