My (late) January monthly mini is the completed "December Small Quilt" from the Circa 1880 club. Linking with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog.
It is the smallest of the six small quilts that were part of the quilt shop-sponsored Circa 1880 clubs. This gives you a little better perspective on the size.
My quilting on this was very simple. (Do I say that every time?) I did stitch-in-the-ditch around the piecing in the center. In the photo above I think you can faintly see the FMQ I did in the border.
I was very thrilled to get to go to most of Winter Retreat, sponsored by Village Dry Goods (the little shop over the mountain to which I often refer). It was held at the same beautiful venue it has been in for the last few years.
This is always such a boost after a busy holiday season, but with Mom's needs, I didn't think I could go. Fran (the shop owner) told me she would be saving a place for us (Kim and I) if I could work things out. At the last minute we got my nephew's daughter (a CNA) to cover the times my brother would need help with Mom during retreat. Chloe, my grand-niece, had just moved back home and was looking for work. What a blessing that was!
This is an "open sew" retreat (which I love), but they do offer classes each day for those who choose to participate. One very popular class is their annual mystery quilt, designed by Fran and Laurie. I never take classes, but it was fun to see the revealed mystery. The two quilts are from the same pattern, but one is in dark & dirty CW repro fabrics and the other is in more bright/modern fabrics. The difference in the appearance of the design is really fun to see.
|Kim, Fran, me|
I had even brought along some blank signature blocks the year I bought that pattern and I had Pam, a couple of friends who attended, and the two shop owners sign the blocks. They have been stored with the pattern ever since. I worked on this that first day and half of the next day before I decided the rest of the borders could go on at home. I haven't managed to do that yet.
The second afternoon I pulled out a little quilt I started at last year's Winter Retreat. This is a Kim Diehl pattern named Prairie Sky. I had purchased the kit without realizing that it was applique. Then I had set out to find a different way to make it.
I wound up foundation piecing it. I got all of the blocks finished and brought it home and attached the border. Notice how nice and neat the back is (NOT)! I made one less row than the pattern indicated, and I made solid borders instead of scrappy.
My final project was Bonnie Hunter's mystery, Easy Street. Yes, I know this is from 2012. In my defense, I didn't start mine until...2013. :)
Mine is made from thrift store shirts and back when I started this I didn't always choose shirts wisely. Some fabrics are a bit thick, others a bit ravely. I don't love working with them. Besides that fact, I make so many mistakes sewing up these blocks, it discourages me every time I try. I think out of the two blocks I made at retreat I unpicked on the first one 5 times! I think the pattern calls for about 25 blocks set on point, with pieced setting triangles. My apologies to Bonnie, but I made two more blocks at retreat (I had come with 10), laid them out and decided I was finished making blocks.
Using a straight set, it will be a nice throw quilt size. At home I used some leftover parts to put a small pieced border around the edge and then I fussy-cut the purple striped fabrics leftover from a couple of the shirts and made a solid-looking border all around. Here it is pinned to my design wall. I just need to piece the two borders on the sides and attach them. Usually I make the top borders go across the corners, but there wasn't enough of that purple--and not enough of the darker purple to do the whole border. I plan to complete those two borders today. I am being stinkin' productive lately. :) (And it is about time!)
The only other thing I did at retreat was label the ends of the rows of my Circa 1880. The long rows are comprised of blocks made by me, but the short rows are made from blocks swapped with others.
Where possible, I made a whole row with one person's blocks. Pam, Cyndi and Wendy were my original swap partners. I also swapped with 5 other quilters. It is really a treat to have their blocks in my quilt. I took this quilt with me to Village Dry Goods during retreat and chose fabrics for the border--and ended up not using them. Well, I did use one of them. This is now a finished top.
There was just enough length (barely) to border the sides, but I did have to match and piece the top and bottom borders. I was pleased that the matching turned out so well. This photo is a tad blurry, but it shows one of the matched borders.
I had tried to make this quilt larger than the pattern to fit a queen size bed.
Here it is on our guest room bed. I think it works. Now this has to get in line to be quilted. I'm thinking Baptist Fans.
Just a few quick things to close this record long post. I was recently gifted this sweet machine. Anyone know anything about it? Think it is a model 15-something (ETA: I have been corrected--this is a 99k) and was made in Scotland in the 1920s. I haven't really had time to explore it yet, but I would appreciate any insight you might have. You can click the photos to get a closer look.
Finally, my sweet Mom turns 90 tomorrow. This is a photo of her back in November. She is still chipper, but suffered another fall on New Year's Eve and acquired 3 more compression fractures in her spine--bringing her total of fractures in 2019 to 10!
She is so ready to "graduate", but we are cherishing the time we have left with her.
I will leave you with this cheerful view above my kitchen sink. Eight of my 16 orchids are blooming again. The others have bloom stems coming. The flowers are such a welcome sight in the midst of winter. The blossoms last for months!
If you have stuck it out until the end of this lengthy post, leave a comment and I will thank one of you with a bundle of herbal soap.
Until next time,