Monday, May 20, 2013

Charlotte's Baskets Workshop led by Bonnie Hunter

I had a wonderful time in Glen Falls with my friend Marianne as we both attended Bonnie Hunter's quilt workshop.  This year the class was on her design called Charlotte's Baskets.  The instructions are included in her latest book called String Flings.

Because Marianne lives on one side of "no where" and I live on the opposite side of "no where", we have yet to find a quilt workshop in any location that allows us to ride together.  She drove a few hours from her side and I drove 3 hrs & 40 minutes from my side to meet in Glen Falls.

Thanks to my dear hubby Ray and his hotel points, we were able to book a room for "free".  When I checked in, we were given a free upgrade to a suite.....SOOO NICE!!!

Although we didn't really have time to enjoy it, (our mission was to quilt and sew as much as possible)...we had a balcony with a lovely view of Lake George.

Compared to our Lucy/Ethel crazy, adventurous trip last year to a different quilt workshop in Wellsboro, PA...this trip was pretty tame.  Thankfully, Marianne had her own, new Garmin that she updated prior to her trip...unlike last year when she used her hubby George's (who doesn't believe in updating maps...because he is a MAN!!)  Plus, if something had gone wrong with her Garmin, I arrived armed with my own that had been recently updated also! :) :) :)

We didn't get lost one single time!

We arrived Thursday afternoon and had enough time to visit a local fabric shop called Patti's Quilting Fabrics.  It was a wonderful shop and was filled with beautiful fabrics.  We ooohhed and aaahhhed each section and THEN we were told there was another level to the store.  We went downstairs and found my favorite section.......the SALE/CLEARANCE section!!!!!!   LOLOLOL

Oh my goodness!!!!!!  I have been such a good girl this entire year, practicing frugality and using fabrics from my stash...but this was a rare opportunity for fun!

Marianne did as much damage as I did but I don't have any photos as evidence.

The next morning we arrived at the local Fire Station for the quilt workshop.  Imagine my happy surprise, when Bonnie Hunter recognized me in the parking lot!  She only meets thousands and thousands of crazy quilters each year so I truly didn't expect her to remember me.  (Mama always said I was SPECIAL!) LOL

Marianne and I grabbed the opportunity, while it was relatively still quite, to get a photo taken with Bonnie.

I was SOOOO excited to show Bonnie my finished quilt that I started during her workshop last year.

She liked it!  She liked it!  She liked it!   LOLOLOLOL

Marianne and I found a table in the back corner to set up our sewing stations.....

It's hard to see....but to make it a little easier, I drew a big red circle around myself and wrote "ME" in big red letters on the photo! :)  LOLOL  Did you find me? let your eyes slowly slide to the left and you will see Marianne sitting at the table also. LOLOL

Marianne is sewing up a storm on Eva, her 1948 Singer Featherweight.....

And I'm not too far behind on Ruthie, my 1947 Singer Featherweight....

Boy....was it HOT in this place!!!!!!  Oh my goodness!!!!!!!!

During the morning half of the workshop, we concentrated on making the center, flower basket part of our blocks.   This is Marianne's....somehow I forgot to take a picture of mine at this stage.

After our catered lunch, there was a time for "show & tell".  Marianne was able to show off her beautiful quilt top from Bonnie's mystery quilt pattern called Easy Street.

The last few hours was spent learning to "string piece" using foundation paper.  This was a totally new experience for me but I loved it!  I don't know why I've been afraid to try this in the past.  It's SO easy and relaxing!!!!  Here's one of my string pieced blocks...just need to cut it on the diagonal and remove the paper from the back and it's ready to add to the flower basket section of the blocks.

After we had finished a few and cut them on the diagonal...then we got to sew them to the center of our blocks....

Marianne decided to only use neutral, light strings for hers....isn't it beautiful!!!  She used civil war reproduction fabrics only.

Now here is my wilder version....I used a little bit of everything in batik, solid cream, and a mixture of dark and light civil war reproduction fabrics...

As I held my blocks up for the picture, Bonnie Hunter suggested that when I finish all my blocks and am ready to add sashing between them, to use a fabric in the same green as the shirt I'm wearing!!

When the workshop ended, we quickly packed up our stuff so we could visit one more fabric shop before it closed.  The shop is called Adirondack Quilt Shop and it is another fantastic place to find gorgeous fabrics.

It took me a few minutes, but I finally stumbled upon the SALE/CLEARANCE section again! LOL

And yes, Marianne did her own damage there but once again, I didn't get a photo! :(

To finish off our evening, we drove to Saratoga Springs to meet up with others from the workshop (including Bonnie) for dinner.

We had such a lovely time and our trip was quickly coming to a close.

Marianne and I were dragging by the time we went back to our hotel....but we still had enough energy to play through our fabric purchases and dream about how we were going to use them!

In my next post, I will share the lovely gifts that Marianne surprised me with.....but you have to wait until next time!

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