Monday, December 30, 2019

Put a Bird On It 2020

This blog began as documentation for a daily challenge and that was at the beginning of this decade.  I found a daily challenge to be a great way to generate new ideas and during that year I made the 52 small fused quilts. These gradually led to the last five years or so of animal quilts.

Also, with a daily challenge, I was a daily blogger and I would like to return to that.

The next challenge will be "Put a Bird On It" where one of twelve birds will be picked at random to become the focus for that month. Rather than use a computer to pick randomly, I chose a luddite approach...I made a hexie for each bird and will pull one out of a jar each month.

The birds of the month will be chicken, owl, penguin, parrot, woodpecker, flamingo, blue jay, pelican, puffin, hummingbird, toucan and vulture. And because I don't have vulture fabric (or can't find it), it's represented by a dead opossum, the turkey vulture's favorite food in Virginia.

And the winner for January is penguin!

I have enjoyed the comments about organization. And as a huge fan of irony, I howled when two of the most organized people on the planet commented I was too organized. I will respect their privacy, except for noting that one just posted about people coming over to sew on the first day of the Bonnie Hunter challenge and the other provided an amazing year in review with precise information on each quilt.   (Molly Kitten says the latter blog is run by a bot because it posts pictures of fake cats.)

I am showing my other storage unit of unsorted scraps that hold the greens, batiks and Kaffe scraps. I don't mind these because I can close them, and for that matter, see them. Before I cleaned up the other scrap bins, Molly and I had the following conversation:

Molly: I think there is a dead squirrel buried in that pile over there.

Me: If there were a dead squirrel, Buddy would eat it.

Molly: There is definitely a dead cat under that pile of scraps over there.

Me: Buddy will eat it eventually.

Molly: I'm positive that a burglar broke in and died and is buried in that pile over there. And I know Buddy would not eat people.

Me: Darn, now I'll have to make other funeral arrangements.

So if you haven't had a similar conversation with your cat, you do not have to worry about your scrap organization.

Saturday, December 28, 2019


Yes, my scrap bins are finally organized. I should have taken a before picture, but it was way too embarrassing. The greens have moved to a separate organizer along with the Kaffe and batik scraps.

Here are some microspools. As you can see, the sheep are still pinned to the design wall. Everyday, Molly takes a run at the design wall and pulls one down.

And here is the cover I use on my sewing machine. The goal is to keep Molly from grabbing the thread off the spool and eating it. Unfortunately, I noticed her sneak under it and enjoy being naughty in secrecy.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

No presents, only past and future

Are you ready for your annual review? For some reason, I think I didn't meet expectations.

And you might think this is Buddy after receiving his annual review...but this is Buddy's treat face. He was avoiding the camera until I brought out a treat to entice him towards the camera.

Meanwhile, let's look back to see where we left off on the quilting side of are the microspools...with the spool cut and matched with a background ready for the sewing machine.

Here are the strips of blue and gold for the fourth step of the Bonnie Hunter Frolic mystery. Yes, these are supposed to be cut into triangle pairs and half square triangles. I am hoping that this is the part where the mystery elves show up and complete the task for me.

And here is the back of the embroidery. I am running one direction with cool colors and then will have hot colors running cross ways to form the circles.

Meanwhile, I am looking into various projects for the new year. I will be starting "Put A Bird On It" on January 1...where I will pick a different bird for each month and have a daily challenge of making a design and/or object of that bird. Here is an example of a challenge that made owls daily for the entire year. (She has taken her website of owls private, but this is her interview with the Making Something 365 & Get Unstuck website).

I have also been wanting to make Afternoon Delight by Sue Garmin. I have the pattern and the fabric but have not had the temerity. As luck would have it, this is going to be the BOM for The Quilt Show this year.

I am open to participating in other play along quilt activities, in case I missed anything while I was hiding in my cave.

Monday, December 16, 2019


Maybe I have been in deep hibernation. And yes, I may be sleepwalking through the Bonnie Hunter Frolic mystery. That said, I am caught up on all three steps. And by my calculations, we are 25 percent of the way there.

And this could be the entrance to my hibernation cave, except its really where the new water main hooks up to my house. Out in the street, this line hooks up to the new water meter. Such excitement. Plus the rumors are true. Molly Kitten would not get out of her heated bed just because there was a jackhammer about 30 feet away (but out in the garage).

Meanwhile, for Sunday I did do some slow marking. I am participating in the 25 million stitches project to raise awareness for the global refugee crisis. The panels are 15 by 17 inches and the variety of panels that people are stitching are amazing.

This is the full panel. I realize this is a much more structured approach than a lot of participants are taking but I wanted to avoid making a hot mess.

And although the sun is out, it may be time to go back to hibernation.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Baaaad Jokes

The sheep are getting restless waiting for me to sew them into position for their first PartisanSheep debate. While they are waiting they are telling baaaad baaaad jokes. And I don't mean jokes that aren't funny...but jokes that are made at the expense of kittens. And yes, maybe on occasion Molly Kitten and I will make jokes at the expense of Buddy, but those are all personal and well-deserved.

Meanwhile, I'm making plans for the new year. On Monday I gave a talk for Northwest Quilters about my animal quilts. Happily, I could use this blog to figure out when I started each quilt and why. I also looked back at the first years of the blog when I was doing my "Make Something Everyday" challenge and realized I should try it again for next year. (And yes, making quilts.)

Because I moved to Portland, I'm going to go with the "Put a Bird On It" challenge. And to mix things up, I'll pick twelve birds (e.g. pileated woodpecker, vulture, toucan etc.) and randomly pick one for each month.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Emmies' Favorite Drink

Meet Mocha (short for grande hot half-caf skinny no whip cafe mocha). And now its time to put the sheep out to pasture.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Fabric Prepper

No Emmie. No Frolicking with Bonnie. No running water.

I know many of you may be worried about me. In the last few days I have posted several blocks of Emmie the Sheep. This means that my fabric stash/hoard has diminished. Similar to preppers who maintain survival levels of food and other essentials, my fabric stockpile was getting dangerously low.

Rest assured because I did take the opportunity to visit another quilter's estate sale. This time my sister was there to supervise (where supervise means "every man for themself"). These are some of the fabrics I picked up.

And here are some more. Given that I have been making sheep blocks, I thought I should pick up some bundles of wool too. The fabric at the top is a Japanese fabric sample book opened up to show some of the fabrics.

The house had lots of china and collectibles and art supplies. The quilter was also a weaver so there were lots of handwoven blankets and two floor looms (one full size). I was happy to pick up this toy mechanical elephant that spins the ball up and down while motoring along. When I picked it up a fellow warned me it wasn't authentic...but I'm kind of glad because a real circus elephant would be way too much work.

I was also very happy to find these cat slippers that had been advertised in the estate sale notice. I was happier to see that they were five dollars. They are crib slippers so they are quite small.

I asked Buddy to use his head for a size comparison but he refused to cooperate. He knows that he has a big head and didn't like my incentive structure (that is, no treats).

Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Golden Fleece

Meet Emmie, short for I'm a Lion (but not for I'm lyin'). One more to go...

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Calming Sheep

Meet Emmie (short for emollient) (not emolument).

Emmie was born defective with a malformed cheek and had to have corrective surgery. This suggested that the recent sheepment may have been defective...and yes they were. The surgeon was kept quite busy.

And now I think I will be heading off to visit Little Penguin Quilts because I think I may have the same water feature in my front yard as she had in hers. And yes, to investigate the water leak, I did make a trip to the crawl space at about 4AM, and this set off the SUPER LOUD Molly alarm system. All day.

Clarification: My water feature is a leak in the pipe coming into the house, and Little Penguin Quilts had problems with pipes going out. But I didn't want you to think that I was talking about snow! In any case, visit Little Penguin Quilts for the festive cheer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

See the Sheep Frolic

Meet Emmie (short for Anemone).

Meet Frolic. These are some of the four patches from the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt for this year. I was very happy with this step because it is using the two colors I chose based on my bedroom colors back when I was in high school in the 60s. I had bright blue drapes and a chartreuse shag rug. Groovy!

And with any mystery, half the fun is guessing how it ends. We are about 4 percent into this challenge and I think we can safely forecast that we are making a medallion quilt with a postage stamp center. I report this confidently, because I have an unblemished record for 0 percent correct forecasts for Bonnie Hunter mysteries.

In case you are missing the micro spools, here's a handful. And speaking of handful...Molly.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Sheep Continued

We are now moving on to left sided sheep. The remaining four sheep are already cut (not sheared) and ready to be sewn. And I am making Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt this year, but since I don't have an instagram account, I will post my progress here. I have the strips sewn (blue and lime green) and just need to cut and sew to make four patches.

And Buddy would like to tell you about his Black Friday experience but his version of the story does not meet my very minimal journalistic standards. My version begins with staff indulging in pistachio nuts and thoughtlessly discarding the shells into a small bag with a handle. Staff did not have sufficient safeguards against feline criminality, and this allowed Buddy to stick his head in the bag to steal a pistachio shell. Only Buddy knows why he chose to stick his head through the bag handle...

With guilty conscience and a pistachio-monster-bag threatening to strangle him, Buddy made a fast and furious get-away, but the monster bag was just as fast as Buddy, the fastest cat on the planet. Thankfully, the bag finally ripped apart and loosened its grip as Buddy sought shelter under the bed. 

And yes, I now feel guilty for exposing Buddy to needless danger by trying to contain the pistachio shells in a bag. In the future, I will merely throw them randomly throughout the house, cutting out the middle man (I mean, cat).