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Monday, December 15, 2014

Kahlua and Cream-on-Cream

I thought that title was rather clever, for me. No, I am not drinking Kahlua and cream.  But I will explain.

The cream-on-cream refers to the wedding crazy quilt I am still working on.  Currently (as in yesterday, today and tomorrow) I am basting the quilt and a layer of thin batting to a false muslin back.  Hand quilting, actually, with large stitches.  It doesn’t show on the front, and it is just boring stitching on the back, so there are no pictures. But if that bothers you, raise your hand. . . .  Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, we will move on.

Yesterday my cousins Carrie and Kim (who are my age; I am actually their aunt by marriage)  came over for our regular Sunday “Sewing Day”.  Carrie’s daughter Jenny plus Kim’s granddaughter Trinity also came. I helped Trini finish her sewn Scottie Dog (no picture of hers, in peach and white). But that is all the sewing we did.  Oh, I know. I can show you the scottie I finished for my daughter Megan.  It`s an old vintage patchwork pattern from the Forties....

But getting back to “Sewing Day”.  It was actually Making Kahlua Day.  We made a quadruple batch (to divide up for 4 families).  Jenny shared this picture on her Facebook page and captioned it  “I hope we have enough...”.  One of her friends wrote back, “For what? An army?"

Oh yes, we take our Kahlua very seriously.  
Our Kahlua efforts. .  in any jar we could find !

Now we will need to soak off some of the old bottle labels so we can cover them with printed Kahlua labels.

Well, Bruce is home... so I am going to go upstairs to greet him. Then pour myself a Kahlua and eggnog.  Mmmmmm.... try it!

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday

I am currently working on a commission quilt/wall hanging for a woman in Park City who has, during this long process, become a friend. This has been one of the most delightful projects I have ever worked on, and as the process draws to a close, I am simultaneously excited to see the finished project and sad that it will soon be over.

This will be a cream-on-cream wall hanging comprised of 20 8-inch blocks.  My client is giving this to her mother for Christmas, and we used her wedding dress that I salvaged from remnants of the dress and another strange wedding quilt (that someone else had tried to make. It had the entire bodice as the central piece and looked as though someone was coming through the quilt...... enough said). 

Every block contains a piece of the wedding dress fabric, and much of the lace is from the wedding dress as well. The recipient (my client’s mother) was a florist, so there are lots of lace, silk ribbon and other flowers throughout. The marquis shape of the center medallion echoes the shape of the lace pieces from the dress that are scattered throughout. There is even one entire sleeve cuff on the right side (to the right of central medallion). The central portion is all ribbon flowers (or yo-yos). I still need to add in a stem and some leaves. there will also be some seamwork below it. Lots of the blank-looking areas will be covered (as will many seams) by lacy little doilies or other lace motifs from the wedding dress.  Plus I will need to re-check that everything along the seam lines is secure after trimming/sewing the blocks. 

The back will contain a dedication with a picture of the wedding couple printed on silk.  I should be able to finish it this weekend or early next week. 

While I`m working on this, I am also working on a couple sewn Christmas gifts, which I will reveal at a later date. 

I`m linking to:

Cathy maroon

Friday, December 5, 2014

Saltwater Wedding Quilt Finished!

This quilt has been rumbling around in my head for a year and a half, since my DS Ryan married his love of many years, Kim.  We all went on a cruise in the summer of 2013 and then they got married on the beach at Cocoa Beach.

First, Ryan and Kim got to pick the colors, and then I showed them lots of pictures for style.  The quilt was loosely based on the pattern for a baby quilt called Flowers in the Sunshine by Sweet Jane on Etsy.  But we wanted a larger quilt, so essentially I began collecting fabric by quadrupling the size and fabric requirements.  Sometimes collecting fabric for a project is hard to stop, so I ended up with lots to chose from.   :-)

As I started the piecing process, I realized I wanted large motifs in the quilt, so worked out a plan to have four; a seahorse, a starfish, an anchor and a dolphin.

But I couldn`t leave out the octopus which was the featured character in Saltwater. So, he got pride of place as the large central motif.   For the octopus image, I traced the octo from Tula’s line, then kept enlarging and simplifying it (knowing I was going to have to stitch down every tentacle).

The other images I just pulled from the internet or my imagination and then enlarged.  All fabrics were backed with a fusible onto which I drew the pattern in reverse, then cut out.  They were fused to the white fabric and then stitched down before being pieced into the quilt.

I was waiting for a sunny day to get outside to take pictures, and once I got out, I kicked myself for not taking pictures when it was cloudy with more diffused light. So, these will need to be retaken.

After finishing, there was a lot of time spent snipping threads so they would not show through the white. And then it was off to be quilted (by Quilted Works in St. George, UT).  I love the swirls they did - reminds me of ocean water and looks especially nice with the backing print, Sea Debris from Saltwater.  The binding is scrappy leftovers.

Quilt Stats:  
Finished Size: 86 x 78”
Fabric:  Saltwater by Tula Pink (with bits of Les Amis, Luxe in Bloom and others) 
Backing: Sea Debris, Saltwater
Batting:  Hobbs 80/20

Easton, Kim, Ryan, Lauren

Although it’s been a year and a half since the wedding, (and over 8 years that they’ve been together as a family) this is the first wedding picture I have posted.  

Cathy maroon

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2015 Pantone Color of the Year

.....and YOU thought it was going to be teal, after all the Frozen/Elsa ice dress madness.  Ha!

Welcome to Marsala, a rich red-brown.  (I’m thinking chocolate....)  Pantone, Inc., who professes themselves to be "the authority on color, provider of color systems and leading technology for accurate communication of color” has named Marsala the 2015 Color of the Year.  

Now we can all run out and get Marsala lipstick, Marsala-colored fabric and shoes, Marsala wine (just for the heck of it), Marsala nail polish, Marsala this and Marsala that. Or not.

The entire Spring-Summer 2015 color palette is below and consists of (L-R, top to bottom): Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green (a retro color making a comeback), Classic Blue, Toasted Almond (warm neutral), Strawberry Ice, Tangerine, Custard, Marsala, and Glacier Gray (cool neutral).

If you are interested (color fascinates me), here is a link to the Pantone website.
(click here) .  There you will find a video of Lee Eiseman talking about these colors, as well as information on how colors are selected (who influences the choices).

So, will you be incorporating any of these colors into your art or wardrobe?


Cathy maroon

Eight Months Later. . .

This post could be subtitled “How I Spent My Summer” (and spring and fall. . . ), but hey. Life gets in the way. And it has been a great ride these last few months. . .   :-)

So, let`s do a whirlwind recap of what has been going on.

I think I last showed a picture/teaser of this pile of fabric.  It has since been made into a block and published in a calendar. Specifically, Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs asked me to do the block for the 2015 calendar that accompanies her quarterly publication, Crazy Quilting Quarterly (to begin in Feburary of 2015).

From scraps. . . 

. . . to naked block. . .

. . to embellished block for June, 2015 calendar

Pam assigned me the month of June, with colors of pink and aqua (which I changed to blue) and a Marie Antoinette theme (which I changed to just 18th century French). I was able to use a lot of golden-dyed laces from my Etsy shop (link in sidebar).  Pastel blue and pink are not normally colors I work with, but I really enjoyed the creative stretch.  (Now, what should I do with the finished block??)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I also did a baby quilt for my daughter’s longtime friend, Riley, who had a cute baby girl last summer.

Baby quilt for Marlee

Beginning in early spring, my cousins (actually, Bruce`s nieces, who are my age, but it is easier to call ourselves cousins) and I began having regular sewing sessions at our place every Sunday. During the nice weather, we ate out on the patio and watched as the garden went from dirt, to raised planter boxes filled with dirt, fertilizer and seeds, to sprouting vegetables to a monster garden of tasty delights. Then back again to dead/dying plants that were dug up, mulched, etc. etc.

Before. Sorry, there are no “After” pics, LOL!

In my Etsy shop this spring, things were booming, so I hired my friend and neighbor, Mary, to help me for 10-12 hours per week.  Together we dyed and painted lace, ironed lace, shopped for and cut fabric into fabric packs. Mary took up a lot of the photography, which allowed me more time for listing and working on bookkeeping. I also now am a rep for a family-owned lace embroidery mill on the east coast, and have three large-ish customers who buy laces in bulk directly from me. They are a wedding store, an Australian bridal designer, and a lingerie company. Since school has started, Mary`s hours are fewer, but we still get together once or twice a week to catch up on all the “work” (too much fun to be called that) of running an Etsy business.

And here are sneak peeks of three quilts I have been working on.  My next post will show the finished sea-themed quilt and talk about that.  The cream-on-cream CQ is a private commission that I will publish after it is given to the recipient after Christmas.  The third one is a quilt for my son, Shane that I will finish later this month.

Top half of “Saltwater Wedding” quilt (pieced top)

Early progress on private commission crazy quilt

Testing a layout on quilt for son Shane. Design board was in use!

I plan to begin posting more regularly, with a shift toward regular quilting projects and sewing. I will still be crazy quilting, too, but for the foreseeable future will be primarily finishing UFOs (unfinished objects) and projects that have languished.

Watch for my Saltwater Wedding quilt post!


Cathy maroon

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blocks - Crazy, Sane and Mental

Well, the mental block is nothing new. If I want to focus on something, I have to write it down. Yesterday, I made up a list of things I wanted to get done and by golly, I did get most of them done. But sometimes I am unrealistic. In addition to cleaning 2 bathrooms, changing the catbox, cleaning the kitchen and mopping its floor, preparing and mailing my Etsy orders, doing 4 loads of laundry, doing a blog post (that I forgot to send until today), and writing long overdue letters (emails), I thought I could quilt the in-process baby quilt, cut out another one, and dye the last of the seaweed lace. Yeah, only if I went without sleep. So, Monday’s goals will probably spread out over the entire week. And maybe I should go with the flow instead of writing daily goals?

So I said a post or two back that I would share the work that the ladies in our recent Lace & Pearls Round Robin (for Crazy Quilting International) did on my blocks. Previously, I shared the work I did on their blocks, but this is the lusciousness that I got back.

Barbara W. always does amazing flowers!

This is Gayle’s lovely work. Wish I’d given her a bigger piece of lace - my bad.

Connie K did this gorgeous work.

Andrea did the lower right area and Connie finished up this block for her.

Liz R used the lace to make a peacock! Isn’t it amazing?

And this is the block that awaits my stitching.  

A few of my female relatives and I have started a Sunday Sewing Session. My cousins Carrie and Kim (who went to Arizona with us and are really my hubby`s nieces even though they are roughly my age), along with Carrie`s grown daughter Jenny (who has two kids that stay at home with their daddy) get together in my studio from 10am-ish to 2 or 3-ish on Sunday to sew.  Having a regular few hours to stitch has enabled me to get a lot done. I`ve been helping Carrie with our local quilt shop`s Block of the Month (BOM) blocks (which are red and black and white and I have no pictures of because I give them back to her).  And she has been helping me organize my stash of quilting fabric.

It`s not finished yet, but it is sure looking better. Thanks, Carrie! I love you!  :-)

Last year in January I started an online BOM and only got the very first one done. That’s because February’s block was awful - paper pieced center block with 8 sections, and I could not get it. I finally got smart and made the center plain. I figure the quilt police won`t show up and arrest me or anything, LOL.  That block is on the left, below.  The right block is the same line of fabric (Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry) plus some birdie fabric. That pattern is the one we have for March for our local BOM. I don’t like how those 2 strips came together to make that big oval in the lower left, but I am still undecided about fixing it.  What do you think?

So now I have 3 blocks done for this quilt, which will eventually be for me. But it is a long-term project to work on here and there.

Finally, I have another CQ block to finish by the end of June for a friend. I can`t really talk about it, but this is it`s start:

I am still in the idea-gathering stage. I`ve been researching and reading and pinning pictures on a private Pinterest board, collecting online pix, sketching ideas in a sketchbook, etc.  I have given myself another week (until the end of the month) for this phase before I gather all my possible supplies and begin piecing the block.  And then everything will probably change, or at least morph as I go along. It’s always a fluid process, isn’t it?  

Now can you see why I finally cut yesterday’s post short and published the first half this morning?  This second half was way long, and together - sheesh. I need to blog more often.  

By the way, I will have one more post either today or tomorrow. Subject: Lace Seaweed. It is all dyed up and just needs to be packaged and listed in my Etsy shop. That’s what I am doing this afternoon.  Oh, and for those of you who commented (or wrote to me) saying that 11 yards of seaweed lace isn`t very much, I neglected to mention that it is 13” wide. It really IS a lot. I’ve been dreaming seaweed. . .

Cathy maroon

Monday, March 24, 2014

Finishes, WIPs, and . . Hey! Where Did March Go??

I woke up this weekend (figuratively speaking) and realized that the number of my followers (over 350) on the old Google never seemed to be going up. Well, duh, Cathy. That`s because it is defunct. Now there is Google+, Bloglovin’, and other means. So I finally installed those options (I think) in my sidebar. Hopefully I haven`t lost too many followers along the way. No one likes the feeling that they are talking to themselves, right?

First, thank you to my dear cousin Annamaria Kover (Manya) in Romania (actually Szekely, the part-Hungarian region) for sending me a lovely pendant. She had a contest on Facebook, and we all got to comment on which one of four pendants that she showed was our favorite. My favorite was the daffodil pendant, and I was the lucky winner of it. I already had one of her beautiful rose pendants (I was her first customer when she began selling them). So, I snapped a picture of the two pendants together. I love wearing them!!

Manya has some great new egg-shaped pendants and as well as her gorgeous scissors keeps, compacts and eyeglass cases. Very drool-worthy eye candy!  You can visit her on her Facebook Page HERE.

Remember the pink dress I showed you in the last post that I finished for my DGD London? It was a ready-made dress, about 4 years old, that was given to me by a friend. The front embellishments were dirty and damaged beyond repair, so I took them off and made a new ribbon rose. I also added lace and ribbon and it came out very nicely. In fact, I did a double-take when the new Carter’s (children’s-wear store) ad booklet came in the mail.  Look at the cover and the inside picture.

It makes me feel good that these are so similar, even down to the tulle overlay.  So, London`s Easter dress is very in-style, and best of all (for me), it was free and a great way to rescue and recycle an old dress.  :-)

This is going to be a long post with a lot of pictures, by the way, LOL.

I finished the baby quilt for my grandson Bear.  My BSR foot for my Bernina 550QE sewing machine came in, so I could finish the stippling.  It is bright and the print is of pirate bears, so it will do. It`s not something that I would make for myself, LOL!

These 2 photos (above and below) were taken on the kitchen floor, under the skylight. 

This is the LAST of the grandkid quilts with Minkee on the back. Hallelujah!!

Below is the next quilt. The top is done and it is pin-basted to the batting and flannel back. I will quilt it later this week. It’s just a baby quilt that will be a gift for one of my daughter`s friends who is having a girl in May. Riley (the friend) will be welcoming Marlee.  Riley has always been special to us.

Well, I am going to close this post. I should`ve just published it yesterday. I have so much to talk about.  So, as soon as this is published, I`m starting on a new post!  :-)

Cathy maroon
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