Bonnie Hunter of Wallburg, North Carolina, has a one-track mind, and that track is quilting. She is a dynamo, not a diva, and one can’t help but be wowed by the energy, enthusiasm, and astounding talent she brings to her scrap quilt designing and teaching.
Bonnie started making quilts in the early 1980s, when a seamstress friend gave her an apple box full of fabric scraps. She cut yardstick-wide strips and started her first bed quilt.
It was love at first block. With its scrappy half color/half neutral fabric arrangement and cheerful red center squares, the twin-size beauty soon sparkled on her older son’s bed, and there was no turning back. Bonnie was thrilled to discover that with scrap quilting, each block was different. Repeating blocks were boring. Scrap quilting was fun!
From the little girl whose second-grade teacher noted, “could be great if she could just channel that energy,” Bonnie has become a woman with laser-like focus on scrap quilts.
Scrap Quilts: Make What You Love
In an era when it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be everything to everybody, she simply makes what she loves. “Scrap quilts tell a story. You can’t duplicate a scrap quilt. It might look like the same color family or whatever, but if I held my quilt up next to my neighbor’s quilt, hers is going to tell a different story. It’s going to have different memories attached to it. That’s what makes it fun.”
“It’s all about the process. Let’s face it: I don’t need a quilt to keep me warm. I piece for the enjoyment of piecing. If they put me on a desert island with a treadle machine and a bottomless supply of scrap fabric, I could sew string quilts until the day I die.”
Bonnie’s next big project is a plan, which you can read about on her website Quiltville.com, is the Quiltville Inn, slated to open in 2020 in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. The grand old Victorian home is able to host up to 16 quilters at a time for bucolic retreats. Bonnie’s looking forward to the day when quilting groups come to her, instead of the other way around. She’s working hard on making the inn a perfect place for quilting and rejuvenation.
As always, she’ll also be sewing scrap quilts. Every. Day.
This article is excerpted from a longer piece in Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting January/February 2019 issue. Pick up a copy to learn more about prolific writer, quilter, and instructor Bonnie Hunter.