Saturday, June 11, 2022

Summertime Blues

Well, I’ve been staring at a blank screen for at least 10 minutes, trying to figure out how to start this weekly blogpost. What’s happened this week that’s exciting in my life? Um, not much. And that’s OK really, because the best part of this last trimester of my existence - especially in summer - is the little daily things that weave themselves together into good times and memories. Like a Barnes & Noble date with Bruce, but stopping to get some frozen yogurt first; delivering kennel quilts made by me and my friend Terri to the Salt Lake Best Friends Shelter (and meeting an awesome orange male tabby named Curtis); getting the patio furniture set up finally and spending time reading out there; seeing the garden and flowers growing (pics later in the post); sleeping with windows open, ceiling fan on and kitties on the bed; homemade root beer floats. And I even got some sewing in!

Let’s start with blue scraps. June’s color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) is dark and bright blue. I have so many blue scraps! In my work with Quilts for Kids, I’m one of the suckers volunteers who prefers to sew with scraps. So, while yardage donations go to the Board members who make up the quilts kits to be sewn by volunteers, I (and one other woman) take the donated scraps. A lot of the fabrics and scraps are adorable, but many are dark and dreary, which is why there is never a shortage of dark blue, dark greens and browns here. 

This week I sewed four blue elephants. The pattern I use is Stomping Ground by Wendy Sheppard, and each block finishes at 10”.

But wait, there’s more! Sort of. I’ve done all the cutting for the other 8 blue elephants I’ll be making this month. This will give me all the blue and green elephants I need for the first two elephant quilts. I’ve got everything all planned out and cut (even the sashing), so I just need to find time to squeeze them in!

Moving along, I also sewed some framed four-patches. I had 20 four-patches in mixed blues from last year and decided to frame half of them in dark blues this month and the other half in light blues when we get to that month for the RSC.

And then while I was doing all that cutting and sorting of blue scraps, I prepped then sewed these 12 Bullseye Courthouse Steps blocks:

I’ve also got the three quilts planned that I’ll make with the various Courthouse blocks for this year. But first I’ll need to finish all the colors of course!

Last week I showed you a bunch of cut (scrap?) triangles that were given to me by our QFK president, Sandy. After studying several layout possibilities for the 64 half-square triangles (HSTs), this is the layout I decided upon. Our chapter of Quilts for Kids doesn’t particularly care for square quilts, so instead of using all 64 blocks in an 8x8 layout, I used 63 in a 7x9 layout. Here’s the front, and it measures 42.5x54.5”.

I did not have a really good backing for this, but finally settled on this OK-ish orange stripe that has been in my stash for almost 10 years. Too bad the brown in it isn’t navy instead! The extra block was pieced into the backing along with some smaller leftover HST’s of a print fabric that had all the colors of the front together. This is just pinned up here, but it will go into the To Be Basted pile.

A very generous woman in New Jersey named Catherine (great name!) contacted Mari, who ran this year’s Hands2Help effort, saying she had blocks to donate. Mari contacted me and asked me if I’d want them for Quilts for Kids (heck yeah!), so she put us in contact with each other. This week Catherine’s package arrived and these are some of the lovely blocks.

These stars and low volume blocks (only 16 out of 30 are pictured here) are just gorgeous! I will probably make a quilt of just the stars blocks and use the low volume four-patches for Happy Blocks in another quilt or two.

Also included were 20 blocks of 25-patch pastels that measure 10” each. Actually, there were 21, but one will either get used for the back or go into an orphan quilt. I am so in love with these blocks!! They’ve been added to the pile of finished blocks to be sewn into quilts when we take our RSC break in the last part of the year. I think there are four quilts’ worth of blocks there to be sewn up.  Thanks so much, Catherine! You’ll be seeing these again in a few short months!

I finally snapped some garden pictures. Usually I’m much earlier and more prolific in my garden picture-taking, but this is a drought year here in Utah (and most of the West), and we’ve kept our lawn watering to the recommended once per week. Up until the last ten days, the spring was very cool with plenty of rain, which really helped ease us through part of April and all of May. But now the heat has set in. It got up to 90 degrees (F) yesterday. We do water our veggies daily with drip irrigation, and I sprinkle my flower pots and flower beds by hand every evening. The grass is very dry and ugly, so keep that in mind as you view these pictures. We are planning to spend a couple hours today pulling weeds and spreading mulch in the beds around the plants and shrubs to help retain moisture.

Backyard: Chihuly rose

Closeup, Chihuly Rose

Backyard: miniature yellow rose bush, Boomer’s grave (right)

Blackberry bush (foreground), Grapes beyond that 

Climbing Roses on back wall, veggie beds in foreground (weeds in between beds!)

Front Yard: Daybreak Rose, the very definition of “laden"

Front window planter: miniature rose and Talavera orb

Some front walkway pots just planted

Another front yard rose bush. Can you tell I like roses?


This was the maple tree that was partially felled by our Thunderstorm From Hell last July, then finished off in a second storm in August. But you can’t keep a good tree down. It’s sporting lots of new growth and we’re hopeful that it will continue to grow and recover.

Just another flowerpot

We’ve decided that we’re going to rip out the grass between our front walkway/driveway and the house. The picture above shows the area I’m referring to. We (meaning me) just came up with the idea this week, but Bruce is totally onboard. We’ll replace the grass there with xeriscaping and the sprinklers with targeted drip irrigation. We are going to get bids for the work to be done by a professional, although I get to come up with some plant choice ideas. Anyway, I’m not sure if this will happen this season or next - it will depend on the cost and the landscaper’s timing. After all the remodeling we did this spring, to say nothing of the bed we bought (which should be gold-plated given what we paid - have you priced adjustable beds lately?), I’m thinking this project will likely happen next year. But that’ll give me plenty of time to do some plant research and shopping, hehe. 

Have a great week! Linking up to Scrappy Saturday.


  1. beautiful blue blocks and flowers! i especially like the elephants!

  2. Lovely blue blocks and quilt tops.
    Also Wonderful roses in your garden, Cathy.
    Have a great weekend.

  3. Oh my, you've got quite a lovely show here today. Thanks a bunch.

  4. Your roses are just amazing, Cathy! They must not mind the drought. I love those elephants, and all your pretty blue blocks, but the HST quilt is just the best! You are so talented with those bags of leftovers that people give you. Many of your favorite summer things are my favorites, too. It doesn't take a lot of excitement to make us happy, does it?!

  5. What a great post! How on earth do you manage to fit SO much into ONE week? You are very clever at working out what to do with such a variety of donated blocks. Looking forward to seeing what quilts you make with Catherine’s lovely blocks. I’m sure she is too! Well, do you know I would never have guessed, having looked at all your gorgeous garden photos, that you liked roses!!!! They really are lovely, you certainly have green fingers. All your blue scraps have made some great blocks.

  6. Love all your blocks, especially the elephants and the stars. Your garden is gorgeous! Your roses are more beautiful than the one at the rose park.

  7. Your elephants are adorable. Those will be wonderful quilts when done. I really like your other blue blocks as well.

  8. Such bluetiful blocks and I am jealous of your productivity for a “slow” week. Buddy and Molly are wondering what kind of opening you are going to make in all that brick to make the new ultra deluxe catio in the new landscape area

  9. Great blue elephants and all the other blue blocks are lovely.
    So many beautiful flowers…..

  10. Your flowers are gorgeous, you have a way with roses!

  11. This post may be titled Summertime Blues but it is so joyful. The roses are so beautiful - thank you for sharing :-)

  12. Your roses are gorgeous. Between the deer, Japanese beetles and some little worm that eats the buds, I've given up trying to grow roses. Smart idea to remove the lawn by the house. Doesn't sound like your drought conditions are going to improve any time soon.

  13. It may be hot n dry where you are, but we're having an unusual amount of rain and cool this year. Especially after last years early and excessive heat. It looks like our drought is over!

  14. Great blocks (as always!) and I love how the HSTs turned out! I'm all about the little moments of the day for making memories...glad to know I'm not alone. Your garden looks amazing, drought or no. We've been very dry (for us) and the veggies haven't been very happy, but the crape myrtles are busting into vivid bloom all over!

  15. Elephants and roses are pure win!

  16. Fun stuff! And I am so jealous of your roses. I battle the same things Miss Pat mentioned in her comment but I am not going to give up!

  17. For someone who didn't know where to begin, you certainly went on quite the journey this week. Thank you for "volunteering" to turn scraps into donation quilts.


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