Wednesday, August 30, 2023

A Jumble of Things

The donation quilt was completed, mailed and received on schedule. It was fun to break my "No New Starts" rule and make something for a good cause. Thanks, Nancy, for sharing this opportunity with us.

I did the "piped" binding for the second time, and liked it just as much as I did the first time. Most of my quilts will still get the hand stitched finish on the binding, but when doing a quilt in a hurry, or just one that will likely get dragged around and washed a bunch, the "piped", or "flanged" binding is sure slick.

Below is the finished top of one of the projects from the Pam Buda class I attended last month. I made fewer blocks, and added the purple on the corners where they met up to form squares on point. I am toying with calling it Geode Crystals, or Amethyst Crystals. Pam calls it Haunted Maze.

I wasn't really careful on the matching of points as I stitched this together, but it has so much movement to it, I don't think it is as noticeable as it usually would be. I have to say, I LOVE that border print. It is from the previous Cheddar and Coal line (Pam just came out with Cheddar and Coal II), and I think it may be one of my favorites of Pam's fabrics. I thought I had more of it in my stash, but this FQ appears to have been it. I have about half of it left. And there doesn't appear to be more than one FQ of it online, that I can find. Pam has several lines in the works, so hopefully my attention will be caught by a print in one of those lines, and I can stop obsessing over this one.

I'd share the other blocks I worked on at the retreat, but I can't find them. Seriously. When I first got home I was just in recovery mode. Once I was back into the routine of life, I decided I should make some progress on those projects from retreat. This was the only one I could find. I had only made one block each on the other two projects, but I did have one of them entirely cut out, and I'd really like to find it. I decided they were lost because my sewing room was a disaster, and was sure that when I took time to clean it, I would find the missing blocks.

So I have really been trying to get more organized in my sewing room. Last week I went through cupboards, drawers, closets, and boxes. I boxed up scraps from several baskets and shipped them to a friend. I sent other boxes of fabric to a worthy group. I then made a list of every finished top that still needed to be quilted, and every UFO I discovered (this is something I have been itching to do for some time, but at the same time, kind of afraid of what I would discover). I dug up 28 UFOs, and only 7 of them are mini quilts. Then there are the finished tops--25 of those. Since that discovery I have three of them prepped with batting and backing to go to my longarm quilter as soon as she is back from vacation. Only 6 of the 25 tops are doll quilt or mini size. Three of them are baby quilt, wall hanging or lap quilt size. I didn't realize I had that many bed quilt flimsies waiting to be quilted.

And I still haven't found those missing blocks. But I found some other things I would like to pass on to someone who might actually use them.

1. A half yard of the turtle fabric, with one turtle fussy-cut out of it.

Also 4 FQs of coordinating fabrics, and the leftovers of the brown FQ that I used part of in the donation quilt at the top of this post. All of these fabrics were from Hobby Lobby.

2. Leftover yardage from Lisa Bongean's Snowman Gatherings and Snowman Gatherings II lines. Also 2 full mini charm packs and one partial.

I made three small quilts and a wall hanging from these fabrics, and it is time the leftovers find a new home.

3. These are scraps that I think I may have picked up from a scrap bin at a shop where you stuff a bag for a set price. I thought I could make a cute mini out of them, but apparently I burned out on making snowmen quilts on the fabric above.

4. What we have here are the 2 Midnight Flight blocks I made in a class with Bonnie Hunter back in 2017, along with whatever pieces I had cut for more blocks (I'm not even sure exactly what I have cut out), and the leftovers from her Easy Street mystery. I had cut out enough for more blocks than I actually made. These are all cut from thrift store shirts.  I know I will never make more of these blocks. I really had a hard time keeping the pieces in the right places, and used the seam ripper SO MUCH just to make these two blocks. Someone braver (and smarter) than I can tackle it.

If you are interested in any of these, mentioned it in your comment--and include your email, if you have never had a response from me before. If I don't have your email, you won't be eligible. I will draw a name if more than one person is interested in any of them. 

I won a prize on a blog this month. Deonn, over at Quiltscapes, held a drawing for this book, and now it is mine! You can check out Deonn's blog here, to see more of the technique from the book.

That is all the quilty content for today. You all know I love sunsets, and we have had some amazing ones this month. Sometimes as I walk in the evening I feel as if the clouds are  coming to smother me. I thought I'd share a few from the past couple of weeks. You can click to enlarge these for more of the effect.

One last thing I want to share. When I am on these evening walks, often row upon row of birds will pass overhead. Early in the month it was the very noisy Canada Geese honking loudly as they flew over. But more recently the birds are very quiet, and I don't always know they are there unless I happen to look up--unless they are a larger bird, and then I can hear the whispering sound of their wings as they flap their way past me.
In the attached video, watch for the line of birds coming from the horizon. Make sure your sound is turned way up and your surroundings are quiet. It helps to expand the image to full screen, too. As they get directly above me, you should be able to hear their wings for just a moment. This never fails to thrill me. And the crunching sound you hear is my feet on the gravel road as I turn to capture the birds flying over. I hope this works. I haven't attached a video in a long time.

Hubby and I are off on another adventure soon, so it may be a couple of weeks before I will post the results of any drawings we may need to have.

Until then, 
be creative, and be kind.
Janet O.

Drawing is now closed.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Partying with Pam Buda (and Fran and Pati)--photo heavy

Back in 2019 the Pam Buda Circa 1880 Club (sponsored by Marcus Fabrics) that met at Village Dry Goods submitted a video of our club to Marcus for a contest they were sponsoring. We happened to win. The prize? A visit from Pam Buda herself. It was scheduled for April 2020. Of course, it was canceled due to COVID. Fast forward to July 2023, when it was finally able to be rescheduled (thanks to the persistent people at Marcus). And that is where I spent two days a couple of weeks ago.

We started on Friday morning with a special party just for our Circa 1880 Club members. The three ladies pictured below made it delightful.

Left to right: Fran (owner of Village Dry Goods), Pam (fabric and pattern designer extraordinaire, and owner of Heartspun Quilts), and Pati (Director of Marketing for Marcus Fabrics).

Though the photo below is a bit blurry, I love it, because it looks like they are all trying to "make a point". I do not recall what they were trying to say. Maybe they were singing. There was a little bit of that happening at one time. (I promise, we were only drinking water with the refreshments of fruit-kabobs and banana cake.)

Below you can see where we enjoyed a little game to help us get to know Pam--and win prizes. Pati asked the question, we guessed the answers, Fran held the bag of our ticket stubs, and Pam drew the winner, then Pati distributed the prize.

After learning much about fabric production trends from Pati, and about Pam's many upcoming fabric lines from both of them, we then had an opportunity to share our Circa 1880 quilts. First we saw Pam's--the one that inspired this whole Club. This was based on a vintage quilt Pam had seen in an older publication.

Then club members had an opportunity to share their quilts. There were so many great versions. I have only chosen photos of 2 that are each set a different way from the original pattern as shown above in Pam's quilt.

Following the fun of this gathering, I had lunch with a couple of friends, and then we visited the Brigham City Museum of Art and History, which currently is hosting the "Light the World" quilt exhibit, featuring art quilts from around the world. We returned to Village Dry Goods to do a little shopping, and I was startled by a familiar voice behind me, calling my name. There was Lynn Hopkins!

Lynn is the designer of the Tiny Blocks that I had been teaching each month in my guild this past year, in Lynn's absence. He is currently serving a mission with his wife for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he was back in town briefly for a family event. He'd hoped to be able to make the party with Pam, but schedules didn't work out. Above, left we are holding his Circa 1880 quilt, and above, right he and my friend Ruth were looking at something he had made from his Tiny Blocks. You just can't talk to Lynn without ending up laughing, as this photo attests. He has very big plans for the future of his Tiny Blocks. They may get even tinier!!! So maybe I should say he has small plans?

That evening in my hotel room I was  Zooming with Chooky and the Chookshed Stitchers while having my dinner, and stitching some tumblers. Below left, you can see my machine set up on the hotel desk, and to the right you can see some of the global participants that evening. It was the perfect way to close out a quilty day, and it is always a lot of fun.

This is all I got sewn together that evening before calling it quits--just three rows from the box of large tumblers I have had cut for years. This is a start--and I am trying to be totally random. We'll see how long that lasts. These are laying on the Kingsize bed in my hotel room.                                                                                                                                                                                              Next morning we were at the Brigham Academy Center for a full day class with Pam. I love this venue--all kinds of natural light. This class was open to all, not just those in the Circa 1880 Club. They capped registration at 50. Below you can see my table-mates in the foreground.

We made one block from each of the three small quilts featured in her new  pattern, Haunted Halloween. I'll show my progress on those in a later post. 

We had a break for lunch, after which Pam did a trunk show with many of her beautiful quilts. Here are just a few of them.

This was just what I needed after a couple of crazy busy and stressful months of summer. These ladies in the photo below made it so very fun and refreshing. My thanks to Village Dry Goods, Marcus fabrics, and these three gals, for all of the work and time it took to make this great for those of us attending.

Pam has been a special friend for many years, and it was very sweet to spend time with her again. I hope there will be a "next time". Thank you, Pam!

Before I close this I need to announce the winners of the drawing from my last post, celebrating my 12th anniversary of blogging. Sadly, 18 of the comments were from people who did not have an email attached to their comment and did not include their email address in the comment, so they could not be included. 
I had the random number generator choose the winners.
*First place went to Denise @ Count It All Joy blog--she will get her choice of the kits.
*Second place goes to Nancy @ Joy for Grace blog--she will get whichever kit Denise doesn't choose.
Apparently you had to have a blog with the word joy in the title to win this time around.
I have notified the winners via email and will get their prizes sent out to them this week.

I have several things I want to blog about that will need to wait for a time when I haven't already written a chapter book for a post.
Until then, be creative and be kind.
Janet O.

p.s. If you love Kim Diehl, another blogger is having an anniversary giveaway that you might want to check out. Click here.

A sunset from an evening walk during the last week of July.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Long Time Gone

 That is in reference to my disappearance from blogland, not to the Jen Kingwell quilt of the same name (which I love).

I've had this to share since June, but couldn't seem to disentangle from real life craziness long enough to post on my blog. This was the Barrister's SAL of 2012, sponsored by Randy of Barrister's Block blog. I have posted about the quilting earlier this year, but I finally got it bound.

Made entirely of men's thrift store shirts (except the backing), I am just thrilled to have this one completed! You can find the links to all of the block instructions on Randy's blog on this page.

My daughter-in-law got this shot for me as I held it over the deck railing. 
Don't finishes feel great?? I really should do it more often.

So much has gone on since I last posted on June 7th, I almost don't know where to start.
June was such a busy month, but in the midst of it all we had a couple of little getaways to celebrate hubby's birthday and our anniversary.

We hadn't been back to the Golden Spike National Historic Park since our kids were young, so we paid it a visit on hubby's birthday. I got this shot of him between the trains that reenact the meeting at the spot where the Golden Spike was driven. (I think this looks like a power pose.) 
I am guessing that people who didn't grow up within a couple of hours of this place are not as familiar with the history here. You can learn more about it on their website here.

Then we continued on from there down a dirt road for almost 20 miles to reach the Northeast corner of the Great Salt Lake, where you find land artist Robert Smithson's most famous work, The Spiral Jetty. The photo below on the left shows the Jetty behind us as we stand above, in the parking lot. But we also walked down on and around the Jetty, and then beyond to the Great Salt Lake. The water at this arm of the lake is so high in salinity that it is orange in color. When the Jetty was built, it just crested the surface of the water, but our long drought in Utah has left it fully exposed for years. This year's wet winter and spring brought the water level back to within about a half mile of the Jetty, instead of the mile it had previously been.You can read about the Spiral Jetty here.

On the right in the photo above, we are at Shoshone Falls in Southwestern Idaho. We took our anniversary getaway to that area and enjoyed multiple waterfalls, springs, and gorges in Thousand Springs State Park. It is a beautiful (but windy) area, and we hope to go back later this year to kayak on the Snake River.

Okay, there is more quilty content. One day in a local quilt shop I came across this kit. The pattern caught my eye, thinking it would be a good one when you didn't want to cut fabric up very small. I forgot about it until Nancy at Blogging Near Philadelphia posted about gathering quilts for an orphanage in Romania that had taken in Ukranian orphans. How could I not help? I hadn't sewn a stitch for well over a month, but doing something for others is a great motivator. I signed on, and then looked up this photo so I could find the pattern. It is a free download from Andover, which you can find here. April Showers is the fabric line they used, and the pattern is called Spring is Here.

The top comes together quickly if you don't use quite so many different fabrics as they do in the sample. I simplified the fabric selection and came up with this--unquilted on the left, and as it arrived yesterday from my longarm quilter on the right. So grateful she could squeeze me in.

I had intended to quilt it myself, but knew it wouldn't get finished in time if I tried to fit it into my life right now. I will be gone the last week of July, so the binding will have to wait until August. I will be doing the flange binding method.

Had a great time Zooming with Chooky earlier this month. Always fun to chat and stitch, laughing over so many things. It is therapeutic, and I look forward to every chance to join in.

There were really 16 of us on at the time, but my iPad mini only shows 9 at a time. 

At the end of June, when all of our kids happened to be in the valley at the same time, we had my daughter-in-law get some photos of the family, out on the farm with the mountains as backdrop.Would have loved to get the entire family--spouses, grandkids. But not all of them were here, so we did what we could. I think it was 2018 the last time we got a good photo of the whole clan. 

Next week is the long awaited meeting with Pam Buda for the Village Dry Goods Circa 1880 club. Our video submission of our club won the contest sponsored by Marcus Brothers back in 2019, and the prize was a visit from Pam. It was originally scheduled for April 2020--you know the rest of that story.

She is also doing a one day workshop where we will be working on her new pattern of three small quilts, called Haunted Halloween. It is designed for her new fabric line, Cheddar and Coal 2. When I visited the shop earlier this week, one of the gals was kind enough to hold up her hand near the samples so you could get an idea of the size. Aren't they cute?

If you are still with me, bless you. :)  Way back in May I promised a giveaway to celebrate my dozen years of blogging. Didn't happen. I didn't post again that month. When I posted in June it was only about the doll quilt swap. So it's about time I got to it--over two months late!

Leave a comment if you are interested in either of the kits below. There is also a little dark chocolate and a couple of bars of my herbal soap with each kit. First name drawn (that includes, or is linked to an email address--if you aren't sure,just include it) will get first pick of the kits. Another name will be drawn to get the second kit.

First kit is from Kim Diehl's Simple Whatnots #9. Fabrics in the kit are shown on the right, above.

The second kit is a free pattern from Moda, by Blackbird Designs. The fabrics are from a recent line by 3 Sisters, called Bliss.

I think I've kept you long enough. I hope everyone is having a good summer (or winter, depending on where you are). Here in the USA, we are having some tremendous heat, breaking records right and left. So concerned for everyone--especially the vulnerable, and the fire fighters. Keeping them in my prayers.

Until next time, keep cool, and be kind,

Janet O.

Drawing is now closed.

From two nights ago on my evening walk.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The Well-Traveled Quilt!

I mentioned in my last post that I was awaiting the arrival of the doll quilt I was to receive from the Humble Quilts 10th annual doll quilt swap. Little did I know that it had already arrived--and been sent back again, due to an error on the part of my local post office. Happy to announce that it was sent again by the talented creator, Marian Edwards of Victoria Australia, and it arrived yesterday! Here it is!

Isn't this adorable? If you ever followed Marian's blog (not active, but still there), or currently follow her on Instagram, you will recognize her style. It is just perfect. It is all hand quilted, and washed to give it that scrunchy, vintage look. Lori tells us the quilts are to look like they traveled through time, and Marian has always been so good at that. Here are a couple of other shots from my photo shoot with it.

It finished at 9 1/2" x 12".

Even though Marian works with 1800s repro fabrics (and some consider those drab), she always manages to create something saturated with color. I am totally thrilled with this little beauty!

It came in such clever wrapping--pattern pieces, for those of you who may never have done clothing construction.

I am saving that tag to use as a bookmark. One can never have too many books or bookmarks.

Thank you to Lori for hosting the swap, and thank you so much to Marian, who was kind enough to send this twice--all the way from Australia!

I actually have more items of a quilty nature to share, but I will save them for another post, and end with these photos of a rainbow we saw here a couple of weeks ago. My daughter-in-law (who has a degree in photography, among other things) captured this first photo of the total arc.

Within a few minutes the right side was fading and the left side grew brighter. I took these next two.

Can you spot the horse in the photo above?

We just returned from a quick trip to Oregon.  We didn't get out much, due to several family members suffering from severe allergies, with the pollen count sky high. But we did enjoy time together as a family as we supported our youngest granddaughter in her decision to be baptized (in our church that doesn't occur before age 8).

Next time I will finally have the promised drawing for my 12th anniversary of blogging. Until then, be creative and be kind!!

Janet O.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A Dozen Years Ago Today (as in the 16th, when I am typing this)....

...I started this blog. I can hardly believe it has been that long. It has been quite a ride, one for which I am very grateful (proper sentence structure brought to you by my mother's training--sometimes it kicks in). ;)

During the 12 years I have been blogging, Lori at Humble Quilts blog has hosted a doll quilt swap 10 of those years. This is only my second year participating. I haven't received my quilt yet, but the gal I sent to has received hers so I can share it with you. This is the doll quilt I made. It is from a pattern from Jo Morton's Little Women's Club #14, I believe.

I took several glamor shots around the house before I sent it on its way, but the one below is the only one I even kind of liked.

I combined a little bit of hand quilting with the machine quilting. In the blue/grey triangles I hand quilted a grid pattern on point. I don't know if you can see it any better in this shot of the back.

When I receive my quilt I will share it with you in my next post. I am looking forward to it.

I amazed myself and pushed past my usual tendency to postpone attaching borders, and today I put a small border around my Moda Love quilt top. This was made in conjunction with Chooky and friends at Scrub Stitchin', where many at that retreat completed one of these quilts. 

When I cut these borders I barely had enough of this piece of a Kansas Troubles green print to cut 4 1/2" strips for the border. I got them all cut and as I laid them out around the completed center, I realized I had cut the last one at 4" instead of 4 1/2". There was only a strip about 2" wide left after having cut these. There was nothing left to do but go back and trim 1/2" off the other 3 borders. I would have liked the border to be a little wider, but I did what I could, and I still think this looks better with that small border than with no border at all. I felt like I needed to balance the green in the center.

On Mother's Day I finished the puzzle I've had out for months--Northern Lights in Norway. The sky and sea parts were a bit challenging, but I like a little challenge now and then. I thought it was fun that I had this puzzle out when we saw the Northern Lights here a few weeks ago.

I hope people had a pleasant Mother's Day. Though we did not have family gather, I did hear from each of my 4 children. My younger daughter, who doesn't live far, and also works with a local florist, brought by this lovely bouquet. It just represents spring so well, to me.

I'll leave you with this image from my sewing room window. It is finally looking like Springtime in the Rockies! You can click to enlarge for a better view of the new lambs.

I usually have some sort of giveaway for those who are following along, in conjunction with my blog anniversary, but I haven't got my act together. I've been sick the past week. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Stay tuned for something later this month!

Until then, be creative and be kind!

Janet O.