Oh my goodness! It has been over a year since I had the chance to hang with Bonnie and take one of her classes. A year is definitely too long. Period.
This time I am fortunate to be able to be at a retreat where she is teaching and hanging with us part of the time. Super fun. Today's class is Midnight Flight from her book More Adventures With Leaders and Enders. It's a big one and took me two entire DAYS to get it cut out. My fingers are crossed that I cut it right. Let's get this class started.
First things first -- cutting lessons. She stops by my table looking for a fat quarter to use and Garden Party happens to have a few extras laying around. Here ya go, my friend.
I pick up a new tidbit each and every time I take a class of hers and even though she has shown me this before, this is the first time she has actually CUT the strip to show the loss we have when cutting with the line off the fabric. I need to remember this demo when I pass this onto others. Effective.
Our first step is to run strip sets of our chain colors together and then cut them into twosies (to which she does another demo). Let's get strippin'. Oh Sherri -- you are in VIOLATION of my space.
The strips just keep rolling through and pretty soon I have enough to at least start clipping them apart, pressing and making subcuts. I still have a nice stack of strips that I will get back to later. My goal is to have all the four-patches finished when I leave retreat.
Once the cutting is finished and I have cute little twosies paired up, another chain starts working it's way through the machine. Look at the way it circles itself under the machine. Fascinating to me. Science at work.
I have run through all the blue/neutral and yellow neutral strips that were sew., leaving me a nice amount of variety for the first block.
Snip, spin, press. Repeat. Snip, spin, press. Repeat. Do this until the entire stack is finished and then smile at the cute little four patches.
I have completed the pressing, spinning, part while Bonnie is demoing cutting the half square triangles for the next step. Mine are precut (yes, I cheated) and so as soon as she is finished and I won't be this incredibly annoying machine sound in the background of her lesson, I start my HST chain.
When I pull it out from under the machine, it's crazy long. Gathering it up and holding in one hand doesn't even allow me to take a decent picture.
However, Bonnie manages to get one and sends it to me to use. Thank you so much. (Note to self: work on pose - or attire -- or pull pants up. Something.)
Now that I have the HST's sewn, I grab a few, press them, remove dog ears, and lay out with some four patches to make the next unit. I need at two of these units in each color to move onto the next step. Okay - get 'er done.
As Bonnie moves around the room, we hear, "Smile, you two." Being the obedient souls we are - here ya go (another shared picture from her).
Now we've added marking to the process. Ugh. This is not my favorite thing to do. However, I tell myself that I only need 8 blades right now so only have to mark 16 of the neutral blocks.
Once marked, I make the 8 blades and am able to put my block together AFTER several attempts. This block is filled with landmines. I promise. Please take your time.
Okay, so one block is ALWAYS the goal in a Bonnie Hunter class and I have achieved just that. Notice the pile of HST's on the chair still. Those are next.
Even though the class has officially ended for the day, we have Bonnie for the evening as well. Sherri and I take advantage and grab her for a couple of pictures before continuing to sew.
Well, at least one of us is sewing. I am pressing HST's forever. Dang there are a lot of them. Once I have them pressed, the dog ears have to be removed and I stack them so they are countable to me. Thankfully, I have enough and won't have to cut more of this unit at least.
The flip and sew process will net you bonus triangles if you wish. You can do the "two-line" process and get a certain size bonus or you can be lazy like me and just cut the buggers off, sew them up, and trim to a smaller size. Mine are cute. This is from ONE block.
Moving on - or perhaps I should say, back. I'm going back to the strip sets that I have cut for the four patches and sewing them together. A quick press and it's time for some sleep. Normally, I would end the post here as it is the end of class day, but I'll add to it tomorrow with as much as I manage to get made.
Good morning --- My strips got cut first thing into twosies and I now have all the four patches made. Or do I? Upon counting, I discover that my math skills were lacking when determining the number of strips I needed. You see, you need TWO squares for each unit. HAHAHAHAHA. That means when I get home I have to cut more strips and make more four-patches. It also means I will not achieve my goal of having these finished when I leave retreat. ugh.
I do have other parts cut though and I have to tell you, I am sick of neutrals right now. That means I want to do something else. The border pieces are not made with neutral so I grab stacks of them and start in on one direction of the blades. I am so lazy today that I literally mark the squares as I sew them. One at a time. THAT is laid back, my friends.
The stack builds and soon I have attached both ends of the blade and need to press and cut off the triangles.
I like these a lot. I haven't made a blue/yellow quilt yet and these are dang pretty.
The pile of cut-off triangles is large so when I finish trimming my blades, I go straight to chain sewing the bonus ones as well. Now THAT'S a compact swirl going on there.
Everyone has gone to bed but I am determined to finish this stack of bonus triangles before I give in. There are over 150 of them and it takes me over an hour, but I do love them and already have an idea as to where they will be used. Fun, fun.
Well that's it. I am packed up and ready to grab some sleep before heading home in the morning. I miss my sweetheart.
One last look at the design wall where everyone's blocks were put up together. This was another fun class and I'm already looking forward to April when I am lucky enough to have two more on the agenda.