Saturday, August 31, 2019

August Monthly Mini--etc.

This monthly mini (with Wendy @ The Constant Quilter blog) is posted with not a minute to spare. I had thought I would quilt the indigo/cheddar quilt in my last post for my monthly mini, but I still can't decide how I want to quilt it. I was down to the wire time-wise. I rummaged through the sewing room looking for something that would be a quick finish. The black/red/gold quilt in the photo below is what happened.
It was probably 5 or 6 years ago that I assembled the 4-patch and gold blocks. When I noticed that one of the black 4-patch units was turned the wrong way I decided I needed to fix it. I set it aside, but every time I thought I would fix it I decided I didn't love it enough to put the time into it to either fix it or finish it. I was desperate enough this time that I felt I could finish it without fixing it. So I slapped a couple of borders on it, did simple diagonal lines through the blocks and straight lines around the red border, with some loops in the outer border that you can see if you click on the photo to the left. I think I even like it now.

This week I also sewed up the final two rows of my Pam Buda Circa 1880 Quilt. I am loving this quilt, and I have enjoyed slipping in a few "rogue blocks." In fact, I added another one to my very last row. If you have ever tried to draft a churn dash block to finish at 2", you know the challenges I faced. Blocks based on a 3x3 grid don't play well on a 4x4 grid--but I persevered and finally ended up with parts assembled for three blocks.
I stitched them up and proceeded to add one of them to my last row. After pinning it to the design wall along with all of its friends, I stepped back and wondered what had gone wrong.
Okay, I admit I was sewing late at night--again! In my sleep deprived state I just added this block to the row, without removing one of the other blocks to make room for it. I still haven't fixed it. But I need to do it soon, and start sewing the rows together.  I made mine with 27 rows. Every other row is made with blocks I swapped from another quilter. So I made 14 rows from my own blocks, and 13 rows with blocks from friends. I have really enjoyed the swapping.

Last, but definitely not least, Julie (My Threadbear Life blog) and I had agreed to do a little exchange. It ended up being a pincushion exchange--and so much more! Her package arrived today from New Zealand, and I am a little hesitant to send hers now. Look at the glorious contents I received.

The whole package smelled like lovely lavender, thanks to the soaps and the sachet. There are amazing flavors of chocolate, and a beautiful handmade card.

Get a closer look at this clever pincushion from an up-cycled old spinning wheel bobbin. Notice the little alphabet beads spell "quilt", and there are tiny hexies, and sewing related charms attached. I love it!

Up-cycling is Julie's specialty and her blog is a constant source of amazement for me. She is so creative.

I told Julie I hadn't sent her package yet because I wanted to include some of my herbal soap, and it isn't finished curing yet. I will probably send it next weekend, and when she has received it I will share with you what I sent. A huge thanks to Julie for the fun surprises, and for all of her inspiring blog posts!

If I don't hurry and post this it won't be August anymore, and my monthly minis are tired of always being late.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Coming up for air (Don't know if that means me or this project)

Remember this project?  This has been a leader/ender project at one of my machines for five years now. It was inspired by Kathie Holland, formerly of "Inspired by Antique Quilts" blog. Each windmill is around 4". I've enjoyed throwing in some "make do" blocks, and I recently came across one block I had made from some accidentally backwards cut pieces. I think I want to throw that reverse windmill in the mix somewhere, for a fun little quirk.
This photo is from two years ago, and I have added many more blocks since it was taken, but my design wall is kind of full right now, and I had no desire to lay these out on the floor, and then have to keep bending over, or crawl around on the floor to pick them up again.

I recently got all of the blocks out and stacked them by color to see how evenly divided the colors are.  Then I figured out how many of each color I had cut and ready to sew, and how many more neutrals I need to cut to go with them.

Then I clipped the finished blocks in groups of by ten, by color. I think I am going to be making about 90 more blocks and then see what size quilt it will all create.

I've also been trying to assemble the "June" small quilt for the Circa 1880 club.
I can't seem to get the cheddar/indigo color palette out of my blood. In this photo the borders are just laying on the design board around the completed center. Since taking this photo I have been able to attach two rounds of the borders.

Though my sewing room is currently a mess (and may be for some time), it is still my happy place. Even when I am so lacking in focus that I can't simply run my leader/ender blocks under my needle, I may still choose to come into this disaster area and read in my chair. Notice the aforementioned full design wall?

You can see a partial shot of the hexie flowers on a design board to the right in the photo above. I am now on block #12. Hubby and I are heading to Sun Valley, Idaho. He belongs to a choir that is going to perform at an outdoor venue there. It takes several hours on the road from here to there, so I may get another one or two hexie flowers stitched to the background if the light is good.

Anybody recommend a good quilt shop in the Sun Valley area? I am going to have time on my hands while hubby is in rehearsals. :) 

Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Monthly Mini for July--late again!

It has been a long time without posting, but I actually had this finished about the middle of July. I just couldn't  muster enough brain power, or stay awake long enough to write a post whenever I had any time.
This is my July Monthly Mini with Wendy over at The Constant Quilter blog, making its late appearance. I am calling it Deep Purple--and if that name makes you start singing the song, then your age is showing. :)

My very random scrap creation (described in my previous post) received mostly ditch-stitching with a little bit of free motion in the border. This photo gives you a little glimpse of it.

When I get a chance to spend time in my sewing room lately I find myself too mentally and/or emotionally drained or distracted to focus on a project and make progress. I end up shuffling a few things around and basically accomplishing nothing.

We took Mom to an oncologist this week. He was very fun and we laughed so much. That was a blessing, because my Mom likes to keep things lighthearted at the doctor's office, even when talking about terminal cancer. She is opting for no treatment, so we are having a hospice evaluation today.

When visiting with Mom I always take handwork with me, and if she is resting, or we are just watching TV together, I pull out my hexie flowers and stitch them to their backgrounds. I have doubled their numbers since my last post, and am currently working on #9.

One last quilty thing to share...have you heard of Quilters Select rulers (this link is just one of many sources for them)? A dear friend of mine has mentioned to me before that she happened upon them and has been so impressed that she is gradually replacing her Creative Grid rulers with the Quilters Select, as the CG rulers get too worn (for me that means I have chipped up the corners too much).
A few days ago I received a little ruler in the mail from my friend and I must say I completely understand her enthusiasm for these rulers--so much so that I have a couple of them ordered now. 
You can see it against the white paper--notice the slight yellow color. That is an amazing treatment on the surface of the back side that makes them practically slip-proof.

I trimmed up a few HST I had on hand (who am I kidding, I have hundreds of them on hand!!) and I couldn't have been more pleased. I wish the diagonal lines went in both directions, but I can work around that. If slipping rulers are an issue for you, even on those great Creative Grid rulers with the little gripper dots, you may want to check these out! No affiliation here, just a very pleased user!

So much family stuff going on this summer--especially regarding Mom. Thanks to those who have checked in with me, and apologies for when I haven't responded. I have fallen asleep many times at the computer when I sit down thinking I will catch up, so instead I give up.

Until next time--whenever that might be,
Janet O.