Sunday, May 20, 2018

Quilting for Charity

This is my first year to participate in Sarah’s (of Confessions of a Fabric Addict) annual online charity drive, Hands2Help. I try to focus my energies to include one or two worthy causes in my sewing rota. Last year it was kennel quilts for Best Friends Animal Society. This year so far it’s been Hands2Help (H2H). And there will be other causes as the year progresses, I’m sure.

When I learned that two of the charities for H2H this year were right here in Utah, and one was run by Emily of Em’s Scrap Bag blog (a blog I read regularly), I knew where I was going to donate my quilts. Emily’s charity is Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo (the Huntsman Cancer Institute). She also donates to Primary Children’s Hospital, a favorite charity of mine and also of my friend Terri. 

Emily (L) and Cathy (R)

Emily and I met up in April and I was able to give all six of my quilts to her. It not only saved mailing costs, but was a fun way to meet a generous lady. Let me show them to you, although you can see four of them in the above picture.

If you click on the tab "Quilts 2012-2018” (located under my blog header), you can read about these quilts - sizes, names, etc. 

I so look forward to participating in Hands2Help again next year! To all the people who have sewn or organized or donated gifts or time for the H2H causes, thank you. We surely need more of this in the world today. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Whole Lot of Pink-ness Going On

My last week can be summed up thusly: yard work and sewing pink. But I’ll elaborate and show some pictures to make it a bit more interesting. And if it isn’t enough pink for you (and even if it is), I would recommend that you visit Angela for Rainbow Scrap Saturday HERE.

We’ll start with the birds. I only finished these four this week; the remaining 3 pink ones will be stitched next week. Hopefully I can show you them all together after that.

Next I worked on my quarter log cabins. These are 6.5” unfinished, and this month I did 12. My pink scraps are nowhere near conquered, however. I still have some crumb blocks to make plus dozens of pink HSTs I need to trim up and do something with. I may have to come up with another RSC block to begin sewing in pink.

In checking out my RSC project spreadsheet, I noticed I had planned for 8 multi-colored bow tie blocks for my ongoing RSC bow tie project. Since we aren’t doing a multicolor month this year in the RSC, I took some time to sew up these 8 multi-colored blocks from my multi-colored scrap basket.

The bow-tie block in the upper left is a mix of hot pink and orange and “reads” cooler in real life than the camera shows here. If my count is correct, I only need 16 more blocks total, split among red, teal, and orange.

Last Sunday Cousin Kim and I sewed some zipper pouches. I made three of them out of some African fabric I’ve had on hand for about 10 years (plenty more where that came from). Luckily, I made mine first, because the process was a bit fuzzy and I did mess up. Instead of correctly boxing the bottom, I was not paying attention and instead - well let’s call it a design decision. It’s the one laying down (because it can’t stand up!) The bags I made for DDIL Kim and DGD Lauren are correctly assembled. And they’re identical except for the zipper. In the picture, one shows the front and one shows the back so you can see both sides.

In other preparation this week for my trip to Africa in July, my DIL, DGD and I all made our plane reservations. We will fly from Salt Lake to Amsterdam to Nairobi on the 8th-9th of July and return home in the reverse order on the 20th. I also got to meet half of the married couple who runs the non-profit we are flying with. Her name is Marilyn and she's a Utah native who married a Kenyan Massai man. She and her baby son are back in Utah for about a month due to the death of a family member (she’s an executor of the estate). We met up and I was able to buy myself a pair of killer-beaded Massai sandals (picture soon) that she brought. I also did some other shopping, buying 3 pairs of lightweight capris because all last year’s summer clothes are too big. More clothes shopping still to come - some tops and a hat at minimum.

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About 90% of our spring yard work is done, at least for the time being. Bruce has a few drip hoses to hook up and sprinkler heads to adjust. Once he puts all his work tools back in the shed, I can set up the patio furniture later in the week. And now that I’ve planted and set out all the flower pots along the front walkway, Bruce can run drip hoses to them.

This is my bleeding heart bush. It’s past it’s prime blooming time, but it’s still massive and beautiful. It amazes me how it springs to life from such a little bit of near-nothingness after dying back for winter. But still, it only gets second place in the Spring Comeback category because first prize goes to my rhubarb plant (picture next week). We were SURE that my brother Steve had cut it all out because the ground was bare. But no, up it came and now it’s huge again and bearing the best rhubarb in amazing quantities. I’d have to open a rhubarb store if we had one more plant like it. Sometime this week I’ll get a picture of all the raised vegetable beds and show you what we’ve got planted this year. Everything has finally made its appearance above ground. Let the growing begin!

Below is the east side yard along the house. The big snowball bush hides the chimney. For some reason (you can click to enlarge the picture), there was a lot of winter kill on the bush this year. It’s still blooming, but I was hesitant to do any trimming and shaping until I could see what was really dead and what might be late blooming. We plan to have an arborist visit in the fall to prune this baby as well as the apricot tree. I had one arborist lined up earlier in the spring, but he flaked out on me.

I don’t have a full potting shed, but I do have this potting bench area in the breezeway between the carport and the patio in the backyard. The old wire grids are from my craft show days. The potting bench was a $5 estate sale find a dozen years ago. I use S-hooks on the grid to hold my shovels, secateurs, etc. And there are wind chimes too. Always wind chimes.

This is Boomer’s resting place in a corner of the backyard under the apricot tree. The sleeping cat statue marks his grave. (See the picture of Boomer side by side with this statue here). That’s chives in the front. The tall spike flowers are allium. They’re past their blooming time, too, but I love the interest they add.

My garden plans for this week are to finish the flower planting. All that’s left is the alyssum and lobelia that I plant at the front of the flower beds. Once that’s in, and the patio is set up, all I have to do is a periodic weeding patrol.

As for my weekly sewing plans, PINK pretty much sums it up. I’ll finish sewing those birds, tackle the HSTs and scraps, and begin sewing the bajillion 4.5” hearts (actually only 54) for Megan’s All you Need is Love quilt. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Playing with Pink

This week just flew by! It was a whirlwind of working in the garden, visiting nurseries and plant sales, attending my great niece Jenny’s law school graduation (shout out to you Jenny - we’re so proud of you!), a quilt show (I posted pictures - Part 1 and Part 2). Somewhere in there I managed to get a bit of stitching done.  

First up was stitching the remaining 8 bowtie blocks (4.5’) that I’ll need for my RainBows quilt. This is the only Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) project that’s carried over from 2017. 

This brings my total up to (if my count is correct) 264 finished out of 288 needed. They’ll be set 16x18 to create a 64x72” quilt. Still need to sew 8 multi-colored bowties, 6 red, 6 orange and 4 teal. And yes, I keep the info on a spreadsheet, not in my head, LOL. 

Then I got to stitch on my three pink Squared Away blocks. These are sampler blocks, courtesy of Mari of the Academic Quilter and Angela, our RSC hostess. And speaking of Angela, if you drop on over to her blog So Scrappy, you can see this week’s line up of sewn pink goodness!

I love these blocks! They are so varied and fun. My favorite is this block with the African fabric. I’ve collected authentic and reproduction African fabric - this is a reproduction - for years. In fact, another thing I did this week was cut out the makings for three zip pouches for me, my DIL Kim and DGD Lauren, who are all going to Kenya in July.

And here are 9 (of 10 so far) of my Squared Away blocks. I think they look great!

That was all for my official RSC projects, but I am stitching along with the RSC color of the month on this All You Need is Love quilt top for my daughter Megan. First, I added a plain  pink stop border to last month’s gold flying geese border. 

Then I pulled out my leftover Friendship Stars blocks (from Starry Starry Day) and figured out how many more of those I needed to stitch. I had two useable pink ones so only needed to stitch one pink one. More orange and blue and one other color will need to be stitched later. I don’t know what those other blocks are officially called, but I call them lollipops. I stitched three of those. The lollipops and stars will form the next border eventually.

And for Block Lotto I stitched 9 blue and green Rail Fence Variation blocks. These blocks contain fabric from every decade from the seventies forward!

And that’s it. Because it’s raining today, there won’t be any yard work in my plans. So, all I really need to do is go grocery shopping; our cupboards are as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s!!  Then I can stitch the day away. YAY!   and do laundry.... 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Quilt Show - Part 2

This is the second part of the pictures of the quilt show that I attended last week. Part I is HERE.  I’m going to show more pictures and do minimal writing this time. In most cases, the pictures I snapped of the name placards did not turn out, so there’s no point in posting them. Where they are somewhat readable, I’ve included them.  Enjoy!

Have you heard of the 70,293 Project? In the words of the founder of the project, it’s a worldwide effort to commemorate the lives of the 70,293 lives of the physically and mentally disabled people murdered by the Nazis in 1940-1941. Needleworkers of all types have been invited to participate, and there was a large display of the quilts at the show. Read about the 70,293 project HERE.

An exhibition of mini quilts honoring women included many first ladies, and traditional female icons (Amelia Earhart, Rosie the Riveter, Rosa Parks). I was bummed that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t there, but decided this one was my favorite:

Who doesn’t love Betty White??

What amazing use of colors for the shadowy effects!!

Detail shot

There were at least a half dozen ABC quilts, which captured my attention given the baby quilt I’m currently working on. This was my favorite.

Exquisite hand and machine embroidery, plus lots of overdying. Amazingly detailed, it focused on the entomological aspects (study of insects).

I’m a sucker for riotous color!

And finally, there was a display section from a local quilt shop, Elaine’s Quilt Block. The teacher focuses every year on Kaffe Fasset fabrics with a Block-of-the-Month-type challenge. You can use other fabrics, of course, but the class was in answer to a call from quilters for ideas in working with Kaffe fabrics.

So every month, a block was given. Students were encouraged to substitute other blocks, but to keep the size the same.  You’ll notice these three quilts all have that diagonal stripe.
Most of them had the Sawtooth Stars.

They could add checkerboards, pinwheels, and other basic blocks as the months went on, or use a substitute block (of the same size). The same sized blocks were encouraged to keep the assembly from becoming a nightmare. And as the challenge went along, everyone got to play with color and create a unique quilt.

I’m going to definitely explore the Kaffe BOM class at that quilt shop in 2019!

And that’s it for this post. I took dozens more pictures, but they’re mostly for my own reference for ideas - colors, subjects, layouts, etc. Also, I did buy some fabric at the vendor area (it’s hard to pass up when FQs are only $2 each!). The main thing I was looking for were some cute embroidery blocks that I could take on the flights to Africa this summer. I’ll share those in another post sometime later.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Quilt Show - Part 1

Last week there was a quilt show in town. Here in Utah, we only have one big one per year, and it’s always in May. It’s called the Utah Sewing and Quilt Marketplace. A couple years ago Cousin Kim and I went to check out the quilts and listen to the keynote speaker, Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company. We had our picture taken with her too (although I didn’t publish the picture). This year Jenny Doan was in town again, but she was down in Utah County (Lehi) at some other shindig.

Anyway, Kim and I needed a Girls Day Out, and this was just the ticket. We spent about 3 hours there walking and walking (and yet my Fitbit was not impressed. Fitbit should give you bonus steps when the floor is concrete, don’t you think?) But I digress....

So this post is Part One (of Two) of some of the quilts I snapped. And it really brings home the point that I need a new phone/camera SOON. Yeah, the operator could probably use some lessons, too.

This triptych really caught my eye - and apparently lots of others’ too, for there were lots of people milling around it. It was called “Fountain Green, 1906”.  Fountain Green is a small town in Utah, and the quilt information included a picture from that date.

Here is the three-part, 3-D quilt.

Hopefully you can see from the (blurry, sorry) detail shot below that the picket fence opened and closed and the quilts were handmade. The kite string and tail were 3-D too. It’s called stump work, and in needlework refers to work done off the piece and then added. Those tiny quilt blocks on the quilts were varying sizes, just like the eye would see them if they were actually blowing in the breeze. 

As usual for a quilt show, there were lots of sponsored exhibition themes. One that I really enjoyed were the mini-quilts (wall hangings) that were inspired by U.S. National Parks. There were three categories - Flora, Fauna and Landscapes. Here are my favorites (with information tags for each):




The sea foam around the whale was tulle and organza.

And then there was the quilt awarded Best of Show. When I took the picture of the information card and ribbon, it was before it was awarded Viewer’s Choice as well. I hope you can click on the picture and read the information. The quilt contained over 15,000 pieces and was four years in the making.

Here is a two picture detail collage:

Not overly impressed?  Well, those are just pictures OF THE BACK!!!

Shall we look at the front?

There are no words to describe this quilt (except crazy maybe?) Definitely someone’s lifetime masterpiece.

Moving along, I LOVED this quilt:

On a final note, Kim and I wore our good walking shoes and dressed comfortably (jeans). I also had on a Missouri Star Quilting Company t-shirt that I picked up there a couple years ago. Well, it was surprising (to me, anyway) how many times I was stopped by people asking me if I worked there. No, I don’t, but I’ve been there; they sell these t-shirts there.  The kicker was a vendor who stopped me and said “We have one of your quilts hanging in our booth!”  I was puzzled and said that she must have me confused with someone else. Then she pointed to my t-shirt and a quilt that was made from one of MSQC tutorials. (really?) Anyway, we got a chuckle out of that after I explained it to her. I’m just really glad I didn’t wear my old Grateful Dead t-shirt.

In the next post, I’ll try to finish up the rest of my favorites from the show and show you some of the goodies I bought.

But I’ll leave you with one last quilt picture. Look familiar? This was hanging in the Handi-Quilter display area where the concession vendors and dining tables and  chairs were. There was no attribution; I believe it was just to show off their machines’ abilities. Anyway, we know this is the free Geese Migration pattern by our dear Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.