Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Time for a Mini

It's nearly the end of January, and for probably the first time ever, my monthly mini has been waiting patiently for a couple weeks to make its debut on the blog.

Following up on Janet O.'s "baggie challenge" from last fall, I found another baggie of mostly red and white tiny flying geese,  mostly finished and ready for pressing.  They made up into this placemat size little quilt.

The narrow blue strips separating the columns of geese are leftover 1" strips from cutting the layer cake pieces for the hatchet blocks shown in my previous post here.  Border and binding are from some miscellaneous less-than-a-fat-quarter pieces in the stash.  It all appears a little bit wonky in the photo, just as it does hanging on the design wall - keeping it humble but happy!  

Here is the back, made with a found piece of an older toile, bordered with another small piece from the stash.  

I've decided that the minis for this year will all be more or less placemat size since there are already more wall size mini/small quilts than we have room to display.  It's always nice to have a new placemat, and some of these may eventually be donated to the local meals-on-wheels office for holiday delivery to their clients, or given as little gifts.   Trying to use up as many scraps and odds and ends as possible this year.

For more mini quilts, check Wendy's blog The Constant Quilter at the end of each month where she posts links to a growing number of mini-makers blog posts.  Thank you Wendy for continuing this Monthly Mini Challenge for yet another year!

Friday, January 21, 2022

January Doings

January has brought fierce winds, a nor'easter that dumped  around16 inches of snow here, and after a one day thaw, we're back in deep frigid bleak mid-winter. The temperature this morning was -19F and as I write this it is -8 degrees.  Our year-old Sammy cat is outside at the moment, worrisome to be sure, but he's become the little terrorist if we try to restrain him from going outdoors.  Hopefully he is in the barn where there is a small heat lamp over his "camping out" bed.  He's quite the adventurer, yesterday we caught him stalking a couple deer who like to visit the bird feeders near the barn.  Quite a sight as they all took off running, Sammy gave up the chase when he saw those long legs a-leaping!

On the quilting front, the year started lazily and I decided to attack the baggies and swiffer boxes of scraps in an attempt to clear some of the excess clutter around here.  Happy to say my January mini was finished early last week, and will be posted closer to the end of the month.  Then I tackled another bag of mostly 2-1/2 inch scrappy pieces most of which were leftovers from the Marrakesh quilt of a few years back.  I ended up with three placemats and two smaller hot dish or mug-rug flimsies, to hopefully all be quilted soon.  I'm planning to raid my orphan block box for backings for all of these, the plan being to use up as many of those oddballs as possible this year.

Another project I'd begun last year at quilt ministry was this one, which I quickly discovered would never work out in that venue due to space limitations and the constant interruptions that happen there. Anyway I'd hoped to make some progress building additional slabs this month, since sidetracked.

In the meantime, we learned last week that a family who had attended our little church lost their home and everything but the clothes they were wearing in a fire.  No insurance, sadly, which is often the case in this area.  The grandparents have two adult grandchildren plus another non-family member living with them.  Our little quilt group which has shrunk drastically in these covid times is busy working on making some quilts.  We had only one to immediately give to the family, but hopefully within the next couple weeks there will be four more.  This is the one I've been working on for the past week and a half, now a completed flimsy.   The blue and gray fabrics are a layer cake that I'd picked up a couple years ago.  A bit disappointing to have so many of the fabrics in the light range, I'd hoped for more dark to better achieve the diagonal gradation of color in the hatchet blocks.  The pinks are all scraps from the stash.  Here's how it looked in the semi-final layout before sewing blocks together.

And the completed top:

I used up all but a couple tiny scraps of the backing fabric from Lady Sings the Blues for the border. The top measures 59x74 inches.

Barring another snowstorm I'd like to get this pin-basted at next Tuesday's quilt ministry meeting, along with another top that was completed last fall, the red and white log cabin quilt.  They will both be simply machine quilted and bound and hopefully out the door to the family in a couple weeks.  

I guess that will more than take us into February!  And I thought I might just ease into the new year ...
But it's all good, quilting a red and white quilt in early February sounds just about right.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A Look Back and a Peek Ahead

2021 seemed like a hugely busy year, quilting-wise, though there were probably less finishes than in most previous years.  Probably a continuing trend as age creeps up on all of us.  I did complete six mini/small quilts, three baby quilts, two throw size and six bed size.  Four ended up being donated and two were gifted.  You can find all of them on the Page entitled "2015 and Later" just under the blog header.

Here are a few of my favorites from last year.

Sing the Blues Mama Lou

Stitched by an Aging Hand, my diamond jubilee quilt

Lady Sings the Blues - gifted

Black Magic

For 2022 I'm not setting a lot of goals but plan to just let the quilts ebb and flow as they dictate.  Of course finishing the oldest UFO - Quilty 365 is a priority, but beyond that, a few minis and donation quilts.  And absolutely no BOMs, sew-alongs, mysteries, or other entanglements that I'll feel guilty about abandoning or otherwise falling behind.  

After the long saga of hand quilting my diamond jubilee quilt I chose this little cutie to put into the hand quilting hoop for evening fun. 

I'm planning to set this one aside for a future great-grandbaby when it's completed.  No hurry with this one, just a few stitches every evening as time allows.

There appears to be no end in sight to the endurance test we've all been living through for the past couple of years.  Rather than choosing a "word" for the year, I'd rather stay with what I call Words for Living and mine has been the phrase Faith Over Fear.  Happy New Year!