Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Instagram Quilt Fest - Part 3 of 6

 Before we start I have to show you the solution the Coast Guard came up with for keeping TONS of sealions off their dock:

Ingenious!!  Apparently, sea lions are not as mesmerized as we are by "Air Dancers!" 

Our guild is making an Ukraine quilt for our show.  We will be sending donations at that time.  I have a favorite sunflower pattern and we adapted it to the Ukraine colors.

Here is the Ukraine colors.  The four segments are not going to be sashed together.  We think we'll use them as a border or in the corners.

Here's a picture of my Sunflower quilt.  Traditional colors and the sash between the parts is really interesting going across the quilt.  My good friend C in Lincoln NE brought this pattern to our small group.  7 out 12 ended up making it!!  It was very contagious.

On with Instagram Quilt Fest Questions

Quilt Back:  If you are asking if I make boring backs ... nope!!  Okay, sometime when I don't have time to think it out.  Or someone is hand quilting it.  I absolutely adore extra blocks on the back.  Especially gives me a smile when I make it every morning!  Here's some examples of Fronts and Backs - can you match them up???

Pressing Matters:  My mom used to be my presser.  We had so much fun sewing together and someone pressing your seams for you really produces a LOT of really good blocks!

I usually have my ironing station set up away from the sewing machine.  My knees get really cranky if I don't stretch them often.  In the old apartment, if I was sewing the kitchen table - iron was in the sewing room and vice versa!  At retreats - you'll find me at the farthest ironing board from my station!  Ok, I  admit I often detour by the snack table!!  But I exercise on the way there!!!

And while we're talking strategies - your rotary cutting pad works great on a kitchen counter!!  If's it's 'double wide island style' you can work forever!!

Sewing Friends:  The best kind!!  My best friends are sewing friends.  I had two from earlier in my life, but I taught them how to quilt - problem solved.

Quilters are always exercising their brains, usually cheerful thinking about their next project.  And the best at helping you solve any problems - we're used to thinking around an obstacle.  I made a wall quilt for my sewing space years ago - 

Recent Finish:  Cherrywood Lane early this year.  An Edyta Sitar sew-along last year, using her Summer Village pattern.  So much fun!  

You know how quilting mysteries start easy and then get harder and harder??  We won't mention Jen Kingwell!!  God bless her and her wonderful quilts!  

This one did NOT!  And the finished product - perfection!

My good friend at Fernwood Quilting long armed it for me.  My hands are apparently 20 years older than I am now. And I'm 69!!  They don't have the stamina or flexibility they had earlier.  Hand quilting, binding and 'arm-wrestling an alligator under the harp of my DSM' - machine quilting ... all problematic at this point. 

Best Tip Ever:  Ok, when I was a new grandma, a good friend told me, "Don't make a thousand quilts for the first grandbaby, there will be more.  And you don't want to hear how the first got more than the next favorite!"  

So - my theory is present your quilts to a schedule:  Baby.  Big girl/boy bed.  Kindergarten (applique their hand or a favorite picture they drew) Teen (at least they can wrap themselves in a hug) HS Graduation; College Graduation; Wedding.  Repeat!!

Best sewing tip:  If you are pinning a long seam.  Start pinning opposite!  I mean on the right (far?) end of the seam.  When you are done pinning you have the end of the seam that goes under the pressure foot in your hand.  You don't have to move all those 'sticking out to get you' pins out of the way.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

2022 Instagram Quilt Fest

 Are you ready for Part 2??

Quilting Origin:  As I alluded to ... my Grandmother and her church group quilted before I was born.  When I was old enough to be interested, my grandmother's eyes were bad, but she still hemmed diapers for the Red Cross and told me the stories!  

AND I was too much of a tom-boy to sit and learn quilting.  I started 'quilting' when we moved to Minnesota in the energy crisis!!  First quilt was because I wanted a new bedspread for our new bedroom in our new house.  

While I was waiting for that to get finished, (top in time out or at my MIL's to be hand quilted) I bought sheets at the Mpls Outlets; built my own frame, bought batting and tied those sheets together for warmth!  

Let me tell you - they wore like iron!!  My niece had one at the cabin that lasted much longer than it ever should have!!! - Decades longer!!

Lesson Learned:  Way too many to even remember!  

  • Remember to keep all fabric, directions and pieces and parts together until it is done-done!
  • Give yourself time before the deadline to figure out anything
  • Prewash your fabric!!
  • Anything that can go wrong will go wrong if you're in a hurry!
Scrappy Finish:  Scrappy start, scrappy middle, scrappy finish - it all goes!!  I love scrappy.  If 2 fabrics don't blend - add 50 more!!  If you have extra units when the top is finished - add them to the back!  Makes me smile every time I make my bed!

Coveted Quilt:  The comments I've seen usually involve a quilt they made and gave away.  I've made quite a few for my Mom that dispersed to family after she was through with them.  A small lighthouse quilt that I gave to a coworker that I 'infected' with the quilt bug.


I enjoyed making my DS's wedding quilt.  Rainbow scrap log cabins.  Recreated the "LOVE" stamp and put 3 of them in the top. Looked great - unfortunately it was destroyed in the Almeda Fire.  

There was one other wedding quilt - free pattern by P&B Textiles "Classical Elements and Illustrations"  Fun to put together, very graphic.  Mailed it to them, never got a thank you!  (Kids these days!!!)  But I knew they had gotten it - saw it in a FB post once (no mention of the quilt maker ...)  They divorced and I'm sure it got donated to Goodwill or was burned in a barrel!!  I'm kind-of afraid to make another one for a wedding quilt??  Bad karma??

Upcycling:  I love using old jeans and plaid shirts in quilts.  And who doesn't love old buttons and clothing tags?  Being a scrap quilter - I couldn't even guess how many old clothes have been cut up and incorporated into a project!!

That's it for the day.  Been busy here making Ukraine blocks and trying to get caught up in general.

See you all next time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Let me introduce myself~~ Instagram is having a QuiltFest2022

 Of course, my ipad keyboard is on strike - so I'm on my ancient laptop - which is also having problems.  But working today!!

At first I thought it was a physical Quiltfest!  So I knew I wasn't going ... but apparently it's virtual!  So, starting late - answering for myself, here's my answers to the topics, in an expedited method!

Introduction -  Hi, I'm doni and I'm a compulsive quilter!!  (response - Hi, doni!  Welcome)  

I rank myself as intermediate even though I started quilting in 1974!!  The fact is - I love to do what I can do without 'work'.  So mostly, I use quilting as my meditation / fun time mix.  If I have to work too hard to conquer a technique - meh!  I'll just go back to my favorite techniques I love. It's not going to be noted in history or anything!!  At 69 I'm not 'into' accomplishing expertise, I'm here to have fun!!  PS it helps to be addicted to scrap quilting - many easy techniques and lots of fabric overload in the projects!

My husband refers to me (lovingly, I'm sure!) Scrap-rabid!!  Doesn't keep him from using my quilts every day!!

First Quilt  My 'first' quilt was a pyramid Baby Blocks!!!  Yep, I was too dumb to know that I couldn't do that!  I saw the quilt in the Folk Art Desk Calendar (I miss that lovely publication.)  And I made it because we moved and our "old ugly" bedspread didn't go in the new bedroom. Our bed was queen size - and I couldn't afford a new bedspread!!  (Go ahead, take a break from reading until you stop LOLROFing!!)  Oh yes, 40+ years of spending money on quilts ... can't even dream of that total!  PS I still have this quilt!!  And since it's only 'for good' it's still in pretty good shape!  And I still love it!

Here it is hanging at the 2018 Azalea Quilt Show.  I was chosen to be Honorary Guild Member and this is my display in the show.  For more of that story go to my December 20, 2018 blog post.

Of course, that Pyramid bedspread had a few time-outs!  And I started a 2 solid fabric, blue and yellow Irish Chain.  My Grandmother had quilted.  Too bad I was too much of a tom-boy to learn from her!!

I was making a quilted fabric vest in the 90s; trying to start it and finish it for a quilt meeting in two days.  Middle of the night, I was cutting it out - and cut 2 left fronts.  Oh, if only that type of design was 'cool' then!  It WAS not! 2 am and I'm shell shocked!  BUT I heard Grandma Grant cackling!! And she said, "Oh, girly - you should have paid attention to ME!"  I quickly put everything out of sight, turned off the light and quietly went to bed!!

Quilts on beds - why of, course!!  And on couches, armchairs and walls!!  When friends came over they looked at the quilts that were in every room.  One off-handily said, "You into quilts or something??"  

Right now, our sleep-number bed has 3 quilts on it.  I only mention sleep-number because when one side is raised, all the covers are lifted off the other side!!  I sleep cold and DH sleeps warm, he sleeps better with the bed raised.  

I finally came to the arrangement that I move the bedspread off his side.  I sort-of wad it up in the middle!  Then lay a light weight quilt over his side.  I have the bedspread anchored in the middle - in fact as his side is raised it nestles in quite nicely.  I then have a single quilt that lay over the top of me.  I rarely kick off all the covers!!

Creative Hands  And are hardly ever manicured!  I always scouted out cool ideas and tried to figure out how I could do that (without spending that much money!!)  

Of course, there were some spectacular failures!!  Painting on burlap - not a good look!!  But I still create.  I quilt, (number 1) I embroider, I do wool applique.  I've made American Girl Doll clothes, but not real good with sewing clothing for me! (see above!)  

My mind is always wandering on what could be the next project! As a beginning quilter my favorite cartoon was in Quilter's Newsletter.  (Raise your hand if you subscribed to that!!  Sigh - miss it!)  The cartoon showed a quilter sleeping under a quilt, dreaming of another quilt, dreaming of another quilt ...

If your second project is on your mind before your first project is completed ... then you're my kind of friend!

Last for today:  Why do you quilt?  Funny you should ask!  I started a group called "ModSquad" - yes, after the 60s TV show - Go Julie!!  I went to Houston Quilt Festival and met Deborah Boschert with her book Art Quilt Collage.  I don't know if you remember "Modern" quilts in the early years.  Mattress pad quilting ruled!!

This method was just what I needed to explore "modern" quilting.  When I came home, I got 8 of us to form a group (I'm very contagious! I worked in an office at University of Nebraska, when I started I was the only quilter.  When I left 8 years later 4 ladies in our office (total employees 12?) were quilters.  AND there were 3 more in the building that started quilting!!

But back to ModSquad - sorry!  There was no 'teacher' we all bought the Art Quilt Collage book.  And took turns learning a method and presenting it to the group.  To help keep our interest.  We snuck it into the meeting space and then tried to guess who did what!  We gently critiqued each piece and well, it worked so well - we are still going!!  Some have joined and some have moved on, but the core is still that first group!!  When we got done with the book - we went on to challenges about color, technique, keywords.

Long story short (Ha!) We had a challenge in 2020, - why we quilt.  I loved my 'graffiti inspired' answer.  Hope you do too!! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

A New Lease on Life!

 We came to an agreement with our Landlord, signed a new lease and I started un-clenching my body!  It will take awhile to sink in, but there is no 'Move soon' hanging over our heads.  Yay!

The Halleluiah chorus is still loud and strong down at the docks.  Sea Lions as far as you can see!  The number and volume changes but from 50 sea lions to 100's have moved in!!  The longest dock is sinking under the weight of these not-so-svelte animals.  A theory is an algae has moved in and that's what is attracting them.  Always interesting!

Quilting like mad - I did finish the top of the Edyta 2020 mystery - 60 x 60, needs to be longer - I'll be sticking that in time-out while I figure that out!!

Then there was lots of fun with striped-leg birds.  I love these!  My top is together - ready for the triple border with half inch leftover legs!!  You'll just have to trust me on this one!  Darn cute!

I've also started making scrap 2.5" borders for a new project coming up.  Some friends swear by the 'sewing on adding machine tape' method.  But you do have to rip that stuff out, and there's no knot on both ends ... sounds problematic.  I started one seam on the tape, but then just started chain stitching pairs, recombining them, adding more ... it went really fast and I like the way it looks.  You DO have to use at least 3" scraps.  Not having a definite start (edge of the tape) it can drift a little and well, I did have to rip a few 'too small' pieces -out of the middle of course!  But this small part of the new project will be perfect to take to the April retreat - mindless, colorful and fun!!

Reading has slowed down a bit for me.  But we did have our first book club meeting in 2 years last night!  We decided the next five books will be:

Her Last Flight - Beatriz Williams   Fiction around the life of Amelia Earhart

The Day the World came to town - Jim Defede  Story of the small Canadian town that took in all the passengers blocked proceeding to US on 9-11.  We'll watch the musical Come From Away too!

Oona Out of Order  by Margarita Montimore  A woman leads her life, but not in numerical order!  It's very good.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn  World War ll code breaker story

Murder on the Oregon Coast by G.A. Cockerham  I think you can figure out this plot.  It's 'happening' in Brookings so that will be fun to figure out where things are taking place.

We've been together for 10 years - 2 yr break during covid.  It will be good to get together again on a regular basis.

Stay safe and ease back into life!

Friday, March 4, 2022

And Just like that - things got hectic!

 We're looking for a new rental in Brookings, yes, I know we've only been here 7 months - but not really our choice.

So whizzing around trying to see rental possibilities early - not after they're gone.  Yep, the rental market is that crazy!

Good thing I have quilting to keep my sanity!!  Ok, I heard that snicker!!

I've been making TAST work for me!! I've added stitches onto a sampler I started 15 years ago??  It was when we first moved to Oregon and I wanted a 'ocean' sampler.  It's very satisfying to watch it grow!

When I found it - this was how far I was.  Now - 9 more lines!!

Working on Edyta's 2020 BOW mystery.  My scrappy fabric choices didn't do much for her setting, so using the blocks I made I reorganized them into something I think worked well.  And of course, I have to make more border blocks - but did that yesterday!  So a few more tricks to make it bigger.  Original was 60 x 60 - not much good for snuggling under!

Edyta's version looked much better in her fabrics - but I love the zig-zag around the center in my variation!

AND I found #scrapsnap project from 2020.  Right up my alley, too bad I didn't see it back in 2020!!  Making color blocks each month and the finished quilts are awesome and definitely not cookie cutter quilts!  I'm hooked and I'm making it faster than their schedule.  Starting my third grouping today!


The Olympics were sometimes hard to watch, especially the 15 yr old from  Russia skater.  But I always watch them - love most of the stories.  I drug out a languishing quilt that needs to be finished and hand quilted every night.  Unfortunately, the Olympics ended and the quilt went back into the closet.  2 more easy borders to go ... soon, she promises!

AND because we needed some fun ... P & I started the improv-ish bird blocks!  We made some for baby quilts several years ago at a Finishing School.  And we both wanted to make a wall quilt ever since!  In one weekend, we made 3/4 of the blocks!! I love them, Now just have to get back to it.  

Birds with striped legs make it so fun.  Don't you love P's crossed leg one! Needs a cigar in it's beak!!!

Believe it or not we finally got over to Medford last weekend to celebrate Christmas with the Panama Gang! The weather was fairly clear and the kids were getting over colds - gotta make hay while the sun shines!  It was great fun to see them.  We ate Chipotle for lunch and brought Noho Hawaiian home for dinner!

We all watched the live-action Dora the Explorer and it was a blast from the past and entertaining on all levels.  The boys had a video game contest and the kids and I made some of their drawings into moveable figures.  Light cardboard, brass brads for joints.  Hard to convince the boys we needed the drawings BIGGER and we didn't have a paper punch.  Next time we will - ordered a sharp craft puncher on Amazon!!

Home for Fun Day at guild.  I haven't been very active in guild - COVID of course didn't help.  I had turned over the QOV program to another member and felt like hanging back so she could make it her own. Well, that was an easy excuse anyway!

This month's project was improv place mats.  I made mine into a table runner.  Gotta love stripes!

Hope to be back on a regular schedule blogging - see you soon!