Sunday, April 15, 2018

Critter sightings! (an animal heavy post)

Sasquatch was spotted hanging around our yard this weekend. Sightings for this handsome fella don't usually occur in the Rockies.
Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

If you live near the Rockies, not to worry. He is now on his way to Oregon, where he belongs.
My thanks to my friend Jen Pate, for her beautiful quilting, and to my Mom, for the binding.

 I was in the sewing room for just a bit and got "Sophie" assembled. Since I couldn't square anything up with the rotary cutter, it turned out a tad wonky, but that makes it have more of that endearing "made by a child" doll quilt look (or so I am telling myself).
I'd like to hand quilt it, but it may be a while before I am up to that.


Friday I stopped in at a LQS on my way home from the doctor's office and I bought a FQ of this gorgeous Di Ford fabric. I don't recall seeing her fabrics locally before. Maybe I just haven't known where to look. But this is so pretty, I want to go back and buy more!
That is it for quilty content. Just haven't felt up to much.
So on to the critters.
You may recall once before, when I shared the meaning of babysitting on the family farm. It is that season once again--when the llama sits and the baby lambs climb upon it. The first shot is when the lambs realize the llama is available, and they come running. Then it is a scramble to be king of the hill (or llama).

Eventually the llama tires of the activity and stands up. The babies tumble off and the game is over.

Now, a little bird watching around the farm. All of these photos were taken out the windows of our home. Fuzzy photos=dirty windows. :)

Haven't caught any photos of Sandhill Cranes this year, but I will. Once, a few years ago, there was a White Egret across the road, but it flew away before I could get more than a blurry photo. I keep hoping I will see one again. They are so pretty!

Two updates: The winner of the Carol Hopkins book is Robin. I believe I still have your address on file, Robin, so I will send the book via media mail the next time I am in town. (You haven't moved recently, have you?) :)
And last of all, I have been released from the confines of the sling (WooHoo!!), but am still restricted as to activities. Hey, it is progress!

Until next time, 
Janet O.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Who knew log cabin blocks could be so fun?

Probably most of you were aware of that fact, but my log cabin block experience is limited. Prior to this week I had made two small log cabin quilts. One was made from 1" logs a friend gave me,
Blocks finish at 3 1/2".
and the other was an AAQI quilt (Alzheimer's Research fundraiser). I just realized that each of these was made using Kansas Troubles fabric, and I used the same setting on them. Time to break out of that rut.
I think this one was about 8" x 10".
Well, since my shoulder surgery last week, I have limited options--no rotary cutting, and probably best not to try pushing things under the needle that need to be very precise. That eliminates most of what I have going right now.
So I pulled out the makings for the half log cabin blocks that Karen had sent me way back when. I shared them a couple of posts back. I started sewing these on Wednesday, and I have added about 15 blocks to the stack. I can only sew 3 or 4 of them at a time, because my arm gets tired easily. But I have had fun playing with them on the design wall.

The possibilities are endless, but I have to admit that the traditional barn raising design always draws me in. It could end up being the option I use. It may not be very daring or creative, but at least it is different from my two previous efforts. :)

Another little project that only required a few scissor snips (my Mom's first quilt was a bed size log cabin made entirely with cardboard templates and scissors!!) was this sweet little doll quilt from Edyta Sitar's book "Little Handfuls of Scraps".

This book was a gift from two dear blog friends, and I have so many of these  quilts marked to make one day. 

The beauty of this little design is that the squares are 2 1/2" and I was able to pull them from a variety of mini charm packs. No cutting!! The sashing and cornerstones are made from 1 1/4" strips, and I just happen to have a BUNCH of those left from another project. Scissors worked just fine cutting those to size.
I may not get this sewn up quickly, but it makes me smile, and I am happy to have it ready to go.

Remember my "totality" block, commemorating the total eclipse? I have been wondering where to take it from here.

While sorting and straightening some fabric piles I came across a perfect fabric to use. Look at that--a whole bunch of eclipsed suns! Not sure yet how I will incorporate it, but I know that I will do it!

This is a 6" block, unfinished, and it is from the book Civil War Legacies II, by Carol Hopkins.

Another discovery I made while rummaging straightening in my sewing room was a second copy of this book. I know many of you already have it, but if you don't and are interested in it, leave a comment indicating that fact. I will draw a name before my next post and send it out media mail.

I need to get some shut-eye. I can hear the rain on the roof, and that is my favorite lullaby.

Until next time, 
Janet O.

p.s. Thanks to all who expressed concern and offered prayers for my surgery and recovery. I appreciate it very much. Torn biceps is repaired, bone spurs removed, scar tissue cleaned out, healing going well. :) 

Drawing Now Closed

Friday, March 30, 2018

March Mini

I have joined Wendy (the constantquilter blog) and a few other bloggers in making a mini a month, and if I don't post this soon it will have to be April's, instead of March's.
The tiny 9-patch is finished.

At first I thought about doing some hand quilting on it, but when you have this much congestion on the back, that is kind of difficult.

I didn't press any seams open because I knew I wanted to do some Stitch-in-the-Ditch.

Just quilted some straight lines and simple loops in the border.

Here is a perspective shot. It is about 7" x 8", with 3/4" finished nine patches.

I finally finished messing with the trees in Sasquatch's forest.
 Thursday he went to the machine quilters. I won't be pushing any large quilts around under Gidget's needle for a while, yet, and I wanted this to get finished and to my oldest daughter's family.
I pieced the back from chunks of blue and green flannels. I am having the machine quilter attach the binding, too, and then my Mom has offered to sew it down by hand.
My shoulder is being scoped this morning. Not sure how soon I will be back to blogging and quilting, but I will be quilting vicariously through the adventures of my blog friends! I'll be back as soon as I can.
In the meantime, enjoy this recent view from my sewing room window. Love those clouds.
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, March 16, 2018

No resistence!

This is not one of the two projects that has a looming deadline, but it would not stop calling to me, and it is pretty apparent that I had no ability to resist.  Hopefully now it will leave me in peace and let me accomplish what needs to be done!
Since that is a mini orchid I realized that it didn't give a very good perspective on the finished size.
This should help.

The 9-patches finish at 3/4". And talk about not making a dent in the scraps--this little thing seems to create more scraps than it uses!
Here it is by my Fairy Garden Party (that still needs quilting), made by shrinking down Bonnie Hunter's "Garden Party" design.

Aside from this distraction, I have been working on getting the rows of the Legendary: Sasquatch quilt sewn together. But when I stepped back from the design wall and skimmed over the block arrangement, I realized something wasn't right.

Sasquatch is walking on air! I know there are many legend about Sasquatch, but there are none that I have heard involving air travel. I had to get his feet firmly on the ground. So I ripped off the little strips of background fabric from the top and bottom of the Sasquatch block and attached one wider strip to the top. Mission accomplished.
One more row of trees to sew together, and then I can do the sashing between rows. I am debating with myself about adding borders or not.
And for your amusement, when I mentioned on a previous post that I had found upside down raindrops and I was leaving them that way, this is what I had found.
Look between Sasquatch's thumbs and fingers. I was not about to disassemble his hands to correct them.
I have been admiring lots of log cabin quilts online, and decided it was time to dig out these strips for half log cabin blocks. 
This was a project Karen Beigh passed along to me when she decided she didn't want to finish it. She had already assembled a few of the blocks. I have only added one to the pile, but I am anxious to make many more! I may even cut more "logs".

My thoughts and prayers have been with those that are facing severe weather. Hoping you are all safe and warm!
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, March 2, 2018

I love a simple 9-patch

When I was left with a pile of strips after cutting for a project, I just had to whip up a few 9-patch blocks. I have plenty of strips to make a bunch more, but these are what I stitched up during the news. In this photo I was auditioning a fabric for setting squares. I had first thought I would use a black print, but decided I wanted a sweeter look.
Did I forget to mention that the strips were under 1" wide and these blocks will finish at 3/4"?

I have made many 9-patch blocks this size before, but it has been a while and it took me a couple of attempts to remember the techniques.

During the Olympics I spent a lot of time doing the stitching on this.
I'm not sure I want to border it the way the pattern shows, but I haven't yet come up with something that clicks for me. Currently it has a place on my design wall, reminding me that Spring is coming.

Wendy (theconstantquilter blog) invited us to join her in making a mini a month. Since I am inclined to do that anyway, I figured it would be fun to join in. My feathered star swap quilt ended up being my January finish, though I had intended this to be finished in January. 

Instead, it is my February finish--almost. It looks all wonky because I haven't stitched the binding down on the back yet. The pins holding the folded binding down are distorting the quilt. Hopefully it will be completed very soon.
I have started my March mini, but it is a swap quilt that I won't show until the swap is completed.

It is time to get the sashing on Sasquatch. The last time I posted this quilt I said I still had something else I might do with the trees. 

The photo on the left shows the trees as they were then. See how the trunks are all uniform in height? On the right I have shortened some of the trunks (I have just folded them under on the bottom while I decide if I like it or not). It adds one more factor of individuality to the trees, but I can't decide if it makes it look disjointed. Can a forest look disjointed? I know you have an opinion, so let me have it. :)

Until next time, 
Janet O.

We are finally getting winter, and this was the scene one morning just before the sun came up over the mountains earlier this week. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sewing along with Lori

Sunday morning (I am writing this Saturday night) Lori (humblequilts blog) is heading for Columbia on a mission trip. Since I have nothing to speak of worth sharing, I thought I would review the little quilts I have made in her SALs. I've had this idea for a post for a while now. So here we go!

I started blogging in May of 2011. As near as I can tell Lori had held 3 SALs by then--2 in 2010, and one early in 2011. I have saved those patterns, but haven't made them yet.

In January of 2012 I joined in for the first time. Her SAL was named "Pink Lemonade".  I made two versions of this pattern.


In Sept. 2012 we were at it again. This one was named "Mountain Trail". I was still relatively new to machine quilting--wish I had used darker thread. :)

We had a bonus of three SALs in 2013. "Abundance" was created in January. I hand quilted this one.

In April of 2013 we made "Harmony". Apparently I had enjoyed the hand quilting, because I hand quilted this one, as well.

"Faithful" was in October 2013. We were told to start with an orphan block and the SAL was the process of bordering it. I had this 6" Mariner's Compass that needed a home.

"Midwinter Blues" was her SAL in January 2014.

The only doll quilt SAL of Lori's that I have NOT followed since I started blogging, was "Cascadia". And I am sorry. It was in Nov. 2014. I do want to make it someday.

Starting in 2015 there has just been one SAL per year. I guess I made up for it by making 2 of "Country Roads" in September of that year. I also made my blocks half the size. :)

"Quilters Madder" was our SAL in October 2016. I think this is one of my favorites, but it also drove me crazy! So easy to mess up the placement of the blocks! I downsized these blocks, too, and added a border based on Lori's inspiration quilt.

Last of all was "Palmateer Point" in September of 2017. This one was also down-sized. Do you sense a trend?

The three SALs that were before my time were "Cheddar Cheese & Crackers", "Strawberry Fields", and "Midnight Stars"

Do you follow along with Lori's SALs? If so, how many have you done? She has a post here where you can find photos of most of her little SAL quilts.

Thanks to Lori for all her efforts for SALs that are just right! They are small quilts, and the SALs don't last forever. The longer a SAL goes, the greater chance to fall behind--and then I tend to drop out.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words about my tome-like tutorial.
As per LuAnn's request, you will find a tab under my header where all three "Making of a Mini Quilt" posts are linked.

Until next time, when I might actually have something new to share,
Janet O.

p.s. Random Number Generator chose #13--Nancy--to receive the soap. I laughed when I saw that her number was chosen. If you read her comment, she asked not to be included in the drawing. But I convinced her that the same reason she gave for NOT being included was the very reason why I make my own soap--been at it for almost 22 years now. So Nancy, you will get to give it a try! If you will email your address to me I will send it out next time I am in town!

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