Thursday, September 27, 2018

NW Quilt Expo

Here is the owl quilt "Parliament" on display at the NW Quilt Expo. I was quite pleased with how well behaved they are...especially given what a menace they were when I was making them. The machine quilting must have knocked out all of their knock knock jokes.

And this was the big fancy ribbon sitting next to Smitty's quilt (with some credit to Barbara Stanbro as staff). I assume she will fill you in on all the details at her blog Cat Patches.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Loonie Court House Doll House

Here's my Loonie Courthouse step, quilted and bound. The Loonies over at JulieKQuilts post on Tuesday, so I'm a day late and a dollar short. (The Loonies are making log cabin blocks/quilts using one inch strips...finishing at a half inch).

Molly tried to help me sew the binding on this doll quilt but became exasperated because its not big enough for a darling kitten to hide under.

And speaking of Luna, I just looked out the window and wondered what weird light was glaring into the room...and its a full moon peaking through the trees. Awesome.

Tomorrow is the Northwest Quilting Expo, so Molly will get the day off.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Macro Spools

I worked through the huge storage bin of 1.5 inch strips. A lot of those strips are quite old, so this batch of large spools have a lot of blues with a gray cast. Very 80s. And while I thought this would finally be enough spools for 70 by 90 inch turns out I'm still shy of about 120 spools.

Molly suggests I need more gold spools.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Micro Spools

Here is the latest batch of micro-spools. They are well behaved so they only need one adult spool to supervise. Over the long haul, I think I may need a better method for keeping these in line. I may borrow the approach that Gayle at Mangofeet is taking with her demented quilt and combine the spools into groups of sixteen. That would make a 6 inch block (finished).

Sometimes the spool block is called a bobbin. And while I was finishing up the micro-spools, I ran out of bobbin thread. And by that I mean I had to replenish my supply. To pretend like I'm an organized seamstress, I also changed out the needle.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Slow Progress

I have not had much to show in the last few days. I did layer up the Loonie Court House steps to machine quilt.

And here are all the 2.25 inch spools I have cut but not yet sewn. I started with three inch spools, but then thought it would be fun to go smaller, so I used strips that were one quarter inch thinner. That makes a finished spool that is 2.25 inches. Of course, since then I contracted the Loonies Disease over at JulieKQuilts, and began making spools using one inch strips. Those spools have a finished size of 1.5 inches and make these spools look like teenagers.

I'm also adding hand quilting to the plaid bunnies quilt before its trip to the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA. However, whenever I settle into quilt on it, Molly joins me for a snuggle. Of course, she wants to be front stage and center which precludes quilting. After she stomps off, Buddy comes for a snuggle, which for him means being held. He wants to be up by my shoulders cheek-to-cheek. And I probably don't have to mention that one cannot quilt while holding a pony.

I also have hunks of fabric from my quilt guild to make backs for their donation quilts. The plan is to cut each hunk into 17 inch squares and then sew them together in a 3 by 3 nine-patch. Unfortunately, some of the hunks don't measure up to 17 inches in any direction, so this takes some fiddly. I should probably sew them together in a crazy quilt fashion...but my father's civil engineer DNA rebels.

I have also been out chasing squirrels and caught this one. To its credit, it resembles a squirrel more than a lot of projects that are claimed as squirrels. And to be fair, Molly's squirrel project is a real squirrel and given she is an indoor cat, her squirrel project has many elaborate plans but no execution.

Sometimes when I don't have a lot of progress to show, I can snap some entertaining photos of Molly. However, she has not been cooperating. I had to go outside to take this picture. She finds it fascinating when I am outside and is still trying to figure out how to teach staff to open the door for her.

I have also been quite worried about Molly because I have heard her retching in the early morning. This has recurred over the last few days so I have been carefully monitoring her. This morning, however, I was much quicker and found out that it has been Buddy all along. By the time I arrive to clean it up, Molly is at the site for a thorough inspection...hence by theory of proximity, I thought it was Molly. Needless to say, I was much relieved to discover it was Buddy, because, well, boys will be boys. In fact, I have been thinking of changing his name to Roomba.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Just Spooling

Yes, I'm still making some of the humongous spools that finish at 3 inches. My plan for this quilt was to use softer patterns and colors than I typically would.

However, now that I plan to make it larger, I can probably add in a few interesting spools with fun patterns and a bit brighter colors.

And yes, I am known to put hot sauce on just about everything.

And if you see a cat in this pose, I can guarantee it is up to no good.

And if you see a cat in this pose, it is less than two minutes away from up to no good.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bitcoin Portfolio Assembled

My bitcoin portfolio is assembled. This is made from the block that Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilts is making. She calls them Whatchamacallits. I definitely want to play with this block again. I'm thinking of making it square next time. The rectangles are one inch by two inch finished. So this quilt top is 62 inches by 80 inches.

If you would like to continue looking for treasure at the end of the rainbow, please visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, September 14, 2018


Here are a group of tiny spools. These are made with one inch strips and finish at two inches. They are adorable.

For a size comparison, here is something that is not tiny.

The brown fabric is a strip that I got from the "free table" at my local guild. This is an older fabric...I'm guessing the 80s. It's a Hoffman, back when it was Hoffman of California. When it came out, I bought the purple and blue version and the green version. I never knew it came in a brown version until now. (I used it to make a tiny spool, but the design is too large to show up in a one inch strip.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Columbia Fiber Art Guild Show

Remember this guy? Back in 2011 and 2012, I made one small fused quilt every week for a year. I still go back and sometimes steal these designs from myself. However, in this case, I dug the actual quiltlets out to put them in the Columbia Fiber Art Guild Show: 2018 CFG Artist Show and Market.  It's being held this Saturday (here in Portland) at the Grace Memorial Episcopal Church from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm.

Alligator is going to be there as well to make sure no one tries to squeeze the clown's nose.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Portfolio enhancements

I have been busy trying to enhance my coin portfolio. I will leave it to you to wonder if I've been mining for bitcoin or whether I got a job. In any case, I decided I liked a straight stripe layout, but that means I needed more yellow blocks in addition to more black border.

And please don't worry that I have a bowing border...the second row of blocks are just jammed up on the design wall.

This morning I went to my quilt guild meeting. My sister wasn't there to moderate me, so I came away with more fabric than I put into the free pile. However, in the scheme of things, this did not even make a dent. Now that I'm making spools in three sizes, I also grabbed up donated strips...they are in the lower left corner.

And these are the four scraps of fabric that were just too ugly to leave behind.

And the Pigs in a Blanket quilt is taking a trip to the Pacific International Quilt Festival in California. 

And the Bunnies are going to go along to chaperone.

Saturday, September 8, 2018


Today I am moving on to financial matters. In particular, I thought it was time to consolidate my financial investments into a single instrument rather than hold these coins in separate purses by color. I also constructed the black and white border to contain the portfolio. Of course, this is just a fraction of the coin inventory.

I have been making these blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and stole the block from Cathy at the Sane, Crazy, Crumby quilts. It's not quite obvious in this picture, but the blocks are 3 by 14 patches. Each rectangle is 1.5 by 2.5 inches.

I think Molly approves of my progress because she let me take her picture. She has spent a lot of time in adorable poses lately, but is less obliging when I have a camera at hand.

And this is a flashback to an earlier time with Buddy who was named Typhoon at the shelter. After about two weeks in foster care, he was willing to come out of hiding when I was in the room, but I had to stay well away. More recently, he has become quite full of himself and wants us to call him Magnanimous Warrior. He also wants to spend the day viewing his domain from his chariot. I, of course, tell him I'm not a chariot and ponies pull the chariot and don't get to sit in it.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Sometimes you just can't put off housework anymore. So I put the spools down and went back to working on the spiderwebs.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

More spool biology

Here's another handful of spools. Or maybe I should say a palmful of spools. This is what happens when spools mix with loonie log cabins. These spools use one inch strips and finish at 1.5 inches. Yes. That's insane. But adorable!

So here is the spool size chart, in case you are keeping track. The HUGE spools finish at 3 inches and are based on 1.5 inch strips. The medium spools (formerly baby spools) use a 1.25 inch strip.

And yes, this happened. I had to clear off the sewing table to lay out the owl quilt to look for threads and clean off the cat hair. Molly was not amused. There was a race between the lint roller and Molly, and I think Molly won.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Machine Quilting

Quilts can definitely be an endless work in progress. I am adding more quilting to the calendar owl quilt (AKA Parliament), before I submit it to the NW Quilting Expo. It was accepted, but as I was taking a picture of it for submission, I thought it could use more quilting. I tend toward less is more, but in this case I thought a little more would be more.

And yes, this is almost a textbook picture of Feline Physics. With entropy, neatly stacked spools become a mass of cat toys. Also, as I began machine quilting the owl quilt, I discovered a spool of thread (a real spool, not its patchwork representation) was missing. I looked all over for it...even under the bed. I decided this wasn't entropy, but cat crime. You can thank Buddy (cat version) for both demonstrations. I did find the spool the next day, but without the help of a confession.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

More large spools

I made a massive pile of large spools (3.5 inches unfinished). Based on a rough sense, I figured this would probably be enough to finish my larger version (aiming for about 72 by 90 inches). So I sorted the spools by color and counted and yikes, I have to make about 200 more.

And I'm now calling these the large spools, and the baby spools will just be called spools. Even toddlers don't like to be called babies.

And here's a reluctant photo from Molly. She knew that this blog post would be too boring with just pictures of spools, but having to wait for me to take her photo wastes a lot of her valuable time. Buddy had graduated to cat status for a day, but was demoted back to dog when he accidentally came when I called him. This means Molly has to do the work of two cats plus tend to training the dog.