Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Colors, Spools and Stones

First, let's talk colors for Bonnie Hunter's 2018 Quiltville Mystery.  And yes, maybe you should make sure to read her post on here...while I wait... then interrupt with caveats...I did not get color chips and all that so my colors are only an approximation etc. etc. etc.

The first row of spools shows my approximation of Bonnie's color selection for this year, and the row below it shows mine. To make sure my color selection should work, I base my selection on the color wheel. This year, Bonnie has a rectangular triad of complementary colors. On the clock, you could think of these as 1:00, 3:00, 7:00 and 9:00 where 1:00 is blue on the color wheel.

My selection keeps the colors equidistant but picks 2:00 (teal), 4:00 (yellow/green), 7:00 (red orange) and 10:00 (fuschia).

Molly is stunned that I can make something so simple, complicated. She also would like me to get rid of all my cotton because she prefers wool.

I have also been making micro spools...these are two inches unfinished. The large spool is 3.5 inches unfinished. And yes, the spools appear to have been infiltrated by bow-ties.

And yes, here is another Stonefields by Susan Smith block. This is the last block I needed to make for Month 3.

Here is the complete collection of Month 3 blocks. However, given the move from Virginia to Oregon last year, Month 3 has taken well over a year. These blocks are about six inches square, but I cut the background much larger to allow for applique shrinkage and miscellaneous folly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Yesterday I finished this block from the Stonefields quilt by Susan Smith. It is an odd design with the overlap of two circles in the middle. I probably should have used reverse applique for the circle right in the middle of the circle.

Happily, this was mostly circles...including the half circle which I made by making a circle and lopping it in half.

And yes, there was another poltergeist blob sighting...close to one of the crime scenes.

Molly dared me to show you the full crime scene...except that isn't what she calls it. She refers to me as cat toy and thinks this is a bunch of rubbish I like to dig in.

And I'm wondering if you are feeling like this cat in anticipation of tomorrow...yup...our favorite time of year...Bonnie Hunter is releasing the color palette for this year's mystery challenge in tomorrow's blog post at Quiltville. She releases the first instructions for the construction of her mystery challenge quilt on the day after Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 29, 2018


This may look like a handful of spools to you, but for me, it is the last batch needed to complete my collection of 720 spools. I needed 30 more spools. Then I found a duplicate spool. It was ejected, and then I needed 31. I'm sure there are counting errors, but with an estimate of 721, its time for the spools to form foursomes.

And sewing these together is going to be quite nice. When sewing pairs, the diagonals of the spools nestle together. When sewing the pairs together, the diagonals nestle and the opposing block seams cuddle.

But not all is harmonious. Yesterday, I cleaned up all the cat toys and put them away. This morning, this pile of "strings" was in the middle of the bedroom. (These are the parts of thrift store shirts that Bonnie Hunter would have you throw away, but are often used in the wild to lure free range kittens.)

In the living room, the container of cat toys was knocked over, and the toys were strewn around it. And we're certainly thinking the same thing...POLTERGEIST.

Then as I was posting this photo, I noticed an odd bit of orange in the pile of strings. It's a dental pick brush that I use for cleaning out the sewing machine. Obviously, the poltergeist cannot distinguish tools from cat toys.

And then as I was taking photos of the spools, my camera picked up this vague outline that is very hard to make out given the beige carpet and the pile of neutrals. But yes, the glowing red eyes is the hint that the camera may have captured the poltergeist in repose.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Postage Delivered

Here's the postage stamp blocks assembled into a quilt top. As I'm looking at it now I realize that its on its side and I forgot to rotate the image. So do me a favor and tilt your head. Then hurry over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge to see the last gasps of dark green patchwork.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Escargot Revised

Here are the revised snails. I switched out the cotton print for a new one that goes better with the colors of the wool. And oddly, I'm finding wool applique to be a bit more fussy, or should I say fuzzy, then cotton applique. With the cotton I have a nice sharp fold and life is easy. But the wool seems to want to wander and shed.

And today I would like to officially jump off the bandwagon of pretending that cats are helpmates. They are help-themselves helpmates. And it is time we stop all of the mollycoddling.

I was changing the bed linens and did not find it helpful to have an inspector tunneling under the fitted sheet as I tried to make the bed. And then there was the pony show where the pony claims the bed is infested with "kittens" and starts attacking the lump.

Later when I was trying to sew escargot, the inspector showed up to test whether my thread and sewing accessories responded to gravity. The pony then invoked the "anything that hits the floor is a toy" rule and grabbed the thread bobbins and ran off.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Road Less Traveled

Gayle of Mangofeet mentioned that she has resumed her quilt block a day or the 365 day quilt challenge. I am posting this for her inspiration. I ran out of steam after about a month. But this was one of the quilts at the Pacific International Quilt Festival. Unfortunately, I forgot to get the name of the quilter who made this.

And this is the quilt Okehampton that was made by Eileen Udovich in Davis, CA. It shared the alcove with my Bunny Hop quilt and Pigs in a Blanket. I think I have the pattern to this or thought about making this at one time. So yes, I took it as a personal affront when I saw this.

I also have the pattern for the Caswell quilt. This one was made by Sheri Smith of Dayton NV.  I gave up the possibility of making this quilt after I saw the version made by Tazzie of Australia. Like the Nearly Insane quilt by Faberdashery, I would just be happy to see that quilt in real life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Border Collies

Some quilters pretend to be puppies distracted by squirrels when they begin a new project. Given Molly's true obsession with squirrels, I will not try to compete. Instead, I will liken myself to a border collie who says SHEEP! And so I am starting a wool project. And no, I am not liking the Kingwell print for this project and will look for a good substitute.

And yes, I've used the snails before in a fused project.

...although its origin is from a linocut block print I made in a printmaking class.

I'm also pulling the postage stamp quilt together.

And for some reason, the Smitty vortex felt especially weak today, so Molly took the opportunity to sun bathe while I went out and cleaned the rain gutters.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Large Spools Winding Down

A local senior center had a fundraising Fabric and Craft sale. I was able to pick up a few bags with random bits of fabric stuffed inside. A lot of the bits were too small to make these large spools which require a 1.5 in strip about 10 inches long.

Meanwhile, Buddy is holding Molly down so she doesn't get sucked into the Smitty vortex or maybe its to hold Molly still while he cleans her ears...kind of the same thing.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


You may have noticed that I am finding it harder to post daily to this blog now that I'm in Portland. And I think Smitty is to blame.

Yesterday, I was planning to show this quilt top...finished.

Instead, by the end of the day, I had only finished this pile of black partial blocks for the border.

And when I got up this morning, Barbara at Cat Patches had already posted to her blog. I thought she posted at a normal time when I lived on the east coast but now that we're in the same time zone, I know there is something shady going on over at Three Cat Ranch. They are warping the time continuum and sucking time out of the east side of Portland to add to their day.

I asked Molly what she thought of my theory. Molly suggested that I should spend more time doing and less time thinking about doing.

Buddy was very worried and asked "Who is a Smitty?"

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Advice from Molly

I asked Molly to guest blog this evening and she heartily agreed. Of course, she then delegated it back to me. She suggested the title "What I Learned Last Night." For reasons I am too limited to understand, Molly chose last night to run experiments with gravity in the bathroom. This involves knocking anything to the floor that I foolishly left on the bathroom counter. Because I thought I should be asleep and not cleaning up the bathroom at 2 AM, I moved Molly out of the bathroom and shut the door (despite Molly's strict open door policy). So yes, it turns out that slamming face first into a closed bathroom door is stronger than morning coffee.

Having made that confession, here is another. Sometimes I get a very specific question as a comment. I do try to answer them and often include many links and fascinating information. Then just as I am about to send the email, I finally notice that the question comes from a no-reply blogger.  Okay, I'm sure I've even sent the email without noticing, but yes, the result is the answer to your very specific question. I'm sure Molly has the answer to all of this, but it is well above my pay grade.

Molly also thought I should mention that Fabric Depot closing one year after I moved here is probably coincidental...although she thinks the closing of the Pine Needle is more suspect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Return to Stonefields

Here's the block I made today. It belongs to the Stonefields Quilt by Susan Smith.

The quilt calls for two of these blocks.

These are the blocks for Month Three...I have two more blocks to go to finish Month 3.

And here's the full collection of blocks I've made so far. I have to remember to keep the blocks to low contrast.

And here is a log cabin that was on display at the Pacific International Quilt Festival. It was made in the 1890's and is part of the San Jose Textile Museum. It's the nine patch centers that makes this quilt so much fun...although the alternating light and medium logs are fun too and go well with the nine patches.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be taking a class with Rosemary Burris in November. I told Molly that I was going to make a quilt using an image of her palimino pony Buddy.

I am sticking with my choice despite Molly's best efforts to convince me otherwise.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Postage Stamps and other lunacy

Here's the ninth postage stamp panel. I went with dark green.

At the Pacific International Quilt Festival, this was the quilt that was hanging next to Fabadashery's Nearly Insane Quilt. This one is totally insane. It was made by Joy Salvage of the United Kingdom and is called Union Jack Meets Log Cabin.

Obviously, all those quilters participating in Log Cabin Loonies just aren't trying hard enough.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Staggering Seahorses and Nearly Insane

Yesterday, Gayle at Mangofeet suggested I try a half-drop layout for the seahorses. I tried it out in Photoshop and then tried it out in real life. It's a winner. And when is Gayle ever wrong? I may rename it staggering seahorses though. Oh, and I think this also means I have to make three more right facing seahorses so I can have odd number of columns.

And I finally transferred the photos from the Pacific International Quilt Festival from my phone to the computer. For me, the highlight of the show was Frances Meredith's Nearly Insane quilt. (You can follow her at the blog Faberdashery as she makes masterpiece after masterpiece.) I had Molly pose in front of her quilt to prove that we were actually there.

And just to prove what a newfangled world we live in, Frances pieces his quilts by hand but quilts them with her long-arm. This is a detail of the quilt. Frances is also the master of cornerstones.

Here is another close up. I love how she combines the quilting with the patchwork.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Seahorses and Postage

I finished the last few right-facing seahorses this morning and have been working on their layout. I had them arranged in a staggered pattern, but have lined them up to reduce the chaos. I am still planning on sewing them together without sashing. Then I will have to make another huge batch of seahorses and cut off them tails for the border.

The seahorses were made as part of the RSC challenge many, many, many years ago. The quilt stalled out when I discovered at the end of the year that I needed more seahorses. I also couldn't figure out a good layout.

The postage stamp blocks are for this year and I was planning on a two by four block quilt. Now I am thinking of adding white sashing between the blocks and making it three by three. But I could also see me lose my mind and decide to make four more. But first I'll add one more block, and I'm thinking dark green...wouldn't that be appropriate.

For more lovely dark green blocks, please visit SoScrappy and the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Two seahorses

Here are two more seahorses for my collection. Apparently since seahorses don't congregate, their is not a name for a group of seahorses. And yes, the red/pink seahorse needs a neck alignment. The neurosurgeon was not very careful when connecting the head to the body.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fast Trip

I made a very quick one day trip down to the Pacific International Quilt Show in San Jose.  Here's the Bunny Hop.

Pigs in the Blanket was hanging next to the Bunnies. I will have more about the show tomorrow.