Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

Unfortunately the Crumby Retreat is over - I dropped Bonnie off at the airport far too early this morning. I can hardly complain though because we had one heck of a great time.

I have a newfound respect for Bonnie. She just sits at that machine and sews and sews and sews. I can't physically do it. I can't mentally do it, but she sure can. So when you look at these blocks, realize that Bonnie made probably 80% of them. I pressed and trimmed to size and puttered. I made all the letters -- our initials for both of us and several words for Bonnie -- but got bored having to think about what I was making while she was just having fun. We both ended up making some stars tho - they add a little spark here and there.

When you look at these blocks, realize that we had a head start using Bonnie's scrap bags. She had all sorts of pre-cut triangles in there as well as pre-sewn rectangles that were leftover from someone else's project. Those really allowed us to make complicated blocks without having to do the itsy bitsy work ourselves.

We ended up with 168 3.5" blocks EACH by the end of the day on Dec 31st. On the morning of 1 January we both started sewing the blocks into 4-patches. I looked around and Bonnie had all of her 4-patches complete:

while I was still sewing them into groups of two:

Bonnie with her 4-patches. She did a bit of arranging, but not much. I love how her shirt echoes the bright greens in the blocks.

Here she has her sashing and posts laid out. In the top row you can see the "m" she made ages ago and threw out of a diferent project, but that I used for the word HOME. Our initial blocks are here in the lower right of the quilt top.

Bonnie has an unusual method of sewing her blocks together that she calls webbing. The blocks all end up hanging together by threads. She calls it webbing. Some of this has been seamed, but some hasn't - look at the gaps:

She got the whole quilt top together on the 1st. Well, except for whatever final border she decides to put on. I still haven't gotten my blocks together and that's even after she generously cut all my sashing and posts. I also chose red and purple, but my fabrics are more intense than hers. What with bulk, bias and a few blocks that were almost large enough, my 4-patches differ in size by more than a quarter of an inch. I'm sewing the sashes and posts on and slicing off any extra material from there, rather than from the blocks.

You'll have to wait for another day though to see the completed tops.

Amazingly enough, Bonnie made friends with screwy Howler. By yesterday all the cats were behaving normally - not off hiding under a bed. Not that Pokey ever hid - she won Bonnie over pretty quickly.

By the way, the Bernette and I did NOT get along. I don't know if it was the machine or how I was threading it, but the upper thread kept breaking over and over and over again. I was about in tears. So took it back and ended up getting the basic Bernina I really wanted anyway. Sewing on a good machine is such a dream - it just purrs. What a difference it made.

Now I have to get back to the real world and take care of appointments and overdue library books. Sigh. Hope to get the top finished today tho (the center part, not the border). I need to buy a shower curtain to mail to my husband, because he hates the French one he bought. There is a new quilt shop I haven't explored down there near the Target.... Hmmm, maybe I can be a bad girl and have some fun after all today.

I'm feeling well, just cranky that I'm not allowed any dairy on my low-iodine diet. I neeeeed that milk in my tea. It is forcing me to eat healthier since vegetables are the one thing there are no restrictions on.

My husband has spent a lot of time getting boxes unpacked and furniture arranged in the new apartment. He says I have a lot of quilts. That's so surprising, isn't it. I do feel sorry for him. Usually he gets to go off to work while I mess around with trying to find electrical adapters and things like that, but not this time.

Happy New Year everyone!

31 comments:

Jan said...

Oh.my.
Wow.
Speechless.
Leaving the computer now to go sew. ;-)

sophie said...

Beautiful! I'm in awe of how much you two accomplished.

joyce said...

Wow! Good thing you weren't in a race with Bonnie! The results are amazing. I'd like to hear more about "webbing" or is it on her site? I loved her leaders and enders so maybe this will be the next step. It will be nice to get to Paris with everything unpacked so you can get busy and just enjoy Paris in the spring. (I think spring starts pretty early there, unlike here.)

quiltpixie said...

sorry you had to "fight" with a machine, but getting what you really wanted was probably worth the fristration... The crumb blocks are looking great. I too am a "puddler" I can only do one thing for about 1.2 hour before needing to move and do something else for a bit... Ah well, as long as you're enjoying the process its not a race to the finish line :-)

Finn said...

Hey Ton, love the blocks..and such good setting colors too. Hard to beat red and purple!

Like I say back when I was sewing with Bonnie on the Katrina quilts, she runs circles around the rest of us. Even on that blasted blue jean quilt!!!
So glad you had the company and the crumby retreat time..good for both of you, I think.
Hugs, Finn
P.S. Could you use Silk(soy milk) in your tea?

Laurie Ann said...

Wow! Looks and sounds like you and Bonnie had a fabulous time! Can't wait to see your top.

anne bebbington said...

Tonya - I too have always used that 'webbing' method - it's absolutely brilliant for stitching a big area of squares together (I used to make lots of crib quilts in random 4" squares) - don't worry that you can't keep up with Bonnie - she is a bit of a whizz to say the least :o) but you can trickle along at your own pace now and complete it at your leisure while secretly smiling that for once your DH will have your new French home soemwhere near sorted out for you when you get there. Ps - to follow on from Finn's suggestion - maybe rice milk would be ok for your tea too - don't know if you can source it in the US but in the UK we call it Provamel - it is a little sweet but very creamy

Angie said...

Awesome! Just absolutely awesome!! I love what you two got done together!! It looks like you two had a wonderful time! As the for low-iodine diet, I've already been there and done that one LOL and before you go get rice milk, hmmmmm, :( I don't think you can have rice, can you? I can't remember so check your list, girlfriend! I'm still holding tight to you in my thoughts and prayers. I'm just status quo...go back to endo... on Jan. 10. If there have been no changes (and there haven't been so far), then he will try to decide what to do next. If my heart would settle down, I'm sure he'd opt for the surgery that you've had. So here's to 2007 for both of us, honey...may we get this thyroid battle over and done with!!!!

Sassenach said...

I love the colors! Wooooo!
Wish I could go sit at my machine, but am tied to a deadline.....

I'm curious: what's the difference between a French shower curtain and an American shower curtain? (There's a bad joke in there somewhere, I'm sure.)

Dianne said...

Wow, Tonya, the Crumb Blocks look sensational! I tried to do that webbing method a couple of times in my early days of quilting, but somehow I always end up getting the threaded-together bits twisted up and made a mess of it. I'm much better to go slower and put things together two blocks at a time. Even then I will sometimes seam the wrong edge! Sigh.

Sounds like you've got lots on your plate for the coming weeks. Keep on keepin' on, Ton...we're all thinking about you.

Shelina said...

Happy New Year!
It is amazing the amount of blocks the two of you put together so quickly. They look great! So beautiful with the red sashing.
I would love to have someone unpack everything for me! I think you should just enjoy it.

Judy said...

I can't sew like that either...I start to drift away to watch the tv or whatever. Plus the back can't take too much. When I got my bernina new I took the new owner class and the thing would not allow the thread to pull smoothly. Because I was right there the guy took it and said a screw inside was loose and he fixed it in about 3 minutes. Maybe the machine had issue, but I'm glad you got a good one that you really wanted anyway.

Man I am glad I never had to do that diary, low-iodine thingy. Yikes! I'd ask the doc before trying the other things. It might be the lactose or something else that also in the soy and other milks. Glad you guys had a good time. I was laughing at the floor. I bet the vaccumm got quite a workout from all the tiny pieces and threads!!

PS: I tried Bonnie's webbing way of sewing blocks and I just didn't like it. Something was off to me and I couldn't get the hang of it.

Tazzie said...

Wow Tonya, what a super fun time! I always suspected Bonnie was a sewing powerhouse, and now we have proof! The blocks you made together were amazing, I look forward to seeing the tops!
Welcome to the Bernie club!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

That is just about too much fun to be legal!!Sewing all your crumbs together like that with no designs is really liberated quilt-making. Well done and my theory would be-"if she's happy to sew..."LOL tracey

Lucy said...

I had the experience to see Bonnie sew. And it is the same experience... Men it looks like she is driving in a racingcar. And she looks so relax behind the machine :-)) I love to read that you both had such a great time. and the result is amazing !!

Helen said...

These blocks are way cool. Love them. I need to get more brights into my work.

Lily said...

Wow Bonnie is a quilting machine!!! Guess she does it all day every day! Sounds like you all had fun - even the cats!

Sandra said...

Love the blocks, love the big sewing area you have and love the sashings. Your fabric is more intense?? Imagine the smokin' sewing machines at a Maverick retreat LOL.

Dawn said...

I wrote on Bonnie's blog that I was soooo jealous! I want those quilts! I can't figure out how you guys get those crumb blocks so cool. Mine still are always to uniform or something. Not sure what. I LOVE those blocks! I'm so mad she got to play with you! But you would go crazy, because I can sit at the sewing machine and sew away like Bonnie, I'm not a tinkerer like you!!! :)

I'm so glad you had a good time!

Elaine Adair said...

What fun! Just like a bunch of little girls, playing. I noticed I have to keep standing back and looking at what I've done ... THAT takes too much time, and for what? But I DO have to move my body every hour or so to stretch, etc., but then get sidetracked.

The blocks are just really great, and yes, Bonnie's shirt DOES go well. Good to hear about "webbing" -- I do it sometimes, but again, I think I enjoy the fiddling part.

For efficiency, remember to use your left food on 'the gas' and right knee on the presser foot lifter. THOSE tips have speeded up my sewing.

Fiona said...

What more can I add to the other comments? I'm in awe (again)!

Karen said...

Hi, Tonya, cute pictures of Bonnie (the dynamo...sure wish I could sew quickly) and ... is it Howler getting petted? Wow, you can just stroll into your Paris apartment and say "Lovely Dahling all is arranged Chahhhhmingly" and re-lax!

Sweet P said...

I don't think I could up with Bonnie either. I've done a couple sewing marathons where I sewed for 8 or 9 hours and my body really didn't like me the next day. I prefer to take a leisurely pace and just do what I feel comfortable doing.

I love your crumb blocks mixed with the wonky letters. What awesome work both of you did.

Holly said...

Your retreat sounds like so much fun! What beautiful blocks - I can see pieces of the both of you in the blocks. Looking forward to seeing them both put together.

Carol said...

Ditto ditto everything that was already said. Wow!! I'm not a powerhouse sewing machine like Bonnie, either. Don't have the attention span for that.

Carol said...

P.S. when you get situated in Paris, can we have an all-Mavericks-meeting at your apartment??

Lynn Dykstra said...

How wonderful to spend time together like this.

Susan said...

The blocks look great! What a fun time you two had together. That webbing thing is cool. I learned it years and years ago from Eleanor Burns. =)

I know you feel better for her visit, and all the fun you had together! There's never enough time with friends.

Clare said...

Wow! Fantastic colours and it sounds as if you had a great time together over the holiday.

Family Quilt was greeted with lots of oh's ands ah's and Mum loves it. Forgot to write on it though in the rush to get it wrapped and ready - doh!

Nancy said...

Sounds like you and Bonnie had a wonderful time together. And I just love the quilts you ended up with.

Kathie said...

This is fabulous! I just love it. I would love to come and play with you anytime.