Saturday, May 15, 2021

Coming Together

This week we had so many plans and goals come to fruition, and it’s a wonderful feeling. Every year that we can live in this house (4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, my studio, an office and Bruce’s workshop plus a yard with 8 ½ raised garden beds) is a bonus. I’m 67 and Bruce is 74 with one arm, so we know our time here is limited. Downsizing is in our future, but not this year and hopefully not next year either. 

The carpet guys finished up the basement this week and the final move-back of the studio and office is done. Well, I have one box to unload and return to shelves in the office, but that’s it. Bruce had help twice this week from the local church missionary young men, and they transferred two cubic yards of new soil into the garden beds. Today he (and me if he needs another hand, LOL) will install the drip irrigation in the garden beds and plant the veggies. I’m also planting the front entry flower pots today that I should’ve done a week ago. Since we had the exterior windows cleaned last week, I decided to clean the interior windows (paced myself) this week and do some deep spring cleaning. Next week I’ll clean up the downstairs bedroom and I’ll be all done with that. Yay!

Mother’s Day was lovely, with all kids either dropping in (the local ones) or calling (the out of state ones). I got flowers, gift cards, bath bombs and lots of hugs!! Such a beautiful contrast to last year!

I’ve been having fun sewing up my red scraps. Angela, our Rainbow Scrap Challenge leader has called red for May. Since I have a lot to share, I’ll be linking up with Scrappy Saturday. First, I finished quilting and binding the Red Alphabet quilt for Quilts for Kids (QFK). 

This little quilt finished at 40x45”. It used the red alphabet fabric that my friend Angie sent me last fall, plus some red and yellow squares from the QFK scraps and some blue strips from my stash. 

The quilting is just a simple stipple. The backing is a hodgepodge of scraps from my stash, QFK, leftover alphabet fabric, etc. I love using things up. It’s rather hideous, though. But kids don’t care....

With that done, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and sew some red blocks. First, two Spring Stars. They will measure 12” when sewn into a quilt.

Those took no time at all, so I kept going. Next up were the waffle blocks. The one in the center was my test block that I sewed last year to see if I’d like them.  Naturally, I loved them, so here we are. I sewed two more this month, but I’ll count all three since I never counted the test block. They are set four together to make each block 10.5” (10” finished).

A couple weeks ago I showed a pile of large red and navy half square triangles. Well, as I went through them this week, I realized the red ones were only half sewn. So, I finished those and counted them all.

There were enough of each color to make 11 pinwheel blocks of each color. But what quilt layout uses 22 blocks? I decided to use ten of each for a 20-block setting. So, now I’m sewing a red pinwheel and a blue pinwheel - one of each every day. Then I’m cutting them into two different Disappearing Pinwheel variations.

You can see what the blocks are going to look like eventually. I had a better closeup, but I wanted to show the new carpet and coving in this picture. See? My fabric is even back on the shelves. The old hard-wired telephone lines (and yucky old phone outlet) are gone and everything is clean and spiffy now. I love clean and spiffy, hehe!  But I digress.....

I’ll continue to sew one red and one navy block every day, and in another week or so, I’ll have enough to assemble them into another QFK quilt top.  I also decided to pull some of my string blocks and use up some for another string top. Here’s what I pinned up on the design board. Those three red string blocks in this top are the only red ones I had left from last year’s red month.

But fear not! I got a wild hair to sew string blocks this week, and I made 30 new red blocks.

As usual, the string blocks will finish at 6”. I have plans for six of them to go into an in-process red scrappy column quilt. There will be 4 columns of 6” blocks and 2 columns of 8” blocks. So, the length will be 48” and the width will be 40”.  Besides the snowballs and rail fence blocks below, there will be the string blocks, some nine-patches and then the 8” blocks will be windmills and sawtooth stars. 

I actually have more blocks to show, but I’m going to save them for next week. My goal for the coming week (after the flower pot planting and deep cleaning the downstairs bedroom) is to finish the red scrappy column quilt top, sew the string blocks into a top and maybe even get them both sandwiched up. And of course I’ll continue to sew on those Disappearing Pinwheels.  So if you drop by, you’ll either find me out working in the yard or downstairs sewing. Life is good.


  1. You have lots going on there, Cathy! I enjoy seeing what you've been up to. The red column quilt and the red string blocks are going to be fun!

  2. OMG you have made a lot of beauties!!! When I grow up I want to be like you (LOL)

  3. OK! I’m intrigued now! A column quilt? Interesting! You go girl! I like clean and spiffy too! But it’s not happening around here lately! When our granddaughter and family lived with us the last 2 months of 2019 and the first 2 months of 2020, then packed up a van and moved to Florida...we were left with the stuff that wouldn’t fit in the van! Winter gear, personal cosmetics etc. still here and now I have more treasures from my sister’s house! Downsizing is on our list too! I’m 11 years older than you, so I’d bet get a move on! Nuff said!

  4. You have a lot of neat projects happening!! I do love those red strings (KA-POWSER!!) and the waffle ones are neat, too....hugs, Julierose

  5. So much great stuff happening at your house! Good luck finishing the spring cleaning and getting the garden going, both of which I need to do too. Congrats on your finishing for Quilts for Kids. It will be so cheerful for a child and their parents.

  6. I see you did a bit of a reno! So are we! Simalr ages ( getting well in to the 60s ) but we are staying put for a few more years. So bring on the new lino and counters! No quilt room reno necessary tho. I will just keep on sewing!
    Love all your red, you inspire me to make a list of my RSC blocks, but first I must bind!
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Another productive week! Can’t believe how much you and Bruce fit into your week, I do like the way you add a solid colour (this month red) to your multi coloured String blocks quilts. It really works, makes a focus to all those varied string blocks.

  8. I like cleaned up and spiffy too but I doubt our house will ever be spiffy! It's is very old but it's paid for so no complaining. We even still have a land line phone complete with yucky outlet!! I'm 69 and hoping to live out my days here spiffy or not. Hubby (almost 72 yo)wants to tear down this spiffi-less house and have new one built on our acreage but with lumber prices up 280% I don't think that is going to happen.

    My goodness you have a lot of neat projects going on. I really like those disappearing Pinwheels. I tried making some D9P but didn't like the process of cutting apart, switching parts around and sewing back together. Mainly that was because my cutting apart never seemed to be very accurate. Love those red string blocks with that consistent red gingham center. And that Q4K quilt turned out so cute. I like that backing you pieced and don't find it hideous at all. Looking forward to your column quilt. You have some great ideas.

  9. I love all your rosy prospects here! You and Bruce do manage to keep busy!
    (I don't actually do clean and spiffy. I figure if I'm not actively sticking to anything it's good enough...)

  10. Your week was SEW productive, Cathy!! I'm looking forward to seeing how that column quilt turns out. Congratulations on your quilt finish and all of those lovely RED blocks you finished, too!

  11. Lots of good projects for reds! Glad you are getting your house fixed up the way you want. And for the help with your gardens. Spring brings a plethora of chores, but always good to work outdoors.

  12. I'm always so impressed by how much you manage to accomplish. Perhaps I need to come over there and take lessons on how to be more productive? I love the waffle blocks too!

  13. I admire you and Bruce with your can do attitudes. Please rub some off onto me!
    I'm loving the pinwheels. The quilt is going to be gorgeous!
    My daughter and I have recovered from our week long siege of people at the house. It was fun, but I think a limit is a good thing...maybe three days. That way we can all part as friends/family with no bad feelings.
    As far as my quilting progress...I managed to print out all the patterns I have missed, cut out some of the pieces, and got them organized. My dtr and I went to tour and interview a great little child care center for my grandson. Daughter is going to schedule all of her clients into a few days ,so she can take the little guy maybe three days a week to the day care. We both want him to interact with other children his age and get the clingy side of him rectified. He needs socialization, I need more of my retirement time and my daughter wants/needs to get more work in!
    Have a wonderful week, I can't wait to see what you are up to this coming week!

  14. Those disappearing pinwheel blocks are very spiffy! I love that you're using a different variation with each color. Congrats on getting your studio back up to snuff. Spiffy snuff. Snuffily spiffed? It looks great :)

  15. Can't wait to see the results from your garden this year! So far we've had some tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, and jalapeños ripen up. I don't know if it's all the rain we've had or some other factor, but our tomatoes are disappointing this year. It's still early days, maybe they will perk up!
    Love seeing all your happy red scraps - especially those red string blocks!

  16. Such a cheerful post, Cathy! Glad the house is to your liking. Lovely variety of red projects for you this week.

  17. Glad to hear your room is now back to being functional. And looks like you've been having fun playing with red...don't think I've seen that particular pinwheel design before.


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