Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The little 9-patch that grew and Grew

I'm off and running on my latest 'Opportunity Quilt' of the year! Our church congregation helps support a Christian camp located in nearby northern Pennsylvania and our quilt ministry was invited to make a quilt or two for their annual auction in September. Our newer quilters are busy with lap quilts for the nursing home and other projects, so I started working on this, my more modern adaptation of the cover quilt on Carolyn O'Bagy Davis' book titled Quilted All Day, the Prairie Journals of Ida Chambers Melugin.

I finished the top yesterday.

Like so many of my quilts this one didn't start out to be as large as it ended up! It's pretty much a queen size top, measuring 80 x 92 inches! That's about the maximum size I can manage to machine quilt on the Janome. Which is the way it will be quilted, since there are already two huge quilts in hoops around here and there being no other hand quilters in our little group.

Last week we had a torrential thunderstorm that was about as close to a tornado as I ever want to experience. Lost power for 27 hours but thankfully other than a few small branches in the yard no damage to our property. Neighbors just down the road lost two huge trees next to their driveway, and all across our region utility poles and trees were twisted and shattered to the ground. I had been trimming all those 9-patches, and was able to finish that evening, thanks to my little LED lantern.

Hoping to come up with an easy-to-quilt stencil for all those light green alternate blocks, so I can get this top marked and sandwiched. Very happy that there are 3 months in which to get this one quilted and ready for the auction.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Quilty 365 - The Final Link-up

This may be the last official link-up for Quilty 365, but it won't be the last time you see these circles, because this baby is just in the beginning stages of quilting.  As of today I've hand quilted an area about 14 x 60 inches, working my way from the center to a corner of this giant.  It's going slower than I'd like, mostly because of all the 'opportunity quilts' that have come my way of late.  But I don't mind a bit, I love, love, LOVE seeing this in the hoop and spread across the carpet when I walk into the sewing room each day! Just having it there right next to my desk is enticement to pick up the needle and take a few stitches whenever I have a few moments.

Very simple big stitch quilting in the sashings and blocks.  I like how quilting down the sashing is making all those blocks puff up just a bit, though difficult to see in the angle of this photo.

I've loved working on this quilt-along from the very first block ...
through weeks of mulling over whether I'd have enough of my chosen sashing and setting triangle fabric...turns out there were just a few scraps to spare after putting it all together.

The back story of why I was so keen on using this sashing fabric for this particular quilt. My blogging friend, the late Kathy Porter ( gifted me with a box of her beautiful fabrics when she was downsizing her stash.  This fabric was included in the box and the tone-on-tone circles seemed a perfect fit for the Quilty 365 project from the very beginning. I am reminded of Kathy's encouraging words and her generosity whenever I see this fabric.

Carrying the circle theme to the borders, though a bit less obviously, I chose these two dark fabrics to bring the top to its final size.
Teeny tiny circles in the border fabrics!

There aren't any photos of the entire finished top, because there isn't a surface in our home large enough to lay out anything measuring over 110x110 inches, and it was far too wet and muddy outside before the top was sandwiched for quilting.  Half of the quilt is shown in the next photo, taken while pinning the layers at the church fellowship hall.

I used 313 of my 366 circles in this quilt, the remainder to find their way into another project sometime in the future (looking for for inspiration for that future quilt among all the link-ups today!). But, these were not the only circles made last year! Oh no, Quilty 365 was just the beginning, and turned out to be the inspiration to include more circles in yet another quilt, Oregon Memories, completed for my husband last year.

When this huge quilt will be finished is anybody's guess, but I'm hoping to see it quilted, bound and in its place of honor on the guest bed before the end of the year.  My thanks to Audrey at Quilty Folk for hosting this fun quilt-along!  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's final creations, and you can see them too by following this link to Audrey's blog.
a glimpse of things to come - couldn't resist!