Grunge Line Up

The colors in daughter’s quilt are playing nicely together.  Being me, I have worked in fifteen minute chunks of time here and there and in no time at all the blocks have been pieced together.  Being her, the extrovert, the pattern I have chosen is called Party Mix by Elizabeth Hartman.

Grunge Cut Out

Now my daughter is not a ‘party girl’ in the sense that most think of when they hear someone likes to ‘party.’  She is instead, someone who is energized by being around other people and likes to have her calendar busy going from one fun event to the next.  Her mom, the introvert, is quite the opposite and does not like ‘mixing it up’ as much as she does.  I’m not one to go see a movie at 10:00 pm or run out for yogurt.  Party Mix is an appropriate quilt for daughter.

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BLOCK A

My little extrovert grew up in a family of introverts.  We used to farm her out to friends for overnighters when we had the need to pull back in and recharge our own batteries.  She was the child that, when tucked into bed at night, wanted to know what ‘fun’ things were on the next day’s agenda.   It was a very good thing for out introverted family when she became a bookworm because she got caught up in the characters and plot of her book and would read for hours on end — it was the next best thing to having a real life adventure.

Block B
BLOCK B

The last two years daughter has said, ‘Mom, do you know what I really, really, want for Christmas?’  I really want you to make me a quilt.”  A decade earlier she had taken a quilt to college to remind her of home and it was now too worn.  I don’t know how you are but when someone tells me they ‘really’ want me to make them something I can hardly resist.  You know that item will be appreciated and cherished, right?

Block C

BLOCK C

So here I am in warm Texas and there she is in cool Colorado and the time is ripe to make her that quilt she wants.  With summer quickly approaching cotton sitting on my lap as I quilt will feel a whole lot better than wool sitting in my lap.  There is a season for everything…….. summer is for knitting socks, silk shawls and quilting.

Block D
BLOCK D

Block E

BLOCK E

All blocks are pieced and the fabric for the sashing has been ordered and will arrive in a few days.  I should have the whole quilt pieced before my introvert arrives in a few weeks for a visit.

Block Line Up
Party Mix BLOCK LINE UP

It has been nice working with my sewing machine and fabric  for a change of pace, not that I’m neglecting the knitting.  In fact, I’ve had a bad case of start-itis as of late and have cast an inordinate amount of knitting projects but more about that in my next post.

Happy Quilting (or Knitting)!

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The Teal Mission Gate

I drove my mother down to visit our cousins in the Texas hill country a few days ago. The highways were lined with bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush and Indian Blanket.  People were about everywhere plopping their friends and family down in fields of flowers for portraits.   The land was as so green that it reminded me of the first time I saw Ireland.

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My cousin is an artist and her home reflects her artistic flair.  Her home is not the only thing that reflects her ability to touch something and make it beautiful, her back yard is a haven.  There are things to look at tucked here and there throughout her yard but the one thing I really noticed on this visit is that TEAL seems to be her signature color.  She splashes TEAL everywhere.

Kim's Teal Chair

A TEAL chair is tucked in a corner by the fireplace.

Kim's Teal Garden Signs

TEAL garden signs painted and just about ready to go outside in the garden.

Kim's Teal Garden House

A few boards painted TEAL in the greenhouse.

Kim's TEAL Hens

A TEAL chicken tucked under some monkey grass.

Kim's Teal St. Francis

A TEAL St. Francis of Assisi tucked amongst clay pots from Mexico.

But my absolute favorite is a TEAL mission gate  surrounded by Austin stone that my cousin had made alongside her hubby.  What talent!

Kim's Teal Gate

They used wooden floor boards and salvaged the iron grate from another fence.  The bell once belonged to her husband’s grandmother.  The ability to create something like this amazes me.

Kim's Teal Gate

Kim's Teal Gate

Kim's Teal Gate

When I left to go home, as always, I felt inspired and creative. The first thing I did when I got back home was to pull out some yarn and start on a cowl using this lovely Malabrigo Arroyo that is pretty tealish.  

Allison's TEAL cowl

And, it was no wonder that today, when I went to my local quilt shop, The Needle Niche, to pick fabric for a quilt that a certain someone has been begging me to make that
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I just happened to be drawn to TEALs so I splashed neutrals throughout.

Allison's TEAL Party Mix

My creative juices are definitely flowing again and I’m ready to get going on a Lisa Hartman modern quilt.

Allison's TEAL Party Mix

What can I say? TEAL.

Reindeers and Cats

What do they have in common, these reindeers and cats?  They both deliver anticipation, delight and satisfaction, that’s what!  Santa’s reindeer arrived early at my house yesterday.  My long awaited Schacht Matchless spinning wheel arrived after friend Nikki and I experienced a very long month of anticipation.  We squealed like schoolgirls when her husband, who had driven to Boulder to pick them up, pulled into the shop parking lot.  Just like the weather man gives children radar reports of Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve, Nikki had been tracking the truck’s whereabouts on her phone and pacing her yarn shop like a restless tiger (love-you-Nikki).  To say we were delighted when our Santa walked through the door delivering our wheels is an understatement.  To say we are totally satisfied with our new Schacht wheels cannot be stated enough!

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Now I know some of you might have furrowed brows thinking, ‘Isn’t this that woman that went on and on about her precious Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel and kept putting photos on her blog like someone with an addled brain?’  Yes, that would be me.  And I really loved that Ladybug and she was truly a sweet wheel but there was a problem.  Go back to your youth and see if you can recall a time when you dated someone who really liked you and who actually was a pretty nice guy with nothing wrong with him but……… you had a crush on someone else that you thought was a little out of your league and he was magnificent!  For some of you it may have been that football quarterback but for me it was Sean Connery.  (Actually, I think we better take our minds further back to junior high school when you first started dating all those awkward gangly boys and the cute high school guys were around).  Although, I probably should confess here and now that Sean Connery still makes my heart throb and my husband is fine with it.

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Where am I going with this?  Well, the Matchless is my ‘Sean Connery’ of spinning wheels.  I admired it and drooled over it two years ago when I was at the Taos Sheep and Wool Festival when I saw a husband and wife spinning together and they each had their own Matchless wheels.  I was so smitten that I took my husband the next day to show him and I said, ‘Look what we can do together some day when you retire’!  That probably won’t happen but Nikki’s husband (our Santa) does want to spin on a wheel and he is just as excited about it as she is so maybe there is hope for mine.

To end a story that is growing longer and longer, I sold my Ladybug to a knitting friend and upgraded to my Sean Connery.  Well, how about that!  I have been playing with names in my head for this new Matchless and I just realized that it has already named itself.  I will call it Sean!  What do you think?

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The last orifice hook I had came with a little string on it so that it could be hung on a screw when not in use.  It was a little bit of a pain trying to get my fingers through the loop so this time I thought something rigid would be better, something that just hooked over the screw.  I have been using these pretty ornament hooks for my Advent board each day and grabbed one for my orifice hook.  It works!  And, it won’t slow my spinning down one bit!

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You can probably guess why some certain colorful kitties are delivering anticipation, delight and satisfaction.  Jen of Yarnings had a flashback to a childhood cartoon when she read my initial post about the Catvent Quilt.  She remembered the cartoon in which a skunk named Pepe LePaw was head over heels in love with a beautiful cat who, of course, was totally turned off by his aftershave cologne.  I flashed back to my childhood and remembered that same cartoon.  She did a bit of research on Wikipedia and learned that the cat’s name was Penelope so my first pink cat has been given that name.  I think the printed fabric is appropriate for the flourished words of Pepe LePaw who was quite the French romantic.

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Cat 3 – Penelope

I also knew that she would have to be pink because when my daughter-who-is-now-a-mommy was a little girl I smocked her a bright pink blouse that had skunks marching across it.  It had a black and white houndstooth skirt that buttoned onto the blouse and it was always a favorite of mine.

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The orange kitties are about to be pieced together.  I’m delighting in colors that I usually don’t get to play with and as I see the kitties all lined up together on the linen chambray background I anticipate what the next color introduction do to the overall appearance.  Any suggestions for orange kitty Qnames?

Cat 1: George

As part of The Cat Quilt-Along, I will be posting my kitties one at a time as I make them.  They won’t be quilted yet until the end when I put them all together.

My first three kitties will be with the purple fabric and I really liked Bizzilizzi’s comment that, being in the UK, purple always reminds her of royalty.  She gave me some ‘royal’ name suggestions and I plan to use them all so special thanks go all the way across the vast Atlantic to her.

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Meet George!  He’s the fist of my 25 cats.

IMG_9038As a matter of curiosity and being a complete novice to patchwork and quilting, Bizzilizzi asked why cotton and flannel do not mix.  I believe it has something to do with the shrinkage rate of each and that it is also a little more difficult to quilt through the flannel.  If any quilters out there can pipe in and clarify this more then please do so by leaving a comment.  I’m still going with the flannel backing because it is just softer and feels cozier.

The Cat Quilt Quiltalong

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(This is Elizabeth Hartman’s Quilt and photo)

I read about the Catvent Quiltalong on Elizabeth Hartman’s blog a few days ago and have not been able to get it out of my mind.  I’ve wanted to make a quilt for my granddaughter this year and this adorable quilt seems perfect for a cat-loving family.  The colors are bright and cheery which I think would be very appealing to a toddler who has a ‘cat’ sister.  There are 25 different patchwork cat face variations and the Catvent plan is to post one finished cat per day in December.  That probably will not happen in this house but it sounds like a fun plan to get a quilt finished before a 1 March birthday.

IMG_8950My purple fabric is in the washing machine and my background fabric, a chambray indigo cotton/linen blend, has been ordered.  Cat names are swirling around in my brain and I’m leaning towards using the names from the musical, Cats.   Elizabeth has given her Catvent cats the names of – Ferdinand, Bernadette, Sunny, Mia, Ralphio, Krista, Chowder, Cannon, Toby and Lucy.  I can’t wait to start cutting the pieces out for the purple cats but know there is something I must finish first.

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Do you remember the Mixtape Quilt I started a couple years ago?  The said recipient is anxious to have it finished and so am I.  Knitting has somehow come between me and this quilt but I’m feeling the pull of quilting again so I will work on it today.  The top has been finished and today will be devoted to getting the backing pieced together.  I know it goes against the beliefs of some quilters not to mix flannel and cotton but my family loves flannel backing so this quilt will be no exception.

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Can you suggest some cat names for my purple felines?

Quilting on a Cold Monday

in snippets of time here and there.  The wee lass was spayed on Friday and she has been a needy girl.  She whines whenever I leave her sight and likes me to sit right beside her.  When she dozes off I manage to get a strip sewn for Allison’s happy quilt but the pooch is quick to figure out I have left her side and the whining starts again.

We think the pain medication she is on is making her a little on the emotional side.  I hope that is the case and not the fact that she is missing some ovaries.  I would hate for her sweet personality to change.

The colors in the quilt are brighter than I thought they would be.  I’m hoping that when I add the white sashing between the rows it will be toned down some.  Happy colors for a happy daughter who loves children and is surrounded by them every day as she nurses them back to health.

I am enjoying working on this bright and cheerful quilt.  The rows are pieced together and tomorrow I hope to cut the sashes and insert them between the rows if a certain Westie will co-operate.  I won’t be giving her anything for pain tomorrow so hopefully she will feel back to normal again.  Hopefully.

The UPS man is delivering some fabric for the binding and  batting tomorrow.  I would really like to have the whole quilt top ready to be made into a quilt sandwich by the end of the week so I can start hand quilting.  Christmas is quickly approaching and did I mention how cold it is outside?

Quilting on a Windy Saturday Afternoon

As with most things, there is more than one way to make a quilt.  Organization is the key for me when working on a large project with many little pieces of fabric.  A lack of organization finds me frustrated and overwhelmed.  I can handle large projects much easier when I follow a logical process and break it up into bite-size pieces.

With snippets of time here and there I was able to get all fabric free from wrinkles prior to cutting.  I broke a cardinal rule by not changing my rotary cutter blade before I started.  If it takes more than one pass with the cutter to get through the fabric, it is time to change the blade.  My dullish blade made the cutting a little more difficult but since the closest store would have entailed an hour round trip on a blustery day I wanted to stay inside I just bit the bullet.

Elizabeth Hartman has some wonderful quilting tips in her book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork.  I especially liked her idea about organizer cards and labels and spent Saturday afternoon making five of these for the five blocks that are in the Party Mix Mixtape Quilt.  

I was then able to use each organizer card to help me stack the fabrics belonging to each block.  After that they went into a clear plastic tub with the applicable organizer card on top of each block section.  This way they won’t get mixed up and I will know exactly how to sew them together by following the organizer card.

The soon-to-be-block-pieces are all nicely organized and waiting for the next step – chain sewing!

The Wee Lass is watching with curiosity and wondering where the yarn and knitting sticks have disappeared to.  What’s up with all this fabric?