Wednesday, December 22, 2021

In A Studio Daze!

Blocks are done!

I've gone as far as I can with these - until I decide on how to set them.

I'm leaning toward on point - but does this quilt need a simple sashing?  Or a pieced one that makes secondary designs shine?

What about an alternate block?  How big do I want this quilt to be?

I found it hard to fall asleep last night - possibilities kept popping into my brain.  "Oooh! What about??"

And let me tell you, it's sometimes not easy to get sewing done - especially with this lap warmer in place!

If I sit down, she's right there in the middle of it all.

And I love her to death, so sometimes the sewing takes a back seat to the petting and the purring.

Ready for more Simple Folded Corners!

I found it most productive to cut for 2 or 3 blocks at a time so I'd have somewhat of a chain, but not a long enough chain that it took forever to prep them with the cutting.

Transport to sewing machine - I lay everything on my 6 X 12 Olfa Frosted and carry it from the cutting table just a few feet away.

It's cut-a-little, sew-a-little, press-a-little which keeps from sitting at the machine for too long.  It gets me up and out of my chair and moving.

And yes - I DID use the toilet paper neutral! LOL!

yellow-orange to rust-orange and everywhere in between.

Just waiting for setting ideas!

The shiny pins fabric in the top block is left over backing from the brown/turquoise quilt! 

When it comes to neutrals particularly, I don't mind if I have already used that same background fabric 10 times or more.  if it's the right size to do the job, just keep sewing it up.

I have quite a bit of that juniper green fabric left.  It's likely to find its way into sashings, borders or bindings.

This block does remind me of lilies. Or 4 cactus baskets on point.  I love the orange.  

I know, and I have been reprimanded by naturalists for my photos of "Ditch Lilies" that grow nearby in the past because they are an invasive species and do nothing for the environment.

Bees don't like them.  Butterflies don't like them.  They take over - but they are so beautiful!  

I am also trying not to shame myself over the happiness that blooming Bradford pear trees bring to me in the early spring as a sign that winter is finally behind us.

Plant shaming!  Who knew there was such a thing!

If we are going to shame any plant at all in the south, let it be the Kudzu!

There is one plant name that I think will make everyone happy with this quilt.


Or more commonly known as Butterfly Weed.

So there is that.

Now if only I could settle in on a name for the brown/turquoise!

I was stitching away in the QPO studio when the hubster brought in the packages dropped off by UPS -

Seeing one of the boxes was from Amazon, he tore right in -

With a confused and questioning look on his face he exclaimed, "Since when to jar candles come in chicken flavor??"  LOL!!!

I laughed so hard!!  This is the Better Than Bouillon I had ordered.

I used to get it at Costco in big jars, but the nearest Costco is a 2 hour drive away, and that's 200 miles round trip.

The nearest grocery store is 1/2 hour drive, and they only have small jars.

I always get 2 jars, and when the 2nd is almost gone, I get 2 more and keep them on hand in several flavors.

But this "Chicken Flavored Jar Candle" thing just cracked me up to no end.  Priceless!

Caught this duo yesterday playing through the sliding glass door.

I want to thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and self-helps with Season Affective Disorder in yesterday's post.

One thing I forgot to mention that really makes a difference for me is being up early enough to sit and really enjoy the sunrises we get here in the mountains.

It reawakens me to the magic of the mornings.  Even through the windows I can feel the sunlight on my face.  In fact the sun is so bright through my window right now that I have the roll-down blind partially shading the window so that I can see past the reflection on my monitor.

That whole phrase "The Sun Also Rises..." does mean a great deal!

And tonight - the sun sets just a few minutes later than it did yesterday.  Hooray!

I am loving all of the Rhododendron Trail progress being shared. Quiltville Mystery time is my favorite time of the year! This screen shot is from the #rhododendrontrail tag on Instagram -
I know that Part 4 is a bit labor intensive with many units and that is why Part 5 will release a few days off schedule on Monday, December 27th.
Hopefully this gives you extra time with your loved ones, to fully experience the holiday however you spend it AND time to make progress on Part 4.
Maybe even catch up of parts you didn't finish up until now.
If you haven't started yet, there is still time to dive in.
You'll find all of our Rhododendron Trail posts with intro and parts linked under the Rhododendron Trail tab at the top of the blog.

TODAY! I had to look at the calendar to see what day of the week it was. So much sewing has left me a bit lint-headed!

We are slowing into Christmas. There are only a few things left to do. I am looking forward to Christmas Eve with Jeff, Ashlyn & Casden. It's going to be a steaks on the grill night - we are keeping things easy.

Maybe a couple of Christmas movies sitting on the couches snuggled under quilts.

Maybe some cookie decorating to keep 5 year old little boy hands busy.

The hubster is making a Lowes run this morning for some stuff he needs for the Inn, and we'll see if he remembers to pick up some wrapping paper! (I've only asked him the last 3 times he has ran to town!)

Are you closing in on your last minute must-dos??

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

If you want to make a change, the change has to start from within.
It all begins with you!

Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone!



  1. Unbelievable! Even those, uhhhh, uckkkyyyy green units were coaxed into lovely blocks. Why didn't I believe it was possible? Good lesson for doubters! Thank you Bonnie, for all you have added to our quilting lives. Merry Christmas to you and all.

  2. If the Hubster forgets the wrapping paper, you might be able to find a bit of fabric to use instead.....
    they say we may have snow here in the Willamette Valley for Christmas and/or New Years.
    Happy Holidays from Oregon

    1. My first thought too! LOL Or make a little gift bag with fabric!
      In Oklahoma it will be near 80 through the weekend! "Cooling" down into the 60's after that. Dear Mother Nature!
      Your green and orange blocks are beautiful, Bonnie!
      I love how creative folks have been with their Rhododendron Trail blocks when sharing! Quilters are a brilliant group!

  3. Love the progression of the bears paw blocks-- so fun and unexpected!! This year I've begun transitioning from wrapping paper to reversible fabric gift bags. It's been a wish of mine for several years, and if they don't catch on I can always cut them up and make another quilt!

  4. Hi Bonnie! You are a genius for combining oranges with that green. They look great! For the brown and turquoise, how about Winter Morning? The brown trees and grass, maybe a little dusting of snow, and a brilliant turquoise sky. Sounds like a clear, cold day to me. Happiest of holidays to you and yours!

  5. Love the orange addition to the bear claws and green block!!!

  6. I so love the orange in the "time out" quilt. What a simple idea to really snaze up a quilt! I have done a few daring things in my quilts, but you keep my mind open to all sorts of colors and combos. I don't have much time to quilt -- still working full time and caregiver responsibilities -- but I don't think I could do a regular quilt anymore in favor of scrappy!

  7. It is sunny here in Arkansas and they are calling for highs in the 70's, maybe even the 80's on Christmas Day. The weather is one thing we have no control over. LOL The blocks are really beautiful and I do love the different shades of orange. I have a basket of oranges that may need a home later when you release this pattern.

  8. Sew get being in the mountains and the early gift of each day and a bit of quiet time. Many blessings to you and your family and oh those inspirations!

  9. When the next jar gets emptied, get a candle and put it in the jar for your hubster's next special day.

  10. Orange, YES! I wish you could clone Lola, I am currently cat-less.

  11. Wrap your gifts in fabric. When it's all off, you can refold and put your "new" fabric back into the stash (zero cost). :-)

    Merry Christmas Bonnie. So glad you're able to enjoy beautiful sunrise most days to bring your joy up a notch!

  12. Oh! Those orange units just make those little bear paw blocks SING! Such a clever way to set them off. Now they make me think of bird of paradise flowers. So pretty!!

    When I was in college, I worked as a docent at a historic mansion. The live-in caretaker/groundskeeper was an older man who became a dear friend. He always made a huge show (only partly tongue-in-cheek) of going into mourning on the winter solstice, because it meant we were heading toward the busy, hot, humid summer during which he'd be sweating and laboring outside. He always cracked me up, because I'm in your camp with some mild SAD and can't wait for longer and warmer days. He passed away years ago, but I always think of him and his silly groaning on the solstice and it makes me grin.

  13. Bonnie, you’re a genius! The orange with the green bear paws blocks is so perfect. They look so sunny and bright—perfect for winter solstice. This will be another stunning quilt.

  14. Got the last of my part 4 ready for squaring. Can't post picture yet as phones and both camera's have dead batteries. Ever been there??? Merry Christmas to all.

  15. Merry Christmas Bonnie, thank you for your blog. I look forward to it every day. Regarding the gift wrap, rather than purchasing wrapping paper and then wrapping gifts and throwing out the paper, I make fabric bags. The first year making the bags takes the time, but the following years, just pull out the bags, drop in the gift, tie a bow and done!

  16. Ditch lillies made me smile. I just noticed the point on the orange strips. Too much fun, chicken scented candles. I have a box of Wrapping paper. I use a different color for each family, so I stock up after Christmas. It's a wrapping day. Glad the days are getting longer. The foothills are covered with snow for my morning view!

  17. Hummingbirds like ditch lilies. They like all daylilies.

    1. Thanks for the info. I wondered when 'they' said neither bees nor butterflies like the lilies how they get pollinated.

  18. I love how the butterflies match the Tuberosa! What a beautiful picture.

  19. Done already? You are unbelievable! The orange is just perfect. I also have SABLE, you are giving me ideas to reduce it.
    I didn't know that Better Than Bouillon came in bigger jars. I always buy it when it's on sale. Giving some to a couple of granddaughters for Christmas.
    Enjoy your son and his family during the holidays. That's the best part of the holidays.

  20. My list is getting shorter and shorter. Wrapping gifts is the big thing hanging over me now, but it’s not. Huge job…I’ll do some tonight and some tomorrow. My main goal the next few days is to just relax. Nothing needs to be perfect.

  21. It's a quiet Solstice time here outside Seattle, and dark with heavy clouds, so I put colorful lights outside that I can see from inside, then little colored lights indoors, too. Seems to help. Add to that as much quilting time as I can get, and I have managed to stave off depression. Blessings and love to everyone, and special good wishes to those who struggle in the dark of winter.

  22. Love the green and orange combos. Now I’m going to find more orange to do a quilt with those colors. Have a Merry Christmas.
    My Christmas includes a bunch of grandkids and their parents. Love this life!

  23. Unfortunately, I'll be spending Christmas be myself. First time in my 76 years. My granddaughter has the virus, contracted in school, which is now closed until me Januare. Her mother thi KS that she contracted it from my granddaughter and hopes to find a testing site tomorrow. My other daughter invited me for brunch on Christmas day, but called me today saying that she has a sore throat. So, I decided that it is not worth it taking a chance
    We'll have Christmas in January. Happy Holidays to all.

    1. Perhaps this is the year to do something unique and special for yourself. Shrimp cocktail for dinner? Movie marathon? Classical holiday music playing? Sewing a table runner or potholder in red and green? Indulge yourself.

  24. My way of avoiding wrapping packages this year is to make a pillowcase for each
    person. This year I did it in their favorite color, and the "bags" look very festive under the tree.

  25. Bonnie, the oranges just performed magic with that green! I love it. I am going to remember to use that trick when I find ugly fabric that needs to be used up. A way to make it pretty again! Just moved back to NC and life is a bit chaotic, but I am downloading all the mystery parts so that when I can sew again, I will start. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  26. Wonderful post today - had it all - laughter, love, fur babies, nature, simple christmas plans with family, and those bear blocks that you have turned into beauties. Your color choice brought them to life. Merry Christmas!

  27. Hi, I have had issues with SAD for many winters, but in the end I bit the bullet and started taking cod liver oil “tran” (1 tbsp pr day). Taking cod liver oil is NOT bringing any happy childhood memories, but it is really helping. Should be kept in the fridge and taken before breakfast or you will regret it. In Norway there is a saying that we should take this every month with an R (so Sep to Apr). But we live quite bit further north than you, so I’m sure you can get away with less :-). I have tried with capsules, but they are not as effective, unfortunately.

  28. HAy Bonnie - Good wishes to you, your family & followers during the festive season. I think your "Butterfly Weed" quilt blocks are just smashing. If you are thinking of sashing look at that photo for inspiration. Love how the blurring of the ground while focussing on the flowers & butterflies, has turned it to an interesting shade of purple-brown.


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