Friday, October 20, 2017

Tickled Pink with Sewing!

My pink sewing priority for this week was to finish up my Friendship Star (variation) blocks. The scraps and I just cruised along for a day or two, and in the end there were 24 of these 6” blocks. I now have 162 blocks and only need 136 to finish the quilt. The leftovers will either go on the back or into the “Parts Department”.

My tentative layout calls for concentric rings of colors, but some rings will have combined colors (like red/orange). I have to see how it’s going to look all laid out before I make a final decision. And this won’t happen until November anyway. In the meantime, I’m linking up to Scrappy Saturday at Angela’s So Scrappy Blog. Come see the pink fun for this month - and why not consider joining us for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2018?

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This week I also worked on my Autumn quilt, finishing up four of the final five 12” blocks.  First, there was the crow, a Lori Holt pattern.  Secondly was the turkey, of which I have no picture.

Next was the Schoolhouse, also a Lori Holt pattern (free on her blog, HERE).

And then there was the requisite SQUIRREL block, courtesy of Sally at The Objects of Design. Sally didn’t have a formal pattern written for her cute squirrel, but did have a line drawing here that she gave me permission to use.

I needed to convert it to a 12” block so decided to make the tail bushier. And I’ll be honest, I’m not half as talented as Sally in the design department - I don’t like my squirrel as much as hers. He still needs an eye sewn on, and his haunches/leg is rather unwieldy with the changes I had to make. I may “operate" on the back part of his leg to remove some of the obvious cellulite from eating too many acorns. .

The final block will be a barn block, then all 20 will be done and ready for sashing. The last time I showed some blocks with sashing, I used a brown grid fabric seen briefly here. Well, it just did absolutely nothing for the blocks, and I discarded that idea. So now I have switched to the 1.5” mustard strips that I originally cut (then rejected) for my Scrap X+plosion quilt here. I like this color with the bright autumn blocks much better.

I’m also auditioning fabrics for a border, because the 1” sashing only yields a quilt that is 53x66, too small for a lap quilt. The border size will depend on how much of the chosen border fabric I’ll have, but I’m hoping for a 4-5” border. Possibilities so far include the orange and yellow in the left of the above picture, and the leaf print shown below that I picked up in Colorado last month. I like the leaf one best, but I’m not sure if it is bright enough to hold its own as a border....

Chances are that once I have the blocks all sewn and sashed (a goal for the coming week), I will have several other possibilities to pick from and may be asking your opinion!

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And finally, I have basted with feline supervision Reading Rainbow.  I sewed a backing, then cleared the tables (a feat in itself) and got to work. Of course once this happens....

 then THIS is never far behind:

We’re here to supervise the basting, Mom!!
Alfie was pretty miffed at first when he discovered that I had put a mouse on the quilt. But he got over it once I agreed to his demand: an extra large safety pin right near the mouse’s butt.

And then Alfie began feeling frisky. See how his rear leg is up in the picture below? He kicks it in a frenzied manner whenever he gets excited. But the mouse wasn’t moving and he eventually lost interest. And I was able to finish basting the quilt.

Beginning today and over the next week I plan to quilt Reading Rainbow and the pink scrappy baby quilt I threw together last week. And then I’d like to sew the 12” barn block and assemble the autumn quilt top. After that - and thank goodness my calendar isn’t full like it was this week - there are lots of pink scraps left to sew into blocks or slabs for possible kennel quilts or ??? I may post mid-week if I have a finish or two to share.

Make it a great week!

Cathy maroon
Friday, October 13, 2017

PINK ! It's the new, um,

I have no idea why, but this month I'm enjoying the hell out of this month’s Rainbow Scrap color of pink. Yeah, enough to say hell instead of heck! Just picture this fluffy person in her new swivel chair at her sewing machine sewing and rocking away to the beat while my poor cat Darla rolls her eyes and tries to sleep nearby.  And she does roll her eyes!  Anyway, you can see all sorts of pink scrappy sewing and fun over at Angela’s Scrappy Saturday blog post. No eye rolling required!

First up this week was the Geese Migration blocks from the pattern by Cynthia Brunz. I did three of them, one more than I have done every other month so far, bringing my total to 17 of 25 needed. Next year I will add one more of each color when I presumably have more scraps and variety.

Then I worked on plus blocks. Not pictured are four orange plus blocks that I added to last month’s total (so there are now 8 orange pluses instead of just 4). And here are the 21 pink ones that I did. This gives me a total of 114 blocks, which is about 10 more than I need. So I can weed out the ones I don’t like as well and put them on the back or in a kennel quilt. I hope to start assembling the plus quilt before the end of the year.

Next are those sweet, easy, fun Bow Tie blocks. I made 25 of them, and they’ll finish at 4”. At this stage I have 202 of the 304 needed, so about 2/3 done. I am enjoying these blocks way too much.

Oh, and I have to point out two super cute blocks in this group. The first is the middle block in the bottom row of the bow ties above. Notice the pink penguin fabric? That is from my friend Diann, who also made a bow tie block with it. (In my last post, I showed the cute zippy pouch, pin cushion and fabric she sent me).

The second block was a rather serendipitous occurrence as I was chain piecing all these blocks.

Fabric Goddess! HA! How cute is that?

So then I had almost a whole jelly roll left of a pink (and some orange) fabric line called Palm Court.  I began sewing strips together adding a few other bits here and there, not quite sure what I wanted to do.....

It turns out I’m not that adventurous, because I didn’t stray very far from my original idea. But I do loooooove the white with black polka dot sashing!!  The picture below looks rather wonky because half is pinned and the bottom part just hangs.

Bruce came up with the suggestion of expanding my design board to the floor, which might happen some day. But then the cats would just go after the pins anyway (or worse - start climbing it! Sorry, Molly!) So just use your imagination to envision a straight quilt. Besides, I can assure you that the top and bottom widths are less than 1/4” difference (which is as good as it gets in my book).

In the coming week, I will baste both this pink quilt (a future donation quilt) and the Reading Rainbow quilt. And then start quilting Reading Rainbow. I also hope to finish all my pink Friendship Star blocks. There is more pink on the horizon beyond that (vintage sheets, bitty scraps and kennel quilts), but I need to think about those and possible new Rainbow Scrap blocks for awhile.

  Cathy maroon
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Owls, Gifts, Donations and a Finish. Whew!

You know that when I write a mid-week post, I have a lot going on to write about. Otherwise, if it’s daytime I would be sewing and if it’s nighttime I would be reading or watching Netflix. That’s my life in a nutshell. Not really, of course, but let’s pretend.

First, let’s get the business out of the way. I finally finished the details on the patriotic quilt pieces. This is goal/item #9 on my Quarter 4 Finish-Along list for this year. To recap, this was once a patriotic quilt made by my ex-husband’s grandmother, Georgianna Ryan Muir (“Annie”). She was my children’s great-grandmother.

The quilt came into my life in 1982 when my mother-in-law, Mary Muir Flox was widowed and my brother-in-law packed up her household in North Carolina and drove a full U-Haul truck of her belongings to our Idaho home. He used the quilts as dunnage to wrap the furniture with. When unpacking, he just threw the quilts in our trashcans. I rescued them; there were three.

One of them, in pink and white, I donated to the Sandy City (Utah) Museum in 1998 with the full provenance provided. The second one I still own. It’s mostly white with peach tulips and light blue leaves that have faded a lot. I added a wide eyelet ruffle around three sides and used it in our guest bedroom for a decade or more in the 1990’s. Some day I would like to reproduce it in fresh fabrics. The third quilt was holey and beyond salvation. These three stars were the only viable pieces I could salvage. So, I trimmed and bound them in varying blue Kona solids and  added hanging corners and a pocket to the back of each. They’re about 14” square. In the pocket is a printed copy of the story of the quilt from its maker to the present day. They will be little gifties (stocking stuffers at Christmas) for my three adult children, Ryan, Shane and Megan.

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A couple weeks ago I donated three quilts and 9 pillowcases to a local quilt shop, Thimbles and Threads, for the Hurricane Relief Effort (Harvey, Irma and Katia). They snapped my picture when I dropped them off, and I was surprised to see it turn up in their next newsletter and IG post.

So that’s what my hair looks like in real life. Miss Clairol and I parted ways last year....

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Owls. I love them, always have. I used to collect them back in the sixties and seventies (not real ones - just owl things). A few years ago I used to make and sell owl softies (among other things) at boutiques. I would take magazine pictures, online pix (not sure if Pinterest existed then) and combine bits from here and there to come up with my owls. I learned quickly that owl feet were problematic to attach to softies and could be skipped altogether.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago I rediscovered some of my leftover owl parts in a plastic case. Most of the stuff went to Cousin Kim, but I kept one or two. And then I decided one would be cute appliquéd to a 12” block to include in my Autumn quilt. Here he is:

That just reminded me of something.... appropos to nothing..... when I was a kid we had a cat (one of many) that I got to name. I named him Oliver Wendell Livingston (initials O.W.L.). Ollie was a great cat........   but I digress....

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And I saved the best for last.  Today I got a great package in the mail from my friend Diann of Little Penguin Quilts.  We had planned to meet up (with other friends) on our Colorado trip last month, but plans fell through at the last moment. Anyway, I sent Diann a zippered pouch and some fabric and a couple little things. Well guess what? She sent me a zippered pouch and fabric AND a cute pincushion that she made! The pincushion is already in use, and I am here to tell you that one can never have enough zippered pouches. (Forget shoes - zippered pouches are where it’s at).

I loved Diann's little pink penguin fabric when she showed it on her blog, and can’t believe she was willing to part with some of it to send me! The spool fabric will go with some other sewing-themed fabric I have to make a sewing machine cover - a project for this winter sometimes. I hope. Anyway, thank you, Diann!! You rock!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back on Saturday with my Pink Scrappy Progress Report.

Cathy maroon
Friday, October 6, 2017

Pink Scraps Under the Needle and a Quilt Top Finish

Hi all, and welcome to the first pink Scrappy Saturday in October. I’m going to link this post up to Angela’s So Scrappy blog for our weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Join us for some great quilting ideas and eye candy! I have so much to share that this is likely to be a long post, but at least there are a lot of pictures. Some things, though, I’ll save for a mid-week post. Let’s get started!

In my September scrappy summary, I mentioned a quilt I’m working on (off and on) that will take about 450 -  2.5”x5” lozenges. These will be cornered with 1.5” white and black pieces (it is a Bonnie Hunter pattern taken from a vintage quilt). The link will take you to her Free Patterns tab, where you can find a couple of posts regarding the cutting and construction of the quilt. Anyway, after finishing most of the cutting (I think I saved about 50 lozenges to cut from next year’s scraps to avoid too many duplicates), I cornered 40 lozenges. Obviously, I haven’t started applying any of the black corners yet....

So let’s talk PINK, shall we?  I had one 8.5” strings block from last year, and it takes 4 of them to make one big 16” (finished) square. And I am going to need 20 squares altogether. So, I sewed up 11 more string blocks to finish up the three large blocks. That gives me 15 of the 18 required.

And then it was time to focus on selvages. My Rainbow Selvages quilt calls for two pink columns; one light pink and one bright, hot pink. Done and done.

And sewn to the other finished columns it looks like this:

All that’s left is one column to the very right of the purples. Originally I planned a black/gray column. But now I think I will add two columns next month when we do dark neutrals. One will be the black/gray and the other will be browns. It will add another 4” of width, which I think this 72” long quilt will need, making it 60x72”. Stay tuned.

And the last of my pink scrappy sewing this week was my favorite - the bookcase quilt AKA Reading Rainbow. I needed two 12” pink blocks to finish up the red/pink row (you can click on all pictures to enlarge).

And since the only thing left for the bookshelf was one dark block for the bottom corner. So, I went ahead and made a black/gray block of books. I LOVE how this one finished, especially that Egyptian fabric (a scrap left over from making boxers for one of my sons when he was a teenager). And it has the perfect title - Timeless Treasure. Is that serendipity  or what?

And then I assembled all the books, rows, shelves, borders, etc. Oh my, what fun!  Here it is hanging on the design wall.

I know it’s not a very good picture, but we just didn’t get outside for a photo shoot.  This one is planned for pin basting on my new tables in the coming week. It will be the first quilted that way, so I am rather looking forward to it. And then the quilting will begin. I’m planning to do just some basic stippling or loops - a basic allover design that won’t detract from the action on the shelves. This quilt is about my favorite ever!  Hopefully I’ll have more to share on this next week.

And I am still making progress on my Autumn Farm Girl quilt. This week I finished up the Indian Corn block.

I’m almost done with the owl block, too, but I will save that for my mid-week post.

Finally, I wanted to share a recent make for my friend Diann of Little Penguin Quilts. Diann and DH Mike were going to join us on our recent Colorado trip for a couple days, but due to a death in Mike’s family, their plans changed at the last minute. So, I mailed this off to Diann when we got home from our respective trips. Now that she’s received it, I can share.

It’s just a little quilted, lined zip pouch stuffed with some little goodies. It’s quilted with a lefty vine motif.

A couple Christmases ago I made dozens of these for gifts, but this was the first one this year. And it seems that I was a bit rusty and could've used a refresher course! The first pouch I made (below) used my first fabric picks and colors.

But, I forgot the lining! OOPS! See the batting showing on the inside in the picture below. Sheesh.

If I had a dollar for every sewing missssssnake I’ve ever made, I’d be wealthy.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Quarter 4 Finish-Along Goals

It’s time to list our goals (proposed finishes) for the 4th quarter of the Finish-Along. This is a great international group who encourages us to take a look at our works in process (WIPs) and focus on finishing them, quarter by quarter. So many great sponsors offer prizes to the lucky quarterly winners.

The 3rd Quarter finish link-up was early this year, and I missed it. I’m a bit upset (anyone else?) that the deadline for LINKING was September 30. I was madly sewing on the 30th, hoping to finish one more project. Usually we have a few days into the next quarter to get pictures taken and posts written in order to link up. May I register a (polite) complaint to The Powers That Be to go back to that system? I don’t believe it’s an unreasonable request!  Last quarter I listed 15 projects. I finished two, abandoned one and returned the fabric to stash, and had just finished but not blogged the fourth. Now it will go into my 4th quarter goals.

So, for my 4th Quarter Goals, I’ve listed 10 items in no particular order. However, as some are hopeful Christmas gifts, they will have higher priority in the studio.  :-)

1.  Tulip Quilt for Diane

My friend Terri and I have made all the tulips. Now I get to play with them on the design wall and sash, baste and quilt. Terri will do the binding. This will be a Christmas gift.

2.  Guitar Quilt for DH, Bruce. This is an appliqué project that I will resurrect in November for a hopeful December finish. Or maybe it will carry over into next quarter, depending on how it behaves. If the past is precedent, this may be worked in fits and starts with most of its time being spent in Time Out.

3.  Reading Rainbow. I have the red/pink row done and there’s only one 12” block to finish on the dark (purple/black) row on this. It will be a flimsy before mid-month. 

4.  Rainbow Selveges. Needs a more original name, a couple pink columns and a black column. This is one of the lower priorities for this quarter, although I do expect it to reach flimsy status in November.

5.  Autumn Farmgirl quilt.  I have been sewing up autumn-themed 12” blocks and as this post goes live, there are 15 of 20 blocks done. I would like to finish this one this fall, but we’ll see how it goes.

6. Victorian Ladies Wall Hanging.

This is a crazy-quilted project that was the result of a 6-woman round robin started in 2011 or 2012.  All six 6” blocks are complete. Although only 2 are shown in this picture, they are sewn together without sashing. I will back, bind and create a hanging sleeve for it so it can hang in our bedroom. Each block has a picture of a Victorian woman in various pursuits; reading, playing piano, sewing, holding a child, walking, picking flowers. And each block includes some of my vintage lace. It’s one of my older UFO’s.

Work of (L) Rengin Yazitas and (R) Cathy Kizerian

7.  All You Need is Love

Actually, all I need is TIME. This is the 3rd quarter, I believe, that this quilt project for my daughter has been on my list. But she’ll be here at Christmastime, so somebody better get her rear in gear.

8.  Plus Quilt.
Another Rainbow Scrap project, and another lower priority for this quarter.  But it may reach flimsy status by the end of the year.

9.  Repurposing Vintage Family Patriotic Quilt into 3 Wall Hangings
FINISHED!  Blogged about HERE.

This is done except for the labels I was going to print out. Instead, I have decided to hand sew a pocket to the back of each into which I can print and place the story and history of the quilt they were from. A label just wouldn’t be large enough. 

10.  Let it Snow.

I want to hang this one at Christmas!  It only needs the house sewn together, then the blocks sashed and assembled, etc. Close enough to finish this year. It may be number 10, but it is a higher priority than that.

Having my brother living with us has sure taken a bit out of my studio time.  So much retirement paperwork, insurances, health issues, etc etc. We want to have a yard sale before the permanent cold weather sets in, but I can’t get him to go through all his boxes of crap (that he brought to sort and sell). He has our mom’s ashes stowed in them somewhere, and we wanted to take a trip to her favorite picnic place in the the mountains to scatter her ashes. May not happen until next year. It’s like having a teenager living here again!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Recapping a Busy September

September was a busy and fun, fun month. But lately I feel as though (as the saying goes), “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get”. Do you ever feel that way? Luckily for me, I am moving more and feeling physically much better since I started Weight Watchers back in June.

In September I lost about 5 pounds, making my total to date a loss of 20.2. But even better than that are my two NSV’s (“non-scale victories” as we call them). First, my annual physical was great and my blood work was all in normal ranges, unlike last year. And then my clothes are looser (one pair of pants keeps falling down - goodbye!) and I’m on the verge of moving into the next size down. The smaller pants are ready and waiting in my closet for the cool autumn weather to set in. I did a lot of walking and hiking on vacation, totally controlled my snacking (easy when peaches are in season!) and lost weight. I’m enjoying this journey!

I thought I’d get more sewing done over the last week, but my time in the studio was limited.  I did sew up all the rest of my orange scraps, making three slabs from fabric crumbs. They’ll be used in kennel quilts later this fall. And I made a couple more strip blocks, stars, as well as two Geese Migration blocks. Linking up to Angela’s So Scrappy blog for Scrappy Saturday.

So here is my Orange Collage for September:
Top Row, L-R:  2 Geese Migration blocks, 20 bowties, 4 Plus blocks, 3 crumb slabs
Middle Row, L-R: 2 Selvage columns, 5 Bookshelf blocks (not all shown)
Bottom Row, L-R: 16 Friendship Star variation, 8 Strings blocks

That totals 62 orange blocks for September, rather down from my usual. But that’s OK! I also made several 12” blocks for my Autumn Farmgirl quilt and cut several hundred 2.5"x4” orange lozenges and began adding 1.5” corners to them. Speaking of the Autumn Farmgirl quilt, I used the leftover HSTs from the Friendship Star blocks to make cornerstones. It’s just pinned, but you get the idea....

And here is the start of a pair of Indian Corn blocks for that same autumn quilt....

This week we visited friends and went out to lunch on one of Bruce’s days off. We got to pick out pumpkins from their pumpkin patch, which is bigger than our whole backyard! It was like being a kid again!  We also had family over (twice), including our boisterous grandkids. I would love to be able to bottle just enough of their energy to use to clean my floors after they leave! LOL.

Also, Darla and Alfalfa had their annual physical at the vets. The hardest part of the whole ordeal was catching them after they saw the cage, which was my fault. It would’ve made a good half-hour sitcom. Something about The Little Rascals and their Stupid Human. All that, combined with a lot of autumn batch cooking (lasagna, pot roast, beef enchiladas, chicken rice soup) made for a busy, exhausting week!

And finally, I have something else I made earlier in the month that I haven’t shown yet, but will do that next week after the recipient receives it.....

Have a great week! Have you decorated for fall yet?

Cathy maroon