Saturday, October 3, 2015

Scrappy Saturday.... Singin’ the Browns

Despite the cooler, wetter fall weather and the storm forecast for the east coast, I am not singing the blues. Nope, it is October and the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is brown, so that is what I be singin'.  If I could sing, that is.

I`ve seen some pretty fantastic rainbows in my life (the most notable I posted on my Instagram account ( @cathy_k_in_ut ) a couple weeks ago. But I have never seen brown in any rainbow. However, I do have plenty of brown fabric scraps, and mom Angela encouraged us to give it a go. So I did, and I am glad I did.

There is good contrast in the block, and it will fit in nicely with the other colors in my quilt. Thanks for the encouragement, Angela!

And I never did post this picture last month. September was our orange month, and I did three bright orange blocks like the one on the bottom left below.  We had already done yellow back in March, and one of those blocks is on the top in the below pic. However, one of my very favorite colors is yellow-orange, and I had lots of those scraps. So, I decided to do a block out of those. I think it is a good transition block from the yellows to the oranges. Not that the quilt will need transitioning blocks ... the layout will be random. But still.

I only have two more blocks to do, and I know what color they are going to be (bright/light greens) regardless of the color chosen for next month. And that is because I still have two larger blocks to piece for our Euro shams, so I can use future color(s) on them while still finishing up this quilt top. A method to my madness. Or, madness to my method?? Whatever.

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And just to keep up to date with my Farm Girl blocks, I am showing the ones I have completed since my last Farm Girl update. Sorry about the quality; I just threw them down and snapped pictures; no pressing, no removal of stray threads or cat  supervisor hair or anything.

Sunday Morning Block

Tumbleweed Block

Welcome Block
I have two more blocks left officially (in the sew-along): Winter Star and Woolly Sheep. But to get the total number of blocks I need for the Farm Girl Quilt, I will also be sewing a Bee, possibly a cow (I think I may have found a good pattern), and some blocks for the long shams I will need for the decorative pillows.  Also, hubby wants a tractor pillow, and a pattern for a large tractor is in Lori Holt’s book (Farm Girl Vintage), which we are going on. So, that is also on the agenda.

Finally, I have started making some zip pouches for gifts (birthdays, Christmas). The first two were sooooo cute, but I didn’t get pictures of them before I sent them off to my daughter in Seattle.  But that is OK; I plan to sew lots more.

I am linking up to Scrappy Saturday at Angela’s So Scrappy blog. If you have scraps, or even if you don’t, we would love to have you join us!!

Cathy maroon
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Quilty Orphan Adoption Winner

Thanks to all of you who offered to give my orphan UFO project a good home. You all have such good hearts.

The winner, chosen by my husband in a drawing of all the names, is Vicki of MN. I have contacted her by email and made arrangements to send it off to her.

Thanks again to all of you!

Cathy maroon
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Quilty Orphan Adoption Event !! And Other Stuff.

Cynthia Brunz at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework iis hosting her semi-annual Quilty Orphan Adoption Event and I have decided to join in.

Basically, if you have a UFO (unfinished object or project) that you know you will never finish, then you can offer it up for adoption and link up to her blog.  And the offer is FREE.  There are several other UFOs up for adoption linked up to Cynthia’s site, so go check them out.  

To me, this is a fantastic solution to those “What was I thinking?” projects, or projects that just turned to the dark side once they began.....  Given that I have just started seriously quilting within the last year, I would still categorize myself as an (over-) confident beginner. 

So, what is this project?  It will hopefully someday be a mini-quilt sized approximately 24” by 27”.  I used a charm pack of Bonnie and Camille’s Marmalade and some Kona White.  The pattern (included with UFO) is called Pretty in Pink (Mini) by Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka’s Treasures. 

It was a quilt-along that Heather hosted earlier this year, and once I had cut everything out per the directions, I kicked myself for not reading through them first. It seems to me that it would be much easier (and more accurate) to cut each charm vertically into 2 pieces, insert the white, then cut it vertically into 2 pieces and insert the white. Instead, we cut each charm into 4 pieces, then inserted one white vertical piece and two white horizontal pieces, hoping they match up.  Maybe I`m wrong, but I am not going to dwell on it. This gives me a headache. And all those dang pinked edges...... grrrr.  

So, if you think you might want to adopt this project for your very own, here is what I am asking. Many of the adoptee projects are intended for charity, but since this is just a wall hanging or mini size, I will not ask that. However, I would like to see a picture when you finish it.  Please comment below if you are interested; I will keep the adoption open through Tuesday, September 22.  Please make sure I can contact you; in other words, if you are a no-reply blogger, leave your email address in your comment.   I will include the fabrics for the front (I had not picked out any backing or binding), directions, and will carefully mark all the cut pieces for you.  Plus, if you would like, I will throw in a mini charm pack of Feed Company by Moda. 

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This is one of my Farm Girl Vintage blocks for this week’s Farm Girl quiltalong. It is called Sunny Sunflower. I have another block to do, and will show that next post.

I tried making an autumn table runner for our kitchen table.  I used Home for Harvest, a quilt line by (again) Heather Mulder Peterson (LOOOOOVE those colors), and you can see them also in the above block (the brown and green).  In the runner, I paired them up with some Kaufman yard-dyed Essex Linen in Natural because I have heard so many nice things about it. It was not my favorite to work with, but that’s probably just me. Besides, look at my rank beginner quilting on it.  HA!  The harder free-motion quilting is much easier than trying to sew a few basic straight lines. Go figure. 

And finally, my niece (or cousin’s daughter) Jenny, whose first quilt I showed you earlier this month, finished her second one a couple weeks later. She used solids, half-square triangles, and came up with her own layout. I think it is stunning!  Great job, Jenny!

I’m a bit sad because we will not be having our regular Sunday sewing group tomorrow due to illnesses. And I had a killer lunch planned: ham and broccoli quiche, cinnamon raisin bread, mimosas and fresh peach pie. Plus, I wanted to pawn some garden tomatoes off on them, too.  But there is always next week!  

Cathy maroon
Saturday, September 12, 2015

Juicy Orange - September’s Color for RSC15

Hi, and thanks for joining me. This is my third post this week, so I have been busy and am now caught up with my posting, if not my goals.

Andrea selected orange as our September color of the month for the 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I was thrilled, because I have So. Much. Orange. I love the color and feel it gives a warmth and vibrancy wherever it is used.

So, continuing with my Wonky Log Cabin blocks, I have made 12 -  8.5 blocks that have been sewn into 3 - 16.5 inch blocks.  This brings my total up to 22 of the 30 I will need.

I will make one more orange, then catch up with past colors I have decided I need: 1 more pink, 1 yellow-orange, 1 indigo, 1 teal, then 3 of a future color OR a bright green.

And then I began thinking of the back, and saw this lovely cityscape print on Instagram and had to rush and buy one.  It is a Hoffman print called Skylines.  I am going to attempt to piece a color gradation around it, and perhaps a strip of black and white somewhere to tie it all together. Or not.  We will see what happens when I start playing with it in November...

If you have scraps, or even if you like good eye candy, why not join us over at So Scrappy for Scrappy Saturday??

Cathy maroon
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Farm Girl Blocks, Finished Baby Quilt

I have so much to show you, but after that loooong post from a couple days ago, I knew I should wait before doing another picture-heavy post.

Our granddaughter Oakley is due any day now, and I made this quick but cute baby quilt for her last week.  I saw the fabric on clearance at one of my most favorite quilt stores, Thimbles and Threads, and grabbed what I could. Turns out that I have enough after this quilt to do another one, which is just fine by me!!

I was limited by the fabrics and color ways left, but that never keeps us down, does it?  The line is called Let it Bee

The quilt finished at approximately 48 x 56 if I remember correctly.

It is backed in a yellow cuddle cloth with hearts embossed on it, but I am not sure you can see the hearts. What you can see is the random loopy quilting, which was meant to echo the bees’ flight paths as detailed in the prints on the front (don’t know if you can see that, either).

This was not on my list of projects for the 2015 Finish Along, but I am happy nonetheless.

And then to catch up on a few other things, here are the Farm Girl Blocks I have finished since last I reported.  I have more than enough for a quilt now, but there are still several I want to do. I will then decide which ones will go in the bed quilt, which ones will go on the long bed pillows, and which will become table toppers, etc.

Out to Pasture

Patchwork Pumpkin

Peas and Carrots

Pie Cherries


Postage Stamp

Scrappy Maple Leaf

Scrappy Strawberry

Simple Star Block
This Simple Star Block (above) was done when I attended the Farm Girl Vintage Retreat. It’s called a mash-up block, and instead of a plain 6” center square, I did a scrappy postage-stamp center.

Spring Star Block

And that is it for now. I plan to do some sewing this afternoon; probably start on an autumn table runner (perhaps make more of those scrappy pumpkins??)  I also want to check my now-minimal stash of home dec fabrics to see if I have anything suitable to make a stuffed pumpkin with.  The hunt is on....

Until next time,

Cathy maroon
Monday, September 7, 2015

Quilt Retreat, Family, Missouri Star - a Busy Week!

What a crazy, wonderful, BUSY summer it’s been!  And over too quickly!!

I have been lucky enough to have my granddaughter Lauren over every other Monday this summer. We look forward to our sewing days, and I have shown you some of the cute projects (tote bags, zip pouches, skirts) she has made. 

Our last sewing day was the day before she started school. We had already bought the supplies (pattern, fabric and all necessary hardware and notions) to make her a backpack for school. So, we got busy on it as soon as she got here.  There were a couple things that I did do (sewing the bottom to the sides/front/back). But it needed to be extra secure, so she sewed over it a second time to add stability.  She did 95% of the sewing, but I helped her cut things out (to save time) and read and interpreted the directions for her.  What a great team!  And look at this lovely girl and her lovely backpack!!

There are shoulder straps, a hanging loop, a big central compartment with drawstring, and three roomy exterior pockets.  Even the bottom has sturdy Timtex in the bottom to add support for carrying books. She has been using it for 2-3 weeks now and loves it.

And the best part, besides being cute, is that no one else has one like it!!  Lauren, I love you so much and am so proud of you!!

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OK, so have you ever gotten your dates mixed up? You know, thinking it was one day/date and it really was another? Sure, all of us have. But I have raised Losing Track of Time to an art form.

I just *knew* the Crazy Quilting International 9th annual retreat was August 27-30. I had my plane tickets and plans to visit family all arranged. Almost everything was packed and ready to go. I had planned to arrive on the 24th, early, to visit my 90-year old uncle and family, then to drive to Missouri Star Quilt Co. in Hamilton, MO, and then spend my last 3-4 days at the retreat.

So, Liz Rudder, a CQI moderator and the retreat organizer, called me on Wednesday the 19th and asked me when my flight was landing.  She knew I was coming in early, and I said “Next Monday”..... her reply, “But the retreat starts tomorrow!”  Long story short, I quickly changed my reservations (a $113 mistake, but it could have been much worse), rearranged my schedule, called family, frantically finished packing, etc. Made it there the next afternoon (Thursday), several hours before the retreat started. WHEW! I was hoping that was not an omen of how my week was going to be. It was not.

What a wonderful retreat!  Like last year, it was held at the Heartland Retreat Center in Parkville, MO.  Did I get pictures?  A few, but none worth showing except this one. The grand prize bear that Lauri Burgesser made (she does one every year).

CQ bear made by Lori Burgesser
And it was wonderful to see my friends again, plus all the new ladies who joined us for the first time!!  The food was GREAT (they hired a chef and it was a 180-degree turnaround from last year) and the weather all week was wonderful, mild and not at all humid.

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After the retreat, I rented a car and drove south 3-4 hours to visit my 90-year old Uncle Bela and Aunt Maria, plus Emma, my step-cousin with hydrocephalus and retardation for whom I made this quilt.

Tia Maria and Uncle Bela
My uncle Bela was an opera singer and tailor in Hollywood for quite awhile in the late 1950’s - early 1970’s. He accompanied Bob Hope on a USO tour to Viet Nam to entertain the groups. He performed in the tribute concert to Mario Lanza after his (ML’s) death. I remember going with my family to see Uncle Bela sing once at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles.

Uncle Bela has scores of personalized autographed pictures of him with stars like Lloyd Bridges, Joe DiMaggio, Elton John, Lorne Green, Michael Douglas, Lana Turner, Ronald Reagan and Dick Van Dyke (and lots more). And Jayne Mansfield; he was friends with her husband Mickey Hartigay (also Hungarian). (But he didn`t know their daughter Mariska stars on Law & Order: SVU).  Anyway, many of those stars were lucky enough to have suits made for them by Bela. I can remember visiting his Hollywood tailor shop (on Sunset Boulevard) and seeing suits in the works for Max Baer (Jethro on Beverly Hillbillies) and Lorne Green (Ben Cartwright on Bonanza).

So, enough of the family bragging, LOL!  We went into Branson, Missouri one day for a tour and a ride in a Duck (DUKW) - the former amphibious vehicles of the type that stormed the beaches of Normandy in WWII.

Countryside around Branson, MO
An old Duck (DUKW) land/water vehicle
Oh, and before I forget, I wanted to show you some pictures of this antique tapestry (or wall hanging) that my uncle had (and tried to give me, but I declined). But I would like to find out more about it for him. He says it is a couple hundred years old and European. I know it is at least 150 years, presumably French, but not much beyond that. It is about 60x60” (guesstimate) made of wine colored velvet and backed with a yellowed fabric, likely cotton (?)  No shattering of the fabric anywhere. 

tapestry pictured lying on the carpet...
There is intricate gold work bordering 3 sides of the piece and beautiful gold metallic trim surrounding the inner panel and outer edges (as well as comprising the hanging tabs). The gold work is tarnished, but in excellent condition.

Below:  One of the side medallions. The other side had an identical one. 

The back. Notice how the tassels are buttoned to the backing. And the gold bullion fringe...

Close-up of one of the tassels.

Can anyone give me any information about this type of piece in general? Or suggest a place I might go online (or call, or visit) that can help me with an appraisal of this piece?

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Finally, after I tearfully left my uncle and family (and Bruce and I do plan to go back and visit them next year), I had a delightful drive through the beautiful Missouri countryside.  After about 4 hours, I arrived in Hamilton, home of Missouri Star Quilt Company, and the hometown of James Cash Penney (JCPenney).

The building murals recently added (this spring/summer) were delightful, but my pictures turned out badly, so you will just have to take my word for it).  The town was picturesque, and the fabric shopping was sublime. I managed to (cough, cough) boost the local economy quite impressively.

All in all, it was a great week, full of laughter, fun, hugs and tears, sunshine, fabric and memories. But the very best part was coming home!

Cathy maroon
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.
And HERE is a link to my original 3rd quarter goals.