Monday, November 20, 2017

Life is what happens while you are making other plans

DH's Mom has been in a skilled nursing facility since last December. She was not in good shape when she entered, having rapidly declined over the course of a week, and we didn't think she would be with us much longer. Even the hospice doctor suspected she only had a couple of weeks left. Well, she has far surpassed our expectations, and it was easy to forget that her health was still fragile. 
My MIL was very entertained by little Maggie's antics last September.
Wednesday afternoon DH visited her, and though she was a little out of sorts, he didn't think there was anything  wrong. 
Thursday afternoon DH and I were heading to Salt Lake City (80 miles away) for a little early birthday getaway. We had stopped for dinner at a restaurant about 30 miles from home, and while there we received a call from DH's brother. 

DD#2's 4 children visiting Great-grandma on Halloween
The hospice nurse thought their Mom had suffered a stroke sometime during Wednesday night, and my BIL was heading over to check on her and would let us know her condition. We received his call when we got to our car after dinner. She was not doing well. We headed back, going directly to the nursing facility. We had been there about 90 minutes when she just quit breathing. That was it. She was on to a better place. How wonderful for her that she didn't have to suffer anymore. She had dealt with poor health ever since she took a fall four years ago and broke her femur.
She was a kind MIL, and a good grandma. She will be missed, but I know she is at peace, and I am happy for her. Life is fleeting. Be good to those you love, so you can let them go without regrets.

With the holiday looming, and relatives coming from Canada, the funeral will not be held until Saturday.
I will share what little sewing there is to show for the past week+, and then I will probably not be in blogland much, with family arriving, and Thanksgiving, and a birthday and a funeral all packed into the week.

When I posted my eclipse block I heard from Amy Loar that she had made two of this block design into mini quilts, one to keep and one for a friend. I asked if I could see them, and then I asked if I could share them. The reply was affirmative. Here you go.
Aren't they pretty? I know they represent the eclipse, but they also make me think of Candy Corn--probably because Halloween was not that long ago. :)
Thanks for sharing them, Amy!

This block design seems to be following me lately. I have previously shared this block from the same pattern, that was made by the late Jill Reid. I am hand quilting it, and I finally finished up the feathered wreath in the center. I am really enjoying this "slow-stitching".

 Recently DD#1 let me know that she would love to receive the Sasquatch quilt that she had seen online for their Christmas/Birthday gift. I can't remember a time when she hasn't had a thing for the legend of Sasquatch.

So I downloaded the pattern, ordered some fabrics, and I am signed up for this class that a local quilt shop just happened to be offering the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are to have everything cut and labeled before class, so I am trying to squeeze those preparations into a very busy time.

Because our birthday getaway was canceled Thursday, on Saturday we buzzed over the mountain to Village Dry Goods, where I picked up a few things with my birthday club coupon.
 
Imagine my surprise when I got that little Kim Diehl kit home and discovered it is applique. How did I not catch that? But it is such a cute little quilt--only 10 1/2 x 12 1/2". I'm pretty sure I will have to find another way to make it.

My usual birthday giveaway will have to wait until my next post. I haven't had a chance to prepare anything, and may not have until next week sometime, so check back.
Until then, I will pop in to read blogs if I get a chance here and there, but may not have time to comment until this week is over.
Keep creating,
Janet O.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Eclipse Block Repair

This is what I was shooting for the first time around.

I was trying to replicate this photo I took on our trip to Ririe, ID to view totality.
At some point I may still give a small Mariner's Compass a try, but for now, I will be satisfied with this attempt. Not sure what I want to do with it from here.
In case you have forgotten, this is what it looks like next to my first attempt.
 I got the fabrics all wrong in the QSTs on each side, that first time.





These are 6" blocks, unfinished. This photo gives you a size perspective.









The pattern I used is shown on the left.
It is from the book shown on the right.

 




The only other quilting I can show you is the finish on this little quiltlet . 
Made from the leftovers of the quilt my Mom named "My Happy Quilt", I named this one "A Little Bit of Happy".
I had shared that this is for my brother, who has had 4 heart procedures in the last 5 months. The latest procedure put his heart into normal rhythm and it has stayed that way for about 2 weeks now. He hasn't had a normal heart rhythm for years, but it went dramatically wrong when he suffered a very serious bout of E. coli poisoning. That is what triggered the need for all of these procedures. His advice to everyone is that you never eat a hamburger that isn't cooked completely through!




I do have another project near completion, but it is for my last swap of the year, so I cannot show you the whole thing. Here is a very small teaser. Hopefully I will have it quilted and mailed by next week, and then I can share it.






I will end with photos of our evening sky on November 1st (it has been a while since I posted). It was a colorful evening. This is the view at sunset looking east (not the actual sunset).
And now for the actual sunset in the west.
I was quite a sight, running back and forth from the front of the house to the back, to see which side had the brightest color at any given moment. :)

I have a major birthday coming up later this month. You know, one of the kind that ends with a zero. Don't know for sure exactly how I am going to celebrate (other than eating turkey, because it is on Thanksgiving this year), but there is usually something that takes place on the blog around that time. Stay tuned.

Until next time,
Janet O.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Do you ever tie quilts?

When I first started quilting decades ago, that was what I did most of the time. I was so slow at hand quilting, and couldn't afford to pay someone to machine quilt. So this week I went back to my roots.
The binding isn't wrapped around and sewn down in this photo, but my Mom has since taken care of that. She is gifting it to a man in her neighborhood that was really good to my Dad the last few years of his life, visiting him, and helping him with many tasks.

Mom had wanted to give him a quilt, but all of hers have been promised to people already (and she isn't quilting anymore). This is a top I had put together years ago with leftover parts from one of her quilts, so I told her I would tie it if she would bind it, and she could give it to him. She is happy with the results.
When I tie a quilt by myself, I smooth out  the backing and pin it into the carpet around the edges, using T-pins. Then I spread out the batting, and finally smooth out the top over it all and pin around the outside of the top. I tie one quarter of the quilt at a time, starting in the middle and working out toward the edge. Not everyone's knees can do this, I know. Mine haven't complained so far, but my back sure does!!





I basted a couple of little blocks that I will be hand quilting. The one in front is for my brother, made from leftovers from Mom's "Happy" quilt. After he has had 4 heart procedures in the past 5 months, he needs some "happy".

The block in the back was made by Jill Reid, an online friend that has since passed away. It was thoughtfully given to me by Barb (Fun with Barb blog), a good friend of Jill's, and I am going to hand quilt it and put it on my wall of quilts from friends. You can't tell from the photo, but I have marked a feathered wreath in the pink. For all the feathers I have machine quilted, I have never hand quilted any.

 




You may have seen on Lori's (Humble Quilts blog) blog her efforts to make a block representing the solar eclipse. I have been on a similar quest. Last night I stayed up way too late and tried a block Lori has made using a different pattern. If it hadn't been so late, I may not have messed up the color placement I was attempting.
I may try this block one more time, and try to get the colors where I want them this time. This block finishes at 5 1/2".
 




This is my latest thrift store find for my sewing room. It is making sense of the growing stacks of charm squares and mini charm squares, and fits nicely in about the only empty spot left in the room. It is very stable, so I don't have a fear of it toppling over on me.


Not really much to share this post, considering it has been over a week since my last post. Maybe one day I will surprise you and really make big progress on something--but don't hold your breath.

Until next time, 
Janet O.










Saturday, October 21, 2017

One more down, one more to go...

...swaps, that is. My Fall themed swap with Denise (count it all joy blog) is completed. We each received our packages Friday. This is what arrived in my mailbox.
Isn't it wonderful?  Denise added some extra treasures, too. There is a fabric star ornament, a magnetic needle keeper, a decorative magnet, and some beaded wool head pins. So much to love! This was supposed to be a mug rug swap, but this is almost big enough to be a placemat. And I don't want to hide it under anything, so here is its home for the Fall season.


This little Shaker peg rack that hangs in my kitchen turned out to be the perfect spot to display Denise's handiwork. Love it!







So what did I send to Denise? You need to know that Denise has an October birthday, and my original intention had been to get her package to her in time for that. I had gathered some little birthday surprises--but with Mom's fall and subsequent issues, I couldn't seem to get the mug rug made.

 I finally spent a couple of late nights surfing the web, sketching, and stitching until my eyes wouldn't stay open. I even ended up sewing down the binding while playing my weekly Scrabble game with my Mom and two of my siblings--and I won the game while multi-tasking. :)

After the Scrabble game I was leaving Mom's house to head to the nearby post office, when I noticed  the red bushes at the church across the street where I had parked. I had to get a glamour shot.

This finished just over 6" square, which is still a bit big for a mug. Perhaps a Mug-&-A-Muffin rug would be a more accurate name.


I had found a Pumpkin cookbook for Denise, who is a lover of all things pumpkin, and a little set of Fall measuring spoons, that are probably more decorative than anything. But they have perfect wording on each one--Happy Fall, Y'all!
I added some soaps and favorite herbal teas, and a jolly jack-o-lantern notepad. Happy birthday, Denise (almost 2 weeks late), and Happy Fall.

The "one more to go" mentioned in the post title is a little quilt swap with Julie of Me and My Stitches blog, set for next month. If you know Julie's blog, you know about her amazingly tiny quilt block jewelry. She designs beautiful quilt patterns, as well. Why did I think this was a good idea, Julie? The pressure is setting in! :)

I want to share something with you that I found funny. Recently Pinterest has been sending emails with "18 ________Pins we thought you might like", or something similar (fill in the blank with any category you happen to pin with any frequency). Just over a week ago I received one where the subject line read "18 Mini Quilt pins to check out." I clicked on it and couldn't help laughing when I saw this.
The first five pins are from my own blog--and two more that you can't see in this screen shot were, as well. Ha Ha!


One last thing I want to share--with Ann's permission--there is a giveaway going on at her blog to celebrate her 250th blog post. I recently started following Ann's blog. She has made 3 sweet patchwork zippered bags that will go to some lucky people that leave a comment.

 I love zippered bags, but parted ways from installing zippers when I quit making clothing years ago. So I am always happy to have someone else do that dirty work for me. Take a minute to hop over to Ann's blog, Prairie Primrose Stitches, for a chance to win.

It is almost midnight on Saturday, and I am hoping to catch a glimpse of the Orionid Meteor shower, if the clouds have parted. Think I will grab a quilt or two and go out on the deck to check it out.
Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. Thanks to all who added their thoughts and prayers in my Mom's behalf. She is doing much better, though the hip she landed on in her fall 2 weeks ago is still very painful.




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mug Rug Swap and a fabric find

Signed up to participate in Randy's Mug Rug swap, and I received a mug rug from Dotti (no blog).
I have known Dotti via email for quite a while now. It was fun to received a little package from her.

Along with the very lovely log cabin mug rug, Dotti included a pack of Primitive Gatherings shirtings in 2 1/2 squares, and three lovely cards designed by her talented DIL. Thank you, Dotti! A delightful bundle of pretty things! The mug rug has been in use since the day it arrived.

Anne (no blog) was the recipient of my mug rug, and Randy told me she likes bright colors. My mind immediately went to batiks. This is what I sent her (well, the rug--not the mug).

I realized that I took this shot before I pressed out the white chalk guide lines I used for part of the machine quilting. I did press them out before sending it, but forgot to get a good photo after that.
I threw in a couple of bars of my herbal soap, and a few bags of some favorite flavors of Stash herbal tea.

I am working on one more mug rug for a swap arranged months ago with Denise. We both love Fall, so a Fall themed mug rug seemed an appropriate swap for us. I am behind due to circumstances beyond my control, but hope to have it sent off to her in a day or two. It is all pieced, but needs quilting and binding.

Last Friday I stopped in at a local discount quilt shop, and bought the last of the bolt of this wonderful French General Paisley. 
Their fabric is $7.99 a yard, but for the anniversary sale that was in progress, finishing the bolt meant I got it for half that price! It was just over 2 yards. What a deal!

My Mom was just getting back on her feet from injuries sustained in a fall just over a week ago, when Monday morning she started to exhibit symptoms of a heart attack. She is in the hospital, where I spent the better part of Monday with her. Heading back there today. Would appreciate your prayers. 

Until next time,
Janet O.

p.s. The random number generator did its job and of those interested in the Red Truck Christmas mat, Sarah's name was drawn. I'll be getting that off to you as soon as I can, Sarah.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Palmateer Point, Etc.

Linking up with Lori at Humble Quilts for her Palmateer Point QAL.
If you read my last post, you know I made mine quite a bit smaller than the instructions indicated.
Mine finishes up at 7 1/2" square (kind of).


I had hoped to gift this, but I am just not real pleased with my workmanship. Maybe I was too tired, or not focused enough, or something.



This is named Stewart Pass, for the place near where my family is standing in the photo below. 
We hiked this with my Dad and some other family members 23 years ago, when my Dad was 70. This photo used to be in his home office, and when he passed away last year the photo came home with me. Our youngest child was 5 at the time, and he did a fair amount of riding on his Dad's shoulders. It is a steep hike, switchbacks notwithstanding. I don't know how hubby did it with a 5 year old on his shoulders!

The trail we took is in the mountains I am always showing you--the view from my sewing room window. We got up to the ridge line, but didn't make it to one of the highest peaks. The elevation was about 8500 ft.
I had hoped to hike those mountains again this year, but I have been in therapy for foot issues this summer. :(
You can see the Fall color at the base of the mountains. When we drove to Salt Lake City to take our daughter and granddaughter to the airport on Monday, we drove through colorful Sardine Canyon. Enjoy some of the sights and keep in mind these photos were all taken from the back seat of a moving car, so please excuse the blur here and there. Click to enlarge for a better view.












































I've been curious to see how my perpetual leader/ender project was coming along. Today I cleared off the design wall and proceeded to put up my blocks. This windmill project was begun 3 years ago this month, inspired by Kathie Holland, formerly of Inspired by Antique Quilts blog.
Poor lighting, but you get the idea. I will finish the two rows coming down the right side and then assess whether I want to continue working on this, or sew it up into a throw quilt. The blocks finish at about 4", and it is a fun, quick block to stitch. I have used many other things as leader/enders over those three years, but this is what I always come back to when nothing else is available.

Do you recall when I took another class with Miss Stacy a couple of years ago? We made this fun mat, that was sized to go in an oval metal tray that she was going to be carrying on her website. I don't see them there, and I really don't have a place to display it anyway, so I thought I would draw a name from any interested parties. If you are interested, let me know in your comment. If you don't mention it, I will take that to mean you are not.

It is a cool Fall day here. I have a pot of chili simmering on the stove and will soon be making some Gluten Free cornbread to go with it for a social at our church this evening. Hope you have a fun Friday evening planned!
Until next time,
Janet O.

Friday, September 29, 2017

While Maggie slept...

...and her Mom was at lunch with her sister and a mutual friend a couple of days ago, I finally tackled clues 1, 2, and 3 of Humble Quilts' Palmateer Point Quiltalong. I knew I needed to get them completed before the final clue is released Monday, or I might never do it at all.
Since time was very limited, I decided that the only way I would accomplish my task was to use some pre-made pieces. The HSTs were from a large bag of bonus triangles a friend had given me a couple of years ago. They had served as my leader/enders at one time, so they were all stitched together, and just needed trimming. I have used them in several small quilts already and was glad there were enough blue ones left to be used here. But the pattern called for 3" finished HSTs. Based on the size of these bonus triangles, I had to cut mine to be 1" finished.

For my 4-patches, I used a bunch of extras I had from Lori's last QAL, Quilters Madder. I only had to make six more.


My 4-patches would have been large enough for Lori's original instructions, but I needed to trim them way down to match the size of the HSTs. Feels good to be caught up on this!









Today is my younger sister's birthday, so I have spent a few late hours recently, putting together ornaments for her from my Dad's two favorite blue plaid shirts. Now my Mom and all of my siblings have their ornaments, along with my two daughters. That just leaves my sons and myself to make them for before Christmas.



 

A shout of thanks to my good friend, Victoria, for this lovely bundle of Judie Rothermel Miniatures that came to my home not long ago. They are almost too lovely to cut, and yet that is just what I plan to do! Many of them will be going into an upcoming project that may remain secret for a couple of months. I will share it when I can.

With my daughter and granddaughter using the guest room and family room for their beds this month, my sewing room has been called upon to do duty as another guest room when other family members have joined us on weekends. This means that my sewing room is cleaner than it has been in a long time. It was a bedroom in a former life, and isn't a large room. That means it will never be tidy, but this is where I feel my creative energy.
The west wall, broken up by the closet. Also contains the window that overlooks the pasture and the mountains that I often share in photos here.
My 7 1/2' x 8' design wall is on the south side of the room. It currently holds several reminders of how I need to get quilting those little quilts again!
The north wall is the "sewing" side of the room. My HQ Sweet Sixteen is joined by my Featherweight, and my Mom's old Bernina--the machine on which I first learned to sew.
The east wall is the home of my cutting table, and my wall of quilts from friends (except the one under the clock). Other quilts from friends are displayed throughout the house. I change the quilts around as the mood strikes me.
I am sorry for all of the blogs I haven't been able to keep up with lately. I am just trying to keep up with this little lady, and that is a full time job! She goes home with her mama in 3 days, so I am going to enjoy every last minute!
 
Until next time, 
Janet O.
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