Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Mini-of-the Month

I actually did it--I finished something this month. So many things are "almost" there, but I got one of them across the finish line. This is my Mini-of-the Month with Wendy over at The Constant Quilter blog.

It is from a Pam Buda pattern in Journey Three of her Prairie Women's Sewing Circle. Her pattern called for 20 blocks, I made mine with 12. She named it "Light In The Window." I haven't named mine yet.

I assembled this top in Oct. of 2016--over 2 years ago. It was a true "make do" project. In Pam's Sewing Circle Journeys, she encourages the "make do" principle used by our fore-mothers. When I was making this I had a bundle of small cuttings from Pam's Old Plum Calicoes line, and I was determined to use only those purples and shirtings. I pulled in the blue piece from another of Pam's lines. But working with that limited pile of purples (a fat eighth was the largest piece in the bundle--many were smaller pieces) challenged me.  
Four of the 12 blocks are "make do,"
and it took 2 different fabrics to make the outer border. I didn't have enough of the shirtings to make any more blocks--that is why I stopped at 12.
I cheated with the backing and used a Judie Rothermel print in blue and purple that I love and had been saving for something special. I told myself I had to bind it with the trimmings from the backing. (I talk to myself a lot!) I don't often bind with a lighter fabric than the border, but we are making do here, remember? And I kind of liked lightening up the outer edge a bit.
I thought I would have plenty of the leftover backing with which to bind, and I almost made it. I searched my stash for just one more little bit of this fabric--no luck! (I even looked online, just because I would have loved to have more of this.) And this is a "make do" quilt, remember? Look closely at the bottom edge of the binding in the photo above. In the middle you can see a seam a few inches long worming around the binding. That is made of two little leftover bits that weren't wide enough to be binding--I actually pulled them from the thread catcher on my cutting table. They were destined for the trash. And to the left of that part is a little section of another fabric leftover from one of the blocks. On the back you can see the seam in the pieced section, but on the front (below), that seam is not visible.

And the alternate fabric is not that visible when the quilt is viewed as a whole. I am very happy with this finish. Now I just need a name so I can write on the label and stitch it down. :)

This little top (created from blocks I made at retreat earlier this month) was the other project in the running to get finished for Mini-of-the-Month. But the blue/purple project had been waiting longer and needed its turn first.
The pattern for this little quilt called for a lot more blocks than this, but I felt it was finished, so I bordered it and called it "done." At the moment I can't find the pattern to credit the designer, but I will hopefully have found it before I post about this quilt again.

My design wall has been hosting these blocks for far too long now. At last sighting they were just separate blocks, with the top two rows actually sewn into rows.
Now all of those rows are actually sewn rows, and the last two rows that are missing from the photo above are waiting beside my featherweight  for their turn at assembly.  I am going to do a border or two around this when the rows are all sewn together. This may be coming off the wall soon (except for the fact that I really stall when it comes to borders). 

In one of my "what was I thinking?" moments, I signed on for the Kim Diehl BOM with our LQS. I have never purchased a BOM before. Who am I kidding? When will I make this? But I love it--however, I am already designing alternative corner blocks in my mind.

I do hope everyone in the path of the Polar Vortex is able to stay safe and warm! My prayers are with you.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Can I do this again?

Each month of 2017 I joined in with Wendy (theconstantquilter blog) for her Mini-of-the-Month challenge. It was a scant quilting year for me, and sometimes that mini was all I did for the entire month. Since I still don't have much to show for the two weeks since my last post, I decided to recap my Monthly Minis from last year. Humor me, it's about all I've got. :)

January                                                               July                                                                                  

February                                                              August                                                                








  May                                                                     November                                                                                                                                   

June                                                   December                     



That about does it--except for the fact that Wendy is sponsoring this SAL again this year, along with another SAL making one of the little quilts from Pam Buda's recent book each month. I want to do both, but doubt I can keep up with either. There are still a few days left in the month. I have two minis that have the potential to be finished in time, but it remains to be seen if I actually accomplish it. Are you sewing along?

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

What happens at retreat... never enough!
I always have such grand plans, and I honestly stay pretty well focused while I'm there. My roommate and I are not there to play (but we do still have fun). We are there to make serious progress. But it is never enough.

Once again our retreat was held at the lovely Academy Conference Center in downtown Brigham City, UT.
There were classes going on in a downstairs room most of the time, so the sewing room hardly ever seemed full, though there were about 35 of us there.

I did end up with 11 finished rows on my Circa 1880 quilt. I had six finished when I arrived, so I added five. (One more was made after this photo was taken.)

I haven't touched my Scrappy Trips (Bonnie Hunter free pattern) quilt since retreat last January. This time I added 12 blocks (4 of them were made after this photo was taken). Six more blocks to go. I'd better finish this up before next January!

This little quilt pattern was added to my luggage as a last minute afterthought (along with a basket of HSTs), but it turned out to be the only small project I brought that I actually worked on. There are supposed to be 5 more blocks, but it is really tempting to just sew up these 4 and call it good. I think the Broken Dish blocks finish at 2"

My leader/ender blocks were added to, when the project I was sewing didn't create its own leader/enders.
I almost have 200 of these windmill blocks now, and I have a bunch of them cut out. I think I will finish the ones I have cut, and then I will be done with this one. I have been doing these for years.

The first two days they provided a make-n-take project at 7 p.m. I just brought home the kit for the first one--it is a project bag.

But the second day they hit me in a soft spot--foundation paper piecing mini flying geese!

It all came together to make this key holder that slips onto your wrist.

The retreat ran for three days and the sewing room was open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. We took full advantage of those hours. We were the first ones there each morning, and among those being shooed out at closing time each night--except for the last night. Technically we could stay and sew until 10 even the last night, but a good share of the quilters had packed up and left by 5 p.m.

In the photo above you can see three diehard quilters to the back of the room, and the ladies to the left are employees and owner of the sponsoring shop, just waiting around for the rest of us to go home, so they can do likewise. My retreat buddy got a shot of me about this same time.

We finally left around 7:30, and the other two gals were beginning to pack up to get on their way.
It was a great escape--just what I needed, and just in time to preserve my sanity!

Now back to real life. :)

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Houses and Xs--donation blocks

I actually squeezed in a little sewing time the past couple of days. On Wednesday I made house blocks for quilts for folks in Paradise, CA.

Lori posted about it here, with a pattern and the address of where to send them.

I had fun fussy-cutting novelty prints for the windows, and also digging through my brighter scraps to make some happy houses. 


 I sent the house blocks on their way on Thursday and came home and made more X blocks for the 70273 Project.

These will probably be the last ones I get made for the project. It is amazing how quickly the X blocks are adding up, and I think Jeanne could very well have reached her goal before I get a chance to make more. I don't ever feel like I get enough time in my sewing room to make quilts to donate to worthy causes, so I appreciate times where I can donate blocks. There is one more X block floating around the house somewhere, but I have lost it somehow. If I find it tomorrow, it will join these on their journey to Jeanne.

Next week I will be spending 3 days with my retreat buddy at  the Village Dry Goods Winter Retreat. I think I have my projects narrowed down. Now I need to get organized and ready to go--well, I am SO ready, but I need to get my things ready to go with me. :)

Until next time,
Janet O.