Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Hike a Little, Sew a Little More!

First Appalachian Trail Hike!

Late Saturday afternoon, I couldn't stand it anymore.  I just HAD to get out on the trail and see what the ponies were up to - and how they had fared through the winter.

Would there be any around?

Would we discover new baby foals?

One of the greatest joys of living so remotely in this magnificent corner of Virginia is the ability to drive just a few miles over winding mountain roads and find myself amidst the wonder of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Today is the 4th anniversary of our move to Virginia.  I'm so glad we jumped in with both feet and never looked back.

One muddy van at the overlook.

Winter is waning. Things are BOUND to start greening up around here - I just need to be a bit more patient for just a while longer.

We hiked up the horse trail - it's a bit wider going than the pedestrian trail.  I tend to like making a loop, going up one way and coming back another so there is more to see and more ground to cover along our way.

Where the horse trail met the Appalachian Trail we spotted them - Oh, that mama on the left looks about ready to burst!

No foals were seen on our trip, but I bet there will be some over the next few months.

While the ponies are wild, they are provided feed through the lean winter months.

The colors of winter -

Soon that long shaggy coat will be gone!

Foraging for what he can find -

Could she be ready to foal soon?

I love the four white socks.

May this be the first of many hikes up here through the year!

Zoey seemed happy to be out and about and catching all the smells as well.  And knowing SHE loves a good outdoor wander will hopefully get me going up here at least once a week if not more.

And I'd like to explore the many other trails I haven't taken yet.

I purchased my first Virginia state park pass last March, just before Covid hit. I haven't used it at any other State Parks - but maybe this year is the year to do so.

Hand stitching around here -

Binding still in progress.

One part of one long side, and a short side left to go on my Rivanna Runner.  You can see that I used up an older farm print as backing.  

My friend Martha is busy with chickens, cows and goats.  My friend Susan brought me two dozen farm fresh brown eggs just yesterday - HUGE ones!  This fabric reminds me of the simple life and how grateful I am to be part of it.

That and - that piece of old yardage is now GONE - sliced up into strips and strings and sorted where they will be best used in future projects.

These things make it hard to get ANY stitching in!

Put the needle down and pet me, human!

What's the rush anyway? It will get done.  

There hasn't been much machine piecing time this week unless you count the curtain project that is underway for Jason's camper van.  We've got the ones for behind the driver/passenger seats done.

For the curved side windows we are basically cutting foil covered insulation pieces to shape, and then "upholstering" them with the drapery fabric.  They can be pushed into place and held with Velcro.

We tried bungee cords, but the drapes fell away from the sides of the van, just hanging with gravity and letting in too much light.  We are winging it as we go, and he will be set by the time he leaves in a couple of weeks.

The best hack ever - instead of starting with yardage, we bought 2 sets of 84'' long black out curtains at Walmart, giving us four panels to work with.  Total spent: $20.00.

Yesterday's IG Quiltfest Day 15:

What is your favorite quilting book? Do you go to it for inspiration, patterns, or solid instruction? I'd love to know why it's your fave!  Please share in the comments section below!

Tulip Time  at the Halsey Homestead!

 Tulip Time is a printable pattern in PDF format.

Colorful tulips dance on a scrappy neutral background, framed by a very springy green string border! 

Easy step-by-step directions with full color graphics and photos. Come plant a scrappy garden!  Quilt Size: 88 1/2’’ x 101 1/2’’

Optional (but most helpful)  I used my  Essential Triangle Tool for the half-square triangles in the quilt, cutting from strip sets instead of squares.  Traditional rotary cutting measurements are also given for those who don't have access to this ruler.

Also helpful - I love the Olfa Frosted 6.5'' square ruler for squaring units, and that diagonal line comes in handy when centering it on the stem piece for trimming.  All of the Olfa Frosted rulers are my go-to brand for non glare, easy to read cutting.

To celebrate spring, the printable PDF pattern for Tulip Time is currently marked 25% off in the in the Quiltville Store, no coupon required. This sale is good through Wednesday, March 31st, 2021.  The pattern will revert back to full price on Thursday, April 1st, 2021.

And to kick off Tulip Time, I am  I will be choosing one winner who will receive a Tulip Time pattern by email from me, and their choice of either a Rainbow Roll (Brights) or a Sherbet Roll (pastels) along with a Facets of Green roll from Cotton to Quilts!

Cotton rolls include 20 different fabrics each measuring approximately 8 1/2 x 21" and are the perfect stash enhancement for any project. Check out the great selection!

Fabric prizes must be shipped to a USA address.  If you are drawn as winner and live outside of the USA, we can ship it to a friend within the USA who can forward it on to you.

Enter on THAT POST to win!

We have a beautiful sunny Wednesday outside my sliding glass door.  It's chilly - but I don't care as long as there is sunshine!

Maybe there will be some machine piecing time today? We shall see!

What have you got going on today?

Quiltville Quote of the Day

Happy Saint Patrick's day, everyone! 

Find some time to stitch up some green today!



  1. Two favourites: Liberated String Quilts by Gwen Marston and Little Quilts by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen Von Holt & Sylvia Johnson. Had both the books for many years and they are both my “Go To” books.
    I was lucky enough to attend a Gwen Marston workshop in New Zealand many years ago and was introduced to strings and the liberated and wonky style of quilting. Never looked back! One of Gwen’s border ideas has also remained a firm favourite for me. Little Quilts introduced me to Appliqué and Sun Bonnet Sue and Overall Bill. Dear little characters which have been in my repertoire for years, used in many a Baby Quilt, including our dear granddaughter’s back in 2010.

    1. Inspiration - we have so much from so many quilters then and now. Attending classes and workshops can be so rewarding. Now we have inspiration from Bonnie to be free and quilt. Love them all!!

  2. We went to see the ponies for the first time last year when we were on vacation with my son. Also hiked the Twin Pinnacle trail in the park - had a great time!

  3. The pony in the first picture looks just like the pony my dad bought us when I was 10. He said if you learn to ride a pony you can ride anything. His name was Blue. We had many other horses growing up, but Blue was our favorite. Oh how we loved that little horse with the big heart. I have a picture of me holding my 5 month old son on his back right before we moved to Germany. Blue wasn't around 4 years later when we came home.

  4. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you as well! I don't have a favorite book. Maybe I'd count your blog? You've taught us so much along the way and, when looking for a pattern, I go to your web store or the Free tab!

  5. The book I refer to again and again is Cabin Fever by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting. I love log cabin quilts, and love their modern vibe. Last year I made a large quilt for our church's charity using their pattern Dilation. It turned out so lovely.

  6. Happy to see you found the ponies. I love the Spring Tulips Nd Daffodils I see popping up. Had to see how long til they all bloomed last year. My favorite book is at home. So I didn’t post it. Happy St Patrick day.

  7. Eleanor Burns' "Quilt in a Day" -- first quilting class, with Eleanor, we (oh horrors) tore strips!!! I had many "old" books which showed templates and hand stitching, this was one of my first machine pieced quilts... I use this book to teach quilting to "newbies" -- clear step by step instructions and a great start for "stripping" -- little did I know all those years ago! Now I have many PDF lessons, all of Bonnie's books and such a supply of scraps!!! Happy St. Patrick's Day to all...on March 17th EVERYbody's Irish!!! Cats in Carlsbad CA

  8. Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. First book for first class just after I got married - marriage lasted 18 years but I still have the book more than 30 years later.

  9. Honestly? My favorite quilting 'book' is... your blog. No kidding. I have a modest number of quilting books, but I rarely check back to many of them. Other hand, I've been referring back here regularly and frequently for well over 10 years.

    I first stumbled over a post about Leaders & Enders, and hoo boy! was that a game changer. I also found your Scrap Users system when I'd finished only a handful of projects, and just before a friend and quilting mentor gave me a gigantic bag of scraps. Your system helped me get a handle on scraps BEFORE they got out of control. And then the shirts... recycled shirts are a borderline illness for me. ;)

    I do refer back to my copies of your books fairly often - I usually have at least a couple of your patterns in process at any time - but yeah, this blog is hands-down the best quilting reference on the market, IMO. Super grateful for all you do and all you share!

  10. Freddy's House is my favorite. I just love all of the color she surrounds herself with.

  11. I think you've mentioned that book in the past, so when I saw it at our quilters market (garage sale for quilters), I picked it up for $2. It's in amazing shape for the age, so I look forward to digging in a bit more to the design world.

  12. I have never taken a quilting class, but I learned from watching Quilt in a Day and Simply Quilts and Love of Quilting. The book that has been a great help to me is Fons and Porter's Quilter's Complete Guide.

  13. We are hunkered down waiting for hail, tornadoes, and who knows what else....sewing like mad before the power goes out! Marilyn Marks

  14. I've become obsessed with wool applique this past year so my favorites at the moment are books from Sue Spargo. I also love anything from Kim Diehl!

  15. Your reference to Mary Ellen Hopkins brought back some wonderful memories. In the late 90's not only did she come to our guild in Benton, ARkansas but she inspired me to let go and quilt. Not only did I get to attend her lecture and her class I was one of those blessed to spend time with her over meals and a trip back to the airport (I always volunteered for these duties). She was gracious and totally hilarious and I still remember her stories to this day. She had a hard life but could laugh at herself.
    Also one of the many quilters I met and broke bread with was Gwen Marston. What a wonderful lady. I cherish these memories as these 2 lovely ladies are now gone but have left such a wonderful influence on quilters.

    1. I've had the same experience as you did with both Mary Ellen and Gwen back in the good old days when I lived in New Hampshire! Mary Ellen was a genuine crazy lady and I wanted to be her best friend. Gwen was married to Joe when I met her so you know that was a very long time ago.

  16. My go to book over the years has been Judy Martin's Ultimate Rotary Cutting Reference. It gives cutting measurement for any block you could possibly desire to make. And it is accurate! I think besides being a gifted quiltmaker she is a math genius. I had the good fortune to belong to the same quilt guild she was a part of back in the late 1990s. Keep up the good work with your blog, Bonnie. It keeps me going during this time of limited contact with other quilters. I have had the 2 vaccine shots so I will feel like I can venture out a little more but will still be careful as there are new cases popping up in our county in Iowa. We are making a trip to Minneapolis next month to spend a little time with our one son that lives there-SO looking forward to that!

  17. May your heart be warm and happy,
    With the lilt of Irish laughter,
    Every day in every way,
    And forever and ever after.

  18. Happy St Patrick's Day to you also. Being part Irish and marrying an Irish man--our Irish Wedding Blessing is "May God be with you and bless you. May you see your Children's children. May you be poor in misfortunes. and rich in blessings. May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward."
    Thanks Bonnie for always brightening my days with your messages. I look forward to seeing them every day. I am sewing a lot of green---making severeal Pine Tree Table runners for my lunch group for Christmas!!

  19. When I wanted to quilt, an .costumed guide at Sturbridge Village was hand quilting. Early in the season and few people were visiting. We spent almost an hour together. Two wonderful bits of advice have stuck with me since 1965!!!
    “If a Colonial woman with only fabric, scissors and thread and needle could quilt at the end of a long hard day by candle light, you can quilt too”. Then she suggested Marqurite Ickes “ Standard Book of Quiltmaking” —- fantastic book that set me on my lifelong journey in
    To quilting 😊. Thank you forever to the wonderful generous guide. Still refer to the book, when everything was done by hand and template were cut using cereal boxes,,,!,,,,,

  20. My three author,teachers would be Gwen Marsten, Mary Ellen Hopkins and YOU! I have had the opportunity to meet all of you in person. While each of you may emphasize difference approaches to design, you all taught me a great deal about the BASICS of quilting. Thank you all!

  21. I've been quilting long enough now that the technique books I first purchased are rarely looked at but will forever remain on my shelf, they're classics and you never know if a grandchild might ever need them. Most of the rest are 'pattern' books that caught my eye except for two.
    'Block Party' by Marsha McCloskey and 'Around the Block' by Judy Hopkins.
    I love to think up quilts where secondary patterns appear when blocks (and often sashing) are put together. My absolute favorite block is 'Broken Dishes' I love seeing the light and dark sawtooth stars appear and disappear depending on where you focus.

  22. I don't know if I have a favorite favorite quilt book. I have quite the collection of quilt books that I look through for inspiration as I rarely follow a pattern. That is except your wonderful creations.

    Hope to get some stitching/sewing time in today. Handwork on a wool piece and a coaster/mug rug for April. I send a box each month to a cousin in a care home that has MS. I can't go see her as our state is STILLin lockdown.

    Happy stitching. Can't wait for your next creation.

  23. My favorite book is Jenny Beyer's "Quiltmaking By Hand". It is a complete compilation of all the information I need. Last summer I hand pieced and hand quilted a diamond tabletopper. Hand quiltmaking is my new passion.

  24. Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie!!!! thank you from the bottom of my hearts. These pictures and your words really met me in my heart and soul. Animals, remind us that there is something/someone greater than ourselves and what we might be going through. thank you!!! Sandi in the Bay Area, California (Purple featherweight)

  25. Those ponies remind me of the Shetland pony I had living on the farm. We roamed the woods and country roads many times along with me singing and playing the guitar. Such fun times. For quilting book. Start Quilting by Alex Anderson. Sewing any of Nancy Zieman books. Of course any of Bonnie Hunter's books now!!

  26. I, too have that Mary Ellen Hopkins book and had it out just the other day. It always helps me "get my bearings" and encourages trying something new.

  27. That book is my favorite also. Changed me from a hand piecer to a machine piecer. I still refer back to it often as it’s a great reference.
    Carol Grant

  28. Dear Jane by Brenda Papadskis was the first book I bought and the first pieced/applique quilt I made. First hand quilted and the first website I went to on the brand new Internet with dial up. This quilt changed my life and I made and met many online friends. We still retreat and in 2019 celebrated our 20th Anniversary.

  29. Thank you for sharing your beautiful area! I am glad to hear Zoey is enjoying her walks as well. As for favorite books, well, most of my collection is yours and Missouri Star, so I guess that's it! :)
    Today I had a binding party, making my main goal this week complete. I had two big throws I wanted done and a table runner that was quilted before but it needed binding so, while I was there I went ahead and did it. Now I can enjoy the rest of my Spring Break and get back to work ready to go those last 9 weeks! Looking forward to seeing more walks! Have a happy St. Patrick's Day as well!! :)

  30. It's funny, I don't make very many star quilts, but I learned so much from Simply Stars by Alex Anderson and it was such an easily accessible resource for me, I've always kept it close. Of course, there are a few by Bonnie Hunter, too! 😉

  31. That was also the very first quilting book I ever purchased although, it was in 1996! My most used books are your first Leader Ender book and The Quilting Hour by Atkinson Designs. I have used those two books mor than any other books I own! Listening to your lecture in Ann Arbor several years ago changed my quilting life forever!

  32. That was also the very first quilting book I ever purchased although, it was in 1996! My most used books are your first Leader Ender book and The Quilting Hour by Atkinson Designs. I have used those two books mor than any other books I own! Listening to your lecture in Ann Arbor several years ago changed my quilting life forever!

  33. That too was my first ever quilt book! Didn’t she have “your own personal private measurement” idea? No 1/4” seams? So many Quilter’s from the 80-90s not around any longer. Very innovative, and traditional too.

  34. I met Mary Ellen 2 or 3 times; she was so funny. I have that book too and it has the best instructions for cutting setting triangles for on point quilt blocks. I also love Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! by Laura Nownes & Diana McClun. It was the “textbook” for my 10 week Beginning Quilting class in Sacramento 31 years ago.

  35. I have so many quilting books and magazines. I recently started purging them. I take the books to the AAUW book sale and used to take the magazines as well but they quit taking magazines last year. Sometimes when I am going to the hospital for blood work or the dr. offrice I take a few with me and leave them on their tables for other to enjoy. I tear off my address label of course so they cannot be traced to me. But I can't say I have a favorite. Now with so much inspiration online I have cut back on my subscriptions. I think the only one I still get is Quiltmaker, mainly for your column.

  36. And I as well have that same book. I will have to get it back out again! And you are such a great source of inspiration with your books. I was lucky enough to take 2 classes from you back in the day also with our quilt guild. Thank you!

  37. Liberated Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston made a strong impression on the way I like to quit. I also love the book she did with Freddy Moran...Collaborative Quilting.

  38. Hope to get back to see ponies again & maybe even run into you on one of the trails.

  39. I googled your book and found it. It is still $20.00!

  40. Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking. Simple, Clear. I go back to it over and over. It was used in my first beginner’s class.

  41. I did meet Mary Ellen Hopkins when I took two classes from her at her shop in Santa Monica. She was a hoot. I also would say that is the book that gave me freedom to sit on my quilt. Sharon Craig was the best teacher who also said it is your quilt make it in your colors and have a ball doing it. I took many classes at retreats from her. There used to be a retreat in Irvine, CA called camp watch a patches and I went every year. If Sharon had a class I took it. Loved her.

  42. I attended a lecture by Mary Ellen Hopkins when she came to our guild many, many years ago. She was fun and full of ideas and knowledge that she shared. When it came time to show her quilts I was able to go up and hold them. The only problem, when someone said Mary Ellen, at first I thought they were talking to me!! She didn't mind - probably because I didn't answer anyone just moved the quilt so that side of the room could see it better. She was wonderful!!

  43. It's Okay....my favorite too. I did know Mary Ellen as I was a shop owner in the early 80's and attended all the training courses with her that Marti Michell/Yours Truly co. sponsored. Taught her classes/methods and still use them today and hear her voice in my head as one does with a great, fun teacher.

  44. Looks like some of the ponies will be having little one this spring!

  45. In my beginning years as a quilter, I took a weekend class from Mary Ellen Hopkins in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. What a fantastic class! She taught us to make a decision and go for it by using an egg timer. It works. Don't fret. Don't hum and haw. She was so funny and feisty.

  46. yes I have that book too! autograph by Mary Ellen. She was a very tiny & active lady, during her talk she actually jumped up on a table so we all could see her. Have all her books. Hugs ann

  47. Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer is my favorite book for the same reason you liked Mary Ellen Hopkins. It opened up a whole new world to me as far as seeing and understanding block structure. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Ellen Hopkins at a workshop with Anne Gallo and Susan Raben. Mary Ellen was totally amazing. She wan't a young woman at the time and her energy was inspiring. I especially loved the Indian carpet slippers she was wearing. What a hoot!

  48. Quilts Quilts Quilts was my bible back when I was learning to quilt. I still have a very dog eared copy. Also It's Okay if You Sit on my Quilt. Also Fons & Porter complete guide. I have a ton of books and I still pull them out when I need to.
    I saw Mary Ellen Hopkins at a guild presentation in 2002. She was funny and it was wonderful.
    Always In stitches, alice

  49. My favorite quilt book is Eleanor Burns first book Quilt in a Day Log Cabin. I have made 3 log cabin quilts using this book and would like to make another one.
    I have 2 or 3 of Mary Ellen Hopkins books. They are real treasures and like Eleanor Burns books are full of tips and tricks to make your quilt making easier. I love the antique light green and white quilt. Isn't it called gizzards and something or other?


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