Saturday, December 22, 2018

When You’ve JUST Gotta SEW!


This little ditty happened last night.

It’s not done yet, by far – but I’ll get to the borders while up at the cabin. I have some ideas -

Isn’t that always the way that it gets you?  The ideas?


The LAST of the String Frenzy Wave 5 of 500 copies left the building yesterday!

The Hubster ran the last of the tubs to the post office before closing time yesterday afternoon by 4:30 pm.  

There are still a FEW international orders awaiting for global postage to be paid, and then those will be out the door on our way to the cabin.  We have a BIG day ahead – more on that later.  I want to get back to the quilt top above!

I have hardly spent any time in my studio during the month of December.  The “2 hours per evening” thing sounded good at the get-go, but as the month wore on, and the many hours of order fulfilling day in and day out meant I was too tired at the end of the day to sew.  It just didn’t happen.  It’s okay – it’s all good. It will happen in time, this was just something that had to be put on the back burner.

When I was done with the mail – all I wanted to do was come down here to my basement studio and putter.  Not sew.  Just put a movie on and just straighten things up just a little bit:


Okay.  A lot.  I needed to straighten A LOT!

You know how that goes, one area leads to another and before I knew it I was cleaning out a whole cabinet of leftover blocks, parts, pieces – and hold onto your hats, folks – I even THREW SOME STUFF AWAY!

I love small pieces.  That is what keeps me saving and saving and saving – but I actually said “BYE BYE!” and broke up with some stuff.

This means quickly putting it in a non-see-through trash bag and hauling it out to the big bin at the side of the house and walking away.

It was TOUGH LOVE!  But I did it!


My reward?  I re-discovered these!

There were 14 of them, with one being very scrappy while the others weren’t.  The consensus was to ditch the odd one and make 3 more for a total of 16.


Oh, these are OLD with a capital O!

I’m guessing at least 15 years old. I know I didn’t make them since we moved here to North Carolina and we’ve been here almost 12 years now.  Do you recognize any of these prints?

I quickly set to work with my Essential Triangle Tool, working from strips to cut 3 more blocks worth of triangle pairs and sat down to the machine….ahhhh….bliss!


I chose fabrics that would blend with my older stash in these blocks.



I toyed with the idea of sashing, but it was getting late and I just wanted it together.  I really like this just the way it is.  

I will confess to having to play a bit of “flip that seam!” because all of the blocks were built the same way and seams didn’t always nest when they were being sewn together block-to-block.

I am not swift enough when starting to build a stack of blocks to think about how they will need to nest in a variety of settings so I am prepared when I finally nail down how I want to place them and find that they will work.  

This would have meant two different stacks of blocks …A blocks and B blocks pressed in opposite formation, not allowing me to rearrange blocks to suit my own placement preferences after the fact.

Seams be danged!  And all points don’t exactly  meet the way they should either.  I don’t care.  I think it is charming just the way it is.


It was an evening’s quick-fix and I needed it!

I’ve packed up a couple of totes with things I think I’ll need for the next week plus of sewing at the cabin through the holidays.

Since it will be just three of us for Christmas, I’m even thinking that Christmas dinner is going to be SIMPLE – perhaps steak on the grill. Maybe a marinated pork tenderloin. 

Our theme this year for Christmas is SIMPLICITY!  And I’m ready for it to begin.

Oh, and that above mess?  It’s all cleaned, organized, vacuumed – I am ready to start 2019 with a clean slate in the studio.  It feels good to be leaving it this way knowing what I’ll be coming back to on January 3rd!


You have been placed on notice!

It wasn't just the 2,500 copies of String Frenzy that have been signed , sealed and sent. It was the copies of other books that went along with the String Frenzy - also signed.  And the rulers, the notions, the pouch sets, the ruler stickers - everything.  It's been a mad house and I'm sure I signed close to 3,500 books over the past 4 weeks.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience throughout the past several weeks of String Frenzy roll out!  There is another wave of 500 coming your way New Year’s Day. 

I will place in the store only what I can get out before leaving for Japan mid-January.  I’ll be gone about 3 weeks, returning February 6th as I’m teaching in Phoenix on my return from Japan and spending time with family.  

When I get back, we’ll throw another wave at you!  This is the only way I know how to do it without leaving someone’s order unattended to for 3 weeks at a time while I am away teaching.

Our December Quilty Box Gift-Away is still gathering entries! If you haven’t entered yet, I’m giving away TWO prizes!  Head on over to THAT POST to enter.  Drawing to happen on December 26th, Boxing Day.

Time to load up the van and head on out! We’ll catch you from the cabin tomorrow!

December 22, 2018 at 07_41AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day -
Photo shared by Kevin the Quilter.

I love the mix of fabrics I see in this quilt – the ginghams and plaids especially.  Do you ever wonder if the maker of any quilt was just happy to “use up the last of that ugly piece and call it gone?”  And here I love it so much! LOL!

Have a wonderful Saturday, folks – much love and gratitude to you!


  1. It would be fun to be your garbage picker ;) this one turned out cute!

  2. Using up that last little bit of fabric and having it in a finished project brings me so much joy! This whole quilting endeavor has really opened my eyes how different we can all be while having so much in common. The comment one quilter made about how she just didn't like what having fabric without a specific purpose did to her brain, made me realize how seeing all the possibilities that a piece of fabric brings is what keeps me positive and motivated. I LOVE what it does to my brain.

    1. I love seeing my stash as "possibilities", too! I just did 3 craft fairs since mid November, sold quite a lot!!! And, I made all that stuff without having to go out and buy anything!

  3. What a cute little quilt!!! I love triangles and you can do so much with them. 2019 there are several BIG quilts that I need to do, but somewhere in there I am going to play with scraps and with what is in my stash. I think you showing us your messy sewing room was so nice - that way we don't think you are Perfect, but a Quilter just like all of us. Merry Christmas

  4. Sometimes you just have to say 'what was I thinking' and let some things go. Good to be ready to sew like the wind when you get back, well at least a little bit. ;-)

  5. Enjoy your time at the cabin with family Bonnie. You very much desirvel it.
    Merry Christmas from WA State.

  6. Oops, should have proof read.
    * deserve!

  7. Merry Christmas, Bonnie.

  8. Enjoy your time off. Hopefully you can relax and regroup. You give so much to the quilting community and I'm grateful for your time and talent. OK, I'm following your lead and off to clean my sewing room, well at least dust the window sill and shade. Who knows what hidden treasures are there LOL

  9. i confess that i too have tossed some bits of fabric in the trash that could have been postage stamps, but nooooo! love your HST blocks and points that don't exactly match hearken antique quilting style...go for it!

  10. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that uses the long arm as another counter/table space...lol...mine sometimes looks like that too! Enjoy your well deserved time off!!šŸ—‘️šŸ§µšŸ§¶✂️šŸ§·šŸ“✏️šŸ«

  11. Thanks for the wonderful words each morning to wake me up!! Your wirds with my coffee is just what I need!! Hope you have a great Christmas!!

  12. The Quick Fix is very scrappy. Good to find a few extras and make a little Quiltlet happen. Travel safe and enjoy your Christmas. Waving from SE Washington.

  13. Cute little "quick fix" quilt and I'm glad to see that in in good company when it comes to "junking up" my longarm table!!!

  14. Merry, merry Christmas, Bonnie. Thank you for lighting our world!

  15. My first thought about you small quilt, WOW! you are an exact quilter. Everything looked perfect. Merry Christmas and enjoy the new year.

  16. Love this - especially because it was a "cleaning surprise". Looks great & can't wait to see how you finish it. I, too, plan to clean and organize my creative space, so I can be ready for a creatively productive 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  17. One reason I love the Good Fortune mystery quilt is that I’m using up some old scraps. I love that feeling! (Waste not.)
    Bonnie, have a wonderful Christmas with your family and I’m looking forward to what you have planned for us in 2019!

  18. Merry Christmas to you and yours

  19. Oh Bonnie! You THREW stuff out !! Oh my...you naughty girl lol But you know what they say about another person's trash..you could have thrown those "break-Ups" in a box and had a draw :) I love what you are doing with your old blocks, so sweet. AND< you have me convinced..in the New Year I need to get me one of the Essential Triangle Tools lol! That with the book would make a great Valentine's gift, don't you think? ;0 Hey, Huubbyyy .....

  20. Bonnie, you know me....
    you are a leader in the quilt world. I am amazed at all the string quilts that are showing up on by Bloglovin' feed as well as Instagram~
    seeing these half squares, I am thinking these will be the next rage.
    I hope you take this as a compliment.
    Continually your supporter....d

  21. What a lovely quilt you made from those discovered blocks sewn so many years ago. A therapeutic exercise putting them together and sorting through fabrics to make those extra blocks. What a year you've had, Bonnie, full on whichever level you look at. Please take time this Christmas/New Year for yourself and your family. Nurture yourselves and take the foot off the pedal(except the sewing machine, perhaps!). Happy Christmas, God Bless.

  22. Love and gratitude to you too, Bonnie! I'm one of the widows grateful for the Mystery Quilt to keep me enthusiastically sewing at this time of year. (I'm all caught up.) Merry Christmas to you and your family peacefully at the cabin. Relax, refresh, and recreate! from Cherry Boom on the shore of Lake Erie (fun that the old cabin went to folks from Erie. perhaps I know them!)

  23. Merry Christmas, Bonnie. May you and your guys have a peaceful, blessed time together.

  24. Thank you Bonnie! for teaching me how to cut quarter-square triangles with my Essential Triangle Tool in Part 5!! I have a pile of them and look forward to another little quilt. Perhaps I'll sew them into blocks for a little quilt top like yours! Merry Christmas to you and yours. And thank you forever for all you do!!!

  25. Merry Christmas. I love the "found" quilt.

  26. Have a blessed Christmas at the cabin, where peace reigns supreme. Enjoy the quiet of the sunrise, soaking in the beauty of the forest and the depth of the silence that disappears with the arrival of the birds who refuse to be intimidated by the cold of winter. Enjoy your family time and evenings stitching while watching TV.

  27. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bonnie. And a Happy 2019!

  28. I went to the grodery today. Picked up a circular in the entry way. First thought was this paper would be good for string piecing! You light up my life everyday when I read your blog. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  29. This is one of by favorite blog posts that you have ever written!

    I LOVE anything with HST!!!

    And the picture behind your longarm is perfect!!!

    Behind my longarm is pretty clean right now, but there's some other areas around here...

  30. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Bonnie. May the coming year bring you much peace, prosperity, PLUS time to sew! Thank you for everything!

  31. Merry Christmas and have a great New Year with your family. Thank you for so much, to many things to mention here but THANK YOU.

  32. There is something about the longarm table. I swear it is a magnet for odd stuff. Merry Christmas Bonnie!

  33. I have found lately that hanging onto too many things just drags me down instead of lifting me up and making being creative easier like it should. Bye, bye! No longer feel any guilt and I hardly ever miss any of it. It would be so nice to walk into my sewing space and hang it completely organized. Plans are to do that the first two weeks of the year if not before. Merry Christmas and happiest of new years to you. Thanks for making our lives so much richer simply by being you!

  34. At our monthly quilt guild meetings, we have a free table. We have patterns, books, magazines, thread, and of course material that lands there. And, miracle of miracles, it all finds a new home. That's how I weed out my "what was I thinking" or "was I thinking at all" things. After being at this for many years, and moving several times, I keep finding things I didn't know I had. So, I dearly love the free table (and I've brought some stuff home too). Oh well, shame on me.

  35. Thanking you and wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and good cheer for the New Year.

  36. Bonni,
    I recognize the "tea-dyed" neutral with the flags. I think that came out about the bicentennial. Is that dating ourselves? Thanks for all that you do for us. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Polly Blank

  37. Merry Christmas from the Netherlands!

    (I recognized the flag-fabric...bought it on our familyvisit in WA State in 2004...the most wonderfull trip of my life!)

  38. I finally got rid of scrappy scraps...the small bits, too big to throw away, really. really. My husband was making noises about fire hazards and such......had to do it. I was lucky enough to be able to donate 7 tall can bags of beautiful fabric scraps to a government subsidized facility for seniors. It took a couple of weeks to get it all together, but by the time the last bag was done, there was a completed top and half another top....... I felt so gratified I sacrificed.
    A month later...it looks as if I never touched it.

  39. Merry Christmas Bonnie & family. Have a blessed new year.

  40. I recognized the upper left purple stripe fabric in fact I just used 2 squares of it in Part 5 of Good Fortune. Funny! I think I'm almost rid of it. I thought my room was messy. Ha Where's the AFTER picture? I actually really liked the scrappy block. Congrats on your last wave sendoff. That must feel good. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY SEW TIME TO YOU.

  41. Happy Holiday's to you and yours. I'm so thrilled that I got my String Frenzy book in wave 4. I have looked cover to cover and planned a couple of projects. Your an inspiration to all of us and we appreciate your dedication to the quilting world. God Bless!

  42. Hi, Bonnie. I'm signed up for the two classes in Phoenix and am looking forward to meeting you. Can hardly wait! Merry Christmas . . . and thanks for all you do.

  43. Bonnie those HST squares are just yummy, reminds me of a poem that was published long ago in Quilters Newsletter: "Little Bits of Fabric sewn into a quilt, form a warm and loving blanket from which memories are built." I hope the scrappy block wasn't "ditched" into that black garbadge bag -- that one should be combined with a plain muslin square and be the label on the back of the quilt! Enjoy your time at the cabin!!

  44. I laughed at your quote this day. I thought I was the only one. Merry Christmas and wonderful new year.


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