Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Farewell, Lincolnton Quilters!

We fought the weather all weekend.

Finding a time to get "over the porch rail" photo time was difficult!

For one thing - afternoon photos are a must because the long porch side of the house faces west.  We need the afternoon sun on the porch to ensure that everyone isn't in shadow.

And then there was the wind!  

It was the wind that had us doing the photos for the February Quiltvillians inside last retreat - but we were hoping that we could make this work!

Monday, February 27, 2023

A Weekend of Stitching!

That nice weather we had?

Well, it kind of went belly up (as predicted) but that was no bother - once the quilters are in, they are good to sew through whatever Mother Nature throws them!

And there was no chance of ever going hungry - there was enough food for two weeks - for a 4 night stay.  LOL! (That's not a complaint either! We quilters need our stamina for all of those late night hours of creating!)

I took this photo while I was playing hooky from my own "to do list", escaping to visit with the quilters next door and just take a load off for a while.  I love the conversations that happen and getting to know quilters just "that much" better.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Drawing Inspiration From Everywhere!

I have had so many requests for sharing the original quilt that inspired me to make Butterfly Kisses.

I have been meaning to get down to taking these photos all week - and here we are at Saturday.

Better late than never as they say!

The things I love about this vintage quilt - and it really doesn't look like Butterfly Kisses at all in this form - are the fabrics in it.

There are sweet checks, plaids and ginghams, some solids, some indigos, and there are a few places where 1930s prints make their presence known so there is no doubting the era in which it was made.

And that double fan quilting?  To die for!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Hanging with the Lincolnton Quilters!

Quiltville Inn is full once again with a wonderful group of ladies hailing from not-too-far-off Lincolnton, NC!

February is a great retreat month for those within driving distance - we don't have to worry about flights being cancelled due to heavy snow or ice.

And let's face it - this has been a weird winter to beat all weird winters so far.  

While 6 months ago we were worried about ice storms and road conditions, yesterday we were nearly 70 degrees!

February is still great for sewing up a storm - and that's just what these gals got up to - while opening some windows for some spring fresh air.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Waiting On the Bloomin'!

The daffies are ready to pop!

Will it happen while the Lincoln Quilt Guild ladies are here on retreat from Lincolnton, NC?

I hope so!

I've been doing all of the encouraging I can over the past week - and yesterday there was some lovely sunshine and rather warm-ish temps for late February in the Virginia Highlands.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Turning Corners!

I promised I'd share photos of my freehand Baptist fans and the thrill (HA!) of turning a corner.

The best things about fans?  You just quilt them until they run off the edge.

If you look closely you can see that my lines are neither totally straight - nor completely evenly spaced.  That's just the way it goes with eyeballing something - and that is where excitement lies.

Sure, I do the best I can - but I'm not worried if a line wobbles or one arc is closer to the one below it than the one above it.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

President's Day Escape!

What's a girl to do when the mail order is done, the inn laundry all taken care of, and finds herself with time on her hands?

Well - we don't have to guess, do we?

Of course there were a few errands that needed to be run - the whole reason for heading to town was to pick up some groceries we were out of and needed.  

But when that puts me in the vicinity of antique malls and thrift shops with time on my hands - I say go for it!  

Monday, February 20, 2023

A Weekend In The Strings!

This is where things currently stand with my current string star project.

Oh my gosh!  It's better than I thought it would be - 

Even son Jeff, who came over for breakfast and a visit yesterday (best highlight of the weekend!) said - "Wow mom!  That is just so cool!"

That's the best approval in the world, isn't it? When one of your kids jumps in with thumbs up?

There was only one problem.

All of my Saturday sewing used up ALL of the neutral string triangles, so you know what that means for Sunday? Yup!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

String Star Progress -

The exciting part - but also the very pin-matchy part has begun.

Row 3 has been added, and it is really fun to see the design emerge with each addition.

But that pin-matchy thing?  Yeah.  It slows me down! LOL!

I think that's why I love half-square and quarter-square triangles and squares or rectangles.  Anything with right angles is easier for me to just nest the seams and forgo the pins.

But equilateral triangles?  It's all about attempted point matching. (Notice I said ATTEMPTED!) which means pins, pins and more pins.

Friday, February 17, 2023

They Logged It All Down!

I'm starting with something quilty and green.

The colors in this photo match what I saw yesterday when I went down to Bear Branch Road for a little road hike -

I had no idea what I would find as I had not been on this road since September.

It doesn't look the same - It's all changed.

And while I know this is good for the environment - that new trees will be planted, and they will grow tall and strong on this road that I love - it still brought such a feeling of empty brokenness. That everything has an end.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

All On A Mid-Month Wednesday!

It hit 60f yesterday!

You know what that means - this fair weather walker set it all aside mid-afternoon and headed out for some walking therapy.

And though I've taken photos of this area a bazillion times before over the past 6 years - I thought I'd post some more just to take you along with me for a bit.

Distance: 2.25 miles.  Calories burned 175.  Feeling pretty good about it all at this point!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Butterfly Kisses PDF Pattern Day!

Do you remember when I was digging in and making this quilt? 

"It's not like you!" "This is different for you!" they said.

Au contraire, mon amis! 

I have loved solids since I first fell in love with Amish style quilts in the 1980s, and they've had a place in my quilting life here and there all along the way. 

My escapades in solids tended to be of the small quilt/wall hanging variety - but through the years I amassed solid scraps enough to fill this bin:

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Wrapping It Up!

I came in to find Tonni and Renee playing Match Game to decide which corners go on which blocks for Tonni's Bristol quilt.

Everyone has worked so hard on their projects over the past week - I am so inspired!

It's been a wonderful week - weather weirdness and all.

Unfortunately we were unable to get "over the porch rail" quilt photos due to some extremely gusty cold winds yesterday afternoon - but in a pinch the dining room and the stairwell work!

Monday, February 13, 2023

A Wintery Mix Weekend!

This is the February Quiltvillians at breakfast on Saturday with much talk and anticipation over the predicted snow fall coming on Sunday.

You know last week was a yoyo as far as the weather reports were going.  It went from 1-3'' to 3'5 '' to 5-8'' to 8-12'' and back to 3-5''/

Would they just freaking make up their minds already?

Our Floridians would really have liked to see some Appalachian snow fall while they are here....but really?

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sewing The Day Away!

The design walls are star spangled at Quiltville Inn this week as the group challenge to each make Bristol is in full swing!

These blocks are Tracy's - and they are adorable!

Even more fun for me - do you remember last year when I opened up the bins of recycled shirt stash in the cellar and let them have at it?  I am loving seeing these shirts come out of the darkness and into the light in these wonderful quilts-in-the-making!

Oh, don't worry - they didn't take them ALL - and there are more shirt quilts in my future too.

The secret ingredient?  Adding so many fun and modern neutrals to the shirt plaids to brighten and lighten and add some whimsy.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Let the 2023 Retreat Season Begin!

It's all fun and games once the cars are unloaded and projects start going up on the design walls that have stood too empty for the past two months!

I'm happy to welcome back the February Quiltvillians - it's a wonderful reunion and my heart is soaring to be part of it.

Yes, I still have pinch me moments - this dream come true still gives me all the feels and I can't believe we are in our 4th season.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Quilting Little Things:

Oh, the joy of small do-able projects and quick finishes!

As I tackled the cleaning out of the utility/linens room at Quiltville Inn earlier this week - refolding and replacing PILES of big quilts. (I love big quilts, and I can not lie!) I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Friend Martha stepped in with these kind words while we were making beds on Tuesday morning:

"Just look at this legacy! Look at what you've made - all of the designing, the piecing, the quilting - MILES of binding!  It's something to be proud of!"

And all I felt was buried underneath SO MUCH.

It's all good - it can all be gifted away at some point.  It will all go into good hands in due time.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Triple Treat Finish!

I took the last stitch into the binding of my Triple Treat quilt last night.

There is something about a red binding that makes it all that much better.

It's like an exclamation point at the end stating "Okay, I'm done now."

Especially on a super-scrappy-everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink quilt that has no borders.

I just love it!

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

It took All Day!

I tackled some big jobs at Quiltville Inn in preparation for Wednesday's retreat opening.

I have been wanting to redo the linen storage room off the upstairs foyer since before I broke my foot.

It seemed that everything that was considered overflow from seasonal d├ęcor to returning quilt group storage (Because they had another group coming the next month, and that's okay by me!) to lost and found left behind items and - OH, SO MANY QUILTS just found places to land "wherever".

Yesterday the time came.  And yes, it took ALL DAY.

Monday, February 06, 2023

Chilhowie In Pattern Form!


Good Morning, Quiltvillians!

Our Chilhowie Mystery Season was the best one yet in my book!

I'm so grateful for all that participated during our mystery season, and I look forward to quilting again with me next time!

If you are new here, our Quiltville Winter Mystery begins with the introductory post being released on Halloween.  The introduction includes colors, yardage requirements, special tools needed if any, along with background information.

The mystery starts in earnest on Black Friday, the day after our Thanksgiving day here in the USA.

Mysteries usually run around 7 or 8 weeks with each new "clue" being released on subsequent Fridays.

A month after the reveal the mystery is removed from my website, rewritten, and presented to you as a PDF pattern for purchase.

That happened this morning!

Saturday, February 04, 2023

2023: Vietnamese Year of the Cat!

I'm super excited to see this latest stitchery project coming together!

May is right around the corner, and this is the project I'll be presenting to my Vietnam travelers in early May! 

"But Bonnie - a cat? Why a cat? Isn't it the year of the rabbit?"

As China, Japan and other East Asian countries celebrate the start of the Lunar Year of the Rabbit, the people of Vietnam will be an exception - welcoming instead the Year of the Cat.

There is no official explanation for when and why the Vietnamese embraced the cat instead of the rabbit. They also replaced the Ox with the Buffalo on the 12 year lunar calendar.

Whatever the reason, Year of the Cat works for me - cue up the Al Stevens version:

Friday, February 03, 2023

Visiting Goldfield, AZ!

Back in the 1890′s Goldfield boasted 3 saloons, a boarding house, general store, blacksmith shop, brewery, meat market and a schoolhouse. And a brothel.

Today, it's open for tourists who come from all over to experience just a tiny slice of Arizona's wild, wild west along the Apache Trail.

It may be kitschy but I am an enthusiastic tourist when it comes to things like this. I love to walk through, poke around, see what's what.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Decompressing My Way Home -

It seems I hit the motherlode of spool cabinets yesterday on my journey from Greensboro, NC to Mouth of Wilson VA.

Not that I need one.  Not that I can afford one!  But I love seeing them - 

I imagine these beauties sitting proudly near the checkout counter in the local general store, and the customer - what was she wearing? Asking for a spool of black, a spool of white - and perhaps a vibrant pink for the dress she is making for Easter, or cousin Ruth's wedding.

What a history these simple pieces of thread organization have seen!

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Where in the World is Tortilla Flat?

This post is full of travel photos - shots taken through windows in a moving car, a bit blurry, a bit too zoomed in - but what a day with so much scenery!

First things first - I arrived into Greensboro, NC last evening around 10:15pm and stayed overnight in a hotel in Greensboro so I could drive home today in the daylight. So this girl is ALMOST home!

When Dad suggested we "take a drive" on Monday, I was intrigued enough by the name "Tortilla Flat" to say "Let's go!"

What ensued was a wonderful journey through backroads winding around the Superstitions mountains.

Family has lived in Arizona since I was 15.  Why had we never done this before?