Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A June Mini Finish

This was a fun and relaxing small doll quilt for Wendy's (The Constant Quilter) monthly mini challenge.  A simple one patch top made of leftover mini-charm pack squares and remainders from my version of Barbara Brackman's Checkered Past 1862 quilt pattern of a few years back.  Quick and easy piecing.

I used the half-hoop found at a yard sale last month to hand quilt most of this piece, using the full hoop only for the very center.  Quilting is big stitch in a simple cross-hatch pattern.  I've been working at my big stitch quilting in an attempt to get the stitches to come out a little more even.  Seems after all these years my regular hand quilting is much easier to accomplish than the larger stitches with 12 wt. or pearl cotton thread.  More practice needed (always)!

I always love seeing the wide variety of mini quilts Wendy links to in her monthly mini posts, everything from traditional to modern improv is represented. 

There will be no more quilting or blog-reading time until Sunday evening as my daughter and 2-1/2 year old grandson will be here visiting - happy grandma time!!!  Til next time, happy quilting!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Vintage Pansies Quilt is a Finish!

At long last, the Vintage Pansies can be placed in the finish column, and ready for donation to the camp auction later this summer.  This was my One Monthly Goal for June.

The finished quilt measures 83 inches square, prior to washing.  I worked very hard to keep everything clean and free of floating dog hair while working on it in hopes of not having to wash it prior to the auction.

Close supervision during the entire photo shoot was apparently required.  The lint roller will be employed prior to donation to catch any stray bits of puppy hair and loose threads.

A close-up of the lovely vintage embroidered blocks purchased a few years ago from an online auction.

The back doesn't photograph well, but this is actually a little white on white floral patterned wide back.  Very soft, unlike many of the more coarsely woven wide backings available.  I wish I had bought more of this one.

Bound with the same black floral as the outermost border.

I'll be linking with Patty at Elm Street Quilts as soon as the One Monthly Goal June Finish post goes live near the end of the month.

I'll leave you with this vision of catitude, taken yesterday.  We finally decided on a name for this little vagabond, we're calling him Probie (Probationary Cat) which describes his current status.  His tenure will be dependent on whether he and our dog can learn to get along, especially in the house.  We're hoping for the best, they both make us laugh, and we all need all the laughter we can squeeze into our days!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Some Progress and Some Sweet Deliveries

Today turned out to be a great day.  First, there was no rain although it was chilly with 35 mph winds all day.  A little easier to take when the sun is shining though!

Happy to report I've made some progress on my June OMG, as all nine embroidered blocks are now quilted.  "All" that remains now are quilting the cornerstones, the two borders, and adding the binding.  Doable I think by the end of the month.  Here's a sneak peek of progress to date.

Basically just outlining and then echoing the embroidered elements and then loosely filling in the white areas with meandering loops and leaves, etc.  Quilting these blocks was very slow as some areas of embroidery used large stitches that the open-toe fmq foot managed to snag when I wasn't paying attention.  So very happy to call these done.

The Fedex truck brought a couple of dandy surprises this afternoon.  I was a winner of last month's One Monthly Goal link up hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts, and this was my prize - a barn quilt by  Wowsers, is this ever nice!  I've wanted to make a barn block for our barn for years, but never got around to it.  This is perfect, waterproof and fade resistant, not to mention beautiful!

Kristi Coupe, the owner and designer of these barn quilt blocks, gave me a choice from their current inventory, and I chose this one as the colors would look great on either the barn or the garage or house.  For the moment it is decorating a corner of the dining room while we decide which building to install it. The barn blocks come extremely well protected with corner guards and packed in a heavy duty box with a couple layers of bubble wrap, as well as a packet of installation hardware.

Oh yes, I mentioned a couple surprises.  The second was won a while back on Wendy's (Wendy's Quilts and More) Peacock Party:  a collection of Aurifil 12 weight threads called Passionflower by designer Jo Avery.  I see a future whimsical bright quilt for my granddaughter with big stitch hand quilting with these lovely threads.

A big thank you to the prize donors and to Patty and Wendy who host the One Monthly Goal and Peacock parties respectively.

Last but certainly not least, our first surprise of the week arrived on Sunday afternoon, and seems to have adopted our back porch as his new home.
This little no-name arrived totally emaciated, but seems otherwise in good condition, likely a "country road drop-off."  He seems quite young, but is going to be a very large boy when he's full grown.  He's very tall and long right now, but light as a feather.  Not much more to him than skin, fur and bones, though we're working at remedying that!   He seems very gentle and good natured, desperate for affection, obviously not a feral cat.  We're still trying to decide on a name, Oscar is in contention but I'm open to suggestions.  If he sticks around for another week or so, we'll get him to the vet for shots and a general checkup, then the other necessities.  He already has a kitty bed with a quilt on the covered porch, though he has also commandeered one of the cushy chairs out there.  He's also quite the "talker."

That about wraps up my week.  Linking with Wendy's Peacock Party.
Til next time, happy stitching!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Lemons and Lemonade

Good Monday-morning!  Right up front I'm going to show you the lemon.

Last fall I became momentarily enamored with Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesty quilts and copied off her tutorial to show our quilt ministry group.  Decided to make one.  Well, that turned into a bit of a disaster, and I put it aside for several months.  Got it back out a week ago to try again, and a few things became quite obvious.  I'm way too dyslexic to make these blocks correctly, and beyond that I just don't like making them!  So, this little pile will eventually wind up being finished off to donate to the local nursing home for one of their wheelchair-bound residents.

But, with lemons there's always an opportunity for making lemonade!  A couple weeks ago, Randy at Barrister's Block showed a child's donation quilt she had made using the Arrowhead block.  She indicated she would be sharing her pattern/tutorial soon.  Since I have a big stack of leftover squares from the failed attempt with the majestic mountains block, I decided to try my hand at making  something similar to Randy's blocks, and ended up with these.
I love these little blocks!   I'm looking forward to seeing Randy's instructions to see if she has an easier construction method, but these weren't all that difficult and one of the best things about them is that there are no bias edges around the block perimeter!  That's a pretty big win-win in my book.

After a light frost last Tuesday it has warmed up considerably and has even been sunny for three days in a row!  Seems like a small miracle this year.  The ground is still extremely soggy so much of the garden is not yet planted, but hopefully soon.  We can't complain though as so many in the country have endured far worse in the way of floods and tornadoes and now the fires in the west.  Our hearts go out to all the farm families whose livelihood depends on being able to get their crops in the ground in time for a full season's growth.

Here in our neck of the woods, the late spring flowers are coming into bloom.  The blue irises were the first to open.  These are my favorites.

I think these are Johnny-Jump-ups, correct me if I'm wrong.  They apparently self-seeded from a couple hanging baskets from last year, and they've been coming up all around the property, and have bloomed since very early spring.  Some yellow, some purple, and some a combination of colors.
Last week my husband found this tiny one, only about 1/4 inch across!  I couldn't get a good angle in the bright sunlight, but here's a shot of that tiny one compared with a dime.

The first poppy bloomed on Friday.  There are several more opening each day.  I do wish the flowers lasted a bit longer.  That first bloom has already begun to fade.

Our creek bed is full of fossils of various sorts, but these two are kind of unique, in that the two pieces seem to fit together perfectly!   More and more of these little treasures seem to be finding their way up to the various flower gardens and all along the base of the back porch and decks.  Country decor!

And speaking of country decor, my yard sale find from last weekend, this sweet Wheeling Corrugated Company (WVa) washtub, probably from the 1950s!  In better condition than the battered one hubby dragged home from the hillside (now doing duty as a planter), but with much less patina since it had been stored in someone's garage for years.  It will be planted with flowers as soon as I can make a trip to the semi-local nursery.

The first of the peonies bloomed yesterday.

This variety reminds me of the ones my mom had in her little flower garden when I was very young.  I loved them so much I would fill my pockets with the fallen petals, and even took a big bag of petals to school to share with everyone in my kindergarten class!  You can take the girl out of the country but ...

Til next time, happy quilting!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

One Monthly Goal for June

It's time to join a lot of others linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts for the June Goal Setting post here.

June's goal is an easy one to set, though maybe not such an easy one to complete, we shall see.  This quilt is made from a top purchased on eBay a few years back  that I completely disassembled due to the poor workmanship when the original sashing and border strips were added. 

I hasten to add that the vintage embroidered blocks were beautifully executed. They show up a bit better in the next photo.  There were 12 blocks in the original quilt top, though inexplicably one block was of a completely different pattern and had been left unembroidered!

The original sashing/border fabric.  Maybe I'll find a use for it in a future scrappy project.

I thought the blocks needed some contrast in the borders, so I chose this vintage(?) floral from my stash for that purpose.  I like the way it highlights the purple in the pansies.

The embroidered blocks are 17 inches square. Using nine of them plus sashings and borders, the new top now measures 84-1/2" square.  I began quilting this past week, with the ditch quilting completed and the first embroidered block partially done.  Though I had been dreading quilting those blocks, they are actually turning out to be way more fun than expected!

My goal for June is to complete the machine quilting and hopefully also the binding.  This quilt will be heading to the church camp benefit auction over Labor Day weekend. 

Yesterday hubby brought this beauty in for a quick visit before returning it to the wild.  Here it is resting on the ironing board. Guessing from wing tip to wing tip it measured nearly 5 inches.  Though we often find individual wings left after the birds devour this apparently delicious morsel, we seldom find one both fully intact and still alive.

Til next time, happy quilting!