Thursday, February 28, 2019

Building Sand Castles, Texas Style!

From fine-tuning strip cutting -
To speedy four-patch consistency -
To string piecing our way to block completion -
We did it ALL yesterday!

My thanks to Deb for the candid shots of me doing what I do – hands always a blur in motion as I teach – It’s fun to see what things are like from a watcher’s perspective!

Each day we’ve had new faces – just as I learn someone’s name one day, there is someone else in their seat the next!  It keeps my head spinning, but so much fun to think of all the new faces as friends I haven’t met yet, coming to spend the day playing in the scraps with me.

It’s also not often that I get a soothing water feature behind me to add some ambiance to my demo table- LOL!

I’ve been doing our demo time in the lobby, breaking the group up into smaller sections so that everyone has a chance to see what I’m doing – it’s the only way to manage this group of 40+

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Xing Debut in Denton!

Yesterday’s Xing Workshop In Denton!

What do you get when you mix the sounds T with SH with CH and add a bit of Z??  XING!  Chinese is one of those things that is difficult for English speakers to pronounce because they use sounds that are not our norm.  Our tongues don’t know how to mix that all together.  You can call it TZING, ZING, SCHING or CHING and it will be half-way right each time.  

But that’s okay with me!  Just don’t call it EX-ING!  LOL!

We had an amazing day yesterday with a group of quilters ready and willing to mix crumb piecing with the strip cutting of triangle pairs for star points with my Essential Triangle Tool – and throw in a mix of string piecing for alternate blocks to the mix.  They did SO GREAT!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

From Brazos to Denton -

My rear view as I drove through the gate and hit the road yesterday.

It was a morning of packing up, of enjoying a last hearty breakfast, saying tear filled goodbyes and hitting the road -

One at a time we heard car doors shut, engines start up and tires roll down the dirt road toward the gate – each person pointing their GPS toward wherever home was.

Before we knew it – there were only a handful of us left:

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday Morning Check Out!

73 blocks in the pile.

One still in the machine.

Not that many left to last me the rest of the trip!

This is what I call a successful round of retreating fun!  I’m so glad and grateful for the invite 2 years ago to spend time with this wonderful group of ladies who have welcomed me in with open arms. 

As an instructor, I am usually there to enjoy the ladies during the day and the class room time, but then I’m off to take care of other things and rest up for the next day while the fun continues without me.  This was just balm to my soul!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A day to just BREATHE!

There is a whole lot of sewing going on!

Glenda has been busy!

I have met several of the ladies retreating at Brazos House before – either in workshops I’ve taught in Texas, or through friends of friends – and I was pleasantly surprised, and really, very touched to see so many Quiltville projects in progress, or on beds – oh my goodness!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

From San Antonio to Rainbow, TX!

My first 2019 presentation -

With Straits of Mackinac as backdrop!

What a wonderful turn out we had yesterday for the UUMC Quilt Guild’s Quilt Show & Market!

No one can do a one day gig the way that this group can.  Vendor’s mall with a wonderful array of goodies of every quilty kind to a boutique with beautiful items made and donated by guild members, raffle and silent auction table, door prizes a plenty, and the hit of the day – the SCRAP DIVE!!

Scraps are donated all year long – and the table is full to overflowing.  Fill a gallon zip-lock bag for $5.00!  It was hard for me to show so much restraint!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Wonky Wishes in San Antonio!

And they all came to play!

I’ve learned many things over the nearly 15 years I have been traveling and teaching quilters.

We ALL learn differently.

And what comes naturally and eagerly to some – for others it can be a rather scary, completely out-of-the-box experience.

The fear of failure and “I can’t do this!” runs in waves and you can see it in faces -

Yet, they wouldn’t be here if the desire to do something different than what they’ve always been doing wasn’t encouraging them to take this class, and push those boundaries just a bit further, giving them more room to breathe in the scope of their own creativity.

We are NEVER too old to try something new – it can be the breath of fresh air that kicks us from a comfortable predictable rut – to really finding the excitement and joy in the craft we  have given our hearts to.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Scrap Crystals Day in San Antonio!

Singing “Back in the Saddle Again……”

I’m having a ball in San Antonio with a wonderful group of gals!  Our two workshops this week are being hosted by the University United Methodist Church Quilt Guild – such a long name, making it understandable why they simply go by UUMCQG for short!

Scrap Crystals from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders was our play date yesterday – and we had a wonderful time!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Good Morning, Texas!

Where All things Patriotic and All things Texas are one in the same!

It was a HAIRY day yesterday – I literally could have driven here in the same time it took me to get here if I had hopped in the car the moment I woke up at 4:15 am NC time.

Trust me – this was a day of “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” 

If you throw in more than an hour sitting on the runway before turning back to the gate to wait for another hour plus – and you miss your connection.  It’s going to be a long day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Off We Go to Texas!

This machine makes me want to sing!

“Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful…..”

Some good ole Stevie Wonder!

She came out of hiding the other day – we moved her into bedroom #4 at Quiltville Inn – mostly to serve as a small desk in the corner of the room, but I also SO BADLY want to get her sewing!

She came as a gift from a fellow quilting friend who thought that Quiltville Inn was the perfect place for her to be enjoyed by many. 

Can you believe the copper detail?  How GORGEOUS! 

I had seen a similar machine, but in black with a textured finish – but this one.  Oh, my goodness!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Ice, Ice Baby!

When Ice storms happen in the mountains -
They REALLY happen!

Was it really just Friday that I was taking photos of pink blooming trees, and posting them on Saturday?  And then Yesterday THIS!

Holy moly.

The temp for the day started out at 36 and continually dropped – the rain started in earnest when the thermometer had dropped to 31 – instant ice storm.

The big question of the day – would we lose power?  Would the new generator kick on like it should if we did?

We didn’t get a chance to find out.  Evidently the fact that we installed one means we’ll never get to use it.  LOL.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Another Sew Saturday & More!

Wonderful things happen when we allow ourselves real PLAY TIME!

I reached my goal of finishing the needed Fireweed blocks.  I started playing with layout ideas – perhaps a zig-zag settng?  Maybe straight set with the blocks in strippy quilt style color rows of red and purple alternating?

I can spend a lot of time on my “design floor” just trying to figure out what I want to do.  What about on-point with red sashing?  Or what about purple?

Plain neutral was just TOO TOO much – but what if I did a pieced sashing with  squares on each end to become a secondary design?

*Side bar*  After taking this photo, I never noticed that there was one wayward bonus triangle hiding in plain sight until I was at the photo editing stage.  FUNNY!  Can you find it?

I think I’ve found what I want to do – and luckily there is a bin of recycled fabric and a bin of larger neutral scraps up here so I could dig in.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Back in the Scraps Again!

My weekend project lies ahead!

I have a very simple attainable goal in front of me.

I need to make 12 more of these.  They will be mixed with the blocks that have purple bonus triangles around the outside edges.  I am just LOVING sewing with the recycled fabrics again.  They always call me back, you know?  It’s an instantly vintage looking quilt with all of those soft stripes and plaids and muted colors.

12 more.  By going home time Monday morning.  That’s the plan.

Friday, February 15, 2019

All The Pretty 16-Patches! (And Quilt-Cam!)

A veritable mountain of 16-patch scrappiness!

This was hands down the most “brainless” quilty fun I have had in a long while – in my book things like 4-patches, 9-patches and 16-patches are just THE BEST and are right up there with string piecing.


And better yet – I am using up a bunch of OLD OLD blues – from 1980s and 1990s calicoes to florals and geometrics to recycled shirts and batiks.  It’s all in there.  And it is the mix – the complete and utter no rhyme no reason variety that makes me so happy.

By the time we started Quilt-Cam last night I only had the last batch of 10 to complete, I had 8 1/2 done by the time Quilt-Cam was over – I stayed and finished the last two after hitting STOP on the camera.  I just couldn’t leave them until they were all done and packed in a bin.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

On This Valentine’s Day, 2019

I am wishing you pretty patches and creative time!

Exactly what is on my own plate today!

More block kitting is happening – These are the Fancy Basket blocks from a 2016 Addicted to Scraps column with Quiltmaker, and I LOVE for once (or at least in a long while)  playing with a dark background in these blocks.  They feel like spring to me.  And a great way to dig in the scraps.

This block can be built in a couple of different ways.  You could use “chisels” with stitch-n-flip corners to do the long angled pieces instead of a 4-patch center, but I chose to do it this way so that my background pieces wouldn’t have any seams in them.  

Whatever method of construction your eyes see, this block comes from 2 widths of strips directly from my own Scrap User’s System thanks to my Essential Triangle Tool.  It makes kitting up the blocks so so so easy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Just a Bit Tanked!

I could have cropped this photo.

But I wanted you to see the entire perspective -

Does this remind you of the hot tub acrobatics from  year?? LOL!

It really wasn’t all that bad, but it was complicated a bit by a very squishy mountainside due to loads of recent rain, mist, drizzle, sleet and fog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Gettin’ Quilty ‘Round Here! (And 2 Winners!)

Top Done!  Yahoo!

I actually feel like I accomplished something – after a long dry spell!

I just love how scrappy and fun it was to make this quilt as our current Leader & Ender challenge project – Jewel Box Stars.  It’s not too late to jump in.  This challenge continues until July when we throw our NEXT project into the ring.  What will it be?  Just wait and see!

All of the 2’’ squares for this quilt came from my pre-cut 2’’ squares box – that’s what makes the variety so great!

All of the triangles were cut from 3 1/2’’ strips from my Scrap User’s System using my Essential Triangle Tool to cut matched pairs of triangles from strip sets already placed right sides together, so they are ready to sew.  This project was pure pleasure.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Last Good Fortune Mystery Monday Link-Up!

Imagine my joy and happiness in SEEING these beauties!

You have all been SO busy over the past month since our last Mystery Monday Link-Up for our Good Fortune quilt – and I am so happy to see the progress and the finishes being shown using our hashtags #quiltvillemystery and #goodfortunequilt!

Even though our reveal happened in Early January (Were you surprised that it went to the 4th instead of the 1st?! We needed just that one more clue to make it not so overwhelming.  Sometimes you just can’t cram it all into the “normal span of time”  We have to give it just a bit more.  And I’m so glad we did.

I’ve heard from many that they felt this year was easier, more enjoyable, and I’m so glad.  That was my plan, not only for you, but for me too.  I needed it.

Now that 2018 is in the rear view mirror, and we are a few weeks further into 2019, I’m wishing for the “A bit easier and more enjoyable” to continue.

Starting right here, right now!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Serendipitous Saturday Sewing!

May there always be Saturdays to Sew!

It has been long – so so long since I have been able to just settle into a project on a Saturday, just feeding pieces through to the hum of the machine, the warm pressing of the seams by iron next to me, some silly chick flick Netflix on in the room playing for me – only for me.


At first I wasn’t sure I could even settle into it!  I was spinning around with nowhere to land and no idea where to start.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

A Blue Ridge Mountain Weekend Ahead!

Good Morning from Virginia!

I made the great escape yesterday afternoon – barely missing the rush hour traffic that has gotten worse over the years in Winston Salem – I-40 begins to crawl about 4pm in both directions.  Those coming from Greensboro headed west, and those leaving Winston, heading east –

And it was a Friday afternoon which can make it that much worse.  Just a quick stop at Barnes & Noble to pick up a book Dad had ordered for me for my birthday and we were off!

All I had on the brain was a long soak in the hot tub and a good night’s sleep in complete darkness and silence. 

No traffic noise.

No uncontrolled barking at 5:30am from the crazy neighbor’s dogs. (This story for another time.)

Just utter rest.

Not even any stitching happening – just pick up a smattering of groceries on the way, enough to see us through the weekend, and GO.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Quiltmaker March/Apr ‘19 Gift-Away #2!

A Strange thing happened on the way to the mailbox!

(Wouldn’t that make a great title for a quilty murder mystery? LOL!)

I went through a mountain of mail yesterday.  And I’m not joking!  3 weeks of mail covered my dining room table and overflowed onto any horizontal surface in the kitchen.  It was quite the undoing!

Of course most of it was junk mail and found its way quickly to the recycle bin, but THIS!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Nothing Could Be Finer Than to Be in Carolina -

My 3 weeks worth of hexie stars.

So many miles, and even more memories!

I brought home a bunch of Japanese fabrics, and I want to work some of those in here – as well as the African batiks that I’ll be picking up in Kenya come October. 

If this is the everlasting ongoing on-the-go project with no deadline, then I can also add fabrics found along my way and really make it a memory quilt.

I’m not tired of these yet.  They are a tad bit more tedious than “regular” hexies.  The sides are nearly 2’’ long, requiring thread basting THROUGH the paper (I do not like glue, don’t tell me to use glue!) to keep the sides from flapping, but the basting comes out with one snip of a stitch and a couple of pulls taking no time at all. 

How big will I go?  I don’t know! I don’t know how I will even set them yet – block to block?  Or with setting triangles in rows?  Or perhaps with large unpieced hexagons to float them?

No need to worry about that yet.  Just keep stitching.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Going Home Day.

Things that make me smile.

Flora, Fauna and sunshine!

We had all three in our favor yesterday, but our plans to go for a mountain trail hike were kaboshed by a gusty wind that made walking a bit more difficult than you would think. 

From the inside of the house – it looked beautiful out.  Step outside and we heard a chorus of windchimes pinging and clanging in dischord – if there were tumbleweeds they would have been holding a race down the street – it was an in-your-face kind of gusty day.

A walk around our immediate area was our compromise. 

I was fine with it – there are so many things to see and enjoy here.  And the wind didn’t seem to bother the birds!

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Ramblings From the Heart.

Peach Blossoms!

I’ve been watching these buds through the window at Sharolyn’s since I came to visit on Tuesday evening a week ago.  I peeked at them again on Saturday night when we gathered for a small family dinner, just my dad, my nephew Spencer and his wife McKinna in attendance – others were busy, or caring for a sick baby and no one wanted to be the cause of gifting Sharolyn with any germs due to yesterday’s procedure.

I checked in on the blossoms again un Sunday evening – but yesterday was so busy I didn’t look again until this morning as I was gathering my things to leave.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Show & Share and the Love of Family.

I am about to be really bad with names!

That sometimes happens when on a fly-by-night quick turn around schedule – and I had this story all ready to go in my head but as I sit here at my laptop at the hospital while my Sister-in-law is having an outpatient surgery, I’m drawing a complete blank.  AUUGH!

**NOTE** Because of my staying to be transport and emotional support for this procedure, our last Monday Mystery Link-UP for Good Fortune will bappen NEXT MONDAY.  Thank you for understanding.

I know she is from Texas originally – or family is, and this is a family quilt.  She lives near or in Tucson, and was in my classes there a few years back, and I recognized her bright smile and fun personality instantly when I walked into the classroom at 35th Ave Sew & Vac on Friday.  I can see her face as clear as day – but her name?  Gone. just gone.

It will come back to me as soon as I hit post!

Sunday, February 03, 2019

A Day of String Piecing Fun!

Check out all of these happy scrappy faces!

Yesterday was our day to dig in and play with some string piecing in a Serpentine Web Workshop from my book String Frenzy hosted by 35th Ave Sew & Vac in Phoenix!  I LOVE THIS PLACE!  

It is housed in an old Fry’s grocery store and has everything from fabric, to machines  (from domestic to industrials and longarms!) and is much more than just a quilt store – it’s a community gathering place for like minded quilters from all over.  It’s just FABULOUS!

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Midnight Flight, Phoenix Style!

What a way to kick off my 2019 teaching year!

I walked into a room filled to the gills with 56 quilters, machines, fabric, books, rulers, rotary cutters – the WORKS!  And I felt instantly at home!

“Hello, my name is Bonnie Hunter and I haven’t sat at a sewing machine in over 3 weeks, do you mind if I pet yours?”  Let’s face it, it’s not something you can say to just ANYONE!

But Quilters get it, don’t we?

In fact, I came face to face with a machine I haven’t seen in the wild before – so this one is for YOU dear friend Allison, if you are reading today:

Friday, February 01, 2019

The Day Before We Play!

I was greeted by THESE smiling and helpful faces yesterday!

It’s time for me to get back in the saddle and throw on my teaching hat and get back in the ring!

In my entire traveling/teaching career of more than 13 years I have never had a 2 1/2 month break away from the classroom.  I’ve got butterflies!  I hope that I can get in there and not miss a beat.  Our workshops this weekend at 35th Ave Sew & Vac will be fun ones to throw myself into – 

Today we’ve got Midnight Flight from MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders up on deck, followed by Serpentine Web from String Frenzy tomorrow – how can we NOT have a ball?