Summer Knitting

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.


June 2018
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June 15, 2018

Cat Bullet


Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 11:05 am

Well, even I am bored with looking at the last post on my blog.

From March?  Seriously??   Ugh.

I’m having computer issues at work and haven’t been able to upload any pictures lately.   So, I’m just going to have to put a couple of posts up without pictures until I can figure out how to handle this…

What has been going on?

1.  I started and finished a new project – a richly colored table runner as a gift for my Aunt and Uncle. Yes, a picture would be nice, but as discussed…   Here is a link to the kit/pattern.  Everything went together exactly as in the picture, but I changed the binding because the one they sent didn’t really match (in my opinion).  Instead, I used the same wine/plum colored batik that I used on the backing.

2.  I’m finished with all of the blocks for the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.  I have almost half of the quilt top sewn together (only one more row to do to finish the half), so I’m getting there.   This one has been REALLY hard and I will be so glad to have it finished. I’m definitely planning on getting it professionally quilted, and I’m probably going to buy the extra-wide backing fabric for it, just so I don’t have to worry about piecing together the back.

3.  Mr. Fish is in a resting phase… I am fairly certain that I have everything in the body completed, and I’ve got ideas for the background.  I need to start gluing.  Am hoping to work on that one after I finish the Bonnie Hunter mystery.  There is actually a deadline on that one as I am supposed to enter it in a quilt show in Colorado Springs in August (along with the people I took the class with).  Hmmm, maybe I should track down when the date of that show is…

4.  No progress has been made on either Day Dreams or Enchanting Stars, my two Jaqueline de Jonge paper piecing projects.  I’m really itching to get back to work on both of those.

My friend Glenda suggested that we have a UFO finishing summer, so those are the projects that I want to focus on.  That is a good idea, actually.   Finishing things is always good.

Oh, and I’ve been continuing the cleaning process on the studio.  I realize that, by typing that statement, I am implying that I have been working on the cleaning/organizing process all along.   Instead, I am forced to admit that it stalled, and stacks got massively out of control.   Out of control to the point that I lost important tools and had to replace them.   At which point, of course, the original was located.    It isn’t a tool that I will be unhappy to have a duplicate of, but I’m still annoyed with myself.

Speaking of annoyed with myself… I opened the DVD player last night so that I could watch a movie and found an old movie in the player.   An old movie that belongs to the library, so apparently I returned an empty case…  *gulp*   I’ll have to stop by this afternoon after work and throw myself on their mercy.    Which I hope is… merciful… because it was one of the “Lucky Day” DVDs, which means that you can only keep it for a very short period of time.  I suspect the fine will be hefty.

Good family news:    Mom and Dad got a new dog last weekend.  She is extremely sweet, about 1.5 years old and is a terrier mix of some kind.   She is really people-oriented and loves to be right next to you…

Oh well, that is about all that is going on right now.   It has been insanely hot and dry and the whole state is a tinderbox waiting to blow.   Summer semester has started and the usual crazed attempt to keep up with that is keeping me busy.  My Colorado Rockies show moments of brilliance balanced by absolute imperfection.  Par for the course.  Or, whatever the baseball equivalent would be.   Batting 0.500?  No, that would actually be a really good thing.

Hope things are going well with everyone and that you are keeping busy and well.








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March 1, 2018

Cat Bullet

Something fishy going on…

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 2:58 pm

Last Saturday, I went down to Colorado Springs to attend a quilt guild class on fabric collage. It was a really great day (except for the long drive) and I had a really good time.

The point of the project was not to create something biologically accurate.  It is much more fun to cut random “organic” type shapes and see where they fit into the general idea of things.

This was my progress in the class on Saturday.  The design is drawn on the muslin backing fabric, and then you just kind of fill in as you wish.  I’m not being super careful about exactly following the lines.    I feel like such a rebel…

I got a chance to work on it again on Wednesday after work.

I picked up a new fabric that was HUGE mums in yellow, orange and rust.   It has been perfect.   As a matter of fact, I’m going to have to be careful to not use it for the whole fish!!     None of this is permanent yet, by no means.  I’ll be moving things around some more before gluing everything down.

It is a fun project to work on, though messy.  I’ve got little bits of fabric all over the house now.   The cats think this is a really fun development.



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February 20, 2018

Cat Bullet

More progress

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:07 pm

Well, we finally got some winter. Snow and really cold this morning. Brrrr. I’ve been living in my new thermal underlayers but will have to do some laundry tonight if I’m going to stay warm the rest of the week…

Progress is being made on the Bonnie Hunter mystery.    I got all of the parts done…

That was a LOT of sewing.  The parts on the left (not in the basket) were problematic because I read the directions incorrectly.  The Flying geese (black/white and red/white) were also problematic at first, but then I found a way to cheat.    The Half-red squares were not as bad as I feared, which was great (they are in the lower right corner of the basket).  They went together quickly.

Here is what the blocks look like.  Currently, I have 18 out of 50 done.  It takes about 15 minutes per block (ish), once I have the rhythm going.


I’m pretty pleased with how they are coming out.  They will be sewn together “On Point,” which means that if you tilt your head to the left, you will see what they will look like in the quilt.    There will be sashing (red and white) with cornerstones (black, or possibly blue, depending on what I decide looks better in the long run).   Around the whole outside of the quilt will be blue triangles.   Probably scrappy, using the same fabrics I’ve already used, or possibly uniform, using a relatively large piece of blue that I have in my stash.     Again, I’ve not decided.  If the stash blue is large enough to use for all (or part) of the backing, then I will save it for that to avoid having to buy more fabric.   If there isn’t enough for that, well, then I may just make the outside consistent to give the eye a place to rest.

Time will tell, I guess.  These blocks are going together quickly, so I’m still hoping to get it finished by my birthday (the first week of March).   I’m not sure that I’m going to make it, though, as I lost about two weeks of sewing time to a head cold.   Bugger…


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January 16, 2018

Cat Bullet

Monday or Tuesday report

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 11:44 am

Well, we all survived the holidays. I guess that if you are reading this, you survived, right? I wouldn’t want to presume anything…

My Sister in Law came up at the end of December and we had a long three days of quilting!   We had so much fun.  Then the rest of the family came up on 12/31.  We decided that if they were going to sit around and watch football all the next day, then we were going to go back and quilt for another day.  At the end of that day, Ginger was so close to finishing her project that we said “Well, just another morning.”  Which turned into a really long morning/early afternoon, but that’s ok.   Her Kaffe Fasset project was lovely and well worth pushing through to the finish.   A glorious explosion of flowers and colors.

While Ginger was working on hers, I continued on the Bonnie Hunter mystery.    Really struggled through parts of it.  I don’t know why my sewing is so bad when it comes to cutting and sewing triangles.    Not my thing, I guess.   I found an alternate method of doing the flying geese that made them  go much faster, and eventually worked out the best way to do the third clue.

I finally finished the third clue on Sunday night.  It was a really late night, but I was determined to get that step finished.     Last night (Monday), I worked on Clue 5, the black and white flying geese.   I figure that I need around 120 and I completed (except for the final trimming) 40 and have 20 more with only one wing remaining.    I ran out of the white wing pieces, so I will have to do some cutting tonight.   I’ll probably need more black bodies as well, but I’ll do a quick estimate/count so that I don’t end up with too many extras.

So, progress is being made, though (apparently) not really photographed.     Just picture a bunch of red, white and black piles and you’ll do OK.

Keep on piecing!!   Or whatever you do for fun.


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December 20, 2017

Cat Bullet

Sigh. Update?

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 2:37 pm


Oh, dear. I really have been working on crafty things, but I haven’t taken any photos. I get down to the basement and dig into a project and just forget that there are blog readers that might want to see things…   So, as I describe things, you will just have to use your imagination for now.   Enjoy the lovely picture of Taffy above…

So, what have I been working on?

1.  Organizing the quilting room

I might have accumulated a bit of stash fabric.    *cough*     OK, I might have accumulated a vast horde of quilting fabric.   I’m weak, what can I say?   I see pretty colors or bright patterns or fondle something in a store that just makes my hands sing and I completely succumb.   A big part of the problem is that I hadn’t taken the time to organize the bigger pieces, so I couldn’t look through them easily, nor could I really remember everything that I had.    So, at Thanksgiving, my wonderful sister-in-law Ginger visited (OK, the rest of her family visited also) and she helped me decide how to organize things.    I ordered magazine storage cards to wrap the bigger pieces around and now they stand up on the shelves in my two white cabinets.  In (rough) color order, so now it is easy to see what I have.      I found such lovely things while I was dealing with each individual piece of fabric.      All of the precuts, fabric bundles and kits were moved into the drawers where the folded fabric used to live.    I think that this is a real workable solution to the storage problem.  Fabric pieces that are too small to be wrapped around cards will continue to be stored in color-specific plastic bins.   That system has worked out really well so far.

2.  Reduction of Magazines

I have a bad habit of picking up quilting magazines. I really enjoy them, as it is fun to see what other people are working on, look at color trends, and look at the advertisements for nifty tools that I don’t own yet.     But magazines really accumulate, don’t they?    They were taking up two full shelves in my studio and I really didn’t think that I ever was going to look back through them.  So, I’ve been hauling them in to work to share with two other quilters.   I’ve ripped out a few articles/patterns/photos to save, but the most of them will eventually end up being recycled.    By getting all of the magazines out of the studio, I was able to solve another problem, that one being the storage of quilting books!!   The books are now on the shelves previously occupied by the magazines.  They look fantastic there, and are easily visible and accessible.   Win, Win!!

3.  New Sewing Machine Table

I love my new BabyLock Jazz sewing machine.  The only down side was that it was just too big and high to be comfortable while sewing with it on a regular table.    So, I researched and found a really nice sewing table.  It was designed to hold a long arm quilting machine, but the company was happy to cut an acrylic insert specific for my machine.

This was my Christmas present to myself and from Mom and Dad (THANKS!), but I ordered it in November so that I could have it to use during the holiday break.    It is extremely comfortable to sew on  and is a really good size for a big project.  Purrcy loves it because he can jump up and investigate what is going on. He has also been known to take a nap on the far side.  I should probably put a warm towel or cushion down for him (but then, being a cat, he would probably ignore it altogether…)

4.  Projects (UFOs…)

A friend of mine was really interested in participating in the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt for this year.   I told Pam that I would do it along with her.  We have really been enjoying the process.     Here is a link to the “On Ringo Lake” mystery.  I’ve chosen to use different colors than Bonnie calls for, but that is OK.   I’m using Red for the coral, Blue for the Aqua, Black for the Chocolate brown and White with black for the neutrals.

I’ve finished the sewing for Clue 1, the Blue/black/white 9 Patches and am about 3/4 of the way through clue 2, the red/white flying geese.

There are more 9 patches, but since they have been trimmed to exact size, they are stored in a different location.   There are a few more of those to trim up and all of the flying geese.   I’ve got 160 of the flying geese done and need about 220 (ish).    I’m really having problems with the flying geese – I have to unpick and resew about 3 out of every 10 that I get done.   Makes for slow progress.     Currently, I’m cutting the strips needed to finish clue 2, and to start clues 3 and 4.   I’m looking forward to the holiday break when I can get caught up.   Or not, no pressure.  This is a fun activity.

In addition to the Bonnie Hunter Mystery project, I’ve got a fair number of other unfinished projects.

  • Purrcy’s quilt (the Halloween quilt)
  • Enchanting Stars (the rainbow paper pieced project started in Maine last summer)
  • Day Dreams (the muted blue/orange paper pieced project)
  • Multiple tops that need to be quilted into quilts (I’m hoping that the new table will make that project much easier)
  • A “Block of the Month” project that Ginger and I are starting with each other in January (I really need to decide what color scheme that I want…)
  • Potential projects up the wazoo…


Gosh, that is a lot of things going on, right???   It has been a while since I wrote down a list of pending projects…   *gulp!!*

Several years ago, I ran into a casual friend at the grocery store during a winter break.    She told me that she came out to the store that day because she was “Just so bored” sitting at home while her office was closed.        I will never have that problem, because I am well stocked with fun things to do.






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November 18, 2017

Cat Bullet

Seven Days challenge, Day #3

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 5:36 am

Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life. No people. No explanation. You know the drill… consider yourself challenged if you are interested!

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November 17, 2017

Cat Bullet

Seven Days challenge, Day #2

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 5:36 am

Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life. No people. No explanation. You know the drill… consider yourself challenged if you are interested!


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November 16, 2017

Cat Bullet

Seven Days challenge, day #1

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:34 am

There is a challenge floating around Facebook. I thought that I would share my contributions with blog readers as well…


Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life. No people. No explanation. You know the drill… consider yourself challenged if you are interested!

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October 18, 2017

Cat Bullet

Sheesh… nag, nag, nag

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:00 pm

(editor’s note:   *sigh*  Purrcy has already staked his claim to the Halloween quilt.  Photographic evidence follows…)

Moooooom, When is MY quilt going to be done?   I’ve been waiting for you to work on this.  I think I’ve been very patient…

You keep saying you’re going to work on it to have it done before Halloween.    I really need to have this quilt to snuggle in because it matches my fur.  And it is getting cold in the house.

I guess that you DID make some acceptable progress last weekend when you got it stretched out and pin-basted…

But I’m not sure that you are working fast enough.   Chop, chop, mama.  Chop chop.

But don’t forget to feed us and play with us and clean out our litter boxes.    Why do you have to go to that “work” place anyway?   You would be happier if you could just stay home all day.





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October 9, 2017

Cat Bullet

Basting quilt with SKEEERRRSSS!

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:02 pm

It is time to baste the Halloween quilt. I found an interesting video a while back and decided to try this technique.

How to Sandwich a Large Quilt on a Small Table

It is worth watching the video just to read the commentary from the offspring/video editor.   Very Funny!!

In short, the technique involves taping down Skewers (SKERRRRRSSS) in a cross to determine the “center” of the table.  You then fold your backing, batting and top in quarters, and press the quarter lines in the center of each layer.   Using the texture of the skewers, you line up the center lines of the layers and then clamp the edges to the table.  This ensures that all layers are centered with each other and perfectly flat so that you can pin the layers together.

First things first, finding the center of the table and taping down the skewers.   I decided to use my metal BBQ skewers, mainly because I never use them to BBQ with.

Pretty straightforward.  I was careful to tape over the points to protect my fabric.   They really do make a nice ridge that is easily felt through the fabric.

I took my back fabric (seamed together so that it was big enough) and folded it into quarters, then laid it out on the table.   It was easy enough to line the pressed “center lines” and line them up with the skewers, but then I hit a snag because none of the clips that I had were big enough to cover the edge of the table.   I have some large hardware type clamps, but my hands weren’t strong enough to open them.  Yeah, those got tossed into the thrift store donation box at the end of the evening…

Isn’t the fabric pretty???  I really love this print – it is even beautiful from the back side!!!  Side note, though… the pattern/design of the fabric will be running cross-ways across the back of the quilt.  I didn’t have enough to cut it lengthwise.   Note to self:  Don’t buy directional prints for quilt backs…   It isn’t going to bother me, and anyone who makes a comment about it won’t be allowed to snuggle under the quilt.

I decided to go ahead and press the batting and top in quarters while I thought about what to do with the clip situation.

In this case you can see the backing stretched out fully, and the folded batting and top on top of that (but not unfolded from the quarters).

My original plan was to go buy some bigger binder clips after work today.  However, it occurred to me last night (while I was in bed) that I can probably use spring-loaded hair clips to hold the edges of the quilt down.  That way I can use what I already have and not have to shop.  Given that it is snowing like mad outside, I’m very much in favor of not leaving the house after work today.

So, there you have it.  Progress, of a sorts, has been made.  Once I get the quilt pinned, then I get to quilt it.  My Mom came up with the best idea for quilting design, so you will just have to wait until the big reveal to see what that will be…






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