Bonnie is teaching classes 3006, 4006, 5006, 6008, 7007 and 8404
Matt: How long have you been quilting? What made you begin quilting?
Bonnie: I started quilting in a high school home economics class my senior year of high school in 1980. I have that teacher to thank for giving me the bug early! I love all things geometric and piecing with shapes just lit a fire in me from early on.
M: Do you have a quilting studio? How big and is there anything unique that you keep in your studio?
B: My studio is in the basement of my house. It’s large enough to house my long arm machine, my corner area where I sew and do my piecing. I love being down here. I have a fireplace with a wood stove insert for cozy winter days, and window view out to my 1/5 acres of woods in rural North Carolina. I also have my collection of antique toy machines and other vintage machines down here. I’m not a neat freak, so it is usually a “creative mess in progress” in between bouts of “clean and straighten.”
M: What do you consider your quilting “specialty” or what makes you unique in the quilting world?
B: I have a dear friend who says I take the “Trash Can Approach to Quilting!” And I think this is true. I am a scrap quilter from way back because scraps are what I started with. When I got married my scraps came with me! I love scrappy vintage quilts, and I was always bored with quilts that used a limited amount of 2 to 5 fabrics. Just not enough going on in them to hold my interest! I like making the most of my fabrics, getting them to go as far as they can. As far as I’m concerned, fabric does NOT have an expiration date! If it’s still ugly, you just didn’t cut it small enough!
B: Definitely scrappy, not paying attention to fabric genre, mixing 30’s prints with civil war, batiks, old vips, solids, everything goes. There are no rules as to what fabrics can be put next to each other.
M: What books or articles have you written?
B: For the past several years I have been featured in Quiltmaker magazine. I currently have a column in each issue dedicated to using our fabric to its true potential! The column is called “Addicted to Scraps”. My first book, “Scraps & Shirttails” was published by Kansas City Star in Fall of 2008. My second book “Adventures with Leaders and Enders” was released in January 2010, and a third book the sequel to Scraps & Shirttails, more quilting with recycled fabrics ids due to be released in February of 2011. My website, Quiltville.com has loads of free patterns, tips and techniques for all thing quilty!
M: What do you do while you quilt?
B: I always have music on. It’s the first thing that goes on in the morning when I wake up! The other thing I love to do while piecing, machine quilting or hand quilting is listen to books on my mp3 player. I don’t often get hours just to sit and READ a book but I love to listen while my hands are busy with a needle.
M: What is your quilting inspiration?
B: My inspiration comes through my love of antique quilts. I can’t get enough of them, especially the quirky ones. I wonder about the maker, and what her/his life was like. Where did their fabric come from, where did they get their design inspiration. Most of these questions will never be answered, and I am drawn to the mystery in that. I love quilts with no rules, but still have a very traditional approach.
M: What is the funniest moment you have had happen while you were teaching?
B: Oh, this is easy! I was teaching for the Gulf States Quilting Association symposium weekend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When we break for lunch we have to tell the students they can stay in the room and sew as long a there are two people in the room for safety measures. One older lady got a puzzled look on her face and asked….. “You mean they don’t trust us to stay by ourselves? They think we will steal something?” And the response was “No, it’s for you protection, what is someone came in here and molested you?” She got a very silly girlish look on her face and said “REALLY?????” Like that was the best offer she’d had in a long time! We all cracked up laughing because she was maybe 80 years old. It was SO FUNNY. I’ll never forget that.
M: What was the best class you have ever taken?
B: I’m basically a self-taught quilter. I haven’t taken many classes, but I did get the opportunity to attend one of Gwen Marston’s retreats in Michigan last year. It was such a great week, and lots of inspiration.