Monday, October 16, 2017

Mug Rug Swap

Good Monday Morning!  Randy at Barrister's Block recently hosted a mug rug swap.  This is the first time I've participated in an online swap, and it turned out to be great fun, albeit with a bit of nervousness on my part. There's a first time for everything, right?

Anyway,  last week I received a little packet from Lori L. (no blog) that contained not one, but two sweet little mug rugs, and here they are!

Aren't they cute?!  I really love the details in each one.  The teacup now resides on my computer desk where my morning coffee sits while I catch up on blogs, the grandkids' antics, etc.

And this one is just fascinating, with great attention to detail and I especially love the way Lori quilted the diagonal lines through each tiny block. That line of quilting adds so much dimension and movement to the whole quilt. This one is currently in the living room on a small table next to the rocking chair where I sit while chatting with my hubby about the days' events as we have our mid-afternoon snack or after supper treats. 
Did you spot the tiny farm critters?

Thank you so much Lori!

And here is the one I made for my swap partner, Debby D.  She also has no blog, but we've communicated back and forth about the swap and quilting in general.  I'm so happy she likes it!  

I've wanted to do a pineapple block for ages, and this seemed the right time to try one. I finished it with a little hand quilting, and machine quilting in the borders since I was running out of time to get it in the mail.  I'd love to make a set of placemats using this block or perhaps a table runner for my daughter as a little housewarming gift as they prepare to move into their first home.

Thanks to Randy for hosting this fun little swap!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Palmateer Point, the sequel but not the finish

Since I was less than enthralled with my choice of fabrics for the hst's in this project, it was left to simmer on the design wall for a week, to no avail.  I still don't care for those glaring hst rows!  But I'm not doing any more unstitching on this project, so I went off in search of some border possibilities. Here's what it looked like originally:
A block without borders

A good rummage through a couple bins of scraps resulted in several possibilities, ranging from "hmm" to "ridiculous" but never reaching "sublime."  A few of those possibles:

Yikes! What WAS she thinking?!

I sure wasn't feeling the love for any of these, and had decided to just slap a backing on the original block, get it quilted and done.  There was this sweet older print in one bin, and I figured it would make a lovely back and I could always flip it to the reverse side when I tired of looking at the pink.

The little quilt and the fabric had other ideas however, and here's where we ended up after they decided to dance together.

I love the way the mellow golden yellow softens the glaring pink/white combination of the hst's a bit, and certainly makes the top more lovable at least in my eyes. And that's where this project stands right now. The top is 38x38 inches, a good table-topper size. It will go into the closet for a bit while I try to finish some other huge lingering projects before I decide how to quilt it.  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Palmateer Point Quilt-along, and week's happenings

It's been a really busy week around here, and I've loved every minute!  First of all, we had an overnight visit from Barbara and her husband Mike, all the way from Oregon.  We had a delightful time with them that was over all too soon, as they headed north and east with a coming weekend destination of the Maine coast, a place I'm eager to visit again.

And now we're in the midst of a five day visit from our youngest grandbaby, now nine months old, and his weary mom!  Weary because this little guy has just found his mobility, is pulling himself up to a stand on anything that presents itself as a possibility.  When he first arrived he carefully studied how the old Polish bentwood rocker moved back and forth at the slightest touch, then proceeded to pull himself to a standing position while it rocked!  And he can crawl across the room on his belly faster than you can blink an eye!  Suffice to say that any t.v. remote or anything resembling one is fair game as far as he's concerned!

So, what have I accomplished quilt-wise this week?  Not much, actually, though I did manage to pull my version of Lori's Palmateer Point quilt-along together.   This is Humble Quilt's annual fall quilt-along, which are always fun to participate in, especially getting to the third week and trying to figure out how Lori is going to arrange all the pieces we've been stitching into a coherent whole. 
I'm not especially enamored with my choice of fabrics for the half-square triangles in this version, and am playing around with a few border ideas to try reigning  in the white that seems to fly off the edges of the top right now.  We shall see what transpires from that.  I do love the overall look of this block and someday when I have a bit more time would like to experiment with setting additional quadrants into a barn-raising type of setting.  This could be very interesting.

It's also pretty neat seeing the block placed on-point.

Thanks Lori, for another fun quilt-along!  Check out her linky party here, to see all the other versions.

Monday, October 2, 2017

An Itty-bitty quilt show

On Saturday our little quilt ministry group hosted a quilt show at the church in conjunction with the town's annual harvest festival being held at the grange hall right across the road from our country church.  We showed some of our quilts and several other local ladies added their own quilts for a festive event!  I was delighted to find that we had enough quilts to cover all the rows of chairs in the sanctuary and even added a couple more rows of chairs along the outer walls to feature some large quilts.

Walking through the door, you were greeted with this view from the back of the room (sorry, some of these photos are less than crystal-clear).

Along the right-hand side of the room

There was a nice mix of antique, vintage and new quilts

both large

and small

small and smaller yet

Scrappy and controlled palettes

family heirlooms and yard sale finds

a riot of color everywhere you looked

A long and exhausting day, but so much fun as we talked with local people remembering their own grandmothers and aunts or neighbors who had made quilts and reminisced about them.  And the children, both boys and girls, especially those in the 8-12 year range who really seemed interested in learning to make a quilt of their own!  We also met several additional quilters from the area interested in showing some of their own work in next year's show.  All in all, a very fun event!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2017

Amy at Amy's Creative Side is again hosting her Bloggers Quilt Festival.  I've met so many wonderful bloggers through this festival in past years that it just seems right to enter one more time. So here goes ...

This quilt was conceived during our trip back to Oregon in fall 2015, having moved back to our home state of New York in 2014 when DH retired.  We traveled to many of our favorite haunts, and I began picking up odd fat quarters and even up to a yard of Oregon/beach/mountain/greenery/ocean themed fabric at each of the quilt shops we visited between Port Orford along the southern coast all the way up to Astoria along the mighty Columbia River, where we found the theme fabric for this quilt, depicting turn-of-the-20th century salmon canning labels.  So fitting since my husband worked at the OSU Seafood Lab in Astoria while a student at Clatsop Community College many years ago.   The colors of the canning labels are so rich and vibrant, my rather pathetic photo editing skills do not do them justice at all. The quilt is aptly named Memories of Astoria, for my husband who lived, went to college and worked there right after graduating high school.   Without further ado, a few photos:

Begun fall-winter 2015, completed late 2016, hand quilted

I hand quilted this quite simply, about 1/8" from the ditch along nearly every seam, then outlined various features within each block.  My husband wanted cotton batting, the Hobbs 80/20 makes the quilt relatively flat and I'm happy with that look for this quilt since we wanted the fabric features to be the focal point, not the quilting.  Finished size is 56x65 inches, just about perfect for an afternoon nap on the couch.  A few close-ups:

I hope you'll take the time to visit the many other bloggers who share their work during this annual Festival, and perhaps make some new quilting friends too.  Just follow this link to see all the other entries.  Enjoy the show!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Finished Top (for which I have no name)

In my post a couple weeks ago I was pondering whether to add the appliqued leaves similar to what the inspiration quilt showed. Well, the top is now complete and the only leaves you'll see are the ones that float in and out of the printed block fabrics and the border. With the greatly expanded color palette it didn't seem to need the leaf overlay. This one is big, the completed top measuring 91x91 inches. When I first laid out the blocks it looked like this (after sewing horizontal rows of blocks randomly together).
OK, but too heavy on the dark blocks in the upper left

and the next day, after rearranging and/or reversing five of the rows, the final layout looked more like this.
A little better overall distribution of lights and darks without it looking totally calculated light-dark alternating, I think.

Then, I had this batik that I absolutely love, and had hoped from the get-go to use for the outer border.  And of course, the quilt was telling me it really wanted to have that dark blue narrow stop border too!  
Hmm, maybe too much of a good thing?  Drat, I Love this fabric!

In the end though, it seemed as though this would be the better combo, with my favored print ending up playing a minor but essential role as the binding.

So, after an awful lot of hemming and hawing, this is the the final quilt top, in all its wrinkled, crinkled glory.  It looks more rectangular in the photos since I wasn't able to get the camera high enough for a center shot, especially with our low ceilings.  It really is square!

I hope to find time to take it to the fellowship hall later in the week for layering and pinning, and get a start on machine quilting it by weekend. If all goes well and schedules don't get too disrupted that is.  The batiks in the top span the seasons, here are just a couple of my favorite blocks.

The batik tote was crammed full when I began stitching blocks, after finishing this 91x91 inch top it is still nearly full.  How does this happen??!