Sunday, May 30, 2021

Monthly Mini, etc., etc.

It was getting down to the wire and I needed a monthly mini made quickly! I rummaged through the sewing room and came up with 4 mini basket blocks that hadn't made the cut in a mini quilt a few years back. The baskets were from Kansas Troubles fabric, so I went to some bags of scraps given me by my retreat buddy and found the one of Kansas Troubles fabric. That was my beginning. I told myself I had to make my mini from the 4 basket blocks and scraps from the bag. This is what came of it.

It finishes at 10 1/2" square, and is all machine quilted, stitch-in-the-ditch. I did the binding on it while Zooming with Chookyblue and friends for her Chookshed's 9th birthday. It is lovely to sit and stitch and laugh with gals from across the globe. When I came out of my sewing room after two hours of visiting hubby said, "it was so good to hear you laughing" (have been under the weather lately and not laughing much). Linking here with Wendy (Constant Quilter Blog), our motivator and mentor on the monthly minis. 

I am surprising myself a little that I am keeping up relatively well on the BOM and BOW I am doing. The BOM is totally caught up and I have 2 blocks to catch up on with the BOW. That is doable. Here is the progress to date.

You may notice in the lower set of blocks that a few weeks ago I did begin throwing a bit of cheddar into the blocks. The lighting on the bottom isn't great but that is cheddar. I am going to toss a piece in here and there. At the moment I think I will use it only in the center of a block, but that rule could change if I decide I don't like it.

I received a surprise bundle in the mail yesterday. I didn't think to get photo of everything, but there was fabric, and Aurifil thread, and then there was this.This sweet little patriotic cross-stitch piece was made by my dear friend Kris, of Lavender Quilts blog. She mounted it to a lovely piece of weathered cedar fence for a great rustic look that I love! Thank you so much, Kris! It will be loved and enjoyed!



Things have been blooming around here, and I love things that bloom! Fourteen of my sixteen lilac bushes have been laden with blossoms and the air has been laden with their fragrance. It is delightful. I went out last week and cut three stems from each bush. It made two full and fragrant bouquets.


Even my Hoya houseplant has been blooming, and this is the first time in the 20 years or so that I've had this plant that I have actually had 2 bloom clusters at the same time. And speaking of blooms, I have decided that due to the extreme drought conditions in our area, this year I am going to lay weed barrier over my annual flowerbeds, and just not plant. It takes so much water to keep them going in the raised concrete beds around our home. I will keep my roses and raspberries going, but let the other beds have a rest this year. I will have more time to tend to my houseplants, more time to quilt, and I will be saving water. Wins all around! I do have a couple of pots on my deck filled with plants that have been gifted to me, and those flowers will be enjoyed during our many dinners on the deck this summer.

The sunset over the farmyard was glorious this evening. I was in my sewing room and whenever I glanced out the window the colors had deepened and spread farther across the sky. I finally had to jump up and get photos. The camera never does justice to the depth of color, but here is a washed out version of what I saw.

I was trying to get this posted before midnight Saturday, but I didn't quite make it. I got tangled up trying to choose the winners of the drawing for the little quilts, but it is all sorted out now.

Barbara will receive Mud Pies and Sharon S. will receive Labor of Love. Congrats to the two of you, and I wish you all a beautiful weekend, and my friends in the states a wonderful Memorial holiday! Be kind and be creative. :)

Until next time, 

Janet O.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


My post is what is overdue, not the quilt. I received my quilt from Cecile (Patchwork Inspirations blog) in the first week of the month, but haven't seemed to be able to get a post written in order to share it. So here it is! We were participants in the Humble Quilts Doll Quilt Swap, and Cecile had my name. Lucky me!!

This little treasure came all the way from France, along with that clever card in the corner with wildflower seeds embedded in the paper. The wonderfully scrappy Ocean Waves pattern is one I have long admired, and the beautifully hand quilted feathered wreath in the center is an added bonus.  Thank you so much, Cecile. It is an honor to have a quilt made by you!

Another thing that was overdue was getting my little miniature quilt rack stained. You can read about this rack here.  I hired one of the many woodworkers in our community to make this for me. He had it finished in October, but I had told him to leave the staining for me. I love staining wood and it only took me 7 months to get to it. :)

This is where the rack was sitting before it was stained, and I liked it here. But now that it is pretty much the same color as the floor, the baseboard, and the hutch, it is a little way too much brown. So I moved it over by my full-size quilt rack (made by another woodworking neighbor).  I think it fits in better here visually, but physically it is a bit awkward. Still, it will remain here for now.

I know many of you would have painted this piece a pretty color, and it would have been lovely. I also know I have far too much wood in my home, but I love the look of natural wood grain, and I can't bring myself to paint over it. The red oak in this is gorgeous. Here is a view of the side.

Another thing that was even longer overdue was the clearcoat finish on the quilt ladder I bought from a sweet elderly woman at a craft show over 7 years ago (I'm probably getting very close now to the age of that "sweet elderly woman"). It had already been stained, but it really needed a light sanding with fine grit, and then a couple of coats of clearcoat. It is smooth as silk now, with just a hint of a shine.


Of all the quilts in this photo of the ladder, I only made one--the top one on the ladder. The next one down was by Jill Reid (this link takes you to her patterns at Windham Fabrics website), and the lower one is by Barbara Black. The one over the chest is by Barb Vedder. Love them all! This is kind of a red/green/cheddar corner.


Nothing overdue about this. Is anyone else as excited about this pattern as I am? My copy just arrived and I wish I wasn't buried under so many projects. I'd love to work on this now, but I will try to exercise restraint. Those little baskets finish around 3", you know. So fun! You can find the pattern here.


The final overdue item is my blogiversary. On May 16th, three days ago, it was the 10th anniversary of my blog. I never dreamed I would still be at it, and that I would have made so many amazing friends from around this country and the world. I have learned many lessons from you, my friends--some about quilting, but equally as many, if not more, about life. Several dear friends have departed, and I miss their wisdom and insight, along with the shared humor. Whether via Zoom, texts, emails, or phone, the laughter has been good for my soul. As time consuming as blogging can be, I have to say that it has enriched my life by expanding my circle.

You know there is always a drawing for thank-you gifts around this time. I am giving away a couple of little quilts from SALs. To me these SALs are a symbol of the community we create with our blogs. 


This first one is from the most recent Humble Quilts doll quilt SAL. I have given away a few of the quilts I have made from her SALs and I am always a little torn to let one go. I call this one "Mud Pies". You can read about it here.


Some of you may remember Cheri Payne. This second quilt was from a post of hers on Labor Day  in 2012, where she shared the instructions for this little quilt. She called it Labor of Love. I made mine a bit larger than the original (highly out of character for me). 

I will draw two names and send each one a little quilt with a few other goodies. Please don't publicize this drawing. It is just for those who are regulars here. Thank you for your friendship, and for all you have shared with me. And don't forget--if you never receive a reply to comments you make here, or if you don't usually comment, so you have no idea if you would receive a reply or not, PLEASE leave your email address IN your comment. If I can't contact you, I draw another name. I reply to everyone who comments and has their email linked to their comment.

Enough of that. I hope COVID numbers are decreasing in your area and that you are able to look forward to a greater degree of normalcy going forward. Let's make this a great day by making it better for someone else!

Until next time, 

Janet O.

Drawing is now closed

You may have noticed I have no header photo. I removed the old one to replace it and now it is doing crazy things and will only load my header photo into a small corner of the header space. The photo file is large enough, but no matter what I do it shows up very small on the screen. I've even tried a few other photos. So this would have been my header photo, and may be one day if this ever gets fixed. Click to enlarge it and soak in the serenity.

Anyone else have this problem changing headers, or am I just lucky? It's not like I've never changed my header photo before!