Friday, October 04, 2019

From Coast to Coast and a Bit of Quilt-Cam!

Salt Lake City in the sunshine!

My travel day from the east coast to the west started at the sound of my alarm going off at 3am to get me going.  It was a four airport day, a three time zone change but it was worth it for all the fun stuff going on this weekend in Pleasanton California for the 19th Annual Alex Anderson Fall Retreat!

It was one of those days that starts with a hiccup – after leaving the house at 4am to arrive at the airport by 4:30am to check my bags, head through security, find my gate – the announcement came over the speaker that maintenance had been called to check a switch. This caused a delay.  Would I make my Detroit connection? Or would this be the start of a domino effect that could topple the whole itinerary?

Sunrise nearing Detroit.

Good Morning, Michigan!

We landed in the B terminal.  My next flight was already boarding – clear over at A77. If you are familiar with Detroit Metro airport – to get from B/C to A you have to do the underground tunnel thing – and I RAN.  I ran through the tunnel, I sprinted up the escalator.  “On your left!  Excuse me please!  My flight is boarding!”  as I worked my way up the very tall escalator and into the A terminal and ran/walked/ran all the way to my gate.

I was huffing, puffing, and barely made it – they closed the jet bridge door right behind me.  Whew.  Just Whew!

My hands were not idle!

I am working on our handwork project for our Germany/Bavaria/Austria Christmas Markets tour coming up in December – The hand embroidery on Essex Linen is becoming a favorite, and works so well as a travel project I dug right in to this one.

My plan is to frame it with some fun patchwork borders – I chose blue for the mittens instead of red or green so that folks can enjoy it all through January and into February if they wish. It doesn’t have to strictly be a “CHRISTMAS” project.  Perhaps they’ll turn it into a pillow or a wall hanging – whatever they wish. 

But it’s time to bring this back burner idea into a full blown project because that trip is only 2 months away.

My foundation fabric is the Essex Linen, I’m using the Sulky Stick N Stitch overlay on top of the linen to stitch my design to, and when it is finished, I’ll rinse the overlay away. much as I did for the Twiga Giraffe project.  It’s fabulous stuff if you haven’t given it a try!

My thread is Sulky 12 wt.  It’s got a slight variegation to it – it’s lovely!

The Great Salt Lake -

Why half purple, half blue? It has to do with the different levels of salinity.  Click HERE for more details.  I found it fascinating!

And yes, that is snow on that peak!

Descending into Oakland, California!

Other than that close near-miss in Detroit, it was smooth sailing and even smoother stitching.  Audio books and podcasts were my greatest companions and we got here safe and sound.  My luggage was already on the carousel by the time I made it to baggage claim and caught up with Debbie who has been my main contact through planning this event.  We had a great time driving over the hill to Pleasanton and getting me all checked in.

From what I understand – this retreat started out as just your basic 3-nighter.  But over the years it has grown and grown, with some folks now arriving as early as MONDAY to sew all week.  With that kind of determination, I know I’m going to have a good time!

My favorite!  Agapanthus!

They were always my favorite growing up – I just love them.  As kids we’d giggle calling them Agatha’s Panties.  Kids!

49 stitchers, busy as can be!

Alex standing on the right, discussing all things quilty!

Yesterday was just a day to get me here.  I don’t start teaching until today – but I did give a little bit of welcome show & share last night – I brought ONE 50 lb bag of quilts from String Frenzy, not a full out lecture, but they are here for the folks to enjoy.  We’ll be digging into Punkin Patch this morning.

Last night’s welcome dinner was fabulous!

As are the quilters!

Everyone digging in!

(You should have seen the desserts!)

And even I got in on the goodies!

Thanks, Alex!

I wish I could say that I stayed up to play with the quilters, but truth be told – that 3am wake up call was midnight California time and I just needed some shut-eye.  I was probably to bed far too early because this morning – well, I’ve been up since 3-something-am again.  Which was actually normal time if I were still on the East Coast.  This body clock is going to prove interesting to say the least!

And for those who missed my impromptu Quilt-Cam appearance via Facebook Live on Wednesday – I’m replaying it here! 

Really, the only GOOD enough internet connection I have is in Wallburg.  The QPO just doesn’t have enough.  Not without getting a second cell phone and using the data to see if that works, but I don’t think it will be any better than the abysmal connection I have through the phone line. (Thank you CenturyLink.)  SO!  I jumped in on Wednesday evening and did a little hands on for our Crooked Courthouse Steps tutorial that was also posted on Wednesday. You’ll also find that tutorial now linked under the Free Patterns Tab at the top of the blog.

I know it's been a long time since we've been able to do Quilt-Cam and I've missed it.

Until the internet situation improves at the QPO, if it can – I’ll do my best to try to make use of the connection I have in Wallburg, perhaps on evenings before I fly out on a trip somewhere.  Our next opportunity may be October 14th before I leave on the Kenya trip on October 15th.

We will see what we can do!

And now it’s 5;30am here – GAH it’s going to be a long day.  But I’m excited to get the string piecing of pumpkins going with the quilters -

Quiltville Quote of the Day

What if at the end of our lives we realized that we were doing it all wrong?

That we had our focus on things that weren't important?

People are more important than things.

A shower, some breakfast, and I’ll be spending my day with the Quilty People!

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!


  1. Thank you sew much for quilt cam...it was just what I needed.

  2. Those views are to die for so beautiful.if I’d had to run for that flight I really don’t think I’d have made it lol, just as well your one fit lady. Have a fabulous time at the retreat looks a beautiful place to stay.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  3. Have fun!! I know you will. Its Friday and I have a three day weekend!! Hooray

  4. I know you will have an amazing time, especially with Alex. I used to live in the Bay area, and she came to my guild several times for classes. I still use her methods almost exclusivey for Star Blocks. When I was still there they used to do Quilts in the Garden, where the quilts were hung from trees at a local nursery, it was amazing. Sounds like she started these retreats right after I moved back to michigan. I'm jealous, have fun teaching too.

  5. I watched your Quilt cam from the QPO and thought it was great! I didn't have an issue with it. Glad to see you back at it tho. I put an earbud in one ear at night in bed and "watch" the quilt cams all night long on a loop.

  6. Thanks for the Quiltcam. You are a great time traveler. Nice to get the goodies! Have a great weekend.

  7. Thank you for the Quilt Cam and the tutorial. I am collecting my scraps for a new project :) Happy travelling. Looking forward to the mystery.

  8. Sorry to have missed the Quiltcam live, and I so appreciate that you make it available to us. We're on the same wavelength about making a Christmas Crooked Courthouse Steps - think it would be a great gift. So I must begin a Christmas scrap box, and I plan to make at least 2 for Christmas gifts next year. Definitely understand about "dial up" high speed service. Enjoy your time With Alex and the other retreaters. As always THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all you do and share with us.

  9. Hi Bonnie, I just watched your quiltcam and enjoyed it very much. Think I will start one for a friend that was injured and involved in a head on collision last week. lHe is still in hospital but Thought he might like a quilt to curl up in while he is healing at home. Thanks again. oH yeah I noticed you most often lay your block on top of the strip to sew, any reason for that??

  10. I went to high school in Saratoga, Calif. We always went to Santa Cruz as well. I'm in Alabama now but those were good times! Thanks for sharing your life with us. Marilyn Marks

  11. Looks like a beautiful quilting weekend ahead!

  12. Your quote today is spot on, as well as your thoughts following it. It's our personal relationships with others that are more important than status attainment, which, for some, is monetary (mammon, as the Word calls it). We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing. What's left? Our relationships with others. How did we treat others? What were the TWO commandments that Yeshua give us, before He returned to be at Father's right hand throne? To love our God (Father) with all of our hearts and minds (which is what He wanted in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve... a personal relationship) and to treat others as He treats us. With love.

    Some of us get this, and are now content with just being US and what Father blesses us with, helping, sharing with others. Bonnie, you do that, every single day, with your blogs, with your time you spend in teaching a craft that radiates out to others, as you teach how to quilt, and we students then create those quilts that we gift to others. Ripple effect of your love. Thank you.

  13. Cant wait to start the blocks for Crooked Courthouse Steps...
    Thanks for sharing

  14. Wonderful quote today and everyday. I know you make a difference. You encourage people as you live your life.
    A story for Alex Anderson. My best friend (I lost her to cancer in 2015) went to Houston to take a class from this man Alex Anderson. Boy was she surprised but she always loved to tell how uninformed she was in the quilting world back years ago. The class really got her started and we both ended up with a basket wall hanging.

  15. This is the first quilt cam I've seen, Bonnie, and now I feel as tho I know you you are! And you've also gotten me excited about making a Courthouse Steps from scraps. I've been collecting fabrics for a very long time and have a good mix of scraps. Enjoy California and then Kenya!

  16. I would love to take a class from the two of you. That would be so fun. I use her 4 in 1 tool all of the time and now have 3 of them because 1 broke and I can't live without the stiletto side.
    Enjoy your time together.

  17. Thank you for quilt cam! Have been missing it and you! When I buy fabric I usually purchase 1 yard cuts, wash dry and iron then cut off the angle that often occurs when the fabric is stretched onto the bolt, so I have lots of angaly (sp?) strings to begin this! Love it! Even if sick one cannot ruin it!

  18. Thank you Bonnie for this video, I am inspired now to try making some of these squares!! I wondered if you could share the dimensions of your cutting table and where you got it. I've been looking for something to fit into my space & your table looks to be what I need.

  19. Oh Bonnie

    That quilt am was fantastic. I've just watched it here in Australia on 11 October. It's the first quilt can I've seen all of. I live that you just can't like we are actually sitting g there with you. You are so welcoming and giving of your knowledge. Thank you.

    Those crooked steps look wonderful. I'm going to have a play with that one.


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)