Monday, September 18, 2017

International Quilt Invitational Exhibition

Since I am accomplishing absolutely no stitching right now, I thought I would share with you a few favorite quilts from the International Quilt Invitational Exhibit. It was on display at a little museum over the mountains, and DH and I dropped in one day last month. There wasn't a single quilt in a style I would make (most of them were applique), but I loved seeing the variety of lovely, and clever quilts. Hope you see something you like.
This is Leaf Hoppers, and from a distance it appears to be a unique take on a Baltimore Album quilt. Well, it is unique, all right. Look closer.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

This was a fun quilt. Made me want to go home and watch an old movie. :)

This quilt seemed to exude grace and fluidity. I felt like the fish would move any minute. Beautifully made!

Had to include this fun explosion of color!

Of course I would include a mini quilt! :)


 This quilt was stunning!

I think I stared at this quilt the longest. Not only was the subject matter touching, but the techniques and execution had me captivated.

On the home front, Maggie is keeping us smiling, and moving!
Below, left, is DH with all of our grandchildren (so far). Maggie loves being with her cousins!

And she keeps her great-grandmas entertained!

I have tried to pop in and read a blog or two now and then. Sometimes I even have time to comment. But for two more weeks my presence in blogland will continue to be spotty, and for a very good reason!

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Marvelous Mini Flimsy and some sundry things

I have stolen sewing moments here and there and put together my Temecula Marvelous Mini Monday SAL blocks. I made my own setting, as you will recognize if you follow Temecula's blog. I really like the blocks on point.
I had to make 2 extra of the "easy block", one extra sampler block(I made a friendship star), and another one of those supposed-to-be-36-patches-but-mine-are-49-patches blocks. I toyed with bordering it, but so far it will stay as shown. 

While in the sewing room, I also finally finished stitching the two blocks that I had partially assembled in my Midnight Flight class with Bonnie Hunter a couple of months ago.
I am liking these blocks more than I thought I would, but there are so many ways they can go wrong, and I have tried a few of them already.
This layout takes more brain power than I possess at the odd hours I usually find time to sew. I hope I can eventually at least make a lap quilt or throw from this pattern.

This is a Buttermilk Basin Banner that I started quilting near the end of last year. Then Dad passed away and this hasn't seen the light of day until this week. Seemed to be the right time of year to finish it off.
Finally sewed the machine side of the binding on. It is pinned to the other side awaiting some hand stitching time. That is why the edges look wavy, and the corners appear to be curling in on themselves.

You can see the quilting best on the left. What do you quilt on a pumpkin banner border? Pumpkin seeds, of course!

You may recall the little quiltlets I made for my daughters from the leftover bits of my Mom's last quilt. (you can see her quilt in this post.) Mom had named it her Happy Quilt.

After the difficult summer my brother has had, with three heart procedures, I figured he could use some "happy".

I am out of the yellow fabric that formed the setting triangles, but I can make the center section using bits that were still left after I also made a quiltlet for me last year. So this will be handwork to keep me busy for a little while.

When I get the hexie flower finished and appliqued, I will audition other fabrics from the quilt to see if  something else works to set it on point, or if it will stay a small, straight-set square. Then I will hand quilt it, as I did the others.

My prayers are with those who have been devastated by storms in the south, or are anticipating them, as well as those dealing with the fires in the west.
We are looking forward to the arrival of DD#1 and her daughter tomorrow, as they escape the smoky Pacific Northwest. We are smoky, too, but not quite as bad.  Angie and Maggie will be here the rest of the month, so I may be playing more than I am blogging. But I will be back. :)
Until then,
Janet O.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A smattering of mostly small stuff

If you followed along with Temecula's Marvelous Mini Monday, are you going to use their final setting? Right now I am just laying the blocks on fabric to audition standard sashing (and I did make 5 extra blocks). I am trying to decide whether or not to use cornerstones. I may also need to play with an on point setting before making a final decision.
These 4" unfinished blocks aren't really as wonky as they appear. It is just hard to get tiny blocks to lay flat without starch, and I don't use that much. (Well, maybe some of them are that wonky.)

Thanks to the help of two generous quilters, Barbara and Eileen, I was able to sash my Love Thy Neighbor mini, and get the border attached. I hadn't planned on cornerstones on the border, but I was just barely shy of enough of the red to complete the border. Not even enough to piece it--and I wasn't going to beg again this soon!

This was made in response to Maureen's invitation to join her in making a house quilt with the theme of "Love Thy Neighbor". Thanks for the suggestion, Maureen.

I have sewing machines in two places in my home--the sewing room, of course, and a nook off the family room. The windmill leader/ender project I have shown on occasion sits beside my sewing machine in the nook. So when I am working on my featherweight in my sewing room, I grab whatever I can to serve as my leader/enders. As I worked on the above projects, I was running out of bonus triangles to sew together. So I did a little digging, and look what surfaced.
Remember these little trees? Kevin the Quilter posted the pattern here. Of course, I downsized it. I had cut out 8, but had only made one. Now I am almost ready to sew the rows together on #3. Maybe I will actually have this ready for Christmas, if I keep sewing in my sewing room.  What a concept! :)

My enabler friend, Karen (Log Cabin Quilter), sent me a photo she had found on a Facebook post on Jo Morton's page. A woman had made a mini quilt featuring these tiny trees that she said finished at 3.5 inches. Was it possible, Karen asked--innocently? Of course, I had to find out.
I used leftover HSTs from my Christmas version of Bonnie Hunter's Smoky Mountain Stars. That wasn't the best idea for something this small, because some of the shirt fabrics I used in that quilt were rather heavy and coarse. They made it hard to get sharp points and creases, but I forced them into submission, and here it is. With no pattern, it was a guessing game on some things. If I ever make one again I will foundation piece the trunk portion, as in Bonnie Hunter's Crab Apples pattern.

I need to get quilting some of these little quilts. The stack is beginning to grow again, and it doesn't yet include the WIP shown above. I don't want a repeat of last year!
These are currently awaiting quilting in the small/mini pile. The three on the right are last year's leftovers that would have taken me to 50 small finishes, had I completed them that year.

But there is something I should quilt before any of those (besides the beast, that is a quilt-when-you-gather-the-courage project).
I finally assembled the top for Mom's quilt from Dad's blue plaid shirts.
I don't know why this has taken me so long. It is such a simple thing and should have been finished months ago.
Now to get it pressed and basted, and "quilt as desired".

It has been such a long, hot summer here, but today is cool and cloudy with occasional showers. I am so ready for Fall! Maybe it is time to break out the Fall colored quilts.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Swap, a Scrap, and a SAL

My third little quilt swap this year was one that went across the ocean. Raewyn  (stitchingfarmgirl blog) and I had set up a June swap, and then real life set in. We finally pulled it off this month. After our long day on the road for the eclipse on Monday, I came home to this little beauty in my mailbox.
Isn't it sweet?? Amazingly, Raewyn had made note of the fact that I love this pattern, and she made me one! And do you see there is purple in almost every block. This gal played to my heart!! Thanks so much, Raewyn! You know I love it!
And it looks good wherever it goes.

The dining room table is where it currently resides, and it makes me smile whenever I glance at it--or stare at it in wonder. 
The colors make me think of mixed berries.
But this little gem did not cross the ocean alone. It was in the company of several other small treasures.
From a towel trimmed with Kiwiana fabric (representing flowering trees that grow on their farmland), to a bundle of Australian wool, a few New Zealand souvenirs, and an incredible appliqued journal!
Isn't it incredible? Such beautiful work! This alone would have been worth the swap, but I received the quilt, too!!

Oh, something is missing from the photo above. There was another treat. Raewyn and I share the need to be gluten free, so I know I can trust treats she sends. Good stuff!

I feel privileged to have been a partner in this swap. Raewyn has been a good blog friend for many years. She is an incredibly hard working woman, and a very talented and creative quilter. If you aren't familiar with her blog, I encourage you to check it out! See her account of our swap here.

So what did I send Raewyn? Well, I am sorry to say that it wasn't based on a pattern or colors I knew she loved. I just had an idea in my head and ran with it. This is what came of it.
I don't even recall the size of the blocks. Maybe Reawyn can tell us--are the finished pinwheels 1" or 1 1/2"? (You can see in her comment below that they are 1 1/2"--the quilt is 12".)
You can see the quilting in this photo of it, pre-binding.

I named this "Wind Farm", and I just realized I never explained to Raewyn why it is named that. When the top was finished, and I was studying it to decide how to quilt it, I realized it made me think of those areas in the west where you see the large windmills dotting the land, generating power. And even the colors between the pinwheel blocks made me think of the land and sky. In fact, from where we "car camped" on our jaunt to see the total eclipse, you could see just such a sight. At night there were red lights that flashed on and off on the windmills. That could account for the red in the pinwheel blocks. :)
So, there you have the swap. Now for the scrap.
When I put out a call a couple of posts ago, asking if anyone had a piece of the green fabric I needed to finish the sashing on my Love Thy Neighbor quilt, Barbara (myjoyfuljourney blog) responded immediately that she had a 5" piece among her scraps that she would be happy to send me. (If you don't know who Barbara is, you should! See an interview with her for The Quilt Show here.)
I calculated that with the piece she would send I would be able to cut 5 more sashings, and with my scraps and the leftovers from her piece, I could piece together the remaining 3 sashings. I often do the "humble piecing" thing, but it is more obvious on minis, so I avoid it on them if I can. But this is not a show piece (who am I kidding--I have NEVER entered a show), so I was happy to piece the last three sashings, if need be.
Then I heard from Eileen (no blog), and she will be sending along another piece that will enable me to complete the last three sashings without the need to piece them. WooHoo! Thank you to you both! You saved the day for me! Don't we always say it? Quilters are the best!

And finally, the SAL--Temecula's Marvelous Mini Monday. I had really expected  the layout last Monday, but what do I know? We got another block, with the promise of the finish next week. 
I made one of the block, and realized there was no contrast, so I made another. Pretty obvious which is which.

Now we have 20 blocks, which is a much more workable number (excuse the glare from the overhead light).
Of course, I had to play with layout possibilities.

If it turns out that I am not head-over-heels for the final layout, I think I know where I will go with this one. I'll make 5 more blocks, and I may or may not set it on point. We'll see.

Oh, wow. Another long, rambling post--and I am not finished yet. As to the scraps I offered, there were a dozen of you interested, so I dug up more scraps, and drew 3 names. Vic, mangozz, and Nancy, you will each receive a small bundle of scraps. I need addresses from mangozz and Nancy. It may be Monday  before I can get to town and pop these in the mail.

Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. I just have to say that Blogger was giving me fits as I wrote this post. Whatever I typed would NOT stay in place. The words were dancing back and forth, and up and down. I have never experienced this before. Drove me nuts! I almost deleted the whole thing and walked away. Anyone else experience this?

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