Thursday, June 27, 2019


I am making the microspools in larger and larger batches. I have about 100 more spools cut, but need to cut more backgrounds. I keep planning to return to the chameleons...but this project seems to be running on autopilot and I'm in the backseat.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tiny Monkey Wrench

Here's my Tiny Tuesday Monkey Wrench featuring pony shoes.

Did someone mention a pony?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Patchwork Kitten in a Basket Tutorial

After Molly gave her kitten in a basket tutorial, I received quite an earful. First, kittens use free will both in their choice of getting in the basket, getting out of the basket and being adorable. Second, apparently no one wanted a kitten in the basket tutorial...the request was for a patchwork kitten in a patchwork basket tutorial. After everyone accepts my apologies, we will now move on to the patchwork tutorial.

First, Molly officially gave this tutorial her stamp of approval.

For the orange kitten (Alfie), you will cut a 2 inch square, a 1 by 1.5 inch rectangle and a 1 inch strip at least 3 inches long from orange fabric.

Out of the white background fabric, you will cut three 1.5 inch squares, a 1 by 2 inch rectangle, two 1 inch squares, two 2 inch squares and three 1 inch strips at least 3.5 inches long.

For the blue basket fabric, you will cut a 2 by 5 inch rectangle, two 1 inch squares, two 1 inch strips at least 3.5 inches long, and one 1 inch strip at least 5 inches long.

In the first version of this block, I pieced the 2 by 5.5 inch rectangle for the base of the basket using three one inch strips.

Let's start by laying out the pieces used for making the kitten.

First, sew two flip triangles using the two 1 inch orange squares and sewing them to a 1 by 2 inch rectangle of background fabric. (You will recognize this as one third of a microspool, but I urge you not to become distracted...) Next, sew a one inch square of orange to the one inch square of background fabric. Third, sew one background flip triangle using a one inch square of background and sewing it to the 1 by 1.5 inch rectangle of orange.

Next sew the ears to the top of the kitten's head. And sew the tip of the kitten's tail to the top of a 1.5 inch square of background fabric. Sew the kitten's back to the bottom of the 1.5 inch square of background fabric.

Sew the head of the kitten to the body, then sew the tail (the one inch strip of orange) along the right side. When sewing strips, I find it easier to use slightly longer strips than I need and then trim them after sewing.

Now that the kitten is completed, we will add the surrounding basket. Attach a strip of background fabric to the top of the kitten and then add two flip triangles to the corners using one inch squares of blue basket fabric.

I didn't follow my directions and instead attached the flip triangles to the background strip.

Here is the header sewn to the kitten.

Next, surround the kitten block with one inch strips of the blue basket fabric. I sew the sides first, then the top, trimming as I go.

Now we will proceed to frame the handle of the basket. First, attach two flip triangles to the top of the basket using 1.5 inch squares of background fabric. Then sew the one inch strips of background fabric to the sides.

Then, sew the 2 by 5.5 inch strip of basket fabric along the bottom.

Right about now you may be wondering why the block is 5.5 inches wide when the unfinished Tiny Tuesday blocks are 5 inches unfinished and 4.5 inches finished. The larger size gives my sloppy sewing a bit of wiggle room. Also, the background frame along the sides finishes at a quarter inch, but I don't want to cut or sew .75 inch strips of fabric. I find it easier to sew bigger, then trim.

And at this point I will introduce my Tiny Tuesday best's a Dear Jane ruler that is five inches square with a grid and wonderful diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines. Dear Jane blocks, like our Tiny Tuesday blocks, finish at 4.5 inches.

Trim the block to its correct 5 inch square dimensions. (And of course, you can use any ruler to trim this down to its final five inch square...)

Last but not least, attach two flip triangles to the base of the basket using the remaining two 2 inch squares of background fabric.

The End.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Kitten in a Basket Tutorial

I admit that I was somewhat baffled that anyone would need a tutorial on how to get a kitten in a basket...but here you go...

Put basket wherever you want. The kitten is probably nosing around everything you are doing anyway, so the kitten part will arrive on its own.


Continue to wait, especially if you allow ponies to roam freely in your sewing room.

Wait some more.

Continue waiting based on the inverse of the ratio of basket opening to kitten hind end.

Continue to wait as kitten makes automatic adjustments for maximizing cuteness. This is built into the "kitten in a basket" feature of kittens.

If you have an older model of kitten, it may not have the same response time as newer model kittens.

Thank you for waiting.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tiny Tuesday Basket

Kittens ruin everything. I went to Angela's SoScrappy blog today to see what we would be making for Tiny Tuesday. And there, Angela shows us how to make a cute little applique basket. Which I did! But I turn around for just a second, and a stupid orange kitten settled into it and smashed it all out of its original shape. But just like cats, if kittens fit, they sit.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Day Late

Here are my blue bitcoins for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge for yesterday.

Molly has taken over my sewing chair. If this continues, I may only be showing cut fabric from now on.

In the meantime please enjoy these roses. Portland is also called Rose City, apparently for good reason because the yellow roses above are in my front yard under a pine tree and have received little care. Buddy says they are just like him...thriving on neglect.

Friday, June 14, 2019

In a Pickle

If I remember correctly, about two years ago (right before the move back to the west coast) I finished making all the paper pieced wedges for a pickle dish quilt. I thought I would start a slow march to finishing this quilt. And like a wedding ring quilt, I suspect this will come together quickly because all of the pieces are relatively large. Also, the curved piecing always seems likes it will be harder than it actually is.

Meanwhile, I think it might have been a mistake to say "When you were a kitten, your favorite toy was a feather boa with a bell."

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tiny Wednesday

Here is this week's Tiny Tuesday block. This one was presented by Cynthia Brunz at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

And I've worked through the guild scraps and the packing material for the cat toy.  Here are the preparations for 90 microspools.

And here is Molly's new cat toy. She was so upset about receiving a package without a toy that I went out and bought her this toy. However, Molly does not consider this to be a cat toy. She would classify it as an abomination. An abomination with bells. So of course I did not admit that I bought it, but instead told her that Alfa and Darla sent it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Post Guild Meeting Assessment

Here are the fabric bits I picked up at the free table of tonight's quilt guild meeting. That said, I am reluctant to sew more microspools now that I have reinstalled my newly serviced and cleaned sewing machine. Those small bits shed like crazy and leave thread bits all over.

Meanwhile, Molly is not too pleased. She received a package of cat toys today, except when she inspected it thoroughly, she didn't find any cat toys...only fabric bits used for packing material. She suspects that toys were stolen somewhere along the way...or most likely by Alfie and Darla. To make herself feel better, Molly studied gravity by knocking items off of the sewing machine table and into the trash can. I made myself feel better by rescuing the items and putting them out of the way.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Blue Tiny Fan

Here's my blue fan for Tiny Tuesday. If you are feeling a bit blue, you can go all the way at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Molly is sticking with green with a touch of pink.

 Buddy is sticking with blue and taupe and rubber bands.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Onslaught of Microspools

Here is an invasion of microspools. Much smaller than the weeds overtaking the backyard.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Blue June Arrowheads

Okay. Maybe I am too easily influenced and distracted by other quilters. And yes, I fell pretty hard over at Kathy's Blog where she is making Arrowhead blocks. Now mind you, although I like micro-blocks, Kathy is splitting atoms with her blocks. Mine are enormous with the center four-patch measuring a whopping inch. The final block is 5 inches unfinished...a Tiny Tuesday size.

(I did not use the Anita Grossman technique which is a very clever and frugal approach. Instead, I just used strip piecing...using a lot more fabric in exchange for easier piecing. Also, it's likely that I don't have the right proportions. I just wanted one inch strips in the center and then a Tiny Tuesday/Dear Jane final size.)

If you want to see other blue wonders (and a few orange ones), go visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

And as you may remember, Molly was captured at about 3 months old and brought into the local animal shelter as a "feral kitten." (She prefers the term "free range.") But needless to say, many years later her wild streak comes out and she attacks her fake mouse with feathers inside her pink tulle bag.