Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sewing machine is gathering dust

...while I play in wool. This is what I have pulled together in the past couple of days.
Nothing is fused yet. I just got all of the pieces cut out and laid on their respective backgrounds to see if they were happy there. I see that the crookneck squash doesn't have much contrast with its background, but I don't know if I will change it. I really like that piece of wool.

This is from a Buttermilk Basin pattern that I ordered a while back when Stacy had a sale. I've wanted a Thanksgiving wall hanging and when I saw this, I thought it was perfect. But I had not looked carefully at the size before I ordered.
With the sloping outer walls of our dome, the places where I can hang things are limited. Quilts need to be kept to under 3' square.
This pattern is for a 42.5" x 50.5" wall hanging.
I was sad, and stuffed the pattern deep in a drawer.
But as I have been up to my elbows in Kool-Aid lately, dying wool, I have come up with some rich colors that had me wanting to do something Fall-ish.

I have gone through so much Kool-Aid this week, I have had to replenish my supply twice. I wonder if the clerks at the store think I am addicted (I don't even drink the stuff). I have raised suspicions before when buying large quantities of lye for soap making (since it is also used in meth labs). But as far as I know there aren't nefarious activities associated with Kool-Aid (but even as I typed that, Jim Jones came to mind). (That was quite a parenthetical paragraph. Uh-oh, I am posting late at night again. Can you tell?)

I decided to dig out the pattern and reduce the designs. With the help of my scanner and printer, I believe it will work out to under 30" square once the borders are attached.
Excuse the glaring light over my kitchen island. Maybe this gives you some perspective, considering the pattern beside it is standard 8 1/2" x 11".  I think it will be very cute. : )
Half of the wools I used for this piece are from thrift store clothing, and then many of them were tea-dyed, or took a bath in Kool-Aid.

Another change I made, besides the size, is in Mr. Gobbler's coloring. If you compare the pattern with my Tom Turkey, you can see mine is not so pale.
Though the soft and creamy turkey on the pattern is pretty, we have wild turkeys in our area, and their complexions aren't that nice. Of course, I haven't seen one wearing a hat either, but I still included that.

For at least a couple of years now I have been wanting to run a side-by-side comparison of the fusible products different instructors use for wool applique. Lisa Bongean recommends Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, Stacy West is in favor of Soft Fuse, and Kim Diehl uses Heat'nBond Lite. Then there is one called TransWeb, that I hadn't heard of until my friend Kris introduced me to it.
So I divided a muslin square into quarters and used a different fusible in each one to attach an identical wool bird. I kept notes on the different properties of each one up to this point. Next step is to stitch around the edges and see what differences I can detect there. I already know from experience some of what I will find, but I am curious to get a feel for each of the four products. I'll let you know what I learn.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Wooly and Wonderful Week

Thursday I did a kind of silent trunk show of wool applique at a local quilt guild to get them in the mood for the class I will be teaching for them next month. So I was trying to get a couple of WIPs to the point of flimsy so they could be in the display.
 This is a Kim Diehl design that I have made before. Still needs borders.

This was the one I made last year. I gifted it to a friend last year shortly before she died.
Then it was to go to her dear friend that had taken such good care of her during her illness.

I also added another border to Dedication Rose.
 Sometimes I love it and other times I think I will take the last border off. I'll have to ponder this one longer.

I've also spent a lot of time dying wool for the kits for next month's class, but I won't bore you with photos of that. That ends the wooly part of this post.

This is the wonderful part. Randy and I have completed our challenge. This is the quilt that arrived in the mail from her Friday. Doesn't it look great?
I love that Courthouse Steps block in the center with the other blocks forming a pattern radiating out from it. It is wonderful, Randy! Thank you so much!!
It was wrapped in this beautiful fabric. And look how fun that pieced back is!

This is what I sent to Randy.
It was really fun to swap, and we plan to try another swap when life slows down a little in the new year. Who are we kidding--does life ever really slow down?!?

The wonderfulness finished up Saturday when our church women's auxiliary brought in 5 of the Six Sisters and a bunch of their stuff.
They each spoke to us and then demonstrated some of their favorite recipes. They were inspirational, funny and delightful. DD#2 attended with me and we had a great time--laughing, crying, and eating.

This is my favorite time of year. Aside from the cooling weather, the golden hue of the sunlight and the colors of the changing leaves, I enjoy the Sandhill Cranes that migrate through our area. The other day they were so noisy and I could tell they were getting closer. I grabbed my camera and got out the door just in time to catch this. There were several more that wouldn't fit in the frame. I haven't seen this many together in our neighborhood before. I was thrilled.
This was a post of randomness, but that was my week. : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

This may not make any sense.

I am falling asleep over the keyboard, but I wanted to quickly update a few things.
Dedication Rose (block pattern by Lisa Bongean for The Splendid Sampler) is a flimsy now.
Those HSTs finish at 1/2"--and yes, I foundation pieced them.

And the scraps from that just keep on giving.
The 4 patches will finish at 1". I may throw a border or two on this one when it is all stitched up.

My secret challenge quilt is completed and will go in the mail today. (I think this is small quilt finish #42 for the year.)
The challenge was to make a 12" square quilt using French General fabrics Randy had leftover from a recent creation. It has been fun to plan and carry out a little surprise for her. : )


Randy is also hosting a pincushion swap and she shared a link to this Schnibbles pattern. It is a free download on the moda blog (the cutting table) here. I have this pattern, and if you want to make the pincushions boxy style instead of pillow style, check out my tuffet tab under my header photo.

The scraps from the challenge quilt seem to keep multiplying, too. This little brick quilt measures about 9 1/2" by 10 3/4". I am going to bind it in the pink. It is the only fabric of which I have enough. (That sentence structure was brought to you by Mom.)

A sweet surprise arrived from a delightful blog friend, Teresa. Look at these two wonderful quilt hangers--perfect for mini quilts. They both got put to use right away! Thanks, Teresa!!

This isn't quilted yet, but I thought it was the perfect size and colors for this hanger. After it is quilted I think this will be it's home.

That seems to be all, and just in time. The toothpicks holding my eyelids open are beginning to weaken.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Seeing Stars Again

Haven't touched a sewing machine for over a week, and even the hand stitching has been minimal. Instead, I have been busy making soap and testing some new-to-me gluten free flours.

I have managed a bit more stitching on Stars in the Garden.
There are two more flowers cut out and ready to stitch.
Trying really hard on this project NOT to make the flowers and stars all matchy-matchy.  I am combining fabrics I would normally never combine, in an effort to make this look like a real "make-do" quilt. On one of the stars I even used one hexagon of a different print from all the others in that round. I had enough of the original print, but I wanted it to appear that I hadn't. Can you spot it? : )

 Last night I felt like I should be stitching, but couldn't bring myself to drag out a work in progress. Then I remembered Lisa Bongean's recent block for the Splendid Sampler. I am not doing the sampler, but I really liked this pretty little applique block. Lisa did not do hers in wool. I did--and I changed the colorway.

At only 7" square, it is a sweet little block. Here I am auditioning Valdani flosses, and the possibility of adding tiny black buttons to the flower centers. Jury is still out on that.
I discovered that many of the wools I had chosen matched quite well with Lisa's Floral Gatherings line. I may need to piece a border to go around it--when I feel like it.
It is stitching up very quickly. Lisa named it Dedication Rose.

Fun mail today from my sweet friend, Pam Buda. Look at these wonderful scraps from her recent red/white/blue line of fabric. Love this line! Do you think I need to make a few more r/w/b minis? : )
 Maybe this will inspire me to get stitching again. I don't ever seem to stall with this color scheme!

I'll end with this photo of a photo of one of my Mother's quilts. Somehow the original photo became torn in half, but you can still see the lines of the feathered wreaths and diagonal lines Mom hand quilted. It is difficult to tell that the 9-patch blocks are double 9-patches.

She made this in 1991. It won Sweepstakes at our county fair and our state fair, and went to Houston that year. Just the quilt went--wish I had, too.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Very little to show

How does more than a week slip by with so little time spent stitching? It is never my plan, but we all know what happens with even the best laid plans!
I have completed most of the ditch stitching on my version of the Primitive Gatherings 10th Anniversary SAL from a year ago (was it just a year?).
Mine ended sooner than most. I realized it would be too large to hang in any of the spots I have to hang quilts if I added all of the rows. 
I'm still formulating the quilting designs, but it is coming together in my mind.

Finished up my project from the class with Stacy of Buttermilk Basin.
 Not sure what I am going to do with it, but it was a fun project to make.

 This little pile of scraps is all that remains of a small bundle I received recently from another blogger. A swap is in the offing. Mine is pieced and now needs to be basted for quilting and binding. All will be revealed soon.
In the meantime, have you ever studied the fibers of your fabric up close and personal?
That is as much of it as I will share for now. : )

 When I take down holiday decor my dining room table is the staging area. I gather everything from around the house and then start packing it all away. As I was doing so I remembered that I had posted a photo at this time last year as the red/white/blue all came down. It seemed to me that there was so much more this year--and I was right.

I did kind of get carried away there in the red/white/blue fabrics for a time, didn't I?
I guess that is all for now. Maybe next time I will have made some amazing progress on a project or two, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stitchin' with Stacy at My Girlfriend's

Had a great time on Monday of this week in class with Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin. I had a couple of days with her back in January of 2015, which you can read about here. It was very fun to  spend another day with this amazing designer.
These are the classroom samples of the project we made.
The one on the left was made by a store employee and the one on the right is Stacy's sample.
Look at some of the wonderful things she has designed recently--these were newly introduced at Quilt Market this past Spring. (You can click on photos to enlarge them.)

This all went down at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe in Logan, UT. We met in what they affectionately call "The Attic", but it really is a wonderful class space on the upper level of the building. Here is shop owner Kris Thurgood introducing Stacy. (Or is this Stacy introducing Kris?)

As Kris told us would happen, she quickly became everyone's BFF.
 And she held our attention as she demonstrated her techniques for working with wool.

Once we got going, we worked at our own speed and Stacy would move from table to table demonstrating the next steps, answering questions, and keeping us laughing.

Stacy's gift for designing is something she feels compelled to share, and we reap the rewards.
She is as genuine and real as they come.

After a few hours of "hard work", we moved to the bottom level of this 3 level shop and were treated to a catered lunch.
 Then it was back to work. Boy, they are such slave drivers here! : )

In the evening there was a trunk show, where we were treated to more of Stacy's stories, and the stories behind many of her designs. I will only show a handful of my favorites up close.
There was a sweet story of how this one came to be.

Though I don't do much embroidery, this one caught my attention.

Loved this, but have no place in my home to hang something this size.

This was very fun.


Of course, we finished up with time to shop--and shop we did! 

I wasn't going to buy kits--I have so much wool at home, but these two small holiday kits leapt into my arms. Funny how they do that.

I made good progress on our class project. Everything here is fused and stitched down. Still needs berries on the wreath, the black background, the "Joy" banner, and the backing.

This fun pincushion went home with Stacy, a gift from the shop--in honor of her vintage truck series of patterns.

Shop owner, Kris, and her cute daughter, were among the many people that pulled this off. The employees worked tirelessly to see that our needs were met--from having all of the supplies and tools we needed, to making sure there was an endless supply of snacks.  I've said it before--they really know how to throw a party.
My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe has events at least once a month. Meg Hawkey of Crab-apple Hill is coming in September. You can find out more here, if you are interested. There were women from at least four western states in the class I attended.

My vintage truck is almost completed. Still needs the banner, backing, and stitching around the edge.

Shouldn't take too long to finish this up--that is one of the things I love about wool projects.
Until next time, 
Janet O.

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