Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Bit of Allegheny Appreciation!

THIS article was found in the local little newspaper “The Independence Declaration” out of Independence, Virginia.

The newspaper contains news for not only Grayson County, Virginia but also for neighboring Alleghany County, North Carolina, which county I gladly drive through on my way up to Quilt Villa in Virginia.

The people up here are the kindest, most hardworking and neighborly folks I’ve ever met. 

When I found the article revolving around Quilts of Valor, my heart nearly burst with happiness.

There is a guild in Sparta, North Carolina.  I drive right through there on my way coming and going as well.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Hike a Little, Sew a Lot!

More end of summer loveliness from the North Carolina/Virginia border.

Isn’t this setting just idyllic?

I hope there has been a tire swing hung from a big tree somewhere in the back of your childhood memories begging to come to the surface.

And of course, the color and geometry of that beautiful barn block just takes my breath away.

Evening was falling.  It was past 6pm.  As much as I love fall, I don’t enjoy the early falling of darkness, and we were hurrying back to the cabin.  Dinner still needed to be taken care of.

Where had we been?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2017 Gift-Away!!

It’s a beautiful Thursday morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia!

There is just something about the morning light this time of year.  A bit softer, coming through the trees at a slightly different angle.

When I left home on Tuesday afternoon I grabbed some goodies with the intension of doing a surprise Gift-Away.

Guess what arrived in my mail while I was gone to Florida?

It’s only September – how can it be time for the November/December issue?!?

At times I wish we could slow the world down, but at this time I’m happy about its early arrival – there are some great things in here that would be wonderful as home décor for yourself or as gifts for holiday giving.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

As Autumn Begins to Fall…

I pass this farm house every time I head up to Virginia.

On this part of the road,  there are no shoulders to pull off.  No driveways, no turn outs.  But this is the country.

And there was NO ONE behind me.  I came to a full dead stop in the middle of the road and quickly grabbed my phone to take this photo through my window, a bit magnified.

I was hoping that the windshield was clean enough that the photo would turn out.

Blue sky and blue ridge mountains.  goldenrod along the road side – beautiful house. This is the view to make even my eyes take it all in and do a happy dance.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Night of Indigo Blue…

Boy was it nice to sit and stitch last night! 

I finished the 5 missing border units while binging on season 6 of Call the Midwife – it’s now available on Netflix!

Oh, how I love this show.

Maybe because it’s “Just for me.” 

The menfolk in my abode get squeamish over the sights and sounds of newborns joining us in this life.  How do they ever think THEY made it into the world?

It’s funny to watch them leave the room as soon as the nurse says “Okay, sweetie, now push!”  LOL!

The show has now entered 1962, the year I made it into this life so I am enjoying the clothes, the hairstyles (endless up-do’s and aerosol hairspray!) and the music.  There is a lot of learning that happens in between the story lines.  Headlines of what happened at that time, treatments that were all the rage, that are now outlawed. 

50 years from now folks will look back on THESE years we are in now and think the same thing I bet.

But for me, Call the Midwife is pure pleasure.  It tugs my heartstrings, my faithstrings, even my gigglestrings.  Wonderful show.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Gratitude from Home!

My heart is full this morning.

Last evening a text finally came through from my aunt Joy that she had heard from uncle Tony and aunt Gail in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

We’d been worried about them for days because there is just no communication. 

They had chosen to stay in Puerto Rico during hurricane Maria because Tony’s elderly parents and his aunts and other family were all there as well.  Family is family.

They made a call through a ham radio operator in North Carolina patched to Joy's cell phone in Minnesota. They are both fine, as are his parents and other relatives. They think they have enough food and water stored.

No electricity, no running water, no cell service. They will let us know when they're back in the states.

This beautiful ((??)) Iguana photo was taken by Gail just days before the storm hit.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Bit of Boca Show & Share!

If you want something done, give it to the Boca Raton quilters!

These wonderful folks are busy with challenges, mysteries and heart-felt giving to organizations like Quilts of Valor and more.

I had such a great time seeing the quilts that they had brought to share at the monthly Gold Coast Quilters guild meeting – I was SURROUNDED by beautiful Smoky Mountain Stars tops and quilts, all from a recent guild 3 part mystery!

I can honestly say that I have never seen so many Smoky Mountain Stars (From the free patterns tab!) quilts in ONE ROOM!

I arrived home yesterday afternoon, and as I go through these photos this morning to make them ready, I am already missing these wonderful ladies who treated me like royalty and showed me the best time.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It’s September Quilty Box Drawing Time!

Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello!

I am happily at home, suitcases unpacked, puttering has commenced!

I’m home until October 9th – and I’m ready for a couple of quilty weeks ahead!

Let’s kick off my at-home time by drawing for this month’s Quilty Box winner, shall we?

Did you get a good look at the goodies in this sweet box?

Oh my goodness!

Roll, Roll Here. Roll, Roll There. Roll, Roll Everywhere!


Gold Coast Quilters-  You were an absolute joy to spend 4 days with!

Our time flew by so quickly, I can hardly believe that it is Saturday already and time to head on  home.

I am so grateful that things here in Boca Raton were stable enough that our visit could go on as planned.  I know it was a close call.  The hotel didn’t open up until the day before I arrived.  It was iffy whether the Community Center where our workshops and lecture were held would be open as well.

There are so many trucks and service personnel working around the city daily – removing downed trees and limbs, uprooted bushes and other vegetation.  Fixing sidewalks that were overturned when trees came up, root ball and all – their evidence is everywhere.

What’s even better is seeing all of the different states represented on the truck logos and license plates of working vehicles as you drive by.

Florida, you are so loved and in such good hands!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Discover Boca!

This is the beautiful view from the balcony walk-way outside of my room on the 3rd floor of the Boca Plaza.

I am so happy to see that there are more trees left standing than had fallen in last week’s Hurricane Irma.

Still keenly aware of what nature’s unpredictability can do, I’ve been keeping my eyes on these clouds to see what they will bring, and of course we are all still watching the path of Hurricane Maria, making sure she stays far far away from the recovering Florida coastline.

Still no word from Uncle Tony and Aunt Gail in Puerto Rico.  Power could be out for days, and that goes for cell service too.

Yesterday was a “FREE” day for me – and we filled it full!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Jamestown Landing Day to Play!


What a fun and lively group we had yesterday for our Jamestown Landing workshop from String Fling!

Our time flew by so quickly, and we really did make the most of it.

Several quilters had never tried string piecing before, and I think we’ve got them hooked!

The neutral strings in both of our workshop days while here with the Gold Coast Quilters in Boca Raton play such an integral role in the quilts!  We are learning to combine a variety of neutrals into a pleasing whole that adds so much more texture to the quilt than one big piece of yardage could never accomplish. 

We are looking at things a bit differently and sewing with reckless abandon! 

My favorite part?  The swapping and sharing going on.  The best!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sharing Some Boca Love!

Florida is still standing!

My flights were on time, uneventful and all luggage was not only accounted for, but arrived first off the belt.

Things are looking up!

And while Texans may be Texas Tough in the face of hurricane aftermath, Floridians stand Florida Fabulous and pull out all the stops to get back on track.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to see when I arrived.  My hotel, after all had just re-opened on Monday and here I was flying in on Tuesday.  But all systems are go in this area and getting better every day, one step at a time.

And when the going gets tough, the quilters get quilting and that is what we are here to do!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Good morning!  Things are hustling and bustling in Wallburg NC this morning as I load the trunk show bags and my suitcase and all else in the van for my ride to the airport.

I’m on my way to FLORIDA!  I’ve been home for more than a month this go round, and that’s the longest time home I can remember in many years other than Decembers – it feels good to get back in the saddle and go have some fun with some quilty folks.

I thought this morning would be the best time to put up a Quilty Box for grabs!

And you are going to love what is in the September box.

Here are some highlights to keep in mind:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Quilt-Cam Sunday! 9/17/2017

Yesterday was a Quilt-Cam Sunday from the basement studio at Quiltville!

I’m not sure how long it has been since we were able to do a Sunday afternoon sew-in together, but this was most needed and so much fun.  I loved that those in Europe were able to join in as it wasn’t the usual middle-of-the-night occurrence in their time zone.

This may have meant that those Down Under missed it, but that’s what re-runs are for!

Isn’t this photo adorable!  This is in from Home Ec with Mel!

She writes:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sharing the En Provence Love!

Doesn’t this look like the perfect picnic day?

And do you see what quilt is in the foreground?  Oh, this made my heart so happy!

Quilts are for making memories and should be used and loved, and washed when needed without fear of them being “too good” for every day occasions.

As I was finishing up project number 7 at my desk last night, this photo came in from Catie and I asked her if I could share it with you.

She writes:
“Hi Bonnie,Today is my granddaughter Hadley's first birthday. As you can see, the En Provence quilt was put to very good use. 
I made En Provence for her to use at the pool this past summer, thinking she needed something to crawl on (much to the horror of some guild sisters!). But, she was such a fish, she never got out of the water! 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Whole Lot of Busy!

This is the view from my desktop while working out pattern section #7 for the BIG DEADLINE project.

I breathed a heavy sigh as I realized that I was 7/12 the way through the pattern sections.  There is still much more to do after those are done, but I am making headway.

I’m doing all I can now to make up for the time shift when I hit up Oregon the first week of December.

I love my super huge monitor for designing.  5 more to go.

The 4-patch quilt was an eBay “Cutter” find many years ago and it adds a bit of color and  comfort to my desktop, also protecting the desk underneath it from pen & pencil scratches, or beverage rings!

 4-patches are just my favorite thing ever and this makes me smile.  When the desk is clean enough to see it, that is!

Friday, September 15, 2017

In the Quilting Zone!

This is finally happening.

And it started happening last night.

It was a day of dining-room table order filling.  Eco Pouches are on their way to the first 100 that ordered, the second 100 will start filling today.  But last night, it was time to take a break and get some pleasure stitching in.

Not on a quilt with a deadline.  Not on a quilt that needed pattern writing – That was already done when we started the Hourglass Leader & Ender Challenge.  This is a finish just for me.  And I have an idea of what I’m going to do with it when it is done, I just have to get it finished.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sew a Simple Seam!

All I wanted last night was to feel the fabric.

I felt like it would just be the icing on my day if I could just find a backing, cut two pieces to length, seam them together and feel the heat from the iron warming my fingers and face as I pressed that seam open, simply making it ready for loading into the long arm another time.

Just this one thing.  This one simple thing.

I have a ton of this fabric.  I must have bought the whole bolt, which for me means it has been marked down to $5.00 a yard and it was a great enough print and color that I knew I would use it.  I tell you what, nothing is better than having ENOUGH fabric on hand that you can make a back with one seam.  I don’t have time in my life right now to do a funky pieced back, even though I love doing those as much as I love doing the tops.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sweet September Morning


I've got Neil Diamond's "September Morn" playing through my head.  Or  maybe James Taylor's "September Grass" or both!  I love September and all it brings with it.

My back yard this morning as the sun came over the trees, shining through the early morning fog.

I love the cooler mornings September provides.  You can feel the changes a bit more each morning.

I woke to the sound of the school bus winding up and down our road picking up kids in the area as they head out for their Wednesday ahead.

Harvest is ramping up, and I’ve heard, not yet seen, the tobacco wagons being pulled behind pickup trucks through our neighborhood to the holding barn behind.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Day of Deliveries!

My heart just skips a beat when I see colors like this.

I really keep thinking I should be driving around with the “Big Girl” camera along side, because I could get better close up photos and more detail than I can with my trusty old cell phone, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to capture just what I see in front of me at the time.

The deep green of summer is fading to yellow.  Can you see the barn quilt in this scene?  It was just perfection.  I was parked on somewhat of a hill, my emergency flashers warning anyone who came up the road the need to show a bit of caution – there was no shoulder, no driveway, just a ditch next to the road I didn’t want to be in.

I took the photo as quickly as I could, hopped back in the van and was on my way before I was passed by any vehicles going in either direction.

Lovely lonely empty country roads.  Allegheny county, North Carolina.

My route was a different one.  I  was on my way to China Grove, NC to pick up a large load of Eco Pouches featuring designs from my Addicted to Scraps book .

Monday, September 11, 2017

In the Aftermath of Irma

I know many of us woke up this morning to instantly turn on the news and see what Florida’s outcome was.

Boy, this has been a shifty storm.  And it just goes to show how unpredictable storms like this are.  The path seemed to change again overnight.  Where it looked like the path was going to track west of North Carolina, it now looks like it is going to come right up through South Carolina and into my own area, so I am packing quickly and bugging out of the cabin to head home.

I have a stop to make in China Grove, NC first…I need to do it before winds get gusty.

this post is a bit late this morning because I have taken in all of the patio furniture, secured everything and made the cabin ready for leaving. 

I spent yesterday watching intermittently what was going on. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

One for the Done Column!

Last evening by dinner time I had ONE LAST SIDE to sew.

Just ONE seam left on my Hourglass Leader & Ender Challenge from last year.

My poor allergy affected eyes had been plaguing me all day.  Oh, ragweed and goldenrod season, you have brought me to my knees.

Matching points and pinning through blurry, sticky weepy eyes is no fun.  But after dinner, I was down here in the basement again, determined to do ONE LAST SEAM.

We did it!

And if there are any points that are glaringly off – I so don’t care.  I love the overall effect of this quilt top and I can’t wait to get it into the long arm machine this next week.

I’m dreaming of thread colors and just the right edge to edge design to add texture and whimsy as this puppy is far too busy for hand guided free motion quilting.  Most of my quilts don’t have any open space to show off fancy quilting as it is.  I’m okay with that. 

Saturday, September 09, 2017

And Finally, Purple!

I finally had enough of these hourglass blocks to assemble them into the two side borders of my Hourglass Leader & Ender Challenge quilt.


It’s been a crazy year full of what seems like LESS sewing, and more teaching, and this week I am cranking to get so much more done.

But don’t worry, I’m relaxing in the process.  I’m binge-watching Netflix and listening to audio books and just letting the progress come at its own pace.

I love this quilt!  I love how it is coming along.  I love that it has taken me more than a year to get to this stage, without deadlines. 

That’s what Leader & Ender projects are all about.  It’s been a free quilt on the back burner until it is time to hunker down and add each round to the center.

Friday, September 08, 2017

When Bonnie Bakes --

While we waited to hear from my Aunt Gail and Uncle Tony how things fared for them in Puerto Rico, I got busy in the kitchen.

Gail and Tony have a home in Puerto Rico, on the south side of the island, and also a place near Tampa.

I laugh every time that Gail relates the story of why they still have both places.  “Florida is too cold in the winter!” says Uncle Tony.  And we laugh and laugh.

Uncle Tony has family still in Puerto Rico as well, and so they go.  I’ve never been to their place yet, but it is on my bucket list!  Maybe I’ll spend some winter time in Puerto Rico, because North Carolina (And Southwest Virginia) can be mighty chilly in the winter as well.

These photos came in while the banana bread I was making was still in the oven, and I finally could let my mind and heart rest, knowing they were okay.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Bountiful Triangle Booty!!

I went to bed last night with my mind still in gear.

And sometimes that means I don’t sleep so well!  I waited until about 5:30am to finally allow myself to crawl out and get my day going.

I showered.  I headed downstairs as quietly as I could. (Sometimes not so silent on pine stairs!)

There was something I was aching to try with Janet Plotkin’s Booty ruler for trimming bonus triangles.

Did you see it on yesterday's post?

What if it wasn’t bonus triangles you were trimming at all?

What if we could cut bias strips, sew the pairs of strips on both long edges and then cut?

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

From my Mobile Office!

If this looks like the interior of a Subway inside of a Walmart, you would be correct!

Any place where I can get 4 G to use my mobile hotspot on a medical chauffer day is a good place to be.

Yesterday I headed back to Virginia to spend the night at Quilt Villa – that hind sight and reasonings thing, remember?

I’m not in Oregon.

And The Hubster has a dental procedure this morning that requires him to have someone to drive him back HOME.  (Yes, his dentist is here in Jefferson, NC for convenience!) Well, our friend Rick, who lives an hour away was planning on coming up last night, staying the night, driving the patient to the dentist this morning to have this work done, and then driving the loopy patient back up to Virginia, and then would drive another hour back to Boomer, NC home.

Since my plans were postponed, that puts the chauffeurship back on ME!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

With Found Time…

I’m feeling much better about my decision to postpone my trip to Oregon.

It was such a scary call to make, but folks from there who were looking forward to the workshops have even said that they are glad it is going to be held at a different time because Oregon is just not somewhere ANYONE should be flying into right now, and the drive from Medford to Brookings would be hours of traveling through hazardous smoke not knowing if the fires were going to take a turn at a moment’s notice, and then the drive from Brookings out to Roseburg is a whole ‘nuther ball of not knowing – the fires are moving that way and it’s just not a good situation.

There has been very LITTLE flack, mostly disappointment, and I am disappointed too. 

But when it comes right down to it, it isn’t worth having ANYONE out on the road to come to a workshop when the air quality is that unhealthy.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Making Hard Decisions.

I spent a very sleepless night last night.

I am supposed to be flying to Medford, Oregon today to spend time teaching 3 groups I have been really looking forward to being with.

The Azalea Quilters of Brookings, the Umpqua Valley Quilters of Roseburg, and the Mountain Stars Quilt Guild of the Rogue River/Grants Pass area have been on my calendar for the past 3 years just waiting for these dates --

And I am sad to say that I have made the decision to cancel and reschedule due to the massive fires that are ravaging the area.

My first clue that this was maybe not such a great time to fly in came in the comment of “We’ll be picking you up at the airport, and we’ll have a mask for you.”  “If you have eye drops or allergies or need an inhaler, please bring it”.

Folks, this is serious stuff, and I have waffled on and off, but as of the news this morning of the fire moving eastward toward the Rogue River area – I have to ask myself about my own safety.

Air quality has moved to dangerous and even hazardous, and I have to keep my own health at the forefront.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

True Friends You Can Make a Mess With!

Oh what a beautiful mess it is!

I have two bins of shirt parts up at the cabin that have not been already stripped down into Scrap User’s System sizes, and it’s a good thing they are NOT because we need a variety of cuts from just two fabrics for each Sugar Bowl block, and if they were pre-cut we may have a hard time finding strips in the widths we need, in the length that we need.

I usually cut up the sleeves and the shirt fronts along with the yokes, but the backs are usually left whole, just like a fat quarter, in case I need to do something else with them, or need bigger pieces or other sizes – as is the case with this project!

“DIG!” I told her.  And she did!

The instructions were a lesson in value, with color on color playing a role, NOT just one color plus a neutral ---which is a different thing.  As always, Mona was eager to jump in!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Hoot Owl Pie?!

Things to love about Appalachia!

Hoot Owl Pie?  While they last?!

I’m not even sure WHAT Hoot Owl Pie is, but this sign cracked me up. This sign appeared in Piney Creek, North Carolina in front of a little local mini mart, I knew I was going to have a go with Google when I returned home.  (This was also the land of little to no cell phone coverage.

Hoot Owl Pie?  Really??  YEP!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Quilt-Cam! 8/31/2017

It was a good evening for Quilt-Cam!

Well for as long as it lasted.

Because somewhere around 45 minutes into our evening the house completely lost internet, in fact the whole area did.  And it stayed off for more than an hour, and so I turned everything off, and slid between cool sheets with a good book to read instead of being electronically charged.

Sometimes that’s a good thing too!

But I did enjoy our time toether – I got going on a couple of Sugar Bowl blocks from our new tutorial found under the Free Patterns Tab.  Have you seen it?  CUTE CUTE CUTE!