Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Some Sewing

Three of these strips make a connector block for the Gridlock blocks. And I need roughly 30 connector blocks...so I just need to do this ten more times.

After putting the first group on the design wall, I realized that I was making pairs based on color (corresponding to the Gridlock blocks) instead of value. So I also cut more light value fabrics to add to the mix.

Monday, October 30, 2023


 I spent most of the day out fighting blackberry bushes intent on taking over my yard and then the planet. You're welcome. I also took strip sets and cut them into two patches. So here is what I can for my effort...the last Gridlock Block and six 2X6 sets.

And here is the other accomplishment of the day...neglecting poor Molly Kitten (emeritus). And the only thing that annoys Molly more than not getting enough attention is getting attention from me when she doesn't want it.

Sunday, October 29, 2023


 Nothing exciting is happening here. Just a parts factory...sewing strips together and then cutting them apart. Like the main block, the connector blocks have a striped look...often with a stripe made from six 2-patches. But they get mixed up a bit with some stripes made of three 2-patches and others with nine. 

Some of these blocks will change a bit after they are up on the design wall with the main blocks. In particular, they may need changes that improve the transition between blocks. For that I will probably unset a bit and change out small sections...so I'm keeping all the subcomponents on hand too. In other words, my main strategy is to make as big a mess as possible.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Cutting Strips

The connector blocks for Gridlock are checkerboards. I'm using a smaller block than the patterns in the various Kaffe books...so my connector checkerboards use two inch strips. As I was making the Gridlock blocks and today as I was putting fabric away, I cut a strip or two of each fabric I thought would work in the connector. 

Not shown are the cat paws that frequently stopped by to flirt with the rotary cutter blade. 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Not a Blog Break

Today was a no sewing day...and almost a no blog post day...which is just 90 days away from a significant blog break. However, I can show some fabric I picked up at a quilter's estate sale today. Thankfully, everything was priced on the high side which prevented me from going overboard. (Although Molly says that at this point, any fabric is overboard.)

But I did have to get the purple ombre because one should be prepared in case someone is looking for a purple ombre. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Phase 1 ends

The very best part of making these blocks is that most of the work was deciding on what fabrics to put together. The cutting and piecing was relatively quick and easy. 

My overarching rule was that each of these gridlock blocks had to have a component that comes from the e bond Roots fabric line. Also, in the original, a lot of the squares on either side of the center square are pieced stripes. I typically used a fabric that was a stripe or had a striped effect. 

Meanwhile, we have a criminal in our house. Some entity snooped out a hidden package of cat toys and took one for himself...without permission. I am showing a entity that appears guilt ridden, but I can assure you that the criminal looked entitled and full of his cat self.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Four Blocks

 These are four new blocks. The extra waviness in the blocks is sponsored by Molly who snagged the design wall felt and is trying to shake the blocks off as I take the photo. She used to run up the design wall for the same effect, but her emeritus status requires subtlety.

And gasp, I only have six more of these blocks to make before I begin on the checkerboard connector blocks.

Watching the quilt made recently in Dave's Craft Room on YouTube reminded me of this quilt, which shows the harrowing adventures of a pink poodle. I made this long before I had a blog, or for that matter long before the internet had blogs (early 90s). I took a picture of a photo with my camera so the resolution is very limited.

I did take some detail photos that should give you a better sense of this quilt's adventure story.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Feline Influence

 If you live with someone who has the "fear of missing out" you might find yourself "not getting anything done."

And here is Buddy transitioning from "fear of missing out" to "bored out of his mind."

The final transition is to "ridiculously cute."

This is what I have to show for the day.

However, if you would like to see the complete opposite: an energetic quilter with no cat in the studio but a cat featured throughout a quilt, watch the latest video from Dave's Craft Room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY5wbns4OV4

Monday, October 23, 2023


Back up. Today my progress on the seahorse quilt was to remove the narrow blue batik border. I was going to add a much wider border but decided that that would make the tight cluster of seahorses look weird. Seahorses are solitary animals, so this quilt is weird enough. Instead, I will make the border slightly larger, but measured so the diamonds in the second border run around the corners neatly.

And with the seahorses off the design wall, I had my first opportunity to see the Gridlock blocks all together. I have definitely veered toward the dark side and will need the next handful of blocks to be lighter.

Sunday, October 22, 2023


Today my task was to remove the border around the seahorses and replace it with a larger border. The size of the border has a constraint of being a multiple of an odd number of the diamonds in the final border. I don't mind doing the arithmetic but I do mind when I get a different number when I check my work. In that case, I sew hexies. 

Saturday, October 21, 2023


Molly says this is not the first time she's watched a quilt turn tragic. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Breaking out of Gridlock

 When you make something called Gridlock, you might also wonder if you've fallen in a rut.

So I obviously couldn't hold out for a whole quilt, and I had to make a block that makes me laugh.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

New Gridlock Process

Sometimes if I feel like I'm in a rut, I call on the services of a professional kitten (emeritus). Sometimes I don't have a choice in the matter.

And yes, very soon I am going to check my notes to find out how many of these gridlock blocks I need.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Color Selection Process

Yet another Gridlock block. And I should admit that I'm just doing the basic sewing.

Buddy is handling all the fabric selection and arrangements.

And an upside-down viewpoint with slightly crossed eyes keeps it interesting.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

At Home

Some days I don't drive anywhere and at the end of the day I only have a pocket full of hexies to show for it.


Monday, October 16, 2023

Still Stuck in Gridlock

 Yup, they are still fun to make. I did remember that I also have to make 6 by 6 checkerboards for the alternating blocks.  For a nine inch finished block I will need 2 inch strips to finish at 1.5 inches. I started cutting the strips and will start making strip sets so it won't feel like I starting over after I've eaten the dessert, I mean, made the gridlock blocks.

And despite having fun making gridlock blocks, I did have to put Buddy in the doghouse. I found out today that each of the giveaway packages went to the wrong person. Since I obviously wouldn't make a mistake like that, Buddy must have switched the address labels. How he did that I'm not exactly sure. but you know a well-behaved cat must be up to something devious.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Double the Fun

Here's today's Gridlock block.

I may be out of control. And yes, the colors got a bit blown out...way to florescent. 

And here is the real accomplishment...the clearing of the sewing table (and layering table and sometimes ironing table). This was covered while I was cutting the fabric for the giveaways (which made it to the post office last Friday). Also, all of the batiks that were moving into another room spent some transit layover time on the table. Next, I am hoping the seahorses and their border will hang out here.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Second Day of Gridlock

Another day, another Gridlock block. They are definitely fun to make because most of the time is spent fondling fabric and playing around color and print. The sewing part is relatively easy because its just sewing strips. I am using a 9 inch finished block size so the sections (top strip set, middle strip set, and bottom strip set) each finish at 3 inches. If you want three even strips that's three 1 inch finished strips, that is, cut three 1.5 inch strips. The bottom section has two 1.5 inch strips unfinished...that is, each cut at two inches. And. yes, I have a cheat sheet so I only had to use my brain once.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Gridlock Begins

 The Gridlock project has advanced from stacks of fabric (SOF) to a single block. That said, I figured out the best way for me to proceed. I am featuring the fabric line Roots by e bond. Most of the fabrics in the line have a lot of movement and will work best on the perimeter. After I figure out the outer border, I pick the center.  (As a reminder, Gridlock is featured in many Kaffe Fasset books (including knitting) and the quilts are all made by Liza Prior Lucy.

A couple of yesterday's comments noticed an angry cat hexie. That fabric is from the Alexander Henry collection of The Ghastlies called The Deep Dive. You might think that the cat is angry because it is under water and quickly losing air, except all of the fish are very angry too. And it looks like they are staring at you, so I would get out of there if I were you. Although this fabric says its from 2019, I think they reprinted it because I noticed that it is available for purchase again.

Thursday, October 12, 2023


After a couple of days of running around, even I have to accidentally get some sewing done. When I run into a print with animals, I cut some hexies from it. But it's really time now to get more sewn onto the paper in case I come up with an idea or a plan for how I might want to lay it out. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Rabbit Hole Encore

Sometimes when you are offered a new rabbit hole, its best to just close your eyes and hold on. Of course, once you're in the rabbit hole, do open your eyes again...or your brother will have eaten all your treats.

Here Bridget Steel-Jessop uses vintage linens to make a map that is stunning (the example is midway through the article): https://www.textileartist.org/bridget-steel-jessop-mapping-stitched-memories/

And while Yvette Philips says her work is all about vintage fabrics, I think the embroidery might have a little something to do with how wonderful it is: https://www.textileartist.org/yvette-phillips-confessions-of-a-vintage-fabric-addict/

And why am I showing you individual articles when you can wonder the third largest rabbit hole on your own...and enjoy your gap...https://www.textileartist.org/

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Squirrel and Rabbit Hole Warning

 Back in the time of my cats Tommy and Jimmy, twitter was a digital town square for cats (literally). Our favorite was Sockington, who was renamed Sockamillion when he reached a million followers. And, of course, Tommy and Jimmy each had accounts. Then more recently, twitter went to the dogs (figuratively), so we moved to Mastodon, the new digital town square for cats (literally). The cat as squirrel photo trended on Mastodon a few days back...and now it will serve as a warning for the content that follows...

I can't bring myself to show more ties, so let me give you the link to the latest video from Dave's Craft Room (who started me down the silk tie rabbit hole)...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7_czHkD1eI

And here is a recently published book that I just got, written by a former blogger...or at least one who is having a very long and productive gap. She makes Kaleidoscope quilts from African wax prints using Ricky Tims Kaleidoscope method (also available as three classes on YouTube). Her blog is still available here: http://www.geckoboxes.com/.  This has brought the Kaleidoscope back up to my "must do soon" list.

And while you chase squirrels down rabbit holes, I'm going to go back to the sloth nest.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Wrapping up the Ties

 I'm almost to the end of tie deconstruction. And I'm starting to have worrying self-doubt. What if I like destruction more than construction?

This is my current strategy for storing ties...cat food boxes. Oddly similar to my storage method for pre-construction microspools. And at least there is one benefit from feeding Buddy and Molly.

Although I did clean out the rain gutters today, I did not have as grueling a day as Molly. Her fight with tissue paper and string was so valiant, she just fell asleep on the battlefield.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Final Decisions

 I am quite happy to see how the chips fell as a border for the seahorses. I might have to fuss a bit with how the chips come together at the corners, but as long as they look bouncy, the exact configuration may not matter.

And I forgot that I had Pellon PLF36, an ultra lightweight non woven interfacing, to try. And this is it. This interfacing is light like the knit interfacing, but not as slinky. The result feels just like cotton. This was so exciting I made a little microspool (finished 1.5 inches) to celebrate. Hmm...do I have enough ties for a charm silk tie microspool quilt? 

Saturday, October 7, 2023

End of My Ties

 I'm almost at the end of converting ties to cloth. I have ten ties drying after their adventure in the washing machine. After I rip them apart I will be ready to sort them and iron on the stabilizer. But I suspect I will miss the sweet mindless bliss of taking apart ties while I listen to the Molly and Buddy podcast that invariably devolves into a slap fight.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Ties that Bind

 Today I tried some of the Shape Flex interfacing. It is shown in the top row. It has an even weave. In the bottom row on the left is the slinky knit fusible and on the right is the nonwoven fusible. The woven fusible is slightly lighter than the non woven but in both cases the feel is stiffer than a batik. So I changed my mind and decided to move ahead with the slinky knit. I will have to be more diligent but I think the final feel of the quilt will be appreciated by Molly and Buddy as they rip it to shreds.

And here is the worst possible example of the block(s) I will be making from the ties. The idea/block comes from Lynn Dykstra at Klein Meisje Quilts, renowned for her series of quilts featuring solids and prints. She calls the block that I will be making "Portuguese Tiles," but, of course, I will have to call mine Portuguese Tie-ls. Contrast will be key and since light ties are harder to find, I am going to bring in some kimono silk.

And because I can't stop unmaking ties, here are some more ties returned to fabric.

Thursday, October 5, 2023


Molly changed the rules...there are going to be two winners. She wanted to give everyone fabric but she has limited staff and that staff is limited. 

The winners are:

 eileen said...

I am asking Molly to pick out some batiks for me!!


Quilting Babcia said...

If Molly can find any neutrals after considering all the previous comments I'd be honored to receive some. And in my world neutrals can include bright orange, lime green and purple.


And, of course, the selection process met the highest standards. Buddy suggested that I write the name of all the contestants on cat treats. Then he proposed Molly would eat a treat and that contestant would be the winner. That's the point where Molly suggested TWO winners. After a few hours, I had all the names written legibly on the treats. While Molly ate the treats of the winners, Buddy gulped down the treats for those who didn't win. I asked them politely who the winners were and they politely replied that it was nap time and they didn't want to be bothered with staff tasks. So staff numbered the entries and pulled two numbers from a random number generator.

Meanwhile, I did pick up some Pellon Shape Flex (SP101) as suggested in the comments. It feels about the same weight as the Featherweight Fusible. However the Shape Flex is woven and the Featherweight is not. I still have some of the dog tie left and I'm interested to see if the woven interfacing will stabilize without the cardboard essence.