Saturday, January 27, 2018

In the forest with Sasquatch

The trees are all completed. I really messed around with them. The pattern has them all in one fabric, and all the same size. My Sasquatch is playing in a forest of multi-colored trees of different heights. Final placement is still in question.

There are some trees all in one fabric, but no two trees are the same. Now I need to sash them, assemble the top, and decide if I want to make it larger with some borders.
There are actually a couple of places where the raindrops are upside down, but those raindrops will just keep defying gravity. I am not changing them! It would not be a simple fix, and I think no one will notice, without me telling them, like I just did. Can you see them? :)

The snowman mini is all hand quilted, and the border was ditch stitched by machine. I may try to bind it on Monday. I am thinking about doing a post about how I bind minis. I've had questions about it a few times. I don't know all the answers. I just know what works for me.
Thanks again, Karen, for letting me work with some of your blocks. Such a delight!

I completed one more block for Settler's Puzzle, but I will wait for a little more progress there before sharing it again.
That is the extent of my quilting this past week, other than the swap quilt I still can't share.
And while it has been frosty outside, like this...
Hoarfrost on an icicle hanging on my deck railing.

...inside it has been full of blooming orchids, like this! This is the window above my kitchen sink.
I have been rather obsessed with these beauties the past year or two, but I have never had 10 blooming all at the same time before (the ledge wasn't big enough for the 10th one, so it is sitting below, but you can see the flowers)--and I wouldn't have that now if I could resist bringing a new one home every few weeks! I don't "buy hyacinths to feed [my] soul". I buy orchids. They make me happy!

Besides quilting, what is making you smile today?
Until next time,
Janet O.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jumping from project to project.

Since making concentrated progress on many different projects at retreat, it has been hard to come back to reality and have no sewing time for several days. I made up for it this weekend, but struggled to know where to focus. So I jumped around!

First off, I sewed over half of the rows of this quilt on my design wall.
The empty corners are due to operator error. I miscalculated when I cut the setting and corner triangles and had to redo them. Haven't cut the new corners yet. I had purchased plenty of the fabric for them, just in case. Good thing!
Who knows, maybe next blog post will have a finished quilt top that isn't a mini! Wouldn't that be a shocker?

I made another row of the little foundation pieced blocks for this Kim Diehl mini.

It has been tricky getting the center points to meet when I sew together the two halves of the foundation for each block. 
Even when I mark the centers with pins and match them, I don't always get a good connection, but I think I am getting the hang of it. I have unpicked and resewn a couple of them, but I am letting the others go. This will get three more rows and then a couple of borders. 
The 2 1/2" square ruler gives you an idea of the block size.

It has probably been a couple of years since Sandi sent me a little Valentine Applique kit. She is trying to convert me to the dark side, I think. :)
I got started on it, and then other things got in the way. When digging for projects to take to retreat, I unearthed this and set it out where I could work on it upon my return. All of the applique is finished, and I added some little flowers and words. Can't decide if I will embellish it more, and then whether to quilt it for a wall hanging, or make a pillow. Even though applique is not my thing, it was fun to put this together.

Saturday evening I started quilted the little snowman block from Karen.

Hoping to have this finished before all of the snowman pillows, mats, and wall hangings get put away at the end of the month. He is so cute.

Finally I got out this wool project that is all prepped for the blanket stitching, but didn't do any stitching on it. This was the one handwork project I took with me to retreat, in case I wanted to relax with it in the evening. But we usually just made it back to our room at night in time to get ready for bed, do a little reading, and crash.
I first saw this on Julie's blog and had to order it. I have mentioned before that I live next door to a bee garden, and DD#2 has always had a thing for bees--also, I live in "The Beehive State". It was a no brainer.

The other project that saw progress is my final mini quilt swap for 2017--yes, I said 2017. I know it is 2018!
Julie and I had a swap lined up for last November. But things got in our way and we agreed to put it off. We have done that a couple of times, but are hoping to actually have our projects completed and swapped in the not-too-distant future.
I have been quilting my quilt for her, and have had a surprising discovery with a new-to-me thread, thanks to Joyce, a blog reader. I will share all about it when this swap is completed.
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Back to Normal...

...normal life, and almost normal computer.
Had a glorious time at retreat, sponsored by Village Dry Goods in Brigham City, UT! I came home with no new UFOs! There were mini classes offered during the three day period, and I was one of only a very few that took none of them! Just kept my focus on the projects I brought, and making progress.

I took a different large UFO to work on each of the three days, and then I had a couple of minis and bonus triangles to use as leader/enders and to fill in the gaps when I got tired of my "big" project.

Day One: I worked on my Scrappy Trips blocks. This is a Bonnie Hunter free pattern, and I started it in January 2013, when it was really making the rounds in social media. A LQS held a free sew day to come and learn how to make it (which you can read about here). I already knew how, but thought it would be fun to participate, so I did.
(I didn't purposely lay it out in the shape of Utah, but thought it was interesting that it ended up that way.)
There were 12 blocks already made when I went to retreat. I made 6 more blocks, and got a start on two more--and I have all the strips cut for more, so I can just sew, sew, sew!

Can't decide how many blocks I will end up making for this quilt. I think I would like 40, but I may not be patient enough to wait another 5 years to see that happen!

When my enthusiasm for Scrappy Trips waned, I pulled out my little paper pieced blocks for the Kim Diehl mini. They really don't take long to make, but I didn't spend much time with them, so I only made 4. They will finish at 2".

Day Two: My "big quilt" focus for this day was the "Legendary" quilt of Sasquatch, by Elizabeth Hartman. I completed the Sasquatch block and the first tree in a class at  a LQS in November. So my goal for retreat was to get all of the flippy corners sewn on the tree sections. Mission accomplished! They went from this!

Day Three:  My main project for this day was a quilt called Settler's Puzzle. It is a Pam Buda design, and I started this at the retreat in 2014, when Pam was the invited teacher.
I only had 2 complete blocks when I arrived, and I went home with 6 finished. The pattern calls for 12, so I am halfway there. Though all of the parts were already cut out, I had to spend a lot of time on this one, getting all of the individual components made. Once that was done, the blocks went together very quickly!

I have the next 3 laid out on design boards--sans the red/gold HSTs. Those are cut, and shouldn't take too long!

This was held at The Academy Conference Center in Brigham City, UT--the same place where I took Bonnie Hunter's classes last summer. Such a lovely venue. This is looking from one end of the room to the other.
Each quilter got a full table to herself, but they pushed 4 tables together so we could visit as we worked.

It is hard to tell from the photo above, but at the end of the room there is a big, wide staircase that takes you down into the luncheon area.
As we descended the stairs for lunch, we joked that we felt we should be wearing ball gowns, tiaras, and glass slippers.

Each day there was some kind of program at lunch. The first two days were trunk shows.
The third day was an author/potter. His wife is a quilter, so some of his pottery caters to us. I picked up this lovely, magnetic pin bowl. I love functional things that are pretty, too!

My retreat buddy (Kim), and I became good friends with our table mates, and look forward to next year, hoping we will meet up again.

Standing L to R: Liz B., myself
Sitting L to R: Kim W., Annette B. (Liz's MIL)
I shared this experience with such wonderful women--kind, thoughtful, funny, sometimes silly, and always willing to go out of their way for you.I'm sure that sounds like most quilters you know.
When I returned home I looked at the blocks I had left up on my design wall during my absence, and I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with them.

All of these blocks came from Karen ( They are from two different projects for which she had lost interest. The 5 center blocks were from one project, and the outer stars are from another large bunch of stars that I seem to be parceling out to various projects. I have border fabrics hanging to the side. You can't see it in the photo very well, but each of the fabrics in the sashing, setting triangles, and borders are small prints. I didn't want solids, but I also didn't want to compete with the blocks. I want them to shine. 
Thank you, Karen, for the privilege of working with your lovely blocks!
Enough of my ramblings!
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Ready to hit the road!

My computer became very ill on Saturday and is in the computer hospital. I have tried to post from my tablet, but photos are not uploading. What fun is a post without photos?
I had promised to show the projects I had chosen to take on retreat. So much for my promises!
In deciding what would go with me, I piled the projects that demanded my attention in a corner of my sewing room. There were a dozen. I talked myself down from that ledge and ended up with 6 (I guess it could be 7 if you count the leader/enders I tossed in).
I have packed 3 large quilt projects, 2 minis, and one wool project. I know it is only a 3 day retreat, but I like variety. :)
Maybe when I return at the end of the week I will have my computer once again, and I can share what I actually accomplished.
I hope you all get some time to play with your fabric this week! I know I am looking forward to three days of intensive creative therapy after weeks of almost none.
Until next time,
Janet O.