Saturday, May 30, 2015

Green fish

I checked the fish net this morning and I found five green fish. The blue fish jumped in to even things out. It's the last week for green and I'm not sure if I finished all of the green patchwork I need for the various projects. To check on how others are progressing, swim on over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Nine patch netting

My pile of nine patches is growing. And I thought I would use it to catch some fish for tomorrow's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. In particular, I'm going to try to snag some green fish.

I have added a cat or two to the netting to help out, assuming one can even use "cat" and "help out" in the same sentence.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


You can be certain that when I saw these guys on my design wall, I snapped a quick picture and then ran for my life...

because they immediately started dancing and singing Broadway show tunes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ocean Wave Repair

I pulled out this Ocean Waves quilt top and gave it a long soak to see if there were any issues with bleeding.

There were no problems with bleeding...but I found an area where the bunnies chewed away some of the brighter colors. Now when I look at the image of the full quilt top, my eyes zero in on the nibbled part.

And here it is after I changed out the nibbled parts with brighter triangles with more contrast.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Who's watching me now?

Do you sometimes get the sensation that you're being watched, but you don't know by what?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Kitten Season Returns

Yes, kitten season has returned and to keep them from running around and getting mixed up with the bunnies, I sewed all the kittens into strips. Hey wait, why is that third strip from the left longer than the others? And why are those kittens laughing? Apparently I used a 1.5 inch strip to combine them instead of 1.25. They may be laughing now, but just wait until I get out the seam ripper.

While I fix the kittens (in a manner of speaking), you may enjoy one of the peonies that are blooming in my garden...

or the mountain laurel showing off throughout the woods...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Green Bunnies

It's the month for green at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. But spring is running somewhat late in my sewing room this year, so we are still transitioning from purple bunnies to green ones.

Originally I had planned to make bunnies that could run in two directions, but until this week all of them were running to the left.  As you can see, everything gets more interesting with more colors and directions.

And I know that some of you are a bit concerned that the owls might eat all of the rabbits. However, I have discovered that I can't always predict which way things will go in my sewing room.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Purple bunnies

I'm still trying to catch up on purple patchwork for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge. Here are two bunnies for April. I also have two brown bunnies that have been hanging out in my yard. I have a feeling there will be more brown bunnies soon. So I had better get to work making more purple bunnies for last month and some green bunnies for this month...just to keep up with nature.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Nine patches

I have a large tub of 1.5 inch strips that I'm using to make nine patches in between and during my various projects. And no, I'm not going to mention the obvious, because it only encourages them.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Love birds

This month the color for the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge is green, and the birds for the month are lovebirds. I played catch up during the week and made a Pukeko (Purple Swamp Hen) for a purple bird for the month of April. I have been wondering how all these birds will come together, so I gathered them together for a group photo...a task that is much harder than herding cats!

And yes, the bird gathering was photobombed by an owl who belongs in a different quilt! Feel free to insert any one of Vernon Dursley's tirades against owls here. But please try and forget about the owl. Really, just try. I accidentally put the finch on the wrong background, so I will have to redo that one. I may also flip him in the other direction because almost all of the birds are facing in the same direction! Plus the pukeko is being very vocal about not wanting to be the size of a goldfinch. And if I make him larger, maybe he can chase away the owls.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bloggers' Quilt Festival: Rainbow Fish

Last year I participated in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge sponsored by the blog So Scrappy. This was my first time making a rainbow quilt. It was also the first time I had made a quilt incrementally...where I made a new color of fish each month. But by the end of the year, I had all the blocks to make this quilt.  The quilt is roughly 60 inches square.

Here is a close-up of some of the fish. Each fish is quite easy to make...the body is simply a 4.5 inch square with 1.5 inch squares sewn to the corners and ironed over to make a triangle. This is also called a snowball block. Give the snowball block a tail and you have a fish.

 To bind the quilt, I pieced together squares of fabric to make a rainbow binding. 

I should, however, mention the tragic loss of quite a few of the fish to a marauding cat. Needless to say, some of the participants in the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge made patchwork cats, and with all of the linking from blog to blog, these kinds of problems are inevitable.

Hope you enjoyed this fish tale. To catch more adventures, swim on back to Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New garden ornament

Here is further proof I live an unsupervised life... Needless to say, Tommy would not have approved of a cat riding a bicycle with a mouse in the basket. I'm sure he would have evoked his gag reflex. But more to the point (literally), he would have objected because the cat has no bicycle seat, and in fact the contraption requires that a support stick goes up...well, enough said.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pukeko or the Purple Swamp Hen

I first learned about the pukeko from Mystic Quilter who gets to see this bird as part of her life in New Zealand. I have never seen one myself (until today) although I did get some pukeko fabric (once again under the influence of Mystic Quilter). The pukeko, also known as the purple swamp hen, is my purple bird contribution for the Rainbow Scrappy challenge...better late than never!

But here is my complaint. I went back through all of the Mystic Quilter blog posts and found no mention of how extremely sensitive pukekoes are about their toes! Seriously! So if you are thinking of going near pukeko toes, make sure you have your seam ripper handy and lots of patience.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Love Birds

As part of the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge, I need to come up with a green bird. I find myself going back to some fused applique designs I made back in 2011 as part of Vicki W.'s journal project. I think love birds will work. Now I just need to work them up on graph paper.

But I also have to finish the purple swamp hen (or pukeko in New Zealand) for last month.

And in garden news...I now have TWO rabbits that have set up residence in my yard.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vintage spin and clematis

I remade the vintage spin blocks after accidentally making smaller versions.

This is my first draft of one side of the vintage spin quilt. Before I sew the blocks together, however, I have to find a fabric for the center circles and then sew the circles in (using Dale Fleming's circle method, of course). This will give me time to play with the layout a bit more.

And in keeping with the vintage spin theme, my clematis waited for me to return from Portland before launching its blooming frenzy.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Green owl

Here's the new green owl--his name is Hoover. Oh, excuse me. It's Whoover.

And now race over to the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge to see what green magic is being made for the month of May. But hurry, before the owls start singing "Over the Rainbow" again.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Owl Eyes

I went into the sewing room to find this gruesome sight...owl eye parts. They are being made using Dale Fleming's six-minute circle technique that starts with freezer paper circles ironed to the background.

Next, the freezer paper is removed and the pupils are sewn to the background using the zipper foot. It makes it much easier.

And once the circles are sewn, the owl eyes are complete. But doesn't this beg the question of WHO is making the owl eyes?

Oh dear! It's Construction Site Bear, disguised as an owl. He is trying to earn money to buy passage back to California. He was dug up in the backyard during the construction of an art studio and sent to Virginia for reconstructive surgery. He has since found out that the art studio is almost complete and he is anxious to get to his new home.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Portland Quilt Show

Whew! I've returned from sunny Portland and am back in Virginia, enjoying my first gray day in over a week. I was visiting family in Portland and attended the NW Quilters' Guild quilt show. My sister entered two quilts. She has been making baby quilts for charity, but this was her first time entering quilts for a show.

Many areas sponsor quilt shop hops or tours where quilters visit each quilt shop in an area. Usually each shop offers a block pattern and fabric to make the Hop/Tour sponsored quilt. While a lot of people I know participate in these, my sister's quilt is the first I've seen carried to completion!

(Please note that the black arrow on green is part of a sign attached to the quilt...and not part of the quilt itself.)

Here is the second quilt my sister entered. I don't think my photo does it justice, but it was hard to get a photo without some random family member blocking part of it.

And now that I'm back, I need to gather the courage to explore what has happened in the sewing room while I've been gone. I also have to catch up on all the activity in blog land and over at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Grandmother's basket quilt

My Grandmother passed away before I was ten. She left behind many quilts...some that were used for everyday and others that were considered heirlooms. Although given her hand quilting, they would all be considered heirlooms today. In any case, this was the quilt that was designated for me.

This quilt is rather large and is a good fit for a queen sized bed.  However, I think she made it for a double bed so that it would drape all the way to the floor. Here is a close-up of one of the baskets. You can also see the diagonal stripes in the background, the circle loops in the blue border and the feathers in the outer white border.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Folded pinwheels

My head is spinning! I went in the sewing room this morning and found GMO (Genetically Modified Owl) teaching a folded pinwheel class. I asked if they would mind if I took a picture. The owls all glared at me suspiciously and asked "WHO will see the picture?" Luckily that started up more Knock Knock jokes, so I ran out of the room. I hope that everyone else at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge has as easy a time making their green blocks as I did!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Grandmother's Pink Quilts

My Grandmother made several pink quilts using these fabrics. She made a pair of identical pink and green quilts, and I mistakenly thought this was one of the pair. I put it on display for the real estate photos and took a closer look at it. It was a different quilt altogether.

She liked a very tight buttonhole the point it looks like a satin stitch with an edge.

This quilt also demonstrates some of her best hand quilting.

And just in case you write my grandmother off as a complete slacker, here's the scalloped edge.