Saturday, February 10, 2018

Fun Quilt Class with Quiltville's Bonnie Hunter...



Our quilt guild has been anticipating a visit from Bonnie Hunter for several years, and she finally came to town to present to a packed house. Organizers had booked her far in advance and she did not disappoint. Bonnie's energy, enthusiasm, and positive attitude are admirable. And her methods for cutting and sewing her wonderful scrap creations are well-thought-out and efficient. This centerpiece quilt demonstrates how the simple strips and shapes cut from scraps shown at the top of her quilt can combine to make so many appealing patchwork blocks.



Known for using assorted fabric scraps and for her "leaders and enders" system of sewing efficiently, Bonnie had piles of her colorful quilts to show us during her trunk show program. The guild members had a show-and-tell in which they displayed more than 30 quilts they'd made using her patterns and methods. Several were based on her popular mystery quilt series. I showed one of mine made using her Scrappy Trips blocks.



The day after the lecture, 40 happy quilters showed up at our meeting place to learn and sew a Pineapple Blossom quilt like Bonnie's sample shown here. Bonnie offers many free patterns and tutorials on her website, linked above.


We made good progress on our blocks and enjoyed visiting and chatting while we sewed. Here are some of my tablemates at work. Most of the light in the room came from our machines and plug-ins, so pardon the photography. Quite a few members like to bring their vintage Singer Featherweight machines to class because they are so portable and reliable. Bonnie had the opportunity to sew in her hotel room using a guild member's Featherweight that was once owned by Aunt Bee of Mayberry fame. She was delighted and wrote about the experience here on her blog.



But the raciest model is this custom painted purple one! Debra Johnston was sewing on it, and it's one restored by her husband Johnny, The Old Sewing Machine Man. I don't know if that color made it sew faster, but Debra did get a lot of blocks completed.



We'll be making 20 blocks total, and worked on 12 of them during class. Here are four of mine arranged side-by-side to show one way they can be set together. I'm about halfway done with my blocks, so it will be awhile before I can share the finished project. If you visit Bonnie's YouTube video of her day in Ocala, you'll see more images. I'm in her video wearing an orange/blue plaid shirt and just one shoe. I'm most comfortable sewing barefoot. How about you?



8 comments:

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Most impressive. I love your scrappy squares. They are amazing. I enjoyed seeing the quilts Bonnie Hunter brought, too. And NO, I don't sew barefoot. In fact, it's too cold to sew in my craft room right now, even with thermal socks on!

The Inside Stori said...

I’m always so awed by those who conquer scrap quilts. I made them years and years ago, loved the results but no longer enjoy cutting/sewing fabric for block type quilts…..so happy you do….eye candy for sure!

Jan said...

Love these scrappy quilts! As you know I'm all in favor of using scraps and lots of variety. I'm not so good at precision piecing but these might inspire me to try harder.

Lenna Young Andrews said...

Looks like fun, Nancy! I like the look of that scrappy block too!

Createology said...

WOW! What a wonderful day of gathering and sharing and sewing. I have always wanted a Featherweight just because I love them. My older sister’s mother had one and I got to sew on it in high school. You are totally cute in the video and Yes, I sew barefoot. I also drive barefoot because I feel like I have better control of the pedals. Happy Valentine’s Dear...xo

Robbie said...

How cool! I've heard of Bonnie before...so glad your group got a chance to see her work and learn some new tips! Susan and I made a trip to Trenton on Saturday (had to get fabric for my grand daughter's T shirt quilt. Fun day!

FlourishingPalms said...

I'm happy for you and your guild to have had such a successful and fun time with Bonnie! She's definitely a ball-of-fire, and it's great to know how many quilters she has motivated and enthused in her quiltmaking lifetime. I'm one of them too, though that seems long ago now. I can't imagine having a facility large enough to hold 40 quilters and their machines! Wow! You're very fortunate to have such a place at your disposal. The blocks you're making are going to be great all sewn together. Keep havin' fun with them.

Browndirtcottage said...

How fun and lucky for you Nancy! I KNOW you all enjoyed Bonnie. I would LOVE to see some of her quilts up close and personal. What inspiration that should carry you for a while.