Saturday, September 30, 2023

Patchwork Gridlock

Admittedly many quilters worry about starting too many quilts and focus on finishing WIPs, UFOs and CATs. They fear quilt gridlock without realizing that adding a new project to gridlock doesn't really change anything. In any case, this post is not about's about starting a new quilt called Gridlock.

I have wanted to make this quilt after seeing the amazing quilt Wanda at Exuberant Color made using Marcia Derse fabric. You can see Wanda in the process of making it here:

You can see her finished quilt here:

The original Gridlock quilt was made by Liza Prior Lucy for Kaffe Fassett and various versions are featured in three of his quilt books and in a knitting book.

For my version, I want to feature the quilt collection Root by e bond, adding some like-minded fabric from my stash.

And speaking of grids, the original quilt versions of Gridlock feature a 4 inch finished center with the final quilt block finishing at 12 inches. I am incapable of making a 12 inch block. I cannot work with a 4.5 inch square of fabric. But then, sometimes it is good to work outside of our comfort zones. So I am going to attempt to use a humongous center that finishes at 3 inches and blocks that finish at 9 inches. 

Friday, September 29, 2023

Where the Chips Fall

 According to tonight's calculation, I need 16 more chips to complete all four borders.

Happily, these partial units will give me twice as many as I need and therefore lots of choices. The next step will be to see how they look on the design wall. That way I can figure out the layout of the border...for example not having too many red chips next to a red seahorse.

I also had the fun taking apart some more silk ties. Some of the ties have tags that say Made by Hand. I will have to make new tags that say Disassembled by Hand.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Allotted Time

 This is how far I got making the seahorse border. According to my accounting, this should be enough to border the quilt. That said, it doesn't look like it will be enough, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to discover what mistake I made.

I was lucky Molly allowed me to use her chair for as long as she did. 

Meanwhile I would like to mention something that you may have noticed during "the gap" that I didn't. Comments to the blog made ten days after the post wait for moderation. I do not receive an email for those comments and see none of them unless I'm looking at the blog...which I didn't do during the gap. So I must admit to having a guilt-free gap, but am now feeling retrospective guilt. I started the moderation to keep out spam that gets attached to older posts. That, at least, did work.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Ever So Slowly

I finally took the seahorses down from the design wall, gave them another pressing and added the blue border around the quilt. One issue that slowed this quilt down initially was that I ran out of the fabric that is the background for the seahorses. Happily, the new border fabric blends in well enough. I have also been stringing the chips/seahorse ears into long border pieces...but have not gotten far enough to figure out that I need to make more chips.

And I hope you don't mind a bit of bragging because sometimes I have brilliant ideas. In particular, I decided that rainbow fabric (distinct colors) should come back into the sewing room while the batiks, multicolor fabric and quilt backs could move out. Unfortunately, the one with the brilliant ideas is not an expert at implementation, and I am left dodging piles of fabric that have not yet found their way home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Mind the Gap

I put two border strips on the seahorse top and started to sew the seahorse ear chips together when I realized that it was past my bedtime. Eeek. And no blog post yet. Do I skip a day (week, month, year) or what? The "what" turns out to be Molly posing in plaid.

And here is Buddy deep in thought thinking "What is thought?"  Thought is a t-word that is not Treat, Toy or Teeth.

And here is some fabric I picked up at a quilter's downsizing sale sometime during the summer blog gap.

And yes, some more. Because I feel a strong responsibility to use up as much of the fabric as I can, I dutifully cut a spool (2 inches by 3 inches) from each hunk of fabric with suitable patterns.

Monday, September 25, 2023


 My plan for today was to sew the border on the seahorse quilt, but Molly said no. 

Then we had to have a mind numbing discussion about which is her best side...and no I didn't fall for it and I told her she only has best sides...360 degrees. But she still wouldn't let me work on the border.

So now I have to admit to being distracted by a squirrel...that is, many squirrels, all disguised as silk ties. I thought I could pick them up at Goodwill, but they were too expensive, so I bought a "mystery box" on eBay...(all silk, no polyester). Similar to taking apart cotton shirts, these are fun to deconstruct. For processing, they are first attacked by Buddy as they come out of the box. Molly joins in. Then they go in "lingerie" bags, then into the washing machine. Then I hang them to dry. And yes, there is one more attack by Buddy before I take a seam ripper to them. After this I will iron on an ultra featherweight interfacing...

As would be expected from a mystery box, there are dog ties, both literally and figuratively. This one will be used for experimentation. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Building a Border

 For a very, very long time, I thought I should make the border of the seahorse quilt out of seahorse tails. Then I had the idea to make the border out of seahorse ears (or whatever those things are sticking out of the top of the head).  I also remembered the Sun Chips quilt that had chips that bounced around thanks to borders on two sides. So disembodied seahorse "ears" have the look of bubbles. Success!

So all I had to do was make a hundred or so more seahorses and cut off their "ears" and now I may have enough to border the quilt.

And here is Molly after a very satisfying day (for her) fraying every last one of my nerves.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Not So Charming

As you may remember, or not, the spool quilt is a charm quilt with each spool made from a different fabric. I took great care in screening out duplicates along the way...but still managed to find a couple as I was sewing it together. Molly insists that she has found a duplicate, but she refuses to tell me where it is so I can replace it. Molly might tell me after I quilt it.

Meanwhile, Molly recommends Barbara Brackman's blog post about charm quilts where she notes that charm quilts were common (and considered a bit tiring) in the 1870's and a newspaper article summed up Molly's view (of which this is a small part)... "Miss Jane Craigshead has wasted years of the period of life most desirable and valuable in a most ridiculous manner..."

And speaking of tiring...I noticed that Follow It has advertising in the link they send out to notify about a new blog post. Sorry about that. At one point I was paying extra to provide a link without advertising, but during my time out, they must have removed that option. If someone has a different solution (or knows how to exclude the advertising), I would like to know.


Friday, September 22, 2023

You're Welcome!

In case you have forgotten, I'm Molly Kitten (emeritus), and I would like to explain why I have forbidden my evil staff person from posting to this blog. I am protecting the world from one more person who has chosen the dark side without an ounce of regret.

A few months ago, staff grabbed me and threw me in a cage like an animal. She did this no less than three times...and on the third visit to the evil empire, she left me with strangers who proceeded to remove my kidneys to sell to other evil people. (Editor's note: the bill from the vet indicated a dental cleaning. Molly returned with no sutures and has had no dialysis.)

Due to the medical and emotional trauma, I can barely enjoy the usual activities of daily living.

And yes, Buddy reportedly was subjected to the same treatment...although I can't verify this because I vanished into my secret hiding place while Buddy was captured and caged.

Buddy came home from his first entrapment full of stories about being cuddled and fed a Churu treat while the vet commented at length about "how talkative and loud Molly is." 

So as expected, when Buddy returned from the dark side after his second entrapment, they had removed his single brain cell. (Editor's note: Also a dental cleaning).

And in case you have forgotten where we left was when our only staff person completely lost her mind. She finished putting all of the spools into a quilt top and then layered it. It weighs just shy of two tons. 

But the true horror that will surely provoke nightmares is having staff rummage through her scraps and cut new pieces for new spools to put in a "better layout." Apparently quilters can lose their brain cells without surgery.