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!