Friday, September 8, 2017

Quilting by the (Orange) Book

Welcome back, friends! First, let me say that those of you in Florida are sure in my thoughts as you brace for Hurricane Irma’s impact. Hopefully you have all prepared as best you can and that you and your loved ones (and loved homes, etc) escape harm. If our friend Angela is able to post the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Scrappy Saturday link-up, I will join in.

And we have not forgotten our Texas friends who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. There are many online sites for donating money, services, quilts, pillowcases, kennel quilts for animals, etc. for the multitude of victims in the Southeast. I hope we will ALL take the time to contribute what we can. If you need help finding a charity, please feel free to write me and I will be glad to direct you to some.

And now let’s talk Orange.

This week I started by using orange strings to make (8) 8.5” string blocks. If I have strings left over after all the rest of my blocks are done, I'll make 4 more to sew into another 16” finished block. If not, there is always next year!

And then I sewed up four quick Plus blocks. Originally I wasn’t even planning to use orange in the Plus quilt, but that changed. With these, I have 89 blocks. The remaining blocks for the quilt will be pink and gray, and I will need between 7-18 total of those. The extras will be used if I decide to switch out some of the already-made blocks that I don’t care for.

Next, I got started on my orange shelf of books (5 blocks) for my Bookcase Quilt. Bookcase Quilt - it needs a better name, doesn’t it? Any ideas? Anyway, here are some close-up pictures so you can see the individual titles in case you want to “check them out”!  hahahaha..... get it?  check them out 

So, let’s read across from left to right. Note that you can click on the pictures to make them bigger. Have you read Timeless Treasures or Peak Hour?

Moving along (there is some overlap in the pictures), we find Cool Cats and Helen’s Garden. Naturally, Helen has pumpkins in her garden at this time of year....

And it’s true, I got lazy and stacked all my smallish books sideways. But the titles are easier to read. These little book titles include Diamond Eye, Handmaids and Hello Darling. 

All this reading is making me hot (as in hot flashes, LOL). So, thank goodness I parked my fan on the shelf, eh??

And note that we have the the runaway bestseller Butterfly Bliss. It even has a butterfly on the cover! And even Home for Harvest has an appropriate cover.

And here is a view with the orange shelf just pinned on top of the yellow, green and blue shelves. I haven’t sewn the orange books onto the shelf yet.....

There are three pink book blocks still to sew and add to my two red book blocks; they will they will comprise the top shelf. The bottom shelf will be the 4 already-sewn purple blocks plus one dark-colored book block of black/gray/other dark neutrals. This may come to Colorado for me to work on....

I am starting to cut and pack other projects to take along with me to Colorado next week. One of the things I plan to bring is fabric to make the pillowcases for Sarah’s charity drive over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I’ve cut and packed up 7-8 of those to sew.  And I will probably cut and kit fabric for a half dozen or more Farm Girl 12” blocks. I want to do an autumn-themed quilt. And since I have way too many 12” Farm Girl blocks for just one quilt, I thought I would pull out the autumn-ish blocks, add a few more and see what I can come up with. I have plenty of sashing and backing ready to go, so this is another one that could materialize quickly. Like a quilting hurricane.....

Last December, we purchased four Ingo tables from IKEA as my Christmas present. I have wanted to re-do the tables and arrangement in my studio forever. Anyway, after Christmas came the end of our living room remodel, and then weeks, even months, of the arm cancer scare and operations for Bruce. So we “tabled” the assembly (sorry, couldn’t resist). And then it was summer/garden/family/brother moving in, etc. Finally I announced an assembly date last Monday, and both Bruce and my brother agreed gladly. They had those 4 tables whipped out - from gathering tools to wiping them of dust - in 2 hours flat.

So, here are some pictures of the place. Keep in mind it’s still a work in progress. And also, these are honest, messy pictures. There is ironing to be done, messes to clean up, stuff packed up for our trip, etc..........

When you come down the stairs (above picture, where the light switch is), there are two rooms to your right. The first one (brown) is my office and computer. It's also where I used to store my lace and fabric inventory when I had an active Etsy shop. The second apricot-colored room (above and below) has two easy chairs and is my hand stitching room. In there I keep my batting rolls, and cabinets of embroidery threads, silk ribbons, beads, buttons, books, ribbons, vintage laces, and collectibles such as vintage aprons, vintage clothing, vintage pillowcases and linens, etc. That room is worthy of a post in its own right sometime.

So, as you come down the stairs and look ahead in my studio, there is the design wall on the right. Facing forward (to the left in the above picture) are two bookshelves housing fabrics. On the top of the wood-toned bookcase are two containers of selvages sorted by color and one basket of multi-colored scraps.

In the picture above you can see two of the new tables. My power strip/surge protector comes down from the overhead lights and sewing machines and irons for up to 4 persons can be plugged into it. I just flip off the power strip when I leave the room. The studio is in the basement, but it gets afternoon sun and is delightful.  My big ironing board there is covered with the pillowcases I’m kitting up. Beyond that, in the corner are (1) plastic shelves containing scraps by color and the WIP bookshelf. The door leads out to the backyard. Hanging on the door handle and on the carpet shampooer is the laundry I need to iron!!

As we continue moving around the room, you can see more of the tables and the cutting station that’s set up (green mat).  Behind my sewing chair (that is really for my office, but until I get a new one without arms, I’m using it here) is my thread, treadle machine below the thread, and miscellaneous sewing supplies in the desk and shelves behind my chair. That is the bathroom there behind the door....

Between the bathroom and laundry room (the door next to the hangers) is a plastic bin of fancy fabric scraps (silks, damask, velvet) for my crazy quilting, plus a bookcase of mementos, pincushions and music. The painting was done by my son Shane in high school.

And so we’ve come full circle. Again, sorry for the mess. But honestly, I wasn’t going to clean up just to take pictures and then have to get it all back out again.

If you don’t hear from me next Saturday, it just means that I don’t have internet access at our cabin in Colorado. We are meeting up with Diann and her hubby (of Little Penguin Quilts) and several other couple friends for a long weekend in the mountains. Then we are visiting family for a couple days before returning home. I will update y’all when I get back!

Have a great week!

Cathy maroon


  1. Have a super great, restful, funfilled trip!

  2. It's wonderful to see your working space, although Molly was worried that there is too much quilting stuff and not enough cat toys. Also, she would suggest a nice cat studio at the top of your design wall. Meanwhile, have a great retreat!

  3. Oh gosh, you have such a nice place to work! It's so bright and cheerful. I'm loving that bookcase quilt and the color variety makes it all the more interesting. Have a great time at the cabin. If you see fires...get the hell out of Dodge!
    xx, Carol

  4. OMG there is so much in this post! First I just LOVE LOVE your books RSC project!!! The tables and pics of your space are terrific and thank you for keeping it real. Have a great trip.

  5. Your bookshelves crack me up every single time! LOVE them!
    Terrific sewing area(s), too! I enjoyed the peek!

  6. A Rainbow of Books? ROY G BIV Book Shop? Rainbow Library? WhatEVER you call it, it will be O-SEW-CUTE!!! Thanks for sharing your sewing space.

  7. What a great sewing space. Love the fan on the orange bookshelf. So many fun details.

  8. Your bookshelf quilt just keeps getting better and better! I was excited to see that you were planning to make some pillow cases for Texas next week because I had the same idea. I'd better get to work getting ready! :)

  9. Gosh, you have been Busy with a capital "B"! Everything looks amazing. That plus quilt is going to be gorgeous! Another one on my list...

  10. Your sewing space is awesome! I need to get mine a lot more organized--cleaned up--before I take pictures. I am so glad it has a door!!! I love all of your orange goodies and as always, I love reading your book collection. I will think on that title.

  11. Love your rainbow books!! Great sewing space as well.

  12. I just love your colourful bookshelves, and it seems to me you are having a lot of fun making them. Thanks for the tour of your space, those IKEA tables look great.

  13. Love the orange bookshelves and the sneak peak at the entire bookcase coming together! Have a wonderful time in Colorado - color me jealous!

  14. Have to admit to a rather significant amount of green-eyed envy over all that wonderful table space! Alas no space for such things in my dinky little room. As for you being worried about any possible mess - what mess? I certainly didn't see any! Your definition of mess is obviously quite different (hee hee) than mine. I love that amazing painting too - your son is (I hope) continuing to pursue his art. Have a wonderful trip - stay safe.

  15. Your entire bookshelf is so clever and the fan adds another bit of humor. Color Story? Your workrooms are so well appointed with a place or rom for everything. You should come do my space. Have a wonderful time this week.

  16. I just love those books...some very colorful reading.

    Have fun at retreat!

    You get three rooms to yourself and they are all clean, neat and tidy???? You will never see my sewing room!!!!!! ...until it is empty!

  17. I cant get over that bookcase quilt, wow, and how busy you are. you sure get a lot done. Love your workspace. Hugs, LJ


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