Friday, March 31, 2017

Alternative Jane

Here is my review of my progress on the Dear Jane Alternate universe blocks. Those are the blocks Jane Stickle made but didn't include in her famous quilt.

And in case you're wondering, I did manage to finish layering the bounding bunny quilt but it was not easy.  Molly gave up on safety pin removal and started tunneling between the layers. As you already know, I am not a fun person and did not enjoy her creativity. I used a laser pointer toy to distract her and turn her into a very tired puddle of cat.

Buddy likes the laser pointer toy too.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Layering with cats

Today I am layering the bounding bunny quilt. Molly is helping up on the top side, where helping is chewing on the open pins and pulling them out. I pin through the layers but don't close the pins until I've covered the surface of the table. Molly doesn't think that is safe for kittens.

Buddy is helping underneath the table.

And yes, Molly tells him how to do his job as well.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Stonefields Progress

Here are the Stonefields blocks I have completed so far. This is how I laid them out on the floor. I left them for Molly and Buddy to rearrange. But they didn't. I think Molly has become consumed with oogling Smitty's new look over at Three Cat Ranch. And Buddy is very busy being Buddy.

Monday, March 27, 2017


I ran out of weeks for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, and am making a red lion before the new month begins. As you can see, the first step is to make a wedge circle, aka dresden plate for the mane. Then I make a block face that will be inserted as a circle into the mane.

And the Stonefields quilt by Susan Smith calls for three of these star blocks (crosses within a circle within a star.) To make these, I first machine piece the plus blocks. Like the lion's face, these will become circles within a circle.

And here are two completed vintage butterfly blocks.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mish Mash

I was trying to make two red sheep yesterday...but I am still making a lot of mistakes along the way, so making two at once is quite a folly. This poor sheep had to have major ear reversal surgery, a corrective two cheek surgery and then corrective surgery for the corrective surgery. In any case, here is the second red sheep, still a little groggy from a day in surgery.

And to add to the confusion, I was making this vintage butterfly block as a leader and ender.

The last addition, is a Stonefields block.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Red Sheep



If you would like to enjoy more red rainbow fun, please roam over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another Stonefields block

Here is another block from the Stonefields quilt by Susan Smith. This is back to a lower contrast choice of fabrics, although I think this is the first green background. I should probably lay all the blocks out and see how its going.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spider webs

As I have been cleaning and rearranging my sewing room, I have uncovered some neglected projects. And the spiderweb is so much fun to sew that I pulled it out and worked on it. When I am sewing it, it feels like I am making lots of progress, yet when I last counted, I am only half way finished. I went to fetch the camera, and found that Buddy and Molly took turns rearranging the blocks.

I personally still prefer this layout.

And you can decide for yourself which layout Molly prefers.

And speaking of naughty, I may have mentioned that some bloggers don't maintain appropriate warning signs on their blogs. I won't name names, but one blogger showed Tula Pink's new fabric line Tabby Road. As a result, I now have the four tabby colorways, and Molly will have fewer cat toys and lead a sad, dreary life. So please heed my advice and follow my excellent example, and do not show off enticing fabric purchases. Thank you!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Carrot Tutorial: Bounding Bunny

Here is the bounding bunny quilt top. I didn't realize that I had not taken a final photo of this top. It is a bit large and does not fit on my design wall. Also, the outer border, made from extra bunny tails, is a bit unruly. The carrots growing down the middle are square blocks that finish at 6 inches (unfinished 6.5 inches square).

The carrot block is made in two parts: traditional piecing for the carrot top and paper piecing for the bottom carrot part.

The easiest part is carrot top greenery that is a partial log cabin block. I used a 1.25 inch strip of the background fabric and the green fabric. Sew two 1.25 inch squares of the green and background together. Then sew a length of background fabric across the top and trim. Next sew a length of green along the side and trim. Finally, add a length of green along the bottom and trim. You should now have a 2.75 inch block (unfinished).

Next, cut a 3.5 inch square of background fabric and cut the square in half diagonally to make two triangles. Sew these background triangles to the green sides of the carrot top. The triangles will be too large...this is better than being too small.

The bottom part of the carrot block uses paper piecing. For this, you will need to draw out the foundation and piecing lines. I suggest drawing it on quarter-inch grid graph paper. I use deli paper as my paper piecing foundation, but feel free to use whatever you like.

Draw lines for the final finished block...that is, draw a square that is six inches on each side. Along the top, mark the line 1.5 inches (6 squares) from the left. Then along the bottom, mark the line 1.5 inches (6 squares) from the right. Next, connect the marks with a diagonal line.

Then, make a horizontal line starting 1.5 inches (6 squares) down from the top left corner. The line should extend from the left to the diagonal line. Then move back down the line .75 inches (3 squares) and make a mark. Then draw another diagonal line from that mark to the lower left corner of the square. This is one side of the carrot.

Then make a vertical line starting 1.5 inches across from the bottom right corner. The line should extend from the bottom to the diagonal line. Then move back down the line .75 inches (3 squares) and make a mark. Then draw a diagonal line from that mark to the lower left corner of the square. This is the other side of the carrot.

These markings are the final seam lines, so don't forget to add the extra quarter inch seam allowance around this 6 inch block. Your final plan should be 6.5 inches square, the same size as the unfinished block.

Trace your paper piecing plan onto the foundation paper of your choice. Then start with a hunk of carrot fabric and a hunk of background. The orange fabric needs to be large enough to cover the carrot section with an added quarter inch seam allowance surrounding that section. The background should cover the side wedge plus the seam allowance.

Place the orange and background fabric right sides together with the orange fabric on the top. Make sure their sides are aligned. Lay the paper foundation on top. You will be sewing along the side of the carrot, so you want the seam line to be laid about a quarter inch from the edge of the fabrics. Sew along that line.

After sewing the seam, press open.

Next, you will want to trim the excess fabric using your foundation as a guideline. To do this, I use a scrap piece of template plastic. I align the plastic edge against the next seam line and fold the foundation paper over the plastic to keep it out of the way while I trim the fabric.

I use my rulers quarter inch marking to trim the fabric a quarter inch away from the paper foundation seam line.

Next, add another chunk of background to the other side of the carrot, placing the right sides of the fabric together and aligning the background hunk along the newly trimmed edge of the carrot.
Turn this over and sew along the paper foundation seam line.

Press open.

Again, use the plastic and fold the paper foundation back against the plastic along the next seam line. Use your ruler to trim a quarter inch from that seam line.

Add another section of background fabric, right side down and aligned with the newly trimmed edge. Then follow the usual process: press open, trim. Sew a hunk of background fabric to the other side.

Here is the carrot ready for its final trim to a 6.5 inch square. Make sure that you include the quarter inch seam allowance across the top of the carrot.

And here is the bottom part of the carrot fully trimmed...ready for the carrot top.

It's your choice to continue with paper piecing. I removed all the paper and trimmed the carrot top to have a quarter inch seam from the bottom of the carrot top. I then aligned the carrot top and the carrot so that the corner of the log cabin carrot top meets the center of the top of the carrot.

And now you have carrots to feed your bounding bunnies. And the carrot is symmetric so it can point left or right.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Carrot Tutorial Preview

A few days ago, I received a question about these carrots and how to make them. It took me a while to figure it out again. And I planned to provide a tutorial for making the carrot for today's post, but it's going to have to wait for tomorrow.

Here's what the sample looks like. The root part of the carrot was made using paper piecing. Gasp. I couldn't remember how I made them. But when I inspected the quilt top, I saw tiny bits of paper that gave the technique away.

The top part of the carrot, however, uses traditional piecing. The green carrot top is a small log cabin (center and surround) using 1.25 inch strips. Then two triangles are attached on either side before the carrot top is sewn to the carrot bottom.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Red chicken

It's red hen day! Rumor has it that everyone is celebrating red for March at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Of course, when the other speedy chickens heard about a hen party, they all wanted to participate.

Luckily I finished a few more vintage butterflies blocks (with butterflies) before the party started.

Here's my collection so far.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stonefield Cats

Okay, the second Stonefields block may have moved away from the low contrast feel I have been working towards. But sometimes you just have to do what the cat wants you to do.

Here are the two blocks together.

All of the pictures of cats with taupe inspired Buddy to take a selfie.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stones and butterflies

I'm moving on with the Stonefields quilt by Susan Smith. This is the first block for the third month. The instructions call for two of these blocks.

Like the Dear Jane blocks, I make the block oversized, and will trim the blocks before I sew them together.

And butterflies are starting to fly around the sewing room in anticipation of spring.