Friday, August 28, 2015

And Well, I HAD to Stop!

I didn’t plan to stop, but I couldn’t help myself!

The car needed gas.

I needed a restroom break!

Besides –there might be hidden treasures in here waiting to be discovered, and if I DIDN’T stop – I might miss them!

I really only hemmed and hawwed for a few moments before my car, already on auto-pilot, took the exit and headed for the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, Virginia.

All the Way to Bedford, PA!

Yesterday was my long driving trip to Bedford Pennsylvania!

I have three days of quilty fun in store – starting with a Smith Mountain Morning workshop this morning, a lecture this evening, a Talkin’ Turkey workshop tomorrow and a Carolina Christmas on Sunday. 

It’s going to be a weekend packed full of fabric, fun and laughter ---bring on the scraps!

Thought it was a long day, I really loved it because it was a DRIVING day.  Driving days are rare, but when they do come about – they put ME in control.

I’m not at the beckon call of airports, airlines and baggage claim mishaps.

I leave when I want.  I pack what I want – and MORE! I stop when I want, I SHOP when I want – and I listen to what I want, even turning the music up loud and belting out a song if I so feel like it.

I can catch up with friends on long phone conversations thanks to the wonder of bluetooth and hands free.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It’s Quilty Box Time! Give-Away!

It’s that time again!  And have I ever got a Quilty Box for you!

I had to set this box aside while I was opening up yesterday’s machine arrival, but I spent some time with these goodies last evening!

I have plans!

Yes I do!

What” You’ve never heard of Quilty Box?  Let me back track a little bit.
  • Quilty Box is a monthly subscription box. They offer plans from $44-48/mo.
  • 5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions are donated to Quilts for Kids - a non-profit which donates quilts for children in need
  • Each month we have 4 or more products (Fabric, patterns, thread, or notions)
  • Our retail value of the products in the box is always more than $50

And I Shall Call Her Lily!

THIS arrived yesterday!

Oh, I am so thrilled!

I was contacted by email while I was in Idaho by a woman who is “thinning the herd” of vintage sewing machines --

Her words, not mine, but the term made me giggle!

Would I be interested in a Davis Vertical Feed machine?  She had seen my  post about Becky and her machines while I was in Spokane earlier this year.

Would I?!?  How could I NOT?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Winner Winner! Quilts from 100 Blocks!

It’s Drawing time!

It’s Drawing time!

And I think we’ve broken a record here!

A personal high at least!

As I sit here to push the button on the Random Number Generator, we have 1,813 entries for this Give-Away!


There are an awful lot of you wanting these two magazine copies AND the 5 fat quarters to go with them!

So I won’t hold you any longer..let’s get down to it!

Out of the Murky!

These are the blocks I was working on during Quilt-Cam last night!  If you missed it, remember you can always catch the re-runs – I’ve linked them all under the Quilt-Cam at the top of the blog!

The story goes that I started these blocks a few years ago, thinking they would be an Addicted to Scraps column, but they were too labor intensive and the crumb piecing would force the column to take up more than one page - -it would be better as a full project.   So on to the back burner it went.

And stayed there.

I uncovered a couple of blocks yesterday while looking for something DIFFERENT that I could work on for Quilt-Cams because let’s face it, neutral string sashings are just BORING after a while.  There are not many more of those to do and I was just wanting something ELSE.

Ahah.  Maybe it’s time for these to come forward?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Quilt-Cam 8/25/2015

It’s another Quilt-Cam night!

Are you ready to sew?

Do you have a project needing some attention?

Do you have fabrics to sort, press, cut and kit up?

This is a great time to do it, and I will do it WITH you!

Quilt-Cam doesn’t happen on a regular basis due to my schedule, but I am so happy when the stars align and I find myself home alone of an evening and I can just turn on the live webcam in my studio and you can see what goes on here.  And hopefully it encourages you to squeeze one more hour of productivity out of your day as well!

And remember, if you’ve missed any episodes, they are easily found under the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of the blog for viewing at your leisure!

I love everything about this photo sent in by Nancy in Arizona who joined us during our last Quilt-Cam opportunity.

She writes:

Some Very Fine Finishes!

It’s been a while since I have shared some of YOUR finishes on the blog!

I’ve had some gorgeous eye candy in my email lately, and I just can’t delay any longer!

Get a load of this Talkin’ Turkey in pinks and purples by Evelyn in Nova Scotia!

It dances, it sings, it’s full of scrappy strings!  I just love it!

Evelyn came down to see me last winter when I was in Florida – remember the trip where I got so so so so sick with the bilateral ear infection and bronchitis and pushed through?  Yep!  That trip!  And I couldn’t have made it through without the kind wishes and helps from quilters like Evelyn.

She writes:
Good Morning Bonnie!
Attached please find photos of my versions of Grand Illusion and Talkin' Turkey.
 Evelyn’s Grand Illusion! SO fun!
Grand Illusion was my first 'Bonnie' mystery but not my last. I had so much fun through all the steps. Even though I've been quilting for almost 40 years I learned new things while making this quilt.
The 'perfect scant quarter inch' and how to get it was one of the best. How my piecing has improved. The binding on this is the narrowest I've ever attempted and suits this quilt perfectly. 
Talkin' Turkey, started with you in February in Florida and finished in August. This has to be my very favourite quilt so far! I call it Pretty in Pink. So many memories are wrapped up in this quilt! More than three years worth.
From the planning stages, getting my first 'Featherweight' (thanks in part to you and your photos of so many students using them), to my first trip to Florida, to meeting you as well as all the wonderful ladies who attended those three workshops, to coming home to what seemed like endless snowstorms, a litter of seven puppies putting a dent in the progress and so many more.
I never realized that I had so many different pinks and purples. And, as you can see by one of the attachments, purely by accident, my favourite block of string piecing, that happy little dog!
I now use my little Featherweight for everything but the actual quilting. And all thanks to you.
I look forward to this years mystery as well as reading your posts every day. One of my favourite sayings is that you learn something new every day. And, at least in my case, this is very true!
I hope to join you on Quilt-cam tonight if I get home from work in time.
Meanwhile, have a wonderful day!
Your friend in Quilting,
Evelyn O'Brien
Talkin’ Turkey is from my book String Fling while Grand Illusion is found in the digital downloads section of my Quiltville Store.

Another amazing finish came from Deb in Dallas!


Check out her Quiltville Row by Row!

Long time no write.  Sorry for that.  I hope you are just lovin’ life.

As you know, I was working on a row robin in which I used your patterns for each quilt that came to me.  I also did a duplicate row to keep.  Here is my finished top made from all the duplicate rows.
It still needs to be quilted but you get an idea.  No idea if I am using borders yet or not.  It was fun and definitely challenging to find blocks that would work with their colors and quilt styles.  Obviously, if this top was all preplanned for myself, the colors would all mesh perfectly – but I love it just the way it is. 
What a great memory to have.  Thank you for the wonderful patterns you continually send our way.
Deb in Dallas
This is incredible!  I love what she has done, sizing the blocks in some cases to fit the format ---look how fin this is!  I spy Maveric Stars, Midnight Flight, Talkin Turkey, Big Bang from Grand Illusion, Virginia Bound, Wanderlust, and Jared Takes a Wife!
What a great idea, Deb! Thanks for sharing!
I also received an email from Linda who wanted to share a couple of Weed Whacker quilts she has recently finished!
I loved reading her email and the story behind how these quilts came to be.
She writes:
I am an amateur quilter. Until this year, the only quilting I had ever done was in the form of patchwork potholders – not a huge undertaking!
Over the years I had sewn flannel pajamas for each of my two nieces as their Christmas gifts, plus various dresses and blouses for many of their birthdays. I saved up the remnants from these projects, with the idea of one day making each niece her own patchwork quilt from the fabrics of her PJs and dresses.
The girls are now 23 and 20 years old, respectively, so that added up to quite a few fabrics for each girl.


Quilt with blue borders

This past summer I decided the time had come to sew those quilts. Somehow I stumbled upon your weed-whacker pattern on the Internet. Using it, I was able to assemble both quilts entirely through machine-stitching – a relative breeze.
I did them in tandem, to apply lessons learned on one quilt for the same step on the other quilt. I machine-tufted the pieced centers and did “stitch-in-the-ditch” quilting of the borders. (As you can see, I managed to use up some of my “bonus” squares in the pieced stripe of those borders!)
During the football games of the past two weekends, I hand-finished the binding, completing the binding on the second quilt just this past weekend.
The finished quilts are each 90 by 90 inches, one primarily blue, the other in shades of pink and burgundy (see photos below). The plan is to present them to my nieces for their respective birthdays this year.


Quilt with burgundy borders

I want you to know I really enjoyed this project, especially the challenge of working with some wildly diverse prints (e.g. The Cat in the Hat right next to a “girly” rosebud print). I committed myself to using every single fabric for each girl, distributing the variety of prints and colors as effectively as possible over the entire quilt top.
So thank you for your delightful weed-whacker pattern, and for your excellent instructions, as well as for the many other helpful tips I managed to glean from your web site. I’ll have to let you know my nieces’ reactions when they receive their quilts later this year! 
L.R. Andrews
What a great tribute to two lovely nieces!  I just know they are going to love these quilts and all of the memorable fabrics in them.

Weed Whacker is one of those quilts that is often missed because it is the very last pattern down at the bottom of the list under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog. 
It is made from 2’’ strips and 3 1/2’’ squares and all of her bonus units from behind the stitch and flip corners ended up in her wonderful pieced borders!
Is there a Weed Whacker quilt in YOUR future?
Our next Fine Finish is from Sue with an unexpected Carolina Christmas!
She writes:
Hi Bonnie

I caught your comment last week about using black as a background, so I thought I’d send this photo.  It’s the first time I’ve used a black background, and definitely will again.
Carolina Christmas from Scraps & Shirttails II 
It’s your Carolina Christmas in all batiks with blue/turquoise instead of green.  It also has a goof that I just found now when I took the picture.  I put the Fox & Geese blocks together wrong.  I was crushed when I first noticed it, but now I really love the way it changed the pattern to make the turquoise diagonal. 
At least I did them all the same and don’t have to pick anything out!  It’s not quilted yet – who knows when THAT will happen, and I have set aside a red batik for the binding.

I have all of your books, and love all of your patterns.  Thanks for all the work you do, and all the free things you give us.
This quilt is truly stunning, Sue!
And you didn’t put them together WRONG.  You put them together DIFFERENT!  And I love that!  So I hope you tell everyone that you did it on PURPOSE!  You can OWN THIS..and flaunt it!
You know, we really need to stop putting ourselves down. pointing out what we did wrong to everyone admiring our work.  It’s a bad habit – let’s break it!
And while we are at it..we need to stop doing the same thing to others, pointing out their “differentness”.  It cracks me up when someone tells someone from another country that they drive on the WRONG side of the road, or that they do this WRONG, or that WRONG – it’s not wrong, it’s just DIFFERENT and we need to embrace that!
And that’s my soapbox for today.
And yes, just as Evelyn mentioned at the top of this post…tonight IS QUILT-CAM!!  I’m excited to spe4nd some evening sewing time with you.  I’ll see you here on the blog at 9pm Eastern.
Happy Tuesday, everyone!

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Monday, August 24, 2015

And They’re Here!

Along with re-vamping my website, I am planning on adding more variety to my offerings of books, notions and tools!

I’ve looked long and hard for titles that I thought would go along well with not only MY personal interests, but with my readership in general.

I know you are a group of fabulous Quilty-folk who LOVE color.

You LOVE the satisfaction of making something wonderful from what you already have on hand.

You love quick piecing, fast finishes, and something that holds your interest over time so you don’t get bored with the construction process.

I know you like you know me!  We are all in this scrappy mess together!

So let me introduce you to the four new titles in the Quiltville Store.