New quilt…with cat’itude from scraps

How do you get rid of your scraps?

I have bins, bags, boxes, and baskets of them!  That would be many, many scraps!  Some are cut to specific sizes: 2 1/2″, 4 1/2″, etc.  I think that this list of specific sizes will probably grow now that my DH bought me an accuquilt GO! for my 50th birthday.  You didn’t stop by to read stories about me being older…or having new, cool toys.

Back to the original topic!

Last May I started a new project at Quilt Camp.  This was really a study of contrast, not color…like the economy block on an over-the-edge, grand scale.

What do you get when you make 400…yes, I said, four hundred, of these blocks…

I know exactly what you are thinking…that is one ugly block.  I say that you are correct.  It is incredibly UGLY!  But as you know from the ugly duckling grows a beautiful swan…

For a brief moment, I had a lot less scraps…for just a few, fleeting minutes.

When I assembled all 400 of those blocks…1,600 pieces…this was the end result:

My catitude quilt

My catitude quilt

I tried to pick random colors from the scrap bin, but there seems to be a lot of green.  That is the reason I chose the wide green border.  The quilt will get one more border of cream on cream off fabric on the outside so the eyes have a place to rest.

Catitude Book

Catitude Book

The pattern came from this book.  I think I paid $20 something for the book and ruler.

Catitude black and white photo

Catitude black and white photo

cat'itude ruler

cat’itude ruler

It came with a great little ruler that made the original block easier to make.  The directions for the ruler were clear in the pictures on the direction sheet.  The only hint that was not part of the directions was to press the seams open for the first squares and rectangles that you sew together.  That was very helpful in the end.

If you would like more information on the cat’attude book and ruler, drop me a comment and I will get back to you!  Happy quilting!




January 2017 Goal Revisit

75% is still a “C” on most grading scales, thus my grade on my January 2017 goals.

I joined the 2017 Planning Party at the beginning of the month.

Here are the goals I set to get me started:

First goal:

finish quilting the “baby” quilt for my nephew Max….

It was buried under a bunch of stuff on the quilting machine….buried deep.  It took me two afternoons to relocate all of the things I had stacked there.

Max's quilt on the machine...covered with stuff

I started this before he was born about three years ago.   It was on the machine so long that I had forgotten what was on the front of the quilt. Here is the print on the back of the quilt:

backing fabric

I “traced” around the animal faces on the back to quilt the front.  This would have been a great idea, except the animals do not line up neatly.  I had to adjust the rails on the quilt machine after almost every animal head.  I only have a 6 to 8 inch area that can be quilted at one time.

Here is a lion face quilted on the front.  Not perfect, but cute.

lion face

I really don’t know what took me so long to finish this little project.  Drum roll, please!  Goal number one is finished!  I finally remembered what was on the front…a printed panel with red monkey border.

finished quilt

Second goal:

Quilt this sampler quilt for my husband’s colleague as a wedding present.  This is the goal that I did not meet this month.  It is my first goal for February.

Denise and Ed's Wedding quilt

Third goal:

My third goal was to post on my blog at least twice this month.  Ta-da.  This post meets my goal!

Fourth and final goal for this post:

Sew something…anything…at least once a week.  I met this goal more easily than I thought I would.  In December, we were traveling or shopping or going to the movies almost every second of every weekend or free moment.  We were home more in January…a lot more.  I also sewed a lot more, too!

2017…Here we come!

Happy 2017!

I hope this new year brings lots of happiness and healthiness to all of you this year!  In my last post I set some goals for the month of January…to make 2017 a little more productive.  I don’t want to think beyond that…unless we are talking summer vacation!

Belated Merry Christmas to everyone, too!  We were on the road most of the time.  We drove from West Virginia to Corpus Christi, TX.  That is 3,380 plus miles.  I have a good chauffeur!

Because of the way the holidays fell…Christmas on Sunday…New Year’s on Sunday…we couldn’t afford to go to the Florida Keys. $250 a night for 70’s hotel is just too much.  We were planning on 4 nights.  We decided to go to the Alamo instead.  Texas here we come!

Well, the Alamo was closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so we decided to go to the beach.  It is the off season in Corpus Christi.  That means cheap.  We stayed ON THE BEACH at a Quality Inn.  They put us in a suite that was bigger than our first apartment together for less than $100 a night.  Wahoo!

Let me share some pictures…

While we were waiting for check-in time, we drove to Padre Island National Seashore to check it out.  I learned about the Kemp’s ridley turtles.  The dunes are impressive here. It was cloudy, but still 80 wonderful degrees F.  That felt fantastic compared to the freezing temperatures back in West Virginia.  How can this be the off-season?

Padre Island National Seashore Padre Island National Seashore

Between the dunes and the parking lot, these happy flowers were growing.  It is good to see some green, growing things at this time of the year.

Our views around the hotel…

USS Lexington

U.S.S. Lexington

Santa at the beach


Some very inebriated folks had Santa on their balcony in the hotel next door.  They were having a great time at the pre-Christmas celebration in their room.

Santa was not the only celebrity on the beach.

Spider man goes to the beach

Spidey, What are you doing here?

This was a boat that was out in the Gulf of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting to watch.  At night we could see lights out in the Gulf, too.  beach 2017

Of course, there has to be some gratuitous pictures of palm trees.  We were at the beach, after all.  I love going places where I can wear sandals and shorts at Christmas time.

palm trees

Ahhh…palm trees!

2017 palm trees

I will admit that I didn’t do much sewing on this trip…a little bit of hexagon piecing…plain, old Grandma’s Flower garden type stuff…not even picture worthy at the moment.

We had company for a couple of days.  I am free this afternoon to sew, organize, etc.  So I am off to do just that!  I hope you had great holidays with your family and friends. Here’s to getting 2017 off and running!



2017 Planning Party

I am joining the 2017 Planning Party.

I need some motivation, so….maybe if I throw my shame out on the Internet, I will get my butt in gear.  I am going to join the 2017 Planning Party…like one more unfinished project in my life will make me feel shame.  If that were the case, I would have “died from shame” (and unfinished projects) some time in my twenties.

Here are some goals to get me started…Let’s say to be finished by the end of January.  I am sure I can find some other things to finish and do if I, by some miracle, meet these goals.

First goal:

finish quilting the “baby” quilt for my nephew Max….

Here it is on the quilting machine…buried under a bunch of stuff…

Max's quilt on the machine...covered with stuff

I started this before he was born.  I have vowed never to quilt anything this way again. (I turned it upside down on the quilt machine and have been using the print on the back to quilt an outline of the jungle animals.  It is a great idea that seems to be cute and working well.  Look at those adorable smiling lions and monkeys!

the back of Max's quilt

I don’t even remember what the front of this quilt looks like!  Did I mention that I am bored to death working this way?  Thus, no motivation to work on it.)

Oh, Max will be three years old in March.

Second goal:

Quilt this sampler quilt for a colleague of my darling husband as a wedding gift.  Did I mention that they have been married for 2 years? Now that it seems to be lasting (not that I doubted that it would…they are a wonderful couple), I need to get busy.  It is great when you are married to your best friend.

Denise and Ed's Wedding quilt

Third goal:

My son maintains my blog for me.  He even pays the fee for me to keep my address.  I need to use this resource more.  I need to post at least twice a month.  Oh, I have lots to say, but I spend way too much time worrying if I will offend someone.  Since I am officially old, those gloves are slowly coming off.  I am feeling more and more matronly and fiesty, ol’ grandma-like.  My DH has a b-word for this.  Harrumph! (I apologize to all you sweet, kind grannies out there.  I don’t think that I am ever going to fit into that mold.)

Fourth and final goal for this post:

Sew something…anything…at least once a week.  The sound of the sewing machine seems to soothe my savage soul.  We have been traveling on weekends recently and my sewing time was done to NONE!  When I come home from school, I am usually to exhausted to participate in anything other than guzzle down dinner and coma in front of the TV.  I need to break this pattern and get off my….butt.

I will post about my success or updates of these goals at the end of January!  What are you motivated to work on for 2017?



Shopping & Vacationing

Shopping for fabric on vacation…ahhhhh!  These are the days!

Since my son lives in Denver, Colorado, we have a good excuse to travel west at least once a year.  I am starting to find some favorite places to stop and shop on my way to his place…and when we are there and he has to work instead of entertain us.  I would like to take a brief moment to thank the folks who run the row by row experience.  If it weren’t for their excellent website, I would not have found these wonderful shops.

I writing about these shops in random order….whatever order I pulled stuff out of the travel bag…or as I refer to it with DH, “the big blue bag of stuff to keep me out of trouble”.  There is a theme to most of these purchases.  DH wanted to see the bison herds at Yellowstone again in the worst kind of way.  I loved seeing all of the wildflowers in bloom as we traveled.  Because we traveled in July, even places that don’t get much summer, like Rocky National Park and Glacier National Park, were in bloom.  The colors were gorgeous.  My theme was born:  Bison and the fields and forests around them.

Places to go shopping:

Last year I bought 17 kits for the row by row experience.  Sadly, I don’t have them completed yet.  My applique mermaids have hair, but they are still naked.  I have only included places that I liked shopping at last year.  If the lady tending the shop last year was snotty and obnoxious, I didn’t go back.  I like to be chatted up by a friendly person!  Life is too short to be treated badly.

Bernina Silver Thimble
3301 10th Ave S
Great Falls, MT 59405

I should be ashamed to say that I almost passed on this shop.  It was because the brand name of a sewing machine was in the name of the store.  I don’t have anything against name brands.  I am an old Singer and antique sewing machine girl through and through.  When I stopped at a similar shop last year in Colorado Springs, I was snubbed.  I am soooooooo glad that I stopped at this shop.  The owner and I had a great chat about traveling.  She had been to many of the same places across the United States that I have been to….even Alaska and the West Coast.  She is excellent at the chatting it up game.  I will be back to see her on future trips.  As a bonus, I did pick up her row by row pattern, but I did not buy a kit.

Here are the fabrics I purchased:

shopping at Bernina Silver Thimple, Great Falls, MT

Bernina Silver Thimple, Great Falls, MT

The tan with flowers  and green leaf print will perfectly represent prairie grasses.  The orange/ yellow flowers and red violet fabric are perfect flower colors.  (Red violet must be “in again”.  Two years ago I was making a quilt that had this color and had trouble finding more to buy when I ran short.)

Nanas Quilt Cottage
35 S 26th Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

This was really my first stop on this trip.  I promised to have restraint when I got out of the car.  Surprisingly, I did!  I only bought a few things.

The ladies in this shop gave me the best travel tip of the trip. (Say that 10 times fast!)  When we left Colorado, we drove across the state into Utah.  We took a back road in Utah to Arches National Park.  The back road was like driving at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River running beside the road and the red cliffs surrounding us.  This drive actually made Arches Park seem less impressive.  I will share these pictures later…back to shopping!

 shopping for flower fabric from Nanas Quilt shop

flower fabric from Nanas Quilt shop

I bought some fat 8ths to make into flower petals.  These are red violet and orange red.  The lighting in the hotel and the camera flash did not enhance my camera skills.

flower maker (5 petal)

flower maker (5 petal)

They had many different flower makers.  I randomly picked one.  These things are idiot proof!  The directions are clear with illustrations that actually match the process!

5 petal flower

5 petal flower

Here is my final product.  I sewed it to a Dollar Tree pencil pouch to make myself a travel sewing kit…since I left my real travel sewing kit at home.  (It does not fit in the blue bag of things to keep me out of trouble.)

Lyons Quilting
42 East Main Street
Lyons, CO 80540

On our first full day of visiting our son, Jeremiah, and his girlfriend, Roxanne, he drove us to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  On the way, he said there was a cute little quilt shop.  We could stop if I wanted to…DH groaned quietly thinking, “IF she wants to….hmppp!”  (Yes, by this point in the trip, I had been in the car sitting next to him for so long that I could read his mind.  This power takes about a month after the trip is over to wear off, by the way.)

They thought we were there for the class.  Other husbands were there carrying in stuff for their wives who were taking “the class”.  I confused the lady at the register when I asked if we could “look around”.  We all chuckled about it later at the cutting table.

fat quarters from Lyons Quilt shop

fat quarters from Lyons Quilt shop

shopping for yardage from Lyons Quilt shop

yardage from Lyons Quilt shop

These fabrics mostly fit my theme.  I will probably use the Kokopelli fabric in another project.  The bee fabric will be used in something for my friend, Bernadine, or her husband, Bob, who raises honey bees.  The bison fabric will be great block centers and border.

More Vacationing & Shopping…..

Holly’s Quilt Cabin
8210 S. Holly St.
Centennial, CO 80122

shopping at Holly's Quilt Cabin

row by row kit from Holly’s Quilt Cabin

I couldn’t stand the pressure!  I bought a row kit!  This one is batik cabins!  I will make this into a wall hanging for my sewing room door.  It will be a great project when we are back in school and I need something to think about….other than school.

from Holly's Quilt Cabin

from Holly’s Quilt Cabin

These red flowers were on the clearance table, but they will fit the theme quilt perfectly….SCORE!

Now I come to yet another impulse buy.

impulse clearance fabric

impulse clearance fabric

This fabric was also on the clearance table.  I love all of the little motifs that I will be able to use for applique.  It was the eagle and the dragon that caught my eye.  Sadly, I have little to no self-control when it comes to sale fabric.

The Quilt A Way
222 13th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405

We had trouble re-finding this store.  I bought a row kit there last year.  I remember what a big, bright space this store had for its beautiful display quilts.  Some goofball (me) typed in 13th Avenue South into the Tom Tom.  Why do western cities have streets and avenues named like this?  Our county renamed roads and streets so that this confusion would never happen (for 9-1-1 purposes).  We eventually did find it.  Yeah!  They even gave me a frequent shopper card!

shopping at Quilt-a-Way fabric, Montana

Quilt-a-Way fabric, Montana

The wheat reminds me of the endless high plains in Montana.  The pinks are great flower colors.  I had been searching for just the right sage green…for all of the scrubby, little bushes that grow where nothing else does.

Quilts Galore & More
104 Truman Ave
Great Falls, MT 59404

This was a cute, little store.  It was actually on the outskirts of Great Falls to the North of the city.  The shop owner was at the Farmer’s Market for the day.  She had her friend (and friend’s grand-daughter) watching the store.  They were very surprised to get a visitor, especially one from West Virginia!  I had a good time talking to the pair of storekeepers.  The Grand-daughter was making a mug rug and some book marks.  What a sweet little shop! (They also make table runners, quilts, etc. and do long arm quilting for other people.)

shopping at Quilts Galore & more

fabric from Quilts Galore & more

The greens and red violets will fit perfectly into my plan.  At one point, DH said that the grain was like ocean waves in the wind…thus the green wavy fabric.

Last Shop…

Hingeley Road Quilting
11284 Hwy 2
Floodwood, MN 55736

We had been through this town last year.  I remember the cat fish “log” sculpture at the rest area.  The store was not open because we came through in the evening on a Sunday.  This year we had better timing.

Shopping in this store was lots of fun.  First, when we pulled into the parking lot, there was a husband convention.  Three miserable looking gentlemen were sitting in their trucks.  Dan had to stay in the car because it was too hot to let the dog in there….so he got to join the husband convention.

shopping at Hingeley Road Quilting

shopping at Hingeley Road Quilting

They had a surprisingly large selection.  I chose these fabrics from the clearance/ remnant bin.  In this photo, the colors are influenced by each other.  One is actually dark brown and the light one above it is more gray looking than lavender.  Weird!

state fabric

state fabric

I love this state fabric.  Not all states are in this mixed up jumble of states, but the tan will fit the theme of the quilt…if not on the front, maybe on the back.

forest & sky fabric

forest & sky fabric

The sky and pine tree fabric will be used in the bison quilt.  The gray smoky pine trees will be used in the row by row quilt from last year….when Alaska caught on fire and we came home.

This shop had an excellent selection of outdoorsy type fabrics….lots of animals, plants, nature panels, etc.  What a great place to stop for the final fabric shopping of the trip!

By the way, DH was feeling guilty because my birthday present was on back order.  It is still on back order.  I am so glad that he let me buy myself more birthday presents!  Time to go wash some fabric!  (I am a die hard pre-washer.  I always use a color catcher, just to be safe.)

May your travels be blessed with chatty quilt shop keepers!  Enjoy your day!