Saturday, May 28, 2022

Summer Has Arrived!

We’ve actually had some HOT days this week in the Salt Lake Valley. The month of May has generally given us cooler-than-usual temperatures and rain, but this week the sun got its way and warmed things up considerably. Since we are in drought conditions here in the west, Salt Lake County officials are asking us to water our lawns only once a week. Almost everyone has embraced the edict, and most lawns are green/gold/brown. I read on our Neighborhood app that there’s even lawn shaming going on for people who have green lawns or are caught watering in the heat of the day. We stick to the once per week schedule, but we water our flower beds and vegetable gardens (on drip irrigation) as often as necessary to keep them healthy. That practice is just fine. We are predicted to have 60-80% chance of rain showers over the next three days, so our fingers are crossed!

With things a bit dry outside, it was nice to get my “green fix” in the sewing room this week as I sewed on my dark greens for May’s monthly color in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I haven’t finished everything I set out to do this month, but there are still three days left before the actual end of the month. That will give me time to finish the last 4 elephant blocks and quilt up my last two green quilts for May. But let me show you what I did finish this week.

Fourteen Bow Tie blocks at 4.5”

Bear Paws at 12”, 6” and 3” (finished sizes)

Cousin Kim and I basted two large quilts last Sunday. One is hers and one is mine (the yellow and blue Hearts for Ukraine quilt). I’ll quilt those some time in June.

I did finish these to quilts for Quilts for Kids, and will be adding these to the pile of quilts I’m taking to our QFK workshop today.

First up is the green coin quilt. It measures 42x47”.

This was made from scraps except the sashing, which was a cut I bought on sale online a couple months ago. It was quilted with a simple stipple.

Don’t you love the little pops of orange?

The second quilt is this bright scrappy number. Oh my, I love green and orange together!!

This one finished at 38x44” and was also quilted in a simple stipple. The green in the border, backing and binding is Kona Iced Frappe. I used a lot of it in my seahorse quilts last year. 

This week Alfie and Darla celebrated their 9th birthday. I can’t believe time is zipping by so fast!

Alfalfa (Alfie)


And I’ll just leave you with that feline cuteness, because I’m off to our Quilts for Kids workshop now. Today we’ll be doing a lot of crumb sewing. 

Have a great week! Linking to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge’s Scrappy Saturday.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Green Sewing

This was certainly a green week! Until Sunday evening, I was in Seattle (very green and rainy), helping out my daughter post-surgery. She is doing well. Son Ryan and I flew home that evening and got home late. On Monday the day was filled with unpacking, laundry and working in the yard (mostly flower bed clean-up and weeding). I haven’t planted any of my flower pots yet this season, nor have we even cleaned off the patio and set up the furniture out there. It’s just been too cold and damp. But the veggie garden is planted with peas, spinach, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, onions and carrots.   

On Wednesday our new bed was delivered, so we wrangled the new sheets and bedding onto it. The cats were a bit freaked out at first, and we slept fitfully the first night. But since then we’ve been sleeping like babies and the cats enjoy “their” new bed too.

Some sewing took place in small spurts for the first few days home, but once I felt settled again, I was a Sewing Fool! No new elephants were sewn this week, but the final four green ellies are cut out and will be sewn this coming week. I did, however, finish up these ten green framed four patches. 

And then the strip and string sewing began. I’ve learned over the years that string blocks in green are much more interesting if the diffferent values of green are mixed. So with that in mind, I combined all my green strings, which are admittedly heavier on the darks, into these 37 six-inch blocks. 

The blocks at the bottom have a sheer fabric base (think sheer curtain fabric, likely a polyester or other synthetic. I was gifted a roll of it years ago). The upper grouping was pieced on old phone book pages. I’m running out of paper, so I’m back to using the synthetic until I can find more phone books! Anyway, when the light and bright green month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge rolls around, I’ll likely have plenty more green strings to make more string blocks then.

One of the things I did that’s new for me this month is sew STRIPS of green together. I define strips as being 2” or more in width. In this case I gathered strips in medium to dark greens that were at least 20” or more in length and sewed them together lengthwise into strip sets of six to seven. Then they were cut into 6.5” widths with the intention of using them in a coin quilt. As it turned out, I had enough to do a strictly green coin quilt!

The following picture shows the green strip sections pinned roughly on the design board with the fabric strips I plan to use as sashing. It’s NOT yet sewn, so excuse the wonkiness; this is just to get an idea of that it’ll look like.

It’ll need a bit of layout tweaking, and that’s a project for this weekend. I also got this little flimsy sewn up and plan to get it backed, basted and quilted this coming week. The Flower Fairy panels (which I used to own some of myself and used in my Crazy Quilting) were gifted to me a couple years ago by my friend Angie

So, that’s what’s been happening over the last week. Cousin Kim will be coming over tomorrow, and for the first time in three weeks we’ll be sewing and playing with our jigsaw puzzle in progress. I can’t wait! 

Have a great week! 

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday at Angela’s blog for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

A Quick Trip to Seattle

Hi! I managed to get some sewing done (more about that momentarily) before having to prepare for and leave on my trip to Seattle. As I write this, it’s late Saturday morning and my daughter will be released from the hospital within the next hour or two. The surgery went fairly well, although the endometriosis was a bit more widespread than anticipated, and they had to take her appendix as well as perform the hysterectomy. She was in a lot of pain initially, but it’s now under control. My son Ryan and I are planning to take an Uber to the hospital to go get her. Her boyfriend Ted has to go to work today, which is doubly important to them because Meg won’t be released to go back to work for at least four weeks. But we’ll all be here to help her out this evening and tomorrow before Ryan and I fly home tomorrow (Sunday) evening.

In the early part of the week, I allayed my motherly worrying by stitching on elephants. Here are the three pairs I sewed, in no particular order and based solely on how Blogger deigns to upload and then download them):

I’ll be making lots of elephants in all shades of greens and blues, because I’ll be sewing up two green and blue ellie quilts coordinated around the floral fabric in the elephant pictured below. Isn’t the fabric sweet?

So there is a method to my elephant madness!

Here is this week’s herd all together. 

After that little herd was done, and for a change of pace, I sewed up my dark green and neutral bullseye log cabin blocks. 

I pulled out one of the self-made scrappy “kits” made with some green scraps, and got some of it arranged on the design board. This is as far as I got before having to call it quits for the week . . .

To be continued next week. . .

Linking to Scrappy Saturday at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Elephants and the Squirrel

Hello! No, I’m not going to tell you an Aesop’s Fable. But I bet we could make up a good one with elephants and a squirrel, don’t you think?. But these elephants and the squirrel are made from fabric, and the moral of their story is that I’m crazy for sewing and quilting. But you knew that already.

We had a strange day on Wednesday. It was about 8:30 in the morning and it was drizzling outside. We were sitting in the living room drinking our coffee when we heard a thunderous BOOM! The power flicked off and a car alarm a couple houses down the street started honking. Long story short, an electrical transformer blew, taking the top part of a telephone pole with it. It occurred two houses down from us. The boom was so powerful, it set off that car alarm! Murray City responded quickly, but we knew we’d be without power for most of the day as they said the had to replace the transformer and the pole. Anyway, there went my sewing plans, but at least I had a good book to read. As it turned out, the city had it all repaired and the power was restored by 11:45 a.m.! YAY!!

So, the first thing I did this week was to sort my tons of green scraps. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for May is dark green (hunter, forest) and sage. Sage isn’t that dark necessarily, but leans more to the gray side (as opposed to olive, which has more yellow).

Two Antique Tile blocks

 I’ve found that many of my blocks (strings, crumbs) benefit from a combination of dark and light or bright greens together. So, in addition to doing dark versions of my usual RSC blocks, you may see me adding in some brighter “kicker” greens into those. Heaven knows I probably could sew with green scraps for three or four months straight and not get through them all! 

I spent one whole afternoon just cutting scraps into pieces for elephants, framed 4-patches, bear paws, antique tiles, bullseye courthouse steps, etc etc. Then the elephant sewing began! 

First came the swirly elephants with polka dot ears. One has vertical swirls and the other has horizontal swirls. Must be a gender difference (wink). 

Next, the stately older elephants ambled in. How can we tell they’re older? Well, obviously, they’re made of Civil War (reproduction) prints! 

And then bringing up the rear for this week is this lovely young lady. She doesn’t know if she’s coming or going, because her scrap directionality is a bit mixed up. But that’s what happens when you have to work with a limited size scrap! The herd doesn’t mind!

These five elephants represent only one third of the dark green herd. 

Why so many? I’ll explain my plan in more detail next post. I have a wonderful green and blue foliage print that I’ll be using for two green and blue elephant quilts. I’ll also be making some trees to go along with the needed 12 elephants for each of these two quilts. Then some of the other ellie quilts will need greens, too, but those will be made when we do the light and bright greens. 

The Hearts for Ukraine quilt top got its final borders this week. Here it is up on the design board.

It measures 54x65” and is perfectly square. I promise. It looks wonky because it’s pinned at the top and just hanging below because my design board isn’t long enough. And heck, I can’t even pin it straight! Or take a straight picture. It is what it is!

I’ve prepared a backing, and now it is ready to be sandwiched and quilted. That’s now two larger quilts (the other is my Zipper quilt) to fit in somewhere between the four little green quilts for QFK that I’ve pulled scrap “kits” for. Oh, and then there’s the Squirrel project.

My friend Virginia from Quilts for Kids had me over this week to pick out some scraps from her horde! Seriously, as a Board member she is constantly sewing quilts and making kits for the masses, so she is a “front-line” processor of donation fabric and scraps and purchased yardage. I’m lucky to be able to use her as a resource when I have to match something or when I need more wild fabric to cut up for the Zipper kits.or when I just need a fresh scrap fix…

So in the above flimsy, she had given me the floral fabric and the multi-colored checked fabric. I was going to cut them up for Zipper blocks, but they looked so good together. So I pulled out some matching yellow, green and orange fabrics and ended up having enough of them all together to make another little quilt top! SQUIRREL!! 

These colors aren’t showing true on my camera or monitor, but trust me - this is one happy little quilt! Or it will be when I get the two borders sewn on!

Next week we’re finally getting a spinner knob installed on the steering wheel of our RAV4 so that Bruce can drive. You may remember that he had to have his right arm amputated two years ago. Spinner knobs are only legal (at least in this state) on vehicles driven by amputees. I’m not very excited about this because Bruce has always been a Mr. Magoo-type driver. Seriously, he’s fine if he’s taken his ADD medicine. That’s the only condition I laid down.

I’m not sure if I’ll be here to join in next week with a Saturday post. My son Ryan and I are flying to Seattle on Thursday and won’t be back until Sunday night. My daughter Megan is having surgery, and we’ll be there helping out her and Ted for several days. I’ll try to get a post ready before I leave, but we’ll just have to see. 

Have a great week!