Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sewing along with Temecula Quilt Co.

The Blessings Baskets Sew-Along by Temecula Quilt Co. a few months ago (starting with their March 1, 2012 post) really captured my fancy--evidenced by the fact that I ended up starting 4 sets of baskets. If you wonder if there was method behind that madness you can read about it here (but I can save you the trouble and tell you it was just pure madness--no method involved). I have posted flimsies #1 and #2 as I have finished them, #2 having just been in my last post.
So here is flimsy #3.

You never do this, do you? Certainly not, I'm sure. If you don't know what I am talking about, look closely at the baskets. : )
After repairing that boo-boo and finishing flimsy #3, I went on to #4. The borders are not sewn on yet. It took most of my available sewing time just auditioning fabrics for the borders from my meager 30s stash (there must be a better term than that for the little shoebox size container that holds the entire collection). I think I will name this one "Color Blind Test". I just can't look at it without thinking of those things in the old encyclopedias.
So now, all four of them together. Ta-da!
And speaking of Temecula Sew-Alongs, these baskets are the very same size as the little Summer Stars for their current sew-along. There will be 8 stars total, I believe, but you could use five of them in the same setting as these baskets. They are interchangeable. Isn't that fun? I'm already getting ideas. Someone stop me, please.
Here are the little stars they have posted so far. 

I know this is a short post for me, but I will need to be back soon to post my project for July's FMQ Challenge. But first I need to do it. : )
Until then, 
Janet O.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tying up loose ends.

My apologies to those who have been wondering about the winner of the giveaway. Congratulations go out to Ruth, of Country Log Cabin blog. I notified her by email Tuesday that she was the winner, but I haven't had time to sit down and write it in a post. Sorry for my tardiness. It will go out in the mail to you today, Ruth.

I'm trying to tie up some loose ends that are cluttering my sewing room because I don't want them out of sight or they will never get finished. When Temecula did their Blessings Baskets QAL (starts with March 1, 2012 post) I went overboard and started four different sets, but never got the fifth basket made for most of them. Only one of those sets had made it to the flimsy stage before today. Now another one has joined the ranks.
I haven't sewn that outer border on yet, and I plan to bind it in blue. I've got the last baskets cut for the other two sets and may work on them at my Mom's when my sisters and I gather there today for our monthly "quilt club".
And speaking of Temecula, I made the 3rd summer star and am ready for #4 to be posted tomorrow.
Did you see Doniene's versions of these stars? She is doing two sets in R/W/B. I love them!

Since Randy has given us the month of July off on the Barrister's Sow-Along, I took time to make a couple of the last blocks in Christmas fabrics. I had fun with some fussy-cuts on these two.
I got my "House On the Corner" runner quilted and bound. I decided on straight line quilting for this and used my Pfaff with the built in walking foot. I like it from the back, but I don't think enough of the quilting shows on the front. This is ready to send off to DD#1 in NH.
See the quilting lines? All ready to be bound.
All finished.
Last year I won some fun Christmas fabric from LuAnn at Loose Threads blog. She had made a smaller version of the "Flurry" pattern and had a giveaway for the fabrics needed to make it. You can see her version, along with a tutorial to make it, here. I want to have mine ready for this Christmas so I cut everything out and set it by my machine to sew in between projects. I have tweaked the pattern just a little from LuAnn's version. I like to make things unique in some way.
I'm also heading back to the bay, Orca Bay, that is. Mine had stalled because I needed another cream colored (not white) cotton shirt to finish cutting my background and I was having a hard time finding one. It was finally found and now everything is cut to finish sewing up "Sunset Over the Men's Department". I have been using some of it as leader/enders the past couple of days. I still have a long way to go, but now that it is all cut, it will get finished eventually.
Finally, I have been practicing wreaths in preparation for my attempt at my first full-size quilt on Gidget. It will be used for a fundraiser DD #2 is doing to raise money for Dravet Syndrome research. (You can read about my precious little grandson who has this severe seizure syndrome here. As I write this he is in Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City starting a very strict diet that sometimes helps reduce or control some types of seizures for people with Dravet Syndrome.)
I have a few wreath stencils and I had fun trying out some of them.
It's coming. It really does get more and more natural feeling with
practice. In the beginning I never believed it ever would.
Okay, enough is enough, and this was enough a few paragraphs ago. : )
Janet O.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Post #100 Giveaway (and some show-and-tell)

As promised, there will be a giveaway involved. (There are so many in blogland right now, surely you should be able to win something!)
But first, show-and-tell. I finally got my "Random Roses" block #7 to come together. It was a relief because I like the pattern and I didn't want to have to sub something else.

In my last post I was whining about using the paper templates to make these blocks. Well, my sweet friend, Teresa, from Quilt and a Prayer blog, is loaning me her acrylic templates to finish cutting my blocks. What a generous gesture, and one I greatly appreciate. I know this will save me a great deal of frustration with the last 5 blocks. Did I mention that she lives in TN and I'm in UT?

Another dear blogging friend has also been more than generous, but I will save that for another time, if I have her okay to share it with you.

Lately I have really been a sucker for mini quilt QALs--Temecula's 12 Days of Christmas, Lori's Pink Lemonade, Temecula's Blessings Baskets (begins with the March 1st post), and Cheri's Puss in the Corner. So why not join in on the Temecula Summer Stars (starts with the July 6th post)? I told myself "no" when I first saw it. But when I was putting away the scraps from my version of Cheri's Puss in the Corner, I realized that the leftover triangles would be the perfect size for the stars if I just cut them in half. After all, how hard can it be to make one 4" star each Friday through August? These are the stars so far--only two. It would be so easy to catch up if you haven't started yet (misery loves company).
Each week's star will have a different little center, so I have all of the "star" parts cut for the eight blocks (I'm guessing there are eight because that is how many Fridays there are through July and August) using my CW scrap basket, and I will just have to cut the center each week and sew it up. I've even thought of using the flying geese units of the stars as leader/enders through the week and then I'll really be ready.
I am trying to get geared up to actually do my first full-size quilt on Gidget. I know, I am such a wimp. Most of you would have churned out a dozen quilts by now. I have done several minis and table runners and a couple of baby quilts, but have yet to venture further. So I sit down and play for a few minutes whenever I get a chance and I really do enjoy it, I just lack the courage to face a "real" quilt. This was from my brief play session last night after most of my side of the world was in bed.  Just doodling. I even did another piece with feathers, but I won't amuse you with that one.
Okay, let's get down to business. This 100th post giveaway is a collection of items that reflect me, I think, and I wanted to share them with you loyal and very patient followers. In the upper left corner you see a gift bag of my handcrafted soap. This bag contains 1 bar each of three scents: mint blend, cinnamon/orange, and peppermint/pine. in the center top position is a charm pack of Sandy Gervais' new Christmas line, "Merry Medley". I think it would make a great Christmas mini or runner. I don't buy a lot of whimsical fabrics, but when I find myself attracted to one, almost without fail I discover it is designed by Sandy. I just like her style. 
On the right is a little patriotic pin cushion I made using a tutorial you can find here. I love all things patriotic. And finally, the little 7" square sampler that I made and hand quilted using the scraps leftover from the mini I made from the cuttings of Kathie Holland's cheddar, red, and green 9-patch set on point (you can see it in her April 28, 2012 post). That is always such a mouthful to explain, but once this little quilt goes to its new home I won't have to explain it anymore. I do have fun creating something out of trimmings from other projects. I was visiting my Mom today and she showed me the little jar where she is tossing the bonus triangles from her current project--saving them for me. She thinks I'm crazy, but she's willing to oblige me.

Well, there you have it. If you are interested in entering please leave a comment on this post. You can enter no matter where you live. I will select the winner on Monday the 23rd, 9 p.m. MDT. 

Thanks to all of you that put up with my long, rambling posts, and tolerate my sometimes late-night induced silliness. I have learned so much from you during my 1+ year of blogging and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some really nice people. You have touched me in many ways. This is my little token of thanks.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

99 and Counting (see the end of the post)

If these blocks look familiar it is because I made them last summer for a table runner and asked for opinions on a straight set or "on point". On point was favored and I proceeded to assemble it. Didn't get it past the flimsy stage and it has been kicking around my sewing room for a year now. I was planning to have it quilted for this summer, but every time I thought about tackling it, I couldn't do it. As much as I prefer these blocks "on point", I just didn't care for all the red in the setting triangles (you can see it here). I thought about piecing new setting triangles, but finally I just unpicked it and did a straight set. Maybe I will have it quilted for next summer. If it ever does get quilted I will be binding it in red.
During a recent family camping trip I took some hand quilting. The little sampler finishes at 7" and you may recall that it used up the bits and pieces leftover from the mini quilt I made from Kathie Holland's triangle trimmings of her 9-patch blocks on point. Did you follow that?
I had one basket block leftover when I made my little basket quilt (bottom of the linked post) inspired by this free pattern from APQ, using leftover fabrics from a quilt my mother made last year. It has been about 4 years since I did any hand quilting and it was a refreshing change.

I finally got around to my version of the "Ramblin' Rose Meets Jamestown" BOM. I hadn't made a block since March. I got the next four cut and three of them are sewn up, but I am struggling with the fourth one. I will say that paper templates are not my favorite method for constructing blocks. I often measure the template and then cut it out using rotary cutter and rulers instead. If I can't get the seventh block to work I may have to design my own. The three blocks on top are the newest ones.
Since I am not using the true "Ramblin' Rose" fabrics (just some rose fabrics I have picked up over the years), I have chosen to call this "Random Roses in Jamestown".

As I did my usual pawing through the remnants at the LQS recently I found a 3/4 yard piece of "Just Train Crazy" fabric. It caught my eye because my youngest grandson is crazy about trains. I picked up a matching black (I think blacks are hardest to match) and at home I found the blue and green in my stash. This is the favorite donation quilt pattern of Mary at I have made one before and I think it works up fast and cute. You can get the instructions here. The strips are just clinging to my design wall--I haven't started stitching them together yet. I'm thinking this will be a great quilt to use with Leah Day's train tracks quilting design. I got enough black for the binding, too.
Earlier this week I received an unexpected squishy in the mail from Ruth. I had just sent her some extra pins I had and she gifted me with these fun items. There is a cute little portable tissue pack cover and a cheery trivet made from yo-yo covered bottle caps. How clever is that? And look at the cute little quilty card. Thanks, Ruth. I didn't expect a trade, but it was fun!
Oh, here I am with another long post. It has been two weeks and there is so much to squeeze in. I've had questions from several people about how I finished my little tumbler flag,
 so I made a tutorial. You will find the tab for it at the top of the page under my header. There are many ways you could do it, I'm just sharing what worked for me.

Finally, this is my 99th post, and although that is small compared to many of you, I think a little celebration for my kind followers will be in order when I hit the 100 mark. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Random Stuff

My "House on the Corner" table runner is assembled. I hope to get it quilted next week. If you don't know, this was adapted from the Puss in the Corner little quilt that Cheri posted recently.
It seemed impossible to get a photo that was anywhere true to the actual colors. It was much more muted than this. With a flash the colors appear way too bright--but without a flash I couldn't get one that wasn't blurry. Most of these are repro prints--you may recognize some of them from your own stash.

Yup, there is one 4-patch turned the wrong way at the top.
And I thought I had checked for that before adding the borders.
I may have to do some ripping. That will bug me. : )

I got caught up with the Barrister's Sow-Along blocks, too. In honor of the upcoming U.S. holiday I decided to do them in R/W/B plaids. I want to do one or two of these in Christmas prints, too, but that will have to wait.

My second little patriotic quilt is bound and on its way to its new home. All but the border was quilted with a walking foot. The 5-point stars are pretty easy to do on a small piece like this so that you can pivot the quilt at each point.
And finally--here is my attempt at the June FMQ Challenge by Cindy Needham over at Insights from SewCalGal. I'm cutting it close again, but maybe I won't be the very last link this time. 

It is not a thing of beauty, like some I've seen, but it was kind of fun just doing a bunch of free-form designs inside the scribble drawing. Reminded me of a sixth grade art project. I tried some new things and had a good time quilting away. After I had filled the scribble I just kept adding things around the outside. It needs some improvement, but it is coming. I know--practice, practice, practice! : )

Well, I'm tired and I need to link this up before the clock strikes.
Until next time,
Janet O.