Saturday, March 31, 2018

Share the Inspiration!

As wonderful as our workshop time is – the definite highlight of my day (besides an incredible pot luck lunch for 52!) is getting to know YOU as you share some of the quilts you’ve made, telling us a bit about yourself, where you are from, what guild you belong to, how you ended up where you are – WHAT INSPIRES YOU!

I have been FLOORED by the number of On Ringo Lake variations in all of their different colorways and arrangements, tweaks, alterations, inspirations and more.

I can tell this is On Ringo Lake by looking at it, but can you name the differences?

It’s straight-set, not on point.  No setting triangles, and those additional chevron border corners?  PERFECTION!

I have just loved seeing your vision and am happy to be your jumping off spot!

Friday, March 30, 2018

A Blue Ridge Beauty Day in Des Moines, IA!

I met again with the Des Moines Area Quilters and friends, filling up our massive workspace with 52 quilters from all over!

Our project this day was Blue Ridge Beauty, a long time favorite from my book Adventures with Leaders & Enders, fabulous in ANY fabric combination, not just blue and neutral!

This quilt was made with 2’’ and 3 1/2’’ strips using specialty rulers like the Essential Triangle Tool for half square triangles, cutting them easily in matched pairs from strip sets instead of odd sized squares. 

I love the exclamations of “Hooray! It’s perfect!” that come from students as they sew and press and measure.

Oh, sometimes there may be a bit of sliver trimming as we are hand guiding our fabric and wobbly seams can happen, but it is way less than other methods!

Four-patches come first!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Who Wins the May/June ‘18 Quiltmaker Bundle!?

Hello from Des Moines!

A double presentation day and two very full workshop days are behind me – and I head home tomorrow for a 2 week break.

It’s been an amazing time, and I’m so happy to have reconnected with so many, and met so many more.

Quilters are just THE BEST hands down!

I’m packing up my luggage, and getting settled in for the night so I’ll be ready for my airport pick up at 9:15am tomorrow.

It’s also the perfect time to be drawing for the winner of our May/June 2018 Quiltmaker Gift-Away!

A Wonderful Wonky Wishes Workshop Day!

I’m not sure WHAT I’m saying in this photo.  LOL!

Anyone dare to add a caption?

Something like “What do you mean the fabric is on sale at 75% off – LET’S GO!”

Aren’t candid shots just so funny?

I met yesterday with a huge group of quilters in Des Moines for a wonderful workshop day of sewing up Wonky Wishes blocks –the scraps were flying!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Des Moines Double Duty Presentation Day!

Oh. My. Goodness.

I had heard that the Des Moines Area Quilters were a fabulously fun group with a very involved guild.

Their charity efforts are epic, and their outreach is far – covering everything from quilts for kids, and extensive Quilts of Valor efforts.

But I was not prepared for the windfall of visitors and guild members alike during BOTH the early afternoon and evening guild meeting sessions.

I was caught up and swept up in the activity, smiling and feeling right at home amidst the hubbub and hustle – confirming to myself that yes, once again – my world is one big quilt guild, friendly faces and welcoming smiles and hugs – these are my peeps! 

Let’s get this show on the road!

Committee reports, upcoming programs, activities gearing up for the next Quilt Show – it all felt so familiar.  AND BUSY!

And before I knew it, it was my time to give my schpeel to this massive crowd. A few trips over my own tongue due to nervousness, and off we went…finding the comfort zone with a joke and a giggle from the audience.  Yes.  They get me, the understand.  They TOO have this much fabric and want to know how to use it better --

And then my favorite part of all?  The show & share segments!  I had seen armfuls of  quilts coming in, their patterns and colors recognizable between the folds.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From Home to Des Moines!

20180326_190121This is the sweet little machine that greeted me when I reached my hotel room in Des Moines.

4 nights!  I’m here for 4 nights – and THREE of them will be free for stitching up a storm….well, a 4 block storm last night anyway.  It was a long travel day.

My flight wasn’t until noon, and everything went swimmingly, but it was one of those GET YOURSELF there by yourself kind of airport days – Jeff  has entered his busy season doing landscaping and lawn care and he was out the door on the job long before I left for the airport.

The Hubster is on business in New York – So me, Moby the van, and 3 huge suitcases and my backpack made it to the airport to park in long term parking while I am gone.

The struggle is real when it comes to three 50 lb rolling suitcases and a backpack – when a person only has two arms.

And where is a sky cap when you need one?  It’s called go grab a cart, come back to the car, load the bags, go to the terminal….I’m glad I gave myself extra time.

Yes, I can do this on my own – but I sure appreciate it when I don’t have to!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Quiltmaker Gift-Away, and Off to Des Moines!

It’s a GO TO DES MOINES day!

And I have a bit later flight today than the usual crack-of-dawn shindig, and how nice is that? 

My flight isn’t until noon, so I was able to putter a bit in the studio last night after getting everything for this trip together, and was able to wake without an alarm blaring me up at some ungodly hour.

When I returned from the cabin on Saturday, there was a familiar white envelope waiting for me – the May/June 2018 Quiltmaker issues inside.


And here I'm laughing at the continual winter weather we’ve been having here in North Carolina.  MAY!?? June?!

I thumbed through last night and thought my departure day would be a great day to leave you with another fun Gift-Away, this time with a bundle of stuff I’ve pulled together, just for you!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

March Quilty Box Drawing Time!

It’s time, it’s time!

It’s time to draw our TWO winners for the March 2018 Quilty Box – TWO winners, will one of them be you?

This was an exceptionally fun box – especially great for me since I was able to share mine with my friend Mona -

I don’t have a granddaughter, but I know someone who is deep into the throws of grandparenthood, and there is nothing like a 2 year old at Easter  to ramp you right up into the wonder and discovery each holiday brings.

When I met with Mona for lunch in Wilkesboro on Thursday, I just KNEW that this box was perfect for Mona, and in turn Carmen, who would be the recipient of this box.

My thought was for NEXT Easter.

But NO!  I’ve been fielding texts over the past few days charting Mona’s progress as she makes the adorable Jade & Cottontail quilt from the fabrics and patterns included in this month’s Quilty Box!

Checkerboard Rails–A Quilting Finish!

It was snowy and blowy as we left Quilt Villa, Virginia in a hurry to beat the storm.

5’’ to 8’’ of snow predicted yesterday in the highlands of Virginia – and it’s nearly April for crying out loud!

Still, I was told when we were purchasing our place in Grayson county that Mt Rogers WAS after all, Virginia’s highest mountain peak and created its own weather vortex and to be aware.

We were very aware as we finished up our breakfast, loaded the van and began our climb down the steep lane way to the main road below.

There wasn’t even an inch on the ground yet, but the downhill descent was steep, wet and a bit slippery.  Even with Moby’s all-wheel-drive, I found myself holding my breath and carefully pumping my brakes as I began to swerve and slide towards the bottom.

No, beautiful as it was, we had to get out of there and quickly – after all, I have a flight to Des Moines on Monday (tomorrow!) and if we didn’t leave, I’d be stuck until a thaw came round.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bugging Out & Heading Home!

This was yesterday.

It doesn’t look like this now!

The snow has started falling, and more than 5’’ is expected up here on the mountain so we are in a flurry to beat the flurry – packing up the contents of the fridge, the projects, the overnight bags – setting the cabin at rights and heading down the mountain before it gets too treacherous to do so.

It’s cutting my weekend a day short, but I can’t risk not being able to make it to the airport for Monday’s flight to Des Moines – so we are OUTTA HERE!

Quilt Villa, it was a short but sweet visit, but I’m glad I had some time up here to do what needed to be done – dentistry and relaxation do not often go hand in hand, but it is done.

I stopped at Tractor Supply yesterday, face numb and unable to even suck water from a straw without dribbling.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Yankee Puzzle Plus! A Bonus Buddy Bonanza!

Good Morning from Quilt Villa in Virginia!

I arrived yesterday afternoon after a short stop in Wilkesboro to have lunch with my friend Mona and catch up – just us girls.

We only live an hour or so apart from each other, but when both moving targets are going in opposite directions, we just don’t get to see each other as much as we would like to.

Lunch was long gone, and we were still sitting there an hour later nursing our iced teas and chatting up a storm.

With a full belly and another hour’s drive ahead of me, I was grateful to slide in for a late afternoon nap by the time I finally got here.

Are you intrigued by this block at the top of this post?

This is something I have been working on behind the scenes for a while!

You know how I love units that leave me bonus triangles.  But instead of saving bonus triangles for ANOTHER project down the road, how about we find a place for them to land in the same project you are working on, using my Bonus Buddy ruler to turn those waste triangles into BONUS!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Snow Day, Quilt-Cam Sew Day!

What else is a girl going to do when the world is white outside?

There was no need to get anywhere, go anywhere, do anything else, and she (meaning ME!) was itching to spend some much needed machine time simply putting the pieces through.

And I know that YOU were anxious for it too!

We did all of this yesterday at 2pm eastern through Facebook live – if you missed it, no worry!  It’s here to be embedded and archived along with some of the stories and photos sent in by those who were sewing along!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

March Quilty Box Gift-Away (And Quilt-Cam, Too!)

I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland that should NOT be happening in North Carolina at the end of March.

Seriously, North Carolina!  I would expect this kind of shenanigan to happen in Chicago, but HERE?

However, after spending the past 2 days at my desk, I’m READY and raring for a SNOW day SEW day – and I hope you’ll join me at 2pm Eastern via my Quiltville Facebook Page for some Snowy March Quilt-Cam fun. 

To make things even MORE excitable today, Our March Quilty Box arrived while I was in Illinois, and it’s full of Elizabeth Hartman goodness!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Show & Share, Shenanigans & More!

This is part of the display that enticed us as we sewed away for two days at the Glenwoodie Golf & Country Club in Glenwood, Illinois last week.

As I went through my photos to pull this morning’s post together, this tee shirt statement just busted me out laughing.

Have you EVER felt this way?  “I’m not going to buy any more fabric until I……..OH, look!  Pretty!  On Sale!!”

Well, I caved.  LOL.

There were BINS of 1 yard cuts – 3.99 each.  In my mind, I rationalized that as only $1.00 a fat quarter, right?  Wouldn’t you??

And before I knew it -

Monday, March 19, 2018

Thread Matters…

Thread is one of those things I care about.  I hope you do too.

When putting all of this time and effort to piece quilts, quilt quilts – I give a lot of consideration to the thread that does the job of holding piece to piece, or finishes the quilt either by machine quilting or hand quilting, and binding.

Living in North Carolina, I’ve been interested and fascinated by the long standing textile industry here.

Of course, many (most) of the mills are gone now, but did you know that having been in the thread business for 127 years, American & Efird  is the only thread company still with full scale operations remaining in the US?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Stitching Away on St Paddy’s Day!

It’s not often that St Patrick’s Day falls in line with National Quilting Day!

But then, isn’t EVERY day International Quilting Day?  It is in my world!

However you spent your day, I hope it was wonderful.

There was a plethora of green-wearing-scrap-loving folks sewing up a storm in yesterday’s Cathedral Stars workshop hosted by the Illinois Valley Quilters in Ottawa, IL!  And we were so happy to have Carolyn and Lisa join us all the way from Arkansas and Missouri.  We tried to figure out how many years it has been since I last saw them, and the best we can come up with is about 5. 

Lisa’s kids have grown – gotten married, life marches on – oh, so quickly!

And our class day did, as well.

I haven’t taught Cathedral Stars in a while, but it was the FIRST quilt that turned me on to the Tri-Recs units and how fun and versatile they are when cut from strips.  We’ve since used this unit in Celtic Solstice and En Provence, both found in the Digital Patterns section of the once again functional Quiltville Store And when students are successful with this unit, their happiness spills over and the possibilities are endless.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Of Midwest Towns & Antique Malls!


Yesterday I had the opportunity to trundle on up to La Salle and do some quilt shop wandering, have a delicious lunch out at the Up Town Grille, and hit a couple of antique malls with Sarah, my designated driver while I’m here with the Illinois Valley Quilters.

We made a stop at Quilting in the Valley!

Isn’t it wonderful how you can enter certain shops and be made to feel completely welcome and at home – even when you’ve never been there before?

The shop was busy with a flurry of customers, and we were soon chatting of all things quilty – from mystery quilts to quilt-cam to “I’ll see you tonight, I’m in tomorrow’s class” and beyond.

It never ceases to bring a smile when someone says “How’s Sadie?”  I felt instantly like part of this group!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Scrappy Trippin’ with the Quilter’s Plus Quilters!

How many quilters does it take to make enough blocks for  a king sized quilt top in a day?


Fifty quilters gathered yesterday at the Glenwoodie Golf & Country Club for a full day of Scrappy Trips fun!

This is such an easy quilt to make and the pattern is found under the free patterns tab at the top of the blog. Those who have made one, can’t stop with just one.  They are fast and easy, and EVERYTHING goes.  There is no such thing as an ugly quilt with this simple block pattern.  Grab some 2 1/2’’ strips and get sewing!


I was gifted a shirt to match “the Super Staff!”

The day before all of the ladies were sporting green shirts with the guild logo and the name of the class along with my name, and I said “Cute! Where’s mine?!”  Well, they listened and brought me one for yesterday’s class.  I quickly changed and joined these “blue birds of happiness” for a wonderful day that flew by far to quickly.


Strips are sewn into sets and strategically pressed!


Strip sets are sliced, opened and rearranged!


Pump those irons girls!


Beautiful blocks were happening by lunch time!


We worked up a powerful hunger, and our catered lunch was delicious!

Roasted chicken and seasoned potato quarters, green beans to die for….”Why are these beans so good?!” Was the query.  “2lbs of butter!” was the reply! LOL! But really, they were delicious.


Amazing, everyone!  Just amazing!

Click to play:

And lest you think that was the END of the day:


Last quilters standing SEWING!

Long after everyone else had packed up and rolled on out, and the last of the cords and duct tape had been pulled off of the floor, ONE table of die hard quilters remained, still sewing away.

We had the room until 9pm so they decided to stay put, order in pizza delivered for dinner and just use up all of the time they could making more blocks!

I waved them a fond farewell as Cathy and I rolled on out ourselves – destination?  Dinner in near by Flossmoor, IL – such a cute town!


I loved the old brick buildings.


Dinner at the Floosmoor Station!


Aren’t the Tudor buildings cute??

The sun was setting lower as we made our way toward Joliet where I would be meeting up with Sarah from the Illinois Valley Quilters – transferring my stuff (Oh, so much stuff!) from Cathy’s vehicle to Sarah’s and off we went further west to my next destination – Ottawa!


Bonnie got her Culver’s fix!

Caramel Peanut Butter Cup.  MMmmmmm!

I was in bed by 8:30.  I think I watched 20 minutes of The Wedding Planner before clicking the remote to off, turning out the lights and calling it DONE. 

This morning is much less hectic.  I have the morning to take care of and catch up on emails and other needed things.  Sarah is picking me up at 11:30 for lunch out, a quilt shop fix, and an antique mall wander.  The only thing I really need to be present for is tonight’s guild presentation!  A day to play.  Thank you!

**NOTE!**  My shop is currently down while we get the SSL certificate to redirect.  Currently it shows the page, but no items! ARGH!  And I'm still busy in Illinois, leaving the hotel to spend the time with the guild ladies.  Please check back later --  :)


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Iris quilt with signatures shared by Cathy in Lockport, Illinois.

If you find yourself feeling "less than" - stop the comparison! Just bloom!

It’s Friday!  Get out there and enjoy it!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Pineapple Blossom Afternoon!

Me and the lovely ladies of the Quilters Plus Quilt Guild of Glenwood Illinois!

These gals have worked so hard behind the scenes to make these couple of days possible.

And they have the shirts to prove it!

With classes holding 50 students, a bigger location was needed, and they found a BEAUTIFUL place at the Glenwoodiie Golf & Country Club.

A lovely facility, with 85 years of history just 25 minutes drive south of downtown Chicago.

And LUNCH was served in between the guild meeting, my presentation and the start of the workshop for workshop attendees.

The shirts all say Bonnie Hunter Pineapple Blossom on them.  They planned ahead!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Snow Day Sew Day in Lockport!

What a day for a Snow Day Sew Day!

Only, it wasn’t snowing until about lunch time.  But when it comes down, that spring snow is heavy and wet, and suddenly Illinois became a beautiful snow globe of wonder – swirling and whirling while while 49 quilters and myself sewed up a plethora of 2 1/2’’ strips in our Sister’s Choice workshop!

Our event was hosted by the Heritage Quilters in Lockport, Illinois, and they pulled out ALL of the stops to bring this together.

We had folks joining us from all surrounding states from Tennessee to Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and beyond.

I always love it when a guild will open up to outside visitors – they bring a whole new dynamic to the occasion, and the excitement in the air is palpable!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Chicago, Chicago!

Would you look at the color of this water?

And blue sky!  And puffy white clouds – and oh, sun!

But don’t let the glow of the photo fool you.  They don’t call this the Windy City for nothing, and those March winds were blowing!

Still, it was a beautiful crisp day in Chicago, and I had a partner-in-quilt-crime willing and able to drive me around on a panoramic tour of the city, giving me a taste of “Downtown Chi Town!”

Getting here was my only struggle.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Time Change of Confusion!

Is it the 3-hour time zone difference body clock rebellion?

Is it the whiplash of Springing Forward an extra hour yesterday making it a 4 hour time difference of “What time is it anyway?!”

Maybe it’s the fact that there were only 3 days to try to settle in before kicking off to Chicago this morning. (And going an hour backwards?)

Perhaps it was the changing technology and all that comes with it, but I am trying to find my sense of humor in all that has slowed me down over the past three days, starting with the fact that I discovered yesterday that I had lost…..LOST!!!….my Asilomar pay check.  WHAT?!  Where?  Oh, my goodness, how??

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Springing Forward–And Falling Behind!

There has been a little of this going on here.

And when I say little…I mean LITTLE!

It kind of gets this way when I’ve been gone for 10 days, and I only have a few days to play catch up before heading off again.

I leave for Chicago tomorrow. 

With the time changes between California and here, and then springing forward another hour overnight last night – I’m in a bit of a kerfuffle.

So this is my notice right off the bat – Quilt-Cam is going to have to wait until I return from Chicago.  At least I’ll only be adjusting backwards an hour tomorrow morning!


There I was yesterday with the whole day laid out before me, and everything was supposed to fall into place, but the one thing I can’t live without is my cell phone if I am going to photograph, blog, communicate, not to mention run credit cards at book signings…MUST. HAVE. PHONE!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

And the Quilts Kept Coming….

We never knew when someone NOT in our class, would stop by with a quilt and share with us what they had completed!

Either from a mystery, a previous class, or something they were doing all on their own!

Tuesday afternoon was a day of visiting – where students and instructors alike could go on “Walkabout” and visit the other classes to see what other folks had been up to during their time at Asilomar.

Shown here is Ruthmary – the fabulous gal who takes care of all of my shipping needs through C&T, making sure that book and merchandise orders show up where they are supposed to show up ahead of my arrival.  I couldn’t do what I do without her!  And she brought her newly quilted En Provence quilt to share during Walkabout, binding in progress.

She also brought a batch of peanut butter Rice Krispy treats, quickly devoured. 

Friday, March 09, 2018

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!

For anyone of MY generation, the title line of this post will get you gyrating and singing along, leaving you an ear-worm that will last throughout the day!

If it doesn’t ring a bell, it is likely that you didn’t grow up when Rocky Horror Picture Show was all the rage.

Growing up in San Jose (shown here as we were taking off for Atlanta yesterday) and being one of the consummate drama/choir geeks and loving all performing arts, going to Rocky Horror, and knowing all the come backs and lyrics, motions and actions  - what can I say?  It was who we were.  It was what we did.

And as we flew up toward the clouds, and I looked back over the city through my little plane window, I realized just what a time warp this was, 40 years later.  40 years.  Where have they gone?  It’s been 40 years since I was 16.

And that time warp part?  It also applies to this morning – when back in North Carolina, 7:30am definitely felt like 4:30am – I rolled back over and went back to sleep.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

So Hard to Say Goodbye!

Yesterday was a mere most-of-the-morning gathering of students, giving the last round of hits and helps, open discussion on things such as batting choices, binding choices, and off-the-top-of-our-heads winding up and winding down.

Some had flights to catch.

Some had 7 to 8 hour drives ahead, looking forward to being in their own beds by bed time.

Some were driving part-way home to stay with family or friends finishing up the rest of their long journeys, greatly (and gratefully) divided with a soft place to land for the night.

Some of us – Me, Sue Spargo, Jane Sassaman and a handful of others were left to stay one more night with shuttles and flights to catch early this morning.

This is sweet Erleen!  I have loved having her in class.  She has such a sharp wit and a wonderful smile and at 82 years young she just kept plugging away at our project -

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The Fabric, The Thread, The Friendships!

Pat from Maryland and Charlotte from Texas (Who USED to be from Maryland) are sitting with Nancy from California who was with me in Utah last July , along with her friend Wendy, also from California.  

And these 4 people whom I met in different places at different times NOW all know each other, having spent the past 5+ days together during our time here at Asilomar.

This is the kind of thing that can really leave an impact on your quilt circle as you watch it grow.

We were talking about this last night, long after the whole 9-minute-presentation was over (It went swimmingly!  I was only 9 minutes and 18 seconds for the WIN on not going overboard!) and all agreeing that this was the best group ever –as diverse as we were, there were NO sour-pusses in the group.  Not a single problem causer, or prickly personality. 

It must be the ocean breezes and the abundant doses of sunshine beyond our 3 glass walls in what is DEFINITELY the best class room Asilomar has to offer.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Happy is the Life of a Quilter!

I get the biggest giggle out of student-friends who come up to me and say:

“A friend I hadn’t talked to in more than 2 years emailed to say they saw me on your blog!”

Whatever it takes to put friends back in touch with friends, I’m happy for it!

At the beginning of our Asilomar experience on Friday I said “If anyone is in the witness protection program, or doesn’t want to be caught in photos, please let me know now, or forever hold your peace!”

Turns out that one gal said “Not today – Work doesn’t know I’m here, I’m taking a sick day.”  LOL!  I said “You are taking a mental health break, and we’ll hold you off from photos until tomorrow.”

Sometimes you just have to care for YOURSELF ahead of your job.  But we want you to keep your job, too!

Monday, March 05, 2018

A Slow Bit of Wanderlust!

I just took this photo over looking the Asilomar Conference Grounds (ocean to the right!) off of my little balcony.

Time: 7:24am

Sky: crystal blue with nary a cloud on the horizon.

It’s the beginning of day 4 during my session at Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar.

It’s passing too quickly.  How can it be Monday already?

We’ve all settled into a routine of sew a bit, try a new technique, and continue to work at our own paces on the project ahead.

Before we know it, it’s noon and we are headed for lunch in the dining hall with the hundreds of other quilters also here for their own workshops with their chosen instructors and projects.  During meals the dining hall is a boisterous place and you can catch conversations of

“So, where are you from?  Who are you taking from? Have you been here before?”

I’ve heard from some ladies who have been here as much as 34 years in a row.  Because it is that incredible.