Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’ve been missing in action for awhile.  There has been so much to do in preparation for the Crazy Quilting International annual Retreat in Colorado.

My friend Diane Matheson arrived here in Salt Lake on Tuesday.  We’ve spent a lot of time talking, laughing and stitching.  And my cat Boomer loved her the minute she walked in (and it appears to be mutual, LOL).

And then yesterday, our friend Ingrid Gardiol joined us, and we had a great CQ Girls Day Out!

First we stopped at the LDS Church (Mormon) Humanitarian Center.  Here they put together every type of humanitarian aid package you  can imagine - medical, newborn, schoolkid, etc.  People are sewing and tying quilts, new immigrants are gainfully working, and it’s a great atmosphere. There are big bins of fabric that are used for quilts (cottons), book bags (heavier home dec), etc.  The “throw-aways” are the fancy costume fabrics; after all, you can’t make a quilt or a child’s shirt out of satin, etc. So, we were happy to take some of it off their hands.

Here Ingrid and I sort through the fabric.  There is so much that someone has to get in to get to the bottom of it!  We had two of these to go through.  And we were selective, not greedy.  We ended up with four cloth grocery bagsful, and one of those was for costumes for Wheeler Farm where I work.

Then it was off to the Olive Garden for lunch.  Our waitress was kind enough to take our picture.

Our next stop was Gardner Village.  It’s a restored mill with dozens of relocated and restored cottages (Victorian through 1930’s-style ) remodeled into quaint shops.  Between the shops is a duck-filled pond with covered walking bridges.  It is very festively decorated for Halloween at this time of year.  I was able to snap this picture of Diane and Ing with their new friend....

Ingrid loves orange, and we had to restrain her from cutting into Hazel’s skirt!  (just kidding)

We visited a bead shop, a fabric store, a craft and vintage consignment store (SOOOO well done; I’ll get pictures of that to share sometime soon!) Then it was home to have dinner and sort fabric and continue preparations and packing!

Today we are going to a thrift store and JoAnn’s, and perhaps another place or two.  But we definitely have plans to be back by mid-afternoon to finish packing and loading the cars.  Tomorrow morning we leave at O’dark thirty for our 8-hour ROAD TRIP to Estes Park, Colorado, to meet up with another 12-15 ladies for 4 days of laughter, learning and fun!!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, September 11, 2010


REMEMBER..... but do so with a gentle heart. Hatred is ugly. The world is one village and all people are the same inside.  Look past outward differences and let our hearts unite with love. That is the only right thing to do.

Cathy maroon

Collage and Cake

Most of the things that I’d made to sell in the Rosebud Country Store at Wheeler Farm where I work have sold, so it’s been time to do some re-stocking.   I still have several children’s upcycled denim-bibbed aprons to make (they all sold), but I wanted to start with something fall-ish, nostalgic and easy.  What I didn’t expect is how much fun they’d be and what instant gratification!  Although my first love is crazy quilting, CQ is definitely not quick!   

On a recent walk one evening, Bruce and I headed over to the Farm instead of our usual 3-mile route through the neighborhood.  There I gathered twigs (for hanging collages) and some assorted grasses (foxtails, cattails).  Bruce ate wild grapes.  :-)    I gathered up my old laces - just the bits and bobs that were either leftovers or in pieces too small to sell.  Some vintage rayon seam binding got a coffee bath to stain it slightly.  After I wrung it out and it dried, I loved the scrunched look and decided to leave it that way.

The next step was to find a good picture of the farmhouse and play with it.  I decided on sepia with a black matte.  I had to print it on paper a couple times to get it right - at first it was too dark, even for my original intentions of making sinister, Halloween-y themes.  I decided instead to keep these rather light-hearted in feel, with a nostalgic, historic look.   There are other plans for the more macabre images I’ve collected, LOL.

So these are the first two I came up with.  The picture were before I added the twine for hanging.  I was rather pleased, although I’m still questioning the foxtails (or whatever they are) in the one above.  I think I’ll leave them out of the others and just use them instead for fall decorations around my house or office.

So, I have a question, which do yo think looks better - the black or the brown lettering?  Or is either OK?   Other sentiments I’ve come up with are “Yesteryear”, “Times Past”,  and the like.   But using the “Wheeler” ties it in to our farm and makes it a travel souvenir for the many visitors we get from all over the world, so I’ll probably do some of each type.

My plan for the weekend (after a visit to Farmer’s Market this morning) is to pick grapes (some of our varieties are ready) and then to make a dozen more of these.  Then I start on some sachets (the pumpkin-scented potpourri is ready) and perhaps a couple macabre altered bottles.  Then some aprons and..... MY BATHROBE!!  Yikes!  It’s been cold in the mornings, and I don’t like wearing Bruce’s ugly man-plaid!
And then another Art Nouveau block to stitch and preparations for the CQI Retreat in 2 1/2 weeks!

Oh, real quick..... here is a picture of a Day of the Dead pillow I made, too.  Had some fabric left over and figured this was a good time and way to use it.

And finally, here is a picture of London eating some of her birthday cake last weekend. Again, I was too busy with family to really take more than a couple pictures, and for some reason I’m the only designated photographer.  Why is that??  Anyway, she appears to have leftover strawberries on her arm, too, LOL.

Have a nice weekend and enjoy this glorious autumn weather!

Cathy maroon

Monday, September 6, 2010

Etsy Cottage Style Market Mondays

Today I'm linking with Etsy Cottage Style's Market Monday!  Please click on the banner above to see a list of other participants!  

You can find my work on Etsy, (link FINALLY in my sidebar).
Cathy maroon

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Art Nouveau CQ Block

As you may know,  I’m participating in an Art Nouveau round robin in Crazy Quilting International.  I just completed my third block (two more to go); this one is for Leslie.  It’s a 6” square block.

Leslie said she loves Alphonse Mucha, probably the most notable of the Art Nouveau era painters.  So on her lovely neutral block I added a silk print of a lady in gown out in the fall garden having a glass of wine.  I love this print and the colors.  As I was thinking about how to proceed, I looked out in my garden and saw our grape arbor.  The grapes are slower than usual this year (cool, rainy, spring and summer was late to arrive), but they are getting fat...  Voila!  The woman definitely needed a grape arbor.  After all, the wine had to come from somewhere!

So I “assembled” an arbor from hand-dyed lace.  This is the golden lace that I dye with potassium permanganate and sell in my Etsy shop.   To that I added grape vines with bead and silk ribbon leaves and seed bead grape clusters.

The chain-stitched tree that extends around the top of the block added much of the rounded element of Mucha paintings.  The rest was added by another piece of lace “grass at the bottom right.  The bottom left area was first painted with a light wash of fabric paint, then silk floss grass and silk ribbon foliage were added.   I toyed with adding wispy ribbons to M’Lady’s dress (stumpwork), but was afraid that would bring her too forward.  And she needs to stay back, beyond the arbor.....

This was a fun (really fun!) block to work on.  Next up is a block for Hideko and I look forward to that.  However, I have to sew myself a bathrobe first.  It’s getting cool here in the mornings and my favorite ol’ bathrobe bit the dust last year, but I lovingly saved some of the romantic pink floral-and-paisley flannel for some project someday..... LOL.    After the bathrobe are some fall-themed things for the Wheeler Farm Country Store, THEN the next Art Nouveau block.   I hope to have that all done in the next couple weeks so I can spend the last half of the month preparing for our CQI Retreat in Colorado at the end of the month.

And finally, yesterday was DGD London’s first birthday.  Wow, how fast can a year fly by???  When she was born, I was sick with the flu and didn’t get to see her for over 10 days.  THIS year I spent most of the day with her and her dad (my son).  She was a bit cranky (unusual for her) in the morning, but was mostly good natured as we hauled her around to the attorney’s office (a custody thing), then to lunch and errands.   One of the errands was intended to be getting her one year pictures taken, and we had her cute little dress and everything packed along.  But we were afraid she was too cranky, so she was still in her ok-to-get-messy playclothes.

In the afternoon at home, London was happy as could be, playing with her things and letting Grammy read to her.  I was too busy to get any good pictures, but did snap this one in the attorney’s office.   If she had been smiling, you could see her four new front teeth.

This weekend we are having a family gathering to officially celebrate her birthday.  We’ll get some cute pictures of her and her party then, I’m sure!

Cathy maroon