Friday, January 28, 2011

RRCB--Thanks, Bonnie

I've been following Bonnie Hunter's blog for several years and I've liked her scrappy quilts. She's at and she specializes in designing scrap quilts. I usually don't do scrap quilts but every so often I have to clear out some of my scraps and left overs to--make room for/justify buying--new fabrics. I turn to Bonnie for a project I can do. I've made some of her mystery quilts but never as they are progressing--I like to wait for the end result to see if I like it. This time, I decided to trust her and I started the Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery quilt last November I think. If you want to check it out, it's here:

Instead of going through each part and describing all the work involved, suffice it to say, I was overwhelmed at times by all of it. Bonnie saved the most daunting part--600 HSTs for Part 6, I think, and it was too late to quit by then. Great strategy, Bonnie! Anyway, I have the center assembled and am waiting to open the last part of the instructions which is the border, which I assume will be a pieced one since I have a pile of what must be a thousand units left over. Or maybe I made a mistake????

When I came home from Lake Mills last Sunday, I had assembled all the colored blocks except 5. This week I finished that part and I sliced and I diced the neutral blocks and I sewed them back together again. This is what they looked like last week:

This is a close up of the 2 contrasting blocks in the quilt center. If I make this quilt again, which I may very well do, I will forgo the HST and just add a strip of color around the edge. I ended up with way too many of the points getting cut off and I don't like that. Besides, a simple border strip is a lot easier than 600 freakin' HSTs!

And here's the center laid out on my floor. It's very large and with the borders added, it's going to be a giant queen sized quilt. I can't wait to get this one quilted and on my bed. It's just the thing for our dreary snowy winter time and I love it!

I apologize to Bonnie for the whining I did as I went along (not that anyone was listening but still) and I sincerely thank her for designing such a beauty! I'm glad I trusted Bonnie and made this a true mystery quilt.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's been awhile and I've been busy

I can't believe January is nearly gone--I'm still recovering from Christmas! A lot has happened in the past few weeks: My trip to Chicago was great! All three of the kids in one place at the same time and NO arguments! What a gift! Lily (and all of us) loved the Shedd Aquarium and I can't wait to go back with more time to study all the displays. We also went to the Adler Planetarium which I thought was a little too scientific for Lily (and me too! ) but a week after our visit, Lily and I were walking back from dinner on a cold, clear and starry night, and she found several constellations that we'd learned about at the planetarium. I would never have thought she'd retain so much--just like a little sponge.

I'm now officially a semi-retired/part time employee, and I love it! I'm supposed to work 2 days one week and 3 days the next week. So what did I do but forget to come to work on the third day of my first week as a PTer! I guess I'm ready and eager for this change. :)

Here's what I've been doing: A little embroidery:

This is a series of 12 designs called "Snowbound" from Bunny Hill Designs here
I'm doing this as "bluework" instead of the applique it calls for and I've got 6 of the squares finished. I'll make the alternating blocks in blue and white as well.

This weekend I taught my very first quilting class and I think it was a big success. Last summer 3 of my friends asked me to show them how to make a table runner that I had at my house so we got together to do it this weekend. Was I a little nervous? Yes, since one of the ladies is a retired Home Ec teacher! And I'm not a trained teacher! All were accepting of my clumsiness at times and all nearly finished their table runners. This is the one that I was working on and using to show them how to do things:

I started quilting a meander in the center blocks and ditch stitching around the blocks. I'll do some more elaborate quilting as well but I've not decided what. The pattern is from Gathering Friends here: and the pattern is from the Runner Crazy book.
I stopped at one of my favorite quilt shops on the way to Lake Mills, in "The world's only Waunakee." I found this pattern for a little card holder--I have soooo many punch cards from various quilt shops and other places, like my hairdresser and the store where I buy my bras and undies, and I think this little baby will hold them all. Cards, that is.

I also found some fabrics in the sale room that I liked--at a good price. I decided it was time to use more yellow in my quilting so I picked up some. I got the blue just because I liked it, and the brown check I think will work well for a basket block BOM my guild is doing. I'll use it for all the baskets and use different fabrics for the things in the baskets.

I also found the fabrics I want to use in a throw quilt I'm going to make out of the Moda charm pack I got a few weeks ago. It's the Civil War Homestead line and I also bought the off-white patterned fabric for background and maybe backing for the quilt. I needed something for the border and I found this roll of 7 fat quarters of the same Homestead line.
I think I'll have enough to make a nice pieced border of some kind--I still haven't figured out what pattens I'll use for the center of the quilt much less the borders! As usual, my mind is far ahead of my hands when it comes to quilting!
I listened to the Bears-Packers game on the radio all the way home this afternoon and I'm so sad the Bears lost. I know, I live in Wisconsin and what I just said is blasphemy here, but I can't bring myself to be a Packer fan. Sorry. I made a pot of sausage and shrimp jambalaya for supper to console me and the aroma is driving me crazy with hunger! Time to get some comfort food in me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2001 happenings

Happy New Year to everyone! I'm a little slow on the uptake on this since I've been super, super busy in 2011!

Don's in Forida having a great time on the golf course with his buddies. He left on the 31st and managed to drive through the storm that covered the midwest with rain, freezing rain, snow, tornadoes and assorted other bad weather things and now is enjoying temps in the 70's. Maybe I'll go with him next year, ya think?

Today is my last day as a full time employee. I'm taking vacation tomorrow and Friday and next week I'm officially a part timer. Yea!!!! Tonight I pick up Tessa and Lily and we'll go to St. Paul to spend the night before leaving on the early Amtrak to (see below):

Yes, I'm going to Chicago with my daughter and granddaughter. Youngest daughter, Jo, flew in from Austin yesterday to spend a couple of days with her friends in Chi Town and will join us on Thursday and son, Dan, is taking the train on Friday from Milwaukee to spend just the day with us. I've been really rushed to get everything accomplished before we leave and sometimes I wondered if it's worth it at all, but now I'm getting excited and can't wait to get going on this trip. I'll try to remember the camera but don't count on it!

I'm in a guild again. Last fall I decided to join the guild in Menomonie and I love the women in that group! Very open and welcoming to newcomers! We had a meeting last night and it was my turn to bring refreshments (along with others). I couldn't stand the thought of something sweet after all the holiday treats, so I made a platter of mini-kabobs. I used toothpicks and threaded a half black olive, 1/3 leaf of fresh basil, a cherry tomato and a cube of cheese. Pretty, yummy, easy, and quick. They loved them!

Goals for 2011? Not much other than CLEAN MY HOUSE! and MAKE DRAPERIES! I've neglected to do both for far too long and now that I'm a part timer, I have no excuse. I'll let you know if (no, when) I actually accomplish these goals! :)