Monday, January 22, 2018

The Very Last Stitch!

There are some projects that nearly bring tears as you take the very last stitch.

15 years.  Where did they go?

It hits me even harder today I think with tomorrow’s birthday looming.

What has this quilt seen happen in my life over the past 15 years?

In 2003 we moved from Waxahachie, Texas to Irmo, South Carolina as the company that The Hubster Dave was working for expanded.

South Carolina was SO exciting and I loved every minute of the 5 years we lived there.

It was a time of transition for our family as Jason did not move with us – he already had a good full time job, an apartment, and was moving into a life of his own. 

Jeff was in Jr High, and our new house had the Jr High and High School right behind our house, easy access.  I was excited to meet quilters from the local Columbia, SC guilds and make a new life.

I started teaching a monthly Dear Jane workshop at a local shop, not for pay, just a gathering of ladies who wanted to tackle this project.  I had finished my “first one”  and was going to need sample blocks as demos, and I grabbed a set of chocolate Shweshwe fabrics I had picked up at Quilt Market while still living in Texas, and thought that I might do “A Wall Hanging.”  HA! 

And the years marched on as they tend to do. 


Sent in by Carrie yesterday:
I was downsizing magazines and wanted to save all the addicted to scraps columns. I got to looking and noticed all of your different profiles.
With this birthday coming up, and my hair back past shoulder length, and the fact that I am FINALLY getting my “birthday” tooth today (OH YES!) perhaps it is time for a NEW profile – the “now past the 1/2 way mark in her 50’s” version.  WITH ALL TEETH "Present" (As in don't look a gift tooth in the mouth!) and accounted for!


Oh, Sadie!

Immediately after finishing the hand quilting on this very long-term 15-year project, I plunged it into the washing machine with warm water and Gain detergent - Island Fresh if you must know - and gave it a good washing.

15 years of hauling this thing around meant it was kind of grimy in places!

I laid it out in the living room in front of the gas fireplace to block and dry overnight.


All traces of the yellow chalk roller used to mark the fans with a stencil are gone!


The Shweshwe fabrics are wonderfully soft, and I love the look of the remaining background shirting print sandwiched in between two large lengths of Madras plaid as the back.


At home on the cabin guest bed.

As I sit here and think about what to type next, how to word things – just staring at my screen and turning phrases and sentences through my mind, I notice that my fingers are rubbing the callouses – the thumb of my right hand, the index “under” finger of my left – How many stitches have made these callouses a part of me? It’s an unconscious action, and I realize that these callouses speak volumes, and there are many life lessons in them as well.


Viewing the ridges beyond!


And so the next one begins!


Yesterday’s #quiltvilleoftheday

Wanderlust from the Addicted to Scraps Book!

I will be teaching Wanderlust at Asilomar, my very first time teaching for Empty Spools Seminars in just a few weeks! I'm excited to meet my students, and to spend a chunk of time in Pacific Grove. My dad lived there during my early married years, so it will be fun to go back! 

Signed copies of books are available in the Quiltville Store

Purchase the book from my store, and also get the Wanderlust table runner pattern as a free PDF! Which reminds me…I need to be sure to pack and take this to Asilomar with me as folks may just want to make a few extra Wanderlust blocks and make a runner as well as their quilt.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

And with that said…I’m about to go progress myself right into the shower and get this day going – the dentist awaits!

Bonnie's Birthday Bicuspid!  YAY!

Have a terrific Monday, everyone!


  1. Have a terrific Monday and Happy Birthday early!

  2. Happy birthday, Bonnie. And happy birthday tooth, too! Your finished Dear Jane quilt has such a homey feel. I’m sure you’re glad to have it finished even though it’s kind of bittersweet. Looking forward to hearing the story behind your next hand quilting project.

  3. I worked 8years on a quilt for my granddaughter. She picked out the fabrics when her Mom, her and I went on a work trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. She was 8. I made a double pinwheel and finally got it quilted and gifted in 2016. Showing a friend a picture of Gianni receiving her quilt the friend commented "wow you worked hard on that quilt". I replied, "well it took me 8 years". Oh you she said "you didn't work hard on that quilt". If she only knew. LOL
    Happy, Happy Birthday tomorrow!!!

  4. Happy birthday, Bonnie. It is a special day -- my dad's birthday, too.

  5. Hi Bonnie hope you have a wonderful birthday.
    Your dear Jane quilt looks wonderfully at home on the guest room bed and Sadie was just testing it out lol!
    Good luck at the dentist.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  6. congrats on that finish - having made 2 dear janes by hand I know the satisfaction of a finish

  7. I am so happy you are getting your tooth for your birthday. You give us a gift everyday with your blog. It is the first thing I read every morning. Thank you for all you have give to us, your readers. Hope your birthday is wonderful. I have almost 20 years on you and learn new things from you all the time.

  8. Oh the memories and miles of Thread on that Quilt. Now we know the rest of the story! Happy, Happy for you to finally get that tooth done. Have a great Monday on your Birthday week!!

  9. Congrats on the epic finish, Bonnie!

  10. Beautifully done. I am still working on an 8 year project, you just made me feel better about it!

  11. Hope you have a wonderful Bicuspid (and well fitted) Birthday, Bonnie! I think I have every one of your books, now. Just have to wait till the next one comes out. :-) I'm patient. :-) I have plans for a Dear Jane in my future. Have the book and the E-quilt program for it, just not ready to tackle it, yet, since I have 6 other quilts in various degrees of doneness and I want to get them finished, or at least, closer to being finished. I can't wait till Feb! I'll be coming to your workshops in Bedford, VA! SO EXCITED!!!!

  12. Lovely quilt. I've had trouble getting out the yellow chalk marks, even with washing. Maybe I'll try Gain. I always learn something useful from your blog!

  13. I love that you captured the moment of the 'last stitch' for your own memories, and am so glad that you shared it with us. The quilt is absolutely lovely!

    Happy Birthday!

  14. What wonderful memories!! You were working on this DJ when I began following you, and I’ve loved every step of the journey. Happy Birthday - may you enjoy many more!!!!

  15. Your Dear Jane is magnificent, Bonnie! You have inspired me to get mine out and see where I am with it. I know I still have a long way to go. I'm looking forward to seeing your quilts in Ormond Beach, FL in a week or so!

  16. Hope all goes well with your implant today. I am flying home from Tucson today, which is also my wedding anniversary.

    Your quilt looks grand, and I admire your perseverance in hand quilting it. I'm looking foward to seeing you at Asilomar. Such a beautiful setting. Now that my husband has finished painting the window frames in my sewing room (and the rest of our downstairs) I can put everything back and start choosing fabrics for Wanderlust and put borders on another quilt.

  17. Anonymous12:46 PM EST

    Congrats on finishing your quilt!! Also, a very happy bday to you, Bonnie. I've got so many tops to finish...I feel like I'm on overload & can't get anything finished! I guess, a little at a time is the trick.
    We were just up at Asilomar...not only is it a spectacular place, but it's VERY cold right now!! Enjoy your day.

  18. I remember your showing this Dear Jane quilt at Logan Lap Quilters in Columbia, lo those many years ago. It has retained its beauty and so have you. Have a wonderful birthday celebration tomorrow!

  19. Amazing quilt, congratulations on your accomplishment. One of my first quilts was a Grandmother's flower garden. It took 10 years and it's only a lap blanket. Took it every Monday night to my quilt group and towards the end, I worked on it at night. Glad when it was finished. Now I need another take with me project and am thinking about the wonderlust runner. Thank you for your inspiration Bonnie and Happy Birthday.

  20. Thank you for sharing your life with us! Have a Happy Birthday- with new tooth! You have enriched my life with your work, your words, and in meeting you twice for classes! Happy Birthday to you, Bonnie!

  21. Happy Birthdays Bonnie. Make the love last a few days. Congrats on the completion, looks wonderful. I spend each morning before my day begins checking your blog. Thanks for all you do for us. Happily working on string blocks and leader enders. On Ringo Lake will be continued after the floor is laid and the quilt room organized. Have a great day.

  22. First of all, Happy Birthday to You! Secondly, congratulations on your project completion. It is beautiful. Your post today strikes close to home for me in two ways. My daughter asked me to do a mystery quilt with her. Since I had never done a quilt, it sounded like fun and I committed to do so. Keep in mind that I was a newborn at this art. That mystery was Celtic Solstice. I am embarrassed to say that it is still in the quilt frame that my hubby built for me. Reading about your 15 year saga is encouraging me to get to it again. The amount of time passed since start doesn't really matter. I need to pass "go" and plug away at it. Also, I totally understand your new tooth excitement. I am a sissy about dentists, but when an innocent grandchild remarked about the gap in my mouth I took the steps to get that implant done. It was an exciting day when I could smile wide without thinking about the gap. Enjoy having your big smile again today!

  23. I hope your birthday tomorrow is wonderful, with all teeth present and accounted for!! I just had 2 molars removed on Friday and hope my implants will be in place for my birthday in September!! Dealing with a double-long hole is a pain!! Love your marathon quilt!!!

  24. Happy Birthday Bonnie, my birthday is the same day as yours .

  25. Happy Birthday, Bonnie! Your Dear Jane is fabulous. wow.

  26. Congratulations on an amazing finish! So many memories in these long term quilts!
    And wishing you a very happy birthday!

  27. Your handquilted finish is amazing!!! It also gives me hope that I will eventually achieve some of my quilty goals too 😃 hope the dentist went smoothly for you today & you enjoy a wonderful birthday tomorrow!

  28. What a beautiful quilt Bonnie. Happy Birthday and best wishes for the coming year.

  29. Happy birthday Bonnie! I love your dear Jan quilt. I started one and it is my 2nd remaining UFO I have to finish. I keep working on it every now and then, one of these days it will be done. I am happy that I have only two remaining UFO's - Jane and block of the month angel quilt, which I am slowly working on too. Now I don't feel so bad to work on other projects.

  30. Happy Birthday Bonnie. Congratulations on your amazing finish. See you next week in Mount Dora, Florida

  31. Can someone help please. Was the binding on the quilt before it was quilted, thank you
    Kerryn connor Western Australia

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Happy Birthday, Dear Bonnie! A remarkable quilt for a remarkable woman. You bring such richness to life. I truely admire you as a person and learn so much from your quiltmaking. Wishing you a very happy day indeed.

  34. Happy Birthday Bonnie. Have a wonderful day. The Dear Jane looks at home on that bed in that room. It feels very comfortable. Enjoyed y being with you this morning for coffee.

  35. Oh please! An I slip into your baggage and go to Pacific Grove? The perfect California spot! If I lived in CA, it would have to be PG!
    Love the fog hornd, rocks and just everything there.
    I admire your patience and stick to it with Dear Jave. I am having a vintage quilt top machine basted and will hand quilt Baptist Fan. You give me courage to get back to some hand quilting. Been a quilter for 50 years, hand everything is how I started... getting back to my roots via BKH
    Love seeing our Sadie checking out your stitches. 🐶 Have a wonderful birthday week. Smile alot and hug even more. God bless and keep you.HugsJulieinTN ♥️

  36. Happy Happy Birth Day Bonnie!!
    I love your quilt and the hand quilting, it is stunning...agree stitches pass through time with us! My Dear Jane remains as fabric in a box.....bucket list to start 2018. I just completed a quilt entirely from ShweShwe fabric designed by Kaffe Fassett and used a pattern from his book Shots & Stripes (the kit gave me the reason to go back and purchase the book in order to get the pattern). I washed the fabric and absolutely loved sewing with it.
    Did you only use this fabric in the border?
    Enjoy your Birth Day Hugs from Canada

  37. Happy, HAPPY Birthday!

  38. Happy birthday and best wishes for many more.

  39. Happy Birthday. May your day be full of wonder and peace. Thank you for the years you have devoted to us and sharing your life.
    Cheri S

  40. Looking forward to the class at Empty Spools! Pat and I were so lucky to get in there and on the England trip this year. Crossing our fingers that we can get in to some of your other classes in 2018 and 2019. We'll follow you just about anywhere!

  41. I'm a little bit behind with my blog reading and just reading this right now. I must say--"CONGRATULATIONS!". What an amazing accomplishment! That took perseverance and it turned out absolutely stunning. <3 xoxox


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