Saturday, October 2, 2021

Wishing Every Month Was October

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

OK, raise your hand if you love October. !!!!! 

That’s what I thought. We *all* love it. (Even those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, where October is spring). But for my purposes today, I’m talking about October autumns, and here in Northern Utah they are beautiful. Clear, blue skies, leaves changing colors, perfect days and cool, crisp evenings. Harvesting the veggies, planting bulbs and buttoning up the garden. Changing the summer wardrobe out for warmer, more snuggly clothes. The first pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate and soup of the season. Even the cats have begun sleeping in their cozy beds! 

And this year it’s even nicer because we are happy, healthy and have so much to be grateful for. Where do I start?

Our grandson Easton graduated from naval Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode  Island on Thursday. We were able to attend virtually and watch him become a fully-commissioned Ensign in the US Navy.

From here he’ll return home to Utah for a couple weeks before heading off to Charleston, South Carolina for Nuclear Engineering (submarine) school. Easton, we are so proud of you and just love you to bits! 

Some of my favorite memories of Easton include seeing him in a Jedi costume I made for him here and watching as he and his sisters made “snowmen” here (he was so little!). We wish you fair winds and a following sea. 

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My studio remodel is finished! There may be a few tweaks here and there, but I finally feel as though there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I changed my mind about some things and had to adapt in other areas, but overall I’m very pleased. 

For those of you who may not know, we had two floods this summer. The first was in July when water came in along a foundation wall after a thunderstorm from Hell. Water leaked in through a hairline crack between the foundation and outer brickwork (building codes in 1963 weren’t what they are today). The issue was addressed and fixed and should be good for another 100 years or more, LOL. But we had to tear out a wall in my studio and pull back our new carpeting to dry it out. Then another storm hit us in August. An exterior drain (that we were keeping an eye on) clogged up and water seeped into the basement again in my studio. Luckily, we caught the flooding in the early stages. We moved everything out of the room, fixed the drain, sandbagged, and wet vacuumed the water out. The carpet was peeled back again and dried out over the next several days. The wall had already been stripped down to the foundation (mold remediation). From there on out, it was just a matter of building back - sealing, insulating, framing, drywalling, painting, installing new window coverings, restretching the carpet. And ordering in new furniture to accommodate the room that had shrunk a few inches due to the layers of the new wall. Oh, and putting in a new design wall to replace the old one that had gotten yukky after years of use and weeks of construction dust! 

Above you can see the new west wall, blinds, and the three Hemnes bookcases. I had two of those bookcases before, but they were on opposite sides of the window. With the smaller dimensions, the bookcase formerly on the left had to be moved over to the right. This necessitated getting rid of our old oak bookcase, which I moved into my “studio annex” (the downstairs bedroom). It replaced an old bookcase held together with duct tape, which is now out in the garage holding stuff. 

The third Hemnes bookcase was delivered from IKEA on Thursday. THAT was a story in itself. I ordered it online last Friday the 24th. I got an email on Saturday that said it would be delivered on Wednesday the 28th. On Monday I got a text message that said it “could not be delivered” and to call Customer Service. What did that mean?  I called the number and got a recording to visit the website. When I went to the website to check the order status, the page was down. On Tuesday night I got a text message that said it would be delivered between 9am-9pm on Tuesday. What?!? That time frame was already past! Then immediately afterward I got a text saying that the “Monday delivery had failed”.  The next morning (Wednesday) I filed an inquiry with the transport company saying I had checked our security camera footage and no delivery attempt had been made at our premises, and when could we expect delivery? They replied that evening by email that it would be rescheduled with us as soon as it returned to the warehouse. The next morning, Thursday, there was a knock on the door, and they delivered our bookcase unannounced. And that, my friends, is the cluster-Foxtrot (you know what I mean) that is the IKEA delivery service. 

So here is the view looking from my sewing station toward the design board on the north (another scrappy quilt in progress). You will also see that I have an eight-cube credenza-type storage unit upon which I’ve set my ironing board.

Originally we were going to have the cube unit raised up on 3” bed risers. But the risers arrived from Amazon broken, so I returned them. Cousin Kim and I are both short, so we decided that this height (about 32”) was good for us without risers. I have a piece of batting under the ironing board to keep it from scratching the surface of the unit. Although it looks a tad tacky, at least this way I can remove the ironing board if I need the small end to iron sleeves or something. And the unit can always be repurposed for something else down the road.

The credenza unit houses my backing fabrics (large cuts), my flamingo bag of multi-colored scraps, African fabrics and some WIPs.

The view below is from the east wall looking west. I moved two small plastic storage units into the left corner to house neutral scraps, and completed blocks awaiting assembly into tops.

The final picture, below, is our four-table set-up that can easily handle 4 quilters. The electrical cord comes down to the center area from the lights above and allows lots of things to be plugged into the power strip without us worrying about tripping over cords on the floor. And we can clear the tables easily (two machines, small personal iron and cutting mats) to use the surface for basting quilts. The door at the very right goes outside and the door in the back by the large painting (my son Shane did that in high school) is a bathroom. 

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And finally - the actual sewing I did this week! I finished basting two quilts and quilted two others. The first finish was this sampler quilt. The blocks were started in a class I took at a local quilt shop in 2019-2020 that was aborted because of Covid. I finished the remaining blocks this year as certain colors came up in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I sewed the flimsy and basted it to use for a quilting demonstration for newbies at our last Quilts for Kids workshop.

So, if you were to closely inspect the quilting (and I doubt you can see from these pictures), there is some basic stippling, some loopy designs and a hook-swirl flower on the quilt. It’s going back to Quilts for Kids, so they’ll understand the odd variations! The sampler finished at 44x58”.

The backing is a cute white-based confetti print that I had on hand. 

The second finish was the orange string quilt whose flimsy I showed last week. I’ve named it  Orange Creamsicle Strings. It measures 42x48” and was quilted with a basic stipple.

I had to add a strip down the back to make the backing wide enough. Excuse all the waviness in these pictures - the grass (at least it’s still green!) isn’t the flattest surface. But I figured I’d take advantage of the outdoors while I can!

There was more sewing too; I added borders to my Framed Pinwheel quilt, and sewed up two more scrappy flimsies. I hope to have those, as well as my Positivity quilt, finished by next weekend. I can dream, right? 

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday


  1. Fun to have your studio tour, Cathy! I love that big surface for basting quilts, especially. You are amazing to get so much done in a week, too. I really love the orange string quilt!

  2. Thanks for the tour! You must be so excited to finally have your space back. Congratulations to your grandson! Exciting times ahead for him.

  3. Both of those Q4K quilts turned out so cute!
    Is that heaven or your new studio?
    It's difficult to believe you have a grandson so old! Congrats to him.

  4. Lovely to see your sewing space, after all the trouble with flooding, it must feel great to finally have it sorted out. Room for four at your sewing table, you say, can I come and play one day?

  5. Great sewing room. You have everything to hand. Congratulations to your grandson. He looks very handsome ( and happy) in his uniform. Lovely for you to join him via technology. Your two quilt finishes are great, love them both.

  6. I always enjoy seeing other folks’ sewing spaces. You have it really well organized, and I wish I had lighting as good as yours. What a crazy delivery story!!

  7. What a lovely studio finish!! Beautiful space to create in [oops "in which to create" haha]!!
    Two lovely finishes too..;)))
    Your grandson looks so handsome in his uniform--how exciting for him to have must be so proud of him...
    hugs, Julierose

  8. Oh what a handsome gentleman Easton is with a fine career ahead. Lovely quilt too.

  9. Congrats to Easton!! Thanks for the "new" studio tour. It looks great, Cathy!! You did a lot of good quilting work this week, too. Yay, you!

  10. Congrats to Easton! Making it through OCS is a huge deal. He looks proud enough to bust his buttons in that photo. Your studio is gorgeous! Gorgeous! I kept reading the name of your shelf units as Hermes and thought, ooo la la! Designer French cabinets, very fancy :)

  11. I love the term "studio annex"! I will have to use it for our guest room which houses seasonal fabrics and quilts. Your studio looks wonderful. Glad you got everything put back together finally. And congrats for your grandson!

  12. I am also a big fan of October, although we don't always get reliably cool weather then. Congrats to Easton and good wishes on his career! So happy to hear the studio is finally together. It reminds me a little of my "studio" - not fancy and perfectly decorated, but functional, practical and comfortable! Love the blocks in your sampler quilt and the orange strings are delightful!

  13. I am SO happy for you that you have your beautiful studio finished! It is truly beautiful!
    I could feel your excitement as I read your post.
    Congratulations to your grandson Easton. What an amazing young man!

  14. How bright and well-lighted the remodeled studio is. You've done a great job of reorganizing your somewhat smaller space. Wish I had room for a design wall. You must feel great pride in Easton's accomplishment, but, perhaps a little trepidation, too, given this crazy world we inhabit. Love the orange string quilt and the sampler turned out great.

  15. Your new studio looks wonderful. Looks like it is motivating you to make pretty quilts too!

  16. Congratulations to Easton! (And, gee, to think that in the time you've been blogging (can it have been that long? isn't blogging still newfangled?) he's grown up.) Your renewed sewing studio looks lovely!

  17. Your grandson is very handsome in his uniform (handsome out of it too, I'm sure!). Congratulations to him.
    Your newly revamped studio space looks wonderful and you must be so relieved to have everything back in place.

  18. Lovely quilt space, should stay dry now!

  19. Congratulations Cathy you must be so proud of him!

    Funny how things get demoted around the house when they get too schmatty for company, they always end up in either the kids rooms, shed or the garage.

    Fun tour too!
    hugs Flora

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  21. I enjoyed your Studio Tour! For some reason I missed it on October 2nd!
    And congrats on Easton’s commission! You are very proud,I am sure!


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