Saturday, May 28, 2016

Putting Green Out to Pasture

The end of May has rolled around, and it’s time to put a lid on frolicking in the green scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year.  I hope to join So Scrappy for the green wrap-up, where all sorts of green goodness abounds.

Above is my collage of green blocks for May. I did 3 Dresdens, 2 large cat blocks consisting of one mama and 12 kittens each, 12 double Flying Geese blocks for our Rainbow Scrap Sampler, 10 16-patch blocks with black and white centers, 16 vintage sheet rail fence blocks and 26 improv blocks, using up scraps, HSTs, strips, etc.  That is a total of 92 blocks of green in May. A new record. Not that I’m trying to set personal records - I’m not. I just had so much green as it’s one of my favorite colors.

I also made two Notting Hill Sampler blocks and a few blocks for my Splendid Sampler. Those Splendid Sampler blocks were made into a flimsy and stored away for an undetermined future use.  And I even spent some time cutting out pieces for the Aria quilt I would like to finish by the end of June (can you say Pipe Dream?) 

I will be back on Monday to link up to Scrappy Saturday as I`ll be traveling.

Cathy maroon

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Notting Hill Splendid Dresdens

I’m whacked, I know. In thinking of what to name this post (something I hate doing), it occurred to me that it’s a review of what I’ve accomplished this week so far. That would be: finishing up the three green Dresdens for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge, my monthly two blocks for my Notting Hill quilt and sewing together all the blocks for my abbreviated Splendid Sampler. Hence, the title.

Last weekend my cousins (really nieces) were all over to sew, and Jenny finished a red and black quilt. Alfie decided to perform the Cozy Test on it before Jenny finished the binding. He rated it two paws up.

Alfie is rarely still (especially when I get out the camera), so please excuse the blurs.

Below are my three Dresden blocks. Using a blue background is a first. Also, because I machine-gathered the center yo-yos instead of hand gathering, there were raw edges. So I finished them off with center buttons. One thing you can say about me is that I am consistently inconsistent.

Once the Dresdens were out of my hair done, I quickly whipped up two more 12” blocks for my Notting Hill sampler quilt. The block immediately below is called Crosses and Losses.

This block is called Origami Box, but I think that the design gets lost with these busy prints. Heck, the whole line (Notting Hill) is very busy, but I should have added some solids as I have in other blocks.... You’ll also see some Architextures in there....

There are now 14 of 20 blocks done, and I have already started cutting out the two for June. I know at some point in June or July I`m going to whip through and just GET IT DONE. At present, there are no plans for this quilt, but I am hoping my DIL will like it enough to select it as her Christmas Quilt. It will have white sashing (or maybe hot pink?). As usual, I haven’t decided yet.

And finally, my happiest semi-completion of the week: my A.S.S. - Abbreviated Splendid Sampler.  The official Splendid Sampler (OSS) calls for 100 blocks. My attention span is not that long, and I was just not feeling the love on this project. So, after completing about 20-something blocks, I added a few blocks of my own (notice the kitten?), added filler blocks and now it’s a finished flimsy.

At this point, with (7) 6” blocks across and (8) 6” blocks down, it should measure 42.5” x 48.5” (with outer unfinished quarter-inch seams). Mine measures 43x49. Yep, it always happens to me. I`m so afraid of not making the blocks large enough that my seams are just a hair too narrow. Oh well.... my piecing is a bit off. I don’t care. It will make a cute (baby?) quilt (except that “Measure Twice Cut Once” block). For now, it will be hung nicely on a hanger in my stitching room awaiting its final destination.

So, I am off to Seattle on Saturday morning to visit my daughter and will be back on Monday afternoon. Short visit. Bruce is stocked up with oatmeal raisin cookies, pizza, a strawberry-rhubarb pie, chicken strips, peanut butter and coffee. He`s good to stay behind and eat.

Cathy maroon

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Scrappy Salad Greens!

The weather here in Salt Lake is crazy. Ask anyone attending Spring Quilt Market. We have had nice mornings, then it gets windy and rainy (and thunder-y and lightning-ish, complete with power failures for downtown).  I did manage several hours outdoors one afternoon this week to get some of my bright Mexican Talavera flower pots planted.  I have 13 and got 4 done. About 7-8 total will go along the front walkway and the rest in the backyard and on the patio. I don’t have pictures yet of this year, but you can see a pic from a previous year below. I had 2 friends call me earlier in the week to see if I was OK because my pots weren’t out yet, so I had to hurry and get some out!  :-)

From greenery to green scraps..... I have been sewing like a lunatic trooper this week. So let’s get to it.  First up are my 16-patches. The patches are 2” when sewn; the blocks will finish at 8”. There are 10 of them, which is exactly how many I have done with each color so far this year.

Next up are 2 of the three Dresdens. I have a 3rd one, not shown, on a baby blue background. I still have no clue what I am doing with these. When we are done with the rainbow, I’ll cut them all down to a uniform size, probably about 19.5” unfinished. With these green ones, my total so far is 11. I think there will easily be enough for 2 quilts when all the colors are done.

not crazy about these doilies, but they will stay....
I had a change of Supervisor this week. Darla (who is Alfie’s sister and the only sane one of the pair) kept me company and on task. Alfie would drop by now and then, but mostly he just wanted a good scratch.  

Darla checks my seams and also the comfort of the fabric. 
Thanks to Darla’s help, I was able to churn out 25..... yep, 25 improv blocks from my scraps and crumbs and leftover HSTs. I have to say how much I enjoy doing these blocks!, which measure 8.5” each (8” finished).

I still have green scraps, but most of them are larger chunks.  And I can easily close their drawer now, with room to refill it for next year, LOL!

I’m planning to post again mid-week with an update on my (abbreviated) Splendid Sampler. I will also snap a pic of the green Dresden on blue.  Next weekend I will be in Seattle. I will prepare my post as usual on Friday night, but won`t have a live link to the RSC until later Saturday evening.

And now I’m off to check out all the great green gobs of..... (oops, wrong song....) the great scrappy projects over at Scrappy Saturday. Why not join us??

Cathy maroon

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Let’s Go Green!

I don’t know why this week passed by so quickly, but it just blew me away.  I missed sewing for several days because of Mother’s Day, errands/yardwork and eye appointments - my new eyeglasses should be here in another week. Oh, and then we had new windows installed, so there were wood blinds to take down, new windows to wash and then blinds to put back up. It’s always something, isn’t it??  Excuses, excuses.

But I DID get some sewing done. In fact, my Dresdens are done, although they are not yet appliquéd to their blocks or the center work done. But that is the work of a couple hours and they will be ready to share next week.

This week, I did my Rainbow Sampler flying geese blocks.  The block for May is a 3.5 x 6.5” flying goose. I chose to do two together, making it a 6.5x6.5” block, so I made 12 of those.

Above you can see them as complete blocks, but just up on the design wall to snap an easy picture. Below they are all sewn together in their column. I chose to alternate pairs of light geese/dark sky with dark geese/light sky. I also thought it would add interest to change the directionality, so I played a bit and settled on this. No pointing down; it just looked odd, IMHO. So it’s right, up, left, up, etc.

I should also note that a lot of time this week was spent sewing, pressing and squaring up an endless number of half square triangles. Tomorrow I'll begin my 16-patch and improv blocks, so it will be nice to have the HSTs at the ready.  I have so many green scraps, I really don’t know what to do!  I’m not sure they’ll go back into the smallish drawer from which they came. Even though I’ve used A LOT, I did add all the green leftovers from my Splendid Sampler fabric pull.

I have decided to stop participating in the Splendid Sampler because I am really not enjoying it all that much. One of the blocks I needed to catch up on would have had (for a 6.5” block) 45 pieces!!  That was the final straw for me. I am just not into it.  So, here is a rough layout of what I have so far, interspersed with some scrappy pink blocks:

I’ve decided to add one more row to the bottom, and it will contain 3 plain pink blocks and 4 pieced blocks. I will do a kitten, some flying geese, and two others.  With 1” white sashing and a 3” print border around, it will come out to 56”x63”, a nice smallish lap quilt for a girl. Once it's a top, I can put it away until a specific occasion warrants finishing it.

Both Alfie (my supervisor) and I agreed this would be the best course of action. He also pointed out that I need to replace the center blue circle in the middle block on the very right column. It was supposed to look like Earth, but it doesn’t. So it will be replaced with one of the cutesy pink prints in the quilt.

"Mommy, I need some scratching!"

On Memorial Day weekend I’m flying to Seattle to visit my daughter, so I would like to get all my green scrap sewing done by next week. Yeah, I know. In. My. Dreams.

Once again I am linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at So Scrappy. I always look forward to seeing all the lovely things the ladies are working on - such a great, supportive group. Why not check it out?

Cathy maroon

Friday, May 6, 2016

It’s Easy Being Green

Oh hi peeples! This is Alfalfa. Or Alfie. Or, You Can Call Me AL......

Official Waving Portrait (actually I’m grabbing a camera strap)

Mom is still recovering from going to some quilt show yesterday, or so she says. She didn’t bring home any proof, like fabric. She says there are some pictures on her camera, but we are not counting those (besides, what’s a jennydoan?)  So anyway, here I am taking her place since I am her Supervisor.

This week we have been overrun with catses in the sewing room. We have 2 big catses:

And lots of little catses. These catses are being held up on the design board by MAGIC because Mom didn’t use any pins (she knows how tempting those are to certain real catses who live here. Ahem.)  And they are not sewn together yet. She’s a slacker, but don’t tell her I said that. 

And these are the blocks that she made with vintage sheets. Now, I don’t know why she cut the sheets up. My sister Darla and I always help Mom and Dad make the bed, so there was no need to get violent with these poor sheets. I just don’t understand peeples.

For more green fabric scrap toys stuff, please do me, Alfie, a favor and visit Scrappy Saturday. Only one caution - there is all that green, but NO CATNIP.  Sheesh....

Yours Truly,

Alfalfa W. Kizerian
Cathy maroon

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Crazy Quilt Quarterly Summer Issue is Out!

One of my favorite publications (and not just because I’m on the staff, LOL) is Crazy Quilt Quarterly, published by Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs.  Well, the new summer issue is out, and the cover girl is the one and only Betty Pillsbury (I just *love* her!!).  Betty has works in the Smithsonian (did you know that?). Her CQ style is usually very traditional - what I would call an updated, modern Victorian. She can embroider, bead, made silk flowers, appliqué, and just about any other technique you could think of! Now, with her piece in CQ Quarterly (previously unpublished), she uses shibori ribbon for suns rays in her Stonehenge-like setting.

This issue is crammed with great tutorials, articles and patterns. And did I mention eye candy? No Crazy Quilter worth her salt should miss it!  :-)  

You can purchase your print or digital copy at Magcloud:  Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine

Cathy maroon