Well, the alarm clock went off early Friday morning and I immediately sat up and exclaimed "It's Bonnie Hunter Day!" with every bit as much excitement as an 8 year old on Christmas morning (if not more.) As it was 5 AM, my husband was not interested in sharing my enthusiasm.
I had packed and loaded in the car everything I needed for the class the night before. I got ready for the day and was waiting to head out. Bonnie's facebook post/blog came up and she said she was almost ready to head over to the meeting location, so since I'm a half hour down the road, I grabbed my purse and headed out, even though it was a half hour before I planned to leave.
When I arrived I saw this pulled up to the door:
It's Shamu! Probably the most famous minivan in the quilt world! My van wanted to get a photo with it, but it didn't work out. (Just kidding! I think...)
I went inside and found a table. I was saving a place for my friend Judy from Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog. The class project was Talkin Turkey.
I saw Bonnie right when I got in and, gosh, she is just a regular person! Ha ha. Seriously though, she was just like I expected, only not as hyper as I thought she would have to be to get as much done as she does--but she isn't. Once everyone got there, we got started. I think there were 29 of us there.
Bonnie demo-ed string piecing, and in particular, how to do it for our project. I've done lots of string-piecing before on Roll Roll Cotton Boll so I knew what to expect. We got busy sewing for a while.
We pieced on phone book pages and then squared up to 5.5" blocks. Then we cut across them diagonally for triangles.
String pieced triangles
Next up was making nine patches. Once they were complete, we attached the string triangles to all four sides and then did some "squaring up."
But before we cold proceed any more, it was already time for lunch! I don't have to tell all of you that if you are partaking in a potluck provided by quilters, you are going to be stuffed full of the most delicious food ever. I signed up for jello. I make a really fun, pretty jello mold, usually with all rainbow colors. In the spirit of our project, though, I made it with all different kinds of red jello. Here is a picture of a slice--you can see that it looks just like our string pieced blocks!
Even Bonnie had some!
After some really extraordinary show and tell, and I should say here that Bonnie was every bit as enthusiastic as the rest of us, we got back to working on our project. I say that about her because some quilt designers can be a bit prickly about people altering their patterns, etc. but Bonnie loved all the innovation. Anyway, we had another demo on making flying geese. Bonnie showed us at least 4 ways. I had brought my Fit to Be Geese rulers to use, too. This quilt requires many, many flying geese, but I love making them, so it won't be an issue for me.
While we were working on the geese, Bonnie came around to everyone to sign books. While she was signing mine, Judy asked her about the next mystery. Bonnie shared that she hadn't settled on a color scheme yet but that she knew she didn't want to include the Pantone Color of the Year--radiant orchid. I bet you can guess what I was thinking!!! Before I got a chance to speak up, Bonnie mentioned that she hadn't done a red, white, and blue quilt in a while. (By then, she already knew about me.) Judy helped my cause by adding that it would be a great choice since so many people like to make Quilts of Valor. So, you never know what might happen! I'm crossing my fingers!!
Later, she was helping Judy with her seam allowance. I had a bunch of geese done and I was sorting them out into piles of 8, as we needed 8 to go around the blocks. We were supposed to be making one block, but I was working on 4 or more, since I usually crank things out pretty quickly. It isn't that I rush, I just feel confident in what I do and don't spend much time "dithering" or over-thinking things. Anyway, Judy commented on all I had done and Bonnie said something like she enjoyed watching me work as it reminded her of herself!!!!! OMG!!! Best moment of the day!!!!!
So I sewed the geese into strips to add around the block from above. I didn't finish any of them, though, as they announced that it was nearly 4 and we had to be out by then. Four?!! How did it arrive so quickly?
I packed and loaded up. It was a fabulous class--but for me it wasn't about learning how to make a quilt--it was all about spending a day with Bonnie Hunter. Luckily, I still had the guild presentation to look forward to the next morning. I'll share about that tomorrow.
Have a great day!