I got home last night from a 4 day quilting trip with my friend Barb S. On Wednesday, the 23rd, we drove South to Champaign, IL (Who knew that the city spelled it's name with an I but without the ending E?) to attend a 2 day quilting session with none other than the famous scrappy quilting queen, Bonnie Hunter! Both of us were so excited, we wanted to begin the very evening we arrived in Champaign but had to hold on until Thursday AM. If you follow Bonnie's blog or her Facebook page, you will have already seen the pics she posted of our group but I have the links here for anyone who missed them.
The first day, Thursday, we worked on My Blue Heaven which is one of the free patterns on her Quiltville.com website. I've been wanting a blue and neutral quilt for some time and have been collecting fat quarters in various blues and shades of neutral for a couple of years. Even after I cut all the pieces I need for My Blue Heaven, I have enough left for at least another blue and neutral quilt! That's fine with me!
Bonnie showed us how to use two of the specialty rulers she likes--the Easy Angle and the Companion Angle--and what a breeze it was to cut the various sized triangles for the quilt. I managed to complete about 6 of the blocks while in class and have how many left to go? I don't want to know, I'll just do them!
My Blue Heaven My Blue Heaven
The second day, Friday, we had a crumbs workshop which I really didn't want to go to. I signed up for it simply because I had come all that way and I wanted to learn as much as I could from Bonnie. Well, after only an hour or so, I had become a crumbs convert! I LOVE making the free form blocks and will continue to make them up from now on, but I had difficulty making the wonky stars and was a complete failure making the heart and letter blocks. But I tried. As I've also tried paper piecing and have been a failure at that. My brain simply doesn't comprehend sewing the fabric first and then flipping it over. I do more un-stitching than stitching, if you can believe it, and get super frustrated. But at least I tried it and know that I can try again if I ever feel the need to make hearts and letters.
Miss Lilly Crumbs
Barb and I are included in the pictures but I won't point out which one is me since I'm way overdue for a haircut and look like a quilting hag in these photos!
Regardless of my hair, I had a great time with the ladies in Illinois. Some of them were at both workshops and some were only there one of the two days. Barb and I weren't able to get into the third day of quilting which was disappointing, but we pulled up our big girl panties and dealt with it. Everyone we met at the workshops was amazingly friendly and welcoming. We were invited to dinner both Thursday and Friday evenings with the hosts and Bonnie which was a lot of fun, and great food as well.
And being with Bonnie is so satisfying. She is a such a genuine person--no frills, no pretense. She is what she seems to be. And so upbeat! OMG! She has so much energy and everything she said was positive, even when she had to correct someone. It is always good to be with positive and vibrant people, don't you think?
Barb and I will be keeping an eye on Bonnie's schedule and if she returns to Champaign, we'll do our best to be there as well. With luck, we hope to be able to bring her here to Menomonie in a couple of years so quilters in our neck of the woods can spend some time with her.
Today, I'm taking care of errands and spending time with Lily this afternoon before I go downstairs to finish her new jammies that I began before I went on the quilting trip. Once the jammies are done, I can return to My Blue Heaven and the crumbs!