Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Bunnies and seahorses and cats

Here are the seahorses pinned to the design wall waiting for seven right facing seahorses. I am going with this staggered layout...and currently I am thinking of a crowded ocean with no sashing. This also means touching noses and back fins.

 I also finished the first round of machine quilting on the bounding bunnies. I pin the quilt top to the batting (as if making a reversible quilt) and do an allover pattern of stitching in the ditch...in this case along the horizontal sashing. Next, I will repin to the backing and finish quilting. I discovered I really liked this process when I made the first I-spy quilt because machine quilting the top and batting is such a breeze.  Also, I can layer the quilt without any wrinkles or puckers.

Okay, so there is a major wad of mess in the right corner. I was hoping you wouldn't notice.

My house is infested.

After a while, you almost get used to it.

Meanwhile, Molly and Buddy are enjoying Smitty's antics over at Cat Patches.  Here's Buddy doing an impression of Smitty hard at work.

Here is Buddy's impression of Molly when she is working.

Monday, July 30, 2018

I-Spy (Levi edition) Finished

The I-spy quilt for my great (grand) nephew Levi is completed. I made one for his brother a couple of  years ago.

 The quilt is reversible. This is the back.

Happily the direction of the tilted blocks allows the machine quilting zig zag to work for both sides.

Here is a detail of the quilt.

Here is another detail. Levi's quilt has more transportation blocks featuring motorcycles, trucks and racing cars.

Meanwhile, I am sure that you have already read the sad tail of woe where Smitty at Cat Patches was locked away in the clubhouse over night. (Molly says the clubhouse is probably really a doghouse.)
Here, Molly is striking a pensive pose as she reflects on Smitty's pensive pose.

And here's Molly with her reassured look knowing that that you can't "accidentally" lock up the center of the universe.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

What's Next

I have so many quilt tops that are quite close to completion. I pulled out the seahorses and started to lay them out. I only need to make seven more. If you look at the bottom right corner, you can see Molly wants to help me take the seahorses down. However, I'm using pins because, frankly, I don't want her help.

I also have quilt tops ready to be layered. I think this one is next.

I also have quilts that are layered and waiting for quilting. Having a time out between layering and quilting is never a good idea because of the inevitable wrinkles. So yes, I spent quite a bit of time going over this quilt with a small steam iron.

Of course I had help.

Then here comes Photobombing Buddy to the rescue!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Look back

I did manage to machine sew one side of the binding to the I-spy quilt. But that's about it. So I thought I would look back to what I was doing a year ago. It's only been a year, but I've almost completely forgotten about our time in the apartment--our temporary way station. I remember I was so worried about Molly and Buddy, but they adapted better than I did. There was a group of kids that played right outside our unit...and Molly was fascinated. Buddy would sometimes have to go run and hide if they got too loud, but Molly just turned her ears back to buffer the sound and soaked it all in.

A year ago, Buddy looks downright tiny. He was probably still in his dog phase and had not grown into his pony phase yet. I have been slow to find Molly and Buddy a new vet.  And now I realize Buddy is probably going to need a larger carrier. He definitely would not be able to fit into the airline approved carrier anymore...and maybe that's been his strategy all along.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Machine quilting I-Spy

I finished machine quilting the I-spy quilt. I used a zig zag pattern that allows for some misalignment to the two-sides of this reversible quilt. Molly is assessing the machine quilting by feel...putting the princess and the pea to shame.

Here's a Molly-free look at the quilt and quilting. Along the right side is the fabric I plan to use for the binding.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Vintage Butterfly Quilt Top

Okay, the vintage butterfly quilt has its borders so it is officially a quilt top. And as a bonus, I found the information about its inspiration and other good stuff. Needless to say, I originally found the pattern over at Cathy's Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog where she displayed her beautiful blue version.   She also gave a link to her original inspiration (and mine) over at Nostalgic Cafe...a vintage quilt featuring the butterflies on a very light background. The folks over at Quilt Inspiration liked both versions of her butterflies and provided patterns for each. Plus there is some history including other names such as Beggar Block and Cats and Mice. Huh? Anyway, I'm sticking with calling it vintage butterflies.

My slight departure from the original will be using a black binding. I have another quilt top that I'm making using the same background fabric and I don't want to run out using it as a binding. (I may still run out, of course...)

Vintage butterflies

I did get the first set of vintage butterfly blocks sewn together. I still have to decide whether or not to add a border.

I also managed to get out to the Mt. Hood River area known as the fruit loop (because of all of the orchards and fruit stands.) I was enjoying the "cut your own" flower garden when I looked up and saw the elephant in the room.

Also, with all of the kerfurrfle over cat poses, Buddy thought he would give it a try. Please don't laugh.

Meanwhile, Molly is in big trouble. Buddy came to show me his brand new mouse toy. Because I'm a wet blanket, I informed him that it was a birthday present and should still be enclosed in a package. Of course, the package was missing. And yes, I finally found it...Molly was literally
lounging on top of the package...an assortment of mice and package remnant.

Because I did not see Molly steal the package and open it, I could not convict her of stealing, but she is certainly guilty of the cover up.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Oh dear, usually quilting blogs are a friendly, cooperative space, but I think Molly is intent on rattling some cages today. She is quite upset that Smitty, over at Three Cat Ranch, stole her exquisite paw work. She says she has a patent on both the hard right paw tuck she is using here AND the hard left paw tuck that Smitty is using. That said, she also says she has always had outdoor privileges but has never wanted to use them until now. Of course, it all sounds like MEOW! MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!

In the end when push comes to shove, I predict Buddy is not going to have a good day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Last Year

I have not been getting much done lately, so I thought I would look back to what I was doing about a year ago and this is what I found. It's the Stonefield quilt. Coincidentally, I found a block that belongs to this quilt today, and now I am inspired to find the rest of it.

While I haven't been at the sewing machine lately, Molly has. I wasn't paying attention to her, so she took that as her cue to chew at the thread as it traverses from cone to machine. I'm not to sure what happened except all of a sudden she was across the room next to me with thread in her mouth and wrapped around her. I first got it out of her mouth and then was pulling it from under her. She started to play with it. And yes, it took a lot of pulling and fussing before I realized that the thread was coming from across the room. Although I didn't get any sewing done, I did use up quite a bit of thread.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Moving On

With the dementor quilt finished, I can move on. I have a number of projects ready for assembly. These are the vintage butterfly blocks...I have made bright blocks and subdued ones. These are the subdued ones.

Meanwhile, I should admit that Molly has completely lost her mind. Here she is at her new post by the front door where she spends too much of her time yeowing to be let out. And yes, I have reminded her that she is an indoor cat and has not been outside since she was a free range kitten in Virginia. What is truly weird about this is that her "brother" will go run and hide at various times of day as a variety of threats pass by...including speeding trucks and multitudes of dog walkers.

My next task was to clear off the cutting table so I could layer the I-spy quilt. Molly and Buddy could sense the vacuum and quickly filled it. And please note, that Molly is roughly 2/3rds the size of her pony Buddy.

The I-spy quilt is reversible. I am layering the quilt in two steps. First, I sewed the front to the batting. This provides a grid for aligning the back. I start in the center and align the block intersections with the machine quilting intersections. I also make sure the seams of the quilt back line up with the grid.
This means the one row underneath is exactly aligned to match. I pin both sides right under the fold. Then I carefully flip the back to the right side. The one row that I'm pinning is aligned underneath and does not move when I flip the rest of the back over. I pin the one aligned row. Then I repeat row by row until I come to the end. Because I began in the middle, I next row by row to complete the other side.

This is a very simple and easy process until a beached whale washes up and slows my progress.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Red postage stamps

Here's a red postage stamp block.

Here's a close-up. If you would like to see more red hot patchwork, visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Demented Quilt Top Assembled

The Garden Mosaic/Demented/Dementor quilt top is finished. The squares and half square triangles are 1.5 inches finished. My version of the quilt is 92 inches across...I left off the last 3 square/triangles from each side.

The inspiration for this quilt comes from Garden Mosaic, a pattern from Free Spirit.  I did not follow the instructions, however. I made this using strips to make bat wings. You can find out more here.

And here is the quilt with Molly. She thought she was going on a climbing expedition. Happily, she is taking a nap instead.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Close, but no cigar

There is something about assembling a quilt top that makes it seem like it should come together so much faster than it does. And its that false sense that keeps me sewing well after I should just step away from the sewing machine. I was making lots of weird mistakes, yet I persisted. Then I was putting horizontal sashing on the bottom of the top panel...and discovered I had made the sashing WAY TOO LONG. So I took out blocks until it fit.

Yup, when I took it to the wall, I cocked my head and realized the sashing had been fine. My problem was that I had sewn the top panels together along the long edge instead of the short edge. Oops. Where's my seam ripper...

Let's blame it on Buddy.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Red coins

Here are my red coins. Hopefully, I can use them to pay for admission to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge where we are celebrating red for the month of July.

And if you are wondering how Molly is spending her Saturday afternoon...

 Oops, I disturbed Buddy's nap behind the design wall.

Friday, July 6, 2018


Yikes. This quilt is growing like a fungus that is consuming my design wall. The original quilt, Garden Mosaic from FreeSpirit, finishes at 96 by 96 inches. I'm not taking this one out that far, but its still a lot to handle.  After I finish the panels, I will move onto the three horizontal sashing strips.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


Bonnie Hunter has started her new Leader/Ender project and I played around with it a bit today to see if I wanted to join in. First, I'm going to use 1.5 inch/2.5 inch strips so my final blocks are 4 inches finished. This will let me use extra postage stamp scraps left over from my Rainbow Scrappy Challenge projects.

Also, I'm going to make these two blocks and alternate them to make the same pattern. And I'm making it all scrappy so I don't have to think too hard.

We interrupt this blog post to get Molly's reaction to my starting a new project.

And here is Buddy's reaction.

And yes, having a pony on the sewing table is a great recipe for project chaos.