Sunday, October 28, 2018

Where Leaf Peepers Roam -


Riding “shotgun” on the way back from town -
35 mph in a 55!

If the sky had been blue and the sun had been shining instead of this constant drizzle of rain we’ve had for days on end – you’d see the yellows, golds and some oranges in a more brilliant light.

This is “Leaf Peeper Season”, where all the city folk from Charlotte, Greensboro, and beyond wind their way up toward the mountains for a glimpse of autumn splendor.

And if I didn’t have frozen goods in the truck needing to make it to the freezer ASAP I wouldn’t have minded! 

It’s an Autumn Appalachian Traffic Jam!

It hit me when we arrived at the gate that by the time I am back up here for Thanksgiving (Two more teaching events this year, and no time to come back up in between them!) all color will be done and gone.  I will have missed the “peak” of the season.


Waiting for that gate to open.


My own color from the porch -

Already with the thinning of the leaves I can see surrounding ridges.

I recorded a little panoramic video just to give you an idea of what I see from the porch as of yesterday.  When I come back – it will be different! (And I will get another video for you then as well.)

Click to play:

My yesterday, other than the short drive to town to pick up some things – was spent at the machine working hard on some “behind the scenes projects.”  Other than that foray to town I never left the sewing room other than to fix lunch or dinner – and it wasn’t until 8pm last night that I finally reached this point:


Stay stitching the edges until borders can be added.

This is just a quick peek at a project that has been years in the making.  The basket blocks are from a previous Addicted to Scraps column – I’ve loved making them, digging into my hoard of charm squares for the basket bases and using bonus triangles and others for the smaller half-square triangle units.  It was the setting that stumped me.  I wanted something a bit different, and I think I finally achieved it!

Now I’m stuck on what to do for borders- but I know that will come too.  I just didn’t have the stash up here to do it -

One of the comments that came through instagram last night was:


Do you feel this way about your stash?

My answer:


And this goes right along with our Quiltville Mystery happening soon – very soon. (3 more sleeps until colors are released! YAY!) 

My theory – People get hung up on buying only one designer’s fabric lines.  Or one style of fabric genre. And they all match.  It’s like the manufacturer saved their specific dye lot, and it doesn’t matter when their fabric was released – they are all the same.  Same scale, same feel, same colors very little variation.  

It’s like the designers are pigeon-holed into only sewing from that range of colors and fabrics and style for the rest of their lives, vowing never to change.  Not ever.

And if all you do is gravitate toward one style of fabrics be it Civil War era, 1930s, modern whatever – then your quilt will not have enough variety to make it as interesting as you might want it to be.

So love your designers – but venture farther a field.  Throw it all in.  Play with color families, but don’t make them designer or manufacturer specific. 

The photo above includes fabrics from the 70s, 80s, 90s, early 2000s, and current 2018!  That’s what I love about scrap quilts.  It all goes in.  There is a place for everything to play from 1970s calicoes to recycled shirts to batik and beyond. The more the very much merrier.

Expand your stash!  Gather variety from where you can.  Enjoy the treasure hunt and mix it all in.

What’s really funny is that my friend Martha whom I met with earlier this week at her farm was talking about this UFO project she had with the Christopher Columbus Discovery anniversary fabric in it, the one that said 1492-1992  and I said “Yes, I have that one – I just sewed with it the other day!” And I was able to pick up my phone and show her photos of these blocks.  She cracked up, was highly amused, but also extremely intrigued.

If you look closely at the photo – top basket block, it’s the neutral triangle right above the center aqua plaid triangle.  Also found in the bottom basket block, next to the black triangle. 

Hey, it’s a neutral text print!  What is old is new again! 


Next up on deck!

I started sewing these Little Monkey blocks from the free patterns tab at the top of the blog during a Quilt-Cam segment many moons ago.  I re-discovered the bag with many of the sets ready to sew.  I love these!  They are so easy and come from short strip sets and little scraps.  There is nothing cuter than a small churn dash.

Not sure what they will be yet, and I need another project like a hole in the head since I’ve got the Halloween Chain & Hourglass blocks kitted up and ready to go to West Virginia this week – but I just can’t resist.  Have you checked out the Little Monkey pattern?

It’s a heading home day.  Sunday Leaf Peeper driving all the way, I am sure.

I’m planning on heading out right after lunch – a few days at home ahead.


Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Vintage Quilt found in Salem, VA.

My life will never be totally neat and clean, and neither will my studio!

Create beauty through chaos!

Have a wonderful, restful Sunday everyone!


  1. Kathy and I are ready for the mystery! Our On Ringo Lqkes are done (hers at longarmer now) and we have machines cleaned and ready to go. This year has not been much sewing going on but preparing for the mystery has my mojo back! Life us short and I need to stitch more!

    1. Y'all have the best time in your get togethers; so very lucky. Keep those photos coming.

  2. Before I found Quiltville and your scrappy style, my stash was small and all my quilts were coordinated with the same background neutral per quilt and not much variety in colors. Since then, my stash has exploded in volume and my quilts have blossomed into scrappy beauty! Craigslist and online yardsales are great for accumulating fabrics in patterns/colors I never would have chosen myself from a quilt shop, and now I use them all in my quilts.

  3. My stash is growing, my first stop in fabric stores are the clearance!

  4. I've been rediscovering blocks lately. It's fun to move them along. Sometimes it's the intended project (If I remember what that was.) Sometimes it's something else. I love your scenery, even in the rain!

  5. I love collecting scraps for my stash! "My Favorite Quilt Store" in Green Bay, WI sells scraps by the pound for VERY reasonable prices. I visit that store everytime I go home to GB. The hosting guild of one of our quilt shows sold grab bags of fabric very inexpensively. I think I bought 5! LOL even Hancocks of Paducah, that quilting mecca I was lucky enough to visit this summer had awesome pounds of scraps for sale that I could not resist! They get sorted into the stash users system and get USED!

  6. I am learning! I am definitely buying fabrics (mostly neutrals, because they are so hard to find her e)out of my comfort zone because I tell myself " Bonnie does it, why can't I?" Love your quilts!

  7. Anonymous12:28 PM EDT

    Thank you Bonnie!

  8. I recognize that green ivy print from waaaaay back when!

    1. I noticed that fabric first thing, yep I have it too. It is in several quilts.

  9. We awoke to a light rain. It makes the leaves fall faster, DH says. Beautiful colors for the Season. Can't wait for Wednesday!! I have a Roadtrip planned for picking up paint chips! Sharing the excitement with my Guild and LQS friends. I'll check my Stash first. Scrappy makes me Happy!

  10. I enjoyed watching your video of the colors up on your mountain. This my favorite time of year. Hubby and I took a long ride out on the back roads today enjoying our lakes and cranberry bogs. The color is finally starting to pop here in SE Mass.

  11. This reality that you can make all fabrics work together in a quilt is the most important thing i have learned from you Bonnie!

  12. Started a comment earlier, and our internet went out in the middle of it, stayed out for about 2 hours!

    My Wednesday quilt group has decided that most of us are going to make BRIGHT log cabin quilts - mostly Kaffe Facett like prints. We all went to a 5 day retreat last week and were working on the blocks. Fabic was being swapped around and there are many bright scraps to add to my scrap stash. It will be quite a shock to the quiet, soothing fabrics that are there (Thimbleberries, Civil War, Kim Diehl, etc.) There will be some shaking up in my scrap quilts. I tried to tell my friends they were taking me to the dark side, but they said, no, we're taking to the bright side. LOL

  13. Your trees are absolutely beautiful! Looking so forward to this Mystery and busting some scraps!

  14. When I first started making quilt blocks I remember telling the shop woman who was helping me pick fabrics that I didn't want to put the same fabrics in another quilt.
    She must have thought me nuts or who knows

    Now with time I realize what I meant was I don't want each quilt I make to look the same as the last one.

    I enjoy your blog posts and learning interesting new things from you and being reminded of stuff I had forgotten about

  15. Speaking of “NOT clean sewing rooms”....
    I am wading through Diamond Tile blocks on the floor that I laid out to web together for grandchild #15... not sure if I should add sashing or how they should be set....
    It was between Diamond Tile and Little Monkey for this one. I couldn’t decide!
    No worries, #16 is due two weeks after!

  16. Love the "Leaf Peeper" comment - we have our "snowbirds".
    Looking forward to the mystery this year.
    Thank you for another great blog entry.

  17. I’m in the process of re-organizing my sewing room and I’m tackling my huge cabinet of fabrics—trying to decide the best way to organize. It’s mostly by color, but have lots of coordinates as well. Lots of fat quarters from late 90s & early 2000s when I started this fun craziness. Never have done your mystery quilt before, so this may be the year!! I REALLY need to reduce my stash. Oh, I have 70s, 80s and 90s from my late mother’s stash, as well!

  18. looking forward to the color reveal... I got out my scraps last spring and made a bunch of kits of the diamond tile blocks to take with me for my summer vacation. Still have a bunch more to sew up. I can't believe how many I actually ended up with- I think I have enough to do 3 or 4 maybe more quilts once I do them all. LOL. I may have gotten a bit carried away. But it was fun, and no 2 blocks will be the same. I love how they are turning out. I decided a long time ago that I prefer scrappy. So happy to be following the Queen of scraps.

  19. Years ago, I was in a local fabric store demoing a quilt process, when two women came up to watch. The older one was so intrigued that she purchased every fabric I was using. Her daughter just rolled her eyes! They were visitors from somewhere in Ohio. Her daughter said her mother's buying this new stash wouldn't have been so awful, but that she rented four storage units in her town just for all her stash!
    Thanks for all you do to encourage us to use our stashes!!

  20. I guess I have been creative this weekend because my cutting table was a mess. Had to clear it off to continue on my project today!

  21. Bonnie...I always say " Out of chaos comes a thing of Beauty....just some people see the Beauty quicker than others!!!!

  22. Bonnie, I look forward to your blog and pictures...I really appreciate your fearless use of fabrics...I'm not there, but I'm working on it...L


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