Taking up a quilt challenge

This has been a busy few weeks, as I decided to teach myself advanced piecing techniques by doing two simultaneous challenges: #100days100blocks2017 on Instagram, and the Houston Modern Quilt Guild‘s 2017 Mystery Quilt. 

Here’s my progress on the Mystery Quilt: 


#hmqgsewandtell @paintedhippo #hmgqmysteryquilt

A post shared by Houston Modern Quilt Guild (@houstonmqg) on


And here are the first 20-something blocks from the #100blocks100days2017 challenge: 

Finished blocks for the first quarter of the 100days100blocks challenge, on the design wall

This challenge uses Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book as the guide, and each block has a specific day that you have to post it. Keeping up with the calendar is a challenge, but so far I have managed to stay at least 2 days ahead. 

While I am enjoying the challenge for the design fun and the social aspects, I do not think that I am learning to love piecing.  LOL.  I am much more comfortable with painting or appliqué. I do want to learn more about paper piecing, though. I think that could be amazing for doing some complex images without driving myself nuts.  We shall see! 

I’m working on different kinds of zipper pouches and bags for my July re-stock on the Etsy store.  I’ve got a lot of simple pouches done, but I want to throw some more interesting shapes into the pool, as well.  Those sneak peeks will be coming soon, and products launch after July 4th.  

I’ve been debating the fate of the 100 blocks from the challenge, since I don’t typically do big quilts. I was thinking that some of them would make great accents on larger bags or other items.  Then again, by the time I’m finished maybe I’ll be in love with the idea of having a full-sized quilt that I made. 

There’s something very satisfying in using something you have made in your home, or at work. Now I have to convince more people that it’s great to use something I have made in their home! 



Painting Gabi the Beagle on Silk

So, the bad news is that on February 23, our adorable beagle, Gabi, died. She had bad asthma and some other health problems, and apparently encountered something on our walk that hit her lungs so badly she couldn’t recover. It was a quick end, which I guess is better than something long and drawn out, but she definitely left us too soon. We were all sad for a long time. Still are, really.

Adorable Gabi:

I guess I took a lot of photos of her, because it seems like every Facebook “N years ago” memory lately is of Gabi. Oh, Facebook, you always know how to hit us.

Of course, I decided that I needed to mourn her by painting a portrait. Not just any portrait, either. Ink on silk. And then quilt it. And maybe do a block print. And an oil on canvas. We’ll see how that goes.

I broke out the silk kimono lining and ironed the creases out (a difficult task, actually. Those creases were *in* there.), then stretched it over a 13″ x 13″ piece of cardboard. In retrospect, cardboard was probably not the best idea, but it was what I had at the time. My Tuskineko All-Purpose Ink and various applicators stood at the ready to do their best.

I started by sketching in white. Initially, I tried using a brush, but I found that the Tsukinekko Fantastix Brush Tip Applicators were much better for drawing. That surprised me, since I had such a hard time with them previously. This time, though, they worked beautifully. I used one for each color, and blended a fourth medium shade of brown to round out the selection. I used a brush for the larger areas of color, for speed mainly, but anytime I needed to pay attention to detail or blending, I chose the Fantastix. Initially I was going to use blue for the background, but I ended up using the yellow and I find I like it. I’m allowing it to cure and mellow in my mind right now, but by next month I will be ready to do the stitching on it.

An Awesome of Wonder Women

Comicpalooza is a big deal for geeks and nerds here in Houston – the Convention Center gets overrun with cosplayers, gamers, and media fans.

Some of my friends and I decided last year that we would do a great group cosplay of Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman through the ages, as an activist and fashion icon.  So we had many decades of wonderful costumes, and enjoyed some moderate attention as we walked the con floor together!

And here are the super-exciting construction photos for my 1920s Jazz Age pacifist Wonder Woman.  I designed the dress based on vintage illustrations and an old tunic pattern adapted for length.  With assistance from Mom and Greebo the Wonder Kitty, we got it turned out with vintage trim and a gold “Lasso of Truth” by the day of our Convention cosplay.

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San Antonio Album

Erin and I spent last weekend in San Antonio. We toured Mission Trail, taking pictures and painting. I got a couple of great paintings out of it.

I’ve got some great photos up now, including this one of the mission cat at Espada.