Thursday, March 13, 2014

UFOs dropping like flies--kind of.


This is Bonnie Hunter's Smoky Mountain Stars free pattern, which I made entirely from men's shirts and named Rocky Mountain Christmas. Last time this was on my wall (years ago) I was struggling with whether or not to use the bonus triangles the stars created to make a sawtooth border.
 I finally decided it was too busy and distracted from the simplicity of the stars, but I put it away without attaching the borders that were already cut. How lame is that? Now it is bordered and we are both happy!

Currently on the design wall is another Bonnie Hunter pattern--her mystery from about 3 years ago--Orca Bay. It only needs the final border pieced and attached.
I made this one entirely from men's shirts, as well. I had planned to name it Sunset over the Rockies (Yes, I love my Rocky Mountains), but ended up going with Sunset over the Men's Department, instead. Bonnie's borders are always piecing masterpieces, but I run out of energy by the time I get to the border--and I like some calm areas for the eyes to rest, so I just used straight borders. If you enlarge the photo you can probably see that there is a small plaid design to the orange border. I had to fussy cut it so that the stripes of the plaid would match when I sew the pieces together (yes, I HAD to do that!!). Good thing it was a very large shirt!

Of course, there is still the small stuff happening. This is the piece I mentioned in my last post that I was going to quilt with an all-over design. It didn't happen. I had every intention, but I just couldn't do it. Those 9-patches were crying out for straight lines criss-crossing through them, and those snowball blocks wanted their own design. So "Herald Angels", a flimsy from 2012, got custom quilting, in spite of my plans.






My pictures usually load straight, but this one wouldn't. You can click on it to see the quilting, and just ignore the thread nests and toe-catchers. I was trying straight line quilting using rulers on Gidget, instead of my walking foot on my Pfaff. It was a new experience--one I will try again, but selectively.

That is it for the UFOs this post. Now for the new stuff.

A few months ago, on Diane's blog I saw the cutest little quilt for a cat lover. She gave the link and I ordered it immediately, thinking I would make it for my Mother's birthday in February. But time got away from me and that didn't happen. I consoled myself that there was Mother's Day in a few months and I could shoot for that. When I started this little thing last week I could not stop.
Cat Nap. Finished at 9 1/2" x 11".
The pattern called for just a little knot for each eye and a knot for the nose. I had to add a little more detail to the face and ears. I finished the binding last night, and I couldn't wait until Mother's Day. I dropped it by my Mom's today. She was so surprised, and really loved it. She has been a quilter for about half a century, and is a cat lover, so it was ideal for her.
It is paper pieced, and I used all scraps from my Mom's quilts to make it, except the cat fur fabric (thanks, Annie). I machine quilted the border, and SITD, but hand quilted the cross-hatching in the background.

Somehow I got talked into doing a trunk show for a local "Small & Miniature Quilts" guild. Do you all have a friend or two to whom you just can't say "No"? My reaction was, "What, me? Who am I to do a show, and I don't keep most of what I make, anyway, so what would I show?"
Somehow my protests didn't work, so now I am scrambling to make some of those miniature quilts that keep dancing in my head. Luckily, the show isn't until May!
"Scrap Baskets". The basket blocks are 2".
This will finish at 9", with a tone-on-tone brown binding.
This little basket quilt is waiting for feathers in the setting triangles. You can faintly see the white line I have drawn to keep my feathers out of the binding zone. I have done SITD around the baskets and blocks. I am trying to decide whether or not to quilt on the wavy line through the sashing with a matching thread.

Another Rocky Mountain photo for you. On my morning walk a few days ago the clouds were dark and the mountains were white. The wind was whipping at the peaks and you could see the snow whirling in the air against the dark backdrop. Enlarge the photo for a better look.
I know we have had enough of winter, but I love nature cloaked in white.
Until next time,
Janet O.



37 comments:

  1. Your small quilts are always so well done and have so much of yourself built into them. I'm very glad that you are going to do a trunk show. I think that your audience will be dazzled with all the inspirations that you will provide to them.

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  2. Good choice for sashing on the mini quilt. You can pull off a little show of small quilts. Just don't sleep.
    The cat on the quilts.....cute! Sort of like the Princess and the Pea story.

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  3. How fun to see two of your UFO's getting closer to being finished! They are both wonderful... love the plaid colors of Sunset! The cat quilt is so cute... what cat wouldn't be content sitting atop folded quilts??? LOVE the wavy sashing fabric on your basket mini quilt! The Rockies are truly majestic... how lucky you are to see them daily!

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  4. Clever use of striped fabric instead of strings in Orca Bay.... AKA.....Sunset over the Men's Department!!! All your small quilts are so well done. I'd love to be at your truck show.

    I love the Rockies, too. We try to get out west every couple of years.

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  5. The cat quilt is beautiful Mom. I wish I could have been there to see Grandma's reaction. That last little quilt is so cool! I love how the sashing looks curvy because of the print in it.
    Love the last pic! Nice capture :)

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  6. Great post, but how come you didn't call me to take the papers off your Mom's cute little cat quilt? Fine, just fine!! And, yes, the mountains are gorgeous even from my house!! :-)) Miss you!!

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  7. Just LOVE 'your' mountains! Where to start........love the first one, I like the border. The second, which I did too ( well I started it...never finished!) is perfect with the orange plaid border, I agree you have created some calm for a very busy quilt. Love the name BTW.
    Cool quilting on the little mini's, how did you like suing the ruler?
    Oh, I can see why you couldn't wait to give that cat quilt to your Mum, so very cute.

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  8. Your Smocky Mountain Stars is my favorite but all are beautiful.

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  9. Your Rocky Mountain Christmas is gorgeous! I like the border how you have done it - another for the quilting pile I guess?! Good on you too with your Orca Bay, it looks fantastic, I cant believe you got those borders from a shirt - welll done:-) Nice to see you trying the rulers - I've yet to have a decent play with mine, nice custom quilting. The cat is also very cute, brilliant piecing in the quilts!!! Good luck with your miniature line up, I;'m sure you will have fun creating the little masterpieces.

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  10. Everything looks great! The cat quilt is wonderful, and I love the stars quilt at the beginning of your post!

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  11. Of course you can do a trunk show! I wish I could be part of the audience!

    What a nice little quilt show you've given us ... hard to believe all that border from just one shirt!

    What are those colorful little things spaced out on that little quilt? I'd guess some kind of basting device?

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  12. What an amazing post! Fantastic job on your UFO's...and you know how I love those little teeny baskets�� those gals are so lucky to get a trunk show of your wonderfulness!

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  13. Fabulous!!! Of course you know I LOVE the Rocky Mountain Stars!!! And Orca Bay turned out so pretty - me not being an orange person and all! You're doing a much better job at finishing UFOS than I!! What a sweet kitty quilt - you are such a thoughtful daughter! Trunk show!!! When in May? Maybe I'll be there!!

    Blessings!

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  14. Love to see those ufos drop like flies!!! I love those Smoky Mtn stars....and your orca bay is amazing. I much prefer your name for it....that is just perfect. I agree about needing a bit of rest for the eye and the simpler borders.
    As always your small ones are so great.....those tiny baskets are just fabulous. I so think a tiny quilting line matching those wavy lines would be good. Can't wait to see your feather fill.
    Now you have a target and reason to do more small ones.....you can practice your trunk show on us before you have to do it in May.

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  15. Your quilts are fabulous! Especially love Rocky Mountain Stars...plus everything else of course! Your view is breathtaking!

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  16. Your Bonnie quilts are absolutely stunning, Janet. Well done. Your little Cat Nap quilt is adorable. What a lovely surprise to stop by to visit you and see your completed little quilt. It is great to see the fabrics you used. I am tempted to make another one now. Enjoy your day and that fabulous view.

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  17. I agree - nature cloaked in (fresh) white is stunning, especially against either really sunny blue skies or really dark skies. When it get gray and mush, I want no more of it. Love your tiny basket quilt - is that the 2" Temecula block? I've made 1 but could swing 4 more to finish a project. The swing-y brown sashing looks great - looks like it's wiggling between the blocks! Congrats on your first one-woman show!!!

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  18. The top quilt is the same one I showed recently that I made for my dad. I love it. I also think your Orca quilt is perfect without the pieced border. I believe they chose the perfect person for a quilt talk. You'll be wonderful!
    Love your view.

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  19. I sew envy your shirts. I'm taking care of my 89 year old mom w/advanced dementia so trolling the thrifts is out of the question. I did hunt for a bit 3 years ago but the shirts all seemed poly mix which is like ties, hard to work with once cut. And it feels icky too, after so many years of working with cottons :)
    Love all your little ones...Sharyn in Kalama

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  20. Wow--you are on a roll! I love your little scrap baskets! That's going to be a sweet quilt!

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  21. ACK! Please tell me when and where your trunk show is and I'll be there on the front row! How exciting to be famous for your work! Love your little basket quilt - it's a bit different than the block I made, huh? And MUCH smaller! The fussy cut sashing is wonderful for it and the brown & gray is an unusual combination. Both of your Bonnie Hunter quilts are so cool - especially because they're made from thrifted fabrics - I made the stretched star a gazillion years ago - I wonder where that quilt is now? Hmmmm..... and the cat quilt is adorable - quilted cats I can handle - not so much the real ones! LOL

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  22. So many wonderful quilts being finished at your house. My favorites are the awesome color combo in the sunset Over the Men's Department. It's so fun. And the mini scrap baskets sashing creates such movement. It' nice that your guild is recognizing your talent. Have fun. I know they will enjoy your quilts.

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  23. You are really knocking out those UFOs! They all look so great. I just love the little cat quilt - really cute, and especially perfect for your mom, using her fabrics. Love your fabric choices for the basket quilt too. Gosh, you are just getting so much done! I mailed some cards to you the other day, so you should have them soon. I know you will be just great at the guild meeting, sharing all of your quilts - wish I could be there! Oh...I'm glad that you found another beautiful postcard of the mountains!

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  24. My goodness you have been busy. It is such a wonderful feeling to finish a project. Love your quilting. Cat Nap is adorable. Hugs

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  25. You've been busy! I too like the plain borders on the star quilt. It is great. Your mens shirting quilt is great - wow - so many pieces! Great name.
    A trunk show lecture of your little quilts will be a treat! You'll be great.

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  26. Your amazing use of men's plain shirts always inspires me. I think of your work every time I'm in Goodwill, which is why I have so many shirts waiting to be cut up and used. Are the tan and cream parts of the Rocky Mountain Stars quilt also from shirts? or did you use solid cottons for that?
    Too bad we live over 20 hours apart. Otherwise I'd be front and center at your trunk show, enjoying every little beauty you hold up, no doubt to appreciative applause.

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  27. Oh! I do love the little kitty sitting on the quilts! What a neat surprise for your Mom. I would love to attend your trunk show. Maybe you can borrow some of your quilts back for it.

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  28. Wow Janet, what a beautiful blog you have posted. Hard to choose which one I like best, they are all so well done. I really like Rocky Mountain Christmas. Wish I too was closer to see all your little quilts and your outstanding feather quilting. Sandi will love the little cat quilt. You certainly have been busy...

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  29. Where oh where shall I begin in commenting on this post...girl you have been busy! Congratulations on being asked to do a trunk show. It sure is a great feeling, mixed emotions in all directions. You have lovely things...call those who have been recipients everyone will be excited to lend back their gifts for all to cherish as much as they do themselves. I can see you'll be busy though up through May! I like how you caught that bird in the middle of your snowy mountains...is that DH's tractor? Love the look and cute names of all your projects...Happy St. Patrick's Day! Sandi

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  30. You have been busy!! Your presentation will be wonderful.
    Hmmm, those Rockies look about the same looking West too.
    Happy St Pats.

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  31. Both your Bonnie quilts are amazing and I love how men's shirts can be turned into something(s) so beautiful!! That little cat piece is just darling!!! I may have to grab that pattern -- the finished size of it would be perfect for the mini stand! You've been very busy! How are you feeling??! I totally agree . . . nature cloaked in white is very pretty! :)

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  32. Janet, You are such a show off!! VBG
    VERY good job, I must say! Your finished projects are fabulous! And so many!! The view is also amazing!!!

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  33. Sorry I missed this posting last week. I got a bit busy after Thursday evening.I think you are the perfect person to do a mini Trunk Show. You have so many on your wall you could share. Have lots of FUN! I like how you use the Shirts for border and all. I still have to make the Shirt Quilt of Moth in the Window blocks that are kitted up. Maybe at a Retreat???

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  34. 2"???? Are You Kidding Me??? Those basket blocks are so perfect, I would have no idea that they're so small. Oh, my! You are the master of tiny-treasures and your trunk show will be astounding; I wish I could be there to see it. Your BH quilts are wonderful (I love your names for them too) and that kitty-cat quilt for your Mom is just as sweet as you are... almost! ;)

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  35. A great productive post Janet - you have been so busy! Love the pieced "stack of quilts" with the kitty and the fabric you used in the sashing for the last quilt really sets everything off. I am ready to be rid of winter too but the draw of mountains always gets me - every trip we make to Alaska, the thing I look for is that first distant glimpse of the Canadian Rockies...

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  36. i think orca bay was one of bonnie's more challenging patterns...for me it was anyway. i donated my finished top to a charity, since i only hand quilt and this had way too many seams. yours is beautiful...can't wait to see itdone

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  37. Sure wish I could come to see your quilt show... minis are my favorite!

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