Thursday, July 20, 2017

Coming to a Close

Without much patchwork to share, we will have to get our dose of color from this rose blooming in the shade in the front yard of the house that may become mine on Friday. 

And as another color exercise, how many shades of taupe are in this picture? How many of those shades are cat? Molly suggests you solve this by counting the number of shades of dope.

As for Molly, hard working felines sleep harder.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bunnies and a road trip

Who doesn't love a taupe bunny? And the pattern is soft and playful enough for the Stonefields quilt, so I decided to use it as the background for my next block. I tend towards having too much contrast, so I looked for a companion fabric that played very well with the bunnies.

Oops. I went too far. Except I do like the Alice in Wonderland feel. I also have to add a circle in the middle and all around the perimeter.

And here's another colorway of the circus animals on parade. It reminds me of a tummy ache.

Molly is trying to help me out by pulling down the flannel that serves as a photo backdrop.

Meanwhile, I took my first "Random adventure" in Portland. I first used this technique when I moved to Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. I used a random number generator to pick a page and grid square in a detailed street map. Then I would drive to that random area and check it out...getting lost and found several times along the way.

For this trip, I randomly picked the grid with Cedar Island Park. And its probably obvious that it would be cheating to use freeways. Especially when you can go over funky bridges. In any case, the access shown in my luddite map was now blocked off, so I had to use another approach...going through another park by foot. And that's when I found this sign. This made no sense...

until I found this.

 And this was the view from the bridge.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sewing the Blues

I found this blue sheep roaming around looking for a bit of grass and only finding stacks of cardboard boxes. I asked if it would like to join the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and it said it would do anything for a scrap of grass.

And I finished my pinwheels for last week in the middle of the week.

And in case you were wondering about Molly...she's striking a Portland pose.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Stonefield returns

I've decided to work on the Stonefield quilt by Susan Smith again so I can add in a mix of hand applique to all the sewing I'm not doing. I put the blocks up to get a sense of the colors. I also went looking for my Karen Buckley circles that are my favorite for circle applique.

And I kept looking. Then looked again. Unfortunately, just this afternoon I told my sister, probably in a louder voice than I needed, that I was NOT going to buy any more notions because I couldn't find them.  But maybe Portland has a special exemption on pronouncements, like a 24 hour statute of limitations.

You might remember that I went to the Sisters Quilt Show on Saturday, and fell in love with this fabric (that is, a fabric similar to this).  And guess what came today? This is an example of how the world is a scary place, but in a good way.

Here's a close up. The fabric isn't a typical quilting cotton and has a bit of a canvas feel to it. It's light enough to work with, but is stiff.  And I think only the pugs are having a good time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Catching up

As you can tell, I'm having some difficulty pulling things together after the move to Portland. Molly says you can just let everything hang out here. Apparently, in more ways than one.

I did finalize the negotiations on a house and so there is one more move in the near future. Then I hope to settle into a more productive and regular pattern, where the patterns involve a sewing machine.

I did make another vintage butterfly block. My sewing table leans without legs against the wall. I have draped a piece of flannel over that to use as a small design wall for taking pictures. During the move, one of my sewing table legs was delivered to Denver, but I was told that they have found it and it will be shipped to me, date undetermined. Sigh.

And here are the pinwheels that I was supposed to show for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge linkup on Saturday. I have gone from being three hours behind the East Coast to being about four days behind.

I have had some serious success though...due to the unrelenting diligence of fabric enablers who read this blog. Thanks to your efforts, I have found various versions of this fabric and a version without the harlequin background. Many sources of the fabric have sold out, but I found a few Etsy shops with pieces to spare.

And Molly would like to report her success at pulling down the new design wall. As I was taking pictures of the blocks, she moved in for a repeat performance. Here, I am briefly distracting her. Or maybe she is tricking me into taking more posed photos of her. You can decide who is in charge.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dress for Success

I went to Sisters, OR for their outdoor quilt show and I fell in love with this fabric. It was part of a border in a quilt by Sarah Fielke that was displayed in the Teacher's tent. I'm thinking it might be a Kokka, but if someone knows for sure, you know where to reach me. I'm the one sitting behind boxes and boxes of fabric. And yes, I did visit the Stitchin' Post and bought nothing...because if I bring one more thing into this apartment it will explode.

Meanwhile, if you read about Sadie's adventures over at Cat Patches, you should know that Molly has started a "Free Molly" campaign. Here she is looking pathetic in her brown paper toy. Her only companion is a stupid taupe dog. And I don't have the heart to tell her that that are major issues with the house to resolve before I can even think about a catio. So for now, she will have to be happy with window treatments as her prey.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Another litter

Another litter of Amish kittens. Tomorrow I'm going to Sisters, Oregon with my Sister. And now you know why I moved to Oregon...just to be able to say that.

Friday, July 7, 2017


With some adjustment of the sewing space, I have increased the mat to cat ratio. Molly does not look pleased. However, she remembered that she could disrupt much progress by burrowing under the fabric that I'm trying to cut.

Here is the new harvest of Amish nine patches. Oh dear, except I seem to have made some serious sewing errors in that one block.

Yikes! It's worse than I thought. My apartment is infested with Amish kittens!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

More sewing

I made two more golden chickens today. These are speeding to the right.

I also decided to start making Amish nine patches. When I first started quilting, I was so inspired by Amish quilts that I exclusively used solids. As you may have noticed, I now almost exclusively use prints. I should also remind the youngsters out there, that in the late 70s, the choice of prints was quite limited. There were a few years when my local quilt store only had one bolt of yellow and just a few greens. However, in the 80s, there was quite a bounty of taupe.

I had stored away the solid fabrics back in Virginia, so they were out of sight and out of mind. But now they up and out, and tripping me as I make my way across the apartment. To reduce the tripping hazard, I've decided to make Amish nine patches until I'm inspired to make something.

And yes, Molly continues her adventures. In Virginia, she would climb the design wall and nap on top of the fabric shelving. Here, she scales the one fabric shelf, and settles down on top. Unfortunately, Oregon staff are incredibly lazy and have not made an easy way down from this perch. So Molly has to call me to come so she can jump on my shoulders and use me as her personal step stool. Here she wants me to quit taking her picture and help her down.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Golden Chicken

Due to the move, I didn't participate in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge for June when the color was yellow.  For my Speedy Chicken, I decided to substitute a gold for yellow because it helps to ensure enough contrast with the background.

Buddy says it looks delicious. And by the way, I started calling Budd...Mr. Taupe, and then Taupey. I stopped when Molly started calling him Dopey.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Quilt Mathematics

I am continuing to face challenges using a smaller cutting mat. If I remember my quilting mathematics correctly, my cat to mat ratio is too high. Also, the biggest problem is the cat is awake. At certain times in the morning and afternoon, the cat to mat ratio falls to zero, so I think my best solution will be to work on my timing.

Also, the inspection of the house was today, and there was plenty of bad news. I have never been a fan of foundations in patchwork, and apparently the house has problems with foundations as well. So having a larger space so I can use a larger mat may not be happening as soon as any of us would like.

However, the new house does have a quilt shop less than two miles away, and I have signed up to take a workshop in the Lucy Boston quilt. And in case you don't believe in miracles...I did find the book and acrylic templates I bought some time ago when I decided to put this quilt on my someday list.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Blue Speedy Chickens

Here are two blue chickens that are in a big hurry to join the celebration of blue for July at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. In fact, they look like they just might collide and make a chicken salad for a picnic. That said, I wouldn't advise anyone eat blue chicken.

As you know, Molly usually prefers to provide close supervision. However, lately she is enjoying secret surveillance.  In this case, it wasn't that secret. Other times, I have no idea where she is until she tells me. Hopefully, that will change soon. My offer on a house was accepted today, so the three of us will be on the move again, but this time only about fifteen minutes away from where we are now.