Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pin Basting Help

If you were Molly the Kitten Cat, you would have had a very bad day today. You would have tried to help layer a vintage spin quilt and would have been locked out of the sewing room twice. When it wasn't even your fault.

It should be obvious from the photos, that a very ridiculous quilter is attempting to layer a vintage spin quilt while leaving big holes in the quilt. If you were a dedicated quilting assistant, you would get under the quilt top, stick your head through the holes, and than try to tussle your way out.

Then when you were let back into the studio, you would obviously start pulling the batting out of the holes. Of course, those safety pins would make it difficult, so you would have to pull at the batting extra hard. Then the next time you're let back in the sewing room...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Almost Finished

The peacock quilt did not get finished today. There is still the right lower corner of binding to sew, a label to add, and then some threads to find and tuck in. Then the quilt will get a bath. I will also have to find the book that goes with the quilt. The next quilt chapter meeting is next Tuesday, so I think I can tie up the loose ends by then...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Machine Quilting and More

Today I spent most of the day machine quilting the peacock quilt. As you can see, I'm trying to convey peacock feathers with the log cabin blocks.

I was wondering what to do with the darting fish border when I thought to use the magic of the Internet to find out whether the Dear Stella confetti was still available (far right). And yes, I found some and ordered it. Of course, I had to order some other fabric to serve as padding so the confetti fabric wouldn't get bruised during shipping.

When I laid out the fabric for the photograph, Molly thought it would look a lot better if she was laying on it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Peacock Pin Basting with Assistance

Pin basting a quilt seems to take a lot longer than it used to. I'm still getting used to the newer generation of quilting assistant. The older generation (Tommy) was snarky, but less paws on. Even the assistant to the quilting assistant started to pull at the layers from under the table. Luckily, there was an invasion of laser point light in the hallway and the assistants took chase.

Molly is constantly looking for unwanted wrinkles and always finds them. I am thinking of changing from pin basting to spray basting, but am concerned that the quilt assistant won't hold still long enough for me to give her a good coating.

I have also noticed that quilting assistants don't always appreciate my sense of humor.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Slow Sea Fish

If one goes looking among soothing sea colors, one is apt to come across a soothing slow fish.

Slow fish would like me to assure you that he is slow in speed, but not of mind. He and his friends have long, deep discussions about sea currents. They suggest you visit the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge for more fascinating sea colors.

Meanwhile, I made the obvious choice for the peacock quilt back.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Peacock quilt top

My quilt group provides a book and a quilt to local children. I made this "improv" peacock last year and thought that maybe I could make lemonade out of lemons. I'm hoping that the quilting will help the feather plumage. Molly suggested that a wonderful backing might make up for the front. The finished size is 40 by 50 inches.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Garden Intrigue

With transitions from endless rain to blasting heat to uninvited guests, the vegetable garden is off to a slow start. I harvested about 4 pea pods from two long rows, but the bunnies in my yard look fat and happy. I also blamed the rabbits for the disappearance of cucumber plants. I restarted some seeds a few weeks ago and finally planted them this morning. This time I surrounded them with metal mesh. Then guess who showed up? I thought Mr. Fox came to dine on bunnies, but instead he started to dig under the wire mesh protecting the new cucumbers. What's up with that?

Mr. Fox didn't stay long this afternoon, but is back for a night time visit, barking his head off. Buddy wants to know...what's up with that?

Meanwhile, the day lilies are happy to show off.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teal Owl and Dear Jane B5

The teal owl did not want to wait until next Saturday to have his spot on the blog.

So he has to share the limelight with Dear Jane block B5 or Hot Cross Bun.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Darting Fish Quilt Top (without borders)

Finally!  The darting fish quilt top is assembled. The darting fish were rainbow blocks from the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge of 2015. I still need to figure out a border for it. However, I have very little of the background fabric so my options are somewhat limited.

As you can see, as I was taking the picture of the quilt top, Molly was protecting me from marauding predators, that is, her brother Buddy.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Right facing seahorses

While my brother was here visiting, I had a serious lapse in sewing and blogging. Before his visit, I had worked out a right facing version of the seahorse that included some redesign. I figured out ways to make the sewing easier and gave it a curvier tail. However, in the redesign, I now have a head that requires partial seams. So one more redesign is in order before I try to make up a tutorial.

Here, the new right facing seahorses are meeting the left facing ones for the first time. And yes, I will be revising the tails of the earlier seahorses so they can keep up with seahorse fashion trends. The new seahorses match this month's color at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Meanwhile, Molly and Buddy claim they were also neglected, probably because their brains got clogged with playtime and treats.

Molly missed her sewing room antics and has been making up for lost time. Here, she is taking a snooze on the ironing board which is strictly off limits. I also warned her away from trying to chew on the thread as it moves from cone stand to sewing machine. Molly was so affronted that she grabbed the thread in her mouth and ran down the hallway letting the spool unwind behind her.

Here, Molly is trying to lick the neglect off of Buddy but she soon found herself using bites.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Eagle Landed

Look who I encountered during a morning outing.

The eagle was across a reservoir so these photos are courtesy of the magic of zoom.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dear Jane F3 and Molly's Rebuttal

Again a day with little sewing, but just enough to make Dear Jane F3 or Snowball.

And here is Molly's rebuttal to yesterday's post.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dear Jane D6

When I saw Dear Jane D6 (or Challenge) on the Fabadashery blog, I decided that this would be a simple way to make some progress on this rather neglected project. And I even got super daring and used a different fabric where I typically would use the lavender spot fabric...I used the sprout spot fabric instead.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Molly and Buddy

I didn't get time to sew today so Molly was going to be the guest blogger and give her philosophy on life. She wrote a diatribe that is about as long as Tommy's Policies and Procedures, so I think we'll let the picture be worth a thousand pages of kitten monologue.

Meanwhile, Buddy has figured out how to get to the top shelf behind the design wall, but hasn't quite made it to Molly's sacred perch at the very top. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dart Fish Layout 2.0

Okay, I think I have this layout sorted out. It really does help to have it up on the design wall instead of on the floor under wrestling cats. And to be able to keep the fish up on the design wall, I used the laser mouse until both Molly and Buddy were exhausted.

So here was the problem... the second, fourth, sixth and eighth row only had six fish which left the end fish of the odd rows without a fish fin to hook on to. To fix this, I needed to add a fish to the end of each even row. Luckily I had lots of extra green fish and I only had to make an extra aqua fish.

I do like how the tails seem to be suspended off of the fish and there is almost a shadow fish in the negative space.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Red fish

Sewing the blocks together always takes longer than I think it should. In this case, I first added the spacer strips. Then I sew all of the fish in a row. I also sewed the first two rows together and yes, that requires a bit of fussy sewing to match the fins. Not my strong suit. And while I rarely use pins, for this I'm using two pins per fin match. Of course, Molly loves to supervise my use of pins where supervise means taking the ball end in her mouth and attempting to sneak off with it.

As I was sewing the fish together, I came to a row with two fuschia fish! Given the number of quilt assistants I have clogging up the sewing room and the amount of time they spend rearranging the fish, you would think one of them would have noticed and said something. So here is the new red fish to replace the extra fuschia fish.

And now that I'm looking at two rows sewn together, I'm wondering about the lone blue fish unconnected to the other fish.  I suspect I may have some new complaints to raise with the assistants.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Aqua seahorses

This month is AQUAtic at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and here are some seahorses ready to take the plunge into the new month. For more refreshing patchwork, swim on over to this week's Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Darting Fish Floor Layout

In case you think that Molly's fabric climbing may have enticed your kitten into similar activities, let me assure you that evolution itself has shaped this practice in cats. Here is Jimmy demonstrating this prowess back in 1997. This practice obviously served cats well in the wild, similar to their irresistible impulse to knock things off of ledges and tables.

Here's the darting fish layout. Buddy is covering one of the fish so it will be a surprise.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Wrapping up Darting Fish

If I counted correctly, these are the last additions I need for the darting fish quilt.

I'm relying on Molly for the final count. I used to put the blocks on the design wall and then make more blocks until the layout was complete. Molly has adopted a more sophisticated floor process that only she can understand.

Buddy doesn't understand Molly's process either because he skipped so many of his classes at Kitten U. He regrets spending so much of his youth hiding in a box.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A few more darting fish

 Here are three more fish for the darting fish pond. I have several more to make that are almost done, but I ran out of steam.

I did cut I-spy squares for the I-spy exchange sponsored by Val's Quilting Studio. Sign-up just started today so head on over if you're interested.

And in cat news, I was carrying Buddy in my arms when Molly launched herself from the top of the shelving unit (behind the design wall) to my shoulders. Thankfully, Buddy kept his cool and I didn't require a blood transfusion.