Thursday, August 30, 2018

August Mini of the Month, and Swapping Minis

Originally I had lined up 3 mini quilt swaps for 2018. Not one of them has gone/is going according to plan, and that is fine. Life happens.
First up is my August mini for the Mini a Month SAL with Wendy (constantquilter blog). I made it for my swap with Randy.
Randy (barristersblock blog) and I had decided on a basket theme for this year (which we were originally going to complete in May or June), in repro fabrics and somewhere in the vicinity of 12" square. This is what I ended up making for her.
I think this finished at a little over 11" square. The baskets finish at 2", and the pieced sashing is 1" wide.
I had a really hard time settling on the final design of this quilt. Initially I made 9 baskets and in my mind I planned to place them on point with a scrappy variety of setting squares. But when I tested it out, I wasn't excited about the results.
These weren't necessarily the fabrics I would have used for setting squares. I just grabbed some random mini charm squares to try out the idea, once the basket blocks were made. But it didn't click.

Next I tried eliminating one basket (remember the one that didn't make the cut?), and using leftover bits of 1" wide bindings to simulate sashing.

Hmmm, the navy blue sashing seemed too intense for these blocks, but I couldn't find any other color I liked with them any better.
Then something came to my mind. A few years ago Pam Buda designed a quilt named Every Little Bit. It was published in the June 2015 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. It is a churn dash design, but the "bar" section of the block is foundation pieced with tiny bits of fabric. It immediately grabbed me, and I have longed to make it, but have been afraid to start it. You can see her post about it here.
I wondered if those foundations from that design would work as sashings for my baskets. I dropped 3 more baskets, pulled in some 4-patches for the cornerstones, and I had found my design!

This gives you a better size perspective of the work when it was in progress.

I used a vintage looking muslin for the setting triangles, so I could quilt some feathers.

I find I get in the zone when I quilt feathers. What used to make me crazy now soothes my soul.

This is what Randy made for me. Isn't it sweet? And I really like the corner blocks--very clever. You can see Randy's post about it here.
It is based on a Lisa Bongean design, and aren't those fabrics pretty?
Love the wool basket in the center.

The funny thing is, Randy and I have not received our quilts from each other yet. We agreed to share photos of them with each other so that we could post our August minis before the month is over. :)

My first swap of this year was to be with my friend Kris (lavenderquilts blog). We had planned to swap sometime during the first quarter of the year, and I squeaked under the wire, getting mine to her just before I went under the knife for shoulder surgery the end of March. 
Well, Kris has been a bit busy, what with vending at quilt shows, and basically rebuilding the fixer-upper she and her brother live in. I wasn't worried. I knew she would get it done.
Today, out of the blue there was a package from her.
She knows how to do presentation. 

Underneath all that pretty wrapping I found these delights. Lovely fabrics in two colors Kris knows I love, some Aurifil thread (which she also knows I love), the new book of Quirky Little Quilts from Temecula (aren't you sneaky, Kris?), and her wonderful little swap quilt! A very generous package!
Look at those beautiful chains criss-crossing the quilt (I love chains), and notice the fussy-cut centers in the setting squares. This quilt is subtle, and it draws you in for a closer look at the details.
Kris is new to longarm quilting, and she has quilted a pretty floral pattern across the quilt.
My quilt to Kris was my March mini (which you have seen several times). You can find it here.
My final swap for this year is with Mary (quiltin'grandma's blog). It was supposed to be happening soon, but we have mutually agreed to postpone for now. 
My sewing room is currently serving as a guest room, but I prepped some handwork, if I should find the time. But right now it is all about family! It will be over all too soon!
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Jewel Box made of scraps

Jewel Box is a traditional quilt pattern I have always admired. So when I started seeing quilts made from this pattern on a few blogs lately, I had a hard time resisting.

It is still a work in progress, but you get the idea. The individual four-patches will finish at 1".
It wasn't hard to get this far when I had a pile of these leftover from one secret project...

...and a bunch of these leftover from another secret project.

One of those secret projects is my August entry for the Mini of the Month with Wendy, and it will be revealed sometime next week. It was made for a "basket" mini quilt swap with Randy. Until then, I will give you another little peek.
Really gave it away there, didn't I? :)

The only other stitching I have done that I can show is a little bit of work on my lifetime hexie project, while on a quick trip over the mountain recently. I started a new flower.

In case you are new here, this is my project box for this little quilt. I keep a printout of the quilt taped into the top of the box, and I cross off each flower or star as I get it made.

I would like to start stitching together the parts I have made--sometime when I am in the mood to work on hexies. Except that never happens. :)
I love hexie quilts, but have no fondness for the process. 

We have family visiting for the next week or so. I won't be stitching or visiting blogs much, but I will be back sometime next week to post about my swap with Randy.
Until then,
Janet O.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Just a few little things

I have been absent for over 3 weeks, and I have very little to show for it. Part of that is because I have sewn very little during that time, and part of it is because I have spent some of the scant sewing time on projects I cannot share at present. Don't you hate that?
This is the only thing that has seen major progress.

If it seems strangely familiar, it is because it is the reverse value to this quilt that was my March Mini.
I put a border on the one above, thinking I wanted to quilt feathers in it. Now that I see them together, I am wondering if I want to remove the light outer border.
The March mini was made with cool purples for the setting, and the one above is using warm purples in the setting squares and triangles. To me it creates a totally different feel from one to the other. 

One of my "secret projects" is a mini quilt swap with Randy. We had planned on exchanging months ago, but this has not been a good year for deadlines in my life.
Our rules this time around are using a basket theme and civil war repros. I don't recall now if we designated a size. I think we said no larger than 12", but I could be wrong. That is how I am going to work.
I will show you the first "trial" basket I made, because it didn't make the cut. I have changed them up a bit since making this one.
This has been a crazy busy summer. I know I am not alone in thinking that. Between my son's wedding, my Mom's fall,  continued therapy on my shoulder, 3 family reunions (one of which involved camping), yardwork, housework, and finances at my house and my Mom's house, and now my Mom's basement flooding, I am ready for a change in tempo!
Last month, on the 24th, would have been my Dad's 95th birthday. That evening I drove the 15 miles or so to the little hillside country cemetery in the small farming community where he was born. My sister and some of her family were just leaving when I arrived. After that I was alone with my thoughts and the peace and calm of that place. It was soothing to my soul, and I reflect on that now as there is very little calm in my life at present.
Until next time,
Janet O.