Wednesday, July 25, 2018

It's all about plaid! Lots and Lots of plaid!

This post seemed to feature a lot of plaid things, so I took that theme and ran with it! And I ran a LONG way!! :)
For my July mini I finished up my little plaid quilt. It ended up being just over 8"x10".
I quilted 1" clamshells through the center and did SITD around the HSTs on the sides. I marked the clamshells with a stencil before quilting them. With my shoulder issues, it has been a long time since I did any FMQ, and there is a lot of wonkiness in those clams!

I haven't been able to narrow down a source for this design, other than Kathie Holland. One blogger suggested it might be Lori Smith. That sounded reasonable, but a search through the patterns on her website did not bring up this design.

In my last post I mentioned that this was the first mini I had made using homespuns. It is possibly the only quilt of any size I have made from homespuns.
I have made many quilts using plaids, but they have always been culled from men's thrift store shirts. Though Civil War repros are my favorite fabrics, plaids come in a close second. I decided to look back and see just what I have made from all of those shirts stashed in my sewing room closet.

I think this table runner was one of my first attempts. It finished at about 24"x14".
At Christmas this sits under my German Pyramid nativity.

This is the closest to a finished shot I have of this table runner that was made using many of the same shirts as in the project above. This was a gift for DD#1 a few years ago.
I made it using a Tara Lynn Darr pattern from her Simply Charming book, and I just lengthened it a bit to make it into a runner.

Using some leftover strips from that creation, I stitched up this simple rail fence table topper. It sits beneath the year round miniature Christmas tree in the "Christmas Corner" of my sewing room.          

In keeping with the Christmas colors theme, I made this quilt (still just a flimsy) using Bonnie Hunter's Smokey Mountain Stars free pattern. I call it Rocky Mountain Christmas.
Love this! I keep teasing myself that one of these days I think I will actually get it quilted in time for holiday use. Silly idea.

I have made a couple of other plaid minis. Baby Bow Ties is foundation paper pieced from a pattern found in an issue of the now OOP Miniature Quilts magazine. Each bow tie finishes at 1"! The whole thing finishes at about 8"x10".

This little patriotic piece is designed by Diane Hansen, and was featured in a Better Homes and Gardens publication, Make It Mini, published a few years ago. It finishes at 7 1/2"x6".

It now resides with my friend, Kris, in Oregon.

Another Bonnie Hunter design that I have made in plaids is Orca Bay, or as I like to call it, Sunset Over The Men's Department. Here it is on my design wall with the borders pinned in place. They are now attached, but it is also still a flimsy. Did I mention that my shoulder has given me grief for a few years now and I haven't done much FMQ? (I know--I've mentioned it many times.) :)
Mine is only twin size. That is as far as I could stretch the peach plaid and purple striped shirts. Obviously, my border is not as exciting as Bonnie's, but once I was at that point I was so done with HSTs. One big shirt made that last border.

The most fun I have had with plaids was constructing the Barrister's SAL quilt, hosted by Randy at barristersblock blog. You can find the links to all of her patterns in the tab by the same name under my header photo.
I loved choosing the shirts to work with for each block.
Again, this photo shows it on my design wall with the final border pinned in place. It is now attached, but again, this is still a flimsy. It is more a full size bed quilt. The last border took two shirts.

I have two other Bonnie Hunter designs in the works from plaid shirts. Since Bonnie is the one that inspired me to work with plaid shirts, it seems fitting to me to use them for most of her designs that I make.
As I prepared this post I realized how similar these two quilts are in colors. Maybe I can just combine the blocks from them that I have made so far and call it good. :)
This is Easy Street. Should have been finished long ago. All of the parts are cut out and I thought I had 9 of the blocks assembled. Imagine my surprise when I put them up on the wall and discovered there are 10! What is stopping me from getting this done? I really like this design.
When you step back from it (and get a few more blocks made) the chains stand out more. I love chains!

Last--and least--I have stitched two whole blocks of Midnight Flight, from the class I took from Bonnie last summer. The only color differences between this quilt and the one above is the mustard in the first quilt, and the black in the second.
From experience, I already know how easy it is to misplace pieces in these blocks. Maybe I can just make two more of these blocks, create a center medallion with them for the quilt above, and call it Midnight Flight Over Easy Street. LOL

That is it for plaid quilts, but I will share some plaid kilts with you, if you are still with me.

The Scottish Festival in Payson, UT was July 13-14. We had a great time and DH is already talking of returning.
There were strong men...


and women.

There were dancers ....                                                                     

and lots of pipers!                                                          

There were swordfighters...

...and even a Santa Claus or two were spotted in plaid. I think when this photo was snapped I was trying to convince him I was on the "nice" list. Don't know if it worked.

A highlight of the experience was the Scottish band The Fire. Three very talented musicians play traditional and original music, and they are good!
Listen, if you would like, to about 30 seconds of the "hyper piper", as he says he is called.
You have probably had more than your fill of plaid by now,
Until next time (when there will probably be no plaid),
Janet O.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Progress on several fronts

Aside from my Mom improving (which is the best progress of all), I have actually gained ground on a few projects. It has only taken me two weeks to have something to post, but it is progress.

This is what became of the homespun HSTs I was using as leader/enders in my last post. This is a design (or a variation of it) that I have seen on a few blogs, and on Pinterest. My HSTs finish at 1".
I don't think I will use homespun in a mini again. The seam intersections are too bulky with the heavier weave, and it made this top go wonky in several places. But I love the look of the plaids.

In trying to trace the source of this pattern, the earliest reference I could find was on It was a gift to Janet from Kathie Holland (formerly of Inspired By Antique Quilts blog). Janet received it from Kathie in November of 2011.

Ruth (country log cabin blog) copied 
Kathie's soon after she had posted it.

Kathie posted another one (below, left), unquilted, in Oct. of 2014.

Then earlier this year Marian Edwards ( made the one on the right, above, for Lori's mini quilt swap. She posted hers in May. I asked Marian where she found the pattern, and she said she got the design somewhere on Pinterest.

If anyone knows the original source of this little quilt design, I would appreciate you letting me know. Maybe it was just Kathie being inspired by an antique quilt, but if there is a pattern source, I would like to know about it.

Another mini that is getting attention is the little 9-patch that is a reverse in the value placement of the one I made for Kris (lavendarquiltsblog) for a swap earlier this year.

Current work in progress on the left, Kris' quilt on the right. I have 5 more 9-patches to make, and then the setting triangles. The 9-patches finish at 3/4". That is as small as I go!    

I have also made a few strides on the half log cabin quilt.
Only 2 more rows of blocks to make, and then I can begin to square up the blocks and make the rows. It has been fun to watch this grow, however slowly. I may add a border. I wouldn't add one, but I want it to be plenty big for a Queen sized bed.        

I have been trying to be so good about not buying new quilting books and patterns. I have ample inspiration in the ones on my bookshelves, in my drawers, and all of the great stuff on the internet. But Jen Kingwell's pattern has tempted me for some time--and Kim Diehl has a new book of many of her small Whatnot patterns.  I am not that strong.
When I held my blog anniversary giveaway, the runner-up winner never got back to me with her address, so I finally drew another number. Debbie (with the horse for your favicon) was selected. Email your address to me, Debbie, and I will get the pattern, scraps and soap sent your way.

We are plagued with wildfires here in the West. Air quality gets bad, but it makes for beautiful sunsets.
DH and I are headed to a Scottish festival this weekend. I know my maiden name is Scottish in origin, and according to my DNA test results I am 39% a Scottish/Irish/Welsh mix. I may come back playing bagpipes or step dancing, or something. But I won't be eating haggis!

Until next time,
Janet O.