Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Backtracking & Moving Forward!

"Stop the car!" I exclaimed from the passenger seat as The Hubster drove us up and over the top and around the bend.  "Look at all of that color change!"

I didn't think we'd actually get much this year.  There has been very little rain.  The creeks and even the New River are so low that they've got dry spots and sand bars that are usually covered with flowing water.

But yesterday?  Clouds.  Drizzle.  Wind.  And just enough color for me to ask him to stop.  He rolled down his driver's side window and I leaned in to snap this photo from where I sat.

It won't be long until trees are bare.  I need to enjoy every moment I can while Autumn lasts.

My lilac hedge....

And my quarter-mile drive on Saturday.

This happened over the weekend.

I pieced a back from some pink stash that needed weeding out. (Bye bye another 7+ yards!) and I set to machine basting the Signature Block quilt that I'll be hand quilting through the winter.

The bright cheery colors are bound to keep the winter blah's away, don't you think?

I don't know if you can tell - I chose a "cloud" type of clam shell design - scaled it huge and set my stitch length large to machine baste.

I don't baste in straight lines because I feel the basting is better if it goes several different directions.

Why the "cloud" instead of a serpentine?

Because an S curve doesn't have any points making it harder to advance to the next row.  Something with a point just works better with my Intelliquilter.

It didn't take long to reach the bottom!

Ready for quilting!

Now some may not want to pay their long arm quilter to do this - put in stitches that are all going to come back out as you hand quilt.

It takes just as long to load the quilt and to machine baste it as it does to just machine quilt it proper and leave all the stitching in.

The price is likely not much different than just letting them machine quilt it.

But for me it beats basting with pins or basting spray.  I have the machine to do it.

And yes - I basted with pink thread so it is easy to see against the white fabric in the quilt.  I also used up some odd bobbins in the back - win/win.

Because this has been machine basted - I can start quilting at the outside edge and move my way toward the center.

I'm cross-hatching in the outer border, with an elongated crosshatch in the inner border.

The center of the quilt will be done in free-hand fans.

Once I've done the borders I can go ahead and get the binding on so I don't have to deal with raw edges and batting fuzz.

And then there were nine.

Yesterday's round of Star of Hope block sewing.

Another Option.

Anyone who doesn't want to make the alternate block for Star of Hope - just keep making the Part 1 blocks.

I'm presenting this as an alternate layout of just the Star of David blocks.

You'll need to *partially piece" the half blocks because they are rotated in the layout. Don't worry - I'll do a demo on those later.

I'm thrilled to hear from so many of you who are already diving in.

And with that - it's time to draw for our two winners!

We had 4174 entries - I am completely blown away!

I'll be drawing for 2 winners who will each receive a Starshine PDF pattern from me and a Star Bright Color Roll from Cotton to Quilts.  The fabric rolls are a great way to add sparkle to your own scraps.

And yes, they have neutral rolls and blue rolls too.  Check them out!

And the winners are:

Bonnie Svetlik!

Shirley Eskey!

Congrats, ladies!  Please check your email inboxes for an email from me containing your pattern.  If you don't see it please check your spam and your other folders.

Please reply to that email with your mailing address and I'll have the folks at  Cotton to Quilts get your Star Bright Color Rolls out to you!

Doing the best I can to drown out the noise of the world, and find peace and quiet within my own heart. 

I love watching the seasons change. My world is filled with yellow/gold sprinkled with orange and some red. It's glorious.

Vintage Sugar Bowl quilt from my collection.

I did recreate this one and you can find the tutorial for Sugar Bowl under the Free Patterns tab.

Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone!



  1. Jackie B10:43 AM EDT

    Bonnie thanks for starting the stars of hope. If anyone is looking for a place to donate their quilt. Look up a JCC ( Jewish Community Center) in their state or city they will have good contacts in Israel

  2. As soon as I read about hand quilting the "album" quilt, I had an idea. How about quilting in encouraging words where a signature might be? Maybe just in random blocks.

  3. I love when my Hubby, the driver pulls over for a picture. The colors are pretty. I prefer my Sping though. Petunias are gone, coleus is spent. Even my Gladiolus are all bloomed out. I'm sure those 30's will brighten a Winter/fall evening. Congrats to the Winners! Waiting for October 31 like a trick or treater for the Mystery colors...

  4. Sue Mullane11:10 AM EDT

    Agree-the louder the world gets, the more quiet time in Nature is needed. This time of the year is glorious.

  5. I' m loving your autumn photos. We are beginning to get some color here---even tho the warm weather does not match my expectation of autumn weather. But soon enough, I suppose.
    Also, I love the border you chose for the Signature quilt. The gentle contrast with the center design is quite pleasing.
    Happy Day!

  6. That first photo of your neighborhood is super!!!!

  7. Your Signature Block Quilt is beyond words beautiful. I don't know if I missed it in prior posts, but will you be releasing the pattern at some point? I am anxious to make this one. It literally takes my breath away everytime I see it. Enjoy your wonderful fall colors. Ours are all gone, high in the Rockies. Our aspens are bare except for a few gold leaves hanging on. I like the variation of Star of Hope.

  8. Carole D2:54 PM EDT

    Thank you for responding to the atrocities in Israel and Ukraine with beautiful quilt designs that we can use to show our support for the innocent victims. I have been debating my alternative block and think I really like using just the Star of David. I miss taking classes with you but enjoy keeping up with your life through the blog. Right now circumstances prevent me from being able to come to a retreat, but maybe someday in the future I will be able to enjoy Quiltville Inn.

  9. Anonymous4:56 PM EDT

    We are in millersburg ohio and the tress are beautiful here.

  10. Anonymous11:57 PM EDT

    thanks for sharing the nature photos with us. here in central florida it is very rare to see leaves turn color. love it. really like your signature quilt. that should be happy in the dead of dreary winter. thanks. patti in florida

  11. Anonymous12:51 AM EDT

    Congratulations on winning, Bonnie S. and Shirley! How very fun to win the giveaway:)


  12. Anonymous6:33 AM EDT

    So peaceful to look out across the beauty the world provides. We were in southwest PA over the weekend and enjoyed lots of fresh air and a bit of fall dazzle. Thank you for the thoughts on machine basting. My first try at spray basting was ok but not as tight as I would have liked.
    Amy in NJ


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