Saturday, July 16, 2022

Purple-ing Along

The summer has settled into a nice routine. As expected, it’s been hot and dry. We had some rain on Thursday (.03 inch), which was a nice soaking for the garden and yard, but nothing of note beyond that. Then yesterday was muggy and humid - 38%. You midwesterners and easterners will probably laugh at that, but believe me, the heat is easy when it’s dry. We keep our thermostat at 79 in the summer and are never uncomfortable.

What a heartwarming and humbling week it was in the sewing and quilting department. (Yes, there was  more wonderful stuff going on, but my blog focuses primarily on my quilting. Not solely, but mostly). 

I received a package from Preeti as I was one of two lucky winners in her recent giveaway. Preeti is an Island Batik Ambassador (and believe me, with her creativity, they are lucky to have her!). My prize was four gorgeous half yard cuts of these lovely winter batiks from designer Kathy Engle. 

(Photo from Preeti’s blog)

My plan is to use these to sew up some lovely winter pillowcases later this fall. Thank you so much Preeti (and Island Batik!)

And just as I was done drooling swooning admiring those fabrics, a box arrived from my Rainbow Scrap Challenge friend Julie K (QuiltsandCostumes), who is a very talented quilter and a generous soul. She had offered to send me some fabric to match the purple, pink and red bullseye log cabin blocks in my last post. Then she wrote and asked if I was interested in a kids quilt that still needed to be put together. Well, sure I was! When the box arrived, it contained the aforementioned fabric and quilt top/backing/binding, but also two other quilt tops! Color me amazed at Julie’s generosity (and perfect piecing)!! Thanks you sooooo much!

Here’s the kid quilt top - it’s an adorable robot-themed fabric in a stack-n-whack design.

I’ll take more (and hopefully better) pictures when I quilt this one up. It will go to Quilts for Kids, of course. Here is one of the two blue and yellow quilt tops that Julie sent. It’s the smaller one of the two. I pieced a backing and got it pin basted this week. 

Just beautiful! I didn’t get a picture of the larger quilt, but I will. I ordered some backing this week because I had nothing left that was remotely satisfactory. Those two yellow and blue quilts, along with my Hearts for Ukraine quilt (which is next up for quilting), will all end up going to Ukraine. We have a local quilt shop that is a collection point for Hello Cottons, which is running a program called “Wrap Ukraine With Quilts”.  It will happen before month-end.

It occurs to me that I need to begin documenting these “Community Quilts”. You know, the tops that other people donate and I finish up. So, beginning with my next post - which will be on Wednesday - I’ll be adding a tab to my blog header for Community Quilts. Wednesday’s post will feature the first three quilt finishes that I’ve completed for Jo’s County Junction (with plenty more waiting in line). Julie’s quilts will go there when finished, too, as well as any other miscellaneous quilts from our QFK chapter that I quilt now and then as a favor (we mostly have long-armers for that, but sometimes the backing isn’t large enough to be loaded onto a long-arm machine). 

Now, what did I actually finish this week? How about a purple frog quilt?! This ¾ yard scrap of purple frog fabric was part of a lot of various critter fabric chunks I bought from Wanda Hanson, quilter extraordinare, when she had her last destash. 

If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see that this rather darkish fabric also has orange, blue, brown in it. I decided to use those colors to liven it up a bit and use up some more of those dang selvage half hexies. (At least their numbers are dwindling. in fact, I may have only some selvage columns left. But I digress.)

Purple frogs measures 36x45” and was quilted with a basic stipple using a variegated purple thread. The backing is two smallish leftover chunks of a Kaffe checkerboard and a metallic ombre purple. I’m out of labels for Quilts for Kids, as I mentioned before, so I’ll make a trip to our President (Sandy)’s house to pick up a couple dozen more labels and drop off 146 (yes, I counted) string blocks from the last couple months. The string blocks (whether made in solid colors or mixed prints) are used in lots of 15 in quilt kits for members to sew up. 

And I did get some purple blocks made this week. Thirteen bow tie blocks at 4.5”:

And nine more elephants. When added to the two elephant blocks I made a couple weeks ago (using that beautiful streaked paisley print), they make a herd of eleven. 

I will be assembling another elephant quilt top this week, as soon as I finish sewing one more ellie out of a print fabric that combines the greens and pinks together. Stay tuned!

Speaking of elephants, we renewed our adoption of two elephants from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. I was able to visit the Sheldrick elephant nursery (twice!) when I was in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018. Ever since then, we’ve maintained ties with them by “adopting” two elephants every year. (And my annual calendar is always from them as well!) This year, we renewed our adoption of Larro -our third year with her -a female “mini-matriarch” who recently graduated from the nursery to the Ithumba Springs Reintegration unit. We also adopted a young bull (less than 2 years old), who was recently orphaned through human-wildlife conflict in a drought-stricken area. His name is Choka.  I invite you to check out the site and read some of the amazing stories of their animal rescues (that also included rhinos, giraffes, etc). 

Aaaaand finally, it was our 19th anniversary this week. We had a lovely dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and skipped the cards and flowers, as we always do. Bruce is in the process of being fitted for a new arm. The forearm of his current prosthetic and the elbow socket will be re-used. But the upper arm will be new, better-fitting after the two years of body/arm changes) and more streamlined now that he’s no longer a “beginner”. And it’s all covered by Medicare. Life is good, and we are so grateful.

Linking up to Scrappy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.


  1. Cathy, for the record, these tops are not from me...although they are so beautiful!!! (Julie of JulieKquilts)

  2. Firstly, Congratulations on your Wedding Anniversary, such important occasions to celebrate. Good luck to Bruce for his new prosthetic fitting. Love all the sewing you have done this week and looking forward to seeing Wednesday’s post. Great idea to create a new tab for the donated tops you quilt and finish. Have a good week.

  3. Those are some alien-looking robots…and I assume you have Darla and Alfie locked in a closet while you pin baste?

  4. your elephant herd is growing!! and sew cute. love the bow tie blocks...I just might make bow ties my RSC2023!

  5. Wonderful mail! You are so kind to make charity quilts and it is being rewarded. Love the elephant herd and the bow tie blocks positioned like that. Glad you enjoyed a lovely dinner to mark that special occasion too. Happy Stitching!

  6. Congratulations on your win - that is beautiful fabric! You are so great to take those quilt tops and turn them into quilts for kids. I'm amazed at all the people Jo has found who also do that. Beautiful purple elephants, too. Happy Anniversary!

  7. The purple frog fabric looks great with the selvage blocks. I'm glad it is in a quilt now and not on my shelf.
    Happy Anniversary!!!

  8. Happy Anniversary. You've gotten a lot done as usual. I'm recovering from a tooth extraction on Monday so not a stitch has been sewn here. Hope the arm replacement goes smoothly for Bruce.

  9. Nine more elephants, that's a lot of stitching! How interesting that you support the animal refuge, and have a totally been there to see their good work.

  10. LOVE that blue and yellow quilt, Cathy! Have fun quilt it for donation from Julie. You did some serious purple-ing, didn't you? :o))

  11. Such a nice long post with lots of things to talk about. I love it! I just wanted to say that I think you should drop everything else and finish up your elephant quilt. I so enjoy seeing the new colors that you are adding. It will be such a fun and unique quilt! Somehow I think you'll still have time to work on those donation quilts which are amazing, too. Stitch away!

  12. Happy Anniversary! I love your herd of perfect purple pachyderms!

  13. Hi Cathy! That is fabulous news about Bruce getting a better fitting arm, AND that it is paid for by Medicare. Woohoo! I love all of your purple fun this month. The elephants really speak to me. Great job! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  14. Hooray for the new arm! And a great big Happy Anniversary!
    Love love love those elephants!

  15. I can't believe it was four years ago you went to Nairobi! Surely not!
    Happy Anniversary wishes to you and your sweetheart and I'm happy to hear that Bruce is getting a new improved arm which, no doubt, will still require a learning curve.

  16. What a great idea to add a community quilt tab to your page. As someone who once ran a community quilt project, you get extra points for finishing other's tops so the quilts are ready to be passed on as needed.


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