Sunday, July 21, 2024

Monday Meanderings -- 7 - 22 - 2024

It's been a week.  We flew off to Michigan on Monday to attend a memorial service for Pat's brother-in-law.  Although the reason for the gathering of the clan* wasn't a happy one, it was wonderful seeing his sister, our nieces and nephews and even some great nieces and nephews.  It had been a very long time since we visited in Northern Michigan.  *His family isn't Scottish but it seemed the right word to describe all the relatives who gathered.  Roger was an amazing man who made an impact on many people especially his step children, his children, and the people who knew him through AA. The visitation really was a wonderful sharing of stories about him.  I'll share some pictures of our time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan later in this post.  

We got back to our house in Virginia around 12:30 on Thursday. I finished packing a little suitcase and loading the car and was off to retreat around 2:00. About two and a half hours later I was at retreat. I had about 3 full days with my quilting buddies. I got a tremendous amount of sewing done which surprised me.  I some how got a second wind Thursday evening which helped me make a lot of progress.  Do you want to see it?  Let's look at my goals list for last week. 


Retreat! Make —

✅Forest Animals Easy Attic Windows —still need to put on inner and outer border.

✅Baby Buggies Boxes and Bow (3 yd quilt) — need to add borders.

✅Benny’s Quilt 2.5” square — finished

✅Sew a Happy Block Quilt Together — done. 

Work on a new needlework project — barely started. 

Those check marks really piled up.  Here's some photos of where the sewing projects are now. 

This is ready to put on the inner and outer border. The cute animal print was on a freebie table at one of the guild meetings I attended this spring. The rest of the fabric was in my stash. Bonus! 

OOPS!  I noticed this mistake when I was working with the photo.  It's easily fixed. This is a 3 Yard Quilt from Fabric Cafe called Boxes and Bows.  It was free earlier this year but isn't now.  I decided to make it smaller -- so it would be acceptable for our local NICU.  I plan to do an inner and outer border on this one also. 

This pattern is called Benny's Quilt from Michelle's Romantic Tangle. Here's the link directly to Benny's quilt pattern.  As you might guess all of these fabrics were in my stash.  This used a lot of 2.5" squares but I've already cut more so it did make a dent but that didn't last for long! I used a very pale bluish-green left over from another quilt. I think it might looked better if I had used white. (Hum, maybe I'll make another one with white fabric.) It's going into the to-be-quilted closet. 

I found this quilt in a ziplock bag with a note saying all I needed to do was sew it together. That wasn't quite true as I moved some blocks around.  (I wish I'd noticed how many dark blocks were in the top row!) It to is moving to the to-be-quilted closet. 

This wasn't on my list but I found the purple and white squares sewn into 4 patches. I hunted around until I found enough for the center section of this doll quilt. Then found the purple calico with some bright green in it. A quilt was born! I was trying to decide how I could take a pic of this little quilt when I remembered I had some tape in my box of stuff.  I taped it to my Elna which worked really well.  This machine is at least 40 years old and was recently serviced and is working like a champ.  My only complaint is it was hard to get an accurate 1/4" measurement. It has a foot holder that allows snapping on different feet. Amazon to the rescue!  Last night I ordered two different feet so hopefully I'll have an accurate 1/4" foot soon. 

See what I mean?  I got a lot of sewing done.  I have learned to cut out kits before I leave. This time I even cut the borders but decided it would be much easier to put them on at home where I had enough flat surface to work on. I'll be starting making kits for a week long retreat in October. For now,  let's see what I plan to do this week. 


Fix Boxes and Bows baby quilt and add borders

Quilt customer quilt

Put borders on forest animals quilt

Finish current hat being knitted 

Spend 15 min a day cleaning cutting table 

Hopefully I'll get all of these items done this week. Although, I really need to spend some time reading as I have had several books on reserve show up with little time to read. 

My trip caused just a little problem with my 15 minutes of stitching.  There was only 1 day I couldn't stitch. (Well, I could have but I was so tired from the all day memorial, funeral mass, family dinner, and driving back to Marquette to catch our flight that I didn't even try.) Here are my numbers.

W/ending 7/21 — 203 days in to 2024. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 6/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 20/21days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 195/203 days
  • Success rate = 96%
Well bummer! My percentage of time dropped by .4%.  I will hopefully be making it up over the next few months. 

Here's a short narrative of our trip to Munising, Michigan. First, it isn't particularly easy to get to and from. Pat did the research and decided Richmond, VA to Chicago, IL with a change of planes to get to Marquette, the closest airport, was the best way to go and we could get back fairly early on Thursday. 

A Lego man at the Richmond Airport. It used over 40,000 pieces.  We had no problems making our connections in Chicago nor renting a car in Marquette. The drive to Munising was less than an hour.  We checked in to the hotel and went to visit Pat's sister. We met up with a niece, great nephew, and one of Roger's brothers to have dinner at a funny little outdoor restaurant with wonderful wood fired pizzas. Food was great, company was wonderful, weather turned on us.  We were sitting outside with what looked like a corrugated tin roof and some tarps. Um, not such a great idea when the rain came in. 

We eventually decided it wasn't going to let up so the guys went to get cars. The ladies tried to get closer to an area that wasn't quite so full of water. I took off my tennis shoes and socks and waded through ankle deep water to get to the car. (I really didn't have a lot of shoe options if my tennies got soaked!) 

Tuesday we did some prep work at the local Catholic church as Pat, a niece, and nephew were going to be providing various parts of the music.  Afterwards I asked if I could go to the local quilt store, Miss Good Stitch. I came prepared with some fabric samples and the measurements of the Ombre Log Cabin quilt. I found a 108" backing fabric that hopefully will go with the quilt. The fabric is a pink ombre with gold dots on it. I think it is by the same designer who did the fabric in the Log Cabin quilt. I picked up a Villa Rosa design and another piece of fabric. I said I was supporting a small fabric store... but it was really about me liking their fabric.  I haven't compared the pinks yet but my guess is I will use it whether it is a great match or not. 

Munising has a population of less than 2,000 people.  But they had at least two of these businesses! 

It is a tourist town both in summer and winter so I guess they both can make a go of it in such a small town.

As mentioned earlier, Wednesday was a long day.  However, it was wonderful to see so many of Pat's family.  We met many members of Roger's side of the family for the first time. After the family dinner, Pat and I drove back to Marquette and saw Lake Superior. We went to bed early. 

Our flight left at 6:30ish on Thursday morning! Marquette is a really small airport with only two gates.  Our flights into Chicago and Richmond were both early.  YEA! 

Um, what? I had seen one just outside the airport in Marquette when we arrived but it wasn't there at 5:00 am when we came back. This one was at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Evidently you can leave your excess cannabis in the box so you don't have it with you when you go into a state that doesn't allow it. Ok then. 

We were so very thankful we weren't flying on Friday.  Thank goodness we were trying to get me back home so I could attend some of the retreat. I felt sorry for all the passengers who couldn't fly Friday. 

I didn't take many pictures at the retreat. But I do have a cute one to share later. I'm ready to go to bed and I still have to link up with the following Linky parties. 
Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Design Wall Monday, and Monday Musings.  I'll be back Monday to link the other two.

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Monday Meanderings 7 - 15 - 2024

It's been a hot, busy week. And it's going to continue this week. Two days are expected to go above 100 degrees.  Yikes.  And that doesn't include the humidity.  Air conditioning is working well and I plan to stay in it!  I did a good job last week getting my goals worked on. Look at all those check ✅ marks!


✅Keep working on seaside top — 10 more little pieces were sewn down.

✅Finish small bag — finished and ready to use. 

✅Cut another kit for retreat — at least 1 more done. 

✅Organize and pack up retreat supplies — mostly done. 

Make backing for a quilt top — ironed and 2 sections sewn together. 

I'd like to show you the Strippy Zipper Pouch Kit I used to make, yes, a pouch.  I picked up the kit for free last October at the Country Piecemaker's retreat.  I decided to give it a try.  You can buy your own version of it through AccuQuilt. Or look at the other kits that June Tailor has at the AccuQuilt site. (This kit contained the "Sew on the Line"stabilizer, a Zippity-Do-Done pre-sewn zipper, and a video link and instructions. I never looked at the video link.) 

I found the process a bit strange and it created excess bulk. On the other hand, it wasn't hard to do and the zipper was a breeze.  I'm not sure I would have bought this kit, but I'm happy to have this little pouch to use. 

One lining section done. 

Above is the front and back sections done.  The zipper is sewn to each piece. (The zipper would be down the middle if I had thought to take that picture.) Once that is done, the bottoms of each side are aligned, right sides together, and then sewn together.  Yep, through the two linings, the front and back and 4 pieces of stabilizer. The weird sides are aligned and sewn to make the corners. My machine was working really hard to get through all of the layers. Even though I used a jeans needle it broke just before I finished the last seam. It took me a couple of days to do the whole thing although I didn't spend that much time each day.  This measures about 8" x 3" x 3". 

I plan to use it this week.  Doesn't the tab look funny sticking out?  The patterns available now have the tab as a handle, parallel to the bottom.  No worries... this is going to work well for how I want to use it. 

Here's what I did off list.  Ok, honestly -- I probably only made 4 or 5 of these this week. 

These blocks are for Nancy, one of the FCQ Equilters. I have been putzing along with these; it's time to finish them. I've picked one more bright fabric to make the last one to send.  I'll get them sent out next week. 

Here's what I hope to do this week, mostly at retreat. 

Retreat! Make —

Forest Animals Easy Attic Windows

Baby Buggies -- Boxes and Bow (3 yd quilt, except I'll make it smaller.) 

Benny’s Quilt 2.5” squares 

Sew a Happy Block Quilt Together 

Work on a new needlework project

The top two are kits I've cut out. Benny's Quilt has the units ready to sew into blocks. The Happy Blocks have already been placed in order so I'll only have to sew them into rows and then into the quilt top.  I might get some stitching done on the new needlework project too. But I'm going to focus on the quilting projects. 

Once again, I was able to spend at least 15 minutes stitching.  Here's where I stand now. 

W/ending 7/14 — 196 days in to 2024. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 14/14days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 189/196 days
  • Success rate = 96.4%
I'm linking up with the following parties: Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Design Wall Monday, and Monday Musings

That's it for now.  I hope everyone has a quilty week. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Monday Meanderings 7 - 8 - 2024

It's been a hot week and I'm guessing it will be nearly as hot this week.  That means it's perfect weather to spend time in my quilting studio -- in the basement. I did spend a lot of time in my cool basement. And, a lot of stitching was accomplished.  Here are the details. 


✅Make small bag — finished the two fronts, on to the lining.

✅ Keep working on seaside top — more pieces have been sewn down, more threads tied off. 

✅Process more scraps—made a little dent mostly cut by hand rather than by my Accuquilt. 

✅Bind Spinner — done.

Cut out a kit for retreat — started on a half log cabin using 2” strips. 

I didn't take all that many pictures of what I was working on from my goal's list this week. 

I did work on a half log cabin by cutting the various pieces to the correct size.  Here's a sample block -- it always helps to try the block out before spending hours cutting out more pieces! 

This doesn't represent my plans as it is quite color co-ordinated. This photo is pretty dark compared to what it really looks like also.  See my piles of pieces below. I started by picking fabrics from my 2" strip drawer. I've also pulled some fabrics from miscellaneous boxes of scraps, fat quarters, and my scrap baskets. Happily, I've seen a real dent in the 2" strip drawer and other locations in the studio.  Here's part of what I've cut already. 

I am using Sharyn Squire Craig's book Design Challenge: Half Log Cabin Quilts as my source for sizing and sizes.  I took a class from her sometime in the mid 1990s.   I haven't decided if I want the top to be 6 x 8 (48 blocks), 45 x 60",  or 6 x 10 (60 blocks), 45 x 75". Blocks are 8" unfinished.  I figure I'll need 432 pieces or 540 pieces depending on the size.  That's a lot of pieces. 

What I didn't plan on was quilting a top for a customer.  Nancy needed it quickly so I decided to get it done ASAP.  It was a joy to quilt -- I enjoy quilting pretty quilts. Here's a section of it. 

She chose Easy Peasy Baptist Fan by Naomi Hynes.
Thread was Omni White. 

Next up is what I hope to accomplish this week. 


Keep working on seaside top

Finish small bag 

Cut another kit for retreat 

Organize and pack up retreat supplies 

Make backing for a quilt top

And now, my 15 minutes of stitching results:

W/ending 7/7 — 189 days in to 2024. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/July = 7/7days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 182/189 days
  • Success rate = 96.2%

I'm linking up with my regular Monday Linky parties: Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Design Wall Monday, and Monday Musings.  I forgot to link up with Design Wall Monday and Monday Musings on Monday morning like I normally do. Oops. Hope you can spend some time checking them out now. 

We've enjoyed watching hummingbirds come to our feeder.  I was able to get this picture with my cell phone. (Does anyone have a real camera any more?) 

Anyone know what type a hummer he is? (Or maybe she.) We get two hummers who have squabbles over the feeder.  I enjoy watching them and the birds at our other feeder.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie  

Friday, July 5, 2024

July 2024 Mysteries and Sew Alongs

If you like Creative Grids rulers search for them on Facebook as Grid Girls group. It is a private group open to quilters who use Creative grids rulers.  They have mystery quilts periodically.  (I haven’t joined so I don’t know what is going on currently.)

In process: 12 part Sampler Sew Along from 4th & Main Designs called Stars and Bars Sampler.  Clues started on Monday May 27th but are all available. There will be three catch up weeks, although.  Sept. 2 will be the end. The patterns will be available until Dec 31, 2024.

Join the Summer Scrap Bash Sew Along at Lo & Behold Stitchery.  It started June 29th and will run until August 17.  You need to sign up and the directions will be sent to your Inbox every Saturday.

Bear Creek Quilting Company is sponsoring Tranquility Mystery Quilt.  It’s not too late to sign up.  Registration ends 7/31/24.  First Monthly Clue is emailed on 6/5/24.  You can definitely catch up. $15 registration fee.

2024 Designer Mystery Block of the Month Blocks Reservation
Fat Quarter Shop Exclusive. $$ starts June  2024 to May 2025. From what I can tell the block of the month includes purchasing fabric kits with the directions.  Here’s information about the mystery.

Another mystery is being offered by Bear Creek Quilting Company. Willoughby Mystery Quilt Program Registration ($15.00) starts 6/1/24. The mystery will run from 11/7/24 to 5/7/25. $ (just the registration fee. Directions will be emailed to participants. I believe the only cost is the registration fee.

If you come upon a mystery coming up please feel free to email the info to me so I can include it in an upcoming Sew Alongs and Mysteries column. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Monday Meanderings 7 - 1 - 2024

Is anybody beating the heat this week?  I’m confounded by temperatures that are staying in the 70s overnight!  Sunday wasn’t all that hot but the humidity was awful.  Feels like temp was in the mid 90s. I can't believe we'll have a low of 75 degrees this week. Yikes. 

But let’s not dwell on that. A quick update on my old Elna. There is a machine technician who will come to your house to repair machines. My friend Barbara had him come out on Wednesday last week and I asked if I could bring my machine over. He was happy to have another machine to work on. He cleaned and lube it. I spent that afternoon sewing on it. It worked really well for a 40 years old machine. 

Let’s see what I accomplished this week. One of the biggest accomplishments was getting a post up on Friday that showed two of my many finishes since the beginning of the year. Check it out here

My goal list isn't showing a bunch of ✅s.  But I'm happy with all I got done. 


✅Finish blue blocks and sew into top — one top done. 

✅Quilt one of my quilts — Spinner is quilted.

Bind one of my quilts — moved to next week.

✅Keep working on seaside top — more threads tied off, more stitching done.

Cut out a kit for July retreat — not yet.

Do you remember the blue blocks I shared last week? I made a pair of blocks to replace the yellow stripe ones.  And during a FaceTime call with my quilting buddy, Sharon, we came up with a new layout that worked. I'm happy to say I finished the top! 

Hum... the two light blocks on the bottom row look a lot alike.  Although in person they really don't seem that close.  These blocks are made in pairs.  I pulled two batiks  -- one blue and green (block 1, row 6) and the other was a light green (block 4, row 2.) 

My Spinner top has been quilted.  And, that's all I did with it this week.  The blocks were from 2022 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Here's a peek.

Although the blocks were made in 2022, I actually put them together earlier this year.  Hopefully I'll get this quilt bound next week. 

Here's what I hope to work on this week. I'm keeping this list fairly short, with items easily completed.  


Make a small bag 

Keep working on seaside top

Process more scraps

Bind Spinner 

Cut out a kit for retreat 

I normally spend a lot of time in my studio but this week I was out shopping a few times. (Note: I am not a great fan of shopping!) But Barbara asked me to go with her to a quilt store a good hour away. Well, of course I said yes. We visited the Quilting Studio in Fairfax.  It is a beautiful shop with lots of fabrics. She was trying to find the perfect fabrics to make a quilt for her son and his wife -- starting with some flamingo fabric. She found the two great go with fabrics. I purchased a yard of a black with a little grey in it.  We didn't get home until after 2pm. I was impressed that she stayed up late and got about most of her pieces cut. Wow! 

The next day I needed to pick up something at the local mall so Pat and I went off to run a couple of errands and went out to lunch.  So, not as much studio time this week. 

I did get a start on a doll quilt from leftover pieces as an off list project.  Here's what I've done design wise.  I have the pieces for one more of the four patches ready to sew together. I have more of the blue and black fabrics.  I think I'll be adding a couple of borders to make it a little bigger.  Anyone know what size I should make a doll quilt? I probably won't work on this very diligently.  My guild is collecting doll quilts but I won't be at a meeting until August.  

The good news is I have had a great week of stitching for 15 minutes every day.  Here are the stats:

W/ending 6/30 — 182 days in to 2024. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/June = 30/30days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 175/182 days
  • Success rate = 96.1%
I have my doubts about how much I'll get done on my list this first week in July.  Our daughter and her family are coming down Friday to spend the night before they go on their beach vacation.  It helps them to skip the Saturday traffic through DC and Northern Virginia.  And, we get to spend some time with them.  And, I need to do a little cleaning too. (Bummer, I don't like to clean!) 

Maybe I'll get another late week post sharing a few more quilts I've finished.  But, as usual, don't hold your breaths! 

Here are my normal Linky parties.  Take a look around to see what folks are working on.  Oh Scrap, Life in Pieces Stitching Stuff, Design Wall Monday, and Monday Musings

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie