Friday, February 15, 2019

Pets need quilt love too

Wow, what a wild week!  Snow, freezing rain, melting, sunshine, and then rain again.  Oh, and then Valentine's Day, too.  The hubs and I have been married for so long that we're very low-key about Valentine's, but I did make him some baked goods and we had a nice dinner.  There may have been some wine. And I finished my big work project on time, so even though it's raining again I'm feeling pretty happy.

There's a story behind today's finish, but let's have a pretty picture first:

Pretty cute!  And here's the story--

A few weeks ago, my older daughter, who has two cats and does not sew, emailed me, "Cat quilts are a REAL THING.  Yellow and gray for (white cat), something dark for (gray cat)."  She included a link to THIS page. If you click over to that link, it will take you to Lynne Tyler's blog and the very touching story of how she made literally hundreds of quilts for pets to raise money for treatment for her cat Gizzy.  It all began 11 years ago, but it's what got Lynne back into quilting, which has led to the amazing quilts she makes today.  And if you're a pet lover, the story will definitely touch your heart. (Be sure to click over from Lynne's post and read the rest of the story, too.)

So, I guess I had my marching orders! Actually, I didn't mind making these because a.) they used up a bunch of pieces I had no other use for, and b.) I love my daughter! So, small quilts for the cats it was. 

These are each about 24 inches square and were very simple to make.  I just used 2-1/2 inch strips and did them quilt-as-you-go style.  Sorry that I have no process photos, but they were so easy and went so fast that I didn't think to stop and take pictures.  I used a light Pellon fleece in the middle instead of cotton batting and they stitched just fine. The bindings are scrappy pieces.  Happy to have those all put to good use.

For those of you who have wondered about the effect of pinked edges, they gray pieces were cut from my own scraps, and the strips in the other quilt came from a jelly roll that was gifted to me. A cat jelly roll, so it was perfect! The jelly roll had pinked edges and that quilt finished almost half an inch smaller all around than the gray quilt, even though I stitched from the peaks of the pinking. So you do lose something from the pinked edges, even when you're careful.  It might be better if you were matching a pinked edge to a cut edge, but here I was matching the pinked edges to each other.

And because you'll want to know, the cats loved their Gizzy quilts! I don't know how, but apparently they knew which of the quilts were theirs, though one kitty prefers the back of her quilt to the front:

And a little later, of course:

Oh, to have a life where an afternoon snooze was a regular possibility!  I'm going to say that these little Gizzy quilts were really successful and will be used and loved for a long time.  True fact-- I am allergic to cats (and dogs), so I have to experience pets vicariously through the pictures my kids send me.  This photo definitely warms my heart!

Hope everyone has a weekend as relaxing as my grand-cats daily lives. They certainly seem to have the right idea-- grab a quilt and get nice and cozy!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Oh Scrap!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Hope for spring

Welcome to another weekend, everyone! Congratulations on making it through the week. This one was a nasty one, wasn't it? But we've made it through, so now it's time to look at pretty quilty pictures and maybe-- maybe-- have a gluten free fudgy brownie or two.  Don't forget some milk!

For the quilty pictures, today I want to show a very springy quilt top that I finally finished off.  Ready for something bright and happy to finish off the week? Here we go:

I just now noticed that this quilt is hanging upside down.  Oh well!  It's a little washed out, but I will not be complaining about the sunshine.  This quilt top came from a free quilt along from Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell, called the Community Sampler, and you can still find the free patterns on Sharon Holland's website HERE. It took me longer than it should have to finish the top, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

It was super nice and sunny when I took these pictures and it felt great. I mean, like there was hope that the cold and rain (and some icky ice we had, too) might actually end some day.  Then, of course, it started raining Thursday.  Sigh.

You can see that I had a favorite yellow fabric that I used in the centers of most of the blocks.  I had a fat quarter of that fabric forever and I never used it because I just loved it so much.  Plus I only had a fat quarter and sometimes that doesn't go very far when you're making a quilt.  It's from a pretty old line called Hartwood by Timeless Treasures, and I was so pleased to finally be able to use it in this quilt.  I have a couple of small squares left, but otherwise I used it all up, which we all know is a win.

I debated forever about the border for this quilt.  Sharon Holland had a great border design, but I just didn't like it for the colors I used in this quilt.  I auditioned several fabrics and different designs, including the greens and yellows in the blocks, but in the end I just finished it off with narrow strips of the blue background.  I also didn't have enough of one blue for all of the setting triangles that formed the background, so I used up a few lighter blues with about the same value.  I think they work pretty well together.  I might use one of the greens for the binding, or maybe the yellow.

Here's a hazard of taking quilty pictures in the spring:

Yep, mud.  The ground out there is very, very wet and the quilt top got dragged on the ground.  I was very sad, but it came right out with a little water. Thank goodness I didn't step on the top!  That would have been a tragedy.

Hope everyone has a really good weekend! Apparently we're going to have another temperature plunge, or maybe a roller coaster of temps.  I can't keep track any more.  All I know for sure is that there is a pan of brownies in the kitchen and someone is going to have to eat them.  Maybe I'll let the hubs have some, but maybe not!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, and Brag about your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Next quilt in line

Hi everyone! It was 67 degrees today.  I think I have whiplash! Not to worry, though, because I understand it's going to be plenty cold again soon enough.

Since I finished off one of my piecing UFOs this past week (pictures to come Friday), I pulled another one out of the closet to finish it off.  If I keep doing this, eventually I'll get to the end of the UFOs, right? Here are the blocks I've pulled out:

These are the patchwork scrap stars that I made as part of last year's rainbow scrap challenge.  Somehow I always love making the blocks but then have a hard time putting these into tops. This is probably because the RSC ends just before the holidays, so the blocks are done but there's no time for stitching them together.  In this case, I have this quilt earmarked for a friend, so now I feel bad about not getting it together sooner.

Anyway, I like these blocks but I'm not sure how to set them.  I also know that I need to make two more blocks, but I'm not sure which colors to use.  Right now I'm thinking orange and maybe red, but I could change my mind.  I also think I'm going to take out the one block that I made from the novelty fabrics.  It's just too busy and distracting.

Here is the fabric I have for the sashing:

I like the dots, but I'm probably going to have to put some kind of a frame or border on the blocks to separate them from the sashing.  What color do you think?  I was thinking a plain solid white, but I don't want to tone it down too much.  The friend who gets this quilt definitely likes wild.

Here's an old book that I've been looking through for some setting options:

So many of these older books are great because they're about techniques and not just about patterns. Not that there's anything wrong with patterns! But you know what I mean.

So I guess I'll be playing with setting options and the like for a little while, at least once it starts to rain again.  The weather right now is way too nice for February, so I need to go walk a couple miles while it lasts.  And hey--I noticed yesterday that the days are definitely getting longer! It wasn't dark at 4:30! Yay! Spring is definitely on the way.

Sharing at Let's Bee Social and soscrappy for RSC19.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Tiny little blocks

Hi everyone, and happy Saturday! Well folks, it's February already.  I just don't know how that happens.  It feels to me like we just started 2019 and here we're already 8% done with it.  Pretty sure I would feel a lot better about it if it was warm and sunny, though!  Although I can't complain-- as you are reading this, I am snuggling with my new granddaughter, so it would be difficult to be happier!

For the RSC this year, I already have several projects, and I've decided to add one more and jump in on the Tiny Tuesday sampler.  The blocks are just so cute who could resist?  Most of them make up pretty quickly, too.  So here is the start of my tiny sampler:

The weather has been disgusting, like everywhere else right now, but I took the blocks out on the deck and took pictures while it was snowing.  I had no choice because I tried to get pictures inside and they just did not turn out.  Indoor pictures look okay if I take them when the sun is out, but it's been gray and gross, so there was no way they were going to look good.   I did manage to shield the camera so you can't see the snowflakes falling, though.

I don't have a ton of red fabric or leftovers, so I substituted some grays and a couple of coral pieces.  I just love that little gray cat, and I don't really like gray. The block farthest to the left was not on Angela's sampler patterns, but I didn't want a plain string block.  This is just a square in a square block which was super easy.  I did get some strings in a different one of the blocks, though:

I made the red heart in strings, all of which came from friends, and I think it turned out great.  See what I mean about the icky indoor pictures?

The only other RSC thing I've gotten the chance to do is add the yellow round to the Boston Common quilt:

I'm so glad that I added a round of white between the red and the yellow.  Those two would really have vibrated next to each other, wouldn't they?  This round went really fast because I've got all those squares already cut and in the bin.  Plenty of yellow ones left, too, because I love yellow. I do like all the different squares.  They're going to give this quilt a lot of character.

That's pretty much it! I haven't had a lot of time to play with the yellow, but there's a bunch of month left.  Hope you're enjoying the weekend and warming up.  The weather people say that it's going to be in the 50s again this week.  I'm skeptical, but hopeful!

Sharing at soscrappy for RSC19.