Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Plans for 2017

This will likely be my last post of 2016, and in it I want to look forward to 2017 (sewing-wise).  There are so many things we cannot control or plan, and I`m OK with rolling with the punches life throws. But it’s nice to have an area of creativity that I can control (mostly, if time and funds are not counted, LOL). And so I will outline some basic sewing goals for 2017, realizing that reality may look slightly different.

I love the Rainbow Scrap Challenge! It helps to get rid of fabric scraps (“leftovers”; and I’m a big fan of leftovers. If it’s food, leftovers mean I often don’t have to cook but can do something instead). Doing something with my fabric scraps means that I can conjure up quilts out of pieces that may have had no further life expectancy. The RSC also adds a framework around which I can plan my sewing - by monthly color. I prefer to attack my colored scraps when the color is announced, sewing them as I’ve planned. After they are done (and sometimes in between if I get tired of a color) I turn to other projects. It works well for me.

So here is what I have planned for RSC for 2017.

2.5” Squares and HSTs

1.   Friendship Star Variation

This 6” quilt block
This quilt layout

2.  Arrowhead Puzzle (or Garlic Knot)

This block
This quilt layout
The background will be scrappy for this one. Tentative plan is to use all colors, mixed up, but that may change.

PIECES, smallish

3.  Color Me quilt by Emily Herrick.

I started Color Me last year and have a couple of the crayons done. The pieces within the crayons are 2.5x5”, a good size for my scraps. I will continue to add to this until it “feels” done. There may be more colors....


4.  Diagonal Strips

This is another project I started last year. I have several 8.5” blocks done in pinks, reds, and blues. I’ll just keep adding to them as my scraps dictate.

5.  The Rainbow Bookcase

I’m really excited by this one!  Blocks are just 12” squares (5 per row); a color topped by the background. I can piece them so the books stand vertically or horizontally, using different width scraps and even adding lettering or selvages to mimic book titles. Depending on how many scraps are available, this may be a 1-2 year project. I’m thinking of combining pink and red in one row, and combining the aquas and blues in one row, then purples and grays in another. So, most of the variables are open at this point, except that I do have a gray piece to cut up for the “shelves”. Not sure what background I’ll use yet, but I have lots to choose from and it doesn’t all have to be the same.


I believe I’ve shown this one before, but here we go again....

6.   Rainbow Selvages, pattern by Riel Nason.

What I like about this is that the selvages themselves are all mixed up and with all the white they contain, they form the background/alternate piecing to the rainbow colored blocks. I don’t know if the color blocks will be solid (probably not) or pieced, but I think this will allow a lot of flexibility to use up lots of scraps and selvages. I would like to try 1-2 columns per month, with more of a varied range. For example, the oranges could be dark orange (one column) and light oranges (one column) moving into golds (one column) then yellow (one column), light greens, darker greens, etc.  I tried sewing together some selvages this week  and I think I have enough selvages to keep to the same color family in the same column. If I run short, though, I have so many multi-colored selvages that we’ll just make up any shortage with those.

And finally, I have four RSC2016 quilts to finish in the first quarter. One is ready to quilt and the other 3 are now flimsies. I will show some pictures of those in the next few weeks.

NOT RSC, but Must-Do’s for 2017

1.   Lozenges. My birthday is March 14 (Pi Day) and earlier this year I entered and won a contest from @Laurie3.14 on Instagram. The prize was 314 scrap pieces of fabric, dozens of which were her leftover lozenges from making this quilt (a Bonnie Hunter pattern) for her daughter (picture is of daughter’s friend holding quilt):

photo courtesy of Lauri M
I’m doing this same quilt, with white and black or gray accents (flip corners). I used Laurie’s gifted orange scraps as the start, then cut out a hundred or so more when we had orange month earlier this year. I will take stock and begin work again in earnest come our next orange month.

2.  Disappearing Nine Patch (D9P) for BIL Marv.  This year I took a red quilt for Bruce’s brother Dennis when we visited in February. When we go again next year, I will take a quilt for Marv - a D9P in black, white, gray and teal.

3.  A quilt for me. I’m using Olive’s Flower Market (I have bought up enough of that line to probably make three quilts, LOL. I lerrrrve it!!) Pattern is Rose Cottage.

4.   Finish up Farm Girl Quilt.

5.  Kennel quilts - small size quilts (12x18” up to crib-size). Our Best Friends local group takes any size, so I am going to try to donate 6 per month, or more if I can manage.

6.  I promised hubby Bruce that I’d make him another quilt, and he wants guitars. Also, one son-in-law is deployed currently, but when he gets home I will make him a quilt. His wife (our daughter Emily) says he’d love one of those Big Game quilts I made this year.

Bernadette (my Bernina 550QE) was gone for Three.Whole.Days. for a spa treatment this week. But she’s back now and I’m ready to get sewing. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to finish another quilt before year-end.

Do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve? We don’t either, LOL. Too darn cold to go downtown to celebrate outdoors. We’ll just cozy up in the new living room, have some Kahlua and eggnog (my seasonal favorite drink) and try to stay awake until the New Year rings in. I know, we’re so boring.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Rainbow Recap for 2016

I have had such a blast this year participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. If you sew or quilt, you might want to consider joining us in 2017.  It’s run by Angela of So Scrappy, and every Saturday she holds a linky party where we show our progress. Today’s linky party is HERE.

Here’s how the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) works: At the beginning of every month, Angela assigns a new color for us to work with. We dig through our  scrap piles, boxes, bags, drawers, etc. and set to work.  You can pick what you want to create: blocks with a purpose, blocks with a purpose yet undetermined, quilts or anything your heart desires. The best part is that you go at your own pace. There are no minimums or guidelines or accountability. Angela posts a linky party every Saturday morning on her blog, and you can post (or not) as your progress dictates. And you get to visit others’ work, get ideas, make new friends and generally just have fun.

Also, there is an optional quilt-along where a block design is given monthly by Angela (with the finished product being another one of her stunning quilt ideas!). Again, that’s optional.

So, think about it for 2017, mmmmkay?

And since the end of the year is virtually upon us, I figured this is a good time to recap my quilt makes for this year.  Some are Rainbow Scrap quilts (and I will show the flimsies that still need to be quilted too), and some are “other” quilts - mostly gifts. Ready?


First are the three Mama Cat & Kittens quilts I made for my three granddaughters. Each quilt is a litter consisting of a 12” Mama Cat (my pattern, write me if you’d like a copy) surrounded by 12 - 6” kittens. The kitten block is a pattern by Sally T (visit her blog and check it out under her Tutorials tab) and it inspired the whole idea. Thanks, Sally!  These quilts finished at 52x72” each. 

OOPS!! I  just noticed that one of them (on the left) has a 2” white border down the center that the others do not! So, let me correct that to say two of them finished at 52x72” and the third finished at 54x72”. 

And in 2016 I also chose to participate in the RSC Sampler, since I didn’t have the skill set needed to do it in 2015. (Really, I tried and failed miserably). But this year I did it! Thanks, Angela, for great patterns and inspiration. 

RSC Sampler Quilt, 60x72"

The following three Rainbow Scrap projects are still in the FLIMSY (top only) stage except for the one I just basted (see captions)

RAINBOW DRESDENS - still a flimsy
Rainbow Rails (Vintage Sheets) - basted this one on Thursday

Rainbow Improv in Cools

I also have improv blocks in pink, yellow, orange and red that will be pieced into a WARM version of the improv quilt above. The sashing will be white or gray. That will finish up in first quarter 2017.

Finally, I have 90 blocks of 16-patch blocks; colors with black and white measuring 8.5” unfinished.  They will be set 9x10, yielding a quilt 72x80”. Also planned for 1st quarter 2017.


In no particular order, here are the rest of the quilts I finished this year:

Aria Quilt.  October, 86x103"

Seeing Red, February, 58x76"

Valentine Quilt, January, 62x62"

Birds & Bees, April, 56x64"

Magic Carpet, November, 75x89"

Cityscape Wall Hanging, April, 48x54"
Notting Hill Sampler, September. 58x72"

Petals, November, 64x75"

November Rain, December, 67x83"

Cozy Christmas, December, 58x71"

Big Game, December, 62x74"

 Totals were: 15 quilts, 3 flimsies and blocks for 2 more flimsies. Not a bad haul!

This week we attended Bruce’s Christmas Party. He works at The Leonardo, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) museum in Salt Lake. Anyway, they had an Ugly Sweater contest and Bruce won the $200 first prize (hooray!). His sweater? Butt Ugly. We got him an ugly blue thrift store sweater from the ’90’s. Then he set about crafting it to look like it was a Bruce History of 30+ years. We captioned the additions with names and “dates”.  Burnt hole - check (“Great Aunt Mabel, 1986”), Mustard stain - check! Half-smoked doobie - check (it was really just cotton rolled in toilet paper, then burnt), BBQ sauce stain - check! Dead mouse - check (an old cat toy. He wanted the mouse on there because in their Tech Take-apart museum activity, they actually found an old desiccated mouse in a computer last month). Baby poop - check (not real, of course), Chewed gum - check! Cheetos - check! Peanut butter - check! Axle grease - check!  ETC ETC....  Between the way it looked, the IDEA of it, and the smell (axle grease, mustard and BBQ sauce together, ugh!) it was so ugly on so many levels.

Next Saturday I’ll be talking about my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects planned for 2017 - and there are several. After all, scraps come in strips, itty bitty pieces, chunks, etc. So that is how I sorted possibilities, then narrowed down from there. What are you doing next year for RSC, and how did you make your decisions?

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Housekeeping Issue for a Cozy Christmas

Hi!  This isn’t a literal housekeeping issue, as in my house. But because the rules of the Finish Along state that each finish must have be posted individually, I am giving the cute little Cozy Christmas quilt its own separate post.

I quilted it with a micro stipple in the pink backgrounds of the blocks, then outlined some of the appliqu├ęs. The first frame around each “picture” got a swirly loop, and then the rest of the quilt was stippled. It finished at 58x71”. It will be a gift for my DD Stacy, who loves all things Christmas. And because Stacy has a 1-year-old, I didn’t sew any buttons on the quilt as it called for.

Now, I am linking up to the 2016 Finish Along (see button in sidebar) and my 4th Quarter FAL Goal list here.

Besides, we all love a little extra eye candy (to say nothing of the real thing) at this time of year, right?

Cathy maroon

Final Cat and Kitten Quilt Done for this Year!

It’s official. I am done with all my planned Christmas quilts - all 9 or 10 of them. One person gets a choice between two quilts, so I did 10 knowing that I will have one left over for us.  :-) I plan to recap them all (even the Rainbow Scrap Flimsies I still have to quilt) on my next RSC post on Saturday.

But for now, I am linking up this Kitty quilt to my 2016 4th Quarter Finish Along Goals. This is #5 on my list which you can see here.

Like both of the other cat quilts, it finishes at 52x72” and has a Warm & Plush 100% cotton bat.

Here are all three kitty quilts together:

L-R:  For London, Abbie and Remington

And from our house, we wish you a Meowy Christmas!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Rainbow Scrap Flimsy and a Finish

Wow, another exciting blog title, LOL.

So this week my main finish was decorating the living room. Most of the furniture arrived on Monday as planned, and everything was squeaky clean and waiting for it.  But wait!  See the Christmas quilt and drawers on the right?  Well, the drawers are now put away (oops); the contractor had to shorten the depth per our drawings so that media cords could fit behind. Done and done. And that Christmas quilt covers the boxes of flooring for the hall. It’s in a good place for now (until January), since the other couch and ottoman will not arrive until then.

Darla is sitting on her Turbo Ball Toy and Alfie is sitting on the couch. Their couch. The cats love it. Thankfully, they prefer to sleep on the folded-up quilt that’s there. And Darla loves that we decorated in her fur colors.  Anyway, the rug isn’t centered and the existing couch may end up on the right wall when the new one arrives. We just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I am searching for a nice large clock (Bruce wants an antique-looking map clock) and other wall items for the large wall on the right which you can’t see. More pictures when everything is really done, in January.

But for now, we are loving our evenings in our respective chairs with tables, lamps (not shown, but they would be in foreground), with the fire going, reading our books or watching TV. That smaller left cabinet is filled with grandkid toys, and the right one now houses our DVDs, turntable, media computer, DVD player, receiver, etc. The speakers will eventually be added to the shelving once they are painted white.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Another quilt finish! This one is November Rain for my son Ryan’s Christmas present. It, too, is in Darla’s colors, which she asked me to relay. It finished at 67x86 (or was it 83?). Anyway, the quilting is wonky/wavy line quilting and the back is fabric from half a cotton duvet cover from IKEA.

The November Rain Quilt was #10 on my Quarter 4 Finish-Along goals, which is listed HERE.

And I also was able to finish the flimsy for one of my RSC quilts this week. Here is the Improv quilt blocks in green, blue, purple and teal.  It measures 72x72 and has a couple quilts ahead of it in line for quilting..... So it may or may not be finished this month.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I’ve been trying to grab time to read this week, and the book is Rubbing Stones, pictured below. The author, Nancy Burkey is a longtime friend of mine and this is her first book. Nancy and I were best friends in our high school and early college years. We were in Job’s Daughters together (a Masonic organization for girls) and she was my Maid of Honor at my wedding in 1974. She went on to become an MD (OB-GYN) and then switched her specialty to Psychiatry, which she practiced for nearly 30 years. She is now semi-retired (does some locum tenens) and writes. She uses her psychiatry background in her writing.

The book can be found on Amazon here, which gives a good description of it.  The book is exciting and VERY good, and I am reading slowly, savoring every morsel. I would recommend it as a great read (all the reviews so far are 5-star), even though I’m only 1/4 through!  I’ve bought six hard copies (even though I usually read e-books because I can make the print bigger for my eyes), and lots of my family and friends will be getting copies of it for Christmas.

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

Today I will finish up the third kitty quilt - it’s about half quilted now. That will complete the Christmas presents, and the shopping is done. All that’s left is for me to do some grocery shopping and baking. Just a bit; everyone is coming for brunch on the 24th or 25th, so I`m only worrying about those things. Bruce and I have a rib roast together that evening by ourselves.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Angela’s So Scrappy blog, where the ladies are all finishing up their 2016 quilts. And I will link up to Oh Scrap! too (If I can remember on Sunday!!)

Cathy maroon

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another Week of Sewing and ....

In between everything else, I got rows sewn together this week on a Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt. These are the 8.5” improv blocks that I made all year, and this quilt will include the colors of blue, green, teal and purple. I have an identical quilt planned (but maybe with a white or other color sashing) for the orange, yellow, red and pink blocks. They are a low priority until the Christmas quilts are done (more about that below), but I wanted to show you this for now. The backing will be random FQs in the colors of the quilt. It’ll help me clean out some of my orphaned fabric. It should finish at about 72x72”.

Great news! The living room will be finished up this weekend!  Here is a picture of it after last weekend after the cabinetry and mantel, etc was installed - but before both our cousin/contractor Jeff and my DH Bruce worked on it Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Jeff finished up the crown molding and baseboard trims, caulking, etc. Bruce finished up all the electrical and media wiring. Now the cabinet doors and drawers can go on/in.

This weekend they will add the can lights in the ceiling, mount the door hardware and the TV. And then the big clean-up. The furniture (except the backordered leather couch and ottoman) will arrive on Monday. And work will continue down the hallway and into the back bedroom with the hardwood floors and baseboards, so there will still be some baseboards and boxes of flooring lying around (where the leather couch will eventually go, on the right side of the picture) until it’s all installed.

But at least I will be able to have seating and do some decorating in the living room! I ran around doing errands yesterday, and one stop was JoAnn Fabrics to get some updated floral decorations for my outdoor wreath. Now, if I can just find the heavy duty magnet that attaches it to our steel front door, I’ll be set!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This week I managed to get a lot of basting and quilting done. Cousin Kim came over and we basted the Cozy Christmas quilt and November Rain. I was able to finish quilting the Big Game Quilt (designed by Emily Herrick for Pattern Jam) for my SIL Mike.

The panel was purchased last year, and I added the two borders and the backing. It is quilted with straight lines only to keep the masculine feel. The batting is the same as always - The Warm Co.’s Warm and Plush 100% cotton. I like the little bit of extra loft it gives. (I buy it online from JoAnn by the 25-yard bolt when they have free shipping or a great sale).  Anyway, it measures 62x74”.

And here is Cozy Christmas Quilt finished. This is NOT the official post for this quilt finish; I will do a separate one soon to comply with the Finish Along rules.

All I have left to finish for Christmas gift-giving is the wavy-line quilting (and binding) of November Rain for my son Ryan, and the basting/quilting of Kitty Quilt #3. Should be a easy to finish by next weekend. And that will leave me two weeks to finish up another Rainbow Scrap Quilt (maybe the vintage sheet rainbows?) by year-end. Or maybe the Let it Snow quilt I cut out this week (oops!) (wink) that you can see here on Heather Mulder Peterson’s Pinterest.  I will also be focusing on finishing up the other RSC quilts over December and January, so stay tuned for those.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge Scrappy Saturday.

Cathy maroon

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Rainbow Scrap Finish!

Welcome to another Rainbow Scrap post! Today I get to show off (finally) my sampler for the 2016 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. For the first 10 months of the year, Angela at SoScrappy gave us a new color and a new block pattern and away we went!  My sampler finally got quilted (managed it in one afternoon on my Bernina) and bound this week. It finished at 60x72” and was so much fun!

This quilt is a potential Christmas present for one of my dear step-daughters. She will have a choice of one of three: this RSC sampler, The Birds and Bees quilt, or the Notting Hill Sampler quilt. Anyway, this is backed in a cute hexie and bee print from Connecting Threads, and I noticed that there are actually a couple bee references here and there on the quilt with the fabrics used.

This quilt finish was also one of my Finish Along 4th Quarter Goals.  It was # 7 on my list.
I am also linking up to Angela’s So Scrappy blog for Scrappy Saturday, where everyone is showing their rainbow scrap projects as they finish up. Join us!

Moving right along, here is a promised picture of the black, white and red quilt that my cousin and sewing-partner-in-crime Kim finished (and I quilted) for her sweet granddaughter Zoe.  Zoe is in the picture and is absolutely THRILLED with the quilt. She is such a cutie (and may or may not have shorts on under her T-shirt, LOL). Kim took this picture with her phone and sent it to me, so I was not able to lighten it. Didn’t the quilt turn out beautifully?? Way to go, Colonel Cousin Kimmie!!

I had a blast this week finishing up the piecing on November Rain for my son Ryan. I had said I would do a mid-week post with possible layout ideas, but there were so many blocks and not enough design wall area to making playing around easy. And finally, I decided on the layout that Rob Appel used in his Man Sewing Video shown here.

So, the above picture shows all the blocks pinned and taped on (and over and under) my design wall. Below they are sewn together with a 1” black border and a 4” outer border added. The dimensions are 67x86", and it is slated to be quilted (by me) probably week after next.

It’s not perfect, but I LOVE love love it. It was so much fun playing with color placement and planning, sewing and matching up blocks. In the process I learned a lot about sewing on the bias (it is very forgiving, but you must be careful).  I definitely want to do another one of these quilts again in some outrageous interesting color way.  The backing for this quilt will be half of a duvet cover that Kim bought at Ikea for $10 (in the “as is” bin) - and it is 100% cotton. Those duvet covers have two sides, so using only one was the equivalent of a $5 backing. Small economies sure help when one is cranking out about 10 quilts for Christmas!

And you know I had to bore you fill you in on the remodeling of our living room. The cabinetry, bookshelves, mantel and surround were delivered on Thursday. Jeff will begin installing them this weekend. He has this weekend and next before the furniture arrives on Monday the 12th. Well, part of the furniture. We will get one couch, my chair, the rug and a small end table (to add to the end table and new recliner we already had). The leather couch and ottoman is coming from Italy and is back ordered until mid-January. Our salesperson is checking the warehouse daily for the possibility of someone changing their mind or scheduling later deliveries (meaning we could grab it), but we are resigned to patiently waiting until January. So, as per usual, Christmas seating will be scarce, so we’ll just have to pull in some kitchen chairs.  But there is a silver lining; without the second couch and ottoman, I will have room to place the Christmas tree without wracking my brain.

So here is Alfie on the new hardwood floor (the small part that isn’t covered with drop cloths by the front door).

And here is the current state of affairs. The baseboards are painted and mostly strung across the sawhorses waiting their installation - which is the final thing - in the living room, hallway and back bedroom. Also up on the sawhorses are the (wrapped from the carpenter) crown moldings. Leaning against the fireplace stone is the base of the mantel; the shelf and molding trims are somewhere in that mess. The cabinet bases (rear left) and bookshelves (upside down in left foreground) are ready to be installed. The drawers and shelves are either under the sawhorses or stacked in front (not in picture).

I have no idea how long it takes to install them from this point. Measuring, installing the toe kicks, bracing against the walls, shims and molding and cutting access to electrical on the wall, etc etc. But we’ll take whatever progress we get.

And all this has caused me to re-think the traditional Christmas carols to fit our situation this year.  My favorites include:

Have Yourself a Merry Dusty Little Christmas
O Little Town of Bethlehem House of Construction
Silver Bells Bills
Do You Hear What I Hear? (no change needed, but imagine the air compressor or hammers)
All I Want For Christmas (is my living room)
Away in a Manger the Back Room (no space for TV)
Rudolph Alfie the Nosy Cat-child (had a very frisky day...)

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you. You’re welcome. Have a great week!
Cathy maroon