Saturday, August 29, 2015

Do you have this pattern?

I am binding this quilt for a dear friend who passed away a couple of weeks ago.  What an emotional journey. To be finishing her quilt is an honor.
She asked if I would get it bound and send it back to her husband so that he could hang it in their home. I would like to give credit to the designer on the label I am making. I found the quilt on Pinterest labeled as a Jo Morton design from American Patchwork and Quilting. The link does go to the magazine's website, and identifies the pattern as Midnight Garden from their April 2009 issue, but does not give the designer. If you have that issue and could clarify for me whether or not Jo M. is the designer I would greatly appreciate it. It looks like a Jo Morton design, but Pinterest has been wrong a time or two, so I would prefer to get confirmation from someone.

The August blocks for the Buttermilk Basin Mystery BOM and the Attic Heirlooms Ornament of the Month are now stitched. It feels good to be caught up, even if it is only for a couple of days.

I don't think I have shown the finishes on the past two "ornament" blocks, but let's look at the last one first.




This is a close up of the current one. Those were supposed to be red berries on the bow, but it seemed rather colorless, so I made bells instead of berries.Kind of tricky to get the stitching to look like I wanted it to on a circle that small.




I couldn't find red beads the size I wanted for this one. I have some much larger than these, but I wanted something somewhere between these tiny ones and the big ones. The little ones looked best, of the two.





Then we have a happy little snow angel with a garland (or maybe it is a strand of lights).











This is all of them, so far.

You may as well see all of the BB Mystery blocks so far, too.

I got a couple of "pillowcase" dresses made to send to Lori (Humble Quilts blog). She is taking them to Bolivia. Mine look more like aprons here, because I opted not to use the pattern with elastic across the top. But they will be gathered there when they are tied at the shoulders.









That sweet Cyndi at Busy Thimble quilt shop saw me petting a new line of fabric when I was in her shop, but I didn't purchase anything from it. She was cutting kits from the fabric later, and she sent me a package of the trimmings. This photo doesn't do justice to the colors, and there is more variety in the line than this, but these are the ones I chose to make a mini Thimble quilt to remember my visit to the Busy Thimble. (I used the Primitive Gatherings Tiny Tumbler template.) As I get sewing them together and gauge the shrinkage on this quilt (mini quilts shrink something fierce), I may adjust the length and/or width.








Been purging in the sewing room. It will never all fit nicely, but at least now there aren't piles all over on the floor and chairs. Still a little bit on the table, for which I cannot find homes (Denise and Mom--that sentence structure was for the two of you)), but it feels good to walk into a relatively clean room for some stitching. Think I'll step in there again.
Enjoy your day.
Until next time,
Janet O.



Saturday, August 22, 2015

My New Favorite Quilt Shop...


...is only 2400+ miles away from home (if you drive it, or just over 2000 miles the way the airplane flies)!!

While visiting DD#1 in New Hampshire this past week, we ventured into Maine to visit a couple of her favorite places (Two Lights State Park, and Portland Head Lighthouse), and to find a new favorite place--Cyndi's Busy Thimble quilt shop.
 Not your typical quilt shop, The Busy Thimble is off the beaten path in Litchfield, Maine, next to Cyndi's home. From the outside it appears to be a quaint little cottage, complete with the cottage garden.

Prepare yourself before entering, if you are a lover of 1800s repro fabric and mini quilts. This is my idea of quilting heaven. I think the term "system overload" describes the experience my daughter and I had here.
Look at those wonderful little quilts hanging behind us!
Cyndi is a delightful hostess, and if you can't be there during her usual Wed-Sat hours, she will try to accommodate you, if you contact her for an appointment. She opened up for us on a Monday morning.
 I have never seen so much repro fabric in one place before! As my friend, Grace, says she tells Cyndi whenever she visits--I'll take a yard of each!
 Every inch of space is filled with temptation. My daughter and I wandered through the aisles over and over again trying to focus and narrow down our choices. I am glad I had made a mental note of color holes in my stash so that I was able to finally settle down and make selections.
Look at the clever way Cyndi is displaying her Stars In A Time Warp blocks.
I didn't even get photos of the fabric on one whole side of the store, but I did get photos of the quilts on display--wall hangings and minis. I was in my element! Click on any photo to enlarge it.















This was not a small quilt, but look at those little blocks! I had my daughter stand by it to give perspective to their size.

The trip to Cyndi's was definitely worth it, and if repros are your thing, you may want to find a reason to find yourself in Maine!

















Maybe these reasons would help. Beautifully rugged coastline greeted us at every turn. It was breathtaking. Coming from a landlocked place, I am awed by the vastness of the ocean.



 Other than this Grand Day Out (for you Wallace and Grommit fans) in Maine, we spent most of the 8 days I was in NH chilling at home, playing with that terribly cute grandbaby (whose photos I cannot post), and trying our hand at some gluten free baking (the zucchini muffins were my personal favorite).

Oh, we did stop here for a few minutes after a run to the local library and bookstore. We just shopped the sale room and the 25 cent scrap bin.
I had to choose my fabric purchases carefully, because I only brought 2 carry on sized bags and they were already pretty full. With the two shops visited, this is what came home to enhance my stash.
The top "fan of fabric" was my haul from Cyndi's. I could have done so much more damage, but I focused on the purples, blacks, cheddars and greens--those reds and blues somehow slipped in on their own.
I bought 2 one yard cuts at Keepsake and found lots of batiks in their scrap bin, along with a couple of Kim Diehl neutrals, a great vintage patriotic print, and some checks and dots for the novelty pile.

Another thing I love in New England, besides the fabric stores, is all the covered bridges. On the way home from church Sunday we stopped at a couple for photo ops.
Had never seen a covered bridge until my first visit to New England 7 or 8 years ago, and then I just saw them from a distance. I had never been on a covered bridge until our first visit to DD#1 after their move here a few years ago.

When did this post become the travelogue that never ends?
I will close with a quilty tip. Before leaving for NH I was doing some "catch up" on my Attic Heirloom Ornament of the Month blocks, and was frustrated that when I tried to retrieve a ball of floss from the bowl by my stitching chair, I would often end up knocking another ball or two onto the floor as I dug for the right one.
At the local Ross store I saw these narrow wooden bowls or trays  for under $3. They hold about 8 balls of floss beautifully. No digging to find the needed color. I am all about finding pretty things for functional purposes. My sewing room is full of wood, wicker and wire containers. I try to keep the plastic hidden under tables and in closets. So this little tray is a much better option to me than the plastic drawer dividers that are currently in the closet. I like my containers to be aesthetically pleasing, if at all possible. Just another of my quirks that I have learned to live with. (Sorry, Mom, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition.)

Wow, did you really stay with me all the way to the end? If so, tell me how far you would have to go to get to the favorite quilt shop you have ever visited. My favorite used to be 2 hours away, but that one now comes in a distant second. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Brief Update

Ruth (Country Log Cabin blog) was the giveaway winner from my last post. She has already received her prize, I just hadn't blogged about it yet. (BTW, she has a giveaway on her blog right now and you may want to check it out.)

Porch Side Garden (a Kim Diehl design) is finished and has been sent to its new home.
 I chose to hand quilt this. I was going to do big stitch, but tiny stitches were too ingrained in me at an early age and I fall into that pattern without realizing it. Though these stitches aren't "tiny", they also aren't the "big" I was going for, so I gave up trying.
The quilt really isn't wonky, it is just laying on an uneven surface. : )

I took down all of the patriotic decor. The dining table becomes the staging area before it all gets put away. When I see them all like this I think I have enough R/W/B quilts, but honestly, there are more in the making.

I've had the kit for this little Jello mold hexie pincushion for well over a year. It was a gift from Pam Buda after we had a pie making session together (see here.)
I needed a little hand stitching that didn't take a lot of concentration during this past week, and it seemed like a good time to get this made. Very easy to put together. Makes me wonder why I didn't do it sooner. The pattern is called Tin Pinkeep, and the kit is available here.

Just did a little swap with Sue of Mother Patchwork blog. She was sending me a couple of cute zipper pulls (which I forgot to photograph--brilliant of me), and I was sending her one of my mini pineapple ornaments. Look what also found their way to me.
Aren't they fun? They are chicken potholders, in case you are poultry challenged. I emailed Sue that my grandpa used to have a large chicken farm and many childhood memories are associated with chickens--feeding them, gathering their eggs, playing with the chicks--and screaming in panic when the chickens got their heads cut off and flapped around the yard, headless. Good times. : )

Wednesday I will be back with DD#1 for a week. I think my new granddaughter missed me way too much.

Lately my life has been so enriched and blessed by the friendship and generosity of quilters I have met through this blog. I can't put into words what I have been experiencing, but those involved know who they are. "Thank you" is so inadequate, but not to say it would be an inexcusable oversight. The Lord has given me the best of gifts in you!

And thank you to all who stop by and leave a comment. I will be occupied elsewhere for a week, but know that I will be checking back when I return.

I can't decide if this was really brief or not. Let's just say the photos are large so it looks like a long post.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Multiple little things.

 I hadn't intended that this little quilt would step ahead of other projects in line. Some projects get so unruly--even though they may be small, they throw their weight around. These HSTs finish at 7/8", so the quilt is just over 9"x7".

I'm nearing a finish on the little Kim Diehl Porchside Garden.
All I have left to quilt are the squares in the outer border. I'm stitching an X through those, as Kim recommends. I'm excited to get this completed.


 I also whipped up three of the little blocks for this Primitive Gatherings quilt I have all cut out. Mine will be in blues and browns, and my blocks are smaller than the pattern. The instructions will give you 3" finished blocks. Mine finish at 2". The idea of doing all of those little HSTs all at once kind of made my mind go numb, so I decided to just stitch up a little block now and then. Eventually it will get finished.

 I spent the last day of July making this little block from a pattern I discovered recently. I wasn't ready to let July go.
This block is about 5" unfinished. The pattern didn't have any words on it, but I wanted them there. Maybe the variegated thread wasn't such a good idea. The lighter shades don't stand out too well.
This pattern was in issue 22 of the OOP Miniature Quilts Magazine.






Remember this little flag wall hanging  and tumbler table topper I made this summer? Well, I had a few leftovers and I decided to see if anyone would like to play with them. . .

. . . along with the extra copy of Issue 22 of Miniature Quilts Magazine that I came across  in my sewing room.



So if you are interested in the assortment shown below, leave a comment and I will draw a name sometime next week. I realize this isn't much fun for international readers, and I am sorry.
There is the magazine with the tiny paper pieced flag pattern, the leftover flag from the little flag wall hanging, and about 70 tumblers cut in R/W/B fabrics. I used 90 in my tumbler topper, but I think I could have gone a row shorter.  You could make something a little smaller than mine, or cut more tumblers for whatever size you'd like.

I'll announce the winner next week when I can find a minute to post. It is our county fair week and that is a busy week for me.

Giveaway Now Closed!

Until next time,
Janet O.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

All Caught Up (kind of)


The Buttermilk Basin Mystery blocks that have been revealed so far are all stitched. Here we have July. I know the pattern had a butterfly, but mine was begging for a flag--so it got one.

These are May and June's blocks (or June and May, since blogger reversed them).

I've decided my signature mark on each block will be a little round button somewhere--sometimes more than one. I even went back and put them on the older blocks.

But I'm not sure about those buttons on the purple background. They seemed to be a good match in the quilt shop, but in every lighting I have tried them under since, I don't care for the combo. I may have to switch those out.

Here is a shot of all of the blocks so far. I have continued to add little touches as I look back at them. They may forever just be works in progress. : )

The other project that needed catching up is the Attic Heirlooms Ornaments. Mine are little quilt blocks rather than ornaments. I'm cutting the blocks 5" for now, but will trim them down before assembly. It will be a small quilt in the end. I have the first four blocks finished and you have seen them before.

The next three are only fused, and it will take a bit of stitching to bring them to life. That is the "sort of" in my All Caught Up title.
The white and yellow blobs will magically turn into a cute snow angel with a garland. The others are self-explanatory, and they involve some beadwork, too. I don't have tiny beads--this will require some shopping.

These blocks are going to a friend who is making a quilt for a friend. The large ones are 12" and the small ones are 6".
Do you have any idea how long it has been since I made a 12" block? I don't either! : )

But look what those huge blocks gave me in return.
Lots of little bonus HSTs! I trimmed these to 1 3/8", which was easier than it sounds, with my Itty Bitty Eights rulers! They will finish at 7/8", or close to it, depending on how accurate I try to be.

Parting shot--my 85 year-old Mom with her final quilt! I mentioned before that she named this her Happy Quilt. It is machine pieced and hand quilted--all of Mom's quilts are hand quilted!
She says she has no regrets and will not miss quilting. She has loved it, but she is finished! In case you doubt the finality of this, she has given away her quilt books, fabric, and tools. The end of an era that has lasted decades! She was my first quilting mentor.

Until next time,
Janet O.


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