Thursday, April 28, 2016

Not as bad as I thought it would be.

Things never do seem to be as hard to quilt as I expect them to be--once I can finally decide what to quilt. So why do I not learn that lesson once and for all?
Mini Warm Winter Blessings is completed and I am so happy to have it finished.
Had to hang it in my sewing room for a photo, even though it is rather out of season.

I bought the kit at a workshop with Lisa Bongean in January of 2013.  The top did not get made until January 2015. If I had never seen Linda Hrcka's quilting on Lisa's original I may not have been so hesitant to begin the quilting. I pinned Linda's work and pondered it multiple times. What I did here  is not an exact copy, but it is definitely inspired by her work.

Each snowman background is a little different. Here is a peek at a few of them. You can click for a closer view.

Of course, I feathered the border.

This shows you a comparison between the large size quilt block (which I made into a pillow) and the mini quilt.

I will end with my new favorite thing in my sewing room--my new Ott-Lite over my cutting table. I LOVE it!!
The bright LED ring of light shines over the whole table area, and the hinged neck allows me to raise, lower and angle it as needed.
While the Ott-lites are 50% at Jo~Ann next week I am taking DH in on Wednesday when they have a senior discount day with another 20% off your purchase. I'm going to have him purchase another one for my quilting table (I don't quite qualify as a senior). Doesn't that sound like a fun date? : )

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Did you see the little doll quilt Lori D. received in her swap? It was made by Karen Dever. You can check it out here.
It called to me like a siren and I found myself powerless to resist. That is pretty sad. So here is my little version--not an exact copy, but "inspired by."

I have no idea the size of the original, but mine finished at 10 1/2". I was working from a little bag of these scraps that a friend had given me, so my pinwheel size was based on what these bits and pieces could do. They also dictated my color scheme.
I see there will be another mini pinwheel quilt in my future.

The patchwork border gave me some grief--with my pieces so small, I would have been cutting something to a 16th of an inch. Not this time, thank you. So I cut and recut to try and see what I liked. That left me with a lot of odd squares and rectangles and that inspired me to make these.
I found a small piece of a pretty stripe that was just enough to create the rows between the patchwork strips. They measure 6 x 9 1/2, and 9 1/2 x 12. Why do I keep adding to my pile of little quilts to be quilted, when I was almost finished with them?

And while we are on that subject, my Primitive Gatherings Pinwheel Garden is now a flimsy, though at 14 1/2" square, and with all of those seams, it isn't extremely flimsy.
It is supposed to be comprised of 12 blocks, but when I had 9 made, it told me it was done. There is also supposed to be another row of the tiny HSTs around the outside, but it told me an emphatic, "NO!" (Or maybe I was the one telling it--my memory is a bit fuzzy on that point.) Since I made my blocks smaller than the pattern (any surprise there?), the outer HSTs would finish at 1/2". I have done that before on another one of Lisa's designs and I foundation pieced those. I didn't want to foundation piece anything on this quilt, although the pattern recommends it, so I stopped. Besides, as small as this is, it is looking very busy.

On this photo you can see a quarter to gauge the size better, and you can see the pattern to know what I am not doing to mine.

It isn't all little quilt finishes around here. Recently I improvised a couple of pillows. The one on the left was from a retreat with Stacy West (of Buttermilk Basin fame) back in January of 2015. It is designed to be a picnic hamper cover, but I don't own one of those.

The snowman pillow is one of the blocks from Lisa Bongean's Warm Winter Blessings quilt. Back in January of 2013 I attended a retreat where Lisa taught us her wool applique methods, using blocks from this quilt. I made three of the quilt blocks before I decided I needed to make the mini version instead.

And just for fun, before I gave away a couple more of the little quilts I have finished this year, I spread them out on the dining room table, stood on a chair, and took this photo. Twenty of the twenty-three I had finished at this point are in this photo. Since this was taken I have gifted a couple more and finished a couple more.

I promised a shorter post this time, so I'd better stop. But I'll leave you with this view after a recent rain.

 Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Small Quilts All Over The House! (Serious photo overload!)

Okay, Sarah, you asked for it! 
DISCLAIMER: I am not a decorator, but I will show you the way I display my little quilts. The Easter decor is still up, so this will seem very seasonal. You have seen some of these photos rather recently--my apologies. This is only the little quilts. I did not make them all--some are from friends. This is how they are arranged today. They are known to move around during the night.
You will see some oddly sloped walls--I live in a dome.

Living Room

Dining Room


Sometimes this little Shaker peg rack hosts little quilts, but right now it houses 2 1/2" quilted ornaments.


Not much wall space in these rooms. : )

Master Bedroom

I need to put more in this room. In spite of the dramatic slope of the outer wall, I do have a flat wall with a little bit of room. This may be the next place of focus for hanging little quilts. Wonder if DH will notice?

This is where it all started, in a very short hallway between my kitchen and sewing room. After seeing Anne Hermes (notesfromthequiltlab blog) gallery of little quilts using old yardsticks, I was hooked. It began with one yardstick in the hall, then two, then three. Now there are 4 yardsticks and three rulers. (My gallery instructions.) I have contemplated hanging some tiny quilts over the doorway, too, but maybe that is overkill.

This is the main gallery, shown to the left in the photo above. It is how you see it when you exit the bathroom (TMI?).

Sewing Room
Here is where things get congested. Maybe this room should have been a post all by itself.
This wall is quilts made by others (except for the one under the clock). Five of them were AAQI quilts made by blogger friends that I purchased. 

The little quilt shown on the dresser top in the photo above was one of the very first actual quilts that I attempted to free motion quilt. It was a hostess gift for my sister at Thanksgiving that year, but I was so embarrassed by the quilting that I remade the exact quilt, did a better job on the quilting, and pulled a switch on her.


Above, on the right is a new little finish from the last batch of basted quilts. Tiny (3/4") leftover 9-patches (many of them quite wonky) from the quilt below the clock in a previous photo.

I'll pause in the tour here to give you a close-up of the finish. Just ditch-stitching, cross-hatching and a feathered border.

 Okay, back to the sewing room.

You can barely see the little rail fence quilt made from shirt parts beneath the tree and bowl. A little twister quilt sits beneath the print of "Hands of Time", by Liz Lemon Swindle.

These three quilts hang above the sewing room closet doors.

This is beside the sewing room door as you leave the room.

 That's it! Tour over. Whew!

If you love little quilts like I do, you might be interested in picking up a copy of this current magazine. There are scads of patterns for little quilts from designers you know and love--Jo Morton, Lisa Bongean, Pam Buda, Anne Hermes, Julie Hendricksen, Jill Reid, Betsy Chutchian, Sharon Tucker, Diane Hansen, and more!

Here are a couple of teasers.

This is the pattern from Pam Buda, which was a SAL on her blog a while ago. It is a tiny runner, which I put into a square quilt instead.

If you recall the two little quilts I made last year from the "It's a Small Honor" pattern, you will see the similarities here. From the same designer (Diane Hansen) we have another very small foundation pieced patriotic quilt. Can't wait to make it!

I'd love to see your little quilt decorating ideas. I know many of you do a much better job of it than I do!

This must be a record for my longest post ever. Blame Sarah! *LOL*
If you stayed with me this far, I'll try to make it up to you soon with a great giveaway to celebrate the 5th anniversary of my blog in less than a month.
Until next time (which I promise will be shorter!),
Janet O