Thursday, February 28, 2019

Microspools and Molly

How about if we end out this month with a handful of microspools?

And a photo of Molly. Here she is taking a brief break from her heated bed and is up on top of shelving in the sewing room.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tiny Tuesday Lemon Peel

So here is my version of the Tiny Tuesday Orange Peel. You'll find the tutorial at SoScrappy, home of the Tiny Tuesday and Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Okay, I made four peels instead of one because we couldn't decide which way we wanted it to slant. Buddy and I thought the peel should lean to the left, while Molly and Bertrand voted for a right slant. Hey wait...who's Bertrand?????

Later in the day I was catching up with the latest works by David Hockney. The last time I was paying attention, he was painting en plein air back in England. Apparently a decade had past and he's back in LA with a massive amount of new work. I love that he is trying to capture the sense of being out in a landscape. So while I was looking at pictures in a book, I looked up and saw that my own personal view was trying to get my attention.

It caught my attention and then decided to go a bit overboard.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Micro spools micro-managed

Here is the latest set of micro spools that are 2 inch unfinished squares. And given their size, I am constantly under the delusion that they are quick to sew. This is true in terms of how many stitches each require and their apparent simplicity. However, they really are composed of discrete steps that I usually can't push through and do in one day.

For example, I often cut the background fabrics at one time. I cut two inch strips from a variety of background fabrics and then slice these into one inch lengths. I use two of these strips for each spool. Next, I will pull together some fabric to make the spools. I was going to show yellow spools for Saturday (which didn't happen) and then I had fabric from the Modern Guild's free table. These piles of scraps were cut in one session. Then I sew the four flip triangles to the background fabric...and by then my mind is wandering. The next day, I iron and snip the background bits, then sew the backgrounds to the center core. All for 1.5 inches of finished quilt.

This is definitely a winter activity...given Molly spends most of her day melted into a feline fondue in her heated bed.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Free Modern

I recently joined our local modern quilt guild despite their not being a single thing modern about me except that I was born in the 50s so I am quintessentially mid-century modern. I guess. And yes, there was a free table.

I am mostly trying to get a wide variety of fabrics for my micro spools, so I am quite happy with small bits. And as I cut the bits into tiny bits, I realized that I wouldn't like any of these fabrics if I saw them on the bolt. But as scraps, they are quite delightful.

Meanwhile, Molly was in hiding. Buddy the Bully Bulldozer was looking for her. He spent most of his day on his heated parking spot. He likes to lie on top of it, idle his motor and get tummy rubs. I keep telling him not to call me his parking spot even if he leaves me a quarter.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Layered Chickens

Whew! The Speedy Chicken quilt is finally layered. Some of you may listen to audiobooks while you work on the more tedious aspects of quilting. Tonight, I became reluctantly involved in a living room drama called "The Kitten and the Bulldozer" where with pluck and cunning a kitten uses a magical tent to subvert a huge, plundering bulldozer. Unfortunately the drama turned into a wicked witch who threatening to eat the kitten and drive the bulldozer off a cliff. All the actors participating in these dramas retired to their respective corners (or circles as the case may be).

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Different Kind of Quilt Mystery

So this is strange...Molly received this "purrtrait" of her brother. She said it came in a box well infused with catnip. Molly suspects that it came from Smitty at Three Cat Ranch because his staff made a delightful pixelated cupcake quilt. Barbara is participating in Project Quilt, like Project Runway, but with quilts. The current challenge is to make a "pixel"-inspired quilt.

And while these challenges are all about drama and competition, it seems over the top to bully a sweet kitten like Molly just because she has a goofy looking brother who acts like a dog.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tiny Flower

I stopped by SoScrappy and that's how I remembered it was Tuesday. It's also how I remembered that it was Tiny Tuesday. I visited the Academic Quilter for the Tiny Yellow Flower tutorial. And yes, given my allergies to half-square triangles, this turned into a day of many flips.

Monday, February 18, 2019

More Micro Spools

I have a quilt show deadline in March, so of course, here I am making more microspools. The perfect pattern for procrastination. This pile brings my microspool total to 300, so I only have 1,300 more to go.

Meanwhile, Molly is having a hard time being the only adult in the household. Yesterday evening the window was open and she was assessing the presence of an intruder in the backyard. Buddy decided to poke his big head into her business and she had to warn him off with a hiss. His BBO (Buddy BO) was confusing the situation and since he was not inclined to leave, she gave him a second hiss.

Then, later last night, Molly's staff was immersed in the Twitterverse (formerly a feline forum) and she began laughing convulsively over towel tweets. Molly had never seen anything like it so she had to come and inspect. She put her face right up close to mine and patted my face with her paw. Yes, I was still laughing uncontrollably. Buddy had fled the room certain that his worst fears about me had come true.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

One Gold Fish

Here I am celebrating the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge with a gold fish, or maybe a yellow fish. So far this February we don't have any daffodils in bloom here, so if you want to see more yellow, please swim over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge homebase.

And here's a handful of micro spools. I cleaned out my sewing machine and found lots of thread bits which I realized is a side "benefit" of these micro spools.  I decided to clean the machine out as I was removing the tangles from Molly so carefully conditioning my thread with her thread magic.

As for yesterday, I only completed a couple of tasks and failed some entirely. First, I never got around to quilting the bunnies, but I did pick out the binding (a purple polkadot) and I did make the back for the chicken quilt (which measures 72 in by 96 in). My other tasks were to neglect Molly and Buddy but their wills are stronger than mine. That meant several play sessions and a few full body massages (for them, not me). And this will also seem weird...on a day that they were supposed to be neglected, they still expected to be fed. Incorrigible.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Ducks in a Row

I don't typically set goals or plan my quilting activities. I'm usually quite happy to engage and disengage with various quilts and rarely finish them. However, with a quilt show approaching, I have to abide with rules that require a finished quilt with binding and a sleeve. No one is putting on shows that feature unfinished quilts or bins of block bits...yet.

So today I'm going to list out what I hope to accomplish today so we can all laugh about how ridiculous I was...

First, I have been quilting the bounding bunny quilt and have quilted their bunny hops. Today I want to finish the first set of hops, although eventually there will be three lines of hops per bunny row.

I also want to look through my stash and pick out a suitable bunny binding. I may be able to put the binding on early because I don't think there will be any quilting that goes over the edge.

As for the speedy chickens quilt, I have already stitched the top to the batting. Now I need to relayer the quilt using this green chicken binding. I am hoping that having clueless meandering chickens on the back will make the chickens on the front look much faster. My simple task for today is just to make the backing.

After spending "two days away," Molly and Buddy spent all of their time sitting on me. So today my goal is to go back to fully neglecting Molly.

And for those of you who follow Barbara's bread baking over at Cat Patches, you will recognize that Buddy has been left to prove too long and should have been put in the oven at least two hours ago.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Going in Circles on a Tiny Tuesday

Here is my Tiny Tuesday Ohio Star.  Today, Angela at SoScrappy (home of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge) is both sponsoring Tiny Tuesday and provides the tutorial for the Ohio Star. And I was quite happy to have this simple task waiting for me when I got home from Sue Spargo's class today.
My brain feels fried. Something about spending a day with people instead of cats.

I certainly can't blame my fatigue on my stupendous progress. But at least you can see the circles at about the same distance as I work. My nose has significant involvement. (And yes, there is one of the four circles waiting to be appliqued.) (I did baste the circles to the wool foundation so they could survive Molly's "supervision.")

Monday, February 11, 2019

Quilt Guild Meeting

Here's Molly inspecting the haul of free fabric I picked up at the quilt guild meeting. She is going to sort it for me because I have to finish sewing my wool circles for the Sue Spargo class tomorrow. And yes, she came to speak tonight and was wonderful. I also volunteered to take some of her quilts around the room so people could see the quilts up close. (There were a lot of us that volunteered because she brought a lot of samples).

It was quite amazing because as I took it around people noticed and commented on different parts of the quilt. That was an education all in itself.

And now I have to rush off and sew circles. No slow stitching allowed! But here is a parrot I embroidered back in the 70s. It's sewn on the back of a work shirt...quite the rage back then. And yes, the eye and the area surrounding the eye are french knots.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Yellow Square Coin Blocks

Last year I made long bitcoin blocks and this year I'm going with square coin blocks. I'm hoping it will give me more leeway when I assemble the blocks after I've collected the rainbow colors. This is also a good block for easing into a new month.

For other bursts of sunshine, visit SoScrappy's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Whether Weather

I certainly didn't expect to see this when I got up this morning. And I didn't. This is from when I lived in Virginia.

And this is what my Portland backyard looked like this morning. However, just like everything in Portland, the weather is weird. In my area, the temperature was well above freezing all night so we had rain. Now the temperature is falling below freezing and will continue to fall into the low 20s. But other parts of the city were below freezing and saw varying amounts of ice and snow.

And I would like to mention that based on two data points, areas where an individual completed their Sue Spargo circles received a wintry mix, while an area where the circles remain unfinished received none.

Yesterday, Buddy was reprimanded and assigned to the doghouse. Molly was on a tear chewing thread, shredding paper and knocking things off of tables. Buddy, meanwhile, was pretending to be an adorable kitten playing with his rollerball toy. We assumed this devious behavior was designed to make Molly look bad, so an immediate reprimand ensued.

Then this morning, Molly wasn't feeling well...probably due to extensive intestinal blockage from her carnage the day before. She was curled up on the bed when Buddy came and brought her a fur ball...dropping it right in front of her. Again...blatant dog behavior that assured us he deserves to be in the dog house.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chaos and Confusion

I'm only referring to my own small world. And I don't usually consider myself to be the center of the universe, but our local weather forecast is so variable, it is certainly playing with me. As you can see, I have not finished sewing my Spargo circles. Yet, sometimes I look at the forecast and it calls for two days of 4 inches of snow each day...plenty to close down any Portland activities like a Quilt Guild Workshop. And with a forecast of a potential 8 inches, I did go out today and buy a snow shovel.

Other times I look at the forecast and it says something like a 60 percent chance of an accumulation of 0.4 inches (as if that's even a thing).  So yes, you can see this coming...if I finish the circles we will get snowed in, and if I don't we will have sunshine for days but I will be a slacker. Hmmm...may be worth it.

And then I came home to this...sitting by the side of the driveway. Instead of running away as I drove up, it just glared at me. It continued to glare at me as I took its photo. It even sat there when I got out and told it what I thought of its fashion choices. (I do not approve). It only ran away when I asked it if it wanted to hear Molly's opinion of its fashion choices.

Later today when I came home from a different errand, as I entered the front door, Molly stuck her head out. She usually keeps a respectful distance from the front door, but today I apparently is a "no respect" day. Although I am glad she didn't decide to dart out.

To cheer you up, Buddy suggested I show you his sawdust pile. This is where he hunts for laser mice. I dumped out my bin of 1.25 inch strip bits for his play area because I had taken all the blocks up off the design floor.

And I forgot to show the results of our first snow of the year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tiny Yellow Nine Patch

Today we are making Tiny Tuesday Nine Patches at SoScrappy's Tiny Tuesday Block event. She says it is supposed to finish at 2 inches...oh wait...she says to start with two inch squares. How can that qualify as Tiny? Or a scrap.

Let's try this block instead...

As you may know, I have not sewn in a while and when I finally got a chance to sit down at the sewing machine I was greeted by a wadded mess of thread. Using a "senior" sewing machine definitely has its disadvantages.

And yes, Buddy tried to explain to me that Molly chewed up the thread not the machine.  I wouldn't listen to him and told him that saying bad things about others behind their back is gossip and not tolerated in this family. He protested so I then had to explain that when Molly and I say bad things about him, those are called "probation hearings."

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Demented Deconstructed

I have not had a chance to return to the sewing machine yet, so I thought I would look back and see what I was working on. And yikes! It was last February that I began the Demented Garden Mosaic (a pattern published online by Free Spirit.) And that is also where I found an old tutorial that I made for making this quilt. Because I think it is important to realize that this is not made up of half-square triangles. This is made from strips and the smallest piece I have to handle is 2X4.5 inches.

It starts with light and dark strips that are 2 inches wide, and light and dark strips that are 3 inches wide. Sew the light and dark strips together...a light 2 inch wide strip to a dark 3 inch strip; a dark 2 inch wide strip to a light 3 inch strip.

Next, cut each of the strip sets into 2 inch increments so you have stacks of 2 by 4.5 inch rectangle two-patches.

Take similar rectangles (that is, small dark squares) and sew them so the small squares are at either end. The example on the left shows two rectangles with dark squares sewn together.  The example on the right shows to do the same for the rectangles with light squares.

These are the two types of blocks that you end up with.

Next, slice these blocks into triangles lining up the ruler so that makes a right triangle with a quarter inch seam off of the square. You will do this to both squares so that you get two triangles from each block. You may also have a sliver of excess.

Then recombine the triangles along the diagonal using one triangle with a dark square and one triangle with a light square. If you have ironed to the dark you will benefit from nesting seams.

These are the units that make up most of the Demented Garden Mosaic except for the strips of flying geese that march between the sections.

Meanwhile, I found out that mixes of Tabbies and Siamese can lead to a "Lynx-point Siamese" like Buddy. And supposedly one of their key characteristics is that they tend to be more dog-like than cat-like. Unfortunately, I found no discussion of a tendency to grow to the size of a pony or a tiny house.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Out of the House

I went out into the real world today to go to the Willamette Valley Quilt Show. This is one of the quilts I liked. It's called Antelope Canyon and was made By Janna Curtis. The judges liked it to and gave it a ribbon.

I liked this one too primarily because of the color choice. It is called Rebel Quilt and was made by Cheryl Farris.

I am hoping to get back to the sewing machine on Monday...but first I have to earn Molly's approval. I was gone long enough today that she broke up with her heated bed and is spending all of her time giving me long copious instructions. Yes, she is a very talkative cat.