Saturday, April 3, 2021

Stitchin’ the Blues

Happy Saturday! I’d like to start out by wishing everyone (who celebrates) a Happy Easter or Passover (which ends tomorrow) or Ramadan (which isn’t for another week or so).... or whatever. Since it’s just Bruce and me here (no family gatherings yet), all we’re doing is having a bit of a fancy dinner on Sunday. Yeah, don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually going to fix an entire meal with all the fixin’s. I’ll try not to make a habit of it. 

It was a great week because we got to visit with our friend Terri for an hour or two. She was planning to be in the neighborhood, so we *finally* got to exchange Christmas gifts and birthday gifts from the last few months. We’re all fully vaccinated, and since it’s safe to meet with family and friends (and Terri qualifies as both), we got to talk and laugh and HUG! It was so awesome, and definitely a high point in our week.  

Also, Alfie and Darla got a great order from Chewy this week. After I unpacked the box, they got to play with their favorite item - the empty box!  But they loved their toys, too, and have been crazily playing with those as well. I also ordered and received compostable litter bags, so I never ever have to scrounge plastic bags again. YAY!! 

Another new month means we get another color of scraps to work with for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. To go along with our sunny blue spring skies, Angela has chosen light and bright blues for our April scrap color. Yay! I was almost afraid to go down into my studio for fear that those blue scraps had taken over!! 

Last week I showed you a quilt that I was going to try to squeeze in as a finish before the end of March. Well, I finished it just before dinner on the 31st, so I was able to chalk up 9 quilt finishes in March. It’s just another string quilt, with some solid green and yellow blocks (spring!) thrown in to calm it down a bit. Stipple quilting, usual 42x48” size. Labeled and added to the pile for Quilts for Kids. 

Then it was time to happily change gears from greens to blues. Lots of stuff here to keep me busy for April!  That dark blue/mixed blue pile in the picture below is the scraps from the scrap bin. I sorted out all the darks and put those away for another month. We’re just keeping it light and bright for now. Also, I put away the blue rain/umbrella fabric (extreme right) because that’s yardage and I can always work with that another time or use it as a backing. The large pieces of blue and brown letters (left top) and the blue solid on top of it were a 100% cotton curtain (lined) I bought at the thrift store a couple months ago. There’s enough there to back 4 quilts. 

First I decided to go through everything and divide the scraps into piles of like things. There will be a nautical quilt, a sock monkeys quilt, and a dinosaur (-ish) quilt of blues and browns. I had some smaller scraps of pink princesses on blue and some extra sock monkey fabric, so that’s where I started. After all, what goes better with princesses than sock monkeys? 

I had to pull in some other bits and squares from my stash, but this is what it looks like as I’m finally sewing the top together. It’s going to be called Princesses and Monkeys (or maybe The Princess and The Monkey - like a fable or something?)

I had some light blue string blocks in my stash, but not enough. So, the first thing I did for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was to sew my light blue strings into more blocks. I made 18 blocks at 6.5” unfinished, and I forgot to get a picture. Dang! Anyway, six of them were added to the ones I already had for the quilt above, and the other dozen will hang out until called upon to serve. Princesses and Monkeys should finish up this week and I’ll start on one of the next quilts in between RSC blocks.

The light blue Momcat and her kittens showed up this week as well. You’ll notice that Momcat and one of her kittens are made of cat fabric!

In the Quilty Orphan Adoption event that Cynthia held last month, I was fortunate enough to win some 9-patch scraps. Here are the eleven 9.5” nine-patch blocks I won. I have plenty of fabrics to supplement these with (I’ve already pulled them, hehe). No fancy plans here - just make more blocks, sash them and sew them into a quilt.  I’d venture to guess that these fabrics are from the nineties through the aughts.

The real challenge is with the larger blocks that were the second part of the lot. These are 12.5” blocks and considerably older and uglier.  There were 14 blocks, but one I just had to throw away because it was stained in several places. The remaining 13 got separated into two groups of six each, with one leftover.

I ended up taking apart the two green and pink blocks in the left group and moved the pinks squares over to the pink/red/blue group on the right. The gold and red block at the bottom was also taken apart, with the gold staying with the left green/gold/brown group and the red moving to the red/pink/blue group. 

Then I pulled some fabric candidates for additional patches for each group. I think I can make enough supplemental blocks for each group, then “sash the hell” out of them (as Cousin Kim and I say...) and get two kids’ quilts as a result. As an alternative,  I’ve also considered making them into Disappearing 9-Patch blocks because making these disappear might be the kindest thing I could do! Stay tuned. It’s ugly, but it will be fun!

We spent one morning this week working out in the yard - cleaning garbage and leaves and debris. It was so good to move and stretch and feel the sunshine. We’ve also gone on some nice walks this week and even had our first Barnes & Noble coffee/book date in over a year! Life is good.


  1. Great start on Light and Bright BLUE, Cathy! Wanna hear something funny? I actually like the second batch of 9-Patch blocks better than the first. I'm surprised that you threw the stained one away. You missed out on an opportunity for some creative applique!

  2. Hi,
    Love the Mom Cat and Kittens block and princess and Monkeys is
    really cute. Have a great day!

  3. The princess and HER monkeys?! I love your creativity in naming quilts. And I'm sure those "ugly" 9-patch blocks will become something beautiful in the end. You always seem to work magic!

  4. I have to say how envious I am! Actually HUG somebody??? Wow, not allowed here in the UK, even our daughter, SIL and beautiful granddaughter although they live round the corner. Haven’t had a hug or kisses from them for over a year.😂 Easter Sunday tomorrow. They are allowed in our garden, no hugs etc, 2 meters distancing. We’re just having sandwiches and a chocolate cake I have made so that if it gets too cold we can just pack up and they can go home. Weather forecast isn’t too exciting! Anyway, quilting matters. Love your cat blocks and combining princesses and sock monkeys! Love the string quilt too. Surprising what a difference the yellow and green blocks add to the finished look of the quilt. I so look forward to your weekly posts. 🥰

  5. Really nice quilts and WIPS for RSC--I LOVE that Princess and the Monkey SO MUCH!! The red outlined middle squares really add so much...You are really on a lovely roll ...
    hugs for a Happy Easter--and hope you get some chocolates from that Bunny!! Julierose

  6. Lots of fun with blues going on in your sewing room, Cathy! The Princess and the Sock Monkey is adorable. Love the cats and the cat fabric, too! We're working in the yard today, and it definitely feels good to be out there!

  7. Interesting mix of projects.mbeing able to meet and hug is so special. Boxes are always the best part of the gift, sometimes more so than the toy.

  8. That's a great quote "ugly but fun!". Love your little blue kittens, I'm sure they would enjoy coming here to chase my little blue birds.

  9. I smile as I read "just another string quilt" when it shines so beautifully. The princess is adorable, the cats are full of mischief and I miss you. Have a lovely Sunday complete with all the fixings.

  10. I'm blown away by the thought of 9 quilts finished in a month! The Princess and Monkey quilt will be lovely, and I agree that making disappearing 9-patch blocks is the best option for those last blocks.

  11. Well, you know what Bonnie Hunter says about ugly fabric, "If it's still ugly, you didn't cut it small enough". I guess that could be said of ugly blocks as well, so a disappearing 9-patch may be the answer.
    Congratulations on being able to get out and about. My 2 weeks post 2nd shot was yesterday and my husband's will be this Friday, just in time for us to actually go out to celebrate his birthday.
    Enjoy your Easter, even if quiet. Ours always is, so at least that's no different than any other year.

  12. Hi Cathy! It sounds like life has been good in your neighborhood. Ahh. To clean away all the debris from the winter felt good, I'll bet. It's fun to see which projects you're working on - love The Princess and The Monkey potential quilt. ~smile~ Roseanne

  13. Congratulations, I think, on the nine-patch orphans. "Older and uglier" does give one pause. But your string blocks are cheerful! We went to the upscale supermarket (Heinen's) and got a 5-lb lamb roast for our Easter dinner. It turned out perfectly and the leftovers will be great (lamb curry and a moussaka or two).

  14. Definitely "The Princess and the Monkey"! ;-) They all look great together, as do the new kitties!

  15. Had to laugh at making the blocks disappear as a kindness! I'm working with a few of those right now, someone else's rather homely orphans. But they all look better after quilting, don't they? Your blue scraps are super cute, and what a score to find curtains you could de-construct for backings :)


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