Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bonnie Hunter!

I love Bonnie Hunter.  She has a website,, and a blog.  This gal has more energy in her little finger than I have in my whole body.  She lives in Wallburg, NC which is near my home (Midway), and she travels all over the US (and sometimes Internationally) teaching quilters how to make quilts using tiny pieces of fabric. 

  • Side note... Quilt fabric is now in the $12 a yard range and you don't want to waste any fabric.  Bonnie is the queen of using every little piece of fabric in her quilts.
But, I digress... Bonnie is highly in demand as a teacher.  Her calender bookings are now into 2016.  Sarah, with Silver Comet Stitchers, saved me a place in Bonnie's class.  I felt blessed.  Bonnie was teaching Jamestown Landing from her newest book, String Fling. 

See my little squares made from half square triangles?  Sometimes I think quilters are nuts.  We take fabric, cut it into little pieces, then sew it back together again.  Why?  Because we can. 

This quilt requires that I make 840 squares from 2-1/2 inch half square triangles.  Bonnie teaches us how to cut and sew them efficiently.  I like efficient!

Then you take the triangles and sew them together in blocks called a Churn Dash.  Churn Dash blocks are sewn together to make star blocks.  So, let's lay them out...

Oops... do you see the two blocks in the right corner/side?  Wrong way.  When you sew blocks together like this, there is a handy gadget to use called a seam ripper.  Ask me how I know!  Ripping out quilt blocks is called frog quilting... rip it, rip it. 

Ah... this is better...

My block is on the left.  All sewn together.  My table partner and new friend, Hetty, made the block on the right.  (Hetty is from Moreland, Georgia.  She drove an hour and a half during rush hour yesterday to get to this class.  I loved sewing with her.)  

  • Another side note... I am an avid fan of Harry Chapin's songs.  If you don't know him, his songs told stories.  In one song, he tells of a singer who tried to go professional but didn't make it.  The line in the song that speaks to me goes, "he did not know how well he sang.  it just made him whole."  That's how I feel about quilting.  I don't know how well I quilt, but when I spend time with friends and fabric, it just makes me whole.  

The dark fabrics were gifted to me.  I think they are going to make a lovely quilt.  I completed two blocks yesterday.   For now, it will go in the UFO stack as I have committed to make a quilt for my friend, Beth.  These bright colors will be calling me, though, so I will be next in line. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Black & Gold

Fabrics laid out on the cutting table...

Working on a quilt with black & gold accents.  Lots of fabric to choose from.  Guess what college these represent?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Charity Quilt

(Also known as my "go to" quilt pattern.)

Joe came in one day last year after his Kiwanis meeting and was talking about needing to raise money for the Administrative fund.  The Administrative fund is the fund they use for internal expenses like postage, gifts for speakers, travel expenses, etc.  The Service fund is the money they use for scholarships, etc. 

So in short order, I could see where this was going.  So it came around to a discussion of me making a quilt for them to raffle.  I asked him about timeframe and he said early 2013 (but the raffle had to be approved by the Board). 

Of course, the Board said yes but they wondered if I could have it done in time for the Smyrna Jonquil Festival. 
 Yikes, six weeks! 

So I went to my "go to" quilt pattern and this is the result...

Joe worked so hard to sell tickets.  The club capped the ticket sales at 400 and Joe sold over 100 by himself.  The raffle raised a little over $1,600.  Woo Hoo!

The quilt was won by our friend Rosemary who works at our local Ace Hardware store.  When we were in the store last week, she told me is was so warm and comfy.  I love it when someone uses an appreciates my work.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Jonquils Are Confused

We have had the strangest weather.  One day it's 70 degrees and the next day, we have freezing temps and ice on the deck. 

Needless to say, my jonquils are confused.

After a spell of warm weather last week, the weatherman was forecasting freezing temps.  I went out to my jonquil patch and picked them so they wouldn't freeze.  Nothing fancy, just a jelly jar to hold them.  They look bright on my kitchen table. 

The Georgia ground hog, General Beauregard Lee, say his shadow so he's saying six more weeks of bad weather.  Although I hope it's not bad, bad, we could use some rain to offset a couple years of drought.  In the meantime, I have my jonquils to remind me that Spring will come.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Super Bowl Chili

I go to church at Smyrna First United Methodist Church.  The Methodist Church has an organization called United Methodist Women (UMW).  My grandmother was a member of the UMW.  The UMW is comprised of Circles.  My grandmother belonged to the Dora Reynolds Circle.  I remember her going to meet with her friends.  I knew that magic occurred there as she returned home in high spirits. 

My circle is called the Willing Workers.  In Proverbs, there is a verse that says, "She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands."  Well, we don't spin wool, but we do work willingly.  This group of women works harder than any group of people I know.  We have two fundraisers a year and the proceeds are used to help needy families in the community. 

One of the fundraisers is our chili luncheon on Super Bowl Sunday.  Our circle has a secret recipe that I can't share, but I thought I'd share some pictures of my preparation. 

Peppers... yellow, orange and red.  I picked up a six-pack at Sam's yesterday.  The gourmet yellow, orange and red peppers were less expensive than the green ones.  I sauteed them in olive oil, seasoned them, and put them into the big cooker. 

Chopped purple onions ready for the sautee pan.  I choose purple for my son who is an ardent Raven's fan.  (They also add great flavor to the chili.)

The chili cooking and the house smells awesome.  You didn't think I would really give you the secret recipe, did you?  

This pot is 15" wide and 21" long.  That's a whole lot of chili! 

It's going to be chilly (pun, intended) in the morning so hopefully, we will have a lot of customers!