Friday, July 7, 2017

Rhythm of the Blues

With a tip of the hat to Mary Chapin Carpenter (listen to Rhythm of the Blues here), I’ve been sewing on my blue scraps at quite a clip. That song, with its understated guitar and her great voice and beautiful melody, has been my theme song this week.


The blue selvage column is on the left. Then I sewed together all the columns I could for the Rainbow Selvage quilt. All I have left are two orange columns and two pink columns when we get to those colors. The red column is already done. Oh, and I may add a brown, black or gray column to the very right. Depends.

Next up were my string blocks. I had a couple blue blocks from last year because I started them late in the summer. So, since they’re 8.5” each and will be sewn together into big blocks of 4, I had to make six of them this month.


And here are all 8 together. I still have quite a way to go on these blocks because I only have 4 (resulting in one large 16” block) of most colors. This will continue into next year as I accumulate more scraps and strings.


And then, of course, there are the bookshelf quilt blocks! So many good titles this month! We have that runaway bestseller (pun intended) “Embracing Horses” by Laurel Burch as well as Metro Cafe and Treasure Bay by Elizabeth Miles.
















EEEEEEEK! There is a mouse on the shelf!!  Thanks to my friend Mary Anne for suggesting it. Mary Anne and I used to work together on the staff of the Crazy Quilting Quarterly magazine and still keep up with each others’ doings.

This month I only had to do three blue blocks, so here they are, section by section so you can see them close up.





The blue blocks were added to the aqua blocks from February to form the blue shelf. Then I added the actual “wood shelves” themselves and sewed together three rows:


Yep, we are getting closer to having a finished library. I still need a whole shelf of orange, 3 blocks of pink to finish off the pink/red row, and one block of black or brown to finish off the purple row, which will go beneath the blue row. Progress!

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday at Angela’s for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Last month it was my intention to dig into my yellow scraps and do a pineapple quilt. Although I did make a start (a lot of cutting), I was only able to finish one block. But the pineapple sewing will continue on the sidelines as I make my way through blue in July. Hopefully I can do one or two per week at least. Here is the first one.

There is no real pattern on this; I just eyeballed it and decided to use 2.5” strips of yellow to make the body of the pineapple and greens for the top. The 2.5” HST’s so far have come from my scrap drawers. I`ll have to break down eventually, though, and piece fresh ones as these blocks progress. I haven’t thought yet about quantity or settings. The pineapples will all be yellow, with the exception of one rogue pineapple that will either be aqua or pink. We will see when the time comes. I’m pretty laid back about this one.

And there is one final project that I haven’t introduced you to yet. But first, a little background.  As I’ve mentioned before, my husband Bruce is in a folk trio with two guys that he’s known since he was a teenager. Yep, back in 1964 they got together and formed the Muddy Gutter Boys, modeling themselves along the lines of The Kingston Trio. They’ve played thousands of gigs over the years. And, they are still friends, as are the wives and all the kids and now all the grandkids. Their gigs aren’t as regular now due to health issues, but we still get together to practice about twice per month. The three couples are Rob (upright bass) and Diane, Mike (guitar and banjo) and Terri; and Bruce (guitar and banjo) and me.  And as of this month, we are all retired. Diane was the last holdout.


Rob has been struggling with his huge upright bass, so Mike, who is a luthier (guitarmaker) in his post-retirement life, decided to make him a smaller base. Naturally, they wanted to amplify it, so that is where Bruce came in with his electronics experience. The group has quite the sound system when they perform. So, Mike and Bruce have been tinkering for weeks on the bass and amplifier as a Christmas present for Rob.

So then Terri and I decided we would collaborate on a big, comfy quilt for Diane. After finding out her favorite colors (another story, too long for here), we searched Pinterest and came up with the idea for a tulip quilt. It looks like others I’ve seen on Pinterest, but I just put together this test block from scratch rather than purchasing a pattern. It measures 8.5 x 16.5” (unfinished). We’ll be using our recently purchased pink and green fabrics as well as plenty of additions from our respective stashes. This is going to be so much fun!


I hope you have a wonderful summer week, full of fun, family and good health!

Cathy maroon

24 comments :

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Okay, so reading your post is like going to the fireworks show for me. With each successive photo, I'm going "ooh!" and then "aah!" But the best was your bookshelf blocks and how they are starting to look when you sew them together! "Bravo!" They are so perfect for using the colors of the rainbow!

Sally Trude said...

Wow, I love how the bookshelves are coming together. And I never knew you were supposed to put the books on the shelve before you make the case. Fascinating! I do hope your mouse can run fast or as a safe place to hide.

Ariane said...

All your blue blocks look amazing! I love how these quilts are coming together. The colours look so beautiful together.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Oh this is a cool post. So great that you all have remained friends all these years. We have been sad for a month. Each week in June Terry lost one of his longtime friends. I really think it hit him hard enough that he is reconsidering the importance of taking care of himself.

You are as busy with your sewing as I have been in the yard. Thunderstorms are in our forecast for every day nxt week so I'll be inside again.
xx, CArol

claudia said...

You are so talented! Your bookshelves are fabulous! That's the only mouse that I would tolerate! It's a cutie!!
So much talent in your group of friends too! What a great Christmas this is going to be. What wonderful gifts!

Peggyinno said...

Those book shelves are so cute all together. Love the mouse! As long as it doesn't move, I'm ok!!

sunny said...

I just love your bookshelves. And I like the idea of doing a rainbow row quilt instead of blocks. Perhaps next year . . . . Have fun making your tulip quilt.

gayle said...

Oh, my goodness, you busy busy bee! I love all your blocks, but that mouse on the bookshelf made me giggle with glee! (So undignified in a woman my age...)

Nell's Quilts said...

So many good things happening your way. The selvages are so striking all together like that. Strings in progress are lovely. The larger sized pineapple block will make quick work of that quilt. I want a library like yours - colourful in every way. So much to look at on each shelf. This will be a beauty. What a perfect retirement gift for Diane. Looking forward to seeing more progress on this one.

PaulaB quilts said...

Great job with blue already. The bookcase with shelves is looking so nice. The mouse will probably find his way into a tiny hole, but he will,be back.

Monica said...

Gosh, you've been busy! I love that bookshelf quilt, those are always so fun. But really, it all looks great to me!

Emily said...

Those bookshelves are the best! Love the addition of the mouse, though I wouldn't want one on my real bookshelf. The three rows so far look fabulous together!

Teresa said...

I really like the bookshelf rows. Wish all books were so colorful!

Kathy S. said...

So much fun here on your blog! Yes, I LOVE the mouse. You are so tempting me to do a bookshelf quilt. Are you working from a book or pattern? I've seen tutorials out there. The titles are so cute. The globe is still my favorite. But then the fish bowl is too cute too. Love all your blue blocks and the salvage project.

I'm seeing pineapples everywhere. I refrained from that one. It was oh so tempting last month. Have a great week, Cathy.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Yay - a mouse!! And such a cute one at that. Good thing he hasn't been chewing on any of the books...or has he? I love the blue books (of course!!) and had fun reading all the titles....always a source of amazement for me that there are such great selvage names out there. Proves I should pay more attention!

Cathy said...

I just love that Bookcase. I think I've read some of those books! The mouse is cute too.
And it's always fun to surprise friends with quilts!

Libby in TN said...

I've seen bookshelf quilts, but never thought about doing one in RSC colors. How do you attach the selvage titles?

Suz J said...

I love reading about your adventures and plans... what you have done and why. And I love the story about "the band" and the resulting quilt. Some stories are not short and logical, but rather long and flowing... great stuff!

Bea Chester said...

Beautiful bookshelf quilt blocks. The "Library" will be amazing when completed.

Lin said...

Oh I love your bookshelf! What a brilliant idea. Cute mouse. xx

Lynn said...

The bookshelf is a winner. I've been wanting to make one of these for a while - great idea to do different colours for each shelf. Look forward to seeing it grow.

Angie said...

Oh, the bookshelf is looking ever so wonderful! I just hope the cat doesn't knock over the fishbowl as she's chasing the mouse! I love MCC's early recordings; I don't listen to much "new" music now, so I've not kept up with her. Great memories of a girls' weekend and an MCC concert! Also listened to lots of Kingston Trio as a young 'un. My dad played the guitar, so we always had lots of folk and country/bluegrass music at our house.

Deb A said...

Those bookshelves... how did I miss the fish bowl on the green? OMG! Love this. And the mouse! Perfect. So.... will there be a cat added somewhere to get the mouse and play with the fish?
Sounds like you have another great new project to keep you busy.

Linda said...

What a fabulous post. Loved looking at all your finished blocks and growing quilts. All super ideas. Especially love the bookshelves, so clever. Having each shelf of books in a different colour is dramatic. So much to look at on those shelves:book titles, a mouse, fish bowl etc. Enjoyed the story of your husband's band too. The quilt will be great.