Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another Owl Post

I've been digging around through the archives because this blog desperately needs a reorganization. I can't find the various tutorials, so probably no one else can either. Also, I'm trying to figure out what to start for the New Year...uhm...that's tomorrow. I started this blog as part of a "Make a design everyday" project, and I'm wondering if I should relaunch one. Although my initial inspiration was Brock Davis, Noah Scalin has made the daily project extremely accessible through his books and websites.

Short story long...I rediscovered this fused owl from 2011.

I used that same design as a screenprint on a onesie. I did the screenprinting in the garage using my car as the drying rack. And I still have bits of blue paint on the car to prove it.

I also printed fabric at Spoonflower using this design. But no, I am not planning an owl a day project. This was accomplished quite brilliantly by Tanya Green through Noah Scalin's project.

 Of course, the major accomplishment of the year was Buddy's transition from feral to cuddle bug. And yes, Buddy get's all the credit because he put in all the hard work. Trust doesn't come easy. Now he does let me rub his belly and I can lift him into my lap when I'm sitting on the floor.

And I do have to point out his funny markings. He obviously has the seal point markings of a Siamese with blue and crossed eyes, but then you can see the tabby patch on his right leg. He says that he got that from his tabby sisters biting him on the neck.

And Molly is now CEO of Kitten U and spends her day managing me and Buddy. This morning she was teaching Buddy about gravity and how to make upstairs toys become downstairs toys. She does have me fetch them back upstairs though, in case Buddy needs more demonstrations.

She is also working to change Kitten U into a Kitten Resort but apparently I am resistant to new and better ideas.

We're still working on lifts and holds. I can lift her from a standing position from floor to chair. And I can hold her in my arms for a very short while before she needs to wiggle free. But otherwise, she is a lap marshmallow and likes to stay close. (Although it may just be that I need closer management than Buddy.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Owl Quilt Top

Well, here it is finally. An owl quilt top. I will let it rest like this until I get an inspiration for borders. At least this will keep them from flying around the sewing room delivering owl posts. And it turns out that all the owls were agreeable regardless of who they were next to. Their only concern was that they didn't want the mutilated Measle Owl lurking behind their backs as a quilt label. The very thought keeps them up at day.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

More owls!

I am posting the latest arrangement of owls because sometimes photos reveal problems one can't detect in real life. Also, I will be collecting text messages from each of the owls letting me know if they are compatible with their neighbor. After they saw what happened to Easter Owl (aka Measles Owl), they are much less willing to speak their unexpected side benefit...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Fushia Owl

Please welcome this late arrival. Fuschia owl is replacing Easter owl. The other owls quarantined the Easter owl because he was a sticky mess, appeared to have measles, and no one wanted to stand near him.

Easter owl, aka Measles owl, is the one in the lower left hand corner. It may seem cruel for the other owls to treat him this way, but nature is not always kind. Plus that's nothing compared to my ripping out his toes so I could give them to Fushia Owl.

 Although they are not standing in their final positions, they do seem relieved that Measles Owl is gone. And now I suggest a trip to visit the last gathering of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge for 2015 and hopefully others are not having as many problems assembling their quilts.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Piglet, carrots and kitten selfies

I suspect that piglet may be on the menu for some of you today, so I am presenting a right facing piglet that is larger than the one shown in the original tutorial.  This one finished at 6 by 8 inches and is based on a one inch grid instead of a .75 inch grid. This means that the flip triangles and most of the strips are cut 1.5 inches. The four large background squares in each of the corners are cut 2.5 inches square. The central rectangle is cut 2.5 by 6.5 inches.

When this right facing piglet is carved, one can see that all of the components are identical to the left facing piglet, except for the ear. For this piglet, a 2.5 inch square of dark pink has a background fabric flip triangle in the upper right corner, and a light pink flip triangle in the lower left corner.

Of course, piglet is not everyone's meal choice.

 Meanwhile, at Kitten U, the foster kittens continue to improve their social skills.

But socialization comes easier for some kittens than for others. However, Buddy did have his first facial this morning and he enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Kitten Breakthrough

Santa came early this year and brought me TWO affectionate kittens. When I visit the foster kittens, Molly (the one on the left) is at the door purring and wanting a full body massage. She rolls on her back for tummy rubs. And then this morning, Buddy (formerly Typhoon) came up and was rubbing against me and purring as if he had been doing that his whole life. Astounding! He let me stroke his back and his head. Of course, Molly came and started chewing on his neck so he wouldn't enjoy it too much.

And there is even more progress to report. Molly can now take a decent selfie, so she can participate in social networking and leave the feral network behind.

Of course, she still needs to learn about boundaries and oversharing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dear Jane continues

Here's another Dear Jane Block. This is K4 or Thea's Turn. This was one of those blocks where the Jane Stickle block differed from the diagram in the book. I liked Jane's block better, so I redrafted the block. To make this block, I fussy cut a center square, surrounded it with background strips then sewed four flip triangles to the outer most corners. Last but not least, I appliqued the four small triangles.
This is L6 or Maze of Madness. The madness comes if you follow the book's diagram because it is not symmetrical like the Dear Jane block. I discovered this when my block's finished size was way too big. Just a warning. And for this block I built it like a medallion, alternating strips of dark and background fabric moving outward. Except after I added the third border, but before I added the fourth, I appliqued the counter marching line segments that give this block its complexity.

And here is the collection of the last four Dear Jane blocks.

And here's a red fish. In theory, I am busy making carrots for the bunnies. This fish was supposed to be a leader and ender activity. But what really happens is that I take massive tangents and do everything except the carrots.

In kitten news, Buddy (formerly Typhoon) is now coming up and flicking his tail at me. He is inviting me to take a whiff, but I use the opportunity to stroke his back to the base of his tail. Sometimes he seems to enjoy it, and other times he turns around as if to nip me thinking I am one of his sisters on a sneak attack.  Then I get a look of Sniff! Don't Touch!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dear Jane, a carrot and kittens

Here's the Dear Jane block C6 or Ashley's Aura. For this, I inset the background circle using Dale Fleming's Simple Circle technique. Then I appliqued the cross on top.

Then I thought I should grow some carrots for the bounding bunnies.

But primarily I am tending to Molly (formerly Hurricane). She has disbanded Team Storm and has renamed the headquarters Purr Nation. Also, she requires a full body massage and facial three times a day, preferably before a light snack. I suspect she is conducting extra-curricular studies in staff management.

The kitten formerly known as Typhoon is now Buddy. He is becoming bolder, more playful and even a bit of a lap hog. And yes, last night he even let me stroke him a few times.

But let us not forget that above all else, Kitten U is an academic institution that sets high standards for its scholars.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Today I am revisiting the bounding bunnies. Somewhere in the middle of the year, I stopped making these and moved on to standing bunnies and plaid bunnies. I tried various arrangements of the bounding bunnies but found that the right facing bunnies don't mix well with the left facing bunnies. So one option might be to have a column of carrots running down the middle.

Or possibly I could make two stand alone baby quilts.

Or if I made some more right facing bunnies, I could make another reversible quilt. Meanwhile, you can visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, if you would like to see how others are choosing to bring together their rainbow quilts.

I also brought out the plaid bunnies. They definitely look as though they need some more friends.

Meanwhile, the students remaining at Kitten U do not appear to miss Cyclone at all. Typhoon is impressed with himself because he has moved from ranking in the lower third of his class to the 50th percentile. And he especially likes getting half of a jar of baby food instead of only a third. He has also learned how to curl up in a lap. On the downside, he gets strokes on his face AND his back while he's eating the baby food.

Today, Cyclone can be the star of the adoption event because that obnoxious kitten Janet was adopted yesterday. Plus, Cyclone has her proper publicity photo on the website. UPDATE! An hour into the adoption event, and Cyclone is adopted.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Graduation Day and Dear Jane

Today was graduation day for Kitten University's star pupil Cyclone. She was so accelerated in social skills that she graduated midyear ahead of her slacker brother and sister. The shelter is having an adoption event, so it made sense to try and get her into her forever home so she can take over management of her new family by the New Year.

Unfortunately, bureaucratic snafus do occur and the shelter posted this group shot of Litter Storm as Cyclone's publicity photo. This should serve as a stern warning to all of you who have let people take photos of you during your "camping out with your family in a cardboard box" phase.

This puts Cyclone at a disadvantage against her competition "Janet Wood" who also came up for adoption today. Janet is a full month younger than Cyclone. Hopefully, potential adopters will notice that Janet is being held with a stranglehold grip in an attempt to contain her awful personality.

And in full disclosure I should probably also mention that this fellow is up for adoption at a different shelter. So far I have resisted going out to that shelter to meet him. But if Cyclone is not adopted quickly, I may have a lapse in my resolve.

 And on the off chance you came to this blog to see something other than kittens, here are some postcards I made recently. Yes, Vicki W. can be a bad influence, if by bad you mean spurring one on to make something to share with someone else. Vicki has been sharing the results of her postcard factory recently, and I went back to Vicki's December 3, 2014 tutorial to help me make mine.

And playing catch up, here is the Dear Jane block I5 or Maria's Majesty. For this one, I inset the somewhat circular patch of the turquoise Kaffe Fassett print using Dale Fleming's Simple Circle technique. That is, I sewed that part by machine. I then appliqued the four orange peel shapes on top.

And here is Dear Jane B9 or Tinker Toy. I took some liberties with this one. The original Dear Jane used some striped fabric, fussy cutting and lots of inset seams to make her block. Following the spirit but not the construction, I fussy cut and appliqued the large cross with the square hole in the middle. This looks like it may have been a lot of sewing except, really, I only had to applique the small square in the center and then just the innermost corners because the rest will be caught in the seam. Last but not least, I added the four flip triangles to the corners.
And for my applique, I do use freezer paper templates and an iron to prepare the fabric. I just spritz it with water, however, and forego the step of using spray starch and glue.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Jane F11 and Storm Update.

Here's the final Dear Jane F11 block On Target after I have appliqued all the curved bits.

And here is what Hurricane thought of her trip to the shelter today.  I was supposed to bring in all three kittens for a check-in, vaccine and other preventative treatments. But I could only load Hurricane and Cyclone in the carriers. I put baby food on a spoon in one carrier and after Cyclone went in to enjoy it, Hurricane took it over. So I closed the door on her. She was hissing mad. I was glad I didn't try to have two kittens in a carrier.

At that point Typhoon and Cyclone disappeared under the bed. I called Cyclone out, picked her up, carried her to another room and put her in another carrier. Did I mention that Cyclone is a perfect kitten?

At the shelter, Cyclone came out of her carrier and purred for the vet tech. Even Hurricane was well enough behaved that the vet tech thought both of them were ready for adoption. Eek! The foster coordinator gave me another 5 days with them...and some time for me to consider whether I would like to adopt the perfect kitten Cyclone.

Here are Cyclone and Typhoon. Who is photobombing whom?

And here is Hurricane attending the required course The History of Tommy which is divided into nine parts of 49 lectures each.

And here is Typhoon who now plays in my lap and comes up to me to see what's going on, But no touching!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Paper piecing

I'm in the process of making the Dear Jane block F11 or On Target. The angles for this block are not standard so I started by making templates and sewing the pieces together. After much surgery, the bottom block shows that I was still way off. So I tried again using paper piecing (the uppermost block). Paper piecing definitely delivered improved precision. Of course, neither blocks are as stellar as Fabadashery's hand piecing.

Meanwhile, Typhoon is still actively resisting my charms.

It is a big disappointment to Typhoon that his favorite toys are attached to the end of my arm, that baby food comes in such tiny jars and that I insist on giving it to him one molecule at a time.

It's hard to get a good photo of Cyclone because she is often on the move or up very close to the photographer. Sometimes when I persuade Typhoon to chase a toy into my lap, Cyclone jumps on my shoulders which scares Typhoon away. But then this afternoon, I was feeling dispirited because of the rebuffs of Hurricane and Typhoon, so Cyclone came over and curled up in my lap.

With Cyclone purring and content in my lap, Hurricane wanted in and tried to settle on top of Cyclone. This led to a tussle and an empty lap. Hurricane, once again disgruntled went to seek out her special kitty cup bed. As I was leaving, Cyclone was heading toward the Hurricane and the kitty cup to have a discussion of property law.