Saturday, December 30, 2023

I Love Purple!

I really DO love purple, but that is also the name of a recent line from Judie Rothermel. Just this week this arrived in the mail from a recent acquaintance, and it was like Christmas all over again! Thank you so much to my benefactor!

I promptly went to the Marcus Fabrics website and downloaded the free pattern for a quilt using this line.
Even though I am still in a "no new starts" phase, I am allowing myself one or two small projects this year, because I have been such a good girl for the past 14 months. I think I will make a large baby quilt or small lap quilt from the blocks in this design. You can find the pattern here.

But before I launch on something new, I am making myself get in a couple of finishes. Maybe the quilt shown below will be one of them. You can read more about this one here.

This is a younger sibling to another Mini Burgoyne Surrounded shown below, that I did earlier in a controlled scrappy version. You can read more about that one here.

I have been working on these little red and white blocks recently while Zooming with the Chookshed Stitchers. I have one block left to assemble, and then I can put that last row together and put the border around the whole thing before figuring out how I will quilt it.

Always fun to catch up with these gals from around the world. Lots of laughs, solving world problems, and learning from each other, while we sometimes get some stitching in. And I am thrilled that my new iPad lets me see 16 gals at one time, rather than the 9 that were visible on my iPad mini.

I finally got my Nativities post from last year updated with this year's purchases and gifts. I have made it a "Page" under my header photo. It is the very last one listed, and is (very creatively--NOT) named "Nativities." :) You can just click the link here.

It may be a bit shocking to see a post from me already, since I just posted a week ago after a more than 2 month drought. But I am really going to try to do better! This was my last chance this year, and I made the most of it.

Wishing you all peace and happiness in the new year, and the hope that you will choose kindness!

Until next time,

Janet O.

This was the sunset behind my house when I headed out for my walk this evening. It wasn't expansive, and the color didn't last long, but it was pretty while it was there.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Merry Christmas, friends!

It has been over two months since I posted and I don't blame anyone who has given up on me. I almost did.

About the only thing quilt related that I have done lately is pick up quilts from my long arm quilter. I am always so pleased with what she does, that if I was independently wealthy, I might have her quilt everything I piece. But at least two of the quilts are Christmas themed.

First up is an oldie, but goodie from 2012. This is Flurry. Click that link for the pattern from Moda. I made mine a bit smaller for a wall hanging size.

I had my quilter do an all over design in the center, ditch stitch in the narrow red border, and a swirl pattern along the outer border. I won the fabrics to make this from LuAnn's Loose Threads blog and actually got the top put together in reasonably good time. Just never got it quilted, until now.

Another Christmas quilt that finally got quilted (but not bound) before Christmas is what I called Rocky Mountain Stars. It is a Stretched Star pattern, using Bonnie Hunter's free pattern called Smokey Mountain Stars. I pieced this in 2011.

I added an extra row to the width and length. Like Bonnie's, mine was made from men's thrift store shirts. I asked my quilter to do a meander with a random holly and berry design thrown into the mix. I think she did an excellent job. She also did berries in the cranberry colored border, and a holly and berry design in the outer border, as you can see below.


The next one is not a Christmas quilt, but the colors, for the most part, would work for the holiday. This is made up from blocks that were sent to me by former blogger Karen Beigh. These blocks were from two different projects, but I thought they combined well to make a lovely quilt. I put this top together in 2016.

I told my quilter that I definitely wanted feathers in this quilt, and she did not disappoint.
I have no idea what to name this one.

Further Christmas stitching occurred at my November guild meeting. We were making "quilt as you go" placemats for the local "Meals on Wheels", and I chose to make mine Christmasy. 

We are a very small guild, and we focus on making doll quilts and mini quilts. We are appropriately named "Sew Small Guild". That is supposed to reference what we sew, not the size of our group. But we are down to 8 members, with two more saying they are joining up in January. Between the 8 of us, we turned in 36 placemats.

I love those fabrics in the top placemat. All but one are from an early Judie Rothermel Christmas line--Christmas colors, but not Christmas prints. That is my preference. I had some of this line many years ago, but used up the last scrap of it in a Pam Buda SAL last Christmas. One of our guild members brought strips from this line to our placemat making session, and it was a pleasure to sew with them.

I used the scraps to make this mini quilt for a friend for Christmas. It started out to be a mug rug, but ended up a little big for that role, but kind of small for a quilt. I can't believe I just said that!
She has it now, so I thought it was okay to share it.

For my birthday last month hubby took me to a first annual Nativity Market in Salt Lake City. Hundreds of nativities available for sale. I am drawn to the international nativities, and that is where hubby snapped this photo. Above my head you can see the sign for the area where I spent my money--"Nativities From Around the World". I came home with three new ones--one from Peru, one from Kenya, and one from Columbia. And then my neighbor to the west of our farm gave me one she brought back from Argentina, where she and her husband have been providing leadership for a mission there for the past three years. When I get a chance I will update my nativity page and let you know, so you can see the new additions, if you are interested.

Then early this month I went to a nativity display at a local church. The posters said there would be a thousand nativities on display, from around the world. Sounded wonderful to me. This is the sight that met my eyes when I walked into the church's "Cultural Hall".
Over 1000 nativities everywhere you looked, in every imaginable style and theme, from countries all over the world. And here's the kicker--they all belong to one woman!!! And to top that, this is only half of her collection. I can't fathom that, but it is a good warning not to get too caught up in your collecting of anything. My sister referred to this as a "holy hoard". But there were some very beautiful, reverent nativities, and I spent well over an hour browsing through them and occasionally speaking with the owner as she wandered among the visitors answering questions.

Oh, I need to post more often. I have cut out many things I had intended to share because this is so long, but I really want to show you this. Another splurge on my birthday was a new case for my violin.
It is carbon fiber and the color is called lavender, though it is much lighter in color than any lavender I have grown. I prefer to call it lilac. I have had the same light brown case for this violin since my parents replaced my starter violin when I was 15. That old case was over 50 years old! Christmas Eve morning (does that make sense?) I am playing a violin duet in church with a young gal that is almost 50 years my junior. In preparation had my violin refurbished last month (it has been 17 years since I last played in church), and figured it was time for a case upgrade. I love this case. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

I am sorry that it has taken me so horribly long to get a post written. Some of you may recall that I offered a Kathleen Tracy book in my last post (months ago). Denice is the winner of the book, and she has been notified via email.

If you are celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a joyous and peaceful holiday commemorating the birth of our Savior.
Until next time,
Be creative, and be kind.
Janet O.

From a recent evening walk. This is not the sunset in the west, it is a reflection of the sunset over on the eastern side of the valley, and it happened to be brighter and more colorful than the sunset itself. Click the photo to enlarge and get the full effect.