Friday, June 28, 2024

Nothing Going On

Actually, there WAS a lot going on this week, and I’m exhausted. But it can all wait (including pictures, if I remember to take some) until next week. My only sewing was making some blue 6” crumb blocks and two blue (one light, one bright and dark) blue “coins” columns.

Anyway, all is well here and I will be back next week with a meaty and photo-laden post. At least that’s my goal! Today I’ll be making apricot jam, doing laundry and relaxing. 

Have a safe and Happy Independence Day for my friends in the U.S. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

String Fever

Just a short post this week. We’ve been busy finalizing details on the kitchen remodel, filling out forms for the Veterans Administration (VA) and planning a fun day with Bruce’s daughter Stacy and her five kids. We haven’t seen the grandkids since before we moved from the old house (3 months ago), so we’re really looking forward to a fun day today of playing, swimming, walking (and collecting pinecones), eating and getting some pictures with them. 

In sewing, this week was all about sewing string blocks from my blue scraps. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for June is all the blues. 

Here were my blue strings at the beginning of the month. I should’ve taken them out of their piles and spread them out more for a better depiction of the quantity.

And here is the “after” picture with the 56 blocks (to finish at 6”) I made from them, plus the leftovers. 

I’ll use the 56 blocks to make a quilt that is 7 blocks across by 8 blocks down for a finished size of 42x48” - a good sized kid quilt. 

At our Weight Watchers workshop last Tuesday, someone said that MaryEllen (right, in pic below) and I (left in pic below) looked like twins with our curly gray hair. HA! So we had to have our pic taken. Of course, we look nothing alike (and I adore her!) Her hair is naturally curly and my curls come from a curling iron and wilt quickly in the heat! 

That’s all for this week! Next week I’ll be sharing some information I’ve been putting off for awhile (this is mentioned more to remind myself to write about it than to be coy). We’re still gathering information and will be ready to share by next week). Hint: we are *not* going into Witness Protection, hahaha!! Have a great week!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sewing and Swimming

It’s been another busy week here at Chez Kizerian, but aren’t they all? 

We finally signed the contract on the kitchen remodel and the cabinets have been ordered. We ended up going with maple cabinets in a clear finish - very light, much like the cabinets in our old house. Anyway, the cabinets take between 5-8 weeks to be built. Our general contractor will give us a timeline in a couple weeks, once he knows more from the cabinet manufacturers and he can also touch base with the sub contractors. We’re most likely looking at sometime in late July or early August for demolition of the existing kitchen. That usually happens a couple weeks before the cabinets are ready, in order to have time for the plumbers, electrician and sheetrock guys to come and do their things. Then it’s cabinet installation, counter tops and tile, more electrician work (lighting) and plumber finish work, painters and flooring guys (why do I say “guys”? Maybe there will be a woman or two in the trades to show up! One can hope). September is looking like when we’ll be done. I am going to keep two silver linings in mind as we go through the miserable process: (1) I’ll be cooking a lot less and (2) It’ll all be worth it when it’s all done. 

It was lovely to spend lots of time in the sewing room this week. June is All the Blues for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC), and here is what I got accomplished:

First up on my To-Do List for the week was the 16-patch star block, a simple yet stunning pattern from Julie .  I usually only make two per month, but blue is a wide color range. So this month I made three - a dark, a medium and a pastel blue. 

Those Star blocks are always fun to make! They’ll finish at 12”. 

Next up were the windmill blocks (to finish at 8”).

I’ve also started working on my blue string blocks. I’m hoping to get at least 56 made so that I can once again make a completely blue string quilt.. But this time I’m combining all shades of blue in each block. I’ll show them all next week. 

And apropos of nothing, here is a random picture of the heavenly condo complex we live in. This was taken from our seats on the upper deck of the pool area. The water is great and the view is just as lovely!

Come to think of it, there’s a lot of blue in that picture too! Can you see our wet footprints? 

But it wasn't all fun and sewing and swimming this week. There was work around the condos (grooming up the planted island at the entrance, and organizing zone captains), plus a trip - likely first of several - to the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to get Bruce registered and start the process for receiving benefits, which we should have done years ago. But we’re on our way. There’s a back story there, but that’s for another time. 

And with that, I’m off to play in our courtyard garden this morning and then maybe to sew. Or maybe some swimming? Or a trip to Lowe’s to get materials to put up a design board in my sewing room? Or even a nap! Oh, the possibilities! Life is good. 

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Blue Sewing and Blue Skies

So, here it is Saturday again. Who turned the Time Machine up to warp speed? The days just seem to fly by! Summer has arrived here, and the temperatures have been in the 80s-90s (F) this week. The swimming pool is a welcome respite, but we did have to finally turn on the air conditioner yesterday. 

In a nutshell, because we’re running out to participate in the condo’s annual yard sale momentarily, I’ll sum up my week: Lots of walking, swimming, some sewing, condo meetings and chores, a visit from our dear friend Terri (love you, T! Wish we lived closer!), and we have finalized the kitchen remodel contract. We’ll get the timeline on Monday, and we’re also meeting with a painter to get a bid on the kitchen and family room (and possibly the bathrooms). 

It took me For.Ev.Er to get my blue scraps sorted - what an “overgrown” mess they were! But they’re sorted and I have lots of cutting and prep done for my blue blocks this month. Since we’re combining all the blues for Blue June in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I have more than the usual number of blocks to tackle this month. 

All I got actually sewn were these six Color Stix blocks, a free pattern from Cynthia Brunz.

On one of our evening walks, I snapped this photo of our street.. The street is actually the only long one in the complex, and I’m standing at the very southern end and you can see the very northern end.

The Little Cottonwood Creek along our western border is running at peak levels. The snowpack melts quickly in the June heat. It will likely stay this way for a couple weeks before tapering off. 

Alfie is living his best life, sunbathing in the morning light.

After this picture, he started doing “bunny kicks” with his rear feet. He gets so excited when Mommy takes his picture! 

We’re off to the yard sale. We don’t have much to put out, but there are a few things. Once we get home from that (noonish), we’ll either go swimming and/or just kick back in the cool house and read or sew or nap! They’re all great choices!! 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Goodbye Beautiful May, Hello June

It’s been a great week here in the Salt Lake Valley. I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day. Ours was quiet, but nice and restful. 

Tuesday was a gorgeous day, sunny and bright. That is, until I changed into my swimsuit and coverup. The clouds came out to threaten, but I walked to the condo pool a block away anyway. The wind came up and all the cotton from the cottonwood trees began falling and swirling like snow. By the time I’d sat and talked with friends at the pool for about 15 minutes, the surface of the pool was entirely covered with cotton! But I wanted to get in anyway, so I did! I just splashed and cleared an area for me to immerse up to my neck and paddle around for a few minutes. Then I called it good, got out and dried off, donned my shorts and coverup and walked home with the friends. Two hours later, the sun was out again and the cottony wind abated. I hope my next pool foray will be more successful, hehe. My friend Karen said it took her two hours to clean/skim the pool when I saw her later that evening as I was out walking. 

On Wednesday, Bruce and I drove up to Ogden to visit my friend Pat and her husband Eddie. I hadn’t seen them for about 8 years, and Bruce had never met them. Pat had a load of fabric to pawn off donate to me and Quilts for Kids, my friends or whomever could use it. The fabric, in a half dozen almost full tubs, came from her twin sister who no longer quilts due to health issues. 

L-R: Bruce, Cathy (me), Pat, Eddie

So, on Thursday, my friend Ruby came over and we spent about four and a half hours sorting through the fabric. My plan was that anything I took for myself would be primarily things that would work as quilt backs for my kids quilts, or small scraps in colors I was getting low on. I also ended up keeping a quilt that just needs to be trimmed and bound (and donated), a set of blocks ready to be sewn together, and green scraps that may potentially match a quilt I’m planning for another friend (story on that to come in a couple weeks). Oh, and fabrics for more potential kennel quilts. But my storage space here is limited. So, for everything I do end up keeping, the plan is to remove from my existing stash (and donate to QFK) an equal or greater amount of fabric. 

Ruby took several in-process quilt tops and block sets that were clearly not intended for kids. She also took some yardage and lots of precut squares in sizes from 2.5” to 10”. I had recently shown her an easy way to make 4 half-square triangles from 2 blocks of equal size, so she wanted to match up some of the squares to try that method out. She’ll take what will work and return the rest so they can be passed on. When her stuff was taken home, I snapped this picture of the remaining fabric. Down to 3 tubs and a few piles! 

Much of the fabric is too dark or too thin or just wrong for kids quilts. That’s what those three tubs in the foreground are. Cousin Kim will go through those on Sunday, then the remaining fabric, probably 2-3 tubs full, will be donated to my friend Bernadette who works with several other quilting charity quilt groups, like Project Linus, guilds who make placemats for Meals on Wheels, retirement homes and the like. No scrap left behind!!

So anyway, I haven’t made a start on my June Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks yet. Angela has called blue for June. We usually divide blue into two months; darks/brights one month and lighter blues another month. But this year Angela wants us to just go for it with all the blues together and I’m up for the challenge! I did get my blue scraps all sorted and made a list of all the blocks I need to sew in June, so I’m ready to jump in with both feet!

I did finish up the last of my pink scraps and made eleven crumb blocks that will finish at 6”.

I also sewed up a column of pink scraps. Here are the five columns I have made so far this year.

I’m going to sew two blue columns this month, and the width of at least one of them will be a couple inches wider for size variety. 

Here’s a recent pic I snapped of the brilliant red of our Japanese maple, the green of the other landscaping and the blue of the sky. 

And one picture taken as I looked up, mesmerized. 

What can I say? I love color. And so do all the quilters who participate in Scrappy Saturday and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. So why not follow the link and come check it out? Until next week, be safe and be happy!