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.


  1. So I think that Google deleted my comment...hope this isn’t a duplicate. I think ur plaid inventory is quite impressive!! Would love to get to an Irish/Scottish fest again - it’s been a long time.

  2. I enjoyed looking at your collection of plaid quilts that you've created! I've recently completed a version of Evelyn Sloppy's "Plaid Obsession" from her book "Strips & Strings". I thought I'd go cross-eyed looking at all that plaid but I think I'm going to love the completed quilt. It is currently a flimsy--it is so much easier to piece rather than quilt! I'd share a picture if I could figure out how!

    1. Ann, you are a "no reply" comment, so I can't respond to you personally. I love the quilt you reference in your comment. I fell for it when I saw it on another blog, and I bought the book just for that pattern. But I haven't made it--yet. :)

    2. Hmmm . . . I didn't use to be a "no reply" commenter so I wonder what changed. I'll have to check into that. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Thanks for sharing all these quilts and flimsies! I have a thing for plaids, too. Glad you had a good time at the festival. Looks like fun. I'm holding out for a trip to Scotland!

  4. We went to see the Scottish games while in Scotland. It was amazing. Your plaid quilts are awesome as well. Of course you already knew that.

  5. Thanks for sharing all the plaid inspiration. Every one of these quilts is lovely. I hope your shoulder starts to mend soon so you can FMQ as much as you wish.

  6. That IS so much plaid....kilts and all! I love your Bonnie Hunter quilts, I do like her quilts and of course scrap storage ideas. I have made a couple of her quilts, I'm making Tumalo Trails, which I have a long way to go as I'm leader & ending the tiny 9 patch blocks. But that's rush is there?! I have a big container of shirts that will get chopped into one on these you and your Christmas day! Kiwi Hugs xx

  7. Wow! What a awesome collection of plaid quilts. Each with a special story. Your work is lovely. Hope your shoulder cooperates and lets you get back to more machine quilting. Are you still always on the lookout for more shirts? There's always a better one to be found. Heehee

  8. Wow, you have such a lovely collection of plaid quilts and flimsies and in-progress quilts. Your version of Bonnie's Orca Bay I think is my favorite, most likely because of that lovely sunset orange border. I do hope your shoulder is improving so that you can get back to some more quilting soon. Though finishing blocks and flimsies has its own rewards too.

  9. You know I just absolutely love this post...look at all those plaids! Plaid heaven...and then the Scottish festival=more plaids!!

  10. A plaid post. Fun to see you went and had some fun in Payson. On the good list always! I need to get my plaids out...

  11. I really like that Easy Street quilt...I think it's the plaids that make it almost look like ripples in water (from a stone being thrown in)...and the Midnight Flight one looks like another winner! :-)

  12. Quite a collection of shirts, my dear! From the smallest to the largest, those done, and those to be done, with a pun or two along the way, this was a most interesting post. Amazing how the patterns from Bonnie can be interpreted....all your plaids, or all my florals :)
    The Scottish Fest looks grand, so glad you weathered the heat.

  13. Wow! Look at all that plaid! You have made some beautiful things in plaid. I think my favorite is the tiny 1 inch bow tie!!! Enjoyed all your pics. PS I see NO wonkiness on your tiny clam shells! 🙃

  14. So much eye candy, I especially loved your hand quilting. Just beautiful!
    Happy stitching

  15. My heart jumped just reading the post title :-) I love plaid. I love that first one in the picture and the braid quilt. But oh my, I really love your use of plaid in the Bonnie quilts. These are gorgeous! I can't think of any other fabric than plaid that is always a number one choice for me. Thank you for the fun plaid tour!

  16. wow...a plaid-tastic post with so many gorgeous plaid pieces...and even your kilt was plaid! love them all, thanks to bonnie hunter and inspired!

  17. I love every one of your plaid projects--wonderful! There is something about plaids that is so warm and inviting. I'm hoping to start Bonnie's Smith Mountain Morning soon. I have plenty of blue plaids, but need to work on adding some brown to my stash. Hope you can get your tops finished without too much pain!

  18. What a great trip down the plaid memory lane. Of course, I think my favorite is the one you made based on my SAL many years ago. WOW! That one is fabulous.
    I do like the July mini, too, though...
    Need more homespuns by any chance???

  19. So many pretty plaids, and all cut and arranged so straight! Your work always amazes me. Also I really enjoyed the "hyper piper". ---"Love"

  20. I really love your most recent finish. The plaids are great but the neutrals you chose add so much to the overall satisfaction of viewing the quilt. I'm tempted to make one too.

  21. I don't think I could ever get tired of plaids. And in kilts! Be still my heart!! :0)

  22. I LOVE all your plaids there Janet. When I was very much into the primitive country style, it was really hard to get plaid fabrics where I live. I never even thought about mens shirts from op shops!! There was a shop where my Mum lives (4 hours away) & I would stock up when I went down there. She has long since closed down. I love your photos of the Scottish Festival too!

  23. I loved seeing all your plaid quilts! Thrifted men's shirts are my fave source for plaids but I also love wool tartans. Very fun post, thanks.


    gone to the beach

  24. Beautiful quilts, all, Janet. Your peach and purple is the second quilt I've seen recently with those colors together. They are not ones I would have thought to put together but the results of that color combination are spectacular! Do you have a favorite of the quilts in this post?

    I love plaids, too. My first encounter with plaid quilts came from a Roberta Horton book and I was hooked. Sadly, it's become harder and harder to find good quality all cotton shirts at our local thrift stores.

    The Scottish festival looks fun.

  25. What a wonderful Plain Quilt Show! I enjoyed seeing each one. I especially like the stars. Jill loved plaid quilts too. They are so homey and comforting.
    what a fun festival. Thanks for the piper video. My husband adores bag pipes.
    What a cute picture of you with Santa! loved it.

  26. What a beautiful array of quilts in plaid! You have your own little quilt show here. The problem I've had with plaids is that the weave is kind of loose on some, and makes it difficult to piece accurately. Also the shredding. I am amazed at the patience you have using them on minis.

  27. Such a wonderful grouping of plaid inspired quilts! Your July mini is so precious - the colors and the warm backgrounds really play nice together. While I periodically downsize my fabric stash...I keep the Roberta Horton plaids - they are so special and have a fabulous hand to them. As for the kilts - when did our fascination with them begin? Maybe watching Braveheart? Or does it go back even farther? Such a fun time you had at the festival!!

  28. Wow that is one hyper piper... so fun!
    I enjoy the strong men competitions too.
    Love the idea of combining the Midnight quilt blocks with Easy street!
    A lovely plaid show... I smiled from start to finish!

  29. Super fun post!! I love all your plaid quilts!! I think my very most favorite is . . . nope, I can't pick a favorite!! I had no idea there was a Scottish Festival in Payson. Looks like fun and I just LOVE men in kilts!! And - LOL - that piper was hyper!! Hope you shoulder continues to get better!! Miss you!!

  30. Oh... your sampler in plaid! I'm inspired now, to dig into my plaids!

  31. Love all the quilts! You gave me the urge to sew once again.


  32. Wow! So many lovely quilts made from shirts or plaids!
    When the Scotts talk I need subtitles! LOL Looks like so much fun!

  33. Now you've done it! I have to run out and get some plaids! I just don't seem to stockpile them. Great quilts!

  34. I've been resisting buying plaid shirts at the thrift shop for the longest time. Love your mini! So sweet :) Great quilts, too!

  35. I have always loved the Smokey Mountain Stars and thought I might make one, but who knows? I love your version of Easy Street! The colors are lovely! I couldn't get the video to play - maybe it's my computer. I have been having trouble getting a post to load - but it finally did.

  36. I like plaid per se...but I've *always* found it difficult to sew (matching seams). You have some sweet pieces, though! The one thing I have done quilt-wise with plaid was a memory quilt using a friend's dad's shirts. It was HARD! Plus a lot of the shirts were rayon and/or polyester. Yikes! I love the Scottish festival pics -- what fun! I hail from Clan MacBean! "Touch not the cat!" Hahaha! That's my mom's side. My dad's side, Fowler, features the owl. And since my mom proposed to my dad on Sadie Hawkin's day, it makes "The Owl and the Pussycat" poem very real for them! I should post about that some day (instead of hijacking your comments to tell the story). Hahaha! :)

  37. Love plaids, but don't seem to find them locally much. I enjoyed going along on your outing with you, virtually, of course.


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