Monday, May 23, 2016

May I Have Your Attention, Please?

If you commented on my last post and DID NOT get a reply from me it is because your profile has the "noreply" setting I warned about. I cannot contact you and could not include you in the giveaway. There were many of you this time around and it makes me sad to not be able to respond to your questions or include you in the drawing. I am not ignoring you, I just have no way to contact you until you change your profile settings. I tried to put out a message to you beneath your comment on the last post, but unless you check back (only one of you did) that isn't very effective. I don't want you left out, but there isn't much else that can be done without you fixing your setting. If you don't know how, send me a comment WITH your email address and I can direct you to an instructive post--or you can Google it. : )

That said, I will name the winner at the end of this post. They have already been notified.

On Friday I visited my favorite "over the mountain pass" quilt shop, and look what they had.
"What is it?" you may ask. 

It is a "primitive" letter holder.
But doesn't it do a sweet job of holding little quilts?

And it looks great sitting next to the clip, which I also got at the same shop on my birthday last year.
You can switch out the quilt in the clip in a heartbeat.

Now I know you can't all get to the quilt shop over the mountain pass (wish you could, you would love it), so I found a couple of places they can be ordered. If you go here you have to order two, so plan on one as a gift, or find a quilting buddy that wants the other one (or someone with a messy desk). Shipping on this site is free. The "per item" price will be cheaper on this deal.

Or you can go here and order just one. The shipping is not free, but it is calculated by where you are, so I can't say what that will cost you. 

I will say they cost less at the quilt shop over the mountain, but the travel expense might be prohibitive for some of you. : )

There are also a couple available on ebay at a great price, as of this writing. 

I got the baby sister of my giveaway quilt all finished up. You can see it in the front of the repurposed letter holder, above. And here it is with its big sister.

The patriotic bowl fillers I had just assembled in my last post are now stuffed and stitched and thrown in a bowl with a few others.
I have a large wooden tray that needs staining and then I can put these in it with a few other filler items. Just need to get out the messy stuff to do the staining job.

My little Christmas wool applique quilt is done. This was made using 9 of the 12 patterns from last year's Attic Heirlooms Ornament Of the Month. Obviously mine aren't ornaments.
 Let this quilt be a lesson to you not to quilt tired.  My quilting on the sashing is very wobbly, but I was determined to finish, no matter the hour. I am preferring to call the quilting "whimsical".
All of the cottons used in this little quilt are from thrift store shirts and much of the wools were also felted from thrift store clothing.

And where do you photograph a Christmas quilt in May?
In the Christmas corner of your sewing room, of course. 

Now for the winner--Denise (Count it *all* joy blog) was the second to the last comment, just before I closed the drawing, and she won. See, it can be a good thing to come late to the party. We switched out the two Primitive Gatherings Snowman patterns for something more Denise's style (can you say "pumpkins"?), so if you are interested in just those two Snowman patterns, say so in your comment (and be sure you have your email address included!!!!) and I will draw a name for those next time.

Until then, 
Janet O.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

If my calculations are correct...

...this is little finish number 27 for this year. It has been over a week since my last post and this is about all I have to show for it. I went almost a whole week without touching my sewing machine.
 The quilting in the middle of this is just straight line, but I had fun in the borders.
Since the fabrics on the side borders differed from the top and bottom borders, I varied the stitching, too.
And I gave it a little more pizzazz with the deep red binding.
Anyone have a good idea for a name for this one?

Okay, I guess there was a little more stitching than this, but not much.
I found a few leftover bits that had escaped my notice previously, to make a couple more R/W/B bowl fillers.
And I used some leftover HSTs from the little quilt top in my last post to create a couple of baskets that may become bowl fillers or ornaments--I can't decide which. But all of these are ready to stuff and stitch closed. That is the sum total of my quilty content for this post.

I wanted to share my lilac obsession with you. The photo below shows the north side of my house with a row of 9 lilac bushes that have been blooming lately. When I have a window open on that side of the house the heavenly scent comes wafting in. I love it!

Yes, that is my dome home I am always mentioning. My sewing room faces those mountains in the background.

Sometimes I even think to go out and gather a bouquet to enjoy indoors. The darkest of the lilacs in this bouquet are from the row of five more bushes along our west fence line, which do not show in the photo.  That makes 14 lilac bushes--so far.

Beauty of Moscow Lilac
DD#2 and I are planning the purchase of a lovely pastel true pink lilac which I first saw when DD#1 lived in Moscow, ID. It was growing in the university botanical garden. I took this photo there. I think it has a soft, delicate look about it.

When my children were younger we loved the movie "Little Women" and my girls liked that the March family home had a name--Orchard House. So we named our dome Lilac House. I wonder if they remember that?

So if you stayed with me through the non-quilty content, there is something else I had calculated. Monday was the 5th anniversary of my blog, if I calculated correctly, and I wanted to celebrate all of the incredible friendships I have made through this curious place we call blogland. Pictured below is what I would like to share with someone as a token of my thanks to all of you.
I can't begin to express how much the friendships, comments, suggestions, teasing, inspiration, and whatever else have meant to me over these five years. You have enriched my life beyond measure!
Please don't publicize this. It is meant for those of you who are here with me on a regular basis, whether you comment or choose to lurk. But you lurkers will have to break out of your shell and comment this time if you want to be included. Come on, you can do it!

Leave a comment and MAKE SURE your email is attached to your profile or included in your comment, or you will not be included. (Google+ profiles seem to be especially prone NOT to have an email attached.) In your comment, tell me your favorite garden flower--or one of the top two or three, if you have a hard time narrowing it down. Lilacs, roses and iris probably make up my top three garden flowers.

I'm going to be lazy about this and say it will close when I choose to post again, which usually takes about a week. : )
Until then,
Janet O.

The giveaway is now closed.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Going the wrong direction, going to Graduation, and going to HMQS.

I am supposed to be reducing my pile of little tops. That was my goal as this year began, and I had been doing quite well. But the past couple of weeks has seen me add 4 more flimsies to the pile. You've seen the first three in recent posts. This is number four.
This quilt was assembled with gifts from friends. Most of the HSTs (which finish at 1") were from a bag of leftover small quilt parts that a friend gave me, and the border fabric was a gift from a blog friend, after I had admired it on her blog.
I love how it worked out. I think this fabric is the perfect border for the little HSTs. My thanks to Kim (no blog) for the HSTs, and Pat (Amity Quilter blog) for the border fabric. Now to decide how to quilt it!

It was a busy weekend. Friday DH and I were in attendance when our oldest son (child #3) received his Master's Degree.
It was just after I began this blog five years ago that he received his Bachelor's Degree. Since then his hair is longer, mine is greyer, and DH's hasn't changed. He never ages.

DH and I spent Saturday in the Salt Lake City area, about 90 minutes south of home. He dropped me off at the South Town Expo Center and I attended the Home Machine Quilting Show, while he did some test driving of cars.
The place was humming with activity. I didn't take any classes this year, but it was very fun to meet up with wonderful quilters, see beautiful quilts in the show, and shop some great vendors!

The Doans, of Missouri Star Quilt Company. Such genuine, down-to-earth people. A real treat to visit with them.

Visited Sandra Starley (Textile Time Travels blog), quilt appraiser, who always has a booth of yummy vintage goodies to peruse. I enjoyed studying the red fabrics in that signature quilt on the back wall.
Someday I would love to see Sandra's entire collection of quilts, but I don't know if that is even possible. Every time I see her there are "new" vintage quilts in her possession.

Irena Bluhm had a few of her beautifully painted quilts on display in her booth. She was very sweet to pose for me.

Jenny Pedigo, of Quick Curve Ruler fame, standing by her most popular quilt design. She is a very gracious lady, and an amazing quilter. Even though I am not a modern quilter, I have learned many quilting tips and been inspired by her beautiful designs on her blogs (Sew Kind Of Wonderful and Jenny's Doodling Needle).

This was the first time Primitive Gatherings has been to this show. I was excited. My friend, Jami, happened to have dropped by to shop when Jake agreed to a photo for my blog. This was my first stop in the morning and my last stop before I went out to catch my ride home. They received the bulk of my HMQS budget.
Jake and Amy were very helpful and patient with me. Thanks for coming to Utah!

I saw this sweet machine being used to demonstrate a product in a booth, and I wished I could bring it home with me. There seemed to be a purple glow coming from the booth that I couldn't resist.

After spending the bulk of my time in the vendor mall with my list of items to find, I took a quick trip through the quilt show. 

This was the top award winning quilt.

Read the description and then click on some of the small photos below to get a feel for it. The background appeared to be printed or painted. The buildings seemed to be printed on fabric and attached to the quilt. The people and animals were pretty incredible.

This quilt caught my eye. Love the colors and design. It was very well made.

Here we have  the entire selection of minis entered in the show.

These are the same quilts from the other end of the row. You can see the blue ribbon hanging from the top prize winner in this category.
I was a bit surprised by the selection, but I must admit that the quilting lines were so straight, and evenly spaced, and the use of color play in the threads was a nice visual addition.

It was a long day and I was happy to spend a few minutes relaxing at home that evening with my newest long-term project. This is a quilt I posted about years ago. I designed it for my youngest son as a memory quilt from his time as an LDS missionary in Brazil. Everything has meaning to his experiences there. He has been home almost 7 years, so it is about time I got this going.
I finally had a longarm friend baste it for me last month so I could get started on the hand quilting. Expect this to be with me for a year or two. I am not the fastest hand quilter on the block and my back doesn't allow me to spend too much time on it at once. 

Had a busy, full Mother's Day with family gathered for dinner, and Skyping with those too far away. I'm exhausted, but fulfilled after a jam-packed weekend, and ready to tackle another week. 
BTW, my 5 year blog anniversary is coming up very soon. Stay tuned. : )
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Not as bad as I thought it would be.

Things never do seem to be as hard to quilt as I expect them to be--once I can finally decide what to quilt. So why do I not learn that lesson once and for all?
Mini Warm Winter Blessings is completed and I am so happy to have it finished.
Had to hang it in my sewing room for a photo, even though it is rather out of season.

I bought the kit at a workshop with Lisa Bongean in January of 2013.  The top did not get made until January 2015. If I had never seen Linda Hrcka's quilting on Lisa's original I may not have been so hesitant to begin the quilting. I pinned Linda's work and pondered it multiple times. What I did here  is not an exact copy, but it is definitely inspired by her work.

Each snowman background is a little different. Here is a peek at a few of them. You can click for a closer view.

Of course, I feathered the border.

This shows you a comparison between the large size quilt block (which I made into a pillow) and the mini quilt.

I will end with my new favorite thing in my sewing room--my new Ott-Lite over my cutting table. I LOVE it!!
The bright LED ring of light shines over the whole table area, and the hinged neck allows me to raise, lower and angle it as needed.
While the Ott-lites are 50% at Jo~Ann next week I am taking DH in on Wednesday when they have a senior discount day with another 20% off your purchase. I'm going to have him purchase another one for my quilting table (I don't quite qualify as a senior). Doesn't that sound like a fun date? : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Did you see the little doll quilt Lori D. received in her swap? It was made by Karen Dever. You can check it out here.
It called to me like a siren and I found myself powerless to resist. That is pretty sad. So here is my little version--not an exact copy, but "inspired by."

I have no idea the size of the original, but mine finished at 10 1/2". I was working from a little bag of these scraps that a friend had given me, so my pinwheel size was based on what these bits and pieces could do. They also dictated my color scheme.
I see there will be another mini pinwheel quilt in my future.

The patchwork border gave me some grief--with my pieces so small, I would have been cutting something to a 16th of an inch. Not this time, thank you. So I cut and recut to try and see what I liked. That left me with a lot of odd squares and rectangles and that inspired me to make these.
I found a small piece of a pretty stripe that was just enough to create the rows between the patchwork strips. They measure 6 x 9 1/2, and 9 1/2 x 12. Why do I keep adding to my pile of little quilts to be quilted, when I was almost finished with them?

And while we are on that subject, my Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel Garden is now a flimsy, though at 14 1/2" square, and with all of those seams, it isn't extremely flimsy.
It is supposed to be comprised of 12 blocks, but when I had 9 made, it told me it was done. There is also supposed to be another row of the tiny HSTs around the outside, but it told me an emphatic, "NO!" (Or maybe I was the one telling it--my memory is a bit fuzzy on that point.) Since I made my blocks smaller than the pattern (any surprise there?), the outer HSTs would finish at 1/2". I have done that before on another one of Lisa's designs and I foundation pieced those. I didn't want to foundation piece anything on this quilt, although the pattern recommends it, so I stopped. Besides, as small as this is, it is looking very busy.

On this photo you can see a quarter to gauge the size better, and you can see the pattern to know what I am not doing to mine.

It isn't all little quilt finishes around here. Recently I improvised a couple of pillows. The one on the left was from a retreat with Stacy West (of Buttermilk Basin fame) back in January of 2015. It is designed to be a picnic hamper cover, but I don't own one of those.

The snowman pillow is one of the blocks from Lisa Bongean's Warm Winter Blessings quilt. Back in January of 2013 I attended a retreat where Lisa taught us her wool applique methods, using blocks from this quilt. I made three of the quilt blocks before I decided I needed to make the mini version instead.

And just for fun, before I gave away a couple more of the little quilts I have finished this year, I spread them out on the dining room table, stood on a chair, and took this photo. Twenty of the twenty-three I had finished at this point are in this photo. Since this was taken I have gifted a couple more and finished a couple more.

I promised a shorter post this time, so I'd better stop. But I'll leave you with this view after a recent rain.

 Until next time, 
Janet O.
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