Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Victorian Lady Block

I finished my block for Connie in our Victorian Ladies round robin for Crazy Quilting International. The pictures are of Connie’s female ancestors. When I was stitching on this block, I looked up her name and it was Helena. So appropriate, because it was my late mother’s name!

After I mailed it off to the next person in the rotation, I remembered that I had intended to add a little spider and web, a Victorian symbol of good luck.

The block was wedge-shaped, and will be one of six made into a circle when complete. What a lovely idea!

I am nearing completion on another non-sewing, non-stitching project.  I am totally redo-ing a little footstool that I purchased a couple years ago at the thrift store.  Now that my living room is together and Boomer’s my new chair is in place, I really wanted to get the footstool done.  It’s already been taken apart and painted. The fabric is selected and interfaced, the foam is cut. But. The base of the lid had some rotten parts. Oy. So Bruce is out getting a little piece of chipboard to replace it.  About five years ago we recovered our patio chairs (wrought iron ice cream chairs) and replaced all the chipboard seats before recovering them. I though we still had lots of chipboard left over, but *someone* has been using it, bit by bit, in his laboratory. That’s OK, it keeps him out of trouble!

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beginning a Round Robin, Ending the Harvest

Without putting too fine a point on it, Autumn always seems to be a time of endings (nice weather, long sunny days, fresh veggies and fruits) and beginnings (school, new projects, new clothes).

Our little personal garden went out with a bang this year. A colorful ending to a educational (for the grandkids) and delicious year.

These were the pumpkins we picked last week - the last of them. That was after sharing with the grandkids and the neighbors. We thought we only had a “few” left. HA!  I’ve been giving them to passers-by and used a few to decorate my house inside and on the front porch area (see below).

I’ve also tied some of the dried cornstalks to the front pillars (not pictured).  The red and green grapes have made great snacks for the last month or more, and these were the last of the large bunches. The rest I left on the vines for the bees (gone now since the frost) and the birds. The purple Concord grapes in the yellow colander is another batch that I picked on that morning. Later they were juiced into about 4 quarts of grape juice and bottled.  Yum!!  We got almost 12 quarts off the one bush this year.

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My latest “beginning” is a round robin for Crazy Quilting International.  This one is called “I Love Paris”.  Sound familiar?  It was my idea because I wanted MORE after doing my Paris purse a couple years ago.  (see posts here).

Among those posts is one that explains how I do my piecing. This one was more complicated than my purse, and I had to add that central lavender piece (vertical, curvy, to the right of the toile) because I didn’t leave large enough selvages on my pieces.  But it finally came together with some hand stitching and adding trim to cover some raw edges. Luckily, the many imperfections will be covered up by the embellishments!

This is in the mail to Theresa, and I look forward to stitching on their blocks! 

Until next time,
Cathy maroon

Friday, October 5, 2012

Another Little Quilt

In between stitching for my round robins and the CQ Journal Project, I am trying to complete a half dozen quilts before Christmas. Sounds impressive, eh?  It isn’t really - these are small, very easy quilts.  The idea was to get me back into quilting with easy patterns for the grandkids’ quilts.

Bruce helping Hunter with Pumpkin

Hunter checks out our pumpkin patch

Cars and trucks Christmas quilt for Hunter

Detail view

Minky backing showing quilting

Below, I just love our orange front door, especially at this time of year when it makes a great backdrop for an autumn wreath!

I’ve started winterizing the yard, so most of the flowering annuals are gone and things are looking a bit bare.  The weather is still clear, gorgeous and warm during the days, but evenings are nippy.

The Japanese maple is also showing off for autumn.

The entryway looks so bare without all my flower-filled Mexican Talavera pots.  Well, I had to keep one there for another couple weeks . . .

Next time I am out in the garden, I will tackle this front flower bed.  I want to enjoy that delphinium as long as I can and pretend it’s still summer!

There are a lot of autumn themed laces in my Etsy shop.  Below I have just a sampling.  There are Christmas appliques and laces, too (we crafters like to get an early start).  Enjoy the fall colors, LOL!!

Cathy maroon

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crazy Retreat - er, Crazy Quilting Retreat

We had our 5th annual Crazy Quilting International Retreat in northern Utah last month.  I was the official organizer (since I am one of the owner/moderators of the group), and our hostess was my friend Bev Forsling, who lives in West Point, UT.  Her home is a large acreage with a barn (whose loft area is a glorious, light-filled sewing area).  Thirteen of us gathered there from Wednesday, September 12 - Sunday, September 16.

On Thursday morning, our first official outing was to visit two wonderful needlework stores in downtown historic Ogden. This first shop is called Shepherd’s Bush, and it is a refurbished building that is over a hundred years old.

Above:  Diane and Susan are looking at displays.  Below, Shannon is amazed at all the nooks and crannies filled with stitchy goodness.

From Shepherd’s Bush, we walked a couple city blocks to The Needlepoint Joint, a huge store with amazing threads, silk ribbons, yarns, and books of every needlework type. There were even foreign needlework books, and several ladies dropped a lot of coin there!  (no pictures though).

Back at the house that afternoon, Gerry Krueger, who served as our chef, share a laugh with Carol Kramer.

We celebrated Carol’s birthday with a YUMMY cake from Costco and a round of Happy Birthday!!  Isn’t Carol’s CQ vest lovely?  She made it herself.  

That night we had the Stash Dash.  The Fabric Fairy dropped off lots of goodies earlier, but did not make a special appearance this year as she has in the past.

This is Bev, our Hostess with the Mostest.

Susie Wolfe taught a color theory class to everyone in the barn on Friday.  And she generously shared gifts of color wheels, a workbook and acetate sheets (to view color values) with the students.

We went thrifting on Friday morning, and on Friday night we played a HILARIOUS game of “Who Am I?”   Similar to What’s My Line, everyone bluffed their way through secret facts given by other members.  Ask Connie about how she swooped down on a glider and killed the water mocasins (snakes) with a banjo!!

On Friday evening, we had another wonderful friend visit, Cat Baumgartner.  She is a friend of Gerry K’s and mine, a former member of CQI, and a super quilter with a great Etsy shop.

Below, students Diane, Connie and Shari are working on some of the flowers I taught in the flower class on Saturday.  We ruched, folded, gathered, sewed, and created several wonderful flowers that we can use in crazy quilting - or handbag decoration, brooches, etc.

Below:  Susan, Gayle, Shannon.

Susie Wolfe and Gayle Schipper

On Saturday evening, we had a crazy gift swap.  I am below showing the  box I won. It was handmade by Carol and contained 6 handmade fabric postcards and a wood-turned pen by her husband Woody.

Gerry Hookstra won a lovely vintage sewing basket. 

Bev (and Teddy, her cute doggie) sit with Susan on the couch.  

Carol was always laughing about something! What a great sense of humor!

Colleen hams it up for the camera while Carol and Bev look on.

This was my table at the vendor “mall”. 

Diane buys something from Connie.  This looks like a staged picture, but it’s not.

Colleen and Diane visited at my house for several days after the retreat, and this is a picture of them in the corn (at our community garden) with their tomatoes.

The official portrait, generously taken by Gene Hookstra, husband of Gerry Hookstra.   Gerry will be our hostess in Colorado next year.

Top - bottom, left to right:
Colleen Anderson, Gerry Hookstra
Connie Kalina and Carol Kramer
Gayle Schipper, Cathy Kizerian, Gerry Krueger
Susie Wolf and Shannon Corson
Diane Matheson, Bev Forsling, Susan Bonilla and Shari Jensen

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Victorian Ladies and Snowballs

In the Crazy Quilting International group, we are still trading Snowballs.  Snowballs are mini works that friends trade with each other (similar to ATCs, or Artist Trading Cards). My request was for 4” circles in bright colors. This is what my friend Rita in Kansas made for me:

And in turn, Rita requested a hexagon in pink, cream and green with a butterfly or dragonfly. This is what I made for her:

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I am also participating in a Victorian Ladies DYB (Do Your Own Block) round robin.   My first block was one of Gerry H’s.  She sent six blocks; each participant choses one block (6x6” square) to decorate, then passes them all to the next person in the rotation.  When the blocks return to their owner, five of six are complete.

Anyway, Gerry had some lovely images, and I selected the lady in purple. The embellishments include vintage tatting surrounding the central image, a stumpwork (3-D) parasol and purse, a fan, some stitching and silk ribbon work. I attempted to repeat her fabric colors (all her blocks use the same colors) in the embellishments. This was a really fun block to work on.

Until next time,
Cathy maroon