Saturday, April 6, 2019

April Showers Bring Aqua Scraps

It is showering outside (really!), and the newly-tilled garden beds are loving it. Bruce has fertilized and prepped all the drip irrigation lines. We are ready to plant, and it will start in a couple days with the cool weather crops like lettuce, spinach, peas. The rest will follow in a couple  more weeks.

Inside, April brings aqua (aquamarine, teal, turquoise, blue-green, green-blue; whatever you want to call the variations) for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I’m linking up today to our weekly RSC Scrappy Saturday blogpost at Angela’s blog where you’ll see showers of scrappy ideas!

As usual, I kick off my scrappy month by working with selvages. The piles of selvages only seem to keep growing, despite my best efforts to use them.

First up are the selvage 4-patches. I sew 4 of them together like this to make one big block that will finish at 16”. So far, I have done one of each color of the month.

The tentative plan with these is to have nine of these blocks sewn together into a 54x54” quilt. To that I’m thinking I'll add a 4” border of multi-colored bitcoin blocks. The bitcoins are made when all my other larger scraps have been used up and only tiny pieces remain (in other words, near month end). With four months’-worth of blocks under our belt at the end of this month, I should be able to set these out on the design board then to see what it looks like and determine whether it’s a viable plan.

The next selvage project is a row of selvage tumblers; selvages alternated with tumblers of the same color. Since it makes an un-photogenic long row, I like to show the row with its rainbow neighbors like this:

These three rows are actually sewn together now (and look wonderfully wonky as the selvages aren’t totally straight). The red row isn’t connected yet because I will have at least one (maybe two?) rows of orange to add between it and the yellow.

I also sewed cracker blocks this week. Here are the nine that I finished.

Our friends OD and Marilyn and their son are visiting again from Kenya. Marilyn is a Utah native who met/married OD from Kenya. They come about twice a year for several weeks each time to visit family and friends and to manage their non-profit Harambe Humanitarian. They also lead small groups of friends and interested parties on Kenya visits/tours/safaris.

This past week, Marilyn and family came to visit Bruce and I for an afternoon. I’ve been asked to be on the Board of Directors for Harambe, and I am thrilled. Our main goal over the next year is go find a way to get the books we have in storage (current count, between 16,000-18,000) to Kenya. Anyone have a shipping connection? We will be building a library up in the Mau region (Tenkes; see my post HERE) for the Maasai community.

After a house and garden tour and lunch, we went down to the basement studio to work with the Kente cloth (and the other African fabric scraps) that Marilyn brought. We will be making two types of bookmarks to add to the myriad Kenyan things that they bring over every trip to sell at pop-up shops to raise funds. The picture above shows some of the bookmarks I made later in the week with this cloth. These are just the first style of bookmark. The second type will be of tagboard printed with an African proverb and have a snippet of cloth glued on, like these that Marilyn found in Kenya.

We already have sourced, ordered and received the tagboard. The fabric is ready to go. Yesterday at the pop-up-shop (we conduct several of these over the course of Marilyn and OD’s stay) we selected the font style and African proverbs. Bruce is now working to add some of my graphics (original or copyright-free) to the program so we can begin printing them out. We’ll be having a workshop here sometime in about 10 days to add the fabric, punch the holes and add the twine or fibers. Our hope is to get about 500 of these made to sell over the next year. The price point for all of the bookmarks will be 3/$10 (or $4 each).  We’re even talking about setting up a Venmo or Etsy shop for these and other Kenyan goodies.

And to top it off, we’ve had some more friends donate their African fabric, and I’ll be designing and making some African (and African-themed) quilts and wall hangings over the next several months to raffle off (or just sell) at some yet-to-be-determined library fundraiser. So, life here has been full of New and Busy and Exciting.

Life is so much more fun in retirement!!


  1. As always, I enjoyed seeing the blocks you made this week, Cathy! Your news about the board of directors for the Kenye organization is fun to read about, too. They're lucky to have you and your energy on board!

  2. Loving your tumblers and selvage works...I need to get myself organized --I am just all over the place with trying to decide WHAT to MAKE next. ;000

    Meanwhile, on the finishing front:--I finished the 52x52 backing for my Dancin' Postage and have laid out the Plum Postage to be backed...

    Perhaps I should jump into RSC2019 and do a few of this and that and the other...hahaha
    It must be Spring Fever...I sat out in the sun for a bit today to try to rid myself of this hacking cough...and blocks whirling in my brain....
    Happy Weekend hugs, Julierose

  3. Oh I LOVE those tumblers. Fun, fun!

  4. The Tumblers and Cracker blocks are beautiful! You've certainly been busy!

  5. Lovely blocks, all of them! Love the mix of tumbler and selvage blocks

  6. Loving those selvedges! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Your AQUA blocks are SEW sweet!! Best of luck on the Kenyan fundraising venture.

  8. Very exciting that you've become more involved with Harambe Humanitarian! Looks like there are many plans for fund raising, which is really great. I'll keep my ears and eyes open for a shipping connection. Getting books to Mau is such a good cause!

  9. Love your Aqua blocks.m sounds like great plans for the fundraising efforts.. good luck on finding shipping for the books!

  10. The rows of your tumbler blocks remind me of ocean, looking toward the horizon. With orange and red above and more blues and dark below it would really be effective. What you are doing for Africa is wonderful. I love the tagboard bookmarks with the proverbs attached. It looks like the projects you have in mind will be a wonderful help to the people there.

  11. It never ceases to amaze me at just how many selvages you manage to accumulate (and use!!). When I see the cracker blocks I always think of signature quilts (don't ask me why). The bookmarks look great - I love the little snippet of fabric combined with the quotes - you KNOW I like quotes!! Sorry I'm no help with shipping up here in Canada.


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