Thursday, April 21, 2022

Creativity (And Thoughts) Out of Control!

I turned around yesterday as I was heading out the door and simply laughed.

What a disaster.

But what a creative mess of happiness!

There are strings and scraps everywhere as I turn my attention to upcoming holiday seasons and summer.

Red, white and blue - in an explosion of scraps.

When I first started making my own Hearts of Hope quilt before we the sew-along started, I also turned to thinking of how fun this would be in other colorways.

Red, white and blue came immediately to mind.

And it wasn't just the colors that got me - it was along the lines of "What if I changed this?" What if I turned this into this and added that?" 

And so here I am, getting ready to add the borders to my second Hearts of Hope quilt - a bit behind the scenes, and a bit out in front.  You'll see the whole thing in the near future.

And yes, the string buckets DO overflow with possibilities.

This little favorite print.

Hello 1981!

I know it was 1981 because I made a dress out of this print when The Hubster and I were first dating.

My cornerstones are red!

I love looking at all of the fun stuff in here.

This is where I left things yesterday to come home for lunch before taking a road trip down to Charlotte.  The Hubster has a trip to Texas to spend a week with his two brothers - and I'm so glad.  They NEED to be together.

They haven't been all together, the three of them, since they were caring for their dad through his end days and his funeral following.  They need to make some happy memories together.

Zoey claims shotgun!

It became the big family road trip - dogs included - because the deerstruck truck is still at Collision Express and will be for who knows how long.  We are a one vehicle family for the time being.

The dogs came along because I didn't want to leave them home alone for about 7 hours (It's about 3 hours drive to Charlotte in GOOD traffic, and it would have me coming home through rush hour.) and I didn't want to leave them in the outside kennel for that long either as the weather wasn't great,

Mabel was asleep on the bench seat in the back of the van - but Zoey - she is all about paws up on the console watching traffic.  She is IN IT!

I swear - if she didn't have paws, she'd be driving herself.

Hello CLT!

Neither of us have flown since before Covid started.  This is the first time.

I will admit to being a bit uncomfortable with mask mandates ending for air travel just as new variants are creeping up.  And I believe that each person should determine for themselves whether they are going to mask or not.

No one should be shamed for not wearing one - or called a sheep for choosing to take care of their own health by wearing one.  To each their own.

But things are still so volatile.  The world is a tinderbox on the verge of ignition.

While driving we talked about the things that feel a bit unnerving after 2+ years of staying very rural.

Traffic felt INSANE.  We both have an aversion to being around too many stranger-people.  Dave was nervous about being on a plane packed with who knows who or what they've been doing over the past week.

This does not feel rational to either of us - this aversion to people. But it's almost a "PTSD-light" situation.

I have had small groups of quilters at the inn over the past couple of years and yet I know that folks have been vaccinated - have quarantined before coming before there was vaccination available, and since the start of this year vaccination is a must at least for this year until we get past all of this.

I have not had to face getting on a plane yet as all of my trips have been rescheduled into next year because of war (Not going to Poland in September, no thank you.) and Ireland is currently at level 4 DO NOT TRAVEL status.  Yet we are removing masks in airports and planes.

We all want to get back to "normal" life - but will it ever be normal again? I don't think so.

So I came home the longer, more scenic way to avoid the rush hour traffic going up I-77 and the mad chaos that happens around Lake Norman, and headed west to Gastonia instead.

Passing the Cox road exit I mourned the loss of Mary Jo's Cloth World.  No, the world will never be normal again.

I headed north on highway 321 passing through Lincolnton and Hickory where the sight of mountains to the north brought me back to my happy place. A stop for gas.  A grassy place to walk the dogs and let them take care of any needed business.

I continued up to Blowing Rock and on to Boone. I caught 421 heading east and followed the 221 cloverleaf turning me north again toward Jefferson.  From there highway 16 took me to the Virginia state line and home.

Where I found myself in a cleaning frenzy!

When I can't make sense of the world, I can make sense of my surroundings and all I could see to do was take the stove apart and clean the stove top grates, the silicone overlay beneath (Which makes keeping stuff from cooking on to the stove top a breeze - but it always looks messy with crumbs.) and even removed the knobs for cleaning behind them while they soaked.

The only problem with a clean stove?  I don't want to cook on it.

Above the stove sits the microwave and that got a good cleaning too. To the right of the stove is the fridge which also got a good spray down.

It was 9pm by the time I finished.  No TV was watched, no hand quilting happened.  

It was just a long driving day of thoughts and worries and trying to breathe and settle myself while the Hubster flew away from me for the first time in 2 1/2 years.

Today?  I'm keeping it low-key.  Those borders may go on.  Or they may not.

I may let a bit of spring cleaning continue and since he is gone for the week just dig in and dig out.  Sometimes those kinds of activities are best when there is no one under foot, you know?

Monday's April Showers PDF pattern release has exceeded all expectations as we are all (in this hemisphere anyway!) clamoring for spring followed by summer.

Thank you so much for your positive response!  I see photos of you digging through your stashes, posting images of fabric pulls and first blocks already.  Sew! Sew! Sew!

I love how ALL of the purples are so varied and play together so well.  Mother nature knows what she is doing!

I used my Essential Triangle Tool for the half-square triangles in April Showers.

I used the Simple Folded Corners ruler or Simple Folded Corners Mini for the stitch & flip corners on the diamond rectangle units.  

I use these rulers all of the time.  If you don't have them, invest in yourself and get them! You'll find them in the Quiltville Store.

Traditional rotary cutting and piecing methods are given to those who don't have the rulers.

Does your purple or green (And neutrals - always!) stash need a bit of enhancement?  Check out these color rolls by Cotton to Quilts!

The best variety and fantastic service!  And I'm so grateful that Cotton to Quilts is once again offering up 2 fabric rolls for this gift-away!

We'll be drawing for one winner who will receive the PDF pattern for April Showers and a facets of purple color roll, and a second winner who will receive the April Showers PDF pattern and the facets of green color roll!

Head on over to Monday's Gift-Away post and get your entry in!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Quilt found in N. Wilkesboro, NC.

Stay on the lookout for those things simply extraordinary! 

I think this is "supposed" to be a churn dash quilt - but look at how all of those corner triangles just go their own way. Crazy pants!

Love it!

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!



  1. I've flown twice in the last 4 months. Of course I wore a mask since they were still mandated but I'm going to keep on wearing a mask on flights as a precaution. I didn't eat or drink anything during my flights, why take a chance? Enjoy the quiet time at home, happy stitching!

  2. Your post really hit home with me. I share the same concerns and worries about airline travel and all other things Covid. I really appreciate that you have kept your guests and yourself safe during the pandemic. On a personal note, your blog and the Quiltville quilt group have been daily high notes during the pandemic and now during the Ukrainian invasion! Thank you!

  3. We flew to Nebraska last October. I hear you and feel the same. Our world has changed, The PTSD feelings are there. I wore my mask an will again next time I fly in June. My desire to go and see a Place I've never been is stronger than my fear. I am grateful for my Health everyday, not everyone is lucky that way even with the Vax. Glad Hubby is on a Brothers trip. Guys need that too. My Creative mess is spread to every corner. Gotta clear another trail to my UFO'S to be Quilted. It's hard to resist the Patriotic project. Got the Table Runner book Yesterday. Can't wait to see your finished Runner. Happy Thursday.

  4. I much prefer 321 to 77. It's the best kept driving secret.

  5. I started flying again May last year. Fully vaccinated and fully masked. I boostered at 8 months. I flew this week, mask on. That stupid FL judge move didn't take my mask off. For me (a healthcare provider), it's a way of life and I could care less what others think. I've stayed healthy and not infected anyone else so I sleep well at night. I will say though, being in a red state, there weren't 5 masks in the airport or the plane which should surprise no one. 1 of my flight attendants also masked and he gifted me a huge smile with his eyes when he entered the plane with a mask properly in place.

    LOVE your red/white/blue heart project. And Cheers to that lovely clean stove.

    Happy Thursday Bonnie :-)

  6. I haven't flown in 10 years. Looking back I usually got sick with cold or flu after being confined in a plane for hours. I will never go on public transportation without one again. Sure beats being sick when you get home.

  7. i understand your concern and nerves. My Dad flew to the UK from Australia before Christmas. I sent FFP3 masks to him and explained how to 'fit test' the masks. I didn't see him for a month after he arrived because I didn't trust that he wouldn't catch anything on the plane. when he did come briefly we wore masks in the house. on his second visit he didnt tell me that his wife had covid and I was so angry with him and still am because i let my guard down and gave a hug.

  8. Oh yes, it’s so worrisome to be in groups and crowded spaces without masks. And my heart just aches for those immunosuppressed or otherwise at great risk. So many people have cheerfully left them behind and locked at home so they can be “normal”and not wear a mask.

  9. Oh,Bonnie I so get the social PTSD lite! I have anxiety leaving the house but I often feel better once I do. Blessings and happy spring cleaning, hope it helps. 😊

  10. Bonnie,
    Mary Jo's Cloth Store may be gone. But there is another place I try to visit each year on my route between Canada and Florida. That is Fancy Gap Pottery and Fabric Outlet on Pottery Drive, just off I-77 in Tennessee. Great prices and tons of fabric. You'll be near Mt. Airy from the Andy Griffith Show.

  11. Bonnie, if memory serves me right you watch shows on Netflix. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you watch Barack Obama's documentary on national parks. The photography was absolutely breathtaking. Mother Nature doesn't care what the color of our skin is or what our political or religious are so everyone should watch this wonderful series.

  12. I'm still trying to find a balance between irrational fear and common sense caution. I didn't know Mary Jo's had closed. I was just in Greensboro, but didn't have time to venture to quilt shops. A shop I'd visited near Leesburg, VA is also closed now.

  13. I tried to count the number of times I've flown in the last two-and-a-half years. At least three times in 2020. Maybe six times in 2021. I've already flown once this year and have 4 other trips planned for the rest of the year including two international flights. My 90 year old mom is 2 flights away. My Daughter and her family are 3 flights away. After the first extended time apart in 2020 I decided life is short and I was not going to let Covid control me in every area of my life. I live and work alone. I needed people around me! I do take precautions before I leave, while traveling, and when I arrive at my destination. As my mom ages and the grandkids grow I'm glad I made this decision for me. (And they all beg me to visit more often!)

    1. I totally understand where you are coming from. I am sure it wasn't easy making this choice and I am glad that you are able to connect with your family. It is important for all of you.

  14. When I am stressed, or angry or even sad, I clean. It gets me through the rough patch and my house looks good as well, when I am done. Travel is still a bit unnerving to me. We had to fly from the west coast to get home to NC when we moved in December, but other than that, I just won't do it yet. I know I am vaccinated and boosted and have masks. I just really don't trust other people to do what's right. Isn't that sad?

  15. Agree about masking 😷 still most everywhere. Tips on cleaning those iron grates?

  16. Bonnie, I agree. I don' understand the world. Thankfully, that doesn't stop me from sitting at my sewing machine and making stuff!

  17. Masking is the new normal for many of us - regardless of the opinions of some "leaders". Thank you, Bonnie, for allowing us to share with you our concerns about our health and the health of our loved ones. Quilting is usually a solitary activity, as is cleaning our kitchen appliances! I look forward each day to reading about your quilting adventures - and the adventures of your canine/feline quilting buddies. Just bought a harness like Zoey's - for the 5-pound chihuahua.

  18. Just figured out how to post a comment..duh. you don't live too far from me and I wondered how you go to see the ponies? I live in Newland but wander the mountains when I'm not quilting. While living in Boquete, Panama I followed you doing the Good Fortune quilt. I finished all but the lat border but hope to finish it since I got the pattern again. Love the way it has turned out. Hopefully one day we will meet in Wesr Jefferson on one of my joints around the mountains.


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