Posts filed under Classes

Talkin' Turkey

My third and final day of classes with Bonnie Hunter was Talkin' Turkey from her book String Fling. For this class, we each only got half of a table, so I had to maximize my setup. I was pretty pleased when I figured out I could use my Tutto as an extra side table to hold my box of strings!

The first thing we learned was Bonnie's method for string piecing. She likes to piece on phone book paper, then trim the blocks to size before removing the paper. I've done this before, but it's been a while. I had forgotten just how much I love string piecing! I think I'm going to have to try to do it more often. It's very relaxing.

Next, we put together a nine patch for the center of the Talkin' Turkey block. Since it goes on point in the block, the size is a little strange. I was happy when it came out just right.

While all the sewing was going on, there was a quick break for dancing! Nancy is a ballroom dancer, and she got Bonnie to join her for a song. Bonnie said that was a first in all of her years of teaching.

After lunch, we talked about making flying geese using the Companion Angle and Easy Angle rulers. This was the same trick we did in the My Blue Heaven class, but it went better this time. I made 8 geese and only had to trim a tiny sliver off one of them. I think this is going to be my go to method for flying geese in the future.

At the end of the day, I was scrambling to finish my block. Since I was in a hurry, I didn't notice that I had two reds touching. I still haven't decided if I'm going to fix it. The quilt will be busy enough that I don't think it will be noticeable, but it will probably bother me too much to leave it.

I truly had the time of my life taking classes with Bonnie Hunter last week. I hope I get to do it again someday. In the meantime, I have three new projects to keep me busy!

Star Struck

Last Thursday was Bonnie Hunter's Star Struck workshop in Bozeman.  Mom and I attended and had a lot of fun sewing together for the second day in a row.

We started out by making strip sets.  Bonnie had us measure the height of our strip sets to make sure our seam allowances were accurate.  Once the first strip set was right, we were ready to power through a bunch more.

The main technique that we learned in this class was stitch and flip corners.  In class, we discussed the importance of sewing next to the line rather than directly on top of it.  This allows the fabric to have enough room to fold up and cover the entire corner of the base unit.  Since my husband was sweet enough to mark all of my lines for me ahead of time, I was all set for sewing in class.

Since this class had less techniques to cover than My Blue Heaven, we were able to make a lot of progress on our quilts.  I finished 8 whole blocks!

At the end of the day, we all set our blocks on the floor for a sample quilt layout.  I really like seeing all of the blocks together.  Each quilter's personality comes out in the fabrics we choose.  And Bonnie was a great sport to pose for us!

Posted on July 27, 2016 and filed under Classes.

My Blue Heaven

Last week, Bonnie Hunter came to Montana, and I was lucky enough to get to take some classes with her! I have been following Bonnie since before I became a quilter. Actually getting to take her classes was a dream come true. If you aren't familiar with Bonnie, you can check out her blog here.

The first thing we did was test our seam allowance. We sewed two squares together and measured the finished unit. The size of the unit tells you if your seam needs to be adjusted. I was pleasantly surprised when I nailed it on the first try!

From there, we were ready to start working on the quilt. She showed us how to use the Easy Angle ruler to make half square triangles. I had tried this method before, but it went much better this time. Nothing beats getting a unit to come out just right without any trimming.

The next thing we learned was to make hourglass units using the Companion Angle ruler. I've never made hourglass units before, so I can't compare this to any other method. I will say it was much less confusing than what I have seen in the past. It was no time at all before I had a pile of hourglasses ready to be sewn into blocks.

The final unit we had to learn was flying geese. Bonnie showed us how to make them using the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers. Ideally, this lets you cut your pieces from normal size strips and not have to trim the geese down. It went fairly well. I think I need to cut less layers of fabric at a time if I want to get the full benefit of this method.

Once our units were made, Bonnie demonstrated webbing to keep the block pieces in order (tutorial here). I always use this method to assemble blocks into a top, but I haven't used it in individual blocks before. She also gave us pressing tips to make our blocks nest when we sew them together. I managed to make one of each type of block before class was finished.

At the end of the day, we laid out everyone's finished blocks on the floor. It's interesting to see all of the different color choices side by side. I'm excited for the finished quilts to start popping up at show and tell at guild.

I had so much fun in this class. It was extra special since Mom was there with me.  She also finished one of each block that day. My blocks are smaller because I decided to start with 2" strips instead of 2.5" strips. I like the smaller scale, and it's not too crazy since I'm only making a wall hanging.

Posted on July 26, 2016 and filed under Classes.