Thursday, May 5, 2016

Crazy Quilt Quarterly Summer Issue is Out!

One of my favorite publications (and not just because I’m on the staff, LOL) is Crazy Quilt Quarterly, published by Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs.  Well, the new summer issue is out, and the cover girl is the one and only Betty Pillsbury (I just *love* her!!).  Betty has works in the Smithsonian (did you know that?). Her CQ style is usually very traditional - what I would call an updated, modern Victorian. She can embroider, bead, made silk flowers, appliqué, and just about any other technique you could think of! Now, with her piece in CQ Quarterly (previously unpublished), she uses shibori ribbon for suns rays in her Stonehenge-like setting.

This issue is crammed with great tutorials, articles and patterns. And did I mention eye candy? No Crazy Quilter worth her salt should miss it!  :-)  

You can purchase your print or digital copy at Magcloud:  Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine

Cathy maroon
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Orange for the Win !!

Welcome back, friends. Today is just a recap of my orange scrappy adventures for the month of April.  Can you believe that tomorrow is MAY already??

I keep track of my various blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge as I seem to be working on several quilts at once: the RSC2016 Sampler, Cats & Kittens (will become 2 quilts), Dresdens (will become 2 quilts), 16-patches with black & white centers, vintage sheets rail fence (not shown) and also just 8.5” scrappy blocks that have no particular purpose. Yet.

So, this month’s total orange blocks numbered 79, my busiest month yet. I also did 2 - 12” blocks for my Notting Hill quilt, 10 - 6” blocks for the Splendid Sampler, and cut over 140 orange lozenges (5”x 2.5”) for a future quilt (to add to the 40 that were given to my in an Instagram giveaway). And, I finished my Cityscape quilt, which you can read about in my previous post. All in all, a great sewing month.

May promises better weather, and I plan to be outdoors and in the garden more. That will probably be reflected in my productivity, but that’s just fine.

Why not join us at So Scrappy for Scrappy Saturday??

Cathy maroon
Thursday, April 28, 2016

First Finish of the Quarter

I finally finished the Cityscape quilt after spending waaaaaaay too much time quilting.  Not to mention too much time watching Netflix, LOL.  And errands, appointments and having our alarm system upgraded.

This is the first finish of this second quarter of the year, and was #1 on my Finish Along Goals, Quarter 2.

It’s been rainy and gloomy here, so my only finished picture is with the quilt pinned (not very evenly) on my design board.  I will try to get better pictures outdoors when the sun decides to shine again.

I outline quilted most of the buildings.  While the rays of light were done a few weeks ago in white (on the light upper background), the buildings were quilted in black. The quilting on the front and back really just disappears. I don’t intend to wash the quilt at this point as it will be a wall hanging for my son. I did add a hanging sleeve to the back.

The first black border, as I mentioned in a previous post, was quilted in the ditch. Then the outer colored border was just given simple straight line stitching, using my walking foot as a guide (but still not very straight...)

When I do the next one (yes, I have another identical panel), I am going to do the same light ray quilting, but it will morph into a simple quilted grid. But I don’t need to worry about that one until fall; it will be a charity quilt.

Meantime, I found an afternoon to catch up on the Splendid Sampler blocks I’ve chosen to do. There are six, and I believe one may be an alternate block. And two were changed by me (the Measure Twice and the house). We are encouraged to do our own thing. I modify designs I want to and ignore the embroidered and paper pieced blocks.

I have 20 6.5” blocks so far. I’m not sure how long I will continue to do these - I should sit down and do some math. I think eventually I would like to add some plain blocks and sashing to extend these. When we get to the months of green, yellow and pink, I will see what the stash says, although I could probably finish a nice sized quilt with just the fabrics I’ve already pulled for this thing.  :-)

And that’s it for this week’s finishes. Tomorrow I plan to cut into some fabric for my next quilt. If I can get it cut out before the May rainbow color is announced (I am betting on red), then it will be ready to start piecing when my colored blocks are done.....

See you on Saturday with my Orange Scrappy Update.

Cathy maroon
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Holy Orange, Batman!

Most of the last week has been spent finishing up my orange blocks. The result has been a sizable dent in my orange scraps, although I did add in a few new ones from my sewing from last blog post (the 2 12” blocks for my Notting Hill quilt).

I did get the whirligig blocks done, or buzz saws or whatever they are called. I found them really fun to work on! Originally I cut them all out of the orange dotty fabric, but decided instead to swap out half of them for other oranges. Hence, there are plenty of the orange dot scraps in my improv blocks, which you’ll see later in the post.

After taking the above picture, I sewed them into a column and hung them up on clothes hangers on a makeshift shelf in my Other Sewing Room. This is actually just an old bedroom off my basement studio that I redecorated a couple years ago (see the orange walls?) It also has the full spectrum fluorescent lights and is where I keep my books, threads, laces, beads, etc.  I do my hand stitching in here in a comfy wing chair.

But anyway, don’t the four columns look great together? I can hardly wait for next month’s blocks!! Angela at So Scrappy has been doing a great job of leading us along on this year’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge and this sampler!

My improv blocks, above, number 20 this month (usually it is 10). I just have so much orange because I love it. I also incorporated all the waste HSTs left over from other projects. And then there was the first whirligig block I did with the orange dots and a too-busy background that I didn’t like. Someday these will all find a home in a quilt.....

Yesterday I took a break from sewing and instead repainted all our outdoor wrought iron railings plus a wicker chair and footrest for the patio.  It’s supposed to rain this weekend, so I won`t finish setting up and cleaning all the patio furniture and cushions until next week.  Then, since my hands and arms were killing me, I spent the afternoon vegetating binge-watching watching the first 4 episodes of one of my all-time favorite PBS series, House of Elliot. Dressmaker sisters in 1920’s London that rise from destitution to a heads of a couture house. Some luscious fabrics, sewing machines, styles, etc. Just what I needed to get me fired up to return to the sewing machine today and finish up 4-5 Splendid Sampler blocks.

Why not join us at So Scrappy for Scrappy Saturday? We are happy to share our orange (eye) candy with you!
Also linking up to Oh Scrap! 

Cathy maroon
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Catching up with Other Sewing

Now that the month is more than half way over (how did THAT happen?), I have other sewing progress to report - sewing that is not related to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I mean, I do have stuff to show for the RSC, but that will be on Saturday.  But for now, as the Eagles serenade me in the studio, I would like to show you my two Notting Hill blocks for April.

I started making 12” blocks for the 2013 (yes, 3 years ago) Sugar Block Club in the lovely Notting Hill Fabric by Joel Dewberry.  About the 3rd or 4th month we got to paper piecing, and although I tried valiantly, I gave up. If you don’t remember how I feel about paper piecing, scroll back a few posts.  Anyway, that project got put on hold until this year.

I started the year with 4 blocks (one pieced in the intervening 3 years) and decided it was time to finish it, two blocks per month. As I am and always have been a big fan of Amy Gibson’s, I’m participating in the 2016 Sugar Block Club and making her block every month (at least so far).
Here is this month’s block:

I really enjoyed making this block, but wish I had chosen a fabric with better contrast for the small triangles in the inner part of the corner patches and that snowball the center patch. Live and learn. As they say, finished is better than perfect.

Along with my SBC block, I select another one of my choosing to sew up. This month’s is High Tide by Kate Spain. You should see her version in blues, here. Scroll down about 2/3 of the way to find a downloadable pattern link. Here is my block:

That brings my total blocks to 12, of 20 needed to finish a quilt that will be (with sashing) about 60  x 72” or so.

And speaking of fabric (I know, my segue leaves a bit to be desired),  I got some new goodies in earlier in the month, thanks to the bad influence of some internet friends who shall remain nameless.

I think that fabric on the left will make a good backing for the second Cityscape quilt I will make later this year (as a donation to a cancer organization). The middle fabric is another Tamara Kate print; I just love everything she does. The other one - the pins.... *sigh* ... who can resist a sewing-related low volume print?   And I am looking for several yards of a cute cat fabric to back the two in-process cat quilts I’m making.....

What about my fabric diet, you ask?? To which I reply... what fabric diet?  I did that in November - February, which is enough. Time to bring in some fresh fabric! I did get lots sewn and despite several fabric winnings, I managed to use, sell or give away over 50 yards net.

And one final thing that I have not officially shown here. One day, on a whim, I replaced my fugly ironing board cover with this fabric I bought a couple years ago. The good news is that it uses a narrow length, so I have enough to re-do it yet again.  :-)

Until Saturday,

Cathy maroon
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Orange Caturday

This was the week of the cat for me in my sewing studio. I love orange and have lots and lots of it in my fabric stash. One of my real cats is also orange - that would be Alfie (short for Alfalfa), left. His sister is - you guessed it - Darla. They are our Little Rascals.

Back to the fabric cats, the mama cats and kittens will become two quilts (of six “litters” each),  so orange seemed like a natural color to do include in both quilts, which meant two mamas and two litters. Luckily, that will not be every month. But Alfie insisted that orange be one of those special colors. As a staff member only, who am I to argue with him?

The orange cats

Litter One

Litter Two

11 out of the 12 kittens are the same in each litter, but one mama has a matching kitten and the other has a dark red-orange kitten instead. These things happen.

Last week I showed one of my Dresdens. I mentioned that the other one was done except for the center. So now, here they are together. Remember, I only added the center to one; I did NOT sew them this week (the kittens just about wore me out!)

Finally, I did sew the last four of my 16-patch blocks (I already had 6 done). I wanted to hold them to show together.

16-Patch blocks

I love the cute little fox in the square below. This was left over from a baby quilt I made a couple years ago.

And that concludes my orange madness for this week. I do have the pieces cut out for our Rainbow Scrappy Challenge blocks, and will sew those up in the coming week. I also have lots of scraps to combine into some improv blocks before month-end.

Join us over at Scrappy Saturday for some wonderful scrappy orange goodness.

Cathy maroon
Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finish-Along Goals for 2nd Quarter 2016

As the deadline looms, I better get my rear in gear and list my Finish-Along Goals for Q2 of this year.  Because they are all quilts, I am going to keep the list short and realistic.  Here we go.

1.   Cityscape Quilt.  This one is a digital cityscape print from Hoffman Fabrics that I have bordered with black. A second border in graduated colors surrounds that. It is currently in the process of being quilted by me on my Bernina 550QE.  So far I have completed the rays of sun and light.  I hope to finish this one later in the month.

2.   This is Shane’s Magic Carpet.  I made another quilt for my son Shane last year here, but it was rather small. He would love something bed-sized. He is an artist and picked these colors (THAT was a process) and I bought them at end-of-year Kona Cotton sales. I will gift it to him on his birthday, June 30, which also happens to be the end of the quarter....

3.   Aria (by Benartex) Quilt.  Yes, if you have seen any of my past lists, you will see that this one has been on it for several quarters.  But this is the quarter I will actually work on it. In fact, after I finish the Cityscape quilt, this one is actually next up before Shane’s quilt, above.  I enlisted hubby’s help to select a pattern, as this will be a bed quilt for us.  Our bedroom is decorated totally in neutrals, so I can switch up the bedcovers as I please. So fun!!

4.  Finally, a log cabin quilt. This one is actually a pie-in-the-sky wish for this quarter and will likely not happen unless I develop insomnia or they invent a 28 hour day. It seems I usually spend the first two weeks of every month stitching my blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, the Sugar Block Club and the Splendid Sampler. But I love the `I Love Log Cabins` book, and fell in love with the cover quilt. In fact, I had so many of the same fabrics in my stash, and have been dying to do another Log Cabin since I finished up Rainbow Orbs. So, this one is in the queue.

Collage of my Quarter 2 Project Goals:

It’s not too late - you have until the 16th (Saturday) at 11pm EST to link up if you would like to join us. Regardless, why not check it out - lots of great plans and eye candy to rev you up!  The link in the sidebar is clickable. There are several hosts this year and I vary between She Can Quilt and Clover and Violet.

Cathy maroon