Wednesday, November 29, 2017


I'm preparing to dramatically increase the size of the chicken coop, but have little to show for it so far. I did manage to sew a few spools. Meanwhile, Buddy is continuing his cat toy fervor. I told you about his waking me up at 2:00 AM one morning by dropping his furry ball on my face. Since then he has gone up to a blissfully sleeping Molly and dropped his furry ball toy on her head. More recently, he brought a a Jackson Galaxy wand toy into the bed which is not comfortable to roll onto.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Molly's Passion

While Molly spends a lot of time in the sewing room, her true passion lies elsewhere.

Here is the squirrel helping all the ground feeding birds have a nice meal.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ringo Lake Nine Patches

Today is the posting for the first step in Bonnie Hunter's Ringo Lake mystery quilt. Although I love her colors, I thought I would mix it up and substitute fuschia for turquoise, green for coral, black for brown and whitish as my neutral. Also, there are more dogs than cats.

Here are the strip sets.

And here are the fifty nine patches.

Here is Molly taking a break to watch birds at the birdfeeder.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Speedy chicken

If you ate too much turkey, it might be time for a speedy chicken. And remember, you are what you eat.

Here are five new speedy chickens.

Here are all the chickens in coop. I'm trying to determine the best layout so I can figure out how many more chickens to make. This is a chicken raceway.

This is chickens choosing sides.

And this is a chicken face-off.  If you would like to see what others have cooked up for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, I suggest a trip to Angela's blog.

Molly congratulates you on getting to the end of the post and would like to reward you. Here she is up on the fabric shelving. Buddy hasn't figured out how to get up there but I think it won't be long. He is already getting familiar with the cutting table and the sewing table. He even figured out that he should sit on the ruler when I'm trying to cut fabric.

Molly thinks that ponies should go back to hiding under the bed where they belong.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Turkey Day

It's Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. And Molly is apparently thankful for her new loud meow because she is using it incessantly this morning. Even Buddy now finds it necessary to bring his meow into an audible range. So from our family to yours: MEOW!

And for those of you worried about turkey strangulation and poor workmanship, here's the plaid turkey after his surgery.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Turkey 1.0

Here in the U.S. we're preparing for one of our eating holidays...Thanksgiving. I prefer to have a fresh all natural turkey, so this year I'm going with plaid. Molly is upset because she finds that plaid is especially dry. Molly is also upset because I didn't even bother to match the plaids between the turkey's neck and head...rendering it inedible.

If you would like to see less contentious patchwork, visit Linda at Kokaquilts and Julie at JulieLou for Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Neighsayer 1.0

Sometimes I get asked for a pattern for a horse. Here is my first attempt. I'm thinking that maybe it looks more like a pony. That would make sense because Buddy has grown past his puppy and dog stages and moved into his pony stage. A lap pony.

This block is based on a .75 inch finished grid so the block finishes at 11.25 by 15 inches.

Usually I use the same grid throughout a pattern, but I could change up the grid in some areas like the section for the legs. The legs are cut from two inch strips, but if they were cut from 1.5 inch strips, the horse could have legs to prance with.

I could also fill out its body more.

And by adding some flip triangles, I could smooth out some of the blockiness. At this point though, the horse is an illusion of photoshop and in reality, the block looks like the pony in the first photo.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pink Postage and Spiral Log Cabin

I'm continuing to make doll quilts from the parts department. I was making heart pillows out of pink postage stamp blocks. For this quilt, I already had the center and lots of pieced strips. These doll quilts will be donated to my local quilt guild. It's nice to have free playtime with a deadline.

And I finished the binding on the small spiral log cabin quilt.

Here's the back of the spiral log cabin.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rainbow Accounting

This is a good time of year to pull out the RSC blocks and figure out what's missing and potential layout ideas. I don't plan the quilt to start out, but instead wait until the end of the year to figure out the layout. In the case of the cows, I don't have enough to figure out the layout. I can see, however, that the complementary colors are going to make this quilt lively. (And yes, the sheep is only a helpful stand-in.) You can find the tutorial for the cow pattern in the Tutorial section.

And here are sheep laid out. It looks like the piano key feet are going to be an important design element. At a minimum, I need to add some yellow or gold sheep. And amble over to Angela's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge to see more works in progress.

And here's Buddy guarding the booty at the base of the design wall. Buddy has learned how to pull at the base of the wall and send the quilt blocks flying. He learned that trick from Molly.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Block Head Dog Block

The block head dog quilt is finished. It's just a doll quilt measuring about 18 inches square. I designed the block a while ago but didn't like how it looked or how it was constructed. It looks very simple and most of it is. But I constructed the mouth using improv skinny lines that doesn't match the cartoon eyes.

Here's the back of the doll quilt. I obviously missed the chance to turn in the donations quilts for November, but the final deadline is the December meeting. So let's pretend I finished it early.

And here's Molly waiting for her heating pad to finish the blog post and get off the computer.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Vintage blocks

Here's another doll quilt (about 24 inches square) made from the parts department. And these are definitely vintage blocks from some time in the 80s. The thread I was using then looks more like cording compared to the thinner thread of today. I had eight blocks and had to make another. It was huge in comparison. Happily, fabric is a rather pliable substance.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Baby Bunny Quilt

Remember the bunny quilt I wanted to finish on Sunday night. Ha. Well, its finally finished. I did do extra quilting inside each bunny (around the arms and eyes) and this required changing out the thread for each color bunny. Also, binding always takes me much longer than I think it should.

This is the fabric I used for the backing.

Molly is quite disappointed with me. Not about my missing my deadline... She just hates a couch that multi-tasks.

Ringo Lake Mystery Fabric Selection

It's almost time for Bonnie Hunter's end of the year mystery. I joined in last year for the first time and enjoyed it quite a bit. Normally I avoid mystery quilts. But I changed the colors and that made it even more mysterious. I do like this year's combination...who doesn't enjoy turquoise and orange and/or turquoise and brown?

I am going with fuschia and chartreuse with black as my dark and white multi for the light.  It's following Bonnie's colors in the sense that she is using turquoise and coral, two complements or colors across from each other on the color wheel. And then she has strong darks and lights, with her complements having the same medium value. (My fuschia looks darker in the photo than it actually is).

The mystery project starts November 24th and you can find the instructions on Bonnie Hunter's website.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

In a Bind

Remember the doll quilts I'm trying to finish by...tomorrow. Well, they are quilted and ready for binding.

Is this where I sign up to participate in Fast Hand Stitching Sunday? If you want examples of better will want to go to Slow Sunday Stitching.

I just don't want to end up in the doghouse.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pinwheel Review

I am using November to assess my various rainbow projects for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. Given our move across the country, there were some months that were more productive than others. I only have half the number of pinwheel blocks that I need. Plus I'm missing yellow/gold completely and definitely need more orange, pink and purple. (And this isn't the final layout so please ignore the misaligned block in the second row.)

I'm also trying to finish up doll and baby quilts for donations to my local quilt guild. And I don't know about you, but I'm not always open to trying out the latest and greatest methods when I have been using a perfectly adequate layering process for decades.

However apparently there is some newfangled 3D quilt layering process that is all the rage with younger quilters. I'm grumpy and refuse to learn anything new.

Meanwhile, I found these at an estate sale.

I found these too.

I will probably have to use this fabric as a backing so that the full design can be appreciated.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Left facing seahorses

Here are six new left-facing seahorses. Except as I write this, I notice that the orange seahorse has a terrible almost severed tail. In quilt terms, I forgot a flip triangle. And one might wonder how this could have gotten past the auditor.  Molly has moved on and is spending most of her time auditing my lap.

Hope this is not too gory for a quilting blog...but here is the orange seahorse mid-surgery. And yes, we did have some problems in the operating room when the bobbin ran out half way across the tiny flip triangle. You can see, the surgeon's work was particularly sloppy.

Unfortunately, the surgeon only cares what the patient looks like on the outside. Here is the orange seahorse recovering from surgery.

Meanwhile, the other seahorses are being evaluated after their nasty fall from the design wall.

At the same time, Buddy, our great dane puppy, likes rummaging around among the floor models.

Monday, November 6, 2017

New seahorse

I'm building more seahorses to finish the seahorse quilt. I need four more seahorses if I want a small quilt about 50 by 60 inches. I will need more if I go larger. In any case, I need equal numbers of left-facing seahorses and right-facing seahorses. I have a tutorial for right-facing seahorses but have neglected to make a left-facing tutorial.

So as I was making the new seahorse, I took pictures of its construction so I can write a tutorial.

However, every tutorial must be carefully audited by Molly which looks a lot like knocking pieces to the floor.