Monday, May 30, 2022

Vintage Block Challenge/Monthly Mini

Last fall I signed up for Lori's (Humble Quilts Blog) Vintage Block Challenge (Click on this link to see what others did for the challenge). We were to take a vintage block and either use it "as is" to make a quilt, or deconstruct it and use the parts to make something, adding other fabrics if needed. I dragged my feet at first, but the temptation was too great. This is the vintage "block"  I received from Lori to use in the challenge.

Wonderful colors, but overall, it looked better from the front than it did from the back. It was machine stitched, but there were so many tension issues on the reverse side, along with uneven seam allowances, and really chunky seam intersections. Oh, I love a good challenge!

So I unpicked the whole thing, and gave the pieces a very gentle bath. Below they are shown after drying.

I wanted them to maintain the "aged" look, so I didn't do anything to dramatically whiten the background pieces. I cut all of these triangle pieces in half, so that instead of having 2 large stars, I could make 4 small ones. And in homage to the original, I purposefully placed one of the purple star points going the wrong direction.

Within the star blocks, all but two of the "white" squares and two of the "white" triangles are original fabric. They all would have been original if I had not wasted some of the fabric by cutting my first set of the 9 cornerstones just a bit too small. The sashing, binding, and backing are all 1930s repro fabrics from my stash.

I had hoped to hand quilt it, but a last minute trip to Oregon, and a deadline on a grandson's birthday quilt precluded that. I just did a lot of ditch stitching. And for those same reasons that I did not hand quilt this, this must also be my May Monthly Mini, with Wendy The Constant Quilter

This was a very fun challenge. Thank you to Lori for the opportunity to participate.
In case you are wondering, stay tuned for my next post where I will announce the blog anniversary giveaway winner.

Until next time,
be creative and be kind!
Janet O.

Rainbows are a symbol of hope to me, and Sunday night there was a complete bow in the sky here. We need hope more than ever right now! Please excuse the power lines--I was afraid that if I took the time to run downstairs to get a shot without them, by that time the colors would have become dull, or be completely gone.

Upon closer inspection, I saw something different about this rainbow. I zoomed in as close as my iPhone Mini would go, and you can see a little stem coming from the side of the rainbow.
Interesting--I've never seen anything like that before. Have you?

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Eleven years, and counting!

Monday, the 16th of this month, was the eleventh anniversary of my blog.  All week I had been meaning to get a post written, but things always got in the way. So I'm finally getting to it.

First I want to show you what I have been doing recently, besides binding the Wyoming Valley Star quilt. On May 10th I took a Zoom class with Lori DeJarnatt (Humble Quilts Blog). She taught us the machine appliqué method she used in creating her Blue Baskets quilt that is in the current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. Even though I am not a fan of doing appliqué, this wasn't too bad. Who knows, I might even do it again someday! This is what I created with my basket blocks.

The dark fabric over the upper right corner was what I used for the cornerstones, and I am thinking it may be the binding, too. I wanted this to have a feminine, almost Victorian feel. I want to do a mix of hand and machine quilting on this, but with all the binding I am doing lately, I don't seem to have much time for other handwork. 

Last year I signed up for Lori's Antique Block Challenge. I am at the binding stage with my piece. The deadline is May 30th. I will be in Oregon a few days between now and then, so I need to get that finished up. This is what I received for the basis of my creation. It was machine stitched, but the tension was so poor in places, it is a miracle it was staying together.

I did deconstruct the block, and at the end of the month you will see what came of it. I had fun with this challenge.

In Chooky's last Zoom marathon the idea of a Churn Dash SAL was presented. I wasn't online at that time, but read about it later on Chooky's blog. This was my "No joining SALs" year--I was so weak about such things last year!  Can you see where this is going? Of course, I caved. I can't resist Churn Dash blocks. I decided to see if they will work as my leader/enders. The other day I pulled out the AccuQuilt dies needed to create 9" churn dash blocks (they seem huge--I make quilts smaller than that!), and I now have over half of my blocks cut, bagged, and in a basket by my machine. I made up the first one just to show you. 
I am doing them each in one color, but scrappy--so far I have just pulled fabrics from my scrap baskets. But there may not be "scraps" left in the baskets to cut more pieces this large, so I may have to move to FQs for the other blocks.

Now, as to the anniversary, I usually do a giveaway on such an occasion.This is my way of saying thanks for the years of community and friendship I have felt through blogging. Until just this year I have never belonged to a guild, and you have been my way of feeling connected to the quilting world. I cherish the friendships made here. So, there are two bars of my herbal soap, a small pincushion I made (wandering geese pattern) that will fit well in a take-along project box or bag--it is 1 1/2"x3"x1", a box of my favorite extra fine pins, a 4 1/2" square Quilters Select ruler (I LOVE these rulers), and a small Dresden ruler. It says it makes a 9" block, so it isn't really that small. I actually don't mind appliquéing Dresden blocks to their backgrounds--all the edges are finished. :)
Sorry--not trying to be mean, but I barely have time to keep up with blogging, and don't have time to hunt people down. If I can't respond directly to your comment, or find your email within your comment, you will not be included in the giveaway.

On a more upbeat note, did you see the lunar eclipse last Sunday night? It looks pretty dramatic when it comes up over the mountains. The photos don't do it justice, but I tried.

As the eclipse became full, the moon turned orange. My real camera and my phone camera struggled to capture it. My real camera couldn't get enough light to capture the color, and my phone camera got too much and made it bright and blurry, but 
at least you can tell it is orange.

I have always loved sights in the heavens, getting up in the middle of the night (or just staying up) to view Northern Lights, meteor showers, eclipses, etc. But hubby hasn't usually been too interested. Ever since we traveled north a few years ago to see the total solar eclipse, he has shown a little more enthusiasm. And with this lunar eclipse he was the one calling to me to come see, and encouraging me to get photos. It was fun.

This was longer than I thought it would be. One of these days I am going to actually do a short post. I think I did one, once. ;)

Until next time, be creative and be kind!
Janet O.

p.s. You will find a new tab on my "pages" below my header photo. As I was thinking back on my 11 years of blogging, I was reflecting on the many bloggers I have met, and decided to make a record. You can find the link here as well. If you are a blogger, and we have met, you should find yourself there. 

Drawing Now Closed

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Quilting by check, and remembering Mom

When I pay someone else to do the quilting, it actually gets done.  Here is my finished version of Gay Bomer's Heartfelt. I finished the binding a few days ago.

It fits a queen bed, if you don't need a pillow tuck, which I never use on my own bed. Haven't decided on the destination for this quilt yet. Maybe it is already there.

I just tossed it over my bed for this photo, and I got it a bit crooked. Sorry. It really bothers me to look at it--I want to reach out and straighten it, like I would a picture on someone's wall. I didn't see the "crookedness" until I uploaded the photo to my computer. But I was too lazy to repeat the process to get a photo that wasn't crooked. 

I folded it back a little to get a photo of the backing fabric. Yup, those are bees. On the back of this staid, Civil War repro quilt there is a swarm or two of bees livening things up.

And the day after I had finished the binding on that quilt, I got a call from the quilter that my next one was finished. This had been aging in my storage for over 22 years. I love what she did with it!
Here is a closer view of the quilting.
This was made using the Wyoming Valley Star block pattern, and it was chosen for a very specific reason. Twenty-five years ago our family participated in a re-enactment of the 1847 crossing of the plains from Nebraska to Utah, representing our pioneer ancestors who were part of that experience. Our family spent 4 days and 5 nights with the trek, and we were on that journey through part of the state of Wyoming. Hence the choice of the Wyoming Valley Star block.

For months leading up to our trek experience I had been sewing clothing for the family using patterns that people have drafted from actual clothing of that era. I made 2 dresses for myself and each of our 2 daughters (nothing like making dresses from modern patterns), and after making a shirt each for my husband and our two sons, I hired someone to make the rest of their clothes. I was burned out. It was the scraps from the dresses, aprons, bonnets and shirts that became this Wyoming Valley Star quilt. 
Here we are in all our costumed glory, posing in the surrey (with the fringe on top) which our local dentist used for his family to travel on the trek. We were part of the handcart company, and walked between 14 to 22 miles per day--with a handcart in tow.
Crazy to think the children in this photo are in their 30s and 40s now! 

I wish all mothers a good Mother's Day. It isn't about having been a perfect mother. It is about doing your best to love and nurture. This is my first Mother's Day without my mother. I know I am not alone in that. It is a bit lonely to not be sharing this day with her. She was a good mom, and I know there were happy reunions in heaven when she "graduated".
This was a photo of Mom and me on our shared anniversary three years ago. Hubby brought flowers to each of us while I was helping her that day, and he took this photo of us. I prefer to remember her this way, rather than the frail little thing she had become when she passed. She was quick-witted, very good at word games, an avid quilter, reader, and gardener, an excellent seamstress, and crocheter, and she had beautiful handwriting--but she didn't like to cook. Miss you, Mom!

Until next time, be creative, and be kind.
Janet O.