Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Rounding Out the Year with a Mini

 I finally have finished Janet's (Rogue Quilter) fall challenge to take a baggie of saved scraps and turn them into a mini quilt by the end of the year.  I finally located the photo taken of the actual baggie and contents, leftover mini tumbler blocks Janet had sent to me several years ago along with some miscellaneous mini charms that I cut into more tumblers.  

Here is the original mini made with the majority of Janet's tumblers a couple years ago.

And here is the latest mini, just completed last evening:

Janet's "rules" for this baggie challenge included allowing for one additional fabric plus one "neutral" to be added to our baggie's contents.  My "neutral" in this case just happens to be the blue stop border.  This little quilt just wasn't having any of the more traditional neutrals - cream, tan, light gray, etc.   The blue turned out to be perfect, though with less than a fat quarter it was a challenge to create a narrow binding, most of the binding strips were 9-11 inches long - 83 total inches needed.

A piece of blue that has been in the stash for quite a few years was used for the back.

A big thank you to Wendy at The Constant Quilter for rounding up the mini-makers each month, and to Janet for issuing this "baggie challenge."  There are more baggies  and swiffer boxes of scrappy pieces to keep me "challenged" for another year at least!

Wishing you all a new year filled with faith, love, peace, and good health.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Winter Solstice

Today was clear and sunny, and our latest dusting of snow has disappeared.  The five little Christmas table toppers were completed over the weekend, three have already been gifted, the remaining two will be on their way Christmas Day.  A few photos:

All are minimally machine quilted, stitch in the ditch, just enough to hold them together.  So many project, so little time ...

This was a fun little project that used up a lot of 3-1/2 inch scrappy pieces.  

Today is the winter solstice and I've been busy working on my monthly mini, aka Janet's Baggie Challenge.  And I'll leave you with two burning questions:  Is blue a neutral?  and When your quilt screams "NO" do you listen?

Monday, December 13, 2021

The Grand Finale!

So happy to report my Diamond Jubilee Quilt is finished!  Friday evening the final stitches were added to the binding, and that was that!  My hope was to finish this celebration quilt of my 75th year of life before year's end and as it turns out there's time to spare.  And it is aptly named "Stitched by an Aging Hand."  

The weather over the weekend was terrible with high winds and rain, though nowhere near what others in the south were experiencing.  We were fortunate not to suffer any wind damage beyond some branches down, closer to town there were huge old trees down along with power outages.  Anyway, though today is bright and sunny, it's still far too windy and muddy to attempt any outdoor photos, so these will have to do.

The only photo of (nearly) the entire quilt, taken before washing since I needed to use the small available floor space in our living room.  The day was dark and dismal, as reflected in the muted colors.

The next day was brighter, and after washing and a quick spin in the dryer I laid the quilt out on the guest bed to complete drying and more photos.

Three inches in both directions were lost in the quilting and initial washing process.  The final dimensions are 80x80 inches.

The hand quilting was pretty straightforward and simple.  I used a couple stencils in the blocks, some outlining and in the setting triangles and borders a simple 1-1/2 inch cross-hatch, using my favorite Aurifil 12 wt. thread.  

Tried marking the borders with Crayola washable markers though none showed up very well on that dark background, but I'm happy with the outcome.  And really pleased with how that vintage fabric brightened after washing. The next photo shows that fabric the closest to its true color.

The backing fabric is an older Edyta Sitar fabric, I think it is called Indian Summer.  It's been in my stash for several years and there was just barely enough to cover the back.  All the fabrics for this quilt came from stash or the scrap bins, and make-do was the order of the day when several of the block backgrounds required piecing smaller pieces to make the background square large enough.  

So happy to have this one finished!  My first post about making this was in May 2020 here.  I guess as larger quilts go, especially the hand quilted ones, this was finished fairly quickly.  Though it would have taken a week or two longer had I not come down with a cold and spent an entire week sitting in the recliner quilting the setting triangles/borders, since energy to do anything more strenuous was nonexistent.  I guess one can be thankful for a few sick days after all!

So there remains one quilt on my wish-list of finishes for the year - the Quilty 365.  Not going to happen, of course, though I've made considerable progress.  Next year for sure!  Still have the little Christmas table toppers to finish, and I really, REALLY want to have a mini ready this month for Janet's "baggie mini challenge."  

As far as Christmas goes, we pretty much realized a week ago that getting a full size tree this year was out of the question as hubby had a medical procedure coming up (which went well) and a general lethargy set in about any indoor decorating.  Still, while he was in the hospital I did get out a couple boxes and found these old calico Christmas trees.  The fabrics are all from 1982 or earlier, since my mom and I made these together while I was expecting my daughter and mom spent a couple weeks visiting us in Alaska that summer.  We ended up making five of these, and at least four of them are still around.  I have these two, and have used them every year since 1982. They've survived 8 moves, several of them cross country during that time!  

Til next time, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!