Monday, January 30, 2023

Quilt Status Report

 The Fragments quilt has fewer fragments...but is still not a quilt top...although I think we should be more accepting of quilt tops that just happen to be in six sections instead of one. That's often how I feel but that's getting off track...

And between sewing the fragments of the Fragments quilt, I sew spool blocks into 4 by 4 blocks. It's always such a delight when I can find a 2 by 4 section that combines well with another 2 by 4 section. I like it when spools make surprising partners and the block has a strong diagonal. But mostly I have a hard time seeing the spools because my eyesight always seems furry.

And yesterday I drove down to Salem, OR to pick up the quilts I entered in the Oregon Quilt Festival (formerly the Albany Quilt Festival). I entered the pig quilt, the chameleon quilt and the bunnies. The Bunny Hop quilt won First Prize in the hand quilted category...just like it did for the Clark County Quilt Show because it was the only quilt in that category.

Last, but not least, Project Quilting released its theme for this week: the quilt block "54-40 or Fight".
This features what Doreen Speckman referred to as the Peaky and Spike block. Ironically, she liked to use this triangle block in her quilts, but purposely avoided traditional blocks that use it. In fact, most quilts are a variation of these stars in Bonnie Hunter's En Provence design. The block features four of the triangle blocks and five 4 patches. This makes an asymmetrical block. So most of the quilts pretending to be 54-40 or Fight are variations on the block.

So my plan for this week is to work with the actual block and not a variation. I also have decided to use all cat themed fabric so I can call the quilt Cat Fight. But size and color are yet to be determined...

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Return to Fragments

I put the Fragments quilt top back on the design wall. And I have literally left it in fragments because I hadn't decided whether to enlarge it, and if so, how. Each unit is 3 inches finished so that would make the quilt 51 by 60 inches. Obviously not large enough for Buddy.

First I made it wider by adding a 3-unit column on both the right and left side...18 inches wider, that is.


And here I made it longer by adding four units in length so the quilt top will be 69 by 80 inches...once I sew it together (or defragment it as they don't ever say in the quilt biz.)

Monday, January 23, 2023

Moving On

 My sewing space was a bit of a mess, so I took some time today to file fabric and even straighten and rearrange the contents of some of the bins. Weirdly, at the bottom of one of the bins that holds quarter and half yards, there was this solo microspool. Huh? And it is made using fabric from a dress that my mother made me while I was in high school. 

I worked that spool into the mix as I was taking the newly found box of 2 by 2 blocks and turning them into 2 by 4 blocks. And because I don't have an obsessive bone in my body, I didn't look through all the blocks to avoid adding a duplicate. (Not all sentences in this paragraph are true.)

And I may have heard a neighbor passing by and commenting to their companion about the shelving units stranded in the middle of my living room. If he knew better, the passerby might have thought I should put the shelving units back behind the design wall in the sewing room, so Buddy could use it again as a sleeping nook.

(The design wall and shelving came down during the power outage when I decided it would be nice to have some heat in the house even if it was from the gas fireplace.) 

To finish off the organization of the sewing room, I began moving the scrap baskets to under the table in front of the picture window...the cats sleep on top of this table in their heated beds. Apparently I did not get the appropriate permit and the authorities put a stop to my progress.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Project Quilting Challenge 2: Pink (AKA Tula)

Here's the final submission for the Project Quilting Challenge 2 where the theme is Pink. My first thought was Drunk Tank Pink (reportedly a color used to reduce aggression). But then Tula Pink came to mind and never left.

First, I went to find Tula Pink's book "100 Modern Quilt Blocks." My plan was to make something simple like #71, but thought #19 looked a bit I renamed the block "Drunk Tank." Next I rolled around like a drunk person in my pink fabric until I made enough pairs for a 36 inch square quilt. I also fussy cut some Tula Pink fabric to make the quilt Pinker than pink.

And here is a look at the back of the quilt in case there isn't enough pink on the front.

And here is Molly "helping" me machine quilt because everyone knows that the key to successful machine quilting is having cat tons of traction. Molly is wondering why there isn't a challenge to be nice to cats.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Tula Quilting

 I do feel a bit of pressure. However, I did finish the quilting on Friday night and have Saturday to finish the binding. 

And when I went to clear out the area behind the Juki before I began quilting, I found a box of 4X4 spools. So now I know what I'll be doing next week waiting for the next Project Quilting challenge.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Tula is a Top

 The quilt top for the second week of Project Quilt (theme=Pink) is finished. Just need to layer, quilt and bind by Sunday morning. Hmm...wonder is there is a quilting filter in Photoshop.

And the blocks finish at 6 inches, so the quilt will finish at 36 inches square.

I stayed up sewing yesterday...passed my Buddy insisted that I had to go to bed without posting. He is a cat that likes his rituals. When a cat comes up to you when you are sewing, reaches up to you and bats the air while making an impossibly high pitch's like have a priorities reset.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


Yes, I am still working on the Project Quilting challenge...and to keep things easy this week let's just call it Tula. Earlier, I showed you my pink scrap basket. I made my selection there and then moved into my stash. For each fabric, I need a 4 by 10 inch rectangle. 

At this point, I have finished the cutting and am well on my way with the piecing. And yes, I really have no idea how this is going to turn out. A self-administered mystery challenge...


Monday, January 16, 2023

Project Quilt: Pink Progress

 When I was describing my approach to the "Pink" quilt for Project Quilting Week Two, I may have buried the lead and failed to mention the obvious...the quilt must feature Tula Pink.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Road Trip

 Today I took the Bunny Hop quilt on a road trip to Salem, OR. They are going to be in the Oregon Quilt Festival (formerly the Albany quilt show). The bunnies brought the pigs and chameleons along to keep them company. A lot of quilt shows restrict entries by the date they were made, but this show allows quilts that are a bit longer in the teeth, like these.

I took back my boxes and filled them with microspools. The next step is to sew them into four by four blocks. I did finally count them and I will have 144 six inch blocks. I can make a 72 inch square quilt, or a quilt that is 66 in by 78 in. 

This is Molly without the confines of a box.

Last, but not least, today is the beginning of the second challenge for Project Quilt, 2023. I am probably not giving too much away by showing you my starting pink scrap bin...given the theme for this week is PINK. I have decided what I'm going to do and one of the background references for this quilt is the book Drunk Tank Pink. Sadly, I only just now thought of the Drunken Path oh well. On with my first idea.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Eight is Great

 All the spools are now sewn into groups of eight. Although, I still have to open them and inspect their points. Then I twirl the join. 

Even Molly cannot resist a meme. Here she is taking over the box that held spool blocks.

Later, she had a choice of two boxes. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Progress and Regret

 A lot of foursies became eights. But a lot of foursies remain to be paired.

And as a reminder, each spool is made from a different fabric. I laid out each spool by hue and value to make sure any duplicates were caught and removed.

And yet, as I have been sewing pairs, foursies and are four spools that I had to remove because I found they were duplicates. Unfortunately, I told Molly that if I found THREE duplicates, I would have to throw the whole project away. Molly has an excellent memory.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Less Fragmented

As the quilt top expands, it becomes harder to keep sections of it out of the please pardon the lighting, or lack thereof. In any case, this is what I consider the quilt top's baseline. I now need to decide how long I want it, and whether or not to add columns. And if I add columns, I will be adding them on both sides.  Right now it would finish at 51 by 60 yes, it will need to grow a bit in all directions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


 To show you my progress, I laid out the blocks I finished today. Molly thought it would look better with a cat sitting on it.

Molly has an extreme case of FOMO (fear of missing out). 

And by the way, the comments on yesterday's post were hilarious. There were suggestions made to just wing it or go with the flow and use the errant Fragments blocks...referring to a suggestion from the person who brings you this: and this:  (Warning: dangerous, contagious content.)

And while you may be impressed that Molly can supervise sewing, ironing, cutting, Zoom calls and even the writing of this blog post...her most challenging job of each day is keeping Buddy's face clean.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023


 I added a new section to the Fragments quilt. Unfortunately, when I went to sew the section in-between, I discovered the blocks were out of order. And yes, I would have to take all three blocks apart.  I also discovered that I had made enough hour glass blocks for two I figured I would piece more four patches and strip sets and make this larger or make another one. But mostly I wasn't in a seam ripper state of mind.

Here are the strip sets that will be cut down and some microspools to keep them company.

Also, it occurred to me that we were all lucky to see a close up of Molly's nose yesterday. During Zoom meetings she prefers to feature the other end.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Microspools: Working toward 4 by 4


Today I decided to work with my two-by-two blocks of microspools, sew them in pairs and work up to 4 by 4 blocks with 16 microspools each. Natural forces seemed to be working against me, but sometimes you just need to push through.

And then the head winds get fierce...

Resistance is futile.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

By Hand

Whenever I run across an animal print, I cut out an animal or two for this EPP hexagon quilt. I noticed that I had already cut quite a few (hundred) and that it was time to baste. 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Project Runway: Week ONE

The first day of the first challenge for Project Quilting, I was inspired to spend extra time thinking about the concept of ONE and what it means to me. But like an ear worm, all I could think of was the phrase "One Hit Wonder." And that thought brings on the tune "My Sharona," a song by The Knack released in 1979. (At this point in time, is it still considered a hit?). 

The next association was to the "One Block Wonder" series of books published by Maxine Rosenthal where you cut six identical triangles through six layers of one fabric to make unique hexagons. Of course, that wasn't going to happen, but I knew I could make ONE wonder block. So that's what I did.

The final quilt is about the size of a frisbee. And that might become its ultimate purpose. On occasion, like every evening, my cats will groom each other until they start to fight. I can usually tell Buddy to back off and he will. Other times it escalates. So I am hoping that I can use this ONE Block Wonder as a frisbee to break up the fight and thereby have it become a ONE Hit Wonder.

(Please note that the use of the term "fight" and "hit" are exaggerations used for dramatic flourish.)

This is the original fabric, and I cut each 60 degree triangle separately.

Now please make sure to visit the linkup page on Kim Lapacek's blog to discover the one and only way to interpret the concept of ONE.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Half a Fragment

 This is half of the Fragments quilt top. I also layered the One Wonder Block for Project Quilting. The project is due on Sunday. I will be very unhappy if I am scrambling at the end to finish it.

In case you wanted to see something interesting, let me suggest you go visit Roy Scholten, a printmaker, who is making prints of birds using legos:

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Progress Fragments


This is as far as I got on the Fragments quilt before my anti-assistant joined in. This is the upper right corner to the middle.

Meanwhile, Buddy has learned a new t-word. If you say Treat or Toy, Buddy starts squealing in a high pitch whine and darting back and forth. Apparently, he likes treats and toys. However, he was the only cat that had to have a dental cleaning this year. So now they each get a few dental treats, and I call them Teeth. Now when he hears the word Teeth, he goes into his happy crazy dance. Unfortunately, unlike Molly, Buddy doesn't understand that he should chew these dental treats and he swallows them whole. I may have to start calling them "Waste of Time."

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Time Out


Some days I don't really have anything to post because I have spent the day running errands and/or Molly has spent the day with her nose to her iPad. In the past, I have just skipped the day, but when I look up, a month has passed. So today is gratuitous photo of Molly day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

New Quilt Project

It's the beginning of the year, so January 1 was the launch of Project Quilting, 2023. This is the challenge fashioned after Project Runway that has participants make a quilt in a week based on the provided theme. This week, the theme is ONE. On Sunday I noodled around with potential ideas to produce an art quilt with profound meaning. Then I remembered that I don't have the required depth. 

The concept that kept coming back was One Hit Wonder...rock stars who only have a single hit in their lifetime. Translated into quilts...One Wonder Block came to mind. I patted myself on the back and told myself that I could take the rest of Sunday off. Then this morning I remembered I was supposed to be making a quilt this week.

So here's the one wonder block. I was going to make it a background but then it wouldn't lit
erally be one wonder block. 

I do still have to make it into a quilt...layer, quilt and bind.

This is the parent fabric.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Fragments of Help

Molly is "helping" with a new quilt I started during the last month. The pattern is Fragments of Cloth by Norma Whaley. I like it because it is made from blocks I like to make...pairs of strips, four patches and hourglass blocks. I'm using a smaller size each four patch finishes at 3 inches. I will need to add rows and columns to this pattern.

Molly is carefully reviewing the pattern, deciding how she will shred it if I ever forget and leave it out accidentally.

Molly knows I like to start new projects just to avoid that sad, empty feeling when a quilt is completed.

Molly likes to live on the edge, right next to my last bit of patience.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Where Were We

A new year might be a good time to check in and make sure the blog hasn't been taken over by a billionaire or a cat with nothing better to do. And it hasn't. So let me show my progress on the microspools...and yes, they have all been joined into groups of four. 

I have not counted them because all that would do is tell me that I either have too many or too few, and that's not a good way to start a new year.

Molly is expecting a better year, especially because the last week has been close to tragic for her. Her staff had problems with her back and couldn't bend over. In one instance, Molly was waiting politely at her bowl, when staff let her food crash to floor and some bits of kibble actually hit Molly. The pain of indignation is unforgettable. Then later in the week, her heated bed was no longer warm.

Then the whole house got cold, staff muttered a lot, then decided to dismantle the design wall and shelving in front of the weird black hole. 

Then weirder things started happening in the driveway (and down the street).

Now the useless staff just stares at the dismantled design wall and the chaos of the sewing room, and mutters "I love electricity" over and over.

Meanwhile, Buddy completed his assessment of his accomplishments during 2022 and has begun the pursuit of his goals for 2023.