I really hadn't planned on seeing Bonnie when she came to Des Moines......the DM guild, I heard them say had waited 5 years on their/her calendar to schedule her coming. To say Miss Bonnie is very popular would be a gross understatement.
To be honest I have no idea when I started following her, but it has been quite awhile, probably 10+ years.....she is known for her scrap quilts recycling fabric, like men's shirts for example. She also loves string piecing, sewing on vintage sewing machines, using leaders and enders to work on a secondary project....and if that is not enough came up with a very usable scrap saving system. All of these things can be found at quiltville
Low and behold.....here she was lecturing twice on Jeff's day off that week.....so it was a possibility that we could go. The Silver Fox fired up for a day trip and we even managed to find him a new pair of shoes for work. So what a special treat to get to hear her again. I have heard her before, in Tucson, 3 years ago. She happened to be in AZ while we were in Phoenix.....but I really never dreamed I would get to hear her again.
She is an absolute delight. I love her scrap saver system.....I was doing some of it, but she had taken it farther and thought through the math more than I did.....so it is much more usable and workable. I use it all the time.
See that crazy pineapple quilt hanging behind her......I think I need to make one of them.....another one with tiny pieces.....what can I say.....the smaller the pieces the better I like 'em!
Then for an added bonus while there, I ran into two quilt friends from back home, Mary & Nancy! What a hoot! And I was able to see my friend Carolyn who lives in West Des Moines too. We sat together and caught up a bit.
Bonnie had such nice things to say about the DM Guild.....they are a very active bunch. They ended up with 2 openings, one in each workshop. My younger self would have been all over one of them.😏
You can check out her blog posting about Des Moines here.
I made my grandson Gabe's HS graduation quilt from one of her patterns called Easy Street.
I loved working on this quilt....but it is a biggie......I think close to "100 x 100."
Close-up of the quilting and some of the fabrics. I wouldn't know how many different fabrics are in it, but a bunch. The more the better, I say!
Can you see one that looks like penmanship class and writing on lined paper? Remember doing that? I do.
I generate most of my quilt labels on my computer and print them on treated fabric.....then you can add photos to them and say whatever you want. I like the ability to plan it out on the computer screen.
This quilt came from the book More Adventures with Leaders and Enders.
For those who are not familiar with leaders and enders......when I am typically working on piecing a quilt, I try and chain as many similar units together as I can. Meaning, I do not lift my presser foot between each unit and continue to feed one unit after another under my presser foot with small chains of stitches between each unit. Years ago someone came up with the idea of using a "waste square" or I have also heard it referred to as a "spider nest", but a piece of fabric you had under your presser foot when you began stitching, then you fed your first unit after that. At the end of your stitching you would go back to that beginning scrap or spider's next and clip it off and add it to the end of your stitching and it was ready the next time.
The thought was you were not wasting so much thread pulling out each unit and clipping your threads and you saved time too.
Somewhere along the line and I heard it from Bonnie first, she talked about leaders and enders, where you were piecing a secondary quilt/project or piecing units as your "waste" beginning and ending. Except these were not waste pieces, you were actually working on your next project or whatever while you were doing your primary quilt top. BRILLIANT, I say! I have been doing this ever since.
The next piece I did in what I would call the Bonnie Hunter style was using the hour glass block (it was a part of a leader ender challenge, she does a new one each year)......also lots of string piecing something else that Bonnie and I both never tire of. I bought several pieces of fabric for this in AZ that winter before I made this. This is my own pattern and it was made for our granddaughter, Lizzie's HS graduation. She wanted red and gold, the colors of ISU, but not Iowa State fabric, which made for a very happy and fun quilt.
I machine quilted it in red thread.