Monday, February 28, 2011

This Squirrel Wears Mink

I just finished my round robin block for Helina in Finland.  I love trees and leaves and most autumn motifs and colors, so this was a really fun block. Rita had gone before me on another block and done a tree, so I thought it would be nice to add another tree and leaves on my block as well.

After stitching the tree and adding the silkie of little kids burning leaves (AS IF!), I just kept thinking about doing a squirrel.  I’ve done that motif before, only with a silkie and a mink tail added.  See this post.  So, here is how my block for Helina finished up.

Yes, that is real mink.  I’ve had a few scraps laying around for awhile, and by golly, I am going to use them.  Sure as h*** am not going to wear them.   There are some vintage leaves tucked into the tree here and there, as well as some lovely metal leaves that Allie Aller gave me a couple years ago.  

So, the stitching on the squirrel is not my best; I ended up doing this over three days in hour-long blocks of time.  My eyes just go wonky on me when I do a lot of close work. I have had several eye surgeries, but that’s a story for another time. I did, however, make an appointment to see the eye doctor and get new glasses before the CQ Adventure next month.

Also, I just reserved my classes for Val Bothell’s Victorian Stitchery Retreat in Wichita in November.  You have know idea how thrilled I am to be able to take a 2-day class from Carole Samples!!  It has been one of my goals to learn from this great lady and amazing stitcher.  I will also (finally!) get to take a Candace Kling course on fabric flowers and Allie Aller’s Curved Piecing Class.  My dear friend Gerry is teaching a button-painting workshop there one evening as well.  My only regret is that I can`t be in two places at once because I really want to take JBM’s Fabric Painting class (manipulation to make land- or seascapes). But she lives in Colorado, and that is close, so I hope to someday attend a retreat at her studio.    

Finally, if you haven’t yet bought Allie Aller’s book, “Allie Aller’s Crazy Quilting”, what are you waiting for??  My copy arrived while I was at Gerry’s last week, but I got to read Gerry’s copy.  When I talked to my husband on the phone that evening (he had met Allie in 2006 when we were all at the John Campbell School), he said, “Your book from Allie arrived today.  I went ahead and opened it. I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to see it.  It is a really professional, well-done book and looks like it has a lot of good information.”   Of course, I didn’t expect him to be gushing about how LOVELY it was, but in his manly way, he said just about the same thing!  :-)

Cathy maroon

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Round Robin Work and 300 Posts

First of all, thank you all for your wonderful support and friendship!  The community of bloggers is filled with so many wonderful women (and men), and I want you to know that I truly appreciate YOU, my readers.   Why am I bringing this up now?  Well,  I just realized that this is my 301st post! Woo-hoo!  Time for a giveaway to celebrate!  Let me think on it for a couple days (and gather up some goodies to photograph) and I will announce it officially then. Any ideas are welcome, LOL!  :-)

Meantime, here are a couple things I worked on while at Gerry’s last week.  The first is a Tea Time block for PeggySue.  She had appliqued a teacup on each of her six lovely blocks.  The hardest part was selecting which one to work on! It’s a DYB (do your own block), so all the work is mine.

In our Steampunk traditional RR, it was my turn to work on Meg’s block. Betty had come before me and done the work pictured at the bottom. This lovely blue block was pieced for Meg as a Christmas Cracker wrapper, and so at 17x11” is quite a bit larger than the standard 12x12” block.  It probably will not return home completed, but that will give Meg a chance to add her own work to it!

My part was three seams at the top and the big vintage button motif.  It was intentionally placed over a Chinese medallion printed on the fabric in that patch, which is really not steampunk (nor was it in Meg’s preferred metallic colors of copper or silver/pewter).  Some of the gold shows through the heavy lace trim, but that helps to add a bit of spark.

And I am really looking forward to the next round in the Steampunk RR, so that I can work on ANYTHING BUT BLUE!!!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Creative Whirlwind

My week at Gerry’s beautiful homestead was way too short!  Gerry (Olderrose) is not just a creative stitcher and crazy quilter, as you probably know.  She is a painter, artist extraordinaire, and a fantastic chef as well.  We had her delicious lamb stew almost every day for lunch, and I told her that if there was a way to take it on the plane, I would have!!   :-)
Gerry’s artwork in her kitchen
She had me serve as her sous chef, and as such I learned how to make a couple tasty dishes that I will be treating Bruce with this week.  And Ron (Gerry’s DH) was generous with his wines and Stilton cheese, so the dining was fit for a king!  My only regret is that I didn’t photograph the tasty dishes she prepared with such flair!

But I did get lots of photos of Morris and my dear Molly.  Molly is normally Ron’s dog, but she and I became fast friends and cuddlemates.  
Molly braves the snow to “visit” the birds
Don’t let Morris’ innocent expression (“Who, me?”) fool you!  This little guy is as mischievous as he is cute!

Antique-ing in Coeur d’Alene

Gerry treated me to a wonderful lunch in Coeur d’Alene.  Great burgers and the best apple cider I have ever tasted!  

This was the (lovely but cold!) view from our table. It was only a half hour drive to get there, but an hour and a half to get back once the big snowstorm moved in.

 Ron and Molly

As Gerry leads the way to the barn, our four-footed friends are never far behind!

Not a good photo, but it does show some of Gerry’s whimsical decorating in what was the gift shop area of the barn...

We braved the weather to visit the barn every day.  The propane heater kept us warm on all except the most frigid day.

But even when the temperatures hovered in the single digits, we managed to get a lot of “work” done!

 This is the view from Gerry’s stitching area and chair 
Grosbeaks at the feeder
The bell, wheel and barrows stand as snow-covered reminders of warmer days

We were able to spend hours and hours every day stitching, talking, laughing and generating ideas.  So many exciting things are happening in the CQ world now like the upcoming CQ Adventure in CT, Allie’s book and Pat’s magazine) that the ideas (both good and ridiculous) and conversation kept us in regular fits of laughter!

Dear Gerry and I pose for a shot as Ron graciously wielded the camera. Up until then, it was me taking a picture of Gerry or Gerry taking one of me.  What wonderful memories we made!

 Thank you, Gerry, for sharing your home and your friendship!

Cathy maroon

Friday, February 25, 2011


Neener neener!   :-)

This was our first day out in Gerry’s Barn, as we began to sort and chop fabrics.  Some for Gerry, some for me, some for CQI Retreat (Stash Dash) and some for .... the garbage...  :-)

Above:  Gerry    
Below:  Me (Blurry. But unlike pictures of the Loch Ness Monster, I think this proves conclusively that I WAS THERE!)

The spoils of Day One.

Gerry was the most gracious and generous hostess.  And such fun!  We had a fantastic time!!  Tomorrow I will blog about everything, but just had to tease you first with these!

Cathy maroon

Sunday, February 20, 2011

CQ Adventure Name Tag

While in Arizona, I finished the name tag that Susan and Maureen sent for for An Adventure in Crazy Quilting in April.   They printed out all the attendees’ names and then pieced little blocks for everyone.  The tags were sent to us with all the final event and class information last month.

At first, the colors were daunting to me, as I usually work in warm, rich, bright colors.  But something inside just clicked as I began gathering potential embellishments.  The peach and grayish seafoam with gold turned out to be really lovely and fun, and I found myself with so many ideas.

The name tag will be placed into a plastic sleeve to clip on ourselves when we arrive, so I dispensed with trim on the outer edges.  Looking at it now, it may be a bit thick with the cameo on it.  But I trust it will all work out.  AND, all I did was tack things on (no embroidery) so it went fast.   Yes, I admit I am lazy sometimes.  :-)

Will post again next weekend, as I am off to visit Gerry in Spokane next week!

Cathy maroon
Please join us for our fourth annual Crazy Quilting International gathering, SEPTEMBER STITCH SHENANIGANS!!

WHEN:      Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011 (5:00 pm) to 
                 Mon, Sept 26, 2011 (11:00 am)
                 5 nights accommodation, Classes Thurs - Sun 
WHERE:   Estes Park, CO
                YMCA - large private cabin
WHO:       YOU are invited to join in the fun!

This year is jam packed with lots of fun activities, classes and workshops, and much more!!!

Martha Green
De Crow
Gerry Krueger

We will also feature:

Crazy Gift Exchange Game - sometimes called a Chinese Auction

Stash Dash -  tables-full of stash, yours for the taking!
Show & Tell - everyone can share their own CQ work
A Vendor Mall - inquire how you can sell your wares!
Ugly Tie Swap - an optional way to build your tie stash
Round-tables - where members share favorite stitches with each other
Workshops - dyeing, beading cabochons, Angelina fibers and more 

Approximate costs are $255 for lodging, $100 to cover teachers and, of course, your own funds for shopping and meals.  This is a phenomenal deal!!

Spaces are limited, so be sure to make YOUR reservation now!!!
For more information, contact Leslie Ehrlich

Cathy maroon

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mail Treasure and Other Stuff

Back in December I entered a giveaway on my friend Ingeborg’s Blog, Madame des Fleurs.  She was giving away a lovely cross-stich and silk ribbon embroidered Christmas stocking.  Well, I won and Ingeborg mailed it off on December 28.  It did not arrive in January, and by that time we had both figured it was lost in the mail.  Usually the mail from The Netherlands to Utah only takes a week.   However, when I returned home from my Arizona trip, it was waiting for me in the mail.

Look at this gorgeous stocking!

Needless to say, it will receive a place of honor in my Christmas decorating next December.  

In the meantime, I am totally enchanted with the colors and attention to detail that Ingeborg used.

Every stitch was a labor or love, and I know I will enjoy it as much Ingeborg did for many years.  What a lucky girl I am!
Thank you, dear Ingeborg!

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

Yesterday I began packaging up some of my Golden Laces.  These are the lovely rayon venice lace trims and motifs that I dye with potassium permanganate.  Some of these will be listed in my Etsy shop when I get back from my visit to see Gerry next week.  The rest will come with me to An Adventure in  Crazy Quilting in April to sell.

In the meantime, I am off to piece a few blocks and begin gathering CQ supplies and stitching projects for my visit to Gerry’s.

Cathy maroon

What I Did On Vacation...

Sounds like a grade school paper, doesn’t it?   I was in Arizona for a week, as you may remember.  Got home last weekend and have been playing catch-up, working (Farm) and tending London, and preparing for my next trip.  More about that in a bit.

Visiting family south of Tucson was such fun.  It was cool-ish for our first couple days (in the high fifties/low sixties) but soon jumped up into the seventies with clear blue skies and no wind.  GORGEOUS weather for the annual Tubac Arts Festival.

Before Festival started (on Wednesday), we took the time to shop our favorite stores.

Bruce checks out some interesting ironwork

Lovely outdoor pieces.  We didn’t buy any metalwork this year for our patio, but did purchase another large colorful Talavera pot for our front stops and an iron and tile patio side table.  

I thought these chandelier-like hanging baskets were awesome.  Maybe next year?

Lovely furnishings with a definite Mexican/Spanish influence.  Lots of iron and metalwork, pottery, large scale sizing and southwest/Spanish mission motifs.

Ironwork depictions of the evolution of humans.  Bruce stands first at the end...

Then insisted that perhaps his place was at the beginning.  With a coffee mug?

My brother-in-law Dennis owns and runs the Tubac Trailer Tether, which is the local mobile home park and recreational vehicle campground.  He also sells propane and has public laundry facilities.  He is also a Hoarder.  It started when he began recycling everything, which is great, and then re-using as much of it as possible.  But now .....  well, I didn’t dare take a picture of the inside of his home, but this is part of his patio....   The Tether, however, is neat as a pin ...  Go figure...

This is Dennis’ cat Lola, the resident mouser.  She is, however, very smart and knows to stay close to home at night to avoid the wild javelinas (boars) and coyotes.  

Horse-pulled carriage passes on the street

Festival Begins!  And the crowds arrive ...

We stopped in at Quilts, Ltd. as we always do...

Detail of lovely peacock art quilt

Crosses are a popular Mexican motif

An interesting quilt pieced solely of highly embellished pieces of sari silk.

 Quilts, Ltd. was so busy, it was hard to get in and out!

My sister-in-law Annette (not usually stern-looking!) poses with a wonderful piece of art she purchased.  The woman who does these pieces dries all the flowers, then airbrushes them with color so that they never fade.  The green background is just a piece of tissue paper held to the back for purposes of the picture.  Like the rest of the pieces hanging on the wall, it is in clear glass.  Annette plans to hang it in her bright yellow kitchen.

At The Feminine Mystique, a shop of all women artists that is one of my favorites (and I have blogged about it before here), there were some wonderful things.

More of artist Gretchen Lima’s dolls

Fiber artist Susan Waldron felts her silk tunics and scarves with Suri alpaca fibers.  She owns her own alpacas and dyes the fibers and fabrics.  

A typical outdoor display of pottery and ironwork.


DH Bruce (green shirt) and our cousin Kim look at these lovely painted coins.  Kim bought a gorgeous hand-pained coin pendant for her sister.

The Husband Drop-off Point (clever!) was right next to the Daddy Day Care.  Both were well attended!

Friday, February 11, was perfect.  It was warm, clear and the sky was achingly blue.  Cousin Kim and I spent the entire day outside - it was just too beautiful NOT to!!

The local historic church which is part of the Presidio. 

 The Presidio dates back to 1752.  The town of Tubac sprang up around it long before the United States was even a country.  And the first newspaper in the southwest was printed here.

 I had to snap a picture of some of the stately saguaro cactus on the way home.

 These were taken from the passenger seat at 75mph with my new little Canon camera.

Cathy maroon