Thursday, January 30, 2014

Catching up, ruling out and playing along

I've been very sluggish about posting lately, but I do have a few things to share. My "Practice What I Preach" top from Pam's workshop has been fully assembled for about a week. (No, I didn't notice that my hourglass blocks weren't all going the right way until I had it completely assembled. I am NOT going to fix them!)
 It does lay flat, I just didn't smooth it out well on the design wall before taking photos. Now I need to "quilt as desired", whatever that will be. I'm thinking I may get some good feather practice in on this.

I've had people ask me about doing ruler work with my sit-down HQ Sweet 16 quilting machine. It is doable. Definitely a different process from doing it with a longarm, and I find that putting loops of good quality masking tape on the back (cheap stuff leaves residue) helps hold them in place as I work. This photo is from the clamshell quilting I did on my version of Lori's Pink Lemonade--see the tape? I posted about it here.
Still on the ruler theme, lately I have become enamored with the curved cross-hatching I've seen on many of the FMQ blogs I follow. When Linda Hrcka finished the quilting on Pam's Settler's Puzzle quilt, she posted a link to the Jamie Wallen rulers she used. Jamie has a great video tutorial on how to create the curved cross-hatching--and I was sold! It was foolish brave of me to splurge just before going to retreat, but I did it. I kept thinking about this purchase when the temptation to spend lots of money at retreat would get strong. : )
My ruler set was waiting for me when I got home.
Though I watched Jamie's tutorial twice, I still failed to mark my registration lines when I played with the rulers, so I got the feel for them, but didn't get precise results. However, I believe the potential is there. I had quite a booboo as I was starting out (see bottom of photo), but then things seemed to settle down.
At the top of the photo I was playing with a wavy ruler Santa put in my stocking, and after making the design with it I decided to fill it with feathers, just for fun.

When I determined that this was the Year of the UFO, I told myself that I could not start new large projects, and my only minis had to be for seasonal decor or gifts--with one exception. I knew I would need to do Lori's new SAL. Hence, here is my progress on Midwinter Blues (and I love that name so much I don't know that I will rename this one).
 Most of the fabrics for these blocks came from contributions to my stash by very generous blog friends--thanks Karen and Carole! Lori just posted part 2 of this SAL today--not too late to join!

And I did allow myself one BOM for this year. You have to have at least one of those going, don't you?  I was happy to see that Barbara Brackman's new Threads Of Memory SAL was a monthly block instead of weekly. I can't keep up with those weekly things. Here is my version of block #1--Portsmouth Star.

I want to tell you about two of my heros before I close. If you have followed me for a while you know that DD#2 has a young son with Dravet Syndrome, a rare, intractable form of epilepsy. Last week he set a personal record of 19 seizures within 12 hours. His poor little, exhausted body was wobbly for days. DD#2 copes with courage and faith that astounds me. And I see that same courage and faith exhibited in DD#1 as she received a diagnosis of MS last week. She is gathering information and doing her best to stay positive and do what she can as she awaits an appointment with a specialist. These young women are putting their trust in the Lord that He will give them the strength to deal with whatever the future holds. They both constantly leave me in awe. I am privileged to be their Mom. My thanks to all who have been privy to these situations and have offered their prayers, encouragement, and insight.

Until next time,
Janet O.


  1. After reading your closing statement, I can see why you are in awe of your daughters! what to say?
    I have bought some Accents in Design rulers, I have watched a few video's for the sit down quilters like me ( does that make us sound lazy? :-)
    But it is just getting some time to try these rulers out.
    I really like the piece you have quilted, if this is your first piece, then look out quilting world!
    happy days to you Janet.

  2. Pretty pieces in your post today ... I rather like the way the hourglasses go opposite ways on the top and bottom ... and least you kept the section consistent, right? Praying for peace and strength for both your daughters, my sweet friend. :)

  3. I love your projects. I was tempted by Midwinter Blues but so far haven't begun it. I can see why you admire your daughters. You must have done a great job raising them to make them such strong women! (That isn't just a platitude, either. I see women all the time in Army life who fall to pieces at the slightest drama.) I will add them both to my prayers.

  4. First of all, I am sorry for all the diagnoses in your life. Wish I could just sweep them all away for you and your family! Second of all, I love your Midwinter blues, and I am working on mine too...

  5. What a testimony of faith from your two girls. I will pray for their strength and the Lord's healing powers in their lives.
    As for those hourglasses...what mistake, of course you released your burden by setting them at different angles! And feathers will be beautiful to finish it off.
    Very impressed with your ruler jumped right in and did it! I say follow that inner urge and the results will come. Well done!

  6. Janet, my heart goes out to you and your daughters. God is good, He is faithful and true. Praying for you today.

  7. Wow Janet - I will be praying for your daughters, and you, and your family. I am so sorry you are all having to deal with such difficult challenges - life never promises to be fair, does it? My stepfather used to say, "The sun don't shine on the same dog's arse everyday." But sometimes I wonder.....

    Love your little quilt projects! Midwinter Blues is a wonderful name - I'd keep it too :) And look at you go girl - "ruling" the fmq world!!!! I think your practice piece looks simply amazing :*D

  8. You have to have strong faith to cope with such trials in life...We all have our cross to bear. May the good Lord wrap his arms around both of your daughters & Grandson......Love your BB block, very pretty..

  9. Love your Winter Blues project, the colours go so well together.
    Thank you for posting on the rulers, I have just one that came with SS, but too scared to try it yet....and your feathers look lovely!
    I don't see any mistakes with the hour glasses.....

    So sorry to read about the difficult challenges your beautiful girls are going through. Life is just not fair at times.
    My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  10. I've not used any ruler yet with my HQS16, but I definitely want to try. I just didn't know how I could grow a 3rd and 4th hand to hold a ruler plus move the quilt under the needle. I definitely need to watch some videos on this.
    Oh, my friend -- you and your family deserve all of our most positive thoughts and prayers and upbeat attitudes. As mothers, we can be proud when our daughters show they are able to deal with adversity and disease and disappointments in life. But it's hard for mothers to watch. So mothers--and their friends--are ready to help as needed, to give advice when wanted, to provide encouragement and prayers and smiles every day. My prayers and positive thoughts and encouragement are sent from me to you and your family.

    BTW -- I had to hunt for those hourglass turns. They look fine to me--2 one direction, 2 the other direction. Nuff said :)

  11. Your daughters are examples of courage and faith.

  12. You have raised some really strong and God loving children. Their faith is strong and I'm sure God will take care of them. :)

    I love your blocks and your new rulers! That quilting looks great!

    Have a wonderful and Blessed day

  13. Poor grandson of yours.. rips my heart to hear that. MS sure seems to be diagnosed a lot more. So sorry about that as well. I'm sure how they were raised has made them the women they are!!
    So much good quilting here! Love it did the clamshell quilting come out on Pink lemonade?

  14. Thank you Mom...totally did not see that coming :) I appreciate your kind words.
    That little portsmouth star is so sweet! I am excited to see the other blocks as you go along.
    You're going to have to show me how you use those rulers. You're becoming such a professional! :)

  15. I have many other projects started and so far am resisting both Lori's SAL and the new Barbara Brackman BOM. Are you proud of me, yet? Love the curved rulers and what you did. Your daughters definitely get their faith from you! Blessings for their health and for no more excessive seizure days, Take care and Quilt on!

  16. I love the intricate piecing on the first quilt. I can't find a problem with your hourglass blocks.
    I have done several of Lori's SAL projects, but haven't started her latest....yet. Great fabrics you have chosen.

    Love the fabric in the centre of your BB block.

    Sending love and strength to both you DDs.

  17. Praying for your daughters ... and for you (just because our children are grown up doesn't mean we don't stop caring or worrying about them). I'm sure that they get their measure of faith and strength from their mama. ;-)

    Love all the eye candy! That Portsmouth Star is GORGEOUS!

  18. I'm so sorry read about your grandson and your daughters MS. What challenges for your family. You have such loving encouragement for them and it warms my heart.
    Wow - you are busy with such great things. I love your new MwB blocks. hooray for quilting pink lemonade.

  19. Continued hugs and prayers to you and the girls. They are strong and special women because that is how they were raised.
    I absolutely LOVE curved cross hatching, and am so impressed by your practice run. You really do have many talents. It took me a minute to find the turned hourglass blocks - and I don't blame you one bit for leaving them. I would do the same!

  20. May God bless your Heros. I'm so sorry to hear of the bad seisures and the must be so hard to see them suffer. I know great strides have been made with MS, so there is good hope there! Be sure she keeps up with the meds they give can make all the difference and keep it from progressing. My neighbor has it and explained this to me once. Hugs...and stay strong...they learned to be strong from you!

  21. I belong to a Bible study group of 17 community women. I am asking them to offer up prayer for your family. Your daughters are so fortunate to have you standing with them. God bless all of you.

  22. DANG - so the tests DID come back positive for MS! I've heard that a lot of people can keep the symptoms & pain under control by using essential oils, so keep that in mind as time goes by. You've got some great girls.....

    I had to really LOOK to find the 'mistake' in your Pam Buda quilt - I don't really think it's a problem. Your machine quilting continues to progress and it is mind boggling to me - looks great! Do you tape two templates together? Or tape the template to the quilt? I couldn't quite tell in the photo and of course I have no idea about it - just curious. Your Midwinter Blues is looking good - I need to get the half blocks made....

  23. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Your dear daughters are living up to the upbringing of your faith-filled loving home. I send my prayers and loving thoughts to your whole family.

  24. Your quilting is getting to be quite amazing my sorry about your grandson and your daughter with can still hold so much promise even though we really have to tough it out...

  25. I love the clam shells on your Pink Lemonade quilt and your Winter Blues is coming along nicely. I love the other blue/yellow block too! My heart goes out to you and your daughters and the burdens they are bearing. I trust the Lord will give them peace and strength - and you too. We Moms hurt when our kids/grandkids hurt.

  26. I've enjoyed watching your quilting skills progress... you're doing great and are such an inspiration for me! Thanks for sharing the tips, links, and even your ooopsies!

    Please know I am praying for you, your dear daughters, and your precious grandson... if there is anything I can do...

  27. I've no doubt your daughters got their strength from you. I will continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Isn't quilting a great diversion from the adversities of life? Love what you are doing with those rulers. I didn't even know you could use rulers for FMQing. Thanks for sharing your pretty projects - yummy fabrics!

  28. Oh Janet. Prayers for you and your heros. It's surprising the strength we find in ourselves when it's needed the most.
    I always learn something when I visit your blog! LOVE those curved cross hatches. Midwinter Blues is looking good... I haven't completed step one yet! Love the blue and yellow Portsmouth Star... two of my favorite colors combined!

  29. Janet, your projects are fabulous! Especially love the one from the workshop...gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your stories about your personal heroes...they certainly are heroes in every sense of the word.

  30. Thinking of you and your sweet daughters, Janet. Will keep you in my prayers as well. Thank you for once again sharing and inspiring us with your beautiful quilting.

  31. Hello sweet, sweet friend! I read your blog post when it was first posted, but didn't have time to comment. Praying big time for you - and the girls! What a testimony of faith ya'll exhibit! There isn't a day goes by that I don't think of you and your family and pray God's richest blessing for each and every one of you!

    Of course your quilting projects are so lovely!!! The Pam flimsy is darling - perfect with the imperfections!! LOL Love the colors!!! I too am doing Lori's sal and Threads of memory!!! Great minds think alike!! I love the blocks/fabrics that you have for both! Hopefully, I can get mine posted in a couple of days. I need to make the half blocks for Lori's and press Block 1 of TOM blocks. I'm also planning on an applique BOM - just not sure if I'm going to do Ben Biggs (free patterns) or Noah and Matilda because I love Dawn's patterns -- but have to count my pennies! Kansas City Star Quilts are also hosting a BOM honoring WWI vets, of which my grandfather was one. What's a girls to do!!! I really can't do all three, but love to SAL with other quilters.

    I've been stitching away on TWQ and hope to finish quilting in a week or so and have it bound by the 21! But I'm presenting the program for our guild meeting, so have to prep that project! The guild VP had a cancellation for next month and everyone loved the little quilted purses, so they asked me to fill in! Pretty simple, so not a big prep. I'm also working on a couple of baby quilts - one is basted ready to FMQ, and for the other I have the pieces cut for the blocks. It is for our new Grandson, so it will be hand quilted.

    I've bent your ear enough! Wish I was closer to help out your family!



  32. Boy, I really like the look of those curved crosshatching lines - adds a whole new dimension!! Bet you are having a great time playing with those rulers. Your Threads of Memory block turned out fantastically well. Our quilt history study group is following the series also. Don't have mine done yet though - too busy appliqueing.

  33. You are getting so very adept at machine quilting. I admire your stick to it and learn that you have done.
    I had to really study your new wall quilt you are working on to see what was turned wrong. I wouldn't take it apart either.

  34. Wow...what amazing daughters you have. I will definitely keep them in my prayers. You should be proud! Good job on all your quilting and sewing projects...they are looking good!

  35. Poor little guy. Unfortunate your grandson has to endure that. And in many ways harder for your daughter endure. Both your daughters sound like strong, courageous women.

    Your crosshatching looks amazing!!!!! Seriously, beautiful. The more you use the rulers, the more comfortable will get! You'll be quilting some gorgeous designs in no time!

  36. I am so impressed with your quilting! I have been out of the loop for a while and have missed so much. Love the clamshells! Good purchase!
    Your family certainly has some trials to deal with. You all are in my prayers. Thankfully we have a source of comfort.

  37. Janet, I am so sad to read about the MS diagnosis but I know that she (and you) have placed your trust in exactly the right place. Holding your family in prayer for strength through these trials.

  38. Oh my that curved cross hatching is GORGEOUS!!

  39. Sadly, your family has been thrown some medical hoops but it also sounds like you have two very strong willed daughters who have faith in their futures. I wish them both the best. Your curved cross hatches are gorgeous - be careful or I'll send you something to "practice" on. LOL.

  40. Janet, I missed this post and am sorry to haer about the curveballs your family has been thrown. It sounds like you have raised some strong girls there and I do wish you all, all the best. My thoughts and heart are with you.
    Interesting to read about the rulers.... Hopefully my first ones are arriving on Friday (tomorrow's a holiday so I shant wait at the mailbox) so I will be interested to have a play. I do like the look of the curved hatch too!
    I love the boms you have started and than you for the links - I feel tempted to try them out - although time is of the essense right now, there is always the save and catch option!!

  41. Janet I've been away from the computer...trying to get more sewing time...I am so sorry to hear about your girls...sending lots of prayers and good thoughts for them and for you...I know how a mom worries. Take good care.

  42. Something I read today- " It is a comforting awareness. God knows our hearts, knows what makes us tick, knows our sorrows and sufferings, capacities and incapacities".


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