Thursday, December 31, 2020

December Monthly Mini and Gnomes in the Dome

I had thought I had plenty of mini quilts for Christmas decorating, but it turns out I was short a few. Now I am short one less. Linking up with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog for our Monthly Mini challenge. This has been the 3rd year--can't believe I have kept up. It is often the only thing I accomplish in a month, so I am grateful for the motivation to at least do this!

Just a handful of green scraps, some leftover Marcus Brothers aged muslin, and a chunk of red from the "smaller than FQ" storage, and this little cutie was whipped up pretty quickly.


I actually did follow a pattern for this, which you wouldn't think I would need for such simplicity. However, I was fascinated earlier this year when I saw this book from Primitive Gatherings, and the quick way to make a negative and positive 9-patch using two squares of fabric.  I had seen the method before, but had never attempted it.

The mini quilt on page 17 caught my eye and I decided it was time to give it a try. It really is slick, but especially when working this small it is important to get your seams accurate. And I always sliver trim the finished product, to make sure they are all the same size.                                                This little piece finished just under 10x12. That is a hair larger than the pattern, but I cut my borders just a bit wider.  I machine quilted the whole thing. I wanted to do some of the quilting by hand, but there just wasn't time.
I actually had another "keep someone warm" finish this month! On a socially distanced shop hop with a friend back in September, I was taken by the Timber Gnomies fabric line from Henry Glass. My youngest daughter loves the gnomes and I thought this might make a fun throw quilt for her--for Christmas!?! What was a thinking? I swore years ago (after frantic Christmas finishes) never to make quilts as Christmas gifts--save that for birthdays! But how hard would it be to whip up my favorite quick strippie quilt pattern? I must have a very short memory.
But I did it!
This quilt is based on Mary Johnson's "My Favorite Quick Donation Quilt" pattern. I have used it many times, but I always add borders, and sometimes extra rows. Makes a good twin size quilt that way--or a large throw. I am really pleased with the results, and my daughter does love it.


I did straight line quilting down each side of the black, inner border. Then using a longarm ruler, I quilted clamshells over the "strippie" portion. The borders got a large swirl, which design I "pounced" using a stencil. Very quick and easy to follow.




 Henry Glass offered a free strippie pattern for this fabric line, and I did download it, but it was a bit too busy for me. However, you could adapt it to your liking, if you prefer this pattern.




 My son was very happy to finally have his college graduation t-shirt quilt--he graduated over 5 1/2 years ago. And I was thrilled to have it finished for him!

And now for one last gnome (as if those Timber Gnomies were not enough). Here you see our resident Dome Gnome with my monthly mini and a nearly empty basket of holiday soaps. I fill a few baskets with packages of my handcrafted holiday soaps for gifting around my community as the holidays get underway. You see there are two lonely packages left. I know the Christmas season is past, but if you wouldn't mind some gingerbread shaped soaps at your house going into the new year, leave a comment that you would like to be included in the drawing. 

Are you a resolution maker, or not? As for me--not so much. I am more of a daily goal maker, working toward larger goals, so I don't make any dramatic changes to my plans for January.

I hope you have all had times of joy through the season, and times of bringing joy to others. I know you bring joy to me!

Until next time,

Janet O.


Okay--I have to do a little more weather geek stuff. Three days ago we had such a pretty hoarfrost. It makes the world look like a fairy land. I just want to share a few photos.



Feathery frost creating fluff on all surfaces.  I never tire of it. Hopefully you can enlarge the photos for a better look.

Drawing now closed!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Beast Conquered

This quilt was started in the summer of 2015 as my youngest son's college graduation quilt. It has appeared here on the blog many times, but progress was halted on more than one occasion due to shoulder problems, then surgery, and finally a long, slow recovery.

It feels so good to have finally taken the last stitches on this king-sized quilt, and completed the label. It may have been meant to be a graduation gift years ago, but this is going under the Christmas tree this year! 

Below is the glamor shot--at least as glamorous as a t-shirt quilt can get.

The twin to this quilt can be seen HERE. I made that one 9 years ago for my oldest son's graduation.

I have another near finish that I should be able to share at the end of the month, when I also hope to have a monthly mini ready, but here is a sneak peak.

This was Thursday when I was working very hard to get the quilting finished on my HQ Sweet 16. Friday afternoon I attached the binding and got half of it sewn down by hand on the back. Hope to get the other half finished today. To finish two quilts in one month that are large enough to keep someone warm is a very rare occurrence for me. I want to bask in the feeling for a minute. :)

I had a request from someone who wanted to see my tree that only has handcrafted ornaments this year. I have wanted to do this for several years, but I always hate to leave off the ones we have collected on family vacations, or the ceramic ones I painted, or the Matreshka doll ornaments that echo my doll collection. But since we won't be hosting any family gatherings, I figured no one would care if I left those ornaments off this year. You should be able to enlarge the photos to see the ornaments more clearly.

These photos get the tree from most angles. You can enlarge them to see the ornaments. The crocheted chain, large felt ornaments, and most of the counted cross-stitch were all made around 40 years ago, early in our marriage when buying ornaments wasn't an option. Many of them haven't been on the tree in decades. There are ornaments made by my mother and mother-in-law, my daughters, granddaughter, myself, neighbors, and some of you.

You may have noticed a little guy sitting on the window ledge. That is our "Gnome in a Dome." Many of you have an elf on a shelf, and some have a Nisse or two (or more). When hubby and I recently visited a Christmas display at a local garden center we couldn't help but notice that gnomes seemed to be the predominant theme. We decided we could use a gnome for our dome. He is a cute little guy.

We will be having Mom join us for a few days next week. It will be a privilege to have her with us for Christmas this year. There will be precious memories made. She wasn't supposed to live to see last Christmas, so it is a miracle she has made it this long. Though frail and struggling with short-term memory issues, she is still spunky and her dry wit keeps us laughing.

If you are celebrating Christmas, or Chanukah, or any other special traditions in your family, I hope you will cherish those with whom you are able to gather, virtually or physically. Make memories that will be remembered fondly. Choose to set aside differences, forgive past hurts, reach out to those who may be a bit harder to love. See if you can help someone feel valued. Choose to be part of the change the world can use right now.

Until next time,

Janet O.


Earlier this week I was walking to my car in a parking lot and was captivated by the view of this sun dog. It is brighter than any I have seen before (does this prove that I am a weather geek?). ;)