Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flimsies, Sow-Along blocks and a winner!

I hope you don't mind seeing your birthday/housewarming gift first here, Chris, but I love how it is turning out and wanted to share it. Now I just need to get it quilted.
This tablerunner is based on the "All in a Row" pattern from Kim Diehl's "Simple Comforts" book.
I was flipping through books for ideas and on one page of this book it shows a close-up shot of 8 blocks from this quilt. I thought it looked like a tablerunner, and I liked it. The centers of the blocks are made with Kansas Trouble fabrics and the background fabrics are mostly from the Little Gatherings line. I believe the sashings and cornerstones are Jo Morton. The blocks finish at 7". I made some extra ones so I might make a wall hanging with the leftovers.

While I pieced the tablerunner I used my little version of "Tumbling Glory" as leader/enders and it went together faster than I expected.
Just so you can get a size perspective I put the business card for "The Gathering Place" (which I had pinned to my design wall when I got home from Idaho) next to it. I had added one vertical row beyond what the original had, but when I looked up the dimensions of a real flag I realized it didn't need that extra row. I'm trying to decide how I want to finish the edges--binding, or front and back folded in. I don't know if I want one fabric all around the outside of it.

My Barrister's Blocks are all caught up. Randy has warned me that she is posting a bonus block tomorrow and I didn't want to get farther behind.
I cut the fabrics wrong for the basket quilt and didn't realize it until I was sewing it together, so I just left it. I may go back and fix it later--we'll see. I haven't made any of this grouping in Christmas fabrics yet, but there are three of them I want to do. Hopefully that will happen before too long.

After seeing Bonnie post recently about a design wall that someone brought to one of her classes I decided that something like that would be useful for smaller projects that are too large for my 32"x40" design board. I can leave the big projects (or a bunch of little ones) on my design wall. The framing department of your local craft store should have 40"x60" foamcore board. A crib-sized cotton batting (50% off at JoAnn) will stretch to cover it--I just used duct tape to secure it to the back. Here it is with the Sow-Along blocks I have made so far. It will hold 54 blocks this size.
I cropped the photo to just show the blocks--the board is larger than this.

And now the moment you may have all forgotten--the winner of my one year Blogiversary is....
Kristie of Cowgirl Quilter blog. Kristie was the winner of one of my giveaways last year, so lightening can strike twice with the random number generator. She's been through some rough times lately, so I hope this will bring some cheer. Congrats, Kristie. I still have your address, so I will get this in the mail to you Monday.

Okay, that is it for now. I hope those of you in the U.S. have a good and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Celebrations With a Giveaway

Did you ever see the little "Tumbling Glory" Quilt by Melonie that Calico Girls had in a kit last year? Sarah had it on her blog then and I wanted to make it to decorate when celebrating the Fourth of July. Couldn't find a pattern for it, so I just marked the page on the Calico Girls blog and hoped to find it available sometime. Recently I've been wanting to make something using Primitive Gatherings Tiny Tumbler template and it finally occurred to me that I could make a smaller version of "Tumbling Glory".

I just dug through my patriotic fabric scraps and found plenty of variety to give it depth and movement. The original is listed as being 21"x32". The little template shown to the right will make something closer to half that size. Even though I haven't sewn any of it together yet, I'm liking what I see. I'm not even sure if I will have time to do it before we celebrate Independence Day, but it is closer to being made now than it was when it was just an image in my mind.

Last Wednesday was the one year anniversary of my first blog post. At times I can't believe I have been doing this for a year already. At other times I feel like I have known some of you forever, so it must have been more than a year ago I jumped into the quilt blog world. So, though it isn't a big event in the grand scheme of things, I've decided to have a little celebration giveaway.

I've been gathering a few items to be "the prize". I've chosen carefully--there is no fabric involved to add to your burden of guilt over the size of your stash. There are no patterns that you might feel pressured to make, even though you have a gazillion UFOs and WIPs. No books that you wouldn't be able to squeeze into your quilt bookshelf anyway. Everything is something I have wanted, so I hope you will, too.

First of all, I have been wanting some cool "quilty" notecards. I've looked high and low and finally found what I wanted in Rebecca Barker's Quiltscapes cards. So I bought an extra set. Integrating traditional blocks with beautiful paintings, these cards are clever and beautifully done. The pack of cards includes 10 different designs, shown here.
Ms. Barker has dozens of designs available, based on her paintings, and when placing an order you can select which designs you want in your pack of cards--all different, all the same, or any other combination. See how the name of the quilt pattern is illustrated in the rest of the painting?

The stiletto has a hand-turned hickory handle. I picked it up at the HMQS when I bought one for myself. An indispensable tool when making little blocks, to help in precision piecing. 

The flying geese block is actually a pincushion I bought this week. DH and I have been in Moscow, Idaho helping my oldest daughter and  her husband pack for their move to New Hampshire (5 miles from Keepsake Quilting). On the way home we stopped in Rupert, Idaho. It is a small town that proudly claims the largest quilt shop in Idaho--The Gathering Place.  Someone in the area makes these pincushions in quilt block designs and they sell them in the shop. I bought two. (BTW, I recommend the shop--it is even worth going out of your way to see.)

And the basket--well, what can I say? I just had to make another tiny basket in Christmas colors for a tree ornament. It measures 3" square--including the border.

Also, if I'm in a good mood the day I send this out, I will probably throw in a couple of bars of my handcrafted herbal soap. : )

That's it! A guilt-free, stress-free giveaway! I began blogging because I wanted to feel a part of a larger quilting community. I don't belong to a guild and have always felt like I was on the fringes of the quilt world. I have been so welcomed and included by all who have commented on my blog, or responded to my comments on their blog. So this is for you, my blogging quilt community. To enter, just leave a comment. You don't need to be an official follower, but I would prefer you not publicize the giveaway. It is meant for those who are regular readers, whether or not you are "signed up" and even if you don't ever comment. If you are here reading this fairly regularly (even if you only began recently), comment below for a chance to win, and thanks for sticking with me. If you are a no-reply blogger, make sure your email address is included in your comment. 
I will choose a winner at noon MDT, Saturday, May 26th.

Hopefully next time I will have made some progress on a project that I can share. Maybe I will have a long overdue birthday gift made, or  be ready to post my FMQ challenge finish for the month (before midnight on the deadline day). Who knows, I may have even caught up on the Sow-Along!  : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. I was the happy recipient of Kathie's trimmings from her cheddar, green and red nine-patch quilt. I have had them under the needle and something is coming together. It is currently on the design wall. Stay tuned for the result. I'm interested to see what comes of them.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

As Promised--The Quilts

Scenes from HMQS
Click on the smaller photos below each quilt to read the tags. I haven't checked them all.
I hope they aren't too blurry. When you enlarge the tag photos you also get a better view of the quilting.
Nearly Insane--there was another one of these quilts in different colors, but I forgot to get the tag.

 Love these busy little blocks.

Made from Men's ties.

 So tiny and precise. I had my friend put her hand there to get the size perspective.

 Inspired by Italian Mosaics.

 This was so real looking. The tag explains the technique used.

 This one is all reverse applique. Wow!

 I thought this was just beautiful.

 Sure caught my attention from across the room.

 Remember this one from MQX? It won best of show here, too. Remember, it was quilted on a Bernina DSM. I can't fathom that.

 And they hung it so you could see the back of the quilt, too.

Just black fabric--the color is all thread.

 What a striking color combo.

That's enough. Just a quick post because I said I would.
Can you pick a favorite? I think I still prefer the Pine Burr from my previous post. : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, May 11, 2012

HMQS sightings

A little eye candy to start things off right! This was one of my favorite quilts at the show--very traditional. And there weren't as many of these as I would have liked to see.

I just returned last night from two days at the Home Machine Quilting Show in Salt Lake City. As amazing as all the quilts are (and we'll get to those later), what is really fun is seeing all the people. First there are the "big names" that teach the classes. They are the authors, designers and quilters extraordinaire. And they are real people, too!
My first class was with Karen McTavish. I had been taught McTavishing once in a FMQ class last year, but that was about all I knew about her. I was amazed at how traditional her approach is to machine quilting, and as somewhat of a traditionalist myself, I must admit that I loved it.

I must have been star-struck here. I look like a deer in the headlights. I guess that doesn't mean much to you if you've never lived around deer.
This class was about deciding how to quilt a top and I learned many good things that hopefully will help me get beyond the "thinking about it" stage and on to the "doing" part.

My next class was from Sally Terry. It was about fillers and meanders in "wiggle room." Again, there were many good ideas in this class, but I think I lean more toward Karen's style (though I love Sally's feather method). Sally was awarded the HMQS show Teacher of the Year award for 2012 at Thursday's awards assembly.

My last class was yesterday morning from...well, I'll let her tell you...

Her system of using stencils that just give you the register lines within which you create your design is very intriguing, and freeing! She is a delightful teacher and was very thoughtful of the cameraman assigned to her class. That impressed me.

Then there are the people that you have met through blogs and finally get to meet in person. Sandra, of Textile Time Travel  blog, had a booth for quilt appraising. I was able to drop in and visit. Look at that incredible vintage quilt behind us. What a study in fabrics.

Robin, of Solstice Studio blog recognized me from the recent post where I met up with Carla. As I walked by and heard my name I looked around for a familiar face and didn't see one. I knew Robin was coming to the show, but for some reason I had it in my mind that she wouldn't be there until Saturday, when I would be home. But as soon as I saw her I realized who it must me. She is such a fun gal. We had a good time visiting, along with her friends. Thanks, Ladies!

Finally, a most heartfelt thanks to DH for getting me there and back and to his cousins and my good friends, Cindy and Teresa, for hosting me while I was there.
I'll leave you with another lovely quilt and I'll try to squeeze in a post tonight showing some of the amazing quilts. Many of them have been in other shows that have been going on around the country, but I think there are some you haven't seen. There are some real showstoppers, but these traditional quilts are what warm my heart. : )
There were a few tagless quilts in the show, and unfortunately this happened to be one of them, so I don't know who did it. I love the extra something that this type of sashing can add to an already lovely quilt.

Until next time,
Janet O.