Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Warning: Dangerous Inspiration

The last thing I need to do is start a new quilt...but Gayle at Mangofeet provided a link to this fabulous quilt.  Gayle had already started on hers and was naming it Demented instead of Garden Mosaic.

However, I have a very strong allergy to HSTs (half-square triangles) and a first attempt at making the block for that quilt demonstrated many lopped off points. So that was the end of that...

Until this morning when I wondered if I could make the quilt from the mountain blocks like we used in Bonnie Hunter's Ringo Lake mystery. And yes, basic units can be made by sewing two mountain units together to form a block unit.  Here are the steps...

First you will need lots of two inch wide and three inch wide strips in both light and dark fabrics. Sew a light two inch wide strip to a dark three inch wide strip. And sew a dark two inch wide strip to a light three inch strip.

I suggest ironing all the seams toward the dark. 

From these strip sets, cut two inch strips. So some will have a dark square with a light rectangle and the others will have a light square with a dark rectangle.

Molly would like to intervene at this point and suggest that you do not start a new quilt. Your loved ones would prefer you play with them, snuggle with them, or meet their pointless demands to open the window.  In the lower right hand corner, you can see the demonstration pieces after Molly pulled the back drop down. She only has your best interests at heart.

Take similar blocks (dark squares with light rectangles or light squares with dark rectangles) and sew them together so the squares are at either end. There are no seams that meet together. So just sew together along the long end. Then iron them open.

You will now have blocks that look like this.

Slice the blocks to make the triangular mountain units. The key here is to make sure that you provide the quarter inch seam allowance that extends beyond the square unit. You can also use your special triangle rulers like the Easy Angle to cut these. One of the ends will already have the dog ear cut off.

There is wiggle room provided here so you will have a sliver of fabric left over after cutting the mountain units off of each side. You are getting two mountain units from each rectangular four patch.

And for the last step, you will be sewing a light topped mountain unit to a dark topped mountain unit...sewing them along the diagonal. If you have ironed toward the dark fabric, you can take advantage of the seams nestling somewhat to help you align the mountain units. You do have to be careful to make sure the points of the squares match and that you don't sew into the squares.

And these are the final units that you will arrange into the Demented Garden Mosaic quilt. I will have to make units for sashing to combine all of these units, but I'm not that far along. 

Also, there is another quilt I am eyeing over at Wonkyworld. I figured out that this quilt can also be made from mountain units.  In this case, they are sewn side by side to form vertical stripes. Then those stripes are sewn together to make the quilt. Yes, the internet is a dangerous place.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

One simple goal

My goal for today was relatively simple. Layer the owl quilt top to prepare it for machine quilting.

And I already have the yardage for the back...except I realized that I will have to piece it differently to make sure that the owls on both the front and back are all sitting upright. I know...

Unfortunately my plan for a simple task was complicated by the inspector.

Yes, this is going to take much longer than expected.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Warming Up

After filling the chicken coop, I ran out of steam, so to speak. However, my new Oliso iron arrived so I can't use that as an excuse. To gently break back into sewing, I started catching back up on the Kathryn Kerr 365 day challenge.

I also made a six-inch Ohio star.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Speedy Chicken Coop Full

Ta Da! The speedy chicken coop is full. There were a few more wing transplants and quite a few new chickens, but at least all are accounted for. I will probably move some chickens around and stare at it awhile, and then I will start sewing the sashing.

And this morning we had new snow. Now I realize many of you have real snow...and for us, we have to take very careful photos so that you don't see the clear roads, for example.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chicken sorting

We're closing in on the final layout for the speedy chicken quilt. Today I almost scorched my retinas trying to sort fabrics between red, red-orange and bright orange. It is remarkable to see a red fabric switch to orange when put up next to a true red.

Now that I'm living in Portland, seagulls are a common sight. So it seemed appropriate to have a seagull chicken.

This chicken falls into the red orange camp.

This chicken had a wing transplant from another chicken. Now it fits better in the brighter orange diagonal. Meanwhile, the donor chicken now has a darker wing and fits neatly in the rust orange diagonal.

And to set the mood for the day, we had snow overnight. Most of it is now gone. And yes, the hummingbirds (Molly says yummingbirds) were still coming to the feeders. And given this is Portland, I had one male that was wearing a bright pink hoodie--an Anna's hummingbird.

And inspired by the winter Olympics, Molly placed Gold in Sewing Room Mayhem when she launched from the ironing board to the sewing table sending iron, spray bottle and scissors flying. To celebrate, Molly had a parade around the house (AKA a piggy-back ride).

To see the work of more winners and sewing mayhem, visit sew, stitch, snap, SHARE.

Buddy won a participation award for successfully breathing in and out all day and for eating a hearty breakfast.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Speedy Chicken Accounting

I made much more progress today.  Here are nine fuschia chickens and I only need eight, as it turns out. I have soooo many extra chickens I can open a take-out restaurant.

My Oliso iron decided to burn out. It's replacement will arrive on Thursday, so I have been trying substitute irons. One has a weird beak that was driving me crazy, plus it has auto-off but not an off switch. Very weird. I found another one I like much better. But in both cases, the Oliso has taught me to leave the iron horizontal...not a good habit for a regular iron. And, of course, I switched to the Oliso because Molly likes to perch on the ironing board and taunt me.

And here are the chicken blocks in their rainbow layout. At the time of this arrangement, I was planning a pink diagonal between the fuschia diagonal and the red diagonal. But now I'm thinking that I will have red follow fuschia, then have red orange, followed by bright orange, followed by rusty orange. And there will be three black hens, although Buddy is lobbying heavily for taupe.

Monday, February 19, 2018

One Fuschia Chicken

Here is one fuschia chicken with six more on the way. This chicken explains why people say that rabbit tastes just like chicken.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Purple squirrel

Here's a purple squirrel, all excited to present a yellow acorn to everyone participating in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. He wanted to join everyone despite two harrowing surgeries.

Unfortunately, purple squirrels are not a hardy genetically modified patchwork (GMP). As he was getting ready for his first photo shoot, the photographer noticed that the squirrel had a malformed jaw. So off to surgery it went. Then during the second photo shoot, the photographer noticed that this poor squirrel's entire hip was rotated 180 degrees. Ouch!

Here is the squirrel in the middle of surgery.

Buddy was up in the observation area, but it was all so gruesome, he couldn't look.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Small steps

Here are another four patches from the 365 day challenge. I'm only eight days behind now. Happily, we've moved on to a different technique, although I expect we will go back to tiny town again soon.

The spools are the right size for this project, but they belong in a quilt of their own--a spool quilt. I have a lot of the fabric cut out ready to serve as leaders and enders...when I remember.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tiny Time

I was happy to get back to sewing after another day of shop hopping. I thought I should drop by Kathryn Kerr's 365 block challenge and catch up. I happened to stop just as the blocks began featuring one inch half square triangles. Yikes. Today was definitely a fiddly day.

I made four blocks. Unfortunately, one of them is a repeat because I forgot I had already made a block. Oh well. I like the new block better anyway.

As a reminder, these blocks finish at 3 inches, so the half square triangles (HSTs) finish at one inch.

 I also cut more i-spy blocks for a quilt I'm making for my grand-nephew. I made a similar quilt for his older brother.

And here are Molly and Buddy conspiring at the base of the design wall. Alternatively, they may be assessing their booty, blocks knocked from the wall to the floor.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Buddy Day

The King of Cuddles hopes you get a big bundle of Buddy for Valentine's Day. Molly thinks that would be a Gag gift.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Bunnies and Trip

I showed this quilt tonight at my quilt guild. I'm posting it here so if any of the members find this blog with the obscure name, they will know they found the right spot. The links to the instructions for this pattern can be found under the tutorial tab at the top of the page.

And today my sister drove me all over for a quilt shop hop. Barbara from Cat Patches warned me about Boersma's and she was right. Hopefully she will see this, notice the blue skies and realize its time to come home from her astounding trip of the USA (with cats!).

And yes quilt shops sometimes have odd neighbors. Mary Ellen Hopkins had a quilt shop in Santa Monica called Crazy Ladies and Friends, and the shop next door was the Cat House.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Purple coins

Here are six "OCD coins" blocks. I started making these because I was inspired by Cathy's over at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.  

 And just to taunt me, last week Cathy included a fabric with black cats on purple in her rail blocks. The cats have a wonderful spiral tail.

It turns out I received a square of this during an I-spy exchange. So I felt compelled to add them to these blocks.

Oh egads. And yes, let me not forget to give all the credit to the master of my sewing universe.

Now I suggest you visit all the rainbow loveliness at Angela's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Teal chickens

Today was teal chicken day.

So now I have finished making right speeding chickens and all the remaining chickens will be speeding to the left. Yes, collisions are likely. Fuschia chickens are going to be the next diagonal.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Fresh Start

Here are two blue chickens. This completes the blue diagonal. Plus, this is not a fresh start. And I hope I don't have to remind you not to eat blue chickens.

You may have been wondering when I would start a new let's start today. But this time it isn't my idea.

A few years ago I made this quilt for my great nephew Ezra, and now his brother would like one with his name.

Happily, I already have a head start because I have lots of i-spy blocks. If you would like to play along, the i-spy squares are cut 3.5 inch square. One side of the quilt has 99 squares...and since I made it reversible, with good blocks on one side and evil blocks on the other (teddy bears and kittens), the quilt requires 198 i-spy squares. There are links to more instructions on how to make the tilted i-spy quilt under the Tutorials tab at the top of this blog.