Saturday, June 24, 2023

Blue and Pink Donation Quilt

Sometimes I wish I had more time to write blog posts more often (say, twice per week), so I could record all the fun things of the week. But then I’d have to remember to take more photographs! In fact, that’s probably a habit I need to get into, regardless. but there are a few from this week. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of Bruce’s daughter Emily and two of her three kids that were down here visiting from Idaho. Emily’s other son, Deacon, is training as a certified lifeguard (he’s an excellent swimmer), and our son-in-law had to stay back home with Deacon - and also because he himself just got a promotion and the new duties started this week. Bruce and I plan to drive up to Idaho Falls to visit them all sometime in July.

This week I’ve pretty much finished up working with my light blue scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge’s blue June.  First up, six Split Nines blocks.

Next I put together different-sized scraps and orphan blocks to rough out this light blue quilt top. It’s not sewn together yet, but that will happen this weekend. I need to add some size to it, so I’ll use up some light blue strips for borders. 

With those scraps out of the way, it was time to make some crumb blocks. I already have crumb candy blocks in light blue, so I used the bits and scraps crumbs to make ten 6” (finished size) crumb blocks.

The pink and blue quilt top that I showed last week is finished. The size is 44x49”.

I quilted it with just a basic meander. Here’s the back. I was delighted to use all scraps in both the front and back. At this rate, I may be able to justify buying some new fabric … in about 18 years!!!

This past week also included other family visits, fun working in the yard (after the rain and wind abated on Wednesday), and a trip to Park City

My friend Ruby drove (about 35 minutes) because she’s the veteran at this weekly sale. Apparently, Amazon ships dozen of boxes to the Re-Store (Habitat for Humanity) in Park City and they in turn sell the clothing for $2 per piece. Here’s a shot of the parking lot with the clothing-filled boxes. They let you in at 10am and everyone just digs through and fills their bags (and/or boxes). 

There was no pushing and shoving, and everyone was polite and having fun. I ended up spending $12, getting two sweaters (to save for next winter), a knit short-sleeved top (a good layering piece), a royal blue one-shoulder top for summer, a long summer knit nightie in salmon, and a black striped maxi tank dress for summer. All are very stylish and fit me well. Ruby does this almost every weekend! As for me, I’ll probably join her at least once again this summer. 


Cathy and Kim

Next week we have two more evenings out - dinner with neighbors and my son Shane’s birthday dinner. Yardwork is on tap today - I’m still working toward getting the flower beds in shape, while Bruce weeds the garden. There’s still rhubarb to harvest, too. Next up will be the blackberries, but the cool spring has them way behind schedule. It’ll probably be another 4 weeks before we can start picking. 

On the sewing side of things, I’ll be working to finish up the light blue scrappy quilt and to get my International Sisters quilt to the finish line. Wish me luck! 

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Short and Sweet

have no idea how the week passed so quickly, but here we are again at Saturday morning! There’s not even that much to tell you about or show you, but there are a couple small things. Mostly, I spent a lot of time reading, sleeping and/or napping. A little sewing, a little garden work, lots of friend time and some errands. Maybe I’ll feel more ambitious next week, but this week was a good one to give myself permission to just vegetate and think and enjoy this crazy spring with pouring rain, sunny but coolish and breezy days. The garden, like life, changes daily, and it was time to slow down and appreciate it.

The pink and light blue scrappy quilt top is done. I had a baggie of scraps given to me by someone at  Quilts for Kids, and together with some of my other tidbits, this scrappy top was born. It was, as always, a trial and error process. The ombre pink strip in the center felt too much like a black hole, so I appliqu├ęd three little diamonds on it to break it up and give the quilt some life. What do you think? I rather like it, but it needs a good pressing. 

I’ll get it basted and quilted in the next week, hopefully. I also sewed 30 light blue string blocks, below. Light blue is the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. These will go to Quilts for Kids as two sets of 15 blocks to be put into quilt kits where they will play with other fabrics. 

A highlight of the week for me was Game Night at my friend Ruby’s house on Tuesday. Our friend Lory took the picture, so she isn’t in it. The rest of us are in the same Weight Watchers workshop and have been friends for varying amounts of time, from 2-7 years.

L-R: Ellie, Ruby, Annette, me (Cathy) and Lisa. 

Today, Saturday, Ruby and Cousin Kim and I are going up to Park City to shop at the weekly Amazon clothing near-giveaway. Pieces of new clothing (tags on, etc) are sold for $2 each from overstock/unsold inventory. Ruby has given both Kim and me some cute blouses, sweaters, etc over the past few months. Now we’re making it a Girls Day Out today. I hear it’s a madhouse, but I’ll try to take pictures!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some photos of the roses along our backyard wall.

Have a lovely week!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

World’s Happiest

Not me. I’m human, LOL. But here is the World’s Happiest Rose Bush, shown here in the height of this flush of bloom. Oh my!!

I’ll save a few more garden photos for the end of the post so that we can get right down to scrappy sewing business. Today, as always, I’m linking up to Scrappy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

The first blocks I tackled this week were the Little Bricks blocks, which are 6” when finished. I made 12 in light blue last year, and here are 11 more to add to those. 

Next up were the Four in Nine blocks; three with a dark gray constant and three with a navy constant. My camera, obviously, does not see the difference…

And to finish things off for the week, six Chaser blocks. 

I did finish binding two more Quilts for Kids. On Wednesday I did a post about those, but most of you who stop by for the RSC photos probably haven’t seen them. The post with pictures of those four kid quilts is HERE.

The most fun I had in the studio this week was putting together some scraps in light and bright blue with light and bright pink. It’s destined to be another kid donation quilt. Here is a sneaky preview of its progress:

Finishing this top up is my first priority for the weekend, then I’ll probably dive into my light and bright blue strings. But later this morning I’m off to a Quilts for Kids workshop where I can hopefully sit and sew with friends for three hours. 

Another highlight of my week was two trips to our favorite nursery to get more plants. I went with a list in hand (well, technically, on my iPhone) and stuck to it. But then I went back again yesterday to pick up a David Austin rose (Queen of Shalott, a climber). It’s my first David Austin rose. The nursery had sold out of the type of tree we wanted, so unless they get more in this fall, I guess we’ll have to wait until next spring to replace the maple we lost 2 summers ago. 

The poinsettia I bought at the grocery store last Christmas season is still alive and well. So I used it as the center of one of my walkway flower pots. It’s still loving it’s life! 

I can’t believe how some of the flowers in the pots are already taking off!

Time to get moving this morning. Have a great week!

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

May and June Community Quilts

These community quilts were just quilt tops when they were sent to me earlier this year by Jo Kramer of Jo’s Country Junction. She coordinates a national “exchange” where makers send their quilt tops to those of us who volunteer to add backing fabric, layer up, quilt, bind and donate them to a local charity. Jo maintains a list on her blog of finishers (that’s what I am) and the quilts come in from all over. The only requirement is that we finishers send back pictures of the finished quilts and let everyone know where they ended up. 

So, here are the quilts that I finished in May and June. None have been shown previously on the blog. I also maintain a separate page (page links are just below the blog header) for finished Community Quilts, since I don’t count those in with my regular personal quilt finishes.  :-)

I believe all these four quilt tops were pieced by the Cresco, IA quilting ladies, but when I received them there was no notice of who did piece them. Regardless, they are all delightful, and someone(s) has a great knack for putting together scraps and bits. A sincere thank you to the dear hearts who pieced them!!

First up, we have this Star Wars Quilt. It looks as though the piecer alternated scrappy blocks of a vivid Star Wars print with a red-orange fabric. 

I quilted it using a stipple in the print blocks and a ribbon motif in the plain blocks. It was easy to switch back and forth as I traveled through the blocks. :-). I also love that I got to use up two chunks of lovely matching fabric for the back.  

Next is the Thomas the Train quilt. Someone very cleverly used their last scraps of Thomas fabric, combining it with other train fabric, solids and other fun pieces to make this little delight. 

The backing is another blue scrap from my stash, and I quilted this little number with loopy vines. 

This next quilt is really eye-catching! It’s another great example of How to Use Bits of a Cute Leftover Print. The print is a vibrant depiction of hot air balloons and kites. My quilting (viney loops again) is a depiction of what happens to my kites when I try to fly them, haha!

The backing is red and purple chunks and bits. Oh how I love a scrappy backing that uses up fabric leftovers!!

Finally, we have this Moon Beamers quilt. I wish the pictures conveyed how bright and cheery this little gem of a quilt is! It was small, so I added a matching strip along each side to bring it up to 40” wide. The clever piecer took a panel that was meant to be a fabric book, cut the blocks and sashed them with a matching print and cute cornerstones. I love this quilt so much!

For the scrappy backing, I found two fabric chunks that, while being totally unrelated to the Moon Beamers fabric line, matched it perfectly. Serendipity! It just doesn’t get any better. How did I quilt it? Loopy Vines again. Yes, I can do other things, but that seems to be what my brain defaults to.  Maybe because I’m loopy or something.  

So there you have it - four more cute little quilts headed to the Salt Lake chapter of Quilts for Kids. Thanks again to Jo and any of the amazing ladies (and gentlemen) who had a hand in creating these little quilts. 

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Back From Vacation

Why are vacations more work than staying home? LOL. Packing, traveling, (having fun), traveling back, unpacking, loads of laundry. 

Bruce and I attended my Cousins Reunion last week in Colorado, hence no blog post last week. We are a small family, so there were only us 4 cousins and two spouses (my DH Bruce and my cousin Julia’s DH David). Julia and I each have a younger brother (Steve is my brother, Dan is hers) which rounded out the group.

We spent a huge amount of time reminiscing and catching up. We cousins probably bored our spouses to tears with tales from when we were kids growing up in California (Los Angeles/Hollywood, Covina, Thousand Oaks). One afternoon, Julia and I spent at the little local park just walking, then playing on the swings and jungle gym, and talking. 

Julie is 9 years younger than I am. But at age 69 (me) and age 60 (Jules in October), we’re not too old to get out and play! The pictures aren’t the most flattering, but it’s more important to have fun than to pose gracefully, wouldn’t you agree?

And here’s a (mediocre) picture of all of us eating barbecued hamburgers outdoors.

L-R: Cathy, Bruce, Steve, Dan, Julia, David

We’re planning to do this on an annual basis from now on, and next year will be at our place here in Salt Lake City. 

At my Weight Watchers workshop and weigh-in after the trip, I lost 2 pounds to bring me to a total of 50.8 pounds lost. Yay me! I have another 13 pounds to get to goal, which is the top end of my healthy weight range. As for now, I am officially out of the obese category for what that’s worth. Once I get to the healthy weight goal, I plan to knock off another 10-12 pounds beyond that to stay in the middle of the weight range. There is no time frame for the continued weight loss - I’m eating well and enjoying the journey! 


So, you’re going to be greatly disappointed in my (lack of) sewing output over the last couple weeks. 

I did layer up and quilt a big quilt for Cousin Kim, which we’ll photograph once she binds it. And I quilted and bound two more community quilts from Jo Kramer, which are being added to two other donation quilts I finished in May. They’re all headed to the Salt Lake chapter of Quilts for Kids, and I’ll be doing a post to show them off mid-week, so stay tuned.

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I did finish off my Orange May scraps by sewing five Crumb Candy blocks, unfinished size 8.5” each. 

I also finished sewing together my International Sisters top. The backing will be fabric that I bought in Kenya five years ago. For now, here is the finished top, untrimmed.

As usual, it looks a bit wonky because my design board isn’t large enough; the top is half pinned and half hanging where there is nothing to pin it to. The measurements are approximately 54x72”. I plan to baste it this week and begin the quilting.  Currently I’m in the process of sorting my medium- to light-blue scraps for Blue June in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Nothing to show yet on that front.


I do have some more garden pictures to share again. We have so much in bloom now, that I plan to go out, do some cutting and make a couple floral arrangements. 

In the backyard, we have the Chihuly rose blooming simultaneously with an apricot-colored iris. That’s an odd pairing, timing-wise. 

I just planted the white “Sugar Moon” tea rose where I removed an old root-stock rose bush. We have rain forecast for the next several days, but I hope to get the white wrought iron railing painted in the next week or two. It’s a chore I do every third year. 

Here’s a close-up of the apricot iris. We’ve had so much moisture, you can plainly see mushrooms in the ground!

The garden beds are off to a slow start. The don’t get their first weeding until we can differentiate the sprouts from the weeds, so this time in the beds looks a bit wild. The end-of-the-month picture for June, assuming we ever get some summer heat, should show significant progress!

Some fun things from the east flower bed along the driveway:

One of two peonies I have. The other was just planted and has dark pink buds about to open soon.

And here is the rose bush - picked out by my daughter for its unusual color - that I’ve long since forgotten the name of. The blooms are a bit weighted down from the rain.

The new plantings in the front garden beds and pots are loving their lives. I’m hoping that as they grow and fill in over the summer and subsequent years, they cover the mulched ground more fully. 

Yellow foxglove, lilies awaiting bloom time, purple pincushion flower, coneflower and alyssum waiting for warm weather to thrive.

The trellis columns provide support for the delphiniums, the hydrangea really needs to be transplanted to get more sun;  lilies and supertunias awaiting their time to shine, and some blooming Veronica. 

A rose bush just beginning to open its buds and a pincushion flower. Some of the Talavera pots on the walkway are visible.

An iris (standing right in front of the unblooming delphinium in the below picture) is about to open. In June instead of May, as usual! This is the lupine’s second year, and it seems very happy. I looooove lupines! I can’t remember what the green thing on the left is for sure, but I believe it’s goldenrod. 

The Daybreak rose at the corner of the driveway and front walkway is very happy. Can you tell I took advantage of the soft light (in the drizzle) to photograph my flowers? Much easier than fighting with the glare of the bright mid-day sun.

The raindrops on roses make what I call “fairy swimming pools”. It’s one of my Favorite Things, lol. What about you?

The potted snapdragons were picked up from the half-price bin at Lowe’s garden center. I knew they’d flush out again. So pretty! The foreground pot is beginning to grow, too. With a regular water supply from the drip lines (to say nothing of the rain) and the regular fertilizer routine, I expect great things from the pots this year. 

Oh! that tag in the center left of the photo below reminds me that I still have a couple dahlia tubers to plant. 

Another miniature rose, this one in the planter under the living room window. I believe I have twelve roses bushes (climbers, a standard - tree rose, two miniatures, etc etc) altogether. 

Have a great week! I’ll be back on Wednesday to show the latest batch of four community quilts that I finished for Quilts for Kids.