The new project may be a riot of flying geese made with some of these 5″ charms which I’ll probably pair with muslin. I have loads and loads of charms, all pre-washed and ready to be used. They’ll have to … Continue reading
These are actually from another PIB (project in a box). I started making these baskets ages ago. The tiny ones finish at 2.5″ while the small ones finish at 5″. They’re fun to stitch. Putting them up on the wall … Continue reading
This is the first of seven New York Beauty blocks that will be made using these fabrics. I have a plan for a small doll/teddy bear quilt. Oh, who am I kidding? I just really wanted to see how the block would look in a more muted colourway. Now I know. I don’t think there’s a set of fabrics that wouldn’t be fabulous for NYB. I still have plans to play with batiks and Fassett prints and shabby chic and who knows what else. I can’t get over how quick a block this is to hand piece. It’s easy to piece one an hour.
Seams graded and pressed. One thing is noticeable. This is an ordinary quilters’ cotton while the Tiffany lamp fabrics have a metallic element to them. The ordinary cotton presses flatter with less effort. This block got the Baxter seal of approval – he licked it!
A question was asked yesterday about how I use Inklingo, whether it is to print the shapes on fabric or to print templates to trace. So I thought I’d show on a couple of fabrics just how perfectly the shapes print right on the back of the fabric. First on a light fabric. Oops — thought we had taken the picture before I started cutting but quickly realized we hadn’t. The smaller arc is the only thing missing from this sheet. If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you can see the stitching and cutting lines and matching points and crosshairs.
And then on a dark one. There are lots of ink colours from which to choose for each fabric. That said, I’ve been using Inklingo long enough that I can pretty much group the fabrics I’m printing and use certain ink colours for each group. I do tend to use the reds more than anything else as the red ink always seems to rinse out in seconds, although I always do a test sheet when I change ink cartridges just in case the manufacturers have improved their inks.
For the NYB blocks, I’m using one of the combo sheets. In this case, it’s the combo sheet which has all the shapes for a block. Each of the blocks will be slightly different as a result. For identical blocks, I would print each shape separately on the fabrics. In the case of the New York Beauty blocks, I print every shape on my fabrics as I’m hand piecing.
For some other blocks, particularly those using HSTs or QSTs, I might only print on one of the fabrics, in this photo on a muslin, and then use those lines to stitch by machine as shown for the sailboat blocks here.
When we were setting up to take the missing picture of the light fabric, Baxter decided he had to lie down on the fabric first. There’s nothing he loves more than a piece of fabric to paw at and possibly lick. Mr. Q.O. captioned this one, “Well, I’m helping, aren’t I?”
Remember these little 6″ blocks? They’ve been languishing on my sewing table, waiting to be turned into a small quilt. I was looking at them last night and thought I had decided on a setting that will require only two more blocks. That is, I thought I had until I noticed the secondary star pattern they create when put together this way when I looked at the photo. That may change my setting idea.
Here are the pieces for one of the two remaining blocks, ready to be stitched together. With any luck, I might get the remaining two blocks done this weekend and may even get a start at putting the little top together.
One of my goals is to do a series of two-colour quilts. So far, all those that I’ve done have been lap size or larger. The little red and white one will be the first small two-colour quilt, but I’m now thinking that a whole series of two-colour little quilts might be fun.
Baxter caught sight of the pieces for the little red and white block and this was his reaction. He really loves to get a piece of fabric and march around with it in his mouth so I could almost imagine him thinking, “Yum, fabric bits!”
After looking through a few quilt books and thinking about it, I finally decided on a quilt block. Within a few minutes of making that decision, the fabrics were pulled and I had everything cut for the first block. Some muslin rectangles, a print rectangle, two large squares — one of muslin and one of the print — for the HSTs and I was ready to go.
In just a few seconds, the muslin square was printed, using Inklingo, with the 3″ HSTs for the block. The muslin was layered with the print. Using the machine, I stitched along the stitching lines. The fabrics were then cut along the cutting lines, the pieces were pressed and …
A few seconds later I had perfect 3″ HSTs. No dog-ears, no having to cut down to size. Just easy perfect HSTs.
A few minutes later the HSTs and rectangles were joined and the first of the sailboat blocks was done. The block finishes at 12″. I’m going to use a three or four-inch muslin sashing between blocks. My plan is to make 12 blocks and set them 3 by 4 as this is destined to be a lap quilt.
I didn’t time it, but I doubt the block took even half an hour to make. Once the HSTs were done, it took only a few more minutes. So I may just get all the blocks finished today. I’m curious to see if I can get the whole top done by the time the weekend is over. I may get distracted by a hand-piecing project .. in fact, I can almost be sure of that happening.
Baxter was practicing his lounge lizard look, I think. The crossed paws make me laugh every time.
Something completely unusual for me — a completely machine-pieced block. Last week I was leafing through Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns and this block, called Jagged Edges, caught my eye. I decided to make it using 2″ HSTs and squares. The block finishes at 16″. I got out a handful of batiks and hand-dyed fabrics and think I’ll make enough of these blocks for a lap quilt.
It took me only a minute or two to print the HSTs and I was off to the races. Sew on the stitching lines, cut the HSTs apart, stitch the units together into rows and rows together and it was done. I’m already playing with design ideas for a border.
The plans I had for stitching on the weekend weren’t met, thanks to some rather nasty hand pain and then a migraine, but I’m pleased I got the first of the Jagged Edges blocks done as well as finishing the fifth of the Feathered Star/Sunflower blocks and a couple of the shabby chic Yin Yang blocks.
For the first time we’ve got a bird’s nest in the tree outside the living room window, a robin’s nest to be precise. I wondered why the robins were hanging out in that tree so much, and now I know. It has been rather wonderful to be able to watch the adult robins feeding the babies.
The weekend plan includes making some blocks using these fabrics. There’s an idea for a small quilt that’s begging to be made so last night I pulled some batik and hand-dyed fabrics that will be in the 12 blocks I plan on making. I’m planning to stitch them on the machine and am hoping that I can get all 12 done quickly and then put the little top together. There are a lot of tiny HSTs (half-inch ones, actually) in each block. I may decide to use a black fabric instead of the white.
My plans for the long weekend are almost all quilt-related. Along with the blocks mentioned above, there’s one quilt I want to get quilted (machine quilting), a top I want to finish and perhaps get basted, a top I want to baste and perhaps start the quilting of and a few design ideas I’m dying to play with.
Well, little blocks and big ones is all relative, I suppose. The big blocks are 5″, the small ones 2.5″. I think I’ve got the beginnings of a setting idea for these that may look something like this. The quilt may end up a bit larger than I originally anticipated as each time I start to stitch one block, I can’t stop until I’ve stitched at least 2 or 3.
Then we get to the biggest blocks of the post. These will finish at 9″, which seems enormous in comparison to the little cake stand blocks. Another amazingly quick block to stitch. I’ve had some ideas regarding a setting for these blocks and, as soon as I get another 3 of them done, I will start playing with layouts.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I quilt. For me, it’s not about making bed coverings although if there’s a new baby or a friend in need of comfort I’ll definitely make a quilt for them. Generally speaking though, for me making blocks and tops is all about playing with fabric and ideas and just the sheer joy of stitching and watching fabric that I’ve cut into small pieces and sewn back together again start to form patterns that I find endlessly fascinating.
It makes me think of the quilters of the past and wonder what motivated them to create their quilts. Was it mostly for practical purposes so that their families would have warm quilts under which to sleep? Was it because they too were fascinated by the patterns? Or was it a combination of both? It’s impossible to think that they were motivated solely by practical considerations when one sees the beautiful quilts they created.
Smudge was lounging in his kitty bed. The paw draped over the edge makes me smile.
It seems I can’t resist these little cake stand blocks. It’s rather fun making a large and smaller one at the same time. I’ve decided to make however many blocks I can using 4 or 5 different batiks for each size and then play with the settings. So I have no set size in mind or layout. This is just play time for me and I’m loving every second of making these. I was reminded to change out my needle last night when I realized the needle wasn’t gliding through the fabrics quite as easily and that I had been using the same needle for at least 3 evenings of stitching. With batiks, that’s just too long. As soon as I started using a fresh needle, the difference was stunningly evident.
As I had stated I was going to try to do, I managed to get a couple of the batik ovals appliqued as well. If I can keep adding a few each week eventually I’ll get all the blocks done.
The hearing on Wednesday was nowhere near as long as the day before but it was the third day in a row of uncomfortable chairs at the wrong height and last night my back was aching beyond belief. I’ve now dubbed them the torture chairs as they’re little better than card table chairs. I think everyone was relieved yesterday when the hearing was adjourned and they could get up and stretch and get out of there. The hearing itself is quite interesting, but the chairs make it close to unbearable.
I couldn’t even contemplate sitting at the computer last night or this morning which is why this blog post is so late today. I usually do my blog post the night before and set it to publish the next morning. Last night there was no chance of that happening.
Smudge was apparently posing for Mr. Q.O. before I got home yesterday. I love this profile shot.
These blocks have turned out to be the perfect stitching for evenings when I’m tired. They’re quick and easy to stitch. Thanks to Wanda‘s comment yesterday, I now have an idea for setting them using the little blocks as cornerstones with sashing around the larger blocks.
They press beautifully.
The neutral I’m using is one of the nicest creams or whites I’ve worked with. While it has a design to it, it’s not heavily painted on and is easy as can be to needle. It’s a fabric by Avlyn called “Essential White”.
Tuesday was a long day. In typical office building fashion, it’s either too warm or too cold. Tuesday it was too cold. It was pouring rain when I left Tuesday morning and chilly, so I was chilled before the hearing began. By the time the hearing adjourned, I thought I’d never feel warm again. I’m hoping that today we’ll adjourn early. I’m definitely wearing something warmer today.
Smudge was relaxing with his favourite toy Tuesday evening.