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!


Cutting strip sets!

It’s so great to have her at the cabin with me!

We were both so busy and chatty that I honestly forgot to stop and take photos of our day along the way.  Which is completely okay in my book.  It was raining.  It had been raining for what seemed like days on end, and it was the perfect day to spend stitching together and catching up on the past several months since we had seen each other.

And don’t worry about the guys – Football season has started, and Boise State was playing yesterday.  They were happy with the remote upstairs.  We had free reign of the sewing room downstairs.


Mona’s first 7 blocks!

This is her first foray into working with the Essential Triangle Tool for half square triangles.  “Triangles can be tricky!” She said.  “Yes, they can be.” was my reply.

We readjusted her seam allowance, and she gladly took a bit of instruction on how important it is to keep your left hand guiding the fabric to the left of the presser foot after the fabric has gone under the foot and you lose control of it from the front.  “Don’t let go with your left hand.” I told her.  “Keep guiding it until the needle is all the way to the edge of the piece.”

Another hint shined a light on for her: “When you add the next piece in line, LIFT the presser foot and scoot your next pair under there, aligning it nice and straight and set the presser foot back down on top of the new piece.  Less shift will happen if you do this one simple thing.”

“That really works!!” she said after giving it a try.

These are the two best tips I can give anyone who is having trouble feeding cut triangles through the machine.  It’s not the bias that is the problem, it’s how you feed it.  Guide the pair with your left hand all the way to the end of the piece so you get a nice straight seam, and lift that presser foot so you can get the next piece right up against the previous pair, and set the presser foot down again to keep shift from happening.

Try it yourself.  You’ll see what I mean.  Seeing is believing!

You'll find the Sugar Bowl Block tutorial under the free patterns tab at the top of the blog.


In other quilty Mona news!

Mona brought up this orphan block quilt BACK in progress that she is making to pair with another top that she has finished so she has a reversible quilt.  It’s coming along fabulously!  She has included leftover blocks and parts from all of the quilts she has made to date.  So much fun seeing how far she has come in just a couple of short years!

Plans are being made for Nov/Dec when I am home from travel so she can come out to Wallburg for a couple of days and I can get her busy with the long-arm machine to turn these into finished quilts.

As it was raining the whole time – and since I’ve been working hard and heavy behind the scenes on this year’s upcoming Quiltville Mystery – and since we were enjoying time with friends up here at the cabin, that’s all I can share with you today.

I’m headed back home this afternoon, I’m getting myself ready for my trip to Oregon tomorrow.  My flight doesn’t leave until early afternoon so I have the morning at home also.  My plan is to try to kick out one more pattern section before I head out to the airport.  I’d love to stay up here and sew some more, but other deadlines are putting on the pressure.

The rain has stopped.  It’s a beautiful early September sunny Sunday.  Perfect for a 100 mile drive.

I’ll catch you from there!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage quilt found in North Carolina.

It's not something you keep for yourself, the only way to have it is to give it!

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!

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  1. Quilty friends just restore your belief in fun and mankind. Have a safe trip.

  2. Hi Claudia here. Nothing like a quilty friend! I love mine!

  3. You're coming West again. It's HOT,HOT,HOT! Yesterday it was Too Hot to sew for me. I did.get in a few good visits taking quilts with the Fair goers brave enough to bear the upper level of the Pavilion where the quilts are. My Granddaughters came to see their hanging quilts. So happy to share the quilt Love!

  4. have to say "amen" to the quote of the day...it's the only way to fly!

  5. The way you write your stories always draws me in. Sewer, teacher, mom, wife, sister, daughter, and author...you wear all those hats well.

  6. Looking forward to this year's Mystery Quilt!

  7. Hi Bonnie, was visiting Glacier national national park with my daughter. We saw a bear from the window and I started telling her about my friend who had set up a camera to watch the animals. LOL! Then I just started laughing at myself and told her well actually my friend is an awesome lady who writes a blog I follow. Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us so that you feel like a friend!

  8. I just love "Mona" posts. I remember when she had just begun quiltmaking--fun to watch someone learn!

  9. Did Beanie come along too?

  10. If you get a chance, could you get a photo as you are heading our way of the smoke/fires in the Pacific Northwest, Please? There are 70+ large fires happening as of today. See you Friday in Grants Pass... Thank You for making the trip in these unpleasant conditions.

  11. It never occurred to me to guide with my left hand. Can hardly wait until tomorrow when I get back in my studio and try this. Thanks Bonnie! Now for my tip, it's making my sewing more comfortable. I've moved my foot pedal up next to my left foot, turned it side ways so the "big" side is on the right. To sew, I lift my foot to the pedal. It stays put much longer. When my foot pedal is forward as the books recommend, I tend to push it further away from me.Then I have to stop and retrieve it. By having it where I lift and put my foot straight down on it, it stays there. Try it!

  12. WOW hasn't Mona done well in such a short time, her orphan block quilt looks stunning, mind you she is so lucky to have you as a quilting pal. I look upon you as mine, as I have followed you all over in the past years and "Scrappies" have now become my favourite type of quilts, I am know for them and it's all down to you. Thank you Bonnie.

  13. I really enjoy your blogs so much! My husband and I haven't stayed in one place long enough for me to have any come-to-my-house-to-sew friends, but I have a local quilt shop that I go to and take classes at. Looks like so much fun to have someone that you can have come over and sew with! Your next Mystery Quilt will be my first and I'm really looking forward to it! :-) Light and Love!

  14. Safe travels, Bonnie. I am looking forward to meeting you so much this week here in Oregon! We are looking forward to having so much fun in Grants Pass and Rogue River. The forest fires have put a lot of smoke in the air all over the state, sorry to say. We are praying for all the evacuees in several areas around Oregon, from the Chetco fire in southwest Oregon to the Mili fire near Sisters, to Eagle Creek near the Columbia Gorge. It's been a very terrible summer here for fires. I hope you can return another time and see how beautiful Oregon is - without the smoke. See you soon!

  15. Thank you for instructions for proper way to sew a block and get the quarter inch seam even. I mess up so much it almost isn't fun to have to rip and sew the seam over and over. It doesn't matter how much your machine cost if your not doing it so it turns out correct. Going to give your way a try. Thank you once again

  16. I go to Sugar Bowl on your pattern page. It says a blog and when I click the tumbler pattern/challenge comes up. Am I in the incorrect place to find the Sugar Bowl pattern?

  17. Then I have to stop and retrieve it. By having it where I lift and put my foot straight down on it, it stays there. Try it!



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