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.


  1. Name it...."Every Plum Bit" Just could not resist. I love that you dug parts out of the trash for it. Makes this little little so special.
    I am also so loving the big log cabin quilt. That is such a great block to work with. This one is turning out to be wonderful. Don't let it simmer too long before you add borders. It deserves to be finished.

  2. Oh my! And in Pam’s purples! A treasure for sure! And such exquisite quilting! Makes my humble meanders look...well humble! You know me! FREE motion quilter!! Perfect finish! I usually don’t name others quilts, but how about Perfectly Plum!

    You are an inspiration to many! Blessings my friend!

  3. Your little 'make-do' quilt is perfectly wonderful, and I love both names already suggested by Debbie and Doniene. That's a very ingenious solution to your binding dilemma, and if you hadn't pointed it out I don't think most of us would have noticed. The little red-bordered top is very pretty too, the fabric looks very familiar, I think there might be a tiny bit of that red fabric in my scraps. Another cold night ahead but hoping for a bit of warm-up by weekend.

  4. I like Every Plum Bit mentioned by Debbie above. You definitely made it work and it is beautiful. The other mini is pretty too. You've been busy, as you almost have a full quilt top there. January seems to have been a productive month for you!

  5. What fun little quilts! And this post goes to show that even scraps destined for the trash can be usable! LOL

  6. Your make do mini is delightful and so fun with all the added extra bits and pieces. I should challenge myself to do the same sometime. You almost have Feb. mini done. And, of course, your quilting is the icing on the cake, so to speak. :0)

  7. I love the purples. I think plum fabric is one of my favorite things. I'm not into the red side of purple, I like the blue side the best. This little quilt turned out so nice. I'm glad you are doing the BOM, they can be really fun. I used to sign up when Dana was still the owner of Thimbles and Threads in Draper. She came up with some great ideas.

  8. What amazing saves on the beautiful purple/blue quilt! I had to do a double-take, no, make that a triple-take look to see any of them! The red little quilt is beautiful too! Now get those log cabin blocks together while you know where they go --- before they come crashing down and you have to figure it out all over again! ---"Love"

  9. "Making Do" is perfect! I love it for so many reasons.

  10. Very, very pretty, precise, lovely mini quilts!! I love your design wall scrappy one too.

  11. Your mini's are just so gorgeous Janet. Yes I am very much in line with the making do philosophy. Your new BOM is a lovely pattern.

  12. How beautiful, Janet! The lavender and blue look so good together. I think make-do quilts are the best. It's always fun to see how the quilter used what she had and adapted for what she didn't. Your quilting fore-mothers would be proud of your efforts, I'm sure! I like the colors on your second mini and well done on the log cabin blocks. Little by little....

  13. Looks like more than one mini got the Finishing touch. Glad the wall will be empty sometime soon. I'm still working on the Swap mini to be ready when you say go mail it. Had to finish the bindings, now they're done I can stitch other stuff while watching TV, lol.

  14. Oh how I love this one! And, congratulations on your finish!! I don't usually finish with a lighter binding either, but this really is gorgeous and your "fix it" fabric is perfect. I do love to see antique quilts with a "make do" piece added. It gives it so much charm. And it looks like you have next month's mini almost done as well! Thanks for joining in, I know how limited your time is right now.

  15. You are awesome! Love the "make do". Your quilting choices are always just right for your quilts. What tools do you use to mark them with?

    1. Your comment is not attached to an email address, so I cannot reply to you directly. I hope you see this.
      I mark using stencils quite a bit, and I use either a "Pounce Pad" with them, or a Clover Brand water erasable marker, or the Clover Brand White Marking Pen that irons away. Sometimes I use a combination of them, depending on the color of the fabrics I am marking.
      Other times I use quilting rulers, rather than marking.

  16. Your January mini is perfect! Love that you 'made do' using lots of bits and pieces. Your quilting is always so beautiful! Looks like you might be ahead of the game for February. Wow! Lots and lots of pieces on the wall, lol!

  17. Lovely little churn dash. Jill would love all those pretty plums. The make do on the binding is fabulous. It is the kind of surprise I love to see in a quilt.
    that broken dishes mini is so charming. the combination of red and black make those little blocks just sparkle!
    Great work on those log cabin blocks. That is a lot of stitching, pressing and cutting!
    Had to laugh at your BOM comments. funny how we get caught up in the moment.

  18. The purple churn dash mini is very sweet and I love your make do attitude! The Kim Diehl BOM will be amazing....I am sure you can manage it at your own pace.

  19. I'm admiring all of the make-do in that mini! Love it! The Kim Diehl BOM looks like a goodie. I'm looking forward to your new corner blocks...I think those stars in the design are a bit too overpowering for the quilt.

  20. Whatever you end up naming it, it will be lovely - so soft and gentle and the quilting design is beautifully done - it fits so well! The many BOM options are like a siren call to a can you resist...

  21. Beautiful quilts and quilting--my sewing machine has been out of sorts--got to get it repaired and back to my piles and piles of fabric

  22. NICE job on the mini of January!! and the quilting is amazing, Janet!!
    Love the fabrics!!
    And the quilt on your wall is awesome. Doesn't look very mini though... is it really yours??

  23. I had to look three times to see your make do solution. I love it!
    Thanks for sharing, you will enjoy customizing the BOM.


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