Friday, May 31, 2019


Although Molly included many humorous and provocative anecdotes, Buddy did not enjoy her lecture on "How the Kitten Species is Superior to the Lap Pony Species."

And well after the lecture ended, Buddy pondered how a Lap Pony could also be a lap hog.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tiny Tuesday Butterfly

Here is my version of the butterfly...and as I was following the instructions, the body got turned around and so I needed to make the top wings the bottom wings and so there may have been a bit of improvisation along the way. In any case, I think the chameleons will enjoy this snack regardless.

And speaking of chameleons, I have redesigned them a bit. Given I am making smaller versions, I simplified the design. Also, as many of you know, Molly has a fascination with gravity...whether trying to defy it with climbing or knocking objects from counter to floor. So she kept wondering what was keeping the chameleons suspended in air. After the redesign, the chameleons are now resting on branches. This has not stopped Molly's gravity experiments. One of the things she learned today, was that if you are sitting on the desk and are given a mouse toy and you knock it to the floor...a carrier pony will grab it and run off with it. Molly replicated this experiment twice before her mouse toy funding source dried up.

And its a bit hard to make out, but here is my chameleon tail cheat sheet.

And here is the chameleon design floor that also serves as Buddy's play pen.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Micro Chameleon

Today I am revisiting the chameleons. I have decided to use a lighter background fabric and I am wondering if I should use a smaller grid...a micro version, of course.

This is how the Micro Chameleon compares to the original version. I have mixed feelings. Because of the smaller pieces, I lose more of the variation in the batik prints. Decisions, decisions.

The toucans think the smaller chameleon looks tastier. The cow thinks the chameleons must be defective if we can see them. The micro spools don't want to get involved.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

How Now Orange Cow

This morning I wanted some orange juice, so I made an orange cow. Unfortunately, there was way too much fabric pulp for my taste. If you want to get your last taste of orange for the year, I suggest you mosey over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Molly served as a place holder for the orange basket.

And Buddy served as a place holder for Buddy.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Micro Progress

Here's another handful of microspools. Most of them are made from fabric from my quilt guild's free table. Happily, each spool only needs about a 3 inch square of fabric so there isn't much competition for the bits that I'm taking. However, I did some accounting and found I'm not even half way to my 1600 microspool goal. Plus, as I was sorting the microspools, I found 4 repeats. So eleven steps forward and four steps back.

And here is the odd couple that has been sharing the design wall...the toucan block and the Tiny Tuesday block. The toucans probably tried to take a bite or two out of the butterflies which is why they look so disappointed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tiny Tuesday Goes Off the Rails

When I saw today's Tiny Tuesday block at Angela's SoScrappy blog (home of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge), it reminded me of a butterfly block I made awhile back based on a vintage quilt. That is, this is the same rails block Angela showed except two of my rails are butterfly wings. And yes, I have to confess that these are really just more microspools (flying microspools).

Also, I did use orange fabric, but it is looking very red on my monitor. And at 4.5 inches square (finished) this block qualifies as adorable. I might have to make another one or two.

Monday Tutorial

This week has already gone off the rails. On Monday I planned to provide a tutorial on the puffin block. But apparently, due to climate change, my sewing room is no longer a suitable puffin habitat, but has attracted a couple of toucans. It was well past midnight before they settled down enough for me to take a photo. This block is roughly 19 inches square and is based on a .75 inch grid.

So that's catches me up for Monday, so now I can move on to Tiny Tuesday.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Tiny Tuesday Collection

I have been keeping up to date with making the Tiny Tuesday blocks. That said, I haven't been very good about keeping them together or accounting for them. It also doesn't help that I have been making "slight" variations to some of the blocks. I also have some duplicates.

If you would like to see more industrious rainbow work featuring Marching Orange, I suggest a visit to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. And if I get my computer issues sorted out, maybe I'll be able to successfully link up to Angela's blog.

P.S. The panda had eye surgery this morning. One of his eyes inadvertently had a polka dot that looked like a pupil. That made the other eye look deformed, so now the panda has two eyes with pupils.

Tiny Tuesday on a Friday

Here's my Tiny Tuesday applique heart. It may look more like a panda than a heart...however, the panda does have aqua heart spots all over his face. And more to the point, the Tiny Tuesday applique heart had reverse applique, and so does the panda...for the eyes. 

Now I'm all caught up with the Tiny Tuesday blocks...until Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tiny Tuesday: Bear's Bow-Tie

We all know that quilting is a danger sport where we brandish rotary cutter blades and needles and use metal armor as protection. Today, we're going to take it up a notch and make a bow-tie for a bear. Yes, that's a bow-tie with bear claws on either end.

First, let's talk fabric. Obviously, I went with orange because that is the color of the month at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, hosted by Angela at SoScrappy along with Tiny Tuesdays. But you also want to choose a fabric that a bear would like...a food theme is a safe bet. Bears are known to tolerate plaids, but only in the Northwest.

As with all Tiny Tuesday blocks, we will end up with a 5 inch unfinished block (4.5 inches square finished).

You will want three fabrics: a background, a claw fabric, and a jaunty knot fabric that we are going to refer to as dark.

Cut four 1.25 inch squares of the dark fabric.

Cut two 2 inch squares of the claw fabric, plus enough for eight half-square triangles. (I told you this was a dangerous block!)

Cut two 2.75 inch squares and two 1.25 inch squares of the background, plus enough for eight half-square triangles.

The half-square triangles finish at .75 inches. Make them however you would like.

I made mine from 1.25 inch strips of the claw fabric and the background fabric, and used the Easy Angle triangle to cut eight sets of triangles. (Bonnie Hunter has a video demonstrating this method.)

After making the eight half square triangles, you can lay out the pieces and see how it will come together. And yes, here is the next dangerous part: attach a flip triangle to one corner of each of the 2.75 inch squares of background fabric and a flip triangle to one corner of each of the 2 inch squares of claw fabric.

To make these, lay the flip squares face down on the base square and sew along the diagonal, staying to the outside of the center diagonal. And here's my strategy...I don't stress about how well I sew the diagonal, because I'm going to press the square over AS IF I had sewn it perfectly. (And yes, if my line is ridiculously atrocious, I do resew the diagonal...this time using the fold line as my guide...but it truly has to be way off).

Here are the blocks after we've finished our four flips.

Next, sew the HST (half square triangles) in pairs as shown. You can also have the pieces laid out in front of you according to their position in the block if that helps you keep track of these pairs.

Next, sew the 1.25 inch background square to the top/bottom set of claws. And sew the side claws to the bear's palm.

Now sew the top/bottom claws to the rest of the bear's paw.

At this point you're going to join these four patches...and I assume you can make it home on your own from here...

And yes, I chose a fabric for a background that looks like peaches (although they might be cherries)
because I happen to know first hand that bears like peaches.

Here's a bear walking the center trunk of the peach tree down to the ground so the peaches are easy to reach. (The tree does not like this method.)

And in case you wondered...bears would eat the peaches quite early in the season well before they are ripe. Yes, they do spit out the peach stone. (The peach tree was in my front yard when I lived in Virginia).

On a historical note, I made up the bear's bow-tie block back in the ancient times of the early 1980s before I knew I would share my peach tree with black bears. Mary Ellen Hopkins put it in her book "It's Okay If You Sit On My Quilt." It's block 199, in the six patch section.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Guild meeting

Just a bit of I was still sewing the binding on the I-spy quilt before handing it in to my quilt guild today. Before I left for the meeting, Molly made sure to roll around on it to make sure it was furry enough.

And today I had a serious lapse...I took home a lot more fabric than I took into the guild meeting. I try to take in more than I take home.

Meanwhile, I am ahead of schedule on at least one thing...I've already completed this week's Tiny Tuesday block...and its only Monday!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Wishing Donuts

At the beginning of the year, I never really pulled together a good set of blocks to bring me through the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. These Donuts/Wishing Rings are popular but I have resisted adding them to my list until I saw the Rainbow version on Kathy's blog. I thought of making a micro version, but decided to go with 1.5 inch strips. This fits in very nicely with the bitcoin blocks.

These finish at 3 inches. If you want to see more orange juicy blocks, go visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Many Directions

Yes, more microspools. I am making a shift toward making more spools that have less value contrast. I am planning on having the upright spools be dark and the tipped over spools be lighter. I think the red spool in the fourth row, far left will be my model for the lighter value spools.

And poor sweet Molly has moved to the top of the shelving unit in the sewing room because it is now warm enough without her heated bed. Also, her pony is turning into an attention hog...and Molly doesn't think that is fair given what a short attention span her staff has.

Buddy comes up to me and calls me his Pony Pedestal because he likes to be held up my shoulder. He also likes Pony Playtime. He calls Molly his Pony Plunder.

And yes, I think the Puffin is straight forward enough for a tutorial. There are some tricky bits where seams have to match though. Usually I like to keep modifying the design until those parts of eliminated.

And this is how I work. I scribble around on graph paper until I get shapes that I like. I like this eye because it conveys a puffin eye without being hard to pieces. And I also like how the black flips from the head to the beak.

After I get the general cartoon settled, I break it down into sections for piecing. I make a lot of changes to the cartoon at this stage.

I should also mention that back in 2011, I was part of a 52 week challenge where I made a small fused quilt each week. I was learning Illustrator and I spent a lot of time refining and abstracting the cartoon for the pattern. Now when I design a pieced block, I used these fused pieces as my spring board because I have already abstracted the key characteristics.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Puffin 1.0

If you have been following the adventures over at Cat Patches blog, you will see that there is a huge puffin made out of plastic trash out on the Oregon Coast. And yes, I'm still learning about my new home state. How and why would plastic form into a puffin? So no one should be surprised that I move my fabric to Oregon and now its formed into a puffin.

This puffin is a bit smaller measuring about 12 by 13 inches unfinished.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Road to the Doghouse

Here is my Tiny Tuesday block. Today's block is offered by Angie at Quilting on the Crescent.
She suggested that we should name the block "Road to" filling in our destination of choice. I chose Road to the Doghouse.

And yes, here is Molly pressing her luck by laying on the parts of the block that I'm trying to iron. She also tried to chew the thread, knock things off the sewing table, lay on the ruler, and take over the sewing chair. Yes, it was admittedly a slow day for her but still worthy of being in the doghouse.

And if Molly thought her pony would stand by her, she was wrong.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A day late plus spools

Here are my orange blocks for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. These are revised bitcoin blocks...shortened to be square blocks. I have switched to a new computer so I have to get into a new process for editting the photos and posting to the blog. Fun!

And here are a pile of microspools that I have been working on bit by bit.  My sewing machine is back from getting service, but it refuses to let me use it to make microspools because they shed more fur than my cats.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Ripping Out

I enjoy showing the lovely blooming madness of my backyard. Although, like a quilt, a garden tends to show the successful stitches and not all the ripped out seams. And that is what I have been doing, ripping seams. Except in the garden sense, the seams are English Ivy.

If I step back further from the happy part of the backyard, the remnants of the evil ivy is revealed. The leaves were removed with a weed whacker. And I cleared the front area just by pulling it up...not a gratifying strategy. Now I have moved to the rolling method, where working from the back by the fence, I'm rolling up the ivy like a carpet.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

More Spies

Despite adverse circumstances, I did finally finish the second I-spy quilt top. Again, I let some of the blocks pick its pair, like the pig that would like to be a race car driver, while the chameleons chose to be next to crayons.

And of course, the tiger would love to grow up to be a kitten.

So here are the two quilt tops, they are roughly 36 inches square. (And if you are interested in making a tilted i-spy block, you can find the instructions in the tutorial section).

As you can see, unlike some of you, I do not live in a supportive environment. Buddy seems to think that my quilt blocks are part of his toy box.

Molly says its my fault for allowing a pony in the house.