Wednesday, December 13, 2017


It has been almost two weeks since my last post. I finally have something to share (not much, but at least one quilty thing).
This was made using the tree block pattern that Kevin (kevinthequilter blog) shared last year--it just shrunk in my hands, as things tend to do. The blocks are a little rectangular, so the quilt will finish at about 14 x 15 1/2".  I auditioned the sashing without cornerstones, but the quilt seemed to need an added pop of it got one. I am considering binding it in green.

One of the great things about actually making a Christmas quilt at Christmas time is the fun photo ops you have with all the Christmas decor available. I won't bore you with most of what I took, but here is one more taken in the Christmas corner of my sewing room. I think I will name this quilt Tree Farm. Hmmm, maybe it needs to be  Uncle Kevin's Tree Farm. No, I don't have an Uncle Kevin, but Kevin the Quilter strikes me as a really great uncle, and it was his block pattern, so I think he should be in the title somehow.

I also finally held the drawings for my birthday giveaway and the bags of fabric. After drawing the names, I went to my email to try and contact the winners, only to discover that two of them were "no reply" profiles, so I had to eliminate them and draw again.
My birthday giveaway was won by Lori D. (humblequilts blog). 
Bag #1 of Aster Manor fabrics goes to Liz (frogquilter blog).     
Bag #2 of the Rites of Spring fabrics goes to Aimee (thebryanfamilysampler blog). 
Bag #3 of homespun fabrics goes to Karen (moosebaymuses blog). 
I have contacted the winners and will get their packages sent as soon as I have all the addresses.

Well, that is it as far as the quilty content of this post goes. My third "finally" has to do with my nativity collection. Collections can be a dangerous thing. Where do you draw the line of what to collect? Will you collect anything you see that fits your collection theme, or will you be more selective?  I realized early on in my Nativity gathering that this could get out of hand so easily (but then most any collection can in the hands of an obsessive individual like myself). After giving it some thought, I determined I would choose to gather nativities from other countries. But there is a mind-boggling array of sets from around the world. Well, I prefer  hand-crafted ones. That narrows it some, but still isn't enough restraint. Then I hit upon the idea that I will collect from countries where my family and friends have lived or visited. And if they can bring me one themselves, all the better.

Forty years ago my brother returned home after serving as a missionary in Thailand, and I finally purchased a handcrafted Nativity made in Thailand when we were in Salt Lake City on my birthday getaway last month. It is crafted of metal, wire and beads, and is very different from anything else I have. I think I may work on putting up a tab to a page showing my International Nativity sets. When I get it done I will post a link here.
Monday I was standing out on the deck taking photos of the wonderland created by the hoarfrost, when I saw a bird land in our sumac tree. He proceed to eat the berries. I believe he is a Northern Flicker woodpecker.
That is not snow on the branches--it is frost! 

So many activities and gatherings in the next few weeks. Seems harder this year than ever to find time to sew and blog during the holidays, and I could really use some creative therapy. Yesterday I signed up for an "open sew" retreat in January. I have never attended that type of retreat before. I am really looking forward to it.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

All God's Critters Got a Place In The Choir (really long, boring post)

Including Sasquatch!

It has been a very full and emotional two weeks (MIL's passing and funeral, and then my 60th birthday and Thanksgiving on the same day).  
When all of the busyness subsided, I attended the class for the "Legendary" quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. I had signed up for it just before things got crazy.
Jenny was our teacher. She was very sweet and fun--she is also the daughter of a former classmate. (When did everyone else get so young??)  Here she is posing with her quilt.
We were the second class Jenny had taught for this quilt and we determined we were the remedial group. She said in the first class everyone got Sasquatch and one tree made--and they all came without their fabrics cut. 

In our class of three, two of us came with fabrics cut, and yet we each only completed the Sasquatch block. The other gal had to cut her fabrics, and leave for a doctor's appointment in the middle of class, so she had an excuse for not finishing more.

Look how fun--one of the gals was making hers a "Yeti" quilt. He was a tone-on-tone white, and her background was black. Very clever. She was making the trees blue.

Had a chance to sew tonight and finished up one tree.
I am just so proud (and relieved) that so far all of the raindrops are going in the right direction! I have never made a quilt this large with a directional background fabric prior to this one.
I am pondering whether or not to make a random 2 or 3 trees just one strip shorter than the others.  What do you think? Would it look strange? I've just never seen such a uniform forest before.
This may have to go on the back burner now, until after the holidays. I have Christmas things to do. :)

While we are on the subject of trees, I am getting closer to an actual little quilt from Kevin's mini tree pattern. I am working on the sixth block, and I can't decide if that will be it, or if I will shoot for nine.
Regardless of the number of blocks, I think this red from Primitive Gatherings will be my sashing.

DH and I finally had a quick birthday getaway. We went to IKEA for the first time, took in the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake (I highly recommend it if you are in the area), visited a quilt shop, a favorite restaurant,  a favorite ice cream shop, and we took in the lights at Temple Square.
So I want to show you a few favorite critters.
The bearcats, which are neither bears or cats. Long thick tails on these creatures.

An exotic pheasant variety--the feathers all had a sheen, like the shiny part of peacock feathers. Beautiful bird.

The penguins were so fun to watch. Though slow and waddly on land, when they jumped in the water, they could swoop back and forth across the pond, and leap up into an arc before gracefully, and rapidly diving back in and swooping across the pond again.


There was also a petting pool where you could feel the spongy surface of the rays as they would glide past you. I think I did it four times. :)

I was treated well for my birthday. My daughter has started making barn quilts and I was thrilled to receive this from her.

And a few of my blog friends sent special surprises.

 Heartfelt thanks to Mary, Kris, Julie, and Doniene. Also thanks to Barb for the very fun eCard, and to Annie (no blog), whose calligraphy makes any card extra special. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. The past couple of weeks have been a blur!

I had wanted to make something for my belated birthday drawing, but there wasn't time. I included a little ornament, but that was all I could muster. Take a peek at the goodies.
Did you notice that there is an item for each decade I have lived? But I will probably ruin that by throwing in some of my handcrafted soap when I package it up. If you are interested,  leave a comment.  You may also want to mention if you are interested in any of the following.

I was the recipient of a car trunk full of unwanted fabric from my quilt retreat buddy recently. I have shared much of it here and there. I had hung on to some myself, including a couple of small bags that I thought I might use somehow. Now I am facing reality and letting them go.

#1-- An unfinished project made with Moda's Aster Manor line. No pattern included, but an experienced quilter could figure it out, if they wanted to make more of this same block. There is a a little yardage, part of a jelly roll, and lots of charm squares.

#2--No sewn parts to this bag. It is all from the Rites of Spring line by Moda. There are a couple of  pieces of yardage, a few strips, lots of 2 1/2" squares, and charm squares. If you like purple and green together, this is a nice group of fabrics.

#3-- This last bag is full of homespun wovens. mostly squares and small pieces of yardage, but the pile in front is random scraps. If you are interested in this, I would appreciate it if you would be  willing to split the shipping costs with me. It will probably fill a large priority mail box, and with all the above items being shipped, too, it is adding up.

So here are the options. If you are interested in any, please specify. I will draw names before my next post, and I don't think the next one will take quite as long as this one did.
Sorry for the length of this, but there is one last photo I want to share. Two days before Thanksgiving, as I was driving away from my Mom's house, I got to the corner and saw this.
There were a dozen wild turkeys trotting across the street--in the crosswalk! I figured this was the great escape before they became the honored guest at Thanksgiving. So crazy to see this in the city limits. We have wild turkeys where I live, outside the city, but this is the first I have seen of them in town. I sent it to a news channel and this was the weatherman using it to introduce his forecast for Thanksgiving.
My thanks to everyone for their condolences and prayers over my MIL's passing. I cannot respond to all of the comments this time around, but I want you to know your words were appreciated. 
If you have read this whole thing, you probably need a nap!
Until next time,
Janet O.

 Drawings Now Closed

Monday, November 20, 2017

Life is what happens while you are making other plans

DH's Mom has been in a skilled nursing facility since last December. She was not in good shape when she entered, having rapidly declined over the course of a week, and we didn't think she would be with us much longer. Even the hospice doctor suspected she only had a couple of weeks left. Well, she has far surpassed our expectations, and it was easy to forget that her health was still fragile. 
My MIL was very entertained by little Maggie's antics last September.
Wednesday afternoon DH visited her, and though she was a little out of sorts, he didn't think there was anything  wrong. 
Thursday afternoon DH and I were heading to Salt Lake City (80 miles away) for a little early birthday getaway. We had stopped for dinner at a restaurant about 30 miles from home, and while there we received a call from DH's brother. 

DD#2's 4 children visiting Great-grandma on Halloween
The hospice nurse thought their Mom had suffered a stroke sometime during Wednesday night, and my BIL was heading over to check on her and would let us know her condition. We received his call when we got to our car after dinner. She was not doing well. We headed back, going directly to the nursing facility. We had been there about 90 minutes when she just quit breathing. That was it. She was on to a better place. How wonderful for her that she didn't have to suffer anymore. She had dealt with poor health ever since she took a fall four years ago and broke her femur.
She was a kind MIL, and a good grandma. She will be missed, but I know she is at peace, and I am happy for her. Life is fleeting. Be good to those you love, so you can let them go without regrets.

With the holiday looming, and relatives coming from Canada, the funeral will not be held until Saturday.
I will share what little sewing there is to show for the past week+, and then I will probably not be in blogland much, with family arriving, and Thanksgiving, and a birthday and a funeral all packed into the week.

When I posted my eclipse block I heard from Amy Loar that she had made two of this block design into mini quilts, one to keep and one for a friend. I asked if I could see them, and then I asked if I could share them. The reply was affirmative. Here you go.
Aren't they pretty? I know they represent the eclipse, but they also make me think of Candy Corn--probably because Halloween was not that long ago. :)
Thanks for sharing them, Amy!

This block design seems to be following me lately. I have previously shared this block from the same pattern, that was made by the late Jill Reid. I am hand quilting it, and I finally finished up the feathered wreath in the center. I am really enjoying this "slow-stitching".

 Recently DD#1 let me know that she would love to receive the Sasquatch quilt that she had seen online for their Christmas/Birthday gift. I can't remember a time when she hasn't had a thing for the legend of Sasquatch.

So I downloaded the pattern, ordered some fabrics, and I am signed up for this class that a local quilt shop just happened to be offering the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are to have everything cut and labeled before class, so I am trying to squeeze those preparations into a very busy time.

Because our birthday getaway was canceled Thursday, on Saturday we buzzed over the mountain to Village Dry Goods, where I picked up a few things with my birthday club coupon.
Imagine my surprise when I got that little Kim Diehl kit home and discovered it is applique. How did I not catch that? But it is such a cute little quilt--only 10 1/2 x 12 1/2". I'm pretty sure I will have to find another way to make it.

My usual birthday giveaway will have to wait until my next post. I haven't had a chance to prepare anything, and may not have until next week sometime, so check back.
Until then, I will pop in to read blogs if I get a chance here and there, but may not have time to comment until this week is over.
Keep creating,
Janet O.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Eclipse Block Repair

This is what I was shooting for the first time around.

I was trying to replicate this photo I took on our trip to Ririe, ID to view totality.
At some point I may still give a small Mariner's Compass a try, but for now, I will be satisfied with this attempt. Not sure what I want to do with it from here.
In case you have forgotten, this is what it looks like next to my first attempt.
 I got the fabrics all wrong in the QSTs on each side, that first time.

These are 6" blocks, unfinished. This photo gives you a size perspective.

The pattern I used is shown on the left.
It is from the book shown on the right.


The only other quilting I can show you is the finish on this little quiltlet . 
Made from the leftovers of the quilt my Mom named "My Happy Quilt", I named this one "A Little Bit of Happy".
I had shared that this is for my brother, who has had 4 heart procedures in the last 5 months. The latest procedure put his heart into normal rhythm and it has stayed that way for about 2 weeks now. He hasn't had a normal heart rhythm for years, but it went dramatically wrong when he suffered a very serious bout of E. coli poisoning. That is what triggered the need for all of these procedures. His advice to everyone is that you never eat a hamburger that isn't cooked completely through!

I do have another project near completion, but it is for my last swap of the year, so I cannot show you the whole thing. Here is a very small teaser. Hopefully I will have it quilted and mailed by next week, and then I can share it.

I will end with photos of our evening sky on November 1st (it has been a while since I posted). It was a colorful evening. This is the view at sunset looking east (not the actual sunset).
And now for the actual sunset in the west.
I was quite a sight, running back and forth from the front of the house to the back, to see which side had the brightest color at any given moment. :)

I have a major birthday coming up later this month. You know, one of the kind that ends with a zero. Don't know for sure exactly how I am going to celebrate (other than eating turkey, because it is on Thanksgiving this year), but there is usually something that takes place on the blog around that time. Stay tuned.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Do you ever tie quilts?

When I first started quilting decades ago, that was what I did most of the time. I was so slow at hand quilting, and couldn't afford to pay someone to machine quilt. So this week I went back to my roots.
The binding isn't wrapped around and sewn down in this photo, but my Mom has since taken care of that. She is gifting it to a man in her neighborhood that was really good to my Dad the last few years of his life, visiting him, and helping him with many tasks.

Mom had wanted to give him a quilt, but all of hers have been promised to people already (and she isn't quilting anymore). This is a top I had put together years ago with leftover parts from one of her quilts, so I told her I would tie it if she would bind it, and she could give it to him. She is happy with the results.
When I tie a quilt by myself, I smooth out  the backing and pin it into the carpet around the edges, using T-pins. Then I spread out the batting, and finally smooth out the top over it all and pin around the outside of the top. I tie one quarter of the quilt at a time, starting in the middle and working out toward the edge. Not everyone's knees can do this, I know. Mine haven't complained so far, but my back sure does!!

I basted a couple of little blocks that I will be hand quilting. The one in front is for my brother, made from leftovers from Mom's "Happy" quilt. After he has had 4 heart procedures in the past 5 months, he needs some "happy".

The block in the back was made by Jill Reid, an online friend that has since passed away. It was thoughtfully given to me by Barb (Fun with Barb blog), a good friend of Jill's, and I am going to hand quilt it and put it on my wall of quilts from friends. You can't tell from the photo, but I have marked a feathered wreath in the pink. For all the feathers I have machine quilted, I have never hand quilted any.


You may have seen on Lori's (Humble Quilts blog) blog her efforts to make a block representing the solar eclipse. I have been on a similar quest. Last night I stayed up way too late and tried a block Lori has made using a different pattern. If it hadn't been so late, I may not have messed up the color placement I was attempting.
I may try this block one more time, and try to get the colors where I want them this time. This block finishes at 5 1/2".

This is my latest thrift store find for my sewing room. It is making sense of the growing stacks of charm squares and mini charm squares, and fits nicely in about the only empty spot left in the room. It is very stable, so I don't have a fear of it toppling over on me.

Not really much to share this post, considering it has been over a week since my last post. Maybe one day I will surprise you and really make big progress on something--but don't hold your breath.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

One more down, one more to go...

...swaps, that is. My Fall themed swap with Denise (count it all joy blog) is completed. We each received our packages Friday. This is what arrived in my mailbox.
Isn't it wonderful?  Denise added some extra treasures, too. There is a fabric star ornament, a magnetic needle keeper, a decorative magnet, and some beaded wool head pins. So much to love! This was supposed to be a mug rug swap, but this is almost big enough to be a placemat. And I don't want to hide it under anything, so here is its home for the Fall season.

This little Shaker peg rack that hangs in my kitchen turned out to be the perfect spot to display Denise's handiwork. Love it!

So what did I send to Denise? You need to know that Denise has an October birthday, and my original intention had been to get her package to her in time for that. I had gathered some little birthday surprises--but with Mom's fall and subsequent issues, I couldn't seem to get the mug rug made.

 I finally spent a couple of late nights surfing the web, sketching, and stitching until my eyes wouldn't stay open. I even ended up sewing down the binding while playing my weekly Scrabble game with my Mom and two of my siblings--and I won the game while multi-tasking. :)

After the Scrabble game I was leaving Mom's house to head to the nearby post office, when I noticed  the red bushes at the church across the street where I had parked. I had to get a glamour shot.

This finished just over 6" square, which is still a bit big for a mug. Perhaps a Mug-&-A-Muffin rug would be a more accurate name.

I had found a Pumpkin cookbook for Denise, who is a lover of all things pumpkin, and a little set of Fall measuring spoons, that are probably more decorative than anything. But they have perfect wording on each one--Happy Fall, Y'all!
I added some soaps and favorite herbal teas, and a jolly jack-o-lantern notepad. Happy birthday, Denise (almost 2 weeks late), and Happy Fall.

The "one more to go" mentioned in the post title is a little quilt swap with Julie of Me and My Stitches blog, set for next month. If you know Julie's blog, you know about her amazingly tiny quilt block jewelry. She designs beautiful quilt patterns, as well. Why did I think this was a good idea, Julie? The pressure is setting in! :)

I want to share something with you that I found funny. Recently Pinterest has been sending emails with "18 ________Pins we thought you might like", or something similar (fill in the blank with any category you happen to pin with any frequency). Just over a week ago I received one where the subject line read "18 Mini Quilt pins to check out." I clicked on it and couldn't help laughing when I saw this.
The first five pins are from my own blog--and two more that you can't see in this screen shot were, as well. Ha Ha!

One last thing I want to share--with Ann's permission--there is a giveaway going on at her blog to celebrate her 250th blog post. I recently started following Ann's blog. She has made 3 sweet patchwork zippered bags that will go to some lucky people that leave a comment.

 I love zippered bags, but parted ways from installing zippers when I quit making clothing years ago. So I am always happy to have someone else do that dirty work for me. Take a minute to hop over to Ann's blog, Prairie Primrose Stitches, for a chance to win.

It is almost midnight on Saturday, and I am hoping to catch a glimpse of the Orionid Meteor shower, if the clouds have parted. Think I will grab a quilt or two and go out on the deck to check it out.
Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. Thanks to all who added their thoughts and prayers in my Mom's behalf. She is doing much better, though the hip she landed on in her fall 2 weeks ago is still very painful.

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