Monday, September 26, 2016

Dear Jane L1 and L3

Here is Dear Jane block L1 or Widow's Pane. At this point I am laying out the nearby blocks so I can choose my colors accordingly. Although Kaffe Fassett has chosen my palette for me, it is my responsibility to avoid huge clumps of dark purple, for example.

Hear is Dear Jane block L3 or Reflections Abound. With this block, I now have 31 more to make. I made a bit more progress than expected when I discovered that I had more blocks finished than I had accounted for.

And here's another small handful of bowties.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Baby Bowties

Time to make some baby quilts. I thought I would warm up by making some bowties. These are made from 2.5 inch squares with 1.5 inch flip triangles and will have a finished size of 4.5 inches square.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Red fish

Here is a fish as red as a rose.

And here are his companions. Well, oops. The one on the bottom is missing a stripe and isn't as long as the others. Is he defective? Or is he a better fish?

And now I realize that the big red fishes have their bottom fin in the wrong place. Or is it in the right place? In either case, I expect to spend time with a seam ripper.

Meanwhile, kitten neglect has reached criminal levels. Molly has sophisticated methods to get my attention when I'm at the design wall, cutting table and the ironing board. But how to get my attention away from the sewing machine? Pulling the thread and running down the hall is okay in a pinch. But recently she has figured out how to push behind the fabric baskets and get into the notions drawer which sits right next to the sewing machine. She can then knock treacherous items down to Buddy. Yes, this gets my attention. Here I have removed the basket that sits above the notion drawer so I can pull her out.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dear Jane G1, G2 and H1

This is Dear Jane block H1 or Peek-A-Boo. I used three prints for this to avoid having the block look like a blob of dark fabric.

This is Dear Jane Block G1 or Hattie's Hat Box. This was fun to make. I cut the rounded applique pieces and ironed the curved part around freezer paper. Next I sewed the four triangle sections together with the straight edges of the rounded pieces tucked into the seam. That left just the rounded bits to applique once the triangles were sewn into the square.

This is Dear Jane Block G2 or Mohawk Trail. This was the block I had originally planned to make in response to Fabadashery's pinwheel-like version. Mine reflects the Jane Stickle version which is a bit odd, to say the least.

I have made a chart of the blocks so I can keep track of the blocks I still need to finish. I have 36 more blocks to go...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Dear Jane L5

Here is Dear Jane block L5 or Chatanooga Charlie. My cheat for this block is that I made six small half-square triangles using the Easy Angle Ruler. Then I surrounded two of those with the background fabric before I made the large flip triangles.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rainbow Kittens: Bloggers' Quilt Festival Fall 2016

Welcome! This is my Rainbow Kittens quilt that I made as part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge hosted by Angela at SoScrappy. I am entering this quilt in the Rainbow (ROYGIVB) category of Amy Ellis' Bloggers' Quilt Festival for Fall 2016.

Making the kitten blocks was a lot of fun. Tutorials for this block can be found in the tutorials tab of this blog.

I ran out of the purple dot fabric and used plain white for the vertical sashing.

Of course, my cat Molly had to get involved. Either she wants to show you that the border of the quilt is made of kitten ears, or she prefers the back of the quilt, or she thinks I'm still taking photos for the Pets on Quilts show. Probably she wants you to see the pile of Dear Jane and other blocks she has knocked to the floor as she helps me keep the design wall clear.

Hope you enjoy this spectacular Fall 2016 edition of the Bloggers' Quilt Festival.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dear Jane D4 and E6

Two more Dear Jane blocks...Here is Dear Jane D4 or Crystal Star. Essentially this is a large square with a polka dot border with four triangles and four melons appliqued. Of course, the bottom edge of the applique triangles are machine sewn when the border is added.

This is Dear Jane block E6 or Michelle's Medley. And yes, this is as weird to make as it looks.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dear Jane E1

Here is Dear Jane block E1 or Aunt Exie's Phlox. There are quite a few variations on this theme in the Dear Jane quilt.

And here is Dear Jane block E3 or Paddle Wheels. Didn't I already make this you ask? Why yes, and I wish you had brought that up earlier. Or maybe I should have checked this blog...which is something I usually do.  And yes, I like the original one much better.

This version of E3 follows the lead of Fabadashery, while the one I made today is more faithful to the original.

And for those of you interested in completion schedules, progress and all that, I have finished roughly 76 percent of the blocks required.  This just includes the square blocks because I decided not to piece the triangles.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Red Bunnies

Roses are red, violets are blue and bunny says yum! I'll have a bite of both. Red bunny has gotten a bit hungry now.

So the red bunnies are going to hop over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and see if there is something good to eat. Some red sprouts would be very tasty....Cathy...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Dear Jane B12

Here's Dear Jane B12 or Star Flower.

I chose a slightly weird way to applique this block. Instead of applying the melons and the center piece, I made a template of the background space and made four background sections that I appliqued to the floral print.

And yes, this version turned out so awful I took it apart and made a new one using a different floral print.

And this is a cat full of pickle juice. Molly figured out how to push the sewing notion trays out so she can scoop sharp objects out and drop them on Buddy (who then chews on his new treasure). Molly also got up on a sewing table where I had placed a variety of spools of thread. Molly then carefully batted each one off the table onto Buddy's head. Molly is either developing her own theories of gravity or auditioning for her own YouTube channel.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dear Jane A12

Here is Dear Jane block A12 or Framed Fancy. I often approach these Dear Jane blocks as miniature medallions and that is how this block mislead me. It's really a nine patch tilted to the diagonal. The middle patch is plain, but the outer blocks of the nine patch alternate with four patches each of two tiny flying geese and four lozenge patches. Of course, I didn't discover this until I was out at the second row of the medallion and things weren't looking right. So for this block, four of the mini triangles in the second border area are appliqued.

And meet Mr. Opossum, who came to join us in the sewing room yesterday. He was on the stairs a few days ago, then in the living room, and after that he disappeared for a day or two. Mr. Opossum is the size of a kitten and was introduced as an educational tool at Kitten U because he performed admirably as a peer fighting foe who went easy on the kittens. With the closure of Kitten U, Mr. Opossum is really too big to be a cat toy and too small for a cat to wrestle with, but just the right size for a medium size dog. That's why Molly and I suspect Buddy is responsible for the mysterious movements of Mr. Opossum and that Buddy is only pretending to be a cat during the day but secretly reverts back to his doggy ways during the dead of night.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Today I finally got around to my most neglected duties...keeping cats happy. Buddy wanted to be held pretty much all day. And Molly had to work desperately to squeeze time in for a massage or two. I'm also taking a drawing class so I spent the day on two-point perspective as worked through Buddy's hind end and tail.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Scrappy Stars Return

I made some progress on the scrappy strip stars. But first I began with some reverse sewing. The red fabric I chose originally looked too much like rest. This red is a bit on the orange side, but much perkier.

This is the original block. And to enjoy other scrappy wonders, please enjoy the view over at Scraptastic Tuesday.

Molly would like to announce that the sewing machine has returned. But I should also clarify that I have my original Bernina 930 and the feet are interchangeable with the one that went to the shop for rehab. I usually have one set up for piecing and one for machine quilting.

My bigger problem is getting time at the cutting table without quilting assistants. Now when I try to cut fabric, Buddy jumps up on the table. He then gets up on his hind legs and puts his front paws on my shoulders...a signal that he wants me to hold him. I can sometimes cut fabric around Molly's burrowing activity and her switching tail...but holding Buddy AND cutting isn't really possible. In any case, Buddy is living up to his name.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Dear Jane Block C11

This is Dear Jane Block C11, also known as the long-winded "Soldiers and Sailors Monument." This is easier than it looks. I enjoy applique circles. I make a running stitch on the outside seam allowance of the circle then gather this around a mylar circle. This is ironed and then appliqued to the center.  I used freezer paper for the quarter circles and for these I only had to applique the circular section because the rest was captured by the purple border.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dear Jane Blocks J1, K1 and K3

Here is Dear Jane Block J1 or Joseph's Jonquil. Fabadashery is sprinting to the finish line with her Dear Jane blocks, so I thought I had better hurry up while I still had some company.

Here is Dear Jane Block K1 or Crooked Creek. As you can see I'm using a lot of imagination with the colors...the jonquil is yellow and the creek is blue. In the Dear Jane book, block K1 has a background border. Looking at the photo of the Jane Stickle quilt, I wasn't convinced that she had one. Given this is a five patch that finishes at 4.5 inches, I understood how the measurements were easier with the border. My approach, however, was to have the center block at 1.5 inches unfinished, then surround that with 1.25 inch strips. Then the corners and half square triangles were 1.5 inches unfinished.

Here is Dear Jane Block K3 or Seven Sisters.

And here is Buddy curating fabric on the cool cat sewing table. And today he was swishing his tail around where I was trying to cut fabric on the cutting table. Either Molly taught him or this feature is hardwired in all feline models.

I should also mention (in case you haven't seen it), that Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework (and home of Oh Scrap!) finished a quilt called Pig Race. I was very happy to see her use the piglet pattern as her guest star,  but was more impressed at how she pulled the final quilt together.  At a minimum it deserves an award for best use of a design wall, but she really demonstrates the steps of using simple construction to create a striking effect.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Red Owls

Here is a red owl who is wearing his festive winery finery hoping to earn a red rose from the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. However, there is some contention within the owl community as to what it means to be a red owl. An owl can't be totally red or the eyes, beak, wings and feet get visually lost. This owl chose to go with the red body.

This owl chose to accessorize with red. She thinks less is more.

And this is Buddy demonstrating mastery of the cutting of the requirements for changing from being Buddy the puppy to Buddy the cat.

And yes, I am worried about how the sewing room and I will cope with TWO cats supervising the quilting activity.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fabric and sewing machine

Visiting Mystic Quilter's blog can be quite dangerous. She had Kaffe's Dream fabric in green, so I had to have some too. I didn't want it to get lonely on its trip to my house, so it came with three other colorways. And then, of course, why not more owl eyes? And I must be ready for fall, because I couldn't resist the Martha Negley hydrangeas fabric that was on sale. It is quite lovely.

With my Bernina in the shop, I thought it was time I bring the Singer 301 up to speed. I gave it oil and lubrication, and found a pencil inscription inside that said "oiled June 12, 1955." That wasn't the last time it got oil and was cleaned, because it is in very good shape. I still have some work to do with the tension though. Also, it has a setup where you use the side of your knee to work the foot pedal. This is quite confusing for me because I have been using a Bernina knee lift for over 30 years. So, yes, I did find myself trying to raise the presser foot by starting the motor.

Here is some of the wildlife I spotted on the way from the sewing room to the office. Molly prefers wool batting and decided this scrap would be a hallway toy. If you ever played with a "Slip and Slide" as a child, you will get the idea.

Meanwhile, the cats are enjoying the empty Bernina table and are calling it the cool cat hangout. Buddy has applied to be a cat, and Molly is considering his application. He has taken to sprawling on the ironing board so he is obviously taking his conversion seriously.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dear Jane G8

Here is Dear Jane G8 or Justin's Comet. This one was made using English Paper Piecing (EPP). I didn't think through the seam allowance around the edge so some of it got stuck in the stitching. I think this means that I will be using EPP to sew the sashing around this block.

And Molly was a bit melodramatic yesterday. I do have another sewing machine and I used it to finish up the red seahorses on Sunday. We also finished layering the vintage spin block. I had to pin it very closely because Molly kept testing it for ways to get between the layers. Then she started to pull the batting out of the center holes. But today when I was hand sewing this block, Molly came and settled on my we're now back in each others' good graces.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sewing machine earns a trip to the spa...

Hi. It's Molly, Winner of Miss Congeniality and Best Cat on the Planet, Dean Emeritus of Kitten U, and now your guest blogger. I do try and look at everything with a positive light.

But sometimes negativity can creep in...

And even go all the way to the dark side...