Saturday, February 27, 2016

Brown, Baggin’ It

Hello!  This is the last Saturday of February, which means it’s time for me to wrap up my progress on BROWN scraps for the 2016 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Angela over at So Scrappy has the weekly roundup of progress, so if you have (or like to look at) scrappy goodness, why not join us for Scrappy Saturday?

As predicted, Brown Mama Cat had her litter of 12 kittens.  Here they are sewed up into a 24” square, as I did last month with blue.  Because I took several of these to sew on while on vacation, some of the ears got mixed up or turned pink. :-)

And this month, Mama cat had a kitten that looked JUST LIKE HER!   Heck, I could’ve done a whole litter of just that fabric....

Moving on, I also sewed up 10 16-patch brown squares (with black and white centers). They hardly made a dent in my brown 2.5” squares.....

And I was good and also finished my 12 6” brown squares for the RSC16 Sampler. I loved stitching these blocks. I read that Angela had some odd lengths when she finished hers, so I measured mine.  They are supposed to finish at approximately 72” (73” including seam allowances).....

Well, mine finished (see below) at 74” and 74.5”.  Mmmmmm..... my scant 1/4” seams must be too scant.  I will have to come up with some solution for them, hehehe.....

I used all browns, counting my creams as light brown. And you’ll notice that several of the fabrics have pink accents.

And speaking of light browns with pink accents, I decided to go ahead and pull my fabrics together that fit the bill, and made a soft dresden (on the pale pink background of course) to add to that collection. The doily in the middle is age stained, and I love it so much just as it is.  The center pink yo-yo needs some tweaking, and it plus the doily are just pinned on. I’ll be finishing that up today.

Here is a close-up of some of the fabric detail.....

My final brown block tally for February is: 12 sampler blocks, 1 Dresden, 12 kitten blocks, 1 mama cat block, 3 rail fence vintage sheet blocks, 10 16-patch blocks. Total is 39 blocks. I still have too many brown scraps; maybe I should have made some brown crumb slabs. But oh well. I am ready to move on to another color!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Needed a Vacation from my Vacation

As I wrote the title of my post I thought of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it!”  I felt I needed a vacation so badly because I was sick of winter and the cold, nasty weather/air here in the Salt Lake Valley.  I felt as though it had been nose-to-the-grindstone sewing and cooking and housework and entertaining for weeks. Months. I cannot express how much I was looking forward to getting down to Tubac, AZ, where Bruce’s siblings all live. It is all the way south in AZ - south of Tucson and Green Valley even.

The weather was perfect. Low to mid eighties (F) all week. BUT.  There were too many of us cramped into the family double-wide mobile home that serves as our (free) accommodations. Five of us adults with one bathroom. I know this is the norm for some people, but Bruce and I live in a home with 3 bathrooms, so it was, um, different. And then there was the lack of privacy (except in our own bedroom). Too much family quibbling, even though we love them all dearly. And the kicker - we were (and are) sick. The cold that we had prior to leaving (that had seemed to abate for our 14-hour drive) came back with a vengeance and spread among all but (thankfully) our law-school-attending niece.

I did take daily walks in the glorious sunshine. The picture above is not much, I know, but it was the only one I snapped. It is looking at the Tubac Country Inn (orange roof) and the Tubac Trailer Tether (the rest of it continues quite a ways back and down the street) which Bruce’ brother Dennis owns. (Along with the laundromat and propane/camping areas)  The Arts Festival was fun, and we ate from there (instead of cooking) for the two days it was going. And then I got my usual souvenirs - T-shirts for Bruce and I, and some outdoor garden decorations. This year we got a tile table for the patio, a copper wall hanging of quail family, wind chimes and a covered Talavera butter dish. Usually I bring a planting pot home, but I have so many already.....(see posts here,  here and here).

Anyway, we are still sick and have been diagnosed with the 100-day virus. Bruce is still going to work, my cousin Carrie is on a 12-week FMLA leave for it (she works at a call center and has no voice!) and cousin Kim and I just have good and bad days. Mine are at home and hers are at work. This is a nasty bug, folks. Three months to go......

Anyway, let’s get on to some good stuff. Namely, sewing.

You may remember that I am doing two blocks per month through August for my Notting Hill Quilt.  One is the Sugar Block Club 2016 block of the month, which for February is a variation of the classic Log Cabin block.  Here is mine:

The second block I do every month is any interesting 12” block pattern I can decide on, and for this month my second block was Castles in the Air.

That brings me up to a total of 8 blocks now, and I need 20. So, it will be six more months of sewing 2 blocks per month. In August these will all be sashed and sewn together!

While in Tubac, I did do some sewing a couple times when I felt like it, and got the blocks pieced for my Birds and Bees quilt. Since I’ve been home, those are now sewn into rows and will be an official flimsy by tomorrow. These are just some sneak peaks, but I will show the quilt when it’s done.

Bright and happy colors. It has been so cheerful to work on!

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Valentine Quit Finish

Between sneezing my lungs out and sleeping from the cold meds I’m taking, I managed to finish my Valentine Quilt.  This is Goal #2 (and my second quilt finish of 2016) on my 2016 Quarter 1 Finish Along goals.

Everything I used in this quilt, which finished at about 62x62” is OLD stock from my stash, with the exception of the border fabric, which I purchased on sale from Fabric Depot at the end of the year.  I used a total of 8 yards in this quilt. The red heart fabrics, which form the spinners in front and comprise most of the back, was 54” cotton fabric. That was an oldie but a goodie. It also contained fabric from JoAnn and Makower.

Here’s the back. I kept cutting blocks until I ran out of fabric, then had to sew all the pieces back together in improv slabs. I used nearly every single bit. What a good feeling!  This quilt will be for us to use in the car during road trips, the first of which begins later this week. We are heading for the sunny blue skies of southern Arizona on our annual family visit to the Kizerian HQ (LOL) in Tubac, Arizona.

I have sewn up lots of brown blocks this month, too, as I work through my brown scrap stash for Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Here is a sampling of some.

But as I will not be around to link up to their Saturday Scrap Party, I will save them for the next time. I have brown cats and kittens sewn, too, and all sorts of other goodies in the works.

Finally, I’m taking Bernadette (my Bernina 550QE sewing machine) on vacation with me, along with the Birds and Bees quilt I have cut out. I will return home with a pieced quilt top and lots more brown scrappy blocks.

See you on the flip side!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Brown Mama Cat

Our color for February over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is brown. Like just about every other color of the rainbow, I have more brown scraps than I should.  :-)  But this month I decided to pace myself a bit better than I did in January with blue. Last month it was foot pedal to the metal until I ran out of scraps. This month the brown is being worked around my other sewing.

So, this week I only have a couple things to share. First off is my brown Mama Cat. You may recall that I am doing this 12” mama cat and surrounding her with a litter of 6” kittens (pattern by Sally T)  in the same color. Well, Mama cat is done. And, she is pregnant! Expect the kittens to arrive in the next couple weeks or so.  I am leaving on vacation in a few days and will have very little if any internet access. The kittens may not arrive until closer to the end of the month.

And for those of you who requested and received my free Mama Cat pattern, I have two corrections to make (so sorry!).  (1)  For piece M in background fabric, you only need to cut ONE, not two, and (2) Pieces O should be two 1.5” squares (not 1”).   Any future patterns will go out with the corrections incorporated; just write if you’d like a copy.

I also sewed my brown rail fence blocks in vintage sheets. The setting I am using only calls for three brown blocks, thankfully, because even these required a strip of regular fabric.

This week I attended a genealogy conference for a couple days. I’ve also been sewing on my Valentine quilt. Right now it is about 90% quilted and I plan to finish quilting and binding it today. I’ll post pictures here and on Instagram when it’s finished.

Later in the week I’ll begin cutting out the things I want to take along on vacation to sew; 12 kittens and a simple patchwork quilt of Birds and Bees fabric. I may take my brown scraps along, too.

Come join us for some scrappy goodness over at So Scrappy!!

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crazy Quilting and Fabric “Diet” Results

Hello there! Thanks for joining me on this snowy (at least here in Salt Lake Valley) Tuesday morning.   Let’s get caught up on some happenings!

First is the official release of the Spring 2016 issue of Crazy Quilt Quarterly!  As usual, it is packed with great eye candy, patterns and tutorials.

And although, as a creative consultant for the magazine I am always excited, this issue has me tripley triple triply THREE TIMES as excited!!  Remember the Black Needlepoint Crazy Quilt Wallhanging I finished last fall??  It is featured in the magazine with its story. (Yes, the content is blurred out - you must buy the magazine to read it).

I also contributed a tutorial to this issue on the making of (fiber) nests for your crazy quilt or art quilt blocks.
Background fabric: Feathered Flock by Tamara Kate
The issue also includes a pattern for a cute bunny (this picture is not the best angle to show off its cuteness!) Three of us staff members made samples to show, but the complete directions and pattern are in the issue.
Background fabric: The Stars Shine Bright by Tamara Kate
You can buy Crazy Quilt Quarterly at Magcloud, link is here.  You have your choice of a digital download or a printed issue (my preference!). The printed issue is a higher price, but comes with a free digital download.

Also, Pam just released another one of her very popular books. This one is called Crazy Quilt Inspiration, and it is full of her beautiful work.  Pam has always been a very prolific and detail-oriented crazy quilter. Her work is a rich treasure trove of stitching and beading, and this book provides enough eye candy to overload your peepers!!  The book is divided into categories (birds, nature, etc) and each section shows clear photos of Pam’s beautiful projects spanning years of creativity.

If you are a crazy quilter, embroiderer or art quilter, this is one you don’t want to miss.  Use the same Magcloud link to order your copy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A bank of lights in my studio went out on Saturday, leaving me working in half darkness until I called it quilts. DH, being the handyman and electrical engineer he is, fixed it on Sunday afternoon after having to visit Home Depot (they didn’t have the right ballast) and finally Lowe’s. I missed nearly a full day of sewing, and therefore did not get my Valentine Quilt done before the end of January.  I will quilt and bind it today and/or tomorrow and post it in a day or two when I get pictures. However, I am counting the fabric used for this quilt in my January fabric totals.

Fabric In:
1.  Thimbles & Threads Mega Clearance  + 18 yards
(prices deeply discounted before moving to their new digs)
2.  +3.5 yards - won from Pattern Jam in a Christmas design contest
3.  + 9 yards - ordered fabric from new Tamara Kate line, Nature Walk
4.  +5.5 yds - white and other basics at Thimbles & Threads’ new shop!
Total In:  36 yards

Fabric Out:
1.  Seeing Red quilt: -8.25 yards
2.  Misc blue blocks for the month: -3
3.  Sold on Etsy: -9.25
4.  Valentine Quilt: -8 yards
5.  Gift to cousin (some cotton, mostly flannel) -11 yards
Total Out: 39.5 yards

Net: -3.5 yards

In the process, although I bought a lot of fabric, I got rid of fabrics I won’t use (flannel small cuts and sales), used lots of odd FQs, and made two quilts. It is like pruning a plant; some dead growth has been pruned and new leaves are ready to grow! And with that spring-like analogy, I will sign out.

Cathy maroon