Monday, June 30, 2014

For the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, we're going to be pulling together all of our blocks on Wednesday. I thought I would start early because I have not really approached this challenge with a finished quilt in mind. Some might even call it goofing off. Plus, I have refined designs or added new ones as I have gone along. The color for July is red, so maybe I can use that month to regroup and rebuild the flock of rose cranes. I'm not certain that blood red cranes are a good idea with so many cats lurking around.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Do you have a void in your life? For example, if you were asleep at 4 AM, you don't have Tommy Cat in your life. Well, today we're having a GIVEAWAY to help fill a void. While Tommy would like to send you a kitten, I'm offering the next best thing: fabric.
In celebration of Tommy turning 18 years old this month and to participate in Vicki W.'s Summer Giveaway, I'm offering 18 fat quarters of cat fabric. Or as an alternative, 18 fat quarters in the color of your choice. Or 18 fat quarters of batiks (assorted colors). To be included in this giveaway, please leave a comment letting me know your preference: cats, batik, yellow, blue, red, orange, pink, teal/turquoise, purple, green, black, or black and white. And to the best of my ability, I will try to keep Tommy from slipping a kitten in with your winnings. (Comments received before July 5 will be included, with the random winner announced July 5.)
And for those of you who can't get enough yellow, here are my yellow fish for the Scrappy Rainbow challenge.

Friday, June 27, 2014

I've cut out about half of the HSTs I will need for the rainbow Omigosh quilt, and here they are sewn together in a chain. I'm not collecting and cutting the colors in a very organized fashion. I can see from this set that I need some grass green, red and light purple. I have a lot of strips already cut to make into HSTs so I will start filling in from there.
Here's the whole chain. Oh, and by the way, most of these are Vicki W.'s hand-dyed fabrics including the ones I won as part of the HST quilt along.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Everyone who has a triangle die cutter should congratulate themselves. I am cutting the HSTs for the Omigosh quilt with the EZ ruler. I have found that the ruler gives me more accuracy than some other methods. And this approach lets me spend a lot of time handling beautiful hand-dyed fabric. Only 77 more sets to go.
I have a lot of projects going all at once which admittedly is kind of fun. On some days I focus on one project at a time, but today I eeked out some time on a lot of different projects. And, of course, Project Tommy got the most attention, but apparently that was not enough.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Have you ever had one of those days that is totally consumed by disciplinary hearings?  I apparently am not meeting Tommy's expectations. But in my defense, inspecting his claws is NOT inappropriate touching. So pretty much all I can account for in my day is blocking out a window!

Usually, at this time of year, I take a screenprinting class at the local community college. The class structure gives me the extra boost I usually need to both design and make a huge chemical mess. This is also the best time of year for dyeing fabric: warm enough for dye, yet not too hot for me in the garage where I make my mess (and yes, my car has screenprinting paint on it...hmmm...just the color of blue on the raccoon shown above. Maybe I need to rethink car as drying rack.)

Recently Vicki W. showed us the product "Color Magic" and I thought that would be a gentle way to slide into screen printing and dyeing. The screen printing part requires the most setup because I use the old timey photo emulsion approach.
 I already have the acetate (shown above) prepared using a design modified from the zebra shirt I made last year. It may have too much detail for an initial effort. But even if it fails, I can call it "mottled" instead of "zebras".

So this is what I accomplished today:  the blackout setup I need to burn the screen using photo emulsion. And with that, I am being called to yet ANOTHER disciplinary hearing...

Monday, June 23, 2014

I finished the Ocean Waves quilt. I started it many years ago and then revived it as part of Vicki W.'s HST quilt along. Now I have to decide whether I will store it as a quilt top or go ahead and quilt it. There are many waiting in line ahead of this one.
As I have been cutting into the hand-dyed fabric for the Omigosh quilt, I decided to play around a bit and practice some skinny strips. The color combinations are irresistible.
 Out in the yard I have sticks that are theoretically apple trees. I planted them in horrible locations so it isn't their fault. But I finally decided that this would be the year to remove the sticks, and look, little apples. And the Granny Smith apple tree is also producing for the first time ever. Maybe they liked all the attention they got from cicadas last year. In any case, these apples won't be around long. I'm pretty sure they are being eaten by deer because the branches disappear along with the apples.
The potted cucumber plant on the back deck seems happy. We'll see how long that lasts!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Just in time for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, a yellow mouse showed up in my sewing room. The mouse obviously didn't want to be out by the wood pile with the rattlesnake. Nor did I. So we'll both just have to share the sewing room with all those obnoxious kittens.
Here is yellow mouse meeting some of her peers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Oh my gosh. I've started an Omigosh Quilt. I first found out about this quilt about a week ago on the superscrappy blog (host of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge). There are lots of versions of this quilt, but I absolutely love the rainbow version. I immediately thought of the delightful pile of colors I had received as my winnings for the HSTeria quilt along drawing. And it makes perfect sense that my next HST quilt should use Vicki's hand dyes. Then last, but not least, my sister said I should make it. I think she wants company for her postage stamp charm quilt.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Where do kittens come from? Be warned. This is a technical and scientific answer to that question. First, the mother cats come from Mystic Quilter's blog. The mother, in this instance, is black with purple dots and is on the right hand side of the first photo. The kittens are like the mother except shorter with a tail that matches all the mice running around the sewing room. That is, kittens are a mash-up of cat and mice.
If you dissect a kitten, you find they are made of 1.5 inch and 2.5 inch strips. There are three 1.5 inch squares for the ears and tail tip and one 1.5 by 5.5 rectangle for the tail. The head is a 2.5 by 3.5 inch rectangle while the body is a 2.5 by 5.5 inch rectangle. The background has two 1.5 squares, a 1.5 by 3.5 inch rectangle and a 2.5 by 2.5 inch square.
The kitten ears develop first with 1.5 inch squares placed on either end of the 1.5 by 3.5 inch background rectangle. A diagonal line is sewn as shown above and can be chain-stitched.
The ears are ironed back. This results in ears consisting of  3 layers of fabric. If the ears are sewn on straight, the bottom two layers can be trimmed away 1/4 inch from the seam. If an ear is not straight, only trim away the middle layer leaving the bottom layer as a guide for attaching to the head. Please note, that regardless of whether the ears are straight or not, the kitten (and eventually the cat) will have selective hearing.
The kittens may face right or left. If the head is on the left side, then a 1.5 inch square of the background fabric is sewn onto the upper right hand corner of the body. If the head is on the right side, then sew the background square onto the upper left hand corner of the body. These are attached and ironed like the ears.
At the same time that the ears and body are sewn, the head (2.5X3.5) can be sewn to the background square (2.5X2.5). In addition,  the tip of the tail (1.5 inch square) and the background separator (1.5 inch square) can be sewn together.
At this point, if development is normal, the cat will have developed a direction and consist of 5 sections. In the next stage of development, the ears are attached to the tip of the tail with a background square separating the ears from the tail tip. Keep in mind which way the kitten is facing or it will need corrective surgery later. Furthermore, the head attaches to the body with background pieces on the same side.
Now kitten development is accelerating. First the ears and tail tip attach to the head section and finally the tail is attached on the side.
In the example above, the kittens are born with a tail that is one inch wide (as shown for the kitten on the right). However, the kittens that are bouncing around my sewing room have .75 inch width tails that started as 1.25 inch strips (as shown for the kitten on the left). This means the tip of the tail is a bit puffier than the rest of the tail.

And that explains where kittens come from.
Tommy is thoroughly embarrassed by all this and emphatically asserts that this is NOT where kittens come from.

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's definitely kitten season. They just start showing up regardless of the day of the week or the color of the month. Kittens are definitely not going to follow the rules of a scrappy rainbow challenge.
And here's the whole new litter. Now if only I could find where the mother is hiding...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

We're all about Tommy today because he turned 18 years old. This picture shows him as a kitten, back when he planned on being a bat when he grew up. He also used to have a brother who liked to use him as a fur pillow.

 And here's a recent photo of Tommy putting his best front foot forward.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Aren't kittens so cute...before they turn into cranky old cats?
Here's the whole litter of yellow Kaffe kittens. I wonder where the mother is? I hope I can find homes for them before they grow up. Maybe I'll advertise them for adoption over at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.
And here's the whole flock of cranes that finally arrived...too late for last Saturday's link up.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I rearranged blocks and am now sewing the ocean waves quilt together. To make sure its authentic, I'm making sure its nice and wavy. This corner is this week's contribution to Vicki W.'s HSTeria quilt along.
 These are the parts up on the design wall. I thought I should post it again to see if I notice anything amiss that I don't notice in person.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

If you've heard the phrase "there are many ways to skin a cat" you would understand my horror when I opened up this box of cat skins. Then I remembered that had had a sale on Kaffe Fassett fabrics and I realized these had the potential to become cats, not the other way around.
Meanwhile, Tommy was pretty full of himself after reading an admirer's comment. In appreciation, Tommy would like to share the secret of his longevity: unconditional love.
The kind you get from your fur pillow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This is Tommy in his younger years. He's going to turn 18 this week and suggested that we participate in Vicki W.'s giveaway to celebrate. Tommy wants to give away a kitten and has already ordered the bubble wrap and extra staples. I suggested that we cushion the kitten in fabric and then forget to include the kitten. I'm thinking of 18 fat quarters, and I took Tommy downstairs so I don't have to hear about what he's thinking. I've added the button for Vicki's giveaway and I'll be linking up with that later this month (June 28).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yes, the yellow cranes continue to arrive.
In fact, there is now a baker's dozen of yellow cranes. So if a yellow cat shows up, a few cranes can disappear and they won't be missed. Meanwhile, my sewing room has a new accessory...a lizard. I caught it, but Tommy let him go again.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A few more yellow cranes have arrived. I'm expecting at least a dozen eventually. Tommy (my cat) just requested a ride upstairs to check on what I'm doing and to enjoy the upstairs buffet. Then he needed a ride back downstairs so he could get back to watching his soap opera or whatever it is that's taking place on the back deck at night.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yellow! We have a new color for the month of June for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. So here's the first yellow crane of the new flock.
And here are two yellow cranes. I do have to clean up my sewing technique. I noticed that month to month the size of my blocks change. I thought I had used the wrong measurements when I compared the first yellow crane to a blue one...but it was only creative seams.

Friday, June 6, 2014

I finished all the blocks for the Ocean Waves quilt that I'm making as part of the HSTeria quilt along. I haven't yet figured out the final placement but I'm pretty sure this will be the final size. Each block is roughly 9 inches square.
Here's a close-up of the main block which is composed of four sets of four HSTs, that is 16 total HSTs.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

These mini-quilts are each about the size of typing paper (8.5X11 inches). And did I really just call it typing paper? I am a bit astonished to see how many designs were made in 2011...nothing like a challenge to light a fire.
This is the chameleon quilt that Vicki W. mentioned in yesterday's comment.
And this one seems to be foreshadowing my current artistic direction. : )