Monday, March 25, 2019

A Puss in Every Corner--And Then Some!

The Circa 1880 Quilt I am making as part of Pam Buda's Circa 1880 Club involves lots and lots of uneven 9-patch blocks (aka Puss-In-The-Corner blocks).There are 500-and-something of them in the finished quilt as designed by Pam. I am making my quilt two rows longer, and two rows wider. It is all that I have worked on in the two weeks since I last posted, though there is not much new to show. Here is what I have so far--hasn't changed a whole lot since my January retreat. I have sewn a lot more blocks since January, but haven't made many more rows.

There are 13 rows completed (or almost completed)--the bottom three in the photo still need to have their ends finished. I will make at least 12 more rows.

These are the blocks I have left of the ones I have made that are ready to use. There are 135 blocks here.

These are the blocks I have sewn, but have yet to press and trim. There are 125 blocks here.
Any guesses as to how many of these blocks I have made--including the ones I have sent away in swaps? Hint--I have made a whole lot more than I will need for this quilt. :) 


I have swapped with 7 quilters and these are the blocks they have made that are yet to be sewn into rows. There are about 160 blocks still to come from swaps. Seven of the rows in the top photo are made of blocks I have received in these swaps. As much as possible, I am making the shorter rows each from one quilter's blocks, and I will write their name on the end of the row made from their blocks.

And here is the next row laid out and waiting by my featherweight for the next time I can sit down and start stitching it together.
I am sure you will be seeing a lot of this project in the future. I hope to complete the top at some point during the year. The quilting will most likely wait until I have some other projects completed. Pam's is quilted with beautiful, small feathers, but I am considering an allover Baptist Fan design.

I will be starting to work on a fun mini quilt challenge soon. I am looking forward to sharing that with you as soon as I can. 

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

An early March Mini, and something new on the design wall.

This is actually my second mini quilt finish for March (highly unusual for me to have even one finished this early in the month, let alone two). The other one is in my previous post. I couldn't decide which one to let claim the honor for the Mini-a-Month challenge with Wendy (The Constant Quilter blog). They are both Pam Buda patterns. This one is from her book "Vintage Patchwork." Wendy is also sponsoring a SAL for the projects in this book, but I can't keep up with both.
May I introduce you to "Emma"?
She really is a tiny thing. I've been showing her around the house and maybe a couple of those shots will give you a better size perspective.

Here she is beside her namesake.
Yes, I love Brit Lit, which is one of the reasons I love the names of the little quilts and projects in this book of Pam's. I think I have read 10 of the 12 books whose titles she used--most of them multiple times.

And this is where Emma will reside for the next little while.

There is a story behind how I came up with the color palette I used. When I was at retreat back in January, on the last night you may recall that I shared how almost all of the participants had packed up and gone home hours before we had to vacate the building. I was furiously focused on my project as people were gathering their things and saying their good-byes, and when I heard someone announce that they were throwing away scraps larger than an inch, I didn't even look up. Now that is focused!
A couple of hours later I made my way to the large and almost overflowing trash bin to empty my thread catcher before packing up to go home. Sitting on the top of the heap, in a cardboard tray, was this amazing collection of scraps! They were pristine--no food scraps had been dumped on top of them. They were just sitting there waiting for me.

The largest pieces were folded and if you ignore the pointy corners they measure 3"x6". The smallest pieces are 2"x3". In my world those are huge! And there were four pieces of almost every fabric.

In order to make "Emma" I added two other fabrics in colors that matched a couple of the scraps, and I added the background fabric. I also pulled small bits of fabric from my scrap basket for the binding and backing. And I still have a lot of these little bits left for another small creation or two.

This shows you the backing, binding and quilting a little better.
I keep the quilting pretty simple on pieces this small, not wanting to overpower the piecing.

The half log cabin quilt top is finally off the design wall. I pushed my way through putting borders on in a timely manner. It is too big for the wall now, so I have it on the floor for this photo, and I am up in the loft, leaning over the railing to get the shot.

The final border is similar in color to my carpet, but I think you can tell where the quilt ends and the carpet begins.

This is what is on the design wall now--my version of Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips. You may recognize it as one of my projects from my retreat--for the last two years. It is all in Kansas Troubles fabrics collected for various projects over the years.

I only need 6 more blocks along the bottom before I can put these together. I have them all laid out on design boards, ready for when I have a few minutes to make a quick block.

I started this quilt in January of 2013 when the Scrappy Trips quilt-along was sweeping across the country. It has been in hiding (other than the last two retreats) for much too long. I am excited to be breathing life into it and hope to have the top finished soon. I do believe I will border it to make it a good bed size. It is pretty shocking that I am finishing quilts this year that are large enough to keep a real live person warm, instead of just decorating a wall or table top.
Quilts for warmth--what a concept. :)

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Finishes and Fun Mail

The quilt for my Mom (made from my Dad's shirts) is finished and delivered.

Really happy with how it turned out. There is enough quilting to look nice, without being so much that it felt stiff. After washing it was soft and cuddly.

Mom was very happy with it. For all the quilts she has made, she only has two at her house--the one hanging behind her sofa that you can see behind her in this photo, and the one on her bed.
On the label of this quilt I explained that I quilted hearts on it so Mom could be wrapped in Dad's love.

I also finished off my Pam Buda Circa 1880 Club Small Quilt #1.
Couldn't resist feathering this outside border, and I rebelled against the directions that called for dark blue binding. I auditioned red, purple and pink for the binding--red won, obviously.

Another finish (kind of--it is a flimsy) is the half log cabin top. I started this just a year ago this month, a couple of weeks before I had shoulder surgery. You can read about it here.

I want to put a border or two on it. It will be for our youngest son one day. I took it up to our bedroom and laid it over the bed to see how much bigger I want it to be. That will play into my border decisions.
Hmmm...wonder if I can talk my son out of it. :)

Now for the fun mail. I received my little swap quilt (made from thrifted shirt fabrics) from Mary (quiltin grandma's blog). She used honeycomb shaped English Paper Piecing. I love it when I get a quilt made from a method I don't love to do--because I always like the look, even if I don't enjoy the process.

I took several photos, but this was the one I liked the best, posing it with some Valentine Teddy Bears I had yet to put away. Mary appliqued the edges to the border and then did straight line machine quilting. I especially love colors from the purple family that sing out from this cutie.
 There were a few goodies tucked in with the quilt (hmm, looks like the chocolate has dwindled a bit). Thank you for a fun swap, Mary!

More fun mail--Barbara (my joyful journey blog) has been selling some things from her sewing room. When it came to the quilts, I jumped at the chance to have this one come live with me. 
When she posted this finish I was so taken with it--for a minute I actually pondered whether or not I could bring myself to do enough applique to make one like it. I got over the feeling quickly! Happily, I can now hang it in my home without the pain of actually having to applique. Again, I love the look, but not the process.  :)

The final fun mail was this FQ that arrived from Wendy. I had recently lamented using the last bit of this fabric on the back of a quilt.

Soon afterward Wendy discovered this among some FQs she won at a guild meeting, and she sent it on to me. Thanks so much, my friend!

There has been more activity in my sewing room lately than it has seen in quite a while--and it has been fun!
Until next time,
Janet O.