Monday, January 31, 2022

Tick, tick, ...

The Project Quilting theme of "Kitchen" opens up so many possibilities, it's almost too hard to choose. My favorite idea is to make a quilt out of woven know, the ones made from loops. Those potholders are so much fun to make, I suspect I could make a lot in no time at all. The only part I'm not sure about is stitching them together in a way that I can then make them into a know, with a batting and backing. 

I may be feeling cocky because I have finished two of the challenges this year...compared to when I tried twice and failed both times. So just to be sure I can make the potholder quilt on time, I'm going to set my kitchen timer to see how many potholders I can make in an hour. Also, I need to find the loom and hope I have enough loops...

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Not about Bruno-no-no

 These are the red seahorses I didn't post yesterday linking up with the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. These are the first left-facing micro seahorses. And I was so proud of myself because I made them at the same time. And I didn't make any mistakes for a very long time...and I got excited about finishing them without using a seam ripper and then one of them twisted their tail and the rest of the journey was all about the seam ripper. 

I had mentioned trying to clear off my sewing table...because I was trying to unearth the microspools. And once I found them, I started putting them together in twosies. Each dark microspool gets paired with a lighter one. The pile in the middle is my progress so far.

And today we get our clue for the next challenge in Project Quilting. It is very smart of them to have one week on, one week off. And you can always jump right in at any time...

And here is poor Molly having to huddle pathetically on her bare heating pad...without her princess bed sanctuary.

Apparently an earlier version of Molly used her princess tent as a bouncy castle, and the later version of Molly pays the consequences.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Baby Shard

 Here are the different combinations I am using to add to the Shards quilt. So let's call these Baby Shards. I am using the method of overlaying four patches and sewing around the periphery. Then I slice the package in four along the diagonal. I received a couple of comments that this means the bias is along the outside and will distort during ironing. First, thank you for thinking I cut on grain. Also, the iron doesn't get a lot of use during the construction of this block and these are small so the chance of distortion is less. At this step, however, I do have to iron the triangles open to make squares, but this only requires me to press the inner fold line that goes through the middle of the block. I do not brush the iron outward to the edge of the block. 

While digging through the layers next to the sewing machine, I found these small red bowties waiting to be sewn. Maybe if I am diligent, I can work my way to the surface of the sewing table.

Monday, January 24, 2022

So Much Winning!

 This morning, after a rousing, exuberant playtime with Buddy's mouse on a wand toy, Molly retired to her princess tent. Then I went and picked the winners of today's drawing:

Lisa Marie who asked for bright greens, blues, oranges and yellows.

Christi who asked for fabrics for a Bonnie Hunter bitcoin quilt.

Buddy was too busy posing to be of help with the packing. 

I pulled all the fabric for the winners, but there is more than what can fit in the box. The box is full of fabric so the fabric on the outside are the rejects.

I also realized that no one had notified the winners yet...

In any case, this was fun, so let's do this again next month. I am planning to move it to the beginning of the month so somewhat coincide with the color change of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Day Late

 In my head, I made ten red seahorses with five facing left and five facing right. And I posted them yesterday for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. In real life, I took way too much time just making these two "tasty" seahorses. The pattern maker thought these would be much easier to make, but apparently she can only communicate with scrawls on paper. My seam ripper got a lot of action. So did the swear jar.

Molly is quite looking forward to choosing the two winners for tomorrows Free Table Scrap giveaway. She wants to change the rules to pick based on how many nice things are said about her and to eliminate comments that say nice things about Buddy.

However, there is one more sleep before Molly picks and Buddy packs. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Project Quilting Challenge #2 Silhouette

Here is my entry for the second challenge of Project Quilting. It is roughly 13 inches square, with quilting in dark blue thread around the cats and along the diagonal. The dark cat was cut out and moved to the light side. Let's call this "Feline Shadows." The cat silhouette was adapted from a silhouette I made from my cat Tommy for a quilting pattern.

Of course, I only quilted one of these silhouettes, realized it was crazy and moved on with my life.

My original plan for this challenge was to use cyanotype, a sun printing technique I had never tried before. There was a sunny day expected when I started, but it was cancelled. For many days. There was one day where we finally had a bit of break through sun, but even at noon the sun casts long shadows. This is a practice piece where I placed Gumby and Pokey on a piece of treated fabric. We'll call this "Better Wait Until Summer."

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Free Table Scraps Giveaway

If you are always hungry like Buddy the Cat-Dog, you would think I am giving away food scraps from the table. But if you have quilterly interests, you may remember the free table at quilt guild meetings and how much fun it was to rummage through the piles and finding a fabric treasure.  

So back at the beginning of the pandemic we started "free table" giveaways, where you could leave a comment stating what fabric you would be looking for at the free table. Random drawings picked winners and we sent the winners packages of fabric. For example, some choices were roses, solids, novelty, and 30s. Some people ask for smaller pieces with larger variety while others like larger hunks.

I realize I prematurely abandoned the giveaways, and heck, I'll admit to almost abandoning the blog. So let's bring back the "free table" scrap giveaway. 

Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what fabrics/scraps you would want to receive, Molly will pick 2 random winners, and Buddy will pack a USPS priority mailer with your winnings. NO REPLY bloggers will not be included in the drawing unless they include a way for me to contact them by email. Unfortunately, the giveaway is also limited to the U.S. because international mailing costs are beyond costly. We'll collect comments to include in the drawing until Sunday e         

Molly just walked across the keyboard then flopped on it...changing the font size and adding a page or two of the image you can see behind her head in the photo below (maybe from my clipboard?). 

Resuming...We'll collect comments to include in the drawing until Sunday evening January 24, 11:59PM and announce the two winners on this blog on Monday morning (January 25). 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Clown Gathering

The clown quilt is slowly coming together. Today it shared the sewing machine with shard blocks. 

Meanwhile, Molly has decided that one seahorse looks more tasty than the other, so I'm going to go with the tasty version. 

Monday, January 17, 2022


While the rest of the country was preparing and dealing with real winter, I spent the day here in Oregon waiting for a promised 4 hour bit of sunshine. I wanted to make cyanotype sun prints for the Project Quilting silhouette challenge, but the sun went up against fog and lost. There are rumors that the sun may have some time available later this week, but I'm a bit doubtful. 

So I have nothing to show for my how about a stack of fabric from Moda's Darling Little Dickens line...

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Seahorses revisited

Waiting for the next assignment from Project Quilting, I worked on the seahorse redesign. I can make a simple change to the piecing of the background that will be easy to sew and I can keep the new nose. But I also discovered that I could take the belly out a bit and I would not have to do partial seams and it would not add any new steps. At first I didn't like the bigger belly, but it has been growing on me (no jokes intended). 

To check this version out, I just cut out a scrap and stuck it on top. 

Then the Silhouette challenge was announced on Project Quilting and I got super excited. I came up with four absolutely fantastic ideas. I did have to run out and get some supplies...on the west side of the you know I was beyond enthused. Next I worked out the steps to work on all four ideas with the plan that I would finalize the one I liked best.

This evening I reread the assignment and realized three of my ideas didn't really fit. And the remaining idea doesn't seem so thrilling. Then I thought of a way to simplify and just make a kooky potholder. But that's so sad.

And this mental roller coaster is what is so much fun with Project Quilting. Plus it's free.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Micro Seahorses

My plan for today's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge featuring red was to make eight micro-seahorses. These will finish 4 by 9 inches/ I made the orange seahorse awhile ago and decided to make a quilt with small seahorses, With the start of the new year, I  could make them month to month. 

Before I started though, I thought I should make a few particular fix the nose of the orange seahorse. I was so pleased with the change that I went ahead and cut pieces for eight seahorses in red, planning on four right-facing and four left-facing. I made one. 

It turns out that regardless how well you might like partial seams, building a partial seam around a one inch square is not a good idea.

Also not a good idea...sharing your sewing table.

If you would like to see successful red patchwork, I would suggest a visit to Angela's SoScrappy blog.

I will leave the redesign of the redesigned seahorse for another day. The sky made a rather elaborate end to the day. And so I am putting the seahorses and seahorse bits and pieces away, because tomorrow begins the second week of Project Quilting.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Clowning Around

The clown blocks have been waiting patiently in a pile next to the sewing machine. And speaking of clowns, Molly has been so well behaved that I am worried something is wrong with her and needs a trip to the vet.

Buddy is more than willing to step into her clown shoes. Last night, right after I had settled into bed with lights out, Buddy dragged his mouse toy on a wand onto the bed. Molly came running so we added crazy jumps and pounces to bedtime prep. Buddy didn't enjoy Molly joining in, so he grabbed the mouse and dragging the wand behind him, took his toy back out to the sewing room. Of course, because I am the cat toy battery, he had to drag the toy back to bed to make it bounce around again.

Thursday, January 13, 2022


I still have the Shards blocks (a Kaffe quilt) on the design wall. I discovered my blocks did not have enough contrast. However, I have eleven more blocks to make so I am hoping to introduce enough contrast with these pairings.

Meanwhile, my day has been spent sunk in regret over how I could say anything disapproving of such a sweet, innocent kitten. 

 And here is my scrap bin loaded up again, while the bins by color are full. Yes, my scraps are backed up or more technically speaking, I have scrap constipation. As a remedy, I am going to bring back the monthly fabric giveaways. (And yes, this is the only fun part I remember of 2020). For the giveaway, you leave a comment on the giveaway blog post explaining what type of scraps/fabric you would like (batik, 30s, by color, motif etc.) and if you are one of the two winners, I will send you a small packet of that choice. (A UPS priority envelope holds about 3 yards.)

My plan is to launch the first giveaway on January 20 (collecting comments until January 24).

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Bats or Butterflies?

I continued working on the current Bonnie Hunter mystery. I fixed blocks and put together the butterfly blocks only to find out that they look like bats. Frankly I am really liking the jagged scary look that the "butterflies" give. Appropriately spooky.

Meanwhile, I don't want to sound preachy, but I do think I should respond to the variety of lifestyles described in the comments to the last post. Regardless of our preferences, to maximize longevity, it is quite important to synchronize sleep patterns with biodynamic mechanisms in our environment. By biodynamic mechanisms, I am specifically referring to Buddy and Molly. And it's Molly's longevity that is at risk with her asynchronous middle of the night nonsense.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Mystery Modified

 Last week I was showing my progress with the Bonnie Hunter mystery and I presented these blocks. Now let's play the brain are they different? Answer: The humungous purple triangles in the top block do not have the black flip corner. 

Here is the additional step that I am adding to Bonnie Hunter's mystery. We will call it the "How the Zombies Escaped" step. Happily, I only have to do this on three blocks because I had only managed to finish four of them. 

Also, I have a few new habits that I am working on this year.  One is to have a set bed time of 10pm. I blew through that last night because the battery in my sewing room clock died. So I have replaced that. The second habit I am working on is having a blog post everyday. So today I am going to go looking for the blogging battery and replace it. It's probably somewhere under all the 2021 widgets.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Broken Fiestaware: Project Quilting, Season 13, Week 1

I indulged my recent obsession with hourglass blocks but gave up the usual two color scheme to not only indulge "all the colors" but also "all the color combinations." Instead of "Broken Dishes," let's call this one "Broken Fiestaware". The quilt is 34 inches square and is quilted along the diagonals. 

To see the work of the other contestants for this week of Project Quilting:

Tied Up In Red

Yes, more bow-ties. This time they are a bit larger and floppier. The bow-tie shown at the bottom center is one from last week. If you would like to see less formal and more fun uses of red, hurry over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Thursday, January 6, 2022


 I spent some time today trying to catch up on Bonnie Hunter's mystery challenge. I am using an "opposite" color way, and I must say it is a bit strange. Also, I started with a darker purple with the plan to use a very light purple as the garnet center. However, there wasn't enough contrast with the darker purple and the black. So now I don't have as much distance between the center and the rest of the flower. Oh well.

Meanwhile, Molly decided to spend the day hanging out.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Project Quilt Continues

 And why would anyone make a four patch if they could have an hourglass block instead? As a reminder, one can lay two four patches on top of each other (dark to light and vice versa), sew a quarter inch seam around the periphery, then cut the diagonals. Press and clean away the dog ears and weird bits. In theory, these hourglass blocks are 4 inches square.

And that's when everything when sideways. Buddy stepped in for Tim Gunn (formerly of Project Runway) and gave me an evaluation...BORING! Then Buddy said that I had to make a quilt from the scraps of the first version...

As I made the four patches, I had extra slices. If I sewed these together as before, the colors got scrambled.  Let's call these fractured shards. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Combining Colors

Today I began converting the 3.25 inch strips into four patches for the "All the Colors" challenge for Project Quilting. Buddy thinks this is a team project, but it is not.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Catching Up and Keeping Up

I am catching up on step five of Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Challenge. I'm one step behind. As a reminder, I am using an "opposite" color way where her neutrals are my black and her pinks are my purples. 

And I am working on the first Project Quilt challenge that I mentioned in yesterday's post. The first challenge has very simple requirements...use at least five colors and finish it by next Sunday noon central time. I cut many 3.25 inch strips so I think I have met the first part of the challenge. I just have that "finish the quilt" part to do. Also, Molly is playing her part in this reality show by being the diva, saboteur and drama queen.  Buddy is playing the role of the emotional sinkhole who is traumatized by the drama queen. He hopes he is helping me out by nipping at the drama queen's ears, but he certainly is not.

And speaking of sister noted that yesterday's picture shows us dressed up for her junior high graduation. But this just begs the question of where are our twin brothers? 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Happy Birthday

Today is my sister's birthday. Here is a picture of us dressed up for a reason that I don't remember. At first, you might think it is sweet that we are holding hands...but you should look closer to see that my sister is firmly holding my wrist. To be fair, she may have been trying to protect her dress from whatever sticky mess I might have had on my hand. Or maybe I kept running away. 

Meanwhile, I made no noteworthy progress with quilting except for getting revved up for Project Quilting which began today. (This is the quilt version of Project Runway). The last time I attempted this, I started quilts that I had no hope of finishing within the one week timeframe. Given that there are typically no size constraints, my defeat was due to serious conceptual flaws. If you are interested, here is the link that explains the challenge: And here is the link to the first challenge:

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Seeing Red

 The Rainbow Scrappy Challenge is starting the new year with red scraps. And I am starting the year without a plan. Then I made a decision to make bowties...but what size. How about 3 inches finished? But larger scale fabrics like more room to show how about 4 inches finished? How about both?

Cutting 2.5 inch squares will make the 4 inch finished bowties. They also need 1.5 inch squares for the tie part. I estimate I need roughly twenty 4 inch bowties and forty 3 inch bowties. Excellent. There is not better way to start the new year than setting oneself up for failure.

I have the 40 small bowties cut and have finished seventeen. 

And if you are wondering about the microspools, they are being sewn in pairs. In quilting parlance, this is the terrible twos.