Saturday, December 30, 2017

Not much progress--again!

Another two weeks have passed since I posted and this is the sum total of my stitching--most of it happening after Christmas.

This Wheel of Fortune block was made by the late (and very talented) Jill Reid. It was gifted to me by her good friend, Barb (funwithbarb blog). I have tried to do it justice by hand quilting it--my very first hand quilted feathered wreath!
You can see the pattern in the photo below.
Thank you, Barb. It is so special to have this.

About a year ago, another blog friend, Karen (logcabinquilts blog), had sent me a few applique blocks she had made, but decided she didn't want to include in a quilt she was making. In February I added a border to this one and quilted it. You've seen it before.

I am in need of another portable hand quilting project, so I bordered another one and will get it ready for hand quilting. Thanks, again, Karen. I am looking forward to stitching this.

You may recall the Kim Diehl kit I picked up on a birthday quilt shop trip last month. It is a cute little 10"x12" quilt.

I got the kit home and then discovered that it was applique--which I don't do. I said I would have to find another way to make it. Well, I found one.

I went to work with my graph paper , ruler, micron pigma pen and White-Out. I designed foundations in order to paper piece the blocks.

After getting my Master made for the foundations, I copied the design onto newsprint, for ease of tearing away.

Then I stitched.

The blocks will finish at 2". 

I think this will be a project I will take to my "open sew" retreat in just 10 days! I have been browsing through my UFOs, deciding what will make the trip over the mountain with me. I intend to make good progress on some old projects. The sponsoring shop is offering mini classes each day at the retreat. I was tempted by the wool class, but have decided I am going to stay focused on old projects, rather than accumulating new ones.

I have everything for the blocks of this little quilt all cut and ready to go.

The projects I am considering for retreat are things that are all cut out. I have no excuse for not getting them done. 

Earlier in December I got some things in the mail that haven't found there way onto the blog.
On the left is a wonderful heap of HSTs from Karen for leader/enders. I was using a bag of HSTs from my retreat buddy for my L/E when these arrived. I am mixing them all together and now whatever I make from them will be even scrappier! Gotta love that!

The wrapped package came from my friend Kris (lavenderquilts blog). On her blog a while back she posted a sale she was having on Moda Bella solids (she has an etsy shop). A great deal at $5 a yard, and if you buy 5 or more yards, she pays for priority shipping! Kris said she would still offer the deal on the colors she has left. Find the post here.
I got a few yards each of linen and stone.

Next post I will introduce you to which UFOs I have chosen to take to retreat. Many haven't seen the light of day in a long time!
Until then,
Janet O.

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.
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