Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Feral or Free Range?

Meet the Ferals, Cat's Meow, or Free Rangers? 
40 x 60
It's finished.
It's one of the quilts I'm donating for silent auction at a benefit for my Son-in-Law who has Acute Myeloid Leukemia and may soon need a bone marrow transplant. 
For all who have sent prayers and good thoughts our way...please keep it up. Thank you. 

Happy Blocks are quick and easy and fun.  I figure everyone loves cats and stripes and polka dots so why not make a quilt with cats. 

These blocks have 6.5 inch centers and 2.5 inch sides. I have a lot of polka dots and stripes so chose that for the block sides.  And the binding ended up in polka dots. 

I had this piece of cat fabric that fit the back just perfectly with a little left over to spare.  I bought it several years ago from a deeply discounted bin. I pieced the batting from leftover pieces of batting 

I quilted it on my DSM (Bro Barney) with spirals.   It's now all washed, nice and soft, and cuddly. 

Inspiration came from Buddy Feral and...

...Free Ranger, Feed Me Too Two (if you ask my husband) aka Muffin (if you ask my grand kids).  

The rest of the cats and kitties hid when it came time for pictures. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sometimes I'm Not Inspired...Just Cold

Old blue jean quilts from the early 80's. 
I keep these in our camper now.
They had to get a good washing because they were sticky from S'Mores.
So since they were out on the line I thought I would tell you about them.

They are over 30 years old and still in use. 

In 1979 we moved back to Iowa from Florida. We had two kids then and our first winter back in Iowa we didn't have many blankets (or winter coats or boots).  And we didn't have much money to buy any.  I did have a lot of old blue jeans so I made a couple of twin sized quilts for the kid's beds.   This one I used the longer strips from the legs and just sewed them into long strips and then sewed  them to an old sheet using the sew and flip method.  I didn't have enough money for batting but these quilts ended up heavy and warm. 

The other one was just large patches sewn together and then sewn to an old sheet with a sort of stitch in the ditch approach. 

I actually used some wide purchased seam binding from the thrift store and zigzagged it on.. 

This one just has regular seam binding - not wide - and it is starting to fray.  I guess my love of polka dots goes way back. 

You can see on the quilt with four patches that I didn't even sew it all around in the ditch but just around the middle four by six patches.   On the strippie one I stenciled some rocking horses. I was practicing for stenciling on our stairs. 

After all these years those old sheets have held up just fine as a quilt backing.  And that is why I still use sheets now and then as backings. 

Somewhere along the line I started taking the quilts camping....first tent camping and then in our pop-up camper and now in our fancy new RV.  One year we were camping a strong wind (almost tornado force winds) tore out the sides of our pop-up camper in the middle of the night and we quickly packed up what we could and left the campground.  A year later I could not find the quilts and thought I had left them at the campground or that someone had taken them.  Turns out my brother-in-law, camping in a nice RV, picked them up after we left as well as some of our other things but just never told us about it for a couple of years. 

Family Reunion Camping 2016

It seems at the family reunion camp outs there are always lots of kids (my husband has seven brothers and sisters who each have between 2 and 5 kids who each have between 0 and 3 kids) but never enough chairs around the camp fire so I always put out the blue jean quilts for extra kid seating.  Here is only a small group of the kids playing hand clapping games while waiting for time to roast marshmallows.   No, I'm not pictured.  But I did have a S'More.  It tasted as nasty as I remembered. I say that every year after I try just one. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rails and Chains

Vintage Postage Stamp Rail
Block finishes at 10 inches

Blocks finish at 14 inches

This is the last RSC week for Dusty Purple/Gray and then we will move on to another color. 

Monday, August 22, 2016


40 x 48

I didn't expect to receive an invitation to a baby shower yet for a baby due on Halloween but I did and with only a 10 day advance notice.  Yikes! I had to finish up this shower gift quickly.  The shower for my nephew's wife is Saturday. 

I quilted it with spirals on my DSM in a light green thread. 

I have several sets of ABCs from swaps just waiting for an announcement of a new baby. I try to mix and match and include things with meaning to the family.  Grandma (my sister) LOVES flamingos and grandpa LOVES to play golf.  My nephew proposed on Halloween dressed as a banana and his soon-to-be wife was dressed as a monkey... 

...and mom LOVES owls.   I've made several of these ABC quilts and after all is quilted I iron on the letters of the alphabet from a purchased set of letters that are kind of velvety to the touch. 

Like I said...I thought I had more time to finish up this quilt.  I was going to order some ABC fabric I found on line for the backing but instead used some polka dot fabric from stash for the backing and binding. 

With a little book on ABCs my gift is complete.  I may add a rattle or two if I get a chance to get to the store. I was going to make a little stuffed rabbit and give a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit too but like I said...time was limited!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

String Stars

I've been slowly working on hand quilting my String Stars with navy perle #8. .  There have been only a few days this summer when it was cool enough for me to work on it.  It's a large quilt and without air conditioning I start melting every time I pick it up to try to work on it.  At any rate I only have one and a half more stars to quilt. 

After the stars are quilted I have to decide how to quilt the border and those diamonds between stars. 

The stars have all been made from long string scraps. Most of those scraps were cut from leftover sides pieces of quilt backings. 

Today I woke up to a nice cool morning so I can't wait to do some quilting on this today and hopefully finish the one and a half stars.  First I have to make and can some spaghetti sauce -   tomatoes, peppers, onions, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic - all from the garden. Maybe while the sauce is simmering for 4-6 hours I'll get that stitching in and decide what to do with the diamonds and border.   

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Meet the Ferals

Meet the Ferals (or The Cats Meow whichever you prefer)
40 x 60
It's just a top for now.
When finished it will be one of several I'll donate to a benefit in September for my son-in-law who has been in the hospital with leukemia since July 18. 

The Ferals and their cousins, The Strays, shy away from picture taking but they sent me some selfies to use in the quilt. 

I told The Ferals and The Strays that if they didn't send selfies that would be the end of Cathy's Bed and Breakfast.  They promptly replied. 

Now to just get it finished. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Purple/Gray 2.5

This month the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color is dusty purple or gray with acid green accents. 
This week I worked with my 2.5 inch scraps and made some six inch split nine patches which happens to be the Block Lotto block of the month. 

I mixed a few purple and gray 2.5 inch scraps and made a couple of 8 inch Depression Blocks.

Finally I made a bunch of little Pyramid Units

Friday, August 5, 2016

Two Wonky Log Tops

High as a Kite
Have a Heart

Two Wonky Log Tops

Back Story:
Carol who blogs at Giraffe Dreams offered up a box of scraps for free.  We both belong to the Sunshine Online Quilt Guild - a Yahoo Group that makes donation quilts for Wrap-A-Smile and Quilts Beyond Borders.   I usually have enough scraps of my own to sew with but thought I'd take her up on her offer. I told her it might actually be awhile before I used the scraps because all in one week I found out my son-in-law had leukemia, my granddaughter had lyme disease , my husband had a broken jaw and my oldest son lost his job.  She said that was okay- the scraps were mine to use when and how I wished.   Then last Friday the big box of scraps arrived and I dug right in and started sewing with them. Mindless sewing is just what the doctor ordered to take the mind off of all the family matters when I'm not working or watching grandkids or gardening.  Plus I challenged myself to see how many quilts I could make out of Carol's box of scraps (mixed with some of mine).  Even when mindless sewing I still like to have some sort of challenge going on.  So far the count is two. 

Have a Heart
40 x 58

 Carol sent some blue and purple strings so I combined those with mine.  I cut some 2.5 inch heart fabric centers from a red scrap and made some 9.5 inch Wonky Log blocks around the centers.  After I sewed the blocks together I added a 2.5 inch border sewn log cabin style all around to bring it up to the size I usually donate. 

High as a Kite
40 x 60

For these Wonky Logs I used the same kite fabric for the 6.5 inch centers and made fifteen 12 inch blocks. I sewed them together 3 x 5 and then added 2.5 x 12.5 inch strips to the sides to make it 40 inches wide. 

I hope to finish ONE of these quilts this month as my OMG (One Monthly Goal)
 hosted by Red Letter Quilts. 



Monday, August 1, 2016

Gwennie Inspired Medallion QAL- Log Cabin Themed Borders

For this round of the Gwennie QAL the border theme is log cabins.  For my first quilt I made lots of little 3 inch quarter log cabins with red centers and 1.5 inch neutral strips and arranged them randomly for the border. 

Some of the red centers even have little baskets in them.  

For quilt # 2 I also used 1.5 inch strips in red and brown with some yummy treats thrown in for fun and... 

... I just sewed the strips log cabin style around the entire center.

Next border looks like it will be a star theme. Hmmm...

What fun to see how everyone interprets each theme. 

Kaleidoscopes, Butterflies and Kaleidoscopes of Butterflies

This month I've finished the 64 ten inch kaleidoscope blocks I want for my 80 x 80 quilt.  I can start sewing blocks together now. 

I finished 9 blocks with a dark + configuration and...

...12 blocks with a light + configuration.  All blocks have navy floral corners. 

I'm going to alternate dark and light + configured blocks when I start sewing the blocks together. 

I've seen a lot of butterflies out in the garden while weeding or harvesting but never had a camera with me, darn it. 

Did you know that a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope?  Are you working on kaleidoscope blocks or butterfly blocks?  Taken any pics lately of butterflies?  If so, please join us each month to celebrate butterflies, kaleidoscopes and kaleidoscopes of butterflies.