Monday, August 31, 2015

Double nine

Today I went back to working on the double nine patch. I'm using more contrast with fewer brights. Which is fitting because Daytona spent the day at the vet making more serum for his eye treatments. He may never see well out of his right eye, but the vet is quite optimistic that it can be saved.

And Daytona chose a very subtle personal design. His brother Reno was a tabby and I have always thought of Daytona as a black cat with weird fur and almost bald patches. Well, no. He's actually a black and dark brown tabby...obviously a cat with ironic design sensibilities.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pieced woodpecker

As part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge blocks, I am making a bird of the month in the color of the month. The woodpecker says that August is his month.

The pukeko objected saying that he looks more like Angela's indigo sky than a stupid woodpecker although he was already the bird for May. Eventually there will be twelve owls, and they can be the jury.

Friday, August 28, 2015

More lego blocks

I finished making all the lego blocks...I think. My goal was 81 blocks to make a quilt 9 X 9 blocks or roughly 60 inches square. Now I'm thinking I might go bigger. As a reminder, the original inspiration antique quilt can be found at Quilting with the Past. But I learned about it on Tonya's Lazy Gal Quilting blog where she provides a tutorial. I ended up using a different method and was not as careful with value placement...

But yeah, it turns into a bit of a stash sampler and becomes like a signature...but reflecting one's fabric choices.

And this is Daytona practicing tail flare. Today he also had his first introduction to stairs and the downstairs. He also continued with his mastery of feather toy and napping.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

More kitten news and legos

Well, obviously the Virginia kitten penal system is way too lax, because Reno was adopted yesterday...the first day he was available. Another way to look at it is that maybe Tommy's PR advice to kittens is too good. But the adopters probably didn't see this version of Reno until possibly this morning.

Daytona doesn't mind because for now he is enjoying a one to one staff to kitten ratio. Except he now also realizes that this version of Club Med means Club Medication with eye drops administered every two hours in an effort to save his right eye. (The drops are derived from his blood to leverage his own antibodies. Other medications are involved too.)

In between kitten duties, I continue to build lego logs.

And this is the kitten view of my quilting activity.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reno Wanted Poster

Hi! I'm Daytona your guest blogger. Looky here! That's my brother Reno down at the kitten juvenile hall. That's what happens to toy hogging kittens. Today I am learning what its like to play with a toy without having my big fat brother take it away. I'm also learning how to lose small toys in weird places and then call for staff to retrieve them for me. Oh, and I'm told that I'm also learning to take my medicine...although that's what Reno called biting me on the neck.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lego block and kitten progress

I'm back to making lego blocks. My revised method is to sew together lengths of 1.25 inch wide strips to make a very long single strand. This part of the construction is heavily monitored by kittens. I then sew these into long strips of three...which I sew into long strips of nine...and these then get cut into 7.25 square lego blocks.

Reno prefers a paws-on approach to adjusting stitch tension, by pulling down on the strands as I'm feeding them through the sewing machine. He does this under the sewing table so he can also monitor the foot pedal. Yesterday, he even figured out how to pull the sewing machine cord out of the surge protector...since having cords around kittens is a violation against kitten safety standards that had to be remedied.

But most of the time, Reno and Daytona supervise each other. And tomorrow is their big adventure back to the shelter where they will have an operation and be put up for adoption. This depends somewhat on how well Daytona's right eye is healing...currently he gets eye treatments every two hours. Despite not having sight in that eye, he is quite capable of keeping up with his brother and staying in trouble. Both of them have become masters at stash climbing.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Black fish

A handful of fish dressed in black are all prepared to attend the party at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dancing Lions

The dancing lions have most of their set designed and sewn. I'm going to leave them up on the design wall for a while until they make a decision about borders. Hopefully, the lion roars won't keep the kittens from getting their beauty sleep.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ocean Waves Finish

Here's the finished Ocean Waves quilt that I started many decades ago. I began it to try making half square triangles on the bias. I was not a fan of the method...and the quilt stalled. Then I decided to finally put it together when Vicki W. had her HST challenge.

And then it seemed to be the obvious choice to donate for a local quilt auction, because wasn't it the ocean waves that attracted us to Central VA in the first place. And to top it off, the organization that will benefit is named Mountainside.

Meanwhile, the lions have taken their place on the design wall as a not so subtle hint that they would like me to work on them next.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Reno's Review

Yes, this is the look of a kitten that spent the day in my sewing room. He wants you to know that he has now seen more fabric in his first seven weeks of life than most cats see in their lifetime. And the sewing room is not kitten proof...and he's going to report me to the authorities once he's finished his inventory of all of my violations.

 Despite the constant monitoring, kitten violation inventory reports and kitten sneak attacks, I did finish the binding to the Ocean Waves quilt I am donating to a local quilt auction. Tomorrow I'll give it a label and take photos before I turn it in.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Owl Post

Knock. Knock. Who's there? This owl is here to joint the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge celebration for August.

I thought he should also meet all of his new buddy friends.

And now they are all asking "WHO let the kitten into the sewing room?" except instead of saying "kitten" they are saying "snack."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Scrap Vortex Quilt Top

The Scrap Vortex quilt top is finished. Or at least I am. The top is roughly 82 inches square. I was aiming for large because I do want to use it as a bedspread. But given this quilt grows like an out of control amoeba, the scrap vortex chose its own final size.  Meanwhile, the kittens have taken over the master bedroom and the bed this quilt will lay on.  And I will continue to stay in the servant's quarters until they finally graduate from Kitten U.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ocean waves and Scrap Vortex

Now that I've taken my blog back from the kittens, I'd like to show you my progress on the Ocean Waves quilt. I have finished the machine quilting and am now going to bind it using the striped batik on the right. The binding had a long soak over the last couple of days, so hopefully it has gotten all of the excess dye out of its system.

Meanwhile, I went back to the parts department for the Scrap Vortex quilt and am working up from pairs to squares to larger units.

 Here's a closeup view of some of the small parts.

And here's how they grow.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Reno and Daytona

Hi peoples. Me again. I was told that I shouldn't hog all the blog real estate. So yeah, that's my brother photobombing my profile shot. He's getting over his cold too, although it doesn't look it. And while I chose a few delicate tattoos, he went for the excessive whole body inked thing. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hello peoples. I'm Reno, a student at Kitten U. Today I learned how to take a selfie. And right now I am learning about PayPal, changing passwords, and online shopping for cat toys. Next I'm going to find a new place to use as a litter pan so I can learn some more funny cuss words. Bye for now! Reno

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebirds are rather shy. So although it should have made its appearance in June for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, we're all going to be polite and pretend its indigo. Plus I think there may be others out there playing catchup like me.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Scrap Vortex continues

When I take a break from machine quilting the Ocean Waves quilt, I build more hunks for the Scrap Vortex quilt. Here I have thrown all the big hunks up on the design wall just to see how large of a quilt I have so far. I hope to actually use this quilt as a full draping cover for a queen size bed, so I still have a ways to go.

And the knuckleheads, I mean foster kittens, are doing much better. They are back to their full time studies of wiggle-butt pounces, intermediate tissue paper and advanced studies of nuisance theory.

Plus while I was at the CASPCA today, I met Huxley, a large regal tabby who was roaming the premises and using the opportunity to go up to other cat's cages and reach his paw inside the cages to steal kibble out of their food dishes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Reverse Standing Bunny Tutorial

Cathy at Sane, Crazy and Crumby quilting was wondering what the standing bunny looked like on the other side. So I took one of the standing bunnies and turned it over.

It turns out that only two of the components are different from the standing bunny tutorial posted earlier. The first component is the eye and frankly it can be made the same or as shown above (on the left). The other component that is different is the bunny belly piece which has a 1.5 by 3.5 rectangle of light fabric with a 1.5 by 1.5 flip triangle (as shown on the right).

 This is what the components look like laid out so the standing bunny faces to the right.

And here's the finished right facing standing bunny. I added the sashing piece on the front of the bunny to make the figure stand out better. But you may not want to add this sashing until you plan and put together the quilt.

Monday, August 3, 2015


The quilting on the ocean waves quilt is marching along. I have added an extra step to my basting process that even seems crazy to me...but is working rather well. When I made the reversible quilt for my great grand nephew, I pin basted a top to the batting, then did some overall machine quilting. Then I took out the pins, then redid the pins, but this time adding the reverse top (i.e. backing).

About one fourth of the machine quilting is very light because its just a top and batting. And because I'm essentially only basting two layers at a time, I'm less apt to find mysterious puckers.

In any case, you can see that I've already reached the stage where I've added the backing fabric. And I'm just quilting straight lines on the horizontal and diagonal.

The foster kitten progress is stalled, however, as they are deep into their upper respiratory infections. I take them into a steamed shower stall to ease their congestion. And happily, they are still eating. But their play lessons have been postponed temporarily until they feel better.

Meanwhile, I love Cathy's standing bunnies over at Sane, Crazy, and Crumby Quilting, and I suggest you go check them out!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bounding bunnies

For August, the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge celebrates indigo, blacks and grays. So I ran around the sewing room and caught some bunnies that might qualify. And I'd like to add that its much easier to grab a standing bunny than these silly hopping ones.