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?