Saturday, November 24, 2018

The 70273 Project post

A couple of posts ago I shared about my participation with The 70273 Project and promised a future post on the subject. 

Several bloggers have already posted about this inspired project from Jeanne Hewell-Chambers. I will add my voice, and encourage any who feel they are able, to join in. The project badge is on my right sidebar, and you can click that to go to Jeanne's blog for details about the different ways you can participate. But to introduce you to the project, I quote from Jeanne:

Between January 1940 and August 1941, Nazis murdered 70,273 physically and mentally disabled people – men, women, teens, boys, and girls. Though they never even laid eyes on the disabled person they were evaluating, the Nazi doctors read the medical files and, if from the words on the page, the person was deemed “unfit” or an “economic burden on society”, the doctor placed a red X at the bottom of the form. Three doctors were to read each medical file, and when two of them made a red X on the page, the disabled person’s fate was sealed.
I will commemorate these 70,273 voiceless, powerless people who were so callously and casually murdered by gathering 70,273 blocks of white fabric (representing the paper the doctors read), each bearing two red X’s (representing one person), and I will stitch them together into quilts. 

Is there any one of us that does not know and love someone that would have fallen into the same category as those 70273 who lost their lives  in such a heartless manner? Whether it is a mental or physical challenge, or just the declining abilities brought on by aging, we would all have lost people we cared about, if not our own lives.

What an opportunity to take part in this art project with a purpose, to commemorate those whose lives were cut short, and see that this sad episode of history is not forgotten, or repeated!

Jeanne is about 2/3 of the way to her goal, and is displaying the work wherever she can. If you explore her blog you can find several of the displays she has already done. 

I had sent in 5 blocks last month that I had made by piecing.  I always start with fabric a bit larger than the finished block is to be. Then I cut them twice on the diagonal and pieced in the red strips, repeating the process going in the opposite direction, to form the Xs. I tried to make each X just a little bit different from the one beside it.

Once they were made I trimmed them and added a white border all around.
They looked far too neat and precise, not at all the way I imagined those Xs would appear as they were thoughtlessly slashed onto those papers. 

In trying to salvage what I had made, I trimmed them again (good thing I had made them oversized), but this time I made them a bit wonky.
I just have to hope that all of those extra seams won't be so obvious when there is white batting and backing behind them.
This project was on my mind off and on throughout Thanksgiving Day. I wanted to come home from our family feast and make more blocks, but I was up very late the night before making these... I crashed when we returned home and I had somewhat tamed the mountain of dishes I had left behind.

Friday was mostly spent out and about in birthday celebrations, but I had prepped some white blocks and red strips of fabric before leaving home. I stitched my first X block by hand as we drove to and from our destinations.
The other 6 were quickly stitched down by machine in the evening as hubby watched a football game and I kept him company. You can faintly see in the photo above that I cut my blocks larger, and draw pencil lines for the final size, keeping my work well within those lines. That way any fraying that takes place while I work won't shrink the block to an unusable size.

I pressed the edges of the red fabric strips under, pinned them in place, and stitched them down very close to the edge with a straight stitch. No fancy applique involved (thank goodness). It went very quickly, and I am much happier with this second set of blocks.

There are many ways the blocks can be assembled--even as simply as stitching down red ribbon or ric-rac.

And, making blocks is just one way to be involved. You can make small quilts, help piece blocks together into a quilt top, offer your services as a quilter, get your guild involved in making a quilt or having a block making meeting. You can make hanging sleeves, or fabric postcards with Xs. Or if you don't have time to make anything, but want to help, you can donate. Money is always an option, but they also need red and/or white fabrics, batting, and red and white thread.

Finally, you could invite Jeanne to do a guest post on your blog, or speak to your guild. You can contact her here.

I think I have covered the subject. I hope I haven't been overbearing. For many reasons it is close to my heart, and this is just one of them. Ben is my youngest grandson, and he has a severe, intractable seizure disorder. Though he is 9, he appears about half that age, and has very little language, sign or verbal. He is so precious, and "Bapa" is his favorite person. What reason might you have for wanting to be involved?
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Pam's Heirloom quilt

If you are a follower of Pam Buda's blog ( you have already seen this outstanding heirloom she has created. This photo is from its unveiling in her booth at Quilt Market in Houston. Isn't it amazing?
This will be available to make in 2019 at quilt shops who sponsor the Circa 1880 club. In her post about this quilt here, she explained how she swapped blocks with friends to keep this scrappy and get it made by the deadline of Market. I was fortunate to be one of those who swapped blocks with those participating.

In this photo you can see the piles of 10 blocks on the design board to the left (300 blocks on that design board). In the middle are the baggies of blocks I received from others. And on the design boards piled to the right are pieces waiting to be sewn together to make another 120 blocks.
This is the kind of quilt I have always wanted to make, and this opportunity gave me the motivation I needed to keep making enough of those little blocks for a large quilt--hundreds and hundreds of those little blocks! There is a reason why I make mini quilts. I have a hard time staying focused on making the same little block over and over, but I proved to myself that I CAN do it! :)

My trusty featherweight has been the machine of choice for this project. Most of the blocks are made (there are about 75 left to stitch together), and now I am starting to assemble rows.
Here I am auditioning blocks to get a good balance of colors in a row.

I have 5 rows assembled and pinned to the edge of my design wall, where my half log cabin blocks are still residing. I hope to make more progress on this project when I go to my annual retreat in January. I actually made my first blocks for this quilt at retreat last January. This secret sewing has consumed much of my limited sewing time this year, and it is really fun to finally be able to share it with you!
If this quilt draws you in as much as it does me, check with your local quilt shop to see if they will be hosting the club.

Aside from that, since my last post I have been trying to get a few little quilt tops marked and basted.
They are starting to pile up again, and I do not want a repeat of 2016, where I had 30 little tops to quilt, and I added half again that many as the year wore on.
One of these will hopefully get quilted before the month is over to fill in as my Mini of the Month.  

We took a quick trip to Southern Utah last week to visit some friends, and attend a concert by The Piano Guys. On the way home I used my birthday month coupon at the little shop over the mountain (Village Dry Goods) to get 25% off of this lovely selection. 
Jo Morton's new Spice it Up line embodies the colors of Fall, to me. And I picked up a few of the new Primitive Gatherings Flower Garden line.
And look at this--one of the employees at the shop has made up Jen Kingwell's Long Time Gone quilt in Civil War repros. 
I have the pattern and when I finally get around to making it, I want to do something along these lines.
Until next time, 
Janet O.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Sajou redo & October Mini

I know, I know--I was adamant that I was not going to remake my Sajou (again), even though I wasn't crazy about my finish. Well, I lied. The border was just too bland, and I loved the pieced border Lori had on hers. Just because I didn't use the round of the setting triangles, there was no reason why I couldn't do the final border.
I like this so much better. I guess the third time IS the charm. 

I did draw paper foundations and copy them onto newsprint to use for foundation piecing, making sure the borders would fit properly.


My October mini was finished just in the nick of time, but I was too tired to post it last night. This is the Jewel Box mini I made with leftovers from other projects.
It is posing with a jewelry box that my grandmother gave me for my birthday when I was a young teen. It still sits on my dresser. It has been decades since I wound the key and tried to get the music to play, so I did it today. I got a very slow, but perfectly in tune version of the love theme from Dr. Zhivago.

The day before Halloween I had been in my LQS and had picked up the last FQ of a very cute owl fabric. I didn't know what I would do with it, but it had to come home with me. So when it came to layering the Jewel Box mini for quilting, I decided that since it was my Oct. mini for Wendy's Mini a Month challenge, owls would be a fitting back. I felt like I was channeling my inner Barb (who is the queen of fun backings).

You can see I simply quilted (wobbly) diagonal lines. Aren't those owls great?

Color: Boysenberry--looks like plum to me
On a non-quilty note, my kitchen just received a new addition this week. I have been using my MIL's 25 year-old, refurbished, white KitchenAid stand mixer for about 3 years now. Seems almost every gluten free baking recipe I like calls for the use of a stand mixer, and I didn't have one. I had been a Bosch user all my life, but had to get rid of mine when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. The old KitchenAid still worked well, but I wanted larger bowl capacity. And if you are going to get a new one, why not get a fun color, right? This arrived yesterday. (You can see my distorted reflection in it as I take the photo.) It makes me smile whenever I see this on my counter.

And to break it in I made a batch of my new favorite gluten free muffin recipe from King Arthur Flour. They are a delicious gluten free pumpkin muffin that you can dress up in a variety of ways. I have made them with pecans or mini chocolate chips. These are the pecan version--so yummy! The grandkids prefer them with chocolate chips. I am just happy to have a great pumpkin muffin again. They are fluffy, moist and flavorful, and they taste good even several days after making them. That is rare for gluten free baked goods.

One final note--I have finally made and sent blocks to the 70273 Project, something I have been intending to do since I first read about it on Lori's blog over 2 years ago. 
It is very important, and deserves its own post (which it will get). In the meantime, click on the link above and see if you are inspired to participate.

Until next time,
Janet O.