Aubergine Sunflower

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Doesn’t this stack of sunflowers make you think of summer? That’s what it does for me. Of course, our winter has me grasping at anything that reminds me of summer as they are now forecasting yet another snowstorm headed towards … Continue reading

Happy Dance!

Over the past two days, the prizes from the Love the Lines contest have arrived. They’re all absolutely fantastic!!

The fabrics from Northcott’s Kaleidoscope collection are delicious. As soon as I unwrapped the bundle, ideas immediately started to fly through my mind. I’ve always been a fan of Northcott’s fabrics as they really are cottons that feel like silk and are wonderful to work with.

The Electric Quilt Quilting Designs CDs are something I’ve looked at over the past few years and had on my wish list. There’s something for everyone in these quilting designs. The best part for me is that I don’t have to try to draw my quilting ideas freehand. I can play with these, either tracing or using Pounce or some other method – there are how-to instructions on the CDs. There are feathers and stars, animals and continuous line designs, abstracts and leaves, hearts and flowers, holiday designs and all-over designs and the list just goes on and on. There are hundreds upon hundreds of designs to select from on the seven CDs!

What I’ve already started using is the button finger pincushion. It’s dainty and not heavy and just plain fun. The note that came with it refers to the wonderfully funny Oscar-Awaiting movie “How to make a Finger Pincushion” which can be seen here.

I am so excited to have been one of the three runners-up. The prizes are fantastic, but the best part and the most enduring benefit is that it gave me that added push to learn EQ. I’ll be putting it to good use as I play with the design idea I have in mind for the Kaleidoscope fabrics. Before I cut and print anything, I’ll be able to download the fabric images from Northcott’s website, import them into EQ and then play to see how different the quilt will look depending on which fabric I use for each shape.

Once again, a huge thank you to Inklingo, Northcott and Electric Quilt for these wonderful prizes and an enormous thank you to Linda Franz at Inklingo for holding the contest.

Baxter was watching as we took photographs. I think his face says it all, “What, nothing for me?” I’ll have to keep my eye on him. He may try to make off with some of that fabric!

Jumping Up and Down!

I just can’t wait until tomorrow to post this. Inklingo Stars, one of the other designs I submitted to the Love the Lines contest, is in the Top 25. It was on both the EQ and All About Inklingo blogs today!

Baxter looks somewhat startled. He’s not quite sure what all the excitement is about but is happy as long as his toy is nearby.

Egads, 3 blog posts in one day? That’s a first for me!

Leaping For Joy

Yesterday afternoon, the winners of the Inklingo Love the Lines contest were announced in this post on the All About Inklingo blog. Imagine how excited I was to find out I was one of the three runners-up! There are some beautiful designs shown on the announcement post, so I’m quite honoured. I already felt that I had won something as the contest had been the push I needed to finally learn my way around in EQ, at least to some extent.

Given my love of curved piecing, my design had to include curves. While I was playing with designs for the contest, Mr. Q.O. suggested a design inspired by a Persian carpet. Thus my design is named Persian Carpet. I am so glad I finally took the plunge and started to learn EQ and I’m very, very grateful to InklingoElectric Quilt and Northcott for providing such fabulous prizes!

Baxter’s markings are starting to really show up, although he had just been having a drink and his fur was still rather wet.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

I played and played with EQ over the weekend. Hopefully I’ll get this out of my system soon and be back to playing more with fabric! But this design is one that I will make. How could I possibly resist all that curved piecing of Winding Ways and Drunkard’s Path blocks? This coloration of it I’m calling Tiptoe Through the Tulips. Some of you may remember Tiny Tim singing Tiptoe Through the Tulips. I was giggling the whole time I was working on this design thinking about that.

Playing with designs in EQ has quickly become addictive. Saturday night I had to have an MRI and, as I am claustrophobic, took a rather strong tranquilizer. So as the machine made its infernal racket, rather than feeling like the walls were closing in, I was dreaming up this design. As soon as we got home, I started playing with it in EQ.

I guess you could say I am now well and truly hooked on Electric Quilt. I love that I can try out my ideas and see how they’re going to look before I start printing shapes on my fabrics. It’s just another great tool to have available. What’s perfect about it for me is that I can design a quilt using Inklingo shapes and then play with colours.

Baxter was very intent on getting to the yogourt on the spoon. If we don’t hold the spoon close enough, he’ll reach out with a paw and hook it around the stem of the spoon to drag it closer.

I’m Seeing Circles

Some wonderfully soft pastel circles.

Some circles in richer, darker colours.

I had a box full of charm packs in various lines. A few years ago I appliquéd circle after circle after circle. And then they sat. And sat. I’ve had them out before, trying to decide just what to do with them and, having no ideas, have put them away again. Now I think I’ll just put them into two quilt tops of whatever size they end up. Perhaps they’ll turn into covers for a few stitching books.

I have spent the past few days working on — struggling with — tearing my hair out over some designs that I’m trying to turn into designs using EQ. The designs are completely thought out in my mind, I can draw sketches on paper in seconds, and I know the designs work. But translating them from my mind or sketches into EQ designs? Not something I’m finding at all intuitive. That said, I will get this figured out before the week is over but I’d much rather be playing with fabric as I sort out a design than sitting in front of a computer screen. My EQ manual is full of Post-it notes and highlighted passages.

Baxter seems to find it all a big bore and decided to have a snooze. Notice how he makes sure he has a pillow in just the right spot!

Shopping on Friday

On Friday we went to Staples, one of our favourite stores it seems, and then to the pet store.  While Mr. Q.O. drove, I was taking pictures.  The above one is of the streets we travel along to get to Staples, just after we turned on to it.  It’s pretty even in the dead of winter because of the tree limbs.

A little further along the street.  This is one of my favourite streets in the downtown area.  The houses are all rather fascinatingly quirky.  It must be rather wonderful to live there with nothing but trees to see out one’s front windows.

We’re almost there now.

Even the parking lot at Staples is surrounded by trees.

Then we were off to the pet store.  On the way, we went along the street on which the emergency vet clinic is found.  More trees and planters out in front of buildings.

And for those buildings where there’s no room to put out a planter?  They find room somewhere on the building.

On Sunday we had thunderstorms and rain.  This was taken from our living room window as the rain was absolutely pelting down.

My plans for the weekend as far as quilt-related things went pretty well.  I didn’t quite finish piecing the blocks for the baby quilt, but only have 9 or 10 left to go.  If there’s a good baseball or soccer game on tonight, I’ll likely be able to finish those up then.  But the big accomplishment for me was that I did manage to sit down and start learning EQ.  I m so impressed with the capabilities — and that’s after barely scratching the surface.  Once I started working my way through the lessons in the manual, I was pleasantly surprised to realize it is much more intuitive than I initially thought.

I have a Mac and really dislike having to put PC-related software on it.  However, at Christmas, Mr. Q.O. found a great used PC laptop so on Saturday morning I loaded EQ on it and started.  About four hours later and I was already feeling like I could manage to design a quilt.  I’m not finished working my way through the lessons but will spend a little time each day this week on it so that I don’t lose what I’ve learned so far.

I have EQ6 and, as I hadn’t used it, I didn’t take advantage of the pre-release upgrade price for EQ7.  So for those of you out there who do have EQ7, I’d be very interested in hearing what you think are the benefits of EQ7 over EQ6.  Are there more blocks in the block library, more capabilities?  What struck you first when you started using it as being a great-to-have feature?

Smudge was quite alert on Saturday evening as he lounged about on the couch.

While Lester was catching up on some sleep.