Thursday, November 30, 2017

Taking Time to Smell the Roses!

Arizona in the winter. 


Of course I was up early yesterday – my body clock was still on East Coast time, and I took a moment to just walk around my brother’s yard admiring all that they have done with it.

The vegetable gardens are much at the “in-between” stage right now, but beds have been cleared, some winter veggies have been planted in little rows.

There is a lot of good produce that comes out of Sharolyn’s veggie beds all year long.  You don’t need a huge yard to receive huge bounty.  And she is a master at it.

Where I quilt, and get my joy from working with fabric and thread, she gets the same soul-fulfilling enjoyment in working with the earth and seeing what can spring forth with just a bit of encouragement from her evergreen thumbs.

Seeing things blooming in full force as we turn the page into December is just such a wonderful “time out” from winter-to-come for me.


I love this ruffled beauty!

Isn’t this gorgeous?  If you look hard at the bloom, do you see a heart?  I do!  It was about 7:30 am and I was alone in the garden.


Back yard tangerine overload!


Picking one – just one!

If only you could have seen my face as I took my first bite…….no……it wasn’t pleasant!  Looks can be deceiving.  These beauties need another month or so to get sweet.  They were just a bit on the too-tart side.  But don’t worry, I’ll be back in January for just a few days after I finish teaching in San Diego.  When you are this close, you just have to make plans to squeeze in a bit more family time.

Has there been stitching time?  YES!  Last night I was back at Dad’s and enjoyed some feet up TV time after finally moving around some lamps so I could see what I was doing.

Click to play:


After last night, only 4 more rosettes and some background hexies are needed!

I’m hoping I’ll be able to add this second long side border to the mothership of the second eternal hexie project over my Christmas break when I return home from Oregon.  That will leave only the top and bottom borders to go --

Don’t think it will be finished any time soon, it’s likely another year’s worth of travel stitching at least!

Oh, and guess what???  I was asked just yesterday if I would like to take another group to Germany in December of 2019 for a Christmas Market tour of Bavaria!  Remember when we did this trip a few years back?  Those who missed it last time will have the opportunity to go with me!  And I can’t wait to go back.  We’ll get that info uploaded to the tabs section of the blog as soon as it is added to the Craftours website.

And of course you know what TOMORROW is?  Part 2 of our On Ringo Lake mystery will be going live, right here!

Questions that have been asked – WHAT TIME??  

I’m currently on mountain time in Arizona. To keep things as “normal” as possible for me, I need to post things according to the time zone I’m in.  Before I upload the post, I also have to link it to the PDF copy that will be hosted on my website.  And I need to add the link when it is posted to the  On Ringo Lake tab at the top of the blog.  That doesn’t happen automatically, it is all a manual process behind the scenes, and not something I can pre-schedule.

My plan is to post when I wake, and take care of everything after giving it one last go-over to make sure all is right and goes smoothly.  It might be a bit later than you are used to clues posting, but I appreciate your patience with me.  Same thing with Part 3 that will be posted December 8th.  I’ll be on Pacific time teaching in Oregon on that day, and I will get everything sent out before my teaching day begins.

Kind comments from readers!!  Thank you!

I’ve received emails and messages from several quilters who were frustrated that their units were coming out to small, always with the comment that “But my seam allowance is 1/4’’….” This is why I have mentioned again and again and again:

NEVER measure your seam alone.  It doesn’t tell you anything.  The seam allowance is only the vehicle that gets you to unit size.  Different weights of fabric, of thread, and how you CUT your fabric before sewing along with the seam allowance you sew with, AND the fact that when we press, we are pressing from off the far side of the thread add to the equation that brings us to unit size.

If your units are  too small….it could be either one of the above things that is throwing you off, yet unit size still matters.  So adjust your seam to give you unit size.  And the only way to do that is to measure the unit, NOT THE SEAM.

For proper cutting, please please please read my article on Making the Cut.  The line you are measuring with does not go NEXT to the fabric, but ON IT. 

Here is a testimonial that came in from Dot just the other day:
Good Morning Miss Bonnie.....Just had to write to tell you how excited & how much fun I am having making PERFECT 3.5 nine patches....I made a “sample” from already cut 1.5 strips I had ......The little block was 1/8 of an inch to small so I adjusted my seam & made another one.....Better, but still not right....
So I reread your instructions & the section on cutting jumped out at me.....I cut new strips, making sure the ruler line was ON the fabric, made another block & voila perfect 3.5 in. Nine patch....made another & same thing, perfect.....I am almost done & have been checking each one as I go & they are all perfect.....
Great feeling & so interesting how one little adjustment can make such a difference.....Thank you for putting that little sentence in, and Thank You for the Mystery & All you do for so many of us....
Your friend in Pa. Dot M.
If it can work for Dot, it can work for you, too!

I want to thank those who took the time to correct entries on our Mystery Monday Link-Up post for part 1 of On Ringo Lake.  I realize that quite a few people skim read and don’t really take the time to understand what I am requesting with this Link-Up and other social media posting throughout the course of our mystery.  I will reiterate this again in tomorrow’s clue, but for those who missed yesterday’s post or didn’t read it on the Link-Up post itself:

Please do NOT post unit sizes or unit counts in your post.  This is a mystery.  The sizes and counts are plainly available in the mystery directions themselves.  Folks can get them by coming to my directions.

Also, your link-up post, be it on Instagram, Pinterest, your blog or wherever MUST include a link-back to the link-up post. The link you are to use is given to you in MY post.

Our posts are reciprocal.  Which means, I send you all of MY traffic, and those who visit your page need to be able to get to me from your post.  If you post to Pinterest or Instagram, your blog, etc. - you need to add the link to the link-up post in your photo description.  It doesn’t matter if it is a hyperlink or just plain text, but it must be there.  If you do not link back to my post, your link will be removed from our link-up.  It’s that simple.  And it isn’t hard to do.

Those who do not follow these three simple requests – No piece count, no unit size, and link back to the link-up post will be removed from the link-up.

Thank you for working with me to be sure these things happen.  I really appreciate it. And it is so so so simple to just take the time and comply.

Today’s plan?  Desk Day.  I have a ton of stuff I need to take care of on my laptop this morning, and then I understand there will be a Costco run with my dad and some other things.  We are planning on meeting up with Mark & Sharolyn for dinner out as we won’t be together for Christmas.  

The rest of the day is just being played by ear, but I hope there will be time this morning for a long walk through Sun Lakes.  I feel the need to get as much “outside” time as I can get before heading up to Oregon on Saturday.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

While I am here with family it is my intent to spend more time to listen and re-listen instead of formulating my own reply in my head while others are speaking. 

As we head closer to our New Year and our chosen focus words, LISTEN is at the top of my list.  Listen to understand, and to feel what the other person is saying, not just listen to reply with my own thoughts.

Have a lovely Thursday, everyone!


  1. A Long, Long time ago, in a Parenting class, I learned the word "reflective listening". It is timely as you are with family. The sights and sounds of your Loved ones will ring in your ears long after you return home. Love the Roses of Wintertime. No frost on those roses!! Glad my Link-up made the CUT. Yea, it's Friday ---TOMORROW!

  2. I await the clues to this mystery as excited as anyone, yet I haven't sewed anything yet. I did manage to raid a friend's stash yesterday fir some coral/melon pieces as it's not a color I use much. So I'm gradually collecting fabric. Life has been too busy since we got home from a trip to Scotland in October. Trying to slow things down in holiday season isn't easy, but I 'm working on it.

  3. Bonnie, my little Nine Patches were coming out and 1/8" too small. Then I realized that it was because I had used my new Accuquilt cutter to cut my strips. It cuts the patches exactly the right size, but it doesn't include the tiny extra amount I usually have by using your tip about making sure the line on our rulers is ON the fabric rather than beside it. Luckily, I remembered your tip about the Best Seam Guide ever which you posted on your blog in the tips tab. So I hunted up an old gift card and your Bonus Buddy ruler and soon had the perfect seam allowance and perfectly sized Nine Patches. Thanks so much Bonnie for all of the quilting wisdom you have shared with us over the years.

  4. I'm loving this new MQ! While waiting for the next Clue I've been cutting fabric for the L/E Rail Fence quilt. It's going to be so pretty!

  5. Since I know that I would mess up the link up, I just don’t do it. I’m doing the mystery as my journey with you. It’s not a race but a journey to sort out the days troubles that I had. Listening is also my goal for the new year and if you resort the letters, it is silent. I need to be silent as well. I’m excited about your Germany trip in 2019 and may just consider going. Enjoy your family time and have an awesome day!

  6. Your instruction on placement of the ruler was "write on". Your rules are clear. We need to read and maybe reread before we get started. Today I have Ringo Lake withdrawal. Thanks for the fun--this is my first.

  7. I didn’t quite “get” why the no posting of unit counts or pictures on cutting mats and then one of your admins posted about it .. and the light bulb went off. No disrespect intended :). Really happy for you that you’re getting happy family time in with your dad and brother/sis in law. I think I may add today’s quote in my 2018 planner .. I’ve started ORL but I will definitely be finishing way into next year .. it’s all good. I’m enjoying just the little snippets of time right now to work on it. Thanks for another fun mystery!

  8. It's Friday on the East Coast!! Woohoo! Not really, cause now I have to wait until Mountain time for you to wake up and post the new clue...lol, you're killing me, lol

  9. Anticipated dialogue is what I have to strive NOT to do. But listen first.thanks for reminding me...

  10. I have really enjoyed the first step. Checking my measurements along the way as you suggested. I hope the one post that I did was correct! No unit numbers and link back to Quiltville On Ringo Lake.
    Please enjoy all the family time you can, family always comes before anything else.

  11. I love following along on your posts and hopefully can join in on one of your mysteries soon> So many irons in the fire, can't fit in right now. Excited to here you are at Sun Lakes, AZ - I lived there when we first moved to AZ in 1986 and imagine it has changed a lot. It was an enjoyable 3 years that we lived there before building our home in Phoenix. Enjoy your stay in the warm weather. We have since moved back to the midwest but I do miss Arizona!!

  12. Bonnie - I hope you READ this post. I live in Germany, not in Bavaria unfortunately. But WOULD YOU CONSIDER coming to our area in the Rheinland Pflaz, to Ramstein Air Base. We have a fairly active guild, maybe small by some standards - but we WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU COME TO TEACH A CLASS!!

    Please respond if you are at all interested, intrigued. We do have some nice Christmas markets in this area, and we're 40 mins away from the France/Alsace-Lorraine border.

    Primrose Bohne


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