Thursday, November 26, 2020

Giving Thanks

 Thankful for all our blessings, including this newest addition, a "country drop-off" that wandered into our hearts and home a couple weeks ago.  Eleven weeks old, Samson is small but mighty!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Final Four, and More

 Here we are at the beginning of Thanksgiving Week in this strangely disjointed world in which we find ourselves.  I hope you all are remaining well and have adopted the best motto I've found for our current situation - Faith Over Fear!  

I'm happy to report that yesterday I completed the final four sunflower blocks for my Diamond Jubilee Quilt, and that completes my One Monthly Goal for November.  I'm linking this post with Patty at Elm Street Quilts here.  So, here are the last sunflowers, definitely not perfect but best effort.  I'm counting on a nice lofty wool batting to fill out any little wobblies and wrinkles when this is finally quilted.  Optimist that I am ...

And here are all 13 sunflowers on the design wall, sorry about the darkness of the photo, our days have been mostly cloudy/rainy lately.

The next step will be finding background fabrics for each block and making a final decision on what method to use to applique these sunflowers to their respective backgrounds.  That will come in January since there's a lot of holiday stitching and other preparations to attend to first.  

And, speaking of holiday stitching, a couple years ago I inherited a UFO from a quilty friend.  She had begun making the blocks for a quilt called Holly and Mistletoe, found in Barb Adams & Alma Allen's book When the Cold Wind Blows.  My friend is usually a fearless applique enthusiast, but after making a stack of the square-in-square blocks and seeing the hundreds of holly leaves and berries needing hand applique that remained to be done, she decided to abandon the project.  Here's the original quilt, photographed from my copy of the book:

While I love this gorgeous quilt, and who wouldn't, I've found my eyesight difficulties make a large-scale hand applique project out of the question.  So the KISS principle was applied and the blocks were stitched into columns separated by plain strippy sashings and this throw quilt eventually began to emerge.

And here is the completed flimsy, throw quilt size at 56x67 inches.  I had originally planned to add borders to bring it to a larger size, but the quilt said no way - and nothing I tried looked good. The quilt had spoken, and who am I to argue, so after machine quilting this will just receive a green binding and done, hopefully before Christmas.

Various little holiday gift projects are ongoing, as well as my evening hand quilting of Sing the Blues MamaLou.  No current photo, but this one is progressing nicely and I've reached block 19 of 30. I'd love to have this one in the finished column by the end of the year, but January or February is far more likely. And my now oldest WIP, Quilty 365 lingers in the floor hoop, but it is DEFINITELY next on my list of hand quilted projects to be finished.  

Well, supper preparation beckons and I'll close by wishing you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving celebration!  

Monday, November 2, 2020

One Monthly Goal for November


It's time once again to link up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts for our November Goal Setting.  

This post will be short and sweet.  November is a short month, made even more so with the Thanksgiving holiday and the first of non-stop family birthdays that will continue through the end of February.

So, my goal is to finish creating the final four Sunflower blocks that will make up the center of my Diamond Jubilee Quilt.  Here's a sneak peek.

I just noticed the blue flying geese in Patty's November OMG logo - guess what comes next in this extravaganza??

To see what others are hoping to achieve this month, go to the link above or here.

Til next time, happy quilting from snowy WNY where we anticipate 70 degree weather again in about one week's time!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

50 Shades of Autumn is a Monthly Mini!

 I finished quilting and binding my 50 Shades of Autumn this afternoon.  This is my version of the Humble Quilts fall quilt-along this year.  Thanks Lori for an easy and fun design!

I'm happy with this little finish, from all the browns on the front, to the wonderful backing fabric found in my stash from unknown years ago.  It's from a collection called Nature Studies by Benartex.

And I love the binding fabric, with just barely enough to complete this quilt with a narrow strip left over.  It too is an older print, and seemed to blend well with both the front and back of the quilt.

I machine quilted the front to an all-cotton batting, and the back was separately quilted to a layer of insul-brite, and the layers united only by the batting.  I think this method will make it a good hot dish mat as requested by my son and DIL for Christmas.  They wanted one large enough to hold a lasagne pan on their new countertop.  Hopefully there will be time to make a couple of large potholder-side mats to coordinate.  There are plenty of brown scraps around here, as well as a little over half yard of that backing fabric.  

I'll link this post with Wendy at The Constant Quilter when she posts her end of the month mini round-up!  Thanks Wendy for hosting this fun event every month.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

One Monthly Goal and a Finish!

This week I completed my One Monthly Goal for October which was to finish 4 more sunflower blocks for my Diamond Jubilee Quilt.  This brings my total to nine blocks!  Here are the newest four:

I'll link this post with Patty at Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal Finish link-up, where you can see what many other quilters have accomplished during October.  Thanks Patty for continuing to host this fun goal-setting activity each month!

This afternoon I finished binding my Joseph's Coat quilt and can now put that one in the finished column - yay!  The dog and I braved the cold almost-November gray, dank and windy afternoon in an effort to get some finished photos, with only minimal luck.  

The outer borders could have been improved upon if only there had been more of that wonderful batik that I'd also used in the alternate vertical strips.  There wasn't, and the black batik inserts at top and bottom were necessary to stretch what little was left.  It doesn't look as goofy in person as it does in the photos, thankfully!

I chose this cheery almost tropical print from Connecting Threads for the back.  I love the way the colors of the hand quilting add to the fun of this back.  I used Aurifil 12 wt. thread in about 15 different colors to quilt this, mostly freehand organic lines except for the bright yellow alternate strips where I used a stencil.  

A closer look at the front.  These batiks really mimic the gorgeous fall colors we saw a few short weeks ago.  As of now a few hillsides still have their late autumn russets and golden brown leaves, all the brighter maples of early fall are now bare except for a few Norway maples in more protected locations.

Helping - not!  When I brought out Joseph's Coat II that was completed earlier this summer the winds had really picked up.  Trying for one good shot of them together.

For the time being both of these quilts will live here, for the grandkids to use for sleepovers, though I'm thinking this new one will have a place of honor on the back of my recliner until it's time to pull out the Christmas quilt.  Snow in the western states this weekend, hopefully will stay far far away from us for at least a few more weeks!  Til next time, happy quilting!

p.s.  I'm going to try Barbara's trick at Cat Patches and leave the first comment, and check off the box to send all followup comments to my email, since Blogger seems to have forgotten how to do it.  If I've missed replying to anyone's comments recently, my apologies!  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Shades of Autumn

 When Lori at Humble Quilts announced her fall mini quilt-along with the title of 50 Shades of Brown I decided to look for inspiration outside photographing some of the shades of brown found on our property here in the hills of southwestern New York state.  Which I did over the past couple weeks, but first since this is a linky party, here is my completed top.  As yet unquilted while awaiting an order for more Insul-brite since this little quilt is destined to become a Christmas gift for my son and DIL who are in the finishing stages of a large kitchen remodel.  Their new cabinets are a dark brown and the counters are all a white or off-white quartz and they requested some hot dish pads including one large enough to hold a big lasagne baking dish.  This should fit that request well, and I'll likely make a couple smaller square mats in coordinating fabrics to go with this one.  And maybe some in Christmas fabrics, but I'm getting ahead of myself ...

I deviated a bit from the instructions for four directional borders and chose this brown and blue stripe simply because I liked the fabric.

We've had one of the loveliest fall seasons since moving back to western New York a few years ago, and it's been fun to wander through the garden areas and along the creek to soak in the gorgeous colors.  Browns of all shades abound, but a few other colors found their way into the photos.  Want to take a little walk with me?

Chickadees, goldfinches and hummingbirds found our sunflowers and the zinnia seed heads irresistible so when we cleaned out the flower beds I wove a bunch of the zinnia heads into the back garden fence near that row of sunflowers.  The hummingbirds and goldfinches have since departed for their winter homes.

There are hundreds of others, so many lovely days, so little time before the snow flies. Speaking of which the weather forecaster mentioned that word in our forecast for later this week. Wait, it's not even the middle of October yet!

Time to link up with Lori at Humble Quilts here.  Clicking the link will send you to the many versions of 50 Shades of Brown little quilts that have been created.  Thanks Lori for another fun quilt-along!