Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Oh, the Weather Outside is (Still) Frightful

Oh, the Weather Outside is (Still) Frightful

People not from here often ask me, “What is a typical Montana winter like?” My stock answer is usually, “I’ll let you know when I find out.” Winter in Montana has several key features, of course, notably snow and cold. It’s the details that differ. Some years we get a lot of snow. Some years we get less snow. Some years we have snow early in the season. Some years we have snow later in the season. Some years we have to endure several weeks below zero. Some years it never goes below zero. (There was one year when it dropped to -10 the first week of October; I was in Tucson teaching for a knitting guild and missed the festivities.) This year, we didn’t have a lot of snow until February, and then we got hammered. And we have had more of those back door Arctic cold fronts than usual. We were under a winter weather advisory when I went to bed last night; this morning, it has changed to a winter storm warning. The high winds and cold temps—not that we would notice a drop in the temps as it never got beyond 10 degrees yesterday—are supposed to arrive around noon. It might warm up by the middle of next week, “warm” being a relative term. At this point, 25 degrees would feel like the beach. It was in the mid-30s in Spokane last week and I was ready to ditch my wool coat.

I was in town running errands yesterday morning—the rock chips in my windshield are now fixed—and stopped at both quilt stores, Hobby Lobby, and Joanns. My friend Tera tells me that the quilt store on the north side of town was sold; apparently, one of the employees bought it. I noticed a few months ago that stock had gotten low and I worried that they were going to go out of business but things seem to be more stable now. I picked up more beige Aurifil thread for piecing.

Tera also told me that the quilt store on the south end of town had moved much further south to a building that is about the same size, but more open inside and with better parking. It’s a very nice space. That store is an Accuquilt dealer. They have someone coming next week to teach beginning and advanced classes on using the Accuquilt cutters. The classes were only $10 each so I signed up for both of them. One is Friday morning and one is Friday afternoon. The store is also starting a monthly Accuquilt club. For $5 each session, you get fabric and a class on using one of the dies. You get to take the fabric home and make a quilt block, and at the end of the year, all the quilt blocks make a sampler quilt.

I said to the husband yesterday that having more sewing time is not necessarily a good thing. When I had less free time, I had to be better about prioritizing my projects. I have indulged in a fair bit of startitis over the past month and have more “in progress” projects than I would like. I keep telling myself that I can’t start anything else until I finish a few things, but self does not seem to be listening.

That charm square quilt top that I started a few days ago is close to being done:

FiguresTop.jpg

Things that I like about this top? I like the fabric and colors (it’s the Figures line from Moda). The navy blue Kona that I added for the background coordinates nicely. Things I am not so crazy about? It’s another on-point quilt, and the sashing strips finish at 1” wide. As I get closer to the middle of the quilt and the sashing strips get longer, it gets harder to keep them neat. I am rather wishing I had gone with slightly wider sashing strips. I plan to add a border, not only to make the top a bit bigger, but also because I don’t like the points of those squares to be so close to the edge. It’ll be easier to quilt the top if it has a border. And finally, see all those squares with plus signs on them? THERE WERE SO MANY OF THEM IN THE CHARM PACKS. I used about 100 squares from three packs with 20 or so left over, and all the ones left over were that plus sign fabric. There were so many other great designs in that fabric line; I don’t understand why it was necessary to have so many squares of the least interesting design. That is the main reason I am not a fan of charm packs, because I don’t always like the fabric distribution.

Once this quilt is done and off the design wall, I need to finish that blue-and-white sampler quilt. I did finish the wallhanging with the leftover HSTs and that is on its way to Margaret. She is going to quilt it and we’ll donate it to MDS. I spent some time organizing my pile of WIPs (works in progress), but the problem with organizing my stash and projects is that I get inspired to Start Even More Things. Sometimes, though—as with that blue-and-white sampler quilt—I need to put projects away for a couple of weeks because I am tired of looking at them.

Progress on the new shop has stopped until the trusses are built. That will be a few weeks yet. Maybe by then, some of the snow will melt. The concern now, though, is that we don’t suddenly get a week of 60-degree temps that melt all the snow and cause flooding. But we don’t get to control the weather.

Expecting the Unexpected

Expecting the Unexpected

Do You Want to Live in Montana?

Do You Want to Live in Montana?