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.


  1. So happy to wake up to a post from you with BIG Quilts. Amazing Quilting on your sampler. Glad you joined the swap this year, sad I'm not getting one. So much snow this weekend in the forecast. I don't have to cross the mountains to watch General Conference, even though I'd love to be there in Person! Happy end of March!

  2. Wow! Look at you making "Big" quilts. The Barrister one is delightful to look at with all the variety and colors. Love the red border. The churn dash quilt shows your expert ability to be precise. Really nice job. How great that your daughter wants it. I was so tempted to join Lori's doll quilt swap. It seems like whenever she starts something new I'm already in the middle of something else.

  3. Stunning wintery scenes. Can't help with the science, sorry. Beautiful quilts. Your Moda Love layout looks great. Have fun putting it together what ever you decide.

  4. Oh, Janet I DO like your big quilts! Especially the first one. What a change for you! Your snow photos are beautiful. Near Philadelphia, we have had NO snow this winter. A couple of flurries but nothing that even stuck to the ground. Many people are feeling deprived (I am not among them).

  5. Everything you have finished & are working on is just stunning Janet. I know I've said it before but you sure do churn out some amazing work! I look forward to seeing the doll swap quilt come to life as it looks interesting. Your photos of the scenery & the snow are amazing too ... you should make some cards & put the images on them as they are so beautiful. It certainly looks more like winter than spring!

  6. So many beautiful quilts and projects! Your churn dash is stunning! I like your version of the Moda Love. Amazing scenery shots.

  7. Oh, my, Big Quilts! Is this the real Janet!?! Love seeing your finishes and your restarts. Love how you assembled Karen's blocks. You're on a finishing roll. I think everyone in the West has been glad to see the extra snowfall.

  8. You have such lovely things to say about your long arm quilter, I'm sure she appreciates it. I know when my customers do the same for me it is heartwarming but also serves as an advertisement. I've made 3 Moda Love quilts, aren't they a nice quick make! Those snowy photos make me feel SO happy, the wintery scenes set my soul in a peaceful mood. Quilty Hugs from NZ x

  9. Big quilts (like big stitch hand quilting) can be fun! You have some lovely finishes and tops here. I'm especially drawn to the churn dash quilt, which is another on my bucket list of want-to makes. I showed my hubby your photos of the mountains and the long-distance reflection and he didn't have any ideas on that phenomenon either.

  10. Your quilts are stunning Janet as are your snow photos, great post.

  11. Oh My Goodness Janet, what a wonderful array of Large Quilts! They are all lovely. SO good to see your Churndash - sadly, my goal to have mine completed before SS has gone completely by the wayside! The photos of the mountains and the snow are just beautiful...I hope the flooding from melted snow isn't too severe and that the water sets you up for the summer.

  12. Wow, Janet. When you do it, you do it big, with three big finished quilts in one post.
    Your plaid quilt is spectacular! You are a master and using plaids.
    Your churn dash looks great, too. I love the variety in the block colors and the consistency of the sashing, cornerstones, and borders to bring unity.
    The star quilt looks much more formal, doesn't it? Beautiful! I was sorry that Karen quilt blogging. I miss her posts and beautiful work.
    Your Moda Love quilt is stunning. Beautiful colors!
    I'm pleased you have snow to end the drought, sorry that there may be flooding to follow. I hope it's not awful. And what a gorgeous sunset. Wow!

  13. Wow, Janet, you are on a roll and your "big quilts" are fabulous! I'm fascinated by the one you made from men's thrift store shirts. That must have been labor intensive taking the shirts apart :) I always enjoyed Karen's blog and it's so nice that you have a lovely quilt made from her blocks. I think we are finally beyond snow and spring is in the air. It feel so good! Love that last photo!

  14. Oh wow, Janet, big quilts, and lovely ones at that! Beautiful fabrics and patterns. You are really on a roll in your sewing room. We've head about all the snow in Utah. My niece lives there and said she expects to be snowboarding well into June at this rate! Your photos are stunning and just wow, you live in a beautiful place. I laughed at your "responsible adult" comment. I usually need to get a few chores done before settling into the sewing room. Otherwise things catch up with me too fast.

  15. You're getting a lot accomplished! The SAL quilt looks great and if you hadn't said I would have thought you quilted it as it looks just like your style.
    The Churn dash is such a great blog and your colors are beautiful. It is nice to know it will be used and loved by your daughter.
    I'm a little jealous of your snow. We had exactly 1 snowfall that required shoveling. It is so pretty and peaceful and a good excuse to sew. Thanks for sharing those photos.
    That is interesting about the reflection, must have to do with angles and stuff like that. ha ha obviously I have no idea. my husband says it might have something to do with your elevated position.
    The sunset photo is majestic!

  16. love your first pleased to see the Churn Dash Quilt looks wonderful and I love the triple blocks.......totally out of my skill base......
    And I am so please you make a BIG Moda Love is to tiny version this time.........surprise.........

  17. also love the snow pics..........the reflections are cool and always amaze me also........I have some of sunset at the dam the other night.....

  18. You are making big quilts! Wow! I love each one! I hope by now the snow has gone. We are finally feeling like spring!


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