Friday, August 25, 2017

Desk Days & Half Ways.

This was my view around 10pm last night.

After spending all day at my desk (The TV also doubles as my monitor – I like it big for designing) I looked up and saw that it was after 9pm.  Already.

How did that happen?

I do have a known condition jokingly referred to as “hyperfocusitis” which technically means that when I am in the zone, all else is tuned out. 

This means, if I am in the middle of something, whomever wants to talk to me needs to fully pull my attention away from whatever I am doing to make sure that my ears are hearing and my brain is comprehending what they are saying.  Or I won’t hear a thing.

It has its benefits!  I can power through something head on and tackle deadlines knocking them out left and right.  But it also makes me forgetful of other things.

I have gotten into the habit of grabbing a large index card each morning, and writing down my to-do’s for the day.  The card generally stays on the kitchen counter where I can see it as I pass by and add things to it, or cross things off.

Sometimes there are more things on the card than I can accomplish in a day, and the leftover things go onto the next day’s card and so forth.

The two things on yesterday’s card other than the ever present “Get the mail order out” was to finally unpack the quilts from my exhibit in Hershey last month.


18 quilts, unpacked and sorted!

As I unpacked and refolded each one (I like them right side out so I know which one is which one!) I so wished I could have been in Hershey for the show.  It’s a weird thing experiencing your own exhibit vicariously through others.  But there would be nothing like standing there in person I bet.

I thought of all the planning and cutting and piecing, quilting, binding that went into just these 18 quilts and the things they have seen unfold in my life.  Many of our previous mysteries are represented here, and if you participated in these yearly quilt events, chances are – your quilt knows an awful lot about you and your life too!

Sometimes it’s good that the quilts can’t up and spill the beans!  Sometimes the quilt is the evidence that we in turn are survivors.  Whatever was going on in our lives at the time we were stitching these quilts – we made it through.  Good and bad.  Challenging or life changing.

The stack on the right was returned to the big walk in closet, AKA the Quilt Vault.  I need more room in there.  No photos of it at this time!

The stack on the left – well, those are projects for the next book and I am deep in pattern writing mode.  They were brought down here to the studio with me so I can work on one at a time and knock them out.

I don’t turn out as many new designs and quilts as those who employ “stunt sew-ists” but that is not the kind of quilting I want to do.  The actual sewing part is the part I love best, and I’m not hiring that out to anyone else.  And that is why there is a couple of years between each book release.  It just takes that long to make this many quilts in between the traveling and the teaching.  But I love this process.  I’m not handing my bliss & joy, my kismet, my "Calgon, take me away!" over to anyone else. 

Many of these quilts are headed off for photography toward the end of September, so I’m doing all I can to get done, but at the end of the day, there needs to be something to relax my mind and feed my soul:


Simply joining rows!

This is as far as I’ve gotten on joining the rows of the top we webbed during our last Quilt-Cam. I’m loving that the string blocks make it look like the block is sashed when it isn’t!  I didn’t expect that windowpane-ing effect, and it’s looking good to me.  I’m also loving that there are plenty of toasty tan neutrals in here.  It adds more warmth.  And I’m having fun revisiting these fabrics that run the gamut from old to new and everywhere in between.


Do any of these fabrics look familiar to you?


I spy a dreidel!

The repetitive simplicity of piecing this quilt top with re-discovered 9 patches has been just wonderful.  If you are feeling burned out on intensive piecing projects, just sew something simple.  A 4 patch, or a 9 patch, or a simple log cabin will bring a song back to your heart.  Stress will LEAVE instead of being created anew.


Today marks a special day for Mark.

I spent time on speaker phone with my brother Mark and his lovely wife Sharolyn as they made their way to the hospital for yet another round of radiation and chemo. Today marks the halfway point of this horrendous treatment that has left Mark weak and fatigued in body, but strong and steadfast in spirit.

I love them both so much. I am cheering him on every step of the way. He is such an amazing man, an inspirational father, a wonderful grandfather to 2 adorable granddaughters, and the best brother one could ask for.  It’s been a very difficult month for all of us, but mostly for Mark who is fighting so hard, keeping hope and healing at the top of his own “to do” list.

To those who have been through this in any shape or form, either through watching a loved one dedicate themselves to surviving, or from walking this path as a survivor yourself – you know where my heart is right now.  And I want to thank you for all of the support and love and prayers you have sent my way, and in my brother’s behalf.

It matters.  I’m leaning heavily on your words right now.  Thank you.

And yes, sometimes all we can do is put the pieces through the machine.  And hyper-focus.  And breathe.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Sometimes we have to be kind to ourselves and realize that we were doing the best that we could with what we knew at the time. When we know better, we do better.

This Star Struck quilt belongs to my sister Mary. I made it for her High School graduation. She is now turning 35. I was able to sleep under this quilt when I stayed the night at her house before returning from Utah last month.  It did my heart good to know it is still being loved and USED!

As soon as I finish a few things around here, I’m back up to the cabin for the weekend.  More mystery sewing awaits!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

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  1. That quilt has turned out so great. You can't tell what the original blocks are because the secondary pattern is so strong. Very cool.

  2. Praying fir you and your brother. Love the quilt! Wish I could decide what a neutral is!

  3. I love it!
    love the quilt you're webbing,
    love the Star Struck quilt,
    love today's saying.
    Big smiles here...sending them your way,
    along with a hug from one quilter to another.

  4. I am praying for your brother...God Bless.....

  5. Prayers for your brother Bonnie and all who love and hold him dear. Love this quilt, wish I was as adventure one with color!

  6. There is a wonderful line in the play "Quilters" which states, "It's scary what that quilt knows about me". I have always felt that way with my quilts. Best wishes to your brother.

  7. Quilty {{{Hugs}}} for Mark & blessings to his wife and the rest of the family for staying positive and strong.

  8. Bonnie, thank you so much for sharing your quilt at the Hershey show. I've "seen" them before on your blog but seeing them in person was extra special.
    Best wishes for your brother at this difficult time.
    Thanks for all you do.

  9. sending out continued prayers for your brother and entire family as they go through this journey.

  10. Thinking of you & your brother...been through it...hope he continues to fight the battle!

    Love reading your blog daily.

  11. Dale and myself are thinking of you and your brother Mark and his family with love in our heart and many prayers Bonnie. Though we can't physically hug and help comfort you know that we do so via this platform.

  12. "sometimes all we can do is put the pieces through the machine. And hyper-focus. And breathe." Bonnie, you are as great with words as you are with scraps. Thank you so much for the encouraging words you bring daily. I so hope to attend one of your workshops in the future.

  13. Bonnie, I am right there with you, praying for Mark and sending you hugs, as my 14-month-old grandniece is finishing her fourth round of chemo and preparing for brain surgery. Prayer for healing and strength for all who are going through this process.

    Now about that quilt: That design is genius. I saw the 9 patches you found and watched you build those string snowball blocks, but I had to work hard to see them once all is put together. Depending where you look there are stars or circles. So you could make this quilt a half dozen times and it would be different, depending on where the colors and contrast fell. Excellent design, beautiful quilt. Again!

  14. Sending all good wishes for your brother, I admire his positive attitude and strength despite all the tough treatment. Liz B.

  15. Bonnie, so sorry about Mark and what he is going through. My dear brother, Mike, had glioblastoma and it was really hard on all of us. Stay strong and positive. "By His stripes we are healed".

  16. "Stunt sew-ists" - Hahahahaha!
    Prayers for your brother are continuing...

  17. "Stunt sewists." You don't need to knock others to make yourself big. You're already big.

  18. That pile of quilts on the left makes me so anxious to get my hands on your next book!

    Hoping that this course of your brother's chemo & radiation kicks cancer's butt for good this time around.

  19. I spy apple slices- from the first qult I made on commission. Warm wishes for the entire family,perseverance and healing.
    Life is more times harder than we expected but the good times usually bring us back to center.

  20. What a great pile of quilts and the blue and yellow is turning out beautiful. My prayers are with your brother...

  21. Just finished my round of six Chemo treatments, now waiting for results from a Pet Scan to see if the treatments have taken care of the cancer totally.
    Prayers for Mark and family. Stay strong and positive.❤

  22. First of all - carry on Mark! I'm sendin' out good vibrations to you all (sorry Beach Boys) and waving my cheerleader fluffy things - well, in my head I am!

    Secondly I agree about doing something simple. I've just done a simple scrappy type of quilt and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It went together so much faster and as a result of doing so many half square triangles, it's improved my points at the same time. My quarter inch seam guide has done wonders for my piecing being more accurate and I've got to know my Janome (love/hate relationship) better. I've been tinkering with my new Singer 201 treadle and she is perfect - so the Janome is now my quilting machine. Currently quilting a really old log cabin which was my second quilt I made having gone to a shop for lessons - it's been sitting around for many years. Just quilted the second inside section with an allover design as the fabrics don't really show the stitching and it was very enjoyable and I actually got in the zone for a while. Until the machine created a nest underneath and the thread broke! Arghhh! Back to reality with a thunk!!!!

  23. continuing prayers for Mark, I lost a brother many years ago to Hodgkins' and still wonder about life and loss! Thanks so much for the quilt cam webbing! It's so easy once you know how... thank you, too, for your encouraging words, sometimes it's a duh and others it's an oh yeah! and they're ALWAYS a reminder...We all are fortunate you are so disciplined... your organizational mind is a blessing to us all.. I get your posts the morning after! sigh, so today is Saturday for me, studio time sewing on a UFO... En Provence is at the long armer... Keep on keepin' on, hugs to Sadie, too and yourownsweetself! Cats

  24. You, your family and care givers are in my prayers. You are blessed with so many who are doing the same.

  25. I am keeping your brother, Mark, in my prayers. I lost my beloved husband two months ago from cancer. This Tuesday would have been our 47th anniversary. I will be doing your mystery quilt this November along with all those others who are facing loss this holiday season.

  26. Bonnie, I will pray for your dear brother Mark, and his incredible family, including you. May God bless him and return him to health. God bless you and keep you. Love.

  27. Your brother and entire family remain in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your beautiful quilts every day! Your blog is often the brightest spot in my day!


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