Sunday, May 31, 2020

Postage Due

Here are three new blocks of postage stamps...and just in time. I'm planning a scrappy giveaway starting tomorrow. The giveaway will start tomorrow and I will collect comments on tomorrow's post. I will leave it open for a week and then Molly will pick a lucky random winner. Unfortunately, due to the crazy of cost of shipping, this can't include international participants. But more about that tomorrow...

And yes, I have woefully neglected the "Put a Bird On It" daily challenge. Nor am I willing to fully give up on the vulture because I have a quilt project planned featuring a vulture. Also, I have a yard flamingo waiting for a conversion. That said, June will be the the month of the chicken...Buddy's favorite.

However, if you are missing any of the "Put a Bird On It" adventures, you might enjoy this Old Navy ad that features Noah Scalin, a Virginia artist who had an amazing skull a day project that turned into the 365 day challenge blog and a series of books. He has also worked to develop green graphic design practices. This seems to have converged into "painting" with clothes which you can see in action here:

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Here are the latest zipper blocks.

And here is my vegetable garden. There are some folk who have amazing gardens in real life. And until recently, I didn't know that I lived right next door to Cathy at the blog Crazy by Design. (Who knew ivy could travel that far...) To compensate, I am getting my veggies from Martha Negley (who used to be part of Kaffe's collective, way back when).

Friday, May 29, 2020

Growing Patience

The Patience Corner blocks are quite simple to make...a thin strip (1.25 inch) sewn to a large strip (2.75 inch) (roughly 12 inches long). Then cut that strip set into 2.75 inch segments. Add a thin strip to the side of each square. Then assemble and sew these four chunks into the Patience Corner block.

This means that more time is spent wallowing in fabric than sewing.

And now I think I should spend a bit more time wallowing in some purple, yellow and green.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


I was going to show you some new patience blocks, but instead I'm going to ask for your patience while I figure out what is going on with blogger. My photos are loading as black rectangles. That be not good. Before I look to Google for some answers, I'm going to go interrogate Smitty.

Okay, this is personal. Literally. The photos seem to show up fine with Chrome and another device. The black rectangles seem to be a feature of Safari.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Zippers and Windows

Two new zipper blocks.

And two window blocks. These are based on a recent quilt top made by Lynn Dykstra (Klein Meisje Quilts) using the block Patience Corner and her series of quilts combining prints and solids. Her blocks finish at about eight inches and mine finish at 6.25 inches. I cut 1.25 inch strips for the panes and a 2.75 inch strip for the centers.

Meanwhile, with so much togetherness, I do feel a bit of contention in the air, especially about technical issues. Molly insists that sewing thread needs a lot of conditioner and I insist that she stop chewing on the thread. I cover the machine, but this probably just makes it more fun for her. I did  finally convince her to stop...not with my impeccable logic...but by taking the thread out of the machine and putting it a drawer.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Wandering and maybe a bit cranky

My sewing machine continues to burp out these micro spools. These are for a charm quilt--all different fabrics. And each spool is a 1.5 inches square finished. I think I have less than 1,000 more to make.

You may not know this, but every house in Portland comes with roses. I'm not a big fan. And this is what they look like if you don't water, feed or trim them. Plus, for some reason these were planted under an evergreen and get relatively little sun. So yes, they get a bit angry and in your face, but not quite as bad as Little Shop of Horrors.

They also bring along their friends for extra intimidation.

And just in case you thought I forgot that this is vulture month, this is a foam vulture that I made from a kit. Making this vulture, I discovered the meaning of pointless.

And please do not believe the hype about the Buddy mask. It is not a good idea to have holes in the side of a mask so your whiskers can stick out and warn you of any social distance encroachment. The openings for the nose are a flaw not a feature. And no one should market a mask that allows you to enjoy a light snack or bite your sister's ears when you think she is annoying.

Saturday, May 23, 2020


Postage stamp blocks. I have seen others make postage stamp blocks by cutting individual 1.5 inch squares, plan them out and then sew them together. That is much too exacting for me. I cut strips of the "solid" fabric and sew snippets (anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 inch bits of 1.5 inch strips) to the solid strip. Next, I cut the snippets apart and iron them (one direction for nesting later).

Next, I trim down the snippets to a width of 1.5 inches to make two patches. These are sewn into four patches. I continue to build these units into larger units until I have the final block.

Friday, May 22, 2020

More zippers

I worked on zippers and postage today. The zipper blocks are much easier so I was able to make quite a few more.

Buddy is examining the zipper blocks very carefully. I will leave it to you to decide whether I am making micro zipper blocks or Buddy has grown as big as a house.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Blog Relaunch

Here are two new postage stamp blocks. Long time ago I started a quilt that borrows from Klein Meisje Quilts blog, where Lynn is making a boat load of quilts that contrast solids and prints. Wanda at Exuberant Color is also taking this journey. I am so far constraining myself to the postage stamp quilt and the zipper quilt. Although I love the concept, I couldn't bring myself to go all the way to solids, so I am using Spotted by Zen Chic instead.

Now you may be wondering what I meant by relaunching the blog. It's really more that I am adding a new blog post, but to do that, I had to relaunch myself into a vertical position. This was instigated by a nasty note I received from Smitty from Three Cat Ranch. He was posing as Barbara, and we know just how well he poses! The threatening and ominous note said "Everything okay? Haven't heard from you for a while. Just checking in. Hope you're okay."

In my head, this translates into: "Are you really going to let yourself devolve into a gelatinous puddle topped with two parasitic fat cats? It's okay to be weird, but we frown on pathetic. Although you have no self-respect. pretend you do. You're burning daylight--a very rare commodity in Portland."

The top two blocks are two new zipper blocks that I added to the other three I made some time in the distant past.

These four measly blocks took quite a bit of effort because I am quite out of practice and I had to dig my sewing machine out of layers of fabric I used to keep Molly away from the thread. Yesterday, I was only able to sew for a few hours because soon Molly had moved in front of the machine and then placed herself in my arms so I could only hold her...for the rest of the day.

So this morning, in a fit of brilliance, I turned Molly's heated bed back on and now we can both resume our lives...which has always pretty much looked like a pandemic lock down.

Not all of my time has been spent supine. I did put a new cat tree together for Molly so that she can get to the top of the fabric shelving.

This is how Molly supervised the construction. At first she did not approve. She likes to scale piles of fabric and doesn't approve of weird new contraptions that don't smell like cat.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Daytime Theft

So today I was minding my own business, and poof, my day was stolen right from under me. The only bits that I have left is this photo of Molly cleaning the vulture off of Buddy. And yes, Buddy and Molly are not fans of social distancing...except maybe for UPS trucks.

And in case Molly's look is too subtle...I think it's a combination of "mind your own business" and "get your own life." Meanwhile, I don't know whether to find some more remnants of this day...maybe a few scraps...or just wait and see if I get another one tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Here is one of those famous illusory photos where you just can't quite figure out if its a vulture or Buddy the cat. Molly notes that in Virginia, turkey vultures are quite common. Also, Buddy was born in Virginia. Ipsy Ditsy, this means Buddy is a turkey.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Vulture tracks...

or maybe not. This is really my finished panel for the 25 million stitches project. I was able to finish the entire panel after all...with cool colors running one direction and warm colors running in the other direction...forming sewing circles. My stitch estimate for the panel is 16,000 (counting only the top stitches).  You can find out more about the project here:

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Time to Clean Out the Sock Drawer!

It's definitely time to clean out the sock drawer when you find a vulture digging around in it.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Perler Vulture

Here is the perler vulture. The stuffed toy vulture was very nice to pose for the portrait.

Meanwhile, Buddy and Molly are auditioning backdrops for all of their Zoom conference calls.

As you can see, Molly is sporting her pandemic beard.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Welcome to May

Molly hopes you are enjoying social isolation as much as she does.

But Molly's rules for social distancing do not include staff, unfortunately. This is pretty much what my day looks like.

At the same time, my backyard is showing off its best finery.

And I finished the half way mark on my 25 million stitches project. However, since its due in a few days, I am not going to be able to fill it in completely with it has all the diagonal lines in one direction, and will only have bands of diagonals in the other direction. I have been burying the threads to allow the panel to be seen from both sides given I don't know how the final installation works. And yes, this is very hard to photograph. I am showing both sides so you can see it with and without the design markings.

Meanwhile, given this is the beginning of the month, I did pick a new bird for the month, pretending the project is still ongoing. And yes, as you might expect...the bird for May is Vulture!