Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I have made great progress on the red, white and blue Placid Curves and have cut most of the strip sets into stripey strips. The next step is to sew these into blocks. However, there is not much to show so I thought that while we are on the shark theme I would revisit a design I submitted to a sock contest. It may look familiar.
 And while we're looking back, here's an 8.5 X 11 fox quilt. I chose to look back at the fox because I saw one today running down the drive. Hopefully the rabbit that has been hanging out in my yard stayed well hidden. Looking at the quilt now, the fox looks a bit hunchback and appears to have a nasty welt on his head.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back in 2011, Vicki W. sponsored a journal challenge and as part of that challenge I made this fused applique shark quilt (8.5 X 11 inches). Now if I'm interpreting a comment left on Saturday's post (showing the simple patchwork fish), I think the commenter wants me to make a pieced version of this shark design and use it to terrorize the simple fish.
And while we're having flashbacks, here's a picture of a small pelican quilt. This is in honor of Pelly, whose pelican adventures have been featured on the blog Free Motion on the River.
Now back to the present and the donation quilt I mentioned yesterday. I have completed six blocks of Placid Curves in red, white and blue along with almost all of the strip sets.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Last year I made a Placid Curves quilt based on a pattern in Amy Ellis' Modern Neutrals book for a Quilt of Valor. This year, our local quilt guild is having a silent auction to benefit a local nursing facility. I suspect that my personal color preferences aren't widely shared, and that another version of this quilt might be more popular. With that in mind, I have cut new fabrics. The assembly is slightly different from the scrappy version of Placid Curves in Amy's book.
I make two versions of the A strip set which in both sets includes a large white strip. The B strip sets have the largest strip in a color, red and blue.
Each of the strip sets are then cut into strips.
The new strips are then sewn together (A1-B1-A2-B2-A2-B2) to form a 12 inch block (when finished). Now I only have to make 41 more of these blocks.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Look what swam into my sewing room for the last Saturday of July, just in time to participate in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. A couple of fish look a bit starry eyed.

And within some fish, you can sense there lurks an inner shark.

Meanwhile, others enjoy Saturday as a day to catch some extra shut-eye after a hearty breakfast

Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm reshowing my current progress on the Omigosh quilt because it uses Vicki W.'s hand-dyed fabric, some of which I won participating in this very HSTeria quilt along. Lately, instead of sewing, I have been shoveling out the sewing room in the hopes of locating horizontal surfaces. I may have found the cutting table, one sewing machine table and the floor.
I also thought I should show you more of the craziness out on my front porch. I have six hummingbird feeders, but males like to stake out a whole feeder for themselves. This feeder has apparently been designated for females and babies, and has to be refilled about 3 times a day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I have spent way too much time on this thing. Many years ago I joined a local mystery quilt group but dropped out in the middle when I found myself constructing four patches from individually cut 2 in squares. Gazillions of them. So the fabric and patched bits were stored away. At times I took it out to use to learn techniques like the fractured quilt and a partial seam technique. Then I thought I would use the parts to build an improv quilt. Then I thought I could use it as a back to a more traditional construction.
This is truly awful. I was thinking Tommy could use it as a fur collection mat to give the Fractured Quilt a break. But then we'd have to look at it. Instead I am going to pack it all away again so I won't waste anymore time just trying to finish it. And what did I learn from all this?
Tommy is adorable when he is napping, despite the obviously diabolical plans he is hatching.

Monday, July 21, 2014

This little 8.5 by 11 quilt was made a few years ago. I ran across it recently and I had to laugh because I remember how mad the box turtle looked when I took its picture. That said, it wasn't nearly as angry as a snapping turtle I foolishly tried to help cross a road.

Meanwhile this treadle sewing machine mysteriously showed up in my living room. No one is admitting to how it got there. I did, however, order a belt for it.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oh look, a flock of red cranes/swans. They look a bit confused. Or maybe they're on the look out for kittens and cats. It turns out I have quite a few red fabrics with cranes, but I thought making cranes from crane fabric would be a bit like feeding chicken to chickens. If you want more red, check out more contributions to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, then gain an appreciation for the workhorse half-square triangle (HST) over at the HSTeria quilt along.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm getting a jump on tomorrow's rainbow scrappy challenge by working on the red swans/cranes today. Plus these blocks qualify for the HSTeria quilt along. Each month, I never quite remember how the crane is made, so I pull out one as a guide. I'm making four red cranes facing right and four red cranes facing left. I've selected all of the fabric and cut strips for all the cranes. But at this stage, I keep the confusion to a minimum by constructing only the cranes in the right facing formation with a yellow crane as our guide. When I am finished with these, I will move on to the ones in the left formation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Precision in piecing is not my strong suit. I'm more of a statistician than an accountant. And fabric tends to be forgiving or at least obliging. But at this small scale for the Omigosh quilt, there is less room to maneuver when the finished squares are half inch and the finished nine patch is 1.5 inches.

In yesterday's post I mentioned that my nine patches were rectangular. That's the same nine patch in both photos...its 2 inches on one side and 2 inches plus one eighth on the other side. (Some of my seams are not quite a quarter inch). As I was sewing I saw things were off and figured it would all work out. But instead of easing, I had a fabric fight.

Happily, because the fabric is so beautiful, we can't stay mad at each other for too long. (Well, I guess I can't speak for the fabric...)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Omigosh I'm feeling cranky. It's amazing how quickly inaccuracy amplifies when using a small scale. And as far as tiny work goes, the Omigosh quilt is rather forgiving. But apparently not forgiving enough. I do have to take some time and figure out why my nine patches are rectangles. Is it my cutting, sewing or ironing?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Seriously? I take one day off from the sewing room and come back to find another litter of kittens.  Blue, this time. Tommy has passed out in a dead faint. Or maybe it's his beauty sleep. It's hard to tell sometimes. Tommy was so disappointed that he couldn't give away kittens, that I suspect he is going to start trying to let them loose in the woods.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Here's a red mouse to join July's scrappy rainbow challenge. Finding fabrics for red mouse took quite a while. Some reds start looking orange and, of course, value can be tricky given the slippery slope toward pink. The value can't be too dark or the mouse's black eyes and nose won't stick out--an important cuteness requirement.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Here is my contribution to Vicki W.'s HSTeria quilt along. The center square is 1.5 inches finished and the squares within the diagonal four-patch are half inch square finished. Omigosh, what was I thinking?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our household goes through a cup and a half of sugar everyday and I, too, think it is outrageous. Today I added a sixth hummingbird feeder. Earlier this spring, it got really quiet and I thought all of the hummingbirds had moved on. I was about to call it quits, but one little fellow showed up. And now the full hummingbird circus is in full flight or should I say fight given their personalities.
I also have too many quilts in process all at once, yet I am still able to find a new one I want to make everyday. Here is the second set of half square triangles (HSTs) being sewn for the Omigosh quilt. The colors are so refreshing that this is a great choice for a summer quilt.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Look what I won! Vicki W. sponsored the Summer Break Giveaway and I won the free gradient hand-dyes. They are really incredible. I know I will probably use a bit of these immediately for the Omigosh quilt that I am in the process of making with Vicki's hand-dyed fabrics.
Tommy is disappointed with Vicki for not signing up to win a free kitten and he was thinking he should send her one anyway. However, today when we were out and about mailing packages, he found something to send her instead. I'm not certain she will like it, but Tommy is certain she will like it more than a kitten.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Today I prepared the packing material for Tommy so he can send kittens to the prize winners. Except he said he may send cats to the winners that said they didn't want a kitten. He is having a hard time catching the kittens anyway, and he thinks he'll have an easier time catching and packing the cats despite the fact they're about 3 inches longer (unfinished).

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Aagh! Another litter of kittens. This time they are red so they can participate in the Scrappy Rainbow challenge
And oddly enough, I had never heard of the watermelon cat until I read about them on Mystic Quilter's blog. Then when I went into the sewing room this morning there were three watermelon kittens!
And following the "you are what you eat" theme, there is one kitten that appears quite guilty of snacking on cranes.
And finally, Tommy would like to announce the WINNERS to his Birthday Giveaway. First, Tommy wanted to pick the winner based on cuteness, color and markings and overall disposition. I countered that we were not choosing a kitten, but instead were picking a random winner. I showed him how to work the random number generator and he was so pleased with himself, he chose THREE winners instead of just one.

The winners are:

Kathy (Comment #5) who wins cat fabric.

Deb A (Comment #22) who wants to be surprised.

Frances (Comment #15) who wants a kitten and batiks. (Tommy says she also wins best comment for calling him handsome and being willing to take a kitten.)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Here's my HSTeria progress for the day. Looks exactly like yesterday. Today we had a power outage or should I say an incessant flickering that makes you shut your own power off. And no, Hurricane Arthur was not remotely to blame. Just some tree limbs getting too close to the power lines when it gets breezy. Our area has had this problem for about a month but it was finally resolved today. Tommy is greatly relieved because he relies on the computer to babysit me when he has better things to do.

Also, the giveaway signup ends tonight so I can pick and post the winner tomorrow. So if you haven't already signed up for Tommy's free kitten, I mean, 18 fat quarters (you pick the color), go here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's definitely kitten season around here. Luckily this pink litter can fill in for some of the colors I'm missing for the Scrappy Rainbow challenge.
And here I've cut the remaining HSTs for the Omigosh quilt.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

All of the gigantic mice are present and accounted for. They were all quite happy to pose for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge mid-year celebration and brought some of their baby mice along. Apparently baby mice only come in secondary colors and not primary. Odd.

Making the tails on the large mice still causes me more grief than I would like to admit to. I started out with an improv tail for the pink mouse, but made and used a template for the rest. Except I think that the seam allowance or something is off so the tails have not come together as nicely as I might like. Then I saw this amazing (and now obvious!) tip by Susan Jacuone in Workshops from Quiltskills, the Quilters' Guild of Australia. Take a paper template of the finished curved piece--in this case the mouse tail and its background components--then sew by machine around the finished edge to mark out your personal seam allowance.

And here is a closeup of some of the kittens. Needless to say, they won't stop play fighting and rolling around, even for their photograph. No wonder Tommy can't give these kittens away. But as you can see, when they play they make more interesting patterns than they would if I tried to keep them apart with sashing. (To see the entire flock of cranes, you can jump to this post.)