Thursday, January 31, 2019

Still Off My Bearings!

It’s been more than a week since we were here.

The place with the crazy amount of stone lanterns.

The place that I can’t remember nor pronounce the name of.

The place that won’t leave me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Of Jet Lag and Rejuvenation.

My body doesn't know what day it is, what time it is, and I guess that is to be expected.

When it is midnight in Tokyo, it's 10am at home in North Carolina, but only 8am here in Arizona -

I hear strains of the musical group Chicago's 1970's hit "Does anyone really know what time it is, does anyone really care?" playing through my head.

I have slept well at night, much longer than I usually do, but still find it hard to pull myself out of bed and am mad at the world that it is light outside my window.  

The struggle is real!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

From Here to Home Again.

Our Japan group at the Golden Pavilion.

11am Phoenix time feels like somewhere in the middle of the night and I am moving slowly, quite frankly!

I know that is to be expected, and I am just going with it - whatever comes, at the comfort and quiet of my dad's house in Sun Lakes, Arizona.

It feels worlds and days away of where we were before loading up on the bus that would take us from the Toyko Dome Hotel to Narita airport - boarding our flight to Los Angeles before we scattered like a bag of dropped marbles to head to our separate destinations.

When you spend this much time with a group, it feels surreal that we could be hugging and heading off to our own domestic airlines and gates not knowing if we will see each other again.

"But wait!  I didn't say goodbye to [fill in the blank!]"

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Day at Tokyo Disney!

This was the day of great escape!

It was a day for NO QUILTING - a day to play as our last full day in Japan.

We'd seen all there was to see at the show - the press of humanity several people deep, the booths overflowing with customers and merchandise, and we just wanted to get out and about and see something we likely would never have a chance to see again.

Tokyo Disneyland!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

It's All in the Details!

The Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan!

This was what we have all been waiting for - the highlight of our trip to Japan!  The Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival!

It pays to have friends who know friends - This show is VERY crowded (Boy am I glad that I am tall!) and people are stacked several folks deep making it hard to see anything, or move anywhere.

When Mary Koval said, "I have a pass for you to get in early!" I jumped at it.  I had the show floor mostly to myself as we moved from quilt to quilt to quilt, snapping photos as quickly as I could before they opened the floodgates of humanity.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Makers Gonna Make, Japan Style!

No matter where our feet are - 

Our hands MUST create!

And create we have.  Our time in Japan has also included mini workshops where we could try our hand at traditional Japanese art forms such as Cloisonne, Yuzen dyeing with stencils (shown above) Japanese folded fan panting, a kaleidoscope workshop and then my own intro to English Paper Piecing workshop!

Busy hands are happy hands!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Temples, Food & Gardens Oh My!

"Three Little Maids From School..."

Each morning I tell myself - just pick your 5 best photos from the day before and write a small post - you can always go more in-depth when you get home.  But there is SO MUCH to share!

Yesterday was no exception - we started out visiting the Imperial Gardens, then moved on to a Shrine, a Temple, a fabulous shopping area (HUGE) where we could get lunch on our own, Japanese style, and then to the fabric district for much fabric shopping and excitement - and then back to the hotel for my Intro to English Paper Piecing mini workshop and lecture, and we weren't done yet!

We loaded up on the bus to be taken to a traditional Japanese dinner served "family style" where plates of food were passed and sampled filled with much conversation of everything we had seen, experienced, and purchased that day!  It was a full day all the way to 9pm.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Fushimi Inari Shrine kind of Birthday Pilgrimage!

We made our pilgrimage to the Fushimi Inari Shrine yesterday.  Something I have been looking forward to for months!

And getting to visit this place on my 57th birthday made it that much better.

The magical, seemingly unending path of over 5000 vibrant orange torii gates that wind through the hills behind Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine makes it one of the most popular shrines in Japan. The walk around the upper precincts is a pleasant day hike. It also makes for a delightfully eerie stroll in the late afternoon and early evening, when the various graveyards and miniature shrines along the path take on a mysterious air.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Shopping, Japan Style!

And they found FABRIC!

Look at all the happy smiles!

It's not like they are going to a HUGE quilt show in a few days or anything.  You would think they haven't seen, felt, touched fabric for months - 

Like ducks to water, they all dove in!  And I love it!

We had some time to explore some shopping areas while in Nara and Kyoto.  The shopping voyeur inside me just LOVES to see and hear what treasures others have found - some edible, some wearable, some gifts for special people back home.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A Day in Nara

Who are YOU looking at?

Yesterday was a day in Nara, a visit I remember vividly from my time here 30 years ago.  

As I look back 30 years, what would I have told the 27 year old Bonnie about what life would hold in store for her?

So many wonders and growing opportunities!  Life is a winding road with many twists and turns, but there is always a surprise around the corner!

I have taken photo after photo after photo - and marveled at how easily it is to do so with today's technology - I don't even know WHERE the few photos I came home from Japan with in 1989 are.  How I would love to compare!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Golden Pavilion, Kyoto

Even a rainy day can add an extra layer of intensity to any excursion.  Because you aren't just seeing something - the weather becomes something you FEEL as you take everything that is before in.

We loaded up our bus - all 40 of us exited to greet this day and see what was ready for us in return..

Kinkakuji.  The Golden Pavillion.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Good Morning, Kyoto!

Good Morning, everyone!

We made it in one piece - that's all I can say.

12+ hours of flight time and long customs lines and a 1 1/2 hour drive from Osaka to Kyoto finally rolling into our hotel about 9pm.

Straight to bed.  Nothing explored yet - but soon, very soon!

I'm typing this quickly so I can meet up with folks for an early morning walk - the photo you see here was taken a few minutes ago from my 12th floor window!

Friday, January 18, 2019

To Japan We Go!

Los Angeles at Dusk.

Getting this far wasn’t easy!

My day was frought with hiccups starting with the scheduled Lyft ride that didn’t show up as scheduled.  I thought that was what SCHEDULING A RIDE meant!  I had even added 1/2 hour just in case some traffic issues happened – but at pick up time I received a text that it would be 40 minutes until my ride arrived.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

January '19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

This arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon -
in the nick of time!

I wasn’t sure it was going to make it before I left for Japan – and with me being gone for 3 weeks I didn’t know how I was going to get this Gift-Away out to you, but once again – Quilters Karma provides!

As does the USPS.  Thank you, postal people!

This is a Quilty Box that you will definitely want showing up on your doorstep as well.  It’s full of Tie One On fat-quarters designed by my friend Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios for Banyan Batiks!  EIGHT FAT-QUARTERS!

I am nearly giddy (No, wait – there has to be a better word, I used giddy just YESTERDAY)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

One Day To Go -


This is really happening!

And I’m starting to panic – just a bit.

I am having to take Lyft to the airport, and I scheduled my ride yesterday for pickup tomorrow morning between 7:45am and 8:00am.  My flight is at 10:05.  I have given myself plenty of time, the airport is 25 minutes away.

I’ve never gone to the airport this way before – but my car would be parked there for 3 weeks if I drove myself, and no one else is here to drive me (which is a first experience in this household as well!  Everyone is unavailable!) and so Lyft it is.

I just got a confirmation from my driver.  Nearly 57 years old and still experiencing many firsts!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

March/April ‘19 Quiltmaker Bundle Gift-Away!



If you are having a difficult time dealing with the fact that TECHNICALLY we’ve got 2 months of deep winter left – never fear!

This bundle is bound and determined to get you out of your winter blahs and into some color-filled ahhhs!

I was nearly giddly when my Quiltmaker issue arrived on my doorstep yesterday.  I had HAD IT with my Monday.  You know how it goes?  I plopped myself on the sofa, opened up the envelope, and started turning pages.  MARCH!  APRIL!  Blooming things, spring colors – all things FRESH!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Reveal 2!


Happy Monday, Quiltvillians!

Mondays seem to come faster and faster – here we are again!

I have enjoyed watching my feeds over the past week, last week watching the progress and even finishes of your Good Fortune quilts as they were posted to our last Mystery Monday Link-Up after the reveal.  Did you follow along?  You can still view them HERE if you missed it.  GORGEOUS work, everyone!

The colors, the variations – the border choices, block settings, layouts – the way you take what I have presented and have made it your own makes me SO PROUD!

If you haven’t quite gotten far enough to share your progress yet, don’t worry.  Today’s Mystery Monday Link-Up will be open until Thursday evening, January 17th at 11:55pm EASTERN.  We will have one final Link-Up the first Monday in February – February 4th.  I’ll be recuperating from Japan and teaching in Phoenix at that time, and I look forward to seeing what you have to share then.

If you missed last Friday’s post with our badges, and information on the items with our logo that can be purchased through Zazzle with all proceeds going toward free sewing, quilting, crochet workshops for those in need – click HERE

Today’s shares are coming to you from our Quiltville’s Open Studio group on Facebook!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ice Storms, Hands & Quilt-Cam!


This is what I woke up to this morning.

ICE coating everything -

(Yes,  cue the “Ice, Ice, Baby!” soundtrack!)

I made a trip to the grocery store late yesterday afternoon, the place packed as folks stocked up on food and sundry supplies for a storm that should last less than 24 hours, but hey – it’s the south. 

Winter storms here are an EVENT!

“Did you get the Doritos?”  “Yes!” “and the Krispy Kreme Donut Holes?” “Absolutely!”

I get a big charge out of looking at what other folks have in their carts.  I admit it.  I am a grocery voyeur.

As for me – I’m planning a big crock pot of chicken soup, so I simply had carrots, celery, an onion, salad fixings, bananas, yogurt, cottage cheese, Jeff’s favorite coffee creamer (Cinnabon!) in my small cart and I was out of there.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

January, Flying By! (Quilt-Cam Today!)


This is where I want to spend my time.

And there will be time later this afternoon -

We’ve got a Quilt-Cam full steam ahead for 2pm EASTERN today via Facebook Live. and I am so excited.

We haven’t done a weekender in a long, long time. 

And the waves of String Frenzy going out the door are finally beginning to resemble a somewhat more normal pace – it’s still 100 orders a day, but they aren’t coming in to the tune of 500 in 90 minutes or less.  This is good.  This is very good.

I felt like it was time to change out machines as well – sometimes just switching up the vintage machines puts a smile on my face, pushing back those Winter Blues.

Remember when Mona and I found her?  It was December, 2016!!!  Click to THAT POST.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Already? (String Frenzy and Quilt-Cam Info Included!)


A bit of Appalachia Past.

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since we took a leisurely long and winding late Sunday afternoon drive, following ridges and hollers and just seeing where roads would lead – from paving to dirt and beyond. 

We wanted to explore parts of the area just to see where they would lead.  And I’ve been trying to think of a way to work these photos into a post, and there hasn’t been one, so lest I forget about them completely (It’s highly likely - I totally spaced my chiropractor appointment yesterday afternoon…) and neglect to post these at all, I am stepping away from whatever else I planned to write about and just put these glimpses of earlier life up here.

How many of you see 3 flying geese in the dormers over this porch?

And why were there 3 dormers there on this little building?  Could they have been sleeping quarters?

To tell you the truth, I’m not even sure I could find this place again if I tried.  But it was a BEAUTIFUL evening, and in the open pastures and fields, an abundance of deer were also enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Buttons, Badges and Giving Through Zazzle!


Did you know?

Every year my friend Forest Jane creates our wonderful mystery badges – (See the one in my right side bar that you can grab and place on your blog to show that you participated in our Good Fortune mystery!) I send her some images of the quilt, and away she goes -

And then she goes one step further.  She places the logo on things that are useful and needful in our Quiltville Zazzle Store – marking items at the LOWEST possible profit margin, and then thanks to your purchases, all proceeds go to benefit those in need – from children to adults, in giving them the gift of creativity.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Those Winter Blues ---


I’ve got the blues!

And no matter how I try to fight it – those blues are always there!

I’m talking about the blue and white quilt for the 45th anniversary of the International Quilt Festival in 2019.  Did you hear?

I know I will never have it ready for the festival in October – who are they kidding?  But I have always loved blue & white quilts and have made several.  What’s one more?

Remember when I was cleaning out a cabinet of old quilt parts and leftovers a few weeks back?  I re-discovered this:

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

What Else Could I Do?


It was sitting there – quite dusty and alone.

The snap latches on the front of the case broken, lid gaping open enough to allow me a glimpse of tangled cord and glossy black.

I lifted the lid – well wouldn’t you?

Oh sweet thing – who are you? Who owned you?  How did you end up here?

Monday, January 07, 2019

Mystery Monday Link-Up, The Reveal!


Good Monday Morning, Mystery Quilters!

We revealed our Good Fortune Quilt on Friday, and I am overwhelmed with the absolutely positive response.

Thank you all for your kind words through Instagram and Facebook, in our Quiltville’s Open Studio group, even your personal blogs are full of so much positivity and excitement.  

You who wrote so kindly are the reason we continue to do this.

I know mystery quilts can be scary.  And that is why I show you my honest-to-goodness fabric choices and offer paint chips at the onset – because I want you to know where this is going.

You already know my type of quilting – Bold.  Busy.  Very Scrappy. LOUD. (With capital letters.) Small pieces a’plenty. 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

From Wednesday to Sunday -


How precious is this little church?

Sunday seemed like an appropriate day to post what was found on Wednesday.

There is nothing that makes my heart smile more than finding a well preserved old white clapboard church in the literal middle of nowhere.  

Nestled deep into the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina?  Even better!

Martha, knowing these back roads and scenic drives like the back of her hand, and feeling the same way I do –(that the best most relaxing drives are OFF of the highway!) took a turn out of Boone that I had never been on before. 

And time nearly stood still.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

This, That and The Other Thing ---


Isn’t this just PERFECT?!

While out antiquing in Boone with Martha and Toni, we drove right past the new Hobby Lobby that was having its grand opening.  Toni said “I’ve never been in a Hobby Lobby!”  And Martha made a quick turn and we wound our way through some side roads to get back to the parking lot.

Toni is an artist, she needed paint brushes anyway, so why not give her the whole she-bang?

It turns out that wall decor was 50% off, and while I didn’t think I would find anything I needed, I came away with TWO signs for Quiltville Inn, this one going right outside the Quilting Quarters door.

It’s a HEXIE!  How could I say no?

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Out and About to Boone!


Meet Cohorts in Quilt-Crime, Martha and Toni!

I’ve shown you around Martha’s place before.  She owns the farm (part of an original land grant!) I shared back a couple of months ago HERE.

She introduced me to Toni one afternoon when we all met up for Mexican lunch in town (It had to be October I’m thinking, the West Jefferson Antique’s faire was that weekend.) and we got on like wildfire.

Toni is also a quilter, and highly involved with Quilts of Valor with a group in Mouth of Wilson.  And I just fell right in with a marvelous group of gals – just like that!

The only sad part (for Martha and me…) Is that Toni is relocating back to where family live in Louisiana come spring.  So we are getting in as much Toni time as we can before she starts her next chapter in the company of her dad and sister.  She promises to come back for visits!

With all of the holiday madness, and spending my days working at Quiltville Inn while I had family help, (gotta make hay while the sun shines!) I just didn’t have a day where I could run off and play, so we scheduled yesterday, and it couldn’t have been better.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Kicking Off and Into 2019!


Happy New Year from Max, Sadie and Beanie!

Oh my goodness, 2019 has ALREADY gone to the dogs!

We celebrated our New Year’s Day with company – friends Rick & Mona brought Mona’s mom Sandy up for a visit.  We don’t get to see her often enough and she was brought down from Ohio to escape some dreary winter weather and spend some time in the mountains of North Carolina.

Sandy has been wanting to see Quiltville Inn, and Mona was eager to show it to her so we all rolled up at the big old house around 11am for a grand tour. 

It was fun showing Mona just what has been done since the last time she was up here.

And as always – there is a hiccup with SOMETHING.  The ceiling fan in bedroom 5 has gone flooky.  We don’t know if it is the wiring or the fan itself, but the switch doesn’t turn it on, the pull chains to the fan itself don’t turn it (or the light) on….it’s another SOMETHING.

And totally unrelated – the instant hot water on demand is not working either.  I let the kitchen sink run for 10 minutes, gave up, heated water the old fashioned way in a big old enamelware pot on the stove, and added the boiling water to my tap cold water to wash some dishes and other things.  Pfffffft! 

But other than that – SWELL!!!