Friday, January 31, 2020


Today I went down to the Willamette Valley Quilt show and while there I ran into Cynthia Brunz, the infamous quilter who blogs at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  She described how she likes to dump scraps on her floor and then let the scraps "speak to her" and give her the idea of the quilt they would like to become. So when I got home I decided to give it a try...but it must be a very special skill because all I see is a big pile of scraps.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Penguin Puppet

Let me introduce Penguin Puppet. He agrees that one could easily spend a whole year on penguins. However, at the end of last year I chose the twelve birds that would change monthly for the "Put a Bird On It" daily challenge. He also thinks you should know that you can get a pattern to make penguin puppet at The Tucson Puppet Lady.

Mr. Vulture would like to remind you of the remaining bird possibilities (and yes, the dead possum is filling in for a fabric image of a vulture.)

Molly is a bit worried that there may be concerns about the integrity of the random drawing process, so she has brought in expert assistance. She also knows that a picture of an adorable kitten is soothing.

Here is Misha the mascot from the 1980 Moscow Olympics. He will be verifying the results. The selection hexies are stored in the penguin ice bucket.

And the winner for February is Parrot. I did do a bit of research and discovered that this covers not only the Macaw, but the cockatoo, parakeets and love birds. So wow. And its a short month. And P.S., the Tucson Puppet Lady also has a pattern for a vulture puppet (not shown).

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Keeping it simple

On a recent trip to the hardware store, I saw small hexagon bathroom black and white. Of course, I thought penguins! But no, I didn't want to get tile hexies just to make a penguin...especially when I have so much fabric at home. Then I kept thinking about it...with the tile hexies, it would have been just a quick arrangement of the tiles...and did I really want to make black and white hexies just to make another version of a pixelated penguin. Hexie No! Did I want to rummage around in my fabric to find all the versions of penguins I have...sure...but I too am surprised at how few I have.

However, the hexie penguins are appropriate for another reason...tomorrow is the day for picking the next bird of the month. I will continue with penguins until the end of January, but I did want to give my brain a bit of advanced notice of what is to come for February...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tacky Penguin

Today I present a tacky penguin.

And yes, I thought that I should introduce the felted penguin to the felted animal formerly known as owl.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Wool Applique Penguin

Here is a wool applique penguin. Unfortunately, felted penguin is quite distressed to see a penguin that has been run over by a truck or whatever other bad thing that can happen to a wool penguin to make it so flat. Felted penguin has not yet met Molly Kitten so his concern for others is heart warming but sadly naive.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Team Storm Quilt Top

Here is the Team Storm quilt top. I didn't meet the Project Quilting deadline, but I'm fine with that. I like how this quilt turned out and this lets me take some time finishing it. The challenge for this week was to pick team colors and make a quilt based on that. I chose the colors of Team Storm, three kittens that I fostered back in Virginia. In fact, they were the last kittens I fostered...

I thought Molly approved of the quilt and said "Taupe is dope" but she was really saying "That taupe cat is a dope."

And here is a felted penguin...a baby emperor penguin. It really is amazing how cute emperor penguin babies are. At the end of March of the Penguin II, they show the babies after their first year heading off to the water for the first time. Along the way, they are losing their baby fluff.

If you still haven't had enough of can see Handmade Dalae make a Pengsoo purse on youtube:

It is always amazing to watch her make things...and this was how I learned that South Korea has a celebrity penguin called Pengsoo.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Loose bead penguin

At this point I feel like I have a few loose I used them to make a penguin. And yes, you would be correct if you noticed that most of the loose beads seem a bit too cat-like. Meanwhile, I am crashing on the Team Storm quilt, and you'll either see it tomorrow or not.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Duct Tape Penguin

Here is duct tape penguin. And I must say it is really wonderful to be able to count on duct tape in an emergency. And that's where I was. I had another penguin origami failure...which I was going to call pathetic penguin. I had a new sketch of a penguin but it hadn't become anything. I was thinking wool appliqué, but when I got out the wool, Molly settled into the bin for a cuddle and snooze. And yes, it was already after 10:00 pm.

Then I was thinking back and remembered a design/sculpture class I took back at PVCC in Virginia...the first assignment was to choose an object and make faux objects. I chose a lemon.

I pulled out all the lemony stuff I had at the time...and looky there. Bright yellow duct tape. (I don't have that anymore, but I did have white duct tape and electrical tape.)

Here's the final set of lemons (the paper clay lemon was painted after it dried). And yes, if and when I remember how to knit, there will be a knitted penguin/bird of the month.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Wood Shape Penguin

Penguin is wondering why anyone in their right mind would have a pile of wooden shapes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What a charming penguin

Today's penguin is a bit on the small side...a shrinky dink penguin charm. A photo of the fused penguin was printed onto inkjet shrinky dink plastic and then heated to shrink. I had charms for the pieced penguin, Buddy and Molly but I wasn't able to flatten the other charms in for example, Molly's ears curled over on themselves and onto her face.

But stuffed penguin is happy to sport his new necklace...especially because he was the model for the fused appliqué penguin.

Molly is already posing to show off her necklace...who wants to tell her?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Pixelated Penguin plus kittens

Here's my second attempt at a pixelated penguin and Molly is calling it "Blunt Force Trauma" Penguin because she assumes that the penguin was whacked in the back of the head. She also said he's leaning on some rails in the rehabilitation unit where he is learning to walk again. And yes, I was trying to avoid having a "Blockhead" Penguin. In any case, we are thankful for flip triangles...when we can use them.

And here is the new litter of kittens. There were five "kittens" in the Team Storm litter when they were brought into the shelter in a box. There were four gray and white kittens and one seal point pony  pup.

I should also mention that Molly took over my sewing chair for most of the evening which slowed my progress significantly. I suspect some deal was struck with another Project Quilting Contestant to thwart my efforts. I think that's my signal to stomp out of the workroom.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Kittens, cats and penguins

Why yes, it is a kitten block featuring penguins.

And here are more kittens all decked out in Team Storm colors. So yes, it might be a bit easy to predict what my Project Quilt Challenge 2 quilt is going to look like. Molly says its going to look like a big zero, just like Challenge 1 because I'm not making blocks fast enough. She assigned me the task of twelve kittens per day in order to reach the level of completion I reached last time, before I failed. Molly doesn't want to see me fail too soon.

Here's Buddy providing a color quality control check.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Purl Penguin

Here is a stuffed penguin. This penguin is from a free pattern from Purl Soho

When taking photos of projects, a close crop is very important or the focus moves to extraneous objects in the house, such as kittens and pictures of dead cats.

Meanwhile, today is the first day for the second challenge for Project Quilting. The challenge is to use colors of your favorite team. I, of course, immediately thought of Team Storm, those sad little foster kittens I took care of starting in November 2015. I am already off to a great start, and Buddy helped me pull fabrics for this new quilt. He flopped in front of me and I laid fabrics on top of him to see if they matched. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Postage Penguin

Sometimes, theory and reality diverge. I was hoping to make a postage stamp penguin or one might say a pixelated penguin. But instead I mismanaged the value of light green and bright green and got goo.

And even after seeing the intention, there are some problems with my theory because I wasn't planning on having the penguin carry groceries. The heavy weight of the packages has shortened the penguins neck, forced him into a squat and made a mess of his wings. Despite all that, I made him from various four patches and think this might be fun to carry through with the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Next time I will take more time between design and execution.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Penguin Publishing

Molly was right to ridicule me for thinking penguins could write books because their expertise is publishing books. Obviously. So please accept this addendum to yesterday's mishap. This is a penguin made from books and DVDs.

Also, please accept my apologies for the blur. I took this photo without a flash because I was getting glare. Plus, Buddy makes a terrible tripod.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Literary Penguin

The next session of Project Quilting starts on Sunday, so I wanted to get the first session finished by then. Molly thinks I should participate in Project Kitten instead.

And how silly of me to think that penguins would be literary just because of Penguin books. Instead apparently they are obsessed with counting...

...things to crab, two squid, three fish.  How many times do you want to read this book to a penguin?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Cognitive Penguin

Meet cognitive penguin. If you have been following along you may have seen that my first penguin (welcome to the new year) was a failed attempt at origami. While I am usually fine with simple origami figures, that was well above my pay grade. And now more advanced constructions are available such as the penguin you see here...a kit that makes a moving penguin. In theory, this penguin could be flattened, and then when tossed on a table, the two suspended rubber bands inside would pop the penguin into this shape. But as you can see from the major gap in this penguin's abdomen, this penguin would become an exploding penguin.

Meanwhile, I discovered Molly playing with her fish/penguin. She had the tail in her mouth as she kicked it brutally. I will tally that it the success column.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Fused Fabric Penguin

Here is an emperor penguin. Back in 2011, I participated in a small quilt a week challenge where I made a small 8.5 by 11 inch fused quilt. It got easier as I went along, but I forgot most of the tricks I had learned back then. However, I did still have some fused bits that I could use so maybe hoarding isn't such a bad idea after all.

And here is what a snow day looks like in Portland. And yes, as I was standing out in the front yard there were snow flakes falling from the the rate of about one snowflake per five minutes.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Penguin Dispute

Here we are almost to the middle of January and we still haven't had a discussion of what the rules are for the "Put a Bird On It" daily challenge.  The penguin was randomly chosen as the bird for January, and while there may have been lots of discussion about the aesthetic merit of many of the rule violations have been cited until today.

At my quilt guild meeting, I found this bit of flannel fabric on the free table. I was quite happy to post this as my penguin for the day, but Molly objected because the manufacturer put the bird on the fabric, not me. Molly Kitten ruled that the only way I could use this fabric as part of the challenge would be if I made cat toy out of it. I asked if she would then forgive me for making a penguin out of cat toys, and she said no.

I thought there might be some poetic justice if I made a fish shape, while a mouse shape would just be confusing. I did back the fish with wool because Molly likes to smell, roll around and beat up wool.

Here is Molly sitting on the rest of the goodies procured from the free table. When I gave her the new cat toy, she was not impressed, but happily it was for aesthetic reasons and not legal ones.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Reorganizing my Sock Drawer

Okay, so my submission to Project Quilt was a big zero, as in nothing. Very literal submission. However, before I threw in the towel, I did realize that the Googol quilt was quite small...30 inches square, and that I could make 9 similar sections as part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and have a number quilt. So I'm moving ahead, just not like a crazy person.

So with all the extra time freed up, I was finally able to tackle the sock drawer and return it to some semblance of order.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Lots of Zeroes for Project Quilt

The day started off with a roar because I had finished cutting all the fabric for the light zeroes. Or I thought I had. But I was quite impressed with how much I got done when I focused on what I was doing and stuck with it instead of wandering off.

And so okay, I was expecting to run out of bobbin thread. And I mean running out. But I was still energized so I loaded them all, cleaned and oiled the machine and gave it a new needle. This was too much for the machine so about a half hour later it developed tension issues. But today is not for the faint of heart, so I substituted in my other sewing machine (a twin!).

As you can see, the zeroes are starting to pile up. Also, the substitute sewing machine's light doesn't work (not the bulb).

Well, its already heading into evening. I discovered I needed sixteen more light zeroes and I had to cut 24 dark zeroes. (How many zeroes in a googol?) Times that by four flip triangles.

I'm getting a bit tired, so I agreed that Molly could make dinner although it sounded like some weird concoction using cream cheese and olives. I guess its the thought that counts.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Pain in the Neck Penguin and Googol

While made of food, this penguin is not edible. It has fallen on the floor more than 5 times thereby violating the 5 second rule not based on length of time but numbers of time. Then in an effort to change my sobs to screams, Molly rubbed against it knocking it over and covering it with cat hair. Still not edible.

This penguin has a radish for its belly, a carrot slice for its feet, a dried fig for its head, bits of carrot for eyes, and dried beets for wings. Maybe that's why its not edible.

Meanwhile, its time to get serious about Project Quilting. The theme this week is numbers and I have chosen the number googol, or ten raised to 100, or a 1 followed by 100 zeros. I started planning the quilt using grays, white and black but those are not good color choices for Portland during the winter. So today I switched to green.

If you wonder how Project Quilting relates to Project Runway, I'm the one who started the week talking smack, then began laughing nervously, then started crying in the corner and is now threatening to leave the show. All in the privacy of my own home. (Molly calls this Monday.)
In any case, this week's quilt is supposed to be finished by Sunday.

And seriously...I just went to the website to pull the link, and there are almost 50 people who have already finished and submitted their quilt. What's wrong with people these days? Don't they even know what the word deadline means and that the word "dead" is in there for a reason?