Saturday, May 27, 2017

A whole bunch of randomness!

I did it! I updated my Tuffets Tute to show how I have had the greatest success making a smooth closure on the Tuffets. You can find it in the tabs under my header photo, or just click here.
In order to get photos of the process I made another boxy pincushion--the little purple and cheddar one. This tiny thing finishes at 2" square.
If you look closely you can see a pin head on the bottom edge of the dark pincushion. I hadn't stitched it closed yet. : )
And, as you can see, I couldn't resist taking the little Dresden to the dark side. I love the way a black background makes colors pop!

If you recall the block Lisa Bongean designed for The Splendid Sampler, you may recognize the center of this. Lisa called her block "Dedication Rose", and it was designed for needle turned applique, but I did it in wool.

And then I gave it a few borders to make a little medallion quilt out of it.

 My red/white mini Burgoyne Surrounded was intended to be entered in our State Quilt Guild Jubilee show of red/white quilts, but life happened--and my entry did not. It would have been the first time I entered a show. I finally got another block made. I am making this square, so I only have 5 more blocks to go.
I think it is fun to see how much the 97 pieces in each block shrink as you assemble them.


Since everything is already cut for the whole quilt, and some of the little units are assembled, you may wonder why I haven't whipped this up faster. I'll tell you--because it takes so much concentration!! More often than not I am sewing at night and I am too tired to think this hard. But I will say that the red/white version is easier than the black/tan/cheddar version that I did a couple of years ago.

The beast has been set aside for a while now, but I have completed all of the quilting in black thread and white thread. I'll probably do the gold, light blue, and bright green blocks next, but I am struggling to match those greens with a thread. I'll do the grey and navy blue blocks last. There are a lot of those.

If you have followed me for any length of time you know how much I love red/white/blue projects. Take a look at these two free patterns by Stacy West (Buttermilk Basin) available from Henry Glass.
On the left is an 11" x 17" wool applique pattern and on the right is a little pieced quilt about 22" x 28". Oh, I want to make them both. You can find the pattern links here.

I debated whether or not to share this. You have seen a lot of my Mom's quilts lately. But here we go. On Mother's Day the women's auxiliary organization of my Mom's congregation held a little reception with a fruit/veggie buffet after their meeting. 
They featured as many of my Mom's quilts as she could gather. I had to go get photos, but I will just share one I took when I slipped in early, before the women arrived. There are 15 of Mom's quilts displayed here, all hand quilted in her tiny stitches. The quilt in the corner won sweepstakes at our county and state fairs many years ago. It went to the Houston show, too. It is a simple Irish Chain--the thing that made it win is Mom's quilting.

One more random thing, after sifting through the comments on my giveaway and weeding out the No-reply comments that didn't include an email address, the random number generator chose a winner for my drawing. Gayle (middlesister blog) is our winner. Gayle already had the book, and she graciously offered that it be gifted to another winner. So back to the random generator and this time it selected Kristie (cowgirlquilter blog). Congrats to you both. Your winnings will be on their way soon!

Until then,
Janet O.

p.s. Thanks to everyone that left a comment on the giveaway. I enjoyed hearing from so many that usually don't say much. I had 21 "no-reply" comments this time--more than ever. I appreciate the six that left contact info in their comment. If you are "no-reply" and you don't leave your email address in your comment, you are not entered. Sorry, it is just too complicated to deal with winners that can't be contacted. This is supposed to be fun. : )


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Six Years and Counting

Yep, six years ago this month I started this little blog in order to feel a part of a quilting community. It has been an incredible adventure, making friends with quilters from across the country and around the world. It has definitely exceeded my expectations. So as many turn from blogs to the less time-consuming forms of social media, I will continue to plod along here.

Having not posted for a couple of weeks, you might expect that I have had time to accomplish a great many things. You would be wrong. 

I made that cute little Dresden pincushion in front of the basket bowl fillers. This is from the Temecula Pincushion Parade Christmas Dresden kit Randy sent to me (I can't find it on their website, or I would link you to it). Obviously I switched out the Christmas Fabrics. I wanted to do something Spring-ish.

This was such fun to make. The technique is not exclusive to this pattern, but it is more interesting to see it play out in this small size. The acrylic template is only 1 5/8" high, so the little tumbler shapes you start with are tiny.

You fold them all so that right sides are together, and stitch a seam along the wide end.

Trim the seam and turn them right side out, which creates the pointed blade. Line up the seam with the fold, as shown in the photo.

Then you stitch the blades together, matching the outer corners, rather than the inner ones.

When the plate is formed, pin it to the background square, which has been folded and creased in fourths to aid in centering the plate. 

You applique it to the background and stitch a circle over the center. 

Since my applique skills are next to non-existent, and circles scare the daylights out of me, I used wool applique for the center. Now I want to make a little quilt of these blocks.
The pattern is for a pillow-style pincushion, but, of course, I made mine into a box-style using the instructions in my "Tuffet tutorial" found in the tabs under my header photo. One of these days I am going to update that tutorial to share how I get my smoothest finish when stitching the pincushion closed after filling it.

The only other thing I have to show after two weeks is my little purple TATW that is now quilted and bound.

I thank you all for you kindness, comments, and friendship over the years. For sticking with me I want to give you a chance to receive this bundle. Please don't publicize this--it is for those of you who are already following along.
I like to share things that I would like to receive. There is a book of fun small quilts from the Country Threads ladies, a charm pack of beautiful Betsy Chutchian fabrics, a few bars of my herbal soap, the Dresden pincushion I just made,  and a snazzy, new-fangled pair of thread snips .

If you are interested, just leave a comment. And thanks for joining me in this quilting/blogging journey!

Until next time,
Janet O.

Drawing Now Closed

Friday, May 5, 2017

Randy's Wonderful creation--and a bunch of other stuff

Randy's side of our swap arrived Monday and I have been remiss in not getting it posted sooner. Isn't it fabulous?

As we had agreed upon, she made a small quilt with a log cabin theme, and then she made a wonderful, roomy tote bag with the quilt on the side. I couldn't be more thrilled!

How fun will this be to take to quilt retreats and classes? It even has two pockets inside.
It is definitely coming with me to my classes with Bonnie Hunter in July!

Randy supplemented the fabric strips I sent her with some lovely pieces (and yes, Julie L., that is "that red" on the flip side).
She also sent along a few other fun goodies--a couple of little project patterns, a sweet little needle book, and a Temecula pincushion kit for a Christmas Dresden.

Oh, my goodness, those Dresdens are tiny! So cute! I may have to make a tiny Dresden quilt.
Thank you so much, Randy. This has been a most surprising and satisfying swap!

As to the "other stuff", I finished the 3rd little quilt I have made from leftovers from Mom's last quilt.
I even used some of her leftover batting. She has always preferred poly batting, for ease of needling, and the way it puffs and makes the design stand out. And I must admit, it is easier to get tiny stitches with poly batting. You can see the stitches better by clicking on the photo below. It was waiting to have the binding and label stitched down.

I also got the flimsy finished that I pieced from leftover squares from Mom's watercolor quilt and her postage stamp quilt. Obviously the corners have yet to be trimmed, but it is now off the design wall, because this is on it.
I took pictures to Mom of several possible "memory quilt" options that I had saved to a Pinterest board of quick quilts. She chose this one for a quilt from Dad's blue plaid shirts. I've just thrown them up quickly and may do a little shifting around before I start stitching, but once I start shifting blocks I seem to get trapped in that loop and don't know how to get out. Anyway else struggle with that?

I had more stitching time this week than I have had in a long time. I even managed to put some little purple 4-patches into a mini quilt top. These 4-patches have been languishing in my sewing room for many months. I have chosen patterns in which to use them on more than one occasion, but it has never clicked. I finally got this together after having to unpick an entire side, after webbing the top and discovering I had sewn on 1/3 of the top in an upside down position! Arrrgh!!

I tried out a new-to-me gluten free recipe that hubby and I both enjoyed. Bakery Style Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins sure hit the spot!

 In about a week and a half I will reach the 6 year anniversary of my blog. Stay tuned. : )

Until next time, 
Janet O.