My First Applique Quilt

While I work on the red and white quilt, I thought I’d revisit some older quilts. Tuesday we took this one out to the roof garden for a photo. It was made about 12 years ago — I didn’t date the label and have no notes about it anywhere, so am just guessing. It was my first appliqué quilt and was based on a pattern in a McCall’s Vintage Quilts magazine, although I did amend it somewhat. The blocks are 15″ and the quilt finished at about 66″ by  81″. It was pieced, appliquéd and quilted by hand. The only time the sewing machine was used was to attach the binding.

When I look at it now I get a laugh out of the fabrics – I mixed up everything in it. Muslin was used for the background. There are batiks, ’30s prints, florals, checks, you name it in the plates. I wasn’t following any rules about what goes with what. It was just what appealed to me and I thought played nicely together. I remember using a dinner plate to cut the corners of the quilt so that they’d be curved. That was my first time working with a bias binding and I loved it! In fact, I’ve pretty much always gone for bias bindings ever since then.

As this more current (and still being quilted) quilt that I’ve called Ferris Wheel shows, Dresden Plate quilts are something to which I’m really drawn. I’m contemplating a third one now. But now they are so much easier. No more tracing templates over and over. I just print my shapes with the Inklingo Dresden Plate collections. I was playing with some design ideas last night for another one, using EQ, and I think that it’s not too far off. First of course, I have to finish the red and white and my Tiffany lamp New York Beauty (which won’t be very big).  And start the quilt I’ve designed using the fabrics I won in the Love the Lines contest. And finish Pickled Ladies. And finish … oh, okay. The list is endless.

Baxter doesn’t care what else I make. He has his quilt now. Just about every evening he curls up on it.

26 Pickled Ladies

The fourth row is now added. They’re easy to put together, thanks to the stitching liens and matching points.

It’s a little difficult to tell from this photo, but the intersection where they meet is easy to press by pressing one of the arcs over the other beside it and then pressing the one below it over both of those.  It may look a bit bulky, but it actually isn’t.

Quilting on the Ferris Wheel quilt is going rather slowly but I am getting it done. Baxter is insistent on helping whenever there’s a quilt on my lap, whether I’m quilting or tacking down binding. At one point last night, he was right under the hoop. He seems to think it’s play time as he attacks my hand that’s underneath the quilt.

Something to Stitch, Something to Unstitch

Remember this, the Ferris Wheel quilt? That’s the project that involved unstitching. I had quilted about a third of it by machine and then decided I wanted to quilt this one by hand. So I’ve spent a number of hours over the past couple of weeks taking out the machine quilting. Now I’m trying to decide how I want to quilt it.

For a change of pace, I’ve started stitching a cross-stitch project. It’s almost a quarter done already. This one is going to be a small Christmas biscornu.

Baxter did very well and we picked him up at 3:30 yesterday afternoon. I had to laugh at the post-surgery instructions. They stated we should keep him as quiet as possible. A rambunctious kitten who’s only 6 months old and showed absolutely no signs of being groggy from the anaesthetic we’re supposed to keep quiet? Within minutes of getting home, after sniffing around to make sure things were where he thought they should be, he was bounding around, getting toys out of the toy basket, jumping up on the windowsill to watch the leaves and that went on all afternoon and evening. We’re thrilled he came through the surgery so well and showed no after-effects. Here you can almost see the spot that was shaved for the IV on one front leg.

Taking Out Quilting

A while ago I started quilting Ferris Wheel by machine. Then I got back into hand quilting and am now thinking about taking out the machine quilting and replacing it with hand quilting. The reason I want to replace it with hand quilting is that there’s a quilting design I want to use that will be easier for me to do by hand than by machine.

What I’m wondering is if there is a quick way to do this or if it’s just going to be a painstakingly slow process of taking it out stitch by stitch. Thankfully, only 3 of the blocks have been quilted so far. Has anyone done this? Any tips?

Baxter was lounging on the windowsill shortly after having had a drink of water. The wet fur on one side of his neck is a sure giveaway that he has been at the water bowl.

Fabrics for Binding

This is the striped fabric I want to use to bind Ferris Wheels, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough of it for a bias binding.  It’s a half-yard piece, so it may be rather close. The quilt is 45″ x 60″ and I plan to use a 2.25″ double-fold bias binding. I’ll work out the math as soon as I get the quilting finished and am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be enough.

This is my second choice.  Not as much fun as the striped fabric, but the colours do work with the fabrics used in the quilt.

Baxter had a very busy day on Wednesday. He has discovered “Baxter TV”, looking out on the roof garden from the window.  Wednesday he was sitting on the windowsill watching, we think, the robins’ nest. His tail was twitching and he was chattering as he watched.

Later on we caught him in mid-yawn.

He has favourite toys which always end up under furniture. So a new daily event is one of us down on the floor fishing toys out from under furniture. He seems to quite like helping us retrieve his toys.

Ferris Wheel Quilting Begun

Quilting the Ferris Wheel quilt was one of the things I had hoped to start on the weekend. While that didn’t happen, I did get a start on it yesterday. I’m using a silk batt again and love how easy it makes it to manipulate the quilt sandwich when machine quilting.

Truth be told, I have to get Ferris Wheel quilted as I need the safety pins to baste the next one. I’m going to ask a friend if I can use her living room floor to baste as I have a feeling Baxter would be a bit too much help, particularly with his determination to chew fabric given the chance.

I’m hoping to get Ferris Wheel done by the end of the week. The fabric for the binding is picked out. It’s a great striped fabric, so I’m going to make bias binding as I love the effect of striped fabric in a bias binding.

I use a laptop for work and keep the wireless keyboard down beside my desk when I’m not working. Baxter likes to hang out under my desk and on Tuesday we got this shot of him draped over the keyboard. He seems to be very attracted to technology as well as quilting. When I’m printing something, he has to get as close as he can to watch the paper.

An extra shot of Baxter, because it shows off his amazing whiskers!

Label for Ferris Wheel Quilt

I decided to piece the label for Ferris Wheel on Monday.  When I started quilting, making labels for my quilts never struck me as a design element.  Now?  Now I try to make a label that has something to do with the design of the quilt.  For Ferris Wheel I decided to do the centre of a block.  The cream blades of the plate will be the perfect spot on which to write the pertinent information.

Upon finishing the piecing of a quilt like Ferris Wheel I almost always wish I could make one more block, so making a label like this seems like a great solution — I get to make one more block or partial block and the label is ready to be written on and then appliqued on to the back as soon as the quilting is done.

Lester had a snooze on the windowsill on Monday.  He had some entertainment out on the roof garden as there were some grackles and sparrows on the lawn.

Smudge was sound asleep.  Oh, to be able to relax as thoroughly as a cat!

Ferris Wheel Quilt

Thanks to Elly, I have a name for the Farmer’s Delight quilt. Ferris Wheel seems to me to be the perfect name for this quilt. It makes me think of summer and movement and that’s definitely what a ferris wheel means to me.  It reminds me of when the Canadian National Exhibition is open in August and all the rides on the midway, not that I go anywhere near them. The ferris wheel is probably as adventurous as I would ever get when it comes to rides.

It was amazingly quick work to put the blocks together into rows and then stitch the rows together. I started stitching them together on Friday evening and finished Saturday evening. All by hand.  Although I had thought I’d join them by machine, I think it probably didn’t take me much longer to stitch by hand than it would have by machine.

I thought I had the perfect fabric for the backing, but it’s just a bit too short.  All that’s left now is to do the final pressing, get the backing prepared, baste and start quilting it.  I have the quilting planned and think it will go fairly quickly.

Over the weekend, I decided to give my blog a facelift.  It’s a bit of a work in progress, but then I suppose a blog always is a work in progress.  For now, I’ve started listing favourite quilt blogs on a separate page rather than in the sidebar.

This is possibly one of the most quirky pictures we have of Lester.  I don’t know if it was the angle at which it was taken on Sunday or what, but there’s something about this one that I love.  He looks like a much smaller cat than he is.

Smudge had just been sticking his head in the water bowl, which is how he seems to prefer to drink, and Mr. Q.O. got this shot.  If you click on it to see the large picture, you can tell the fur on one side of his face is still wet.