Saturday, January 30, 2021

Monthly Mini and Pam Buda projects

My January monthly mini is made of Old Italian blocks (sometimes called X blocks). I think I first was introduced to this easy construction method on Barbara Black's blog here.  I used her directions that call for 5" charm squares, with blocks finishing at 3". That makes this finish at 15"x18". Will link up with Wendy at The Constant Quilter blog when her Monthly Mini post goes up.

I had received a gift of a lovely charm pack a few weeks ago. I pulled several squares from it, and a few more squares from a couple of other charm packs I had on hand. I ended up cutting six more blocks from my scrap baskets, trying to get a good variety of styles and colors. I chose a couple of Barbara Brackman grey/blues for the binding. I wanted it to look like a "make do" scrap quilt where I didn't have enough of one fabric for the binding (even though I did). But you can tell I wasn't real brave about it or I would have used two fabrics that didn't look so much alike.

Oh, it was hard for me to resist continually rearranging the blocks to avoid like colors being next to each other. I am so proud of myself for leaving the two brightest blue blocks touching each other at their corners, and leaving a cluster of 3 red Xs next to a red block. It doesn't even bother me. (*twitch*twitch*)

I don't know if you can tell from either photo that I just quilted in every single, stinkin' ditch. That is only 49 passes across this little quilt to get the diagonal lines and the lines between the blocks.

And yes, in case you are wondering, I have not yet stained my mini quilt display rack. Eventually...


I have the first row made of my "Every Little Bit" quilt, designed by Pam Buda (in magazine found here), along with 2 rows of sashing. I know I won't always be able to get a row made in a month, but I am grateful when I can find enough sewing time to make this kind of progress. These are 6" finished blocks and there are 52 different fabrics in each block.

I realized that the two projects on my design wall are each designed by Pam Buda. I attended a retreat 7 years ago where she was the featured teacher. One of the days was spent working on the Settler's Puzzle quilt (on the right). 

It is designed as a 2 color quilt. I went rogue and cut mine in 3 colors, but after the retreat it spent a LOT of time in the closet. Two years ago I pulled it out and determined I would finish the blocks, which I did. A few months ago I pulled it back out and was working on the borders. I just had to do it--I HAD to add a fourth color, and I cut a dark green border. If I have enough, I may bind it in the same dark green. I really stall on borders, so I am leaving this on the wall until I force myself to get the borders attached.

I can't even think of a way to close this post. Mom isn't doing well and I am emotionally spent. So there you have it.

Until next time, be kind and generous in your attitude toward others--even those with whom you disagree.

Janet O.

Full moon rising over the Bear River Range of mountains on Thursday. The photo is a tad blurry, but it is a lovely view.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Big plans

Aside from my monthly mini, I don't usually like to have quilting projects with deadlines. This is my therapy--deadlines cause stress. Stress creates the need for therapy. It's a viscous cycle. But I have jumped in to a few projects this year that may leave me wondering, "What was I thinking?" 

For the first time I have joined in on Cecile's SAL at Patchwork Inspirations. I barely squeaked in before the sign-ups were closed. She has a fun SAL every year, with wonderful sponsors. There is always a theme with a rule or two--and a deadline. But you decide how to interpret the theme. This year the theme is CURVES, and you are to have at least 16 blocks with curves in your finished product. Though I don't often use curved seams, I do know how to do them, and I had an idea, so I jumped on the train. Introducing "COVID Curves".

I felt like the Devil's Puzzle layout could pass for a stylized version of the virus, and every piece of fabric in this wall hanging was from the leftovers of the 500+ masks I made last year. We have certainly had enough curves thrown our way in the past year and I wanted to memorialize the experience in this quilt. All of the curves are sewn, but I need to start stitching the blocks into rows. I believe this will end up being about 24" square, as each of the little blocks should finish at 3".

In all my nearly 10 years of blogging, I have never done a Barbara Brackman SAL, though I have thought about it, and have even gone so far as to make the first block a couple of times. But I cannot resist this one--Star blocks with different centers, and a Little Women theme. One block a month--not too late to join in. You will find the first pattern HERE.  I have decided to do two of each monthly block. You can choose between 12", 8", or 16". I am doing the 8".

I will be using a variety CW repros in pink and brown. I have been saving them up for years for a different pattern, but this just felt right.

This next project has no deadline, but I feel like it may be the craziest choice of all. In the June 2015 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, Designer Pam Buda had a quilt that left me breathless. For one thing it uses the churn dash block (which I love), and for another it uses tiny pieces of scraps. I received a very healthy infusion of scraps recently (you know who you are) and I knew it was time to pull out the magazine and get going.

This is Every Little Bit, by Pam Buda. She talks about this quilt on her blog HERE. Each straight side of the churn dash block is formed from 8 tiny strips of fabric. They are foundation pieced, and this photo shows you how small they are.

The pattern calls for 42 blocks and you need four of these little foundations for each block. I want my quilt a bit bigger, so I am planning on adding a row of seven more--I'll need almost 200 of these little pieced foundations. If I made a block a week, I could have all the blocks finished by Christmas. But life doesn't usually cooperate, so I am just planning on this being a two or even three year project. But I don't want it to get buried in a closet.

I have my first two blocks completed. They will finish at 6". I used a different method for the center 4-patch in a square than the pattern indicated. I wanted to make the 4 patch barely float, so that I wouldn't always be worried about cutting off the points. Seems to be working.

I tried to provide a link to the digital copy of the magazine, in case you are crazy, too you are interested, but the page would never load for me. However, there are a few copies of the magazine available on Amazon.  

I don't know if I should admit that I have another pattern from a magazine that I hope to work on a little each month. I won't share it until I see if I actually start on it one day soon. And then, of course, there will still be the monthly minis. This may not seem like much to many of you who make more than this in any given year, but for me lately, this is a bunch!

In my last post I offered to share the last bags of my Christmas Gingerbread soaps. I thought I only had two, but I found a few more, so I drew five names. In the process I kept ending up with people whose profiles are not linked to their email, so I had to keep redrawing. Makes me sad because I don't think you even know you can't be contacted.

So Loris, Terry C., Nancy S., Ruth J. and  DebrafromMD will be receiving some gingerbread men that lather really well. Nancy, and Ruth, I have your addresses. Terry, you have moved since I had yours, and Loris I thought I had sent you something before, but I can't find your address in my file. Debra, I will need yours. If you ladies will get your addresses to me, I will get your soap sent out.

Tomorrow is Inauguration Day. I hope it is a peaceful one, and I have hope for a kinder, more inclusive, and more dignified term of office this time around.

Until next time,

Janet O.