Sunday, April 30, 2017

Buddy's giveaway

Buddy is quite pleased with his fabric selection. Molly did insist that he include some cat fabric AND some dog fabric. But Buddy is satisfied that he could meet her requirements yet meet his preference for a sophisticated color palette. this Buddy or is it the fabric selection? Kind of hard to tell.

And I wanted to make sure that you understood that he was very paws on. Plus, he was very unhappy to learn that not everyone who picked him would get fabric. He has heard about Oprah and thought that everyone would get fabric...just by looking under your chair. After Molly explained the postal system to him, he decided that there should be at least FOUR people to win his fabric. But he won't be picking the winners until tomorrow...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Preparing for the giveaway

I've made some progress on the spiderweb quilt (pattern available for free on Bonnie Hunter's website). All of the foundation triangles are sewn and I've removed all of the papers. Now I am sewing four triangles together to make squares. Here are nine of them.

And here's Buddy working hard selecting neutrals for the giveaway. Since he is not taking suggestions, he can pick his selection ahead of time.

This is Molly's reaction to Buddy's selection.

You may remember that this was what was left after I finished the spiderweb foundation piecing.

After I stacked the scraps a bit more neatly, I could see a small reduction in scraps. In fact, there is room for Molly to settle into this bin, although so far she has not allowed me to take a picture of her nesting in it.

Friday, April 28, 2017


No sewing today. But apparently Friday is bath night.

Dog drool has magical cleaning properties.

Okay, maybe they are brother and sister after all.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Vintage butterfly micro progress

Four more vintage butterfly blocks. It was a bit of a shock to realize I had 44 more blocks to make instead of 4.

And my apologies to any of you who chose Buddy and received an email from Molly calling you a loser. She only meant it in a life sense not in terms of the contest. Despite Molly's preferences, the giveaway will close April 30, with winners chosen randomly...not based on who wrote the nicest comments about Molly.

And okay, maybe Buddy is a bit cock-eyed and his eyesight is out of focus. But I'm sure his selection of fabrics will be fine...especially if you squint at it.

And there was a comment about this fabric. A glimpse of it was showing in the last posting so I thought I would show it opened up.

And speaking of open, the clematis in the front yard have begun to show off.

And the peach tree is feeling exuberant and is making plans for lots of peaches. Of course, a black bear will probably have the final eating them all before they ripen.

Over at Three Cat Ranch, Barbara received her CSA allotment which included pea shoots. This rabbit is a world expert on snow pea shoots. He is a raw food activist and suggests pea shoots are best eaten early, often and raw.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fabric Giveaway

With the sale of the house pending, Molly insists that I have a fabric give-away. Both Molly and Buddy are each offering 12 fat quarters to winners of a random drawing. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me whether you want the selection picked by Buddy or Molly.

Buddy prefers neutral colors so you should expect Buddy to make a neutral selection. His favorite color is taupe. (And the Rufus hummingbird is his favorite bird and the photo of the hummingbird was taken by my brother Tom (yes, Tommy's namesake)).

It's really hard to guess what fabrics Molly might select. If you are respectful, she might be open to suggestions such as batiks or polka dots or orange or cats or whatever you want more of. But I certainly cannot make guarantees.

Molly does not think that giving away two packages of twelve fat quarters will be enough, but it's a start. If you're interested, leave a comment choosing either Buddy or Molly. And we'll see if Molly is open to suggestions. 

The drawing will stay open through April 30 (our time) and Molly will announce both winners on May 1.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spiderweb milestone

I am moving ahead on the spiderweb quilt. To help me move forward, I cut all the turquoise wedges and yellow strips I would need to finish the quilt. And over the last few days I have enjoyed happy, bright foundation piecing.

And I have now made all the triangles I will need. The pile at the bottom of the photo need to be trimmed. The triangles in the top row far left are trimmed but still have their paper. Next to that pile are the triangles with the paper removed, and to the right are the squares made from eight triangles.

For all that sewing, it doesn't appear I made much of a dent into the pile of strip bits.

And yes, Molly is looking pretty smug. She wondered how I concluded that I only needed 25 blocks to make the vintage butterfly quilt. According to her estimates, I need 64 vintage butterfly blocks and so with only 20 finished, I have not even made a third of the blocks needed. I'm quite used to her always being right.

And for No Reply Bloggers interested in the vintage butterfly pattern, Molly suggests visiting Cathy's Sane, Crazy and Crumby Quilting which features her version and the inspiration quilt, plus a link to Nostalgia Cafe for the pattern.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vintage butterfly party

Here's a four by four square of vintage butterflies. The block looks a bit weird by itself, but I like how well they go together.

I've made twenty blocks so far and have only five more to make. I will either need to replace the very light block in the upper right hand corner, or make more light blocks that I can sprinkle around the quilt for balance. For the most part, I have just been grabbing multi-colored fabrics (usually with either butterflies or cats) and building the block off of that.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A few more vintage butterflies

Here are three more vintage butterfly blocks. It seems that whenever I stop to figure out my progress, I find I'm halfway there. It's about time to put them all together and see how well they like each other. However, Molly is running around like crazy and is knocking them down off the design wall as soon as I put them up.

Sometimes she is quite pleased with herself.

But at other times, Molly is quite serious, such as during experiential tunnel analysis.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Think Positive!

It's Molly again serving as your guest blogger. Staff has been working with the internet provider.

When the technician was here, I opened the door to the kneewall space and that's where Buddy and I hid. We are not supposed to go back here because kittens can go many places back here that people can't reach. On the other side of the sewing room, there is another kneewall space, but people can fit in there too. Boring!

This is the second time that I've opened this without assistance, so staff now knows it wasn't by accident.

Staff needs to practice positive thinking. As you can see, I was helping her remove the foundation paper before she sews on the strips. Staff is not open to new ideas. Staff's negativity borders on tragic. Then she wanted to know where the ripped off foundation pieces went. I don't have definitive proof, but I'm positive Buddy ate it because dogs will eat anything.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Blog Warnings

Molly discovered this new fabric and wants to know who is to blame. She doesn't mean Yolanda Fundora who designed it for Blank Quilting.  She is worried that I am reading dangerous blogs.

Buddy likes the fabric a lot. He would also like to show you his favorite pile of patchwork.

I am continuing to make spiderwebs.  I have made a lot of progress sewing the webs, but need to catch up with trimming.

Molly would like to show you her technique of going up and over the design wall. The first time surprised me, but I recovered quicker the second time she did it and got this photo.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Quilting Fraud

Dearest Readers. I am Molly, your guest blogger. I am sorry to inform you but my staff has perpetrated quilting fraud. Yesterday, she presented a tutorial of a sheep block, but I thought you should know that she originally made the following...

Yes. She actually made this deformed sheep. Staff is as lame a quilter as Buddy is a cat.

There! Can you see it now? She did repair one section, but the other she repaired using Photoshop. And yes, she corrected the tutorial to to make it look as though she knows what she is doing. She does not.

If this were my blog, I would show you tasty morsels like this.

Instead, you have to look at Stonefield blocks. I guess it helps in case you have insomnia.

I'm sorry I had to convey bad news, but I think honesty is the best policy.

Respectfully, Molly.

Dearest Reader. Do not be fooled by pictures of serene posing cats when they typically look like this.
Respectfully, Staff.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sheep Tutorial: Right-sided

Today's tutorial on how to make a sheep divides the construction in four parts. There are a lot of bits and pieces--and hopefully this approach will make it easier to follow.

Please note that this shows how a sheep is constructed, not deconstructed. This sheep is for wool purposes only, and if you are interested in sheep for mutton, you should probably look elsewhere.

The sheep requires four fabrics: a very dark fabric (e.g. black) for the eyes, nose and feet and a very light background fabric. Then the fabric for the sheep itself (in this case blue) needs to stand out from the background and the black, but also have enough contrast against each other. In particular, consider the ears when choosing the fabrics--the ears use nine patches and this detail will be lost without sufficient contrast.

The sheep is 14 inches square (13.5 inches finished) and is based on a .75 inch grid.

I would suggest cutting strips of fabric and then cutting pieces as needed as you build the four sections.  In general, to start you will want to cut...

Black: one 1.25 by 13 inch strip

Background:  two 1.25 inch strips the width of fabric and one 2.75 inch width strip

Dark blue: one 5 by 9 inch strip, one 2.75 in strip (width of fabric), one 1.25 in strip (width of fabric)

Light blue: one 2 inch strip and one 1.25 inch strip

Although we will construct the entire sheep in four parts, let's start with the woolly coat because it spans three sections but has similar construction suitable for chain piecing.

First take six 2.75 inch squares of the dark blue and 12 1.25 squares of the background. Sew two flip triangles (squares sewn diagonally in the corner and ironed over) to the upper corners of each of the six 2.75 inch squares.

Next, take two 2 inch squares of the dark blue and 2 1.25 inch squares of the background.  Sew a flip triangle onto one corner of each 2 inch square.

Then sew 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles to the sides of the two inch squares as shown. Please note that they are facing in different will go on the back end of the sheep and the other on the front end.

Now take one 2 by 2.75 in rectangle of the dark blue fabric and sew a 1.25 inch flip triangle in the upper right hand corner and another 1.25 inch flip triangle in the lower left hand corner. This is the sheep's tail.

Next, lay out the pieces you have sewn as they will fit on the sheep. The tail is in the upper left hand corner and the two smaller squares fit at the bottom of the side sections as shown.

Now you will need to add one 1.25 inch flip triangle of the light fabric to the top left corner of the top part of the coat on the right side. This will be part of the sheep's cheek on the right side.

Finally, sew the top row together, then the back side and then the front side. This is what you would have if you sheared your sheep in three sections.

Now we will construct the ears. This is a bit fiddly, but is really just a nine patch with an additional strip and flip triangles. Let's start by making two nine patches. First, sew a 1.25 by 5 inch strip of dark blue fabric lengthwise to a 2 by 5 inch strip of light blue. Also, sew two 1.25 by 2.5 inch lengths of light blue to one 1.25 by 2.5 inch length of dark blue so that you get a strip set with the dark blue fabric in the middle.

Next cut the five inch two-strip set into four sections 1.25 inches wide. Then cut the 2.5 inch three-strip set into two sections 1.25 inches wide.

Arrange and sew these pieces into two nine-patches with the dark blue as the diagonal. At this point, either nine patch can be used for either ear. The key is to make sure that you lay it out so the left ear has the diagonal slanting from down from left to right. The right ear should have the diagonal slanting down from right to left.

Lay the ear components out so everything will be sewn in the right direction. First, sew the light blue strips to the nine patch. If you lay the pieces out like the ears on the sheep, the 1.25 by 2.75 strip of light blue is sewn on the inner side of the ear next to the sheep's head.

Next attach two flip triangles...a 2 inch background square on the upper corner closest to where the sheep's head will be, and a 1.25 inch background square on the outer lower corner of each ear.

Now let's make a brain to go between the ears that we've just made. For this, you will need a 2 by 3.5 inch rectangle of light blue, two 1.25 inch squares of background, and a 1.25 by 3.5 inch strip of background.

First, sew two 1.25 inch flip triangles onto the upper corners of the light blue rectangle. Then sew the strip of background across the top.

Next, cut a 2.75 by 5 inch rectangle of background. This provides all the pieces for the top level of the sew these four components together as shown.

And there you have the tippy top ear section of the sheep.

Now let's make the sheep's face. For this, you will need two 1.25 inch squares of background fabric and two 1.25 inch squares of black fabric. You will also need a 2 by 3.5 inch rectangle of dark blue fabric  and two 2 by 3.5 inch rectangles of light blue, two 1.25 by 2.75 inch strip of light blue, and two 1.25 squares of light blue fabric.

First, take the two large rectangles of light blue fabric and sew a 1.25 flip triangle of background fabric on the upper left hand corner of one rectangle, and a 1.25 flip triangle of background fabric on the upper right hand corner of the other rectangle. 

Sew the two black squares to the ends of the 1.25 by 2.75 rectangles of light blue.

And then sew two flip triangles of light blue to the upper corners of the dark blue rectangle.

Lay these out as shown: the dark blue piece is the nose and goes in the middle. Then the eyes are on either side of the nose. Then the large light blue rectangles are the sides of the face. Sew these five components together.

To finish assembling the face level strip for the sheep, you will need to cut a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle of background, a 1.25 by 6.5 inch strip of background and a 1.25 inch square of background, and two 1.25 inch squares of dark blue fabric.

Because this is a very fluffy sheep, there are some extra bits of dark blue coat that creeps up around the sheep's face. This requires a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle of background fabric with a dark blue 1.25 inch flip triangle in the lower left hand corner. It also requires a 1.25 inch square of dark blue sewn to a 1.25 inch square of background. Yikes, that's fiddly.

Next sew the 1.25 by 6.5 inch strip of background fabric along the top of the woolly coat and tail.
Also, sew the background piece with the flip triangle to the two piece unit so the two dark blue pieces are together.

Once the components are together, sew the woolly coat section to the left side of the face, and the small dark blue woolly bit to the right side of the face. You now have the face-level section completed.

It's now time to put together the back end of the sheep. For this, you will want two 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles of black fabric, a 2.75 inch square of background fabric, and two 1.25 by 2.75 rectangles of background fabric. You will also want a 1.25 inch square of light blue, a 2 inch square of light blue and a 2 by 4.25 inch rectangle of light blue fabric. Also cut a 5 by 4.25 inch rectangle of dark blue and a 2.75 by 3.5 inch rectangle of dark blue fabric.

It helps to lay out the components of the sheep's back end as you sew them together. It does not help to have a cat knocking them to the floor because it amuses her. 

First, sew the 1.25 inch square as a flip triangle onto the upper right hand corner of the large dark blue rectangle. Sew the black rectangles to the long and short light blue legs. 

Sew the background fabric strips to either side of the short back leg. And sew the 2.75 inch square of the background fabric to the bottom part of the woolly back coat. After this, you will have five components to sew together. 

Sew the back leg (the component with the background strips on either side) to the smaller dark blue square.

Next sew the long back leg to the side of the other back leg section. Then sew the large dark blue rectangle to the top of the back legs. And finally, attach the woolly coat section along the left hand side. That completes the back end section.

And if you have stopped your cat from creating mayhem during this process, she should be looking like this...sad and neglected. However, you only have one more section of the sheep to finish before you sew the four final sections together.

For the front end section you will need two 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles of black and two 1.25 inch squares of black.  From the background fabric, you will need a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle and a 2.75 inch square. From the light blue fabric, cut two 2 by 4.25 rectangles, two 2 inch squares and a 1.25 by 2.5 inch rectangle. From the dark blue fabric, cut two 1.25 inch squares, one 1.25 by 2.5 inch rectangle, a 2 by 2.75 inch rectangle, and a 2.75 by 5 inch rectangle.  You will also be using the last remaining woolly section of the coat.

First sew the two 1.25 by 2.5 inch rectangles of light and dark blue together and then slice them in half so you get two 1.25 by 2 inch rectangles of each color. These will go on either side of the nose.

For the nose, attach flip triangles to opposite sides of the two 2 inch squares of light blue fabric. Sew the black flip triangle on the opposite side of the square from the dark blue flip triangle.

Also, sew the 2.75 inch square of background fabric to the bottom part of the woolly coat. 

Sew the black hooves to the ends of the front legs.

And sew the 2 by 2.75 inch dark blue rectangle to the end of the 2 by 2.75 inch background rectangle.

Now you have all the components made for the lower front of the sheep. First, sew the nose together with the black flip triangles matching. 

Also, sew the legs to either side of the dark blue/background rectangle.

Now sew the two-color rectangles to each side of the nose piece so the dark blue triangle matches the dark blue square.  Also, sew the large dark blue rectangle onto the top of the legs. 

Next sew the nose section onto the top of the chest and legs.

And finally, attach the woolly coat section to the right side.

And you now have the four sections of the sheep. 

First, sew the top-level ear section to the face-level section. And sew the back half to the front half.

Finally, sew the top part to the bottom part.

Happy Easter!