Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Closing in

I put up one of the shelving units I use for storing larger hunks of fabric. You might remember that these were also used as the back for the infamous design wall. The living room of this apartment is a dark hole, so it is perfect for storing fabric. However, since I don't know how long I'll be here, I have decided to keep the rest of this fabric stored in boxes.

You might remember a large pile of boxes stacked here a few days ago. Those have been opened and sorted and replaced with the boxes of fabric that I stored on the shelving units. Molly has been having a marvelous time climbing all around the boxes, so I thought I would make a window jungle gym for her covered in chenille fabric. As you can tell, now she won't go anywhere near it.

Next, with the weaving loom moved into place, the dining nook is complete.  Completely unusable for dining, that is.

And yes, I uncovered the sewing table and tomorrow's activities will include adding the sewing machine and maybe sewing a seam or two.


Today, Molly gave me careful, precise instructions on how to empty a moving box. My sister also came over and was actually helpful instead of theoretically helpful. My sister also had the honor of feeding Buddy treats. Buddy reserves this honor to only those people who wrinkle a treat bag and offer him treats.

By the end of day Molly concluded that there is more fabric than apartment.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Counting cats

I should have expected that Molly would be as industrious at helping me unpack as she is with everything else including quilting. First, she had me start the day with a photograph.

And yes, as usual she is quite disappointed with my progress...although I'm also unpacking a similar mound in another room. Buddy, of course, is quite pleased as long as I can count two cats at the end of the day.

But really I think Molly is really more concerned that I seem to be dismantling her new playground. And I'm starting to wonder what else might be missing...I realized that my ironing board didn't make the journey. To make things more interesting, the first few items the movers delivered were not mine. And one of the items was a fantastic wooden Singer sewing case that I assume had a sewing machine inside. I have to admit that I paused before admitting it wasn't mine.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Oregon Delivery

Hi, it's Molly your guest blogger. Staff has gone over the deep end and has failed to keep up her blog while she treats me to almost daily indignities and crazy surprises. Just yesterday, I was locked in a bathroom and when I came out, the massive hoard that we abandoned in Virginia was now piled high in our Oregon apartment. And yes, this window ledge is the only area not yet piled with fabric.

I suggested that blog readers would be fascinated to see empty fabric racks and massive mounds of boxes. She insists, however, that everyone would really prefer to see me posing in a window.

And Buddy's dog-like tendencies means that he has adjusted well to our daily indignities. In fact, he seems quite happy in this apartment with the brown carpet and beige walls. Boring!

I expect that staff will return to blogging again tomorrow. Today was the first chance in over a week that she has had to stroke fabric. She still has to set up her sewing machine. Meanwhile, her cutting table, which she has used since the early 80s, did not travel well. In some strange tribute to Tripod Tommy, the three-legged cat, the movers delivered the table top and only three of its legs.

Sunday, June 11, 2017



Molly and Buddy arrived in Portland, OR safely. Staff arrived, but has some battle scars. We are setting up a new household...and yes, we are decorating our digs based on the new favorite color Buddy Putty.


I will get back to regular blog posting when I am reunited with my computers...and fabric...and sewing machine. Meanwhile, I am heading out to drop off Molly for a surprise play date with Smitty of Three Cat Ranch.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Winding Down

Smitty and Sadie over at Three Cat Ranch asked whether my quilts were tested for snuggability. It should surprise no one that Molly is an efficient multi-tasker.

Meanwhile, the packing of the flat folds of fabric continues. But I'm also saying my good-byes.

Tonight was my last performance with Big Blue Door, a wonderful improv company here in Charlottesville. The classes are magical, and being part of the performance runs has been a blast. I started taking improv classes about the same time I began fostering kittens here at Kitten U...and there probably are serious health risks associated with that much hilarity.

And I guess I could say that its time to get back to work packing...but you all know that what I'm really doing is stroking each piece of fabric as I put it in a box.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

More packing

Almost all of the books are packed, so now it's time to pack the fabric. My stash has two parts...hunks of fabric that are one yard or more. When I first started quilting, I bought larger pieces. Now, however, I tend to prefer half yards. So the stacked fabric tends to be older fabric. This is the stack of dark blues.

 Here are the medium blues. Obviously, with use, the values get mixed.

And here are the light blues. I don't yet know how much fabric I can pack in a small box. I also don't know whether I should first pack it into a plastic bag or put it straight into the cardboard box.

As I was taking pictures of the blue fabric, Molly realized that I needed her help.

Then Molly helped me by climbing into the box as I was packing the blue fabric.

I thought I was making progress without her help.

Molly disagreed then decided to take a nap.

While Molly takes a snooze, I can show you some of the quilts I packed yesterday. This is a yellow and green trip around the world variation that was inspired by fall colors...although it screams spring too.

And this was a small quilt I made as part of a class I took with Carol Taylor. She was showing improv curves, skinny strips and spiral machine quilting...all combined in a single quilt.

 And this one doesn't have a name. I made it to feature a rather strange orange and turquoise fabric. The fabric strip surrounded by orange strips is the same fabric as the fabric strip surrounded by the black strips.  If I run across that fabric again as I pack, I'll take a picture of it so you can see how cool it is...and worthy of its own quilt.

And this quilt was also made in the 1990's. I have forgotten the name of this pattern.

And I think this bento box wallhanging was made in the 1980s.

Last but not least, I thought I should show you the Momma Bear's technique for picking unripe peaches. She stood up on her hind legs, pulled the main tree branch down with her front paws, and then picked the peaches with her mouth. One of her cubs is scouting around in the grass/weeds under the tree on the right side of the photo.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Yesterday, I received a visit from a single mother with three youngsters. She stopped by for some unripe peaches.

It was very hard to get photos of her cubs because they were wrestling and running up the peach tree and quite unwilling to stay still. At first I only saw two cubs. But then the family went on high alert. Two of the cubs left for the woods and then a third came barreling out of the peach tree and followed them.

The mother followed shortly thereafter. I only saw the bears because Molly made a dash downstairs to watch the activities in the front yard. However, she makes the same dash for a squirrel or a moth, so I wasn't expecting much.

Despite all the visitors and packing, I have made more pickle wedges. I have 15 more wedges to make and then I can move on to the rest of the quilt.

Buddy doesn't know which project he prefers.

And here is another vintage butterfly...oops...let me amend that. Here is Molly's hind end heading upward while the vintage butterfly block falls downward.

And here's Molly looking around the design wall to assess her damages.

And here is the vintage butterfly block without kitten kommentary.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Packing quilts

This is a bow-tie quilt that I made back in the 1990's. As I am packing books, I am adding quilts as filler to keep the boxes from getting too heavy. And I have finally finished packing the books downstairs.

I pack each quilt in a plastic bag, and of course, each bag is carefully inspected first.

And this is a bear's paw that my grandmother made and that my father took to college.

Here is the origami crane (or swan) quilt that I made the first year I participated in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. And now its all packed away for its trip across the country.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Green spools

A last little bit of green for the month of May. For more impressive acts of green, please visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Of course, I had to hurry back to help Molly with the packing.

 Molly did take some time off to pose for you.

Meanwhile, Buddy the lap pony, is helping hold down the spiderweb blocks so they don't crawl away.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bits of Patchwork Progress

I may be making two vintage butterfly quilts or maybe a two-sided version. I find that I am attracted to oddball colorways with bits of black that have an old timey look. And then, of course, I have the brights. It's probably about time to figure out how far along I am on making one side.

Buddy can be very chill.

But Buddy has to remain vigilant in case staff tries to slip his sister Molly a treat without his knowing about it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Molly Movers

As part of packing for the move, I am sorting through the various projects I have underway. I typically store each project in its own plastic bin, but I'm now moving projects I might complete into plastic bags, and the ones I won't finish go into the scrap pile. Here are some mice I began a few years ago as part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. I think I switched to kittens, and then really, who can go back to mice after that?

I also uncovered these blocks. I was thinking that maybe I could make some more and make a baby quilt.

Molly thinks the blocks look better scattered on the floor.

She also monitors the packing to make sure no kittens get trapped in the boxes. Needless to say, my fabric stash provides a limitless supply of packing material.

I wrap quilts in plastic bags before packing them and Molly inspects these as well.