Saturday, November 30, 2019

November Monthly Mini and Thanksgiving

Another "just under the wire" monthly mini. Here it sits among the Thanksgiving decor on the dining room hutch. Linking with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog.

You may recognize this from back in June or July. When I got it pin basted and ready to machine quilt I finally realized how wonky the inner triple sashing was.

So I unpicked the cheddar and the triple sashing. I tried reattaching the sashing and 9-patch corners, but they were still not as straight as I would have liked. I tried one more time, with a bit more success, but was not satisfied.

I got the piece damp and "blocked" it onto my wool pressing mat, hoping I could stretch the wonkiness out of it a bit and have it dry straighter.

It helped, but it was still not up to standard. At that point I was so done with this, I decided it was good enough. I also decided I didn't want to reattach the cheddar borders. I pin basted it and machine quilted the whole thing with stitch-in-the-ditch.

Now for the binding.There were already so many stars and dots in this little quilt, I wanted something different. I finally chose a blue with a subtle stripe and I cut it on the bias. Sewed the binding onto the back with the machine. When I wrapped the binding around to the front, I could see I had a new set of problems. The triple sashing and 9-patch corners had become very narrow on the outer edges, thanks to the binding--even though I cut my binding 1" and sewed it on with a very scant 1/4" seam. I unpicked the binding and tried one more time--this time shooting for a 3/16" seam allowance. Wouldn't you know it--the 9-patches are too big on most of the outside edges. So be it. I was finished! 
I think the past six months of barely setting foot in my sewing room has resulted in me forgetting how to quilt. This seemed so much harder than it should have been. But it is finished and maybe by next summer I can pull it out and it won't be full of bad memories. :)

We woke up Thanksgiving morning to this view from our front door. It was still coming down, and continued to pile up.
I like the shot on the right of the marshmallow hats our mailbox and paper box were wearing.  

We were hosting 20 for dinner, and our roads are not top on the list for getting plowed.  Sometimes it feels like they don't even make the list. Thanks to good people in our community who have large plows on their trucks and tractors, our road was passable. And thanks to hubby who used a shovel and the plow on the farm 4-wheeler, there were places to park. And to our youngest son who was here for the weekend, who joined in the shoveling party, everyone was able to make it up our stairs and across the deck to our door.
All 20 of us
Mom and her 4 kids
     Mom used to come to our house for Sunday dinner every week, but this is the first time she has been here since Mother's Day. She just can't do stairs anymore, and you have to go up a full flight to get in our house. She was carried in for this gathering. I think it is time for a chair lift on our interior stairs!

There was a big sale at the quilt shop over the mountain (Village Dry Goods) today. Had to get out after such a busy week. Didn't go with anything in mind this time--just bought what I liked. Found some lovely pieces.

Also got all of the soap out of the "curing cupboard" today. It is time to start packaging it up for holiday gifting.
All 15 batches out on the kitchen island to make sure it passes inspection.

Last week was my birthday and I often do a little "thank you" drawing at that time, but had nothing to share and no time to blog. So let's catch up now.
As a thank you to my blogging (and blog reading) friends, I offer this little quilt I finished recently, a set of Temecula notecards/patterns, a little zippered pouch, a magnetic notepad, some bars of my soap, and a 5"x5" Quilters Select ruler for you to try. Since my friend, Annie M., gifted me one, I am hooked. I bought two small ones right away online, and then I shared them with the quilt shop over the mountain (Village Dry Goods--again). They got them in and I bought two larger ones with my birthday month coupon a couple of weeks ago, and another today at their 25% off 5th Saturday sale. If you are interested, leave a comment--and thanks for following along and being a part of this great online quilting community!

With any luck, I will get another mini finished and post it before December wraps up. :)

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Drawing now closed


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Mother's Flower Garden and my final swap of the year

I have told the story of this quilt before--most recently here. This is the halfway mark. I am now almost finished with the first block of row #4.
Since most of the fabrics I used came from my Mom's stash (I didn't have much of a stash in the 90s), and since my Mom and I started making the flowers at the same time, and since my Mom loved her flower gardens, I have decided to call this one "Mother's Flower Garden". Also, most of these blocks have been appliqued onto their backgrounds as I have sat with Mom following the many falls she has taken this year.

No action in the sewing room, other than the fact that I finally have lights back on the tree in the Christmas Corner. This tree has been bare most of this year, and there is a long story behind the lights on that tree and my iron. Suffice it to say that I am hoping my iron will play nicely with this new strand of low energy LED lights and they can have a long and happy life together.
Most of the ornaments on this little tree are handmade by myself, my daughters and a few blog friends. Pretty soon I am going to need a larger tree.
It stays up year round in my sewing room and gives a happy glow (when I actually have lights on it) to my happy place.

For the past few years I have enjoyed planning quarterly swaps with blog friends, but as my sewing time has continually decreased, I had decided that this would be my last year of regular swaps until I have a little more free time to spend sewing. So the final swap of this year was with my good blogging buddy Denise, at Count It All Joy blog. We did a little swap of mug rugs two years ago. We both have fall birthdays, and both love the season. It was really fun, so we decided to do it again this year. Denise likes making mug rugs, and I prefer making pincushions, so we decided to swap what we were most comfortable making.

This bundle of fun arrived at my house this week. Look at that beautiful mug rug! Denise is a master at embroidery and I feel honored to have a wonderful piece of her work. Her mug rugs are so pretty I prefer to hang them on my wall--the one she sent two years ago is on my kitchen wall right now.
There is also a little bag of the fun wool acorns she has been making. She recently posted a tutorial and you can find it here.
There are some bags of one of her favorite fall herbal teas (which is yummy), some fun fall stickers, a "tea" themed bookmark, and some notecards she made, some of them using photos from my blog. I love custom notecards.
I've put the acorns in with some fall bowl fillers. They are so cute!

This is what I sent to Denise--I went a bit astray from our agreement. I made the pincushion in another color scheme I know Denise likes, rather than the fall colors. I have had this idea playing in my mind and I thought it would be a good fit for her.
Thank you, Denise, for another happy swap. 

Every spare minute of the past three days has been spent making 15 batches of herbal soap for holiday gifting.
It seems like if I haven't been sitting with Mom, I have been making soap. But it feels so good to have that checked off the list!

Speaking of Mom, she has improved. She will have to get used to being inseparable from her walker now. But after another week in the skilled nursing facility where she is getting daily physical therapy, they think we should be able to bring her back to my brother's. We had to take her off hospice to get the MRI and have the sacroplasty and therapy. We will keep her off while she continues with therapy for a few weeks, and possibly has another CT scan or x-ray to see how rapidly her tumor is growing. But she is in good spirits and looking forward to being out of an institution--even though it is a very nice one.
Thanks again to everyone who has expressed their concern and/or included her in their prayers.

This is a wordy post. I'll close with a reference to my new header photo. It was taken from my daughter's home on Halloween evening. Those are the same mountains that I see from my sewing room window, but a little different perspective from her home. It was a glorious sunset for Halloween.

Until next time,
Janet O.