Preparing for Next Week’s Piecing

The last of the Farmer’s Delight blocks will be finished this weekend so I decided it was time to get some shapes for other quilts ready.  First up were some more of the shapes I need for the Summer Picnic Dish quilt.  It took only a few minutes to print enough for another 4 blocks.

While I was at it, I decided to print some more shapes for the Pastry Shop quilt. Again, it took only a few minutes and now I have quite a few ready to stitch.  There are, of course, other shapes that are already printed and ready to piece for a few other quilts but this way I have lots of choices.

It was cold again on Thursday and was even snowing a bit.  I keep telling myself it’s March and it can’t last, but it would be nice to see the end of this cold weather.

Smudge didn’t care.  He found a cozy spot to curl up.

As did Lester.

Arcs for Pickle Dish Block

Seeing Karen Dianne‘s beautiful Pickle Dish block done in Kaffe Fassett fabrics inspired me to get back to work on my Summer Picnic Dish.  Another dish actually got added to those already joined but we didn’t get a photo of that yet.

Putting together the arc/melon combination is something I really enjoy so I think I’ll concentrate on making the arcs for a bit and hopefully get the quilt top finished fairly quickly.  I’m not planning to make the Summer Picnic Dish larger than a lap quilt, so it shouldn’t take too long.

The back of an arc/melon combo.  I prefer to press the arc towards the melon as it ensures that the points of the triangles in the arcs stay as sharp as possible.

Over the past few days I’ve been trying to decide exactly what my goals for this year are as far as quilting goes.  While I have a number of projects on the go that I want to finish, I also want to start concentrating more on designing.  Sometimes I feel like I want to do it all, and I know that’s rather unrealistic.  I’ve flirted with these ideas:

  • make a series of two-colour quilts
  • make a series of heirloom baby quilts
  • concentrate on designing and learning EQ or some other drawing program
  • make a series of shabby chic quilts
  • make a series of batik quilts

It seems like a daunting list, and I’m sure I’ve left off some items.

The baby quilt was basted on Monday and the quilting of it will begin today.  It won’t take long as it’s not a big quilt, but I’d like to have it done and bound by the weekend.  Then I’ll just be waiting to hear what the baby’s name is to finish the label.  Other than the baby quilt and some hand piecing in the evenings, the balance of my quilting time this week is going to be spent on learning EQ.

It was incredibly cold again on Monday and the cats found cozy spots to curl up. Lester on the couch.

And Smudge was in a kitty bed.

Works in Progress

There’s still a little hand piecing to do on the pink and cream quilt, but I am thinking now about what projects jump to the head of the queue once it and the baby quilt are finished.  Along with the Stormy Seas and Pickled Ladies quilts, the Summer Picnic Dish is definitely moving up the list.  A little more has been done since this photo was taken, but not a lot.

The POTC blocks definitely have to move up the list to be finished and the top put together.

I want to get this piece, which I’ve dubbed star of stars,  basted and quilted.  I know why it has languished this long — because I kept thinking I need to add to it and make it square or rectangular.  But I’ve decided to leave it in a star shape.

I’m going to arrange these applique blocks and get the top put together.

Of the above projects, the one that will take the longest is likely the Patchwork of the Crosses blocks.  On top of this I’m still working on getting to the point I feel confident using EQ6.

My plan for the weekend is to get the fabrics ready and printed for the Summer Picnic Dish as well as finally select the fabric for the 2″ squares used when connecting the POTC blocks and get it printed.

Smudge has a new habit.  When we empty the dishwasher in the morning, he likes to sit on the door.  I may have been a bit premature in thinking we were over the worst of this eating thing with him.  Wednesday he wasn’t interested in food again at all so we immediately went back to the syringe feeding.  I am very grateful he’s so accommodating about that process as I can only imagine how difficult it would be with many kitties.

We caught Lester in the midst of a huge yawn.  This photo makes me laugh.

Summer Picnic Dish

A bit more has been done on the Summer Picnic Dish.  While I’m working on the baby quilt, I’m going to try to set aside a few evenings per week when I work on some of my other projects.  The Summer Picnic Dish is one of those projects.  How large I’ll make this is still up in the air.  I think it will be a good-sized lap quilt.

While out on the roof garden taking the above picture, we got some of the various flowers.  The hosta are now all blooming.

We noticed a bee fly into one of the hosta flowers and got this close-up.  I think if you click on the photo to enlarge it, you’ll see the bee.

I love the splash of red on this flower.

Once again, they forecast the possibility of thunderstorms on Thursday and once again there wasn’t even a drop of rain.  It was breezy but quite sunny and there were only a few clouds to be seen.

Smudge curled up for a while Thursday afternoon to catch up on some sleep.

Lester was on duty on the windowsill.

Summer Picnic Dish Progress & Summer Goals

Summer Picnic Dish is one of the quilts, along with Farmer’s Delight, that I want to finish the piecing of this summer.  Hmm, am I setting my sights too high with all these things I want to finish?  Probably, but this one does grow quickly — the blocks are 12″ which is, for me, huge.  I love putting this together as it’s so easy to get perfect arcs and points with the Inklingo Pickle Dish collection.  At the moment, I’m debating whether to make it a lap quilt or a bed-sized quilt.

On Barbara Brackman’s blog yesterday I saw an absolutely fabulous pattern — a marriage of clamshells and pickle dish!  If you go here, scroll down a bit in the post and see the design in different fabrics.  What a great design that would be to put together.  Wonderful curved piecing and triangles.  What more could one want?

Another quilt I definitely want to finish this summer is the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.  I’m going to try stitching the cream hexagons that surround each block by machine as that might make the goal a bit more attainable.  I’ll still be joining them to each block by hand, but that goes quite quickly.  Then all I’ve got to do is figure out what I want to use for the centre squares in between the blocks and add the outer edging pieces.  This picture only shows a few of the blocks — there are quite a few more.

The Drunkard’s Path baskets are something else I want to finish fairly quickly.  It will be a large wallhanging.  I just need to sort out the centre block for it, which is different from the one in the picture.  It won’t take long to do the printing and piecing.

Also on the list to, at the very least, spend some time stitching:  blue and white Seven Sisters blocks, pink and white Pink Ice snow crystal blocks, the Harpsichord Quilt, more klosjes, the hexagon stripe quilt — oh, the list is endless!!  I wonder which will be finished first!

Thursday was another lovely warm day.  We wandered up to a fruit and vegetable store and picked up some fabulous Ontario wild blueberries and Ontario raspberries.  The flavour of both is just incredible — nothing comes close.  I’m going to try freezing some of our raspberries to use in smoothies in the winter.

Lester had windowsill time on Thursday.

As did Smudge.

A Change in Plans

Half the arcs for the next Summer Picnic Dish block have been done and the pieces are printed, cut out and ready to stitch for the rest of that block and for a few more.

The change in plans?  My aunt’s birthday is coming up in August, at which time she will be 90.  There will be a party for her and I’ve decided to make her a lap quilt.  She’s an amazing lady, sharp as can be and funny.  I have some absolutely marvelous memories of playing double solitaire with her in the summers at a cottage.  The two of us would end up in fits of laughter as we tried to be the first to go out and win those games.

Now the decision is whether to make the summer picnic dish into a lap quilt for her, which is Mr. Q.O.’s choice.  He thinks that something bright and cheerful is the best idea.

The other idea?  Doing something with Winding Ways blocks using fabrics like these:

I have to decide and get started on it this weekend as I want lots of time to make this the best lap quilt I possibly can.  She’s my only aunt and is someone who really does appreciate items made by hand.  I gave her a lace tablecloth which I had crocheted when I was in my early 20s.   She still talks about it.  The same with an afghan I knit for her when I was a teenager.  She’s a small lady, so it will not be a huge quilt.  I’m thinking something in the range of 48 by 54 inches or thereabouts.

The fabrics I’m thinking about for the winding ways idea in the picture above remind me, to a degree, of a chintz couch she has but they are more subdued than the floral and green in the pickle dish blocks.  Any thoughts on this are more than welcome.

We did a little shopping on Thursday, which included a stop at Staples.  Mr. Q.O. bought one of the Bamboo tablets for my computer.  Getting used to it as a mouse took no time at all.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of its capabilities which include, I think, the ability to add written captions to photos.   I’m looking forward to playing with it this weekend.

Watching Smudge the last couple of days has been an absolute joy.  I still can’t get over how lucky we were.  This was taken shortly after he had his nightly yogourt treat on Wednesday night.

Lester was incredibly lively Wednesday night.  One of the medications for his heart condition is only given every 3 days and on the days he gets that one, he acts like a kitten.  Wednesday night was one of those nights.  It’s wonderful to see him like that.

Setting the Summer Picnic Dish

Putting these blocks on point gives them a different look.  As I was making the second block, I decided that I’m going to use the on point setting for these.  I’ll use half centres along the outer edges of the top so that I have a straight edge.  The second block isn’t quite finished and will actually be the third block.  Placing the corner pieces is something I’ll need to be careful about for the second block so that I don’t have 2 green or 2 floral corner pieces joined.

On Friday we had some errands to run within walking distance.  Walking along one of the streets, we came across this crab apple tree.

There are many street planters in the area.

A close-up of some of the flowers in that planter:

Things are still a bit hectic for us but everything should be settled down after today.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s so and that I can get back to reading and leaving comments on blogs as well as replying to comments.

Lester seems to be contemplating something.

Smudge curled up with a teddy bear.

Summer Picnic Dish

The Pickle Dish collections were released on the weekend and I couldn’t resist making this instead of the classic red and white pickle dish I had planned to do.  Something about a summer picnic dish wall hanging just seemed like the right idea for now.  I had cut and pressed fabric to freezer paper, printed my shapes and cut them out and was stitching within a few minutes of downloading the collection.  While I’m hand-piecing, I’m sure this could be easily machine pieced as the curves are very gentle.  To that end, Linda even included a template for paper piecers to print out and use for that method.  It is an amazingly simple block to stitch with the matching points and stitching lines that Inklingo prints.  I really can’t imagine making this block with any other method!

There’s an absolutely fabulous Design Book as well, which is free to download.  There are lots of great tips in it for stitching both Pickle Dish and Double Wedding Ring quilts.

More greenery from the roof garden.  After the weekend,  during which we did have some rain, I think it’s probably even greener out there now.  Maybe some flowers will start to show up soon too.

It was a rather hectic weekend and I haven’t really looked at blogs or even replied to some comments yet.  I hope to get back on track after Tuesday.  In the meantime, if I haven’t responded to a comment,  please know that I really do appreciate getting comments and always do respond — eventually.  This is one of those “eventually” times, it seems.

Lester loves to sleep in the pink chair.

While Smudge finds the couch more to his liking most of the time.