Saturday, October 31, 2020

October Roundup

All in all, October has been a very good month. Out in the big wide world, Covid is still raging wildly. But here at home, things are great, if quiet. It was a pleasant fall week, with crisp blue skies by day and chilly temperatures in the evenings. We had our first hard frost, and things are looking brown and crispy. The fall colors aren’t intense this year, as happens when there is a lack of rain throughout the year. We’ve got our fingers crossed that the Farmer’s Almanac will be correct in its prediction of a wetter-than-usual winter for us. We need the moisture. But not in our lungs, thank you very much, just on the ground. We’re planning our last foray out in the yard today to put the patio cushions, decorations and furniture away. We’ve got a lot of leaves in the breezeway and patio, but no sense sweeping them now because the trees have more coming.

I’m linking up to Angela’s So Scrappy blog for Scrappy Saturday. We participants are sharing all of our yellow scrappy sewing for the month. This month concludes the color rotation for this year, although November and December are reserved for dark neutrals (black, gray, brown) and light neutrals (white, cream), if desired. Most of us will take the time over the next couple months to begin assembly of our rainbow blocks into quilts. If my calculations are correct, I have five rainbow quilts to assemble; Beachcomber, strings, selvage hexies, Windmills (Twin Sisters), and Scraptastic Stars. The Split Nines and International Sisters will carry over into 2021. 

I finished quilting and binding my quilt from yellow scraps and orphan blocks. Meet Creature from Bumblebee Acres! Thanks to Joy for the great name idea! This happy little creature quilt finished at 42x48.5”. It will go to Quilts for Kids. 

And speaking of Quilts for Kids, my friend Sandy who runs our local chapter says she’s overflowing with scraps. She’s sorting through them and texted me to come over in a few day to pick some up. I can hardly wait! All my little scrappy quilts go to QFK anyway, so it’s a win-win! Last Saturday we had a QFK scrappy workshop, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough (because of the pandemic) to stay and sew. However, I dropped off 10 quilts (three made and quilted by me and seven made by others and quilted/bound by me). I did stay long enough to learn the scrappy technique being taught, plus to pick up two kits to make a couple of those. And four quilts to be quilted.

Anyway, this new technique is something I want to share with you. Apparently, you begin with a nice repeating print, be it floral, or whatever. Then you cut 4.5” squares or whatever size you choose, depending on the size of the repeat (or portion thereof). Let me show you.

See the four sections of the four-patch above? They were cut from almost the same exact portion of the repeat, just at subsequent portions of the fabric. In the case of this print, there were several ways to lay it out, but the idea is to make it look kaleidoscope-ish. Or turn it into an interesting repeated pattern.

There is no right or wrong here - you just play with them until you get an effect you like. In the above block, I chose to put the main (visually-weighty) flowers out in the squares and bring a lesser grouping together at the center. I love those green swirls too. 

The blue flowers above all wanted to play together at the center. 

Once all the groups of four patches are sewn together, you add sashing and cornerstones, which we are asked by QFK to provide from our stashes. I also added an outer border because there was extra main fabric given to us for that purpose. I’ll admit that this squirrel bit me hard, and I couldn’t stop sewing until it was a flimsy! It measures 51x61”. 

If you click on the picture, you can enlarge it to see all the fun variations that this print provided.  I’ll probably set this one aside now for a few weeks before quilting it up, although I do plan to piece a backing for it this weekend.

Here is my usual collage of yellow RSC blocks made for October. There were 84 of them. (Not all are pictured).

I also finished up (quilting, binding), the second of four quilts that I’m making as Christmas gifts. This quilt was made from a panel and will be for my brother who is still crazy after all these years for old cars and trucks. 

As usual, my design board isn’t large enough, so the top part is pinned on and the bottom portion is hanging, which makes it look wonky. It isn’t. 

Mostly I quilted it in a simple stipple with black thread, but in the snowy parts I switched to white thread and just quilted lines or whatever I felt would work on the snow. This quilt finished at 56x65” before laundering. The backing is a tossed truck print with red, green and blue trucks that I’ve had for awhile and knew would be the perfect backing for a Christmas quilt for Steve. 

Now I’ve moved on to the third Christmas quilt. This next one will be for Bill, who is the husband of Paula (Tyrol quilt) and is my DIL’s dad. Bill likes to hunt, and they have a cabin up in the canyon not too far from Snowbird. When my DIL Kim saw these fabrics I’d pulled from my stash as a possibility, she said they were perfect for him. She also chose a simple rail pattern for the quilt.

This is how they’re looking together so far. I have sewn all 56 blocks, so the inner portion of the quilt will be set 7x8.  Then there will be a thin blue border (that solid blue) followed by an outer wide border of that navy medallion print. 

It should finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 78x88”. Since Bill is 6’4”, that’s a good size for a lap quilt.

But wait, there’s more! That’s all of my sewing for the week, but Cousin Kim finished up a baby quilt from a cute jelly roll of baby fabric I had sitting around.  Her son Nick has a friend who is having a baby, and this will go for him/her.

Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the cute prints with unicorns and swans. Kim did a super job and used just about every square inch of the jelly roll for the blocks, border and binding. She is the queen of frugal. This delightful quilt finished at 50.5 x 59.5”.  At Kim’s request, I quilted it with a simple loop design. 

So, do you remember that my plan was to shampoo the carpets of at least one room last week? Well .... it didn’t happen. But not for lack of trying. Oh no. It was a major cluster-foxtrot, if you know what I mean. I got the guest bedroom cleared and vacuumed. Then I got out the carpet cleaning appliance, the instructions (just to refresh my memory), and set to work. But nothing was happening. Everything seemed to run fine, but no water/soap was moving out or in. I checked the beater bar, the belt, cleaned all the parts, etc. Bruce even came and helped me disassemble some non-“user-serviceable” parts to check and clean. It just wouldn’t spray out the soap or suck it back up. We figured the pump must be kaput. After almost two wasted hours, I gave up. And I’ll have you know that I didn’t utter even one foul word through the entire process. So now I guess I’ll need to call in a professional to do it. Damn! (Oops!)

That’s it from here. Today, October 31, is also the anniversary of my mom’s passing (14 years), so she’ll be in my thoughts throughout the day. Tonight is trick-or-treating, but we’re turning off the lights and watching our usual movie, Young Frankenstein. We’ve already been around to the three neighborhood families of kids we love to deliver their treats to them in person.  


  1. Creature from Bumblebee Acres is perfect, and looks like it turned out nicely! Always enjoy seeing your monthly collage, too. The new technique you learned looks pretty neat - would you say you need a good sized piece of a busier floral to make that work? Looks like you had fun playing with it!

  2. Great work! Do you happen to recall what the selvage edge info was on the tossed Chevrolet pickup fabric? Thanks.

  3. As always, love your post and your Yellow blocks round up. The Creature from Bumblebee Acres looks great. How frustrating that your carpet shampooer didn’t work. Horrible when you’re all geared up to do the job. You have a stack of RSC flimsiest to quilt and bind - good luck- and then the Christmas gifts too.

  4. what a fine idea to put all the RSC makings in one post! SO much glorious yellow it's bright and sunny and happy

  5. As always, such a lot of wonderful stitching projects you have done. The interesting floral four patch looks a lot of fun.
    We dont do Halloween here in New Zealand although I guess some of the younger children do. So no spooky decorations or trick and treating going on in this household.

  6. Your creature quilt is so bee- utifil! It’ll bee all the buzz at QFK!! The rail fence quilt for your DIL’s dad is really nice! We are also turning off the lights and watching a movie. Our littles have all moved away. We usually only get 10-12 trick or treaters anyway. This year, I’m just not comfortable handing out candy to kids I don’t know!

  7. Bumblebee Acres is well-represented! And the creature is in good company amongst all your pretty projects - you had a busy month!
    Enjoy the movie! (With lots of popcorn!)

  8. Wow!! I won the name game and YOU won the "make all the YELLOW things" challenge!!! :o))

  9. I love the Bumblebee Acres name - perfect choice! Your latest flimsy reminds me of the stack-n-whack process but probably yours is easier to create. Maybe. I'm by no means up on sane quilting patterns as you know. The rail fence design looks perfect for a man - he's sure to love it.
    So sorry your rug shampoo plans didn't happen the way you'd planned, especially after you moved everything to get ready for it.

  10. Ah! Creature from Bumblebee Acres is such a great name! It is so appropriate for a great quilt. A lucky child is going to love it!
    As I was looking at and reading about the quilt with the kaleidoscope blocks, I kept thinking about all of the florals I have that could be used for a quilt like this. Oh boy! Looks like I will be off on another squirrel adventure!
    I'm looking forward to the next two months to see how all of your scrap blocks come together, if that is what you will be doing.
    Also looking forward to these two months passing by, so we can all get a fresh start in a new, hopefully much better) year!
    I've been working away at my QAL's that I am not QAL-ing anymore, now it's a different QAL. It is Quilt Alone! My bad...I kind of lost the sewing mojo for a minute. I am going through each abandoned QAL quilt and finishing, plus keeping up with Fat Quarter Shop's QAL of Sewcialites. I don't know what my problem is (maybe my age), but I set out squares the way they are supposed to be sewn into blocks. By the time I take two to sew together, even though I have them place the way they should be oriented, I manage to sew them wrong! GRRR! I pick threads out and resew...sometimes the wrong way again! Double GRRR! Today I am going to concentrate on making smaller design boards, so I can carry my set up block to the sewing machine. Hopefully that will help!
    Okay enough babbling for me...Take care, stay safe!

  11. I know that QFK's workshop block as 4 patch posy. I actually have one or two patterns for it. Magpie is right, it works much like Stack 'n' Whack but easier to sew together. I've made several and find the playing around with the block layouts to be the most fun. Nice to see Bumblebee Acres done. I need to choose some projects for next year's RSC after taking this year off (not that any of the older one actually got finished). But the new year this year definitely calls for some new beginnings. We kept the lights off last night, too.

  12. I love Four Patch Posies. I've only made one and my strips were cut at 3 inches. I think it is so much fun arranging them.

    Will there be creatures next year?

    And its funny that I saw that exact same panel that someone else finished up this week too. It was fun to see the two different quilts.

  13. I can see why the four patches would be so fun to play with. The wilder the print, the better! And Bumblebee Acres turned out great, as all your Creature Quilts do. I know you don't love them all equally, though.

    I'm a little puzzled about how you find a professional cusser, though. You said you didn't do any cussin' and now needed to call in a professional to do it. Do you ask your neighbors who they use for their swearing needs? Put up signs on telephone poles that say, "(#$*&-er Wanted"? Call 1-800-WE CURSE? Oh, wait, that's the local witches' coven. Nevermind.

  14. Hi, Cathy! You commented on one of my first blogs, which I visited today. My blog is completely neglected now, but I'm so glad to see yours continuing. And you're still quilting! I've gotten obsessed with knitting since our move to Missouri, and am frantically trying to pick one hobby that I do, instead of bouncing around to quilting, knitting, crazy quilting and now... sewing garments. I'm so conscious of the passing years and am trying to embrace it all. Of course, that's not working well. We met in Omaha, I think, where you had a vendor's room.... so glad to see you continuing to be generous with your projects.

  15. Hi Cathy! You have had a fabulous week. Thanks for sharing the details on the kaleidoscope-esque block. That's a fun and clever take! I love the panel quilt - that is a popular scene and one I wouldn't mind having myself. I wish you and Bruce well. I know you're staying safe and healthy. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  16. I so enjoyed your October roundup, Cathy! Here's to a bright November!

  17. Young Frankenstein ... is that the one with Gene Wilder? The one he is in is the one I love... "Walk this way" a HOOT!

  18. So much for a quiet week at home - your quilting results make me feel like a slacker! . I see several other comments about your kaleidoscope pattern also being called Four Patch Posy. I've made a couple of them and they are just fun! The Christmas quilt for your brother turned out great and the backing fabric is perfect!

  19. Great finishes and projects! Love that technique for the four patches. I borrowed my daughter’s carpet cleaner and it worked but was dripping water all over the place!

  20. There is so much going on in your studio Cathy, it is like drinking from the fire-hose but I could not imagine any other way :-) The sisters glow in their golden outfits. Love the new technique. I had seen it with One Block Wonder Quilts, but can be cleverly adapted to a 4-patch. I am amazed that so many guys are so into automobiles. Of course your brother is a lucky guy to get such a personalized Christmas gift. Love the string blocks - yummy like a banana pudding :-) Congratulations on your finishes. You killed it. Big squishy hugs to you.

  21. So much quilty goodness, but those four-patch blocks and quilt top! They remind me of stack and whack blocks from years ago. I always felt like those were too detailed and fussy, but these are more “simple” and fresh. Adorable! The Christmas quilt is going to be a big hit, including the backing!


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