Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Quilting Decades -

Spring arrived at the QPO Studio yesterday!

And lunch too, as Martha pulled in with a crunch of tires on gravel brandishing a pizza and ice cold sodas -

A bonus as lunch with a friend is most welcome in the depths of winter.

As to the spring part?  

The day's project at hand, machine quilting a top put together from 1992 swap blocks from a DOS online group when the internet was just a baby and quilters were finding each other however they could - through listservs and email groups before sending and posting photos was even possible.

(How many of you were part of one?)

These were our first generation internet quilters. My own internet experience didn't come until a few years later, around 1995 when The Hubster finally convinced me that having internet at his office was just not enough, that we needed it at home too - 

And I just wouldn't bite and agree until he showed me that there were quilting groups online!

Chatting in real time to quilters in Australia was mind blowing to me - but that's my own story, and this is about Martha's UFO - so let's get back to it.

Beautiful florals on white ground with green accents.

I recognize so many of these fabrics!

I'm sure many of you do, too!

And how many of these are still in the stash, or scrap drawers?  30 years ago, folks!

I think I even had a dress or skirt from these wild florals.

We enjoyed our pizza first (while it was still hot) and then set about to piecing a backing.

From there we chatted and talked as layer by layer everything was made ready for quilting.

Having someone to chat with in the studio, helping to make decisions was so much fun.

We chose to quilt with the palest of pearl pink threads.

White was too stark when it came to stitching across those dark greens, and green was too dark against those whites and lighter colors - but baby pink was just the ticket.

Oh yes, a 30 year old top comes to life with quilting!

Do you recognize these fabrics?

I know I had many of them in several colorways!

We raided the stash for purple binding!

There was  no way that we were going to let this become a 60 year UFO with binding undone!

I knew if we got the binding on, that Martha could tuck right in and start hand sewing it down last evening.

Sue Benoit who lived in New Jersey in 1993 -

Are you still out there?

And our fun will continue today - we still have half a pizza to finish!

And we want to get Martha's Civil War block of the month sampler from the early 2000s machine basted and ready for hand quilting.

I think I've got her settled in on quilting it with Baptist Fans.  GOOD CHOICE!

We also talked about the three quilt tops that I showed in Yesterday's Post.

And we both agree that sometimes tops sit as tops because we don't know WHAT we want to do with them.  To hand quilt (which can take months of time) or machine quilt (if it's a domestic machine that can be quite a chore and a huge learning curve and many are afraid of ruining their top.) 

Or to simply machine quilt it with a simple yet pretty edge to edge design that only took a few hours along with friendship time and pizza.

I think it depends on what your vision is for your quilt.  Is this a quilt that means a lot to you, and you want it saved as an heirloom?  Then maybe hand quilting is best.

Is it something a toddler is going to drag around and will need to be washed often?  Then maybe machine quilting where the quilting design crosses the seam lines and anchors all of the patches is appropriate.

Are the fabrics big bold and busy where hand quilting stitches won't really show?  That's another thing to take into consideration before you make your decision.

No matter what you decide, we all agree that FINISHED is better than perfect.

And now we can put this one in the DONE column.

I'll show you tomorrow what we get done today.

Only a few days remaining!

The introductory price for Cherry Crunch is marked 25% off in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store.  No coupon needed!  Price reduction good through 1/31/22.

I have placed some OTHER Winter themed patterns ALSO at 25% off with no coupon required!
Forever Mine PDF pattern includes the runner too!

On sale at 25% off through 2/13/22
Warm Hands, Warm Heart & Winter Blues are both 25% off through 1/31/22.

If this is your first time downloading digital patterns from my store to a computer click HERE.

If you intend to download to an iPhone/iPad click HERE.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Putting the focus on the happy today!
Vintage rail fence quilt circa 1920 from my own collection.

I also love the simple diagonals quilted through this one.

Hand quilting doesn't need to be fancy to do the job right!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, folks!



  1. Sounds like a perfect day.

  2. I was introduced to quilting online by a friend but my brother-in-law introduced me to Ebay at Thanksgiving 1996 and it took me until May of '97 to become a member. I love a great bargain and at that time, bargains could still be had on Ebay. I love vintage sewing items and the market was soft back then.

    So happy you are getting UFOs found and decisions made. I love Martha's quilt and am looking forward to seeing what you girls get up to today.
    Anna in IL

  3. So glad you had some quilting sister time. It is so good for the soul.

  4. egads!!what's the oldest fabric in you stash/quilt??? I have finished Emerald City and there's pieces of neutral w/hunter green cat tails and ducks in flight in the neutral strip piecing... fabric my mother used to make curtains for my little bros. room! I am 80, he was ten years younger than I and perhaps 3 or 4 when she made those curtains! Puts the fabric scraps at 77, 78? I didn't notice i had that fabric while strip piecing it... it was while assembling the smaller parts into the large (24") blocks that I recognized/notice! Amazing! and again-- thanks, Bonnie... Cats in sunny, warming, Carlsbad, CA

  5. How fun to spend time with Martha especially during your birthday week. Do you know the name of that block? Thank you.

  6. I think it was 1994 when I got Connected to an Online Group, via Email. Dial up was so slow in our double-wide Manufactured home. WASIQ and Stash Busters. You didn't mention which groups she swapped with. I think I do have Swap blocks from way back then. And those lovely Florals cut into big rectangles, oh MY!! Pizza with a friend is the best and using up stash, priceless. Happy Wednesday! Going to go and play with some Quilt Guild friends. Taking my Mystery parts to make the side triangles and Block B's for Rhodedenron Trail. And sashing fabric to cut on bigger mats. Scrappy makes me Happy! My Zazzle Order is shipped.

  7. What a great time in your studio. Sharing pizza and all quilting conversations with your friend Martha.
    Bonnie, I have a question. Do you mind tell me again, the batting you reccommended for hand quilting the hexagon quilt. I went back to the posting that mentions that, but some how I missed your advice of not using warm and natural with scim. That is what I bought in cotton for this very aged project.
    My girlfriend Sue, we have been friend 62+ years. When she was born her grandmother started an EPP quilt for her. She says even then her Grandma knew she loved purple. I have been gradually adding hexies to square it up. Finally getting ready for hand quilting. It seems that you reccommended wool and silk. Thank you for all that you do for all of us quilters. I love the latest mystery pattern.

  8. So much to think about in this post... thanks for sharing your visit with us! The UFO conversation is fascinating!

  9. Deciding how to quilt a top has changed as I find more and more "tops" in the stash. When I started quiltmaking everthing done by hand. Long arm quilting has come a long way and I would not hesitate to use it on the quilt you showed yesterday from your"Amish" phase. If we don't get the tops finished into quilts who will? D for done is definitely more important than languishing in the queue.

  10. Oops, It was 2004 when I joined the online group. Those decades have passed so fast!

  11. Oh my! I recognized quite a few of the florals in Martha’s quilt. I even made a jumper with one of them “back in the day!” Her quilt is lovely. I’m glad you get to spend time together quilting.

  12. This post reminded me of the swap blocks I have around here somewhere. They may be with some fabric I thought of setting them with. I think I even made a plan. I may have to dig them out tomorrow and see what I think now that they have been mellowing this long.

  13. What a great day with your friend!! It is always the best to have a good friend to quilt with. I love that block and the fabrics too!

  14. I participated in several 9 paych block exchanges. Still have the blocks. I think this is the year they get sewn together!

  15. Love Martha's quilt! Oh yes, I had some of those fabrics as well. Wow!
    Sounds like a lovely day with Martha & pizza!

  16. I envy you having a friend come and sew for the day. I miss those days.

  17. Bonnie, I enjoy your blog posts so much, thank you. I want to say one of the things I really enjoy is your comments about what thread you choose when quilting a top. I'm a brand new long armer and sometimes I have no idea what color to choose, todays comment about light pink was an eye-opener for me. Thank you again

  18. Oh. Bonnie, you took me back to my early days of online quilting. I was an active member of the Prodigy online quilters in the early 1990s. I was a new quilter back then and I remember well when my husband brought in an ad in the mail for Prodigy. It listed an online quilting group and that grabbed my attention. I went from there to the yahoo quilting groups and then finally on to you and your group. I remember you, Bonnie, from the Machine Quilter's email group in the late 1990s. I think I may remember Sue Benoit from New Jersey in 1993!

  19. I belonged to an early internet quilting group on Prodigy which later migrated to Genie. We did block exchanges and group quilts back in the day when pattern instructions were text only with diagrams painstakingly made with ascii. I still have some swap blocks from that era that have yet to be put into a quilt. Talk about a longstanding UFO!


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