Thursday, November 04, 2021

Sorting Shades of Lola!

My sewing time yesterday - SO many triangles!

This project started with a box of gifted strips in browns and sandy neutrals - and it has sat for a year at least.  The strips that is.

The cutting started fairly recently, as in a few weeks back - but the sewing time has been delegated to other projects, so once again, this "Brown Thing" has taken a back seat waiting for its turn to arrive.

It's November.  Fall is here but good now, and as the leaves are nearly gone on all of the trees, brown is what I see in the landscape around me.  Brown.  And still a lot of green with the trucks hauling Christmas Trees, and pastures where I saw one last cut of hay being baled yesterday in preparation for winter ahead.

If you look closely at the above photo, you'll also notice a couple of other things.  

Yes, I am playing thread chicken with that cone of grey thread - it's nearly gone.  Another one bites the dust bin as they say.

I've got a box of "non neutral" thread that I've been trying to sew away in scrappy projects, and if the thread is lighter than dark, and blends in with a multitude of colors and shades, I am using it.

Especially when it comes to my scrappy string projects - any thread color goes there.  Sew it up!  There is something so satisfying about the clunk of the empty cone hitting the trash bin.

Oh, and this year's Leader & Ender challenge project - Fish School - is still being worked on behind the scenes of EVERYTHING.

Hundreds of units - still needing pressing.

Maybe today.

Instead, while letting a crime podcast entertain my ears in the background, I pulled out the scrap squares drawer from the Scrap User's System and began to sort.

Brown.  I need brown squares.  But what shade of brown?  Oh, all of them!

And some rust too, for good measure.

Because even my original ideas for this block are up to interpretation as I begin to pull fabric.

Some of these scraps are newer.  Many are way older.  Prints I have adored over the years.  Fabrics that have shown up in many other quilts.

Oftentimes these squares are the LAST remaining piece of that fabric - And I am going to give these pieces their last chance to shine.

I didn't find that many neutrals - I've used them up in so many projects that there just aren't that many pre-cut squares.  But I can fix that by cutting some from my strips.

As I was pulling and sorting it occurred to me just what my color inspiration is:

Shades of Lola!  LOL!

And she doesn't even know it!

Yes, we are talking about YOU!

I am going to be throwing in some turquoise along the way, She won't mind.

The browns and rusts will play along just fine with some turquoise when I get to that part.

And I can hear folks' voices in my head asking "Wouldn't it just be faster to sew strip sets and subcut them?"

My dears - the true joy in patchwork is not about the speed.  It's about the process.  If you miss that realization, you'll forever be trying to go faster.  

If I find I have used all of the pre-cut squares and need some more sets, I can then go to my strips and do some fill-in strip sets to complete the unit count, but for now - these pieces need to be part of this quilt. However long it takes to sew square-to-square-to-square.

And sewing square-to-square-to-square will be a nice breather from sewing a bazillion triangles. For now.

I haven't posted anything about my "Make One Thing Better" for a few days.  It's been a crazy round of gathering things from the Wallburg house on Friday, getting the Rhododendron Trail info out on Saturday, and other things that have taken my time up over the past several days.

But this morning I was up at 6am with time on my hands to do this:

I simply cleared my cutting table at the cabin.

It was full of mystery fabrics, block samples, leftovers, and strips that needed to be put away.

It only took 20 minutes.

It feels so much better!

I folded fat-quarters and put them away by color family.

I gathered some of the smaller sandy neutral scraps to go with me to the QPO to cut into squares there for the above quilt project.

I gathered some things that can be placed in the free baskets at Quiltville Inn.

My day feels lighter and brighter just because of 20 minutes spent with intent to Make One Thing Better.

How are you doing in your own desire to Make One Thing Better?

The November Quiltvillians began to arrive yesterday afternoon.  By the time it was time for me to head home for dinner, there were two.  More would be arriving later in the evening, so I'll get to meet and greet them this morning.

It's currently 34 degrees and cloudy here - projected high of 42.  Good quilting weather!

How does your Thursday look to be shaping up?

I have placed the printable PDF pattern for Pine Tree Point at 25% off - only $9.00 in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store. Sale price good through 11/24/21 when it will return to full price at $12.00. No coupon code required.

I made the runner in blue, too!  Good for having out all winter long!

And don't forget to enter - It's October Quilty Box Gift-Away time! And you can get your entry in ON THAT POST.

The fabrics in this box are super gorgeous - and one lucky winner will be drawn on Saturday, 11/6/21.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Actions are everything. 

Show others what you mean by what you do. 

The November Quiltvillians are in the house and into Thursday we go! 

Have a good one! 



  1. How about adding a few pieces of soft spring green in your brown project to match Lola's eyes?

    1. My thought too😊

    2. My thoughts too. I was thinking some greens that match the color of Lola's beautiful greens eyes plus other greens. I'm going to love this quilt with the browns and other colors. I can hardly wait to watch this quilt as it is coming along. It is going to be a beauty. Happy Quilting.

  2. Yesterday I added setting triangles, and corners to a long time top I started. Today I have two friends coming over to sew and I'll make this day better by adding the two final borders to that quilt, then loading it for quilting. It does feel so good to finish up older projects. I go back and fourth between working on units and blocks, to finsihing tops that need borders. I don't know why I have so many tops without borders but the pile is being widdled down one quilt at a time!

  3. Your quote of the day reminds me of a favorite song by Clint Black. I think it's titled Something that We Do. I remember him saying in an interview with Oprah that the idea for the song was what if Love were a verb. It has stuck with me all these years and I still love that song so much.

  4. Another similar quote, "Love" is a verb. My one thing yesterday and today is based on reducing my stash of Charm Squares and patterns. Yikes, what was I thinking on the pattern thing.....I would have to live until I am 125 to use what I thought I would make with all those patterns. I had preciously down sized my library of books to the basics. It does feel good! I am now turning my time primarily to making baby quilts for gifts and charities. The passing of a local guild's prolific hand appliqué quilter is changing my thinking. She left a wonderful stash of quilting goodies for her friends to share in which is wonderful but It is making me think about what do I want to leave behind. At the young age of 74 (here is where you get to giggle), and with hopefully many more years to quilt, I am reevaluating my personal priorities. It is not a sad thing, but a good thing. Thank you, Bonnie, for all you do for the quilting world!

  5. Oooo.. and a few sparks of green the color of Lola's eyes? Love browns - I think it's because brown is all colors mixed together and I like them all.

  6. "Shades of Lola" cracked me up. So funny!

    My one thing better yesterday - deep cleaned around my desk and rubbed some wood conditioner on it. The old girl had a lot of hard miles on her when I got her, and she deserves a little ongoing TLC.

  7. My son and his wife love use my empty plastic spools for bobbers for fishing.
    Love the neutral and browns as my kitties are Calico’s with some black. 😊

  8. ...it's not about the speed, it's about the process....your words validated something I've been struggling with in my quilting and cross stitching ...seems like many are searching for short cuts or faster ways of doing things, counting daily totals of crossing stitches, stating failure when these goals are not met. But for me, and I'm sure many others, retirement has given me the gift of time. To slow down, enjoy the process and the journey! Thank you for speaking the unspoken.

  9. Hi Bonnie, Thanks for all you do Ive learned so much from you. I have quick question, when you sorting through your scraps and find one that you know is the last piece of a beloved fabric do you use it or keep it to remember how great it was? I personally have to keep it.

    1. I think she keeps it but in a quilt! Quilts will be used and loved, what do you do with a scrap of fabric?

  10. Yesterday I worked on a Christmas Table Runner and ended up doing as much ripping as sewing. LOL Ready to finish the last 2 stars the right way (I hope) today. Also it was vegetable beef soup in the crockpot day. That was especially great after the sewing and ripping fiasco. Have a wonderful day with your new group.

  11. My Thursday night will include some more cutting of the 288 HSTs needed for Midnight Flight, loading everything (except the sewing machine - that's tomorrow morning) needed for the two-day quilting Deer Camp I'm going to Friday and Saturday. But with that done, my main thing will be giving myself a manicure! Caramel Apple glittery nail wraps, here I come!

    1. It sounds like you wear Color Street on your nails 😊

    2. I do have ColorStreet, but these are Lily and Fox. I'm trying that brand out through the remainder of 2021.

  12. Your thought of the day is perfect for us today. My husband and I are celebrating 60 years of loving marriage today!

  13. Love Shades of Lola and hope this becomes the quilt name. My make one thing better this week is patching the elbows of my much loved and constantly worn denim shirts! A project that I put off all summer and now am getting it completed! Thanks, Bonnie, for all you do and share!

  14. Working on a scrappy pieced Border while I wait for Mystery 1st clue. Finding more fabrics to go with my color cards. So many places to look. Retired hubby needs a project, it's raining here. Happy Thursday. Love the Shades of Lola.

  15. While you're working on your various projects I have been working on 4 patches in a couple of sizes from my overflowing Scrap Users boxes. (I'm determined to change my system from scrap savers to scrap users!) Currently I'm building units for 4 Patch X and Fair and Square simultaneously. It's very soothing to use up some of those cuts, but it's not diminished the pile much!

  16. Bonnie is your cutting table at the cabin an island from IKEA? I am *finally* going to get to set up a dedicated quilting space and I am thinking I would like a cutting table with more storage options than the 4 foot folding table I am currently using.

    1. Yes, but it is 6 years old, and discontinued at IKEA. I'm sure they have other models.

  17. I love that you said" the true joy of patchwork is not about the speed"11

  18. I love that you said the true joy in patchwork is about the process, not the speed.I savour every piece I stitch, needless to say I'm a slow quilter but somehow it feels so satisfying.

  19. My cutting table: Two 2' wide kitchen base cabinets with 3 drawers each, unfinished, when on sale at Home Depot. Bolted them together. Cuz I'm tall, built and bolted with L brackets a 2x4 base to set it all on raising it 4 more inches. Added a coat of paint, topped it with 4' counter top that was a precut reject. Perfect - my height, lots of storage.

  20. Colors of Lola? LOVE!!! I will be looking forward to another way to use all of the brown scraps that I have accumulated over the years. Just keep sewing, Bonnie!

  21. Been sewing blocks together .. I have 45 of A and 43 of B block.😢
    Tomorrow I'll make 2 more. It happens I guess.

  22. I sorted through a sweater size bin of 5-inch squares and reduced it to a shoe box. Someone at my guild now has enough squares to make a big quilt. I also gave away my 4-inch squares. Many years ago when I adopted your scrap user system I cut every size I could, from 1.5 to 6.5 inches in half inch increments. I went a little nuts, but I did minimize waste. Many of those have been used, but not all will be.

    Oh yes, I built a top with my 3-inch squares only. It's offset plus signs that use 5 of each color. The rest of the squares are donated. So that was my "make something better" project recently. Thank you again Bonnie, for the inspiration, patterns and joy.

  23. It looks similar to an item at Harbor Freight, might check there.

  24. At least you have a name for the quilt..."Shades of Lola"

  25. Ive made my laundry room better, LOL, and pulled fabric for a Baby quilt. Your my Inspiration Bonnie . Thank you for beeing my Rock in troubled times. Ursula from Switzerland.

  26. Now you even have a name for your quilt - Lola-a-go-go.

  27. My make things better project two days ago. Taking things out of my sewing room and purging and organizing before it goes back in. I found the missing manual for my sewing machine. I need that to check settings when I do something I don't do often like overcasting an edge. I find small pieces of quilted fabricc that have been cut off edges of other projects, and I make glassess cases out of them. But I am still looking for my magnet on an extendable pole, that I use to scoop up dropped pins. I must have inadvertently thrown that out, Because It was nowhere to be found in my sewing room Time to order another one ... Thats one way to m ake sure I will find it.

  28. Love browns! Can't wait to see what that ends up as. Love Lola too, she looks like our cat that we had for 22 years and has been gone now for 10. I'm working on the last round of the Unity and should have the top finished before the mystery starts. Some fabric pulled and a few pieces to pick yet. Beautiful week in Minnesota this week, sunny and high 50's.

  29. My make things better project two days ago was reorganizing my closet by putting summer at the back and bringing winter to the front. In the process I filled a large trash bag with things I haven't worn in the last year and donated to our local thrift store. Definitely a win/win. The last couple of days I have been pulling fabric from my stash that I do not think I will ever use to donate to a group that makes quilts and pillowcases for a battered womens shelter.

  30. 🐈 Shades of Lola! I can’t wait! And my favorite BH quote so far… “the true joy of patchwork is not about the speed".
    My “make one thing better” was going through the mountain of mail and papers that I had let pile up on my desk. Whew!

  31. I am having trouble finding several scarlet fabric in different patterns. Would it be ok to use just one scarlet fabric?

  32. Since my red quilt is done, I will dedicate Saturday to a thorough cleaning of my sewing room. It's a total mess


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