Wednesday, January 03, 2018

New Year, New Laptop!

Today is the day I break in my new laptop.

Never before opened, never brought out of the box – and it is more than a year old.

It was time to replace the laptop a year ago, but the one I had running was like such a comfortable close friend, I didn’t want to relegate it to simply being the “Quilt-Cam” laptop in the basement at home.

It was running well, and had everything I needed on it.  I mean EVERYTHING.

All of my programs would have to be re-installed, especially the Open Live Writer that I use for writing blog posts offline (I love that capability when I am flying or somewhere with limited connectivity such as the cabin where a phone hot spot is required to connect) and I was dragging my feet because I wanted to do ANYTHING else rather than reload programs, and go back to the beginning of having to physically hyperlink everything within a blog post.

This program saves all of my hyperlinks so that when I type a word….the link is already there once I’ve set it.

But new year, new laptop.  Now that the mystery is done, And I’m starting a new year, it’s time.

Technology changes so much over the course of a couple years.  Where my old laptop had 3 USB ports, A memory card reader slot, an HDMI port….this new one has ONE USB port and right now it is occupied by the dongle for my mouse.  “You can get a multi-port extension” for that I am told.  Great.  Now instead of things just being included in the laptop, I have to carry “accessories.”

“But this model is so much LIGHTER than the old one.”  Yes, but you should see my bulky bag of accessories that now fills my backpack so that I can have the mouse and the phone cord and other things hooked up at the same time.

In the past I’ve used ALL of the ports on my laptop as a charging station for my smart watch, my phone, my Bluetooth speaker, my external battery pack….Sometimes less ISN’T more. 

Taking away my USB ports is like taking away all of the cup holders in the car and calling it “streamlined.”  They better never mess with my cup holders!


Hello from Virginia!

I did end up coming to the cabin yesterday afternoon after finishing up at the eye doctor.  And oh, happy day – For the first time in I don’t remember how many years, I do not need a new prescription in my glasses.  There was only a slight change in my astigmatism, but not enough to warrant new glasses.  So like the old laptop, these glasses will hang around for another year.  I’m glad.  It’s the best news I’ve heard with my eyes in a long while.

I have an appointment with the retina doc at the end of the month for a check up on the macular telangiectasia thing….hopefully there has not been much progression there as well.

So this ice thing you see above?  I crossed the NC/VA line coming into Mouth of Wilson, and the New River is frozen up!


Standing under the overpass, looking in both directions.


Goodness!  I’ve never seen anything like this in the south.


My evening, in stitches!

I have had loads of questions about this quilt, so I’ll throw in some nitty-gritty for those who are new. (And there are many of you since our On Ringo Lake mystery started!)

The blocks were made as samples while teaching a Dear Jane workshop when I lived in South Carolina.  I’ve been in North Carolina now for 10 years.  I lived in South Carolina for 5.  So you can only guess how long this project has been hanging around.


Yummy chocolates from Meerkat Shweshwe

I used one shirting print as background for the whole thing. The blocks are a combination of chocolate shweshwe, double pinks, and the background shirting print.

The setting layout is my own design.

The hoop I’m using is 14’’.  I am using YLI thread in pink, and Roxanne betweeens size 11 needles.  And of course, my TJ lane thimble which I love and am never without.

The Baptist fan design I am quilting is marked with a stencil and a chalk wheel.  Unlike traditional hoop methods where quilts are quilted from the center out, Baptist fans are quilted from the outside edge of the quilt in toward the center in a spiral, or from bottom of the quilt up to the top in rows.  The quilt needs to be basted really well so that excess fabric fullness isn’t pushed and trapped in the center of the quilt as as you work from the outside in.

I machine baste my quilts by long arm machine, and remove the basting with each area I quilt as I go.

You can see more how this quilting design works by clicking the Tips & Techniques tab at the top of the blog and check out my article on Freehand Baptist Fans.  The pencil drawings will show you how the fans are worked around the quilt.


These two!

Sadie and Piper!

It was “FREAKING” cold yesterday when I took Sadie for her morning walk, and her winter coat was up at the cabin, so the thunder shirt provided a bit of insulation as we braved the frigid temperatures.  We were joined about half-way through our quick cold jaunt by Piper who comes running when she sees us out for our “nusiness.”

When we reached the house, she was happy to get treats along with Sadie.  Such a funny dog. Those EARS!

My plan while I’m up here – I’m kitting up a couple of “On the Go” projects for hotel room stitching over the next couple of months.  I’ll have some stitching time in California next week, and at the end of the month I’m headed to Florida (Oh yes, I planned these warmer area trips at this time of year specifically!) and I’m excited to see what I can accomplish while out and about.

if the pieces are all cut out and baggied up, they don’t take much room in my suitcase and it is amazing what you can get done in the evenings after workshops are over.  Adventures in hotel sewing resumes again!

And of course, there is some sewing that is begging to be attended to while I’m here as well.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Photo shared by Kevin H.

Doesn’t this just look like our On Ringo Lake colors?

We can start out the new year a whole lot lighter if we will only let go of the things that weigh us down!

Time to hit the scraps – have a great Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Congrats on the "new" laptop :) I find as I get older newer doesn't always mean better. Now you need a cute little something, like your busybag, to hold your new accessories.

  2. Technology moves so darn fast! I hearya about newer etc is not always better. Hoping tp buy a new car soon. Thankfully I have one of the 2 best son in laws ever right hete on town. He is so willing to. Help. Me, even with buying a car.
    Tell you this weather is insane. Bugsy is now officially stir crazy. He will get a good watmer walk today.
    I love Baptist Fans.. that never ever takes away from the pattern. Willing be resetting up my Grace frame to putting a vintage top on to use BF. Decided of not go the hoop route. I have not got the stranght to baste, and my quilter does not do machine basting. I can fully. Understand why she doesn't.
    Happy all is well with you and our Sadie.

  3. I hate change as well. The words are smaller in this post but the new lap top looks like it is working great. I sure hope you can get it to do all the tricks your old one does LOL. I am wishing you the best for this year Bonnie. I sure hope Florida is warmer by the time you get there, some parts are looking at snow this week. Thanks again for this years mystery. I haven't got to start it yet as the last few months have been crazy but will start it soon and enjoy every challenge along the way. There is a lot of firsts in this one for me.

  4. I’m really loving your dear Jane blocks and I’ve got a farmers wife top complete waiting to be quilted, I think I’m going to hand quilt it I’ve never done it before but it seems like a good challenge for 2018. I’ve just done my first free motion quilting and although not perfect I’m happy with my first effort and will be gifting it to my mum this weekend hope she likes it. Enjoy your down time before your racing around the country again. Your pics of the countryside are gorgeous thank you for sharing them with us.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  5. Thanks for sharing the photos of ice in the New River, amazing! I pass this river in Ashe & Wilkes, have never seen like this.
    Plus, truly appreciate the info re: hand quilting 😃

  6. I plan trips just so I can quilt in hotels or motels. Sometimes I stay two nights in one location so I don't send so much time packing. And since I usually travel alone I stay in at night--lots of sewing time!

  7. I had a good chuckle about "better not mess with my cup holders!" Our Ford F350 pickup has 6 cup holders just in the front seat, plus one USB port and 2 12volt ports for phone/equipment, plus one more 12volt in the front console. As with fabric "More is Better!!!"

  8. Bonnie, you might also find that the new laptops don't have a DVD player built in either! Now that was a shock. So, you have to buy a portable DVD player to haul around with the extra USB multi-port extension. Less is definitely not more in this case!
    Regards from cold Montana!

  9. I love those yummy chocolate meerkat Shwe Shwe fabrics. They are stunning. The photographs of the frozen river are amazing. I can certainly relate to poor Sadie not enjoying the cold. I have just finished making three quilted dog coats for a friend’s daughter’s dogs as Christmas presents. Turned out great.

    Love reading all your blogs and thank you for the inspiration you give me.

  10. Sorry the NEW Laptop has less of what you need. Hope the transition goes well. Sending good Techno vibes your way. I need to get more programs on my Laptop. Especially EQ8 and that Open Writer one sounds like a good one. I'll be in CaLifornia, but not the same week as you, bummer. Gifted myself a trip to WARMER weather again this year for my Birthday month. Thanks for your Inspiration all year!

  11. If your NEW laptop is already a year old it will need all sorts of updates. I always hate that. I'm afraid a new laptop isn't too far in my future either and I'm not looking forward to picking out a new one. With every new one it seems something I already have doesn't work...printer, scanner, a program I love...SOMETHING!

    With that river you mentioned freezing up and snow in Tallahassee and Houston, I really don't know why certain factions keep yammering on about global warming. John Casey's book DARK WINTER is likely closer to the truth, but I suppose money is involved. I've been saying for a long time now they should quit worrying about global warming and start thinking about the next ice age. We're overdue. That said, I'm SO ready for summer.

  12. I can hardly stand the cuteness of Sadie and Piper. All you need is Beanie in the pic and it would be overload -- lol.

  13. I have an iPhone X waiting to be activated but the thought of not having a home button is giving me the heebie-jeebies! Maybe I'll just wait a little bit longer.

  14. One important consideration is size of the print we read. This post shows much smaller print, harder for the older eyes to read. Perhaps you could amp up the size a bit for the future? Just a thought. Thanks, and enjoy your time at the cabin.

  15. I too would love to see your new computer increase the size of the font. I had a hard time reading that font. It was so small.

  16. Anonymous4:34 AM EST

    Download Best New Year 2019 Images/ Pictures/ Advance wishes to wish your friends/ GF/ BF/ Family.

  17. Nice computer ~ had to put on my readers to read the post. Can you make the font larger?

  18. What batting do you use in your hand stitched quilts? I’ve been using Warm & Natural but the last two have ended up feeling like cardboard. Plus my hands are getting older. (I’m not, though!)

  19. I look forward to opening your blog because I am in love with On Ringo Lake the Quilt. Such gorgeous colors. I'm not accomplished enough to tackle such a project, but I admire your work and your scrap philosophy. Thanks, Bonnie. Here's to a great 2018.

  20. It is very cold here Bonnie in Florida..
    I hope when you come here that you have some warm weather. We are hybernating at the moment here in NE Florida.
    Take care and stay warm!
    Happy Quilting,
    Yoka Bazilewich

  21. I am very computer unfriendly but at least on my older laptop if I hit Ctrl at the same time at the +/= button then I get a larger view. Saw the smaller type also but love that little trick. Happy New Year Bonnie


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