Friday, March 31, 2023

Look at me, making big quilts!

Trying to get a second post in here before the month is over. 

First up is a quilt that was a new flimsy 10 years ago. This was my Barrister's SAL quilt, hosted by Randy at Barrister's Block blog. It is made entirely from men's thrift store shirts, right down to the binding, that I attached after taking this photo, but haven't stitched down yet.

Randy did photo tutorials for each block on her blog. I have a page under my header photo that includes links to all of the tutorials.

This was quilted by check, utilizing my usual machine quilter who only lives a couple of miles away, and does an incredible job. Below are two close-ups. It is a good thing my quilter likes to do sampler quilts, because there were 63 blocks in this quilt.

Aside from her talent in quilting, I really appreciate that she gets my style, and when I tell her what I think I want, she will share any ideas that come to her that she thinks might be an improvement, and together we make the final decision. I never pick up a finished quilt and find she didn't listen to what I wanted. 

Next up is the churn dash top--finally assembled, mostly. This is from Chooky's Churn Dash SAL last summer (well, summer here in the states).

The blue fabric pinned on the right is what I have chosen for the border, but I am waiting for DD#1 to indicate how large she needs this to be, so I know how wide to cut the borders. I really enjoyed making this quilt. It is fun to make blocks this size and build a quilt relatively quickly. And I still got to throw a few random 1" and 3" Churn Dash blocks in the centers.

Then we have a quilt for which I can take no credit. Well, okay--I chose the setting fabrics and layout, and sewed it all together. But all of the blocks were made by Karen B., formerly of Log Cabin Quilter blog.

I received a "care package" from her many years ago that contained fabrics and projects that had lost their appeal for her. The center block and four surrounding stars were from one project, and the 8 outer stars were from another. They all played together nicely, and the center of the quilt came together quickly. But I stalled a long time (years) on the borders. I finally took a trip over the mountain to my friend Fran, at her quilt shop (Village Dry Goods), and we narrowed it down to this subtle paisley from a Pam Buda line. I didn't want anything that would pull your eye away from the center, but also didn't want a solid. I stitched that border on the very next day. I think this one will be quilted by check as well. It is too small for a queen bed, but it will fit nicely on the full size bed in the loft spare room.

Are you ready for big quilt #4? I don't know if I am. Here goes. Chooky has invited those attending Scrub Stitchin' (and any who want to sew along at home) to spend some time making a Moda Love quilt--in any of the 3 size options in the free pattern found at the link here. There are three pages to the pattern, each page giving instructions to one size. This is what went up on my design wall when the previous quilt top was completed. I may mix up the colors a bit more. This was the first time I had actually seen them in the places I had imagined they should go.
The fabric in each corner is a KT Christmas print of holiday words. I felt like the holiday color scheme would work with it, but seeing it in the photo, I'm not so sure.
The floral fabrics were sent to me by a dear blog friend many years ago. They are from a Kansas Troubles line. I had waited to find a quilt pattern that would let them shine, but not just be made of large squares. When I saw a Moda Love quilt on Annie's blog back in 2017, it just spoke to me, and I printed her photo from her blog, writing notes all over it as to which fabric I wanted where. I pulled other matching fabrics from my KT stash, cut everything to size, and pinned them together in numbered groups. I even placed right sides together of the fabrics that would be making HSTs.  I packed all this in a tote and took it with me to two retreats in a row (2019 and 2020--just before COVID), without ever getting to it.
With Annie's permission, this photo below shows what was in my "kit", with her photo in the center, very marked up. 
That is why this is NOT a new start, so I didn't break my rule. 

However, this did break my rule--I signed up for Lori's doll quilt swap at Humble Quilts blog. This is the 10th year, and I have only ever signed up one other time, two years ago. Since I have been on my "No New Starts" program for 6 months, I figured I could treat myself to one little doll quilt. And I already have the top assembled. Here is a peek. ;)  Now you know exactly what it looks like, right?

Utah is experiencing the winter that keeps on giving. After years of mostly dry winters, with very little snow, we have been getting dumped on week after week. Every single week has at least a few days with snow (and now occasionally it is rain). We get most of our water in Utah from the snowpack that builds up in the mountains over the winter. With years of drought, our reservoirs are depleted. This winter we are breaking records for snowpack in much of the state (which also means there are flooding problems as that snow melts faster than it can be absorbed and contained). But it just seems insane after going weeks and sometimes months with barely measurable precipitation, to be waking up to new snowfall several times a week. It is snowing as I write, and is supposed to snow all night. The next three photos were all taken last week. (I think the poor birds have been confused, asking themselves if they flew too far north.)

I need someone to explain to me how the mountains are reflected in the flooded field, when the field is about 5 miles away from the mountain. Just puzzled by the science here.

This next photo was taken on my walk earlier this week. If you enlarge the photo and  look along the mountain ridge line, you can see a little glow. The wind is whipping up the loose snow at the top, and as the sun sets it highlights that flying snow. Under the right conditions, it looks like flames. I have posted some of those photos in the past.

Enough rambling.
I've enjoyed quality time in the sewing room lately, and it has felt really good. I hope you are finding time for things that bring you joy, without having to neglect the things that make you a responsible adult. 
Until next time, be creative, and be kind,
Janet O.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Working on 3 neglected projects

First up is a project I started back in October of 2015. Sure, I have UFOs that are much older than that, but the fact that I started this for a show being held in 2017, and it is still unfinished speaks volumes for how I feel about entering shows. Here, it is--my 2-color, mini Burgoyne Surrounded--frozen in time.

After completing my first mini Burgoyne Surrounded (seen below) I made the very uncharacteristic decision to enter a quilt show. Not with that quilt, but with one I was yet to make.
I was a member of our state quilt guild at the time and they had their Ruby Jubilee coming up in a couple of years. They were planning on a traveling Red/White quilt show around the state to celebrate the event. We were encouraged to make quilts to enter. There would be no judging--just voting by viewers on their favorites. Sounded non-threatening to me, and I decided I could make this a 9 block quilt (wasn't sure I could work with just 2 colors for more than that), and enter it in the "Mini" category of the show. I got busy on the quilt, but when the entry information became available, I saw that there was not a mini category. I had attended a few shows by the state guild in the past, and had seen a mini category, but apparently for this show they had decided to just lump everything together. For some reason that took the wind out of my sail and I never finished the quilt. And I have still never entered a show.

I have slowly worked on this now and then over the years, but it has been a while since I last pulled it out. I decided it is time to get this little quilt top finished. Using those pieces in the first photo, I completed all the 4-patch, 6-patch, and 9-patch units, and then did the critical sliver trimming that makes such a  difference in mini quilts. 

Next I sewed the pieces together by rows, and then sewed the rows together.
When sewn into a quilt, each block will finish at 3 3/4", and there are 97 pieces in each block. Crazy, huh? Seven of the 9 blocks are now completed, and the pieces for the other two blocks are laid out on design boards, and should be completed in the next few weeks.

The next neglected project is the labeling of my little quilts. Seven years ago I did a post about labeling quilts without labeling them. In that post I explained that I always attach a label to my quilts--I just don't always write on the label. At that time I bemoaned the fact that I'd had a stack of 45 little quilts that needed labeling. Well, it happened again.
Hubby took the photo of me above, left, while I was hard at work writing labels. On the right is the photo I took when I had completed the pile of almost 60 quilts this time around. I would go to my blog and work backward, writing dates and info on 4 or 5 quilts. Next I'd go back to the table, find those quilts, and fill in the labels.  Then the process would start again. I really hope to do better going forward, and finish the labels before I consider the quilt completed.

The third neglected project that has received my attention this month is my Churn Dash quilt for Chooky's SAL last year. The blocks finish at 9". A few of them have a 3" block in the center, and three of those have a 1" churn dash in the middle. I had all of the blocks made when they were supposed to be done, but I never made the deadline for the assembly of the top.
Still not there, but getting very close.
The empty space is the row of sashing I am currently sewing together. At the time of the photo the row above that space was not yet attached to the upper half (which is all sewn together). All the blocks below the blank space still need to be sewn into rows. Once this is all assembled I will be auditioning borders to make the quilt as large as desired. I am leaning toward a dark blue that would be similar to the sashing, but no decisions have been made.

It seems like most everyone I know is currently dealing with difficult, stressful things. You may be familiar with the following saying...
"When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half of the time."
I'm thinking we could be right almost all the time these days. I want to choose kindness, even when faced with the opposite treatment. Not easy--it has to be a very intentional choice, but I'm working on it.
Until next time,
Be creative and be kind.
Janet O.

We have had such a snowy winter, and have more in the forecast next week. I like winter--and I don't even ski, but I also don't have to shovel the snow. I used to enjoy shoveling, but shoulder and back trouble have made it off limits for about 6 years now. I can still enjoy the views of the snowy countryside and mountains. The dirt road along the edge of the family farm gives some great vistas on my evening walk.
This is looking east--the sunset is behind me, but the glow reflects onto the tops of the mountains across the valley.