My Family- and Quilting-Filled Memorial Day Weekend Recap (And Free Fabric Giveaway!)

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

I partook in my 21st B.F.R (Bolton Family Reunion). Since the Boltons took pity on me in 1991 when I was  a junior at Boston College from San Francisco stranded in Boston over Thanksgiving (which happened to also be the time of their BFR), I have been fortunate to attend every BFR since. This is a very, very special family…

A family that indulges in celebrations, including Memorial Day.

A very patriotic bunch…

Each year the BFR is held in a scenic New England locale, this time in the Sunday River region of Maine. It was so gorgeous. I miss mountains as part of my daily landscape, so I just really enjoyed the beauty of Maine.

And covered bridges, too…

On the big day of the BFR lobster celebration, most of the men can be found sporting BFR collared shirts (every year the shirt color changes) manning the steamer and lobster pots.

The first course is a tasty steamer repast. This year we enjoyed wine with my in-laws on the label.

I have always tried to find a way to bring in quilting/ crafting to the BFR. In 2010 I poured almost my entire studio onto my backseat of my car so I could introduce my nieces and nephews to quilting…

And I got them going on my Bernina!

This year, however, coming from Houston with only carry-on luggage, I couldn’t bring anything to stitch or craft with the kids. But the first day I was itching to do something so I went to the nearest quilt store in Newry, Maine, which was a bed and breakfast that had a quilt store in the backroom. The clerk told me that the owner was out of town and she seemed  a little stressed I wanted to go back there. She asked, “Um, do you know what you may want?” And I responded that I’m sure I could find my way around and get something.

And look what I found!

Polka-dot fabrics!

As well as the Clover yo-yo tool! I had been curious about this tool (which proved very easy to use), so I thought it would be a great weekend activity: to make polka-dot yo-yos. I am not a huge fan of yo-yos, but polka-dot yo-yos are a different matter all together!

Imagine my surprise and glee when I learned my fabrics matched the women’s BFR shirts. I wish I had made yo-yo necklaces in advance!

All in all a good time. Lots of family down time with some stitching thrown in.

Johnny, my godson, posing with me.

I hope you enjoyed a fantastic weekend. In honor of Memorial Day, I thought it would be timely to give away some more fabric from Sample Spree from this past Spring Quilt Market. I was very delighted with this new line of “Bella” fabrics distributed with Windham.I will be honest; I want to keep this fabric because it is so whimsical and fun, and I have a hundred ideas for it in a quilt. However, I know it will go to a good home if I give it away.

All you have to do is answer the following question and I will pick a winner randomly on Thursday.

Question: Did you incorporate any quilting in your Memorial Day weekend? If you didn’t have time, it’s ok. Be honest and tell us what you did!

I have read through all of the responses from my last question about studio space and will post something about those later along with some pictures of my new studio. In the meantime, congratulations to Becky Greene! You were randomly selected to win the Riley Blake jelly roll. Please email me your mailing address to

89 responses

  1. Pokey, I ended the weekend today ice dyeing fabric and sun printing with Setacolor. I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the ice dyed fabric but I already love the sunprinted ones. I don’t know why I don’t do this more often. Sounded liked a great reunion. Thanks for the opportunity.

    • I would LOVE to win the Quilt Album and perhaps some of your Slab Pie … =]. Oh yeah … this is not about food!I am new to qlnitiug and need all the organizational help I can get.What a generous prize … thank you for the chance to win!

  2. I have been lucky to sew all day today on a fall themed Tumbler quilt top for a friend whose favorite season is Fall. She is going thru a VERY painful time right now in her life, and I wanted to bless her with a sense of whimsy , as well as incorporating her favorite colors.. I am appliqueing ( for the first time! ) sunflowers in all sorts of fun prints on to the quilt top, and also fall leaves across parts of the wide border .. wish me luck!

  3. No quilting😦 I did some sketching though🙂 I just got back from a trip to Europe and am inspired by some things I saw to do some journal quilts.

  4. Why yes! As a matter of fact, I am in my studio now. I am, quite literally, waiting for paint to dry as I am screenprinting images onto silk-cotton Radiance. As soon as said paint dries I will be firing up my Bernina and doing a lot of freemotion quilting and couching of sari silk ribbon.
    Looks like you are having fun in Maine, Pokey. Safe travels home.

  5. So happy you got to spend some time with family, Pokey. Today I watched my grandkids throw water balloons and water from cups at each other and then came home to sew some crazy quilt blocks for an embroidery class. Life is so good.

    • Oooh. I went to the show too. Did some volunteering so I can get early chioce for classes next year. May have bought a thing or two, or three etc etc etc etc.Which machine was calling out to be taken home?Love those fabrics! Buyers remorse to me is when you go home WITHOUT buying what you wanted!!!

  6. I quilted a little and sticked up a large pile of half square triangles. Need to start sewing them together soon!

  7. I finishing up three projects – a quilted runner for my sister (her birthdays is on the 31st), and two monogram pillows for the twins!!

  8. Sounds like a grand time, P., thanks for sharing! We had a mostly home-bound weekend, a birthday celebration, some badmitton (a family favorite), yummy vegan food, and the teens had a bonfire and camped out in the field with some friends. Also a lot of gardening! I thought of you this morning as I was cuddling with Dickens on the front lawn…and told him you were nearby! xo -L

  9. I’ve been making prayer flags for my sister-in-law Marti (her request), and this weekend I made one with the theme “play.” It featured the head of a brown lab looking up at a tennis ball coming his way. Too much fun!

  10. I have played with ” flower pounding” all weekend. I soaked white cotton in an alum and water mixture, then when it dried I went to the garden and plucked several flowers and leaves. Then the pounding began…. most excellent fun! I was so tickled with the results I had to post them on facebook.

    • i think that second quilt is acautlly blocks made from sashiko embroidery rather than different quilting on each block. (or in the style of sashiko .) i have a few books on it but have yet to try it! can’t wait to hear about your new machine!!

  11. We had water “issues” this weekend. Leaky toilet tank! Turned off the water then turned off the water to the house and THAT valve started to leak. After manning the towel brigade, i left the husband in charge of the cursing and went to sew. Got 2 ufo’s topped out and did some quilting on my longarm. overall a good weekend, except for the cursing

  12. We had a rainy Memorial Day in FL so I got some quilting done on a donation quilt for AAQI. I also took care of my sick hubby.

  13. My daughter Stacey and I worked on her quilt, a red, white and black Turning 20. This is her first quilt. She sewed and I pressed and pinned. We got the top and the back finished before she had to head back home to Houston. We will put it on my mid arm machine when she comes back for Father’s day. It was a fun weekend.

  14. I spent time trying to find fabrics in my stash for a class I am taking @ the Vermont Quilt Festival with Sue Spargo I am excited as I have never worked with wool or hand embroidery

  15. I wanted to do Quilting and FLower Gardening, but I went to Vermont and visited with my parents for 4 days who are in their 80’s. My Dad is still cutting down trees for his wood burning stove and my Mom just loves to do girlie things-but quilting is not one of them!……Hope everyone enjoyed Maine and quilting…..Polka Dots are great…I think I will buy some

    • I forgot to meontin that over 20 quilts were donated to Read Me A Quilt at the Tuesday meeting. A wonderful accomplishment! (The quilt pictures were too blurry to post.) Thank you to the quilters for bringing comfort to some fortunate boys and girls!

  16. Hey Pokey, my husband and son went to play three days of golf…leaving me all alone….not to worry…I turned my family room into a fabric cutting/pattern layout room, read my newest Quilting Arts magazine, and made a new skirt. Now have to put everything away as they are due to return tonight. Bet I had a better time than they did!

  17. I actually FINALLY got into the studio! I’ve been fortunate to be affiliated with Janome America for over 8 years now, and need to do a project for them. A stack of 10×10 inch square of Rowan fabrics was just the thing to make six placemats and a table runner! Got the piecing done today; next: quilting! But those polka dots would make an awesome summer table…. add my colorful Fiesta dishes…FUN! Glad you’re back in New England, and see you in Houston, Cheers, Sarah

  18. I had a potpourri weekend. A lot of gardening, a little stitching, and drawing for a class with Melly Testa. It is all quilt related since I get my inspiration from my garden and its visitors and the drawings will be made into quiltlets. Our family reunion is the 2nd weekend in August. This will be our 40th year! As some of the aunts and uncles pass on, it is even more important to connect with everyone and keep the family love flowing. Love the yo yo idea! We always have a craft project of some sort to work on over the weekend. Happy week to you!!!

  19. Pokey – I am so thrilled that I am your giveaway winner!! Sounds like you had a wonderful Memorial Day – your family really knows how to celebrate!! I took a cue from your last question and re-organized my stash and supplies so they wouldn’t be banished to the basement – thanks for that, too!!

  20. I added the borders to a striped red, white, and blue quilt that had been sitting in my unfinished pile. Cut the borders wrong three times and tried to sew the short end of the batting to the long end, but ultimately achieved my goal of getting the top finished, the batting pieced, and a back found.

  21. No time to quilt this weekend. Hubby had hip resurfacing surgery last week and needs lots of TLC. While I was with him in the hospital two packs of fabric arrived. I can’t wait to dive in.

  22. Yes I did quilt the week-end away at QSDS 2012 in Columbus Ohio.
    So far 3 art quilts the first day with Cynthia Corbin as instructoR. This will be a fun be week.

  23. I have spent time today trying to resurrect a quilt that went off the rails. I think that I have gotten it back on track … but it involved math ~ So I will double check my calculations tomorrow when I can be more objective.

    • You at a quilt show, not spending money?! What were you thniikng!! I have a quilt that my Grandma made me, it’s totally all vintage fabric so gorgeous. That’s so neat that you were able to buy actual vintage fabric! I would have been all over that.

  24. With some limited physical movement these days I was not able to hike with the family so I took the time to do some hand applique work, watch”Craft in America” PBS series on-line and truly celebrated the world of craft…..

  25. I did find time! I realized the SAQA auction deadline is at the end of the week, and while I had great ideas, it was time to get to work!! The cape was sunny, then foggy, then sunny. I would run inside when it was foggy(same street as where you had your 2010 reunion), sew like crazy, then break when it was sunny again. Much fun!!

  26. Sadly I haven’t had any time for quilting this weekend but the good news is that we spent the weekend in Montana at Yellowstone National Park. It was my first time there and it SNOWED! A number of the roads were closed and so we ended up coming home early, however because of the nice cold weather we did get to see a lot of bison and elk (and even a few adorable babies). I am back to quilting tomorrow!

  27. I did not get to quilt over the Memorial Day weekend but I did get to spend time with my 102 year old grandma. I spent time with family members I haven’t seen in years. I saw a quilt that I made for her for her 99th. This quilt inspired me to make a larger one like it. I’m kind of pumped to start it!

  28. I had an enjoyable lunch with all the younger men in my family…my two sons and two grandsons! Even though I am far from home and my sewing machine, I managed to crochet a bit this afternoon!

  29. I just finished up the 169 squares of my Dear Jane quilt. This weekend I got almost three rows of them put together! All hand stitching so it’s taking a while. It’s been a great take along quilt.

  30. Oh, Yes I did, Me and my daughter n law started our Downey for kids quilt, its for children in hospitals, to comfort them. they send you the material and pattern, cut in strips and some fat qtrs and you make the quilt. We are gonna help each other so that we are making 6 quilts a yr they supply, they are short quilts for teen boys, so we are both going to dig in our stash and make an extra quilt each, that really makes 8 quilts a yr to comfort ill and some terminal ill children.

  31. YES! I finished a mini crazy quilt, cut block parts for the next quilt in the works, photographed the quilts that will be in my guild’ show in June and tonight attended a guild meeting. I’m tired! =0) Thanks for the pix of your BFR – looked like fun!

  32. ****please delete my previous entry as it was linked the wrong email address****

    YES! I finished a mini crazy quilt, cut block parts for the next quilt in the works, photographed the quilts that will be in my guild’ show in June and tonight attended a guild meeting. I’m tired! =0) Thanks for the pix of your BFR – looked like fun!

  33. No, sadly no quilting or stitching of any kind, but I did spend a lovely weekend with my sister and her family at the lake. It was windy and cold but we still enjoyed being together. Even the weather couldn’t dampen our spirits! Thanks for a great giveaway, Pokey!🙂

  34. I worked on a self portrait which is a challenge for my art bee. Finished everything but the final hand stitching of the facing, sleeve, and label. Yeah!!!!

    • Fun quilt! And marking does take foerevr, doesn’t it? I marked one to send to a hand quilter once and I think it took me 13 hours. At least it sounds like you have A/C, if it’s better inside on a hot day! Hope you feel better soon!

  35. We spent the weekend with son and DIL, daughter and her 3 little ones (boy 5, boy 3, and girl 15 months), at the lake. A first lake experience for the kids, and everyone had a great time! I did find a picture of a Kansas wheat field in harvest and did some doodling of a thread design based on that beautiful waving grain. Just happen to have a project for that!

  36. Not a second; we had major yard work to do and I think my fingers are now permanently “clawed” from pulling weeds and planting annuals. We didn’t even get a chance to mulch (next weekend). I suffered a nasty bug bite on my leg (weed war wound) and we found a dead cat in our shrubs which made my daughter and I cry.
    shel704 at aol dot com

  37. Got to go to my favorite quilt store 3 days in a row! Saturday to register for an applique class, Sunday to attend the class and returned Monday for their BOGO sale on FQs.

    • Oh I cannot tell you how much I would love to have this. Currently I have all my ptorecjs that I am working on and there are 43 in a cedar chest. and then in a box in my closet. The ones I have completed I have taken pictures of and put the pics in a shoebox. The ptorecjs that are done and ready for christmas presents are stored on a shelf so I can try to keep account of who I have already made for. But after reading about this software omg it would be such a blessing for me. Then maybe Aunt Deb wouldn’t get 2 quilts made for her and not for cousin Janet. That was a mishap I had last year. Thanks for having the give-a-way and please consider me in it…

  38. No quilting,sadly. This was husband’s birthday weekend and he go all of the attention. Well, um, except for some computer playtime, and uh I did read a lot, and watched some old war movies and… uh um ..ok I doted on my hubby and goofed off in general.

  39. We don’t celebrate Memorial Day in France, but yesterday was Pentecote Bank Holiday Monday. I managed to finish a name quiltlet for the daughter of a great friend of mine. These fabrics are scrumptious.

  40. Your reunion looks like a lot of fun! The only quilt related thing I was able to do over the weekend, was mark my lines on a bunch of HST blocks. I hope to get to sewing them today.

  41. I did get to make a ATC and do some stamping with my grandchildren over the weekend. Here in H-town helping out my daughter with the grandkids. They keep me way to busy to do any quilting during the holiday weekend. I have a few days left til I go back to my happy home. Thanks for sharing your photos. Judith, Texas

  42. Love the Polka Dots! And how much fun was it to find out the colors matched!

    I did my sewing before the weekend, made a purse for the daughter who graduated from High School – my weekend was filled with family time!

    • I really thgouht this through carefully before putting my name in the pot for this great gift. I wasn’t real sure it was something I would really use but the longer I studied on it and read about it, I decided the Quilt Album would be something I would absolutely use, documentation is necessary to insure the providence of our quilts don’t you agree? Thanks for the chance!!!

  43. I was hand quilting as much as I could all weekend to complete a challenge for Memorial Day night in time for our guild meeting (as odd as that sounds our meeting always lands on Memorial Day and we still hold it!)

  44. To many outdoor projects and trying to get started on a dress pattern, to be able to sew anything quilt related…but I sure thought about it…

  45. What a wonderful way to spend your Memorial Day weekend! I did get some quiltmaking done on Saturday – mostly cutting for a new quilt. Sunday was my Mom’s 80th birthday so we had a big celebration at our house. Monday – recovery and a little gardening.

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’m excited about Bella since I loved Echo.

    • Oh my, this is not a “would like to have”,but a “must have”!! One look at my organization silkls would send everyone running and screaming for cover.Almost like I do everytime I am searching for info about a finished project of mine!

  46. We spent Sat. and Sun. on house/yard projects, but on Memorial Day I started playing around with an idea for the calendar contest my guild is having. I didn’t get too far before my husband came upstairs, said he was bored and offered to take me out for lunch. I about spilled paint all over my table as I bolted out of my studio to get ready … eating out is a rare event for us!

  47. No quilting at my house. My daughter and grands came, we went to a plant festival (great time) and did a bridal shower for niece getting married in two week. Fun packed weekend.

  48. Had to work this past weekend, so I took my Bernina with me and machine quilted a ‘better late than never’ Mother’s Day quilt. Gotta love it when I’m the only one in the office!
    PS: Love your yo-yos!

  49. I did not have time to quilt this weekend. It was a little frustrating, but it was so great to have some time off and rest my hot brain. Now, I’m refreshed and energized and think maybe I can slip some quilting in after my job this week! THAT would be an accomplishment!

  50. First I have to say how much I love Maine and am very jealous of the time you got to spend there. I did get some quilty projects worked on this weekend – continued to add beads to a land/sea scape wall-hanging and started to dig out fabric from my stash to add to red-white-blue charity quilt project.

  51. spent some time in my sewing room, planning.. and reading a new book about the Civil War quilts, and the Sanitary Commision quilts.FASCINATING!!! As Beryl is visiting, I spent more time just watching it RAIN and RAIN and RAIN and more RAIN. Thx, B – by this AM, we had gotten 12″ – North central florida NEEDED you!!!!!! thx.and keep up the good work😉

  52. Reading about your family reunion is as close as I got to celebrating the weekend (sounded lovely by the way). I was and still am knee deep in 2 projects with a deadline looming and I need to prepare a project so I can hand sew on a long plane ride…leaving for Ireland next weekend. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous stash!

  53. I got up to my quilt studio to do some piecing over Memorial Day weekend. It was also my 30th wedding anniversary so had to balance time with my hubby AND sewing. Thanks for the give away.

  54. I had a great time memorial day weekend. Went to a baseball game. I did get some quilting done too, besides mowing the lawn. I just finished a 96″ x 96″ quilt for a wedding present and took it to the long arm quilters last week. On Monday I designed a label with my Bernina 450 embroidery software and then made the label for the quilt. i had 3 blocks left over from the quilt so i made a matching table runner for the new couple and made a label for it too. It was a great weekend

  55. I am working on a quilt for my father, age 87, who has been a model airplane enthusiast since I was old enough to be propped on his workbench to watch! The quilt will feature 7 appliquéd model airplanes, set in the gym where my dad and his ‘old fart’ cronies fly their masterpieces! My dad is a WWII veteran, so it was a perfect Memorial Day activity!

  56. I finished binding and putting a sleeve on a quilt that will be shown in Chernobyl (Russia) in June 2012. Designed by artist Janine Hughes who commissioned me to make it for the show. Very exciting!

    • Wonderful quilts! They do beatuiful work! I love the one on the cover! My friend bought about 7 back issues of this magazine at a quilt how she went to in Pennsylvania a month ago. After she was done she passed them along to me! I really like looking at this magazine. It has great quilts in it and wonderful articles showcasing quilters over there. I will definately buy it again if I see it around here.

  57. We don’t have Memorial Day here in the UK. Next week end is a big holiday with Jubilee Celebrations. I did get to carry on quilting my Liberty Tana Lawn quilt. Just need to finish the binding.

  58. I am just finishing a quilt with African batik and starting a purple/blue/green scrap quilt. The scraps have outgrown thier bag and need to be put to some use.

  59. No sewing or quilting for me for 2 weekends… 😦 We did yard work & took the kids to the Monster Trucks show. Our long weekend was the weekend before yours up here in Canada… and we went to hubby’s Grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration. Maybe this weekend I’ll get to sew again. 🙂 What beautiful fabric – love the colors! Thanks for a chance to win! 🙂

  60. My project was to whip up two pillowcases – you know the clever pattern with no exposed seams? I used a large purple floral and yellow geometric. Sweet dreams!

  61. I would have if I could have. I am a Medical Technologist and worked the 5am shift all 3 days. I did get a bit of sewing in- a costumes for my adult daughter. It is a white linen tunic, what I believe is a LARC (some kinda live action role playing game)

  62. I did some handstitching on a pot holder. It was fun and quick.What a beautiful set of fabric…thanks for a chance to win!!

    • I was glad that 2011 brought me a new biogglng friend in you. Now with 2012 well started, I am thinking of goals I want to accomplish this year. I hope to get a number of my MANY UFOS. I keep meaning to tell you that I saw a tin plate on your blog and have the same one. I want to feature it in a blog post so you can see it. I got it as a wedding gift from my cousin who wanted me to have something from Pennsylvania. I will have to find your post about it again and do a post soon…Wishing you a very happy and creative 2012 Betty Lou!Hugs from Holland ~Heidi

  63. Having no dress to wear to a family wedding on Sunday, I went ‘shopping’ for fabric in my basement, determined not to buy any for this retro Vogue pattern. Of course, all I could find were cotton fat quarters and not enough of anything to sew into a dress! Finally, I came upon some blue cotton and appliqued linen in the same color. Though I haven’t done much applique on my quilts, I am doing so on this dress instead to unify the two fabrics. Guess I’ll have to show my dress at my guild’s show and tell next week instead of a quilt!

    • ooooh, how exciting,will power, schliml power, overated i say!!!I love love love the retro feedsack stuffwhat machine did you get??I’m am excited for you I got to go to the warehouse last week, not a quilt show, but very exciting and Kelly is the nicest gal! Worth a stop by if anyone is ever in so. cal.!

  64. I worked on hand quilting a queen sized sampler and pieced an oriental quilt. Lovely fabric, I’d love to win it!

  65. I did sew on Monday evening. I am finishing the binding on my quilt for our guild challenge “. Black and white and … All over. My additional color is red. It is not fabric but a red embroidery addition.

  66. Know that am late to the party – I worked on piecing some dolly quilts of little bits and pieces of leftovers from other projects.

  67. haha. I know exactly what you mean. I went to my shop hop last week and cdluon’t finish it out because I had no willpower to stop buying! I hit 9 of the 15 shops (and bought something at all but 1!) It’s nice to know other quilters are the same as me

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