Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hiding in the Closet (projects, not me)

In January, in this post, I showed you several small design boards with the beginnings of little quilts upon them.
This week I found more hiding in the sewing room closet, and a couple of them demanded attention--as if I had nothing else to do. One of the boards had lots of mini charms that had been randomly sliced into three strips. One row of them had been sewn into the beginnings of a mini Chinese Coins quilt. So I finished the other two rows, and found a lovely Betsy Chutchian stripe to fussy-cut for the border.

It turned out more square than I had anticipated. That is what happens when no planning whatsoever is involved in the design process. It is approximately 9".

Another bunch of mini charms that had been sliced up were mostly from Primitive Gatherings Old Glory line. I had originally intended to make rail fence blocks alternating with sawtooth star blocks, as I did in a few pieces shown in this post. I had a couple of the rail fence blocks assembled when the design board got buried in the closet.
The blocks finish at 2" and the whole things is 8" square.
I decided to switch things up. I put good old Abe in the middle of the rails, made  5-point stars, and after attaching the narrow red border, I decided it needed a sawtooth border. One more side to piece and it will be ready to layer and quilt. This may get a combination of hand and machine quilting. I'm trying to decide if this will be what I take to my family reunion auction this year.

A combination of hand and machine quilting is what I had planned to do on my Kim Diehl Porchside Garden, but after hand quilting the center, I just felt compelled to continue by hand, instead of quilting the borders by machine. Getting pretty close to finished.

My thanks to my friend, Mary, who has helped prepare me for the classes I am taking from Bonnie Hunter in July. She surprised me with this in my mailbox!

I am plodding along very slowly with the quilting of The Beast. I keep this picture of the blocks pinned to my design wall and whenever I finish a block, I cross it off.  You can see this is moving at a snail's pace, but at least it is moving.

I am quilting them by thread color (am I the only lazy quilter that does not like to change threads?). I started with all of the black blocks. Now I am doing the white ones. Then I will do the green blocks, the turquoise, the gold, and the grey. I will finish with the navy blue blocks. There are bunches of those!!

It will put a damper on anything else being quilted until this is finished. Not that I can't move this out and change the thread to quilt other things, but that is a lot of effort for a lazy quilter. :)

The winner of the "Bee" panel from my last post is Denise. I already had her address, so it is winging its way to her abode.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

In scanning through the photos I have taken this month to find what I needed for this post, I came across this one I wanted to share.Took it on March 1st.
We don't have all this snow now, but there is still plenty in the mountains. We are out of a drought for the first time in 10 years!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Absolutely no focus, and a Bee-utiful opportunity!

Just bouncing from project to project!
Patrick's Pinwheels was finished on St. Patrick's Day.

It spent most of the day in the clip for which it was made.
Very simple quilting for this--stitch in the ditch around the pinwheels, straight lines in the sashing, and some free motion swirls in the border, which you can almost barely see in the photo above.

I've spent a tiny bit of time hand quilting on the little Kim Diehl Porchside Garden  quilt. I am outlining the applique and crosshatching the background. Then I will be machine quilting the borders.

 You can see the slow progress much better from the back.


I made a little cake block for Temecula's Anniversary quilt. Did you make one? 

Four more ornaments have been made from my Dad's shirts for family members with March birthdays. Two of them were sent off before I got a photo.

A couple more blocks have been quilted on the beast. This is definitely not a rush job. (Considering that this was for my youngest son's graduation from college and that was years ago, that is an understatement!)
My shoulder is whining about  working on this, so I will only do a block or two at a time, and there are 30 blocks.

Quilters are so generous. I have been the beneficiary of the kindness of some sweet bloggers once again. I had commented on how much I loved a little quilt Sandi (kwiltnkats blog) made and when she was finished, she sent me the pattern. I am excited to make it!
Then  Wendy (theconstantquilter blog) and Cyndi (busythimble blog) collaborated and sent a book my way that I mentioned I was trying to resist buying. They were so right--it is "me". I love browsing through and have pulled out scraps to make one when my "to do" pile gets whittled down a little more.
Thank you so much, ladies! 

I don't know if you have a Jo~Ann store near you, but I picked this up with my 60% off coupon on Thursday. It was the last one at my local store. I purchased clips and adhesive magnets and made a little quilt hanger out of it. Love the rustic look.

Maybe you recall that I had chosen "Be Kind" as my motto for 2017.  Well, look at this wonderful panel I bought from my friend, Kris (lavenderquilts blog). She vends at quilt shows and has an etsy shop (link on her blog). Look at the upper left corner of this panel (or the center). How perfect is that? I am going to make little wall hangings of a few of these--and I bought a second panel to make a quilt, along with some of the accompanying prints.
The panel is as tall as a full width of fabric.
This is from a Deb Strain line named "Bee Creative", that is now out of print. Deb has a new one called "Bee Inspired", but I like this one better. If you like it, too, make mention in your comment and one lucky reader will win one of these panels!
A pretty random post, but that has been  my week. : )
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Forging Ahead

I did get a "little" sidetracked as I was forging (sounds like I have clandestine operations going on in my basement, or something). Realizing I only had 3 mini quilts to display with a St. Patrick's Day color scheme, I had to do something to put in my standing clip.
So this happened. Maybe I'll call it "Patrick's Pinwheels".
Shouldn't take long to quilt. It will finish about 7" x 10". 
The pinwheels were made from a couple of strips of the fabric Randy had wrapped around a pincushion she sent me last year. You may  recall the little Valentine quilt I whipped up from the two strips on the right in this photo.
You can see the strips I used in the quilt above--and this took every last bit of them. I just added the black from Moda's "Essential Dots" line. 
The strip to the far left was partially used in my Quilters Madder, so now all of the strips have been put into little quilts.

Okay, here is where I start forging ahead. I decided that rather than spending months agonizing over finding just the right setting, and/or sashing for these 64-patch blocks made from Mom's watercolor quilt leftovers, I needed to just use Mom's scraps to finish this off. This quilt is all about sentimental value, not design perfection. 
I tried greens for the sashing, but the green in the blocks just does not stand out enough to make the green sashing feel unifying. There were a few strips of light purple leftovers from Mom's watercolor quilt, but not enough to sash the blocks. So I dug deeper and came across some strips of purple in a bag of scraps from the last quilt Mom made. I had to give them a try. They were a variety of shades, and when combined with the first purple strips I found, there were barely enough. I decided to put the lightest shades around the darkest blocks, and vice versa.

The setting triangles stumped me. Mom's scraps were not big enough, and there was nothing in my stash that clicked. I'm really trying to meld warm yellows and cool purples and pinks in the quilt, and that isn't easy. That is where my buddy Kris, from Lavender Quilts blog, saved the day. She had this warm yellow batik with a soft purple print. I took a sample home and it did the job for me, pulling the yellows from the inner blocks, through all of the purples, to the edge of the quilt. So this is my final answer. Probably no one would put this all together by choice, but I look at this as a "make do" quilt--making do with Mom's leftovers, and I am okay with the purchase of the setting triangle fabric.

The really big forge ahead was that I finally pin basted "the beast"!
And last night I actually began the quilting!
If you have ever made a t-shirt quilt before, you know they are heavy. Quilting a king sized one on a sit down machine really gives the shoulders a workout. After only 1 1/2 blocks quilted, my left shoulder is talking to me. I was supposed to have it scoped the end of December, but it was scheduled for the very day my Dad passed, so I canceled. My shoulder was actually feeling pretty good by that time, too, after having been a problem for over a year. So I didn't reschedule. But after shoveling a few driveways following one of our many snowstorms, it is troubling me again. 
I'll have to take baby steps quilting this, or I might not be in shape to sew when Bonnie Hunter comes to Utah this July to teach classes. Two of the classes are only 30 minutes from home, so I will be there to meet the first quilt blogger I started following, over 6 years ago.

Until next time, 
Janet O.