Thursday, July 12, 2018

Progress on several fronts

Aside from my Mom improving (which is the best progress of all), I have actually gained ground on a few projects. It has only taken me two weeks to have something to post, but it is progress.

This is what became of the homespun HSTs I was using as leader/enders in my last post. This is a design (or a variation of it) that I have seen on a few blogs, and on Pinterest. My HSTs finish at 1".
I don't think I will use homespun in a mini again. The seam intersections are too bulky with the heavier weave, and it made this top go wonky in several places. But I love the look of the plaids.

In trying to trace the source of this pattern, the earliest reference I could find was on It was a gift to Janet from Kathie Holland (formerly of Inspired By Antique Quilts blog). Janet received it from Kathie in November of 2011.

Ruth (country log cabin blog) copied 
Kathie's soon after she had posted it.

Kathie posted another one (below, left), unquilted, in Oct. of 2014.

Then earlier this year Marian Edwards ( made the one on the right, above, for Lori's mini quilt swap. She posted hers in May. I asked Marian where she found the pattern, and she said she got the design somewhere on Pinterest.

If anyone knows the original source of this little quilt design, I would appreciate you letting me know. Maybe it was just Kathie being inspired by an antique quilt, but if there is a pattern source, I would like to know about it.

Another mini that is getting attention is the little 9-patch that is a reverse in the value placement of the one I made for Kris (lavendarquiltsblog) for a swap earlier this year.

Current work in progress on the left, Kris' quilt on the right. I have 5 more 9-patches to make, and then the setting triangles. The 9-patches finish at 3/4". That is as small as I go!    

I have also made a few strides on the half log cabin quilt.
Only 2 more rows of blocks to make, and then I can begin to square up the blocks and make the rows. It has been fun to watch this grow, however slowly. I may add a border. I wouldn't add one, but I want it to be plenty big for a Queen sized bed.        

I have been trying to be so good about not buying new quilting books and patterns. I have ample inspiration in the ones on my bookshelves, in my drawers, and all of the great stuff on the internet. But Jen Kingwell's pattern has tempted me for some time--and Kim Diehl has a new book of many of her small Whatnot patterns.  I am not that strong.
When I held my blog anniversary giveaway, the runner-up winner never got back to me with her address, so I finally drew another number. Debbie (with the horse for your favicon) was selected. Email your address to me, Debbie, and I will get the pattern, scraps and soap sent your way.

We are plagued with wildfires here in the West. Air quality gets bad, but it makes for beautiful sunsets.
DH and I are headed to a Scottish festival this weekend. I know my maiden name is Scottish in origin, and according to my DNA test results I am 39% a Scottish/Irish/Welsh mix. I may come back playing bagpipes or step dancing, or something. But I won't be eating haggis!

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June Mini & Wedding Quilts

Talk about squeaking under the wire! This post is being written less than an hour before June expires.
This little quilt came together this past week in stolen moments, between continued physical therapy and some serious senior parent care.
This is an adaptation of a Kim Diehl pattern that was kindly sent to me by Eileen. It is called "Old Glory". The original pattern has more rounds to it--and then there is the fact that I made the blocks smaller. Mine finishes at 6 1/2" x 7 1/2". It was donated to our family reunion auction.

Though the pattern didn't call for it, I drew up foundations for the stripes on the flag--just seemed like it would be easier to get it right that way.
The HSTs in this little quilt were from bags of scraps given to me by Karen Beigh, and my retreat buddy, Kim.

While I was playing in the scraps, I pulled out a few handfuls of triangles and sorted out the ones made of homespun. 
This is the current state of it. I plan to add two more rows. The HSTs will finish at 1".

The newlyweds paid us a visit and received a couple of their wedding gifts. My youngest son is the quilt holder. ETA: These two quilts were made years ago. The first one was a BOM being taught in our community over 10 years ago. My son saw it and said he really liked it. I told him then that it would be his wedding quilt.
The second one is commemorative of the mission he served in Argentina over a decade ago. Each block has specific meaning. Though I finished it long ago, I told him I would give it to him when he had a wife that would take care of it. :)

 This one was hand quilted. Took me forever.

I am falling asleep over the keyboard, so I guess I am done here. When Mom's needs taper off a bit, I hope to keep up with blogs better, and sew a little more--then there will be things to share. :)

Happy Canada Day to those of you up North, and Happy Fourth very soon to my U.S. friends!
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Where to start?

So much has happened since I last posted, and I don't want to bore you--but I also want to share. Hang on, here goes.
Wedding day was wonderful and fun! We haven't got the professional photos yet, so here are a few amateur shots. Photos taken on the grounds of the Logan LDS Temple.
LOTS of bridesmaids and groomsmen
The happy couple
Hubby (eyes closed) and I with the groom
Our four children--all great adults now

 SIL is on the far right
The day after the wedding our oldest daughter's hubby drove home to Oregon to get back to work, and we had her and their daughter with us for a few more days. Then we drove them back to Oregon and spent the weekend with them. We attended the Eugene Saturday Market to hear our SIL play in a band with his brother.

Loved shopping at the market. There is such a variety of vendors. I picked up some hand crafted soap (I enjoy trying other people's soap, if it has no artificial colors or scents), a couple of gluten free treats, DH bought me a bouquet of fresh flowers, and I found this cool phone sleigh.
   I know I have said it over and over, but I love functional things that are aesthetically pleasing. And if it is made out of wood, wicker, or wire--so much the better!
For some time now I have had a plastic clip on my counter where I stand my phone to talk while I keep my hands busy with other things. This will do the job and look so much nicer in the process.

Three quilt shops were squeezed in during our whirlwind trip--one in Idaho, and two in Oregon. Between The Gathering Place in Rupert, ID, Stitchin' Post in Sisters, OR, and Something to Crow About in Springfield, OR, I came home with this stack of goodies.
When I enter a quilt shop I try to have in mind things that I could use in my stash, so I don't totally lose control. This trip I was focused on shirtings, cheddars, and purples. Where is all the purple, I want to know?!? Certainly not in the shops I visited.

The day we left for Oregon, we picked up our mail as we left the driveway, and there was this sweet bundle of Cheddar & Indigo scraps from Grace (citymousequilter blog). Can't wait to play in them.
She also included a great pattern from a magazine of a mini quilt, designed by Ann Hermes. You can bet this will be in the queue of little quilts to make. Thank you again, Grace!!

On our trip back to Utah, we hit a couple of favorite spots--first was Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Store, where I stocked up on gluten free baking supplies, and we had lunch on their patio.

Poorly aimed selfie--falls in background
It has been so long since we stopped at Multnomah Falls. We brought our kids here when they were young, and we loved the trail up to the bridge. Due to the past fires, that trail is closed, and you could only observe from the lower deck. Still beautiful.

Oh, right--this is a quilt blog, and thus far there has been very little quilty content. Well, on the drive home I actually completed one more hexie flower for my Stars In The Garden quilt. A few blog friends that know my aversion to making hexies are probably picking themselves up off the floor about now. Don't like stitching them, but love the look! So I plod along on this at a snail's pace.
Still a LONG way to go. I seem to only work on it on long car trips, and we don't travel that often. Also, I have no idea how, or if, I will quilt this, but if I never finish it I won't have to worry about it. :)

Remember the drawing? I am sorry I did not get back to everyone that commented, but since this issue with comments not coming through as emails, I did not have time to mess with it. If blogger doesn't fix this soon, it will be hard to get excited about posting. The commenting back and forth is what makes this such a fun process. 

Anyway, I drew a name from the 101 comments, and Kyle (Timeless Reflections blog) is the winner of my anniversary giveaway. 

There were enough comments this time, that I felt compelled to offer a second gift. In one of the quilt shops I visited along the way I found this pattern for a sweet doll quilt. It finishes at 16"x21". So I came home and pulled a bundle of CW scraps from my scrap basket to go with it, and will also include some of my soap (of course). This will go to Ann in PA.

Kyle and Ann, please get your addresses to me, and I will send out your winnings. Congrats!

Next time I hope to have more of a quilty nature to share. But two of my current projects cannot be shown as yet. I am, however, near completion of the blocks for my half log cabin quilt, and I have a little patriotic quilt to get made for the upcoming family reunion auction, so I will try very hard to  have something of interest by the time I post again.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Couldn't resist parting shots of my grandchildren (and their parents) all spruced up on wedding day.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May Mini, etc.

I have been mostly absent from blogging for over 3 weeks. Thanks to those that checked in on me. I am still here, but between continued physical therapy, wedding plans (this Saturday!!), gardening, and time spent helping Mom, there really hasn't been sewing time. This week I forced myself to finish a mini quilt for May. Just squeaking under the wire.
Here we have "Uncle Kevin's Tree Farm", based on a pattern from Kevin The Quilter. I shrunk the block, of course.  The top was made in December, so I only did the quilting in May.

You can see from this back shot that I just did a bunch of straight line quilting.
And the binding is only pinned on the back at this point. It may have to wait until post-wedding to get sewn down, but I am calling it a finish. Wendy, is that cheating? :)
Down the road I may do some hand stitching in the sashing, but can't worry about that now.

Wanted to share a handy item I picked up at a Ross store recently. This is a caddy for the bathroom. I set it beside my featherweight in my sewing room. The bottom basket holds a bag full of bonus triangles from a couple of blog friends.
I grab a handful of the triangles and put them in the bowl in the top basket to use as leader/enders. When I pull them from the machine I drop them into the bowl in the second basket. Keeps all the leader/ender parts organized and handy, without using my limited table space.
The photo on the right, above, gives you a better look at the caddy.

The barn quilt DD#2 made for me finally got put in its place on the shed. I love it there. Wish I had taken the photo before the lilacs started fading. They looked very pretty together.

As I mentioned in my last post (so long ago you probably don't recall), May is my blog anniversary. It has been seven years! Hard to believe, sometimes, though it feels like I have always known some of my blogging buddies. To show my thanks to my followers and friends, someone will be chosen to receive this little bundle.
This includes Jo Morton's latest book of little quilts, four FQs of her new line of shirtings, one of my Dresden pincushions, and a Riley Blake measuring tape. I will throw in some of my soap, too.
Leave a comment if you are interested. Thanks to all for the years of sharing and friendship! You are the best!
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Drawing Now Closed

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Disjointed Jumble of Things

These little nine patches...

...will be joined by a few more to make another one of these little quilts, but with the values reversed. I plan on making the second one the same size as the first. The blocks have been cut from scraps, and the rest are waiting to be sewn. I am starting to do a tiny bit of rotary cutting now, so I thought it should be for something tiny.

Just over 3 1/2 rows of blocks yet to piece on the barn raising.

The parts are ready on design boards, with a few extra strips leftover. Hmm, someone should make a mini quilt out of those leftovers, don't you think?

One more block got assembled on my Settler's Puzzle quilt, which I began years ago in a class with Pam Buda.

As soon as I am able to square up more units, I think this will go together quickly. The sawtooth border may slow me down, though.

In my last post I told you I would get shots of the Sandhill Cranes, and I did--in their mating dance, no less. 
Wish the dead tree hadn't been in the way!


The first lilac bouquet of the season graced our dinner table Sunday. I have 16 bushes right now, but only a few of the buds have started opening yet.  Can you smell them? Oh, it is heavenly!


I wanted to share something that I finally made, after drooling over the recipe for about a year now. How does Raspberry Coconut Coffee Cake sound? I hurried and snatched a photo of the last three pieces, before it was all gone. It is always a nice surprise when a gluten free recipe is yummy enough to share without apologizing for the gritty texture, or starchy mouth feel.


The first blogger I ever met IRL was Mary, on one of her trips to Utah. Well, last week Mary stopped on her way to a quilt event with friends. She spent the night at our home and was a patient listener, as I talked her ear off! Here we are in front of my design wall. Thanks for the visit, Mary. Next time I'll let you talk. :)

I just realized that this week is the 7th anniversary of my blog (this Friday, to be exact). Stay tuned.
Until next time,
Janet O.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Building a cabin or raising a barn?

Whichever it is, I am halfway through. When this photo was taken I still had 6 blocks to assemble to finish the row, and they are now completed. If you could see my design wall now, there wouldn't be that unfinished row at the bottom.
I am grateful that I had these logs on hand (sent from Karen @ log cabin quilter blog) so there was something I could sew while the rotary cutter was still off limits. It is exciting to be making good progress on a large quilt, even though I haven't felt like I can do all that much.
I decided to make it 12x14 blocks, and this marks the halfway point.

The other project that has received what little sewing time I have been able to scrounge is "Sophie", from Edyta Sitar's book "Little Handfuls of Scraps". This is my April mini for Wendy's mini-a-month SAL.
This was easy to put together using mini charm squares and leftover strips that I could trim with scissors. Even the binding strips were leftover from another little quilt.

After completing the stitch-in-the-ditch with my walking foot, I really wanted to hand quilt the diagonal lines, and even gave it a try. But I had not used a good scrap of batting for hand needling. After trying to pull the first few stitches through, I could tell it was stressing my shoulder, so I backed off and did it all by machine.

I have been playing with a new-to-me thread, thanks to a blog reader, Joyce L. She introduced me to DMC Machine Embroidery thread, which is recommended for miniature quilt making by mini quilt maker extraordinaire, Sally Collins. 
I only knew DMC for its embroidery floss, but was pleased to learn about this thread. It is 50 wt., 100% cotton, and comes in a wide variety of colors. It is very fine--even possibly a hair finer than 50 wt. Aurifil. This means it doesn't add bulk to seams (very important in mini quilts), and it looks more to scale when you machine quilt on mini quilts.
This zoomed-in photo shows it in comparison to the other two threads I use for most of my piecing and quilting.
I have done a lot of piecing with it, and a little bit of machine quilting, along with some binding. It works beautifully for piecing, as mentioned above. 
I had no trouble with the little bit of machine quilting I was able to do before my shoulder surgery, but since then I have only been able to quilt with my walking foot. I do like the way it seems to melt into the ditch when doing SITD on little quilts. Heavier thread stands out and looks clunky, but this thread rivals the Aurifil. Since I haven't done a lot of machine quilting with it, I have not been able to gauge how linty it is. Mettler fills the bobbin area of my quilting machine with lint, if I use it for very long. I never have that trouble with Aurifil. It remains to be seen where DMC will fall in that continuum.
The only negative experience I have had has been with binding by hand.
I did quite a bit of the machine quilting on this little quilt using the DMC thread, and it gave me no trouble. But when it came to the hand binding, the end of the thread really frayed as I stitched.
It surprised me, because I haven't had a cotton thread do this before. It seemed more a "poly" characteristic. But it wasn't a major concern, as the thread never actually broke.

However, as I did the hand binding on the little "Sophie" quilt, shown earlier in this post, the thread broke not very far into the stitching process, and the ends looked frayed, as above. It isn't a deal breaker for me. This thread is much more reasonably priced than the other two, and it is available in  some colors that the other two are not. It is another great tool in my quilting arsenal, and I will just not use it for hand binding anymore.

I will end with a couple of photos my oldest daughter sent us of their recent visit to a tulip farm in Oregon. Wish I could have been there.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

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