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:


Well heck.

These are all of the border leftovers from my Idaho Square Dance quilt from my book Addicted to Scraps.  I had stuck them in a bag with a couple of 16 patch blocks that I had tested out from the leavings.

And then with the cabin move to Virginia, promptly forgot about it.  Until a couple of weeks ago.


Pressing parts while watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

(More on that later!)

I even had the thought to try an impromptu Quilt-Cam, using my cell phone hooked to an external camera so I could do a cutting table view – but it turned out rather crummy, it got so many complaints that I deleted it.  

But we will try again.  I just don’t have enough cell connection down in my basement studio, it really only works through hard-wired laptop down here, but we will try another set up and see if it works better another time.  Maybe this weekend?

So I turned on Marie Kondo and Tidying Up and listened and learned and decided that since ALL my quilting stuff brings me joy, it ALL STAYS. I just need to use it and do better with what I already have.

 The rest of the house, however…..again.  Another time!

Last night I took 15 minutes to clean out two bathroom drawers that were driving me nuts. Boy did that ever feel good!


I am toying with some ideas.

What I was trying to get across in the failed Quilt-Cam was that pressing can be an issue.

So this is the way I would have to press these units if I want them to work next to each other. 

And if I continued in this manner, I’m going to have to change the pressing on the sample alternate block so that the seams are pressed toward the corners in both directions so that it will nest with the 16-patch block no matter how I rotate either block.  

So the jury is still out.

I don’t have enough blocks together to lay them out and see if it is what I want – or if indeed the size of the blocks and not much neutral will mean that it looks rather blobby and not as much like a 16-patch chain as I want it to.

And then I woke up with this idea – which is a definite maybe:


If I sash and cornerstone both blocks -

I still get a neat chain effect -

And there are no nested seam problems to consider.


I envision this quilt as a way to use up all of the old blue strips that I just don’t love anymore. Perhaps as I channel my inner Marie Kondo, these pieces will find joy together in a project instead of in a bag.

Maybe dig into some fat-quarters and other parts – and just do it.  16-patches are fairly brainless and a good thing to sit at at the end of the day.  A great way to chase those winter blues that I keep trying to beat back.

For more blue & white quilt inspiration – check out Judy Martin’s Pinterest Page!

Right now my real-life winter blues include:


Serious water damage to the roof and ceiling at my Quiltville Post Office.

A roof guy is coming out on Friday.  

Getting the Post Office ready is PRIORITY.  Roof, ceiling repair, new lights.  And windows.  Which haven’t gotten anywhere, which means we are finding a new window guy. Pronto.  I’m tired of waiting.

This was a government building at one time, built likely in the 1950s – I don’t know for sure.  But the metal bars you see in the window go into the cinder block walls as was standard for buildings like this at the time.  

We have to CUT through all of the metal bars to get the old terrible windows out so that we can put in new ones.  This is the slow up. But it will get done.

I'm just having a bit more trouble stepping into my positive pants than normal. I need to focus on the things that ARE getting done!


Ceiling fan support done!

It just needs primed and the ceiling painted.

My son Jeff is my Superman!  I know he is fully capable of fixing the Post Office ceiling as soon as the roof is indeed fixed.

And another positive note -  BECAUSE the ceiling needs to be replaced in the Post Office - we can add the electrical for the lighting I really want and need at the Post Office and that will benefit us all in the long run.  We can really get in there and do it right.


Let there be light.

Kitchen pendant lights are cleaned, shiny, new LED bulbs inserted and reassembled and functional. Everything will get done when it is supposed to get done.  It will work out.


This will be interesting!

These are low profile box springs – trial run!  

Today’s mattress sets are so tall that they may make the beds difficult for older folks to get in and out of, so I am opting for these lower box springs to make up for the height of the mattresses.  Mattresses will come next. 

The only problem is that they have to be ASSEMBLED, and my guys are already grumbling. LOL.  We will see how this goes – especially for the wrought iron beds in bedroom 5.  Those already stand on tall legs, so low profile box springs is the way to go.


The factory remains off the porch rail yesterday morning -

Before heading to the dentist in Jefferson, NC.

It was a very quick trip, but since it is 100 miles from home, I decided to head up on Monday evening after the post office closed, stay the night, drop things at the inn and head to the dentist, and come right back home because there is more of this to do:

January 07, 2019 at 03_03PM

Monday Afternoon Mail Drop.

9 tubs with approximately 20 to 25 orders each.

This has been happening to the tune of more than 100 orders a day.  I returned from Virginia on Thursday evening, and set right in on the 700 orders waiting in the store that gathered over my Christmas/New Year’s Break first thing Friday morning.  We are down to about 300 left. I am setting in on those today. I hope to have them all out the door by the weekend.

For those wondering when wave 7 of String Frenzy will hit the store, be watching for that on FRIDAY.  I leave for Japan on the 17th and I want to be sure that all orders are out the door before I leave as I will be gone 3 weeks – and I don’t want them languishing while I am gone.  I will only put in the store what I know I can get out by that time.  More will be put in the store upon my return Feb 6th.

As this posts there are 85+ WONDERFUL shares on our current Mystery Monday Link-Up! Have you checked them out yet?  If you checked earlier you may want to check again.  More keep coming in! Keep them coming!  

This Link-Up closes on Thursday night at 11:55pm Eastern.  We will do one more the following Monday, January 14th and then our final one will happen after my teaching gig in Phoenix on February 4th.

And yes, I have blog badges and more info for you that will post TOMORROW – just wait til you see the Zazzle goodies!


Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Thanks to Kevin the Quilter for the photo!

I about died when Kevin sent me a batch of photos of vintage quilts for my Quiltville Quotes. THIS QUILT! Oh, my!

Of course it came with the encouraging comment of "Here's your next Leader & Ender Challenge, Bonnie!"

My mind is already heading in that direction! I love this quilt! It may be the death of me, but I love this quilt!

I am so grateful for my friends family and this quilting community!

I can't imagine my life without any of you.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Well, I seriously thought I had lost my mind. I just knew I saw a quilt cam posting last night... Even saved it for viewing this morning. Imagine my surprise when it wasn't anywhere to be found! Thank you for telling use that you had deleted it.... Now I can relax, knowing (most) of my mind is still intact! ๐Ÿ˜Š Have a good rest of your day!

    1. I saw there was a Quilt Cam yesterday and thought I would catch up with it this morning. I thought I was losing my mind when I couldn't find it. I am glad that I am not the only one. Glad that Bonnie mentioned it.

  2. Looking forward to seeing how you continue with your blue/white quilt. Wonderful blog post this morning. I went to Zazzle yesterday just to see if ForestJane had put items up, was thrilled to order 3 mugs! I always have my morning coffee in a Quiltville mug! Love ya, Bonnie, thanks for all you do for me!

  3. It is so hard to maintain a positive attitude when people are negative, and critical of best efforts.
    I think I would delete the comments, and keep the video (whatever the quality)!
    I honour your positive spirit Bonnie... you are a guiding light for the quilting world!
    And ... when people are not true to their word and don't show up to fix things they said they would, and are being paid to fix, and still they are not doing it (we are having the same problem with the contractors for renovations at our local hospital) well that's just a total nightmare. It's doubly hard when paying customers have to hold business people accountable to their word/contract.
    Sending you big strong quilted hugs!

  4. ...and we love you right back a hundred thousand fold !

  5. Oh Bonnie, thats so disappointing that you received negative feedback. I was so excited to catch you live (in Australia), I dashed to my sewing room to chain some triangles for GF and to listen. I watched it through twice, slightly scratchy but a great brief tutorial and I learnt something! Im very grateful for that and I thank you for the knowledge you share. Im sorry others didnt share my delight.

  6. I found the item about the beds interesting. I am 75 and my husband is 76. One of the first things we did when we moved and had to get a new bed was raise it so it wasn't so low. Not so high that we needed a step to get into it, but high enough that we didn't have to lower ourselves so much to get into it. Trying to get out of a low bed was too hard on our backs. To say nothing of trying to make a low bed. I equate it with trying to pin baste a quilt on a normal height table. Oh the back ache from that!

  7. Just what I needed for all the left over1,5 inch strips from Idahoo square Dance.
    Happy journey to Japan.

  8. That Quilt cam over your phone was very interesting and informative. OK it was beta-testing, but you could see what you were demonstrating..I got what you were pointing out...so, Thank you for trying it out. (P.S. I type on a laptop, and frankly no one has found out how to shut me up, but maybe those who use a phone, and they are like me and have fumbly fingers, they may limit what they type, and may not intend to sound a bit curt??) As to builders....believe me...its an international problem :( and not always their fault either........but its a pain being on the end.

  9. Oh! You're right - that antique quilt w your quote is amazing! Reminds me of your Scrappy Trips but sort of prismatic. I've never played along w a Leader/Ender Challenge, because I always have so many L/E units already waiting to be made. But - if you do that quilt as an official L/E Challenge, I don't think I'll be able to resist.

  10. Just a thought on the bed box springs. If the bed is high and the mattress is tall, do you really need a box spring? Would a sheet of plywood work? After all, platform beds do not use a box spring.

  11. Heard you are the funniest person and most deserving person a friend of mine knows. She told me a funny story about a freeway in Little Rock, Arkansas, pouring rain and a truck carrying a beautiful piano. Thank you for being you.

  12. Winer blues for sure for me. I am down with the flu. It hit me right as Clue 7 came out and I have not been able to do anything since. I am so glad for Facebook and Netflix to keep my spirits up. I have watched the entire Tidying Up. My main take away was to be grateful to your home for sheltering you and grateful to the clothes that you purge for their use. I love how she folds things and maybe I will try to do that. All my quilting supplies and fabric definitely give me joy so I am keeping it all too!

  13. It's really too bad that contractors can't get around to doing the work they signed up to do. I don't blame you for deciding to find a new window guy! Hope the roof guy turns out better. We had a roofer who kept stringing us along with promises that he never kept. Finally two years later we had a local Amish crew do the work. We just figured if the original guy had actually ever ordered the materials he could just figure out something else to do with them or eat the loss. Wasn't our problem any more.

  14. I'm sorry you felt the need to take down the file of yesterday's live stream. I watched part of it after the fact yesterday and planned to watch it again today. For someone who is not a video/audio engineer, your Quilt Cams have great quality. I watch and listen to a number of quilting videos and podcasts as I sew. Often the quality of Quilt Cam is better than those who have "professional" producers. Thank you for another amazing mystery quilt season. This is my fifth and I have loved and learned so much with each one. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  15. I’m having a hard time finding my happy pants today too! I’ve been shovelling this freakin’ snow for 3 days in Northern Ontario, and it just doesn’t stop! I’ve now moved past the “it’s so clean!” Or “it’s so pretty”! BTW, I enjoyed quilt cam last night! Yes, there was some buffering etc but no big deal!

  16. I'm with you, Bonnie. I read Marie Kondo's book and as I went through it I kept thinking, ALL my quilty stuff brings me joy, so it is safe!!! The mindset she encourages has helped me purge some things I've packed and moved but haven't used in decades, so even if you don't do it exactly as she says you must, learning about her method is still a help. As far as which leader/ender project might be next, I am still working on Spoolin' Around blocks started in 2012. LOL!!!

  17. I'm so glad that I happened to see your Quilt Cam last night. I noticed it about six minutes into it, watched that and then rewatched from the beginning as soon as it was available. It was fun, and I enjoyed seeing your thought process play out. I'm sorry you felt you had to take it down because of negative comments. I thought it was fun to be allowed to see a beta test of your attempt to film looking down on your work.

  18. Positive pants...love that phrase! Also loved popping onto facebook yesterday just as the mini quilt cam started. I thought it was fun to watch and can't wait to see how the blue and white quilt evolves!

  19. Always enjoy your posts.
    Got the first border on our mystery sal and am loving it. Thanks sew much for this project

  20. Getting ready to board a plane home. Grandma time is over. Going for a visit beat my blues. Now if my tummy would settle down. The quilt looks like an Ocean Waves.

  21. I too caught your Quilt Cam shortly after you started. I was more interested in the thought process than the quality. You packed a bunch of good pointers in those few minutes. I could appreciate your comment on a vintage machine working through bulky seams much better than some more modern machines. My Pfaff really does not like bulky intersections. So, when quilting, I drive around them. So far it's worked out for me. Avoiding the making of those said bulky intersection is the key. You keep teaching and I'll keep learning. Thanks Bonnie!

  22. I love your Quiltville Quotes for two reasons: 1. Always a great, inspirational quote. 2. A lesson in quilt history. Thank you for brightening my day.

  23. After reading her book, I did the clothes - it worked. Watched those Netflix programs too. The way she folds clothes--that's how I handle every usable piece of fabric!! I texted my daughter that maybe I should get completely rid of clothes and just wear quilting fabric!

  24. I enjoyed the quiltcam last night. I got more aggravated with the people complaining about the quality than I did with the quality itself! But, the information was very informative...nothing new, but appreciated the effort you put forth to share it with us. Look forward to see what final layout you decide on. Would love a blue and white quilt for my master bedroom for summer...but, still haven’t finished the winter one. It’s my leade ender project right now...Split Nine Patch. Have a wonderful day!

  25. I do enjoy your progress reports on Quiltville Inn and the Post office. ๐Ÿ˜‰I also found a quilt very similar to Kevin’s that I wish to duplicate. It is on my bucket list.

  26. Oh, I do love a blue and white quilt for the winter. I've got one done and on my bed and 2 in the planning stages. None are scrappy, but all will lead to scraps I can use for other things, and maybe one day there will be a scrappy blue/white :)

    1. And now I'm thinking of a blue/white Wanderlust.....

  27. Loving those blue and white blocks very pretty, and the vintage quilt and quote just perfect.
    I hope you can get a new window guy for your post office quickly and I’m sure Jeff will have the new ceiling and wiring done really quickly. Your whol Quiltville Inn is coming together beautifully and I love the Bonnie touches you are adding just perfect.
    Love and quilty hugs

    Hope your sister in law is doing ok still keeping you all in my prayers๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

  28. I know what you mean about feeling great about cleaning out the drawers. I cleaned a cupboard and it really felt good. But I'd rather be sewing.

  29. The quote is great and I can’t believe I was just making more triangles last night and dreaming about what I can do with the box full I have already in various sizes, and here it is!

  30. The pendant lights would be perfect in thePost Office and harken back to its original days. Continued success

  31. Hi there, from SNOWLESS Minnesota! Have you thought of a “worker warrior weekend” where all the worker bees swarm down and help with a project. We bring our own food, find our own lodging.. and put on the gloves and boots. Would be well worth the trip! Just provide a port-a-potty. My skills: painting, gardening/weed pulling, cleaning and effervescent attitude!

  32. There is serenity in the color blue!

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