Monday, November 29, 2021

Quilt Memories & Cyber Monday!

There is a still a pile (or two) of "What do I do with these?!" quilts stacked next to the gust room bed.

I pretty much keep that door closed! LOL!

I have rehomed several quilts to loved ones over the past several months, and there will be another round of that coming likely in the spring.

I needed to catch my breath.  And recover from the shipping sticker-shock, that's no lie.

But there are some quilts that will stay with me - no matter what.
If you were to ask me about the quilt that started my scrap quilt journey, it would be this one.

When Jason was a wee baby (He was born in 1983, so this would be sometime in 1984.) we lived in a mobile home court, in our own little single-wide home.  

I did my sewing at the kitchen table in the small abode, cleaning everything up when it was time for dinner, and bringing it out again the next morning during nap time.

My neighbor down the road in the same court ran a video rental shop with her husband, and in a little section of the building attached, she had a dress shop where she did custom sewing.

I took a part time job working in the video store because I could bring Jason with me - he just slept in a playpen at the time and it was no problem.  Dave was still in school and we needed the money.

Knowing I loved to quilt, she brought a big apple box full of calico scraps one day for me and I quickly fell into scrap quilt heaven.  There was no turning back.

At this time I had "It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt" by Mary Ellen Hopkins in hand - the first quilt book I ever bought on our first ever credit card.

This was pre-rotary-cutter for me, those wouldn't happen until a few more years down the road, so I sorted the scraps into light and dark piles - and used a yard stick to trace yard-stick-width lines on the back of the fabrics and cut my strips with scissors.

It was something I could easily manage during nap times, and I looked forward to the quiet moments of working on my first log cabin quilt at the little kitchen table, piecing the blocks on my $99.00 Kenmore that I had received for our first Christmas as a married couple just a few years before.

I didn't know about squaring blocks.  I just eased everything in to fit.  LOL!

I didn't know about mitering corners on either borders or binding.

I wasn't even sure how far apart quilting lines should be, so the border has ONE line of quilting down the center of each side.   

The red center squares are poly/cotton.  The fabric came from my Mother-in-Law's stash.  She passed away when Jason was 6 weeks old and a lot of her fabric came to me.          

I used drapery lining for the backing fabric - it was $1.00 a yard and all I could spare at the time.

It has poly batting in it - because it was now 1985 by the time the top was complete and the quilting was beginning.

I wasn't sure how to quilt a log cabin quilt either, so I just quilted down the center of each strip in concentric squares.  Were I to hand quilt a log cabin again, I'd probably do it the same - it kept me out of the seam allowances for the most part.

I finished the quilt in 1986.

At one time I had big embroidery labeling plans.

I don't think I embroidered anything last quilt #5!

This quilt went right on Jason's first big boy bed.

It has been loved and snuggled under for 35 years.

Some fabrics have worn thin - and many are faded.

It's not a beautiful quilt - but it taught me a lot, and ignited a fire for scrap quilting that to this day still grows and grows.

There is always something new to try, and everything I do as a quilter is built on this foundation.

No, I'll never let this quilt go.  There is a connection to who I was as a young mom and budding quilter in every piece.

Do you have quilts like this, too?  The ones that aren't the best, but the ones that set your feet firmly on a path to increasing your skills and igniting your creativity?

Did you survive the Thanksgiving weekend?  This was mine!

It kept me busy Friday through Sunday - and there is more to happen today - but I'm going to drop these off at the USPS earlier than normal this morning because the one person post office is going to need some time to scan all of these goodie packages on their way to you!

I am nearly out of all the Quick & Easy books currently 25% off through today.

The only remaining as of right now are a handful of copies of the New Quick & Easy Block Tool and I expect them to be gone soon!

This sale was "While Supplies Last" and I am out of the Triangle Block Tool, and the New Ladies' Art Company Block Tool.

So for TODAY ONLY - I am doing this:

My Quilter's Tech Set is 25% off - no coupon needed!

It's great for gift exchanges, and stocking stuffing!  

Featuring quilts from my book String Frenzy with fabulous quotes to keep you going!

This tech set is washable, lightweight, and perfect to travel with! The Microfiber Pouch holds a lightweight, foldable Mouse Mat, Cleaning Cloth, and Mini Cling Screen Cleaner.

The mouse mat is textured and a bit "grippy" on the underside to stay put where you need it.

This sale is only good 11/29/21 and ends when I turn it off tomorrow morning.  It's also "while supplies last" so hurry!

Check out the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store for those patterns you've been waiting for!

All PDF patterns are currently 30% off using code Digital30 at checkout. This sale is also good through Monday 11/29/21 and ends Tuesday morning when I switch it off.  LOL!

To use the coupon code, click the REDEEM YOUR COUPON on the shopping cart page BEFORE You have clicked to process your payment. Type the code into the box that opens on the next screen and hit enter.

Code must be used at time of purchase. No refunds if you forget, okay?  And it's not retroactive - TODAY IS THE LAST DAY!
Sale Extended through Today!

And yes - the folks at SewPad are jumping in on a CYBER MONDAY sale TODAY ONLY as well!  

And it's while supplies last, so if you've been on the fence when it comes to sewing in comfort - it's time to jump in!

What is a SewPad?

SewPad™ is filled with a thick cushion of proprietary viscoelastic polymer gel– the same stuff used in surgical mats and wheelchair pads.

Unlike foam (memory foam or otherwise) gel doesn’t bottom-out and it provides comfort and support by diffusing and distributing pressure.

Upholstered in a plush layer of AirFlex™ fabric, SewPad™ helps your backside stay cool while the no-slip bottom keeps it from sliding around in your chair. 

SewPad™ was designed for quilters and crafters, but we think you’ll find other uses as well.

Church. Stadium seats, in the car and anywhere else that you might expect to be sitting for a good while.

Being comfortable is a wonderful thing!

Visit SewPad to order, and use code JOYFUL at checkout to receive Free Priority Shipping within the USA.

If you are thinking hard on Electric Quilt Software for Christmas - EQ is hosting 25 days of 25% off at ElectricQuilt.com!

Remember to use code 25DAYS at ElectricQuilt.com.

And yes, the 25% off sale includes all software - and even Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, 3rd edition.

25% OFF SALE ENDS TOMORROW 11/30/21 so don't delay!

There is so much you can do with EQ!

My plan for today also involves getting things ready at the Inn for the December Quiltvillians who arrive Wednesday afternoon - our last retreat of the year!

I'm getting close to having all of the brown/turquoise Ohio Star blocks done - and then I can start my quilt layout!  I'm excited about this one.  Let's hope that happens today.

How about you?  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and feel refreshed as we start a new week ahead.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

I've always loved what the Dalai Lama said about ripples:⁣
"Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects."
When I look at names on signature quilts time stops in its tracks and I love to think of the lives - the men, the women, the children and all they were to each other and how the way they treated each other has reached out into our time with these same ripples, or fingerprints.
Make sure the fingerprints you leave are happy, loving ones.⁣
Happy Monday, everyone.



  1. That is a beautiful first quilt, Bonnie!

  2. Log cabin quilts are my favourite! What a treasure.

  3. Oh wow! You really brought back the memories with your comment on tracing lines with a yard stick. I have done so much of that. Then to see your log cabin (my first quilt also) quilt fabrics up close! I made a "Gunni Sax" dress out of that blue calico; wore it for years. Memories.

  4. I love the story of your first quilt! My first quilt was a queen size Log Cabin made in 1980. The lady teaching the class was not a quilter. The class was for making a baby quilt, but I wanted a bed quilt. Since she didn’t have any other fabric amounts beyond a baby quilt, and wasn’t sure how much more fabric I would need, I ended up buying three yards of all seven fabrics, and borders which came to 27 yards. I cut all of that yardage with a yard stick with scissors, and a sliver of soap for marking the lines. The left over strips are what I used for years adding them to Log Cabin scrappy quilts. It was a year or two later before I made any other pattern beyond the Log Cabin. I loved the “It’s OK If You Sit On My Quilt” book, it really opened my eyes for how patchwork works so I could design my own blocks.

  5. I love this post! Something to show to the "quilt police" when they say you can't use poly blend fabric, have to use quilt shop fabric, have to use top of the line thread, and the list goes on. And you used a $99 dollar machine to boot and that quilt is still together and you can tell it has been loved! Love your blog, Bonnie. Thank you! pam

  6. I still have that blue!!! Think it also came in brown - was a crafter making lined baskets, dolls, applique signs, etc. -- then discovered quilting! Always enjoy your posts!

  7. My 1st quilt was cut with cereal box templates and Flannels bought in the JC Penneys basement in the 70's. It was tied because that was how my mom did quilts. I love its warmth and cozy feel. There's nothing like sleeping under a Quilt. Thankful for Cyber Monday. I need a pkg from Quiltville to be under my tree.

  8. hi bonnie. funny coincidence - my first quilt book was 'it's okay if you sit on my quilt'. i also still have the first quilt i made entirely by hand. the lady who taught me grew up amish and said i should always keep it to show how far i've come. i had to add more fabrics in that quilt also and have made multi-fabric (scrap) quilts ever since. i'd bet there are a lot of people who started their quilting life the same. thanks for all you do for us. i found the cover for my essential ruler but haven't found the ruler yet. still looking. patti in florida

  9. I always wanted to quilt after seeing the quilt my grandmother made for me, but was too intminated by the thought. My daughter asked me to make a t-shirt quilt out of her old concert shirts, I tackled it, it's not pretty but she loves it, didn't know about binding, so it's not bound, and it has poly fill for batting and a fleece backing, I have since moved on, but still haven't tackled one of yours, the day will come, probably when I retire! When my daughter sees the quilts you make, she says: Mom can you make me one of them! My repy....yes, someday!!

  10. What a lovely story about your first quilt. My timeline is similar, and in the same era! Reading your blog this morning brought back a lot of memories of when we were first married, had no money and I used what I could find to sew. Thank you!

  11. Bonnie, put the picture of the quilt you love next to the picture of all the envelopes ready to be mailed and sit back and marvel about where life takes us!!!!!who not would have thought, who COULD have thought!!!!!!!! always grateful for the joy that can always be found just need to look for it shoshana

  12. Love the story behind the quilt... thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks for your wonderful story about life as a young mom learning to quilt. Great story about life well lived!

  14. What a great story.
    I enjoyed working on clue 1. And looking forward to clue 2. Just think how far we've come with quilting tools & rulers!!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing your first quilt and your early quilting experiences. I recognize some of the fabrics in your first quilt! I went from sewing clothing to dabbling in quilting and it was kind of a learn as I went process. My first quilt was made from double knit! A pieced top of double knit fabrics, a backing of double knit, and guess what the 'batting' was - yep, double knit!. It is a really heavy quilt but also really warm. I still have it folded away in a closet. Hurray for quilters who will use what is available in order to be able to create something!

    1. I agree 100% on the cheers for those quilters who use what they have!

    2. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing the sweet story of your first quilt! It tugs at my heart.

  16. I gave my son the first big quilt I made and it was a log cabin. His response was a log cabin quilt for my new log bed in my log house. Your quilt is beautiful.

  17. I gave my son the first big quilt I made and it was a log cabin. His response was a log cabin quilt for my new log bed in my log house. Your quilt is beautiful.

  18. What a lovely story and a lovely quilt - thank you for sharing with us.

    I was in elementary school when you made that quilt. I started my first quilt, a hand-pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden, just a year or two after you finished your Log Cabin. My grandma was a quilter, but was very stingy with her knowledge, so I made many mistakes, including using some fabrics from the family bags of dressmaking scraps that are of very questionable content and quality. I was tracing my cereal-box template with a purple Flair marker, and Grandma didn't stop me!

    I've started and stopped the project often over the years, but now have it nearly done except a few long seams to join large sections. It's a disaster, but it's almost done. I'll never be able to wash it because that purple marker will bleed everywhere! But, like your sweet Log Cabin, I won't get rid of it, not after the 30-35 years it'll have taken to finish. Almost every print in it came from some sewing project that my mom can identify, many of them scraps from clothes that were made for her when she was growing up. Memories, like you said, and a reminder of how much I've learned since - a lot of it right here on your blog!

    Thanks for the lovely story, and thanks for being so giving with your knowledge and creativity.

  19. Loved reading your story!! My first quit I made when I was 17 and pregnant with my first child. I am 80 now and I still have that quilt. It is not a log cabin but embroidered squares with sashing between. And I have not made a log cabin quilt yet so I guess I better get going on it as I have so many scraps. I also have a ? I do not get your daily blogs until the next day. and the sales are over. I live in Calif. You are an awesome lady :) Thank you!!

  20. OMG! I didn't see the tech set when I was shopping last night, or I would have gotten it too. OH well, I guess I don't need it!

    Great first Log Cabin. I have a big Full XL quilt of squares I made somewhere from 1972-74. It is mostly Polyester Quilted Bathrobe left overs from making my nieces and little sisters Bathrobes for Christmas presents. I put a Calico print on the back of it. My youngest son loved that quilt after we were done w/ it on our bed. He wiggled a toe hole in, then put his foot through it. You get the picture. It would make good kitty beds at this point at the local shelter.

    Kasilof, AK


  21. For those of us “of a certain age” who began quilting in the 60s and 70s, today’s quilting world can be a strange place. Back then, we were discovering a “lost” art; in fact, all traditional crafts had a resurgence in the quest for living a simpler, back-to-the-land life. We shared craft fair space with novice blacksmiths, spinners, weavers, leather workers, candle makers. Some of the old timers from whom we learned these skills were often bemused, wondering why we would want to trade the ease of laundering acrylic and polyester blends with the hand washing and ironing required of wool and cotton. However, the root of our quiltmaking was still thrift. We used the remnants left from our usual sewing (remember when sewing our own clothes was less expensive than buying them?): dresses, blouses, pajamas, shorts, pedal pushers, kitchen curtains -- all of these were fair game. And much of that fabric consisted of blends, since it was a boon to be freed from the hours of ironing that cotton required. We used cardboard templates to mark around the curves left from sleeve cutouts. We would never have imagined throwing away “flippy corners.” We found $1 a yard fabric at Ben Franklin and Rich’s; if we wanted traditional calico, we had to search in places such as the Vermont Country Store. We loved polyester batting, since the old cotton batting lumped and clumped with every washing. Books on quilting were few. The most easily attained was Ruby McKim’s “101 Patchwork Patterns” from Dover Press. When Jinny Beyer came on the scene, we started cutting up our Indian bedspreads and thinking of quilts as Art. Everything changed when the USA opened trade with China. It became cheaper to buy clothes than to sew them ourselves, and quilts from China sold for much less than we could make them. Quilt making eventually became an expensive hobby (I gasp at current fabric prices, as well as at the myriad options). However, I am encouraged by the growing interest in thrift store scavenging as seen in the patterns intended for men’s shirts. I have been making donation quilts for the last five years, made almost entirely from gifted and “found” stash, including thrift store and auction leftovers. I wonder what will happen to all the cloth masks made in the last few years and hope for lots of repurposed pandemic quilts. In the last year I have gone back to hand-quilting, to slowing down, to scavenging. It feels good.


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