I'm using the same background wool blend on all the blocks. Each basket will be a different wool color or pattern.
Sunday, August 30
I'm using the same background wool blend on all the blocks. Each basket will be a different wool color or pattern.
Wednesday, August 26
Back to stitching chatter which I seem to do well at...............Night before last, I asked my husband if he had a long ruler, something longer than a yardstick. He said sure and produced the 72" charmer you see in the photo below.
A couple of months ago, Christin at National Nonwovens sent me a stack of their new Bamboo felt. You can see it pictured below with one of my bears who has noted "ooooooh, it's so soft!" and "Yum! what delicious colors, too!"
I placed the stack of felt where I could see it and wondered what I might make. I came up with an idea and only needed to give it a go. But then ....... my mother gave my daughter, Collette, a bag filled with crocheted jar lid covers that she had made. Collette wasn't sure she would use them so she passed them on to me. At first, I wasn't sure I could use them either as I didn't have any jars in need of lid covers. I put the bag aside.........not too far from the felt............and then, I looked at it and thought, "Hey, I think I could use those to make pincushions!" And the rest is, as they say.........history!The bag was filled with about a dozen colorful jar lid covers. I put one on a jar of buttons, and then turned the rest into pincushions. I used the Bamboo felt from NNW to make stuffed balls that would pop into the center of the jar lid covers. There's a little more to it than that but if you're interested, I could do a little tutorial.
Tuesday, August 25
The doll was given to her by an elderly neighbor lady. Several years ago, my mother gave the doll to me. The dress the doll is wearing is one my mother made from scraps from a dress she made for me when I was a little girl. As she told me, it's not the right fabric for the doll's age but it's pretty. She made another dress for the doll that is a pale blue soft taffeta with embroidery so this sweet little miss can have a change of finery if needed. :-)
Monday, August 24
I still can't believe I won three prizes that evening. And the nice thing is that you only put your name in the drawing for the items you want. My odds of winning were good on the purse kit with pattern (on the left) and the ziploc filled bag of scraps (on the right) as there weren't many names in the drawing bags for these items. However, there were lots of names in the bag for the Loon basket you see in the photo so I was very lucky to win that!! The Loon is the state bird of Minnesota so I thought the basket was really cool. I love Mary E. books and the candle that's in the basket smells so good!
I have some plans for the pile of scraps but right now that idea is still just "a thought". I also have plans for the Salsa fabric in the Loon basket. Again, it's just "a thought". I have plenty of projects in my "to do" pile and don't need to add any more. I am currently working on blocks in my Seasons BOM and tracing the Snowmen designs so I can do them in Redwork. Won't be long before cool weather comes to Minnesota so I'll have plenty of projects to keep me busy when the snow falls! No danger of that anytime soon, though. And thank goodness for that, as the Minnesota State Fair opens this Thursday for twelve days of fun in the sun!! Not sure if we will go or not. I'm still not quite "up to par" with my back pain issues so I am thinking we might not get there this year. There will be thousands who will be attending so we won't be missed. :-)
I loved the designs the minute I saw them and knew I wanted to make this to hang at Christmas this year. I printed them out but didn't stitch. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was at JoAnn Fabrics and I found this striped fabric that was perfect for the blocks. It has some rose color in it which allowed me to introduce that color in the blocks. I want to hang this in my favorite pink bedroom and it will look loverly in there! The fabric inspired me to "get stitching" and I really got going. I had a lot of "waiting" opportunities (translation - "waiting" equals "time spent waiting for husband to get home from work, finish his projects, etc. and come to dinner, plus time spent waiting for laundry and cooking!) so I really got busy stitching. My goal was to be done with all eight designs that she has posted so far and then I'll be ready to stitch the last one, number nine, as soon as it's posted. What a plan! The designs were so quick to stitch and if you want to do them, you will find them at Gail's blog. Just click here and you will find them! As I mentioned in my retreat posts, a discussion came up and we wondered what word will be on the final ninth block. "Comfort" was the word we think she might use and "Rejoice" was another choice. I'm thinking that if those aren't the words, I may make a few extra blocks of my own with those words and perhaps a couple others. I'm not sure yet if I will add the sashing or just how I will pull this all together. I have a space issue where I want to hang this so that will help me determine the size. Thanks go to Gail for sharing such a lovely, lovely design!!
Just a few more thoughts................I love BOM's. I know many of you do, too. Fellow blogger, Crispy, says she "collects" BOM's. I collect BOM's, too. :-) I also like to design my own BOM's and love to make the blocks. Sometimes my friends finish the actual project sooner than I do. :-) My friend, Laura, finished her quilt with the Seasons blocks long ago and mine are still waiting to be assembled. That was why I started the monthly Seasons BOM because I thought I might get it done if I had others making the blocks along with me. So what do I do? I add more block designs with my snowmen series and then I start more blocks in wool and woolfelt and now I have another project to sew together. Ah, I know I'm not alone in this situation! Laura and I are also working on a BOM called "Strolling the Block" (it was an HGTV project that is no longer available). She is way ahead of me! She has all her blocks fused and ready to do the embroidery and embellishment and I think her blocks are finished up through July. I'm just starting April. All my blocks are done for my own BOM but now I am doing them in wool and woolfelt so that's a whole other series to lay out pieces, cut and assemble and then have them ready for stitching. I tell you all this because I know many of you know this secret.........that if you have something ready to stitch, then time spent waiting isn't wasted anymore but is put to good use. Really calms the nerves, too. :-)
So, if I had a glass of wine (and I'm not a wine drinker so the odds of that are slim), I would toast to BOM's because they are such a fine bit of needlework that keep us happy! And we all know ..... if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! Hope you are having a good Monday!
Sunday, August 23
And the table setting was so pretty it looked good enough to eat, too!! Once again, the food was so good that I forgot to take a picture of it. There was Eggs-strada (a bread, egg and ham dish that was soooo yummy), more fresh fruit, some Portuguese bread that was really good and the left-over salads from the day before. And for dessert, we could choose the chocolate mousse or the cobbler. We all agreed we shouldn't need to eat for a week but that didn't happen.
Now, for those of you that think Minnesota is the land of snow and cold, well, this picture shows the sunnyside of Minnesota weather...............
Laura spent most of Saturday working on this awesome paper-pieced snowman wall-hanging. And if you like to paper-piece, then go to here and you can check out the work of Cindi Edgerton and her Very Special Collection Patterns.
And Bonny shared some quilt tops that she recently made. She's holding this colorful version and you can see one in Civil War prints on the table. The design is created by sewing charm squares together then cutting a certain way to get the pinwheel blocks. She did a demo for us and I forgot to ask where she got the pattern. I'll have to find out and let you all know.
Collette got so much done on her cross stitch piece that she realized she'll be able to get it finished by Christmas. Plus she got one block done for her 30's quilt that I'm helping her make. I started my blocks the first year I came to Bonny's and that's about the only time I work on 30's print projects. It's become sort of a "tradition". My main goal in coming to Bonny's is to relax and get refreshed and enjoy a weekend of friendship.
So, that's it for Bonny's Retreat for this year. Had to leave you with one last look at that pretty purple flower. This one was taken after our brunch on Sunday. I am totally enamored with this flower and must have some in my garden when we start planting in the spring. There'll be plenty of time this winter to find it in one of the seed catalogs that come in the mail!
Saturday, August 22
Just before dinner, though, there was a little bit of "show 'n tell". Sharon found these vintage afghans at that shop we found after we left "Main Street Cotton Shop". Arlis was driving and mentioned that there was a thrift shop. We all agreed it would make a good stop. We all found lots of goodies and mine will show up in a later post.
The meal was excellent and dessert was a real treat ........... a chocolate mousse with crushed malted milk balls on top and a fresh strawberry. Fabulous!
Then it was back to the basement for more sewing. My projects at Bonny's have all been related to three 30's fabric quilts that I've been working on for seven years. There is no rush to this. Part of this is therapy as far as I'm concerned. :-) Anyway, I was ready to pin one of the quilt tops to batting and backing and Arlis offered to help. I was bummed because I seemed to have bought a really thick batt and wasn't all that crazy about it. We were almost done pinning it when suddenly I caught my hand in the batting as I reach to pin, and it separated. I had not fully unfolded the batting. No wonder it was so thick!! Oh, duh, how could I???? We all got a really good laugh out of this and everyone pitched in to un-pin and then pin again til the quilt top was pinned right. With the quilt pinned, I can hand-quilt it while I watch TV (like Project Runway or Dancing with the Stars when it returns).
but it did! I don't know what these flowers are but I think they are gorgeous. Wonder if they could be "captured" in a quilt block?? Hmmm, could be!
Friday, August 21
This is the start of our day on Saturday morning. That's Sharon, Arlis and Laura preparing to eat the delicious breakfast Bonny prepared. There was that huge bowl of mixed fruit and sausages and on our plates is a blueberry German pancake hotdish. Syrup was optional but it was so good who needed syrup!
After breakfast we got right back to our sewing. This is the design wall where we posted our projects as we got things done. There's Laura's Halloween wallhanging and below it is a wallhanging that Sharon is making. She spent all of Friday evening cutting out the intricate pieces for it. It is going to be so cute. The blue and white blocks are Stephanie's project and above it are some small sampler blocks that Arlis was working on. The 30's blocks are ones Collette did last fall but we wanted representation from all of us. :-) Many of you may recognise the purse panels that are Nanette's purse pattern. More on that later. And way up in the corner are my embroidered blocks from Gail Pan's Christmas BOM (they are so sweet and if you scroll down on my sidebar and click on her block, you will find all of them). I didn't do them at the retreat. I started them a little over a week ago and got one done each day. I loved the blocks so much that I had to bring them to share. A discussion came up and we wondered what word will be on the final ninth block. "Comfort" was the word we think she might use and "Rejoice" was another choice. I'll take a close-up photo and post tomorrow.
Here I am getting ready to do add the batting and backing to the purse panels so I can machine quilt them. Unfortunately, my walking foot sounded like a robot walking across my machine and it just wasn't working right. Sooo, I had to put that project away. There's other stuff in this picture that kept me busy and I'll get to that later, too. :-)
And then there was this delicious meal! I don't mean to make you hungry but oh, was this good. That's fresh cucumbers and onions for salad and then tomatoes with fresh mozarella cheese and some German style potatoes. It was that Chicken Pocket on the plate that really had us all saying "Oh, this is soooooo good!" Bonny said that it's just Pillsbury Crescent rolls (two for each pocket) filled with a chicken filling (there was cream cheese in it) and then McCormick's "Crustins" sprinkled on top. It's grocery day for me so I'll be picking up all the fixings so I can make these!
And as if that wasn't enough, there was this blueberry/peach cobbler with ice cream that melted in your mouth. We all ate every bit of it!
here's a view as we entered..........
and here's a view from the back of the shop. We wandered about, in and out of the fabrics and we all bought a little something . Then it was time to head back to Bonny's. Well, that was our intention but we found another little shop to stop at and that's where I'll begin tomorrow. :-)
Thursday, August 20
Instead of sharing retreat pictures right now, I'm going to interupt them with pics from the Prior Lake Quilter's Birthday Party that I went to on Monday evening.
Things got really exciting when it came time to draw the winners of the "Birthday Bags". Member Pam brought this idea to the group. It works like this.............each month, any member can bring a bag or basket of fabrics, pattern, kit, whatever that can be given as a prize. Beside each prize item is placed a small empty gift bag. Members must buy a "ticket" for 25 cents each (no limit) and then place those tickets (with their name on them) in the bag next to the prize they want to win. The money raised is used to fund programs for the group. Clever, huh?
There were more than twenty great prizes that were given away and as you can see above, it brought smiles and laughter when winners were named. Some of us got really lucky. That includes me! I won three prizes and a couple other members did, too. I only bought $3.00 worth of tickets so felt I was really lucky! I realized I haven't taken a picture of what I won so can't show you the goodies. I'll get to that tomorrow. And it's back to the retreat tomorrow, too. More rain is expected here on Thursday. I'm going to work on my BOM blocks so instead of sitting to stitch, I'll be sorting through my wool to find just the right fabrics for my blocks. It's only going to be in the 60's here so that is just the right cool weather to get me in the mood to work with wool!
Tuesday, August 18
Here is the room Collette (my daughter was in) and this is my room. I forgot to take pics of the other bedrooms. I was too anxious to get to the table, set up my machine and start playing in my fabric! Each room is so "comforting". There is no other way to describe it. Bonny has a special "touch" when it comes to decorating, right down to the chocolate on our pillows!! I think I would like chocolate on my pillow every night but I would have to put it there!! LOL!
Once the suitcases were stashed in our rooms, it was time to "get down to business"...........setting up the sewing machines and start having some sewing fun! We all bring our own projects and it's fun to see them "come alive" as the weekend goes along. One of the neat things about Bonny's retreat is that projects and our sewing machine are all we have to bring. She has a large cutting table with rotary cutters, rulers, mats and all you need for cutting fabric. There are two ironing "stations" and we each have a table where we can spread out our projects. There are books to browse through and quilts all around the room that keep us inspired. It's absolutely awesome!!
You can see Stephanie at the ironing board and there will pictures to come that show the beautiful quilt tops she finished up during the retreat. That's Collette with all the Halloween blocks in front of her. No, she didn't make them. I stitched them up a few months ago and gave them to her so she can make a wall quilt from them. I cut two sets of nine blocks each from Nanette's Cottage Block pattern so that we would each have a Halloween quilt. I still need to sew mine together. It's on my "to do" list. :-)
Arlis was at the ironing board pressing pieces for some awesome sampler blocks that you'll see soon. And Sharon was working on some Redwork. At this point we had only been at the retreat for about two hours and look how comfy we all are! Plus, we had enjoyed a scrumptious snack of chocolate drizzled chex mix along with fresh grapes, so who wouldn't be happy and comfy?!
By the end of the evening, Laura had finished stitching up this cute Halloween quilt top. Oh, and where I am and what was I working on? Well, I was taking pictures and flitting here and there to see all their projects. Then I started playing with a pincushion project that I brought along and well, I was just generally enjoying the fact that I did not have to worry about what to cook or when to clean, there was no phone to answer and no laundry to do or dog to walk. Doesn't get any better than that!!