Friday, April 26, 2013

Fourth of July, Spring, Christmas, Fall

I'm a sucker for patriotic fabrics, and I love Primitive Gatherings stuff, so when Lisa came out with her "Old Glory" line of fabrics, I knew I was going to have to make a quilt from it. I also knew I would make said quilt from the first Primitive Gatherings pattern I ever bought. Here you see the beginnings of my Old Glory Picnic Quilt on my design wall.

Does it look familiar? Here are the first two I made.
 I am reversing the value placement in the red/white striped blocks to give more of a "flag" feel.
Also, I made these two bigger than the pattern indicates so that they would fit a Queen bed. I'm not sure if I'm going to make this one that large.

Well, I decided not to unpick the feathers on my Colorblind Baskets, for now. Maybe it is pure laziness, but it is now bound and hanging in my sewing room. It has a nice Springtime feel to it. I just try not to look too closely at the quilting, and then I can enjoy it.

This little pile of 6" Christmas blocks that were made while I worked on my Barrister's Sow-Along quilt is a constant reminder of my inability to "keep up." I started out making two sets of blocks, one set from shirts and one from Christmas fabrics, but I got bogged down in too many projects and after a while I set the Christmas blocks aside. This year I decided to work on completing this quilt top while sewing along with The Rancher's Daughter. I'm not making every block. John'aLee posts a block every Monday (along with a story from her life as a Rancher's Daughter). I figure if I make two blocks a month I will have a nice throw size quilt for the holidays. I had started falling behind already, so today at my monthly quilting day with my Mom (and occasionally a sister), I made a few more. Now I am only 1 block behind.

Finally, I have begun my version of Bonnie Hunter's Crabapples. Back in the Fall of 2008 DH and I went to Vermont with my parents. We drove back to Rochester, NY, to fly home and with the help of his GPS unit, DH found The Ivy Thimble along the way (what town is it in, Sarah?). Mom and I loaded up on fabrics in the colors of the season, determined to each  make a quilt to commemorate our trip. Mom chose a string pieced pattern and had her quilt made within a few months. I've only changed my mind about which pattern to use about 4 times, just recently settling on Crabapples. I'm sewing up the squares as my leader/enders, so this isn't going to happen quickly. I've got a few blocks prepped on design boards and in the queue, waiting their turn.

Next month marks two years for my blogging adventure. I'm planning a little giveaway to mark the anniversary. Stay tuned.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Living up to my name.

I just finished stitching up three small quilt tops and I realize I didn't stick to the pattern on a single one. That is where the "rogue" comes in--"aberrant behavior," which means I deviate from the standard. Those who know me would say I am anything but rogue, and I know a good many quilters who don't stick to patterns, so I am really not too unique. That said, here are my three "rogue" quilts.

Close Harmony
This one is based on Lori's "Harmony". Mine is similar, but I couldn't loosen up enough to try not to be"too perfect". Sorry, Lori.
As I studied the original and Lori's version I had an irresistible urge to make a churn dash out of it. So using the color scheme (which I love) and dimensions of Lori's center block, I created a churn dash. From there I was somewhat faithful to the pattern--with a few modifications. Hence, CLOSE Harmony.

Winter Warmth
This little creation was derived from two different Primitive Gatherings patterns--Warm Winter Blessings and Snowball Runner. I used a mini charm pack of their Snowman Gatherings line, and filled in the chinks with some of their Old Glory yardage. I still need to put the blanket stitch around the snowflakes.

Black & Blooms
Here we have my version of Primitive Gatherings Little Buds. This was made from their kit, but I did sub a couple of pieces of wool, and almost all of the cotton fabrics were from my stash. I still can't believe I made this.
The original is in tan (their larger version is in black), but I wanted the small size and the black background. I had this black cotton houndstooth in my stash and thought it would make a great backdrop for the blooms. Then I had to find brighter colors, because the ones in the kit were meant to go with the tan background and seemed a little dull against the black. 
Remember this is tiny. Each of those HSTs around the border will finish at 1/2". The whole quilt is only 10 1/2" x 14 1/2 ". Now I need to work up the courage to quilt this baby.

I've been working to get my sewing room organized, and this is my latest piece of "equipment". It has given a good home to my wool scraps, while keeping them happy in their color families. It is also housing the tiny pieces of holiday fabrics that I use for the little pineapples. They are separated by holiday, of course. When my scraps are happy (and organized), I'm happy. : )

Well, it is finally Springtime (even though we were in the low 20s last night)--the baby lambs are frolicking, the mountains are still snowcapped and my favorite daffodils are blooming.
If you look at the Daffodil in my Black & Blooms mini you will recognize this flower. They are a little droopy here because of the hard frost last night.
Until next time--and hopefully it won't be two weeks,
Janet O.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Things Just Hanging Around

Finally remembered to ask DH to hang a shelf I had for my sewing room. Then comes the fun of filling it. The Flying Scarecrow pillow is the handiwork of Kaaren (The Painted Quilt blog), which I was amazingly lucky enough to win about a year ago. I couldn't bear to put him away when Fall was over, so he has been sitting (or flying) in various places around the sewing room ever since. Now he has a good home. The wool hooked star pillow next to it was part of a wonderful gift from Gayle (The Middle Sister blog) when we finally met each other for lunch this past week. More on that in a minute.
Hanging below is the little rail fence quilt made from the leftovers of my Little Buds project. I just got my order from Ackfeld Wire, so as soon as I had this bound I got it hung. I have also hung the charm bracelet from the Charming program, made by Julie (Me and My Stitches blog). When it isn't being worn it should still be seen, IMHO. It keeps company on the same peg with a little necklace of a Singer Featherweight that DD#2 gave me. And on the far right is a little ornament made by Grace (citymousequilter blog) that I think is too cute to have stored away most of the year. : )

I've made a few more pineapple ornaments lately, too. I hung them from the shelf for the photo.
They will all be on their way to good homes come Monday.

And the last thing hanging around is this. I know you have seen it a lot lately, but I wanted to show you how it looks in its new place. I just got this hanger from Ackfeld Wire as well. Easter came so early this year, I am leaving the decorations up for a little bit longer to welcome in the warmer weather.

Now for a couple of things that aren't hanging.
I'm trying to get some Springy projects finished. This is one of my many versions of Temecula's Blessings Baskets SAL. Remember how I said it reminds me of the colorblindness tests in the old encyclopedias? So I've decided to name this Colorblind Baskets. This one has given me some grief while quilting it. Well, really I've created the grief myself, I guess.                                                      

Can you tell what happened from the photo on the right? The excess backing edge had folded back under the quilt and I hadn't noticed. There was a bunch of unpicking to do. While doing it I noticed that the feathers in the white setting triangles had awful tension. I had played with it in the beginning and thought it looked good, but upon closer scrutiny I can see that "white thread+white fabric+old eyes+late night quilting=disaster." I lost my enthusiasm for finishing it. I am trying to talk myself into unpicking the feathers. Will it ever happen? We'll see.

I mentioned earlier in the post about meeting Gayle. It has been something we have been hoping to arrange for over a year. We were both actually in attendance at a Jennifer Chiaverini book signing back then, but neither knew the other would be there so we didn't meet. She has been my mentor as I learned to repurpose wool clothing for quilting. She talked me through the steps of felting and Kool Aid dying. And she is just as kind and gracious in real life as she has been through email (no big surprise there, right?). She brought wonderful gifts--the pillow in the first photo, and this cute wool pincushion on the right in the photo below, along with a wonderful array of wool pieces from her stash. I think I am ready for anything now! Thanks so much, Gayle, for the gifts and a lovely afternoon. I hope there will be more opportunities to meet in the future. (I can't believe I forgot to get a photo--I had my camera in my purse the whole time.)
I'd planned to share more, but this is plenty long. I'll save it for another time.
So, until next time, 
Janet O.

P.S. Spring is finally creeping in around the Rockies.