Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bonnie Hunter's Lecture

Hi Everyone,

Even though my class with Bonnie was over, I was still looking forward to her visit to our guild meeting.  The guild, Colonial Piece-makers meets on a Saturday morning.  Did I mention that it is the second guild that I have joined in the area?  Most of my bee friend are in the other guild--Peninsula Piece-makers--so I asked them if they would like to go with me as my guests to see Bonnie.

  I love this picture that I took--even if you can't totally see everyone's face.  The ladies on the left, Janice, Lorna, Linda, and Trish are my bqf's  (Best Quilting Friends)  here in Hampton Roads.

We arrived early in order to find a parking spot and good seats, so we had time to browse Bonnie's goods as well as visit with lots of other quilting acquaintances.  It seems pretty common for people to be in both guilds, so even though my friends were visiting, they still knew many others.  In no time at all, the meeting got underway.

It began with an introduction of Bonnie and then she got started talking.  Let me just say that I knew she was a great writer (from her blog), and an excellent teacher, but I think her best skill is speaking!  She was terrific!  She began by telling us that because she drove here--she was able to bring many more quilts than if she had to fly.  Lucky us!  Anyway, she has this quilt behind her that illustrates her scrap saving system.  She talked about how great it is to have all these pre-cut pieces at her disposal and that if you simply cut up your leftovers after each project (just like you do your dishes after every meal) then you, too, can be ready to quilt at a moment's notice.  If you are interested in this system, Bonnie has blog posts about it over at Quiltville.com.

She also talked about re-purposing shirts, pj pants, and even hospital gowns for fabric.  As long as they are 100% cotton and you like the feel--you should be comfortable using it in quilts.

One other important part of her scrap system:  She divides all fabric into two groups:  colors and neutrals.  She doesn't like to say lights, mediums, and darks because if you put a medium next to a light--it can look dark, and if a medium is next to a dark, it looks light.  What is a neutral?  In her system a neutral is any fabric whose background color is lighter than a brown paper bag.

Then she began showing her quilts.  I've seen many of them on her blog or in her books, although she did have many of the quilts from her newest book, which weren't as familiar.  I took many pictures--and I'll share them here, but they look so much more spectacular in real life!!  Even great photography can't capture the details and colors.

First up was this one:
This is her Spinning Stars pattern which is in her first book, but is also a free pattern on her blog.  This is the same pattern that our bee used to make our Quilt of Valor, so it was neat that it was the first one that she showed.  Do you see the little red hourglass shapes?  She had us notice them because when she was making this, the red triangle were made by using the "flip corner" method.  She talked about how she runs those units through the machine, and then sews again on the "waste corners" and so when she cuts them off--she has HSTs all ready to go.  She even has a template on her website that you can use so that the waste triangles are the perfect, usable size.  If you have never visited Quiltville--you should check it out.  She has a tab called "Tips and Tricks" that has tons of great information.

She showed this quilt as an example of "the border making the quilt."  She mentioned how many of us work away on the inside of the quilt and then maybe want an easier border.  She said if you work on the stars as your leaders and enders while you are sewing the interior of the quilt, then the border is nearly made with almost no effort.

This is Zuckerwatte from her Strings book.  I was thrilled to see it, not just because it is an awesome quilt, with perhaps the best back ever, as shown below...
(yes, this is the back)
...but also because she wrote a tutorial on how to scallop a border.  I've done a scalloped border a few times and I used her tutorial with great results.  

She brought her pineapple quilt!  This is the one paper-pieced from tiny crumbs and leftovers from all her travels and workshops.  I think the blocks are 4.5 or 5 inches!  It is just spectacular.

This is, of course, Roll Roll Cotton Boll--one of her mystery quilts.  (I have made this.)  I'm showing you a picture because those sawtooth HSTs that surround the blocks are the "waste HSTs" that Bonnie made from that first quilt--Spinning Stars!  So not only does she save all of those leftovers--but she uses them, too!  This quilt also illustrates two other points that she made.  1.  If you put your blocks "on point," don't create challenging math for yourself by doing a straight border--make a border that is also "on point."  2.  If you are string piecing, variety is your friend.  If all of your strings are cut from muted prints in the same shade, you may as well not string-piece, as it isn't going to show up as well.  

Even though she brought an extra amount of quilts--it didn't take too long to show them all--and then her talk was over.  I wished it could go on and on because she is such a great speaker and has so much valuable information!  My friends and I decided to top it off with lunch out and then we went home.

I had left the house shortly before 8 and I think I got home around 1.  When I pulled into the driveway, my husband was vacuuming the yard with his leaf blower.  I went inside and the first thing I noticed was out the back window I could see our sheets hanging on the clothesline.  He took it upon himself to strip the bed, wash the sheets, and hang them on the line.  He also had unloaded the dishwasher, fed the birds, and he even went to the other side of our fence, cut down a bunch of bamboo (the homeowners of this house actually planted bamboo--NEVER do that!  It takes over everything), threw it back over the fence into the yard, loaded it into his truck and took it to the landfill. He did all of that while I was out having fun with my friends!  Best husband ever!

Have a great day!


  1. Your husband is a treasure! Great recap of Bonnie's visit too.

  2. I took a Bonnie class in January and her trunk show was amazing! I love my Smith Mountain Morning Quilt!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful "Bonnie" morning! : )

  4. Saw you and your quilts on Bonnie's slide show. Loved your quilts!!!!

  5. What an awesome lecture with Bonnie! And your hubby sounds like a keeper too! :)

  6. Your DH is definitely a keeper! Totally cool....

    I'm glad you had a great time at the Bonnie lecture! Sounds like a great day!

  7. Another fun day with Bonnie and a keeper of a hubby, too. Can't beat that, huh?!! LOL Sounds like my hubby was.

  8. Oh my both you and the Mr. had a busy morning although I would venture a guess that you had more fun. Sounds like you have quite a guy there!

  9. JoAnne- You really are a Bonnie Hunter lover! What a sweet post about her time with your guild. I hope she gets a chance to read it. I love the points she made about borders and how to use all of your fabric even the bitty triangle leftovers! Very sweet post and only made me even more desirous to go to a class she is teaching. Thanks for sharing this with us. K-

  10. How great to see those Bonnie quilts up close and personal--so inspiring!

  11. What can I say - Fabulous!! Wonderful!! Lucky You!!

  12. Hubby is a keeper for sure. Loved your wrap up on Bonnies visit, thank you for sharing!
    I'm Judy H's friend Sharyn in Kalama.