Saturday, February 4, 2017

Feelin' the Love

It is in the air, and in the sewing room.
Made TWO of Temecula's little Box of Chocolates quilt. I haven't made anything from Temecula's blog for a long time, because I have a tendency to have to make multiples--up to four of one pattern! So I have avoided them for years, but I couldn't avoid this one.
The binding on the bottom one is just pinned on, so it is wavy.
Most all of the fabrics in these little quilts were given to me by a dear friend that has since passed away. I am going to send one of them to her husband as a little Valentine from her.

I am also feeling the love with these two little lovebirds. This was one of three applique blocks sent my way from Karen (logcabinquilter blog). I had plans for bordering and quilting all three, to make little seasonal quilts--one for Christmas, one for January, and this one for February, but with Dad's passing, the others haven't been touched.
Papers are still on the back of the borders, so it is not laying flat.
The pattern was from a BOM set by Bunny Hill called "A Tisket A Tasket"
This will probably be finished with a mix of hand and machine quilting. If I can get that done and then find anything that matches the shade of the light pink heart, I may have it bound by Valentine's Day. I have more to say on this one in a minute.

Finally, I am feeling Dad's love as I use his plaid shirts to make these little ornaments for my Mom's birthday gift. I had them to this stage for her birthday, but they still need stuffing.

I will also be making her a simple memory quilt from the shirts, but I wanted to have these to give her on her birthday. I will make a couple of ornaments for each of my siblings as their birthdays come along, too. If you can't tell, Dad gravitated to blue plaid shirts. These are only a few of the many, but I tried to use the smallest plaids in these. The ornaments finish at 2 1/2".

Okay, back to the lovebirds. I've seen some bloggers' frustration lately trying to make small HST borders on little quilts come out the correct size. When I use little HSTs (1/2"-1/4") like these to border a quilt I find that piecing individual HSTs and then sewing them together into a strip is often going to give you an inaccurate length border, unless you are insanely precise in your 1/4" seam (and if you are, may I please have your autograph?). When working this small, every thread you may be off is crucial to the finished product.
Even foundation piecing may not be enough if you use any of the methods that have you creating the HSTs in a grid and then cutting them apart, pressing open, trimming, and sewing them back together in a strip, such as Triangulations, shown to the right  (which, BTW, I love for other projects where I just need a bunch of HSTs to sew into blocks, and NOT into a long strip).

It really isn't wonky. It is just how it is hanging.
I used this method when I made my version of Lisa Bongean's Little Buds, and I ended up with one more HST on the top border than on the bottom. These HSTs finish at 1/2".

                       My first introduction to my preferred method was when I made this little feathered star.
The foundation pieced pattern used a long strip of HSTs, kind of "piece-as-you-go". I can't find the pattern right now, but it was something like the ones shown below. They finish at 1/4"

   You piece the HSTs in a strip, so the size is  assured.

Front, before trimming

Back, before trimming
On the photo of the back of the strip you can see the dotted lines marked 1/4" from the finished size. Those are the trimming lines.

When I need a length or size that I can't find in a pattern, I grab a ruler, fine point marker and graph paper and create my own. Then I photocopy it onto newsprint, which tears away easily when foundation piecing. 
Hope this may be helpful to someone.

Until Next time,
Janet O.


  1. I love all your projects today but the feathered star might be my fav just cuz I have an infinity for them (so why have I never made one?!?!?). I'm sure your mom and your friends husband will be thrilled with their memory gifts.

  2. Your mom will love those little plaid ornaments, a sweet reminder of the man she loved these many years. The appliqued lovebirds are amazing too, that is going to make an adorable little quilt. Hand quilting that one will be a perfect finishing touch.

  3. On my your work is absolute perfection! I just saw the little box of chocolates on IG and you already have 2 done!
    What great pineapple blocks from the shirts. They are really working well and what a nice memory quilt idea.
    What a sweet pattern the lovebirds are! just lovely.

  4. The ornaments are a precious idea and easy to hang in view year round! The heart wall hanging is wonderful and will be loved. Good tutorial for HSTs for minis!

  5. When I taught school eons ago, certain special children had to be identified as colorblind. Your pretty miniatures could have helped me!

  6. Thank you so much for the tutorial/tips about the tiny HST's. I can see why your work looks so wonderful with the attention to details like that. The lovebirds and the feathered star are stunningly beautiful. and the plaids from your dad's shirt are going to be cherished. Great loving idea!

  7. Thank you for sharing about making HST's for border strips--Yes I have ended up with an uneven number (and I try really hard to be an accurate sewer). Wonderful way to use/sew your Father's shirts into ornaments--they will be treasured by your family.

  8. So many sweet little projects--they touch my heart! I think your process for those tiny HST borders is brilliant--thanks for sharing it!

  9. As always, love all your super lovely projects!

    Blessings and hugs!

  10. We all feel love to with all your wonderful inspiring ideas and projects, Janet!!! AND those "Love Birds" Wow!!! Where do I get that pattern?

    Thanks for all the tips and sharing with us.

    Hug's, Carolyn

  11. Love your open heart to share the memories if your friend and your father. Beautiful tribute to their lives. Smart way to make hst sawtooth borders.

  12. Aren't you the tricky one! I'm so impressed!

  13. Sweet mini quilts and ornaments, so special to have a reminder of a loved one. Thanks for the HST tips. I personally struggle with HST at any time, always seem to be missing more points then I should, but will give this a trial. Mini quilts on hold at present - got distracted making kids quilts!

  14. Or you could take my approach and say you are making a Humble Quilt! LOL
    Love your hearts quilts and the ornaments made from your daddy's shirts. I'm sure your mom and siblings will be touched.

  15. The Box of Chocolate kind of colors.
    I like what you have done with the heart applique block I did. Will make a nice little quilt for February display.

  16. Janet, I'm loving the two boxes of chocolates and just think they will go nowhere near your hips! Fabulous and special gift for your Mum....very heart warming. I would imagine you use a fine thread for those tiny..........TINY! foundation pieced triangles?
    Wishing for some of your snow, we here in the north of New Zealand have a drought.

  17. Sew many wonderful projects coming from your sewing space. The pineapple blocks with you dad's shirts are stitched with love and many many memories. I appreciate you tutorial about small hst borders. I have one to work on and I had never thought of doing it all together as a strip. I know that will make a big difference. Thanks.

  18. Janet, your Temecula hearts came out great! And I love what you did for your mom. SO SWEET.
    I'm intrigued by the way you piece the tiny hsts. I hadn't understood before when you mentioned it but now I do. Do you print them out from Triangulations? Or what?

  19. Love your Temecula hearts quilts! I know how addictive they are - I'm working on my third one! The little ornaments are such a sweet reminder of your dad for your mom and siblings. Great idea. Have never been a fan of paper piecing but may give it a try for tiny HSTs. Thanks for the tutorial.

  20. As many have written, I love your Temecula doll quilts Janet !
    And your pineapple blocks are awesome !
    Great job ! Thank you for sharing :)

  21. Love the boxes of chocolate and Grandpa's shirt ornaments! I didn't know you were doing those :)

  22. Thanks for the tutorial. I love the little "Box of Chocolate" quilts. And, what a special memory to your father. Thanks for sharing.

  23. The Box of chocolates quilts are lovely, Janet; your friend's husband will be touched by her valentine. And the sewing you're doing with your Daad's shirts -very precious, I wonder if the odd tear was shed while you sewed and remembered him? Finally, wise words on the HST, I don't think I've made them quite that tiny before but using the foundation strip does seem thr most accurate solution.

  24. Very special memory of your father.
    I think foundation piecing the tiny bits its the way to go, trimming the seams. About the only time 1/4" is big.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughtful projects.

  25. Such a wonderful way to remember your father. I am sure everyone will treasure these and they will bring back fond memories for them. Great instructions for the tiny HSTs.

  26. I have missed so much of your blog Janet. I'm so sorry for your sad loss.
    Beautiful tribute making projects for your mum and siblings from your dad's shirts.
    I'm loving your minis as always...gorgeous hearts and great info on HSTs.

  27. I loved your Temecula quilts so well that I made one myself. I'm going to hand quilt it this evening. Hugs

  28. You are so very productive, Janet! I love that you're using your dad's plaid shirts for quilts and tiny ornaments. They will be so treasured. It is hard to imagine working so small but you obviously have it down to a science (considering your tutorial for a strip of half triangle squares. That border of triangles/squares look like the perfect finish on the basket, bird, and heart block.

  29. Thanks for the tips! A very creative remembrance of your father for your entire family. Sandi

  30. Thanks for sharing some very helpful tips for you are my guru of the mini quilt world! Your dad's ornaments for your mom are truly wonderful and touching! I know she and your siblings will cherish them.

  31. Hi Janet, I came over from Rebecca'a blog to visit and I am amazed at your mini quilts. How you can work with such tidy pieces blows my mind. You're unbelievably talented.
    Happy to meet you.
    Connie :)

  32. You are so sweet to make a little fabric remembrance for your friend's husband!


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