Friday, April 21, 2017

From My Mother's Scraps--Part II

Lately I've been working on documenting Mom's quilts. So I thought this would be a good time to share more of the projects I have made (or have in the works) from the scraps she has passed on to me over the years from the quilts she has made. You can find part one here.
I will show my project first and then will follow with Mom's quilt that begat it. : )

When I recently found projects hiding in my sewing room closet, the brown/cream HSTs for these baskets were among them. They were leftover from one of Mom's few tied quilts. It was a quilt Dad had seen in a book and liked it, so Mom made it for him.
Don't you hate when this happens?
I'm not sure if this is how it will finish, or if I will add more borders. Right now it would finish just under 12".
Yesterday I sewed up the baskets (which will finish at 5") 
and was about to sash them with a blue plaid from Mom's leftovers, but it wasn't my favorite combination. Then I had the bright idea to use part of Dad's favorite blue plaid shirt. I'm really liking the fact that this is made from leftovers of a quilt Mom made for Dad and fabric from Dad's favorite shirt.

This is a really poor photo of Mom's quilt--and then I made it worse by using a photo of the photo. I'm not sure why, but Mom called this The Cowboy Quilt. She made it just 4 or 5 years ago.
You can see that the stars were made using brown/cream HSTs, and Mom had made a few dozen more than she needed.
When she was choosing the fabrics for this quilt she wasn't pleased with the selection of plaids available locally, so I brought her some of the plaid shirts from my stash. I believe this is the only quilt in which she ever used repurposed shirts.

You have seen this on my design wall recently. It is still hanging out there, but I have sewn a row together now and then. The first three diagonal rows are made. The others are falling off the wall.

This began with the scraps from Mom's one venture into the lovely, flowery world of watercolor quilts. 
This was named "Drink the Living Water". I don't know if that was the name of the pattern, or if she made it up. If you enlarge the photo you may be able to see the stipple quilting--it is all by hand. I can't imagine doing that over all those seams!

I didn't have enough leftovers from the watercolor quilt to get as many blocks as I wanted, so I also incorporated squares from Mom's Postage Stamp-ish quilt. It isn't a true postage stamp quilt if you define that as a quilt with 1" finished squares. The squares in her quilt finished at 1 1/2". Close enough, to me.
I liked the fact that the pastel inner border on this quilt is also made up of little squares.

A few of the blocks in the quilt below were already assembled, but not used in the quilt of Mom's. There was a bunch of leftover squares already cut, too.
I did have to supplement the scraps just a tiny bit to have enough blocks to make a good sized throw quilt. I don't know why I haven't quilted this yet.

(My camera lens appears to have had a smudge when I took this photo years ago.)
I was with Mom in a local quilt shop when she saw a quilt made from this pattern on display. She really liked it and bought the pattern then and there. Mom rarely did that. Most of the quilts she made were from books or magazines she or I owned.

The challenge I have always faced when I incorporate units that Mom had already assembled, is the fact that in all Mom's decades of quilting, she has never owned a 1/4" foot, yet she has always used the edge of her foot as her seam guide, so her seams are always larger than 1/4". Matching the units I make with the units she makes isn't always easy, and the making of the quilt from these leftovers was a challenge, trying to get my blocks the same size as hers.

In Part 1 I shared these little quilts with you. I made these with leftover units from the last quilt my Mom made and gifted them to my daughters. 

 Now I am making one for myself.  I have one more hexie flower and 4 more HSTs, along with several strips of trimmings from the piano key border Mom had assembled, so I could make one more of these little quilts.

The quilting is now farther along than this shows. About all I have left to do are the motifs in the corners.

Mom decided that the quilt she made in 2015 (when she was 85) would be her last. She called it her Happy Quilt. You can see the elements that I used to make the little quilts above.


Mom is a cat lover, and for her birthday about 3 years ago I made this little quilt that I had first seen on another blog. It is foundation pieced, and not as hard as it may look. I used fabrics from 4 different quilts of Mom's to make this little piece. I will only share one of them with you. 
The quilt below is the source of the fabrics in the little quilt at the top of the pile, right beneath the kitty. This is Mom's Kitty Quilt.
 A friend had given her yards of this kitten fabric, and she had to make something with it. I helped her come up with a block that was not quite square, to accommodate the size of the kitten panels. I have a bunch of the kitten fabric left among her "scraps".
There are bags of Mom's scraps I haven't even opened yet, so maybe someday there will be a "Part III".
Most of my sewing lately has been work on swaps I have coming up, and a very minimal effort on quilting "the beast". It really does annoy my shoulder to push that king-size thing around under the needle for very long. But it will eventually get finished--one block every week or two, maybe, but it will get finished!!
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Finish, a Challenge, and a LOT of blue plaid!

Kim Diehl's Porchside Garden is finished. It currently hangs in my dining room.

The plan had been to hand quilt the center and machine quilt the rest, but hand quilting won out in the end.

It is quilted a little less densely than the first one I made, but it is enough.

Secretly working on a little quilt for a Challenge swap with Randy. We are swapping 12" quilts, like we did last year. The one I am making involves this stuff...

...a book of foundation patterns, a copier, and sheets of newsprint paper. Sounds like there is some  foundation piecing involved (there is).

When I am piecing minis (whether foundation pieced or not), I use lots of pins--the extra fine, glass-headed variety--and I sew over them! Do you sew over pins, or do you always remove them?

I have never had a problem doing this. Yes, I have winged a pin or two, but they have only been slightly bent.
Well, as I have been working on this little piece, I have hit more pins than I can recall doing on any previous project. Look at the results of one such encounter--the pin on the left! Have you ever had that happen?                                                              

In spite of the mishaps, the little top is assembled. Now to remove the papers and get it quilted.

Aside from these projects, I have done a little bit of quilting on the beast, and I have been cutting up Dad's shirts to make a simple quilt for Mom. Can you tell he had a thing for blue plaid shirts?
There are some green ones in there, too, but blue definitely is in the majority!! He had a few favorites that were fraying at the collar and cuffs, and worn a little thin at the elbows. Dad wore a suit, white shirt and tie all his professional life. When he was working around the house he would don a plaid shirt. After retirement he only wore the white shirts and ties for church meetings, and plaid shirts everywhere else. I don't know that I ever saw my Dad in a t-shirt. Well, at least I don't have to worry about making a t-shirt quilt from his clothing. As I cut up these shirts I recall times Dad wore them and relive some of our experiences together. They are all good memories. He was a very good man--and still is, just on the other side!

If you have any ties to Canada, you may want to get in on this offer from canuckquilter. She designs wonderful patterns and has created this design for Canada's Sesquicentennial. If you click the link above and scroll down her post, you will find a link to this pattern, which is free if you move quickly. Joanne has even posted a suggested timeline to have the quilt done by the July 1st Canada Day celebration.

Until next time,
Janet O.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hiding in the Closet (projects, not me)

In January, in this post, I showed you several small design boards with the beginnings of little quilts upon them.
This week I found more hiding in the sewing room closet, and a couple of them demanded attention--as if I had nothing else to do. One of the boards had lots of mini charms that had been randomly sliced into three strips. One row of them had been sewn into the beginnings of a mini Chinese Coins quilt. So I finished the other two rows, and found a lovely Betsy Chutchian stripe to fussy-cut for the border.

It turned out more square than I had anticipated. That is what happens when no planning whatsoever is involved in the design process. It is approximately 9".

Another bunch of mini charms that had been sliced up were mostly from Primitive Gatherings Old Glory line. I had originally intended to make rail fence blocks alternating with sawtooth star blocks, as I did in a few pieces shown in this post. I had a couple of the rail fence blocks assembled when the design board got buried in the closet.
The blocks finish at 2" and the whole things is 8" square.
I decided to switch things up. I put good old Abe in the middle of the rails, made  5-point stars, and after attaching the narrow red border, I decided it needed a sawtooth border. One more side to piece and it will be ready to layer and quilt. This may get a combination of hand and machine quilting. I'm trying to decide if this will be what I take to my family reunion auction this year.

A combination of hand and machine quilting is what I had planned to do on my Kim Diehl Porchside Garden, but after hand quilting the center, I just felt compelled to continue by hand, instead of quilting the borders by machine. Getting pretty close to finished.

My thanks to my friend, Mary, who has helped prepare me for the classes I am taking from Bonnie Hunter in July. She surprised me with this in my mailbox!

I am plodding along very slowly with the quilting of The Beast. I keep this picture of the blocks pinned to my design wall and whenever I finish a block, I cross it off.  You can see this is moving at a snail's pace, but at least it is moving.

I am quilting them by thread color (am I the only lazy quilter that does not like to change threads?). I started with all of the black blocks. Now I am doing the white ones. Then I will do the green blocks, the turquoise, the gold, and the grey. I will finish with the navy blue blocks. There are bunches of those!!

It will put a damper on anything else being quilted until this is finished. Not that I can't move this out and change the thread to quilt other things, but that is a lot of effort for a lazy quilter. :)

The winner of the "Bee" panel from my last post is Denise. I already had her address, so it is winging its way to her abode.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

In scanning through the photos I have taken this month to find what I needed for this post, I came across this one I wanted to share.Took it on March 1st.
We don't have all this snow now, but there is still plenty in the mountains. We are out of a drought for the first time in 10 years!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Absolutely no focus, and a Bee-utiful opportunity!

Just bouncing from project to project!
Patrick's Pinwheels was finished on St. Patrick's Day.

It spent most of the day in the clip for which it was made.
Very simple quilting for this--stitch in the ditch around the pinwheels, straight lines in the sashing, and some free motion swirls in the border, which you can almost barely see in the photo above.

I've spent a tiny bit of time hand quilting on the little Kim Diehl Porchside Garden  quilt. I am outlining the applique and crosshatching the background. Then I will be machine quilting the borders.

 You can see the slow progress much better from the back.


I made a little cake block for Temecula's Anniversary quilt. Did you make one? 

Four more ornaments have been made from my Dad's shirts for family members with March birthdays. Two of them were sent off before I got a photo.

A couple more blocks have been quilted on the beast. This is definitely not a rush job. (Considering that this was for my youngest son's graduation from college and that was years ago, that is an understatement!)
My shoulder is whining about  working on this, so I will only do a block or two at a time, and there are 30 blocks.

Quilters are so generous. I have been the beneficiary of the kindness of some sweet bloggers once again. I had commented on how much I loved a little quilt Sandi (kwiltnkats blog) made and when she was finished, she sent me the pattern. I am excited to make it!
Then  Wendy (theconstantquilter blog) and Cyndi (busythimble blog) collaborated and sent a book my way that I mentioned I was trying to resist buying. They were so right--it is "me". I love browsing through and have pulled out scraps to make one when my "to do" pile gets whittled down a little more.
Thank you so much, ladies! 

I don't know if you have a Jo~Ann store near you, but I picked this up with my 60% off coupon on Thursday. It was the last one at my local store. I purchased clips and adhesive magnets and made a little quilt hanger out of it. Love the rustic look.

Maybe you recall that I had chosen "Be Kind" as my motto for 2017.  Well, look at this wonderful panel I bought from my friend, Kris (lavenderquilts blog). She vends at quilt shows and has an etsy shop (link on her blog). Look at the upper left corner of this panel (or the center). How perfect is that? I am going to make little wall hangings of a few of these--and I bought a second panel to make a quilt, along with some of the accompanying prints.
The panel is as tall as a full width of fabric.
This is from a Deb Strain line named "Bee Creative", that is now out of print. Deb has a new one called "Bee Inspired", but I like this one better. If you like it, too, make mention in your comment and one lucky reader will win one of these panels!
A pretty random post, but that has been  my week. : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Forging Ahead

I did get a "little" sidetracked as I was forging (sounds like I have clandestine operations going on in my basement, or something). Realizing I only had 3 mini quilts to display with a St. Patrick's Day color scheme, I had to do something to put in my standing clip.
So this happened. Maybe I'll call it "Patrick's Pinwheels".
Shouldn't take long to quilt. It will finish about 7" x 10". 
The pinwheels were made from a couple of strips of the fabric Randy had wrapped around a pincushion she sent me last year. You may  recall the little Valentine quilt I whipped up from the two strips on the right in this photo.
You can see the strips I used in the quilt above--and this took every last bit of them. I just added the black from Moda's "Essential Dots" line. 
The strip to the far left was partially used in my Quilters Madder, so now all of the strips have been put into little quilts.

Okay, here is where I start forging ahead. I decided that rather than spending months agonizing over finding just the right setting, and/or sashing for these 64-patch blocks made from Mom's watercolor quilt leftovers, I needed to just use Mom's scraps to finish this off. This quilt is all about sentimental value, not design perfection. 
I tried greens for the sashing, but the green in the blocks just does not stand out enough to make the green sashing feel unifying. There were a few strips of light purple leftovers from Mom's watercolor quilt, but not enough to sash the blocks. So I dug deeper and came across some strips of purple in a bag of scraps from the last quilt Mom made. I had to give them a try. They were a variety of shades, and when combined with the first purple strips I found, there were barely enough. I decided to put the lightest shades around the darkest blocks, and vice versa.

The setting triangles stumped me. Mom's scraps were not big enough, and there was nothing in my stash that clicked. I'm really trying to meld warm yellows and cool purples and pinks in the quilt, and that isn't easy. That is where my buddy Kris, from Lavender Quilts blog, saved the day. She had this warm yellow batik with a soft purple print. I took a sample home and it did the job for me, pulling the yellows from the inner blocks, through all of the purples, to the edge of the quilt. So this is my final answer. Probably no one would put this all together by choice, but I look at this as a "make do" quilt--making do with Mom's leftovers, and I am okay with the purchase of the setting triangle fabric.

The really big forge ahead was that I finally pin basted "the beast"!
And last night I actually began the quilting!
If you have ever made a t-shirt quilt before, you know they are heavy. Quilting a king sized one on a sit down machine really gives the shoulders a workout. After only 1 1/2 blocks quilted, my left shoulder is talking to me. I was supposed to have it scoped the end of December, but it was scheduled for the very day my Dad passed, so I canceled. My shoulder was actually feeling pretty good by that time, too, after having been a problem for over a year. So I didn't reschedule. But after shoveling a few driveways following one of our many snowstorms, it is troubling me again. 
I'll have to take baby steps quilting this, or I might not be in shape to sew when Bonnie Hunter comes to Utah this July to teach classes. Two of the classes are only 30 minutes from home, so I will be there to meet the first quilt blogger I started following, over 6 years ago.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Coming to the end of the line.

In mid-January I decided to see what was left of my little flimsies. I have made major progress on these little quilts starting about Fall of 2015. Then I made 2016 the year of finishing the minis, and a whole lot more were completed. So this was all that awaited stitching from my mini pile (we aren't talking about the big quilts hanging around the house somewhere--just step away from the closet).

You have already seen three of these finished up in the past couple of months.

Here is a fourth.

Quilting was kept very simple and very free hand, except for the wavy line around the outer border. I did mark that.

Now I have two more basted and ready to go. The Buttermilk Basin pumpkin banner is leftover from a batch of basting last year. I just noticed that all three of these involve wool applique, and they represent 3 of my favorite designers--Kim Diehl, Lisa Bongean, and Stacy West.

The top quilt will be a mix of hand and machine quilting. I have made this before and I completely hand quilted the first one. Don't feel a need to do it to this one. I will machine quilt the other two.

And I also finished off the little Buttermilk Basin Noel pillow from a kit I picked up at the workshop with Miss Stacy last year.
You can see it there at the bottom of my little sewing room tree, which proudly displays ornaments all year, made by friends and family (including me).

So these are what I still need to get basted and ready to quilt. Once I get to that stage, they usually move along pretty well (with the exception of the pumpkin banner seen above).   

One of these days I have to gather my courage and actually decide how to finish those two bitty ones at the bottom.

Julierose, you will be receiving the Primitive Gatherings "Be the Good" pattern from my last post. Please send me your snail mail so I can get it on its way.

Until next time,
Janet O.

I wanted to share last night's reflection of the sunset in the West onto the snowy mountains in the East. Wish I had been able  to avoid the telephone lines in the photo. This was taken from my kitchen window, and by the time I could have run downstairs, outside, and down the road to see past the tree on the right, the moment of wonder would have passed.
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