Saturday, March 3, 2012

Welcome March!

Do you do much decorating with a St. Patrick's Day theme? Since DH was a missionary in Ireland for 2 years, back in his youth, and has some distant Irish ancestry, we usually try to celebrate in some (non-alcoholic) way. The limited decorations would come out the beginning of March and on the day itself we would usually watch the John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara classic, "The Quiet Man", while feasting on potato soup, soda bread, ginger ale, and finishing up with shortbread. This year I realized how truly limited the decor is. I found the pattern for this little quilt above in a recent online newsletter from APQ and it cried out to be made in greens. It finishes up at a 22" square.
After getting it stitched together (and making a few cutting errors along the way) I scraped together the leftover cuttings and sewed up this little piece--about 9" square. Now I need to get these two items quilted so they can sit on my hutch and dining table.

Oh, I think I have found my feathered friend, as far as quilting goes. If you read my last post you know that I am not overly fond of my FMQ feathers. Today I remembered a FMQ pattern book and DVD a friend loaned me recently. Have you heard of the Pajama Quilter? She lives somewhere north of me in Idaho and she is a longarm quilter who has put together some designs that have been successful for her. Watching the dvd was an interesting experience--she sits in her pajamas with a large whiteboard in her lap and shows you how to draw the designs. Then they are shown being quilted on the longarm. And when you get frustrated with your attempts she recommends having chocolate nearby in an unlikely container that no one else will suspect.
You can get a workbook, dvd or both. Anyway, I remembered that one of her patterns that had intrigued me the most was what she called "Wonky Feathers". After my frustration with formal feathers I thought maybe it would be fun to try the wonky approach. Now these are my kind of feathers!! It is not so much a border as an overall pattern, and it loops and swirls every which way. There is no need for an exacting 1/8" echo or getting the feather shapes teardrop perfect. It is just fun, and flowy and freeing! This was my first attempt and I'm sure I can improve on this with some repetition (unlike my repeated efforts with the more formal look). I took a photo without flash because the shadows improve visibility. I actually enjoyed doing these feathers!!
Have you tried anything like this?

I need to mention a couple of other things. When I shared the fun mail I had received a couple of posts back I inadvertently left out this little gift that almost got thrown away before it even got opened, but that's another story (which I shared with the sender).
Nancy, who blogs near Philadelphia, sent me this fun little mug rug she had made. That is a woman with a tube of hair gel and I could swear that somehow Nancy has seen me after I wash my long hair and knows I could benefit from the application of something to bring it under control.  : )  Thanks so much, Nancy!!
The other cool thing that just arrived was this book that I won on Julie's blog giveaway! I can't believe I won it. I gave away the first volume on my blog last year and loved it enough to buy myself one. I was very excited to see this one and am thrilled to own it. Little quilts have really become  a passion for me thanks to bloggers like Kathie, and Dawn, among others.
I can't wait to break out the charm packs and get stitching! Wonder when I can fit that in?
Well, I have tried yet again to fit too much into one post, but if you have been following me for any length of time you are probably used to that. : )
So, until next time,
Janet O.
p.s. My thoughts and prayers are with those in the path of the tornadoes. Please post soon if you can to let us know how you have fared!

34 comments:

  1. Hi Janet. Your St Patrick day quilts are fantastic and I really LOVE your feather. It's so pretty!
    Think I'll have to try one of those.

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  2. Your St. Patrick's Day quilts are great! Love the bit o'gold in the corners :) How fun to have squishy and quilty mail, that's the best kind! I haven't done any feathers but those loose ones look terrific. Chocolate is of course necessary when things go wrong :)

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  3. Congrats on your win over at Julies. I won some wool felt off her last month. I like your new wonky feathers, the book and DVD sound interesting.

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  4. I've heard of Dawn through Mary Johnson's Blog. She uses her panto Ideas for Heartstrings quilts. The wonky feathers look good! Have fun with your win of the back to Charm School Book. I didn't win even though I entered by Commenting on several on the Blog hop, so I ordered both of them tonight on Amazon. They should be at my house next Wednesday. Have fun quilting your GREEN. Maybe some random wonky shamrocks will find their way into your quilting of them.

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  5. Your little green quilts will certainly do the trick for St. Patrick's day. So cute and fresh with all the green.
    Oh, yes, those feathers are more like it! I have done something like that - much more doable. They look wonderful. I've never heard of the Pajama Quilter - sounds like fun.
    So fun to get something in the mail. I often feel like that woman with the hair gel - hee, hee!

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  6. Your Wonky Feathers are awesome!! Way to go. Super cute little green quilts!! Great greens! Great prizes for a great gal!!

    Have a great day!!

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  7. I LOVE those wonky feathers... and much better than "formal feathers"... very nice! I need to check out some Pajama Quilter stuff!

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  8. Now your talkin! Love the wonky feathers - I will certainly give those a try. Your green quilt is lovely.

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  9. Those feathers are GREAT! Love them! Cute green quilts - can you believe it is March already? Congrats on the win - that book looks like a good one.

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  10. I loved making that mug rug for you, Janet.

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  11. I truly love your green St Paddy's day quilt! It is just wonderful!!

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  12. Janet - love the St. Patrick's Day green! My maiden name was Patty Kelly - how could I NOT love the green! I have tried FMQ feathers but I need lots more practice because so far they look like mutant insects of some sort. Yours of course look lovely :D

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  13. Love your little green quilts - wonderful!
    I think your feathers are coming along quite nicely.
    ooks like you have had some FUN mail - and lots to keep you busy with that new machine.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  14. Lots of lovely news :-) Your green quilts will put a bit more fun into March for you. And the mug-rug is lots of fun too - I have hair like that too!! I really like the look of your new feathers..something different for me to try too, I think; I'll have to investigate the book/DVD.

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  15. Those wonky feathers look great! I'll have to look into that book/DVD...

    Today I was pulling out the St. Patrick's day decorations and dusting off the recipes for Irish bread!

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  16. love your little quilts and your feathers! they look great from here...

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  17. You are so lucky to win the book. I tried on all the blogs with no luck but it is on my list for sure! Your feathers look fun and funky!! I had given away my set of PJ Quilter. Oh and sure enjoy the greens used! You would think with last name FLYNN I would make sure to have some green too! But that is a married name...hee! Im actually half Spanish!

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  18. Decorating for St. Patrick's Day? Wearing a little green does it for me. Sounds like you go all out as you should. What a great experience your DH must have had. Cute quilty decor-I love the cheddar accents. I'm glad you found a feather style that suits you, yours are really fun looking. Congratualtions on the giveaway win! I have really enjoyed my Charm School book I won from your giveaway several months ago. I'm sharing with you in your thoughts and prayers for those hit by the tornados, especially for my friends Kandi, Lee and Sheila. So sad.

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  19. I have quite a fondness for Ireland myself -- Erin Go Bragh! I've even kissed the Blarney Stone, oh so long ago. Your Irish blocks -- perfect for this month! And your wins were sweet -- especially like the looks of the Back to Charm School book! Hugs!!!! :)

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  20. Oh I just love your little quilt adorable! Perfect fabric choices. Great mail lucky you I may need that book too! Kathie

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  21. Your feathers are VERY pretty. Love them.

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  22. Mom! I love the st. patty's cuties! They are too sweet. I also love the wonky feathers. I'm glad you found a feather you enjoy. The pajama quilter sounds like my kind of lady!

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  23. Your Irish quilts are so sweet and so politically correct to enjoy a bit of the Orangeman's colors too! Good for you!

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  24. Good job on those feathers - personally, I think free-form are MUCH more interesting and friendly than the more formal ones (that I cannot do!) I have both her DVDs and picked up additional quilting tips - aren't we lucky to have found them?

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  25. St. Patrick's Day isn't one of the more popular days for decorating, and I think that's a shame. Green quilts are always gorgeous, in my mind. Well done!

    I'm VERY interested in the DVDs and the books from the Pajama Quilter. Your feathers look fantastic. My formal feathers always look sick, and her method looks much more forgiving, and fun.
    I went to her website and am curious about the difference between her "reloaded" and "rethreaded" books. I may just have to ask her. Thanks for the info.

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  26. Love your green Irish quilt!! And the machine quilting feathers is another lovely version! Good for your girlfriend!!

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  27. Janet, I've been wanting a St.Pat's quilt to hang it seems forever. I don't think the right pattern has come along yet as it did for you. Mmmm, Potato Soup & Soda Bread & Shortbread Cookies... Your feathers look really good. Congratulations on winning the Back to Charm School book. I've got it on my wish list. Sandi

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  28. Your feathers are improving. I think you will have them mastered soon. I do not know how to get from one completed feather to the next area and get everything filled in.

    I don't think I have even one little quilt for St. Patrick's Day or the month of March.

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  29. Your green fabrics sure make into a wonderful Irish themed quilt...and it just lifts the spirits to think Spring will be here soon.

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  30. Janet,
    your feathers are amazing!@! And I love the Irish quilt!! Nancy's little mug rug is adorable. That gal looks very familiar!

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  31. I love the cheddar with the green St. Patty's blocks. Your feathers are so fun and free. Nice job. Don't give up on them.

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  32. Janet, I like the green project. I admit to having not one thing for St. Patty's...but then I'm Swedish and Norweigan! I see we like many of the same books/authors. Have you read Martha Grimes (the Richard Jury series)?

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  33. I have a shamrock on my front door, and that is about the extent of my decorating. I love your little quilt, and your wonky feathers look great.

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  34. Janet, your feathers look great. I have never seen the Pajama Quilter DVD altho it's on my to do list. I have seen Patsy Thomspon's and love all her DVDs

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