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.
 


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Critter sightings! (an animal heavy post)

Sasquatch was spotted hanging around our yard this weekend. Sightings for this handsome fella don't usually occur in the Rockies.
Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

If you live near the Rockies, not to worry. He is now on his way to Oregon, where he belongs.
My thanks to my friend Jen Pate, for her beautiful quilting, and to my Mom, for the binding.


 I was in the sewing room for just a bit and got "Sophie" assembled. Since I couldn't square anything up with the rotary cutter, it turned out a tad wonky, but that makes it have more of that endearing "made by a child" doll quilt look (or so I am telling myself).
I'd like to hand quilt it, but it may be a while before I am up to that.

 









Friday I stopped in at a LQS on my way home from the doctor's office and I bought a FQ of this gorgeous Di Ford fabric. I don't recall seeing her fabrics locally before. Maybe I just haven't known where to look. But this is so pretty, I want to go back and buy more!
That is it for quilty content. Just haven't felt up to much.
So on to the critters.
You may recall once before, when I shared the meaning of babysitting on the family farm. It is that season once again--when the llama sits and the baby lambs climb upon it. The first shot is when the lambs realize the llama is available, and they come running. Then it is a scramble to be king of the hill (or llama).



Eventually the llama tires of the activity and stands up. The babies tumble off and the game is over.

Now, a little bird watching around the farm. All of these photos were taken out the windows of our home. Fuzzy photos=dirty windows. :)







Haven't caught any photos of Sandhill Cranes this year, but I will. Once, a few years ago, there was a White Egret across the road, but it flew away before I could get more than a blurry photo. I keep hoping I will see one again. They are so pretty!

Two updates: The winner of the Carol Hopkins book is Robin. I believe I still have your address on file, Robin, so I will send the book via media mail the next time I am in town. (You haven't moved recently, have you?) :)
And last of all, I have been released from the confines of the sling (WooHoo!!), but am still restricted as to activities. Hey, it is progress!

Until next time, 
Janet O.

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