Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Another March Quilt Finish

Whew! I got this one in just under the wire, didn’t I?  It was my goal to finish my Rainbow Dresdens, the last of my 2016 Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, before the end of the first quarter of 2017 because I wanted to include it in my first quarter totals (six quilts finished). Yay! I did it! But I have had a love-hate relationship with this quilts since its inception, and its finishing was no different.

Have you ever tried to quilt over lacy cotton doilies? If not, don’t. No matter how careful you are, they get caught in the presser foot. So, you will see from the back of the quilt that I eventually gave up quilting in that area. If the doily was smooth (not crocheted), it was minimally quilted.

Here is a picture of what one of the squares looked like from the back. It had always been my intention to NOT use the same-old stippling for quilting. I wanted instead to outline each blade of every Dresden with a straight line stitching to echo the shape of the blade.  Well, that lasted less than one Dresden.... too much turning for these numb hands and sore shoulders. I had already spent a couple hours the day before in a Hazmat suit, cleaning up the downstairs bathroom shower, scrubbing it to within an inch of its life (and mine, apparently). Seriously, I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, where the nerves (etc) from the neck go through the a rather smallish opening in the  collar bone. I have to exercise my neck and arms regularly (and take anti-inflammatory meds) to control the numbness which occurs when I use my arms, hands, etc. too much (gardening, scrubbing, rotary cutting).  I needed to rest up a couple days before tackling this quilt, but I hadn’t. So, I resorted to the boring meander. And this damn quilt fought me every step of the way.

My favorite block. The doily was crocheted by my maternal great-grandmother .

After a couple days in Time Out (both me and the quilt), I was able to finish quilting it on Sunday, when cousin Kim came over to sew. And I offered it to her. It was not about to live in the same house with me. Luckily, she gladly accepted; she has always admired it. It got bound and washed up on Monday. The binding is a pastel window-pane fabric I’ve had in my stash for ages.

The quilt finished at 76x76” and is #2 on my list of Quarter I Finish-Along Goals.  It is my sixth finish this year, and it means that I’ve completed 6 of 7 of my goals. I’ll take it!

Naturally, I will link this to the 2017 First Quarter Link-up. And to those lovely ladies who are checking out all my finishes for the Finish-Along, all my finishes can all be accessed in my original goal list, linked in the paragraph above.

I’ll also be linking up to the Rainbow Quilt Parade at Angela’s So Scrappy blog at the end of the month.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Red Wrap-up

Hello friends, and welcome to another Saturday edition of scrappy sewing and stuff. We had a lot of rain here this week, and I could practically stand in the yard and watch the weeds grow. But I beat them back on the east side yard yesterday (well, I pulled their guts and roots out - take THAT!!)

But today is Saturday, and my focus this morning is on red scraps. Angela’s weekly Scrappy Saturday post for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is featuring all sorts of red eye candy, so come on over!

This week I finished up my red Friendship Star Variation blocks - 16 of them this time.

Before I finished all the red ones, I tried pinning up what I had so far just to see what it looked like....   Interesting, eh?

Then I took most of my red scraps and crumbs and made it into a slab..... which was backed and quilted and turned into a 12x18” (or thereabouts) quilt for the Best Friends animal shelter.

I added that to the other six quilts (at their small, random sizes, they are more like placemats or quiltlets) that I made this week. The pinkish-maroon tiger one was supposed to be for Darla, but when I put it down in front of the fireplace for her, she laid everywhere except on the quilt. Alrighty, then! So it will go as a kennel quilt for another more appreciative feline.

And I finally got the picture of my grandson Easton in the Jedi costume I sewed for him the week before last. Here he is with R2D2.  Yep, he’s a good looking kid. And he`s graduating this year and will study mechanical engineering at college.

Moving along.....  I’ve had some red and white scraps that were sent to me about 10 years ago by a crazy quilting friend. They are really red and off-white, and there were three prints left of about a half yard each. Using some red hearts for borders and a few other scraps that I had in my stash, I whipped this baby quilt top out.  It’s 38x42”

The checkerboard fabric was difficult, and I struggled to come up with anything that looked halfway decent. Next week I’ll quilt it and add it to the donation pile. Someone will appreciate it.

I’ve basted my Rainbow Dresdens, and after deliberating for days, will begin quilting it this weekend. My goal is to finish it before month-end.

And now for my RSC totals for Red March.

3 Bookshelf Blocks (12” square each)

In this collage we have one red crayon, one selvage/scrap column, 2 Geese Migration blocks, 24 Bowties, 13 Plus blocks, 26 Friendship Stars, and a slab (that went into the kitty quiltlet). I didn’t do strip blocks this month because I already have them in red.  That totals  (with the bookshelf blocks above) 62 red blocks and one quilt top.  Not a bad sewing month.

Health-wise, it could have been better for DH. His forearm is still sewn to his abdomen and the checkup a couple days ago shows that is going well. They will be able to detach it in 2 weeks.

Have a good week!

Cathy maroon

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Quilty Orphan Winner

Today is the day that we select the winner of the pink quilt I’m giving away as part of Cynthia Brunz’  Quilty Orphan Adoption for Sprint 2017.

First, I want to thank all five of the ladies who volunteered to finish up the quilt. I had more comments, but five actual volunteers.

Hubby picked #2, which corresponded with Maggie Fellow.  Maggie, I have sent you a private email, but if you read this first, please contact me privately at:  catkiz (at) Xmission (dot) com  and send me your mailing address.

Again, thanks ladies!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Have You Read Red Books?

The color of the month for March at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is Red (even though we were all thinking green yesterday, LOL).  This was a crazy busy week, but I did manage to get three bookcase blocks sewn.  And everyone else was busy, too. Come check out the ravishing red goodness at Angela’s Scrappy Saturday link-up.

Here is the first block, where I used mostly wine-reds.

Then there was this one, where I got to use some of the selvages donated to me by my friend Angie Helman at Quilting on the Crescent. Some of those scraps were donated to her by Sally Trude (you know, Molly’s problematic human). And last year Katie at Zana’s Nini’s sent me some as well. Thanks ladies! All in all, a group collaboration!

And my favorite.....

Together, they look like this:

This shelf will be finished off with two pink blocks when we get to that color.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Other sewing:  I finished a Jedi tunic with under-shirt (a dickie), a belt, and sash/tabards for my grandson Easton. He is attending ComicCon today, Saturday. I told him the only charge for my materials and labor was that he send me a picture in full regalia. He has pants, boots and a light saber to go with the tunic, etc. I expect him to be dashing, and will definitely post a picture next week.

Here are six Broken Dishes Star blocks that I made this week for the Block Lotto.  I haven’t posted them there yet, but will get to that today.  We were asked to do them in 2 shades of blue (with the star being darker) on white. Sorry for the bad picture.

Bruce had the first reconstructive surgery Tuesday on his right forearm. First, the oncology surgeon removed the final (we hope) 1x4cm patch of cancerous tissue, then the plastic surgeon got to work. The first area was covered with a large skin graft from his leg.

The second area, which needed skin and tissue was handled differently. Basically, they used an old fashioned procedure where a skin flap from his abdomen is used to cover the patch on the arm. They had to cut the patch in a U shape and attach 3 sides to his arm while leaving the 4th attached to the abdomen. This will give the patch time to “settle in” on the arm and grow its own capillaries (etc) - like transplanting sod, LOL. Then, in 3 weeks, the patch is cut from the abdomen and the final side sewn down on the arm. His tummy is then “tucked” to cover the missing skin/tissue. (I volunteered to have my tummy tucked, but they weren’t interested).

So, for 3 weeks Bruce has his right arm sewn to his tummy. Nice, eh? (Can you sense the dripping sarcasm?)  It will be a loooooooong three weeks. Oh, and that surgery day was also my birthday. I can definitely say it’s one I won’t forget, but if Bruce is now cancer-free, that is the best present ever.

The sun has definitely been shining brighter here.

Cathy maroon

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quilty Orphan Needs New Home

It’s been at least a year or more since I`ve participated with Cynthia B’s Quilty Orphan Adoption, and I am so excited (even if I`m a bit tardy, hehe) to link up this time. The event is a link up where you can explore projects that are being given away free for others to finish up. Each donor sets their own rules and pays the postage to send the item(s) to you!

Last year I started out playing along with the Splendid Sampler, then realized I`d taken on too many things. And truthfully, I was not loving my blocks. I finished about 20 blocks or so then quit. They were pieced together with a couple other blocks plus spacer squares to form the flimsy below. It measures approximately 42x48”.

It’s probably an overly-large baby-sized quilt, yet there are several blocks that wouldn’t be appropriate for a baby, like the “Measure Twice, Cut Once” and the block with the 3-D flowers and beads sewn on (detail in picture below). But they could be replaced. Or, even better, you could add a border or two and make this into a nice girls lap quilt.

The rules are that I offer this quilt FREE to someone who may want to finish it. It does not have to go to a charity, but I would like to see it gifted to someone. I will mail the flimsy, PLUS some additional matching fabric scraps in case you want to replace some of the blocks, to one lucky (or is it unlucky? LOL) volunteer.

If you are interested in finishing it up - and I do want it to go to someone who will FINISH, not just collect it - please leave a comment here on this post and make sure I have a way to contact you. Tell me what you would do with the quilt. I will select the recipient on about March 23rd (Thursday) and contact you. In the case of more than one interested and qualified recipients, I will have my DH draw their name from a hat. Or a bowl. You get the idea.  :-)

And why not join us over at Cynthia's Quilty Orphan Adoption Event to see who else has other quilty things up for adoption?  Quilts don’t need to be fed, or to be walked or get shots, so think of how much time and money you’ll save!!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Red-Letter Day for Scraps

Lots of red to show here today, and I’m not talking about surgical wounds, LOL.  Lots of sewing happened this week as I tried to keep myself calm over DH’s surgeries and getting rid of that four-letter word, Cancer.

Before I show my scraps, I just want to shout from the rooftops that the doctor called today and the results show one site in his arm is now totally cancer-free. YAY!  The second site has a small area still, and that will be removed when the 2 doctors (orthopedic oncology surgeon and plastic surgeon) team up on Tuesday to do the reconstruction and skin grafts. AND THEN HE CAN JUST HEAL!!!!! YAY!!!! The weight of the world is now off our shoulders!

Ahem. Now I will attempt to regain some composure here.  ;-)

For lots of Red Goodness of the Scrappy Fabric Variety, why not join us over at Angela’s Scrappy Saturday linky party?

First up, 13 blocks of 6.5” crosses.

Next, two Geese Migration blocks.

And then there are my little favorites, the 4” bow-tie blocks, 24 of them. Take a bow, bows!

I also sewed up a column of red for my selvage quilt. The red column has 5 selvage blocks (4.5 x 8.5” each) and 4 plain red pieces of the same size. This is the only picture I had of it. It’s hard to photograph just one long column, so it’s hanging out with some of its red friends, LOL.

This month I won’t be doing the usual 4 red strip blocks, because I have them already made from last year. But still to go are the 2-3 red Bookshelf blocks and my Friendship Star Variation blocks. I can’t wait.

In my last post earlier this week (in case you missed it) I showed my finished 2016 RSC quilt made of 16-patch blocks. Just hit “Older Posts” at the bottom of the page, or click the Gallery link, above. I also finished piecing the blocks on my Flower Market quilt, and have added the first border. Now I'm fiddling with waste HSTs from the original piecing and squaring and pairing them up to make either a chevron border or a diamond border with them. I`ll probably be asking for your opinion on those next week.

This week I bought a lot of new fabric, too. Some of it is for an art quilt for Bruce. The subject is guitars (he plays and loves them. Luckily he will still be able to play them!!) The quilt will be in bright batiks and the pattern is Groovy Guitars by Robbi Joy Ecklow. On the schedule for this summer/fall.

But I have to show you this fabric. Cats. Actually, it’s Tabby Lane by Tula Pink. I like Tula’s designs because they are NOT too matchy-matchy. And I can still fall victim to that problem every now and then (Olive’s Flower Market, I’m looking at YOU!) Aren’t these cute??

So this time I bought a few half yard or full yard pieces of selected favorites, to go together or separately. I can’t wait to use some of it to make a quilt for myself, or for the kitties...... Actually, I can make LOTS of kitty quilts for the Best Friends shelter I donate to. Don’t you just loooooove those tuna cans??  And how good would these brights look paired up with black and white? Mmmm...

Today the grandkids are visiting, well 7 out of 8 of the youngest. On Monday I’ll see my grandson Easton (at 17, he’s the oldest) when he comes over to try on his Jedi Knight costume I`m sewing up for him. There is a ComicCon in town later this month and he’s going. Maybe we`ll get a picture of him in costume.

Finally, thank you all so much for your best wishes and thoughts for Bruce during his arm cancer scare. And for those of you who've prayed, your prayers have been appreciated too, more than you can ever know. These last few weeks have been rough on us, but we have been constantly buoyed up by your emails. As internet friends, I know we don’t know each other in person, but so many of us have gotten to know each other online over the weeks and months and years. Such a great camaraderie between quilters! You, dear ladies, are true friends and wonderful people. Thank you.

Have a great week! I know we will....
Cathy maroon

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Rainbow Scraps 16-Patch Done!

I finished this quilt almost a week ago, but am just now getting a post done about it. We’ve actually had sunshine here for several days, with a forecast of temperatures into the sixties this week and next! So I decided to photo the quilt in the living room.

This is the second-to-last of my 2016 RSC finishes, and the only pic I got without a cat in it, LOL.  The finished size is 72x81”. The backing is a gold backing print, batting is Warm and Plush (my favorite), and the binding is scraps of two teal fabrics.  I quilted it in a diagonal grid pattern and enjoyed it immensely!  This will go into my pile of quilts for donation.

This quilt is #7 in my Finish Along Quarter I Goals for 2017. You can see that list HERE.  I have two more to complete on that list, but will probably only get one more quilted before the end of the month. I have to go out and get some more low-tack tape that I need when I baste quilts on the hardwood floor.

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

Hubby update:  Bruce had his second arm surgery yesterday to remove all (hopefully) of the remaining cancer in his arm, both sites on his right forearm. The 90-minute scheduled surgery ended up being almost 4 hours long. We (meaning me) will change the dressings for the first time later today, and I am honestly afraid to see what it looks like. I`m not a nurse, but have been trained by the oncology surgeon (with additional instructions earlier this week from the plastic surgeon) on how to do this. There will be a lot more tissue gone, I have been told. We have excellent insurance, but this is how it goes these days. Two or three decades ago there would’ve been a professional involved somehow (inpatient or outpatient) to handle this. I seethe at the state of American healthcare. And Congress is only attempting to make it worse for us. Damn them all! Now I will get off the soapbox.

So, the final biopsies are done, and if they come back clear (Friday or Monday), we are scheduled for Bruce to have his reconstructive surgery on Tuesday (which happens to be my birthday). If there is still cancer present, and it’s only a tiny bit in one spot, the plastic surgeon can remove it in the reconstruction. If it is more than that - several spots, or deep areas ... well, that means that the cancer will grow back sooner or later.  And THAT means that Bruce will lose his hand and/or forearm sooner or later. Choice of Sooner or Later will be his to make. I pray it will not come to that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
But I don’t want to end in doom and gloom, nor do I want to slight the Quilt Supervisors (our superiors, the Feline Overlords). So, here are some candids of Themselves.


There is nothing like the love of a cat to calm you or cheer you up. These babies have been sooooooo affectionate and such great companions these last few weeks!!

See you on Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Scrappy Saturday!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Starting the Red Scraps

This month, Angela chose red as our color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I have a few red scraps, but not as many as most other colors.  When we had red as an RSC color last fall, I had and used tons of red scraps, leaving only a few behind. So, although I did add to it with some Christmas scraps, trimmings and whatnot, there are not as many as I normally like to work with. So, I confess to cutting into a couple red FQs (bought for the express purpose of rounding out my red “scraps”).

But I did get one thing sewn up so far; a red crayon!  Linking up my meager red offering to Angela’s Scrappy Saturday post for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Of all the projects I work on with the color each month, the crayon always seems to be the first. I guess that’s because I want to get as much variety in it before I chop scraps up too small to use. There are several duplicates in there, as always, but that’s just fine.

Here is the state of my red scraps. I also have some ancient cream with red yardage I hope to use up this month, as well as a lot of scraps that are mostly white with red. We will see what develops.

I’ve been working on sewing this quilt top together. I have it laid out sideways on my design board, but have flipped the picture so you can see the correct orientation. Two out of six rows are sewn.  And then the borders. This will be a priority this week so I can get it into a flimsy state and free up my design board.

Finally, I finished the quilting on my penultimate RSC16 project, the scrappy 16-patches. It is just a diagonal grid. What fun it was just to straight stitch with my walking foot again!

I will do a full reveal post later this week after I have trimmed, bound and washed it!

In hubby news, the surgery last Monday went well, but long-term lab results show they did not get all the cancer on either site of his forearm. So, there is another surgery scheduled on Wednesday to take more (hopefully just tissue). But first, we will meet with the plastic surgeon on Monday, who is coordinating with the actual oncology surgeon. I am doing Bruce’s daily wound care and dressing change, and it is a real “grown up moment” when you see the actual working tendons and arteries in his arm. His clothes are easy-on pants (a shopping trip was involved), and I have to drive him to the Trax station which takes him to work. He is on light duty and working as a docent instead of his usual job of building/engineering/computergeeking. And if the truth be known, it’s good for him (and me, LOL) to have him back in his regular routine, even if only for a few days before we go back to square one to “rinse and repeat”.

Tonight we are going out to dinner with my son Ryan and DIL Kim. We are really looking forward to that!  Have a wonderful week.

Cathy maroon