Monday, July 30, 2012

Quilty Finish

One down, four to go.  Christmas quilts for the grandkids.

This is Abbie’s quilt.  Abbie will be 3 in October and loves yellow.  This quilt was done primarily in Apple of my Eye and Chevron fabrics from Riley Blake.  Simple line quilted.  It finished out at 46” x 60”.  The pattern is called Hopscotch, which I bought from Etsy seller Olive Tree Patterns 

Our air conditioner went out last week, and we were without COOL for 3 days until the new unit was installed.  I will forever think of that when I see this quilt.  I finished hand sewing the binding to the back while they were installing the central air.  I had a fan blowing on me as I stitched; the house was 86 degrees.

Now off to finish my July CQ Journal project block.

Also, the latest issue of CQMagOnline is live.  Check it out here.

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quilting Time

I have started working on the 5 (maybe 6) quilts that will be Christmas presents for our grandkids.  The for-sure 5 are for the toddlers; the sixth one will be for Lauren if she wants one.  Lauren is 8 and is the DGD I made a play outfit for back in May.  

Needless to say, I have been on a fabric buying spree.  But I am only buying what I need to finish specific projects. So far.  And yes, I am still trying to destash, and to that end I use my cotton coordinates wherever I can in sewing, crazy quilting or in regular quilting. And my extra fancies (bins-ful) are selling madly in my Etsy shop.   I am almost sold out of my Boho purses, so will be making some more of those in August, thus further reducing some of my home dec fabrics.   But I digress.

Here is a finished quilt top for Abbie, who will be three in November.  She loves yellow and pink.

The fabrics are mostly from the Apple of My Eye collection (one of my current favorites) by Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Fabrics.  I also added in some Riley Blake Chevrons and a few other pieces here and there from my stash.

This was from last Friday.  It is now 75% quilted with a cotton batting and a Minky backing in yellow. I will finish the quilting today and plan to bind and wash it tomorrow. Should have finished pictures in a couple days.

I am also done piecing a quilt for DGS Hunter in the “Peak Hour” fabric collection of trucks and cars. I need to square it up and will begin quilting it in the next couple days.

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My July CQJP block is more than half done, and that is also on my list to finish and post by the weekend. As you know, I have a vintage needlepoint piece that I salvaged which will be the centerpiece for the 12 blocks I am stitching.

Black Floral CQ by Cathy Kizerian - in process (pinned only)

Susan Elliott over at Plays With Needles is not only a wonder with a needle, but also follows and reports on couture fashion every season.   It appears that needlework (needlepoint, embroidery and more) is playing prominently in many of the lines coming out of the best-known fashion houses this fall.   If you haven’t already, you must check out her post here.

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Our vegetable garden is thriving this year. I swear we can almost sit on the patio and watch it grow.

This was last week; there is NO dirt to be seen now; just pumpkin plants!

Lots and lots of bees this year (see at right). We are thrilled!

The beans are twisting up the corn

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

The grapes are prolific this year, too

In the front yard, the flowerpots are looking a bit weather-worn, although I water and snip them regularly.  Look at the lilies and alyssum!

The hanging pots have been real troopers, and seem to really appreciate a regular snipping of their trailing legs. I hate to cut off perfectly good blooms, but in the long run it creates more and extends the life of the arrangement.

There is so much deadheading and weeding to do in the garden, but the heat is on, and it is even too hot to work comfortably in the early mornings.  So, things will just have to mosey on for another month until the Dog Days of Summer are over.

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Finally, my (grown, adult) kids told me that our old dog, Herschel, age 12 passed away. He was a Husky and German Shepherd mix, and went to live with Scott, my ex-husband when we divorced in 2002. We are all sad about Herschel, and it really gave me a wake-up call about Boomer, my dear sweet cat, who turned 17 last week.  He is in excellent health, and at his last vet visit (about 9 months  ago), the vet said if he hadn’t known Boomer was older, he would have guessed him to be only about 10.

As a side note, that vet, Dr. Dan Good, was a friend of ours and the most amazing animal lover I have ever known. Dogs who hated other vets LOVED Dr. Dan. He would get down on the floor and play with them and become their friend before trying to examine them. He donated his time to rescue shelters and performed complex surgeries to save animals, often at little or no charge.  He would work with psychologically damaged cats and dogs to place them in compatible homes, and was generally known and loved my thousands of people in the valley.  It was always a comfort to me that when Boomer’s time came, Dr. Dan would be there with us to guide us through.  But last month Dr. Dan left this world. There was a memorial service for him at Wheeler Farm, and I walked there to attend. Good thing; every available parking spot was taken, and people were parking on the grass and in the street.  Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects.  And although I know he would wish us to all continue visiting his clinic (his sister is office manager), no one will ever take his place.  But I keep thinking that he must’ve had a Hero’s Welcome at the Rainbow Bridge.  And he is there for Herschel, and will be there for Boomer, too, someday.

Cathy maroon

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fifteen Seconds

Fifteen seconds of Fame.  Bruce had his this week.  I only got 3.4 seconds, but that is just fine with me, LOL.

The Leonardo (The Leo, for short), a science/technology and art museum where Bruce works was featured this week on a local Fox news station.  Of the 6 segments they did, Bruce and his newly-developed tinkering studio were one of them.

You can watch it (or not) here:

And then I was grocery shopping and picked up some of Bruce`s favorite cheese (an aged sharp white cheddar). The Tillamook (a brand of cheese; they are a national cooperative of farmers) were there and stopped me and asked if they could take my picture.  What? Me?  Um… OK, I guess.  Smile.  Click. And then they emailed the picture to me.  Whatever!

They also gave me a little button to pin on that said “I Loaf You” (get it? A LOAF of cheese).  I gave it to Bruce when he got home from work, as it was our 9th wedding anniversary that day.  And then we went out to dinner.

No cheese, just fish.  :-)

Yesterday I pieced a quilt for one of my grandkids for Christmas.  Today I will square it up and hopefully pin baste it.  Can’t decide whether to begin quilting it or move on to piecing the next one. Decisions, Decisions.

And since we do not want a pictureless post, and it has been as hot as hell (literally) here and around the country, I thought I would just insert a picture from winter before last. A shot from Wheeler Farm, a block from my house in January of 2011.

Let’s pretend it’s cool outside!   
Feel better now?

Until next time,
Cathy maroon

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More CQJP Blocks - and RAIN!!!

We were so excited to wake up this morning and see threatening clouds!  It has been so hot and dry here, like much of the Western US.  And sure enough, by about 9 am the rains came.  It was relatively warm, so Bruce and I took our coffee and iPads out to the patio, and I snatched my camera as well.  While we listened to the pitter-patter of rain on the patio roof (in our pajamas!), I snapped some garden pictures.

Our healthy pumpkin plants are blossoming

Corn, pumpkins and green beans (and yes, a few little weeds)

Every once in awhile, Bruce likes to plant Indian-style. The corn (this year is Indian corn and some edible corn) is planted in a circle, with green beans planted in a circle around the corn, on which they will climb.  The pumpkins are scattered around to grow on the ground in between.

If everything sprouts, it is a beautiful thing, but as you can see, everything did NOT sprout, so we have some gaping holes.  This year we will re-install a chicken-wire fence where the rocks are for next year`s beans.   Luckily, we are participating in two community gardens this year, so we will (and have been getting) get our tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, garlic, cabbage, eating corn, etc. from there.

But the grape vines (above and below) are doing nicely.  Look at the bunches of grapes that are growing along the north side of our patio (below).  The vines and grapes form a green curtain.

The vines mainly grow along the west (latticed) side of the patio, shading us from direct sun and giving us a lovely green seating area on the patio. We have lights and a fan out there, too. I can see from this picture that I need to hang my wind chimes!

Evenutally, I came inside and showered and changed into real clothes.  My first order of business was to get out my May CQJP and finish it up. It had been finished and was shown here, but I ripped out the heavy silk ribbon and replaced it with some light stitching. The silk ribbon at the end of the pink row of stitching looks dumb in the picture (I guess it needs more tacking down), but it is a double gathered bloom in person.

This is my June CQ Journal Project Block, below.  I did do the cable-chain stitch for TAST, but need to get caught up with other stitches in the July block.

Below are the May and June blocks together.

And this is the entire project to date, just pinned of course.  The missing block is the July block, which I am about to start.  The positions of the blocks are not set in stone; once they are all finished I will play with their arrangement.

But today I couldn’t resist auditioning some trim for the inside border. I am not sure if I will have enough, but I can always find something similar.  What do you think??

Well, now I am off to paint some laces to restock my Etsy shop. I sold out of a lot of stuff with the sale that ended yesterday, and I am thrilled.  :-)

Today I love:
The sound of the rain
The smell of the rain
The sight of Boomer curled up asleep with his paw over his eyes
The taste of fresh apricots
The feel of hands that have not been numb today.

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Have a Safe and Happy July 4

This year there have been so many wildfires here in the Western US. I am petrified that the tinder-dry grass and countryside is going to be assaulted yet again. Americans love to observe their Independence Day with fireworks, fire crackers, guns and the like. It seems that most people believe this patriotic holiday cannot be celebrated without lighting a match or firing something. *Sigh*

But I will step down off my soapbox. 

Here are some lovely, gentle and G-rated patriotic images for your collection.  Just right-click and either open in a new window or save as is. 

May your Holiday be safe, sane and full of love, laughter and joy!

Cathy maroon

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Arts Festival

I should start right off by saying I thought the Utah Arts Festival was awful, and so were my pictures.  It was so hot, we were there in the closing hours of the last day, and I was really not in the mood.  But all that negativity aside, I truly believe that most boutiques and Farmers Markets I go to have a better variety of wares.

I was impressed with these sand sculptures, though. They were created as one piece, two sides.  Back in the day (in the 1980’s and 1990’s) when I was a mall marketing director, we used to have sand sculpture contests on an annual basis.  This is a lot more complicated and larger than anything we ever had.

Then there was this gentleman, below. I don’t know what he was doing/proving/saying/singing, but he was a fun photo op.  Also, I deduced that he must be crazy; it was over 100 degrees, and look at what he’s wearing.

We watched the belly dancers for awhile.  Sorry I couldn’t get a better picture; we were not close at all, so I was using the zoom feature.

One corner of the sprawling venue (one city block wide and several city blocks long) abutted up to the old Salt Lake Library.  This building is now the home of The Leonardo, the science, technology and art museum where Bruce works.  I came uptown to meet him there, then when he got off work, we went to the Festival.  Again, it doesn’t look very crowded because this was a remote corner and it was near the end of the final day.

Here is a closer picture of The Leonardo, with its odd logo. 

And here is Bruce wearing his Leonardo staff shirt. Their color is hot pink!  He is checking out the dulcimers in this booth.  Bruce plays the dulcimer in addition to guitar, banjo and harmonica.  He also says that if they ever have an older version of American Idol (he proposes “American Geezer”), he will audition!

Today, Sunday, we are waiting for my son Shane and DGD London to come over. London will swim in our little kiddie pool for awhile, then we will all take Shane to dinner for his 33rd birthday, which was yesterday. 

Take care and keep cool! (unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, then keep warm!)

Cathy maroon