Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Mendotas in paradise


Hello, hello! I teased you with this photo last week, and today I'm going to tell you more about this little quilt.


My online guild, Sunshine, calls these offset square-in-a-square blocks "Mendotas," after the retreat location where we used them. Even though the retreat is over and we are now working on "Eugene" Oregon blocks, I had a lot of pieces already cut in Mendota sizes. 


I'm also choosing a theme each month, and February was "cats." So I decided to pull all the cat-themed Mendotas and see what I had. This sweet tuxedo kitty in a knit hat looks like our much-missed George. 


Most of the kitty fabrics I already had cut were pink/red, black and turquoise. So I added enough new blocks in those colors to get a fun mix. And since I finished the quilt in March, it even fit with the latest RSC shades, aqua/teal/turquoise!


Not every block has a cat in it, unless these little cars are all going to the vet. You can probably get a cat to the vet on a bicycle, too, but I wouldn't recommend it.


And it's a stretch to get cupcakes and mushrooms to fit with cats, but hey, some child will enjoy the fun fabrics, right? 


Uh-oh! Good thing these dogs aren't right next to the cats on the left. I quilted this in Unitarian Fans (a much more liberal version of Baptist Fans). You can see the roughly parallel curves on the doggie fabric. I forgot how fun that motif can be if you take a relaxed, unmarked approach.


The block in the lower right is my favorite: silly cats surrounded by sailboats. Sounds like Angel's life!


The backing is a pink with abstract cat heads, and the binding is a solid-reading hot pink. This quilt will be donated to Quilts Beyond Borders. We have very limited fresh water here, and the mail system is not reliable. So washing and shipping will wait until we get back to the US.


In other news, I had "one of those days" recently. First, I went to iron the binding for a Covered in Love quilt, and discovered that I somehow flipped one piece over. How could I have not noticed that?


So I took it back over to my Juki, where I had just finished several free-motion quilting sessions. I expected to have to reset the machine from FMQ (feed dogs down, stitch length zero, presser foot pressure low) back to regular stitching to fix the binding. Um, it's already in regular mode? That means I quilted an entire quilt with loops and swirls and la-de-das with the feed dogs chugging away underneath and the hopping foot under full pressure. But did I notice even a tiny difference? Nope. Either I'm losing my mind, or the Juki has just taken over without any input from me.


Then later when I went back to finish pressing the binding, I managed to set my iron down flat on the cutting mat. Oh, yuck! What a mess, and what a stink! Sean did a great job cleaning up the iron, but that's the second mat I've ruined this year. Fortunately, it's only one corner, so I flipped it over and that warped area is not in my cutting "sweet spot."


On a more positive note, did you see Joy's post on the Magic Square block? As soon as I finished reading it, I pulled out a well-aged batik layer cake and started cutting. The blocks are so quick and easy that I had the whole batch finished within a few hours!


Even trimming the blocks to their final size was fast. Don't you love a pretty pile of trimmings? The blocks are sitting in a project bag (recommended by Sarah, available on Amazon) and I'll be trying different layouts this week. This will be one of my quilts for the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge.

I have more finishes to share with you soon, plus I'll show you how to tell the depth of the water here by color AND show pics of my quarantine haircut. Can you guess who wielded the scissors??

21 comments:

Mystic Quilter said...

You do have a good collection of cat fabrics in your blocks there and I agree, you definitely had a bad day!
I did a trial run a number of years ago on my Bernina without the walking foot on, I just turned the pressure way down and doodles petals and leaves and so on and I had no problems at all. I can just imagine the smell and mess from your "accident" and I guess if it had of been ruined you would have had to wait until you hit a place with a quilting shop - except just like us in NZ they would have been on-line only!!

Kat said...

Bless your heart! Some days you're just better off going back to bed.

Tracie @ Riceford Streams said...

Louise, the Mendota quilt is so fun! And I chuckled when I read about stitching the Unitarian fan. Ha! Hopefully your sewing is back to normal after the whacky day. I enjoy reading every post. Thanks for taking us along.

Linda said...

Your Mendotas are fun! I just realized you have a cat on your boat. I'm trying to imagine our 3 cats on a boat! I can't wait to see your quarantine haircut. I have one too, but it shows that I need some better scissors. ;)

piecefulwendy said...

Love all the cute cats in the quilt, but the color of that water is amazing! I need to check out that magic square block. Haircut by the handyman? :-)

Nicki said...

I love that Mendota quilt & your detailed narratives on the blocks throughout. You've made wonderful color choices throughout the whole quilt. I like how you combined the February "cat" theme with the March aqua/teal/turquoise color theme.
Wow, three "uh-ohs" in one week! My old cutting mat is flaking in areas so I just keep cutting it down to get rid of the "bad" areas. Someday it will be a 6" x 6" mat...yikes! Love the Magic Square block & looks easy enough for me!
Keep sewing like crazy while you have the time!

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Your Mendota quilt is sure to be loved by a child who will enjoy searching for the motifs in the fabrics. Cute quilt! Thanks for the link to the magic square tutorial. Can't wait to hear your haircut story and see the results!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I really like those Mendota blocks, Louise - your fabrics make such a happy quilt! I've been wanting to try Joy's magic star blocks, too - in fact I have a bundle of fabric just waiting for a chance to do that. It sounds like your sewing machine might have come to life all on its own and decided on what were the correct settings for its next job! 🤣

The Joyful Quilter said...

Great quilt, Louise! SEW sorry that you had "one of THOSE days." Thrilled to hear that you tried out the Magic Stars tutorial from my blog last week (with great success.) Thanks for the shout out, too! :o))

Quiltdivajulie said...

Terrific post - great tutorial link and love those project bags.

Sandra Walker said...

That quilt is divine and makes me want to go make one right now. I haven’t heard of Unitarian fan or did you make that up LOL but I’ll have to give that a try. As for haircuts I may have given some of my hairs a little trim myself too…

Fiona said...

Great cat quilt... it's very cheerful. I love the new name for the quilting design... haha... I have heard quite a few people quilt with the feed dogs up on purpose to help with their tension. YOu sound like you are keeping busy there... I wonder how many home hair cuts we will see.. haha..
Hugz

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Love seeing those Medota blocks, since we live practically next door to Mendota Heights, where it originated! And yes, I saw Joy's tutorial and am wanting to make some blocks, also! I'm waiting to see yours, Louise, along with that new haircut! My DH did not get his cut before the barber shops closed here and he's looking pretty shaggy!

Carole @ Fresh off the Frame said...

Sweet quilt! I like the fan quilting. Is it wrong that your misadventures made me gasp and lol? It's not the events that entertained so much as your telling of them. If you want sympathy, stop being funny and relatable! I'm glad you can still use your mat. And that your iron was rescued. I will want follow up reports on the independent doings of your machine, tho!

Kate said...

A very fun finish! Love the colors, the teal and pink work so well together. Sorry about the stitching misadventures. Sometimes I think the more time you spend in the sewing room, the greater chance for something to go wrong. Still, enjoy your stitching time.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Oh Louise, sorry about your iron incident. I knocked mine to the floor last week and lost a bit of its plastic siding, luckily still works fine and with a wooden floor, the dent blends in...mostly. Meanwhile love this finish and kudos to you for making a donation too.

gayle said...

Love that Kitty Mendota quilt! (And I giggled at those fans!)
And I've had days like that, too, so you have my utmost sympathy!

canuckquilter said...

The Mendotas block seems like a great one for showcasing novelty prints.

Vicki in MN said...

Great inspiration! I just have to try that Magic Square block, looks like loads of fun. I think my handyman might have to give me a haircut too!

Carol E. said...

I had a great belly laugh at your Unitarian Fans! Thanks for the LOL.

Jeanette said...

I did not realize you were a quilter when we met! We could have talked fabric and ignored all the engine talk at the table hahaha!! I didn't bring much on the boat because I knew it was going to be busy this time around. But I feel the itch to sew something besides "useful" things like out new door screens. Next time we'll chat sewing. Safe travels!
Jeanette