Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Collecting Postage Stamp Blocks

Here are the latest postage stamp blocks. I need to collect together enough postage stamps for another free table giveaway. Signups will be tomorrow...I thought I would have it on the first day of the month. It's one of the days that is a bit harder to lose track of. And I don't think I'll run the signup as long. But that's for tomorrow's post.

And if anyone remembers my failed "Put a Bird On It" Challenge...the bird for July is the Blue Jay.

And Molly is preparing for the free table giveaway too...but this time she is going to make sure that none of her toys slip into a package like last time. Well...maybe the flopping fish...

Monday, June 29, 2020

Zippers and Australian Squirrels

Here is the recent batch of zipper blocks...but wait...I think something is wrong with one of them.

Yes, something is wrong indeed. This appears to be an Australian Squirrel. Luckily, it's on the small side...it's about 7 inches wide. And yes, that means that for some of it I used .75 inch strips. Those microspools have disrupted my sense of scale.

And speaking of scales...the scales of justice have convicted Buddy of his crimes. As part of his sentence, he received a new banana catnip toy, a new mouse toy, and an extended session of laser mouse. He also received two spa treatments, although he would have gotten those anyway. He was hoping for a stiffer sentence, including exclusive rights to the warden's lap and Molly's bed, but Molly objected.

As you can tell, feline justice is a bit different...but if you know Jackson Galaxy or any of the other cat whisperer types, they all assure us that if a cat is acting out it is because they aren't getting enough play, attention or stimulation.

And I'm sure that there are no cats that have learned to work the system.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Zippers and spools and crime

Here are the recent additions to the zipper blocks and a bunch of microspools came along for the ride. Remember, orange is the new neutral.

And crime solved! Two days ago I found a mangled skein of white yarn in the bedroom. It was obviously the fault of Buddy, the career criminal in the family. And he wouldn't tell me where he got it, which proved his guilt. Then this morning, there were three bright skeins of yarn in the bedroom, all mangled. I still had no clue where the scoundrel was getting the yarn.

(Aside: I realize I am unlike most quilters and have yarn stashed away for knitting projects or in case I somehow learn to crochet.)

Then later today, I found Molly in the living room beating up a skein of purple yarn. I explained to her that she should be punishing Buddy the criminal...not the victim, in this case the skein of yarn.

I did take time to try and figure out where these skeins were coming from...but there was nothing obvious...that was until I saw Molly's backside sticking out of a bag that was tucked inside a basket. She was showing me where the skeins were coming from so Buddy could finally be brought to justice.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Micro spools return

Here are some micro spools (finished size 1.5 inches square). I have lots and lots already cut ready to be sewn. They live near the sewing machine. I am always sewing a few along with the other projects. I'm not organized enough about it to call it a leader and ender project.

Molly is not very happy about my watching Kitten Academy live when I have a Live Kitten Academic in the here and now. She was sitting in her cupboard above the refrigerator calling to me to pay attention to her. She was showing her full diva self until I pulled out the camera and she started posing. Right now she is in the office closet yelling at me to open up the door to the crawlspace...that I never open for her.

And here is Buddy protecting all the blocks that Molly has knocked to the floor at the base of the design wall. He has begun playing with his turbo roller again...I think its because he can hear the sound from the Kitten Academy live stream.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Postage Due

Here are four more postage stamp blocks. Thankfully Molly had cleared the design wall of all of those nasty zipper blocks so I could put these up and take a photo. She is also nice enough to allow me to take the picture because these too become another Molly experiment with gravity.

Meanwhile, I may have been too dismissive of the plot development over at Kitten Academy, because  around midnight (eastern time), the mother cat took the smallest kitten and dropped it behind the beanbag chair. This meant a late night intervention by the caretaker and the removal of the bean bag chair from the room. What a delightful counterplay of suspense and humor!

However, later when another kitten was carried off, the slap stick of having that kitten poop on the caretaker when he picked it up seemed unnecessary and overwritten. Apparently, the mother agreed and early this morning she moved that kitten to behind a wicker basket and left it while she returned to the others. Unfortunately with most reality TV, it is hard to know what events are staged versus those that truly reflect cast conflict.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

More Zippers

Here is a new set of zipper blocks. I went through my stash and identified fabrics that I wanted to use for zipper blocks...and then I matched these to the "solid" fabric I thought worked best. These matched fabrics are piled on the design floor waiting to be cut. Right now I'm working on the fabrics that share the same "solid," where solid is actually a Zen Chic Spotted.

This may seem like meager output but I just don't have as much time now that I am an essential worker...and yes, monitoring the Kitten Academy live stream is essential. Admittedly, it has no influence on the care of the kittens or any aspect of reality, but it does mean I fight a lot with Molly who prefers to watch birds on youtube. She is quite critical of Kitten Academy except she does like the toy demonstrations. And she did like the plot twist where the caretaker tried unsuccessfully to prevent the mother from moving her seven kittens. However, Molly thinks the "Kittens' eyes open at ten days" is too predictable and merely a ploy for ratings.

From the Kitten Academy twitter stream:

You can get to the Kitten Academy livestream through: https://kitten.academy/live-stream

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Here is my set of zippers so far. Today I calculated that I needed about 100 more blocks. What? I have been making these blocks forever. How come I am still always surprised about how many blocks make a quilt?

Meanwhile I have been so obsessed with new pandemics like COVID19 and PSP20 (Postage Stamp Pandemic 2020) that I forgot about one of the oldest contagions known to man or cat. Cooties. And yes, Molly Kitten's heated bed has a mammoth cooties outbreak. And, I know, in a certain light that pile of brown fungus takes on the appearance of a cat, but that is just an optical illusion.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Zip It

Here are eight new zipper blocks I made today. I was going to lay them out with the ones that I have already made, but Molly was down below signaling her desire to send these blocks to the floor. The force is strong in that one.

And there have been some youtube issues at Kitten Academy, which means that the URL for the site changes. They previously had the same URL for years and very recently with the issues the URL changes each time. This was is the current one for now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoUeYh-dao8.

Sometimes I stream it on my TV and Molly sits in front of the stream and warns the kittens to enjoy life now while they can because for all the lap time and fancy heated beds in their future, no one has yet made a heated cat bed that also serves a warm nutritious beverage.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

New Postage

I made some new postage stamp blocks.

I added the new blocks to the old ones.

And yes, I am still fascinated with Bebop and her seven kittens on the YouTube livestream of Kitten Academy. Bebop takes frequent breaks from her kittens, leaving them to sleep in the box while she takes some time alone to think about her circumstances. Eventually they call to her and she goes back to the box where she appears to be attacked by leaches...literally and figuratively. It surprises me every time she returns to that box.

Also, please ignore any email that you might get from Molly trying to start a betting pool on when how many kittens Buddy is going to have.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Postage and boxes

As I was preparing fabrics and packages from the "free table" drawing, Molly was testing packaging size constraints. I have everything ready except for the box for Cathy of Crazy by Design. She said not to overthink it, so that sent me into an identity crisis.

Also, I mentioned a cat named Bebop at Kitten Academy who began having her seven kittens this morning. I was called in to assist...where assisting means watching in awe and wonder on YouTube from across the country. The first two kittens tried to come out at the same time. They were large kittens and Bebop is quite small...weighing seven pounds when she first arrived. In any case, I think she decided two was a good number, and left off the delivery of the remaining kittens to staff. She is looking very bewildered about why she now has to share lodging with seven noisy kittens.

Molly reminded me that she had to suffer similar indignities when she was the Dean of Kitten U where she had to share lodging with two useless kittens. I reminded her that those were her brother and sister, one of whom still lives with us.

Monday, June 8, 2020

We have Winners!

The winners of the Free Table Giveaway are:

1. Cathy who is looking for Bright and Wild fabric. Molly thinks this means lots of smart wild animals like tigers, leopards, cheetahs and lions. I'm thinking that this might mean Negley-like fabrics for a zipper block. (Cathy blogs at Cathy's Crazy by Design.)

16. Kathy E who is looking for pink pigs and other pink fabrics. (Kathy blogs at Hazel's Daughter).

32. Alycia is looking for plaid, pigs and Kaffe. You can see Alycia's quilt blog at Alycia--Quilty Girl and Alycia's photography at Alycia Clicks,

Happily no one is looking for plaid pigs, because I could only find pigs wearing stripes and polka dots. I did find pigs with minions...two fabrics I forgot I had.

So yes, I am having lots of fun plowing through fabric (in all its forms). So much fun that we will be doing this again at the beginning of next month.

And in preparation for the free table giveaway, I decided to finish my fabric move. I had begun to move my flat fold fabric from one side of the dining room to the other (and install the cat tree next to it). I stopped somewhere in between, which meant rather large piles on the table in the middle.

In the midst of the piles was a box of brown fabric that had begun its journey into becoming a quilt...but seriously...I couldn't remember what quilt. And I didn't have anything saved in photos or inspiration to jog my memory. But I did remember that I had worked out dimensions etc so I went through graph paper pads...also without luck. Finally, I found notations in a yellow pad, and yes, Molly is correct that it is pretty much useless scribbles, but it reminded me what quilt it is.

And yes, it was an inspiration from Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting that was an inspiration from Sentimental Stitches (where I bought the pattern so its somewhere in my downloads).

Of course, now that it is the beginning of spring, I can't imagine making a brown quilt...so what color will it become?

And yes, because I am a terrible person, I have now chopped off the sheep's toes in the border. If this doesn't scare the sheep to go hide in a pile somewhere, I don't know what will.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

New Border

Here is my new approach for the border for the sheep quilt. Yesterday I was trying out sheep ears for a border and all I could see was a cat in the negative space. I personally think its better to keep cats in the positive space. So now I'm chopping off sheep legs which gives me a fence.

Meanwhile, I am writing this in the New Blogger. And because I write my posts, one photograph at a time (and in this case) with one photo, I don't see much difference. However, just to give a specific example, in the old blogger there was a button in the top left corner that said "New Post." Now there is a plus sign in the bottom right corner...a signal that New Blogger does not want to be your friend. On the positive side, at least you don't have to hover the cursor over a blank area for the symbol to appear...a signal that New Blogger wants to be your enemy.

The big nuisance I face when blogging is the computerized cat interface that I don't seem to be able to turn off. This "feature" walks across the key board unless you tuck it well up underneath the monitor where it is hard to reach (for both of you). Swiping at the desktop is a better feature than the cuddle on top of the left arm. While in practice this is a very loving gesture, it does mean that writing the blog is a slow, slogging one-handed adventure.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Border Sheep

Time to start working on the border for the sheep quilt. Here are the instructions in a nutshell...make a sheep, cut off ears.

The sheep are not amused.

Meanwhile, I have continued cutting bits off of my scraps. When last we left it, I had gone through the scraps on the floor, waiting to be filed and then a couple of color specific bins. Yesterday I went through the rest of the scrap bins: green, turquoise, red, black, multi, blue, yellow, purple and brown. I may add some more from white, cream and black. Happily, the package will be full of future postage stamps, so it can ship itself.

Meanwhile, this tweet may capture how you are feeling. However, in this case, Bebop (the cat) is about to have SEVEN kittens, and when she arrived at Kitten Academy, she only weighed seven pounds. Buddy's dreams are heavier than that.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Buddy says it is a cry for help. I agreed that since I have made a postage stamp charm quilt, and am making a charm spool quilt, I am well suited to help someone find 3,000 different fabrics. Buddy said the comment for Monday's post was not that kind of cry for help, but the other kind. Molly disagreed and said it was a taunt, a dare. Molly doubled down and said she thought I could find 3,000 different fabrics just on the floor alone. Dare accepted!

So egads. Challenge failed. I was only able to get a few hundred different fabrics from the sewing room floor...so I also raided my bin of "chunks" that I use for filling in the ends of string pieced triangles. Next I raided my "waiting to be filed scrap bin" that includes many of the bits that I acquired from the downsizing quilters' estate sale...where I bought her scrap bin. That only got me to about 600 different fabrics. Then I raided my sorted scrap bins...digging into pink, purple and yellow I got the count up to about 1,000. Except I kind of lost count. The dare is for 3,000. A bit harder than I thought. But tomorrow is another day.

And I know I won't have to cheat and dig into this full bin of 2.5 inch squares I've been cutting along the way for "someday."

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Vegetables and Inspiration

Today my sister and I met up (outside) with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons, one of whom is having a birthday. (I play the role of the crazy great aunt). It was so nice to be outside on a beautiful day, just hanging out. And on the way home, I took this picture of an artichoke that a neighbor has growing in their yard. It's about twice the height it was last year.

And given the response I have gotten from yesterday's post, I will be picking three winners. I am very much looking forward to stuffing those boxes. So thanks for your response, it has put a spring in my step. Of course, it didn't get me to sew very much and all I can show for it is a thorny vegetable.

Meanwhile, my sister's favorite blogger is "becoming acquainted with the new blogger platform" and is feeling a tad challenged. Unlike the caustic snark you might find here, Joyful Puttering is emotionally well-balanced and inspirational.  You can spread more of your good cheer by visiting her here: http://joyfulputtering.blogspot.com.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Scrap Giveaway

What is the most minor inconvenience of a pandemic? As quilters, it may be not getting to dig through scraps at the free table at your local guild meeting. It's fun to drop off, pick up some, and even help someone who is looking for a particular something.

So Molly is determined to send someone a small box of fabric scraps (not table scraps). She thinks that the box should be small enough that she can't be stuffed in it accidentally and sent who knows where.

Molly also thinks that the person or cat receiving the box should pick what kind of fabric they want...Kaffe collective, batik, plaid, cats, 30s, turquoise, cats,

or even pink if you are participating in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and need an extra boost.

And Molly suspects some of you are looking for pink pig fabric...

If you would like to win the chance to receive a box stuffed with scraps of your choosing, leave a comment below explaining what you would be looking for on the free table.

And sadly, this is only open to people and cats in the United States because international mailing would cost more than the fabric. So let's just wait for the diamond giveaway...

Comments will be collected through Sunday, June 7, and then Molly will pick the winner. Make sure to provide an email so we can contact you. A "no reply sender" just won't make the cut!

And now I must warn those of you with special sensitivities to turn away to avoid looking at the photo below because it is quite disturbing.

Buddy and Molly are breaking social distancing rules just to mock me.