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Friday, January 15, 2021

Never Too Much Yellow!


I remember reading way back in my early quilting days things I took for "gospel" like "Don't put too much yellow in a quilt. It should be minimal.  It can be too overpowering."

I believed that statement as FACT at that time.  It was spoken by folks who had been quilting much longer than me.  They MUST know things that I don't know yet.

So I set aside my gut feelings - my own creativity became hobbled by other people's ideas of what made a quilt worth making.


Where I am so far - with more to come!

It took a long time for me to grow in experience, in age and wisdom to realize that feelings were not facts.  Beliefs were not facts. And it is all subjective.  ALL OF IT.

I love yellow - I let someone else's avoidance of yellow determine for a long long time what I would put in my own quilt.  My color choices began to reflect those who would "approve" of my color choices.

I'm not sure when the change happened.  

I have been in love with and have studied vintage quilts and textiles all though out my nearly 40 years as a quilter. (Goodness, that makes me sound so ancient!) and the one thing that captivates me again and again and again is the realization that *I* personally - can NEVER have too much yellow in a quilt.

Whomever made that statement back in the early 1980-somethings was only stating their own aversion to yellow.  Maybe they were told they shouldn't WEAR yellow as a teenager because it made their complexion look sallow.  Someone told them "Oh, honey - yellow is just not for you." and they internalized that to believe "yellow is bad."

Of course, I'm making this up and rationalizing as I go - but look at how we laugh at things like avocado green appliances from way back when.


Pyramids in the Afternoon!

I spent the afternoon with my string bin, some phone book paper foundations and some binge watching of TV at the QPO (Quiltville Post Office to pass some time before The Hubster was off work and could meet me at the bottom of our drive to get me back up to the top.


Lola made herself comfy right in the middle of everything - this is her face when I said the word "TREAT!" LOL!

Instead of a seven mile back and forth drive to pick me up and leave the van at the QPO (that amounts to about 28 miles per day with a trip to/from/to/from dropping off and picking up for him) we have started using a turn out that is about a "block" by distance down the road from the turn in to our drive.


It's the only place with a shoulder wide enough.


The other side HAS No shoulder!

Our steep drive is just ahead to the left.


It goes up and up and up!


So grateful for a 4WD pick up!

This parking "just down the way" has saved gas and time - I could walk down to there if I wasn't worried about breaking my neck on the slick ice.

I was hoping things would be thawed out by now - but temps are still too cold. The sun doesn't ever shine here - And you just can't get traction while waiting for the gate to open.

We are at "almost but not quiet" on the van being able to make it up the drive. And you don't want to get half way up, finding you have to back your way back down.

I know this is first world problems - and it's not really a problem at all, just something to work around, and we are.


You asked about this quilt!

I did a quick blog search for a photo of the whole thing - I've posted it many times over the couple of years I was hand quilting on this one. 


The top was finished in 2007.

I finished the hand quilting in 2017.

10 years - start to finish.

It was a collection of orphan blocks and some UFO starts that never got anywhere on their own.  There isn't a pattern for it, and there won't be one. There are lots of fudges with coping strips to make things fit - and I love it. Every piece.

It makes me "almost" want to dig into the remaining orphan bin of pieces and parts and reject/leftover blocks and start another.  Almost.

Today is a road trip day.  I'm on my way to Wallburg to get another load of stuff from the house.  Hopefully the rest of my books, a couple of machines I want up here and some other random stuff from the basement studio that I'm ready for.

I haven't made this trip in a while - but it's time to start making trips every other week or so again.

Besides, it feels like the four walls are starting to close in and I need some different scenery.


Don't forget - tomorrow is our drawing day for the Mary Koval fabrics and Winter Blues PDF pattern gift-away!  Did you get your entry in ON THAT POST?


The PDF pattern for Winter Blues is found in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store.  


Today would not be complete if I didn't share this morning's beautiful sunrise.

Winters are cold and icy and long and hard - but the sunrises are only visible here in winter when the trees are bare.  The sunrises are the most redeeming thing about these cold months!

Anything going on for your Friday ahead?


Quiltville Quote of the Day -
Vintage album block quilt found in McKinney, Texas.

We all fear change to some extent. We like things the way that we like them, but without change we stay who we are where we are.
This change could take you to places you've never been before. Embrace it! 


 

82 comments:

  1. I've never been a big yellow fan, but I find that to be changing. I'm thinking of doing your Winter Blues in yellow--maybe, Summer Sunshine? :)

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    1. I think that the soft golden yellows are very safe. Its the intense lemon yellows that tend to scream at you.

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  2. Bonnie, first off so sorry for your loss of David,s mom. Especially when Covid keeps us apart from family. Your quilts are all beautiful and with your experience and eye for colors I would never try to change up the color schemes you suggest. I appreciate everything you share and teach. Thank you, thank you. One thing I do so miss current quilt-cam sessions !

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  3. I’m newer to quilting than you & I too heard the quilt police say “don’t use yellow”

    Which I promptly blew off because just my cursory glance of antique & vintage quilts showed a lot of yellow being used.

    I went so far as to make a quilt featuring lots of yellow to enter in my guild’s quilt show.

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  4. Laugh at avocado green all you want, but my Singer 185J is my favorite machine these days. That little green thing is adorable. πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š

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    1. I have a 185J singer also. My aunt bought it new & and gifted it to me 5 yrs ago. I love it but don’t get it out often enough. I use my Featherweight a lot for piecing.

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  5. Spending my Friday sewing with a friend ..

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  6. Grassy Creek challenge me. I took a time out and are working on the leaders and enders 2019 Shoo Fly blocks. Nearly 160 finished. Another 20 and I will be done. I love these blocks Could probably made them forever. Happy weekend. Strange world. I live as far north as you can come in Alaska, and we have not had any snow yet this winter.

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  7. There are far far better things to come than any we leave behind. -C.S. Lewis

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  8. Love your quilt from UFOs. I don’t have years of collecting blocks but I plan to make a “row” quilt of what I have and add a few “house” blocks. So many quilt ideas...so little time.

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  9. My avocado green KitchenAid stand mixer is alive and well and living in my kitchen. My husband bought it for me just before he left for Viet Nam. I've made many a batch of cake batter with that mixer. It is old and the cord is showing some wear but I still love it. It helps that my favorite color is green.

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  10. Like you the walls are beginning to close in a little. Today a friend, her Mom and I are going to see the Swans in Heber Springs, AR. They come every year from the last of November and leave in February. Also stopping for lunch at Macks's for catfish. So looking forward to getting out with a couple of friends.

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  11. Unfortunately, static electricity is the suspected culprit for shorting out my quilter. I'm sidelined for 2 weeks until my dealer is in the area and can replace the board and check out my machine.
    The good news is that it frees up my time to organize stuff for taxes.
    And I hope to be able to finish assembling Grassy Creek and maybe Frolic too!

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  12. have you thought of getting a used 4 wheel drive for you to use and leave the van parked in the winter at the house? then you wouldn't have to worry about it - love yellow - I used to feel the same way about orange and I think it was mainly because orange clothing doesn't look well on me so I didn't like the color orange

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  13. gorgeous sunrise...be patient, spring will be here in a minute or so...lOl...at least that's how it seems...and ps i love the yellow!

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  14. Oh My - avocado green. We married in 1972 and all of the gifts were AVOCADO GREEN - Crock Pot, Tupperware, hand mixer, dishes... everything. It wasn't my favorite then and never would be. Nearly 49 years later I still come across a thing or two in avocado green that is left from those early years.

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  15. Glad I never heard that "rule" as yellow/gold is one of my go-to colors! Love those string blocks. Depending on where I focus my eyes, the yellow moves forward or back.

    Smart choice on the parking! I found myself needing to back down a mountain road in TN, and ended up dropping a tire into a ditch... fortunately my son was able to push me out. Not something I want to repeat.

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  16. I grew up as the daughter of a quilter (my mom quilted in the 30/40s and again in the 70s)and I have older family quilts too. I didn't begin quilting in earnest until 1988, and yes, some of the first lessons were interesting. "No Yellow" or "watch out, yellow looks like a hole in the quilt" (as if other light colors might not look like a hole under some conditions). Since the lessons were in a quilt shop where yellows were clearly on the shelves, that was sort of a puzzle.
    I've learned over the years what works for me, trust it, and continue to learn new things. We were taught back in the 80s not to pre-wash fabric, so we would get a nice crumpled look when the finished; as a long time garment sew-er, that was weird to me. I discovered that I don't like working with unwashed fabrics for a lot of reasons, among them skin issues. Washed my whole stash in the early 90s, and now fabric is washed when I get it home. (A pasta pot with insert is handy for washing precuts.) I learned that "press to the dark" was not carved in stone. I make quilts to be used, though not abused, they must be able to be washed, etc. I don't do show quilts, and am perfectly happy to work in a way that is fun for me.

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  17. Good morning Bonnie from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan !! Reading your blog today reminded me of my earliest days of quilting. While in a quilt shop an older lady and I were looking at the yellow fabrics. She y
    Told me "yellow makes your quilt sing". I have never forgotten that and have yellow somewhere in near every quilt I make.

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  18. I made a quilt from this pattern with selveges for the strings and lime green where you use yellow. I belonged to a guild of very, very traditional quilters. Originally I think they were shocked that lime green is my favorite “neutral” but eventually tgey came around! In any case I love my quilt and smile every time I see it!

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    1. I love lime green too, you go, girl! :)

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    2. I'd love to see that quilt. I, too, love lime green, or most any green for that matter from blue green to yellow greens.

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  19. I'm not usually a big fan of yellow, maybe because it often sticks out like a sore thumb, but it really works in your quilt. It also helps that it's not just one yellow but varies.

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  20. Haha. I first heard of the yellow thing in a movie. How to make an American Quilt. All the ladies had to make a block for a wedding quilt. One had made a block with yellow roses. She was told the that Damn yellow block threw the whole quilt off. I myself love yellow in my quilts. It’s funny how we can get the wrong idea from others strong opinions. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Quilt on ladies, quilt on.

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  21. Sew love the yellow sparks and the friendship from your blog...sew go play!

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  22. Lovin’ the babies! A painter friend of mine taught me, that if you want to lighten a picture (or quilt) add yellow, not white. I have found this true, over and over. Brighten stuff up with YELLOW! Can’t wait to paint my bedroom a pale yellow, as I saw a picture of a yellow room with EnProvance on the bed and fell in LOVE. My quilt isn’t quite done, but hopefully I can get the bedroom painted first!

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  23. I painted a small bathroom yellow. It was actually really nice, and brightened it up. It was painted over when we redid the floors to match the rest of the rooms around it (for resale value). So yellow is good! Yellow is the color of the sunshine!

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  24. Lovin’ the babies! A painter friend of mine taught me, that if you want to lighten a picture (or quilt) add yellow, not white. I have found this true, over and over. Brighten stuff up with YELLOW! Can’t wait to paint my bedroom a pale yellow, as I saw a picture of a yellow room with EnProvance on the bed and fell in LOVE. My quilt isn’t quite done, but hopefully I can get the bedroom painted first!

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  25. I just finished my first orphan block quilt--and found there was a lot of math and coping strips and crossing my fingers that it would all come together! So I can totally related to all the work that went into your quilt--in some ways, just as much work as a regular quilt! Happy Friday!

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  26. I used to avoid yellow, it not being my favorite color. Also brown. I have learned to embrace both. In fact my guild's winter challenge this year is to make a yellow quilt. Any size, any style. Just when you look at it you have to think "that's a yellow quilt."

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  27. Yellow is my absolute favorite color to include in a quilt. Presently, I am making a bargello for my grown son in his favorite colors. Yellow is his favorite color of all with green coming in second. I'm loving it. So bright and cheery. The backing will be yellow, too.

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  28. LOVE the golden glow of your project's background, Bonnie (and love that scrappy Orphan Block quilt, too!) Safe journey to Wallburg and back.

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  29. Love the look on Zoe's face! Lola too! Happy Friday!

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  30. Many years ago I started taking classes at my local quilt shop. One of the owners was a wonderful quilter and when I told her I didn’t really like yellow, she told me she always tried to use yellow in every quilt so it would have some sunshine peaking through. It changed my whole perspective.

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  31. I enjoy using yellow in my quilts, too! There is a good smattering of yellow in my Pineapple Crazy Quilt *)* The one thing I was told by an artist friend is that yellow "speaks louder" than other colors, so I do take that into consideration - but still do what pleases me. Thank you, Bonnie, for being you.

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  32. I remember reading that quilters should be wary of using too much yellow, also....way back when. I love what you are making with "yellow". We are Fromm Iowa but are in Phoenix for the month of January. We have had sunshine every day! Our stay here has taken quite a turn as my husband developed a brain bleed and had to have surgery, but now is back in the condo that we are renting. What a scare but God is giving him healing. I hope that the negative comments from some of your followers has fallen off your shoulders. It seems unnatural that we can complain about something that is free and optional, but I think the challenges of Covid & it's isolation has many of us on edge. Let's all take a deep breath and look for things to be grateful for as there are many, many, many!
    Susan

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  33. Blizzard day in Iowa. Good stitching time all day! Have a great day everyone!

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  34. Appliquing flower, leaves and petals on three remaining borders. One border is almost done and it has taken awhile to do!! I might still be working on it in the summer.

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  35. Dear Bonnie,
    Want to add my thanks to you. It is such a pleasure for me to read your blog, work on your wuilt pattern. Yours is the ONLY mystery I do, so look forward to it every year. The holidays are not always so happy- but trust you to provide clear instructions, cheerful comments, love to your wee beasties.
    Happy that the wuilt is always a surprise, - a great one. Hugs&blessings, AmyLouise

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  36. Still working on grassy creek and using winter blues for a leader/ender..the weather has been quite warm for winter in Alberta Canada. I understand your cabin fever..it has been difficult..stay safe and healthy..the world would be a darker place without you..thank you for being you

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  37. ‘Beliefs are not facts’.
    This has never been more true.
    Take time for yourself, Bonnie. Thank you for the joy you bring to my life.

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  38. I would love to see how you did freeform letters. Maybe in the future?

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  39. Bonnie, I love this post. I just finished watching Mary Fons on Youtube talk about quilt myths, and this ties right in. I also love yellow and I've made three scrap quilts with predominately yellow backgrounds. They make me so happy. I can actually feel the seratonin in my brain when I look at them.

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  40. Your morning picture would make beautiful quilt color inspiration!

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  41. I REALLY LOVE your fudge it quilt as I call it, that you posted on today. My kind of quilting.

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  42. Thanks so much, Bonnie, I love your blog and hearing (and seeing) about your life. An icy driveway may be a first world problem, but it's interesting to me, knowing a little bit of what your life is like along with your wonderful quilts,words of wisdom and excellent teaching. I'm having great fun with my version of Grassy Creek. Our driveway is long, gravel and steep like yours, but we rarely get snow and ice. When we do, it's a nightmare 😊 so I hear you.

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  43. Thank you!!!!! YELLOW...I remember wanting to make a quilt with yellow, and it was hard to find a variety. Bonnie, you have "released" me from feeling I can't use fabric that was mostly someone else's "opinion"....I have all YOUR BOOKS on my kitchen table (I live with no other humans, just Choco the Wonder Dog) so I can look at them anytime I'm eating or drinking a cuppa. They remind me that "anything can go if you cut it small enough)...giggles....love you so much Bonnie. Sandi in the Bay Area California aka Purple Passion

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  44. I absolutely love that quilt of scrap blocks. It’s just wonderful!

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  45. The "don't use too much yellow" had to come from those of us who survived the harvest gold and avocado green of the 1970's as adults!! I remember the first apartment my husband and I moved into in 1976...the carpet was avocado green with avocado green appliances or harvest gold with harvest gold appliances. After that decade, I have steered clear of yellows, oranges and avocado green!! To this day, I will only use them for pops of color in my quilts...I prefer the cool side of the wheel when I make a quilt, but those pops of color from the warm side do make the other colors look awesome! Even then, I'm more likely to do a pop of orange than yellow or red. So very glad the quilting world has room for all of us, no matter what colors make our hearts sing!!!

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  46. Not sewing on a quilt today, but still sewing. Started off this morning making the hubs a new pair of fleece bootie socks. Dug through my scraps and found an acceptable brown to use. Got it all cut out, fit it to make sure my self-drafted pattern was going to go together well...everything was great. Sewed up the first side seam for the top of the boot, looked around and busted out laughing!!! Duh, my hubby has 2 feet...😡. I only cut out one boot! 🀨. Back to the scraps...of course, there aren’t enough brown scraps to get another one, so red it is..πŸ˜‚. Some days are just like that, it it started my day off with a laugh. Hope everyone is getting to laugh at something stupid you do today...

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  47. Have a great weekend Bonnie. Safe travels. Thank you for sharing and just being you!

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  48. I love the yellow in quilts. it reminds me if sunshine and sunflowers. Lola Zoey and Ivy are just perfect to help soothe your soul while grieving. May you have peace. calm and tranquility in the coming months.

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  49. YES, I've heard that adage that too much Yellow is bad. It isn't my favorite but I am putting more into my Quilts since I've done your mysteries. My Grand Illusion has a LOT of Yellow. Glad you got to go pick up more Quilty Stuff. Drive Safe. We have a Birthday Blizzard happening in Omaha today. I didn't order it. It means I don't feel guilty stitching all day on my Birthday. Hubby has to listen to the machine humming and the music played up loud and on repeat. New Tim McGraw/Tyler Hubbard Song "Undivided" is awesome, look for it.

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  50. So glad you have a good plan in place for navigating to and from the cabin.
    Today's photo of Zoey is THE BEST! I just want to put kisses all over that face!♥
    And BTW I love yellow too ☺ I used it for the whole backing on a queen size quilt! It's such an happy color..can't help but smile.
    Safe travels today

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  51. I am making steady progress on my Grassy Creek Quilt! Thank you for your generosity and talent for this yearly Mystery Quilt as well as Unity this year! I hope you will continue despite the disgruntled. I brought a brand new quilter and long time friend to the Mystery this year. She is loving it! We are having a week of summer weather here in the San Luis Obispo area. It’s a nice change from the cold. I’ll enjoy that gift!

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  52. OK, they said that a little yellow goes a long way.... a lot of yellow makes the way shorter and very bright! Let the sunshine in! Thank you!

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  53. Sorry about your mother-in-law. It has been a difficult year dealing with lack of closure when someone passes on. I'm sorry so many women think that they are the quilt police and criticize how you do things. That is just plain rude. They should be quiet and move on. I laughed when I read this statement,"Winters are cold and icy and long and hard" where you live. You haven't tried a winter in Alaska was my thought followed by "it's all relative." Early in my quilting life I read you should have a little bit of yellow in all your quilts to make them Sparkle. Not all of my quilts have yellow and yet they sparkle just the same. (More quilt police...) Enjoy the drive and change of scenery. I did that about 2 weeks ago for the first time in 10-11 months and it was mentally refreshing. Thinking of your sons, hoping they are well. Enjoy your day!

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  54. Yellow is like sunshine! A little or a lot is up to the artist!

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  55. Yellow has been my very favorite color for over 60 years, and it has always been hard to find in quantities I sought. Thanks for posting! :)

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  56. My yellow and orange piles are growing- and as someone already suggested, some summer sunshine may be in order in the near future.

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  57. Will you be making a digital pattern of the string quilt you showed us last week that generated all the unusual names. I loved it when you started working on in the past. I have been grieving with you.

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  58. Your lovely quilt looks like cheerful piΓ±atas. I love it! Who cares if others approve. Not our problem!
    Hugs
    Bonnie from Californa

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  59. Spent today on a fabric acquisition road trip to Giddings and Bryan, TX with two friends. It was fun to get out again and have a change of scenery! I’ll have to try using yellow more.

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  60. Your scrap user system posts have guided me, have several WIPs (Shoofly, Easy..) making steady albeit slow progress while simultaneously shrinking the scrap bin, so thank you!!! Lime green was also once a do not touch color remember?

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  61. I have to laugh about your comment , someone’s mantra, don’t use too much yellow. I was at a quilt guild meeting for the first time after having moved to a new state. The speaker, can’t remember her name, was talking about color. Don’t use a lot of yellow in your quilt! Lecture was over and it was show and tell. I brought one of my quilts to show. I was the last person of the night and as I unfurled my quilt , I said no disrespect but I happen to love yellow and the more the better. It was a scrap quilt the background was screaming scrappy yellows, with hot pink and vivid purple. I am not known for pastels, the brighter the better!, I got a big gasp from the audience and laughter followed. I closed the meeting with laughter! For me yellow rules! LOL

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  62. Bonnie, everything seems so small when compared to losing a loved one. My brother just died of covid. The only thing that keeps me sane is sewing for others. The mystery quilt was so refreshing to me. I loved the colors and had never put them together in a quilt. I love the grey against the brights. My husband said that's different but I really like it. I do too. I wish I was as creative as you. That's why you have so many watchers. Take good care of yourself first. We all know how hard that is and we relate to the love of fabric as soothing the troubles in our world.

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    1. So sad for your loss of your dearest brother. Prayers. I just lost a dear friend to Covid. I'm still in a daze. Keep sewing and creating-balm to your soul.

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    2. I am so sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself as well, hang in there :)

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  63. I was told the same thing, that yellow would get all the attention and stick out like a sore thumb. I heard it several times from several different places, but yellow makes me happy and I too came to the same realization. Use the yellow, and use lots of it. I think it sticks out if it is the only one, but with enough other yellow it works just fine.

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  64. I love your string quilt with lots of yellow is fabulous that you posted today! Does the block have a name or are you planning to design a pattern?

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  65. I love yellow, a lot or a little. I took a class with Judy Hopkins (RIP) years ago, soon after I started quilting (1987) in Fairbanks (home), a scrappy, one of a kind block design, make up your own. She said a little bit in every block would tie them all together. It’s still a UFO somewhere. Gotta look for it! Keep those 4-pawed kiddo pics coming, they warm my heart at the end of the day when I read your post before I turn in, with 2 of my 5 kitties.

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  66. Oh, and yellows are hard to find, always have been, so I pick them up when I can, esp batiks. I did paint (well my husband did) my quilting studio (16x20 she shed) the walls yellow, so cheery esp with long Alaskan winters.

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  67. I love the yellow - it makes things sunny. My favourite colour is green, but my previous house had the colder rooms with creamy yellow walls - it just felt warmer and happier. Same goes with quilts - yellow backgrounds lift the spirits! Ahhh Lolaaaaa!

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  68. Yellow is my favorite color. I would never believe you should use it sparingly. Yellow is sunshine and happiness.

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  69. I always find myself using yellow and red! Just such bright happy colors!

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  70. Thank you so much for the Grassy Creek pattern, you are very generous with all that
    share. I am sorry for your loss. I lost my husband and mother in law to Covid and quilting and your blog keep me going. I am very thankful to you. I also have a very very steep driveway and must walk the drive when it is icy or snowy.
    THANK YOU for all that you share and inspire!!!!!!

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  71. I've heard the yellow theory. Your quilt blocks are beautiful! I made a yellow and blue log cabin, and loved how it turned out. I think you need to consider a 4 wheel drive vehicle of your own.

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  72. Reading your blog everyday is something I look forward to. You help keep me as motivated as I can be at my advanced age with my infirmities. I only quilt small things anymore. It struck me that your comments about other folks feelings being gospel applies to how folks out there doing damage have been negatively influenced by someone in their lives. Would they could read your blog to get a different perspective. You do so much good. Thank you very much!

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  73. Thank you Bonnie. I am sorry at the loss of your mother-in-law. These last months have been difficult for so many. I love your scrappy quilts and hubby gifted some of your quilt patterns to me for Christmas. I'm going to do the Garlic Knot quilt using the scrappy colour of the month. I have two of your books on Leaders and Enders. I love your scrappy orphan block quilt, it is so interesting to look at. Hubby said "It would make a nice jigsaw puzzle." I agree. In fact many of your quilts would make fun jigsaw puzzles. I really enjoy your blog, your pets and your enthusiasm for quilting and your joy for life. Take care and bless you Coralie from Canada

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  74. I love your free- style use it up quilt! Sometimes I've taken classes to learn a technique but not been in love with the project. I think a "Home of the UFOs" quilt sounds wonderful!!

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