Thursday, June 29, 2017

Crayon Quilt Finished!

I was hoping to finish this quilt before month-end, and I did. The pattern is Color Me by Emily Herrick, but I added an additional crayon (aqua/teal) to make it bigger and fit in better with my monthly Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors. This was so easy and so much fun - and a great way to use up scraps. I started it last summer and wanted to finish it this summer so that all my rainbow scrap quilts wouldn’t finish up at the same time. That happened to me last year and it took me months to get them all done (in addition to Christmas quilts).

So Color Me finished at 51x68”. The batting is my usual Warm & Plush. The background is a white on white print I had just enough of, the backing and binding are this crayon print that I picked up on the local shop hop earlier this month.

The backing is pretty basic and not too exciting. I would have loved it if the print had contained some greens and pinks, but that’s just me.  Below is a picture I snapped on the floor of the living room. Not a great showcase for the quilt exactly, but it does show all the textural goodness after it was washed.

I spent several days quilting this, trying new-to-me things. First, I did the white sashing between the crayons. I was inspired by Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt. Between her blog, Instagram and Pinterest (I have all my favorites pinned) and her new book Free Motion Quilting 1-2-3) which I bought a couple months ago, the only problem was narrowing down the ideas. Some I tried and just couldn’t “grock”, even after practice (case in point; the motif between the aqua and green, below). It’s no secret to me that my brain works differently, LOL. But other patterns I tried I really loved.

The crayons were all quilted with what I call a sine wave.  Easy, zen, not necessarily even from patch to patch but I don’t really care about that.

My favorite motif was the little curvy line with bubbles (mine have 3 instead of 5) between the yellow and orange crayons and in another spot, too.

All the crayons had swirls in the tip and dense quilting (either small stippling or pebbling) around the tip to make them stand out.

I also quilted waves, zig-zags, leaves and more with varying amounts of success. The border ended up being a wavy line with hearts, with the exception of the first 3 motifs, which started as leaves before morphing into hearts. Like I said, my brain is different - it had already carved a mental heart path and didn’t want to do leaves.

So, Color Me is my 7th quilt finish this quarter (I am not counting those 4 whole-cloth flannel baby quilts that I showed in the last post). This one was #2 on my Quarter 2 Finish Along Goals. But, there I ran into a problem. It seems that when I posted my list back in April, I didn’t link up properly to the Finish Along link party, and my post never appeared to them. So, have I been toiling in vain? No! Although I am not eligible for the quarter-end linky party and prizes, the main motivation for me is to make goals and stick to them. Out of the 7 quilts I had listed as goals, I finished five of them. Not bad, especially considering that I also finished six baby quilts and countless kennel quilts that were not on the list.
**pats self on back**  
I may be an airhead, but I can be a productive one!

By the way, just a reminder that you can check out my Quilt Gallery page any time. The link is right under the blog header. I’ll be back on Saturday with a yellow scrap recap and the start of a new color for July!

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday and
Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Cathy maroon

Friday, June 23, 2017

Slow Summer Sewing Week

Where did this past week go? Seriously, it’s like the days just vanished before I knew it. I can remember a few highlights, so to prove I was not totally comatose for the last 7 days, I feel some things need to be related here.

First, I finished the four baby quilts for the local church quilt charity. They will go to the Salt Lake Refugee Center. This is a picture before they were washed. They’re all flannel, both sides, although the bindings are not.
I told the ladies that I have four more quilts to do over the next few months for their next drive. I knew I couldn't get them done in time for the collection deadline on Friday!

On Tuesday, I finally re-joined Weight Watchers. For the better part of a year, I`ve been trying to psyche myself up to get healthy - to actually take the steps, that is. My decision to join the family females who are going to Africa next year was what finally (pardon the pun) tipped the scales in favor of getting moving on a serious lifestyle change. Not a diet, but a full-fledged plan to be more active, eat healthier (and less perhaps) and take better care of myself. I’m 63 and I want to be around another couple decades.

So, Weight Watchers was Tuesday, and the rest of the day and most of Wednesday was, after moving around doing yard work and housework, spent learning the program. And then shopping for more healthy groceries. It seems we NEVER have enough fruit around here because we eat a lot of it. So, now I will plan to go to the store 2-3 times per week. Our local store has just rearranged the interior shelving (not the outer areas of the store like produce, dairy, meats, deli, etc) and it’s a nightmare. So, armed with my shopping list, it`s like going on a scavenger hunt. Luckily, I enjoy grocery shopping.

I did finish up working on my yellow scraps, making my yellow crumbs into a slab. This will be the top to one of the 12 kennel quilts I’ve matched up with batting and backings.

So now I have a pile of kennel quilts with fronts, backs and battings (Franken-pieced) waiting to be sewn together then quilted. I also made and stuffed two doggie bed pillows with sewing and batting scraps. They just need to be stitched closed. I will have pictures of all that next week.

One day this week was spent tending 4 of my sweet grandkids. We had a blast playing games indoors. I brought along our Candyland and Chutes & Ladders games because no one plays them here anymore, LOL. And it was a good thing I brought them, because grandson Hunter was happy I brought Candyland because their game was “broken”.

Finally, I stitched my crayons together and the quilt top is finished. It looks wonky pinned up on the design board, but I assure you it is even!

I even got it basted on Friday, and it is ready to begin quilting this weekend. I think I`d like to use it as a practice piece to learn some border treatments (a la Lori Kennedy and her current challenge at The Inbox Jaunt).

Finally, the month and quarter are drawing to a close, so I will probably do a mid-week post to recap all my June Rainbow Scrap progress. As well, I will do a recap of my 2nd Quarter Finish-Along goals and progress, BUT..... it seems that when I posted my goals for this quarter, I did not link up correctly to the Finish Along. So, I am not “official” this quarter. But that’s OK - it helps keep me on track. I still want to see how I did. It’s also a good time for me to update my quilt gallery and begin thinking of quilting goals for next quarter.

Weight goals, quilting goals...... Yep, I’m “goal-den” this month.

Linking up to Angela’s So Scrappy blog for Rainbow Scrap Saturday.

Cathy maroon

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mellow Yellow

Summer has arrived here in the beautiful Salt Lake Valley, and other than one slightly smoggy day, it has been gorgeous. We even had rain one night, which is the best time for it in my book!  Bruce has run all the drip irrigation to my front flower pots and every one of them seems to be very happy.  :-)

I finished all my yellow block sewing this week. I still have a few odd sized small scraps which will get made into slabs next week and then into kennel quilts. But here are my yummy yellow blocks. For more yellow goodness, join us over at Angela’s for Scrappy Saturday!

First, sixteen 4.5” bowtie blocks:

 Next, two Geese Migration blocks:

Then, four 8.5” strip blocks:

When added to the four I did last year, I now have enough for two large (16”) strippy color blocks:

And finally, I made thirteen Friendship Star blocks. (Why do I always make an odd number?)

After making the first two, I wanted to play with the FS blocks so far and see how they looked together. This is only some of them, because I now have a total of 80 made. I don’t plan to mix the colors up like this unless it looks better once we add regular blue, orange and pink. I’m thinking more along the lines of waves of color..... but we will see.

The only progress on my crayon quilt this week was to get the top sewn together, the backing made and the binding cut. I haven’t basted it yet because I got sidetracked. On Tuesday night I attended the local church charity meeting. They were tying quilts (haven’t done that in years!), tying fleece blankets, and making sanitary pads for girls in Africa.

I agreed to take home three baby/youth quilts to quilt and bind. The colors that had been mixed together for tops and bottoms (dictated by what had been donated or what was left in her stash) were odd, so I added some of mine and was able to match up six quilts and batting. Three are quilted, and two of those are bound and finished. One more is basted and  I’ll finish it along with basting and finishing the other two early this week. They are whole-cloth cotton and flannel quilts, simple and sweet.  I’ll get pictures of the whole kit and kaboodle next week.

Last night was the family graduation party for my grandson Easton over at my son’s beautiful home. The evening was gorgeous and we ate the BBQ’ed hamburgers and hot dogs outdoors and had a great time. And some exciting news: some of us ladies in the family are going to Africa again next year. I missed this year because of Bruce’s arm surgeries, but we are planning a trip to Kenya in July of 2018. Besides working with the charities to help the young girls of Kenya, we will get to see the great animal migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya (including a 3-day safari). Visiting Africa has been a life goal since I was a teenager. Now, I need to get serious  about losing some weight.

Cathy maroon

Friday, June 9, 2017

Yellow (Fabric) Journalism

Around here, we love to read. Every evening we each curl up with our reading material of choice (mostly ebooks because we can make the print larger), but sometimes regular print books, magazines, or our e-subscription to The Washington Post. And sometimes, during the day, I even SEW on books. That was the case this week when I made the yellow bookshelf (5, 12” blocks) for my Rainbow Bookcase.

Here are 4 shots, going from left to right (the way we read) of the yellow bookshelf. I think you can click on them to make them bigger.

In this first, left-most shot, you can see some old favorites, “Walk in the Park” and “Flowers are Happy Things”. But look! There’s a Cosmopolitan magazine. And how about that large “Juggling Summer” book? The birdie is hiding on the left side of the book, out of sight. You will soon see why.

Moving along to the right, we can see “Animal Quackers” and a globe, my own wacky pattern. I regret not tilting the globe, but obviously my left brain took over there. The globe is sitting on “My Universe”.

Aha!! Now we see why the bird was hiding. There’s a cat hiding behind the stack of cat (and other) books. After he is done knocking the books off the shelf (a trick he probably learned from Molly), he will probably nap. I think the bird is safe.

And finally, the last of the books on the shelf; poetry, “Li’l Rascals”, and “Madrona Road”, among other best sellers. LOL.

I have always planned to use plain gray to make the shelves and bookcase border, and to find a book-themed print fabric for the back of the quilt. Those plans changed on Friday, and  later in the post you will see why. Anyway, below is a shot of the yellow shelf with last month’s green shelf. Those are 60” wide (plus seam allowance) rows.

In other RSC sewing, here are my 16 Plus blocks. These do not excite me at all, and I am thinking of either setting them on point or mixing with another block (like some rails) to jazz them up. But I think I’ll get through all the colors first before deciding....

I’m linking up to Angela’s Rainbow Scrap Saturday. We would love for you to join us or just stop by for a great fix of eye candy!

This week I finished quilting my Stars and Stripes Quilt. It finished at 62x70”.  This is my 13th quilt finish so far this year.

Here is the pieced back.

I also sewed the remaining four crayons for my crayon quilt; 2 blues, orange and pink. My goal is to finish this one off during the coming week.

I’ve always been a fan of local fabric designer (and son of tole painter Donna Dewberry), JOEL DEWBERRY. Two years ago I was able to accompany the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild (I’m no longer a member) and visit his home to purchase his fabrics at steeply discounted prices.  Last year, I believe he was in the middle of building his new home and they did not have a sale. This year, he made the announcement of his annual sale on Instagram, so cousin Kim and I went today. I’m not kidding you when I say that these are bargain basement prices. The fabric ranged from $1 to $6 per yard; and the more expensive were the home dec weights.

Here is what I got.  First picture; these are my 5-yard cuts (except the pink, which was 4 yards).  That gray wood grain on the left is the new “shelving” and backing for my bookshelf quilt! The print on the left (along with 3 from the next picture) will become an Arizona-themed quilt for my DSIL and DBIL, another of Bruce’s siblings. The two pinks are a planned quilt for a friend, along with the green in the next picture.

These fabrics are all 2-yard cuts, except the 1 yard of gold.  Total: 28 yards of fabric.

My cost? You’d think it would easily be over $200, or at least over $100. It wasn’t. It averaged $3.50 per yard, so you do the math.....  (PS - Kim bought 8 yards for $16).

What a fun week!  My flower pots are all planted and Bruce has run the drip irrigation to them. They are absolutely loving the warm hot weather.  Today I`m going out before it gets too hot to work in the yard. I’ve got roses to deadhead and our front rock parkway to rid of weeds. Then I’ll make a strawberry-rhubarb pie with our garden rhubarb. And the rest of the weekend is sew, sew, sew. Life is good!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Sewing a Yellow Brick Road

This past week has been so crazy busy, but delightfully so. It started off with Memorial Day on Monday. Bruce worked at the museum and I worked out in the yard. On Tuesday I basted my flag quilt (picture later in the post), but I had to clean the floors first, of course. I also stopped in at at 2 local quilt shops and spent the $20 (plus $5 of my own money) that was given to me last week by Jannis for the kennel quilts. They are pictured here, and the plaid (2 yards) is a flannel. The rest will mix and match nicely with my existing gold-starred backgrounds and other assorted cat-themed fabrics in my stash.

Wednesday was daughter Emily’s visit with her kids, as they are moving to Colorado this weekend. It’s hard to see them leave, but at least we will be visiting them in September.

Then on Thursday was my grandson Easton’s high school graduation. They held the ceremonies about 40 minutes south of us down in Utah County (in Orem, next to Provo). Let me tell you that someone screwed up badly when they set up the bleachers in the auditorium. I am all of 5’5”, and my knees were jammed into the seat in front of me. Plus the seats were all inclined forward. It was torture, literally. I lasted an hour before I had to get up, creaking and numb, to stand in the aisle instead. As soon as Easton was handed his diploma, I was OUT OF THERE. But the freeway onramp was shut down due to an accident, so I had to kill some time. Can you say SHOP HOP???  American Quilting was right a few blocks away, and so naturally I had to visit. They had a great sale room where fabrics were $4.99 per yard. And they were part of our annual Utah Shop Hop, which ran from Wednesday the 31st to today, June 3.

Finally, on Friday my sweet friend Terri and I officially went shop hopping. We visited five stores and had lunch at Gardner Village.  I’ll show you my treasures momentarily, but first, let’s talk Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I am linking to Angela’s Scrappy Saturday, so hop on over to see all the rainbow goodness. Our color for June is Yellow!


So, here on the right are my two “yellow brick roads”. Actually they are the gold and the yellow columns for my selvage rainbow quilt.  On the left, they are stitched in color order with last month’s two green columns and the teal column. That should give you an idea of what the quilt is going to look like. There will eventually be 2 orange columns, a red and 2 pinks on the left of the gold, and then a blue, 2 purples and one other dark neutral - either brown or gray - on the right. A total of 14 columns.

OK, so here are my Shop Hop treasures. I still get occasional commissions as a lace broker, and this week my biggest client placed an order, so part of it funded my fabric purchases (shopping spree!) and the rest went in the savings. Yay!

Above: Free patterns from each shop, plus collectible pins. I bought 4 yards of the crayon fabric to use as a background for the crayon quilt I’m making. Then the blue cat fabric was in the sale room at American Quilting.

In the picture above, the green is much brighter/richer than the picture shows. It’s 4 yards of flannel for an autumn quilt I’m planning.  The stripe is a large piece for the back of Bruce’s guitar quilt, which I am busy planning out. It will begin this summer. The floral will just go in the stash and the Christmas fabric (I’m such a sucker for holly fabrics) will be pillowcases or a quilt back or something. Oh, and the wild blue one is another Tula Pink "Tabby Lane" fabric, the last one I wanted for my next personal cat quilt, whenever that happens.

Kaffe Fasset fabrics, above: Only the FQs along the top were purchased during the Shop Hop. The Layer Cake (also in the top row) was an order from Missouri Star Quilt Co, and the yardage was from early in May when I took advantage of a sale at one of the LQS’s.

The above pieces and FQs are random purchases, but some are intended for future projects. And I couldn’t resist the Florence Flamingo pattern. My DGD Lauren loves flamingoes (who doesn’t?) and may get a quilt for Christmas.

Finally, here is my in-progress Flag Quilt. I am just doing “organic” wavy lines. “Organic” here means not measured; random. Once it’s washed, who will notice or care?  I’m about three quarters done, so it will finish up this weekend and I’ll have a full reveal next week.

So that, my friends, was my week. Last year for the RSC, yellow month was later in the year and I started and made my yellow crayon and yellow strip blocks. So, after I do the yellow bookshelf and assorted other smallish blocks for this year, I may start on an all-yellow quilt. I have been planning a pineapple quilt for awhile, so we’ll have to see how that goes. I may finish up my crayon quilt instead, or my Farmgirl quilt. So many choices!

Have a great week!

Cathy maroon