Saturday, October 31, 2020

Monthly Mini and the Beast!

This is my Fairy Garden Party, based on Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party pattern. You can go here to read how this quilt shrunk when I was making it at a workshop with Bonnie, if you are not already familiar with the story. And here you can see how the top came together back in 2017.

I am linking with Wendy for our monthly minis. She keeps us going with her encouragement and example. Follow the link and check out the wonderful autumn mini she made, and enjoy the links to the other mini makers there.

The quilting of this has had me stumped. It is small--as you can see here, with my hand in the photo. Sometimes I feel like things this small can look clumsy if you put too much quilting in them, especially if you don't use a really fine thread. Hand quilting was not an option, because the back side is wall-to-wall seam allowances.

I finally decided to stitch down either side of the green chains, and around the flower centers, with a little more quilting in the borders. (You can see that I forgot to get rid of the marked lines in the border before taking these photos.) 

When I started trying to stitch straight lines from point to point down the sides of the green chains, I had to keep weaving from point to point--there were no straight lines involved. Oh, well, I am so done with the quilting on this. I had the outer border almost completely quilted when I discovered the tension on the back was off (even though I had tested it before I started), and I had to unpick it all. But it is finished now and I am glad to cross this off the UFO list.

Also in the UFO department, I have made major progress on The Beast, my youngest son's king-sized college graduation quilt. It is all quilted!!

Maybe I will actually have it trimmed and bound in time for Christmas, since I didn't make it for his birthday (2 days ago).

The random number generator chose comment number 26, so my lovely friend Kris (who blogs at Lavender Quilts) will be getting a package of my herbal soap when it finishes curing in a couple of weeks.

Hope you are finding beauty in the world around you.

Until next time, 

Janet O.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Humble Quilts SAL--and then some rambling

I finally got my little version of the Humble Quilts fall SAL completed. Named by Lori, "50 Shades of Brown," I have chosen to call my version "Mud Pies." While using the hose in my Mom's back yard recently to water of few of her perennials, I found myself remembering that our sandbox used to be by that hose. We would sometimes employ the hose to create lakes and rivers in the sandbox. Occasionally we would also be found making mud pies, which could take on many shades of brown. Hence the name.

This photo may give you a better idea of the quilting. I really wanted to hand quilt this, but I accepted my reality and quilted it using the walking foot on my machine. Then I squirted it with water and let it air dry to give it a semi-crinkly appearance (my dryer is broken--repairs happening this weekend).

I was so grateful that Lori kept it simple for us this time around. I don't think I would have had the brain power to make anything complex. I couldn't even handle making it smaller, or making a duplicate, both of which have been known to happen with regularity around here.

In case you are wondering about the little display rack in the first photo, I will tell you what I am able. Last year I briefly joined a couple of miniature quilt groups on Facebook. But it all began to be too much for me--too many ideas, too many people, too much time spent scrolling through trying to keep up. I soon dropped out of them. But while still in them, one quilter posted a great magazine rack she had picked up at a thrift store and repurposed for miniature quilts. I absolutely loved it. Many readers asked her questions as to dimensions. I copied the picture with the measurements she shared and filed it on my hard drive. Out of sight--out of mind.

Last month hubby and I were helping an elderly friend paint his home, and as this man is still an active  woodworker, I recalled the great little quilt rack and asked if I could hire him to make it for me. I found the photo with dimensions on my hard drive and emailed it to him. He used red oak, and I told him to leave it unfinished--I will stain it. I love staining wood (but may not get to it for a while). He brought it to me last week. I think he did a beautiful job. I had him put a few less rungs on it so more of each quilt shows. I love it as is, but I know it will really be beautiful when it is stained.
I can't recall who it was that originally posted this in the Facebook group. I can't believe I didn't put that info on the photo. There are some of you readers that are in that group, I know. If you recall who posted this, please share it. I should be giving her credit.
Lately I have received some much appreciated fun mail. Sandi sent the cute soap, pretty scissor fob, and great quilt magnet. I won a giveaway on Wendy's blog and received the beautiful magazines and charm squares. Then Barb sent the sweet, wee quilt and lovely FQs. During stressful times it is such a delight to find a wonderful surprise in the mailbox. I also appreciate those who have sent a text or email to check in. My blog friends are amazing. I know I am really lax in my blogging. I am hopeful that it won't always be so hard to find time to quilt so that I have something to post. 

I almost didn't watch the presidential debate, the last one was so disheartening. But I joined it a few minutes late and was grateful that a small degree of civility was present that had been sorely lacking in the first one. Something that has really impressed me is that the two candidates in my state's race for governor have appeared in an ad together, promoting civility. Don't believe me? It can be viewed here, and it is gaining some national attention. Kind of sad that such a thing is so rare. It shouldn't be.
Not only is it election time, it is also Pumpkin Spice time! I got a giggle out of this. Maybe I just need a Pumpkin Spice oil change to get out of my mental funk.:)                                                        Has anyone else sat out in the wee hours of the morning with a few blankets and a warm drink to see how many meteors they can spot? That would be me two nights ago, for a total of 7 meteors in 35 minutes--starting at 2 a.m. It was magical. You have to take joy where you can, and anything involving the sights in the heavens makes my heart happy.

Spent an afternoon last week making soap, and when it has finished curing in 2 1/2 more weeks, I will draw a name from the comments and send them a few bars. I'd like to pay it forward on the fun mail. I may tuck in a few other surprises.
Until next time,
Janet O.