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


October 2019
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August 27, 2019

Cat Bullet

Tuesday morning

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:28 am

Nice weekend, lots of things going on!

A friend came over to work on a quilt.  She made the blocks a couple of months ago, so now was the fun of spreading them out and seeing how they went together.     These are the same block style that I used for the purple quilt that I made a couple of posts back…   but Peemin wanted a lot more colors in hers, and I must say, it looks fantastic!   I really love all of the bright colors.

We thought that we would make it a little bit bigger because she wanted to use it on a queen sized bed.  So, we tried out the precut black strips of fabric and decided that we really liked it!  Made the whole thing look like a stained glass window.   There will be lots of sewing to get it all together, but I think that we made a really good start.

Purrcy is always very attentive when I’m working in the basement.  With two people down there, he was ecstatic!   He kept jumping up onto the table to see what we were doing, so I picked him up so that he could see what was going on.   He glanced at it politely, but is much more interested in quilts once they are done and soft and cuddly…and have warm bodies under them.

Saturday night, Peemin and I attended “The Last Defender,” a collaborative puzzle room presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.    It was a total blast!! So much fun and really fast paced!   I’m proud to announce that we won the game and averted Nuclear Destruction.   We scored pretty well, I think, because we ended up as #25 out of 200.      They took a group photo after the end… look at all the happy smiles!   The rabbit was one of three “assistants” that we had in the room during the game.  They weren’t allowed to talk but they would “golf clap” when we were on the right track.   It was loads of fun.

So, all things considered, it was a really nice weekend.       Last night (Monday), I finished up the remaining spiked borders for Miss Rosie, which I’m very pleased about.  No photos, because they pretty much look exactly like the previous ones.  Which, I suppose, is the point.   I’m not sure which section I’m going to work on next, but I suspect that I’m going to tackle the flying geese (dark and light blue).   They are the ones that have the highest quantity of remaining pieces, so I think it makes sense to do them next.    I’m sure hoping that I can continue to make progress!  The class in October is coming up rapidly, and I’d really be pleased to have a finished top to show her when she comes into town.

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August 19, 2019

Cat Bullet

Monday morning progress

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:16 am

Spent a nice quiet weekend at home, mostly. I did leave the house long enough to go pick up my two sewing machines from the repair shop! It was really good to get them home again!

Pretty much spent the rest of the weekend working on Miss Rosie and cleaning house.  I made one half of the last remaining full circle spiked ring and made two (out of four total) of the 3/4 spiked rings.   I think that this was good progress.

Again, a photo that refuses to display on the blog the way it looks as a file.   Don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but really, since they are circles, not a big deal.

Just don’t get a crick in your neck looking at it.

Working on Miss Rosie was much more emotionally satisfying than cleaning house.  No photos of the house cleaning process, because, well, I did more sewing than cleaning.    Such is life.

Happy Monday.  The students are back, the online course access system has been down for three days, and the electronic door locks aren’t working.   Yep, a typical first day of school.


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August 5, 2019

Cat Bullet

August 5 update

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:29 am

We are into August already!!! How did that happen? One day at a time, I suppose.

More updates…

I took another class – it has REALLY been my year for classes, right?   This one was with an artist named Danny Amazonas, from Taiwan.  His work is superfantastic, in my opinion.  He has lots of animals and is particularly good with faces.  I made a detour during my Texas trip to visit his exhibit at the Texas Quilt Museum.

Danny is an amazing artist and a really warm and funny human being.   I enjoyed every minute of his teaching.  I’m still not sure that I really understand what he was talking about, but that is a frequent occurrence when I’m talking about the techniques of art.  I really don’t think my eyes work the same way as other people’s, and that’s OK.     The focus of our class was three dimensional spheres with directional light on them.  We were supposed to make things that looked like planets hanging in space.   Our beautiful kit that came with the class had more than 30 fabrics in it, and I think that I would have been better off with just about 10.

Here is my work:

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like it at all when I did them.   However, the more I look at them, the more I’ve started to like it.  I need to go back in to the large partial planet and darken it (take out the lightest fabrics and leave more open spaces for the black background to show through), but I’ll get to that at some point.  By darkening that, it will look like it is further back in space.

My Jazz sewing machine quit working.  It was very traumatic!!!  And my take to class machine has been developing some quirks (most notably, frequently getting stuck in Reverse).  So, I bundled them up and trekked them across the Denver metro area to the authorized Baby Lock repair place for service.     You know the trouble with sewing machine repair places?  They are also sewing machine selling places.  Yeah, I came home with a new machine.  It was a good price (big sale going on), and had wonderful features that I was really wishing that I had on my current machines…

Go ahead, say it.  I’m a sucker and they saw me coming from a MILE away…

Anyway, I’ve been working on my Houston project (Miss Rosie) to get to know the new machine.   Did I mention that the teacher is coming to Boulder in October?  Did I mention that I signed up for a second class with her in one year?  I’m really hoping that taking two classes with the same instructor qualifies as “hero worship” and not “stalking.”   We are going to have a great time with the class and I will know several people who will also be attending, so I am thrilled.

The new machine sews very well, and very evenly.  I’m really pleased with how it makes my pieces look.

The nice thing is that when I do make a mistake (hey, it happens), the stitches are really easy to pick out because they are so perfectly formed.   I think that this machine purchase will fall into the category of “Impulse buy, but still a good thing.”

Stop laughing.  STOP it.  I mean it.  Don’t make me come over there…

I had another finish.  The 2017 Bonnie Hunter “On Ringo Lake” mystery quilt.  I’m really thrilled with how it came out.  I picked my own colors and they are really bright and fun.  And Patriotic.   Which wasn’t my original intention, but I’m quite happy with as an end result.

Nice, right?    I finished piecing it in March of 2018, took it to the quilter and then it languished at the bottom of a pile in my workroom until early July 2019.  Totally embarrassing that it took so long.     My Sister in Law, Ginger, helped me machine stitch the binding on when  she was visiting, and then I hand-stitched it down over the course of the next couple of weeks.

This is probably, technically, one of the most precise things that I’ve ever made.  It will live on my guest room bed, so if you ever come to visit me, you can sleep under it.    I need new sheets to match it, which will be acquired eventually.

Oh, and I’ve altered the name, slightly.  I call it ‘Fourth of July on Ringo Lake” due to the colors that I selected.

Hey, as I typed about that quilt, I remembered that I have another finish.  Except I don’t have a really good photo of it.  A lifelong friend of mine got diagnosed with cancer, went through fast treatment, and then the next week her dog died.  I figured that if anyone was in the need of a long distance hug or two, it was her.   I found a video with a really nice but fast design, and I made it all in purple, because that is her favorite color.

I didn’t get a picture of the finished quilt because I was in a hurry to get it into the mail, but you get the general effect.  The quilter used a music themed template and kind of a cranberry colored thread and it came out looking very nice.  I used the new machine to put the binding on, and then it took about a week or so to get the binding hand stitching done.   It has been shipped, received and loved.   I’m really pleased.

So, progress is being made.  Things are getting finished.    I think that I’m going to keep focusing on Miss Rosie for the immediate future.  Wouldn’t it be grand if I had a finished item to show to Jaqueline when she teaches in October?  It might be do-able if I apply myself.  And stop getting distracted by new, shiny projects and classes…









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July 8, 2019

Cat Bullet

So… half the year happened…

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 4:07 pm

My last post was at the end of January. This post is at the middle of July. Time really flies…

Things… have been happening and not happening.

Florinda has blossomed, but no pictures right now.  She is in seclusion until she is completely done.   I think that everyone will be wowed by her presence…

Other things in random order:

I made a mini quilt.  3.5″ square, foundation paper pieced.  Dime provided for scale…   I needed a quick gift for an event and this is what came to mind.  It was difficult to part with, frankly, but I can and will make other ones.  I LIKE mini quilting!!

I pulled out my Jaqueline de Jonge “Enchanted Stars” project and worked on it at a quilting retreat in March (and after).  Progress is being made…

Didn’t finish it before I went to another workshop with Jaqueline down in Houston at the end of May…

My outer points are nearly perfect, but I’m still having problems with the innermost junction.

This was my progress at the end of the three days:

Am not sure why that picture insists on being sideways…

Speaking of May, it snowed on the 21st.    There ought to be a law against this…

I made a bag with an actual zipper!!  And unicorn seahorses.  Because why have seahorses when you could have UNICORN seahorses.  There were also humpback whales and manta rays, but they were on the back…

It has been a long time since I’ve installed a zipper.  It went better than I thought it would, but I had several helpful people around in the class to help me along the way.


My sister in law was visiting last week (*waves at Ginger*), and we were really productive.  I made a quilt top and back for a friend of mine (will be dropped off at the quilter tomorrow), and finished some potholders that had been lurking for a while now, and finished a class project (double wedding ring table topper) from last November.   Well, mostly finished.   I decided that I wanted to quilt it by hand, so that is in the “Mostly done” pile.  Along with two quilts that Ginger helped me machine stitch the bindings on.  I still need to wrap them to the back and hand stitch them down, but they are also in the “Mostly done” pile.  Yay!!!  I like it when I have a “Mostly Done” pile.  The only thing better than that is a “Done” pile.

I’ve been working hard at cleaning and decluttering the house, in preparation for new flooring installation on the main floor (and refinishing of kitchen cabinets).  Do you ever get the feeling that we have too much stuff???  I’ve also been working hard on cleaning/organizing of the quilting room.  That is a neverending task…

So, I’ll try to be better about posting.  My problem is that I take pictures and forget to send them to my computer so that I can upload them for the blog…




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January 24, 2019

Cat Bullet

Happy New Year

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 3:31 pm

I hope all of my readers had a safe, healthy and fun holiday season and have been enjoying a Happy New Year!

So… how is the Octopus progressing?  Funny you should ask…

When last we spoke, I was enthralled with my Octopus Garden project.   A little too enthralled, actually.  I spent a lot of time over the holidays applying the kit fabrics to the sticky fusible material, and a lot more time carefully cutting out intricate fish and seaweed and other briny denizens to get them ready to apply to the project.

Only to find out that was the last part of the project that I was supposed to do!!  Oops.  And then the paralysis set in.  As usual.  *grumble grumble*      According to the directions, I, apparently, have to start with the background first, from the bottom up, but once I get to the area where there are tentacles, I need to put them down first, but not permanently, and work the background behind, but not too much behind the tentacles so that there aren’t too many layers and… and… and…

*crickets chirping*  *head banging on desk*

What???   Her instructions just didn’t make practical sense.  Not at all.  She has some videos on YouTube, which I watched and re-watched and which made sense at the time, but when I went back to my fabrics and my project, just didn’t seem to translate.

Frustrating.    However, as luck would have it, I was in a quilt shop in mid December  (stop laughing.  I said I would TRY to stop buying so much fabric; I never said that I would completely quit) and in the course of completely normal conversation, was informed that there was a Laura Heine collage class being offered in January.  I decided to sign up for the class in the hopes that it would provide practical help and explanation of the collage process.     I looked at the selection of patterns that they had on hand and selected a Flamingo called “Pinkerton” as being fairly simple and straightforward.  I figured that it would be a good place to start.

One thing that I neglected to look at was the size of the pattern.   Which I didn’t open until the start of the class, at which point I took it out of the envelope and unfolded it (and unfolded it and unfolded it and unfolded it).    It is more than 5 feet tall!!!!!!    That is a lot of pink.   Yikes!!

So, here I am, picking up an easy and quick class to figure out what the heck is going on with the Octopus and now I have another big huge and unexpected project that I’ve dumped on myself.

Be careful what you wish for.   Also…   read the pattern size before you purchase, dummy:-)

So, where does that leave me?   The first day of class started out a bit chaotic, but quickly started providing tidbits of useful information.  Lots of those lovely “Ah HA!” moments that I was needing for clarification.

I started with the face, because that is what I do, and putting down what is called the “underlay” layer of base color.  It will be overlaid with frilly flowers and other fluffy things so don’t be too shocked by the solid light color line across the head…  That will be masked, eventually,

Her Underlayers continued to develop…

Back home, alas, my supervisor seemed unimpressed.

While I was working, I found a rather weird thing happening, though.   Whispering in my brain was a feeling that this was no simple “Pinkerton” but rather “Florinda, the Fabulous Flamenco Flamingo” and that she was going to be more than a little bit out of the ordinary.

This was evidenced when I started working on her tail feathers…

I am inordinately proud of the basic shape that evolved for her tail…  She was really telling me how she wanted to develop, that was for sure.    It was at this point that I headed off for the second day of class.

She did not disappoint… LOTS of fluff.  Lots of bright colors. There are butterflies and mice hidden in her feathers, which I find very amusing.   I need to figure out how to work in a fish or two, just to keep my normal thing going (I always try to have at least one fish hidden in every project).   I still need to do a bit of work on her tummy (the light colored area that doesn’t have any embellishments) and really work on the neck and face.  I also think that her headpiece needs to be more… MORE, if you know what I mean.    But all in all, I’m really pleased with how she is developing.  I’m going to redesign the legs because they drive me nuts the way that they are currently (crooked).

The pale hummingbird that you see floating near the top left is going to be worked in the background of the final piece somehow.  I have a plan for that, actually.    I’m working on developing Florinda’s life story, and want to print or write it out and attach it to the front so that everyone will appreciate her for the strong individual that she it.   I think the hummingbird and its reversed sibling will support the scroll just like cupids in a Renaissance painting.

I’m collecting “f-words” (GOOD ONES) like fantastic, fluffy, flowery, flittering,  so that I can really have a lot of fun with the story.  There are a few aspects that I have already.  I know for a fact that she auditioned for Swan Lake but was refused because she made the other dancers (who were only plain boring swans) look very short and pale.   I also know that she identifies strongly with Jonathan Livingston Seagull because she believes in doing her own thing rather than following along with what everyone else is doing.  I know that she fell in love with Flamenco because of the quick movements and bright colors and sense of joy…

So that is what is going on in my crafting life right now… and unexpected twist and a detour into a completely unexpected direction.

  As John Lennon said… “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”


P.S. Lest you think that I’m completely off my rocker, I would remind you that flamingos do, in actual fact, dance.



P.S.S.   did I mention that there will be shiny crystals added to her feathers???




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December 12, 2018

Cat Bullet

Octo progress

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:57 am

As of last night, I finished tracing the Octopus. Boy that took a long time!!


The backing/foundation material that was recommended has a rough texture and is hard to trace onto.   My pencil kept poking through.  Nonetheless,  I persisted and finally got everything traced.      I can’t show the whole thing because I want to respect the artist’s copyright, but you can see how convoluted it is.

I found that tracing the suckers (circles) was oddly soothing.   Weird.

My next step, I think, is not in the directions.  Because the foundation material is kind of translucent, I have a  hard time seeing it up on the design wall OR on my white work table.   So, I think I’m going to mark the edge with a colored marker so that I can better estimate the visual proportions of the entire piece.    The edges will be eventually buried under layers of fabric, so it really doesn’t matter (in my opinion), if I add some extra marking at this point.

After that point, it will be time to start putting down the fabrics for the background.   They are mostly aqua, with a greyish/brown emphasis.   Some are more blue. Very water-esque.  It will be interesting to see if I have any stash materials to enhance the selection. I don’t tend to collect aqua all that much.


Onwards and upwards.   Though, to be honest, I’m not sure an octopus would be very comfortable going “upwards.”   They like to lurk in the depths.

Or am I thinking of Giant Squids?



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December 7, 2018

Cat Bullet

Poor Blog

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:39 pm

Poor, long abandoned blog.


I’m surprised that it hasn’t wasted away entirely…

Have been really busy at work on top of computer problems reported earlier.   But, happy to say, the computer issue(s) seem to be sorted and today is my last day of having students around, so YAY!     I will still have lots of work to do in the interim period, but let’s be honest…  it is much easier to get things clean and organized when there aren’t hordes of other people around.

I’ve done nothing, really, with regards to crafting.  Other than purchasing… I’m still good at that!   I wasn’t really planning on buying any more kits because I really wanted to head out in my own direction with my own designs.  That determination lasted until this was on the market…


How could I possibly be able to resist such a wonderful project?!?!?!

I haven’t been able to work on it much.  I did open it up and press/steam the fabrics. They are beautiful.

I love all the circles/dots that they provided for the suckers on the tentacles.

They included several sea creature motifs to add extra interest (sea turtles, fish, mermaids).  Of course, I added a few from my own stash…

I’ve been working on getting the fabrics applied to the fusible.     It will take a while.  Once the fabrics are all applied, then I’ll need to cut out “interesting shapes.”    That will be fun!

My personal opinion is that the range of fabrics that they provided for the octopus itself is rather limited.  They are really pretty, but all nearly the same value.   So, I will definitely be enhancing the selection from my stash.  Just because I can…

I bought her suggested base material, she calls it “pattern ease.”  I’m not sure what it is, but the closest I can describe it is interfacing with out the iron-on sticky part.   It had some creases in it which were somewhat difficult to iron out, but I eventually persevered.      I also had to iron the octopus pattern (the only thing you get is the outline of the octopus – the rest of the design is left up to your own imagination).     It took me several days of moving the pattern around behind the base material until I found what I considered to be the optimal placement.   I’ve been working on tracing it in the evenings (a little bit at a time).   There are a LOT of tentacles to trace!!!

So, it will be a really fun, but long-term project.   At least the progress photos, once they start, will be fun to post, eh?

I’ll leave you now with a fun picture of our oldest and newest family members…

Glory seems to have settled in well, right?






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September 7, 2018

Cat Bullet

Friday musings

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 8:50 am

As we speak, On Ringo Lake is in the car, waiting to be dropped at the quilter this afternoon. YAAAYYYY!!! Once I get it back, I will have three quilts to bind (the two that got quilted in January are still unbound).

Which is strange, really, because I really LOVE putting on binding.   It is my second favorite part of the quilting process (after “starting a quilt”).  I find it very soothing to know that I’m finishing up a project that has taken a long time.

What else have I been working on?   Last weekend, I started designing my very own art quilt.  Yep, all out on my own, nobody’s directions to follow and all the choices will be mine alone.  Scary and fun, all at the same time.    The process is going well and I’ve learned a few things already…

1.  Don’t put anything into ink, even if you are absolutely positive that you won’t be making any changes to it.   Because guess what… you will almost instantly need to make changes…

2.  Acquisition of a 24 pack of multi-colored thin point sharpie markers will make it very difficult to follow rule number 1.

3.  Use up the ugly “hot fluorescent pink” markers in the first stages because you know you will never use them in any other type of art project.

4.  Rubbing alcohol takes marker residue off of plastic quilting rulers.

5.  Cats don’t consider paper and pencils to be impediments to walking on a newly cleaned off table and will act accordingly.  Be prepared to remove felines from working area during the creative process.  Repeatedly.

And, perhaps the most important lesson to date:  You don’t have to put all of your ideas into one quilt design!!!  

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August 27, 2018

Cat Bullet

Mr Fish and other accomplishments

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:00 am

Mr. Fish was completed in time for the Woodland Park show and enjoyed his time swimming in the fish pond.   There really were some fabulous fishes to keep him company (and turtles and seahorses).

I’ve spent a lot of time the past couple of weekends cleaning up my studio.   The main activity has been putting all of my fabric away…  the yellow-orange/orange container was nearly empty when I started, but jam-packed full when I returned all of the fabrics that I had pulled out as contenders for the fish project.       All of my containers are completely full.  I’ve even started removing some pieces and setting them aside to give to my friend Donna who sews a lot of kids quilts for donations through her quilt guild (the same guild who hosted the show).    Anyway, the containers are full, the cabinets are full and every time I think that I’ve finally gotten everything put away, whoops!  another bag appears.    Who keeps buying all of this fabric??  (oh, wait, that would be me!!!)

I’ve either got to start sewing faster or quit buying fabric.  Both, probably.

I’ve also been spending a LOT of time playing with the settings on the Jazz sewing machine, trying to get the perfect settings for free-motion quilting, walking foot quilting and regular straight sewing.   The internet is full of lots of suggestions and I think that I’m narrowing down the perfect settings (or range of settings) for all activities.    I’ve even started a notebook to record trials and errors (how geeky is that??)

Against all laws of physics, I get better results with Free Motion quilting if I DON’T drop the feed dogs, but instead, set the stitch length to zero.    I never would have anticipated that…   But the internet was not wrong in this case.  The bobbin tension is much more secure when the feed dogs are up.

Yesterday, I finally got the guts to rip out the backwards strip in the Bonnie Quilt. I had help… (but note, please, the fact that the sewing table is clean and empty other than the furball!)

Pulling out the incorrect strip took a very long time, and caused some seams along that line to start coming unsewn, just from all the handling.   I’m still thinking about how to handle this – currently, I’m considering running a line of stay stitching along the edges to hold them together until I get them re-attached.

I’m hoping to get it back together so that I can drop it off with the quilter sometime this week.  Wish me luck – it would be lovely to get another finished project before the end of the month!

Temporarily have picture ability – I don’t think they look very good, but better than nothing, eh? 







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August 8, 2018

Cat Bullet


Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:27 am

What’s been going on? Still having computer problems at work, so no pictures. The “Summer 2018 UFO Camp” suggested by my friend Glenda has really influenced my crafting activities lately…

I’ve “finished” the Bonnie Hunter On Ringo Lake quilt.  In this case, “finished” is in quotes because after I had the finished top on the design wall for a day or two, I discovered an entire sashing strip that is reversed.   Grrrrr….   It will be a simple fix, but it had to go on hold until I finished the next project (which had a deadline).

Last Friday night (late), I finished Mr. Fish.  I’m really pleased with how it came out, though it is more heavily quilted than I had originally imagined.    Currently, he is visiting my friend Donna, who will kindly drop it off on Thursday to be entered into my first ever quilt show.   The show will be this coming Saturday (the 11th), and I can’t wait to see my version of the fish swimming in the pond with all of his cousins (who were all started in the Woodland Park class/seminar last February).

So, what is next?   I’ve got to fix that reversed strip in the On Ringo Lake quilt and then get it dropped off at the quilter.  I can’t wait until that project is finished and spread across a bed in my house.  Probably the guest room bed, but I might just have to sleep under it for a couple of nights so that I can really bond with it.

Once Mr. Fish returns from his premiere, I want to figure out where to hang him so that I can see him a whole lot.   I have a couple of ideas, but will have to wait to see where he will fit.

Project wise, we still have the rest of August to work on UFOs, as per the “camp” directions.   I haven’t decided which UFO that I will work on next.  There are so many to choose from.   I have two quilt tops that I’m planning to quilt myself (one of which is already pin-basted and is ready to go).  I have another that needs to be dropped at the quilter, but has to have its backing put together.   I have one set of blocks that is all trimmed and just needs to be sewn together and have a backing made.    I have the portrait of Taffy that just needs a background and then quilting.  I have the two Jaqueline de Jonge paper pieced projects in progress.  I have two quilts that are already quilted, but need to have binding attached.

Maybe I should have signed up for an UFO-completion year.   Or decade.  One summer just doesn’t seem long enough.

Everyone have a great rest of the week!



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