Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lots of Winter Woollies, and other festive things

This past weekend DH and I had a little overnight get away and I took a few wool projects along to finish the hand stitching. 

My Buttermilk Basin Mystery BOM is completed. Those who guessed that the blob at the bottom was a bell were correct. I was making a rather feeble attempt at replicating the bell from Polar Express. I even considered stitching the word "Believe" on the block, but decided that it wouldn't blend with the rest of the blocks in this mystery.

Speaking of which, those blocks are shown below. Originally I think Miss Stacy said there would be 11 blocks, but now I believe she said she would do a twelfth.

The Attic Heirloom Ornament of the Month patterns were, as the title states, for ornaments, but I made mine into little quilt blocks. I had chosen to just use the first 9 patterns to make a little holiday quilt, but before I could sew them together, I saw the gingerbread man pattern for November and decided to swap out the mitten and add in the gingerbread man. 

Here is the quilt top stitched together. I still plan to add a border or two.

The three cotton fabrics I have used so far are from thrift store shirts. I want to use shirts for the borders, too, but haven't taken the time to dig through the shirt stash yet to select anything.

I finished up the little HeartToHand Snowball block, too. The snowflakes and lettering don't show well with a flash photo, but without the flash it looked too dull. You can find the pattern for this here.

I'm thinking I should have doubled my floss on the branches and pine needles, but it is going to stay as is. It needs a border of some sort. I think I will audition some Snowman Gatherings fabrics for that job.

Most of my stitching took place in the car going to and from our destination, but I did enjoy stitching in our hotel room to Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in "His Girl Friday". It was showing on TV after DH fell asleep.

Can you tell where we were visiting? (I know a few of you will know.) Click to enlarge photos.


After some painful dental work today I have pretty much been a sloth. This evening I wanted to "do" something, but I was supposed to be taking it easy. So I pulled out my machine for the first time in about three weeks, grabbed some HSTs that a friend had gifted me recently, sorted out the red and green and just did some mindless piecing. 
 I stopped short of doing any trimming. Can't decide if I will trim these small enough to be ornaments, or leave them this size and make a small quilt. There are so many other things I should have been sewing, but those would all take effort, and I wasn't up to any exertion, mental or physical. : )

One last thing I want to share.
Last year I was awed by Pentatonix' version of "Mary Did You Know?" I still love it, but DD#2 just introduced me to this version last night and it is pretty incredible, too.
Hope I did that right--I have never embedded a video in a post before. Hope you enjoy it, too.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Slow Stitching

Over two weeks have passed since my last post, and my only stitching has been of the slow variety in the evening. I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, spent the weekend following making my holiday soaps, and since then it seems I have just been putting up Christmas lights and decorations (shown here), and doing physical therapy for multiple parts of my body. : )

I have worked a little on this. It is a pattern called Snowball, from Kathi Campbell of HeartToHand for a recent Farmhouse Threads blog hop. Lisa Bongean also had a great block I hope to stitch up. They are blocks for a quilt, but I am making them as little wall hangings.

You can click here to see what this is supposed to look like. I still need to stitch down the hat, add the pine needles, snowflakes and words. I am removing Christmas from mine. I want it for January.

I've also got this prepped for stitching.

This is the latest Buttermilk Basin Mystery BOM. You can click the link to see what it is supposed to look like. Can you even tell what that blob at the bottom of the block is? Hopefully it will be more defined with some embroidery. It is my own addition.

And I actually made a little (very little) progress on my Stars in The Garden project. The first flower is made, and it gives you a taste of the fabric that will be the path between the stars and flowers.

That is one of my favorite tiny neutral prints. It is an early design from Primitive Gatherings.

And I have Skyped whenever possible with DD#1 so I can visit with this little sweetie. 

This is the granddaughter I have gone to visit in NH twice this year. The adoption is now official and I can finally share her photo with you! Isn't she precious? Of course, I am totally unbiased. :)

I drew the winner for my giveaway last Saturday, as I said I would. Sarah (sarahdidit blog) was notified of her win and the package was sent on its way to her, probably crossing in the mail with the package she is sending me, because I ordered some of her great zippered bags as gifts. 

Maybe by the next post I will have dusted off my sewing machine. I might even sew something with it. : )
Janet O.

p.s. So far I am liking the drag and drop feature blogger has implemented for adding photos.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

All "Tuckered" out!

In trying to redeem my botched effort at Pam Buda's Tucker SAL, I made my first attempt at 1/4" hexies. Remind me to make it the last. 
Just those 7 little hexie pieces to go in the center had me ready to scream. DD#1 has made some incredible things with this size. I'll leave it to her. I probably could have gone with a 3/8" size and maintained a bit more of my sanity in the process, while still having something that would fit in that center.
While we are on the subject of hexies, Karen's finish of her Stars in the Garden top has inspired me to pull mine out. There has actually been some progress here, though it is difficult for the untrained eye to detect.
There are 5 of these finished stars in the pattern, along with multiple partial stars, lots of hexie flowers, partial flowers, and connecting paths. You can see I have a long way to go. 
DH and I took a quick birthday jaunt yesterday. Among other things we ended up at the little quilt shop over the mountains. I picked up some wool and Valdani floss, and then a couple of other fun finds--the mini quilt holder on the left, and the ruler boxes on the right. A sweet blog friend had sent me a Temecula box last year and I love it! 

So one of the ruler boxes, with a few other items (herbal soap, ornament, and mini charm pack), will go to one lucky blog reader. Tell me how you think you would use the little box in your comment, and I will choose a winner on Saturday. If you aren't the winner, check out Me and My Stitches. They have just started carrying their own ruler boxes and have some very clever designs!

Most of my sewing time lately has been taken up with this project. Not the most fun type of quilt to make, right?
But it does mean that child #4 has graduated from college, and that is a good thing. I have just begun to put the coping strips around the blocks to bring them to the same size. Then I will sash it with a blue plaid (fussy-cut, of course) and hopefully it will end up looking something like this...
This was the quilt I made when child #3 graduated a few years ago. I will actually be using the very same blue plaid on the second quilt. I couldn't find a blue plaid locally that looked good without being too distracting, and I wanted a plaid. I knew this was an old South Seas Import fabric, but that is all I knew. Thank goodness for the internet. Within minutes I had found it in an etsy shop and was able to order plenty.

To my US friends, have a happy Thanksgiving, and no matter where you live, take time to give thanks for the good things in your life. One of the things I am grateful for is the view from my sewing room window!
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Drawing now closed.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Short and sweet (well, short, at least)

I am trying really hard to whittle down the pile of little, unquilted tops in my sewing room.
This little quilt has been waiting a long time for completion.  It is from a SAL on the quiltsbycheri blog from way back in January of 2013. Cheri called it Simply Sweet. Mine is much darker than the original and I haven't yet thought of a name.
These two photos show more of the quilting from the front and the back. Love the texture.

Are you making "Tucker" from Pam Buda's recent SAL? Haven't sewn the outer round of blocks together, but I am pretty sure I will finish it that way.
As I shared a couple of posts back, I got the layout wrong on my first section, and was not in the mood to unpick. I waited for the reveal on Friday and then worked with the parts Pam used to come up with something that I felt worked with my design-challenged creation. It will probably finish at 12" square.
This beautiful bundle of Miniature Gatherings fabrics from Primitive Gatherings, and their fun little book of mini quilts recently came to live at my house. So I got out the Itty Bitty Eights rulers, polished them up, and now I am ready to tackle some new minis. But, alas, it will probably have to wait until after the holidays.  Have a few gifts to get stitched first!

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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A little late to the (Halloween) party...

... but Julie, this is for you--a fulfillment of your request for pictures of Halloween quilts and decor.
Most of the Halloween stuff has been posted in years past, but here we go again. I struggle to divide the Fall quilts and decor from Halloween, since they seem to trip over each other in occurrence. It felt like Summer all through September this year, so the Fall decorations didn't even cross my mind, until we were halfway through October. You are going to get a mix here, which is often how it happens at my house, anyway.
"Poor Li'l Punky Loves Pineapple" was made using Julie Letvin's Poor Li'l Punky pincushion pattern (Look on page 5 of her "Let's go shopping" header).

I did actually make Punky pincushions, too. Here are the four I made, but three of them were gifted.

 This Poor Li'l Punky is the only one that remains at my house.

October Lamb for All Seasons, adapted from  Lisa Bongean's Old Glory Gatherings pattern.

And this is the Fall quilt adapted from the same pattern. 
 You've already seen Linus in his pumpkin patch. Those pumpkins grow all over the place.

The Candy Corn banner in my dining room was made by DD#2.

Little Halloween quilts tucked here and there. "Dark and Stormy Night" and "Pumpkin Patch"

I didn't make this as a Halloween quilt, but it seems to fit. "Burgoyne Strikes Gold"

These two little Fall quilts hang in my kitchen. "Autumn Afternoon" and "Tumbling in the Leaves"

This flimsy is made from leftover HSTs from a hands-on experience at a LQS after a Carmen Geddes demo last year. As we were making one large leaf block for a hotpad, the shop owner said we could throw away the cut off HSTs. I think I whimpered and she laughed and said, "Or you can give them to Janet."
I made the blocks last year, but just barely stitched up the top yesterday. Maybe by next year it will be quilted. : )
Haven't named it yet. The larger leaves finish at 3", the smaller ones are 2 1/2". 
I need to get it finished so I can fill this little ladder with Fall colored quilts. Right now it is two out of three. I keep my seasonal children's books in that little trunk for when the grandchildren visit.
That is all for the seasonal stuff. Update on current projects...

"Floating Foxes" was completed in time for the birthday. It was on the bed of granddaughter Abby when she came home from school. : ) Even got the matching pillowcase made.

My red/white Burgoyne Surrounded is so much easier to put together than the scrappy "Burgoyne Strikes Gold". Second block was completed last night. I've even found a red that isn't quite solid, that I think I will like as the sashing. Have been out of my little valley a couple of times this week and managed to squeeze in visits to a couple of favorite quilt shops, Village Dry Goods (in Brigham City, UT) and Elaine's Quilt Block (in Cottonwood Heights, UT). If you are traveling through Northern Utah, I highly recommend them both.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A finish! (and more starts--but we won't dwell on that.)

This basket in the photo corrals the little quilts that are usually decorating my home, but must be moved to make way for holiday decorations. So they found a home in the corner of my sewing room until all of the end-of-year seasonal stuff is over.
My little thimble quilt is finished. I'm calling it "Busy Little Thimbles."
This is made from some fabrics I received from Cyndi of Busy Thimble blog and quilt shop, after I had visited her shop in Maine back in August. It is a nice little reminder of a wonderful visit to Cyndi's delightful shop!
I used a clamshell ruler  on Gidget to do the quilting. Shows up better on the back.

What possessed me to think I could squeeze in Pam Buda's Pocket Patchwork SAL? See what happens when you rush? I turned my star points in the wrong direction!! Why didn't I see that until it was all sewn together? It is staying!

Finished up the stitching on my version of Buttermilk Basin's Mystery BOM for October. I had decided early on that my signature on each block would be a little button. I was hard pressed to come up with a place to put a button on this block, until I decided to add the bat. Now he has a little round button body. : )

 And I'm not sure how this happened, but I spent a good part of Saturday evening cutting. I will be making my very first red/white quilt. I actually prefer blue and white, but in 2017 our state quilt guild is celebrating it's 40th (Ruby) anniversary and they are sponsoring a red/white quilt show to travel the state that year. The only "judging" will be a viewer's choice. Sounds very non-intimidating, so I thought it might be fun to participate in the mini division.
 This mess you see on  the design board will eventually be turned into a bunch of these little blocks.

 It is amazing how much more quickly these blocks can go together when you are only using two fabrics. You can actually strip piece, unlike when I made my Burgoyne Strikes Gold scrappy version.
I am using the same size blocks, as you can see, but I think I may only do 9 in red/white, before I am going to be dying to work with more color! So this will most likely be a square quilt. : )

BTW, I am over halfway finished binding the Floating Foxes!!

Until next time, 
Janet O.