Friday, August 25, 2023

Welcome to the Jungle

Strange week. It seems as though there are so many family members (3) going through some serious or potentially serious health issues. Cousin Carrie (Kim’s sister) was diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer about two weeks ago. She’s had scans and biopsies, and the results aren’t good. I’m not going to go into details, but suffice it to say that we’re reeling.  Next,  my daughter Megan found a lump on her thigh. They did a scan of that this week and found out it was a benign lipoma, or fatty tumor. Thank goodness! Then my brother Steve is having issues with something in his throat affecting his swallowing. He was supposed to have that checked out, but somehow ended up getting a carotid artery ultrasound instead, which is just a baseline test for persons in their sixties. So, when I talk to him and start asking questions, he flew off the handle when I tried to clarify his conflicting statements. That’s so Steve. Arrrrghhh...   

But let’s talk about the sewing, because that is certainly much more cheery!

I finished the two quilts that I wanted to make out of the Happy Blocks I made as one of my Rainbow Scrap blocks this year.  My friend Ruby gave me some cute jungle fabric, and I planned to frame the 6.5” centers with 2.5” strips to make Happy Blocks. I chose 5 coordinating colors; red, blue, green, orange and yellow. When each color came up for its turn in the RSC, I made 10 blocks. I ended up with fifty blocks.

One quilt uses 20 blocks in a 4x5 setting, and the other uses 30 blocks in a 5x6 setting. 

Here’s the first one, measuring 40x50”. The color stripes are horizontal.

The backing is a cute multi-colored kid print, and my feeble mind cannot remember where it came from. Anyway, both quilts were quilted with a simple meander (stipple).

The second larger quilt measures 50x60”, and the color strips are set vertically.

The backing is this cute little multi-colored crayon print that I picked up from Hancock’s of Paducah last year (on deep discount).

In between quilting the jungle quilts, I was sewing the last of my yellow scraps into eight 6.5” crumb blocks. No plan for these yet....

I also sewed 15 more of these 8.5” Sawtooth Star blocks for the Christmas Stars quilt I’m making for my son and daughter-in-law.  I have nine left of this size and will get them polished off in the coming week. Then I can start on the 89 4” stars, which I’ve given myself September and October to finish.

In September, I’ll be tackling the Framed Four-Patch blocks which were a RSC’22 project. I have enough to make three quilts. Here is the first one slapped up on the design board. It’s using only the red and orange blocks.

I haven’t even started to work on the layout yet; in fact, some of the blocks haven’t even been trimmed yet. Hopefully I’ll have a top to share next week.

With that, I’m going to sign off. My friend Ruby and I are headed up to Park City to do some shopping today (retail therapy) - we both need to get out of the house and do something fun! Talk to you next week!

Linking to Scrappy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Sewing Sunny Yellow and Walking at the Farm

My life has taken a turn for the mundane. Maybe it’s just the dog days of August, or maybe what seemed fresh and new in the spring and early summer is now wearing on me. By the time the seasons are about to change, I’m more than ready for a change too. Does that happen to you? And although Autumn should be making itself felt by this time next month, and it’s my favorite season, I always dread the long dark winter that follows. But no matter - for now there is lots of sunshiney yellow scrappy sewing coming out from under my sewing machine needle. And I have some more peaceful Wheeler Farm photos from our walk there this week. Shall we get started?

I decided this week was going to be dedicated to turning this pile of strings and strips into 6.5” string blocks. 

When the dust settled, there were a total of 45 blocks. The first thirty are pinned to the design board, shown in two batches of 15 blocks each, which is how I turn them over to our chapter of Quilts for Kids to use in kits.

The last 15 blocks were set aside to go with this chunk of cute farm fabric and some chambray that will make up a cute little farm-themed quilt. I’ll be sewing that top over the weekend. It could possibly be a finished quilt by next weekend, but at least by the end of the month.  As well, I’m hoping to baste, quilt and finish the two jungle happy block tops. 

I also sewed eight 6.5” Split Nine blocks in yellow. I’ll be linking up to Scrappy Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I did get some more Sawtooth Stars sewn - these will be 8” finished. I’m way behind on the productivity rate I’d hoped to achieve on these, but I’m still hoping to get all the 8” stars done by month end. The only trouble is that in my quilt plan I switched out one row of smaller stars, which was going to be (20) 4” stars. Instead I’ll be doing 10 of the larger 8” stars. So that means I have to sew a total of 50 of those - and I only have 16 done presently.

Here are the eight I sewed this week:

And here they are with their eight friends from last week.

I need to pick up the pace!

On Wednesday, Cousin Kim came over and the three of us (Kim, me and Bruce) went walking at our favorite place - Wheeler Farm. We didn’t see the fox this time, darn!  But I snapped a few serene photos. 

Looking north toward the big milking barn and the milk house.

With the Ice House at the right, the north pond turns into a small creek

The same pond from the south looking north (different buildings, though).

For some reason, the ducks prefer the southern pond!

That’s it for this week. What have YOU been up to??

To my friends and family in Southern California, please stay safe. We’re all sending good thoughts to you!

Friday, August 11, 2023

More Donation Quilt Finishes

This week I was able to finish up two more donation quilts by quilting and binding them. The tops  were donated by Jo Kramer and her Community Quilt program and will be given as finished kid quilts to the Salt Lake chapter of Quilts for Kids.

Here is a cute basic transportation-themed quilt, perfect for a little boy. The interior squares received a crosshatch treatment and the outer red border was done with a stipple (meander). 

This little cutie finished at 38.5 x 43”.

The next quilt I call Picnic Kisses because of the red picnic check and the lips. :-) I just did some basic loop quilting.

Picnic Kisses finished at 42x48”.  These two little quilts, along with the three donation quilts I finished last week will be donated at our next QFK workshop in September. 

Once those were done and dusted, I got to work on making a dent in my yellow scrap bucket. Yellow is the color of the month for August in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. First this week were three Four in Nine blocks.  They will finish at 9”.

And then one of my favorites to sew, the Chaser blocks. I’m using black with white as my constant in these blocks instead of a light background. I think it’s going to look really sharp when all the colors come together for a quilt top party!  

The Chaser block is a Cynthia Brunz pattern, as is the Color Stix block, below. I plan to do Color Stix  for RSC24, and this is just my first - a prototype, if you will. It is Cynthia’s block for the current block drive for her Compassion Quilt program. Although she will have moved on to new blocks and a new drive long before I begin sewing these next year, I do plan to make the quilt(s) from these blocks and donate them to her when they are done. In other words, these will be dedicated to Compassion Quilts instead of Quilts for Kids. I don’t think the timing of the blocks really matters as the need for such quilts is always great, right?

In the coming week, I’ll be tackling my yellow strings. I hope to get at least 45 of them (6.5”, unfinished) made; I have plans for 15 of them this month and will donate the other 30 blocks to QFK for their quilt kit making. 

I also finished cutting out and began sewing the first (of 40) of this next size of star blocks for the Christmas Stars quilt. My goal is to have all 40 of this size done by the end of the month, so I’m 20% of the way there. 

My only other non-quilting news to share is that the vegetable garden continues to go gangbusters! Here is one bed’s-worth of carrots. This variety is short and stubby but good. It was all we could get at the time. But we have another half bed planted of the regular Nantes-type carrots we favor, and those are still a ways out.

The blackberries are almost done, the cucumbers have started producing, and the peppers and tomatoes are keeping me busy. I did roast a lot of Roma tomatoes this week (about 12 pounds worth), along with some garlic, onion (from the garden) and basil (also from the garden) to make some marinara. I’ll continue to do that as I collect the Romas in 12-pound batches. The slicing tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are being shared and/or eaten by us on a daily basis. And of course, we have to have our weekly Bacon (Costco turkey bacon), lettuce and tomato sandwiches on a weekly basis! Yum!

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Farm, Food, Family and Four Finishes

I guess today is brought to us by the Letter F.  Fabulous! 


My grandson Easton was in town in July on leave from the US Navy, and we had a small farewell dinner with him before he left. Poor guy - I think his last several days here were spent doing farewell dinners with all the extended family!  Here we are after a great meal at The Bohemian - a European-style restaurant and brewery.

L-R: My son Ryan, his wife Kim, Bruce, myself, Easton’s girlfriend Madalyn, and Easton


I hit the -60 pound mark at Weight Watchers on Tuesday morning. That evening, it was our monthly card game night  (Hand and Foot) with my WW friends. I brought this fruit tray that featured some of those giant blackberries from our garden.

Four Finishes:

The Red Ribbons quilt has been bound and is officially done. It will go into my personal To Be Gifted pile for an occasion down the road. I had depleted my pile last May when I went to my Cousins Reunion. 

Red Ribbons was quilted with a basic stipple in the center and an up-down motif (heck, I don’t know how to describe it, but you can see it) in the light border. It finished at 53x66”, and was actually a finish for the month of July. The backing and binding are the same red as the outer red border.

I was able to quilt three of the five little quilts I have basted for the Community Quilts program; these will eventually go to the Salt Lake Chapter of Quilts for Kids. First up is the Tigger Baby Quilt:

I added the blue cloud border to the top and bottom of this already-pieced quilt to bring it up to 39x48”. The backing is a bunch of light blue fabric scraps sewn together.

The second Community Quilt was this little boy’s Star Wars number:

It finished at 39x48” and was backed with this bright yellow yardage from my stash.

The final little quilt was this adorable embroidered Little Girls quilt. It finished at 39.5 x 44”

Oh, this was such a joy to quilt! So bright and happy. There are loops and hearts throughout.  The backing was provided to my by Jo Kramer, and there is another piece of it for a future quilt.

But wait, there’s more!

I did start in on my yellow scrap sewing for Yellow August in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I’m linking up to Scrappy Saturday to join in the fun with my fellow Scrappettes, LOL. 

First up, six anemic-looking Little Bricks blocks. This completes all the blocks I need to make a couple quilts out of these blocks. I’ll begin on those later in the year.

I finished the last 10 Jungle Happy Blocks, framing them in yellow. Instead of showing you the blocks, I have one finished top and one ready-to-web top to show you. This first one is 20 blocks and the color stripes are horizontal. It will finish at approximately 40x50.

The second quilt, with blocks just pinned to the design board, will have vertical color columns. It uses the other 30 blocks and will finish in the neighborhood of 50x60”.

I’ll finish these later this month, because for the next week I’ll be concentrating on finishing the last two little Community Quilts and cutting out - and hopefully sewing - the next 40 star blocks for my son and daughter-in-law’s Christmas quilt.


On Wednesday, Cousin Kim came over. She, Bruce and I walked at Wheeler Farm, the County historical working farm that is down a few doors and across a busy road. We have to actually drive there unless we want to take our lives in our hands crossing that four-lane road.

We saw a red fox as we were walking in the back woods area. I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture, darn! But I did snap a photo of this peacock near the Old Milk House.

The cute baby goats and sheep melted my heart!

I also have a soft spot for the old farmhouse. One of my favorite things when I worked at the farm many years ago was conducting tours through the farmhouse and imagining what life was like 100 years ago. This is a side entrance that led out to what was once a kitchen garden.

And here’s a closing shot of the front yard area of the farmhouse, looking over to the activity barn.  I love having this farm a stone’s throw away from us and will miss it when we sell our house (downsizing) next year. 

Thank you if you’ve read this far, and thank you also to the Letter F for sponsoring today’s post (wink).