Sunday, August 16, 2015

What Cancer Cannot Do - A Quilt Finish

I hate cancer. Although I have never had it myself, and hope I never do, too many people I have known and loved - some gone, some still here - have suffered from this most evil of diseases.  My mother and my aunt, sisters, both died of lung cancer. My mother smoked for 40 years, then quit for 15. My aunt never smoked a day in her life.  My husband Bruce has had cancer twice and beat it both times.

This week, my dear friend Diane Matheson, whom I have known and loved for 10 years, passed away from complications due to chemo. Those dreaded complications. Cancer is such a coward; it forces other things, like infections and fungi, to do its dirty work.  Deflecting blame elsewhere. But it’s you, cancer, that allowed them in, that forced the administration of powerful drugs that destroy everything in their wake. That left our loved ones vulnerable to anything wanting to attack their bodies. We are not fooled. Damn you, cancer!

Another friend of ours (“C”) is suffering (and I do not use the word lightly) from cancer. Today he was hospitalized with breathing problems. Something is going on in his lungs and they have yet to identify it, let alone fight it.  But months ago, when he was still relatively healthy, I began gathering the materials and supplies needed for this quilt. Having seen one like it on a friend’s blog (Laura from Quokka Quilts), I knew I wanted to start one for C, who is a neighbor, fellow church member and friend.  And since his niece works as my part-time Etsy shop assistant, I invited her to help. We did add rows to the pattern on top and bottom and also columns on the sides of the pattern to enlarge it. It finished at 54 x 66”.

My intention was to finish it during the second quarter of this year, but it got put off until summer. And then C’s health took a bit of a turn, and we got busy on it right away. It is finished, and will be gifted to C the moment he returns from the hospital. It has been a sweltering week, weather-wise, so the most obvious use of this quilt, as a blanket or comforter, is not likely. But I hope it will be used in the other sense of the word - a comforter as in aiding or providing comfort. I found the messages thought provoking, and I hope the family does, too. I hope they will provide some comfort, much the same as certain scriptures or quotes do for people.

It was made with friendship, love, faith and hope, because in the end that is all I really have to give.

Cathy maroon

PS - I am linking up to the 2015 Finish Along with Adrienne of On the Windy Side.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

An Indigo Scrappy Saturday . . . and Jen’s Quilt

Welcome to Scrappy Saturday for the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Our hostess Angela has selected Indigo as the color of the month for August. I am sooooo not an indigo person and really had to scrape the bottom of my fabric barrels (HA!) to find suitable colors. We were also told we could use this month for our gray and black scraps, but since those would not work with my Wonky Log Cabin Blocks, whose contrasting/negative space colors are black on white prints, I um... scrapped that idea.

But since we did blue blocks in January, I have finished up a couple quilts and other projects that had blues in them, so I did have some selection of very dark blues from which to make (4) 8.5 inch blocks, which make one 16.5” unfinished block when sewn together.

There’s not a whole heck of a lot of variety in the dark blues, but it will do.  And here is how it looks compared to the two blue January blocks:

So, I have completed 19 of the 25 blocks I need for this quilt.  Done are:
5 red, 3 blue, 3 dark green, 2 yellow, 2 purple, 2 teal and 2 pink.  I have 6 remaining, and they will be: 3 orange, 2 light/bright green and one ?? (probably a yellow/green or a yellow/orange). We shall see.

Every Sunday, my cousins Carrie and Kim (who are really my nieces by marriage and are my age) come over, along with Carrie’s daughter Jenny who is 30-ish. We gather at about 10am at my place and sew in my studio, which has enough room (barely) to accommodate 4 sewists at their machines. Plus we have an ironing board and a separate cutting table. And sometimes Kim`s 10-year-old granddaughter Trini (pictured HERE with the koala mittens she made) joins us. When she does, one person usually works in the adjoining room of the studio in a comfy chair doing handwork (crochet or embroidery).

So anyway, Jen finished her first quilt (and since this picture taken 2 weeks ago, has finished another).   I didn’t get the whole thing in the picture, but you get the idea. We are all so proud of her!!

So, got scraps? Join us in the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. To see this week’s blocks, visit Angela at So Scrappy.

Cathy maroon
Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Quilt Finish in Pink and Green

As you may remember, I am participating in the 2015 Finish Along, hosted by Adrienne of On the Windy Side .  About a month ago, I set out my goals for the 3rd quarter of the year. I am happy to report that the first of these is finished (and two more are very close - but those are posts for another time).

This quilt was intended as a baby quilt for my soon-to-be born granddaughter.  However, I remembered that all the rest have been backed with Minky, and the whole point of this quilt was to match the vintage cotton sheet I was using as the back (and some of the front patches).  I already have other plans for the grand baby quilt, with some awesome bumblebee fabrics.... more on that next month.

So, the new recipient of this quilt is Emma, the grown daughter of my uncle’s wife (of 30 years). Emma has Down Syndrome, and will love the soft and simple colors. I will be visiting Uncle Bela, Aunt Maria and cousin Emma for a couple days later this month prior to attending the Crazy Quilting International retreat in Kansas City.

The sheet that inspired it all is a floral print of pinks and lime green with bits of yellow. I think it looks very contemporary and was such a great fabric to build a color scheme around.  To quilt it, I did a free motion quilted (FMQ) stipple, the first time I ever tried this. Wow, was that ever fun!  It is now bound, washed and nicely puckered and soooooo soft!

So, this checks off Item #3 on my finish list.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 39 x 46”
Fabric: various
Backing: vintage sheet
Batting:  Hobbs 80/20
Quilted by: myself, FMQ stipple

And that is it for now!


Cathy maroon

Farm Girl Vintage Blocks - Catching Up

I have kept up with the sewing schedule (2 blocks per week) since the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along began last May. However, I have been remiss in posting pictures of them since I attended the FGV retreat over a month ago.  Luckily, we are sewing the blocks in alphabetical order, as they are presented in the book.  The last one I showed was Fresh Pears.

Please excuse the quality of the photos; I threw each one out on a vintage sheet I had spread on the floor and just snapped away...... So, shall we get to it?



Grandma’s Quilt Block


Kettle’s On!

Kitchen Window

Mama Hen

Milking Day

Old Glory

Old Red Barn
This week I am working on Out to Pasture and Patchwork Pumpkin. I will have pictures of those next week.  :-)

More posts to come -


Cathy maroon
Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Autumn Issue of CQ Quarterly is Available!

And what a FANTASTIC issue this is!  It’s jam packed with ideas and tutorials to complete all sorts of motifs and projects with an autumn theme.  Take a look at that gorgeous cover by Connie Eyberg!!

(And yes, I even have a little piece in this; an embroidered spider who has in turn “embroidered” a web on a lamppost in Paris. What has the spider embroidered? An Eiffel Tower, of course!)

You can purchase your copy (print, e-version or both) HERE.

This is the best issue yet!!!

Cathy maroon

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rainbow Scrappy RED Saturday

This post could be sub-titled “When it’s Hot - SEW!”  Except that the heat also makes me want to (a) nap (b) drink Margaritas (c) nap, and (d) drink Margaritas.

But seriously, we have had a lot of fun in the sun with family (picnics), a minor league baseball game last night complete with fireworks and working in the garden. Peppers, squash, turnips are on.  Beans and rhubarb are done. The spaghetti squash, corn, onions and turnips are about ready.  Pumpkins and grapes will be late summer/early fall. Summer is really a busy time.


These are the five red wonky log cabin blocks I completed for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. July’s color was obviously red.  These blocks are made up of 4 smaller blocks, and they are 16.5” (16” when finished).

They join my other blocks in a large pile that will eventually become a large bed-sized quilt. I have revised my plan for the blocks at Grid Paint, which you can see below with the blocks. I need to go back and make one each of some of the past colors (yellow, teal, and blue), but will do that as time allows. After doing five blocks in July, the rest should be easy peasy.

My friend Mary and I (she is also my Etsy shop assistant, my neighbor across the street, a high school student, plus a DARLING young lady and the niece of the recipient of the quilt below) have been working on Cal’s Cancer Quilt. Cal is in remission, thankfully. He is also a super dad, hard-working, devout and generous with this time and talents. He heads up our Community Gardens program, plus he and his wife Michelle throw monthly neighborhood  ice cream socials in their lovely backyard.

So, Mary and I have cut and sewn all the blocks, and now they are pinned up to the design board. The vertical row on the right will actually be the bottom horizontal row, but my new-ly expanded design board is not long enough. But that is OK, because it is plenty wide and I can compensate. Or lay a quilt on it sideways. Anything to keep Certain Cats away from the temptation of pins. Those two said cats shall remain nameless to avoid encouraging them; if they see their names in print too often, they may suffer delusions of grandeur. You know how cats are.

Who? Us??
Join us today over at Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Cathy maroon
Sunday, July 12, 2015

3rd Quarter Sewing Goals for Finish-Along

No time to waste! I have been participating in the 2015 Finish-Along with Adrienne of On the Windy Side. Each quarter we set our goals, and I only have a day or two left to announce my quarter 3 goals! That is what this post is about. But first, let’s talk about the Q2 finishes.

For second quarter, I had five goals and only finished two; Bruce’s Banjo quilt and the Summer Skirt for London.

However, in my defense, I did finish a lot of blocks that were outside my goal list. For example, I participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC). For that, I finished 7 - 16” blocks (made up of 4, 8.5 inch blocks each) as well as over over 30 12” blocks for the Farm Girl Vintage (FGV) quilt-along and the FGV Retreat we had locally at Thimbles and Threads. Also, it does not take into account the three other unplanned makes; an ironing pad to use with my travel iron, a quilted/pocketed underpad for my Bernina, and a zip pouch for carrying my travel iron.  Most of those have been posted here during the last 3 months, so I can laugh and prove I’m not a slacker!  :-)

But now it is time to set some goals for the 3rd Quarter Finish-Along, and after careful consideration, here is my list:

1.  Black Crazy Quilt Wall Hanging  

This is actually all sewn together now, and the trim is mostly stitched around the inside needlepoint.  I have one seam and one medallion to add, then it is just backing and binding. I have been putting it off because (a) black wool is not particularly appealing to work on in the heat of summer and (b) it will be featured in a magazine in the winter, so I don`t want to really give the finished piece too much exposure before it is published. So I keep waffling on this....

2.  Cancer Quilt for Cal

This quilt is well under way; my friend Mary and I are both going to be working on this (Cal is my friend and her uncle). So far, about half the cutting is done and some of the sewing.  This will go together quickly once it gets our primary focus. And that will likely happen as soon as my Etsy shop sale is over....

3.  Baby Quilt for DGD Oakley

We are expecting another granddaughter, Oakley, in September.  This quilt will be a simple patchwork front in pinks and greens and white. The back is the floral fabric - a vintage sheet - that inspired the color scheme.

 4.  Finish Pretty in Plaid Wallhanging. This is an Anka’s Treasures pattern in Bonnie and Camille’s fabric

 5.  Helen’s Garden Quilt

Helen’s Garden is the name of the fabric line I am using. Besides falling in love with the dragonflies and accompanying prints by Tamara Kate last year (it was named for her mother Helen), I love it because my mother was also Helen. It will be a bed-sized quilt for our bed.
By the way, I LOVE Tamara Kate’s new line The Birds and The Bees.

The pattern is from Missouri Star Quilt Company (see pic above); the plain off-white will be used for the sashing and the lavender checked bedsheets (upper left of picture) will be the backing.

6.    Farm Girl Pincushions
I’m getting a head start on some of my Christmas sewing.  These pincushions will be for my cousins, etc (my quilty peeps) as part of their Christmas gifts. I think they will all be presented in little zip pouches, which will likely either just happen OR will become Q4 goals.

And one of my supervisors, Alfie (Alfalfa) insisted that I show you how intent he is about quality control.
Alfie checks the measurements of the cut pieces
So, I think that about wraps it up for this post.

I will be back later in the week to show you the latest Farm Girl Blocks....

Until next time,

Cathy maroon