Friday, November 10, 2006

Summer Blog Update

Remember Anna Bonesteel's entry in the Asheville Quilt show? Well, she won an Honorable Mention. Congrats, Anna.

Come along and travel with the Lap Quilter.

Marion, Indiana was the place to be this July, 2006.

The Quilters Hall of Fame honored Virginia (Jinny) Avery with a great celebration.

She was in her glory with eloquent words and jazzy garments on display. Those of you who have studied under her would have been very proud. There were toasts, exhibitions, lunches, vendors, rewarding panels about the Art Quilt world, a jazz concert with Jinny at the keys and most impressive of all--19 members of Jinny's family.

Those of us former members, yours truly, Bets Ramsey, Jinny Avery, Yvonne Porcella and Donna Wilder all agreed Jinny had the most fun extravaganza of all. She has always made it right to dress with flair, color and dash-at any age! Put that July weekend on your weekend travel calendar.

A PS to this trip: I was proud to note a brick from the Western North Carolina Quilters Guild and my Freedom Escape quilters supporting the Marie Webster home and garden.

All year we look forward to our Nine Quarter Ranch quilt retreat. This year was special for two reasons-we drove to Montana and twenty six students awaited Charlotte Warr Andersen and I to teach.
America, the beautiful certainly rings true as we wandered across the plaines. We visited friends and family with a favorite stop of mine in Nashua, Iowa at The Little Brown Church in the Vale which is a reminder of my church days with my grand parents.
Once at the ranch, climbing Lincoln Mountain is always a challenge.Fortunately there is a side trail which is better on the 'ol knees. My new favorite friend on the trail is a walking stick. Yes, we were in class each morning with extended stints at our work stations between fly fishing, horse back rides and hikes. This year moose was our project with mine being Moose Over the Mountain and Charlotte's Moose In the Mist.See her wall hanging on her web site at
You can see these on display in the silent auction in Houston this November at the IQA show.

Some other favorite album shots at the ranch are:

Special Recognition of completed Moose's:

A stop over in Boulder, Colorado area found me at the Columbine Quilt Guild. It was only fitting to repeat the Moose project in an all day class. Everyone there had their own moose story. Why, one sort of pet moose just wanders the Boulder neighborhoods. But we were warned about moose encounters on the road. Not a good thing with an animal with such long legs.

Back home and a trip down Atlanta way. Three cheers for the hard working Southern Crescent Quilt Guild in Fayeteville, GA. I taught my strip picture piecing workshop with great results that included great landscape colors and a few "out of the box" fabrics too. I am awaiting the emails of finished designs.

What's Next? Future calendar posting includes the Sparta Teapot Museum for the year 2008. Yes, I am designing the quilt for the museum opening and the Alleghany Quilters Guild members will be stitching towards completion.

Freedom Escape Quilt Retreat continues on for the 23rd year at a new location in Black Mountain, The William Black Lodge.
The first week is full, but the second week, Friday, February 2 to February 16th has openings. Email or write Lee Roskamp Lundahl at 2278 Kings Pointe Dr. Largo, FL 33774 or Our project this week is a redesigned quilt from Spinning Spools, Volume #3 called Cane Cousin using the many exciting strip fabric now available. We leave the lodge one day for a special tour of Hendersonville, Flat Rock, my QuiltBuilt studio and much more!

March 31st, 2007 will be a very special first time One Day Quilt Conference at Winterthur in Delaware. Come see their historic collection and learn at the same time.
There is so much to see in the area--Longwood Gardens, Andrew Wyeth Museum and you can even kyak on the Brandywine River.

If you are touring in the area, put Burnsville, NC on the itinerary. Barbara Webster has completed and installed an amazing wall hanging in the city hall. Well worth a viewing!

A reminder---Every 4th Monday I conduct a Quilt Coffee Clatch at My Quilt Shoppe. It is a fun bring and brag session where we share and I get to teach a bit. Do come visit--open to all and it is free!

Check at
for any changes.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more info on my blog,


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Home Again…Best class, Ever

The signs ups were mandatory, the hours were dependant on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the concentration was sporadic, but intense, and the pay was not in dollars, but more in personal gratification. Yes, it was my pleasure to spend about a week with three granddaughters for a stitch and quilt class.

Last fall, Anna, 10 years old, attended the Asheville Quilt Show,
and was impressed with the youth category. By the time we got to the car, she had her design in mind and once we got to the “Quiltbuilt: studio she was asking for pattern material and fabric. She was on a roll with her violin cut out and was working on the strings when she left for New Jersey. Her project remained on hold until gram gram put the pressure on with the due date for this years show. Once I arrived she had even cut out notches on the convex curves of the violin in preparation for basting and hand appliqué. She was intrigued with the inverting method of sewing the batting, backing and front together.

She left about a 7” opening to turn inside out. The batting was pretty dense but she was able to hand set the edges. It was her idea to make musical notes to use as a quilting motif, which she cut out of felt. A zig-zag stitch secured these in place. Without a walking foot, I suggested random 3” to 4” straight lines of quilting following the stanzas. She is very proud to finish and so excited to enter her first quilt show.

Now her sisters, Claire, age 9, and Jane, age 5, were not to be outdone! Claire liked the old fashioned Grandmother’s Fan pattern and decided to hand piece the wedges together after selecting her own fabrics. One block was not enough, she wanted two on her small quilt. This time, after eyeing her sister on the Bernina, she wanted to machine stitch.
With a pencil line drawn for the ¼” seam allowance and her foot control raised on a box she was off and running. I guided her to the presser foot lever and how to cut off her threads at the end. She will never hand piece again!

Last, but not least, Jane, favored house designs. I told her a triangle for a roof and a rectangle for a door could make small houses in a hurry. She hand pieced many sections together, but became jealous of the swiftness of the sewing machine. So, she had a turn and mastered it very well. Their two quilts are destined for baby quilts for new family members. They learned the important thing about quiltmaking—it takes time and patience. I trust their achievements will go down as the first thing they did on their summer vacation.

England or Bust!

This was the slogan for my Kyak/Rambler journey with three friends. We savored the green countryside from Norwich to South Devon near Exeter. My quilt brain travels everywhere even though I did not visit one quilt shop, but I cound not pass up Liberty of London. It has changed since the last visit. Not so much fabric, except Kaffe Fassett’s line of woven stripes and the V & A collection, but more fashion, home decorating and even stationary. My one meter of sale table fabric (13 pounds or $26.00) will be a measly division between two quilt groupies. One day we rambled 10 miles through the Exeter National Park along the Bristol Channel, through sheep fields next to the Lyn River. “I’m so glad I’m Back, I’m happy I went”!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Quilt Satisfaction and Patchwork “Perks”

Recently I drove home from the Foothills Piecemakers Quilt Guild (encompasses Taylors, Spartanburg, Landrum and Greenville, SC) with a great deal of contentment. It was the night before their semi-annual quilt show and there I was giving a lecture on creativity. Hopefully, I was the kick off for their show. They had been hanging quilts all day and knew they had two full days ahead of them, but there they were. How great to see familiar faces and renew friendships. Our quilt community spans the years. Many told me of quilts they had finished from my TV shows and books. One member now joins my very private club of people who actually completed The Ultimate Postage Stamp Quilt. That quilt is on the cover of my Bright Ideas book. Check it out on my Quilt Store link on the web site. How wonderful it is to finish! Of course, having a quilt show is a great impetus, also.

“Perks” Webster dictionary claims is to make or become vigorous or lively again. That is how all quilters feel when show and tell happens at guild meetings. It is my favorite time when members take center stage with their handiwork. That night there was an amazing quilt from the Salvation Army, a wedding quilt with some awesome quilting lines and then a snappy Art quilt among the offering.

I feel so fortunate to live in a real “hot bed” of quilt activity. Being in two groupies and a member of three guilds keeps me busy. This time of the year with the yard and garden work calling makes it especially challenging. What’s ahead this spring? Teaching soon at Randy’s Quilt Shop in Greensboro. Then there is the quilt exhibit at the Folk Art Center in Asheville.
My pineapple quilt will be featured there. Actually, it is the quilt from New Ideas from Lap Quilting. My sister had done the quilt in that book so I never had my own. Well, it took me several years to complete so I named it “Finally”. It is based on paper piecing, but sewn on the front side and not a reverse situation. I will be teaching that pattern in Houston this fall.

Next week at our local Arts Council of Henderson County on Main Street we install a “Teapots” exhibit and yes, a small piece of mine was accepted. I call it “Three for Tea” It will hang from April 28th until June 30th along with all of the unique and one of a kind teapots. (828-693-8504)

Certainly do not forget that I conduct a free “Coffee Clatch” every 4th Monday at My Quilt Shoppe. The topics vary, but it is a great sharing time, with instruction on many related quilt topics. Just check their web site for any changes and notification at

Time is getting close for the induction of Virginia Avery in July at the Hall of Fame.
I look forward to that drive up through the mountains and into farm country with arrival in Marion, Indiana. Mark your calendars and come join us.

Next blog update after a European trip. You better be sure I will be checking out quilt shops.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A new frontier for Georgia, a blog!

Quilts from my friend Luda in Kazakhstan

For almost 20 years we owned and operated Bonesteel Hardware & Quilt Corner. My, that was a busy time. How did I do it?---TV, books, travel, teaching, lectures, designing and family. Well, I had lots of help and a supportive family. Also, I had Norma, my trusted secretary. Now, all I have is the computer, my Bernina's, a retired husband, seven grandchildren and a good stash of fabric. Well, that is just about any upstanding quilter needs!

I am still designing and making quilts even though my beds and cupboards are full. What I can never give up is the people interaction. Once a month at My Quilt Shoppe (not mine, owned by Lanna Gordich) I do a Coffee Clatch get together where we exchange ideas and just have a mini quilt meeting. There is always so much to share. Everything from techniques, problem quilting lines, new tools and of course, "show and tell". Come visit if you are in the area. The store calendar is at Check out my Quilt Corner in the fabric room of the store. We have all just heard that In The Beginning, that wonderful quilt shop in Seattle, WA is closing their doors. New opportunities await Sharon and Jason Yenter. Things change!

We often question--why aren't more of our friends experiencing the joy of quilting? I contend there is no pride in saying, like I often hear on some of the decorating shows, "and you don't even have to sew it". Velcro and a glue gun are not the answer. We want to say, get with it and learn to sew. It is a joy and such a fulfillment and will open so many doors in your life. Please do not forget buttons and buttonholes. My new machine makes perfect, repeat button holes and can even determine the proper opening by the button size.

News Flash for Quilters! Great news with The Alliance for American Quilts moving to Asheville, NC. They are joining forces with HandMade in America Check this organization out on line and then join. Take a few minutes and read some of their accomplishments as they document, preserve and share our great quilt heritage.

Another favorite long standing organization is the AQSG, which stands for the American Quilt Study Group. My goal this year is to visit Lincoln, Nebraska and see their headquarters. Blanket Statements, their newsletter, is always full of good history, ideas and notable names in our field.

The internet has become the new daily diary for quilt connections. People from my past have found me--a classmate from Oak Hall at Iowa State College and a pen-pal-well, an email-pal from Kazakhstan. A quilter recently from a western state emailed me to say that one of her quilts from my design was bought by Robin Williams (ala Hollywood!) Just look what quilt connections do for the soul. Every day a new experience related to fiber happens. My advice for those just starting with their quilt career is to keep a diary. One never knows when you will have to call upon the past!

I am proud to be participating in the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a program to raise awareness and fund research for Alzheimer's disease. It has two parts: a traveling art quilt exhibit interpreting Alzheimer's in fiber art that will tour the US for three years, and an on-going sale of small art quilts. All proceeds will go to Alzheimer's research.

So long for now, but look for updates with whatever crosses my needle.