Monday, December 31, 2018

Keeping Up: Part 6 of Good Fortune Mystery

Here are the neutral strings for Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune Mystery Part 6. Although I only used 1.5 inch strips, I did sew the strip sets to paper before cutting them apart.

And this was the last sunset of the year for 2018.

And here is Molly enjoying the sunshine from earlier in the day, and yes, that is her new heated bed.

Last but not least, Employee One (Rock) won the Employee of the Year Award because I ate Employee Two (Potato).

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Employee of the Year

Today Molly wants to postpone my usual nonsense so she can announce that she and Buddy are making a crucial decision about who will be their employee of the year for 2018. They have strict criteria for their staff and it includes empathy, listening and communication skills, flexibility, positive attitude, and basic hygiene. Two employees up for consideration this year include:

Employee one:  Rock

Employee two:  Potato

Buddy did think I at least deserved an honorable mention for having body heat, but he was overruled by Molly.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Rainbow Round Up

Today we are reviewing our annual progress for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge 2018. These bitcoin blocks were my favorite to make this year so this quilt top came together quickly. In fact, these were so much fun I still have piles of these blocks left over.

I also made these supersized postage stamp blocks. The postage stamps were the typical one inch square finished, but each block was made from 20 blocks with 16 postage stamps (a four by four patch).

The speedy chicken top was also finished this year, although these blocks began in a previous year.

And I also uncovered some languishing rainbow quilt blocks. I was certainly surprised to see that I had eleven sheep. This is closer to coming together than I had thought.

And these poor cows are definitely getting long in the tooth from neglect. I should probably try and revive these in the new year too.

And I have lots of these blocks...I limited the number that I put up on the design wall because my cat Molly was preparing to knock them down.

Meanwhile, I have seen various blog posts that review their annual postings and pick their favorite blog post. Others have round ups of the quilts that were finished during the year. This makes it a bit difficult for me because a lot of my blog features Buddy and Molly. So maybe I should have a year end review where I decide which is better: Buddy or Molly. (And yes, I did not say which is the better cat, dog or pony...)

So up for consideration is Buddy (above)...

Or Molly. Feel free to weigh in...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Blue Scrappy Stars

Yes, the contrasting corners definitely brings this quilt uptown. My next step is to start sewing the blocks together. Each of the blocks are roughly 22 inches square so it comes together rather quickly.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Good Fortune Part FIve

Here are some of my Good Fortune Part 5 units for Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt...I have about half of them made.

And here are two of the presents that Buddy and Molly received from my grand nephews for Christmas. The toys are meant to run on a track and if I knew physics I would understand how they work. They vibrate and that makes them crawl on their plastic protrusions. The box says that these are a choking hazard for children under the age of 3...and happily Buddy and Molly are older than that.

On Christmas eve, Buddy and Molly declared these were the best toy EVER. Molly was wild eyed and they played with it until the battery was wearing down. And Buddy couldn't grab it in his mouth because of the vibrations.

Then on Christmas morning, I gave them a fresh toy but they said it was "SO YESTERDAY." This morning Molly pretended to be interested but then walked away.  Then Buddy came up and grabbed the toy in his mouth and ran to put it under the bed. DANGER! DANGER! Not a good toy for cats after all.

Oh...and they gave my grandnephews the game Mousetrap. Buddy and Molly thought it very funny that someone would build a contraption to catch a mouse rather than just grab it with a paw and pop it in the mouth.

At one point when they were playing with their new toy, it got stuck under a container and it started vibrating loudly. Buddy came running up to me and meowed. He never meows. I immediately awarded him 100 adorable points. Then I dislodged the toy so they could continue to play.

Then this morning at 3:30 AM Buddy stuck his face into mine to wake me up to tell me "GET UP! GET UP! It's Boxing Day!" I took away all of his adorable points and subtracted 50. So he's back in the dog house.

Monday, December 24, 2018

All About Buddy

I realize that it is Christmas Eve, but in our family we also celebrate this as Buddy's anniversary. Three years ago on Christmas Eve, after two months, Buddy finally came up to me on his own and rubbed against me and purred. Before that, I could entice him with food and toys, but he was always wary and darted away.

This morning, as Molly and I were reminiscing and cuddling, we admitted that back then it was very easy to mistake Buddy as a kitten. Especially because he spent most of that first month hiding in a box.

Molly and I took a break to play with some string because she always enjoyed it as a kitten. Buddy seemed to enjoy it too except he would inevitably bite the string in two.  And of course now he plunges around after the laser mouse toy with no consideration for Molly who requires 50 hind end wiggles per pounce.

And because its Buddy's special day, Molly thought she would enjoy some treats. Afterward, we cuddled some more and discussed whether Buddy needed a new name now that he had reached boulder status. We decided we would stick with Fuddy Buddy for now.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Twelve Stars

Here are the blue and beige string stars. I still have to sew on the corners and then sew the blocks together.

And here's Buddy the Boulder if you are wondering how he is. Tomorrow is our special three year anniversary so he will get a special post.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Small Steps

I've made some progress on the second string star quilt...I still have two blue stars and three beige stars to assemble. Before today, I had lots of pieces but no good sense of how far I had to go.

And this is the inspiration for the string star quilts I have been making. This quilt is part of the Pat Nickols collection at the Mingei International Museum. You can follow this link to the Mingei museum website to find out more about this quilt and see other quilts in that collection.

If you want to make your own diamond strings and stars, Bonnie Hunter has a free pattern on  her website...not for this particular quilt but for string star quilts. I drafted my own pattern to try and replicate the quilt shown above and my dimensions were way off.

Layering the Bounding Bunny quilt took up most of my time over the past couple of days. Molly is inspecting my incredibly shoddy work.

Molly thought you might like to have an unobstructed view.

Oh, excuse me. Molly thought you might like an unobstructed view of her, not the quilt. My mistake.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Demented Layering Day Two

With the backing pieced, it was time to layer the Demented Garden Mosaic. I was not thrilled to find that my supervisor had brought along an assistant.

Molly thought that I should consider some three dimensional configurations.

So helpful.

I suggested Molly learn how to pin the layers...

Eventually Molly left to take her beauty nap, and I finished layering.  It weighs a ton!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


I have come to the conclusion that the whole idea of "Santa's helper" is a myth.

I suspect that if Santa didn't have "help" then toy delivery would be once a month instead of once a year.  I had so much help today that all I have to show for it is the back for the Demented Garden Mosaic and many frayed nerves for which I received many hours of "pet therapy."

Monday, December 17, 2018

Bonnie Hunter Good Fortune Mystery Part Four

Here are some of my "string" blocks for Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune quilt mystery.  We were given many options, and I chose the strip set approach because I chose not to have a wide value range for the color choice of red-orange. I did mix the strips up as I went along to mix up the fabrics.

And last week I was so certain that I knew the final pattern design that I was going to go ahead and sew blocks. Luckily, I didn't because we can now all see that Bonnie is going with a row by row layout. Given her love of intricate geometric designs, this admittedly seems an odd choice. However,
its such an odd choice, its obvious. So I'm off to sew the rows...

Here is my rough plan for sewing chicken wire over the speedy chickens. This is a bit bigger than I will make the wire openings, but you get the idea. Essentially I want the angles to reflect the angles in the chickens and have a size that makes sense within the pattern. I'm experimenting by laying a piece of acrylic over the quilt top and drawing on the plastic with a dry erase pen.

I borrowed the acrylic from my cat Molly who was using it to train her brother Buddy. She had it leaning up against the door.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Good Fortune Preview without Spoilers

Here are my orange strips for the next step of Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery. I chose colors (plum, teal, red-orange, lime green) that don't have a large value range. So as you can see my oranges read a bit solid and not very scrappy. For that reason, I'm just going to cut my rectangles from strip sets.

I did bring some more cat prints into the mix, but Molly is very concerned about bunny over-saturation. And because 2019 is the year of the pig, she thinks this quilt either needs more pigs or bacon. She was being so annoying, I had the 2018 year of the dog come and chase her away.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Speedy Chicken Contemplation

Today got off to a rocking start...I was cutting the rest of the triangles for the string star quilt and I had a great idea for quilting the speedy about a chicken wire fence overlay in quilting. Seemed wonderful in my mind, but now that I have the chickens up on the design wall I'm not to sure. So while I was letting this idea simmer, I soon found myself trapped under a boulder again.

Here is the boulder a year ago when he was a mere pony.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Fiddling with the Stars

I made enough of the string diamonds to make two quilts...not on purpose of course. Looking at these first stars, I think I will divide the diamonds into light and dark and put the beige on the darker diamonds and the blue on the lighter diamonds. This may work out better in my head than reality.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bunny Layers

We get our next clue for Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery tomorrow. And this morning I gathered up all the bits that were flying around and combined them into one of the cutting board. That left some empty room on the cutting table, so I cleared the rest of it and began the second layer of the bunny quilt. The major drawback of my approach is that now that the bunny quilt top is stitched to the batting, I need to take the pins out and then attach the back.

I also have to make the back...I'm using the Dear Stella bunnies. And you may notice that the bunnies are all sitting in one direction on the back (instead of tossed). So my goal will be to have both sides of the backing facing in the same direction and match that to the bunnies on the front.

Molly wants to help but we have different opinions about what the word "help" means.

Recently, Molly's naughty dial has gotten stuck on 11. 

Buddy only has a switch that is flipped to Buddy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Quilt Guild Meeting Recovery

Last night was our quilt guild meeting, and once again I came home with a nice bundle of fabric. And because I had gone through and sorted my fabric bins, I took a much bigger load of fabric to the meeting than I went home one modest goal.

And here are the mini spools (unfinished two inches square) that I made from the smaller patches from the "free table." These spools require a one by six inch strip of fabric for the spool and two 1 by 2 inch strips of the background it's good to make the smaller scraps into spools before they disappear into the general fray of the sewing room.

Sue Spargo is coming to speak to our guild and give a workshop in February, and last night we received our beautiful kits so we can get a head start. Unfortunately, I did not get a "before" picture of the kit, so this is what it looks like after Molly performed her highly scientific authenticity analyses (HSAA). To the untrained eye the HSAA looks a lot like attacking and biting and kicking. In any case, the kit passed and is authentic wool. 

For those in the area, I should mention that the Sue Spargo workshop is now open to those not in the guild, so if you are interested, you can find information about it here.

I should also mention that Northwest Quilters are having their quilt show on March 22-23, 2019 at the Expo Center here in Portland. You can enter a quilt in the show even if you are not a member. However, the quilts must be delivered to a drop-off depots before the show and picked up afterward. You can find more information about entering the show here. The entry deadline is February 11, 2019 although the quilt doesn't have to be finished until it is dropped off.

I'm also putting together all of the extra string pieced diamonds. It turns out I have enough to make another quilt, so this one is going to feature blue and beige.

Here is Buddy attempting a rainy day cat pose. I'll wait until you stop laughing. And while I mentioned that I spent the weekend crushed by a boulder, Molly reports that Buddy's blog described a weekend of meditation while perched on a log decaying in a field of fabric.