Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jumping from project to project.

Since making concentrated progress on many different projects at retreat, it has been hard to come back to reality and have no sewing time for several days. I made up for it this weekend, but struggled to know where to focus. So I jumped around!

First off, I sewed over half of the rows of this quilt on my design wall.
The empty corners are due to operator error. I miscalculated when I cut the setting and corner triangles and had to redo them. Haven't cut the new corners yet. I had purchased plenty of the fabric for them, just in case. Good thing!
Who knows, maybe next blog post will have a finished quilt top that isn't a mini! Wouldn't that be a shocker?

I made another row of the little foundation pieced blocks for this Kim Diehl mini.

It has been tricky getting the center points to meet when I sew together the two halves of the foundation for each block. 
Even when I mark the centers with pins and match them, I don't always get a good connection, but I think I am getting the hang of it. I have unpicked and resewn a couple of them, but I am letting the others go. This will get three more rows and then a couple of borders. 
The 2 1/2" square ruler gives you an idea of the block size.


It has probably been a couple of years since Sandi sent me a little Valentine Applique kit. She is trying to convert me to the dark side, I think. :)
I got started on it, and then other things got in the way. When digging for projects to take to retreat, I unearthed this and set it out where I could work on it upon my return. All of the applique is finished, and I added some little flowers and words. Can't decide if I will embellish it more, and then whether to quilt it for a wall hanging, or make a pillow. Even though applique is not my thing, it was fun to put this together.

Saturday evening I started quilted the little snowman block from Karen.

Hoping to have this finished before all of the snowman pillows, mats, and wall hangings get put away at the end of the month. He is so cute.

Finally I got out this wool project that is all prepped for the blanket stitching, but didn't do any stitching on it. This was the one handwork project I took with me to retreat, in case I wanted to relax with it in the evening. But we usually just made it back to our room at night in time to get ready for bed, do a little reading, and crash.
I first saw this on Julie's blog and had to order it. I have mentioned before that I live next door to a bee garden, and DD#2 has always had a thing for bees--also, I live in "The Beehive State". It was a no brainer.

The other project that saw progress is my final mini quilt swap for 2017--yes, I said 2017. I know it is 2018!
Julie and I had a swap lined up for last November. But things got in our way and we agreed to put it off. We have done that a couple of times, but are hoping to actually have our projects completed and swapped in the not-too-distant future.
I have been quilting my quilt for her, and have had a surprising discovery with a new-to-me thread, thanks to Joyce, a blog reader. I will share all about it when this swap is completed.
Until next time, 
Janet O.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Back to Normal...

...normal life, and almost normal computer.
Had a glorious time at retreat, sponsored by Village Dry Goods in Brigham City, UT! I came home with no new UFOs! There were mini classes offered during the three day period, and I was one of only a very few that took none of them! Just kept my focus on the projects I brought, and making progress.

I took a different large UFO to work on each of the three days, and then I had a couple of minis and bonus triangles to use as leader/enders and to fill in the gaps when I got tired of my "big" project.

Day One: I worked on my Scrappy Trips blocks. This is a Bonnie Hunter free pattern, and I started it in January 2013, when it was really making the rounds in social media. A LQS held a free sew day to come and learn how to make it (which you can read about here). I already knew how, but thought it would be fun to participate, so I did.
(I didn't purposely lay it out in the shape of Utah, but thought it was interesting that it ended up that way.)
There were 12 blocks already made when I went to retreat. I made 6 more blocks, and got a start on two more--and I have all the strips cut for more, so I can just sew, sew, sew!



Can't decide how many blocks I will end up making for this quilt. I think I would like 40, but I may not be patient enough to wait another 5 years to see that happen!





When my enthusiasm for Scrappy Trips waned, I pulled out my little paper pieced blocks for the Kim Diehl mini. They really don't take long to make, but I didn't spend much time with them, so I only made 4. They will finish at 2".

Day Two: My "big quilt" focus for this day was the "Legendary" quilt of Sasquatch, by Elizabeth Hartman. I completed the Sasquatch block and the first tree in a class at  a LQS in November. So my goal for retreat was to get all of the flippy corners sewn on the tree sections. Mission accomplished! They went from this..............................................................................to this!



























When I couldn't bear to sew one more flippy corner down, I turned to some mini Puss in the Corner blocks.


Day Three:  My main project for this day was a quilt called Settler's Puzzle. It is a Pam Buda design, and I started this at the retreat in 2014, when Pam was the invited teacher.
I only had 2 complete blocks when I arrived, and I went home with 6 finished. The pattern calls for 12, so I am halfway there. Though all of the parts were already cut out, I had to spend a lot of time on this one, getting all of the individual components made. Once that was done, the blocks went together very quickly!




I have the next 3 laid out on design boards--sans the red/gold HSTs. Those are cut, and shouldn't take too long!



This was held at The Academy Conference Center in Brigham City, UT--the same place where I took Bonnie Hunter's classes last summer. Such a lovely venue. This is looking from one end of the room to the other.
Each quilter got a full table to herself, but they pushed 4 tables together so we could visit as we worked.

It is hard to tell from the photo above, but at the end of the room there is a big, wide staircase that takes you down into the luncheon area.
As we descended the stairs for lunch, we joked that we felt we should be wearing ball gowns, tiaras, and glass slippers.

Each day there was some kind of program at lunch. The first two days were trunk shows.
The third day was an author/potter. His wife is a quilter, so some of his pottery caters to us. I picked up this lovely, magnetic pin bowl. I love functional things that are pretty, too!












My retreat buddy (Kim), and I became good friends with our table mates, and look forward to next year, hoping we will meet up again.

Standing L to R: Liz B., myself
Sitting L to R: Kim W., Annette B. (Liz's MIL)
I shared this experience with such wonderful women--kind, thoughtful, funny, sometimes silly, and always willing to go out of their way for you.I'm sure that sounds like most quilters you know.
When I returned home I looked at the blocks I had left up on my design wall during my absence, and I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with them.

All of these blocks came from Karen (karen-logcabinquilter.blogspot.com). They are from two different projects for which she had lost interest. The 5 center blocks were from one project, and the outer stars are from another large bunch of stars that I seem to be parceling out to various projects. I have border fabrics hanging to the side. You can't see it in the photo very well, but each of the fabrics in the sashing, setting triangles, and borders are small prints. I didn't want solids, but I also didn't want to compete with the blocks. I want them to shine. 
Thank you, Karen, for the privilege of working with your lovely blocks!
Enough of my ramblings!
Until next time, 
Janet O.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Ready to hit the road!

My computer became very ill on Saturday and is in the computer hospital. I have tried to post from my tablet, but photos are not uploading. What fun is a post without photos?
I had promised to show the projects I had chosen to take on retreat. So much for my promises!
In deciding what would go with me, I piled the projects that demanded my attention in a corner of my sewing room. There were a dozen. I talked myself down from that ledge and ended up with 6 (I guess it could be 7 if you count the leader/enders I tossed in).
I have packed 3 large quilt projects, 2 minis, and one wool project. I know it is only a 3 day retreat, but I like variety. :)
Maybe when I return at the end of the week I will have my computer once again, and I can share what I actually accomplished.
I hope you all get some time to play with your fabric this week! I know I am looking forward to three days of intensive creative therapy after weeks of almost none.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Not much progress--again!

Another two weeks have passed since I posted and this is the sum total of my stitching--most of it happening after Christmas.

This Wheel of Fortune block was made by the late (and very talented) Jill Reid. It was gifted to me by her good friend, Barb (funwithbarb blog). I have tried to do it justice by hand quilting it--my very first hand quilted feathered wreath!
You can see the pattern in the photo below.
Thank you, Barb. It is so special to have this.




About a year ago, another blog friend, Karen (logcabinquilts blog), had sent me a few applique blocks she had made, but decided she didn't want to include in a quilt she was making. In February I added a border to this one and quilted it. You've seen it before.






I am in need of another portable hand quilting project, so I bordered another one and will get it ready for hand quilting. Thanks, again, Karen. I am looking forward to stitching this.





You may recall the Kim Diehl kit I picked up on a birthday quilt shop trip last month. It is a cute little 10"x12" quilt.



I got the kit home and then discovered that it was applique--which I don't do. I said I would have to find another way to make it. Well, I found one.








I went to work with my graph paper , ruler, micron pigma pen and White-Out. I designed foundations in order to paper piece the blocks.













After getting my Master made for the foundations, I copied the design onto newsprint, for ease of tearing away.











Then I stitched.




The blocks will finish at 2". 

I think this will be a project I will take to my "open sew" retreat in just 10 days! I have been browsing through my UFOs, deciding what will make the trip over the mountain with me. I intend to make good progress on some old projects. The sponsoring shop is offering mini classes each day at the retreat. I was tempted by the wool class, but have decided I am going to stay focused on old projects, rather than accumulating new ones.










I have everything for the blocks of this little quilt all cut and ready to go.

The projects I am considering for retreat are things that are all cut out. I have no excuse for not getting them done. 

Earlier in December I got some things in the mail that haven't found there way onto the blog.
On the left is a wonderful heap of HSTs from Karen for leader/enders. I was using a bag of HSTs from my retreat buddy for my L/E when these arrived. I am mixing them all together and now whatever I make from them will be even scrappier! Gotta love that!


The wrapped package came from my friend Kris (lavenderquilts blog). On her blog a while back she posted a sale she was having on Moda Bella solids (she has an etsy shop). A great deal at $5 a yard, and if you buy 5 or more yards, she pays for priority shipping! Kris said she would still offer the deal on the colors she has left. Find the post here.
I got a few yards each of linen and stone.

Next post I will introduce you to which UFOs I have chosen to take to retreat. Many haven't seen the light of day in a long time!
Until then,
Janet O.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Finally!

It has been almost two weeks since my last post. I finally have something to share (not much, but at least one quilty thing).
 
This was made using the tree block pattern that Kevin (kevinthequilter blog) shared last year--it just shrunk in my hands, as things tend to do. The blocks are a little rectangular, so the quilt will finish at about 14 x 15 1/2".  I auditioned the sashing without cornerstones, but the quilt seemed to need an added pop of color...so it got one. I am considering binding it in green.


One of the great things about actually making a Christmas quilt at Christmas time is the fun photo ops you have with all the Christmas decor available. I won't bore you with most of what I took, but here is one more taken in the Christmas corner of my sewing room. I think I will name this quilt Tree Farm. Hmmm, maybe it needs to be  Uncle Kevin's Tree Farm. No, I don't have an Uncle Kevin, but Kevin the Quilter strikes me as a really great uncle, and it was his block pattern, so I think he should be in the title somehow.

I also finally held the drawings for my birthday giveaway and the bags of fabric. After drawing the names, I went to my email to try and contact the winners, only to discover that two of them were "no reply" profiles, so I had to eliminate them and draw again.
My birthday giveaway was won by Lori D. (humblequilts blog). 
Bag #1 of Aster Manor fabrics goes to Liz (frogquilter blog).     
Bag #2 of the Rites of Spring fabrics goes to Aimee (thebryanfamilysampler blog). 
Bag #3 of homespun fabrics goes to Karen (moosebaymuses blog). 
I have contacted the winners and will get their packages sent as soon as I have all the addresses.

Well, that is it as far as the quilty content of this post goes. My third "finally" has to do with my nativity collection. Collections can be a dangerous thing. Where do you draw the line of what to collect? Will you collect anything you see that fits your collection theme, or will you be more selective?  I realized early on in my Nativity gathering that this could get out of hand so easily (but then most any collection can in the hands of an obsessive individual like myself). After giving it some thought, I determined I would choose to gather nativities from other countries. But there is a mind-boggling array of sets from around the world. Well, I prefer  hand-crafted ones. That narrows it some, but still isn't enough restraint. Then I hit upon the idea that I will collect from countries where my family and friends have lived or visited. And if they can bring me one themselves, all the better.

Forty years ago my brother returned home after serving as a missionary in Thailand, and I finally purchased a handcrafted Nativity made in Thailand when we were in Salt Lake City on my birthday getaway last month. It is crafted of metal, wire and beads, and is very different from anything else I have. I think I may work on putting up a tab to a page showing my International Nativity sets. When I get it done I will post a link here.
Monday I was standing out on the deck taking photos of the wonderland created by the hoarfrost, when I saw a bird land in our sumac tree. He proceed to eat the berries. I believe he is a Northern Flicker woodpecker.
That is not snow on the branches--it is frost! 

So many activities and gatherings in the next few weeks. Seems harder this year than ever to find time to sew and blog during the holidays, and I could really use some creative therapy. Yesterday I signed up for an "open sew" retreat in January. I have never attended that type of retreat before. I am really looking forward to it.

Until next time,
Janet O.
 


Saturday, December 2, 2017

All God's Critters Got a Place In The Choir (really long, boring post)

Including Sasquatch!

It has been a very full and emotional two weeks (MIL's passing and funeral, and then my 60th birthday and Thanksgiving on the same day).  
When all of the busyness subsided, I attended the class for the "Legendary" quilt by Elizabeth Hartman. I had signed up for it just before things got crazy.
Jenny was our teacher. She was very sweet and fun--she is also the daughter of a former classmate. (When did everyone else get so young??)  Here she is posing with her quilt.
We were the second class Jenny had taught for this quilt and we determined we were the remedial group. She said in the first class everyone got Sasquatch and one tree made--and they all came without their fabrics cut. 

In our class of three, two of us came with fabrics cut, and yet we each only completed the Sasquatch block. The other gal had to cut her fabrics, and leave for a doctor's appointment in the middle of class, so she had an excuse for not finishing more.





Look how fun--one of the gals was making hers a "Yeti" quilt. He was a tone-on-tone white, and her background was black. Very clever. She was making the trees blue.





Had a chance to sew tonight and finished up one tree.
I am just so proud (and relieved) that so far all of the raindrops are going in the right direction! I have never made a quilt this large with a directional background fabric prior to this one.
I am pondering whether or not to make a random 2 or 3 trees just one strip shorter than the others.  What do you think? Would it look strange? I've just never seen such a uniform forest before.
This may have to go on the back burner now, until after the holidays. I have Christmas things to do. :)


While we are on the subject of trees, I am getting closer to an actual little quilt from Kevin's mini tree pattern. I am working on the sixth block, and I can't decide if that will be it, or if I will shoot for nine.
Regardless of the number of blocks, I think this red from Primitive Gatherings will be my sashing.

DH and I finally had a quick birthday getaway. We went to IKEA for the first time, took in the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake (I highly recommend it if you are in the area), visited a quilt shop, a favorite restaurant,  a favorite ice cream shop, and we took in the lights at Temple Square.
So I want to show you a few favorite critters.
The bearcats, which are neither bears or cats. Long thick tails on these creatures.



An exotic pheasant variety--the feathers all had a sheen, like the shiny part of peacock feathers. Beautiful bird.












The penguins were so fun to watch. Though slow and waddly on land, when they jumped in the water, they could swoop back and forth across the pond, and leap up into an arc before gracefully, and rapidly diving back in and swooping across the pond again.


 




There was also a petting pool where you could feel the spongy surface of the rays as they would glide past you. I think I did it four times. :)







I was treated well for my birthday. My daughter has started making barn quilts and I was thrilled to receive this from her.

And a few of my blog friends sent special surprises.

 Heartfelt thanks to Mary, Kris, Julie, and Doniene. Also thanks to Barb for the very fun eCard, and to Annie (no blog), whose calligraphy makes any card extra special. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. The past couple of weeks have been a blur!

I had wanted to make something for my belated birthday drawing, but there wasn't time. I included a little ornament, but that was all I could muster. Take a peek at the goodies.
Did you notice that there is an item for each decade I have lived? But I will probably ruin that by throwing in some of my handcrafted soap when I package it up. If you are interested,  leave a comment.  You may also want to mention if you are interested in any of the following.

I was the recipient of a car trunk full of unwanted fabric from my quilt retreat buddy recently. I have shared much of it here and there. I had hung on to some myself, including a couple of small bags that I thought I might use somehow. Now I am facing reality and letting them go.

#1-- An unfinished project made with Moda's Aster Manor line. No pattern included, but an experienced quilter could figure it out, if they wanted to make more of this same block. There is a a little yardage, part of a jelly roll, and lots of charm squares.


#2--No sewn parts to this bag. It is all from the Rites of Spring line by Moda. There are a couple of  pieces of yardage, a few strips, lots of 2 1/2" squares, and charm squares. If you like purple and green together, this is a nice group of fabrics.

#3-- This last bag is full of homespun wovens. mostly squares and small pieces of yardage, but the pile in front is random scraps. If you are interested in this, I would appreciate it if you would be  willing to split the shipping costs with me. It will probably fill a large priority mail box, and with all the above items being shipped, too, it is adding up.

So here are the options. If you are interested in any, please specify. I will draw names before my next post, and I don't think the next one will take quite as long as this one did.
Sorry for the length of this, but there is one last photo I want to share. Two days before Thanksgiving, as I was driving away from my Mom's house, I got to the corner and saw this.
 
There were a dozen wild turkeys trotting across the street--in the crosswalk! I figured this was the great escape before they became the honored guest at Thanksgiving. So crazy to see this in the city limits. We have wild turkeys where I live, outside the city, but this is the first I have seen of them in town. I sent it to a news channel and this was the weatherman using it to introduce his forecast for Thanksgiving.
My thanks to everyone for their condolences and prayers over my MIL's passing. I cannot respond to all of the comments this time around, but I want you to know your words were appreciated. 
If you have read this whole thing, you probably need a nap!
Until next time,
Janet O.

 Drawings Now Closed
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