Friday, June 28, 2013

What do you think?

If this was your project would you use the red for the wide border and bind it in black, or...
 ...would you use the black for the wide border and bind it in red? Sorry, those are your only options. : )
I didn't have enough of the red cut to simulate
the binding all the way around.
The stars in this project were among the UFOs I received a while back from Karen (Log Cabin Quilter blog). They were made for the border of the quilt to be made from larger stars shown here. But I am going to use a different setting for the large stars, so I was trying to decide how to use the five completed smaller stars. When I settled on the "9-patch" arrangement, I was going to use chain blocks between them. But you know my obsession with pineapples lately (and if you don't, where have you been?), so I picked pineapples (pun intended) for the alternate blocks. Kind of a different effect, but I think it is growing on me.

I know--I said I was finished with R/W/B for now. I lied. As I was rummaging in my sewing room the other day for who knows what, I came across a pattern I had intended to make this year--I even had the mini charm squares and wool pieces piled up with it, ready to go. I HAD to squeeze it in. This pattern and the mini charm pack was at each place setting at the Lisa Bongean dinner/trunk show I attended in January. 
I have the background sewn together and the wool pressed on. It is just 12 1/2" square. Now for the blanket stitching.

I have been hand quilting another  Lisa Bongean pattern--my version of her Little Buds, which I call Black and Blooms. I started out machine quilting, and after doing some stitch-in-the-ditch stabilizing I attempted micro stippling in one of the blocks. This is how the original was quilted. But I had problems with the thread of the black houndstooth turning as I stippled and there were all of these little white flecks and lines showing on the surface. So I painstakingly unpicked that block--so fun with black thread on black fabric--tried to rotate the threads back with my fingernail, and took a micron pen to the spots that wouldn't cooperate. Then I started hand quilting. I still get an occasional white spot, and I have to pop the knots through the back or I get even more. But it is so much better than with the machine quilting. Even changing needles didn't help. Have any of you experienced this?
*Giveaway Alert*
I almost forgot--the little patriotic quilt shown above and most of the patriotic stuff in my previous two posts were primarily made from the Primitive Gatherings Old Glory line of fabric. My friend Kris (Lavender Quilts blog), was my source for most of it, and she is having a giveaway of a bundle of 8 FQs from this line. Drop over and enter. She is drawing the winner on July 3rd.
Enough for now.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Swapping, Winning, and More Flag Waving

Look at the wonderful quilt that came to live at my house today!
Gayle (of The Middle Sister blog) and I finally met up in April, after talking about it for some time. We only live an hour apart, but things just never seemed to line up until then. Somewhere along the way we decided to do a small quilt swap and this was the day we met up to exchange. I love what she created. I love the colors, fabrics, the snowball blocks, the diamonds, the touches of applique (which she knows I don't do), and the yoyos. I have never made one of those in my life--and I especially love that the four in the middle are purple. I think I came out ahead on this deal! Thanks, Gayle--we will have to do this again!

This is what I gave to Gayle. I named it (what else?) Patriotic Pineapples. I wanted those little woolly sheep in the center of the blocks because Gayle works a lot with wool in her rug hooking.
I used all Primitive Gatherings fabric, mostly from the "Old Glory" line, which I got from my friend, Kris (Lavender Quilts blog). She has a good deal on some of this line in FQ bundles in her etsy store here.
I have to share this cute photo of Gayle with the quilts before we parted ways today. What a sweetheart!

I also have a block swap going this Summer with Maureen (Pursuit of Quilts blog). We have exchanged our first batch and I am thrilled with the results. I am going to wait until all three swaps are completed before sharing the blocks.

You may recall that recently I shared a link to Doniene's blog (Now It's Just Quilts) when she had a bunch of fun patriotic quilts to show. Well, she gave away three of them in a drawing recently and I won one of them!! It arrived today and already feels right at home. Thanks, Doniene!

I got my patriotic runner quilted and bound and on the hutch, as planned! After I took the picture I put my soup tureen on it and now you can't see much of it. Oh, well, I feel better just knowing it is there. : )

I told some of you that I made Bars & Stars  for our family reunion auction. Then it looked like the reunion wouldn't happen, so I hung the little quilt in my sewing room and got kind of attached to it. When I discovered the reunion was happening after all, I hurried up and made this little piece, very similar to the one I took last year. I used too light a thread on the quilting--I really need to quit quilting late at night--but no one else seemed to care.

I think that pretty well finishes up my patriotic projects for this year. I'm going to move on to a new color scheme now. : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

AAQI Quilts

My two AAQI quilts are finally up for sale, if you are interested. You can read about them here.
I was motivated to do these from two sources. Lori, of Humble Quilts, has taken the $1000 Pledge and I have purchased a couple of her little quilts. I had occasionally entertained the thought of doing one myself, but never got beyond the thought. When SewCalGal's FMQ Challenge for 2013 included the option to do an AAQI quilt, that was the nudge I needed.

The FMQ skill from the SewCalGal FMQ Challenge in 2012 that I implemented in the first quilt was  quilting using stencils, which I couldn't do to save me, initially. Practice makes all the difference. Two of last year's challenges involved stencils and by the second one I was starting to believe I could do it. I think it gives a more traditional look to a quilt. The quilt on the left was done entirely using stencils.

On the right I implemented skills learned in Patsy Thompson's challenge about borders. After doing SITD around the pinwheels, I stitched border designs through the sashing and outer border.
I'll be linking this up with SewCalGal's Challenge #2 here.

Early Onset=Early Retirement is available here.  *SOLD*  Thank You!
Role Reversal is available here.   *SOLD*  Thank You!

I'm hoping to get at least one more donated before the deadline. I'l keep you posted.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Patriotic Parade!

There is so much R/W/B happening around here, I thought I should have a parade and show it off.
First up is my 3rd version of the Primitive Gatherings Picnic Quilt. I am naming this one "Independence Day Picnic." Ever since I made my first quilt from this pattern I have envisioned doing it in R/W/B. When Lisa came out with her Old Glory line, I knew that was what I would use. I've added rows and borders to make it cover a bed.
The center is all stitched together, but the borders are still just pinned to the design wall

 Next in the parade is my Simply Charming Every Other Month Mini Sew Along entry. I made Teresa's Treasure, but I wanted to make it look patriotic. So I split the "bricks" into two bars and made them red/light and I fussy cut the stars. I'm naming this one "Bars & Stars."

Then there is a project I think I started 2 years ago. I made the blocks and set them on point in a runner. I liked the blocks on point, but felt the red setting triangles dominated the whole thing. So I unpicked it last year and this year I have finally reset them very simply, basted the whole thing, and it is now ready to meet Gidget. I would like to have it on my hutch before July 4th. We'll see if I make it.

 Finally, take a gander at that cute little flag charm. Isn't it great? This was the latest addition to the bracelet we received as participants in Julie's (Me and My Stitches blog) Charming program. I love to make minis, but nothing like Julie creates. These charms just make me smile!
(My apologies to my international readers for all the flag waving going on here.)

There is more happening, but I can't show it yet. So until next time,
keep stitching!
Janet O.

p.s. I'll leave you with the view out my sewing room window a couple of nights ago. It isn't patriotic, but it sure is pretty.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ignore this post

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Apparently I have not yet "Claimed my blog" on bloglovin' and in order to do so, I have to post this.
We now return to our regularly scheduled program. : )

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Meet "The Barrister's Daughter"

That is what I have decided to name this eclectic bunch of blocks when they are finally assembled into a quilt.
When Randy was hosting her Barrister's SAL last year I was doing my first set out of shirts, and I did complete the top, which you can see here. But I had also started a second set out of Christmas fabrics. As the weeks went by I could barely keep up with the first set, so about 1/3 of the way through the year I dropped the ball on the Christmas set.

This year John'aLee is hosting the Rancher's Daughter QAL with a new block posted every Monday, along with a story from her life as a rancher's daughter. I wasn't going to join (when have my intentions ever meant anything?), but then decided I could just follow along at a slower pace, doing every other block, until I had enough blocks for the Christmas throw I had intended to create last year. I think six more blocks will give me what I need for the layout I have planned. I will be using alternating squares and currently I am thinking of red and green hourglass blocks.

This quilt finally got bound and is now winging its way across the country to its new home. I did give it a wash and it softened up nicely, as so many of you suggested.

The Crabapple blocks (a Bonnie Hunter pattern) are beginning to pile up. Almost halfway there. Still searching for the perfect sashing.

Finally, I was in the mood to do some "small" work and didn't have time to make another pineapple. When I first starting making mini ornaments I began with 2" basket blocks. After making two of them I switched to pineapples and haven't looked back. But my little sewing room tree needs some variety, and besides, I had some orphan 1" HSTs laying around in black and green. Just had to make a 1 1/2" HST for the corner and I was good to go!
This little jewel is not paper pieced, which means no papers to remove--yippee! : )

I am making progress on my Patriotic Picnic quilt and when I have it all back up on the wall I will get a photo to share. In the meantime, if you want to see a fun bunch of little Patriotic themed quilts, check out Doniene's post here. So many cute R/W/B quilts!

Happy stitching!
Janet O.