Saturday, April 19, 2014

I get by with a little help from my friends.

I've always loved braid quilts, but after trying one during the Simply Charming Every Other Month SAL last year, I was leery of the bias edges. Since any slight deviations are very obvious in mini quilts, I wasn't sure I could risk it. But when I found a foundation pattern, I knew I would give it a go.       This was made using two mini charm packs of Barbara Brackman lines--Civil War Album, and Ladies Album (thanks, Kris!). I cut each square into 3 strips to use in the braids. The outer border is also from the Ladies Album line. The braids measure 1 1/2" x 7 1/2", and the sashing is 1/4" wide. I alternated the direction the braids pointed to give a subtle chevron effect. That is about as close to "modern" as I will ever get. There are plenty of little strips left--I feel a mini rail fence coming on!
I tried the wandering geese strips of this little gem set in many different colors, but I loved it best in this blue. I tried really hard to love it with a soft purple, but it just didn't click for me. However, I didn't have enough of any one blue this shade in my Civil War repros. I tried to match it at both LQS, without success, and finally determined to "make do". I am loving the fact that this quilt is so fresh and springy looking, and came out of my CW scrap baskets. It would never have worked if I haven't been blessed in the past with scrap donations from blogging friends (thanks Karen and Carol). 
I didn't achieve my goal of having all of the sawtooth borders on this feathered star by tonight. But only one more to go. Part of the issue was that I didn't like the pink border as wide as it was when I had sewn on my first strip of HSTs. So I unpicked it and trimmed down the pink border all around so it would finish at just over 1/4", before reattaching it and adding more. I may add another narrow pink border after the sawtooth border is completed. I am thinking it may be tricky to put the binding on the sawtooth edge after the foundation papers are removed.
Some have asked me where I am getting the patterns for these minis. All of the ones pictured here are based on foundations from issues of the now out-of-print magazine, Miniature Quilts (thanks again Denise and Carole!). I didn't follow any of the patterns as written, but I used the foundations for the braids, geese, and feathered star, to form my own versions of the quilts. If you are interested, keep your eyes open for the magazines at guild swap and giveaway tables, in thrift stores and online (ebay and Etsy usually have some).

Just have to say, this may be the first guild trunk show where much of the quilts are flimsies. Pretty sure the tops I have made so far will not all get quilted in time.  : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One Down--Three to Go!

I'm talking about the border made of itsy bitsy HSTs on this feathered star. They finish at 1/4"! I couldn't bring myself to make another one yet. That is labor intensive! But I am happy with how this is turning out.
The star block in the center finishes at 4 & 1/4"!
 While I had the pink repro scraps out for the feathered star, I decided to dig out more Spring-like colors to try the Wandering Geese pattern. I will make one more strip of geese and try to squeeze out enough of that blue to border the whole thing.
 I pinned up the 2 1/2" square ruler again to give you a frame of reference for the size of this. The geese finish at 1/2"x1".

While I had the happy colored scraps out, I made a couple of pineapples (2" finished) that will be turned into ornaments to hang from my Shaker peg rack for Spring decor.

Now, what you have all been waiting for--the baby lambs!
This is the view from my sewing room window lately. See that llama sitting sedately among the ewes and their babies? It is their protector and defender, chasing away stray dogs, and any other predators that may happen along. But it is something more than that. It is the babysitter (which apparently means "something that sits while babies climb on it). : )
 I stood at my sewing room window taking pictures and laughing at the antics of the lambs playing "King of the Hill" (or llama) for about 15 minutes the other day, before the llama decided that was enough, and stood up.
So cute! Even a little nuzzling amidst the play. : )

I realized my last post was my 200th. I should have had a giveaway, I guess, but next month I hit my 3 year blogiversary, so I will wait for that milestone. Stay tuned.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

No Surprises Here

 I'm still making minis. Imagine that. : )
The three pictured below are all at flimsy stage. 
This photo is misleading. Those are oversized, decorative spools.
 You may recall these houses that my friend, Annie Miksch, prepped for me as a travel project when I went to visit DD#1 last Fall. There are six more houses waiting to be stitched up. Maybe the last six won't look as wonky as these first six do. My hand stitching skills were very rusty! I already have plans for the rest of the house blocks, but I won't be trying to finish them up for the trunk show.
These houses finish at 2 3/4 inches.

This little medallion style quilt is centered around a leftover basket from an earlier quilt. The basket finished at 2 1/4 inches. The geese finish at 1/2"x1" and, yes, they are paper pieced.

Didn't you expect me to make a mini pineapple
quilt? These blocks are the same size as my little ornaments--2 inches finished. Haven't removed the papers from this yet, and I am not looking forward to that!

Next up is a tiny Feathered Star. The star block will be 4 1/4" finished. I haven't yet decided the setting for this. The pattern puts 4 of them on point, but I don't have time to do that.

I've got 5 mini flimsies that need quilting. I need to get finished with the piecing and move on to the quilting and binding very soon!

Spring is finally here, and as proof there are 19 baby lambs on the farm. Triplets were born Friday. Maybe I can get a photo of some of the cute babies tomorrow to share in my next post.
Until then,
Janet O.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Case of the Shrinking Quilt

No, I didn't have an incident with a quilt in the washing machine.
Do you recall this little quilt that I designed and made almost two years ago for my family reunion auction? I called this "Stars and Stripes Forever".
 It is 14 1/2" square. My daughter won the bid, but it was popular enough that I made another one, very similar, for the auction last year.
My brother won this one. It is the same size as the previous one, but the centers of the stars are different.
Shortly after making this second one I began making AAQI quilts. I wanted to make a patriotic one and  still had little parts and pieces left from these two quilts. Size restrictions on AAQI quilts required that I make it smaller somehow. I chose to use only 4 of the blocks, put pinwheels in the centers of both stars,  and orient the stripes all in the same direction. This ended up being 8 1/2" square.
I called this one "Liberty and Justice For All." It was sold at the AAQI booth at the Houston Quilt Festival, so I have no idea where it ended up. If you've seen it, let me know. : )

This is my latest mini creation.
Not very good lighting on this. I made it half the size of the quilt above, so I have named it "Stars and Stripes Forever .5". It is 4 1/2" square.

I don't believe I will go any smaller on this. : )
If you are tired of minis you may want to skip my next few posts. I'm sure there will be more to come.
Until next time,
Janet O.