Saturday, January 30, 2021

RSC and Table Scraps Challenge

Are you a fan of RSC, Rainbow Scrap Challenge?  I seem to participate every other year or so. Although I spend some time nearly every day in my studio I am not a particularly fast planner or doer when it comes to making quilts and such.  So some years I'm all about finishing projects or working on things I want to do.  But some years I like to add the RSC as a form of using more scraps. Instead of doing several different block sets each month, I've joined Table Scraps Challenge at The Joyful Quilter. Ok, yes I did start one new block set with January's pink that I plan to continue.  

But first up is my Table Scraps Challenge runner.  I realize I don't have a lot of pink but did have some fat quarters I really like.  I have a couple of table runner books and books I know have table runners in them.  Plus, I have files of quilt pictures on my computer.  I looked at all of them until I chose Fusion from The Trendy Table by Heather Peterson of Anka's Treasures. (Wow! I just realized she's written two more Trendy Tables books.) 

I decided I wasn't going to use just pink so I selected a light grey allover design and Navy Kona solid. I was going to make it smaller to fit my dining room table. I got to cutting.  Have I mentioned I don't always read directions completely? First, I had to figured out the right size and quantity to cut my pieces. Then I had to sew them the right way. (Really? Why?) Which led me to having to rip frequently.  Oh yes, there was a whole post recently on Jack the Ripper.  This table runner was helped by my friend Jack. I digress.  

Stitching in the ditch. 

After the top was pieced I used my Bernina to quilt it. Yes, I do have a long arm but I only had a small backing and I wanted to do specific things around the design.  I was pleasantly surprised that I could still quilt on the domestic machine.  It's a whole different way of doing when you compare a domestic machine to a long arm.  I remembered how to push the fabric around. First up stitching in the ditch.  Next I did a bit of stippling. (That was a bit harder than the SID.) Then I got out my trusty 1" painter's tape to mark some straight line stitching. As I got going on these steps I realized it was imperative to think about where I was going so I didn't have a bunch of starts and stops.  

Straight line quilting done with 1" painter's tape markings.

Because the straight lines went off the edge of the table runner, I was able to run my stitching off and then make a turn and stitch in the excess until batting until I wanted to make a turn and stitch the next straight line area. That made it much easier as long as I thought about stitching before starting.  And yes, my pointer finger was tracing the lines to make sure I figured out what to do before the machine did its work. 

The final stitching was a curve in the pink pieces.  Again, I thought about the best way to do it to eliminate starts and stops.  Having the navy separating parts of the quilt meant I did have quite a few beginnings and endings.  I did not stitch in the navy at all.  I used a bendable ruler to create a pleasing curve and then drew it on a piece of lightweight cardboard.  I cut it out and had two shapes I could play with.  I used it to draw a line on the pink pieces to give some motion to the quilting. 

As I was quilting I was pondering the binding.  I had enough grey or navy to do it.  I probably had enough of one of the light pinks to use as a binding too.  But after consulting with my quilting buddy Sharon, we both liked the idea of the navy. (Thank goodness I had enough for it and another quilt I wanted to bind with it!) 

I don't often hand stitch binding down any more.  Most of my quilts are donated.  The last thing a recipient wants is the binding to fall apart so I normally sew both sides on the machine.  But this was small and I was willing to spend the time to hand finish it.  I LOVE the backing fabric.  I've owned it for years and have used little bits and pieces but I thought it worked well with the front.It looks mostly cranberry but it has a bit of pink within the paisleys. And if I want, I can flip the runner and use that side for a while.  

Here are some glamour shots --- 

My first Table Scraps challenge is complete.  I enjoyed working with pink and some friends.  I love the backing fabric that might be flipped to use sometimes. All of these fabrics came from stash so I'm tickled with that too.  I am happy I can still push fabric around under my domestic machine and have some decent results. The best thing I can say is I really enjoyed this challenge.  

Lest you think I didn't really start blocks, here are the two pink star blocks I did.  I specifically made them to test a block I'm putting with the t shirt quilt but I decided a bunch of different Friendship Star blocks in a rainbow of colors would make a nice quilt eventually.  I think I need to make a few more.

I'm linking up with Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts, Beauties Pageant 114 at From Bolt to Beauty, Scrap Happy Saturday at Superscrappy, and Table Scraps Runner/Topper Challenge at The Joyful Quilter.  Enjoy seeing what people are doing, especially with pink around the Internet.  Monday starts a new color -- bright shiny yellow.  Angela mentioned it in her post today.

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Monday Meandering 1 - 25 - 2021

Here we are with only 1 week left in January.  It hasn't been a whole lot better than 2020 but I "think" we may be making progress.  I have been able to sign up for my Covid vaccine but it doesn't sound like it will happen anytime soon.  I was just happy to get an email acknowledging that I'd signed up.  For the time being we'll stay home most of the time.  Snow may be in our forecast.  We haven't had much snow in the greater DC area for years ... or at least an hour south where we live. I will wait to see it before I believe it. 

First up Goals! 


  1. Work on T Shirt Quilt: embroidery, star blocks ✔️I'm almost done with the star blocks, I did a sample embroidery of the name
  2. Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt✔️ It's done! 
  3. Begin cutting Ohio Stars R, W, B quilt ✔️Several blocks cut out; 1 sewn
I was tickled to get a lot done on my goals this week.  But I did get involved with a squirrel project.  Hopefully it will be shown by the end of the week.  (It's pink so all you RSC people might have a good guess about it.) 

Maybe the best thing I did this past week is finish the handquilting on the Christmas quilt.  My plan is to put the binding on this week.  I had a note on the binding fabric that listed June 2004.  I'm thinking that is when I finished the top.  Unfortunately, I had a surprise while I ironed some of the fabric I trimmed off the backing.  It BLED!  Yikes, it is red and gold -- the red was bleeding like crazy where a bit of water got on it.  I did a test to make sure and, yep, it's a bleeder.  I guess I started washing my fabric on a regular basis sometime after 2004.  After 16 years of dragging the quilt around to work on it and all the marking it definitely needs to be washed.  I will throw in 4 or 5 Color Catchers and hopefully the excess color won't adhere to the cream background.  I'll keep you posted. 
The red on the far right is the backing fabric.   

So what's up for this week? 


  1. Work on T-shirt quilt: borders, blocks, embroidery
  2. Embroider sweatshirt
  3. Bind Christmas quilt
  4. Quilt and bind one or more of my quilts 
I don't have much to show today so I thought I'd show the borders added to Cheese and Crackers.  By the way, that's the name of the pattern from Atkinson Designs, I haven't come up with my own title.  I really like this pattern and may use it again sometime.  You can see a picture before the borders here.  They really make a difference. 

That's it for today.  I hope you join me at the following linky parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, and To Do Tuesday.  There's always new things to discover on quilters' blogs. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Meet My Friend Jack

Is Jack your friend too or perhaps a hated necessity in your life?  I've been keeping company with Jack way more than usual this last week or two. And, it isn't just one Jack in my life.  I hope you aren't doing the same thing.  Some of the Jacks in my current life.

And here are all the Jack the Rippers in my downstairs studio.  I'm pretty sure there are at least two upstairs. 

You might be asking yourself why I am being so friendly with Jack(s).  It's probably because I am having a heck of a time following directions these days.  It's been going on for the last couple of weeks.  I sewed several long seams wrong on the Cheese and Cracker top.  I didn't even realize it was more than one until after I finished ripping one out and had to rip the other one too. 

And, this little piece has way too many seams taken apart.  Thank goodness they were all short seams.  (I'll be showing the whole thing on Sat, 1/30 or there abouts.) 

And what do you get after you do all that work to remove a seam?  Yea, nothing but a pile of thread! 

Here's why there is a lot of pink thread up above.

Yep, that is supposed to be a Friendship Star block in RSC's color of the month, pink.  Didn't turn out all that well without Jack taking care of it for me. 

I thought since I'd just made 2 pink Friendship Stars I wouldn't have any problem with 16 grey with yellow stars.  Um, no, Jack lent a hand ripping out incorrect seams on a lot of the first blocks.  I'm hoping he can have a really nice rest once I get back to sewing the Friendship Stars. (The grey and yellow ones will be going in the T Shirt quilt I've been working on recently.) 

I've decided I need to get a handle on why Jack has become my best friend the last few weeks.  Here's what I've come up with:
    1. I've not been reading directions particularly well recently.
    2. I don't seem to realize that turning one block wrong wrecks the entire block. 
    3. Maybe I haven't been getting enough sleep at night.  (I'm not completely convinced of this one as I slept over 8 hours one night and still made mistakes the next day.)  
    4.  Maybe I just feel sorry for Jack languishing away in drawers throughout the studio.  

I'm looking for some great suggestions on how to avoid making mistakes while sewing.  I don't really mind ripping inaccurate seams but progress would be made a whole lot faster if I wasn't ripping out so much.  I'm hoping I can do much better over the next few weeks and months. Bye Jack! 

I'm linking with these linky parties: Can I Have a Whoop, Whoop?,  Finished or Not Friday and Bolt to Beauties Beauties Pageant. Join in the fun to see what folks are up to.

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Monday Meandering 1 - 18 - 20021

It's another Monday and time to announce my goals for the coming week and review how I did last week.  

So how did I do last week?  Fabulously actually -- or at least I think so!  Here's the list: 


Finished Glorified 9 patches✔️ and sewed them together.

Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt✔️

Finish Cheese and Cracker to top stage✔️

Begin cutting Ohio Stars R, W, B quilt  nope, didn't get anything done on this

And here's what I am going to work on this week:  


Work on T Shirt Quilt: embroidery and star blocks 

Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt

Begin cutting Ohio Stars R, W, B quilt

I'm only listing three items as I really need to make progress on the T shirt quilt.  I've had several weeks of doing my own projects.  It's time to get the T shirt quilt to top stage.  That means I need to embroider a name on the upper border, make some friendship stars to go above the embroidered name and on the bottom to bring the quilt to twin size.  I have to decide how I'll put the borders on: sides first or top/bottom. I won't make the decision until I get the embroidery done and make the stars.  I expect that will take a lot of my time this week. 

I'm happy to report I really am making progress on the hand quilting.  I figure I have about 24" more of the border to do times 8!  I don't know why I chose a design that has 8 lines of quilting in the border.  So, yes, big progress but I still have quite a bit to do.  I'm hoping to get all the quilting done in the next two weeks.  

Here's something I did off list.  Do you read Kat and Cat blog? Kat runs a charity called Covered in Love, (CIL).  She describes CIL as a quilting charity that provides comfort quilts to patients who pass away in the hospital. It started small with 8 quilts and has now given away over 700 quilts.  Kat has block drives to help her with this project.  Right now there is a string drive going.  You can find the directions here. She's looking for string blocks done mostly with one color and a pop of a second color.  You'll have to send an email to Kat to get the address to know where to send your finished blocks.  Here's the three blocks I'm sending.  

Later this week I hope to show one of the tops I finished last week.  I am still deciding on whether to add a border to my glorified 9 patch blocks. 

On to the linky parties.  Please spend some time checking out these parties: Oh Scrap, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, and To Do Tuesday.  (Hopefully I'll remember to link my post to To Do Tuesday.  I forgot last weeks!  Oops.) 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Monday Meandering 1 - 11 - 2021

It has been an unprecedented week.  Like many, I was watching what was unfolding an hour north of where I live. But in the end, I was and am shocked to see fellow Americans who rioted and broke into the U.S. Capitol. January 20th can not come fast enough for me.  I pray that Mr. Trump doesn't create anymore chaos. 

Back to my quilting life. Here's my to do list from last week.


Cut 10 more Glorified 9 patch blocks; sew together✔️ all cut out, more than half sewn. 

Begin cutting Ohio Stars R, W, B quilt On hold until this week

Quilt something on Long Arm ✔️ customer quilt finished and returned.

Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt✔️ It's going to take quite a few more weeks.

This week I'm going to be working on. . . 


Finish Glorified 9 patches

Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt

Begin cutting Ohio Stars R, W, B quilt 

Finish Cheese and Cracker top 

Cheese and Crackers is a pattern by Atkinson Designs.  Years ago I decided I'd use it for my Thirties fabrics.  Several months ago I cut out and sewed all the blocks and the units needed for the border.  This is as far as I got because I ran out of the background fabric, Kona Snow.  Luckily, my local JoAnn Store had a yard of it left. This picture makes the fabrics look dull.  (I sure hope the whole thing perks up as I finish it.)  If I can, I plan to get the borders on and then finish sewing the units of the border together.  (The lines are a flannel fabric behind the quilt.  I'm surprised how much they show through.) 

In between what I was working on I did get a few odd blocks done.  Here's a bright Easy Breezy block. Once I get my design wall cleared off again I'll take my collection of Easy Breezy blocks out and see how they look.  

Check out these that I link to each Monday. Oh ScrapMonday Making, and Design Wall Monday. Tuesday I will post on To Do Tuesday. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

To Do Tuesday 1 - 4 - 2021

Two days in a row?  I haven't blogged that much for a while.  But yesterday's Monday Meandering was full of what I did last year.  Now I'm on to my regular weekly goal report. 

So here's last week's list.  


Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt - Finally some done Monday night.

Start working on borders of T shirt quilt - On hold waiting for decisions.

Sew the red and black blocks together ✔️ Find pictures of it here

Quilt one of my quilts ✔️ I got the Dalmatian top quilted and bound. (see above.) 

Here is my first list of goals for 2021.


Cut 10 more Glorified 9 patch blocks; start sewing together

Begin cutting Ohio Stars R, W, B quilt 

Quilt something on Long Arm 

Continue hand quilting on Christmas Quilt

Over the weekend I spent quite a lot of time reviewing finishes, UFO items, not cleaning as much as I should have, and sewing off goals list.  Here are a couple of pictures of what I worked on last week that weren't listed on the goals list. 

First up a project that must be an antique. There are 56 1.5" squares pinned on a a folded piece of muslin.  The three missing have already been sewn together.  As I was plowing through my various UFO bins and boxes I ran into this.  I figure it is probably 10+ years old.  I eyed the very nice red ball pins and the muslin.  It dawned on me I could put both things to work doing something else.  So, I'm stitching this as an ender project.  I've gotten two and a half rows done.  I have no idea what I'll do with it but it will get done sometime in the next month or two.  

The other project is making blocks for FCQ Equilter, Beth. She picked a Missouri Star quilt call 4 x 4. You can find the directions here. It also has a video link.  Beth wanted us to use brights and white.  Here are the  first 9 blocks I'm making for her. I'm to happy to use some of my supply of 2.5" blocks I cut when I'm cleaning up from other quilts.  I plan to make several more and then ship them off to her.  

That's it for now.  It's time to link up to a couple of parties and then get on to actually piecing.  (Or if I was really good cleaning up the cutting table. Nah, I'll keep playing with my fabrics!)  Check out To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us, MidWeek Makers at Quilt Fabrication, and  Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.  Here's my challenge.... I will need to come back Wednesday and Thursday to add the links.  Let's see if I can do that.  Don't forget to visit some other blogs from these linky parties.  You never know what great things you'll find!  Kudos to me -- I linked to all my regular parties. And . . . 

Linky News Flash:  I'm linking up to a new party that will be available every Wednesday to Tuesday at Life in the Scrapatch.  Join me today at the first Stitch, Sew and Show linky party.

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie  

Monday, January 4, 2021

Monday Meanderings 1 - 4 - 2021

 2020 Quilting Recap 

My overall impression of 2020 is it was a bummer. I missed seeing family, traveling, quilt retreats and doing what I wanted when I wanted. On the other hand my quilting time was off the charts!  Don't look for my goals today as I have way too much to share on what I accomplished in 2020.  First up is stashbusting statistics. 


Fabric In Month

Fabric In Year

Fabric Out Month

Fabric Out Year

Total In or Out Year







I'm totally amazed that I almost used as much fabric as I acquired.  Yep, that is all of 1/8th of a yard more this year!  Not bad at all.  In fact, I could have listed some blocks I'm sending to one of the FCQ Equilters later this month but decided to include all in January's outgo as I'm still making them.  But over all, I am really pleased. How about a quick peak at what I've done since I first started keeping in coming and out going fabric.  It's been 11 years so far. 


Fabric In 

Fabric Out Year

Total In or Out Year













































You might notice a huge increase in 2011.  My guild was having an auction of quilty things donated to the guild.  This is a small guild and people weren't bidding so I bid to try to get things going and the next thing I knew I had "purchased" a LOT of fabric.  I don't have records of what it cost but it was dirt cheap. 

It was definitely a good year for finished quilts.  Here are a few of my favorites. (You should be able to click on all the pictures to enlarge them.) 
Table runner was a mystery pattern from my friend Sharon.

I wanted to try this style quilt.  The cute fox fabric was leftover from  grandson Theo's baby quilt. Everything else was from my stash.  

Carousel was probably my favorite quilt from this year.  The bright fabrics were a gift from my daughter at Christmas.  Much of the rest was from stash.  But what really made me love it is the quilting. 

And the wonderful quilting pattern is "Diana" from  My Creative Stitches. 

I really love this quilt but I didn't press the seams correctly so had rather lumpy junctures where too many seams met each other.  It might be time to try another one of these and iron more efficiently. Maybe a clapper would help too. 

Another quilt I just love.  Told the hubby I didn't think I'd give it away.  It might be perfect for a great grandson. (Note, oldest grand is 10 so this isn't happening anytime soon!) Pattern setting from -- Twisted 9 patch.

Diamond Chains pattern from Missouri Star Quilters. 

I make Happy Quilts all the time. Or so it seems.  This is one of maybe 5 I made this year. The original pattern came from This quilt was one of three I made for triplets.  It was part of the 11 (or was it 12?) quilts I sent to a school district in Washington state to be given to all the students whose families had lost their homes in one of the major fires. 

A quick finish using my Go die cutter and several fabrics in my stash. It's amazing how different a basic sawtooth star looks if you change up the colors a bit.  I used 2 navy blues Then I changed the corner square colors and points.  

Dalmatian fabric started me off.  Pattern available free at  Go to the bottom of the page and look under Help Center.  You have to sign in before you can access the patterns. Look for Nest. There are a lot of other freebies available. Super easy quilt. I was happy to use a lot of smaller leftover pieces.  (Not that I finished any of them but I do have more interesting scraps!) 

I surprised myself with how many quilts I finished this year: 22.  I made a lot of tops which I didn't include in this count.  Yep, I still have a lot of quilts to finish.  My biggest issue is not having enough backing fabric.  I don't want to buy fabric but I suspect that is what will be happening to finish off more quilts. 

Next up: my thread usage.  I've been keeping up with the number of spools I empty every year since 2012.  Now, you would think I would have used a huge number of spools this year, but, sadly, no, I didn't.  My spool usage number was 16. 
Spools used in 2020. From left: Guttermann, Mettler  Silk Finish,  Presencia.  (The new spools from Mettler are purple -- old ones are white.) 

My highest number of spools used was in 2017 when I used 30. (I have no idea what I was doing unless I finished up a lot of long arm thread and embroidery thread.) My lowest was 7 the year we moved to Northern Virginia.

There is a reason I didn't use as much thread this year as in the past.  The main reason is at the beginning of May I put in a thread order for all three types of thread: regular sewing, long arm, and embroidery.  I purchased 2 2000 yard cones of Mettler Silk Finish thread in white and light grey.  Light grey is my preferred piecing thread color.  I've probably used 2/3rds of the grey.  I'm counting on having it be empty some time this year.  I also have maybe 3 or 4 spools where I can see the plastic spool so if I ever use those colors I'll have a nice start of thread usage. And, on the first quilt on the long arm I used up a cone of thread.  Not a bad start. 

I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.  I spent quite a bit of time this weekend looking at UFOs, finished quilts, tops waiting to be quilted and projects I've started recently.  I also gave myself a little list of what I want to get done both unfinished projects and new projects. I'll probably enter them on a list on the computer, print it out on colored card stock, and hang it in a prominent spot in the studio. 

Are you ready for some great linky parties?  Check out these that I link to each Monday. Oh Scrap, Monday Making, and Design Wall Monday.  I'll save To Do Tuesday to post my goals list tomorrow.  

Happy Quilting! Bonnie