Saturday, July 30, 2022

Quilt Finishes and Blackberries

July has been busy, hot and purple this year. I’ll get to the last of my purple sewing momentarily, but since I’ve got a lot of pictures to share, we’re going to get right down to business here, starting with blackberries. Blackberries are really dark purple, you know. And we have a very prolific bush to prove it. 

Look at the size of some of the berries!  We’ve been eating them for most of July. Purple was certainly the most appropriate color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for July for me. And the Rainbow Vegetable Challenge too! (Hehe - I just made that up …)

There’s been blackberry jam, blackberry shortcake, a rhubarb-blackberry pie (so yummy!) and lots of good ol’ plain sweet blackberries just to snack on by themselves.

We baked with them, froze them, shared them and we’re still not done. Well, almost, but not quite. 

And now raspberry season is here, so I see more fruit in my future. 

OK, *now* we can talk about sewing. Last week I showed the first four of these Little Brick blocks designed by Sylvia of Treadlestitches. At that time I had two blocks going in one direction and two blocks going in the opposite direction. I decided I’d make them all with the same orientation, so I corrected two of the first ones then a sewed up seven more for a total of eleven. They’re 6.5” blocks (unfinished size).

And then I finished up two purple crumb placemats. Um, exCUSE me, Mr. Cat!

Ok, this is better.  I’ll be linking up with Joy’s Table Scraps monthly Linky party (I typed “tinkly" party first, hahaha!)

Last Sunday, Cousin Kim and I changed up our usual sewing day. Since she was dog-sitting for her daughter’s family, we sewed at her house. The easiest thing for me to pack up to sew was my multi-colored string bag.  I made sixteen 6.5” string blocks before we switched to puzzle-making!

I continued my personal string party the next day, making 17 more, for a total of 33.

Next it was time to get serious about quilting the four small-ish quilts waiting in line. And boy, were they ever nagging me to quilt them!

First up, the quilt top made with the red, pink and purple Bullseye Courthouse Steps blocks that I’ve been making for this year’s RSC. Julie K of Julie’s Quilts and Costumes sent me the coordinating fabric for the border as it needed to be widened just a bit.  Thanks again, Julie! 

There was enough of the fabric to use (with red and purple inserts) for the back and binding, too. I just love how this quilt turned out. It measures 39x48.5” and was quilted with a basic stipple.

Next up was the Purple Windmills quilt. The dotted fabric (a scrap of an oldie designed by Kate Spain) was the color inspiration for this quilt. I noticed that she is a designer/seller on Spoonflower, and this fabric is now available again from her there. Notice that I snuck in some old selvage scraps in white.

Purple Windmills measures 40x48”, and was quilted with a basic vine loop design. The backing was a 2-yard piece that I picked up a couple years ago in Nucla, Colorado (verrry rural) at a consignment store for $2.  

Then I decided to tackle the two tops that Julie sent me to finish and donate. We agreed that a Ukraine charity was most appropriate, and they will be donated to Wrap Ukraine with Quilts (by Hello Cottons) in early August. 

This first quilt was my favorite. It measures 39” square, and Julie’s piecing is immaculate. I decided to quilt it a little more densely than I usually do, so I made a little loop in every square. I was able to quilt all the yellow squares in one continuous pattern, with yellow on top and in the bobbin. Then I did the blue squares in one continuous pattern, but had to backtrack once to get a few missed squares when I lost my concentration. For the blue squares there was blue thread on the top but I stayed with the yellow on the backside. 

Julie’s second Ukraine quilt, also a stunner, measures 48” square. I had ordered special backing for this, but when it came it was turquoise instead of dark blue. So, I reverted to Plan B, which was a lighter blue backing. 

I’m afraid I didn’t do this quilt justice with the basic stipple. Hopefully, the eventual recipient won’t care.  :-)

By then, my brain was pretty much fried for the week. I did manage to sew the elephants and border fabric for the pink, purple and green elephant flimsy. But then I ran out of week. 

It may be a couple days, but I’ll update my Community Quilts tab and my 2022 quilts tab to add all the July finishes. Today, Saturday, we’re going to clean up the patio - blow it off and put things away. Shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes. There’s also the pull of the Farmer’s Market and the in-season raspberries. Then we may head over to Barnes & Noble for a coffee and book date. 

Life is Good!


  1. You certainly put the peddle to the metal this week, Kathy. You had me at the blackberries. Still love the elephants on parade.

  2. Yowzers! My head is spinning from all this colorful -- not the least of which are those gorgeous blackberries!

  3. So many beauties here... as usual. I love black berries (Amora in Portuguese) and yes they are purple and delicious. Love all those mini brick blocks, and the quilts. But Man, those quilts for Ukraine are gorgeous, Cathy! Congrats for you and Julie! Happy international Friendship Day!

  4. I love the design on those Ukraine quilts! Genius & lovely. Jealous over your blackberries. We started some plants last year & they are bearing this year at a rate of 3 berries each. So can't wait for next year when they are established & I get to pick the bounty!!!

  5. Look at those blackberries! Yum! The blue and yellow quilts are fabulous, too. You and Julie are a good team. Thanks for the info about the quilts for Ukraine, too. I want to donate my Crumb Hearts quilt, and it's right in the size range of the two you've been working on. Now I know where to send it!

  6. My blackberries are just starting to ripen but mine aren't on steroids like yours. Wow those are big! And what a quilt show you have this week. Lovely, lovely!

  7. Your BlackBerry bushes must be very prolific, and most tasty, I'm sure. I love BlackBerry jam, and pie sounds great too! I love seeing all your wonderful projects, and the elephant quilt is my favourite.

  8. WOW you have been busy. Love those string blocks.

  9. Wow!! A purple extravaganza for July! Those elephants are especially sweet.

  10. So many pretty quilts in this post! You've done some excellent work there. My favorite is the elephant quilt. Thanks for sharing, Cathy.

  11. So much to comment on, so where do I start? Very yummy blackberries, amazing size! Super blocks sewing and finished quilts. The Purple Windmills really caught my eye, a great colour combination and the backing was perfect - such a bargain. Love your multi coloured String blocks. I know, like me, that you love making String blocks but I don’t remember you making multi coloured ones before. They will make a fabulous quilt.

  12. Hi Cathy, congrats on getting all of your finishes done! I really like your purple placemats! Hope you had a great weekend.

  13. Looks like Blogger/Google has finally followed through on ending email notifications for new blog posts. I haven't received new posts from any of the quilters who use blogger. What's more Bloglovin' doesn't seem to be functional either. So if I don't comment as often, chalk it up to my forgetting to track down your posts. You've been busy as usual. Waiting to see what you have in store for orange this month.

  14. Holy crow! I've NEVER in my life seen such gigantic blackberries!!! I would most definitely be indulging in those if I had the chance. (as a little side note - my favourite fruit is cherries and last week we bought - on sale, I might add - a small bag of them. About fell over when I saw the price ring up at $16!!!! Needless to say, no more cherries for me this year).
    Your quilts for the Ukraine are perfect. Unfortunate that there's such a need for them, but these will beyond a doubt be treasured.

  15. Wowzers! Those berries are HUGE!
    I love all the quilts your busy fingers have produced! The Ukraine quilts are stunners!

  16. Love love love the Ukraine quilts!!! Jealous of you cause of blueberries. The elephants are rocking!!!


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