Saturday, March 4, 2023

Cool Cat: Project Quilting Challenge 5 (Not a Square)

 Project Quilting's fifth challenge was to make a "Not a Square" quilt. Of course, "not a square" is a bit of a riddle, but the obvious answer is "Cool Cat." And I hope the judges go light on contestants who get this wrong and in true Project Runway fashion eliminate them with scathing comments about how costumes are not avant garde! 

The "Cool Cat" quilt is 14 in by 22 in. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Feline Input and Output

 I stepped out to run an errand yesterday and returned to a cat's critique of the "Not Square" design. Apparently what it was lacking was a dead opossum. This stuffed possum usually travels around the house some time after midnight...accompanied with loud meows if its Molly and high squeaks if its Buddy. I'm not certain whether I'm supposed to add an image of an opossum or attach the actual stuffed animal. 

And here is a photo of Buddy projected on the wall. In this version, he is about 3 ft in length. How large should Buddy be?

Meanwhile, I ran across this photo of my front yard in Virginia. It was always fun to go out and see the tracks of the various animals that had been out and about. Here in Portland, the only animal that left tracks in the snow was the black cat with territorial issues. I didn't have to go outside though because he came up under the front window to glare at two cats nestled in their heated beds.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Cool Cat Progress

My original plan was to use a midcentury color way to convey the coolness of the cat (who is not a square for the Project Quilt challenge). However, martini glasses with olives might qualify as cool in some circles. But more to the point, I liked the fabric and would show off the cool cat quite well. The cat asked for fish and I added the Marcia Derse stripes. We aren't too sure what the fabric with the circles are going to do...but the fabrics have the last decision. I just go along for the ride.

 Here are the fabrics that were auditioned but did not make the cut. Four of them had to be eliminated just because they have squares in the print... (Remember the only rule is no squares!) 

And I have drawn the cool cat (no beret!) but have yet to decide on its final size. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Ready for 5th Challenge

There is no better preparation for the next Project Quilt challenge than to rush to finish a quilt before it starts. I have had a log cabin streak of lightening quilt layered and ready for quilting for quite a while. So I jumped to it this weekend to start quilting it. But wait...there was already quilting in the lights. That was exciting because it meant I had a jump start. Then I saw the tension issues and remembered why it had been set aside. The plus side of tension issues is that the quilting tends to be easy to pick out. After I took a few steps back...I quilted it. 

Molly would come to lay on the quilt...creating new tension issues...within my skull.

This morning we received the theme for this week's Project Quilt challenge: Not a Square. And I'm sure we will all have the same exact reaction...not a square means it's a cool cat. So yes, another challenge where the obvious answer is cat, but this time with a mid-century look.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Game Day

Molly has a new hobby...indoor parkour via Sally.  As I sit on the floor, Molly will leap from a table to my back then on to a different table. Sometimes she leaps from table to back then back to the table. I have begun to sit as far away from furniture as I can. So today she leaped up to my back then up to shoulders and took in the view.

I have begun a new hobby. I balance a cat toy on Molly's head. At first she ignores me so I won't take her negative reaction as a reward signal. After the pause, she flings it from her head. I take out my notebook and write "Score!"

If you would like to see animals who play together nicely (or want to see Portland residents who enjoy snow), look here:

And if you are interested in quilting, and in particular would like to see amazing free hand quilting on a treadle machine, please visit:

Unfortunately, Tim Latimer is no longer with us, but happily his blog persists to track his journey. And there are lots of phases to enjoy...from buying vintage quilt tops on eBay, fixing them and finishing them , to designing his own quilts, to refurbishing treadle machines and then free hand machine quilting on leather!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Palette Cleanser

 I realize most people live in the real world where snow is a standard feature of winter, instead of an extreme novelty feature that is not rain. I took this picture from the front porch and angled it carefully so you would not see that the snow is not sticking to roads or walkways.

Here's a look across the street to my neighbor's carefully trimmed tree/ covered in frosting.

Meanwhile, I have been moving squares around in the spools quilt, encouraging diagonal movement and areas of light and dark. I have also decided on a square quilt of roughly 80 inches...that will mean subtracting spools from the side and adding to the bottom.

I have been working on this quilt off and on for quite a long time so I am also feeling a bit restless about what's next. And for reasons I can't explain, I also get restless and worry about some of my favorite elderly artists. Unfortunately, Mel McCuddin passed away can see a YouTube video of him painting in 2010:

Then I nervously checked in on David Hockney and of course he has a new exhibition in London that is a room that immerses you in his artwork. Yup, a virtual experience in real life that is already sold out. Back when I was in Wash DC, I saw his stage scenery exhibit where you sit and the area in front of you shifts in color and pattern. Then when you step out, you are disappointed by all the masterpieces on the gallery walls that just sit there. Here is a clip about his new exhibit:

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Back to the Spools

So I either have too many blocks or I don't have enough. Or I will find the missing blocks as I clear out the Project Quilt debris. Or I will take apart some of the extra blocks to make bridges between blocks. The task at hand it to rearrange the blocks to take advantage of light and dark areas, emphasize diagonals and avoid horizontal lines. Oh excuse me...I'm boring Buddy.

Here's a closeup of the spool blocks.

In yesterday's comments, my sister mentioned the Bear's Bowtie Block, so I thought I would show you the quilt I made out of that block...and also all of the other quilts people have made from that block. If you see a picture of Buddy instead, you will realize this is an illustration of the null set. And you will not be surprised that Barbara Brackman has never written about the block that nobody made (or should ever make).

And if you can't tolerate neglected cats or messy work surfaces, look away two minutes before now.