Sunday, October 14, 2018

Staggering Seahorses and Nearly Insane

Yesterday, Gayle at Mangofeet suggested I try a half-drop layout for the seahorses. I tried it out in Photoshop and then tried it out in real life. It's a winner. And when is Gayle ever wrong? I may rename it staggering seahorses though. Oh, and I think this also means I have to make three more right facing seahorses so I can have odd number of columns.

And I finally transferred the photos from the Pacific International Quilt Festival from my phone to the computer. For me, the highlight of the show was Frances Meredith's Nearly Insane quilt. (You can follow her at the blog Faberdashery as she makes masterpiece after masterpiece.) I had Molly pose in front of her quilt to prove that we were actually there.

And just to prove what a newfangled world we live in, Frances pieces his quilts by hand but quilts them with her long-arm. This is a detail of the quilt. Frances is also the master of cornerstones.

Here is another close up. I love how she combines the quilting with the patchwork.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Seahorses and Postage

I finished the last few right-facing seahorses this morning and have been working on their layout. I had them arranged in a staggered pattern, but have lined them up to reduce the chaos. I am still planning on sewing them together without sashing. Then I will have to make another huge batch of seahorses and cut off them tails for the border.

The seahorses were made as part of the RSC challenge many, many, many years ago. The quilt stalled out when I discovered at the end of the year that I needed more seahorses. I also couldn't figure out a good layout.

The postage stamp blocks are for this year and I was planning on a two by four block quilt. Now I am thinking of adding white sashing between the blocks and making it three by three. But I could also see me lose my mind and decide to make four more. But first I'll add one more block, and I'm thinking dark green...wouldn't that be appropriate.

For more lovely dark green blocks, please visit SoScrappy and the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Two seahorses

Here are two more seahorses for my collection. Apparently since seahorses don't congregate, their is not a name for a group of seahorses. And yes, the red/pink seahorse needs a neck alignment. The neurosurgeon was not very careful when connecting the head to the body.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fast Trip

I made a very quick one day trip down to the Pacific International Quilt Show in San Jose.  Here's the Bunny Hop.

Pigs in the Blanket was hanging next to the Bunnies. I will have more about the show tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Weaving a Web

Today I worked on the new spiderweb quilt. This is so much fun to make. A lot of the fabrics are leftovers from 1.5 inch strip bin that weren't made into spools.

And here are nine tiny spools based on one inch strips.

And here is a frustrated Molly. Today she spent a lot of time trying to explain to me how she would like to go outside. She is a bit confused about the front hall closet and the front door, but she is not confused about how disappointed she is by her staff.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Today I made two right-facing seahorses. I had parts to make three seahorses, but half way through I found that the third seahorse had become left-facing. So at a later time I will decide whether I should retrain him to face right, or let him join the right facing seahorses. Although at this time, I only need four more right facing seahorses.

I have the seahorses pinned to the design wall to torment Molly.

Because of the recent "fun" with loonie log cabins, I wondered what a seahorse would look like if it were based on a one half inch grid. This is what you get: 4.5 by 8.5 inches finished.

What is the color of regret?

And just to cheer you up, here is a teddy bear my brother met in England. His name is Pete.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Kristin LaFlamme: NW Quilt Guild Speaker

Tonight, Kristin LaFlamme is going to be the speaker for the NW Quilt Guild. I am hoping that she is going to bring Zeitgeist--a quilt of the likeness of Grumpy Cat that she made in response to the national feelings at the time. She made this quite a while ago--during a warmer, fuzzier time.

I originally saw this quilt in Charlottesville...when Kristin moved there. I regretted not stealing it at the time. So if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know that this quilt and I are on the lam. Buddy thought I said he said yum!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Winding Spools

Add thirty more spools to the pile...and oh yeah, first deduct two because they were duplicates of fabrics I had already used. Tomorrow is the quilt guild, so I also made three quilt backs for their donation quilts. As I write this, Molly is squirreling around the kitchen cabinets. I think she is trying to reprise her feline magician act of disappearing under the stove.

And for those of you with a medical inclination, here is a catscan of Tommy. I tried to take a catscan of Molly today, but she wasn't having it. Darla and Alfalfa over at Crazy by Design made a fuss over Molly's bloomers, and I thought Tommy's catscan could also serve as a rebuttal, so to speak. And please don't forget that Tommy had his own blog where he gave fashion commentary/advice to shelter cats.

Buddy is just chillin' on batting remnants. After the big reorganization of the sewing room last week, I put it back the way it was. Molly enjoyed riding around on the furniture as I pushed it around. To be extra helpful, sometimes she rode piggyback.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Green pinwheels

As we head into the last months of the year, I'm looking for RSC projects that I can finish this year...and so I unearthed Pinwheel Garden. It has a few green blocks, but none that were a nice dark green. So I added these six blocks. For other dark leafy green patchwork, don't forget to visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

I started with the scrap basket. Each pinwheel garden block requires a 3.5 by 4.5 rectangle and a 2 by 10 inch strip. I only found a few scraps that were large enough so I looked through some of my ancient fabric.

But sometimes danger lurks beneath larger hunks of fabric.

Oh nevermind. It's just Molly being adorable.

Here's Buddy under the table pretending to be a cat but looking more like a very large loaf of bread.

As I made the pinwheel garden blocks, I also made spools as leaders and enders. These are the tiny ones that finish at 1.5 inches.

Here they are close up.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Spool Factory Reopens

I finally got back in the spool business. However, I have been cutting all the scraps down into the spool parts...first I try to cut the parts of the 3 inch spools, then I try for the medium size spools, and then the 1.5 inch spools. I keep thinking I will get to the sewing part, but the end days before anything is sewn.

Many of these fabrics are the scraps from the Stitchin' Post and they definitely have a more modern (bright) feel than most of the fabrics I've used so far.

This brings the count of spools to about only 120 more to go.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Quilted Bunnies

I haven't posted recently because I have been hand quilting the Bunny Hop quilt, and showing the progress of hand quilting is a bit like watching paint dry...except slower. Along the way, I have been fighting with Molly because she loves this quilt. It has a wool batting. Unfortunately, many of its plaids are woven fabrics and cat claws and wovens don't mix well.

And yes, Molly is miffed that I took a picture of her rear quarters and/or don't appreciate her digging her claws into this quilt. She will be even less pleased to find out I posted it.

And there is the border I added. Once I sew a new label on the back, it will be ready to be shipped to the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA. It is going along with Pigs in a Blanket. I also have plans to go to the show so I can see Faberdashery's Nearly Insane quilt. Her quilt is part of a special exhibit and puts the International into this particular quilt show.

And here are the medium sized spools I haven't been making while I am hand quilting.

 I have been processing two bundles of scraps I picked up at the NW Quilt Expo. These were remnant bits and strips packaged by the Stitchin' Post. Some of the strips were very thin and I could barely pull one inch sections out of them for the smallest spools and loonie log cabins. After cutting out various size spools, I cut down the rest to go into my current Spiderweb quilt.

Buddy loves the scrap bundles because I dump them on the floor so he can slide into them as he chases his laser mouse. Today he stole my sewing machine brush (for cleaning out lint) and tried to take it to his toy hoard under the bed. You might notice that there is a toy wool mouse behind him (just left of his head). He does not acknowledge that as a toy. When I throw it, he will run after it, but when he gets to it, he looks back at me, affronted. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

NW Quilt Expo

Here is the owl quilt "Parliament" on display at the NW Quilt Expo. I was quite pleased with how well behaved they are...especially given what a menace they were when I was making them. The machine quilting must have knocked out all of their knock knock jokes.

And this was the big fancy ribbon sitting next to Smitty's quilt (with some credit to Barbara Stanbro as staff). I assume she will fill you in on all the details at her blog Cat Patches.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Loonie Court House Doll House

Here's my Loonie Courthouse step, quilted and bound. The Loonies over at JulieKQuilts post on Tuesday, so I'm a day late and a dollar short. (The Loonies are making log cabin blocks/quilts using one inch strips...finishing at a half inch).

Molly tried to help me sew the binding on this doll quilt but became exasperated because its not big enough for a darling kitten to hide under.

And speaking of Luna, I just looked out the window and wondered what weird light was glaring into the room...and its a full moon peaking through the trees. Awesome.

Tomorrow is the Northwest Quilting Expo, so Molly will get the day off.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Macro Spools

I worked through the huge storage bin of 1.5 inch strips. A lot of those strips are quite old, so this batch of large spools have a lot of blues with a gray cast. Very 80s. And while I thought this would finally be enough spools for 70 by 90 inch turns out I'm still shy of about 120 spools.

Molly suggests I need more gold spools.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Micro Spools

Here is the latest batch of micro-spools. They are well behaved so they only need one adult spool to supervise. Over the long haul, I think I may need a better method for keeping these in line. I may borrow the approach that Gayle at Mangofeet is taking with her demented quilt and combine the spools into groups of sixteen. That would make a 6 inch block (finished).

Sometimes the spool block is called a bobbin. And while I was finishing up the micro-spools, I ran out of bobbin thread. And by that I mean I had to replenish my supply. To pretend like I'm an organized seamstress, I also changed out the needle.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Slow Progress

I have not had much to show in the last few days. I did layer up the Loonie Court House steps to machine quilt.

And here are all the 2.25 inch spools I have cut but not yet sewn. I started with three inch spools, but then thought it would be fun to go smaller, so I used strips that were one quarter inch thinner. That makes a finished spool that is 2.25 inches. Of course, since then I contracted the Loonies Disease over at JulieKQuilts, and began making spools using one inch strips. Those spools have a finished size of 1.5 inches and make these spools look like teenagers.

I'm also adding hand quilting to the plaid bunnies quilt before its trip to the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA. However, whenever I settle into quilt on it, Molly joins me for a snuggle. Of course, she wants to be front stage and center which precludes quilting. After she stomps off, Buddy comes for a snuggle, which for him means being held. He wants to be up by my shoulders cheek-to-cheek. And I probably don't have to mention that one cannot quilt while holding a pony.

I also have hunks of fabric from my quilt guild to make backs for their donation quilts. The plan is to cut each hunk into 17 inch squares and then sew them together in a 3 by 3 nine-patch. Unfortunately, some of the hunks don't measure up to 17 inches in any direction, so this takes some fiddly. I should probably sew them together in a crazy quilt fashion...but my father's civil engineer DNA rebels.

I have also been out chasing squirrels and caught this one. To its credit, it resembles a squirrel more than a lot of projects that are claimed as squirrels. And to be fair, Molly's squirrel project is a real squirrel and given she is an indoor cat, her squirrel project has many elaborate plans but no execution.

Sometimes when I don't have a lot of progress to show, I can snap some entertaining photos of Molly. However, she has not been cooperating. I had to go outside to take this picture. She finds it fascinating when I am outside and is still trying to figure out how to teach staff to open the door for her.

I have also been quite worried about Molly because I have heard her retching in the early morning. This has recurred over the last few days so I have been carefully monitoring her. This morning, however, I was much quicker and found out that it has been Buddy all along. By the time I arrive to clean it up, Molly is at the site for a thorough inspection...hence by theory of proximity, I thought it was Molly. Needless to say, I was much relieved to discover it was Buddy, because, well, boys will be boys. In fact, I have been thinking of changing his name to Roomba.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Just Spooling

Yes, I'm still making some of the humongous spools that finish at 3 inches. My plan for this quilt was to use softer patterns and colors than I typically would.

However, now that I plan to make it larger, I can probably add in a few interesting spools with fun patterns and a bit brighter colors.

And yes, I am known to put hot sauce on just about everything.

And if you see a cat in this pose, I can guarantee it is up to no good.

And if you see a cat in this pose, it is less than two minutes away from up to no good.