Sunday, July 6, 2014

Distractions

I am supposed to be back to my UFOs, after my 2 month obsession with minis to get ready for the trunk show. But what's a quilter to do when 2 of her favorite designers are running SALs at the same time? Join in, of course!

First up is Lisa Bongean's Primitive Gatherings 10th Anniversary SAL. She is doing a "pieced only" version, and a version with "piecing and wool applique". I have been trying to convince myself that I only need to make one version. Making multiples has been my downfall in the past, so I have chosen to do the pieced/wool applique version, and ONLY that version--so far. And, so far, I LOVE it!

Then Pam Buda has been running one of her Pocket Patchwork SALs. This one is called Market Day, and she offered the regular version, and a mini version. Which one do you think I did? : ) 
It is such a cute little patriotic quilt--just 16". Pam bordered hers in red and bound it in blue. I tried every red I had in my patriotic drawer, and my CW repros and I didn't feel like any of them clicked as a border. Then I moved to the blues. This was the only one I felt did anything for it, but I'm still not sure if I will leave it on. I tucked the little red dotted strips behind it to see how it would look bound in red. What do you think?

Recently I was a poll worker for a primary election. I knew turnout would be low and I needed a handwork project I wouldn't finish in the first few hours of the day. This project has captured my eye on Gayle's and Kathy's blogs. (It is from the Spring 2013 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.) Okay ladies, I caved!
I can't believe I actually started another hexie project. The one I already have going is 17 years old, at least. But I like this, where my old one is made in fabrics I had purchased decades ago when I started quilting and I don't care for them anymore.
This will definitely be a long term project. You can see I didn't make a ton of progress, but it is a start.

During my mini obsession in the past few months I haven't spent much time with Gidget. So this past week I found a few minutes here and there to brush up on a couple of favorite designs.
It was fun to play, but I can't believe how rusty I have become in what seemed such a short time. I need a few more practice sessions before I sit down to quilt an actual quilt.

On Independence Day DH and I drove an hour up a nearby canyon to a favorite lake. It is just a small lake and the trail that circles it is a little over a mile, and is peppered with a variety of wildflowers. We had just received our Fitbits in the mail the day before and thought it would be a good inauguration to walk the trail. It was a gorgeous day at Tony Grove.
Forget-me-nots
That was the only boat on the lake and I wished I had been in it.
Violets
There was such a variety of wildflowers, but two particularly caught my eye. We usually go up later in the summer and I don't recall seeing these two before, and they are two of my favorites. Click on the right photo to see the butterfly.

Until next time,
Janet O.




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gallery Expansion, Market Day SAL, and random stuff

 Between thrift stores, antique malls and contributions from family members, I rustled up a few more wooden yardsticks to expand the small quilt gallery. The photo above is of the hallway outside my sewing room door. Again, credit for this idea goes to Ann Hermes at Notes from the Quilt Lab blog (and as I read further back in her blog, she credits Sheryl at Temecula Quilt Co., for giving her the idea)!
Below is my small quilt corner, which has been updated. Now I can move these around without adding pinholes to the walls. I even added a couple of wooden rulers in the space between the corner and my design wall, where it is too narrow for a yardstick. The other side of my design wall has the same issue and I hope to find a couple more wooden rulers to fill that space.
I'd like to continue the gallery expansion to the wall above my HQ Sweet 16 (Gidget), so I will still be  scouting out yardsticks for a while.

Did you notice the little cottage in the bottom of the photo above? Someone recently found it at a thrift store and gave it to my Mom. She said she thought I would have a better place for it than she would. Isn't it sweet?










I have to tell you that it is entirely possible to catch up on Pam Buda's Market Day SAL in one day (begin here with the revised fabric requirements). I just did it Monday. Hadn't even chosen fabric before then. Now everything is cut and stitched, waiting for the big reveal Friday. I stuck with Pam's colors and chose mostly fabrics with a patriotic theme. Is anyone else wondering what we are going to do with the second gold fabric? 








I have had fun seeing what others have been guessing as to the layout. Gave it a whirl and I can say I have absolutely no clue where Pam is going with this one. I'm quite certain this is not it.



Recently I posted a little quilt I was making from the leftover HSTs of Terry's Goodnight Irene quilt. Well, I wasn't happy with the border, so I trimmed it down and added more. Maybe I went too far, but this is it now. The little broken dish blocks are 1"

 I had a few more HSTs to use, so I tried little pinwheels this time. This is about 7" square.

The black borders are all on my colored star blocks now. They need to be trimmed--the squares were not all exact, so the borders are acting as coping strips, besides being part of the sashing design. This gives you an idea of the Garden Maze setting that I will use when I can decide on a color for the sashing strips. I need about 2 yards of whatever I choose, and I was wanting to work from stash. I don't have many cuts that large, unless they are even larger than that, which I intended for backings. Most of those are busy prints that would be too much for this purpose. I played with the rainbow idea, but it didn't click for me. I may actually have to buy something (horror).
You sew star points that match the cornerstones onto the ends of the sashing, and it creates the effect of the Garden Maze design without having to make tiny X blocks for the cornerstones. The idea was found in one of Sharyn Craig's wonderful books on settings (Setting Solutions and Great Sets). Does it make more sense now to those of you who were "smiling and nodding" when I tried to describe it before? : )

I am enjoying seeing the red/white/blue posts popping up around blogland. Even if we've seen it before, it is fun to be reminded of all of the possibilities.

Which reminds me, each time I have posted about this quilt I have had people email asking about the pattern.
It is a Primitive Gatherings pattern called Primitive Picnic Quilt. I did add extra rows and I put the borders on it to make it larger. It is on the Primitive Gatherings website, but not if you search for it by name (why?). You must use the product code, which is PRI-197. Or, you can just use the link above, of course. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Here it is--the R/W/B post.

With apologies to all of my friends outside the USA, I decided to do a little patriotic parade as we approach Independence Day. These are not all still in my possession, but I am trying to hang on to enough of them to decorate my home. So in no particular order, "Three cheers for the red, white and blue!"
My brother has this one.
My daughter, Aimee, has this.
Daughter, Angie, is the owner of this one.


These 2" pineapples have gone to various friends.

I believe Julie and Carole are the owners of these two.

This little grouping hangs in my kitchen. Stars are 2".
The only large quilt in the bunch. Wish the quilting fairies would come quilt it in the night!

This is hanging in my sewing room.

This Lisa Bongean design hangs in my living room, along with...

...this. This is one of two "most pinned" items from my blog.

This little AAQI quilt sold at International Quilt Fest in Houston last year.
No idea where it is. This is the other "most pinned" item from my blog.

I made this for a small quilt swap with Gayle last summer. The only
hand-quilted piece in the bunch here.

This sits on my hutch, but the middle is covered by a soup tureen.


















This little pincushion is one of two
r/w/b that I made--the other was gifted.
That is all of the R/W/B stuff I could scrape together. You have probably seen most of it before, but hope it was fun to see it all together.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm doing big stuff, too!

Back in March, when I agreed to do the mini quilt trunk show in May, these stars were on my design wall. I didn't touch them for 2 1/2 months (other than to move them out of my way) while I frantically sewed up minis.
Last week I got the border strips cut (haven't sewn any on yet) and Monday night I cut the cornerstones. Major progress, huh? If you are familiar with Sharyn Craig's method of the Garden Maze setting, this will make sense. If not, just smile and nod. I need to choose a color for the sashing and then put black star points on the ends of those pieces, once they are cut. When it is all sewn together it creates the effect of the Garden Maze setting without the hassle of making "X" blocks for the cornerstones.

I"m curious to know what color you think would look good in the sashing, though I don't promise to take your advice. : )

While DD#1 was visiting she finished up the Primitive Gatherings stocking ornaments that she had started on her last visit. Here are all 8 of them and they aren't as bright as they appear. I think they turned out great, so maybe someday I will make them. Click to see them close up. Good job, Angie!

Recently my blog friend, Victoria (Park Hill Farm blog), posted about her great buys at the Keepsake Quilting tent sale. I was amazed to see the red fabric she had purchased (yes, Julie--THAT red!). It is a favorite of mine--older and hard to find. It wasn't on the shelf at Keepsake last October, or I would have finished the bolt, believe me. I expressed my dismay that she had found it there, and the next thing I know there was a chunk of it in my mailbox. Victoria, like so many quilters, is a very generous woman. I promised her another little ornament from some of the fabric. She already has one of my pineapples and a log cabin, so one of these baskets is for her. These are still (obviously) in the works.

Did any of you do Terry's "Goodnight Irene" SAL? I watched. : ) It is a lovely quilt. I've seen it on many blogs and haven't seen one I didn't like, but I especially loved Terry's cool blue and green batiks.
Well, she had all of these HSTs leftover and didn't want to play with them, so I volunteered. Now Irene's dolly can get a good night's sleep, too. The blocks in this little piece are 1" finished. It is approximately 6 1/2" x 8 1/2".
I have a few more HSTs left and am pondering other setting options.

Okay, finally (I didn't think I had that much to share, but this is getting lengthy--sorry), I'm sure many of you have seen Ann Hermes' (Notes From the Quilt Lab blog) yardstick gallery. I love it and have wanted to replicate it somewhere, somehow. A year or so ago I happened to find an old yardstick at a local thrift store from what is now a favorite local quilt shop (it used to be mostly clothing fabrics, but as times changed, so did they). Today I finally figured out where to put it and how to hang it without putting more holes in my walls.
As you enter my sewing room, this is what you now see.
To the right of the sewing room door is the bathroom door. Upon leaving the bathroom you get this happy view.
Rather than using felt pads behind the yardstick and putting holes through it all, I got a similar effect by using clear Command strips and hooks. It holds the yardstick far enough away from the wall that the hooks from Ackfeld Manufacturing fit nicely over it. I'm very happy with the results and hope to find another vintage yardstick at a thrift store when I am in town tomorrow. It is too much to hope that I will find another one from a fabric store. I may have to settle for one from a hardware store--if I can find one at all.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Now you see it...

Yes, I see the 4-patch turned the wrong way, but I didn't see it until it was being quilted!

...now you don't--almost.
How did my Mother's hand get in this picture?
Could you tell it was that small? I know when it is enlarged that much the stitching really gives it away. But I'm trying to get better at making the borders and binding "to scale". The binding is tricky when you try to get it close to 1/8". If anyone has any tricks as to how to make it work, I'd love to hear them!

This little quilt went off to my dear friend, Carole, who is undergoing chemo. It is named "Heaven Can Wait"! It is a variation on the Stairway to Heaven pattern. I just changed the name and the value placement. It goes to Carole with lots of prayers for successful treatment. I was waiting until she received it before posting. 

Not much else happening here in the way of quilting. 
I have continued to stitch up little things that just hang around. When there are lots of HSTs left in my "parts" bowl (do you have one of those containers?) it is easy to put together some of these...
...when you don't have time to get involved in a big project.

And then I found enough R/W/B ones to make some more hangy things to go with one of my little mini quilts.
So many patriotic quilted things decorating the house now. I've shown most of them at one time or another, but maybe I will have to do a R/W/B post soon.

I have a niece getting married next week. Unlike some of you who make quilts for your nieces' and nephews' weddings, graduations, babies, etc., I have no such tradition, but I admire those of you who do. I have 11 nieces and 10 nephews, besides my own two girls and two boys. Half of them are married or engaged. All but two have graduated from high school, half of them have graduated from college, about half of those have gone on to complete advanced degrees, and between them all I think they have 26 children, so far. I don't have that much quilting time!! So for this niece, who has been very close to my Mom, I have been making a few pineapple ornaments from my Mom's quilt scraps. This is four of the six she will be receiving.
I hope they will mean something to her. I think they will.

DD#1 flew in from NH on Saturday. I look forward to a week with her here!
Until next time,
Janet O.




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fun With Feathers--and a winner!

A week ago I spent my morning being entertained and instructed by Sue Patten.

This woman had me smiling and laughing so much my face hurt. She is a delightful teacher, and on top of that--she really knows her stuff!

She does extensive tests on all kinds of quilting products, under all kinds of conditions, before sharing her recommendations. And her reviews have caused some companies to change their products.







The focus of the class was feathers, and she whipped them out, with all kinds of embellishments, usually controlling the machine with one hand, while her coffee cup rested in the other.
 She could put feathers on or in anything, and dress them up so that you couldn't always tell she had started with a feather. Have I already said that she did it all really fast?!? Well, she said she had slowed way down, but you couldn't prove it by me!
She had a couple of quilts to show us how she covers the territory. She can do more things with feathers than you can begin to imagine.
And she can do it all with one hand. : )


It was a really good morning. I wish I'd been able to take some of her other classes, but I am grateful for the one opportunity I did have.

This was my parting shot and just before it was taken she asked, "Oh, is my hair sticking up?" And then she giggled.


I did choose the winner for my blog anniversary giveaway on Wednesday night. I notified her right away and sent the package off the next morning--I just haven't had a chance to blog about it until now. Congrats go out to Lori, of Humble Quilts blog. I was thrilled to see her win. Hers was one of the first blogs I began following 3 years ago and she has been so fun. I love her SALs, her adventures, and her quilts!

Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. If you left a comment on my giveaway post and you didn't receive a reply from me, you have your profile set to "no reply" and maybe you don't know it. I had several such comments this time around and only a couple of you left your email address in your comment so that I could respond. Those of you that did not get a reply, if you would like to get replies (and chances to win giveaways--currently, no one can contact you if you win) click on the link above for Lori's blog. Right below her profile on her sidebar is a badge to click on if you are a no-reply blogger. It will take you to her post about how to change your settings.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Show is Over, Folks!

And I survived!
I want to start off with the last few quilts I finished up. I started this Mariner's Compass soon after agreeing to do the show. The compass has a 3" diameter. I had tried to set it in a circle of flying geese, but in trying to combine the elements from two different patterns, I couldn't get them sized compatibly. So I ended up with the border from the original compass pattern. The original was in shades of blue, but I wanted Christmas colored batiks. I'm happy with how it turned out. I've been trying to decide whether or not to hand quilt it, or leave it unquilted and frame it. I'm not anxious to hand quilt on batiks. This piece is 9 1/2" square. I think I will name it "Sailing Home for the Holidays"

I got the little "Wandering Geese" quilted and bound. I did SITD around the geese and columns. The border and sashing are hand quilted. I don't usually bind in a lighter color than the border, but I liked this better than any of the other colors, and I didn't have enough of the border or sashing blue to do the job.
Ended up doing straight line quilting, in diamond formation, in the center of this, and kind of a half orange peel design in the border. Because of its diminutive size, this is named "Trip Around the Block" (rather than TATW).
If you look closely at this one you may be able to discern that the binding is only pinned down. Didn't quite have time to get the whole thing finished before the show. Since this was made from part of an "airport project kit" gifted to me by good friend Annie Miksch, before DH and I flew to visit DD#1 last fall, I have named this "Annie's Neighborhood". I hand quilted the houses and did the rest by machine.

Okay, here we go--show time. My apologies to those who asked for lots of pictures of the show. I didn't get any of the actual show. Though my friend took at least a couple dozen with my camera, something went wrong and when I tried to download them, nothing was there.
But I took a shot of my setup when it was all over.
 As I would tell about a quilt, I would take it from the little trunk (this was a mini trunk show, after all), and hang it with small clothespins to the lines strung between the poles. Many thanks to those who loaned back minis in their possession, that I had made. That helped so much, as I did not have time to complete everything that I had planned to make. In fact, four of the mini quilts are still flimsies.
Closer view of each display below.
Barb Vedder (Fun with Barb blog) made that sweet little flying geese quilt
in the upper left corner of this display. I used it with her permission.


I had another group of quilts that are small, but not mini. As they fit into the story of how I came to make miniature quilts, I would hold them up. Tonight I stuck them all up on my design wall and took a photo.
 You may recognize eight of them from SALs and QALs from Humble Quilts blog, Temecula Quilt Co. blog, quiltsbycheri blog, and Heartspun Quilts blog. Seven of these have not yet been quilted.

This is a re-creation of the display I had on a little table. Those are pincushions made of tiny quilt blocks in a bowl under the tree. To the far right is the trunk that held the mini quilts.

Click on this photo if you'd like a closer view of the tree ornaments (many of which were made by DD#1) and pincushions.

On the felt covered bulletin board I placed jewelry by Julie Letvin (Me & My Stitches blog), and two micro minis.

Which brings me to my final photo. Friday was the 3rd anniversary of my blog. Sometimes I think I have been blogging forever, and other times I feel like I am such a beginner. But however long it seems, I have met some incredible women who inspire me and support me and make me want to be better (not just in quilting, but in life). To thank those of you who are following along on my quilting journey, I offer this little anniversary giveaway.
There are 2 charm packs of new lines that I love, one of my micro minis (Baby Steps to Heaven), a 2" basket ornament, and a bag of my herbal soap. If you are interested, leave a comment and I will draw a name when I get around to it (that shows you how tired I am as I am typing this up--getting punchy). Let's say Wednesday is the cut off. I will draw at 9 p.m., or thereabouts. : )
Giveaway now closed.

Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. Saturday morning I am attending a class by Sue Patten on quilting feathers. I am anxious to see what I can learn.
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