Friday, October 12, 2018

Dancing in September - IN OCTOBER

Hi friends! I hope you’ve had a lovely autumn weekend. For those of you impacted by Hurricane Michael in Florida, the Carolinas and other areas, I hope your experience was mild and that you and your families and belongings are all safe. How can anyone doubt that the climate is changing when these horrific storms occur now on such a regular basis? I hope you’re registered to vote and that you will give serious thought to supporting candidates whose heads are not buried in the sand on this issue. But enough said of that...... we’ve got scrappy business to attend to!

First out of the gate is my second quilt finish of the month. This one is a Rainbow Scrap project that I started a year or two ago. After showing the flimsy (in a post called Dancing in September, named after the Earth, Wind and Fire music I was listening to) and remarking how the piecing of it made me happy while I listed to music and danced in the September sunshine streaming in the studio (couldn’t resist the alliteration), my friend Louise suggested that I name the quilt Dancing in September. Thanks, Louise! Although it’s now October, may I present the finished Dancing in September.

Dancing in September finished at 65x73” and was quilted using a simple stipple. The backing is a great black and white windowpane fabric I got somewhere (Connecting Threads?) and the binding used up the last of a green print I had left over in my stash. I am so in love with this quilt!! It’s a keeper.

This is my OMG - One Monthly Goal - for October. I’ll link up to Patty’s finish link-up party at Elm Street Quilts when it goes live at the end of the month.

It’s also Goal #1 on my 2018 Quarter 4 Finish-Along Goal List. YAY!!

And last, but definitely not least, I’m linking up to Rainbow Scrap Saturday, because this was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. Today at Angela’s blog we’re having some serious October sharing’ O’ the green. Our color this month is medium to dark greens, plus dark neutrals. Sew ‘em if you got ‘em!

My plan this month is to get all my RSC green blocks sewn up as quickly as possible. Since this is the last month of color before we spend the last two months of the year completing our projects, I wanted to get those done and out of the way. I’m anxious to begin sewing all the RSC projects together!

So, here are the last four (of the 31 needed) birds for Birds in the Lattice. I hope to begin assembly of this quilt during this 4th quarter.

Next up were my Squared Away blocks. First, I made one additional green block from the March pattern (the top one in the picture below), then two blocks from the pattern Mari and Angela gave us for this month.

I got so excited about these now being done, that I put them up on the design wall. And sewed them together!  I even used my reject block (left column, middle blue one). It looks like I still have to add the 1” white stop border! This is next up to be basted and will finish at 56x56”.

Moving along with more green blocks, I sewed up my strings and ended up with 18 quarter log cabin blocks at 6.5” unfinished.

That brings my total of quarter logs up to 138. I only needed 120 for my original plan, so it looks as though I will be able to enlarge it! Another project that’s waiting in the wings for later this quarter.

And finally, I used my green crumbs to make eight 6.5” crumb blocks. For the project I have in mind, I will need this blocks in multiples of four. That means I’m good in the dark green department, but will have to review my other colors and add between 1-3 of several colors. That means this project, working title “Crumbcakes”, will carry over into 2019.

So, this coming week my goals are:
1.  Sew the borders on the Squared Away, and baste. Quilt and bind.
2.  Sew the California Poppies flimsy (already started, no picture today) and baste it.
3.  Sew the black and white checkered round to All You Need is Love.
4.  Sew the pink hearts round to All You Need is Love.
5.  Finish the plan for my rainbow scrap selvage blocks and pick a background fabric.
6.  Sew black and gray selvage squares for Item #5 if needed.

That should keep me busy!!
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 Finish-Along Quarter 4 Goals

Last quarter I wasn’t able to link up my Finish-Along list because I was in Africa with limited wifi. But I played along anyway, and finished up five out of my ten goals, all of them quilts.  And two of the others are close to being done.

This quarter, with no travel planned and the garden chores winding down for the season, I expect that I’ll have lots more creative time. So here are my 4th Quarter finishing goals. I’m linking up (early!!) to the Finish-Along Quarter 4 Goals post HERE.

1.   Bowties Quilt, AKA “Dancing in September”


Dancing in September (thanks, Louise, for the name idea!) is a flimsy that just needs to be  quilted and bound.

2.  All You Need is Love

This one, a Christmas present for my daughter, is farther along than it was a couple months ago. After I’ve added the checkerboard round, which is half made and the hearts round (all 54 hearts already sewn), there will just be one more round of 8.5” blocks and a final stop border.

3.  On Ringo Lake

This is Bonnie Hunter’s 2017 Mystery Quilt, and the 2018 mystery will begin soon. I’ve got all the components done, now just need to finish piecing the blocks, etc. etc.  If there is a goal on this list that demonstrates that I believe in miracles, this one is it.

4.  Let it Snow

This has been on my list for a year or two, but this is the season to finish it up! I have a place on my living room wall and a wall hanger for it. No more excuses. Besides, it’s so cute and so close to being done!!!

5.  Apron for Me

This was on my list last quarter, and I had the best of intentions, but the quilts were screaming louder at me.  I’m hoping the added sewing time this quarter will let this project get priority, because day-um! I need a new apron!!

6.   Squared Away Sampler

I thought I had a picture somewhere that showed all the blocks we’ve made this year for our 2018 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Squared Away Sampler. But I don’t, so this picture of my two September blocks will have to do. I’ve completed about 21 blocks out of 25 I’ll need. We’ll do more in October, and I’ll add the last two or three by going back and picking up an old color and pattern to finish it off. Then it’s a simple matter of assembly to get ‘er done!

7.   California Poppies

I won 40 blocks in the Block Lotto in August. Eight of them were mine, below. I drew up a plan and needed an additional 8 blocks, all of which are already sewn as I write this. Now I just need to sew the blocks and sashing into a flimsy, then quilt and bind. So, it’s totally do-able to get done this month.

8.  Birds in the Lattice

All the lattice (Irish Chain) blocks are made, as are all the birds except the last 4 green ones. I should be able to knock those out easily and begin assembly of this quilt top soon. Then there is the question of whether I whether I will quilt it myself or have it professionally done. I’m leaning toward the latter. So whether it can be complete by the end of the quarter will depend on the timing and the Holidays...

9.  Selvage Quilt

I have 126 (so far) selvage blocks measuring 6.5”.  I also have a plan to assemble them into a top. I’d really like to get this off my plate this quarter.

10.   Quarter Log Cabin Quilt (needs a snappy name!)

I have 138 of these  6.5” blocks, way more than I’ll need for a 10x12 setting (60x72”). So I may enlarge that and sew a few more blocks. I have a design plan for this, so if I get to it, it will be fun to play with all the colors and see how they all play together.

That’s it for this quarter. I do have one more quilt in process that has all the blocks sewn; however, I need blocks in groups of 4 for the design I have in mind. So, that one will likely be carried over to next year when I can add blocks as needed by color during the 2019 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

My hope is to finish at least 7 out of these 10 by the end of the year.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Green and Gray Saturday

It’s a green Saturday because the final color of our Rainbow Scrap Challenge year is medium to dark greens. The last two months of the year will be used to finish up our quilts.

And it’s a gray Saturday because... it’s a gray Saturday. There are more rain clouds threatening, and we’re likely to get lots of refreshing rain as we have for the last several days. But it’s a wonderful change from the heat of summer, and it really feels like fall now. The leaves are changing FINALLY and the air is crisp and cool. Our garden plants are in panic mode, trying to produce as many remaining tomatoes, squash and pumpkins and grapes as they can. The peppers are totally chill and taking their time.

This week wasn’t my most productive ever, but I did get a lot done. But sewing time was vying with autumn preparation things like switching out winter/summer wardrobes, getting my annual physical (part 2), cleaning drawers and collecting things for donation to Goodwill, etc. And fall housecleaning. I’ve decided that when I turn 70 (in 5.5 years), I am going to get a housekeeping service. Life is too short to spend so much time cleaning when I could be doing other things..... following a Squirrel!   I decided I needed a quick change of pace, so I pieced a quick quilt for Darla and Alfie using a panel by Ann Lauer called Cat-i-tude. I chopped it up, added matching fabric (that matches better than the camera is able to capture) and stitched up this 34x44” quilt. And Darla actually napped on it yesterday!

This week I also re-made a Squared Away block - a green square from March - to replace one I didn’t like. The old one will either go onto the back of the quilt or into the Parts Department.  And then I made four quarter log cabins.

There will be more quarter log blocks coming, but I didn’t want to use up any more scraps until the final Squared Away block is announced today. So, by next week I should have my final Squared Away blocks done, plus the 4 green birds and any 6.5” blocks that I can make with the remaining green scrap crumbs.

But I did make some selvage blocks this week. I had used all my green selvages in March, having to mix both light and dark to make the 11 blocks then. But I’ve used lots of green in the interim, so had enough to make these four 6.5” and two 4.5” squares.

My Bowties quilt (“Dancing in September”” is basted and ready to be quilted, so that will get done in the coming week as well. Plus I have another quilt whose blocks are all pieced and ready to be assembled. Stay tuned. And have a great weekend!

Join us over at Angela’s blog for Rainbow Scrap Saturday to see what everyone else has been up to with their scraps.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

About Those Cats ...

Darla and Alfie told me last week that they wanted their own quilt. They’re tired of being scooted off any chair or quilt that is covered with a quilt for me or Bruce. They said not only should parents have quilts, but furkids need them too.

Well, they spoke and I listened.

Last spring, during the Utah Shop Hop, I picked up a Cat-i-tude fabric panel by Ann Lauer. Here’s a picture of the panel.  If you’ll click on the picture, you can see more of the colors that aren’t readily obvious.

 Anyway, I cut up the squares, which are not really square at all, and kept the colored frame around them. I trimmed the black and gray sashing away and added my own black borders on the six “squares”. Then, using the purple, pink, turquoise and some of the green to fill in, I pieced some alternate blocks. It was a fun and quick “squirrel” project.

The colors of the alternate blocks match much better than the picture shows - my camera just wouldn’t SEE them properly. The green is more of an avocado and none of the colors are as in-your-face bright as the picture shows. You can even see the difference in the frames around the cats between the picture above and below. Yet neither is totally accurate.

Anyway, I basted it this morning and plan to quilt it later today or tomorrow. I’ll have a finished quilt to show on Saturday. The kitties are pleased so far, although it doesn’t rank among their favorites....

And a few days ago, Sally posted a picture of her supervisor, Molly. From. The. Rear. Can you believe it? I’d hate to be in Sally’s shoes when Molly finds out, LOL!! You can see the picture HERE.  Alfie and Darla were surprised to learn that Molly wears white bloomers! So naturally, they had to get in on the act and show their fashion wear.

Darla wears black velvet stilettos.

Alfie wears crew socks (he’s such a guy...)

And while we were taking pictures for this post, I figured a couple facial photos might be nice.


Alfie goes in next Monday to get his teeth cleaned. He’s not going to like that, but he’ll be home the same day. Darla’s teeth were not as bad, so she’ll go in after the Holidays.

I’m wondering if Alfie’s predilection for eating Vanicream has anything to do with it, haha.  He started licking Bruce’s arm whenever Bruce put it on his skin after the surgeries last year. I use the Lite lotion for my feet, keep it on my nightstand, and rub it in every night. No, Alfie doesn’t lick my feet, but he sure goes after that spout if I leave anything there. So I don’t. Crazy Cat!
Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dancing in September

I was dancing yesterday in my studio (luckily my kids weren’t around to make fun of me. But back in the day, I really could dance!). The sun was shining in the windows and I had just finished piecing the Bowties quilt top. Earth, Wind and Fire was providing the music, and the song of the hour was September.

So, here’s what the dancing was about.  Bow Ties is a completed top (!!) of 288 single blocks set 16x18. Oddly, instead of measuring 64x72, it measures 65x73. I guess that’s what scant quarter inch seams do. Isn’t it cheerful?

Bowties will get basted and quilted in October. In fact, that is my OMG - One Monthly Goal - for October. I've linked up to Patty’s October goal-setting post.

And there was a lot of Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing this week in order to finish up my darker blue scraps. First, there were the crumb blocks; 14 of them at 6.5”.

I was able to sew 19 of the Irish Chain blocks that I’ll need as the alternate blocks in my Birds in the Lattice Quilt. I already had 4, so that brings my total to 23 completed of the 32 needed. I will be able to finish up the last 9 this weekend. I put them up on the design board to get a feel for how it’s coming together. (Edited Sept 30th to add: 9 final blocks done!)

The sample layout above shows a 5x5 setting of the 10” blocks. When complete, it will actually be 7x9 for a total of 63 blocks (32 lattice, 31 birds). There will also be a border around it of the featured dark blue floral print fabric. I love the rich, saturated colors!

I’ve decided that it won’t be made into a queen-sized bed quilt as I’d have to piece more blocks than the current plan calls for. I have enough fabric, but I’m not crazy about the idea of a mostly-white bed quilt or the fact that another expansion would prolong the construction by a couple months (at least) given the upcoming holiday season. So, it will finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 78x98” with the border.

And here’s my scrappy tally for Blue September:

Top, L-R:
18  Selvage blocks, 6.5”
  3  Selvage blocks, 4.5”
  7  Birds, 10.5”
  2  Squared Away blocks, 10.5”
Bottom, L-R:
14  Crumb blocks, 6.5”
  3  Lollipop blocks, 6.5”
  1  Friendship Star, 6.5”
20  Quarter Log Cabin blocks, 6.5”
Not Shown:
28  Irish Chain/Lattice blocks, 10.5”

Total:  96 blocks

I also completed three quilts in September:

Top Left:  Safari Baby Quilt, 46.5x55"
Bottom Left:  Orange Lozenges, 62x72"
Right: Linked Squares, 64x80"

All in all, it was a good month.  I’m linking up to Angela’s blog for Rainbow Scrap Saturday, and Cynthia’s blog for Oh Scrap!
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mini-Reunion and Walk in the Woods

Welcome Autumn! The cooler temperatures have hit us and it is absolutely delightful. The days are clear (no fires anywhere!) and warm, the colors vibrant, and evenings and morning are cool and crisp. The furnace even kicked on last night - and we have it set at 66 degrees.  Life is good!

This is just a miscellaneous post (no quilting), but it’s all good stuff that I want to share. If you’re here just for the sewing and quilting, there’s nothing about that. Except that friends
Marilyn and OD, who are visiting from Kenya, loved the Baby Safari quilt I made for their son S (see earlier post this month).

Last night Bruce and I went out to dinner with Marilyn and OD and their son, plus my son Ryan, DDIL Kim and DGD Lauren. We had a great time! The baby is so jovial and was just the happiest little man. And my, he’s grown in the 2 months since we’ve seen him!  Bruce had already met Marilyn last summer and was looking forward to meeting OD. They enjoyed each other and sat by one another in the restaurant, talking about food, beer, animals and more. We all just gabbed and gabbed, catching up.... It was so good to see them again!

L-R: Lauren, Marilyn, Kim, Cathy, Baby S and OD

After dinner, we went to Kim and Ryan’s house, where the baby could play and crawl around (and maybe some grandma person did too).

And here is OD (“King Dangerous”) in his favorite chair of Kim’s. He remembered it from their visit last year. Anyway, he’s holding the walking stick that Kim bought for herself while we were in Kenya this summer. OD’s mom did the beading on it. So, I snapped a picture of him holding it so that he could show his mom, whom we all adore, to let her know that the walking stick with her beautiful beaded handwork was safe and loved!

And the irony of Kim having a walking stick is delightful; she’s a physical therapist. But still, if she ever needs a cane or walking stick ...

We ate apple pie, laughed, took pictures and talked until we all regrettably decided we’d better get home and to bed. We have tentatively planned another family trip to Kenya when Lauren graduates from high school in 3.5 years.

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Today I’ve started a bit of autumn decorating. Here is my favorite vignette: I was able to find a new raven this year to replace the old one that had lost its beak, and will NEVERMORE sit atop the Poe book ......  (get it?)  Oh, BTW, “karibu" - with the emphasis on the last syllable - means “Welcome” in Maasai.

We also replaced our porch light, house numbers, mailbox and doorbell. The old ones were original to the house, built in 1963. The light is motion-sensor and doorbell is lighted. I’m tickled that even small things like this can update a look and generate so much enjoyment.

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Often on Wednesdays, Cousin Kim comes by for a visit. We go walking, out to lunch, and then sew for a couple hours. These pictures were taken about 2-3 weeks ago when we went walking at Wheeler Farm, a county-owned park/historical homestead a block away. I’ve talked about Wheeler Farm many times over the past, and worked there after I retired from my career. For one summer I was a Summer Camp Counselor (the Arts & Crafts Counselor), then was the bookkeeper for the farm for 4 years. Check out the Wheeler Farm label for more Wheeler Farm posts.

But here are the pictures from our walk this month. So many changes, and all for the better! They’ve added a native meadow and native woodland, botanical walk, teaching gardens, beehives and so much more.


Cousin Kim


And of course, we visited the animals...

I think this horse was getting a vet check.

The ponds and creek were lovely, as always.

Below is the Ice House near the north pond. It’s where we used to hold Summer Camp. I would get there early in the morning to open up and sweep the floors. Often I stood out on that back porch, looking out on the grounds, the ponds and the wild geese and ducks, trying to imagine I was back in time.

Yep, Autumn is definitely on its way!