Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thanks for your support!

This was the donation quilt for my daughter's fundraiser yesterday before we went to the event. Thank you, Doniene, for relieving so much stress from my shoulders by providing a finished top.
This was the quilt this morning when the happy winner, Debby P., and her daughter picked it up. She was thrilled to receive it.
Several of you have asked how you can help in our efforts and some of you have already donated. I have been trying to think of a way for you to be able to participate in our drawing and while I was working on the binding of this quilt I came up with something. When Doniene sent this quilt top she included some of the leftover background fabric. I had backing and binding fabric left, too. As I was stitching the binding I saw the pile of these leftover fabrics sitting nearby. I also saw the Temecula Summer Stars that I have made sitting on a design board. That is when the idea clicked. These lovely fall colors with the Summer Stars blocks seemed to need to come together in "Fall"-ing Stars (get it?).
Today was the culmination of my daughter's first fundraiser. The second and last one for the year will wrap up September 15. Between now and then I will be getting this quilted and bound. During that time any of you that make a $10 donation to help support Dravet Syndrome research on my daughter's blog HERE, will be included in a drawing for this little quilt (It will be about 23"x30" finished). Those of you who have already donated are automatically included--one chance per $10. If your name on the donation is something I wouldn't recognize because it is so different from your blog name, just leave your blog name in the notes or email an explanation to me. I will draw the winner at midnight on Sept. 15th.

I appreciate your patience with me as I spread the word about this devastating syndrome that has my youngest grandson in its grip. I am not begging for money--I am just trying to provide a way to thank those who have chosen to help, and to invite others to participate if they choose. I'm sure if you had to stand by helplessly and watch a precious grandchild repeatedly endure seizures that at times have lasted 30 minutes or more, I think you would want to do all you could to raise awareness and funds for research. The photo to the right is Ben wearing the helmet that helps protect him from head injury when seizures cause him to fall, which can happen many, many times on a bad day.

Two other quick items--I have been making the Temecula Stars in Civil War scraps and had been thinking there would be eight of them. That was before I noticed on the calender this week that there are 5 Fridays this month. I had already been guessing at settings for 8 blocks--in fact, the setting I used for "Fall"ing Stars (above) was my guess. So now I am caught up and will wait for the 9th star before assuming that I know how they will be set.
And finally, I was happy to be able to snag the last of the three AAQI quilts that were a collaborative effort between Lori D. and Kathie H. When I finally figure out where my wall of little quilts is going to be, I will be happy to include this.
Oh, you patient followers (and lurkers) who endure these long posts. Bless you all!
Until next time,
Janet O.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blue Borders, Binding, and Hazy Skies

In my last post I referred to another little quilt that would be coming together from the leftovers of the mini rail fence. Well, here it is. I haven't sewn on the outer border, but I surprised myself by choosing blue. I was so sure I would want black.

Today I completed the quilting on the fundraising quilt. (Insert happy dance!!) This is the top Doniene donated for my daughter's fundraising effort. I learned a lot in this process and wish I had it to do over again now that I have had this experience. Gidget really came through for me. The thread only broke once. When I attempted my first machine quilting last October I never would have believed I would be doing this less than a year later.
Do you have an opinion on the binding--I could do it with the same fabric as the two lighter colored borders, or a brown very similar to the setting squares and small border. Or, there is plenty of that burnt orange backing fabric. Would you use one of those, or look at other options like green or dark brown?
I am so excited to get this finished. I really enjoyed the machine quilting--once I got the hang of how to wrestle a queen-sized quilt. : ) You can get a better idea of the quilting from the following photos.

 I will be trimming a little from around the outer edge. I couldn't find a border design I wanted to use that took up the whole space.

I haven't forgotten the drawing I promised to do this week. Marcia, your name was chosen from among those who indicated an interest in making a Flurry of their own. However you are a "no reply" blogger (you can change this in your gmail profile), and did not include your email address in your comment. I cannot contact you without it, so I will wait until Saturday for you to contact me with your email address. If I don't hear from you by then I will choose another name to receive the leftover fabrics from LuAnn's generous Flurry giveaway last year.

Did you see Lori of Humble Quilts little AAQI quilt? I was the lucky buyer and it came to live at my house today. If you know or have known someone with this disease, you can appreciate the symbolism in Lori's AAQI quilts.

I'll leave you with these shots. With all of the wildfires in the west, our air here is very smoke-laden. Aside from doing nasty things to your lungs, it sure makes some gorgeous sunrise/sunset photos. No filters or tints--just the colors as they really were.

I'll be away from the computer for a few days tending grandchildren. My posts are so few and far between anyway that you probably won't notice a difference. : )
Until next time,
 Janet O.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I just couldn't help myself!

I was getting out my CW scraps to make the most recent Temecula Summer Star and I was struck once again by how many 1" strips I had in this basket. I was puzzling over what I would ever do with them all when I remembered a little quilt that had been for sale on the Temecula blog earlier this year when they were cleaning out some samples. I loved it, but couldn't buy it and just saved the photo for future reference. This was the future. This is what I made.
The blocks finish at 3".

This is the photo from Temecula's blog that inspired it. I added an inner border. Haven't decided yet what color to use for binding.
I got carried away making the tiny "rail" blocks and so there is another little quilt in the works with a slightly different layout. After assembling the top above, and cutting the leftovers for the second quilt that I will show in the near future, I had lots of 1" squares. So they all went into this. It is only 8" square--and those little pieces finish at 1/2".

I did eventually get around to the Temecula Summer Star I first set out to make. Here are all six so far.
And finally, Flurry is all to put together! It is a very festive little thing. LuAnn's giveaway was so generous, and I made my wall hanging just a little smaller, so I have enough fabric that someone could make another one this same size. If there are any takers just say so in your comment and I will draw from those names in a few days and send you the leftover charm squares, red/white/green Kona solids and the border fabric, compliments of LuAnn. It really whips up fast and it is so cute!
I still need to get the latest Barrister's Sow-Along blocks made, and finish quilting the donation quilt. I am over half finished with it. I'm getting used to the whole process of working that queen size quilt through the machine. I'm really enjoying the quilting.

Thanks to those who have inquired as to how to donate to the fundraiser my daughter is doing. Click here to go to the "Ben's Story" page on DD#2's  blog. Scroll down just a bit and the link should be on the right side. Every little bit helps to find a cure for this debilitating seizure disorder!

Now that the Olympics will be over the house will be so much quieter. It has been fun to have that to "watch" while sewing. Seems there is always a little letdown when it is all over. I'll have to find something fun to sew. : )
Until next time
Janet O.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Generous Bloggers

It has been my good fortune to become acquainted with so many good people among this unique breed  known as quilt bloggers. Several examples follow.
I have shared a little bit in the past about my youngest grandson, Ben, who was diagnosed last year with Dravet Syndrome.
What a sweet face, even when it is smeared with ice cream.
It is a rare, severe seizure disorder that doesn't respond well to current treatment options. After receiving the diagnosis my daughter jumped into high gear and quickly put together a fund raiser to help collect money for research. I donated a quilt to the first fund raiser, held last August, but lamented on my blog that I didn't have another quilt ready to donate for the second fund raiser in September. That is when Randy, of Barrister's Block blog (and Sow-Along fame) generously offered to send a quilt for the second event. I was blown away, but as I have come to know Randy better I see that this is just her nature. You can see her donated quilt here. She was such a blessing, and continues to be a dear friend. (This reminds me, now I need to get the latest Barrister's Sow-Along blocks made.)
For this year my daughter was thinking she would not be doing the same kind of fund raiser, so I was not concerned that I didn't have a quilt prepared for the August event. But her other option didn't work out and it was back to the original plan. I was trying to figure out a quick quilt that I could sew up and get quilted in time and just mentioned that fact in an email to my good blogging friend, Doniene. The next thing I knew she was emailing that she felt impressed to donate a top for me to quilt and that would relieve some of the stress of the deadline. She very graciously (that's how she does everything) sent a top she had recently put together from blocks she had won in her guild. Here it is as I had it spread on my living room floor for marking and basting. Words can't express my thanks, Doniene.
I've mentioned several times that this will be the first bed-size quilt Gidget and I have tackled together. I've been pretty apprehensive about it. So I chose to use stencils. After finding the ones I needed I marked the quilt and pinned each block as it was marked. Next I warmed up on a practice sandwich. I stitched over the design 3 or 4 times. 

Then I put the design on the center of the table topper I pieced and never quilted last March, and stitched over it.
You can almost see the stitching. : )
Finally, I could avoid it no longer. Gidget had to get serious about this. I put the needle to the cloth. I must say that trying to situate a queen-size quilt is a whole different story from quilting minis and table runners. My shoulders and arms were tired and achy after just the first couple of blocks. I forced my way through 6 blocks before resting. There are 25 whole blocks and I just finished the fifth one. I salute those of you who quilt this size quilts on a DSM with 7 to 9 " harp space. How do you do it?

While on the subject of generous bloggers, Teresa has loaned me her Marti Michell templates to ease the process of cutting out my Ramblin' Rose Meets Jamestown (aka Random Roses in Jamestown). I already had 7 blocks finished and now I have cut three of the remaining 5. If I could stay home for a whole day sometime I would be finished cutting the other two. This is what I have so far, with the most recently cut blocks residing on the design boards at the bottom. Thanks, Teresa, it has been so much nicer to cut the blocks with the stencils.

Another kind gesture came from Sandi. I offered her some KT strips and in return she sent two bags full of lovely batik scraps. The bag in the photo contains HSTs. I've got the strips all sorted. Aren't they gorgeous? Batiks are so not my usual color/design comfort zone, but I can't get enough of them! Thanks for the wonderful bag of goodies, Sandi! Ideas are brewing, but time is too limited right now. I will share when I start putting things together.

Until then, keep stitching!
Janet O.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Flurry, and Free Motion Quilting Challenge

In her recent post, Kristie, of Quilting Cowgirl blog, asked if we were working on any holiday projects to keep for ourselves. Well, this just happens to be on my design wall. I think I am going to keep it, but you never can tell for sure. : )
Last year LuAnn, of Loose Threads blog, made her own  smaller version of the free Moda Flurry pattern, using a charm pack and a little yardage. You can see her quilt here. She then held a very generous giveaway for two charm packs and some yardage to make your own. I was lucky enough to win and was determined to get it made for this Christmas. LuAnn had tweaked the original pattern and I tweaked her version. The "packages" are all sewn, but everything else is unassembled--just clinging to the design wall. It really is a quick pattern to make up.

Once again I am squeaking under the wire with my FMQ post for the SewCalGal FMQ Challenge. The month of July we were taught by Angela Walters. She gave us a very detailed tutorial of a design she calls "Tiles". I practiced this one several times. I really like the look of her design, but I was appalled by how wiggly my "straight lines" turned out. This was my third practice piece and you'd think by now I could have sewn a straight line.
 I decided to try again and this time I lightly drew some lines to follow. It didn't really improve matters.
I was tired of doing the same design over and over, so I branched out. I didn't warm up on any of these other designs and that wasn't a good idea. I unpicked one of them and redid it.

So this is pretty random, but I was thinking about the little flag tumbler quilt and wishing I had time to make another full-size tumbler quilt. I made this one a few years ago. It was just made from random scraps--some my own, some from my Mom. I've just always liked a humble little tumbler made of scraps.
It sat for quite a while before getting quilted and gifted. Now I'd like to do one in CW prints. Alas, it will have to get in line. Too many other things that need to be finished before I start something else.

The main thing right now is to get the quilt for my daughter's fundraiser marked and basted. Then Gidget and I need to get serious about doing a big quilt. Why is it that the first full size quilt I do on Gidget is one that is going to be on display? Just lucky, I guess. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.