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!


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Ballerinas and Butterflies, Gifts and Squirrels

Greetings!  It has been one of the most beautiful falls in many a year, as if trying to make up for all the angst we've endured in the past many months.  Today dawned bright and clear, and Gibbs and I went outside before the sun rose over the mountain to photograph this latest quilt, finished last night. Our weather was forecast to turn very windy today, and as soon as the sun rose, it became quite gusty.  We're expecting to see the remnants of the latest hurricane by tomorrow evening or Monday.  

 This is Ballerinas and Butterflies, a little quilt for a beautiful nearly two-month old granddaughter of one of our church members. One of my October squirrels which seem to be nesting in the sewing room, fabrics were chosen on Tuesday at our quilt ministry meeting, taken home and washed and pressed. On Wednesday the squares were cut, arranged and rearranged on the design wall, substitute fabric (the luscious purple batik) found in the stash and cut to replace one initial fabric that just didn't cut it when mixed with the pinks and dark brown.  Top pieced on Thursday, quilted and bound on Friday!  Fastest finish ever for this very slow quilter!

Here is the back.  The rather muted light at 7 a.m. rendered the colors a bit darker than they really are. Not to mention the dark squares of the front casting their own shadow.

A closer look at the very simple loop and leaf FMQ.  This was the very last bit of the older ballerina fabric from my stash that has backed several baby quilts in the past.  Wish there was more, it has grown on me over the years.

We wandered a bit more before coming back inside and the quilt had its beauty bath and a quick session in the dryer.  All ready now for a label and gifting.

We know for certain that summer is long past when the last home-grown fresh tomato is used up, and that happened last evening with the final four roma tomatoes becoming our last tomato-basil pie of the season.  Tomato pie and salmon patties makes for a festive Friday feast!

I've been the very fortunate recipient of some quilty love in the past couple weeks.  My good blogging friend Barbara of Cat Patches decided recently to gift some of her completed quilts to friends and readers.  This beauty is now hanging in my sewing room. 

Barbara knows me well, this is her antique sewing machines quilt which took a blue ribbon and best of category at the 2014 Oregon State Fair!  I still can't believe that she could actually part with it, and I'm honored to have it gracing my quilting space now.  Here's a closer photo. 

Julie of Quilts and Costumes participated in the recent Orphan Adoption event and I was the lucky winner of this partially completed quilt top.  She had already completed four of the Jacob's Ladder blocks and pieced many more components.  I've finished stitching the four-square components and will be piecing blocks as my next leader-and-ender project in the next couple months.  Depending on the size when all blocks are completed, I'll be looking for some suitable border fabric, and this will become a donation quilt for our quilt ministry. Thanks so much Julie!  

Til next time, I'll leave you with the latest photos of the squash thief.  Enjoy your weekend!