Saturday, July 31, 2021



Here are a new set of microspools. This is the most normal thing I did today.

I am following advice from Barbara at Cat Patches (I know...she's not real) and using Follow.It to replace Feedburner. First, this allows me to just transfer the emails from Feedburner to Follow It so no one will have to sign up again. Also, is a blog/news reader so you can set your own preferences. Right now, is moving the email addresses, so hopefully this post will come to you from them. Then I will shut down Feedburner so you don't get two posts. (Although this might accidentally happen for the first day.)

And just to make my head throb, I have moved to a new photo editor...Affinity photo. Trying it out the first time was faster than using Photoshop Elements, which is in a death match with my operating system and spends most of its time showing spinning balls of doom. 

And if that's not enough change, who would like a new cat? Just kidding. This is the cat that comes to visit Molly and Buddy. Today, she/he was sleeping just outside the front window. She/he lives down at the end of a nearby cul-de-sac with very young children. 

Meanwhile, seeing a black bear wander into the backyard of the Kitten Academy in Connecticut made me miss having bears wander through my yard in Virginia. If you missed the footage, you can see it through the Kitten Academy twitter account here:

I was a bit disappointed with the new mother cat because I was hoping Kitten Academy was going to branch out to bear cubs.  I guess we'll just have to put up with another litter of kittens.      


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Burning Up

And what could I mean by the phrase "Burning Up." Maybe it refers to cutting all the spools I need to make the final dimensions of the microspools quilt, although I don't remember what they are. Or maybe I am referring to the current heat wave here in Portland (although it is fun in the shade compared to the heat dome).

So yes, burning up refers to the fun fact that our time with feed burner is up, you know, that helpful feature that notifies you when there is a new post. And I know that it Feedburner emails were supposed to end last month and bloggers discussed the various new options months ago. But I have procrastinated because that's how I know I'm alive.

I have decided to go with Mailchimp because that is what Joyful Puttering is doing and I like how it works. Also, my nickname for Molly is Monkey. This post is actually a test of the code embedded in the sidebar of this blog. If you signed up to subscribe by email using Feedburner, I will be asking you to resubmit your email address when I get this working. I recommend that you procrastinate, and not try it out quite yet because right now I have enabled all of the bot protections that make life miserable for humans.

Meanwhile, if this is an important feature for you, I would love to know how much of the posting you would like to receive in the email. Or do you just want a link to the blog?

Oh dear, I've prattled on too long about Feedburner and Mailchimp. I have sent the only living creature who listens to me to snoozeville. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Spool Dance

Thank you for the kind offers of fabric scraps, but I have quite a lot right here. For the spools, I cut one 1 by 2 inch rectangle and four 1 inch squares.  I have over 400 spools cut now, and have a massive pile of fabric to cut more from. I pulled fabric from my hoard of fat quarter to half yard hunks. I could see a tell tale bite out of the corner of the hunk if I had used that fabric already. 

Next, I'll be pairing background fabric to each spool...the background cuts are 1 by 2 inch rectangles. I do allow duplicates for the background.

So that's how I've been spending my day...

Meanwhile, you may be unaware that Buddy and Molly are participating in the summer olympics in the category of feline freestyle interpretative dance. Shhh....the dance begins...

Exceptional paw work by Molly, but Buddy is overthinking his head placement and has let his paws curl under. This may cost them some points.

Molly's paw lines are flawless and her neck extension may help draw the judges' eyes away from Buddy's self-conscious hunch.

Even the judges are standing for this awesome final pose and applaud as Buddy pulls out the stops and extends his paw in an exquisite line. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Spooling Out of Control

When I started the microspool charm quilt journey, I was aiming for 1600 spools...this could be organized as a 40 by 40 quilt that would be 60 inches square. I have been sewing like crazy and finally completed all 1600 microspools...half dark and half light. The ones shown above are the duplicates I found when I sorted through the spools. And yes, there are even duplicates in the duplicates (look for the gold).

Molly rightfully scoffed at me because 60 inches square would not even be large enough to make a horse blanket for Buddy. So now we are going to aim for something more in the 70 by 90 inch range and this means I'm going to need roughly 400 more light spools and 300 more dark spools. 

And if you are wondering if there is anything thriving after our Portland heat dome, here you go. This is the first year for this artichoke. Around here people tend to grow them for decoration, and so I'm going to let this go to bloom too. Also, if any of you know of any recipes for changing zucchini and cucumbers into fabric, please let me know.

Meanwhile, Molly would like to report some recent bot activity on our blog. I got a comment (held by moderation) on a blog post for September 15, 2018 featuring the Bitcoin quilt top (also known as whatchamacallits and originating with Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilts). The comment said the blog post violated Bonnie Hunter's copyright on her new pattern called Bitcoin. The comment said I should take the post down because I included block measurements. At first, I thought it was written by a human who accidentally didn't notice that it doesn't even have the same construction and only shares a name...that given the general popularity of Coin an obvious "modern" quilt name. 

And, of course, Buddy thinks it should be called Dogecoin.

In any case, I had to agree with Molly that the comment was made by a bot, because only a robot would assume that time travel back to 2018 is possible. A human making the comment would undoubtedly ask why I used time travel to make a quilt instead of going back to prevent the birth of Hitler.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Microspools and Performance Art

Here are 104 of the latest microspools. I will have less after I check for duplicates and remove them. I am aiming for a charm quilt where each of the spool patterns are different. And this photo is a bit off...these spools are much lighter in value than shown.

And yesterday I conducted an experiment. You may have heard of cats and dogs with separation anxiety, but what about the anxiety feline staff might feel after being gone for the day. So yes, I broke the bonds and drove out to the Oregon Coast for the day. And when I came back there was a fascinating performance art project where the roads in the vicinity of Portland turned into a parking lot. Everyone (me included) could no longer sit alone at home so we all went out to sit alone in our cars. 

Meanwhile, Buddy's performance art piece is "I'm a cat because I'm in a cat tree".

And here is Molly performing "Sweet Dreams: The Kitten's Camouflage."

Monday, July 12, 2021

Hearts R Us

I know, I're thinking "Not another pastel heart quilt. Why can't she make something different like a rainbow animal quilt."

Okay, just joking. And here's the story. During the pandemic, one of the estate sale companies held online auctions instead of having people shop from the house over a weekend. One of their auctions included a quilters' stash. And while there was heavy bidding on kits and designer sets of fat quarters, I went for the scraps and bits. In the midst of the box of scraps were the start of several heart with four blocks of four hearts pointed inward.  So I made the smaller border hearts to make into this baby quilt.

And yes, the quilter also planned to make a full size heart quilt and had cut lots of soft pastels for that quilt. Those are now being transformed into microspools. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Gone Fishing

The fish are finally together. It went swimmingly. And now that their pointed noses are embedded in a seam, they finally have blunt noses.  Well...except for the ones in the front column who have to wait for me to figure out how wide the side borders should be.

Although I have been quilting for quite a while, I am open to learning new techniques. In this case, I learned  that it is better to just walk away rather than try to cut fabric around a kitten.

Buddy, however, does not like to learn new things. So now he is sporting yet another swollen paw because he won't learn to not put his paw in his sister's face. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Repurposed Scraps

Here is a baby quilt (32 inches square) that I put together out of bits from a Bonnie Hunter mystery challenge that I never finished. Under no other circumstances would HSTs (half-square triangles) exist in my sewing room.

Meanwhile, Molly is insisting that I make a correction to the last blog post. She says that although I did not outright lie, she considers the blog post misleading. Molly notes that more plants have died from my neglect than from extreme weather. Molly apologizes that she cannot provide an exact number of plants that I have killed, but for purposes of this discussion she suggests we round the very large number to infinity. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Neutral Rainbow

Here are the purple bitcoin and 16-patches I had hoped to show for the last week of June for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. Instead I decided to participate in the Portland Heat Dome Challenge. 

The sewing room was off limits because it was outside of our "cool zone" where cool is less than 90 degrees. So instead of patchwork, I can offer photos of my garden where the rhododendrons are exploring browns for July. They were not happy to lose all of their tree shade from the ice storm and now think life is not worth living at 114 degrees F.

Also brown and not happy. 

Meanwhile the interior of the house has been infected with the dreaded pestilence of bedbugs. But still a suitable tribute to neutrals.