Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bound--and Determined!

The little purple star quilt is bound now. I don't have a name for this yet. Any ideas?

 This photo on the left gives you a better view of the quilting.

I got this one bound, too. I stitched tiny buttons into the cornerstones.
Haven't come up with a name for this, either. I had considered Christmas in Kansas, since it is all KT fabrics in Christmas colors. Maybe that will stick--maybe not.

This Snowy Gathering mat, designed by Lisa Bongean, is all blanket stitched now and the edge is bound.

Is this a great match, or what? This is a mayonnaise jar turned candle holder that a very talented friend painted for me years ago. It looks like I tried to make the mat to match, but it never occurred to me. It just happened. : )

The tumbler topper got stitched together last week. Yesterday I did some simple meander quilting on it  and got the binding sewn on one side and pinned. It is waiting for some slow stitching in the evenings to complete the binding.

Then I will finally have a topper for my dining room hutch when there isn't a holiday topper to fill the space.

Last of all, Snowball got quilted and the binding is pinned down ready for hand stitching.

Now I am determined to get back to work on the T-shirt quilt AND I am determined NOT to join any of the bazillion fun SALs that are popping up like daisies all over blogland. My goodness, it is tough to be strong, with temptation at every turn! But I have made it all the way through January and the first week of February without succumbing. So far, so good!

Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Sewing Frenzy

Though I'd had a full schedule of appointments, Thursday ended up being a sick day at home. I probably should have slept,  but I needed to sew. I really needed to! I wasn't feverish, but I was feverishly sewing.

Made some progress on my blue/brown version of Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel Garden.

The pattern recommends paper piecing the HSTs, but  I opted for the "optional method" without the papers.

These blocks will finish at 4", which means that each pinwheel is 1". It is really fun to see these blocks come together.

The little pinwheel star quilt top I made recently was created from a bag of HSTs a friend had given me. She also gave me a little bag of Kansas Troubles 1" strips in a variety of lengths. It took me a while, but I finally figured out that they were for log cabin blocks. I used them as leader/enders for my day of frenzied sewing.

These blocks will finish at 3 1/2". Haven't counted to see how many blocks I will get out of these pieces.

I used some leftover pieces of other projects to whip up a couple of pincushions.

And I got a stack of little quilts pin basted so I have no excuse not to get quilting.
In fact, I have started stitching on the two in the bottom of the photo. 

This is what I created from the little purple stars in my previous post. The ditch stitching is done and I am marking it for FMQ.

A lovely surprise came in the mail from Sue. She made such clever, collapsible  thread catchers and showed them on her blog. She offered to send me the pattern. Well, it wasn't just a pattern that arrived all the way from Australia. A beautiful cheddar thread catcher was included. Thanks so much, Sue!!

Had lunch earlier this week with my good buddy Kris, from Lavender Quilts blog. Look what she brought me. Does she know me, or what? : )  Thanks bunches, Kris!!

I have already drooled over looked through it a couple of times. I need to finish some other projects so I can start some new ones!!

Felt so good to finally have a sewing day, even though I didn't feel good. : )
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sundry Things

Just dabbling in this and that when I have a minute. Seems I can't focus lately.
This is something I have been wanting to make for a long time. Prepped the wool one evening and have been stitching in spare moments. Just have to finish going around the trees and then stitch it to the backing.
Designed by Lisa Bongean, this little mat is cut from a 12" square of wool. This blue wool came from a pair of slacks at a local thrift store. A lucky find.
The pattern is named Snowy Gathering, and is found in the Winter 2013 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.
One of these days I might do a "snowman only" post. Can't believe how many of them I have stitched.

Before the holidays I had cut a bunch of purple and neutral scraps into HSTs for a long overdue project. Life got in the way and I didn't get anything finished as planned. So I stitched them together as leader/enders over the past few weeks. I toyed with different settings, but finally settled on these stars, that will finish at 3". The size of star was determined by the size of triangles I could cut from the scraps on hand.

The blocks for my youngest son's college T-shirt quilt all need coping strips in order to get them to a uniform size. Not my favorite task, so I am forcing myself to border a few blocks when I have a rare day at home. Ten down, twenty more to go!

It seems that when there is no holiday imminent, I don't have a non-seasonal runner for my hutch--at least not one I like.
So I grabbed a couple of Kansas Troubles mini charm packs, and some KT scraps, pulled out my trusty 2 1/2" tumbler template from MSQC, and went to town cutting tumblers. Kind of went overboard and cut many more than I will need. 

Fun mail from New England, lately. I won a giveaway on Vic's blog and received these wonderful FQs, and a couple of her delightful, handmade lavender sachets. And Grace sent this fun quilt block calendar that is now hanging in my sewing room. I have had the delightful opportunity to meet both of these bloggers while in NH and I consider them good friends. Thanks, ladies!

I'll finish with this shot from my sewing room window. Love it when the sunset makes it look as if there is fire on the mountains.
Until next time, when maybe I will have finished something--anything!!
Janet O.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

So Little Progress

This...                                                  has become this.                 

Eventually there will be 9 blocks to this little quilt.

Stars in the Garden has only had those few hexies in the corner added since last we saw it.

I have sewn up a handful of the blocks for my blue/brown Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel Garden pattern. My blocks are 2" finished, though the pattern is for 3" finished (the pinwheels will finish at 1").
I don't think the fact that I am making my blocks smaller will come as a shock to anyone. 
You can see here that I make my pinwheels larger and trim them down to increase accuracy. The ones in the lower corner have not yet been assembled.

This is why  I haven't bothered sewing much lately. Little Maggie is here for a visit all the way from New Hampshire. (Oh, she brought her parents, too.) Would you be sewing if you could play with her instead? In a few days she and her parents will be going home and I will be very sad. I would try to tell you how good-natured this little gal is, but you would never believe me. Seriously!

I'll be back when Maggie and I have finished playing. : )

Janet O.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year, friends!

Lots of family gatherings, and health issues for me and my Mom have made my time for blogging recently rather sketchy. Not much time to stitch, either, but I finally got an evening to spend sewing, so I'll share what came out of it.
First up, there was that mindless sewing of HSTs a friend had given me, that I showed in my last post. This is what I did with them. Kind of fun and festive.
The star blocks finish at 4". The quilt finishes at about 15". Did this very hurriedly and cut off lots of star points, but I needed a finish for sanity's sake, so I'll live with it. : )

Got my last block made for the Buttermilk Basin Mystery BOM completed. Chose not to put the snowman in the mitten, but used a free pattern Stacy had shared back in November (click on link above), and made it a little larger to fit the block. I added twig arms and snowflakes to the chilly fellow.

Here are all of the blocks together. Wonder how Stacy will be setting them? Wonder if I will do it her way?

My little snowball block from HeartTohand is ready for quilting. I wasn't sure, last time I shared it with you, what I would do for the border. Sandra (textiletimetravels blog) suggested a simple snowball block. I thought about doing tiny ones, but based on the size of the block itself, I settled for 3" finished snowballs. I really like how it turned out. Thanks, Sandra.

Remember I thought the tree's needles looked a bit spindly. I was going to leave it be, but finally caved and fixed it. I doubled my floss and went back and added needles in between the ones I had already stitched.


I do like the end results better.
Compare it to the tree in the top photo.

I'm not usually a participant in after-holiday sales, but there were two things I couldn't resist this time around. All of the Christmas fabrics and kits were 50% off at my LQS. Though I went just to see the fabrics, and I don't tend to buy kits, I couldn't pass this up. This Kim Diehl pattern is free online at Henry Glass and I have loved it and pinned it. When I saw the shop had kitted it up with Kim Diehl fabrics in holiday colors, but NOT holiday prints (that is how I like my holiday quilts)--and it was half off, I snatched it up. It was the last one and I felt pretty smug.

The other thing I couldn't resist was buying a tower of Dark Chocolate Peppermint Roca on clearance. This is not just a guilty pleasure. It is a vital part of my keeping my most important Quilting Goal from last year (which I plan to continue into this year)--keeping dark chocolate in the sewing room. Any time you can combine that dark chocolate with a subtle peppermint flavor, the synergy of the two is undeniable. This is probably the only quilty goal from last year that I actually kept, and may be the only one I carry on into this year.


Last, but definitely not least, I have been the recipient of some lovely gifts from quilting friends the last few months. 

To the right are a pair of pretty crocheted coasters from Mary (quiltingrandma blog), and lovely purple mittens and scarf from Doniene (nowitsjustquilts blog). 
In the left photo are quilts gifted to me by Joy P. (top quilt--no blog), and Sandra D. (bottom quilt--kwiltnkats blog). Don't they look pretty hanging together? Each one of these gifts is a beautiful handmade treasure that has warmed my heart and the Christmas season. Thank you, my friends. 

As you all know, blogging takes time and now and then I think I can't do it anymore. Then I ponder the priceless friends I have made, and I know I can't walk away from it. This is about more than quilting. It is a connection with people that have enriched my life in so many ways, prayed with me and for me, laughed with me, shared with me, and widened my scope. I would never have dreamed I would feel so connected to so many quilters around the world.
Bless you all as we enter upon a new year of sharing.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Heads up to all of you that read blogs without a Google profile. 
From Blogger Buzz posted Dec. 21, 2015:

...starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lots of Winter Woollies, and other festive things

This past weekend DH and I had a little overnight get away and I took a few wool projects along to finish the hand stitching. 

My Buttermilk Basin Mystery BOM is completed. Those who guessed that the blob at the bottom was a bell were correct. I was making a rather feeble attempt at replicating the bell from Polar Express. I even considered stitching the word "Believe" on the block, but decided that it wouldn't blend with the rest of the blocks in this mystery.

Speaking of which, those blocks are shown below. Originally I think Miss Stacy said there would be 11 blocks, but now I believe she said she would do a twelfth.

The Attic Heirloom Ornament of the Month patterns were, as the title states, for ornaments, but I made mine into little quilt blocks. I had chosen to just use the first 9 patterns to make a little holiday quilt, but before I could sew them together, I saw the gingerbread man pattern for November and decided to swap out the mitten and add in the gingerbread man. 

Here is the quilt top stitched together. I still plan to add a border or two.

The three cotton fabrics I have used so far are from thrift store shirts. I want to use shirts for the borders, too, but haven't taken the time to dig through the shirt stash yet to select anything.

I finished up the little HeartToHand Snowball block, too. The snowflakes and lettering don't show well with a flash photo, but without the flash it looked too dull. You can find the pattern for this here.

I'm thinking I should have doubled my floss on the branches and pine needles, but it is going to stay as is. It needs a border of some sort. I think I will audition some Snowman Gatherings fabrics for that job.

Most of my stitching took place in the car going to and from our destination, but I did enjoy stitching in our hotel room to Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday". It was showing on TV after DH fell asleep.

Can you tell where we were visiting? (I know a few of you will know.) Click to enlarge photos.


After some painful dental work today I have pretty much been a sloth. This evening I wanted to "do" something, but I was supposed to be taking it easy. So I pulled out my machine for the first time in about three weeks, grabbed some HSTs that a friend had gifted me recently, sorted out the red and green and just did some mindless piecing. 
 I stopped short of doing any trimming. Can't decide if I will trim these small enough to be ornaments, or leave them this size and make a small quilt. There are so many other things I should have been sewing, but those would all take effort, and I wasn't up to any exertion, mental or physical. : )

One last thing I want to share.
Last year I was awed by Pentatonix' version of "Mary Did You Know?" I still love it, but DD#2 just introduced me to this version last night and it is pretty incredible, too.
Hope I did that right--I have never embedded a video in a post before. Hope you enjoy it, too.
Until next time,
Janet O.
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