Friday, June 24, 2016

More of the same... know, those same three colors.

After my last post I realized that this weekend is our big family reunion on my Dad's side. They have a fund raising auction each year to cover the cost of meals and park rental. Traditionally I have taken a small patriotic quilt to the auction and I hadn't begun to make anything for it yet.
Little finish #31 for the year.
This is my adaptation of a pattern by Diane Hansen in BH&G recent Make It Mini magazine--I believe it is called Patriotic Star. The original has flying geese around the edge, and no border, but I wasn't sure if I had time to do the flying geese. Silly me--I underestimate the power of oral steroids to keep me awake all night long!

Not only did that get finished, but these as well.
Aside from the feathers in the border on the one immediately below, the rest of these were all stitched with straight lines.




Now all of these little quilts are nestled in their home, as intended.
There is still one empty slot in the letter holder. But never fear, there are more little R/W/B quilts awaiting a finish. No surprise there, right? : )

The question that remains is, which one will get finished first, or in other words, which will be little finish number 36 for 2016? Will it be one of these two?
The little row of flags on the right is an adaptation of "Freedom Flag", a recent pattern offering from Temecula Quilt Co.

Or will this be crowned #36 of 2016?
Have begun to sew the rows of the TATW on the grid. Hoping for the best. The other little quilt on the grid does not seem as bulky now that it is quilted.

For the answer to this and other burning questions, don't hold your breath! : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Seeing red...and white...and blue (and a product review, a very loooong product review)

If you have followed me a few years and have seen my other red/white/blue posts (here and here), you may be thinking, "This woman does not need more r/w/b quilts".  You are probably right. So how do I justify these...

...and these?

Well, she went home to Oregon. (Oh, her Mom left, too--sorry, Ang.) 
I had to do something to drown my sorrows.
Time with the local grandkids has helped, and we have had a lot of good times this week.

But when I have been home alone (which, I admit, has been rare), the sewing has been frenetic. Being on a short course of steroids has helped add to the feeling of frenzy. I don't do well on those things!!

I wanted a few really little r/w/b quilts to display in the letter holder from a few posts back. I pulled r/w/b pieces from the scrap baskets. It started with some simple r/w 4 patches, and this was the first result.

Had lots of squares and 4 patches left over.

Then I got the bright idea to try a new-to-me product by Quiltsmart--fusible grid.
I had actually seen this demoed at a trunk show by Carmen Geddes a couple of years ago, and at HMQS I bought some of the 1" finished grid from Carmen's booth. But my friend, Kris, got some of the 1/2" finished grid for when she vends at quilt shows, and I bought a few panels from her. 

I decided on a trip around the world, so I cut bunches of 1" squares (what happened to using the squares that were left from the first quilt? They were too big) and placed them on the grid.
Once I got to this stage I got a little chicken. I decided to test it out on a smaller project first. So I took some of the leftover squares and made up this nine patch mess.

Pressed it well and it was adhering well.

Next, as per the online instructions, I folded it along the dotted lines and sewed 1/4" from the fold. 
I think pinning helps maintain the straight edge of the fold.

When all of the rows are stitched in one direction, you get this.

Now you clip up to each seam on the dotted lines.

And press each row in alternating directions. I don't have a tiny Clover iron, so this was tricky.

Now you fold and stitch along the lines perpendicular to the ones you have already stitched. If you have followed directions, the first seams nest very neatly against each other. Pretty slick.
I still felt pinning was helpful to keep things straight.

This was the finished product. I must admit, there is a lot of bulk  for such small squares (1/2" finished), and it didn't want to lay flat, even with starch and lots of muscle in the pressing.
It had a tendency to want to retract like an accordion. : ) 

I even trimmed the second row of seams down to 1/8" to reduce bulk, but I'm not sure that helped any.

It probably would have been okay after quilting, but I decided to attach borders to help stretch it and keep it flat.
Here it is pinned to my design wall with a binding audition taking place.

Back in Oct 2014, when I attended Carmen's trunk show, she shared some minis she was making using the 1" finished grid. I was able to handle them  and felt that they were still supple and there wasn't undo bulk.

But the 1/2" finished grid seems to be a different story. I am not giving up. Maybe I needed to trim the seams going the first direction, too. I will give it some thought, and hope that if you have any experience with the tiny grid, you will give me your suggestions.
For now, this will stay on the wall. I am not ready to tackle it yet.

Now I had lots of leftover squares in two different sizes. I can't tell you the number of times I arranged and rearranged this to make it balance (so much more obvious on mini quilts than on big quilts), and use all of the blue/white 4-patches (1" finished) I had created from the small leftover blue squares.

I still had LOTS of r/w 4 patches left from the first little quilt. By now I was very tired of the way each quilt was producing another one (for a fun post on that very subject, see Mrs. Goodneedle's post here).

I decided to just sew the 4-patches together, on point.

And then I just randomly put the other leftovers together.May have to tea-dye this one to even out the background tones.

I seem to be determined to keep myself from catching up on quilting all of my little quilts. These are going to have to get very simple quilting so I don't get too backed up again!

Oh, wow. I have been creating this post a little at a time through the day. I just saw how long it has become. Yikes!! I am too wired from the meds to go back and edit it down. So sorry!
If you have used the tiny Quiltsmart grid, please let me know your experience.
Until next time, Janet O.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Just a Quick Note let you know that I am changing my email address. If you are trying to contact me via an address saved in your system, it will not work. My profile page shows my new email, and my comments are linked to it as well. 

Mostly family time going on lately, but I did stitch up the last little English Ivy block from the class I took with Marsha McCloskey last September. These blocks finish at 3".

In the publication "In War Time" by the American Quilt Study Group I found a photo that has inspired me as far as a setting for these blocks goes. It won't be an exact replica, but will be "inspired by."

And I did end up finding a coral print in my stash that did it for me. The brown fabric went down in flames, as far as the popular vote went (I agree). Blue got a lot of support, but there was not enough of the only blue that seemed to be the proper tone.
Coral was definitely the favorite, and after an email from Roxanne I was encouraged to revisit my stash. I found a tonal coral that had been folded too small and was passed over the first time around. It is in the final stages of being stitched down on the back. I am happy with it--and this will be finish #30 of small quilts for this year.


Now, back to family. Only have these two here for 4 more days!

Until next time,
Janet O.


Monday, May 30, 2016

What Do You Think?

I finished the quilting on this little HST quilt.

Some of you had asked to see what I brought home from HMQS. Well, here is the haul--a couple of bloc-loc rulers, some silk thread to attempt quilting on some very tiny quilts, little bits of fabric and LOTS of Primitive Gatherings patterns. Then there is that 1" clamshell stencil, which I put to use on this quilt.

The clamshells look upside down to me in the first photo, so here you get the proper viewpoint. : )
Now for the binding, and that is where I need help. I wanted to use that orangey-coral color to bind it (give it a little pizzaz, right?), but I have no yardage of any of it. These HSTs were gifted to me, so I have no more of the fabric than what you see here. I searched the repro stash and was surprised to see that I couldn't match it.

What next? I pulled out  a couple of scraps I had of one of the blue prints in the HSTs, but there wasn't enough. I had no other blues that seemed the right shade for this, unless I went almost navy, which I didn't want to do.
I found a brown that blended well enough, but appeared rather blah.

If I pieced every scrap I have left of the border fabric, I might be able to bind it in the same fabric, but that would foil the plans I had for those leftovers.
As a last resort I went to my non-repro stash and found the perfect color, but in a rather large print for the scale of this quilt. It is across the top. Would you do me a favor and enlarge this photo and tell me what you think? Is it too much? Should I go with the blah brown? Or should I keep searching? I am so ready to finish this and move on, but maybe I need to be patient. I would appreciate your input.

Come to think of it, I have moved on--I have been ditch stitching on this basket quilt whenever I have a few minutes and can stay awake to stitch.
This quilt was made with scraps from one of my Mom's quilts.
I can't wait to put feathers in those setting triangles, and I think I might put feathered wreaths in the setting squares.

My blogging may be hit-and-miss for the next couple of weeks because these two happy people are arriving tonight and will be spending two weeks with us. I am so excited!!
They are making a cross-country move from New Hampshire to Oregon and will be stopping with us along the way.

The only down side to this is that I will most likely not be meeting up with my New England blogging friends again, but what a blessing it was to meet Vic, Grace, and Cyndi. There were others I had hoped to meet on future visits, but since I don't get out much, other than visiting family, the odds are against us now.

Now if you live near Eugene, OR, there may be someone knocking on your door sometime, wanting to meet you, and it may be me. : )

I drew a name from those who had asked to be included in the drawing for the snowman patterns and Janet Drennan came up as the winner. Congratulations, Janet! I will be waiting for your snail mail so I can send the patterns your way.

Until next time, 
Janet O.
(In the meantime, enjoy the view.)

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.

Drawing is now closed.
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