Saturday, October 05, 2019

A Friday in the Punkin’ Patch!

We are having THE BEST TIME!

It’s one thing to give this class as a one day, hurry up, get all the parts done, all techniques covered in the span of 6 hours.

It’s quite another when you get to ease into production starting on a Thursday evening after a lovely dinner – and then on in to Friday, spacing out the demos between smaller groups and realizing there is no worry, no hurry and folks can work at their own paces – 

We want happy pumpkins, not tired, hurried, regimented ones!

Most of the room, but not all of it!

There is no available corner where you can stand and get it ALL in.  There are 49 machines making the most wonderful hum of productivity.  And above it all, the laughter and conversation of quilters – CONNECTING.  It’s fabulous!

And because our time has been more relaxed, I’ve been able to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with several of the ladies.  I love learning about their own quilting journey.  I am fascinated by their walks of life that got them to where they are right now.  The things they did before they retired and became known as a “Quilter.”  The carreer paths and lives lived are so inspiring! 

Behind every person you meet, there is a past and a path you know nothing about.  DIG DEEPER!  The most amazing things don’t often surface in short term conversations. Take time to get to know people.  I really think that is the best part of this traveling job of mine.

Trimming up the pumpkins!


Just little slivers of trimming -

Not a whole lot of waste.

Her Royal Highness,  the Purpleness of Happiness!

Yes, I got a few pets in on her!

The fabrics are fabulous!

One of the fun things here – being that it is October and that we are making pumpkins and Halloween is close at hand – Everyone put out “Trick or Treat” goodies at their sewing stations, along with two baskets – one full of strips they were wanting to trade with others, and the second basket for where their newly traded strips were deposited.  It was a take one and leave one situation, encouraging conversation, and a whole lot of sweet treats to keep us sewing and visiting around the room!

Yesterday’s brunch was a welcome break!

The hotel restaurant has taken great care of our meals – it’s a retreat!  No one goes hungry, ever!

When 3pm rolled around we were also treated to an ice cream bar break – Haagen-Dazs – on a stick!  I will never pass an ice cream by.  So much fun!

Two options!

The Punkin Patch quilt is found in my book String Frenzy. (And comes with my Hunter’s String Star PDF pattern FREE at purchase!) or the Punkin’ Patch Table runner PDF version, available through the month of October at just $4.00.  Head on over to the Quiltville Store and snag one, or the other, or both.  You could be sewing string pumpkins right along with us this weekend!

Oh, they are so stinking cute!

I spy a spider!

And this is such a highlight for me, too!

This lady (Is there anyone who doesn’t know Alex Anderson?!)  is such an inspiration to me and I am the luckiest girl getting to spend 3 days in her company! We are having a wonderful time at the 19th annual Alex Anderson Fall Retreat in Pleasanton, California.

The retreaters are kind, welcoming, fun to be around and time is passing too quickly!

On another hysterical note – and there isn’t a real picture to go with this one so you have to bear with me:

The hotel runs a shuttle in the evening to near by eateries, or shopping, etc.  I needed to take the shuttle to Target to pick up a replacement mouse for the laptop mouse that died.  It’s too hard to edit all the photos without the mouse, so that was my goal.  To find a new one, or I’d be throwing this laptop from the 5th floor window of my room to the pool below because I HATE the mouse pad on my laptop.  I’ve deleted more photos than I’ve edited, all by accident. So that is the back story.

A couple of my students were also waiting for the shuttle, headed shopping in search of jeans for fall, and we decided to hit up Target together, and then grab dinner at something in the same plaza.

The driver, with a predominantly Hispanic accent. (He was SO charming!) pointed out Panera (NO.) Qdoba. (NO!) and then we explained we need WINE!  And he said – “There is a place with a bar up here as he turned the corner….”  And I saw the side of the building touting:

Not our location.

Thank you Google.


“Yes, it says BAR – but is it the right KIND of bar?!”  BAR. B. QUE.  (laughing, laughing, oh so much laughing!)

Indeed – they did have what we wanted – but when asking for a restaurant with a bar, we didn’t think it would have it spelled out on the side of the building this way.  SO much funny!

We were back to the hotel by 8pm.  Mouse obtained.  Jeans obtained.  Wine and other adult beverages (and dinner) obtained and consumed.  Such a great end to a really fun day.  And I would say that at least HALF of the room were still sewing away on various projects.  Making the most of every minute.

And today we do it again -

Some with matching mails to keep them in the mood!

This evening is our wrap up dinner.  And I understand there is some show & share – I’m really excited about that.

I have a 6am flight out of Oakland tomorrow morning, so tonight after dinner I’ll be moved to an airport hotel so I can take the hotel shuttle to get myself to the terminal and no one will have to be driving me anywhere at 4am.

Because of all of this – tomorrow’s post may be delayed until Monday.  We will have to see how much energy I have when I check in to the airport hotel tonight.  It’s likely going to be straight to bed because I’ve been sawing logs by 8:30pm over the past two nights.

Also – don’t forget about the Nov/Dec ‘19 Quiltmaker Bundle Gift-Away still happening! Head on over to THAT POST and enter to win.  I’ll be drawing our winner on Monday morning from home in Wallburg.  Good luck, everyone!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Encourage, encourage, encourage!

And likewise - Your own truly important friends are the ones who bring out the best in you. It goes both ways!

We need each other to remind us and lift us when we can't see it in ourselves.

Have a lovely Saturday, everyone!


  1. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading your blog post... soooo FUN!
    Thanks for sharing the joy the quilters and the fabric pumpkins (and the purple sewing machines!) bring to the world!

  2. Pumpkin Patch stitching is Perfect in October. Alex is a favorite of mine since I found her on PBS. It was a Black & White TV on the dead end road. Her and Eleanor kept me sane! Safe travels Home tomorrow.

  3. Oh, what a fun time you all had! ❤

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time. I took a class from Alex in the late 90’s. Stars. Great class. That was when I was a “California Girl”, now I’m a Tennessee Girl”. I love going to retreats and classes, hope to figure out timing so I can take one of yours. Love following you. Safe travels. ❤️❤️

  5. Just downloaded the Table Runner, I already have the quilt book so I need to get busy making some "punkins". Thank you for doing all you do.

  6. Thanks for sharing some of the fun! Sure wish I was not housebound. Love to see such creativity blooming and seeds of friendship sprouting

  7. I love the purple Featherweight. I also have a purple Featherweight. Have a safe flight home.

  8. It was a wonderful retreat and so very special to have you teaching, filling in some of those Swiss cheese holes! Thank you for m asking the long trip to share your talents and inspiration!

  9. Had to laugh - I recognised the spider fabric - I've been tidying up my shelves and rearranging and folding fabric differently, so I've come across the spiders - always makes me smile that one!
    The trip sounded like a hoot!

  10. so, you are winging your way home at this point, about 8 a.m. PDT and I'm almost finished with my 'rescue' i promised to finish, but so very tempted to start the pumpkins for the table runner or beyond!!! which is of course how i've managed so very many UFOs... I too must have the spider fabric!!! Even tho i don't always tell you, know that I appreciate so very much your contribution to my life, quilty hugs, Cats in Carlsbad CA... my first class was with Eleanor and my next quilt was the rail fence from Alex's "Beginners" book!

  11. Bonnie - We totally loved you and your infectious spirit. Thanks for trekking across country to spend time with us. You completely rock!

    1. Oh thank you again so much for the invite, for the wonderful time! You have a very special group of ladies - what a fabulous community! Thanks for welcoming me in. :)

  12. ❤️❤️❤️ really enjoy Bonnies blogs, they keep me motivated


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