Monday, July 24, 2017


I finally finished this Stonefield block. I used the mylar plastic technique to make the small brown circles...that is, I baste around the circle, snug it around the mylar, iron it, slip out the circle and applique it to the block. And no, that wasn't too time consuming. It was the search for the circles after I made them. Everywhere. And how weird was it that I found two circles on my bed. But only two.

This morning I realized criminal activity was involved, and of course, Buddy is the criminal in our family. I suspected that he stole the circles (with basting thread attached) and ran off with them., so I searched the path from my sewing box to his bed (on my bed). As you can see, finding small circles of the dotted fabric on the dark brown shag carpet was no easy task. I held one up to Buddy and his eyes lit up. He tried to grab it and run off with it. Law enforcement is much easier when the criminals readily confess by reenacting the crime.

Molly is much easier to find on the carpet. And she charged law enforcement (me) with illegal entrapment. I have been sentenced to community service providing extra attention and care for local neglected cats. In this case, local is very local and means those residing in the apartment with the brown shag carpet who are reduced to stealing bits of fabric and thread for amusement.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Blue Moo

Once in a blue moo, I'm able to get sufficiently organized to make something. And now the blue cow can join in the fun at the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Return of the plaid bunnies

I have a quilting deadline! I found out that there is a quilt show in September so I thought maybe I should finish up the plaid bunny quilt and enter it. Nothing like a deadline to get the fingers motivated.

Of course, if I were still living in Virginia, I wouldn't be able to be in the same room as this quilt. It has a wool batting and is exceedingly warm. Okay, HOT! This year, Portland's summer is like a Virginia spring...without the rain.

Meanwhile, Molly is continuing her child care duties watching from our balcony. She is such a pro, the children don't even know that their every move is closely monitored. During their play, someone started screaming and everyone else joined in. Buddy bolted from the room. Molly pointed her ears backward and looked ready to run. But the stream of young humanity was so fascinating, she sat riveted instead.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Coming to a Close

Without much patchwork to share, we will have to get our dose of color from this rose blooming in the shade in the front yard of the house that may become mine on Friday. 

And as another color exercise, how many shades of taupe are in this picture? How many of those shades are cat? Molly suggests you solve this by counting the number of shades of dope.

As for Molly, hard working felines sleep harder.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bunnies and a road trip

Who doesn't love a taupe bunny? And the pattern is soft and playful enough for the Stonefields quilt, so I decided to use it as the background for my next block. I tend towards having too much contrast, so I looked for a companion fabric that played very well with the bunnies.

Oops. I went too far. Except I do like the Alice in Wonderland feel. I also have to add a circle in the middle and all around the perimeter.

And here's another colorway of the circus animals on parade. It reminds me of a tummy ache.

Molly is trying to help me out by pulling down the flannel that serves as a photo backdrop.

Meanwhile, I took my first "Random adventure" in Portland. I first used this technique when I moved to Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. I used a random number generator to pick a page and grid square in a detailed street map. Then I would drive to that random area and check it out...getting lost and found several times along the way.

For this trip, I randomly picked the grid with Cedar Island Park. And its probably obvious that it would be cheating to use freeways. Especially when you can go over funky bridges. In any case, the access shown in my luddite map was now blocked off, so I had to use another approach...going through another park by foot. And that's when I found this sign. This made no sense...

until I found this.

 And this was the view from the bridge.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sewing the Blues

I found this blue sheep roaming around looking for a bit of grass and only finding stacks of cardboard boxes. I asked if it would like to join the Rainbow Scrappy Challenge and it said it would do anything for a scrap of grass.

And I finished my pinwheels for last week in the middle of the week.

And in case you were wondering about Molly...she's striking a Portland pose.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Stonefield returns

I've decided to work on the Stonefield quilt by Susan Smith again so I can add in a mix of hand applique to all the sewing I'm not doing. I put the blocks up to get a sense of the colors. I also went looking for my Karen Buckley circles that are my favorite for circle applique.

And I kept looking. Then looked again. Unfortunately, just this afternoon I told my sister, probably in a louder voice than I needed, that I was NOT going to buy any more notions because I couldn't find them.  But maybe Portland has a special exemption on pronouncements, like a 24 hour statute of limitations.

You might remember that I went to the Sisters Quilt Show on Saturday, and fell in love with this fabric (that is, a fabric similar to this).  And guess what came today? This is an example of how the world is a scary place, but in a good way.

Here's a close up. The fabric isn't a typical quilting cotton and has a bit of a canvas feel to it. It's light enough to work with, but is stiff.  And I think only the pugs are having a good time.