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December 2019
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December 20, 2019

Cat Bullet

Clue 3 done

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 11:03 am

Well, finished in the nick of time…

Half Square Triangles, lots of them.  I made a bunch more than were called for, but that’s ok.  I’m sure that they will get used for something at some point…

Why did I make so many extra?  Well, I’m not good at sewing on the diagonal, and I usually have a fairly high “unusable” percentage.   This is a long established fact.

This time, I tried a new technique, where you cut bigger squares, sew them diagonally a couple of times in each direction and then cut them into the half square triangles.   With the addition of a new tool in my arsenal called the “slotted triangle trimmer,” well, my trials and tribulations are over!  I made over 200 HSTs this time around, and only one of them was unusable because the fabric warped when I pressed it and one of them was unusable because my ruler slipped massively when I was doing the final trimming.    Two unusable blocks. All of the rest of them are as perfect as anyone could manage!

I’m very pleased.

Clue four was released this morning, and it is a combination of half square triangles (sewn) and other triangles (un-sewn), in individual sets of matching fabrics.    She gave directions to make them using her preferred tools, but I’m torn because I now know that I can accomplish things more accurately in a different matter.    So…. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  Right now, I’m tentatively planning to do the HSTs in my new method, but then I’m going to wait to cut the fabrics for the un-sewn other triangles until I see what we will be doing with them.  The only down side is that I’ll have to re-match the fabrics for those during cutting time, but that shouldn’t be too bad…

Decisions, decisions.


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December 10, 2019

Cat Bullet

“Frolic” clue 2 done

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

The second clue for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt was released last Friday. She made a fairly simple one because she was traveling and wouldn’t be available to answer questions.

Just as well for me as I had a busy weekend planned.   I got up Saturday morning and was quite successful at getting the clue finished.

Strip sets with raspberry and neutral, cross cut.   Very simple.

We ended up with a bunch of these… in various combinations of the two colors.  I cut really short strips so as to get more variety.

I really have absolutely no idea where or how we will be using them in a quilt!!!  I guess that is part of the fun of the mystery, right?


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December 6, 2019

Cat Bullet

“Frolic” clue one finished

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 3:21 pm

Well here you go. The required number of four patches from the first clue of the Bonnie Hunter 2019 Mystery Quilt.

I’m really liking the light blue/dark blue/raspberry combination!

I’m really pleased about how well they are coming out.  My new machine is really making me a better quilter.  I wouldn’t have thought that would have been the case, but it is.  I don’t really think that I am sewing any differently, but the new machine has tighter stitches and a more even (i.e. straight) feed for the fabric strips.

Every single intersection is spot-on perfect!   Out of the total ones I made, I had to pick out and re-sew about six of them, and they went together perfectly the second time.

I do seem to have issues with counting, though.  When I finished the four patches last weekend, I counted and had eight less than I needed.  So I made another couple of sets, which should have put me close to 16-18 over what I needed.       Last night, after I finished trimming to the exact dimensions (not much was trimmed off, believe me), I put them into stacks of 24.  When I finished, I was five less than what I needed.   ???????   That can’t be right.  So, I counted them again.  It wasn’t right; I was actually SIX less than I needed.   *grumble grumble*

So I zipped out another couple of strip sets worth and now I’m fairly confident that I have the correct number, with 12 leftover, and four that just weren’t quite perfect.    In any other year, I would have used them happily, but since all of the others are so good and I have extras, I’m ok with not using them.  They will go into my “orphan box” of leftover pieces.  Someday, that will make a nice quilt on its own…

Clue two was released this morning and it looks fairly straightforward.  I say “fairly” because there is a somewhat misleading phrase that seems to have sent people into a frenzy.    I’m going to use my best judgement and go on with life.

Everybody have a fantastic weekend!!

 **Please note that I’m not trying to be vague about exact numbers and sizes; Bonnie has asked that no one publish that information to protect her interests.   If you are interested in seeing the exact measurements and numbers, feel free to visit her blog


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December 3, 2019

Cat Bullet

Post-Turkey Tuesday

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 3:53 pm

Well here we are, after the holiday and (supposedly) back to work. Grumble grumble…

We had a bit of snow.  As in, more than 14 inches in my area.  Luckily, I had arranged to take the whole week off from work (students were gone because of Fall Break), so I was able to stay in my jammies and be comfortable and warm the entire week.  It… was… AWESOME!!!

I’ve been working on cleaning out my quilting room for weeks now, as I felt that things had gotten a bit out of control.  Piles of fabric everywhere, new purchases and leftovers from completed or in-progress projects, or just stuff that had never gotten put away properly (imagine that)…

I decided to do a big push and finish up with the cleaning and organization before Thanksgiving.  Mainly because the annual Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt first clue was scheduled to be released the day after Turkey and I was planning on participating in that.

I hauled out many bags and boxes of trash.  I pressed and folded and filed away multitudes of fabric.  I organized the tools on the pegboard so that I can find them easier.  Or, you know… find them at all.  I gathered all of my scraps into one place (three big boxes of them), and ran them through the “Scrap Management System.”

What is the Scrap Management System?  Basically, you take all scraps and cut them to standard sizes (or shapes) and store them away for future use.

It is kind of relaxing, actually, to take a big pile of wadded up scraps, press them flat, and them trim them into nice neat pieces.    I’ve been doing this for years, and have accumulated quite a selection.   I’m hoping to use a bunch of them up during the coming year.  I enjoyed making the charity quilt top last month, so it might be nice to use them to make even more of those…

Through many hours of toil (and sneezing, from the dust), I finally achieved clean, flat surfaces.

My sewing table, cleaned off.

cutting table, cleaned off!

Folding table, cleaned off!  Who actually knew that there was an extra cutting mat under all those piles??

Through some cleaning out and donating of boxes of fabric, I actually have achieved open(ish) floor space!!!

All of my scrap bins were empty.  I was so proud.  As I was tidying up after the last scrap, I went to hang the rulers back on the pegboard.

I looked down… what was that?

Then I looked to the left…

*sigh*   Really???

I’m doomed.  Surrounded by out of control scraps.

OK, in reality, it isn’t TOO big of a bin.  And the orange/blue bin is full of scraps from Miss Rosie, which I could legitimately not deal with until after that project is done.   That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

So, I went ahead and started the Bonnie Hunter Mystery on schedule.  I put the Miss Rosie Scrap bin in an area where it won’t become hidden again, and I set up the red-topped bin near my ironing board.  Now when I iron something for the Bonnie quilt, I iron a handful of scraps.  When I trim or cut something for Bonnie, I trim up some of the pressed scraps.   I’ve even started trimming a couple of scraps when I feed Purrcy in the evening, since his feeding area is right next to my cutting table.

I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions.  I kind of think that they are just one more thing to fail at and then feel guilty about.   However, in the upcoming year, I want to focus on the following:

  1. Finish ongoing projects.
  2. Don’t take any new classes that will result in new unfinished projects.
  4. Try to spend time cleaning up after (or before) every sewing session.
  5. Try to make more quilt tops for donation.

I think that these goals are achievable.  I’d like to go so far as to say I won’t buy any new fabric next year, but we all know that I have zero chance of sticking to that type of crazy…


Somehow, I have neglected to take a picture of the first Bonnie Hunter clue pieces.  They are really pretty.  More about those in a later post.







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