|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!