Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Such cute little things...

... I just couldn't resist them! I was introduced to Pam Buda's Pocket Patchwork Orphans and Scraps Sew-Along on Gayle's blog. These little 4 1/2" blocks just grabbed me. I had to  sew every spare minute on Monday to make them. Pam hasn't posted the setting yet.  Aren't they sweet? The method for creating the on point 4-patch blocks is genius!

Then there is this baker's dozen of tiny pineapples (about 2"). My Mom's birthday is Saturday and you may recall that I am surprising her with these pineapples made into little tree ornaments (which I have yet to finish, obviously). Each one is made from some of the scraps she has given me as she has finished one of her quilts the past 10 years or so. I can't wait to see her face when she opens them.

Finally, in the cute and little department, is my version of Lori's Abundance doll quilt.

As all of this is coming together, I am also still plugging along on sewing the Barristers SAL blocks together and using Easy Street as leader/enders. There are so many projects on blogs that are calling to me. I need to focus and stop listening to those voices. : )

What voices are distracting you?
Janet O.

Just wanted to share this shot of the sun burning through 
the hazy sky near the corkscrew willow in our yard recently.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Doing A Little Sewing Along

First off, Cheri's Simply Sweet little SAL. I have such a hard time resisting her little SALs. The colors shown here are pretty accurate. I purposely wanted mine to have a dark look. I used up the last piece of a favorite red (yes, Julie, THAT red), and I included some of the scraps from the Homestead Hearth scrap bag I ordered after Kathie shared this marvelous source with us. (I had to laugh when I looked up Homestead Hearth to make this link. Since Kathie blogged about them they are now saying there will be a 3 to 4 week delay in getting a scrap bag. They must have been swamped with orders.)

Next up, we have the center of Lori's little Abundance SAL. I'm trying to choose fabrics that make this look aged. Today Lori is going to post the next part. I really like it so far.

I am also trying to get the rows of my Barrister's SAL blocks put together. I've shown it on the design wall before. I will wait until it is all sewn up before posting it again.                                                                                                       And through it all, Easy Street parts are providing my leader/enders. I have all of the pieces cut out. Here they are on design boards, stacked in my sewing room, waiting to be sewn together. When I have more blocks actually assembled I will share the effect.

Finally, I am working on my snowman blocks from the Lisa Bongean's class. I made up a second snowman block today. We received the two blocks on the right in our kit, along with the entire pattern. Since I ordered the smaller size quilt kit after the class, I am just going to make a wall hanging or something, out of these three blocks. I still have some stitching to do on the third block--lots of snowflakes.

And speaking of warm winter blessings, we have actually stayed above zero degrees for a full 24 hours. We haven't done that in a long time!Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Primitive" Trunk Show

All I can say is, if you ever get a chance to attend a class or trunk show by Lisa Bongean, GO!
This isn't everything she displayed, but I think you can get a feel for the quality of show she puts on.

The "Old Glory" mini charm pack and pattern for making this sweet little 12" square piece was at each place setting.

See the fingers in the upper left hand corner? They give you an idea of how small this one is. This is the size of the kit that I ordered. So cute!

The shop that sponsored the event (Village Dry Goods in Brigham City, UT) provided a little quilt from one of Lisa's patterns as a giveaway. I didn't win. : ( 

Okay, this little gem is the other kit I ordered. Am I crazy or what? Look at the tiny HSTs around the edge. What am I thinking? This same pattern is available in a larger size with a black background (see below), and I love it, too. But this one stole my heart.

She had so many cool table mats. I can't believe I didn't get photos of any others.

I really think I need to make these ornaments!
I wish I had been able to get pictures of more of the large quilts, but you get the idea. Very fun evening!

BTW, I have contacted "dstitcher" (no blog), whose name I drew to receive the Jamestown pattern. Sorry I didn't mention that sooner. Things just get pretty crazy sometimes and stuff slips through the cracks.

And finally, I joined the group at a LQS for a Scrappy Trips sew day using Bonnie Hunter's pattern. I had a bunch of 2 1/2" mostly KT strips left from a few quilts I have made from those fabrics. So I cut a few more and spent 6 hours in My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe "Attic" classroom (just before going to the trunk show), and this is what I have so far. And yes, the control freak in me required that I put the light squares through the center of each block.  That's how I roll. : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Primitive Gathering

I spent a very fun day in a neighboring valley being instructed in all things wool by none other than Lisa Bongean, of Primitive Gatherings. Some of you are smirking now, I'm sure, because I've often  said I would never do wool. What can I say--Lisa designs the most gorgeous and whimsical wool applique patterns, like the one below. I'm hooked (okay, Julie, you can say, "I told you so!", and Karen, I know you are probably smiling to yourself).

This is the fun snowman we stitched today.
It isn't really this dark. I took the photo without a flash because it washed out the details. And we started on this block of stitched words. My goodness, I haven't done embroidery stitches in decades!

The snowman quilt hanging here behind Lisa is the pattern we were using. It also comes in a smaller version, which is one of the kits I have on order. I don't have a wall big enough to hang the larger version.
 The class was a beehive of activity all day.
I didn't get a photo of the mini flower quilt that I also ordered. How did I miss that? Well, Friday night is a dinner and trunk show, so hopefully I will get a photo of it then. It is incredible and I don't know what makes me think I can do it. : )
I did bring home these, because I don't have enough projects and I have all the time in the world.
I attended with a sweet new friend and you can see the two of us here with Lisa at the end of the day.
Lisa is so real and down to earth. What a delight! I enjoyed her no-nonsense approach, her sense of humor, and her teaching methods. The speed with which this woman can do the blanket stitch boggles my mind.
We had the pleasure of her company at our lunch table and enjoyed getting to know her a little bit more.

You can see Lisa's post about the day here. You may recognize a face or two. : )

More to come after the trunk show!
Janet O.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stumbling Down Easy Street (and other adventures)

Yup, that's right. My Easy Street is made from thrift store shirts, and that shouldn't come as any big surprise. I know I said I was planning on using repro fabrics, but since I don't start the mystery until after the reveal, when I saw Bonnie's finish I felt it was more suited to my shirt selection than my repro stash. Other than my gold (I call it mustard) for her gray, and my more neutral background, I just subbed different shades of her same colors.
When I started in on the quilt last week I was going to cut everything for the entire quilt and then sew one full step at a time. However, after getting the first two steps cut and starting on the third, I got curious how my fabrics were going to work together. So I stopped cutting step three and cut just a few each of the rest of the steps. Then I assembled one block "A" and one block "B". I'm so glad I did. Although I really liked my shirt colors together, there just wasn't enough contrast with my purples and some of the darker blues and greens. So I dug through the shirt stash again and came up with more light blues and greens, sorted out the darker parts from the piles of things already cut, and unpicked the darker parts from the sewn blocks. I'm still not sure what the overall effect will be, since these are the only two blocks I have made, but at least the colors aren't one big dark blur.
And speaking of quilts made from shirts, I have come up with the final setting for my Barrister's Sow-Along blocks that I showed in my last post. I haven't changed the layout--I have just added the setting triangles and borders. None of it is sewn together. It is all just stuck on the design wall.
I get questions about how many shirts it takes. For the individual blocks I would just cut off a sleeve from each of the shirts I wanted to use, so there were parts of lots of shirts involved there. A "Large" size, short-sleeved shirt provided the setting triangles. The back of a shirt provided the strips for the narrow border. And the outer border is the same fabric as the setting squares. Remember I had 3 shirts of that same fabric, and I have used most of the big pieces of those shirts now, but still have plenty left that I could use in pieced blocks. I actually fussy-cut the border strips so that I could match the plaids and make the border look continuous. Some of you may groan or roll your eyes, but that is part of my obsessive nature and I have learned to live with it--even embrace it. : ) I hope to have this top to flimsy stage by the end of the month. I'm only doing a row or two at a time because I need to focus on making my Mom's birthday present that I mentioned in my previous post.

You can imagine that with all of the shirt work going on around here that my sewing room looks like an explosion in a shirt factory. Gotta do something about that.

Finally, I did get my BOM, Random Roses in Jamestown (because I used random rose fabrics I had collected for a few years), blocks all made last year (thanks to Teresa's loan of her acrylic templates). Though the pattern uses log cabin blocks for setting squares, I think I am going to use some sort of chain block. I just really like chains for setting squares.

If you are familiar with this pattern, you are aware that it is a Marti Michell BOM only offered through quilt shops.  You cannot just go out and buy the pattern. This is what the pattern actually looks like. I  pulled this photo from the web.

The same "Jamestown" pattern has most recently been reincarnated as the "Stonehenge meets Jamestown" BOM--same pattern, different fabrics. I received the pattern from Marj when she offered it on her blog after finishing with it. I am going to do the same. If you are interested in receiving this pattern, let me know in your comment. If more than one would like it, I will draw the name.
BTW, the pattern does include paper templates, but it does make up easier if you have Marti Michell templates, sets A & C.

That's it for now. Until next time,
Janet O.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Here they are, my Barrister's Sow-Along blocks! On the last day of December 2012, I was finally feeling well enough to tackle some blocks--I was behind by a dozen. A couple of them were cut out and I sewed them up promptly, then set to work choosing fabrics and cutting and sewing one or two at a time.

This shows a closer view of the 2 blocks I had made in November and the 10 I made New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
For some time I had been playing with the layout at the top of this post in my mind, so I had collected a few of the same shirt so that I could do all of the setting squares in the same fabric. When I reached the point of having these 12 blocks finished I had two blocks left to make, so I took a break from sewing to count up how many blocks I would need for the layout. Surprise--I already had enough. There were a few too many, in fact. A couple of times I made mistakes in my blocks and didn't notice until they were finished. I would keep the "mistake block" if it still looked good, and make a correct one, too. So I had   three more than I needed. I set aside the three that were my least favorite as far as fabric choices go and called it good. I was almost giddy to think I was all caught up without really catching up! : )

Today I cut the setting squares. I can't decide if I want to make the setting triangles from the same fabric (I have one more shirt in that red/blue plaid), or if I want to introduce another color there. Haven't decided on borders yet, either.

This has been a fun Sow-Along, thanks to Randy at Barrister's Block. A lot of work on her part--very appreciated by those of us who have been "Sowing" along!

But that is not all I have been up to. Remember the batik mini I made from scraps Sandi had sent my way? Well, now it has a little brother (sister?--who knows). Thanks to Vic for her comment that inspired the names for these quilts--Moody Blues I & II. I plan to bind this one in the black used in the squares. It will finish at 12 1/2" square.
I also got my feathered star all assembled, except for the center circle applique. Haven't found the right fabric. My next step is to tea dye a blue to see if it will tone down to the correct shade I want. I am naming this quilt "Aunt Jo's Star", in memory of Aunt JoAnn, who died the week before Christmas. I had been at her home the previous week seeking help on a question I had about the assembly of this quilt. We had taken the class together, along with her daughter, but Aunt Jo was the only one of us who had successfully assembled her whole top. There are two final borders on the pattern (this is about 40" square), but I am not putting them on yet. Our instructor had expanded her top to make a full bed quilt, and I can't decide if I want to do that or not, so I will shelve it for now.

Yesterday Kris (of Lavender Quilts) and I had lunch to celebrate her birthday the previous week (wish you could have come, Denise. We had such fun). Kris gifted me with a mini charm pack of a new French General collection. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it, but I tried to set it aside and make it wait its turn. However, it would not be silenced. It took over my sewing machine last night and this evening while the news was on I added the borders. This pattern is from quiltsbycherie. She posted this as a New Year's project--little hourglasses. I loved that idea and had to make one.
Remember my little pineapple ornaments that finish at just under 2 inches? Well, I gave them all away and now my little tree only has the one ornament Grace sent me. I had given one of these ornaments to my Mom and she jokingly asked if I would make her a dozen more. Without telling her, I planned to do just that for next Christmas. Mom gives me the scraps from her quilts, and has been doing so for over 10 years. She only makes one quilt a year, so that isn't an extreme amount of scraps. I have made some lap quilts and minis from the scraps, but still have pieces from all of the quilts. So I thought, why not make little pineapples to commemorate each of the quilts for which she has given me scraps? There will be about a dozen of them, but I am rushing to finish them. I don't think I could keep this secret until next Christmas, so I am planning to give them to her on her birthday, February 2nd. Five of the pineapples in this photo will be made into ornaments for Mom, with a few more to come. Good thing she doesn't read my blog!

Another long, rambling post. I'll save the other stuff (yes, there was more stuff) for another time. I'll leave you with some frosty photos. Our high for the day was about 6 degrees F. Tonight, when I was coming home from a women's dinner and program at church it was 6 degrees below zero! We are supposed to reach 13 below tonight. You know it is a cold day when the icicles have frost on them!

Keep warm!
Janet O.