I could 'Bonnie Hunter' all day long

Yes, I did just use a proper name as a verb. If you've ever made a Bonnie quilt, then you know why. Bonnie's quilts are intense and have lots of pieces. Even the Story Time Stars quilt has lots of little pieces and because this is for a good friend, I'm especially trying to make all my points match and get the details right. Consequently, I'm not making very fast progress. But, the turtle won the race while the rabbit took a nap, right?

I like Bonnie's quilts. I like the challenge of making a quilt with lots of pieces. I don't want all my quilts to have a gillion pieces, but sometimes, it's just the ticket to soothe the troubled mind.

So, how do you Bonnie Hunter all day long? Well, you make one Bonnie Hunter quilt...

while you're making another Bonnie Hunter quilt.

That way, you don't have to work on anything but Bonnie Hunter patterns all day long. The first picture is the Story Time stars with their first pieces of sashing attached and the second is my Texas Braid leader/ender that I ironed all the red squares the wrong way. Oh, well.

After looking at the beautiful pics in this post from Bonnie's last workshop, I decided it was time to start sewing some of those bricks I've been cutting for a year into actual braids. I have about 500 dark bricks with the red squares attached and am going to go for a lap blanket. But, I'm going to have to cut more neutral bricks. Somehow neutrals are always harder to come by.

If only I could take all day long to quilt. Wouldn't that be nice.

Anyway, I've been quilting for a while and I've come across some really handy tips over time and am going to share a few over the next few days. If I can remember.

The first one is for "Bad Pins". Bad pins are bent or broken or have lost their heads. They're also sewing machine needles that aren't sharp anymore and hand sewing needles that look like safety pins because of the monster grip I put on them when I hand sew. And, there's likely even a safety pin that won't close or won't open anymore or has a rust spot. I have a terror of stepping on pins. Okay, not really the stepping on them but the pulling them back out of my foot. That part makes me pale and nauseous. And, I feel really bad if Sydney or Rob steps on one.

I found this suggestion somewhere and I've kept a "bad pin" bottle ever since.

This is just a pill bottle with a hole drilled in the top and a title (so I don't accidentally take a needle instead of an aspirin...hah!) Anyway, I can drop bad pins in the bottle and they stay there. And, if I ever fill it up, I can just exchange lids with another empty bottle and toss the full bottle away. I keep this near my sewing machine and I never have to drop pins loose in the trash and then find them later, after my 14 year old has managed to spill the trash trying to empty it into a larger bin to take it out to the curb, because we all know what a complex maneuver taking out the trash is.

Other than that, I'm considering another machine purchase. A good friend is selling her Mother's machine and I'm thinking of buying it. It's a Singer 401 in a cabinet. I've been looking at 301's and 401's for Rob's Mom and this might just do the trick exactly. If I can part with it. You know how dangerous it is to bring a machine into a collector's house. They never leave again. Even if the collector doesn't want them as in that Singer 237 that I really need to re-home. And, can't.

Take care and have a great Wednesday. Lane


regan said...

Having met her, I think Bonnie would be proud that she has become a verb! lol

And I totally agree....her kind of piecing.....all day long! Yay!

Megan said...

I too could Bonnie Hunter all day every day. But, when I don't have the opportunity to do so, I find turning the pages of her books quite therapeutic. I lurve looking at the close-up photos of blocks from her quilts and spotting tiny squares cut from a fabric that I'm sure that I also have in my stash!

Sydney, Australia

Michelle said...

I believe the 401 is probably the absolute best model Singer ever made. It is FAST (if the brushes and armature are clean). It can run about as quick as a semi-industrial machine (like my Juki TL-98E). It's even better if you have a full set of fashion discs (cams) to go with it. My hubby knows how to clean the motors and make them 'speed'. The 301 is great too, but the possibilities are endless on the 401. It is one STRONG machine, but delicate enough if needed.

Don't feel bad. I probably would have a hard time parting with a machine too. (Who am I kidding? They are all over my house!)

lw said...

Mmm...not sure I could let that 401 leave the house...

I love the bad pin bottle-- I'm totally ripping off that idea.

And I haven't Bonnie Huntered yet, but I'm getting ready to Judy Laquidara.

Pauline said...

Great tip for bad pins! I've been using a little glass bottle and dreading to throw away what might be an antique. I have plenty of old perscription bottles and a neat hole punch. That little goodie will be my first project this morning! Thanks Lane

Anna said...

My Mother has 3 401's and they are a great workhorse of a machine. She purchased the first one used and make my school clothes on it when I was in Grammer School and it was the machine that I learned to sew on. I highly recommend it!

=Tamar said...

Just wondering - can't find anyone who wants it, even for free? I heard the 237 was a good basic workhorse, all metal, plain zigzag and straight stitch, and a little grease in the right places would quiet the noise.