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.

Their house is concrete, so the house is fine, it’s just that there is no clean running water or anything so they are “camping” right now on things they have stored for this purpose.  Days before the storm they were picking all of the remaining avocados and coconuts that hurricane Irma missed --

I am just overwhelmed with gratitude that my family members are safe.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Puerto Rico and its people.  They are in dire straits right now.


There has been a lot of catching up going on here!

All of this will be hitting the post office this morning.  You were busy while I was away! LOL!  I started in on this Saturday evening after returning home, finishing it up about 6pm last night.

It kept my mind occupied while waiting for word on Gail and Tony.

And guess what has NOW been added to our 2019 calendar?


We are going to KENYA!

England in August 2018.  Japan in January 2019.  And Kenya in October 2019.  All of the details are found in the tabs at the top of the blog.  Kenya is 2 years away.  But I know the time will fly. 

I have already received word from a quilter in Kenya when she heard I was coming, and she is going to let me know where the best places to buy fabric are, and we are going to see if we can set up a tea if possible with her group and ours if the itinerary works out.  I love meeting quilters from all over – and this is going to be extra special!

In other news:


I did an interview with HollyAnne of String & Story!

She asked some indepth questions that I had never been asked before, and they really made me think.  If you’d like to know what I told her, you can read the interview on her blog HERE.

She’s a sweet gal, and I really love following her on Instagram @stringandstory.

What else is going on around here?

Sometimes you just have to stop and make sense out of the stock room!

Click the video to start it playing.

It also occupies my mind and gives worry something to DO instead of just worry.

It’s not glamorous by any means, but there is this very functional space off of the sun-room-turned-office that was big enough for stock room storage and I took time yesterday to reorganize, condense down, restructure and make nice. 

So many of you have asked to see my set up here.  I don’t have a brick and mortar store, and I don’t have folks coming to my house to buy things for that reason, but this is how it’s all managed here. Now I feel like I can turn around in here without tripping over a box of something.


And THIS is happening!

Can you guess what is under the batting already being loaded into the machine??

I was asked how I store my batting.  Can you see the bins of strings under the machine?  Normally that would be where a pole is mounted to keep the roll of batting at hand.  Batting takes up TOO MUCH SPACE that way.  I store it on end in the corner of the room.  Less footprint.  And then I have all of this room for my string bins.

To cut batting, I lay it on top of the machine rollers, roll it out to the length I need and cut. Simple. 

And yes, that IS what you think it is hiding under all of that soft whiteness!

This is a roll of Hobbs 80/20, my batting of choice for machine quilting, unless I get a hankering for quilting with wool.


A special shout-out to Gayle!

She asked during Quilt-Cam if I would like some more plaids to play with in my Sugar Bowl blocks

I will NEVER turn down shirt fabrics! LOL!  Thank you for the wonderful array, Gayle!  There is only ONE in here that I have used previously, but it’s a favorite and I don’t mind using it again and again and again.

As soon as some TO DO things are done, you will find me in the studio happily cutting and stitching away.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage double Irish chain in flamingo pink shared during our Florida workshops last week.

Today is a good day to start appreciating all the little things-

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone!


  1. I wish that I had a "Gayle" to send me a stack of shirt fabric. I need some badly, but I am going to have to find my own. Bummer.

  2. That's exactly how I store my roll of batting... and I have tubs of stuff under my quilter too! :) Many of my shirts are in boxes (12) waiting to be deboned and then added to the shelves I installed in a basement coat closet. I seem to work in spurts at deboning, but will eventually get them all done. Of course, if I need something specific for a project I just dig through and find what I need to debone.

    So glad to hear your family is safe. Prayers for all who have been in harms way from Mothe Nature this year.

    and how is your brother doing? wasn't he about done with the chemo??

    take care Bonnie


  3. So glad to hear that your family in PR is okay!

  4. I have to thank you for the essential triangle tool. It is just fantastic! I ordered it to specifically make the sugar bowl blocks and am pleasantly surprised with it! I am totally hooked and addicted with the sugar bowl blocks, but have increased the size of the pattern due to arthritic fingers. The secondary patterns are amazing and a blast to discover. I have become a frequent flyer at our local second hand shops looking for that perfect used cotton shirt. Many thanks for all of the free patterns by the way. They are fantastic. My 2 sets of zipper bags arrived and they are just wonderful. The colors are bright, and the bags are so sturdy.

  5. Thank goodness for "old" technology - the ham radio! Glad to hear that they weathered the storm and that everyone is ok! I store my batting on end also, I have alot that I bought when first getting started in all the different sizes and they still take up way too much room!

  6. Hmm, just read the stuff above the comment box. Do you mean that if I close an ad box on a picture you get a little jingle? If that's what it means I will happily click away.

  7. Kathy Dahn, that's exactly what it means. Without the ads taking care of my time spent planning, designing writing and offering things for free here -- there wouldn't be free stuff anymore. The ads keep the free stuff free. They pay for my efforts so the quilters don't have to. Thanks for understanding :)

  8. So wonderful that your family is doing OK after the hurricane....awful times down there....Love those shirt fabrics.... I am keeping your brother in my prayers....Linda(Loretta)

  9. Do we have to let the ad expand to full size before we click the X? (Just want to make sure I do it correctly.)

  10. Bonnie, I am so glad your Aunt and Uncle are safe. I understand exactly what you are going through. Heather (Candy"s younger sister),her husband and our two grandchildren (who thankfully are teenagers)are in Puerto Rico. They tried to get out but were unable to get a flight. They are still waiting to see when they can get one. They live in Guaynabo, PR. They have been so fortunate that they are safe. They rent their home which probably will be uninhabitable from water from the roof going into all the walls.
    Heather said they are so blessed because so many have lost everything. Praying for your family. Carolyn Edwards

  11. One day last week I walked several blocks in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh business district before I saw a man who was *not* wearing a plaid or checked dress shirt! Those dry cleaner/laundry racks that used to be filled with blues and whites are getting a lot more colorful.

  12. Bonnie, are you interested in home spuns? I would love to pass them on to you.
    I also restarted my Alletaire mystery that had been languishing on my cutting table. I brought it to a retreat and figured out where I had stopped. I was on step 4 and all those sets of same fabrics was a mess, I did get one block together and I think I am going to love it when it is done. I substituted purples for the reds. Thank you for doing the mystery quilts.

  13. Great news about the family. That was a long time to wait - just gives us a better idea of how places so far away are coping in the aftermath.

    With regard to batting I just buy the ready cut and bagged ones. I've been experimenting. I still have a fair few 80/20 Hobbs and Quilters Dream cotton. I've recently used wool. They live in a cupboard under my fabric shelves - like a Welsh dresser (doubled lol) and are earmarked for finished tops - which I must get round to quilting - one down, a few to go.

  14. Bonnie, so relieved to hear that your Aunt and Uncle and their families are safe. It will be very difficult for a long time in Puerto Rico. I do hope we send lots of help to them to get them back on their feet. We are all still keeping Mark and his family and all of your family in our thoughts and prayers. I hope Marks family knows that thousands of people pray for them every day.

    I sew with a group called Fibers of Love. They meet on Mondays and it always gets my week off to a good start. It is so rewarding. Right now we have orders for many, many, many "Brother's Keeper" quilts. There is always a huge need, but with Mother Nature acting up the need is even bigger.

  15. What great adventures await you! I store my batting on end tucked in a corner too. What blessed news to hear your family is okay. And via a ham radio too! I've been contemplating getting one for my teen son.

  16. My goodwill stores sell the shirts for 8.00, not a good deal in my book. I'll keep watching to see if the prices go down. Hoping for a good sale.

  17. So glad to hear your family is safe; great peace of mind for you, Bonnie. I've got a question regarding wool batting. Recently I've been hearing how wool batting is great for more defined quilting. I've always used 100% cotton or an 80/20 blend of batting because I assume that whatever I'm making - placemats, table toppers/runners, baby & larger quilts themselves - will occasionally get washed. Generally I wash it after finally completing it.

    My question is what happens to the finished item if wool batting is used and then it's washed, because I know that wool shrinks and felts when it gets washed.


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