Sunday, October 31, 2021

October Monthly Mini

I hadn't planned on making a Halloween mini, but when I was sorting through some Sandy Gervais Fall fabrics I've saved from years ago, I came across a small pile of Halloween themed fabric tucked in among them. And this was born. It is about 8 1/2" square. I think I will name it "Boo Who?" If you look closely you will see that much of the fabric has "boo" printed on it.

Linking up with Wendy (The Constant Quilter blog) where all good mini-acs go at the end of the month.

The hyper-quilting of the spider webs in the setting triangles makes the blocks poof out. On a normal quilt I might not like that effect, but for a Halloween quilt it somehow seemed appropriate.

I don't usually use holiday themed fabrics for holiday minis (I usually use holiday colors in my good old repro fabrics), but I couldn't resist seeing what I could create from these scraps that were passed on to me by another quilter. I added the orange for the setting triangles (from an old Primitive Gatherings line), and for the back I chose a piece from a bundle my Mom once picked up years ago at a yard sale. You can see it in the photo below.

Though this was not my "Baggie Challenge" mini, it could probably qualify. I have set aside a baggie of scraps that I intend to use for that, but it may be December before I get it made.

In the meantime, I am ready to start quilting my "Land That I Love" from Lori's (Humble Quilts blog) doll quilt SAL. And I have almost finished the piecing on Pam Buda's "Dear Prudence" doll quilt SAL (Heartspun Quilts blog).

My design wall is currently covered with this project--my version of Gay Bomer's Heartfelt BOW. None of it is sewn together yet.

The lighting doesn't show how purple this really is, but I think you can still see the pops of cheddar I had to add. Since I don't applique, I left out the center medallion and set my blocks on point with triple sashing and 9-patch cornerstones. Once those are all made and this is assembled, I may add a couple of borders to make it queen size. Such a novelty for me to make a quilt that actually covers a bed. :)

Funny story for you--are you familiar with Pinewood Derbies? Around here they are usually associated with cub scouts, but our church had one as an activity last Wednesday, and beforehand they had encouraged families to create derby cars together. They brought in a specialist with a fancy track that electronically determined the place of each car in each heat, and each car raced in several heats to determine the final place they earned. Hubby and I made a car together (the only old people who did). He cut and sanded a simple, aerodynamic wedge shape. I painted it, and he attached wheels and weights. We took 4th place against all the young people who entered cars in the "classic" division. No one had trouble telling our car from the others.

Until next time, I'll leave you with the view of the setting sun on the mountains as I was going into the church for the Derby.

Janet O.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

New England Visit--Part 3B

This post is about the "other" show that was at the New England Quilt Museum when I visited in August. (I can't believe it has taken me this long to share everything of a quilty nature from that trip.) Along with the wonderful Quilt Japan show that I have shared, there was also a one-woman show by Kathy Metelica Cray. Before going I had read about this show and was really looking forward to the opportunity to see her quilts.

In the artist's own words...

I love the concept of her quilts. And since I have 2 or 3 sets of vintage blocks in my sewing room closet, I may have to give it a try someday. With that foundation, you are ready to see the show. I haven't included everything, but pretty close. Here goes!






(I have to say that this may be my favorite--the butterflies, the black and the happy colors--though it isn't in my normal comfort zone, it sings!)

I hope you enjoyed this. It was so inspiring to me! And this wraps up what I planned to share with you about my trip to New England.

Until next time, be gracious and thoughtful, and brighten your corner of the world.

Janet O.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Monthly Mini Maker Baggie Challenge

Okay, here is the challenge I mentioned in a previous post. With Wendy's blessing, this challenge is open to bloggers who have participated or are participating with Wendy, at The Constant Quilter blog, making a "Monthly Mini".  When I was initially clearing off my cutting table after making my two monthly minis in August (seen here), I had planned to sweep those leftover half-hex and thimble shapes into a baggie for future use, before I changed plans and used them to create my September mini. I often put leftovers from a little quilt into a baggie, if I think I can make another little quilt out of them someday. Sometimes I will combine the contents of two or three baggies into one baggie because I think the combination of scraps would create a great little quilt. Sometimes I just find a bunch of scraps I like together as I am rummaging through my scrap baskets, and I bag them up for future use. At other times I am working with scraps someone else has sent me--whatever the source of the leftovers, they are usually stored in baggies at my house. Here are a few examples of mini quilts I have made using this approach.


I know many of you make your minis from scraps, but do you package up a bunch of them together for future use? Do you have little bags (or boxes or canisters, or whatever) filled with scraps that you think would make a great mini quilt someday? Several of my little "Monthly Minis" that have been created over the past few years were made by grabbing one of my baggies and seeing what I could make happen. I love that it forces me into more of a "make do" situation, than if I had my whole stash from which to pull. Here are a few more of my monthly minis made from bags of scraps.

The one above, on the left (July 2018), was made from homespun HSTs that had been sent to me by a good blogger friend, that I had stored in a baggie. It was patterned after a little quilt made by Marian Edwards (seen here). The one on the right (May 2021) was made using Kansas Troubles scraps my retreat buddy had given me (in a baggie). I added the 4 basket blocks I had leftover from another project. They were made from mostly KT fabrics and had been pinned to the side of my design wall for years, waiting for some love. Each of these have been given a good home.

The fall colored one above, on the left (November 2020), was from another baggie of scraps of fun Sandy Gervais fabrics that had been given to me. The one on the right (August 2019) came from my own scraps. I made a couple of purple/gold/black minis several years ago, and the leftovers went into a baggie. I did have to dig up a strip of neutral and some black for the border. These both still live with me.

There is a story behind the one above, on the left (March 2019). Something about scraps in a garbage can. You can read that story here. That quilt is now at home in a faraway land. The one on the right (July 2020) was primarily from a baggie of scraps sent by a good blogging buddy. I did have to turn to my scraps for the neutral sashing and the brown border. This quilt is staying with me!

So, my fellow "Monthly Mini Makers", here is my challenge, if you would like to accept it (cue the Mission:Impossible theme music). If you have a similar habit of storing scraps you think you'd like to turn into a mini someday, let's make that day come sooner, rather than later for one of those baggies. I challenge you to create one of your monthly minis during the next three months from a bag of scraps. Either October, November, or December will qualify, just have it done before the year ends, and when you post that particular monthly mini and link it to Wendy's Monthly Mini post, explain that it is your "Baggie Challenge" mini. Come January, after all those who participated have posted their Baggie Mini, I will draw a winner and send them one of my little "Baggie" quilts.

Wait! Before you go off to see if you have scrap bags, there are a few "guidelines".  

#1. When you have chosen your scrap baggie, lay out the scraps and take a photo. This photo shows the scraps that I used in making the quilt above, on the left--the one with the garbage can in its history. Believe me, my scraps aren't ever this neat.

#2. If you were to compare these fabrics to the mini I made from them, you would see that I added a neutral and one colored fabric. That is guideline #2. You don't have to use every bit of fabric in your baggie, but you can only add a maximum of 2 other fabrics--one being a neutral and the other one, a color.

#3. You are free to use your own stash to come up with binding and backing fabrics--they don't count as your options listed above in #2.

#4. When you post the finished product for your monthly mini, be sure to include your photo of the scraps in your post. We want to see "from whence they (meaning the quilt) came."

If you are doing the monthly minis, but just don't keep scraps stored as I have described, I may be able to help. I was trying to make room this month for all the fabric I picked up in Maine, and on a recent "shop hop" with friends, when I came upon a drawer full of several such baggies in my sewing room. Some of them had been long forgotten. And some were recent creations. So if you want to play along, but don't have the bagged scraps, the following are available on a "first come, first served" basis.

(Taken) #1 Madders and Blues that I had pulled from my scraps bins, thinking they would make a nice small quilt.

#2 Purple, Gold and Black are leftovers from a variety of projects, and since I have always liked these three colors together, I kept dropping more in the bag.


(Taken) #3 Cheddar and Blue with some neutrals added. I have always loved this combo and have made several quilts with these colors, so I kept dropping leftovers in this bag, too.

(Taken) #4 Pink and Brown with a couple of neutrals. I have been saving pink and brown CW repros in a tub for years and finally pulled them out for Barbara Brackman's Hands All Around BOM this year. These are some of the scraps that have been piling up from that project.

#5 Red, White and Blue--It might be kind of hard to tell from the photo above, but the first three piles on the left are for #5. I didn't think about how confusing it would be to have the red/white/blue scraps right next to the red/white scraps. I am always looking for an excuse to make R/W/B quilts, so as I saw these colors piling up in my scrap baskets, I did some thinning of the herd to get a baggie of R/W/B.

#6 Red and White are such a classic combo. I set these apart from the fabrics in #5 because these are brighter, truer colors, rather than the muddied side of the spectrum, but there aren't as many pieces here as there are in some of the other baggies.

And if you are not a repro fan, you have a couple of options.

#7 Bright Red, White and Blue, not the darker shades of the repro collection above. This collection came mostly from one of those "fill a bag as full as you can for $$" at a shop just over an hour away.

#8 Fall Colors--leftovers from the "It's So Vermonty" fall quilt I made from Bonnie Hunter's Crab Apples quilt.

So, if you participate in Wendy's Monthly Mini, let me know if you plan on playing along with this baggie challenge, and if you need me to send you a baggie of scraps, let me know that, too. You can keep on doing the monthly mini and NOT do this challenge. This is just if you want to make it a little more "challenging" during one of the next three months.

 Until next time,                                                                                          

Janet O.