Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bonnie Hunter Quilt Retreat

Old friends and new come together with a common love of quilting!
The "Pink Ladies"

  Last October, we learned that the Siouxland Sampler quilt guild in Sioux City, IA was having Bonnie Hunter come teach at a retreat.  The most exciting thing we heard that month was: "We may have some openings for the classes..."  We jumped on that opportunity with both feet!  Cell phones and computer keyboards were smoking as we communicated back and forth as to how we could insure that our applications and money for the classes would be the first to arrive, thus securing our spots for the retreat.  It was decided that we would all drive to Grand Island to fill out the paperwork, write our checks, and then FedEx them to arrive by 10 am the next  day!  This crazy behavior earned us the nickname, "The FedEx Girls" by the amused guild members in Iowa, but WE GOT IN!!!  We couldn't wait for April to arrive, so that we could road trip to the first Bonnie Hunter retreat for all of us, and we immediately loved the generous guild in Sioux City that allowed us  the pleasure of joining them on the journey with Bonnie.The retreat was everything we dreamed it would be and more.  The Stoney Creek Inn was a great place to hold a retreat.  It was easy to access, comfortable, and they kept the coffee hot and ready at all times!  Bonnie Hunter was so great!  She is an energy giver!  Just being in the same room with her makes you feel welcome and like you are among friends. The Siouxland Sampler guild members were so kind and helpful.  They made sure we were right at home, and the retreat was extremely well organized. It ran so smoothly that it was a real pleasure to be there.
  On Saturday, we worked on Jared Takes a Wife, and on Sunday we used the Lazy Angle and Companion Angle Rulers to create  blocks for My Blue Heaven. Both are free patterns that are easily downloaded from Bonnie's blog.  To access it, just click on the link above.The retreat was everything we dreamed it would be and more.  The Stoney Creek Inn was a great place to hold a retreat.  It was easy to access, comfortable, and they kept the coffee hot and ready at all times!  Bonnie Hunter was so great!  She is an energy giver!  Just being in the same room with her makes you feel welcome and like you are among friends. The Siouxland Sampler guild members were so kind and helpful.  They made sure we were right at home, and the retreat was extremely well organized. It ran so smoothly that it was a real pleasure to be there.
  We had 46 people in class on Saturday, but over 100 showed up Saturday evening for a wonderful trunk show where Bonnie shared the gorgeous quilts she had brought with her as samples from her many books.  She quickly moved through each quilt telling us fun stories and anecdotes about each one, their names (and why they had that name), and what book they were in.  I found the presentation so interesting because I teach and do trunk shows, too.  I am always learning better ways to present my quilts.  Bonnie's trunk show was a perfect balance of entertainment and information.
Jared Takes a Wife
The highlight for me, though, was definitely the two classes that we were able to take.  I used colors a bit out of my comfort zone for Jared Takes a Wife...and I am going to love this quilt.  I have three different blues, three different terra cottas, two greens, and two tans in my blocks, all gleaned from a kit in my stash that I decided not to use in the pattern that it came with... (Bonnie loved that, by the way!)  The blocks started with two inch strips, rectangles, and squares...love the result!
The beginnings of my version of My Blue Heaven
  My version of My Blue Heaven is going to be named "Pink Lady" because Bonnie dubbed our group from Nebraska the "Pink Ladies" due to our matching pink sewing-themed pajama tops that we wore as jackets.  We loved that, and plan to use it in the future for a very fun purpose (which I can't share at this time...)
A big thrill for me came on Sunday when Bonnie asked if she could use my fabric and rulers for her demo.  Of course, I said, "YES" and she proceeded to make a flying geese unit, which I then asked her to sign.  As I thought about how I could show this in my quilt, I came up with what I think is a brilliant idea.  All my stars in my quilt will have navy blue points...except ONE.  The one star will have pink points, and will be placed randomly in my quilt top.  Bonnie's signed block will be the highlight of my quilt.  I am naming it "Pink Lady" as a nod to that pink star, and to always remember that the "Pink Ladies"  got their name from Bonnie Hunter at a weekend that was so much fun, we can't wait to do it again!
  To see Bonnie's thoughts about the retreat in Sioux City, please click on the following link to her blog:  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2016/04/meet-siouxland-sampler-quilters.html
There is a really nice picture of me on her blog holding up my work.  I was so excited when I saw several pictures of our group and all the fun ladies that we met at the retreat!  What an awesome memory!  If you ever get a chance to take a class with Bonnie...DO IT!!!

*A special thanks goes out to my friend Anna for letting me use her photos in this post!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why Should I Join a Guild?

President's Quilt 2015
  There are a lot of quilters out there that don't belong to a guild.  When I ask them to visit the guild or join the guild, I often hear, "I am too busy."
  The thing is, we are ALL too busy.  So, why should a busy person add one more thing to their calendar just to be a part of a local quilt guild?  I have a few reasons:

1)  It's cheap entertainment!  For only around $20, you can attend programs that often include quilt shop owners, trunk shows, and even lessons by fellow members.  For those that meet 10 times a year, that's only $2 for a fun evening out.

2)  It's a great way to meet those with a similar interest.  There are no people like quilt people!  They are some of the kindest, friendliest people that I have ever enjoyed spending time with.

3)  It's such a good opportunity to learn new things.  Lessons on techniques, trunk shows that have lots of variety of color and style, and quilt shop owners who come to share "what's new" all give the guild members a chance to learn.

(4)  Charity- Quilt guilds all over the country are involved in a myriad of charity projects.  Everything from Quilts of Valor to Quilts for Kids to Project Linus to pillow cases for local hospitals are made by generous quilters.  If you would like a chance to "give back" but don't know where to start, I will guarantee that your local quilt guild will have lots of ideas for you.

(5)  Last but not least, your local guild affords you an opportunity to share what you know about quilting with others.  Are you an accomplished piecer?  Others would love to have your expertise!   Do you have a gift for choosing colors that look fabulous together?  Someone else needs your help! Would you like to show the public some of the beautiful quilts that you have created?  What better way than a local quilt show or bed turning?

There are many other reasons to join your local quilt guild.  Most guilds only meet once a month, so it really isn't a huge time commitment.  If you can't be at every meeting, it is still nice to pay your dues and go when you can.  Lots of guilds have opportunities for small groups, and they are a wonderful way to get to know fellow quilters better.  It really is worth paying to belong and carving out time to attend guild meeting!  I haven't even mentioned bus trips or retreats...those are stories for another day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Charity Begins at Home



  This post is either sort of late, or incredibly early:)  As I was looking through photos on my computer this morning, I saw these, and they reminded me that it is never too early to get a start on charity work for the coming year.  The top picture shows dolls with their bags and clothes that my quilt guild in Central City provided for this year's Christmas of Sharing.  One lady in our guild loves to make doll clothes.  She works year round on outfits, and this year she donated about 50 outfits!  Other ladies donate money to buy the dolls, make bags, and make dolly quilts to go with them.
  The bottom photo shows some of the things that I made in the fall, including a couple of doll quilts for that project, (along with some Christmas gifts for family).  I don't do nearly as much charity work as I would like to because life gets in the way, but I am confident that every small bit counts.
  So, the title  of this blog refers to the fact that while the world at large is a mess, and there are countless opportunities for charity work, we need only look in our own back yards to find people who are hurting and need our help.  Especially during the holidays, we have ample chances to donate to organizations like Toys for Tots, Christmas of Sharing, Project Linus, Quilts of Valor, and countless others.  The question that I have to ask myself is:   "When do I actually start thinking about how I can help?"  Sadly, the answer tends to be in November when I don't have the time to really give it my full attention.
  I have been so inspired by members of my quilting community who take the time, and have the forethought, to really make beautiful donations for these organizations.  Now, there are those that tend to think "more is better" and throw all kinds of things together haphazardly because after all "they are JUST for charity" but, I am talking about those that desire to give of their time, talent, and creativity something truly special.  I love to see beautiful quilts and doll blankets made for unknown recipients who will have the joy of opening something that shows how much the maker cared for them.  This is the time of year to make plans and begin working on those kinds of truly special gifts for those less fortunate than ourselves.  We may not be able to make 20 or 30 to give away this year, but if we each made only 1 or 2 that were constructed well from nice fabrics and were beautiful to both the eye and the soul, wouldn't that be something special?