Thursday, December 31, 2009


Here's hoping all you quilters, knitters, stitchery persons are sharpening up your needles for the New Year's activities! If you haven't started your Amazing Flower Quilt, it is not too late. The beginning directions for it are on this blog. I shall be posting directions for the beautiful Rhododendron this next week. It is a pretty block, and very simple to make once you learn how to do the ruching. The ruching directions are on the web by searching "How to Ruch." Several websites have pictorial directions. This Quilt or wall hanging will be a work of art when you have finished. Start it on New Year's Day. You know the old saying, "What you do on New Year's Day, you'll be doing all year long." Oh, to be so lucky! Love hearing from you. B.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


What a wonderful time of the year! Hope you are having family and friends in to help you celebrate Christmas! Don't you just love the smell of cooking all of those sinful things like cookies, cakes, pies, etc. I'm having a terrible time staying out of the cookie jar myself!

Let me just say I hope that all of you are healthy and happy, the two most important things in our lives. Count your blessings over and over as they say in the songs, and even though some of us are not having a White Christmas, let us remember the true meaning of Christmas: Peace, Good Will toward our fellowman.

My husband George and I wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pattern for Knitting Helmet Liners for Troops

Anyone wishing to make the troops' helmet liners, as seen in the picture below, may do so and send them to me. Email me at and I shall tell you where to send them. Put "liners" in the subject. A retired Army General will take the liners to Ft. Stewart, GA where the troops are deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. It is bitter cold over there now and the liners are needed! To get a copy of the pattern, go to and click on Community Service. The pattern is there. We have made a small change in the pattern to have the beginning segment 7" instead of 4" to fit down inside the shirt. Be sure to use 100% wool yarn as acrylic yarn is too flamable!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Found this picture that was just sent from "over there" and they all have on the helmet liners. Some of them pull them down under their chins, and there's one with it across his mouth. Thought you knitters needed to know that your efforts are being appreciated by these troops as it is so very very cold over there right now and for the next months to come. KEEP KNITTING!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Sense of Sight

After two eye surgeries, I can see far and near without glasses. How wonderful is that! Cataracs had clouded my vision in both eyes, and to thread a needle could take as long as 15 min. and sometimes I was not successful at that task at all. So PRAISE THE LORD! The eye surgeon must be an absolute genius! I can thread my sewing machine. I can thread a tiny #10 quilting needle, so WATCH OUT!!!!!! I am going to be "cuttin' loose," as we say in Texas!
Hand quilting is my passion. I know that I shall never be astute at machine quilting, because I just don't enjoy sitting at the machine for long periods at a time. I admire anyone who does, however, and I appreciate ones who can do so so effortlessly, it seems.
I have seen quilters quilting without a hoop, and I just don't know how they can do that on a large project. My stitches would be gigantic and I would have wrinkles all over the back of my quilt. I use a 14" hoop and a #10 quilting needle. With these eyes, I believe that I shall be quilting at least another 20 years, and perhaps, Lord willing, a lot longer!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't forget Knitting Guild meeting tomorrow!

Kelly put our Knitting Guild meeting announcement in the Crossroads Chronicle and I bet Melody did the same in the Highlander! They're really super folks at the newspaper offices.
Tomorrow's the day! So thrilled that so many of you are going and helping to get this new organization off the ground! We need everyone who knits or stitches anything to join us. It can be a real wonderful support group for anyone just learning to knit!
DON'T FORGET! 10:00 - 11:30 at Buck's Cafe at the Crossroads in Cashiers Wed. Dec. 9th. Have a great time! Wish I could be there, but I'll join you in the spring for sure!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! WOW, hope you've made your wish list for Santa. I got the new Quilters' Calculator and it is really fantastic. It comes with a DVD that shows exactly how to use it. Simple even for me! Another great item is the new Gingher rotary cutter. Cuts like cutting through butter! Amazing! The Dec. 16th article of the Chronicle and Highlander has a great "wish list" for you to leave conspicuously out on a table or counter for someone to peruse while you're not looking. Don't miss that!

Hope you are working on your Amazing Flower Quilt in your spare time. I find it so relaxing to sit and applique or bead a little in the evening. I try to do a little something on it every day. That is the only way I get anything finished!

Above is a picture of the actual Rose of Sharon for Block 4. The block is made with different sizes of yoyo's. That's another great thing to work on when you have a little "down time." The beginning of this block was in the Dec. 2nd issues of the papers.
Hang in there. You'll get everything done for Christmas, I'm sure. Hope the knitting girls meet Wednesday morning 10:00 - 11:30 at Buck's Cafe in Cashiers. I would so love to be there with you for the first meeting, but unfortunately, I can't. Can't wait to hear all about it!
Happy Days!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Several people have written to me asking me to post the "whole quilt" that is featured on my new blog. This is the landscape that I finished this past summer. I took a picture of a house in old St. Augustine that had this unusual old door or gate into the garden. Hence, the name of the quilt is "The Secret Garden.


There's a new product "out there" for ones of you who do applique, needlepunch, embroidery, even machine quilting and much more! It is called Transfer-Eze. There will be no more need for light boxes, or pigma pens. The actual "film" goes through the printer or photocopier using a light setting. The image is printed onto the film; backing paper is pealed away, and the film is stuck directly onto your project. Once finished, excess film is cut away; project is soaked in cold water to melt remaining film. I bought a package of it at a quilt shop yesterday to give it a whirl. Sounds wonderful. Check with your quilt shops to see if they have it or will carry it for you. It is not very expensive: that is the good news.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shuttle Atlantis returns home to Florida today! Can you imagine the excitement felt by these astronauts! One of them got a new baby back in Houston, TX, while he was out "walking in space." Now, that is something! Can you imagine that child in the first grade at "Show and Tell?" "My daddy was "out of this world" when I was born. The teacher of course, won't believe him or her. I took this picture on Nov. 16th when the shuttle flew past Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. One cannot imagine the feelings one has just watching that go by in the flick of the eye, knowing that there is human life aboard that streak of lightning. AMAZING! We should all be so proud of our space program!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The organizational meeting of the new Cashiers/Highlands Knitting Guild will be held on Wed. Dec. 9th 10:00-11:30 A.M. at Buck's Cafe in Cashiers at the crossroads (red light) at Hwy 64 and 107 N. Tess Cowen will be in charge of this meeting. Those knitting or wanting to knit the Military helmet liners for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan may come and discuss the project. Beginning knitters are encouraged to come to learn more about knitting. Hopefully, the group will decide to meet often to share patterns and ideas for other knitting projects as well. Everyone is welcome! Anyone wanting a copy of the pattern, email Bonnie Talley at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flower Pictures of NC Blocks for Amazing Flower Quilt

Amazing Flaming Azalea used for pattern for Block #3
Beautiful Sunflower is the actual picture I used for pattern for block #2.

Thought you might like to see all of the color pictures for our blocks so far. The picture above is of the actual Rosebay rhododendron for Block #1

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Amazing Flower Quilt pictures to help you with blocks

Hopefully you have started your Amazing Flower Quilt. If so, you might even be on Block #3. This "block of the month" project was started in September and shall continue through May, 2010. Here is the beginning of the project in the event that you might want to start on your quilt.


Now that the Quilt Show is over, let's start a new project. It shall be a "block of the month" project of beautiful flowers that bloom in the spring and summer here in Western North Carolina. The first week of each month for the next 9 months, I shall have a new block for you. It is to be an appliqué block that you may do by hand, or by machine. Whichever is your pleasure!
The blocks are set on point and have a maze type sashing that gives the effect of a trellis. Each block will be done using the actual leaf shape from the real flower. I have been seen picking leaves off bushes in the area I am sure.
The finished size of the wall hanging will be approximately 75" square. I am making my blocks using fat quarters instead of buying all of the fabric at once; however, here are the necessary fabric yardages.
Size of all flower blocks: 12 1/2" unfinished (I cut mine 13" as appliqué eats up some of the fabric.) Blocks are turned on point so I would recommend that a solid fabric or an all-over print be used to conserve fabric. It will take approximately 9 yds. 100% cotton for 9 applique blocks, 4 plain blocks, 8 half triangles, 4 corner triangles, four 4" X 75" border strips (plus a little extra for mitering corners), and backing for the whole wall hanging.
The trellis effect type sashing requires about 1yd of dark fabric (this will be enough for the binding of the quilt as well) and1 yd lighter print. I use a little of each of these fabrics in the flowers as well.
The first block is the Rosebay, Great Laurel Rhododendron. They were blooming profusely outside my kitchen window last month. I plucked several leaves to be sure that I would have the correct shape for the pattern. The leaf color is olive green and the flower is white. I use fat quarters for this. Most of the flowers will make use of fat quarters ( available in all quilt shops.)
If doing the appliqué by hand, I recommend either silk thread or 100% polyester thread as it disappears into the appliqué. Other supplies needed: several shades of green fabric will suffice for the leaves in N.C.; a box of freezer paper found at the grocery store; washable glue stick; appliqué needles and short pins without a big head on them. 2 yds. Wonder Under needed for machine appliqué.
Next week I shall go into the process for making the beautiful ruching flowers for the center of the Rosebay rhododendron. Try to have your fabrics for the first block ready to use. I wash all of my fabrics before cutting them.
If you need help with this project, come to Cashiers Quilters Guild at the United Methodist Church on Hwy 107 S, any Wed. at 12:30. Someone will be happy to help you. This will be a great winter project for us all.

Flowers Blooming Profusely in WNC

I don't think I've ever seen the flowers prettier this time of year in our area. What a great time to be starting our new project "An Amazing Flower Quilt."
The supplies needed for this quilt were in last week's paper. If you need a copy, drop by the newspaper office and pick up one. While you are there, pay for your subscription to the paper as you shall need it all winter to do this quilt.
Part A of Block #1-Rosebay Rhododendron (picture next week!)
If you have creases in your fabric that seem to refuse to be ironed out, spray white vinegar diluted with water on the crease and iron with a hot iron. Now, let's learn how to make "ruching flowers" and practice making them with a scrap piece of 100%cotton fabric. The flower cannot be done by machine so it must be done by hand.
Cut a strip of practice fabric along one edge about 22" long X 1 1/8" wide. Press the strip in half with a hot dry iron. Open the strip and fold each edge to the center fold just as bias tape. Press as you go.
Using the edge of a legal size envelope, place a mark along the bottom edge starting at the right hand corner every half inch the whole length of the envelope.
Lay the fabric strip with seams face down on the table, and place the marked envelope along the bottom edge of the strip. Using a water erasable fabric marking pen, mark every half inch alternating placement first at the bottom of the strip and the next mark at the top, etc. across the entire strip. You may go back and draw diagonal lines from dot to dot for a sewing line.
Thread a needle with strong thread doubled for strength. Knot the end of the threads. Starting at the bottom right hand edge of the strip, bring the needle up at the first mark. Take medium length stitches up to within 1/8" of the top mark; throw the thread over the top and bring the needle up from the underside just below the last top stitch. Continue running stitches down to the bottom mark stopping 1/8th" from the mark, throw the thread over and come up from the bottom and continue doing this for about 2". Stop and gently pull on the thread, gathering up the strip as to look like a rickrack strip. If it doesn't gather up this way, you have not thrown the thread over properly or have gotten too close to the last stitch when coming up from the bottom. It takes a little practice to get the rhythm of this.
Once the strip is gathered up as tightly as you can pull it without breaking the threads, begin making a circle with the beginning of the strip. Tack points to other points until the strip is in the rounded shape of a flower. For more visible directions, Google:"How to make Ruching Roses" The Rosebay flower is white and requires 4 of these "ruching flowers."

If you get behind in this project, don't hurry, just take your time and enjoy doing it. This is a great project to help you to learn how to do many different kinds of applique and skills that you can use in many different ways. I'll be posting on this website as often as I have time. Check back often. Happy Days!

FUN stitchery with Quiltlady, Bonnie Talley

This is going to be a great help to those who are making the Amazing Flower Quilt that is being published weekly in the Crossroads Chronicle and the Highlander in North Carolina. Also, I shall be posting projects that you might have missed in the 6 years that I have been writing these columns. You are welcome to write to me at my email address anytime about anything that you see in this blog. I will appreciate comments on my email address; so, please make a note of my email address: Check back often as I shall update this blog often. HAPPY DAYS!