Friday, May 17, 2024

Smallest Unit of Progress

Here is my latest bunch of hexies. If at some point I post a photo of a single hexie, that is the time for some kind of intervention.

The woodpecker and wren were printed at Spoonflower from some designs I made back when I spent a lot of time using Photoshop. And it was so long ago that the photo of my cat that I also printed using Spoonflower was not Buddy or was Jimmy!

Back on May 9, I showed all the various Kaffe sand dollar fabric (designed by Brandon Mabley) that I had. Turns out I have three more. I was cutting a scrap of the orange and pink and thought...wait a minute...then I didn't a second search and found these.

And here is what is happening in the front yard. Portland is known as Rose City for a very good reason. When I moved in, there was already a row of roses planted along the driveway under some trees. They get no care from me which apparently is why they thrive.

Thursday, May 16, 2024


 Sometimes I think Molly goes out of her way to come up with weird poses.

Then I realize that she has something to exclaim with a point.

And this was before Buddy's trip to the vet where he was pronounced adorable.

Here is the first May giveaway random pick before it was sent off. And if you would like to see what it looks like after it was received, please go here:

Friday, May 10, 2024

Back to Hexies

 A while ago I made the mistake of figuring out how many hexies I would have to prepare to make a quilt roughly 60 inches square. Happily, I have forgotten the actual number, but realize that this will be with me for a long time.  I'm content with getting a few done every evening. Also, I continue to find novelty animal prints that don't have the hexie extraction, so I continue to cut more.

I'm also cutting the "random" fabrics for the giveaway.  I pick two fabrics from each drawer, cut them, and stack two piles. And this time I am putting the fabrics away right after I cut them. 

During one of the random pulls, I grabbed this print and decided it was too sad to be a selection. Then as I was putting it away I saw it was a fabric from the 80s and realized that this was one of two fabrics from a Burgoyne Surrounded. I was helping a friend from work make a quilt and she had very conservative tastes. The quilt was this fabric and a dark burgundy. In Catch 22 there is a character who thinks you live longer if time feels like its passing very slowly. He would have loved to make that quilt. So this is actually a funny fabric because it slows down time, but too sad for a giveaway.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Odds and Ends

 You wouldn't think that Buddy had that much to be ashamed of, but Molly and I know that he does.

And here is an older line of Kaffe fabric (Brandon Mabley). I pulled out the burgundy version of the Marmalade quilt, and then went looking for all the other versions. There are various ways to sort fabric such as by designer or by color. For the most part, I go with color, but more recently my strategy is "if it fits, it sits."

Finally, in administrative and Giveaway news, I have not been able to get contact information from one of the winners, so our new second winner for the May giveaway is Cathy of Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.

And there is a reason to exclude "no-reply" comments from the giveaway...because there is no way to email the winner unless they include the email in some form in the comment. I have only received another comment, but it was also no-reply. 

Monday, May 6, 2024


Poor Miss Molly had a regurgitation issue in her heated bed and she was forced to use ancient technologies like sitting in the sun to keep warm (i.e. hot). The exterior of her bed took a tour of the washing machine and is now hanging to dry.

Despite her struggles, she decided that we would go back to having TWO winners per month. The first winner is 

Gee in Central WA state. To make this exciting, Gee is no-reply so I don't have an email address for her. Hopefully she will see this and contact me. Otherwise, we will be down to one winner:

Meanwhile, I pulled fabric to start a new quilt. When I was rummaging through the old computer, I saw a picture of a Kaffe quilt that was incredibly awesome because it combines screaming orange and bright blue. After some research, I figured out it came from the book Quilt Grandeur. I also figured out which fabric plays the leading role. I bought two yards of the fabric, so that's how big the quilt will be. The book calls for three yards and makes a quilt that is roughly 90 inches square. 

The quilt was designed and made by Liza Prior Lucy and is called Marmalade. 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

See More Stars

 There was a question in the comments about how I figured out yardage for the blue star quilt and whether I use EQ. I used to plan quilts meticulously when I was younger and before EQ was born. Instead I used graph paper which I still do for drawing out animal designs. 

As for figuring out yardage, I just guesstimate. I often make mistakes. Or I change course and have to add in a different fabric. And I do mix up the background fabrics a lot more now so a quilt doesn't depend on one particular fabric.

I made the red version first, but made so many of the string wedges that I had enough for a second one. The blue fabric is the blue spotted grunge that is still available today. I had bought some for a backing so I knew I would have enough.

Meanwhile, all around town, dogwood trees are showing off their blooms. This red flowering dogwood was in the backyard when I moved in.

During an ice storm in 2021, a neighbor's oak tree fell on it. It decided to become a bush instead, and this is the first year it is blooming again.

And if you were interested in the plaid quilt I showed earlier, here is the block (with a border and cornerstones). I do not know where this came from.

Also, this is the last evening for the May fabric giveaway drawing. So if you are interested in entering, go to the May 1, 2024 blog and leave a comment. If you miss the deadline, come back for the June 1 fabric giveaway.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Molly Checkup

 The vet assured me that Molly was in good health, but they clearly didn't check her for being ridiculous. And this is over the top even for her.

When I revisited the Pat Nichol's quilt collection online, this quilt called out to me. It was made in the 1865s and measures 77 inches square. Closeup photos show how it is worn in areas. Also it is made of a mixture of solids and prints.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Reaction and Retraction

While discussions of layering quilts may suggest restraint from starting new quilts, its more like there are so many potential new starts that they are completely jammed up in the doorway and I am unable to move forward. I was cleaning out an old computer, and found this...definitely a wonderful use of plaid dress shirts. 

Also, when layering up the star string quilt, I went back to this post:

from 2018. And it includes the link to the inspiration quilt from the Pat Nichol's collection at the Mingei Museum. So I may have gone down that lovely rabbit hole of scrappy and string quilt ideas and added to the new quilt jam up.

Meanwhile, my lawyer Buddy Esquire says I have to print a retraction to my discussion of Molly's interaction at the vet's office. Molly was well behaved during the blood draw and getting her rabies shot. So her blood draw was not tit for tat. She does not like to be forcibly constrained which didn't happen until she was carried "wrapped in a towel like a burrito" ... like putting a cat in a harness or a collar that seems like a snug fit only to find its really three times too big as the cat slithers away. So Molly's blood draw was a side effect of her Houdini demonstration.

And yes, Molly's bloodwork was excellent. Also, she is normal weight and was the same weight this year as last. And her teeth are clean and she doesn't need a dental cleaning. And like most overlords, her biggest problems stem from problems with staff.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

May Fabric Giveaway

 It's time for the May fabric giveaway...despite my current project...breaking the Guinness world record for longest time spent layering a quilt. So far, I'm up to a week. And this isn't like a dance contest where you engage in the activity the whole time. Instead I wander off and do other activities I prefer such as not layering a quilt.

And yes, packing up and sending a curated package of fabric to a monthly winner is another preferred activity. To participate in the giveaway, just leave a comment (and email address if you are anonymous or no-reply) telling me what fabric you would like.

I would suggest you not ask Molly to select your fabric because she is only seeing red after her visit to the vet this morning. They drew Molly's blood so she drew some of theirs.

You can also pick the random option that I used last month, where I randomly pick a fabric from each bin. 

On May 5, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time, Buddy will close the submissions, then contact his accountant who will randomly choose the winner. I will notify the winner by email the next day, asking for your address and getting clarification about your fabric preferences.

Unfortunately, due to the high cost of international shipping, the giveaway is limited to the USA.

Previous winners may enter again. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Back to Backing II

 Here is the final choice for the backing for the darting fish quilt. And luckily, my "it is what it is" version of myself showed up and decided that the color shift between the border and the quilt top didn't matter. 

And I searched my blog to see that I had decided that I wouldn't make any more of these fish. A blog can be very handy for checking back and seeing what some random past version of yourself decided to do. Because I was still in "it is what it is" mode,  I added a simple border and called it done.

And because these fish are so mellow, I figured that they could handle a back of screaming seagulls.

Finally, I should admit that I now have three cats although I am desperately trying to get rid of one of them.

The three cats are : Molly, Buddy and Buddy's Annex. As you can see, Buddy and Buddy's Annex are inseparable. Buddy figured out how to get up on Molly's dining table and doubled down on his policy of diverting her food to Buddy's Annex. Oddly enough, we have now developed a routine where I give him an adoring rubdown while she eats. He knows that if I'm there, he doesn't get to eat her food, so he now plops down in front of her table for his spa treatment.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Apologies to the Spool Quilt

 I made a backing for the darting fish quilt yesterday. It has been hanging on the design wall for a long time waiting for its backing. To get to it, I had to take the spool quilt off the display stand. I may have have said some strong words due to the combination of a light display stand and a heavy quilt. Buddy told me its inappropriate to weight-shame quilts, so I weighed it and discovered it only weighs 8 pounds. Apparently, I'm a weakling.

Here's the backing I made for the quilt. Who doesn't love swimming rats and girls named Alice in distress. What I don't love is the green hue next to the blue.  What was I thinking?

Then I noticed the color shift between the quilt top and the border? Had the quilt top faded before I put on the border...or is the outer border from a different dye lot? Do I need a different border.

Next, I got out the fat fish quilt top hoping it might be a better match for the Tula and Alice quilt back. But it looks like its missing half of the quilt. It's so tiny. Did I run out of backing fabric or is their another half of the quilt somewhere.

Clearly, I am living too much in the past. Finishing quilts is over-rated and I am inclined to go back to less stressful activities like starting new quilts.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Back to Clark County Quilt Show

This quilt was made by Christy Hoffman and she named it Kaffe and Tula Meet Escher Cubed. I thought it was a traditional pattern but it is described as a pattern from Krista Moser using a 60 degree ruler. This quilt called to me first thing when I entered the hall. It also won a viewer's choice award. One of these days I'm going to make an unabashedly Kaffe quilt (not counting the Seed Packet quilt on my to do list). (No, I don't really have a to do list. Only random brain surges).

This cat quilt was made by Su Holmes from blocks she received for being the guild President for 2017-2018. This was part of an exhibit showing past Presidents' quilts made from blocks made by members.

I was totally drawn to this quilt and it took me a ridiculously long time to recognize it as based on a Sarah Fielke pattern I recently purchased. I'm especially blown away by the very subtle striping used in the center background. This quilt (called Growing Wild, Gone Wildly Red & White) was made by Cheryl Little and was part of a guest exhibit.

This is Sarah Fielke's version of the quilt which she presented as a Block of the Month. This is also on my to-do list for the time in my life when I fall in love with sewing appliqué.

And this Sarah Fielke's book featuring the quilt Growing Wild. And yes, I really liked this for using the striped background for the appliqué.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Back to Spooling Around

Here is a quilt that was not in the Clark County Quilt Show. If it had been, the description would have noted that this is a charm quilt and each spool is made from a different fabric. Seeing it finished and hanging gives a strong sense of a spirit who has lost her way...and a bit of wondering what it would look like if the spool backgrounds were white instead of cream...

For Molly, the quilt fills her with existential dread because she is too old to climb it and knock it down. Molly has renamed the quilt "Kittens Neglected."

And here is Buddy with both play mode and eating mode turned off.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Back to Backing

 After so much manic machine quilting last month, I thought maybe I should try having some machine quilting on tap that I do a bit every day or something boring like that. I pulled out a couple of quilts that  I considered too large for my purposes. I have gotten lazier and prefer to back with a wide backing when the quilts get larger. 

The spiral log cabin is a bit on the smaller side...something like 60 in by 72 in.

I started with the orange butterfly print and then pulled fabric that seemed to go together...but this conglomeration definitely does not go with the spiral quilt.

Then I remembered the butterfly quilt...also on the smaller side, so this will be my next machine quilting project.

And here is a completely different conception of machine quilting from the Clark County quilt show. This quilt is called Laurel Leaf and was made by Cathy Erickson.

Here is the quilt description.

And here is a closeup of the quilting.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Back to Boring

 I've moved beyond basting shapes and have begun sewing the TulaNova pieces together. It took a while for my fingers to figure out what they should be doing, but I have now advanced from exasperated to "okay, I can do this."

I began sewing components together because the pieces became smaller and harder to keep track of. And yes, the instructions do suggest sewing all the components first. However, I am making my decisions as I build the quilt outward and this is as far as my commitment takes me.

I did make it to the last day of the Clark County Quilt show and was greeted by this La Passacaglia by Marla Monson (who won first place for large quilts and another viewer's choice ribbon). I hope to make one of these someday, although I definitely have a better idea of what this entails. So maybe I should aim to have a La Passacaglia project box instead of a finished quilt.

And this month I remembered to take a picture of the giveaway fabric before I packed it up and sent it away. Well, almost. I had to unpack it a bit first. But this month was "Buddy's random pick"...and of course, Buddy had nothing to do with it because he was off being Buddy...a full time job. And this was only slightly random. I reached into each bin (scrap and quarter/half cuts) and pulled out a fabric sight unseen.